3 Reasons Your Air Conditioner Needs a Tune-Up

Annual tune-ups help maintain longevity and efficiency of your air conditioning system.

Annual tune-ups help maintain longevity and efficiency of your air conditioning system.

Las Vegas s starting to heat up and summer is on it's way! However, it won't be long until the real heat hits. Is your air conditioner ready? If it's an older unit and hasn't been maintenanced for awhile you might need a tune up. On the really hot days your Air Conditioner is what you're going to want to keep you cool - all summer long.

Fortunately, air conditioner tune-ups are relatively inexpensive this time of year. And, in addition to an increase in efficiency, your AC will operate more safely throughout the entire summer - without an unexpected breakdown.

An un-tuned air conditioner might work fine in low level heat and the early summer but the heavy heat is far more taxing on your AC unit. The height of summer is when you are most likely to have issues, right when you rely on your air conditioning the most.

  1. Your tuned up air conditioner will save money on energy. Just like a car needs an oil change to keep it running well, an AC needs a recharge, cleaning and maintenance to maximize life-span and efficiency - resulting in lower energy bills.
  2. Prevent future AC repairs. In addition to overall increased safety and efficiency, annual tune-ups allow technicians to spot other simple problems that can be fixed to prevent larger issues in the future. Having an expert look over your system is the best way to prevent your AC from needing a costly repair.
  3. Keep tabs of your air conditioner's condition. Every time a technician tunes-up your air conditioner, they'll let you know exactly how the unit is performing. This way you'll know exactly what condition your AC is in and if there are any components that you might want to be concerned about. Fixing small problems before they become bigger is far less expensive.

BONUS! Allow for better overall operation and functionality. According to the EPA a well maintained air conditioner will operate, on average, up to 25% more efficiently than one that has been neglected.

Do you need a tune-up? It's never a bad idea, especially if you air conditioner's performance has been questionable - like having a hard time running, not cooling properly, making funny noises or producing a high draw on energy.

Your Toilet is Overflowing - What Now?

dealing with an overflowing toilet

Toilet overflow is a not uncommon plumbing issue. When this happens, preventing raw sewage from spilling over onto your bathroom floor is a first priority. Solving the problem that is causing the overflow is an immediate second.

Here are some important steps to follow should you run into a toilet overflow:

  1. Locate the water shut off valve near the base of the toilet. Turn the valve until the water shuts off. This should prevent additional overflow. If your toilet does not have a local shut off valve, open the tank and rig the float to stay in its position - preventing water from refilling the tank.
  2. Clean up water spill. For small amounts of overflow water, a few towels should be able to soak up the mess. Otherwise, a shop-vac can help with larger spills, especially where carpet or other fabrics are involved. Be sure to wash and disinfect all surfaces that were dampened by the toilet water.
  3. Determine the cause of the overflow. For foreign objects, you can put on some rubber gloves and try to remove it. For a clog, a toilet plunger will typically do the trick.

Should these steps not resolve the overflow problem, call a professional plumber for assistance.

IS YOUR WATER HEATER TELLING YOU IT’S TIME FOR REPLACEMENT?

Is our hot water heater telling you it is time to replace?

For most of us, on-demand access to hot water isn’t optional -- we count on our water heaters to get us through every shower and sinkful of dishes. But even top-of-the-line water heaters aren’t built to last forever, so unless we want to see our hot water access disrupted, we must preempt water heater failure by replacing units that are nearing the ends of their lives.

Predicting water heater failure isn’t always easy, but these occurrences are most common when a water heater is reaching the end of its useful life.

Water Heater Age

After years of service, lots of things can begin to go wrong with a hot water heater. Parts wear out. Corrosion develops. Tanks crack. For most tank heaters, ten years is a full life.

Knowing the age of your water heater is key to proactive replacement. If you can’t recall when yours was installed or you recently purchased your home, you can verify the date by checking the serial number label. Manufacturers note the month and year each unit is produced within the serial number, but this is often an alphanumeric code. Refer to your water heater manufacturer’s website to learn how to interpret your model’s code and confirm its age.

