LED bulb cost savings for your home

LED bulb cost savings for your home

LED bulb cost savings for your home – You can light your home using the same amount of light for less money. An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills and help the eco-system. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save you hundreds of dollars annually plus, the bulbs last more than 5X (five times) the illumination life.

Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information. Installing Energy – Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money, LED bulb cost savings for your home.

How to calculate you total LED light energy saving:

OK, lets assuming you have a 2500 square foot home, with a total of :

  • A) 40 – 60W incandescent bulbs (lamps, fans and bath fixtures)
  • B) 20 – 65W BR40 spot lights (can lights),
  • C) 8 – 80W T40 fluorescent bulbs (closets and laundry).
  • Purchase of new LED light bulbs total out of pocket cost to replace these bulbs with LED lighting would be approximately $585.00.
  • Installation of the bulbs would cost approximately $500.00
  • Total out of pocket expense would approximate $1085.00

Cost Analysis:
Incandescent Bulbs: //////\\\\\\ LED Bulbs:
40 – 60W bulbs = 2400 Watts //////\\\\\\ 40 – 12W LED bulb = 480 Watts
20 – 65W bulbs = 1300 Watts //////\\\\\\ 20 – 15W LED bulb = 300 Watts
8 – 80W bulbs = 640 Watts ////// \\\\\\ 8 – 30W LED bulb = 240 Watts
Total Wattage = 4340 Watts //////\\\\\\ Total LED Wattage = 1020 Watts

Return:
Lets assume your paying $.10/kWh (kilo watt hour) and use 6 kilo watt hours per day for lighting in your home
Incandescent Bulbs: ////////\\\\\\\\ LED Bulbs:
Energy Usage Per Day:
4340 kWh x 6 / 1000 = 26.04 kWh //////\\\\\\ 1020 Kwh x 6 /1000 = 6.12 kWh
Daily Energy Savings:
26.04 x $.10/kWh = $2.64/day /////\\\\\\ 6.12 x $.10/kWh = $.62/day
Total Daily Savings:
$2.64 – $.62 = $2.02 savings per day
Annual Savings:
$737.30 Per year
Annual Bulb Life are 50,000 hours or 5 years
5 Year Savings = $3700
$1,085 Investment = 341% Return on Investment

The total annual savings realized based on .11c/kwh would come to $240.00 annually in energy usage, up-front, th, e payback will be less than 2 years! However, you must consider the longevity and useful life of the asset, LED bulbs last on average 14.7 years compared to 2.1 years for standard incandescent. Essentially, you will have to replace incandescent bulbs 7 times. The bottom line is that over the life of the LED product (14 to 15 years), you will save over $3200.00 in energy usage and bulb replacement.

This analysis is done for a 2500 square foot home, do the math, many homes in Plano Texas are much larger. Your savings could be enormous.

New lighting standards took effect in 2012, and money-saving options such as halogen incandescent, CFL, and LED lightbulbs are available today. For high-quality products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR. Of course this isn’t the only change that you can make to increase your home’s energy efficiency. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many improvements can be made to cut costs, increase efficiency, and reduce environmental impact. If you’re interested then you might want to have a look at chipglennon.com for more ideas.

Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information. Installing Energy – Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money, LED bulb cost savings for your home

What Are My Lighting Choices?

You have many choices in energy-efficient lighting. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy. You can find these in most hardware and home improvement stores as well as at FSC Lighting.

Controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Be sure to select products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.

If you have outdoor lighting that is left on for a long time, using CFLs or LEDs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy. Most bare spiral CFLs can be used in enclosed fixtures that protect them from the weather. CFLs and LEDs are available as flood lights. These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures. Also look for ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures that are designed for outdoor use and come with features like automatic daylight shut-off and motion , LED bulb cost savings for your home sensors.

LEDs

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a type of solid-state lighting — semiconductors that convert electricity into light. Although once known mainly for indicator and traffic lights, LEDs in white light, general illumination applications are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing technologies. ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and last 15 to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace. LEDs use 25%–30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescents.

LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for 40W, 60W, and 75W traditional incandescents, reflector bulbs often used in recessed fixtures, and small track lights, desk lamps, kitchen undercabinet lighting, and outdoor area lights. They come in a variety of colors, and some are dimmable or offer convenient features such as daylight and motion sensors. LEDs work well indoors and outdoors because of their durability and performance in cold environments. Look for LED products such as pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use. You can also find solar-powered outdoor lighting. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money, LED bulb cost savings for your home

While LEDs are more expensive, they still save money because they last a long time and have very low energy use. As with other electronics, prices are expected to come down as more products enter the market.

Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money– First lets look at the benefits of installing energy efficient lighting and later we will examine the up-front cost to upgrade and then the annual energy savings. Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information. Installing Energy- 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

It’s no secret the cost of electrical energy continues to rise and will inevitably continue to do so in the future. At the same time, the demand for electricity continues to increase, taxing our existing electrical infrastructure to the margins of their design limits. We need more power, but in order to get it, we need new transmission and distribution infrastructure — but that’s just the beginning. LED bulb cost savings for your home

Efficiencies need to improve. Smart grid and microgrid strategies need to be deployed, and energy storage needs to be maximized. The list goes on and on. The problem is all of these propositions require a large amount of capital, which seems to be in short supply these days. Therefore, the quickest and least expensive way to generate more electricity is to not consume it in the first place. One way to use less energy is to install newer and more energy-efficient lamps, luminaires, and controls. Even lighting systems that were deployed just five years ago could benefit from newer lighting technologies and/or better control strategies.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that about 461 billion kWh of electricity were used for lighting by the residential and commercial sectors in 2011. This was equal to about 17% of the total electricity consumed by both of these sectors and about 12% of total U.S. electricity consumption. Residential lighting consumption was about 186 billion kWh — or 13% of all residential electricity consumption. The commercial sector, which includes commercial and institutional buildings and public street/highway lighting, consumed about 275 billion kWh for lighting — or 21% of commercial sector electricity consumption in 2011. Installing Energy- 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

The good news is lighting has become more efficient over the last decade and continues to evolve. Not only have lamps and luminaires become more efficient, but so have lighting control systems. Installing new luminaires and lamps — or retrofitting existing luminaires and lamps — is standard practice for the electrical industry. However, installing lighting controls to save energy has sent many electrical contractors and technicians back into training mode.

1. Energy Savings – Lamp/luminaire and lighting control strategies are driven by the need to save energy and by the adoption of energy codes like the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1, or state standards like California’s Title 24. As lamp efficacies improve, energy codes are driving down the number of watts per square foot used to light any give space within a building. Add in effective lighting controls, and you can drive down energy consumption even further. On the voluntary side, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), has had a profound impact on driving energy-efficient lighting design as well. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money, LED bulb cost savings for your home

There are other benefits for installing a well-engineered lighting system. Although the following benefits may appear to be less quantifiable, in reality, they are no less important than saving energy. First is the effect that a lighting system has on improving the productivity, recruitment, and retention of the customer’s employees. The second is green and zero net energy branding opportunities. A 2015 research study, found an average 3.2% increase in productivity from lighting improvements. The same study also revealed that a 1% increase in productivity equates to 100% reduction in energy costs. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

2. Large choice of lighting technology – Lamp and luminaire choice is usually driven by customer request in consultation with an architect, lighting designer, or both to meet occupancy requirements. However, in some cases, the electrical contractor may become the specifier of the lamps and luminaires to reduce costs for the customer (value-engineering). Electrical contractors involved in design/build projects have greater influence over lighting selection. Because most design/build electrical contractors are not lighting designers, learning something about basic lighting design benefits everyone involved.

Just like the lighting designer, the electrical contractor needs to understand the customer’s lighting requirements. In the case of value-engineering or design/build scenarios, realize that the customer may be relying on your expertise when it comes to lamp/luminaire selection, layout, and control. Some basic questions to ask the customer include: What is the major task(s) that will be performed in the space (e.g., task lighting)? What surfaces or objects need to be lit (e.g., focal lighting)? What types of fenestrations will the space contain (e.g., daylighting)? Is any lamp/luminaire going to be used as an architectural or decorative feature (e.g., decorative lighting)? What is the mood of the space, or what are the navigation requirements within the space (e.g., ambient lighting)? In some designs, energy savings and increased productivity may be gained by separating task lighting from ambient lighting and using innovative control strategies.

