Residential and commercial electrician serving Lake, Sumter and Marion counties

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Why does every home need smoke AND carbon monoxide detectors?

carbon monoxide alarmWithout both a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in your home and workplace, your safety and the safety of those around you are at risk. These two pieces of equipment function as life-saving devices and that is what they do.

Understanding Smoke Detectors

During a fire, smoke inhalation kills more people than the fire itself. Individuals who are asleep or unaware that there is a fire are overcome by breathing the smoke long before heat or flames reach them - and when it is already too late.

Ionization smoke detectors measure electronically charged ion particles in the air. When smoke begins to fill a room, it causes an electrical imbalance in the air. The higher the presence of smoke, the greater the imbalance which causes the smoke detector to sound the alarm. Ionization smoke detectors work especially well in storage areas with highly combustible materials like paint, newspaper, cooking fat or cleaning solutions.

At least one smoke detector belongs on the ceiling of each floor in your home or office, preferably near entry doors to rooms so the alarm can be easily heard.

Understanding Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Even if you live in a home with only electrical appliances, without a carbon monoxide detector, you are taking a risk with your family’s safety. Carbon monoxide poisoning comes from unexpected sources like your fireplace, gas grill, or an adjacent neighbor’s home. It is also common to live in a home that has electric appliances yet is wired for gas.  For the utmost safety, all homes and workplaces should have carbon monoxide detectors installed. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are commonly confused with the flu, and extreme exposure to carbon monoxide causes a person to lose consciousness, experience heart failure or even die.

Exposure to carbon monoxide causes neurological disorders, memory loss, personality changes and brain damage. These serious health risks are preventable with proper carbon monoxide detection equipment installed. The devices are inexpensive and could mean life or death for you and your loved ones.

 

Ways to Keep Your Energy Bill from Soaring this Summer

insulation summer savingsThe air outside is hot and humid, and the dreaded electric bill is on it’s way to shock you, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few simple tips for keeping your energy bill low, you can enjoy Spring the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed: by relaxing. Here are some quick tips to keep your energy bill (and your blood pressure) from shooting up too high this Spring:

  1. Open up windows and doors and point box fans or oscillating fans outward. This old fashioned trick uses a sort of reverse “technology” than an air conditioner by sucking the warm air out of a room and blowing it outward while keeping the warm air from the outside from entering the room through the open doors and windows. With a retractable screen, these opened windows and doors are protected from insects and prying eyes and can immediately be rolled up when not in use.
  2. Unplug appliances and other electronics when not in use. A surprising number of electronic appliances in your home drain electricity and raise energy costs even when they’re not in use. Taking the time to not only turn the power off - but unplug your coffee maker, television, or computer keeps the appliances safe from power surges and reduces their constant pull on your home’s electrical system.
  3. Use ceiling fans and be sure they’re rotating in the most beneficial direction.  For peak performance in the Spring, your ceiling fans should rotate forward (or counterclockwise) forcing air from the ceiling down and providing the wind chill effect that makes you feel cooler.
  4. Keep vents, and doors closed in areas of your home not often used. If you and your family spend most of your time in the living room, consider closing the air conditioner vents to guest bathrooms and bedrooms to reduce the unnecessary cooling of these rooms while not in use.
  5. Add insulation. A lot of cool air escapes from homes by way of space between the walls not protected by insulation. A simple spray foam purchased at a local home improvement store can work wonders when sprayed through drilled holes into the area between the walls.

Could air be the next big thing in renewable energy?

What if countries and regions could use air instead of water as a way of storing energy? Under the guidance of the European Union, scientists from all over Europe are attempting to turn this fantastic concept into a viable prospect, via a research project called RICAS 2020. Could air be the next big thing in renewable energy?

The challenges lie in issues such as climate change, economic, social and sustainable development. Additionally, security problems are closely linked to the energy supply of European societies. The RICAS 2020 project is named for the climate and energy package that requires that at least 20% of EU gross final energy consumption have to come from renewable energies until 2020. The challenge of RICAS 2020 is given by intermittent renewable energy sources which require increased energy storage to time shift this energy to meet daily demand.

The general principle, which has already been adopted at a few sites around the world, is essentially a matter of using surplus electric power to compress air, which is then stored in an underground cavern. When power needs to be made available, the air is released through a gas turbine that generates electricity. Existing plants of this type are often used to meet peak demand as a supplement to classical power plants, providing the right amount of electricity needed at different times during the day.

Poor energy efficiency has reduced interest in the few plants that are already in operation, and in the course of the past 15 years, a significant amount of money has been invested in developing more energy-efficient versions of the compressed-air energy storage concept.

However, the combination of significant technological challenges, low energy prices and uncertainties in the energy market has acted as a "showstopper," which has led to all plans for large-scale demonstration plants being postponed or abandoned. Therefore, nothing would be more ideal than seeing the EU project meet its goals.

