How to maximise your air conditioner’s efficiency

With the continually rising cost of electricity, it’s important to find ways to maximize your air conditioner’s efficiency. Having your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast check your air con system yearly will ensure it’s running properly and efficiently, but there are a few things you can do yourself, such as:

  • Setting the thermostat

It’s not a good idea to constantly fiddle with the thermostat controls as this, usually causes the system to run longer than necessary with longer on and off cycles

If you want a different setting in different rooms, invest in a zoning system for customized cooling and maximum efficiency. When you’re out of the house, a particular area or room, using timers to turn down or off the cooling in those areas will help reduce overall cooling costs

Try setting the thermostat at a reasonable level, lowering the temperature setting will not cool down the room or house quicker, it will just cause the unit to run for longer

  • Your condenser

Clean around your condenser and remove any dust, debris, leaves or spider webs as this will allow for more air flow and help it to work more efficiently. It’s also a good idea to provide shade to keep it cool as this helps its efficiency.

Remove any plants or objects that are within two feet of your compressor as they could impede or obstruct the air flow reducing its efficiency

  • Filters

It’s important to clean or change the filters on a regular basis so they don’t reduce your indoor air quality or flow causing the compressor to work longer. The floor vents clean and unblocked with furniture and curtains well away to maintain a steady air flow

  • Keep the cool air inside

The cool air inside will flow out any doors, windows or vents that are left open. To air your home, turn off the air con and open all the doors and windows instead of cooling down the neighbourhood.

If your ceiling is not insulated, consider getting some insulation for placed there. It will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter so your air con will not have to work so long or hard

Glass transfers the cool air out and lets the heat in, so keeping blinds and curtains closed helps to keep the inside temperature constant. If you have a lot of glass, consider double glazing, it won’t take long to recover the extra cost in energy savings.

Direct sunlight can very quickly heat up the inside so investing shade cloths above windows and doors can reduce the heat as well as the glare
Gaps around doors and windows also allow the cool air to leak outside, so check the seals and install draft stoppers on the bottom of doors.

Insure any ductwork or cooling pipe work is properly insulated and have your ducts cleaned by a professional regularly to remove any dust of mould

Ensure lamps and heat producing appliances are well away from thermostats as their heat can trigger your thermostat to turn on the air con when it’s not needed. Appliances such as clothes dryers and electric oven should be used in the coolest parts of the day. Ask your friendly electrician on the Gold Coast to install a zoning system to make your air con more efficient

What are the main causes of Power Outages?

Power outages are unpredictable as they can happen at any time and without any warning. Unless you’re prepared it can be quite disruptive and stressful. Your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast can help with ideas on how to make these unfortunate episodes easier and also provide your home with a backup emergency power supply that gives you lights and keeps your security system operational whenever there is a power outage.

Types of power outages

There are four main types or categories of power outages or power faults, these are:

  • Planned shutdowns – These are done when the power supply companies need to do scheduled maintenance. Customers are notified of the date and time of the shutdown
  • A permanent fault –This usually happens when there is a fault on the main power lines, power is restored automatically once the fault is fixed and the fault cleared
  • A brownout – This is usually caused by a temporary drop in your electrical supply
  • A blackout – A blackout is where there is a total loss of power over an area, it may last for a few minutes, hours, days or even weeks depending on the reason for the blackout

The most common causes of power outages are:

  • Weather

The Gold Coast is blessed with a wonderful year round climate, but at times those of us living here have to put up with cyclones, cold snaps with ice and hailstones, very heavy rains, flooding and dust storms over the hot months. This can cause problems with equipment breakages and water damage causing power failures

  • Electrical spikes

Electrical spikes are a temporary voltage increase; these can be caused by lightning strikes and electrical storms, short circuits and tripped circuit breakers. Normally these can cause a short power outage unless they have also caused major electrical damage to lines or equipment and then there could be a delay while repairs are made

  • Vehicles

Many of the power lies that service our homes are located along roads and highways. This makes them vulnerable to motor vehicle accidents. Broken power poles and electrical power lines take time to repair and replace so often this causes power outages

