Light Up Your Home

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

 

Whether you’re sick of tripping over things in the evenings or want to create a certain ambiance, lighting can make a huge impact in your home. Different types of lighting will work best in different rooms. What should you consider for your home?

General lighting, also known as ambient lighting, helps to create the overall mood of your home. When you are looking for general lighting, first take note of your other lighting systems in the room to make sure additions or changes will flow well. For example, you don’t want dim overhead kitchen lighting with overly bright cabinet lights. Recessed lighting is a good choice for your everyday tasks as well as to accent a room.

Accent lighting brings attention to the features of your home, such as interesting architecture or artwork. Track lighting is a good choice for this purpose. Track lighting is easy to install and versatile since the direction of each head can be individually adjusted.

Task lighting is what you want in work areas, such as around countertops and tables. For desks, a simple desk lamp will likely suffice. For the bathroom mirror, you can get rid of shadows by placing vertical fixtures on both sides of the mirror.

Think about smaller areas as well. Adding some pantry, cabinet and closet lights can make your daily routine smoother. Fluorescent light fixtures under the upper kitchen cabinets will offer bright light without producing heat.

It is crucial to make sure your lighting plan is functional and easy for your lifestyle. You don’t want a remote-controlled closet light if you’re the type of person who loses things easily.

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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!

 

Repurpose Your Dining Room

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

 

You may be getting a lot of use out of your dining room during the holiday season, but what about the rest of the year? If you don’t typically use it as a place to eat, you might be thinking about reworking the area of better fit your needs. Plenty of families use the space for homework, paying bills, storing items, etc. most of the year.

If you don’t mind a big project, look into an expanded kitchen. We spend plenty of time in the kitchen, so adding more space where the family can gather makes sense. Knock down the walls connecting the kitchen and dining room (get a professional) and make one large space! If you don’t want to go that far, you can simply put an island or shelving in your dining room for food or storage of pots, pans and other items.

Another easier option than knocking down walls is to transform the dining room into whatever room is needed. If you need a play area, make it into the kids’ toy room. If you want to use it as a game room, go for it. If you use the space primarily for homework or bills anyway, why not turn it into an office? This can be a very inexpensive project. Remember, there is no rule that you have to have a formal dining room or that you have to use the space as intended. Think outside the box. You will need to consider lighting and electrical setup. You may need to add extra lighting or change the lighting, or get creative with how you arrange the furniture.

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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!

Small Bathroom Storage

Posted on: November 18th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

Your bathroom is one of the smallest rooms in the house, but—especially with a large family—is often used. If you have a small bathroom, how can you maximize your space to store more than you expected?

The inside of your cabinet doors is a great, unused space. Put in some racks to hold hair dryers and any products you want to be able to grab easily.

If you’re looking for new cabinets, look for those with plenty of storage.

If you have kids and need a step stool, get a storage step stool. This way you can store soap, bath toys or other items.

For the kids’ toys, use a storage basket that attaches to the sides of the tub. This can also hold other items as well. These are lightweight and easy to clean.

Use wall-mounted racks and shelves to add storage on empty walls. One great space is the area above the toilet. If you don’t mind reaching up high, put in as many shelves as you can up towards the ceiling, or get a tall shelf. This will maximize wall space.

Install hooks on the underside of your shelves to hang washcloths and towels.

Add a ledge-style shelf over the sink and underneath the mirror to give you a little extra space for makeup or small toiletries. This will also make them easy to access.

Use space outside of your bathroom if possible. You can store extra towels in the hall closet or add a small shelf just outside the door for a few more items.

If you’re looking for more space, but not necessarily more storage, consider a pedestal sink. These have a small base (think of a stem with a flower at the top.) They are great for half-baths. Get a trusted professional to install.

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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!

 

 

Make Your Home Safer

Posted on: November 18th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

 

With 2 million home burglaries reported each year, it is important to make your home as safe as you can. Whether you only have a little bit of money to spend or quite a bit, there are plenty of options.

Use a heavy-duty deadbolt on your front door.

Use timers to keep lights on at home when you’re not there. Some will turn on randomly throughout the day or night, some can be set ahead of time to a specific time or increments of time. Some will work with only one appliance, others are power strips and can program several appliances.

