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|Posted on December 31, 2018 at 10:30 PM|
Champion offers serveral sizes to choose from.
- 8.5 KW
- 12.5 KW
- 14 KW
- 10 year warranty (Best in its class)
- 24 Volt DC starting system (No cold weather kit needed)
- Best Buy in Consumer Report of 2018
|Posted on May 5, 2015 at 8:40 AM|
If you want to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout summer at your house, do you use an air conditioner or a ceiling fan?
Due to increasing electricity costs and the that fact that your air conditioner may be the largest contributor to your energy use at home, very few people can happily leave their air conditioner running 24hours a day.
Did you know that a ceiling fan is a very economical way to help cool a home? A ceiling fan works the same way as a breeze does; by cooling you through the movement of air over your skin, this allows your skin to breathe and cool you down.
The benefits of ceiling fans
- Ceiling fans are environmentally friendly, with most ceiling fans using only about as much power as a 60 watt light bulb which equates to less than 1 cent per hour to run. Although note that when buying fans, check how much power the motor uses as an inefficient fan motor can undo much of the greenhouse gas savings.
- They are inexpensive to purchase and run in comparison to air conditioners. To purchase a ceiling fan will cost you $70-$200 to purchase and 1c/hour to run.
- Ceiling fans can move air much more quietly and are more efficient air movers. In most situations ceiling fans are quieter than air conditioners which rely on small fast moving internal fans to distribute the air which create more air turbulence which is a major source of noise.
- Ceiling fans don’t dry out the air. By using an air conditioner to cool the air you also reduce the amount of moisture it can carry and as such you lower the humidity in a room. Whilst this can be an acceptable side effect in a humid environment, it also causes the drying out feeling that leaves your eyes, throat and skin dry and sore which is why many of us prefer to sleep under a ceiling fan.
- Ceiling fans can be reversed for winter. Most people don’t think to turn on a ceiling fan during winter, but you can use a ceiling fan with a reversible switch, which pushes the warm air down from the ceiling, warming up your room and reducing your heating costs. This warm circulating air also reduces condensation on your windows.
- Ceiling fans are fantastic in open spaces or spaces where there is a lot of mixing of air between the inside and outside, for example outdoor entertaining areas. Air conditioning is in-effective in comparison unless it is running on the higher settings which in turn would consume a large amount of electricity and become costly.
- Ceiling fans and air conditioning are natural partners providing different but complimentary roles. When using an air conditioner to reduce the temperature and humidity in conjunction with a ceiling fan to move the chilled air, providing a natural breeze your cooling effectiveness is greatly improved. When using you ceiling fan and air conditioner together you are also able to set the thermostat on the air conditioner at a slightly higher temperature, whilst still maintaining your same level of comfort but reducing your energy consumption.
|Posted on May 5, 2015 at 8:05 AM|
Vacation season in the United States is also break-in season. The highest percentage of home burglaries occur during the summer months resulting in an average loss of $1,675 per break in.
Many people tend to overlook burglary statistics because they consider break-ins to be a lesser crime than murders, rapes and other offenses. While burglaries do not always result in physical harm to the victim(s), it leaves a significant impact. Not only are there monetary damages, as mentioned above, but there are psychological costs to the homeowners or renters such as living in fear.
Break-ins should not be taken lightly. According to recent FBI crime reports, home break-ins are the most common threat to our homes and we can expect 1 in every 36 homes in the United States to be burglarized just this year.
So how can you keep your home safe from break-ins and other security issues?
Between standard practices and home security systems, there are four key things that can be done to help prevent someone from breaking into your home while you are on vacation this summer.
1. Make your home look occupied.
When you are away, leave some lights on. If you will be away for an extended period of time, you can connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on during the evening and off during the day. Also, arrange with a trusted friend or family member to keep your yard trimmed and mail and newspapers from piling up while you are away. These are clear signs that someone has not been home.
2. Lock all doors and windows before you leave.
This includes your garage door and garden sheds. Sliding glass doors and certain windows may be more vulnerable to break-ins. Check with a locksmith or hardware store for special locks to keep these areas of your home safe.
3. Install a home security system.
There are several things to consider when deciding on a home security system and Northern Automation and Electric can help you choose the best Security system for your needs and pease of mind while you are away..
4. Be a good neighbor.
If you notice anything suspicious in your neighborhood, call the police. People are less likely to break into your house if they know the community has a reliable neighborhood watch program in place.
