Protecting Your Home from Electrical Shorts and Fires

Wiring For The Future: Electrical Services

When it comes to earning a return on your home remodeling dollars, few projects are likely to increase your home’s value like updating your electrical systems. These improvements, however, often require you revamp your electrical systems so that they will be compatible with recent and emerging technologies.

Here are some forward-thinking electrical remodeling tips to help your home remain compatible with the latest technologies and virtually guarantee a return of investment (ROI):

Home Automation

Home automation refers to technologies that allow you to pre-program or continuously program a host of systems in your home via your smartphone or other internet connected devices. Although this technology continues to improve and become more cost-effective, wiring your home to ensure that it’s compatible with the technology can easily deliver a healthy ROI.


Installing a smart thermostat will allow you to control your home’s heating/cooling systems via a variety of internet-connected devices. When choosing a smart thermostat it’s important to consider:

Compatibility: not all smart thermostats are compatible with all heating/cooling systems. For instance, if your home lacks a central heating/cooling system, many smart thermostats are incompatible. Have your electrician check the compatibility of your systems before you commit to purchasing and hard wiring a smart thermostat.

Wiring: even if you’re not planning on updating your home’s heating/cooling systems for a smart thermostat, having your electrician install the wiring needed to make the switch can pay potential dividends with home buyers if you plan on selling your home in the near future.

Smart Panel

Your home’s electrical panel or circuit breaker is the heart of your electrical system. When updating your electrical system, switching to a smart panel will almost certainly deliver a ROI.

Size: although future homes are likely to require more electrical connectivity, future devices are likely to be more efficient. Thus, installing a breaker with a higher kilowatt capacity might not be necessary.  Opting for a smaller breaker is an easy way to save some of your remodeling resources.

Connected: your home’s new breaker system, although more efficient, should also be connected. This connectivity often means that it’s compatible with a home automation system that allows you to control individual outlets and switches remotely. Not only is this technology becoming increasingly cost-effective, but it’s sure to deliver a level of convenience and a “wow-factor” for potential home buyers.

Connected Home

With the advent of voice-activated technologies and expanded fiber-optic internet services, it’s now possible to wire your home so you can move through your home with seamless connectivity. This level of connectivity requires, however, clever wiring that’s suited for existing and emerging technologies.

Web Connected

Wi-fi internet signals are delivered through routers. Although most homes currently have one router to deliver a signal throughout the home, this can often creates an inconsistent signal throughout the home.

Individual Hubs: hardwiring a router in every room of your home may seem excessive, but it’s likely to become normal in the future. Wiring a routers throughout your home allows for smart devices to function seamlessly.


For decades, most rooms were wired with two to three standard outlets. Modern homes, however, require some updates.

USB Ports: from smartphones to tablets to speakers, an increasing number of our modern gadgets receive power from USB powered-ports. Modern outlets can feature two to three of these port, which will mean that you can dispense with the adapters.

The goal of any home remodeling project should be to make your home more valuable and comfortable. Fortunately, updating your electrical system can accomplish both goals. Wiring your home for new technology will ensure that your home is able to meet your family’s current and even future electrical needs. To learn more, contact a company like Skyline Electric, Inc.

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Smart Speaker Devices: Ideal Home Configurations and Upgrades to Get the Most Use Out of Them

Smart speaker devices are slowly becoming a new way to control your home and access a variety of features like news, music, and weather information. These devices rely on microphones and speaker technology for users to interact with them. As you decide on what type of smart speaker device to use in your home, it’s important to ensure that your home has the optimal conditions for these devices. Hiring the services of an electrician can prepare your home for a smart speaker and allow you to enjoy all of the features without any additional problems. Check out four different services that can not only help with smart speakers but also help with the general electrical performance of your home.

Circuit-Breaker Upgrades

A majority of the smart speaker devices operate using a standard outlet. An upgraded circuit breaker can ensure that the device can stay powered on or in stand-by mode for 24 hours a day. One of the main benefits of these devices is the ability to interact and provide information at any time. An electrician can ensure that the outlet you want to use has enough power and that all of the power is properly managed by the home’s circuit breaker.

