How to Prevent Electrical Fires from Happening in Your Home

Electrical Fires House fires are always frightening, but electrical fires are particularly scary due to the possibility of the fire starting while people are sleeping. Kitchen fires are also quite common, but most kitchen fires start while someone is cooking. Electrical fires, on the other hand, may start at any time, including while everyone in the house is asleep. These tips will help you prevent electrical fires in your home.

Inspection

It is a good idea to schedule a professional inspection by a licensed electrician if you live in an older home or are experiencing electrical problems. Older homes may still contain wiring that is dangerously outdated. An older home may be due to have the wiring updated since electrical components do not last forever and older wiring may not support modern appliances.

Damage

Defective or damaged wiring and appliances are a frequent cause of home electrical fires. Always replace or repair any electrical cord or appliance that shows signs of damage.

Overloading

It can be tempting to plug multiple appliances or devices into a single outlet, particularly in older buildings that do not have enough electrical outlets, but this can be dangerous. Overloading an outlet or an extension cord can lead to overheating and an electrical fire.

Flammable Materials

Electric cords and appliances often generate heat. Always exercise extreme caution with placing flammable materials anywhere near electrical cords and devices. As these devices or cords heat up during usage, they may cause bedding, paper products, clothing, or any other flammable material to catch fire.

Shorts and Wiring Problems

Lights flickering or dimming, sparking when you plug a device into an outlet, a buzzing sound coming from electrical outlets, or breakers that frequently trip are all signs that the electrical system in the home needs to be inspected by a licensed electrician. None of these things should occur with a properly designed and maintained electrical system. Your first call should be to a qualified electrician if any of these things are happening in your home.

Always On Electric proudly serves home and businesses in the western Colorado region. Whether you need a routine inspection or are experiencing trouble with your electrical system, we are ready to help. Contact us today at 970-309-2616 to learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced electricians.

Why is My Electrical Outlet Hot?

Warm OutletsHave you ever gone to unplug something out of an electrical outlet only to notice it feels warm to the touch? Why is that?

What a Warm Outlet Means for Your Home

A warm outlet tells you there’s probably a problem that needs to be addressed. It doesn’t necessarily mean a fire will start or your electrical system will fail right away, but it does indicate “something’s” wrong.

If you plug in laptop chargers, modems, computer printers and/or other small appliances, many of them use a transformer to convert AC to DC. This process can cause the plug to feel warm– so, after unplugging your item, if the plug gets cool again soon, then this is “normal.” If however, the outlet still feels warm after unplugging your charger, you should call an electrician to come take a look.

Outlets can become warm when too many devices are plugged into one outlet. An overloaded power strip could be causing your outlet to overheat because you’re putting too much demand on that one outlet. Warmth is coming from the increase of electricity right there. It’s best to remove a couple items from that outlet to help it cool down.

Sometimes outlets break. They can crack or chip, wearing down over time, and feeling warm to the touch; they may need to be replaced with new ones. Furthermore, electricity could be escaping via frayed wires or loose electrical terminations, causing the outlet to feel warm. An electrician can inspect your wiring and repair damaged ones.

Finally, you might have warm outlets because your overloading the circuit. Electricity travels on “highways” called circuits. It gets distributed in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the whole system. Nevertheless, some people tend to plug in energy-sucking devices into one particular circuit that cannot handle “all that.” That’s when outlets warm up. Oftentimes, an electrician will end up installing new outlets and/or adjusting the circuits to make it possible to get the kind of power you want to a particular room such that you’re no longer overwhelming a particular circuit.

Always on Electric can check your outlets in Colorado. Please call 970-309-2616 or email alwaysonelectric@hotmail.com with your concerns.

Ways to Save on Your Commercial Electric Bills

Businesses looking to save on their electric bills can make several simple changes that add up to big savings throughout the year. No matter if you operate a small office with a few employees or have a bigger business that requires a larger number of electrical devices, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the amount of money you can save with minimal effort.

Saving money on electricl bills with LED lighting

Get an energy efficiency audit

A great way to get started with lowering your business’ electric costs is by hiring a professional electrical company to come and look at your site. The electrician will spot a few ways in which you can be saving on your energy usage and will give advice on what you can do to fix the issues.

Common things that can be found in an energy-efficiency audit include air leaks, insulation issues and inefficient lighting.

It is suggested to also do an after-hours audit on your own once you have gotten an energy audit from an electrician. It’s best to do the audit a few hours after workers have gone home, or even on the weekend, to see what devices and lights stay on when people are out of the office.

