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
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.

Electrician, home,commercial
Written by John Mullen

Heated sidewalks and floors

Welcome to the 21st century where things that were never thought possible are now becoming quite commonplace. Need an example? Look no further than the concept of heated sidewalks and floors. If you live anywhere that experiences snow, ice, hail or freezing rain as part of your outdoor climate, these systems may be ‘just what the doctor ordered’.

Heated sidewalk and driveway systems are also known as ‘snowmelt’ systems. They work to prevent the buildup of snow and ice on everything from trails to driveways and patios to sidewalks. Snowmelt systems are even applicable to roadways. However, they do not come without a price. Therefore, the way to ensure their economic viability is to consider installation in limited amounts, such as within a specified area of a sidewalk (like the 3-foot center or middle area of the walking path).

The great thing about snowmelt systems is they operate throughout an inclement weather event such as a snow or ice storm. Their benefit extends to the cost-savings that are incurred through labor, such as highway and local snow removal and the use of deicers and chemicals that perform this duty, again saving money and the environment all at once.

Of course there are drawbacks, the first of which is the prohibitive costs that are incurred with revolutionary ideas such as this. Making snowmelt systems widely available across an area would appear to be more expensive than the current method of attack to precipitation. But as with any new idea, costs continue to go down as more homeowners, businesses and municipalities take this concept seriously.

The same can be said for heated floors in homes. Once an idea limited to futuristic cartoons and shows, it is becoming more commonplace in homes. Many homeowners consider heated floors to be a smart energy choice as the heat radiates upwards and warms an entire space versus the use of costly space heaters or simply raising the temperature on your thermostat.

If you are interested in learning more about snowmelt systems or radiated floors, contact the experts at J.M. Mullen Electrical Services. When it comes to your electrical needs, we have you covered.

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 install Repair
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.

Read More
electrician, commercial, residential projects
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. 

Read More
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. 

Read More
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. 

Read More
Energy Saver Electrical Service
Written by John Mullen

Lower Your Electric Bill This Winter

Energy Saver Electrical ServiceCold weather is just around the corner and for many people, it also means higher utility bills. Prepare for the winter weather and put money back in your pocket with these tips.

1. Turn Down Your Thermostat

You may want to simulate summer temperatures during the chilly winter months but cranking your heat up to the 70s and 80s will cost you additional dollars. Take advantage of your cozy sweaters and fuzzy slippers and keep your thermostat at 68 degrees during the hours you’re at home. When you go to bed or while you’re at work, shave off a few more degrees and save even more.

2. Smart Homes

If your home is wired with smart capabilities, take advantage of the scheduling features and let your system automatically raise and lower the temperature around the clock. You can also schedule when lights come on and go off, saving even more money.

3. Energy Star Appliances

The fall is a great time to replace appliances that are past their usefulness and energy efficiency. You can find great deals on appliances just before the holidays when stores are moving out year-old inventory and preparing to bring in appliances with the latest gadgets. Look for appliances that are Energy Star qualified to save the most.

4. Eliminate Drafts

Keep the warm air in your home by checking around doors and windows for drafts. There are a variety of low cost options to keep your house toasty and draft free. Check your electrical outlets as well as doors and windows. You may be surprised to feel cold air seeping in through the receptacles. There’s an easy fix: insulate the outlets.  Foam gaskets are easy to install behind the plate but aren’t the best solution for keeping out cold air. Use a special fire-resistant foam to insulate the area in and around the receptacle.

5. Check and Change

Establish a routine for changing filters on your heating system and having your unit checked to be sure it’s functioning at its peak efficiency. Depending upon your home’s conditions, filters should be changed every one to three months for the best results.

Take a little time to prepare for the coming cold weather and save yourself some money in the process. The experts at JM Mullen Electrical Services can check the various systems in your home to ensure they’re performing properly and saving you money. Call us today to schedule a home checkup.

Home Electric Repair,upgrade
Written by John Mullen

Creative Lighting Fixtures from the Past

If you’re looking for something to put the finishing touch on a redecorated room or freshen up your current look, consider reaching into the past for a unique, vintage light fixture. These fantastic lighting finds add a wow factor to an otherwise ordinary room. Some of these fixtures require updating, but the effort is worth it.

Vintage light fixtures can be found at architectural salvage shops and antique stores. Flea markets and estate sales are also good places to check out and may be less expensive. Speaking of price, depending on what you’re looking for, the cost may be comparable to modern light fixtures or, if you fall in love with a really spectacular piece, thousands of dollars. 

Read More
1 2 3 6