Archive for the ‘home maintenance’ Category

Have you Winterized your Water Heater?

Posted on: January 12th, 2019 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Have you Winterized your Water Heater?

It’s important to have your home ready for the coldest months of the year and have everything operating in proper condition. It’s especially vital to make sure that your hot water heater is maintained and running like it should, otherwise you face the risk of taking cold showers during the freezing months! Your hot water heater can also take a beating in the midst of the cold weather, which is yet another reason to have maintenance performed.

Regardless of the make or model, it needs to be winterized. Here are some ways to maintain your hot water heater:

  • Just like rinsing out a glass, your water heater needs to be flushed out and cleaned. After water continually running through it, there is a natural sediment build-up. If you’d like to do this maintenance step yourself, you can do it by turning off the water heater, let it cool down, then attach a hose to the drain valve and find a place to allow the water to properly drain.
  • If you have an older tank, insulate it so they can hold heat better. There are fiber glass insulation blankets that keep your tank warm so that the water pumping through your showers also stays warm.
  • A water tank needs an actual pressure release valve to keep it from bursting. During the winter time, it’s especially important to add this to your maintenance list. You can check this by lifting the lever on top of the valve a couple times to check for any leaks. There should be a faint hiss sound or water when you open it. If you don’t hear any of those noises, it’s time to replace it immediately. Make sure there is proper vent draft so that your water heater is not allowing excessive formation of carbon monoxide. This could pose a serious risk if it enters your home.
  • If you have a gas water heater, check for any gas leaks from the water heater shut-off valve to the burners. Any leaks could be dangerous and also costly, due to higher gas bills. .
  • Water leaks can also reveal a serious problem. Check to make sure that your water heater does not have any leaks which could also be costing you significantly more each month.

Some of this maintenance requires a professional’s help, and we’re here for you 24/7! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to perform maintenance on your electric or gas hot water heater. Our maintenance will include things like flushing the water heater, relief valve testing, checking for water leaks, testing the emergency cutoff, inspecting the drain valve operation and much more! We want you to have peace of mind that your hot water heater is operating efficiently, and that your showers will continue to stay warm!

Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

How To Winterize Your Hot Water Heater

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

It’s important to have your home ready for the coldest months of the year and have everything operating in proper condition. It’s especially vital to make sure that your hot water heater is maintained and running like it should, otherwise you face the risk of taking cold showers during the freezing months! Your hot water heater can also take a beating in the midst of the cold weather, which is yet another reason to have maintenance performed. Regardless of the make or model, it needs to be winterized. Here are some ways to winterize your hot water heater:

  •  Just like rinsing out a glass, your water heater needs to be flushed out and cleaned. After water continually running through it, there is a natural sediment build-up. If you’d like to do this maintenance step yourself, you can do it by turning off the water heater, let it cool down, then attach a hose to the drain valve and find a place to allow the water to properly drain.
  • If you have an older tank, insulate it so they can hold heat better. There are fiber glass insulation blankets that keep your tank warm so that the water pumping through your showers also stays warm.
  • A water tank needs an actual pressure release valve to keep it from bursting. During the winter time, it’s especially important to add this to your maintenance list. You can check this by lifting the lever on top of the valve a couple times to check for any leaks. There should be a faint hiss sound or water when you open it. If you don’t hear any of those noises, it’s time to replace it immediately.
  • Make sure there is proper vent draft so that your water heater is not allowing excessive formation of carbon monoxide. This could pose a serious risk if it enters your home.
  • If you have a gas water heater, check for any gas leaks from the water heater shut-off valve to the burners. Any leaks could be dangerous and also costly, due to higher gas bills. .
  • Water leaks can also reveal a serious problem. Check to make sure that your water heater does not have any leaks which could also be costing you significantly more each month.

Some of this maintenance requires a professional’s help, and we’re here for you 24/7! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to perform maintenance on your electric or gas hot water heater.

Our maintenance will include things like flushing the water heater, relief valve testing, checking for water leaks, testing the emergency cutoff, inspecting the drain valve operation and much more! We want you to have peace of mind that your hot water heater is operating efficiently, and that your showers will continue to stay warm!

Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

How to stay Warm and Safe During Winter Months

Posted on: December 7th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Although the merriment and festivities make winter one of the most sentimental and exciting times of year, it also is the season for higher energy bills and higher safety risks.

