How to Find the Right Type of Outlet

Electrical Outlets Come with Safety Features 

Grounded electrical outlets can last years. However, homeowners should know certain things when it’s time to replace one. For instance, what outlets come with safety features? Could the home benefit from “smart” plugs? And what about childproof plugs? Do some cost more money than others? 

Here, homeowners can learn everything they need to know about the different types of outlets. One thing is certain: they should leave the installation to a trained professional. Working with electricity can cause serious injuries, and many people do not have the skill set to avoid such harm. Some counties also have strict laws on who can install outlets and what outlets can be installed. 

Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) 

AFCIs prevent electrical fires. But how? Their inherent design combats the problems when cords bend or “arc.” A cord breaks down or arcs can increase the risk of fires and other incidents. These outlets also come with “test” and “reset” buttons, giving the homeowner even more control over the outlet. 

AFCIs combat these issues: 

  • Frayed cords 
  • Nails accidentally driven into wires 
  • Wires damaged by humidity and other conditions 
  • Loose connections 

AFCIs are ideal where outlets are most commonly used, such as in living rooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, dens, and recreational areas. 

outlet

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) 

While AFCIs prevent electrical fires, GFCIs are ideal in areas with water. For instance, they’re ideal for use in bathrooms, wet bars, kitchens, pools, spas, and garages. These extra-sensitive outlets can detect interruptions in the flow of electricity, reducing the risk of electrocution. 

It’s important to note that while many people have GFCIs in their kitchens, one shouldn’t use them to power refrigerators, freezers, and other large appliances. Doing so could cause burst fuses and “trip” the system. An electrician can examine the home’s power needs and determine the best outlets. They’ll assess the home’s electric consumption, square footage, and energy needs. More importantly, they’ll evaluate whether any electrical problems have happened in the past. 

Childproof Outlets outlet

Childproof outlets aim to minimize harm to children who may stick things in outlets. Sources note that more than 4,000 children suffer serious injuries yearly after sticking foreign objects into outlets. These objects include: 
  • Hairpins 
  • Keys
  • Paper clips
  • Toys
  • Kitchen utensils, such as knives 
  • Jewelry 
  • Other thin objects that conduct electricity 

Many people recognize childproof outlets as everyday outlets with plastic inserts. However, childproof outlets go beyond that. They rely on spring-loaded receptacles. These require a certain amount of force to get plugged into the outlet. To a child, it’s difficult to stick objects inside. To an adult, however, they’ll see virtually no difference when powering on certain items. Childproof outlets offer some of the best electrical safety features. 

These are just three outlets that homeowners can install in their residences. One should consult a trained professional for more information about the home’s energy care needs. 

About Doctor Home Experts 

The doctor’s always in when someone contacts Doctor Home Experts. These professionals are backed by the Better Business Bureau, which gives the company an A+ rating. These offer same-day repairs, outlet installation, and power outage help. 

One can schedule an appointment online for more information about their suite of electrical home improvement services. Alternatively, if one wants to speak with a professional, they can call today. 

Indoor Air Quality Tips for National Wellness Month

Importance of Indoor Air Quality

The air that folks breathe has a big impact on their health. In this blog post, HVAC experts explain the importance of indoor air quality and list a few tips for improving air quality. People with allergies, children, and the elderly are more heavily impacted by poor indoor air quality.

Homeowners can protect their families from diseases and allergic reactions by investing in good indoor air quality. The home’s HVAC system can circulate many airborne pathogens and contaminants. Doing regular HVAC maintenance and investing in air purifiers can help prevent allergy attacks and respiratory illness.

Health Effects of Indoor Air Pollutants

bad air effects

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Asthma
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes

The most common health effects of indoor air pollutants are allergic reactions to contaminants in the air, such as dust or pet hair. The respiratory system becomes inflamed when exposed to poor indoor air quality, leading to coughing, sneezing, and other allergy symptoms. Eyes may become red and irritated from exposure to dust and other contaminants in the air.

