Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Why The Services Of Certified Electricians Are Significant

What do you think of when someone says the word electrician?
Most people think of a local electrician who fixes electrical issues, comes out in an emergency and does some rewiring tasks. But electricians are much, much more than that and a good one can be a real asset to you and your home.
An electrician doesn't have to be called on just in an electrical emergency, but can be relied upon for a much wider range of services. For example - Is your current media and sound system installed with several wires and add-ons which you have added over the years? Cables, wires, computer game consoles etc are all stacked on top of each other and might be causing overloading issues? Your old electrical heaters or air conditioners might be consuming lots of electricity?
As technology, computer, media and sound systems advance in innovation; power supply and wiring system also needs to be upgraded along with lighting system? Is electrical energy going out too much on light bulbs which blow regularly or are you using the original light fittings from your 1960's built home or apartment? These are just some key areas wherein a good electrician might assist you with.
It's also good to check the impact your energy consumption has on the environment and on your quarterly bills. By talking to your local electrician you might discover that by installing new lighting system or switching to a longer lasting greener LED lights and light fittings, you can save money by reducing the amount of electricity it consumes and at the same time enabling you to reduce the carbon footprint.
If you think it's time to review the electricity and power set up in your home, it's worth reading these tips which will help you choose a reputable electrician who you can rely on:-
Reputation: Look for an electrical servicing company or electrician who has serviced your local community for a number of years. A business can survive for long with a good reputation only, so this is essentially a good indicator of a reliable outfit.
Pricing System: Ask your local electrician about their quoting and pricing process before you call them. Some electricians have hourly call out fees and you could find your final bill is a lot higher than expected. So look for a fixed price quote and guaranteed workmanship.
Certified Electricians: Check that the company you call out has all the necessary qualifications and safety certifications. This is important. Electricity is a necessity for us in the western world but still extremely dangerous and must be handled with utmost care.
Choosing an expert electrician means you can build a relationship with a company who can take care of your home and offer advice to improve the efficiency of your media, lighting, heating and cooking systems to ensure its safe and running efficiently for many years to come.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/8056163

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Reasons To Invest In a Standby Generator During Summer

Every year, millions of Americans are affected by power outages and loss of electricity. While some outages occur due to maintenance or faulty systems, majority of major electricity loss is due to severe weather. Power outages not only result in inconveniences, but also jeopardize the safety of your family as well. Majority of the time, we take the modern conveniences of refrigerated food, heating and cooling for granted. But during major storms where power could be interrupted for days if not weeks on end, an investment in a Standby Generator is worth considering.
Although generators can be purchased year round, there are certain times of the year that it is more feasible and logical to do so. Here are a few reasons to invest in a standby generator during the warmer months of the year.
Requires Professional Installation
Standby generators are sophisticated equipment that cannot be installed by your average laymen. They generally connect to other fuel supplies such as natural gas or propane and most of the time, require permitting and specialized equipment and know-how. Since these generators access underground supply lines, there is no better time than the summer months for contractors to easily dig underground. During the more frigid months, soil is harder to access and crewmen need to exert more effort to remove snow or ice. Crewmen are also more apt to work more efficiently and quickly when the weather is conducive to outdoor labor likely making the installation speedier. Standby generators, once installed, are fully automated and access underground lines once the main power has been disconnected. Some generators can even resupply your home with energy in as little as ten seconds from the time electricity has been lost. The complex installation process ensures that this is a seamless transition and that your generator will run efficiently when you need it most. Opting to purchase and install a generator during the warmer months is a smart choice.
Possible Tax Credit
Dependent on your financial situation and tax eligibility, home generators may qualify you for rebates and credits annually. Whether for a home business or residential use, the IRS has provided for some tax relief to encourage individuals to invest in generators and increase energy efficiency. Summer months are a perfect time to make a large investment as they fiscally fall about the middle of the traditional tax year. This leaves individuals a lot of time to prepare the necessary paperwork and check with your accountant or tax professional to ensure maximization of taxation credits.
When Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to more than an estimated 8 million homes on the Atlantic Seaboard for upwards of a week, standby generators were in high demand. Contractors and suppliers' schedules were booked solid for weeks, if not months at a time. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. Waiting until the last minute when storm season is upon us and generators are in high demand may mean that you aren't getting the best deal possible. Just as purchasing Winter clothes in the Summer months ensure a great deal, scheduling the install of a standby generator during the off-season months mean a better chance at scheduling and possible discounted prices or special manufacturer rebates. Hurricane season on the Eastern seaboard generally starts in late October - November. Investing in a standby generator in the Summer months mean beating the severe weather by several weeks ensuring that your generator is ready for use when your household needs it most.
Points to Consider
Standby generators are more costly than a traditional portable generator but seamlessly provide emergency backup power to your household when needed the most. Dependent on the size of the generator purchased, they can provide your entire household with all power needed, or simply power a few essentials like heating, cooling, refrigeration, medically necessary equipment and lights. All homes should consider the amount of time you could comfortably live in "emergency mode" without the common conveniences such as hot water for example. Though a standby generator is a purchase that can be considered year-round, Summer is an optimal time for investment.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7961654