  • Bushfires

Bushfires can destroy miles of electric power lines and other power infrastructure as well as preventing repair people from gaining access to restore the power supply. When there is a bushfire, you must have your local electrician on the Gold Coast check your home’s wiring for faults or problems caused by power surges or spikes during the fire

  • Animals

The Gold Coast is home to a variety of wild animals such as rats and mice, centipedes and large insects, possums, snakes and birds that often find their way into different types of electrical installation and equipment areas used to control the power supply looking for food or shelter. If the come into contact with live connections such as fuses or connectors or transformers they could cause a short that results in a power outage until the problem is located and the fault repaired

 

Fortunately, power outages are quite uncommon on The gold Coast, they usually happen during bad storms from lightning or flooding. Bird strikes, vehicle accidents and bushfires are also major reasons for power outages around The Gold Coast area.

Top things to consider for electrics when shifting to a new house

When you are about to move into a new house, whether you just purchased it or it’s a rental, you should consider a few safety factors before you take possession or unload your stuff. If you just brought the property you most likely had a pest and building inspection so you know the place is sound and free of harmful pests, but what about the electrical wiring. It’s also important that you have your friendly local electrician on The Gold Coast make an electrical inspection to ensure the wiring is safe.

  • First, do a walkthrough

Before you move in while the place is empty you can get a good look around and see if anything is amiss. Check all the light fittings and make sure all the lights work. If possible, check the power points, this can be done using a radio or other appliance you can easily hold in your hand.

Just plug it into each power outlet and you will know if it’s working or not. Take note of any that are not working so you can have them repaired. While you’re checking them look for any sign of damage such as cracks, discolouration or distortion that could be a sign of a problem

  • Safety Switches

All rental properties must have safety switches and a law from 2019 requires all domestic residences that were constructed before 1992 to be equipped with safety switches within three months of being sold.

It’s important that you have a safety switch on all electrical circuits in your home and that all of the wiring is properly grounded. You can take a look in the fuse box or look at the meter board to see if the safety switches are there, but it’s better to ask your friendly local Gold Coast electrician to check for you.

  • Illegal Wiring

It’s illegal for anyone apart from a qualified and registered electrician to do any electrical wiring including installing safety switches in Australia. Sometimes homeowners or handymen decide to save a few dollars by doing their own wiring, but this can place you or your family and your property at risk, so having your electrical wiring checked by a fully qualified, registered and licensed electrician on the Gold Coast is Important when moving into a new place.

  • Child Safety

If you have children or even pets, it’s important that you check the area for any hazard that could compromise their safety. Many children are curious by nature and like to play with things. They have almost no understanding of the dangers of electricity, even if you try and explain it to them. Spare electrical outlets and empty light bulb sockets can be a very interesting and tempting thing to look at and push objects into, so it’s important to use blanks or have child safe devices installed on any power outlets that are within reach and not being used

 

Before moving into a new place it should be checked for electrical hazards by your local electrician on The Gold Coast to ensure it has adequate safety switches and that it’s completely safe for you and your family. You should also check the operation of all electrical outlets and devices to ensure they are in good working order.

 

What is the importance of grounding electric current?

Having a properly grounded electrical system in your home will help protect you and your electronic devices from electrical overloads and shocks. Ask your local electrician on the Gold Coast to check your electrical system and ensure it’s properly and efficiently grounded.

Having your home wiring grounded is important because:

  • Overload protection

When grounded your electrical wiring system has an easy pathway for excess electricity to escape in the event of a lightning strike or a surge in your current instead of damaging your circuitry, appliances, property and anyone who is in it

  • Help direct electricity

When your electrical system is grounded the power can easily be guided to the areas required safely and efficiently

  • Stabilises voltage levels

Grounding makes it easier to regulate the power supply so the correct amount of power gets to the right places as required with a common reference point. This helps to ensure circuits don’t get overloaded and blown out

