How To Avoid Electrical House Fires

By NWA Electrician,

Make sure your home is safe with Mister Sparky NWA

Today we launch the first in a new blog series designed to help you prevent common electrical hazards, with tips and advice to better protect you and your family.  In the first of the series, we look at the best ways to avoid the worst of electrical disasters: electrical house fires.

The Overloaded Outlet

An overloaded circuit can increase the risk of electrical house fires.Electrical outlets are a common necessity in our everyday lives. When two outlets become five, and five become eight, you end up with something like the featured picture, and  . At any given moment, there are about 120 volts of electricity flowing through an American home, and from the looks of things, there are about 119 flowing through this one outlet.  This is a recipe for disaster that .

An estimated 5,300 house fires are caused by overloaded outlets annually. It’s easy to look at this picture and think “That’s not me,” and you’re probably right, but it takes a lot less than that this to overload a circuit. At what point do outlets become overloaded enough to start electrical house fires?

Circuit breakers and fuses protect against overload by regulating current.  Most circuit breakers and fuses regulate at 15 or 20 amps. You should never use more than 8% of that total.

How do we know when we’re in range?  Figuring out how much one outlet can handle is just a matter of some basic math.  Use this formula to make a determination:

p/e = i

In simpler terms, this translates to: wattage divided by voltage equals amps.

You can figure out the wattage of each device by checking the manufacturer’s information or by simply Googling the product name and the word “wattage,”  then add the figures together.

If you’re using 2,000 watts of power with your holiday lights and other decorations, you divide that 2,000 watts by the volts in your house (usually 120). You should come up with 16.6 amps of current usage. With a 20-amp electrical outlet, you’re using around 80% of the available current, which is the maximum you should use per circuit.

If the math isn’t working out for your home, it may be time to install additional outlets. Call Mister Sparky Electrician NWA to find out more!

Fireplace Safety

A poorly maintained fireplace can increase the risk of house fires.Physics 101 folks, hot air rises (ideally out of an unblocked chimney!).  When the chimney is obstructed, or the opening of your fireplace is blocked, the hot air will get trapped in confined spaces of the chimney and then your house. This can lead to a house full of smoke and more often than not, house fires.

For your safety and that of your loved ones, neighbors, and the world at large, keep your chimneys and other airways unblocked and clean. Check out more fireplace safety tips here.

Exposed Wiring

Electrical house fires are often caused by faulty electrical wiring. Home inspectors check electrical panels, but are not allowed to open up walls and ceilings, so problems like exposed wiring often go unnoticed. If they’re not up to code, are missing labels, or aren’t up to capacity, you will have to address the issues. Exposed, spliced or taped wires need to be fixed as soon as possible. You will need to hire an electrician for these jobs. If you see anything like the picture, contact Mister Sparky Electrician Northwest Arkansas today!

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. IIn addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, aluminum wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

  Category: Uncategorized
  Comments: Comments Off on How To Avoid Electrical House Fires

Summer Savings on Your Electric Bill

By NWA Electrician,

Save some money on your energy bill with Mister Sparky NWA

July in Arkansas means burgers on the grill, fireworks at night, and flip-flops by the pool. It also means sky-high electric bills.  The good news is that it doesn’t have to; with a few simple, convenient household changes, you can see big savings on your monthly energy bills. Here are some summer savings tips from Mister Sparky NWA:

Open Every Vent

Summer savings tip: Closing vents in your home can strain your air conditioner and drive your energy bill up.Some homeowners believe that closing vents can reduce energy consumption by preventing the need to cool or heat a particular room. This is a myth.  Closing vents will actually raise your energy costs.  Opening every vent ensures that your air conditioner won’t struggle to keep your home cool or be kept running after its reached its target temperature.

Go With the Flow

Maintaining the right temperature in your home is often a matter of simple airflow.  When it’s hot, air rises to the highest portions of your house. Standing fans can help circulate the air upwards faster so that the room can be rid of the hot air more easily. This reduces the workload and power consumption of your air conditioner and keeps rooms cooler.

Cool Down Your Dirty Laundry

It’s widely known that washing your clothes in cold water will reduce energy costs.  What’s not as well-known is just how much.  According to LG Electronics, heating the water in the wash drum accounts for about 90% of the energy your machine uses. Your dryer manages to consume even more energy.  If weather and space allow, you may opt to hang-dry your clothes. If this isn’t an option, you can still make your drying more efficient by not overfilling your dryer. If there’s little room for movement in the dryer, the hot air won’t be able to circulate and you may have to run the dryer a second time. Leave at least 25% of the dryer unfilled so there’s room for movement, and even more if you’re drying large bed sheets or blankets.

