How to Pick a Ceiling Fan

In a previous post, we talked about using ceiling fans to circulate cool air in the summer. Fans are multi-functional and offer lots of benefits, so be sure and pick a ceiling fan with the features you need. You’ll enjoy energy savings, cooler spaces, and extra light (if you choose one with a light fixture).  They make your home more comfortable to the point that your thermostat can be adjusted 4-7 degrees lower!

How to pick a ceiling fan

Pick a ceiling fan that will provide aesthetic and practical benefits!

Here are some points to keep in mind as you pick a ceiling fan to meet your needs:

  • When it comes to the size of the fan, it’s best to choose the size that best matches with the square footage of the room.  Rooms that are less than 144 square feet should have a 42-inch fan. Rooms up to 225 square feet should have a 44-inch fan. If you are picking a fan for a room that’s up to 400 square feet, go with a 52-inch fan.
  • It’s important to choose the right blade size that doesn’t disrupt the purpose of the room that the fan is in. If you want to install a fan in your office, for instance, choose a fan with larger blades so the papers don’t get ruffled. They create a lower velocity and still keep the room cool. The number of blades will not make a difference in cooling the room.
  • Each fan should be carefully installed and follow basic guidelines. They should hang down 10-12 inches from the ceiling and 7-9 feet above the floor. Ceiling fans should always be 18-24 inches away from any walls.
  • Fans now come with many options and features.  If you want to use your fan on a frequent basis and save on your energy bills, then consider a fan that is easy to operate. Fans come with remote controls, noise level control, fan speed control, and the ability to dim or brighten the light.

Whether you have a fan that needs updating or want to install a new fan, it’s always best to have a professional take care of it.  Having a professional install your new fan will ensure that you get the manufacturer’s warranty and ensure the safety of your family. The mounting process is specific and includes precise mounting to a ceiling joist. Sometimes a mounting bracket is used instead of a ceiling joist, but both require proper alignment.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical at 1-800-461-3010 to install your ceiling fans.

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.

Signs Your Water Heater Needs Maintenance

Tucked away in a closet, basement, or garage, our water heaters are often out of sight, out of mind.  It’s a good idea to check regularly to see if your water heater needs maintenance and to observe its function. You’ll want to catch potential problems early, before they cause damage to the water heater or your home.

Here are several signs to look for:

Your water heater is dripping, or water is gathered around it Hot water heater

If your water heater is dripping water, this could be coming from the drain valve or from the tank itself.  Check your water heater regularly to see if there is any water dripping or any puddles have formed. Sitting water can cause serious damage to the walls and floors. If you suspect that your water heater has a leak, call a professional to see if it needs maintenance or replacing.

Your water looks discolored

If your water has any signs of rust or a brown tint to it, then you may have a problem with your water heater. The brown color or rust in your water may be a symptom of your water heater corroding. When this happens, the rust and corrosion from the heater can come off in the water. It’s also possible that there are other sediments in your water that are causing the discoloration.

 Your water isn’t hot

This sign is rather obvious, but if your water is cool or cold, it could be a sign that your water heater needs maintenance.  First, how much hot water is in use? If you have the washer running at the same time while doing dishes, and someone is also taking a shower, then these sources running at one time will drain the hot water. If this happens on a regular basis where you can’t get hot water when running the sink or shower, then it could mean a few things. The tubes may have damage. There could also be a bad energy supply to your home that’s causing the lack of hot water. A third possible cause is a faulty heating element.  It’s also important to monitor whether or not your water temperature is too hot, due to a faulty water heater.  Tap water scald is a serious danger, especially for children and the elderly.

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 your water heater for any signs of damage. We can also provide routine maintenance on your water heater! While we’re out there, we will check for any money-wasting leaks. Our services also include maintaining and/or fixing drain pipes, exposed hot and cold water lines, and ventilation systems!

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

How to lower the humidity in your home

July is an appropriate time to talk about humidity!  Those of us in North Carolina can feel the humidity every time we step outside. But what about the humidity inside your home?  The humidity level of your home has a direct effect on your health and comfort and your home’s health.

Recommended humidity levels

During cold months, there can be problems if humidity levels get too low. In summer, there is risk of humidity levels being too high. It turns out that high humidity doesn’t just lead to bad hair days!

Problems with high humidityHumidity causes mold and mildew

  • Mold thrives on high humidity. Mold attracts insects and can also cause health problems for you and your family.  The CDC recommends controlling humidity in order to control mold.
  • Too much humidity can also trigger allergies and create dust mite problems.
  • Humidity can ruin the paint on your walls and can even warp the wood, in extreme cases. If the excessive humidity in your home creates mold, this mold could set into the carpet as well.