Photo credit: Science Daily

It's Time for Electrical Spring Cleaning!

Spring is here and it is beautiful outside! As usual, with Spring cleaning, comes the time to take a closer look at everything in your home that needs attention and to focus on going into this new season with a fresh, clean start. Electrical Spring Cleaning.

It's time to consider what you don't see every day, behind the walls: your home's electrical system. Sure, your appliances may seem to be running in great condition, your outlets may not show any sign of trouble, but after long cold months of a lot of use of your oven, furnace, thermostat and holiday lights and decorations, Spring is the perfect time to have everything looked over closely, checked and tweaked for optimum performance.

Here are a few ways we suggest you tune up your home's electrical system this Spring:

Trees - check to be sure the new tree growth isn't threatening the wires around your home. If the wind can blow a branch into your electrical wires, you need to schedule a tree service to have the threatening branches trimmed back to avoid downed power lines and electrical fires.

Electrical Panel - look inside your electrical panel closely for any signs of burns or scorching around the fuses or breakers, which could indicate a loose or sparking wire. If these are noticed, contact an electrical professional immediately.

Outlets - look closely at all outlets in your home (even if they are not often used) to check for tell-tale signs of loose or sparking wires indicated by the presence of burn or scorch marks and if any are discovered, immediately contact your electrician.

GFCIs - the easiest way to make sure your GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) are properly working is to carry a small lamp with you to each outlet, plug the lamp in, and press the "test" button on the outlet, making sure the lamp turns on and off each time you press the test button. Use this same test for each outlet to make sure they all work.

Make a list - look around your entire house for leaks, breaks, cracks, wear, loose outlet covers, boxes, and receptacles and jot down anything you find may cause an issue to give to your electrician.

Schedule an Inspection - using your list, contact the electrical professionals at DUT to schedule a thorough and comprehensive inspection of your home's entire electrical system. Your electrician will be able to address any issues you've discovered as well as provide you with information on repairing anything you may have overlooked.

Happy Spring from your friendly, professional electricians at ICE! Contact our electrical experts today to schedule your springtime electrical inspection.

5 Things To Ask Your Electrician During an Electrical Inspection.

5 things to ask your electrician during an electrical inspection.1. Are my Extension Cords or Power Strips Overloaded? Overloading power strips or extension cords can easily result in fire or electrocution and should never be used to serve an excessive number of high powered appliances (microwaves, space heaters or refrigerators) or plugged in multiple numbers to one wall receptacle.

2. Is My Electrical Wiring Old or Faulty? While not always the choice of the homeowner, owning a home with old or faulty wiring is like a ticking time bomb of sorts and should be addressed by a professional electrician immediately when discovered. Wiring of the past is not equipped to handle the modern demand of appliances and could very easily be overloaded, tripped or start an electrical fire or electrocution. Your home and family's safety could very well depend on a thorough and comprehensive wiring inspection if you live in an older home.

3. Does My Home Have Aluminum Wiring? Usually going hand in hand with older wiring, aluminum wiring presents a danger through oxidation (which is the damage that occurs to aluminum wiring similar to what rust does to copper), thermal expansion (causing the wiring to shrink and expand with colder and warmer weather) or nicking (aluminum is a very thin and fragile wire, one nick could cause an entire electrical fire throughout your home and presents a real danger).

4. Are My Circuit Breakers Overloaded? Each circuit breaker in an electrical panel should have one wire leading to it only. Electrical panels should be neat and tidy. All GFCI and AFCI circuit breakers should be tested for proper functionality and panels from the brands Federal Pacific Electric (FPE), and Zinsco should be replaced (Zinsco panels were also known by the names of Sylvania, Kearney, and GTE).

5. How Often Do I Need Electrical Inspections? Some electrical issues can be avoided and even proactively treated if, as a homeowner, you schedule regular electrical inspections. As professional electricians, that gives us and you the advantage of knowing the situation up front and attacking present problems or what may present future issues – head on.

If you need an electrical inspection contact the licensed and insured experts at In Charge Electric. 

Latest News

Why does every home need smoke AND carbon monoxide detectors?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Without both a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in your home and workplace, your safety and the safety of those around you are at risk. These two pieces of equipment function as life-saving devices and that is what they do.

Read more...

Ways to Keep Your Energy Bill from Soaring this Summer

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The air outside is hot and humid, and the dreaded electric bill is on it’s way to shock you, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few simple tips for keeping your energy bill low, you can enjoy Spring the way it’s supposed to be enjoyed: by relaxing. Here are some quick tips to keep your energy bill (and your blood pressure) from shooting up too high this Spring:

Read more...

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Cities We Serve

In Charge Electric services Lake, Marion & Sumter counties in Florida, including, but not limited to the following locations:

The Villages® community

Lady Lake

Leesburg

Fruitland Park

Tavares

Eustis

Mount Dora

Clermont