We’ve highlighted the ways for you to keep your warmth and safety a priority while also enjoying the holidays:

  • Space heaters are great for heating smaller rooms so you can turn down your thermostat and save on energy. Be sure to keep doors shut to the rooms you don’t need to heat all the time.  Make sure that you don’t accidentally leave them on overnight or when you leave the home. It can easily become the cause of a house fire.
  • In addition to turning off heating devices, make sure that all your smoke detectors are installed and tested. Home fires are reported at the highest rates during winter months, so now is the time to test your smoke detector to ensure that it’s running properly.
  • Since we often spend more time indoors, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is also increased during these colder months. While installing your fire detector, now is a good time to also install and test a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Consider using a humidifier which can often help alleviate wintertime sickness. The dry air is an aggravating factor for the common cold or runny nose during the winter months. When using a humidifier, the air in your home will contain more moisture and help with these symptoms all throughout the day.

If you’re concerned about installing smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in your home, don’t worry, Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can help! We can also install a humidifier in your home to ensure optimal comfort during the winter months. You’ll be able to turn down your thermostat and save money this winter, and avoid some of the negative health effects that the dry air brings!

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

Does your home have Faulty Wire Connections?

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

With the shorter days of winter quickly approaching, many households will be using lights more frequently to brighten their home. Electricity is an integral aspect of a home operating and functioning well. There are potential serious problems if there is a faulty connection. So we’ll highlight the causes of poor wire connections, and also ways that you can spot a faulty connection to prevent any problems that may arise if not fixed:

Causes of poor wire connection:

  • Aluminum Wiring – aluminum used to be popular during the 60’s and 70’s, and it expands and contracts with changes in temperature. This expansion can cause fire hazards.
  • Leaks – Leaks can come from areas like laundry rooms and utility rooms or other areas that often contain moisture.
  • Breaker boxes are usually located in basements, laundry rooms, utility rooms and other areas of the home containing high levels of moisture. The water can collect on exposed wires and over time cause erosion.

Signs of problem breakers:

  • Corroded wires – if there are wires that become discolored, it’s usually a sign of moisture and can pose a threat to safety and efficiency.
  • Frequently tripped breakers – this could be a result of faulty wires, which cause your breakers to constantly trip.
  • Heated hardware – if there are visible signs of heat around your switches, this is an indicator of faulty wire connections.
  • Loose wires – check to see if there are any loose wires by gently tugging on them. Loose wires can lead to weak connections and they can potentially cause circuit overloads.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to conduct an Infra-Red Scan which will test the panel and your whole home for any hot spots in the electrical system. The last thing that you’d want during the holidays with traveling or hosting company is for a faulty wire connection to cause serious problems. Faulty wires can be dangerous and they are one of the biggest causes of fires. We’ll provide peace of mind that your electrical system is running smoothly, so you can focus on the things that mean the most to you during the holiday season!

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

Better Sound Quality, Better Football Season with the Right Electrical Setup

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

When you invite family or friends over to watch a game, it only takes one side conversation or someone cooking in the kitchen to drown out the calls happening on your television. Flat Screen televisions have dramatically improved our viewing quality, but the sound quality coming from the tiny speakers can be less than stellar. So, there are several ways you can improve your sound quality and avoid that living room noise competition.

If you’re ready to upgrade your sound system in your living room, it’s important to make sure your home can handle it. First, call the electrical department at Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric. Their technicians will come to your house to make sure your electrical outlets are grounded properly. Once you make sure your outlets are prepared for an additional sound system, you have some pretty simple options.

1. Install a soundbar or soundbase. A soundbar can be propped up on your television stand or mounted on the wall underneath your wall-mounted television. Most require no more than two cables — one to the electrical outlet and one to the television. Soundbars provide better sound quality without taking up too much space.

2. Connect PC Speakers. Whether you have an old set of PC speakers that you can plug into your television, or you have a set of wireless speakers, these might be your least expensive option. If your television has a headphone jack, you can plug the speakers right into it. Some televisions require an adaptor. You might also have to change the audio settings on your television. PC Speakers or wireless speakers will also need to plug into an electrical outlet. But the best part is, you can angle the speakers in the proper direction.

3. Use Bluetooth Headphones. Bluetooth headphones are likely the easiest option, as most newer model televisions pair easily with bluetooth headphones. However, they might not be the most fun option if you’re trying to watch a game with friends or family members!

4. Install Home Cinema Speakers. If you’re looking for full surround sound, home cinema speakers will provide just that. A home cinema speaker package usually consists of five satellite speakers and a subwoofer. You’ll need space to install all of the speakers and a place to put the subwoofer. They also need to be connected to a receiver, but they provide sound from all different directions in your living room.

