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How To Keep My Electricity Bill Low While I’m on Vacation

electricity bill

This Memorial Day you’ll probably be going out of town to take full advantage of the three-day weekend, or maybe you’re slipping away for a much needed escape that lasts even longer. The question comes up: how can I keep my electricity bill low during the time I’m gone? Why pay for more wattage than necessary if no one is actually home? Of course, vacation safety etiquette dictates leaving on lights and having some of your electronics going to deter any prowlers, but there are ways to still reduce how much energy is being used while you’re away.

Fight Energy Vampires Affects Electricity Bill

One of the first things that you should do before leaving on your trip is unplugging any energy vampires you have around your home. This will lower your electricity bill. An “energy vampire” is an electronic device that’s not being used, but is still using energy. Energy vampires can often be spotted by having a red light or another indicator that shows the device is plugged in, even if it’s not actually on. Go through the house and unplug these devices. You may even want to consider unplugging your television, but you may want to leave your DVR on in case you’re recording any shows while you’re gone.

The Fridge

Depending on what you have in your fridge, you may want to unplug it while you’re out of town, especially if you’re going out of town for longer than the weekend. This can be a great time to clear out your refrigerator and let it sit while your home is empty. This option may not be for everyone, but it is one to consider if you could swing it.

Put Technology to Work

You can put technology to work for you in helping you to conserve energy. One of the best technologies for going out of town are light timers.  These allow you to turn on your lights at night, to give the appearance that someone is home. After that you turn your lights off, as well.  This is a better option than just keeping a light on at all times. Also, there are many systems out there that you can control from your phone. Forget to turn down the heat? You can use these connected systems where you can control your thermostat, lights, and other functions. Do this by simply opening an app on your phone.

Your vacation is meant to be a great time. No one wants to come home to find out that they ran up a huge electricity bill.  These simple steps in advance can make it so that no unnecessary electricity is wasted.  Then, when you come back home, you’ll just need to get everything plugged back in. If you need help with any of these steps, or if you’d like our help with wiring and you’re in the Snohomish/King County area, get in touch with Wire Craft today!

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How To Solve Wiring Problems

wiring problems - wire craft edmonds

For many homeowners, it’s easy to think of your electricity as some magical force that flows from your outlets and powers your appliances. That is, until it stops working. That’s when you have to face the harsh reality that there’s wiring running throughout your home and it needs to be addressed. It may sound daunting, but solving wiring problems can be done easily when addressed early on and by getting the help you need.

Before Anything, Check The Basics on Wiring Problems

Instead of jumping to conclusions that your wiring is faulty, you’ll first want to check some of the basics. Check your circuit breaker and the GFIs on your outlets to see if they’ve been switched. It’s common for outlets to switch their breakers when they’re under immense strain. Also, check your lightbulbs to make sure they’re not just burned out. That may sound silly, but it’s an easy assumption to overlook.

Replace Faulty Cords and Power Strips

You also might find that the cords and power strips you’re using for your appliances and devices aren’t functioning the way they’re supposed to. This can be a real danger and something you’ll want to fix right away. Not just that, but they also can put a strain on your home wiring.

Tightening Loose Wiring and Cleaning Corrosion

Either through vibration or some other force, there’s a chance that your wiring may have come loose. This can be solved by doing some simple tightening on your terminal blocks. Take extreme caution when doing this and make sure the power is turned off from the main panel and double check this with a voltage tester. Even better, ask a professional electrician to help you do this. You also may have corrosion or moisture built up as well that needs to be cleaned off. This is another case where you’ll want to shut off the power before attempting or bring in a electrician.

Replacing Old Wiring

If you’re living in an older home, it may be time to replace your wiring altogether. We’ve talked about the issues of older homes on this blog in the past and older wiring is chief among concerns for homeowners. If you have aluminum wiring in your home, it is essential that you replace it right away. Unlike some of the other steps in this post, this one is incredibly intensive and we recommend not taking a DIY approach. Your homes wiring is crucial to your day-to-day functions and if something is done wrong you run the risk of starting an electrical fire or some other calamity.

Have you checked your outlets and cables and still don’t have answers to your home electrical problems? We can help. Wire Craft’s team of electricians specializes in mystery cases like these.

We serve areas like Edmonds, Shoreline, Seattle, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, and more! Give us a call today and we’ll help you resolve your issues. Let’s get your home working properly in no time.

Need help replacing any old wiring? Contact us Today

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Energy-Efficient Home Design

Energy-Efficient Home Design

You’ve fantasized about your dream home your entire life. The type of flooring you want, the white picket fence, the layout, and so on and so on. But in those fanciful daydreams, it’s unlikely that most are thinking about how they’ll make an energy-efficient home design. It’s not nearly as sexy or fun of a topic.

