Archive for the ‘home improvement’ Category

Are Chemical Cleaners Safe On Your Pipes?

Posted on: August 10th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

With so many cleaning products available on the market, and new products releasing constantly, it’s hard to know which ones you should get and which ones actually provide benefit instead of harm. Some of the most popular options on the market are chemical cleaners. While many people think that these are good options, they can actually cause significant damage to your pipes. Many of these chemical cleaners can actually cause your pipes to warp or melt, if they are plastic pipes. When this happens, your pipes can start to leak, which cause even more problems. Chemical cleaners should also never be used for a completely clogged drain. Not only do the chemical cleaners cause damage when they are poured down your pipes, but they are also a more costly option than their alternatives. We’ll explore safer and also cost-effective methods that will clear your pipes! 

  • Use a bent wire hanger. If you’re one of those that has a constant problem with hair getting caught down the drain, using a bent wire hanger can be a great solution! Take the wire hanger and bend it into the shape of a hook, then stick it down the drain to pull out the hair. Oftentimes the hair is only stuck within the first few inches of the pipe, which is why the wire hanger is a good solution.
  • Use an auger. Another method to use that is more extensive than the bent wire hanger is the plumber’s auger. You can often times find this at a hardware store. They are a manually powered tool. You simply push them down the drain until the auger meets some resistance. Once this happens, you will tighten the screw to hold the auger in place. Next you’ll want to push the auger down further by turning the crank. Do this until the auger has broken through the clogged point of the drain.
  • Use home alternative cleaners – These are more eco-friendly and non-toxic. One home alternative cleaner is the enzymatic drain cleaner. They work by producing live enzymes that essentially will eat the clog in the drain. Another household method is vinegar mixed with baking soda. Mix these ingredients together before pouring  down the drain. Then let them sit for an hour or two, or even overnight.

So next time your drain is clogged, avoid putting these harmful chemicals down the drain, and go for one of these alternatives instead. If you’ve been using chemical cleaners, then there is a change that your pipes have warped and are leaking, which could be costing you extra money. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical  to check your drain pipes, and we’ll also check your exposed hot and cold water lines and ventilation systems while we’re there!

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

 

 

What To Avoid Putting Down the Drain

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

A significant amount of our time is spent in the kitchen. We gather in the kitchen, which is the heart of our home, to spend time with our family and we also eat our meals there multiple times a day. The kitchen sink is one of the appliances and functions in the kitchen that is used most often. Because of this, it’s even more important to make sure that the sink is functioning properly. Sometimes convenience leads us to put things like leftovers down the drain – but this may not be the best method of disposal. We’ll outline what things you should never put down your kitchen sink.

  • When baking pretty much anything, flour is often involved. This is one ingredient that can cause problems for your drain! Avoid flushing leftover flour down your kitchen sink!
  • If you’re one of those that can’t start the day without coffee, you inevitably have to put those grounds somewhere – but that somewhere should not be the kitchen drain! Opt for throwing out the coffee grounds in a trash can instead 
  • Avoid putting anything down the drain that expands when it’s put in water. A few examples of these foods are chia seeds, corn kernels and cherry pits.
  • You’ll also want to avoid putting any bones down the drain – as this could wreak havoc for your disposal system.
  • Don’t put anything down the drain that will turn into a solid substance after sitting for a while. A primary example of this is oil and fat. They turn into solid substances once they have been sitting, and this could cause damage to your drain if you pour leftover oil or fats from cooking down the disposal.
  • Egg shells are another potentially harmful item to put down your drain. When the eggshells are crushed up, they could cause your disposal blades to become dull.

If you avoid putting these harmful items down the kitchen sink, it’ll allow your drain to work properly and serve its purpose. The kitchen drain is not the only element of the kitchen sink that should be considered. The kitchen faucet could be costing you extra money and could be providing a lower water pressure if there’s a leak. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical your faucet for leaks, and we’ll also to check on your water heater, drain pipes, exposed hot and cold water lines and ventilation systems!

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

 

Beware of These Safety Hazards In Your Home

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

Daily life can get busy, which means we often forget to pay proper attention to little things that could potentially cause big problems. Appliances are a common use in every home – and oftentimes we use appliances multiple times a day. We’ll share effective ways that you can practice as part of your daily routine to prevent potential hazards. It only takes one time to start a fire, so the few extra seconds or minutes over the course of the day will be well worth it!

  • When it comes to any appliances that emit heat, such as a computer monitor, screen, clocks, tv, etc. make sure to provide ample space around the appliance so that it does not overheat. Normally a few inches would be enough space to allow for around these appliances.
  • Don’t attempt to fix any appliances yourself, and always read through instructions if you decide to do the initial set-up yourself.
  • While you may know that all electrical appliances should be kept away from water, consider any vents that could also potentially leak. Make sure that your electrical appliances are clear from any spot close to a vent.
  • When using power cords to increase range of use for lights, always make sure that there are no frays or kinks in the cords.
  • Always make sure that the power cords are tucked under the rugs and out of the way so there aren’t any trip hazards.
  • It may be convenient just to grab whichever power cord you see at the store, and going about your shopping trip to complete your shopping list. Take the time to match the power cord to the length and weight that you will need.
  • Be careful with outlets when using power strips so that they don’t become overloaded!
  • When it comes to light bulbs that you use in your home, consider trading out for energy efficient bulbs.
  • Match the light bulb wattage to the fixture.  Using one that emits too much light for the fixture is a possible fire!

