Category Archives: Electrical Safety

Electrical Requirements for Portable Air Conditioning

Things to Consider Before Buying a Window Unit

Air Condition Unit Interior View USAWhen central air conditioning is not an option, portable and window air conditioners make keeping cool affordable because of their high energy efficiency and low price.

Window AC unites are typically easy to install, and most provide an energy saver switch option that makes them affordable to operate when you only need to cool one room.

Research shows that an average household spends about 13% of its annual utility bills on cooling, which is why it is important to choose the right air conditioning unit. A too-large unit will cool so quickly that it doesn’t have time to remove enough moisture, leaving you with a cold, clammy space. And one that is too small will struggle to cool a room.

Consider the following before you install any type of air conditioner:

With a few exceptions, most window air conditioners will require their own dedicated circuit so they don’t overload an existing room circuit.

Stand-alone AC units are a good option in homes where window configurations or building regulations prevent installation of window units They require minimal set-up and have casters for easy portability.

The size of a room will dictate the size of the air conditioner. Match the room’s dimensions in square feet with the AC unit’s BTU cooling capacity power, for example, 20 BTU for each square foot. But don’t buy relying on the BTUs alone. You should also make allowances for the height of your ceiling and the size of your windows and doorways.

Window air conditioners generally blow air in one direction, which can be a problem if the window location in not centered on the wall. Consider one that has fan arms that swivel or one with a powerful thrust that can distribute the air evenly to your room.

Room conditioners with an Energy Efficiency Rating capacity of 8.0 or higher will offer features such as with features such as variable fan speeds, temperature controls by degrees and not just high and low settings, a timer or programmable thermostat, energy saving settings and accessible filters for cleaning and maintenance

Older models of air conditioners are very loud and the noise could disturb light sleepers even when set on low and are distracting to all when set on high. There are excellent air conditioning units that have a quiet operation that the only sound you might hear is the fan running.

Before installing your new AC, check first with professional electricians such as Hufnagel Electric to see if your home electrical system meets the needs of the AC unit’s electrical capacities and requirements, such as voltage, amps, watts, and the correct plug face. Also check to see if you need to install a 220-volt circuit for your unit.

Electrical Safety In The Bathroom

electrical-safety-bathroomElectrical fires and accidents are common causes of injury and death in the home. Nearly every home has potential electrical hazards caused by incorrect or defective electrical wires, improper electrical connections at outlets or switches, and frayed appliance or extension cords, just to name a few.

Electrical safety in the bathroom is often overlooked, and outlets that are too close to a water source or handling an electrical appliance with wet hands heighten the chances of getting an electric shock. In wet surroundings, unsuitable equipment can become “live” and make its surroundings live too. That is why Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets are required in bathrooms and other wet areas as part of the electrical code.

Here are additional ways to practice electrical safety in the bathroom:

Never use a radio, hair dryer, phone, extension cords or electric devices in the bath, near the sink, bathtub, or on a wet bathroom floor.

Electric water heaters in a bathroom must be fixed, permanently wired, and fitted at least 9 feet away from a water source in the bathroom.

Electrical outlets in bathrooms should be GFCI outlets, installed by a professional electrician at the required distance from sources of water.

Recessed lights are recommended in bathrooms to keep fixtures away from water.

While you may be tempted to bring an electric heater into the bathroom, be sure that it is at a safe distance from a water source and the floor it sits on is bone dry.

Always have a fire extinguisher handy in order to avoid a very common error of using water to put out electrical fires. Water fuels the fire and may cause electrocution. In the absence of a fire extinguisher, always turn off your electrical power from the main source in the event of an electrical fire, evacuate your home and call 911.

Remember to switch off and unplug the equipment from use immediately and store it out of reach of children.

Avoid Do-It-Yourself electrical repairs by all means necessary. Instead, have a qualified electrician inspect your wiring on a regular basis to ensure the wiring is safe and to see if you need an upgrade.

Electrical Safety Month

GFCI InstallationThe nonprofit Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) promotes May as National Electrical Safety Month. It’s always a good idea to pay a little extra attention to something that is of such vital importance. We all use electrical devices and appliances, every day, without really thinking about it.  Here is a general checklist of some things to look for or steps to take to keep your home and your family safe around electricity. Continue reading

When Do You Need an Electrical Inspection?

Electrical safety inspectionOwning a home is a big achievement, especially today with the rising cost of living. Whether you are new to home ownership, or have been on the property ladder for decades, you will most likely feel a mixture of two key things – love for your home, and a sense of responsibility.

Having an electrical inspection is one of those “responsibility’” things that might not appeal to you at first. But if you look at not only the importance of these checks, but the peace of mind they bring and even the money they can save you in the long term, you will no doubt be welcoming your next inspection with open arms. Continue reading

5 Things to Teach Your Kids About Electrical Safety

children-electrical-safetyDon’t Let Them Learn By Accident

Young children love to explore, and are curious about the things they find, both inside and outside of your home. If you have kids, you most likely have used outlet protectors and told your young children to not touch or try and put anything into a power outlet. As your children get older, giving them more information about how electricity works and its dangers will help to keep them safe — just remember to keep your lessons simple so they don’t lose interest. Here are five important safety tips to share with the kids in your life. Continue reading

Dimmer Switches Make Mornings Brighter…Or Dimmer

Dimmer switch installationTips For Safe DIY Installation

It’s the end of summer.  The kids are all back to school. Some of us are looking forward to hoodies, jeans, boots, turning leaves, and pumpkin spice. But along with all of those wonderfully comforting things come dark mornings, short days, and blustery winds.  A bleary-eyed mom or dad gets out of bed at 6:00 AM to get a cup of coffee and enjoy a few minutes of quiet before it is time to wake the kids for school.  The parent reaches out to turn on the kitchen light and, BAM!  The light is so bright that they have to cover their eyes to make it to the coffee machine!  It’s times like these when we all wish for dimmer switches. Continue reading

You Can Have Power Over Power Surges


Protect More Than Just Your Computer

We all use surge protection strips.  We plug our computers and equipment into them.  We plug our televisions into them.  We protect our electronics, game consoles, and music equipment.  How many of us think about our refrigerators and dishwashers though?  Or what about the furnace, or the air conditioner?  How would you feel, besides sweaty, if on one of these humid, stormy, ninety-degree days, the lightning causes a power surge and your air conditioning stops working?  Surge protection is something we think about on a small scale, but let’s widen the lens a little bit. Continue reading