How to Seal up Air Leaks in your Home

How to Seal up Air Leaks in your Home

During the hottest months of summer, you will want to stay cool and comfortable in your home. This doesn’t have to come at a high price, however. The largest energy expense typically comes from your heating and cooling bills. There are ways that you can minimize these bills so that the expense is not costing you significantly just to stay comfortable and cool.  We’ll walk you through ways that you can check your home for any air leaks that could be costing you extra unnecessary money and energy.

How To Test for Air Leaks

  • First, check the windows and doors in your home to make sure there aren’t any that are cracked open.
  • Next, evaluate the weather stripping. If you have deteriorating weather stripping in your home, peel it away and make sure to clean the surface so that it’s ready for new weather stripping. It’s time to apply new weather stripping (that’s waterproof) to the doors and windows in your home.
  • Seal the Air Ducts in your home with mastic sealant.
  • Perform a test for air leaks by using thin toilet paper or an incense stick. Hold it next to your doors, utility connections, windows or ceiling fixtures to check if there’s an air leak. When you perform this test, turn off the air conditioning system so that the air is still. If the thin toilet paper or the smoke begins to move at all when you hold it up, that means there’s an air leak.
  • Check the flue of your fireplace when checking for air leaks as well. The flue should create a tight seal when it’s not being used and most people don’t think about how much air comes in and out through your fireplace!
  • Also, check the outlets in your home. It may be a good idea to purchase foam gaskets to seal the air leaks so that air is not escaping through the outlets.

Other things to remember:

  • The door sweeps in your home should be checked and replaced if necessary. When shopping for new door sweeps, look for the permanent pliable rubber sealants. These are a sturdy option compared to the self-adhesive type of door sweep.
  • Moving to the outside of the home, check the full perimeter for any gaps that you may find. If the gaps are larger than ¼ inch, you can spray them with expandable foam spray to fill in the gaps.

These are all ways that can help seal up the leaks in your home so that precious air and heat doesn’t escape. While you may be able to do some of these yourself, it’s always best to call a professional to handle the task of making sure that your whole home is properly sealed. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical to inspect your duct work to test for any leaks.  If it was installed improperly, if the duct work is old, or if there’s corrosion, these could all contribute to leaks in the duct work.  Interested in learning more about how we can take of your whole house with our Whole House program?

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

Why You Should be Using a Humidifier

Now that summer months are in the rear view mirror, it’s time to start considering how your home environment could  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.

You might want to consider utilizing a Humidifier in Your Home and here’s why: 

  • They increase comfort levels in your home. Humidifiers produce moisture in the air, which will enable you to rest well with a comfortable night’s sleep.
  • They help alleviate wintertime sickness.  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!
  • Moisture in the air from a Humidifier can ease dry skin, dry sinuses and even cracked lips caused by dry air!

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. 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.

Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Electrical and Plumbing today to review your heating and cooling systems.  We can address any areas of concern and how well your systems are working.

Give us a call today. Call to schedule your appointment today at 800-461-3010 or fill out our contact form.

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.

Tips For Cooling Down Homes This Summer

With June, July and August come some very hot rooms in the house—particularly those upstairs. Sure, you could blast the air conditioning, but that can lead to cold rooms downstairs and very high electric bills! So what can you do instead? Check out these tips for cooling down homes during these hot months.

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Heating, Plumbing and Electrical Cooling Down Homes TipsFirst, circulate the air efficiently. Ceiling fans upstairs can help with circulation as well as cool you off when you’re using those rooms. Remember to turn them off when not in use to save electricity.

Second, limit the heat that comes into your house in the first place. Thermal blocking drapes can make a big difference when windows are in direct sunlight. Furthermore, they can help if you want darkness to sleep during daylight hours, which is great for those with babies or who work night shifts.

Third, open your windows on those cool nights to let that air inside your home and cool you off. There’s no better way to enjoy the summer air!

Also, check your attic and basement for leaks and add weather stripping around windows and doors. This can help reduce the amount of air leaving your house. Also, remember to change your filters in your HVAC system at least once every few months. If you have allergies, asthma, or pets in your home, you may want to consider changing them as often as once a month. (This not only helps clean your air—it helps your system run more efficiently.)

Last but not least, get a professional to inspect your system to see if there is anything else you can change. This should be done a few times a year.

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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!

 

Why Have Your HVAC Checked?

 

We are all counting pennies these days. And while it’s tempting to let things like HVAC check-ups slide, those inspections can be critical to preventing bigger problems with larger dollar amounts attached to them. Experts recommend having your HVAC system inspected twice a year, just as you test and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

DSC04885Why get the inspections done at these particular times of the year? Simply because it’s best to check things out before seasons that you’ll be using your HVAC heavily — such as mid-summer and mid-winter. Having the inspection done every spring and fall will help keep everything in working order and prevent you from spending more in the long run.

Another benefit to having your HVAC cleaned regularly is monthly electric bill savings. According to the Department of Energy, about 25-40 percent of heating and cooling is wasted in a home. And if a system is dirty, the problem is exacerbated so the system has to work even harder, wasting more of your hard-earned cash.

Seasonal cleanings and check-ups also ensure your indoor air will be cleaner and better for you to breathe. Especially during winter months, when we are inside for longer periods of time, this is important. For those family members or house guests with allergies or asthma, fewer pollutants mean fewer problems.

So you’ve scheduled your HVAC maintenance? What now? When your technician is on site for the inspection, take note of what they’re doing. Good technicians will not only replace your filter, they’ll check on the evaporator coils, ducts, and wiring, as well as your thermostat, among other things. So take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions and observe to learn as much as you can about your home’s HVAC system.

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!

Get Your Home Ready For The Dark by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric

As daylight saving time ends, we know we’ll likely be outside in the dark pretty soon—whether we are taking out the trash, bringing the kids trick-or-treating, or entertaining guests on the back porch. Many of our homes do not, however, have great outdoor lighting. This is not only important for daily use, but also for any possible emergencies. Where should outdoor lighting go?led

The front door—One fixture with a high-wattage bulb is common, but if you’re looking to remodel, two line-voltage (120V) lanterns on each side of the door, with low-wattage bulbs, are a good way to minimize glare.

Walkway—Low-voltage fixture type of lights come in various styles, with ground stakes and support stems often sold separately, so you can set up different heights. The lamps range from 4 to 20W.

Driveway/garage— Get a few low, shaded low-voltage spread lights. Put lights in the trees, pointed down at the driveway. You may also want a motion sensor light to turn on only when someone enters the space.

Deck or patio—In addition to a floodlight on a wall, you can also add string lights or other decorative lights. You may want to consider lights that are specifically designed to keep the bugs at bay. Or, you can try to put the lights overhead instead of at a low level, to lure them upward. Dimmers are also a good idea so you can adjust the amount of light as needed.

If you’re the handy type, you can have a go at trying to install lighting on your own, but for many homeowners, it may be a good idea to hire a professional for installation.

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!