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Preparing Your Home for Winter – Simple Yet Effective Tips

preparing your home for winter

October has arrived and brought the news of coming winter with it. When you care about the safety of your house, you take measures in advance. Just like you clean your home before the spring season, you need to prepare it for winter as well. One of the biggest concerns with winters is the costs of your electricity bills going through the roof. So, how can you keep your house safe and issue-free this winter? Here are some important tips:

Save on Lighting Expenses
Shorter days with longer nights require you to keep your lights on for longer. The more time you keep your lights on, the higher your electricity bill goes. This reason is why experts recommend that you use only LED lights. Even when it comes to decorating your Christmas tree, you should choose LED lights.

Have a Backup Generator
When the power goes out in summers, the worst that can happen is spending a night sleeping in sweat. On the other hand, power outages in winters can cause dangerous problems since you need heat and warmth. The best way to prepare for such unpredicted power outages is to have a backup generator. A Wire Craft Electric professional can help you with the wiring and connections for your backup generator.

Fix the Chewed Wires and Cables
Winter is sleeping time for various animals and pests. These same pests can go inside your attic, basement, even within the walls, to have three to four months of sleep time. In an attempt to make these places their comfortable homes, they can often chew your wires and cables and strip them. Call an electrician ASAP before winter arrives and save your family from dangerously exposed wires.
Use Your Ceiling Fans for Heat Distribution
Modern fans have the winter and summer settings on them. Pressing the winter switch on them makes them rotate in a reverse order and allows them to spread the heat trapped close to the ceiling into the room. If your winter mode is not working, you better call an electrician fast.

Have an Electrician’s Number Nearby
No matter how carefully you prepare for winter, things can go wrong unexpectedly, and at the worst times, you can imagine. Dealing with electricity-related matters on your own is never a recommended course of action. It is mandatory to have an electrician’s number with you so you can call one for professional help during cold winter. Call Wire Craft Electric for your electrical issues and any emergencies.

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Best Lighting Upgrades for Your Home

best lighting upgrades

Natural light entering your house has the best lighting that you can possibly experience, whether in terms of aesthetics, practicality, or cost effectiveness. Unfortunately, you cannot enjoy the sun’s brightness during the night. This might be a good time for you to consider lighting upgrades in your home.

There are a lot of ways to upgrade the lighting situation inside your home, but here are some of the best techniques that can instantly uplift the value and energy of any room:
1. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs
Several manufacturers have come up with light bulbs that consume less energy but still generate enough brightness. Steer clear of incandescent bulbs, which are not only dimmer than modern bulbs, but are also power-hungry devices. Instead, choose either a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) or a light emitting diode (LED). Sure, these products may cost more than traditional bulbs, but they use less electricity and last longer.

2. Add recessed lighting
A good alternative to traditional bulbs is the use of recessed lighting. This kind of lighting fixture prevents the usual light bulb glare, by being embedded in the ceiling through a hollow opening. The result is a sufficiently lit room that’s perfect for intimate moments or areas in the home that need quick bursts of illumination (such as a bathroom).

3. Install undercabinet lighting
One of the latest and most trending techniques in brightening up a kitchen or home library is to use undercabinet lighting. As its name suggests, the lighting fixture is installed under or behind a cabinet.

This creates practically the same illumination, but without the light bulbs visible. It’s a more sophisticated way of making a room brighter.
4. Consider using chandelier or similar lighting fixtures
Chandeliers are gradually returning to home interior design, and today is a good opportunity to consider installing one in your living room.

However, if you think chandeliers are too extravagant or formal for your home, you may opt for flush mount lighting fixtures or pendant light. These alternatives also appear to be hanging from the ceiling – just like a traditional chandelier – but they look more modern and minimalist.

5. Use string lights for small homes
There’s something cozy and comforting about string lights, probably because they may remind you of Christmas lights or a quaint neighborhood’s street light. Putting up string lights in your home creates a fun and festive atmosphere, where everyone feels comfortable. What’s great about this kind of lighting option is that they’re easy to install and remove.

Final Word
Upgrading your lighting fixtures is a great way to redesign your home and replace any busted light bulbs. Follow these five tips, and you will find yourself enjoying your home more than usual.