3. Lighting has become understandable – The proper selection of the lamp and luminaire begins with understanding something about the qualities of a light source, which are determined by the method used to produce the light. Light sources range from incandescent and halogen to fluorescent and HID to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Lamps are rated in lumen output, watts, and lumens per watt or efficacy. Lumen output is the total light output of the lamp. This does not include fixture lumens only lamp lumens. (It’s important to understand the difference when evaluating LED lamps and luminaires.) Efficacy is the measure of how efficient one light source is when compared to another. The more lumen output per watt of power consumed, the more efficacious the lamp is. When purchasing lamps, think lumens, not watts. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

4. Quality – The quality of light is also a measure of its color accuracy and the color of the light itself. Color accuracy is a measure of how well the light source can render the colors of an object. This is known as the color rendering index (CRI), which is measured on a scale of 0 (very poor rendering) to 100 (perfect rendering). The color of the light the lamp produces (whether the light appears warm, neutral, or cool) is a function of its color temperature. The lower the color temperature, the warmer (more red) the lamp appears; the higher the color temperature, the whiter or cooler the light source appears (more blue). This is known as the correlated color temperature (CCT), as shown in the Figure. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

Other areas of concern when selecting a lamp are its operating temperature range, lamp life, lumen maintenance (how much light output diminishes over the life of the lamp), directionality, dimmability, starting time, and life-cycle costs. All lamp qualities need to be understood to provide the customer with the desired end result. This implies that you, as the electrical contractor, understand how all lamps generate their light and what their operational characteristics are. Control strategies will be predicated on the operational characteristics of the lamp and occupancy requirements. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

The goal is to have a better understanding of the nature of light — not necessarily to become a lighting designer. However, if you are providing design/build services or value-engineering a lighting system, understanding some basics of lighting design will help a great deal. Many lighting and lighting control manufacturers provide basic online training with regard to understanding the nature of light, lamp characteristics, luminaire selection, and the correct switching or dimming control devices and topologies. Many lighting manufacturers also offer webinars and training courses, some of which are free. Staying on top of the latest training resources in the lighting arena will go a long way toward maximizing your next energy-efficient installation.

Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information. Installing Energy – Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

Holiday Friendly Home Improvement Pros

Holiday Security for Homes

Holiday Friendly Home Improvement Pros – Project requests decline precipitously during the holiday season. This decline is easily explained, as every dollar spent on retail is another dollar that can’t be spent on home improvement contractors. While kitchen and bathroom remodeling and other major renovations tend to get hit hardest, there are a small handful of home improvement contractors that can be truly invaluable during the holiday season.

1. Handymen

Despite the explosion of DIY culture in home improvement, winter (and the holiday season, in particular) does not motivate most homeowners to work on their homes. Even needed repairs may be passed on to the professionals. When appliances break down, staircase railings become loose, or the dog finally manages to dig its way under the fence, many homeowners opt for the convenience of local professional handymen. In fact, some homeowners even opt to hire a handyman for the quintessential holiday project-hanging lights. Holiday Friendly Home Improvement Pros

Plano Texas Handyman is your Premier handyman and home automation company in North Dallas. Call us today at 214-507-3415 or visit our sister company site at Monarc Technology for all your home automation.

One of the most popular single handyman tasks during the holidays is assistance with basic energy efficiency and stopping air leakage. Help with the installation of weatherstripping and caulking jumps 10.9 percent in December over the rest of the winter months. Along the same lines, basic heating system repairs jump in December, while a spike in heating system installation, which requires a significant investment in the home-doesn’t occur until after the holidays. So, to make sure that you have a home that is cozy and warm in time for your seasonal festivities, then it may be in your best interest to get your heating system checked by a company like Buric Heating and Air Conditioning, (visit company website here) before the holiday season begins so that you don’t have it lingering above your head going into the New Year. It also means that your house won’t be cold, which will be a bonus, especially if there is a drop in temperature outside.

2. Cleaning Service Contractors

Maid service is one home improvement made for the holidays. House cleaning can take on a whole new dimension for homeowners who are hosting the social gatherings of the season, and the mountains of dishes that come with this honor. Unfortunately, this is far from the only increased strain on your household cleaning. Like summer, the kids are home from school, giving them extra hours to run amok. In particular, college students-home for an entire month-may present new problems, as they pick up bad house-cleaning habits from fraternity brothers and sorority sisters, just as you’ve lost the ability to reasonably ground them.

There may arise other inconceivable household cleaning problems. For example, the foul smell lingering in the house could be coming from your crawl space due to mold or fungal growth. You can make sure of the origin of smell by contacting a crawl space inspection and repair agency like Crawl Space Medic (https://crawlspacemedic.com/atlanta-ga) or any other good company that is more local to you. Hiring agencies to professionally cleaning your kitchen and basement can improve the quality of the space, and also ensure good health and hygiene.

During the holiday season, demand for maid services actually increases, as does other specialized cleaning services. Whether more homeowners entertain during the holidays and use their fireplaces, or they want to provide a comfortable journey for old St. Nick, December is high tide for cleaning. If you’re thinking about hiring a cleaning company for the holiday season, make sure you find out lots of information about the cleaning company. Read some past reviews, learn about their services. You could always do some cleaning yourself and save some cash!

3. Install Black Friday Electronics

You might as well enjoy the black Friday deals through the holidays. Dont wait until the holidays are behind you. Family and friends will be coming to visit, so make sure they have a splendid time watching the game on your new TV or media room. Make sure your home is party friendly with smart home automation including switches, sensors, cameras and other devices to bring your home to life. Holiday Friendly Home Improvement Pros

What Makes a Contractor Holiday-Friendly?

The thing these three contractors have in common is their ability to reduce the hassle of your home maintenance with minimal instruction. Ask the handyman for a home check-up, mention a few key areas of trouble, and off he goes. With maid service, tell them where they don’t need to go (kids’ rooms, the office) and they’ll go to work. Tell the snow removal contractor to come after every snow, and you won’t have to tell him anything more. This also explains why contractor referral services-which cater to homeowners who like the convenience of finding contractors online-see a particularly strong jump in these services during the holiday. Holiday Friendly Home Improvement Pros

Plano Texas Handyman is your Premier handyman and home automation company in North Dallas. Call us today at 214-507-3415 or visit our sister company site at Monarc Technology for all your home automation. Holiday Friendly Home Improvement Pros

Holiday Exterior Uplighting

Exterior Uplighting Holidays

Holiday Exterior Uplighting – Your choice of lighting is a quintessential part of your home’s ambiance. Choosing the right uplighting / downlighting layout can create a subtle yet stunning outdoor lighting atmosphere that you crave for your home’s exterior.

Plano Texas Handyman can add LED uplighting or exterior downlighting to enhance your homes facade and value. Call us today at 214-507-3415 for a free estimate or visit our website for all our capabilities.

Although lighting experts and landscaping pros seem to speak their own lingo, understanding the meaning of the term uplighting/downlighting is as obvious as it seems. Uplighting refers to lights that are mounted to shine their light upward and are installed at low or ground level. Downlighting refers to lights that shine their light downward; so they would be installed at a higher to point to create this downward light effect. If you would like to learn more about landscape lighting, you can visit a site similar to kalahari-electrical.com/landscape-lighting/.

Now that we understand the general meaning of the terms, let’s get to the fun part – working out what your unique uplighting/downlighting configuration might look like!

Red Dot Weatherproof Lamp Holder Round Box Kit - Traditional - Bronze
Red Dot Lampholder

A low voltage 7-Inch Outdoor Spot Light is perfect for shining light on your favorite home exterior features! However, for the most dramatic effect low voltage is an inferior alternative to 120v which is the best option. A Red Dot Lampholder with 90w LED bulbs can provide a dramatic effect for as little as $90 per fixture installed into existing lights. The price would be be $200 per fixture if electrical boxes have not been previously installed.

What should you uplight? Common features to uplight in your home’s exterior include special, large or unique trees, architectural features or columns as well as garden features. Uplights are also a perfect choice to illuminate something that is taller. The beauty of these type of features in your home’s exterior can be lost without the correct choice of outdoor lighting.

