Tag: DIY

DIY Maintenance Tips for Your HVAC System

diy maintenance tips for hvac

With summer nearly here, it’s important to inspect your HVAC unit to ensure it’s ready for the new season. To help you out, the pros at Roman Electric  have prepared a list of DIY maintenance tips for your trusty HVAC unit!

1. Change Your Air Filter

You have probably heard this one before, but that’s because it’s so important. Changing your HVAC unit’s air filter is one of the easiest and quickest ways you can ensure proper maintenance for your system. All you must do is get the right size filter (be sure to compare it to the one you have so you get the right one), put it in place of the old one, and viola, you have a clean air filter! It takes a few minutes and can drastically improve indoor air quality, put less pressure on your unit and reduce energy consumption by 5 to 15%.

2. Clean Your Registers

Dust build-up on your vents and registers is common but can increase dust particles in your indoor air. It can also lead to dust particles making their way into your ductwork, worsening your indoor air quality and the performance of your unit. Before the new season arrives, do a quick clean up your registers. Remove the grille and vacuum it as well as the vent opening with an extendable brush attachment. Follow that up with a quick wipe from a damp cloth to ensure proper dust removal.

3. Clear Up Your Condenser

The outdoor condenser is an important part of your HVAC unit because it contains your unit’s compressor and condenser coils. That’s why it’s important to keep it in top-notch condition. If you want to take the DIY route, start by carefully trimming the vegetation around the condenser—be sure to maintain a clearance of 2ft around the outdoor unit. Then, use the brush attachment on your vacuum and remove any dust, dirt or debris stuck on the condenser. If you want a more thorough cleaning, apply coil cleaner on the condenser and rinse it off gently—don’t bend the fins or the exterior of the condenser.

4. Seal up Your Home

Inspect the edges of your windows and doors and ensure they are sealed properly. If the weatherstripping, which is the sealing material underneath or around your doors and windows, is worn-out, you will need to replace it. If you ignore it, you will develop air leaks which can increase your energy bill, worsen indoor air quality and force your unit to work harder to provide the cooling you need. For new weatherstripping materials, simply check out your nearest home improvement store. There are various materials you can use such as vinyl, foam and even metal!

Want more maintenance tips for your HVAC unit? Contact the pros at Roman Electric! Whether you need repair, maintenance, installation services or you simply have questions about our business, our team of professionals would be more than happy to assist you! Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service online!

DIY Plumbing Mistakes to Avoid

Learning how to perform some simple plumbing repairs at home can save you a ton of money and time. Even if you learn how to fix a running toilet or a leaky faucet and leave the big-time repairs to the pros, the savings can add up. But you’ve got to be careful. Although it might be tempting to roll up your sleeves and try to fix everything yourself, you can sometimes make it worse.

Plenty of homeowners make easily avoidable mistakes when they try to fix plumbing issues. Here are a few DIY plumbing mistakes to avoid from the pros at Roman Electric. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to tell when a problem is too complicated to fix yourself – when that happens, just give us a call!

Leaky Faucet Mistakes

Although not everyone will suffer a major plumbing problem, most of us will have to deal with a leaky faucet at some point. And while some leaky faucets are easy DIY fixes, you need to be careful to avoid making some common mistakes.

  • Get all the pieces out. When you replace a disintegrated washer or rubber seal inside the faucet, be sure to remove any pieces that might’ve gotten stuck in the faucet itself. If you don’t clean the faucet out, these loose fragments can lodge in the faucet and cause an obstruction that will cause bigger problems later.
  • Cut the water off. This goes for every plumbing issue, but it’s especially prevalent when working on a faucet. People forget to turn the water supply off more often than you’d think.

Using Drain Cleaner as a First Resort

When you’ve got a clogged drain, you might be tempted to pour some drain cleaner down there and just be done with it. However, these harsh chemicals should only be used after you’ve exhausted every other option.

You should start off with a drain snake or augur that will physically remove any clogs. Only if that doesn’t work should you move on to drain cleaner.

Not Remembering/Documenting How Things Fit Together

You’d be shocked at the amount of times someone has disassembled a plumbing apparatus to fix a problem only to realize they forgot how it all fits back together. If you’re performing a DIY plumbing repair, take a picture to see how it all should look when it’s connected.

Alternatively, if you’ve got a photographic memory, you can just remember the layout of the pieces instead. We’d just recommend taking a picture, though.

Tightening Things Too Much

It’s natural to screw something on until it feels like it can’t go any further. But this can be problematic. Although it might not snap or break right then, all that water pressure can build up. And without any room to expand, the connections can burst at the slightest sign of strain. Leave some room when you’re tightening it all back together.

