6 holiday decorating trends for 2021: Part 2

6 holiday decorating trends for 2021: Part 2

We’re back again to continue our list of holiday decorating trends to light up your festivities! Christmas follows thanksgiving (or perhaps overtakes it, depending on who you ask. It follows very closely at least) with a flash of colors and cheer. But for 2021, what’s new to the trends? Read on for our picks of the latest and greatest trends to decorate with this year. 

Colored Lights of Many Shades

If you check around sights like Etsy or purewow, you’re sure to see that colored lights are as popular as ever. But they may be heading in a new direction! A trend that has seen a major growth in popularity this year and those in recent days is to pick colored lights of any shade! Red and green are the staple along with white, but have you considered choosing something a little different for your home? Orange and teal? Purple, yellow and green? Well, many are choosing to forego the classic red, white and green for something more personal or expressive. Give it a try! You just might like the results even more. 

Neon Nights

That’s right! Neon lighting and signage has seen a surge in popularity again among many. Whether it’s for its retro nature or simply an appreciation for the look, neon has come back in a major way. And the holidays are seeing it put to good use! Neon signs with messages of holiday cheer are starting to make waves among the Christmas and holiday season enthusiast crowds. A red and green holly sign wishing everyone a Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas are sure to brighten up your home’s walls. Literally!

Can’t Beat a Classic

In the yesteryear around the time of the “greatest generation” as it’s called, is where much of Christmas and Holiday decorating can find its origin. The “Atomic Age” of the 40s, 50s and 60s trends have come around in many ways, from Mid Century Modern to ornate brightly colored glass ornaments. And this year these classic holiday staples have been shown to be quite popular! The old glass ornaments that either tended to aim abstract and vibrant or delicate and classy with minimal color have made their way back to the average Holiday celebrator’s collection.

So, dust off your family’s old ornaments and get ready to let them shine again (though be gentle with them! They’re heirlooms, you know).Find yourself yearning for yesteryear or to mix it up with some modern takes on the usual festivities? We hope these trends have ignited some inspiration in you to take either path or both if you’re especially adventurous. And if you overload your power grid (we hope that you won’t) we’re always a quick phone call away for some maintenance work. Happy Holidays and enjoy your family festivities! 

6 trends of holiday decorating for 2021: Part 1 Thanksgiving

6 trends of holiday decorating for 2021: Part 1 Thanksgiving

The holiday decorating season is nearly upon us with Thanksgiving kicking it off in a couple of weeks. With that comes the festivities and decorating we all love so much! Each year the decorations we see seem to grow more and more beautiful. Do you have a favorite Christmas style? Is it a modern twist on an old favorite like red and green LED lights? or are you traditional sticking with the classic traditional white lights and red ribbons? What about thanksgiving? Do you decorate with old world pilgrim imagery or focus on a general warm autumn feel (we know many like to skip thanksgiving and head right for Christmas, but it deserves its own celebration too! After all, it is the perfect bridge between fall and winter holiday celebration)? Well before you decide on what look your home will take on this Holiday season, consider these trends for 2021! 

Holiday Decorating Wreaths

In a time of warmth inside the house and gratitude inside ourselves, what is a trend for this year but also a timeless tradition is simplicity. Rather than the beautiful but flashy tendencies of Christmas, Thanksgiving decor is aiming for a more organic approach this year. The classic approach to building wreaths of plants of the fall season is a favorite for this year. Dried seasonal flowers, maize and indian corn, mini pumpkins and gourds, and dry corn husks are all great ingredients to a simple and attractive wreath to greet your guests as they approach your front door. And if you have your orange lights from Halloween or your white lights from Christmas handy, they can highlight an already beautiful piece!

Bottles, jars, and buttons

As popular as they have been the past 5 years, a jar or bottle with seasonal fillings or décor within is showing its usual high-spirited enthusiasm as a fall decorating trend. A good way to increase the visual appeal of your simple jar/bottle décor is to add, you guessed it, lights! Much like the wreaths you make can utilize your orange or white festive lights, these bottles will sparkle and shine with those same sets of lights within them.  Just be sure not to use too many, or you may have to give us a call about a blown fuse or two! 