  • Earth, the best conductor

Earth is a very strong conductor, so when your electrical system is grounded, if there is any problem the current will pass through the easiest pathway to earth rather than travelling through a person giving an electric shock and most likely saving your life

  • Prevents damage

Proper grounding avoids the risk of having appliances destroyed and data lost or fires starting by a surge or overload in your electrical circuits. Ask your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast to check your electrical wiring regularly; it could save lives and your property

How grounding works

A metal rod is driven into the ground or a pipe from an underground water system is used to permanently ground your electrical system. From this, a wire goes to your electrical circuit or switchboard. Every power outlet has a three pin plug and wired in appliances have three wires, the positive, phase or hot wire, the negative or neutral wire and the ground or earth wire.

Electricity always seeks the easiest and shortest way back to earth, so if a problem occurs the current can harmlessly travel directly to earth instead of via a person preventing electrocution.

Your home should only have three pin plugs so there is always an earth wire available for all appliances. If you have the old style2 pin plugs you need to have your wiring system upgraded by your local electrician on the Gold Coast as soon as possible to ensure your family’s safety and protect your property

Safety Tips

If in doubt about the safety of any of your appliances or electrical fittings call your local friendly electrician on The Gold Coast to check them for you.

  • Never use or touch any appliance with a damage electrical cord
  • Never use or touch any appliance that is cracked, damaged or becomes warm, hot or smells

Having your electrical system properly grounded is a smart move to ensure the safety of your electrical appliances, fittings, data, property and family. If you have any doubts about whether your home is properly grounded, you have flickering lights, get a tingling sensation from any switches or appliances or if you smell any strange smells around your home, contact your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast to have your home wiring checked as soon as possible for your family’s safety.

Top Tips to Consider when choosing photoelectric smoke alarms

Smoke alarms have come a long way in recent years; the old style detector is now obsolete. Your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast will be able to advise you of the best types of smoke alarms to install around our home to provide you with adequate protection for your family and possessions. The vast majority of tragedies from home fires are because the property, either didn’t have smoke detectors’ or they had been disabled because of flat or missing batteries.

There is no question about smoke alarms, saving lives, but which alarms are best suited to your particular home could be confusing. These are some of the top tips to consider when choosing a photoelectric smoke alarm:

Types of fire or smoke alarms

The main types of smoke alarms in use in Australia are the photoelectric and ionization alarms.

  • Photoelectric alarms

This type of alarms contains a photo cell and also a light beam that shines away from the cell.

These work because when the smoke enters the alarm’s test chamber, the light beam is scattered by the particles of smoke, some of these are then deflected onto the photo cell which triggers the alarm.

These types of alarms are designed to detect slow, smoky or smouldering fires, the most common fires in homes. Their biggest drawback is that insect of dust that enters the test chamber can also set them off, but regular cleaning mostly of sets this problem.

  • Ionization alarms

This type of alarm contains a minute amount of radioactive material; this reacts to particles that are emitted by fires setting off their alarms. These alarms are best for quick fires that produce little smoke, but burn very hot and quickly. The most common household fires are the slow smoldering types that emit a lot of smoke before they erupt into flame. Often ionisation alarms are slow at detecting these types of fires. They are also likely to be activated from steam or cooking fumes, so are generally not used in kitchens, laundries and bathrooms

  • Dual sensor alarms

These types of alarms give you the protection benefits of both types of alarms, but are not usually suitable in high moisture areas such as kitchens, laundries and bathrooms. Your electrician on the Gold Coast can advise you on the placing and the best type to suit your home

Other common types of alarms

  • Carbon monoxide alarms

These alarms are used mainly in homes with gas furnaces or gas central heating systems. They will detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide a waste product formed from burning gas if your heater develops a fault and does not duct the waste carbon monoxide outside

  • Heat alarms

These were developed to detect excessive heat and are not affected by cooking fumes

 

The best solution for most homes is to use a combination of different alarms to suit your individual needs. Some smoke alarms are wired into your emergency power system, while others use batteries with up to a ten year life. But whichever type you use they all need regular testing Your electrician on The Gold Coast will give you expert advice as well as install the right smoke alarms for you, so your home and family are safe.

