Latest News From Team Electric, Heating & Cooling

Outdoor lighting can add beauty and drama to your home while enhancing your year-round security.  And now, a few thoughts to help guide your search   

It’s wintertime, and the weather outside is…well, as they say, frightful!  But picture this:

You’re on your way home from work, and all you’re thinking about is getting cozy.  Then, all of a sudden, you spot your house from way down the street.  But wait…it’s completely dark outside, so from that distance, how do you know which house is yours?  Easy…because yours is the one with the professional and tasteful
outdoor lighting system.

Okay, so maybe outdoor lighting alone won’t make you feel any better about winter, but it sure will help you sleep better at night.

Consider, if you will, the value of infrared motion detectors (IMDs).  These are activated by human body heat and automatically activate outdoor lights when they sense motion…up to 70-feet away!  And because they’re specifically programmed for human body heat, IMDs won’t be triggered by wandering nocturnal critters.  For best results, have them installed well above the ground to cover a broader area.

For those times when you’re out for the evening or on vacation, automatic timers and remote controls take the worry out of being away.  Timers automatically turn on outdoor lighting at a given time, and remote controls allow you to control lights on from inside or outside the home.

Floodlights provide the greatest amount of light and are ideal in large areas like a lawn or driveway.  Mini-spot lights also play a positive role in home security to light up keyholes, house numbers, or other small, out-of-the-way dark spots.

Beyond the obvious security benefit of outdoor lighting, they also can add a unique kind of beauty to your home in New Jersey

In the meantime, thanks for granting us a few minutes of your valuable time. If you are in need of advice on lighting and you live in central New Jersey please give us a call at 866-832-6317.


By now, we hope you realize there’s nothing we won’t do to help you enjoy a higher standard of indoor comfort, all year long.


Still, Team believes that proper maintenance and safety begins at home.  By arming you with some practical self-help tips, we can help you save money and gain an added measure of peace of mind.


Home Maintenance and Safety Measures:

•    To increase safety and operating efficiency, make sure your furnace gets sufficient air for proper operation. The best way is to install a combustion air vent between your furnace room and the adjoining room.   

•    Check your furnace filter once a month and keep it clean according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Dirty filters reduce airflow and force your home’s heating system to work harder.  Clean filters, by contrast, help save you money on your fuel bill while extending the life of your system.

•    If your gas burners produce a yellow flame, please give us a call, as the flame should be blue, even though orange and red streaks inside the blue flame are quite normal.  A yellow flame means the burner is dirty and not getting enough air.

•    The area around your furnace should be kept clear of combustible material such as paper, cardboard or paint cans.

•    Keep informed of the danger signals for unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide…you’ll find plenty of information on the internet, or you can call us and we’ll be happy to explain.  

And remember:  the best way to prevent CO poisoning in the first place is with an annual inspection of your fuel-burning appliances.

As we stated above, home safety begins at home, and by following the above steps, you’ll have fewer problems with your furnace, save money on your fuel bill, and add years to the system’s effective lifespan.  Of course, any time you need professional assistance, we’re right nearby, and only a phone call away.

And speaking of assistance, we invite you to redeem to have a tune-up and inspection of your home heating system.  Your system will run longer, incur fewer major repairs, and burn fuel more efficiently…
…which is just one more way we’re assisting you in New Jersey.

Check out TeamHeatingNJ.com

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning has been one of the more under-publicized household hazards until two recent events put it in the spotlight. One was the accidental death in September 1994 of tennis star Vitas Gerulaitas, who succumbed to CO while sleeping in a rented home. The other was an ordinance that went into effect October 1, 1994, in Chicago requiring CO detectors in all residences heated by any fossil fuel burning equipment - in effect, all except solar or electrically heated homes. The Chicago law was in reaction to a tragedy that occurred in 1991 when a family of 10 was wiped out by CO poisoning from a faulty furnace installation.