Finally, if your home is broken into this summer, make sure to call the 9-1-1 immediately. Because police are only able to clear about 13% of all reported burglaries due to lack of witnesses or physical evidence, it is important to be taking active steps to protect your home while you are away this vacation season
|Posted on May 5, 2015 at 8:00 AM|
Ever look at old family photos? You remember, the faded picture with the brown couch, wood panel walls and yellow(ish) shag carpet. Most people look at the photo and see these things and the smiling faces of the family. We look at these photos and are taken back to a time when another generation set the rules.
But looking a little more closely at the photo of years gone by, you might notice something that is still around the old house and room today. Hidden in the photo, but still prominent in the room where the photo was taken, is that old, painted over two prong outlet. You know the one. It had the gaudy horse-carved table lamp plugged into it. At one time it was white but it was painted to match the wall color when the paneling came down and the sheet rock went up. You changed the entire look and feel of the living room over the years but that outlet stayed the same. And, why not? It only served one function and how often does technology change, right?
The two prong outlets had been the norm for so long and years of remodeling and redecorating never seemed to affect the outlets. No upgrades were required. Just slap a new cover on it and it was good to go. When “new technology” came about, we were ready with the “cheater” outlet that still enabled us to use three prong electronics with the old two prong outlets.
But soon everything seemed to require three prong outlets and that left us having an abundance of those grey three-to-two prong adaptors in our junk drawer.
Old photos are great to look at and reminisce about past times. But, we are constantly changing and our technology is expanding at a rapid rate. Modern times call for modern outlets. Two prong outlets had a good run and they served a valuable purpose, but there comes a day when the grandfather, who led the head of the family for years, has to retire and give way to change and a new way of doing things.
Outlet changes should be made because today’s outlets give us piece of mind, safety and convenience. Safety has been a top priority for new outlet designs. All modern homes, those built after 2008, should have child-proof outlets installed.
Today’s modern three prong outlets come with a variety of features for convenience and safety. Although the days of the two-prong outlet are numbered, modern GFCI, child-proof and combination outlets will never forget their roots
|Posted on May 5, 2015 at 7:50 AM|
The weather is heating up, and with it the load on your electrical system. Don’t let the stress pile up. Protect your electrical system – and your wallet – from the stresses of summer with the help of these simple tips.
Take a load off.
Is your electrical system bearing the burden of your poor appliances choices? Don’t become a victim of “operator error” by overlooking these seasonal adjustments to appliance use:
Don’t blow it.
Heating and cooling comprises from 30-50 percent of your electric bill, making it one of the biggest stressors on your electrical system. However there are many ways to reduce that stress, including…
• Keeping your air filter clean.
• Scheduling a professional cleaning and tune-up once a year.
• Clearing your outdoor system and indoor vents of debris and blockages.
• Addressing ductwork leaks.
• Setting your system on 85 degrees when you’re not home, or…
• Installing a programmable thermostat.
Keep your cool.
Your refrigerator is among the largest consumers of energy in your home. Keep a lid on energy consumption by…
• Ensuring seals are clean and tight.
• Verifying proper operating temperate: 37°-40°F in the refrigerator and 0°-5°F in the freezer.
Keep things from boiling over.
Water heating is typically the third largest energy expense in your home. The hotter the temperature of the water, and the more used, the harder your electrical system is forced to keep up with the heating demands. Summer is hot enough! Cool your use by…
• Setting water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
• Properly insulating your tank.
• Taking a shower instead of a bath.
• Turning hot water – and your heater – off when you don’t need it.
Hanging clothes on the line rather than running the dryer, the second largest energy-consuming appliance in your home, can keep your home and energy bills from becoming too hot to handle.
Fire up the grill.
Using your stovetop or oven in summer’s heat can really put a strain on your air conditioner and electrical system. Save some dough and maintain comfort by firing up your grill instead.
Reduce appliance stress.
Today’s homes use a multitude of gadgets and appliances that can cause a considerable amount of stress to your electrical system. Give your system the TLC it deserves:
Flip the switch.
Turning off items that are not in use rather than letting them run –lights, laptop and mobile devices, TVs, radios, and more – can take a lot of pressure off your electrical system. How much? Lighting in the average home accounts for 12 percent, and electronic devices another 10-15. Whew!
Vampire power can really drain you, sucking up 5 percent of your power bill or more – all for nothing. Among the biggest offenders putting a strain on your electrical system (even when they’re turned off): TVs, computers, microwaves, cell phone chargers… anything with a power adaptor, indicator light, standby function, or clock. Unplug these items or plug them into a power strip, flipping them off when they’re not in use.
Your electrical system can suffer stress from issues outside of your home as well. Are you closing your eyes to these electrical stressors from your home’s great outdoors?
Stay out of the spotlight.