An electrician can also install new outlets in areas where you may want to place the speaker in your home. If there’s an area in your kitchen where you want to place the speaker, an outlet can be installed so you do not need to run wires or extension cables throughout the area. Keeping the outlet close to the speaker makes this a lot easier to manage.

Whole-Home Surge Protection

When you purchase a smart speaker device, you are investing a lot of money into a product. You want to ensure that the product lasts for multiple years and does not short out due to an electrical storm or some other type of power issue. The best way to help prevent these issues is by having an electrician install whole-home surge protection. This surge protection will help prevent power surges from even reaching the outlets in your home. This means that when you’re moving a smart speaker from room to room, you do not need to worry about having separate surge-protector plugs. The whole home will have protection, and your device can operate without any worries.

LAN Port Wiring

One of the key benefits of using a smart speaker device is the ability to connect to your Wi-Fi Internet. The Internet is used to access information, stream music, and add updates to the software. The Wi-Fi connection in your home may not be strong in every room. This can be improved with the installation of LAN port wiring. Adding an extra LAN port will allow you to install extra Wi-Fi routers or antennas in your home. This can make the speaker connection even stronger while you use the device. LAN port wiring can be installed in nearly any room, giving you multiple locations to place the speaker. This can help prevent delays in information or annoying things like music buffering.

Electrical Noises and Interference

As you use wireless devices in the home, you may notice that there is a lot of electrical noise and interference to deal with. It’s often hard to pinpoint the source of the noise, which can often become a distracting factor when you are using devices like smart speakers. The noise distractions may even come through the speaker on the device. An electrician can complete a full inspection and evaluation of your home to determine what’s causing this noise interference. By their giving you tips and performing electrical upgrades, a lot of the noise can be eliminated from the home. By getting rid of this noise, you can fully enjoy the features of your smart speaker and remove any annoyances that are associated with it.

It’s a good idea to contact an electrician, such as one from Sun Coast Electric & Networking Inc, before installing the smart speaker. This will make it easier to setup your speaker and be good to go when it finally arrives.

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Is Baseboard Heating A Good Option For Your Tiny Home?

Although a tiny home offers many benefits such as the ability to easily turn it into a mobile home and reduced home maintenance expenditures, there are many challenges associated with building this type of home. One challenge is finding a way to affordably heat the inside. For some, baseboard heating seems like a good solution, but is it really optimal for this type of home?

Benefits of Baseboard Heating

Baseboard heating does have a few benefits that would be attractive to tiny home owners, and the most compelling is the price. These appliances are fairly inexpensive, costing an average of $150 to $200 to install a basic unit. It’s even cheaper if you have experience wiring electricity, because you can do the installation work yourself. However, finding an affordable electrician who can do the work for you at a reasonable price is usually not that hard either.

Another potentially money-saving advantage is that baseboard heaters run on 100-percent electricity. If you install solar panels on your tiny home, your energy costs will be zero. Additionally, electric heating powered by solar energy is a good option if you plan on making your tiny home capable of being mobile. You won’t be forced to only take your tiny home to places where you can plug into the grid or find natural gas or other fuel for a gas-powered heater.

This type of heating unit can also help save space. Since it attaches directly to the foot of the wall, you may have room for other items in your home, such as additional furniture.

Finally, you’re not using any combustibles like gas to run the appliance. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about leaks or safely storing natural or propane gas.

Potential Drawbacks

On the flip side, there are some drawbacks to this sort of heating. While these heaters don’t take up floor space, they do require at least 8 to 12 inches of clearance for safety and adequate air flow. This means you can’t place anything in front of them like a couch or table, so you’ll need to design your tiny home carefully to accommodate this requirement.

You’ll also need to make sure you can connect to the grid if you’re not going to use solar panels to generate electricity, which can limit your mobility if you’re planning to use your tiny home for travel. It is possible to use a generator to produce electricity in places where there’s no connection to the electrical grid. However, you’ll have some of the same challenges you would have if you used a gas-powered heating system (e.g. buying and storing fuel).