The Consumer Product Safety Commission says that "at least" 250 people are killed each year from CO, a very conservative estimate. The American Medical Association says it's more like 1,500 people a year, with another 10,000 or more taking ill.
There is a lot of uncertainty because CO is tasteless, colorless and odorless - undetectable except by sophisticated gear. Also, the main symptoms of CO poisoning - fatigue, headaches, dizzy spells and nausea - resemble those of the flu and many other common illnesses. Thus CO poisoning is easily misdiagnosed, and people can succumb to it with very little physical discomfort, almost like falling asleep. (Early news reports treated Gerulaitas' death as mysterious and were filled with speculation about drugs or foul play.)


CO is given off by incomplete combustion of flammable fuels such as natural gas, oil, wood, coal or kerosene. Common household appliances such as furnaces, boilers, water heaters and stoves are all potential sources of CO gas. All of these products are designed with elaborate safeguards and under normal operating conditions all the CO produced from combustion will be harmlessly vented to the atmosphere.


Poor venting, due to leaks or blockages in the vent system, is the most common cause of CO build-up in the home, followed by cracks or corrosion in a furnace's heat exchanger. Here are some danger signs and steps you can take to minimize the danger:


* Most important, have your furnace or boiler regularly inspected, at least one a year, by a licensed, competent heating professional. The technician should check all connections to flue piping and vents for cracks, gaps, rust, corrosion or debris. Likewise the inspection should cover the combustion chamber and heat exchanger for cracks, holes, metal fatigue or corrosion, as well as the filters and filtering system for dirt and blockages. Debris should be cleared off the burner and safety switches tested.


* A yellow, lazy-looking flame in a natural gas furnace indicates inefficient fuel burning, and consequently higher levels of carbon monoxide. An inefficient oil furnace will give off an oily odor - but remember, you can't smell CO itself.
* Chimneys and vents ought to be inspected regularly for blockages caused by debris, animal nests or cave-ins. Also beware of cracks and holes. Inspect fireplaces for blocked flues, excess soot and debris.
* Be sure all vents are properly installed - including those leading from the clothes dryer, water heater and wood-burning stoves.
* Never use an unvented space heater indoors. Never burn charcoal inside and do not use your gas stove as a heater. When cooking, keep the oven door closed.
* Avoid running both a furnace and fireplace simultaneously for long periods of time. This can create serious backdrafting that prevents CO gas from exiting the home.
* Never install a boiler, furnace or water heater in an airtight enclosure.
* Look for the following signs that may indicate CO problems - streaks of soot around the service door of a gas appliance; rust spots on flue pipe, boilers, furnaces or water heaters; excessive moisture on basement windows, which may indicate poor ventilation; generally stale air throughout the house, another sign of poor ventilation.


* DO INSTALL A UL-APPROVED CO DETECTOR. The UL standard requires home CO detectors to sound a warning before CO levels reach over 100 parts per million (ppm) over 90 minutes, 200 ppm over 35 minutes or 400 ppm over 15 minutes. These warning should allow the average person to safely evacuate the premises. (CO levels over 200 ppm lasting for 90 minutes can cause headaches in healthy adults. At 300 ppm the healthy adult may experience drowsiness, at 400 ppm might collapse and 500 ppm exposure could result in brain damage or death.)


Approved CO detectors are now available for around $50 or less. They are similar to smoke detectors in both appearance and installation. The best place to install a CO detector is near bedrooms. Don't install one in the boiler or furnace room the garage or the kitchen, where it may go off in reaction to temporary elevated levels of CO.
Cheap CO-detection patches that sell for under $10 are not of much use. These devices are based on chemical reactions that change the color of a spot in the presence of elevated CO. They register many false positives and tell you nothing unless you are looking at the spot for a telltale change of color. What you need is an alarm that alerts you to danger as soon as it arises and wakes you up if you are asleep.


What do you do if the alarm sounds? Vacate the house quickly, opening doors and windows as you leave in order to provide ventilation. Then contact a local emergency service crew - usually the police or fire department - for advice. Depending on your community, they may have a CO measuring device on hand to take a reading inside your home in order to determine if it is safe to move back in.


