Posts made in October, 2014

How to Get Electrical Energy Savings Through Small Habit Changes

Posted by on Oct 25, 2014 in Blogs, Energy Savings | Comments Off on How to Get Electrical Energy Savings Through Small Habit Changes

How to Get Electrical Energy Savings Through Small Habit Changes

With electrical energy costs rising every year, it makes sense to do what you can to limit the power your household is using. While updating an entire house can significantly lower your energy usage, smaller changes can add up to surprisingly large savings. Contract a professional electrical contractor to come up with a plan for small, gradual changes to make on your home. An experienced electrician can alert you to spots where you’re wasting power as well as newer technology to waste older, power-hungry versions you already have installed. Any one of these changes can result in enough electrical energy savings to lower your monthly power bill, and combining a few could end up saving you hundreds of dollars every year.

Save on Heating and Cooling

Your HVAC system is one of the biggest energy users in your home, giving you lots of leeway in which to save money. Even small changes in your habits can add up to large electrical energy savings every month. It’s common knowledge that you should set your thermostat around 72 degrees F in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer. This is the average good compromise between comfort and energy savings. That’s a great idea, but what about the times you aren’t even in the house or actively using the space? When the whole family goes to school and work, there’s no sense in keeping your living space at an optimal temperature. The same goes for winter nights, when everyone is snuggled under blankets. Changing the indoor temperature during these down times is a great idea, but who can remember to do it every day? When your electrical contractor installs a programmable thermostat, you can set the ideal temperatures for multiple times each day, and it will automatically change the temperature for you. No more having to remember changes every morning and night.

Save on Electric Lights

Electric lights are, in most homes, the biggest drain on the electrical budget. They’re everywhere, in every room, and it’s easy to forget to turn them off. This can add up to double-digit wastage every single month. The best way to combat this problem is to have your electrician install a programmable light timer. Find ones that work on multiple lights, and set them to go off when you know the house is empty. If you have an outdoor light for security reasons, set a timer there to go off after a few hours, or install a motion sensor for even more savings.

Turning the light off will save you money, but you’ll find even more electrical energy savings when the lights themselves save you money, even when they’re on. According to Energy Star, if every home in the country replaced one bulb with a more efficient one, we’d collectively save about $600 million in energy costs each year. LED light bulbs might seem pricey at first, but considering the fact that they use a fraction of the power compared to traditional bulbs, plus they last for years, they’re really a power bargain.

Save on Electric Appliances

Even the most frugal person can miss out on savings by skipping a trick or two. One way to catch every spot you miss to get the biggest savings possible is by having your electrical contractor install an electrical usage monitor. This device checks where the electricity is going in your home and how much of it is wasted. The programmable system will check:

  • Energy vampires, those appliances that suck power even when they’re turned off
  • Large appliances such as refrigerators and space heaters that use more power than they should
  • Random lights that are constantly left on when they shouldn’t be
  • Sudden periods of higher than average usage, which can indicate wasteful behavior or changes in your electrical usage

Once the system is installed, a quick check once a day will tell you where your power is going, and what items you can change in order to save even more money.

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4 Signs You Need a Commercial Electrical Technician

Posted by on Oct 18, 2014 in Blogs, Commercial Electrical | Comments Off on 4 Signs You Need a Commercial Electrical Technician

4 Signs You Need a Commercial Electrical Technician

Most business people try to avoid calling in service people for as long as possible to avoid that hit on the bottom line. For some parts of your business, such as landscaping or décor, this makes perfect sense. When it comes to electrical problems, though, putting off repairs can endanger your customers and employees as well as cause significant risk of fire. Not every glitch in your circuit breaker is reason to call a commercial electrical provider, but if you’re having significant issues with these clues, it’s time to call a pro. You’ll save money in the long run, because equipment in good shape lasts longer, plus you’ll have peace of mind knowing your business is safe from electrical fires.

