The "Change Filter" Light is Flashing: What Now?

You look up and see a blinking light on your thermostat, “CHANGE FILTER.” Don’t ignore it! These filters protect your indoor air quality, meaning, they keep you and your family healthy! And by keeping them clean, it will save you money on heating and air conditioning in the long run. 

How to Change Your Air Filter

So do you call a professional or start looking up DIY YouTube videos? According to the professionals, if your filter is accessible and you feel comfortable getting to it, you can check to see its condition. The filter looks like a large windowpane. And you should replace it with the same size you already have. However, there’s no need to stick with a certain brand as long as the filter fits correctly. It goes in the same way the old filter was removed and it should be a snug fit. You can also use a permanent marker or pen to write the install date on your new air filter. That way, you won’t have any questions about when you need a new one the next time.

You should change out the standard 1″ wire media air filter every month depending on your lifestyle, especially if you have pets. But there are other types of media air filters that are thicker and take out a higher percentage of dust and contaminants. These filters usually have a longer service life. There are also electric air filters that electronically zap the contaminants and sterilizes the dust mites that survive in climates with relative humidity over 50%.

Benefits of Changing Air Filters:

  • Extends the life of your unit- systems can overheat if air filters aren’t clear and clean which can shut down your entire unit!
  • Keeps Energy Costs Down- if your filter is clean, your unit doesn’t have to work as hard, using less energy to heat and cool your home!
  • Keeps Pet Dander and Allergens at bay- keep your air cleaner by getting rid of unwanted pollutants!
  • Keeps your system clean- don’t let unwanted dirt, dander and other things clog up your system which can cost more in repairs!

When shopping, look at the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) number, which ranges from 1 to 12. The higher the number, the better the filtration is.  If your filter is in an area where you’re not comfortable reaching it yourself, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning. They will check it out for you and replace it if needed. To schedule an appointment, call Central Carolina Air Conditioning at 800-461-3010 or request a repair.

Let Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical help babyproof your home!

Did you know we could help keep your children and family safe?  We can even help babyproof your home!

Whether you’re a first-time parent or it’s been a few years since you’ve done the baby thing, or you’re a caregiver getting ready for a new addition to your home, you’ll start looking at your house—and all of its dangers—differently. What are the basics of babyproofing? First, think ahead. While your 6 month old may not be able to get to much, your 2 year old will. And we can even help with some of these to give you extra peace of mind!

Tips to Keeping Babies and Young Children Safe In Your Home:

  • Plug all unused electrical outlets with safety covers and move all exposed wires out of reach. This will take some creativity—perhaps you’ll need to move furniture around or go ahead and mount that TV like you’ve talked about for so long! You’ll also want to make sure there are no exposed wires anywhere in or around your home!
  • Move tall lamps behind sturdy furniture such as a couch, or consider getting rid of these lamps altogether.
  • Check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure you have enough. There should be one smoke detector in every bedroom and on every level of the house, and one carbon monoxide detector on every level of the house. We are happy to help install these!  And remember that these need to be checked every few months to make sure they are in working condition!
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure it’s locked up or place a sturdy screen around the hearth. If you have a gas fireplace, make sure the gas line isn’t leaking!  Again, give us a call if you have any concerns!
  • Place baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs and in any other areas where you want to keep them out. Think ahead—getting taller gates with high quality latches/locks will save you from going out and buying new gates when your baby is 18 months old.
  • Remove blinds with looped cords and keep curtains and blinds out of babies and toddlers’ reach.
  • Anchor heavy furniture such as dressers to the wall.
  • Cover sharp edges and corners and install locks on the refrigerator, appliances and cabinets you don’t want your little one getting into. Don’t forget the toilets, or you could end up with a pretty big project when they flush their toys down the toilet!

 

Let us help keep your little ones safe!  Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! With our Whole House Agreement, we can service your heating and cooling, plumbing and electrical!  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!

 

Beware of These Safety Hazards In Your Home

Daily life can get busy, which means we often forget to pay proper attention to little things that could potentially cause big problems. Appliances are a common use in every home – and oftentimes we use appliances multiple times a day. We’ll share effective ways that you can practice as part of your daily routine to prevent potential hazards. It only takes one time to start a fire, so the few extra seconds or minutes over the course of the day will be well worth it!

  • When it comes to any appliances that emit heat, such as a computer monitor, screen, clocks, tv, etc. make sure to provide ample space around the appliance so that it does not overheat. Normally a few inches would be enough space to allow for around these appliances.
  • Don’t attempt to fix any appliances yourself, and always read through instructions if you decide to do the initial set-up yourself.
  • While you may know that all electrical appliances should be kept away from water, consider any vents that could also potentially leak. Make sure that your electrical appliances are clear from any spot close to a vent.
  • When using power cords to increase range of use for lights, always make sure that there are no frays or kinks in the cords.
  • Always make sure that the power cords are tucked under the rugs and out of the way so there aren’t any trip hazards.
  • It may be convenient just to grab whichever power cord you see at the store, and going about your shopping trip to complete your shopping list. Take the time to match the power cord to the length and weight that you will need.
  • Be careful with outlets when using power strips so that they don’t become overloaded!
  • When it comes to light bulbs that you use in your home, consider trading out for energy efficient bulbs.
  • Match the light bulb wattage to the fixture.  Using one that emits too much light for the fixture is a possible fire!

