Plan for Easy Breathing in Your Home This Winter

Posted on: September 23rd, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

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During the colder months we tend to spend more time indoors with windows closed tight. Although that might keep you warmer, it doesn’t tend to help the air quality inside your home. To protect your air quality, it’s good to understand the impact various issues can have on your indoor environment, especially humidity and indoor pollutants.

In the winter, the humidity level in your home can decrease because the cold outside air doesn’t hold as much moisture. As warmer air escapes the home, colder air from outside replaces it. If the outside temperature is 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit, the recommended relative humidity is 35-40%. If the humidity level drops below 30% you may start to experience nose, throat and eye irritation as well as static electricity. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to place humidifiers throughout the home.

Another concern for your indoor air quality is radon — a radioactive gas produced by uranium decay (Uranium is in soil and rocks.) To prevent radon from entering your home, seal the cracks and openings around the foundation and be sure to properly maintain your HVAC system. If you’re concerned about radon in your home, you can purchase a home test kit from your local hardware store.

While humidity and radon are specific issues that can affect your air quality indoors, remember that pollutants also come from a variety of sources like household chemicals, dust, animal dander, etc. To reduce their impact, make an effort to limit chemical usage since you aren’t opening windows as much and vacuum and dust on a regular basis.

If you suffer from asthma or allergies, air purifiers are a great investment that can make a significant difference in your comfort level indoors. Having your ducts cleaned regularly will also help with allergies and your overall indoor air quality so that you and your guests can enjoy the coming holiday and winter season.

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!

Save Money By Using Your Fireplace This Winter

Posted on: September 22nd, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Depositphotos_11377528_s-2015A wood-burning fireplace brings to mind images of happy holidays, hot chocolate, and relaxing with family and friends. But did you know using your fireplace can save you money by keeping your electric bills lower? Indeed they can, but only if maintained and used properly. So what do you need to know to start saving?

  • Before use, have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year before using it. This will not only keep it in good working condition, but also keep you and your family safe from preventable fires.
  • To maximize savings by using your fireplace, make finding a source of free or inexpensive wood a top priority. If you don’t have wood on your property, chances are, someone you know does. Or, you can check Craigslist and other online resources for wood. Neighbors may have small trees they’d like cut down or branches they’d like picked up, and that’s where you come in. Other sources may have already chopped the wood for you and you’ll just need to pick it up. Remember, the wood usually a few months to dry, so you’ll want to make this a priority. 
  • When your fireplace is in use, close your doors throughout the house. Oxygen and heat are pulled from the inside of the home to the fireplace. If you close the doors to the other rooms, it can help to keep the entire house warmer.
  • If you have a ceiling fan, put it to use! Many ceiling fans come with a backward setting that pulls heat from the ceiling towards the floor. If used along with a fireplace it can help spread the heat around the room.

While you’re getting your fireplace ready, take time to address these additional safety tips: 1) Take time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors each fall 2) Be sure to keep anything flammable far away from the fireplace and 3) Check that the smoke coming out of the chimney is clear or white.

 

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!

 

Home Safety Tips for Halloween

Posted on: September 16th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

It’s that time of year when pumpkins begin appearing around every corner as our signal that fall is near and Halloween is fast approaching. So whether you’re having a big costume party this year or simply getting ready to greet trick-or-treaters at your door, it’s a good idea to make sure your hofirepitme and yard are safe ahead of time.

Amidst all of the Halloween preparations, this is a task that is easy to forget. Here are a few things to remember while setting up:

-Think about how people will be walking when setting up decorations. For example, it wouldn’t be a good idea to use a fog machine in an already dimly lit area or to set up items on the ground right in front of your porch. You can still make decorations visible without putting them in the way.

-Light up the yard and walkway well. This is especially important if there are small hills or dips that could be a hazard. Furthermore, you may want to block off these areas or at least mark them with a sign.

-Don’t overload electrical outlets or use extension cords in areas where people would walk. If you absolutely need to use an extension cord, tape or staple it to the ground.

-Check any electrical decorations you consider buying for certification marks for safety such as UL, CSA, and ETL.

-Use battery-operated candles instead of traditional candles in your jack-o-lanterns as a safer lighting alternative.

-Keep cornstalks and other flammable materials away from any decorations, or fire pits, that do have an open flame.

-Last but not least, make sure your front yard, front porch area and driveway are clear of debris such as tree branches, yard equipment, etc., minimizing items that could cause trick-or-treaters to trip or fall.  You never know which way children will enter your yard and amidst all the excitement, trick-or-treaters are likely to be running with one goal in mind: TREATS!

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!

Lower Your Energy Bills This Winter

Posted on: September 14th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

It may be hard to think about when it’s still so warm out, but cooler weather will be here before we know it. And that means it’s time to get your home ready to keep those energy bills low and your family warm. Here are a few ideas to help you do just that:

• Have your heating system checked by a professional. While you’re at it, make sure to check your heating ducts for any leaks.

