Are you prepared for winter? Wolfie’s has the solution!

(Our Manly – May 2010)

Winter seems to sneak up on us every year. One minute we are enjoying the warmer weather and spending time outside, the next we are dragging out our winter woollies and switching on heaters, taking longer showers, using the clothes dryer more frequently and having more cups of tea!

"What many of us don’t realise is that winter not only brings a change in weather, but it also brings a change in our homes habits,” says Justin Wolfe, Director of Wolfie’s Plumbing & Electrical Services. “As the cooler weather increases, so do our calls for overloaded circuits, faulty hot water systems and smoke alarms, and installation of gas services or additional bayonet points".

Circuit overloading

Each time you turn on another appliance such as a heater, the kettle and the clothes dryer you are increasing the load on your homes electrical supply. Many homes might not notice any difference at all but some (such as homes with only one circuit) may experience blown fuses or tripping safety switches as too much power is being drawn. Mr Wolfe advises that the cheapest and most immediate solution is to limit the use of appliances at the same time i.e. don’t turn on your heater whilst you are running the dryer and boiling the kettle. “A long term solution though, is to have another circuit installed at your property if you want to use more appliances,” he said.

Aging hot water heaters

Long, hot showers become extremely attractive during colder weather. They also make your hot water heater work harder too. If your hot water heater is over 10 years old, then you have been fortunate enough to have extra time on the average life span of a storage tank.

To ensure you aren’t having cold showers this winter, Mr Wolfe suggests you check the date of manufacture on your hot water heater (storage tank). “If it was manufactured prior to and up to the year 2000, your hot water heater might be due for replacement. In particular, if you are noticing brown, rusty water, then it’s a sure sign your hot water system is on its last legs,” Mr Wolfe warns.

Non-functioning / non-existent smoke alarms

The increased use of heaters and dryers often increases the chance of fire within the home. It is therefore crucial that you have replaced your smoke alarm battery and tested that your smoke alarm is in good, working order. If you don’t have a smoke alarm at all, it’s time to have one installed. It might be something as simple as a battery or the installation of a new smoke alarm that saves you and your family from serious harm.

Heating – Electrical versus gas

Heating your home with electrical appliances is not as energy efficient as gas heating (and there is nothing quite like the instant cosiness you feel from gas heating). Perhaps you thought about it last winter and just didn’t get around to it, but installing gas to your property or an additional bayonet point in your home is something worth considering this winter. So, this winter, be aware of when you use your appliances, check the manufacturers date on your hot water heater, maintain or install a smoke alarm and consider installing gas heating. These simple things can make sure you and your family aren’t left out in the cold this winter!

For award-winning, 24 hour plumbing and electrical solutions, contact Wolfie’s Plumbing & Electrical Services on 1300 WOLFIE (1300 965 343).

General Advice Disclaimer: Every home is different and this general advice may not be suitable to your specific circumstances. Please consider whether this general advice is suitable for you. In the case of any reasonable doubt we recommend that you seek our expert advice about your specific circumstances before acting on the general advice set out above.