Your home’s electric meter has a series of spinning dials or numbers. You have seen this meter, but if you are like many people, you probably don’t know how to read it. Continue reading
If you are like most homeowners, you have experienced the rather unpleasant surprise of opening an electricity bill that’s much bigger than you anticipated. When this happens, you may find yourself scrambling to understand what caused your bill to skyrocket. Continue reading
There are more than a few benefits offered by adding ceiling fans through your home that go beyond the benefit offered by a cool breeze. It doesn’t matter if it is adding a new décor element, or to slash your power bill, ceiling fans have many benefits that you may have been unaware of. Continue reading
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.
Have you noticed your neighbors swapping out conventional incandescent lights with LED lights? You may wonder if this is just a trend or if making the switch is truly saving Kansas City homeowners on their electric bills.
In order to help homeowners make an informed decision, Fusion Electric is breaking down this bright idea and all the benefits that come with making the switch to LED lighting.
What Is an LED Light?
LED lights, or Light Emitting Diodes, were invented just eighty years after Thomas Edison’s incandescent light bulb. Although they have been around for years, recent developments in technology have LED bulbs growing more popular as an alternative to conventional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.
You may have heard of them due to their energy savings and heat reduction potential, but the benefits don’t stop there. To compare potential annual savings between a typical incandescent bulb and an LED bulb, check out this handy LED savings calculator.
How LED Bulbs Work
The technology itself of an LED light is much more intuitive than an incandescent bulb. Incandescents work by heating a coil to the point at which it glows, while LEDs produce light by allowing negative electrons to combine with a positively charged solid, usually silicon or gallium. Since negative and positive particles attract each other, and the electron moves at the speed of light, the force of the negative particle combining with the positive ion releases light.
What’s Makes LED Bulbs Different?
LEDs produce a color of intense white light which is more energizing and better replicates natural light than the muddy orange hue of incandescents. If you are not a fan of bright LED light, you can now purchase different hues of lighting to best fit your preferences.
Once you find the LED bulbs you prefer, switching your home to energy-efficient lighting is easy! LEDs fit into any light bulb socket, and last anywhere from 6 to 30 years per bulb depending on usage.
Are LED Light Bulbs More Expensive?
With more recent technology, the LED is now more economically viable than it ever has been before. Check out the graphic to the left and you’ll see that LED lights require much less electricity per unit of light created compared to both the incandescent and fluorescent light bulb. This also means a few more benefits for consumers:
- For every incandescent light bulb replaced by an LED, the consumer saves upwards of 50 dollars a year including the cost of replacements. This means that homeowners save hundreds of dollars annually by switching to LEDs.
- Since electricity is produced primarily by coal and natural gas, LED light bulbs are better for the environment than incandescents. Furthermore, since LEDs don’t contain hazardous gases, they are also more environmentally friendly than fluorescent bulbs and safer for your home.
Thinking about making the switch to LED lighting? Contact Fusion Electric today and transform your Kansas City home into an electrically efficient machine! For more helpful electrical tips and tricks, check out our blog.
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.
Want to save more on energy bills? Contact the experts at Fusion Electric today! And for more helpful tips on how to save money and stay cool this summer, check out our blog.
Along with the purchase of an electric vehicle, also known as an EV, comes the need of electric vehicle service equipment, or EVSE. So where do you begin? The electricians at Fusion Electric break down the basics for you.
What Is an EVSE?
EVSE is an acronym given for the box, cord, and plug that will allow you to charge your EV at home, though it is not the charger itself. The EVSE is a two-way communication that ensures the current passed to the vehicle is both below the limits of the wall charger and below the limits of what the car can receive.
The EVSE has the ability to cut power in the event of an electrical malfunction, such as a power short, power surge, or a charging software meltdown. Essentially, your EVSE reduces the likelihood of an overheated charging cord, which could lead to a car or garage fire.
What Are the Different Types of EVSE?
There are two types of EVSE to consider: Level 1 and Level 2.
Level 1 charging equipment delivers a current of 110 or 120 volts. A pro to using a Level 1 is that it can be plugged into any standard home outlet. The con; it’s basically a trickle charge, which means that you gain 2-3 miles of driving for every hour of charge.
Level 2 charging equipment uses 220-240 volts; the equivalent to an electric oven or clothes dryer. Where a Level 1 EVSE would take 24 hours to charge an EV, a Level 2 EVSE can do the same in as little as four hours.
How Do I Install an EVSE?
The most important part in the selection process is making sure that you hire a qualified electrician to install the equipment. This shouldn’t be something you try to do on your own. There may be permits and inspections depending on where you live, and especially given the potential dangers of a malfunction, you want to make sure you do it right.
Your electrician will install the proper sized circuit breaker and run wiring inside conduit from the box to the EVSE’s location. Prices will vary for electrical work, by the amount of work that needs to be done and the cost of any necessary permits.
Throughout the installation process, keep your receipts. In some locations, the cost of an EVSE and installation qualifies for state or local incentives.
Looking for more tips? Be sure to follow the Fusion Electric blog for helpful articles on electricity and your home.
You are royalty, and your home is your castle. Don’t let your castle depreciate. Maintaining and improving your home’s value is one of the most important parts of being a homeowner. Fusion Electric brings you three ways to update your home and ensure it increases in value.