Of course, if you do choose to power your tiny home using solar, you have to factor in the cost of the system. The average solar panel produces about 200 watts of electricity and costs about $7 to $9 per watt to install. Baseboard heaters use about 250 watts of power per foot. So to power a 2-foot heater, you would need at least 3 solar panels, which will require an upfront investment of $4,200 to $5,400, and that doesn’t include the number of solar panels you may need to provide electricity for other things.

Lastly, it may take awhile for the heat from a baseboard heater to evenly distribute throughout the tiny home. Like any other heating system, maintaining the temperature is not a problem once the area warms up. However, getting to that point may be more of a challenge than other types of heating systems because there generally is no fan to help blow the warm air around. This may mean cold bathrooms in the morning and fall days when you’ll need to wear an extra sweater for a while.

Overall, baseboard heating can be an inexpensive and safe alternative to gas-powered heating sources. Do your research to find the one with the features that best support your needs and lifestyle. For more information about electric baseboard heaters or assistance with installing one, contact an electrician like Feldman Brothers Electrical Supply Co.

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There Are Plenty Of Times When An Electrical Contractor Is A Smart Hire

If you have any practice at doing your own projects around the house, you can probably handle a simple wiring job. However, some projects should be completed by a pro, no matter how badly you want to save money. Bad electrical work carries the risk of fire, so a few dollars saved really isn’t worth the risk. Here are a few projects you might want to hire an electrician to handle.

You Want To Upgrade To A Smart Home

Smart home technology is the latest and greatest upgrade for your home. Simple devices can be simply plugged into the wall, such as a remote light switch, but bigger systems require a combination of stand-alone devices and hardwired controls, that control everything from the lights for your whole home to your thermostat. Some items, like automatic blinds, require extensive installation. You want someone with experience putting in these devices so nothing gets broken.

Most of this work is electrical, so your best bet in finding an experienced installer is among the local electrical contractors. If you live in a larger city, you might have one or two choices that specialize just in doing home automation. Even if there isn’t a specialist near you, you should be able to find someone who’s done this sort of work before. It’s just a matter of doing proper vetting before you sight the work contract.

Your Electrical System Needs A Serious Upgrade

Older homes range from quaint to beautiful, and each one is a unique treasure. However, along with all that uniqueness comes a real cost. Unless the infrastructure of the home has been upgraded it’s going to need it. The electrical system is a big part of those necessary upgrades as old systems lack proper grounding and wiring can actually break down over time. Fuse boxes, outlets without ground wires and wiring that isn’t properly shielded are all fire risks that you simply don’t need to live with. While it is common practice to upgrade infrastructure while you are doing other projects, you don’t have to wait. Since you don’t usually have to tear open walls to upgrade the electrical, you can do this project without any major damage to your walls.

With this kind of project, you should bring in a pro right from the beginning. You want to take inventory of your home’s electrical system and see what exactly needs upgrading, what can wait, and what is in good condition. You can also discuss the costs of putting in new features such as a backup generator, a whole home surge protector, or wiring your home for ethernet. Once you have an idea of what your costs and needs are you can do a better job of deciding what work you want to include in this contract.

You Need The Work Done Quickly And Correctly

Working on your own home is a good way to save some money in exchange for your time. This isn’t always an even exchange, however. It will take you far longer to complete the installation than a pro would, who does this work on a daily basis. Finding the time to complete a large project can be a serious challenge for today’s busy lifestyle. Rather than assuming that you should try and do the work yourself, consider carefully whether or not the cost of your time and stress is really smaller than the financial cost to hire a contractor.

The same concept could be applied to ensuring the work is done correctly. Wiring an outlet is something that you can easily handle by taking your time and closely following the directions. A more complicated project is more difficult to accomplish correctly so that you minimize your risk of a short or a fire. It is just better, in these cases, to hire a professional that has the tools and expertise to ensure the job is done correctly with all the safety features intact.

Sure, hiring an electrician isn’t free, but sometimes it is a necessary expense. If you aren’t comfortable doing the work yourself you should definitely make that call. Even if you think you could handle them yourself, these situations should always make an appointment with a licenced contractor.

