The Best Home Automation Systems to Incorporate into Your Home Security

Home automation is a must-do if you have a security system. It brings so much comfort to your life. Imagine that you can change the temperature at home, switch the light on and off, and see who’s at the door while dining with friends or flying to Ukraine on a business trip.

The word ‘smart’ is put before almost every device name now. The future is here! And building a smart home isn’t a challenge if you know what to include on the list.

We can cover you security-wise because there’s a basic set that should be in every home.

Smart Cameras

Such devices are an essential part of any home security system. They work using a Wi-Fi connection and can be controlled remotely. They save footage to a cloud where you can view it anytime.

Many cameras also offer an online broadcast. Of course, the quality is much better than, say, 10 years ago, and there’s even a face recognition function. They have motion detectors and a wide angle for the best view of your yard and rooms.

Smart Doorbells

A small camera installed into a doorbell that works whenever someone approaches your house and rings is a treasure. You don’t even have to get up – watch the video on your smartphone.

These bells work differently, depending on the company you choose, but you can even get an alert on your phone that someone’s at the door.

To get the most benefit, look for motion detection, 2-way audio, and high-quality video.

Smart Locks

Lock and unlock your door anywhere using a smartphone. You don’t need keys anymore. People often forget those at home or lose somewhere. While you can also lose a phone, it’s less likely. And you can always block the access by contacting the home security system company.

Some locks work automatically when they detect your phone. So, you may not need to even take it out of your pocket and open the app.

Smart Lights

LED bulbs work for thousands of hours and help you save on electricity. But did you know they are also smart now? You can switch them on and off, dim them and choose a color. This can aid security because you can go on vacation forgetting to switch off the main lights. Or if you want people to think someone’s inside, you can turn the bulbs on and off every evening while away.

Smart Thermostat

Save on electricity by changing the thermostat settings from your phone. If something happens to it, you can switch it off quickly and call a technician, even if you’re far away. Just unlock the door for them and watch an online video from the room where the thermostat is if you don’t trust the person.

Automate Home Security to Protect Yourself, Family, and Property

Home security automation will ensure that your house is secured when you’re elsewhere in the world. Schedule lights to turn on and off, thermostat to maintain a certain temperature, and watch video footage whenever you want. It’s very convenient and opens new possibilities for home protection.

Automatic alarms will call emergency services that will take care of your property while you’re abroad or at work. You’ll get notifications about people coming to your door. The possibilities are limitless!

Home Electrical Safety Tips for Fall

electrician tools

Did you know that almost half of fire department calls report accidents caused by electricity? To be more precise, electricity isn’t the culprit, but people that neglect routine checks are.

As fall is getting closer, another regular inspection has to be done. We know exactly what there is to check. Do it diligently and carefully, and make sure to call professionals if all these wires don’t make any sense.

While there are many conditions that can be detected by someone who doesn’t know a lot about electrical applications, only a true pro electrician will notice the smaller, yet equally important, errors.

We’re going to use more appliances soon, so here are some recommendations.

1: Check All Plugs’ and Cords’ Condition and Placement

The first electrical safety tip concerns cords and plugs. You have to look for:

  • Damage of any kind;
  • Exposed wires;
  • Broken parts or elements not in place.

Call a licensed electrician if something looks suspicious. If you don’t have experience, it’s better not to touch the wires. 

Now, about the placement. Here are some guidelines that will help you understand if everything’s fine for fall:

  • There have to be water-resistant extension cords in all areas in your house and outside where it gets dump;
  • The cords shouldn’t be under carpets or near doors (you can close the door and damage the wire);
  • Extension cords shouldn’t be used as permanent outlets. If you need some, it’s better to ask a pro to install them where you need;
  • Every heavy-use appliance must be plugged into wall outlets.

2: Check All Appliances’ Condition and Placement

One of the essential electrical safety tips is to check all appliances, especially those responsible for heating. Make sure they are:

  • Intact;
  • Placed properly;
  • Have an official seal from CSA, UL, or another lab.

As to the placement, don’t put any heating devices near flammable objects. This includes not only heaters but coffee machines, toasters, etc. Appliances a like toaster, hairdryer, kettle, etc. should be plugged off after use.

3: Check All Lighting in the House

Check your lamps, as you’re going to use them much more as the sun goes down earlier. See if all lamps are below the limit mentioned on the light itself. LED lights are an amazing solution since they are very effective, save power (and money), and aren’t as dangerous as other types.

Keep the lights at least 1 ft away from flammable items like paper, curtains, etc.

