Tips for Central Air Conditioners

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Central AC System Tips

You should not aim to buy the largest air conditioner there is since it does not guarantee you will feel any cooler during those hot months. In fact, if you purchase one that is far too large for the room it is placed in, the efficiency will be lower than it would be if you had bought one that was smaller. This is because a very large unit will cool the room to a predetermined point on the thermostat before it will start to dehumidify. This means the area will be clammy and uncomfortable. If you are planning to get a central AC system, you should have a professional let you know the proper size for you

If you have a central air conditioning system in your house, you need to set it so the compressor and fan shut off simultaneously. To do this, set the fan to auto mode. Basically, you do not want to fans on the central AC system to circulate air; add individual fans in the rooms that need more air.

Instead of getting an air conditioner, you should think about having a whole-house fan installed. These can work in various climates and they keep your home cool by circulating refreshing air through the home blowing warmer air into the attic. Use it during the time when your house is cooler to circulate the air and you will be able to stop your home from getting too hot – you will not need a fan later.

central AC

Cooling Tips:

  • Place your thermostat at the highest possible temperature in the summer and activate humidity control if you need to. The closer your indoor temperature is to the outdoors, the lower your cooling bill will be.
  • Try not to set your thermostat at a cooler setting than usual when turning on your central AC. It will not speed up the process and it may get too chilly, which means money down the drain.
  • Think about using a fan with your air conditioner in order to move cool air throughout the home without using a lot of power.
  • Keep heat-generating appliances, like TVs and lamps, from around the thermostat.

Long-Term Saving Tips

  • If you have an older AC unit, you should get rid of it in favor of an energy efficient model. Look for EnergyGuide and ENERGY STAR labels. These room AC units are 10% more efficient than normal and central AC units are around 15% more efficient.
  • Depending on the climate you live in, you should consider installing an evaporative cooler or a whole-house fan.

How to Fix Leaks in Ceramic Pipe Sewer System

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Check out these tips on how to fix leaks in ceramic pipe sewer system

Many people do not realize that in addition to figurines, dinnerware, and pottery, ceramics can be used to make sewer drain pipes. Ceramic is often considered weaker than some of the other materials used in building a sewer system, so it is not the first choice for many people.

Between 1920 and 1980, ceramic pipes were used when building sewers, but in modern homes, it is not a common practice. The main reason for this decrease in popularity is the cost of both material and labor, and the fact that ceramic pipes often cracked and leaked.

sewer system

If your home has ceramic pipes, then your sewer system is outdated and may be in need of some work. Even if your system seems to be in good condition, eventually your pipe will spring a leak which will require you to temporarily fix the broken pipe.

A cracked or leaking ceramic pipe should be replaced. However, if you are not ready to replace or retrofit the pipe, then you need to follow to follow some simple steps to repair the leak

Gain Access to the Pipe

Take off the codes valve cover. In an older home, this cover is not removed often, so you may need to use some force and a wrench. After accessing the buried pipe, you want to clean sediment from the pipe. You can rent a sewer jetter from a local hardware store to clean the pipe.

View The Inside of the Pipe

Rent a sewer camera from a local hardware store. Feed the camera snake into the pipe and locate the leak. Once located, estimate the size of the damage in inches. Always round up to the next inch in case your estimate is incorrect. You want to be able to cover the hole in the pipe completely.

Patch the Pipe

Purchase inflatable pipe tubing. This tubing will be used to patch the hole in the pipe. The tubing should be large enough to cover the leak. Push the tubing into the pipe. When the tubing is directly under the leak, pull the cord for the tubing to allow it to inflate. When the tubing reaches the pipe wall, it will stop inflating. The tubing will provide cover for the hole and should stop the leak.

This is not a complete repair; it is a temporary fix. This is a complicated repair and is not cheap. If you want a long-term repair you need to call a plumber. Make sure the plumber you hire has experience in repairing ceramic pipe sewer systems.

Call the plumber as soon as you suspect a leak, they can use the pipe jetter to clean the line, send in a camera and effect a total long-term repair easier and quicker than it would take for you to do a temporary patch. Calling a plumber early can save you time and money and prevent further damage to your ceramic pipe sewer system.

Common Myths About Residential Plumbing You Might Not Know About

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Here are a couple of the most common myths in regards to plumbing

Plumbing might be common among our households, but there’s a lot you might not know about it. Most of us take for granted the elements that enter the plumbing pipes and myths regarding them tend to spruce up among homeowners. In regards to this, we have decided to clear some of them up and keep you in the light. So, here are a couple of the most common myths in regards to plumbing:

#1: Lemons Clean Garbage Disposal

This is perhaps the most common myth and chances are you even believe it. Well, the truth is that cutting a couple of lemons and using them to clean the garbage disposal does make it smell a bit fresh, for a while, but it doesn’t clean anything. As a matter of fact, the citrus acid in the lemon can trigger a corrosion inside the metal in the disposal.

