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.

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.

Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

People are often looking for more ways to save money.  Even a few extra dollars of savings a month can accumulate and make a difference. Have you looked into all the areas you could be saving more? Maybe you’ve committed to tuning up your AC unit on a regular basis. This is an important aspect of long term energy savings. But have you considered the thermostat you’re using?

There are a few primary benefits to using a programmable thermostat:

Saves time – Instead of constantly adjusting the thermostat for the time of day and the different seasons, consider a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust based on how you preset it! It can become quite a hassle to constantly adjust the temperature during the day, before bed, right when you wake up or when the seasons change.  By setting the temperature up front, you save time and hassle.

Saves money – With energy bills on the rise, a programmable thermostat is even more beneficial because of how much energy it will save, which translates into money saving. There’s the potential to save up to 2% for every degree you lower or increase your setting. You can adjust the settings to turn off the AC when you are gone, then turn on when you get home, so you’ll also be saving money here as well.

Adjusts to zoned heating and cooling areas – It’s already beneficial to have zones of your home that you can heat and cool according to preferences and use of that space. It’s even more beneficial for these zones to be preset, which allows every square foot of your home to be completely customized with temperature settings.

Maintains a consistent temperature – Instead of fluctuating between too hot or too cold, a programmable thermostat allows you to set and maintain the perfect temperature. It also prevents those spots in your home that can be hot or cold spots.

If you haven’t had a chance start routine maintenance for your heating and cooling systems, don’t worry – it’s not too late! The most significant money savings comes from your air conditioning unit. If it is running inefficiently or breaks altogether, the cost to fix it will be significant. 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 install and set your programmable thermostat as well!

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

 

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.

Clean Air Ducts

About once a year it is a good idea to clean out your home’s air ducts. (Let’s be honest, most of us have never—or very rarely—done this.) It can help to only keep your home cleaner but also help those who have allergies and asthma and households with pets. It also helps your system last longer, thus saving you money. How do you do it?

Lift up or unscrew the registers and wash them with soap and hot water and let them air dry.

Next, use a dryer vent brush attached to a cordless drill to clean inside the ducts. Then, use your vacuum cleaner hose with the dust brush attachment to get down further down into the duct and vacuum up anything that has been dislodged.

You can also use a damp microfiber cloth to get down into the duct and wipe the interior. You can also use an all-purpose cleaner with the cloth. Make sure to rinse it out often during the process.

Lastly, wipe off the floor and wall around the duct.

You can also consider installing vent register filters. These are helpful if you have furry animals that shed a lot and children who may drop things into the floor registers!

You’ll get to most of the dirt and dust with the steps above. However, if you want to go even further, remove end caps from rectangular duct work, slide the drives off the duct and pull the cap out. You can again use your vacuum hose here. You can also remove the basement registers to get more access to the main trunk line.

This is a good time to remember to change your HVAC’s air filter and get your system inspected.

###

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!

 

 

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!

 

 

 

How You’re Killing Your AC

 

Air conditioning units should last for 15 years or more if properly maintained. Most of us, though, aren’t taking the steps we should to take care of this important and expensive part of our home.

Change the filter at least once every few months—more if you have allergies or asthma or have pets. A dirty filter restricts the airflow, reduces the cooling capacity and makes the compressor worker harder and run hotter, Basically, it shortens the life of the unit. This is an easy thing to remember to do!

Twice a year, a professional should come to clean and inspect your system. This should include washing your outdoor unit, a leak check, replacing the filter, checking the drain line, and checking that all the components are using the proper amount of electricity. The duct system and the safeties should also be inspected.

Don’t change the temperature all the time. This may be tempting to do each day depending on whether or not you’re home, or perhaps because you’re trying to get a fast cool down. This is not good for your system, has to work harder to drop the temperature during the lows. That is a lot of wear and tear. You may want to consider other ways to get cooler faster, such as fans, keeping the blinds and curtains closed, and limiting the use of appliances that generate heat such as the oven.

Get an energy audit. Units work much harder than they should because of air leakage. This means more money out the window. Make sure that after this is done you seal up everything properly to make sure the air is no longer escaping.

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!

 

Go Green to Save Green 

 


Even if you don’t care much about the environment, going “green” can save you quite a bit of money! Here are a few ways you can save by making changes around your home.

Low-flow showerheads save on energy usage AND water. They can reduce your water usage by up to 60 percent.

Use a power strip with a switch to eliminate extra spending on powering up idle equipment. These little items add up and the cost is on average $100 each year!

Install a programmable thermostat. This will let you adjust the temperature automatically while you are sleeping or out of the house.

Insulating your walls, ceiling and floors will save you about 10 percent on your energy bills each year. Even if you already have insulation, look to see if you should add more in the attic or other areas you might forget about.

Install new energy-efficient windows. If you’re losing air out of the old leaky windows, you’re losing cash. In the winter the heat will escape and in the summer the cool air will escape. Changing the windows can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Fix leaky faucets. This may not seem like a big deal, but if you have a faucet that has one drip per second, that equals about 1600 gallons of wasted water, which is 35 dollars a year.

If you’re in the market for a new refrigerator, washing machine or other appliance, look for Energy Star models.

To go green, you usually have to spend some money up front and put in some work. In the end though, you’ll pay off by saving thousands of dollars! Think about 5 or 10 years from now!

###

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!

Keep Cool Without Central AC

 

We all know central AC is great but can be expensive. What are some other options to look into?

Whole-house fans use 90 percent less energy than air conditioners, and typically cost less than $1000, even with installation. They draw cool morning and evening air through open doors and windows and force the hot air up through the attic and out the roof vents. Good places to put these are the upstairs stairwell or a hallway ceiling with 3 feet of clearance above the fan. The drawbacks are that the inside temperature will only go as low as the outside temperature gets, they can make allergies worse by drawing in pollen, and large fans need quite a bit of ventilation in the attic.

A window AC unit can cool up to 650 square feet, but windows need to be the right size and you’ll need an electrical outlet nearby. They only cost a few hundred bucks.

In-wall air conditioners are similar to window units, but they have vents on the back instead of on the sides and they sit slightly farther from the exterior wall. You will need to cut a hole in the outside wall of your home and may need a new electrical unit. They typically cost less than $800.

Portable air conditioners are easy to use but about twice as expensive than a window unit of the same size, and use more energy. They sit on casters on the floor and vent hot air through a hose running through a window, wall or sliding glass door.

A mini-split system air conditioner is sort of a hybrid of central air and a window unit. A small condenser sits outside and connects to an inside evaporator mounted high on the wall or ceiling. Installation is a bit more expensive than other options.

A few other options to consider: a ventilator fan installed in the wall or floor or a vent or duct booster fan, which sits on a ceiling, floor, or wall register.

###

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!

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.

###

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!