Switch to LED lighting

Another way to save big on your commercial electric bills is by making the switch to LED lighting. This lighting not only emits less heat that incandescent and halogen lights, it uses roughly 75 to 80% less energy overall.

After you’ve made the switch to a LED system, you can save further by installing motion sensor lighting or by simply reminding people to turn lights off once they leave a meeting area or lunchroom. Creating more natural light can also create big savings by encouraging workers to leave lights off during the day.

Choose laptops over desktops

Replacing older desktop computers with laptops is a great way to save money. When you need new computers at your commercial site, be forward thinking and choose this energy-efficient option.

Laptops use less power than their clunky counterparts and many workers will even take the laptops home at the end of the day, avoiding overnight energy costs for your business. Even better, laptops allow employees to work from home with ease, which can create greater savings.

When you want to save on your business’ electric bills, we are the licensed and certified commercial electrical team to choose in Western Colorado at Always On Electric. Our electricians will be happy to come to your commercial site and offer our opinion on ways to save on your energy bills. We can also assist with any LED lighting installation, service upgrades, building lighting and more. Call our experienced electrical team at 970.309.2616 to get started!

Warning Signs It’s Time to Re-wire Your Home

Re-Wiring Home Does it feel like you blow a fuse at least once or twice every week? There’s a chance that you could have too many appliances plugged into one circuit. There’s also a chance that your home’s electrical system might be outdated and that you could benefit from rewiring your entire home in the near future. Take a look at some of the other warning signs you’ll likely notice when it’s time to rewire your house.

Your home is more than 40 years old.

Electrical systems have advanced a lot over the course of the last few decades. So if you have a home that was built 40 years ago or more and you’re still using the original electrical system, it’s probably just about time to think about updating your system. By rewiring your home, you can make it a lot safer and avoid many of the potential problems that come along with using an older system.

Your home has aluminum wiring in it.

Speaking of outdated electrical systems, there was a time when many systems relied on aluminum wiring. That is, until electricians started to figure out that many aluminum wires ended up causing fires once they got old. Today’s electrical systems rely on copper wiring as opposed to aluminum and are noticeably safer. You should consider going with copper if you still have aluminum in your home.

Your home has certain outlets that have stopped working altogether.

Are you running extension cords all over your house to power up certain rooms? This might seem like a reasonable solution, but extension cords should not be used for this purpose. You should have an electrician come take a look at your nonfunctional outlets. They might be repairable, or they might be a sign of a larger problem within your home’s electrical system.

Is it time for you to update your home’s electrical system? Always on Electric can help you with it. Call us at 970-309-2616 today to set up an appointment with one of our reliable and experienced electricians.

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Do Your Own Electrical Work

DIY Electrical Work Home maintenance projects can be expensive, and it is often tempting to attempt a repair on your own. After all, many times a DIY repair will not only save money, but may also be satisfying. Electrical work is one area of home repair where you may want to reconsider doing it yourself. These are a few reasons why you should not try to do electrical work on your own.

Fire Risk

The risk of fire from faulty wiring or improperly installed electrical components is very real. Electrical fires are also frequently devastating as they may start inside a wall at night and be fully involved before a homeowner notices. A small mistake, like a loose wire or an overloaded circuit, may lead to a dangerous electrical fire.

Electrical Shock

Electric shock is another serious risk of working with electricity. Professional electricians have years of experience and training, as well as specialized tools that help them stay safe while performing electrical work in your home. It only takes one small mistake or one second of inattention to receive a dangerous electric shock. The risk of electric shock makes DIY electrical repairs a bad idea.

Building Codes

All electrical work must be done in accordance with applicable building codes. Trying to fully understand the electrical codes takes considerable effort and time. Electrical work also may require an inspection. Performing electrical work by yourself may result in work that does not meet building code and is not inspected. This may become an issue when you attempt to sell the home.

Always On Electric has you covered whether you need residential or commercial electrical work performed. We work on all types of buildings throughout the western Colorado region. Our electricians are fully trained and experienced, and we are licensed, insured, and bonded. You can have full confidence in electrical work that we perform on your home or business. Contact us today at 970-309-2616 to learn more about our services or to request a quote.

Leading Causes of Electrical Fires

Although they may only account for a fraction of residential fires, electrical fires can be devastating and even fatal. To prevent your having any issues at your home, be sure to check the following areas of your house that are the most common places where electrical fires start.

