Saving money sometimes means coming up with an unconventional idea to make your life more efficient. As such, one of the ways the best Dallas electrician can help you make your electrical system more efficient is also one of the more overlooked ways: installing timers to control your lighting. Timers are great tools; they can be used to turn your lights on and off at any time, whether you’re home or not. Besides keeping your house lit when you’re on vacation or controlling your Christmas lights or other holiday displays, there are plenty of other applications for timers too. For instance, why not set a timer to control all the lights in your house? By setting the lights to turn off after you’re normally in bed, lights that you might have mistakenly left on will turn off, saving you money. You can also set your lights to come on when you wake up in the morning, making it easier for you to wake up! (This makes a great backup alarm clock, by the way.) You can turn your lights off when you’re gone at work, or turn them on during the day to give your pets light. There are two kinds of timers commonly used in home systems: mechanical and digital timers.
Digital timers are a great tool for the modern home. They fit elegantly into your wall and are automated in a lot of ways; some even adjust themselves for daylight savings time automatically! Even better, digital timer installation is pretty straight forward even for the do-it-yourself electrician. However, remember that a digital timer is not a switch; because of the sensitive electronics inside, digital timers require a neutral wire that switches do not. When I get called to deal with digital timer issues, they’re largely caused by the homeowner neglecting this fact or not considering it. Some do-it-yourself electricians think they can just wire the neutral on the timer into the ground wire. Let me be clear here, folks: a ground wire is NOT a neutral, and wiring it into the timer that way will create an electrical shock hazard potential and damage the timer.
The other concern with digital timers is more of a design issue than a wiring issue, thankfully. Before you go through with the timer installation, consider where it will be located and what kind of switches you have at the site. This is important when the time comes to finish the work; most switch assemblies (and the switch plates that cover them) are rectangular. But digital timers are pretty uniformly square objects, and they don’t always play nice with your existing switch plates. If you don’t plan ahead, you might wind up having to make multiple trips to your hardware store or home improvement warehouse of choice to get the plates you need to make everything fit together. This is actually one of those times where a professional installation can make your life easier: the best Dallas electrician will carry multiple types of plates in his service truck, which saves you the time and effort of going back to the store over and over. Even though a professional installation may be more expensive than doing it yourself, the time and effort you save may well more than cover the difference in price.
Mechanical timers are also really useful tools, although they’re a bit less common than the digital timers. Mechanical timer installation generally occurs in one of several places. Mechanical timers are most often found controlling swimming pool equipment to ensure it only runs for a given amount of time. Make sure the timer is set to allow the equipment to run more often in summer than winter; this will help reduce the amount of algae in your pool. Electrical timers are also pretty common for outdoor lighting; since they can be set to only turn lights off, you can make sure your outdoor lighting is off before sunrise to conserve power. One of the best and most overlooked uses for mechanical timers has nothing to do with lights, though. Attaching a timer to your water heater means you can keep the heater from running when you’re not home and don’t need hot water; this can be a HUGE savings (though don’t forget to override the timer if you’re home from work for the day!).
What’s the difference between the timers? Not as much as you might think, actually; they both work the same way, and can perform the same functions. Mechanical timers tend to be larger, last longer, and can handle more electrical load than a digital timer. However, electrical timers tend to be designed as large, grey, metal boxes, which may stick out quite a bit in your home decor. Digital timers can be built right into the wall, and their smaller size and more aesthetic designs may make them a better fit for your home. Either way, timers are a great asset, and one you should consider installing in your home electrical system.
For more information and other tips Electric Man to the rescue. 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.
In the 30 years I’ve been an electrician, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what qualities make the best Dallas Electrician the best. Obviously, there are a whole lot of factors that go into something like that: quality of service, friendliness, willingness to help. But let’s face it; at the end of the day, the best electrician is the one who can save you money. So, I’d like to share some money saving tips with you. And I‘m going to start with the biggest, most effective tip of all. Ready? Here it comes.
Turn your stuff off
That’s it! Turning your electrical devices off when you’re not using them is the best way to lower your home electric bill now, I know what you’re thinking: “That’s not a very fun answer.” Well, you’re right: there are certainly more interesting ways to save money on your electric bill (and I’m going to share a few of them with you right now), but it’s important to start with the basics. So, what can you do to save money without turning things off?
