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Dedicated circuit in Fort Collins and Windsor

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Dedicated Circuits in Your Fort Collins Home

Are you noticing an increase in how often your circuit breaker trips? Or maybe you’ve installed a new appliance and it keeps tripping its breaker. If either of those is the case, you may need to install or replace a dedicated circuit for your Fort Collins home.

What is a dedicated circuit?

A dedicated circuit is one with its own breaker for use with a single appliance. It’s separate from the main electrical circuit to prevent large appliances from overloading the circuits to which they’re connected.

The National Electrical Code requires that every critical-use appliance has its own dedicated circuit. However, for the most protection from overload, you should have dedicated circuits for every large appliance. These are generally appliances that use more than 20 amps of electricity.

Which appliances need dedicated circuits?

It’s important that you know how much electricity your appliances are using before you install them. Most larger appliances use at least 20 amps of power and most critical-use appliances will use 30 amps of power (water heaters, furnaces, central air units). Therefore, you should install a dedicated circuit before you have a problem.

These are the appliances that usually need a dedicated circuit:

  • Refrigerators
  • Electric ranges
  • Ovens
  • Freezers
  • Garbage disposals
  • Microwaves
  • Dishwashers
  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Water heaters
  • Furnaces
  • Heating and air conditioning units
  • Garage door openers
  • Sump pumps
  • Water pumps
  • Whirlpools, Jacuzzis, hot tubs, saunas

Upgrade your circuit breaker

Many older homes need to update their electrical wiring and install more dedicated circuits to handle modern appliances. You’ll know your home doesn’t have enough dedicated circuits if the circuit breaker is constantly tripping. If you don’t update your system, you run the risk of overloading your circuits enough to cause an electrical fire in your home

Chadwick Services offers free inspections. Take advantage of our professional services to upgrade your system. Call us today 970-457-4099.

Chadwick Services space heater

Space Heater Tips for the Winter

If you’re interested in reducing the costs associated with central heat, a space heater may be perfect for your Fort Collins home. By using a strategy called “zone heating,” you can turn your most-used rooms into comfortable spaces and reduce your thermostat. This reduces the amount of energy your home uses. However, you should know how to buy and use your space heater safely. We suggest that you call Chadwick Services to inspect your electrical system before plugging it in.

Before you buy your space heater

First, know how much space you’re heating. Indoor space heaters are measured by watts. Buying a heater that emits too much wattage may result in higher energy bills. Meanwhile, too little wattage won’t heat your space and may overheat. According to Sylvan, a general rule of thumb, “roughly 10 watts of heating power for every square foot of floor area in the room.”

For safety reasons, make sure the unit you’re looking at is Safety Certified by a company like UL, which independently tests for safety. Also, ensure the cord is heavy duty and long enough to reach the outlet. You can also buy units with safety features like tip-over, overheat, and touch protection.

Before you turn it on

When you get home, check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they’re functioning properly. Next, don’t place your space heater on any furniture and keep it at least three feet away from combustible furniture. This includes beds, sofas, window treatments, rugs, etc.

Keep the space heater away from water and establish a child and pet-free zone. Enforce the zone at all times and don’t allow anyone to operate the heater without proper training.

Make sure the space heater is securely plugged directly into the unit. You increase your chance of fires by using an extension cord or by running the unit’s cord under a rug. Regularly inspect the cord to make sure it’s not frayed, cracked, or broken.

Regular safety maintenance

In addition to checking the cord, make sure you turn your space heater off every time you leave the bed or go to bed. Don’t leave a space heater on overnight or when you’re not monitoring it. Some units come with a timer that will allow you to control when it’s on or off, but it’s a good idea to make sure it turns off.

As we discussed before, perform regular maintenance on your smoke and CO detectors.

Types of space heaters:

Now that you know how to use your space heater safely, here are the types you will likely choose from. A word of caution: never use a gas-powered heater indoors. Those should only be used in well-ventilated spaces.

Oil-filled space heaters are great for small rooms or for personal use. They’re usually portable and come with handles and wheels to move from room to room. The oil inside never needs to be replaced and they’re silent because they don’t use fans.

