A dining room chandelier provides light and ambiance for this often forgotten room (read: The Unused Dining Room Dilemma). Like a beautiful piece of jewelry, dining room chandeliers often act as the room’s focal point. With an open floor plan, your dining room needs something to define its’ space. Such was the dilemma in my … Read More
House Wiring & Plumbing Pipes
We Don't Appreciate Power Until There's an Outage
The energy that powers our homes is magical. It runs our appliances, heats our water and we have light whenever we want it. But we know almost nothing about the wiring that delivers electricity to each of these fixtures. It's hidden in the walls from the electrical panel to every switch, outlet, light fixture and appliance.
Ready to Tackle Your Electrical Projects?
We take power for granted until something stops working. If you're lucky, an overloaded circuit needs the circuit breaker flipped in the panel box.
- Some electrical projects are easy enough for homeowners skilled at following instructions and paying attention to details. Books provide more complete step-by-step instructions:
- Electrical safety is critical to protect your home. Don't be afraid to call a licensed electrician for more complicated projects.
Alternative Energy Sources
Coal and nuclear power plants are being replaced by sustainable energy sources like solar and wind. This transition is just beginning as the big difference is solar let's us generate electricity at home, so how we use the electrical grid will change over time.
- Solar and other sustainable energy sources are changing how we power our houses. Even if you're not ready to invest in solar, learning solar concepts will help you know when it's time.
Building a house involves lots of decisions. An electrical checklist will save you money by helping you identify where you want outlets and wall switches placed during construction. That’s because it’s much cheaper to move electrical boxes and wiring when the walls are open. Once the walls are covered with drywall, the cost to make … Read More
Building codes are used to improve the safety of of our homes (read: Short History of Building Codes). The latest electrical building code, the 2020 edition of the National Electrical Code (NEC), was recently published by the National Fire Protection Association. Builders, remodelers and licensed electricians are responsible for staying up to date on changes … Read More
Electrical outlets are becoming more critical in our connected world. Home fixtures like lights are getting smarter and everyone in the family has a smart phone. So why aren’t we getting smarter about where we put our outlets?
We’re used to seeing electrical outlets along the walls, down near the floor. In kitchens and bathrooms you also find outlets on the walls just above the counter tops. The challenge is with open floor plans there are fewer walls, so fewer places to put outlets. This seems a bit crazy with all our new … Read More
It seems like we’re adding a new gadget to our homes every few months (these wires represent half of those around my desk), and most of them will contribute to a higher electric bill. You might never think about that when you buy an Amazon Echo or a garage door opener. And you probably don’t realize how your … Read More
Most people associate solar energy with solar panels that we see on the top of single family houses. Depending on where you live in the US, there may be quite a few solar powered homes because the state and/or utility companies have provided financial assistance to make the investment affordable. Another hurdle for homeowners is the … Read More
Did you stop and wonder what this article is about, powering your home with a car? You’ve been reading about generating power with solar panels, windmills and now your car? The answer is yes, you will one day be able to power your home with a car but you can’t buy the car today. The concept … Read More
Building codes are changing at a rapid pace to respond to looming hikes in energy costs and environmental concerns. Solar panel adoption has accelerated in the US, as the cost of the photo voltaic cells used in solar panels (installation, operations and maintenance) has decreased by as much as 15 percent. Solar competition is growing … Read More
Solar panel costs have dropped dramatically. Unfortunately much of the recent decline is due to Chinese overproduction and dumping or selling products below cost. The bigger cost that homeowners need to consider is the “installed cost” of solar systems. In Germany, the rooftop solar installation industry has scaled up and this has contributed to lower costs … Read More