In addition to highlighting the best features of your home’s exterior, uplighting also:

  • Creates captivating shadows in your landscape
  • Adds depth to outdoor walls, fences or other flat surfaces
  • Layers on extra light for safety and security purposes
  • Outlines space boundaries in your outdoor design

There are many types of uplights available to serve a multitude of backyard lighting needs, including bullet (or spot) uplights such as the Kichler 7-Inch Outdoor Spot Light that offer a narrow spot beam, perfect for shining light on your favorite home exterior features!

What should you downlight? Downlighting is great for adding a layer of depth to your beautiful exterior landscape and creates that warm, welcoming feel that everyone wants their home to have! Downlighting is often used for landscape beds, water features or any of your favorite ground-level focal points that you want to call attention to once the sun goes down. Downlighting provides an element of safety and visibility to seating areas, and is practically a necessity for an outdoor pavilion or gazebo if they are going to be occupied during dark hours. Anyone thinking of building one of these structures on their property should definitely consider the downlighting required.

If you want to add a beautiful effect to downlighting, we recommend you look into Moonlighting. Moonlighting is a trending downlighting technique that, if done correctly, can replicate the beauty of the moon’s light exactly where you want it!
Here’s how moonlighting works:

  • You affix a light fixture, such as the the Kichler 6-Inch Outdoor Spot Light, high up in a tree and point its beam downward to replicate the moon shining down on your favorite area of your home’s exterior. Moonlighting is a fantastic choice for entertainment areas such as patios or pools, where you and your guests can relax under the light of the “moon.”

When is uplighting the way to go? When is downlighting the way to go? Now that we’ve whet your whistle for downlighting/uplighting techniques that you can use to enhance the exterior of your home’s ambiance, improve the overall look and feel and even add another layer of security, you might feel overwhelmed by all the choices. Not to worry, we’ve summarized all these best practices so you can get started.

When to choose uplighting: Uplighting is an amazing way to light up your favorite parts of your home’s exterior – whether it’s your favorite tree, an architectural column or a hardscape in your garden that you want to make sure receives the attention it deserves. As a general rule of thumb, uplighting is used for adding contrast and showing off an element of your exterior. It is best used for structures or elements that rise up from the ground.

When to choose downlighting: Downlighting requires something at a higher level that the light can be affixed to and works best in areas where you want to light up an area or feature that is closer to the ground. It can also be essential in areas where you are concerned that a light could be tripped over or walked upon. Downlighting is more subtle than uplighting making it better suited for areas where pathways or seating areas that need only to be slightly illuminated, for example.

Can’t choose, don’t. Choose both uplighting/downlighting for the win-win! Just like any element of exterior design, the best techniques will often compliment each other. The same is true for uplighting/downlighting. Uplights and downlights are actually better when used in unison to create the combination of subtle and dramatic lighting for your outdoor living space. Layering your landscape lighting with uplighting to highlight certain architectural features, statuary or foliage as well as using downlighting to direct light sources toward ground level elements such as low-growing plants, sitting areas and water features is the ultimate win-win.

How downlighting and uplighting work together:

  • Uplighting can soften the area where the downlighting begins at ground level, making it more subtle, so it appears more natural.
  • Both techniques combined add a wide variety of angles of light, creating a more natural feel – such as you would see in nature.
  • Using both uplighting and downlighting allows you to guide the eyes toward certain areas of your exterior while supporting other areas subtly with mood-enhancing light.
  • LED up/downlights offer many advantages such as:
  • Ease of installation and maintenance
  • Eco-friendly and energy-efficient
  • Cutting-edge technology
  • Versatility and long-lasting

Enjoying your backyard lighting adds an entirely new dimension to your home. Whether you’re entertaining (and impressing) your friends or just unwinding with your family after a long day at the office, your choice of uplighting/downlighting can transform your home into your personal paradise. While uplighting and downlighting serve unique purposes, they work best when used in tandem. Finding the balance between the captivating and the subtle is how you will create the exterior living space worthy of more of your time, enjoyment and, of course, relaxation.

Plano Texas Handyman can add LED uplighting or exterior downlighting to enhance your homes facade and value. Call us today at 214-507-3415 for a free estimate or visit our website for all our capabilities.

Christmas Attic Storage

Christmas attic storage

Christmas attic storage – So as we embark upon another holiday season, out come the Christmas decorations. And at the end of the year, you embark on the same routine, “What do I do with all this extra stuff that I need to store from year to year”? Answer: Create your Own Self Storage – Why would you pay a self storage facility, on average, $160 per month for a 10×10 unit when you can create usable space in your attic for a fraction of the price. Plano Texas Handyman can convert an average attic space, approximately 200 square feet for about $1500. Christmas attic storage

Call Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 to talk about your attic remodel or visit our website planotexashandyman.com for all our capabilities. Christmas attic storage .

Consider the facts, we can provide double the space for a payback of 10onths, or less. Consider the following-:

Christmas Storage Solutions

Christmas Storage Solutions

According to The Self Storage Association, there are roughly 49,000 storage facilities in the U.S. alone. Self storage has consistently been the fastest growing area of the commercial real estate industry, representing $22 billion in annual U.S. revenues in 2011. But why? Why are Americans so willing to saddle themselves with material albatrosses that sap their monthly income? Have we become such a nomadic and unsettled people that our consumerism can only keep up with our lifestyles through acres of augmented storage? I’ll leave that up to the social and cultural critics to decide. Although this isn’t an issue that is isolated to the United States. In fact, self storage Auckland has become a very popular choice for the Kiwi’s down under. Alternatively, you could look at other storage options, such as the ability to rent to own sheds for your storage needs. Christmas attic storage

Wish you could utilize all that extra space in your attic to store rarely used items, but aren’t sure how to? Here are some great attic storage ideas I’ve found. Soon, all those Christmas decorations, seasonal sports equipment, and other odds and ends will be organized neatly for easy access, there might also be archival storage by Boom Box Storage to help with storage for decorations. Christmas attic storage

The attic is a great place to store things that aren’t often used but you still want to keep. You know, things like those boxes of Christmas ornaments, your pool toys in winter and boxes of winter gear in summer. The attic is a great untapped storage place. Now, keep in mind that, unlike basements which are damp, attics tend to be very dry. And, this is a no-brainer, but even with lots of insulation, they tend to get warmer than the rest of the house. Christmas attic storage

If you’re considering entering the fray and renting a storage unit, or if you’re rethinking the value you get out of your current storage arrangement, let me offer a few arguments against these businesses that dot our landscape. Here are seven reasons why renting a self-storage unit is a bad idea. (See also: The Tyranny of Stuff) Create your Own Self Storage

1. Most Stored Objects Depreciate in Value
Unless you’re storing gold or silver (an ill-advised move at most storage facilities), the objects you’re housing are probably depreciating in value. Though I know some storage situations are unavoidable (i.e., a last minute move for a job, family emergency, divorce), the pay-off long-term just doesn’t seem worth it when you consider the replacement cost of the stored items. Christmas attic storage

2. Extra Offsite Storage Promotes Acquisition
Having overflow storage options at the ready encourages needless acquisition. Often, storage units enable hoarding tendencies and prevent us from moving on from objects and the places and times in our lives that they represent. Create your Own Self Storage Christmas Storage Solutions

3. Storage Fees Can Be a Financial Drain
This one is obvious, but still insidious. There’s something overwhelming about having a storage unit full of stuff. We tend to ignore it, become exhausted at the thought of moving it, and avoid figuring out how to get rid of it. Inertia sets in and we (almost gladly) fork over the $65.00 or $75.00 a month to maintain the status quo. After a few years of paying our monthly dues, we’ve spent enough to buy to good used car and have nothing to show for it besides the same old anxiety-producing pile of stuff. Christmas Storage Ideas

4. Storage Facilities Often Lack Adequate Security
There doesn’t appear to be any uniform approach to security measures across the self-storage industry. Some facilities are well-lit, some aren’t; some have attendants on-site, some don’t; some units have solid walls and metal doors, others are made of wire and plywood. For an industry that’s basking in the riches of a society on the move, why is there no self-governance, no rating system, Extra Storage Space Your Home.and no standardized security?

5. If You Can Store It for Years, You Can Live Without It
Professional organizers and decluttering experts sing the same refrain — if you haven’t used it in six months or a year, you can live without it. The same logic applies to the objects we’re warehousing in our storage units. If you can box it up and lock it up for years, do you really need it? If it’s not used regularly, what’s its real value?

