Archive for October, 2016

How to Use Smoke Detectors Properly

Posted on: October 27th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

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With daylight savings time ending soon, it’s that time of year to change the batteries in your smoke detectors and test them. The National Fire Protection Association says 3/5 of home fire deaths are in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Furthermore, do you have enough smoke detectors in your home and are they placed properly? This is crucial regardless of whether you’ve been in your home for years or you’re buying a new home.

First, if your smoke alarms are at least 10 years old, replace them. If you don’t know how old they are, look at the back to see the date of manufacture. If you have combination smoke-carbon monoxide alarms, replace them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Where do smoke alarms go?

  • Smoke alarms should be inside every bedroom as well as outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • If you have a level without bedrooms, smoke alarms should be put on the ceiling at the bottom of the stars leading to the next level.
  • All smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance so you don’t set off the alarm while cooking!
  • Since smoke rises, smoke alarms should be high on walls or ceilings.
  • If a ceiling is pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within the apex of the peak.
  • Don’t put smoke alarms near drafty areas, such as windows, doors, or ducts.

One thing to consider—interconnected smoke alarms offer the best protection. When one smoke alarm sounds they all do. Interconnection uses hard wiring or wireless technology, and this is where a good electrician comes in if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself.

Lastly, when testing smoke alarms, immediately replace any smoke alarm that does not respond properly when tested. When replacing a battery, follow manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or manufacturer’s instructions.

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!

Common Heating Mistakes

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

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Want to help prevent your heating bills from flying sky high this winter? While weatherstripping your windows and regularly inspecting and tuning your heating system are great ways to make sure the heat in your home is used efficiently, there are more things you can do to help. You may have already thought of some of these ideas while others may come as a surprise to you because you’ve been doing the opposite all of these years! Below is some advice to help you make sure you’re doing all you can to maximize the work your heating system is doing for you.

Curtains aren’t just decoration or a way to keep the sun out of your eyes. In fact, they can actually help keep the cold out, or let the heat in, when a warmer afternoon comes along. Draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10%. During the cold months make sure to close them at night. Hang them as close to windows as you can and let them fall onto a windowsill or floor. Consider hanging several together to create a tighter air space.

Leave all of the vents open. Many people believe that closing vents in one area of the house that isn’t used as much would help send the heat to the more commonly used areas. Well, it doesn’t work that way. All of the vents need to be open for the HVAC system to work properly.

Don’t blast the thermostat to quickly warm up the house. On a day when the temperature changes drastically, turning up the heat very high suddenly will not heat the house up faster and can increase your bill.

Don’t keep the heat low at certain times of day. Some people like to sleep when it is cooler while others like to turn down the thermostat when they go to work because they think it will save money. This can actually backfire because the system then needs to work even harder to adjust back to a higher temperature when you decide you want it to be warmer.

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!

Warm Up with Heated Floors

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

 

You’re getting out of your warm bed to go to the bathroom and yikes! You step onto a freezing bathroom floor. Well, that doesn’t have to be the case this winter if you install radiant floor heating. Below are a few options for you to consider:

Electric Radiant Heating

Electric radiant heat uses electrical cables, sometimes attached to a mesh padding, installed over your subfloor. Your choice of flooring is then installed on top of the electric cables. That said, you don’t even have to remove your existing floors if you don’t want to. Instead, you may consider installing the cables underneath your subfloor. To do this, you’d need to access your joist bays through a crawl space or basement.

Radiant heating works best with ceramic tile and vinyl. Electric radiant heat is the less labor-intensive option of the two choices and is less expensive to install. However, it can increase your electric bill slightly. By keeping the heated floor in smaller areas such as bathrooms—while using programmable thermostats—you can keep the cost low.

Hydronic Radiant Heating

With a hydronic system, a boiler is used to heat water, which is contained in water tubing that runs throughout the house, to between 100 to 120 degrees. The tubing can be embedded in a concrete slab or over an existing slab. It can also be fitted into specially designed panels. This type of system can be used with any type of flooring, but you may want to use engineered wood instead of hardwood flooring, which can warm with high humidity. A hydronic system has higher installation costs than electric radiant systems, but can cost less monthly with lower thermostat settings and higher efficiency. Experts often recommend this type of heating for larger areas.

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!

Winter Warning: Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

Posted on: October 18th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 
Many of us are already turning on the heat—and this is just the beginning of the fall and winter season. When it’s cold outside and your bills start skyrocketing, all you want to do is warm up your house. While it can be tempting to come up with alternative heating solutions, some ideas you may consider can be unsafe.

Though an open flame has obvious safety concerns, carbon monoxide exposure has its own dangers. Persistent carbon monoxide exposure can actually cause memory loss, severe lung injury, brain damage and even death. You can never be too safe when dealing with a substance that can be so dangerous. So how do you keep your house safe?

  • detectorGrills, generators, and any burning devices that run on gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal should not be used inside the house — not even in the garage or basement, or an area that is only partially enclosed.
  • Do not burn anything in a stove or a fireplace that is not vented.
  • A common cause of winter fires — as well as carbon monoxide poisoning — is heating your home with a gas oven. This is very unsafe and should not be done.
  • If you use a space heater, it should be properly vented while in use, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Do not run a car or truck engine inside the garage that is attached to your house. This is unsafe even if you have left the door open.
  • Make sure to have carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and just outside of any sleeping areas.
  • If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, you’ll want to move quickly outside and call 911.
  • Even if an alarm doesn’t go off, if for some reason you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous, get medical help quickly.

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!

It’s Humidifier Season

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

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Now that we’re deep into fall and winter is just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about humidifiers for your home.

