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Five Best Places to Install Electrical USB Outlets in Your Home

Author: Deans Plumbing

Where Should I Have USB Outlets Installed In My Home?

Being able to charge your iPhone, iPad, and tablets plus still have room to plug in lights, makes life easier. Here are a few ideas for where you should have USB outlets installed in your home!

USB Outlets in bedroom Lutron

In a world of smartphones, laptops, and a plethora of electronic devices and accessories, keeping track of charging cables and their wall adaptor companions can be a hassle. A simple solution to this issue is to install USB electric outlets, which have USB ports in place of, or alongside, traditional electrical outlets. A USB outlet converts 120 VOLT AC wall power into five volt DC power. 

It’s something we hear every day, “has anyone seen my charger?”.

With an electrical wall USB outlet, you can charge your electronic devices and accessories with your regular charging cable without the need for an adaptor and place them in places that make sense to the functionality of your home.

Five Best Places to Install  USB Outlets in Your Home

Strategically placed USB outlets can enhance your home’s functionality specific to the needs of your household. Consider placing USB outlets in the following places: 

  • Entryways: Above a shelf, table, or cubby by an entryway is an excellent place to put a USB outlet. A great productivity hack is to have a landing zone in your home. One spot for your phone, keys, jacket, and any other belongings.
  • Kitchen counters and islands: USB outlets in the kitchen are useful in the same ways as your home’s entryway. Charge your iPad in one place where it can be easily grabbed. 
  • Floor outlets in the family room: Floor USB outlets in the middle of the room, i.e. next to the couch, eliminate the need for additional accessories like extension chords. You’ll be able to charge your phone, tablet, and more without additional clutter taking away from the visual appeal of the room. 
  • Wall outlets in bedrooms: Having a USB outlet by your bed, desk, or even behind a wall-mounted television can prove to be useful for accessories that need to stay plugged in like clocks, gaming systems, and charging stations. 
  • Bathroom vanities: Having a USB outlet built into or next to your bathroom vanity can be used to support bathroom accessories like electric toothbrushes and electric razors. They can also be used to charge your cellphones and smart accessories overnight. 

Picking the Best USB Outlet for Your Home

A USB charging port will end up sharing the amperage output for the new USB outlet. Devices such as phones and tablets typically require 1 ampere of electricity. A charging iPhone or Android device typically takes one amp. A tablet might take up to 2.4 amps. With two charger ports sharing 3.6 amps, you’re covered for charging a phone and a tablet. If you have two devices each requiring 2.4 amps, however, charging will be a bit slower.

Installing USB outlets throughout your home enhances your home’s functionality and aesthetic appeal. Minneapolis Electricians with Dean’s Home Services install a variety of different types of electrical outlets in your home. Untangle your life with USB outlets that match the way you live!

What Does a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Do? 

Despite the hypothetical alternative of venting out your bathroom with an open window, all bathrooms require a bathroom exhaust fan for ventilation. 

If you don’t have or use proper ventilation in your bathroom when you are running water for long periods of time, the paint and infrastructure such as drywall and wooden supports will begin to decay. The paint will peel, mold will grow, and materials will start to rot and decompose. Although they sell mold-resistant paints for the bathroom, they should be used to supplement your protection, not as the sole prophylactic. A ventilation fan is also important when you are cleaning. The fumes from cleaning products can become toxic and overwhelming. In addition, when you have all the humidity building up in your bathroom, it will start to smell dank like a wet dog from the mildew and bacteria thrive.

bathroom exhaust fan

A Bathroom Exhaust Fan Improves Indoor Air Quality

 

The ventilation in your bathroom solves a myriad of potential problems in one shot, these are the most common reasons you should have a bathroom exhaust fan

