circuit breaker

Common Electrical Problems in Homes and How to Identify Them

Every homeowner will likely encounter electrical problems at some point, as even the most well-designed electrical systems can experience issues over time. Some of these problems may be minor nuisances, while others may pose more significant risks to your home and family.

In any case, knowing how to identify these issues and when to call our team of experienced professionals is essential in maintaining a safe and efficient electrical system throughout your home.

Explore some of the most common electrical problems homeowners face and get insights into recognizing their signs, understanding their causes, and taking appropriate steps to address them.

Flickering Lights

Flickering lights can be a nuisance and an indicator of potential electrical issues. Some possible causes of flickering lights include:

1. Loose or Damaged Wiring: If the wiring in your home is loose or damaged, it can cause inconsistent connections, leading to flickering lights.

2. Bulb or Fixture Issues: Sometimes, the problem is as simple as a faulty bulb or fixture. In this case, replacing the defective component can resolve the issue.

3. Overloaded Circuit: If your home’s electrical circuit is overloaded, it may struggle to provide consistent power to the lights, causing flickering.

4. Voltage Fluctuations: Voltage fluctuations in your home’s electrical system can also lead to flickering lights. These fluctuations may be caused by larger problems, such as issues with your electrical service.

If you notice flickering lights in your home, consider having our professionals investigate further to identify and resolve the cause.

Tripping Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are designed to trip and disconnect electrical circuits when they become overloaded. This is a safety mechanism that protects your home and electrical system. Frequent tripping of circuit breakers could be due to:

1. Overloaded Circuits: One of the most common reasons for tripping circuit breakers is an overloaded circuit. Ensure your electrical usage is spread across multiple circuits to avoid overloading.

2. Short Circuits: Short circuits occur when two wires touch each other, causing a sudden flow of electricity and tripping the breaker. This may be due to damaged wiring, faulty devices, or loose connections.

3. Ground Faults: Ground faults happen when a live wire comes into contact with a grounded conductor like a metal box or conduit. These faults can also trip your circuit breaker and may require professional attention.

If your circuit breakers are tripping frequently, don’t ignore the issue. Contact our technicians for expert assistance in diagnosing and resolving the problem.

Faulty or Outdated Outlets and Switches

Outlets and switches are critical components of your home’s electrical system, and over time, they can become worn out or outdated. Here are some signs that your outlets or switches may need attention:

1. Loose or Broken Outlets: If an outlet is loose, it can cause poor or intermittent connections, leading to potential safety hazards. Always replace or repair damaged outlets promptly.

2. Non-functioning Switches: If a switch doesn’t work, there could be a wiring issue or a problem with the switch itself. Have our professionals diagnose the problem and make any necessary repairs.

3. Warm or Buzzing Outlets: Warm or buzzing outlets could signal an overloaded circuit, faulty wiring, or other underlying electrical issues. Don’t ignore these warning signs – consult our professionals for help.

4. Two-Pronged Outlets: Older homes may still have two-pronged outlets. These outdated outlets can be dangerous and should be replaced with modern three-pronged outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) for improved safety.

Regularly inspecting your home’s outlets and switches for these signs can help you identify potential problems early, allowing our team to address the issue before it escalates.

Electrical Surges and Their Implications

Electrical surges can be incredibly damaging to your home’s electronics and appliances. Common signs of electrical surges include:

1. Frequent Resetting of Devices: If you find yourself frequently resetting or rebooting electronic devices, it could be due to electrical surges.

2. Damaged Appliances: Sudden malfunctions or failure of appliances could be a result of electrical surges damaging their internal components.

3. Tripped Surge Protectors: Surge protectors are designed to trip and disconnect your devices from power sources during surges. If you notice your surge protectors frequently tripping, it could be a sign of ongoing surges.

To protect your home’s electrical system and appliances from surges, consider investing in whole-house surge protectors. These devices are designed to absorb and redirect excess voltage, shielding your home’s electronics from damage.


Recognizing the signs of common electrical problems and understanding their causes can help keep your home safe and your electrical system efficient. While it’s essential to be aware of your home’s electrical condition, attempting DIY repairs can be dangerous and lead to more severe complications. Remember that electrical work requires a trained professional’s expertise.

If you encounter any electrical issues in your home, trust our skilled technicians at Snohomish Valley Electric Heat & AC to diagnose and address them effectively. Contact us today to learn more about our electrical repair services and how we can help keep your home safe and efficient!

electrical service

Top Signs Your Home Needs an Electrical Service Upgrade

As our reliance on technology grows, our homes’ electrical systems must evolve and keep pace with the increasing demands we place on them. Older homes, in particular, may have outdated electrical systems that struggle to support modern appliances and devices, leading to potential hazards and inefficiencies. Recognizing the signs that your home may need an electrical service upgrade is an important step in ensuring the safety and efficiency of your living space. In this post, we will discuss crucial indicators that your home may require a professional electrical service upgrade.

