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.

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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.

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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!

Get Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving

Posted on: November 10th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Getting your home ready for Thanksgiving—and all the holidays that follow—can be exciting, but also a huge chore. However, you don’t have to scrub your house from top to bottom. With a few tasks, you can get your house ready for all the people and of course, the food.

A week or so ahead of time, schedule your biannual HVAC inspection and cleaning to make sure it is in top shape before everyone arrives. The last thing you need is for your heating to go out.

The main area to focus your cleaning on is the kitchen. Wipe the counters, sweep the floor, empty the trash, and make sure all the dishes are clean and put away. If you don’t want to have a huge pile of dishes to do later, make sure to get some paper plates and disposable cups/silverware. Make your home smell like fall by boiling a few orange peels and cinnamon sticks and then letting it simmer.

Make space for extra tables and chairs if needed, and if there will be kids, make a space for them to eat and play as well. Cover the electrical outlets if there will be babies or toddlers.

Prepare as much food as you can ahead of time, especially if you’re the main cook.

Clear out a place for guests to hang coats and bags. If you don’t have a coat rack or enough room in the closet, make a bed in one room and designate that as the coat bed.

If you’ll have overnight guests, wash the towels and bed linens and make the beds.

Clean the bathroom that guests will use.

Vacuum in the areas where guests will be.

Lastly, put on some music and pour yourself a glass of wine!

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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!

 

 

Clean the Fireplace

Posted on: November 10th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Sitting by the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate in your hands… what a delightful vision. To make the vision come true, you should get your fireplace ready first so that it works well and you stay safe.

Start off by removing the ashes from the fireplace with a fireplace shovel if you didn’t at the end of last season. Put them into a bucket. Throughout the winter, make sure that the ashes don’t build up to a depth greater than about 2 inches.

Use a shop vacuum with a filter bag to remove any ashes or other dry debris that are left.

If you want to remove the soot and fire stains from the firebox, spray on soapy water and let it sit for about 30 minutes. When the reside looks like it has softened, scrub the surface with a stiff wire brush.

Use a metal brush to remove rust and debris from the damper. Wear eye protection and gloves. Also, check that the damper mechanism works properly so that the damper can open and close.

Check that your chimney cap is in good shape and that is not clogged with leaves or debris.

If you have animals that get down into the chimney, a wire screen will keep them out.

Check the mortar between the bricks to make sure that it is not cracked or flaking away. Check the flashing where the roof meets the chimney and make sure that there is a watertight seal around the flashing. Patch it up with caulk if needed.

If you’re tired of dealing with all of this, consider a gas fireplace.

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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!

Garbage Disposal Dos and Don’t’s

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

 

Fall is here and that means staying indoors and cooking up a storm during the colder days and holidays. That can also mean a lot of work for your garbage disposal. How should you maintain yours? When do you replace it?

Don’t put these foods down your garbage disposal: egg shells, onion skins, celery, corn husks, as well as hard foods such as seeds, popcorn, peach stones or bones. Don’t put any non-food item down the disposal. This is also bad if you have a septic system.

Keep it clean! Regularly pour a natural cleaner such as baking soda and vinegar down the inside to clean up the sludge. It is best to avoid harsh chemicals and cleaners.

Do not put fats and grease down your disposal, as they will clog it up. . Let fats gets solid and put grease in the fridge to make it solid. Then throw away. Even still, while running the disposal, use cold water. Hot water liquefies and leftover greases and fats.

Turn on the cold water every time you run your disposal while the food is being chopped up. You should also keep letting the water run for at least another 10 seconds after you turn the disposal off. The water will bring any remaining particles out of the disposal and will assist in flushing the pipes.

If your disposal is clogged do not use your hands to reach inside! Use pliers or call a professional if needed. You will most likely have to get your garbage disposal replaced every 8 to 15 years depending on your model and how often you use it.

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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!

Mystery Wall Switches

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

 

You flick the switch—and—nothing. Whether you’re going through the rooms in your new house or you would like to finally figure out that one switch in the home you’ve lived in for years—how do you do it?

A switch in a kitchen cabinet may be for a garbage disposal. Sometime appliances like this have been removed, but the switch is still there.

Gas fireplaces often have a hidden switch.

Look in your attic if the switch is near it. It may turn on a light or exhaust fan in there. Exhaust fans have a thermostat that can as a secondary switch to turn the fan on only when it is hot in the attic. It may seem the switch works in the winter.

Usually furnaces and air conditioning handlers are connected to a circuit breaker or pull-disconnect in a metal box, but sometimes it is a simple wall switch. If you accidentally flick the switch, the system will not run.

Some fans are operated with a remote control, and turn on by a switch. If a fan doesn’t have a pull-chain, this may be the case.

Switches near doors that lead outside may be for floodlights, post lights, or other lighting on your porch, patio, or yard. These are often forgotten about, so remember to change the bulbs. Otherwise, you may flick a switch and it may appear it doesn’t serve anything, but it actually serves than light in the corner of the house with the dead bulb.

If you just can’t figure a switch out and you really want to know what it is for, you can remove the face plate and see if it is connected to any wires. You’d have to turn off the circuit breaker and test with a non-contact tester. This can get tricky and would best be done by a professional.

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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!

