Charge up Your Electrician’s To-Do List

When it comes to big repair and remodeling projects, you probably turn to a professional electrician to do the job right. Many electricians charge a trip fee for each visit and an hourly service fee—even if the job takes much less than an hour.

Next time you call an electrician, consider using the time and your dollars to the fullest.  Ask your electrician to take on additional smaller tasks that will improve home safety, comfort and convenience.  Also, serves as a great way to get those little tasks out of the way.

Consider the following ideas:

Review electrical service

Have your service evaluated, especially in older homes with outdated 60-amp service, but also in newer ones where standard 100-amp panels may be overtaxed by modern household electronics.

Upgrade old outlets

Change existing outlets to ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets, which improve safety by automatically shutting off in an emergency.

Add a dimmer switch

Replace a toggle switch with a dimmer switch, which allows you to easily adjust light levels for different needs.

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Tip: Change Your Air Filter Regularly

The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. With normal airflow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.

For central air conditioners, filters are generally located somewhere along the return duct’s length. Common filter locations are in walls, ceilings, furnaces, or in the air conditioner itself. Room air conditioners have a filter mounted in the grill that faces into the room.

Some types of filters are reusable while others must be replaced. They are available in a variety of types and efficiencies. Clean or replace your air conditioning system’s filter or filters every month or two during the cooling season. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions, or you have fur-bearing pets in the house.

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Safety Tip: Electrical Safety and a Flipped Breaker

Electrical safety is an important part of responsible homeownership. It requires that you always follow the proper procedures when working with electrical outlets and wiring. Remember, electricity can be deadly. If you’re not experienced in electrical work, it’s always best to call in a licensed electrician to perform repairs or improvements.

Flipped Breakers and Blown Fuses

Flipped breakers and blown fuses are nothing to take lightly. Breakers flip and fuses blow because an electrical circuit in your home has been overloaded. Overloaded circuits get hot, and that heat causes fire. In other words, circuit breakers are there for your safety. If your circuit breaker is cutting off electricity to a portion of your home, first think about whether you’ve added any new appliances or other electrical draws that would explain the extra electrical demands being placed on the circuit. You might be able to solve the problem by simply unplugging your new microwave, for example, and moving it to another circuit that isn’t experiencing such high demand.

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Electrical Safety Tip: Replace Faulty Outlets and Switches

Electrical safety is an important part of responsible homeownership. It requires that you always follow the proper procedures when working with electrical outlets and wiring. Remember, electricity can be deadly. If you’re not experienced in electrical work, it’s always best to call in a licensed electrician to perform repairs or improvements.

Old Outlets and Switches

One of the most straightforward electrical improvements you can make is replacing old outlets and switches. Loose outlets and old switches can lead to an outlet fire and electric shock. Replacing them with new units is an easy and effective way to prevent more serious problems. If you’ve already experienced an outlet fire, sparks coming from an outlet, or smoking outlets, shut off the power to the outlet and call an electrician immediately to check if the outlet fire caused more significant damage that needs to be dealt with.

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Tip: Understanding Electrical Switches

You probably already have a pretty firm grip on what electrical switches do, but you may not realize what they can do for your home. Redesigning the layout and function of your switches allows you to completely redecorate your home. Here’s a breakdown on what electrical switches do and some ideas for upgrades, repairs, or replacements.

The most familiar electrical switch is the common light switch, referred to by hardware dealers and electricians as a single-pole switch. A switch that operates lights from two locations—the ends of a hallway, for example—is called a three-way switch.

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Kitchen Lighting Basics

Homeowners who renovate their kitchens often don’t consider one of the most important concerns: the kitchen lighting. It’s a common oversight because many homeowners mistakenly believe that they have to leave out sufficient kitchen lighting in order to use this room in a modern way. With good design, common sense, and some of the latest lighting technology, your kitchen can remain the center of life in your house while providing plenty of light for your work.

Know Your Kitchen Lighting Options

There are many new products and ideas that can help you bring out the character of your kitchen; lighting might seem like a “no brainer” but it can be trickier than you think. The problem is that even well-informed homeowners might not know about all their options. In most cases, getting a little help from a professional will give you a far better idea not only of what’s available, but of how newer products (and older products, as well) are likely to perform and hold up.

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Tip: Bundle Electrical Repair Jobs Together

To save money and time on electrical work, bundle projects together. Anytime you discover an electrical problem, put it on a list.

When you feel it’s time to call an electrician, such as Mr. Mighty Electricians in Chicago, review your list and then conduct a mini-inspection of your home. Look for faulty switches and dysfunctional or crowded outlets. When the electrician comes, you’ll save money and time by getting everything taken care of at once.

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Benefits of a Ceiling Fans During the Winter

Ceiling fans are one of the smartest solutions when it comes to achieving a comfortable, energy-efficient home. In fact, ceiling fans have been helping to heat and cool residences for more than a hundred years. By circulating warm air in the winter, ceiling fans effectively reduce the demand of a conventional heating system.

Ceilings Fans and Energy Efficiency

Ceiling fans increase the energy efficiency of your home during the winter. Warm air from your furnace rises and collects at the ceiling, where it doesn’t do you much good. By flipping the switch on your ceiling fan so it turns the other direction, you eliminate the stiff breeze it creates, but still benefit from the air circulation it provides. All that warm air up at the ceiling is conveniently recirculated throughout your home.

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Benefits of Having Outdoor Outlets

Outdoor electrical outlets are pretty much a standard feature of any home and can eliminate the need for extension cords, enabling you to upgrade your holiday lighting display, use power garden tools or enjoy your backyard long into the evening.

Outdoor Electrical Outlets

Outdoor outlets are safe for one reason only: with the aid of the ground fault circuit interrupter, otherwise known as a GFCI outlet. GFCI’s cut the electrical current when electricity leaks to ground (which in most cases means the electricity is running through you). Because working outside often involves working around pools, hot tubs, puddles and in wet weather, GFCI’s are the difference between you receiving a mild shock and you being served up well done at the next neighborhood barbecue.

If you don’t have a GFCI outlet installed for all your outdoor electrical outlets, contact Mr Mighty – Chicago electricians to get this done as quickly as possible.

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