Put an End to Electrical Scares This Halloween

Catching and Preventing Electrical Problems 

Halloween is a holiday with a large demand for holiday lighting and decorations. Between now and the end of the year, multiple holidays are celebrated by decking out the home with themed decor. However, Halloween can be spooky for a whole new set of reasons. Electrical problems are often exposed as people plug in decorations and holiday lights at the beginning of the season.

Electrical issues may leave homeowners stumped about how to respond when they find problems. Luckily, learning a few tips about holiday decorating and catching electrical issues can help protect the home from electrical problems. Here are a few tips to help households avoid major electrical problems this year. 

Use Care With Electrical Holiday Decorations 

The first step in avoiding electrical problems when hanging holiday decorations and lights is to inspect the decorations as they are pulled out of storage. The truth is that most of the damage they incur happens while they are packed up in the off-season. Lighting strands and electronics get crammed into boxes and stuffed in attics and closets. This can cause damage to the wiring that can cause headaches the next year during decorating. 

People should always inspect for damage before decorations go up and are used, and pack them away carefully with next year in mind. Decorations should not be used if any damaged wiring or other issues are found. In addition to inspecting holiday lighting and electrical decorations, some planning should be used when hanging them. Never use nails or staples to fasten electrical wires to surfaces, as these can damage the wiring and create hazards. 

Don’t Overload Outlets 

outletAn electrical problem that can occur during the holidays is overloaded outlets and circuits since the home is using more power for decor and lights. Households should be mindful of how many things are pulling power from a single circuit instead of plugging anything and everything into the nearest outlets in an attempt to get the decorating done. 

Instead of plugging everything into one single source, take the time to plan ahead. Spreading out different decorations on different outlets and separate circuits is the best way to avoid tripped breakers and electrical problems caused by overloaded circuits and outlets. 

Beware of Signs That Indicate Electrical Problems 

electrical repairMany homeowners become more aware of their electrical system while decorating with lights and electric decorations than at any other time of the year. This makes it a great opportunity to look for the signs that electrical repairs may be necessary before putting the finishing touches on a holiday display. Having an electrician quickly repair electrical problems will help the home and its residents stay safe during the holidays. 

Some of the signs for people to be aware of are: 

  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Breakers that are constantly tripping or fuses that are frequently blowing
  • Burning smells
  • Soot or burn marks around outlet faceplates
  • Electrical outlets that are warm to the touch
  • Buzzing sound

About Mr. Air AC & Electrical

Mr. Air AC & Electrical has more than 35 years of expertise serving Pompano Beach and the surrounding areas. They offer same-day services, the latest technology, and straightforward pricing. Call them today for electrical repair and troubleshooting services in Pompano Beach, FL

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Telltale Signs of an Electrical Wiring Problem

Spot Faulty Wiring at Home Before It Becomes a Problem

Having electricity at home to power daily lives is a technological marvel that has become so commonplace and matter-of-fact that it’s now taken for granted. But having it on-demand and safely available at home is nothing short of a miracle. Electricity allows the convenience of comfort, powers devices, and makes everything available with the touch of a button. 

However, this doesn’t mean the electrical infrastructure at home that makes this possible shouldn’t be taken care of, as well as everything else. Homeowners should be aware that faulty electrical wiring is one of the leading causes of house fires. For this scenario to be avoided, it’s vital homeowners are aware of the signs of faulty electrical wiring to resolve it immediately and keep it from happening again.

Watch Your Fuses and Circuit Breakers

It isn’t out of the ordinary to have a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker happen at home every once in a while. After all, fuses are meant to be blown, and circuits tripped because they are essentially safety devices meant for protection. Both devices are intended to interrupt the flow of the current when there is too much of it to prevent electrical hazards and damage. 

