Category: Electrical Upgrades

Is Your Home Up to National Electrical Code?

Unless you’re a professional electrician, you probably don’t have the time and energy to keep up with annual changes and updates to the National Electrical Code. But as anyone in the electrical profession knows all too well, this book is critically important when it comes to buying and selling property or building new construction projects.

Even if you aren’t planning to put your house on the market any time soon, there are a few electrical code updates you shouldn’t ignore. As the technology we use every day develops so quickly year after year, our electrical systems need updates to keep them functioning correctly.

In honor of National Electrical Safety Month this May, our team at The Happy Outlet wants to share a few useful National Electrical Code requirements. Below are a few common upgrades your older home might need.

Do you have dedicated circuits for specific rooms or appliances?

Since our appliances have developed to serve us more effectively in the last few decades, they have also started to consume more and more electricity to work. Old school circuitry doesn’t always cut it anymore for washing machines, HVAC units, refrigerators, and other large appliances.

According to the National Electrical Code, your kitchen alone will need at least seven dedicated circuits for specific appliances (your fridge, dishwasher, and microwave are all examples). Even your garage must have its own dedicated circuit for receptables that power outdoor tools.

Most modern homes will already comply with dedicated circuit requirements. But many older homes will need new circuits added to the electric panel.

Do you have GFCI outlets outdoors and in every kitchen and bathroom?

The National Electrical Code now requires Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets in any space where there is a source of water. GFCI outlets are designed to detect any disruptions in the flow of electricity. If they notice a surge of power, they will disconnect from the circuit completely. This feature is designed to protect homeowners from electrocution (which happens most frequently when electronics come into contact with water).

Your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, garage, basement, and all outdoor spaces should have GFCI outlets since there is always a chance that water could interfere with your electrical appliances. This is a relatively inexpensive upgrade that is critically important for your safety.

Do you have smoke alarms outside sleeping areas and on every level of your home?

Most people already know that smoke alarms are required in every bedroom. But in recent years, the National Electrical Code has updated its policy on smoke alarms.

You should have smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of your home (including the basement). This ensures that even if one smoke alarm fails, there is a safety net of other alarms to alert you to a fire immediately.

Is your home up to National Electrical Code?

In answer to the greater consumption of electricity and greater number of electronics in our homes, the National Electrical Code has created some new rules to keep homeowners safe.

If you have any questions about how to upgrade your home to meet electrical code requirements during a remodeling process, give us a call at The Happy Outlet! One of our expert electricians will be happy to help you.

For more information on electrical safety at home, check out our list of tips.

If you need any electrical repairs, replacements, or upgrades in your Carson City home, contact The Happy Outlet! Give us a call at 833-2B-HAPPY to schedule an appointment and get started.

5 Smart Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

smart ways to spend your tax refund

You’ve paid into the system all year, and now you have finally been rewarded! Your refund check has arrived in the mail and it is burning a hole in your pocket. Before you hit the nearest mall, stop to consider how you could use the money most wisely.

Here are five smart ways to spend your tax refund brainstormed by our team at The Happy Outlet.

1. Pay Off Debt

The smartest way to use your tax refund is also the least fun or exciting. But it offers you something totally priceless: financial freedom! If you have some credit card debt piled up or you financed a major home improvement project in the last year, consider paying it off early and saving yourself some money in the long run. It might not be as much fun as splurging on new shoes or an exotic vacation, but it will definitely make extra room in your budget for the years to come.

2. Make Home Repairs

If you are virtually debt-free, consider using your refund check on something else practical. Have you noticed your lights flickering or that your HVAC system is close to sputtering to a halt? Invest your refund in important home improvements or repairs that will increase your safety and comfort.

Fixing things around the house that have been on your to-do list for ages adds value to your property and prevents expensive emergency repair situations. If you need any electrical repairs such as new circuits, new outlets, more smoke detectors or a larger electrical panel, give us a call at The Happy Outlet!