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Making Sure Your Home is Ready for Appliance Upgrades

Appliance UpgradesPutting a new appliance in the home is always an exciting occasion. Imagine replacing your old and noisy washing machine with a brand new automatic unit – it’s a simple change that can bring unexpected joy to your home. But before upgrading your appliances, you need to make sure that your home is ready for the change.

Things To Consider Before Doing An Appliance Upgrade

Before you get all too excited to buy the latest dishwasher model or air conditioner, here are some things that you need to check first:

Size: The new appliance may not have the same dimensions as your existing one. You need to make sure that the new unit will fit nicely into the location of your old appliance.

User interface: Sure, it’s amazing to own a fully automatic home appliance, but that won’t matter if you’re not comfortable having to handle a lot of buttons and functions. Check first if the users (that includes you and the other people in your house) will be able to use the new features properly.

Power requirement: Most of the latest batch of appliances require more power to run additional features, and so you need to check if your electrical system can handle the extra load. Otherwise, you might end up with either a busted home appliance or damaged home electrical system.

How To Prepare Your Electrical System for the Appliance Upgrade
To prevent any electrical damage in your home circuits or the new appliance itself, follow these precautionary measures:

1. Check the age of your home

One of the easiest ways to know the status of your electrical system is to trace back the history of your home. How many years have passed since the house was built? A house that’s been in existence since the last century may have electrical wiring that’s not ready for the new technology of home appliances.

2. Observe warning signs
The following situations may be telltale signs that your home isn’t ready for new and more power-hungry appliances:

      •       Repeated blowing of fuse or tripping of circuit breaker
      •       Electrical sparks when in contact with existing appliances
      •       Lights that flicker or dim
      •       Electrical outlets that spark, become warm, or are already discolored

3. Consult an electrician

The best and safest way to ensure that your electrical system is fit for an appliance upgrade is to have it checked by someone who has expertise in this matter. Tap the services of Wire Craft’s team of electricians and we’ll lift the work off your hands.

There’s no better solution against home accidents than preparation and planning. Make sure that your home – and especially your electrical system – is ready as you are to welcome new and more robust appliances.

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3 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Appliances Safer from Electrical Issues

kitchen safety appliance safety

Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in the house. It also has a great number of electrical appliances in it including but not limited to light fixtures, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee machines, etc. It also happens to be the only room where you can find water on the floor, and even on the countertops, which makes electrical works in the kitchen immensely dangerous, and thus any DIY projects should be avoided unless you are a professional. Keep the following tips in mind to help you keep your kitchen safe from any electrical hazards, major or minor.

Build Good Kitchen Habits

While working in the kitchen is a lot of responsibility, the bigger responsibility is when you have completed your work and are about to leave the area. You have to make it a habit of turning off every electrical appliance in your kitchen before leaving. Turn off your stoves before plugging in blenders and food processors if your wall outlets are near the cooking area. Perform checks on your electrical boards periodically and be sure to remove that grease which forms time to time near the stove. Do your best to avoid splashing water on your power outlets and switchboards.

Be Mindful of Your Refrigerator and Microwave

Always keep refrigerators at a distance from the walls to allow circulation of air. One of the most common mistakes made by most families is putting stuff on refrigerators and microwaves. They are not places to keep your stuff, especially stuff that contains liquids. And no, don’t even put your cup full of coffee there thinking that you will be back in a minute.

Be Careful to Not Overload Outlets

Use one outlet for one appliance at a time. If you often require plugging in multiple appliances in the same outlet but don’t want to risk overloading it, give us a call and our Wire Craft Electric professionals will be there at your doorstep to make things easier and safer for you. As intuitive as it sounds, most people don’t care about touching buttons and plugs with wet hands. Avoid it as much as possible not only for the sake of your own life but the safety of your electrical system as well. Replace your buttons or call Wire Craft Electrical professionals if your buttons become loose, i.e., switching on a light causes it to flicker and you hear funny sparking sounds coming from the button.

Once again, take it as a reminder or warning, but it is best that you let professionals handle all your electrical works for all the safety reasons, especially any electrical projects inside your kitchen.

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Educating Children About Electrical Safety

children electrical safetyIt’s fairly common for kids to be curious, and this behavior allows them to discover things around them. Unfortunately, this may also lead to accidents and injuries, especially when they don’t know the real dangers in their surroundings. This is the reason why teaching them about electrical safety is one of the priorities that any adult should do.