How to regulate humidity in your home

A dehumidifier will increase the comfort level of your home by pulling moisture from the air. This will allow you to sleep better at night and will help prevent mold, dust mites, insects, etc. There are a few other things you can do to minimize the humidity in your home:

  • When you are cooking, use your vent fan
  • If possible, use colder water and keep your showers short
  • Minimize the number of plants in your home to keep humidity levels down
  • Always use the exhaust fans in your bathroom while showering
  • Consider installing a fresh air intake duct in your home

Your air conditioning unit will play a significant role in the amount of humidity that is in your home. It needs to be sized properly for the square footage of your home, otherwise it won’t be running efficiently. When your air conditioning unit is sized correctly and maintained properly, it will be pulling the humidity out of your home while it’s running.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can install a dehumidifier directly to your heating and cooling system to ensure optimal comfort during the hot summer months. It’s also important to have your air conditioner maintained regularly. Your air conditioner should be dehumidifying the air as well, so it’s important to make sure it’s running efficiently.

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

 

How to Avoid Water Damage

Repairs and maintenance are a normal part of home ownership. If the thought of leaks, floods, and overflows scare you, you aren’t alone. Water damage can be highly destructive to your home and cost you significantly. Let’s look at the most common culprits of water damage, and what you can do to prevent it.

An Overflowing Toilet

That one phrase makes most people uneasy! Most homeowners have encountered some kind of overflow from their toilet. Depending on how much damage the overflow causes, you could be looking at a cost of up to $5,000 to repair the water damage. So what can you do to prevent an overflowing toilet? Your best bet is routine maintenance! Have a professional regularly check the flush valve, toilet fill and water supply to ensure that everything is running properly.

Washing Machine Problems

Washing machine water damage is commonly caused by an exploding hose. This is an easy way to flood your whole laundry room. Follow this simple tip to prevent your machine hose from exploding and causing a flood: don’t overstuff your washer with clothes. It may be extra work to do two separate loads of laundry, but it will save you a headache and money down the road.

Plumbing System Failure

Water pipes run throughout your entire home – including the walls, floors and ceilings. Depending on how old you pipes are and the condition they are in, they could burst and cause significant damage. An annual inspection by a professional is the best way to prevent pipes from bursting, because a professional will be able to catch any problems before they turn serious.

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 provide routine maintenance on the water appliances and pipes in your home. 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 at 800-461-3010 to schedule your appointment.

Alternative Cooling Options for your Home

Summer is officially here and we’re experiencing our hottest days. Most homes have a central air conditioning unit, but you may want an additional cooling option to provide relief from the heat. There are several options available – let’s go over each cooling option below:

Window AC Unit

These are most ideal for cooling a small amount of space in your home. There’s an important consideration when adding a window AC unit to your home. It’s important to have a professional come out and check your electrical system first. You’ll want to make sure that your system can handle an additional window unit. Depending on the size of your window AC unit, it may need a committed outlet used only for powering that unit. If your electrical system is not fit to power a window AC unit, you can always have an outlet installed. This may require additional upgrading to your electrical or circuit panel. These units do replace a central air conditioning system, but are great for smaller rooms in your home or places like a granny flat above the garage that needs to be cooled.

Ceiling or Floor Fans

Fans are great alternative cooling options. It’s important to turn a fan on only when people are occupying that room. They can also help circulate the air provided by a central air conditioning system. By using a standalone fan, you can also direct it to funnel air in a room that’s humid to get rid of the moisture.

Ductless Air Conditioner

Also known as a mini-split unit, this may also be an option for you. Compared to a window AC unit, the ductless air conditioner will cost more, but it also comes with more power. For the energy conscious individuals, this may be a favorable option. It is more energy efficient and can cool larger areas than a window AC unit. You may be wondering how exactly this unit works, so we’ll break it down for you! The air vent and thermostat are both inside the room that is being cooled, and the cooling fans are located on the exterior.

Some features of the ductless air conditioner are similar to a central unit. There is a programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust settings for morning versus evening preferences. The programmable thermostat will also provide money savings because you’re able to adjust the unit to turn off when you’re away. If you have reservations about the sound that a window unit makes, then the ductless air conditioner is also a better option. The sound level will equate to the sound of a fan, which makes it a quieter cooling option.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to come out to go over the options for your home. We can also install a programmable thermostat that will enable you to track your energy usage and learn how to save more money! While we’re out there, we can also inspect your current air conditioning unit as well as the 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!

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

 

 

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.