Have you Winterized your Water Heater?

Have you Winterized your Water Heater?

It’s important to have your home ready for the coldest months of the year and have everything operating in proper condition. It’s especially vital to make sure that your hot water heater is maintained and running like it should, otherwise you face the risk of taking cold showers during the freezing months! Your hot water heater can also take a beating in the midst of the cold weather, which is yet another reason to have maintenance performed.

Regardless of the make or model, it needs to be winterized. Here are some ways to maintain your hot water heater:

  • Just like rinsing out a glass, your water heater needs to be flushed out and cleaned. After water continually running through it, there is a natural sediment build-up. If you’d like to do this maintenance step yourself, you can do it by turning off the water heater, let it cool down, then attach a hose to the drain valve and find a place to allow the water to properly drain.
  • If you have an older tank, insulate it so they can hold heat better. There are fiber glass insulation blankets that keep your tank warm so that the water pumping through your showers also stays warm.
  • A water tank needs an actual pressure release valve to keep it from bursting. During the winter time, it’s especially important to add this to your maintenance list. You can check this by lifting the lever on top of the valve a couple times to check for any leaks. There should be a faint hiss sound or water when you open it. If you don’t hear any of those noises, it’s time to replace it immediately. Make sure there is proper vent draft so that your water heater is not allowing excessive formation of carbon monoxide. This could pose a serious risk if it enters your home.
  • If you have a gas water heater, check for any gas leaks from the water heater shut-off valve to the burners. Any leaks could be dangerous and also costly, due to higher gas bills. .
  • Water leaks can also reveal a serious problem. Check to make sure that your water heater does not have any leaks which could also be costing you significantly more each month.

Some of this maintenance requires a professional’s help, and we’re here for you 24/7! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to perform maintenance on your electric or gas hot water heater. Our maintenance will include things like flushing the water heater, relief valve testing, checking for water leaks, testing the emergency cutoff, inspecting the drain valve operation and much more! We want you to have peace of mind that your hot water heater is operating efficiently, and that your showers will continue to stay warm!

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

Why You Should Consider a Pressure Reducing Valve

Most people have problems in their showers or sinks with the water pressure being too low – rarely do you hear of them complaining about water pressure being too strong. People generally want as much water pressure as they are able to get from their faucet or shower. Since low water pressure is a common occurring problem, you may be wondering why anyone would want a water-reducing pressure valve. Well, a few of the reasons below may cause you to reconsider: 

  • A pressure reducing valve can be beneficial to your home appliances. These are not cheap items to replace, and it’s important to make sure that your investments in appliances are taken care of. If the water pressure in your dish washer is too high, it could potentially place stress on your appliance, which over time, could require you to replace it. The lifetime of your appliances will significantly diminish if they are constantly under the stress of high water pressure.
  • If any of your water hoses become crimped, they could cause some serious water damage once released. One of the most dangerous water flooding threats to a home is caused by washing machine hoses that burst. Because many people pick up washing machine hoses that can be picked up at DIY stores, this causes even more of a potential flood disaster. Having a pressure reducing valve will ensure that your laundry room doesn’t get flooded.
  • Not only do appliances suffer from a high water pressure, but so do plumbing fixtures. Of course you don’t want shower under a trickling spout, but there’s a balance between having a pressure that’s strong enough to shower under, but also that doesn’t take a toll on your appliances and plumbing fixtures. Your shower should provide the optimum amount of water input that will be enough pressure for you to shower, but not too much that strains your shower head.
  • Installing a pressure reducing valve will help determine the optimal water pressure in your home. Although most people think that they are good judges of the right water pressure, it’s always best to have a professional come out to evaluate and determine what’s best for your home as well as the appliances and plumbing fixtures inside. If you are frustrated with a water pressure that is too low, you don’t have to settle for this.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can come out to check the water pressure in your home and install pressure reducing valves! While we’re out there, 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 the 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 Winterize Your Hot Water Heater

It’s important to have your home ready for the coldest months of the year and have everything operating in proper condition. It’s especially vital to make sure that your hot water heater is maintained and running like it should, otherwise you face the risk of taking cold showers during the freezing months! Your hot water heater can also take a beating in the midst of the cold weather, which is yet another reason to have maintenance performed. Regardless of the make or model, it needs to be winterized. Here are some ways to winterize your hot water heater:

