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.

Garbage Disposal Dos and Don’t’s

 

Fall is here and that means staying indoors and cooking up a storm during the colder days and holidays. That can also mean a lot of work for your garbage disposal. How should you maintain yours? When do you replace it?

Don’t put these foods down your garbage disposal: egg shells, onion skins, celery, corn husks, as well as hard foods such as seeds, popcorn, peach stones or bones. Don’t put any non-food item down the disposal. This is also bad if you have a septic system.

Keep it clean! Regularly pour a natural cleaner such as baking soda and vinegar down the inside to clean up the sludge. It is best to avoid harsh chemicals and cleaners.

Do not put fats and grease down your disposal, as they will clog it up. . Let fats gets solid and put grease in the fridge to make it solid. Then throw away. Even still, while running the disposal, use cold water. Hot water liquefies and leftover greases and fats.

Turn on the cold water every time you run your disposal while the food is being chopped up. You should also keep letting the water run for at least another 10 seconds after you turn the disposal off. The water will bring any remaining particles out of the disposal and will assist in flushing the pipes.

If your disposal is clogged do not use your hands to reach inside! Use pliers or call a professional if needed. You will most likely have to get your garbage disposal replaced every 8 to 15 years depending on your model and how often you use it.

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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!

 

 

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!

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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!

Summer Energy Savings

 

Our wallets can take quite a hit during the hottest months of the year. So the natural question becomes, “How can you keep your energy costs low this summer?”

Turn you air conditioner to about 76 to 78 degrees, or whatever is the highest comfortable setting for you. You can even bump it up to 80 degrees if you’re away from home. A change of just a few degrees can save you 30 percent on your next bill!

Set your ceiling fans to the counterclockwise direction to help you cool off. Make sure to turn them off when not in use.

When you leave for work, close all the curtains. While home, close those on the sunny side of the house.

With everyone heading in and out during cookouts or family gatherings, keep the door closed as much as you can to keep the cool air inside.

Use the stove, microwave, or any other countertop cooking device instead of the oven when possible, as the oven uses a good amount of energy. Speaking of cooking, use glass in the oven if you have it– it holds heat better, so you can lower the temperature.

Turn off the pre-rinse option on your dishwasher and only run it when it is full.

For lighting, use daylight (but not direct sunlight) instead of artificial light, and turn off incandescent lights when they are not needed, as most of the energy they use is given off as heat.

Vacuum the air conditioning air registers to keep them from getting dusty. It is a good idea to do this regularly.

Keep lamps and TVs away from the thermostat, which can sense heat from appliances, thus cause the AC to run longer. Furthermore, reduce the use of appliances that generate heat.

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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!

Fix Your Running Toilet

 

If you have a toilet that keeps running, this can waste quite a bit of water and money. Let’s take a look at how to troubleshoot this.

Problems with the flapper are the most common reason for a running toilet. Turn off the water and drain the toilet, then look at the flapper. Adjust the chain if it is too long or short. A chain that is too long can get caught under the flapper, while a chain that is too short can pull up on the valve when it should not. You can use wire cutters if it is too long.

You’ll also want to look for any problems with the actual flapper, or see if it needs to be cleaned to help it seal better. You can soak it in a bowl of vinegar for about half an hour and then scrub it.

If the flapper is not the issue, check the water level. If it is too high, water will constantly be draining into the overflow tube in the middle of the tank that connects the tank and bowl. Look at it with the water running and the tank full, and see if water keeps draining into the tube. If so, you can adjust the water level by lowering the float.

Lastly, if those are not the issues, check the fill valve. Turn off the water, flush the toilet, disconnect the supply line, and purchase a replacement for the old assembly. You’ll have to replace it entirely.

One of the best ways to prevent common toilet issues in the future such as a running toilet is to replace the insides of your toilet’s tank every 5 years. Think of it as regular maintenance, just as you would maintain other appliances in your home.

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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!

Don’t Skip These Home Upkeep Items

 

Your home maintenance checklist could include dozens and dozens of items, and you can easily get overwhelmed thinking about all of these things. You can, however, skip some of the smaller items or delay them. Others you don’t want to skip. So prioritize: What are some of the most important things to get to this spring and summer, if you only have a limited time?

Fix the caulking around your tub or shower. If it is damaged (cracks, peeling edges and discoloration) it can let water seep into hidden places such as behind your tub. Not only can this damage walls or floors, but it can also lead to mold growth.

Dripping faucets mean money right down the drain. Leaks will only get worse with time. It is often a pretty quick fix, like simply replacing a seal. Even if you have to replace the entire faucet, it will last a long time.

Warmer weather means insects! Seal holes where they can get in to your home. Look around the foundation and around wires and pipes. While you’re at it, check for sources of standing water. Keeping water and moisture away from the home keeps bugs away too, since they need it to survive. (Another reason to fix those plumbing issues mentioned above.) Termites in particular cause billions of dollars in property damage each year.

Get your HVAC system inspected and cleaned regularly. Once every 6 months is a good rule of thumb. This is one of the biggest and most expensive parts of your home to repair or replace if it is neglected.

Replace your furnace filters. It’s easy to do once every few months. This is especially important if you have pets and/or allergies and asthma, in which case you should replace it every month.

Seal your windows properly. Exterior caulk often dries out in the summer, which causes gaps and cracks. All of that cool air will leave your home and empty your wallet! All it takes is some caulking and weather stripping.

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 Up Your Deck or Patio

 

Whether you’re hoping to throw some cookouts this summer or are concerned about your family’s safety while walking outside in the dark, adding lighting around your deck or patio is a great idea. What are some easy options?

  • Low-voltage landscape lighting is a great addition. It won’t light up a large area, but can work well along with other lighting components. They are great to light up a pathway.
  • String lights are increasingly popular, as they create a pretty ambiance and are inexpensive. When shopping, look specifically for outdoor-rated string lights. LED bulbs will last many years. If you’re looking for that softer glow, though, you may consider incandescent bulbs. If you need them far away from an outlet, look for solar options.
  • If you’re looking to cast a glow on an area, sconces are a good idea.  You can get one that mounts onto the house or a lantern-style fixture, which casts a larger glow.
  • If you have an outdoor grilling or kitchen area, overhead lighting is the most useful, instead of decorative mood lighting that is generally more used for the patio or deck.
  • If your house is old, make sure your outlets are upgraded to have the modern safety features. Outdoor outlets should have a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and a cover that can withstand weather. If you need more outlets in your outdoor area, you may want to contact a professional. It is not recommended to run cords through an open window, as this is not only unsightly but can also be unsafe.

Last but not least, consider using lighting around stairs and other walking areas for safety.

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!