Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Identifying Electrical Problems and How to React

When a problem arises with a home’s electrical system, the natural reaction is to panic. The reason for that is usually because people are unaware of what is going on. Knowing how to identify and react to the following electrical problems can completely change these incidents for the better and may help avoid further electrical repairs.

Tripped Circuit Breaker – This issue is typically caused by an overload of electricity on a system that can’t handle that amount. When a breaker trips, reset it and then redistribute some of your electricity to a different outlet. Another breaker might not trip when doing so. If the breaker keeps on tripping, then it is time to contact a professional electrician. It is a sign that you are using more power than your system can take.

Shocked – Touching an appliance can cause someone to get shocked. This generally occurs because of improper grounding or wiring. The first step after being shocked is to turn off the breaker that is connected to the appliance. Next, unplug the appliance and consult an electrician. The same advice applies to any other shocks you may receive within the house.

Too much heat – It is not normal for an electronic device to heat up when it is in use. This also applies to switches and panels. If you happen to notice any of these devices producing an extraneous amount of heat, immediately turn it off and unplug it. A failure to do so increases the potential for a fire. It only takes a mere touch to realize that a device or switch is hotter than it should be. Don’t ignore that heat, as it is a sign that something is amiss.

Burning Smell or Sparks – If you notice a burning smell or you see sparks emanating from an outlet, switch, or electronic device, then the next move is to cut the power. However, power should be turned off at the electrical panel and not just on the device. It is important to remember that this is not a permanent fix, but rather a way of ensuring immediate safety. Next, contact a professional in order to diagnose the cause of the problem and make the necessary repairs. This is not an issue that is just going to dissipate. Hiring a professional is warranted.

When you identify an electrical problem or HVAC issue within the home, it is time to contact Neighborhood Home Services. We staff fully-licensed electricians who will provide you with top notch Charlotte, NC electric service.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Dangers of DIY Electrical Work


Electrical work is not something that should be conducted based on trial and error. Those with little or no experience run significant risk when attempting do-it-yourself electrical repairs. Here is a closer look at why that concept should be avoided altogether.

Fire

The National Fire Protection Agency reported that between 2010 and 2014, there were more than 31,000 fires caused by electrical problems. The threat is very real and even a simple mistake can cause problems. For example, when working on a high-load circuit, the use of low gauge wiring has the potential to overheat the wires. A small mistake like that could turn a home into ashes and rubble.

Codes

Most municipalities require permits to conduct any substantial electrical work. These permits are mandated to ensure all buildings remain up to code. Skipping the permitting process may save a few dollars, but it could create more problems in the long run. Many municipalities will only issue permits to licensed electricians who have been trained and certified to conduct this kind of work.

Shocks

Depending upon the number of milliamps, electrical shocks can cause labored breathing, muscle contractions and even death. Live wires coming in contact with metal tools can also produce potentially dangerous shocks. Faulty wiring may also create issues of reverse polarity that has the effect of energizing wires that are not in use. The next time someone attempts to do any electrical work, those wires have the potential to do a good deal of damage.

electricians tools

Costs

The cost of fouling up electrical work could be severe. Poor wiring could lead to larger problems in the future. That would not create new issues and also require the services of a professional electrician. But cost can be more than financial. Wiring that is inadequate risks the lives of everyone in that residence. Whoever is responsible for that faulty wiring could be liable should something go wrong.

Loss

When an untrained individual attempts electrical repair, there is the risk of losing power. That could mean being without heat on a frigid winter night. Loss can also be financial, as insurance companies will not cover losses when damage was caused by DIY electrical repair.

When you have an electrical issue in your home, don’t put yourself or your family at risk with a DIY solution. Contact the licensed electricians at Neighborhood Home Services and let us introduce you to the best electrical service Charlotte, NC offers its residents.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Preparing for Winter with Basic Heating System Maintenance

The winter months can introduce an unpleasant chill, but a warm escape can come your way with the flip of the switch. Turning on your furnace is a luxury most people take for granted, until it suddenly stops working. Here is a look at some ways that homeowners can prevent that from happening and make sure their heating system is ready for the chill of winter.

Fresh Air Filters

The air filter on a furnace plays a key role in its overall functionality. Changing a filter is fast and easy. It is a good idea to do this with regularity and to also keep an ample supply on hand. Most filters are sold in packets, which makes stocking up rather easy.

