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.

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.

How to stay Warm and Safe During Winter Months

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

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

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

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

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

How Much Do Christmas Lights Affect Your Energy Bill?

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

Costs by type of bulb:

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

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

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

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

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

Does your home have Faulty Wire Connections?

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

Causes of poor wire connection:

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

Signs of problem breakers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Benefits of Using a Humidifier in Your Home

Now that summer months are in the rear view mirror, it’s time to start considering how your home environment could negatively affect your health. There have been significant advancements with heating and cooling options over the past several years, so it’s time to reap the full benefits of those advancements! Long gone are the days where thermostats where limited to a dial that you had to change to set the temperature. We’ll go over the benefits of a humidifier, and some important things to note when using a humidifier.

Some of the Benefits:

  • They increase comfort levels in your home. Humidifiers also produce moisture in the air, which will enable you rest well with a comfortable night’s sleep.
  • Wintertime sickness is lessened and not aggravated through the use of a humidifier. The dry air is an aggravating factor for the common cold or runny nose during the winter months. With a humidifier, the air in your home will contain more moisture and help with these symptoms all throughout the day.
  • The air will feel more comfortable and also warmer, which means that you can turn down your thermostat in the winter and save some extra money!

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of a humidifier, here are some important considerations as to how to use one:

  • Many humidifiers will measure the humidity level in a room, which comes in handy to know how much humidity is in each room. The optimal level should be 30 percent when it’s cold and 50 percent when it’s hot outside.
  • There are different humidifier options that are beneficial for each type of room in your home. It’s common for homeowners to have a humidifier in multiple rooms of their home.
  • Smaller humidifiers are beneficial for smaller rooms, especially children’s rooms. It’s best to stick with a cool mist humidifier, since it eliminates the chance of children getting burned by a warm mist humidifier.
  • There are console and whole home humidifiers that may be beneficial for larger rooms in the home.
  • If noise is an important consideration for you, there are ultrasonic humidifiers which create the quietest atmosphere.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can attach a humidifier right to your furnace to ensure optimal comfort during the winter months. With the installation of a humidifier, you’ll be able to turn down your thermostat and save money this winter, and avoid the negative health effects that the dry air brings!

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

Keep Your Family Safe With Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Most harmful situations come with warning signs, such as fires which are accompanied by smoke and fumes. There is one deadly threat that comes without any notable signs. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, which makes it impossible to tell when it has been emitted in your home. Carbon Monoxide is a gas created as the result of fuel that didn’t burn fully. There are multiple appliances such as gas fires, water heaters and cookers that all have the potential to release Carbon Monoxide.  

We’ll highlight a few different ways that you can eliminate the chances of Carbon Monoxide being released in your home, and also how to identify when there has been a Carbon Monoxide leak.

What to Review:

  • Regularly have an inspection conducted on the vents and chimneys to make sure that all the connections are properly secured. During this inspection, make sure that there are no visible signs of rust or stains.
  • Always be sure to install and operate all your appliances according to how the manufacturer’s handbook instructs.
  • Have an annual inspection conducted by a technician to have your heating system, vents, chimney fully checked.
  • Never heat your home using a gas range or stove.
  • When purchasing your appliances, check to verify if they have been approved by the nationally recognized testing laboratory.
  • Never use fuel-powered tools or appliances in enclosed areas.
  • The only sure way to know when there has been a CO leak is to get carbon monoxide alarms and place one on every floor in your home and all the sleeping areas.

Carbon Monoxide can leak through vents and doors as well. So the safest way to make sure that you’re catching any potential Carbon Monoxide gas is to have a detector set-up and periodically inspected.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can install a new Carbon Monoxide detector and provide a regular check-up to make sure that your batteries are fresh and your detector is within the 3-7 year lifespan for optimal performance!

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