Archive for May, 2018

Reduce Energy with Healthy Summer Cooking

Posted on: May 31st, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Summertime is around the corner, and it’s a good idea to start preparing for the delicious yet simple recipes that you can make for your family. There are so many creative and yummy recipes that will involve minimal use of the oven and therefore less heat emitted in your home during the hottest months of the year. Enjoy these healthy summer cooking tips that reduce energy in your home that are good for you and your home.

Now is the time to maximize on the seasonal products that abound at any of your local farmers markets or food stands around town. Here are some ways to make the most of seasonal foods, optimize cooking time and create delicious yet nutritious meals!

  • Create a weekly meal plan based off weekly specials at the grocery store and farmer’s market. Activities usually ramp up during the summer months, and this will minimize the stress of worrying about meals with all the carpooling, vacations and activities you have going on.
  • Use thinner versions of carbs, like lighter pasta alternatives such as spaghetti squash, carrot pasta or cauliflower rice.
  • Load up on the veggies. Make use of your garden produce if you have one. Otherwise, make the most of the local farmers’ produce to create an array of colorful and tasty entrees.
  • Bring out the alternative cooking tools such as your crock pot, rice cooker and microwave oven. Eliminate the extra heat of the oven by using these cooking appliances that save on heat and time!  Throw your meals in the crock pot in the morning and enjoy dinner when you walk in the door!

 It’s not enough to simply keep the oven off during the summer months to keep your home cooler! Make sure your air conditioning unit is functioning properly and efficiently so that you and your family can fully enjoy your home cooked meals in a comfortable and cool environment. With more than 50 years of experience, we can provide any service that your unit needs. Whether it’s preventative maintenance, full replacement, or air conditioning enhancing products and services, we will quickly respond to your needs. Avoid the discomfort of unbearable heat that summer can bring by giving Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical at 800-461-3010.

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

Posted on: May 29th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Being a homeowner requires a lot of work and seasonal maintenance but is also highly rewarding.  Knowing that you own a place to raise your family and make memories is something that should make you proud! Especially when you consider all the work you put into it to keep your home running smoothly and efficiently. Just when you’ve finished spring cleaning and can finally reap the benefits of your decluttered and clean home, it seems like it’s already time to perform summer home maintenance your home requires.

Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors to ensure that they are working properly and protecting your family from harmful chemicals.

Prep and clean ceiling fans – with the summer heat at its highest, you’ll definitely be getting good use out of your ceiling fans! They have probably accumulated a lot of dust over the months they weren’t used, so clean the tops of the blades to prevent them from spreading dust everywhere when they’re on.

Create a watering schedule for your garden or plants. Although it’s a common practice to water your plants daily, you may want to try watering them every couple days – and drenching them completely. Deeply watering your plants every couple days as opposed to lightly watering every day will allow your plants to grow even stronger and deeper roots.

Clean your grill – you can finally enjoy a BBQ out on the back deck, and practice perfecting your grilled chicken or meat of choice.

Give your windows a good wash. The spring cleaning list was an intense itinerary of items to tackle. If you didn’t get to everything, don’t worry! Now is the time to clean your windows, or any other items that you didn’t get around to during your deep spring cleanout.

Don’t forget about your Air Conditioning filters! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to come and replace, and we’ll provide a maintenance check on your air conditioning unit while we’re there!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Are You Using the Right Lighting in Your Home?

Posted on: May 29th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Our homes are where we often spend majority of our time. The lighting we use should be fulfilling the purpose, function or feel that want in each room. Lighting may not be something that you’ve given much thought to, but it powerfully impacts everything you do, whether you realize it or not. Lighting can make you feel awake and alert, or it can put you in a relaxed and calm mood. We’ll cover the different functions of lighting, and how they correspond with the purpose of each room in your home.

  • General/Ambient Lighting is typically considered as the room’s natural light and works to light up the whole room. Various forms of lighting can be categorized as ambient lighting, such as a pendant light, track lighting or a chandelier.
  • AccentLighting Is there something in a specific room that you’d like to draw attention to and highlight? Maybe it’s a special painting or a bookshelf. Accent lighting will highlight the specific piece or part of the room that you want to focus on.
  • Task Lighting – as the name suggests, task lighting serves a purpose to help you stay focused an accomplish something, whether it’s reading a book or working on a project.Instead of creating a warm ambiance, it does quite the opposite by providing brighter light to ensure you stay awake and focused.

 

As you keep in mind the mood and purpose for each room in your home, you’ll be able to determine which kind of light will optimize the purpose for each room. Below is a general guideline for the lighting that is best to include in each room:

 

  • Kitchen: Combine the use of task lighting and general lighting. The kitchen is often the heart of the home, so you’ll want to provide general lighting that will brighten the space where people often gather. Inlcude some task lighting in the form of track lighting under the countertops so that you’ll have extra visibility to any cooking you need to do on the counters.
  • Living Room: Another common gathering area that will require general lighting in the form of a ceiling light. Add a couple lamps in the corners for those times when you want to create a warmer ambiance.
  • Bathroom: Select lighting that will accurately show skin tone color – this is the room where you get ready, so the lighting should be accurate for getting ready and applying makeup.
  • Bedroom: This is the room in your home that should avoid task lighting. The room where you sleep should be filled with warm lighting that will put you in a relaxed and ready state for bed.

