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.

 

Ambiance and Lighting in Your Home

Ambiance and Lighting in Your Home

Lighting is important to allow us to see and be able to live in our homes with a source of guidance and light. There’s another reason why light is important though. Let’s talk about ambiance and lighting!

We spend the majority of our time in our homes, and the lighting plays an important role in creating a warmth and ambiance. The lighting should help fulfill a purpose or create a feeling that we desire for each room or space. You probably haven’t considered this and what the lighting in your home says about you. What kind of mood are you trying to create and capture for each room? Let’s talk about the different kinds of lighting and which lighting is best for each room. As you think about the purpose of each room, it’s easier to understand the lighting that fits best for that room.

Types of Lighting

  • Accent Lighting – although every space in your home is probably well decorated and thought out, there are probably a couple spots that should receive extra attention and focus. These are the spots that you want to highlight with accent lighting like a bookshelf or painting. You could include accent lighting in rooms like your study or office.
  • Task Lighting – do you have a project to work on or a book that you’re in the middle of reading? If so, this is a good time to break out the task lighting. You probably want a designated place in your home where you use task lighting. This lighting is the opposite of warmth and ambiance because it’s intended to keep you focused and alert. Task lighting is often bright as well. Task lighting is often used in the kitchen to provide extra visibility for areas like the counter tops. Track lights are typically used under counters to provide this extra lighting. Your library or office is also another good place to put task lighting and keep you focused and alert.
  • General/Ambient Lighting – this type of lighting is typically known a room’s natural light. It brightens up the entire room. There a few different types of lights that can be put into this category. A few of the lights that fall into the category of general lighting are chandeliers, track lights and pendant lights. General lighting is often found in the kitchen where people often gather most and spend the majority of their time. The living room is another area of the home that needs general lighting. Ceiling lights are often used to provide this. A couple lamps can also be used to provide warm ambient lighting in the living room.

When using any form of electricity, it’s always important to make sure that your electrical panel is operating efficiently and safely. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can 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.

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 Need Surge Protection

Surge Protection

In a previous post, we addressed the dangers that can come from dryer fires and why it’s important to take preventative measures and keep your home and family safe. It’s equally important to have surge protection in your home to protect your home from electrical hazards. Society has evolved over the past several years and there are more technological pieces per household than there have ever been before. With this comes a great chance of surges happening because each electronic often comes with a circuit board.

So what exactly is a power surge? It’s an intense short burst that’s generated within the home. These bursts are caused by motors within electronics, and it’s rare for them to take down the whole electrical system. Over time, however, the mini surges add up and will begin to take a toll on the lifespan and performance of your appliances. We’ve shared a few things that you’ll want to know about surge protectors before getting one yourself:

  •  If you have a device or appliance that isn’t dedicated to a circuit but is connected with other devices, there’s a potential problem. If that device sends a surge through that circuit, the other outlets from the shared devices could also be susceptible to a surge. This is one reason to get surge protection in your whole home.
  • Instead of getting a surge protector at the electrical panel, it’s a good idea to consider getting a surge protector at the point of use to help protect electronics that are especially sensitive.
  • If you have a whole home entertainment system or home theater, power conditioners with surge suppression capability are the best route. They provide power through a filtered system to your video and audio equipment.
  • You don’t want to buy just any surge protector – make sure you’re getting the right one for your home. Many homes have 120V service. If this is the same for your home, then an 80kA rated surge protector should be adequate. The reason why is because it’s unlikely for a home to surge over 10kA, so many homes will be covered and protected with the 80kA rated surge protector. Of course it’s important for you to verify which your home is and what’s the best protector for your appliances and systems.
  • You’ll also want to pay attention to the nominal discharge rating for your surge protectors. Ratings should be 3, 5 or 10KA. This rating is important because it indicates the ability to weather through high energy waves respectively over time and still operate optimally.
  • The Voltage Protection Rating should also be considered when purchasing a surge protector. This represents that amount of voltage that the surge protector allows to pass through it. For this rating, you’ll want to have lower numbers such as 500V to 600V.
  • Surge protectors should be replaced annually to make sure you’re your electronics are protected.

When using any form of electricity, it’s always important to make sure that your electrical panel is operating efficiently and safely. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can 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.

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

How to Prevent your Dryer from Causing Fires

Prevent Dryer Fires

With all the household tasks that constantly need attention, the last thing on your mind is probably cleaning the dryer. While the dryer won’t need as much attention from you like washing the floors or counters, it is still a household chore that needs to be done from time to time. Cleaning the dryer will keep your family safe and mitigate any risks from a potential dryer fire. It’s recommended that you clean your dryer every year to ensure that there is proper dryer ventilation. Dryers are one of the leading causes of house fires every year. The National Fire Protection Association reported that 14,692 house fires in 2018 were caused by dryers. There are ways to make sure that you are keeping your family safe and your home protected! We’ve provided the following list with dryer safety in mind:

