Properly watering your foundation in Summer

Properly watering your foundation in Summer

Properly watering your foundation in Summer – Watering the foundation of a house to prevent damage to plumbing, exterior and interior walls, structural members, and the foundation itself is helpful, according to several Texas engineers who specialize in soil mechanics and construction.

Despite outdoor watering restrictions, the value of protecting a home by watering the foundation is recognized by local water districts and utilities. Under the North Texas Municipal Water District Stage 3 restrictions and Dallas and North Texas Water Utilities Stage 1 criteria, foundation watering is an exception to the outdoor watering restrictions. Richardson – a NTMWD member city – has this statement on its website: “Use of drip irrigation systems and soaker hoses to protect foundations is allowed, except between the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Recommended maximum 2 hours when needed.)” Properly watering your foundation in Summer

Dallas and Plano allows foundation watering “on any day of the week during the allowed watering hours [midnight-10 a.m. and 6 p.m.-midnight]. Foundations may be watered with a soaker hose or a hand-held hose equipped with a positive shutoff nozzle only,” according to savedallaswater.com.

The most common cause of foundation problems in North Texas — even when there is no drought — is the “very active zone of clay soil running through North Texas up into Oklahoma,” says engineer Ian Ray of Evergreen Structures in Dallas.

If your home is built on clay soil, which is likely if you live in North Texas, then the house’s foundation is floating more or less on a sponge, according to a Texas A&M University soil mechanics expert.

Clay soil is “like a sponge,” says Jean-Louis Briaud, professor of civil engineering at Texas A&M in College Station. “The sponge changes significantly when it’s dry and when it’s wet.” And similar to a sponge, clay soil shrinks and swells with moisture changes, says Briaud, president of the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering.

What is “active” about clay soil, according to Briaud, is “related to capillary forces,” which cause water to be attracted to and adhere to the surface of the very tiny silica clay particles, swelling them. When the moisture on the particles dries, they shrink. That’s what causes the soil to move, but “it’s very difficult to predict how the soil is going to move” when moisture content changes, he says. Properly watering your foundation in Summer

“What damages houses is when the foundation wants to bend” due to uneven moisture under and around it, Briaud says. He favors “waffle slabs,” which have beams — 3 to 4 feet deep and 1 foot wide — going in both directions in a crisscross pattern under the slab. “It’s mighty stout,” he says, and if this type of foundation moves, the whole foundation will move, but it won’t bend and crack under the pressure.

Ray says, however, that most North Texas houses have conventional slab or pier-and-beam foundations that are subject to damaging shifts “depending on the clay content and the amount of moisture in the soil.”

The purpose of watering a foundation, Ray says, is to keep the soil’s moisture consistent around and under the slab. “The goal is to keep the soil’s moisture at a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10 so it doesn’t get very dry, 1, or very wet, 10. Consistent moisture is a key.” There must be “some means of watering, even in the winter,” he says.

Soaker and drip hoses “are effective but you have to have good drainage” that steers water away from the foundation. Other issues to consider: Does rainwater collect around downspouts instead of draining away from the foundation? Are trees planted so close to the house that roots go under a slab foundation?

The problem with tree roots can be significant, according to Gary Morgan, a Richardson arborist. “The motivation of every tree’s root system is to find moisture, which can be abundant under foundations.” Tree roots, which can consume hundreds of gallons of water per week, would be especially attracted to moisture under slab foundations in a drought, he says.

The danger is that “the roots may invade a wet area and suck it dry,” Morgan says, “then some of the tree’s other roots will start looking elsewhere and the old roots will die under the slab and will leave voids, which can cause even more foundation problems because it will collapse the space under the slab.”

The best way to avoid tree roots invading a foundation, Morgan says, is to plant trees an appropriate distance from the house. Since different types of trees’ root systems behave in different ways, Morgan recommends consulting with a certified arborist or horticulturist, before adding a tree to the property, for recommendations on the appropriate tree based on its role in the landscape.

However, if the tree is already in place, the typical way to avoid or deal with invasive tree roots, Morgan says, is to install a root barrier.