 

While you’re looking for energy efficiency in lighting, why stop there? Let us check your electrical outlets and components to make sure your home is safe.  Also, make sure your whole home is efficient by scheduling a cooling maintenance! Among the many services we offer, we can install a Power Attic Ventilator to reduce air conditioning costs by forcing very hot air trapped in the attic and replace it with cooler air outside. Your unit will run less during the hot summer days, which will result in energy savings for you! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

Posted on: May 21st, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Although you may not be able to predict and prepare for any sudden problem in your home, there are certain lengths you can and should go to that will allow you to respond quickly to these problems. Instead of having to run to the closest hardware store every time something breaks in your home, you can be prepared with a tool kit that will help fix most of the minor problems that could arise.

Drills and Bits – Buy a battery-operated drill and a variety of different sized drill bits, and you’ll be all set for multiple fix-up tasks!

Wrench set – Used to unfasten and fasten bolts, a wrench set is a necessary staple in any homeowner’s set.

Hammer – The size of the hammer head should match the size of the nails you buy with it. So a bigger hammer is best used with larger nails.

Tape Measure – This will come in handy during many situations, from measuring your windows for a new set of blinds, to checking square footage of rooms.

Utility Knife – Definitely a necessity – a utility knife will allow you to effectively open any package or box.

Pliers – Used for gripping pipes and twisting wires.

Safety Items – Anytime you perform tasks that require the tools above, it’s best to use the appropriate safety items like gloves, eye goggles, and ear plugs.

Caulking Gun – Use your caulking gun for any gaps or holes that may appear, such as windows or door frames or for filling in holes around your bathroom or shower!

Screw driver set – A variety of screw driver sizes are useful for changing air filters, electrical outlets, cover plates or adjusting furniture and fixtures.

Refer to your tool box to handle all the minor fixes needed in your home. While this tool box will have you prepared for any unexpected minor repairs, you’ll definitely need professional assistance to fix the unexpected larger repairs such as a plumbing or electrical problem. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical will be there 24/7 to help!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Keeping Your Home Safe During Summer

Posted on: May 16th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

School is going to be out soon, which means vacation season is right around the corner. You and your family should be able to enjoy your time away, without worrying about intruders, or other problems at home. How do you ensure that your home is safe and secure to provide peace of mind while you’re away this summer? We’ve got a few tips!

Power off electronics. Eliminate any worry of overheated electronics by turning them all off.

Don’t forget the garage! Thieves often use a universal remote to open garages while home owners are away. Protect your garage from universal remotes by turning off the door.

Lock all doors, windows, and other access points like the cat or doggie doors. Do one final check through your whole home to make sure you don’t miss any windows.

Wait to post on social media. Don’t make it known to the world that you are currently away from your home. It may be a good idea to hold off on posting all your fun vacation pics until you’re back from your trip.

Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your home. Although there is now the option to for your post office to hold your mail from 3-30 days, you’ll want someone to at least pick up any door flyers or the daily newspaper left at your home.

Keep blinds in their usual position so it doesn’t look like you’ve closed up your home to leave for a trip.

Use your app. If you have a home security app, put it to use by controlling things such as your water, appliances and lights.

Don’t hide a spare. Up to 50% of break ins are a result of a hidden key that has been found by burglars.

 

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can provide peace of mind as well, by performing thorough maintenance on your AC unit before you leave. You can rest assured that your family will come back from vacation to a cool and conditioned home!

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Light Bulbs for Each Purpose in Your Home

Posted on: May 13th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

In our previous post, we covered the different functions of lighting, and how they correspond with the purpose of each room in your home. Now that we know what the different forms of lighting there are – ambient/general, accent lighting, and task lighting – we’ll cover the light bulbs that are used for each of these forms of lighting.

 Light Bulbs for each purpose

  •  Incandescent: Although the lighting that incandescent bulbs produce is warm, they are not energy efficient like alternatives on the market today. For that reason, many people are discontinuing the use of these bulbs in their homes.
  • LEDs: You know the kind of lighting you need to finish a late night project or the book you’ve been reading for the past couple nights? This is the kind of light bulb you want to use for that purpose of task lighting that we talked about earlier. Often times harsh and bright, it will illuminate what you need to work on, and last a long time. Since the first release of LED lights, they have now come out with other options available that are warmer and resemble the lighting emitted by incandescent bulbs. Because of the long lifetime that LED lights provide, they can be a pricier option.
  • Halogen is another task lighting option that emits a bright light and saves about 10-20% more energy than the incandescent bulbs.
  • Compact Florescent Bulbs (CFLs): If you’re looking for a real energy saver – look no further than the CFL bulbs, which use 75% less energy than their counterparts, the incandescent bulbs. Not only do they use less energy, but they also last a long time.

