Keeping Your Oven & Stove Clean and Safe 

 

You can almost smell the turkey and stuffing now. Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Before you have everyone cooking up a feast in your kitchen though, think about when you last cleaned your stove and oven and checked things out. This can increase the longevity of your appliances in the long run. If things are looking pretty dirty, you may even want to do these things before the big day.

First, avoid using abrasive materials that could scratch surfaces and oven cleaners with harsh chemicals—especially if you have kids and pets. Instead, loosen the stove gunk with baking soda and water. As for the knobs, you can wash them with water and soap, but don’t use water around the area where they’re attached to the stove. (Water + electrical stuff = bad)

With regard to the oven, unplug before cleaning. You may want to avoid the auto-clean setting if your oven is pretty gross, as this can end up setting off the smoke alarms and making things worse. Remove the racks and coat your oven (not the heating elements) in a paste made of ½ cup of baking soda with a few tablespoons of water. Let it sit for 10+ hours then wipe it out. You can also spray some vinegar on top of the baking soda at this point, to aid in the de-greasing.

What about the oven racks? Put them in a bathtub and cover them with hot water. Add dishwasher detergent and leave them soaking for 4+ hours. Then use a scrub brush on them.

Take a moment to look at the coil burners and replace any that are damaged in any way or have a spot that is redder, which means it will soon burn out.

If you recently bought a new gas oven, it’s a good idea to get someone to replace the gas line. Changing out the oven can cause leaks in the gas line after all of the movement.

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!

Home Safety Tips for Halloween

 

It’s that time of year when pumpkins begin appearing around every corner as our signal that fall is near and Halloween is fast approaching. So whether you’re having a big costume party this year or simply getting ready to greet trick-or-treaters at your door, it’s a good idea to make sure your hofirepitme and yard are safe ahead of time.

Amidst all of the Halloween preparations, this is a task that is easy to forget. Here are a few things to remember while setting up:

-Think about how people will be walking when setting up decorations. For example, it wouldn’t be a good idea to use a fog machine in an already dimly lit area or to set up items on the ground right in front of your porch. You can still make decorations visible without putting them in the way.

-Light up the yard and walkway well. This is especially important if there are small hills or dips that could be a hazard. Furthermore, you may want to block off these areas or at least mark them with a sign.

-Don’t overload electrical outlets or use extension cords in areas where people would walk. If you absolutely need to use an extension cord, tape or staple it to the ground.

-Check any electrical decorations you consider buying for certification marks for safety such as UL, CSA, and ETL.

-Use battery-operated candles instead of traditional candles in your jack-o-lanterns as a safer lighting alternative.

-Keep cornstalks and other flammable materials away from any decorations, or fire pits, that do have an open flame.

-Last but not least, make sure your front yard, front porch area and driveway are clear of debris such as tree branches, yard equipment, etc., minimizing items that could cause trick-or-treaters to trip or fall.  You never know which way children will enter your yard and amidst all the excitement, trick-or-treaters are likely to be running with one goal in mind: TREATS!

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!

Lower Your Energy Bills This Winter

 

It may be hard to think about when it’s still so warm out, but cooler weather will be here before we know it. And that means it’s time to get your home ready to keep those energy bills low and your family warm. Here are a few ideas to help you do just that:

• Have your heating system checked by a professional. While you’re at it, make sure to check your heating ducts for any leaks.

• Look for areas where air can leak out of your house. An easy way to identify the location of drafts is to light a candle and move it around windows and doors to  see where it flickers. If you do find holes, seal windows with caulk and buy stick-on weather stripping from the hardware store to fix drafts around your doors.

• Ensure you are properly maintaining your wood burning fireplace and it will be one of the easiest ways to reduce your energy bills. So don’t forget to stock up on that firewood!

• Close the damper on your fireplace if it’s not in use. The chimney allows warm air to escape the room.

• Insulate your attic if you haven’t already done so.

• Purchase a water heater insulation blanket from your local home improvement store. Though these specialty blankets don’t look like the blankets we use in our homes, the idea is the same. This is a surprisingly affordable and smart purchase because it keeps heat in and the hot water heater does not have to turn on as often, saving you money

• Insulate the water pipes. Look for uninsulated hot water pipes along the walls or ceilings. If you don’t know which ones they are, put your hand near them to feel the heat. Polystyrene insulation is an easy fix as it slips on over the pipe and helps the water heater to not work as hard, keeping the warmth in longer.

