Summer Home Maintenance List

Home ownership comes with many joys, but there are also a lot of responsibilities. Life can get hectic, so we’ve created a summer home maintenance list to help you knock out some chores. Maintaining your home will make it more enjoyable to live in and alleviate any problems that can arise if these chores are neglected over time. Knock out the maintenance list below, and you’ll be able to relax for a little – at least until the fall maintenance comes around!

Summer Home Maintenance List

1. Clean ceiling fans

Your fans may have been off during the previous seasons of colder weather and have likely accumulated some dust. Take the time to clean your fans, since you are surely wanting to use them now!

2. Create a summer watering schedule for your garden or plants

Different seasons require different watering guidelines for your plants. Create a watering schedule this summer to keep your plants healthy and strong.

3. Check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors

Most carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have a test button.  Check to make sure they are working and your family is safe!

4. Clean your grill 

Make sure your grill is ready for those perfect evenings where you and your family can enjoy a BBQ on the back deck!

 

5. Give your windows a good wash

Summer home maintenance means window cleaning

Add window cleaning to your summer home maintenance list.

It’s always good to add this to a seasonal home maintenance list.  Pets and children can especially leave their marks on our windows!

6. Enhance your yard – add some mulch

This will not only help keep the weeds down, but it will also help the ground retain more moisture during the summer heat.

7. Keep dirt out of your home – get a couple of doormats

With shoes coming in and out of your house constantly, your floors can easily get muddy and dirty. Consider getting a coarse mat to put at the exterior of your home so that everyone can rub the dirt off before entering. Then put a softer door mat inside your door to catch any remaining dirt.

8. Have your air conditioning inspected

Perhaps the most important item on your summer maintenance list is your air conditioning unit! It’s running the hardest during these summer months, so you’ll want to make sure that your unit isn’t working unnecessarily hard or inefficiently. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to come out and perform a tune-up and inspection on your AC unit!

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

Is your AC about to go out? Know the signs!

Air conditioning is one of modern life’s greatest privileges. We often don’t think about the comfort it provides, until our unit stops working. When the AC goes out, it always seems to happen suddenly (and on the hottest day of the year).  But there are usually signs and symptoms before a unit goes kaput – you just have to know what to look for. Staying on top of your air conditioning unit’s health will save you from discomfort and unexpected expenses down the road!

Signs your air conditioning unit may be about to go out

It’s full of hot air

The number one sign that something is wrong with your unit is that the air doesn’t seem cold. There could be a few reasons why this is happening. It’s possible that your compressor is broken or your unit may have low levels of Freon.

It’s leaky

If you check your unit and there is moisture or leakage, this could be a sign that something is not right. Slight condensation is normal, but a significant amount of moisture is not. A refrigerant leak around your unit can cause a risk to your family. Water leaks can cause damage to your floors and furniture, and they can sometimes even cause mold. It’s best to call a professional to fix the problem sooner rather than later.

It’s thumping, bumping, clicking, or banging

If you hear a strange sound coming from your unit, it may be time to have an inspection done to find the cause of the noise. If you hear rattling, banging or grinding sounds coming from your unit, turn it off immediately and call a professional.

It’s ready to retire

Is your unit 10-15 years old? If so, you may want to consider replacing it with a newer energy efficient model. Air conditioning units typically last 10-15 years, so if yours is within this time frame, then you should be anticipating a unit replacement soon.

It’s a money pit

Are you constantly paying for repairs on your unit? If so, replacing the unit may save you money in the long run. Repair costs can really add up over time.

It’s hogging energy

What is your system’s SEER rating? Every Air Conditioning system has a SEER rating, and the higher the rating, the better. If your SEER rating is low, then it may be time to replace your unit. Any units that have been made since 2006 are made with a minimum SEER rating of 13. It’s best to have a rating higher than the minimum if you want to reap the most energy savings from your unit.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to visit and perform a tune-up on your AC unit! Our service professionals will inspect your condenser and evaporator coils to ensure that your system is running efficiently. We will also come out and check your insulation for any small holes or non-insulated walls.  This will also help reduce the cost of your energy bills since your system will be running properly after our inspection and tune-up!

Call to schedule your appointment now with Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical at 800-461-3010

 

Freon To Be Banned in 2020

Did You Know Freon Will Be Banned in 2020?

Because of new information that has been released by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), there are upcoming changes that are important to be aware of in relation to your AC unit. You may be wondering what this even means and how it affects you. We’ll go over exactly what the EPA  discovered, and what action steps you need to take. 

Over the past couple decades, air conditioning units have been created with a refrigerant called Freon, which represents primarily two different chemicals – R-22 and HCFC-22. These chemicals, however, have been extensively researched by the EPA. HCFC-22 has been shown to cause damage to the ozone layer. As a result, air conditioning units are not allowed to be built and/or installed that use this chemical. The ban took effect in 2010.