Compromised Hot Water Supply

When things aren’t going right with your hot water heater, the first symptom is often one you can feel. The hot water coming from your shower and taps can be either cooler than usual or it may run out noticeably faster than before. 

This could be due to a failing heating element, which a licensed plumber can diagnose and repair. But it could also mean that mineral sediment has coated and hardened on the bottom of your tank, including on the heating element. This tends to happen around or after the ten-year mark, and should be interpreted as a serious indicator of imminent failure.

Rusty Water

You’ll get a full life out of your water heater if you routinely check the anode rod and replace it when necessary. This sacrificial rod attracts corrosive elements suspended in your water, gradually rusting away so your water heater tank doesn’t have to. But if you don’t replace this rod before it’s used up, those corrosive agents will begin attacking the entire unit.

Tank corrosion may present itself in the form of rusty water coming from your taps. You can confirm the problem is in your water heater and not your pipe system by flushing your water heater tank, another routine maintenance task, and checking to see if the drained water is rust-colored. If your water heater is rusted out, the time to replace it is now -- before it springs a leak.

Water, Water Everywhere

Whether due to rust, manufacturing flaws, damage or other causes, tank water heaters will spring a leak on a long enough timeline. The most effective way to address this is usually to check your water heater for leaks regularly and take action at the earliest sign of unexpected dripping or moisture.

Keep It Down

Even if none of these symptoms are present, you may get the heads-up that your water heater is on the skids if there’s a loud banging sound whenever it’s heating a tank of water. As the aforementioned sediment settles and hardens, it forces your water heater to work harder, and that can lead to rapid expansion of the tank itself. If you hear constant clanking coming from your tank, it’s time to get a new one.

Do any of these symptoms sound familiar? If so, call your licensed, local plumbers today for a thorough inspection and no-obligation consultation on replacement options.

World Asthma Day - It's Time to Control Asthma

Fighting Asthma on World Asthma Day

Asthma is basically a chronic long term inflammatory disease that causes the narrowing of the air pipe, the route in a human body that allows air to enter and leave the lungs.

A few of the most common symptoms found in asthma patients are breathlessness, continuous coughing, sneezing and sometimes severe pain in the chest. The occurrence of these incidents may vary from a few times a day to a few times a week depending on the severity of asthma from patient to patient. These symptoms are usually worse during the night, early in the morning or during/just after heavy physical activity.

You may ask can air pollution cause asthma, lung cancer, pollen allergy and even COPD? While air pollution is not directly responsible for asthma, there is a correlation between air quality and asthma as it can definitely aggravate asthma symptoms or asthma attacks. A few of the chief air pollutants that can affect asthma patients are ozone and particle pollution.

To increase awareness of Asthma treatment around the world an annual event, World Asthma Day was christened. It is celebrated on the first Tuesday of May every year. In 2017, it falls on the 2nd of May, the day being dedicated to research on Asthma prevention, diagnosis and, most importantly, Asthma treatment. Education about causes of Asthma as well as treatment of Asthma play a very important role in controlling the disease and World Asthma day is dedicated in helping to inform the victims as well as the general public about the disease and potential relief and cures.

Ozone is fundamentally a pale blue gas with a characteristic smell that is usually found in smog. A few of the most hazardous gasses emitted by factories and automobiles are Nitrogen Oxides and Volatile Organic Compounds. The oxides of these harmful gasses react chemically in the presence of the sunlight to form Ozone in the atmosphere. Particle Pollution (smog) is a mixture of microscopic solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in the atmosphere which can have severe effects in human beings when inhaled in a large quantity. The components of the particle pollution can either be natural, man made or substances formed by chemical reactions. Particle Pollution is considered a main cause of heart diseases but also has adverse effects on lungs making it one of the major causes of Asthma.

Asthma is usually of two types: one is caused by exposure to an allergen and the other is caused by an exposure to an irritant like sudden climate change, some side effects of medicine, stress or heavy physical activity. Family history is also a risk factor for asthma with asthma being hereditary. Another severe Asthma cause is smoking cigarettes, both active smoking and passive smoking.