As a smart homeowner, you should instead fill the sink with soapy water, preferably soapy water accompanied with a couple of ice cubes. Pull the stopper and turn the disposal on. When this is repeated after a week or two, your garbage disposal will remain clean and won’t deteriorate.


#2: My Drain Won’t Get Clogged as Long as Elements Make Their Way Down

Most homeowners tend top stay under the impression that as long as water and other elements go down the drain successfully, then there’s no need to worry about clogs. Well, if you think so as well, you are lying to yourself. Drains are more like arteries of an individual with high levels of cholesterol. Blood will still flow, but if the levels increase, then it becomes problematic. You can see the elements in the drains, but they build up slowly and cause nerve-wracking clogs. Starches and oils are just a few examples of these items. Kitchen grease is not the only culprit; oils in soaps and stick to the inside of the pipes are equally problematic. That pasta, rice, and other starches are ideally causes of clogs in our drains.

Now, to prevent your pipes from clogging, ensure that all the drains are used correctly. Ensure that you are putting safe elements in the garbage disposal. Investing in a hair catcher to go over the shower drain will save you a lot in the long run.

#3: In Tank, Cleaning Agents Make It Easier to Clean a Toilet

This is another myth that most people tend to agree with. These cleaners are the drop-in or stick-on tabs that either go in the tank or the bowl of the toilet and slowly dissolve for a couple of weeks. The idea behind these agents is simple; the bleach content in them is slowly released and keeps the bowl constantly clean.

The truth is that the bleach does not clean the porcelain, but rather bleaches the scum that continues to build up in the bowl. When left uncleaned, the scum eventually destroys the toilet. The best way to keep your tank and bowl clean is by pouring about a half a cup of white vinegar down the overflow tube once a week. This way scum will not build up the porcelain, and you won’t have to worry about it taking a toll on your loo.

Why Should You Have a Split HVAC System?

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Why Should You Have a Split HVAC System?

There’s no doubt that adding another room, kitchen, or renovating your house to create a much larger space, would need a heater or an air conditioner. A simple solution for forced air systems is to add some ductwork or if you have radiators, it would be to simply add hot water piping to your existing network.

split HVAC systemHowever, there is a better option that could be done. Have you heard of a ductless heat pump or a split HVAC system? This split HVAC system has two main parts: (1) a blower unit which is installed in the exterior wall and (2) a condenser unit that is placed outside, much like what a central air conditioner has. The heat pump does more than what a standard system can do. Basically, it cools in the summer, but is also heats your spaces in the winter. With this type of system doing both, one could already decide to go for this option, but we would like to give you more reasons as to why this is the system to go for

  • If the old unit that you have cannot serve its purpose well due to the added space. Additional space can reduce the comfort that your old air conditioner or furnace provides. It may also be because the old units are nearing the end of their life. According to design-build contractor Dean Bennett of Castle Rock, Colo., this instance suggests a complete replacement so you can have one system for your newly expanded home. An approximate of $5,000 to $10,000 is the cost needed should you be willing to have the replacement. But don’t worry, if it’s not in your budget yet, you can add in a split system for the larger space and postpone the upgrade.
  • If your new space has a different need for cooling and heating than the old space. If you have a forced air system or a radiator and you extend the ductwork or the heating pipes, getting the temperature to align with the other rooms in your house can be tricky. If the additional room is far from the air handler, that space could get insufficient cooling and heating power. If it is near the air handler and is better insulated, then it may just do the opposite – get too much cooling and heating. And if it has more windows that the old house, then it will require more cooling. These will not require much attention if a split system is installed as it has its own thermostat which is usually in a remote. The thermostat will work independent of the other rooms or spaces.
  • If your locale has a strict regulation for air conditioning. Old systems are grandfathered and they don’t have to meet the modern efficiency standards. However, if you alter the system and incorporate an addition, it’ll end the grandfathering; thus you’ll have to bring it to date. Let’s take California for example. If you add anything to the air conditioning system, you’ll have to have a modern condenser replace the old one and you’ll have to test the ductwork for any leaks. You may have to replace the ductwork as well. According to Curt Schultz, a Realtor-architect-builder in Pasadena, Calif., “It’s really a can of worms for anyone building an addition so most people are doing split systems these days.” That is because it avoids any works with the old equipment and the homeowners can save thousands.

Replacing your old unit to a split HVAC system is more efficient than simply bringing it up to date. It can even offer service that is better than your old one.

