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.

New Year Organization

 

It’s New Year’s resolution time and a great time of year to start fresh. It’s also a time when we often have a lot of stuff cluttering the house—new toys and clothes, wrapping paper, boxes and that box of items you’ve been meaning to give away.  How can you get started organizing?

First, purge. This can easily take weeks or months, but if you want to keep it simple, stick to one closet or room at a time or think about what is taking up the most space in your home and focus your efforts there. Ask yourself: have you worn/used it in the last year? If you were shopping today, would you buy this?

Install hooks in the bathrooms and bedrooms. A rod in the bathroom will only hold one towel—hooks will hold many. Hooks in the bedroom will hold hats, bags and other items. If you have room, you can install some in the closet as well.

Make each closet serve a specific purpose. It is easy for many different items to start cluttering the closets. Make things easier by choosing one closet for cleaning materials, one for blankets and towels, etc.

Shelf dividers, cubbies and thinner hangers will help you organize and save some space. See what is taking up the most space or doesn’t have a proper area and go from there.

Light up your closets. LED lights and track lighting and motion detector lights will make a big difference when you’re getting dressed on those dark mornings.

Put your holiday items away and label their containers.

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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!

 

 

 

Holiday Home Hazards

 

It’s the most wonderful time of year, but with all of the festivities you bring into your home comes the potential for injury to people or damage to your home. Lights, trees, candles, décor and even all of that food cooking can be a hazard. What are some things you can do to keep it all safe?

Put your Christmas tree away from doors and areas where people will walk a lot or animals or small children can get to it. Keep it away from any sources of heat! If you have a real tree, but 2 inches from the bottom of the trunk and make sure you have a sturdy stand.

Your holiday lights may be festive, but they can also be dangerous. Turn them off before bed. One extension cord should only have up to 3 mini lights sets or 50 screw-in bulbs at the most. Do not run cords under rugs and make sure they’re in areas where people will not be walking.

Don’t place any decorations (or anything, really) near candles. Blow them out before bed.

Watch your fire in the fireplace and don’t let anything get near it. Again, make sure it is fully out before going to bed.

If you have any space heaters or a portable patio heater outside, place them out of the way. As with everything else, turn them off before bed.

Keep an eye on your cooking. It is easy to get caught up in talking, greeting guests at the door, and enjoying your glass of wine. House fires are at their peak in the winter not only because of heating mishaps, but also because of the kitchen.

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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!

 

Repurpose Your Dining Room

 

You may be getting a lot of use out of your dining room during the holiday season, but what about the rest of the year? If you don’t typically use it as a place to eat, you might be thinking about reworking the area of better fit your needs. Plenty of families use the space for homework, paying bills, storing items, etc. most of the year.

If you don’t mind a big project, look into an expanded kitchen. We spend plenty of time in the kitchen, so adding more space where the family can gather makes sense. Knock down the walls connecting the kitchen and dining room (get a professional) and make one large space! If you don’t want to go that far, you can simply put an island or shelving in your dining room for food or storage of pots, pans and other items.

Another easier option than knocking down walls is to transform the dining room into whatever room is needed. If you need a play area, make it into the kids’ toy room. If you want to use it as a game room, go for it. If you use the space primarily for homework or bills anyway, why not turn it into an office? This can be a very inexpensive project. Remember, there is no rule that you have to have a formal dining room or that you have to use the space as intended. Think outside the box. You will need to consider lighting and electrical setup. You may need to add extra lighting or change the lighting, or get creative with how you arrange the furniture.

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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!

Make Your Home Safer

 

With 2 million home burglaries reported each year, it is important to make your home as safe as you can. Whether you only have a little bit of money to spend or quite a bit, there are plenty of options.

Use a heavy-duty deadbolt on your front door.

Use timers to keep lights on at home when you’re not there. Some will turn on randomly throughout the day or night, some can be set ahead of time to a specific time or increments of time. Some will work with only one appliance, others are power strips and can program several appliances.