Keep in mind that the act of ventilating your home may make it safe for immediate occupancy but won't fix whatever generated excess CO in the first place. As soon as possible you need a professional inspection of all possible CO sources. This should be someone equipped with CO measuring gear able to detect concentrations as small as 5-10 parts per million. The measurement test should be conducted over at least a 24-hour period.

It is possible for a CO alarm to be triggered by a single unusual incident that presents no lasting threat. However, if one ever goes off in your home, you won't rest easily until you take all the precautions possible to safeguard yourself and love ones.

Co issues should be taken seriously, we have had recent repairs done in Toms River, Freehold, Holmdel, East Brunswick and Edison New Jersey.

Let’s Work Together to Keep it Magical, Shall We?

Just about everybody loves holiday season lights.  After all, they light our hearts and our homes.

And yet, as with all things electrical, holiday lighting creates certain risks for you and your family.  In fact, there are more house fires in December than any other month.
Courtesy of your friends at Team, here are several tips you can use to enjoy the holiday glow…and prevent any unwanted blaze.

Outside Lights
·    Always buy lights and electrical decorations bearing the name of an independent testing lab…for example, Underwriters Laboratory bearing the familiar UL symbol .  Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and maintenance.
·    Never use seasonal lighting outside your home unless it is specifically labeled for outdoor use.
·    Connect outside lighting to a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupting (GFCI) outlet. These should be installed anywhere where electricity can potentially come in contact with water.  If you don't have a GFCI outlet, we can be of assistance.
·    Never secure the wiring of outdoor lighting with staples or nails - or place lights on sharp hooks or nails.
·    Don’t close doors or windows on extension cords, or mount lights in any way that can damage the cord's wire insulation.
·    Carefully inspect previously used light strings and replace damaged bulbs before plugging lights in.
·    Never overload extension cords.

Inside Lights
·    Keep kids and pets away from decorations.
·    Unplug all holiday lights before leaving the house or when going to bed.
·    Make sure lights do not rest on any electrical wires.
·    Avoid covering lights with cloth, paper or any material that is not part of the lighting.
·    Throw away any lighting that shows cut, damaged or frayed wire insulation or cords.  

Christmas Tree Safety
·    When lights are placed on a live tree, be sure your tree is fresh and well watered. Never purchase a tree with dry or dropping needles.
·    Place the tree at least three feet away from any heat source. Try to position it near an outlet so cords don't have to run long distances.
·    NEVER attempt to burn a dried out tree in your home's fireplace. It may burst into hard-to-control flame instantly.

It all makes sense, right?  If you have any other questions at all regarding safe holiday season lighting – or any other electrical matter in New Jersey – we hope you’ll give us a call.  What’s more, Team invites you to save now on the installation of one or more ground fault interrupter outllets outside your home…for safer holiday fun.

If you are located in:

Middlesex Monmouth Ocean Mercer Somerset or Union county in New Jersey we would be happy to help you.

By paying a little attention to surge suppression now, you can avoid major headaches later on.

Of all the things that can go wrong in your home, power surges are not the most dangerous, costly, or harrowing.  That’s the good news.

But on the flip side, power surges can be downright annoying…and costly!  And if the holiday season brought brand new electronic – and expensive! – “toys” to your home, then you could be especially vulnerable.

A power surge is a relatively long burst of high voltage that can cause substantial damage to sensitive electronic equipment and even major appliances like your refrigerator or dishwasher.  There are several external factors that can trigger the start of a power surge, including:  lightning, downed trees, neighbors using heavy duty power equipment…even squirrels doing their “high wire” acrobatics.

Of course, stuff like this happens all the time, so why aren’t there more power surges?  Because lots of folks (and we hope you’re among them) have taken the proper precautions.  Fact is, you’re far less likely to experience a power surge if your wiring is up to code and major appliances are properly grounded.

Next, you can greatly enhance your home defenses with surge protectors.  There are basically two types:  

Exterior Surge Protector – is installed between your outside meter and your home and provides around-the-clock protection against high-voltage spikes before they can do damage.

