Smaller Mudroom Options

 

 

Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical in North CarolinaWith spring showers come muddy dogs and wet shoes. One trendy home improvement project is creating a mudroom. What can you do though, if you don’t have much space, time or money? What are some easy ways to make a small area that acts as a “mudroom”?

One of the most popular ways to create a mudroom-type area is to clear out a space in the garage. You can add sheetrock to bare walls and install hooks, and bring in a bench with outdoor fabric-covered.

If you have a hallway that isn’t used, this can be a great option. You may need to look at narrower benches, but it can make an otherwise unused area very useful. If you have a closet to spare, this can be a mudroom area. You can replace the rod with hooks and shelves.

A nook or corner of a room can also be a great space for this project. Just take a look around your home to see what might be an option.

For any of these areas, keep lighting in mind. Is this area near a window so that you’ll have natural light? Are there outlets available? An easy way to add lighting to an area that doesn’t have outlets is by adding motion-sensing LED lights. Often you don’t even need a drill—just peel and stick!

Another tip— consider an exhaust fan to help with ventilation and preventing the growth of mildew. If you aren’t comfortable installing this, hire a professional.

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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!

Wiring Your Unfinished Garage

 

You’re looking around at your unfinished garage and realize you need more outlets and lighting. Before getting started, keep a few things in mind: If you are leaving the walls and ceiling open, you’ll have to use the framing members to protect and support the wires. Do not span stud or joist spaces with wires, and keep the cables closely hugging the studs, plates and ceiling joists.

Always make sure you’re doing everything safely and up to code. If you’re just not sure, don’t hesitate to bring in a professional electrician. Lastly, if you plan to close up the walls later on, you’ll have to rewire. So, what’s next?

You’ll route the cable along studs, top plates and ceiling joists, along the framing member that leads to the next box. Keep cables on vertical surfaces—not on the tops of walls. Plan your wiring and put up all the electrical boxes.

Next, run a cable from one box to another by pulling cable off the coil, stripping at least 8 inches of sheathing off the wires and threading the wires and about 1/2 inch of sheathing through the wire opening in the box.

Untwist the cable and staple, staple, staple! Do this at least every 4 feet to the framing, preferably more.

When you get to the next box, stretch out the cable and mark the entrance point on it, cut the cable about a foot long, strip the sheathing and feed the wires into the box. Nail in the staples near the box.

NOTE: You’ll have to hold all wires at least 1-1/4 inches from the back and front surface of studs and joists.

Electrical boxes may have metal or plastic cable clamps that are built in. Many duplex boxes only have knockouts. Staple cable within 8 inches of boxes without clamps and within 12 inches of boxes with clamps.

And don’t forget: If your garage has a wall made of concrete or is already dry walled, cable installed on these exposed surfaces has to be protected by conduit.

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!

Considering a Gas Fireplace?

 

Perhaps you’re tired of chopping wood, or you just want a new look. Gas fireplaces can be a great addition to your home, whether you want to install it now to use for any cold weather that may be around the corner, or you’re thinking ahead to next fall. What does the set up look like and what should you know ahead of time?

Many models come as inserts and do not need a chimney or an existing fireplace, but some will need outside ventilation. It should also be placed where installation of a gas line, an electrical circuit, and an exhaust pipe will be convenient. It is usually best to install a stand-alone gas fireplace on an exterior wall so the venting pipe can go straight out the wall. You will also need a platform.

You’ll install the exhaust piping at the top, or back, and when you figure out where the hole for the exhaust pipe will be placed, trace a circle around the pipe at the wall. Then move the fireplace platform and the fireplace out of the way so you can cut the hole for the direct venting system. Make sure that there aren’t any electrical lines or pipes in the area. Drill a hole from the inside through the outside.

Frame the inside edges of the opening with lumber. Insert the wall-pass-through. Inside the house, put high-temperature caulk on the inside surfaces of the hole. Install the remaining piping according to the instructions.

If you aren’t comfortable doing the installation yourself, hire a professional. That said, to ensure your safety, hire a professional to install and connect the gas line and electricity.

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 Hazards Often Overlooked

 

 

Every homeowner knows the list of home repairs and maintenance is never ending. Although it may be daunting to think about everything needed to maintain your home, it is important to remember things that are easy to overlook. Here are some hazards to keep an eye out for that can wreak havoc on your health and your wallet if not addressed.

Improper dryer exhaust venting causes thousands of fires every year. Over the years lint buildup restricts the airflow in your dryer, which leads to increased fire danger. It is a good idea to regularly check your aluminum vent hose to make sure it is not crushed or kinked. Once a year is a good rule of thumb. Also, clean your vent line regularly. If you are not comfortable trying it yourself, call a professional.

