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 An outdated and overworked electrical panel is a hassle that no homeowner should have to deal with.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.
If you have an older home, don’t assume everything is fine. Call Fusion Electric at (913) 563-7975 and set up a service appointment for your electrical inspection!
You’ve worked all month getting your outdoor space in tip-top shape for summer, so why not elevate your outdoor space with outdoor lighting? Adding lights to your outdoor space is a great way to enhance the ambiance of your home, while also allowing you to show off your beautiful yard, day or night.
However, there are a few things that can go south when adding lighting to your yard, which is why the professionals at Fusion Electric are showing you the top outdoor lighting mistakes and how you can avoid them.
1. Bad Placement
Believe it or not, bad placement of outdoor lighting can be just as bad as not having the lighting at all. Bad placement could result in over illumination and an overall imbalance to the look of your home. Strategic lighting can ensure safety, such as illuminating walking paths.
These lights come in a variety of styles that can also add a decorative touch to your landscaping. Additionally, if you’re lucky enough to have a pool, make sure you can enjoy it after dark. Our electricians at Fusion Electric have the skills to install in-ground pool lighting, as well as above ground lighting on the pool deck.
Placing fixtures at the incorrect angles can also result in lighting glares. When choosing the placement and angle of your outdoor lights, aim for a balance and subtlety.
Related Read: Summer Outdoor Lighting Trend: Edison Bulbs
2. Not Enough Power for Outdoor Lighting
Underpowered lights can leave your home looking underwhelming. Spending time and money on lighting your outdoor space shouldn’t be ruined by a dull light, which is why it is important to buy lights that are powerful enough to light your space. Safety and security are two of the main reasons that homeowners choose to install outdoor lighting.
The brighter your lights, the more likely unwanted guests will be seen by neighbors or passersby and the less likely they are to risk getting caught. Flood lights can be motion activated as well. Cheaper, battery and solar-powered lights are usually not enough to get the job done and appear dim, so stay away from choosing these types of lights for your yard.
If you like to entertain with food and happen to have an outdoor kitchen or cooking area, Fusion Electric’s certified electricians can make sure your outdoor cooking area is set up with the correct type of lighting, as well as outfitted with convenient and safe outdoor outlets for all your cooking needs.
Related Read: How to Prep Outdoor Electrical Outlets for Patio Season
3. Wrong Color
Keep in mind the color or temperature of the lights you are choosing. If the color of the light is too warm, it can appear as yellow-tinted light that seems dated or dirty. However, if the light is too white it can create a sterile, commercial feel.
Finding the perfect balance of color that will enhance your outdoor space, rather than take away from it, is crucial for the curb appeal and ambiance of your home. Also, you may want to consider how a bulb’s light color with shift and change as it burns out, to avoid inconsistency with the other lights in your yard.
4. Lights That Glare
Bad lighting glare can be extremely distracting to guests, drawing their focus away from the bigger picture of your outdoor space. As we noted earlier, this can be avoided by the right placement of lights, but also by not overcrowding your outdoor space with excess lighting.
If you’re still having trouble with lighting glare after you’ve corrected the placement and angle of the lights, you will want to try frosted lenses or shrouds to eliminate this issue.
5. Contrast Is Key
While balance is important in lighting your outdoor space, choosing the right contrast for your lighting is key. Contrast is achieved by using layers of primary and secondary lighting, as well as background and soft lighting to create shadows and accentuating light. These accent lights are used to draw attention to specific areas of your landscaping.
You can highlight a tree, an outdoor statue or fountain, an arbor, or even an architectural feature of your home. Accent lights can be placed on the ground to point upward (perhaps into a tree) or placed in a tree to point downward highlighting something on the ground. While they provide a beautiful glow to your yard, they are generally not used for security purposes.
Lack of contrast can make your outdoor space feel washed out and boring, but by carefully identifying the focal points of your outdoor space and adding contrast to them, you can highlight your yard’s best features.
If you’re thinking of installing outdoor lighting, leave it to the professionals at Fusion Electric! Give us a call at (913) 648-9487 or check out our website for more information!
With the outdoor living craze comes the desire to add televisions to outdoor entertaining areas. While this sounds great, it isn’t always ideal for the television. While other outdoor components can withstand the humidity, wind, and occasional heavy thunderstorm, your outdoor television is not made for that. There are some outdoor televisions made specifically to withstand the elements, but they are often much more expensive.
Related Read: 9 Best Outdoor TVs for Your Patio or Garden
Ways to Protect an Outdoor TV Made for Indoors
Most homeowners in the Kansas City area choose to install a regular television and just protect it. However, keep in mind that regular TVs are affected by temperature as much as humidity.
Placing your TV in a covered or shaded area will help with that, but we will warn you that the elements will eventually take their toll and you will have to replace your TV when it finally poops out.
Additionally, television manufacturers will refuse to honor any warranty or guarantee claim if they think you kept the TV in a humid, extremely hot or cold, or dusty environment. With that being said, here are five ways the Fusion Electric team has come up with to help you protect your television outdoors this summer:
1. Screen It In
If your outdoor television is on your covered porch, why not just make that porch a screened in one.
Many screened in porches also give you the flexibility to switch out the screens for glass panels.
This is a great way to protect your outdoor television. Having the ability to switch from screen to glass panels also allows you to enjoy your outdoor porch and television all year round!