While fuses are meant to be used only once and then replaced, circuit breakers can be reset once they trip. However, if homeowners find themselves replacing fuses or resetting circuit breakers more often than usual, it could indicate a bigger problem, such as faulty wiring, and an electrician should be called immediately to inspect the electrical system and see if there is a problem with the wiring that needs to be resolved. 

Outlets Shouldn’t Be Hot to the Touch or Have Burn Marks

outletElectrical outlets are the receptacle through which household residents access electricity. However, it doesn’t mean they should be hot to the touch or bear any signs of electrical damage, such as burn or scorch marks. If someone’s hands or eyes sense evidence of these problems, this should be a red flag that faulty electrical wiring may be the culprit. 

Homeowners who experience an electrical outlet that is hot when touched or one that has burn marks on it must call an electrician immediately to fix this, as electrical issues like faulty wiring are extremely dangerous and could lead to an electrical fire if not repaired immediately.

A Buzz or Burning Smell 

smellWhen it comes to faulty electrical wiring, the sense of sight and touch aren’t the only ways to sense the existence of a problem. People can also turn to their sense of smell or hearing as a way to be alerted to faulty electrical wiring. Homeowners who notice a burning smell or a buzzing sound near electrical outlets should also call an electrician immediately. 

These are common signs of a problem with the electrical wiring, as outlets aren’t supposed to emit that electrical hum, nor are they supposed to smell like they’re burning. If the burning smell is akin to burning plastic, chances are, the wiring has gotten hot enough to melt the insulation coating, and it may be a sign of the beginning of an electrical fire behind the walls. 

About Mr. Air AC & Electrical

Mr. Air AC & Electrical has more than three decades of experience serving Pompano Beach and the surrounding areas. They offer straightforward pricing, same-day services, and financing. Call them today for wiring repair and replacement services in Pompano Beach, FL.  

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This National Wellness Month, Get Better Indoor Air Quality

All About Indoor Air Quality

National Wellness Month is all about celebrating self-care, reducing stress, and creating healthy habits and routines that promote physical, mental, and emotional health while taking care of our overall well-being. Since this approach is multi-faceted, knowing where to start can be hard, but let’s begin with the quality of air indoors.

Indoor air quality, otherwise known as IAQ, is concerned primarily with how safe and healthy it is to breathe the air indoors - in homes, buildings, and other enclosed spaces. This usually deals with the level of indoor air pollutants such as microorganisms, gasses, combustible products, dirt, dust, and other suspended particles in the air. While it may be impossible to bring the levels of air contaminants down to zero, keeping it as low as possible is crucial. Otherwise, the health and safety of residents may be negatively impacted. This post will share the health effects of poor indoor air quality and tips to improve indoor air quality

Understanding the Health Effects of Poor Indoor Air Quality

sickPoor indoor air quality has many undesirable effects on the body and a person’s respiratory health. Some of these ill effects may manifest soon after exposure, while others take a while, sometimes taking anywhere from months to years before rearing its ugly head. 

These symptoms may be as mild as eye, nose, or throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, or they could be more severe. Those who have never had respiratory issues may find themselves experiencing allergic reactions, while chronic allergy and asthma sufferers may notice that their episodes are suddenly becoming much more frequent and intense. It’s time to take action and improve indoor air quality services to help eliminate and prevent these health symptoms.

Maintaining the HVAC System Improves IAQ

filterOne of the best and most effective ways of removing air contaminants and maintaining high-quality indoor air is probably also one of the simplest since it should be done anyway: to keep a home’s HVAC system clean and in excellent working condition. Aside from heating and cooling spaces, homeowners must note that the HVAC system also recirculates indoor air in the process. It is essential to perform regular air filter replacement and schedule routine HVAC maintenance visits with a qualified professional to ensure that the air it takes in and redistributes is clean.

By replacing the HVAC’s air filter at least once every quarter, homeowners can ensure that the filters can still trap unwanted particles and keep them out of the air - something that won’t be possible if there is a dirty filter. Changing the air filter on time also makes the HVAC unit more energy efficient, helping homeowners save energy and money from lower energy bills. On the other hand, regular maintenance visits ensure that the HVAC system works correctly and does its air filtration job as it should, improving efficiency and extending the unit’s life.

