Annual HVAC Inspections – Have to have or have to heave
Annual HVAC Inspections: Have to Have or Have to Heave
You wouldn’t drive your car every day for years on end without performing routine maintenance such as changing the oil and checking your tires and fluid levels. Many people, however, use their HVAC system daily for years without performing routine maintenance. Proper maintenance of your HVAC system can save you money, protect your home and your family, and prevent inopportune breakdowns.
Can I Maintain My HVAC Unit Myself?
Just as you can change your car’s oil and check the inflation level in your tires, there are routine maintenance tasks that you can perform on your HVAC unit. Items such as:
∙ Trimming weeds and shrubbery around the unit
∙ Ensuring that there’s about 18 inches of clear space around the HVAC unit
∙ Changing the filters monthly
∙ Keeping the unit clean, hose it down if necessary
∙ Making sure the supply and return vents are free of blockage
These simple maintenance tasks will help your unit function better between professional maintenance visits and reduce the cost of your service visits.
Why Do I Need A Professional?
A professional HVAC technician will perform services other than just check out your HVAC unit. The technician will:
∙ Check out your thermostat
∙ Tighten any loose electrical connections
∙ Clean the blower and adjust it if needed
∙ Clean the condenser and evaporator coils
∙ Clean the condensate coils if necessary
∙ Lubricate moving parts as necessary
∙ Check the controls for the system
∙ Inspect gas pressure or fuel line connections as necessary
∙ Check refrigerant levels and charge if needed
∙ Advise you of any repairs that are needed
Many of these maintenance functions require electrical expertise and/or licensing by the state in order to protect the consumers. Unless you’re a licensed electrician who also specializes in HVAC, you shouldn’t perform these functions; only licensed HVAC techs can service HVAC units
HVAC Service Calls Are Expensive
In order to properly service and maintain your HVAC unit, the technicians have had to undergo extensive and expensive training, and many have decades of experience. This is the type of expertise you need for your HVAC service and all of our technicians are trained and certified in the latest techniques. We value our customers and want to provide them the best service possible.
When your heat fails in the dead of winter or your air conditioning fails in the heat of the summer, you’ll wish that you had placed that service call. No price can be placed on the safety and comfort of your family. Loose wires, leaking connections, and damaged components can be a fire hazard and jeopardize your home and your family.
What Can I Do About It?
Call our office today at 1-888-937-3350 and schedule a service visit. Our rates are competitive, and we’ve been in business for more than 30 years, so you know we’re reliable. We’re family owned and operated, and we treat our customers like they’re members of the family. Our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau assures you of our integrity and dedication to our customers as does the numerous testimonials we receive.
Alternatively, you can schedule an appointment online by clicking here and we’ll get right back to you.
We know that home maintenance can be expensive, so we offer special financing options and other deals. Click here for our summer special tune up offer on your HVAC unit.
Call Us Today
Winter isn’t over, and summer is fast approaching. Call us today at 1-888-937-3350 and make sure your family stays warm for the rest of the winter and cool for the coming summer. Call us!
Get the most out of your HVAC system
Get the most out of your HVAC system
Keep Your HVAC System Running with Frequent Maintenance Checks
The central-air system in your home is a major appliance. It acts as both a heater and air conditioner whenever you activate the proper switch or button. That’s why it’s referred to as an HVAC or heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system. It’s a fact that many of the system’s parts are hidden within walls and closets, however.
Don’t overlook this system because it’s “out of sight, out of mind.” Prioritize its care by observing its operations yourself. Supplement these observations with regular visits from Same Day Service Plumbing Heating and Air. You’ll prolong the system’s lifespan as a result of your efforts.
Be aware of these HVAC details: Perform the following tasks only if you feel comfortable doing so. Remember that warranties become null and void if the unit is opened or accessed in any invasive manner. We’re happy to answer your questions about these steps.
1. Indoor Components
∙ Activate the system and stand near the interior unit. Listen for any unusual sounds as the system ramps up.
∙ Be aware of any scents that arise during a system startup. Report the description to your HVAC contractors. Mold and mildew have distinct odors.
∙ Verify if any leaks are present in the ductwork. Listen for whistling or feel a draft nearby where there shouldn’t be one.
∙ Shut off the system. Examine the control-box wiring for any broken or damaged connections.
