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Seven Electrical Panel Preparation Tips for Winter

Electrical panel upgrades

Electrical panel preparation is extremely useful before the winter hits. Your HVAC system uses a lot of energy, which means you’ll need a properly functioning electrical panel in order to stay warm and cozy this winter season. Just like your plumbing or roof, your electrical panel needs maintenance in order to be prepared and remain damage-free when the snow starts to accumulate.

How Electrical Panel Preparation Can Prevent Your Electrical Panel From Malfunctioning

Nobody wants to deal with a damaged electrical panel in the dead of winter. Not only will a busted electrical panel make your winter miserable, it can be very expensive to repair. Your electrical panel won’t last as long as your house, and ideally, it should be replaced at least every 30 years to keep up with your home’s electrical demand. In the meantime,  electrical panel preparation ensures it will not only work effectively but function during even the harshest of winters. Here are five ways to prepare your electrical panel.

  • Strive for efficiency. Improving your home’s energy efficiency helps to prevent your home’s electrical panel from overworking itself. It’s important to be aware of phantom loads, which is the power that flows to unused appliances that are plugged in. It doesn’t matter if your appliances are turned off, if they are plugged in, they still use power. To help cut down on your energy consumption, you can either unplug any unused appliances or use power strips, which make it easier to shut off power to multiple unused appliances.
  • Prepare your generator. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for the worst, especially if you live somewhere susceptible to power outages. No power not only makes for a miserable winter, but it leaves your plumbing vulnerable to freezing. Having a backup generator prepared guarantees you’ll stay warm and protected this winter season.
  • Treat your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. A damaged electrical panel can cause several safety hazards, including fires and gas leaks, which is why you should prepare your detectors as well. Installing new batteries and testing each detector helps to ensure you and your household will be safe in case of an electrical safety hazard.
  • Test your outlets. Preparing your home’s electrical system should also include thorough testing of all your outlets. Testing your outlets not only ensures they’re getting sufficient power but if the wires are properly connected and if the outlet is properly grounded. One easy way to test the functionality and safety of your outlets is with a multimeter. Your outlets should always be grounded in order to avoid an electrical failure and can be done by replacing any old outlets with a ground fault circuit interrupter.
  • Schedule a professional inspection. Your home’s electrical system is complicated, and the only one who knows to thoroughly inspect and treat your electrical panel is a licensed electrician. Ideally, it’s a good idea to schedule an inspection every three years. During an electrical panel inspection, an electrician will inspect the breakers, check all the connections, and inspect for any unusual high temperatures to ensure it works and prevent any potential problems.
  • Rewire your home if necessary. Old and outdated wiring can cause problems for your electrical panel as well as your home. If your home is old and you’re tripping on extension cords, you might be due to rewiring your home. An electrician can inspect and confirm whether your home needs to be rewired. Old, outdated wiring, however, is a fire hazard and should be replaced immediately.
  • Keep your electrical panel closed and covered. In order to properly maintain your electrical panel, make sure to keep it closed and protected from dust and debris. Dust absorbs moisture, and if enough moisture accumulates on your electrical panel, it can cause a great deal of damage. Even dust and moisture can turn into rust, which corrodes circuit boards and most metals. Keeping your electrical panel shut, can significantly prevent dust and moisture from accumulating inside.

Your Holiday Season Doesn’t Have to End in Electrical Failure

There’s enough to deal with come the winter season, and electrical failure shouldn’t be another issue to add to that list. With enough maintenance and preparation, however, you can stay warm without having to fear for your electrical panel. There is a limit to what you can do to maintain your electrical panel, which is why scheduling a professional inspection is crucial. Stay prepared this winter season by having a licensed electrician inspect your electrical panel.

Call Excel Electric LLC today for more information on electrical panel preparation!

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