Money Saving Tips Archives - Electricman Inc.

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Dallas Electrician | Save Time and Money By Troubleshooting Common Power Problems via Phone

Editor’s Note: This article has been edited and updated from its original content with permission from National News Today. To view the original article please visit www.nationalnewstoday.com

Electricians exist because of problems with your electrical system. But not every problem requires an electrician to come to your house for a service visit. Often, a simple phone call and a few questions can fix the problem!  Troubleshooting common power problems like this not only lets you get on with your life, but it saves time and money! Not every electrician is willing to tell you this, of course. Too many electricians, even legitimate ones, are motivated only by the money they can get from piling on charges from a service call, instead of being interested in helping their customers. Customer service and caring for families’ situations is more important than money. Remember that gets you better friends, employees, and customers.  I really do wish more electricians remembered that.  Having said that, here are some of the most common problems I solve without scheduling a service appointment and have successfully helped repair over the phone:

  • My air conditioner’s not working! This is always one of the most frustrating problems you can have with your electrical system, and it’s hard to think of anything worse than being stuck going an extended period of time without your air conditioner in the middle of the summer.  Your air conditioner or heater is a very complicated system, so there are a number of things that could be causing the failure.  One of the most common reasons an air conditioner stops working is because the circuit breaker it’s on was tripped by an incoming power surge;  this can be fixed over the phone!  If the problem is more complex, a good-hearted electrician can still walk you through a number of steps to determine whether the problem requires an electrician or an AC technician to repair.
  • My outside outlets aren’t working! I get this call at least once every Christmas, when people putting up their Christmas lights discover that they can’t get anything plugged into an outside outlet to work.  Again, calling a Dallas electrician saves time and money in the long run.  As I mentioned in one of the other articles available here, external outlets are fitted with a GFCI for safety reasons.  (And if they aren’t, they should be!)  If the GFCI has tripped, none of the external outlets will work until the GFCI is reset. The GFCI which controls external outlets is located inside, often on the wall of your garage. Many times a homeowner doesn’t even realize what it does or where it is, and proceeds to stack boxes or tools right in front of it!  Resetting the GFCI can be done by anyone, and an electrician doesn’t need to be in your garage to help you locate the GFCI.
  • The ceiling fan I installed isn’t working! Most ceiling fans have four connections (wires) that hook them into the wiring in your ceiling, which has 3 leads.  So which wire gets hooked up to which lead?  When you combine that with instructions that are usually insufficient, poorly translated, or just plain confusing, it’s not really a surprise that people have so much trouble with the installation.  A good electrician should always be willing to explain over the phone what to connect where, and in what order (and yes, order DOES matter in electrical installations).
  • The lights on my ceiling fan flicker! This is almost always something that can be fixed without a home visit.  As strange as this may sound, the problem isn’t generally with your wiring or electrical system; the problem is light bulbs.  Many ceiling fans have been installed on lighting dimmers, which do NOT work with compact fluorescent bulbs; the reduced current causes them to flicker, not dim.  Putting an incandescent bulb in the socket can fix the problem immediately!  Also ceiling fans should not be installed on lighting dimmers but on a three speed fan dimmer or single pole switch. A separate switch should be supplied if you want to control the light from a dimmer.

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.

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Plano Electrical Service Tip | What You Need to Know About LED and Fluorescent CFL Lights and Saving Money

Editor’s Note: This article has been edited and updated from its original content with permission from National News Today. To view the original article please visit http://www.nationalnewstoday.com

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 acElectrican-LED-and-Flourescent-lights-Saving-Moneytually 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:

  1. LED lights don’t need time to warm up like CFL bulbs do.
  2. Dimmer switches don’t work with CFL lights, but LEDs dim just like an incandescent bulb.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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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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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 FRISCO ELECTRICIAN | TOP TIPS FOR HOMEOWNERS

As the top Frisco electrician provider in North Texas, we want you to enjoy your home as much as possible, without costly or dangerous electrical problems. Electrical issues or repairs can zap your time, patience, wallet and, in some cases, your health.

ElectricMan is committed to helping you make the most out of your electrical system, appliances and usage, which is why your top Frisco electrician is giving homeowners some tips on how to take good care of your electrical systems and how to get the most out of your home.

