Common Electrical Problems in Winter in Minneapolis

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During the winter, there can be a number of electrical issues that pop up. They can range from minor annoyance to deadly problems. People tend to use more electricity in the winter than in the summer. With lights being used more often and for longer time periods, heating appliances like electric blankets or portable heaters, and your furnace working hard to keep your home comfy. Problems with overuse are bound to arise. Common reasons for these problems can be bad wiring, using a damaged device, and random power surges.


Common electrical issues also happen during the rest of the year but are more frequent with overuse during the winter months. Flickering lights and light bulbs burning out are some common issues in winter but can also be a sign of worse issues. Before delving too deep, make sure that the bulbs are properly screwed in. If they still aren’t working, try a new bulb in the same socket. Light bulbs that continue to flicker could mean you may have a wiring problem, and if they continue to burn out quickly, it may be an issue with your electricity provider. Your provider may be sending more power than needing which is bruising your bulbs out quickly, that can usually be fixed with a higher voltage bulb. Next, we’ll be learning about some less common but more severe problems that you could end up facing this winter.

As you’re plugging in your electronics, watch for sparks as you do. Occasionally, some sparks may be visible. For the most part they are harmless but sometimes can point to bigger problems. When outlets get too warm, the protective coating can melt leaving wires exposed which can cause the sparks. An outlet that is consistently sparking, not working, or you can smell a burning scent, it should be checked out by an electrician as soon as possible. Not doing so may result in fire.


Since you will be using more electricity during the winter months, you may be overloading your circuit breaker. If you notice that your circuit breaker is tripping frequently, try plugging some appliances into different outlets if possible. If that doesn’t seem to work, it may be time to upgrade your electrical panel with our Master Electrician. An upgrade will let your home handle larger electrician loads. Power surges can also cause a trip in your circuit breaker or even a short circuit. Call an electrician either way to get the problem sorted.

Winter is dryer than other seasons, which is why more electrical fires happen in winter than any other time of year. Keep an eye out for frayed, exposed, or damaged wires. Look for black patches that commonly accompany damaged wire, listen for buzzing sounds, find nasty odors, and find anything that signifies a problem.

If any of the above sounds like a problem you may already have, then don’t hesitate to call Twin City Heating, Air and Electric. We want to be there for you to help keep your family safe and comfortable. Feel the difference this winter season.