Holiday Home Hazards

Posted on: December 12th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

It’s the most wonderful time of year, but with all of the festivities you bring into your home comes the potential for injury to people or damage to your home. Lights, trees, candles, décor and even all of that food cooking can be a hazard. What are some things you can do to keep it all safe?

Put your Christmas tree away from doors and areas where people will walk a lot or animals or small children can get to it. Keep it away from any sources of heat! If you have a real tree, but 2 inches from the bottom of the trunk and make sure you have a sturdy stand.

Your holiday lights may be festive, but they can also be dangerous. Turn them off before bed. One extension cord should only have up to 3 mini lights sets or 50 screw-in bulbs at the most. Do not run cords under rugs and make sure they’re in areas where people will not be walking.

Don’t place any decorations (or anything, really) near candles. Blow them out before bed.

Watch your fire in the fireplace and don’t let anything get near it. Again, make sure it is fully out before going to bed.

If you have any space heaters or a portable patio heater outside, place them out of the way. As with everything else, turn them off before bed.

Keep an eye on your cooking. It is easy to get caught up in talking, greeting guests at the door, and enjoying your glass of wine. House fires are at their peak in the winter not only because of heating mishaps, but also because of the kitchen.

###

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Holiday Plumbing Issues

Posted on: December 12th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

With everyone coming over for the holidays, how can you avoid any major plumbing issues when there are many more people in the house using the toilets and sinks more than usual?

Before guests arrive, make sure there is a plunger in each bathroom. If you have a clogged toilet, a plunger will often be the solution. If you need extra help, use chemical drain cleaners or a drain snake. Turn off the water to the toilet first.

If you have a clogged drain, try a chemical drain cleaner, then a snake pipe, then if those don’t work, check the j-trap, which is the J-shaped pipe under your sink. Take it apart to see if the clog is in the j-trap. If it isn’t, the clog is further down the line, and you will need to call a professional plumber.

Be mindful of what you’re putting down the garbage disposal. (Don’t put eggshells, grease, etc. down it.) If yours does get clogged, though, you’ll notice that it is taking longer than usual to work. Your blades may need to be sharpened. You can do this by running a few ice cubes through the disposal. You can also press the reset button on the bottom of the unit.

If you don’t have hot water or the unit is leaking at the base, your water heater is broken. This means you’ll have to call a plumber. If your water heater is working, though, but you’re running out of hot water, it could be caused by sediment in the water tank. You will have to flush the unit. It could also simply mean your water heater is getting old. Of course, it could also be due to more people using the water than usual!

###

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

Prevent Laundry Shrinking

Posted on: December 11th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

We’ve all been there—you pull out your shirt or dress or pants from the dryer and see that they’ve shrunk. How can you prevent this? And what do you do if it happens?

It may sound simple, but don’t wash your clothes—or at least those that tend to shrink—very often. The more you wash and dry, the more shrinkage will likely happen. In the colder months, wear under layers so that you can keep your beautiful sweaters and blouses clean.

Wash with cold water, which is not as damaging on the fabrics as hot and warm water. This will also save you some money on heating water.

Use the gentle cycle. This is especially important with cotton, wool and cashmere. Furthermore, hand wash very delicate items.

Air dry your clothing. Loosely woven or knitted items can be rolled out in a towel and left on a flat surface. Don’t hang clothes on hangers because the weight from the water will make the clothes stretch. At the very least, dry on a low setting and take clothes out when they are still a bit damp. This will also save you some money on your power bill and lengthen the life of your dryer.

Wool and cotton items in particular can shrink easily. If you have an item that has shrunk, take the item and soak it in lukewarm water mixed with a capful of baby shampoo for ten minutes. Do not rinse. Squeeze the excess water out and lay it out on a flat surface to dry. While it is still damp, gently stretch the item back to its original form.

###

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

 

Remove Snow Without Damaging Your Home

Posted on: December 11th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

You might be dreaming of a white Christmas, but when we actually do get snow, how do you clear out your driveway, walkway, porch and deck in a way that won’t damage your property?

Make sure your equipment is ready to work. Use the correct fuel for your products to make sure you don’t permanently damage them. Drain the gasoline tank when equipment won’t be used for a month or more.

Remove large amounts of snow in layers and before it is packed down by cars and walking.

Don’t use ice picks on driveways or sidewalks because they can damage the surfaces.

It is helpful to stake the driveway with markers before the snow hits.

