Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Investing in and Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset…Your Home: An Electrician’s Overview

In any market, your house is one of the most valuable assets you can own. But in today’s challenging economy, it’s more important than ever to invest in, care for and protect it.

When people think about home care, they typically think about the roof, or siding, or the gutters. Few people realize how important electrical maintenance is to protect against fire, to prevent damage to electronic equipment, energy efficiency, and maintain overall value of the home.

There are a number of things you can do to protect your valuable electronics and appliances valuables, including:

o Surge Protection – Power surges are a regular occurrence. In the days before sophisticated electronic equipment, this was no problem. Today, most homes need surge protectors protection solutions to safeguard their computer equipment, appliances, high-end electronics and the components within their entertainment center. Look for protectors that have indicator lights so that, in the event they get hit with a power surge and are disabled, you’ll have a warning. Dr Sparks offers comprehensive surge protection solutions utilizing proven principles from commercial markets. These solutions incorporate main surge protection at the breaker panel, where power enters your home, and may incorporated zoned solutions at various points within your home.

o Tamper Proof Receptacles – In 2008, the National Electrical Code passed a code requiring all 125-volt and 15- and 20-ampere electrical outlets to be replaced with tamper proof receptacles that have a shutter device. These devices ensure that the electricity flows only when equal pressure is applied to both shutters, such as when a plug is inserted. While these were implemented as a safety precaution, they also keep dust out, ensuring better performance from your electronics.

o Backup Power Generation – Most communities lose power at one time or another. A standby generator can mean the difference between staying in your home and moving into a hotel or a friend’s home. They can also protect against loss of everything in the freezer and refrigerator.

Some electrical upgrades even address personal safety:

o Floodlight/ Motion Detectors
– Floodlights that incorporate motion detection should be mounted over your garage and in your backyard, to protect against intrusion, save on power, and to avoid accidents.

o Tamper Proof Receptacles – Each year, several thousand children are burned and electrocuted electrocuted by sticking implements into traditional outlets. Even if you have no children, consider replacing your outlets as a safety precaution.

In this economy, people are staying home more, leading to a “cocooning” effect. They’re investing in repairs and cosmetic changes to make their environment more welcoming and efficient.

As you look around your home, consider how the following minor changes may add a whole new feel to your home:

o Lighting Solutions – Think about changing outdated lighting fixtures and replacing them with a contemporary look, which might include recessed, task and/or track lighting.

o Dimmer Switches – The addition of these switches in dining rooms, dens and especially bed rooms can add functionality, and save on your electric bill.

o Under cabinet / ambiance lighting – A great way to light areas, such as kitchen counters and bathrooms, which may be obscured by dark shadows. Ambiance lighting brightens dark corners or lends practicality to nightstands and end tables.

o Ceiling Fans –Ceiling fans are a cost-effective way to add both light and air circulation to a room. Many models are available that don’t require high ceilings.

o Plasma Pre-wire – An in-wall video and control cabling necessary to mount a flat-screen TV. If you are preparing to sell your home, look at it from a buyer’s perspective. Think about updating older fixtures, upgrading wiring, and having an inspection by a qualified electrician.

Most importantly, be sure all outlets are working and up to code (see above), and that the doorbell rings. Consider positioning outdoor lighting to highlight your home’s best features, (making sure all fixtures are working). Dr Sparks can assist in helping you to ensure your home is more appealing to buyers with updated lighting solutions, code corrections, service panel upgrades, and more.

These simple tips, along with the steps you take to declutter, repair and update your home will assure a strong impact that should be reflected in value, efficiency, and comfort of your home.

© 2009 Dr. Sparks Electric

Serving Charlotte, Gastonia, Lake Norman, Huntersville, Cornelius, Concord, Rock Hill, Monroe, Weddington, Waxhaw, Fort Mill and surrounding areas.
Contact our Charlotte, NC office at 704-527-5434.

Serving Raleigh, Cary, Clayton, Wake Forest, Knightdale, Wendell, Holly Springs, Apex, Morrisville, Chapel Hill, Durham, and surrounding areas of the triangle area.
Contact our Cary, NC office at 919-678-1603.

Call Dr. Sparks:
To Request Service or a Quote, call 877-SPARK-07

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