Summer is almost upon us and those electric bills can go sky high if you are not careful. Here are some ways to keep your electric bill down and save on energy, These days, it’s more of a win-win than ever to energy savings. Every time you lower your utility bills, you put more money back in your bank account. And lower energy bills also means less energy consumed, which means less harmful emissions released into our environment. And what makes this an even better deal is you don’t have to overhaul your home (or buy a new one) to make it more energy efficient. There are many easy, effective things that you can do, with little investment and little or no DIY experience, to save energy at home. Here’s a list of 10 ideas to get you started.
1. Energy Savings from Minimizing Phantom Loads
The term “phantom load” refers to the energy that an appliance or electronic device consumes when it is not actually turned on. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), “In the average home, 75 percent of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off.” A report from the University of California Berkeley says that phantom loads account for about 6 percent of all national residential electricity consumption. You can eliminate phantom loads by unplugging appliances and electronics when you are not using them, or by plugging them into a power strip, and turning the strip off when they are not in use. For more information, see Save Energy, Eliminate Phantom Loads.
Use More Energy-efficient Appliances
If you are shopping for new appliances, make sure to look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label before making a purchase. Energy Star appliances use between 10 and 50 percent less energy and water than their conventional counterparts. They may cost more than appliances without the Energy Star designation, but in most cases they will more than make up that additional cost through energy savings.
Do you have enough outlets in your house? Many older houses only have one or two electrical outlets installation per room, which is not nearly sufficient to accommodate today’s high-tech house owner.
Using extension cords in houses is the top reason for household electrical fires. Building regulations been modified to include additional outlets but many houses still do not have the appropriate variety of receptacles required. We can set up electric outlets throughout your house; right where you require them the most. We can install extra outlets for flat screen TV’s, holiday lights, computers, microwave ovens, table lamps, and floor lamps, and so on.
Ungrounded outlets lack a ground wire to protect you from electric shock. A ground wire offers a safe pathway that is away from you back into the ground if there is a electrical short. Grounding likewise secures home appliances from electrical damage. This is why numerous home appliances have a three-pronged plug.
A two-pronged outlet signifies that there is no ground wire and prevents a property owner from plugging in home appliances or electronics that need grounding. In some cases, uninformed individuals will certainly change a two-prong outlet with a three-prong outlet without adding a brand-new ground wire. This produces a major hazard and is possibly harmful to anybody using that outlet. This is why replacing a two-prong outlet with a three-prong outlet without running a new wire is prohibited in most states.
Tamper Resistant Electrical Outlets Installation
Tamper Resistant electrical outlets are created to prevent injury or death to youngsters by avoiding the insertion of any gadget (pen, paper clip, etc.) into the outlet besides an electrical plug. The new outlet now has a special cover and resembles a regular outlet. These outlets have been utilized effectively in doctor’s offices, schools, and nurseries. Some states now require tamper resistant outlets in residential houses. Lots of electrical experts overlook this brand-new code and continue to install the less expensive, outdated outlets to save cash. We just install tamper resistant outlets. We will certainly never ever set up an inferior outlet in your home. Check your outlets for the “TR” label to make sure your house is as safe as it can be. Call us for new electrical plugs or electrical outlets installation.
Lighting is an often overlooked aspect of interior decor. Indoor lighting can make a room look warm and cheerful or gloomy and unwelcoming. Regardless of how expensive your fittings and furniture are, if the lighting is not right, your house will look visually unappealing. Most indoor lighting installation is more functional than ornamental. However, with the correct placement, use of colors and the right combination you can create lighting that is dramatic and impressive.
If you live in an old home you may be faced with the problem of how to replace old wiring. You may find it hard as well as expensive to strip down all the old wiring and renovate the indoor lighting. One option is to manage the lighting using overhead lights. You could also use track lighting that is simple to install and extremely functional.
If your house has no provision for standby lighting but is equipped with overhead lights or ceiling fans, you can make use of the wiring to install track lighting. Track lights are sleek fixtures that are used for directing focus on various sections of a room such as paintings, sculptures or anything that you would like to have as a focal point. Track lights are also a god option for focusing light on a work area such as a desk or a counter-top. If your home does not offer you too much scope for interior design lighting due to its limited electrical points, you can use track lights to lend a more sophisticated touch and to add atmosphere.
