Electrical contractor in Annapolis MD
Written by John Mullen

Your Annual Electric Checkup

January is traditionally a time for making resolutions and refreshing your life. During this time of year, people are more inclined to visit the dentist, doctor, and optometrist for annual assessments of their health. It is also time to review the state of your home from top to bottom as well. Included in this to-do list is an annual electric checkup.

Here are the benefits

• An annual check up of the electrical wiring and boxes in and around your home will help to reveal any potential hazards that could result in a fire. Outdated wiring, fixtures and electrical systems are a significant cause of home fires, particularly in the winter when these systems are taxed more than most times of the year. Annual electric preventive checkups will ensure your home system is in healthy working condition.
• Annual checkups of your electric system will also uncover improper overloading of the system. For example, perhaps you have an extension cord with too many appliances drawing electricity from this single source. All too often this can spark a fire. Annual checkups help to ensure the safety of all occupants.
• These checkups will also include an assessment of your appliances and other electric-powered equipment that have the potential to cause a fire because they may be outdated or can no longer be operated safely. These are items that will need to be replaced – a seemingly costly choice that pales in comparison to losing an entire home or injuring or causing the death of occupants.
• Ensuring that your home is up to the latest local, state and national electric standards that are imposed on structures. These standards change over time and it is incumbent upon the homeowner to keep up with this information and be compliant.

An electric inspection will include:

• An examination of all outlets.
• An examination of the circuit breaker or panel.
• An assessment of scenarios within the home that are subject to potential overloads.

Now, do not expect these annual inspections to come without a cost. You have to pay for your other annual checkups – right? But, when you weigh the benefits against the cost, I expect you’ll be scheduling your appointment today.

If you are in need of expert electric services, including annual checkups, contact J.M. Mullen Electric Services. It will be our pleasure to serve you.

Solar Energy J.M. Mullen Electrical Services Annapolis Electrician
Written by John Mullen

The Most Common Renewable Energy Resources

While the most talked about renewable resource for generating power is usually solar, there are other resources just as popular and effective. That is not to say that harnessing the sun’s rays to generate electricity is not highly effective, it is one of the best alternatives for reducing carbon emissions that are instigating climate change.

As well, hydropower is an energy source that has been in use since 1880. People are usually unaware of the fact that hydroelectric dams have been the single largest source of renewable electricity generation for the past century.

But it is wind power that is stepping up to become the most common source of energy in 2019. A whopping $145 billion in investments over the last decade alone all but ensures this form of energy generation is expected to be permanent and a leader.

It should be noted that even with all this money spent on wind power it is currently only providing 6.5 % of electricity to Americans in 2018. This figure is expected to rise only marginally in 2019 to 6.6%. These figures are mirrored for hydroelectricity which, as an aside, tells us that our efforts to capture natural and renewable resources for the purpose of generating electricity fall short of our needs significantly.

Altogether, statistics show that 17% of electricity in the United States comes from renewable resources. That means solar only accounts for approximately 4-5% when combined with other renewables. Another 20% is generated from nuclear energy, leaving the remaining amount coming from fossil fuels (and negligible things like wood, biomass, etc.).

The purpose of sharing this information is not to persuade or argue for one energy source over another. However, it would be instructive to become educated on the various sources of energy that will be powering your home, this country and the world in the future and, perhaps, make energy choices that you believe will be most valuable in the long run.

Meanwhile, if you have questions about the state of electricity in your own home or business, we invite you to contact the experts at J.M. Mullen Electrical Services. We are here to serve the needs of our community.

Outdoor Lighting J.M. Mullen Electrical Services Annapolis Electrician
Written by John Mullen

The Pros and Cons of Leaving Christmas Lights up Year-Round

If you celebrate Christmas, then you likely enjoy the decorating that comes with it. Nothing puts you in a holiday mood quite like a tree lit up, carols playing in the background and festive lights highlighting your home’s exterior. The downside of this is the amount of time and energy it takes to install outdoor lighting. Never mind the threat to life and limb when it comes to putting up the lights and taking them down. Often, it must be done between weather events that include everything from snow storms to hail. So, while sitting by your fireplace enjoying a hot cup of chocolate, you may have been thunderstruck with the idea – why not keep your Christmas lights up all year round? Well, let’s investigate the pros and cons of this idea more closely.

• Use white lights to decorate your outdoors, that way they can be enjoyed year-round. While red, green, blue and yellow lights scream ‘Christmas’, white lights are pure and quietly elegant. Put these up all around your home and you can turn them on and off whenever the mood suits you. Just don’t use white lights that are indicative of winter weather, such as icicles.
• Today’s outdoor lighting is able to be programmed to change colors to match the season or holiday – red for Valentine’s Day, pastels for Easter, red, white and blue for the 4th of July. Even so, the most advanced lights are still only intended to be left out for perhaps up to 3 months, then it’s time to take them down. The reason is simple – the cords that cover wiring are subject to cracking and wearing out in regular weather. This makes them electric hazards instead of electric delights.

That’s right. Lighting that is left out too long can become dangerous to health and home. If left on the roof or trees they may spark and catch fire, leaving your home in ruins. In fact, if you take the time to read the warranty and instructions included in each package of lighting – manufacturers recommend you not keep them up over extended periods of time. For now, outdoor lighting should be used in limited time frames.

