Install Fire and CO2 Alarms

 

October is fire prevention awareness month, and winter is prime time for fires due to people using unsafe techniques to warm up. How do you install smoke and CO2 alarms? Where do you place them? How many do you need?

Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. In addition, a smoke alarm should be installed on each level of your home.

Smoke alarms should be high on the wall (but not less than 12 inches away from the ceiling) because smoke rises. For ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within 4 inches down from the peak, called the apex. Make sure your alarms are not near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with them. They should also be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance unless you enjoy hearing false alarms often!

The best way to protect your home is with interconnected alarms. To do so, you’ll probably need to hire a professional if using hard wiring. There are also wireless technology options. With interconnected smoke alarms, make sure they are from the same manufacturer.

Buy smoke alarms that show a label of a recognized testing laboratory and are combination ionization-photoelectric alarms, also known as dual sensor alarms. These respond to both flaming fires and smoldering fires

Carbon monoxide mixes with the air, so these alarms should be at knee level (to meet the height of a sleeping person). You can move them up to chest height if needed in a home with young children. A single-function carbon monoxide alarm is typically recommended. If you have a dual smoke-CO detector, put it higher up so it can detect smoke. Make sure to put at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level. Extra detectors near sleeping areas are also a good idea. Any place where you have a fuel-fired appliance such as a gas fireplace or gas clothes dryer, make sure you have a CO2 alarm.

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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!

 

 

 

Light Your Closet Without Wires

 

How do you properly get dressed in the morning if you get up before the sun or you’re trying to keep the lights dim to let your spouse sleep in? Are you digging around in your closet while holding up your phone’s flashlight? It’s time to put in some quality closet lighting!

An insta bulb is battery-operated and totally wireless. You simply peel and stick it to the wall and pull a cord to turn it on.

A battery-operated motion-sensing LED ceiling light will automatically turn on, then off after a
bout 30 seconds. These can be easily installed within minutes and the only thing you’ll have to remember is to replace the batteries once in a while.

A tap light is another great option. This is turned on or off with a tape. It can be easily attached with screws or mounting tape. Some can be detached so they can be used as a portable emergency light.

LED strip lights can activate within a few feet and provide a linear look. These are great for very dark closets.

A puck light with a remote control will let you direct lighting to where you need it and you can use the remote from 15 feet away!

You can use a combination of the options mentioned for optimal lighting. Take a look at the other closets in your home after you work on the first closet. Don’t forget about your drawers and other nooks and crannies. Most of this lighting can be installed in those areas too.

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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!

Wiring Your Unfinished Garage

 

You’re looking around at your unfinished garage and realize you need more outlets and lighting. Before getting started, keep a few things in mind: If you are leaving the walls and ceiling open, you’ll have to use the framing members to protect and support the wires. Do not span stud or joist spaces with wires, and keep the cables closely hugging the studs, plates and ceiling joists.

Always make sure you’re doing everything safely and up to code. If you’re just not sure, don’t hesitate to bring in a professional electrician. Lastly, if you plan to close up the walls later on, you’ll have to rewire. So, what’s next?

Next Steps

You’ll route the cable along studs, top plates and ceiling joists, along the framing member that leads to the next box. Keep cables on vertical surfaces—not on the tops of walls. Plan your wiring and put up all the electrical boxes.

Next, run a cable from one box to another by pulling cable off the coil, stripping at least 8 inches of sheathing off the wires and threading the wires and about 1/2 inch of sheathing through the wire opening in the box.

Untwist the cable and staple, staple, staple! Do this at least every 4 feet to the framing, preferably more.

Important Tips for Garage Wiring

When you get to the next box, stretch out the cable and mark the entrance point on it, cut the cable about a foot long, strip the sheathing and feed the wires into the box. Nail in the staples near the box.

NOTE: You’ll have to hold all wires at least 1-1/4 inches from the back and front surface of studs and joists.

Electrical boxes may have metal or plastic cable clamps that are built in. Many duplex boxes only have knockouts. Staple cable within 8 inches of boxes without clamps and within 12 inches of boxes with clamps.

And don’t forget: If your garage has a wall made of concrete or is already dry walled, cable installed on these exposed surfaces has to be protected by conduit.

CC Air Can Help

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!

Light Up Your Deck or Patio

 

Whether you’re hoping to throw some cookouts this summer or are concerned about your family’s safety while walking outside in the dark, adding lighting around your deck or patio is a great idea. What are some easy options?