Ceramic space heaters are among the most common and use fan-forced air. They’re compact and are ideal for areas up to 150-square-feet.

Infrared space heaters are generally the most energy efficient. They’re great for personal use because they produce heat quickly and without a fan.

While you shouldn’t use these types of space heaters to heat your entire home or treat them as a long-term heating solution, they can be very useful and efficient in the winter months.

Inspect your wiring before installing a space heater by calling Chadwick Electric Services today.

Bathroom Exhaust Fans 101

One of the most important–yet often neglected–parts of your bathroom is the exhaust fan. Unfortunately, because it’s usually out of sight, out of mind, it’s hard to know whether your exhaust fan is really doing its job. We have a few tips to share so you can know that yours is the right one for your home.

What is an exhaust fan?

While this may seem like a silly question, most people don’t know how their fan actually works. This isn’t a surprise since most of its parts are invisible. However, you should be informed of at least its basic functions. This will allow you to choose the correct fan for your bathroom.

The fan ventilates the hot, humid air out of your bathroom through a duct that typically runs through the ceiling and releases air to the outside. It’s also useful for removing odors, dust, and allergens. But its most important job is making sure that mold and mildew don’t grow. An unventilated bathroom is the perfect breeding ground for mold spores to spread. Too much moisture can also damage your walls and ceiling, which is why exhaust fans are so important.

Do I have the right fan for my bathroom?

Exhaust fans are rated by their airflow capacity, is measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. A good rule of thumb for proper CFM for your room is at least one per square foot. We say at least because you want to make sure that you have more than you need. For example, if you have a bathroom with 66 square feet, you want a CFM rating of 70 to ensure proper ventilation.

For larger bathrooms, you may need more specific measurements, though. If your bathroom is larger than 100 sq. ft., you should measure by the number and type of fixtures you have:

  • Toilets need 50 CFM
  • Showers need 50 CFM
  • Jetted tubs need 100 CFM
  • Bathtubs need 50 CFM

So if you have a bathtub, a shower, and a toilet (in the same room), you need a fan with at least 150 CFM. Additionally, if you have a separate room for your shower or toilet, a 50 CFM fan should suffice for that area.

For bathrooms with ceilings higher than eight feet, you should take the ceiling’s height into consideration. The standard way to determine what CFM you need for high ceilings is as follows: Multiply the room’s square footage by the ceiling height. Divide that number by 6o (since the rate is per minute), then multiply by 8, which is the recommended number of air exchanges per hour. Round up for the correct CFM. Here’s an example of a room that measures 110 sq. ft. with a 9-foot ceiling:

  • 110 X 9 = 990
  • 990 / 60 = 16.5
  • 16.5 X 8 = 132
  • Rounded up = 140 CFM needed

How do I know mine is working properly?

There are a few signs that let you know if you need to repair or replace your current exhaust fan. If you hear vibrating noises that keep getting louder, that a good sign that you need some repairs. If the fan randomly stops running when you don’t turn it off or it doesn’t turn on at all, you may need to replace it.

Do I need an electrician to install or replace my exhaust fan?

Generally, you need at least an HVAC specialist to ensure the fan will ventilate properly and not cause more moisture problems. However, hiring an electrician is a good idea, especially if you’re installing a brand new fan where there wasn’t one before. The reason is that you will need additional wiring to separate your light wiring from the wiring you need for the fan. It’s not recommended that you tackle this yourself, so give us a call and we’ll make sure your wiring is up to code. For assistance with your exhaust fan in Fort Collins or Windsor, contact us today.

7 Reasons to Update Your Outdoor Lighting

In Colorado, we’re lucky to have some of the most comfortable weather year-round to enjoy the great outdoors. If you’re able to have a great backyard, you want to make sure you can spend time outside whenever you want, which is why it’s a good idea to ensure your outdoor lighting in Fort Collins and Windsor meets all your needs.

