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.

Installing a Home Office

The number of people who work from home has increased over the years. More companies are also allowing for this option within their company structure. When working from home, however, you need to have an efficient system for optimal internet speed and performance. We’ll walk through an ideal system for you to set in place before you start working from home. If you already work from home, you may need an update in your current wiring system to improve your work productivity.

The essential wiring and functions for a home office include high-speed internet and networking. Structured wiring is an ideal package for a home office, as it provides fax, phone, broadband, networking and video/television technologies.

The system is comprised of 3 parts:

  • The first part is a panel that allows outside services to enter the home.
  • The second part is the wires and cables that run throughout the home.
  • The third component is the connecting hardware.

There is also an option to get a prepacked system. The downside with getting a prepacked system is that there’s a possibility a few of the outlets may be left unused. There’s also a possibility that you may need outlets in areas where there aren’t any, and so you’ll have to get outlets built in there which will require more work.

Before you take any action and start wiring, make a home office plan. Once you have a room selected, create a plan of where everything will be located in that room, and where you will spend time doing certain tasks. You’ll need a designated place for the computer, printer, phone, etc. Regardless of the home-office plan you choose, it’s important to not skimp when determining which cables and systems you want to choose for your home office.

There are a lot of cheap options and wires out there. It’s safe to go with name brand wires and pay more for the quality you’ll be receiving. The name brand wires will also last a longer time. You may be wondering what kind of cost you should be anticipating for a home office. Well, this depends on a few factors like how robust your system of choice is. If you are building new construction, you can expect the cost of a full wiring system to be 1-3% of your home’s value. If you are changing a room in your existing home into an office, the price will depend on the system you choose, and also how much navigation will be required to wire everything.

Although there are DIY steps to complete wiring for a home office, it’s always safe to call a professional. Dealing with anything electrical can be hazardous and pose a threat to your safety and the safety of your home. If you’re investing a significant amount to install a home office, you want to make sure it’s done the right way.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to install the wiring for your home office! While we’re out there, we can perform a thorough scan of 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 to schedule your appointment at 800-461-3010.

Have You Considered Outdoor Lighting for Safety?

In the short days of winter, people typically get off work when it’s already dark. This means that they return to their homes when it’s dark out, which could make it difficult to navigate your way to the front door without tripping. A dark home could also make it challenging to find the right key on your key chain to open the front door.

These scenarios can all be eliminated through the different security lighting options available. Not only can outdoor lighting provide guidance from a dark driveway to the front door, but it can also provide safety by alerting you when someone is outside. We’ll highlight the different options that you could consider for the outdoor security lighting for your home.

Solar Flood Lights

  • Motion-Activated Exterior Security Lights – The benefit of motion-activated exterior lights is that they will help you save on your electricity bills. They are unlike any other security lights in that they only turn on when they detect motion and activity. The ideal location for these security lights is by entry areas and backyards. Ideally, they’d be covered by outdoor elements so they aren’t directed exposed.
  • Solar Flood Lights – For those who are especially environmentally conscious, solar flood lights are a great option for outdoor lighting. They received their power supply through the heat from the sun, which it converts into solar energy. It then uses that energy to power the LED bulbs. They won’t contribute to energy bills, and they also don’t require wiring.
  • Fluorescent Exterior Security Lights – For a conventional form of exterior lighting, consider installing fluorescent exterior lighting. Although they require bulbs, wiring, a switch and bulb sockets, they also can be adjusted with a dimmer and a timer to determine how bright you’d like them and when you’d like them to turn on and off.
  • Halogen Exterior Flood Lights – One of the most common types of exterior lighting are the Halogen flood lights. They’re often found at commercial buildings, residential homes and industrial locations. They are a strong light that emits a bright light, and consumes the most energy out of all the options above.
  • HID Exterior Security Lighting – HID, which stands for High Intensity Discharge, emits a strong light that spans over a broad surface area. These are often used for larger residential areas or stadiums, so they most likely would not be the ideal form of security lighting to choose.

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. We will also install any form of outdoor security to protect your home from intruders and provide a source of guidance when walking to and from your home in the dark.

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

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.