Electrical hazards

How To Avoid the 3 Most Common Electrical Hazards

javierStay on the Lookout for These Electrical Hazards

Electricity remains one of the few home projects that most people won't try to DIY, and this is the way it should be. Not only is dealing with electricity illegal for unlicensed individuals, but it is also dangerous and can present long-term hazards if not properly installed. While professionals should always be called when problems arise, everyone can do a few things to avoid the hazards that electricity can present. 

In this quick article, local electricians share some knowledge about things they've seen in the field. By avoiding common mistakes, homeowners can make their homes safe from the dangers of electricity. 

Overloaded Power Strips and Outletspowerstrips

Everyone is guilty of this one. Who hasn't been inside someone's home or office and seen a power strip completely overloaded or outlets with multiple extenders? In an age with so many electronics, this is an easy mistake to make. 

Adding power strips or outlet extenders isn't always a bad thing. Most electronics are low-wattage devices that pull very little power. This is why power strips are completely acceptable for running a desk at home. However, as more things get added to an outlet, it can cause an overload without anyone noticing. 

When outlets have too many devices plugged into them, it increases the amount of electricity flowing through a home's wiring. This excessive heat can slowly cause problems that can lead to fires. Always try to spread devices, especially high-wattage devices, across different circuits around the home. 

Outdated Wiring or Handyman Wiring

Wiring a home is not a project for anyone other than a licensed electrician. Often in older homes, homeowners will try to replace old wiring themselves. While it is a good idea to replace certain outdated portions of a home's wiring during a renovation, a professional should always do so. 

Apart from handyman wiring jobs, old wiring can also be a hazard. As for wiring ages, the insulation can become damaged and become a source of fires or electrocution. Modern wiring has been engineered to not have these problems as it ages, so upgrading outdated wiring is a great idea to protect a home. 

Incorrect Light Bulb Wattagebulb

This one may sound trivial. Why does it matter what size of the light bulb gets put in a fixture? In truth, the properly sized light bulb is of vital importance. Just like how outlets and power strips get overloaded when too many devices are plugged in, a light bulb that is too high of a wattage for a fixture can cause dangerous overheating. When a high wattage light bulb is screwed into a fixture that requires a lower wattage, the bulb's demand for electricity can cause the fixture to overheat and melt or cause a fire. 

Luckily, now that most light bulbs are switching to lower wattage LEDs, the problem may soon be a thing of the past. However, it is still an important detail to pay attention to when upgrading lighting. One of the problems with LEDs is that it can be hard to determine the wattage equivalent for a traditional incandescent bulb. This could lead to confusion that could cause someone to install an oversized light bulb that may cause damage to the fixture or even an electrical fire. 

About Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning

Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning is the only trade company a homeowner will ever need. With high-quality plumbing, HVAC, and electrical services available, they can attend to every need. Call Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning today for fast and competitive electrical service in Sun Prairie, WI. 

Green your home

Green Your Home and Avoid Getting Pinched

3 Tips To Make a Home More Green

St. Patrick isn’t known for being the patron saint of energy-efficiency. He is, however, known for wearing green. As the seasons begin to change and the green starts to return to the landscape, St. Patrick’s Day is a good reminder of another kind of green, namely being environmentally-friendly. 

When it comes to becoming a better steward of the environment, there are many actions that a person can take. One of the areas where greening up a home will help the most is how it uses electrical power. This St. Patrick’s Day, homeowners can take advice from local Sun Prairie electricians about how to make a home greener. 

Natural Lighting

woman at the window

Solar power is one of the fastest-growing energy sectors. However, few people realize how easily available solar power is to the average homeowner. No, it doesn’t involve mounting expensive solar panels or buying battery backups. It simply involves opening the curtains. 

Opening the curtains and letting in natural light is the original solar power! There’s no need for lamps or overhead lighting during the day when homeowners can let in natural light. Some of the other benefits of natural lighting are:

  • Free energy!
  • Passive heating 
  • Better ambiance
  • Vitamin D production
  • Better regulation of sleep cycles

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Appliances account for much of the energy usage around a home, so it only makes sense that installing energy-efficient appliances can not only help. Energy savings are everywhere when it comes to appliances. Water heaters are a great place to start. Up to 10% of a home’s energy bill can come from an inefficient water heater. Upgrading a water heater, or even just washing clothes in cold water, can lead to big savings and greater enjoyment of its hot water capabilities. 

Another great way to green a home is by upgrading HVAC systems. HVAC accounts for around a quarter of a home’s energy budget. By upgrading to efficient electric heat pumps or high-efficiency models, homeowners can save money and protect the environment. 

Unplug Unused Electronics

One of the easiest ways to save on energy costs and go green is to unplug unused electronics. Most electronics, like computers and TVs, keep drawing a small amount of power on standby. This is called a “vampire load” because it slowly sucks up energy. Vampire loads can account for as much as 20% of a home’s electricity bill. 


While it may seem tedious to run around unplugging unused electronics, there are simpler alternatives. Power strips are a great way to manage vampire loads easily. For example, putting a computer and all of its hardware on a power strip can keep it from drawing power. 

Another great example is bundling home theater equipment onto a power strip. With a power strip, all energy vampires can be turned off by the flick of a switch when they are not in use. Additionally, this will help protect them from power surges as well. 

About Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning

Cardinal Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving Sun Prairie, WI for 35 years. They excel at tailoring electrical solutions to fit budgets and expectations. Let them demonstrate why they have a reputation for a job done right the first time. Call now for expert electrical service!