Airborne pollutants can harm human health, leading to long-term health effects such as heart disease and cancer. Examples of airborne pollutants that are very harmful include black mold or airborne bacteria. People with asthma are at an increased risk of serious reactions to poor indoor air quality. Chronic exposure to poor air quality can lead to permanent health problems.

Benefits of HVAC Maintenance

filter replacementThe best thing that homeowners can do to invest in their air quality at home is to schedule regular HVAC maintenance with an experienced technician. Most HVAC maintenance is best left up to a qualified professional, but homeowners can make sure to change the air filter every one to three months. Changing the air filter more often or investing in a heavy-duty air filter designed to filter out allergens can help improve indoor air quality.

Duct cleaning services are another indoor air quality service for homeowners to consider. Dust and debris can build up in the ductwork over time. Without duct cleaning services, dust will continue to recirculate throughout the home. Air filters are great for keeping the air clean, but duct cleaning is sometimes needed to prevent allergy attacks.

Benefits of Portable Air Cleaners

In addition to the filtration and ventilation that the HVAC unit provides, homeowners can invest in a portable air cleaner to improve their indoor air quality even more. Two examples of portable air cleaners include air purifiers and air sanitizers. Both of these devices clean the air in different ways.

An air purifier uses a filtration system to remove dust and other particles from the air. Air sanitizers, on the other hand, use UV light and other methods to kill bacteria and viruses in the air. Air purifiers are great for preventing allergy attacks, and air sanitizers are great for preventing airborne illnesses.

About Doctor Home Experts

Doctor Home Experts is here to help when Pasadena, TX homeowners need an HVAC expert! This local company proudly provides its community with top-of-the-line home services from experienced technicians. They are available 24/7 for emergency repairs. Call them today for indoor air quality services in Pasadena, TX!

Prepping for the Perfect Backyard BBQ Involves Preparing for Energy Use

Upgrades that Get the Backyard Ready to Party

Everybody loves a good outdoor get-together. Whether for grilling or an ice cream party, summer and the Independence Day holiday are both valid excuses for entertaining guests. Any weekend can feel like a party weekend if a homeowner has their backyard set up to make having people over an easy task. Every Texas homeowner should consider a few additions to their outdoor living space this summer.

Strategically Placed Outdoor Lighting

While most people love a beautiful starry night, it can be impossible to converse in darkness. Having lights placed in certain areas of the yard can help guests find their footing and make the party last a bit longer. Here are a few of the lighting types that go well in an outdoor setting:

  • Landscape Lighting: This type of lighting is exemplified by the solar lamps often used to line flower beds and stone paths. One can use them for practical and aesthetic reasons, such as lighting a footpath or highlighting a particular specimen or ornament in the garden.
  • String Lighting: With the invention of the light-emitting diode or LED, string lights have become even more popular than they were before. The efficiency of these bulbs makes them appealing as an energy-saving alternative to the traditional filament lights, which create more heat and do not burn as brightly.
  • Patio Lighting: Having a fan to move the air around on a porch or patio is great; a light kit is just a bonus. Using string lights and push-on button lights can be great additions as well.

Consider Investing in a Generatorgenerator

While power outages are rare in this part of the world, even a well-designed infrastructure can collapse if overtaxed. The occasional brownout has happened as the summer heats up and people run their air conditioning systems.
A generator may be a good purchase if a homeowner wants to ensure the comfort of their household. It keeps the lights on, and the HVAC unit running and preserves the food in the refrigerator and freezer, saving the family from an emergency grocery trip. 

pool

Just Add Water for Maximum Fun with Pools and Hot Tubs

Perhaps a homeowner is considering an additional upgrade, like an in-ground pool or a hot tub. This upgrade comes with the “if you build it, they will come” package. Pools and hot tubs are great for entertaining guests of all ages and add significant value to a home. It may be just a house’s advantage to get the proper curb appeal in the current housing market.
Unfortunately, pools and hot tubs can also be dangerous, especially regarding electricity. Here are the main reasons to have a professional electrician wire up anything involved with pools or hot tubs:

About Doctor Home Experts

Their A+ rating with the BBB and five-star reviews aren’t enough for Doctor Home Experts of Pasadena, TX. This family-owned and operated company offers 24/7 emergency service with no after-hours fees. Call them today for their 10-year workmanship warranty and straightforward pricing information for AC service!