Although  air conditioning units that use HCFC-22 will no longer be created, existing units with this chemical can still be maintained for a limited time only. Another ban will pass in January 2020 that will ban these chemicals can no longer be produced for existing units.   At this point, it’s a fair assumption to say that as existing supply dries up,  the chemical will become expensive to purchase for any unit that uses this form of Freon and eventually won’t be available. 

So, what does this mean for you if your unit is running off this chemical? Well the first step is to check and see what kind of system you have. You can find a sticker on your unit that will say which kind of refrigerant it uses. If it says “HCFC-22 or R-22”, then you know that the ban applies to your unit. It means that you still have some time to get your unit maintained with this chemical, but it will become pricier to service. At some point, the refrigerant will probably run out once they stop importing it which will force you to get a new unit all together. If you have an air conditioning unit that is running with these chemicals that are banned, it’s recommended that you replace your unit sooner rather than later.

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. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical if your unit is running off the banned chemical, and we can go over replacement options for a new unit. We can also provide routine maintenance so that you can reap the money saving benefits of having an efficient air conditioning unit! Preventative maintenance will also provide a more comfortable living conditioning because your AC unit will be running optimally.

Want more information?  Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010. 

 

 

Is your AC Unit Running Constantly?

Is your AC Unit Running Constantly?

As we approach the warmest months of the year, some people may be experiencing an air conditioning unit that runs on overdrive. Now is the time to troubleshoot and figure out why your air conditioning unit is running constantly. Depending on the problem, you may be able to fix it relatively quickly. If it’s a more difficult problem, then at least this troubleshooting can pin point where the problem is stemming from so a professional can fix it.

We’ll walk you through the possible reasons why your air conditioner may be running constantly:

 

  • The first reason why your AC unit is running overtime is because the unit is improperly sized.  If the unit installed in your home is too small, then it’s really going to work overtime to cool down your whole home. This causes it to work harder and longer than it should, which will wear down the unit over time. Also,  your home will never be cooled to the desired level, even when the unit runs constantly. If your air conditioning unit is too large, then it won’t properly remove the moisture from all the air in your house. As a result, there will be an additional output of moist air in your home. Even though the unit will run less, it will use more electricity than required which will spike your energy bill.
  • Another common reason why your unit runs all the time is because it could be installed wrong. There is a direct correlation between the duct work and the size of the unit being installed. If the ducts are the wrong size, then they won’t be able to equally distribute air flow to your home.
  • It’s possible that the air conditioning coils could also be covered in dirt. If there are grass clippings or an excessive amount of mud or pet hair covering the coils, it will affect the air flow. When the air flow is affected, it will diminish the overall performance of your air conditioning unit. This can also cause your unit to run constantly.
  • Your air filter could have something to do with the unit running on overdrive. When was the last time that you changed the air filters in your home? If it’s been a long time, then the accumulated dirt on your filters could be preventing proper air flow. This is a common cause for AC units breaking down. It’s important to clean your air filters every month so that your unit doesn’t work harder and overheat as a result.
  • If there is poor insulation in your home, this could be causing your unit to run all the time. Poor sealing or insulation will cause all that cool air to leak from your home, which will require your unit to constantly run and make up for that lost cool air.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to come out and perform a tune-up on your AC unit! We can also inspect your condenser and evaporator coils. Both require maintenance to ensure that your system is running efficiently. It will also help reduce the cost of your energy bills since your system will be running properly after our inspection and tune-up! We will also come out and check your insulation for any small holes or non-insulated walls.

 Call to schedule your appointment now with Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical at  800-461-3010

 

Pay Attention to These Safety Hazards in Your Home

Pay Attention to These Safety Hazards in Your Home

Life can certainly become full and some seasons are busier than others. During the midst of everything going on in life that you are juggling, it’s easy to forget the small things. Some of these small things, if left unattended, could become big hazards to your health your home. So what are these small details that should receive attention inspection on a regular basis?

Appliances are at the top of the list! Households use a myriad of appliances on a daily basis. How often are they checked to make sure that they are turned off or unplugged? We’ll share a few practices that should become part of your daily routine. They are small tasks that won’t take long, but they could keep you and your family out of danger from these hazards!

  • Let’s first address appliances, which are often used the most and emit a great deal of heat. These appliances include clocks, TV’s, computer monitors and other screens. Make sure that each one of the appliances in your home have enough space around them so that there’s no chance of overheating and touching something else, which could cause a fire. A few inches of space around each appliance should be enough space.
  • It may seem like commonly known information to leave your appliances away from water. It’s important to also keep your electrical appliances away from any vents as well because these vents could potentially leak and cause a hazard.
  • Now let’s talk power cords – when you use power cords to extend and reach lamps or lights, check for any kinks or frays in the cord. If there are any kinks, straighten them out. If there are any frays, replace the power cords all together. When using power cords, keep them out of the way and tucked under rugs or behind furniture so that they aren’t in the walkway.
  • Instead of grabbing any power cord when you go to pick-up a new one, check the weight and length to make sure that you are purchasing the right power cord for its use.
  • Avoid overloading outlets when using power strips – this could become a big hazard!
  • When buying light bulbs for your home, also check to make sure that you are buying the appropriate wattage to the fixture you will be using it for. If you use a light bulb that has a higher wattage than the fixture calls for, this could cause a potential fire.
  • Whenever you leave the home, check all appliances to make sure they are turned off and unplugged.

