8 Tips for Protecting Your Home While on Holidays this Christmas

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We’ve all heard at least one horror story about a family returning home from a long holiday only to find that their house has been broken into or a pipe has burst in their absence. Problems like these can cost hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars to fix and are guaranteed to cause a lot of stress. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent security breaches while you’re off on a family adventure.

We’ve compiled the following tips to help you prep your house for safety before you go out of town and truly relax while you’re away. Some of them require a little investment and planning, but taking these steps now will save you from major headaches down the road.

1. Get a professionally monitored home security system
Your first line of defence against a break in over the holiday period is a professionally monitored home security system that includes door and window sensors. Some systems allow you to self-monitor, but especially if you’re going out of the country or somewhere with unreliable data network coverage, alerts on your phone won’t do you much good. With a professionally monitored system, the alarm company calls the authorities for you when there’s a breach.

2. Use motion control and timed lights
Basic security should definitely include both motion control security lights as well as timed lights on the inside of your home. Lights that are turned on and off intermittently help create the appearance that someone is home and motion detection lights will illuminate anyone coming around the property at night. The best part about this type of equipment is how affordable it is. You can chat to one of our friendly team members to find out about pricing here.

3.  Install outdoor sensor lights
Outdoor sensor lights are simple to install for those of you who aren’t too tech-savvy. Motion-sensor flood lights can also prove to be useful year-round for general home security whether you’re home or not, and often are equipped with technology to have them turn off and on at certain times of the day. Most models are either motion activated or will only come on at night, so you don’t have to worry about them wasting a lot of energy.

4. Unplug nonessential electronics
Unplugging nonessential electronics like TVs, computers, coffee makers, fans, lamps etc. will both reduce the risk of fire and save you money. The power used by plugged-in electronics while they’re not in use, accounts for 5–10% of residential energy use and costs each household around $100 each year. Unplugging devices also protects them against electrical surges, which can short out expensive equipment or cause fires.

5.  Get a programmable or smart thermostat
When you’re gone, there’s no use heating or cooling an empty house to a comfortable temperature, but you don’t want to turn your system off entirely, either. A good rule of thumb is to set your thermostat to four degrees above or below your normal setting when you’re away. With a programmable thermostat, you can set a schedule ahead of time so your house will be back to a comfortable temperature by the time you return home.

6. Add a smart lock to your door
A smart door lock lets you unlock your door remotely from your smartphone and grant temporary access with expiring codes. If you have a neighbour checking in on the house or a house sitter coming to take care of the dogs, you can keep track of exactly who goes in and out of your house and terminate access once you’re home again. No more trying to keep track of who has your spare keys because you have full control over who does and doesn’t have access at any given time.

7. Check batteries in all home security devices
This one’s pretty simple, but it often goes overlooked. Regularly check all your security and safety devices like motion detectors, cameras, and smoke detectors to make sure the batteries won’t fail while you’re gone. Even if something is hardwired, it may have a backup battery in case of power outages. Opt for high-quality batteries over budget batteries, as you’re likely to get more life out of them.

8. Invest in security cameras
A handful of well-placed security cameras both inside and outside can mean the difference between catching a perpetrator or not. You want a system which is motion activated and will send alerts and video clips to your smartphone so you can take immediate action. They will also allow you to remotely drop in on your cameras in real time and live stream whatever’s going on at your house. If you need help selecting a security camera system, get in touch with us today so we can recommend the best indoor/outdoor systems to use.

At Ehlerth Electrical we aim to keep your home and business highly connected at all times. We offer installation and services on your existing phone, data, TV and security systems and we can also integrate and automate your environment with our home automation services. If you require an assistance with communications before the Christmas break, please get in touch with us today on 1800 940 413.


How To Make Your Workplace More Energy Efficient

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Changing habits in your workplace to be more energy efficient isn’t just good for your business financially; it can also help make your workplace more sustainable. While we’re getting wiser at home about how to save on our energy bills, we spend the majority of our days at work so it’s time to start thinking about practical ways to make changes around the office.

