Attic Ventilation: Attic Ventilation is helpful to have in your home as it regulates temperature and moisture in these hot and humid Louisiana summers. Throughout the year, your vents can accumulate dirt and dust. This, as well as faulty thermostats, can prevent them from working correctly. A yearly check from an electrician, usually before the summer begins, is the best to make sure your system is operating properly.
When Hiring a Service Professional: One thing many consumers don’t stop to think about, usually until it’s too late, is a company’s warranty policy. Ask your technician about the length of their company’s warranty and if you find it seems a little short, or if it’s nonexistent, perhaps shop around a bit before choosing who you’re going to use.
When Hiring an Electrician: First and foremost you want to make sure the company coming out is licensed and insured. This is both for their protection and yours. Another important point is to check the company’s online reviews. Do a little research and see what fellow consumers say about the company you’re planning to use. Next is to be certain you know who to expect at your door. Make sure they have a badge or a company vehicle that shows that they are with the company you hired. As the customer your safety and comfort should be just as important to them as it is to you.
Hurricane Season - Standby Generators: Statistically, average hurricane strength and the total number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes is increasing, which increases the chance of a power outage as well. A standby generator, when installed properly, can instantly power your home if this occurs. When deciding on a generator, make sure to consider brand, service after the sale, warranty terms, and the generators load management system. With a standby generator, your comfort does not have to be compromised.
Portable Generators:Portable generators seem easy to use, but there are dangers that may not be common knowledge. During a power outage there are energy company employees working on the power lines to get your home’s power back up and running. When a portable generator is hooked up improperly it can back-feed electricity into these lines causing a serious safety hazard for those workers. The best way to use a portable generator it to have a licensed electrician install the proper equipment for safe power.
Tripped Breakers: Many older homes were not wired to meet today’s demand for electricity which results in tripped breakers when circuits are overloaded. You may notice this when you use your coffee pot and microwave at the same time, or when you use a vacuum cleaner at the same time someone else is using a hair dryer. The resolve for this is simple, have a licensed electrician install additional or dedicated circuits and eliminate overloading.
Flourescent Ballasts: When you turn on the light switch for your fluorescent fixture, does it take a moment to come on? Do the bulbs flicker? Do you hear a humming noise? This may be caused by a failing ballast. When you convert these fixtures to LED it eliminates the flicker and the hum. And not just the flourescents, but all the lighting in your home can be converted, which will save you on energy and maintenance cost and give you a better quality of lighting in your home.
Federal Pacific Panels, commonly installed in homes built during the 60’s and 70’s, have breakers that have been blamed in numerous incidents for failing to trip. This means when there is a short or an overloaded circuit, the equipment may not provide protection as it should and could result in an overheated wire and electrical fire. The fact that a problem has not occurred in your home is no assurance that your panel is without this risk. We encourage you to check your home panel and do your own research.
Residential LED: Converting your home to LED lighting means having a longer life on bulbs, better lighting throughout your home, and money savings on energy cost. The majority of your existing fixtures, even fluorescents, can be converted to LED and the average home sees a 60% savings on lighting cost when the whole home uses LED. Not only that, but LED bulbs give off less heat, meaning you’re A/C doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home during the summer.
Outdoor Outlets: This time of year brings lots of opportunities for outdoor holiday decorating. That means that you’ll be using your outdoor outlets much more often and it can be frustrating when they stop working. It’s important know that if one of them is not working the rest of the outdoor outlets may stop working as well, so your problem may seem bigger than it is. A surefire way to find out which outlet isn’t working is to test and reset your ground fault outlets. It’s recommended to do this at least once a month. This will ensure that they will do their job when the time comes. This simple task can alleviate undo stress this holiday season.
HVL's: As winter approaches one of the few downsides to cooler weather is a cooler bathroom after a shower. A simple and safe way to alleviate this problem is by installing a bathroom heater or a heat/vent/light. The majority of people just pull out their plug-in space heater, but what most people don’t know is that many are not rated for bathroom use as the moisture can damage the heater. Combine that with the three foot clearance required, and it’s a risky way to keep the space warm. But a heat/vent/light can be installed in the ceiling in place of your existing exhaust vent and will have its own switch for use when you need it.
