Surge Protectors: Your Best Defense Against Storm-Induced Power Surges

Our licensed electricians are often asked about precautions that are needed during storms. One of the simplest and most effective solutions is using surge protectors. In this article, I’ll dive into why surge protectors are essential during storms, how they work, and how to choose the best one for your home.

What Causes Power Surges?

Power surges are sudden increases in voltage that can damage or destroy electronic devices. These surges can occur for several reasons, including lightning strikes, downed power lines, and the restoration of power after an outage. During storms, the risk of power surges increases significantly, making it crucial to protect your devices.

How Do Surge Protectors Work?

Surge protectors shield your electronic devices from voltage spikes by diverting excess electricity to the grounding wire. Here’s a breakdown of the key components and their roles:

  • Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV): The core component that absorbs excess voltage and directs it safely to the ground.
  • Grounding Wire: Provides a path for the excess voltage to be safely dissipated.
  • Indicator Lights: Show the status of the surge protector, indicating if it’s functioning correctly.

The Necessity of Surge Protectors During Storms

Lightning strikes can cause severe power surges that travel through power lines and into homes, potentially damaging anything plugged into an outlet. Surge protectors are designed to handle these spikes and prevent them from reaching your valuable electronics. By using surge protectors, you can avoid costly repairs or replacements and reduce the risk of fire.

Choosing the Right Surge Protector

Not all surge protectors offer the same level of protection. Here are some factors to consider when selecting one:

  1. Joule Rating: This measures the energy absorption capacity of the surge protector. For effective storm protection, look for a joule rating of at least 2,000.
  2. Clamping Voltage: The voltage level at which the surge protector activates to divert excess electricity. A lower clamping voltage offers better protection; aim for 400 volts or less.
  3. Response Time: The quicker the response time, the better the protection. Look for a response time of one nanosecond or less.
  4. Number of Outlets: Ensure the surge protector has enough outlets for all your essential devices.
  5. Additional Features: Some protectors come with USB ports, coaxial cable protection, or Ethernet protection, which can be beneficial for comprehensive protection.

Whole-House Surge Protectors

For the highest level of protection, consider installing a whole-house surge protector. These devices are connected directly to your electrical panel and protect all the circuits in your home. Although they are more expensive than plug-in products, they provide robust protection against large surges caused by lightning.

Installation Tips

Proper installation ensures your product work effectively:

  • Plug-In Surge Protectors: Simply plug them into an outlet and then connect your devices.
  • Whole-House Surge Protectors: These should be installed by a licensed electrician to ensure they are correctly connected to your electrical panel.

Maintenance and Replacement

Surge protectors degrade over time and need to be replaced periodically to ensure continued protection:

  • Indicator Lights: Pay attention to the indicator lights. If they go out, it’s time to replace the unit.
  • Regular Replacement: Even if the lights are functioning, replace surge protectors every 3-5 years or after a significant surge event.

Conclusion

Storms can cause significant damage to your home’s electrical system, but with the right hardware, you can protect your valuable electronics and appliances. Understanding how these products work and selecting the right ones for your needs will help keep your home safe during stormy weather.

If you have any questions or need help selecting or installing products, don’t hesitate to reach out to DFWElectricianHvac. Our team of professional electricians is here to ensure your home remains safe and your electrical system functions smoothly.

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician

Hiring a qualified electrician is essential for ensuring the safety, functionality, and efficiency of your home’s electrical systems. Whether you need repairs, upgrades, or new installations, asking the right questions can help you find a skilled and reliable professional.

With the expertise available at DFW Electrician & HVAC, you’re guaranteed quality service. Before hiring an electrician, ask these five essential questions to make an informed decision.

1. Are You Licensed and Insured?

The first and most important question involves the electrician’s licensing and insurance status. A licensed electrician has met the necessary training and qualification standards set by your state or local authority, ensuring they’re competent to perform electrical work safely and effectively.

Insurance coverage, including liability and workers’ compensation, safeguards you from being held accountable for any accidents or damages that occur during the project. DFW Electrician & HVAC ensures all their electricians are fully licensed and insured, providing you with peace of mind.

2. What is Your Experience with This Type of Work?

Electrical work involves a broad spectrum of tasks, ranging from basic repairs to intricate installations. It’s important to hire an electrician with experience specific to your project needs. An experienced electrician can efficiently diagnose issues, recommend solutions, and ensure the work is completed to the highest standard.

Don’t hesitate to ask for examples of similar projects they’ve completed, which can give you confidence in their ability to handle your job.

3. Can You Provide References?

Verifying an electrician’s work quality and customer service through past clients can be done by asking for references. A reputable electrician should be more than willing to provide references from happy customers who can vouch for their professionalism, reliability, and quality of work.

An electrician should be willing to provide references who can vouch for their professionalism, reliability, and quality of work.

