Electrical

Brighten Your Home with Creative Lighting Options

Having tasteful lighting in your home is an absolute must if you want a warm, comfortable space. Finding the right lighting fixtures and where to put them is a breeze with professional help. Here are different lighting options you can use and combine to create a brag-worthy environment.

Spotlights

Spotlights are an easy way to light up a specific area or feature within the home. Many homeowners use spotlights to help light up their kitchen counters or to highlight a painting.

Floor Lamps

In addition to providing light, floor lamps can add to the design of a room or add a point of interest to an empty corner.

Sconces

Wall sconces are a great source of lighting for both inside and outside your home. With so many different styles, you are sure to fine one you like!

Ceiling Fans

Buying a ceiling fan with a light is another way to illuminate a room. Just make sure to use LED bulbs as they last longer and help save both energy and money.

Recessed Lighting

Thoughtfully placed recessed lighting can add subtle light to a room. This type of lighting can make a room feel bigger as it doesn’t take up any floor space while highlighting key features.

Statement Lighting

On the opposite end of the spectrum from recessed lighting is statement lighting. This is exactly how it sounds: big, bold lighting pieces that grab your attention when you walk into a room.

 

Lion Home Service can install any lights you need! Visit our website or call at 970-829-8222 to set up an appointment today.

Electrical

Can Your Fans Handle the Heat?

We haven’t beat the heat quite yet! So how are your ceiling fans holding up? With the wear and tear of everyday use, your fans may not be working as well as they used to. Knowing when to repair or replace your fans as they get old is essential to being an educated homeowner.

When to Get a Repair

Occasionally, your ceiling fan might need some maintenance. For example, if your fan isn’t turning on, there could be a problem with the wiring or the circuit breaker. Make sure always to hire an expert when dealing with any electrical issues. Malfunctioning speed settings, flickering lights, and broken pull cords are all common fixes.

When to Replace Your Fan

Sometimes, you may need to replace your ceiling fan completely. As an easy rule, every 10 years, you should get a new fan to keep them from getting worn out. If your ceiling fan is wobbling or making strange new noises, it’s time to call a professional to install a new one.

Whole-house Fans

If you’re looking for a way to eliminate ceiling fans, consider getting a whole-house fan. These products can make a home cooler and less humid while also reducing your energy bills. In addition, by installing a whole-house fan, you can take down individual ceiling fans without losing any of the benefits that they provided.

Lion Home Service can repair or replace your ceiling fans as well as install whole-house fans. Visit our website or give us a call at 970-829-8222 to set up an appointment today.

Electrical

Electrical Code Compliance in Your Home

Code compliance can be a complicated subject. Here at Lion Home Services, we are always up to date on all of the newest electrical codes both in Colorado and nationally. We know it is easy to get into high-level terminology when reading legal code documents, so here are three of the most common electrical code violations we observe in the home.

Wrong Circuit Breaker

  • There are 3 types of circuit breakers
    • Standard
    • Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
    • Arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI)
  • Each of these types of breakers should be used in specific instances (ex: GFCI’s should be used with sockets around water such as those in the bathroom versus AFCI’s are better utilized in higher fire hazard areas such as living rooms)
  • Using the wrong circuit breaker can not only lead to the breaker not using energy as efficiently as it should but it can also lead to increased shock or fire hazard.

Old Wiring with New Devices

  • With some of the historic homes we see in Colorado, it is not uncommon to see outdated wiring used to support new home technology
  • Often times, these old wires simply cannot support the temperature created from the energy demanded from new devices
  • Continued fatigue on these connection can easily generate excessive heat, resulting in a fire

Grounding Issues

  • As you may know, all electrical must be grounded
  • Historically, it had been grounded in water pipes underground
  • As plastic has become increasingly more popular for pipes, metal rebar in the foundation is usually the best modern option
  • Ensuring your electric is properly grounded is key to sustainable electrical safety

 

If you have questions or concerns about whether your home is up to electrical code, Lion Home Service has your back. Just Visit our Website to set up an inspection appointment with one of our experts today.

Electrical

Keep your Family Safe with These Electrical Tips

Curious about common electrical behaviors that are putting your family at risk? Worry no more. In this article, we will address some of the most common electrical hazards we encounter in the home and outline how to avoid them.

