Friday, February 28, 2014

How to Solve Water Heater Problems

If your hot water heater is having problems, there are things that you can do yourself before calling a plumber for water heater repair or thinking about replacement. Here are some things that one can do when the water heater starts having problems.
Water Heater is Leaking
Often water heaters will leak at the pressure relief valve if the water temperature is set to high. Simply lower the temperature a bit and see if that solves the problem. You should also check all the plumbing connections to and around the water heater. If you find water coming from the bottom that is rust colored, then the tank is probably leaking and you will need a new one, as water heater tanks can't be repaired.
Rust-colored water
Rust-colored water means that the anode rod has stopped functioning properly. The anode rod prevents rust from gathering inside the water tank. Fortunately, the anode rod is easy to replace, and replacement rods are available at the nearest supply store.
Smelly water

If the water coming out of the faucet exudes an undesirable smell, it only means that there is a bacteria buildup in the tank. In order to combat this problem, the water must be flushed out of the tank and be filled with 2 pints of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution (assuming that the tank can handle 40 gallons of water). Let the solution sit for two hours before refilling the tank with water.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tips on Maintaining Your Appliances

Food preparation, storage, and cleaning are some of the household tasks that were improved by different household appliances. Washers, dryers, ovens, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, garbage disposals, trash compactors, microwave ovens and more have made it so that families can live the lifestyles that they are leading today.
These devices are also susceptible to wear and tear. A lack of proper care can speed up the deterioration and cost you more in replacing them. There are things that you can do in order to keep appliances working for a little while longer and get the most out of your investment.
It is important that the condenser coil behind the refrigerator remains dust-free, as a dusty coil will cause the refrigerator to work harder, which in turn reduces its life span. Dust or vacuum off the coils to help it last longer. It is also advisable to keep refrigerators away from sources of heat.
Dishwasher water must be kept at a high temperature so that it can effectively clean the dishes, so it is important to raise the temperature of the water heater thermostat if it is not hot enough. If the dishwasher has a removable filter, it is also advisable to keep it clean and free of food particles and other material.
Microwave Oven
Wipe the microwave interior and door seals regularly with a damp cloth. Clean the grease filters from the vent hood on a monthly basis. Never use metal cooking pans with your microwave oven.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why Insulate Your Houston Home?

Houston, Texas did not experience the extreme cold of the polar vortex when it hit the east coast in January. However, the area still had colder than normal temperatures that brought a rare snow to Houston and threats of a dangerous ice storm.
Since Houston is not used to such cold weather, many homes have not been built to retain heat as effectively as homes in more northern climates. If a home is as little as 5 to 10 years old, it may be one of the most under insulated homes in the country This means that heat is lost and the HVAC units and the hot water systems have to work harder, costing homeowners more in energy bills.
The solution to this problem is the installation of additional insulation in order to keep the heat inside the homes. Insulating different parts of the home can bring the benefits of heat retention, however, one of the most important parts of the home to insulate, would have to be the roof.
Since heat rises, the roof is the part of the house where insulation for Houston homes will be the most effective. A properly insulated attic can save as much as 20% or more a year in energy cost.
As Houston experienced one of the most bizarre winters in history, the importance of insulation has never been more important. Other parts of a home can benefit from insulation such as ductwork, hose bibs, and water risers.
Companies such as Village Plumbing & Home Services in Houston offer total insulation packages that will help homeowners stay warm and save money.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Taking the musty smell of the basement

The basement is always one of those places at home where stuff you don’t need at the moment gets stashed away. In some cases, part of the room may have other purposes that you see fit. However, the fact that the basement is a confined space makes it a place for concentrated humidity, regardless of the temperature levels outside. The humidity will make it become susceptible to mold or mildew buildup. The remedy is a basement humidifier system.
Dehumidifiers are appliances designed to gather excess moisture from the air and reduce the humidity to acceptable levels. They are usually categorized into portable and whole-house models. Basement humidifiers fall into the portable variety, which condenses the water into a removable bucket for later disposal. A dehumidifier will usually have a float switch that cuts off the moisture flow from the bucket to prevent overflow.
When hiring a contractor to install a dehumidifier, have them analyze the basement for overall humidity and the placement of the machine to gather as much excess moisture as possible. If you do not have the time to take buckets of condensed water out of the house for disposal, your contractor may recommend installing a dehumidifier linked to an outside connection to help channel the water away from the house.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Troubleshooting Your HVAC Furnace Igniter