Steps to Install a Window Air Conditioner

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Helpful steps that will help you install a window air conditioner

Installing any kind of an air conditioning unit may be a huge feat for some homeowners. But if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do some work, here are some helpful steps that will help you install a window air conditioner and make that experience a walk in the park for just about anyone who loves DIY projects.

Remember that getting a window air conditioner is a whole lot simpler and easier than having a central air conditioning unit installed Yes, you don’t have to be a pro to get your window AC up and working. Are you ready?


Just like any other DIY project, make sure to have the following materials ready before you begin the installation:

  • Window air conditioner
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Insulating foam strips

window air conditioner


  • Even before you do your window AC shopping and consider BTUs and all the technical aspects that go with selecting the right air conditioning unit for your home, it is important that you measure the size of your window where you will have the AC installed. It is never a good idea to have a window air conditioner that doesn’t really fit your window size.
  • As soon as you have completed the purchase of a window AC that is properly sized for your space, unpack the equipment and get ready for some action. Well, you might need an extra pair of hands to help you out. As they say, two heads are better than one. In our case, two pairs of hands are better than one. Get the rails, flanges, and panels correctly attached based on the instructions on the manual. When these are all set, open the window and with the help of a family member or friend, get the unit in place at the bottom of the window frame. Have your friend keep the unit in place while you tend to the next tasks.
  • Typical window type units come with two flanges – one on top and another at the bottom of the air conditioning unit. These flanges improve your unit’s stability and help smooth the progress of your installation. Set the bottom flange so that it is adjacent to the windowsill. Get the lower sash lowered until it meets the unit’s top flange. The top sash should now hold the air conditioner in place, but have your friend continue holding the unit until you get the next step completed.
  • Your window air conditioner should come with brackets. These are used to secure both the top and bottom sashes and avoid both from slipping apart. Mark the spot where the top sash connects with the bottom sash and drill holes. Screw the angle brackets in place by making use of the screwdriver. Make sure to use all screws that came with the unit to ensure that the unit is securely in place.
  • You will also find foam insulating strips in the package. This should be used to close up any opening from the upper and lower sash. Seal all gaps as needed. If your unit didn’t come with the insulation strips, you can purchase at your local store and make sure you have the gaps sealed.

Additional Tips:

  • Some window air conditioners come with L brackets. Make sure you have this installed before you get the unit set on the window.
  • When storing the AC before the winter season, make sure to store it in a dry location and avoid placing heavy materials on top of the unit. Also, keep it in an upright position.

Maintenance and Drain Cleaning Tips

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Most homeowners these days aren’t afraid to tackle and beat drain problems and drain cleaning tasks using a plunger and the usual chemical drain cleaners that are offered in the market. While these tools often work, there are instances when these measures are simply insufficient to clean drains. At some point, more dramatic and drastic measures are to be taken. If you’re up for the challenge, read on and find out how you can properly clean and maintain your drains.

Drain Cleaning Process

Although there is a plethora of drain cleaning products that are out in the market today, drain cleaning using this method isn’t always recommended by reputable plumbing companies due to possible health risks that go with this process. Usually, getting the drains literally and physically cleaned is the way to go. This may not be the easiest task to take on especially for homeowners who are new at DIY plumbing projects; however, this is the best route to take to ensure that drains are cleaned as they should.

A drain clog is usually resolved by making use of a drain snake that is fed down the pipes. This will help you determine where the clog is located and what measures you need to take to release the clog. If you’re dealing with clogged sinks, it is always important to make sure that the trap is clear of any obstacles that may be causing water to back up. You should also cover the drain’s overflow valve to create pressure so you can easily release the blockage.

When snake drains can’t do the trick, you might need to make use of a power auger to free the drain from any sort of clog. It is vital that you have basic plumbing skills before using this tool to prevent making any further damage to your plumbing system. If this measure doesn’t work, your best bet lies on calling an expert to get the drain clog-free. When you get to this part, it is important that you provide all the necessary details to the plumber so that he understands what kind of problem he will have to work with. Have him do an inspection of your plumbing system to make sure you have diagnosed the issue correctly and the appropriate actions are taken to get the issue resolved.


drain cleaningTruth is, the chemical drain cleaners you see in your local store are that necessary. There are materials in your home or kitchen that you can find to actually help you with your regular drain maintenance procedures. For example, a combination of baking soda and boiling water will work just as well as the chemical drain cleaners minus the health hazards from the chemical fumes. Baking soda and vinegar can also do the same thing. For drain clogs caused by accumulated hair, making use of a hair removal product is actually a lot safer than the drain cleaners. To ensure that your drains and pipes are always clear, you can also take advantage of enzyme culture that you can use once a month. Not only will you be assured of a clear and clean drain, but this also diminishes the foul odor coming from your garbage disposal.

