Denver CO, Electrician

Preparing Your Electrical System for the Winter

As the winter season approaches, ensuring the safety and functionality of your home’s electrical system becomes paramount. Cold weather and winter storms can pose unique challenges to your electrical infrastructure. At High West Electric, we understand the importance of a well-maintained electrical system during this time. Here are some essential tips to prepare your electrical system for the winter months ahead:

Inspect and Maintain Heating Systems

Before the temperatures drop significantly, it’s crucial to inspect and maintain your heating systems. Whether you have a furnace, heat pump, or other heating mechanisms, ensure they are in top condition. Clean or replace air filters, check for any signs of wear or damage, and consider scheduling a professional inspection to guarantee efficient and safe operation throughout the winter.

Outdoor Electrical Systems and Lighting

Winter weather can impact outdoor electrical systems and lighting. Inspect and secure outdoor outlets, electrical wiring, and lighting fixtures. Consider installing weatherproof covers on outlets and ensure all electrical connections are shielded from snow and moisture to prevent potential hazards.

Check Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Winter often means increased use of heating appliances, which can raise the risk of fire hazards and carbon monoxide exposure. Test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are functioning correctly. Replace batteries if needed and consider upgrading to smart detectors for added safety features.

Inspect and Trim Trees Near Power Lines

Heavy snowfall and ice can weigh down branches and trees, leading to potential damage to power lines. Inspect trees near power lines and schedule trimming or removal of branches that pose a risk of falling onto electrical lines. This proactive measure can prevent power outages and electrical hazards during winter storms.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

In the event of power outages or emergencies during winter storms, having an emergency kit is crucial. Include essentials such as flashlights, batteries, portable chargers, blankets, non-perishable food items, and a battery-powered radio. Make sure all family members know where the kit is located and how to use its contents.

Schedule an Electrical Inspection

Consider scheduling a comprehensive electrical inspection with High West Electric before winter sets in. Our professional electricians can identify potential issues, inspect wiring, circuits, and electrical panels to ensure they are up to code and capable of handling increased usage during the colder months.


Winter readiness extends beyond just snow tires and insulation; it encompasses the safety and functionality of your home’s electrical system. By following these tips and engaging in proactive maintenance, you can safeguard your property against potential electrical hazards and ensure a safe and comfortable winter season.

At High West Electric, our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to ensuring the reliability and safety of your electrical systems. Contact us today to schedule an electrical inspection or for any assistance in preparing your electrical system for the winter.

High West Electric is based in Denver, CO, and serves the entire metro area. Our customer service-based approach ensures that each client enjoys the process from installation to the end product – no matter the size of the job. Our goal is to be YOUR electrician and offer an experience that goes Beyond the Wires. Visit our website to learn more.

electrician denver, co

How to Avoid Overloaded Outlets

If you have ever had to switch the circuit breakers to restore power after your electricity shuts off you due to overloaded outlets you may be asking yourself, “how many watts can a standard outlet handle?”

Living in a space with a limited number of outlets can force you to make some difficult choices. You might need to have the hairdryer plugged in, but you also need the electric razor, iron and space heater going, too. Your outlets can only handle a certain number of watts as well as the circuit breaker its associated with.

 You’re Not Overloading An Outlet, You’re Overloading A Circuit.

First, it’s important to understand that each circuit usually supplies power to several outlets and lights.  For example, Circuit A might supply power to the four outlets in the master bedroom plus a ceiling light, Circuit B might supply all power to the kitchen, etc.  Each circuit is controlled by a breaker or a fuse.  So if you lose electricity you don’t overload an individual outlet, you overload an entire circuit.

A breaker will automatically shut off power when there’s an overload. It’s designed to work as a safety device. Not having a breaker on your circuit can result in electrical hazards. 20-amp breakers must only handle up to 80% of their amperage rating. An amp rating means the most amount of current the circuit can safely handle.

 How Much Can a Single Outlet Handle?

