How to Seal up Air Leaks in your Home

How to Seal up Air Leaks in your Home

During the hottest months of summer, you will want to stay cool and comfortable in your home. This doesn’t have to come at a high price, however. The largest energy expense typically comes from your heating and cooling bills. There are ways that you can minimize these bills so that the expense is not costing you significantly just to stay comfortable and cool.  We’ll walk you through ways that you can check your home for any air leaks that could be costing you extra unnecessary money and energy.

How To Test for Air Leaks

  • First, check the windows and doors in your home to make sure there aren’t any that are cracked open.
  • Next, evaluate the weather stripping. If you have deteriorating weather stripping in your home, peel it away and make sure to clean the surface so that it’s ready for new weather stripping. It’s time to apply new weather stripping (that’s waterproof) to the doors and windows in your home.
  • Seal the Air Ducts in your home with mastic sealant.
  • Perform a test for air leaks by using thin toilet paper or an incense stick. Hold it next to your doors, utility connections, windows or ceiling fixtures to check if there’s an air leak. When you perform this test, turn off the air conditioning system so that the air is still. If the thin toilet paper or the smoke begins to move at all when you hold it up, that means there’s an air leak.
  • Check the flue of your fireplace when checking for air leaks as well. The flue should create a tight seal when it’s not being used and most people don’t think about how much air comes in and out through your fireplace!
  • Also, check the outlets in your home. It may be a good idea to purchase foam gaskets to seal the air leaks so that air is not escaping through the outlets.

Other things to remember:

  • The door sweeps in your home should be checked and replaced if necessary. When shopping for new door sweeps, look for the permanent pliable rubber sealants. These are a sturdy option compared to the self-adhesive type of door sweep.
  • Moving to the outside of the home, check the full perimeter for any gaps that you may find. If the gaps are larger than ¼ inch, you can spray them with expandable foam spray to fill in the gaps.

These are all ways that can help seal up the leaks in your home so that precious air and heat doesn’t escape. While you may be able to do some of these yourself, it’s always best to call a professional to handle the task of making sure that your whole home is properly sealed. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to inspect your duct work to test for any leaks.  If it was installed improperly, if the duct work is old, or if there’s corrosion, these could all contribute to leaks in the duct work.  Interested in learning more about how we can take of your whole house with our Whole House program?

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

Going on Vacation? Check your AC Unit!

Going on Vacation? Check your AC Unit!

Going on vacation soon? Check your AC unit! School is out and and summer is here in a few days! This means it’s the perfect time to take your family on vacation and spend some much needed time relaxing and recharging! You and your family should be able to enjoy your time away, without worrying about problems at home.

You probably have a checklist of things to complete before you leave for vacation. Have you considered your air conditioning unit and necessary steps for protecting and maintaining it while you’re away?

Don’t worry – we’ve created a simple list for you to review before leaving for vacation:

  • Before you leave for a trip where your worries are non-existent, make sure you clean your air filters!

 

  • It’s also a good idea to go out and have a look at your unit to check for any accumulated debris around the condenser unit. If you haven’t already, mow the grass and trim and shrubs that are surrounding the unit. Ideally there will be a 24 inch clear space surrounding your unit so that nothing gets caught in the unit, slowing it down or causing damage.

 

  • There’s always a possibility for a summer storm to sweep through while you’re away from home. Better to be safe than sorry and prepare your unit for severe weather. Check the weather and see how likely it is for a storm to occur. If chances are high, you may want to unplug your unit in preparation for this possibility. Remove any items from your yard that could be blown around during the storm and possibly hit your unit.

 

  • Since no one will be home during your travels, adjust the thermostat accordingly. If you adjust the settings on your thermostat to 80 or 90 degrees, it will save money and energy while you’re away during your vacation. Setting your temperature to this level will not turn your unit off. It will still run occasionally so that your home doesn’t become hot to a point that’s unbearable.

 

  • Before you leave for vacation, you may want to consider having an AC tune-up. A professional can come out and check your unit to make sure it’s running properly and that the lifetime of the unit is protected and maximized.

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

 

 

 

How to Fix a Running Toilet

How to Fix a Running Toilet

One thing everyone can agree on is that they don’t like to waste money. A running toilet is one of the ways that you could be spending unnecessary money. You can often tell if your toilet is running because it makes that annoying running sound. toilet

However, your water bill may be high even when there is no running sound. If this is the case, you may have to dig deeper to find the problem and fix it. We’ll walk you through the ways that you can fix a running toilet so that you don’t end up paying for water that you don’t even use.