Living in the Midwest (especially Kansas City), winters can be long and harsh. One of the most treacherous parts of this season can be your driveway, particularly if your property is on a slant. Not only is snow an issue, but we often have to deal with freezing rain and sleet, which makes any incline or decline dangerous to drive on. Save yourself the hassle and install a heated driveway. This will make sure you never have to worry about getting out of, or into your driveway when you need to again. Not to mention you won’t have to shovel snow either!
Ice Dam Prevention
Another way to make your home safer while also improving its value, is to add heated panels in your gutters. This simple addition can make a world of difference when it snows, thaws, and refreezes throughout the winter. Usually this results in ice dams on your roof and in your gutters that can potentially be dangerous to passersby below, and also to your entire gutter system. Heated gutters will ensure any snow and ice melts efficiently so ice damming is never an issue.
Lately there has been a huge push for all things energy efficient. Don’t let your home get left behind. Soon, energy efficiency will be the standard. Simple additions, like LED lighting, ‘vampire’ fighting power strips, in-wall timers for outdoor lights, etc., will help keep your home current, while also saving you money on utility bills at the same time. That makes it double the worth!
Related Read: How to Switch Your Home to Energy-Efficient Lighting
Call Fusion Electric today to help you add value to your home in 2016. You can reach us at 913-563-797.
May your holiday season be merry and bright! To ensure that it is, Fusion Electric is sharing three ways to keep your electronics safe and your mind sane this holiday season. Follow our tips for a smooth winter.
Inspect Electrical Holiday Displays Before Using
It’s that time of the year again, full of sparkle and cheer. Before you hang the tinsel and the lights, make sure you do a double take. Christmas lights that you hang outside your home or on your Christmas tree can end up with unscrewed bulbs or frayed wires – neither of which are conducive to a safe holiday display. Always check your holiday lights or displays with lights or electrical components to make sure they are still safe to use in their desired location. This small step can keep your family safe from electrical shocks, and can prevent a fire hazard in your home.
Related Read: How to Prep Outdoor Outlets for Winter
Don’t Overload Electrical Outlets
Between the holiday lights, displays, and new gadgets, it’s easy to put extra stress on your home’s electrical panel without even realizing it. Taxing your electrical demands can cause some real issues though. You can blow a fuse, or even a circuit, cutting off power to part or all of your home. Make sure your home’s electrical panel is up to date and replace it if need be. The average home’s electrical needs have increased dramatically over the past decade or so, so upgrading your electrical panel might be a good move, especially before all those holiday parties.
Also, steer clear of power strip usage this season. They can overload quickly with the high demand of the season, which can lead to a blown fuse, or worse – irreparable damage to expensive electronics. Add more outlets to your home where you know demand will be high if need be – think kitchen, living room, media room, etc..
Turn Off Holiday Light Displays at Night or When Away
Letting lights burn 24/7 is not a good idea – even if they are newer LED displays. You might be saving money on your energy costs with LED lights, but they can still cause issues if overused, especially outdoors. We all know that electricity and water don’t pair well together. Late fall and winter are typically filled with days and nights of rain or snow showers. Do yourself a favor, turn off or unplug those outdoor lights during the day when they are barely visible anyhow and when there is a heavy downfall. This will keep your lights from malfunctioning and dying on you, and keep your family safe from electrical shock.
It’s also in your best interest to turn indoor light displays off at night and when you are gone during the day. Keeping them on inside all day can increase your risk of a house fire.
For electrical improvements prior to the busy holiday season, call Fusion Electric today at 913-563-7975.
Did you know that the average household dedicates about 5% of its annual energy budget to lighting? That might not seem like that much, but in the scheme of things it really adds up. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average household consumes about 909 kilowatthours (kWh) a month. The average costs of a kWh is about 10 cents, which puts the average bill around $100 a month. Why not pocket some of that cash every month? Switching the lighting in your home to energy-efficient bulbs will change your energy bills immediately, and you’ll continue to see those savings pile up for years to come with little maintenance. Here’s how to get started making the switch today.
Pick the Right Bulbs
The most popular energy-efficient light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although both the latter options can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy. Plus, the initial higher cost is pretty minimal.
CFLs use about 75% less energy than traditional incandescents and last up to 10 times longer. A typical CFL can pay for itself in energy savings in less than 9 months and continue to save you money each month. Don’t worry about sacrificing your favorite bulb options by switching either. CFLs come in the same brightness, color, and shape options as traditional incandescents.
LED bulbs are great replacement options as they last 25 times as long as your typical bulb, and use even less energy than CFLs. LED bulbs also come in a variety of colors, and some are dimmable. In addition to standard screw-in bulbs, LEDs are also offered in applications such as recessed downlights, desk lamps, kitchen under-cabinet lighting, and outdoor area lights.
Related Read: 5 Electrical Add-Ons Homeowners Love Right Now
Install Timers & Motion Sensors
Once you’ve picked out your bulb of choice, install a few extra features to save even more. Timers and motion sensors save you even more money by reducing the amount of time lights are on when they’re not being used. You can use these features for both inside and outside lights.
For help installing more energy saving features in your home, call the Kansas City electrical pros at Fusion Electric. You can reach us at 913-563-7975.