Interior Surge Protector -  is installed inside your home to provide added protection for your more sensitive electronic equipment….think of it as a second line of defense for phones, answering systems, computers, AV equipment, and more.  We can match each such diverter to the equipment and the pathway you need to protect.

Of course, like anything else, not just any surge protector will do.  That’s why Team recommends you insist on these minimum requirements:

Joule Rating of 500 or Higher – This is the energy dissipation rate.  The higher the rating, the better the protection.

Response Time of 5 Nanoseconds or Less – Response time is literally that…the amount of time it takes a surge protector to react to the power surge.  Anything at or under 5 nanoseconds should be sufficient.

Surge Protection Rating:  UL 1449

EMI/RFI Noise Filtration

How well  is your home wired?  If you’re even a little unsure, we encourage you to call Team today for a complete in-home wiring inspection.  That way, we can take corrective action if and where needed, and before a major problem occurs. We have performed these kind of repairs all over central NJ.

Why the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends you replace all fire detectors after no more than 10 years.

Smoke detectors are one of the most important safety features in your home. Properly installed, they serve as a built-in early warning system to allow you and your family to escape fire-inflicted bodily harm.

With that comforting thought comes a major responsibility.  And that, simply stated, is to make sure your fire detectors are prepared to do the job they were built for…without fail.

Other than routine battery checks and replacement, the NFPA recommends that you replace all smoke detectors after 10 years.  

Here’s why:

On average, 3% of all smoke detectors fail each year;
After 10 years, a smoke detector is 30% likely to fail;
After 15 years, the likelihood of failure are 50%;
After 30 years, studies show, it’s a virtual guarantee that a smoke detector will fail.

Are you the super cautious type?  Then replace your smoke detectors as often as you feel necessary.

But 10 years, says the NFPA, is a reasonable standard to help us live by.  And we happen to agree.

Just how great is the risk from fire?  On a yearly basis, over 3,200 people throughout the country lose their lives from residential fires. As far as we’re concerned, that’s 3,200 too many.  So here are some additional home safety tips from the professionals at (company name).

In-home safety can be enhanced by as much as 80% when you install an automatic fire sprinkler system along with smoke detectors.

Smoke detectors should be placed in all hallways leading to sleeping quarters.  If your home has more than one level, install a smoke detector on each level near the stairs.

Let’s dispense with a popular myth:  pressing the test button on your smoke detector is not a valid test of whether or not it’s still working.  All that tells you is that the unit still has power.  It’s far more important to test That’s important, too, but what you really want to test is the smoke detector’s sensor.  And to do that, we recommend you purchase SMOKE CHECK (by Some Safeguard)…it’s a non-toxic, smoke-like substance that tests the sensor, electronics and power source all at the same time.

If you even suspect there’s a fire in progress, feel the bedroom door with the back of your hand before you attempt to exit.  Then, crawl out to stay below the smoke.  

As you can see, preventing fire – or, knowing how to respond in case of fire – is everyone’s business.  Ours included!

With fuel prices expected to increase this winter, a new furnace can actually lower the cost to heat your home.

According to the Energy Information Administration, heating fuel prices are expected to rise across the board this winter.

The True Cost to Heat Your Home.


Throughout most of the U.S., there are 3 main types of heating systems:


·    Pilot light systems – these are the oldest and operate at only 55 to 60% of their potential fuel efficiency.
·    Standard-efficiency furnaces – instead of using pilot lights, these employ a hot wire called an intermittent ignition. They are generally 80% fuel efficient, and are especially popular in the in the Southern climes where heavy heating use is not the order of the season.
·    Modern condensing furnaces – these are the true champs of efficiency.  Like standard-efficiency units, they employ intermittent ignitions, but also feature a prominent water output -- a plastic pipe that drains the condensate water from the dwelling.  Condensing furnaces typically operate at 90% percent efficiency and greater!


Assuming a winter heating bill of $2000, if you upgraded from a 60%- efficient furnace to one as high as 95% -- and we’ve got them! - you would save $730 per year.  So, if you buy a new furnace or boiler at an average price of $5,000, fully installed, it would pay for itself in just 7 years.