“Every arborist, landscaper and foundation repair company will have a different way to do this,” Morgan says. Generally, however, the basic method involves digging a trench parallel to the foundation and “putting some kind of material in the trench to retard the growth of the roots.” An older, effective material is charcoal. Newer materials include fabrics made of nylon or metal. Drake’s 7 Dees landscaping services are done by licensed architects whom you can trust to design your landscape with functionality.

Trees are not the only plants that can be a problem for foundations, according to Ed Scoular, a Plano-based construction engineer and soil expert who is president of Independent Foundation Engineers.

“Shrubbery and other plants have a great thirst for water and will act like a pump to pull it out,” Scoular says. “Where you have the settling of a foundation is probably where there are a lot of plants and large demand for water. The smaller and fewer the plants, the less effect on the foundation.” Properly watering your foundation in Summer

exans are accustom to months of hot temperatures without rain during the summer months and Dallas Ft. Worth residents know that foundation issues are a matter of if, but when.  Williamson Foundation Repair located in Rowlett, Texas is known as the most trusted name in foundation repair for over 30 years in the DFW area.  If you suspect your house or commercial building is in need of services you can contact their helpful team at 469-698-8332.  They can provide a great assessment and are sure to minimize unneeded repairs and cost.

Best Foundation Irrigation Method:

  1. You should always use the round, porous hose and not the flat hose with holes on top. The porous hose allows water to “ooze” out evenly along the length of even a very long section of hose, and allows you to turn the water valve on full without the concern of uneven water distribution.
  2. The soaker or drip hose should be placed approximately 2-12″ away from the foundation – not right against the home. You do not have to water across driveways or patios, but watering around patios (as if they were an extension of your foundation) will help to keep them more stable as well.
  3. Contrary to popular belief, the hose should not be buried. It needs to be on top of the ground where water can percolate downward. It does not need to be in a sand bed or any exotic configuration, simply on top of the soil.
  4. The soaker hose should be used at the coolest part of the day, as feasible, to prevent large amounts of evaporation and give the most benefit to the soils. Battery powered timers (available in the garden center near garden hoses at Home Depot or Lowe’s) are an inexpensive way to “remember” to water, as well as allowing you to water during the coolest times of day.
  5. The soaker hose should be used for 30 – 60 minutes (increase by 30 minutes in areas with large bushes or a lot of foliage) all the way around the home under the following schedule:
    1. Below 60° days: usually unnecessary unless we are in a drought.
    2. 60°-75° days: 1 time per week if no sprinkler system
    3. 75°-95° days: 2 times per week (staggered)
    4. 95° and higher: 3 times per week (staggered)

Park Cities Dallas Handyman

Park Cities Dallas Handyman

Best HandymPark Cities Dallas Handyman – A handyman is a skilled “jack of all trades” who can complete a wide range of repairs or home improvement jobs.  Plano Texas Handyman is truly a jack of all trades with an engineering background and master fix-ologist.  Call Plano Texas Handyman today at 214-507-3415 for more information ar visit our website to get a full perspective on our capabilities.  Park Cities Dallas Handyman

A handyman, or handyman service, usually charges clients an hourly rate, plus material costs including material handling equipment, regardless of the task. Many homeowners compile a list of repairs and hire a handyman to complete the list in a single visit.

The term “handyman” is loosely defined. Some are self-trained, while others have formal training in various aspects of construction and home repair. A home handyman might specialize in a few types of home maintenance, such as painting, carpentry, or tiling, while others may have additional skills such as residential plumbing and electrical expertise.

There’s no national standard or regulation for handymen. Licensing and regulation vary by state. New Jersey, for example, requires handymen who work for a profit to register with the state and carry insurance. California requires handymen to carry a license from the State Contractors License Board to work on any project that exceeds $500 in labor and material costs. Find out before you hire the handyman if he or she has the skills needed to complete your project.  Plano Texas Handyman Service, Park Cities Dallas Handyman

Do you need a handyman or contractor?
The scope of the job and level of skill required to complete it should determine whether you hire a handyman or contractor.

“When trying to determine who you should hire for a particular job, consider the task,” says Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List. “If it’s a specialized trade, be sure you hire that tradesperson like a plumber or electrician, for example. If it’s little things that you can do yourself, a handyman is probably the right way to go.”  Handyman Service Plano Texas.

