Archive for October, 2017

Winterize your Garage Items

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

The items we store in our garages can last longer if we take some steps to store them properly as the weather cools down. Cold and wet garages are not great for your possessions. What are some simple steps to take to winterize the items in our garages?

  • Lubricate your garage door and put (or fix) weather stripping around it.
  • Stretch out your garden hose on a downward slope to drain out all of the water and then coil it up.
  • Clean and sterilize your rake and shovel to get rid of any diseased plant material. Take a bucket or other container and fill it with sand and mineral oil and then dunk any smaller tools into the mixture to prevent rust.
  • Make sure the gutters around your garage—and whole house—are clear to prevent them from leaking and caving in.
  • Clean the grass off of the undercarriage of your lawn mower and sharpen the blades. Also, run in until the gas tank is empty to prevent corrosion.
  • Put extra fuel into a steel jerrican with a flame arrestor and do not store it for more than a month. Gas with ethanol should be mixed with a stabilizer so it doesn’t deteriorate.
  • Clean or replace the air filter in your backpack leaf blower. Drain the fuel. Disconnect the battery cables and replace dirty spark plugs.
  • Get your snow blower ready by changing the dirty oil if you haven’t already. Replace shear pins. Also, check the shave plate for wear and tear.

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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!

 

 

Clean Air Ducts

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

About once a year it is a good idea to clean out your home’s air ducts. (Let’s be honest, most of us have never—or very rarely—done this.) It can help to only keep your home cleaner but also help those who have allergies and asthma and households with pets. It also helps your system last longer, thus saving you money. How do you do it?

Lift up or unscrew the registers and wash them with soap and hot water and let them air dry.

Next, use a dryer vent brush attached to a cordless drill to clean inside the ducts. Then, use your vacuum cleaner hose with the dust brush attachment to get down further down into the duct and vacuum up anything that has been dislodged.

You can also use a damp microfiber cloth to get down into the duct and wipe the interior. You can also use an all-purpose cleaner with the cloth. Make sure to rinse it out often during the process.

Lastly, wipe off the floor and wall around the duct.

You can also consider installing vent register filters. These are helpful if you have furry animals that shed a lot and children who may drop things into the floor registers!

You’ll get to most of the dirt and dust with the steps above. However, if you want to go even further, remove end caps from rectangular duct work, slide the drives off the duct and pull the cap out. You can again use your vacuum hose here. You can also remove the basement registers to get more access to the main trunk line.

This is a good time to remember to change your HVAC’s air filter and get your system inspected.

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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!

 

 

Major Plumbing Issues

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Plumbing issues left unfixed can lead to huge costs down the road. The problem is, most of us don’t even know when something is wrong—or don’t realize when something seemingly small is actually a big deal. Here are some big things to inspect whether you’re buying a new home or have lived in yours for years without thinking about these things.

A leak at the base of the toilet can go unnoticed or unaddressed for years. Over time, though, the water will get in between the floor and subfloor and rot the subfloor. Look for discoloration or warping around the toilet’s base. Also, check the flooring around the toilet by stepping around the area to see if it is soft or if it moves. Check to make sure the toilet bowl does not move or rock when grabbed. Movement means it has a bad seal or the flange is not secured or the toilet is not secured to the flange.

If your sewer line has clogged get a professional plumber to not only unclog it, but also inspect it. Over time the line can deteriorate, which not only means more clogs, but the line could also collapse completely. A major repair or even replacement would cost quite a bit.

Depending on water quality, maintenance and how your water heater is being used, this important piece of your home should last approximately 10 years. They are typically out of your sight, so take time to inspect it. If it leaks, will it damage flooring, closets or the garage? Water heater pans can help a little bit, but will overflow easily. A plumber can check whether or not it is up to code and working properly. The manufacturer can tell you the age of it from the model and serial number. You’ll also want to make sure your water heater is the right size for your house. You don’t want a small heater with a large family. You can also save money by replacing a large model with a smaller one once the kids have moved out.

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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!

Mulching Your Leaves

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Once you’ve finished cleaning your gutters, next up is getting the leaves off of the lawn. Mulching is much easier than raking, and the organic matter breaks down and releases nutrients. It also keeps the leaves out of landfills. Mulch can also reduce development of some weeds, like dandelions. So if you want to try it this fall, how do you get started?

You can mulch with a regular lawn mower by taking off the grass catcher off your mower and setting the blade to its highest setting. It may take a few passes to get the job done. However, it is better to use a mulching mower or mulching blades. This is because they break down the leaves into smaller pieces with decompose faster, instead of sitting around on your lawn possibly blocking the sunlight and water and even getting sticky and moldy after rain.

A good rule of thumb is to not mulch constantly, but rather do it in between raking or leaf-blowing sessions. If the leaves are clumpy and not spread pretty evenly, or if there are simply too many leaves, it can kill the grass. If you do decide to do it more often, make sure to do it once a week or so—before the leaves become too much to handle. You cannot wait until the leaves are piling up five inches high—get to them sooner. You’ll also want to mulch when it has been dry.

If you’re using a regular mower and afterwards you cannot see any grass at all, reattach the bag to the mower and go through one more time. Add the mulched leaves from this round to gardens beds or a compost pile.

Microbes and worms recycle the carbon from the leaf bits, and microbes can do their job better with nitrogen. You can get lawn food to help break down the leaves even faster.

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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!

Electrical Safety

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

 

Fire prevention awareness month is here, and some of the most common causes of fires besides cooking and unsafe heating are electrical issues. What do you need to know to stay safe?