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 Much Does a Light Bulb Cost?

blulbThe cost of purchasing a light bulb is easy to determine.  You simply look at the label on the shelf.  Pretty straightforward, right?  But there is a hidden cost that many consumers are less familiar with – the cost to operate that bulb and how often you have to replace it.  So, what does it cost to operate each kind of bulb? The Department of Energy provides information on what it costs to operate a light bulb with a 60 watt brightness (or the equivalent in non-incandescent light bulbs).  According to the Department of Energy, based on an energy cost of $0.11 per kilowatt hours (kWh):

  • A 60 watt incandescent that is used for 1,000 hours 60 KWh of electricity, for a total cost of $6.60.  This bulb will normally last for 1,000 hours.
  • A 43 watt halogen bulb will use about 25% less energy.  You can expect to spend about $4.73 to operate for 1,000 hours.  You can expect this bulb to last 1,000 to 3,000 hours.
  • A 15 watt compact fluorescent (CFL) light will cost $1.65 to operate for 1,000 hours and can last for 10,000 hours.
  • A 12 watt light-emitting diode (LED) light is the most efficient bulb on the market today.  At only $1.32 for 1,000 hours of operation, it costs 80% less to operate than the traditional incandescent bulb.  In addition, this bulb will last for up to 25,000 hours.

So, while LED and CFL light bulbs may appear expensive when you are shopping, they represent the best value in the long term, both in terms of costs to operate as well as the expected length of life of the bulb.

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 the Pollen Out, and Keep Your Sanity

Keep the Pollen Out, and Keep Your Sanity001

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies?  If you are like most who suffer, you likely have noticed the yellowing on every surface here in North Carolina the last few weeks.  So, while you have to suffer to go outside, do what you can to minimize your exposure while you are inside.

Keep pollen from invading your home.  This may seem like just plain common sense but remember that pollen can get in more ways than just one.  Keep windows and doors shut both in your home and while driving to reduce the amount that is able to get in.

Also remember that pollen can come in on you!  That is right – some pollen comes in on your clothes and shoes each time you go in and out of your home and car.  To minimize the amount you bring in with you remove additional layers of clothes before entering your home.  Remove your shoes too.

So if you can’t open your windows, and the weather is getting warm you will have to run your air conditioner.  Set it to recirculate the air in the home rather than pulling in fresh to keep as much pollen out as possible.  You will also want to make sure that your whole house filters are replaced each month so that any allergens that do get in get trapped in the filter.

Finally, make it a habit to dust your furniture regularly with either a liquid spray or a trap and lock cloth.  Vacuum and mop your floors regularly to gather up any remaining pollen.

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!

Antique Finds by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric

 

Antique Finds – How to Rewire a Lampblack lamp against blue wall

Do you enjoy searching through thrift stores, yard sales and consignment stores to find that unique piece that just makes the room? Maybe you found the perfect antique lamp, but found that for whatever reason it didn’t work. Here’s a secret – it is really easy fix!

First, purchase a lamp repair kit. They are available at most hardware and discount stores for less than $15. Next, assemble your tools. You will need an flathead screwdriver, your kit and a pair of pliers to help tighten connections. Make sure your lamp is unplugged and remove the existing cord and socket set. This varies according to each lamp style, but usually it will unscrew just below the harp base. Remove existing cord and set aside in case you need to reference it later.

Now the fun part – assembling the new lamp! Follow directions on the package as they may vary slightly. Basically you will insert the cord through the base to the top of the lamp. Then, you will remove the socket shell and insulating sleeve from the base. Make the wiring connections, taking care to tie the ends in a simple knot before connecting them. This will stabilize the connection. Reassemble, attach a harp and shade.

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!

Picking Paint by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric

How to Pick Paint Colors for your Homeyellow paint

Often when we first purchase our home, we want to go in an repaint everything before we get all moved in and settled in. After all, who wants to move all the furniture again, tape off the trim and cover the floors? Why not do it all at once? While that is a great thing to do, unless you are going to pick one neutral color and paint it throughout the house, you will probably need to live through a couple of seasons to see the way the light plays on the walls, and interacts with your furniture and art before you can pick that color that makes your heart sing.

So, now that you’ve seen how the light interacts with the furniture and art, how do you decide? First, use popular social media sites like Pinterest or Houzz to find pictures of spaces and colors you like. Mark each one clearly so you can go back to it for reference. Narrow down your selections to less than seven colors. Head to your local paint shop and ask for paint chips. Bring them home and using painters tape, put them up on the walls. You may ask for more than one chip so you can look at the color on multiple walls. From there, narrow it down to just three to four colors. Purchase small cans of these paints and paint 24”x24” swatches on the wall so that you can ‘live’ with the color for at least a month to decide if you like it.