Track lighting offers you several options that look very professional. These lights come in varied shapes, sizes, colors, and designs that look attractive as well as provide functional features. Track lights are available in myriad options like U-shaped tracks, simple, straight tracks or in any imaginable design. You can select the right type of track lighting for your home depending on whether you want the lighting to be unobtrusive or whether you want to draw attention to the lights.If you want to brighten up the interiors of your home, try installing track lighting at strategic points in the house.
The kitchen is a good place for using track lights. If your kitchen is divided into separate work areas, you can use track lighting to light up the specific areas.Track lights can be effectively used as mood lights. These come with dimmers that can help you regulate the intensity of the light. Today there are a wide range of indoor lighting installation options to suit every home and every pocket – just use your imagination!
Most electrical safety hazards can be prevented with common sense and plain, old good wiring.
For most people, preventing an electrical accident means not plugging too many things into one feeble extension cord (which they do anyway) or not using a hair dryer while taking a bath (hopefully they don’t do this). And while these are valid and important precautions, there are many other potential electrical safety hazards in any home. Taking a look at some of the most common causes of electrical accidents can help you appreciate the considerable power (and danger) of electricity and how to use it safely.
Cords and Plugs
According to the National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org), electrical cords and plugs are responsible for the most civilian deaths related to electrical accidents each year. Yet these are among the easiest hazards to avoid: Never use a cord or plug with evidence of burning, melting or any other visible damage. If the insulation is damaged or missing, or the cord has come loose from the plug, replace the whole thing; never use a cord repaired with electrical tape.
Extension cords (including power strips and surge protectors) are the biggest offenders in the cord category. Don’t use extension cords for permanent hookups, conceal them in any way (especially under carpeting) or expose them to water or possible damage. Always use the right cord for the job, such as 3-prong grounded cords for all appliances and tools that require grounding. Also make sure the cord’s capacity well exceeds the demand of what’s plugged into it; heavier-gauge cords can handle more current than lighter-gauge cords. Avoid using 3-prong adapters to plug grounded cords into 2-prong outlets (while theoretically possible, the chances of a true ground existing here are extremely slight).
Fixtures and Appliances
Misuse of lamps and light fixtures is another top cause of electrical accidents. As harmless as it seems, using a 100-watt bulb in a 60-watt fixture (for example), can melt the fixture wires, creating a shock and fire hazard. The same danger exists when plugging a cord into an adapter outlet that screws into a light bulb socket. As for appliances, don’t use any device that sparks, smokes, buzzes, emits a burning smell or shows any cord damage. Unplug appliances before cleaning them. Never operate an appliance or equipment while standing in water.
Read more at networx.com
A circuit breaker is a crucial part of every home’s electrical system and is an important safety component as well. Knowing when a circuit breaker needs to be replaced is one essential step for home safety, and this short guide will tell you how to identify problems with your circuit breaker so that you can know when to repair or replace it.
Circuit breaker panels, also called “breaker boxes,” are typically located in a house or apartment home’s basement or utility closet. Sometimes the panels are concealed by a small door that is painted the same color as the surrounding walls, in order to keep the breaker box concealed and out-of-the-way (unless there is a problem). The function of the circuit breaker is simple: it’s there to turn the electrical circuit off in case it becomes overloaded with electricity, most often due to a spike in the power supply. Without circuit breakers, kitchen and household appliances would be at major risk of overloading with electricity during a power surge, thus causing fires or other accidents. Circuit breakers “break” an electrical circuit during such an overload and keep you, your other appliances, and your home safe.
When an overload occurs and a circuit is broken, you will hear a brief click, followed by the power going out in one or more areas of your home (usually just one). When a breaker is working properly, if you open the panel and look at the rows of breakers for various areas of your home — all of which have “on” and “off” switches — you should easily be able to spot which breaker is in its “off” position, as the breaker for the affected area automatically switches to its off position during an overload. After an overload, you should switch the affected appliance(s) or light(s) to their “off” positions before checking the breaker box; you can then turn the switch in the breaker box to its “on” position to safely restore power.