Failed Electrical OutletOutlets

If you go to plug in an appliance and nothing happens, it could be a sign that the wiring leading to the outlet might be loose. In this compromised state, the wiring could be exposed behind the call, potentially leading to contact with wall insulation or causing sparking behind the outlet. To fix this situation, have an electrician come out and look for the cause of the outlet failure and make any necessary repairs to the connection or the outlet itself.

Appliances

Speaking of appliances, whenever a power cord becomes frayed or starts to fall apart, you should have the connection repaired or replace the cable, if possible. Exposed wires can be dangerous for anyone using the appliance and can allow heat transfer from the connection to combustible surfaces that the cord may be set on. In fact, faulty appliance connections and outlets are the leading causes of home fires. Also, if you feel a mild shock or tingle when touching an appliance, it often is a sign of a ground fault or incorrect wiring. Don’t simply ignore it – call an appliance repair professional or electrician to come take a look.

Circuit Breakers

Although circuit breakers are meant to prevent a circuit from overloading, sometimes they can do their job a little too much and that’s a problem. Modern equipment and technology often requires more power than devices even a few years ago, which can put extra strain on an outdated circuit breaker. If your breaker continues to trip, it is time to contact an electrician. An older breaker box can have wear that prevents the circuit from being thrown properly or allow an overload to start a fire. Be safe, not sorry, and call an electrician to investigate and replace your breaker box, if needed.

Light Fixtures

Make sure that all of your light fixtures have bulbs that meet the proper wattage capability of the fixture. If the bulb’s wattage is too high, it could lead to an electrical fire. If you aren’t sure about the proper wattage, a simple way to test is to check the area around the fixture once you put a new light bulb in. If you feel heat, switch to a lower wattage bulb as the current one’s wattage is too high for that fixture.

If you think your home might have faulty wiring or the wiring is in need of repair, let Always on Electric help. We offer residential and commercial electrical services to keep your home or business protected from electrical fires. For more information, call us today at 970-309-2616!

Stay Comfortable with New Ceiling Fans

How often do you use the ceiling fans in your home – or do you even have any? If you don’t have ceiling fans or use them enough, you might want to start taking full advantage of them. Ceiling fans aren’t just for decoration. In fact, they are extremely beneficial to have in your home – for both looks and effectively moving warm or cold air around your home.

Ceiling Fan InstallationCeiling fans come in a range of different shapes, sizes, patterns, colors and styles. They have certainly come a long way since 1882 when the first electrically powered ceiling fan was developed. The classic natural wood, symmetrical blades and ordinary light fixture has seen many improvements in the decades since, with upgraded features and more modern, sleek and elegant stylings. The appearance and designs of these popular fixtures may have evolved, but one aspect has always remained much the same – installation.

Are you an avid DIYer? Do you like installing, fixing or replacing things in your home to save money and time? How many times have your jobs gone south and left you with a more costly bill? Installing ceiling fans might sound easy, but it’s an entirely different ballgame when you try doing it yourself.

If you have little to no experience with electrical fixtures, it might work in your favor to rely on a professional to install your new ceiling fan. Whether you want your ceiling fan installed inside your home or as an addition to a covered porch, make sure you call on an electrician with experience in all kinds of electrical work. This will ensure the job is done right and your home will remain nice and cool – and properly wired!

A correctly installed ceiling fan will help reduce heating and cooling costs by circulating air more effectively throughout your home and make it an overall more comfortable place to live – whether indoors or out. Rather than going straight to your thermostat when you want to even the temperature out in your home, flip on the switch to your fan instead! From remote controlled options and dual-motor fans to Energy Star-rated high efficiency models, and standard or low-profile ceiling fans, each and every kind is designed to do the same thing – keep you and your family comfortable!

Learn more about how Always on Electric can help today by giving us a call at 970-309-2616.

Plan for Unplanned Outages With a Backup Generator

While some storms come and go, others can pack a serious punch and leave devastation in their wake including power outages. This year, don’t get left in the dark if heavy rainstorms come during the spring season. Get a backup generator from Always On Electric and be ready for anything that Mother Nature has in store.

Backup GeneratorAt first, having a backup generator might not seem like a necessity. After all, when a major storm hits, power outages aren’t always going to happen. However, once the lights go out and everything goes silent, chances are you’re going to wish you had a backup generator to keep you from waving around the dark to find your way.