  • Comfort:  As the warmer months approach, be sure to utilize your bathroom exhaust fan to help circulate the air, keeping you feeling fresh, cool and clean.
  • Prevent Mold Growth: Mold and mildew are not only unsightly but can cause damage to bathroom surfaces. Shower curtains can get mildew patches, towels can become smelly, and countertops will need more frequent cleaning. Your bathroom ceiling may also develop mildew without a fan. An exhaust fan can eliminate the moisture in the air and keep your bathroom dry.
  • Aesthetics: Peeling paint or wallpaper can be caused by excess moisture in enclosed or smaller spaces. Wood floors and doors can also be damaged by humidity. Using an exhaust fan to pull out the water in the air can help eliminate damage to your bathroom walls and floors.
  • Eliminate Odors: Bathroom fans can help get rid of foul smells more quickly. Exhaust fans work efficiently to keep your bathroom fresh and free from bad odors, smells and common bathroom scents by pulling the unpleasant aromas out.
  • Efficiency: While a hot shower may be just what you need to begin your day, stepping out into a hazy bathroom with fogged-up mirrors when you need to get ready in a hurry isn’t ideal. An exhaust fan can help clear the air in the bathroom quickly and efficiently, so you’re able to get on with your day.

Is opening a window better than a bathroom exhaust fan?

An open window simply doesn’t compete with a fan. If you leave your window open when it is raining, it will become more humid in the bathroom. If you leave it open when it is cold out, you are throwing money out the window and will see an increase on your heating bill. Although an open window is a nice feature when it is springtime and everything is wonderful outside, 90 percent of the time you won’t have the courage to open that window when you are in the bathroom.

 

Bathroom Exhaust Fan Size Guide

Choosing a bathroom exhaust fan that’s properly sized for your bathroom is something a Dean’s HVAC professional will be able to help you determine. The bigger the bathroom, the higher the CFM rating you’ll need. CFM stands for Cubic Feet per Minute.  A fan should have a CFM rating high enough to replace the air in your bathroom at a rate of eight times per hour.

For bathrooms between 50 and 100 square feet, estimate 1 CFM per square foot of floor space. For smaller bathrooms (less than 50 sq. feet), 50 CFM. For larger than 100 square feet, you have to tally the CRM requirement for each bathroom fixture to estimate your needs. Add 50 CFM for each toilet, tub or shower. And 100 CFM for jetted tubs.

The bigger your bathroom, the higher the CFM rating you’ll require.

 

The formula used to determine the CFM 

Length x Width x Height x 0.13 = Minimum CFM rating

Most fans will be rated from 50 to 110 CFM.

Outdoor renovations that involve outdoor wiring for lighting and security are never complete until the wiring attached to these systems has been carefully and strategically hidden away from view. Wires often distract from most outdoor decorative themes and a structure’s attractiveness.

outdoor wiring

Built-in and string light power cords, for example, can become a trip and fall or tangle hazard if they run near the flooring of a porch or patio. Exposed cables that connect to alarms, motion detectors, and cameras can actually pose a security risk if a thief or vandal locates and cuts them to prevent detection.

Hiding these wires from view isn’t difficult. Homeowners can approach the problem of unsightly wires with one or more of these three simple solutions:

How to Hide Outdoor Wires

1. Special Mounting Base

A professional electrician can help you choose and secure a metal or plastic mounting base that is large and deep enough to hide all of the exposed wires outside the house near a mounted light. The electrician coils the wires secure them with a plastic tie or tape and then places the coil within the base. A box-style mounting base can also be used for pathway lights connected to underground wires.

2. Paintable Channel Raceways

In an office, a tech hides wires and cords attached to computers and other systems along the floor, walls or ceiling of a room behind special long guides that have a smooth curved or rectangular shape. Similar outdoor wire raceway options also exist that you can stain or paint to match or blend in with nearby surfaces. These options provide an inexpensive sleek and modern solution to unsightly and dangerous wiring outdoors.

3. Decorative Outdoor Cover

Many people successfully hide wires behind decorative items. For example, you might run string light wiring behind decorative porch roof molding. Manufacturers have also designed decorative boxes for hiding wires, security keypads, circuit breakers and other electrical systems. Do-it-yourself enthusiasts often build covers with faux rustic and modern decorative designs. For example, a property owner might hide wires, cables and attached systems behind or under a cover designed to look like a stone pedestal, sculpture, lighthouse, birdhouse, miniature shed or small closed door and walled entryway.