Feedback from references can offer insights into the electrician’s punctuality, communication, and overall satisfaction with the services provided.

4. What Does Your Estimate Include? 

Before hiring an electrician, ensure you receive a detailed estimate that outlines the scope of work, materials, labor, and any other costs associated with the project. This transparency helps avoid unexpected expenses and ensures both parties understand what is included in the job. Inquire if the estimate is a fixed price or if there could be additional charges based on time and materials. DFW Electrician & HVAC provides clear, upfront estimates, helping you budget effectively for your electrical project.

5. How Do You Handle Warranty and Service Issues?

It is crucial to understand both the material and labor warranties before beginning any electrical work. It’s important to inquire about an electrician’s policy for handling defects or issues that may arise after the project is completed. A reliable electrician will guarantee their work with a warranty, and they should be accessible to address any service calls or concerns after the project is completed. This question ensures you’re covered should anything not meet your standards or expectations after the job is done.

Conclusion

Before hiring an electrician, asking these questions can help you find a professional who will complete your electrical projects safely, efficiently, and to your satisfaction.

With the skilled team at DFW Electrician & HVAC, you can rest assured that your electrical needs will be met with expertise and professionalism.

It’s important to choose an electrician who will not only get the job done, but also ensure the safety and efficiency of your home’s electrical systems for years to come.

Sparks Coming from a Plug in your home? Here’s a few tips to Help!

Seeing sparks fly from a plug when connecting a device can be startling and is often a sign of an electrical issue that should not be ignored. Such sparks can indicate minor problems or more serious electrical hazards. To prevent damage to your home and ensure your safety, it’s important to know what steps to take when encountering this issue. For professional advice and services, DFW Electrician & HVAC is your go-to resource. Here’s what you should do when you see sparks coming from a plug on a device.

 

  1. Disconnect any Devices Immediately

The first step is to safely disconnect the device from the power source. Ensure you do this by pulling the plug, not the cord, to avoid damaging the appliance or the outlet. If the outlet continues to spark or if you notice smoke, turn off the power at the circuit breaker immediately.

 

  1. Inspect the Plug and Outlet for Sparks

Once the device is disconnected, inspect the plug, outlet, and cord for any visible signs of damage, such as burn marks, exposed wires, or melting. These signs can indicate the cause of the sparking, whether it’s a problem with the device or the outlet itself.

 

  1. Avoid Reusing the Outlet

Until you have determined the cause of the sparking and addressed the issue, do not use the outlet. Plugging a device into a potentially faulty outlet can cause electrical shock or fire. Plugging a device into a potentially faulty outlet can cause electrical shock or fire.

 

  1. Determine the Cause

Sparks can result from several issues, including loose wiring, an overloaded circuit, or a faulty device. If the outlet shows signs of damage, it may need to be replaced. If the plug or cord of the device is damaged, the device itself may need repairs or replacement.

 

  1. Test the Device on a Different Outlet

Ensure that the plug and outlet are undamaged by trying it on another outlet. If it does, the problem is likely with the device and not the outlet. However, proceed with caution and be ready to disconnect the device immediately if needed.

 

  1. Contact a Professional Electrician if it continues to have sparks

If you’re unable to determine the cause of the sparking or if the issue persists, it’s important to consult a professional electrician. An experienced electrician can safely diagnose and repair electrical issues, ensuring your home’s electrical system is safe and functional. DFW Electrician & HVAC offers expert technicians who can handle a wide range of electrical problems, providing reliable electrical services.

 

  1. Review Your Home’s Electrical Load

Frequent sparking from multiple outlets may indicate that your home’s electrical system is overloaded. Modern homes require a significant amount of power to operate various devices and appliances. An electrician can assess your home’s electrical load and recommend solutions, such as upgrading your electrical panel or adding additional circuits, to accommodate your power needs safely.

 

Conclusion

 

Sparks from a plug can be a warning sign of an underlying electrical issue that should not be taken lightly. To ensure the safety of your home and loved ones, it is important to take immediate action if you suspect an electrical problem. This may involve disconnecting the device, inspecting it for damage, and consulting with a professional electrician like DFW Electrician & HVAC. Remember that electrical safety is of utmost importance, so never hesitate to seek professional help when dealing with electrical issues.

What Causes Lights to Buzz?

When the serene ambiance of your home is disturbed by the persistent buzzing of lights, it’s not just an annoyance—it’s a symptom of underlying electrical issues that demand attention. This issue can have various causes, from simple solutions to complex electrical problems. Ensuring the safety and comfort of your home environment requires understanding the cause of buzzing lights. For professional diagnosis and repair, DFW Electrician & HVAC stands ready to assist. Here’s an in-depth look into the reasons behind buzzing lights and what actions you can take.

