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4 Advantages You’ll See With Smart Home Automation

The technological advances of the past couple of decades have made controlling various elements of your home easier than ever. Automatic control of these technologies, also known as smart home automation, can be accomplished by using a common network that can connect with the devices, appliances, and systems in the home. Smart home automation provides a level of command and functionality that wasn't possible in the past. Here are four of the advantages you'll enjoy when you use smart home automation in Tampa, FL.

1. Unlimited Flexibility

The flexibility of smart home automation is one of the biggest advantages of using this type of system. Smart home automation can be used for any home, in any configuration, and can accommodate any new devices and appliances you add as time goes on. New models can be integrated into the system seamlessly, and older models can be removed at will without a hassle.

2. Simple Convenience

Smart home automation lets you control all the different elements of your home via a single-user interface on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Once you have taken a few minutes to learn how to navigate the interface, you can access numerous functions and devices across your home, including your thermostat, lights, audio speakers, TVs, security cameras, locks, and appliances. Being able to control all of these from one place will save you a lot of time and energy.

3. More Effective Home Security

Automating your home security system provides a number of benefits. Security system automation means you don't have to remember to turn the system on and off each day, as you can simply schedule different security elements to start and stop at certain times. You can also activate and review motion detectors and surveillance cameras remotely in real time from your connected device, allowing you to check on things from across the street or from another state.

4. Improved Energy Efficiency

Smart home automation can improve your home's energy efficiency by a significant amount, reducing your energy bills and your carbon footprint. Precise control of the thermostat and lighting allows you to make your home more comfortable while you are present while using less energy while you are away. You can also check to make sure entertainment devices and appliances are turned off, raise and lower motorized shades automatically on a set schedule, or preheat your stove on your way home from work or a day at the Florida Aquarium.

Conclusion

Consumer interest in smart home technology has made smart home automation one of the most talked-about home improvement topics today. With the world's biggest companies racing to innovate better smart home products for the masses, smart home automation will only continue to improve as time goes by. For more information about smart home automation in the Tampa, FL area, contact the expert electricians at Mr. Electric for a consultation today!

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6 Signs You Should Upgrade Your Home’s Electrical System

When you're living in a city that experiences severe thunderstorms frequently, like Tampa, you'll want to make sure your electrical system can handle it. If not, you could easily see your computer and appliances damaged in an electrical surge. Here are six signs you need up upgrade your home's electrical system this spring before the summer storms hit.

1. You're Getting Too Many Circuit Breaker Trips

A circuit breaker is designed to protect your electrical system from an electrical overload. When it trips, this means the circuit breaker has sensed an overload of electricity and has shut off automatically. When your circuit breaker trips occasionally, this isn't a problem. However, when it trips quite frequently, you need to call an electrician. There may be something wrong with your electrical panel or the wiring in your home. Frequent circuit breaker trips are a sign that you should upgrade your electrical system.

2. Smells Like Something Is Burning

If your electrical panel smells like it's burning, you should be concerned. The burning smell will probably be plastic as the covering around the electrical wires starts to melt. Contact our electricians immediately if your electrical panel smells like something is burning.

3. Lights That Flicker or Dim

If you have one light bulb that flickers, you may simply need to change that light bulb and put in a new one. However, if your lights flicker throughout your home, call an electrician to take a look at your electrical system. Flickering lights means there is an issue with your electrical system. You'll want to schedule a repair service with an electrician as soon as possible to prevent any damage to your appliances and electronics.

4. Your Electricity Bill Is Higher Than Normal

If you have a sense of what your normal bill is and you see it skyrocket suddenly, you may have faulty wiring. Make sure to eliminate all possibilities, such as your air conditioner over the summer. If there's no explanation, call us to see what the problem could be.

5. Broken or Slightly Burnt Outlets

If you see soot around your outlets, then sparks have already erupted within your walls. This is an extremely dangerous sign, and you should contact an electrician immediately to fix and upgrade your electrical system. Leaving it as is could cause injury to either you or a family member.

6. Your Bulbs Are Blowing Out Too Soon

If you believe your bulbs aren't meeting their life expectancy, it means too much electricity is flowing through them and making them burn out faster than they should. This is a result of faulty wiring.

There are many signs that you need to upgrade your home's electrical system. It's important to add this to your to-do list in the spring so that your home is well prepared for Tampa's tropical storms. Call Mr. Electric in Tampa, FL to get started. We provide lighting, safety, and electrical installations.