If there is one thing that you should never do, it is mixing different kinds of chemical drain cleaners in the hope of cleaning out clogs. Remember that your pipes ARE NOT indestructible. The chemicals may react differently with other compounds when they get mixed together and may cause some serious damage to your pipes.

Finally, always remember that prevention is better than cure You won’t have to worry about clearing clogs when you take preventive measures and clean out the drains as regularly as possible.

Knowing a Good Plumbing Company

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Tips on How to Find a Good Plumbing Company

When experiencing some plumbing issues, choosing a good plumber or a good plumbing company can be time-consuming because you have to be with the company that you’ll be greatly happy and satisfied with. One way to find a good plumber or company is to check with your local building contractor. If you know one already, you can ask them who they highly recommend. They have probably dealt with many plumbers and have strong opinions on who they prefer and do not prefer.

You can also inquire with your friends, relatives, colleagues, or neighbors who are homeowners in your area for a long time. They may already have worked with a few plumbers and they can suggest some so you can narrow your search.

plumbing companySo here are some important matters that you need to check to know if the company will be able to provide excellent service.

  • Know if the plumber is licensed and experienced. One of the most important thing is to work only with a plumber that’s licensed. You can find out if the company has licensed employees by checking their website or by asking them over the phone. Once the plumber is on your doorstep, you can also ask him to show you his license as he should always have it with him. You definitely do not want a poorly-trained and an inexperienced plumber working on your plumbing and creating mistakes while at it.
  • Doing emergency repairs or basic plumbing works can be done by any licensed plumber; however, there are plumbers that specialize in certain plumbing jobs. Therefore, if you have a specific job that has to be done, looking for a plumbing company or a plumber that specializes in that project will be very beneficial.
  • Check if the company is insured. You may want to confirm with province’s Worker’s Compensation Board or WCB if the plumber or the company is registered and is in good standing. This is to protect you financially in the case of the plumber having injuries while having a work done in your property.
  • Know that hiring a handy-man or a general contractor may void the insurance of your house- especially if the damage to your house is done due to their work. For example, if an unlicensed plumber did a plumbing job and you’ve had a damage, it may not be covered.
  • To be able to check the coverage of your insurance policy, carefully read your policy. This is also for cases where you’d need to notify your insurance company of the major work that you are having done. You can also contact your insurance company should you have questions or need clarification as it’ll be best before you do business with a plumbing company.
  • Verify if they guarantee their work and offer warranty. If you find the problem to still be occurring after the plumber has left, will you pay him again to fix the problem that should’ve been repaired the first time? Know that the best plumbers stand behind their work and will not charge you if in case this happens. They will guarantee it for a certain length of time. You would want to check with the company the kind of warranty they offer on the certain job you want done. A good plumbing company will guarantee their labor for a certain period and either guarantee anything that they install or give you a warranty.
  • Be sure that you have understanding of what the warranty means – does it just cover the replacement of the fixture and you’ll have to pay for the plumber who’ll install it? Do not hesitate to ask questions and if their answers aren’t comfortable, go ahead and check what the other plumbers offer.
  • Check the plumbing ratings and the reviews website. Reading a good review from a satisfied customer can likely reassure you with the plumber you’re planning to work with. However, good ratings are really easy to get and are often meaningless. What’s meaningful is the number of bad reviews left by dissatisfied customers on ratings websites. Study every review and identify if they’re just complainers or if they really have a legitimate issue with the plumbing company. Although it’s inevitable to create mistakes and have some bad reviews, how the company handles each review is what can be revealing. Are they responding appropriately with assurance of correcting the problem or are they not responding at all?
  • Consider options. It’s always good to keep your options going instead of sticking to just one especially when it comes to quotes. Learn what they charge for labor, materials, and additional charges. The additional charges can include a charge for going to your home, dispatch fee, overtime charge, and charges for needs of specialized equipment needed to complete the job.
  • A company can charge by the hour or by the job and good companies can use either; however, uncompetitive companies can use both. Companies’ quotes can vary greatly so make sure to get a few quotes.
    Know that plumbers may find it impossible to give quotes over the phone for some jobs. They may need to check the place and the work that needs to be done.
  • Lastly, remember that you get what you pay for so the lowest price isn’t always the best. The price should be competitive and fair and to know this, you’ll need to get a number of quotes.

How your plumbing job is done is very important. The plumber should be able to provide outstanding service with warranty. If you follow the tips we’ve listed, then there shouldn’t be any difficulty in finding a good plumber or a good plumbing company