Archive for February, 2017

Planning & Budgeting Major Spring Projects

Posted on: February 25th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Spring is often a time when we want to do several home projects as well as home maintenance, especially outdoors. The fact is, this means we’ll also be making a dent in our wallets. That’s why budgeting and planning is a good idea.

So what are some of the major projects people take on and what are the costs you will likely run into? Let’s take a look:

Pressure Washing- 

  • You can buy a decent pressure washer for a few hundred bucks. Those that are gas powered typically have a higher pressure rating than those that are electric, but will cost you more—generally at least $300-$400.
  • Renting a pressure washer will cost you about $40-$80 per day, depending on the type of equipment.
  • Hiring a professional to do the job will cost less than a dollar per square foot, but that adds up fast. This can be especially pricey if you wash your driveway, deck, patio, etc. in addition to your home. Prices can start as low as about 8 cents per square foot.

Lawn Maintenance- 

  • Services including mowing, weeding, trimming and pesticide treatment typically cost about $200-$400 per year. Think about how much time you have to dedicate to this task and how good your equipment is. Many people find that the cost to hire professionals isn’t more than buying and maintaining a quality lawnmower and equipment.

Window Repair- 

  • It typically costs about $3 per square foot to replace ordinary glass. A single pane window is about $50. Costs go up depending on the type of windows, or any other additional work. Rotted wood, broken seals, old weather-stripping will all increase your costs. However, having good seals will reduce your energy bill! On average homeowners pay between $100 and $400 per year on window replacement or maintenance.

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 Ready for Spring Cleaning 

Posted on: February 24th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Spring may be more than a month away, but it is never too soon to start thinking about spring cleaning and getting your plan together. One of the best ways to take on this massive project is to break it down. Plan to spend several weekends or days off completing your list instead of trying to do it all in one day. How can you get started?

First off, make a list of what you’d like to get done. One person’s priorities are entirely different from the next person’s. Here are some things that many of us don’t often get around to that you may want to include:

  • change air/furnace filter
  • get HVAC inspected
  • shampoo the carpets
  • change the batteries in the smoke/carbon monoxide detectors (you should do this twice a year)
  • dust crown molding and baseboards
  • dust ceiling corners
  • get scuff marks off of the walls/baseboards
  • dust ceiling fans, light fixtures and lamps
  • touch up paint
  • vacuum or wash window curtains
  • dust blinds
  • clean windows
  • polish wood furniture
  • vacuum furniture
  • deep clean hardwood, tile, linoleum flooring
  • clean air vents
  • have chimney cleaned/inspected
  • schedule termite or pest control maintenance
  • wash window screens
  • power wash siding of the house/porch/walkway

Next, make a list of supplies you’ll need, buy them ahead of time and talk to family members about who is in charge of which projects. Make sure to be realistic about how much time each task will take and be realistic in your goals.

Do not go over your allotted time for one task, as it will lead to everything else getting behind. If you do end up having to do this, cut out something later in the day. Also—take some breaks! Come up for air once in a while and enjoy this beautiful weather!

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!

Considering a Gas Fireplace?

Posted on: February 22nd, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Perhaps you’re tired of chopping wood, or you just want a new look. Gas fireplaces can be a great addition to your home, whether you want to install it now to use for any cold weather that may be around the corner, or you’re thinking ahead to next fall. What does the set up look like and what should you know ahead of time?

Many models come as inserts and do not need a chimney or an existing fireplace, but some will need outside ventilation. It should also be placed where installation of a gas line, an electrical circuit, and an exhaust pipe will be convenient. It is usually best to install a stand-alone gas fireplace on an exterior wall so the venting pipe can go straight out the wall. You will also need a platform.

You’ll install the exhaust piping at the top, or back, and when you figure out where the hole for the exhaust pipe will be placed, trace a circle around the pipe at the wall. Then move the fireplace platform and the fireplace out of the way so you can cut the hole for the direct venting system. Make sure that there aren’t any electrical lines or pipes in the area. Drill a hole from the inside through the outside.

Frame the inside edges of the opening with lumber. Insert the wall-pass-through. Inside the house, put high-temperature caulk on the inside surfaces of the hole. Install the remaining piping according to the instructions.

If you aren’t comfortable doing the installation yourself, hire a professional. That said, to ensure your safety, hire a professional to install and connect the gas line and electricity.

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!

Types of Water Filtration Systems

Posted on: February 16th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

We all need water. We all want clean water. So if you want to be sure your family has the cleanest water, what type of water filtration system should you purchase? It depends on how much you want to spend, what contaminants you want to remove, and how much work you’re willing to commit. Here are some of the primary choices:

Carbon/Activated Carbon: There is a wide range of carbon filters. Some only remove chlorine and improve taste and odor. Some remove a wide range of contaminants, including asbestos, lead, mercury and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Keep in mind, though, that activated carbon cannot effectively remove common “inorganic” pollutants such as arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium, nitrate and perchlorate.

Ceramic: Ceramic filters have small holes throughout the material that block solid contaminants such as cysts and sediments. They do not remove any chemical contaminants.

Deionization: These kinds of filters remove mineral salts and other electrically charged molecules (ions) from water. They cannot remove non-ionic contaminants (including trihalomethanes and other common VOCs) or microorganisms.