Asthma triggered by an exposure to an allergen may vary from person to person and can include natural airborne substances like pollen, dust mites and dangerous substance in the air, such as smoke, chemical fumes and strong odors while also few indoor allergens like pet dander (especially cat and dog hair), dust mites, perfumes and scented products as well as dusty rooms which could be quite exasperating to some individuals.

Although there is no proper treatment of asthma, the best approach to reduce asthma signs and symptoms is proper air flow and purification for your home. This is a proven solution not only for asthma but also for other infections caused by air pollution. After all, an average human being spends most of their time in their home.

Life is short! Let’s keep those lungs working healthy. Find out more about how proper air flow and conditioning can help fight asthma.

Energy Saving Tips for Spring and Summer

Spring and summer months can bring increased costs to homes, especially those homes in areas that experience a significant increase in heat. Fortunately, there are some simple ways homeowners can ensure a lower impact on the environment...and their energy bills.

Solving Water Safety Challenges with Whole House Filtration

water safety solutions

Water is treated at the municipal level before it is sent to your home. This processing is reflected in your utility bill – including costs for chemical treatments and generic testing. However, municipal water is treated with chlorine to kill harmful micro-organisms and aluminum to clump together particles. The chlorine and aluminum used to treat the water is not stripped before delivery into the water system – despite studies showing overconsumption of chlorine and exposure to aluminum can be harmful.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates tap water in the U.S., but while there are legal limits on many of the contaminants permitted in municipal water supplies, more than half of the 300+ chemicals detected in U.S. drinking water are not regulated at all.  In addition to the added chlorine and aluminum, current treatment does not eliminate common toxins including chloride, lead, iron, arsenic, copper and hydrogen sulfide.

According to Paul Pestano, a research analyst with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), some of the legal limits may also be too lenient for safety. Water utilities spend 19 times more on water treatment chemicals every year than the federal government invests in protecting lakes and rivers from pollution.

For several years, the EWG has argued that the federal government needs to perform a nationwide assessment of drinking water quality, and invest more to protect against water pollution, establish new safety standards and tell consumers about the full range of pollutants in their water.

As the government has not taken action on these initiatives, the EWG has created its own drinking water quality database, covering 48,000 communities in the U.S. Among the top rated water utilities are Arlington, Texas, Providence, Rhode Island, and Forth Worth, Texas. At the bottom of the list are Pensacola, Florida, Riverside, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

How Whole House Water Filtration Works

Whole house filtration systems work in several stages – using a series of filters, filtration media and water conditioners to pull damaging chemicals, minerals and toxins from the water as it enters your home water systems. One example is the HALO 5 system.

Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) provides general removal of chlorine, chloramines, gases, dyes, fules, heavy metals, man-made pllutants, disinfectants, pesticides and sodium hypochlorite. This first stage also removes undesirable tastes and odors as well as organic contaminants.

High Activity Carbon (HAC) is designed specifically for the removal of chlorine. This stage captures any chlorine particles that escaped the GAC.

Filter-AG Plus® & High Density Garnet Filter Media is an all-natural, environmentally safe media designed to reduce suspended matter. These stages will eliminate any remaining contaminants down to 10-20 microns in size.

The HALO ION Inline Water Conditioner uses multi-reversing polarity to alter the molecular structure of dissolved calcium and magnesium. The change in charge causes hard water minerals that typically cause lime scale to stay suspended in the water rather than attaching to pipes and appliances.

Safe Water

Whole house filtration systems are designed to pull out damaging pollutants and chemicals before they hit your plumbing – while maintaining the minerals and overall health benefits you require. There are many ways to ensure the water you consume is safe, including bottled water, filter pitchers and under sink solutions. But only a whole house system will protect your plumbing and keep damaging pollutants and chemicals from leaving residue on dishes or soaking into your skin.

Find out more about the safety of your municipality water through the EWG site by clicking here.

Simple Things You Can Do To Prevent Plumbing Problems This Spring

spring plumbing tips

With so much to do in the spring to get ready for warm weather, it’s easy to neglect the plumbing that we rely on to work every day—usually until there’s a big problem! There are things you can do in and around your home to prevent plumbing issues and to spot small problems before they turn into big problems.

