Our last 2 blogs have been on electrical. Double taps and AFCI circuit breakers. This will be the 3rd part of the electrical. The purpose of these 3 blogs were to show home owners electrical safety, electrical components and how the electrical theory has developed from the knob and tube wiring. So with that said lets begin with GFCI’s.
As we mentioned last week a GFCI receptacle is a device that shuts off an electric power circuit when it detects that current is flowing along an unintended path, such as through water or a person. It is used to reduce the risk of electric shock, which can cause the heart to stop or cause burns. They can also prevent some fires, like when a live wire touches a metal conduit.
And as we mentioned last week the difference between AFCI and GFCI is one is to prevent fires mainly and the other to prevent shock. But with GFCI’s you also may have GFCI breakers. Yes I know, lets add bit more confusion. The main purpose of the GFCI breaker maybe, older homes that have had electrical upgrades. Especially from the 2 prong receptacles. You will see GFCI breakers protecting the kitchen and bathroom receptacles. But you may have a receptacle or ceiling fixture connected to these as well, in an adjoin room. Occassionally during a home inspection a GFCI Receptacle will be installed and installed improperly in a bathroom or kitchen. So it maybe necessary to have the GFCI breaker installed as well.
So in conclusion. GFCI’s are very effective and a need for the home. However just like any device it has to be installed correctly. This as to not have any open grounds or reverse polarity. So please do not be an expert and think you can add these devices to your home, unless you are trained to do so. To find out more about this, feel free to call us at 352-322-2700. Look us on the web; www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or www.brandonhomeinspectors.com Thank you all again.
Good Day Everyone. This weeks blog is about AFCI Breakers. We are going to explain exactly what this type of breaker is and at the end the difference between a regular circuit breaker and a GFCI breaker. So lets begin.
An Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) is a type of circuit breaker that breaks the circuit when it detects a dangerous electrical arc in order to prevent electrical fires. An AFCI distinguishes between a harmless arc that occurs incidental to normal operation of switches, plugs, and brushed motors, and an undesirable arc that can occur, for example, in a lamp cord which has a broken conductor. (technical definition)
With today’s electrical code many homes have been upgraded with this device or they are installed for new construction. You will normally see AFCI’s in the living rooms, bedrooms, home office and maybe dinning room. Basically, where there is living occupied space. Where people have basements, there will be AFCI circuits as well. Now do not confuse these with GFCI’s for the kitchen, garage and bathrooms. When detected the AFCI will trip quicker then a normal circuit breaker for that branch circuit. Also when installed you entire branch circuit will be protected from that circuit breaker. The devices are great and an added safety feature for the home. However, the one little downside of this device is the CFL bulbs will occasionally trip the breaker and sometimes the bulbs will not last the life of the manufacture. Alot of electricians will be against the CFL bulbs because of that and additionally, these bulbs in my opinion really don’t save money. They get us away from carbon but I still prefer the traditional incandescent type light bulb.
So, whats the difference between an AFCI and GFCI. Well for one, a GFCI will be used for the wet areas of the home. Kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and in Florida you will see them in garages. GFCIs prevent shocks, and AFCIs prevent fires. Both should be installed by a qualified electrician to make your home safer.
So in closing, we do not suggest that the home owner or the reader replace the breakers with AFCI or GFCI type breakers. Save that for the professional electrician. However, at Emerald Inspection Service, when performing the electrical inspection, we test both types. Yes, I am sure you have seen the little tester at the box stores for GFCI’s. However for the AFCI’s they are a bit pricier and you will normally not see for retail. Additionally, we also check for heat on the breakers. This is the common sign of the breaker maybe failing. To find out more about this and all of our other services, that we perform in Tampa, Land O Lakes, Hernando and Clearwater Florida, go to www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or www.tampahomeinspectors.net You can call as well at 352-322-2700
Well we have 4 weeks to go till the end of the year. We will have blogs leading up til then, but a little secret, 2 will be wishing you happy holidays. As 2016 rolls to an end the next 3 blogs will be informative of changes in the season and season changes in the home or office. So this week, I want to blog about dirty air vents and the air filter. So lets begin.
When we see dirty air vents, it mainly means there is a lot of dust or airborne dirt in the air. You may have dirty air vents and clean daily. This does not mean you are not taking care of your home. When we clean we really do not think of the air vent or inside the duct for the HVAC system. This is an area that really is not maintained and a lot of us including me sometimes forget about the return air filter too.
So to really talk about this, when an air vent is dirty a lot of times the dirt or dust is coming from the ground and being brought up to the ceiling area. Some of us will have the vents in the floor and dirt and debris will collect quicker. Just as an FYI, when you see air vents or registers in the floor they are normally from a northern or cold environment. As in Florida and in the south they are in the ceiling for the warmer and hot environment. Either way they should be cleaned monthly or at the minimum every 3 months. The main reason of cleaning the vents is because you do not want debris collecting into the vent or dust gathering and being brought back to the fan and unit. Eventually you will decrease the life of the components and have costly repair bills unexpectedly.
So, maybe you are thinking how the hell did the dirt or dust get there, whether in the ceiling or in the floor. This is elementary. Dirt or dust will collect and follow to any type of air flow. For floor vents the air maybe pushing the air up but when the system is off, then you have an opening to allow particles to collect. As far as ceiling vents, they collect dust particles from ceiling fans and centrifugal force. In the south we use our AC mostly due to the weather. Ceiling fans are a must, to manage the energy bill. But here is a secret that a lot of us forget. When we clean we usually forget about our baseboards. Originally the base boards back in the 1800’s were called dust boards. People had hardwood flooring and the dust collected from there. Another tip, in the early days crown molding was placed in rooms. Yes decorative and creative. But my great grandmother would wipe down the trim once a week to eliminate the dust in the ceiling area.
So, lets not forget about the return air filter. This is crucial to keeping the life expectancy of your system. A dirty filter will decrease the life expectancy of any element of the HVAC system by at least 30%. This will be next weeks blog about your filter.
So in closing, when you are doing your main monthly cleaning, think about the areas we normally do not see. The entertainment center, the dresser that collects papers, the desk of files. All this will collect dust and send into the air and you will breathe it. We are approaching the holidays and we do not want to show a dirty home. Also, do you really want Aunt Iris to say, I sneezed and coughed when I was at your house but when I got home I was fine. Simple tips are best and thank you again for following my blog.
To learn more about this blog call us anytime at 352-322-2700 or follow us on the web at: www.emeraldinspectionservice.com Thanks again.
We started our blog for the simple reason that they are so many sites that can have information be added to. So, once a week (give or take) we will blog an important idea or money saving tip for your home or office. We are going to put our blog on our Facebook page, Google + page and others.
So for this weeks first blog here goes. Did you know that during this time of cooler temperatures opening the windows reduces a lot of allergy symptoms. Having the windows open during the day will reduce a lot of the allergy type symptoms that is cultivated through out the year. Additionally, if you are having these type of symptoms, an Air Quality Inspection maybe required. An air quality inspection is where we collect air samples in different various areas of the home or office. To learn more go to: www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or call us anytime at 352-322-2700. We service the greater Tampa, Orlando, and Ocalla areas.