Archive for the ‘electrical’ Category

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!

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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!

 

 

 

Efficient Cell Phone & Tablet Usage

Posted on: July 29th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

You can save energy—and save yourself from some headaches—if you can extend the battery life on your cell phones and tablets. These simple steps can make a big difference.

First off, check your battery use in your settings to see what your phone or tablet is doing. On most phones you can see a breakdown of what is consuming your battery. Usually, you can see the percentages.

Turn off any services you don’t use all the time, such as Wi-Fi, or GPS. Are these items running in the background even if you’re not using them? There are even apps to help you manage what programs run automatically.

Turn down the brightness. Most of use can see the screen without the high brightness. You can even put your device on night time mode set to certain hours of the day, which not only helps save battery but also—if it’s a warmer tone—this can help you sleep better because of what your eyes are looking at! Let’s be real—you’re still going to check your phone. So, at least put it in this mode to help your brain turn off.

Activate the lock screen after a minute or two of inactivity.

This is an easy one: remove your device from the charger and unplug the charger when the device is fully charged. If you don’t want the hassle, try a power strip so you can unplug all the items at once. This is great for those who have several items to charge. “Phantom Loads” waste more energy than you’d think and ultimately, more money!

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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 to Mount a TV

Posted on: June 11th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, and Electrical mounting a tvIt’s a project you’ve likely been thinking about for awhile if you haven’t done it already—mounting your TV to the wall. It looks so clean and takes up less space than a TV on a stand. So let’s get to it!

Look for a spot on the wall with no glare and good visibility, and pick a good sitting height (usually with the center of the screen 40-45 inches off the floor). Make sure there is an electrical outlet nearby!

 

Look for the mounting holes on the back of your TV. If needed, take off the plastic caps over the holes. If there’s a stand on the frame, remove it. Attach the mounting arms to the mounting holes on your TV, and make sure the mounting brackets are level with each other.

Use a stud finder to find the two studs in your wall that will support your TV. (Hollow wall anchors will not work.) Use a pencil to mark each stud’s center, and a nail to confirm a stud has been located. Measure the distance between the top and bottom holes on each TV mounting arm, then mark two points in the center of each wall stud. Drill pilot holes for the wall bracket screws or bolts. Attach the wall bracket plate to the wall using the screws or bolts provided.

Lock the TV mounting arms onto the wall bracket plate. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure the connections. It may be easier to connect the cables to the television before attaching it to the wall bracket if you’re attaching your TV flat to the wall to a fixed wall mount. Do not attempt this last section without help from another person.

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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!

 

Outdoor Project Safety

Posted on: April 28th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

When you’re working on your spring outdoors projects, take precautions. Every year people end up in the hospital for simple mistakes that could have easily been avoided. In fact, most injuries happen on your own property. Here are some simple tips to help you be safe.

  1. When using electrical appliances, stay on dry ground. Keep all of your equipment away from pools, sprinklers, hoses, wet ground, or any standing water. You can also use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help protect against electrocution.
  2. As soon as you hear thunder, that means lighting is not far off, even if it is not storming at the moment! It is best to head inside. Don’t risk your life by trying to stay out for a few more minutes to finish your project.
  3. Make sure your extension cords are in good condition, and are rated for outdoor use. Also check that they are the proper gauge for the electrical current capacity of the item you’re using.
  4. When using lawn tools, protect yourself from debris by wearing close-fitting clothing, eye protection and sturdy shoes. Also, remove objects such as sticks and stones that would be in your way.
  5. Do not fill tanks with gasoline while machinery is on or still hot. Do not smoke around gasoline.
  6. Before climbing trees, look for power lines overhead. This is especially important when using an aluminum ladder, which is an excellent conductor of electricity.
  7. Before installing a fence or planting trees, call 811. This free service will tell you where buried utility lines are located. This is crucial so you don’t knock out lines to your house or your neighbor’s house.
  8. It is spring allergy season! Wear a dust mask if you suffer from allergies. This will help filter out mold spores, pollen and other potential allergens.

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!

 

Going Green Around Your Home

Posted on: April 21st, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

This month’s Earth Day reminds us that we as Americans generate a huge amount of trash—an average of 4.4 pounds per person each day. So what can we do to reduce waste to not only help the environment, but help us save money too? Frankly, start questioning everything you own and everything you regularly buy:

  • Limit or cancel paper subscriptions. If you have subscriptions, then magazines, catalogs and newspapers can stack up quickly.
  • Reduce and reuse packaging. When you do buy things, try to buy in bulk and buy things with as little packaging as possible. Also, use reusable grocery bags. Lastly, buy recycled items. Glass, paper, metal and plastic items are often recycled materials.
  • Recycle. Give things away to charity and make use of your regular recycling service. Books, clothing and kitchen ware are great items to donate.
  • Maintain and repair your appliances. The goal is to get as much life out of these items as possible and maintaining them will make a big difference in their longevity.
  • Reuse things as much as possible. Wear clothes again, use the same towel all week, and reuse jars, old rags, etc. for other purposes around the house.
  • Monitor energy use. Turn off lights when you can, unplug things, adjust the thermostat up or down, and consider energy-efficient items and solar energy if you’re looking for even bigger long-term changes.
  • Be aware of water use. Take shorter showers, turn off the water while brushing your teeth, and wear things more often before washing. It takes energy as well as wear and tear on your pipes and system to pump water through the home and down the drain. It also takes energy to heat it and treat it to make it drinkable.

