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Combating Summertime's Electrical Issues

While you try to relax and keep cool and comfortable during the peak of summer in Alabama, your home is probably working hard to maintain that comfort. Air conditioners, fans, and other electric methods of keeping cool are working around the clock.

Sometimes, the hot, humid days and nights can present unique challenges to the electrical system of your home. Here are a few of those challenges and what you can do to overcome them.

Proper Ceiling Fan Use

Having ceiling fans installed in your home is a great way to help a room feel cooler in the summer. Because they are hard-wired, they do not need to be plugged into an outlet, eliminating tricky cords and the potential to overload circuits. A simple flip of a wall switch and the fan begins turning.
However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind if you want the greatest benefits:
  • If your fan is a combination fan and light, make sure the bulbs are LED rather than incandescent light bulbs. Each LED bulb will save you about $95 in electrical costs over its lifetime (based on electricity costs in Alabama in June 2018).
  • Turn off those fans when you leave the room. Running them in your absence will not lower the overall temperature of the room - they will only use more electricity. Ceiling fans work by moving air across your skin and helping you feel cooler, so you have to be present to benefit from them.
  • Make sure the fan blades are rotating in the proper direction for summer. The blades should pull the air down into the room. As you observe the fans in motion, they should spin counter-clockwise. Flip the switch on the base of the fan to change direction.
While you're getting the fan ready for summer, give the blades and light covers a quick dusting. Your room may seem a little brighter.

Tripped Breakers

If you live in a home with older wiring, you may experience frequent tripped breakers. This can become more apparent during the summer when you use your central air unit, window air units, or multiple floor fans to keep cool. Using several appliances at the same time can overload circuits in older electrical systems. 

If this happens, you probably don't want to give up by unplugging your fans and air units. Instead, try to use other appliances like the microwave or vacuum cleaner at different electrical outlets and not at the same time. This helps ease the electrical demands for an older electrical system and breakers.

If the problem continues, it may be time for an upgrade. An electrician can easily add additional circuits to your breaker panel or do a complete rewire of your home. This way, you can use those appliances and fans when you need them without worrying about tripping breakers.

Brownouts

As the power demand during high heat increases in your area, you may experience a brownout. This is when your power dips and you see lights flicker or other appliances making strange noises. This problem is not something you as a consumer can fix, but you can do a few things to combat brownouts in your home.

To provide power to your home during power dips such as brownouts or a complete blackout, consider installing a residential backup power generator. This type of generator:
  • Starts and stops automatically when the power is out. This means you have continuous, uninterrupted power during times of power failure.
  • Provides between 5,000 and 20,000 watts of power, which is plenty for your appliances, lights, and central air unit.
  • Is safer than portable generators because it is permanently installed outside of the home. There is less risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
An electrician must install a residential backup generator because the generator is wired to an electrical transfer switch and into your breaker panel.

If you are interested in adding circuit breakers, updating your home's electrical system, or discussing the benefits of adding a residential backup generator, contact Presley & Son Electric Service. We can help you keep cool and comfortable this summer.