Once you have selected your color, don’t forget to select a trim color that accents the color and really makes it pop. Remember to take this opportunity to clean or replace switchplate covers, if needed. This added attention to detail will make your room really come to life!

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!

Christmas Wishes by Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric

 

Christmas Wishes from Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electricchristmas wishes

Tomorrow Christians across the globe will celebrate Christmas, and the birth of Jesus Christ. Many religions celebrate holidays at this time of year. There are many unifying themes across all of these celebrations including peace, joy and hope.

We at Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electric want to wish you peace in this season. May you feel the peace of the overwhelming love of your family and friends as you gather together to celebrate the holidays. May you enter the New Year with a profound sense of calm and resolve.

We wish you joy. Let the smile of a child shine a light in your heart. May the peaceful moments of quiet in the stillness of the winter night continue to inspire awe in your soul.

Finally, we wish you hope. As this year comes to a close a new beginning awaits around the corner. May we all begin that New Year with renewed hope for better things. Some in our community have experienced loss and trials in the past year. May hope spring eternal as you enter this new 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!

Cleaning Your Chimney by Central Carolina Air, Plumbing & Electric

 

Cleaning your Fireplacechimeny 1

Given that the weather has turned cool, you have probably had the chance to enjoy a crackling fire in the last few weeks. There is nothing quite like cozying up on the couch with someone you love while watching the flames lick at the logs. However, many of us neglect our fireplaces.

Did you know that those fires cause soot that can build up in your chimney into a thick, tarry substance called creosote? This creosote can potentially cause a fire in your chimney. That would certainly put a damper on your relaxing evening by the fire. To clean your chimney, follow these tips:

  • Remove grates and andirons from the fireplace and set outside to clean later.
  • Move a trashcan next to the fireplace.
  • Check ashes to ensure that all embers are completely burned out before shoveling out the ashes.
  • Place a disposable tarp in the fireplace and over the hearth and any flooring to protect it from soot. Cover with newspapers to absorb any liquids and reduce the amount of soot that will get on the tarp.
  • Next, open the flue. Most are on a lever near the fireplace. Using a flashlight look up your chimney while engaging the lever. If you see the small door move, you have found the flue. Leave it open as you finish cleaning the chimney.
  • Using a chimney sweep (nylon or metal wire brush 1 inch larger in circumference than your chimney), scrub the walls to loosen debris. Debris should fall onto your tarp and newspaper for easy disposal.
  • Once you finish sweeping, make a solution of 6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate, 1 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of warm water into a plastic bucket. Use gloves as this solution is very strong and should be handled with care according to the directions on the package. Use this solution and your brush to scrub the walls of the chimney.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Dispose of the newspapers and tarp carefully by folding all edges inward to form a bundle and contain the mess.
  • Finally, using a nylon brush, clean loose debris from grates and andirons before returning them to the fireplace.

While you can clean your own chimney, you may prefer to call a professional if you are especially sensitive to chemicals, lack the time and patience, or simply don’t want to tackle this job on your own. Look online for chimney sweeps to find a local professional.

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!

Clean Your Gutters by Central Carolina Air, Plumbing & Electric

 

guttersClean Your Gutters Before Old Man Winter Settles In

Next week will mark the official start to the winter season and the end of fall. Since all of the leaves have fallen off the trees, there is no time like the present to get your gutters in shape for winter. While it is important to clean gutters throughout the fall to ensure that water does not back up in them and damage your roof, it is even more important as we approach winter.

Freezing temperatures and water on a roof can combine to cause some real headaches for homeowners come spring. This is because when water backs up in your gutters and infiltrates the roof, it can cause damage, but when that same water freezes, it expands and can cause additional damage.

There are many solutions for cleaning gutters –blowing them out with a leaf blower, using a pressure washer to wash them out, installing guards that keep the debris out, or the old-fashioned method of getting on the roof or a ladder with a pair of gloves and cleaning them out by hand. No matter which method you choose, think safety first. If you don’t have the proper equipment or are unsteady on your feet, you might prefer to hire someone to help you with this chore. Look for landscaping companies or handymen to help you with this.

Don’t forget to nominate your hero for our “Heat for Heroes” campaign. We are giving away 100 ceramic heaters to heroes in our community in need throughout the month of December to honor those who have served our community.

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!