Archive for the ‘home improvement’ Category

Prepare Your Outdoor Living Space

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

In our previous post, we went over some considerations if you’re thinking of adding a hard scape to your backyard. Now that you’ve gotten ideas of how to beautify your yard, let’s talk about outdoor seating so you can enjoy those nice hard scapes this summer! Perhaps you’re looking for a backyard setting that lends itself toward entertainment. Or maybe you want to spend this summer hunkered down with just your family? Either way, there are many accommodations when it comes to your backyard and how you can set-up the ideal outdoor living space.  Keep these factors in mind when choosing your outdoor furniture.

 

  • Choose aesthetics AND function. Make sure that the seating you choose will not only be bearable, but also enjoyable for those long summer evenings you’ll spend in the back.

    Beautiful hardscape with water feature

  • Consider hammocks or swinging chairs. These swinging chairs, both relaxing and therapeutic, have become especially on trend with multiple variations in size and shape.
  • Pick a color scheme. Is there a certain palate that will go with the overall look
  • Invest in weather proof cushions. After all the work that goes into creating a beautiful outdoor living area, you certainly don’t want one good rain to ruin it.
  • Define the outdoor seating area. You can accomplish this a few different ways. Either get an umbrella that covers the table and defines that section, or arrange the outdoor sofas and chairs in such a way that it creates a “box” look, which defines the area.

 

No outdoor living area is complete without some source of water – whether it’s a water sprinkler, hose or running decorative fountain. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to  check all emergency water shut-offs for proper performance and tag main emergency shut-offs. If your emergency shut-off does not work when you need it, there could be big problems.

We can also check all your lawn faucets for any leaks that could be wasting your money.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Central Carolina Air Conditioning Plumbing & Electrical for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day at 800-461-3010.

 

Considering HardScaping? Central Carolina Air Conditioning Plumbing & Electric can help!

Posted on: June 15th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Anything in your yard that is technically non-living can be considered a hardscape. The definition is quite broad and can include anything from rocks and pavers to bricks and stones. If you’re considering adding some beauty to your backyard this summer, we’ll share a few things to know before starting. These tips will make the overall process smooth, successful and more cost effective. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric can even help with your water and electric installation!

  • Always plan out the whole hardscape project. We know this can become a costly endeavor – so if you choose to do it in phases, still plan out the whole project to save you time down the road when you start the other phases.
  • Maintain a balance. You’ll want to create a harmonious balance between hard and soft cape – (i.e. rocks and stones for the hardscapes and plants and trees for the soft capes).  
  • Hardscapes can increase your home value. Get an appraiser to provide an appraisal for what your home would cost by basing it off your budgeted hardscape plans.
  • Consider the functionality. How will you be utilizing the space in your backyard/the hardscapes? While the hardscape you create should and can be beautiful, it should also work with how you are going to use your backyard. Consider the layout of furniture you may place in the backyard.
  • Don’t forget topography! If your backyard has other challenges such as drainage, make sure that you keep this in consideration and plan around it. If topography challenges are beyond your comfort level, it may be best to hire a professional for some guidance to make sure that your time and investment in hardscaping pays off in the end.

 

Whether it’s plants or also a water fountain hardscape you’re installing, your backyard will require some amount of water and possibly electric as well. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can check all emergency water shut-offs for proper performance and tag main emergency shut-offs. If your emergency shut-off does not work when you need it, there could be big problems.

We can also check all your lawn faucets for any leaks that could be wasting your money.

 

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

What Flowers to Plant During Summer

Posted on: June 14th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Summer is the season that yields the quickest growth for plants and flowers, which is probably not surprising considering the amount of sun and warmth they receive. The amount of water a flower or plant receives plays a critical role in its overall growth. Although some flowers may not get enough water, there is equally a concern that some flowers receive too much water. Look for signs as you tend to your own garden and its needs. If your flowers have brown petals that are starting to curl, they most likely need more water. If the petals are starting to droop, however, this sign shows that they are receiving too much water.  Consider an irrigation system in your yard and garden and allow us to help!

If you’re looking for a beautiful array of color in your garden, there are many flowers that you can plant during summer to provide that pop of color! We’ve listed just a few of our favorites:

  • Marigolds – it’s hard not to feel instantly better when looking at these vibrant warm orange and yellow flowers. Be sure to plant them in a place that receives lots of sunshine.
  • Lantanas – If you’re looking for a flower than comes in more colors than just orange and yellow, you may want to consider Lantanas. Their low-maintenance nature makes them appealing to many, and their array of colors comes in purple, pink, red, orange and yellow.
  • Verbenas – Need a flower that will spread and provide a sweeping effect? The Verbena is perfect for planting on retaining walls or in flower boxes or pots.
  • Gloriosa Daisy – Let’s not forget the Gloriosa Daisy, also known as the Black-Eyed Susan. They can reach up to 3 ½ feet tall and are ideal for planting at the back of garden beds so they don’t block the view of their smaller counterpart plants. With their orange petals and black center, the Black-Eyed Susans require full sun to reach their potential growth.