Make Room

It is always recommended to clear the areas around vents and heaters, as it decreases the risk of a fire. Homeowners should also make sure their cold-air return vents are clear. If those vents are obstructed, it will reduce the airflow, causing energy bills to rise. It will also do a poorer job of filtering out any pollutants.

Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

In homes that are equipped with gas furnaces, there is always the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. There is no identifiable warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and these detectors are often the first and last line of defense. That is why it is extremely important that these be checked.

Fill Your Tank

Gas furnaces should be filled before the start of the winter. Homeowners should not rely on the supply from the previous winter. Starting off fresh will also ensure you have plenty of fuel for the oncoming cold.

Open the Gas Supply Line

Most homeowners shut down their heaters for the summer by turning off their gas supply line. If that valve is not re-opened, nothing will happen when you flip on your heater. Be sure that gas can get to your heater by opening the valve. It is also a good idea to make sure the intake and exhaust pipes are clear. If you suspect any blockage, contact a professional.

Try Out the Heater

Don’t wait until the first cold day of winter to find out your heater is not working. Crank it up while the weather is still warm. By doing this, you can attend to any problems before having to deal with any biting cold.

When you find yourself in need of heating services in Charlotte, be sure to contact the experienced team at Neighborhood Home Services.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Indoor Climate Control: What to Consider When Moving to Charlotte, NC

Making a move to Charlotte, NC is an exciting time, as the city is rapidly growing and becoming one of the most popular moving destinations in the country. Before making the move, it is important to consider the natural elements so that you will be prepared with proper heating and cooling to keep you comfortable all year round in Charlotte.

The city of Charlotte, as known as “The Queen City”, is home to a comfortable climate that is not going to subject its residents to harsh winters… But, you will still need heater service. The average high temperature in January is 51 degrees and that is the lowest high of any month in Charlotte. Meanwhile, the average low is the lowest of any month at 30 degrees. The city only averages 4 inches of snowfall per year as temperatures do not dip below freezing too often. There is the occasional cold spell that makes for a stretch of frigid days, although that is not the norm. All in all, Charlotte’s fall/winter seasons are not bad especially when compared to temperatures and conditions from across the rest of the country.

The summer months can get a little warm. The average high temperature for July is 89 degrees and August features an average high of 87 degrees. These high temperatures are usually accompanied by a fair amount of humidity. The end of May through late September are when you are most likely to experience muggy days. Even though the summer days are certainly warm, you will still be able to enjoy cooler evenings with an average low of 67-68 degrees. And while the threat of hurricanes is always a worry to coastal cities in North Carolina, Charlotte is far enough inland to be free from most of those threats. However, heavy rains and winds can still prove to be problematic.

As a result of these weather conditions, residents of Charlotte are going to rely on their cooling units much more than their heating units. Over the course of a year, homes are going to need to be cooled far more frequently than they need to be heated. That leads many homeowners to the decision of purchasing a variable speed HVAC unit. The benefit of this purchase is that it gives the homeowner the ability to adjust the output. This means you will not always have to use your unit at full capacity. This decreases energy costs while still keeping things nice and cool inside the home. Beating the heat in Charlotte is something that is done on a regular basis in the warmer months. This is something that warrants attention when planning a permanent move to the city.

The variable-speed concept also applies to heating a home in Charlotte. Simply because Charlotte is home to warmer temperatures does not mean that cold fronts won’t make their way through the city. In January of 2018, a temperature low of 29 degrees was recorded for 27 straight days. That kind of consistency makes for routine winters, but those are also times that call for reliable heating units that enable homeowners to control the indoor climate without having to pay high energy bills.

No matter what time of the year, Neighborhood Home Services will attend to all your heating and cooling services in Charlotte, NC. We can perform repairs on an existing unit, or install a brand-new unit of your choice, while answering any questions you may have about heating and cooling your new home or office. We hope you will enjoy moving to Charlotte -welcome to our neighborhood!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Best Times to Hire an Electrician

There is no advanced algorithm or evasive mystery that denotes the proper time to hire an electrician. The general rule is that anytime there is electrical work involved, it presents an opportune time to hire an electrician. There is just too much at stake to go with any other solution and here’s a look at some situations that call for the hiring of a professional electrician.

Ceiling fan installation

Hooking up a ceiling fan may not seem overly complex, although there is a lot involved with the process. Hiring a professional electrician will ensure safety and efficiency, but it will also allow homeowners to cash in on any warranties. Improperly installing a ceiling fan could void a warranty altogether.