It starts with simple, small changes. Once you start taking a critical look at your home and your lifestyle, you’ll see there is plenty you can do.

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 Updates 

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

 

If you’re considering updating your bathroom, where should you focus your efforts? What are the most useful and most common changes that will really make an impact? It is easy to get overwhelmed and try to do it all. How about starting with these ideas instead?

1 – If your countertops are dated, this can be a great area to tackle. Look for natural stone or engineered quartz for a modern look, or for a very inexpensive change, paint your countertops. Neutral colors are key, no matter what type of material you decide to use.

2 – Glamour light bulbs are a definite sign of an older bathroom. Lighting is an inexpensive and easy way to make major changes. LED sconces or a bathroom bar with frosted shades will look more modern. If you’re not comfortable with installing new lighting yourself, hire a professional.

3 – Bathroom fixtures that are beige or bone colored, or brass fixtures that have become dull over the years need to go. Nickel, chrome or white fixtures will look much more up-to-date.

4 – Carpeted flooring has to go. Not only is it unsightly, its also unsafe because it is a breeding place for mold, bacteria and damage from moisture. Look for natural stone or ceramic tiles. Another popular option these days is laminate or ceramic that looks like hardwood. For a soft place to step onto after your shower, simply add a cushy bath mat.

5 – Old bathroom cabinets can be upgraded with paint or refacing or you can go for a total replacement if it is in your budget. Again, neutral colors are the way to go.

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!

Wiring Your Unfinished Garage

Posted on: April 2nd, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

You’re looking around at your unfinished garage and realize you need more outlets and lighting. Before getting started, keep a few things in mind: If you are leaving the walls and ceiling open, you’ll have to use the framing members to protect and support the wires. Do not span stud or joist spaces with wires, and keep the cables closely hugging the studs, plates and ceiling joists.

Always make sure you’re doing everything safely and up to code. If you’re just not sure, don’t hesitate to bring in a professional electrician. Lastly, if you plan to close up the walls later on, you’ll have to rewire. So, what’s next?

You’ll route the cable along studs, top plates and ceiling joists, along the framing member that leads to the next box. Keep cables on vertical surfaces—not on the tops of walls. Plan your wiring and put up all the electrical boxes.

Next, run a cable from one box to another by pulling cable off the coil, stripping at least 8 inches of sheathing off the wires and threading the wires and about 1/2 inch of sheathing through the wire opening in the box.

Untwist the cable and staple, staple, staple! Do this at least every 4 feet to the framing, preferably more.

When you get to the next box, stretch out the cable and mark the entrance point on it, cut the cable about a foot long, strip the sheathing and feed the wires into the box. Nail in the staples near the box.

NOTE: You’ll have to hold all wires at least 1-1/4 inches from the back and front surface of studs and joists.

Electrical boxes may have metal or plastic cable clamps that are built in. Many duplex boxes only have knockouts. Staple cable within 8 inches of boxes without clamps and within 12 inches of boxes with clamps.

And don’t forget: If your garage has a wall made of concrete or is already dry walled, cable installed on these exposed surfaces has to be protected by conduit.

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 Up Your Deck or Patio

Posted on: March 28th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Whether you’re hoping to throw some cookouts this summer or are concerned about your family’s safety while walking outside in the dark, adding lighting around your deck or patio is a great idea. What are some easy options?

  • Low-voltage landscape lighting is a great addition. It won’t light up a large area, but can work well along with other lighting components. They are great to light up a pathway.
  • String lights are increasingly popular, as they create a pretty ambiance and are inexpensive. When shopping, look specifically for outdoor-rated string lights. LED bulbs will last many years. If you’re looking for that softer glow, though, you may consider incandescent bulbs. If you need them far away from an outlet, look for solar options.
  • If you’re looking to cast a glow on an area, sconces are a good idea.  You can get one that mounts onto the house or a lantern-style fixture, which casts a larger glow.
  • If you have an outdoor grilling or kitchen area, overhead lighting is the most useful, instead of decorative mood lighting that is generally more used for the patio or deck.
  • If your house is old, make sure your outlets are upgraded to have the modern safety features. Outdoor outlets should have a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and a cover that can withstand weather. If you need more outlets in your outdoor area, you may want to contact a professional. It is not recommended to run cords through an open window, as this is not only unsightly but can also be unsafe.

Last but not least, consider using lighting around stairs and other walking areas for safety.

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!