Oxford Plumbing & Heating Blog
When it comes to your AC system there are times you may be able to fix your problem and other times you need an AC technician to come out. Knowing when to call is important. There are a few signs to watch for to know when it's time to call your technician and let them take over. Here are four signs you should look out for and call a technician if you notice them.
Thermostat Not Working
This might be an easy fix. If you notice your thermostat is not working properly then you need to call a technician. They can come out and install a new thermostat for you and set it up to work as you want it to. You can get a new programmable thermostat to help you keep your home consistently comfortable at all times.
If you notice that rooms are considerably different temperatures going from one room to the next, you need to give your technician a call. You could have leaky ducts that are losing the cool air before delivering it to the rooms. This could also be a cause of your unit being too small for your home. If the unit is not running like it should your home will not stay at the temperature you have it set to.
Blowing Hot Air
If you have your air conditioner on and it is not blowing cold air, this is another sign that a call is needed. Your unit may be out of refrigerant and this is not something you can do on your own. A certified technician has to recharge the unit and put more refrigerant in if you have a leak. Also you want the leak fixed so that it doesn't happen again. Hot air should not be coming out when the air is on. This is definitively a sign you need to give your technician a call.
AC Unit Does Not Turn On
Another sign it is time to make a call is when your unit will not turn on. Problems turning on your unit is a sign that something is going wrong and it could be in the motor or in the air conditioner unit itself. You need to have someone come out and look at it to make sure that it is not a major problem. This could be something simple or it could be something more complex. Having a technician come out to check will give you peace of mind and let you know your unit is working as it should.
These are all signs that you should call your AC technician to come out and check on your unit. It could be something small and simple or something more complex. Anytime you see these signs it is a good idea to give them a call. You would much rather pay for a service call than try to repair it yourself and end up calling anyway. Be sure to write down all the things you notice so you can easily tell your technician when they arrive.
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It involves very little effort to prevent drain clogs. Rather than spend a large amount of time and effort trying to unclog a backed up drain, why not exert half the effort on a monthly basis preventing it in the first place? Many people find it only takes pouring boiling water down your drain to keep it from backing up. Doing this helps to loosen and push down any gunk or hair that will clog up the main pathway. After you do this, make sure to run warm water for around 5 minutes to keep pushing stuff down and out.
Clean and Sanitize Regularly
Try to sanitize and clean the stoppers in bathroom sinks and tubs on a regular basis. The best thing to do is remove the stoppers and retrieve any hair, gunk or soap scum that builds up. Keep in mind that hair is one of the leading reasons for clogged drains. By removing the hair gradually, you can keep it from blocking up the drains.
Remove Foreign Objects Immediately
Always remove foreign objects from your drains immediately. These objects consist of hair clips, hair pins, toothpicks, hair ties and much more. If you should lose one down the drain while getting ready, it is important you retrieve it immediately. Not doing this will result in it go down further into your pipes and causing a clog. Then soap scum and hair will begin to build up and will result in a blocked drain.
Flush Nothing but Toilet Paper
You should never flush anything but toilet paper down the drain. Things like personal cleansing wipes and baby wipes are not biodegradable and cannot be flushed. They do not dissolve in water and will clog up your pipes really quick. Feminine hygiene products like tampons are also among that list and should never be flushed. If you do flush them and it does end up in a clogged drain, think about the mess you will end up with. Plumbing systems that are older have a much narrower pipe system than the ones today and will make the flushing of tampons a very unwise choice. It is far better to wrap them up neatly and dispose of them in the garbage.
Remove Hair from your Sink
After you have brushed your hair or did your morning shave, it is important that you collect any hair or shavings from your sink so it does not run down your drain. Rather than flushing them down the drain with water, try to wipe them away instead with a piece of toilet paper or a paper towel. Hair trimmings are another leading culprit of clogged drains when you combine them with soap scum. Also remember to eliminate your hair from combs and brushes over a waste basket rather than over the sink.
Every home has its own unique plumbing system so you will need to consult with a licensed plumber to decide the right path you should take to prevent any future blockages and have a happy, free-flowing drain system.
