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Best Dallas Electrician | Help with Electrical Safety Do’s and Don’ts for Appliance Installations

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

There’s something exciting about making a large purchase: the rush of buying, the nagging fear that you can’t afford it, the anticipation of it making your life better or easier.  This feeling is especially true when it comes to a new appliance; it’s an investment in saving you time and effort. What if the investment you just made turns out to be a dud because of overlooking the impact it would have on your electrical system?

A lot of the work of an appliance happens within the machine, we tend to not think about the fact that an appliance is really a very complicated electrical machine. In addition, we ignore that they require a lot of electricity to operate. They can really strain your electrical system. This is especially true of modern appliances; it seems like they’ve found a way to computerize everything, and that only makes the power needs of an appliance grow even when they are “Energy Star” rated. Installation of these complex modern appliances seem as easy; some almost seem like they only need to be plugged in and forgotten. This approach neglects the fact that there are important things to keep in mind with regards to appliance installations that can cause serious problems for you down the line.

Obviously, you don’t always need to call an electrician whenever you install an appliance. With that being said, there’s nothing wrong with doing so if you’re not sure what you’re doing. The Best Dallas Electrician you can hire can help you avoid a lot of potential hazards and costs down the line. If you’re still planning on installing your new appliance yourself, keep in mind the following electrical safety do’s and don’ts:

  • Don’t assume your installation was done with safety in mind. This is especially true in older homes, where the wiring may not be up to modern specifications.
  • Do turn the power off whenever you change out an appliance. It may seem a bit excessive, but it can save you from a nasty shock or from shorting something out.
  • Do be careful when removing older, hardwired appliances. Back in the old days, most large appliances were just wired directly into the electrical system, without any sort of protection other than the breakers in your electrical panel.  Just pulling these kinds of appliances out can short out the appliance or other parts of your wiring, to say nothing of other potential damage. When removing an older appliance, you should either be extremely careful not to damage the wiring or hire a professional electrician to help you remove them. That electrician can also help you with the next step: replacing that wire with a properly rated outlet and cord so that you can simply plug or unplug the appliance in future.
  • Don’t put a large appliance where you can’t move it or clean behind it! I see this way more than I should, especially in new home construction.  People have lovely custom cabinets built around their ovens, making it impossible to replace the oven or access the outlets behind it without tearing out all the cabinets around it!  There’s a safety issue in play here, too:  flammable dust and lint build up behind appliances over time.  You should always install a new appliance in such a manner that you can remove it to clean behind it, at the very least when you’ve pulled it away from the outlet to replace it with a new one.
  • Do check the electrical requirements of your new appliance. This is especially true if you’re upgrading to a new appliance. Like I said before, many of these are now partially computerized, and draw a lot more power than a similarly sized older appliance as a result.  If your new appliance draws more power than your wiring and circuit breakers are rated to handle, you can easily overload the circuit without realizing what you’ve done. If you find that this is the case, you should call an electrician before you try to plug the appliance in; often the problem can be solved just by rewiring the outlet or modifying your electrical system to handle the increased load.

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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Top Garland Electrician | How Installing A GFCI Can Help Protect Your Family And Make Your Home Safer

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.

As I’ve said before, I’ve spent years in the electrical business working hard to help people save money and keep safe.  But I’m not really any different from any other American.  At the end of the day, I get to lay down my work for a while and come home to my wife and children, and I want nothing more in all the world than for them to be happy and safe.  For me, that’s one of the places where being a parent and being a Top Garland electrician can come together.  I have the expertise from my trade to do what any parent would want to do; make your home safer for your family.  Which makes this story I’m about to share with you hit me even harder than it would otherwise.  I can’t think of anything worse than something like this befalling the people I love.

Not so long ago, a mother in Texas was bathing her five and six year-old children when disaster struck.  A hair dryer, plugged into an outlet nearby, was accidentally pulled off a nearby counter, and wound up falling into the bathtub.  The current from the hair dryer quickly passed into the bathwater.  Neither child survived.