Reverse Osmosis: This process pushes water through a membrane that blocks particles larger than water molecules. It can remove many contaminants not removed by activated carbon, including arsenic, fluoride, hexavalent chromium and nitrates but doesn’t remove chlorine, trihalomethanes or VOCs. Many systems do include an activated carbon component. Reverse osmosis filters use 3-to-20 times more water than they produce, so they are only used for drinking and cooking water.

Water Softeners: These devices typically use an ion exchange process to lower levels of calcium and magnesium. They do not remove most other contaminants.

When shopping, if you’re looking to remove a particular contaminant, verify that it is certified for that contaminant by a reputable, independent agency.

Also, read the fine print. Some filters are labeled “NSF certified.” This is a reputable company, but its certifications are not all the same.

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 Hazards Often Overlooked

Posted on: February 15th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

 

Every homeowner knows the list of home repairs and maintenance is never ending. Although it may be daunting to think about everything needed to maintain your home, it is important to remember things that are easy to overlook. Here are some hazards to keep an eye out for that can wreak havoc on your health and your wallet if not addressed.

Improper dryer exhaust venting causes thousands of fires every year. Over the years lint buildup restricts the airflow in your dryer, which leads to increased fire danger. It is a good idea to regularly check your aluminum vent hose to make sure it is not crushed or kinked. Once a year is a good rule of thumb. Also, clean your vent line regularly. If you are not comfortable trying it yourself, call a professional.

An inefficient water heater is another commonly overlooked problem. Not only will it reduce efficiency and lead to higher bills, but a faulty water heater can also be unsafe. It has the potential to explode, damaging your home and possibly hurting people. Inspect it regularly, and again, if you don’t know what you’re doing, call a professional.

Leaky plumbing may not be top of mind, but it wastes a lot of water and leads to unnecessarily high bills.  Furthermore, leaky pipes, or other water-related issues such as clogged gutters, can lead to water damage as well as mold and mildew. A plumber can fix these problems before they get worse.

Lastly, environmental threats such as asbestosradon gas and lead paint can damage your home and your health. You can test for these things on your own with an at-home test and a specialist can direct you towards the course of action you need to take if you need.

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!

Hiding Unsightly Power Cords

Posted on: February 9th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Maybe you’re tired of looking at a tangled mess of cords around your TV stand or under your desk. Or, maybe you’re trying to make your home safer (especially important with young children). What are some ways you can hide your electrical cords? Here are some options:

  • First, unplug the appliances, clean up around the area and untangle! You can label the different cords with bread clips or pieces of masking tape that you can label and wrap around the cords.
  • You can clip the cords together with binder clips if you want a hassle-free solution and don’t mind if it doesn’t look perfect. Or, you can use a cord spiral wrap to make the cords blend in better with your background.
  • Use packing tape to affix the cord to the back of a table leg, TV stand, desk, etc. Or similarly, use adhesive hooks/clips.
  • If you have many electronics on your nightstand, put a power strip inside your top drawer to hide it all.
  • A creative, yet simple solution, is to use a box of some sort to put all of the cords into and sit it on your desk, TV stand, or other surface. This won’t hide the entire length of the cords but will make a big difference.
  • If you don’t mind a little bit more work, get a paintable cord cover. Measure the wall to figure out what length you need. You may cut it if needed. All you have to do is mount it to the wall and put the cords in, then paint the cord if you wish.
  • If you don’t mind even more work and you’re very tech savvy, use flat wire on the wall and paint over it. This is exactly what it sounds like—wiring that is flat instead of round. Low-voltage wires look like copper strips encased in film, so they are safe to touch.
  • Lastly, if it’s a wall-mounted TV you have — while probably the most labor intensive but most effective — you can feed cords from your TV through your wall where they will be hidden. If this is the route you choose, you may wish to engage a professional electrician to help.

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 Fix a Leaky Faucet

Posted on: February 9th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

It’s the annoying reality of being a homeowner. You will have issues you need to address, and there isn’t a landlord to take care of it for you. Plumbing is a common area in which homeowners see problems — especially, the trusty leak faucet.

So what steps can you take when you have a leaky faucet? First, turn your water off to all parts of the sink and take off any decorative parts of the handles/knobs.

Next, loosen the screw that connects the handle to the stem of the knob. (You’ll need a flat-head screwdriver.) Once you remove the screw, you can use WD-40 if needed to help take the handle off. After that, unscrew the packing nut with a wrench. Then remove the stem. (Some pop off easily while others need to be twisted.)

If everything so far looks good, take a look at the O-ring and washer inside the valve seat, as they are commonly the cause of leaks. Remove the washer and put in a replacement. Make sure the replacement washers and O-rings fit exactly. Check to see if the sides fit a flat or cone-shaped washer. It’s not a bad idea to take the old O-ring to the store to make sure you get the right size. Another option is to buy a packaged set that includes many different sizes.

You’ll then put everything back together—washer/O-ring, stem, packing nut, screw, handle. Then test to see if you have fixed the leak. Turn the water back on and turn the knob slowly.

If the faucet is still dripping then it may be corrosion in your valve seat. If time has passed and it has not been cleaned it can lead to leaks near the spout. Other common issues include loose parts or worn-out seals. If you cannot figure out the issue, or even if you can, but know you cannot fix it, call a professional plumber. It is best to not wait too long as these issues only get worse.

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!