Pat Testing Offer

Got any items you need to have PAT tested? We’re offering a special discount of 10% off our standard prices for any PAT testing bookings made with us during February 2015. Our normal prices are available to see here. We realise that not everyone’s items may be due for a retest during February; we’ll still offer the 10% discount even if your testing is later in the year, providing that it’s booked at some point in February. Get in touch now via our contact form, email us or call us on 01626...

Home Automation

What is Home Automation? Home automation is the process by which making the electronic components and systems you already use on a daily basis work together, seamlessly. By integrating everything from lighting, music, video, climate control, security—even smartphones and tablets – it creates personalized experiences that enhance your life and work with added comfort, savings, convenience and peace of mind. What do I get with a home automation package? There is no one-size-fits-all package with home automation; it is possible to design and build an automation solution that meets your lifestyle and budget. Perhaps you’d like your home to lock itself at 9:30pm or shades to close as the sun hits. Perhaps you want to have access to your complete digital music library or streaming service in all rooms of the house. Maybe even a CCTV system to keep an eye on your property whether you are at home or away. Aside from the convenience benefits, there are also energy saving benefits too – why heat every room in the house if you just want to keep the nursery warm on a cold winters night – smart heating systems allow for this to be easily achieved and within tighter budgets than ever before. The 4 main elements of home automation are as follows: Lighting Controlling your lighting is the easiest place start. There are many affordable starter kits to choose from so you can begin to enjoy home automation in minutes. Security Installing a home security system to keep your family safe is simpler than ever with wireless security systems. Many systems combine control with security adding extra convenience. Climate Control The...

The Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)

All electrical installations deteriorate with age and use. They should therefore be inspected and tested at appropriate intervals to check whether they are in a satisfactory condition for continued service. Such safety checks are commonly referred to as ‘periodic inspection and testing’. An Electrical Installation Condition Report will: Reveal if any of your electrical circuits or equipment are overloaded. Find any potential electric shock risks and fire hazards. Identify any defective electrical work. Highlight any lack of earthing or bonding. Tests are also carried out on wiring and fixed electrical equipment to check that they are safe. A schedule of circuits is also provided, which is invaluable for a property. How often is an Electrical Installation Condition Report required? Your electrics should be inspected and tested every: 10 years for an owner-occupied home. 5 years for a rented home. 3 years for a caravan 1 year for a swimming pool. Other times when a periodic inspection should be carried out are: When a property is being prepared for letting. Before selling a property or buying a previously-occupied property. Who should carry out the periodic inspection and what happens?  Periodic inspection and testing should be carried out only by electrically competent persons, such as registered electricians. They will check the condition of the electrics against the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations, BS 7671 – Requirements for Electrical Installations (IEE Wiring Regulations). The inspection takes into account all the relevant circumstances and checks on: The adequacy of earthing and bonding. The suitability of the switchgear and controlgear. For example, an old fusebox with a wooden back, cast-iron switches, or a mixture...

To LED or not to LED, that is the question.

With the ever increasing amount of LED based lighting and LED based replacement light bulbs on the market, we are constantly asked by our customers if now is the time to upgrade to LED lighting. With ever increasing energy costs, increased awareness of carbon footprints and building regulation changes with respect to energy efficiency, this article aims to give slightly more information as to whether now is the time to do so or not, and what other options are available with respect to energy efficiency and cost savings. You can’t help but have noticed that LED lighting is changing both the domestic and commercial landscapes, but will you really achieve the greatest savings by buying what is still a relatively expensive option now, or would you be better off saving your money for the time being, or buy other energy efficient light bulbs and use the money you save in electricity to buy LED lighting in the future? We have all seen LED lighting before: LED Christmas lights, head torches and in wind up emergency torches.  What about LED lighting for my home or business?  If they are so effective, why aren’t we all lining up to buy them? Although LED technology is rapidly progressing, they still have some progress to make in terms of function, durability and budget.  There are some LED products that should be considered over the next year, such as LED Christmas lights and LED light bulbs for certain applications, but is this really going to save you money?  Compact fluorescents, otherwise known as CFL lamps are currently so inexpensive that they’ll pay for themselves...

Does your home have RCD protection?

As we are all aware, electricity kills. Government statistics show that faulty electrical wiring and products cause most fires in UK homes. Electricity is now the major cause of accidental fires in UK homes. Most of these accidents could be prevented by RCD protection, yet more than half of the population – that’s 13 million homes – don’t have it. Plug Into Safety Precautions that can be taken to avoid fires include the following: Avoid using faulty or damaged electrical appliances, lighting and switches Consider upgrading to a modern fusebox (consumer unit) with built in RCD protection Utilise plug in RCD devices, available from us If you have any doubts about electrical safety in your home or if your electrics keep tripping, contact us for a free no obligation quote for a consumer unit upgrade or any necessary remedial work that may be necessary. What exactly is an RCD? An RCD (Residual Current Device) is a life-saving device that protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires. What kind of RCD should I fit? RCD in fusebox (consumer unit) – will give the highest level of protection to your family and home as it covers all wiring, sockets and appliances on circuits. Plug in RCD – can be plugged in to any socket and will protect you if a problem arises when using a particular appliance. Why have I not heard about RCD’s before? In a recent survey a third of respondents said they knew what an RCD was – however, we know that many people confuse them with circuit breakers, which offer nowhere near...

Electric Heating – A viable alternative?

It’s a common misconception that the only form of electric heating available is night storage heaters. For quite some time now, this has not been correct and modern systems now offer the same flexibility and controllability found in a gas central heating system. Independent control on radiators and also central control via traditional style programmers and room thermostats enable the homeowner to set heating times and zones to suit their lifestyle. Having this kind of control helps to result in energy cost savings throughout the year. Reduced Service Costs & Safety It is also worth bearing in mind that electrical heating systems do not require an annual safety check, and there is also no need for any regular servicing. From a safety point of view, there are also no noxious gases that could potentially escape and no risk of any kind of explosion. There are also no issues with flues either for electric heating, which could be a significant factor when considering central heating systems for listed buildings. Efficiency Another advantage of electric heating is that it is 100% efficient. All electricity consumed is converted to heat. This is not something that can be said of traditional gas and oil based heating systems. Hot Water? Electric heating is not only limited to electric radiators. There are a whole host of other products available, including electric boilers and combi units.  Matrix Electric Services are able to work in conjunction with your plumber to provide a system whereby you can have a traditional ‘wet’ central heating system, but the boiler is powered by electric rather than gas or oil. This is...