∙ Inspect your filter. Replace it as necessary. HVAC repair services often focus on these parts.
2. Outdoor Components
∙ Examine the surrounding cabinet and coils for any damages, including penetrations and active leaks.
∙ Lean over and carefully evaluate the fan in its stationary position. Note any rust or wear on the blades or motor box.
∙ Repeat the fan inspection when it’s functioning normally. Document any sounds or vibrations coming from the unit.
∙ Be sure the system is turned off now. Locate the base pan. Examine it for any clogs at the drain openings.
∙ Verify that the exterior control box is clean and free from damage.
∙ Sweep any debris, such as dust and leaves, away from the unit’s exterior surroundings.
Energy Efficiency Tips
Don’t overwork your system because this scenario shortens its lifespan. Try these energy-saving tips as summer and winter challenge your components with extreme temperatures.
1. Heating Strategies
∙ Close and lock each window to trap the warm air within the home.
∙ Invite loved ones over and turn down the thermostat. The body heat makes the home more comfortable in the winter.
∙ Move any obstructions from the heating vents. They operate with optimum efficiency when air passes freely.
∙ Update your insulation to trap the warm air. An HVAC repair professional can suggest an installation that works for your region.
2. Cooling Tactics
∙ Take your cooking skills outside. Hot days call for barbecues so that any generated heat remains outside instead of locking it inside with your air conditioner.
∙ Cut off incoming light by closing your window treatments. A darkened room is much cooler, which reduces air-conditioning costs over time.
∙ Ventilate the attic with vents and proper insulation. You want the hot air to escape.
∙ Create a wind chill in your home with ceiling fans set to a counter-clockwise direction. Your HVAC contractors can show you how to alter the setting.
Contact Same Day Service Plumbing Heating and Air today to schedule your annual checkup. Our team is thrilled to answer any questions that you might have, including replacement and repair queries. Take advantage of our complementary, 40-point inspection on HVAC units ages 12 years and older too. Our team partners with the neighborhood to keep everyone comfortable year in and year out.
Weird Stuff Found in Toilets You Have to See to Believe!
Being a plumber might not be the world’s most glamorous job, but it’s never dull. For these everyday heroes, being up to one’s elbows in muck is all part of a day’s work. Have you ever wondered what plumbers talk about when they get together? Let us share a few examples of some of the strangest of the strange finds ever discovered within the bowels of ordinary sewer systems.
Most of the time, clogged pipes are caused by some kind of paper build-up. Massive amounts of toilet paper, feminine products, wet wipes and paper towels lead the list of likely culprits. But — money?
Imagine Chamindu Amarsinghe’s surprise when he unearthed $93,000 stashed in the trash and clogging the pipes of a Australian toilet in 2011. The honest janitor immediately contacted the police, but authorities never learned the source of the windfall. As a reward, a benevolent judge handsomely awarded Amarsinghe a hefty $76,000 sum. Now that’s quite a wad!
Dog Clog or Snaking The Toilet
It’s not unheard of for unfortunate animals to wind up stuck in a commode. Internet searches turn up all sorts of creatures, both dead and alive. Snakes and sharks and spiders, oh my! How about coming face to face with a 12-foot python coiled up inside your toilet bowl or seeing a half-drowned squirrel take a swim? While bumping into a boa constrictor in the bathroom may still your beating heart, this story may well steal it.
A British toddler thought his cocker spaniel puppy needed a bath. The toilet was the perfect height for the four-year-old, who decided to add more water with a single flush. In an instant, the poor little pup disappeared down the drain, but fortunately, he didn’t drown. With the help of a snake camera, plumbers discovered the dazed dog in the pipes and retrieved him via a nearby manhole. You can bet when the ordeal was over, that doggie really was due for a bath!
Another cute creature somehow survived a swim in the sewer. A man living near Dallas discovered a baby opossum in his toilet and figured the lost little guy must have traveled through at least 50 feet of water-filled pipes to arrive at his destination. What should you do if you find a waterlogged opossum or other wild animal in your commode? Probably contacting a plumber would not be your best bet. Instead, consider making a call to your local animal control.