What makes the story even more tragic is that the deaths of these children could have been prevented with an investment of less than sixty dollars in equipment and labor costs.   Specifically, installing a GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, could have saved the lives of these children. The home the family lived in was an older home, and as a result the circuit in the bathroom wasn’t equipped with this simple yet incredibly important piece of equipment.

A GFCI is designed to quickly interrupt the flow of electric current when it detects that the current is imbalanced, which is a sign that current’s passing through something other than what it’s supposed to, like a person.  This can be a danger when we’re dealing with outlets close to water; the composition and chemical structure of water make it an extremely effective conductor of electric current.  It doesn’t take very much water, either; unplugging an appliance with your hand in a small amount of spilled water on a counter top can cause you to suddenly complete a circuit to the ground, giving you a very nasty shock.

As you might expect, this means that a GFCI should (and by code, must) be installed anywhere there’s a electric device close to water. This isn’t limited to kitchens and bathrooms either; GFCIs should also be installed on outlets located in garages, near any counter top, near pools and hot tubs, and on any external outlets.

We don’t always think of external outlets as needing a GFCI, but they do; remember, any electronic equipment you use outside interacts with the elements.  Using an electric lawn care device, like a weed whacker or electric mower on wet grass can be dangerous, especially if you happen to run over the cord, which could create a circuit between the electricity and the ground through your body.

One of the most common issues I see where GFCIs are lacking, and could be potentially dangerous, lie where there is plenty of water:  your swimming pool.   Older pools, like older homes, may not have a GFCI installed on the pool light located under the surface.  Over time, the seal that keeps water out of the pool light can break down; if and when they do, it can turn your pool from a fun place to spend time to a place to get to get your goose cooked in the blink of an eye.

Although all outlets like the ones listed above must be equipped with GFCIs according to code, this hasn’t always been the case.  Older homes, like the one where those two children were killed, may have been built before these regulations were put in place.  If you have any question whatsoever I strongly recommend that you contact a Top Garland electrician as soon as possible to perform an inspection.

For more information on installing a GFCI, tips or if you need a Top Garland Electrician ElectricMan 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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Licensed Dallas Electrician | Tips About Electrical System Maintenance & Standard Home Inspections

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.

We’re finally through another summer in Texas. Our air conditioners are being turned off for the first time in months, and we’re all looking forward to watching that power bill drop. Now that your electrical system is under less stress, it’s the perfect time to make sure that the system is working the way it should.

Nobody should go years without performing maintenance on their vehicle. It just makes no sense to throw away the investment you made on a vehicle. And yet, people regularly go years and years without having their electrical system inspected on their home. Typically you spend a lot more on your home than a vehicle, yet both can be dangerous if you don’t do regular maintenance!

With this in mind, I wanted to share some important Electrical System Maintenance with you that can help keep you safe and even keep your power bill low! Keep in mind that the things I’m going to share with you aren’t really things you can do on your own; you should always contact a Licensed Dallas Electrician to implement any of these tips.

With that in mind:

