Hot weather can cause brown-outs and other electrical problems in the summer, but it’s not always the utility company’s fault. While the heat puts strain on the grid and your home’s electrical system, there’s a good chance you are also using more appliances than usual.
Constant air conditioning, ceiling fans left on, the pool equipment cycling on and off—it all adds up to a higher risk of tripped breakers and overheated wiring.
Be conscious of your energy consumption this summer. Electrical problems can largely be avoided by shutting off appliances when appropriate and plugging everything in safely.
High Temperatures Cause Electrical Problems
When the mercury rises, the power grid takes on extra pressure. Everybody is using air conditioning and there’s a higher demand overall. Massive power outages are more likely, and localized brownouts (dim lights and loss of power) occur when voltages drop.
Summer weather can also cause electrical outages at your home specifically. The connections from the grid supply to your electrical panel may be warped or damaged from expansion and contraction. Ditto for aluminum wiring, which can cause sparking and short circuits if the aluminum connectors fail.
Safe Choices to Avoid Summer Electrical Problems
Tripped breakers are the biggest issue this time of year. Before resetting the breaker, consider whether you need to use fewer appliances in the room or area. Flip the breaker back on with just one appliance in use to see if it still trips. Add more appliances, one at a time, and see if you can avoid overloading the circuit that way.
More tips for a safe summer without electrical problems:
- Turn off lights, ceiling fans, and TVs when you leave the room
- Raise your thermostat a couple of degrees higher
- Set your ceiling fan to turn counter-clockwise when viewed from below
- Replace any remaining incandescent bulbs with LED lighting
- Run the dishwasher and laundry at night or when you aren’t using much electricity otherwise
- Make sure you have GFCI outlets outdoors before plugging in toys and gadgets
- Do not daisy-chain multiple extension cords; relocate some appliances if possible
- Check the condition of plugs and wires on portable fans, air purifiers, outdoor stereos, or any other devices you use seasonally
Electrical Repairs to Make in Summer
With kids home all day, backyard barbecues taking place, and our daily habits being different than normal in many ways, it’s a good idea to get an electrical inspection in Santa Rosa this summer.
Tell your electrician about your energy usage, where and when tripped breakers or flickering lights occur, and about any frayed wiring or other signs of electrical problems you might have noticed.
You probably only need minor electrical services such as adding a GFCI outlet, replacing dead outlets or burnt wires, for maybe adding a circuit for the new large appliance causing the trip.
Charge up your home for a worry-free summer with help from your local Santa Rosa electrician. Contact us to report any electrical problems that happen in hot weather!