A question we are often asked is whether a ceiling fan is less expensive than air conditioning. If your house doesn’t come equipped with ceiling fans, should you make that investment? The short answer is that ceiling fans absolutely use less energy than air conditioning units, and therefore will have a lower energy cost. That being said, we wouldn’t recommend entirely replacing air conditioning with fans if you live in the NOVA area. The best case scenario is that you have both ceiling fans and air conditioning. Fans help distribute the cold air from your air conditioning unit throughout the house. They can also enable the different residents of your home to regulate their own comfort without adjusting your AC settings. Like Attic Fans, ceiling fans are a cost-friendly way to help your AC unit function more efficiently over time. Interested in adding fans to your home? Contact us for an estimate today!
We know how tempting it is to hire a non-professional off Thumbtack or Craigslist to do your electrical work for half the cost, but consider this: our number one source of income is fixing bad electrical work done by unlicensed, uninsured “electricians.” You might think you’re saving money by hiring a non-professional, but in the end you will probably spend even more than if you had hired a professional electrical company in the first place.
What is the benefit of hiring a licensed electrician? To become licensed, an electrician must meet certain qualification standards – essentially they must have a combination of years of experience working for another licensed electrician and education. More importantly for you, their reputation (and license) is at stake when they do work for you, meaning they have to deliver you a quality product. Finally, only licensed electricians can pull permits from your municipality to do new construction.
Separate, but related to this issue of license, is insurance. What is the benefit to you of hiring an insured electrician? Accidents happen. Existing wires might be mislabeled. Testing equipment might be faulty. Even electricians with years of experience and Master’s qualifications are only human. What you don’t want to have happen is an accident that literally zaps all the electronics in your living room only to find out that your hired “electrician” doesn’t have insurance to cover the damage.
Play it safe – hire a licensed, insured electrician to do the work. Do some research, get multiple quotes, ask your friend who had similar work done to see what a fair price looks like, but resist the pull of the deeply discounted “electrician.” Instead, hire a small, family-owned business like ours! We are licensed and insured, but competitively priced because we are smaller than the competition. Smaller business = less overhead = more savings for you! Contact us today for a service call or a free project estimate.
We don’t know how your home fared in the most recent windstorm, but ours took a beating! Luckily we made it through thanks to our trusty backup generator. While you might think that generators are just for commercial and government buildings, you can actually install a generator for your own home to keep your household running smoothly through a power outage event. It is easy enough to buy a generator for yourself and even plug appliances into it for use, but what if you could have it connected to your home’s electrical panel? We can help you there! Take full advantage of your generator and let it power your panel so your life can go on as usual until power is restored to your area. A and D Inc. has served the Northern Virginia area for 40 years, and we’d love to help you ride out the next power outage in comfort. Contact us today for a free project estimate!
Tis the season for holiday lights! And whether you are decking out your house with an amazing light display or simply stringing a few twinkle lights in the window, you should make sure that you’re using christmas and holiday lights safely so you can enjoy the holidays from home and not the E.R.
For Outdoor Lights:
Make sure that all of your outdoor lights are plugged into a GFI outlet or GFI-protected which has a waterproof cover over it (such as the Intermatic WP1110C 1 Gang Vertical/Horizontal 3-5/8-Inch Deep Weatherproof Box, Clear – affiliate link). A GFI outlet means an outlet that has a push button to reset it when it trips. Doing this minimizes the risk of the circuit tripping due to cold weather moisture like snow and rain. It also prevents the lights from becoming a potential shock hazard!
Be careful when hanging outdoor lights – if you use nails or metal staples, do not nail or staple the actual light string – this will cause the GFI to trip and you’ll never get to see your lights shining. If you are NOT using a GFI outlet and you nail or staple your lights, then you’ll probably see a big flash and have to go reset the breaker in your house. Just take it from us, use other, safer means to hang your lights (such as Command Outdoor Light Clips, Clear, 16-Clips (17017CLR-AWES) – affiliate link) – these have the added upside of not damaging your house like nails or staples. We use these in our house all the year long to hang festive twinkle lights for parties.
