Archive for the ‘home maintenance’ Category

Prevent a Failing Water Heater

Posted on: July 24th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

It is a crucial part of your home and often completely forgotten about until a major issue comes up—the water heater. The main cause of water heater failure is age. The seam on the back of most water heaters rusts and deterioration happened generally between about 9 and 11 years.

What does this lead to? Typically, flooding. However it isn’t always a sudden burst—sometimes it is a slow leak that might be easy to miss if you’re out of town, not home much, or simply don’t go in the area where you water heater is very often (such as a basement.) It is a good rule of thumb to get a new water heater every 9 years or so.

While repairs and installations are best left to a professional, there are some steps you can take to help out this important piece in your house:

Get your water heater’s shut-off valve and all piping inspected once a year. Signs of broken valves as well as wet or loose joints and rust will be some signs that more severe damage is likely to come.

Getting your water heater flushed to remove the sediment once a year will help as well. Water heaters can be flushed by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base of the water heater. Turn off the power and run hot water until it cools before flushing the tank since the heated water may be 140 degrees or more!

If you live in an area with hard water, installing a water softener can also extend the life of your water heater.

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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!

 

Grilling Safety

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

 

If you’re planning to fire up the grill on July 4th, Labor Day or any other day this summer, make sure you don’t see fire anywhere but the grill by following some simple safety tips.

First and foremost, if you have a gas grill, check for leaks by putting a soap/water solution to the hose with a spray bottle and turning the propane on to see if bubble form. No bubbles = good. Bubbles mean that you should turn it off and check the connections. Also, check the connection points.

If you smell gas, turn off the tank and burners and get the grill serviced before using it again. If the smell continues though, call the fire department.

For charcoal grills, if you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Do not use other flammable liquids. Keep charcoal fluid away from any other sources of heat.

For electric charcoal starters, you’ll likely need an extension cord as their cords are short. Keep in mind that metal parts will be very hot! Hang it up where nobody will bump into it and make sure it isn’t near anything flammable.

If the rain starts or you’re too hot, do not decide to move your grill indoors or anywhere near the house, deck or low-hanging branches.

Keep excited pets and children away from the space around the grill and always have someone watching the grill.

Always clean your grill after using it so that grease or buildup doesn’t stick.

Let coals cool completely after you are done grilling, and then dispose of them in a metal container.

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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!

Pressure Washing Around Your Home

Posted on: June 16th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Perhaps your deck is looking pretty dirty or you’re getting ready paint your siding. It’s a great time of year to start pressure washing around your home. Here’s how to get started.Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical, and Plumbing pressure washing tips.

Spraying power ranges from 1,200 to 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi).  To keep from damaging your painted soft-grain wood siding, or other soft materials, use a 1,200 to 1,500 psi model. It is also a good idea to look for a wide spray nozzle to disperse water pressure more evenly. The stronger non-painted surfaces can withstand 2,500 to 3,000 psi models, which will work the fastest.

Before getting started with the pressure washing, cover lights, shrubs, plants, or anything else that you want to protect with plastic or drop cloths and make sure they are secure with duct tape or weights. Also, take a brush and scrub visible mildew that you can easily reach.

Next, connect a garden hose to the pressure washer and turn on the water. Do not skip out on testing the pressure! Hold the pressure washer nozzle with both hands about 3 feet from the wall, then move closer to the wall until you are sure you won’t cause any damage but feel the spray is strong enough to remove dirt as needed.

Begin by spraying towards the top of the house and then work your way down. Don’t forget the overhangs and gutters (spray these at about a 45-degree angle.)

Leave the siding to dry for at least a few days before you begin painting. If you’d like, you can use the same pressure washer for your driveway, porch, sidewalk and deck. Keep in mind though, that these areas typically need a stronger psi, so you may not be able to get quite as much dirt and grime off as you would with another model.

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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!

 

Keep Your Crawl Space Dry

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

Its one of the last places you might think about—or want to deal with—in your house. However, as you may know from house hunting or your own bad experiences in your home, this is an area you should not overlook. How do you keep your crawl space dry?Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, and Electric keeping your crawl space dry

Outside sources such as roof gutters and downspouts are the most common causes of crawl space water entry or high moisture. Inspect around the outside of your home to see where sources of water need to be directed away from the house. This is commonly a problem for homes located at the bottom of a hill. Check your gutters to make sure they are in good shape and free of debris. If you need to test your gutters and downspouts, run the house through them. (Grab a friend or family member to help.)

Your last step outdoors may be to install a drainage system and sump pump inside or exterior waterproofing and foundation drainage.