2. Install a Cabinet System
Another great concept to keep your television out of harm’s way it to install a cabinet system around it.
You can big a build cabinet system that gives you more outdoor storage, or you can just install a one-door piece that keeps your outdoor television out of the elements when it’s not in use.
You may want to open it up occasionally if it hasn’t been used to make sure air is circulating and moisture doesn’t accumulate inside the cabinet.
Related Read: Outdoor Patio Ideas for Spring 2015
3. Use a Slipcover
An easy solution is also to use a slipcover to safeguard your outdoor television. It may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but it will do the job.
Just make sure you use one that covers the entire television, front, back and sides, and that it secures tightly around your tv and attached cables and wires.
One drawback to this solution is that you cannot lock your TV up from would-be TV snatchers.
4. Make a Window into a TV Screen
If you’re lucky enough to have a window in the right place for outdoor watching, you can turn it into a TV screen cover. Just point the TV screen out an existing window and install outdoor speakers.
Simple, cost-effective, and smart. The problem with this solution is that your TV screen will not provide the quality you’re used to. A helpful tip is to open the window when you want to use the TV.
5. Take It Down & Bring It Inside
Lastly, if installing and covering isn’t your style, or you are just too afraid to keep a valuable piece of technology outdoors in the elements, install a television stand outside that allows you to easily remove your television whenever you want.
This way you can take it down and bring it inside when you know that a storm is coming, extreme temperatures are in the forecast, or that you’ll be gone from your home for an extended period of time.
For help installing an outdoor television and a system to protect it from the unpredictable elements, call the Kansas City electrician team you can trust, Fusion Electric at (913) 563-7975.
Is your electricity bill outrageously expensive? Stop blaming the kids for not turning off the lights and start blaming some of these common household energy consumers.
Get into the habit of unplugging your bathroom appliances after you’ve finished using them. Another thing to look out for is how high your settings are on your hair dryer, curling iron and flat irons. The higher the heat, the more electricity consumed. Consider using a lower setting. This will not only be good for your hair, but good for your wallet.
These common bathroom appliances are stealthily increasing your electricity bill:
- Electric Razor/Clippers
- Electric Toothbrush (charging dock)
- Curling Iron
- Hair Dryer
- Flat Iron
Keep your monthly electric bills lower by eliminating their continuous use, especially if no one is in the room it is being used in. Use a plug-in timer to help you conserve energy. You can also reduce the amount of time you use the heater by closing doors and making sure your windows are shut.
These common electric heaters are dramatically increasing your bill:
- Space Heaters
- Electric Fireplaces
- Ceramic Heaters
Instead of overpaying Invest in a “smart” power strip. These types of power strips can sense which devices are being used, and will only provide power to what is actually in use.
These common electronics are using more electricity than you think:
- Monitors and TVs
- Fax Machines
- Video Game Consoles
Fusion Electric is here to help you with all of your electrical needs including more information on ways to save on future electric bills. Click here for all your residential or commercial needs or call (913) 648-9487.
Summer in Kansas City is a wonderful time of year. Unfortunately, it can also be an energy-expensive time of year.
Customers have been asking, what are some simple things you can do to keep your energy bill down? Fusion Electric is here to answer! Check out these 10 simple steps you can take today to increase your energy savings this summer.
Looking for expert advice for your electrical project? See how Fusion Electric can help!
1. Get out of the house.
There are plenty of things to do out of the house, especially during summer months. Take advantage of these opportunities. Make sure you turn off all your appliances and set your thermostat a few degrees warmer before leaving the house.
2. Use window coverings.
Using either blinds, shades, or curtains on your windows will help keep heat out of your house. This allows you to use less electricity on air conditioning to maintain a comfortable inside temperature.
3. Avoid cooking in the oven.
Using the oven in your house heats up your home. Instead, try cooking on the stove, in a slow cooker, in the microwave, or outside on the grill.
4. Avoid cooking with heat completely.
Sandwiches, salads, raw fruits, etc. are all wonderful summer foods that require no heat source to prepare. Sticking to foods that don’t need heat source to prepare saves money twice; you aren’t paying for the energy from the heat source, or the energy to cool your home again after the cooking is done!
5. Cool ONLY rooms that are frequently used.
If you have a guest bedroom or another room that is not used on a daily basis, turn the air vents off in that room. There is no use in cooling a room that is not being used.
Helpful Hint: Turn off fans when you aren’t in the room. They cool you, not the house!
6. Cool, quick showers are a summer must.
Long, hot showers have no place in the summer months. Instead, opt for cool quick showers. You will save on the energy used to heat your water, not to mention you’ll feel cool and refreshed without any AC.
7. Line-dry your laundry.
Take advantage of the summer sun and line-dry your laundry instead of heating up your dryer and your home.
8. Handwash your swimwear.
Summertime is often spent in swimwear. Handwashing your swimwear not only saves energy by keeping a load out of the washing machine, but also preserves your swimwear, as the fabrics often don’t do well in the washing machine.
9. Change your bedding.
Get the winter quilt and heavy blankets off of the beds. Lightweight sheets and blankets will allow you to stay under the covers without having to keep the house cooler.
10. Enjoy a vacation.
Summer tends to be the prime time for vacationing. Before you head out the door for your vacation, turn up your thermostat, unplug all appliances (with the exception of the refrigerator and/or freezer), and make sure all the lights and fans are turned off.