When you’ve finally got to the point where you’re designing or remodeling a home to make those dreams come true, now is the time to start asking those questions. This doesn’t mean making a compromise. Energy-efficient home design is all about being functional and making your day-to-day life easier. Here are some ways to consider as you begin drawing up your plans.

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Wiring for the Ideal Home Technology System

Wiring for Ideal Home Technology System

Many homeowners today are turning their houses into homes where technology is seamlessly integrated into every part of their daily routine. People want to virtually do anything they want from their device, from anywhere. This includes listening to music from any room in the house from your fancy new SONOS system, hooking multiple computers to each other and one printer, turning lights off and on remotely, etc. Sound crazy? You’re not alone. For many, this sounds like something right out of the future.

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Signs of Home Electrical Problems

Signs of Home Electrical Problems

If you’ve ever watched BBC’s Sherlock or any modern detective show, one of the highlights is always how our hero is able to accurately predict facts about people just by observing. A frayed thread on a sweater can imply a hasty escape. Dirt on the shoes implying they’ve been somewhere out in the country. The way it’s all presented feels very superhuman. But there are certain principles you can apply in your home to tell if there’s something wrong just by, well, observing.

Electrical problems are not something you want to find out about. When the issues finally emerge, it can be costly at best and dangerous at worst. Knowing a few common signs of electrical issues can help you be your very own Sherlock.

Tripped Breakers

This is probably the one that most people know. When a circuit is being overused, your breaker will trip. But that’s not the only case in which this will happen. If you shut off the electrical supply, the breakers are designed to stop wires from overheating. And they can trip simply by being too old. That last one is key. With how massive of a safety measure breakers are for preventing issues, you need to make sure your breakers are fully functioning. If you’re in an older house, you might need to consider bringing in a electrician to replace your breakers with newer versions.

Lights Flickering

This is another occurrence that would be easy to dismiss. Typically when you’re lights are flickering, you either tighten or replace the bulb. But it can also be indicative of a larger, unseen issue. If it’s not the bulb, it either means the fixture itself is degrading and needs repairs or you have a larger wiring problem on your hands.

Hot Light Switches and Outlets

This one probably seems obvious. If you touch an outlet or a switch in your home and it feels hot, that can’t be a good sign. Make sure you unplug whatever is drawing power from the outlet. There’s a chance it’s just being overloaded. However, if you’re in an older home with older outlets and switches, this can also point toward a major wiring issue that you’ll want to address immediately.

Have you found any of these problems in your house? We can help. Wire Craft’s electricians are equipped to walk through your home, inspect these symptoms, and help execute a plan to get it fixed right away. We’ll make sure your home is safe and give you peace of mind. Send us a service request today.

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Dangers & Electrical Risk in Older Homes

Electrical Risk in Older Homes - Wire Craft

With the trend of DIY home improvements and the reality TV shows that glamorize it, house-flipping is emerging as a popular option for homeowners and hobbyists alike. And what’s not to love? The idea of taking a run-down fixer-upper and turning it into your dream home is an alluring Cinderella story. However, it’s important to note that there are also some major risks involved that you’ll need to be mindful of – particularly in terms of a home’s electrical setup.

We’re not just talking about electrical fires either, but electrocutions as well. There are 30,000 non-lethal home electrocution incidents reported each year. If you’re living in an older home, that number dramatically increases. This doesn’t mean you should avoid buying an aging house or forgo your house flipping hobby, but there are some key electrical issues you’ll want to be aware of to protect your home and yourself.

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Seattle’s Electrical Grid: Stats and What You Need to Know

Stats About Seattle's Electrical Grid

Stats and What You Need to Know

Electricity is one of the most important things in our lives. Most of the time hardly a thought is given to it. You open your refrigerator and get a glass of milk. After that, you turn on the bathroom light in the middle of the night. Next, you charge your phone overnight to make sure you have a full battery for the next day. Think about what happens with all of those tasks without energy. Your milk gets warm and sour. You may stub your toe getting to the bathroom. Your phone won’t charge. Your electricity is often not thought about until it’s gone. Then, you really wish it was back. Let’s talk about the statics of Seattle’s electrical grid and how this impacts you.

Statistics about Seattle’s Electrical Grid and Companies

For your information, Seattle City Light has about 422,810 metered customers that will use an annual 9,157,494 megawatt-hours. This breaks down to 41,391 business customers using 6,242,931 megawatt-hours and a pool of 381,419 residences using 2,914,563 megawatt-hours.