Top things to consider while renovating electrical wires

Whenever you are considering making any changes to your building, whether planning an extension or just upgrading the wiring in your home there are a number of things that you need to consider with the first being consulting your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast.

Your Electrician on The Gold Coast will

  • Ensure that any existing wiring is safe and that it can cope with any demands made of it such as extra load or capacity requirements
  • By law in Australia, you must be a fully licensed and qualified electrician to do any type of electrical wiring or installation
  • Many older homes electrical circuitry was not designed for the heavier loads most homes expect from their electrical systems

Your Gold Coast electrician can

  • Upgrade and renovate your existing electrical system
  • Install a new panel and safety switches
  • Run new wiring
  • Check and install ground circuits where required
  • Install new power outlets
  • Wire in any permanently wired appliances such as water heaters. Air conditioners, electric ranges furnaces and water pumps

Power upgrade

Before you start any home renovation or upgrading, consult your local electrician on the Gold Coast.

  • They will help you with sorting out requirements such as safety switches and ground fault circuit breakers to ensure your family and property are all adequately protected
  • Advise you on the correct number and location of new power outlets and calculate the additional load demand your wiring system may need to cope with
  • Advise you on the best types of additional lighting you may require, as well as the size and wattage of bulbs for the most economic coverage

Electrical Safety

There are many electrical fires each year that are directly related to old and unsafe electrical wiring. It’s vital that you have your wiring renovated to address both the functional and aesthetic aspects. Having an inadequate number of electrical outlets not only looks untidy, but has the potential to cause individual circuits to overload

Many older buildings will have wiring that may have connections and insulation that has broken down or been subject to attack by pests such as rodents who like to chew electrical cable to keep their teeth sharp. This can expose the wiring inside wall spaces and ceilings where it can not be seen, but has the potential to cause shorts and fires.

Another problem in many areas is damage from flooding or a leaky roof that has the potential to disrupt connections and the timbers that hold the wiring. Electrical fittings that have been submerged, almost always need to be replaced because of water damage. Your electrician on the Gold Coast will be able to advise you and find the best and latest cost effective replacements.

When you choose your Gold Coast electrician, ensure they will work with any other contractors you have that are making repairs or alterations to your building.

Renovating your electrical system is important if you have an older home, as it was not originally designed to cope with the heavy demands placed on it by the use of all today’s modern electrical appliances. Your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast will be happy to give you a cost-effective quote on renovating your wiring and making sure your home is safe.

Top benefits of having Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters

GFCI or ground fault circuit interrupter switches protect our homes and everyone in it from receiving electrical shocks. They work by being able to compare the very small differences in the input current from the positive or hot side with the output current on the neutral or negative side. Talk with your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast about your individual needs.

If the device detects just a few milliamps of leakage or difference, then it will shut off the power to that device. This can happen in 20 to 30 milliseconds which can save a person from serious electrical damage.

Where should a GFCI device be installed?

A GFIC device should be installed on any circuit here moisture or water is present as this moisture greatly increases the likelihood of an electric shock happening such as:

  • Kitchens or any size
  • Laundries and anywhere there is either a wash tub or clothes or washing machine
  • Utility areas where water may be used
  • Bars and service areas
  • Boathouses and bathing sheds
  • Pools, hot tubs spars and sauna’s
  • Decks and any outdoor areas including covered outdoor areas
  • Workshops, garden sheds, garages and any accessory buildings
  • Basements, crawl spaces and anywhere where water can get to

These are the top benefits of having a GFCI device installed in your home:

  • Shock prevention

The most obvious thing a GFCI device does is prevent electrocution or shocks using its inbuilt sensors. This monitors the electrical flow and instantly shuts down the power supply it a fault is detected preventing an electrical shock.

Fire Protection

A ground fault circuit interrupter does just what its name implies, it detects any electrical flow that leaves a circuit to the ground, a major cause of electrical fires. Your fuse link or circuit breaker will also do this, but having your electrical circuits protected by GFCI devices you will enjoy peace of mind knowing and never having to worry about having an electrical fire in your home.