As far as inside water sources go, you’ll want to look for sources of leaks and moisture as well as improper venting. In addition to water, look for condensation on pipes, under flooring and on foundation walls, foundation wall stains, and mold. Look below bathrooms and kitchens.

This summer it is a good idea to insulate cold water pipes in the crawl space to stop dripping of condensation that forms on the cold water lines in humid weather. (Do this is the basement too.) You may consider using a dehumidifier on a regular basis to help keep things dry.

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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!

Summer Roof Maintenance

Posted on: June 4th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Summer Roof Maintenance from Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical in North CarolinaThis is a great time of year to get outside and inspect your roof and do any summer roof maintenance projects that are needed. Not only is it warm, but also maintenance now will help you get ready for the tumultuous fall and winter months.

First, look from the ground for damage such as loose shingles, moss, algae, and also any debris.

Use a ladder to get up on the roof and clean up moss or algae with soap and water and a scrub brush. A cloudy day is the best time to do this not only to protect your own skin, but so the solution doesn’t dry out quickly. It is not recommended to use a strong pressure washer as it can damage the shingles.

Again, up on the ladder, check the flashing (metal stripping) around the chimney, vents, or ridge. These areas are where the majority of water damage comes from as water can seep through if they are damaged or worn.

Clean out the gutters. This should be done twice a year. Leaves braches and all kinds of debris can get stuck in there—and its the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes! Be aware of any stinging insects while doing this. If you see that the gutters have become loose, you can tighten them up with a wrench.

Trim back any tree branches hanging over the roof to prevent them from damaging it, and to prevent animals from damaging your roof as well.

Lastly, it is not a great idea to put heavy decorative items on your roof. If you have these items you may consider taking them down to extend the life of your roof.

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!

 

 

 

 

Get a Mosquito-Proof Backyard For The Summer

Posted on: June 4th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Mosquito-Proof Backyard from Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating , Plumbing, and Electrical in North Carolina

You’ve likely already seen a mosquito or two this season—and it’s only the beginning. Not only are bites annoying and unsightly, but they can transfer disease. How can you get a mosquito-proof backyard for the summer?

First off, get rid of standing water (a.k.a. mosquito breeding sites)! You’d be surprised where water can accumulate. Clean out your gutters, turn over buckets and baby pools, and store old tires, tools, unused flower pots and wheelbarrows. Remove water from in-ground pool drains if possible. If it isn’t possible, treat those areas.

Adult mosquitoes hang out in overgrowth and brush—so clean up your land. Take some time to pull the weeds, trim the hedges, pick up branches, mow the grass, etc. You can then spray an insecticide or natural repellent. Homemade sprays can use water and garlic or onion, citronella oil, or lavender oil.

If you’re a gardener, you can also plant some mosquito-repelling plants, such as citronella, feverfew, catnip and lavender.

If you’re having people over this summer, add some stalks of rosemary to the hot coals on your grill to repel mosquitoes.

Lastly, spray yourself! If you don’t want to use a DEET product, try one of these two homemade sprays:

-4 teaspoons of distilled or boiled water, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, 3 drops of lavender oil (this has to be stored in the fridge)

-1 cup of water, 5 drops of lavender oil, 3 drops of geranium oil, 10 drops of citronella oil

 

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!

 

The Whole House Program For Easy Home Maintenance

Posted on: May 10th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

 

The Whole House Program for Home Maintenance from Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, and ElectricalElectrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year.

Each year more than 4,000 people are hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning.

A leaky toilet can waste over 73,000 gallons of water a year.

Dealing with home maintenance as a homeowner can be stressful, right?  It doesn’t have to be, with the Whole House Program at Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical. Here are some of the common issues homeowners face when their home systems are not checked and maintained—and what this program can do about them.

Your HVAC system is one of the most costly home systems to repair if it is not maintained. Furthermore, you can easily have dirty air pumped throughout the home if the system is not cleaned, which is especially tough on those with allergies and other health issues.

For cooling, we will wash your outdoor unit, do a leak check, replace the filter, check the drain line, and check that all the components are using the proper amount of electricity. We will also inspect the duct system and the safeties. For heating, we will check the burners and heat exchanger.

For plumbing, maintenance and fixing problems early on is crucial to avoid water damage, mold and mildew. Again, not only will you waste money if you leave things alone, but you can also risk your health. In our Whole House program we will check faucets, test the water pressure, check the piping, flush your water tank, and do a dye test on the toilets to check leakage points for signs of wear. We will also investigate suspected stains.

Your electrical system is another major part of your home. Problems that are left alone can lead to fires and injury. We will scan for problem hot spots, check the GFCIs, check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and tighten panel connections. Connections can become loose over time, which is a big hazard for your family.

