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!

 

Neglecting your HVAC unit by Central Carolina Air Conditioning

Posted on: August 17th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

One of the most important but often neglected pieces of equipment in your home is your HVAC system. What if we told you that an often forgotten piece of your HVAC system could easily get dirty and cost you hundreds more on your electric bills and shorten the life of your unit? DSC04885
Dust and dirt build up on the evaporator coil over time and reduce efficiency. (Note: this is different from the condenser/compressor coils.) The evaporator coil is inside the air handler and it cools the air blown across it and into the house. You may have an idea that something is wrong because your AC unit is not blowing cold air, or the airflow is very weak.

Experts say evaporator coils should be cleaned at least once a year, especially if the filter is not changed regularly—about once a month.
Here’s the thing though—you can save yourself time and money in the first place by simply changing your filter regularly. If, however, it’s been a year (or, let’s be honest, several years) you’ll want to hire a professional to clean the coil, as it is usually located in a spot that is difficult to access, and a professional and check to make sure nothing else is wrong.

If you do decide you’d like to try on your own, it is best to do it only if the coils are not that dirty. You’ll need to turn off the AC and shut the electricity to the air handler off, and you can use a foaming coil cleaner that you’ll spray directly onto the AC coils. You’ll need open the access panel to do this.
After that, it is best if you can start making an effort to change your filter regularly. Simple measures to keep your home cool and your bills low!

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!

 

Wasted Money: Phantom Loads by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical

Posted on: August 11th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

A “phantom load” is anything that still uses electricity while plugged in, even if it is turned off. In today’s tech-savvy world, we’re spending more than most of us realize or would like to be spending on these phantom loads every day. How many of us leave our cell phones or laptops on their chargers long after the batteries are full? Or never unplug small kitchen appliances?

Phantom Load Caution Sign

Phantom Load Caution Sign

Here are some of the common culprits:

-cell phones

-laptops

-DVD players

-game consoles

-DVR

-printers/copiers/scanners

-coffee makers

-microwaves

 

Some of these cost more than others. For example, the set-top box DVR has been shown to cost an average household more than $30 per year, according to calculations from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. A coffee maker, however, will probably only cost you a dollar or two.

So how do you cut back on these energy suckers?

-Unplug as many things as possible when you leave for the day, or especially for a trip.

-Consider buying ENERGY STAR appliances for future purchases.

-Use a power strip for some of the items, so that you can just unplug one thing and it will take care of all of those items at once.

-You can also consider getting a Kill-a-Watt meter to test your appliances to see how much electricity they are really using. This may be particularly helpful if you’re getting ready to make a big purchase and want to consider the ENERGY STAR options.

 

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!

 

Refer a Friend, Get $50 by Central Carolina Air Conditioning

Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Have a friend that could benefit by our service? We’d love to give you $50 for any referrals you pass along! These must be first time customers but we’ll send you $50 as a thank you! Click below to get started!

http://www.ccair.com/residential/Info/Refer-A-Friend

$50 Refer a Friend

How An Air Conditioner Actually Works by Central Carolina Air Conditioning

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

Did you know how an Air Conditioner unit actually works?

Obviously it keeps your home cool during the summer. But do you know how it actually works internally do this? DSC04885

Air conditioners move the air in two different directions- indoors and outdoors. In order to cool the air indoors, it operates as a dehumidifier by taking the humid air and reducing its volume causing it to release a portion of its moisture.  Hence the need for drains and pans near or attached to your air conditioning units.

The hotter the day, the harder your air conditioner unit has to operate to cool off the indoor temperature.  There are several major parts to your air conditioning unit that work together to cool off your home. Any of these parts can go out causing your air conditioning unit to stop working.

  1. Evaporator – Receives the liquid refrigerant
  2. Condenser – Facilitates heat transfer from one area to another
  3. Expansion valve – monitors refrigerant flow into the evaporator unit
  4. Compressor – A pump that pressurizes refrigerant

Oftentimes people believe they have to replace their entire air conditioner if it stops working.  We will discuss more how each of these parts work in unison to cool the air in your home.  But in the mean time, know that we are able to review all of these parts to see if only one of these components need replacing first.

Have a question about your air conditioning unit or do you need air conditioning repairs? Call us today to schedule an appointment so we can review and diagnose what’s happening in your home. 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!

 

The Great Anode Rod

Posted on: July 20th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

water heaterSo, you may have never heard of the anode rod in your water heater.  But it is working to save you money every day.  What is it?  This simple steel core wire, wrapped in another metal – usually magnesium, aluminum or zinc sits in your water heater and keeps it from rusting.

In order to understand how this works, you have to understand how rust works.  Corrosion is a natural process where metals are oxidized – oxygen molecules attach to the metal and cause it to deteriorate.  This is a result of electrolytes leaving one metal and attaching to another.

This process is continuous.  It goes on all the time without us taking much notice.  Anode rods are a way to counteract this process.  Anode rods ‘absorb’ the oxygen particles.  They are more active than the metals they are designed to protect and intercept those particles instead of the metals they are meant to protect.

Since it works in a protective fashion, it is important to replace those rods before they are exhausted.  If you don’t you expose yourself to risk for rust.  One way to do this is to inspect your anode rods each year.  Typically, you can expect to get five years out of your anode rods, but you should check every year as individual water quality determines rod length of life.

So, what material is best?  Magnesium is the most common, but it is not good for hard water.  Aluminum stand up to hard water but have been linked to common illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease.  Zinc rods are similar to aluminum but also contain zinc to counteract sulfur.

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!

Five-point Electrical Inspection just $25!

Posted on: July 13th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Sometimes, you don’t know you have a problem until you REALLY have a problem.  Get ahead of the problems with our amp meterfive-point electrical inspection.  For a limited time, Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is offering a five-point electrical inspection for just $25!

The five point inspection includes:

  • Infra-red scan – we will scan through out your home for hot spots in the electrical system.  While you may not have experienced any problems with your outlets, these hot spots can be dangerous.  In fact, electrical problems are one cause of house fires.
  • Tighten all panel connections – In order to prevent arching we will tighten all panel connections.  These connections become loose over time and tightening them will provide for reliable services.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detector – fire and carbon monoxide detectors are an important way to ensure you and your family makes it out of your home in time in the event of a fire or faulty equipment.  We will test them, change the batteries if needed and make sure your devices are compliant.
  • Load balancing – we will check your breaker panel and make sure your electrical load is balanced.  Too much on either side can lead to higher power bills.
  • Test ground fault outlets – we will check all of your ground fault circuit breakers (the ones with the reset button) to make sure they are working properly.  These outlets protect you in and around water, so this is an important step in keeping your home safe.

But hurry, this offer is only for a limited time.  Promotion expires on August 15, so book today by calling 1-800-461-3010.

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!