Prevents Damage to Appliances

Many electrical appliances are used constantly so over time they suffer a reasonable amount of wear and tear. This is not only on the outside, but can extend to the internal wiring where the electrical insulation is prone to breaking down. This can cause a small amount of electricity to leak into the appliance and escape.

If the appliance outer area is made from a non-conductive material such as plastic, you’re unlikely to get a shock as you would if it was made from metal, but this leakage will begin to damage that appliance. One of the main reasons that a computer hard drive can fail is directly related to this issue of electrical current leakage

Having a GFCI device installed on the circuit will mean any electrical leak will be detected immediately and the circuit shutdown so no damage can occur, preventing the loose of any important information stored there.

Your electrician on the Gold Coast is the person you should contact to find out about having GFCI devices installed on your electrical circuits to protect your family, home and all your appliances. They will completely eliminate the worry of electrical shocks and fires in your home.

Benefits of having Knob and tube wiring in your home

If you have an older style home it may have been wired using knob and tube wiring. Talk with your local electrician on the Gold Coast about the condition of the wiring. This is a form of wiring that used porcelain knobs and tubes to insulate the wires around your home.

This form of wiring, although not used anymore in Australia had some benefits to the consumer. Mainly that it was much cheaper to purchase and install than any other types of wiring systems before the 1950’s. The wires were installed under floors, in ceilings and in the lining of walls where they were not accessible or posed a danger of electrocution.

This system worked well for loads of up to 10amps as it kept the wires cool as the heat generated as the current passed through dissipated quickly.

Labour

When used (Pre 1950) labour costs were much lower than the present day and the most expensive part of any job was the materials. Once the labour cost increased to the stage where today it is much more than the normal material costs, as installing knob and tube wiring is very labour intensive it became much less popular and eventually stopped being used.

Porcelain

Porcelain insulators are extremely resilient with a very long lifespan that provides excellent insulation protection. The porcelain knobs help prevent the wires from being over tensioned when they are installed, allowing the wires to remain trouble free for a long time.

Disadvantages of Knob and Tube Wiring

There are only two wires the phase, hot wire or positive and the neutral. In the 1960’s the third wire, a ground wire was introduced for safety. This ground wire protects lives and property from surges and overloaded circuits.

Insulation

The knob and lube system requires that the wires are not covered with any type of material such as insulation or in the case of pests, having nests built or stacked around them so they are not able to cool down adequately in the air.

The natural rubber insulation on the wires over time breaks down and no longer provides adequate protection, allowing to the possibility of electric shocks and short circuits

Increased Power Usage

The power needs of homes and other building has dramatically changed since knob and tube wiring was used. Most of these types of circuits were used for lighting as there were few electrical appliances. A 10 amp knob and tube wiring with a 60amp electrical system is just not able to cope with the demands of a modern home. Ask your friendly electrician on the Gold Coast to check your home and the wiring.

Most homes today require between a 150 to 250 amps service capacity and if your home still has knob and tube wiring it was probably modified improperly and poses a fire of electrical threat.

Your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast can advise you on the best way to ensure your home is safe.

Talk with your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast about your home’s wiring if the house was built before the 1960’s to ensure it’s safe as there are really no benefits to keeping the old knob and tube wiring apart from saving replacement costs

Signs which show your home needs electrical maintainence

Everyone likes to and should always feel safe in their home, with many of the possible dangers that could occur being very obvious as they can be seen, but electricity is invisible and silent. Ensuring your home electrics is well maintained and safe is vital, so call your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast if there is any doubt about your home electrics or if you haven’t had them checked within a few years. Your family and property safety requires regular maintenance of your whole electrical system and in older homes a system update may be necessary to ensure you’re compliant with local and government regulations.

It’s important for everyone’s safety to regularly look for signs of possible electrical problems. The following are signs that show your home needs electrical maintenance from your local electrician on the Gold Coast:

Smells and or Sparks at Power Outlets

If you detect a strange or funny smell in your home like burnt plastic, you need to check all your electrical fittings and outlets including the lights. If any part of the electrical fitting is discoloured or distorted it’s a sign they have over heated and they need to be checked by a qualified electrician on the Gold Coast.