With the Whole House Program, inspection/cleaning of all of these major systems is included in one package for a low price. Minor repairs are all covered and major repairs are discounted by 30-60%. With one-time visits or individual agreements you’d pay much more. Overtime charges are also much lower than without the program. Sign up today for peace of mind!

 

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!

HVAC Spring To-Do

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

 

Spring is one of those times of the year when you can generally look forward to lower electric bills, as it isn’t too hot or too cold. It is also a great time of year to make sure your HVAC is ready for the summer.

When it is a nice day out, take your hose and wash the exterior condenser unit off to remove dirt and debris from the area. (Turn off the power first and remove leaves and branches from the metal pieces along the exterior.)

Indoors, sweep and dust the area around the indoor unit to help prevent allergens. While inside doing all of that, also check the ducts, condensate drip pan and drain, evaporator coils, and air handler for signs of mold. Small amounts can be cleaned on your own, but hire a professional if you have a big mold problem, as it can cause serious health issues.

Before it gets too hot and sticky, head up to the attic to check that the insulation is near 10 inches thick and provides a good cover in all parts of the attic.

Change your system filter at least once every few months, or every month if you have pets and/or allergies. There are also specific filters that do more than the average filter—look for those geared towards reducing allergies, if that is a concern.

Lastly, have a professional inspect your system twice a year to prevent any major issues popping up suddenly and to ultimately, save you money and time.

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!

Don’t Skip These Home Upkeep Items

Posted on: April 8th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Your home maintenance checklist could include dozens and dozens of items, and you can easily get overwhelmed thinking about all of these things. You can, however, skip some of the smaller items or delay them. Others you don’t want to skip. So prioritize: What are some of the most important things to get to this spring and summer, if you only have a limited time?

Fix the caulking around your tub or shower. If it is damaged (cracks, peeling edges and discoloration) it can let water seep into hidden places such as behind your tub. Not only can this damage walls or floors, but it can also lead to mold growth.

Dripping faucets mean money right down the drain. Leaks will only get worse with time. It is often a pretty quick fix, like simply replacing a seal. Even if you have to replace the entire faucet, it will last a long time.

Warmer weather means insects! Seal holes where they can get in to your home. Look around the foundation and around wires and pipes. While you’re at it, check for sources of standing water. Keeping water and moisture away from the home keeps bugs away too, since they need it to survive. (Another reason to fix those plumbing issues mentioned above.) Termites in particular cause billions of dollars in property damage each year.

Get your HVAC system inspected and cleaned regularly. Once every 6 months is a good rule of thumb. This is one of the biggest and most expensive parts of your home to repair or replace if it is neglected.

Replace your furnace filters. It’s easy to do once every few months. This is especially important if you have pets and/or allergies and asthma, in which case you should replace it every month.

Seal your windows properly. Exterior caulk often dries out in the summer, which causes gaps and cracks. All of that cool air will leave your home and empty your wallet! All it takes is some caulking and weather stripping.

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!

Sprinkler Tune Up

Posted on: April 8th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Get your lawn off to a great start this spring by making sure your sprinkler is in good shape after the long winter. Furthermore, an efficient sprinkler will save you time and money over the long, hot months.

First, check the irrigation controls and programs. Check the time and date on the timer and the settings to make sure they are what you want for your lawn. Generally 3/4 inch of water per irrigation cycle is recommended, which moistens the soil around 8-9 inches deep. Replace the battery in the timer if needed (it is a good idea to do this every year.)

Make sure the sprinkler heads are free of dirt, rocks or any other type of debris. Try to keep obstacles out of the way. All of that debris can disrupt the flow of water, which cannot only mean an uneven flow, but also wasted water— and money.

If the sprinkler heads or nozzles, valves or pipes are worn out, cracked, chipped or otherwise damaged, replace them. Valves are especially important because if not working properly, they can lead to a lot of wasted water. If you notice any muddy areas or too-wet areas when testing the system, it probably means you have a leaky valve.

Turn on the water and do a test run. Open the water valve slowly to let pipes fill gradually to prevent a big surge of pressure and thus, damage. Too much pressure can lead to cracked pipes, broken valves, leaks and watering that is not even or efficient. A water pressure gauge can measure your pressure in your house and your yard. You connect it to a hose faucet and if the pressure is above 40-65 PSI, you may need to install a pressure regulator or to fix any damage that you think may be causing it.
Think about additions to help your system. A rain sensor can keep you from over-watering. It will prevent your system from watering right after a heavy rain.


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!