Tips for Cooling Your Home More Efficiently

Check these Air Conditioning Tips for Cooling Your Home

Purchasing a bigger air conditioner will not necessarily improve your comfort during the heat. Actually, when an air conditioner is too large for the area it needs to cool, it is less effective and efficient than a properly sized air conditioner. The reason is that an oversized air conditioner will reach the thermostat’s set point before it can properly dehumidify the area. This makes the room feel uncomfortable and humid. You need a trained professional to size your air conditioning unit.

If your home has a central air conditioning system, make sure the fan shuts off simultaneously with the compression. This is typically done by setting the fan to “auto.” Do not use the central system’s fan to circulate air. This job is best accomplished by adding fans to individual rooms to improve air circulation

Consider adding a whole-house fan instead of using the air conditioning. A whole-house fan is useful in various climates and can cool your home by circulating cooler air throughout the house and allowing warm air to leave through the attic. The fan is most effective at cooling down your home by using it during the cooler times of day. Your home will remain cooler throughout the hotter times of day without the fan being used.

air conditioning

Tips for Cooling:

  • In the summer, set your thermostat to a higher temperature and ensure your humidity controls are working. Your cooling bills will be lower when there is a smaller difference between the outdoor and indoor temperatures.
  • Avoid turning your thermostat to an abnormally low setting when you turn on your system. The lower setting will not cool your home faster and may result in excessive cooling. This also makes your utility bills unnecessarily expensive.
  • Add an interior fan to use in conjunction with a window air conditioner to help spread the cooler air throughout your home. Using a fan does not cause a significant increase in energy use and can help cool the space more effectively.
  • Do not place appliances that generate heat near your thermostat. This can include televisions and lamps.

Tips for Long-Term Savings

  • Consider replacing your old air conditioner with an energy efficient one. Look for models labeled with ENERGY STAR® and EnergyGuide. Room air conditioners with energy-efficient qualifications are 10% more efficient, while the qualified central systems are more efficient by 15% vs a standard system.
  • Depending on your climate, you might also want to install an evaporator cooler or whole-house fan.

How to Fix a Leak or Crack in a Ceramic Pipe

Check out these tips on how fix leak or crack in ceramic pipes

The first thing that comes to mind when you think about ceramic might be pottery, figurines or dishes. However, sewer drain pipes are also made out of ceramic. A lot of people do not know this and are even surprised to find out that ceramic is used to make sewer drain pipes since this is not a strong material. However, ceramic pipes were a very common construction material between 1920 and 1980. These pipes are expensive to make and not always easy to install, which is why they are no longer used Other materials are used in modern homes because ceramic pipes are prone to cracks and leaks.

If your sewer system includes some ceramic pipes, this is probably an old system that needs some work. Sooner or later, ceramic pipes start leaking. There are a few things you can do to temporarily fix the problem while you look for a plumber.

It is possible to fix a leak in a ceramic pipe yourself if you do not want to retrofit or replace the pipe yet. This method can be used whether a pipe is simply cracked or has sprung a leak.
You need to access the damaged ceramic pipe. Remove the codes valve cover with a wrench. Ceramic pipes are usually present in older homes where these covers are still present and can be difficult to remove. You need to jet out the pipes to eliminate sediments once you have access to the pipes. The best way to jet out pipes is to use a sewer jetter, which you can usually rent in hardware stores.

ceramic pipes

You are also going to need a sewer camera and a camera snake. Use this equipment to find the leak or the crack. You should be able to estimate the size of the leak too. It is best to round your measurement up by a few inches in case you are a little off. You will not be able to fix the leak if you cover it with something that is a little smaller than the leak itself!

You can fix the leak or crack by simply installing inflatable pipe tubing. Look for a piece of tubing that is large enough to cover the leak or the crack and insert it in the pipe. Push it until it covers the leak or the crack. The tubing will inflate once you pull the cord. The tubing will automatically stop inflating once it touches the pipe and should prevent the water from leaking.

Keep in mind that this is a temporary fix. This is an easy way to fix a pipe that is leaking or that is cracked but you will eventually need to get a plumber to replace the pipe. You can actually get a plumber to access the pipe and locate the leak if you are not confident that you can do this yourself or do not have the right equipment. This will save you a lot of time and is actually a good option if you are not confident in your plumbing abilities since you might cause further damages to the pipe.