Economic and Easy to Find

As simple as the last two trends were, how about what might be the simplest yet: natural wood accents. Dried out wooden branches, leaves, acorns etc. are all good table setting pieces to utilize. And they’re free and easy to find! Have a beach themed room in your home? A piece of driftwood doubles well as a natural accent piece that you can wrap in seasonal lights.

With all of these decorating trends, you should be on your way to a very warm and inviting home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Sit back and have a hot cider and share in the family memories! But what about Christmas? As though we could forget (especially when folks get a little too festive with their lighting. Then we’ll have to see to some electrical problems)! Join us in our next article for the top Christmas decorating trends of 2021! We hope you found this article helpful and enjoyable! For more ideas, check out sites like Etsy for more! Have a safe and relaxing thanksgiving!

Electrical Safety During the Holiday Season

Electrical Safety During the Holiday Season

Electrical safety has come a long way since it’s implementation into the consumer marketplace. As safety features have evolved, so has the capacity for the Holiday Season to be a spectacular light show! Don’t be fooled! Show caution when dealing with large amounts of electricity. And some of it isn’t the electricity itself!

Holiday Ladder Safety

During any Holiday season that involves lights, you will need to get up high to mount the decorations. Much like the world of electrical safety, the world of ladder safety has evolved greatly too! During previous eras, portable ladders were often made of wood and relied on metal catches to hold the steps in place. Aluminum ladders are lightweight but strong. While these are certainly much lighter and easier to transport, most do conduct some amount of electricity. Keeping it dry while working with electricity or using an insulated ladder is very important in some cases.

While you are working up high on a ladder, be sure to have a partner or friend there to help keep the ladder steady and make sure you are safe. And NEVER step up onto the top step. The warnings printed on them are there for a reason, as it is very easy to lose your balance! Gutterbrush.com has great articles for further detail on Ladder Safety and beyond.

The Right Tool for Electrical Safety

When you are up on a ladder working away to make your home festive, it’s important to use the right tools for the job and to do so responsibly. Firstly, if you weren’t already, wear insulated gloves. While all commerically sold Christmas lights and decorations have gone through a rigorous testing process, it’s best to take every precaution necessary to prevent incident. Metal tools conduct electricity to varying degrees. However, most tool companies offer insulated versions of all common household tools. Especially when cutting branches, zip ties, or other items that may be in close proximity with the lights while working. A wire might get cut and it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Too Much Holiday Cheer

An easy mistake to make when getting festive or “in the spirit of the season” is to go overboard on the load you put on your circuit breakers. Ignoring this can result in power outages, damaged electrical equipment, or even electrcial fires. If you plan to go all out and have a great deal of power usage on the agenda, it may become necessary to install a seperate circuit breaker for the drain on power. Separate outlets installed can work well for some applications, but it may require more changes than that. If this is a route you decide to go, CK Electric is here to help you along the way and can completed these installations!

Our experienced electricians are also here for consultation and possess a wealth of knowledge on these subjects.

I hope these tips have been helpful to you! Whether you go all out or decorate conservatively, have a safe and festive holday!

Home Buyer’s Guide: Expert Tips on What to Do Within the First Year

Home Buyer’s Guide: Expert Tips on What to Do Within the First Year

Before you can make the big move into a new home, there are a million things you probably have to do before moving out. Getting your current home ready for open houses, figuring out moving plans, applying for a loan, or doing the paperwork that comes with buying and selling a home – the list seems never ending. However, after you move in and all the dust settles, you may find yourself thinking – what now? 

With all the excitement of moving, some homeowners may forget that there are several important home maintenance tasks that need to be completed within the first year of moving in. This is why we reached out to experts from Lodi, CA to Toronto, ON to share their best tips on things to do when moving into a new home. Keep reading to see what they had to say.

