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Which Light Bulb Is Best for Dimmer Switches?

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

With the many technological advances in the field of lighting, it is easier than ever to customize a home lighting system. A walk through the lighting department at any home store can be overwhelming. There are so many light bulb options, and if a lighting plan includes dimmer switches and dimmable fixtures, it can be difficult to know which bulbs to choose. Here are several light bulb options for modern dimmer switches and adjustable fixtures.

The Benefits of Dimmer Switches

Dimmer switches have been a trend for a while now; however, with a variety of dimmers and bulbs from which to choose, the benefits of dimmer switches have only increased. Dimmer switches work by reducing the amount of power that is circuited to a bulb, which, in return, reduces the brightness and overall power being used. Lighting may be adjusted in one fixture or in an entire room, using apps on smart devices and may even be scheduled for specific times of the day or days of the week.

The Light Bulbs You Can Use with Your Dimmer Switches

If you’re unsure which bulbs you can use with your dimmer switches, here are several options:

LED Light Bulbs

According to ENERGY STAR, many LED bulbs are dimmable. With the increased energy efficiency and long life of LED bulbs, they are often a great choice for use in dimmable fixtures. Many ENERGY STAR LED light bulbs are dimmable. The packaging will indicate if an LED bulb is dimmable and will include a list of the types of dimmer switches that will work with the bulb.

Incandescent Light Bulbs

One of the most utilitarian bulbs, incandescent bulbs work with any dimmer switch on the market. Inside an incandescent bulb, electric currents move through a wire filament, which causes the filament, and therefore the bulb, to glow. However, if the voltage is too strong, these bulbs may burn out. A dimmable fixture is one way to conserve energy and increase the lifespan of an incandescent bulb.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

When buying fluorescent light bulbs, it is important to pay close attention to the packaging. Many Compact Fluorescent Light Bulb (CFL) will not work with dimmers. For individuals who choose to use CFLs, there are versions that may be used with dimmable fixtures. It is important to read labels for any bulbs purchased for use in dimmable lamps and fixtures. Also, not all dimmers are compatible with all dimmable CFL bulbs. It is important to hire a professional electrician through a company you trust like Ragsdale to install dimmable fixtures and advise which bulbs may be used with it.

While dimmer switches offer plenty of benefits and remain a stylish trend in the home, research and test different dimmer switches before choosing one. For more information on home lighting and electrical needs, contact Ragsdale today for answers to questions about home lighting, including dimmer switches and the best bulb options.

Lee Henderson, a Ragsdale Master Craftsman

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Ragsdale prides itself on the quality of our point-of-service contact with customers, and it is employees like Lead HVAC Installer Lee Henderson who help maintain Ragsdale’s high standard of service, quality and great reputation in the local community.

Lee has been on the Ragsdale install team for over 15 years and he has seen the company grow leaps and bounds over those years. As our Company has grown, so has Lee’s respect for the people who work with him. In fact, he says one of his favorite parts of the job is working with fellow employees who have become like family to him. With five kids, Lee knows all about families. Over the years, he has learned to balance work with family by leaving work at work at the end of the day so he can focus on his family.

Lee’s proudest moment at Ragsdale was achieving the award of Master Craftsman, an accomplishment that won’t come as any surprise to the customers and fellow employees who see him at work.

When he’s not at work, Lee enjoys working on his race car in his spare time. And in the future? This Master Craftsman would love to go skydiving one day, as well as spend some time on a relaxing cruise.

Lee Henderson is a big part of the great team at Ragsdale. Contact us to find out more about how we can serve you and your family.

A Chat with Electrical Guru and Ragsdale COO Chris Ferguson

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Chris Ferguson, COO of Ragsdale, is a leading figure in the electrical industry. Read on for details about him and what brought him to the Ragsdale family.

Q: You have vast experience in electrical work. How did you get your start? What areas of the industry have you worked in before coming to Ragsdale?

