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Proudly Serving the Puget Sound Area Since 1977

Spring 2014

Tips for Ensuring the Safety of Your Electrical System

Modern homeowners enjoy a lot of outstanding conveniences, such as indoor plumbing and HVAC systems. However, few can compete with the importance of your electrical system. It is this equipment and wiring that allows you to operate your furnace, power your appliances, and take advantage of interior and exterior lighting. As indispensable as a great electrical system is, it should also be treated with respect. If used improperly, electricity can create a dangerous environment within your home. We want to ensure that you are able to enjoy the convenience of electricity in your home safely. Here are a few tips from the experts on our team to help ensure that this is the case.

  • Always follow the instructions that come with any appliances or electronics. These are not suggestions. If your system cannot handle your appliances or you plug your electronics into an inappropriate outlet then you risk doing damage to your devices. You also put your own safety at risk.
  • Hire a professional to inspect your electrical system. Whether moving into a new house or building one from scratch, it is very important that you make sure your electrical system is up to code. You do not want your system to create a dangerous environment for you and your family, especially when problems could have been easily detected during a professional inspection. Homes with existing wiring and electrical systems should be evaluated as well, especially if they are old.
  • Install GFCI outlets in your home. These are required in areas where there is water around, such as in the bathroom or around your kitchen sink, as well as those receptacles located outdoors. GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets automatically interrupt the flow of electricity on the circuit if there it detects an issue.
  • Consider whole house surge protection. When most people think of surge protectors, they think of small power strips that allow you to plug numerous items into a single wall outlet. While these can be effective at protecting a few devices, they will not protect appliances and electronics plugged into other outlets, or those hard–wired into the electrical system. By having a whole house surge protection system installed by your breaker box, you can rest assured that your entire house and all of your electrical devices are protected in the event of a power surge.
  • Upgrade your breaker box if you have an old, outdated fuse box or there are any signs of damage or wear and tear on your circuit breaker. This box regulates the flow of electricity throughout your entire home. It is vital that it operates properly if you hope to use electricity safely.

Contact us to learn more about how to keep your electrical system in prime working condition. There is no circumstance under which you should handle your own electrical system. There is no problem too minor to contact a professional electrician about. This is one area where it is always best to err on the side of caution.

What you can do to save energy

As summer approaches, most homeowners are thinking of ways to save energy this cooling season. Air conditioning your home accounts for a substantial portion of your utility bills every year, but there are numerous ways you can save some money during the spring and summer months.

  • Install energy–efficient shower heads. This is a great way to save money in the long–term. Installing an efficient shower head can save you from paying for thousands of gallons of water during the lifetime of your home.
  • Replace light bulbs with CFLs. CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Light bulb. It is an energy–efficient alternative to conventional incandescent bulbs, which lose most of their energy by rapid heat dispersion. In CFLs, electricity powers argon and mercury vapors, which makes a phosphor coating glow inside the bulb, with very low heat loss. Although they cost more to purchase than standard bulbs, they use less about 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
  • Dress appropriately. Wearing cool, breathable clothing during the hot summer months can help prevent your body from overheating during the cooling season. It may also help you to depend less on the low temperature of your home. Dress the season.
  • Schedule a maintenance program. Comprehensive maintenance plans are an excellent way to save energy this cooling season. Your local cooling and heating technician will perform a full inspection of your various systems and consult with you about any necessary repairs. Replacing air filters, cleaning the internal mechanism of your AC unit as well as the ductwork can significantly improve the rate and quantity of airflow, and also keep your system in top shape.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. A thermostat communicates with your central air system to adjust the temperature to your specification. A programmable thermostat offers you to customize your indoor climate: you can set the temperature for times of the day and days of the week according to your specifications and then sit back and watch your system follow the instructions. Not only does it save you time and give you peace of mind, but it also means less rapid adjustments to the temperature, which can result in increased energy costs.
  • Upgrade to a more efficient air conditioner unit. This is obviously a much larger step, but it may help you save money in the long–run, particularly if your unit is over 10 years old or if it requires frequent repairs.