  • Low-voltage landscape lighting is a great addition. It won’t light up a large area, but can work well along with other lighting components. They are great to light up a pathway.
  • String lights are increasingly popular, as they create a pretty ambiance and are inexpensive. When shopping, look specifically for outdoor-rated string lights. LED bulbs will last many years. If you’re looking for that softer glow, though, you may consider incandescent bulbs. If you need them far away from an outlet, look for solar options.
  • If you’re looking to cast a glow on an area, sconces are a good idea.  You can get one that mounts onto the house or a lantern-style fixture, which casts a larger glow.
  • If you have an outdoor grilling or kitchen area, overhead lighting is the most useful, instead of decorative mood lighting that is generally more used for the patio or deck.
  • If your house is old, make sure your outlets are upgraded to have the modern safety features. Outdoor outlets should have a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and a cover that can withstand weather. If you need more outlets in your outdoor area, you may want to contact a professional. It is not recommended to run cords through an open window, as this is not only unsightly but can also be unsafe.

Last but not least, consider using lighting around stairs and other walking areas for safety.

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!

Home Automation

 

2016-05-16-1463362284-229977-connecthomWith “smart technology” you can have it all these days. Besides your coffee being brewed before you wake up, you can have lights turned on automatically, and doors locked from a swipe on our phone. What are some ways you can make your life easier if this is something you’ve been thinking about?

Lighting is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make your home a “smart” home. A basic automation system lets you set vacation timers when you’re away, connect lights to morning alarms and set motion detectors outside. All of this can be connected to a smart phone or tablet.

Media centers are another popular choice. With an automated media center you can consolidate your entertainment needs into one location. Some smart devices let you to stream different media in different rooms at the same time.

Your HVAC is also a great aspect of the home to consider making “smart.” A smart thermostat will cost you a few hundred bucks but save you money in the long run. It knows when you leave the house and automatically adjusts the temperature to a predetermined baseline. It also lets you adjust the temperature of your home with a smart phone or tablet — tailored to your schedule if you so desire.

Security is another area in which people are going “smart.” Smart locks connect with your smart phone and automatically lock or unlock depending on your location, while working with your other existing smart-home systems to create a safer home.

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!

Wiring for Your Home Office

 
imagesMore and more people are working from home. You can have the best speed and performance in your home office if you set everything up properly and don’t cut corners.

You’ll likely need high-speed Internet and networking. Structured wiring is a data delivery system that can carry phone, fax, broadband, networking, and video/television technologies. The system has three parts: a panel where outside service enters the home, wires and cables throughout the house, and connecting hardware. You can get a prepackaged system, but that means you may have wasted outlets or no outlet where you need one. It is a good idea to develop a home-office plan before you wire. Figure out where the computer, printer, phones, and media will be set up and where conference calls will happen.

The system is installed the same way regardless of whether you have a new construction or are remodeling. The preferred method is the “star” layout, where each outlet extends individually to the service panel. This will allow for flexibility and help to figure out any problems. There are options for older homes so you don’t have to open up walls. Wires can be fished through walls.

If you’re not comfortable doing such a big project on your own, hire a professional. Not only do you want it to be installed correctly but you also want to make sure you have create necessary flexibility to accommodate future expansion. Costs vary, but the system typically ranges from about 1 to 3 percent of a home’s value.

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!

Light Bulb Choices Explained

 

light-bulbs-e1451664022212CFL, LED, incandescent… what’s the difference between all of these types of light bulbs? And what works best for your home? In short, the most energy-efficient options are Compact Fluorescent (CFL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. They emit the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs but have lower wattage, so they use less energy.

While using less energy is the goal for many people, each type of bulb has unique characteristics. To learn more about each type, read on.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL)

CFLs can save you up to 75% on your energy costs, last up to 9 years, and are less expensive than LEDs. They do contain a small amount of mercury, but that is not a concern unless they break, in which case the mess needs to be cleaned up thoroughly and should not cause worry.

Some CFLs are for outdoor use — just check the packaging. CFLs are not recommended for workshop-type areas of the house because they might not hold up to the stress of power surges. Last but not least, if your outlet is wired for a dimmer, you must buy a CFL rated specifically for that, otherwise it can be a fire hazard.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

LEDs can save you up to 80% on your energy costs, last up 20 year or more, and are more expensive than CFLs. They do not contain mercury.

Some LEDs are also for outdoor use. LEDs can help you save on air conditioning because they do not contribute to heat buildup.

Some companies are phasing out CFLs and planning on going to LEDs.

Incandescent

Standard 100-, 75-, 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs are being phased out. Specialty incandescent bulbs, such as chandelier bulbs, will still be available. Incandescent bulbs only last about 1 year. They do not contain mercury.

