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Everyone wants to save money. With the economy, still slow and unemployment high, family and business budgets are tight. Thus, we’re all looking for ways to lower our bills, and there aren’t many bills more devastating to budgets than the electric bill. Not to mention those bills during a brutal Texas summer.
At the same time, people are finally beginning to understand that the damage we do to our environment is harmful in the long run, and are trying to find a way to reduce our impact on the planet. A lot of the time it seems like we must choose between saving money and helping the earth. That is simply not the case when we’re talking about options for lighting your home or business. The employees of my Plano electrical service tell you that you can actually do both at the same time, and that it‘s as simple as changing a light bulb!
Light bulb shopping has changed a lot in the last ten years. Our choices are no longer limited to the incandescent (and sometimes halogen) bulbs we all grew up with. Today fluorescent CFL lights are available in almost every store, and LED lights are starting to become more widely available as well. These bulbs use far less energy to create the same amount of light, which ultimately means less energy you have to pay for. The savings can be seen with a single bulb.
For example, if you replace just one 60-watt incandescent bulb you use four hours each day with a 12-watt LED equivalent, you’ll wind up saving almost $10 a year on average! These bulbs can save you money and hassle in ways you might not think of at first. For instance, LED and CFL bulbs produce very little heat when compared to an incandescent bulb which means that they don’t attract insects, and that your air conditioner doesn’t have another heat source in your house to cool down.
There are electrical benefits to having cooler bulbs too: less heat being generated by light bulbs means that there’s less heat stress being placed on the sockets and fixtures they’re attached to. Less stress on the fixtures means that they have a much longer life, and that you’re saving money you’d otherwise have to spend on repairing or replacing them.
All these choices beg the question of which type of bulb is better. From an electrician’s view, they’re both superior to the old kind of bulbs. Personally, I think LED lights are superior to fluorescent CFL lights right now. The technology that makes CFL bulbs work is still primitive. Think of what cell phones looked like in the 1980‘s compared to today; right now, the CFL bulbs you can buy are the fluorescent bulb version of those old brick phones. LED lights have very distinct advantages:
- LED lights don’t need time to warm up like CFL bulbs do.
- Dimmer switches don’t work with CFL lights, but LEDs dim just like an incandescent bulb.
- Probably the biggest issue I have with CFL bulbs right now is their impact on the environment. They’re full of toxic mercury and lead compounds which can be very hazardous to the water supply, which means you can’t just throw them away.
- Fluorescents can’t be changed while warm, either. They’ll break off at the base, and cleaning up a broken CFL bulb can be a nightmare, with the potential threat of mercury poisoning of you and your loved ones if you’re not careful.
These reasons are why I generally recommend LED bulbs; they’re more earth-friendly, easy to dispose of, use less energy than even CFL bulbs, and last a very long time. They can be more expensive than other bulbs, but you’ll save enough money on your power bills in the long run to come out well ahead!
For Plano, electrical service or questions about what type of lights are best for your needs you can trust ElectricMan to help and 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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
- 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.
Chandeliers look beautiful when installed in your Plano home, but the process of properly installing them should be left to a qualified, experienced electrician Plano homeowners can trust. Proper installation of a complex electrical fixture like a chandelier is best left to a licensed residential electrician who understands the intricacies of adding a chandelier to your home and who can make sure that the process is carried out safely and efficiently so that your fixture has a long life with little need for repairs.
Tips for Chandelier Installations
Instead of finding an electrician Plano homeowners sometimes opt to do a chandelier installation themselves. What they don’t realize is that chandelier installations are very difficult and complex, and as a result it’s always best to contact local electricians who are experienced to do the job. installation chandelier that is installed incorrectly can mean many costly and dangerous complications in the future. Follow these important electrical tips to ensure your chandelier is properly installed in your home.
- Hire an electrician who is experienced with this type of installation and its wiring, as it is very different from many of the other fixtures in your home. Homeowners are often unfamiliar with the proper wiring for a chandelier; as a result, they end up damaging the fixture when doing the installation themselves. Experienced electricians know that the side of the wiring with the ridges and bumps is the “power out” side and the smooth wiring side is the “power in.” Getting those mixed up can cause serious damage to your wiring and your equipment.
