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Electrical Safety Tips for the Summer

electrical summer safety tipsWhile it is absolutely imperative to exercise caution around electricity regardless of the time of year, summertime is an important time to remind yourself and your family of a few basic electrical safety rules. Print out the following list and keep it in an easily visible spot to refer to regularly:

  • Be on the lookout during high winds and storms: look up and all around and be aware of the location of transformers and power lines. If you’re ever stuck outside in a storm, stay clear of these and take shelter.
  • Use extreme caution when working anywhere near power lines attached to your home. Always keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet away from lines.
  • Never trim trees that are growing near power lines – if you spot a tree growing too close to power lines, call your utility company to report it and don’t attempt to address the issue yourself.
  • If you undertake a project that includes digging, like building a deck or planting a tree, call your utility company to determine underground locates at least two business days before digging. This service is free of charge and prevents the inconvenience of having yours or your neighbor’s utilities interrupted, and can help you avoid danger.
  • Electricity and water do not mix! If it’s raining or the ground is still wet from rain, refrain from using electric yard tools until the area is completely dry.
  • Protect your outdoor electrical outlets with weatherproof outlet covers and ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs). Indoor electrical outlets near water (like aquariums, kitchens, and bathrooms) should also have GFCIs.

Remind your children to:

  • Always, always, always stay away from power lines. Always assume they are "live and dangerous" and will cause serious, even fatal injuries.
  • Never climb any trees growing near power lines.
  • Never touch outdoor wires with your hands or any other part of your body or by using other objects.
  • Always keep flying kites, model airplanes, etc. to great open areas like fields and parks, outside of the danger of trees and overhead power lines. If a kite gets stuck in a tree that is growing near a power line, let it go -  do not climb up to get it.
  • Never go into or near an electric substation for any reason. Electric substations contain extremely dangerous high-voltage equipment, which can kill you. Never attempt to rescue a pet that goes inside. Instead, call your local electric utility company.

3 Benefits of Ceiling Fans

ceiling fan colorado springsWhile retail sales of the latest in air conditioner technologies continue to grow, many homeowners are still underestimating the value of ceiling fans despite the fact that when used properly, they can lower the temperature of room up to five degrees.

Here are some other fantastic benefits to the purchase and professional installation of a ceiling fan in all the rooms of your home:

  1. Ceiling fans work together with your air conditioner, helping it to run more efficiently and significantly reducing your energy bill.

  2. Ceiling fans can be installed both indoors and outdoors - on a porch or other covered area, helping to keep pesky flies and insects away while you enjoy the shade on a beautiful afternoon.
Ceiling fans have been improved in recent years to become more efficient and contain up to date technology in the fan's motors, blade design, and control. They're also lighter than they were in years past, giving them the element of a decorative feature within a room rather than an eyesore.
  3. Ceiling fans have been improved in recent years to become more efficient and contain up to date technology in the fan's motors, blade design, and control. They're also lighter than they were in years past, giving them the element of a decorative feature within a room rather than an eyesore. Hunter Pacific has developed an innovation in ceiling fans with their latest version of the Typhoon model, which includes molded plastic blades instead of the traditional steel or metal variety. This promotes large amounts of airflow with minimal noise.

5 ways to save on electricity and the planet.

With barely a winter this year, it's already time to prepare for those warmer month power bills. The air outside is hot and humid, and the dreaded electric bill is on it's way to shock you, right? Well, it doesn't have to be that way. With a few simple tips for keeping your energy bill low, you can enjoy Spring the way it's supposed to be enjoyed: by relaxing. Here are some quick tips to keep your energy bill (and your blood pressure) from shooting up too high this Spring (which in turn contributes to lowering your carbon footprint and helping the planet:5 ways to save on electricity and the planet.

  1. Open up windows and doors and point box fans or oscillating fans outward. This old fashioned trick uses a sort of reverse "technology" than an air conditioner by sucking the warm air out of a room and blowing it outward while keeping the warm air from the outside from entering the room through the open doors and windows. With a retractable screen, these opened windows and doors are protected from insects and prying eyes and can immediately be rolled up when not in use.
  2. Unplug appliances and other electronics when not in use. A surprising number of electronic appliances in your home drain electricity and raise energy costs even when they're not in use. Taking the time to not only turn the power off - but unplug your coffee maker, television, or computer keeps the 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 Spring, your ceiling fans should rotate 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.

For more electrical tips and services contact the experts at Best Electric Service.