If you’re interested in remodeling your home or need assistance with exterior lighting projects, call Dean’s electricians to help. Our licensed and insured electricians can handle all electrical projects, repairs, breakers, panels, switches and outlets, along with any home wiring project.

 

The Problem: Water Dripping From Your Air Conditioner

You walk outside your home on a hot summer day and notice that your AC leaking water.

 You’ve never noticed this before and you still have cold air coming out of the air conditioner, is this just what happens or is this a sign of a bigger problem?

This is a common home cooling problem. Before you panic — here are a few of the reasons and possible causes for your air conditioner leaking water.

AC Leaking Water

Reasons Your an AC Leaking Water

  • Your Filter is Clogged – If your filter is dirty, the air won’t be moving efficiently through your system. This can cause ice to form on your unit’s evaporator coils. When the ice melts, you’ll see a puddle of water underneath it. Check your filters periodically (about once a month) to make sure that your filter is not clogged and that the unit is working efficiently.
  • The Overflow Pan is Damaged – The overflow pan is designed to catch any condensation from your air conditioning unit. This is especially important on hot, humid days!  If there are small holes or cracks in your overflow pan, you may notice the water leaking through
  • The Condensate Line is Clogged – This is the most common cause of air conditioner leaks. When the condensate line is clogged, water will back up and flood the overflow pan.

These are all issues that can be fixed by a professional HVAC technician.  Give us a call at Dean’s Home Services, we provide air conditioning services for the entire Twin Cities.  From Lakeville, MN to Forest Lake, MN, and everywhere in-between, Call Dean’s today to fix your AC problems.

What are the bubbles in my sink

Are you hearing a strange gurgling sound coming from your sink? Bubbles in your sink and the strange sounds can be a sign of trouble in your plumbing.

Bubbles in the kitchen sink

Here’s why you might see bubbles or hear gurgling in your sink — and what you can do to fix this common plumbing problem.

Why are there bubbles?

If you see bubbles or hear gurgling noises coming from your drain, it means that there is air trapped inside. While air is a natural part of your plumbing, it becomes a problem when pressure builds and affects the seal in your sink’s P-trap (forming bubbles). If there is pressure in your drain, when water flows down the drain, a vacuum will pull air through the P-trap, causing gurgling noises and bubbles.

There are a few reasons why this pressure is building in your sink drain.

  1. The P-Trap is not installed correctly. If the vent is not installed the correct distance from the P-trap, you could get this gurgling sound developing.
  2. Your drain is clogged. When the main vents are blocked, flushing a toilet or draining a tub can cause your sink to gurgle. It can be hard to diagnose exactly where in your home the blockage is. If you can’t find the clog, a professional plumbing technician will be able to diagnose the problem and find your clogged drain.

If you run into any problems with your home plumbing, don’t hesitate to give our professional technicians a call or you can also contact us here.

Follow us on social media for more plumbing tips and tricks!

Five Home AC Maintenance Mistakes Minnesotans Make During the Summer

Minnesota Common home Comfort Mistakes

Home AC maintenance isn’t something we think about or wish we didn’t until it’s 95 degrees. We all know how Minnesota gets in the summer and in order to stay comfortable, your furnace and air conditioner need to be running efficiently. These are good reminders for each of us to follow so we can spend more time doing the projects in and outside our house that actually need to be completed.

Here are the most common mistakes we see homeowners make when it comes to their HVAC systems.

Home AC Maintenance Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Skipping Regular Maintenance of Your Air Conditioning Unit

Regular HVAC system maintenance is vital to your comfort level and to your wallet. A professional can come to your home on a scheduled basis to make sure your furnace and your AC unit are running perfectly. The time to keep your system operating smoothly is now, not when it breaks down on the hottest or coldest day of the year!

Installing Your Own Thermostat

A thermostat needs to be installed correctly to work properly. Not all thermostats are created equally, at times, homeowners will attempt to install a smart thermostat that doesn’t actually work well with your heating and cooling system.

At Dean’s, we have the expertise to take care of this for you and to make sure you are getting the right thermostat for your unit and your home.

