Friday, May 27, 2016


Electricians can help you with a variety of services, from making electrical repairs and maintaining your fire alarm to adding lighting, generators, and other features to your home or commercial property. Before you select an electrician near Annapolis, it’s helpful to ask a few key questions to determine whether the company you’ve chosen is right for your needs.
Are You Licensed and Insured? Hiring an Electrician
Any electrician you allow onto your property should be licensed and insured for your protection and his. Licensing means that your electrician is legally permitted to perform electrical work on your property that complies with safety standards, while insurance will protect you and your electricians in case of an accident or inadvertent property damage.
What Are Your Specialties?
You want to know that your electrician can handle the unique needs of your home or business. Discussing the services your electrician most frequently provides can help you make the right decision when selecting an electrical company in Annapolis. While most electricians can handle common tasks such as electrical wiring, lighting installation, and fire alarm testing, if you are interested in a generator, surge protector, home automation, or other specialized electrical system, you’ll want to make sure you choose an electrical contractor that has extensive experience in these areas.
How Does Your Estimate Process Work?
Getting an estimate can help you budget for any electrical work you may need. However, electrical companies often differ in the way they produce estimates, so it’s a good idea to ask your electrician how he prepares an estimate and the services or materials the estimate will include so you are not surprised with added costs after the job is complete.
Do You Offer Warranties?
Warranties and guarantees protect you and your investment after electrical work has been completed. If there is a problem with the service provided, you’ll want to know that your electrician will stand behind his work to make it right at no added cost. Ask your electrician about the warranties and workmanship guarantees he offers to ensure you are satisfied with them before you schedule service.

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Prepping Your Patio for Spring – From Plugs to Plants

Yay! Spring is finally here. Get ready to spend time outside on the patio.

…Oh no, the patio. You haven’t really touched it since late last fall.

Don’t worry. Jeremy Services has whipped up a patio to-do list that will have yours looking like Martha Stewart moved in. And we didn’t forget the electrical details to help make entertaining easier and more convenient, not to mention safe. So let’s go!


First things first, the patio must be cleaned. Sweep it, then spray it off with a hose to remove grass, twigs, leaves, and dirt.

Next, inspect the patio furniture for damage or wear and clean it up. Soapy water usually does the trick. Spray everything down with a hose and let it all dry in the sun. Check the cushions to make sure they’re clean, too.


Paint any furniture that is showing signs of fading, rusting, etc. It will look like a new set in no time. Also, paint or stain any pots, wrought iron plant hangers, trellises, arbors, etc.


Be sure all of your outdoor outlets have covers. Covers keep rain, dew, and dirt out of the outlet.
Never use extension cords on a permanent basis. They are not designed to be a long-term solution. Instead, add outlets where you need them.
Make sure all plugs are GFCI protected. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets were created to prevent electrical shock in wet locations like outdoors or near a sink. Your home’s outdoor outlets are required by code to be GFCI outlets.
Related Read: Electrician Tips for Outdoor Patios


Lighting will make a huge difference on your patio. Need some tips, download our Guide to Installing Landscape Lighting at the end of this article. There are several types of lighting that are perfect for patios:

Cafe-style lighting – Hang string lights with clear round globes. It’s both trendy and affordable, plus it creates a timeless and magical feel. Add them to the perimeter of your yard or string them diagonally above your patio.
Candles – Candles are ideal for your tabletop or small end tables. You can use real candles, but battery operated candles are more convenient for outdoor spaces, as they don’t blow out in the wind.
Umbrella lights – Don’t forget to add lights to your patio umbrella for a festive feel. Use plastic wire ties (available in a multitude of colors at any home improvement store) to secure the wire to the umbrella.
Trees – You can even string lights from your trees or wrap the trunks in lights to extend the mood out into the yard.
Related Read: Bring on the Night with Beautiful Patio Lighting


If you love entertaining on the patio, accessorize the space for comfort and fun. Don’t be afraid to hang artwork on an exterior wall. Water-resistant d├ęcor that is made to be used outdoors can be found all over in stores. Accessories are what make your patio look like something out of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine (like the patio in the picture above).


Some people ask, “Where do I start?” It’s easy. Just pick colors that you like and repeat that same palette three times – pillows, outdoor rugs, planters, cushions, outdoor wall decor, umbrellas, etc. can all add a splash of color. Even outdoor curtains add a hint of privacy and whisper “resort” when they blow in the breeze.