1) Locate your exterior dryer vent

One of the first things to do when moving into a new home is finding the exterior dryer vent cover location and learning how it operates. Even without an instrument to measure air velocity, you can evaluate the general condition of the vent cover by observing the movement of the damper. Make sure the damper is opening when the dryer is on and closing when the dryer is off. When the vent cover damper is open, it allows hot moist air and lint to exit, and when it is closed it seals the dryer vent system from the outside elements which prevents the possibility of fueling a fire and rodents from entering. – Dryer Geeks

2) Clean your air ducts

 Air ducts can hold a lot of surprises because the air conveyance system accumulates skin particles, hair, and dander. Pets can also contribute to hair and dander as well. If someone has allergy issues in a home, it may be from the air duct system. It should be cleaned out at least every 3 years for someone who has allergies and 5 years for someone who does not. – A & J Duct Cleaning

3) Secure your home 

We want to remind you to change your locks immediately after taking possession of a new home or apartment. It’s the key to your peace of mind. – Pocono Locksmith

4) Be cautious of bed bugs

Be cautious when traveling to hotels that have a history with bed bug infestations to avoid bringing home any pests to your new home. If you have a new home or believe you may have a potential pest issue, contact a bed bug specialist to avoid an infestation. – HeatRX

5) Consider a UV light air purifier

If you are purchasing a home that is over 3 years old, one of the first things to do when moving into a new home is making sure to have the ducts cleaned to remove any dirt, dust, pet hair, and other airborne contaminants from the prior owners. Additionally, if you have family members that are sensitive to viruses, bacteria or suffer from seasonal allergies look into having a UV light air purifier installed in your HVAC system. – Fix My Air 

6) Locate your breaker panel

Be sure that you know the location of the breaker panel as well as the main shut-off to your electrical system for your home. The control panel should be well labeled and identify each circuit for each circuit breaker. The main shut-off may be located outside the meter, and if something is amiss with the system, everything can be shut down there. It’s important to ensure that the panels are accessible at all times. – Black Bear Electric

7) Check your home’s electrical system and make sure it is up to code

Make sure your home is up to the latest electrical code to ensure your peace of mind. Regardless if you or your family are in the house or out of town, knowing that you and your home are safe is essential. Contact a qualified electrical contractor in your area for a home inspection for deficiencies. If any are found, they can be fixed promptly. – Nuvila Electric LLC 

8) Remove the lint from your dryer vent when moving into a new home

Your dryer needs to be cleaned and maintained, especially when purchasing a new home. The previous owners may not have done annual cleanings, resulting in slower dry times and the risk for house fires. Give yourself peace of mind in your new home, and be sure to call a professional dryer vent cleaning company when you’ve purchased a new home with a dryer. – Dryer Vent Cleaners of Connecticut

Look around and pay attention; dryer vent safety is worthy of mention. Clean your dryer vent once a year or risk a costly accident. Dryer vents are one of the leading causes of household fire and should be one of the first things to do when moving into a new home. Protect your loved ones and your home from this unseen preventable hazard. – Dryer Vent Doctor

Check your dryer vent for good airflow before hooking up your dryer. Remove any visible lint that may be present. – Dryer Vent Cleaners

9) Consider changing your light bulbs.

Homeowners should change all light bulbs to energy-efficient bulbs that are all the same shade of white. This will not only save the homeowner money but is aesthetically pleasing. – ZipRepairman

10) Install a whole house surge protector

A home’s electrical system is one of the costliest components that’s often forgotten about since it’s hidden behind the walls. Homeowners should consider installing a whole house surge protector as one of the top things to do when moving into a new home to protect against potentially costly repairs. A whole house surge protector is installed in the panel box and looks much like a traditional circuit breaker. However, this handy device blocks the surge from entering the home’s circuits, keeping the electrical system and electronics protected. – CK Electric 

11) Do maintenance on your HVAC system regularly 

A good tip for new homeowners is to make sure they have their heating and air properly serviced each spring and fall. Making this step one of the first things to do when moving into a new home can help the longevity of the equipment to ensure it’s operating correctly, regardless if it’s a new or older system. Air quality is also very important as most families have someone in their home with some type of asthma or respiratory issues. During the HVAC maintenance be sure to discuss IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) solutions for healthier air as most HVAC manufacturers have many selections to choose from that are going to be better than what a homeowner can purchase from a retail store. – Tokay Heating & Air

