Making Your Home More Eco-Friendly

It’s 2018 — there’s no reason your home should be using inefficient systems and appliances that put a bigger strain on our environment and cost you more money. Get with the times, and work to make your home more eco-friendly.

Switch Your Light Bulbs

Get rid of those old halogen bulbs around your home, and replace them with LED or CFL bulbs. These use a fraction of the energy that halogen bulbs do and last much longer, so you’ll be saving money and helping the environment multiple at the same time.

Install Energy-Efficient Windows

Some of the cool or warm air your HVAC system pumps into your home can escape through thin, inefficient windows. While it’s a big investment, replace your current windows with better insulated, energy-efficient ones.

Lay Down Some Carpet

Carpets and rugs can act as insulation to keep conditioned air inside your home and reduce energy waste. If you’re not keen on permanent carpets, throw down some area rugs around the house. Plus, adding them in the bedrooms can keep your feet toasty on cold mornings.

Open Your Blinds

Help out your heating system, and open your blinds when the sun is shining on your home during the day. This helps add more heat to your home and allows your heating system to cycle off sooner, saving energy.

Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances

Your fridge and washing machines may seem to be doing fine-enough jobs, but it doesn’t mean their working efficiently. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances that use a fraction of energy compared to older appliances.

Grow Houseplants

Houseplants are a great way to improve your home’s indoor air quality while adding a pretty, decorative touch around the house. They help suck the harmful particles out of the air and pump fresh oxygen back into your home. Clean air makes for a clean home!

 

For help making the electrical components of your home more eco-friendly, trust the experts at TFC Electric. Since 1994, we have been serving Suffolk County with any and all electrical needs. Call us today at 631-589-2800 for more information.

Electrical Safety During a Storm

When the forecast is promising rough weather, you need to start thinking about how you’re going to keep your family safe (and entertained) while the rain and winds rage on outside your home. While the entertainment can likely be covered with a good movie cue, safety is a whole other story.

Make sure your family follows these electrical safety tips during a storm!

Stay Inside

This may sound extremely simple and easy — it is — but you’d be surprised at how many people go outside during a storm to “look at the lightning because it’s so pretty.” Big mistake! Lighting could easily strike and electrocute you, so just watch lighting storms from inside through a window.

This also goes for your animals! Make sure you bring them inside so they’re safe and not terrified during the storm.

Don’t Plug in a Portable Generator

Portable generators require special wiring and/or transfer switches to safely work, so unless you have previously had a licensed electrician prepare your home to allow for a portable generator, you shouldn’t just plug it into any home outlet.

Without the right transfer switch, the generator could create a big risk of electrocution.

Don’t Run a Generator Inside

Portable generators should only be operated outside where there is proper air ventilation, so don’t try to run them in your garage or inside your home. If you have the proper transfer switch, run your generator outside, under a canopy structure to prevent it from getting wet.

Stay Out of Flooded Areas

If heavy rains have caused your basement to flood, even just a little bit, don’t go in the water. Outlets, plugs, or other appliances could have electrically charged the water, so one step into it could electrocute you.

Stay Away from Power Lines

Even if there’s a power outage during or after the storm, don’t assume downed power lines are dead. Report down lines to your utility company, and stay at least 10 feet away from them until a utility worker has inspected them.

With 24 years of experience, TFC Electric Inc. can help you keep all the members of your family safe from electrical harm. Since 1994, we have been serving Suffolk County with any and all electrical needs. Call us today at 631-589-2800 for more information.

Why are My Outlets Sparking?

Have you ever gone to plug something in and, the second the plug touches the outlet, you see sparks go flying? Maybe this happens even when you pull the plug out for the outlet? This usually prompts many people to simply switch what outlet they’re using, but that doesn’t make the reason the original outlet is sparking.

Since this can signal potential fire hazards, you should find out exactly why your outlets are sparking.

Normal Electricity Flow

Most homes have electricity that runs along circuits from a main power grid. When you plug something in, electricity rushes to that outlet and can create a spark due to the current speed and heat. This is normal, so you shouldn’t worry if it only happens on occasion.

However, if the outlet sparks every time you plug something into it, you probably have a more serious issue on your hands.

Old Circuits

If it’s been a while since you updated your home’s electric work, your outlets could be too worn down and old to handle the electricity needed to power a device or appliance, causing it to spark when you try to plug something into it.

