Adding Supplemental Heat Sources? Why You Might Need To Hire An Electrical Contractor

If your home feels a bit less comfortable than you'd like each winter, adding a source of supplemental heat can be a good way to add comfort at an affordable cost. It is important that you do some research before moving ahead with any plans to purchase or install any type of supplemental heat source, especially any that utilize electrical power to create or distribute heat. As part of your research, you may need to reach out to a licensed electrical contractor and here are some important reasons for doing so. 

Enlarging or Updating the Electrical Panel

Supplemental heat sources that require a direct connection to the electrical panel should always be installed by a qualified electrician but it can also be important for homeowners to discuss the use of smaller heating appliances, such as electric space heaters, with an electrician. While limited in the amount of wattage they can draw, usually 1500 kilowatts or less, electric space heaters can still overload the existing electrical panel and cause tripped circuit breakers or create problems when using other appliances while the space heater is in use. 

Homes with outdated or undersized electrical panels are especially at risk of experiencing problems or safety issues with the use of electrical space heaters. Homeowners who want to ensure that they can safely use this type of supplemental heat should plan to have an electrical contractor inspect their existing electrical panel and provide recommendations for any changes that might be needed. 

Ensuring That Wiring Circuits Can Safely Support the Load

In addition to the electrical panel, it is important for homeowners to ensure that their home's wiring circuits are in good condition and safe for use with electric space heaters before beginning to use them. Wiring circuits that are damaged or outdated are especially prone to overheating when subjected to the continued power demands of an electric space heater. 

Even newer electrical circuits can be at risk for overheating when using an electric space heater, especially if the circuit is not properly rated for the amount of power begin drawn by the heater or in situations where more than one appliance or electronic is plugged into the same circuit. For example, a circuit that supplies power to a refrigerator or washing machine may become overloaded if an electric space heater is plugged in to the same circuit. 

Using electric space heaters as supplemental heat can be an affordable way to provide a more comfortable home. If you are considering the use of electric space heaters or any type of electrically powered supplemental heat source, taking time to discuss your situation with a reputable electrical contractor can help keep your family safe from an electrical fire. 

For more information about using electric heaters or other appliances, contact an electrical contractor in your area.