Just about everything we do inside our homes requires electricity. And in Minnesota, where our winters can get brutal, household electrical systems do some pretty heavy lifting. Unfortunately, though, it’s exceedingly easy to forget how much we depend on fully functional electrical work to perform our day-to-day activities. But we remember pretty quickly when winter weather knocks out our power.
If you’re worried about struggling through electrical outages this winter, there are several steps you can take to prepare your electrical system. Our Harrison Electric team shares some helpful prep tips below.
Assess Outdoor Electrical Components
Before you worry about the electrical work inside your house, make sure the power lines outside your home aren’t at risk for winter-related damage. Trees laden with snow may not be able to handle its substantial weight, and unfortunately, that often means weaker branches detach and land on nearby electrical lines. The result? A lengthy power outage and a cold, dark home.
To help protect your house against this hazard, take a look at the trees near your power lines. If the branches appear to hang dangerously close to the lines, contact your local electric company to report the hazard. A technician can come out and trim back the branches to reduce your risk of experiencing an outage.
In addition to checking the power lines, you should also assess any outdoor service boxes and electrical outlets. Make sure these components are fully intact and have the proper covers to protect them against moisture intrusion. If you notice any damage or deterioration during your assessment, contact a residential electrician to schedule an inspection.
Test Your Outlets
Unless you use all the outlets in your house regularly, it’s difficult to know whether any of them are underperforming or deteriorating. And if you’re forced to rely on space heaters at any point throughout the winter, you’ll need to know whether your outlets are properly grounded and if they can safely handle electrical load.
To test the functionality of your wall receptacles, you’ll need a multimeter to get an accurate reading. However, because many homeowners aren’t familiar with electrical testing best practices (or safety precautions!), it’s best to hire an electrician to perform this job.
Check for Damaged Wiring
As temperatures drop, outdoor critters start seeking warm shelter, so if you own an old house, it may be harboring a few pests. If these critters wiggle their way into your walls or attic, they can chew up electrical wiring that feeds the rest of your house, and damaged wiring is always a recipe for disaster.
But winter isn’t the only time you should check your house for wiring damage. Periodic wiring inspections will alert you to the need for rewiring before any issues grow severe. And prompt action is the best way to prevent extended power outages or worse, household fires. Since wiring damage is best identified by an experienced electrician, schedule a professional inspection before the worst of the winter weather hits.
Consider Installing a Generator
Do you live in an area that’s prone to power outages? Do you rely on electrically powered medical equipment? If so, you should seriously consider installing a home generator that’s capable of powering your entire house.
Freezing temperatures are nothing to play around with, and if you’ve historically lost power during the winter months, a whole-house generator can solve the problem entirely. You’ll need to consult with a licensed electrician for this installation since it connects directly to your electrical panel and requires professional expertise.
Need an Electrician to Inspect Your Twin Cities Home? Contact Harrison Electric
Whatever your household electrical needs may be, our team at Harrison Electric is ready to handle them. We specialize in electrical repair, component replacement, new installations, and ongoing maintenance and provide 24/7 emergency service for your convenience. To schedule service, request a quote, or learn more about our services, give us a call today at 763-544-3300 or message us online.