By having a backup generator, you will not only keep your house lit up during outages, but you will end up saving money by keeping frozen and refrigerated food protected and your appliances operating normally.

We don’t realize how much we value heat and hot water until it’s gone. If your water heater or furnace uses electricity, having a backup generator will keep heat and water sources running even when the power goes out. That way you can still take a nice hot shower and stay warm inside your home even if your neighborhood has lost power from the snow.

Homes with sump pumps know how important it is to keep them running. A stopped sump pump can allow water to accumulate, which can rapidly become a serious issue if your home is prone to flooding. With a backup generator in place, your sump pump will continue running without a hitch, keeping your mind at ease.

Having a backup generator for your business is a great investment as well. Whether your company handles refrigeration or needs power to continue to keep your products or machinery safe, a backup generator can help keep everything running smoothly when the storm hits and the power goes out.

For more information on backup generators or for help diagnosing and repairing electrical issues at your home or business, call Always On Electric today at 970-309-2616 and learn more about our full range of electrical services!

Why Is Grounding Important?

Electrical grounding is an important safety feature of modern wiring in homes and buildings. While modern homes are required to have an electrical ground, many older homes may not have been upgraded. Let’s explore what electrical grounding is and why it’s so important.

Electrical GroundingGrounding has been required in all homes since around the 1960s, and is an important part of any home electrical system. In the case of an electrical short circuit caused by frayed, loose or damaged wiring, electrical systems equipped with a ground will carry the electrical current safely away from the appliance, fixture or receptacle and to the earth where it is dissipated safely. Modern electrical receptacles have three slots to allow for a special ground wire – the “mouth” of the “face” in a three-prong outlet – while older receptacles that are not grounded have only two slots.

One benefit of electrical grounding is protection from power surges. A power surge may occur for a number of reasons, and may originate from inside or outside of the home. Lightning strikes are a common cause of powerful power surges that originate outside the home. Surges that start within the home are not as significant as the surges caused by lightning, and are often caused by electrical appliances starting and stopping.

Modern electronic devices are particularly vulnerable to even minor power surges. A surge of as little as 10 volts can cause damage to the microprocessors contained within computers, televisions, mobile phones and other electronics. Proper electrical grounding helps to protect these sensitive electronic devices from the damage caused by power surges.

Another important benefit of electrical grounding is protection from electrical shocks. A loose wire or damaged electrical component in an appliance may allow electricity to flow into the appliance. With electrical grounding, this current will be safely carried to the ground outside of the home where it can be dissipated. Without electrical grounding, a person who touched a malfunctioning appliance could receive a dangerous electrical shock.

Always On Electric is an experienced electrical contractor serving homes, businesses, commercial facilities and agricultural operations throughout western Colorado. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff can help with any electrical project needs, from installing new fixtures and service lines to upgrading the electrical system in your building. Call us at 970-309-2616 to learn more about our full range of electrical services and to request a quote on your electrical project today.

Cut Down on Your Electric Bills

As homeowners, sometimes we forget to watch how much electricity we use throughout the day. As more people are working from home, there is much more electricity being used throughout the day. You may have seen some of your electricity bills increase, especially during winter months, but you should not be worried. There are always ways to decrease those bills with a simple plan.

Electrical bill for home

Residential Electrical Services with Always On Electric

At Always On Electric, we have the ability to help with your residential electrical services from remodeling to new construction. We can install upgrades to any lighting or electric equipment if you’re looking to add on to your home. We understand the struggles with maintaining inexpensive electrical bills, which is why we’re dedicated to making sure your home is installed with the proper equipment.

How We Can Help:

  • Lighting Design/Lighting Control Systems
  • Electrical Service Work
  • Lighting Retrofits
  • Safe Electrical Evaluations
  • And much more!

Tips on Bringing Down Electric Bills

If you’re worried about electrical bills increasing during particular seasons, you may want to adjust the way your run certain equipment in your home. For one, if you stay home working during the day, try and let the natural light in through the windows and leave all the lights off. Never leave the TV running if you’re not using it, and make sure all your electronics from laptops to phones are unplugged when you’re not occupied with them. These things can really help cut down on the amount of energy you use in your home. Some equipment may need an upgrade, and you could consider energy efficient equipment for lightbulbs, and other amenities.

If you’re looking to remodel, add on, or build a new home, don’t hesitate to reach out to Always On Electric. Our electrical team has many years of experience working with homeowners to ensure safe electrical equipment and systems are installed. Contact us at 970-309-2616 today or visit us online for more information!