Water-Exposure

If your outlets are exposed to water or high moisture in the air, the circuit will spark. If you have ground fault circuit interrupter outlets, they will cut the power going to that outlet so a fire doesn’t start.

Short Circuits

Insulation covers the wires in your electrical work, and if too much heat builds up in an outlet, that insulation can get melted. If this occurs, any electrical connection on the exposed wire can cause a big spark and risk a fire. This issue should be looked at by a professional electrician to prevent any dangerous situation.

Poor Repair Work

If you try to perform electrical work yourself (which you should never do) or you have some shoddy work done by someone who isn’t that well-trained, you could end up with more electrical problems than you had to begin with.

With 24 years of experience, TFC Electric Inc. can help you keep all the members of your family safe from electrical harm. Since 1994, we have been serving Suffolk County with any and all electrical needs. Call us today at 631-589-2800 for more information.

 

Keeping Your Pets Safe from Electrical Harm

If you’re like most people, your pets are part of the family — you potentially even treat them as well as your children. That’s why you give them heartworm medication and get them microchipped, whatever you can do to keep them safe. While that’s all good and well, have you taken the proper precautions to keep your pets safe from electrical harm?

Skip the Cheaper Equipment

You may not want to spend a lot of extra money on chargers or higher-end power strips, but they’re worth the extra level of safety they provide. Better quality cords don’t have as high a risk of sparking or overheating.

Keep Cords Away from Your Pets

Pets, especially young ones, will see anything in your home as a chew toy — including electrical cords. Bunch up your cords and place them behind your TV stand or couch, anywhere out of reach from your pets. This keeps your pet safe from electrocuting itself or getting tangled in the wires.

Store Electronics Away from Pets

Your standing fan may not seem dangerous once it’s turned off, but if your pet should bump into it and knock it over while it’s plugged in, he could manage to turn it on and potentially hurt himself.  If you’re not using an electronic or appliance, store it away where your pet can’t access it.

Have an Electricity-Free Zone

If your pet spends most of the day alone in the house while you’re at work, you should create an electricity-free zone so they stay completely out of trouble. Whether this means putting up baby gates to block off your living room or simply keeping your pet confined to a certain area of the house, make sure he’s able to wander without the risk of electrical harm.

Be Careful with Space Heaters

During the colder months, you’re not the only one who likes to feel toasty. Your pets may snuggle up against your space heater and can easily burn themselves in the process, so make sure yours is placed out of reach from your pets.

With 24 years of experience, TFC Electric Inc. can help you keep all the members of your family safe from electrical harm, including your fur babies. Since 1994, we have been serving Suffolk County with any and all electrical needs. Call us today at 631-589-2800 for more information.

Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Season

Long Island is no stranger to dealing with hurricanes — we’ve lived through Superstorm Sandy and have become stronger and wiser because of it. Part of becoming wiser means knowing how to ensure your family and your belongings are safe against the elements.

When it comes to preparing your home for hurricane season, here are a few tips we can offer.

Locate Your Utility Shut-Offs

Find exactly where your water, gas, and electricity shut off valves are and make a plan for how and when you’ll turn them off. If rising flood waters interfere with utility control, you’ll want to keep your home safe from further damage. Just make sure you wait to turn off your gas until your local officials give you the go-ahead.

Move or Tie Down Loose Objects

Move patio furniture and pool accessories inside your garage, tie down barbecues and propane tanks, and secure any larger items, such as awnings, so nothing flies away or crashes into the side of your home from heavy winds.

Board Up Windows and Doors

Harsh winds can shatter windows, and if you’re weathering the storm from inside your home, the last thing you need is glasses flying everywhere. If you don’t have weather shutters, fit and nail thick plywood over your windows to prevent them from being damaged.

Stock Up on Sandbags

While these won’t do much against raging flood waters, they can protect your home and garage against slight floods. Lay sandbags in front of your doorways — front, back, basement, and garage — to help stop stormwater from seeping into your home.

Clean Your Gutters

This is your gutters’ time to shine — but they can’t protect your home against hurricane rainfall if they’re filled with leaves and other debris. Clean them out at the start of hurricane season to ensure they can do their job and get water away from your home.

Install a Standby Generator

It’s bad enough to lose power during a hurricane, but it’s even worse to be left without it afterward, wondering when it’ll turn back on. A standby generator will keep your power on during a storm and well after, keeping your home and family safe and comfortable.