Monday, June 15, 2015

3 Steps to Take When Your Electricity Doesn't Work

So you think your house is going to burn down because a receptacle isn't working? I know ...I know electricity can be a very scary thing to have to deal with. Because so many people don't understand how it works, or what to look for when things do stop working.
I do want to be clear here...yes there could be a possibility of a fire happening if a plug or parts of the electrical system stop working. The chance of it happening is slim but it is real. You see an electrical fire typically is started because of a loose connection. Basically what happens is a connection that is joining 2 or more wires together will separate slightly. When this happens arching and sparking can be a result. If there is something that is close enough to catch fire from the heat being produced you can expect to have problems.
Now again the chance of something like this happening are small...but it does happen. OK so what should you do first if you notice that something has stopped working in your home?
1) Make a note of what is being used when you notice the problem...do you have any high energy drawing appliances plugged in that are not working any longer. Some examples of these are portable heaters (probably the biggest cause of many problems) hair dryers, toasters, basically anything with a heating element on it.
2) You'll want to be sure that you didn't blow a fuse or pop a breaker. To check on this you'll want to find were ever your breaker or fuse box is located at. Typically this is in the basement or storage area. Open the door, if you have round glass fuses check to make sure that there isn't a black spot in the center of any of them. If there is then you have a blown fuse, unscrew it and replace it WITH THE SAME SIZE FUSE. If you have breakers then check to see that all of the handles are tight. When I say tight I mean that ere isn't any play at all in the breakers. If you have a popped breaker then that one handle will certainly be much looser than the rest. Turn the breaker all the way off and then back on. It should click and stay in place. If it doesn't then you probably have another hidden problem and it is probably best to call in a pro. When you screw in the glass fuse same thing if you screw it in and it flashes or you see it turn black inside then you know there is another hidden problem
3) If you have done the other two things and everything is fine so far you might have a tripped GFI. The receptacles that are not working where are they located at? Are they in the bath room, kitchen, and basement or outside? If they are then chances are you might have a tripped GFI. Have a look around your home, a GFI can feed other downstream receptacles and cause them not to work. A GFI is a plug that has 2 buttons on it. A test and reset button. If you find a GFI press the test button. If it pops then you know that one was set before. Press the reset button again and it should click and hold that button in again. If it doesn't one of two things could be wrong. The GFI might have gone bad, or there isn't any power at that plug. In either case if you are not familiar with fixing electrical problems then you will want to call in a pro at this point.
What you have done up to this point will be very valuable information for your service man. This will save him time and will save you money.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2051648

