Category Archives: Electrical

Is Your Home Ready to Handle All Those Holiday Decorations? Exterior Outlets can Help!

christmas-lights

The holidays are at our heels, and many of us will be putting up home light displays after Thanksgiving as a way to usher in the winter festivities. Think about your dream holiday lighting display – a home wrapped in light and color, a display worthy of drawing a collection of “oohs” and “aahs” from both visiting relatives and passersby. But before you take down your collection of baubles from winters past, ask yourself this: is your home ready to take on the most complex and elaborate of holiday light displays? Or will you need to pull down that box of extension cords too, wondering where to trim back due to a lack of power supply? If your visions of an awe-inspiring light display have been curbed by electrical limitations in the past, consider an easy and relatively economical fix: exterior outlets.

Adding an exterior outlet to your home is a simple electrical upgrade that can be performed in less than a day by a licensed electrician. Having an exterior outlet installed is similar to the process of having an interior outlet installed – the biggest difference between the two outlets (besides the location) is that exterior outlets are also installed with waterproof covers and other weather-proofing features, as they will be subjected to more extreme environmental wear-and-tear than the outlets inside your home. Having an extra exterior outlet or two can cut down on the number of extension cords you need to use, drawing more attention to your carefully constructed light display and reducing the number of possible tripping hazards in your front yard.

Of course, exterior outlets can be useful after the holiday season, too! Exterior outlets can help you complete home improvement projects faster by providing a handy place to plug in your power tools. And if you like to use your back yard and patio area for summer get-togethers, an exterior outlet will allow you to hang additional lighting to help your party last long into the night. Whatever outdoor electrical needs you face, an exterior outlet can provide a safe and convenient source of power for your lights, tools and appliances.

Think it’s time to kick your holiday light display up a notch? The electricians at Home Comfort can help! Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Motion-Activated Lighting: A Simple Home Upgrade for Greater Peace of Mind

outdoor-lightingThe transition from summer to fall has a way of sneaking up on us. Barely a month ago, we were enjoying temperatures in the 80s here in Oregon’s Willamette Valley – today, raincoats and scarves are hanging on the backs of office doors. But the temperature isn’t the only thing that has changed; sunrise is happening later in the morning, and night is coming faster as October wears on.

For some people with early morning commutes, that time of year is fast approaching when it will be just as dark when they get home from work as it was when they left at the crack of dawn! For many, it is simply an annoyance to fumble for their keys in the dark, but for others, those periods of darkness before and after a commute can be a bit creepy. Luckily, a trusted electrician can make this time of year a bit less wearisome by installing a basic home security and safety device: outdoor motion lights.

Having motion-activated lights installed over your porch or driveway is a smart idea at any time of year, but they can be especially helpful during the wintertime and around the holidays. Besides having a reliable source of light in the early morning or late evenings, a motion-activated light is a helpful tool to have in your anti-burglary arsenal. Reports have shown that thieves and intruders are less likely to approach and break into a well-lit home, since they don’t want to risk being seen and described to police after a break-in.

Motion-activated lights can also help you save energy! Motion lights are helpful for those of us who want to save energy, but have trouble remembering small details, like turning the porch light off after everyone is home for the night. Since motion lights only turn on when the house is approached, and automatically turn off after a short period of time, homeowners can remove a frequently-overlooked item from their bedtime checklists.

Whether your life could use more convenience, conservation, or security, motion-activated lights are a practical and simple home solution. Fall is the perfect time to install a security light and reap the benefits of a well-lit home, inside and out.

Do you think it’s time to add a motion-activated light to your home? Home Comfort’s electricians can help with your outdoor lighting needs. Schedule an appointment today!

Works cited:

http://thesouthern.com/news/local/article_91e4c878-f0ee-11df-8382-001cc4c03286.html

Surge Protectors: Basic Protection Against Costly Repairs

surge protectorIf you’ve surfed past the Weather Channel lately, you may have noticed forecasts for thunderstorms in several parts of the country. When you hear that a thunderstorm is coming your way, you probably feel relieved knowing that you’ve done your best to protect your television, stereo system, and other major electronics by plugging them into a surge protector first. It makes sense, after all – in the event that your home does experience a rare power surge, replacing a flat screen television, desktop computer, top-of-the-line stereo system (or all of the above) can cost thousands of dollars! However, there may be one crucial appliance in your home that has missed out on this basic form of protection. How about your heat pump, furnace, or central air conditioner?

As we’ve mentioned in the past, a well-designed HVAC system can cost as much as a new car. At the very least, it is an investment of at least a few thousand dollars. And in the event of extreme weather, a blown-out heat pump can be far more inconvenient than a burned-up television.

Obviously, you can’t just plug your HVAC system into a power strip like the rest of your electronics. But fortunately, there are plenty of HVAC surge protectors on the market, and they may be able to provide basic protection against the kind of damage that can occur in electronics during a power surge. An HVAC surge protector works in a similar fashion to the power strips protecting your television and computer. In the event of a power surge, the surge protector can detect dangerous levels of electricity and divert that electricity to a ground wire before it can reach and damage your equipment’s electrical components. No surge protector can protect against the most powerful of surges, but in the event of a normal power surge, the protector can save a great deal of worry. And even if you don’t live in an area that’s prone to thunderstorms, installing a surge protector can be a good precaution. The most common power surges can be caused by a number of issues, including utility work, problems with a generator, or a sudden electrical glitch in an appliance that consumes a lot of power, such as a refrigerator or your HVAC system itself.

HVAC surge protectors aren’t built like your average power strip, and the best way to ensure proper installation and operation is to have it installed by a licensed mechanical contractor. Your technician can select the right surge protector model for your HVAC equipment and can safely and professionally install it, all for a reasonable price. The next time the weatherman forecasts a lightning storm in your area, you can rest easy knowing that all of your major appliances have some protection against damage.

Do you need a surge protector installed in your home? Give the experts at Home Comfort a call to schedule an appointment today!