Facts and Figures on Electrical Safety

Electrocution is a nasty accident that you don’t want children to get involved with. Here are some alarming facts about electricity-related accidents:

  •       According to the National Safety Council, electricity is the sixth most common cause of work-related injuries in the U.S.
  •       Electricity leads to at least 140,000 fires annually, which consequently burns down $1.6 billion worth of property.
  •       Based on data from Statistic Brain, more than 2,500 children experience electrical shock from wall outlets every year.

How To Teach Kids About Electrical Safety

You can do a lot on your own to make sure that your child’s room is safe, but teaching them about electrical safety can do even more to protect them. Consider some of these steps and concepts when walking your child through the ins and outs of electrical safety.

  1. Explain how electricity travels from source to point of use

When they’re old enough to understand, educate kids on how electricity is carried from the power company to the wall outlets at home. This tip may require you to do a little research, but this can definitely save kids from electrical shock.

  1. Tell them what things can conduct electricity

Letting them know the things that allow electrical current to travel will give them clues on what not to touch whenever there’s electricity near. Items such as metals and tap water conduct electricity, while rubber and hard plastic are perfect insulators.

  1. Unplug appliances when not in use

Although plugged appliances may seem innocent, this may increase the risk of potential short circuits or power overload. Teach your kids to turn off electrical devices that are not in use, and unplug them if they’re not going to be used for a long period of time.

  1. Be firm in dos and don’ts

Instilling discipline at an early age gives direction to children. Having said that, make sure to tell them not to poke their fingers into wall outlets, or stick anything in those areas. Advise them to always have their hands dry before handling electrical appliances.

Conclusion

You can never be too careful in terms of protecting children from the risks of electrocution. By teaching them about electrical safety at an early age, you can help them become more alert and watchful when it comes to using electrical appliances and power lines.You can also work to make your home safer for your children. Reach out to Wire Craft and we’ll send one of our electricians to inspect your home, ensuring everything is safe and in working order for your whole family.

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Electrical Safety in Your Child’s Room or Nursery

Every parent naturally wants their children to enjoy the best life imaginable. This kind of care and attention range from grand plans to the smallest of details. Inside the home, kids need to be protected from dangerous things that may affect their health in general. One of the most important precautions that parents need to learn is electrical safety for the child’s room or nursery.

What Dangers are their for Children in Your Home?

No matter how protective we are of our children, a few seconds can already expose your kids to a lot of dangers, especially in terms of electricity. Here are some of the potential reasons of electrocution in children:

1. Exposure to electrical sockets

Most kids are curious, and discovering an electrical socket may lead them to touch and play with it. It’s one of the leading causes of electrocution in children at home.

2. Exposed electrical wires

A lot of children want to play with everything they can get their hands on, and this may include electrical wires that they can reach. It’s possible for some kid to either yank out the wires, or take a bite on the chewy wire insulators.

3. Electrical appliances within reach

Whether it’s a lighting fixture or a music player, kids may be curious enough to reach for these home items and tinker with them. If these things are plugged in, there might be a possibility for the child to get an electric shock.

4. Static electricity

Most kids’ bedrooms and nurseries have carpet floors, which may build up static electricity over time. This may cause a static electricity discharge that could jolt your child.

How To Improve Electrical Safety in the Kid’s Room

Here are some tips to keep your child’s room safe from electricity-related problems:

1. Cover electrical sockets

If removing the sockets is not an option, make sure to cover them. This will prevent your children from poking their fingers into the sockets.

2. Keep wires and electrical items out of reach.

Check the room for wires that are easy to reach and find a way to place them in a higher position. The same tip also goes for electrical home items such as lamps and the TV.

3. Arrange for proper grounding of static electricity.

One good strategy is to install electro-static dissipative flooring on your child’s room, and direct the current to a grounding point. This should prevent electrostatic discharge to your kids as they stay in their room.

Prevention is always better than cure, and this is especially true when it comes to electrical safety. Make sure that your child’s room is an absolutely safe place for them to enjoy. Need some help getting your home ready for your young kids? Wire Craft can help. Reach out to us today and we’ll see how our team of electricians can best help make your home safe and childproof.

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What is a Brownout and How Do You Protect Your Home From It?