Some common signs that your home may need an electrical service upgrade include frequently tripping circuit breakers, dimming or flickering lights, outdated wiring systems, and insufficient power for modern appliances and technology. If you notice any of these issues, it could be time to consider contacting our skilled professionals for a comprehensive assessment of your home’s electrical system.

Explore each of these signs in greater detail, offering insight into why these issues may indicate a need for an electrical service upgrade and the benefits of modernizing your home’s electrical system. Although recognizing these signs is crucial, remember that electrical work should always be carried out by our knowledgeable professionals to ensure the utmost safety. If you require assistance assessing or upgrading your home’s electrical system, our team of experts is here to help.

Frequently Tripping Circuit Breakers

Circuit breakers are designed to protect your home’s electrical system by tripping and shutting off power when they detect an excessive electrical load or a short circuit. If you find yourself regularly resetting tripped breakers, it may be a sign that your home’s electrical system is struggling to handle the demands placed on it. Frequently tripping circuit breakers can indicate overloaded circuits, outdated wiring, or an insufficient electrical panel, all of which can pose potential hazards and inefficiencies. Upgrading your electrical service can help to resolve these issues and improve your home’s overall safety and performance.

Dimming or Flickering Lights

While occasional flickering lights are not uncommon, consistently dimming or flickering lights when appliances are in use can point to an underlying electrical issue in your home. This may result from an overloaded circuit, insufficient wiring, or the high electrical demands of modern appliances that your outdated electrical system is struggling to support. An electrical service upgrade, including the replacement of outdated wiring and the installation of additional circuits, can help to alleviate these issues and prevent potential electrical hazards.

Outdated Wiring Systems

The age and type of wiring used in your home can play a significant role in determining whether an electrical service upgrade is necessary. Older wiring systems, such as knob-and-tube or aluminum wiring, are not well-suited to supporting modern electrical loads and can pose significant safety risks. These outdated wiring systems should be replaced with updated, copper-based wiring to improve safety, efficiency, and the overall performance of your home’s electrical system.

Some signs that your home may have outdated wiring include:

1. Experiencing frequent blown fuses or tripped breakers.
2. Finding ungrounded, two-pronged outlets in your home.
3. Detecting a persistent burning smell near outlets, switches, or appliances.
4. Observing discolored, frayed, or cracked wiring.

If you suspect that your home has outdated wiring, it is crucial to consult our professionals for a thorough inspection and, if necessary, an electrical service upgrade.

Insufficient Power for Modern Appliances and Technology

Today’s appliances and devices place higher demands on home electrical systems than ever before. If your home’s electrical capacity seems unable to support modern technologies such as smart home systems, electric vehicle charging stations, or high-powered appliances, an electrical service upgrade may be necessary. Upgrading your electrical panel, installing additional circuits, and updating your wiring can help to ensure your home is capable of handling the increased demands of modern living.

The Benefits of an Electrical Service Upgrade

An electrical service upgrade can offer several benefits to homeowners, including:

1. Improved Safety: Updating your home’s electrical system can significantly reduce the risk of electrical fires, hazards, and other safety concerns.

2. Increased Efficiency: A more capable and modern electrical system can improve overall energy efficiency, potentially reducing your monthly power bills.

3. Enhanced Functionality: An upgraded electrical service helps ensure your home can support the requirements of modern appliances and smart systems without strain or inefficiency.

4. Added Home Value: A professionally performed electrical service upgrade can increase your property’s value and appeal, making it more attractive to potential buyers.


Recognizing the signs that your home may need an electrical service upgrade is an essential step in maintaining a safe and efficient living space. Frequent breaker trips, dimming or flickering lights, outdated wiring, and insufficient power for modern devices are all indicators that your home could benefit from an upgrade. By identifying the need for an electrical service upgrade and acting upon it, you can enhance the performance of your home’s electrical system and better support modern technologies and appliances for years to come.

Ready to upgrade your home’s electrical service? Contact Snohomish Valley Electric Heat & AC today for a comprehensive assessment of your home’s electrical system and expert electrical installation of any necessary upgrades. Our team of professionals is dedicated to enhancing the safety, efficiency, and functionality of your home’s electrical system for the ultimate peace of mind. Don’t wait until it’s too late – schedule your electrical service upgrade today!

ac maintenance

The Importance of Regular AC Maintenance for Optimal Performance and Longevity

Air conditioning systems play a vital role in keeping our homes comfortable, especially during the hot summer months. However, just like any other appliance, they need proper care and maintenance to ensure they continue to operate efficiently and provide optimal cooling. Regularly scheduled AC maintenance not only helps keep your system in peak condition but also extends its lifespan, minimizes the need for costly repairs, and reduces energy bills. To fully understand the importance of AC maintenance, it’s crucial to examine its benefits and how it can make a lasting impact on the overall performance and longevity of your system.

