DIY Backsplash Part 2

 

In a previous post, we explained how to prep your kitchen walls so that they are ready to be tiled for an instant upgrade. Now that your walls are prepped, it’s time for the measuring. You’ll want to start at the focal point of the kitchen which is most often above the oven and under the hood vent. Since you’ll be buying and cutting the tile sheets yourself, you will want the least amount of cutting possible.

 

  • Starting above your stove, measure from the top down where you want the backsplash to stop.
  • At the mark you want the backsplash to stop, screw a scrap piece of wood that will create a level place where the tile will stop. The wood piece will also hold the tile in place while the adhesive dries. (This is for the central part of your wall above the oven, so there is no counter top to keep the tile in place while the adhesive is drying).
  • Find the center of the wall and mark a vertical line for the backsplash. Leave 1/8 inch of space around the junction of the tile and cabinets for expansion. At this point, there should be a horizontal wood board on the wall signifying where the tile stops, and a vertical center line in the middle of the wall.
  • Use a trowel and spread tile adhesive on the wall where you will tile. It’s best to do one portion of the wall at a time and wipe the trowel off with water to prevent the adhesive from drying.
  • Starting at the center line you drew on the wall, apply the first tile sheet and press it with your hand. Use a scrap piece of wood and mallet to firmly press on the tile. If there’s any problem with the tile sticking, this means the adhesive is too thick and you’ll need to scrape off some before re-applying the tile.
  • Use tile spacers to make sure the tile pieces are even, and also a lever throughout the process for precision.
  • Once the tiles have all been laid, allow them to set for 24 hours.
  • Apply grout to the tiles – working in a diagonal motion. After a few hours, wipe off any grout haze that is left on the tiles.
  • After three days, apply a sealant to the grout to prevent any stains.


Although this is a tedious process, the money saved and value added will make the project well worth it! You now have an upgraded kitchen and a new skill! Make sure that your kitchen is not only looking good, but operating efficiently. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical to check your kitchen faucet for leaks. We’ll fix any leaks and save you from expensive repairs down the road and potentially 200 gallons of wasted water per day!

 

 

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

Reduce Energy with Healthy Summer Cooking

Summertime is around the corner, and it’s a good idea to start preparing for the delicious yet simple recipes that you can make for your family. There are so many creative and yummy recipes that will involve minimal use of the oven and therefore less heat emitted in your home during the hottest months of the year. Enjoy these healthy summer cooking tips that reduce energy in your home that are good for you and your home.

Now is the time to maximize on the seasonal products that abound at any of your local farmers markets or food stands around town. Here are some ways to make the most of seasonal foods, optimize cooking time and create delicious yet nutritious meals!

  • Create a weekly meal plan based off weekly specials at the grocery store and farmer’s market. Activities usually ramp up during the summer months, and this will minimize the stress of worrying about meals with all the carpooling, vacations and activities you have going on.
  • Use thinner versions of carbs, like lighter pasta alternatives such as spaghetti squash, carrot pasta or cauliflower rice.
  • Load up on the veggies. Make use of your garden produce if you have one. Otherwise, make the most of the local farmers’ produce to create an array of colorful and tasty entrees.
  • Bring out the alternative cooking tools such as your crock pot, rice cooker and microwave oven. Eliminate the extra heat of the oven by using these cooking appliances that save on heat and time!  Throw your meals in the crock pot in the morning and enjoy dinner when you walk in the door!

 It’s not enough to simply keep the oven off during the summer months to keep your home cooler! Make sure your air conditioning unit is functioning properly and efficiently so that you and your family can fully enjoy your home cooked meals in a comfortable and cool environment. With more than 50 years of experience, we can provide any service that your unit needs. Whether it’s preventative maintenance, full replacement, or air conditioning enhancing products and services, we will quickly respond to your needs. Avoid the discomfort of unbearable heat that summer can bring by giving Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical at 800-461-3010.

Summer Home Maintenance Tips

Being a homeowner requires a lot of work and seasonal maintenance but is also highly rewarding.  Knowing that you own a place to raise your family and make memories is something that should make you proud! Especially when you consider all the work you put into it to keep your home running smoothly and efficiently. Just when you’ve finished spring cleaning and can finally reap the benefits of your decluttered and clean home, it seems like it’s already time to perform summer home maintenance your home requires.

Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors to ensure that they are working properly and protecting your family from harmful chemicals.

Prep and clean ceiling fans – with the summer heat at its highest, you’ll definitely be getting good use out of your ceiling fans! They have probably accumulated a lot of dust over the months they weren’t used, so clean the tops of the blades to prevent them from spreading dust everywhere when they’re on.

Create a watering schedule for your garden or plants. Although it’s a common practice to water your plants daily, you may want to try watering them every couple days – and drenching them completely. Deeply watering your plants every couple days as opposed to lightly watering every day will allow your plants to grow even stronger and deeper roots.

Clean your grill – you can finally enjoy a BBQ out on the back deck, and practice perfecting your grilled chicken or meat of choice.