6. Unpaid Storage Bills Equal Secured Debt
Many folks don’t think about the contents of their unit as security against delinquent storage payments. But it only takes few episodes of “Storage Wars” to be set straight on that point. Unpaid storage fees are made up, in part, by auctioning off the contents of each unit. In many cases, the contents can be sold and renters are still liable for the remaining balance. If you’re storing family photos, heirlooms, or other memorabilia, is it worth the risk to potentially have your items held captive or sold to the highest bidder? Christmas attic storage

7. Storage Services Are a Questionable Value
Considering the cost, the tendency for objects to depreciate in value while in storage, the inertia that off-site storage can lead to, and the lack of uniform security of facilities, I have a hard time seeing the value in long-term storage services. It begs the question — wouldn’t our money be better spent processing and organizing the items we have and purging what’s left over? Create your Own Self Storage, Christmas Storage Ideas.

I realize that self-storage can be like a huge convenience when life throws you a curve ball. But as an ongoing strategy for managing the “stuff” in our lives, it’s a losing proposition. Maybe it’s time to grab a few friends, throw the doors open, load up the trunk, and have a yard sale. Extra Storage Space Your Home

Call Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 to talk about your attic remodel or visit our website planotexashandyman.com for all our capabilities. Christmas attic storage

Holiday Home Security

Holiday Home Security

It’s finally time for the holidays, and boy this is the best time of the year. You are planning the family get together, and going to visit relatives as well as have relatives visit you. But how exactly are you supposed to relax, unwind, and leave your cares behind if you’re worried about the security of your home?  Holiday Home Security

Plano Texas Handyman is the local expert on protecting your home with a smart home security system, We install wired and wireless cameras, door and window sensors, room cameras, water sensors and most anything that will monitor your home while your away and view them real time on your smart device. Call today at 214-507-3415 or visit our website for more details on all our capabilities. Read on about ways to protect your home during the holiday season.

Install a home Security Camera System

Security cameras are powerful deterrents to check unlawful activities and are widely using for indoor and outdoor surveillance. Security cameras can provide vital clues to the police to identify and trace the people involved in unlawful activities let it be a criminal tress passing, burglary or mob attack or arson. To track all the movements inside and outside of a premise, you need to use the suitable security camera system. Holiday Home Security

Enlist a Trusted Neighbor

Remember how your mom or grandma always kept a spare key under the doormat or above the doorframe? Yeah… don’t do that. Instead, find a neighbor you trust or a friend who lives close by and give them a spare key, just in case you need them to access your home for you while you’re away. Holiday Home Security

Hide Valuables Creatively

Safe behind a picture in the bedroom? That might be the first place a burglar looks. Get more imaginative by hiding valuables in kitchen cabinets, bathroom cupboards, the bottom of the toy box, or in the dog’s bed (although that won’t protect anything from fire damage).

Remember, Nothing is more secure than a solid steel, fire-proof, water resistant, solid bolt safe securely fastened to a concrete floor. Few thief’s will have the tools to remove the safe or get into the safe.

Remember that not all steel structures are the same. It largely depends on the quality of material used. For example, Australians rely heavily on their own manufactured steel called Colorbond. Many local businesses from fencing contractors to steel shed builders in Townsville utilize best materials around to provide structural reselience against cyclones and other volatile weather.

Keep Your Daily Services Active

Enlist a friend or relative to gather mail, newspapers, and packages, or cancel service for the time you’re gone since seeing things pile up can alert a thief to your absence. You might also ask a friend or neighbor to park in your driveway periodically and hire someone to keep mowing your lawn. Holiday Home Security

Hire a House Sitter

If you know a trustworthy sitter who’d consider a stay in your home something like a vacation, it can be a win/win situation. Hire them to live in your home and keep an eye on it while you’re gone. If you don’t want them to live in your home, hire them to make two or three trips per day to open p the house and check things out. If you have pets, they can also serve as a pet sitter, which means you won’t have to board your cat or dog.

Don’t Announce Your Departure

Don’t post on social media about your trip—ultimately broadcasting your home’s vulnerability—until you return. You can share to your heart’s content once you’re home from your adventure. If you really must share, ensure you’re only corresponding with a small group of close friends. Holiday Home Security

Install a Home Security System

The best way to guarantee peace of mind about your home is to install a home security system. One of the best course of action is to see more options on different ways you can keep your home safe. In addition to alarms that trigger if one of your home’s entries is breached, the right system will offer you remote viewing of your property (even at night), allow you to control temperatures and switch lights off and on, and generally create the appearance that the home is occupied. Some systems permit you to provide and change entry codes for guests who will enter while you’re away. Many newer systems include cameras which you can remotely pan, tilt, and view on any of your smart devices that can receive a data signal.  Holiday Home Security

Install Smart Home Devices

You can install WiFi light switches that you can turn on any light from anywhere you are vacationing. You can install WiFi plugs to turn on lamps from anywhere. You can install door and window sensors that immediately send you notifications if a breech has occurred. Smart cameras can allow you to monitor your home from anywhere in the world.

Rest easy, your home is protected.

Plano Texas Handyman is the local expert on protecting your home with a smart home security system, We install wired and wireless cameras, door and window sensors, room cameras, water sensors and most anything that will monitor your home while your away and view them real time on your smart device. Call today at 214-507-3415 or visit our website for more details on all our capabilities. Holiday Home Security

Article reprinted from Plano Living magazine

Plano Texas Handyman Holiday Cookbook Recipes

Plano Texas Handyman Holiday Cookbook Recipes

Plano Texas Handyman Holiday Cookbook Recipes – Preparing a holiday meal takes time, patience, and planning.  If you really want to enjoy some delicious cooking, we have some family recipes to share with all our customers.  There are some truly unique recipes from the Christmas Cookbook.  Click here to download.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from Plano Texas Handyman!

I love to share excerpts from my cookbook to all my customers and clients.  This cookbook will provide you with a collection of classic recipes to make your holiday dinner a special occasion for family and friends.   Italian Cookbook, Handyman Cookbook.  Please Visit Plano Texas Handyman website to view and download our cookbook.  Plano Texas Handyman Cookbook.  By the way, of you are looking for a top-notch handyman service, call Ted at 214-507-3415 for more information,  Plano Texas Handyman Holiday Cookbook Recipes

Download Cookbook

My family emigrated from Sicily and Northern Europe at the turn of the 20th century.  Growing up I had 20 great aunts and uncles, and literally hundreds of cousins, so the holidays were packed with people and good food.  Italian Cookbook, Handyman Cookbook, Plano Texas Handyman Cookbook. Plano Texas Handyman Holiday Cookbook Recipes

All of the recipes in this book were handed down from generation to generation.  Additionally, many of the recipes have been adapted from my own culinary skills.  As a gourmet cook, I have prepared them all and they are delicious.  This book contains a collection of traditional holiday favorites and a few Italian delicacies.  Below is a collection of recipes and you can download the full cook be here  Download Cookbook  Plano Texas Handyman Cookbook, Plano Texas Handyman Holiday Cookbook Recipes

Traditional Holiday Cooking, Christmas Cookbook

Roast Turkey
Herb Dressing
Oyster dressing
Herb Oyster Dressing
Giblet Gravy
Roasted Potatoes with Parsnips

Beef, Game & Lamb

Prime Rib
Osso Bucco
Polenta with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
Cornish Game Hens

Elegant Salads and Sides, Christmas Cookbook

Molded Cranberries
Christmas Salad
Candied Apples
Eight layer Jell-O
Mom’s Famous Egg Noodles
Stewed Tomatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
Roasted Red Potatoes

Appetizers & Starters

Stilton Cheese Mushroom Caps
Chili Con Queso
Lupini Beans
Party Mix

Hearty Soups and Stews, Christmas Cookbook

Green Chili Stew
Minestrone Soup
Crabmeat Bisque
Shrimp Etouffee

Breakfast and Starters, Christmas Cookbook

Chili Relleno Egg Casserole
Blueberry French Toast
Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls

Holiday Desert Time, Christmas Cookbook

Pizzelle Cookies
Chocolate Fudge
Peanut Butter Fudge
Walnut Potica Bread

Italian Favorites:

Pork Sugo Sauce
Cheese Lasagna
Pumpkin Lasagna
Spicy clam marinara linguine

Everyday Favorites, Appetizers, Vegetables, and Entrees, Christmas Cookbook

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
Sugar and Walnut Glazed Baked Brie
Creamy Corn and Clam chowder
Napolitano Marinara Sauce
Napolitano Manicotti Filling
Napolitano Crepes
Mafalde Florentine Sauce (Michelangelo)
Eggplant Parmesan
Parmesan Wheels
Roasted Asparagus and Prosciutto ham
Potato Gnocchi
Napa Style Sole Veronique
Parmesan crusted Tilapia
Roasted Barley and Mushroom Risotto
Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts
Red Wine Reduction Sauce
Sautéed Beets
Brisket Tacos with Mango Salsa
Carnitas
Gourmet Chili
Chili Pie
Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese with caramelized onions
Black Bean Tostados with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

More Deserts, Christmas Cookbook

Easy Blackberry Cobbler
Coconut Caramel Pecan Cream Cheese Pie
Tiramisu (Lidia’s Italy)

This book is dedicated to my family who has made the holidays a special time of the year.  Holiday Cookbook.  Download Cookbook, Plano Texas Handyman Cookbook, Plano Texas Handyman Holiday Cookbook Recipes

Enjoy!