Schedule routine electrical system maintenance. Some business and home owners go decades without having their electrical system checked. These checks help make sure that your fixtures are properly installed, and that all your connections on your electrical panel (and everywhere else) are correctly installed and tight. Something as simple as a loose screw can cause sparks and surges. Even if these surges don’t cause fires or other damages, they waste electricity. You should have routine maintenance performed every year or two to ensure the best results.
Install a power conditioner. The dishwasher. The refrigerator and freezer. Your pool equipment. The air conditioner. Your washer and dryer. The garage door opener. What do they all have in common? Well, they all make up a good chunk of your electricity usage, but they also all have motors. These motors draw a lot of power as they start up, which can put a lot of strain on your electricity usage. Having power conditioners installed helps balance out those big surges and saves you money in two ways;
It means your total consumption goes down since you’re not drawing a ton of power at once for that motor,
It reduces the wear on the motor, which means they need to be replaced less. As anyone who had an air conditioner motor break down this summer can tell you, this can add up to a lot of savings in the long run.
Install solar panels and/or wind turbines. We’re living in a great time for alternative energy sources; the technology behind solar and wind power have made them more efficient and useful than at any point in history. Alternative energy isn’t just for power plants, though. You can actually install these energy generating devices, with help from a licensed electrician, in your home and business to help generate your own electricity, which is less power you have to pay for. Even better, you can use solar panels and turbines to help power another generator.
Buy an indoor generator. People talk a lot about living “off the grid”. There’s no way I can think of to make yourself less dependant on the grid than to start generating your own electricity, especially if you can do it without pollution. A good indoor generator can make you money, by sending the electricity it generates that you don’t use back to the grid. Wouldn’t it be great to not only lower your home electric bill, but turn it into a payment from the electric company? What better money saving tips could there be than giving you a way to get paid what you were once paying out?
If you’re interested in purchasing an indoor generator, or for the best Dallas electrician to save you money 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.
It’s always easy to tell when summer rolls around. The temperature outside soars, and so does your electricity bill. Wouldn’t it be great if a top Dallas electrician could save you money on your electric bill?
Everyone knows why your bills get so expensive; you’re running your AC almost all the time. In fact, the condenser for your air conditioning unit uses more electricity during the summer months than any other appliance in your home, even notorious energy hogs like your refrigerator. There are things an electrician can do to save you money, and electric safety tips you need to know to protect your home, business, and loved ones from disaster.
These days most people call an AC service company the minute an air conditioning problem comes up. That isn’t always the correct move, though. In my experience, about half of all the problems that arise with air conditioning systems are electrical problems. Some of my best customers began using my service because I could help them figure out whether they should be calling an electrician or an HVAC technician to solve their problem. Obviously, if the problem is the AC unit or condenser, an AC repairman is the way to go, but he doesn’t necessarily understand the details of your home or business electrical system. There are a few things you should know about your air conditioner from the electrician’s point of view.
Your AC puts a very heavy load on your electrical system, especially when the unit powers itself on. This alone can lead to burnouts, which can directly damage the compressor in the AC unit. Because AC units require so much power, they are often wired directly from the breaker panel, the main location in an electrical system where connections come loose. Loose connections on a breaker panel can cause arc faults and high power electrical discharges that can literally melt your panel and circuit breakers in seconds. This often can cause catastrophic melt downs. These loose connections can also cause burnouts on your panel, leaving you without air conditioning, power and causing you to pay for new electrical equipment. The best way to save you money and protect your home and AC unit is to make sure an electrician regularly inspects your breaker panel, performing maintenance as needed to keep everything working correctly.
The seed of many electrical problems is planted when you make changes to your air conditioning system. Perhaps you’re upgrading to a higher-efficiency unit to help save money, or a recent addition to your home or office means you need a larger high-efficiency unit to handle your cooling needs. Either way, failing to think through the electricity needs of your AC unit can cause major headaches. Many homeowners (and even AC service technicians on occasion) are perfectly happy to simply swap the new larger AC unit with the old one without upgrading the wiring that connects it to your home. Trying to run a large AC unit on wiring intended for a smaller unit is a very good way to burn the lines, which leaves your AC out of commission until new wiring can be installed. Even worse things can happen when an AC unit is relocated. Sometimes, people looking to save money and time, make the decision to simply splice the AC unit wires into your existing system rather than running a new line. DON’T EVER DO THIS. It is extremely dangerous. You should always contact an electrician when you upgrade or make major alterations to your air conditioning system.
