Posts made in November, 2015

What is the Purpose of Preventive Electrical Maintenance?

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Blogs, Electrical Maintenance | Comments Off on What is the Purpose of Preventive Electrical Maintenance?

What is the Purpose of Preventive Electrical Maintenance?

Electrical maintenance, whether in your home or in a commercial or industrial setting, is often a grudge purchase. It is something you would rather not be spending money on (like insurance), and you may even wonder if you couldn’t just skip it altogether.

While it may be tempting to save a little on your budget now, there are many reasons not to skip the preventive electrical maintenance on your business premises.

Electrical Failure is Cumulative and Preventable

The electrical systems in your home or commercial building are a lot like those in your body. Even if you eat all the wrong things and follow an unhealthy lifestyle, you will still get some service out of your body. Eventually, however, things will start to go wrong, and once one thing goes wrong, everything tends to go wrong at the same time and you wind up in the emergency room.

Your electrical system is the same way. Little things like loose connections, less-than-perfect wiring and aging outlets probably won’t make themselves felt immediately, and it’s possible to go years without anything failing spectacularly. However, when things do start going wrong with electrical systems (and they will, eventually), they tend to go very wrong, and the results can be costly or even deadly.

Electrical systems all wear out over time. Parts and wiring wear out, and breakers and boards need to be upgraded to deal with increased loads. It is a small price to pay to do this regularly before issues add up than to deal with the fallout when it does become a problem. Because eventually, an electrical system that has not had proper electrical maintenance will become a problem.

Major Expense and Danger Caused By Improper Electrical Maintenance

A regular preventative maintenance schedule will ensure that common problems and causes of failure in electrical systems, including faulty wiring, loose connections, overloading and damaged equipment are identified and addressed before they can cause major problems.

All of those common problems can cause fires, serious injuries or even death, and they can result in losses of tens of thousands of dollars, or even more. Worse still, if you have not followed your electrical service schedule, you may find that you are legally liable for damages caused by faulty electrical systems.

What to Expect From Preventative Electrical Maintenance

When you commit to a preventative electrical maintenance program, you might be wondering what to expect. The process is actually fairly quick, easy and painless.

The company you contact to arrange a preventive maintenance visit should send out a qualified electrical technician to carry out an inspection of your electrical. They will have a checklist of items that they will inspect to ensure that everything is up to code and working correctly. Most good companies will also have some commonly-used spare parts on hand to make minor repairs. If the company that is doing the preventive maintenance visit notices something large that needs to be repaired, they will also be able to provide you with a quotation for the work that needs to be done.

Makes Financial Sense

The simple fact is that preventive electrical maintenance by a reputable company will cost you a fraction of what the repairs, damage or legal issues that neglecting maintenance will cost you, and it just makes sense to start maintaining your electric sooner rather than later. It’s an insurance policy for your electrical system.

If you need to set up regular electrical maintenance for your business, Static Electric can provide you with a free consultation geared towards keeping you compliant with the regulations.

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Buying a New Home? Electrical Must-Haves to Keep in Mind

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in Blogs, Residential Electrical | Comments Off on Buying a New Home? Electrical Must-Haves to Keep in Mind

Buying a New Home? Electrical Must-Haves to Keep in Mind

If you are a new homebuyer, particularly if you are going to be involved in the design and construction process, then you really do have an opportunity to get exactly what you want and build the home of your dreams.

While you may be excited by finishes and enchanted by fixtures, don’t forget to spend a little time considering the less visible, less sexy elements of your new home. Like the plumbing and electrical. You might not think about it as much as you do designer cabinets and glorious granite countertops, but you will be glad you took the time later on!

While we can’t give you any advice about plumbing or countertops, here is our list of important must haves for your new construction electrical:

  1. A bigger panel than you think you will need. At some point in your home’s lifespan, you or someone else will want to add on or expand something, and that will require a bigger panel. Do not go for the minimum. Build in some room to grow.
  2. Aim to have two outlets on each large expanse of wall, particularly those where you know you will be positioning electronics.
  3. Pre wired audio. Although not a must have, pre-wiring audio for a media room and to other rooms in your new house can save a lot of time and money later on, and will look much better than most after the fact home installs.
  4. A hard-wired smoke / carbon monoxide sensor system. These are great because you will never forget to change the batteries!
  5. A well thought out lighting design, including allowance for energy efficient lighting. Make sure that all of the fittings you choose for your lighting designs are compatible with the latest CFL and LED lightbulbs, since they are a big cost saver!
  6. A backup power supply, whether it is a generator, invertors or a solar or wind power system, it is always great to have an alternative source of power when there is a blackout.
  7. A garage door and or gate operator. They may not be absolutely essential, but they can make life a lot easier, and easy is never a bad thing!
  8. A smart home system. Tracking, managing and monitoring your home from afar is now easier than ever, and new smart home systems are surprisingly affordable.
  9. A home security system. Again, these are much cheaper these days, and cameras, intercoms and even locks are accessible from smart phone apps, depending on what type of system you choose.
  10. Outdoor electrical, including power for a pool filtration system, or the ability to add one later on.