Watch your Wattage

Avoid electrical overload by always ensuring that you are not surpassing the recommended wattage level on your appliances. To check wattage level on fixtures like lamps, look at the base of where the light bulb screws in and look for a sticker or writing that outlines the maximum bulb wattage you should be using.

Don’t Overload your Outlets

As tempting as it is, try and not overload your power sockets. Most frequently, people experience issues with shortages when they are trying to plug too many devices into one socket whether that be through an extension cord or power strip. This can also lead to fire hazard so make sure you are only plugging 1-2 devices into a socket at a time.

Unplug Unused Appliances

When appliances—especially large ones—are not in use, you can save energy and reduce fire hazard by simply unplugging them. We understand that this action is not always feasible as many times, appliances are in use. However, in cases where you will not be home, such as vacations, it is quick and easy to unplug before leaving.

Provide Proper Air Circulation

Air circulation is more of an issue for electronic devices than any other type of fixtures but improper circulation for these devices can cause serious home damage. Most specifically, appliances like computers, laptops and certain gaming consoles have been known to overheat. When these devices are fully charged or not in use, make sure to unplug the charger.

Protect Children from Hazards

To help prevent your children from experiencing electrical shock, there are a few key tips we would recommend. First and foremost, buy plastic plugs for all unused sockets. Second, invest in wire covers for areas like home offices or entertainment centers that have many wires to ensure that children cannot plug or unplug wires.

Lion Home Service is here to keep you and your family safe from electrical hazards. For more electrical safety tips and tricks, Visit our Website or Reserve an Appointment with one of our electrical experts today!

Electrical

Cold-weather power outages: what to do before, during and after

Most cold-season power failures happen when winter storms bring freezing rain, sleet, and high winds, damaging power lines and equipment. Without a steady supply of heat, not only are you impacted, but your home can suffer from dampness, damaging walls, floors and plumbing.

Plan ahead before the cold comes

  • Put together an emergency survival kit and an evacuation plan.
  • Stock your pantry with non-perishable food and bottled water. Don’t forget your pet’s food.
  • Take time for some pre-winter home maintenance.
  • If someone in your home relies on electric medical equipment, register with your local power company and community emergency program.
  • Have a secondary non-electric heater installed, like a fireplace, wood stove or generator. Have it maintained regularly, and store fuel safely. For oil or gas stoves, make sure shut-off valves are installed by a qualified service expert.

During a winter power outage

  • Before you take action, make sure the outage goes beyond your home. Check your breakers or fuses and the power lines to your house. If the lines are damaged or down, stay back and call your electric company.

  • Stay warm… On top of dressing in layers and huddling under extra blankets, hang your darker ones on the windows to draw in heat. Keep doors and windows closed, and use towels to block drafts around them. If necessary, move to your basement, which may be more insulated by the ground.
  • …but keep your food cold. Food can stay frozen 24 to 36 hours if the refrigerator/freezer door stays closed. Add snow and ice from outside if it starts to thaw. Always have a bag of ice cubes in the freezer in case you have to evacuate or when you’re out of town; if the cubes melt and refreeze while you’re away, the food in the freezer will probably be spoiled.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Have your fireplace and chimney cleaned before using. Never use gas generators, camping stoves or barbeques indoors; keep them in well ventilated areas and don’t use them for heating your home. Be aware of using space heaters.

  • Listen for updates. Listen to the news on a battery-powered or hand-cranked device. If you’re using a cellphone, choose texting over calling to keep phone lines free, or use your landline. Save 911 for emergencies.
  • Prevent additional damage. Unplug appliances and electronics to avoid a surge when the power comes back on; leave one lamp on so you know when the power comes back. If you have electric heat, keep all taps on a slow drip to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.

If you have to evacuate

  • Turn off the main breaker, circuit breaker panel or power supply box.
  • Turn off the water main and drain water from the system; open all taps, flush several times, open the drain valve in basement, and drain the hot water tank into the floor drain. If you have a gas heater, turn out the pilot light.
  • Unhook the washing machine hoses and drain.
  • Add a small amount of antifreeze to water left in toilet bowls and sink/tub traps.
  • Clear valuables off the basement floor.

