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Steps to Take When Choosing the Right Home Electrician

When choosing a home electrician, where do you begin? Some people call the first name that comes up in their online search, others pour over reviews, while still others look to the recommendations of friends and family to help them find an electrician. When you’re looking for an electrical service provider, you want to choose one that is referral based and a true craftsman- not just a fly-by-night contractor who hasn’t been trained to safely provide electrical services. What should you look for in a home electrician? We find this list of four qualities to be both compelling and useful.

  • Integrity. Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, once said that the top quality he looks for when hiring is integrity. The next two qualities are high energy and intelligence, but it’s integrity that’s most important. You need an electrician with a reputation for integrity, which translates into following through on what is promised and providing high-quality work.
  • Intent. What is on your electrician’s list of top priorities? Is the business geared more toward making money or meeting the customers’ needs? Is quality the company’s primary concern? Choose a home electrician committed to providing superior service and maintaining a staff of well-qualified professionals, licensed, certified and background checked.
  • Capability. You want a home electrician who is a true craftsman, not someone who just decided that electrical work was a good way to make money. Ask about the electrician’s educational background and whether he or she has been trained properly. Choose a company that’s licensed,insured and adheres to NEC standards.
  • Results. A craftsman is known by his results, and the work he’s already done speaks to the work he’ll do in the future. Read reviews and look carefully at what’s being said. Are there satisfied, repeat customers? Is your home electrician very busy because of all the ongoing projects from happy customers? Paying attention to reputation is important when you’re trying to find an electrician.

No matter why you’re seeking a home electrician, ElectricMan is a source you can trust. A family-owned business, we offer quality electrical services because we only employ professional, licensed, certified electricians. Whether you have a general repair or an electrical emergency, you can trust ElectricMan to get the job done right. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t ever hesitate to give us a call! Visit our website to learn more or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

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5 Ways Homeowners Can Save Energy and Money

If you’re a homeowner, you’re probably looking for ways to save energy and money. There are so many hidden costs involved in home ownership, and if you’re not careful, your electrical consumption can be a big factor in those costs. However, it’s easier than you might think to save on energy if you just follow a few simple tips.

  • Look for ways to cut your energy costs. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent bulbs and turn off lights that aren’t in use. Wash your clothes in cold water and hang them to dry instead of using an electric dryer. Perhaps the simplest way to save energy is to turn things off when you’re not using them because there is less electrical consumption involved in turning things back on than in leaving them running.
  • Increase your family’s safety in a cost-effective way. First, install ground fault circuit interrupters, especially in your kitchen and bathroom. These are simple, effective devices that prevent accidental electrocution. Install arc fault circuit interrupters too, because these innovative circuit breakers cost less than $100, detect electrical problems and can prevent electrical fires. Other simple, cost-effective safety measures include child safety outlets, whole house surge protectors and smoke detectors.
  • Find easy ways to update an older home. It may sound daunting to update the electrical system in your home, and in fact, it does require an investment and professional workmanship to bring your home into the modern era. However, there are simple things you can upgrade without breaking the bank, including the installation of outdoor motion sensor security lights and a dedicated grounded circuit to protect your electronics. Once your home is better able to handle the electrical load you’re asking of it, you’ll not only be safer, but you’ll also save energy.
  • Plan for shifts in technology. Knowing how much more electricity we use now than we did in the past, we can assume we’ll need even more energy in the future. It’s good to think ahead and prepare for this, and one way to do it is to install a power conditioner, which cleans the electrical signal entering your home in order to provide more reliable energy. Another good idea is to hire a qualified electrician to help you identify shortcomings in your current electrical systems, as well as provide you with information about innovations that can help you save energy.
  • Choose wisely when shopping for a technician. How do you find such a qualified electrician? Look for referral based companies with a reputation for integrity, reliability and a commitment to putting the needs of their clients first.

If you’re ready to save energy, ElectricMan wants to help you figure out how to do it! We want to be your go-to source not only for electrical service but also for advice and information on all things electrical. A family owned business, we offer quality electrical services at low prices, and we only employ professional, licensed, certified electricians. We’re here to fix any electrical repairs you may need and if an electrical emergency should happen, we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Visit the ElectricMan website to learn more, or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus.

