How to install security cameras

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With technology prices dropping and crime always present. I recommend everyone installing some security cameras to the exterior of your home to provide some piece of mind. In this article I will write about how to install security cameras.

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The first thing I like to take into consideration when setting up cameras is knowing how many cameras you would like, and if they will need to be wireless or wired. Wireless cameras will need a 120v power outlet next to where you mount the camera. It is important to remember that wireless cameras have a maximum distance for effective broadcasting, and their picture quality diminishes the farther away they get. Wired cameras will need a run of wire from where the camera is mounted to the DVR. I prefer homes with attics or businesses with drop ceilings when putting in wired systems. It is also smart to locate the DVR next to where the router will be located in order to be hardwired in. My three favorite brands to set up are Swann, Night Owl, and Zmodo.

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Although there are numerous advantages of the newer camera systems then the older ones. I think the best feature of the newer security camera systems is that they give you the ability to view your cameras on your smartphone or tablet through their respective apps.  Some of the systems have the ability to notify you when their is motion.  The systems will start recording when there is motion for later viewing. You can go back in the archives of the DVR, and view the cameras whenever there was motion present.

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It is important to remember that some of the corners of the attic may be hard to squeeze into when running wires for the cameras. I will drill a small hole in the eave of the house for the wire and push a fish tape through the hole to retrieve the wire in the hard to reach spots. This technique will make your life much easier when running the wires. Please email us if you have any questions or concerns, and we can update this article accordingly. dollarmech@gmail.com
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How to wire a home AC thermostat

Many homeowners are handy, but tend to get confused when it comes to their home AC system. In this article I will go over how to wire a home AC thermostat. First you will have to choose a AC thermostat to satisfy your personal needs. Whether you decide on choosing a Programmable or Non Programmable thermostat. They are wired the same way. Some of the newer Smart thermostats have Wifi compatibility so you can control the units with your smartphone or computer while away from the house. These thermostats usually require a Common Wire. So it is smart to look at the existing thermostat wiring if you don’t want to rewire a thermostat wire from the unit to the thermostat. Common wire is usually black, but I have seen different colors used. Common wire is attached to the common side of the 24v transformer that the red wire is attached to.

Thermostat wiring colors

Red – 24v POWER from transformer
Green – Fan
Yellow – Cooling (compressor/outdoor fan)
White – Heating (Gas Furnace or Electrical Heat Strips, Optional)
Orange – Heating (Heat Pump with a Reversing Valve, Optional)
Blue – Heating (Heating on Rheem and Ruud units)
Black – 24v Common from transformer

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When removing the cover of your old home AC thermostat you will see wires coming from the wall. Try to avoid breaking the wires when removing the old thermostat. REMEMBER THAT THE RED WIRE IS HOT!  I recommend disconnecting the power of the unit if you are a novice electrician. You could possibly burn out a small fuse or pop a micro circuit breaker on the transformer.  I tend to replace the thermostats really quickly without disconnecting power, but I have changed hundreds of thermostats and deal with different electrical wires daily. You just have to be careful with where the metal ends of the wire touch. I recommend installing the red wire first to get it out of the way. Going from one thermostat base directly into the other one. Green wire controls the indoor fan. Yellow wire controls the outdoor unit compressor and outdoor fan motor. White wire is usually used for gas furnaces or electrical heating. Orange wire is used for heat pump units, and it activates the reversing valve. Reversing valve changes the flow of the refrigerant. Blue wire is used on some units for heating. Black wire is almost always common. It is attached to the common side of the 24v transformer that the red wire is attached to.

After attaching the wires and reattaching the face plate. It is important to finish the steps in the instructions that came with the home AC thermostat. The newer Smart thermostats will have a series of questions to answer. It is important to answer the questions to the best of your ability. After you are done with the set up questions. I recommend testing the unit in the different modes to ensure that the wiring is correct. I will always test in cooling and heating to prevent a call back.  If you have any questions about your home AC thermostat. Feel free to send us questions at dollarmech@gmail.com

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