Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Protect Yourself and Your Devices from a Power Surge

Did you know that power strips do not provide surge protection? It’s a common electrical misconception that needs to be straightened out. It’s important to rely on the proper devices for protection so you and your devices can stay out of harm’s way.

What is a Power Surge?
It’s simply what it’s name implies: a sudden and unwanted increase, or surge, in voltage that can damage or destroy any sensitive electronic devices you may have in your home or business.

What Causes Them?
According to The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), “60-80% of surges are created within a facility, such as when large appliances like air conditioners, turn on and off.” However, this is not the only source. Surges can be caused by electric utility companies during power grid switching and lastly, when lightning strikes.

How Can You Protect Yourself?
Point-of-use surge protection devices are your best bet. Keep in mind that they only protect the items that are plugged directly into them. These devices do not suppress electrical surges, but they do divert the surge to ground. When shopping for a surge protector, make sure to look for ones that come equipped with a light or audible alarm to let you know when they need to be replaced.

At GEN3 Electric, we offer a variety of surge protection devices to keep your home safe. Give us a call today at 215-512-4102 to learn more!

Friday, May 15, 2015

How To Choose The Right Light Bulbs

Have you heard that President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2004 which required all light bulbs to use 30% less energy by 2014? This is the reason you can no longer purchase incandescent bulbs in home improvement stores, but we think it’s for the better! So, which bulb will work best in your home? Find out below:

Incandescent Bulbs
The average price for an incandescent bulb is $1.25, not much if you ask us. The problem with this type of bulb is that it normally won’t even last for a year and can cost upwards of $5 per bulb in annual energy costs. Incandescents produce heat and light in every direction and loses up to 50% of the light before it exits a fixture. It is estimated that in 2015, more efficient options could save consumers up to $6 billion.

Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Coming in at an average price of $3.50 per bulb, this fills the middle gap between incandescents and LEDs. These bulbs can last up to 9 years and only cost around $1.20 in annual energy costs. They produce 75% less heat than incandescents and can save you around 75% on energy bills. CFLs do contain mercury so proper disposal is required.

Light-Emitting Diode Bulbs
These bulbs may “break the bank” coming in at around $8.00 per bulb. The good news is they will last at least 22 years, so you’ll get your moneys worth. Their average annual energy cost is only $1 and they can save you up to 85% on your energy bills. They contain no hazardous materials and use diodes rather than heat to produce light.

Still not sure which type of bulb is the best choice for your home? Give the expert electricians at GEN3 Electric a call today. We’ll gladly walk you through the pros and cons of each option and provide you with the best possible solution.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The 411 On Outlets

Outlets come in all shapes and sizes. You’ve probably seen a variety in your everyday travels or even in your own home, but why do they look different? In most cases, the different shapes, or the amount of “holes” are there for a reason. Find out about some of the common outlet types and functions below:

Two-Pronged: the two-pronged receptacle is among the most basic types of outlets. They only have two holes and they are designed to provide electricity to plugged in appliances.

Grounded Receptacle: this is your standard three-prong outlet. The third, or ground, prong helps reduce the risk of electrical and protects your devices from damage.

Tamper-Resistant: ever notice a tiny “TR” on an outlet? These come equipped with a built-in system that prevents objects from being inserted into the outlet unless equal pressure from both sides is applied - as is the case with a plug.

Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter: you find these outlets located near sources of water. They prevent electrical shock by shutting off quickly if the power flowing into the circuit differs from the power returning.

USB Receptacle: an increase in “smart technology” called for a change in outlets. USB receptacles provide permanent Universal Serial Bus connection sources. So you can plug your smartphone, or any other USB device, charger directly into them.

We want to remind you to always have outlets installed by a licensed electrician. Contact GEN3 Electric today to find out more about outlets and electrical safety - we’re waiting to hear from you!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Control Your LED Bulbs With Siri

It was only a matter of time before we could start controlling things via Siri. General Electric (GE) has announced plans that will allow its LED lights to be controlled by Apple’s HomeKit software. What does this mean? That’s right - you’ll be able to control your lights with Siri. As if she wasn’t helpful enough.

With plenty of smart home controls out there, Apple and GE have joined forces to introduce another awesome feature. Not only will you able to turn your lights on and off, the bulbs will allow users to align lighting with their sleep cycles. They’ll produce blue tones in the morning and amber colors at night. Pretty cool, right?

What’s more? You’ll be able to control several LED units at the same time and you’ll also have the option to pair your light bulbs with ans iOS device.

At GEN3 Electric, we’re all about staying current with the times. We’re eager to see the integration rolled out, but if you’re interested in smart lighting controls in the meantime you know who to call!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What Are Your Neighbors Saying About GEN3?

From old buildings to brand new construction, our licensed technicians are trained, certified and current on all electrical standards, ready to solve the myriad of residential electrical problems. At GEN3 Electric we feel that knowledge is power, literally and figuratively! So before you hire your next electrician, consider what some of our recent customers have said about our work - it may change your decision!

“Had 2 fans installed by Dave and his team. Fast, professional, clean. Would def recommend for future work.”

- Abby W.