A: I started my career working in the electrical field back in 1990. I have worked in all aspects of it, from wiring new homes to commercial and industrial wiring. I have been serving Atlanta area homeowners for over 20 years now. I hold an Unrestricted Electrical License in the State of Georgia.

Q: What made you choose Ragsdale?

I chose to join the Ragsdale team because their values of taking care of customers and providing the best service experience available is in direct alignment with my core values and focus.

Q: What do you think makes Ragsdale different from other similar companies?

A: It’s a name you know you can trust. At Ragsdale we are not happy unless our customers are 100% satisfied—from the time the phone rings, until the final details of each and every job are complete. The Ragsdale team is focused on delivering a customer experience that is second to none.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of working here?

A: Most of all I love the ability to take care of Atlanta Area Homeowners. Generally when homeowners call us, they have a challenge in their home, and it is very rewarding to see the appreciation in their eyes when we can return their home to normal.

Q: Is there a most-common electrical repair you get calls about?

A: The most common call we get is for outlets or lights that have quit working.

Q: If you could share one important idea about home electricity with customers, what would it be?

The electricity in your home provides comfort and security in many ways; however, it can be one of the most dangerous things in your home if not properly maintained. Every homeowner should have their system inspected and properly maintained in order to provide many years of worry-free service.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

A: There are many things the average homeowner can do around their home, but working on the electrical system should be left to the experts.

Call Ragsdale today for repair of all your home’s systems!

Ragsdale Service Manager, Tricia Strickland, Serves Customers Right

Friday, May 5th, 2017

In the 15 years that Tricia Strickland has been at Ragsdale she has seen the Company grow by leaps and bounds. As the HVAC Service Manager, she takes great pride in watching the service department grow and thrive, from everthing being done in the past on paper and three technicians to a sophisticated dispatch software and 22-25 technicians! Tricia provides the link between customers service and the technicians, ensuring the quality service Ragsdale is known for. She gets great pleasure hearing and reading the wonderful reviws from our customers about her technicians.

In the early days, balancing work with her family was hard but now her two children, Chase and Allie, are all grown up and leading lives of their own.

When Tricia’s working days are over, she would like to live on the coast with her husband, Stewart. But for now, she still has many years of service to give to Ragsdale and all their wonderful cusotmers.

6 Reasons to Call an Electrician

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Whether you’re the designated handyperson for your home or you just don’t want to spend the money on calling an electrician, it’s important to know that some electrical repairs need to be handled by a licensed professional. Read on for the top 6 reasons to call an electrician.

  1. Breaker panel issues: If you experience frequently tripping breakers, a burning smell, buzzing from the panel or flickering lights, have a professional electrician inspect it. You might need to replace individual breakers or the entire panel before circuit overheating occurs.
  2. Surge protection: Spikes in voltage across your home’s electrical system can cause damage to expensive electronics. These surges can be caused by external factors, such as lightning strikes or irregularities across the power grid, or by large appliances turning on and off. A licensed electrician can install a whole-home surge protector to guard your entire electrical system.
  3. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs): GFCIs are outlets that prevent electrocution by shutting off power to the circuit if it detects that a current is flowing in an unintended path, such as through water or a person. You should have GFCIs in every indoor/outdoor space where water and electricity can interact.
  4. Inspect and install smoke/CO detectors: Though smoke detectors are required in new homes, every home needs to have the appropriate number of them. Each detector should be tested monthly, have batteries changed every six months and be replaced each 7 to 10 years. Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are also vital to protect your family from the deadly colorless, odorless gas that is generated from equipment such as engines, heaters, fireplaces, furnaces and generators. Call in the pros to inspect your detectors to make sure they are working properly or install new ones.
  5. Ceiling fan installation/replacement: Having ceiling fans throughout your home is an effective way of regulating its temperature and airflow in every season. There’s no need so suffer stale air in any room in your home; a skilled professional can easily install a fan even where no ceiling light exists or replace an older model.
  6. Indoor or outdoor lighting: A licensed electrician can install new lighting for your home, replace fixtures that aren’t working or create a lighting plan for every room. Outdoors, he or she can install motion-sensitive floodlights to improve security and create a landscaped system of lighting to highlight garden features and trees.