One of the primary benefits of regular AC maintenance is enhanced energy efficiency. When dirt, dust, and debris accumulate on your system’s components, it can obstruct airflow and force the unit to work harder to cool your home. Cleaning the coils, fan, and filters during routine maintenance helps keep the airflow unobstructed, allowing your system to run smoothly and efficiently. This, in turn, results in lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills.

Key Components of a Comprehensive AC Maintenance Plan

A thorough AC maintenance plan includes various tasks, assessments, and adjustments to ensure your system runs efficiently and effectively. Let’s explore the key components of a comprehensive maintenance plan performed by our HVAC professionals:

1. Cleaning or replacing air filters: Dirty air filters can significantly reduce your system’s efficiency and lead to poor indoor air quality. Regular cleaning or replacing of air filters is essential to maintaining proper airflow and preventing overworking of the system.

2. Inspecting and cleaning evaporator and condenser coils: Dirt and debris buildup on coils can impede heat exchange, forcing the unit to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. Our technicians will thoroughly clean the coils during maintenance visits, ensuring optimal heat transfer and performance.

3. Checking and adjusting the refrigerant level: An improperly charged system can lead to decreased efficiency, uneven cooling, and potential damage to the compressor. Our professionals will measure the refrigerant level and adjust it accordingly for the ideal cooling performance.

4. Inspecting and tightening electrical connections: Loose or corroded connections can not only reduce your system’s efficiency but also pose safety risks. A thorough inspection and tightening of electrical connections by our technicians can help prevent these issues.

How Often Should AC Maintenance Be Performed?

To fully harness the benefits of AC maintenance, it’s important to establish a proper maintenance schedule. Generally, it’s recommended that you schedule a maintenance visit with our professionals at least once a year, preferably in the spring before the peak cooling season. This ensures your system is in prime condition to handle the increased demand during the hot summer months.

For homeowners who live in areas with extreme temperatures or those who heavily rely on their AC systems, more frequent maintenance visits might be necessary to address any wear and tear associated with the increased workload.

Regularly inspecting and changing the air filters is another essential aspect of maintaining your AC system. Depending on the type of filter your system uses, this should be done every one to three months or as recommended by the manufacturer.

DIY Maintenance vs. Professional Service

While there are certain AC maintenance tasks that homeowners can perform on their own, such as cleaning or replacing air filters, many aspects of AC maintenance require the expertise of trained professionals like our technicians.

Attempting DIY maintenance on more complex components can not only be dangerous but may also inadvertently cause damage to your system or void the manufacturer’s warranty. Professional HVAC technicians possess the necessary skills, tools, and knowledge to properly maintain your AC system, ensuring optimal performance, safety, and longevity.

Our experienced technicians will be able to identify potential issues before they escalate into costly repairs, and provide personalized advice on how to best care for your system. By investing in professional AC maintenance, you can enjoy the long-term benefits of a well-maintained and efficient system.

Recognizing the Signs of a Poorly Maintained AC System

While regular AC maintenance can help ensure your system operates at optimal efficiency, some potential warning signs indicate that your system may be poorly maintained:

1. Increased energy bills: A sharp increase in your energy bills can be an indicator that your AC system is working harder than necessary due to improper maintenance or unresolved issues.

2. Uneven cooling and temperature fluctuations: If you’re experiencing inconsistent cooling or significant temperature fluctuations throughout your home, it could be a sign that your AC system isn’t functioning correctly.

3. Frequent cycling on and off: If your AC system is frequently switching on and off, it can point to a problem with its efficiency resulting from dirty filters, improper refrigerant levels, or other maintenance-related issues.

4. Unusual noises: Strange sounds coming from your AC unit, such as rattling, buzzing, or clanging, can indicate that its components aren’t functioning correctly or are improperly maintained.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to contact our professionals promptly to address the underlying issues and maintain the health of your AC system.


Regular AC maintenance is vital for ensuring your system operates efficiently, lasts longer, and provides optimal comfort for you and your family. By scheduling annual maintenance visits with our experienced technicians at Snohomish Valley Electric Heat & AC, you can stay ahead of potential issues, reduce energy consumption, and enjoy a comfortable and healthy living environment all year round. Don’t wait until problems arise – contact us today to schedule your AC maintenance appointment and experience the difference that professional care can make.

electric heater

Importance of Heater Maintenance to Increase Efficiency and Safety

As days grow colder, your heating system becomes an essential part of maintaining a comfortable living environment within your home. To ensure your heater runs optimally and safely throughout the cold season, proper heater maintenance is critical. Regular heater maintenance, including tune-ups and inspections, not only helps to prevent potential issues that may lead to costly repairs or replacements, but it also ensures that your heating system remains reliable and energy-efficient. 