   

It’s always important to make sure that your electrical panel is operating efficiently and safely.  Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to 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. This is especially important for any outlets near water or other hazards!

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

Beware of Energy Drainers in Your Home

You may not have heard of the term “standby power”, but you’re probably be very familiar with it.  Do you ever wonder why your electricity bill may be higher even though you are conscientious about turning the lights off before you leave your house? Well, standby power is anything that expends energy EVEN when its turned off, but plugged in.

Parents and children alike are spending more and more time on technology, whether it’s watching tv or playing games on an iPhone. These devices require charging, and often frequent charging with how much we use our devices. It’s a common habit to leave our chargers plugged in and other electronics or appliances. 

These are common devices and appliances that expend energy when they’re plugged in:  laptops, cell phones, game consoles, modems, printers, microwaves, toasters and coffee makers. It may not always be a convenient option to unplug a modem and repower every time. It may not even be possible to unplug your washer and dryer that could be blocking the area where they plug in. So we’ve created a list of alternative methods that will help you save energy on the appliances and devices draining power when they’re not used.

  • When it’s possible and not a huge hassle, unplug devices before you leave your home.
  • Consider using a power strip that will make it convenient to turn on off one switch for multiple devices, instead of having to turn off and on all those individual devices.
  • You can also consider getting a Kill-a-Watt meter to test your appliances to see how much electricity they are really using.
  • Invest in cell phone chargers that are automatic energy savers by “unplugging” when you aren’t using them.
  • Energy Star Appliances are the way to go for long term energy savings.

These are great ways to save energy and money, however, one the most significant money savings comes from your air conditioning unit. 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!  Also we can help review your electrical outlets and usage to see how you can further save money!

 

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

 

 

Need To Replace a Ceiling Fan?

If you’ve had a broken ceiling fan for a while, you probably feel the need to fix it during the heat waves of summer.  This is not a daunting task, if you have basic electrical skills, or can quickly learn basic electrical skills. Allow for some patience during this process, and plan on taking a couple breaks during the fan installment due to the heavy weight of the fans. It’s much easier if you have someone helping you!

Start by turning off all the switches to the ceiling fan, and then cut the power off at the circuit breaker box. (Make sure you have the proper switch, if you are going to control your fan with a wall switch. Depending on the brand of the fan, some may only be set to operate from a preset multi-speed switch).

– Make sure the wires are disconnected before removing the old fixture.  Check the electrical box to make sure that the ceiling is properly suited to hold the weight of a ceiling fan. You will probably find a fan weight rating inside the electrical box that will indicate whether the ceiling can hold the weight of the new fan you wish to install. 

Next, follow the fan instructions for the particular ceiling fan you are about to install. Most ceiling fans come with the light fixtures pre-installed.

-Instructions may require you to cut and strip the fan wires to fit accordingly.                           

-Hang the fan on the hook, if your ceiling plate or mounting bracket comes with a hook to support the wiring.

-While still following the manual instructions, connect wires using a wire connector. There should be no visible wires after the connecting process, except for the green ground wire.

Follow the manual instructions to attach the fan blades, which may need to be screwed on, or clipped on, depending on the fan model.

-If the fan is too wobbly, you can either attach a balancing kit that may be included with your fan, or you can buy them separately.

-Finally, turn switch back on at the circuit breaker. 

If you don’t have time or the patience to install a ceiling fan, give Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical a call and we’d be happy to install it for you! While we’re out there, we can check your Air Conditioning Unit to make sure it’s running efficiently, so that not only your new ceiling fan but also your AC unit are providing the most comfortable atmosphere in your home!

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

Considering HardScaping? Central Carolina Air Conditioning Plumbing & Electric can help!

Anything in your yard that is technically non-living can be considered a hardscape. The definition is quite broad and can include anything from rocks and pavers to bricks and stones. If you’re considering adding some beauty to your backyard this summer, we’ll share a few things to know before starting. These tips will make the overall process smooth, successful and more cost effective. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric can even help with your water and electric installation!

  • Always plan out the whole hardscape project. We know this can become a costly endeavor – so if you choose to do it in phases, still plan out the whole project to save you time down the road when you start the other phases.
  • Maintain a balance. You’ll want to create a harmonious balance between hard and soft cape – (i.e. rocks and stones for the hardscapes and plants and trees for the soft capes).  
  • Hardscapes can increase your home value. Get an appraiser to provide an appraisal for what your home would cost by basing it off your budgeted hardscape plans.
  • Consider the functionality. How will you be utilizing the space in your backyard/the hardscapes? While the hardscape you create should and can be beautiful, it should also work with how you are going to use your backyard. Consider the layout of furniture you may place in the backyard.
  • Don’t forget topography! If your backyard has other challenges such as drainage, make sure that you keep this in consideration and plan around it. If topography challenges are beyond your comfort level, it may be best to hire a professional for some guidance to make sure that your time and investment in hardscaping pays off in the end.

