ICE CO. SPOTLIGHT

The Spotlight will highlight topics spanning industry news, safety, product and equipment reviews, codes and much more! We look forward to a dialogue with you.

Get Prepared for Fall

Thursday, September 17, 2015

It may be only September, but the leaves are changing here in Oregon. This has me thinking about all the things I need to do around the house to get ready before the cold weather settles in. Even if in your neck of the woods, you are still enjoying warm sunny weather (lucky you), you'll benefit from preparing for the winter weather that is only a few months away.

                      

1. Clean Out the Gutters

All the leaves and grime that you neglected while you were out swimming, hiking, or riding your bicycle this summer have built up in your gutters. If left full of debris, clogged gutters and drains can form ice dams that prevent your drainage systems from working properly. This can lead to water seeping into your home, which can lead to all sorts of issues and extra energy costs. Save yourself the hassle of repairing a leak by simply cleaning your gutters and drains now. When you do, run water through the gutters to check for misalignments that could also cause water damage.

2. Keep the Outside Air Out and the Inside Air In

Warm air will escape out of any cracks and can make your heating system work harder and cost you more to heat your home.  Use caulk to seal cracks and openings between stationary house components like a door frame and weather stripping to seal components that move like an operable window.

3. Show Some TLC to Your Furnace

Your furnace may be a distant memory since you last powered it on, but before the cold weather descends and you must reluctantly switch it on, give it some TLC. Clean your furnace annually each autumn. Sediment build-up can cause your system to work less efficiently or potentially become a fire-hazard. Cleaning your system and getting it inspected will reduce the risks.

During the winter try to change your filter regularly; a dirty filter will decrease air flow and energy-efficiency. And if your furnace is ready to be replaced, buy an energy-efficient model. It will save you money and energy each month!

4. Get Your Ducts in a Row

Your ducts are often times out of sight, out of mind, tucked away in the attic or basement, but a home with central heating can lose about 20% of the air that moves through the duct system. Make sure your ducts are in order by properly sealing and insulating them. Tightly sealed and insulated ducts can potentially reduce your annual energy bills by $120 or more! 


Why You Need an Electrician

Friday, August 14, 2015

Electrical contractors are crucial to any new build of commercial or residential premises. They can also be incredibly helpful when looking to renovate an existing building, where your expertise is not that skilled. You may feel that you are capable of performing smaller tasks, but where electrics are concerned it is far better being safe than sorry.

Electricians are trained professionals who understand how dangerous the work can be, and how important it is to stick to the strict guidelines. When you are performing any work within your home that involves electrics, you need to consider if you should hire electrical contractors. There are smaller tasks that you may be able to perform with confidence; however, larger jobs may need an expert.

Many people try to do an electrician’s job themselves, which will often lead to problems further down the line. Therefore, making the decision early on in the project to hire contractors will save you both time and money. If you have found that you are in too deep and do not understand what you are doing, you need to hire a professional electrician. They will be able to notify you of the problem and instruct you how to make it better.

Hiring the professionals to carry out the electrical work within your home or business will ensure that everything is done safely. Electricians will be able to install all electrical components around your home. Plugins, ceiling fans, security lighting, light switches and wiring in appliances can all be done with ease. You will be surprised how easy the electricians will make it look; however, they are trained to do their job.

There are many common issues and problems with the wiring in homes all over the world, and typically these issues have arisen from the wrong people performing the tasks. By hiring qualified and experienced electricians, you will be guaranteeing that your home is safe. They will be able to rectify any existing issues, and ensure that all new work is carried out in the correct manner.

 

If you have been having problems for a while, they will source the issue and fix it correctly. Performing jobs around your home and business may seem like a good idea, and you may think that you are saving money, but you should call an electrician the moment that you begin to find problems with the wiring in your home.


Home Electrical Safety

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tips for Home Electrical Safety

U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 47,820 reported home structure fires involving electrical failure or malfunction 2007-2011. These fires resulted in 455 civilian deaths, 1,518 civilian injuries and $1.5 billion in direct property damage.

With that being said, it is very important to make sure all of your electrical appliances, extension cords, light bulbs and other equipment is in good working condition.

Always ensure you replace or repair appliances that are damaged. Cracked cords, broken plugs and any burning smell from the appliance need to be looked into immediately. If you are leaving your home for a significantly long period of time, it is a good idea to turn-off and unplug heavy duty appliances such as ovens, A/C, heaters etc.

Unplug unused appliances and stow cords safely out of reach of pets, young children or hazardous situations.

Always follow appliance instructions carefully, and do not attempt amateur repairs or upgrades.

Do not staple or nail cords in position at any time; if the cord does not remain where desired, use tape or twist ties to secure it.

Cords should not be placed beneath rugs where they can become a trip hazard or where frays will not be noticeable. Furthermore, covering a cord will prevent it from keeping as cool as possible.

Do not overload outlets with multiple adapters or power strips; relocate cords instead.

 

Lastly, use bulbs that have the correct wattage requirements for each fixture. Using a higher wattage bulb can cause the fixture to overheat.