There are a few helpful tips to follow for the use of all the various bulbs mentioned above. According to Energy.gov, incandescent and halogen bulbs should be turned off when they are not being used. This will save on cost and prevent extra heat in a room during the summer time. When using CFL’s, which are different in nature, there’s a different rule to follow. If you’re going to be out of a room for longer than 15 minutes, it’s advised that you turn them off. The longevity of a CFL bulb is different from other bulbs. The lift of a CFL bulb more so depends on how often you turn the bulb on and off, and it not really affected by how long the bulb is used.

When using any form of electricity, it’s always important to make sure that your electrical panel is operating efficiently and safely. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can perform a thorough scan throughout your home, looking for any hot spots in your electrical system. We will also test the ground fault outlets to make sure that they are functioning properly.

Give us a call today Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

 

 

How to Increase Productivity

Posted on: May 9th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

The sun is staying up longer, and weather is getting warmer, often encouraging people to become more productive and active. After the winter months that we spend cozying up, watching movies and drinking hot cocoa, it may be difficult to snap into a productive mindset. So how do you increase productivity this Spring, especially with those home tasks that have been lingering?

  • Get rid of distractions so that you can focus simply on the task at hand. Turn off the TV, power off the radio, or go into a room where there isn’t talking or movement. You know best what causes distractions to you, so tune those out or eliminate them all together.
  • Keep a list. How often have you thought of the things you need to do, yet failed to do some of them simply because you didn’t remember? If it’s not written down, chances are high that you’ll forget. Whether it’s a grocery list, cleaning list or work list, write down all that you need to get done for that day.
  • Accomplish the most important items on your list at the very beginning of the day. We have the most energy at the beginning of the day, so expend this energy wisely. It’s also easy to let things that are toward the bottom of our list slide until the next day(s).
  • Know when to take a break. Do you ever get to the point when you’ve tried to force creativity or spend tedious hours getting something assembled? Sometimes the best solution to finding the genius answer or finishing the project is to simply walk away from it and give yourself a break.
  • Periodically review your goals – What are you working towards? How do all your tasks align with and move you forward toward your end goals? Just a little reminder – make sure they are realistic and achievable so you can actually reach them J
  • Eat for energy. High fiber and high protein foods will fuel your body and stimulate your mind with a boost of energy.
  • Stay organized – when everything has a place, it helps you save time instead of always looking for misplaced items. You can use your extra time on more important tasks.

 

In addition to keeping your home organized, it’s also important to keep your home running efficiently. At Central Carolina Air Conditioning, we can perform thorough preventative maintenance on your systems so that you don’t get to the point of having to replace your systems or lose money due to an inefficient system.

 

Call to schedule your appointment now with Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical at 800-461-3010.

 

Home Maintenance Checklist for every Homeowner

Posted on: May 9th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Are you currently a homeowner, or about to become a homeowner? While it’s a rewarding feeling to own your own home, there are many responsibilities that come along with that accomplishment. There will be plenty of situations that will require the attention of a professional to fix. But what home maintenance tasks should you be able to fix on your own? Here are a few:

 

  • Cut the water supply. This may be one of the first things you learn about your home. Locate the main water valve in your home. The shut-off valve can often be found in the crawl space or basement. When a pipe unexpectedly bursts, you’ll want to go to the shut-off valve and immediately turn it off.

 

  • Unclog drains. Larger tasks will require calling a plumber to fix, however, you can quickly and easily unclog a sink or shower drain. Use a chemical drain cleaner such as Drano, and this will might remedy your clogged drain. There are also alternatives to a chemical cleaner. A drain snake can reach down the pipe and pull out whatever may be clogging it.

 

  • Reset a circuit breaker – which is most likely found in your electrical panel. If the circuit becomes overused, then the breaker trips. To turn the circuit breaker back on, you’ll have to reset it.  Locate the one breaker that is “off”, opposite from the rest of the breakers that are “on.”

 

  • Caulk – throughout the many years of home ownership, you will inevitably have to caulk some part of your bathtub tile or walls. Pay careful attention when completing this task so that you are allocating the proper amount of caulk while squeezing. It’s recommended that you cut the tube at the top at about ¼ inch down so that you will be able to use the perfect amount while squeezing the tube along the portion of the tile or wall that needs to be caulked.

Enjoy the satisfying feeling of maintaining your home by mastering these few home maintenance tasks. For the bigger and more dangerous requests such as faulty shut-off valves, water heater flushes, dye tests, load balancing of your breaker panel and installation services, leave it to the professionals! Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical will help with these more serious maintenance requests.

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment at 800-461-3010