 

With 24 years of experience, TFC Electric Inc. can help your family with the perfect backup system. Since 1994, we have been serving Suffolk County with any and all electrical needs. Call us today at 631-589-2800 for more information or to schedule a service.

What to Do When Your Outlets Stop Working

There’s always a moment of fear when you go to charge your phone and nothing happens. A lot of the time you may instantly panic and assume that your charger doesn’t work or that your phone has stopped taking a charge.

However, the issue may lie within the outlet you’re using. When your outlets stop working, here’s what you should do.

Make Sure It’s Actually the Outlet

Sometimes, appliances just stop working. If something won’t power on when plugged in, try plugging it into a different outlet. If it still doesn’t work, the issue is probably the appliance; if it does, the issue is the first outlet.

Check for a Tripped GFCI Breaker

GFCI outlets are typically found in bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoors and have two small buttons labeled “reset” and “test.” If these outlets detect a change in electrical current, they trip and shut off the power to that outlet, pushing out the “reset” button.

If you notice that button is popped out, push it back in to turn the outlet back on.

Check the Room Switching

In some cases, the light switches in your rooms also control your outlets. While an appliance is still plugged in, flip the switch and see if it powers on. If it does, it means that the switch has to be on for the room’s outlets to work.

Check the Breaker Panel

Sometimes an entire circuit can be tripped, causing every outlet on that circuit to not have power. Take a look at your breaker panel, and check to see if you notice any breakers that are stuck between the “on” and “off” positions — these are ones that have been tripped.

To reset the circuit, simply switch the breaker to the “on” position.

Call an Electrician

Other methods to fixing outlets that have stopped working involve getting a bit more hands-on with your electrical connections, so it’s best to let a professional handle the problem from there.

 

TFC Electric has been providing Suffolk County with top-notch electric work for 24 years, so you can trust our electricians are equipped to safely outfit your home with outdoor electrical outlets. For more information, give us a call at 631-589-280.

 

Outdoor Electrical Outlet Safety Tips You Need to Know

Picture this: you’re enjoying the day on Fire Island, listening to music with friends when your speaker suddenly dies. You could easily plug it in to charge, but realize there are no outdoor outlets, so there goes your vibe. Now is probably the time you consider adding a few to your yard.

Having outdoor electrical outlets can provide a lot of convenience, but you need to know how to use them properly to keep you and your home safe.

Outdoor Electrical Outlet Safety Tips You Need to Know

They Need to Be a Specific Kind of Outlet

According to the National Electric Code, you can only have ground fault circuit interrupter outlets installed outdoors. These outlets have special sensors that will cut the power if they detect even small changes in electric currents, making them safer than other types of outlets.

You Shouldn’t Install Outdoor Electrical Outlets Yourself

No electric work should be a DIY project, but especially not outdoor electric work. You should always hire a professional electrician who will know the proper outlet covers to use and the proper ground to ensure your outlets and home are protected.

The Outlets Need to Be Covered

While the flip cover can protect the outlet when you’re not using it, it can’t protect it when you are. National Electric Code now requires all outdoor outlets to have weatherproof covers that will protect the outlets when they’re being used in the rain.

Don’t Use Extension Cords in the Rain

While those weatherproof covers protect the outlet from the elements, they can’t do much for extension cords. All it takes is a single drop of rain to hit the spot an electronic device is plugged into an extension cord for the wire to short circuit or for someone to get electrocuted.

You Need to Check Existing Outlets

If there are already some outdoor electrical outlets on your home, make sure they are up to code and safe to use. If you aren’t sure how to tell, ask your trusted electrician.

TFC Electric has been providing Suffolk County with top-notch electric work for 24 years, so you can trust our electricians are equipped to safely outfit your home with outdoor electrical outlets. For more information, give us a call at 631-589-280.

Making Your Home Safer with Outdoor Lighting

As a homeowner and parent, we’re sure safety is something pretty high on your priority list. And while that may mean adding safety gates around the house and locking your doors each night, have you considered the benefits of landscape lighting?

With the right lighting plan, you can ensure your home is safe and sound each and every night.

Light Up Your Pool

Countless accidents happen because of unlit pools. Make sure your pool has submersible fixtures so swimmers can see where they’re going and don’t hit a wall. It’s also essential to have the area around your pool well-lit so people can see when the ground stops and the pool starts.