Outdoor lighting fixtures are heavily used and a great place to take a load off. Updating to more modern technology for outdoor lighting such as motion sensors, timers, and photocells for sensing daylight, in addition to CFL and LED bulb technology, can not only save a pretty penny in energy wasted on unnecessary illumination, but boost security as well.
Reinforce your protective shell.
Is the outdoors infringing on your indoors? Your home’s thermal envelope – the outer walls, windows, doors, floors, ceiling – may need support in the form of adequate insulation and air sealing to keep your home comfortable and help you avoid the stress of unnecessarily high energy bills. Ease the hardship on your wires and your wallet by putting this on the top of your priority list.
|Posted on April 3, 2015 at 11:40 AM|
Despite the best efforts and safety focus of manufacturers, installers and inspectors, home electrical problems caused an estimated 67,800 home fires and $868 million in property losses in 2003, according to recent data from the United States Fire Administration (USFA). 1 The USFA is part of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and is committed to reducing the number of deaths and economic losses due to fire and related emergencies. The USFA also reports that electrical fires annually cause an estimated 485 deaths and injure almost 2,300 more individuals.1 And homeowners aren’t the only victims – more than 23,000 firefighters are injured or killed battling residential fires in general.2
The tragic loss of human life and injury, as well as extensive property damage, from residential electrical fires is real – with a total annual fiscal impact estimated to be more than $3.4 billion. In fact, overall, residential fires in the U.S. cause 77 percent of the fire deaths; 73 percent of the fire-related injuries; and 54 percent of the total dollar loss.3 This staggering loss stresses the importance of homeowners taking the proper precautions to safely escape injury once a fire starts. In addition, homeowners should educate themselves about potential life-saving technology that can significantly decrease the chance of an electrical fire starting in the first place.
This is especially important with new home construction, where safety needs to be the number one priority in the home building process. The cost for increased electrical safety is insignificant compared to the damage and tragedy electrical fires cause year after year. Unfortunately, in many cases, home buyers are not presented with safety choices that have the potential to decrease the chance of an electrical fire from occurring. A key step in this process is for builders, electrical contractors, and anyone involved in residential construction to educate the home buyer on potential life-saving tools. The following review highlights the staggering economic impact of fires in the home.
IMPACT ON RESIDENTS & FAMILIES
Property damage and/or physical and emotional injuries due to electrical fires can be devastating. Every year, electrical fires result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage. While some fires are caused by faulty products, many more are caused by the misuse and poor maintenance of electrical equipment, incorrectly installed wiring, overloaded circuits and misapplied extension cords.
Electrical fires can also lead to long-lasting emotional distress on children and adults. Fires are unpredictable and uncontrollable, and may provide only seconds to get fellow family members and pets safely outside. During a fire, people often lose all family heirlooms, photo albums and other irreplaceable items.
Once family members actually make it safely outside, they may face additional problems, such as where to find immediate shelter, food and water, money, sufficient clothing, temporary housing and more.
Whether there is minimal damage or a home is completely lost, fires often disrupt a family’s routine and its sense of safety. The loss of a home and personal items, can lead to depression and elevated levels of distress. In the aftermath of a fire, families are often burdened with financial hardship and medical problems. It can also be confusing and frustrating to deal with insurance companies and disaster assistance agencies. Overall, the physical and emotional recovery process following a fire can be lengthy.
While no amount of money can account for the loss of a loved one, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) uses a statistical value per life of $5 million, and according to its so-called Injury Cost Model, the estimated cost of a fire-related injury is about $56,000 per incident.4 When applying these values to the USFA’s data pertaining to the number of deaths, injuries and property damage attributed to electrical fires, the total annual cost of residential electrical fires amounts to approximately $3.4 billion ($2.4 billion in deaths plus $129 million in injuries plus $868 million in property damage). This figure represents the direct costs to residents and homeowners who are victims of residential fires caused by problems in the electrical system. Indirect costs, like insurance issues and temporary housing, often have additional negative effects.