Many AC system problems aren’t caused by the outside unit at all, but by the Forced Air Unit (FAU) inside your house. Usually located somewhere in a closet, attic, or hallway space, the FAU moves the cold air through your house when the AC is running, and is the part of the AC system that heats your home in the winter. The blower motor in the FAU also draws a lot of electricity, and is prone to blowouts or creating additional electrical issues. In fact, the FAU is responsible for at least half of all electrical problems your AC system may have. You should always have your FAU looked at regularly during routine electrical maintenance. Remember: just because it’s out of sight doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
These electrical safety tips should help keep you cool and safe. 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.
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.
How many light bulbs have you changed in your lifetime? It’s a simple action, and often one that we don’t put much thought into, but what if the simple act of changing a light bulb could make a profound impact on the environment, and the well-being of future generations? As experienced Plano Electricians, we at ElectricMan Inc. have made it our mission to help bring knowledge of Alternative Lighting Solutions, electrical efficiency, and environmental responsibility to the forefront of everyone’s minds. The reality is that even small changes can yield huge benefits when it comes to energy savings. According to www.EnergyStar.gov:
“If every American home replaced just one light bulb with a light bulb that’s earned the ENERGY STAR, we would save enough energy to light 3 million homes for a year, save about $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to those from about 800,000 cars.”
Think about the changes that you can make by simply replacing the outdated incandescent bulbs in your home as they burn out with one of the Alternative Lighting Solutions below. Here are some details on a couple of the most popular Alternative Lighting Solutions available.
Alternative Lighting Solutions
Compact Fluorescent Lamp: Modern CFL bulbs for use in homes consist of a curved fluorescent tube and electronic ballast in a single unit, designed as a direct replacement for standard blubs. They use 3-4 times less power than comparable incandescent bulbs. These are great options to replace your standard light bulbs, but they do have a few small drawbacks. According to an article by PopularMechanics.com, while CFL’s do have a much longer lifespan than standard bulbs, they often lose some of their brightness long before their expected lifespan is up, and this is increased in fixtures that don’t allow for efficient cooling of the ballast located in the base of the bulb. Another documented fact about CFL bulbs is that they do contain mercury, which means that they must be disposed of properly by taking them your local approved recycling center. You wouldn’t throw a battery out with the daily trash would you? So you shouldn’t throw these out either.
Light Emitting Diodes: LED’s are a form of “solid state” lighting that have become available recently to homeowners as an incandescent and CFL replacement. Using small light emitting diodes mounted directly to circuit boards, these are highly efficient, and have fewer parts prone to failure, allowing for an expected realistic lifespan of 20,000 to 30,000 hours, when operated at recommended temperatures. While initial costs for these bulbs are higher than incandescent and CFL options, long term energy savings are where this alternative lighting option truly shines, with the average LED bulb using approximately 12-17% of the energy that it takes to run an incandescent bulb of similar output, the end result is a bulb that costs drastically less to power over time.
As a point of comparison, here is a simple chart of the energy usage of LED and CFL bulbs compared to incandescent bulbs, and the output associated with them:
Lighting technology has changed a lot in the past decade, and it is pretty amazing to see what could be on the horizon for future lighting innovations. Take this for example. While most homes will never need this amount of output, it’s pretty impressive to see that something the size of a Christmas tree light, like this plasma bulb, can put out more light, more efficiently, than the giant bulbs that we use in street lamps!
The great thing about these changes is that they aren’t something that requires a huge change in your lifestyle, so they are some of the easiest ways possible to help the environment, and lower electric bills while you are at it!
About ElectricMan Inc.