The typical American wall outlet can handle a maximum of 15 Amps, or 15 amps * 120 Volts = 1800 watts. However, the National Electric Code (NEC) says that no more than 80% of that should be used if continuous power is used, i.e, and toaster, hair dryer, lamp, etc.

That means any single device or a combination of devices plugged into any and all of the outlets (or hardwired devices) wired to the same circuit breaker, should never require over 1440 watts (or 12 amps) for a 15 amp outlet. Using an extension cord does not preclude this rule.

 Safety First

Aside from the inconvenience it causes, overloading an outlet can pose several safety risks. Consider these points before overloading an outlet:

  1. Overloaded outlets can cause fires — an estimated 5,300 annually in American households [source: CPSC].
  2. Overloaded circuits or outlets can cause burned out wires, damaged appliances and even electric shocks.
  3. Only use products backed by The Consumer Product Safety Commission The CPSC tests products and finds that many counterfeit products can’t stand up to even the most basic safety testing.
  4. Electrical devices that are built to put out heat, like space heaters and hair dryers, tend to use more power than other devices.
  5. Faulty circuit breakers can cause unnecessary overloads leading to fires and other damage in the house.

If you suspect you have a faulty circuit breaker or need additional outlets installed contact a qualified electrician.  High West Electric is based in Denver, CO and serves the entire metro area. Our customer service-based approach ensures that each client enjoys the process from installation to the end product – no matter the size of the job. Our goal is to be YOUR electrician and offer an experience that goes Beyond the Wires. We offer free estimates. Visit our website to learn more.

electrical tips for holiday lighting

Five Holiday Lighting Tips

This month’s blog features five holiday lighting tips to keep your family safe this holiday season. Did you know that one out of three Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical issues? According, the U.S. Fire Administration that’s the reality each holiday season. This information should serve as a stark warning to homeowners in the Denver metro area, especially to those who love to light up their homes with twinkling lights.

Follow these 5-holiday lighting tips to keep your family safe this holiday season:

#1 Avoid Overloading

If you plan to put up lots of lights this year, this electrical tip is for you. Do NOT overload extension cords, and make sure light strands are distributed through multiple cords. Remember, your extension cord has a wattage limit. Do NOT exceed the wattage limit. Exceeding its wattage rating could cause overheating and might put your home at grave risk. Hire a licensed electrician if you need additional outlets installed to prevent overloads.

#2 Check Labels

Christmas lights should be examined and verified by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to ensure safety and prevent fire or electrical hazards in your home. UL is a third-party organization that sets standards for different product categories and tests them to ensure they meet the safety requirements. Always check the labels and purchase ONLY the UL-labeled decorative lights.

#3 Use Indoor/Outdoor Lights Appropriately

It is important to note that Christmas lights come in two types—outdoor and indoor lights. When you try to hang lights outside your home, make sure they are designed specifically for that purpose.

#4 Give Your Lights a Break

It’s not wise to leave Christmas lights on at all times. Yes, they may look joyful and alive, but they can also cause a dramatic rise in your energy bills and, worse, safety issues when left on for a long time. Unplug all the lights before you go to sleep or when you leave for a holiday vacation.

#5 Choose Fire-Resistant Trees

Fire-resistant artificial trees can resist burning much longer than conventional trees. Choosing the right material for your Christmas decorations will help keep your holiday celebrations a safer one. So be sure to buy only a fire-resistant tree and safe-to-use holiday materials for your decorations.

Christmas will be as holly-jolly as you expect when you celebrate safely. Follow these electrical safety tips to keep your holiday season merry and bright.

High West Electric is based in Denver, CO, and serves the entire metro area. Our customer service-based approach ensures that each client enjoys the process from installation to the end product – no matter the size of the job. Our goal is to be YOUR electrician and offer an experience that goes Beyond the Wires. Visit our website to learn more. The team at High West Electric wishes you a wonderful holiday season!