• Look for areas where air can leak out of your house. An easy way to identify the location of drafts is to light a candle and move it around windows and doors to  see where it flickers. If you do find holes, seal windows with caulk and buy stick-on weather stripping from the hardware store to fix drafts around your doors.

• Ensure you are properly maintaining your wood burning fireplace and it will be one of the easiest ways to reduce your energy bills. So don’t forget to stock up on that firewood!

• Close the damper on your fireplace if it’s not in use. The chimney allows warm air to escape the room.

• Insulate your attic if you haven’t already done so.

• Purchase a water heater insulation blanket from your local home improvement store. Though these specialty blankets don’t look like the blankets we use in our homes, the idea is the same. This is a surprisingly affordable and smart purchase because it keeps heat in and the hot water heater does not have to turn on as often, saving you money

• Insulate the water pipes. Look for uninsulated hot water pipes along the walls or ceilings. If you don’t know which ones they are, put your hand near them to feel the heat. Polystyrene insulation is an easy fix as it slips on over the pipe and helps the water heater to not work as hard, keeping the warmth in longer.

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!

Fall Weekend Project: Insulate Your Attic by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric

Posted on: September 7th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Now that we’re starting to see a bit of cooler weather break through the hot streak, it is time to think about insulating your attic. This can lower your heating bill this winter by at least 10 percent according to the Department of Energy. Furthermore, it can also help in the upcoming summers by stabilizing the temperature in the home.attic-insulation-installation-service

Blanket insulation is the most commonly used insulation for attics, but you can also consider recycled and natural alternatives as well as loose-fill insulation. Loose-fill can be used in areas where using blanket insulation would be difficult, such as smaller, harder-to-reach spaces. Also, loose-fill insulation is easier to carry into the attic. However, it may take longer.

First you’ll want to measure your attic to see how much you need to buy at the store. The minimum R-value recommended is R-30 for hot climates, R-38 for those in the middle, and R-49 for cold climates.

Once you purchase it, do not open it until you’re inside the attic— or, at the very least, close to it. This way, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up a huge mess later. Make sure to wear protective clothing and eyewear while handling insulation.

Next, roll out the insulation, butted up against each piece. You’ll want to make sure there aren’t gaps. You can cut it to fit as needed. If there is any electrical hardware, cut a big enough hole for it to prevent overheating. Lift any wires above the insulation.

Lastly, you may want to consider insulating the pipes and if you want to convert the attic into a living area, check on the regulations on the amount of insulation required.

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!

 

Electrical Safeguards for Dorm Rooms

Posted on: September 7th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

it may be hard to believe but it is already time for school! If you have a teenager or 20-something that just moved into the dorm, or a student living in their first apartment, you can help them keep their living area safe. Fire departments respond to an estimated annual average of 3,870 structure fires in dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and barracks, according to the National Fire Protection Association. How can you help keep them safe?

-Don’t put cords underneath carpets and doors.59c19d34b2d4f7524bac65a7c3135674

-Don’t connect several extension cords.

-Keep in mind that extension cords wear out after awhile and should not be used as long-term solutions when there isn’t an outlet available.

-Don’t overload outlets, power strips, or extension cords. This can be easy to do with all of the laptops, cell phones, tablets, TVs and other technology that they’ll want to plug in.

-Make sure the correct light bulbs are used for lamps.

-Be careful with cooking equipment! Most of the fires at college are due to cooking. Find out what is and is not allowed in the dorm (as many have very strict rules) and always follow the appliance instructions and unplug when not in use.

-Avoid using candles (again, they may be prohibited anyway).

-If you have any questions, be sure to ask. Many dormitories have older wiring, so a resident advisor may be able to tell you what to expect.

-Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to keep you eyes safe also. Make sure to have some good lighting for that late-night studying! Point a lamp with an opaque shade directly at the desk.

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 The Dark by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric

Posted on: August 30th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

As daylight saving time ends, we know we’ll likely be outside in the dark pretty soon—whether we are taking out the trash, bringing the kids trick-or-treating, or entertaining guests on the back porch. Many of our homes do not, however, have great outdoor lighting. This is not only important for daily use, but also for any possible emergencies. Where should outdoor lighting go?led

The front door—One fixture with a high-wattage bulb is common, but if you’re looking to remodel, two line-voltage (120V) lanterns on each side of the door, with low-wattage bulbs, are a good way to minimize glare.

Walkway—Low-voltage fixture type of lights come in various styles, with ground stakes and support stems often sold separately, so you can set up different heights. The lamps range from 4 to 20W.

Driveway/garage— Get a few low, shaded low-voltage spread lights. Put lights in the trees, pointed down at the driveway. You may also want a motion sensor light to turn on only when someone enters the space.

Deck or patio—In addition to a floodlight on a wall, you can also add string lights or other decorative lights. You may want to consider lights that are specifically designed to keep the bugs at bay. Or, you can try to put the lights overhead instead of at a low level, to lure them upward. Dimmers are also a good idea so you can adjust the amount of light as needed.