3 Reasons to Invest in a Whole House Surge Protector

Homeowners Need a Whole House Surge Protector

A power surge is a sudden increase in voltage that can travel through the home’s electrical circuits, leading to various problems. Power surges are most often caused by a lightning strike during a thunderstorm, plugging in a high-voltage electronic device such as a hair-dryer, or a service disturbance from the electrical company.

Power surges can result in property damage, personal injury, and electrical fires. Surge protectors prevent high voltages of electricity from entering the home’s circuits. There are different kinds of surge protectors available on the market. Whole house surge protectors protect the entire home from power surges.

Why Power Surges Are Dangerous

dangers of power surgesPower surges can damage sensitive electronics such as laptops or cellphones if plugged in during the surge. Plug-in surge protectors for individual outlets can help to protect computers and phones. Still, hard-wired electronics like dishwashers and dryers are more difficult to protect from power surges.

There is an increased risk of electrocution during a power surge. Power surges can also result in accidental electrical fires if the wiring begins to spark. House fires put the entire neighborhood in danger. Sometimes power surges can damage the electrical wiring so badly that a total rewiring of the electrical system is required.

Reasons to Install a Whole House Surge Protector Today

surge protector Power surges can result in expensive property damage and are a fire hazard. Homeowners should be sure to take steps to protect their homes from the unpredictable danger of a sudden power surge. The best way to protect the home from power surges is to install a whole-house surge protector.

Whole house surge protectors protect all of the home’s electrical circuits. This means that even electronics that are hard-wired into the home’s electrical system like the microwave, dishwasher, and dryer are protected from power surges.

Signs You Need Surge Protector Replacement

  • Needing surge protector repair often
  • Surge protector is over 5 years old
  • The surge protector fails to work properly
  • Surge protector is visibly damaged
  • Noticing a burning smell or seeing sparks

Surge protectors only last for around 2-5 years. The more power surges that a surge protector encounters, the faster it will wear out. Electrical experts recommend that homeowners schedule whole house surge protector replacement every 2-5 years.

It only takes one power surge to start an electrical fire, so it is important to repair or replace a whole house surge projector as soon as a problem is noticed. Homeowners should see warning signs that they may need a whole house surge protector replacement soon. Another sign that a surge protector replacement is needed is if the breaker gets tripped often, resulting in constant power outages.

About Doctor Home Experts

Doctor Home Experts is a dependable electrical company that provides Pasadena, TX, and the surrounding areas with outstanding service at affordable prices. They offer straightforward pricing and 24/7 emergency service. Call them today for whole house surge protector services in Pasadena, TX!

How to Find the Best AC Company

3 Tips for Finding the Best Air Conditioning Company

As the weather heats up this spring, homeowners should take steps to prepare their air conditioning systems to handle the demands of cooling the home. Annual AC maintenance in the springtime is essential for keeping the air conditioner running efficiently and keeping utility bills low. Homeowners should always have a trusted local AC company a phone call away for repairs and maintenance.

Hiring a professional for AC maintenance and repairs is always recommended, but how can homeowners find out which local AC service provider is the best? Here is a list of the top three factors for homeowners to consider when shopping for a professional AC service.

call a professional

Why You Should Call a Professional

A complex network of wires, coils, and miscellaneous parts is inside air conditioning systems. To an inexperienced person, completing an AC repair is a daunting task. If a person does not know what they are doing, they could cause more damage to the system or potentially hurt themselves.