Keep your car locked, whether it is outside or in the garage. Keep valuables out of sight—or better yet, out of your car.

Lock your windows and doors when you leave the house. Even when you are home, do not open windows more than four inches.

Install plenty of outdoor lighting around your home. Motion sensor lights are a great idea. Don’t forget to over all of your bases—make sure there aren’t large blind spots around your home. Security lighting should be up higher off of the ground, shining downwards to cast a big area of light, as well as prevent burglars from tampering with the lights. Make sure that your wires are hard to access. Lighting is also important for the safety of your family and guests walking around at night.

Store valuables in a safe place.

Consider an alarm system. There are many different options including motion detector, video monitoring and sirens.

If you’re an animal person, consider getting a large dog or two to deter burglars.

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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!

Electrical Safety

 

Fire prevention awareness month is here, and some of the most common causes of fires besides cooking and unsafe heating are electrical issues. What do you need to know to stay safe?

Outlets. Do not force a plug into an outlet or remove the third prong to make a three-prong plug fit a two-conductor outlet. Make sure plugs aren’t too loose fitting. Don’t overload outlets with too many appliance plugs. Replace any missing or broken wall plates.

Cords. Do not put cords under rugs or carpets or in places where people will walk on them. Do not staple or nail them to floors or anything else. There are plenty of safe ways to hide your cords. Make sure cords are not frayed or cracked. Extension cords are meant only for temporary use.

Light bulbs. Make sure you use the correct wattage for your fixtures. Do not use a higher wattage than recommended. Screw them in securely to make sure they are not loose.

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs). Make sure GFCIs are installed in your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry, basement, garage and on outdoor outlets. Test them about once a month.

Circuit breakers/Fuses. Have an electrician identify and label your circuit breaker, or do it yourself. Fuses should be properly rated for each circuit they are protecting.

Appliances/Electronics. It is a good idea to use surge protectors to protect expensive electronics. Check for damage in wiring. If an appliance blows a fuse more than once, trips the circuit breaker or gives you a shock, unplug it and get it repaired.

Electrical wiring. Check for loose wires, wall receptacles or lighting fixtures. If light switches are hot or lights spark and flicker, shut off and replace them.

Remember that the more appliances and electronics you get, the more your home’s service capacity may end up overburdened.

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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!

 

 

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.

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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!

 

 

 

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.

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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!

Outdoor Kitchens

 

A great way to enjoy the outdoors is to step up your outdoor cooking game. What are some things to know before you undertake this big project?

An outdoor kitchen area can cost several thousand dollars, depending on what you want. A basic setup will typically include at least an island with counter and gas grill.

Some of the first things to think about are the weather and the weight of the appliances. For example, tile or marble flooring can get very slippery with rainwater or drink spills. You also want to make sure your flooring can hold up all of the weight.

Location is also crucial. Make sure smoke will not blow into your home from the grill. Look for an area that is easy to access, goes with the traffic flow in your yard, and isn’t near anything flammable. Also consider any future plans. Will you add a pool or a garden later on? These are all important things to consider.

Another consideration is how much room you’ll want. At the very least, you’ll need space on the sides of the grill for plates, etc. Will you want a sitting area or is there a separate table? Will more than one family member want to prepare food/cook at the same time?

Storage is also important. You’ll want enough space for all of the items you’ll regularly use. Keep in mind whether or not you’ll use the kitchen in the colder months or only in the summer. Waterproof, easy-to-clean materials such as concrete are best.

Appliances will also need to be made of weatherproof material such as stainless steel. When thinking about appliances, you’ll also need to consider water supply and electrical connections. An outdoor sink will need to be hooked up to a yard hose or the house’s water supply. It is best to have a plumber take on this work. An electrician should also make sure everything in your outdoor kitchen is up to code. A professional would also need to be called if you want a plumbed gas line for the grill.

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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!

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.

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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!