Winterize your Garage Items

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

The items we store in our garages can last longer if we take some steps to store them properly as the weather cools down. Cold and wet garages are not great for your possessions. What are some simple steps to take to winterize the items in our garages?

  • Lubricate your garage door and put (or fix) weather stripping around it.
  • Stretch out your garden hose on a downward slope to drain out all of the water and then coil it up.
  • Clean and sterilize your rake and shovel to get rid of any diseased plant material. Take a bucket or other container and fill it with sand and mineral oil and then dunk any smaller tools into the mixture to prevent rust.
  • Make sure the gutters around your garage—and whole house—are clear to prevent them from leaking and caving in.
  • Clean the grass off of the undercarriage of your lawn mower and sharpen the blades. Also, run in until the gas tank is empty to prevent corrosion.
  • Put extra fuel into a steel jerrican with a flame arrestor and do not store it for more than a month. Gas with ethanol should be mixed with a stabilizer so it doesn’t deteriorate.
  • Clean or replace the air filter in your backpack leaf blower. Drain the fuel. Disconnect the battery cables and replace dirty spark plugs.
  • Get your snow blower ready by changing the dirty oil if you haven’t already. Replace shear pins. Also, check the shave plate for wear and tear.

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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!

 

 

Clean Air Ducts

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

About once a year it is a good idea to clean out your home’s air ducts. (Let’s be honest, most of us have never—or very rarely—done this.) It can help to only keep your home cleaner but also help those who have allergies and asthma and households with pets. It also helps your system last longer, thus saving you money. How do you do it?

Lift up or unscrew the registers and wash them with soap and hot water and let them air dry.

Next, use a dryer vent brush attached to a cordless drill to clean inside the ducts. Then, use your vacuum cleaner hose with the dust brush attachment to get down further down into the duct and vacuum up anything that has been dislodged.

You can also use a damp microfiber cloth to get down into the duct and wipe the interior. You can also use an all-purpose cleaner with the cloth. Make sure to rinse it out often during the process.

Lastly, wipe off the floor and wall around the duct.

You can also consider installing vent register filters. These are helpful if you have furry animals that shed a lot and children who may drop things into the floor registers!

You’ll get to most of the dirt and dust with the steps above. However, if you want to go even further, remove end caps from rectangular duct work, slide the drives off the duct and pull the cap out. You can again use your vacuum hose here. You can also remove the basement registers to get more access to the main trunk line.

This is a good time to remember to change your HVAC’s air filter and get your system inspected.

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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!

 

 

Major Plumbing Issues

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Plumbing issues left unfixed can lead to huge costs down the road. The problem is, most of us don’t even know when something is wrong—or don’t realize when something seemingly small is actually a big deal. Here are some big things to inspect whether you’re buying a new home or have lived in yours for years without thinking about these things.

A leak at the base of the toilet can go unnoticed or unaddressed for years. Over time, though, the water will get in between the floor and subfloor and rot the subfloor. Look for discoloration or warping around the toilet’s base. Also, check the flooring around the toilet by stepping around the area to see if it is soft or if it moves. Check to make sure the toilet bowl does not move or rock when grabbed. Movement means it has a bad seal or the flange is not secured or the toilet is not secured to the flange.

If your sewer line has clogged get a professional plumber to not only unclog it, but also inspect it. Over time the line can deteriorate, which not only means more clogs, but the line could also collapse completely. A major repair or even replacement would cost quite a bit.

Depending on water quality, maintenance and how your water heater is being used, this important piece of your home should last approximately 10 years. They are typically out of your sight, so take time to inspect it. If it leaks, will it damage flooring, closets or the garage? Water heater pans can help a little bit, but will overflow easily. A plumber can check whether or not it is up to code and working properly. The manufacturer can tell you the age of it from the model and serial number. You’ll also want to make sure your water heater is the right size for your house. You don’t want a small heater with a large family. You can also save money by replacing a large model with a smaller one once the kids have moved out.

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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!

Mulching Your Leaves

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Once you’ve finished cleaning your gutters, next up is getting the leaves off of the lawn. Mulching is much easier than raking, and the organic matter breaks down and releases nutrients. It also keeps the leaves out of landfills. Mulch can also reduce development of some weeds, like dandelions. So if you want to try it this fall, how do you get started?

You can mulch with a regular lawn mower by taking off the grass catcher off your mower and setting the blade to its highest setting. It may take a few passes to get the job done. However, it is better to use a mulching mower or mulching blades. This is because they break down the leaves into smaller pieces with decompose faster, instead of sitting around on your lawn possibly blocking the sunlight and water and even getting sticky and moldy after rain.

A good rule of thumb is to not mulch constantly, but rather do it in between raking or leaf-blowing sessions. If the leaves are clumpy and not spread pretty evenly, or if there are simply too many leaves, it can kill the grass. If you do decide to do it more often, make sure to do it once a week or so—before the leaves become too much to handle. You cannot wait until the leaves are piling up five inches high—get to them sooner. You’ll also want to mulch when it has been dry.

If you’re using a regular mower and afterwards you cannot see any grass at all, reattach the bag to the mower and go through one more time. Add the mulched leaves from this round to gardens beds or a compost pile.

Microbes and worms recycle the carbon from the leaf bits, and microbes can do their job better with nitrogen. You can get lawn food to help break down the leaves even faster.

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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!