Bonus: Additional Precautions

Here are some additional electrical safety tips:

  • Inspect your detectors to make sure they work properly for movement, smoke, and carbon monoxide;
  • Inspect every portable heater you have and never use them in the bathroom;
  • Check devices for outside use. If they aren’t suitable for that, consider buying other models.

Don’t neglect routine checks of electrical appliances in your house. Safety recommendations are given not to take your time from other important stuff. Specialists provide them to make sure every home is safe as the temperature goes down.

We want your golden autumn and cheerful winter to be warm and stress-free. So, go over the recommendations again and consider calling a professional to come over and inspect the house.

Energy Saving Tips You May Not Have Thought About

energy savings light bulb with a leaf inside

The rapid change of climate brings its inconveniences. We notice them the most in the summer months when it seems there’s no air to breathe, only steam and fire. Gladly, there’s air conditioning and dehumidifying tech that saves us. But it doesn’t save our finances.

That being said, you don’t have to freeze or boil to achieve considerable electricity savings, working hard on your power of will not to switch the A/C on. There are easier, more convenient ways.

Maintain Your A/C Regularly

Maintenance shouldn’t be performed only to make appliances work for a longer time. First of all, the efficiency of their operation depends on how good their condition is. Call a technician every now and then to look at your A/C and update/upgrade its parts.

And don’t forget to check the air filter with every maintenance session. This part alone can save you up to 15% of the power the A/C is using to heat or cool the room. A dirty filter slows the capacity of the appliance, thus increasing electricity bills.

Seal Your House (Works for Summer Too)

Sealing your house isn’t only effective for the cold months. Cool air also tends to escape through the same pathways as the warm air in winter. Seal your home, and you’ll need much less heating or cooling.

Aside from the main living part of the house, make sure to check the attic and basement. Most of the time, the most dramatic leaks occur there.

This will allow for considerable electricity savings throughout the year, which you should aim for.

Change Regular Bulbs to LED Ones

LED lights are the deciding factor when it comes to cutting electricity costs. They use 75% less energy than regular bulbs and last 25+ times longer. There are savings all around if you’re opting for LEDs.

Did you know that common incandescent bulbs only use 15% of the power to light your house? And do you know where the other 85% are going? Almost all of that power goes into heat. As a result, you can’t cool the room down without excess energy use, and you waste a lot on the actual lighting. LEDs solve all those issues.

Unplug Everything You Don’t Use

When not in use, every appliance has to be not only turned off but unplugged. Each one generates just a little bit of heat when plugged in. While a single charger won’t heat the house much, when you add up everything that’s been in use, you’ll see a difference in several degrees.

Buy a Smart Thermostat

Smart tech can save you a lot of money. A smart thermostat will make it easier to manage the temperature at home, automatically adjusting settings when needed. As local governments encourage installing such technology, you can find lots of options for sale, which will save you even more.

Use every appliance wisely, keep in mind the heat they are producing. Switch everything off when you leave home and change regular technology for smart, LED, etc. At the end of the day, you’ll have electricity costs cut without lots of effort while living a comfortable life in the microclimate you find the most suitable for you and your family.

Top 7 Tips to keep your home generator ready when you need it

Not many people remember to maintain their home generator.  As a result the home generator may not work when needed because it was not properly maintained.  Like any other appliance, your home genrator must be checked frequently and repaired when needed.

We all think it’s not going to happen to us. However, even the most stable areas have power outages. And the next one may be just when you need electricity the most. The best solution? A working home generator.

But how you maintain one properly? Below are 7 great recommendations on the topic.

1. Test Your Generator Regularly

Even when you don’t need it, test the appliance. This should become a routine check to see if there are any areas that need more attention in further maintenance or repair. There’s also a feature in many generators to self-test. If you don’t know whether yours does that, call a technician and ask about it.

2. After Use, Check Oil Levels

After every test and actual use, check if the oil levels are alright. Most modern models don’t use much of it, but it’s still easy to forget to refill. Plus, there may be leaks that need to be fixed for your safety and the proper operation of the appliance.

3.  Enusre that the housing does not block ventilation

Protective housing is important for any generator. However, it doesn’t have to block the air supply or any other part. This may break the appliance or make it operate poorly. Plus, if you want additional coverage to block noise or for another reason, make sure to call an expert and consult with them first.

4. Have Additional Fuel on Hand

Many generators use natural gas to operate, but if your house doesn’t have this kind of fuel, make sure there’s enough gasoline, diesel, etc. to last for a lengthy power outage. In case of a natural disaster, you never know how long electricity will be out.

