The high winds, heavy snow and ice accumulation of winter storms can create widespread electricity outages that last for days. To make matters worse, leaving your home to obtain supplies or find temporary shelter can be dangerous if the roads are also compromised by inclement weather. You can’t prevent power outages, but you can prepare for them. And if you don’t prepare in time, there are still things you can do to add warmth to your home during a power outage.
Prep Your Home Before the Winter Storm Season
The best way to handle power outages is to prepare for them well ahead of time. If you wait until a storm is in the forecast to prepare, you may find needed items out of stock, time too limited to complete needed tasks, or technicians and plumbers all booked up.
When electricity goes out in the winter, so does your main heat source, whether that is a furnace, boiler or electric heat. Even gas furnaces cannot run without electricity. To prepare, research alternative heat sources that don’t need electricity.
Install an Infrared Garage Heater
Natural gas infrared heaters like our Auto-Ray Infrared Garage Heater provide excellent sources of heat with absolutely no electricity. Infrared garage heaters keep your garage warm all winter long for pennies a day. Your heated garage will also provide warmth to the adjacent rooms in your home, and will also help keep the exposed pipes in your garage from freezing. Infrared garage heaters create a great warm zone in your home during winter electrical outages.
Have Your Water Heater Checked
Did you know your tank water heater can be an alternative heat source? Most tank type water heaters do not use electricity. Even if it needs electricity to ignite the gas and heat the water, the heated water left in your tank after the power has gone out can be used to fill a bathtub, which can raise the temperature in your bathroom enough to bring you some comfort. Get your water heater tuned up by our expert plumbers to ensure it is working reliably, and while they are in your home, ask them what type of ignition system it uses.
Insulate Your Plumbing
The heat in your home is the only thing keeping your pipes from freezing during the coldest weather, and once a frozen pipe thaws it can burst and flood your home. Have our expert plumbers perform a plumbing safety inspection, and ask them which of your pipes would be most vulnerable if you lost heat during a power outage. Some pipes can be insulated to help prevent freezing and bursting.
If you don’t have a generator, consider your options. A portable generator can run selected appliances like your furnace and a few small electronics long enough to get you through a day of no electricity. Some generators turn on automatically during a power outage and provide your home with uninterrupted electricity.
Install Carbon Monoxide (CO) and Smoke Detectors
Heating your home in winter is a potentially dangerous proposition, even without a power outage. Your home should have carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors on every level and preferably in every bedroom. There are several good options available, and some even connect to the internet via your WiFi connection and can warn you through an app on your phone if danger is present, which is nice if you keep your phone by your bed.
It is especially important to have CO and smoke detectors in place if you are utilizing alternative heat sources during a power outage. Combustible heat sources produce CO, which has no smell, and can cause drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death. Even your gas furnace may produce CO, which is why it is important to get a furnace safety check every year.
Stock up on Fuel
Fill up on fuel for your generator if you have one. Keep your cars full of fuel too – they can be temporary warming stations while running – outside of the garage of course. And if you are lucky enough to have a wood stove, get your log supply stocked up.
Stock up on Water
Power outages can rob your home of not only warmth, but of water. Electricity is needed to run water pumps, so homes on well water can lose their water when they lose their electricity. Even homes on municipal water aren’t safe if a power outage disables the water plant pumps; you will have only a small amount of pressure left in your pipes until you lose your water completely. Keep a stock of drinking water on hand just in case the worst happens, and use water from your tap sparingly.
Purchase Battery Back Ups for your Devices
You can purchase battery back ups that will recharge your phones if you find yourself away from electricity sources. Buy these for your cell phones at least, and consider purchasing them for your computers as well. It is important to have a charged phone during weather emergencies, so keep these devices charged and ready to use.
Act Quickly Once You Lose Power
Once the power has gone out, you won’t have long before your home becomes uncomfortably cold, and possibly dangerous to children, the sick and pets. Take these steps to make sure your family stays safe.
Consider Leaving Your Home
If your family and pets are “portable,” your best course of action might be to move them to a hotel for the night. Hotels usually have back up generators in case they lose power, but it is always good to ask to make sure. Be careful making this decision however, as the same conditions that cause winter power outages can cause dangerous driving conditions.