Whether you’re a large, medium, or small business, you could be saving more energy by following simple inexpensive energy-efficiency strategies, and as a business owner, it is important that you are engaging your entire team and getting everyone involved in making a difference around the workplace.

Educating staff on using only what they need, when they need it, can help you ensure that your business energy costs are kept to a minimum. Simple energy savings can be made by encouraging staff to make sure all lights are switched off when the office isn’t in use, making use of natural lighting where possible, switching to compact fluorescent bulbs and setting computer monitors to automatically turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity (screensavers won’t save energy!)

Below, we look at some quick and easy tips to make your workplace more energy-efficient, whilst creating a positive change to your working environment:

Lighting

  • Turn off lights when not needed as this extends overall lamp life and reduces replacement costs.

  • Reduce or replace inefficient, outdated or excessive lighting within your building.

  • Switch to energy efficient light bulbs like LED lights. These types of light bulbs last longer and consume a fraction of the energy of conventional light bulbs.

  • Take advantage of natural daylight. Natural lighting can be a power saver for any workplace.

  • Install occupancy sensors to automatically turn off lights.

Heating and cooling

  • Regularly change HVAC filters.

  • Tune-up your HVAC units (clean and check refrigerant charge).

Temperature control

  • Reduce heating and cooling. In summer, keep air conditioners programmed a couple of degrees higher from what you normally have and in winter, set the thermostat several degrees lower than you normally have it.

  • Install programmable thermostats. They automatically adjust temperature settings based on the time of day and day of the week.

  • Consider installing solar panels. A solar power system, along with a solar hot water system, is probably one of the best energy-efficient investments you can make for your business.

Office equipment

  • To conserve energy and reduce internal heat gain, turn off computers, monitors printers and copiers during non-business hours.

  • Implement lights-off and power-off policies.

  • Switch to laptops. Using laptops instead of desktop computers will more than half your energy costs. Buying smaller monitors also contributes to the amount of energy consumed.

  • Purchase ENERGY STAR office equipment.  

  • Upgrade all outdated equipment to efficient appliances.

Once you start implementing these energy saving tips, the results - for both your energy bills and the environment are well worth it. As a business owner, it is important you take charge in turning your workplace into an energy-efficient, sustainable workplace, however it is your staff members who can help put it into effect. Remember to take the time to involve them and to encourage a culture of sustainability... employee buy-in and involvement can make or break your company’s efforts to conserve energy.

Ehlerth Electrical provides a full range of electrical services to business and individuals around Queensland. We are a hard-working and committed team of Master Electricians who pride ourselves on our job execution, and our understanding of various electrical fields. We have a genuine focus on customer service and this is reflected in all aspects of our business. For more information about how we can service your business, and assist with any of the above energy saving tips, please contact our friendly team here.

How To Simplify Your Life With Smart Home Technology

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Modern, web-connected technology gives you the chance to truly make the most of your home, seamlessly integrating your devices and appliances to give you effortless, central control.

This is the ‘smart’ or ‘automated’ home, and it will simplify your life while saving you energy and money in several areas.

Comfort

Imagine optimising your home conditions while out of the house according to the changing weather. The moment you step through the door, you sense your preferred dimly-lit interior and an inviting cool climate after a hot day. Equally, put your whole home ‘to bed’ with the push of a button, adjusting ambient lighting and temperature to the rhythm of the evening.

Instead of setting the temperature via a thermostat, you can use remote control to fine-tune different areas of your home to a specific temperature. Once the system builds up a picture of where you spend most of your time, you can also choose to significantly start lowering your energy bills by heating, cooling and lighting the unoccupied spaces less, while real-time malfunction alerts mean you can react to repair things faster and prevent further problems arising.

Entertainment

One-stop remote control and voice technologies mean simplified access to home media. De-stress by cueing your favourite tracks and set the desired mood before you get home, or structure your kids’ screen time, ensuring they have access to TV and gaming only when needed (after their homework!).