3 Most Common Plumbing Myths

Check out these three common plumbing myths

You probably don’t know a whole lot about your plumbing. Most likely you take a lot of things for granted when it comes to things entering your appliances and plumbing pipes. The following are three common plumbing myths that you should be aware of

1. Lemons Can Effectively Clean Out Your Garbage Disposal

Not true! It’s probably among the most common of the plumbing myths around. Everybody seems to think you can chop some citrus fruit up and throw it down your garbage disposal to make it smell lemony and fresh. It does make things smell lemony – for the approximately five seconds it takes for the lemon to be ground up. However, nothing gets cleaned by doing this. The citric acid, the cleaning agent contained in citrus, can in fact cause the metal inside of the garbage disposal to corrode.

Rather than using lemons for cleaning your garbage disposal, you should instead fill the sink up with soapy cold water. Throw in some ice cubes also. Then pull the stopper out and turn the disposal on. Doing this every few weeks will help your disposal as clean as possible without damaging it.

2. In Tank Cleaners Make It Easy to Clean the Toilet

You know which cleaners we are referring to. The drop-in or stick-on tabs that either go in your toilet’s tank or bowl and dissolve slowly over the course of around one month. The idea here is that the bleach is released slowly so that the bowl is kept clean. The bleach doesn’t clean the porcelain; it merely bleaches the scum that continues to build up inside your bowl. If the scum is left untouched, the scum will continue to build up and ruin your toilet ultimately.

A better way of keeping your tank’s part clean that you are unable to reach is to once a week pour 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar into the overflow tube that is on the back of the toilet tank.


3. As Long as Everything Continues Going Down the Drain, Nothing Is Getting Clogged

You don’t need to worry about clogs if everything appears to be flowing down the drain, right? Wrong. The concept of “out of sight out of mind” doesn’t really apply to the way that drains work. They work more like the way the arteries of an individual with high cholesterol do. Even though they can’t be seen, there are still things sticking and coating the inside of the pipes that will cause clogs later on. Specifically starches and oils.

Kitchen grease is not the only thing we are talking about. Even oils contained in soaps may stick to the inside of your drain pipes. Things such as pasta and rice do as well. Pasta, rice and other kinds of starches are turned into sugar whenever they are mixed with water. They act like a kind of caramel inside your drain pipes.

You can help to avoid getting clogs by ensuring that you use all of your drains correctly. Only put things that are safe into your garbage disposal. You should place a hair catcher over the shower drain in order to prevent hair from clogging the pipes up later on.

Plumber Service Call

The Typical Steps of any Plumber Service Call

Once you have contacted your local plumbing service to come out to your house to do a service call it’s not going to be like they will just show up and go to work. There is an order to the process that follows professional protocol. These are trained professionals who have a set way of doing things in a professional manner. Here is how a typical plumber service call will go

plumber service call

  • Greeting – the first step of any plumber service call by a reputable company will be the courtesy knock and greeting. At this time the plumber will want to know more about what the problem is and where the problem is located.
  • Inspection – The next step for the plumbing technician is to determine exactly what the problem is and the cause by doing a visual inspection. They will determine not only these other two variables but also mentally make a game plan as to how they will go about fixing the problem.
  • Estimate – After deciding a course of action on how to fix the problem the technician will next figure out how many labor hours it will take to do the repair and the cost of the supplies to be used (this may be done by the technician themselves or discussed over the phone with a supervisor). They will then write up the estimate and present it to you for approval. Most likely they will explain anything in detail that you do not understand as they go over the estimate with you.

  • Decide How to Proceed – Once you have approved the estimate either one of two things will take place; either the plumber will have to leave and come back with the necessary supplies at another time or they will have what they need on the truck to do what is necessary to complete the plumber service call.
  • Work in Progress – If it was decided by the plumber that they had the necessary parts to do the job they will start working on the repair. Keep in mind that an estimate is just that and if the technician runs into something that is unforeseen and unusual, you may get an extra charge for that; usually they are highly trained professionals that very seldom run into those situations. They will do what is necessary to get the work done right and get you some relief from the plumbing problem that is impacting your life.
  • Wrap-up – once the job is finished they will inspect and test the repair if possible. Most professionals will also do a thorough cleanup of the working area at this time too. Once they have everything put away they will then present you with a bill; COD payment is a great reward for their hard work unless you have made other credit arrangements.