There you have it! These were just a few of the more common DIY plumbing mistakes we’ve encountered, but this barely scratches the surface. When you’ve got a plumbing issue, don’t risk accidentally making the problem worse – get in touch with us here at Roman Electric, and let the experts handle it!

Give us a call at 414-369-3798 to learn more about how we can be your go-to plumbers in the Milwaukee area!

How to Read Your Electric Bill

Every month, we receive that piece of paper in the mail that none of us ever like to see. When the energy bill arrives, we hold our breath while we open it. Is it going to be ridiculously high, or is it more manageable this month? We’re not going to get into the most effective strategies for lowering your energy usage, at least not in this blog.

For this one, we’re going to take a step back and approach it from a more general angle. Before you figure out how to lower your energy bill, it’s important that you learn to better understand it in the first place! Here’s how to do just that, from the energy pros at Roman Electric!

The Important Parts

When you glance at your energy bill, there are a handful of numbers or items that should be the most important. These are the ones you’ll obviously want to look at every month – and unless you just pay the bill without looking, you already take a glance at these numbers anyway.

  • Amount Due: Of course! This is the number most everyone cares about more than anything. How much you’re paying is a good thing to know. It’ll usually be easily discernible and printed clearly.
  • Account Number: Assuming your energy provider does business like the majority of the other ones in America do, you’ll see your account number printed somewhere on the bill. This gives you a handy reference point when you’ve got a complaint or question you need to bring up with your provider.
  • kWh Used: This number is how the utility company determines how much to charge you. The electricity meter shows a certain number indicating how many kilowatt-hours you used, and they multiply that number by your rate to determine the bill.

Other Items on the Bill

That just scratches the surface. There are plenty of other numbers and labels on the bill, but they aren’t as important in terms of figuring out how much energy you’re using and how much you’re paying.

  • Charge Breakdown: The bill will probably itemize the different components of your total amount due. This will be made up of things like a generation charge (which will be the bulk of your bill), distribution charge and a transmission charge. Although most of your energy is spent generating the electricity, it costs money to get it to travel down the wires and to your home.
  • Graph showing your energy profile: It helps to know how much energy you’ve been using compared to recent months. Most energy providers will include a bar graph, or something similar, displaying your usage from month-to-month to help you keep your consumption in check.


The energy bill is never any fun, but it’s smart to be an educated consumer so you know what you’re getting each month. Of course, it’s always probably smartest to call your energy provider if you’ve got specific questions.

Here at Roman Electric, though, we pride ourselves on helping our Milwaukee neighbors create the most energy-efficient homes around. Get in touch with us, and we’ll work with you to implement solutions that are tailored specifically for you and your family.

Call us at 414-369-3798 for more information!

How to Make Your Home Office Energy Efficient

Wasting energy in your home office can be viewed as contradictory. If you’re spending countless hours in your office, this productivity might also mean you are using more energy. If you work from home and use your office 40 hours or more, there are ways that you can cut down on your energy use. The experts at Roman Electric have some ideas that can help make your home office energy efficient.

Read below for helpful energy-efficient tips!

Plug Devices in a Surge Protector

  • Avoid standby power by connecting your computer, laptop, printer, and other devices to a surge protector.
  • Use a surge protector to shut off all devices when finished for the day, helping to ensure no energy is wasted from hidden power drain.
  • Surge protectors, as their name suggests, can also protect your devices against power surges.

Manage Your Computer’s Power

  • Set your computer to sleep or shut off after about 20-30 minutes of inactivity. This ensures your computer doesn’t waste energy when idle.
  • If it’s possible, lower the brightness settings when using your computer.
  • If you’re running large software files or gaming, try lowering graphic and resolution settings to avoid overworking your processor and video cards.
  • Consider switching from a desktop to a laptop. Desktops use more power due to monitors, keyboards, and other peripherals, while a laptop has these components built-in. Additionally, laptops tend to use less powerful hardware, which uses less electricity.

Side Note: Change laptop settings to stop charging between 40-80% when plugged-in. Although this may not save much energy, it does help to prolong the lifespan of the lithium-ion battery, as charging cycles are more manageable.

Utilize a Portable Space Heater

  • Use a space heater to warm the confined space of a home office instead of wasting energy heating the entire house.
  • Space heaters provide heat to a specific area and are inexpensive to purchase and maintain.
  • Due to space heaters coming in varied sizes, you can have on either on your desk, on the floor, or even attached to the wall.
  • When using a space heater, be careful not to let your computer become overheated. Point your heater in a direction only facing you. Occasionally feel your computer case or laptop to detect any overheating.