Illuminate Paths

Think about all the times you’ve tried to walk through your room in the dark and knocked into things. Now imagine doing that outside on concrete — ouch! Use in-ground or hanging lights to make sure all your walkways are well lit. This will help prevent your family and friends from an unnecessary injury.

Brighten Entrances and Exits

A dark entryway gives an intruder a perfect opportunity to break into your home unnoticed. Simple pendant or wall-mounted lights can help brighten your front and back doors to ward off intruders. Then, you’ll always know who’s knocking at the door.

Add Floodlights to Open Spaces

Whether your goal is to allow your kids to play safely in your yard or you want to make sure intruders can’t sneakily make their way through your property, floodlights are a great way to illuminate large spaces. Their brightness will keep your yard safe for you and your family.

Make Them Motion-Sensored

Whatever outdoor lighting you decide to add to your home, you can increase the safety they provide by making the lights motion-sensored. This will help illuminate your driveway when you’re trying to carry groceries and could use a little more visibility and give you a heads up that someone is near your home.

TFC Electric can make your home safer with a variety of custom outdoor lighting options in Suffolk County. For more information, give us a call at 631-589-280.

Do I Need to Upgrade My Outlets?

Did you know that more than 70% of home fires are electrical fires? This is typically because homeowners don’t upgrade their electrical systems as the years roll on. At the very least, you should be replacing your outlets, since they are a common place for electrical fires to start. 


Must Know Things About Electrical Outlet Fires

The biggest issue with electrical fires is that you typically don’t discover there is one until it’s too late because fire and smoke will spread through your home inside the walls. 

An electrical fire cannot be put out by switching off the plugs — it requires a Class Current fire extinguisher. For your safety, you’re best off calling professional firefighters if your home catches fire from an electrical problem.


Signs that You Should Upgrade Your Electrical Outlets 

First off, if you upgrade your outlets, you need to get a professional’s help. An experienced electrical expert knows when to replace an old outlet with a new one as well as the type of wiring that was used to install the old electrical outlets and how to solve any electrical problem that may arise. Best of all, they’ll also have extensive knowledge on how to minimize the chances of an electrical outlet fire incidences in our homes.

The following are some of the indications that your house needs some electrical attention.

  • Loose sockets that can’t hold an electrical plug.
  • Black, brown, or discolored sockets or outlets.
  • Sparks coming from an outlet when you try to plug something in.
  • A burning smell or smoke.
  • Flickering lights or lights that stop working for no apparent reason.

    Contact TFC Electric today to receive excellent services for your home electrical outlet upgrading. Our services are affordable and technologically advanced.

How to Lower Your Electric Bill in 2018

Don’t you just hate when you get your utility bills every month and see the potentially crazy amount your electricity use is costing you? Well, lucky for you, there are a number of steps you can take to lower your electric bill and save yourself some money. 

1. Install rooftop solar


Installing solar panels can eliminate part or all of the electricity costs in your home. Installing a solar energy system incurs some upfront costs, but the long-term savings will be a lot greater.   

2. Get ENERGY STAR Appliances And HVAC System

ENERGY STAR-certified appliance consumes up to 25% less energy each month than standard appliances. Consider replacing your HVAC system with an ENERGY STAR version to lower your heating and cooling costs by as much as 20%.

3. Use Energy Efficient Products

Using energy efficient light bulbs and power strips along with low-flow shower heads can reduce your monthly energy consumption significantly. LED light bulbs use as much as 75% less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer — those energy savings can add up to a significant amount.

4. Insulating And Weatherizing Your Home

Sealing places with air leaks in your home can help reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool your home. Using caulk and weather stripping on door and window frames to weatherize your home can save you a lot on monthly energy costs. Making sure your floors, walls, attic and crawl spaces are properly insulated can also lower energy costs all year long.

5. Adjusting Daily Energy Use

Finding simple ways to reduce your daily energy usage in your home can save you a lot of money each month. Setting your thermostat at 68 degrees in the winter, turning off lights when you leave a room, and only running your dishwasher when it’s full are all ways to reduce your energy consumption.

If you are looking for effective ways to lower your energy costs, contact us. The licensed electricians at TFC Electric can do an energy assessment of your home, weatherize it and suggest ways to reduce your energy costs.