Monthly Archives: January 2018

Best Light Bulbs for Fixtures Inside & Outside Your Norwalk, CT Home; LED, Incandescent & More

Lighting is a huge part of your home in terms of the overall ambiance and practicality. Not only do the light bulbs bring light to a room but they are responsible for some of the energy usage. More and more people are concerned about waste and energy use and want to do their part to make good choices. They also want to get the amount of light they expect as well as have a good long lasting light bulb. Light bulbs are not treated equally and there are many bulbs to choose from that they each have their own pros and cons.

Sentry Electric Lists Different Light Bulbs & What Kind Might Be Best to Use in Your Home

Incandescent Light Bulbs: When you go to the store and look for a bulb you will be assaulted by the options. When you look at the pricing you are going to see a wide range as well. The bulbs that cost less are often the incandescent bulbs. They are a good option if you want to have a nice light that is easy on the eyes. They are also the most common light bulbs sold but are not the best for energy efficiency. They tend to last about 700 hours and can be used in any standard light.
Halogen Light Bulbs: Do you have those recessed can lights that are set back in the ceiling? These are the types of lights that tend to be filled with a halogen bulb. The halogen bulb gives off light that is most like the natural light outside. They offer a more direct light and can also be used under cabinets. One thing about a halogen light is that they heat up more than an incandescent light but will last a bit longer. The bulb will cost a bit more but it is a great choice when going for a bit more efficiency.
Fluorescent Light Bulbs: These are the bulbs that are often used in an office setting. They can also be found in areas that you want to light a large space such as well as utility areas like garages, laundry rooms and closets. They tend to give off a very bright and harsh light but there are some variations in colors. The most common type of fluorescent bulb is the long tubes that you see in commercial buildings. Although the light they give off can be a bit bright and harsh they are a great option for businesses and even for dark rooms like basements. The offer the most light for a bulb.
CFL Light Bulbs: Have you noticed the bulbs that look like a skinny fluorescent bulb has been twirled up? These are what is called a CFL bulb. These bulbs are a wonderful option and many people are switching to them for many reasons. One is that they use way less energy and they last nearly 10 times longer than a standard bulb. You don’t have to switch them out as often and you can even see a decrease on your energy bill. You need to be prepared to spend more money to replace your bulbs because they cost more.
LED Light Bulbs: LED light bulbs can save you money! They are roughly 80% more energy efficient than other light bulbs and they also produce far less heat than many types including CFLs and incandescent light bulbs. Upgrading to LED lighting means you won’t have to cool down rooms in summer that your light bulbs are heating up. LED replacement bulbs are durable and environmentally friendly. LED bulbs outlast the competition lasting for up to 11 years. And when they do finally stop working, you can recycle them.

Lighting Constulations, Electrical Wiring & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

Sentry Electric offer lighting and electrical wiring services to replace or install new light fixtures in your home. Contact us today!

Does a Refrigerator, Microwave or Washing Machine Need a Dedicated Electrical Circuit in Darien, CT?

Does your home suffer from frequent tripped circuits? Or perhaps your lights will dim for no apparent reason. These are signs that you may want to add dedicated circuits to your home in order to accommodate your current electrical needs. Certain electronic features by code require dedicated circuits. However, as we bring more devices and modern electronics into our home, we may find the need for more dedicated circuits. Sentry Electric will share what devices need dedicated circuits, and what you may want to consider adding if you have these electronic features in your home.

Purpose of Dedicated Circuits

The individual circuits or wires are designed to only handle a certain amount of electrical draw. When more energy is required from various appliances or other electrical equipment, the devices can cause overload. When overloads occur, it trips the breaker which needs to be reset. Not every major appliance or electrical device requires their own dedicated circuit. However, National Electrical Code does require a dedicated circuit for the following:
• Air Conditioning, Heating and Ventilation Equipment
• Refrigerator and Freezer Combinations or Singles
• Ovens, Stove or Cook Tops
• Dishwashers, Laundry Washing and Drying Machines
Consideration for Add-On Dedicated Circuits

What Other Appliances Can Benefit from a Dedicated Circuit

The above electrical equipment by code requires its own dedicated circuit. For those who know their home meets these requirements, yet it still suffers from frequent overloads, there are some other items in your home you may want to consider adding a dedicated circuit for. Below are some items or equipment you may want to assign an individual circuit.
• Toasters or Microwaves
• Hair Dryers
• Garbage Disposals
• Window Air Conditioners or Space Heaters
• Vacuums or other high powder Cleaning Equipment
• Water Heaters, Wells or Water Pumps, or Sump Pumps
• Garage Door Openers or Power Tools
• Pools, Hot Tubs, or Saunas
• Home Office Equipment
• High Power Appliances
This is a basic list of items that you can install a dedicated circuit for. However, don’t feel limited. An entertainment center can also benefit from a dedicated circuit, along with other high powered item and electronics.

How to Fix an Overloaded Circuit

If you have installed dedicated circuits for most all of your home electrical needs and you still are getting overloads, then check the electrical panel. If you’ve done upgrades to your home electrical system, make sure you upgraded your electrical panel as well. Most electricians will advise you if you electrical panel is adequate enough for the new circuits or if you need to upgrade the panel. However, in case the panel was overlooked, ask an electrician to inspect your panel and see if it meets the new power requirements.

Electrical Wiring & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

If your home suffers from frequent overloads, do an inventory of all your electronic devices and determine if your home will benefit from adding dedicated circuits in your home. Adding circuits requires an electrician to follow all proper codes and that the proper wiring is used for the new power needs. Additionally, an electrician can help determine which electronics would benefit most from a dedicated circuit and where. If you need additional circuits installed in your home, contact Sentry Electric.