As for de-icing products, some may damage the flooring in your home or your plants, and some may harm your pets. Here is what you need to know:

Sodium chloride (rock salt) is common and cheap. However it doesn’t work well if the temperature is below 25 degrees. It can also leach into soil, changing the chemical balance and bringing it to a toxic level.

Calcium chloride is not as harmful to your land but can leave a residue that can be damaging to tile and carpeted flooring as well as your pet’s feet. It is much more expensive than rock salt but you use much less. It also works well at extremely cold temperatures.

Calcium magnesium acetate is even more expensive than the aforementioned options, but it is salt-free and biodegradable. It is not harmful to the environment. It is less corrosive to concrete than salt.

To keep yourself safe, don’t bend at the waist, because it puts too much pressure on your back muscles. Lift with your legs apart with your knees bent and back straight. Shovel small amounts at a time.

###

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

Signs Your Water Heater Will Fail

Posted on: December 2nd, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments


Your water heater will give you signs that it is about to fail. Pay attention to make sure you are prepared.

Rusty water coming from your water heater can be a sign that it is rusting on the inside and might leak soon. Check if the water is only coming from the hot side piping in your home. If you have galvanized piping, though, it may be your pipes that are rusty. Do a test by draining several five-gallon buckets of water out of the water heater. If the water is still rusty when it comes out after several buckets, the water heater is most likely the issue.

If your water heater is more than 10 years old, think about replacing it. Look for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker. This is on the upper portion of the water heater. The serial number will have the date that the water heater was manufactured. Typically, the first letter will represent the month. For example, “A” means January, “B” February, and so on. The two digits after that represent the year. For example 06 means 2006. If your code doesn’t look like that, check with the manufacturer.

Listen for rumbling or banging as your water heater heats up. Sediment builds up over time up on the bottom of the tank. As it is heated, it will harden after years. This is a sign that your water heater is not going to last much longer.

Look for moisture around your water heater. You might have a small leak or fracture in the tank. Heated metal expands, so a fracture would lead to leaks. When the metal has cooled the inner tank will stop leaking. Make sure the overflow pipe is not leaking. Check the fittings or connections to the tank. If they are dry, you may need to replace your water heater soon.

There are ways to help prevent a failing water heater if yours isn’t on its last legs, including inspections twice a year.

###

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

 

Set Up for Odd Shaped Rooms

Posted on: November 27th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

It is more or less impossible to find the perfect house. So, for many of us, we are stuck with one oddly shaped room in the house that we don’t know how to set up and decorate.

How can you work with the shape? Take note of where your cable outlet and electrical outlets are located. (Also look for the phone jack if you have a home phone.) This will dictate many of your furniture and set up choices.

Look for lighting. Windows and overhead lights will be your starting points. Then, if you need more light, look for the outlets. Lighting will help determine you set up, as you’ll want more light in reading areas or spaces where people will gather. You may also want a variety of lighting options to change the mood of the room as needed.

If you have a fireplace, it is often a good idea to make that a focal point. It doesn’t have to be the only focal point in a very large room, but rather can be the center of a cozy gathering area.

Look for a space that you can make into a conversation area. Don’t line up the furniture along the walls. This is particularly important if you have a very large or oddly shaped living room. You can make separate the room into two spaces used for different activities, such as watching TV, reading, or sitting with guests. Some easy ways to do this are using furniture, such as a bookcase turned on its side (use it for display) or a couch. You can also use a rug to make a certain part of the room feel cozy and separate. (Gather the furniture around the rug.)

Place your anchor furniture and move the pieces around to see what flows best. A coffee table, chairs and a sofa are good places to start.

Don’t be afraid to try different set ups and take a step back to reevaluate.

If you need to add more built-in lighting or electrical outlets, it is best to contact a professional.

###

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Light Up Your Home

Posted on: November 21st, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Whether you’re sick of tripping over things in the evenings or want to create a certain ambiance, lighting can make a huge impact in your home. Different types of lighting will work best in different rooms. What should you consider for your home?

General lighting, also known as ambient lighting, helps to create the overall mood of your home. When you are looking for general lighting, first take note of your other lighting systems in the room to make sure additions or changes will flow well. For example, you don’t want dim overhead kitchen lighting with overly bright cabinet lights. Recessed lighting is a good choice for your everyday tasks as well as to accent a room.