Here’s What Your Children Need to Learn About Electrical Safety

In Tampa, FL, where thunderstorms are commonplace — the city averages 78 thunderstorm days a year, according to Weather Underground — electrocutions happen whenever water and electricity mix. Watching your electronics fry can be unpleasant, but seeing your children harmed would be devastating. Teaching them about electrical safety shouldn't wait until a storm is on the way. Your kids should always be aware of electricity and how dangerous it can be. Here are some electrical safety lessons to teach them.

Don't Stick Things Into Sockets

Children who have just learned how to walk will start to discover devices and gadgets. They'll also become fascinated with holes in the walls, such as sockets. And curious kids will be tempted to find something sharp and long to stick into a socket to see what happens. Just saying no may not be good enough. In simple terms, explain to your children that electricity flows through sockets, and if they stick something into a socket, it will cause electricity to flow through them.

Keep Electrical Devices Away From Water

One of the more common accidents in households occurs when electrical devices like toasters and hair dryers are used near water. These devices leak electrical current into the water and can electrocute anyone touching the water. Even your mobile device can cause an electrical shock if it touches water while you're holding it.

It's important to teach your children to keep electrical devices at least 6 feet away from water. If they're in the bathtub, they shouldn't use a hairdryer or any other device that's plugged into the electrical system. Kids also need to understand that tools and other devices powered by electricity must always be kept away from outdoor water sources like the pool, sprinklers, or puddles.

Avoid Power Surges

Teach your kids about the dangerous power surges that can occur due to thunder and lightning. Get them in the habit of helping you unplug appliances and electronics whenever a thunderstorm is on the way.

Stay Away From Broken Wires

Broken wires that are either inside or outside of the house can be active and dangerous. Most live wires are insulated, but after years of wear and tear, they can become frayed and lose some of their insulation. When this happens, the wire is still active and can give you an electric shock when you touch it. Curious children may just see the pretty wire colors and be tempted to touch the live wires or even put them in their mouths. Make sure they understand that this is extremely dangerous. The moment you see any broken wires in your house, fix the problem immediately.

Don't Fly Kites Near Power Lines

Every year, children get electrocuted when their kites touch power lines. Although the kite's string isn't metal and therefore doesn't conduct electricity, it's often dirty with accumulated sweat. This surface liquid acts as a conductor, and the electrical current will be conducted from the power line down through the kite string. Teach your children to let go of their kites if the wind pulls them toward a power line. If they lose a kite, they can always get another one.

When you need residential electrical services in Tampa, contact our team at Mr. Electric. We offer installations, upgrades, and repairs. We also provide childproof outlets.

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4 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Paying the power bill might seem more stressful during the winter. That's because so many homes in Tampa have inefficient designs. It takes a lot of electricity to keep them warm throughout the season. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your home's efficiency.

Adjust Your Thermostat's Setting

Mr. Electric has always shown our clients how to set up their thermostats to be more efficient. A great deal of the monthly electric bill usually goes to pay for what we've spent on heating.

Lowering the thermostat by a couple degrees can cut your heating bill by up to 15%. Try to keep the house around 68 degrees during the winter to save as much electricity as possible. If you've kept it that low, you'll notice a major difference the next time your heating bill shows up.

Reseal Your Windows and Doors

Another reason why your heating bill is so high during the winter might be leaks. Most of the time, there are a few of them around the house, usually near doors and windows.

Sealing them would prevent air from escaping whenever you've turned on the furnace. If you eliminate the leaks, you won't have to spend money on electricity to heat the outdoors. Make sure you've applied caulk around all the doors and windows. That's typically all you need to stop them from leaking.

Unplug Electronics When They're Not in Use

Everything you've plugged into an outlet has a constant supply of electricity sent to it. Even turning off your devices doesn't entirely stop them from using electricity. That's why it's important to unplug things when they're not in use.

Always remember to disconnect electronics once you've finished using them. That's the only way you can totally prevent them from wasting electricity. Simply taking the plug out of the wall can reduce your electric bill by 5% or more. That may not sound like a huge difference, but every little bit counts.

Upgrade Your Home's Light Bulbs

When was the last time you upgraded the light bulbs in your house? If it's been a while, you should consider switching to LEDs. They're way more efficient than the typical light bulbs you've used in the past.

LEDs can produce up to 200 Lumens for every watt they consume. An incandescent bulb only produces 16 Lumens if you've given it the same amount of power. That's over 10 times more electricity for the same result.