As tempting as it may be to go DIY when it comes to home electrical repairs, how-to YouTube videos are no substitute for the expertise and peace of mind the work of a licensed electrician can bring to your home. Call Ragsdale to schedule a visit today!

Why Your Breaker Panel Could Be the Most Dangerous 6 Square Feet in Your Home

Friday, December 30th, 2016

For those who don’t interact with one often, the breaker panel is a mysterious place, filled with fascinating, but serious-looking switches, numbers and labeled locations. What exactly does your breaker panel do and why should you care? Read on for details about why this small but significant space should be treated with care.

What it does
The breaker panel is often found in a basement, garage or utility room, but can also be found outside. It’s the gateway to your home for all the electricity the power company delivers there. Behind the metal door, you’ll see switches that are allotted to different portions of your home, which is why panels are often labeled with various room names. In some cases, large appliances have their own circuits.

When a surge of power overloads one of the circuits, perhaps from a malfunctioning appliance, your breaker panel is designed to automatically cut the power to that circuit, preventing your entire electrical system from being overloaded.

In many panels, an electromagnetic strip on each breaker registers the amount of energy traveling through it. Others register the heat of the current. If the current gets too high, the breaker trips. The trip will happen mechanically and the switch will move to the “off” position. Some breakers show a red flag when the circuit has been shut off. Advanced panels can even detect when someone has made contact with a wire in the system, tripping a circuit to avoid electrocution.

You should be able to easily reset your tripped breaker by moving it back to the on position.

What can go wrong?
Circuits that trip occasionally mean your breaker panel is most likely functioning normally. But frequent tripping can be your panel’s way of warning you that the wiring in your home can’t safely handle the electricity flowing through it, and the circuits need to shut off often to prevent overload.

You might have an old electrical panel that doesn’t carry sufficient amps to manage the demands of a modern household. Left unserviced, a panel with insufficient amperage can’t regulate the power going to your electronics and appliances. These items can overheat regularly and be damaged. Heat can build up behind outlet covers, which become discolored. The National Fire Protection Association has found that an average of 50,000 home fires are started each year by electrical malfunctions.

If your tripped breaker will not stay in the “on” position for more than a few minutes, your panel itself could be the problem. And if you ever notice an acrid smell from your panel, see charring anywhere on it, hear a buzzing sound or find the panel feels hot to the touch, call an electrician immediately; these signs can indicate dangerous issues inside the panel.

How can I fix it?
If your panel is showing any of the signs of trouble mentioned above, it needs to be seen by a licensed electrician, who can tell you the source of the problem. Sometimes individual breakers can be upgraded, but if the panel is damaged from frequent power overloads, it may need replacing.

Defective breaker panels
Millions of homes built throughout the country between 1950 and 1985 had Federal Pacific Electric Stab-Lok breaker panels, which investigation has shown often don’t trip when they should, continuing to supply dangerous amounts of electricity to a circuit, which causes intense heat, and in the case of these panels, sometimes fire. Zinsco panels, installed primarily in the ’70s, have similar defects. If you have one of these panels in your home, contact a professional electrician immediately.

Your breaker panel is the key to all electrical activity in your home, and with the power going through it daily, it shouldn’t be ignored. Rather than leave its condition to chance, schedule a visit from a skilled Ragsdale electrician today!

Pillar of the Local Community, Alan Ragsdale

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Ragsdale has been serving its local community for over 20 years, and no one is more proud of that fact than Purchasing Manager Alan Ragsdale. Alan started work at the company 17 years ago. Since then, he’s witnessed Ragsdale’s massive growth, including the addition of plumbing and electrical departments.

One of the reasons for Ragsdale’s success is its high standards of customer service. Ragsdale employees really care about their customers, and this is Alan’s favorite feature of the company. As well as providing great service, Ragsdale employees also get involved in the local community through volunteering in community projects like Truth in Nature and Paulding County Habitat for Humanity. What’s more, Ragsdale supports the younger generation in local schools through sponsoring sporting and academic events.