As for the hassle of having to put up and take down the lights, consider it all part of the season! For all electricity-related information, contact the experts at J.M Mullen Electrical Services.

Surge Protectors, J.M. Mullen Electrical Services Annapolis Electrician
Written by Stu Kushner

Whole House Surge Protection

It’s almost a certainty that somewhere in your house there’s a surge protector plugged into one of your outlets. Most people plug in their televisions, computers, chargers, etc. Every year our dependence on electronic devices grows and so does our need to protect those items. Most people think to protect their televisions, phones, and computers, but neglect the biggest units that need protection. Your stove, refrigerator, washer, and dryer are just as vulnerable to power surges as your personal electronic devices. Enter a whole house surge protector.

Unlike a power cord that plugs into the wall, a whole house surge protector is connected directly to your home’s breaker panel. Because the surge protector is properly insulated, it can be installed on the inside or outside of your home. The power strip surge protector doesn’t have the capacity to protect your electronic devices from large power surges. A whole house surge protector will catch the small and large surges for every outlet in your home.

Look for a surge protector that has multiple stage protection. It must be sensitive enough to take care of small surges and hefty enough to handle the major surges. It’s always best to have this type of surge protector installed by a professional electrician. If you install the device yourself, you’ll probably void the manufacturer’s guarantee and it may affect your insurance coverage. Protect your finances as well as your home and call on a professional.

The unit will have indicators to let you know that it’s working properly. LED lights on the panel will show you the status of your home’s electrical system. If both lights are on, the protector is working and there have been no surges. If one light is on, the unit is still working but there have been surges. If both lights are off, the unit isn’t working and needs to be replaced.

The proper sized surge protector installed correctly could last for the life of your home. And, it may increase the value of your home upon resale. Every safety system you add to your home is an attractive selling point. JM Mullen Electrical Services can recommend and install a whole house surge protector for your home. We’re fully licensed and insured and will provide you with the excellent service that’s built our business. Contact us today for an appointment. ty5

Electrical Generator,J.M. Mullen Electrical Services Annapolis Electrician
Written by John Mullen

The Facts About Back-up Generators

Cold weather months are upon us and with them come winter storms that can result in a power outage. A back-up generator is a great way to keep your home safe and warm when an unexpected outage happens.

Determine your power needs

During an outage, do you want to power only the main systems of your home such as heat, air conditioning, and your refrigerator, or do you want a solution for the whole house? Check the wattage on the largest power users, the air conditioning and heating.

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electrician, commercial, residential projects.J.M. Mullen Electrical Services Annapolis Electrician
Written by Stu Kushner

Handyman or Electrician?

Handyman or Electrician? The difference might shock you.

Our increasingly busy lifestyles can easily be thrown off kilter when something around the house breaks down. You may know someone who does all kinds of repairs and can take on your latest emergency. Some handymen say they can do it all: electrical work, plumbing, anything. But, that isn’t necessarily true and it could be an expensive mistake. 

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Electrical Heavy-up,Electrician, Lighting
Written by John Mullen

Keep Seniors Safe Around Electricity

There are 48 million adults over age 65 or 15% of the population of the United States. According to the National Fire Prevention Agency, adults over age 65 have the highest risk of death from fire, nearly 3% higher than the average population. 

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Electrician Annapolis MD Electrical Repair
Written by John Mullen

Safe Use Of Electricity Outside

There are times when using an electrical cord outside is a necessity. If you run a pool filter, use cleaning devices or power tools, you’ll need an electrical cord. Be sure to follow these safety tips when using electrical devices outside.

1. Proper Outlet Covers

Start by having the correct covering installed to protect your outside receptacles from the elements. Many older homes only have a hinged cover that covers the outlet itself. The National Electrical Code now mandates bubble or flip-up covers that protect both the receptacle and the cord when it’s plugged in. These covers keep out the elements and protect you from nasty shocks as well. 

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Annapolis MD Electrician Electrical Heavy-up
Written by Stu Kushner

The Hazards of Purchasing Electrical Products Online

Buying online can be a shopper’s paradise. The almost limitless number of sellers fighting for their share of consumer dollars can mean low, low prices. But, is cheaper always better? Not when it comes to electrical products. When you’re searching for the lowest price, quality and safety can be compromised. Before you hit the “Buy Now” button, here are a few things to take into consideration.

Manufacturer

The internet is convenient when shopping but it also means that less than honest sellers can hide from unwary consumers. Companies that sell substandard goods can disappear into the internet ether and you’re stuck with a poor quality product. If you choose an off-brand retailer, you have no way of knowing whether the supplies you purchase are up to code or built using authentic, safe materials. 

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Electrician Annapolis MD, Electrical Repair
Written by John Mullen

Preventing Pest Damage to your electrical system

Most everyone has heard the expression that software has “bugs” in it that cause it to malfunction. That expression was coined during the early days of mainframe computers when actual bugs got into the system and damaged delicate electronics.

Bugs and other pests can do the same thing to your, but with a little knowledge and preventative measures, you can keep them from causing real problems. An infestation of mice or rats can be particularly damaging because they gnaw on wires which can start potentially devastating fires. When the weather cools off, all manner of varmints look for warm, sheltered places to hide.

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