Want help installing your home entertainment systems?  We can help!  Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric at at 800-461-3010 to setup your appointment today!

Tips on Heating Your Home During the Winter

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

The energy bill during the winter months is often something that homeowners dread paying, as they spike the thermostat settings to keep their homes warm and cozy. This does not have to be a high expense even in the winter months, and there are some tips that we’ll share that can save you money and keep your energy bill lower!

Take the Following Steps to Stay Warmer at Home:

  • Open the curtains during the day.  

During summer months, you probably keep your curtains closed to block unnecessary heat. Use the sun to your advantage during the winter               months, and allow it to bring warmth into your home! Once the sun has gone down, close the curtains to keep the heat inside.

  • Heat the rooms that you actually use.

Seal off the vents in any bedrooms

  • Make sure your furnace filter is cleaned and that your vents are properly maintained.

 

  • As we talked about in a previous post, getting a humidifier for your home will help the air feel comfortable at a lower temperature. This means that you won’t have to crank up the heat and spike your energy bill in order to feel warm and comfortable in your home.

 

  • Use your exhaust fans sparingly. While it may come as a surprise to you, frequently using exhaust fans during the winter can lead you to increase the thermostat in your home. Exhaust fans pull the hot air that

 

  • Properly insulate your home, so that there is no heat escaping! You can start by weather stripping your doors and windows, then the attic to ensure that your whole home is insulated and keeping all the heat in.

Without an efficient furnace or heating system, these tips won’t do much to save you money, because your system will have to twice as hard to produce a normal amount of heat. So whether it’s preventative maintenance, full replacement, or products and services to enhance your heating, Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can provide 24/7 service to make sure your heating system is running smoothly and efficiently! While we’re out there, we can also check and repair insulation so there is no unnecessary heat loss.

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

Keep Your Family Safe With Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Most harmful situations come with warning signs, such as fires which are accompanied by smoke and fumes. There is one deadly threat that comes without any notable signs. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, which makes it impossible to tell when it has been emitted in your home. Carbon Monoxide is a gas created as the result of fuel that didn’t burn fully. There are multiple appliances such as gas fires, water heaters and cookers that all have the potential to release Carbon Monoxide.  

We’ll highlight a few different ways that you can eliminate the chances of Carbon Monoxide being released in your home, and also how to identify when there has been a Carbon Monoxide leak.

What to Review:

  • Regularly have an inspection conducted on the vents and chimneys to make sure that all the connections are properly secured. During this inspection, make sure that there are no visible signs of rust or stains.
  • Always be sure to install and operate all your appliances according to how the manufacturer’s handbook instructs.
  • Have an annual inspection conducted by a technician to have your heating system, vents, chimney fully checked.
  • Never heat your home using a gas range or stove.
  • When purchasing your appliances, check to verify if they have been approved by the nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Never use fuel-powered tools or appliances in enclosed areas.
  • The only sure way to know when there has been a CO leak is to get carbon monoxide alarms and place one on every floor in your home and all the sleeping areas.

Carbon Monoxide can leak through vents and doors as well. So the safest way to make sure that you’re catching any potential Carbon Monoxide gas is to have a detector set-up and periodically inspected.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can install a new Carbon Monoxide detector and provide a regular check-up to make sure that your batteries are fresh and your detector is within the 3-7 year lifespan for optimal performance!

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

Why You Should be Using a Humidifier

Posted on: October 11th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Now that summer months are in the rear view mirror, it’s time to start considering how your home environment could  affect your health. There have been significant advancements with heating and cooling options over the past several years, so it’s time to reap the full benefits of those advancements! Long gone are the days where thermostats where limited to a dial that you had to change to set the temperature.

You might want to consider utilizing a Humidifier in Your Home and here’s why: 

  • They increase comfort levels in your home. Humidifiers produce moisture in the air, which will enable you to rest well with a comfortable night’s sleep.
  • They help alleviate wintertime sickness.  The dry air is an aggravating factor for the common cold or runny nose during the winter months. With a humidifier, the air in your home will contain more moisture and help with these symptoms all throughout the day.
  • The air will feel more comfortable and also warmer, which means that you can turn down your thermostat in the winter and save some extra money!
  • Moisture in the air from a Humidifier can ease dry skin, dry sinuses and even cracked lips caused by dry air!