Electrical work near water

Great danger presents itself when electrical work is done near water. That’s why it’s best to put this type of work in the hands of the professionals. Adding bathroom outlets, a kitchen sink disposal, or doing electrical work near a pool presents additional hazards. Making a mistake in these areas could be serious, and even fatal. 

Home construction/remodeling

Many home construction projects and remodels require permits. Not all townships will issue permits to homeowners who have no experience with electrical work. Hiring an electrician will allow homeowners to fast track through that process and not have to worry about codes, permits or licenses.

Lighting additions

The addition of lighting consists of more than just purchasing a new lamp. Overhead and recessed lighting can make a home look chic and trendy. However, the installation of that lighting is very involved. Hiring an electrician will make sure that your ceiling and walls stay intact while the wiring is completed. 

Selling a home

Anyone looking to sell a home needs to have the property pass all the necessary inspections. Part of those inspections focus on the electrical system. An entire sale could fall through if the necessary electrical repairs are not made by a qualified and insured electrician service.

Tripping breakers

If your breakers keep on tripping, it is a sign that your electrical system needs an upgrade. Some older systems are just not built to handle all the power that is used by present day homeowners and their families. Bringing in a professional electrician will stop breakers from tripping at inconvenient times and also bring peace of mind.

All these situations can be handled with one quick phone call to Neighborhood Home Services. Electrical service in Charlotte, NC has never been better. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Selecting the Right HVAC System for a New Home


There is a multitude of decisions to make when purchasing or building a new home. During that process, it is important not to overlook any of the details. Selecting an HVAC system for your home is something that should take careful consideration because not all options are the same. Here is a look at some helpful hints when selecting the right HVAC system for your new home.

To Duct or Not to Duct?

Central air is the most popular style of HVAC system. The design of this system consists of ducts connected to a furnace. The air is carried through these ducts and blown through vents in each room to get the desired temperature. Meanwhile, ductless systems are more conspicuous, as these kinds of units are installed in various rooms. The use of ductless systems is usually a way of replacing window units in a home and is seen less often in new construction.

Backing Up a Heat Pump

Installing a heat pump is an efficient way to heat your home in the winter and cool it off in the summer. However, this is often a better option for those in warmer climates. Heat pumps have been known to falter when the temperature dips below freezing. A backup furnace would be able to take over when a heat pump falters and it is something to consider depending upon the climate. This setup is also known as a hybrid unit, which typically consists of a gas furnace and a heat pump. It also gives homeowners the option of using the gas furnace over the heat pump if they choose to do so.

Consider the Size

The biggest HVAC unit is not always the best unit. A system that has an overabundance of heating and cooling capacity will actually lower your energy efficiency. Another potential issue lies in the constant cycling of a system. Turning on and off too much will not only use excess energy, but it will also cause your system to wear out at a quicker pace.

Climate Considerations

As previously mentioned, it is important to consider your local climate when selecting an HVAC system. Cooling systems are more of a focal point in new homes built in the southern part of the country while heating systems take on a higher priority in the north. However, homes with a fluctuating climate need the best of both worlds when it comes to a HVAC unit.

When you are in the market for Charlotte HVAC service, contact the professionals at Neighborhood Home Services.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Rundown of Conventional AC Units Found in US Homes

There are lots of options to choose from when it comes to conventional AC units inside of American homes. These different options are made to fit all types of situations and budgets while each option has its pros and cons. Here we take a closer look at each of them. After reading this article if you are still unsure which unit types is best for you, we recommend contact a trusted AC service provider.

Whole House (Central) Air Conditioners

Central air makes use of ductwork by emitting air through vents in each room. These units are more modern, take up less space and make very little noise. The overall indoor air quality is also improved with these units, which are installed in most new construction.

Window Air Conditioners

A window AC unit is not permanent and can be removed at any time in a matter of seconds. These are energy efficient in the sense that they can be turned on and off while also cooling rooms relatively quickly. They are also very affordable, although they are not nearly as visually appealing as other options. Window units are commonly used in older homes.

Through-the-Wall Air Conditioners

This model is inserted into a wall inside the home. It is permanent and will be a fixture in the chosen room. This requires an electrical hook up and it fits into a sleeve that is designed to keep out any drafts. It is important to buy a unit with the appropriate BTU to ensure it cools the entire room.


Portable Air Conditioners

A portable AC unit is freestanding and is often used on a year-round basis. Some units also have a heat function, which make them even more practical for year-round use. These units are easy to move and are not permanent fixtures. However, they may not be strong enough to cool larger rooms and are often used in smaller spaces.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners

The design of this system allows you to set up zones throughout your home. This system is powered by an outside unit and delivers air through an inside unit, or units. Homeowners can set up the inside units wherever they choose. The benefits of this model include more energy efficiency and it also costs less than a central air unit. There is also less maintenance involved, although it may not be as practical for larger homes.