The Nighttime Is the Right Time

Sometimes saving money is simply a matter of timing.  Most utility companies offer discounts for usage during non-peak hours, usually beginning at 8:00 pm.  If you can time your dishwashing and laundry loads to be done in the evening, you can see significant summer savings in the long run. You can even put suitable appliances on an outlet timer (most cost $10 or less) so that they’ll remember for you.

Rest easy with Mister Sparky's summer savings tips.

Throw Cold Water On the Problem

There’s no getting around the fact that dishwashers require a certain amount of heat to adequately clean your pots and pans, but if you watch your wash cycle, you can cut down on hot water use and still have crystal clear dishes. Rinsing agents like Jet Dry will prevent water spots just as easily as hot water, and while washing the dishes might require heat, drying them does not. Most dishwashers allow you to disable the heated-dry stage of the cycle. Air-drying your dishes will produce significant long term summer savings.

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, aluminum wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

  Category: Uncategorized
  Comments: Comments Off on Summer Savings on Your Electric Bill

Find The Best Electrician Near Me!

By NWA Electrician,

Mister-Sparky-Electrician-Service-Call

If you are having electrical issues in your home, one of the first questions you might ask yourself is “How do I find an electrician near me?” Choosing an electrician might not be such a complicated task after all, once you know what to look for when making your choice. Read on to learn about some of the most important factors you should consider when choosing an electrician.

1. Price

Mister Sparky NWA is the best electrician near me!

Bargain-hunting is never a bad practice, but its important to remember that the least expensive electrician may not perform the best work. A “good deal” may end up costing you more in the long run if an electrician doesn’t full remedy the problem. Its also best practice to ask about any additional fees that may be charged; there may be hidden fees that are not disclosed before the electrical work begins.

2. Expertise

It is important to select an electrician with the skill set and qualifications necessary to perform the work your home requires. Some electricians may specialize in certain areas, some may still be in training, and others will have more experience. Choosing an electrician that specializes in residential electrical repair will help ensure quality work.

3. Licensed

Mister Sparky NWA is the best electrician near me!You will want to make sure that the electrician you choose is licensed in the jurisdiction where the work will be performed. It is also important to verify that your electrician is registered with the proper agencies.

 

4. Insured

“Are you insured?” This is one of the first questions you should ask your electrician, or any contractor performing work in your home. All contractors should carry liability insurance before they perform any work. Many homeowners are unaware that if an uninsured contractor is injured on their property, they may be liable for injury compensation. With the endless possibly of accident or complication in electrical work, it is always best practice to confirm the contractor’s insurance coverage.

 

5. Reputation

You can always ask your electrician for references to verify that they possess the ability to perform good work. You can also look up your electrician with agencies such as the Better Business Bureau to determine if anyone has had a negative experience with your electrician. The totality of reviews are also key indicators. Most people know that a disgruntled person is more likely to leave a review for service, but how often was a customer willing to take the time to provide positive feedback? This can demonstrate the true value of the service received.

 

The Better Business Bureau is a great resource to find the best "electrician near me!"Mister Sparky is one of the longest running and best recognized local electrician office throughout all Northwest Arkansas. Our expert electricians are the best residential repair professionals in the industry. Mister Sparky is home of the 5-Star Electricians, which means our electricians are properly certified, receive on-going training, and are experts with all home electrical issues. We provide each home owner with a 28-point electrical safety inspection. Electrical safety in your home and for your family is our number one priority!

 

Our prices are reasonable for the work we perform. Rather than receiving an estimate that is merely guesswork and might leave you owing more than you expected, you receive a “straight forward price” for your job.

 

We know that our reputation is important, so we back all the repairs we perform with a superior industry warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. We don’t call ourselves “America’s On-Time Electrician” for nothing! We guarantee the time slot that our electricians will arrive to do the job.

 

Mister Sparky Electrician NWA, America’s On-Time Electrician in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale and Fayetteville services the Northwest Arkansas area with a team of licensed electricians. In addition to flickering lights, some of the electrician services provided by the company include electrical outlet/switch repair, ceiling fan installation, lighting installation, aluminum wiring repair, landscape lighting installation and home electrical inspections.

 

  Category: Uncategorized
  Comments: Comments Off on Find The Best Electrician Near Me!