  • Have your wiring checked for potential unseen damage. This happens more often than you think; rats and other vermin can get into parts of your home you never see, and they love to chew on wiring.
  • Have power conditioners installed. I can’t say enough about how useful power conditioners can be. When properly installed in your system, a conditioner helps keep the voltage running through your lines constant, preventing dips in the line voltage or line static from being transmitted into your appliances, which can extend their life. If you have sensitive electronics like a home theater system, you absolutely NEED one of these on that line to keep the equipment working like new and protect it from damage.
  • Have surge protectors installed at your main electrical panel. One of the bad things about power surges is that they aren’t just isolated to one part of your system; they can spread through your home like a wildfire, causing untold damage and heartache. Properly installed surge protectors can prevent this from occurring, and will save you a lot of trouble down the road.
  • Have standard home Iispections Don’t be afraid to ask for it by name; any reputable electrician will know what you’re looking for. These inspections are a really good deal, and can stop a huge number of electrical problems before they start. Though the exact details of the inspection can be a little different depending on what electrician you deal with, the inspection I perform (for a very reasonable price, no less!) involves the following:
    • Opening the electrical panel and tightening every wire and screw
    • Checking every breaker for overheating
    • Ensuring your panel is properly grounded; a poorly grounded panel is a power surge waiting to happen
    • Checking the connections at your meter site, where the power flows in from the power lines
    • Checking that your electrical safety equipment, particularly your Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) and smoke detectors are properly installed and working correctly
    • Inspecting your lights for overheating and flickering that could be signs of poor wiring or wiring failures
    • Checking your attic for chewed wiring and dangerous open wire splices left by disreputable “electricians”
    • Confirming the voltage and polarity of the electrical current throughout the house
    • We can even pull every single outlet to check that it’s put together tightly and that the wires are in good condition! (This isn’t a requirement for every time you have your home inspected, but it’s a good idea to have this done every so often.)

For more Electrical System Maintenance tips or information about power conditioners and surge protectors, or to contact Electric Man! 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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Licensed Dallas Electrician Tips | Making Your Home Safe From Electrical Warning Signs of Faulty Wiring

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

Over time, things can go wrong with any electrical system. It’s part of the nature of wiring:  wires deteriorate and connections can break down.  But what if the problem that develops is because of something that happened when the electrical system was installed, something you didn’t have any control over?

There’s nothing so treacherous to the safety of your home as faulty wiring. Mistakes in the initial wiring of your home can lead to serious safety hazards and property damage.

So what can you do about faulty wiring?  A licensed Dallas electrician can help you find the problem areas in your wiring and repair them, but we generally don’t get called in until the faulty wiring causes a serious problem.  Nobody really has the time or money to deal with these problems, so it’s better to not have to suffer through them in the first place. The best way to do that is to be aware of the electrical warning signs that your wiring might be faulty.

  1. If your wiring doesn’t work, it’s probably faulty.  Since it’s the most obvious sign, it’s also usually caught in new homes before it has a chance to become more serious, but that’s not always the case if you live in a house with previous owners, especially if only part of the wiring is faulty.  If that outlet in the living room has never worked, it’s probably the result of poor wiring.
  2. Your lights flicker.   This happens because the connections between the wires are poor or in the process of breaking down.  The flickering comes from voltage spikes as the current tries to overcome the poor connection; if you’ve read some of my previous articles, you won’t be surprised when I tell you that this can lead to arc faults and is a potential fire hazard.
  3. Your wiring is stapled on the outside of the wall.  Even if there doesn’t appear to be any damage to the wire, this still qualifies as faulty wiring.  Why?  Because wiring should NEVER be exposed on the outside of a wall; it’s subject to damage when installed like this.  If, for some reason, wiring must be outside of a wall, it MUST be placed inside a metal conduit to protect it.
  4. You smell something that smells like burning or melting plastic.  Wires that are carrying too much current or have poor connections tend to heat up.  This melts the plastic shielding all wires are coated in.  This plastic emits a toxic gas when it melts, which has a very distinct scent.  If you smell this in your home and can’t identify a source, you should call a licensed Dallas electrician IMMEDIATELY.  If discovered and dealt with quickly, this can prevent your next call from being to the fire department.
  5. Your outlets and switches feel hot to the touch.  A switch or outlet properly rated to handle the current going through it should not heat up.  If they do, it’s a sign that they may be improperly wired, or that the outlet or switch itself is faulty, and should be replaced as soon as possible.

If you suspect faulty wiring, don’t ignore these electrical warning signs! 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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Top Plano Electrician | How Arc Fault Circuit Breakers Can Save Lives And Improve Home Safety

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

As a Top Plano Electrician, I know better than anyone how powerful and useful electricity is. It also makes me more aware of what most people tend to ignore or forget: electricity is dangerous. Electricians are required by law to carry insurance, and for good reasons. Electric current is capable of starting fires and destroying your property and equipment in a matter of moments. The proper safety precautions really can save lives, and there‘s always something we can do to improve home safety.