Outdoor lights to brighten the stars over Colorado

dark sky friendly lightingIf you’ve ever looked at a map provided by a satellite in orbit, you’ve noticed all the lights that you can see. But, what about when you’re looking up at night to find only a few stars in the sky? How much is  hidden due to light pollution? More people are starting to ask that question as light pollution is becoming more of a problem. Dark sky friendly lighting is the key to solving this issue  to fully enjoy the stars over Colorado.

Dark sky friendly light provides a distinct light pattern that is shielded from casting light on top of the fixture. This provides lighting only towards the ground where the lighting is required. It also uses the needed light levels and not over lighting an area which will reflect the light back up into the atmosphere. Finally, the lights should be turned off when not in use.

Non-dark sky light fixtures cast light in all directions, including upwards. This wastes energy causes a twilight effect that confuses wildlife and disturbs breeding patterns. It also produces a glare for people driving on roads that can be distracting and tiresome for eyes.

Dark sky lighting is important as light pollution disrupts ecosystems and threatens astronomy. On top of that, the wasted light costs a lot in wasted energy, about $2.2 billion per year, in the US alone. Dark sky friendly fixtures push the lighting down where it isactually needed and not up into the atmosphere. This provides less glare and light pollution allowing wildlife to resume their natural rhythm as well as allowing astronomers, both large and small, to enjoy the night sky and be able to see the stars above.

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5 Major Electrical task to never do yourself

electrician dangerA lot of people feel like because flipping a light switch on and off is so simple, that we forget how truly deadly and powerful electricity is. Most DIYers will simply experiment with the breaker, testing different electrical circuits until they see the lights turn off in the area they intend to work in and assume it’s safe to start working. This is a huge mistake because it is not always true that all outlets and fixtures in one area will be on the same circuit.

DIY Electrical work puts you and your family at the real risk of electrical fires, electrical shocks, injury or death that can be caused by even the tiniest mistake. Here are five major electrical tasks to never perform on your own: 

  1. Never mess with service lugs in a breaker box
    First off, if you’re not sure what service lugs are, you should avoid doing anything in your breaker box except maybe resetting tripped breakers. If you happen to figure out that service lugs are the big screw terminals or posts that secure service cables, you should also know that they're always hot ( or energized), meaning that messing with them could cause major electric shock, electrical fire, or death even after the main breakers are shut off. Logically, you should always stay well away from the cigar-size cables connected to the service lugs, too. 
  2. Never mess with any wiring with the power on
    In the example of a light switch, you might believe that a properly installed light switch will turn off the hot wire running to the light fixture. It is not unheard of, however, to find incorrectly wired light switches that switch neutral instead - and it is always possible to get electrocuted from the white neutral wire.
    More importantly, it is within code compliance to have Hot and Neutral from the breaker panel go to the light fixture first and to, therefore, always have aalways Hot wire nut inside the light fixture box. If you damage the Hot wire’s insulation or accidentally dislocate a poorly installed wire nut, you would be in real trouble. Unless you built and wired your home yourself, and areabsolutely certain how things are wired the only safe way to do anything electrical related is by first turning off the circuit breaker. 
  3. Never attempt to repair appliances
    You may think that turning off the power at the circuit breaker is the most logical thing to do for your appliances, right? You could be dead wrong. Do you know what a capacitor is? It's the device within an appliance that stores electricity to boost the startup (and various other functions) - especially big appliances like air conditioning units. Simply pulling the plug or even turning off the breaker to the appliance won’t discharge the capacitors, but your metal tool touching the contacts certainly will, and it could kill you.
  4. Never tinker with electric or hybrid cars
    Electric and hybrid cars are swiftly rising in popularity. You might think it would be fun to get into one and make some adjustments, or even attempt what seems to be a simple repair. But, always remember that the electrical systems in both electric and hybrid cars are not only complicated beyond what you can imagine, they're also extremely dangerous if you don't fully know what you're doing.
  5. Never touch, play with or attempt to repair the Weatherhead
    This is another one for the "don't even think of it" category. The Weatherhead, also called the service mast or periscope, is the metal pole or other structure that connects the electrical service lines leading from the utility power pole to your house. Since this is part of your house, you might be tempted to upright the pole if it's leaning or tighten a bolt here and there. Can the thought of 200 amps coursing through your body convince you otherwise?

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What Others Say About Us

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!

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!

Brands We Carry

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

Brands We Service

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

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