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.

###

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!

 

 

 

Warm Up Your Outdoor Space

 

 

Enjoy the cool fall weather outdoors by adding some warmth to your porch or patio. In addition to bringing out some hot chocolate and cozy blankets, what else can you do to stay toasty while you and your guests enjoy the chillier evenings?

A portable patio heater is something you’ve likely seen at a restaurant or bar. It can also be used for your outdoor space. It will not take up much space and can heat up an area of up to 25 square feet. It is typically fueled by propane.

A fire pit can be simple or elaborate. You can buy a fire pit or get one built or make your own. Wood-burning pits are popular, but check your local wood-burning laws. If you use butane or gas, that will need to be hooked up by a professional.

A fireplace can be a beautiful focal point for a backyard. If you’re considering getting one, consider low-hanging trees and shrubs, any structures nearby and where the wind could blow the smoke.

chimenea is a simple option. It is made of clay or metal. You’ll want a sturdy one that has a spark screen. You can also get a chimney extension to help vent the smoke.

You can also get some heat—and delicious food—from an outdoor kitchen. You may also consider floor heating, which is typically used indoors but is being used outdoors now as well. Another out-of-the-box option is a hot tub. Both of these options would require professional installation and can be costly. The hot tub, in addition to electrical work, would also require plumbing work.

###

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!

 

 

 

Stove & Oven Energy Savings

 

The kitchen is often the most-used room in the house. So how can you use less energy in the kitchen and save some money on your bill each month?

Make the best use of your oven—cook more than one thing at a time, and don’t use it if you can use a toaster oven or microwave instead, which use less energy. You can also see if you have some flexibility with cooking time—turn off the oven for the last few minutes and your food will still continue cooking, but you’ll save a little energy.

Use the correct sized pot or pan on the stove burners. If your pot or pan is smaller than the burner, heat is wasted. Use lids that are tight to help reduce cooking time. Pressure cookers also save energy.

If you’re looking for a new stove, go for an energy-efficient model. Standard electric coils are the least efficient. Stoves that use induction elements use less than half the energy of standard coil elements. However, these will cost more up front.

Ceramic-glass surfaces are another good choice. They use halogen elements as the heat source and deliver heat instantly and respond quickly to temperature changes. If you have a gas stove you can save energy with a lower the BTU output.

You’ll also want to look for energy-efficient models of all appliances, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers. Of course, if you don’t need a new appliance, repair! If you do need a new appliance though, check to see if your area has a take-back program or a place to properly dispose of appliances.

###

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!

 

 

Creative Storage Solutions

 

Whether you don’t have much space in your home or you just want to find some alternative ways to make more room around your house, take a look at some creative storage solutions.

Think beyond the horizontal. Make better use of your space by hanging up slim, long wire baskets to keep clutter at bay or put up a narrow shelf in a small nook to store books or photos. You can also put up hooks for robes, accessories, or jewelry storage.

Get rid of desk lamps and standing lamps and instead install more overhead lighting. This will clear up some space and even make it look tidier without all of the wires for the lamps.

Use furniture tricks to hide items. One example is to use a pretty table skirt to cover baskets and other things. All of those pesky wires behind your nightstand or TV stand can be gathered up and put into a decorative box with a hole cut out in the back.

Look at where you already have some shelves up and see if you can squeeze in another shelf underneath or above those for a little extra storage space.

Store items under your beds if you have the space. To make your items easier to get to, use rolling bins instead of the usual plastic containers.

Lastly, minimalize! Get rid of extra stuff. The less you have, the less you have to store. Most of the time we have more towels, dishes, and clothing than we really need.

###

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.

###

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!

Maximize Kitchen Space 

 

The kitchen is the heart of the home, but let’s be honest: it is often a cluttered mess. How can you maximize your space and what can you upgrade to make a big impact?

Counter space is crucial. If you can add more counter space, go for it! If you’re looking to get all new counters or are looking for a new home, look for  deeper counters. Also look for materials that will help with baking and cooking, such as marble and granite. These materials can be pricey,  but they offer cool surfaces for handling things like dough.

Cabinet space is also an important part of a functional kitchen. You’ll want plenty of cabinets, but also make sure they’re placed well. The fewer steps you need to take while cooking, the better. Look for deep cabinets near the dishwasher, large cabinets with slide-out drawers near the oven, and waist-high sliding shelves to store small appliances like mixers and toasters. You’ll get a cleaner look with built-in food and bread storage cabinets also.

A roll-out pantry is a great alternative if you don’t have enough room in your kitchen for a closet pantry. This will fit into an area about 18 inches wide by 5-1/2 feet tall. Another storage option is a closet outside of the kitchen used for items you don’t use much, such as fine china or large pots.

Good lighting can help your kitchen appear larger and inviting. Take a day to install under-counter lighting and halogen lights.

A few last tips: go through your kitchen items and see what you can give away. Often we have way too much stuff that we rarely use. Do you really need that cotton candy maker? Also, don’t forget about small touches that can make a big impact such as  a tile backsplash on the walls above the counters, stove and sink or new  cabinet pulls and drawer knobs.

###

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!

 

 

 

Efficient Cell Phone & Tablet Usage

 

You can save energy—and save yourself from some headaches—if you can extend the battery life on your cell phones and tablets. These simple steps can make a big difference.