One of the most important precautions is located in your electrical panel: the circuit breaker. It is designed to keep you from using more electricity than the wiring or receptacle can handle at one time, what we refer to as overcurrent protection. This protects your wiring from taking on too much current, which can cause the coating around your wiring to melt, the leading cause of electrical fires. Circuit breakers serve another purpose as well; not only to protect from surges coming from outside your home, but from potential hazards within it as well. Current flowing through a failed piece of equipment or appliance can cause sparks, which have the potential to start fires or damage other electrical devices. A properly functioning circuit breaker can shut off the power to this device. It’s very important, however, that you use a circuit breaker of the proper size for the circuit to ensure that your wiring is properly protected.

Circuit breakers come in specialty varieties as well; the most important are ground fault circuit breakers (GFCI), for wet locations, and arc fault circuit breakers (AFCI). AFCI’s, in particular, can help prevent some of the most common dangerous situations in your home.

I’ve dealt with plenty of cases where electrical fires have started because people ran an extension cord under the carpet, so that they can power the lamp in the center of the room. Over time, people walking over the cord stretches out the wiring, making it so thin that the current overloads the thinly stretched wire, creating an arc fault; the electricity “jumps” the wire, completing the circuit in a way the cord can’t handle and generating heat that starts a fire. Arc fault circuit breakers prevent this by shutting the circuit down when the arc fault occurs.

So what do you need to know about arc fault circuit breakers? To start with, by code AFCI’s should be installed on any circuit that isn’t protected by a GFCI or directly wired into an appliance. It’s in your best interest to have your safety devices routinely inspected to maintain their optimum performance and capabilities; in particular, your circuit breakers should be inspected at least once a year. The inspection process is quick and relatively inexpensive, and something that simple really can save the lives of you and your family.

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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Licensed Dallas Electrician Tips | Save Money By Using Solar PV, Wind Power And Power Storage

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

As a Licensed Dallas Electrician, I’ve learned (and shown you) that it’s easy to save money on your electric bill if you think ahead and put some consideration into the choices you make.  But saving money sometimes means making a trade-off. Far too often, that trade-off has been the environment.  More coal and gas power plants produce more electricity when we want it, but the price is pollution. It’s not a price we always have to pay ourselves, so we tend to ignore it. But our children aren’t going to have that luxury.  Thankfully, people are starting to really think about the effects our choices will have on our descendants. That being said, a lot of “green” initiatives are really expensive, and with the economy like it is, people are stretched too thin to really make an impact.  But what if there were ways to not only help save the environment, but save money too?

That’s the best news of all: there are ways to do exactly that. Solar PV and Wind Power have been around a very long time, but they’ve always been impractical and difficult to apply for your own use. For instance, wind farms may generate a lot of electricity, but they’re expensive, huge and mostly benefit electric companies.  Most people don’t have millions of dollars to spend on a huge windmill, after all.  But technology has improved rapidly over the last year or so, and renewable energy sources are not only finally available to individual consumers, but are quite affordable and efficient.  Anyone can now buy a solar panel or a small wind turbine with Power Storage to help power their home or office.  These power sources provide freedom from the power grid. No more outages when the rest of your neighborhood goes dark or spikes in your power bill.

Wind turbines are much better designed than they used to be.  Unlike the old models, which had motors designed to turn them into the wind, these turbines spin no matter which way the wind blows, which means they’re much more efficient and less prone to motor failures. They don’t have to be powered exclusively by natural wind either; turbines can be powered by wind coming from man-made objects. In fact, in the future you might well drive down the highway past a long line of wind turbines, spinning with the wind your car makes as you pass!