5. Check the Electrical System Regularly

It’s also important to check how the generator starts to work when an outage occurs. It should be on the automatic mode, when it starts to operate at the moment the main power source turns off.

However, issues may occur that will make the generator work dangerous. If you don’t know how to check the electrical system yourself, it’s better to contact a specialist.

6. Check the Air Filter

You should clean, fix, and/or replace the filter when needed. Make sure there’s a replacement by hand at any moment. If the filter is neglected, the generator may get damaged, which is dangerous for your house.

7. Test Smart Features Frequently

If you have a generator with smart features like smartphone operation, check whether they work regularly. This includes updating applications in time, connecting to the appliance every now and then to test settings, etc.

Check every element and feature of your home generator to make sure that in case of emergency, you’re fully covered. The climate is changing, which gives way to unusual natural disasters in areas where there wasn’t a hurricane in years.

Smart Doorbell features you must have

Buying a smart doorbell is a must for everyone worrying about their security. Such a small yet useful device allows you to know who came to your door and when. It’s easy to tell a delivery person where to leave the food or packages. You can see whether your children snuck out at night to go party with friends.

Not to mention you see everyone approaching your house. If someone suspicious walks around in circles and tries to see whether anyone’s at home, calling the police without interaction with that person can save your house and life.

You need a high-quality doorbell and a professional electrical service to install it. But how to choose a proper device? We have the 5 major things to consider before making the final choice below!

1. Cloud Storage

It’s better to store footage for some time, especially if there may be some important material. Instead of using microSD cards, opt for cloud storage support. Usually, the videos are kept in the cloud for a month. 

So, in case something happens nearby or at your front door (i.e. your house gets vandalized or something is stolen from the yard), you’ll have a clue on the culprit and can boldly contact the police with the information you have.

2. Motion Detection

A motion detection sensor in your smart doorbell camera will notify you if someone approaches your front door or leaves the house. There’s a wide range of such cameras that offer the same support without annoying alerts from a busy street nearby or neighbors walking here and there.

You can choose specific areas to be monitored, so such options are suitable for any location. It’s impossible to always be by the camera, right? So, to avoid trouble, motion sensors can catch a robber in the act, not after it as a piece of video evidence.

3. Quality Mobile App

Most modern people find app support one of the most convenient features for any smart device. When choosing a doorbell, make sure there’s an app you can use to control it remotely.

You’ll see who’s at the door even if you’re far from home, control the bell, access video storage, and more. The app must connect quickly and show high-quality video. You should be able to see who’s in front of the house now, not after half an hour.

4. Backup Power Supply

Smart doorbells are usually powered by a battery or regular doorbell wires. If you don’t have the latter, the battery is the best option. But if you have a wired option, make sure it has a backup source of energy (the same battery will work).

Thus, if you have a power outage, the device will still work.

5. Resolution

The minimum resolution is 480p, but it won’t allow you to see faces very well, especially if the visitor is farther from the camera. Opt for the 1080p version; it provides a crisper image. It will show better videos during nighttime. However, for that, you should get a camera with night mode.

Base your choice on these 5 factors, and you’ll end up with the most suitable smart doorbell for your home. Enhance security and convenience with high-tech solutions! Contact McCallent today for a free consultation.

2021 Home Electrical Product Trends

electrical product light bulb

2021 Home Electrical Product Trends

Did you know that we’ve been using electrical appliances for more than 100 years?

Electrical products have come a long way since the first toaster, with new products and innovations appearing all the time.

What will be the hottest electrical product trends in 2021?

Read on to learn more.

Medical Tech

The global pandemic has made everybody much more conscious about their health. Medical tech that can help spot symptoms of disease is already growing in popularity.

The Apple Watch is able to take an ECG to help you gain insights into your heart rhythm and to spot potential problems. The latest version also includes a blood oxygen monitor. Low blood oxygen levels are one of the indicators of potential COVID-19 infection.

Apple is even planning an update that will allow people to use their Apple Watch to unlock their iPhone when they are wearing a mask since Face ID doesn’t work whilst a mask is being worn.

Expect this type of diagnostic medical tech to become more and more common. It could even save your life one day.

Gesture Recognition

Another trend that has grown out of the pandemic is the increase in the use of gesture recognition.

We’re all much more wary about touching surfaces, knowing that the virus could be passed on this way. Gesture recognition allows you to interact with technology via gestures rather than physical touch, reducing the risk of picking up diseases through contact.

Smart Speakers

Alexa, Google, and Siri have all become popular voice assistants in recent years, but each one traps the user into a specific ecosystem. 

