If you are like most people, your home is a source of great pride. As a homeowner, you probably want to do everything possible to keep it in good, problem-free condition. However, while there are some home repairs that may seem easy to repair on your own, they may have more complicated causes that require the help of a professional electrician. One of these issues is flickering lights. Some of the most common causes of this problem and what can be done to fix it can be found here. Continue reading
Put simply, a power surge occurs when the voltage in an electrical circuit increases to a level higher than what the circuit was designed to handle. This can present a hazardous situation for several reasons. Continue reading
The three- or two-prong adapter, which is also called a cheater plug, allows you to connect a three-pronged plug to a non-grounded receptacle that only has two slots. These are mainly used for plugging in electronics and appliances to the older two-prong receptacles. Continue reading
Are you having to go to the circuit breaker so often that you are frustrated and annoyed, there’s a good chance that your electrical panel is working overtime. An outdated and overworked electrical panel is a hassle that no homeowner should have to deal with. Continue reading
You have likely heard about modern outlet options, such as smart outlets, but there are many different outlet options you can choose for your home. Each outlet is designed with certain applications in mind. This is why it’s a good idea to get to know the options that are available. Continue reading
Space heaters are a great supplemental form of heat. They’re compact, efficient and inexpensive to buy, and they’re a great way to keep the thermostat set lower, yet still be comfortable while reading or watching television. That said, if space heaters are used improperly they can present a danger to you, your family and even your pets. The team at Fusion Electric has put together these safety tips to keep in mind when using a space heater this winter:
Make Sure Your Space Heater Is Certified
There are three Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTLs) for electrical products sold here in the U.S. Make sure that the heater you’re using has paperwork that shows that it’s been tested and certified by either:
- UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories)
- CSA (Canadian Standards Association)
- ETL (Intertek Group)
If it has been certified by any one of these NRTLs, you can rest assured that you’re using a product that’s safe when used as directed.
Use Common Sense
Space heaters get hot — obviously! That’s what they’re designed to do, after all. But you’d be surprised how many people seem to forget that fact and end up burning themselves or inadvertently starting a fire by misusing their space heaters.
- put anything on top of your space heater (it takes less time than you think to ignite)
- put a space heater within three feet of furniture or a wall
- use a space heater with an extension cord, which increases the chance of electrical shocks, overheating and fires
- let children play near a space heater, since it can tip over and burn them
- touch a space heater if you’re wet — even if it’s just your hands we’re talking about!
Establish a three-foot safety zone rule for kids, and refrain from using a space heater in a bathroom unless it’s specifically designed for that use. And always make sure that your space heater is positioned on a flat, level surface (carpet with an extra-thick pile can make it more prone to tip).
Look for Safety Features When Purchasing a Space Heater
There are numerous space heaters on the market that have built-in safety features such as tip-over protection (the heater automatically turns itself off if it tips over), and overheat protection.
Make Sure to Buy the Correct Size for Your Space
Putting a space heater that is too large in a small space is not a good idea, and the reverse also holds true. A too-small heater in a large room isn’t going to heat more than a small area of a large room. To size a space heater: simply measure your room to find its square footage. For example, a 12 x 12 room measures 144 square feet. Then, multiply the square footage by 10: e.g. 144 sq. ft. x 10 = 1440. The answer — in this case 1440 — tells you how many watts your space heater should be. If the heater is rated by BTUs, simply multiply the watts by 3.41 to arrive at the correct number of BTUs. (In our example, the correct answer is 4,910 BTUs.)
Follow these safety rules, and you can confidently enjoy the added warmth that your space heater provides you and your family this winter and on those chilly spring mornings and nights as well!
If you have any questions about your space heater, or you’ve got an electrical problem that needs immediate attention from a licensed electrician in your Kansas City area home, don’t hesitate to give the professionals at Fusion Electric a call at (913) 563-7975, or contact us online.
If you knew how much energy you were wasting without knowing it, it would make your head spin. You’re in luck because Fusion Electric in Kansas City is here to offer a few tips on how to cut down on energy hogging and start seeing some real savings on your energy bill, as well as how to make your home safer.
Sure there are many other things you can do to save electricity and reduce bills, like upgrading appliances to energy efficient models, and installing energy efficient windows, but we chose these three because they are easy, fast, and relatively inexpensive, so you can do it today and start saving immediately.
Change All of Your Light Bulbs to LED Bulbs
If you haven’t done this yet, do it now. Not only will you be saving energy, but you won’t have to replace another light bulb for years! Really…years! LED Lights are leading the light bulb revolution by using 25%-80% less power and lasting 3-25 times longer than conventional light bulbs. They cost a little more upfront, but by the time you factor in how many incandescent bulbs you will have gone through before the LED burns out, you’re coming out ahead and you don’t have to deal with burnt out bulbs every few months.
Get Smart with Your Power Strips
Smart power strips save energy in a number of ways. There are three types of smart power strips. One is power strips that are timer-equipped with programmable timers that shut off the products being powered by them at the time that you choose. The second type has a motion sensor that can detect movement and turn on any devices they power based on your presence. The third variety works with your computer monitor, sensing when it enters low power mode and working with its own power management.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Smart thermostats are the ultimate money-saving solution for heating and cooling your home. Considering that heating and cooling account for roughly half of your energy bills, this is an area where you can see real savings. According to the Energy Star website, you can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. If your annual heating and cooling bills are average, around $2,000 a year, you can save up to $200 a year.
Some smart thermostats connect to your smartphone using a downloadable app, enabling you to monitor and control the heating of your home even more efficiently from anywhere.