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Understanding Electricity: The 5 Hidden Mysteries of Electricity

You use it every day, but do you really understand electricity? It’s important, because, without understanding electricity, it’s hard to maintain electrical safety in your home. In order to understand electricity, you basically need to grasp five key concepts; we like to call them the five hidden mysteries of electricity.

  • Mystery Number One: The kWh and understanding your utility bill. Do you know what a kWh is? A watt measures the amount of energy a device is using, and 1000 watts add up to a kilowatt. When you use 1000 watts of energy for an hour, it adds up to a kilowatt-hour, abbreviated kWh. Your electric company measures your kWh to determine your energy usage and, by extension, your cost. Often companies charge a higher rate per kWh for those who use more energy overall, so it’s a good idea to take a look at your bill and see how you’re doing, month to month.
  • Mystery Number Two: The importance of turning off the lights. “Turn out the lights” is more than just the favorite saying of dads around the world; it is a reliable way to save energy and money. However, what your dad may not have told you is that there are many other much more effective ways to cut down on energy consumption. For instance, in addition to turning off your lights, make sure you replace old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, which cut energy costs by about 70 percent. You can also save money by bumping up your thermostat, turning off appliances that aren’t in use, choosing Energy Star compliant appliances, running your dishwasher only when it’s full and washing your clothes in cold water whenever possible. These are just a few of the many ways to save on electricity, but if you can remember to turn off the lights, you’re making a good start.
  • Mystery Number Three: The dangers of electricity. We learn from an early age that electricity can be dangerous, but what does that really mean? Electricity is a powerful force, and when it flows into your home unchecked, it can cause serious damage and even a house fire. That’s why you need to be sure your circuit breakers are in working order and the electrical system in your house is up-to-date. Another important aspect of electrical safety is understanding its conduction. For instance, water is a very effective conductor of electricity, so it’s crucial that you keep all plugged in appliances such as hair dryers away from water. If you’re ever in flooded conditions, avoid walking into flooded areas until they’ve been cleared by the utility company.
  • Mystery Number Four: The power outage. Power outages and surges are usually caused by lightning strikes. The lightning doesn’t need to strike your home to knock out your home electricity; it can be a half-mile away and have the same effect. Unfortunately, the electronic devices in our homes are extremely vulnerable to damage from power surges and outages, so it’s important to take steps to protect them. Unplug electronics that you aren’t using, especially in stormy weather.
  • Mystery Number Five: Installations, electricians and intentions. Does your electrician really have your best interest at heart? Whenever there’s a housing boom, there are people who jump on the “contractor” bandwagon without the necessary experience or ethics to provide high-quality service. Look for a referral-based company with licensed, certified electricians and a reputation for good work and reliable service. A true professional will work not only to make your home safer and help you save energy but also to help you understand electricity so you can be an informed consumer.

We hope we’ve made electricity a little less mysterious and provided information that leaves you better able to understand electricity. At ElectricMan, we want to be your go-to source, whether you need information about electricity or professional help with an electrical installation, project or service. A family-owned business, we offer quality electrical services because we only employ professional, licensed, certified electricians. Don’t ever hesitate to call. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Rain or shine, we’ll be there to fix any electrical emergencies that may come up! Visit ElectricMan’s website to learn more, or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

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Hidden Household Expenses Associated with Homeownership

When you own a home, it’s easy for household expenses to spiral out of control. Every year, the average homeowner is in the unenviable position of spending thousands of dollars on owning and maintaining a home- and that’s just when everything is going well! If an emergency hits, many homeowners have to make sacrifices they can ill afford just to keep the home up and running. The best strategy to avoid disaster is to work on cutting down the everyday household expenses associated with owning a home.

So where does the money really go? On average, American homeowners spend about 34 percent of their income on home expenses. Paying for the house itself, of course, is the largest chunk of that expenditure, but does it surprise you to know that utilities make up the next largest amount? Most Americans spend about seven percent of their income on utilities; that’s more than what they spend on entertainment, clothing for the family and even health care! Obviously, that’s an area where it makes sense to find ways to scale back. If you live in Texas, it’s even more important than it is for people in other states as Texas electricity rates are 30 percent higher than rates elsewhere.

To save money on electricity, you need to understand it. Electric companies measure energy usage in kWh, which is a measurement of the hours you spend using 1000 watts. By lowering your kWh, you will, of course, lower your electricity cost, but where do all those kilowatt-hours go? Appliances can be huge energy hogs but so can game systems, televisions and computers. Older homes are often ill-equipped to handle the energy demands of a modern lifestyle, and this can be not only costly but dangerous, as faulty electrical systems can lead to house fires. Modernizing your home can save on more than just household expenses- it might also save your life.