  • Always use the lint filter when running a load through your drying machine. It is very dangerous to dry clothes if the lint filter is not installed properly.
  • It’s not just enough to have a lint filter in your dryer every time you dry a load of laundry. You should also clean your lint filter every time before using the dryer.
  • Your dryer should have rigid or flexible metal venting material to maintain proper drying time and air flow.
  • To keep your dryer safe from fires, also make sure that the air exhaust vent pipe isn’t restricted. The outdoor vent flap should be properly opening when the dryer is running, so check to make sure that there is no problem with the vent flap being opened to the outdoors.
  • If you notice that your dryer is not thoroughly drying your clothes, it’s a good idea to clean the lint out of the vent pipe more than just once a year. If you don’t know how to do this or don’t have time, there are lint removal services who can clean the vent pipe.
  • It may seem like a more obvious point, but it’s always smart to check and confirm that the right outlet and plug are used and connected to your dryer properly.
  • Don’t overload your dryer with too many clothes. This is not good for your dryer and often won’t thoroughly dry your clothes either.
  • If you have a gas dryer, get it inspected by a professional who will check for leaks and make sure that the gas line and connection are properly working.
  • Always have your dryer serviced by a professional. It’s dangerous to attempt fully servicing yourself, and they will make sure it’s done the right way.
  • Before you leave your home, check to make sure the dryer is turned off, and never leave it running while you’re gone!

If your dryer vent is plugged or even partially plugged, you’ll also be paying higher costs to operate your dryer each time due to the longer drying period. Additionally, your dryer will experience wear and wear that will impact the longevity of your appliance. Call Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to perform maintenance on your dryer vents and ensure that your dryer is connected and operating efficiently and safely!

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

Misconceptions About Your Septic System

The plumbing system is one of the home’s major functions. It’s often an overlooked part of the home that receives little to no maintenance. Homeowners often don’t pay attention to their plumbing system until it’s too late when a problem comes up. You may be wondering more about your septic system, how it operates, and what kind of maintenance it requires. We will address some common misunderstandings about your septic system and what you can do to help prevent problems.

Myth #1 – If you have a slow draining shower, tub, washing machine, sink or toilet, this is not a problem and you shouldn’t worry about it. The reality is that this could be an indication of a problem related to your plumbing system.

Truth- If you do notice a slow draining sink or tub, contact a professional to come out and check it. It could be a sign that your tank needs to be pumped.

Myth #2 – you don’t have to get you septic tank pumped often.

Truth – This is definitely a misconception, and your septic tank should be pumped and inspected every one to three years. How often you should get your septic tank pumped will depend on the size of your home and the amount of occupants in your home.

Myth #3 – You need to use additives in your septic system.

Truth – This is also a myth. Using additives will not prevent backup. They also won’t prevent you from needing to get your system periodically pumped. And using additives also won’t break down solids properly.

Myth #4 – It’s okay to put chemicals, medicines and foods down the drain because it won’t harm your septic system.

Truth – It’s always best to put only liquids, septic-safe toilet paper, and other septic safe products. If you stick to septic-safe products and liquids, this will be best for your septic system and also your pipes and plumbing.

Myth #5 – Well water doesn’t require any maintenance.

Truth – This is definitely a myth. If you have a septic system, you’ll need to get your well water tested every year to ensure that the nitrate levels aren’t too high. If the nitrate levels are too high, this could mean that the waste water is overflowing and leaching into your system.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can provide routine maintenance on your septic system and doing a yearly pump for your septic system. We can also perform dye tests on all your toilets to ensure that there are no water leaks, which equate to money wasting. If your toilets are connected to a septic tank and there’s a water leak, then you could be wasting even more money! Not only can we provide dye tests, but we can also check all faucets in your home and all exposed hot and cold water lines to identify and repair any water leaks in your home.

Give us a call today to schedule your appointment! 800-461-3010

How to Fix a Faucet Leak

Being a homeowner requires a lot of work and maintenance through the seasons and repair when things break. It’s also highly rewarding to be a homeowner. You should be proud knowing that you own a place to raise your family and make memories! Try to remember the positives when you have frustrating maintenance and repair issues that arise periodically. Plumbing is often an area that homeowners often experience problems with or need fixing. So, what happens if you experience a leaky faucet and want to try to fix it yourself? We’ve outlined the steps to fix it below:

  • The first thing you’ll want to do is turn the water off that connects to all the parts of the sink and remove any decorative handles or knobs.
  • Then, you’ll want to loosen the screw that attaches to the handle to the stem of the knob.
  • Next, use a flat-head screwdriver to loosen the screw that connects the handle to the stem of the knob. After the screw has been removed, use some WD-40 to remove the handle. Once is has been complete, it’s time to remove the packing nut by using a wrench. The final step of this part of the process is removing the stem. It depends what kind of faucet you have – some will easily come off and other may need to be twisted.
  • Now it’s time to look at the O-ring and washer that is located inside the valve seat. The reason why you’ll want to look at this is because it’s often the cause of water leaks. Remove the washer and replace it. It’s important that the replacement washer and O-ring fit precisely.
  • Next, you’ll want to check the sides to see if they fit either a cone-shaped washer or a flat shaped one instead. You can always take a picture to bring along to the store to make sure you get the correct one, or better yet, bring the O-ring to the store to compare and verify you get the correct new one.
  • Since you have removed everything and disassembled the parts to the sink, it’s time to re-assemble them. Once you have assembled everything, test out the faucet to see if you have fixed the leak. When doing this, turn on the faucet slowly.
  • If you get to the point of testing the faucet and it’s still leaking, then there may be corrosion your valve seat. If the valve seat is not cleaned on a regular basis, it can cause leaks near the spout. It may also be due to worn out seals or loose parts.

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 also provide peace of mind knowing it’s done the right way! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical to check or fix 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! If the kitchen faucet is leaking, it could be costing you extra money and could be also be providing a lower water pressure if there’s a leak.

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