A friendly reminder: Replace your smoke detectors every 10 years!
Answered by George Hoegen
A: Standby generator costs can be above a lot of budgets, but I'm hearing from several customers that the security of having power in some of these big storms, is an investment worth making.
A: We get this all the time. We'll answer to whatever, but the correct way would rhyme with Reagan. It's a German name and it's my understanding that our "A" sound is closer to the correct pronunciation than our "O" sound.
A: There are a few options. Rewiring your house is the most extreme and usually the most expensive. Code allows us to install a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) to protect that outlet and then install a regular outlet. This can be achieved in a few ways. One would be to put a GFCI circuit breaker on the entire circuit. This is usually a cheaper option to get as many done as possible. However, due to the way some homes are wired, this isn't always an option. The more common solution is for us to install a GFCI at the outlet you want to have 3 prongs. Sometimes we can use that GFCI to protect some further down the line to get more bang for your buck. Another option is re-installing 2 prong outlets back in the same space. Although this doesn't solve the problem of not having a 3 prong, it does help if the existing outlets are loose and cords are falling out.
A: Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years because of dust buildup. You can easily tell how old your detector is by twisting it off the wall/ceiling counterclockwise. There should be a date on there. The smoke detectors we install today have a 10-year life so you don't have to fuss with those anymore.
A: That's Reese! She is our Office Manager. I understand that for years, I'd be the one answering your calls/texts, however, our business phone number is not my personal number anymore. All calls/texts go to Reese through the Hoegen Electric cell phone. She handles all communication through calls/texts and forwards me any information I need to know or respond to.
A: My rule of thumb is big box stores are fine for anything that doesn't have moving parts or isn't out in Michigan weather. Bath fans can be cheaper at big box stores that look exactly like the ones we install. However, I have put them side by side to compare them and the quality is very different in all aspects. Also, we install fans specifically meant to be installed into finished ceilings when it's called for.
A: A GFCI or Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter is a receptacle installed in areas where water may be in use. They are recognizable by their test and reset buttons on the front. They also protect other receptacles down the line. This is nice so we don't have to use this more expensive receptacle in every box. So, when you have a receptacle not working in a bathroom, kitchen, etc that is not a GFCI, you should still look around and reset any GFCI. I recommend pushing 'Test' and then 'Reset'.
A: At this time, I recommend NOT buying decorative lights with integrated LEDs. These will eventually go out. When that happens, you have to replace the entire light fixture or spend a lot of time and money finding the parts to swap out the LEDs. Instead, buy a light fixture that accepts regular bulbs so that when an LED goes out, you can just buy another bulb.
A: We do! Although it's not our main line of fieldwork, we have installed a good handful of systems, including at our building. Feel free to stop by and take a look sometime. We buy a specific line we like but aren't married to. We will install any system you'd like. Pulling wires and mounting cameras are usually the hard part for some, but that aligns well with what we do daily.
A: A ceiling fan can be a big investment. So when the electronics in the fan for a built-in controller go bad, it's a shame that you have to throw the fan away or spend time and money hunting down the part to replace it. Instead, buy one without it and buy the remote separately. Let us install the remote when we install the fan so that when the electronics die, we replace the remote and not the fan.
A: Wafer lights are a great invention in our industry. BUT... If we can install traditional recessed lights, we do. Here's why; Standard "can lighting" has been around for decades. Specifically, Halo's 6" recessed lights have been a staple in lighting. With that being the case, it is my belief that trims to fit in these lights will be around forever. We also believe they look nicer and quality matters to us.
A: Once in a while, we have customers call saying they tried to reset a tripped breaker and it won't reset. A lot of times it's because they did not turn the breaker all the way off first (you should hear a click) and then back on. If it trips again after doing that, then it's time for us to make a visit.
A: First, we recommend feeling instead of looking. Feel all your breakers by trying to turn them all on more than they are. Does one feel 'spongey'? If so, turn that breaker all the way off (make sure you hear a click to know it's all the way off) and then on again. If that doesn't work, look for a GFCI receptacle. Those are mostly in bathrooms, kitchens, basements, garages, or anywhere else there might be a water source nearby. Push 'test' and 'reset' on any you find, even if they are not in the same room. If those didn't work, it's time for us to make a visit.
A: As costs come down and with the number of rebates and grants, it's worth looking into. We plan on doing just that through our partnership with Generac in the coming months.
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