- Make sure that your electrician follows the manufacturer’s order of instructions for fixture installation. Steps missed or skipped can cause serious problems and result in wasted money and time, as well as risky complications. For example, it’s important for your electrician to remember that, when installing a crystal chandelier, the fixture must be installed before hanging the crystal. Otherwise, the fixture will be too heavy and fragile to install.
- Be mindful of weight limits when it comes to chandeliers and your ceiling. If the chandelier weighs over 100 pounds, chances are you’ll need an additional complex support installation in your ceiling to ensure that there’s enough support to hold the weight. Not being aware of these weight limitations can cause major problems with the installation.
- The residential electrician you hire needs to make sure that the canopy cover is properly installed and adjusted to the correct depth before hooking up the chandelier’s wiring. Placing the canopy cover flush to the ceiling may result in twisted wiring and a bad connection.
- Your electrician should know that chandeliers are hung from their chains, not the wiring itself. Hanging the chandelier from the wires can stretch them, causing a fire hazard. Chandeliers, in any case, are not designed to hang from anything other than the chains they come with.
Electric Man: Electrician Plano Homeowners Can Count On
With 27 years of experience, Electric Man offers quality emergency and routine electrical repairs for residential and commercial applications. Whether you need a chandelier installed or you have an electrical emergency of any sort, Electric Man can send a licensed and experienced electrician Plano homeowners can count on. Call us today 972-792-7270 and connect with us online. If you have questions for Electric Man, leave in the comments section of our blog, and we’ll get right back to you!
If you’ve ever watched the show “Holmes on Homes” on HGTV, you’ve likely seen the problems associated with old or faulty wiring. Mike Holmes tends to get very agitated by safety issues, and for good reason. Each year, over 40,000 homes suffer fire damage due to home electrical problems. These electrical fires account for hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. And what’s the main culprit? Old wiring!
If you live in a classic home built before 1940, chances are you have old wiring in the house. You may have knob-and-tube or Romex wiring, both of which can become brittle over time. The insulation dries out and starts to crumble, causing the inner wire to become exposed. The cloth insulation around the wire deteriorates with age and eventually becomes unsafe.
But perhaps one of the biggest threats of Romex and knob-and-tube wiring is that these types of wires aren’t grounded. That means if one of your appliances shorts out, you could become the path to the ground for the electricity.
Even if your home is only 20 or 30 years old, you could still experience electrical problems at home due to a lack of capacity. Most homes built more than 10 years ago are not designed to handle the amount of electronics we use today. Think about it: if your house was built in 1980, it was built before home PCs and laptops and HDTVs and surround sound and all of the other toys and gadgets we use today. These appliances can draw a lot of power, and your current electrical wiring may not be up to the task.
If you own one of the one million houses in the DFW area that’s more than 20 years old, it’s a good idea to have a licensed electrician come out and take a look at the wiring. He or she can make sure that your house will be safe and productive for many years.
About ElectricMan Inc.
ElectricMan Inc. is one of Plano’s most trusted electricians. Nick Schaeffer, Mr. ElectricMan himself, has quite the resume for a master electrician. He started the company by himself in 2004 and hasn’t looked back since! For more information about Electricman’s list of electrical repair services, please visit www.ElectricManInc.com
The heat is at it’s peak and so is your air conditioner! As a licensed Plano electrician, ElectricMan is experiencing high call volume due to over heating of the A/C Breaker. This is caused by 2 things: 1, is of course the air conditioner running full time to keep up with the demand for cold air, and 2, loose wiring at the air conditioning breaker at your electrical panel. With a simple maintenance checkup on your electrical panel, you could save yourself LOTS of MONEY! Many electrical panel replacements and air conditioning unit replacements could be avoided with this simple routine maintenance. Our licensed and experienced technicians do this maintenance in less than a half an hour and that could keep you from going without power and parting with that hard earned money. Summers are meant to be enjoyed, live life to its fullest!