Not only can dry air lead to dry skin, lips eyes and sinuses, but it can also make your symptoms worse when you’re sick and create more problems if you have respiratory issues. Dry air is also not good for your wood flooring and furnishings.

Typically, a good humidity level will be between 30 and 50 percent. If it is very cold outside, the level should be about 30 percent. If it’s not as cold, it can be closer to 50 percent. Some humidifiers will measure the levels in a room.

Many homeowners use small humidifiers in several rooms in the house, especially the bedrooms. Usually these can run up to 24 hours or so before needing to be refilled. If you need more moisture for a larger area, you can consider console humidifiers or whole house humidifiers.

Different types include cool mist, warm mist, and ultrasonic humidifiers. Cool mist versions put out a room-temperature mist and are a good choice for the kids’ rooms because there isn’t a risk of them getting hurt from mist that is too hot. Warm mist versions may use a bit more electricity to warm the water, but may also put out cleaner mist because the heating process kills germs. Ultrasonic versions come in both warm mist and cool mist types, and are very quiet.

If you’re using an older humidifier, keep in mind that a moldy, bacteria-filled humidifier will only make things worse. Some are harder to see into than others, and if you haven’t properly maintained yours, it may be a good idea to get a new one. To keep yours clean, use distilled water and clean it every few days by rinsing it out, then rinsing with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Empty it out as soon as it is no longer being used.

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!

Has Breast Cancer Affected Your Life

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

How has breast cancer affected your life? Have you or a loved one been affected by breast cancer?  By sharing your story, you offer hope to others thinkpinkgsoaffected by this difficult sickness.  We will donate $3 on your behalf to the Northwest Susan G Komen office here in the Piedmont Triad so  women here locally can receive free mammograms!

 

Visit ThinkPinkGSO.com and share your story!

 

Deep Clean Those Carpets

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

With the holidays approaching, everyone wants clean, beautiful carpets. However, more time inside during the fall and winter often means more accumulation of dirt in your carpets. So what are your options if you want your carpets clean? You can hire a professional, rent a heavy-duty carpet cleaner, or invest in a quality carpet cleaning system for a few hundred dollars, allowing you to clean as often as you like.download

If you decide to purchase your own system, look for one that has separate tanks for the cleaning solution and water. Since you have to refill the water more often, this will make refilling easier. Another feature to look for — especially if hauling it up and down stairs — is portability. It’s also a good idea to look for a cleaner that isn’t too big and heavy. Lastly, if you need to clean stairs, look for attachments that will make that easier.

Before setting out to deep clean your carpet, vacuum. You don’t want all the hair and dog fur clogging up your carpet cleaner. Next, spot treat any stains. There are many ways to go about this. One natural and commonly used method is using vinegar. Mix 2 tablespoons of borax with ½ cup of vinegar for most dark stains. For a spill that just happened, pour baking soda over the area, wait a few minutes, then wipe.

Next, carefully read the carpet cleaner’s instructions and within minutes you’ll be on your way to a cleaner carpet. When you’re finished, let the carpet dry thoroughly before using the room. If you want to speed up the process, a floor fan can help.

When you’re done, not only will your carpets look cleaner, but they will also make your home more hygienic overall and improve the quality of your air, making your home more comfortable for guests — especially allergy and asthma sufferers — this holiday 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!

Seal Those Basement Cracks

Posted on: October 5th, 2016 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Sealing cracks in your concrete or masonry basement walls may be at the bottom of your home maintenance priority list, especially if you don’t use your basement very often. It’s not something to be ignored though, because fixing these problems can lower your energy bills and help prevent water damage and other serious issues.

But how do you fix them? Follow these simple steps:

1 – First youfoundation’ll want to buy a caulking gun and epoxy-based sealant. (Kits are available that contain all of the items you’ll need.) Clean any gaps with a wire brush and shop vacuum then make sure the area is dry and clear of debris.

2 – Mix the sealant according to the instructions. (Some may come in a pre-mixed tube.)

3 – Some cracks will only need one coat, but others will need more. If that’s the case, make sure the first coat dries before applying the second coat, then smooth the area with a putty knife. Know that epoxies strengthen and bond with the concrete to prevent cracks from expanding.

4 – If you are sealing an expansion joint, install the backer rod. This provides a filler that helps keep the sealant in the joint and also reduces the amount of sealant needed.

5 – Leave the area alone for 24 hours.

6 – Check to make sure the sealants have bonded, and you’re done.

That said, if you have a crack that horizontal or runs along the foundation, this is likely a more serious issue, so don’t try to tackle that on your own — call a professional. If there is moisture, mold, or water damage, this is also an issue that will likely need to be handled by a professional.

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!

Reduce Holiday Water Bills And Plumbing Strains

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

With fall upon us, you’re likely already planning for the upcoming holidays, especially if you don’t live near your relatives. Although it can be an enjoyable time of year, it also means lots of planning and preparation if you’re the host. It can also mean a strain on your plumbing system with extra people staying in your home, for days or even weeks. So how can you keep your water bill low and your plumbing in good shape?

  • Have everyone keep his or showers short. Not only will less water be used — which is good for your bill — but everyone will enjoy a hot shower.
  • Consider installing a low-flow showershowerhead head before everyone arrives. This can reduce the amount of water used while showering by up to 50 percent. In addition, you’ll continue saving long after everyone heads back home.
  • Make sure to keep hair out of the shower drains and leftover food out of the kitchen drain. This will help keep your system running smoothly and is especially important if you have a septic system.
  • Don’t wash dishes by hand. You’ll typically use less water by running a full dishwasher—and it’s less work for you! If you want to rinse the dishes first, it’s better to fill the sink partially with water instead of running the tap.
  • Don’t run dishwasher or washing machine until you have full loads. This reduces the number of times you’ll have to run them, thus saving money.

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!