   

It’s always important to make sure that your electrical panel is operating efficiently and safely.  Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to 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. This is especially important for any outlets near water or other hazards!

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

Avoid High Energy Bills with Energy Efficient Appliances

Posted on: July 25th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Has there been a change in the size of your family or the needs of your family? Maybe it’s time you invest in a fridge that can adjust with your family’s needs that is energy efficient that will help avoid higher energy bills! The latest models available on the market today are often energy efficient to some degree and have one to many luxury options. We’re asking some questions you may not have considered yet, but your answers will help determine the best fridge-freezer model for you and your family!

 

  • Do you often access drinks and condiments? If so, you’ll want to consider a model that has a shallow inset so you can frequently grab a drink or other items, without compromising the temperature of the rest of the fridge.
  • Are there multiple little ones in the home? If this is the case for you, then it may be best to select an option that notifies you when the door is left open. There are even models that go a step further and notify you when the fridge is in need of a check-up.
  • Do you use the fridge as often as the freezer? For those who are grabbing frozen foods as often as fresh foods, this is probably the best choice and prevents bending down every time you need to grab something out of the freezer.
  • How often do you entertain or mix up the kind of food you store in the fridge or freezer? With all the advancements now available in fridges, you can get a custom cold model. You will be able to adjust the two freezer sections that come in a fridge model, making one of the freezers another fridge. So for times that you plan on needing extra fridge space, adjust the second freezer temperature temporarily, then turn it back to freezer temperature!

With all these considerations that play into choosing the right refrigerator, you certainly want to make sure that it is running properly and hooked up correctly. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to tighten all panel connections. We can also perform load tests to make sure that your whole home’s load is properly distributed. This will help you avoid high power bills and excessive heat!

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

Protect Your AC Unit From Water Damage

Posted on: July 19th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Have you accounted for all the things that need maintenance OUTSIDE of your home? The roof can often be forgotten during the hot months, as people are more focused on efficiency of their Air Conditioners and staying cool indoors. The roof should not be neglected, however, because damage during the summer months could cost quite a bit in repairs. Sometimes it’s necessary to call a professional, but in this case, there are a few ways that you can perform maintenance without needing additional help. If you do choose to inspect the roof yourself, take a couple precautions. Wear gloves and watch your foot placement carefully. We’ve provided a checklist below to inspect all aspects of your roof! 

  • First, you will want to check all the gutters to make sure they are clean and without blockage, this way water can flow through them.
  • Obvious signs to look for are any missing shingles or cracks in shingles that need to be replaced.
  • Check the metal strips. Roofs often have a metal strip lining the gutters, so check to see if these have come loose during any summer storms.
  • Any sealants should still be in tact – make sure to fill them if there are any gaps.
  • Water damage can be pricey to fix. Routine summer maintenance on your roof is important to catch any damage hopefully early on. The eaves and overhangs should be checked to make sure there is no water damage.
  • Check for any mold – if there are signs of mold damage, now is the time to call a professional to prevent any further damage.

 

Now that your roof has been checked for water damage, among other things, let’s make sure your air conditioning unit is protected from water damage as well! 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.

 

Beware of Energy Drainers in Your Home

Posted on: July 12th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

You may not have heard of the term “standby power”, but you’re probably be very familiar with it.  Do you ever wonder why your electricity bill may be higher even though you are conscientious about turning the lights off before you leave your house? Well, standby power is anything that expends energy EVEN when its turned off, but plugged in.

Parents and children alike are spending more and more time on technology, whether it’s watching tv or playing games on an iPhone. These devices require charging, and often frequent charging with how much we use our devices. It’s a common habit to leave our chargers plugged in and other electronics or appliances. 

These are common devices and appliances that expend energy when they’re plugged in:  laptops, cell phones, game consoles, modems, printers, microwaves, toasters and coffee makers. It may not always be a convenient option to unplug a modem and repower every time. It may not even be possible to unplug your washer and dryer that could be blocking the area where they plug in. So we’ve created a list of alternative methods that will help you save energy on the appliances and devices draining power when they’re not used.

  • When it’s possible and not a huge hassle, unplug devices before you leave your home.
  • Consider using a power strip that will make it convenient to turn on off one switch for multiple devices, instead of having to turn off and on all those individual devices.
  • You can also consider getting a Kill-a-Watt meter to test your appliances to see how much electricity they are really using.
  • Invest in cell phone chargers that are automatic energy savers by “unplugging” when you aren’t using them.
  • Energy Star Appliances are the way to go for long term energy savings.