Don’t forget the rest of the yard! Put fresh mulch in your flower beds and landscaped areas. If your yard is small, just place some cute planters around the area. Bird feeders and bird baths add charm as well. Water features like small fountains or ponds really enhance your backyard.

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8 Most Common Household Electricity Problems

Even though you probably don’t want to hear this, every home is bound to experience some electrical problems. Even though not major, if not properly identified and fixed, these problems can quickly become an unnecessary headache. Lucky for you, most of these issues are easy to identify, so you can take action in no time.
Electrical Shocks
A mild electrical shock can occur when turning an electrical appliance on or off, flick a switch or plug in certain appliances. In this situation the problem can be hard to uncover, as it could exist in either the appliance itself or the home wiring.
The easiest way to know what’s going on is to remove the appliance and plug something else in its place; if the same thing happens again with the new appliance and you feel a mild electric shock, that means the fault its not the appliance’s but a wiring issue. Exercise caution however, it may be better to have an electrician diagnose from the start. Commonly, the appliance will be faulty, however, there could be a problem with the way your house is wired, and so it would be best to get a registered electrician to have a look.
Electrical Spikes and Surges
This happens when you experience an electrical spike in your home of short duration. This problem is hard to detect, and it usually happens following a storm. If your home does not have surge protection your appliances could be severely damaged. This could be very expensive. To avoid this, you could ask your electrician to install a surge protector (or to check if you have one), to protect your appliances from electrical outbursts. When buying powerboards, also check the packaging to see if they are surge protected.
Faulty Circuit Breaker
The circuit breaker is a safety little switch that protects the appliances from a system overload. It is essential to prevent serious damage to your home, as well as possible electrocution. If this is faulty it can be really dangerous for your home and can lead to fires.
Signs of a faulty breaker could be that your home stays out of power often, as the breaker will cut off electricity entirely. If this is the case, get it fixed as soon as possible.
Circuit Overload
You know this issue is happening to your when your circuit breaker is working way too much, and you find yourself constantly tripping the breaker. This usually happens with power boards, something pretty common nowadays around homes, as almost everything in homes is electric. Be mindful of this especially if you live in an apartment, or in a house which has an open kitchen that’s in the same area as the lounge room. Make sure you always unplug what’s not in use, especially phone chargers, which are easy to always leave on. Even when you’re not charging your phone, the charger is still using electricity, so be mindful on this and take it off the power. If you also have a multitude of appliances in an area which wasn’t built to support the demand you may also experience problems.
Also, remember to never overuse a power board. This means, if the power board contains six power outlets, use those six only, don’t try to extend it by by piggybacking double adapters. Not only you will contribute to a circuit overload, but you’ll be using adapters that have no safety switch, which is a potential hazard.
Electrical Sags, Dips and Outages
Dips and sags (short period of low voltage) and power outages can be caused by electrical appliances that use lots of power when turned on. To protect them, you can ask your electrician to install a UPS, which is an uninterruptable power supply, that works as a  backup power supply for only a couple of minutes – enough time to turn off all electrical safely before the power is off.
Flickering Lights
A very common issue, flickering lights can be quite dangerous, as they can be the result of a faulty or old bulb that needs a change or a sign that the entire wiring system has a flaw. It is definitely a problem that cannot be ignored, and if you are experiencing it, the safest thing is to call an electrician, especially if your home is older than 10 years.
Burning Odour or Sparks
These issues are a clear sign you have a fault in your wiring, and should be inspected as soon as possible. It would be advisable to unplug all devices and to switch off the power of your entire home until the arrival of a professional, in order to prevent a possible fire hazard.
Hot Ceiling Fixtures
Use your hand to inspect your ceiling fixtures regularly (but be careful!), focusing on the temperature. If you find they are quite hot, it may be a sign of a problem, and you may need to contact a professional to get it fixed. Florescent or LED lights could be a good replacement instead of the normal bulbs, as they emit less heat and are more energy efficient.

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The Essential Guide for Kitchen Energy Savings

The kitchen is full of energy-hungry appliances, many of which could quickly add up and result in larger energy bills.

