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    Saving Energy by Identifying Your Home's Energy Vampires

    Last updated 1 year ago

    If you’ve never heard of vampire energy before, certain appliances may be draining your wallet without you even knowing! When you actively use energy, you can expect to see the results on your utility bill, but there are some appliances that literally suck energy even when they’re not turned on.

    Americans have anywhere from 20 to 40 appliances or devices that use so-called vampire energy. This standby energy can be wasted, for example, on a rechargeable toothbrush—even when fully charged, an electric toothbrush wastes about $1.50 per year. Depending on your local energy costs, a desktop PC could use something in the neighborhood of $34 per year! As this video explains, these costs add up, to the tune of about one month’s electricity bill extra annually.

    By using Energy Star-qualified appliances and other accessories like smart power strips, you can cut your standby energy usage by 70% or more. This reduces your contribution to greenhouse gases as well. For more information about becoming more energy-efficient, saving money, and going green, call McBride Lighting & Electrical Services at (720) 250-9777.

    Signs Your Home's Wiring System Should Be Upgraded

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Your electrician can bring your home into the modern age with an electrical system upgrade. There are a few sure signs that indicate it’s time to have your home’s wiring updated to something newer, safer, and more efficient. For example, many problems can be solved with newer electrical panels and other components.

    You Have Aluminum Wiring
    Many older homes utilize aluminum wiring. It is widely accepted by electricians that this kind of wiring is unsafe by nature. Old aluminum wiring is prone to overheating, which is one of the primary causes of electrical fires. Expansion and contraction of aluminum wiring in your devises (light switches and outlets) can case devises to fail as well as fires in the boxes and walls.  Exposed aluminum wiring inside your walls can create arc hazards, which also spark fires and may present a danger to you and your family.

    You Experience Frequent Outages
    Common signs of inadequate wiring are frequent tripping of circuit breakers and blown fuses. Most modern electrical service panels use circuit breakers only, so if you’re still using fuses, you’ll definitely want to consider an upgrade. Power fluctuations that occur during windstorms or inclement weather are clear indications that your existing wiring is not up to par. Such wiring likely presents a code violation and could be unsafe. It’s time to have an electrician examine your system.

    Other Features of Your Home Need Updating
    If you want to enjoy more modern appliances or add a big flat-screen TV to your media center, a wiring facelift is in order. Some of today’s appliances need more power, which has to be safely delivered. Many older service panels and aged wiring are not able to provide the safe level of current necessary to power modern appliances and are incredibly inefficient. By having your electrical service panel and your wiring updated, you can enjoy safe, reliable power delivered with improved energy efficiency.

    McBride Lighting & Electrical Services can analyze your home’s existing wiring and help you understand the benefits you will gain if it’s time to upgrade. Give us a call at (720) 250-9777 and let one of our experienced electricians improve your Denver home’s safety and performance with new wiring.

    Expand Your Electrical Knowledge With The Help Of These Great Sites

    Last updated 1 year ago

    Find out what issues can affect electrical service panels, especially without regular maintenance, and learn how you can save energy on lighting costs for your business by checking out these pages. You can also call McBride Lighting & Electrical Services at (720) 250-9777 to find out how we can help you achieve energy-efficient business lighting or maintain your home’s electrical service panel.

    Common Problems that Can Afflict Electrical Service Panels

    Last updated 1 year ago

    The service panel is the heart of your electrical system, containing the circuit breakers that protect your home. Older homes may have fuses instead of breakers, and older panels often experience problems more frequently than newer models. Electrical panels that are not wired correctly or don’t have enough circuits to handle your home’s demand for electricity can also experience issues.

    Insufficient Power
    Many service panels are older than the appliances inside today’s homes, especially if upgrades have been made by the homeowners. Some older service panels aren’t up to the task of delivering power safely to newer appliances.

    An electrician can inspect your home’s electrical system to determine whether there is adequate power being routed through your service panel to all of your appliances. A common problem with older panels is that additional circuits are not properly added. This can result in frequent tripping, especially if multiple high-demand appliances are installed on the same circuit.

    Age is a primary factor when it comes to the performance of service panels. Older electrical panels can fail more frequently or even become hot to the touch. If your service panel ever feels warm, contact an electrician immediately. This signals that too much power is flowing through the system and your panel can no longer safely handle it. The panel should be replaced by something newer and more robust.

    Exceptionally old panels may contain fuses instead of breakers. Fuse boxes require the physical replacement of blown fuses, while circuit breakers can simply be reconnected to restore power. If you have a fuse box instead of a panel with circuit breakers, you may want to consider upgrading.

    Excessive Tripping
    Circuits trip when an overload is detected in order to prevent the risk of electrical fire. An overloaded circuit builds up heat because the line cannot handle the amount of amperage flowing through it. Circuits may trip on occasion, but if the same circuit trips over and over, it may be time to call your electrician.

    To learn more about diagnosing electrical service panel problems or to have your system inspected, contact McBride Lighting & Electrical Services of Denver at (720) 250-9777. Your service panel must be in good condition in order to keep you and your family safe and power running through your home.

    Energy-Efficient Lighting Basics

    Last updated 1 year ago

    It’s important to know what kind of lighting is best suited for optimal function and energy use for a particular application. For example, compact fluorescent lights last approximately 4,000 to 5,000 hours in most residential applications.

    This video explains some basic information about the use of energy-efficient lighting, including LEDs, or light-emitting diodes. LEDs are often the best choice when it comes to energy savings, because they last far longer than compact fluorescent lights—up to 50,000 hours—and use less power. However, both CFLs and LEDs change the “color temperature” of the light they provide. This video compares several different kinds of lighting, examining light output, watt usage, and color temperature.

    McBride Lighting & Electrical Services of Denver can help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing lighting for your home or office. Visit us online or give us a call at (720) 250-9777 today.

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