First off, check your battery use in your settings to see what your phone or tablet is doing. On most phones you can see a breakdown of what is consuming your battery. Usually, you can see the percentages.

Turn off any services you don’t use all the time, such as Wi-Fi, or GPS. Are these items running in the background even if you’re not using them? There are even apps to help you manage what programs run automatically.

Turn down the brightness. Most of use can see the screen without the high brightness. You can even put your device on night time mode set to certain hours of the day, which not only helps save battery but also—if it’s a warmer tone—this can help you sleep better because of what your eyes are looking at! Let’s be real—you’re still going to check your phone. So, at least put it in this mode to help your brain turn off.

Activate the lock screen after a minute or two of inactivity.

This is an easy one: remove your device from the charger and unplug the charger when the device is fully charged. If you don’t want the hassle, try a power strip so you can unplug all the items at once. This is great for those who have several items to charge. “Phantom Loads” waste more energy than you’d think and ultimately, more money!

###

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!

How to Mount a TV

 

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing, and Electrical mounting a tvIt’s a project you’ve likely been thinking about for awhile if you haven’t done it already—mounting your TV to the wall. It looks so clean and takes up less space than a TV on a stand. So let’s get to it!

Look for a spot on the wall with no glare and good visibility, and pick a good sitting height (usually with the center of the screen 40-45 inches off the floor). Make sure there is an electrical outlet nearby!

 

Look for the mounting holes on the back of your TV. If needed, take off the plastic caps over the holes. If there’s a stand on the frame, remove it. Attach the mounting arms to the mounting holes on your TV, and make sure the mounting brackets are level with each other.

Use a stud finder to find the two studs in your wall that will support your TV. (Hollow wall anchors will not work.) Use a pencil to mark each stud’s center, and a nail to confirm a stud has been located. Measure the distance between the top and bottom holes on each TV mounting arm, then mark two points in the center of each wall stud. Drill pilot holes for the wall bracket screws or bolts. Attach the wall bracket plate to the wall using the screws or bolts provided.

Lock the TV mounting arms onto the wall bracket plate. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure the connections. It may be easier to connect the cables to the television before attaching it to the wall bracket if you’re attaching your TV flat to the wall to a fixed wall mount. Do not attempt this last section without help from another person.

###

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!

 

Going Green Around Your Home

 

This month’s Earth Day reminds us that we as Americans generate a huge amount of trash—an average of 4.4 pounds per person each day. So what can we do to reduce waste to not only help the environment, but help us save money too? Frankly, start questioning everything you own and everything you regularly buy:

  • Limit or cancel paper subscriptions. If you have subscriptions, then magazines, catalogs and newspapers can stack up quickly.
  • Reduce and reuse packaging. When you do buy things, try to buy in bulk and buy things with as little packaging as possible. Also, use reusable grocery bags. Lastly, buy recycled items. Glass, paper, metal and plastic items are often recycled materials.
  • Recycle. Give things away to charity and make use of your regular recycling service. Books, clothing and kitchen ware are great items to donate.
  • Maintain and repair your appliances. The goal is to get as much life out of these items as possible and maintaining them will make a big difference in their longevity.
  • Reuse things as much as possible. Wear clothes again, use the same towel all week, and reuse jars, old rags, etc. for other purposes around the house.
  • Monitor energy use. Turn off lights when you can, unplug things, adjust the thermostat up or down, and consider energy-efficient items and solar energy if you’re looking for even bigger long-term changes.
  • Be aware of water use. Take shorter showers, turn off the water while brushing your teeth, and wear things more often before washing. It takes energy as well as wear and tear on your pipes and system to pump water through the home and down the drain. It also takes energy to heat it and treat it to make it drinkable.

It starts with simple, small changes. Once you start taking a critical look at your home and your lifestyle, you’ll see there is plenty you can do.

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!

Bathroom Updates 

 

If you’re considering updating your bathroom, where should you focus your efforts? What are the most useful and most common changes that will really make an impact? It is easy to get overwhelmed and try to do it all. How about starting with these ideas instead?

1 – If your countertops are dated, this can be a great area to tackle. Look for natural stone or engineered quartz for a modern look, or for a very inexpensive change, paint your countertops. Neutral colors are key, no matter what type of material you decide to use.

2 – Glamour light bulbs are a definite sign of an older bathroom. Lighting is an inexpensive and easy way to make major changes. LED sconces or a bathroom bar with frosted shades will look more modern. If you’re not comfortable with installing new lighting yourself, hire a professional.

3 – Bathroom fixtures that are beige or bone colored, or brass fixtures that have become dull over the years need to go. Nickel, chrome or white fixtures will look much more up-to-date.

4 – Carpeted flooring has to go. Not only is it unsightly, its also unsafe because it is a breeding place for mold, bacteria and damage from moisture. Look for natural stone or ceramic tiles. Another popular option these days is laminate or ceramic that looks like hardwood. For a soft place to step onto after your shower, simply add a cushy bath mat.

5 – Old bathroom cabinets can be upgraded with paint or refacing or you can go for a total replacement if it is in your budget. Again, neutral colors are the way to go.

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!