Ted and Kelly Vinci
Proprietors: Plano Texas Handyman
Christmas Cookbook

Plano Texas Handyman Holiday Cookbook Recipes

Reasons to Install an Electric Fireplace

Reasons to Install an Electric Fireplace

Here are the reasons why it’s important to get an electric fireplace installation or a heating system installation. If you’re new to the idea of owning an electric fireplace, we’re here to give you the scoop on all the reasons you’ll love having one. Skip ahead to the Electric Fireplace Infographic ⬇️ or View the Video, or keep reading to learn why it’s one of the best things you can do for your home this winter (or any season)!

Plano Texas Handyman is your local expert on design, heating system installation and wiring. Call today for more information at 214-507-3415 or visit our website for all our capabilities. Reasons to Install an Electric Fireplace

1. No Smoke

Wood burning fireplaces release cancer-causing agents and dangerous fumes, such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, into your home. Inhalation of these fumes can be dangerous to your family and pets. Even switching to woods that are supposed to produce higher heat and less smoke still produce harmful smoke that reduces the air quality in your home. However, electric fireplaces have zero emissions and no hazardous byproducts. To prevent any further fire hazards, hire a reliable electrical contractor.

With an electric fireplace, long gone are the days when your whole house smelled like smoke. You can have a fireplace without harmful smoke or smoky odors seeping into carpets, rugs, couches, clothing or beds. Moreover, those inflicted with allergies and medical conditions such as asthma can find comfort and convenience in more advanced heating technology. For example, some electric fireplaces use infrared heat to avoid drying out the air and help maintain natural humidity for healthier warmth.

rustic white TV stand with fireplace in a bright living room.

2. Energy Efficient

Electric fireplaces are one of the most efficient ways to heat a home and heat rooms faster and more efficiently than wood-burning fireplaces. Since heat rises, traditional chimney fireplaces let all the heat out through the chimney. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “most traditional open fireplaces lose over 90 percent of the fire’s heat out the chimney, and much of the heated air in the room goes with it.” Since drafts come in through the chimney, your already heated room becomes cold again after a few gusts of freezing air coming down. With an electric fireplace, rooms warm up quickly and stay warm throughout use.

LED technology is also incorporated into many Twin Star Home™ electric fireplaces, which consumes less energy than regular incandescent bulbs. The normal lifespan of an LED bulb is 50,000 hours and contains no mercury. This helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and costs much less to operate. The LED bulb also stays cool to the touch because it produces approximately 90% less heat than an incandescent bulb. Additionally, there is no deforestation involved with enjoying the flame of an electric fireplace, so the forests will be pretty happy with you, too.

a wall mounted electric fireplace hangs in a cozy dim room

3. Save Money

You may have guessed that the energy efficiency of electric fireplaces also makes them more cost-efficient. As far as fireplaces go, electric is the least expensive. One of the reasons why is because electric fireplaces provide supplemental zone heating. Zone heating saves money by allowing you to lower the overall temperature of your home by 10-15 degrees. Then, you heat only the room that is occupied. This concept reduces the use of wasted energy and could save you up to 10% on your energy bills.

Electric fireplaces also save you from costly chimney cleaning, service checks, and installation fees. For wood-burning fireplaces, costs associated with installing and maintenance tend to be outrageous. With a traditional fireplace, you can expect to pay anywhere from $7,000-$10,000 or more on installation. Furthermore, associated costs can add up quickly. Chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, wood, and the lost heat that escapes from the chimney can drive up those numbers. Gas fireplace units run around $2,500 for the basic materials, along with another $2,500 for installation and finishing. Gas fireplaces also require annual service checks plus a chimney inspection, which can run from $100-$200. Meanwhile, an electric fireplace allows you to simply plug it in and enjoy.

a white shiplap wall mantel against a blue wall

4. Low Maintenance

Having the ambiance and warmth of a fireplace is much easier to enjoy when there is little to no maintenance involved. You can always opt to avoid the average cost of $200-$300 for a traditional fireplace chimney cleaning by doing the cleaning yourself. However, that can be a lot of effort! There is no ash and soot or chimney cleaning with an electric fireplace. In fact, chopping or storing logs isn’t necessary since firewood isn’t needed to harness heat. There is also no need to get down on your hands and knees or bend over in uncomfortable positions to light or tend to the fire. With an electric fireplace, you can just sit back and relax and use the remote to control the fireplace from across the room.

5. Anyone Can Enjoy an Electric Fireplace

Renters and those living in apartments, condos, small homes and even recreational vehicles (RVs) seldom get to enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a fireplace. With electric fireplaces, anyone can enjoy the dancing flames in any room of their home. Since there is no need for a chimney, electric fireplaces can be placed on any level of a building. Small living spaces are also a non-issue. A variety of models means they can also be placed in any size home to offer that calming environment a fireplace provides.

A small three-sided electric fireplace fits comfortably in an apartment corner.

6. Longer Lifespan

Electric fireplaces have a longer lifespan when compared to their wood burning and gas burning counterparts. Because they are not a combustible energy resource, electric fireplaces are not susceptible to rust and corrosion. Use one for several years on end and it still looks as new as the first day you got it.

7. Easy Installation

One of the best things about electric fireplaces is the ease of installation. It is a one-step process! All you have to do is plug it in and you are ready to enjoy. On the contrary, wood burning and gas fireplaces are costly, time consuming, and just a hassle to install. Oftentimes, you need a professional for installation.

8. So Many Electric Fireplace Options

Electric fireplaces come in a plethora of styles and options. They can look more traditional or contemporary to match any type of home decor or architectural style. Additionally, they allow the owner to be in complete control of their ideal fire experience. Depending on the features of the model you choose, you can customize settings such as brightness, flame speed, flame color, and more to suit your style or mood.

They can also be placed in locations that don’t normally allow for fireplaces, such as basements. You can even find some incorporated into various types of furniture. Some models are built into beautiful mantels and media consoles, allowing for extra storage that is also stylish. Wall mounted units save space and can sometimes be installed in a wall for a more flush look. Meanwhile, other options like electric fireplace inserts and electric log sets can be installed in already existing fireplaces to solve issues with a non-working wood or gas fireplace. More compact electric fireplace options can be moved around from room to room whenever you desire.

An industrial bookshelf with built in fireplace stands against a brick wall in a loft

9. Fireplace Safety

Although electric fireplaces produce enough heat to warm a room 400 square feet and up, they remain cool to the touch. Without the issue of hot metal casings, electric fireplaces are a safe alternative to a traditional fireplace for kids and pets. Automatic overheat protection also reduces the risk of fires resulting from the overheating of electronics. Depending on the electric fireplace you choose, you may also get safety features like Safer Plug® or Safer Sensor™. Safer Plug® is a fire prevention technology offered by Twin Star Home™. This safety feature monitors the temperature of the electric fireplace’s plug and automatically shuts off the unit should unsafe conditions arise. Similarly, Safer Sensor™ also prevents overheating. It automatically shuts the unit off if a person or object obstructs the heat source.