A handyman is not the best option for a large or complicated project that could take a long time to complete and requires the help of multiple workers. You shouldn’t turn to a handyman either if you need an emergency service for plumbing, electrical or appliance work, unless the handyman is licensed in that trade. If an unlicensed person does plumbing or electrical work, you have no guarantee that the work has been done to code, which could affect your homeowners insurance policy or any claim related to the work. Use a contractor or specialist for remodeling work, room additions and projects that require heavy-duty equipment or licensed professionals that provide home electrician services.

Why hire a handyman?
You’ve got an ever increasing to-do list of home improvements like changing out a bathroom faucet, replacing missing shingles on the roof and painting a kitchen wall. You could hire a plumber, roofer and painter who have conflicting schedules and their own service charges, or you could hire a handyman to complete all three projects in one day for one hourly rate.  If you are an experienced roofed, you might be interested in how to market your roofing agency as we did.

Because many handymen charge by the hour, a homeowner can save time and money on home improvement projects by hiring one to complete a wide range of projects at an hourly rate. A service charge from a plumber or roofer to come to your home could equal or even surpass the cost of hiring a handyman for a few hours. However, in some cases, a specific professional is needed to make sure the job is done correctly and to the specifications required. It may be wise to look into roofing companies near to you or whittle it down by Googling clear-cut keywords such as ‘roofing companies in Herndon, VA‘ for instance.

You’re also less likely to be overcharged if your hire a handyman. Unlike a general contractor or specialist who is more likely to price a job based on the estimated amount of time it will take to complete, you only have to pay a handyman for the hours he works, unless you agree on a flat rate. Handymen can keep their rates low because they don’t have to pay additional workers, so they have lower overhead costs than contractors or large companies.

Although handymen have less overhead, they do supply their own tools, so there’s no need to invest in extra equipment you won’t use often or at all. However, you will need to supply the materials.

When you hire a contractor or specialist, they usually supply the materials, and often at a markup. If they don’t provide the materials, they may not guarantee a repair, or your choices are limited to what they have in stock. When you choose your own materials, you know how much the product costs, and you can stay within your budget. You also get to choose the manufacturer, finish and register any warranty agreement.

Handymen have been known to do all types of work, from setting up playground equipment and gas grills to hanging holiday lights and decorations.  Plano Texas Handyman. Park Cities Dallas Handyman

Ideal jobs for a handyman
Handymen are best utilized for small, “honey-do” types of home repair work. The following projects are ideal for most handymen:

Minor plumbing work: Many handymen are capable of completing small plumbing jobs like installing new fixtures or repairing a leaky faucet. However, complex projects that require relocating plumbing within the home or septic tank maintenance should be left to a licensed plumber. Highland Park Texas Handyman

Caulking: Adding a fresh application of caulk to gaps between windows, doors and siding is a great way to improve energy efficiency and lower utility costs.

Decks and porches: Over time, weather can take a toll on wooden decks and porches. A handyman can replace broken boards, apply a finish or sealant and improve or upgrade your deck or porch’s safety and appearance.

Home Automation: We can fully integrate your home into a “smart home”.  We have extensive electrical engineering experience and can automate your home easily.

Home exterior repairs: If you have minor damage to your home’s exterior, such as a loose piece of siding or a missing shingle, hiring a handyman to repair those items may prove to be more cost-effective than hiring a specialist.  Plano Texas Handyman Service

Painting and touch-ups: If you have a small painting job, like a wall, garage door, touch-ups of scuff marks or the repair of small holes with spackle, consider a handyman. But remember, a handyman typically charges by the hour, so larger jobs are better suited for a professional painting crew.

Hanging window treatments, pictures and mirrors and installing light fixtures: These small tasks can be easily accomplished by a homeowner. But if you hire a handyman with the right tools and experience, these wall-mounted items will likely be hung correctly and without damage.

Tips to hire a handyman
Interview several candidates before hiring a candidate. A handyman works closely with you in your home, so you want to pick one that you feel comfortable being around. Use the following tips to help you choose the best one:

1. Define the project. Start by compiling a list of the home repairs you want completed. Remember, a handyman is best used for small jobs such as installing light fixtures, patching drywall and interior painting. If the job requires pulling a permit, or moving plumbing or electrical wiring, consider hiring a licensed contractor.

