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Electrical Projects to Tackle This Spring

Now that spring is finally here, it’s a great time to tackle some projects in and around the house. Springtime electrical lighting installation in Alexandria, VA is a great way to improve your home’s functionality, curb appeal and atmosphere without requiring a huge renovation project. If you’re thinking about investing in a spring electrical installation project, keep reading for some design ideas and inspiration.

Ideas for spring electrical projects

Here are a few ideas for spring electrical projects, including electrical lighting installation in Alexandria, VA:

  • Water feature lighting: If you have a fountain, pool, pond or hot tub, accent lighting is a great way to highlight your water feature. New LED lights are durable, long-lasting and can be programmed with a rotating array of colors to create a beautiful display on your property. Accent lighting can be installed in your water feature, on your pool deck or patio or alongside your water feature to cast unique shadows.
  • Landscape lighting:Incorporating lighting into your landscaping boosts the curb appeal of your property and allows you to show off your plants, trees and other landscape features even when it’s dark outside. A combination of atmospheric lanterns, directed accent lights and pathway lighting is ideal for achieving the perfect balance of aesthetic appeal and functional benefits at night.
  • Fans: Once the weather starts heating up, you’ll be thankful for any air circulation. Installing fans in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens is a great spring project that offers many months of benefits. Not only do fans make homes more comfortable on hot spring and summer days, but they also boost home value.
  • Dimmer switches:In addition to new electrical lighting installation in Alexandria, VA, upgrading existing lighting features offers a lot of benefits. Installing dimmer switches to control light fixtures in your home is a simple project that can make a big difference. Not only do dimmer switches give you more control over the lighting and atmosphere in a room, but they also improve energy efficiency by allowing you to adjust to lower lighting levels.
  • Surge protectors: While surge protectors may not offer the same aesthetic benefits of some other spring electrical projects, they do offer significant functional advantages—especially if you have a lot of electrical appliances and devices in your home. Surge protectors block damage to electrical devices and appliances in the event of storms or other circumstances that create electrical surges. Without surge protection, your electrical devices are at risk of permanent damage.

Electrical lighting installation in Alexandria, VA

Tackle all the electrical lighting installation in Alexandria, VA that you have planned for this spring with help from Walsh Electric. For decades, our customers have trusted us to provide expert electrical services for homes and businesses alike. Whether you want to add some outdoor lighting to your property, or you need help with rewiring for your home, our team is here to assist you. Give us a call to find out more about the services we provide and to request a consultation and quote for your project.

Common Electrical Problems for You to Watch For

If you’re a homeowner, you probably take your electrical systems for granted until they start to develop problems, or stop working altogether. There are some electrical issues that aren’t serious and are easily resolved, but others that can be symptoms of other, more severe underlying issues.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common electrical problems you should watch for. If you notice any of these, contact an emergency electrician in Alexandria, VA right away:

  • Power surges: Frequent electrical surges can be a result of a variety of problems, including a recent lightning strike, damage to power lines in your area, defective appliances in your home or bad/outdated electrical wiring in the house. Power surges generally only last a fraction of a second, but if you experience them frequently, you’ll start to notice appliances being significantly damaged. You should contact an electrician to analyze your system as soon as you start to experience power surges.
  • Overloaded circuits: Tripped circuit breakers can be a result of overloaded circuits. It’s easier than you might expect to overload a circuit, especially when you consider the sheer number of devices that are plugged into today’s home electrical systems. You should figure out where the overloaded circuit is occurring and which appliances could be at fault, as some draw more power than others. Figure out a way to distribute power more evenly in your home, and unplug anything that’s not getting used (like chargers for phones or other devices).
  • Shocks: Electrical shocks are usually just a nuisance, but they can become dangerous in some circumstances. Shocks can be a result of issues with the wiring in an appliance or an outlet. You should be careful when turning objects on or off, and if you regularly experience shock at an outlet or switch, contact an electrician to come and check out the problem.
  • Bulbs burning out quickly: If you notice light bulbs burning out too quickly, there are a couple possible causes. It might be that you have poor circuit wiring to the fixture. It could also be that you have a dimmer switch, wiring or bulb with too high a wattage. In some circumstances, it could even be a problem with insulation being too close to the bulb. Some of these problems are easier to fix than others, so it’s important to be able to diagnose what’s causing the issue so you don’t keep burning through bulbs on a regular basis.
  • High electrical bills: Do your monthly utility bills seem to be getting more expensive than they’ve typically been? If so, make sure you identify and fix any devices that might be causing power surges in your home, that you unplug appliances when they aren’t being used and that you update your electrical wiring as needed to make your home run more efficiently. Any steps you can take to increase energy efficiency will be beneficial both for your bank account and for the environment.