  1. Dimmer Switch Compatibility

One common cause of buzzing lights is the use of dimmer switches with non-compatible light bulbs. Dimmer switches work by rapidly turning the light circuit on and off to simulate lower light levels, which can cause an audible buzzing sound if the light bulb isn’t designed to handle this type of operation. LED bulbs, in particular, may require specific dimmer switches designed for low-power lighting to operate quietly and efficiently.

  1. Loose Connections on Lights

A loose electrical connection, either in the light fixture itself or in the wiring to the switch or outlet, can also lead to buzzing noises. These loose connections can cause a slight arcing of electricity, which generates a buzzing sound and potentially poses a fire risk. Ensuring all connections are tight and secure can often resolve this issue.

  1. Lights Overloaded Circuits

When too many devices or fixtures are connected to a circuit, it can cause lights to buzz due to strain on the electrical system. Overloading can increase the electrical current’s flow through the light bulb, leading to overheating and noise. Evaluating the load on your circuits and redistributing electrical devices can alleviate this problem.

  1. Transformer Issues

Certain types of light fixtures, especially low-voltage lighting like halogen or LED systems, use transformers to reduce the voltage supplied to the bulbs. A malfunctioning or incompatible transformer can create a buzzing sound in the lights it supplies. Replacing the transformer with one that matches the fixture’s voltage requirements can eliminate the noise.

  1. Lights Bulb Type and Quality

The type and quality of the bulb can also influence the presence of buzzing sounds. Cheaper, lower-quality bulbs may buzz more than higher-quality options due to inferior manufacturing standards. Additionally, fluorescent bulbs are more prone to buzzing, especially as they age or if they’re used with incompatible ballasts. Switching to high-quality, compatible bulbs often solves the buzzing issue.

  1. Electrical Interference

Electrical interference from nearby appliances or improperly shielded wiring can induce a buzzing sound in light fixtures. This is more common in environments with a high density of electrical devices. Identifying and relocating the source of interference, or upgrading wiring to include better shielding, can mitigate this problem.

  1. Harmonic Resonance

Sometimes, the buzzing isn’t due to the electrical system but rather a physical vibration in the light fixture, known as harmonic resonance. This occurs when certain parts of the light fixture vibrate in response to the electrical current. Adjusting the fixture or dampening the vibration with padding can reduce or eliminate the noise.

Conclusion

Buzzing lights are more than just a nuisance; they’re an indication that something in your electrical system may need attention. Whether it’s a compatibility issue with dimmer switches, a loose connection, or a more complex problem like electrical interference, addressing the root cause is essential for both peace of mind and safety. If troubleshooting your buzzing lights seems daunting, or if the problem persists, consulting with professionals like DFW Electrician & HVAC is a wise choice. Their expertise can help diagnose and fix the issue, ensuring your home remains a tranquil and safe environment. Regular maintenance and attention to the quality and compatibility of your electrical devices and fixtures can prevent buzzing lights and keep your home’s ambiance undisturbed.

Top 6 Common Electrical Problems

Electrical systems in homes are complex systems composed of many interconnected components. The wiring in walls, the circuit breakers, outlets, and electrical fixtures are enough to concern homeowners, but older homes could also have outdated wiring and materials. These are all common electrical problems  from flickering lights to a full-blown housefire, faulty components, electrical wiring, and old materials can cause problems.

The purpose of this article is to review some of the most common electrical problems that occur in homes.

When troubleshooting electrical problems, always exercise extreme caution. It is always advisable to hired licensed electrician to rewire switches, outlets, circuit breakers, junction boxes, and mounted electrical fixtures.

Outlets that are loose.

A receptacle or outlet’s contacts wear down over time, which makes it easier for plugs or cords to slip out. Not only is this a nuisance, but it is also quite dangerous. When a contact is loose, electricity can jump from one point to another, causing an arc. As dust, wood, and other in-wall debris can catch fire from an arc, arcing is a significant fire hazard.

Over-Lamping.

The term “over-lamping” describes fitting a light fixture with a bulb with a higher wattage than its intended power. People often underestimate the danger of this. Hot bulbs can damage sockets and adjacent wiring in fixtures. As a result, arcing can occur, which in turn can cause a fire.

Absence of GFCIs.

A ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet can detect minor changes in electrical current in an outlet. When human contact or water exposure occurs, the device can shut down the power. It is simply safer to use GFCI outlets than conventional outlets.

Coverless Junction Boxes.

High-voltage electrical wiring is connected through junction boxes. Despite the use of plastic clips and electrical tape, these splices pose a risk of electrocution.

Switches that are faulty.

There are a number of reasons why on/off and dimmable switches may fail. Possibly there is loose wiring, arcing, or the plastic pieces are worn out. Whatever the case may be, it is best to repair the switch to avoid a dangerous situation.

