July 1, 2015 Newsletter
July 1, 2015 Eco Electric Newsletter
Fixing Pool Lights
Lighting in pools adds a fun touch whether it’s a basic, clear light or a vibrant colored light. These lights also allow for safer night swimming along with transforming the pool into an oasis.
Over the years they have become standard fixtures in most pools. However, just like other lights, these too can burn out and need replaced. They can also break or malfunction. If the light switch to the pool isn’t properly grounded, it could electrocute someone in the pool.
Wanting to install a pool light, or have one that needs fixed? Eco Electric can help with residential and commercial electrical needs.
The Causes of Power Outages
Power outages during summer heat can be frustrating and costly. If the power is off for long enough, food in refrigerators and freezers can spoil, wasting a lot of money. It poses many inconveniences to residents and can be dangerous in the serious Boise heat.
During the summer months, power outages can happen due to a variety of factors. Here are some of the most common problems that cause power outages:
1. Increased demand
When everyone is cranking up their air conditioning to combat the 100 degree heat, it can overload electrical lines, transformers and other equipment. This causes the power to be disrupted.
2. Sustained demand
When the demand continues, the transformers may not be able to properly cool down, causing them to overheat and damage the electrical equipment causing longer outages.
3. Underground lines
A short circuit can occur when underground lines have stressed insulation. The insulation becomes stressed when the lines expand from the heat.
4. Overloaded lines
Overloaded power lines heat up, expand or sag from too much demand. Often this causes them to sag and hit tree branches or other objects creating a short circuit.
5. Protective Equipment
In order to prevent damage to the electrical system, circuit breakers and other equipment will shut off the flow of power, causing an outage.
6. Lightning strikes
During storms, lightning can cause the equipment to fail and send residents into a power outage.
The best way to prepare for these summer blackouts is to stock up on items that will be needed. Backup lighting such as candles, flashlights and lanterns are essential. These will also need batteries or matches, so make sure to have plenty of those conveniently located.
Dry, non-perishable foods should have a permanent place in the pantry for emergencies like this. It’s best to have back-up food that doesn’t need cooked.
Homes aren’t the only thing hit during these power outages. Stores, banks and other businesses will be without power as well if they don’t have a generator. This means residents will need cash for purchases because credit card machines and ATMs might not be working.
When hit with a power outage, stay calm. Call the power company from a cell phone to see what the issue is. Most of the time they will have an answer and an estimated time when the power will be back on.
Turning Off Lights to Save Money
Turning off lights can be cost-effective and will keep the house cooler during summer. However, the cost-effectiveness depends on the type of lightbulb and the price of electricity in the area.
These lightbulbs should be turned off whenever they are not needed. Only about 10-15 percent of the electricity that incandescent lightbulbs consume results in light, while the rest is heat. By turning off incandescent lights when they’re not needed, it will keep the house a lot cooler. It also saves energy and lowers the electricity bill.
The operating life of fluorescent lightbulbs is affected by how often they are turned on and off. They are also more expensive to buy. This means frequently turning it off when leaving the room for a short period of time could cause homeowners to buy them more often.
Many suggest turning a fluorescent lightbulb off if they are going to leave a room for more than fifteen minutes. If they are going to be back in that room sooner than that, it might be best to leave it on. The exact time will vary depending on the cost of electricity.
In any event, turning off lights in the summer can help make the house feel cooler. This coupled with closing blinds or curtains can help keep the heat away. However, this might make the house feel a little like a dungeon. Try turning fewer lights on this summer and see if you feel the difference.
When to Use Appliances
When battling heat and energy bills this summer, consider running large appliances at a different time than normal. This will not only keep the house cooler, but cost less as well.
During peak hours, which are generally from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., utility companies often charge higher rates. By running large appliances in the morning or after 7:00 p.m., homeowners are likely to pay less. This is also when the temperature is lower, helping to not overheat the house.
By using warm or cold water when washing laundry, homeowners can save on their energy bill. Also, using cold water to rinse clothes helps. Forgoing the dryer in favor of line drying items cuts down on a ton of energy usage and eliminates one factor that could heat up the house. Also, if a homeowner’s washing machine and dishwasher are more than ten years old, they could maximize the use of their hot water heater by running them at the same time to save some money.
Try these tips while using large appliances to help reduce energy usage and keep the house cooler. Eco Electric can also help put the house on an energy diet to make it more cost-effective this summer.