Blocking Your Grates and Grills

Your HVAC system works on a free flow of air throughout your home. Make sure your grates and grills are not blocked by:

  • Plants
  • Bookcases
  • Furniture
  • Curtains

Closing Doors to Rooms

In a forced-air system, closing doors to rooms you rarely use can make your system less efficient. The system depends on the free flow of air to keep your home cool or warm.

Not Keeping Your Air Conditioner Clean

A superficial spray on the outside of your air conditioner is an easy maintenance task that can help make your air conditioner more efficient. An HVAC professional during a maintenance tune-up will go further to deep clean and make sure that there is a clear flow of air to the unit.

Before AC Cleaning
Home AC Maintenance Clogged AC
After AC Cleaning
Cleaned air conditioning unit

Guilty of these home comfort mistakes? Dean’s is here to help!

At Dean’s, we are always available to come to your home for maintenance or other service calls. We can also give you some additional tips to keep your HVAC system running optimally. Contact us today to schedule a visit from one of our expert technicians!

Pet Owner Mistakes That Plumbers Fix

Pets are like our children, and just like children, they can wreak havoc on our homes. When it comes to your home, there are a number of That being said, one popular detail in our living space that we tend to overlook, which is usually the first to be tarnished, is our plumbing. Granted, bathing your furry friend in the tub may seem like a cute, easy thing to do, but it could lead to a lot of plumbing problems down the line.

Keep your pup and your plumbing happy by avoiding these habits:

pet owner mistakes cat

Pet Owners Need to Stop:

1. Don’t Throw Cat Litter Down the Drain

Even though your kitty litter may claim that it is flushable, there’s a strong chance that it is not. All cat litter tended to clump, meaning that you’ll be in for some serious clogs if you try to flush it

2. Don’t Bathe Your Pet in the Bathtub Without a Stopper

Some dogs and cats have long hair and are shed pretty frequently. If you bathe your pet in the tub, their hair will slowly slip down the drain and cause a backup. You can reduce the risk of a slow-moving drain by either using a drain stopper (or strainer) when bathing your pup.

 

3. Don’t Leave the Toilet Bowl Open

It may seem pretty comical to picture your pet propped up on your open toilet bowl, but it can actually be extremely hazardous for their health. The residue left from cleaners, chemicals, and waste can be harmful to your pet’s well-being and should never be ingested. Make it a household habit to always keep the lid closed and protect your furry loved one.

No matter the size, Dean’s can help with any plumbing problems you may encounter. Our plumbing trucks are workshops on wheels, which are equipped with clean, modern tools and equipment. This allows Dean’s Home Service plumbers and Drain cleaning experts to complete any job quickly and efficiently. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our professionally licensed plumbers.

 

Family Packing Car Ready For Summer Vacation

Summer is full swing and there’s plenty of things you want, should, and NEED to get done around the house but before you do those, its time for you to head out on that long-awaited summer trip. After you pack your bags, here are take a few steps to make sure your home stays safe and comfortable while you’re away.

Adjust Your Thermostat

It may be tempting to turn off your air conditioner completely before you go, but you would probably lose those utility savings getting your house comfortable again when you return. We recommend setting the temperature just four degrees warmer than usual to save on your electric bill, prevent heat and humidity damage, and avoid overworking the system.

Turn Down Your Water Heater

Remember, your water heater will keep running to maintain its temperature whether you’re there to use the water or not. You’ll save money and prolong the life of the appliance by turning down the temperature before you head out the door. Better idea, leave a sticky note to remind yourself to give Dean’s Home Services a call so you can find out about one of their Tankless Water Heaters

Unplug electronics.

Don’t be complacent about fire hazards when you leave your home for some R&R. Take a few minutes to go through your home and unplug everything except the essentials. Of course you’ll need lights and clocks when you come back, but small appliances, entertainment systems, and other non-essentials will be better off unplugged while you’re not around.

Finally, turn off your lights.

If you want to leave some on for safety’s sake, limit it to one or two overhead lights as opposed to corded lamps. Any more than that will result in a higher energy cost and has absolutely no effect as a theft deterrent.