Fortunately, there are some easy ways to save on energy (and its associated costs). If your home is more than 20 years old, get your electrical system checked out by a professional to determine if you need any upgrades. Buy ENERGY STAR compliant appliances whenever possible, and turn off anything you’re not using, from lights and appliances to your Xbox 360.

Are you ready to lower your household expenses? It helps to find a company such as ElectricMan, committed to providing low-cost electrical services without sacrificing high-quality service. A family owned business, we offer quality electrical services, and we only employ professional, licensed, certified electricians. And we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether it’s a general electrical repair or an electrical emergency, ElectricMan has you covered! Visit the ElectricMan website to learn more, or connect with our online community on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

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Top Seasonal Emergency Electrician Calls | ElectricMan to the Rescue

Each season comes with its set of reasons to call an emergency electrician. While you hopefully won’t be affected by all of these problems this year, there’s always the possibility that you’ll need to phone a 24-hour electrician to take a look at one or two emergencies on this list.

Summer

  • Air conditioner stops working: Check to see if the breaker is tripped. If the breaker is tripped, go to the thermostat and turn off the cooling unit. After you have turned off the thermostat, go back to the breaker and turn the breaker all the way off before resetting it to the ‘on’ position. If the breaker trips again, call an emergency electrician. If it doesn’t trip, turn the thermostat back on. If the breaker trips once the AC is on, you will need to contact an AC repairman.
  • Window AC unit trips circuit breakers: Air conditioning and refrigeration consumes a hefty amount of electricity. Running a hair dryer or vacuum on the same circuit as the window AC unit may be enough to trip the circuit breaker. To prevent overloading the circuit, use the labels in the breaker box to connect high electricity-consuming devices to outlets on a circuit other than the one the window AC unit is on.

Spring/Fall

  • Trees fall on the electric meter boxes and risers: The weather is unpredictable in the spring and fall, which can lead to a downed tree on your property. Even if it barely scrapes your home, this could be enough to rip the electric meter base and riser off of the outer wall of your house. An emergency electrician is the person you trust to get things sorted out and fixed in order to get the power turned back on to your home.
  • Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) replacement: The spring and fall are as good a time as any to test GFCIs. If you have old outlets in your bathrooms or kitchen, replace them with GFCI receptacles as soon as possible to prevent potential shock. Don’t wait until it’s an emergency; call an electrician for this task.

Winter

Emergency-Electrician

Learn what common seasonal electrical emergencies call for an emergency electrician to come take a look.

  • Portable electric heaters trip circuit breakers: Portable heaters consume quite a bit of electricity. If they are plugged into an outlet on a nearly maxed-out circuit, perhaps one poweringChristmas lights, they could overload it and trip the circuit breaker. Circuits trip to prevent damage to the wiring of the electrical system, but knowledge of which outlets are on a circuit can prevent this from happening.
  • Wet electrical connections could cause your GFCI to short out: Electricity and water don’t mix. If any electrical device in or outside your home gets wet it could cause part of your home to short out. Knowing where your GFCIs are located and which outlets they control, can remedy this problem. If not, an emergency electrician is your best bet for pinpointing and correcting the problem.

If you’re experiencing an electrical emergency, please contact ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is a trusted, local emergency electrician with 27 years of experience. For more information visit the ElectricMan website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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ElectricMan to the Rescue | When You Might Need a 24-Hour Electrician

Sometimes, an electrical emergency can’t wait; sometimes, you need a 24-hour electrician to stop in as soon as possible. Here’s a look at some electrical emergencies that require immediate attention.

24-Hour-Electrician

Learn what common emergencies need to be fixed immediately by a 24-hour electrician.

Air Conditioning/Heating Stops Working
On sweltering Dallas summer afternoons or chilly winter nights, you just can’t wait for regular service hours to have your malfunctioning HVAC system examined. If the air conditioning or heating stops working, it could be an electrical problem, not an A/C or furnace problem.

Before you call a certified electrician, check to see if the breaker is tripped. If the breaker is tripped, go to the thermostat and turn off the heating and cooling unit. After you have turned off the thermostat, go back to the breaker and turn the breaker all the way off before resetting it to the ‘on’ position. If the breaker trips again, call a 24-hour electrician. If it doesn’t trip, turn the thermostat back on. If the breaker trips once the AC is on, you will need to contact an AC repairman.