For more details call (484)748-5314 or click here
In order to save money on your heating, there are a couple of things that you can do. Many people may not consider these options simply because they have not occurred to them. During the depths of winter, you are going to be putting your heating system to a lot of use. During this time, you are going to be trying to save on your heating by using it in the most efficient manner. This is of course necessary, but you may be wondering about how you can save on your heating as winter comes to a close. Depending on where you live, the temperature can be somewhat fickle. One day it can be bearable, and at other times it can be bitterly cold. It is a good idea to keep an eye on the temperature forecasts to ensure that you are able to use your heating efficiently.
In the winter, you are probably going to have all of your heating on an automatic system. This means that the temperature is going to come on at a certain time. While this can be useful for the winter, it can end up being a problem when the weather starts to get warmer. While you may need the heating on at times during the early spring, you are going to find that sometimes it is not necessary and it can just be a waste of mine. Turn off the programmable thermostat and put it back onto manual. If it does get cold, then you can make sure to switch it on yourself.
If you do feel chilly in the home, then close the windows so that none of the residual heat gets out. If you need to, you can always slip on a hoodie or a thin jacket and keep moving. These are rather simple solutions and are often a lot better than just cranking up the heating when you feel a bit of chill.
During the day, there is probably going to be a room in your home that the sun is going to heat. If this is the case, then make sure to open the curtains wide and let in as much sunlight as you can. The room is going to gather up as much sunlight as possible and therefore the heat will remain. You will also want to make sure that the house is properly insulated, as this is going to keep in as much of the heat as possible.
Insulation is actually very important and is what will help to keep your bills low no matter what time of the year it is. Always make sure that any possible gaps have been covered up. If you have not checked your roof in a while, then make sure to take a look at it. If you want, you can also call a professional around who will be able to give it a thorough inspection. This will ensure that your home remains warm and that you do not spend too much on energy costs.
For more details call (484)748-5314 or click here
Summer means no more heater running during the day. This also means you need to get some maintenance done on your heater before the summer months. There are a few things you can do to get your heater ready for summer and then for the next fall/winter to come in. Here are a few things to consider when summer hits to help your heater run its best. You do not want to wait until winter to find out something is wrong.
After a long winter your heater can build up dust and debris from the cold months. Take this time to clean out the unit and get it ready for a settled in summer. You can easily clean your boiler, furnace or central heater vents while the heat is off. This is a great time to do this because your heater is not needed during the summer.
Be sure to have regular maintenance or repairs done on your heater during the summer. You will typically get a better price on the repairs and you will have a readily supply of furnace technicians. This is also a great time to replace your unit if needed. Since this is not a hopping time for furnace or heater technicians, you can get a great deal on a new unit or get your heater problem fixed fairly quickly. This is important because you do not want to be in the middle of the cold season without a heater. Take time to have your maintenance run on your heater then so you are not worried about it come winter.
Some choose to place covers on their heating units when not in use. This is easy to do if you want to. You can keep the unit from getting dirt, debris and other items in the way. Check into covers for your heating unit and see if it is advised for your particular heater.
You want to make sure your filters are cleaned out or replaced in the summer as well. That way you will be ready for the winter months when they hit. If you replace them early then when it does get cold you don't have to worry about grabbing a filter or blowing soot into your home.
These are just a few things to keep in mind when getting your heater ready for summer.
In an emergency your hot water heater can be a great source for water. In that case you need to make sure the hot water heater is clean and taken care of. It might be easier than you expected to clean out your water heater. There are some conditions like sediment in your water that can cause your heater problem and regular cleaning will prevent that. Take a look at how you should clean it out for both electric and gas water heaters. This should typically be done every one to three years and can help extend the life of your heater unit.
If it is electric be sure you unplug the unit before you go in. This will help prevent any accidents with shock. For gas units be sure you notice what temperature it is set on and then reduce it to the lowest setting or place it on Pilot. This will help you from causing yourself harm or damage to the unit. You may also need to flip the breaker off to insure there is no power running to the electric units. The water should cool down some too.