Here are some spring plumbing tips to help you maintain the plumbing elsewhere in and around your home:

  • Check the supply hoses that carry water to your ice maker, washing machine and dishwasher. If you find any signs of leaks or bulges, these should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • Give the valves under your sinks and those that supply the water to your appliances a turn one way and then the other to prevent them from sticking.
  • Check the cabinet under your kitchen sink for dampness or water stains that could signal a leak.
  • Clean any lint or other debris from the lint trap on your washing machine, as this could potentially prevent your machine from draining properly.
  • Check the settings on your hot water heater to make sure you aren’t wasting energy to heat water hotter than it needs to be. We recommend, as do most experts, that the temperature be no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will not only save money on your energy bill, but will also reduce the risk of scalding, especially for small children. If your hot water heater is 15 years or older, spring is also an excellent time of year to go ahead and replace it with an energy-efficient model. If you do, you could see savings on your utility bills right away and with each month to come.
  • Clean gutters, downspouts and yard drains by removing all leaves and other debris. A lot of water lying around your home’s foundation is a warning sign that your gutters or drain spouts are clogged and need attention.
  • Check outdoor faucets for leaks. If any water leaks inside the home when you turn on an outside faucet, it could mean that a pipe froze during the winter. Turn off the water line that supplies the outdoor faucet, or if you are unsure of where that’s located, turn off the main water valve to your home to prevent water damage. Then call Same Day Service Plumbing, Heating & Air immediately to take a look.

While there are many things you can do around your home this spring to maintain and inspect your plumbing, we’re more than happy to do these for you. Consider having one of our professionals do a walk-through to make sure everything is working properly

Plumbing Cameras Offer a View From the Inside

pipe camera

Not long ago, there was a lot of guesswork involved in household plumbing repairs. That’s because it was impossible to definitively know what was going on inside a pipe without exposing and removing it, which had to be weighed against the cost and hassle of doing so. Rather than spend thousands of dollars and digging up an entire lawn, it often made sense to snake a sewer pipe repeatedly and hope for the best.

Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue in the form of plumbing cameras. Just like a plumbing snake, these devices can be fed into plumbing systems and flexed around corners with ease. But unlike a standard snake, plumbing cameras let you see the inside of a pipe in real time, showing the exact location and severity of clogs, leaks and other problems.

Sure You’re Sure

While it doesn’t make sense to deploy a plumbing camera for every issue, it’s the most reliable way to be absolutely sure your plumber knows what’s going on before a single turn of the wrench. When it comes to planning a repair, no method is faster, cheaper, safer or less invasive.

Not only is the plumbing camera the optimal way to diagnose a problem, it’s often the best way to confirm that a repair was performed properly. One follow-up glance with the camera can save you and your plumber a lot of time and uncertainty.

Worth a Thousand Words

Here are just a few situations where a plumbing camera inspection can spare you time and hassle:

When you need to know how big the problem is. Because most household plumbing is hidden, what begins as a small job can often develop into a major ordeal. A camera inspection won’t make a huge project more manageable, but it can let you know exactly what you’re getting into.

When you’re buying a home. A thorough home inspection is a standard part of any home buying process, but not every home inspector is equipped with a plumbing camera. If you really want to be sure of what you’re buying, arrange for a plumber to seek out the visual evidence.

When you can’t find a leak. Your water bill is too high, there’s a musty odor -- all the telltale signs of a leak are present, but you still don’t know where it’s coming from. With a camera on the lookout, pinpointing the leak is just a matter of searching.

When you’re remodeling. If your plans involve moving or installing a tub, toilet or sink, you’ll need to know exactly where your pipes are. When detailed blueprints are unavailable, a camera inspection can show the way.

When something goes down the drain. If you’ve accidentally washed away a beloved piece of jewelry, there’s always a chance you can spot and retrieve it with the help of a plumbing camera.

Could you use a camera inspection of your pipes? Reach out to your local, licensed, experienced plumbers today.

How Does Trenchless Pipe Repair Work?

Digging a trench across your lawn can be time consuming, messy and cause future lawn problems. Fortunately, trenchless pipe repair is a viable option for many situations where pipe repair is required.

Call Hawthorne Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today to find out more about qualifications and quotes for trenchless pipe repair.

how trenchless pipe repair works