Give your windows a good wash. The spring cleaning list was an intense itinerary of items to tackle. If you didn’t get to everything, don’t worry! Now is the time to clean your windows, or any other items that you didn’t get around to during your deep spring cleanout.

Don’t forget about your Air Conditioning filters! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to come and replace, and we’ll provide a maintenance check on your air conditioning unit while we’re there!

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

Are You Using the Right Lighting in Your Home?

Home Lighting

Our homes are where we often spend majority of our time. The lighting we use should be fulfilling the purpose, function or feel that want in each room. Lighting may not be something that you’ve given much thought to, but it powerfully impacts everything you do, whether you realize it or not. Lighting can make you feel awake and alert, or it can put you in a relaxed and calm mood. We’ll cover the different functions of lighting, and how they correspond with the purpose of each room in your home.

  • General/Ambient Lighting is typically considered as the room’s natural light and works to light up the whole room. Various forms of lighting can be categorized as ambient lighting, such as a pendant light, track lighting or a chandelier.
  • AccentLighting Is there something in a specific room that you’d like to draw attention to and highlight? Maybe it’s a special painting or a bookshelf. Accent lighting will highlight the specific piece or part of the room that you want to focus on.
  • Task Lighting – as the name suggests, task lighting serves a purpose to help you stay focused an accomplish something, whether it’s reading a book or working on a project.Instead of creating a warm ambiance, it does quite the opposite by providing brighter light to ensure you stay awake and focused.

 

As you keep in mind the mood and purpose for each room in your home, you’ll be able to determine which kind of light will optimize the purpose for each room. Below is a general guideline for the lighting that is best to include in each room:

 

  • Kitchen: Combine the use of task lighting and general lighting. The kitchen is often the heart of the home, so you’ll want to provide general lighting that will brighten the space where people often gather. Inlcude some task lighting in the form of track lighting under the countertops so that you’ll have extra visibility to any cooking you need to do on the counters.
  • Living Room: Another common gathering area that will require general lighting in the form of a ceiling light. Add a couple lamps in the corners for those times when you want to create a warmer ambiance.
  • Bathroom: Select lighting that will accurately show skin tone color – this is the room where you get ready, so the lighting should be accurate for getting ready and applying makeup.
  • Bedroom: This is the room in your home that should avoid task lighting. The room where you sleep should be filled with warm lighting that will put you in a relaxed and ready state for bed.

 

While you’re looking for energy efficiency in lighting, why stop there? Let us check your electrical outlets and components to make sure your home is safe.  Also, make sure your whole home is efficient by scheduling a cooling maintenance! Among the many services we offer, we can install a Power Attic Ventilator to reduce air conditioning costs by forcing very hot air trapped in the attic and replace it with cooler air outside. Your unit will run less during the hot summer days, which will result in energy savings for you! Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010.

Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

Although you may not be able to predict and prepare for any sudden problem in your home, there are certain lengths you can and should go to that will allow you to respond quickly to these problems. Instead of having to run to the closest hardware store every time something breaks in your home, you can be prepared with a tool kit that will help fix most of the minor problems that could arise.

Drills and Bits – Buy a battery-operated drill and a variety of different sized drill bits, and you’ll be all set for multiple fix-up tasks!

Wrench set – Used to unfasten and fasten bolts, a wrench set is a necessary staple in any homeowner’s set.

Hammer – The size of the hammer head should match the size of the nails you buy with it. So a bigger hammer is best used with larger nails.

Tape Measure – This will come in handy during many situations, from measuring your windows for a new set of blinds, to checking square footage of rooms.

Utility Knife – Definitely a necessity – a utility knife will allow you to effectively open any package or box.

Pliers – Used for gripping pipes and twisting wires.

Safety Items – Anytime you perform tasks that require the tools above, it’s best to use the appropriate safety items like gloves, eye goggles, and ear plugs.

Caulking Gun – Use your caulking gun for any gaps or holes that may appear, such as windows or door frames or for filling in holes around your bathroom or shower!

Screw driver set – A variety of screw driver sizes are useful for changing air filters, electrical outlets, cover plates or adjusting furniture and fixtures.

Refer to your tool box to handle all the minor fixes needed in your home. While this tool box will have you prepared for any unexpected minor repairs, you’ll definitely need professional assistance to fix the unexpected larger repairs such as a plumbing or electrical problem. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical will be there 24/7 to help!

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

Keeping Your Home Safe During Summer

School is going to be out soon, which means vacation season is right around the corner. You and your family should be able to enjoy your time away, without worrying about intruders, or other problems at home. How do you ensure that your home is safe and secure to provide peace of mind while you’re away this summer? We’ve got a few tips!

Power off electronics. Eliminate any worry of overheated electronics by turning them all off.

Don’t forget the garage! Thieves often use a universal remote to open garages while home owners are away. Protect your garage from universal remotes by turning off the door.

Lock all doors, windows, and other access points like the cat or doggie doors. Do one final check through your whole home to make sure you don’t miss any windows.