2. Shop around. Check Angie’s List reviews and interview at least three handymen. Ask how many years of experience they have and their areas of specialization. Request references from homeowners who have hired them. Make sure the potential handyman has the skills and experience to complete your project. This a a good article on Handyman Prices from Angie’s List

3. Watch out for scams. Avoid handymen who contact you with unsolicited phone calls or visits to your home. You should also avoid any handyman who refuses to guarantee the price of the job or asks for payment upfront. Reputable handymen don’t expect to get paid before the project is completed.

4. Get it in writing. If the job is large, insist on a written agreement laying out the job details, costs and payment schedule. Be clear about the times you expect the work to be started and completed. It’s extremely important to get all guarantees in writing.

5. Ask for a guarantee. Many handymen will guarantee their work for up to one year. Ask about guarantees before you make a hiring decision, and of course, make sure the guarantee is in writing. Park Cities Dallas Handyman

6. Inspect the work. Inspect the completed work before paying the handyman. Make sure that everything has been done to your satisfaction and at the agreed upon price. Most handymen will be happy to explain the finished work because they want you to be satisfied.

Plano Texas Handyman is truly a jack of all trades with an engineering background and master fix-ologist.  Call Plano Texas Handyman today at 214-507-3415 for more information or visit our website to get a full perspective on our capabilities.  Highland Park Texas Handyman

Home Electric Fireplace Remodel

Home Electric Fireplace Remodel

Home Electric Fireplace Remodel– In recent years, linear fireplaces have become very popular in both commercial and residential settings. Linear fireplaces add a contemporary feel to nearly any space including bedrooms, living rooms, patios, pool rooms, restaurants, business waiting rooms, and so much more. Here’s everything you need to know about adding a linear fireplace to your home, office, or business. Plano Texas Handyman is your local expert in installing really nice linear fireplace products for full turnkey beautiful fireplaces. Call us at 214-507-3415 or visit our website for more information. Home Electric Fireplace Remodel

Linear fireplaces, also referred to as contemporary fireplaces or rectangular fireplaces, are a style of gas fireplace that can be installed in most indoor or outdoor spaces. Because linear fireplaces aren’t limited by the traditional fireplace design, a linear fireplace can be installed flush with nearly any building material right up to the glass!

Linear fireplaces allow you to enjoy the ambiance and comfort of a fireplace without the design limitations of a traditional fireplace. Connect two rooms, line an entire wall, create a shared indoor / outdoor space. With linear fireplaces, the design limitations are practically endless.

1.)   No smoke.

Buy an Electric Fireplace this Winter – Wood burning fireplaces release cancer causing agents and dangerous fumes into your home, such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Inhalation of these fumes can be dangerous to your family and pets. Electric fireplaces, however, have zero emissions and thus, zero harm to your family and pets. Those inflicted with allergies and medical conditions such as asthma can find comfort and convenience in any one of our electric fireplaces. Even switching to woods that are supposed to produce higher heat and less smoke still contribute to deforestation and still produce harmful smoke that reduces the air quality in your home. Long gone are the days when your whole house smelled like smoke after the use of a fireplace for a few short hours. With an electric fireplace, you can use the fireplace without the harmful effects of the smoke and without the smell of smoke permeating throughout your entire home and seeping into your carpets, rugs, couches, clothing and beds. Home Electric Fireplace

Ted with Plano Texas Handyman can install a great electric fireplace with a magnificent mantle, back drop and all electrical apparatuses for as little as $2500. Call us today at 214-507-3415 or visit or website for more information. You can also read more at the following Plano Texas Handyman link.

2.)   Energy efficient.