Once the power is all off you are ready to start the flushing process for your water heater. Grab your garden hose and connect it to your water heater by using the drain valve. Make sure the end of your water hose is in a safe place for the water to come out. Do not use this water on fragile plants but you can save it to use on your lawn. Once you have your hose secured you can loosen the valve to allow the water to flow out. You do not want it to flow out to fast as this can stir up sediment in the tank and cause the cleaning to be harder. After flushing for a few minutes take a bucket and drain some of the water into it.
Once the water has settled down then check to see if there is sediment still in the water coming out. If it is not clear then you still need to flush the system. Continue this process until the water is coming out clean and clear of all sediment deposits.
If the water comes out clean you can turn off the valve and turn the water supply back on for the heater. Once your unit has filled back with water and stabilized you should turn on the hot water in the tub. Once you are gaining a full stream it is safe to turn back on the breaker. This will start heating your water back up.
This flushing process can help you when you are in an emergency and need water. Just be sure to run it for a while to clear the sediment. These easy steps will help you to clean out your water heater and extend the life of your unit. This is a simple process that performed regularly can really help your water heater work great.
A Heat Pump is an important part to providing homes and businesses with heating and cooling comfort. Maintaining your Heat Pump is crucial to avoiding calling a service company for repairs. There are several steps that can be taken to help maintain a Heat Pump to ensure that your system is running smoothly.
STEP#1 Cleaning the Heat Pump.
If you are not getting enough cooling from your Heat Pump, simply try cleaning it out first. Many times, cooling problems can occur from dust in the Heat Pump. Cleaning out the dust can be a simple solution to your cooling problems.
STEP #2 Checking the air handler or furnace filter.
The air handler or the furnace filter can be checked as well for problems. These parts can become dirty and may need a simple cleaning to retain the coolness in your home.
STEP #3 Cleaning the condensing oil.
The condensing coil is another option that can become a problem. This part of the machinery is located on the outside of your home or business. This coil is unprotected and exposed to the elements.
To clean the condensing coil, simply spray the coil with a garden hose. The coil can gather dust and lint and this can suppress the coil from working correctly. The dust and lint that gathers on the system will look similar to a dirty air filter.
If your system has this thick dust covering it then you will need to clean the system.
STEP#4 Cleaning the apparatus.
You will also need to check under the guard of the outdoor system to see if you need to clean the apparatus. The outside may look clean but the inside may be a different story. The same types of dust and lint can gather on the inside as well. A garden hose can clean this part as well.
Depending on where you live, you may need more maintenance. Some areas will call for these procedures to be done once or twice a year while other areas can need up to four times a year to maintain your Heat Pump system.
Taking the above measures will help maintain your Heat Pump system which means you will not need to call a heating and air conditioning service to repair or check your system.
However, if the problem is not corrected with the cleaning steps then find a local HVAC contractor who will provide a free in-home diagnosis. Most heating and cooling businesses offer this option, so at least if the problem is something you can fix you will not have to pay to have it fixed.
There are some plumbing repairs that a homeowner can do themselves, however they are often simple jobs. A homeowner should never tackle a bigger plumbing job by themselves and there are some plumbing tasks that they should avoid altogether. When this is the case they should call a plumber in.
An obstruction in the water lines can cause a low water pressure in your home. These obstructions can start at the meter and carry on all the way to the faucet. A low water pressure can also be because of the city supply. A plumber is able to analyse these problems.
If your home doesn’t have any hot water it could be because there is a bad heating element, a circuit breaker has tripped, the overload switch is bad or the thermostat is faulty. If you love your hot showers and you do not have any water you should call in a plumber so that they can replace any parts that might be faulty in the system. You may even need a new heater altogether, which a plumber is able to do. They will replace the old heater for you.
If none of the sewer line tricks, and you are still getting backups then you could have a bad plug in the line. The problem can be sorted by either getting a plumber or hiring a drain cleaning service.If the professionals make a mistake in the draining process that causes damage, they will have to pay for the repairs.