12) Trim vegetation and schedule regular pest control visits

When moving into a new home, it’s important to make sure all vegetation is trimmed 6″ away from the structure. Keeping the vegetation managed and having a scheduled pest control visit keeps unwanted pests from entering the home. At the end of the day, having a clean, pest-free home makes living more enjoyable. – Malang Pest Control 

Originally published on Redfin.com

Electrical Safety In the Basement

Electrical Safety In the Basement

Don’t overlook Electrical safety in the basement. If you live in a state where you are able to have a basement it can be difficult to keep the set-up effective for use. You can be a DIY-er or you have a professional electrician from CK Electric. This article will have some useful tips for your electrical hub to be Electrician friendly!

Room for Improvement of Electrical Safety In the Basement

To begin, how easy is it to move around and work near it? Are there flammable items stored too close to the Breaker box? These are things that should be taken care of immediately. They can pose a significant threat to you and your electrician. Safety standards indicate there should be six feet of room between a Breaker box and other items. So, do this for both accessibility and fire safety. As surges or storms can cause a small fire if the sparks find fuel nearby.

Keeping your Basement Dry is Electrician-friendly

Another thing to keep in mind while doing electrical or hiring an electrician is water. Often times, basements can gather moisture-especially depending on your terrain and on the season. If there is some form of leak near your electrical hub or breaker box, be sure to take care of it as soon as possible to prevent serious health risks. Flooding on it’s own can be devastating to a homeowner. When it is close proximity with electrical the devastation can be ten-fold. If you have metal shelving in your basement, it would also be good to keep it a safe distance from your electric to prevent any conductivity too close by. If you have a sump pump, it would be good to keep it in good running order. And in safe electrical condition!

So, if you are in need of some electrical work, refer back to this article and consult your local experts at CK Electric for
some more tips and to schedule an appointment! Want to know what to look for in a good electrician? Our post here
has some helpful information on the ins and outs. We hope you found this article helpful!

Eco-Friendly Bulbs are the Right Switch

Eco-Friendly Bulbs are the Right Switch

In today’s world, we are all trying our best to live an eco-friendly lifestyle to save the Earth. The demand for electricity as well as the consumption of electricity has grown massively. Decrease our carbon foot-print with eco-friendly solutions. In order to cut down on using our non-renewable resources, we need to find alternative ways to decrease electrical consumption. The most energy efficient light bulbs come in three varieties; LED bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), and halogen bulbs.

Eco-Friendly LED Bulbs

Compared to the other two options, the most eco-friendly are LED bulbs.  The require the least amount of energy. They only use 2-27 watts of electricity which is 25%-80% less than a normal lightbulb. Additionally, LED light bulbs last up to 50,000 hours. Frequency of replacement is significantly less. These lightbulbs are convenient as well as energy efficient. 

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL)

Although CFL has helped with reducing energy consumption, there has been controversy whether it is entirely environmentally friendly or not.  It is a great alternative when it comes to saving energy. In comparison to incandescent light bulbs, it actually uses 75% less energy.  The biggest concern with CFL bulbs is the fact that they contain mercury. Mercury is hazardous to humans and the environment. Proper disposal methods for CFL bulbs can help the environment.

Halogen Bulbs

Compared to LED bulbs and Compact Fluorescent Lamps, halogen bulbs are not as energy efficient. Compared to traditional bulbs they are still a more eco-friendly option.  They have constantly been developing over the years and are being reinvented.  Halogen bulbs have a coating that actually reduces the waste of heat. That coating enhanced its energy efficiency by 30% unlike incandescent light bulbs.  Although CFLs are more energy efficient, the material of Halogen bulbs are eco-friendly. A better option, if you do not feel comfortable with light bulbs that contain mercury.

Winter Power Outage Survival Guide

Winter Power Outage Survival Guide

Winter is coming, and freezing temperatures are approaching.  Know these tips in case there is a winter power outage.  Prepare for anything. Below are some survival tips in case of a power outage in Winter.