Upgrading all the bulbs in your house is an easy way to improve your place's efficiency. You've never seen a reasonable electric bill until you've had one with LEDs in all the sockets.

Your Trusted Tampa Electrical Experts

Mr. Electric would love to help you with your next electrical project. Our team of electricians has assisted numerous homeowners in Tampa, FL. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment and request a free quote. You can rely on our residential lighting services to get the job done.

Signs That Your Electric Panel Is Past Its Prime

When you hear the term electrical panel, you might not be sure what it is referring to. Some people will call it a breaker box, others say electrical panel, and sadly some still use the term fuse box. But all of these are pretty much the same item, with slightly different titles. The electrical panel is the metal enclosure or box that houses the breakers for your home’s electrical system. In essence, it is the hub of the electrical service where the main electrical supply is broken down into smaller circuits.

Each one of the circuits delivers power to a different part of your home. Some are dedicated to large features like the air conditioner, furnace, home theater, or swimming pool pumps. Other circuits service a few appliances or outlets in a room or a couple of rooms. And each circuit is controlled and protected by a circuit breaker that will interrupt the flow of power if it detects an issue with the incoming electricity or the circuit. Knowing this, it is easy to understand how the electrical panel in your home is essential for everything that operates via the electrical system. And why you need to know when this integral piece of equipment needs to be replaced. Some of the deciding factors for an electrical panel replacement include:

The Age Of The Panel

Like everything, an electrical panel will wear out. But unlike many other items in your home, when the electrical panel fails, you can be in from some trouble, from a power surge or power failure to an increased potential for an electrical fire. In most cases, with a professionally installed electrical panel, you can expect about 25 years of service before it is time to plan on a replacement.

Physical Issues

When you notice any physical damage to the electrical panel or the enclosure, it is time to call (813) 359-1944 for immediate help. The licensed electricians at Mr. Electric are here 24/7 to handle electrical emergencies or to schedule an appointment to address issues like:

  • Rust on the panel or enclosure
  • If the enclosure is warm to the touch
  • Broken or damaged breaker switches
  • Breakers that will not reset or are very difficult to reset
  • You notice crackling, popping, or other odd sounds coming from the box
  • You smell something smoky or burning when near the electrical panel

A Home Renovation Or Upgrade

You will also want to consider replacing or upgrading your electrical panel when you take on a home renovation or addition. Adding square footage or upgraded features like chef-quality kitchen appliances is sure to require added electrical capacity. It is also the perfect time to add more outlets to rooms with limited access to charging for personal devices.

Call (813) 359-1944 or click here to schedule an appointment for an electrical panel inspection if you are unsure about the age or function of your home’s electrical panel. The licensed professionals at Mr. Electric will provide all the information you need to keep your home and loved ones safe.

Simple Electrical Upgrades To Make Your Office More Productive

Having a well-organized and outfitted office is essential, whether in your home or an office building. Fortunately, there are a few affordable and straightforward electrical upgrades that you can make to increase your productivity and, hopefully, profit margin.

Super Affordable And Simple

Cord management sounds like a fancy name for wasting time to make everything look pretty. However, this is a serious task that can save you time and frustration. No one wants to battle with a web of tangled wires when moving a laptop or relocating a monitor. You might even put off adding some new technology because you don't want to wrestle with the ball of cords. However, cable management will eliminate those issues and the potential for some severe overheating. So find the system that you like to keep cords and cables organized and free from the tangles that can result in short-circuits, overheating, and a nasty coffee spill when you go to move your tech.

Eliminate Eye Strain And Headaches

Adding a few affordable light fixtures can provide a significant reduction in eyestrain and headaches. No one is productive when their head is pounding and their eyes are throbbing. So add a few LED lights to provide adequate illumination without adding heat or sucking up too much electricity. And even better, these light bulbs will last about ten times longer than the old incandescent bulbs that were prone to breaking and overheating.

Add Outlets

If your office is a myriad of power strips and extension cords, you could be creating a severe safety hazard. Any time you plug more than two items into an outlet, you are likely overloading it. The result is going to be too much heat and electricity for the wiring and outlet to handle. Soon you could be noticing a faint smoke odor as the wiring inside the wall begins to smolder and then catch fire. Also, it is essential to note that plugging in two power strips to an outlet does not count as two items unless only one device is plugged into each power strip. Contact a licensed electrician to install more outlets to eliminate the safety issue and potential damage to your expensive electronics.