Professional air conditioner repair requires years of training both in the classroom and on the job to obtain the proper licensing and insurance. By hiring a professional company, homeowners can ensure that their air conditioning system receives top-of-the-line AC maintenance and repairs. DIY air conditioner repair could also void the air conditioning unit’s manufacturer’s warranty.

research

 

 

Research Before Hiring an AC Repair Company

Before settling on an AC repair company, homeowners should do thorough research by reviewing the company’s website and searching for customer reviews. An experienced local AC service provider will have a good reputation in their community. Homeowners can ask around their neighborhood to determine what company their neighbors trust with their AC maintenance and repairs.

One of the most important factors for homeowners to research when looking for an air conditioner repair service is to make sure that the company is fully licensed and insured. The company needs to be guaranteed the type of work being done to protect the homeowner financially in case of an accident resulting in personal injury or property damage.

Schedule Service Now to Get Ahead of the Rush

The summer months keep AC repair companies busy with air conditioner maintenance and repairs. By scheduling annual AC maintenance in the springtime, homeowners can beat the summer rush. Scheduling maintenance at the beginning of the season will be beneficial also because the technician will have a chance to catch issues with the AC and fix them before the AC unit breaks down.

Annual maintenance on air conditioners in the springtime helps get the unit ready for the hot summer months. There are also more flexible appointment times in the spring before companies get busy in the summer. Annual maintenance appointments save homeowners money in the long run by keeping their AC units running smoothly and efficiently with minimal problems.

About Doctor Home Experts

Doctor Home Experts is a dependable AC repair company that provides Pasadena, TX, and the surrounding areas with outstanding service at affordable prices. They offer straightforward pricing and 24/7 emergency service. Give them a call to schedule an appointment for AC maintenance in Pasadena, TX!

Three Signs It’s Time To Replace The AC System

Three Signs An AC System Is Ready for a Replacement

Before replacing an air conditioning unit, it is best to first look for the signs that the system is not functioning as it should, and experts recommend asking for a second opinion. The average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is about 15-20 years.

Several signs that signify the AC unit may be ready for a replacement are abnormal sounds and smells, high energy bills, rust, and age. Sometimes, the system only needs a quick AC repair, but this is not always the case.

Abnormal sounds and smells

abnormal smellsAnytime an abnormal sound or smell comes from the system, there is cause for concern. Most of the time, homeowners should not hear anything from their AC system except the cool or warm air blowing. However, when there is a problem, it is not uncommon to hear banging, hissing, or the loud sound of the motor.

Usually, when there is a loud sound, it points to a problem with the motor, but sometimes it means the AC system is working too hard. What about smells? Most AC systems do not have a scent to them. If homeowners suddenly smell something in the air blowing from their AC vents, this is a sign that something is wrong. The smell of burning metal is a cause for concern too!

high energy bills

 

 

 

Outrageously High Energy Bills

An increase in the energy bill can mean many things, but it usually points to the fact it’s time to install a new AC system. When homeowners are saddled with high energy bills, it can be overwhelming and frustrating. High energy bills usually occur when the AC system takes a lot of energy and time to cool or heat a home.

Older models are not designed to use as little energy as possible, meaning that high energy bills are common. However, there are options to try when installing a new AC system. For example, looking for a high-quality and energy-efficient AC system is a great option, especially one compatible with a smart thermostat.

Other Signs To Watch Out for

There are also a few other signs that it is time to change and replace the AC system in a home other than the smell, noise, or cost. Sometimes, the outside of the AC system is rough and looks rusted. Rust can cause the system to decrease in efficiency and eventually stop working. Air conditioners with rust can be fixed, but only if caught in the early stages. Otherwise, it will need to be replaced.

Rusted or rough-looking units can be due to age and normal wear and tear. AC systems have several parts that wear down over time, so if the unit shows signs of aging, it may be time to replace it. Homeowners should immediately call an air conditioning company if they notice any of the signs above to prevent further damage.

About Doctor Home Experts

Doctor Home Experts is a family-owned business that has provided the residents of Pasadena, TX, with trusted solutions for all their heating, cooling, and electrical issues since 2005. They offer straightforward pricing, 24/7 emergency service, and 10-year service warranties. Call them today for air conditioning services in Pasadena, TX.