Posts Tagged ‘electrical contractor’

There really is an app for that!

appThese days it seems like there is an app for everything, doesn’t it? And while some of them are pure distractions for entertainment purposes, there are tons of them – depending on what you are looking for – that can be quite useful. For instance, did you know that The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has a smartphone app, called the DBPR Mobile, that allows consumers to research state contractors by name or license number? The free app that comes for both Android and iPhone devices, provides users with instant verification whether a business or an individual you are planning on contracting has a valid license in the State of Florida. Unlicensed contractors can leave you legally and financially liable for any of the work they do for you. The list of things that can go wrong is large, from property damage, to injuries, to unpaid suppliers and workers left in the wake of an unlicensed and irresponsible contractor, will become your financial responsibility.  I know that home improvement projects can be quite costly. But as I always say, if it sounds too good to be true when you are quoted an excellent price on a project, simply do your homework and check that you are working with a legitimate contractor.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

Heating Tips for Cold Weather

Dog with Fur HatI know that everyone is talking about the cold snap expected to hit us tonight and tomorrow. And of course, just as we turn our heaters on for a night, we’ll be back to running our air conditioners by the end of the week. As many of you will be turning the heaters on for the first time this year, or maybe even longer, you’ll quickly notice the smell of burning dust spreading through your home.

It’s best to do this in advance if you can, this way you can avoid having to endure the smell while you and your family are home. Once you turn the heater on, open your windows for a brief period of time and you should get rid of that smell very quickly. Now, heating bills can add a significant punch to your budget. There are a few things that you can do to avoid cardiac arrest when you receive your next bill. You don’t need to turn your home into an inferno. Turn your thermostat to the lowest and most comfortable temperature that you can bear. This move will definitely help reduce your bill. Dress warmer while you are at home: put on socks and long sleeved shirts, sleep under warmer blankets, etc. Turn that heater off when you are not at home. If you’re busy or tend to forget to monitor your thermostat, get a programmable one – these have a proven track record of helping people reduce their energy bills. There are many affordable options out there. In addition, pay attention to your water heater and reduce the temperature on its thermostat to see even more savings on your energy bill. Close doors and windows to avoid heat loss. Covering windows with curtains and blinds also helps retain heat in your home. Annually inspect your home for sources of air leaks and address them promptly.

And lastly, look for other sources of heat in your home and take advantage of them. Did you use that oven to make that delicious family dinner tonight? When you’re done cooking, leave the oven door open to let some of that heat into your kitchen. Now if you have small children or someone else who might be tempted to explore the open oven, you may want to look for other sources of heat. Also if you leave that stove door open, make sure your stove is fitted with anti-tipping device. Taking a hot shower? Leave the door to the bathroom open and allow some of that heat and steam to spread to other parts of your home.

 

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

Of great employees and customers

Christmas Lights and Safety

xmas lightsThe holidays are on everyone’s mind, and I’m sure that I’m not alone in calling it my favorite time of the year. Now that Thanksgiving has passed, everyone is putting up their beautiful trees, and the more dedicated of us are stringing up those bright, colorful lights around their properties. So this is that time of year for me to talk electrical safety again. So, how many Christmas lights can you plug into that one receptacle on your lanai?  Perhaps some of you are familiar with the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? (I just can’t resist the reference). Even though Clark Griswold’s intentions to make everything perfect for the holidays were good-natured and sweet,  but his idea to turn his house into a Christmas light extravaganza that forced the local power company to switch on their auxiliary nuclear generator – not so much. Clark boasted that he had used 250 strands of lights with 100 bulbs in each one totaling a 25,000 bulb display inferno that only added to the disastrous holiday scenario that didn’t quite go as well as Clark had intended. Now, with proper electrical expertise and good planning, it’s possible to create such enormous light displays, but before you get ahead of yourself and create a situation where your circuit board is overwhelmed or you create unsafe electrical conditions in and around your home, keep in mind this: You can only put (3) 100’ strands of lights on each 15 amp plug – that’s it.  Note: most of your receptacles are a minimum of 15 amps.  It’s the safest way to go. Now if you do decide to go all out and plan out and extravagant holiday display, you might want to give me a call before you do that.

Happy Holidays from your Sanibel Air and Sanctuary Island Electric team!

As always thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric  company on Sanibel, FL.Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

Sanibel Air & Electric Sponsors Cracker Fest

Sanibel Air & Electric, Inc. is proud to announce that it has chosen to become one of the top level sponsors in the fifth annual Cracker Fest scheduled to take place on Friday, November 8th, 2013. The donation includes a brand new air conditioning system, which includes installation, and is valued at over $6,000. This is the fourth year that the company has supported this cause. The event includes a dinner, live music and dancing, live auction and raffles.