#1: Lightning Protection

Businesses in Florida are especially vulnerable to fires from lightning strikes, as this is the lightning capitol of the country. If your business is lacking lightning protection technology, your first priority should be to call and have a system installed. If you’re thinking of unattractive tall lightning rods of the past, don’t worry about it. Today’s lightning protection comes in the form of air terminals, short poles usually measuring about 12 inches high, that unobtrusively blend in with your roof line. A commercial electrical professional can plan the right system of air terminals for your building’s height and square footage, and will install the system so that it won’t detract from the looks of your building. Once you have a lightning protection system in place, call your commercial insurance agent. Most companies give a discount on their premiums when lightning safety systems are installed.

#2: Electrical Outlets

Electrical outlets are so common that it’s easy to think they’ll last forever. Like any other piece of equipment in your building, though, they wear out and break down eventually. Some signs of outlet wear are simple indications that they need to be updated to accommodate more modern usage. Some other signs are clues that there is actually electrical problems in your wiring, and have to be taken care of immediately. In either case, it’s best to contact a professional to get an opinion on your particular situation. These include:

  • Loose outlets
  • Warm outlets
  • Brown spots around switches
  • Noisy switches
  • Sparks when a switch is turned on or off
  • Outlet plugs with two prongs instead of three

#3: Other Clues

Outlets and switches may be a major source of electrical problems that crop up in your business, but troubles can show up anywhere you’ve got wiring. If your lights dim when the air conditioning or heat pump switch on, this can be a sign of inadequate wiring. If you constantly get shocked when you touch an appliance, you need to have the area inspected. Frayed wiring, loose switch plates, a fuse box instead of a circuit breaker, and even the smell of burning can be a clue that you need to contact a commercial electrical technician to have him inspect your electrical system.

#4: Possible Fixes

Calling for electrical repair doesn’t necessarily mean ordering a complete redo on your electrical system. You may only need to have one or two outlets or switches replaced. You and your electrical professional may decide to have your circuit breaker updated to handle a growing load, or you may need the wiring tested throughout your building. The key is to have a professional look at the problem so you can make a decision that’s right for both your safety and your business’s bottom line.

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Get Your Electrical Contractor to Install Vital Safety and Security Measures

Posted by on Oct 11, 2014 in Blogs, Electrical Contractors, Residential Services | Comments Off on Get Your Electrical Contractor to Install Vital Safety and Security Measures

Get Your Electrical Contractor to Install Vital Safety and Security Measures

In order for your home or business to be usable, it not only needs to be beautiful but also safe and secure. An electrical contractor is your go-to person when it comes to renovating a house or installing wiring on a new business, but that’s not all he can do for you. An electrician can advise you about safety and security additions you can use in your home, as well as installing them once you decide on a project. Homes and businesses may have different purposes, but in many ways their security and safety needs are very similar.

GFI Sockets

Unregulated electrical current can pose a danger to curious small children as well as employees in a commercial kitchen. When a person is being shocked, it’s the continued effect of the electric current that does real damage to their health. A GFI or Ground Fault Interruptor, is designed to stop the electrical current running to a particular outlet if there is an abnormal diversion of the current. If anything untoward happens while the outlet is in use, a circuit breaker built into the outlet immediately cuts off the power, preventing further injury. GFI outlets are especially common in places where water is present such as bathrooms and kitchens in the home, as well as commercial kitchens and restrooms in businesses of all types.

Emergency Lights

Emergency lighting is the smallest and least expensive form of lighting in case of a power outage, but it provides enough illumination to get yourself and others around you outside safely without running into sharp furniture corners or hot commercial ovens. Emergency light sets are installed over doorways and contain rechargeable batteries connected to a power source. Passive until the power goes out, they then turn themselves on, showing the way to every exit in the room. All emergency exit lights have a lighted face, but many of them also include small spotlights to add further illumination to the room. These lights are mandatory in almost all businesses, but can be installed in homes, as well.