10. Use Electric Fireplaces Year-Round

Since heat and flame effect controls are independent, anyone can enjoy the cozy glow of an electric fireplace. Even during the warmer months! Use them with or without heat, leaving to experience the ambiance of a gentle rolling fire. Homes in all climates can set the mood for any occasion, in any room, all year long.

Plano Texas Handyman is your local expert on design, installation and wiring. Call today for more information at 214-507-3415 or visit our website for all our capabilities. Reasons to Install an Electric Fireplace

Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment – Light your home using the same amount of light for less money. There are few home improvement projects that actually pay for themselves and LED lighting is one of them.  An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. You could also try switching energy provider at https://www.moneyexpert.com/gas-electricity/ to make sure you’re getting the best deal. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $45 each year. New lighting standards took effect in 2012, and money-saving options such as halogen incandescent, CFL, and LED lightbulbs are available today. For high-quality products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR. Of course this isn’t the only change that you can make to increase your home’s energy efficiency. In fact, you’d be surprised at how many improvements can be made to cut costs, increase efficiency, and reduce environmental impact. If you’re interested then you might want to have a look at chipglennon.com for more ideas.  Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

Call Monarc Technology or Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for more information on adding energy efficient lighting or visit our Smart Home website for all our capabilities. Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

New Lightbulbs: What’s the Difference?

Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light and are no longer manufactured.

  • 90% of the energy is given off as heat
  • That lost energy is money we are throwing away

Newer energy-saving lightbulbs provide the choices in colors and light levels you’ve come to expect. The new lights are also much more efficient — so they save you money. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

What Are My Lighting Choices?

You have many choices in energy-efficient lighting. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy. You can find these in most hardware and home improvement stores as well as at FSC Lighting.

Controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Be sure to select products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.  Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

If you have outdoor lighting that is left on for a long time, using CFLs or LEDs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy. Most bare spiral CFLs can be used in enclosed fixtures that protect them from the weather. CFLs and LEDs are available as flood lights. These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures. Also look for ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures that are designed for outdoor use and come with features like automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors.

Halogen Incandescents

Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money – Halogen incandescents have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers. Halogen incandescent bulbs meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard, but there are now many more efficient options to meet your lighting needs.

CFLs

Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are simply curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights you may already have in a kitchen or garage. Because they use less electricity than traditional incandescents, typical CFLs can pay for themselves in less than nine months, and then start saving you money each month. An ENERGY STAR-qualified CFL uses about one-fourth the energy and lasts ten times longer than a comparable traditional incandescent bulb that puts out the same amount of light. A typical CFL can pay for itself in energy savings in less than 9 months and continue to save you money each month. A CFL uses about one-third the energy of a halogen incandescent.

CFL bulbs are available in a range of light colors, including warm (white to yellow) tones that were not as available when first introduced. Some are encased in a cover to further diffuse the light and provide a similar shape to the bulbs you are replacing. If you are looking for a dimmable bulb, check the package to make sure you purchase a CFL with that feature.

Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, and they should always be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Many retailers recycle CFLs for free. See EPA’s website for more information. Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

LEDs

Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a type of solid-state lighting — semiconductors that convert electricity into light. Although once known mainly for indicator and traffic lights, LEDs in white light, general illumination applications are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing technologies. ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and last 15 to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace. LEDs use 25%–30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescents.

LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for 40W, 60W, and 75W traditional incandescents, reflector bulbs often used in recessed fixtures, and small track lights, desk lamps, kitchen undercabinet lighting, and outdoor area lights. They come in a variety of colors, and some are dimmable or offer convenient features such as daylight and motion sensors. LEDs work well indoors and outdoors because of their durability and performance in cold environments. Look for LED products such as pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use. You can also find solar-powered outdoor lighting. Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

While LEDs are more expensive, they still save money because they last a long time and have very low energy use. As with other electronics, prices are expected to come down as more products enter the market.

Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money– First lets look at the benefits of installing energy efficient lighting and later we will examine the up-front cost to upgrade and then the annual energy savings. Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman 214-507-3415 to discuss the installation of your Drip Irrigation System. Visit our website at www.planotexashandyman.com for more information. Installing Energy- 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting.

It’s no secret the cost of electrical energy continues to rise and will inevitably continue to do so in the future. At the same time, the demand for electricity continues to increase, taxing our existing electrical infrastructure to the margins of their design limits. We need more power, but in order to get it, we need new transmission and distribution infrastructure — but that’s just the beginning.

Efficiencies need to improve. Smart grid and microgrid strategies need to be deployed, and energy storage needs to be maximized. The list goes on and on. The problem is all of these propositions require a large amount of capital, which seems to be in short supply these days. Therefore, the quickest and least expensive way to generate more electricity is to not consume it in the first place. One way to use less energy is to install newer and more energy-efficient lamps, luminaires, and controls. Even lighting systems that were deployed just five years ago could benefit from newer lighting technologies and/or better control strategies.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that about 461 billion kWh of electricity were used for lighting by the residential and commercial sectors in 2011. This was equal to about 17% of the total electricity consumed by both of these sectors and about 12% of total U.S. electricity consumption. Residential lighting consumption was about 186 billion kWh — or 13% of all residential electricity consumption. The commercial sector, which includes commercial and institutional buildings and public street/highway lighting, consumed about 275 billion kWh for lighting — or 21% of commercial sector electricity consumption in 2011. Installing Energy- 5 Reasons to use Energy Efficient Lighting. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

The good news is lighting has become more efficient over the last decade and continues to evolve. Not only have lamps and luminaires become more efficient, but so have lighting control systems. Installing new luminaires and lamps — or retrofitting existing luminaires and lamps — is standard practice for the electrical industry. However, installing lighting controls to save energy has sent many electrical contractors and technicians back into training mode.

1. Energy Savings – Lamp/luminaire and lighting control strategies are driven by the need to save energy and by the adoption of energy codes like the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1, or state standards like California’s Title 24. As lamp efficacies improve, energy codes are driving down the number of watts per square foot used to light any give space within a building. Add in effective lighting controls, and you can drive down energy consumption even further. On the voluntary side, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), has had a profound impact on driving energy-efficient lighting design as well. Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

There are other benefits for installing a well-engineered lighting system. Although the following benefits may appear to be less quantifiable, in reality, they are no less important than saving energy. First is the effect that a lighting system has on improving the productivity, recruitment, and retention of the customer’s employees. The second is green and zero net energy branding opportunities. A 2015 research study, found an average 3.2% increase in productivity from lighting improvements. The same study also revealed that a 1% increase in productivity equates to 100% reduction in energy costs. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money.

Call Monarc Technology at 214-507-3415 for more information on adding energy efficient lighting or visit our Smart Home website for all our capabilities. Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

2. Large choice of lighting technology – Lamp and luminaire choice is usually driven by customer request in consultation with an architect, lighting designer, or both to meet occupancy requirements. However, in some cases, the electrical contractor may become the specifier of the lamps and luminaires to reduce costs for the customer (value-engineering). Electrical contractors involved in design/build projects have greater influence over lighting selection. Because most design/build electrical contractors are not lighting designers, learning something about basic lighting design benefits everyone involved.

Just like the lighting designer, the electrical contractor needs to understand the customer’s lighting requirements. In the case of value-engineering or design/build scenarios, realize that the customer may be relying on your expertise when it comes to lamp/luminaire selection, layout, and control. Some basic questions to ask the customer include: What is the major task(s) that will be performed in the space (e.g., task lighting)? What surfaces or objects need to be lit (e.g., focal lighting)? What types of fenestrations will the space contain (e.g., daylighting)? Is any lamp/luminaire going to be used as an architectural or decorative feature (e.g., decorative lighting)? What is the mood of the space, or what are the navigation requirements within the space (e.g., ambient lighting)? In some designs, energy savings and increased productivity may be gained by separating task lighting from ambient lighting and using innovative control strategies.

