Archive for April, 2016

Installing Dimmer Switches

Posted on: April 28th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

dimmer

Looking for a way to set the mood in your dining room or bedroom?  One easy way to change the mood and feel of a room is to install a dimmer switch to adjust the lighting.  During the day, you can turn the lights all the way up and turn them down to a more subdued brightness at night to soothe your soul.

In order to install a dimmer switch you will need to gather your supplies and tools first.  You will need:

  • A small screwdriver
  • Pair of needle nose pliers
  • Electrical tape
  • Dimmer switch kit (available as a rotary dial and as a slide bar)
  • Wire nuts
  • Wall plate of your choice to accommodate the new switch

First, turn off the power, because safety is first.  Next, remove the switch plate and the existing light switch.  Pull the switch out from the wall and remove the connections.  Note that wire nuts may be holding the connections together, or in newer construction it may be a push in connection.

Next, connect the new switch according to the instructions included in the package.  Typically, you will connect same colored wires to one another to create the right connections, but you should always follow manufacturer instructions.  Using your screwdriver secure the new switch in place in the box in the wall.  Follow with a new wall plate that matches your décor and the new switch shape.  Next turn the power back on and check to make sure your light works as desired.

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!

 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors – What you need to know!

Posted on: April 26th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless and colorless gas that can have deadly consequences.  This gas is produced when fuels detectorlike wood, charcoal, kerosene, propane or natural gas are not completely burned.  Also, equipment with internal combustion engines can produce carbon monoxide gas.

Most cases of CO poisoning occur because of malfunctioning appliances and heaters.  Gas appliances should be checked by a professional at least yearly to ensure that they are functioning properly and not producing carbon monoxide gas.   In between annual  tune ups and check, owners should check equipment monthly to look for obvious wear and damage.

A second leading reason for carbon monoxide poisoning is the use of internal combustion engines in confined spaces.  Severe weather, like we typically see here in North Carolina during the spring and summer may have you looking to hook up a generator.  While this is a great way to keep the power on during storms, always make sure to keep it outside and away from open windows/doorways to keep fumes out.  Also, never allow your car to run while in a garage.

Because the gas is colorless and odorless, and the result of poisoning are increased fatigue and confusion,  a detector (with fresh batteries) is the single best way to protect you, your family and your pets from poisoning.  Good quality detectors can be purchased at most home improvement stores or online.  Look for two in one carbon monoxide/smoke detectors if you want to install only one unit.  Elderly residents and those that meet certain income guidelines may even be able to get detectors for free through the fire department.

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!

Heaters and Water Heaters in Attics

Posted on: April 21st, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Heaters and Water Heaters in Attics by CC Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electricwater heater

Do you have a heater or a water heater in your attic?  While not common in temperate climates like we find in North Carolina, it is more common in colder climates where attics are warmer than crawlspaces.  So, what do you need to know if you have an attic installed water heater or heating unit?

First, make sure that the water heater is installed in a pan so that if a leak occurs, the pan will catch the water rather than it leaking into your home.  Second, you will need to check this pan often to catch leaks before they overflow the pan. Consider adding an overflow pipe that flows to the exterior of the home in case the pan fills up.  This will allow the over flow water to discharge to the outside when the pan fills so that you do not have to check it as frequently.

Remember that if the unit breaks, there are challenges to making replacements in the attic space.  Maintenance to prevent breakdowns is critical for this reason.  On water heaters you can consider replacing heating elements rather than the complete unit in order to make the repairs simpler, but remember this can only be done for so long.  Eventually you must replace the vessel itself.

If your heater is in the attic the advice is much the same.  Make sure to keep the equipment well maintained so that you can prevent breakdowns.  Also make sure to allow clearance around the equipment as recommended by the manufacturer.

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!

Tree Roots and Sewer Lines

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

drain

Do your drains run slow?  You may think that it is a clog, but it could be an invasion of tree roots!  That’s right – the beautiful trees that line your street or your drive can be causing your drains to run slow.  Here’s how it works – tree roots can grow into your sewer lines through small cracks – especially in clay pipes that were popular fifty years ago.  The roots invade through the small cracks and as they grow they can make those small cracks into big cracks, eventually causing a complete blockage when they collapse!

So what can you do?  First, prevention is key – but you don’t have to cut down all your beautiful trees.  Instead, you can put a root killer down the toilet to work through the sewer lines and kill the invasive roots. You will want to be careful though as this is a strong chemical that can  be toxic.  You’ll also want to make sure in advance that you don’t have a pipe collapse or rupture.

Second, consider calling a professional to scope out your pipes.  Most plumbers have tiny cameras that they can send down your pipes to see any blockages and remove them.  These cameras will also give you a good idea of the overall condition of your pipes, which can help you diagnose and prevent future problems.  When in doubt about your pipes, always look to scope them before tackling any repairs.  This way you will know exactly what the problem is and where it is, so that you don’t dig up your entire back yard!

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!

Insulate Pipes to Save Money

Posted on: April 15th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

pipe water

With winter over, the thought of insulating pipes is probably not high on your list.  Instead your attention is likely turning to how to optimize your air conditioner. But now is a great time to consider insulating pipes too!

To start, check all of your pipes for visible leaks.  In all likelihood, your pipes are already insulated with some type of insulation.  Most pipes are wrapped in a foam material that looks much like a pool noodle.  The foam material is usually slit on one side so that you can slide it off easily to look at the pipes.  If you see any visible leaks have them repaired before the leaks cause damage.