For claustrophobic reasons, most people spend as little time as possible in port-o-potties. The smell of raw sewage and overtly pungent chemicals guarantee that the time spent inside these modern-day outhouses will be a few seconds more than how long you can hold your breath. Now imagine this: You’ve locked yourself inside, turn around and glance into the dark, disgusting hole — only to see two eyes peering back up at you. That’s right: Oklahoma police arrested a 52-year-old man crouched in hiding amid the waste. The Port-o-Potty Peeping Tom claimed he had been hit in the head and stuffed inside by his girlfriend, but it turned out his outrageous tale was just a load of doo-doo.
Clogged pipes rarely make anyone smile, unless you’re Larry Michaels from Texas, that is. The airport plumber has retrieved all kinds of valuables that succumbed to the automatic flusher, including a $10,000 bracelet, a bag of marijuana, a brand new iPhone and the occasional wallet. One day he responded to a maintenance call to fix a backed-up toilet in the airport’s men’s room. To his surprise, what emerged from the pipes was a complete set of dentures grinning back at him.
“What do you do with a set of dentures you find in a toilet,” he says. “Who would want them back?”
Now hanging on a wall in the maintenance room closet are the unclaimed dentures with a pair of orphaned sunglasses resting on top, There’s an obvious name Larry gave his creation, a sort of talisman to the plumbing profession and a nod to the Porcelain God – “John.”
Call today at 530-795-4325 to schedule your appointment. (Unless there’s an opossum in your toilet or a boa constrictor, in which case, call animal control. Or a man staring up at you from the toilet ball. Then call 911 right away. Not us.)
Tips to Avoid a Sump Pump Failure
If it’s been a while since you checked your sump pump, then it’s probably been too long. It’s easy to take your sump pump for granted, but doing so puts you and your property at risk. It stands to reason: A sump pump can only do its job if it works.
A sump pump’s sole purpose is to keep your foundation dry. Whether your basement is used for living space or serves as an extra room for storage, your valuables can be ruined without a functioning sump pump system in place. This is particularly important if you live in a low-lying area that’s a flood risk. Flooding can also be a result of poor drainage surrounding your property or can happen unexpectedly, such as when pipes burst.
Routine maintenance can prevent unnecessary damage to your home. We recommend you troubleshoot and test your sump pump system regularly, say, once a quarter at least. Periodically clean, examine and maintain it when the weather is dry. Check the valves to be sure they’re working. We also suggest inspecting it prior to a rainy season or when heavy storms are in the forecast. Make sure the pipes to the outside are clear, and when temperatures drop below 32 degrees, make sure no lines connected to the pump are frozen.
The float switch is one of the most common causes for sump pump failure. This device detects when the sump pump’s water level has risen too high and will trigger a signal to activate the pump. This one part alone has saved millions of homes from extensive flood damage. While the sump pump itself is built to last approximately 7 years, the float switch is not. Also, be sure to invest in a sump pump with a float switch that can be replaced, as not all of them do. There are different kinds of switches, including one that doesn’t actually float, so be sure to consult your plumber for the one that’s right for your system.
Electrical failure is another potential cause for concern, and for that reason, many homeowners install a back-up sump pump, just in case. Another issue can be debris, such as leaves, mud and pebbles, which can clog up the system. Make sure the check valve functions correctly so water cannot flow back inside the basement or crawl space, and inspect the pipe that leads from the pump to the outside to make sure it’s clear.
Water near your foundation can seep through the walls. Make sure that the land surrounding your home is graded away so water won’t drain downhill back in its direction. If need be, install gutters with downspouts that lead the water away from your house.
A good time to clean your sump pump and pit thoroughly is when the filter needs to be changed. Start by unplugging the system, then, take the unit outside to hose it down. Disconnect its hose and flush it out with water, as well as the entire unit. Same Day Plumbing Service is happy to help you with this.
One of the simplest ways to minimize foreign objects getting into the system is to invest in a cover. It can also protect you and your family by preventing hazardous radon gas from escaping into the air. The cover may not be able to take care of the gas leakage totally, but it will help minimize the exposure until you can get it fixed. A cover is inexpensive ($20-$35), improves the look for your unit, and is an investment that’s worth every penny.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to find out your equipment malfunctioned as a result of overdue maintenance. Instead, make sure your sump pump is in proper working order before a catastrophe rains down.