Other types of bulbs include halogen bulbs, HID bulbs, and fluorescent bulbs.

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!

Updating Your Light Fixtures

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With a new year right around the corner, many people are considering how to start fresh in the year ahead — and that includes making improvements to their home. If you’re one of them, and you’re looking for one easy way to increase ambiance and useful lighting areas without breaking the bank, updating your light fixtures is worth consideration.

It’s amazing how proper lighting can make a world of difference in your kitchen and other areas throughout your home. Unfortunately, not only can old light fixtures appear dated, but be aware that they may also have become inefficient.

As you begin to assess what your needs are, there are some specific points to ponder. First, think about your other décor and the style you’d like. Just because you find a beautiful artsy light fixture at the store doesn’t mean it will fit well in your home. It may help to bring photos with you to talk with the retailer.

Also, installing dimmer switches on light fixtures and lamps allows you to adjust for your mood and tasks while helping save energy. If you’re shopping for these switches, note that dimmers come in two basic wiring configurations. If your light will be controlled by one switch, buy a single-pole dimmer. If your light or group of lights will be controlled by two switches, buy a three-way dimmer.

To make a significant improvement in your ambiance and useful lighting, under-cabinet light strips are a great choice for your kitchen or work area. Options include puck lights, fluorescent strips, LED strips, and LED rope or tape.

For reading areas without tables to place a lamp, simply install a reading light on the wall. For dark garages, attics, hallways or staircases, strategically placed motion sensor lights can improve your visibility.

A few final tips:

  • Add layers of light in one room to give you options as well as provide ambiance. For example, you can have lamps and ceiling fixtures all in the same room.
  • Clean lights bulbs make a difference! Dust them frequently.
  • Finally, remember it is always best to hire a professional if you don’t feel comfortable doing these projects yourself.

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!

Using Space Heaters

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If you’re trying to warm up a certain room, a space heater can be a great way to do that. However, the space heater’s effectiveness is dependent on you taking specific precautions while purchasing wisely so you don’t waste electricity (and money).

There are a few different types of heaters that can be used in your home. Electric space heaters are the only unvented space heaters safe for indoor use. They do not pose indoor air quality concerns, but can still be a fire hazard if not used safely. These should be plugged directly into a wall. If an extension cord is absolutely necessary, use a short heavy-duty cord of 14-gauge wire or heavier. Look for a tip-over safety switch that shuts the unit off if it is turned over.

Vented combustion heaters, on the other hand, are made to be put next to an outside wall so the flue gas vent can be installed through a ceiling or wall (unvented combustion units are not recommended for indoor use). Only use the approved fuel and do not overfill the heater or fill when it is still hot. It is a good idea to have a vented space heater inspected by a professional each year to prevent issues that can cause high levels of carbon monoxide to enter your home.

In addition, below are a few more things to consider when buying or using a space heater.

  • Look for newer models that have the up-to-date safety features. They should have the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label.
  • Only buy what you need. You don’t need a huge heater for a small room. Look for a sizing chart on the box.
  • Heaters should be put on level surfaces where they won’t be in anyone’s way. Always keep pets and children far away.
  • Kerosene heaters are not recommended in your home, and in some communities, may even be illegal to use.
  • Remember to install or check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms!

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!

Holiday Lights and Electrical Safety

christmas wishes

Many of us are already taking out those boxes of holiday decorations or starting to shop for new décor. With all of the lights, though, come safety concerns. How can you make sure you’re lighting up your home without risking fires or electrical injuries?

  • Before getting started, plan your displays. Look for outlets and figure out what you can reasonably do before you go into a decorating frenzy.
  • When shopping, make sure the product has a label showing that it has gone through independent testing by a recognized lab, such as UL or ETL.
  • LED lights are more energy efficient, last longer and are more durable than incandescent lights.
  • Don’t use items intended for outdoors inside, or vice versa.
  • Make sure you’ll be notified of any recalls by sending in the product registration forms.
  • Inspect older decorations for any loose or damaged wires or connections.
  • Unplug before replacing bulbs or fuses.
  • Make sure cords are not pinched in windows, doors, etc.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets with too many items at once.
  • Do not connect an extension cord to another extension cord or place them in high traffic areas or under furniture, carpets or rugs. Do not run them through walls or ceilings.
  • Do not connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together.
  • Outdoor lights should be plugged in to circuits that are protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).  (You can buy portable GFCIs.)
  • Protect lights from the wind by fastening them to firm surfaces but make sure this is not done in a way that could damage the cord’s insulation.
  • Turn off all holiday lighting before going to bed each night.

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!