Next, look at your insulation to determine whether or not you need to replace it. If it crumbles as it comes off it is a good time to consider replacing it.  If any insulation is missing, you will want to replace that as well.  Replacement insulation can be purchased very inexpensively at most hardware stores.  Simply fit the slit tube over the pipe.  Use tape to hold the insulation in place.  The materials sold today will provide you with much better insulation than those of 20 years ago.  If you suspect asbestos insulation call a professional to check it out before you attempt to remove it or do any work.

While this is not typically the time of year that you consider replacing insulation, the investment of your time now will save you money later.  In addition, it is warmer and moving around under your home will be much easier now than in the heat of summer or the bitter cold of winter.

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!

Preparing for Spring Wind Storms

Posted on: April 12th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

This past weekend we had some incredibly strong winds here in the Piedmont Triad. Most whwind damageo have lived in North Carolina for any amount of time know that windstorms are just a part of spring in our state.  The winds that are a hallmark of March often continue here until late April and even into May as weather patterns continue to shift.

So, how can you prepare you and your home for the high winds that come in the early spring?  First,  consider trimming trees and bushes.  Winter weather can wreak havoc on plant material.  Ice accumulations can cause weak branches to break off during the winter, or weaken limbs.  In strong winds these can come down on power and telephone lines, causing a disruption of service.  Start early by removing these before they become a problem.  Small branches can usually be handled by the homeowner but consider a professional for large limbs.

Second, look around your home and identify any objects that could be dislodged by high winds.  Either weight these items down or secure them to larger objects.  Bungee cords are great tools to use to secure things like trashcans to decks or patios.  Items like patio furniture cushions or covers should be brought inside if possible.  If you can’t bring them in consider using rope or bungee cords to secure them to heavier pieces like furniture.

Finally, keep a weather radio at your home and at the ready in the event of storms.  While you may not always have enough warning to secure your property from high winds, we want you to protect your most valuable possessions – you and your family. In the event of a tornado or micro burst go to the innermost room in your home, away from windows and mirrors and in the lowest point in your home.  If you are in a mobile home seek shelter in another structure.  If on the road, stop and seek coverage under a bridge/overpass or even in a ditch, taking care to protect your head until the danger passes.

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!

Update Your Thermostat

Posted on: April 8th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Update Your Thermostat by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and ElectricalDSC00372

Is your thermostat old?  If it was installed more than a decade ago, it is probably time to think about replacing it for a newer, more efficient one.  Old style slide, or analog, thermostats are not able to precisely determine the ambient temperature and therefore may not be able to accurately determine the need for heat or air conditioning response.  If your hold thermostat is just one degree off from what the temperature really is, it can cost you about 3% more on average each year.

If you are going to replace your current thermostat, consider an electronic, programmable thermostat that will allow you to adjust the thermostat program throughout the day, and even the week based on you and your family’s needs.  While you know you will be away, you can set the temperature higher during the summer months when no one is in the house.  Conversely, you can set the temperature lower during the winter months if no one is home.   By adjusting the temperature based on the time of day you can expect to cut your operating costs by anywhere from five to fifteen percent annually.

You can even make adjustments for the weekends when usage  patterns differ.  Finally, you can override the settings at any time if needed.  This allows you flexibility while still saving you money.   In addition to the cost savings from not operating the system as much, you will extend the life of the system by not taxing it quite as much.

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!

Keep the Pollen Out, and Keep Your Sanity

Posted on: April 6th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Keep the Pollen Out, and Keep Your Sanity001

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies?  If you are like most who suffer, you likely have noticed the yellowing on every surface here in North Carolina the last few weeks.  So, while you have to suffer to go outside, do what you can to minimize your exposure while you are inside.

Keep pollen from invading your home.  This may seem like just plain common sense but remember that pollen can get in more ways than just one.  Keep windows and doors shut both in your home and while driving to reduce the amount that is able to get in.

Also remember that pollen can come in on you!  That is right – some pollen comes in on your clothes and shoes each time you go in and out of your home and car.  To minimize the amount you bring in with you remove additional layers of clothes before entering your home.  Remove your shoes too.

So if you can’t open your windows, and the weather is getting warm you will have to run your air conditioner.  Set it to recirculate the air in the home rather than pulling in fresh to keep as much pollen out as possible.  You will also want to make sure that your whole house filters are replaced each month so that any allergens that do get in get trapped in the filter.

Finally, make it a habit to dust your furniture regularly with either a liquid spray or a trap and lock cloth.  Vacuum and mop your floors regularly to gather up any remaining pollen.

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 Clean Your Oven Glass

Posted on: April 1st, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Do you ever clean the glass in your oven and then turn on the oven light and it still doesn’t look good? It could be that you are cleaning the exterior glass and overlooking all the grease on the inside of the door.oven_cleaner_2 (1)

The good news is that it is easy to make that glass sparkle!  To clean that glass, make a paste of baking soda and water.  Take a clean, damp cloth and rub the paste on the inside door of the oven, scrubbing the glass to remove the built up grease.  Let the solution sit for up to 15 minutes to loosen the grease.  Scrub with the baking soda paste a second time.  Wipe down with a damp cloth to remove the paste.  Repeat until all of the paste is removed, rinsing cloth frequently with clean water.  Finally, use a cloth soaked in vinegar to remove the final traces of backing soda and to polish the glass.  This will also serve to deodorize the oven.

If that doesn’t work, then try this method using a product from Norwex we’ve heard works really well. It’s an all natural, non-toxic cleaner for your oven or grill.

Heat your oven to 100-125 degrees and then turn off. Spray the cleaner on the inside of the door and let sit 10-15 minutes. Take a small scrubbing tool (like mesh) and scrub away the filth and grease. Wipe down with a wet cloth to get rid of the soap and grime, and then with a clean, dry cloth.

Won’t it be nice to see the inside of your oven again?

 

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!