Save $100 on your new sump pump installation by mentioning this article. Call Same Day Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today at 888-937-3350 to schedule your appointment.
Bathtub Basics Before You Buy
When it’s time for a new bathtub, doing your due diligence will keep you out of hot water. Whether it needs to be replaced or it’s an upgrade as part of a bathroom remodel or renovation, there are many factors that need to be considered before making your purchase. What are the tub’s size, weight, style and features? What size is the space where it is to be installed? What will the logistics of the installation be, and of course, how much will all this cost? In addition to the expense of the tub itself, any tub installation, removal and plumbing reconfigurations need to be planned for ahead of time in consultation with Same Day Service Plumbing or another reputable plumbing professional.
The most common bathtub is the alcove tub that makes the best use of limited space. This tub is generally five-to-six feet long and is 30 or 32 inches wide. Three of its four sides are unfinished and will be wedged into the walls at the end of a small bathroom, which may require some sheet rock removal by your plumbing specialist. The alcove tub is often paired with a shower fixture plumbed above from the wall, making the combination of the two the most efficient space-wise and the most affordable option.
Drop-in tubs can either be mounted in a separate frame, usually coordinated with other bathroom features such as the cabinetry or the tile, or they can be installed into the ground, also known as an undermount. The flooring for the in-ground or sunken tub is laid over its lip, much the same way as a countertop is laid over the edge of a drop-in sink. Corner tubs come in drop-in styles, either above-mount or undermount, and are generally meant to accommodate two people.
Freestanding tubs frequently are the focal point of any bathroom and can be installed anywhere, pending a professional plumber’s assessment. The Elizabethan-style claw foot tub is an example. These older cast iron tubs can be refinished and outfitted with modern faucets. Modern oval freestanding tubs sit on a pedestal base or cradle, and they are often quite deep and have high backs. The mid-priced soaking tub is one such style. It takes up slightly less space because it is shorter and deeper than a standard tub, meant for lounging in but not for laying down. These deeper tubs are not practical for bathing children or for those with mobility issues.
A walk-in tub is an excellent option for the elderly or for those with disabilities. They are ADA compliant and come equipped with a non-skid surface, handrails, a built-in seat and a low threshold for easy access. They are built to fit into your existing tub space and are guaranteed not to leak.
For a luxurious, in-home spa-style experience, there are many features to consider. From gentle Champagne-like bubbles to full-force whirlpool jets, hydrotherapy options come with price tags that can climb into the thousands of dollars. Some tubs are equipped with inline heaters to maintain the water temperature or come with concealed speakers that emit sound waves through the water. Still others are outfitted with colored lights or WiFi and one tub even doubles as a stereo system when empty!
No matter what your needs are, Same Day Service Plumbing is here to help. Take advantage now of our walk-in tub special — $250 off for the installation of a walk-in tub. Call us today at 1-888-937-3350 to schedule your free, personal consultation.
The Sump Pump Solution For Leaks Under Your Foundation
When it rains, it pours – or at least that is how it can feel when it floods under your house. Having to remove water from under your foundation can be an overwhelming task, and no one wants to do it more than once. Fortunately, such unpleasant catastrophes may be prevented with the installation of a quality sump pump by a certified plumber.
What is a sump pump?
The most important job of a sump pump is to keep your foundation dry. “Sump” comes from the German word “sumpf,” meaning swamp. The sump pump works in tandem with a well or reservoir, sometimes called a sump pit or sump basin, whose purpose is to collect the water. The sump pit is installed under your house along with the pump, which can be placed either above or below the ground. The sump pump then pumps the water from the basin through a pipe to the outside, directing it away from the house.
Why do I need one?
It’s important to keep the space beneath your home free from moisture that can contribute to structural damage, attract unwelcome critters, and lead to mold and mildew known to cause serious health issues. All it takes is one flood or rise in your property’s water table to know you have a serious problem. From then on, prevention is the key. A quality sump pump may well be your best investment for avoiding any problems in the future.
A well-maintained sump pump in good working order can add value to your home. Sump pumps can even help stabilize the soil, which, in turn, stabilizes the foundation, particularly in commercial buildings built near aquifers.
Choosing a Sump Pump
- If your sump pit has enough room, pick a submersible pump in favor of a pedestal pump. Submersible pumps allow for the sump basin to be covered, which reduces noise and the likelihood that debris can fall in.