Devices That Improve Indoor Air Quality

As an added layer of protection against indoor air contaminants, homeowners may also choose to purchase and install air-cleaning appliances at home that improve indoor air quality. Two of the most popular types of air cleaners and filtration systems are the air purifier and the UV sanitizer. While both devices effectively clean indoor air, how they achieve this is where their differences begin.

An air purifier cleans the air by passing it through a series of filters that trap big and small particles so that the air that comes out is cleaner. On the other hand, a UV air sanitizer does not have filters and instead uses UV-C light technology to kill microbial particles, such as germs and viruses, that may be too small to stick to a filter. These two different air cleaning methods give homeowners excellent options for improving air quality, especially concerning the health problems they face at home. People who find themselves worried more about germs and viruses can opt for UV air cleaning technology, while those pestered by allergens such as dust, dirt, pollen, or mold spores may want to choose a filter-based air purifier instead.

About Mr. Air AC & Electrical

Mr. Air AC & Electrical has over 30 years of experience serving Pompano Beach and the surrounding areas. They offer same-day services, financing, and the latest technology. Call them today for indoor air quality services in Pompano Beach, FL.

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Make the Home a Safer Place for Children With Childproof Outlets

Keep Kids Safe With Tamper-Resistant Outlets

Kids love to explore. They climb, poke, tinker, and - of course - put things in their mouths. It’s all in the quest to figure out the world around them and learn how things work, but sometimes they get into things that can cause them harm. One of the most dangerous forms of exploration that seemingly no child can resist is putting things in electrical outlets – around 2,400 kids are shocked or burned by power outlets every year!

So to ensure electrical safety for their children, many homeowners install childproof outlets or safety devices that put a protective barrier between their little ones and the electrical current running through the home’s outlets. But not all of these work equally well, and some have major downsides that can’t be ignored. This article will explore the benefits of installing tamper-resistant outlets and signs to replace an old outlet. 

How Childproof Outlets Improve Electrical Safety

When a foreign object is inserted into an electrical outlet – be it a bobby pin, paperclip, screwdriver, toy, or anything else small enough to fit in the contact openings – there’s a high risk that the electrical current flowing through the circuit will travel through the object (and the person holding it) to get to the ground. A childproof outlet or outlet cover is designed to make it impossible (or at least difficult) for children to put anything in the contact openings.

Outlet plugs or caps are simply pieces of plastic that can be inserted into the outlet to cover the contact openings. Childproof outlet covers are shells or boxes that can be installed over the entire outlet while still allowing things to be plugged into it. While these can be decent options, they have significant drawbacks. On the other hand, tamper-resistant outlets have a more sophisticated and effective design.

So what is a tamper-resistant outlet? A tamper-resistant outlet (also called a tamper-resistant receptacle or TRR) features spring-loaded shutters that block the contact openings when nothing is plugged into them. With a typical TRR, these shutters are built into the outlet. Still, there are also childproof outlet faceplates with sliding outlet covers, which automatically slide over to cover the openings when something is unplugged.

Benefits of Installing Tamper-Resistant Outlets

outletTamper-resistant outlets are designed so the built-in shutters only move when smooth prongs are inserted into both contact openings simultaneously. Not only does this prevent anything but plugs from being inserted into the outlet, but it also prevents the insertion of plugs with bent or damaged prongs. This helps protect children from the dangers of electricity. 

Because they’re so difficult to bypass, TRRs have a significant advantage over other outlet childproofing devices. Children can figure out how to move self-closing outlet covers to expose the contact openings (though it may take some finger strength). Box outlet covers are good for things that remain plugged in at all times but are inconvenient if the outlet needs to be accessed more frequently. Outlet caps can be too easy for children to remove and present a choking hazard once removed from the outlet.