Power Outage
If the power goes out in your home, the problem could be on your side or with the power provider. A good 24-hour electrician can discuss with you which one is the case. If your entire block loses power, it’s undoubtedly a problem with the provider. If power goes out only in your home, there’s a greater possibility that the problem is on your end. This is where a certified electrician can discuss which specific parts of your home are out and determine if you need an electrician or if you need to call your power provider.

Sparks and Flames
No matter the fire’s cause, your first call should be to the fire department. If an electrical malfunction caused the fire, your second call should be to a 24-hour electrician.

ElectricMan to the Rescue
You know you can count on ElectricMan as your certified electrician of choice. We’re always on call 24/7 to help solve electrical problems. For example, a few years back, during Super bowl week in Dallas, the American Red Cross’ power to their refrigeration system where they store their emergency blood supply went out. ElectricMan tackled the snow and ice storm and were able to fix the issue within 40 minutes of being on site; crisis diverted!

The Red Cross retweeted their appreciation to ElectricMan calling them their ‘heroes.’

If you’re experiencing an electrical emergency, please contact ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is a trusted, local 24-hour electrician with almost three decades of experience. For more information visit the ElectricMan website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can also find us on YouTube and Pinterest.

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Dallas Electrician Explains What Your Home Inspection Should Cover

A home inspection covers a number of areas, not the least of which is the electrical system. ElectricMan, a trusted Dallas electrician, wants you to know how to spot a quality home inspection report. After all, while the façade may be beautiful, what’s behind the walls is what truly matters. Save yourself a heap of trouble by knowing what to look for on the electrical portion of a home inspection, according to this certified electrician.

An electrical system inspection includes looking for any aspects that make the home unsafe. A good report features the following most common items:

Dallas-Electrician

A Dallas electrician explains what to look for on a good home inspection report before you decide to buy.

  • Overcurrent protections present
  • Grounded receptacles present
  • Electrical box location and condition
  • Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) present
  • Fuses and breakers sized correctly
  • Proper main grounding installed per code
  • Smoke detectors functional and placed correctly
  • Enough outlets in each room
  • Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) present at outdoor, garage, kitchen and bathroom areas
  • All wiring installed properly
  • No wires resting on ductwork or pipes
  • Wiring insulation in good condition
  • Ceiling fans stable when operating
  • Exhaust fans operable
  • All outlet covers and switch plates securely attached
  • No broken light fixtures
  • Proper electrical connections for all appliances

With all of these points checked off the list, you know you have run across a home with a sound electrical system. It’s a great feeling knowing you’re moving into a home that won’t present trouble around every corner. That’s why it’s so important to have an inspection conducted by a qualified professional before you buy.

If you have any questions about the electrical system aspects of a potential new home’s inspection report, please contact a certified electrician at ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is a trusted, local Dallas electrician with 27 years of experience; we have the knowhow required to answer your important questions. For more information visit the ElectricMan website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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A Certified Electrician Simplifies Your Home Inspection

Have you recently had a home inspection completed or are you getting ready to purchase a home and don’t understand the inspection report? A certified electrician at ElectricMan can help you figure out exactly what the inspector found and what it all means. Having your home inspection deciphered by ElectricMan can save you time, money and a lot of stress.

Here are some examples of the most common home wiring problems that a certified electrician can remedy:

  • Outdated meter base and riser Certified-Electrician
  • Outdated/Unsafe electrical breaker box
  • Oversized fuses or breakers
  • Double-tapped circuits
  • Improper outdoor wiring
  • Improperly spliced wires
  • Incorrectly wired receptacles
  • No ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) around all outdoor, garage, kitchen and bathroom areas
  • Inoperable or missing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Wires resting on ductwork or pipes
  • Frayed, brittle, melted or chewed wiring insulation that is a safety hazards
  • Any ungrounded old style wiring from the 1920s or earlier

These problems may be eyesores, or perhaps you don’t notice them at all, but almost all of them can be hazardous and require immediate attention by a certified electrician. Before you start worrying about your latest home inspection and get knee-deep in all the repairs at once, ElectricMan can help you decode each project and give you a quote on needed repairs. Remember, it’s about your family’s safety, so it’s always best you pick your electrician based on the quality of work and his reputation rather than letting the seller pick the repairman.