3. Build Up an Emergency Fund

If your house is already in good shape and your credit cards haven’t been swiped in a while, consider using your refund to plan for the future. You never know when bad weather or bad luck might strike, but having an emergency fund helps to ease the burden when repairs are necessary.

4. Spruce Things Up

If your home doesn’t need any major repairs and you’ve already got an emergency fund set aside for a rainy day, you might want to make some cosmetic changes in your home. Is your carpet stained, or is your old light fixture a total eyesore? Use your tax refund to spruce things up! If you want to make any electrical upgrades such as new fixtures, under cabinet lighting, home security, smart thermostats, and more, The Happy Outlet is here to help you out!

5. Splurge Smart

Last but not least, if your home and finances are exactly where you need them to be, use your hard-earned money to treat yourself. Make sure to carefully consider what you want and do plenty of research before you blow your whole check on something.

Consider what would be the most fun and meaningful for you and your family. Take a much-needed vacation, get backstage passes for your favorite artist, or install a home theatre system!

Still brainstorming smart ways to spend your tax refund? Give us a call.

If you are thinking about using your tax refund for important home improvements or beautiful cosmetic upgrades, give us a call at The Happy Outlet. We will help you determine how to maximize your electrical improvements within your budget.

If you need any electrical repairs, replacements, or upgrades in your Carson City home, contact The Happy Outlet! Give us a call at 833-2B-HAPPY to schedule an appointment and get started.

5 Best Rooms for a Dimmer Switch

best rooms for a dimmer switch

Dimmer switches make your lighting truly customizable. Instead of simply choosing between bright or pitch black, set the mood however you please and save some energy while you’re at it!

If you are thinking about adding some dimmer switches to your home but you aren’t sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Here are the five best rooms for a dimmer switch recommend by our team of expert electricians at The Happy Outlet.

1. Living Room

The living room is a great place to start if you want to give dimmer switches a try, because it’s the room where you spend most of your time. Use your dimmer switch while you watch your favorite TV show or movie so that you get a theatre-style experience without totally sacrificing visibility. Dim the lights and pass the popcorn!

2. Dining Room

Nothing sets the tone for a romantic dinner date or a cozy gathering with friends like perfect lighting. Use your dimmer switch to enhance the ambiance for your dining experience, and add a couple of candles while you’re at it.

3. Kitchen

If you have ever snuck out of bed to make a midnight snack, you can appreciate the value a dimmer switch would bring to the kitchen. Chop, smear, mix, or heat safely without the added risk of waking up the rest of your family. If your kitchen is adjacent to your living room or dinning room or if you have an open floorplan, it can be advantageous to have consistent dimming abilities in all three rooms.

4. Bedroom

In the bedroom, we recommend a double dimmer switch: one for lighting, and one for your ceiling fan. This gives you total control over your lighting and temperature preferences while you sleep. Dimming the lights can be ideal for winding down with a book before your drift off or setting the mood for romance.

5. Master Bathroom

A bathroom might seem like an odd space for a dimmer switch—but stay with us. Picture the scene: you wake up in the middle of the night, and nature is calling. You don’t want to stumble to the restroom in the dark, but you also don’t want to blind yourself or a loved one and disrupt everyone’s slumber. A dimmer switch is the perfect solution to this predicament. Dim lighting can also help you ease into the morning while you get ready for work. The possibilities for a bathroom dimmer switch are endless.

Do you agree that these are the best rooms for a dimmer switch?

Do you think some of these lighting options are overkill, or would you use a dimer in every room? Share your favorite spots for a dimmer switch with us in the comments below, or on Facebook.

If you are interested in installing dimmer switches to any rooms in your home, call us today at The Happy Outlet.

If you need any electrical repairs, replacements, or upgrades in your Carson City home, contact The Happy Outlet! Give us a call at 833-2B-HAPPY to schedule an appointment and get started.