When you turn on some outlets you may see sparks or they might feel warm or hot when you touch them after they have operated for a while. These are sure signs that you need to have them properly checked.

Buzzing Sounds

Apart from the sound of the moving parts like fans or motors in your electrical appliances, your electrical system should be completely silent. Some light switches give a slight click when operated, this is normal unless they start doing this when they get older.

Tingling Sensations

You should never feel any type of tingling sensation from your electric wires switcher or other fittings. Some appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners give a noticeable vibration when working, but never a tingling sensation if working correctly.

If you feel any sensation from your electrical system have it checked straight away by your local electrician on the Gold Coast.

Flickering Lights

If any of your lights flicker, it’s a sign that that circuit is overloaded or not working correctly. It’s important to check the connections and find the reason for the lights to flicker. Another telltale sign of a problem is if your lights become dimmer, both these signs require that your home electrics are checked properly.

Frequent Flipping Out Circuit Breakers or Safety Switches

Circuit breakers are there to protect your equipment such as appliances and fittings. Safety switches are there preventing the possibility of electrical shock. If either of these flip out you need to discover the reason and rectify the problem, usually it requires the help of your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast who will quickly and cost effectively rectify the problem keeping your family and property safe.

Whenever you notice an unusual smell of burnt plastic, feel any sensation from any electrical outlets or fittings, the light flicker or grow dimmer, it’s time to call your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast to have your  electrical system checked as these are possible signs that your electrical system is dangerous.

Top Reasons why we need Safety switches in homes

Your home is a place you should feel completely safe from the environment and the perils of the world. Having safety switches installed on all your electrical circuitry by your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast is a vital step in protecting your family’s lives. Most homes now have circuit breakers that are designed to protect property and appliances, but don’t help to save lives. They work or are triggered by surges in the power that can be caused by lightning strikes and fluctuations around the electrical grid.

Your safety switches monitor the electrical flow through your home’s circuitry and when it detects a power leak, it’s triggered with a goal of protecting life by preventing electrocution.

By law, you need to have safety switches installed on your primary circuit

All new homes now have a safety switch fitted to their power circuit and circuit breakers on the other circuits. Many people think they are therefore protected as they don’t understand the very real differences between safety switches and circuit breakers. The Queensland government is now advising all property owners to have safety switches installed on all their power circuits to ensure your family is properly protected.

Often electrical sub-circuits such as air conditioners, wired in wall ovens, stoves, pool pumps and lighting, hot water systems, ceiling fans, security cameras and general lighting have no personal anti electric shock protection.

Safety Switches and Circuit Breakers

If you have any doubt about whether your home electrical circuits are adequately protected, talk with your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast. They will quickly advise you and give you a quote on installing the right type of safety switches as all circuits must have both circuit breakers and safety switches as a total line of defense for your family. This will ensure the protection of your family’s lives, equipment and property in your home.

Test your Safety Switches

Home owners can test their safety switches as the safety switches are provided with a test button so you can very quickly test that they are working properly.

Test a safety switch, with your lights and appliances turned on, press the test button and see which circuits are turned off. If there is no change and no circuits are turned off or some of your circuits don’t get turned off when testing, you are not protected, so need to talk with your friendly local Gold Coast electrician and have them check your safety switches and circuits.

If your safety switches keep tripping off, it’s a sign that one or more of your circuits or appliances are malfunctioning or damaged. It’s important that the cause is discovered, so unplug the different appliances and try the circuit again until you discover the cause or have your electrician check it for you. This is for your family’s safety and your peace of mind.

Safety switches should not be confused with circuit breakers, they are both similar as they are to protect from power failures, but safety switches protect lives, while circuit breakers protect equipment and property. Your friendly local electrician on the Gold Coast will be able to help and advice you about having the proper safety switches installed on all your circuits.