If you find it unwise to leave home, remember that you can always use your vehicles as temporary warming stations if taken outside of the garage first. To remove your car from your garage after your power goes out you will have to open the garage door manually, which may not be possible until you first disconnect the mechanical door opener from the garage door.
Safely Add Heat to the House
Turn up your infrared garage heater if you have one. Fifty degrees is a good temperature for normal use, but they can be turned up much higher, which will not only get your garage toasty but will help heat your adjacent rooms.
If you have a wood stove, fire it up and keep it burning. If you have a limited amount of wood, burn at regular intervals, letting it get quite cold between burns. Think twice before using your wood burning or gas fireplace; unless it has a fan to circulate heat, you may lose more heat up the chimney than you generate by burning wood or gas. Never use your fireplace without opening the flue first, and only use your fireplace or wood stove if it, and your chimney, have been inspected recently and are in safe working condition.
Use the sun for heat. If it’s a sunny day, open the blinds on the windows on the sunny side of the house. Place dark blankets on the floor, furniture or bed in direct sun to soak up the sun’s heat. As soon as the sun goes down re-insulate the windows the best you can.
Run a bathtub of hot water; it will add heat to the rooms around the bathroom. You could take a hot shower to warm up, too. Standard tank type water heaters do not use electricity so you can take advantage of always having hot water.
Insulate Your Home and Yourselves
Eliminate heat loss to your home by closing curtains and blocking drafts. Only open your doors if it is absolutely necessary. Move to the warmest room of the house and camp out there. This might be the basement during the winter, due the insulating power of the earth. Bring your warmest blankets and coats with you.
Eliminate heat loss to your body by putting on layers including long underwear, warm socks and a hat. Consider using chemical hand and foot warmers, but never directly on skin. Even self-heating pain relief pads can work in a pinch, but they get very hot and can burn the skin as well.
Staying hydrated can help you stay warm so make sure you drink enough. Do not drink alcohol as it will lower your body temperature. Your body requires more food to stay warm in the cold so make sure you eat enough, too.
Use Water Wisely
It is best to conserve water for drinking in case the power outage stops water pumps from getting water to your home. But if the temperature outside is well below freezing, do turn on your faucets and let a pencil sized stream of water run to prevent your pipes from freezing. As far as flushing your toilets, use the yellow-mellow, brown-down rule.
Give Us a Call
Call us before, during or after a power outage for help. There are always ways we can help you, and we want to help if we can. You can reach us by calling A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO, or by clicking here to schedule service.
Weather can change quickly, so it’s best to be prepared for season changes before they arrive. Fall marks the dawn of the heating season, and your home requires special attention to maintain a safe and healthy indoor environment when you turn on your furnace. Your plumbing needs special preparation for cold weather, too. By preparing for fall early, it can save you time, trouble and money.
Your Air Conditioning Still Needs Attention
Fall doesn’t mean the end of hot weather – you may still need your air conditioning well into the season. If you haven’t had your cooling system tuned up this year, then it is smart to get it done before the season ends.
As the fall weeds grow and leaves fall, keep an eye on your outside air conditioner to keep the coil clean and unobstructed so it will be ready to go for next season. When you no longer need cooling, you may consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from yard and tree debris. Air conditioners do not require covers to protect them from winter precipitation however, and heat pumps should never be covered.
Did you know that fall is a great time to purchase a new air conditioner? Prices for cooling systems are lowest in the fall and spring when HVAC contractors are not as busy. Look for good deals on air conditioners, and on furnaces, too. Consider replacing these items in the slow fall and spring seasons to take advantage of lower prices.
Furnace Safety Checks are Critical for Health and Safety
Fire, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and indoor air pollution are potential hazards of heating your home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 170 Americans die every year from accidental CO poisoning alone. Furnace safety checks, CO detectors and smoke detectors are your main defense against heating system hazards.