When you are in need of Charlotte, NC air conditioning service, repair or installation, be sure to contact the team at Neighborhood Home Services as we rely on years of experience to provide top-quality workmanship.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Common AC Problems and Solutions

Air conditioning systems are a source of great relief in the warmer months, although they are not without fault. Over the course of time, wear and tear is bound to lead to a problem or two that requires air conditioning repair. Here is a look at some common AC problems, along with some solutions.

Unusual noises

A high-pitched sound that resembles squealing is usually a sign that something is off with the blower motor. This type of sound often precedes the breaking of a belt. A solution to this issue is adding a bit of lubricant, preferably to the oil port. Meanwhile, any kind of constant smacking or clicking may indicate that the blower has something stuck in it. To fix this problem, turn off the blower and then give it a closer look.

Thermostat not working

Believe it or not, a common problem in thermostats is that their batteries die out. When the thermostat fails to light up, simply change out the batteries for a fast and simple solution.

Air is cooling at different rates in different rooms

When an air conditioning unit is functioning properly, it should cool the entire house evenly. This does not happen when the ductwork has leaks or when a vent is blocked. Poor insulation could also be the source of this problem. One solution is to hire a AC service company to fix those problem areas, or to install a zoning system which controls the temperature in different parts of the home.

Air is not coming out cool

It is very frustrating to turn on your AC unit and feel no cool air while listening to it run. There is no use waiting around as this issue can be caused by a number of things. The first possible cause is an old air filter. Fixing this is as simple as changing out the filter for a new one. The next possible cause is the thermostat. To test the thermostat, set it on the coldest setting and let it run. If nothing changes, then there is a problem. You can also tell if you are low on refrigerant by inspecting the larger copper line on your outside unit. If that line is not sweating or cold, then you need to add refrigerant.  

Water dripping from AC unit

Dripping water could mean that there is a clog. This can be attended to by flushing out the condensate line with compressed air. There are manufacturer instructions to follow when attempting this solution.

If you cannot fix your AC unit with a solution at home, then contact Neighborhood Home Services for all of your Charlotte air conditioner service needs. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

How to Improve Energy Savings by Managing Your HVAC Unit

Energy savings is at the top of every homeowner’s priority list, although not every homeowner knows exactly how to carry out this endeavor. There are many simple ways to cut down on your monthly energy bills. Following these simple steps to better manage your HVAC system will keep a little extra money in your pocket every month. It may also help reduce the need for future HVAC repairs.

Position the Thermostat

Many people check their thermostat for a temperature reading and adjust it accordingly. However, checking your thermostat is very important. The first factor that should be checked is the location. A thermostat that is exposed to direct sunlight or drafts may produce inaccurate readings. It is also a good idea to keep your thermostat away from doorways or windows.


Set Temperature Limits

The Department of Energy recommends temperature limits of 78 degrees in the summer months and 68 in the winter months. This will keep energy costs down, although preferences may vary. Programming your thermostat to operate on a daily schedule will also reduce costs. This will allow homeowners to adjust the temperatures during the hours when no one is home. If your thermostat does not have that programming function, it is wise to invest in a more updated version, as it will save you money in the long run.

Repair, Replace and Upkeep

Poor ductwork can hinder the airflow throughout your home. Inspecting your ductwork will identify whether repair or replacement is needed. Another way to ensure maximum airflow is to replace your air filters on a regular basis. Keeping up your HVAC system also applies to keeping your drain lines clear. A quick inspection every so often can attend to all these matters.

Minimize Space

Not every room in your home needs to be cooled in the summer or heated fully in the winter. If you have a room or two that is not always in use, then there is the option of closing it off. Shutting the door and closing the vents will force your HVAC unit to do less work, which translates into a reduction in energy consumption. There will simply be less space to heat and cool.

Sealed and Secure

A window or door can be the source of a draft, presuming it is not installed or sealed correctly. Conducting a check of all your windows and doors is a way of ensuring there is no air seeping in. If a draft is detected, then there are several ways to fix the issue, which includes professional maintenance.

Neighborhood Home Services Charlotte NC can help you with any of these issues and introduce you to ways of cutting energy costs. For the best HVAC service in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas, contact Neighborhood Home Services today.