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.

Are You Changing Your Air Filters?

Are you Changing your Air Filters

Life often gets hectic, and it’s hard enough to keep up with all the regular household chores like dusting and mopping. Have you given much thought to your air filters? They should be changed out routinely every month. This reminder shouldn’t be taken lightly, because there are many benefits to cleaning out your filters! We will highlight the benefits of routinely changing your air filters, and also provide a list of the different air filter options available!

Benefits of Changing Air Filters

  •  Your health is the most important reason why you should change your air filters. The accumulation of dust and pollen circulate the air and get filtered back into your home and the air you breathe if these filters are not routinely changed.
  • If anyone in your home has asthma or allergies, this is even more of a reason to change your filters to get rid of the contaminants that fill the air so that you and your family can breathe fresh air in your home!
  • Less stress on your air conditioner should also be a motivating factor to remember to pay attention to your air filters every month. Over time, as your filters build up with contaminates, it puts more stress on your AC unit and requires it to work harder to circulate air and it expends more energy to adjust the temperature of your home. Over time, this added stress on your AC unit will put wear and tear on it and limit the lifespan of your unit.
  • The final motivating factor that should prompt you to change your filters is the idea of a lower utility bill. By keeping consistently fresh filters in your home, you will lower your utility bills by saving energy!

So what about the filter types that are offered in stores today?

Types of Air Filters:

  • Pleated Media Filters – these filters gather more particles and are efficient at capturing more of the particles because of the increased surface area of the filter.
  • HEPA Filters – they offer the overall highest air quality control. Many HVAC Systems don’t allow the option to accommodate these types of filters. If you are interested in achieving this high level of air quality in your home, you may want to call a professional to retrofit your furnace to accommodate these filters.
  • Flat-paneled Fiberglass Air Filters – these types of filters have a fiberglass disposable filter. They are an inexpensive option, however they come with a tradeoff by providing a lower quality of air in your home since they don’t clean the air as well as the other filter options.
  • Washable Air Filters – these are a more costly option, and will require some additional maintenance if you’re up for it! You have to allow adequate time for them to dry when cleaning them.

There are a few essential parts to your AC unit that require regular tune-ups. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can provide routine maintenance on your Air Conditioning unit and we can also change out air filters during our air conditioning tune ups! 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.

Why You Should be Using a Humidifier

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?

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.

Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

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.

 

Let Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical help babyproof your home!

Did you know we could help keep your children and family safe?  We can even help babyproof your home!

Whether you’re a first-time parent or it’s been a few years since you’ve done the baby thing, or you’re a caregiver getting ready for a new addition to your home, you’ll start looking at your house—and all of its dangers—differently. What are the basics of babyproofing? First, think ahead. While your 6 month old may not be able to get to much, your 2 year old will. And we can even help with some of these to give you extra peace of mind!

Tips to Keeping Babies and Young Children Safe In Your Home:

  • Plug all unused electrical outlets with safety covers and move all exposed wires out of reach. This will take some creativity—perhaps you’ll need to move furniture around or go ahead and mount that TV like you’ve talked about for so long! You’ll also want to make sure there are no exposed wires anywhere in or around your home!
  • Move tall lamps behind sturdy furniture such as a couch, or consider getting rid of these lamps altogether.
  • Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure you have enough. There should be one smoke detector in every bedroom and on every level of the house, and one carbon monoxide detector on every level of the house. We are happy to help install these!  And remember that these need to be checked every few months to make sure they are in working condition!
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s locked up or place a sturdy screen around the hearth. If you have a gas fireplace, make sure the gas line isn’t leaking!  Again, give us a call if you have any concerns!
  • Place baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs and in any other areas where you want to keep them out. Think ahead—getting taller gates with high quality latches/locks will save you from going out and buying new gates when your baby is 18 months old.
  • Remove blinds with looped cords and keep curtains and blinds out of babies and toddlers’ reach.
  • Anchor heavy furniture such as dressers to the wall.
  • Cover sharp edges and corners and install locks on the refrigerator, appliances and cabinets you don’t want your little one getting into. Don’t forget the toilets, or you could end up with a pretty big project when they flush their toys down the toilet!

 

Let us help keep your little ones safe!  Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! With our Whole House Agreement, we can service your heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical!  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!