Monthly Archives: January 2016

Cut Electricity Bills in 2016 with These Tips

There’s one thing Phoenix home and business owners have in common: they all want to cut their electricity bills. There’s no time like the present to make the upgrades and improvements necessary to make lowering your electrical use a possibility this year. Below are some impactful changes you can make at home or in the office to begin lowering the charges on your monthly utility statements.

Switch to Energy Smart Appliances

Replacing aging appliances can make a large impact on your total energy consumption. Older models of major appliances aren’t as efficient as the ones produced today, and cost more to operate. For example, using a 20 year old refrigerator will cost you around $100 more each year than using a new, ENERGY STAR rated model.

Upgrade Your Lighting

If you are still using incandescent light bulbs, 2016 really is the time to make the switch to more efficient lighting. If the cost was keeping you from making the switch in years past, know that the pricing gap has closed significantly in recent years. Plus, the longevity and energy savings LED or CFL bulbs offer definitely makes them the smarter lighting choice for your home or business.

To really cut your lighting energy usage, consider installing lighting controls. Control systems are available that allow you to access lighting in your home or business from your smartphone, tablet, or computer via a Wi-Fi connection from nearly anywhere. Adjust lighting levels in any room, turn off forgotten lights after the close of business, and stop racking up electricity expenses with unnecessary lighting!

Switch to a Smarter Thermostat

Heating and cooling systems are a major consumer of electricity and other fuels for homes and businesses; switching from a manual thermostat to a smarter option, such as a programmable or smart thermostat, will help you cut back unnecessary energy usage. Set temperature schedules based on the hours you are home or your business is occupied, and access energy usage data which can help you make better choices when it comes to efficient use of these essential systems.

Improve Your Habits

There are many things we are guilty of doing every day which waste a great deal of electricity. Improving your way of doing things will help you cut these wasteful habits which raise your electric bills. A few habits that will make a difference include:

  • Always close the refrigerator door rather than leaving it open as you use an item
  • Keep doors and windows closed while you run the furnace over the winter
  • Take shorter showers rather than a long soak in the tub to cut electric hot water usage

Let Mister Sparky of Phoenix help you make the electrical upgrades which will make saving energy easy in 2016. Call us today to learn more!

When you need to add a new circuit

The electrical needs of Phoenix homes and businesses are always changing, as new devices are introduced and old components wear out. There will likely come a time where you need to add a new circuit. Below are the scenarios when you should do this, as well as how adding a circuit can add convenience and improve safety.

Protection for your home or business

Overloading occurs when devices plugged into one circuit draw more current than the circuit is designed to handle. Overloading will trip your breakers, cutting your power supply. If can also break down the wiring insulation meant to protect your home or business’s electrical wiring, which can increase your risk of electrical fires.

Dedicated circuits

Adding a new circuit to your Phoenix home or business can provide a dedicated power supply for appliances. Major appliance which draw a great deal of power should always be on their own circuit; if too many are plugged into one circuit, you’ll likely have frequent breaker trips due to overloading. Adding dedicated circuits will prevent this problem and help you avoid power interruptions.

Using multiple smaller devices on a single circuit can also be problematic. Running toasters, coffee pots, microwaves, and other devices at the same time on the same circuit can trigger an overload. You might consider adding multiple smaller circuits if you have a problem with frequent overloading.

It’s important that dedicated circuits be wired correctly for the devices which they will serve. If they do not have the proper amperage, the circuit could overheat, posing a fire risk. Below are the circuit sizes commonly used:

  • 20 amp circuits are used for mid-range electrical devices, such as small kitchen appliances and hairdryers
  • 30 to 50 amp circuits are used for medium to heavy duty appliances, such as refrigerators and clothes dryers.

When should I add a circuit?

You should add new circuits to your home or business if:

  • The existing circuit is not operating correctly. Neglecting to replace the circuit in the midst of malfunctions can put you at danger, as well as limit your ability to use devices. Signs of a malfunctioning circuit include constant tripping of breakers, interrupted operation of appliances, and no power to appliances and devices plugged into the circuit.
  • You want to add new appliances. Using too many appliances or electrical devices on a single circuit can overload the circuit. This causes it to trip and you to lose power. When planning to add a new appliance for use in your home or business, it’s best to add a new circuit which will serve the electrical needs of that device.

Call Mister Sparky today and have a licensed Phoenix electrician install the additional circuits your home or business needs.