Panels that are over-wired.

Over-wiring occurs when a panel is wired to more circuits than it can handle. It can cause problems with your circuit breaker, or a problem with your fuse box in older homes.

If you are experiencing any electrical problems in your homes then visit Blessed Electric today for an expert to come out and help with any service needed!

Safety Tips For Using a Space Heater

During the months of December, January, and February, half of all home heating fires occur – usually when electric heaters are placed too close to curtains, bedding, or sofas. NFPA and the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers share these safety tips:

 

  • It is important to place the heater on a hard, level, and nonflammable surface. Floor-based appliances should not be placed on tables.
  • Never put a space heater in a child’s room, and create a 3-foot zone around it.
  • Place the space heater at least 3 feet away from bedding, curtains, and furniture that could catch fire. It may be necessary to place a taller heater even further away.
  • Heaters should not be used near paint, gas cans, or matches in a workshop or garage.
  • If you’re leaving the room or going to sleep, turn it off.
  • When the heater is not in use, remove the plug from the outlet. If the cord is frayed or worn, don’t use the heater.
  • When a heater is plugged into the same outlet as another electrical device or extension cord, it can overheat.
  • Ensure that all smoke alarms in your home are working, and test them on a regular basis

 

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the warmth of a space heater without worrying about the risk of accidents.

Regularly cleaning your HVAC ducts has many benefits for your home.

Cleaning your HVAC ducts is an important part of your maintenance, After you read this you’ll know what you need to keep it running efficiently!

1. A higher level of overall air quality

An air duct system that is clean will help keep your home’s interior air clean and healthy. If your
air ducts are dirty, your home will have unclean air due to all sorts of airborne particulates. The
air coming out of the ducts can be contaminated by pollen, pet dander, mold, and mildew.

2. Allergen reduction

Your home’s air duct system can effectively control allergens, the substances that cause allergic
reactions. You can prevent or at least minimize the buildup of these substances by having your
system checked and cleaned regularly.

3. Elimination of odors

A dirty duct can accumulate odorous molecules that can spread foul-smelling air throughout the
house. Clean ducts remove odor-causing molecules, making your home smell better.

4. Reduced chances of needing repairs

It is much less likely that you will need AC repairs when your air ducts are cleaned on a regular
basis. The regular cleaning of your air ducts allows your Irving HVAC technician to keep an eye out for
any potential problems before they arise.

5. Efficient use of energy

Keep your air duct system clean and fresh to reduce your energy costs. During the summer and
winter, your air conditioner and furnace will not have to work as hard to keep your home cool
and warm. Generally, these appliances are designed to operate in a relatively clean environment.
It is possible for these units to operate at their peak efficiency by keeping their air ducts clean.

6. Mildew and mold prevention

Mold and mildew can thrive in dark air ducts due to condensation from central air conditioning.
It can have serious health consequences if left untreated. It is important to have your ducts
cleaned on a routine basis by a certified Arlington HVAC technician to prevent these unhealthy pathogens
from breeding there.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with a professional remember “Don’t Stress, Call Blessed!”

Generators, And Their Overall Benefits

There are several benefits to owning and using a whole-home generator for your home and family, including:

Power backup: Your generator will supply electricity to your home within seconds of a power outage.

The generator will start up automatically, so there’s no need to start it and connect it.

  • You can start your generator automatically with an automatic transfer switch safety.

Providing year-round comfort: A whole-home generator can power all essential appliances, including heaters, air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, electric stoves, lights, TVs, emergency radios, and more.

Additionally, a standby generator can be fueled permanently from municipal natural gas lines, large propane tanks, or large diesel tanks, which reduces the necessity for manual refueling during lousy weather.

  • Unlike portable generators that frequently leak carbon monoxide, it requires no electrical wiring.

Replacement of a whole-house generator 

  • A whole-home generator, as with any piece of equipment with an engine, will eventually require replacement. Suppose your generator reaches the end of its service life. A breakdown may occur more frequently, engine problems may occur, or large loads may not run smoothly.
  • In an emergency, a generator replacement will ensure you have the backup power you need without worrying about breakdowns, power outages, or safety concerns. Contact Blessed Electric and Air today for a free quote and estimate today! Depending on your needs, we can recommend the best model for you and provide complete installation services.

If your generators need a repair, look for these signs

  • If you notice any of these problems with your standby generator, please call our experts:
    • A weak battery, fuel delivery issues, faulty ignition systems, or faulty starters can cause start-up problems.
    • A bogging engine results from a restricted fuel system, dirty air filter, weak spark, or an old engine.
    • The engine can stall with low oil levels, lousy fuel, overloading, or a faulty ignition system.
    • A generator that doesn’t produce power may have a faulty transfer switch, tripped breakers, or a defective power head.