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How to Save Money on your Electricity Bill

There are thousands of ways to save money on your monthly and yearly energy bill. Most people think you have to upgrade to save money but that couldn’t be further from the truth. All you have to do is make a few minor adjustments to your electronics and appliances and you could have hundreds of dollars each year back in your pocket.

Cook Efficiently

Most people will go straight for the oven when baking but most things will do just fine in the toaster oven instead. You’ll also save more time as the toaster oven doesn’t take as long to heat up. By cooking, you’ll also warm up the area and not have to crank up the heating system as high.

Energy Star or Nothing

Energy Star uses much less energy than other appliances. This includes washers, water heaters, furnaces, refrigerators and more. You may pay more up front but the savings, in the long run, are well worth it.

Dishwasher Etiquette

Most people put everything in the dishwasher by default but this isn’t the best approach. Wash large pots and pans by hand as they take up the most space. When loading the dishwasher, make sure you pack it full and never leave space. Let your dishes air dry instead of using “heat dry.”

Use cold water to wash your clothes

Up to 90% of the energy from washing your clothes goes to heating the water. Here are some interesting stats about the impact of using hot/cold cycle to wash your clothes:

Similarly, if you wash with the hot/cold cycle (in a top loading machine and an electric water heater), you’ll end up with 2407 pounds of CO2 per year — just over a metric ton — which is equal to about one round-trip cross-country flight (6171 miles of long-haul flying).–Collin Dunn, Treehugger.com

Use a Low-Flow Shower Head

Older shower heads use 4-6 gallons of water per minute.

“The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons (65.1 liters) and lasts for 8.2 minutes at average flow rate of 2.1 gallons per minute (gpm) (7.9 lpm).”–home-water-works.org

Low-flow shower heads are easy to install and use only 1.5 gallons per minute. They range in cost so you’ll have to choose wisely to save the most money.

Utilize a Programmable Thermostat

You can save up to 10% off your utility bill with a programmable thermostat and it’s relatively easy to install. There is a sweet spot to every house so you’ll have to experiment to see what works and doesn’t work.

Insulate your Outlets and Light Switches 

Light switches and outlets can be a source of air leaks. Insulating can prevent leaks and save you money.

Add Attic Insulation 

Your attic is where most of the heat in your home escapes. Heat rises and most homes aren’t built with enough insulation to keep it from seeping out through the attic. You can save the most money by going with Fiberglass insulation and installing it yourself. You can save up to 20%-30% on heating and cooling costs by insulating your home.

Cover Your Floors

This is for people who have tile or laminate in their home as it absorbs cold air and then circulates it back through your home. A rug will retain heat and become an insulator between the floor and your house.

Use Home Window Tinting

Home window tinting is an inexpensive way to retain heat and save lots of money. Most people will change out their windows before even thinking of home window tinting. It’s a film you can apply to your windows that reflect light and also help regulate temperature and in your home. Not only will it keep your home cooler during the summer but also warmer in the winter.

Wear Layers

Winters can be especially cold in Windsor and Ft. Collins but most people enjoy the shift in weather once it hits. Wearing layers is a great way to keep warm with out spending too much on your monthly energy bills.

Switch to LED Lighting

LED lighting is all the rage. While they didn’t start out very cheap, they are more affordable than ever before. They are still more of a long term investment but they have rendered incandescent lights just about obsolete. More on LED lights..

While Incandescent lights convert 10% of energy into light, LED converts 95% of energy consumed into light. They can last up to 25 times longer than a standard light bulb and use at least 75% less energy.

Low Flow Toilets

As more and more people go green, there will be better technology to save money and energy. Low flow toilets are part of the next big wave.

Toilets can consume up to 40% of the total water used in your home. A low-flow, 1.6-gallon toilet will reduce usage and can save up to 12,000 gallons of water per year. A dual-flush toilet allows you to choose between 1-gallon flush or a 1.6-gallon flush.”

Use Electronics and Appliances Responsibly

Believe it or not, your appliances and electronics can account for 20%-30% of your household energy bill. There are simple things you can do to save money on your monthly energy bill. When going on vacation, unplug your computers, TVs, appliances and other electronics. Leaving them plugged in wastes energy. Shut off your computer when it’s no longer in use. Most people will leave them in sleep mode. Laptop computers use less electricity than desktop computers.

Choose your lighting Wisely

Not every room has to be lit up like a Christmas tree. You may not want as bright of lights in your bedroom as you would in your living room. Installing dimmers can also reduce the amount of electricity you use in each room. You could also install motion detectors so when you leave the area, the lights turn off. Also, something simple as cleaning your lights can help reduce energy costs.

Insulate and Seal your Home

Insulating and Sealing your home can make your home more comfortable and energy-efficient, ultimately saving a lot of money over the year. Some common places leaks may occur are electrical outlets, attic hatches, around pipes and wires, baseboards, window frames and mail slots.

 

Alternate Ways to Keep your home Cool

Installing a ceiling fan can help cool your home without an air conditioner. If you have an air conditioner, replacing your air filter will increase airflow and reduce friction. Set a thermostat to a good temperature and then turn it down at night when you aren’t home. Roughly 2% of the heating bill will be saved per each degree that the thermostat is lowered. Installing a programmable thermostat gives you more control over and can save you anywhere between $100-$200 per year! Make sure to lower your curtains to better insulate your room.