A properly tuned and maintained heater provides consistent temperature levels and better air quality in your home. Regular heater maintenance can uncover minor issues that, if left unchecked, could evolve into significant problems that affect the system’s efficiency and potentially lead to system failure. Our technicians can perform maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the heater’s components, inspecting and adjusting the system controls, and ensuring proper airflow, all of which contribute to the overall performance and efficiency of your heater.

Explore why heater maintenance is essential for optimizing performance, enhancing safety, and extending the lifespan of your heating system.

The Value of Routine Heater Inspections

First and foremost, heater maintenance begins with regular inspections. A comprehensive inspection helps identify any potential issues and ensures all components of your heating system are functioning correctly. Our technicians will examine critical elements, such as thermostats and controls, to guarantee that they are operating within accurate temperature settings. They will also inspect belts and pulleys for wear and tear, tighten any loose connections, and clean or replace filters as required.

During inspections, heating professionals will also assess ductwork to determine whether there is any leakage, corrosion, or dust accumulation. This step is crucial because inefficient ducts can lead to increased energy consumption and hamper indoor air quality. If any obstructions or debris are found in the ducts, our technicians will clean them to maintain proper air circulation and secure connections throughout your heating system.

Why Annual Heater Tune-Ups Are Essential

Heater tune-ups are a fundamental aspect of heater maintenance that often goes unnoticed or is pushed aside due to time constraints. However, an annual heater tune-up can drastically enhance your heating system’s performance and safety. During a tune-up, our technicians will go through a thorough checklist to ensure the smooth functioning and longevity of your heater.

A typical heater tune-up will involve the following:

1. Clean the system

2. Inspect all electrical components and connections

3. Check for proper airflow and adjust if necessary

4. Lubricate the blower motor, bearings, and other moving parts

5. Adjust and calibrate all system controls, including the thermostat

6. Inspect the heat exchanger for any corrosion, cracks, or rust

7. Evaluate the system’s overall performance and make any necessary recommendations

The Benefits of Regular Heater Maintenance

Investing in regular heater maintenance brings several advantages that can save you money and ensure a comfortable living environment. Some of the key benefits include:

1. Prolonged System Life Span: A well-maintained heater can last up to 20 years, while one that is neglected may see its life span significantly reduced. Avoid the early cost of heater replacement by adhering to a regular maintenance schedule.

2. Improved Energy Efficiency: When all heater components are operating well, the system functions at peak efficiency. This translates to lower energy bills, as your heater will not have to work harder to keep your home warm.

3. Reduced Repair Frequency: Routine maintenance can help catch minor issues before they progress into larger, costly repairs. As a result, homeowners can enjoy fewer disruptions to their heating system and minimize the overall cost of repairs.

4. Enhanced Indoor Air Quality: By keeping your heating system clean and in excellent working condition, you can ensure that the air circulated in your home is free of dust, allergens, and other pollutants. Maintaining a healthy living environment is particularly important for individuals with respiratory conditions or allergies.

The Dangers of Neglecting Heater Maintenance

Failing to maintain your heating system can not only lead to reduced efficiency and higher utility bills, but it can also pose serious safety risks. Here are some hazards associated with neglecting heater maintenance:

1. Carbon Monoxide Leaks: A malfunctioning heating system can lead to carbon monoxide leaks, a colorless and odorless gas that can be deadly. By conducting regular heater maintenance and inspections, you can ensure that your system is free of leaks and poses no risk to your household.

2. Electrical Fires: Faulty electrical components or wiring in your heating system can increase the risk of an electrical fire. Regular heater maintenance can help identify any potential threats, allowing our technicians to address the issue before it becomes a hazard.

3. Shortened System Life Span: An improperly maintained heater is more likely to suffer from wear and tear, leading to a shortened life span and the need for premature replacement.

Airflow Problems and Their Impact on Your AC

Imagine trying to breathe with a clogged nose. Your AC experiences a similar struggle when airflow is restricted. Airflow problems are a common culprit behind frozen AC units, and understanding their impact is vital for homeowners seeking optimal cooling performance.


Regular heater maintenance is essential for optimizing your heating system’s performance, ensuring safety, and prolonging its life span. By investing in routine inspections and tune-ups, you can save money on energy bills, minimize the frequency of costly repairs, and create a comfortable, healthy living environment for your family.

Don’t underestimate the importance of heater maintenance in Snohomish, WA. If your heating system needs attention or if you want to schedule a maintenance appointment, our team of skilled technicians at Snohomish Valley Electric Heat & AC is ready to help. Contact us today for professional, reliable heater services tailored to meet your specific needs and to promote the safe, efficient operation of your heater!