Accent lighting brings attention to the features of your home, such as interesting architecture or artwork. Track lighting is a good choice for this purpose. Track lighting is easy to install and versatile since the direction of each head can be individually adjusted.

Task lighting is what you want in work areas, such as around countertops and tables. For desks, a simple desk lamp will likely suffice. For the bathroom mirror, you can get rid of shadows by placing vertical fixtures on both sides of the mirror.

Think about smaller areas as well. Adding some pantry, cabinet and closet lights can make your daily routine smoother. Fluorescent light fixtures under the upper kitchen cabinets will offer bright light without producing heat.

It is crucial to make sure your lighting plan is functional and easy for your lifestyle. You don’t want a remote-controlled closet light if you’re the type of person who loses things easily.

###

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

Repurpose Your Dining Room

Posted on: November 21st, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

You may be getting a lot of use out of your dining room during the holiday season, but what about the rest of the year? If you don’t typically use it as a place to eat, you might be thinking about reworking the area of better fit your needs. Plenty of families use the space for homework, paying bills, storing items, etc. most of the year.

If you don’t mind a big project, look into an expanded kitchen. We spend plenty of time in the kitchen, so adding more space where the family can gather makes sense. Knock down the walls connecting the kitchen and dining room (get a professional) and make one large space! If you don’t want to go that far, you can simply put an island or shelving in your dining room for food or storage of pots, pans and other items.

Another easier option than knocking down walls is to transform the dining room into whatever room is needed. If you need a play area, make it into the kids’ toy room. If you want to use it as a game room, go for it. If you use the space primarily for homework or bills anyway, why not turn it into an office? This can be a very inexpensive project. Remember, there is no rule that you have to have a formal dining room or that you have to use the space as intended. Think outside the box. You will need to consider lighting and electrical setup. You may need to add extra lighting or change the lighting, or get creative with how you arrange the furniture.

###

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Small Bathroom Storage

Posted on: November 18th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Your bathroom is one of the smallest rooms in the house, but—especially with a large family—is often used. If you have a small bathroom, how can you maximize your space to store more than you expected?

The inside of your cabinet doors is a great, unused space. Put in some racks to hold hair dryers and any products you want to be able to grab easily.

If you’re looking for new cabinets, look for those with plenty of storage.

If you have kids and need a step stool, get a storage step stool. This way you can store soap, bath toys or other items.

For the kids’ toys, use a storage basket that attaches to the sides of the tub. This can also hold other items as well. These are lightweight and easy to clean.

Use wall-mounted racks and shelves to add storage on empty walls. One great space is the area above the toilet. If you don’t mind reaching up high, put in as many shelves as you can up towards the ceiling, or get a tall shelf. This will maximize wall space.

Install hooks on the underside of your shelves to hang washcloths and towels.

Add a ledge-style shelf over the sink and underneath the mirror to give you a little extra space for makeup or small toiletries. This will also make them easy to access.

Use space outside of your bathroom if possible. You can store extra towels in the hall closet or add a small shelf just outside the door for a few more items.

If you’re looking for more space, but not necessarily more storage, consider a pedestal sink. These have a small base (think of a stem with a flower at the top.) They are great for half-baths. Get a trusted professional to install.

###

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

 

 

Make Your Home Safer

Posted on: November 18th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

With 2 million home burglaries reported each year, it is important to make your home as safe as you can. Whether you only have a little bit of money to spend or quite a bit, there are plenty of options.

Use a heavy-duty deadbolt on your front door.

Use timers to keep lights on at home when you’re not there. Some will turn on randomly throughout the day or night, some can be set ahead of time to a specific time or increments of time. Some will work with only one appliance, others are power strips and can program several appliances.

Keep your car locked, whether it is outside or in the garage. Keep valuables out of sight—or better yet, out of your car.

Lock your windows and doors when you leave the house. Even when you are home, do not open windows more than four inches.

Install plenty of outdoor lighting around your home. Motion sensor lights are a great idea. Don’t forget to over all of your bases—make sure there aren’t large blind spots around your home. Security lighting should be up higher off of the ground, shining downwards to cast a big area of light, as well as prevent burglars from tampering with the lights. Make sure that your wires are hard to access. Lighting is also important for the safety of your family and guests walking around at night.

Store valuables in a safe place.

Consider an alarm system. There are many different options including motion detector, video monitoring and sirens.

If you’re an animal person, consider getting a large dog or two to deter burglars.

###

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!