If you suspect your home is subject to some of these problems, or for help interpreting your home inspection contact a certified electrician at ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is a trusted, local Dallas electrician with 27 years of experience. For more information visit the ElectricMan website and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

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Electrical Projects a Local Electrician Can Do

Whether you have a scheduled lighting project or an emergency on your hands, there are plenty of situations when it’s appropriate to call in a local electrician. For your safety and sanity use a certified electrician that can provide quality work and can be counted on for years to come.

Installing Tamper-Resistant Outlets
For peace of mind and family safety, have tamper-resistant outlets installed. These have shutters over all openings that must be pressed at the same time to open, such as when inserting a plug. Having this type of devices installed where your children has access to them can prevent a shocking experience —without having to deal with annoying plastic inserts. To ensure correct installation, count on a local electrician for the job.

Local-Electrician

Learn what lighting projects around the house call for the skill and experience of a local electrician.

Repairing a Wire Damaged from Drilling a Hole in the Wall
Whether you’re hanging pictures, shelves or a TV mounting bracket—or any other reason you might be drilling into a wall—there’s always the possibility that you’ll hit and damage a wire. This is definitely a fix you want to leave in the capable hands of a certified electrician.

To prevent the problem from happening again, use a stud finder and aim for the center of the stud. Before drilling, use a small tipped screw driver to verify you are hitting the stud and not the side. Once you have verified, feel free to drill away.

Upgrading a Ceiling Fan
Many homeowners aren’t familiar with the specific requirements involved in hanging a ceiling fan. First you must have a ceiling fan rated brace and box. You need to also make sure the weighted blades are properly installed to the motor. The motor has specific wiring leads that must be connect to the proper power leads. If there is any question, it’s best to leave this project to a local electrician who has the experience from thousands of installs. The last thing you want, after spending hours on the project, is to have the fan wobble or come crashing to the floor, all electricians will agree, fans looks better on the ceiling.

Re-Doing the Kitchen Lights
Some popular kitchen light upgrades include adding recessed lighting and pendant lights controlled by dimmer switches. Under-cabinet lighting and above cabinet lighting is also an excellent way to indirectly light your kitchen. Your interior lighting project is guaranteed to go smoothly when you trust your home to a licensed local electrician. The upgraded lights add a whole new dimension to your kitchen for everyone to enjoy.

To work with a licensed qualified professional for your next electrical project, please contact a certified electrician at ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is a trusted, local electrician with 27 years of experience. For more information visit the ElectricMan website, and don’t forget to also ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

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Best Certified Electrician Tips for Holiday Lighting

If you want to be festive this holiday season while avoiding a stress fest, it’s time you learned tips from a certified electrician about holiday lighting. Here are the top six ways to make holiday lighting a smooth, safe experience.

  • Know decoration wattage: Before you purchase items for your Certified-Electricianhouse or yard, know how many watts the decorations require. Compare that with the wattage you have available in your home; a certified electrician can help you determine what that is. Keep in mind that low-wattage items consume less electricity and cost less to operate.
  • Install a circuit: If you plug all your holiday lights into a single circuit and then use your appliances like normal, you might end up blowing a circuit. The best way to handle a whole bunch of Christmas lights is to have a Dallas electrician install a dedicated circuit.
  • Use a timer on the dedicated circuit: This makes it so you don’t have to turn the circuit on and off manually. A timer adds security and makes sure the lights turn off in the middle of the night.
  • Check the lights: Inspect the strings before putting them up to make sure no bulbs are broken or missing, no wires are bare or frayed, and no connections are loose. Certified electricians also recommend inspecting the area where you plan to install the lights; ensure the gutters are clear and tree branches are stable.
  • Take care of extension cords: If you position any extension cords outside, wrap them up in a plastic enclosure, such as a grocery sack, to protect them from water damage. Never put more than three strings of lights together. If you need too, start a new string of lights using a different plug.
  • Be safe: Keep children and pets away from cords. Use LED lights that emit much less heat than old light strands to ensure combustibles don’t catch on fire. Speak with a certified electrician for safety tips regarding outdoor lighting if you have any concerns.

For more information about holiday lighting, please contact a certified electrician at ElectricMan today. ElectricMan is your trusted, local Dallas electrician with 27 years of experience. Visit the Electricman website, and don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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