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of a humidifier, here are some important considerations as to how to use one:

  • Many humidifiers will measure the humidity level in a room.. The optimal level should be 30 percent when it’s cold and 50 percent when it’s hot outside.
  • There are different humidifier options that are beneficial for each type of room in your home. It’s common for homeowners to have a humidifier in multiple rooms of their home.
  • Smaller humidifiers are beneficial for smaller rooms, especially children’s rooms. It’s best to stick with a cool mist humidifier, since it eliminates the chance of children getting burned by a warm mist humidifier.
  • There are console and whole home humidifiers that may be beneficial for larger rooms in the home.
  • If noise is an important consideration for you, there are ultrasonic humidifiers which create the quietest atmosphere.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Electrical and Plumbing today to review your heating and cooling systems.  We can address any areas of concern and how well your systems are working.

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

The “Change Filter” Light is Flashing: What Now?

Posted on: October 2nd, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

You look up and see a blinking light on your thermostat, “CHANGE FILTER.” Don’t ignore it! These filters protect your indoor air quality, meaning, they keep you and your family healthy! And by keeping them clean, it will save you money on heating and air conditioning in the long run. 

So do you call a professional or start looking up DIY YouTube videos? According to the professionals, if your filter is accessible and you feel comfortable getting to it, you can check to see its condition. The filter looks like a large windowpane. And you should replace it with the same size you already have. However, there’s no need to stick with a certain brand as long as the filter fits correctly. It goes in the same way the old filter was removed and it should be a snug fit. You can also use a permanent marker or pen to write the install date on your new air filter. That way, you won’t have any questions about when you need a new one the next time.

You should change out the standard 1″ wire media air filter every month depending on your lifestyle, especially if you have pets. But there are other types of media air filters that are thicker and take out a higher percentage of dust and contaminants. These filters usually have a longer service life. There are also electric air filters that electronically zap the contaminants and sterilizes the dust mites that survive in climates with relative humidity over 50%.

Benefits of Changing Air Filters:

  • Extends the life of your unit- systems can overheat if air filters aren’t clear and clean which can shut down your entire unit!
  • Keeps Energy Costs Down- if your filter is clean, your unit doesn’t have to work as hard, using less energy to heat and cool your home!
  • Keeps Pet Dander and Allergens at bay- keep your air cleaner by getting rid of unwanted pollutants!
  • Keeps your system clean- don’t let unwanted dirt, dander and other things clog up your system which can cost more in repairs!

When shopping, look at the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) number, which ranges from 1 to 12. The higher the number, the better the filtration is.  If your filter is in an area where you’re not comfortable reaching it yourself, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning. They will check it out for you and replace it if needed.To schedule an appointment, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning at 800-461-3010.

Tank vs Tankless- which water heater is right for your home?

Posted on: October 2nd, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Help, I need a new hot water heater! Tank vs. Tank-less?

What Type Do of Water Heater Do You Have?

Whether it’s a cold shower that tips you off, or a wet floor in the garage, the timing of a broken hot water heater is never ideal! And in most cases, there’s no notice your hot water heater is giving up at all. But when it does, you have a couple options. If your broken hot water heater was working sufficiently for you before, you can replace it with a similar hot water heater. If this is a floor standing model, this is likely your most cost-efficient option up front.

Regular Water Heaters

Unfortunately, if you had an older hot water heater that ran the course of its life, you may not be able to find that same model anymore. Additionally, if you have had challenges with the older model keeping up with your household’s hot water demand, you could either increase the water storage size or move to a tank that has a higher recovery rate. But keep in mind, if the size of the hot water tank is different than your original tank, you may have to make modifications to the space in which you install the hot water heater, which is an additional cost.  Gas hot water heaters often cost more than electric hot water heaters so keep that in mind and what you already have set up before purchasing a new one.

Tankless Water Heater Options

Your other option is to install a tankless hot water heater.  Despite the higher price point, they’re often more energy efficient and will likely save you money on your electric bill or gas bill long-term. A tankless water heater is an on demand system. It only heats the water once you turn it on. When it is sitting idle there is no energy used.

If sized properly, tankless hot water heaters can heat your whole house. You can place a hot water coil in your air handler. The tankless heater would circulate the hot water through the coil like a radiator on our car to heat your home. They can heat your home’s hot water as well all at once. Very rarely do you run out of hot water with the tankless heaters.

No matter what type of water heater you need, Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Electric & Plumbing is there to help.  Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010 and we will come out and review options with you on what’s right for you and your home!