Summer Fun

Saturday, May 31, 2014


The WARMER it gets the CLOSER it gets...


And you KNOW what that means.....





June, July & August are packed full with fun water activities, family vacations, and some much needed R&R!!


Water activities are great ways you can cool off and keep active during these next few months, which makes this is the perfect time to remind our fellow readers about the simple tips that we all easily forget on the long wait to summertime.




SAFETY BY THE WATER,

 SAFETY IN THE WATER,

AND NEAR THE WATER, 

SAVES LIVES!!!



"TEN people die EVERYDAY from drowning!!! One in five of those people are CHILDREN ages fourteen and younger. Drowning ranks 5th among the leading causes of unintentional injury deaths in the United States." -Centers for Disease Control and Prevention




A less common, but incredibly deadly danger when it comes to swimming, is electrical shock. Pool lights can have faulty wiring or can have products that are not properly grounded. If a person is not killed immediately from the shock, they can be rendered immobile and unable to call for help, resulting in drowning.




When looking for electrical hazards, keep in mind:

-          Underwater lighting/faulty wiring

-          Aging or neglected wiring

-          Underground pumps, washers or vacuums

-          Electrical products near a pool that could potentially fall in (IE. Radios)


Always be ALERT & ACTIVE during all water activities. It can make the difference!!


(Interested in more facts regarding Water-related injuries in the United States? Check out this articleUnintentional Drowning: Get the Facts)

Make pool safety a priority in 2014!


Summer Ready

Thursday, May 15, 2014

June 21, 2014

Marks the first day of summer. 

Are you ready?

With summer comes warmer weather. It's a really good idea to start checking around your house now to make sure it's ready for the upcoming weather changes.


"If your air conditioner needs replacement do it BEFORE the HOT WEATHER HITS because heating & air conditioning repair people will be very busy. And more than likely, some other things around your home need attention as well. Your air ducts may need testing for leaks and then sealed. 


It's a good idea to invest in a programmable thermostat. You can program it to whatever temperature you want at whatever time. Also, if you go out of town, it's best to leave it up around 78 so that you can save money. 

 

If your thermostat is really old and uses a mercury switch (a glass tube filed with silvery substance) call your local public works department to find out how to dispose of this toxic material.Consider installing a whole-house fan that uses cool air in the evening to cool the entire house and push hot air out of the attic area." -Consumer Energy Center 

(click the link to read more on What To Do Before it Gets Too Hott!)


Spring Has Sprung

Friday, March 21, 2014

March 20, 2014 officially marked the first day of Spring!! You know what that means...

(Along with your spring cleaning, you should also change the batteries to your smoke detectors!)

Spring cleaning is a great time to pull down all of those dusty curtains and spare bedrooms sheets and toss them in the wash. We know that spring cleaning can be very overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. 

  1. Make a list! A list will be great for keeping track of what you have already done and what still needs to be done. 
  2. It doesn't have to be done all in one day! Going by your list and checking it off will help you spread it out and complete everything necessary to get your house sparkly clean!
  3. Take this time to organize!! Have a bunch of old wires spread out everywhere? Get zip ties and make them look more appealing. Or go through your cell phone pictures and save them to discs so they will never be lost.

Happy Cleaning!!

Until Next Time,

Your ICE Co Team!


Winter Savings

Wednesday, January 29, 2014




Winter is in and Fall is out!!


It's that time of year again. In the past few weeks, you have probably noticed a change in the amount of your electric and/or gas bill, and it's probably due to the amount of heater usage. 


Electricity can be very expensive, but saving can be quiet simple!




You may be wasting your heat! It is important to check around your home to be sure it is not escaping under doors or through cracks. You could be wasting some in many minor areas that have been overlooked. 


There are many things you can do around your house to help those skyrocketing energy bills. Many are easy to overlook, so we wanted to break it down for you.




It is important to regularly check the insulation in your home. Close to 50% of household energy usage is from heating, so you want it to keep in as much heat as possible. 


If your windows are letting out heat, without completely replacing them, you may need to seal the windows. Temporary fix items can be found at your local hardware store. Click here for more options to insulate your windows. 




A simple and free solution to get the most out of your heating, is to keep any unused room doors shut. Also turn off the vent in that room as well. No need to waste heat on any empty space!


Also, always remember to turn down the heat when you are out of town or away from the house. There is no need to continuously run it. If you have a programmable thermostat this can make it even easier!




There are many ways to save this season! Global Energy Efficiency has a great info-graphic with tons of great information. Click here to check it out!




Keeping you warm and informed is our number one goal!

Until Next Time,

Your ICE Co Team!



Energy Efficient Products – Switching to LED Bulbs

Thursday, December 26, 2013


You have probably heard of energy efficient products before, maybe from a friend or neighbor bragging about how they saved money on their electricity bill from using these same products.

If you are like me, you are skeptical.  Can I really save money? How much? Which products should I buy? Are they all the same? 

 

This week I’m going to answer some of these specific questions, and what you are about to read, might just surprise you.