Wait to post on social media. Don’t make it known to the world that you are currently away from your home. It may be a good idea to hold off on posting all your fun vacation pics until you’re back from your trip.

Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to check on your home. Although there is now the option to for your post office to hold your mail from 3-30 days, you’ll want someone to at least pick up any door flyers or the daily newspaper left at your home.

Keep blinds in their usual position so it doesn’t look like you’ve closed up your home to leave for a trip.

Use your app. If you have a home security app, put it to use by controlling things such as your water, appliances and lights.

Don’t hide a spare. Up to 50% of break ins are a result of a hidden key that has been found by burglars.

 

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can provide peace of mind as well, by performing thorough maintenance on your AC unit before you leave. You can rest assured that your family will come back from vacation to a cool and conditioned home!

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

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The Whole House Program For Easy Home Maintenance

 

 

The Whole House Program for Home Maintenance from Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, and ElectricalElectrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year.

Each year more than 4,000 people are hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning.

A leaky toilet can waste over 73,000 gallons of water a year.

Dealing with home maintenance as a homeowner can be stressful, right?  It doesn’t have to be, with the Whole House Program at Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical. Here are some of the common issues homeowners face when their home systems are not checked and maintained—and what this program can do about them.

Your HVAC system is one of the most costly home systems to repair if it is not maintained. Furthermore, you can easily have dirty air pumped throughout the home if the system is not cleaned, which is especially tough on those with allergies and other health issues.

For cooling, we will wash your outdoor unit, do a leak check, replace the filter, check the drain line, and check that all the components are using the proper amount of electricity. We will also inspect the duct system and the safeties. For heating, we will check the burners and heat exchanger.

For plumbing, maintenance and fixing problems early on is crucial to avoid water damage, mold and mildew. Again, not only will you waste money if you leave things alone, but you can also risk your health. In our Whole House program we will check faucets, test the water pressure, check the piping, flush your water tank, and do a dye test on the toilets to check leakage points for signs of wear. We will also investigate suspected stains.

Your electrical system is another major part of your home. Problems that are left alone can lead to fires and injury. We will scan for problem hot spots, check the GFCIs, check smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and tighten panel connections. Connections can become loose over time, which is a big hazard for your family.

With the Whole House Program, inspection/cleaning of all of these major systems is included in one package for a low price. Minor repairs are all covered and major repairs are discounted by 30-60%. With one-time visits or individual agreements you’d pay much more. Overtime charges are also much lower than without the program. Sign up today for peace of mind!

 

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Build Your Own Vertical Garden

 

Indoor Vertical Garden Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical in North CarolinaWhat if there was a way to have a garden for your home without taking up much space—and it also provided other benefits such as helping with cooling? Vertical gardens are a great addition to your home. As water circulates through plants, they release moisture into the surrounding air and it evaporates, creating colder air. Cooler air just outside a wall of your home can lead to less work for your air conditioner.

Head to a big-box store to get one large pallet (or more if you’d like), mounting brackets, staple gun, landscape fabric, soil and plants. You will also need waterproof plastic if it will be mounted on the side of your house. Once home, check the pallets for nails and sand the wood. (Make sure it is not pressure-treated wood.)

Use landscape fabric to cover the back, sides and bottom of the pallet and staple. (About every inch. You want plenty of staples to keep the dirt in.) For added protection to the exterior of your home, line the back of the pallet with waterproof plastic, but leave the bottom open.

Put potting soil in and add the plants in between each slat. Put in as many plants as you can fit. Don’t water the plants yet.

Grab a family member or friend to help you mount the pallet, as it will be heavy! Check that the plants did not move around in the process. Water, and wait to see your very own vertical garden bloom! You may need to add some more soil as it packs down over time.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Building Your Own Outdoor Shower

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical in North CarolinaIf you haven’t already, you’re probably planning—or at least dreaming of – your next beach vacation. How about bringing a little taste of the tropics to your home with an outdoor shower? A simple version can cost less than $1,000. Here is what you need to know to get started.

First check that an outdoor showers is allowed in your area or if you need a permit for it. Next, think about location. You’ll want a place that is not under a roof or tree and has direct sunlight for warmth as well as drying the walls and floor. You’ll also want a private area!

If you choose to install the shower right up against your house with one of the walls being your siding, keep in mind that the material may not be designed to withstand that much water. You’d want to add a waterproof membrane underneath, and also use a material such as teak or cedar.

Plan out what type of draining you’ll use.  The shower will need to drain into the household system or a French drain. If you go with a French drain, you’ll likely need to replace the gravel every few years. Obviously, you’ll want to drain away from the home and if you care about your garden, away from those plants as well, as soap can affect them.

You’ll likely want to hire a professional plumber to do the plumbing, unless you go the very simplistic route of using a garden hose as the shower head. If you do want to tackle the plumbing yourself, you’ll have to assemble the pipes, drill an opening into the floor, push the garden hose through and attach it to the threaded pipe, secure it to the wall and attach the shower fixture.

Remember, in the winter you’ll want to shut off the water valve and have the pipes blown out before temperatures drop to freezing.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!