Create A Collaborative Space

Presentation technology is much more affordable and easy to operate than it was just a few years ago. The benefit of having a place for everyone to gather and collaborate using visual devices and tools is priceless, even though the gear is very affordable. Invest some time in exploring the presentation tech for slides, screen shares, and even adding virtual meetings to let everyone get involved in projects to create the highest quality product for your team and customers.

When you need to update or upgrade your office's electrical service or features, call (813) 359-1944 to reach the experts at Mr. Electric. We offer free price quotes and back all of our work with a parts and labor warranty. Let our licensed electricians help you get the most out of your tea and workspace.

Will Using Ceiling Fans Lower Your Electric Bill In The Summer?

You are sure to have heard from friends with ceiling fans that these little wonders have helped them lower their electric bill in the summertime. But you could be wondering if it is possible, and if so, how does it work. After all, you are paying for the electricity to run a ceiling fan and your air conditioner. So shouldn’t that cost more?

How To Reduce Your Electric Bill This Winter

Many homeowners in Tampa will proudly tell you that their home is very energy efficient. However, in most cases, that statement is based on anything but facts. Energy studies across the country have found that the average home is only operating at about 50%of its potential energy efficiency. And as soon as homeowners learn that scary fact, they are eager to learn how they can increase their home's energy efficiency and begin saving on their utility bills.

All You Need To Know About Charging Your EV At Home

As electric vehicles become more popular and mainstream, many homeowners in Tampa wonder about home charging stations. Sure there are many options around town to charge an electric or hybrid vehicle. But it can be pretty challenging to plan the time and location to charge your car for a few hours. So many homeowners are convinced that a home charger will take the difficulty out of keeping their EV ready at a moment's notice.

Knowing Your Options

There are three levels of EV chargers available. The Level 1 charging station is the one that is typically included with an EV purchase and can be plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet. But it is essential to know that EV manufacturers recommend that you have your car plugged into a 110-volt outlet on a dedicated circuit. This is the best way to prevent any surges or spikes that could damage the costly components in your new car's charging system.

The Level 2 charging station is the other common option found in many homes. This charger is more robust and requires a dedicated 240-volt outlet. These are the larger round outlets often used for an electric dryer. EV manufacturers recommend the brand and model of Level 2 charging station that is ideal for your EV, but they are not included in the purchase of the vehicle. Finally, there are Level 3 charging stations that are sometimes found in a private setting. However, these are most often installed in commercial locations, parking garages, or municipal charging lots.

What Will Work For Your Needs?

All of these charging stations have their pros and cons. The Level 1 units are the most affordable and easy to install. However, they are also the slowest to charge your vehicle. On average, a Level 1 charger will add between 2 and 5 miles to your car's range in an hour of charge time. By comparison, a Level 2 charger will add between 10 and 60 miles to the same vehicle's range in an hour of charging time.

Some of the factors to consider when selecting a charge are the vehicle you have purchased or are going to purchase and the driving you will be doing. If your EV will be driven only a few times a week and for a short distance, a Level 1 charger should be perfect for your needs. It is the most reasonable unit to purchase and have installed as well.

However, if you drive daily and cover a greater distance, a Level 2 charger is better. The faster charge will ensure that your vehicle is always charged and ready for the next day's driving. While this is a more expensive charger, it will offer you more flexibility and distance for daily driving needs.

The Cost Savings Of Electricity Compared To Gasoline

If you are still in the planning stages of your EV purchase, you might wonder if these vehicles will save you any money. To better answer this often asked question, General Motors provided a few calculations. Using the average cost of electricity in the United States and the average amount of driving, they determined that an EV owner will spend from $300 to $400 per year to charge their new car. In contrast. AAA estimates that the average driver spends about $3,000 on gasoline each year. So you can expect a 90% reduction in the cost to power your new EV.

For a free, no-obligation price quote for an EV charging station installation, call (813) 359-1944. The licensed electricians at Mr. Electric will help you determine which unit will best meet your needs for affordable at-home electric vehicle charging.

How To Really Childproof Your Home’s Electrical Outlets

Most parents in will agree that when children become mobile, their anxiety level skyrockets. There are hazards everywhere, from steps and open windows to all of the electrical outlets around the house. And what makes the outlets possibly the worst fear of all is that they are right at eye level for all curious toddlers who are just beginning to explore the world. Parents need to take action early to prevent any heartbreaking catastrophes.

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