- Consider a mechanical switch rather than a pressure switch, and make sure the float is solid so it doesn’t become waterlogged or fail to switch off.
- Invest in a sump pump with an alarm to let you know when the water reaches a certain level.
- Consider installing a secondary, back-up sump pump, just in case the first one fails, especially if your basement is a living space or is used for storage.
- Always test your sump pump regularly and make sure the check valve functions correctly so water cannot flow back inside the basement or crawl space.
Especially as winter approaches, now is a good time to avoid potential water damage. Save $100 on your new sump pump installation by mentioning this article. Call Same Day Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today at 707-451-4970, 530-795-4325 or 916-374-8442 to schedule your appointment.
Things You Didn’t Know About Your Garbage Disposal
With the approaching holidays and the traditional feasts that accompany them, your garbage disposal will be working overtime trying to keep up with you and the massive amounts of food being prepared. It’s easy to dismiss garbage disposals as the black hole in your sink that whisks away unwanted food scraps in the blink of an eye but they are like any other machine when it comes to maintenance and care.
It can’t take everything. Despite common belief, your garbage disposal can’t stand up to certain items like popcorn kernels, bones, fibrous things like celery stalks and corn husks, etc. These things are better off going in the trashcan or your compost pile (minus the bones!)
Don’t over stuff your disposal. You should never stuff your disposal to the brim because you will just end up with a clogged sink and a bad time. Split your scraps into batches or grind on the go.
Use cold water. Hot water will melt fats and grease that will harden in your pipes later. Cold water will just whisk away food particles. It’s a good practice to let your water run about 15 seconds to make sure everything is gone and not trapped in the compartment to cause nasty smells later.
Clean it properly. Never pour liquid plumbing cleaners into your garbage disposal. Instead, try grinding some citrus peel for a nice scent as well as a natural clean. Some suggest to use ice cubes made of vinegar once a month for a squeaky clean. If in doubt, there are cleaning drops sold at most grocery stores that are specifically for your disposal.
Hopefully these tips, tricks and tidbits will help you understand how to use your garbage disposal to your advantage this holiday season and any other time you need it. As a final bonus tidbit: Did you know that one of the original nicknames for the disposal was “the electric pig?”
Contact us online or call us at (888) 937-3350.
How Controlling Humidity Can Keep Your Home Comfortable All Year Long
Whether you live in a tropical climate or a temperate zone, controlling the amount of humidity in your home can enhance your comfort and protect your health. While some normal fluctuations in indoor humidity levels are perfectly normal, living in a house that is too humid or not humid enough can be bad for your health and your family.
If you want to control the wild swings in indoor humidity and enhance comfort for yourself and your family, you first need to track those humidity levels. You do not need sophisticated and expensive equipment to do that – a simple humidity meter will do the trick. Once you know much moisture is in your home, you can take steps to optimize the humidity levels and keep your rooms more comfortable.
Dry Air – A Serious Winter Challenge
A lack of humidity is one of the biggest challenges homeowners face when the weather turns cold. The amount of moisture in the air drops with the plummeting temperatures, and indoor heat can dry out the air even further.
Adding a humidifier to your home is the best way to combat those lower moisture levels. When fall turns to winter, it is time to get out your humidifier and turn it on. Be sure to clean the reservoir thoroughly before using it, and fill it with fresh clean water every day.
Excess Moisture – A Danger to Your Basement, and Your Home
Too little moisture in the air can be a real problem, but so can too much water. Excess moisture can be just as big a danger, especially since high humidity levels can aid the growth of mold and mildew.
If your home has a basement, it is important to monitor humidity levels carefully. If there is too much moisture in the air, adding a dehumidifier can dry out the basement and help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
You should also monitor your basement, and the rest of your home, for signs of excess moisture. Unexplained wet spots, stains on the walls and ceilings and a musty odor could all be triggered by excess moisture, so let your eyes – and your nose – be your guide. If you see any signs of excess moisture, it is time to put your dehumidifier to work.
Keeping your home comfortable is important to your health and safety, and that means monitoring and adjusting the amount of moisture in the indoor air. Controlling the amount of moisture in your home is easy enough – you just need the right equipment to get the job done.
