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How do I keep my house cool this summer without breaking the bank?

summer cooling tipsWith Summer nearly in full swing, it’s time to get ready for those Summer power bills.  The air outside feels hot and humid, and you want to beat the heat indoors. So, the inevitable shocking electric bill is on its way, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a few simple hacks for keeping your house cool and your energy bill low, enjoy Summer the way it’s meant to be enjoyed: relaxed and laid back. Here are some quick Summer hacks to keep your energy bill (and blood pressure) from spiking this Summer:

  1. Open your windows and doors, and point box fans outward. This hack from “yesteryear” uses a sort of a reverse “technology” than air conditioners by sucking warm air out of a room and blowing it outdoors while blocking the outside heat from entering a room through open doors and windows.
  2. Unplug appliances and electronics when not in use. A surprising number of electronics and appliances in your home drain energy and raise electricity costs even while not in use. Taking the time to not only turn off - but unplug your coffee maker, TV, or computer keeps these appliances safe from power surges and reduces their constant pull on your home’s electrical system.
  3. Use ceiling fans and be sure they’re rotating in the most beneficial direction.  For peak performance in the Summer, your ceiling fans should turn forward (or counterclockwise) forcing air from the ceiling down and providing the wind chill effect that makes you feel cooler.
  4. Keep vents, and doors closed in areas of your home not often used. If you and your family spend most of your time in the living room, consider closing the air conditioner vents to guest bathrooms and bedrooms to reduce the unnecessary cooling of these rooms while not in use.
  5. Add insulation. A lot of cool air escapes from homes by way of space between the walls not protected by insulation. A simple spray foam purchased at a local home improvement store can work wonders when sprayed through drilled holes into the area between the walls.

Remodeling Kitchen Appliance Circuits

kitchen appliance circuitsRemodeling your kitchen can give a great new visual appeal, but what about behind those newly painted walls? It’s important to pay attention to updating your electrical circuits during a kitchen remodel. Whether you’re building a new home or buying an older one, the circuits play a major role in basically all of your household items.

Why is it so important to update your electrical circuits during a kitchen remodel? Well, chances are, with a new kitchen layout, there will be new kitchen appliances coming in. So many new appliances get things done much faster than older models, and this is great because they use more energy to get the job done. If your circuits are not properly upgraded, this could lead to an overload on your circuits and cause the power to go out. Not updating your electrical circuits, especially in the kitchen, leave a very high risk for an electrical fire at some point.

Below is a quick cheat sheet of what you could be looking at regarding upgrading your circuits;

  • New refrigerator – requires 20-amp, 12-volt circuit
  • Oven range – requires 50-amp, 240-volt circuit
  • New microwave – requires 20-amp, 120-volt circuit
  • Food/Garbage disposal – requires a separate 15-amp, 120-volt circuit
  • Dishwashers – require 15-amp, 120-volt circuit
  • Small kitchen appliances – require a minimum of two 20-amp, 120-volt circuit

These updates to your kitchen circuits will save a lot of headaches in the long run! It ensures that your kitchen will work smoothly from the inside out, and will also benefit if you ever decide to sell! And once the kitchen is done, what’s stopping you from continuing through the rest of the house?!

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Update your lighting with the touch plate lighting system

touchplate lighting controls coloradoReady to experience the future of fantastic upgrades to your home’s lighting system?  Modern and stylish, touch plate low voltage lighting systems come conveniently packaged with all of the materials needed for a quick, professional, and affordable installation. Even more exciting? Touch plate lighting systems are controlled remotely from your smartphone or another electronic device.

Since the 1940's, Touch-Plate low voltage lighting remains among the last historical-era remote control lighting/wiring systems that are still manufactured. With a wide variety of switch styles to choose from, Touch-Plate devices are stocked regularly and available at home improvement stores or authorized dealers. Touch-Plate control stations deliver convenience and cost-effectiveness in a single unit system that includes the devices, the mounting brackets, the cover plates and the screws. Touch-Plate systems are also able to be wired to work with various other three-wire low voltage systems, like GE, Remcon, and Bryant -  for which replacement parts are more difficult to find.

The remote features of touch plate lighting systems give your home added security, convenience, and safety. Options are available for changing the light’s colors, setting various lighting schedules, and even incorporating automatic sensors.

For the most cost-effective and convenient solution, consider a combination of smart plugs, smart switches, and intelligent lights. You’ll want to go over everything with your electrician from Best Electric to be sure that all of your lighting solutions work on the same mobile device.