Steps to Fix a Running Toilet:

  1. Turn off the water in the bathroom so that there is no continued flow of water that’s wasted.
  2. Take the cover off the top of the toilet. Look inside and find the small opening that opens and closes to let water in and out, which is referred to as the flapper.
  3. See if the flapper is stuck open. This is typically the cause of running water because the open flapper requires constant water to fill it. Shut the flapper if you see that it’s open. Sometimes it can get caught on the chain, in which case you’ll need to straighten out the chain to close the flapper.
  4. If the flapper is worn out and doesn’t close easily, it will need to be replaced.  These can be purchased at your local hardware store and not hard to do yourself.

An Alternative Method to Try If Necessary: 

  1. An alternative way to test if your toilet is running is to add food dye to the water that is in the bank tank with the flapper.
  2. Wait for 20 minutes and make sure you don’t flush the toilet during this time frame. If the dye water has escaped and the water is starting to clear up, this means there is some opening in the flapper. None of the dye water should be escaping so again, it means the flapper should be replaced.

Preventative Methods to Try

There are also preventative measures to take so you don’t experience other plumbing problems that we have discussed prior. Try not to flush anything besides toilet paper down the toilet. You may also want to consider putting drain covers in your bathtubs and showers to prevent clogs from hair. If there is a build-up in any of your drains, buy a snake that will work the most effectively to clear out any blockage in your drains.

Sometimes the running toilet can’t be fixed by simply closing the flapper. This may be a problem related to the water line. It’s also possible that your running toilet can be caused by the valve and float, which is the pipe that regulates the water level. If the running toilet is not fixed by closing the flapper, give Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical a call! We can come and check the water line and valve and float to detect and fix the problem! We can also check your drain pipes and the 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.

 

Does your Shower have Low Water Pressure?

Does your Shower have Low Water Pressure?

Many of us start our daily routine by taking a shower to wake-up and prepare for the rest of the day. Water pressure will vary a little bit per shower, but if your water pressure is too low, then you may want to consider having this fixed. Low water pressure isn’t always the result of faulty pipes or an old house. Sometimes there is a fix to low water pressure that can easily be resolved. We’ll go over a few of the potential causes that could be contributing to low water pressure in your shower.

 

  • It’s typically recommended to evaluate your shower head first if you’re having problems with low water pressure. Shower heads are often designed to limit the amount of water per minute that’s being used. They are created this way to conserve water, which is a good thing. However, sometimes shower heads are created to conserve too much to the point that the water pressure is too low, and not serving its purpose. You can solve the problem if it’s coming from the shower head, by replacing it with a new one. Shower heads are typically inexpensive. If you still find that the water pressure is too low, look for the washer inside the shower head. Use a drill to widen it until there is an adequate amount of water flow coming from your shower head.

 

  • It’s also possible that low water pressure is coming from faulty pipes. Depending on the age of your home, your home may have been built with older pipes. Some of the older homes have been built with galvanized pipes. They are coated in molten-zinc, which tends to corrode and cause leaks. These galvanized pipes can leak water before it even gets to your shower head, which then causes the low water pressure. Homes that are built today do not use these pipes because of their tendency to corrode. The zinc in the pipes can also fall off during the process of corrosion, and can build up over time, blocking the proper water flow through your pipes. The fix to this problem isn’t as simple as replacing a shower head. You’ll want to call a professional to come out and check out your pipes to assess the best way to fix them.

 

  • Sometimes the low water pressure can simply be the result of clogged pipes that can be fixed with drain solution or a snake. Try unscrewing the shower head and looking to see if there is any noticeable clog. You can also try using a tool to reach in and see if there is anything blocking the water flow that can be easily pulled out.

When dealing with any maintenance or repairs, it’s always safest and best to call a professional. Not only can a professional do the maintenance or repair work, but they also provide peace of mind for you knowing it’s done the right way! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical to check or fix you’re the water pressure in your shower head. While we’re out there, we can also check for any money wasting leaks! Our services also include   maintaining and/or fixing water heaters, 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.

 

Have you been Flushing these down your Toilet?

Have you been Flushing these down your Toilet?

