Archive for September, 2016

Why Have Your HVAC Checked?

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

 

We are all counting pennies these days. And while it’s tempting to let things like HVAC check-ups slide, those inspections can be critical to preventing bigger problems with larger dollar amounts attached to them. Experts recommend having your HVAC system inspected twice a year, just as you test and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

DSC04885Why get the inspections done at these particular times of the year? Simply because it’s best to check things out before seasons that you’ll be using your HVAC heavily — such as mid-summer and mid-winter. Having the inspection done every spring and fall will help keep everything in working order and prevent you from spending more in the long run.

Another benefit to having your HVAC cleaned regularly is monthly electric bill savings. According to the Department of Energy, about 25-40 percent of heating and cooling is wasted in a home. And if a system is dirty, the problem is exacerbated so the system has to work even harder, wasting more of your hard-earned cash.

Seasonal cleanings and check-ups also ensure your indoor air will be cleaner and better for you to breathe. Especially during winter months, when we are inside for longer periods of time, this is important. For those family members or house guests with allergies or asthma, fewer pollutants mean fewer problems.

So you’ve scheduled your HVAC maintenance? What now? When your technician is on site for the inspection, take note of what they’re doing. Good technicians will not only replace your filter, they’ll check on the evaporator coils, ducts, and wiring, as well as your thermostat, among other things. So take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions and observe to learn as much as you can about your home’s HVAC system.

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!

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!