Archive for the ‘home maintenance’ Category

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!

 

Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

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

People are often looking for more ways to save money.  Even a few extra dollars of savings a month can accumulate and make a difference. Have you looked into all the areas you could be saving more? Maybe you’ve committed to tuning up your AC unit on a regular basis. This is an important aspect of long term energy savings. But have you considered the thermostat you’re using?

There are a few primary benefits to using a programmable thermostat:

Saves time – Instead of constantly adjusting the thermostat for the time of day and the different seasons, consider a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust based on how you preset it! It can become quite a hassle to constantly adjust the temperature during the day, before bed, right when you wake up or when the seasons change.  By setting the temperature up front, you save time and hassle.

Saves money – With energy bills on the rise, a programmable thermostat is even more beneficial because of how much energy it will save, which translates into money saving. There’s the potential to save up to 2% for every degree you lower or increase your setting. You can adjust the settings to turn off the AC when you are gone, then turn on when you get home, so you’ll also be saving money here as well.

Adjusts to zoned heating and cooling areas – It’s already beneficial to have zones of your home that you can heat and cool according to preferences and use of that space. It’s even more beneficial for these zones to be preset, which allows every square foot of your home to be completely customized with temperature settings.

Maintains a consistent temperature – Instead of fluctuating between too hot or too cold, a programmable thermostat allows you to set and maintain the perfect temperature. It also prevents those spots in your home that can be hot or cold spots.

If you haven’t had a chance start routine maintenance for your heating and cooling systems, don’t worry – it’s not too late! The most significant money savings comes from your air conditioning unit. If it is running inefficiently or breaks altogether, the cost to fix it will be significant. 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 install and set your programmable thermostat as well!

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

 

What Does Our Air Conditioning Maintenance Include?

Posted on: September 4th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

In our previous post, we discussed how important maintenance is, yet how it’s often overlooked by many homeowners.  Just like a car, your air conditioner needs routine maintenance to perform optimally and also to have a longer lifespan. You don’t want to get to the point where your AC unit breaks, which will cost a significant amount. With routine maintenance, you can reap the benefits of money savings long term. Preventative Maintenance will also provide a more comfortable living condition because your unit will be running optimally. You may be wondering what exactly does a routine maintenance include?

We’ll go over the full maintenance of your unit below:

Central Carolina Air Conditioning

  • One of the many things we do at CC Air Conditioning is that we clean condenser coils, which translates to maximum AC efficiency.
  • We also check the refrigerator charge by temperature differential/electrical demand on the compresser.
  • Blower wheels will be inspected and cleaned.
  • The condensation drain will be cleaned and inspected.
  • We’ll check the thermostat to make sure it’s accurate.
  • In addition to these things, we will also wax your unit, which is similar to waxing your car. The benefit is that it preserves the finishing on your AC unit.
  • Those dirty air filters will be replaced with new ones, which will allow a better air flow in your home!
  • All ductwork will be inspected for leaks, and receive proper insulation if needed.
  • The life expectancy of your unit will increase through our services as well, specifically through lubricating the motors and bearings.
  • The belts and pulley will also be inspected and adjusted so that there isn’t a decrease in air flow.
  • Any loose connections for the unit wiring and disconnect will be checked and fixed. This adds value to you because if a disconnect becomes too warn, it can blow fuses and also lead to a motor compressor failure.

The most significant money savings comes from your air conditioning unit. If it is running inefficiently or breaks altogether, it costs significantly more than it would to just keep it maintained. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can come out and check your unit to ensure that it’s running efficiently and provide the routine maintenance including all the aspects we listed above!

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

Why Air Conditioning Maintenance is Vital

Posted on: August 15th, 2018 by Derek Barmer No Comments

With so many tasks and chores that require your time and attention, you may not think much of your Air Conditioning Unit. It can sometimes get put on the backburner. It shouldn’t be neglected, however, because performing routine maintenance on your unit will save you significant costs in the long run. We’ll highlight the many benefits of conducting routine maintenance on your air conditioning unit

 

  • Maintaining your AC Unit will increase the lifespan of your unit, so you don’t have to replace it more frequently.  Central Carolina Air Conditioning

Consider the maintenance of your unit to be the same as the maintenance of your car. Failing to get regular oil changes would cause significant damage to your vehicle over time. The same goes for neglecting routine maintenance tune-ups on your AC unit.

  • By keeping a clean air conditioning system, you are saving money each month because it keeps your electrical bills low 

A dirty evaporator, condenser, and blower could increase air conditioning or heat pump electrical usage by 50% or more.

  • To ensure that your system is operating efficiently, it’s important to keep you coils clean

Even 100th of an inch of dirt on your evaporator can drop its efficiency down to 50%!

  • To reap the full benefits of your warranty, routine maintenance needs to be evident to the manufacturer

Showing neglect of your system will make it hard to claim maintenance benefits.

 

 

There are a few essential parts to your AC unit that require regular tune-ups. The condenser should be cleaned, as well as the evaporator coil. The condenser also needs regular oiling, and the themostat calibrations should be legible. Among the list of items that need maintenance are also the electrical wiring. Finally, the coolant and pressure measurements also need attention.

This list may seem overwhelming, but there’s no need to overthink the maintenance of your Air Conditioning unit! Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can provide routine maintenance on your unit, in the most efficient and effective way. We will help you save money in the long run and ensure your unit is running more efficiently!

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

 

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.