Always Keep Warm

If your power goes out during the Winter, your top priority is keeping yourself warm.  Wear multiple of layers. Earmuffs or a hat are great items for your body to retain heat. Your head and neck is where you lose the most body heat.  To keep the house warmer, you should try to cover any cracks. Cover cracks in windows or doors with duct tape or towels.  It’s best to let the sun in during the day. Allow your house to absorb as much heat as possible from the sun.  Also, it is advised for everyone in the house to move to one room. Shut the doors to any other rooms so the heat may stay in one place.  

Need of Electricity in a Winter Power Outage

Electricity has become an essential part of everyone’s live. It’s important to know a few tips on what to do with all of your electronics during a power outage.  To avoid power surges, unplug any of your electrical devices.  It is smart to keep multiple power packs so you can charge any necessary electronics such as your phone or laptop to communicate with others in case of any emergencies.  If you need lights, it’s probably best to keep candles in the house as well as multiple flashlights with many packs of batteries.  

Stay Healthy

Food and water are definitely two of the most important necessities when you’re trying to stay alive during a stressful time.  Start by eating all of your perishable foods first and keep a supply of non-perishables as little snacks.  Try your best to portion your food just in case you do not know when your power will come back on.  If your power is expected to be shut down for a long period of time, try to put as much of your food that is in the fridge and freezer in a secured container that you can safely put outside to store without any animals getting into it.  Make sure you are staying hydrated and try to drink warm water every hour to keep your body temperature from fluctuating.

An electrician can benefit your work environment more than you may think

An electrician can benefit your work environment more than you may think

Hiring an electrician can benefit your work environment more than you may think. They can troubleshoot electrical problems, update wiring and fixtures, check electrical spaces for safety and much more. Here are some examples of how an electrician can benefit your work environment.

They can update wiring and fixtures 

People tend to not update some of their electrical fixtures for long periods of time, and that is not always smart. If you see outlets that become warm or discolored, flickering lights, or breakers that trip consistently, it may be time to hire an electrician. You want to address these issues before they can become harmful. When you’re in a work environment, it is important to update the electrical work especially as the wiring may be getting older. 

They can fix electrical issues

Another way an electrician can benefit your work environment is by fixing existing electrical issues. At your workspace you most likely have a lot of electrical pieces and someday there will be an issue with at least one of them. Electricians can easily come and look at these issues and explain what the problem is and what needs to be fixed. This goes for really any place as everything involves some form of electrical work but is especially important for offices as electrical issues are not something that should hold you back. 

They can check electrical spaces for safety 

Electrics are tricky. If you don’t know how to properly go about them, there can be consequences. At your workspace you probably have a ton of wires, cords, etc. all leading to a different outlet or plug. This can be unsafe if it is not checked out frequently. Too many things plugged in to a power strip at once can lead to circuit breaking and possibly even fires. 

Can reduce the energy bill of the office 

No company wants to be spending more than they must on extra bills. Hiring an electrician can benefit your work environment in this way as they can help to use energy efficient bulbs and can also install light sensors that turn lights on and off in an office space when not in use. 

Can improve the quality of your work in the office 

It may seem weird that an electrician can help you work, but the benefits are there. Electrical work can help improve phone calls and prevent them from cutting out because no client wants to be on a call where they only hear every other word. Electricians can also help the quality of the offices Wi-Fi and ensure that their computers and other technologies are moving at the speed they need to be. If an office space consistently has issues with their technology, their quality of work will go down and can negatively affect the company. 

Hiring an electrician can benefit your work environment in many ways, and it is very important to think about in a workspace. For an affordable and reliable electrician that can help with all your electric work contact CK Electric at 443-920-3078.

Summer Electrical Safety

Summer Electrical Safety

The summer months are a great time to be outdoors. There are important electrical safety considerations whether you are indoors or outdoors and whether you’re in the comfort of your own home or visiting friends and family. Be sure to identify where telephone poles and electrical lines are located and educate everyone on the following dangers of these structures.

