Homeowners, Homeowners Insurance, Homeowners Insurance in Pembroke NC, Dial Insurance, Auto Insurance, Pembroke, North Carolina, Insurance Near Me, Insurance Pembroke NC

Your air conditioning (AC) system is a vital component of your home, especially during hot summer months. To ensure it operates efficiently and lasts longer, proper maintenance and safeguarding are essential. Here are some valuable tips to protect your AC:

Regular Cleaning:

  • Dust and debris can accumulate on your AC unit’s condenser coils, reducing its efficiency. Periodically clean the coils using a hose or a soft brush to remove dirt and debris.

Trim Vegetation:

  • Ensure that plants, bushes, or trees near your AC unit are trimmed and kept at a safe distance. Overgrown vegetation can obstruct airflow and reduce the unit’s efficiency.

Change Filters:

  • Replace or clean air filters regularly, ideally every 1-3 months. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, making your AC work harder and potentially leading to damage.

Check Insulation:

  • Ensure that your home is properly insulated. Well-insulated homes retain cool air better, reducing the workload on your AC.

Professional Maintenance:

  • Schedule annual professional maintenance for your AC system. Technicians can identify and address issues early, improving efficiency and preventing breakdowns.

Shade the Unit:

  • Providing shade for your outdoor AC unit can help it operate more efficiently. However, make sure not to obstruct airflow.

Programmable Thermostat:

  • Invest in a programmable thermostat to control your AC’s temperature settings efficiently. It can reduce the workload when you’re not at home.

Seal Leaks:

  • Seal any gaps or leaks in your home’s windows and doors to prevent cool air from escaping and warm air from entering.

Proper Ventilation:

  • Ensure that your home has proper ventilation to allow cool air to circulate efficiently. Ceiling fans and attic vents can help.

Use Ceiling Fans:

  • Ceiling fans can help distribute cool air more evenly, reducing the need for your AC to run constantly.

Protect from Weather:

  • In extreme weather conditions, cover your outdoor AC unit to protect it from heavy rain, snow, or ice. Just remember to remove the cover when the weather improves.

Mind the Thermostat:

  • Avoid setting your thermostat too low during hot weather. Each degree lower increases your energy consumption significantly.

Keep Registers Open:

  • Ensure that all HVAC registers in your home are open and unobstructed to allow for proper airflow.

Check Ductwork:

  • Periodically inspect your ductwork for leaks or damage. Seal any gaps to prevent cooled air from escaping.

By following these tips, you can maintain the efficiency and longevity of your air conditioning system while also improving your home’s overall comfort and energy efficiency. Properly caring for your AC not only saves you money on energy bills but also reduces the risk of costly repairs and premature replacement.

Smartphone apps drive gig workers, parents to distraction


Gig-economy workers are 4 times as likely as other drivers to use smartphone apps regularly while driving, a new survey from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows.

“The explosion of smartphone features and services has not only created new forms of driver distraction, but also a new group of rideshare and delivery drivers whose jobs require them to interact with their phones while they’re on the road,” IIHS President David Harkey said.

Parents are also nearly 50 percent more prone to routinely making video calls, checking weather reports and other types of smartphone-enabled distractions than drivers without children 18 or younger, the survey found.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that more than 3,000 people died in distraction-related crashes in 2020, accounting for 8 percent of all traffic-related fatalities. Because it’s difficult to determine if distraction contributed to a crash, that number is almost certainly an underestimate.

Anything that diverts the driver’s attention — eating, adjusting the radio, putting on makeup — can increase the risk of a crash. But tasks involving mobile phones and other electronic devices can be both more demanding and more tempting than other common distractions. The variety of smartphone applications has also exploded in recent years.

To begin exploring the impact of these newer applications, IIHS surveyed more than 2,000 drivers nationwide about what secondary tasks they perform while driving. Tasks were separated into ordinary activities and those that involved a mobile phone or another electronic device, and the device-based activities were further categorized into basic talking and texting and smartphone-based activities like programming a navigation app or checking a social media feed. For some device-based activities, drivers were also asked whether they performed the task using a hands-free feature.

Overall, nearly two-thirds of the participating drivers reported performing one or more distracting activities of any type most or every time they drove over the past 30 days. Half said they performed at least one device-based task during most drives. Common device-based activities included making phone calls, streaming music and reading texts, but the most common was programming a navigation app. Far fewer people reported playing games on a mobile device while driving, but 8 percent said they play games regularly while they’re behind the wheel.

For the most part, the drivers said they usually used the hands-free feature for device-based activities when the capability was available. About 8 out of 10 drivers who said they regularly programmed their navigation app and 7 out of 10 who said they regularly read and sent texts while driving reported that they used voice commands to do so.

“Hands-free operation is generally believed to be less dangerous, since drivers can more easily keep their eyes on the road,” said IIHS Research Associate Aimee Cox, the lead author of the study. “However, it doesn’t eliminate the distraction altogether.”

Previous research has shown, for instance, that hands-free systems that require drivers to perform some operations manually, such as scrolling through a contact list, are less safe than those that can be managed completely with voice commands. Hands-free capabilities are irrelevant or impractical for some smartphone-based activities, such as scrolling social media or playing games.

Not surprisingly, the survey showed that drivers between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely to use smartphone apps while behind the wheel than drivers ages 35-49. Less predictably, however, it also showed that parents of children 18 and younger were 65 percent more likely than other drivers to perform non-device-based tasks, 31 percent more prone to any device-based distraction and 47 percent more likely to engage in smartphone-enabled secondary activities.

Gig-economy workers were more than twice as likely as other drivers to engage in any distracting activity and nearly 4 times as likely to regularly use smartphone apps while driving. The smartphone-based activities they performed also went well beyond communicating with customers and navigating to pickup and delivery locations using the app provided by their employer.

One possible reason could be that they’re more tempted to conduct other business or find ways to entertain themselves while driving because their jobs force them to spend so much time behind the wheel. In response, ridesharing and delivery companies should put in place or strengthen policies that mandate safe practices for necessary operations and restrict device-based behaviors that are not an essential part of the job.

“These results show that nobody is immune to distraction and suggest that hands-free capabilities may be making us a little too comfortable using our phones and other devices behind the wheel,” said Harkey.Source: https://www.iihs.org/news/detail/smartphone-apps-drive-gig-workers-parents-to-distraction

Whole Life Insurance vs. Term Life Insurance

Shopping for life insurance may not be as fun as reading a good novel, but it is something everyone should do – sooner rather than later. There are two popular types of life insurance: term life insurance and whole life insurance. While the death benefits from both can be similar, there are a few key differences between them.

Term life insurance is perhaps the easiest to understand. This straightforward insurance is purchased for the simple promise of a death benefit for your beneficiary should you pass away while it’s in force. Term life insurance only lasts for a certain period of time, whether it is 10, 20 or 30 years. After the term is up, the policy expires. One benefit of term life insurance is it tends to be the most affordable option. If all you seek from a life insurance policy is the ability to protect your loved ones when you die, term life insurance is likely the best fit for you. Basic protection is better than no protection at all.

Whole life insurance is a form of permanent life insurance. Meaning that if you keep making your premium payments, it will never expire. Whole life insurance also provides some “cash value”, which can be a source of funds for future needs. Your premiums are split in two ways. One part of your payment goes to the insurance component, while the other part helps build your cash value, which will grow over time. At a later date you can borrow or withdrawal from your cash value amount for things such as your child’s college tuition or repairs to your home. However, should you withdrawal or borrow from your policy, your death benefits will go down by a corresponding amount if you don’t pay it back.

Source: https://www.investopedia.com/term-life-vs-whole-life-5075430