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5 Small Projects That Will Help Develop A Relationship With Your Electrician

When you have a large electrical project such as a full home rewiring or an electrical emergency, you want to be able to call an electrician that you can trust and who is familiar with the electrical system in your home. Unfortunately, many home owners wait until they are faced with an emergency before they consider contacting an electrician. This can leave you with less choice of electricians and inadequate time to properly assess your electrician’s credentials. Hiring various electricians to complete small projects around your home can give you an idea of the cost and quality of their work. It can also help you build a relationship with your electrician so you know that you can trust them. 

Here are five small projects you should consider hiring an electrician for today so you are prepared when you have an emergency project in the future. 

Updating Your Outlets With USB Ports 

Updating your electrical outlets and light switches are small, simple projects that many owners can do on their own. However, they also present a low-cost, fast project that gives you an introduction to an electrician and allows you to familiarize yourself with their rates and work style. 

A popular upgrade at the moment is adding USB outlets to your electrical outlets to charge small electronics more easily without overloading your electrical system. Alternatively, you may want to install dimmers or timers on your switches. 

Install Electrical Outlets In a Kitchen or Bathroom Cabinet

Installing a new electrical outlet is a more involved project that should take a little more time than upgrading your current outlets. It will give you an idea of how your electrician’s finished work appears and whether they have an eye for aesthetics. 

You may benefit from an additional outlet in a kitchen cupboard, where you can charge small electronics out of sight. Alternatively, an extra outlet in the bathroom can give you space to charge an electric toothbrush or shaver. 

Install Home Automation Systems 

Home automation systems include timers and scheduling for things such as your heating, laundry, and lights. They can allow you to control music throughout your entire home and to lock or unlock your door remotely. You may even be able to control your home’s automated system through an app on your smartphone while you are away from your home. 

Home automation requires significant wiring changes and the installation of new devices, which can give you a good idea of how your electrician will perform on a large project. It also allows the electrician to become familiar with how your specific home’s electrical system is currently setup in case there are emergencies in the future.  

Add a Whole-Home Surge Protector 

You are probably familiar with surge protectors that you add between the wall outlet and your electronics to protect your electronics from spikes in electricity. However, now you can add a surge protector to your whole house to help regulate spikes in electricity as they enter your system. A surge protector will cost around $1000 and will give you an idea of how your electrician works on quick projects that require your entire system to be shut down for a period of time. 

System Inspection 

While some electricians say that full-system inspections are unnecessary, others recommend an inspection every 3-5 years. Whether you think it is necessary or not, an inspection allows you to meet your electrician and gives them time to get familiar with your system so they can anticipate and possibly prevent future problems. 

Instead of waiting for an emergency, it is important to find an electrician that you trust now. Consider these five projects as test projects that will help you build a relationship with your electrician. For more information, visit websites like

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What You Should Know About Recessed Lighting Before Installing New Lights

If you’re looking at options to install new lighting in your house, you might be thinking about the possibility of recessed lighting. If you’re not familiar with recessed lighting, you might wonder if it’s even worth installing. After all, you’ll need to work with an electrician to help you install them, so is it really worth it? Here’s a look at the benefits of recessed lighting as well as the bulb choices you would have available.

What Are the Benefits of Recessed Lighting?

You might think that there aren’t enough differences in the types of lights available to really affect your home’s lighting enough to change it. The truth is, there are many benefits to opting for recessed lighting over other lights.

  1. You Can Install Them Anywhere – Recessed lights need little more than a flat surface and electrical wiring. That means you can install them on vaulted ceilings, sloped ceilings, stairways and walls.  
  2. They Are Versatile Lighting Options – Recessed lighting provides you with general ambient light in a room, but you can also install it as targeted lighting over work spaces or to spotlight a specific architectural feature. The versatility makes recessed lighting a great choice for almost any application.  
  3. You Can Customize Your Lights – The trim around a recessed light is the only visible part of the light case. You can customize that trim to match the decor of any room or area. If you have a space that benefits from extra light and reflection, you can opt for a mirrored surface. In rustic wood cabin structures, a wood veneer trim will help the lights blend in.  
  4. They Accommodate a Variety of Bulbs – Choosing recessed lights won’t leave you stuck with one single bulb option. Recessed lights can accommodate many types of bulbs, so your electrician can help you choose the best ones for your needs.

What Bulbs Can You Use in Recessed Lighting?

