Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Can Hot Weather Cause Hot Wires and Electrical Damage?

Yuma is well known as one of the hottest cities in the United States. If you’re concerned about whether your home’s wiring can stand up to our hot summer temperatures, read on to learn what you can do about hot wires.

How Hot Wires Develop

Having electrical wiring in the attic can be dangerous. Since heat rises and your attic is likely to be uninsulated, the attic will be many degrees hotter than your home. The main vulnerability is the plastic insulation and jacketing on the wires, which can be damaged by high heat.

But wiring in the occupied part of the house can also heat up. During very hot weather, you may be running the AC to the max, along with other appliances. This will put considerable strain on your home’s wiring, which could lead to flipped breakers, blown fuses, and even electrical wiring going on the fritz.

Another issue is old wiring. Since the 1950s, residential use of electricity has quadrupled in the average home. Thus, in older homes that have not been upgraded, the wiring is insufficient and can overheat dangerously. Even newer homes that have been wired in a way to save money may be subject to overloading.

Correcting Inadequate Wiring

The most obvious solution is to hire an electrician who will go through your house and determine what state your wiring is in and what is required for safe performance and to avoid hot wires. For instance, if you have wires so hot they can’t be touched, you can alleviate the heat by replacing the wires with a larger diameter — that is, using 12 gauge instead of 14, or 10 instead of 12. The larger the wire, the smaller the gauge number. Larger wires offer less resistance to an electrical current, as they allow more flow while staying cooler.

Your electrician can also add more circuits so that the current is divided among more wires instead of just a few overworked circuits. This will make your electrical system much safer, as will additional circuit breakers.

For more on hot wires, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company of Yuma.