Keep your car locked, whether it is outside or in the garage. Keep valuables out of sight—or better yet, out of your car.

Lock your windows and doors when you leave the house. Even when you are home, do not open windows more than four inches.

Install plenty of outdoor lighting around your home. Motion sensor lights are a great idea. Don’t forget to over all of your bases—make sure there aren’t large blind spots around your home. Security lighting should be up higher off of the ground, shining downwards to cast a big area of light, as well as prevent burglars from tampering with the lights. Make sure that your wires are hard to access. Lighting is also important for the safety of your family and guests walking around at night.

Store valuables in a safe place.

Consider an alarm system. There are many different options including motion detector, video monitoring and sirens.

If you’re an animal person, consider getting a large dog or two to deter burglars.

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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!

Get Your Home Ready for Thanksgiving

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

 

Getting your home ready for Thanksgiving—and all the holidays that follow—can be exciting, but also a huge chore. However, you don’t have to scrub your house from top to bottom. With a few tasks, you can get your house ready for all the people and of course, the food.

A week or so ahead of time, schedule your biannual HVAC inspection and cleaning to make sure it is in top shape before everyone arrives. The last thing you need is for your heating to go out.

The main area to focus your cleaning on is the kitchen. Wipe the counters, sweep the floor, empty the trash, and make sure all the dishes are clean and put away. If you don’t want to have a huge pile of dishes to do later, make sure to get some paper plates and disposable cups/silverware. Make your home smell like fall by boiling a few orange peels and cinnamon sticks and then letting it simmer.

Make space for extra tables and chairs if needed, and if there will be kids, make a space for them to eat and play as well. Cover the electrical outlets if there will be babies or toddlers.

Prepare as much food as you can ahead of time, especially if you’re the main cook.

Clear out a place for guests to hang coats and bags. If you don’t have a coat rack or enough room in the closet, make a bed in one room and designate that as the coat bed.

If you’ll have overnight guests, wash the towels and bed linens and make the beds.

Clean the bathroom that guests will use.

Vacuum in the areas where guests will be.

Lastly, put on some music and pour yourself a glass of wine!

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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!

 

 

Clean the Fireplace

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

 

Sitting by the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate in your hands… what a delightful vision. To make the vision come true, you should get your fireplace ready first so that it works well and you stay safe.

Start off by removing the ashes from the fireplace with a fireplace shovel if you didn’t at the end of last season. Put them into a bucket. Throughout the winter, make sure that the ashes don’t build up to a depth greater than about 2 inches.

Use a shop vacuum with a filter bag to remove any ashes or other dry debris that are left.

If you want to remove the soot and fire stains from the firebox, spray on soapy water and let it sit for about 30 minutes. When the reside looks like it has softened, scrub the surface with a stiff wire brush.

Use a metal brush to remove rust and debris from the damper. Wear eye protection and gloves. Also, check that the damper mechanism works properly so that the damper can open and close.

Check that your chimney cap is in good shape and that is not clogged with leaves or debris.

If you have animals that get down into the chimney, a wire screen will keep them out.

Check the mortar between the bricks to make sure that it is not cracked or flaking away. Check the flashing where the roof meets the chimney and make sure that there is a watertight seal around the flashing. Patch it up with caulk if needed.

If you’re tired of dealing with all of this, consider a gas fireplace.

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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!

Garbage Disposal Dos and Don’t’s

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

 

Fall is here and that means staying indoors and cooking up a storm during the colder days and holidays. That can also mean a lot of work for your garbage disposal. How should you maintain yours? When do you replace it?

Don’t put these foods down your garbage disposal: egg shells, onion skins, celery, corn husks, as well as hard foods such as seeds, popcorn, peach stones or bones. Don’t put any non-food item down the disposal. This is also bad if you have a septic system.

Keep it clean! Regularly pour a natural cleaner such as baking soda and vinegar down the inside to clean up the sludge. It is best to avoid harsh chemicals and cleaners.

Do not put fats and grease down your disposal, as they will clog it up. . Let fats gets solid and put grease in the fridge to make it solid. Then throw away. Even still, while running the disposal, use cold water. Hot water liquefies and leftover greases and fats.

Turn on the cold water every time you run your disposal while the food is being chopped up. You should also keep letting the water run for at least another 10 seconds after you turn the disposal off. The water will bring any remaining particles out of the disposal and will assist in flushing the pipes.