Thankfully, there are now products being introduced, such as the Sonos One audio speaker, that come with both Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. Whilst you can only set up one assistant per speaker, if you own a stereo pair, you can have Alexa on one and Google on another, allowing you to pick and choose which assistant you use.

Expect more and more products to include a built-in voice assistant in the future.

Smart Gym Equipment

With the gyms being closed many of us have taken to exercising at home.

This has been a real boon for companies such as Peleton. Peleton started out as an exercise bike with a built-in screen that allowed you to participate in real-time training sessions with fitness coaches, right from your home. The range has now extended to treadmills, as well as exercise classes using minimal equipment such as free weights.

Since these products remove the need for expensive gym memberships, expect to see more smart gym equipment appearing on the scene. Just make sure you install a ceiling fan to keep you cool as you work out!

Need Some Help With Your Electrical Products?

If you’re looking for help with any of your electrical products, then we’re here to help.

We offer a wide range of residential services including ceiling lights, dimmer switch installation, outdoor lighting, panel upgrades, circuit testing, surge protection, and rewiring and remodeling. We also offer commercial services too if you need any help with your business electricals.

Contact us for a quote today.

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It’s Holiday and Home Theatre Time: Get It Done Right > Call An Electrician

It’s Holiday and Home Theatre Time: Get It Done Right > Call An Electrician

Do I really need an electrician for my home theatre?

A top item on many Christmas lists is a brand new home theatre system.  Whether it is for a full theatre room or simply the family room where you want to enjoy your movies with really great tech, there are some things to consider.

The last thing you want to do is have a big stack of components and start installing them only to figure out that the wiring for that room won’t handle it all.  Or worse, won’t accommodate any of it.

So when it comes time to set up that full home theatre, consider consulting an electrician.  It won’t take long for them to be able to tell you what your current wiring can handle and what it will take to get it all set up correctly if any changes need to be made.

Keep in mind, this is a great time to get it done just the way you want it. Many of us forget that often times, electrical work is pretty inexpensive, especially when you consider the cost of the potential consequences down the road.

Who doesn’t want the perfect home theatre right?

So some of the things to be considered…

Can it handle the load?

Many of today’s televisions don’t draw as much electricity as the old tube or projection style, but they do often require a different array of wiring options. With the addition of the “extras”, you could be looking at as many as 8 additional components drawing electricity.

We’re talking about gaming systems, cable or satellite boxes, streaming boxes, and sound equipment. Not to mention internet routers or wifi extenders.

So again, it is a wise idea to have an electrician check things out and help you ensure that everything can run well and safely.  You wouldn’t want to have a short that could put your house in danger or have something blow up your expensive equipment.

On to the next question…

What are you going to do with the cords?

Wireless technology is fast becoming a more viable option for many components including satellite speakers for surround sound, but that isn’t always the case and even if it is, some of those components still need power even if they can pick up a wireless signal.  So again, there are additional needs.

So what ARE you going to do with the cords?  Do you have outlets in convenient locations? Are you going to have to string extension cords around the room? Are you going to have to try to plug 5 components into one outlet? Do you have little ones or pets in the house that could trip on or make a mess of the cords and damage the components?

In the majority of cases, an electrician can simplify and protect your process to ensure that your electronics AND everyone in your home is safe.

Final question…

How important is your investment in your electronics?

Many of us use surge suppressor style power strips for our important electronics, but did you know that you can have a whole-home surge protection system installed to protect EVERYTHING?

Yes, we are discussing your home theatre system, but what if lightning hit and your tv and your computer were protected but all of your other home appliances were blown out as well as your 4-month-old surround sound system? 

You’ve heard that an ounce of protection is worth a pound of cure? That is very true giving the price of electronics and the amount of them in an average home.

So what are you waiting for?  Give us a call and set up a time for a quick inspection.  We are here to make sure your Atlanta electrician needs are covered!

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If You Live in Atlanta GA, You Need To Know An Electrician

If You Live in Atlanta GA, You Need To Know An Electrician

That may seem like a weird statement, but the facts are that it is a reality and I am about to tell you why.

We all either live in a house or know somebody who does… Quite frankly, living in a house is all the qualification you need to be on the list of people who need to know an electrician.

What’s so special about knowing an electrician in Atlanta, GA?  Well, not a whole lot except the fact that it is the most heavily forested city in the United States and sometimes trees fall and pull power lines out of your house or swipe electrical service boxes off the side of your house.

In the meantime, there are literally dozens of reasons to need to consult or hire an electrician.

Here is the bottom line… At some point during the period of time that you own or rent a home, there will be an occasion to arise that you have a need for an electrician.