When the power comes back

  • If a burst pipe has flooded your basement, don’t go in until you’re sure the power is off. If equipment is flooded, don’t use it until it’s been checked by a qualified service expert.
  • If you turned off the main power switch, make sure appliances and electronics are unplugged before you turn it back on to prevent power surge damage. Wait for the electrical system to stabilize before reconnecting; start with the heating system, then appliances.
  • Turn the water supply back on. Keep the taps on the lowest level of your home closed to allow air out from the upper taps.
  • Fill the hot water heater before you turn it on.
  • Help the house dry by warming it slightly above normal temperature for a few hours.
  • Check your food supplies for spoilage. If the power has been out for two or three days, your freezer may still be frozen depending on the outside temperature. If it’s been a lot longer, don’t open your fridge or freezer; you may have to dispose of the whole thing.
  • Replace the items you used from your emergency survival kits.

Give us a call at Lion Home Service and we are happy to do a FREE Home Safety Inspection! We serve Electrical service needs in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Windsor, Wellington, and surrounding areas

 

Electrical

12 Bad Habits That Could Burn Down Your House

It only takes 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a full-blown life-threatening fire. House fires are more common than you may realize, with potential fire starters like light bulbs, laptops, and lint traps hiding in plain sight throughout your home, disguised as harmless, everyday necessities. Are you guilty of one of these bad habits that could burn your house down? These careless mistakes can lead to dire consequences. Read on to find out.

Lingering Dryer Lint

We all know that emptying the lint screen increases your dryer’s efficiency, but did you know that lint is also flammable? Mixing excessive heat with lint buildup is a recipe for disaster. Clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct regularly, as well as the interior of the dryer frame, to clear away lint and clogs, and reduce the risk of fire.

Letting Your DEVICE Overheat

If you own a mobile phone, laptop or tablet, you know how hot it can get. When you leave your device on your bed, couch, rug, or other soft, flammable surface, you run the risk of restricting airflow through the cooling vents, which can cause your laptop to overheat and possibly catch fire. To prevent fires, keep your device on a desk or table instead.

 

Choosing the Wrong Wattage

If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “It’s probably OK to use this 60-watt bulb in a 40-watt socket,” you’re not alone. You are, however, putting your home at risk. Installing a light bulb with a wattage that is too high for a lamp or light fixture is a leading cause of electrical fires. Always check the light fixture’s maximum wattage, and never go over the recommended rating.

 

Using Too Many Extension Cords

Extension cords are meant to be a temporary response to a lack of electrical outlets, not a permanent solution. This is why: Connecting a large number of cords for a significant amount of time can cause an overload that leads to a short circuit—which could ignite a fire. If you need additional outlets, hire a qualified electrician to install them, and you’ll avoid this problem altogether.

Performing DIYs You’re Not Qualified to Do

Americans will spend about $200 billion this year fixing up their homes, and nearly a fifth of this expense will go toward DIY projects. But jobs involving electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC units should never be completed without a qualified professional, because gas leaks and electrical sparks resulting from improper installation are a common cause of house fires. Don’t put your home and your family at risk by attempting these dangerous DIYs on your own—hire a licensed professional instead.

Disregarding Dust

Believe it or not, built-up dust can be a fire hazard if it collects in and around electronics, electrical sockets, and even floor heaters. By vacuuming on a regular basis, especially behind your electronics, you’ll significantly reduce the likelihood that particles of dust will catch fire due to prolonged exposure to heat sources.

Ignoring Uninvited Guests

Mice and other rodents like to gnaw on electrical wires to control the length of their teeth. Over time, they can remove the sheathing, leaving the wires exposed. Unfortunately, the electric current that travels through the wire generates heat, and in the absence of sheathing this could lead to sparks caused by short circuits, which in turn could ignite the surrounding surfaces. If you suspect a rodent infestation, call a professional exterminator immediately.

Arranging Furniture Unwisely

If your furniture is too close to your wood stove or fireplace, it could spontaneously ignite. Pyrolysis, a chemical decomposition of a combustible item, occurs when an object (say, a sofa) is continually exposed to a heat source (a wood stove) and eventually dries out. This leading yet seldom-considered cause of structural fires does not require a direct flame; all it takes is heat and time for ignition to occur.