How you know you need to update and add to your current lighting:

  1. Do you have beautiful trees or statues in your landscaping that just disappear at night? That’s really unfortunate because you should be showing off the outdoor elements that personalize your exterior. Use uplighting to highlight trees, large shrubs or statues. Conversely, any paths should be downlit. To best complement your focal points, light man-made objects with a golden hue, while plants should be bathed in blue light.
  2. Are your pathways are hard to see? People should be able to comfortably navigate your landscaping, which means you may need to install a series of lights along any pathways. However, make sure the lights act as subtle hints. You don’t need to create a ballpark or airplane landing for people to understand where the path is leading them.
  3. Does your water feature gets lost at night? Whether you have a fountain, a pond, a pool, or a waterfall, you want to be able to bring attention to in a subtle manner. Waterproof lights are great for fountains and to peek out from under waterfalls. String lights reflect well off of pools and soft downlighting is a beautiful choice for ponds or waterfalls.
  4. What’s the use of having a living or dining space outside if you can’t use it at night? Add ambient lighting by installing overhead or spotlighting, or go with moonlighting that cascades from your tall trees. If you choose overhead lighting, install a dimmer switch to control the amount of light and how you want it experienced.
  5. Do you have a pleasant seating area set off from the rest of your yard? Wouldn’t it be nice to let people know that it’s there? Define your spaces with a mixture of uplighting and downlighting, but make sure it’s subtle and allows for some intimacy.
  6. Do you feel safe at night? Motion-sensor floodlights can increase your sense of security. Or just having enough light surrounding your house is usually a good way to keep suspicious characters and curious wildlife from wandering into your yard.
  7. Does your house look flat at night? Capitalize on shadows created from stone or brick siding, or showcase your home’s incredible architecture by having a well-planned lighting design. Make sure you install lights in your landscaping as well, to soften the effect of the lights and the silhouette they’ll create.

Whether you need to add a few lights or overhaul your entire exterior, you may need to hire a professional electrician for installation. Chadwick Electric Services can ensure your outdoors are safe and all wiring is up to code.

Make sure your lighting lasts and works for you. Call us today.

Chadwick hire

12 Reasons to Hire an Electrician in Fort Collins

Don’t worry. We understand that you really want to save money by tackling your electric problem on your own. But are you setting yourself up for even higher costs and safety risks if you don’t hire a qualified, licensed electrician? Chances are, you are. Hiring a reliable and local company like Chadwick Services for your Northern Colorado electric service will save you time, money, and headaches. Here’s why.

  1. Licensing: We are licensed by the State of Colorado, which means we have proven that we have trained the required number of hours, receive ongoing training, know all state codes and regulations, and make safety our number one priority.
  2. Permits: Before your project begins, you know that all necessary permits will be pulled to ensure quality and safety.
  3. Inspections: When you have the proper permit for your electrical service, you can guarantee the job is up to code. If anything’s amiss, we fix it for you. Simple as that.

  4.  

    Insurance: Not only is Chadwick Electric fully insured and bonded, we can help you avoid any fights over your home insurance that may result from do-it-yourself electrical projects.

  5.  

    Safety: As we mentioned earlier, safety is our number one priority – and it should be yours, too. Don’t put your home and family at risk by tackling a job that should be handled by a professional.

  6.  

    Knowledge: As the saying goes: “A little knowledge can be dangerous,” which is why it’s important to let a professional work on your electrical problem. Even if you know a few things about how electricity works, our extensive knowledge and expertise allow us to solve a problem quicker, more efficiently, and much safer.

  7.  

    Longevity: We all know that person who tries to fix their own plumbing only to have it break over and over again. While there are risks to water leaking, electrical fires are much scarier. When you hire Chadwick Services, you have a guarantee that your wiring will be done right, saving you money and headaches.

  8.  

    Troubleshooting: Almost every project will have some kind of surprise. Most of the time, it’s small and can be easily fixed – unless you try to fix it yourself. Then it can become a much larger problem that could’ve easily been taken care of by an experienced electrician.Chadwick hire

  9.  

    It’s Complicated: This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people forget or don’t understand the complexities of a home’s wiring. Since it’s all connected in some way, a small mistake can spell disaster. Maybe not right away, but you’ll notice it – and it could be incredibly expensive.

  10.  

    Guarantee: When you hire Chadwick Electrical Services in Windsor, you have a guarantee that the work will be done right the first time. The same can’t be said for the neighborhood handyman or yourself.