A huge problem can arise if your pipes freeze. You need to see if any of the pipes have cracked, because if they have this can be an expensive and major job for a plumber. If there are no cracks in the pipes you can try thawing the pipe yourself. A plumber however can just replace the section of the pipe that has frozen. If there is extensive damage to the water line because of freezing then it would be best to get a plumber so that your time is not used up trying to fix the problem.
There is plumbing work that usually requires permits, they can include a bathroom remodel, moving existing plumbing or putting in new pipes for a home extension like a kitchen. A professional can tell what work would require a permit and all the processes that are involved in the task.
If your shower valve needs to be replaced then you should get a professional. This is because they can help you in getting the right valve and because they are experienced and will hardly take any time in replacing the shower valve.
A tub replacement can be very difficult and even challenge the professional at times you should not undertake this task on your own
There are many projects that you can do yourself, however the above are plumbing jobs that you should look at avoiding as the homeowner. It is wise to get a pro in if you have no plumbing experience or know how.
5 Things to Consider Before Choosing Your Plumber
An occasion that calls for a plumber is not usually a happy one. Choosing a plumber often takes place in a hurry and without the benefit of plenty of time and planning, but even in a rush there are still a few important points to keep in mind during that first five minute phone call with your future plumber
A plumber should be an expert in his field and as an expert he should have seen a wide variety of situations well before he gets to yours. Asking him how long he expects the job to take can give you an idea of his previous experience and level or expertise.
Hiring a plumber with a current license will help ensure that he is familiar with your state and local codes for pipes and plumbing and that he has had formal as well as hands on training. Plumbers learn from experience, but licensing helps standardize their field. It protects the consumer from the unfortunate situation of hiring a plumber who can take apart their toilet, but cannot seem to reassemble it.
It is always reassuring to see a plumber who is willing to stand behind their work. If the plumbing company offers a warranty on their services, it is usually an assurance of quality. Warranties offered on services provide peace of mind to customers that the services rendered are effective long term solutions. It is also important to select a plumber with company insurance just to be safe. Accidents happen all of the time and proper insurance helps make sure that everyone is prepared.
A plumber who is willing to supply a quote for a repair is typically a plumber worth keeping, especially if the quote is guaranteed to within a certain amount. Quotes ensure the plumber is confident he can perform the repair cost effectively and efficiently.
The final key to finding the perfect plumber is simply years of experience. There is no good substitute for hands dirty hard work in the plumbing field. A plumber with a few good years under his tool belt usually is more efficient and confident in his work than someone new.
Finding a good plumber can seem overwhelming, but with a few simple questions it is possible to get an idea of how positive a plumbing experience will be well before he has a chance to even get out a wrench.
How to find the best plumbing companies
Plumbing systems are an integral part of everyday life. Home owners do not realize how important a plumbing system is until it breaks down. Plumbing systems are part of our everyday activities from washing the dishes to cooking and cleaning. It is important for home owners to have a reliable plumbing company to service their unit when they need service. Home owners should have the information on hand so they can contact a top quality plumbing company when needed. Below is a few tips on how to find the best plumbing companies in your area.
Word of Mouth
The best way to find out information is to ask other people. This applies to plumbing companies as well. When a company provides top quality service, people will talk about it. Speak with your friends, family and co-workers to find out if they have any suggestions on which local plumbing company you should choose to service your home.
You can also find out information about local companies by checking out review sites. Review sites will give home owners an in-depth look at what a company has to offer. Home owners will then be able to make an informed decision on which is the best company to go with. Review sites can be found easily online and give you the inside information you need to make the best decision.
Better Business Bureau
Another great option for home owners is the Better Business Bureau. The BBB is a company that rates businesses based on customer service. You can contact your local BBB to find out which companies have the best ratings in their area. Top quality companies will be accredited by the BBB and they will have a rating of an A or better.
Another way to find out which plumbing companies are best for your needs is to conduct an interview. Determine which companies you are interested in and then call the company directly or stop by the office. Speak with a manager or the owner and ask as many questions as you would like. Determine which company offers the best services and have the experience needed to handle all of your plumbing needs.
