Kilowatt Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Blog:
Archive for the ‘Electrical’ Category

Updating the Electrical System of a Vintage House

Monday, October 21st, 2019

usb-outlet

One of our specialties as an electrical contractor serving Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley is working on older homes. Southern California may not be New England—we don’t have nineteenth-century homes here. But “vintage” doesn’t have to stretch back to the gaslight era. Many houses built before 1970 have specific requirements when it comes to electrical services (as well as HVAC services, which we also handle).

There’s no wrong time to arrange for Van Nuys, CA, electrical upgrades to your vintage home. But the best time to have a major electrical system overhaul is during a home renovation. You can make the wiring, outlets, panels, and more a part of an extensive renovation project. The results may not make a significant cosmetic change, but the difference in electrical performance and safety is massive. Expert electrical upgrades pay off for many years to come.

Below are important electrical upgrades and changes to have done as part of an extensive renovation.

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The Troubles With Aluminum Wiring in Your Home

Monday, October 7th, 2019

home-electrical-wiring-types

An important job of any electrician in Van Nuys, CA is keeping homes safe from fires due to faulty wiring. Bad wiring takes many different forms. Our electricians often run into terrible DIY jobs or amateur work on rewiring parts of a home that are against code. You may have this type of electrical danger in your house and not even know it because the previous resident was responsible.

There’s another wiring concern we often deal with: aluminum wiring. This metal was used extensively for wiring in houses built between 1965 and 1972. If you live in a home of this vintage—and there are plenty in L.A. and the San Fernando Valley—you may have a fire hazard lurking in your walls.

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Summer Power Outages and Whole-House Generators

Monday, July 15th, 2019

natural-gas-generator

When you think of backup generators for homes, do you usually imagine houses on the East Coast during frigid winters or when enormous storms and hurricanes strike? Unfortunately, here in Southern California, we have some pretty good reasons to have generators installed for our homes as well.

Last summer, Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley experienced extreme heat levels and a record-breaking demand for electricity. Homes use more electrical power than ever before, and when this was combined with the heat, it resulted in multiple power outages that lasted for hours and sometimes longer.

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My Electrical Bills Seem Way Too High—What’s Up?

Monday, February 11th, 2019

electrical-repairmanWe’ve had a longer cold spell here in Southern California than we often get. Of course, it’s nothing compared to the awful deep freeze that recently struck the Midwest. But it’s still cold to us, and if you use an electric-powered heating system like a heat pump or an electric furnace, you can expect to see an uptick on your electrical bills. That’s normal: just check electrical usage with previous bills to see that the rise in costs corresponds to more use.

This post is about dealing with abnormally and inexplicably high electric bills. What might be causing these spikes? We can help you investigate this, although for real repair work and other jobs, always call on a professional electrician in Burbank, CA.

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Holiday Lights and Your Home’s Electrical System

Monday, December 17th, 2018

outdoor-string-of-lightsWe don’t have snow for December in California, and we imagine most locals are a-okay with that. But homeowners still want some holiday cheer, and one of the best ways to pretend they’re in a winter wonderland while still only needing a windbreaker when outside is to put up a festive light show on the outside of the house. And a generous amount on the inside as well.

But there’s a potential downside to decorating with lights during the season. The amount of electrical demand a light display puts on the house can cause tripped circuit breakers. And it can even lead to house fires! We have some advice about electrical safety when it comes to lighting the street up and giving the living room a seasonal glow with your dazzling displays.

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

Monday, 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

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

Monday, 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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Can I Do Any Electrical Wiring Work Myself?

Monday, 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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Let Us Wire Up Your Home Theater System

Monday, 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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