When to Upgrade Home Electrical Wiring in Your New Canaan, CT House; Aluminum Wires & More

There are times when a home wiring systems becomes outdated or no longer efficient for your power needs. Most commonly, in homes 40 years older or more, rewiring or updating your home’s electrical system becomes rather essential. For those who think their home is fine and doesn’t need any updating, Sentry Electric will share some signs that you may want to consider rewiring your home.

Old House Electrical Wiring

One of the main concerns of old wiring is safety. Most electrical related house fires are higher in older homes. The same wiring methods were used from the 20th century up to homes that were built 35 to 40 years ago. Electrical wiring codes and methods have improved greatly over the years and many old homes do not have these more modern wiring systems. Some other concerns when it comes to older homes is the deterioration of insulation and other materials which increase the risks of electrical fires. If you live in an older home and you’re not sure if the wiring system needs to be upgraded, here are some signs to watch for.
• Frequent breaker trips or fuse blow outs.
• Flickering or dimming lights when on.
• Odd tingling sensations when touching appliances.
• Regular burning smells when appliances or electrical devices are on.
• Outlets will be discolored, worn, or sparks are frequently seen.
• Two prong outlets are found in the home instead of the three prong outlets.
• No GFCI in kitchens, bathrooms, or laundry rooms.

Aluminum Wiring in Old Homes

Another sign that your home may have older wiring or poor, cheap wiring is aluminum wiring. Modern or standard wiring uses copper. Many homes built in the 60s or 70s were installed with aluminum wiring. At the time they posed no issues. However, over time aluminum wiring has proven to be hazardous. Aluminum wiring is prone to overheating which eventually leads to fires. Copper wiring is much more stable which is why it is used for electrical wiring today.

Updating Electrical Panel & Wiring for Increased Electrical Demand & Repairing Damage

Both old and modern homes may not have enough amps for your electrical needs. Most homes EW wired with 200 amps which meet standard electrical needs. However as technology evolves and grows, more devices are brought into our homes which require more power. At a certain point the standard 200 amps worth of power doesn’t meet the household’s needs. Frequent power or breaker trips or shortages are a sign that you don’t have enough amps. Another problem even modern homes can be a victim of is pests. Rodents often chew through home wiring systems and leave the inner wires exposed which can lead to fire hazards. If your home has had a recent rodent, squirrel, or other invasive wildlife problem where your home’s electrical system could have become compromised, it would be wise to have the home wiring inspected.

Electrical Wiring & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

Before you jump into a major rewiring project you can have your home’s electrical system inspected first. This way you can properly determine your home electrical needs. If you plan on doing an upgrade to your home electrical system, consider the future and make sure you will have enough power for future needs. If you need your home’s electrical systems upgraded, contact Sentry Electric we can help repair, inspect, and replace your home wiring systems.

How to Organize Electrical Cords, Wires & Cables in Greenwich, CT Behind Desk or TV, Storage & More

Most people have a plethora of electronic equipment around the home. The living area where the entertainment center is located, for example, often houses a number of devices from TV, cable or satellite dish network, sound system, gaming network, blue ray or DVD player and other such devices is just one area. Another example is the work area, consisting of the desktop computer, laptop, printers and other such accessories. Charging stations for phones, tablets and other gadgets is also common. No matter the electronic stations you have around your home, the cords accumulating can be quite the eyesore and the tangled mess can be a nuisance to sift through when you need to replace or remove the cord in question. Instead of dealing with the chaos, organize the mess with the provided tips and suggestions we at Sentry Electric have provided below.

How to Keep Electrical Wires, Cords & Cables Organized

1) Foam Pipe. Conceal the unsightly mess of cords with foam pipe insulation or the noodle for the pool. To help secure and conceal loose cords simply cut the appropriate size slice and slide the cords inside.
2) Paper Binder Clips. Another ideal way to keep cords from slipping into the abyss is paper binder clips. You can easily locate and plug in your devices without fishing for the correct cord by labeling them and clipping them out of the way.
3) Extra Cord Storage. You can never have too many extra cords according to the variety of uses. The drawer can quickly become the source that gets avoided at all costs when it comes to storing them. Fold up the cords and secure them in the tubes of upcycle toilet paper or paper towel cardboard rolls.
4) Peg Boards. To organize the electrical cords and manage the additional related paraphernalia, invest in peg boards. They are simple to use and see when you need something.
5) Label Plugs at the Outlet Center. You can write what each plug is for on small sticker labels, or bread tabs in order to make it easier to retrieve the correct cord when the need for unplugging something arises. ID Pilot Identification Labels are pictured with a device and are the perfect size that sticks to the plug for your convenience if you want a little more organization.
6) DIY Wraps. The excess cord can be cumbersome to deal with when it comes to lengthy headphone sets. A solder wick spool, for example can help manage the extra length on cords with a creative and convenient upcycled spool to wrap your cords can be handy.
7) Fasten Cords Together. To eliminate tangling and better concealment the cords that drape down together can be tied and secured together. Available at most office supply stores are the Velcro ties for convenience. Zip ties and bread ties work well too.
8) DIY Charging Stations. Create a separate recharging station for handheld devices. Select a durable box to house your devices; show boxes, plastic storing boxes, or wooden boxes if you are handy. Simply cut quarter size holes out the bottom and plug them into a power wand so you can kill the power at a flip of a switch to avoid using unnecessary power.

Electrical Wiring & More in Greenwich, New Canaan, Darien, Norwalk, Westport, Southbury, Stamford, CT & Fairfield County, Connecticut

A professional can help you organize as well as audit the power supply coming into your electrical devices. Call the experts of Sentry Electric for assistance!