If you have any questions about saving money on energy or need help with repairs or installation, give us a call.  970-457-4099

How to Prevent Electrical Fires

As mentioned in our “5 Common Causes of Electrical Fires” article, According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are 28,600 electrical fires per year. These fires cause $1.1 billion in property damage and loss and are responsible for 310 deaths and 1,100 injuries each year.

We know what causes electrical fires but how do we go about preventing them? We have listed the best ways to prevent electrical fires in your home. Doing these simple things will keep you and your family safe from unexpected disasters.

Electrical Inspection

The older the home the more important it is to hire a reputable electrician to inspect the wiring. Wiring wears out over time especially aluminum wiring which is more fire-prone than copper. Having someone inspect your wiring is important. As a general rule of thumb, you should check your wiring if it’s older than 10 Yrs. If it looks worn out, frayed, or tattered, you’ll want to get it replaced immediately. One small spark can start a massive fire.

Plug and Cord Damage

Bad wiring is one of the biggest causes of electrical fires. If you see anything tattered, worn out or frayed, replace it immediately. Bad cords can overheat and/or cause sparks starting a fire in the process.

Overloading

Overloading a socket is a common cause of electrical fires. This happens when you plug in too many things into the same outlet, extension cord or power strip.  Electrical circuits can only provide so much electricity at one time. There are power strips that shut off as soon as it becomes too overloaded. 

Keep flammable materials away

Irons, hair dryers, lamps and portable space heaters can all be dangerous depending on where you keep them in your home. Blankets, towels, and rugs have all started electrical fires next to regular household appliances. Tucking extension cords and cables under your rugs can also cause excessive heat which can, in turn, start a fire.

Check appliance reviews

Not all appliances are built to last or even with the same standards. Poorly made appliances are a big part of a lot of electrical fires. Make sure you search online to see whether or not they have any complaints or are defective in any way.

Check Lightbulbs 

There are wattage and fixture requirements that most people ignore. Make sure you follow these recommendations and the light bulbs are screwed in tightly so they don’t over heat.

Circuit Breakers and Fuses

It’s best to have an electrician check the rating on the fuse for the circuit breaker they’re protecting. It should be noted that replacing a fuse with the same size you are removing is best practice. 

Upgrades

As you continue to upgrade your home with more lighting, appliances or new electronics, you could potentially overload your homes electrical service capacity.  A big clue is if your fuses frequently blow and you’ll have to increase the capacity of your electrical service or add new branch circuits.

Hire an Expert

If it seems too complicated for you to fix it’s probably dangerous for you to even try it’s time to contact a professional. There’s no reason to risk serious injury or your life to save a few dollars. It’s important to reach out to a reputable expert in the area. Having someone who is familiar with the wiring is important as they will know how to properly fix it.

What you need to know before you switch to LED lighting

We all know that LEDs are one of the best ways to start going green.

But if that doesn’t matter to you then why should you switch over? If you’re all aboard the helping the environment train, there are a few things you should know before making the switch. One of the biggest reasons to switch over is that the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) passed in 2007. It requires traditional incandescent lights to be 25% more efficient which is hard to achieve unless than brightness is lowered. Instead, manufacturers have elected to focus their efforts on more energy efficient lighting technologies.

LED lights Save you Money because they last a long time

LED lights didn’t start cheap and they aren’t as cheap as incandescent lights but they pay off over time. Think of them as a long term investment instead of an up front discount. LED lights started as high as $30-$40, which is a hard to justify paying for. They are now mostly in the $10-$15 range for a 60-Watt equivalent LED bulb. While incandescent bulbs suddenly burn out, LED lights slowly dim and burn out over time. In some cases, LED lights can last you two decades. Swapping 1 standard light bulb to LED can save you anywhere from $40-$80 over its lifetime.

LED lights use less energy

While Incandescent lights convert 10% of energy into light, LED converts 95% of energy consumed into light. They can last up to 25 times longer than a standard light bulb and use at least 75% less energy. They also emit very little heat in comparison to an incandescent light which releases about 80% of their energy from heat. This makes them much safer because they are much cooler to the touch. During the holiday season, if you use LED Christmas lights, you can expect less of a fire hazard. Believe it or not, you could use the same LED Christmas lights for up to 40 holiday seasons.

LED light bulbs come in different colors

LED bulbs produce a wide range of colors such as white, yellow, purple, and red. Depending on where you want your LED light to be will determine what color light you’ll need. The most popular LED lights are “bright white”, “soft white”, and “warm white.” If you want the nice, warm, yellow glow of an incandescent light bulb you’ll want to go with warm white and soft white. Bright white will produce light closer to daylight and what you’ll see in retail stores. The light color is measured in kelvins and the lower the Kelvin, the warmer the light.

Energy Tips that Will Save you Money

Lighting can cost you as much as 50% of your energy bill. It’s important to be mindful of turning the lights off when you leave a room or leave the home. There are quite a few other things you can do to lower your energy costs. Below, we have outlined some of the top money saving tips for lighting you can start implementing right away.