My husband has a passion for his reef aquariums in our home. This Christmas he wanted to spend a decent amount of money on some new LED light fixtures for ONE of his reef tanks. By a decent amount, I mean $600.00! For lights?

Of course, knowing my reaction, he had a couple benefits ready to unload on me. After he rambled on about how awesome they will look, he finished off his persuasion by telling me they will save us money on our electric bill and future replacement bulbs. Save? Now we’re talking!

The accounting major in me wanted the numbers, details, all of the facts. After a little digging I found out that the t5 florescent light bulbs will need to be replaced every six months, (depending on usage) at an average of $150.00. That is already an annual cost of $300.00 a year, without including the cost of electricity.

The average LED light will last around 50,000 hours. That means that the LED light will pay for its self in less than one year. The LED lights also require less energy to run all day long. 


Switching to an average perspective, I calculated the normal cost for a regular 60w house hold bulb. The results were pretty astounding. Let’s say you have a 60w bulb that runs for 4 hours a day and cost $1.44 to purchase.

The LED with the same light output only runs 7w and cost $11.99. At a rate of $13.5 cents per kilowatt hour, I would save $11.89 per year on electricity and pay for the bulb in .93 years.

The initial cost for LED lights may be more, but as I have proved to you today, they will save you money long-term. 


Lutron Lighting Control

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Lutron Commercial Light Control

 

Ready to feel liberated? Rid your next commercial project of, dare I say, wiring… Well, hold on a minute, we don’t want to encourage too many wireless features (we would be out of a job pretty quick). However, the commercial solutions Lutron Lutron Website provides for switching, occupancy sensing, vacancy detecting, and programming are 100% cool, and 100% wireless.

 

Recently we attended a Contractor Workshop through North Coast Electric Website in which we learned the ins and outs of the available wireless solutions. Not only that, they also touched on green design, incentive programs, the power savings and increased lamp life of using dimmers, & solar fabrics.

 
Ceiling Mounted Sensor Above

Do you know the difference between, an occupancy sensor and a vacancy sensor? Well, as you may have experienced an occupancy sensor detects motion and turns the light fixtures on, and can time out with a timer setting after there is no more motion sensed.  With a vacancy sensor, a person can walk into the room, and they must turn the lights on manually but when they leave the room the timer setting will set in and the lights will automatically turn off after a set period of time. Now that you understand the difference between the two, we bet you can come up with a project or area this would be useful.  

 

Wall Mounted Sensor Above.

Why go wireless in a switching scenario? Well, as a customer you pay less for the installation because there is no wiring between the switch and the light fixtures, and the end user has more options for changing the layout of a space after the fact with no worry of needing to relocate wiring in the walls for the new switching locations. Still scratching your head? Essentially there are “receivers” which come in a few forms but they connect to the electrical load for example they can be mounted to the end of a run of light fixtures all tied together and they listen for direction (whether to turn the lights on or off). There are also “transmitters” which take inventory of a room and communicate ::wirelessly:: with the receiver if motion is detected etc. Another type of transmitting device is an adjuster… this essentially is a wireless switching location; it can be wall mounted, hand held, or a tabletop mount. It also transmits to the receiver giving it further direction for example dimming.

 

If we lost you somewhere in there, here is another way to look at it. Are you looking to have more types of control over a space that has changing needs or a regular or irregular basis? Do you have an area with a lot of natural light during ½ of the day and no way to dim only the lights along the window wall? Are you at the mercy of your contractors cost each time switching wiring needs to be relocated? If yes to any of these questions, ask us about these wireless solutions for your next project.

 

One last worry to put to rest. Lutron really does a fantastic job of testing all their products, which includes their batteries.  Every battery has a 10 year guarantee. It’s natural to feel concerned that a battery will fail and then all of a sudden the lights don’t work- But there is actually a warning system in place with a glowing red light helping to indicate when a batteries life is with in a certain percentage of drained. What more can you ask for?

 

Thanks to Lutron for your product presentation and we look forward to being able to use this product line in our next project.

 

ICE Co. Signing Out

Power. Current. Grounded.


Project Spot Light- Fremont Place Apartments

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Hey there,

Hopefully you know by now that we get to work with some awesome Architects, General Contractors, Homeowners, and Facility Managers...

This project wrapped up early 2012 so we thought we would show how it all came together.
On NE 15th & Fremont in Portland, Oregon there lays the Fremont Place Apartments.
Our scope of work was related to the apartment units individually, & the common spaces such as the fitness room, entries, roof deck, & hallways.

Different from the standard apartment complex your mind is wandering to right now, this project paid attention to the details. Seeking Earth Advantage accreditation its devotion to the environment was a factor, careful thought about the users of the spaces (including convenient indoor bicycle parking), the walk-ability of the neighborhood made it a desirable location.

Main responsible parties:
Richard Brown Architects Click here for RBA Website!
General Contractor JDL Development Click here for JDL Website!
To visit the Fremont Place Apartments website click HERE!
To visit Investment Property Services website click HERE


Well Done Designers & Contractors. Well Done. It was great to be a part of this project.

Thanks for stopping by...

ICE Co. signing out.
Power. Current. Grounded.



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