An inefficient water heater is another commonly overlooked problem. Not only will it reduce efficiency and lead to higher bills, but a faulty water heater can also be unsafe. It has the potential to explode, damaging your home and possibly hurting people. Inspect it regularly, and again, if you don’t know what you’re doing, call a professional.

Leaky plumbing may not be top of mind, but it wastes a lot of water and leads to unnecessarily high bills.  Furthermore, leaky pipes, or other water-related issues such as clogged gutters, can lead to water damage as well as mold and mildew. A plumber can fix these problems before they get worse.

Lastly, environmental threats such as asbestosradon gas and lead paint can damage your home and your health. You can test for these things on your own with an at-home test and a specialist can direct you towards the course of action you need to take if you need.

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!

Hiding Unsightly Power Cords

 

Maybe you’re tired of looking at a tangled mess of cords around your TV stand or under your desk. Or, maybe you’re trying to make your home safer (especially important with young children). What are some ways you can hide your electrical cords? Here are some options:

  • First, unplug the appliances, clean up around the area and untangle! You can label the different cords with bread clips or pieces of masking tape that you can label and wrap around the cords.
  • You can clip the cords together with binder clips if you want a hassle-free solution and don’t mind if it doesn’t look perfect. Or, you can use a cord spiral wrap to make the cords blend in better with your background.
  • Use packing tape to affix the cord to the back of a table leg, TV stand, desk, etc. Or similarly, use adhesive hooks/clips.
  • If you have many electronics on your nightstand, put a power strip inside your top drawer to hide it all.
  • A creative, yet simple solution, is to use a box of some sort to put all of the cords into and sit it on your desk, TV stand, or other surface. This won’t hide the entire length of the cords but will make a big difference.
  • If you don’t mind a little bit more work, get a paintable cord cover. Measure the wall to figure out what length you need. You may cut it if needed. All you have to do is mount it to the wall and put the cords in, then paint the cord if you wish.
  • If you don’t mind even more work and you’re very tech savvy, use flat wire on the wall and paint over it. This is exactly what it sounds like—wiring that is flat instead of round. Low-voltage wires look like copper strips encased in film, so they are safe to touch.
  • Lastly, if it’s a wall-mounted TV you have — while probably the most labor intensive but most effective — you can feed cords from your TV through your wall where they will be hidden. If this is the route you choose, you may wish to engage a professional electrician to help.

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!

Prevent Home Burglaries

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It’s not something we like to think about, but with a home burglary happening every 13 seconds in the U.S., it’s a good idea to take simple steps to deter criminals. Here are some good starter tips:

  • Lighting is crucial. Install plenty of lighting all around the outside of your home. This goes beyond just turning on the front porch light every night. It is a good idea to have floodlights with motion sensors on every side of the home. You can also use timers that turn on at dusk and off at dawn. If you don’t have electrical wiring in some areas, hire an electrician or consider battery operated LED lights.
  • Speaking of lighting, keep some lights on if you won’t be home for a long time so that it appears someone is home. A TV or radio isn’t a bad idea either. You can even use a timer to mimic human activity.
  • It is easy to leave windows open for much longer than intended when you just wanted to get some fresh air in during those stuffy winter months. Make sure to always close them and lock them back up.

Some additional tips:

  • Use a heavy-duty deadbolt on your front door.
  • Store your valuables in a heavy safe, or even fasten it to the floor.
  • If you don’t have a safe, at least keep your valuables out of sight.
  • Don’t advertise what valuables you’ve recently purchased with their boxes sitting out by the trash—people can easily spot that big TV box and know what you have inside your home!

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!

Lights Burning Out? by Central Carolina Air Conditioning Plumbing & Electrical

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Ever wondered why some light bulbs burn out faster than others?

Too High Wattage

Did you know that if you put a light bulb in a fixture with too high of wattage, the heat may not be able to dissipate well? You may wind up cooking your light fixture which causes the bulbs to blow too quickly!

Cheap Bulbs

Did you also know that cheap light bulbs won’t burn as long as others? So think twice before you buy the $1 version at the dollar stores.

Over-voltage

Light bulbs are also affected by power surges from the power company. We all know that power surges can wreak havoc on computers, but they can also burn your bulbs out quickly too! Purchase a cheap multimeter at Radio Shack to test. If the voltage is 125V or higher, call your power company. If you have 7 or 8 extra volts on a 120V line, the bulb life expectancy will be cut in half.

Vibration Problems

Light fixtures under stairs, in ceiling fans or over door ways can burn out more quickly due to the constant vibration so look for shock resistant bulbs called “rough service” bulbs for these special areas of your home.

 

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!