Of course, there are still a few limitations to Solar PV and Wind Power.  Despite the great advances in technology, the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. Of course, at times like these there are other options.  The energy produced by your solar panel or wind turbine can be stored in an indoor generator Power Storage unit. A quality indoor generator can help you not only be free you from outages, but can even generate extra electricity – electricity the electric company will pay YOU for!  A wide variety of these generators are available to meet your needs, but any of them can help you save money, help provide better power options for you, and leave behind a better, cleaner planet for future generations.

If you’d like more information in purchasing an indoor need a licensed Dallas Electrician.  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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Best Dallas Electrician Free Money Saving Tips | Save Energy And Lower Your Home Electric Bill

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

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.best-dallas-electrician-save-energy-tips

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?

  1. 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.
  1. 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;
    1. It means your total consumption goes down since you’re not drawing a ton of power at once for that motor,
    2. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

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Top Dallas Electricians Tips Ӏ How to Save Money, Energy and Your Life on Air Conditioning

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

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.Dallas-Electrician-air-conditioning-tips

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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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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Electrical System Protection Tips | Avoid Lightning Strike and Power Surge Damage By Top Dallas Electrician

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

Every summer, more and more homes experience outages in their electric systems. As a top Dallas Electrician, my electricians and I see the effects of these outages every day. They can be devastating, and cause a lot of damage.  In fact, the insurance industry pays out over $1 billion in damages annually in claims caused by outages and power surge damage. Most outages are caused by the weather, but there are different kinds of weather can cause an outage. This even includes weather that doesn’t produce lighting damage like the massive ice storms we saw during Super Bowl week this year that left hundreds of thousands without power (and, more importantly, without heat!) during one of the worst winter storms in years. Summer storms can produce devastating tornadoes that can knock out power for miles around the area they touch down in, and many hurricanes begin to build in the summer and early fall, causing catastrophic results even outside of the disaster zone. Hurricane Ike left over two million people without power when it hit southeast Texas in 2008, and not all of them were in the impact zone.

Not every outage comes from something as dramatic as a hurricane or tornado.  A lightning strike, even as far as half a mile away, can potentially cause damage to your delicate electrical equipment and appliances. Often, large-scale outages can occur when lightning strikes a transformer.

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Learn how to protect your home and appliances from lightning strike and power surge damage.

Outages don’t just occur because of bad weather:  many outages are caused by power equipment switching to accommodate the heavy load people put on the power grid.  Our power grid is already having trouble with its current load, and the problem only grows as more and more people use more and more electricity.  Summer in Dallas and Fort Worth is the perfect examples.  It’s when people are running their air conditioners constantly. This puts an incredible load on local and state power grids.  This leads to government agencies putting out warnings almost every summer about potential power outages, threatening brownouts and blackouts unless people conserve energy.

These outages aren’t damaging in themselves, but they leave open the possibility for electrical power surge damage.  You’ve probably noticed that when the power comes back on after an outage, it often flickers on and off quickly as the power grid attempts to get the electricity flowing back into your lines.  This stop-and-start action creates surges that can easily damage unprotected electronics or appliances.  Having a nice TV damaged like this is a very expensive hassle, and you can imagine how much more expensive and uncomfortable it could be if the surge takes out your air conditioner and refrigerator!

So, what can you do to keep power outages and power surges from affecting you?

  1. It’s extremely important that you use surge protectors on outlets with electrical equipment to help protect from the effects of outages and lightning damage.
  2. It’s also important that your electrical panel is wired correctly with a built-in surge protector at the panel, and that your wiring is up to code. Top Dallas Electricians can make sure your home or business is prepared for the effects of these outages, and that your valuables are protected.
  3. Even better, there are generator options that can allow your home and business to keep their power on even when the grid fails, avoiding the problem of outages and surges entirely!

Some of these options can even help you save money on your electric bill without the hassle of gas, fumes, or noise pollution.

For more information about a generator solution for your home or business, check out ElectricMan’s blog post on indoor generators.  When needing to know how to prevent power surge damage or electrical assistance with power 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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