Summer is the Hardest Season for Your Electric System
Summertime in Florida gets hot and humid. With this heat comes a strain on the electric system. This strain comes at both the grid level as well as the home level. When the strain becomes too much, it can trip your breakers. If those fail, however, it can cause a lot more damage. But what causes this strain, and more importantly, how can you reduce it?
The Biggest Culprits of Power Strain
Why does summer cause more strain on the system? To understand why you much first understand what causes the biggest strain on your homes electric system.
Your heating and cooling system accounts for 30-50 percent of your energy costs. This is especially true in the summer, and may actually account for more during this specific time. When the temperature rises, your system has to work harder to achieve your desired temperature. This draws more electricity through your system. If there is a problem with your system, it will cause even more draw.
Likewise, refrigerators and freezers are also among the largest strains on your system, for the same reason as your air conditioner. When the temperature goes up, these devices have to work harder to keep your food safe.
Fortunately, you can work to reduce the strain on your system, if you are just a little more conscious, and know what to do. Here are some of the best tips for reducing the stain and making summer just a little easier on your home.
Maintaining Your Electric System
The best thing you can do is to maintain your high draw systems. Let’s start with your HVAC system. Check your air filters to make sure they are not not causing a restriction in your cooling system. Likewise, check your condenser coils outside the house to make sure they are not blocked or clogged. With any airflow restriction, your system has to work harder, drawing more electricity. Also, be sure your temperature setting is only about 15 degrees different from the outside temperature.
For your air conditioner, be sure to have it professionally maintained annually as well. This will ensure everything is clean and will check to make sure refrigerant levels are optimal.
Next, check your refrigerator and freezer. First, be sure there is enough room in both for air to circulate. Second, check your temperature settings to be sure they are set properly. The refrigerator should be set to 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer should be set to 0-5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next, check your seals to be sure they are seating properly, with nothing creating an obstruction. Check for ice buildup in the freezer that may be in the way of the seal. Putting too much in your unit may also prevent it from sealing correctly.
Finally, many people forget to clean the refrigerating system on their freezer and refrigerator. You want to clean out the dirt and dust from these areas so air can circulate properly.
Turn It Off
Consider turning off minor electronics to avoid vampire power drain. This is when you are not using something, but it continues to draw power. Consider anything that has an indicator light, all your clocks, even your chargers, your computer, etc. When you are not using these devices, consider either unplugging them from the wall, or using a power strip that you can turn off. This will reduce your energy bill as well as reduce the strain on your system.
Reduce the high-strain settings for your air conditioner. For instance, during times when you are not at home, increase the temperature setting. This will reduce the amount your system runs when you are not there to enjoy it. Some people also do this with their hot water heater.
Consider How You Cook
If you have an electric stove or oven, this can add additional strain to your system. Regardless of the power source, this will cause additional heat in your home, causing more strain on the air conditioning system.
Think about cooking on your grill more during hot weather. You may also consider cooking whatever you can during colder periods of the day, in the early morning or in the evening.
Review Your Electrical Circuits
The final step is to review the wiring of your home, especially if you find that you are tripping circuit breakers regularly. You may find it better to enlist the help of a professional electrician in Lakeland Florida.
An electrician will more easily be able to identify how your circuits are constructed. There are a couple of primary things you want to consider and may need rewiring to correct.
Specifically, you want to be sure your high draw appliances are not on the same circuits. Ideally, you would have a separate circuit for your HVAC system, with one dedicated to your air conditioner. If you have a window or portable air conditioner, you should have this on its own circuit.
Finally, you want to be sure your full system can handle the load coming through. You want to be sure the wiring and each breaker can handle the load safely. If they are near capacity, an electrician will be able to help you upgrade the circuit.
Your Next Move
You should always contact a licensed electrician whenever you consider upgrading or repairing anything electrical. Electricity is nothing to play with, and attempting to fix a problem on your own could worsen your issue or create a bigger problem than you know how to fix. When it comes to installing dedicated circuits, you want to make sure the process goes smoothly and causes no issues.
At D.O.C. Electric Inc., we have the know-how to assist you. We’ll send out a professional electrician to help you figure out which appliances deserve dedicated circuits so that you can configure the electricity of your home more efficiently and logically. To get in contact with an electrician today, contact us, and we’ll help you get your circuits sorted out.