Archive for November, 2018

How Much Do Christmas Lights Affect Your Energy Bill?

Posted on: November 24th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

Some of the most notable parts of Christmas are gingerbread houses, eggnog, presents and Christmas caroling and decorating with lights around your home.  While they certainly add beauty and festivity to mantles, stairways, trees and roofs, they also come at a cost. Have you considered how much it adds to your electricity bill to hang Christmas lights for a couple months out of year?

Costs by type of bulb:

  • Traditional incandescent light bulbs cost significantly more to run during the Christmas season. A string of 25 lights will cost around $15 to run during the holiday. Multiply that by how many strings you would be using outside and inside, and this bill could easily rack up
  • A string of LED lights will cost around 24 cents to run over the course of Christmas. So the savings are definitely significant by switching to LED lights.
  • A string of flashing or twinkle LED lights will use almost twice as month energy as standard LED lights, however, this is still a low amount of energy compared to traditional incandescent light bulbs.

There are a few ways you can cut back on your electrical bill by being smart about what lights you use and how often you use them.

  • Consider getting a timer so that the lights automatically go off at a certain time, instead of staying on all night.
  • Although it’s easy to get overzealous about Christmas decorations, think about whether or not you need an abundant amount of lights or if you can avoid overdoing a display of excess lights.
  • If your heart is set on flashing or twinkling lights, then by all means include them in your display! If you are indifferent to them, then opt for the solid Christmas lights.

Using LED lights is not the only way to efficiently save on your energy bill. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can do a load balancing service to make sure that your electrical load is properly disbursed. We’ll check your breaker panel to make sure that there is not too much load on one side because it can cause your power bills to be unnecessarily high. It can also cause excessive heat. We will test your breaker panel to see where you stand to make sure your home is safe and sound.

Give us a call today – to schedule your appointment 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.

Protecting Your Faucets During Wintertime

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

Winter weather can bring potential challenges to your home, one of them being the possibility of frozen outside faucets. Although we’ve come a long way and there have been significant advancements to the kind of faucets that are created, there are still steps to take as a homeowner to ensure that there is no chance of your faucets freezing.

We’ve outlined helpful steps below that will help you to “winterize” your faucets for the cool nights ahead:

  • The first step is to disconnect your garden hose from the outside faucet.
  • Replace your faucet with a sill-cock that is frost-proof. This is essentially a remote control for the water supply faucet valve inside. From this sill-cock, you’ll be able to control the valve inside which supplies water flow to the exterior spout. You’ll be able to leave the water on, because of the downward pitch that will constantly allow water to drain when the faucet is turned off.
  • If you still have a standard sill-cock, this will take more effort to make sure that it doesn’t freeze. The first step is to turn off the water supply from the valve, which is either inside the home or next to the main water valve. After you’ve followed these steps, unscrew the bleeder cap inside the house so that the water can thoroughly drain. The water will either drain from the outside faucet, or it may drain from the main bleeder cap. Finally, make sure the bleeder cap is screwed on and go back outside to turn off the faucet.
  • Insulated faucet covers don’t provide much protection against frost, so it’s not a good idea to rely on this to protect your faucets through the winter.
  • Vacuum breakers can also create problems since they don’t allow water to properly drain out. The rubber seal in the vacuum breaker will often trap water that will not only ruin the vacuum breaker, but also potentially cause a mess when you go to turn the water on in the spring. If you’re lucky enough to have a removable vacuum breaker, go ahead and remove it now that its cold. If you’re stuck with a permanent vacuum breaker, there’s still a way to drain any excess water. Simply look up inside to find the white plastic post inside the breaker. Move the post to the side so that the rest of the water is able to drain out.

If this seems like a daunting task or you don’t have the time, we can do the work for you and provide peace of mind so that you know your pipes and faucets have been properly “winterized”! Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical can also check hot and cold exposed water lines, drain pipes and all other faucets for money wasting leaks!

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