Daylighting your way to money saving

What is daylighting? It’s a way of using natural light to illuminate your home such as installing skylights. Installing skylights can add natural lighting to your home.It’s important to buy double-pane or you won’t save as much money. Light shelves are horizontal surfaces above eye-level that have high-reflectance surfaces that reflect sun onto the ceiling. A clerestory window is a higher section of the wall above eye-level that illuminates a room and also allows fresh air.

More efficient lighting

Incandescent lights are less efficient and cost more money to light your home. What are Incandescent lights? They are old-school, cheap light bulbs that emit yellowish light and can burn out suddenly. While they are cheap up front, they actually use more energy and end up costing more in the long run.

Today, more and more people are using LED or compact fluorescent lamps to save energy and light their homes.  Both can reduce energy by 50% to 75% with new advances in lighting control also helping you control your energy costs from the palm of your hand. They can also last 10 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs.

If you need help with installation or have any questions, feel free to give us a call.  970-457-4099

 

 

Remodeling a Home With Knob-and-Tube Wiring? What Should You Know?

Historic homes can offer a number of unique and aesthetically pleasing options simply not found in more modern homes—from wood trim around your doorways and staircases to built-in bookcases, pantries, and even secret passageways.

However, homes built before the 1930s or so can also boast some outdated components. From knob-and-tube wiring to lead-lined water pipes, outdated technology can limit your ability to upgrade or even replace certain appliances if not updated.

Fortunately, upgrading your home’s wiring doesn’t need to be a complicated or cost-prohibitive process. Read on to learn more about the intricacies of knob-and-tube (K&T) wiring and what you’ll need to consider when upgrading your historic home’s wiring system.

Potential Electrical Hazards That Can Occur During a Home Remodel

 

Chadwick Electric Services March Blog Post ImageWhen you remodel your home, some common electrical mistakes could result in an electrical fire if you aren’t careful. Although recent statistics published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show that electrical fires account for 9 percent of home structure fires nationwide, they account for 16 percent of home fire deaths. 


Since your home has a complex electrical system that puts you at risk, it helps to know what kinds of problems can occur during a remodel that requires electrical work. To prevent these risks, don’t do any electrical work yourself if you aren’t completely sure how to do so safely-call a qualified electrician instead.

Electric Heating Systems: What Different Types Have to Offer

Chadwick Electric Services - Onsite Blog Picture - FebruaryAre you looking to save money on your electric bills-especially when it comes to heating your home? Since electric heating options range in complexity, read below for answers to your questions about the efficiency and cost savings of the different types of electric heating systems. If you have any other questions, get in touch with an electrical contractor.

Baseboard Electric Heaters

If your home isn’t connected to a central heating system, baseboard electric heaters-which generally are installed in each room in the home-require no duct work. Although 220-volt baseboard heaters are inexpensive to buy, they can be costly to operate.

However, hardwired electric baseboard heating units cost less to operate than an electric furnace, but they need line-voltage thermostats to control the temperature. Line voltage thermostats are commonly used to power hard-wired baseboard heaters, but both the baseboard units and thermostats should be installed by a qualified electrician.

Additionally, with baseboard heaters, you can have zoned heating that can save you up to 20 percent in energy. Since you are heating individual rooms in your home-which are controlled by separate thermostats-you have the option of heating only rooms that are occupied. Zone heating is most effective when the zones operate independently and are separated from other rooms by a wall and door.

What You Should Know About Water Damage and Corrosion in Your Electrical Panel

Fuse BoxWhen you notice water dripping out of your electrical panel box, your first reaction is to panic. Water and electricity make for a dangerous combination, and although signs of moisture aren’t something you want to see, water getting into the electrical panel box is a common problem homeowner face. But it isn’t a problem you should try to fix yourself. Call an expert electrical technician to determine the extent of the damage and recommend the necessary repairs.

What to Expect During an Electrical Inspection

chadwick-electric-services-december-blog-post-imageYou may not think about the wiring in your home every time you flip a light switch or plug in an electronic device. But you rely on a safe, efficient 
electrical system to keep your home comfortable, safe, and well-lit.

When making an electrical change or trying to identify the source of an electrical issue, your first step may be to schedule an inspection.

In this blog, we list some of the most common reasons to have a residential electrical inspection and what you can expect from the inspection process.

3 Things You Need to Know About Charging Electric Cars

Imagine a long, errand-packed day. You have to drive down to Denver and back. You have to get groceries. You have to pick up your kids from school.

As you pull into your driveway, you realize your car needs fuel. But, instead of backing out and heading to the closest gas station, you plug your electric vehicle into a home charging station, go inside, and enjoy some well-earned relaxation. Electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) have many benefits, home charging stations among them.

Well-Lit: 5 Warning Signs of Faulty Light Fixtures

You rely on a variety of lighting fixtures to keep your home beautiful and useable when it’s dark outside. However, many homeowners fail to account for their light fixtures when thinking about potential electrical problems. Some property owners mistakenly believe that changing light bulbs when necessary is enough maintenance to ensure their light fixtures stay safe.

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