Electric fireplaces are one of the most efficient ways to heat a room, which in turn, reduces energy costs. Electric fireplaces heat rooms faster and more efficiently than real wood burning fireplaces do. Since heat rises, traditional chimney fireplaces let all the heat out through the chimney. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “traditional fireplaces lose over 90 percent of the heat of the fire out of the chimney along with much of the heated air in the room.” Since drafts come in through the chimney, your already heated room becomes cold again after a few gusts of freezing air come down the chimney. With an electric fireplace, rooms warm up quickly and stay warm throughout the entire use. LED technology is also incorporated into each of our fireplaces, and consumes less energy than regular incandescent bulbs. The normal lifespan of an LED bulb is 50,000 hours and contains no mercury, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and costs much less to operate. Producing approximately 90% less heat than an incandescent bulb, the LED bulb stays cool to the touch. Home Electric Fireplace

3.)   Low maintenance.

Having the ambiance and warmth from an electric fireplace is much easier to enjoy when there is little to no maintenance involved. With an electric fireplace, there is no soot or ash to clean up and no need for chimney cleaning, which on average costs $200-$300. No firewood is needed to harness the heat of an electric fireplace, which means no more chopping or buying wood and no more storing of wood in a dry place. Not to mention, the forests will be pretty happy with you too, as there is no deforestation involved in enjoying the flame of an electric fireplace. Additionally, with an electric fireplace, there is no need to get down on your hands and knees or bend over in uncomfortable positions to light or tend to a fire. With an electric fireplace, you can just sit back and relax and use the remote to control the fireplace from across the room. Home Electric Fireplace Remodel

Save on Heating Cost with an electric fireplace

4.)   Cost Less.

The costs associated with installing and maintenance of traditional fireplaces tends to be outrageous. That is, until electric fireplaces came into the mix. For wood-burning fireplaces, expect to pay anywhere from $7,000-$10,000 or more on installation, along with the costs of chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, wood, and the lost heat that escapes from the chimney. 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. Electric fireplaces are the least expensive option as far as fireplaces go. Zone heating saves money- allowing you to lower the over-all temperature of your home by 10-15 degrees, heating only the room you’re in. This concept reduces the use of wasted energy and could save you up to 10% on your energy bills. Gas and wood burning fireplaces actually work the opposite of zone heating- creating a draft effect when lit that actually pulls heat out of the home. With an electric fireplace, there is no chimney cleaning, no service checks, and no costly installation fees- just plug it in and enjoy. Home Electric Fireplace

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 in any room of the home on any level of the home to provide the calming environment that an electric fireplace provides.

6.)   Longer Lifespan.

Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces have the longest lifespan out of its wood burning and gas burning counterparts. Because electric fireplaces are not a combustible energy resource, electrical fireplaces are not susceptible to rust and corrosion. Electric fireplaces can be used for several years on end and still look as new as the first day you bought it.

7.)   Easy Installation.

One of the best things about electric fireplaces is the ease of installation. Installation of an electric fireplace 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 a professional is needed in order to install the fireplaces. However, not all companies have the knowhow, but those that do, for example A Quality HVAC, will keep aspects like insulation, security and safety in mind while installing a fireplace. For further information on installation of different heating devices (and especially fireplace), you might want to visit https://aqualityhvac.org/, and similar websites. So, buy an Electric Fireplace this Winter.

8.)   Options are abundant with electric fireplaces.

Electric fireplaces allow a plethora of styles and options that are bound to please even the pickiest consumer. Electric fireplaces come in traditional, contemporary, and modern styles to match modern looks and architectural styles. Electric fireplaces are built in to beautiful mantels and media consoles, allowing for extra storage in a stylish way. Electric fireplace inserts can also be installed in already existing fireplaces. Wall mounted units, corner units, and compact units allow electric fireplaces to work in any space and any décor, and can be moved around from room to room whenever you desire. Electric fireplaces can also be placed in locations that don’t normally allow for fireplaces, such as basements. Electric fireplaces also allow the user to be in complete control of the flame effects, such as brightness, flame speed, flame color, and much more, depending on the features of the electric fireplace insert you choose. Buy an Electric Fireplace this Winter, Home Electric Fireplace Remodel

9.)   Fireplace Safety.,

Our electric fireplaces feature an automatic shut-off timer function, allowing you to set the timer from 30 minutes up to 9 hours. You can set the timer and live worry free knowing that the entire unit will power off once the timed cycle is complete. The shut-off timer function reduces the risk of fires resulting from the overheating of electronics. Although electric fireplaces produce enough heat to warm a room 400 square feet and up, they remain cool to the touch, therefore reducing the risk of injuries and burns, making electric fireplaces safe for kids and pets. Buy an Electric Fireplace this Winter

10.)  Electric fireplaces can be used all year in all climates.