Summer brings a lot of fun and excitement to life, giving people a perfect opportunity to enjoy the beach with family and friends or barbecuing out on the yard. Unfortunately, the warm season also increases the electrical load, which may cause power interruptions in the form of blackouts or brownouts. If you want to maximize the fun of summer, you need to protect your home from a brownout.

What is a Brownout?

In a nutshell, a brownout is the result of a power fluctuation caused by voltage drops in the electrical system. The term comes from the “browning” or dimming of lighting fixtures due to the voltage change. An extreme voltage drop may lead to total power outage or interruption, which is called a blackout.

Seasonal brownouts occur during summer, when a lot of people find the need to stay in air-conditioned rooms to protect themselves from the harsh heat of the sun. Some of the common causes of brownouts include:

  •       Electrical system overload: Using a lot of electrical appliances and equipment may cause an abnormal surge in power requirement, which can overload your electrical system.
  •       Faulty electrical circuits: With wear and tear in your home comes a potential damage in your electrical wiring.
  •       Weather conditions: Thunderstorms may interfere with the distribution of power in your grid, thereby causing voltage slumps.

Tips To Protect Your Home From A Brownout

Brownouts – or any power fluctuation for that matter – may damage your home appliances and shorten the life of your lighting fixtures. Here are some things that you can do to protect your home from potential damage when a brownout strikes.

  1. Limit the use of power-hungry appliances. Some electrical home appliances such as the washing machine or air conditioner require a lot of electricity to get them running. Make sure that you regulate the use of these items as much as you can.
  1. Turn on only the appliances that you will use. Sure, it’s going to be convenient for you to switch all of your gadgets and appliances on, but this will cause an unnecessary power requirement that may cause a brownout. In other words, turn on the items only when you’re going to use them.
  1. Check your electrical circuits for damage. Look for corroded circuit breakers or bad terminals, and repair them immediately.

A brownout may look like a simple and innocent event, but it can cause a lot of problems when you fail to follow precautionary measures against it. Make sure that your home is ready for power interruptions and fluctuations when they strike. The best solution is to contact an electrician to help you prepare your home before the next brownout happens. That’s where Wire Craft can help. Our team of electricians can help you get your home ready for whatever the summer heat and power surges bring your way. Reach out to us today and we’ll work with you to protect your home.

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Installing Ceiling Fans to Beat the Summer Heat

ceiling fans

In Washington state, you’d be hard pressed to find a home with air conditioning installed. As the Seattle Times reports, fewer and fewer homes in Washington actually have AC. It can make sense throughout the fall and winter – why invest in something you won’t need most of the time? That sentiment might change once summer heat hits. If you don’t want to make the leap to AC, a ceiling fan can be a great way to keep you house cool as well as being a fun DIY project. Not sure how to do it? Here’s a high-level overview of ceiling fan installation.

Before you Begin

Make sure your work area is clear and everything is laid out neatly nearby. Turn off the electricity and make a note that it should not be turned back on until you are finished. Read through the installation instructions and keep them close at hand for reference if you need them later.

The next step is to chose an existing light fixture and remove the wires, mounting nuts and screws. Once the fixture has been removed inspect the joist to ensure that it will hold your fan. If needed, install the ceiling fans support brace. You are now ready to begin the installation steps.

Step One: Mounting Bracket

Attach the mounting bracket to the ceiling box, during this step be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. It is recommended to use the motor extensions provided, when a fan is mounted without an extension the ceiling can restrict airflow.

Step Two: Wiring

Connect the house wiring with the wires to your fans motor. Follow the instructions to ensure you properly connect all your wires. Be sure to secure all connections with wire nuts. Be aware that remote control operated ceiling fans will have additional wires you will need to connect to the receiving unit.

Step Three: Attachments

Mount the fan canopy cover, this covers the fixture and the mounting bracket opening. Attach your fan blades and brackets to the fan motor and tighten all of your mounting screws. If your ceiling fan comes equipped with light fixtures attach the fixture assembly and switch housing to the fan motor assembly. Follow the manufacturer’s wiring instructions and install your bulbs and glass dome.

Step Four: Install Wall Switch

Most fans operate much like standard fixtures with a simple on/off switch. Some higher end fans have fan speed and dimmer functions. These often will need to have a new wall switch installed due to the added complexity of functions.

Not a DIY person? Need some help getting your fan installed? No problem at all, Wire Craft can help. Reach out to us today and you can discuss your ceiling fan needs with one our electricians. We’ll help find the right fan option for you.