Overall, it is important to research your options. Take the time to research all the local plumbing service companies in your area. You will be glad you did. After just a short time, you will have found the best company for your plumbing needs. A little research will go a long way and you will be able to have access to a company that will help you whenever you need plumbing service. Be sure to keep the information nearby so you can access it when you need to.
Portable heating units are a perfect solution for added heat in the home. Many times, temperatures outdoors can plummet to an extreme that extra heat sources are needed. Or these units can be used when you want to heat just one room to save money on your heating bills. Either way, it is very important to maintain your portable heating units. Take the steps you need to make sure that your unit is working properly and will continue to work properly for years to come.
It is very important to store you portable heating units in a proper place to make sure they remain safe and secure. You can store these options in your storage room outdoors when the units are not in use but you must be sure that the unit is packaged so animals do not chew wires or damage the components to your portable heating unit.
It is also important to make sure that with every winter season, you inspect the wiring that is part of your unit. The wiring must be intact and working properly. Portable heating units can catch fire very easily, so you want to be sure that the wiring is in good shape before you begin running your units full time.
It is also important to clean your portable units. You can clean the outside with simple water solution with soap and a soft cloth. Be careful to avoid getting the wires or other components wet. You will also need to remove dust from you unit. If the dust is not thick, you can simply use a can of air to remove a light dust that may exist on your unit. If your unit has a thicker covering of dust, you will need to take the unit apart. If you are not comfortable with this process, then you will need to find someone who has experience to help you clean the unit.
Overall, it is very important that every home owner take the proper precaution to have a properly functioning portable heating system. From cleaning to storage and components, each factor should be considered so that your unit or units can function properly and keep you safe in the home. With a little time and effort, you will be able to have a unit that keeps your home warm and comfortable for many years to come!
Tips on air conditioning maintenance:
When you purchase an air conditioning system, you will realize that you will have to spend some good amount of money. The purchasing together with the installation will make you spend the kind of money which will have the need for good care and maintenance on the system. No one will want to spend that huge amount of money to only have the system breaking down sooner than anticipated. This is the reason why you should ensure that you are taking good care of your air conditioning system. You will also benefit from the minimal need for repair for the system. At the end of the day, you will realize that you will be saving a lot of money by taking care of the system.
One of the ways through which you can be able to use is by ensuring that you are not over using the system. This is to say that, if you are not in need of the air conditioner, then you should not have it running. This way, you will also be certain that the rate at which the parts will be wearing off will have been reduced greatly.
After ensuring that the system is not getting over used, you can now consider other things which can lead to the continued lifespan of the system. This can be achieved by ensuring that you are having a qualified contractor inspecting the system from time to time. This way, you will ensure that you do not have to get a big problem developing in the system.
There are other things which you can do such as replacing the filters of system. If you ensure that you are not letting your system to use worn out filters, then you will be saving a lot of harm from the system. You will also be able to benefit from better performing system. This will mean that you will be able to enjoy the cool air which your air conditioner is supposed to give in a much better way.
It would be very unwise for you to have a system which is not able to serve you as expected. At the end of the day, you will realize that you will be able to have your system perform better and you will also be increasing its lifespan. So the sooner you adapt to the new ways of maintaining your system, the better for you.
If you're like almost anyone else, you have an air conditioner. And if you're like almost everyone else, you are going to be very upset when it doesn't work the right way.
What could lead to something like that? Well, it could be the heat that the house is absorbing, which is affecting the atmosphere on the inside. This is the kind of thing you have to deal with.
First you have to know where it was coming from. Here are a few of those places:
* The roof -- Easily, 30% of the sun's heat that is absorbed by the house comes through the roof. And there a few things you can do to address this, if you elect to do so. For one thing, you can give the roof a paint job. In many cases, a roof is black, but white will invariably work better for you. It will do a good job of deflecting the sun's light, and you are going to feel the effects of that heat inside your home. You may also want to consider installing an attic fan; that is, if you have an attic, and that is because the attic is the room that is closest to the roof.
