Specials, Events, Helpful Tips, and News

 

Attic fans (aka whole house fans): Are they right for you?

by Zach Shaw, Zebra Electric Inc

Whole-house fan drawing

How an attic fan works: Usually a whole-house fan is mounted in the attic floor, above a rectangular grille in the ceiling of a central hallway. Once the outdoor temperature cools down — usually in the evening or early morning — the homeowner opens a few downstairs windows, and turns on the fan.

The fan pulls air from the hallway and blows it into the attic. Since attic fans are relatively powerful, they quickly exhaust the hot indoor air, allowing cooler outdoor air to enter through the downstairs windows. Attic fans generally can cool down a house in less than an hour. Once the house has cooled off, the fan can be turned off and the windows closed. The idea is to close the windows after the fan is off (early morning until evening) to trap the cool air inside. This method is an alternative instead of using air conditioning.

Some things to consider:

  1. For an attic fan to work, you NEED to have the windows open. For someone that suffers from allergies, an attic fan may not be a good fit.
  2. Attic fans use only about 10%-15% of energy that an air conditioner would use. This will save costs on your electric bill.
  3. Your attic needs to have good ventilation. The attic fan needs a way to circulate air out of the attic.
  4. For proper cooling at night, the temperature outside needs to be 80 degrees or lower. Although, using the attic fan in the spring or fall is another option if the summer nights get too warm.
  5. Keep in mind, attic fans will not remove the humidity in the air.
  6. Attic fans can cool down the house fast at night (an hour or less) and it is a great alternative for those who want to save on cooling costs, but want to stay cool at night.

 

If you are considering about installing an attic fan, or have questions, free feel to contact us at: 267-371-3193

Zebra Electric Inc

 

 

6 Warning signs of a electrical problem

Whether you are looking to buy a new home or want to know if the electrical wire is safe in your home, here are some warning signs.

Electrical failure

Home electrical circuits may incur a number of problems. Among these are:

  • Faulty wiring within the house
  • Too many lamps or appliances on a single circuit
  • Defective wall switches or receptacles
  • Defective cords or plugs
  • Defective circuits within appliances
  • Outdated wiring

Whether you are looking to buy a new home or want to know if the electrical wire is safe in your home, check out these 6 warning signs:

WARNING: These warning signs are meant for educational purposes only. If you find any problems with your electrical system, do not attempt to fix  yourself. Contact Zebra Electric Inc

  1. Look and Listen for Flickering, Buzzing or Dimming Lights

If you notice a light flickering or hear a buzzing sound, this is a sign that something isn’t right. Even though your breaker might not trip, if you see these signs, have your electrical circuit checked out.

  2. Look Out for Frayed, exposed or Chewed Wiring

Faulty cable splices, damaged or frayed wires, or cut insulation can be an extreme fire hazard and are often a sign of an amateur electrical job. A problem like this one often goes unnoticed. Frayed chewed up wires could be from rodents.

  3. Feel for Warm or Vibrating Wall Outlets as well as discoloration

Inspect the wall around the outlets. Do you see a discoloration or “burning” marks? By placing your hand next to the outlet, does it feel warm? Do you feel any vibration? These are some things to watch out for.

  4. Smell for Burning Odors

If you smell a faint burning smell, or an odd odor, contact a professional immediately!  

  1. Circuit breaker continues to trip

It is common for a breaker to trip once in awhile. A breaker will trip as a safety caution when the system is overloaded. But if you notice the breaker tripping multiple times, it is time for a professional to inspect.

  1. Check for GFCI outlets

Make sure there is a GFCI outlet near every place where you can have running water. Check your outlets near your sinks: are they GFCI?

If you find any of these warning signs in your house, please don’t hesitate to contact

Zebra Electric INC

267-371-3193

How to test your GFCI outlets

  1. Push the “reset” button on the GFCI to prepare the outlet for testing.
  2. Plug an ordinary small electrical device such as a nightlight or a hair dryer, etc  into the GFCI and turn it ON. The light or device should now be on.
  3. Push the “test” button of the GFCI. The electrical device should turn OFF.
  4. Push the “reset” button to turn the device back on.
  5. If your device does not turn off when you push the test button, your outlet is not working properly and you should call an electrician.
  6. If you don’t have a GFCI outlet in a wet location, call an electrician.

Zebra Electric Inc: 267-371-3193

Image result for GFCI

How to Decide What You Need For Under Cabinet Lighting

undercabinet3

With all the choices out there, how do you know what is the best type of under cabinet lighting?  It really depends on your preference and your vision and goals. Do you value dimming? Or really want color accuracy? Or perhaps energy savings is what you are really after. Here is a quick breakdown on the types of under cabinet lighting:

Xenon under cabinet lights are an update of older Halogen lights. Halogen under cabinet lights, are usually the light “pucks” you see in hardware stores. They are inexpensive and provide color accuracy. However, they use a lot of energy, and the bulbs heat up.. Xenon keeps the benefits of Halogen, but burns brighter and cooler. Their color rendering makes your kitchen look it’s best. Xenon are brighter than Halogens, and  save energy by using fewer watts than a Halogen bulb.

Fluorescent under cabinet lights are a great choice if you are going for  bright, energy-efficient lighting that burns cool. These are a very popular choice, because they don’t add extra heat to their surroundings. . However, fluorescent lights have relatively poor color rendering — 80 CRI to Xenon’s 100 CRI — so they distort colors and make granite and marble countertops and backsplashes appear washed out. These bulbs don’t work with dimmers, either.

LEDs are the newest and most energy saving option for under cabinet lighting. Many people love LED under cabinet lights! Many LED models are dimmable which is a great feature.  Unlike Halogen and Xenon, they also create very little heat. However, their color rendering isn’t the best and they can be costly.  Their color accuracy really isn’t the best,  They also have the highest up-front cost of any under cabinet choice but they will save the most in the long-term. LEDs use only a fraction of the energy consumed by other types of under cabinet lights. Even better, they last 20,000 to 60,000 hours, so you’ll never have to replace them and will save on bulb replacement costs.

So there you have it J. Which one would you choose? And don’t hesitant to give us a call for questions, or if you need us to install your new under cabinet lighting!

Christmas Lights Recommendations

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For Indoor Use: we recommend GE Energy Smart Colorite LED mini lights
*Available in multicolor strands of 50 or 100 bulbs, and warm white strands of 50 or 100 bulbs).
*The GEs are safer (like most LEDS),
* Longer lasting than traditional incandescent lights, and use less electricity
*Have a well made wire that doesn’t curl or twist and get tangled easily.
*The bulbs should last for at least 10 holiday seasons, long life expectancy
*The price is average for LED bulbs
*Not recommended for outdoor use

.

For outdoor use: we recommend 5-mm wide-angle conical LEDs from Christmas Designers,
*Available in warm white, multicolor, or single color in a variety of lengths and bulb spacings.
*Have all of the benefits of LEDs but with a design that can withstand moisture and harsh condition
.* Should last 6 or 7 seasons
*Ideal for larger displays (for those who are ambitious with their holiday decorating

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