  11.  

    Proper Wiring: Not all wiring is created equal. Choosing the correct wiring for the job will avoid disasters big and small.

  12.  

    Proper Tools: As a DIYer, you won’t always have the tools that you need to tackle complicated tasks related to electrical repairs. We do.

 

 

If you’re at all concerned about saving money and time or the safety of your family, call us before you start any electrical repairs. We’re available 24/7 for emergency services and for all installation services. Electricity can kill you, so better safe than sorry, right?

 

Winterizing Your Ceiling Fan Can Save You Money

Are you one of those people who turns your ceiling fan off during the winter? Sure, it makes sense because you don’t want cool air circulating while you’re trying to stay warm. However, you could be missing out on a major money-saving opportunity.

Use your ceiling fan year round

According to Energy Star, you should be using your ceiling fan year round to save both energy and money. In the summer months, your fan should be spinning counter-clockwise to create a wind-chill effect. Since you don’t want cooler air in the winter, you should reverse the blades’ direction. There is a simple switch inside your fan for this. Running your ceiling fan clockwise at a low speed will push down the warm air that collects near your ceiling.

Ceiling fan

This technique can lower energy consumption in the winter by up to 15 percent! You’ll reduce the need for in-room heat devices, such as space heaters, that produce heat but don’t circulate it throughout the room. You’re also able to reduce your thermostat by a couple of degrees since the heat won’t get trapped at the ceiling.

If you have an older fan that doesn’t have a reverse switch, you should consider updating it to a newer model so you can take advantage of this money-saving technique.

Be sure that you dust and clean your fan blades and ensure your wiring is still secure. Also, don’t forget to replace the bulbs while you’re up there.

If you’d like to install a ceiling fan or have your wiring inspected for safety before winter starts in Fort Collins, call Chadwick Electric Services today.

Chadwick hot tub safety

20 Hot Tub Safety Tips

With cooler evenings comes the desire to retreat to the hot tub and sink into the warm water. But are you making sure that you remain safe while you relax? We’ve compiled 20 hot tub safety tips to keep in mind while you enjoy your soak.

  1. Ensure you have proper wiring. You need to make sure that your hot tub’s wiring complies with the National Electrical Code, which includes an emergency shutoff that is accessible, visible, and at least 5 ft. away. You also want to make sure your hot tub is properly installed and plugged in (no extension cords!).
  2. Beware of electricity. Keep electrical appliances away. Instead, use battery-operated appliances around the hot tub and keep extension cords as far from the water as possible.
  3. Supervise all children. Don’t turn your back for even a minute while children are in the hot tub. Children are more prone to overheating and need lower temperatures to remain safe. Consult your pediatrician for the right temperature or if you want to bring in a child younger than five.
  4. Establish rules. Expecting good behavior from all of your guests, including the adults, is always good, but especially when you’re in or near water. Running, jumping, diving, and pushing should be strictly prohibited, as should standing on the hot tub cover.
  5. Prepare for emergencies. Make sure all guests know where the emergency shutoff switch is before they get in the tub. It’s also a good idea to know CPR and have a first-aid kit on hand.
  6. Check your water. If your water is cloudy, don’t get in! Cloudy water is an indication that it’s unsanitary and could cause skin infections. Stock up on a good sanitizer and regularly test the bacteria to make sure your water remains safe. Remember: never add water to acid, always add acid to water.
  7. Safely store cleaning supplies and chemicals. Make sure all of your supplies and chemicals are stored out of reach of children and pets. They should also be in a cool, dry location.
  8. Shower before and after use. This is not only proper etiquette, it can also keep out bacteria that will thrive in your hot tub’s warm environment.Chadwick hot tub safety
  9. Don’t wear street clothes. Everything worn in the hot tub should be clean.
  10. Beware of storms. You should never use your hot tub before, during, or immediately after extreme weather conditions, especially electrical storms.
  11. Maintain a safe temperature. Many hot tubs come with a factory setting of 104° F, but most users are more comfortable between 102° and 100° F. Children generally need less than 100° F.
  12. Check for skin infections and open wounds. Because bacteria love warm environments, entering a hot tub with existing infections or open wounds will help spread infection.
  13. Be aware of any health issues. Before you climb into a hot tub, make sure you know how you will react if you have an illness such as diabetes, high or low blood pressure, or are pregnant.
  14. Don’t use drugs. Speaking of an illness, check with your doctor to make sure you won’t have a reaction while on medication. Also, be smart about your recreational use.
  15. Don’t drink alcohol. Another big no-no is drinking while hot tubbing. Alcohol use can increase your chances of having a heart attack or passing out and drowning while you’re in the hot tub.
  16. Use plastic containers. If you do have food or (non-alcoholic) drinks around, make sure you use plastic instead of glass or anything else that could shatter in the hot tub. It’s better to be safe than cut yourself in the tub while trying to retrieve or avoid shards.
  17. Check your drain and suction covers. Make sure your hot tub is compliant with the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act with the proper drain cover and suction covers.
  18. Don’t use a hot tub alone. Accidents and emergencies are easily avoided when you soak with a friend or family member.
  19. Install handrails and anti-skid devices. Getting out of and into hot tubs safely should be a priority. You can use treads on your steps, mats around the tub, sand paint on your deck, or similar measures.
  20. Always cover and lock the tub when it’s not in use. Check your cover periodically to make sure it still fits snuggly, all locks and latches are functioning properly, and that you lock the hot tub every time.