B&T 2013sm

Todd and Bryan Hays, co-owners of Sanibel Air & Electric, Inc.

The annual event benefits Sanibel-Captiva chapter of Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (START). The organization is a state-wide non-profit foundation with a mission to improve the quality of our marine waters through research, public education and programs that restore marine habitat and preserve marine species.

“We are always grateful to have the ability to do what we can, and look forward to another great Cracker Fest. Not only does it help sponsor important initiatives that raise public awareness and benefit our local environment, it also brings together a great crowd,” said Todd Hayes, co-owner of Sanibel Air & Electric, Inc. “It’s a fun and laid-back event and we have fun attending it every year. For those of us who live and work on the islands, it’s absolutely necessary that we continue to support those who raise awareness and funds that help causes that benefit all of us.”

Proceeds from the event will continue funding the Coastal Classroom program for Lee County schools, and the Sustainable Seafood Program – “Seafood Savvy,” and other programs that benefit the local marine environment. In addition to these programs, plans are in the works to create a beach monitoring network on Sanibel and Captiva that will provide knowledge of specific beach conditions during a red tide event, and the possibility of creating a marine studies scholarship with a portion of the 2012 proceeds. The local chapter’s latest initiative is to fund research on water quality around Sanibel and Captiva Islands. This project examines the nutrient contents of Caloosahatchee discharge waters and their relation to red tide blooms. It will also study the extent to which red tide effects certain organisms, including seabirds, sea turtles, and fish. For more information on the Fourth Annual Cracker Fest and sponsorship opportunities, please visit: http://start1.org/news/fifth-annual-san-cap-cracker-fest-2013/

Sanibel Air & Electric, Inc. was started in 1988 and has maintained their promise to provide the best local service around for over 22 years. The company is highly active in their community, and participate or contribute to several charitable causes throughout the year.

October is the Month for Fire Prevention Week

Beach House PDFSince I just often talk about electricity and safety a couple in my articles, I want to highlight that this is the month of the annual Fire Prevention Week which took place October 6-12, 2013. Their goal is to raise public awareness with this year’s theme being “Prevent Kitchen Fires,” to emphasize that more fires start in the kitchen than in any other part of the home, and to teach people how to keep cooking fires from starting in the first place.

Here are some interesting facts about home fires:

  • In 2011, U.S. fire departments responded to 370,000 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,910 civilian injuries, 2,520 civilian deaths, $6.9 billion in direct damage.
  • On average, seven people die in U.S. home fires per day.
  • Cooking is the leading cause home fires and home fire injuries, followed heating equipment. Smoking is a leading cause of civilian home fire deaths.
  • Two of every five home fires start in the kitchen.
  • Unattended cooking was a factor in 34% of reported home cooking fires.
  • Two-thirds of home cooking fires started with ignition of food or other cooking materials.
  • Ranges accounted for the 58% of home cooking fire incidents. Ovens accounted for 16%.
  • Children under five face a higher risk of non-fire burns associated with cooking than being burned in a cooking fire.
  • Microwave ovens are one of the leading home products associated with scald burn injuries not related to fires. Nearly half (44%) of the microwave oven injuries seen at emergency rooms in 2011 were scald burns.
  • Clothing was the item first ignited in less than 1% of home cooking fires, but these incidents accounted for 16% of the cooking fire deaths.

I encourage everyone to take the time to talk about these causes with everyone in their families. All of these accidents can be avoided through education and proper use. You can find additional information at http://www.esfi.org/ and learn about fire safety.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

Preparing Your Heating System for Cooler Weather

fanIt’s looking like we are on track for a few cooler nights this week.  Aside from a couple of chilly nights last year, we’ve definitely enjoyed some great weather here on Sanibel and Captiva islands. But, I’m not a meteorologist and my forecast only goes 10 days ahead, so I’m going to assume that we are definitely in for at least a few less than comfortable days this winter. Fortunately, we live in a place where we are only briefly forced to run our before we can forget that we even have them for the rest of the year.

I always like to offer some helpful tips in this department, because once you turn them on for the first time this season, you’ll quickly realize just how long you haven’t turned it on as the smell of burning dust spreads through your home. So before you do this, pick a mild day and open your windows for a brief period of time, giving your heater a chance to run before the colds hit. You should get rid of that smell very quickly. This way you will avoid having to turn it on for the first time just before you and your family prepare for bedtime and be forced to endure the smell as you fall asleep.