Learn how to save and conserve energy in the kitchen with these 5 tips:
open dishwasher machine
Use Your Dishwasher Wisely
One of the easiest ways to save energy in the kitchen is through using the dishwasher more efficiently. There are several ways which you could do this including:

Choosing the economy setting
Waiting until the dishwasher is full before using it
Avoid using the rinse-hold setting for lightly soiled tableware
Consider letting your dishes air dry as well. This will not only help boost your energy savings and conservation, it will also help you save money in the long run.

If your dishwasher doesn’t have an air-dry setting, turn off your dishwasher after the final rinse and prop the door open so your tableware dries faster.
Position Your Appliances Properly
Positioning your appliances properly is an important but often overlooked way to save energy.

Be sure to position your dishwasher away from your refrigerator so that your refrigerator doesn’t have to work harder to counter the heat and moisture coming from your dishwasher.

You should also leave a gap of at least 4 inches behind your refrigerator to allow for proper ventilation. A lack of ventilation could cause your fridge to use more energy.
Don’t Leave Your Appliances on Standby
Leaving appliances on standby wastes energy and costs you money.

Where possible, turn off your appliances at the plug when not in use to maximize energy conservation. Alternatively, plug your appliances into a power strip and switch the strip off when you go to sleep.
Energy Star logo
Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Older appliances can use more electricity than new ones, so retiring them can help you to save money.

As we mentioned before, shop for energy-saving products by looking for the Energy Star label to help you identify the most energy-efficient products.

You should also consider the size of the appliance and buy the right size for your needs. Energy Star ratings compare products of a similar size, so a large A-rated fridge may still be more expensive to run than a small B-rated one.
Use Your Refrigerator Efficiently
Refrigerators are the second largest energy consumers in your home after central heating systems.

Avoiding an empty refrigerator can help lower the amount of wasted energy by using the energy effectively. Temperature settings that are also too low can lead to wasted energy that doesn’t properly keep food cold.

When buying a new refrigerator, look for the Energy Star label and consider the features you need. For example, refrigerators with water dispensers and ice makers, while convenient, do use more energy.

Learning how to save energy in the kitchen is easier than you might think. By following the above tips, you can reduce your energy bills and lower your carbon footprint.

With Austin heating up in the coming months, it’s important more than ever to save and conserve energy in the kitchen.

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Prioritize Safety Over Savings With Refrigerator Temperature

Savvy homeowners look for ways to reduce their energy use in every area of their homes. And when it comes to home appliances, few use as much energy as your refrigerator. But if you’re tempted to adjust the temperature settings for a little savings -- think twice. Turning up the temperature can be a food safety problem, and there are safer and more effective ways to make your fridge and freezer run as efficiently as possible.

Safety First

To ward off listeria and other foodborne bacteria, it’s essential that you keep your perishables no warmer than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. These foods can safely sit at room temperature for short periods, but not for more than two hours. After that, bacteria has all the time it needs to multiply and pose an illness risk.

That’s why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that you set your refrigerator thermostat to 40 degrees or lower. Since liquids freeze at 32 degrees, you’re left with a narrow 8-degree window for your refrigerator temperature. As for the freezer, the FDA recommends a setting of 0 degrees.

Newer refrigerators may have built-in digital thermometers to help verify proper temperature. But to be absolutely sure, it’s a good idea to get an appliance thermometer and to use it periodically to verify that your refrigerator is appropriately cold.

These thermometers are also useful for finding colder and warmer spots in your fridge. Try putting the thermometer in different areas, giving it a few minutes to adjust between each move. With experimentation, you’ll be able to identify the coldest and warmest areas so that you can put the most perishable foods -- meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers -- in the coldest spots.

Efficiency Second

With your food safe, there’s still room to get more efficiency out of your fridge and freezer. Since liquids and solids retain coldness better than air, the most effective thing you can do is keep your fridge and freezer relatively full. But don’t overdo it -- if these spaces are packed too tightly, there won’t be room for cold air to flow, and your energy efficiency could suffer.

If you don’t have enough food and beverages to keep both sections fairly full, a simple solution is to use containers of water to fill the empty space. It’s a cheap, easy way to lengthen the amount of time between cooling cycles.

Keeping a full fridge and freezer can also come in handy in the event of a power outage, as it will keep the spaces colder longer when cold air isn’t flowing in. If you keep the doors closed, food should remain safe for up to 48 hours in a full refrigerator and freezer.

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