 

Whether it’s plants or also a water fountain hardscape you’re installing, your backyard will require some amount of water and possibly electric as well. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can check all emergency water shut-offs for proper performance and tag main emergency shut-offs. If your emergency shut-off does not work when you need it, there could be big problems.

We can also check all your lawn faucets for any leaks that could be wasting your money.

 

Have more questions? Call us—we’d love to help! Call the professionals at Go Green Plumbing at 336-252-2999 for service 7 days a week/24 hours a day. If water runs through it – We Do It!

 

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.

Light Up Your Home

 

Whether you’re sick of tripping over things in the evenings or want to create a certain ambiance, lighting can make a huge impact in your home. Different types of lighting will work best in different rooms. What should you consider for your home?

General lighting, also known as ambient lighting, helps to create the overall mood of your home. When you are looking for general lighting, first take note of your other lighting systems in the room to make sure additions or changes will flow well. For example, you don’t want dim overhead kitchen lighting with overly bright cabinet lights. Recessed lighting is a good choice for your everyday tasks as well as to accent a room.

Accent lighting brings attention to the features of your home, such as interesting architecture or artwork. Track lighting is a good choice for this purpose. Track lighting is easy to install and versatile since the direction of each head can be individually adjusted.

Task lighting is what you want in work areas, such as around countertops and tables. For desks, a simple desk lamp will likely suffice. For the bathroom mirror, you can get rid of shadows by placing vertical fixtures on both sides of the mirror.

Think about smaller areas as well. Adding some pantry, cabinet and closet lights can make your daily routine smoother. Fluorescent light fixtures under the upper kitchen cabinets will offer bright light without producing heat.

It is crucial to make sure your lighting plan is functional and easy for your lifestyle. You don’t want a remote-controlled closet light if you’re the type of person who loses things easily.

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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!

 

Mystery Wall Switches

 

You flick the switch—and—nothing. Whether you’re going through the rooms in your new house or you would like to finally figure out that one switch in the home you’ve lived in for years—how do you do it?

A switch in a kitchen cabinet may be for a garbage disposal. Sometime appliances like this have been removed, but the switch is still there.

Gas fireplaces often have a hidden switch.

Look in your attic if the switch is near it. It may turn on a light or exhaust fan in there. Exhaust fans have a thermostat that can as a secondary switch to turn the fan on only when it is hot in the attic. It may seem the switch works in the winter.

Usually furnaces and air conditioning handlers are connected to a circuit breaker or pull-disconnect in a metal box, but sometimes it is a simple wall switch. If you accidentally flick the switch, the system will not run.

Some fans are operated with a remote control, and turn on by a switch. If a fan doesn’t have a pull-chain, this may be the case.

Switches near doors that lead outside may be for floodlights, post lights, or other lighting on your porch, patio, or yard. These are often forgotten about, so remember to change the bulbs. Otherwise, you may flick a switch and it may appear it doesn’t serve anything, but it actually serves than light in the corner of the house with the dead bulb.

If you just can’t figure a switch out and you really want to know what it is for, you can remove the face plate and see if it is connected to any wires. You’d have to turn off the circuit breaker and test with a non-contact tester. This can get tricky and would best be done by a professional.

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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!

Electrical Safety

 

Fire prevention awareness month is here, and some of the most common causes of fires besides cooking and unsafe heating are electrical issues. What do you need to know to stay safe?

Outlets. Do not force a plug into an outlet or remove the third prong to make a three-prong plug fit a two-conductor outlet. Make sure plugs aren’t too loose fitting. Don’t overload outlets with too many appliance plugs. Replace any missing or broken wall plates.

Cords. Do not put cords under rugs or carpets or in places where people will walk on them. Do not staple or nail them to floors or anything else. There are plenty of safe ways to hide your cords. Make sure cords are not frayed or cracked. Extension cords are meant only for temporary use.

Light bulbs. Make sure you use the correct wattage for your fixtures. Do not use a higher wattage than recommended. Screw them in securely to make sure they are not loose.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). Make sure GFCIs are installed in your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, basement, garage and on outdoor outlets. Test them about once a month.

Circuit breakers/Fuses. Have an electrician identify and label your circuit breaker, or do it yourself. Fuses should be properly rated for each circuit they are protecting.

Appliances/Electronics. It is a good idea to use surge protectors to protect expensive electronics. Check for damage in wiring. If an appliance blows a fuse more than once, trips the circuit breaker or gives you a shock, unplug it and get it repaired.

Electrical wiring. Check for loose wires, wall receptacles or lighting fixtures. If light switches are hot or lights spark and flicker, shut off and replace them.

Remember that the more appliances and electronics you get, the more your home’s service capacity may end up overburdened.

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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!