Plano Electrician, ElectricMan, Inc. has more than 27 years of experience in residential and commercial electrical work and is a family owned and operated business that puts family first. ElectricMan’s motto is “Quality Electrical Services”. We achieve this through our employees. Our professional, licensed, experienced technicians are here to serve your electrical service and repair needs. For more information, please visit our website at www.electricmaninc.com or contact us by phone at 972-792-7270 for your next electrical repair or improvement project!
You may not have thought about the Advantages To Wind Energy lately, but every month when you get your electric bill in the mail, you may find yourself asking, “Isn’t there a better way?”, or “How can I have lower electric bills?” As energy costs rise, and the environmental impact of using fossil fuels to generate electricity comes into question, green energy production is becoming an increasingly valuable way to help your home or business do its part in helping the environment, and lowering those high energy costs that drain your funds each and every month. In an effort to find newer, more sustainable forms of energy, a great opportunity has arisen in harnessing the abundant power of the wind to create electricity yourself, and lower its overall cost.
While many people are familiar with the giant wind farms scattered throughout the plains across the state of Texas, most people aren’t aware that this isn’t the only way to use wind for electricity. Local Dallas and Plano Electrician, ElectricMan Inc. is now offering something that will definitely spark your interest!
The Advantages To Wind Energy can now be felt by homeowners and business owners through more efficient, highly cost effective, and easily installed wind power generators. Standing only five feet tall, with the capability of harnessing even a slight breeze coming from any direction, these new wind generators are a drastic improvement on the standard “Propeller Style” wind power generators that most people are familiar with. Now you don’t need an open field or even a very windy area in order to start declaring your independence from the high costs that electric companies place on the electricity that they provide to you.
Partnered with a system like the Indoor Generator, which allows you to program the system to use stored electricity when it is most efficient for you, you can do two major things. First, at times when you are creating more energy than you need, that energy can be funneled into a battery system and stored for your higher usage time, avoiding those peak usage premiums that power companies have put in place to raise profits and revenue. Secondly, once your stored supply of electricity is at full capacity, you can actually sell your surplus electricity back to the power company, offering you the possibility of income without any labor on your part!
Everyone is looking for a way to save money these days, so here is one more incredible Advantage To Wind Energy. If you install a renewable energy system for your home or business before the end of 2016, your entire system is eligible for a 30% federal tax credit!
To see this amazing product in action, visit www.breezewaypower.com, or to purchase this product locally and learn more about the Advantages To Wind Energy, call your local Dallas and Plano Electrician, ElectricMan Inc. at 972-792-7270 or visit our website at www.electricmaninc.com!
You may not be aware, but you can have Lower Electric Bills by changing how and when you use electricity during times that the electric company considers “peak demand” or “peak usage” hours. Electric companies have been initiating peak usage fees for some time now, essentially charging customers more to use electricity when the demand is higher. This is usually when more people are at home and actively operating appliances, for instance, during a hot summer month when everyone’s air conditioning is running, or around dinner time when TV’s and ovens are working along with the air conditioners. This allows the electric company to make more profit and increase revenues when most people can’t help but use more electricity as a part of their daily life. Luckily, licensed Top Dallas Electrician, ElectricMan Inc. can offer a way to avoid these charges, and Lower Electric Bills by making sure that you are using the least amount of electric company power as possible during peak times.
An Indoor Generator is a unique solution that allows you to store power, either from your power grid when it is cheaper, or utilizing other renewable energy sources, and decide when you want to use it. This highly intelligent equipment allows you to program when and where you get your electricity, providing incredible independence and capabilities for Lower Electric Bills.
Take this as an example. One local electric company uses a general rule of enforcing peak usage fees between 4pm and 8pm, so programming your system to use power stored during off peak hours at these times will allow you to stop paying these peak usage fees, and only pay the standard rate for electricity during normal usage hours. This is a far more effective solution, since it is impractical for most home owners to change their schedule and stop using power during these times.
Once you have an Indoor Generator system in place and programmed, the system will automatically switch to your stored power during the times that you have chosen, leaving you worry free about when you are using your electricity!
For more energy saving tips on how to Lower Electric Bills, information on an Indoor Generator for your home, or any other services provided by Top Dallas Electrician, ElectricMan Inc. visit our website at www.electricmaninc.com, or give us a call at 972-792-7270 to talk about how we can help!