Effects of Hot Weather on Electricity

We have had an amazing summer so far and this week the heatwave is set to continue for a few more weeks. Whether you love the warm sunny days, or are praying for some rain, the hot weather has an affect on many aspects of our everyday lives.

The Met Office has suggested the UK will experience hot summers every 5 years now and by the 2040’s heatwaves will be commonplace. The world is definitely getting warmer and this can have consequences on our electricity.

Air Conditioning Units

How many of you have gone out and bought an air conditioning unit of some sort this summer? Buying an item such as this for the home would have been unheard of a few years back, but the constant high temperatures has resulted in people flocking to their local stores to buy some sort of air conditioning device. So much so, the shops have all ran out of stock!

When it’s scorching outside, understandably everyone wants to try and keep as cool as possible indoors. Those who have air conditioning, will be turning it up to the maximum and keeping it on constant throughout the day and night. This creates a greater demand for electricity, compared to when opening a window to get a cool breeze was suffice.

Effects on Cables

When there is a greater demand on electricity due to the heatwave, power lines tend to heat up and expand. Due to this, the lines can sag a little, which can result in short circuits, if they were to sag enough to come into contact with trees and branches.

In addition to this, cables, switches and other equipment can react to the hot weather in a similar way. This can cause problems with connections and insulation, so please be aware when using electrical equipment, and if over a long period of time in the hot weather.

Lightning

Thunder and lightening comes hand in hand with a heatwave and the storms can be quite violent. It was only a few weeks back we had a large downpour of flash floods, followed by thunder and lightning.

A friend of ours had their house struck by lightening that day, which blew up their Wi-Fi router box. They were lucky that was the only damage it caused because it is common for lightning to start fires in the attic or within the walls.

When lightning strikes a building, it tends to follow the available paths to ground, which will include electrical wiring, cables, plumbing and telephone lines. You are generally safe inside a building when there’s a thunder storm, but try to avoid using any wired electrical appliances when there’s lightning, just to be on the safe side.

If you have any electrical queries or requirements this summer and during the hot weather, please contact East Kent Electrical Ltd. We want everyone to enjoy this prolonged sunny weather we are having, but please make sure you are safe and follow the correct precautions when using any electrical equipment.