Have you considered the items that you flush down your toilet? There are many things like sanitary products that most people know not to flush. There are other products like baby wipes that may seem safe to flush, but could pose a problem to your plumbing system. Today, baby wipes are sold almost everywhere in tubs to small packs designed to slip in your purse. Although they are marketed as “flushable” wipes, this label can be misleading. We’ll go over a few of the reasons why flushing wipes can be dangerous for either your septic system or your pipes.  Image result for toilets

  • The baby wipes are made of disposable cloths that are non-woven. They are comprised of synthetic and natural materials to make the wipes both strong yet also thin. The baby wipes include the same material that is used in dryer sheets and diapers – both of which you would not flush down the toilet.
  • The label on baby wipes that claims they are flushable is referring to the fact that they will fit down your pipes. Multiple wipes flushed down the toilet can still clog the pipes, however. “Disposable” is also a term that indicates they can be thrown away in the trash, not necessarily in the toilet.
  • Toilet paper is designed with material that is biodegradable, unlike baby wipes. The material used in baby wipes is the same material found in plastic bags and plastic bottles, which either takes a long time to denigrate or is not biodegradable at all.
  • The size of a household drain pipe is typically 4 inches thick. When wipes are flushed down the toilet, sometimes they can get stuck to the side of the pipes. When these wipes accumulate in the pipes and stick to the side, they can trap other waste materials that flow through the pipes which can end up clogging the pipes. Your pipes are not the only things that could potentially get clogged. Sometimes these wipes can also cause a clog in your entire septic system. If this happens, the problem will cost a lot to repair.

All these potential problems can be prevented by throwing away wipes in the trash can instead of the toilet. If there is a problem with your plumbing system and your pipes are clogged, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical! We will come out and solve any problems in your pipes or your septic system. While we’re out there, we can also 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.

 

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. 

 

 

Energy Savings for the Summer

Energy Savings for the Summer

Ready to save on energy costs this summer? Out of all the utility expenses, air conditioning accounts for most of the bill during the summer time. There are a few ways that you can still keep a comfortable temperature in your home and also cut down on your energy bill at the same time. A few of these options will require you to put money down up front as an investment. You could also opt for some of the money saving tips that require a little sacrifice or dedication on your part.

Tips for Saving Energy:

  • Change your filters on a regular basis. Your HVAC filter should be changed on time, otherwise it will cause your unit to run much harder. You can also call a professional to change these filters while providing routine maintenance on your unit.
  • Check all duct work and make sure that it is sealed properly. There are multiple reasons that could cause your duct work to be leaking precious air. If it was improperly installed, or if the duct work is old, or if there’s corrosion, these could all contribute to leaks in the duct work.
  • Make sure that all drafts are sealed. It’s more noticeable to feel the cold drafts in your home, but those drafty areas also can let in the hot air during summertime. It’s a good idea to check all the weather stripping in your home and make sure that none of it is cracked. The weather stripping helps create the thermal envelope of your home!
  • Clean your compressor on a regular basis. The compressor is made to be outdoors. However, it can still get clogged with dirt, leaves and other outdoor particles that can slow it down and prevent it from running efficiently.
  • Clean your air vents in your home – AND make sure that they aren’t being blocked by furniture! Even if you change your vents on a monthly basis, but there is furniture blocking them, this will prevent the cool air from circulating throughout the room.
  • Consider insulating your duct work. If you have an unfinished basement or attic, the exposed ductwork could be contributing to lost air. You can have the duct work wrapped in insulation which will help with energy savings.
  • Schedule your routine maintenance on your unit. Maintenance on your air conditioning unit is the same as an oil change on your car. It’s necessary for the longevity of your system and will provide the highest levels of efficiency for your unit, and will also conserve energy in the long run!

Out of all these energy saving tips, the most significant energy saving will come from your air conditioning unit. If it is running inefficiently or breaks altogether, these summer saving tips above wouldn’t even put a dent in the cost you would have to fork up to fix it. 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 clean out your air filters, which will improve the quality of air in your home and save you money as well!

 

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

The Benefits to Zoning Systems

Many homes have a typical HVAC system, however, each room in your home has different temperature needs. Tradition systems are not able to adjust for every single room in your home the way that zoning systems are able to. A zoning system allows you to heat and cool each room according to the desired temperature for that room. Depending on the structural layout of your home, a zoned system may be more ideal. For some people, a traditional unit works just fine and meets all their needs. We’ll walk through what a zoned heating and cooling system is and the potential benefits of having one.

