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.

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.

 

DIY Tile Backsplash

As we mentioned in previous posts, summertime is often the best season to take on home projects. The long daylight hours are perfect for outdoor and indoor projects alike. One of the indoor projects that adds instant value and appreciation to your home is kitchen tile backsplash. The kitchen and bathrooms are primary areas of the home that everyone looks at when considering buying a home. 

Adding tile to the kitchen is a different process than adding tile to the bathroom. The kitchen does not have any areas that are considered “wet areas” with backerboard. So it will be a simpler process from that perspective, yet still a tedious process that requires patience.  Follow these guidelines for a successful enhancement to your kitchen!

 

  • Turn off the power to your kitchen.
  • Wipe down and clean all wall areas that will be tiled. A mixture of water and liquid dish soap will remove any stubborn grease stains.
  • Cover your countertops with a drop cloth or some other protective material.
  • Take off all outlet covers and switch plates. Move all the appliances that are close to the areas you will be tiling.
  • Tape off the cabinets and the area where the counters meet the wall. Be sure to also tape off the outlets.

 

At this point, you’ve prepped your walls and are ready for measuring and the tile installation! Read our next post for how to finish DIY kitchen tile installation! Cosmetic upgrades add great value to your home – however, you can also add value by making sure your home is operating efficiently as well. Call Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical to check on your water heater, drain pipes, exposed hot and cold water lines, faucets for leaks and ventilation systems!

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

 

Keeping Your Home Safe During Summer Storms

In our previous post, we discussed how to keep your home safe during summer vacation. But have you given thought to how you will keep your home safe during the summer storms? Spring and summer bring the highest rate of storms, which can cause some serious property damage. Rest easy knowing that your home is protected and ready for any storms that may come your way, by following these suggested preventative measures! 

 

  • Know where your shelter is – find the safest place in your home to hide out, during the event that there is a storm.
  • Create an emergency kit with necessities – and store it in the safe place where your family will hide out during a storm. A few of the items you should keep in the kit are non-perishable foods, a flashlight, water and extra clothes.
  • Keep routine maintenance on your roof and foundation.
  • Remove any trees or branches within close range of your home. These are major causes for property damage from high mile winds during the storms.
  • Avoid all metal – it’s also important to stay away from your phone, computer, and any electronics, if possible.
  • Close and secure all doors and windows.

 

Now that most of your home is protected, let’s make sure your air conditioning unit is also protected from flooding! Your AC unit may start to accumulate water, which is why there’s a device created to store the extra water, called a drain pan. There’s a possibility that your drain pan could become clogged, or even the drain line. Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical can install a micro “float” switch that will automatically shut your unit off if the drain pain accumulates water past a certain point. You can have peace of mind that not only your home is protected, but also your unit from any possible water damage.

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

Save Money This Summer!

In a previous post, we shared tips on how you can stay cool during the summer, and save money while doing so. You’re probably tempted to go out and blow that money you saved on electrical bills and have some fun during the summer. The warmer months of summer often motivate people to get out and do more. Yet there are ways you can save money during the summer months that don’t apply to the winter months. So we’ll share some of those ways with you that will enable you to make the most of the warmer longer days, without breaking the bank! 

 

  • Install solar lighting. Enjoy your backyard without compromising the electricity bill with outdoor solar lights!
  • Check websites before going to your summer destinations to see if there are any coupons.
  • Partake in local free festivals and music performances.
  • Visit your local library to stock up on books for your summer reading list.
  • Go on a picnic – whether it’s visiting a park or going to a local festival, bring a fun picnic for your family to enjoy!
  • Check for free days at your local museums and nature centers.
  • Look up a list of all the nearest hiking trails and spend a Saturday immersed in nature.

 

If you haven’t had a chance to follow all the money saving tips for your home in our previous post, 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, these summer saving tips above wouldn’t even put a dent in the cost you would have to fork up to fix it. 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 clean out your air filters, which will improve the quality of air in your home and save you money as well!

 

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

 

Reduce Energy with Healthy Summer Cooking

Summertime is around the corner, and it’s a good idea to start preparing for the delicious yet simple recipes that you can make for your family. There are so many creative and yummy recipes that will involve minimal use of the oven and therefore less heat emitted in your home during the hottest months of the year. Enjoy these healthy summer cooking tips that reduce energy in your home that are good for you and your home.

Now is the time to maximize on the seasonal products that abound at any of your local farmers markets or food stands around town. Here are some ways to make the most of seasonal foods, optimize cooking time and create delicious yet nutritious meals!

  • Create a weekly meal plan based off weekly specials at the grocery store and farmer’s market. Activities usually ramp up during the summer months, and this will minimize the stress of worrying about meals with all the carpooling, vacations and activities you have going on.
  • Use thinner versions of carbs, like lighter pasta alternatives such as spaghetti squash, carrot pasta or cauliflower rice.
  • Load up on the veggies. Make use of your garden produce if you have one. Otherwise, make the most of the local farmers’ produce to create an array of colorful and tasty entrees.
  • Bring out the alternative cooking tools such as your crock pot, rice cooker and microwave oven. Eliminate the extra heat of the oven by using these cooking appliances that save on heat and time!  Throw your meals in the crock pot in the morning and enjoy dinner when you walk in the door!

 It’s not enough to simply keep the oven off during the summer months to keep your home cooler! Make sure your air conditioning unit is functioning properly and efficiently so that you and your family can fully enjoy your home cooked meals in a comfortable and cool environment. With more than 50 years of experience, we can provide any service that your unit needs. Whether it’s preventative maintenance, full replacement, or air conditioning enhancing products and services, we will quickly respond to your needs. Avoid the discomfort of unbearable heat that summer can bring by giving Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical 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.

How to Increase Productivity

The sun is staying up longer, and weather is getting warmer, often encouraging people to become more productive and active. After the winter months that we spend cozying up, watching movies and drinking hot cocoa, it may be difficult to snap into a productive mindset. So how do you increase productivity this Spring, especially with those home tasks that have been lingering?

  • Get rid of distractions so that you can focus simply on the task at hand. Turn off the TV, power off the radio, or go into a room where there isn’t talking or movement. You know best what causes distractions to you, so tune those out or eliminate them all together.
  • Keep a list. How often have you thought of the things you need to do, yet failed to do some of them simply because you didn’t remember? If it’s not written down, chances are high that you’ll forget. Whether it’s a grocery list, cleaning list or work list, write down all that you need to get done for that day.
  • Accomplish the most important items on your list at the very beginning of the day. We have the most energy at the beginning of the day, so expend this energy wisely. It’s also easy to let things that are toward the bottom of our list slide until the next day(s).
  • Know when to take a break. Do you ever get to the point when you’ve tried to force creativity or spend tedious hours getting something assembled? Sometimes the best solution to finding the genius answer or finishing the project is to simply walk away from it and give yourself a break.
  • Periodically review your goals – What are you working towards? How do all your tasks align with and move you forward toward your end goals? Just a little reminder – make sure they are realistic and achievable so you can actually reach them J
  • Eat for energy. High fiber and high protein foods will fuel your body and stimulate your mind with a boost of energy.
  • Stay organized – when everything has a place, it helps you save time instead of always looking for misplaced items. You can use your extra time on more important tasks.

 

In addition to keeping your home organized, it’s also important to keep your home running efficiently. At Central Carolina Air Conditioning, we can perform thorough preventative maintenance on your systems so that you don’t get to the point of having to replace your systems or lose money due to an inefficient system.

 

Call to schedule your appointment now with Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical 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.

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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!