3. Lighting has become understandable – The proper selection of the lamp and luminaire begins with understanding something about the qualities of a light source, which are determined by the method used to produce the light. Light sources range from incandescent and halogen to fluorescent and HID to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Lamps are rated in lumen output, watts, and lumens per watt or efficacy. Lumen output is the total light output of the lamp. This does not include fixture lumens only lamp lumens. (It’s important to understand the difference when evaluating LED lamps and luminaires.) Efficacy is the measure of how efficient one light source is when compared to another. The more lumen output per watt of power consumed, the more efficacious the lamp is. When purchasing lamps, think lumens, not watts. Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

4. Quality – The quality of light is also a measure of its color accuracy and the color of the light itself. Color accuracy is a measure of how well the light source can render the colors of an object. This is known as the color rendering index (CRI), which is measured on a scale of 0 (very poor rendering) to 100 (perfect rendering). The color of the light the lamp produces (whether the light appears warm, neutral, or cool) is a function of its color temperature. The lower the color temperature, the warmer (more red) the lamp appears; the higher the color temperature, the whiter or cooler the light source appears (more blue). This is known as the correlated color temperature (CCT), as shown in the Figure. Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

Other areas of concern when selecting a lamp are its operating temperature range, lamp life, lumen maintenance (how much light output diminishes over the life of the lamp), directionality, dimmability, starting time, and life-cycle costs. All lamp qualities need to be understood to provide the customer with the desired end result. This implies that you, as the electrical contractor, understand how all lamps generate their light and what their operational characteristics are. Control strategies will be predicated on the operational characteristics of the lamp and occupancy requirements. Energy Efficient Lighting Saves Money

The goal is to have a better understanding of the nature of light — not necessarily to become a lighting designer. However, if you are providing design/build services or value-engineering a lighting system, understanding some basics of lighting design will help a great deal. Many lighting and lighting control manufacturers provide basic online training with regard to understanding the nature of light, lamp characteristics, luminaire selection, and the correct switching or dimming control devices and topologies. Many lighting manufacturers also offer webinars and training courses, some of which are free. Staying on top of the latest training resources in the lighting arena will go a long way toward maximizing your next energy-efficient installation.

Call Monarc Technology at 214-507-3415 for more information on adding energy efficient lighting or visit our Smart Home website for all our capabilities. Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

The annual savings to upgrade to energy efficient lighting

Energy Savings – Assuming you have a 2500 square foot home, with a total of 25 – 60W incandescent bulbs (lamps, fans and bath fixtures), 15 – 65W BR40 spot lights (can lights), and 4 – 4? 40W t40 fluorescent bulbs (closets and laundry).

The total out of pocket cost to replace these bulbs with LED lighting would be approximately $485.00, including professional installation. Installing Energy-Efficient Indoor Lighting Systems

The total annual savings realized based on .11c/kwh would come to $240.00 annually in energy usage, up-front, the payback seems to be 2 years! However, you must consider the longevity and useful life of the asset, LED bulbs last on average 14.7 years compared to 2.1 years for standard incandescent. Essentially, you will have to replace incandescent bulbs 7 times. The bottom line is that over the life of the LED product (14 to 15 years), you will save over $3200.00 in energy usage and bulb replacement.

This analysis is done for a 2500 square foot home, do the math, many homes in Plano Texas are much larger. Your savings could be enormous.

Call Monarc Technology at 214-507-3415 for more information on adding energy efficient lighting or visit our Smart Home website for all our capabilities. Install Energy Efficient Lighting Investment

Holiday Home Project Ideas

Holiday Handyman Services

Install Home Electronics

Install Home Electronics

Holiday Home Project Ideas – If a new flat panel television, home theatre system, or other electronic devices are bound for your household this gift-giving season, consider seeking installation quotes from a trained professional. Proper installation can maximize your enjoyment of new electronics for a fraction of their purchase price, and the stress of following a multi-page instruction manual may bring out the Scrooge in many DIYers.

Your Pro-To-Call is Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for Holiday home projects and you can visit our website for all our capabilities.

Plan for Holiday Lights

Christmas lights begin to appear on homes across America every year

Plan for Holiday Lights

almost immediately following (and sometimes before!) Thanksgiving. If you plan to decorate your home yourself, develop a plan and start looking for deals on lights and other outdoor holiday paraphernalia early. If you’re planning on hiring assistance, make sure you contact a professional for quotes as soon as possible. Either way, allow time to make arrangements and install lights as early as you can in order to maximize the number of days you’ll have to enjoy them. Holiday Home Project Ideas

Hire Cleaning Help

Hire Cleaning Help

If you’re like most people, the final months of the year are long on to-do items and short on time. Hiring a cleaning professional will allow you to focus on more important tasks and keep your home looking its best for holiday visitors. Whether you schedule a one-time visit or routine cleanings, the stress and effort you’ll save are likely well-worth the monetary investment.

Fix Major Home Appliances

Fix Major Home Appliances

From turkey dinners to Christmas cookies, the holiday season is a busy time for most kitchens. Clothes washers and dryers often pull an extra shift or two during the holidays, as well. If your appliances aren’t working, or aren’t working as well as they should call an appliance repair san francisco professional, or one closer to your location before the holidays arrive. A trained professional often can diagnose and repair a problem in a major appliance for far less than the cost of replacement. Holiday Home Project Ideas from Plano Texas Handyman.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats save money without sacrificing comfort by using less energy on heating and cooling while you’re away from home, asleep, or at any other specific times you select. More accurate and convenient to use than manual thermostats, programmable thermostats don’t contain toxic mercury found in traditional models and are the best for heating maintenance. Hiring a pro for this project is generally inexpensive, but this project is within the abilities of most DIYers.

Fireplace Repair

Fireplace Repair

Proper inspection of a fireplace is vital to ensuring its safe operation — even if it is rarely used. An experienced chimney sweep will check wood fireplaces for flammable buildup (known as creosote) and chimney blockages like bird nests. A chimney or fireplace professional also should check for these red flags: improperly functioning dampers, damaged brickwork and masonry, and missing or damaged flue caps (the screen covering the top of the chimney). Holiday Home Project Ideas

Install a Home Security System or Alarm

Install a Home Security System or Alarm

If you’re looking for peace of mind this holiday season, consider enlisting the help of a home security company. A home security system will help protect against intruders and many systems also can monitor for signs of fire. Security companies will often install basic systems free of charge, provided you sign a monitoring contract.

Tune Up Furnace

Tune Up Furnace

In the winter, the furnace is literally the heart of most American homes. Without a furnace installation, comfortable life indoors would come to a grinding halt. Occasional furnace repair and furnace maintenance services from a trained furnace repair professional can keep your furnace running effectively and efficiently and prevent potentially catastrophic damage to your home from burst or frozen pipes. These trained professionals can also help you with a new furnace installation if your old one can’t be fixed anymore.

Seal Gaps & Add Insulation

Seal Gaps & Add Insulation

Nothing makes a home more uncomfortable during the winter than a nagging, chilly draft. Consider a home energy audit that includes a review of your home’s caulking and weather stripping. Energy auditors also will likely look inside your attic. If the insulation is at or below the level of the joists, you may be able to keep your home warmer by adding more. A depth of 10 to 14 inches is generally considered optimal, and you can supplement with a variety of different types of insulation to achieve that depth. Holiday Home Project Ideas

Your Pro-To-Call is Plano Texas Handyman at 214-507-3415 for Holiday home projects and you can visit our website for all our capabilities. Holiday Home Project Ideas

Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays – With all of the decorations, shopping, parties, and fun coming up with the holiday season, it’s important to be safe while also having fun. The best thing Plano Texas Handyman can suggest for home safety during the holidays, as well as the rest of the year, is to have a monitored security system. Monitored security systems are over-rated and there are other options like security cameras and motion sensors that are equally as good. But there are several other things you can do in addition to that to help keep your home and family safe. Here are five tips to help you do just that.

Plano Texas Handyman is your local expert to Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays. Call us at 214-507-3415 to discuss security systems and home monitoring. Visit our website for all our capabilities. Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

1. Keep your travel plans offline.

If you are planning to travel during the holiday season, be sure to keep your travel plans off your social media networks. Never post where you are going, when you are leaving, or when you will be back. This is prime information for a thief because he will know when your house will be empty. Even if you have the highest level of security on your Facebook or Twitter accounts, posting this personal information is never recommended.