With a zoned system, each room in your home is considered a different “zone”. These separate zones are controlled by their own thermostat. A significant benefit of having separate zones in your home is that it eliminates those hot or cold spots that typically exist with a traditional AC unit. If you have multiple levels in your home, you may need HVAC zoning.

  • People often install a zoning system to eliminate the hot and cold spots that we talked about above. Heat rises, which often creates a hotter upstairs and a cooler downstairs. The beauty of having a zone for the upstairs and the downstairs is that the thermostat will close the damper to one zone as soon as it reaches the desired temperature. When the damper closes to that one zone, it forces the air to reach the other zones, therefore creating a more even temperature in your whole home.
  • Extended liftetime for your HVAC. Having zones helps take work off your HVAC system because it reduces the extra load on the air handlers, compressors and the other equipment. It’s overall less wear and tear on your HVAC. As a result, your HVAC system will last longer than a traditional system without zones.

Lower energy bills. Because you are able to control the energy distribution for each room in your home, this can help save on your monthly energy bill. Although you can still experience energy savings with just zoned heating and cooling, you can receive even more control of the amount of heating and cooling per room by pairing a zoned system with programmable thermostats.

Zoning systems can be installed to your current HVAC system. It is an initial investment up front like most energy saving tools are, however, the benefits you receive will be on going. Zoning systems provide overall comfort to every room in your home.

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. We can also install zoning systems to your current HVAC system!

 

Call to schedule your appointment now with Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical 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

 

Have you checked your Exhaust Fans Lately?

Out of all the home appliances and items to maintain, you may not give much thought to a bathroom exhaust fan. They should be on your list, however, because they serve as a home necessity. The purpose of having an exhaust fan is to eliminate any moisture from the bathrooms in your home. Not only does it help control the moisture levels, but it also removes any odors. What many people don’t know is that exhaust fans reduce the fumes that are released from cleaning agents. So they help as a safety measure to eliminate health-related issues from cleaning agents.

We’ll review some the benefits that an exhaust fan provides below:

  • Exhaust fans serve the purpose of eliminating orders in the bathroom. The exhaust fan works to draw out the odors because of the ventilation system within the exhaust fan.
  • Exhaust fans reduce airborne contaminants. Cleaning chemicals used in bathrooms typically have aggressive chemicals that are potentially problematic for health if they are inhaled. The cleaning chemicals can be especially dangerous for young children or anyone with lung conditions. If bathrooms have mold, the exhaust fan works to remove the spores buildup in the air, which slows down the growth rate of the mold.
  • They work to reduce foggy mirrors. The exhaust fans control the moisture levels in the bathrooms. They remove the water vapor that builds up on the walls and mirrors.
  • They reduce the humidity in the bathrooms which can cause serious problems. An excessive amount of humidity in bathrooms can potentially cause doors to warp or paint to peel. What’s worse is that too much humidity can cause mold in your bathrooms to accumulate over time. If left unaddressed, the mold spores can grow at a rapid pace, and they’re not easy to eliminate.

If you’re in need of a new exhaust van, we have some general recommendations that help you know what to look for. The best exhaust fans will remove moisture and odors and also be quiet. There are additional guidelines and a formula that allows you to determine which size fan is best for your bathroom.

The Home Ventilating Institute explains that ventilation rates should be based upon eight air changes every hour. The air movememt is generally measured by an acronym CFM (which stands for cubic feet per minute). What you’ll need to know for the formula is that bathrooms between 50-100 square feet have 1 CFM  per square foot of floor space. If your bathroom is smaller than 50 square feet, it’s 50 CFM. For bathrooms larger than 100 square feet, you’ll have to take into consideration each bathroom fixture that will need ventilation as well. Add on 50 CFM per bathroom fixture. Because the average bathroom size is between 50-100 square feet, the average fan will be rated between 50-110 CFM.

Did you know that cleaning your air conditioning on a regular basis will also help with noise reduction in your exhaust fans? Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical  to provide routine maintenance on your air conditioning unit! We can also check all your ventilation systems while we’re there. Not only will we make sure that your ventilation systems are running properly, but we can also clean out your air filters so that the air quality in your entire home will be clean and comfortable for your family to enjoy daily living!

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