Getting into the holiday spirit often involves making adequate preparations. As we get closer to the holiday season, we start making plans for everything from decorations and sparkling lights to firing up the oven to cook special meals. We can also expect to turn up the heating system and use electronics such as home theaters and video game consoles to entertain our friends and relatives when they visit.
All of the above adds up to higher amperage and increased loads on your home electrical panel. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, electricity usage in American households increases by an average of 30% during the holiday season.
Signs That Your Electrical Panel Needs Repair
Getting your electrical panel inspected before the holidays is always a good idea; however, certain situations make it mandatory. Here are some signs that indicate your panel is not working as it should, which means that it should be inspected before you start plugging in holiday lights.
- Circuit breakers trip frequently/
- Lights flicker or dim/
- Electrical outlets feel warm to the touch/
- Buzzing or crackling sounds are coming from the panel.
- A burning smell is coming from the panel.
- The panel is more than 25 years old.
If you notice any of the signs listed above, you should get the electrical panel inspected and repaired as soon as possible. These signs are indicative of problems that could be dangerous and can lead to fires or other electrical hazards.
Protecting Your Home and Family During the Holidays
A deficient electrical panel can make or break your holiday celebrations. Let’s say you invite guests to a holiday dinner that features baked dishes. Your home is nicely decorated and the heater is running, but the circuit breaker keeps tripping when you turn on the oven. This scenario lets you know that a circuit is overloaded, and the panel breakers are doing their job by preventing dangerous voltage surges and potential electrical fires.
If you move into a new place before the holidays, you may not be aware of the condition or capacity of the electrical panel. Everything may seem fine until you increase the amperage load when installing holiday decorations, turning up the heat, using multiple stove burners, and turning on the oven. In some cases, the panel may need to be upgraded; in others, the installation of a smaller subpanel can improve the distribution of electricity across all residential circuits.
At The Electric Company, our electricians take great pride in servicing electrical panels for residential and commercial customers in Modesto, California. Contact us today to ensure your electrical panel can handle the additional load during the holidays.