LEAVING CANDLES UNATTENDED

Candles add ambiance and aroma to any interior, but their soft glow can grow into a blaze far bigger than you planned for if left to burn unsupervised. While you’re away, Fido could knock the votive over, or a draft could cause the flame to flare up and ignite nearby flammable items. Always keep lit candles in sight and out of reach of pets, children, or flammables like drapes. Before leaving the room, use a snuffer to completely extinguish candles.

Smoking Indoors

Cigarettes, pipes, and other smoking materials sparked around 17,200 home fires a year; careless smoking practices indoors are all too often to blame. The embers of an improperly extinguished cigarette can interact with newspapers or other nearby flammable items and start a fire. While smoking in bed can cause nearby bedding to go up in flames, especially if the smoker accidentally dozes off while puffing. To avoid a visit from the fire department, only smoke outside, and be sure to pour water on cigarette ashes and butts before tossing them in the trash.

Ignoring Loose-Fitting Plugs

If no plug seems to stay put in one of your electrical outlets, it’s likely because the metal contact points in the receptacle have deteriorated and no longer allow for a secure connection. Continue plugging into the shoddy outlet and the missed connection could ignite a spark and cause a house fire as the current moves across air gaps, a phenomenon known as “arcing.” For peace of mind when plugging in, call an electrician to replace the at-risk receptacle right away.

Not Giving Space Heaters Space

The same space heaters that keep you toasty when the duvet alone doesn’t cut it are the culprit in 43 percent of home heating fires and 85 percent of home heating fatalities. When placed too close to other combustible items, those items can get too hot to handle—so hot in fact, that they can catch fire. Only use heaters that automatically shut off when knocked over, and park them no less than three feet from any item that can burn, be it clothing or bedding.

If you need help with an electrical repair or an electrical safety inspection, We serve For Collins and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with an expert electrician you can trust. 970-399-9940

 

 

 

Electrical

Why Electrical Work Is Never a DIY Job

Whether a wall socket is shorting out or you think your whole house is in need of rewiring, correcting the situation isn’t a task you should take on by yourself. In fact, even asking your usually competent friends or relatives to help is a bad idea. It’s best to call up an electrician to schedule an appointment so that the work will be handled in a safe and efficient manner.

Serious Dangers

In order to avoid a potential injury or fatality, hiring a professional is a necessity. Working with electricity is quite dangerous. Even if you think you have shut off the electrical flow to a particular fixture or area, you might be mistaken. By turning to the pros at Lion Home Service, you can trust that the work will be performed properly with the necessary safety precautions.

Faulty Fixes

Even if you do manage to perform the task at hand without sustaining any personal harm, you might complete the job incorrectly. A faulty electrical job doesn’t just mean that your kitchen light will fail to function. Improper electrical work could lead to devastating consequences such as a fire in your home. Professional electricians can complete the job in a manner that ensures accuracy and efficiency. Furthermore, electrical work must comply with your local building code. You probably don’t know what the current code in your vicinity requires or how to meet its standards.

Time and Money

You might think that attempting the work on your own will save you time and money, but you can actually waste more of both in the long term. If you waste time doing the job incorrectly or money buying components that are unnecessary or inadequate, you will still have to call in a professional to complete the job properly. The more effective solution is to simply hire a professional electrician from the start.

Lion Home Service in Fort Collins is available to help you with your full range of electrical issues and needs. You can also rely on us for heating and cooling installation, repair or maintenance, duct cleaning and sealing, hot water heater replacement, blown insulation, radon testing and drain repairs. Call us today to discuss your needs.

Electrical

What Is Recessed Lighting?

Recessed lighting is a term you often hear on home improvement or real estate shows. It’s any type of light installed directly in a surface. We usually see recessed lighting in ceilings, but they can also be in walls or the underside of cabinets.

The Components

There are three main parts of a recessed lighting system. First, there’s the housing. This is the main part of the fixture that contains all of the wiring elements. Second, there’s the trim. This part is visible, so there are design considerations to take into account. Finally, there’s the bulb.

Your Options

There are many different types of recessed lighting, and you’ll need to find ones that work well given your space. If you could use some help, the electricians at Lion Home Service in Fort Collins would be happy to offer our recommendations after checking out your layout, learning about your style preferences, and discussing the potential budget.

In terms of housing, you’ll need to use something appropriate and safe. For example, when insulation is present, you have to install a certain type of light so that overheating isn’t a concern. Also, outdoor lights need to be rated for wet locations. The positioning and thickness of housing are other important factors.