The ignition is one of the key components of an HVAC system’s furnace. The fuel used for heating passes through the igniter, which lights it on the way to the combustion chamber. Contemporary furnace igniters are split into hot surface or intermittent pilot types. However, the part may sometimes act up over its operational lifetime, warranting a solution to get it back in the burn.
The troubleshooting should begin by shutting down the thermostat and turning off the circuit breakers linked to the furnace. You will also have to turn off the furnace’s emergency switch and the utility connections for added measure, and then open the burner access door. The igniter is usually located near the flame sensor and the main furnace assembly.
Once in, you need to unscrew the igniter housing and inspect the part itself. Some HVAC specialists state that one sure sign of a faulty igniter is when its tip is discolored or cracked, which may be the case in hot-surface igniters, which have a heating coil similar in shape to that of the filament in incandescent light bulbs.

Your contractor may help with the igniter replacement if you are unsure how to do it. The part number or model number is usually imprinted on the igniter. A faulty igniter is not the end of the world. Your furnace’s warranty will help cover its replacement.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

How to Fix Your AC’s Thermostat

A lot of homeowners may not be aware that most of the air conditioning problems stem from a faulty thermostat. To check if the thermostat is still in good condition, here are some things that you have to look into:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Firing up a Trane XC95M to Battle the Arctic Cold

With polar vortexes sweeping the nation with artic temperatures of late, having a reliable and efficient heater has become more of an issue. A gas-powered furnace has a number of advantages over electric furnaces. In the case of Trane’s line of gas-powered furnaces, the XC95M stands out above the rest. If you’re on the market for a new furnace, you have every right to ask, “Why should I buy this?”
The company has rated the XC95M to have an annual fuel utilization efficiency grade of 97.3%, which is made possible with the presence of a main and secondary heat exchanger made of aluminized steel. The feature, along with an insulated heavy steel cabinet, helps the unit better retain heat for circulation.
Improved communication and control functions have been added to the XC95M’s system. For instance, the company’s ComfortLink II system enables proper synching between the furnace, the air conditioner, and the thermostat, for optimum temperature control options. Another new feature is a Telephone Access Mode that allows for remote control using a phone app.
The XC95M is the most expensive in Trane’s gas furnace catalog at around $3,000, with installation costs to be determined by your contractor. On the bright side, the gas furnaces heavy-duty durability will help ensure an earlier return on investment.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How to Maintain Your AC’s Condenser

If you want your AC unit to remain in tiptop condition, you have to stick to the kind of maintenance it requires. Most condensers are placed outside the home so it can easily accumulate a lot of dirt and debris. Below are some helpful tips which you can easily follow to keep the condenser out of trouble.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Is Your AC’s Thermostat Working Properly?

Essentially, your AC unit’s thermostat controls the cold temperature in the room, and signals whether it will stop churning out cold air when the room reaches a certain temperature. Sometimes, though, with the wrong unit, the AC system can keep wasting energy even when the room is sufficiently cold. It’s important that to check on your thermostat to find out if it’s still doing its job properly.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Water Heater Maintenance Tips

Having a water heater installed is one of the most important tasks in the American household, especially in places where people have to fend off extremely cold weather from time to time. However, you should know that just because you had a heater set up, it doesn’t mean that it will keep working flawlessly for you even without proper cleaning and maintenance.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cold Water? Try a Tankless Heater

You would never think of the importance of your heater until you turn on the shower knob and get doused in ice-cold water. If you are set on having your water heater changed, then it is in your best interest to consider going tankless.