Friday, June 12, 2015

7 Ways to Reduce Your Home Electricity Bill

Always a big cost each month here are a few ways to lessen what you pay for electricity. Sure, you've probably heard some of them before today, but maybe those winter heating bills make doing something about it more urgent. And the summer air conditioning costs are just around the corner.
Electricity is a great mystery to many of us. You turn a switch - and the light comes on, or an appliance starts to work. It's amazing, and so convenient. And therefore it's easy to take for granted, especially when there is a gap in time between using the electricity and paying for it. It sort of feels free - until the bill arrives.
It's a great idea to involve everyone in your household in The Great Electricity Diet. Begin by finding out about electricity generation in your area. Where does your electricity come from? How does it get to your home? How are the delivery and kilowatt unit costs calculated?
Start today with Suggestion #1. Make a commitment and see what a difference you can make. They say that a month of doing something and it becomes a habit. Good luck!
1. Start with a household audit of your electricity usage. Get out recent electricity bills and have a look at how many units you usually use. Chart the figures to see if there are seasonal patterns. Have a look at the wheel turning in the meter box as electricity is consumed, if you have that type of meter. It's surprising how fast it moves! Take a note of the reading at the same time each day and make a chart or graph of daily kilowatts used. Do this for a week while continuing what you normally do. It's good to have this chart as a comparison for when you start to make changes.
You may get all fired up to start immediately but wait until the first audit week is over. Put the start date in the calendar and make sure everyone knows.
2. Turn it off if it's not in use. This rule alone will make a big difference. It's so easy to just leave appliances on even if we only use them for a short time each day. Microwaves use electricity even if they're not in use, just by being plugged in and turned on at the wall. The same for kettles and toasters. Then there's also the television sets and computers. Yes, it's a hassle to turn them off at the wall, but think of the dollars saved. Appoint someone to be the Switch-it-Off-Inspector to do the rounds each evening - and rotate the job each week.
3. Seal any gaps. Cold air can get into the house through very small gaps so make sure that they are found and sealed. Check around the doors and windows. Hardware stores sell tape of various sizes and thickness for a small price that will stick to window frames so windows close firmly without space for cold air to get in. Check the sealing on the fridge doors. If cold air is escaping the fridge will have to work harder and so use more electricity.
4. Change your light bulbs - and even light fittings. Light bulbs are small but there are so many of them in the house that using efficient ones will make a difference. They cost a little more but you'll make up that cost in electricity savings. Another thing to consider are the light fittings themselves. One house I lived in had ceiling lights with three light bulbs fitted. Not only did the light spread in strange directions instead of where it would be useful, but it was also three times the cost to run!
5. Insulate. Big savings can be made here. Check the hot water cylinder, the ceiling cavity, and underneath the house. Once the initial cost is over, the rewards in comfort and better health make it worthwhile. A hot water cylinder that is not insulated loses a lot of heat and adds so much cost to the bill. The small price of insulating it will soon be rewarded. (Or you could install a hot water on demand system. Keeping a tank of water hot does take a lot of electricity, even when insulated.) Above and below the house are big areas to insulate but the cost will be recouped and in the end, capital value has been added to your home.
6. Reduce the number of your appliances and time in using them. Have a look at all the electrical appliances in your home. How many appliances do you really need? Which ones could you cut back on using? So much leisure time is spent in front of something that is plugged into the wall. If everyone is committed to the idea, a night without television and computers, and instead going for a walk or playing a board game together can contribute to the power cut-down, as well as being a lot of fun. Try it at least once this month.
Open the cupboards. If there are small appliances you haven't used for some time, give them away, or sell them to someone who might use them. Make sure the money goes towards the electricity bill.
At the end of the month look at the chart you've recorded of the daily meter readings and see if you've been able to make a difference. Congratulate yourselves. But keep going. Find other ways to save. You may even be ready to consider generating your own electricity. Which brings us to the final suggestion.
7. Install solar panels on the roof. Imagine that instead of reducing your electricity bill, you were able to almost totally annihilate it! Tiny, little electricity bills. Or even gone! And then maybe even sell your surplus summer electricity back to the companies you used to buy from! And all while making use of a powerful energy source that is available to all of us free - the sun. Photovoltaic cells convert light energy into electricity, available for use in your home. Installing solar panels used to be out of the reach financially for most people, but the technology has improved and costs have fallen to the extent that it's really worth doing.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3896516