Attic Fans as Alternatives to A/C
Many people look for ways to keep cool without resorting to air conditioning when the temperatures rise. While A/C is great, it can also be costly if you have to run it constantly. For those looking to stay cool on a budget, a whole house attic fan is a great option that will likely suffice on all but the hottest days. These fans are able to pull air from every part of the home via suction and replace warm air with cooler air.
1. Getting the Most Out of a House Fan
It’s a good rule of thumb to open some window screens and turn on the house fan whenever outdoor temperatures fall below indoor temps. In these scenarios, your fan will pull the cooler air through the house and force the warm air out through the roof vents.
If you like the way air-conditioning can cool down the house before the day gets started but want to save energy, there’s a way to simulate this feature with your fan. You can run the fan prior to sunrise and trap the colder air inside. This should last you for quite some time in a moderate climate and in the evening you can open the windows again when the temperatures drop.
Whole-house fans are typically ideal for multi-story homes, although they can still work in single-story homes. There are some regions—mostly those with mild climates—that utilize the full potential of these fans more effectively.
2. Choosing a Whole-House Fan Design
Consumers seem to like the ceiling-mounted models best. They’re unobtrusive as they are installed between the living area and the ceiling, as the name suggests.
Another option is to go for a ducted whole house attic fan, a quieter model as they’re placed in the attic proper, further from the living space. You can position the ducts to vent air out of the house directly via flexible ductwork.
A variable speed model works just like it sounds by letting you circulate air at a gentle speed or flush air out of the house quickly at higher speeds.
Fans with programmable thermostats give you added control and convenience but make sure before you use them that your heating and cooling are switched off, windows are open, and there is no fire going if you have a fireplace. There are a few models with insulated doors for an air seal. If your model of choice doesn’t have these doors, remember to cover it up in winter, otherwise, it will be as though a window is open. Just take the covering off in the spring and remember to open at least one window.
3. Choosing a Size
Experts say that a good whole-house fan should be able to exchange all the warm air in your home within three or so minutes maximum.
You can calculate the flow rate by doubling the total square footage of the whole house. Find this number and then find a fan with the same or better cubic feet per minute capacity.
We recommend consulting an expert in ventilation to get a professional opinion on the ideal size of a whole-house fan for your needs.
4. A Cost-Benefit Analysis
On the budget end, whole-house fans are about one hundred and fifty dollars, and five hundred and fifty on the premium end. You should also factor in the cost of installation, which could be as much as one thousand dollars.
There are certain places and companies that will give out rebates for whole-house fans. For example, in Sacramento reports indicate that these fans use only ten percent of the energy that air conditioning uses. Thus, in only a few seasons the fans pay for themselves many times over
What are some reasons to choose a tankless water heater?
If you are currently in need of replacing your water heater, it is a good time to upgrade to a new type. One good type is a tankless water heater. Here are some reasons to consider choosing this among the other options available.
They Last a Long Time
One great reason to get a tankless water heater installed in your home is that they are known to last a long time. When replacing your hot water heater, you want one that is going to last for a while so you don’t have to make this decision again for quite some time. Consider the water heater an investment, so even if the tankless appliance is a little higher than other water heaters, you make up for it by not having to pay for another one for many years. As long as you keep it in good condition, it can last over a decade in many cases.
The Tankless Water Heater is Smaller
A benefit you might not have considered is that a water heater without a large water tank is also going to take up a lot less space. If you already have limited space for placing the appliance in the first place, this can be an excellent benefit for you. Many water heaters are placed in the basement or garage. You might be in need of more storage in these spaces, so being able to save even a little space without a bulky water heater can make all the difference.
You Can Reduce Your Energy Costs
While the tankless water heater might cost a little more in the beginning, you will save money by having a water heater that uses less energy overall. Traditional water heaters require filling up a large tank with water, and keeping it warm so that the water is ready when you turn on the faucet. However, this is uses much more energy than is really necessary. With the tankless water heater, only the water you use after turning on a faucet is going to use up energy. You will notice that within the first few bills after having it installed, your energy and water bills have started to decrease. Not only are you saving money on your investment, but you are helping the environment and lowering your own carbon footprint.
As you can see, there are a wide range of benefits to go with a tankless water heater. Speak to a plumber if you have more questions about tankless water heaters and wonder if it is a good option or your home.