Archive for August, 2017

Laundry Room Safety

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

 

The laundry is where many house fires start and injuries occur. It’s a commonly used part of the home but most of us don’t keep it properly cleaned or maintained. How can you make yours safer?

First off, the dryer. Clean your lint trap after every load and clean with a nylon brush every few months. Deep clean your ducts and vent when you notice a decrease in dryer performance or at least once a year. It is a good idea to do this more often if you have pets or a large family. While checking your dryer ducts, make sure they are not plastic, which can be a fire hazard. If they are, replace them with straight or flexible metal ducts. Check the vent’s output for any blockages, such as leaves or bird nests. Lastly, keep the area around your dryer free of clutter and make sure there is proper airflow around it.

Next, the washing machine. Check hoses at least once a year for bulging, cracking, fraying, and leaks around the ends. Even if there aren’t any problems, replace hoses every 4 to 5 years. Make sure there are at least four inches between your washing machine and the wall to prevent hoses from kinking. Also, keep the machine level so it does not damage the floor during the spin cycle. Put a drip pan underneath the washing machine so it does not damage the floor is there are any leaks. This is especially important with an upstairs laundry.

A few last tips: keep a fire extinguisher nearby, don’t overload the washing machine, and clean the washing machine regularly.

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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!

 

Creative Storage Solutions

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

 

Whether you don’t have much space in your home or you just want to find some alternative ways to make more room around your house, take a look at some creative storage solutions.

Think beyond the horizontal. Make better use of your space by hanging up slim, long wire baskets to keep clutter at bay or put up a narrow shelf in a small nook to store books or photos. You can also put up hooks for robes, accessories, or jewelry storage.

Get rid of desk lamps and standing lamps and instead install more overhead lighting. This will clear up some space and even make it look tidier without all of the wires for the lamps.

Use furniture tricks to hide items. One example is to use a pretty table skirt to cover baskets and other things. All of those pesky wires behind your nightstand or TV stand can be gathered up and put into a decorative box with a hole cut out in the back.

Look at where you already have some shelves up and see if you can squeeze in another shelf underneath or above those for a little extra storage space.

Store items under your beds if you have the space. To make your items easier to get to, use rolling bins instead of the usual plastic containers.

Lastly, minimalize! Get rid of extra stuff. The less you have, the less you have to store. Most of the time we have more towels, dishes, and clothing than we really need.

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

An Unresponsive Furnace

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

Your furnace is one of the most important parts of your home and one of the most costly to repair. So what do you do when it appears to be broken?

If your furnace isn’t working, first try simply changing the filter. Often this is the issue. (This should be done at least once every few months– more often if you have allergies/asthma.)

You’ll also want to see if there is an indicator light on the furnace circuit board. If you see it and it is flashing, look for the chart that corresponds to it. This will tell you what is wrong.

Next, try cycling the power by turning the power off for five minutes and then turning it back on, either at the breaker or using the on-off switch on the furnace. This will reset the alarms in the system. You’ll turn the thermostat on and see if the system turns on. You’ll see the hot surface ignitor start to glow or hear the clicking of the spark ignitor. If the ignitor is not working, the gas valve will not stay open until your replace the ignitor.

Also, check that the gas did not accidentally get turned off.

Do not try to make any major repairs on your own, as this can void your warranty. Furthermore, it is always best to be on the safe side and call a professional if you are not comfortable with what you are doing.

You should already have a professional come twice a year to inspect and clean your HVAC system. Regular servicing will prevent the majority of problems from becoming huge!

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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!

 

 

Light Your Closet Without Wires

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

 

How do you properly get dressed in the morning if you get up before the sun or you’re trying to keep the lights dim to let your spouse sleep in? Are you digging around in your closet while holding up your phone’s flashlight? It’s time to put in some quality closet lighting!

An insta bulb is battery-operated and totally wireless. You simply peel and stick it to the wall and pull a cord to turn it on.

A battery-operated motion-sensing LED ceiling light will automatically turn on, then off after a
bout 30 seconds. These can be easily installed within minutes and the only thing you’ll have to remember is to replace the batteries once in a while.

A tap light is another great option. This is turned on or off with a tape. It can be easily attached with screws or mounting tape. Some can be detached so they can be used as a portable emergency light.

LED strip lights can activate within a few feet and provide a linear look. These are great for very dark closets.

A puck light with a remote control will let you direct lighting to where you need it and you can use the remote from 15 feet away!

You can use a combination of the options mentioned for optimal lighting. Take a look at the other closets in your home after you work on the first closet. Don’t forget about your drawers and other nooks and crannies. Most of this lighting can be installed in those areas too.

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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!

Salt Water Pool Chlorinator Energy Usage

Posted on: August 14th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

We still have plenty of warm weather left to enjoy. If you’re a salt water pool owner, or are considering getting one, you may have noticed how much energy—and therefore money—your salt water chlorinator uses. How can you reduce the cost of running it while still making sure its safe and clean?

