One of the most common electrical problems during the summer is overloading your electrical panel. This happens due to a significant increase in electrical usage.
If your home does not have central air, odds are you use a window unit, ceiling fans and portable fans to cool your home throughout the summer. The constant running of these devices puts a great deal of pressure on your electrical panel, not giving it time to cool off – which can eventually lead to an electrical panel overload.
Air conditioning units and fans aren’t the only culprits to overloading your electrical panel throughout the summer. With your children home for the summer, computers, TVs and other devices are being used longer and more often than the rest of the year, also increasing your risks of overloading and causing damage to your electrical panel.
Signs your electrical panel is being overloaded are frequent power outages, buzzing noises, lights flickering, sparking from plugs, overheated plugs, switches, outlets and repeatedly tripped breakers.
You can avoid overloading your electrical panel by taking several preventative steps. Avoid running your window air conditioning unit while not at home. Most units run on a timer so you can have the unit turn on an hour before you get home so you’ll be walking into a nice cool house.
You can also opt for an upgrade to your electrical panel to compensate for the increased electrical usage during the summer months. An additional electrical panel can be installed to carry electrical loads that aren’t typically used throughout the rest of the year such as your window air conditioning unit. Another option to prevent an overload is adding USB ports to your electrical outlets.
These types of upgrades to the electrical panel are not a DIY job. Call a licensed electrician to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.