While you’re making your yard beautiful, don’t forget about the inside of your home as well.  The intense amount of heat during summer months is less than ideal for your air conditioner, if it’s not maintained for optimum efficiency. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can install a Power Ventilator in your home to save you money and provide cooling relief from the heat!  There may be heat trapped in your attic, forcing your air conditioning unit to work double time. The Power Ventilator will replace this hot air with the cooler air outside, saving you money and allowing your unit to run more efficiently!

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

 

 

Standard vs Comfort Height Toilets

Posted on: June 8th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Whether you’re in a new home or used home, the kind of toilet you use is an important decision. Although it’s a needed appliance, the choices used to be almost non-existent. Today, there are now options on the market as more research has been released showing the importance of finding the right toilet for your needs.

There are benefits and draw backs for each one. Keep in mind a couple things when considering your choices – whichever toilet you choose should allow you to be able to easily rest both feet on the ground. You should also be able to easily get up and sit down.  A significant amount of research concludes that the ideal position for use of a toilet should be a squat position with the hips below the knees. 

 Standard Height Toilets:

  • These are typically the best option for shorter people, as they are only 15 inches above the ground.
  • Standard height toilets come in multiple colors and styles.
  • Depending on the brand, they usually cost more.

Comfort Height Toilets:

  • Because they are 16-19 inches above the ground, this option is ideal for taller people.
  • The extra 2 inches of height is not only beneficial for tall people, but often the choice for elderly and disabled.
  • Comfort height toilets also are available in a variety of colors and styles.
  • They are recognized as ADA (adults with disabilities) compliant.
  • Generally, comfort height toilets are a less expensive option, although the cost difference is marginal.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can help you determine which height works for your family and can also perform dye tests on all your toilets to ensure that there are no water leaks, which equate to money wasting. If your toilets are connected to a septic tank and there’s a water leak, then you could be wasting even more money! Not only can we provide dye tests, but we can also check all faucets in your home and all exposed hot and cold water lines to identify and repair any water leaks in your home.

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

Keeping Your Home Safe During Summer Storms

Posted on: June 8th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

In our previous post, we discussed how to keep your home safe during summer vacation. But have you given thought to how you will keep your home safe during the summer storms? Spring and summer bring the highest rate of storms, which can cause some serious property damage. Rest easy knowing that your home is protected and ready for any storms that may come your way, by following these suggested preventative measures! 

 

  • Know where your shelter is – find the safest place in your home to hide out, during the event that there is a storm.
  • Create an emergency kit with necessities – and store it in the safe place where your family will hide out during a storm. A few of the items you should keep in the kit are non-perishable foods, a flashlight, water and extra clothes.
  • Keep routine maintenance on your roof and foundation.
  • Remove any trees or branches within close range of your home. These are major causes for property damage from high mile winds during the storms.
  • Avoid all metal – it’s also important to stay away from your phone, computer, and any electronics, if possible.
  • Close and secure all doors and windows.

 

Now that most of your home is protected, let’s make sure your air conditioning unit is also protected from flooding! Your AC unit may start to accumulate water, which is why there’s a device created to store the extra water, called a drain pan. There’s a possibility that your drain pan could become clogged, or even the drain line. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can install a micro “float” switch that will automatically shut your unit off if the drain pain accumulates water past a certain point. You can have peace of mind that not only your home is protected, but also your unit from any possible water damage.

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

Save Money This Summer!

Posted on: June 6th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

In a previous post, we shared tips on how you can stay cool during the summer, and save money while doing so. You’re probably tempted to go out and blow that money you saved on electrical bills and have some fun during the summer. The warmer months of summer often motivate people to get out and do more. Yet there are ways you can save money during the summer months that don’t apply to the winter months. So we’ll share some of those ways with you that will enable you to make the most of the warmer longer days, without breaking the bank! 

 

  • Install solar lighting. Enjoy your backyard without compromising the electricity bill with outdoor solar lights!
  • Check websites before going to your summer destinations to see if there are any coupons.
  • Partake in local free festivals and music performances.
  • Visit your local library to stock up on books for your summer reading list.
  • Go on a picnic – whether it’s visiting a park or going to a local festival, bring a fun picnic for your family to enjoy!
  • Check for free days at your local museums and nature centers.
  • Look up a list of all the nearest hiking trails and spend a Saturday immersed in nature.

 

If you haven’t had a chance to follow all the money saving tips for your home in our previous post, don’t worry – it’s not too late! The most significant money savings comes from your air conditioning unit. If it is running inefficiently or breaks altogether, these summer saving tips above wouldn’t even put a dent in the cost you would have to fork up to fix it. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can come out and check your unit to ensure that it’s running efficiently, and we can continue to provide routine maintenance. We can also clean out your air filters, which will improve the quality of air in your home and save you money as well!

 

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

 

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.

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.

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.