For Indoor Lights:
Just make sure you aren’t overloading your circuits. If you experience appliances turning off after you turn on the lights, then your circuit is overloaded. If the outlet is hot to the touch, you should call an electrician asap.
A and D Inc. is here to help you install outdoor GFI outlets and waterproof covers and to make sure that your holidays go off without overloading circuits. Our service prices are competitive and we always make sure that you get your money’s worth. Give us a call or drop us an email today! Happy Holidays!
And now, for a visual treat:
In an ideal world, your AC unit would run efficiently all the time, saving you money and prolonging the life of the AC unit, but we know that sometimes an AC unit needs a little help. For instance, you’ve probably heard already about how insulation and updated windows will help keep your house more energy efficient, but did you know that your attic can be an energy thief? Most people don’t realize just how hot an attic can become – 150-160 degrees on a 98 degree day! This literally acts like an oven sitting on top of your air-conditioned home, causing the AC unit to work overtime to keep your house cool. Overtime this can stress out the unit and cost you hundreds of extra dollars. One solution is to install a whole-house fan. This fan is usually installed on the attic floor near the center of your house. In the late evening or early morning, the fan is turned on to exhaust hot air from the house. Cooler outdoor air enters through open windows, lowering the indoor temperature.
Don’t wait until your summer energy bill sky-rockets! Contact us today to get a free estimate.
It seems winter has finally decided to visit the mid-Atlantic, but for much of the country it has already been a rather harsh winter. It made us think about the use of space heaters in the home. Many people think that because they are small, they are relatively harmless, but what you may not realize is that even a basic space heater can pull as much power as a refrigerator! Don’t be surprised if you end up overloading the circuit with a space heater. When this happens, you can permanently damage the wires in your wall because they get too hot trying to run the heater.
This has the potential to cause an electrical fire. If your outlet becomes warm to the touch, cease using it immediately!
Some might say to just avoid space heaters altogether, but there are two simple solutions to prevent the potential for danger – have a dedicated circuit for the space heaters or make sure they aren’t plugged into a circuit that is already close to being tapped out.
At A&D Inc. we can help you there! Our family-owned business has been helping residents like you avoid potentially costly and dangerous electrical issues for decades. Don’t wait until it is too late, contact us for an electrical diagnostic.
For a comprehensive review of some good space heaters, visit The Best Space Heater – they include notes related to safety like automatic shut-off features (a good tip for keeping electrical costs down and preventing accidental fires!).
Ever wonder what those little buttons on your outlet mean? GFCI outlets (or GFI in common parlance) are required by the National Electric Code in all new kitchens, bathrooms, crawl spaces, unfinished basements, and most outdoor receptacles. A GFCI outlet monitors for a current imbalance between the hot and neutral wires and breaks the circuit if necessary. A circuit breaker may or may not trip if you receive a shock, but it will not trip fast enough to protect you from harm. A GFCI outlet is more sensitive and acts faster than a circuit breaker or fuse and is more likely to protect you from a deadly shock and is thus an important safety feature. If you have outlets that can come into contact with water (like outdoor outlets, bathroom outlets, or kitchen outlets) make sure they have a functioning GFCI outlet. It is not worth the risk! This is just one small, but vital way A&D Inc. can help you have peace of mind. Our team of licensed, certified electricians are here to help! Contact us for a free estimate.
Did you know that summer storms can have dire consequences to your electronics? A lightening storm can overload your circuit and damage any connected electronic device costing you thousands of dollars for replacements and repairs. A surge protector installed on your electrical panel can save your electronics, but these are not required by current electrical code, so many houses are left unprotected. This is just one small, but vital way A&D Inc. can help you have peace of mind. Our team of licensed, certified electricians have served the Northern Virginia area for 40 years. Protect your appliances and electronics today! Contact us for a free estimate.