These are great ways to save energy and money, however, one the most significant money savings comes from your air conditioning unit. 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!  Also we can help review your electrical outlets and usage to see how you can further save money!

 

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

 

 

Need To Replace a Ceiling Fan?

Posted on: July 10th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

If you’ve had a broken ceiling fan for a while, you probably feel the need to fix it during the heat waves of summer.  This is not a daunting task, if you have basic electrical skills, or can quickly learn basic electrical skills. Allow for some patience during this process, and plan on taking a couple breaks during the fan installment due to the heavy weight of the fans. It’s much easier if you have someone helping you!

Start by turning off all the switches to the ceiling fan, and then cut the power off at the circuit breaker box. (Make sure you have the proper switch, if you are going to control your fan with a wall switch. Depending on the brand of the fan, some may only be set to operate from a preset multi-speed switch).

– Make sure the wires are disconnected before removing the old fixture.  Check the electrical box to make sure that the ceiling is properly suited to hold the weight of a ceiling fan. You will probably find a fan weight rating inside the electrical box that will indicate whether the ceiling can hold the weight of the new fan you wish to install. 

Next, follow the fan instructions for the particular ceiling fan you are about to install. Most ceiling fans come with the light fixtures pre-installed.

-Instructions may require you to cut and strip the fan wires to fit accordingly.                           

-Hang the fan on the hook, if your ceiling plate or mounting bracket comes with a hook to support the wiring.

-While still following the manual instructions, connect wires using a wire connector. There should be no visible wires after the connecting process, except for the green ground wire.

Follow the manual instructions to attach the fan blades, which may need to be screwed on, or clipped on, depending on the fan model.

-If the fan is too wobbly, you can either attach a balancing kit that may be included with your fan, or you can buy them separately.

-Finally, turn switch back on at the circuit breaker. 

If you don’t have time or the patience to install a ceiling fan, give Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical a call and we’d be happy to install it for you! While we’re out there, we can check your Air Conditioning Unit to make sure it’s running efficiently, so that not only your new ceiling fan but also your AC unit are providing the most comfortable atmosphere in your home!

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

How About Hosting a 4th of July Party?

Posted on: June 28th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

The holiday that marks American Patriotism is around the corner, and often a time of gathering and celebration. If you’re hosting a celebration this year, don’t get overwhelmed just yet! We’re here to share some helpful tips that will make hosting an enjoyable experience! 

 

  • Prepare in advance. When it comes to the 4th of July, or any holiday, food is the primary staple that brings people together. Many delicious food options can be prepared days in advance. Consider frozen treats – perfect for summertime – or sauces that can be created in advance for BBQ and chicken.

 

  • Focus on drinks. In the heat of summer, one thing that everyone will be looking for is a good drink to keep them cool. Enhance any flavored beverage by adding strawberries, blueberries or raspberries to highlight the patriotic celebration.

 

  • Make the most of seasonal fruits. Not only are berries a great option for adding to drinks, but there are many seasonal fruits that can serve as decorative center displays or as fruit treys for people to snack on.

 

  • Keep it simple with prewrapped cutlery. Create an assortment of white, blue and red cutlery and a napkin stay consistent with the red, white and blue theme.

 

  • Add festive décor. Don’t break the bank to make your home look festive. Add a few patriotic flags, some red, white and blue balloons paired with some colorful streamers and your home will look like you’ve spent lots of time and money prepping for the big celebration!

 

Now that your home is decorated and food is prepped, do a final check to so that you’re ready to fully accommodate your guests. Make sure that your plumbing is properly working – including your toilets and sink faucets. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can 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! 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.

 

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

 

DIY Tile Backsplash

Posted on: June 25th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

As we mentioned in previous posts, summertime is often the best season to take on home projects. The long daylight hours are perfect for outdoor and indoor projects alike. One of the indoor projects that adds instant value and appreciation to your home is kitchen tile backsplash. The kitchen and bathrooms are primary areas of the home that everyone looks at when considering buying a home. 

Adding tile to the kitchen is a different process than adding tile to the bathroom. The kitchen does not have any areas that are considered “wet areas” with backerboard. So it will be a simpler process from that perspective, yet still a tedious process that requires patience.  Follow these guidelines for a successful enhancement to your kitchen!

 

  • Turn off the power to your kitchen.
  • Wipe down and clean all wall areas that will be tiled. A mixture of water and liquid dish soap will remove any stubborn grease stains.
  • Cover your countertops with a drop cloth or some other protective material.
  • Take off all outlet covers and switch plates. Move all the appliances that are close to the areas you will be tiling.
  • Tape off the cabinets and the area where the counters meet the wall. Be sure to also tape off the outlets.

 

At this point, you’ve prepped your walls and are ready for measuring and the tile installation! Read our next post for how to finish DIY kitchen tile installation! Cosmetic upgrades add great value to your home – however, you can also add value by making sure your home is operating efficiently as well. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical to check on your water heater, drain pipes, exposed hot and cold water lines, faucets for leaks and ventilation systems!

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

 

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.