Signs Electrical Outlets Need Replacing

outletMost newer homes are built with tamper-resistant outlets, but many older homes may still need them. Even for homeowners without young children, it’s a good idea to install TRRs in case visiting friends or relatives bring their kids or simply to make sure the home is up to code when it comes time to sell. 

But whether or not the home already has childproof outlets, homeowners should be on the lookout for signs that their outlets need to be replaced. These include:

  • Plugs fall out easily or are loose – this can cause arcing between the contact terminals and the prongs.
  • The outlet is cracked, burnt, melted, or otherwise damaged.
  • The outlet makes a buzzing or crackling sound – indicating faulty components.
  • The outlet is hot to the touch, indicating arcing or overheating elements.
  • The outlet only has two holes (two-prong outlets are ungrounded outlets).

These issues can pose a severe fire hazard or increase the risk of electric shock, so homeowners should call a professional for outlet replacement if they notice any of these signs to maximize electrical safety in their homes.

About Mr. Air AC & Electrical

Mr. Air AC & Electrical has over three decades of experience serving Pompano Beach and the surrounding communities. They provide upfront pricing, same-day services, and financing. Call them today for childproof outlet installation in Pompano Beach, FL.

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Know the Signs That Point to AC Replacement

Three Signs That an AC System May Need Replacing 

Summer is here, and with the warm weather comes the inevitable reliance on air conditioning. But what if the AC isn't working as well as it should? Don't suffer through another sweltering season worried about the air conditioner breaking down – it may be time for a new unit. A few telltale signs can indicate the AC is on its way out, including poor airflow, odd noises and smells, and high energy bills. 

If homeowners have noticed any of these issues, it's time to get it inspected by an HVAC contractor and consider options for a new AC. Don't wait until the heat waves hit – take action now to ensure the home stays cool and comfortable all summer.

Strange Noises and Smells 

smellA well-functioning AC system shouldn’t emit unusual smells or noises. If it does, that’s an indication that something is wrong. Here’s what to know: 

  • An exhaust fume or chemical smell could indicate a refrigerant leak and needs immediate attention. 
  • A burning smell from the AC system could indicate a burnt-out blower fan, an electrical issue, or overheating. All of these things also require prompt attention from a professional. 
  • Except for an ambient hum, an AC shouldn’t make any noise. If one hears rattling, banging, or hissing, this could point to a loose component, air leak, or another issue that needs addressing. 

Higher-Than-Normal Energy Bills 

billThe Energy Information Administration (EIA) notes that the average Florida homeowner spends around $130 on their monthly energy bill. This number can be even higher when an AC system doesn’t work as it should. The reason why an air conditioner that needs replacing may jack up a home’s utility bills includes the following: 

  • If the AC cannot get the home to the desired temperature because of an issue, it will work overtime and use more energy to try and reach the correct temperature. 
  • A malfunctioning AC might short-cycle, meaning it turns on and off quickly. This on-and-off cycle can affect home comfort and increase cooling costs. 
  • Poor energy efficiency and high energy bills could also result from an old AC that needs to be replaced due to age and wear and tear.  

Poor Airflow 

When it comes to staying cool during the summer months, there's nothing worse than having an AC system that's not working correctly. One of the biggest warning signs that it's time for a replacement is weak airflow. If homeowners notice little to no air coming out of their vents, or if the air that does come out isn't cooled, they may need to consider investing in a new system. 

While trying to troubleshoot the issue may be tempting, seeking professional help to determine the best course of action is vital. A replacement may seem like a significant investment. However, it can save homeowners time and money in the long run by ensuring their home stays comfortable and energy-efficient without issue.

About Mr. Air AC & Electrical 

Mr. Air AC & Electrical has over three decades of experience serving Pompano Beach, FL, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat-rate pricing, same-day services, and financing. Call them today for AC replacement and installation services in Pompano Beach, FL.