Have a great summer vacation and when you get home be sure to give us at Dean’s Home Services a call so we can help you finish some of those summer projects. 

Photo of a contemporary looking bathroom.Remodeling your bathroom is a fantastic way to increase your home’s value and enhance its functionality. Whether you’re trying to make the bathroom easier to use for family members or you just want to update a space that hasn’t been used, remodeling your bathroom is worth the investment. However, knowing where to start and what to buy can become overwhelmingly fast.

Keep reading to learn what plumbing and electrical fixtures you need to splurge on.

Quality Flooring

Your bathroom is an essential part of your household. Remodeling it to meet your needs while keeping it cost-effective is what’s ultimately going to make the renovation a success. Another key to a successful bathroom remodel is having quality flooring. Over time, the grout in our tile floors become exposed to water, which can cause water damage and mold. It’s highly recommended that you go with epoxy grout when splurging on plumbing fixtures This type of grout is very durable, hard and almost stain proof.

Storage

One reason you may have for remodeling is the lack of space in your bathroom. If your bathroom doesn’t have enough space, then finding a better way to make the most of it will benefit you in the long run. There’s nothing wrong with splurging on extra cabinets to keep your bathroom functional and organized.

Here are a few other storage options to keep your bathroom organized:

  • Adding a vanity with USB ports and electrical outlets
  • Adding a laundry bin
  • Installing drawer dividers
  • Using baskets and bins
  • Use the space underneath the bathroom sink

Integrated Lighting

A major trend for 2021 is integrated lighting which can really help make the lighting in your bathroom pop. In this example, an LED lights add drama to this round mirror.  Integrated lighting allows you to transform a room from sterile and plain to whatever tone you prefer.

Lights Wherever You Want

One of the great things about Dean’s electricians is our ability to update the lighting in your bathroom to the way you want. Bold lighting in your bathroom isn’t just about the finish or shape of the fixture itself. Your choice in placement for specific lighting fixtures can make a very bold statement!  Dean’s electricians are able to install lighting wherever you want so if you can dream it, Dean’s electricians can do it!

 

Fixtures

Splurging on plumbing fixtures is necessary if you’re planning on doing a full bathroom remodel. If you’re looking to modernize a bathroom, nothing is sleeker than a bold black faucet or shower system! Matte Black is highly spot resistant and easy to keep clean and it’s timeless. Another bonus, Matte Black looks great with nearly any color scheme, including a mixed metals design! 

 

Need a hand with the plumbing or electrical? You’ve come to the right place! Get ahold of Dean’s Home Services or give us a call at 763-515-4852 to schedule an appointment or for more information today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your showerhead making a screeching sound every time you turn it on? If so, there may be a number of reasons as to why this is happening. While you’re probably better off hiring a plumber to properly diagnose the problem, there are a few things you can fix yourself to get rid of the noise.

Keep reading to learn the leading three causes of a screaming showerhead.

1. The Pipe is Clogged

If your water is hard and you don’t have a water softener installed, the screaming noise may be the result of the clogged showerhead. A buildup of minerals of your showerhead calcifies, making it difficult for the water to flow freely. To remedy this problem, you need to remove the showerhead and soak it in boiling water or white vinegar. Doing so will make it easier to remove any unwanted deposits.

2. Swap Out the Cartridge

If unclogging the showerhead didn’t work and you still hear the screeching sound, you’ll have to replace the cartridge. The cartridge of the shower valve is what controls the pressure, operation, and temperature of the shower. Finding odd items, such as nails or rocks, in the shower valves are far from rare. In fact, it’s one of the most common causes of a noisy showerhead.

3. The Shower Valve is Fluttering

Although it’s a little less common than the other two causes, a fluttering shower valve may be why your showerhead is so noisy. This valve is also known as the pressure-balance valve. It helps the shower valve regulate the temperature and pressure of the water. The mixing spool of this valve can start to flutter as water goes through it. Try turning the valve to hot and then cold at least twice. If fixing these issues doesn’t stop the screaming, you may need to enlist the help of a plumber.

Are you having issues with your plumbing that you can’t fix on your own? Give Dean’s Home Services a call! 

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