Electric fireplaces can be used with or without heat, leaving you able to enjoy the ambiance of a gentle rolling fire all year long and allowing homes in all climates to enjoy the comforting glow of a fire. Shop now to see the best electric fireplace for any room.

Ted with Plano Texas Handyman can install a great electric fireplace with a magnificent mantle, back drop and all electrical apparatuses for as little as $2500. Call us today at 214-507-3415 or visit or website for more information. You can also read more at the following Plano Texas Handyman link. Home Electric Fireplace Remodel

Tesla car charger

Charger for Electric Car
Charger for Electric Car

Tesla car charger – Plano Texas Handyman and Monarc Technology (sister company) are your home automation specialists. With the advent of the electric automobiles, home chargers are becoming more common-place.   low is a list of the most common wiring apparatus for Tesla Home Chargers.   Listed below are the most common devices for Tesla Home charging.  We install Tesla Home Charging Stations for all panel products: Square D, Eaton, General Electric, and a few others.  Tesla Electric Car Charger Plano . Charger for Electric Car

Tesla Home Charging Station

Tesla Home Charger

Mobile Connector – The Mobile Connector is included as standard equipment with a new Tesla. It’s a compact bundle that can charge your car from different outlets at medium to low speeds. We recommend installing a Wall Connector at home and leaving the Tesla Mobile Connector in the trunk of the car as a backup option while traveling.  When installed with a 240 volt 50 amp breaker will produce (Miles of range per hour of charge) for the Model 3 of 30 MPH, the Model S of 23 MPH, and the Model X of 20 MPH.  DO NOT even consider 120 volt service as it will not produce desired results.

This bundle includes:

  • Mobile Connector (20 feet)
  • Adapter for standard 120 volt household outlets (NEMA 5-15)
  • Adapter for 240 volt outlet (NEMA 14-50)
  • Cable organizing bag
  • Adapter for public charging stations (SAE J1772)
Tesla Home Charging Station

Tesla Home Charger

Wall Connector – A Tesla Wall Connector is the most convenient way to charge at your home or office, with the fastest charge speeds. Simply plug in overnight and wake up to a full charge, every morning. If you run out of energy and gave nowhere to charge your car, consider having handy the contact of a car recovery service handy.

To purchase a Wall Connector, visit the Tesla online store.

Features

  • Customizable power levels, allowing installation with any circuit breaker ranging from 15 to 100 amps
  • Compatible with 208-250 volt power supplies
  • As many as four Wall Connectors can share available power, perfect for owners with more than one Tesla or commercial installations
  • Mounted to a wall or post, the Wall Connector can be installed both indoors and outdoors
  • 48 month warranty
  • Charger for Electric Car

Each Tesla has different charging capabilities depending on its onboard charger. The table below shows circuit breaker rating for the fastest home charging speeds. Learn more about the onboard charger capabilities of different Tesla cars. For all trims not listed, open the charging menu from the charge icon on your touchscreen to view your maximum charge rate.

Please refer to Tesla Support for specific details on the Tesla Home Charging Station wall connector.  Listed below are the most common devices for Charger for Electric Car

Tesla Electric Car Charger Plano

Electric Fireplace Installation Ideas

Flat-screen TV Mounting

Electric Fireplace Installation Ideas – Do you want to make your home pop? Are you looking for a dramatic home improvement project that will add pizazz and great resale value? We can take an ordinary wall, strategically place the TV, install a state of the art electric fireplace with the help from a Fast turn PCB Assembly contractor, do a dramatic paint job, add some dimming LED lights, a few pieces of art-work and you have a perfect entertainment wall.

Here are the reasons to get an electric fireplace installation. If you’re new to the idea of owning an electric fireplace for your heating needs, 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, installation and wiring. Call today for more information at 214-507-3415 or visit our website for all our capabilities. Electric Fireplace Entertainment Wall, – Do you want to make your home pop? Are you looking for a dramatic home im

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.

