Beat the Heat

With the heat of summer bearing down on us, there is no better time to go out of your way to make sure that you are ready to not just survive but live comfortably through the season. Your home likely has a number of different design features which are meant to give you the ability to conquer the heat. However, chances are good that most of these rely on your electrical system to function. And if your electrical system is aging of insufficient, you will be unable to fully realize the possibilities available to you.


Air conditioning is one of the best things you have available to help you escape the heat. And heat is more than just uncomfortable. If you have young children or elderly people in your house, heat can be a real danger. Their bodies are less able to regulate their temperature, and if you fail to ensure that they have a cool environment, they could be at risk for a number of health complications which could even lead to death. However, it isn’t just the young and elderly who need to keep cool. Not only can heat increase the health risks for those in better physical condition, it has also been shown to decrease cognitive ability. If you are too warm, you are much less likely to be able to think clearly and make good decisions.

So, what should you do? If you have a working AC system, you should make sure that it is in good condition and is electrically efficient. One thing that has improved over the last few decades fairly reliably is the efficiency of our heating and cooling units. Mounting pressure to find environmentally friendly solutions to our problems has driven innovation in the efficiency of our AC systems. If your system is struggling, you might want to have it repaired. However, if you do  not have one at all, you may need to have an electrician visit your property and provide the appropriate power disbursement for an HVAC system.


Similarly, your home likely has things such as refrigerators, freezers, and other systems which can help you to endure the heat. While you will need to consult with an appliance expert to improve these, they again rely on the consistent and reliable delivery of electricity to them. If your home has an electrical system which is unreliable, you could see power outages to these appliances. This is especially dangerous during warm weather, as frozen goods can reach dangerous temperatures quickly. A freezer which has thawed for a period of time and then refrozen can be very dangerous, as there may have been time for harmful pathogens and bacteria to multiply during the thaw. Then, when you consume the tainted contents, you could find yourself or your family seriously ill.

Another standby of summer survival is the use of swimming pools. While I have already written extensively about how a swimming pool can tax your electrical system, I will mention it briefly here. If your pool is new, or if you are having to install new components to your pump and filter system, there may need to be some electrical work done. Don’t be afraid to shop around, and you can save yourself substantial amounts of money if you hire a trained electrician to perform the electrical work for any project. This will ensure that not only is the work done to the highest standard of quality, but that it will be done quickly, all work will be permitted properly, and that there will be less of an opportunity for a contractor to gouge you on work they are not experienced with.

Finally, the high electrical loads drawn during heat waves combined with the high temperatures can mean that there is an increased fire risk. Old and broken down electrical systems are already at a high risk of fire, and when you add in these other factors, it could be a perfect storm for a system which has not been serviced recently. If your electrical system is in poor condition, you should try to make sure that you are not at risk for a house fire. Additionally, you could find yourself struggling to deal with an insurance company if you have not kept your electrical system well maintained. If you cannot afford to fix up the system, keep your eyes open for signs of trouble. Pay attention to temperatures of outlets and switches. If you see discoloration, smell smoke, or sense heat, call an expert immediately. There could already be a fire beginning and slowly smoldering through your walls before suddenly and violently erupting. If you have any reason to suspect an electrical fire is occurring, take action immediately. These fires are one of the most common causes of home loss and death in the united states every year, and they are nearly completely preventable when electrical systems are serviced regularly by trained professionals.


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