IMPACT ON FIREFIGHTERS
In addition to significant consequences for the homeowner, electrical fires impact the lives of firefighters who risk injury and possibly death fighting blazes caused by electrical problems. A firefighter’s job is dangerous, and each year, thousands are injured while on duty. While information specific to firefighter injuries resulting from residential electrical fires is not available, the most recent data from the USFA reports that 60 percent of all firefighter injuries occur because of residential fires.2 This amounted to approximately 23,000 firefighter injuries in 2005, which was nearly two and a half times the number of injuries from fighting non-residential fires.2 The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that 18 firefighters were killed in 2005 fighting residential fires, accounting for the highest percentage of firefighting fatalities that year.5
Additional firefighter deaths occur as a result of job-related chronic illness that develops over long periods of time, such as emphysema or lung cancer. FEMA reports that the most frequent cause of a firefighter’s death is stress or overexertion leading to heart attack and stroke.3 Injuries range from muscular pain, strains and sprains to burns, smoke or gas inhalation. The USFA estimates that one-third of firefighter injuries result in lost work time.6
In looking at the overall impact of injuries sustained in fighting fires, a number of direct and indirect costs need to be taken into consideration. Based on reports, direct costs usually include the expenses related to treating and compensating for the immediate injury or illness. All other costs, such as the funding of personal protective equipment and additional staff and training, are considered indirect. Many of these costs are intangible, making them difficult to measure. In fact, according to FEMA, indirect costs may be as much as eight to ten times higher than the direct costs.3
However, several organizations have studied the issue and have come up with an estimated impact in dollar figures associated with firefighter injuries. For example, a study prepared for the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDC) in August 2004 estimated the annual cost of addressing firefighter injuries and the efforts to prevent them or reduce their severity to be as much as $7.8 billion per year.6 This figure was based on workers compensation payments and other insured medical expenses, including long-term care, lost productivity, administrative costs of insurance and others.
This cost estimate didn’t figure in additional factors, such as labor costs of investigating injuries and the hours of data collection, report writing and filing. In addition, there also are costs pertaining to what fire departments pay to provide their employees with health insurance coverage, as well as for safety training, physical fitness programs, protective gear and equipment and its maintenance. These cost components alone account for $830 million to $980 million per year, the USDC reports. 6
Another method to determine the economic impact of firefighter injuries due to residential fires is to use the value the CPSC places on death and injury. Using the CPSC’s per-life estimate of $5 million and the per-injury value of $56,000 measured against USFA estimates, the impact in dollar amount is approximately $1.4 billion ($90 million in deaths plus $1.3 billion in injuries). It is important to note that this total does not factor in many of the indirect costs highlighted previously.
THE OVERALL ECONOMIC IMPACT OF FIRE
No matter how it is examined, the annual direct and indirect costs associated with firefighter injuries total billions of dollars. These estimates confirm that residential fires are a major problem in the United States and have a tremendous negative effect on society. In fact, combined losses from all natural disasters – hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes – represent just a fraction of the losses from fires. This makes fire safety initiatives by both homeowners and homebuilders key to reducing overall death, injury and property loss.
A NEW SOLUTION
Many devices can be used in the home to reduce the effects associated with electrical and other types of residential fires. While functioning smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and emergency safety ladders increase a family’s chances of escaping injury from an electrical fire, other potential life-saving technology, such as arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), can actually help to prevent fires from occurring in the first place.
AFCIs are the next generation in circuit breaker technology and provide a higher level of protection by shutting off the electrical circuit before an actual fire results. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) listed AFCIs as one of the many devices that can be used to prevent burns and fire-related injuries.7 However, the 2008 National Electrical Code is considering expanding its requirements for AFCIs, with the potential to make homes a lot safer. In fact, experts from the CPSC estimate that AFCI protection in circuit breakers could have prevented 50 percent or more of the fires caused by problems in the electrical system.4
The costs to homeowners to have builders add additional protection to the home – in the form of AFCIs – is insignificant when compared to the risk of death and injury caused by electrical fires. According to the CPSC, the average professionally installed cost differential between an AFCI and a standard circuit breaker is between $15 and $20. With the average number of circuits requiring AFCIs being 12, this equates to an approximate cost increase of $180 to the homeowner, or .093% of the national average home cost.8 This cost is much less than some “non-safety related” upgrades that are typical in a new home. Existing homes may also be retrofitted with AFCIs at a reasonable cost, and this step should be strongly considered as homeowners remodel their current electrical system.
Despite the best efforts and safety focus of manufacturers, installers and inspectors, various safety and governmental agencies have confirmed the devastating impact residential fires have on homeowners and firefighters. Each year, approximately 68,000 fires caused by problems in a residential electrical system result in thousands of injuries and billions of dollars in overall economic impact. This heavy toll on human life and property provides a clear indication of the need for homeowners to properly protect their home. The key step to decreasing the annual impact of electrical fires begins with the homebuilding process. It is vital that builders, electrical contractors, electrical inspectors and anyone with knowledge of the available solutions who are involved in residential construction recognize the devastating impact on human life and educate the home buyer on the potential life-saving tools that are available. Saving a human life or preventing injury or property loss is well worth the minimal cost of additional electrical fire protection in the home.