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 maintenance 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. Electric Fireplace Installation Ideas

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. E Electric Fireplace Installation Ideas

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, Electric Fireplace Installation Ideas

What is an AFCI breaker in your home

AFCI breaker

Why do we really need AFCIs?

Smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and escape ladders are all examples of emergency equipment used in homes to take action when a fire occurs. An AFCI is a product that is designed to detect a wide range of arcing electrical faults to help reduce the electrical system from being an ignition source of a fire. Conventional overcurrent protective devices do not detect low level hazardous arcing currents that have the potential to initiate electrical fires. It is well known that electrical fires do exist and take many lives and damage or destroy significant amounts of property. Electrical fires can be a silent killer occurring in areas of the home that are hidden from view and early detection. The objective is to protect the circuit in a manner that will reduce its chances of being a source of an electrical fire.Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs) are required by the National Electrical Code for certain electrical circuits in the home. Questions have been raised regarding their application and even the need for them. This article was brought to you from Plano Texas Handyman, call us for all your home improvement needs at 214-507-3415. What is an AFCI breaker in your home

What are arc faults? .

The UL® Standard for AFCIs (UL 1699) defines an arcing fault as an unintentional arcing condition in a circuit. Arcing creates high intensity heating at the point of the ar. lation.The temperatures of these arcs can exceed 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Repeated arcing can create carbon paths that are the foundation for continued arcing generating even higher temperatures.

How is an arc fault detected? 

Unlike a standard circuit breaker detecting overloads and short circuits, an AFCI utilizes advanced electronic technology to “sense” the different arcing conditions. While there are different technologies employed to measure arcs by the various AFCI manufacturers, the end result is the same, detecting parallel arcs (line to line, line to neutral and line to ground) and/or series arcs (arcing in series with one of the conductors). What is an AFCI breaker in your home

Types of Breaker AFCI

Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI)

AFCIs are intended to mitigate the effects of arcing faults by functioning to de-energize the circuit when an arc-fault is detected. AFCIs are required by the NEC® to be a listed product. This means that they must be evaluated by a nationally recognized testing laboratory to the national standard for AFCIs (UL 1699). NEC 210.12 establishes the requirement to use AFCIs. Protection is required for branch circuits in locations as specified in this NEC® rule.

Combination AFCI

In addition to the protection provided by the Branch Feeder AFCI, the Combination AFCI provides for series arc detection down to 5 amperes. This series arc detection is beneficial to detect lower level arcing in both branch circuits and power supply cords. Combination AFCI protection is required by the NEC® as of January 1, 2008.

Branch Feeder AFCI

A device intended to be installed at the origin of a branch circuit or feeder, such as at a panelboard. The branch/feeder AFCI provides for detection of arcing faults that can occur line-to line, line to neutral and line to ground.To be able to handle shared neutral circuits (a common application in older homes), a two-pole AFCI can be used. This will accommodate the three-wire circuit arrangement used in shared neutral applications. What is an AFCI breaker in your home

Breaker AFCI and GFCI Protection

An AFCI can be used in conjunction with GFCI protection to provide both arcing fault protection as well as 5mA ground fault (people) protection. A common way to provide both types of protection is to use an AFCI circuit breaker and a GFCI receptacle. AFCI’s can also incorporate 5mA GFCI protection into the same package. This solution for AFCI breaker and GFCI on the same circuit can be useful where the circuit design requires both types of protection or where the installer (or user) wants to have both types of protection.

What is the difference between a ground fault and an arcing fault?

A ground fault is when electricity “leaks” to ground via water, moisture or some other method when an appliance or other electrical device is used. A ground fault circuit breaker or GFCI outlet is designed to “sense” when that leakage is occurring and shut off the power to the circuit or outlet. An arc fault is an “arcing condition” that takes place when electricity is “jumping” or “arcing” from one conductor to another due to damaged wiring, either in the wall or on the electrical products power cord. These arcs have the potential to initiate fires after repeated arcing events. The Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter is designed to shut off the power during these events. An AFCI does not replace a GFCI. They are two different technologies even though both offer protection from electrical hazards. When in doubt, contact a qualified electrician as to their application and what is required by your local electrical code. This article was brought to you from Plano Texas Handyman, call us for all your home improvement needs at 214-507-3415