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Four DIY Electrical Projects You Can Start Today

4 DIY Electrical Projects You Can Start Today

Home electrical wiring is serious business. Even if you’re avid about having DIY projects to do around your home, your home’s electrical systems can rightfully feel a bit daunting – we’ve even warned about knowing your DIY limits on this very blog. But for those who are eager to get a summertime project going around the house, there are still some easy tasks you can set for yourself that can really make a difference for you and your family. Consider taking up some of these odd jobs around the home to help keep your home running efficiently.

Replacing Switches

Faulty switches can be a real nuisance, but they’re also surprisingly easy to fix. As with the rest of the projects listed in this post, you’ll want to make sure the power is turned off from the circuit breaker before you get started. After that it’s a matter of grabbing new switches and plates as well as a voltage detector from your local hardware store. Dummies lists a handy step-by-step guide that on how to do this safely and efficiently.

Fixing or Upgrading Light Fixtures

Flickering lights driving you crazy? Or maybe you’re just wanting a new look for your home? Replacing some light fixtures can be a great day project to give your home a minor but helpful improvement. While some fixtures like track lighting might be a bit out of scope for those who aren’t professionals, some standard fixtures don’t take much effort at all and are a remarkably similar process to replacing light switches.

Replacing Outlets

There are few things more infuriating than an outlet that doesn’t work when you need it. Rather than wait until you can have someone come out and fix it for you, this is another task that is within the range of your own toolkit. With the power off, you can remove the face and outlet from the wall, test the power, and reattach to your new outlet in no time.

Mapping Your Circuit Breaker

We don’t suggest getting to into the weeds with your home’s main power, however you can do some housekeeping with your circuit breaker. This organizational practice may seem small in the scheme of things, but it can save you and your electrician a lot of headaches down the road. Go through each of the breaker controls on your panel and note which one corresponds with which rooms and outlets. You may have to switch them on and off to determine what goes to what, but then you can label each switch and not have to think about it ever again.

These projects are great way to get you started, but by all means don’t feel like you have to do them alone. Our expert electricians at Wire Craft are available to help with tasks big and small. Don’t try and take off more than you can chew – let us help. Reach out to Wire Craft today.

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Preparing Your Home for an Inspection

Preparing Your Home for an Inspection - Wire Craft Electric - Edmonds, WA

Anytime you’re inviting someone into your home, it’s natural to be a bit nervous and want to prepare. This is doubly true when you’re bringing in someone for an inspection. Having an electrician come in and look at your wiring and outlets can be a bit nerve wracking leading up to it, but it doesn’t have to be a pain at all. Follow these key ideas to make sure your house is ready for an inspection and make the process go quick and easy from your end.

Know Where Everything Is and What to Expect

It may sound simple, but before your electrician comes to your house, make sure you have a plan. You can even call them beforehand and ask exactly what they’ll want to see. Once you have this information, go through your house and make sure you know where everything is. Everything from the circuit breaker to the individual outlets – including exterior outlets –around your home will likely be looked out, so ensure you know where each thing is. You may live in your house day in and day out, but little things like these often aren’t thought about regularly. Give yourself a little refresher course of your own home and you’ll make the process go by faster once the electrician shows up at your door.

Clean-Up Around the House

Now that you know where everything is, it’s time to make sure it’s all accessible. Chances are you don’t live your life anticipating an electrician poking around your house. You might have shelves in places covering certain outlets or maybe the circuit breaker is blocked in the garage by some storage boxes – or both. In any case, you’ll want to make sure everything is moved and ready for when the electrician arrives. You don’t want to be shuffling things around and slowing down the process.

Have Your Own Questions Ready

Just because the electrician is the expert doesn’t mean you have to standby idly. The more you learn from the electrician and the inspection, the better you’ll understand the changes you might have to make later on. The more questions you ask, the more productive it will be for everyone involved. If the electrician ends up working on your home, you’ll have a clear understanding of everything involved and won’t have to worry about where your money is going.

Are you in need of a home inspection and want an electrician you can trust? The Wire Craft team is located in Shoreline, and services various cities in Snohomish, King, and Piece County. We would be happy to send one of our expert electricians to your home and help you identify any issues that need to be addressed. Give us a call today.

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