Here Are Two Smart Ways to Save Money On your Fuel Bill…Without the need  to Purchase a New Furnace or Boiler?


·    Have your system tuned-up and inspected once a year…that alone can add years to the life of your system, improve it’s fuel efficiency, and allow us to spot small problems before they become big and costly repairs;
·    Call on the professionals at Team to inspect your duct work and other heating system components for cracks, leaks and blockages that could be allowing heat to escape.  
·    With multiple zones, you pay only to heat those areas of your home where you and your family actually spend time.  And with a programmable thermostat, your home can be nice and toasty when you get home from work without having to keep the heat blasting while you’re out.

Team ties now offers you great ways to save money on furnaces in New Jersey.
It’s just one more way we’re helping to keep you nice and cozy…“Around the House.”

Relative humidity is more than relatively important when it comes to healthy and comfortable indoor living in New Jersey. Plus, at the right levels, you can save money on your fuel bill.

Too much humidity is a bad thing, right? After all, it creates and promotes an environment where bacteria, mold, various fungi and dust mites not only grow, but flourish!

But hang on a sec…doesn’t dry air cause it’s own fair share of problems? You bet. In fact, excessively dry indoor air can weaken your immune system from harmful viruses and respiratory ailments.

The fact is, dry air and damp air both have their fair share of problems. So what’s the answer? A whole-house, combined humidification and dehumidification system where you can control and maintain the proper levels of relative humidity, which most experts agree are between 40%-55%.

Before going any further, let’s define the very term this article is all about:

“Relative Humidity” is the moisture content in the air as a percentage of the total

amount of moisture air can actually hold. So, at a relative humidity of 40%,

air is holding 40% of its full potential.

With a whole-house humidifier from Team, you can maintain ideal levels of humidity all year long. In the process, you can save 5% or more on your annual fuel bill. More importantly, you’ll add immeasurably to your family’s indoor comfort while helping to prevent and control problems with asthma, allergies, colds and flus, and more.

Where do the energy savings come from? Cold air is dry, and in dry air, moisture evaporates from your skin. That, in turn, tends to cool you off. So, by setting the thermostat at 69° with a relative humidity of 35%, you’ll feel just as warm as you would in 72° air with 19% relative humidity.

Bottom line, you want to dehumidify your home in warm weather, and add humidity when it’s cold. In fact, act now, and save on a whole-house humidification system from Team.

After all, making your life more comfortable Around the House is what Team does best.

 

You read by it. Cook, clean and wash with it. Cool yourself off and vacuum up the crumbs with it.

Electricity…it’s a beautiful thing. And something we mostly take for granted. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you. But haven’t you ever secretly wondered exactly how electricity gets to your home? Then at last, your quest has ended!

 

  • The process begins at giant power plants, each of them connected to others so if one shuts down, power can readily be obtained from another. Together, these plants form the “power grid.”
  • Electrical power plants can be powered by coal, natural gas, water or wind.
  • Once manufactured, the current is sent through transformers to increase the voltage to push the power over long distances…up to hundreds of miles.
  • The electrical charge then passes through high-voltage transmission lines that stretch across the country.
  • Electricity then reaches a substation which lowers the voltage for safe passage through smaller power lines.
  • From these smaller power lines, electricity passes through distribution lines to your neighborhood, where smaller pole-top transformers again reduce the voltage.
  • These distribution lines connect to your house through a service drop which then transfers the electricity to your meter.
  • Next comes your service panel, where breakers or fuses protect your wiring from power overloads.
  • Finally, electricity travels through wires to the outlets and switches you routinely rely on.

 

Still hungry for more? Okay then…here’s yet another fun fact to flaunt before friends and family:

The term “electric” was first used by William Gilbert (1544 – 1603), personal physician to Queen Elizabeth I of England. His groundbreaking research added greatly to knowledge first acquired by ancient Greeks as far back as 600 BC. The gilbert unit of magnetomotive power is named in his honor.

The moral of our story? Actually, we don’t really have one. But we do have money-saving coupons we invite you to use today, tomorrow, or whenever you might need the home comfort services of Team…“Around the House.”