  •  Just like rinsing out a glass, your water heater needs to be flushed out and cleaned. After water continually running through it, there is a natural sediment build-up. If you’d like to do this maintenance step yourself, you can do it by turning off the water heater, let it cool down, then attach a hose to the drain valve and find a place to allow the water to properly drain.
  • If you have an older tank, insulate it so they can hold heat better. There are fiber glass insulation blankets that keep your tank warm so that the water pumping through your showers also stays warm.
  • A water tank needs an actual pressure release valve to keep it from bursting. During the winter time, it’s especially important to add this to your maintenance list. You can check this by lifting the lever on top of the valve a couple times to check for any leaks. There should be a faint hiss sound or water when you open it. If you don’t hear any of those noises, it’s time to replace it immediately.
  • Make sure there is proper vent draft so that your water heater is not allowing excessive formation of carbon monoxide. This could pose a serious risk if it enters your home.
  • If you have a gas water heater, check for any gas leaks from the water heater shut-off valve to the burners. Any leaks could be dangerous and also costly, due to higher gas bills. .
  • Water leaks can also reveal a serious problem. Check to make sure that your water heater does not have any leaks which could also be costing you significantly more each month.

Some of this maintenance requires a professional’s help, and we’re here for you 24/7! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to perform maintenance on your electric or gas hot water heater.

Our maintenance will include things like flushing the water heater, relief valve testing, checking for water leaks, testing the emergency cutoff, inspecting the drain valve operation and much more! We want you to have peace of mind that your hot water heater is operating efficiently, and that your showers will continue to stay warm!

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

Childproof Your Bathroom Before The Holiday Guests Arrive

Whether you are hosting a household of guests that includes a child, or you have one of your own, it may be a good time to consider if your bathroom is childproof. Out of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen and the bathroom provide the most hazards to children. With all the activity in your home, it’s easy to lose track of a child for a moment or for them to wander quietly into the bathroom before you even realize they’re gone. There are a few ways ensure that your children or your guest’s children will be safe and out of harm’s way from the potential hazards in your bathroom. 

  • The first line of defense when childproofing your bathroom is to install a hook-and-eye lock on a high placement outside the bathroom door, or you could place a childproof cover on the door knob.
  • Don’t keep anything plugged in close to the tub or the sink. Always remove any electrical items after using them.
  • Install a toilet lid to prevent children from lifting and putting things down the toilet which potentially causes a plug, or could pose as a threat if they fall in.
  • Another way to protect your child in the bathroom is to make sure they don’t get accidentally  burned from hot water when taking a bath. It can take just three seconds of the wrong water setting for your child to get a serious burn. Install an anti-scalding setting on your faucets. You can also have your water heater set to 120 degrees Fahrenheit so that the water never gets to a point that could cause a burn.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can come out and set the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent any burns. We can also install an anti-scalding setting on your faucets as well. While we’re out there childproofing your home, we can 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 stay Warm and Safe During Winter Months

Although the merriment and festivities make winter one of the most sentimental and exciting times of year, it also is the season for higher energy bills and higher safety risks.

We’ve highlighted the ways for you to keep your warmth and safety a priority while also enjoying the holidays:

  • Space heaters are great for heating smaller rooms so you can turn down your thermostat and save on energy. Be sure to keep doors shut to the rooms you don’t need to heat all the time.  Make sure that you don’t accidentally leave them on overnight or when you leave the home. It can easily become the cause of a house fire.
  • In addition to turning off heating devices, make sure that all your smoke detectors are installed and tested. Home fires are reported at the highest rates during winter months, so now is the time to test your smoke detector to ensure that it’s running properly.
  • Since we often spend more time indoors, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is also increased during these colder months. While installing your fire detector, now is a good time to also install and test a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Consider using a humidifier which can often help alleviate wintertime sickness. The dry air is an aggravating factor for the common cold or runny nose during the winter months. When using a humidifier, the air in your home will contain more moisture and help with these symptoms all throughout the day.

If you’re concerned about installing smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in your home, don’t worry, Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can help! We can also install a humidifier in your home to ensure optimal comfort during the winter months. You’ll be able to turn down your thermostat and save money this winter, and avoid some of the negative health effects that the dry air brings!

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

How Much Do Christmas Lights Affect Your Energy Bill?

Some of the most notable parts of Christmas are gingerbread houses, eggnog, presents and Christmas caroling and decorating with lights around your home.  While they certainly add beauty and festivity to mantles, stairways, trees and roofs, they also come at a cost. Have you considered how much it adds to your electricity bill to hang Christmas lights for a couple months out of year?