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Electricians - What Their Work Includes

Electricians do a variety of work in the home and in commercial premises to ensure the electrical installation operates efficiently and to the correct building regulations. Electricians also operate to the right British Standards.
Testing & Certification
Electricians must make sure that electrical installations are safe in the home or commercial premises. Electrical testing should be completed by a qualified electrician at specified periods and is dependent on the type of property being tested. Electricians will check for any deterioration and also on any new work, which is required to bring the installation up to current standards.
Electricians should test and certify electrical work in accordance with the British Standard BS7671. As with any British Standard BS7671:2001 is being always updated to ensure the electrical safety of your property. Electricians will also inform you of any other British Standards which are applicable to your electrical installation. Work carried out by electricians should only be done in accordance with the appropriate regulations.
Electricians are continually trained on the latest regulations which impact on both domestic and commercial properties. Various training centres are available throughout the UK to support electricians with new regulations for testing and certification and other electrical requirements. Certificates provided by the electricians will be from one of the awarding bodies such as the NICEIC, ECA, Elecsa, Napit or Select depending on the electricians choice.
Rewires & Wiring
Many home owners take electricity for granted. With older properties the wiring may need to be replaced by a competent electrician. It is easy to forget over time the cabling in a property becomes outdated and for safety reasons will need to be replaced. So electricians do rewiring predominantly for safety reasons because old wiring can cause fires and electrical shocks. Here are some reasons why you may need a rewire:
  • You currently have switches in the bathroom
  • There are sockets on the skirting
  • Green residue is found on the wiring
  • Wiring is covered in cotton
  • Rubber cables are black
  • The sockets are the round pin variety
Electricians offer lots of support with rewiring to ensure that you get the right solution. Electricians provide domestic electrical reports to show you the current state of the electrics in your property. This will show you any potential electrical problems. Electricians recommend that this check is performed at least every 10 years.
Fuesbox / Fuseboard Upgrades
Electricians should also offer fuseboard upgrades to further enhance the safety of your electrics. New fuseboards offer different electrical safety devises including RCD's, MCB's and RCBO's. As part of an upgrade to wiring new properties new fuseboards are often offered to enhance the safety of your property. In addition to these services electricians also do the wiring to new build properties, extensions, & conservatories. Any electrical work electricians perform in these areas will be tested and certified by qualified electricians. Again this certification will uphold the requirements of the British Safety Standard BS7671:2001.
Lighting Installations
Lights should be installed by an electrician in most circumstances in the home and also in commercial properties. No only can people enhance the surroundings and interior of their property with carefully designed interior lighting, but electricians can also advise on how to save energy and money with the right energy saving fittings. Lighting is great for security also and electricians will offer solutions for security lighting. Many people also want to have lighting which improves the outdoor appearance of their property. Garden or any other outdoor lighting can be installed by electricians.
Electricians will use their extensive experience in domestic lighting to provide a solution that is right for your home. Electricians will plan the lighting installation with you and complete any installation and testing required.
Security System Installations
Home and commercial security systems can be designed by electricians to suit the requirement of the property. The specification can vary greatly in costs and also the complexity of the installation. Experienced and qualified electricians can provide a solution that will fit with your requirements and personal needs.
Even the most basic of intruder alarms can assist your security, however more expensive intruder alarm systems installed by electricians will offer more opportunities. You can have fully monitored alarm systems, which offer an even greater deterrent to burglars. Monitored alarms have the ability to contact the Police, when a break-in has occurred and also offer fire safety options in some circumstances.
Electricians also install door entry systems, much like the ones you see in hotels and student accommodation. These systems can also have audio and/ or audio plus CCTV additions if required. Electricians will design a system to fit with your domestic or commercial premises and can be integrated with alarm systems. Electricians also combine these solutions with outdoor lighting to offer greater security.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6546893