Read more at networx.com
Who loves outdoor spaces as much as I do? Well … after a long, cold winter, the answer to that is probably just about everybody! Whether your home boasts a patio, a deck, a substantial outdoor room, or just the teeniest, tiniest urban balcony, there’s something so pleasurable about being able to relax in the fresh air, without trekking too far from the comforts of home. And speaking of comforts, we’ve got an easy way to make your exterior space even more comfortable. Add an electrical outlet or two. Here are a few suggestions for the best ways to use it. TIP: Make sure that you install only a GFCI outlet for your outdoor needs, as required by the electrical safety code.
Experiment with the type of outdoor electrical lighting that will ideally match your mood and enhance whatever excitement is going down at the moment. For example, a family cookout, followed by an evening of board games on the porch, will most likely call for illumination bright enough to determine whether it was, indeed, Miss Scarlet who offed Mr. Black in the study with the lead pipe. Or dazzle up a late night grownup party by hanging a few magical strings of twinkling fairy lights.
Cool and heat
Plug in either a weather-resistant outdoor fan or a gentle mist cooling system to provide a comfortable temperature in your outside area on the sultriest of dog days. In many states, summer days can often segue into surprisingly chilly evenings, so you may well find that an outdoor-rated heating system is a must even in July and August (and will extend the coziness zone to allow you to enjoy your deck or patio well into next fall).
If outdoor work is your pleasure, tend to your yard or your vegetable patch with ease. An outdoor outlet will provide a convenient place for you to juice up the ol’ garden tools. Trimmers, leaf blowers, saws, and the like will operate with a good deal more power than is available via battery, yet without the noise, mess, and general hassle that you get when you fuel up with gasoline. (Just think – no more winterizing your lawn mower or worrying about potential gas spills to contaminate your soil and pollute the air.)
Read more about outdoor spaces at networx.com
Although it would be nice to be factory-trained on every piece of equipment (and have electrical troubleshooting fundamentals decision-tree or flowchart, too!), reality hands us a different situation. You may be tasked with troubleshooting a piece of equipment or a system that you haven’t seen before.
Caution: Before proceeding, make sure you are qualified (per the OSHA definition) to service that category or class of equipment.
For example, you have standard training as an electrician, so you can troubleshoot a 120V receptacle problem. But your boss wants you to figure out why a 400A, 480V circuit breaker is malfunctioning and repair it. You may be qualified to determine the problem is in the breaker, but you aren’t qualified to actually work on that breaker.
Here are some Electrical Troubleshooting Fundamentals
The first step
The most fundamental step in troubleshooting is to check the power supply. For example, a motor won’t start. Is the disconnect open? If the disconnect is closed, you’d probably want to check the motor overload devices (typically “heater” strips). If they look OK, then you’d use your DMM to see if there’s power to them, and, of course, on the motor side of each one.
If there’s no power, employ the “divide and conquer” strategy to find the power problem. In this situation, for example, you’d go to that disconnect and see if there’s power to it. If so, do a visual inspection before closing it so you know (with very high probability) there will be power coming from the disconnect.
If there’s power at the disconnect, then you’ve saved yourself a wasted trip to the breaker that’s in a panel halfway across the plant. The problem is between the disconnect and the overload device.
If there’s no power at the disconnect, then you’d go to the branch circuit breaker and check it. If the breaker is supplying power, the problem is between there and the disconnect.
Read more about electrical troubleshooting fundamentals at ecmweb.com
It happens to everyone:circuit breaker trips. Learn how to avoid this common electrical problem. If you have ever plugged in your hairdryer, toaster oven or space heater only to be engulfed in darkness, you know what it’s like when your electrical breaker trips.
Sometimes having an electrical breaker trip is a minor inconvenience, readily repaired with the flick of a switch. However, frequent breaker trips are more than an inconvenience; they are the fail-safe that lets you know you have a bigger problem.
Let’s start with an average electrical panel. When a breaker – one of the switches you see on the panel – “trips,” you will often hear a popping noise as the switch pushes itself to an “off” position.
Why a Circuit Breaker Trips
Circuit breakers come in different amp ratings, so some systems can handle more than others. If you live in an older home or apartment that has few outlets, your system may have a lower amp rating, which will make breakers trip more easily.