Furnace safety checks should be done by highly-trained heating technicians like those at Anthony PHC. A partial list of tasks that should be performed during a safety inspection include:
- Examine the heat exchanger for cracks with state-of-the-art inspection cameras
- Test for any dangerous gas leaks such as CO
- Test and clean the ignition system for safe and proper operation
- Test the safety and control circuits
- Ensure the exhaust is venting properly
CO and smoke detectors only work if they are functioning correctly. Change the batteries in your CO and smoke alarms at the start of every fall, and make sure there is at least one of each on every level of your home. Also consider installing the new WiFi smart alarm systems that will alert you to trouble via your phone when you are away from home.
Furnace Tune Ups Done Annually Save Energy and Satisfy Warranties
Safety comes first, but saving money and optimizing the life of your heating system is important, too. While your Anthony PHC technician is performing your furnace safety inspection, have them perform your annual furnace tune up. It is important to know that many air conditioning and heating components require annual maintenance to keep their warranties in effect. And before you turn on your furnace, check your filter and replace it if needed.
Humidifiers Need Annual Maintenance, Too
Heating system humidifiers require annual maintenance, too. Have your Anthony PHC technician clean and check your humidifier and replace the water panel. Before turning on your furnace, make sure your humidifier is turned on, then turn your humidistat to 35% relative humidity, or the #4 setting, for optimal humidity. Proper humidity levels can prevent the growth of viruses and bacteria and keep your nasal passages healthy.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions Could Save Your Life
Indoor air is up to 100% more polluted than outdoor air, which becomes a real concern as we close windows up for the winter. Luckily there are several solutions available to vastly improve the quality of your indoor air. Air scrubbers are a popular option. UV lamps placed in your heating system can cut down on mold and allergens significantly. Mechanical and electronic filters which replace your standard 1” filter are a great option, too. Polluted indoor air has been linked to lung, cardiovascular and allergy problems. Discuss the best solution for your family’s unique health needs with your Anthony PHC technician.
Don’t Forget the Fireplace
At some point you may decide to have a nice cozy fire in your fireplace. But before the weather gets too cold or inclement, have your fireplace, flue and chimney checked for fire and gas hazards.
Protect Against Frozen Pipes with a Plumbing Inspection
Avoid broken pipes due to frozen water caused by garden hoses left attached to outside faucets. Remove all hoses from outside faucets, drain them, and place them in storage. Or even better, replace your outside hose faucets with frost-free versions, and you will never have to worry about forgetting your hose, because they will not freeze even with the hose attached.
Before freezing temperatures settle in, take a good look at your plumbing to determine where frozen pipes might happen, and insulate them where possible. Any pipes in a wall adjacent to the outside or garage are at risk for freezing. Fall is an excellent time for a plumbing inspection and safety check. Your Anthony PHC plumber will be able to advise you on plumbing insulation tips while making sure your water heater is ready for the increased demand for hot water due to cold weather.
Natural Gas Infrared Garage Heaters Are a Great Winter Defense
One way to protect against frozen pipes is to install a natural gas infrared garage heater. Garage heaters that run on natural gas can heat your garage for pennies a day, and warm up adjacent rooms at the same time. Because they use no electricity, they are a great back up if your furnace stops working due to electricity outages caused by winter ice or windstorms.
Garage heaters are a wonderful way to extend your usable living space during the winter when the outdoor areas become unusable. They help extend the life of your vehicles, too.
Your Fall Prep Checklist
In summary, to make your transition into fall easier, perform these fall preparation tasks as soon as possible in the season:
Cooling System Prep
- Check and clean your outside air conditioner coil
- Get a cooling system tune up
- Consider purchasing a new air conditioner (with ozone friendly refrigerant) or furnace during the fall
Heating System Prep
- Check your furnace filter
- Test your CO and smoke detectors and replace the batteries
- Get a furnace tune-up and safety inspection
- Turn duct system dampers to the winter position
- Schedule a fireplace, flue and chimney inspection
- Turn the bypass air humidifier damper to the on position and turn thermostat on
- Schedule to have the humidifier cleaned and checked
Indoor Air Purification
- Install an air purification system to protect against indoor pollutants and allergens
- Remove garden hoses and consider purchase of frost-free outdoor faucets
- Insulate pipes against freezing in suspect areas
- Consider purchasing a natural gas infrared garage heater to keep pipes from freezing
Call Us Today to Schedule a Fall Prep Visit
Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has highly trained technicians and plumbers available to come to your home and answer all your questions about preparing your home for the coming fall and winter seasons. Call us any time of the night or day at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO to schedule fall prep service.