Dinner party? Prepare the kitchen in advance by preheating the oven remotely while you’re at the store, or set the pool temperature for that after-dinner dip.

Security

By incorporating security and surveillance functions into your smart home, you can get real peace of mind. You can connect motion detectors and cameras to monitor from your phone, or automate door locks to either fully secure your home while you sleep or are away, or provide entry to designated people.

Security alerts can also be tied into a professional security management service, so you know your home is physically checked even if you’re on the other side of the planet.

Control & Interaction

The real excitement about the smart connected technologies is the way they will let you understand your home. Knowing you have control over exactly how you want your conditions to be means you will interact more to increase your comfort level, while that understanding will reveal where you’ve been wasting energy and losing money.

Living smart means realising the benefits of the web and the way it connects our different devices to expand our options for comfort and convenience. The way you want to configure those options is up to you; the potential is booming as more and more technology hits the marketplace that is ready to help you live the way you want.

Contact Ehlerth Electrical today to discuss solutions for your smart home.

5 Simple Hacks for Creating An Energy Efficient Home

Passive Lighting

Passive Lighting

Natural light is the cleanest and cheapest solution for your home, so if you're building a new home or renovating an existing one this is a decision that can decrease your household costs and carbon emissions. Consider how you can incorporate passive house design principles to utilise natural sources of light, heating and cooling, provided by the sun and cooling breezes. You can also incorporate natural light by installing extra shading, sky lights,  windows or glass sliding doors.

LED Lighting

While utilising natural light is the cleanest and cheapest solution to lighting your home during the day, LED lights are the ideal evening solution. Installing LED lights is usually more expensive than your typical incandescent or halogen equivalent, however they can last three times longer and tend to be 4 to 7 times more efficient

Ceiling Fans

Depending on what electricity tariff you’re on, the running cost of a fan is around two cents per hour compared to 52 cents per hour for an air conditioner. Using ceiling fans in bedrooms and living areas, can save you hundreds of dollars a year. In fact, only using your air conditioner when the temperature goes over 30 degrees and you could save around $483 a year

Colours

We all know that light colours reflect the sun, while dark colours absorb its heat. The same goes when choosing the wall and roof colours of your house. Choosing white or light colours will help reflect the heat away from your home and provide an added feeling of light in darker corners of the house. 

Washing & Drying

When washing clothes, always do so with cold water. Set the washing machine to use exclusively cold water, which is better for the garments anyway.  Needless to say, the best way to dry your clothes is to hang them on the line. If the weather seems a bit rainy, hang them inside the house. Try to avoid the dryer at all costs, but if you must use it, it is important not to overload. This will make the dryer work twice as hard, and inefficiently.

 

Contact Ehlerth Electrical to organise a Home Energy Test which can save you hundreds on electricity bills a year! 

 

Qualified Electrician Wanted

An exciting new opportunity has opened up within our Brisbane based electrical company! 

Ehlerth Electrical is seeking a qualified full-time electrician who has a demonstrated ability to lead domestic and commercial projects, but most of all possesses strong customer service and communication skills.

As a new and rapidly growing company, our goal is to provide a work environment where the sky is the limit. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to develop their skills in a variety of electrical fields, including domestic, commercial, industrial, hazardous area, air conditioning and communications. 

We pride ourselves on our high quality workmanship and our experience in various electrical fields. We have a genuine focus on customer experience and this is reflected in all aspects of our business. 

To be considered for the role you will possess the following qualities and skills;

  • Exceptional problem solving and fault finding skills 
  • Excellent communication and time management skills
  • Commitment to client satisfaction with a strong customer service focus
  • Self-motivated and able to work independently
  • Experience in air conditioning installations preferable 

The successful candidate will receive the following perks;

  • Work vehicle provided
  • Uniforms provided
  • Weekly phone allowance
  • Positive team culture and work environment
  • Opportunities to obtain licenses in various electrical fields

To be eligible for this role you will need to have a current Queensland Electrical Licence Communications Licence.

To apply, please send your CV to info@ehlerthelectrical.com.au.