Overloading Circuits with Plug-In Space Heaters: You may decide to use plug-in space heaters to warm your home and there are a few things you should know first. According to the National Fire Protection Association 32% of house fires are caused by the use of space heaters. People often want to place heaters high up on shelves or counter tops, but the safest place for them is on the floor at least three feet away from anything flammable, and out of the walkway. Anything electrical that produces heat uses a large amount of power, which can result in overloaded circuits and tripped breakers. You and your family’s safety should always come first.
Energy Star-Certified Ceiling Fans: Your energy bill does not have to be unpredictable. An Energy Star-certified ceiling fan uses dramatically less power than air conditioning units. Installing fans throughout your home can make you feel up to 8 degrees cooler, allowing you to turn your A/C to a higher temperature without causing you to feel uncomfortable. And not only can you install them inside your home, but installing one on your patio can make gatherings far more comfortable with a little extra air circulation.
Smart Thermostats: Your energy bill does not have to be unpredictable. Smart Thermostats help you monitor and control your home’s largest energy user – your air conditioning – by allowing you to connect your thermostat to the Internet where you can monitor and control it remotely from a website or smartphone app. This can give you the potential to reduce A/C use when no one is home. With proper use, smart thermostats can reduce your energy bill by maintaining better control over when your cooling and heating system is running by eliminating unnecessary use.
Whole home surge protection is designed to bring peace of mind and protection for your homes electronics and appliances. While you may have plug strips throughout your home, large surges that cause the most damage to equipment enter the home from the outside and are caused by electric utility operations or lightning in the area. Plug strips are not designed to handle these large surges, and may allow power surges to pass through to your equipment. Breakdowns of electronic equipment that you may think of as normal wear and tear may actually be due to surges.
Smoke Alarm Batteries: Did you know that America’s fire death rate is one of the highest per capita in the industrialized world? According to the US Fire Administration, fire kills approximately three-thousand and injures approximately twenty-thousand people each year. The majority of these deaths are in homes without working smoke alarms. Smoke Alarms' batteries should be changed out yearly, and the actual alarms should be change out every 10 years, depending on the type you have. In terms of safety, smoke alarms are crucial to ensuring your family’s chances of surviving a home fire.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, or GFCI is one safety device that is required by the National Electrical Code in all kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, and for most outdoor receptacles. These devices cause equipment to shut off in the event of an electrical issue in the equipment. If you do not have these devices installed in these locations, it is important to have a certified electrician install these in your home. If you already have these devices existing in your home, be sure to test them monthly, as they can become damaged due to power surges and may not work properly.
USB Receptacles: Have too many chargers and not enough receptacles? Or did you lose your plug in, but still have your USB chargers? Well the solution is simple. USB receptacles are a convenient way to charge your devices while still having space to install a corded plug. Most of these receptacles have a space rated for phones and a space rated for charging tablets as well. You can have your licensed electrician change out an existing receptacle or install a whole new one next to your sofa, on your kitchen counter top, or next to your bed.
Outdoor Lighting: I want to take a moment to tell you about the benefits of outdoor lighting. First, security lights are a great way to give your loved ones peace of mind when coming home in the evenings. Motion sensor lighting can illuminate your driveway or the areas surrounding your home, ensuring that you are able to see clearly the path to your door. Landscape lighting is another type of outdoor lighting that can improve the look of your home by adding a soft amount of light that can accent the landscaping and structure of your home.
Electrical Wiring in Older Homes: In older homes there are multiple types of electrical wiring that are considered to be safety hazards. These types of wiring include knob & tube, 2-wire systems, or aluminum. While living in, or if purchasing an older home or business, you should consider upgrading these types of wiring for a safer environment for you, your family, or your employees. Having a certified electrician or inspector check the electrical wiring system can help determine if this is a concern for you. Electrical Code now requires all new homes and businesses be wired with copper wiring and with proper grounding systems as this has proven to be the safest option.