Electrical

lightingLighting and Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are not just for decoration. Did you know that ceiling fans can help reduce heating and cooling costs? By setting fan blades to run clockwise or upward in the winter, the fan draws the air up through the blades, across the ceiling and back down the walls. Setting blades down or counter-clockwise in the summer will cause a slight wind chill effect that circulates air throughout the room. Use a fan in nearly every room of your house to eliminate odors, save energy, even repel insects. Most fans require less electricity than a 100-watt light bulb, so take advantage of the savings!

Which fan is for me? Look for fans with quality cast iron motor housings, pull chain switches, reversible motors and precision-pitched blades that move air well with a minimum of noise. Standard mounting kits are available for ceilings as low as 8 feet. You can buy special fans for lower ceilings, but remember that safety may be a factor.

Extension cords
Extension cords come in a huge variety of sizes and colors. Let’s take a look at what’s behind all the different cords. Make sure you get the right cord for the job. There are outdoor and indoor household types as well as commercial cords with heavier gauges, higher amp ratings and extra flexibility.

Indoor cords come with two-wires in lengths up to 15′. Heavy-duty cords come in lengths up to 100′ and are used for outdoor lighting, appliances and power tools. They come in 16/3, 14/3, and 12/3 wire.

  • The first number states the gauge of the wire. In general, the more power needed (i.e. the higher the amp rating) by the appliance or tool, the thicker the cord should be, which translates to a lower number. Also, the longer the cord the thicker the gauge is required.
  • The second number indicates how many wires are in the cordset. The number 3 indicates that the cordset has a grounding wire.

Colors
Extension cords come in various colors. Typical household extension cords are white, beige or brown. Power tool cords are usually orange. And outdoor cords that resist moisture and damage by sunlight are green.

Plugs
Standard cords use plugs that stick out a few inches from the wall. This may not be a problem unless you wish to have a piece of furniture flush against the wall and there is a plug in the way. So some household cords have flat plugs which protrude less than an inch from the wall.