What happens when your lights go out? It seems like the power goes off when you have company or when you are in the shower. Are you searching in the dark for a flashlight? Utility power loss can be caused by many things such as storms, downed transmission lines or a drunk driver hitting a utility power. We’ve gotten so used to the comforts of home that we panic when we lose utility power. A power loss can cost you money. There are a few things you can do as a homeowner.
First, check your neighbors to see if they have utility power. If they do, then your power loss is unique to your house. Has the grid gone down? Are you having brown outs? Did you pay your bill? Continue reading
Energy efficiency can be achieved through several means. One way would be to cut back on energy usage. But how do you know how much energy you are using? As an electrician, I use a meter to test the amount of energy it takes to run your household appliances. But there are other ways to test energy usage in your home. Whether you are concerned about the environment you live in or you just want to save money on your utility bills, you can even do a self-test in your home – a DIY home energy audit. Here’s how.
Grab some pen and paper and take a tour of your own house! Here’s what to look for and some suggestions on how to conduct your audit. Continue reading
If you had a fire at your house, would you know what to do? October is National Fire Prevention Month. It’s a great reminder to be aware of your home, what’s in it, and do you have what you need in case of a fire. Many fire stations offer a free visit to your local fire station and give out helpful tips. It is designed to draw attention to the awareness of safety within your home or business.
Do you use extension cords in your house that runs appliances? Do you run these extension cords under a rug? You never want to overload circuits or extension cords. Do you notice a funny smell coming from that small appliance? Is the plug or cord from that appliance getting really hot? That’s a big problem. These are hints that you have overloaded that circuit and are in danger of causing a fire. If you notice any of these warning signs, Continue reading
What was your last electric bill? Has it gone up since last summer? Where do you get your electricity from – is it your utility company of from alternative energy? Whether you are concerned about the environment, want to save money or both, you are probably looking for ways to reduce your electric bill. Here are some suggestions and tips to reduce your utility bills while shrinking your carbon footprint. Continue reading
Have you ever come home from work to find a puddle on your floor from your central air conditioner? That usually means you have a clogged condensation or drain line. It stopped up with mold and algae and back-flowed into your living area. So what can you do to unstop it?
One method I have used in the past is bleach. I asked one mechanical contractor and he said he is completely against pouring bleach down the condensation or drain pipe. He said it could back up into the coil. I don’t believe that. If it was completely stopped up that might happen. But then the bleach would kill the bacteria that is building up in the drain pipe. After I poured bleach in the drain pipe, I ran water through it to make sure it flows freely. I am cleaning or rinsing out the bleach and whatever it killed. The mechanical contractor still didn’t want to use bleach. Continue reading
For a standby generator installation, there are certain procedures that your installer must follow. There are safety issues to consider. There are cost issues to consider. But the installer you hire must know what he is doing and should have been trained by that generator manufacturer.
Generator manufacturers have become fickle. They used to care about your installation and platform. Now, they don’t care who installs it as long as they make a sale. But as a homeowner, you should hire a qualified professional who is a factory trained dealer for standby generators. You wouldn’t want to void your warranty due to incorrect specifications or an incorrect installation. Would you? Continue reading
Life happens. You go to work. You spend time with the family. You do work around the house. You get busy. And when you’re busy, you have a tendency to let little things slide and you get lazy. One of the first things that seem to slide by the wayside is the home maintenance projects. The ‘honey-do’ list can wait. But some maintenance projects can’t be put off that long or they may cost you money. They become those awful, boring home maintenance projects that you want to put off as long as possible. It can wait, right? Wait another week; another month; another year.
By putting off those minor maintenance issues, your mechanical systems are not running at the peak of efficiency. Some maintenance is so simple; it seems it wouldn’t make a difference. But, it does. Let’s look at energy saving tips that are the most obvious maintenance items and are often overlooked. Continue reading
Hurricanes have plagued our country for hundreds of years. According to FEMA,
“A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. A typical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface.”
You need to know what a hurricane is so you can prepare your family before it hits your area. You would need to secure your property and make decisions as to whether you evacuate or stay and buckle down during the storm. That decision may be an emotional decision as well as a financial one. You can’t prevent a storm and you can’t outrun one. So what can you do? Continue reading
Dedicated circuits are always installed for equipment values. There are dedicated circuits in the home that are commonly used in your kitchen. Your kitchen appliances should have dedicated circuits. They are called appliances service outlets. The GFI (ground fault interrupter) in your kitchen are rated for these independent appliance service outlets. They should not be combined with a microwave or an oven either. Continue reading
Energy efficiency is everywhere. You want to save money and gas when you drive to work. That’s why people buy energy efficient cars. But the most important place is where most people miss or put off until a later date. Many people purchase energy efficient cars. But what about saving money in your house? You can reduce your ‘energy load’ in your home through conservation. You can save money in your home by reducing your energy usage.