You might not need all of those things in your new home, but if there are any that seem to be important, it’s worth talking to your electrical contractor sooner rather than later. It is always easier and cheaper to install electrical or make provision for future installation before construction is finished than to add them later.

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California Project Gets Recognition for Energy Conservation

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Blogs | Comments Off on California Project Gets Recognition for Energy Conservation

California Project Gets Recognition for Energy Conservation

When most people think about energy conservation, they are probably not thinking about a seventy-year-old luxury resort and spa in one of the country’s most sought after tourist destinations. However, the recent recognition of Granlibakken in Lake Tahoe, California, by the US Department of Energy proves that those are exactly the sort of places that can make a difference.

In fact, with a projected reduction of over 40% in power consumption, Granlibakken is not just a flagship project for Placer County, and its first successful mPOWER funded project, it is an example for the entire country of how any building can improve energy conservation and increase energy savings.

How Did They Do It?

Increasing energy savings by 40% would be difficult for most homeowners, but for a commercial building operating year round with aging infrastructure, that is almost unheard of.

The projected reduction is all thanks to smart upgrades and retrofits, among which are:

  • Kitchen equipment, including extractor hoods and refrigerators being swapped for newer, more efficient models.
  • HVAC control upgrades.
  • Improved building management systems.

By making these changes, the facility anticipates that they will cut their power consumption by over $40,000 in 2015, bringing their annual bill down from over $100,000 per annum to just over $60,000 this year. That is a massive saving by any measure!

Making Big Change Possible

The Granlibakken success story is a part of a bigger, national initiative called the Better Buildings Challenge, and was financed by mPOWER, which finances energy efficient upgrades for businesses in the area upfront, which means there is no need for capital investment.

The payment plan for the $676,000 upgrade at the resort will be offset by the energy savings enjoyed by the facility, and the investment has had an added benefit in that it has created local jobs and stimulated the local economy. The project has required local businesses to supply materials and equipment as well as labor and skills to complete the massive retrofit, and that is good for a small community like Lake Tahoe, whether directly or indirectly.

Placer County is just one of the 250 organizations who have partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy to create energy efficient buildings as a part of the Better Buildings campaign, and with a commitment to improve energy efficiency by 20% across millions of square feet of building space, there will be a significant benefit over time.

Energy Conservation Helps Everyone

Of course, we are not all looking to do hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of infrastructure upgrades to improve our energy consumption. However, under the Better Buildings Challenge and other programs, the U.S. Department of Energy does offer funding, rebates and incentives to improve energy efficiency in homes and commercial buildings.

So whether you’re looking for a residential electrical contractor to take your home partially off grid, or someone to overhaul the equipment in use at your commercial or industrial facility, it’s worth finding out what you might be eligible for. Because even if we do not win awards for saving power, the environmental and financial rewards are significant.

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Fall Home Upgrades for Cost-Conscious Homeowners

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Blogs, Energy Savings, Residential Electrical | Comments Off on Fall Home Upgrades for Cost-Conscious Homeowners

Fall Home Upgrades for Cost-Conscious Homeowners

Fall in Florida is not really what you would experience elsewhere in the country. We are lucky that we have beach weather pretty much year round, and we are definitely not pining for fall leaves down here!

However, with hurricane season coming to an end, the calmer, slightly cooler days of a Floridian fall are also the perfect time to do some timely and cost saving home maintenance, and here are our top recommendations if you’re looking to do some home upgrades:

  • Give your kitchen a facelift. Paint or stain cabinets a new color and add new hardware for an instant upgrade. Dated ceramic tile can also be updated with a coat of paint.
  • Revive tired exterior wood with stains or sealing products. Decks in particular can take a beating in the Florida climate, and need regular application of protective products to keep looking their best.
  • Blackout-proof your home. Add a home standby generator and make sure that the next time there is a big storm; your lights are the ones that stay on!
  • If you don’t want to install a generator that can run your whole house right now, consider installing Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS’s) to safeguard sensitive equipment like computers and TVs. Not only can they give you time to power down safely when the power goes out, but they can also help to protect equipment from power spikes and surges.
  • Switch out old incandescent lightbulbs for new CFLs or LEDs and get all the electrical cost savings that come along with that!
  • Consider backup solar or wind power instead of a generator. Florida is the sunshine state. Might as well make the most of that! A solar water heater can also save you plenty of dollars over time!
  • Refinish your floor. Wooden floors can become worn and damaged over time. If yours is looking tired, you can hire a floor sander and give it a new lease on life in a weekend!
  • Add solar outdoor lighting for your yard, and get more use of the yard during fall and winter.
  • Paint interiors and exteriors. Nothing refreshes your home as much as a lick of paint, and the slightly cooler fall weather is the perfect time to update the color palette of your home.
  • Consider applying window film. You can buy window film for DIY application, and they offer savings on cooling and climate control as well as security features, which makes them a great, easy upgrade.
  • Update your indoor spaces by investing in new throw rugs. Aside from paint, this is one of the cheapest, quickest and easiest upgrades you can do to any room in your home.

Whether you make home upgrades to save on power or to stay ahead of home maintenance, fall is the perfect time to do them, even in Florida. Once they are done, you can sit back with your feet up, and enjoy the sunshine.

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