Recessed Outlets

recessed outletsChanging your outlets to recessed outlets doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal, but such a simple switch can make a huge visual difference in a home.

Recessed outlets are innies, not outies. These types of outlets go into the wall, allowing for the plug itself to take up space deeper in the wall. This feature alone shows the aesthetic quality of recessed outlets, removing a bulky plug from plain view and allowing it to be hidden behind various furniture. This also means no more awkward forced spaces between furniture and the wall. From TVs on a stand to TVs on the wall, a recessed outlet can fit them all! With these outlets, it allows the TV to be hanged on the wall without the protrusion of a plug sticking the bottom part up in an uneven fashion. Same goes for the use of electronic appliances in the kitchen. Countertop space can be saved with plugs and wires neatly tucked away, making the most of your cooking space.  

These outlets benefit the constant evolution of electronics greatly as well. Most homes are equipped with the standard two plug outlet, sometimes 4. With a recessed outlet, you get more outlets and more options. Styles come in 2, 4, and six plug outlets and also give the option to add other ports, like a USB port to charge your phone. There are also other ports available for video, audio, and other data. It is definitely not your grandmother’s outlet.

The steps for switching over to recessed outlets are simple, but not for everyone. It is recommended to get the help of a licensed electrician here in Colorado Springs, to install these new outlets in your home if you’re not sure what wires belong to what. Give Best Electric a call today and switch over to recessed outlets and make life easier in a day. 

It’s time to upgrade if you have knob and tube wiring

knob tube wiring jerseyMany home upgrades are made for the sake of convenience, functionality or even personal taste. But, there’s one upgrade that serves a much higher purpose: Protecting the safety and well-being of your home and family from the dangers of knob and tube wiring. 

Between the 1880s and the 1930s, the most common form of home electrical wiring was Knob and Tube. With the advent of modern advances in electrical technology, there are safer and much more efficient methods for electrical wiring. Additionally, there are many benefits to upgrading or phasing out and replacing the knob and tube wiring in every home.

The most common issue with Knob and Tube is that the insulation material that constructs the outer casing consists of rubber, which (over time) breaks down and degrades. What this means for homes with Knob and Tube wiring is that eventually, it becomes dangerous as moisture and air reaches bare, live wires.  Modern wiring systems, use durable plastic insulation materials - providing lasting protection.

While the complete conversion from Knob and Tube wiring to standard modern wiring is an investment, the benefits are well worth the costs. Ask your electrician how to gradually phase out your knob and tube wiring over time for cost-effectiveness. The safety this vital replacement provides far outweighs the tragedy and cost associated with a home fire or electrocution.   It will also most likely make you eligible for a significant reduction in your home insurance premium.

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What Others Say About Us

I was extremely pleased with the work Joe did for me this past week and wanted to say something positive so others would consider him for jobs.  But the rating has to be done through a google account, and I do not want to have an account with them - the information required is personal, and I have no doubt sold immediately to places that do solicitations.  But if there is a way to insert my comments, so they contribute to the rating system, here they are. I wanted to say this:  I have an older home and a not-so-robust budget.   Joe inspired confidence with his knowledge, solved a sticky problem for me with my new range, left everything looking good and accommodated my work schedule.  His fees were competitive and, most importantly,  I am confident the work will stand up to the test of time.  I would recommend him highly to anyone asking for an electrician.

I called Best Electric for a problem I was having with non-working pendant lights. Joe promptly called back to schedule an appointment. He arrived on time, was straight forward with the pricing and was able to diagnose and fix my problem in a relatively short time. While he was at my home he also was able to hang a new chandelier. I would highly recommend Best Electric!

I hired Joe Bartels and Best Electric Service to add a 240V circuit for a hot tub at my home. I couldn't have been happier with their thoroughness and customer focus. They worked with our installation schedule, listened to my input and were creative in routing the final conduit. Quick and very professional. They have my highest recommendation!

Brands We Carry

  • General Electric
  • Cutler Hammer
  • Touch-Plate Lighting Controls
  • Square D
  • Siemens

Brands We Service

  • Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems
  • Casablanca Fan Company
  • Touch-Plate Lighting Controls
  • Square D
  • General Electric
  • Siemens
  • Kichler
  • Federal Pacific
  • Cutler Hammer

Areas Serviced: Black Forest | Castle Rock | Colorado Springs | Falcon | Fountain | Larkspur | Manitou Springs | Monument | Palmer Lake | Peyton | Security-Widefield | Woodland Park