Salt water pool owners are often told to run the pool pump 4 – 6 hours in the winter if you don’t winterize your pool and up to 10 – 12 hours in the summer. This is not always true. It depends on your usage. Don’t assume that is the rule.

Generally electricity costs less during the evening hours, so consider running your pump then.

Often salt water chlorinators can be adjusted for optimal use and chlorine production. You can dial in the percentage of the time the pool needs for optimal chlorination. For people that use their pool often, adjust it to about 45-50%. With a higher percentage the chlorine will go up and too much salt will be used. Too low and the chlorine level will slowly come down.

If you keep your salt water chlorinator at 45% but only use it once a week, chlorine levels will skyrocket because there is not enough demand to use up the chlorine. Each pool use is different. Start low, at about 5%, and make the adjustment in the evening. Then you can test your chlorine in the morning and take note of the pool chlorine level. Ultimately through trial and error you’ll find the correct amount of time your filtration system is running and the amount of time your salt water chlorinator is producing chlorine.

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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!

 

 

 

Maximize Kitchen Space 

Posted on: August 12th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

The kitchen is the heart of the home, but let’s be honest: it is often a cluttered mess. How can you maximize your space and what can you upgrade to make a big impact?

Counter space is crucial. If you can add more counter space, go for it! If you’re looking to get all new counters or are looking for a new home, look for  deeper counters. Also look for materials that will help with baking and cooking, such as marble and granite. These materials can be pricey,  but they offer cool surfaces for handling things like dough.

Cabinet space is also an important part of a functional kitchen. You’ll want plenty of cabinets, but also make sure they’re placed well. The fewer steps you need to take while cooking, the better. Look for deep cabinets near the dishwasher, large cabinets with slide-out drawers near the oven, and waist-high sliding shelves to store small appliances like mixers and toasters. You’ll get a cleaner look with built-in food and bread storage cabinets also.

A roll-out pantry is a great alternative if you don’t have enough room in your kitchen for a closet pantry. This will fit into an area about 18 inches wide by 5-1/2 feet tall. Another storage option is a closet outside of the kitchen used for items you don’t use much, such as fine china or large pots.

Good lighting can help your kitchen appear larger and inviting. Take a day to install under-counter lighting and halogen lights.

A few last tips: go through your kitchen items and see what you can give away. Often we have way too much stuff that we rarely use. Do you really need that cotton candy maker? Also, don’t forget about small touches that can make a big impact such as  a tile backsplash on the walls above the counters, stove and sink or new  cabinet pulls and drawer knobs.

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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 You’re Killing Your AC

Posted on: August 5th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Air conditioning units should last for 15 years or more if properly maintained. Most of us, though, aren’t taking the steps we should to take care of this important and expensive part of our home.

Change the filter at least once every few months—more if you have allergies or asthma or have pets. A dirty filter restricts the airflow, reduces the cooling capacity and makes the compressor worker harder and run hotter, Basically, it shortens the life of the unit. This is an easy thing to remember to do!

Twice a year, a professional should come to clean and inspect your system. This should include washing your outdoor unit, a leak check, replacing the filter, checking the drain line, and checking that all the components are using the proper amount of electricity. The duct system and the safeties should also be inspected.

Don’t change the temperature all the time. This may be tempting to do each day depending on whether or not you’re home, or perhaps because you’re trying to get a fast cool down. This is not good for your system, has to work harder to drop the temperature during the lows. That is a lot of wear and tear. You may want to consider other ways to get cooler faster, such as fans, keeping the blinds and curtains closed, and limiting the use of appliances that generate heat such as the oven.

Get an energy audit. Units work much harder than they should because of air leakage. This means more money out the window. Make sure that after this is done you seal up everything properly to make sure the air is no longer escaping.

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 with Spray Foam

Posted on: August 5th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Fiberglass is a popular choice for attics and other spaces, but what if you’re thinking about spray foam insulation? It does cost more up front and may require some professional help, but it can perform as much as 50% better than fiberglass. Spray foam is also a moisture barrier and helps to dampen sound. How do you get started?

  1. If you decide to DIY, purchase a spray foam kit and wipe down the area you’ll spray. Make sure there is no water or debris.
  2. Cover electric boxes and connections.
  3. Check the temperature of the surface and the room, because adhesion and expansion of the foam are reduced by low temperatures.
  4. Put on eye protection, respiration gear, and protective clothing.
  5. Test your nozzle so the foam flows properly. After drying, rip a piece out and see that the inside is properly set and dry.
  6. Spraying close to your surface will cover a smaller area with more foam. Spraying further away from the surface will cover more of an area with less foam. Try to make as few passes as possible, because spraying onto wet foam can get messy and create an inconsistent surface. If you do end up needing to spray more than one layer, wait until your first layer of foam has cured.
  7. You can scrape away any cured foam that has covered the front of the wall studs.
  8. The kit can be used again—remove the used nozzle, remove the trigger safety, open both valves and make sure the face of the gun is clean. Stop using it when the foam starts to sputter and does not spray correctly.

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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!