  • LED Lights – LED stands for light emitting diodes, and these are highly efficient lights. They don’t release an intense light, casting a blue, cool light in the room instead. If you’ve always liked the warm glow of incandescent bulbs, your electrician may be able to help you find a warmer LED, but they may be more expensive.  
  • Compact Fluorescent Lights – Compact fluorescent lights are often referred to as CFL bulbs and they are the most common options for replacing incandescent bulbs, which are no longer available in the United States. Compact fluorescent lights often generate heat, though, so you’ll want to be sure that you use them in areas where they aren’t going to be covered. Just make sure that you only install CFLs in fixtures that are rated for them, because they could damage other fixtures. Your electrician will tell you which fixtures are CFL-rated. Also, remember that CFL bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, so you’ll need to handle them carefully.  
  • Halogen Lights – Halogen light bulbs produce bright white light, and they are a long-lasting bulb. The low wattage makes them cost-effective despite the fact that they often cost a bit more than the other bulb options. If you’re installing halogen light bulbs, though, make sure your recessed lighting will be covered. Otherwise, the lights may be a bit too bright. The light produced is often a bit on the cool side, so you may want to counter that with some warm colors in your room decor if you use these lights.

Your electrician can help you assess the rooms in your home where you’re thinking of installing recessed lighting. He or she can tell you if your current wiring and construction will be suitable or if you need to plan on other work as well. If you aren’t sure about which bulbs are best, an electrician from a company like RDS Electric can often help you select those, too.

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Baby Proof Your Home With The Help Of 3 Professionals

If you are expecting your first baby, there are a lot of things to do to get yourself and your home ready for the new arrival. There’s a lot of excitement in preparing the baby’s room and buying all the little clothes and diapers. However, it’s important to not forget some very important safety issues that should be taken care of, and they can all be done with the help of three professionals. Here are three utility systems you may want to test and upgrade if necessary. 


Water is an essential element for survival, and water quality and temperature can affect your baby. You’ll want to be sure that your water is free of contaminants and pollutants. For example, research shows that too many nitrates in water can harm a baby. Have your water tested, regardless of whether you have a well or are on the public water system. You can do this by hiring a plumber to test your water.

Water temperature is another thing that can harm your baby. The temperature of your water heater should be set at 100 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. Temperatures greater than this can badly burn the delicate skin of babies and children. Ask your plumber to inspect your water heater to ensure the thermostat is working properly.

Lowering the temperature of your water heater is crucial if your plumbing network is in a series. For example, if your shower water gets extremely hot when a toilet is flushed or the water is turned on at a faucet, your plumbing runs in a series.

Electrical circuitry

You won’t need to worry too much about the electrical outlets when you first bring baby home. But you’ll want to make sure the electrical outlets in your home are safe before baby starts crawling and getting into everything. For some reason, little ones are fascinated by electrical outlets.

To make matters worse, babies and toddlers are known to drool and stick their fingers into their mouths. A wet finger placed into an electric socket can severely harm a child. Fortunately, there are special protective outlet covers that can be installed to cover the dangerous receptacles. You can purchase these devices at your local hardware store and install them yourself, or hire an electrician to do it for you.

In your kitchen and bathrooms, the outlets should have a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). These are outlets that monitor the amount of current flowing, and the circuit within the outlet trips when there is an imbalance of current, which commonly happens when there is too much moisture. This is why these outlets are important in kitchens and bathrooms.

GFCIs have a button that needs to be pushed to reset the circuit. Sometimes, this button is red, but not always. If you don’t think your outlets in your kitchen and bathrooms have this special feature, hire an electrician to upgrade the outlets.

HVAC systems

Poor indoor air quality can compromise the lungs of small children and may have a role in the development of asthma. It’s a good idea to install a HEPA filtration system in your home to help protect your baby from indoor allergens and pollutants. Most HEPA filtration systems can be retrofitted to existing heating and air conditioning units. Ask your HVAC technician for more information.

The air quality in your home may be affected by what is in your ducts. Mold, dust, debris and pests inside your HVAC ducts can enter the living quarters of your home every time air is forced through the ducts. Have the ducts professionally cleaned by your HVAC technician before you have a HEPA filtration system installed.

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