For more information on portable space heaters, click here.

Upgrade to Energy Star Models

To get the most energy efficiency in your home office, consider upgrading your electronics to Energy Star models. Energy Star is a government funded program designed to ensure a device provides suitable levels of energy efficiency. When you see a device with a blue Energy Star sticker, you’ll know the device has certified energy efficiency. Beyond computers and home office devices, you can find Energy Star certified lighting, ceiling fans, and even your HVAC system.

If you plan on converting a room into a home office, or looking to perform some major upgrades, you must take one extra precaution before worrying about energy efficiency: electrical safety. Contact Roman Electric for a quality electrical safety inspection to help guarantee your electrical system is suitable for a home office. Call us at 414-369-3798 to schedule an appointment with Milwaukee’s trusted electrical experts.

12 Energy Saving Tips to Go Green (St. Patrick’s Day)

Want to avoid getting pinched while also saving money on the utility bill this St. Patrick’s Day? Go green with your electrical system! With Milwaukee weather still experiencing freezing temperatures, enough of our energy usage already goes into heating, so why not use some methods to cut down on energy and go green? From the electrical experts at Roman Electric, here are 12 energy saving tips for your home!

Manage Your Lighting Usage – Turn off lights in empty rooms, and before you go to bed. Additionally, opt for using lamps or candles to light rooms when possible. Clean your lights regularly to avoid dirt obstruction, as well as dusting off fixtures when possible.

Utilize Dishwasher Instead of Handwashing –  Believe it or not, handwashing dishes wastes more water than running the dishwasher, often as much as six times more gallons used. Maximize energy efficiency by washing your dishes in large loads in the dishwasher, but be careful not to overfill it, as this can prevent dishes from becoming clean.

Wash Clothes in Cold Water – According to Energy Star, 90% of energy from washing machines comes from warming water. Use cold water to wash your clothes instead, and wash in full amounts to get the most out of each cycle. Cold water can also clean more fragile clothing, meaning you can better combine loads without the worry of damage or loss of color.

Plan Your Cooking Accordingly – Defrost meat by placing it in the fridge instead of using the microwave and lay out all your ingredients when cooking to avoid constantly opening the fridge. Utilize pressure cookers, electric cookers, and microwaves instead of the oven for suitable foods to avoid wasting energy.

Line-Dry Clothes When Possible –  Instead of using the dryer for every load, hang dry suitable clothing to conserve energy and possibly avoid wrinkles or shrinkage.

Choose Showers Over a Bath – Showers use about 2 gallons of water per minute, while filling a bathtub could require higher than 100 gallons depending on the tub. Always choose a shower over a bath as much as possible and limit your showers to below 10 minutes to further save water.

Set Your Ceiling Fans to Reverse – Instead of relying on your heating for warmth, switch your ceiling fans to reverse rotation to keep the comfort in your home. Reversing ceiling fans causes them to draw out cold air instead of distributing it and can be turned on without any preparation.

Replace Your HVAC Filters Regularly – Every 2-3 months, replace your HVAC filters to avoid build-ups or clogs of dust preventing proper air circulation. The need for replacement may come sooner for homes with larger families or pets.

Seal Doors and Windows – Avoid conditioned air leaving your home by placing weather stripping around your doors and windows. Insulated window curtains and door stoppers are also available to further prevent air leakage.

Unplug Unused Appliances – Leaving appliances left in a socket will cause what’s known as “phantom power”, which is when turned-off appliances still draw power. Unplug all appliances after use or utilize a power strip to hold appliances and easily turn off power.

Invest in Energy Star Appliances – Energy Star certified appliances are guaranteed to cut down on energy usage compared to traditional variants. They are available for almost any electrical item in your home and can easily maximize energy efficiency.

Install a Programmable Thermostat – Your HVAC system accounts for almost half of your home’s energy usage, meaning maximizing its energy efficiency is a must. Programmable thermostats provide the means to save energy by scheduling temperatures for each day of the week. This will stop your heater from wasting energy throughout the night, as well as during the work day.

This St. Patrick’s Day, go green with Roman Electric’s 12 energy saving tips! If you would like to cut down on energy usage with a programmable thermostat, let Roman Electric be your trusted electrician! Our extensive electrical services guarantee we can handle any thermostat installation for your Milwaukee home, as well as any other electrical service you require. Give us a call at 414-369-3798 to schedule an appointment and avoid getting pinched this St. Patrick’s Day!