Can Your Circuits Handle Increased Demands?
Cold weather means a change in behaviour for homeowners. As we plug in heaters and use our appliances more, can our electrical systems keep up?
The UK receives an average of 23.7 days of snow or sleet each year, with most of it falling in January or February. Since Christmas, many parts of the country have already experienced a drop in temperature, which has created periods of unsettled weather across the UK. Colder temperatures can cause problems with our domestic electrical systems, largely due to our changing behaviour during the winter months. This guide will teach you how to avoid the most common electrical incidents.
Replacing Old Appliances
Many white goods come with a ten-year warranty, but once that’s run out, it’s typical for homeowners to keep these appliances running until something goes wrong with them. The problem with this, is that older appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers or dryers tend to require a lot more energy than their more modern counterparts. Even keeping them switched on when not using them will put pressure on your electrical network. You’ll notice that you use items such as your dryer more in winter instead of being able to hang washing outside on the line, so it’s important that you switch to more efficient models where possible to reduce your energy bills.
Naturally, when the temperatures dip outside, it can be tempting to whack the heating on. But instead of using the central heating, many of us also rely on a space heater to warm up an individual room quickly or enjoy sleeping under an electric blanket. Both of these items are certainly cosy but it’s important to be responsible about how you use them. Not only do they require a lot of power, they’re also potential fire hazards. IDV Electrical recommends carrying out a visual inspection of the cords to ensure that they’re in good working condition and haven’t suffered any wear and tear. You should also plug these items straight into the wall rather than into an extension socket.
Don’t Rely On Extension Cables
Winter is a time where you’ll likely be plugging a lot more lamps in, along with other tech gadgets. If your home doesn’t have enough power outlets, it can be tempting to rely on using extension cables but these do pose a fire risk. Instead, book a qualified electrician to install more sockets in your home and ensure that your current circuits are armed with circuit breakers which will trip when an appliance overheats. This is a simple inspection for an electrician to carry out, so you’d be wise to book this in soon rather than risk a fire.
Have A Professional Electrician To Hand
In the event that you do require the services of an electrician, it can be frustrating to find yourself in an emergency and not know who to call. Take the time now to do your research and find a reputable, experienced electrician who is NICEIC registered. If you have any concerns about the condition of your electrical circuits, it’s a good idea to book an inspection to provide you with peace of mind that your current system will be able to handle the additional demands of powering your home during the winter!