Outlets. Do not force a plug into an outlet or remove the third prong to make a three-prong plug fit a two-conductor outlet. Make sure plugs aren’t too loose fitting. Don’t overload outlets with too many appliance plugs. Replace any missing or broken wall plates.

Cords. Do not put cords under rugs or carpets or in places where people will walk on them. Do not staple or nail them to floors or anything else. There are plenty of safe ways to hide your cords. Make sure cords are not frayed or cracked. Extension cords are meant only for temporary use.

Light bulbs. Make sure you use the correct wattage for your fixtures. Do not use a higher wattage than recommended. Screw them in securely to make sure they are not loose.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). Make sure GFCIs are installed in your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, basement, garage and on outdoor outlets. Test them about once a month.

Circuit breakers/Fuses. Have an electrician identify and label your circuit breaker, or do it yourself. Fuses should be properly rated for each circuit they are protecting.

Appliances/Electronics. It is a good idea to use surge protectors to protect expensive electronics. Check for damage in wiring. If an appliance blows a fuse more than once, trips the circuit breaker or gives you a shock, unplug it and get it repaired.

Electrical wiring. Check for loose wires, wall receptacles or lighting fixtures. If light switches are hot or lights spark and flicker, shut off and replace them.

Remember that the more appliances and electronics you get, the more your home’s service capacity may end up overburdened.

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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!

 

 

Install Fire and CO2 Alarms

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

 

October is fire prevention awareness month, and winter is prime time for fires due to people using unsafe techniques to warm up. How do you install smoke and CO2 alarms? Where do you place them? How many do you need?

Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. In addition, a smoke alarm should be installed on each level of your home.

Smoke alarms should be high on the wall (but not less than 12 inches away from the ceiling) because smoke rises. For ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within 4 inches down from the peak, called the apex. Make sure your alarms are not near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with them. They should also be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance unless you enjoy hearing false alarms often!

The best way to protect your home is with interconnected alarms. To do so, you’ll probably need to hire a professional if using hard wiring. There are also wireless technology options. With interconnected smoke alarms, make sure they are from the same manufacturer.

Buy smoke alarms that show a label of a recognized testing laboratory and are combination ionization-photoelectric alarms, also known as dual sensor alarms. These respond to both flaming fires and smoldering fires

Carbon monoxide mixes with the air, so these alarms should be at knee level (to meet the height of a sleeping person). You can move them up to chest height if needed in a home with young children. A single-function carbon monoxide alarm is typically recommended. If you have a dual smoke-CO detector, put it higher up so it can detect smoke. Make sure to put at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level. Extra detectors near sleeping areas are also a good idea. Any place where you have a fuel-fired appliance such as a gas fireplace or gas clothes dryer, make sure you have a CO2 alarm.

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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!

 

 

 

Bathroom Ventilation Fans

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

 

Long showers feel fantastic—but they aren’t so great for your home. The humidity can breed mold and mildew, which is not only a health hazard, but also bad for your building materials. Ventilation fans can help remove moisture, mold spores and odor from your bathrooms. Nowadays they are “smart” and efficient. What should you look for?

Think about where the air will go. Bathroom ventilation fans often exhaust air in between ceiling joists or into an attic, which brings the moisture into closed spaces where mold can breed. Instead, connect your bathroom exhaust fan to vent ducts that exhaust the air outside your house. If you’re concerned the fan will take the heated air out of your house, install a heat-exchange ventilator fan. Keep in mind that these are more expensive.

Measure your bathroom’s floor space. The air flow capacities of bathroom ventilation fans are measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). The Home Ventilating Institute says that your fan should have 1 cfm for every square foot of floor space.

Are you bothered by loud noise? Have a sleeping child or spouse? Fan noise is rated by sones. A rating of 0.5 to 1.2 sones means the fan is very quiet, 1.5 to 2.0 sones is a good middle range, and above 4.0 sones means noisy.

Of course these days there are “smart” options. Motion sensor activation turns on the fan when someone enters the room. Fan speed can be pre-set to remove the moisture of smaller tasks like shaving. Some offer a night light to help you in the dark. Humidity sensing fans automatically switch on when they detect high levels of humidity. Some even have built-in heaters.

Another modern luxury—energy efficient ventilation fans, which use about 60 percent less energy than standard fans.

Be prepared to spend between $90 and $400 for a new ventilation fan, and more if you get a professional installation.

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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!

Preventing Wood Rot

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

 

Houses are made with a lot of wood—framing members, plywood, trim, etc. You can shell out plenty of money to fix wood rot if it is left untreated and it
can even bring on the termites—so how can you prevent it?

At least once a year inspect your home:

Look for cracks or holes in the caulking around windows, doors and dryer vents. Re-caulk any openings with acrylic latex exterior caulk.

Check under eaves, around fireplaces, and on interior ceilings for any possible leaks.

Look for sagging or leaking gutters and downspouts.

Trim back any shrubbery or tree branches closer than 2 to 3 feet from the sides and roof of your home.

Check for peeling and cracked painted surfaces and prime and paint if needed.

This fall, make sure your crawl space vents don’t get blocked with leaves and other debris.

Lastly, check for dirt and debris between decking boards. Clean them out and spray with a hose if needed.

If you think you have some wood rot, press on the wood surface and see if it feels soft or crumbly. Remember this can happen on the layers underneath—even if the surface isn’t so obvious. Some common spots include: where siding meets trim, where two pieces of trim meet, horizontal surfaces, deck support posts and fascia behind leaking gutters.

In the future, use decay-resistant or pressure-treated lumber for decks. Stain or paint all sides of each lumber piece before assembly. Do not lean anything against your siding. Make sure to clean your gutters this fall.

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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!