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Winter in Alaska is a tough time to do any outdoor home improvements. Here are a few electrical remodels and maintenance ideas to perform in the cold weather to add value to your home or small business.

Install Generator Transfer Switch

If you’ve lived in Alaska for any amount of time, you know that we have power issues. The wind blows and the power is out. When it rains, it knocks the power out. When it snows, trees fall and we’re definitely out of power.

Generator transfer switches are the most common of the winter electrical remodels requested. It’s imperative to get a generator backup so your house doesn’t freeze while you’re experiencing a lack of power. The process is simple and I go more in depth about automatic generator transfer switches and manual transfer switches in another article so you can discover which one is best for you. Once you have your generator, give us a call, and we can provide you with a free estimate to install the electrical transfer switch so you can run your home from generator power.

This is an outside job. The outside temperature needs to be above 30 degrees Fahrenheit in order to perform this installation in winter.

Update Light Fixtures

Light fixture upgrades is another one of the great winter electrical remodels. It’s no secret that Alaska gets dark in the winter. During the summer, it’s hard to remember we even need lights, but in the winter, lack of light or the wrong kind of light can be blaringly apparent.

Studies have been conducted about the side effects of poor lighting. This is something to consider and be aware of, especially since our winter is long and dark. Poor lighting can lead to mood swings, depression, eye strain, and migraines. It can also be the cause of safety issues within the house in regards to slips, trips, and falls, which are the biggest cause of injury in the home and on the job. Proper light plays an important role in how your nervous and endocrine systems function and helps your body regulate your hormones. What lamp colors you choose, how many lumens you’re receiving, and having the ability to dim or control the lights properly throughout the day plays a huge part in how well your circadian rhythm function.

Neat, huh? You never realized that your home could do so much for you, did you? Science is soooo cool!

Additionally, LED technology has continued to evolve and, with the industry veering toward solar, generator backup, and other alternate energies, energy efficient light is crucial. LED lighting is up to 90% more efficient than most incandescent bulbs and last up to 15 times longer. That’s incredible especially in a state where resources like building materials, remodel materials, and common groceries are sometimes hard to get.

Update Receptacles

As the power is knocked out and comes back on, electricity surges through your home, cascading from the meter through your panel and then ricochets throughout your home. Receptacles take a hit from this continued attack. You’ll find loose connections in the box and within the receptacle itself.

The Code has changed considerably on receptacles throughout the home as well, helping to keep you safe. The receptacles installed in the ’80s are less effective than the ones offered today. As you’re going through your home and checking connections, it’s a great idea to swap out old receptacles for new. If you have a receptacle where the vacuum keeps slipping out when the cord moves, or if you have a grey smudge on the wall above your receptacle, replace it with a new, residential rated, tamper proof receptacle.

While you’re at it, consider giving it a USB upgrade, especially if the receptacle is located in an area people congregate with their phones.

Install Surge Suppression

I’ve mentioned surges throughout the home, and I’m going to keep discussing it. As home owners call us telling us that their appliances stopped working, receptacles are no longer powering their plug strips, lights are flickering, switches are dying, and more, we’re gathering more and more evidence that these surges are creating damage throughout the home.

Surge suppression is one of the easiest winter electrical remodels you could do. They’re stackable, inexpensive, and easy installations that will help improve how your home operates. Add years to the electrical components of your home by making sure that the surges running into and through your home have a place to go rather than into your appliances.

Maintenance Your Electrical

Most home owners don’t think they need to maintain their electrical systems. It’s just good until a light fixture needs to be updated because fashion trends change or until your husband wants a fancier, three-tiered dishwasher so he doesn’t have to get sighed at over the still-dirty dish he put away.

That’s not reality, though. The sighing part is, but not having to do maintenance on any part of your home? That’s not.

Electricity is a moving force of nature that is constantly in motion. That movement and the power surges in your home cause vibrations, which, in turn, loosen connections. Those loosened connections create weak points in your electrical system, which create internal power surges between your devices.

Tightening connections and doing regularly scheduled yearly maintenance keeps your home healthier longer, and there’s no better time to do that than winter.


Winter is a time to relax and recuperate from our super-charged and sometimes chaotic summers, but that doesn’t mean we have nothing to do. This is a great time to take charge of your home and to give it the TLC it so greatly deserves.

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