2. Notify a neighbor.

If you are planning to go out of town during the holiday season, be sure to notify a trusted neighbor. Ask the neighbor to keep an eye on your house and report any suspicious activity. You’ll also want this neighbor to keep your walks cleared of snow and to pick up your mail and newspapers while you are away. Make sure your house looks like somebody is home to deter a burglar. Home automation is a great way to do this. Add a motion sensor light or use smart plugs and smart lightbulbs that let you control lights, TVs, and more from anywhere. Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

3. Hide Christmas gifts and packages.

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You probably want to keep gifts out of sight from children, but you also want to make sure gifts are hidden from a potential burglar as well. Putting pretty wrapped gifts under the Christmas tree looks nice, but it’s also an open invitation for a burglar. Try to keep your Christmas tree, with gifts underneath, away from windows or other places with a view. When you aren’t home, it’s easy to break through a window and grab all of your gifts. Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

And don’t forget to take care of gifts you haven’t received yet. Thieves like to strike when there’s an Amazon Prime delivery or other package left unguarded on the porch. Consider adding a doorbell cam or other outdoor security camera to help deter porch pirates. Another smart move is to give delivery people special instructions about where to leave packages. If you’re expecting lots of deliveries, consider renting out a package locker (Amazon Prime members have access for free) or investing in a secure drop box to keep on your porch.

tree outside of house decorated in lights for Christmas

4. Watch your Christmas lights.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, December is the deadliest month for electrical fires. Before you string lights on the house or the tree, be sure to inspect the strands to make sure there aren’t any frayed cords or cracked lamps. Replace any broken lamps and throw away strands with frayed cords. This will help prevent any accidental fires. You’ll want to buy cords that have been tested by an independent laboratory, like the Underwriters Laboratory. Be sure to check the packaging to see that the manufacturer’s name and information are clearly marked. Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

Also, be sure to turn any holiday lights off when you go out for the evening or when you go to bed. Try using an outdoor timer or smart outlet to switch lights on and off. And it’s a good idea to review how to use a fire extinguisher and make sure yours is accessible and unexpired.

5. Inspect the furnace and the chimney.

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Heating-equipment, like furnaces and fireplaces, cause many deaths every year in the United States. In fact, in 2008, the U.S. Fire Administration reported approximately 2,650 people were killed by house fires. Take the time to have a professional inspect your furnace, clean out air ducts, and sweep the chimney before you need to heat your home. If your furnace is very old it might be time to have a furnace replacement done; a professional can also inspect to see if this is the case. If you are at all concerned with the effectiveness of your furnace, then you need to act. If it is not working properly, it is very simple to have it fixed, but could save your life. Head to texascomfortsystems.com/furnace-repair-in-humble-tx/ if you want to learn about furnace repair.

This is also a great time to check the batteries on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Test these life-saving devices and check expiration dates. If needed, give yourself an early gift by upgrading to a smart smoke detector that can send you text or email alerts whenever it senses danger.

Plano Texas Handyman is your local expert to Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays. Call us at 214-507-3415 to discuss security systems and home monitoring. Visit our website for all our capabilities. Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

Christmas Toy Assembly Services

In Home Christmas Toy Assembly

Christmas Toy Assembly Services – Don’t suffer through the 5 stages of Christmas -Toy Assembly.  Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman:  214-507-3415 to discuss your toy assembly for a reasonable price and reduction on holiday stress. Visit our website for all our capabilities and service platform. Christmas Toy Assembly Service is available if your don’t want to suffer holiday stress.

1. Denial: 11:00 p.m.
When you are still trying to tell yourself the following: Those seven Amazon boxes are really just full of stuffed animals. Is it already 11:00 p.m.? Thank God this won’t take long. I see us asleep by midnight. Maybe most of them come assembled. I got this. Fifteen years ago I was German club president and breezed through shop class. Nothing needs batteries. I bought all the batteries we will need. I bought all the right size batteries. Of course I know where the drill is. The cordless drill is fully charged. Yes, I remember where the eyeglass sized screwdriver is. Yes, it comes with an allen wrench. All the pre-drilled holes are actually pre-drilled. This year we won’t need the 9 inch Santoku knife, needle nose pliers, jaws of life, and a blow torch. I promise. We got this. Christmas Toy Assembly Services

2. Blame: 1:00 a.m.
Here comes the smart ass comments from the parent that did absolutely NONE of the toy shopping, and was asked to start putting the toys together three weeks ago. Here also comes the smart ass comments from the “so over Christmas” parent, who has been toy bargain hunting since Halloween, making sure to snag the hottest and most desired toy for that kid who has only asked for that one thing. (And you finally found it!) “It’s your fault, the kids don’t need all of this!” “Uh, NO… it’s your fault, you could have done this weeks ago!” “Oh yea? Well it’s your mother’s fault, for going over board on her grandsons and sending all these toys HERE for US to put together.” “Seriously? Go ahead and take that two foot long Hot Wheels track and shove it up your arse — I’m going to bed.” Nowhere in my wedding vows did the priest say, “Do you promise to love, honor, and hold your tongue on Christmas Eve when you haven’t slept for three years and your spouse just lost the allen wrench?” Christmas Toy Assembly Services

3. Reminiscing: 2:00 a.m.
*SIGH. Ohhhh the peace of Christmas Eve before children, just the two of you, a roaring fire, and dinner that did not contain a nugget shaped anything. And then sleeping in on Christmas morning, like until 11, followed by lingering over coffee and good conversation, then the exchanging of thoughtful and intimate gifts. There will be recalling of your first Christmas as a married couple together, expecting your first baby, and eager to have a little bundle the following year. Remember when we couldn’t wait to have a kid old enough to sit, unafraid, on Santa’s lap? One that would write adorable letters to the jolly guy, and believed with all his heart the magic that is Christmas? Memories, like the corners of this coffee table we haven’t seen in years because it’s baby proofed. So here’s to us, being awoken by said baby tomorrow at 5:00 a.m., admiring the thoughtful new hot water heater we bought each other for Christmas. Hey, what are you doing New Year’s Eve? Make sure to set the alarm for midnight so we can wake up to smooch.

4. We’re Done Having Kids: 3:00 a.m.
This usually happens two or three kids in, with bleary eyes and impatiently angry voices. When a hungry baby has woken up to eat, the toddler simultaneously begins crying because of a bad dream, and you have three hours more of clicking and snapping your way to the perfect little boy’s workbench. You both start saying it. Her, “Don’t ever touch me again.” Him, “Let’s have another baby you said! It will be fun you said!” Her, “Oh don’t worry, because I’m never having sex with you again.” Him, “How could we? They are all in our bed!” Her, “NO. MORE. KIDS.” Him, “Agreed.” You have two more kids anyway. Christmas Toy Assembly Services

5. Acceptance: 4:00 a.m.
Conversations cease, you hunker down, and things get serious. You work like little elves, in perfect unison, grasping at any last bit of alertness you can muster, and pump out toy after toy in your garage turned Santa’s Workshop. You laugh at the arguments you just had an hour ago, and instead you pause for a few minutes to be a kid again. You go outside in the cold night air and ride the shiny new red scooter, pedal the Schwinn, and play catch with some new pigskin. You write out “From Santa” on the now completed workbench, test push some trains along the track, and stuff the stockings. You grab some asleep, even if it is only for a few minutes, grateful for children that will squeal through the house with the sunrise. You’ve accepted the fact you are in fact actually grown ups (and parents), and you’ve rocked another Christmas Eve as a mom and dad.

This year, I have very few toys that will need assembling. As little boys grow into young men, chaotic Christmas Eve toy assembly marathons are getting rarer. Train tables and skateboards have been replaced by cologne and cash. This year, it will be a quiet night before Christmas, and I will look back on those insane early years with great fondness, and zero regret. Had we been duly prepared and put all the toys together early, we would have missed some of the most memorable and hilarious nights of our marriage. Nights like those are parenting rites of passage, when you find yourself ponderously asking, “How did OUR parents do this?” Christmas Toy Assembly Services

This year, with all the peace and quiet I will have on the 24th, I will start compiling a list of presents for my future grandchildren. You can bet your little hex key I will be sending my sons and their wives an unassembled six story dollhouse, a bicycle in 85 parts, a three foot wide 300 piece lead free wooden puppet theatre (made in Germany), and a make your own glitter machine. Oh, and a case of moon sand. I soooo plan on being THAT grandpa. Merry Christmas kids!

Christmas Toy Assembly Service – Don’t suffer through the 5 stages of Christmas -Toy Assembly.  Call Ted at Plano Texas Handyman:  214-507-3415 to discuss your toy assembly for a reasonable price and reduction on holiday stress. Visit our website for all our capabilities and service platform. Christmas Toy Assembly Services are available if your don’t want to suffer holiday stress.