“Very good professional work. Done in a timely manner, cleaned up at the end of the job each time. Jose and Kevin were wonderful to work with, polite, friendly and incredibly helpful. The only thing I would have liked to improve on was receiving an invoice email after the job was complete. I was told it would come pretty quickly but have been waiting a few weeks.”

- Sarah M.

“Dave C and the whole GEN3 team were very professional and, most importantly, willing to communicate about the work to be done. The consulted with me about short- and long-term approaches to several electrical needs. Nice to meet a contractor that considers the needs of their clients and is willing to hear the customer's suggestions - not to mention be patient when asked a lot of dumb questions! Highly recommend GEN3 and Dave C. Thanks!”

- Douglas B.

We’re ready to take care of any and all of your electrical needs in the Philadelphia area so give us a call today at 215-512-4102 to schedule an appointment!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Knob and Tube Wiring: Is Your Home Safe?

Do you know what kind of wiring was used in the building of your home? Chances are you don’t, but if you know how old your house is it’s not too difficult to figure out. Knob and tube wiring is known as the earliest form of residential wiring and if it’s still being used in your home today, it can be a serious hazard.

What is Knob and Tube?
This early form of residential wiring consists of a cloth-covered wire and a neutral wire, that run parallel to each other. To secure the wires to the framing of your house, ceramic knobs are used and ceramic tubes are used where wires cross or penetrate framing.

Why is it Dangerous?
As with most things in life, when knob and tube wiring grows old it tends to break down. This type of wiring cannot be grounded or spliced into a grounded circuit. What does this mean? It means that its connections can melt if too much current flows through them which can lead to an electrical fire. Building insulation can also cause knob and tube wiring to overheat, so if you still have it in your home it’s time for an upgrade.

At GEN3 Electric, our highly skilled electricians can complete every electrical service or installation you need. From home rewiring to electrical service upgrades and knob and tube replacement, we’ve got you covered! Give us a call at 215-512-4102 today to get your home the electrical attention it needs!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Gen3 was at the Delaware County Job Fair!

Delaware County Job Fair, Philadelphia electricians, delaware county electricians, employment

Gen3 enjoyed meeting future employees at the Delaware County Job Fair on Wednesday.
We are always looking for new talent to join our growing team of professionals.
Many of our current employees live in Delaware County and lots of our customers do too.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Smart Kitchens Are Taking Over

Smartphones and smart lighting solutions have made a giant impact on our lives, but now the smart kitchen is taking over. What do we mean by smart kitchen? See below to find out:

With whole bunch of foodie-friendly gadgets hitting the market, you may never have to step foot in your kitchen to cook a meal again. Well, at least they will make cooking much easier.

Smart Thermometers
Ever leave something in the oven too long, or not long enough, because you weren’t sure what temperature the food was cooked to? If this has happened to you, or if you forgot about food that was in the oven because you went in the living room to catch a glimpse of the evening news, smart thermometers are the perfect solution. They will send notifications to your smartphone, including an alert for when the food is ready to come out.

The days of turning a dial to adjust the heat on your cooktop may be limited. New options are available, like Monogram Induction Cooktop from GE, come equipped with a Bluetooth-enabled temperature sensor that cycles the heat on and off to maintain a precise temperature.

We’re excited to see where the future of kitchen appliances takes us, but for now we want to remind you how important it is to check for frayed or damaged wires and hazardous outlets. If you notice any electrical problems while cooking, give GEN3 Electric a call right away and we’ll stop by to correct them.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How To Properly Power Your Window Air Conditioner

As soon as the first hot day rolls around you’re going to crank up the air conditioner and turn on your fans, right? Well, did you know that using an extension cord or plugging your air conditioner directly into a wall outlet can overload the circuit? Don’t end up with a blown fuse, a broken unit, or worse, a fire. Find out the proper way to power your window air conditioner below:

Some outlets, especially those installed in older homes, were not built to withstand the amount of electricity needed to power a window air conditioner. Think about it - old outlets could have possibly been built before air conditioners were even invented.

How can you test your outlets? If you can’t vacuum, cook or blow dry your hair and run the air conditioner at the same time your circuits are overloaded. What can you do if this is the case? Call GEN3 Electric right away and we’ll run a dedicated A/C line and install a new outlet so you can safely power your unit without overloading the circuit or using an extension cord.

At GEN3 Electric, we’ve been servicing the Philadelphia Metro area for over three generations so you know you can count on us! Give us a call today at 215-512-4102 to schedule an appointment today and remember to connect with us on Twitter for all of your electrical needs!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Wireless Lighting Controls

Smartphones, smart televisions, why not smart lighting controls? The days of wishing that you were able to turn your lights off and on from a remote control are over, it’s now a reality! Better yet, you can control them from your iPhone!

Smart Switches
We’ve all wanted to be able to watch television and turn the lights in the room on or off without getting up from the couch, right? This is now possible with smart switches. How does it work? The switches on your wall receive a signal from a handheld remote that allows you to control the lighting in the room.

Don’t like the idea of adding another remote to your collection? No problem. You can control smart switches from your smartphone instead. Learn more below:

It’s time remove yourself from the past and get up-to-date with the latest technology. GEN3 Electric can install smart switches throughout your home that can be controlled wirelessly or with a smartphone for your convenience. Give us a call today at 215-512-4102 to learn more and don’t forget to connect with us on Twitter!