Most important, when a breaker trips, it is keeping your electrical system from a literal meltdown, which can cause a fire.
- Tips to Avoid Breaker Trips
- Unplug electrical appliances that are not in use. Electrical current still runs to the appliance even if it is not turned on.
- Be especially aware of how many appliances you have plugged in during very cold or hot weather. Air conditioners and space heaters, for example, are energy suckers. In the winter, you will more likely have more lamps burning.
- If you have few outlets, try to spread your biggest energy users around.
- Also, if you have few outlets, putting an extension plug or power strip will tax your system more. It is still only one outlet.
- Make sure none of your appliance cords are damaged, frayed or melted.
Read more about avoiding circuit breaker trips at Networx.com
Well, all you millennials, Gen-Xers, and baby boomers, we are now firmly ensconced in the 21st century. The first decade and a half of the new millennium has seen a great deal of change, in fields ranging from politics and the economy to pop culture. One of the most striking new trends is the proliferation of electrical and electronic devices in the home. All these gizmos use a lot of power, making for plenty of reasons to update your electrical system to keep up with the times.
The Number 1 reason to upgrade your home electrical system is to safeguard yourself and your family. Unfortunately, there have been a number of tragic news reports lately about house fires which were caused by electrical malfunctions. Make sure that your system is up to current code (developed and regularly updated by the National Fire Protection Association) and that your electrical panel is adequate to meet your house’s requirements.
21st Century Electronics
Unless they were science fiction writers, your grandparents likely never dreamed of the day when almost every family in the US would have not one, but a multitude of personal computers. That’s not to mention such newfangled entertainment equipment as video game consoles, large screen plasma TVs, Blu-ray players, and home theater systems with surround sound. All of these devices are tons of fun but they do add an extra burden to your electrical panel.
Statement lighting is one of the most notable fashions in home decor of late. Attractive overhead and wall-mounted fixtures, as well as lamps for floor or table, create a thoroughly modern fashion statement. Beyond good looks, though, specialized task lighting is important for today’s popular hobbies, such as cooking, refinishing furniture, or crafting.
Whether it’s due to global warming or just an increased demand for comfort, air conditioning has become a standard feature in an astounding 87 percent of American homes. Even a tiny window unit needs a surprising amount of power (about 500 watts). And if you install central A/C, you’re looking at consumption of 3500 watts. in Winter, heating your home with electricity ups the figure as high as 26,500 watts. Make sure that your electrical system is ready for this load.
Read more at networx.com
San Diego homeowners take pride in being able to manage things on their own, and the DIY mentality is solid all throughout the county. But a number of things are simply better left to the pros, and electrical work is a perfect example of this. While you might try to read up on carrying out a home electrical repair service on your own, the reality is that there are many reasons that turning to a professional San Diego electrician is a much better solution.
If you’re still not persuaded, let’s take a quick look at some of the big reasons that this is true. One may well see why it’s a task to turn over to the seasoned pro.
The first reason is the most significant– safety. Electrical work can be very dangerous, and a single mistake could lead to severe harm or even death. As such, it’s important that you let a professional San Diego electrician take care of the job. They know exactly how to complete it carefully, and one can rest easier realizing you won’t be putting oneself at risk.
There is moreover the question of your home’s protection. Improperly wired fixtures or outlets are all it takes to produce a potential fire. Even using the incorrect size wire nut on a wire end could be all it takes to lead to a problem. Letting specialists handle the work helps keep your home much safer.
During an installation, a lot can take place. If a mistake is made during a DIY task, you’ll be responsible for paying for repairs. But if a professional, insured electrician is taking care of the work, their insurance pays for costs. In other words, it’s an extra layer of peace of mind that stands out as incredibly important.
Your time is valuable, and the reality is that when you let a professional service company take care of your electrical work you have much more of it. Not only should they complete the job much more quickly than you could have, but you are free to focus on other activities throughout the electrical repair service. You never have to deal with a single matter when the pros are on your side.
If you’re in need of a home electrical repair service or a new electrical installation for your property, counting on the work to the professionals is a step you simply have to take. Carrying out so makes sure that the work is done properly, and that you and your home are safe in the experience.