At work, Alan Ragsdale puts his specialist knowledge of products to good use in purchasing equipment and materials, but at home he has different interests. Alan is very proud and honored to be a part of First Baptist Church in Dallas. And his family time is very important to him, and he loves going on vacations with his lovely wife. He also enjoys going fishing and taking good care of the family’s chickens.

Alan’s lifetime ambition is to tour Ireland, but until then, he’s happy to continue working at Ragsdale and serving his local community.

Air Conditioning Emergency Turns into a Success, Thanks to Ragsdale

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Ragsdale prides itself on its technical expertise and quality of service, and so it’s especially gratifying when we receive a review praising our work. The review below was written by a Ragsdale customer who called our emergency service after his air conditioning unit broke down on a weekend. We were happy to help out and very happy to hear the customer was impressed with our employees and their work. It’s the feedback that we get from our clients that help us maintain and improve on Ragsdale’s service excellence.

We wish to acknowledge and offer our sincere thanks to your team for their superlative response to our home crisis this week. In a matter of fewer than 48 hours from our emergency call to you on Sunday, our problem was resolved in an unprecedented demonstration of professionalism.

Mr. David Cole identified a compressor seizure of our main level outdoor unit on Sunday. Mr. Chris Boyd arrived Monday morning and by noon Tuesday, Messrs. Eric Magnuson, Lee Henderson, Rodney English and Joseph Jeffers completed installation of two Carrier systems. Your team provided courteous, knowledgeable and complete coaching on the new systems and clearly answered any questions we had. All materials, defunct systems, and packaging were collected and removed. We have been among your customers for many years and your team clearly excelled in technical proficiency, customer relations, and efficiency.

Please convey our appreciation both to the aforementioned people and to you and the entire Ragsdale team. We look forward to our continued relationship with Ragsdale Heating, Air & Plumbing.

If you’ve appreciated Ragsdale’s service and would like to recommend the company to your family and friends, take advantage of our referral scheme. If you have air conditioning or HVAC issues, speak to a Ragsdale advisor.

Larry McCullough, a Ragsdale Inspiration

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Larry began his career with Ragsdsale over 15 years ago! Larry has witnessed enormus growth over all these years. He remembers when the company had 5 peope to now having greater than 90 employees. Larry is a true role model in his position of Field Supervisor for Service.

His technical skills have earned him the nickname of MacGyver amoung his friends. One of Larry’s greatest pleasures is passing those skills on to upcoming technicians.

Hard work, quality work and customer care are some of Larry’s not-so-secret reasons he’s done so well at Ragsdale, and his career path is an inspiration to new and current employees alike. With all his hard work Larry does make time for his family by taking as many mni-vacatins as possible and spending most of his free time with them.

One day, Larry would love to take his dad big game hunting out West, but until then, he’s going to continue making his valuable contribution to Ragsdale and their customers.

Brent Laird, Another Ragsdale Success

Monday, September 26th, 2016

When Brent Laird started a new job 16 years ago, working in the warehouse of a local family-owned heating, air and plumbing company, he probably had no idea he would turn out to be another Ragsdale success story.

Brent worked hard for his new employer, and his efforts paid off. Over the years, he’s worked in the retro install and service departments and moved up through the company to his current position as a comfort consultant. Consequently, Brent’s worked with many Ragsdale employees — new staff and old hands — as the company’s grown, and he says his favorite part of working for Ragsdale are the people he works with.

Part of Brent’s success is due to the fact that he finds it easy to maintain a work/life balance. Brent says he loves fishing and hunting. Brent is also famous for baking an awesome bannana pudding!!!

As well as continuing to make his valued contribution to the team at Ragsdale, Brent has one item on his bucket list, and that’s to have the opportunity to hold hands with Scarlett Johansson. For someone as talented, hard-working, and dependable as Brent, Scarlett would be mad not to agree.