If you’d like more information about common electrical problems, an emergency electrician in Alexandria, VA can provide tips on how to proceed. Reach out to Walsh Electric for the help you need.

Seven Reasons to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel

The electrical panel is one of the most important appliances and components of your home. It is the central nervous system for all of your wiring and electrical features, and provides power to the entire home. At a certain point, though, the panel will become outdated, at which time you’ll need to consider whether it’s time for you to make an upgrade.

Here are just a few of the reasons why people tend to hire residential electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA to upgrade their electrical panels:

  • Old homes: Old homes tend to mean old wiring and fixtures. While retro décor and aesthetics can be popular, you should not stick to retro wiring. Some older homes might have obsolete wiring and electrical panels. If, for example, you still have a 60-amp panel, it is important to upgrade to 200 amps so you can use modern electrical equipment safely.
  • New appliances: Outdated electrical panels can have a hard time standing up to the energy loads needed to power all of the new appliances you have in your home. If you install a new air conditioner, refrigerator, washer and dryer, water heater or other type of new appliance and find you start having power issues, this is probably a sign that it’s time for you to upgrade your electrical panel.
  • You’re still using a fuse box: Fuse boxes have long been outdated, as circuit breakers are much more reliable and efficient, and will not trip off due to overloads. Replacing your electrical panel makes sense if you have a fuse box you need to replace with a breaker panel.
  • Your homeowners insurance is expensive: It costs more money to insure a home that has outdated electrical features, like old wiring and old electrical panels. Replacing a fuse box with a breaker panel or an outdated electrical panel with a new one will allow you to get some discounts on your homeowners insurance premium, which can add up over time to some good savings.
  • Greater efficiency: Newer electrical panels operate much more efficiently than older ones. This means you’ll be able to use less energy to power your home, which is both better for the environment and better for your bank account.
  • Increased home value: Buyers are less likely to want to purchase a home if they know they’re going to have to make some major upgrades to its electrical systems. Therefore, an upgrade to your electrical panel can help you increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers if you know you’re going to be putting it on the market anytime soon.
  • Greater safety: Working with updated electrical panels ensures greater safety in the form of a lower fire risk and a lower risk of power surges.

If you believe the time has come for you to replace your home’s electrical panel, make sure you reach out to the team of highly skilled and capable residential electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA at Walsh Electric with any questions you have.

2020 Energy Saving Tips

We all want to save money and protect the environment, and the easiest way to do that is to conserve energy, starting at home. You’d be amazed at how simple changes can yield drastic results, whether it’s switching out your old lightbulbs for LEDs or investing in energy-efficient appliances. You can even ask an electrical contractor in Alexandria, VA to perform an energy audit on your home to discover any potential problems with your wiring. You’ll love the power savings, and the planet will thank you.

