Brilliant Home Services Blog : Archive for December, 2016

Is It Time to Replace Your Electrical Panel?

Monday, December 26th, 2016

The beginning of a new year is a time when homeowners start to make plans about changes and various improvements they want to make to their house. Sometimes the electrical system slips people’s minds because it is easy to take for granted that it will always work. But an aging electrical system can become unreliable… and possibly even dangerous.

We’ll take the example of one of the key components in any home electrical system, the electrical panel (a.k.a. the circuit breaker box). This is the part of the electrical system that divides the incoming current into its various circuits. It also protects the circuits from overloads by flipping breakers. Electrical panels won’t last forever, and this year might be when you need to have yours replaced.

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Some Winter Behavior You May See from Your Heat Pump

Monday, December 19th, 2016

Heat pumps are becoming more popular with each year. Because of advances in the technology of heat pumps, they are more effective in colder weather than ever before, making them an option for places with often extremely chilly winters like Chicago.

This might be your first winter with a heat pump. You may have had one installed in spring or summer, or you may have moved into a new house that uses a heat pump. There is some behavior from a heat pump during the winter that you may not be used to and can lead you to believing that there’s a malfunction with it. Most of these behaviors actually aren’t problems. Here are the two most common:

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Furnace Repair Signs to Look For

Monday, December 12th, 2016

The outdoor thermometer is rapidly dropping now that we’re in December—and the actual official start of winter isn’t even here yet! (It’s the 21st of December if you want to mark your calendar. It’s also the shortest day of the year, so if you need some extra lighting, give us a call.) You’ve got your furnace already fired up to keep your home warm. If it received its regular maintenance during the fall, it should be in good shape for winter. But you still need to keep a close watch on it during these early months; the sooner you catch malfunctions, the easier they are to fix, and the less likely they are to cause the system to breakdown.

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Is a Standby Generator a Good Idea?

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Major storms during the past few years have made generators into an option that more and more homeowners are looking into. We aren’t subject to hurricanes here in Chicago, obviously—but we’re no stranger to storms that can knock out the power in areas for hours or even days at a time. Grid-disabling disasters have been on the rise since 2011.

Although many people lined up at big-box stores to purchase portable gasoline-powered generators to handle blackouts, these are not ideal solutions to the problem. Portable generators have limited power, and they can also present exhaust dangers. But is it a wise idea to invest in a whole-house standby generator?

The short answer is: yes. These devices offer numerous benefits, some you may not even have thought of before.

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