 #1 Turn off the lights and lower your bill.

Electric bills these days can give you headaches in and of themselves. However, there are a Top-Tips-Home-Ownersfew things you can do to lower your bills and still enjoy your electricity. Turning off the lights when you’re not in a room; consider installing a motion sensor switch for the outdoor lights you may forget to turn off.  Unplugging an appliance that you’re not using, or even installing alternative power sources like wind turbines and solar panels can significantly reduce your power consumption without infringing on your everyday usage. You can also use indoor generators to power your home without needing to be connected to the power grid.

#2 Keep up with electrical maintenance in your home.

Doing regular electrical maintenance in your home every two years can mean the difference between a happy, powered home and a mess of molten wire and old circuit breakers that don’t work. Hire your local electrician to come take a look at the entire electrical system in your home, and act upon his recommendations as soon as possible to give your home’s electrical wiring a long life.

#3 Take care of your smoke detectors and your smoke detectors will take care of you.

Smoke detectors are an invaluable and potentially life-saving part of any home. Keeping them in good working order and supplied with fresh batteries might just save your life. Be sure to swap the batteries of your smoke detectors every year (coinciding with the time changes is a good way to remember), and change out detectors every five to seven years.

#4 Protect your home with the right equipment.

Another important aspect of being safe and secure in your home to ensure your home is properly equipped with surge protectors, AFCI breakers and GFCI outlets wherever they are needed. These pieces of equipment not only can protect and preserve valuable appliances or expensive wiring, but they can keep you out of harm’s way in case of an electrical emergency in your home.

#5 Hire a professional for electrical remodeling jobs.

Whether you love hanging lamps or dimmer lights, homeowners who are fond of ambient lighting and are in need of some remodeling should always remember to call their top Frisco electrician to carry out the lighting installation. Installing lighting is a very intricate process that can get difficult and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

ElectricMan has been a trusted local electrician for over 27 years. For more helpful tips about your electrical system, check out our blog at blog.electricmaninc.com. You can also contact us today by visiting our website at www.electricmaninc.com or calling us at 972-792-7270. Don’t forget to connect with us on our social media sites!
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Best Garland Electrician

Save Money with Digital Timer Installation or Mechanical Timer Installation

In the current economic climate, in which everyone is trying to save money, you might not know that the best Garland electrician can help! Sometimes, saving money is as simple as finding a simple idea that makes your life run more efficiently. When it comes to electricity, one of the best and least utilized ways to save money and energy is by putting your lights on a timer.

Top-garland-electricianAs any Garland electrician can tell you, timers are extremely useful! You can use them to turn lights on and off, whether or not you are at home. This makes it easy for you to appear as though you are home when you are on vacation, or control your Christmas lights, but those are not the only instances in which timers are a good idea. For instance, you can set a timer to make your lights turn off after you go to bed, and come back on in the morning. This makes a great backup alarm clock, and also ensures that you don’t accidentally leave lights on all night. You can also set them to turn off lights when you are at work, in case you forget.

There are two types of timers for home systems: mechanical and digital. Digital timers look good and are very useful, with several automated features. Even though they can be installed by someone who is not an electrician, Garland homeowners may feel more secure hiring a professional, because digital timers have sensitive electronics inside that require a neutral wire that switches do not. The best Garland electrician will be able to choose the right digital timer for your needs, competently install it, and even change out the switch plates if necessary.

Mechanical timers are less common than digital, but are very useful. They are often used to control swimming pool equipment and outdoor lighting. In addition to controlling lights, they can be attached to a water heater to keep it from running when you don’t need hot water. This can make a huge difference in your electric bill!

The main difference between mechanical and digital timers is that mechanical timers are typically larger and sturdier, and can handle a larger electrical load. Digital timers are more aesthetically pleasing, and will fit better into your home’s décor. A competent Garland or Rowlett electrician will advise you as to which timer best suits your needs.

Whether you have an electrical problem, or are just looking for ways to save money on your electric bill, ElectricMan, Inc, can help!  Visit our website or the social sites for more information. If you would prefer, you can always call us at (972) 792-7270 to schedule an appointment or consultation today!

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