There are a variety of trims available. Baffles can soften things up and reduce glare, reflectors can direct light downward, and wall wash trims can send light to one side. If you think you’ll be making changes to the light’s direction, go for adjustable trims. Finally, lensed trims have covers that can protect interior components from moisture; these would be ideal for bathrooms or outdoor patios.

For bulbs, the new trend is to use LEDs because of their efficiency and brightness. At Lion Home Service, we can install these for you or present you with other options.

A Reputable Business

At Lion Home Service in Fort Collins, we’ve built our company from the ground up. We’re focused on keeping our customers satisfied and proud to offer discounts for seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. In addition to working with heating and cooling systems, we offer services related to electrical systems, radon mitigators, and water heaters. Give us a call today to schedule a service.

Electrical

3 Causes of Furnace Electrical Problems

Your furnace is a highly important piece of equipment. You rely on your home to keep you protected from the outside elements, and your furnace makes sure that everyone stays warm when temperatures dip low. The best time to get ahead of problems is before they become serious.

Electrical problems aren’t always as scary as they sound, especially when addressed early. There are three common reasons behind your furnace electrical problems. By identifying your problem, you can determine what action needs to be taken.

1. Clogged Filter

We understand. It can be scary to confront furnace problems. After all, the cost can range significantly depending on the problem. That’s why it’s best to start with the common, inexpensive options first.

When your filter gets clogged, dust and debris can ultimately end up in your blower motor, and this can lead to your fuse burning out. If your filter has gotten this dirty, it’s best to have a professional do the following:

  • Change the filter
  • Change the fuse
  • Clean the system

2. Issues with the Transformer

Larger homes or offices often have a furnace system that uses more than 120 volts. In this case, a transformer is needed to convert the voltage to run the necessary systems and to keep everything working properly. When things go wrong, this can cause the furnace to short circuit.

Here at Lion Home Service, our staff is skilled in professional furnace maintenance, and we’re here to apply the repairs needed to put your transformer issues behind you for the long-term.

3. Faulty Thermostat Control Wire

To protect your furnace from overheating, there’s a special fuse on your control board. If you have recently worked on yours, there’s a chance you could have accidentally caused a short that damaged this fuse.

Here for All Your Heating Needs

Whatever you’re facing in Fort Collins, the team at Lion Home Service is here to help. We specialize in:

  • Furnace repair
  • Heat pump repair
  • Heating repair
  • Heating system services

Now’s the best time to get on top furnace issues. Call to schedule today.

Electrical

When Should You Replace Your Smoke Detectors?

Most of us know that we need to replace the batteries in our smoke detectors when they run out of power. In fact, your home’s system likely won’t let you get out of this step since many of these systems are set up to go off when just one device’s battery starts running out of juice. But, did you know that you need to replace all of your smoke detector devices every 10 years? The reason for this is that the sensors start to wear down. Here are other reasons to shell out money for new detectors and stay safe.

Insurance Purposes

When you have a homeowner’s insurance policy or a rental policy in Fort Collins, Colorado, there’s likely a section that requires you to have operational, nonexpired smoke detectors installed in your home. Even if you have a policy that doesn’t feature this requirement, notify your insurance agent once you update your detectors. Doing so may result in you qualifying for a lower rate. It can also make the insurance process easier if you should experience a fire.

Abiding by Regulations

If you own a property that you’re renting out, then it’s likely a requirement that the house features working, nonexpired detectors. Check when the current ones were installed to make sure that you’re not inadvertently violating this regulation.

General Peace of Mind

Knowing that your home has working smoke detectors that will alert you if a fire should break out will give you peace of mind. You’ll feel better knowing that you and your family will be alerted promptly if this dangerous situation should occur. Confirm that there are detectors on every level of your house. You’ll also want one close to your bedroom. Often, fires start when people are asleep in their homes. Consider getting a system that’s interlinked. That way, if one is activated, the rest will go off, ensuring that you’re receiving an alert as soon as possible.

Staying Safe

Even fancy smoke detecting systems require device replacement every 10 years. Keep your home and family safe by following the 10-year guideline. For other tips about keeping your house safe, contact Lion Home Service today. We serve Fort Collins, CO, and the surrounding areas.