Hot tub safety is no joke. Neither is its wiring. If you’re worried about your current hot tub’s wiring or need to install a new spa, call us today. We are the experts you need in Fort Collins and Windsor.

How to Avoid Electrical Fires

With an average of 34,000 electrical fires being reported annually, it’s important to know what you can do as a homeowner to avert disaster. Here are some tips to ensure that will help you prevent electrical fires in your Northern Colorado home.

Install GFCIs: Install Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters throughout your home to prevent fires because they automatically shut down if a circuit is overloaded or at risk.

Install an AFCI: Arc-fault Circuit Interrupters detect electrical abnormalities and shut down the circuit before it overheats. If you have an older home, it’s a good idea to replace your circuit breaker with an AFCI since arc faults are nearly impossible to catch before there’s a fire.

Update your electrical system: Ideally, electrical systems should be updated every 10 years. Now that so many households are adding more and more technology, it’s a good idea to make sure your current wiring is able to handle the load.

Know when you have faulty wiring: Faulty wiring can be a huge problem for older structures. These are the signs you should be aware of:

  • Light switches are hot to the touch
  • Outlets spark when you plug something in
  • Flickering light bulbs
  • Lights dim when you use appliances
  • Outlets are buzzing, hissing, or crackling
  • Circuit breakers are constantly tripping or shorting
  • Wires or fuse boxes are hot to the touch
  • Burning smell from an outlet

Check your outlets: Make sure that all of your outlets are tight and fitted to the wall – loose-fitting plugs can be a fire and shock hazard. You should also replace any broken or missing plates to avoid having exposed wiring, and put protective covers on any unused plugs if you have children.

Don’t tamper with plugs: You should NEVER remove the third prong from plugs. It’s better to replace your two-conductor outlet if you need to use a three-pronged plug. You should also avoid bending prongs and follow all manufacturer instructions while installing appliances.

Use surge protectors: If you need to plug in multiple items, you should invest in a surge protector to make sure you don’t overload your outlet.

Replace damaged cords: If you notice fraying or cracking on your cords, you should replace them. Most appliances have the replaceable cords available through the manufacturer.

Know where to run your cords: You create a hazardous environment when you run electrical cords under carpets, furniture, or rugs because you’re not able to tell if the cord becomes damaged or overheated.

Unplug small appliances: It’s a good habit to unplug smaller appliances when they’re not in use anyway, but you can lower the probability of them catching fire if they’re disconnected.

Use correct bulbs: Avoid using bulbs with higher watts than your lighting fixture recommends, or replace your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs to reduce the heat created when your light is on.

Are you worried about electrical fires in your home? Call us today for an inspection. We also offer 24-hour emergency services!

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.

Contact Us

Chadwick Electric Services