Maestro HVAC Zoning Solves Your Home’s Hot Zones and Cold Zones
You have 2 or more thermostats in your car, so why should you be content with only 1 thermostat in your home? If you want it warmer in some areas of your home and cooler in others, then an HVAC zoning system is for you. Or if you have rooms that are always too hot or too cold compared to the rest of your home and you want to even out the temperatures, you also can benefit from an HVAC zoning system.
Most homes have areas that suffer because a single thermostat located in one area controls the temperature in all parts of the home. The thermostat only knows the temperature where the thermostat is actually located. You simply cannot achieve whole home comfort with one thermostat, just like you can’t control all your lighting with one light switch. Our Maestro Zoning system lets you control the temperature in all areas of your home by allowing you to send conditioned air when and where it is needed. You will feel more air than you have ever felt before out of your system.
Maestro Zoning Allows You to Control Which Rooms Get Cooled and Heated Air
An HVAC zoning system consists of 2 or more thermostats placed in problem areas in your home, and an electronic monitor which activates dampers in your ductwork to move conditioned air directly to those rooms where a greater supply is needed. Anthony’s Maestro Zoning system can be installed quickly and easily in your home, to make every room a Goldilocks room, that is “just right” temperature wise.
By giving homeowners more control over how they heat and cool their home, Maestro Zoning enables the creation of comfort zones that are customizable, which keeps all family members happy while saving money on energy bills at the same time, by sending conditioned air only to the zones that need it and only when they need it.
How Zoning Works
Zoning is a simple, economical way to gain better air flow to problem areas without adding an additional heating and cooling system. Using automatic dampers (which are pneumatically activated so there are no motors that eventually fail) in your vent work, a zoning system allows you to control the temperature independently in separate areas of your home by opening some dampers and closing others.
The brain of the zoning system is an electronic monitor which activates the dampers as ordered by the individual thermostats in the areas served. It can even be used with wireless thermostats that can be carried from room to room to ensure the desired temperature in that room. You can also control thermostats with your cell phone.
Maestro Zoning is Right for Any House
Zoning is all about the comfort of the homeowner, and any home can benefit from zoning if the homeowner wants more control over the temperature in different areas of their home. Homes with hard to cool or hard to heat areas, or with multiple levels that require more than one thermostat are perfect for zoning. These include homes with:
- multiple levels, like two stories or split levels
- rooms over the garage or added onto the back
- finished areas in the basement or attic
- expansive glass areas that let in ambient heat
- family members who prefer different temperatures than others
- home offices
- portions of the home built over a concrete slab floor
- wings extending off the main living area in multiple directions
- large, open areas such as vaulted ceilings or lofts
Zoning Beats the Heat in Two Story Homes or Bedrooms over the Garage
Since a thermostat only knows the temperature of the area it’s located in, your home can suffer from stark temperature variances in different rooms. Because thermostats are normally located on a home’s first level, rooms on upper levels can be unbearably hot because of the “stack effect” of warm air rising. Also, second floor areas have more heat gain because the ceiling is the hot attic. And if you are the unlucky one who’s bedroom is over the garage, you know that no matter how much the AC is cranked in the house your room is always hot in the summer. Rooms over garages are always cold in the winter, too.
Maestro Zoning is a great option for homes with these configurations. Rather than install window units in your upstairs bedrooms or keep your lower levels uncomfortably cool in an attempt to accommodate the upper levels, zoning has become a must-have solution for any two-story home.
Zoning Eliminates Arguments Over Temperature
No more arguments over temperature in the house – with Maestro Zoning you have control of the temperature in your room, and your family members have control over theirs. The dampers in the ductwork are activated by the electronic monitor depending on the set temperature from individual thermostats in the areas served. These dampers allow cooled air to be sent into warmer rooms while restricting air flow to other rooms. Since each room, or “zone” has a different thermostat, one person can enjoy a warmer room while another luxuriates in their own much cooler zone.