Get smart and install these electrical upgrades today to start saving money tomorrow. If you need help installing a programmable thermostat, give Fusion Electric a call at (913) 648-9487 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
When you’re remodeling your home, it’s easy to forget that you probably need to hire an electrician too. A remodeling project requires a lot of work from you, your building contractor, and your electrician. Without the work of a licensed electrician you could end up with some big problems. Fusion Electric gives you the top five reasons you should call us the next time you need electrical help.
1. You Could Cause More Problems
Many homeowners go into it with the best intentions and try to fix things around the house. We often get called in to correct the work of DIYers like loose wires and circuits, connecting the wrong wires, or overloading your electrical panel. These could all potentially cause a lot of damage if not fixed immediately. While you may be super handy and knowledgeable about home improvement, you’ll never be as well trained as a professional electrician.
The next time you have an electrical problem, or want to add the latest and greatest gadget to your lineup of home entertainment devices, just play it safe. This is one area in your life where it pays to be cautious, sort of like insurance, and hire one of the best Kansas City electricians. Let Fusion Electric be your electrical insurance policy and keep your home and family safe.
2. Junction Boxes Can Get Covered
This is a very common problem in remodeling projects, new additions, and even new builds. Many times, without the guidance of a licensed electrician, your contractor or builder will cover up your junction boxes, which is where your wires connect to an outlet or ceiling light fixture. This is not only a pain, because you’ll have to cut a hole in your drywall to get to it again, but if you forget where it is located, and never find it, it can become a fire hazard for your home. You should never have open wires exposed behind your walls. If they get heated, or snag on insulation or wood, it could start a fire.
3. Improperly Sized Wiring
Another issue we see a lot in remodeling projects gone wrong, is wiring that isn’t sized correctly for your home’s needs. The size of your breaker will determine the type and size of wires needed in your home, but oftentimes, non-licensed electricians will go the cheap route and install whatever wire they can find for a lesser price. Or other times, they simply have no idea that wire size matters. But you end up paying later when your circuit breaker blows and you’re without power until you get a proper electrician to address the problem.
4. A Handyman Isn’t the Same Thing
We highly suggest you choose a licensed electrician over a handyman when it comes to your remodeling and building projects in the future. A handyman may be able to take care of lots of problems in your home, but that doesn’t mean he’s trained and knowledgeable on all of them. Fusion Electric’s electricians are highly trained and educated on the latest electrical procedures and codes. We will be sure to do the job right the first time, which saves you money and keeps your family safer. Isn’t that worth the peace of mind?
5. Electrical Work Can Be Dangerous
The number one reason to call a professional electrician is safety. According to Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) more than 30,000 non-fatal shock accidents occur every year. Your health is more important and realistically, that hospital bill will probably cost more than hiring a professional in the first place. Some smaller projects, like replacing your outlet plate are easy and cheap to do, it’s really better to leave most of the work up to a professionally licensed electrician who you can trust to get the job done right.
Call Fusion Electric at (913) 563-7975 or contact us online the next time you need electrical work done in your home.
At Fusion Electric, we often get asked by homeowners, “Why do I need an electrical inspection?” While there are dozens of reasons for residential electrical inspections, we put together our electricians’ top three.
From outdated electrical systems to poor wiring, to GFCIs, your home may be at risk. If any of these problems exist in your home, call an electrician for an inspection.
You Have Outdated Electrical Panels
If your home was built prior to 1980, the chances of your electrical system being out of date are high. Many electrical components will need updating, including your electrical panel and electrical outlets.
Older breaker boxes are not designed to handle the amounts of electricity that today’s modern appliances and electronics demand. Breakers prevent circuit overload which can lead to fire. If your home has an actual fuse box, as opposed to a breaker box, it’s extremely outdated and should definitely be replaced.
Furthermore, corroded wires, a wire with insulation worn through so that bare metal is exposed, or a loose splice can all lead to an overload. When a circuit breaker gets old and has lost lubrication for its moving parts, is defective, dirty or corroded, the circuit breaker can fail to trip, and the results can be hazardous.
The wire can become hotter and hotter until it ignites the insulation surrounding it, leading to a house fire.
Your House Has Old Wiring
An important electrical area that homeowners, especially those of older homes, need to have checked by an electrician is the wiring. Just as the electrical system in many homes is out of date, so too is the wiring. Out-of-date wiring, such as aluminum wiring, poses a fire hazard.
Over time, the insulation that protects aluminum wiring gets brittle. The hot electric current that travels through the wires erodes the insulation. If two wires touch because the insulation is gone, there is a serious danger of fire.
You Overload Your Electrical System with Modern Appliances and Electronics
Today’s lifestyles require a lot more electricity than those of decades past. Between multiple large appliances, computers, TVs, and home automation just to name a few, the stress we put on our electrical systems is a serious consideration.
When a house is wired, the electrician notes how much current a wire can safely carry and then protects that circuit with a circuit breaker or fuse in the home’s electrical panel that will break the circuit if the amperage on it surpasses the safe level.
So, for example, if your kitchen circuit is rated for 20 amps and you have 28 amps worth of electronic devices turned on, the circuit breaker will trip.
While too many devices plugged into a circuit is the most frequent cause of circuit overload, it’s not the only one. If you find your circuit breakers are tripping frequently or if you have an older electrical panel, it’s a good idea to have an electrician review it.
Your House Doesn’t Have GFCI Outlets
National Electric Codes (NEC) change over time. When your home was built, GFCIs may not have been required. GFCIs, or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters, are devices that shut off an electric power circuit when it detects that current is flowing along an unintended path, such as through water or a person.
They prevent shock and electrocution. Today’s electrical codes require GFCIs in any areas where water is present, including kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoors.
When Fusion’s electricians come and inspect your home we check to see that it is up to date and meeting the requirements of the NEC. These NEC requirements can help keep you, your family, and your home safe by preventing electrical dangers such as burns, shocks, and, in extreme cases, death.