September 29, 2015 Eco Electric Newsletter
Hiring an Electrician
When looking to hire an electrician for a particular job, homeowners should ask these five questions:
1. Are you licensed?
Licensing helps ensure that electricians meet a certain quality within their work. If an electrician is licensed, it means they have passed a test administered by the state. They’re likely to be more skilled, and be held to a higher standard of quality.
2. How much experience do you have?
This can be based on the type of electrical project that needs to be completed. An electrician who has never dealt with a project of that nature might not be the best one to handle it.
3. Will I get a written estimate?
Estimates lets homeowners know roughly how much the project will cost. Often, getting multiple estimates from various electricians can help weed out those who are charging too much for an electrical service. Although it may be tempting, often the cheapest estimate can cost more in the long run if the work has to be redone or if there are a lot of late add-ons to the project. Request a detailed estimate.
4. What’s your plan of attack?
Be prepared for the type of work being done and find out how long the project will take. Ask the electrician if the project will affect everyday life and how to best prepare the area.
5. How can I keep my energy bills down?
Electricians are the experts on this topic, so who better to ask? Eco Electric gives their customers a multitude of tips in reducing energy use and even going green. They’re passionate about helping their customers and the environment at the same time.
Eco Electric’s licensed and experienced electricians welcome all electrical projects. They also specialize in installing and maintaining energy saving devices for residential and commercial properties. When looking for an electrician in the Boise area, give them a call first.
The Dangers of Space Heaters in the Office
Office spaces are notorious for being cold even in the winter. A combination of the building layout and attempting to keep energy costs low makes office spaces chilly a majority of the time. In response to that, many officer workers turn to using portable space heaters in their cubicles or desk area to stay comfortable. However, some portable heaters aren’t that effective and could a pose fire hazard. When used within confined spaces such as underneath a desk or if they are surrounded by debris such as paper or boxes, the risk of fire increases.
Along with being a fire hazard, personal space heaters are costly for a business to operate. They consume a large amount of energy just to provide heating for one or two people in an area. Essentially, one space heater is equal to 20 fluorescent light fixtures with two lamps in each fixture when comparing operating costs for one month.
Ensuring the heating system is working properly in an office building is a better way to spend money than on running multiple space heaters. However, if personal space heaters are allowed, those using them should follow these tips:
- Nothing should be within three feet of the heater
- Do not leave it on overnight or while away from the desk for more than five minutes
- Never use it with an extension cord; it should be plugged directly into a wall outlet
Teaching Children about Electricity
Electricity is an incredible power source, but it can also be dangerous. Each year, approximately 2,400 children end up in the emergency room from injuries caused by inserting objects into electrical receptacles. Knowing the basics could stop them from making this mistake.
Children should learn electrical safety at a young age to prevent dangerous situations. They should be taught the dangers and how to safely use plugs, outlets, switches and other devices.
It can be hard to keep children’s attention spans for long, so creating fun activities to explain the information can be a great idea to keep them entertained, but also have them retain what they learn. Start with the basics like how to plug and unplug items into wall outlets, building up to more complex lessons.
Don’t wait for an injury to occur before teaching children about electricity. Their natural curiosity could get them into a dangerous situation. Being aware of the dangers could lessen their chances of getting hurt.
Many electricians suggest installing GFCI outlets in the home, but what are they? What is their purpose? A GFCI is a ground-fault circuit interrupter that protects homeowners from electrical shock.
These outlets measure and monitor the amount of current flowing from hot to neutral and trip the circuit if needed. When it trips the circuit, the electricity is cut off, preventing whoever is using the electrical appliance from getting shocked.
These outlets trip within as little as 1/40 of a second, preventing many electrical accidents. The most common form of electrical shock hazard is the ground-fault, which is what these aim to protect people from. They also protect against fires, overheating, and destruction of wire insulation.
While installing these or investing in the portable version for every outlet in the home would be helpful, it’s not necessary. Most people focus on putting GFCI outlets in kitchen areas, bathrooms, outside workshops, etc. Basically any place where an appliance is plugged in and unplugged often, especially near water such as sinks or tubs.
Ask Eco Electric about installing GFCIs in a residential or commercial property. They can show home and business owners where GFCIs would make the biggest impact in the building.