Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog

DWP is Giving Away $100,000,000 for Energy Efficiency Upgrades

September 24th, 2018

LADWP offers the Consumer Rebate Program (CRP) to their residential customers to promote the use of energy-efficient products.

DWP Customers who install attic insulation can see energy reduction and savings of $200 to $374 in a year, depending upon the size of the home and its location.

Installing attic insulation might seem daunting and expensive, but the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) can help pay for insulating your attic. Qualifying customers can receive rebates up to 80% of the total insulation installation costs or $1.00 per square foot of attic floor insulation (whichever is less).

Insulation Materials

Insulation materials are defined as material/product used to slow down heat flow, which is measured in terms of thermal resistance or R-Value. Qualified attic insulation types include blanket (batts and rolls), loose-fill, blown-in, attic-applied rigid foam, sprayed foam, and foamed-in-place insulation systems.

Installed insulation materials must achieve a minimum thermal resistance of R-30 (or R-19 if less than 24 inches of attic clearance is available and R-30 cannot be achieved) to qualify for the program.

Insulation Costs

Installation costs are defined as the cost of the insulation materials plus the labor associated with the installation of insulation materials, including labor undertaken to comply with codes and regulations, such as sealing attic air leaks, weather-stripping attic hatch or door, attic ventilation modifications, and installation of rafter vent/insulation baffles. Complete attic insulation coverage is required above all air conditioned spaces. New construction or non-living building, such as a detached garage, do not qualify for the insulation rebate.

Customers interested in the program should:

  1. Decide on hiring a licensed contractor or installing the insulation materials themselves; LADWP strongly recommends working with a licensed contractor.
  2. Take pictures of the attic BEFORE installation to submit with application package.
  3. Install insulation materials in accordance with the program requirements.
  4. Take pictures of the attic AFTER installation.
  5. Submit Consumer Rebate Program (CRP) application by mail to LADWP with required documentation.

If you are interested in attic insulation call Kilowatt now to schedule a FREE estimate 818-780-0701. The rebate money is given out on a first come first served basis.

 

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I’ve Got Power Strips, Why Would I Need a Surge Protector?

September 24th, 2018

usb-outlet… or, to put it another way, “Aren’t power strips surge protectors?”

Yes, power strips offer some protection for precision appliances such as computers and HD televisions from damage in case of a voltage surge. We encourage people to use power strips rather than attempting to overload a circuit with an octopus plug, and any important electronic device should be plugged into a power strip.

But these power strips are not whole-house surge protection. They only serve as one layer against the expensive problems voltage surges can create. We recommend you arrange for whole-house surge protection installation with one of our licensed electricians.

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Cloth Wiring Hazards

September 10th, 2018

Cloth wiring is a common type of older electrical wire that was used in residential wiring.

If you have an older home, there may be an older version of wiring present which is much more dangerous than the new types of electrical wiring that are being used in homes today.

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Strange Smells from the AC? Here Are Some of the Possibilities

September 10th, 2018

HVACkidNobody wants a smelly appliance in their house. But a smelly air conditioner… that’s not something people expect to happen. But it does! You may notice odd smells wafting from the room vents in your house when you have your air conditioning system running. These smells can indicate simple, innocuous problems. Or they could indicate a need for Los Angeles, CA air conditioning repair on the double. We’ll go over some of the more common bad AC odors, what they may mean, and what to do about them.

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The Thermostat Setback Is Still a Way to Save on Cooling

August 27th, 2018

You’ve heard the advice before: to save energy cooling your home, setback the temperature on the thermostat (i.e. set the temperature higher) during times when you’re not home or during the evening when people are asleep. The standard recommended setback temperature is 8°F. For example, if you keep the thermostat set to 78°F during the day when people are in the house and awake (this is a setting the US Department of Energy advocates for the best combination of energy savings and comfort), then the setback temperature would raise it to 86°F. If you own a programmable thermostat, you can have the setback as the standard evening/away setting and then not have to think about adjusting the temperatures after that.

Thermostat technology has advanced rapidly over the last decade, and you may have heard contrary advice: thermostat setback isn’t useful and won’t save money. But this is wrong for a number of reasons. Let’s look at why the thermostat setback is still a basic way to save money on cooling costs.

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What Does It Mean to Be “Up to Code” for a House?

August 13th, 2018

proper-electrical-panel-wiringIf you are shopping for a new home or are planning to sell your current one, you may have heard about how important it is for the house to be “up to code” or “code compliant.” What does this actually mean, and how do you find out if the house meets the code?

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These Facts Will Change the Way You Think About Air Conditioning

July 30th, 2018

Air conditioning is a standard part of life in So Cal. Most modern homes here are built different-ac-componentswith ACs in mind, and the regular hum of an air conditioner’s compressor is as much a part of the soundtrack of the summer as the crash of waves on the beach.

But people often don’t know much about the marvels of contemporary air conditioning. We’d like to share some facts about air conditioning that may alter how you look at them.

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Can I Do Any Electrical Wiring Work Myself?

July 16th, 2018

ceiling-fan-wiring-jobThis is a question homeowners often ask when they either have electrical wiring repairs that need to be done or when they’re contemplating a new installation, such as new lighting, a ceiling fan installation, or when wiring for an add-on room. It’s smart to look for places to save money in home improvement projects. But it’s much smarter to know when doing the work as a “do-it-yourself” project poses potential safety hazards.

There are a number of basic electrical jobs you can do on your own, such as changing a lightbulb and resetting tripped circuit breakers. But handling electrical wires? No, don’t try this on your own! And don’t allow anyone who isn’t licensed try it either, no matter what promises they make. When it comes to electrical wiring in a house, you want Brentwood, CA electricians who know the local electrical codes and are trained and experienced to do safe and effective wiring and wiring repair jobs.

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Problems With an Air Conditioner’s Condensate Pan and Drain

July 2nd, 2018

ac-unit-insidesAn air conditioning system doesn’t use water to cool off the inside of a house—but water condensation is a part of the AC’s heat exchange process. If you listen to the air conditioner’s indoor cabinet when the system is running, you’ll occasionally hear the drip of water. This is the vapor from the air that gathers along the evaporator coil. As the coil evaporates the cold refrigerant moving through it to draw heat out of the air, it also draws out moisture in the air, where it condenses on the coil.

What happens to this water? It drips off the coil and falls down into a shallow condensate pan. A pump then removes the water through a drain and removes it from the house. For the most part, you won’t have to think about it. Unless…

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Let Us Wire Up Your Home Theater System

June 18th, 2018

living-room-flat-screen-tvOnce upon a time, not so very long ago, the idea of a “home theater system” meant a nice television set in a room without too much light to distract from the screen. Anything more “theatrical” needed to have an expensive projection system and screen installed. Then along came stereo sound equipment. Then big screen TVs. Then surround-sound audio systems. Then flat-screen TVs. Then digital sound. Then HD TVs. Then 4K TVs. And who knows what else may be around the corner?

Today’s home theater systems have the potential to create an experience that’s better than an actual theater. The parking’s easy and you won’t have to deal with people sitting in front of you who keep turning on their smartphones.

Since a completely wireless home theater system hasn’t come along yet, if you want to enjoy the best in a distraction-free, attractive, and save home theater experience, you’re going to need to have some complicated wiring work done. And this is where a professional electrician can help you out.

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