Here are some of the best ways to save energy all year long:

  • Energy-efficient appliances: If your appliances are more than 10 years old, chances are they’re sucking up a lot more money than they should be. Today’s energy-efficient offerings harness advances in technology to reduce your power usage.
  • Turn down your water heater: How much hot water do you need? Your water heater might be working overtime. If replacing your water heater with an energy-efficient model isn’t currently in the cards, be sure to turn down the thermostat and insulate the outside.
  • Replace your lightbulbs: Incandescent bulbs might provide a warm glow, but they use a lot more power than necessary. Today’s LED bulbs emulate the look of their incandescent predecessors, but can make for significant savings.
  • Switch out your power strips: The “phantom load,” or the way electronics use power even when they’re not in use, can cost you hundreds of dollars per year. New “smart strips” are able to detect when your electronics are in use, and shut them down when they’re not.
  • Seal and protect your home: From insulation to energy-efficient windows, making sure your home is weatherproof can keep warm air from escaping (or infiltrating) your home. This helps save money by reducing the amount of time and energy your HVAC system needs to cool or heat your house.
  • Install a smart thermostat: Speaking of your HVAC system, smart or programmable thermostats will automatically reduce your energy usage by turning your heat or air conditioning down when you’re asleep or not at home.
  • Adjust your energy habits: Finally, don’t underestimate the power of changing your daily habits. Turn off lights when you’re not in the room and unplug electronics when they’re not in use. Adjust your thermostat so it’s a few degrees warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. Finally, you can hang your clothes out to dry instead of using a dryer, or hand wash your dishes. Every little bit counts!

Electrical contractor in Alexandria, VA

Walsh Electric has been the greater D.C. area’s top electrical contractor for over three decades. Our skilled technicians are on hand 24 hours a day to provide electrical repairs, upgrades, maintenance and installation for commercial buildings and residences. If your power bills have been out of control lately, call us. We’ll be happy to inspect your home, find the source of the problem and help you make a plan to fix it. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.

The Benefits of Owning a Backup Generator for Your Home

If you’ve ever experienced a power blackout, you know how frustrating and inconvenient they can be. Not only do they interrupt your day, but not knowing when power will be restored is anxiety-provoking. Will your food go bad? Will you suffer for long periods without heat or air conditioning? If you are or live with the elderly, blackouts can be hazardous to your health.

When you can’t call a 24-hour emergency electrician in Alexandria, VA, a residential backup generator is invaluable. You’ll still have power for your appliances, lights, air conditioners and heaters so that your daily activities won’t come to a screeching halt.

Do I need a backup generator?

Backup generators can be an investment, so whether you want to spend the money will depend on your personal situation. You may own it for years and never use it, and then eventually need it three or four times during a particularly nasty winter.

If you’re relying on electricity to power medical equipment or live with people who can’t go for extended periods of time without heat, air conditioning or electrically-powered equipment, having a backup generator is a smart choice. Living in an area with frequent storms and outages also helps make the case for buying. Bonus: Having a generator protects your home from voltage fluctuations when the power eventually turns back on.

The biggest benefit that comes with a backup generator, though, is peace of mind. Backup generators are designed to operate safely in a variety of different situations. Even if there’s a disaster, you’ll be prepared—and your loved ones will appreciate that, too. Plus, if your 24-hour emergency electrician in Alexandria, VA has a backlog of clients ahead of you, this won’t be as big an inconvenience.

Natural gas vs. propane

If your home is hooked up to a city grid, you probably have access to natural gas lines—so when choosing a backup generator, you would usually opt for that power source. If you live in a rural area, or are unable to extend the gas lines to your home, propane is a cost-effective alternative.

Both natural gas and propane are tasteless and colorless, but have a unique added odor to alert you to any leaks. Both sources of fuel are affordable and abundant, and won’t go bad over time. This means you can safely store propane tanks on your property for use in longer power outages.

Whether you choose natural gas or propane for your backup generator, you’re assured safe and clean operation. Purchasing a backup generator might be an investment, but it’s one that will help keep your household running smoothly, and it may even add value to your home.

24-hour emergency electrician in Alexandria, VA

Since 1985, Walsh Electric has been providing highly-skilled electrical services to the greater D.C. area. We specialize in electrical repairs, upgrades, maintenance and more for both commercial buildings and residences. Our technicians are standing by 24/7 to assist you. When the power goes out, we’re ready. Call us today to find out more about our wide variety of services. We look forward to serving you soon!