1 On the Safety Circuit: A Fact sheet on Home Electrical Fire Prevention. United States Fire Administration, 2006.
2 Firefighter Injuries. Topical Fire Research Series, Volume 2, Issue 1, June 2001. United States Fire Administration.
3 A Profile of Fire in the United States, 1992-2001, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Thirteenth Edition, October 2004.
4 Economic Considerations – AFCI Replacements. Memorandum. United States Consumer Products Safety Commission, March 2003.
5 Firefighter Fatalities in the United States – 2005. Fire Analysis and Research Division. National Fire Protection Association, June 2006.
6 The Economic Consequences of Firefighter Injuries and Their Prevention. Final Report developed by TriData Corporation for the United States Department of Commerce, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2004.
7 Healthy Homes Issues: Injury Hazards, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control, Version 3. March 2006.
8 Arc Fault Protection: Using Advanced Technology to Reduce Electrical Fires. National Electrical Manufacturers Association, 2006.
|Posted on April 3, 2015 at 10:40 AM|
It’s unfortunate that every night we turn on the local news we are confronted with the rising number of burglaries. Using a common-sense approach to home defense can improve security and provide increased protection for your family and possessions.
Burglars have one main goal: Don’t get caught. To avoid detection, stay in the shadows. Security lighting can ruin a burglar’s day.
While burglaries do take place during the day, night time is still the best cover. When looking to make your house less targetable, one of the easiest solutions is lighting, both indoor and outdoor. If you make it appear that someone is home, burglars are more likely to pass by without a second glance. Shedding light outside the house is also a deterrent.
Indoor Home Security Lighting
Inside, establish a routine and stick with it. Some burglars will case a target to pinpoint vulnerabilities, such as the occupants going out of town. A timer can disguise your absence. Set the lights to turn on at a certain time in the morning and off at a set time at night. Make sure to turn on more than just one light. Intruders see only one light almost as if it’s a homing beacon for absence. If you use several lights with timers it will be harder for a burglar to tell when you’re gone, whether you’re on a trip, or if you are just working late. It’s also beneficial to use timers even when you are at home. This will maintain a routine and could possibly cut down on energy use.
Outdoor Home Security Lighting
Outdoors, it’s all about visibility. The area immediately outside of your home is the first line of defense. Yard lights (both front and back) are great, but solar lights are probably too dim to do much in the way of security. 120-volt lights are better, and should be placed at strategic points such as entries, above garage doors, and walkways. Exterior lighting needs to bright enough for you to see 100-feet and it helps if you can identify colors. Good lighting is definitely a deterrent to criminals because they don’t want to be seen or identified. Any hiding spots, like clusters of trees or freestanding structures, should also be well-lit. If you’re concerned about efficiency, most lights can be hooked up to motion detectors so they only turn on when needed.
Let’s recap residential security lighting:
1. Use interior light timers to establish a pattern of occupancy
2. Exterior lighting should allow 100- feet of visibility
3. Use good lighting along the pathway and at your door
4. Use light timers or photo-cells to turn on/off lights automatically
5. Use infra-red motion sensor lights on the rear of single family homes
Researching and implementing effective security lighting for your home will provide increased protection and peace of mind. Practical consumers know the importance of checking reviews, warranties and return policies before making a purchase. For more information and ideas on security lighting, contact Northern Electric & Automation Today.
|Posted on April 3, 2015 at 10:30 AM|
If you’ve got power strips all over your home and you think you’re protected, you may want to think again! If lighting strikes near your home, a surge of electricity can travel right through the wiring of your home— this wave of electricity can do some serious damage. It can permanently disable your most expensive home appliances, including your washers, dryers, refrigerators, televisions and computers.
Power Surges in Massachusetts and New Hampshire
Power surges usually only last a few seconds or less, and are for the most part, harmless. But power strikes caused by downed power lines or even lighting strikes can be absolutely devastating, sending thousands upon thousands of volts throughout your home. A surge like this can result from a simple change in electricity from a nearby factory or the cycling of your appliances.
Why You Need Whole House Surge Protection in Your Home or Business
Your expensive electrical appliances are all too valuable to risk losing them to the devastating effects of a power surge. While major surges can start a fire, just a minor surge can do damage that cannot be fixed. If you have a whole house surge protector installed, you can bet that your risks of damage will be significantly reduced, even when you’re on vacation.
Installing whole house surge protection in your home will not only offer you peace of mind, but you can actually add value to your home with this new addition to your property.
That’s why Northern Electric & Automation, LLC offers complete power surge protection for your entire home or business. It’s completely reliable and affordable for nearly any budget. Contact us today for a quote.