The funny thing is that many of us tend to think that we will simply look somebody up when we have the need for one, but that is not always the best option.

Let’s put it this way…

Not all electricians are created equal, and the last thing you want is an electrician that doesn’t know what they are doing or is happy to take shortcuts.

Think about it.  There is really NEVER a situation where taking shortcuts with your electrical is a good idea.  It can result in damaged appliances, lights that don’t work, and even a fire that could completely consume all that you own and endanger your family and pets.

Why would you ever put your home and your family at risk like that?

Wouldn’t you rather know an electrician that you can trust, that you KNOW does the best and does NOT cut corners? Somebody, who is there looking out for you?

Here are some things to look for when choosing your electrician:

  1. Are they licensed and have a history or reputation for work in your area?
  2. How long have they been in business?
  3. Do they have reviews online?
  4. What is their scope of work?

Some of these questions are pretty self-explanatory, but just keep in mind that being licensed and having work history are two major factors that are often overlooked.

Licensing must be updated regularly so that is an automatic give away to their continued education and staying current on electrical building code and requirements.

Having a work history is always great to consider from the standpoint that if they have been around for a while, they obviously have some quality and trustability because they are still in business.

Having reviews online is a good indicator as to the quality of work and customer service.  Keep in mind that not all reviews are accurate as some people will exaggerate no matter the situation and others will understate everything.  However, reviews are still a good indicator of the quality of service you can expect.

The scope of work is also important.  Some smaller electricians will stick to smaller jobs like repairs, small to moderate remodels, and similar things.  They don’t always have the capability of doing large remodels or new construction for an entire home or building.

Some electricians specialize in just home audio or low voltage wiring.  Some specialize in just high voltage wiring.

In Atlanta, GA there is an abundance of electricians and many specialists as well.  So it is important to know what is available for your needs and to have their number on hand for those times when you need someone to call.

At McCall Enterprises we pretty much do it all.  If we don’t, we will let you know that it is out of our scope of work and make a recommendation to someone that we trust.

If you are curious about what we do and the quality we promise, just give us a call and get to know us.  We are confident that you will find a friend and the security of knowing who to call when YOU need an electrician.

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Why Use Dimmer Switches?

Why Use Dimmer Switches?

Dimmer switches are easy to add to your home, and they do not require any special remodeling as some other types of lighting might. These switches are great for setting the mood and giving you just the right amount of light in your home, no matter the time of day or night. You can use them in many different rooms of the house. Here are a few ways that you might want to use them.

In the dining room, dimmer switches allow you to control the mood lighting when you are having a dinner party or a romantic evening with that special someone. Many people are also installing them in the bathroom. You can leave the light on a dim setting in the bathroom so that if you get up in the middle of the night, a bright light is not going to hurt your eyes and wake you up. Every room of the house can benefit from dimmer switches!

You can find many different types of switches to use, and some of the newer models even come with a remote control. That makes controlling your lighting easier than ever before!

These switches are very safe, and they are simple to use. If you know how to turn on a light, you will be able to figure out how to get your mood lighting just right! However, it is usually a good idea to have an experienced Atlanta electrician install the switches for you. It’s important to make sure that the wattages on the bulb and on the switch are matching. If you want to get full control over your lighting, dimmer switches are probably one of the best ways to go. Check out all of the different types of switches available and you will see for yourself.

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Who Thinks About Parking Lot Lights?

Who thinks about parking lot lights?

If you are like most people, you do not give much thought to parking lot lights. You probably take them for granted. Whenever you head out to a convenience store or grocery store at night, you know that those lights will be there. What if there were no lights though? The parking lot could take on a new, menacing appearance at night, and that store would certainly be a place that you don’t want to visit. You can bet that criminals are thinking about these lights. Lack of light gives the shadier elements of society freedom to act.

Those who own businesses know just how important it is to have high-quality lights. It provides safety for their customers as well as for their employees. If you have a business, whether it is in a bad area of town or a good area, you are going to want to have parking lot lights that can illuminate the entire parking lot and cast away all of the shadows.

When you are having the lights installed, it is important that you choose high quality lights that are bright enough to cover the whole lot. If one or two will not give sufficient light, add another. Of course, the number that you will need depends on the size of the lot.

Employ professional Atlanta electricians come to install the lights and make sure that all of the wiring is connected properly. If you ever notice that any of the lights are burned out or that one of them is broken, you need to call and have someone come out to repair it right away.

You will find that far more people are going to frequent your shop when you have lights for them at night. They are great for safety and for business!

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