Costs by type of bulb:

  • Traditional incandescent light bulbs cost significantly more to run during the Christmas season. A string of 25 lights will cost around $15 to run during the holiday. Multiply that by how many strings you would be using outside and inside, and this bill could easily rack up
  • A string of LED lights will cost around 24 cents to run over the course of Christmas. So the savings are definitely significant by switching to LED lights.
  • A string of flashing or twinkle LED lights will use almost twice as month energy as standard LED lights, however, this is still a low amount of energy compared to traditional incandescent light bulbs.

There are a few ways you can cut back on your electrical bill by being smart about what lights you use and how often you use them.

  • Consider getting a timer so that the lights automatically go off at a certain time, instead of staying on all night.
  • Although it’s easy to get overzealous about Christmas decorations, think about whether or not you need an abundant amount of lights or if you can avoid overdoing a display of excess lights.
  • If your heart is set on flashing or twinkling lights, then by all means include them in your display! If you are indifferent to them, then opt for the solid Christmas lights.

Using LED lights is not the only way to efficiently save on your energy bill. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can do a load balancing service to make sure that your electrical load is properly disbursed. We’ll check your breaker panel to make sure that there is not too much load on one side because it can cause your power bills to be unnecessarily high. It can also cause excessive heat. We will test your breaker panel to see where you stand to make sure your home is safe and sound.

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

Does your home have Faulty Wire Connections?

With the shorter days of winter quickly approaching, many households will be using lights more frequently to brighten their home. Electricity is an integral aspect of a home operating and functioning well. There are potential serious problems if there is a faulty connection. So we’ll highlight the causes of poor wire connections, and also ways that you can spot a faulty connection to prevent any problems that may arise if not fixed:

Causes of poor wire connection:

  • Aluminum Wiring – aluminum used to be popular during the 60’s and 70’s, and it expands and contracts with changes in temperature. This expansion can cause fire hazards.
  • Leaks – Leaks can come from areas like laundry rooms and utility rooms or other areas that often contain moisture.
  • Breaker boxes are usually located in basements, laundry rooms, utility rooms and other areas of the home containing high levels of moisture. The water can collect on exposed wires and over time cause erosion.

Signs of problem breakers:

  • Corroded wires – if there are wires that become discolored, it’s usually a sign of moisture and can pose a threat to safety and efficiency.
  • Frequently tripped breakers – this could be a result of faulty wires, which cause your breakers to constantly trip.
  • Heated hardware – if there are visible signs of heat around your switches, this is an indicator of faulty wire connections.
  • Loose wires – check to see if there are any loose wires by gently tugging on them. Loose wires can lead to weak connections and they can potentially cause circuit overloads.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to conduct an Infra-Red Scan which will test the panel and your whole home for any hot spots in the electrical system. The last thing that you’d want during the holidays with traveling or hosting company is for a faulty wire connection to cause serious problems. Faulty wires can be dangerous and they are one of the biggest causes of fires. We’ll provide peace of mind that your electrical system is running smoothly, so you can focus on the things that mean the most to you during the holiday season!

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

Protecting Your Faucets During Wintertime

Winter weather can bring potential challenges to your home, one of them being the possibility of frozen outside faucets. Although we’ve come a long way and there have been significant advancements to the kind of faucets that are created, there are still steps to take as a homeowner to ensure that there is no chance of your faucets freezing.

We’ve outlined helpful steps below that will help you to “winterize” your faucets for the cool nights ahead:

  • The first step is to disconnect your garden hose from the outside faucet.
  • Replace your faucet with a sill-cock that is frost-proof. This is essentially a remote control for the water supply faucet valve inside. From this sill-cock, you’ll be able to control the valve inside which supplies water flow to the exterior spout. You’ll be able to leave the water on, because of the downward pitch that will constantly allow water to drain when the faucet is turned off.
  • If you still have a standard sill-cock, this will take more effort to make sure that it doesn’t freeze. The first step is to turn off the water supply from the valve, which is either inside the home or next to the main water valve. After you’ve followed these steps, unscrew the bleeder cap inside the house so that the water can thoroughly drain. The water will either drain from the outside faucet, or it may drain from the main bleeder cap. Finally, make sure the bleeder cap is screwed on and go back outside to turn off the faucet.
  • Insulated faucet covers don’t provide much protection against frost, so it’s not a good idea to rely on this to protect your faucets through the winter.
  • Vacuum breakers can also create problems since they don’t allow water to properly drain out. The rubber seal in the vacuum breaker will often trap water that will not only ruin the vacuum breaker, but also potentially cause a mess when you go to turn the water on in the spring. If you’re lucky enough to have a removable vacuum breaker, go ahead and remove it now that its cold. If you’re stuck with a permanent vacuum breaker, there’s still a way to drain any excess water. Simply look up inside to find the white plastic post inside the breaker. Move the post to the side so that the rest of the water is able to drain out.