If you’re the handy type, you can have a go at trying to install lighting on your own, but for many homeowners, it may be a good idea to hire a professional for installation.

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!

 

How to Prepare Your Yard for Fall by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric

Posted on: August 30th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Fall is North Carolina is absolutely gorgeous—the colors of the leaves are stunning! For many homeowners, though, they can be quite a nuisance. So how do you keep all those leaves from scattering all over your property and your home and creating a big mess? And how can you actually put the leaves to good use on your lawn and in your garden?raking leaves

If you live in an area that doesn’t have a ton of trees, you can probably get through the season by simply mowing your lawn— leaves included. You’ll want to set the lawn mower to the highest setting to keep from cutting your grass too short so that it doesn’t die. If, however, you live in a more woodsy area and have too many leaves to handle, you have a few options. (Keep in mind most homes within city limits will have strict rules on leaf burning. Even in areas that permit it, expect permits and/or limited time frames when it can be done.)

Tarps- An easier way to rake is to get a big tarp and rake a space to lay it down, and then rake the rest of the leaves onto the tarp. When it is full, pull it to the curb or pour into trash bags, depending on your town’s policies.

Blowers- You’ll have to be cautious not to blow the leaves onto your neighbors’ property or into the street, but this is another easier option. You may want to look for one that has a mulching option. Within the Greensboro City limits for instance, they want you to blown them onto the street and the trucks come along and scoop them up.

Lawn vacuum- This piece sucks up the leaves into a big bag and then you empty it.

Leaf scoops/grabbers- these looks like giant claws and make it easier to grab a bigger pile of leaves at once than you might get with a rake.

If you shred your leaves, you can use them on your lawn and garden! To protect plants, use a 6-inch blanket of leaves. To enrich your soil for next year, mix the leaves into your garden. You can also add them to your compost pile. Remember, water cannot get through whole leaves, so they will need to be shredded to use. You can also add some slow-release nitrogen fertilizers to assist with leaf decomposition.

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!

 

Are You Ready for Hurricane Season?

Posted on: August 24th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

It may be calmer lately in the Atlantic than expected around this time of year, but NOAA recently released its updated forecast for this hurricane season, and it expects the rest of 2016 to be the most active season since 2012. So, is your home ready for a possible storm? We may not get the bulk of the damage in the Piedmont, but we can certainly see some effects.

A car goes through the high water as Hurricane Sandy bears down on the East Coast, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Ocean City, Md. Governors from North Carolina, where steady rains were whipped by gusting winds Saturday night, to Connecticut declared states of emergency. Delaware ordered mandatory evacuations for coastal communities by 8 p.m. Sunday. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

What do you need to do and have?

An important part of preparation is to have an emergency supplies kit. This should include:

-One gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days.

-Non-perishable food (enough for at least 3 days.)

-Pet food

-Can opener

-Battery-powered radio

-NOAA Weather Radio

-Extra batteries

-Maps

-Flashlight

-First aid kit

-Garbage bags

-Maps

-Dust masks

-Contact information for your local emergency management offices, hospitals, Red Cross and you property insurance agent

Another important part of preparation is making an emergency plan. Make sure to pick a meeting place away from home and go over the plan with all family members. This includes your pets and any family members that may have special needs— make sure to have plan in place for their care. Figure out alternative routes to get to your safe place.

It is always a good idea to check out your hazards risks with FEMA’s Map Portal and see your flood risk with the FloodSmart.gov portal.

Before the hurricane hits, bring in any items from outside that can be easily moved by the wind, such as toys, bicycles tools and lawn furniture. Fill your car’s gas tank. Turn your refrigerator to the coldest setting so that food will last longer if the power goes out.

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!

 

How to Maintain Your Septic System by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric

Posted on: August 19th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Septic system maintenance

Some homeowners may be wary of the idea of a septic system if they don’t know much about it or think that its too much work. In reality, though, a septic system can be very easy and low maintenance as long as you use some common sense and make sure to maintain it. Your septic system should be professionally inspected and pumped at least every 3 to 5 years. You may consider having this done sooner rather than later if you have a large home with many people living in it, and/or you have a smaller tank.

Image source: A.D. Call & Sons

Image source: A.D. Call & Sons

Of course, a large part of maintaining your septic system is treating your pipes with TLC! Here are some important but easy ways to reduce the strain on your system:

-Reduce water usage wherever possible

-Try to spread out use of the washing machine throughout the week instead of doing all your laundry in just one day

-Do not flush anything besides toilet paper (and when shopping, look for “septic safe” types)

-Don’t pour food or grease down the drain

-Don’t use a garbage disposal

-Don’t use chemicals for a clogged drain, as they can destroy helpful bacteria (instead, you can use boiling water or a drain snake)

-Don’t drain water from your swimming pool or hot tub into the septic system

-Keep trees/roots away from you drain field

-Keep cars, trucks, ATVs, storage sheds or anything very heavy away from your drain field

-Divert rain water away from your drain field

 

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!