That’s a lot of electricity per person, and many of the sources of energy come from non-renewable resources. Seattle City Light has an interactive map. It shows people how many electrical outages are occurring, and how many customers the outages are affecting. This gives you an idea of the size of the grid and their methods of clearing up outages.

More Statistics

In addition to that, Seattle has a long history as being an energy conservation program, and in fact, has one of the longest running programs in the country. Seattle was the first utility company offering electricity to become a greenhouse gas neutral entity. Moreover, Seattle is at the cutting edge of finding renewable resources for energy production and employs the use of hydroelectric power at 86% percent in 2021. The other sources of energy for the city includes nuclear, wind, coal, biomass, natural gas, petroleum, and landfill gasses.

This can make it sound like Seattle has it all figured out when it comes to the reliance on renewable resources. The truth is that the increasing use of electricity is presenting more and more of a burden on the electrical grid. It’s great that Seattle is using hydroelectric power, but there is still a duty on every person to find ways to decrease their demands on the grid. This not only helps the environment in not having to have as much electricity produced, but it also can help to reduce your electricity bills. This is a complete win-win incentive to do your part in the green movement.

What You Can Do

It’s easy to think that there is nothing you can do to make a difference when it comes to the usage of electricity in Seattle. You’re just one person, right? Your family, however, can make a big difference when added to all of the other people that do something small to change how they are using electricity. There are a number of things that you can do to reduce the amount of electricity your family uses.

Beware of Energy Vampires

Any appliances that have a little light on them to show they are plugged in, but not on are sucking up energy that’s not necessary. It can be a good idea to locate the different appliances that are energy vampires and unplug them. If unplugging them isn’t an option, you can invest in power towers that allow you turn off a row of plugs at a time. This means that some plugs will still have power while others are not on.

Monitor Electrical Usage

Another way to examine your electrical usage is in your larger appliances. It may be time for an upgrade to an energy star appliance that uses electricity more efficiently. Older refrigerators, washers, dryers, air conditioners, and more all use more electricity than their newer counterparts. Upgrading may cost you money in the short-term, but you may find that your lower electric bill can make that investment well worth it.

Upgrade Your Electrical System

Another place you can upgrade is with your electrical system. You may have an older system that is failing to provide the best use of electricity in your home. Getting an electrical audit in your home can help you to find ways to improve your home’s electricity use.

Power is an important resource and it’s up to everyone to do their part. Seattle has a large electrical grid with consumption to match for a big population. It can be easy to think that any efforts on your part wouldn’t do much to change the numbers, but with everyone working together, reductions are possible. You can work to save natural resources by reducing your electricity demands by making an effort to reduce energy waste and to improve the electrical system in your home.

Need assistance with improving your electrical usage?

Contact us at Wire Craft Electric to see where your electrical system could use an upgrade.

We will help you to eliminate energy waste in your home.

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Energy Star Appliances: Do They Really Pay for Themselves?

energy starYou’ve probably seen the Energy Star sticker on countless appliances throughout the past couple decades. The symbol has become ubiquitous with energy saving since it emerged 24 years ago. But how effective are Energy Star appliances in application? Is it just another marketing tactic or does it have a real impact on your energy bill? Will the appliances pay for themselves? The answers to these questions aren’t exactly simple, but can be enlightening.

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Animals and Its Electricity Impact at Home

electricity impact

Many of you in the Seattle area might remember this incident from last May, when a raccoon managed to somehow cause massive power outage in the Seattle area, affecting almost 40,000 people due to electricity impact. A smaller number of you might recall this strange event, as well. While these examples are rather unusual sets of circumstances, it’s not unusual for animals to cause problems with power and impact electricity on a much smaller scale.

Even though animals causing large-scale blackouts isn’t as uncommon as you’d assume, we’re going to leave that alone for today and talk about animals and their impact on your personal and local electrical situation: your house, and maybe the ones right in your immediate area.

So, how can animals cause the power in your home to have problems?

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Keeping an Eye on Your Electrical Bill

electrical bill

You’ve probably seen some items in the news recently about customers across the country spying problems with their electrical bills. Between confusing data, inconsistent information, and (unfortunately) some electric companies marking up bills in their favor, it’s difficult to know exactly whether or not you’re being charged fairly for your electricity usage. This is why it’s important that every customer understands a thing or two about how to interpret the various parts of their power bill. That way, if you suspect that you are being charged incorrectly or unfairly, you can understand what your bill says in order to find and fight the discrepancies.

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