If this seems like a daunting task or you don’t have the time, we can do the work for you and provide peace of mind so that you know your pipes and faucets have been properly “winterized”! Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical can also check hot and cold exposed water lines, drain pipes and all other faucets for money wasting leaks!

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

Better Sound Quality, Better Football Season with the Right Electrical Setup

When you invite family or friends over to watch a game, it only takes one side conversation or someone cooking in the kitchen to drown out the calls happening on your television. Flat Screen televisions have dramatically improved our viewing quality, but the sound quality coming from the tiny speakers can be less than stellar. So, there are several ways you can improve your sound quality and avoid that living room noise competition.

If you’re ready to upgrade your sound system in your living room, it’s important to make sure your home can handle it. First, call the electrical department at Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric. Their technicians will come to your house to make sure your electrical outlets are grounded properly. Once you make sure your outlets are prepared for an additional sound system, you have some pretty simple options.

1. Install a soundbar or soundbase. A soundbar can be propped up on your television stand or mounted on the wall underneath your wall-mounted television. Most require no more than two cables — one to the electrical outlet and one to the television. Soundbars provide better sound quality without taking up too much space.

2. Connect PC Speakers. Whether you have an old set of PC speakers that you can plug into your television, or you have a set of wireless speakers, these might be your least expensive option. If your television has a headphone jack, you can plug the speakers right into it. Some televisions require an adaptor. You might also have to change the audio settings on your television. PC Speakers or wireless speakers will also need to plug into an electrical outlet. But the best part is, you can angle the speakers in the proper direction.

3. Use Bluetooth Headphones. Bluetooth headphones are likely the easiest option, as most newer model televisions pair easily with bluetooth headphones. However, they might not be the most fun option if you’re trying to watch a game with friends or family members!

4. Install Home Cinema Speakers. If you’re looking for full surround sound, home cinema speakers will provide just that. A home cinema speaker package usually consists of five satellite speakers and a subwoofer. You’ll need space to install all of the speakers and a place to put the subwoofer. They also need to be connected to a receiver, but they provide sound from all different directions in your living room.

Want help installing your home entertainment systems?  We can help!  Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric at at 800-461-3010 to setup your appointment today!

Tips on Heating Your Home During the Winter

The energy bill during the winter months is often something that homeowners dread paying, as they spike the thermostat settings to keep their homes warm and cozy. This does not have to be a high expense even in the winter months, and there are some tips that we’ll share that can save you money and keep your energy bill lower!

Take the Following Steps to Stay Warmer at Home:

  • Open the curtains during the day.  

During summer months, you probably keep your curtains closed to block unnecessary heat. Use the sun to your advantage during the winter               months, and allow it to bring warmth into your home! Once the sun has gone down, close the curtains to keep the heat inside.

  • Heat the rooms that you actually use.

Seal off the vents in any bedrooms

  • Make sure your furnace filter is cleaned and that your vents are properly maintained.

 

  • As we talked about in a previous post, getting a humidifier for your home will help the air feel comfortable at a lower temperature. This means that you won’t have to crank up the heat and spike your energy bill in order to feel warm and comfortable in your home.

 

  • Use your exhaust fans sparingly. While it may come as a surprise to you, frequently using exhaust fans during the winter can lead you to increase the thermostat in your home. Exhaust fans pull the hot air that

 

  • Properly insulate your home, so that there is no heat escaping! You can start by weather stripping your doors and windows, then the attic to ensure that your whole home is insulated and keeping all the heat in.

Without an efficient furnace or heating system, these tips won’t do much to save you money, because your system will have to twice as hard to produce a normal amount of heat. So whether it’s preventative maintenance, full replacement, or products and services to enhance your heating, Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can provide 24/7 service to make sure your heating system is running smoothly and efficiently! While we’re out there, we can also check and repair insulation so there is no unnecessary heat loss.

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