Outdoors

  • For your safety, it is best to assume that all power lines are live and could harm you. If you see a line that is down, contact your area’s utility provider.
  • Stay away from electrical substations If you see a person or animal has entered said area, do not try to help them but instead call 911 for emergency assistance.
  • Don’t touch or climb on a utility pole. It is advisable to not post yard sale signs or lost pet flyers on these posts either as they can injure you or electrical workers. 
  • Never toss items of clothing or shoes onto power lines. If an item such as a drone is stuck on a power line, do not try to get it down by yourself, but instead call the professionals.
  • Keep kites and other toys away from powerlines. Play with these items in fields like one you would find at a park.
  • As tempting as it is, children should never climb a tree that is near or touching a utility pole. Additionally, if you or your neighbor has a tree growing into a power line, call the utility company to have it maintained or cut down. 
  • Take lightning and thunder seriously. When a storm is approaching, go indoors and remain there until it is safe to go back outside. 

At Home

Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. This summer consider the following tips to keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Remove all electrical items from areas of your home containing water. Think about places such as your pool in the backyard, your bathtub, and your kitchen sink.
  • If you are wet or in water, never touch something that uses electricity. An electric shock can travel through the water.
  • Be sure that the electrical components of your outdoor swimming pools and hottubs are grounded. CK Electric can assist you with all your appliance connections.
  • All your major appliances should also be plugged into grounded outlets. Never use extension cords for these items. 
  • Check to see that you have GFCI outlets in all of the areas of your home that use water, including your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry rooms. 
  • Know where your circuit breakers are located in your home so you can safely turn them off in the event of an emergency.
  • When an electrical cord is damaged, be sure to properly dispose of it and never use it (Source: Root Electric). 

The summer is a great time to tackle projects at home. But remember, electricity is dangerous and not meant for do-it-yourselfers. For all your house projects involving electrical work, call the experts at CK Electric. 

Make Seasonal Electrical Adjustments

Make Seasonal Electrical Adjustments

Sometimes consumers unintentionally damage or neglect their electric infrastructure. To prevent “operator error” make the following changes to your appliances in the summer months.

Keep It Cool

Did you know that on average, 40 percent of your electric bill comes from using your air conditioning? As such, running the electric in your HVAC can put pressure on your system. Here are a few ways you can make improvements to save you money, while gaining efficiency.

  • Change your air filters
  • Call to schedule an annual cleaning and maintenance check
  • Check for any air leaks in your home or ducts
  • Adjust your thermostat to be 85 degrees when you’re out of the house
  • Purchase a modern thermostat with customizable settings

Check Your ‘Fridge

It’s no surprise that your refrigerator requires a great deal of power and electricity to keep all of your food chilled or frozen in the heat of summer. A few ways to reduce energy consumption with this appliance include…

  • Cleaning any food or debris build up on the seals of the doors
  • Keeping temperatures below 40°F in the refrigerator and 5°F in the freezer

Less Hot Water = Less $

Your water heater is also the culprit when it comes to high energy bills. The more hot water you use and the hotter you require the water to be, the more your electrical system will run.  Here’s a tip, keep your water heater temperature at or below 120°F.

  • Check to see if your tank is insulated.
  • Conserve water by taking a shower and not a bath.
  • Keep the hot water heater off when it’s not in use.

Air Dry

Another way to save on your everyday electricity usage is by hanging your clothes outside instead of using your dryer. Your clothes dryer is actually second in line behind your refrigerator when it comes to energy-consumption. 

Grill > Oven

The last thing you want to do is add more heat to your house by cooking in the oven or on the stove. Save your air conditioner and electrical system from working overtime by preparing your meals on your outdoor grill. 

Turn Off or Unplug

When you leave the room, turn off the lights. If you’ve finished using electronics such as your computer or cell phone, shut them down. Lighting in your home accounts for 12% of your energy costs. Electricity to power your digital devices can be another 15%. Also be sure to turn off any items in your home with a power adaptor, indicator light, standby function, or clock. Power strips can come in hand for these items so you can switch them on and off simultaneously. How convenient (Source: Mr. Electric)!

Is your electrical system feeling the stress of summer? Contact CK Electric today!

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