If you run into any trouble where your heater won’t turn on, blow hot air, or you smell an abnormal amount of burning dust, turn your heater off and call your service provider.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air & Electric company on Sanibel, FL. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

Why Finding An Experienced Contractor Is Important

IMG_3433You may have been in this situation yourself or know a friend that has been there, but I’ve probably heard countless stories by now about people shopping for cheaper contractors only to have things not work out the way they wanted them to. Recently, I was having a conversation with a fellow contractor on the islands who was telling me how he consistently encounters potential customers who come to him for an estimate, have him evaluate a job, but then choose to go to a lower bidder or get someone who happens to be handy but not a contractor end up doing the job. Of course, there are plenty of people out there who are incredibly skilled at something, but don’t necessary have the proper license to do the job as an actual contractor. When you are shopping for a contractor for any job, be it an air conditioner install or crown molding in your living room, consider these tips before you go with the lowest bidder or that cousin’s uncle’s brother that you think is just perfect.

 

Who is pulling the permit for the job? If the person you are planning to hire is asking you to do that, chances are they are unlicensed. What does that mean to you? If you pull that permit and they do the job incorrectly – you will be held liable for anything that goes wrong. If you go ahead and get a job done without a permit, then that work could result in things not being done to code, your insurance not covering defective work or problems that arise from it (think about something like a bad wiring job that starts a fire), and don’t forget penalties that you could pay if you get caught.

Our state requires that we put our license number on our ads, our vehicles, website, etc. So, make sure that the person you are hiring, if they claim to be a contractor who’s giving you a super deal, is compliant in all those things.

Unlicensed contractors will often ask for you to front them some cash, and believe me, I have heard stories the homeowner paid that money only to never see the contractor, the cash again and be left with an incomplete project to boot.

So, if you are hiring a contractor based on price alone, then I have to warn you – you just might get what you pay for and a migraine as a parting gift.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

What to Do if Your A/C Doesn’t Work

fanYou may or may not have seen me talk about this before, but every once in a while, I try to go over those few little things that could help troubleshoot a malfunctioning air conditioner. Sometimes, this can help save you the hassle of calling in service.  So, it has probably happened to most if not all of you at some point, but it usually begins with a trip to the thermostat. You push the temperature level down to get your a/c to kick in and walk away. A few minutes later, you notice that it’s not getting any cooler in your house.

Here is a short list of things that should be checked before you call for service:

  • Check that the thermostat is set properly. I know that this may sound obvious, but we do receive calls about it. Make sure to set the desired temperature five degrees below the thermometer reading and that the control is set for what you want to happen.
  • If you’ve determined that the thermostat is set properly, then the second thing to do is to check if the humidistat is set properly, if you have one. This can get a little more complicated.  There are two different ways to set your humidistat depending on the way it was originally installed. If you’re unsure, please check with your service provider or call me and I will be happy to help.  Note: not all systems have a humidistat, but they should.
  • The third item to check is the breaker. There should be two breakers on most systems, one for the outside unit and one for the inside unit. Breakers can appear to be intact but can still be tripped. You need to flip them over and flip them back to ensure that they are making contact.

One you’ve completed each step, wait a couple of minutes, there can be timers that need to expire before a new process can begin. So, even after you’ve followed all these steps your system still doesn’t respond, call your service provider for service.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com

 

Surge Protection

outletSince we appear to be stuck in the never-ending the rainy season, and this week was a good reminder what that feels like, I think it’s always a good time to talk about surge protection. You may or may not be surprised by this, but the number one cause of downtime for your central cooling system is not refrigerant related. The most common cause is actually electrical with the average home experiencing over 300 surges per year.

For those of us who live on Sanibel, we know that it’s a constant battle for our power company to keep the grid in good working order. Many major home appliances, including our air conditioners, rely more on solid state electronics to operate than ever before.  While the luxury of it all might be very convenient, it still comes with a price. These controls are also more susceptible to power fluctuations than ever before.  So to reference the title, the way to protect your expensive investment is to use surge protection.

Surge protection can be achieved through many different ways.  You can buy those little surge protection strips for your pluggable appliances and most stores. However, for the larger stuff such as your air conditioner, you are would need to have an electrician install an inline surge protection on the electrical feed. If you really like the idea, you can even take this one step further and have a surge protection system installed for your entire house. That will cover all the circuits in your home.

As you may already know, I like talking about saving money. Surge protection is an additional cost of course, but spending some money now can definitely save you from spending significantly more and the hassle later. Consider that an investment.

As always, thanks for reading,

Bryan

Bryan Hayes, along with his brother Todd, is a co-owner of a Sanibel Air Conditioning company on Sanibel, FL. They also own and operate an island-based electrical service company Sanctuary Island Electric, Inc. Bryan can be reached at Bryan@Sanibelair.com