Laundry Room Safety

 

The laundry is where many house fires start and injuries occur. It’s a commonly used part of the home but most of us don’t keep it properly cleaned or maintained. How can you make yours safer?

First off, the dryer. Clean your lint trap after every load and clean with a nylon brush every few months. Deep clean your ducts and vent when you notice a decrease in dryer performance or at least once a year. It is a good idea to do this more often if you have pets or a large family. While checking your dryer ducts, make sure they are not plastic, which can be a fire hazard. If they are, replace them with straight or flexible metal ducts. Check the vent’s output for any blockages, such as leaves or bird nests. Lastly, keep the area around your dryer free of clutter and make sure there is proper airflow around it.

Next, the washing machine. Check hoses at least once a year for bulging, cracking, fraying, and leaks around the ends. Even if there aren’t any problems, replace hoses every 4 to 5 years. Make sure there are at least four inches between your washing machine and the wall to prevent hoses from kinking. Also, keep the machine level so it does not damage the floor during the spin cycle. Put a drip pan underneath the washing machine so it does not damage the floor is there are any leaks. This is especially important with an upstairs laundry.

A few last tips: keep a fire extinguisher nearby, don’t overload the washing machine, and clean the washing machine regularly.

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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!

 

Installing a Wine Fridge

 

If you’re planning to head out to the wineries this spring and stocking up on your favorite wines, you might consider a wine fridge. This will keep your wine at the ideal temperature, preserve the flavors, and help you free some space in your fridge or wet bar.

Wine refrigerators come as stand-alone units ranging in size from small to fridges the same size as a regular refrigerator. Most medium-sized wine fridges can fit under a counter. Measure the area (length, width, height, depth) where you plan to install your wine fridge. A common size is between 15 and 30 inches wide.

Ideally, you will not need to wire a new outlet for your wine fridge. See if there is space near the same outlet bay as your kitchen sink, so you can run an extension electrical cord to the outlet for your garbage disposal. Make sure to use a ground protector. Drill a hole through the cabinets for the cord, and leave a space at the back of the wine fridge so there isn’t pressure on the extension cord plug. If you do end up needing to wire a new outlet, buy and install a 110 volt outlet that is standard for most units. It is best to get a professional electrician to do this.

When you install your wine fridge, fit its mounting plates into the provided slots. Plug it in and wait a few minutes and check the temperature gauge. You’ll want about 55 degrees Fahrenheit at 70 percent humidity.

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 Bulb Choices Explained

 

light-bulbs-e1451664022212CFL, LED, incandescent… what’s the difference between all of these types of light bulbs? And what works best for your home? In short, the most energy-efficient options are Compact Fluorescent (CFL) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. They emit the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs but have lower wattage, so they use less energy.

While using less energy is the goal for many people, each type of bulb has unique characteristics. To learn more about each type, read on.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL)

CFLs can save you up to 75% on your energy costs, last up to 9 years, and are less expensive than LEDs. They do contain a small amount of mercury, but that is not a concern unless they break, in which case the mess needs to be cleaned up thoroughly and should not cause worry.

Some CFLs are for outdoor use — just check the packaging. CFLs are not recommended for workshop-type areas of the house because they might not hold up to the stress of power surges. Last but not least, if your outlet is wired for a dimmer, you must buy a CFL rated specifically for that, otherwise it can be a fire hazard.

Light Emitting Diode (LED)

LEDs can save you up to 80% on your energy costs, last up 20 year or more, and are more expensive than CFLs. They do not contain mercury.

Some LEDs are also for outdoor use. LEDs can help you save on air conditioning because they do not contribute to heat buildup.

Some companies are phasing out CFLs and planning on going to LEDs.

Incandescent

Standard 100-, 75-, 60- and 40-watt incandescent bulbs are being phased out. Specialty incandescent bulbs, such as chandelier bulbs, will still be available. Incandescent bulbs only last about 1 year. They do not contain mercury.

Other types of bulbs include halogen bulbs, HID bulbs, and fluorescent bulbs.

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 Lights and Electrical Safety

christmas wishes

Many of us are already taking out those boxes of holiday decorations or starting to shop for new décor. With all of the lights, though, come safety concerns. How can you make sure you’re lighting up your home without risking fires or electrical injuries?

  • Before getting started, plan your displays. Look for outlets and figure out what you can reasonably do before you go into a decorating frenzy.
  • When shopping, make sure the product has a label showing that it has gone through independent testing by a recognized lab, such as UL or ETL.
  • LED lights are more energy efficient, last longer and are more durable than incandescent lights.
  • Don’t use items intended for outdoors inside, or vice versa.
  • Make sure you’ll be notified of any recalls by sending in the product registration forms.
  • Inspect older decorations for any loose or damaged wires or connections.
  • Unplug before replacing bulbs or fuses.
  • Make sure cords are not pinched in windows, doors, etc.
  • Don’t overload electrical outlets with too many items at once.
  • Do not connect an extension cord to another extension cord or place them in high traffic areas or under furniture, carpets or rugs. Do not run them through walls or ceilings.
  • Do not connect more than three strands of incandescent lights together.
  • Outdoor lights should be plugged in to circuits that are protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).  (You can buy portable GFCIs.)
  • Protect lights from the wind by fastening them to firm surfaces but make sure this is not done in a way that could damage the cord’s insulation.
  • Turn off all holiday lighting before going to bed each night.

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 Replace a Ceiling Fan by Central Carolina Air, Plumbing & Electric

fan 2

Do you have ceiling fan that needs updating?  Maybe it quit working several months ago and you are just now finding the time to replace it.  Either way, replacing a fan can be easy for someone with basic electrical skills.  However, be forewarned that fans, especially those with light fixtures attached, can weigh up to 50 pounds and you have to work over your head in order to install and wire them, while on a ladder.  So, if that is not something you do often, you may find that you need to take a lot of breaks or get assistance from someone else in order to get it installed.

How to Replace a Ceiling Fan:

  1. Start by cutting the power off at the circuit breaker.
  2. Place a piece of painters  tape over the circuit labelled ‘off’ so that someone else does not turn it back on accidentally while you are working.
  3. Next, you will need to remove the old fixture.  Most fans have a collar at the top that has to be loosened, then you will see the ball fixture hanging in the bracket.
  4. Before pulling the fan and fixture down, disconnect all wiring.
  5. Once the wire nuts are off, untwist any wires and then remove the old fixture.  Since it will come down in one piece it can be awkward to handle.  Have a friend help you get it down if needed.
  6. Next, you will have to follow the instructions that came with the new one.  Unlike years ago when the lighting kit had to be installed using wire nuts, most now come with plug in capability and if bought as a set, the lighting fixtures are usually pre-installed.  Simply follow the directions that came with the product.
  7. Then turn the power back on at the breaker.  Of course, we at Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric are always happy to help you install a fan as well.  Just give us a call!

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!