* The windows -- Get your schedule straight first. In the morning, your windows that are facing east are most directly facing the sun, while in the afternoon it's the windows facing west. So these windows get the most attention from you. We are assuming you're going to have drapes or curtains that you can cover these windows with. Blinds may even do a better job. If you don't have them already, you want to consider installing them.
* The leaks -- These are the cracks and crevices that are created in the house by something that can't necessarily be helped. It could be the cable or satellite TV hookup you have, where it may have been necessary to bring a wire in from the outside. There may also be some pipes that needed to make their way in from outside your home.
* Open doors -- Don't let people, whoever they are, leave the doors open when you have the AC working at close to a full capacity. That brings the hot air in and lets the cold air out. And don't think that leaving your door open and closing the screen door helps you either. If you want to keep the air conditioner from overworking itself
If you have moved into a house that has not updated its air conditioning system, there may be a golden opportunity for you, provided you elect to make the investment.
Some homes still have air conditioning units that are positioned in an opening, whether it happens to be in one of the windows or right through a wall, and those units pump out air directly from their location into the room or space that you would occupy.
There are certain advantages to this, of course, including the fact that it is less expensive to buy, install and maintain. If you're handy around the house, you may even be able to handle most of that yourself. But the flip side is that you will have a hard time covering those areas that are furthest away from the unit. RThen you have to consider installing a second unit, and there may not be too many appropriate places for it.
Central air is something to strongly consider, because it gets an even air flow into every area in the house you want it to go, as long as you have the proper ductwork installed to deliver it. And there are controls in the way of programmable thermostats that can help you adjust the temperature accordingly, so you will be able to regulate your AC bill.
You can get a "split" system, where the A-coil (also known as the evaporator coil) is located on the inside, generally inside a cabinet that is near the furnace or heat pump.
The more common system on those houses of decent size, is referred to as a "packaged" system. Here, there is a unit on the outside of the house that contains certain components, including the evaporator coil (which refrigerates the air as it goes in) and the condenser and allows for there to be a minimum of noise on the inside of the home.
You challenge is that you have to keep the outside unit clear of debris and obstruction. That may sometimes be difficult when you have kids. Also, you have to make sure that it is on level ground and in a position where it isn't being baked by the sun. All AC professionals will tell you to station it on the north side of a house, if that is at all possible.
If you want to stay cool, in the most efficient way possible, perhaps the central air route is the one you should be looking very strongly at!
Is your air conditioner becoming more of a pain day by day? Does it feel like you are still under the hot, scorching sun even when your air conditioner has been running at full blast for an hour already? Do you think it is time to upgrade your air conditioner? Well, here are 4 tips for you to determine for sure if your air conditioner needs upgrading, or if a good old servicing routine would bring it back to its feet.
1) Not Cold Enough. Does your air conditioning unit not blow cold air anymore? This is one of the most common problems in air conditioners and also the most easily detectable. There could be 2 reasons for this. The fan inside the air conditioner might be old and not working properly. This effectively stops the functioning of your air conditioner since there is no mechanism to push the chilled cool air out into the room. Check if your fan can be replaced at a lesser cost, and see if your air conditioner goes back to normal operation with that. If it does not, then you probably might need to upgrade your whole unit.
2) Not Strong Enough. This kind of problem can be detected by paying a bit of attention to your appliance every now and then. Once again, the fan inside your air conditioner might be the culprit here. A slow, dying fan will not be able to produce a strong enough flow. Check if your fan can be replaced at a lesser cost, and see if your air conditioner goes back to normal operation with that. If it does not, then you probably might need to upgrade your whole unit.
3) Moisture. Your air conditioner comes with a built in dehumidifier. This is because dry hot air is more bearable than humid hot air, which is which air conditioners are designed to dehumidify the air too. Presence of moisture is a sure sign that your unit needs replacement.
4) Not Uniform. This is because the air conditioner unit is unable to evenly distribute the cold air. If your air conditioner is cooling a part of your house more than the other parts, then it is probably an issue with the duct system of your house. Check the duct lining, clear all the dust and debris out of it and check if the issue is cleared. If this does not solve the issue, then your unit needs replacing.