A good percentage of the theft in businesses and homes happens after dark. Thieves feel safer burglarizing buildings when it’s more difficult for people to see them. One of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to light up the outside of your building to make it much easier for people to spot anything illegal that may be happening. Floodlights can be installed in a number of different locations, depending on the landscaping on your property:

  • On top of a tall pole
  • On the corners of the building
  • Hidden in shrubbery
  • Attached to sturdy tree branches

Of the two basic types of floodlights, most businesses choose a permanent light, one that runs all night long and is set on a timer. Many homeowners opt for the other type, one that has a motion sensor. The light doesn’t work if nothing is in the yard, but if the motion sensor detects anything moving around on the property, the bright lights will come on, shining on whatever is moving outside.

Alarm Systems

Burglar alarms are the most common basic defense against breaking and entering. In order for an alarm system to work correctly, a licensed professional such as an electrical contractor should do the installation. Most home alarms are connected to entrances such as doors and windows, especially those on the first floor. Alarms on the second floor are less common, but can be installed for additional protection. Businesses install alarms on all doors and windows, and some businesses invest in additional motion sensor technology, especially in the case of stores with valuable merchandise on display. Most alarm systems will sound some sort of noise or warning when they are set off, and all of them should be connected to a phone line so that an automated message can be sent to the police or alarm monitoring company.

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Your Business Needs a Generator 20 KW or Larger

Posted by on Oct 4, 2014 in Blogs, Commercial Electrical, Generators | Comments Off on Your Business Needs a Generator 20 KW or Larger

Your Business Needs a Generator 20 KW or Larger

If your business is in the Northeast, you probably remember the 2003 Blackout that affected 7 large states, plus the province of Ontario, Canada? Even if you weren’t in the affected region, the stories of gas lines and closed businesses stand as an object lesson for yourself and every business owner. Power outages happen, and when they do your business will shut down unless you have an alternate power source.

If you’re in any kind of service industry and keep your power on, a blackout can be one of the most lucrative times of the year. Restaurants, carryout establishments, corner stores with emergency supplies, and gas stations are just some of the businesses offering essential services when no one else in the neighborhood has power in their homes.

Ensuring your power stays on when others don’t can be one of the smartest business decisions you can make. Generators have gotten less expensive in the last two decades, but they’re still an investment. Most businesses will need a generator 20 KW or larger. Here’s how to tell the size of backup system you need.

Essential Equipment and Systems

Your first step is to identify systems and equipment that are essential for your business in order to keep operating. Most places will need:

  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
  • Major restaurant appliances such as freezers and ovens
  • Computers and other office equipment
  • Sump pumps and well water pumps
  • Lights and alarms


Almost all alternate power sources run on natural gas or diesel fuel. Each system has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the size of your generator, the part of the country in which you live and work, and your building’s specifications. Speak with a utility company representative to get input on each type of system.

Building Codes and Requirements

Before having a permanent backup generator installed, check with your building owner if you’re leasing the business. He may have concerns about having a permanent installation on his property. If you own your business, look into city property laws dealing with hazardous materials and emergency power equipment. Find out all pertinent building codes to ensure you’re compliant after the work is done. Some cities may regulate the use of manual or automatic transfer switches, or they may have concerns about the means for manual disconnection in case of utility company workers trying to restore power. Check with your electric company for electrical codes and safety guidelines before beginning installation.

Making a Decision

Armed with all this information, contact a licensed electrical contractor. He will work with you to determine the size of backup generator you need to keep your business operating during a prolonged blackout. Once you’ve decided on a generator and installation plan, your contractor will safely install the appliance, making sure it’s safe and up to code with both local and national regulations.

Every emergency is different, and in Florida and other east coast states there may be times when evacuating is a smarter decision than staying home and keeping your business open. But for times when it’s safe to stay but you’re dealing with a prolonged power outage, the convenience of having a backup generator 20 KW or larger as an alternate power source will prove that it’s a good investment for your business.

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