This is all done in a professional and courteous way while treating you with the utmost respect and informing you as to what is going on during the whole plumber service call.

Oil Furnace Repairs

Typical Oil Furnace Repairs

With the price of oil going down and expected to stay that way oil furnaces are once again becoming trendy; there was a time natural gas was so much cheaper that they were almost no longer considered a viable option in the marketplace. As long as the price of oil is reasonable they will give you all the same bonuses that a gas furnace gives you such as efficiency and durability. With that being said, even the most durable appliances will break down from time to time. Here are some typical oil furnace repairs that need to be done every so often

Burner Tray problems

It goes without saying if you don’t have a fire in your furnace you will not have heat in your house. Burner trays are where the oil and air mix to form the combustion that produces the heat in the unit. These can corrode, get clogged with soot or even break from expansion and contraction during heating cycles.

Ignition Problems

It was just said that if you don’t have fire in your furnace you won’t have heat in your house; it’s also true that if you don’t have ignition capability you won’t have fire. Igniters are usually made of very fragile ceramic material that gets super-hot when electricity passes through it. Over time these ceramic igniters will either stop working or the ceramic ignition piece will simply break and need to be replaced.

oil furnace repairs

Blower Motor Problems

Air is the key ingredient in any type of furnace. It has two main functions in an oil furnace; the first is to supply the air that is mixed with the oil for combustion and the other is to pick up the heat that the furnace produces and distribute it throughout the house. These blowers run very often during the colder months and they are the source of some of the more typical oil furnace repairs.

Oil Pressure Problems

If you don’t get oil to the burner tray then you won’t get any flame at all either. Oil pressure problems can be caused by a faulty oil pump, a leak in the line, an empty oil supply tank or a valve that is stuck shut. Any of these situations will have to be corrected in order for an oil furnace to operate properly.

Control Module Problems

The controls on an oil furnace are very important to an oil furnace’s ability to work properly. These control units tell what components in the system to come on and off and also determines what sequence these components do it in. They have printed circuit boards in them which are very sensitive to dirt and moisture and they have other parts too such as thermostats that can fall out of calibration.

Hopefully if you own an oil fired furnace you will never run into any of these typical oil furnace repairs but if you do rest assured your local HVAC tech will be able to handle these no problem.

How to Repair an Air Conditioner

How to Repair an Air Conditioner Leak

Air conditioners provide a great means to help you stay comfortable in the sweltering heat of the summer months. Hats off to the person who invented them despite the fact they significantly raise your electric bill when they are being used; it is a tradeoff that few ever regret. They have proven to be a very reliable appliance as well but that does not mean they do not break down once in a while. One of the more common problems that develop with them is leaks in the refrigerant system. When a person wants to know how to repair an air conditioner leak they must learn to do the following steps.

air conditioner

Visual Inspection

If you think a technician cannot find a refrigerant leak in air conditioning system just by looking at it then guess again; things such as objects thrown by the wind into the fragile outer layers of the unit can and do leave very visible marks. So a visual inspection for obvious damage is the first step a technician should undertake in order to find a leak.

Pressure test

If a technician wants to know how to repair an air conditioner leak then they better know how to do a pressure test on the system for sure. This is one of the most important steps to determine if there is a leak in the system or not. Every air conditioner unit has a special set of ports on the unit that are used for testing the charge on the system and for adding new refrigerant if the system charge is not adequate.

Pressurize the System

If the pressure test shows the system is critically low or out of refrigerant completely, then it’s a pretty safe bet there is a leak in the system. The next link in the leak detection and repair chain is to recharge the system with air in order to help detect where the leak is coming from if it was not detected in the visual inspection phase. This continuous air feed will force air out of the leak consistently and help with the next step.

Leak Detection Fluid

Next a leak detection fluid must be sprayed on the parts of the refrigerant system in order to find where the leak is. You can buy special fluid for this at a hardware store or an HVAC supply store. This special fluid is made so that it easily bubbles. Once the bubbles are found it is sprayed on again to double check that is where the leak is.

Make the Repair

Of course once the leak is found it needs to be repaired. Some leaks can simply be patched up depending on where they are and others may need such things as a section of tubing replaced.

These are all vitally important steps to master if anyone really wants to learn how to repair an air conditioner leak. If you are thinking of doing it yourself, here are some tips to fix common problems with air conditioner units