Why Does My Blow Dryer Smell Like It’s Burning?

When you’re going through your daily morning routine, do you ever notice something’s off with your blow dryer? A common problem many people experience with their dryer is a burning smell while using it. Since that’s never a scent you want to smell coming from any electrical device, you should get to the root of that issue right away.

Why Does My Blow Dryer Smell Like It’s Burning?

Dirty Lint Trap

On the back of every blow dryer is a lint trap over the air intake that keeps dust and hair out of the barrel of your dryer. However, over time, if you don’t clean the trap regularly, all that dust can clog up your dryer and restrict its airflow. If that happens, your hair dryer can give off a burning smell once you turn it on.

To fix this problem, you’ll need to clean the lint trap. The easiest way to do that is to take the lint cover off and use a toothbrush to rub the lint free.

If your dryer still smells like it’s burning, you may have to open the body to remove any hair that may have made its way past the filter.

Old Hair Dryer

If your blow dryer has been in your bathroom for a number of years, it won’t be as efficient and can draw more electricity from your outlets and overheat. That can cause your hair dryer to give off a burning smell. If that’s the case, you should replace your blow dryer.

Sometimes, the problem could be with your outlet itself. If there’s too much electricity going to the outlet or there’s a loose wire or connection, you could experience a burning smell. In that case, you should have the outlet looked at.

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 You Should Be Scared of Your Buzzing Outlet

Have you ever gone to plug in your phone charger and right before you stuck the prongs into the outlet, heard a slight buzzing coming from the outlet? If so, you’re not the only one. Buzzing outlets can be quite common — but that doesn’t mean you should just ignore them.

There are several reasons you should be concerned about buzzing outlets in your home.

What Causes Buzzing Outlets?

Connectivity Issues

Sometimes, if they’re more worn-out, the wiring connections in your outlets can come loose and cause the outlet to vibrate and make a buzzing sound. This is more common in older homes whose outlets have been in use for a while and haven’t been replaced or repaired over time.

If that’s the case, having your outlets professionally replaced may stop the buzzing.

Breaker Issues

If the breakers in your electrical system are sending too much or too little electricity to your outlets, the imbalance could cause your outlets to buzz. Unlike connectivity issues, breaker issues can’t be solved just at the outlet. You’ll likely need to have the breaker replaced entirely in order to rid your outlets of the annoying buzzing noise.

Polarity Issues

Your outlets can most likely suffer from polarity issues if they weren’t installed correctly to begin with. (This is common if you make electrical work a DIY project or hire a cheap, but shoddy electrician.) If your outlets have polarity issues, you’ll need to have a professional come to your home and fix them.

Why You Should Be Scared of Your Buzzing Outlet

No matter the root reason, buzzing outlets are always the result of improper electrical function. When your outlets aren’t working properly, they put you and your home at risk of electrocution, fires, and other dangerous situations. If you having buzzing outlets, you should have them looked at and repaired ASAP.

 

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.

 

Halloween Lighting Tips

Boo! Halloween is right around the corner! If you haven’t started decorating your home for the spooky holiday, luckily, you still have time — and one of the easiest ways to decorate is by adding some lights to your yard. To make sure you’re getting festive but also following the right safety precautions, here are a few Halloween lighting tips you should follow.

Light Your Pathways

You don’t want trick-or-treaters tripping over themselves because they can’t see where they’re going when they visit your home for candy.  If you don’t already have path lighting, buy a few pumpkin buckets and put portable led lights in them to line your walkways. Now you’re in the Halloween spirit and keeping guests safe.

Create Light-Up Mummies

Need a few more spooky patio decorations? Grab some mason jars and wrap white medical gauze around them. Glue on some googly eyes, and place electric tea light candles inside them so your mason jar mummies can glow atop a patio table.

Hang Eyeballs

We don’t mean real eyeballs, don’t worry. If you don’t want to get actual Halloween lights, take some holiday string lights and ping pong balls and turn your lights into creepy hanging eyes. Simple use permanent markers to draw eyes on the ping pong balls, cut a small hole into each one, and place them over a light.

Whipsy, Haunted Lights

If you have a few connecting lights in your yard, get some black cheesecloth or other whispy fabric, and place it over your lights to give them an eery appearance. Just make sure you don’t place the cloth directly onto any lightbulb, especially if it’s an incandescent bulb, since this can pose a fire hazard.

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.

Scary Ways You Could Electrocute Yourself

A major scare factor in horror movies and haunted houses is someone electrocuting themselves. While you know that electrocution is fake in the movies, it can become a reality if you’re not careful at home.

There are plenty of scary ways you could electrocute yourself just by doing everyday things.

Pulling Out a Cord from An Outlet

When you unplug your hairdryer or lamp, what are you grabbing? If you’re grabbing the actual plug, good. If you’re grabbing the cord and pulling that from the socket, you could easily electrocute yourself.

Using Electronics Why Frayed Wires

The rubber coating on the outside of your electronic cords is there for a reason. If the rubber has broken or worn away in some spots and the wires are frayed, using that appliance could cause electrocution. Either get the cords fixed or toss the electronics altogether.

Touching Water While Handling Electronics

It may be tempting to grab at your phone to answer a call while you’re washing your hands, but you’re smart enough to know that water and electricity do not mix. Keep electronic devices and appliances away from water when you’re using them to avoid getting shocked.

Putting Metal in the Toaster

We’ve all experienced the dilemma when your bread is stuck in the toaster, but don’t use a metal fork or knife to try to get it out. That’s a sure fire way to electrocute yourself. Instead, unplug the appliance and use a heat-safe utensil to get your toast out.

Keeping the Power on During Repairs

Even though all electrical work should be done by a professional, if you’re doing some DIY projects around your house you can easily electrocute yourself if you leave the power on. Always unplug your appliances or electronics before making any repairs.

 

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.

What is Vampire Electricity?

For centuries, folklore, fairy tales, and horror movies have taught us to be afraid of vampires because they’ll suck your blood or turn into a bat and fly madly around your home. In that regard, we have some good and bad news. You don’t have to be afraid of the Hollywood vampire — they’re not real. But you should be afraid of a different kind of vampire: the kind that sucks your electricity.

What is Vampire Electricity?

It has plenty of other names, but this term refers to the electricity that is wasted by appliances and gadgets that, although they’re turned off, still use energy. If that doesn’t scare you, this might: vampire electricity can sometimes account for 20% of your energy bill. Think about that — you’re paying for electricity you didn’t even use.

What are Electricity Vampires?

There are probably dozens of electricity vampires all over your home, and you don’t even realize it. Two huge ones are wall warts and bricks. Wall warts have big plug boxes, such as a phone charger, and bricks have large boxes between cords, often laptop chargers or TVs plugs. When left plugged in, these vampires constantly use energy.

Other Vampires Include:

  • Cable boxes
  • Video game consoles
  • Standby coffee machines
  • Appliances with standby lights or clocks.

How to Control Vampire Electricity

Unplug Your Devices

Does your phone charger really need to be plugged in when you’re not home? No, it doesn’t! Unplug chargers and other devices you don’t often use so they’re not using more energy and hiking up your utility bill.

Use Power Strips

Once you flip the switch to “off” power strips actually cut the power to appliances plugged into them. If you purchase smart power strips, they’ll automatically cut the power when they can tell a device isn’t being used.

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.

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.