If your disposal is clogged do not use your hands to reach inside! Use pliers or call a professional if needed. You will most likely have to get your garbage disposal replaced every 8 to 15 years depending on your model and how often you use it.

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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!

Mystery Wall Switches

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

 

You flick the switch—and—nothing. Whether you’re going through the rooms in your new house or you would like to finally figure out that one switch in the home you’ve lived in for years—how do you do it?

A switch in a kitchen cabinet may be for a garbage disposal. Sometime appliances like this have been removed, but the switch is still there.

Gas fireplaces often have a hidden switch.

Look in your attic if the switch is near it. It may turn on a light or exhaust fan in there. Exhaust fans have a thermostat that can as a secondary switch to turn the fan on only when it is hot in the attic. It may seem the switch works in the winter.

Usually furnaces and air conditioning handlers are connected to a circuit breaker or pull-disconnect in a metal box, but sometimes it is a simple wall switch. If you accidentally flick the switch, the system will not run.

Some fans are operated with a remote control, and turn on by a switch. If a fan doesn’t have a pull-chain, this may be the case.

Switches near doors that lead outside may be for floodlights, post lights, or other lighting on your porch, patio, or yard. These are often forgotten about, so remember to change the bulbs. Otherwise, you may flick a switch and it may appear it doesn’t serve anything, but it actually serves than light in the corner of the house with the dead bulb.

If you just can’t figure a switch out and you really want to know what it is for, you can remove the face plate and see if it is connected to any wires. You’d have to turn off the circuit breaker and test with a non-contact tester. This can get tricky and would best be done by a professional.

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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!

Winterize your Garage Items

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

The items we store in our garages can last longer if we take some steps to store them properly as the weather cools down. Cold and wet garages are not great for your possessions. What are some simple steps to take to winterize the items in our garages?

  • Lubricate your garage door and put (or fix) weather stripping around it.
  • Stretch out your garden hose on a downward slope to drain out all of the water and then coil it up.
  • Clean and sterilize your rake and shovel to get rid of any diseased plant material. Take a bucket or other container and fill it with sand and mineral oil and then dunk any smaller tools into the mixture to prevent rust.
  • Make sure the gutters around your garage—and whole house—are clear to prevent them from leaking and caving in.
  • Clean the grass off of the undercarriage of your lawn mower and sharpen the blades. Also, run in until the gas tank is empty to prevent corrosion.
  • Put extra fuel into a steel jerrican with a flame arrestor and do not store it for more than a month. Gas with ethanol should be mixed with a stabilizer so it doesn’t deteriorate.
  • Clean or replace the air filter in your backpack leaf blower. Drain the fuel. Disconnect the battery cables and replace dirty spark plugs.
  • Get your snow blower ready by changing the dirty oil if you haven’t already. Replace shear pins. Also, check the shave plate for wear and tear.

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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!

 

 

Clean Air Ducts

Posted on: October 20th, 2017 by Derek Barmer No Comments

About once a year it is a good idea to clean out your home’s air ducts. (Let’s be honest, most of us have never—or very rarely—done this.) It can help to only keep your home cleaner but also help those who have allergies and asthma and households with pets. It also helps your system last longer, thus saving you money. How do you do it?

Lift up or unscrew the registers and wash them with soap and hot water and let them air dry.

Next, use a dryer vent brush attached to a cordless drill to clean inside the ducts. Then, use your vacuum cleaner hose with the dust brush attachment to get down further down into the duct and vacuum up anything that has been dislodged.

You can also use a damp microfiber cloth to get down into the duct and wipe the interior. You can also use an all-purpose cleaner with the cloth. Make sure to rinse it out often during the process.

Lastly, wipe off the floor and wall around the duct.

You can also consider installing vent register filters. These are helpful if you have furry animals that shed a lot and children who may drop things into the floor registers!

You’ll get to most of the dirt and dust with the steps above. However, if you want to go even further, remove end caps from rectangular duct work, slide the drives off the duct and pull the cap out. You can again use your vacuum hose here. You can also remove the basement registers to get more access to the main trunk line.

This is a good time to remember to change your HVAC’s air filter and get your system inspected.

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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!