Call our Maestro Zoning Experts for a Free Estimate
Call our Maestro Zoning experts today for a free estimate, and we will come to your house and explore the many options available to customize a zoning system to meet your needs. Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO or click here to submit your information and we will contact you at a time that is convenient for you.
Air-conditioning systems are one of those appliances you rarely think about until something goes wrong. And if you’re caught without AC in the middle of summer when HVAC technicians are at their busiest, you could face some miserable days of heat at home.
Fortunately, there are some telltale signs homeowners can usually identify before an AC system breaks down completely. Are you seeing any of the following? Better get your air conditioner replaced sooner than later.
1. Your AC is more than 10 years old
Air conditioners wear out just like any other household appliance. A well-maintained AC system will last 10 to 15 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
However, systems that have not been maintained over their lifespan will not last the full 10 years. Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, recommends having a tune-up by a professional HVAC technician to keep your system in good working order. The technician can inspect the unit’s components, identify and fix any issues and clean the indoor and outdoor coils.
2. Your energy bills are rising
Before you blame global warming for your rising energy costs, consider whether your high energy bills could be the result of faulty, failing or inefficient machinery. An AC system that is working inefficiently will run more frequently, using up more electricity while not adequately cooling your house.
Many utility companies provide comparison charts of how your bill has changed month over month and year over year. They also often provide an average temperature for each day of the month, information that can help you identify whether higher utility costs are associated with outdoor temperature or something else.
Newer cooling systems will also tend to be more energy-efficient than older models. Investing in an energy-efficient system could provide you dividends in the long run.
3. Your system uses ozone-depleting refrigerant (R22)
In 2020, the ozone-depleting refrigerant R22 will no longer be manufactured. Used as a coolant for air conditioners beginning with the first models produced in the 1950s, R22 has been found by researchers to be contributing to the thinning of the earth’s ozone.
Burbridge recommends homeowners have an HVAC technician inspect their system to determine what kind of refrigerant it uses. More recently produced models use ozone-friendly refrigerant, such as 410A.
“If their system uses ozone-depleting refrigerant and it needs any repairs, it doesn’t make sense to invest any money in it,” Burbridge said.
4. Repeat breakdowns
Whether your AC system has reached the end of its lifespan or not, having multiple serious repair jobs in a row could indicate it is near wearing out. Recall that systems last only as long as they’re maintained well, and some simply don’t last as long as others. If you’ve already fixed one issue and more are popping up, it might be best to cut your losses and replace.
Older air conditioners will also have more aesthetic issues. “Rust is a major problem, along with being noisier than newer models,” Burbridge said. “People with air conditioners that are near windows or backyard patios could benefit from the newer and quieter AC units built today.”
For more information on how to recognize when your cooling system needs replacing, contact Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in the Kansas City area today. Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.
After July 3, 2019, residential furnace manufacturers must include energy-efficient electronically commutated low-wattage motors (ECM’s) on their furnace fans, instead of the permanent split capacitor (PSC) induction blower motors normally used.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has updated their Furnace Efficiency Rating (FER) standards, mandating that these energy conserving motors be used starting July 3, 2019 in all new furnaces, with the expectation that these new standards will result in significant conservation of energy and reduction of carbon pollution.
For homeowners, this means the initial price of residential furnaces will be increasing due to the higher cost of the ECM motors. But though the initial cost for a new furnace will be going up, the DOE estimates these motors will save an average consumer about $340 to $500 over the lifetime of their furnace, even after accounting for the increased upfront cost, due to significant savings in energy costs.
ECM motors are expected to keep homeowners more comfortable, too. First, they provide more efficient airflow. Second, they reduce temperature swings in the home by allowing the fan to run for a longer time at a reduced speed. And homeowners will be more inclined to operate their furnace fans all the time, therefore cleaning the air consistently.
The net effect on the homeowner’s energy usage by the ECM motors may be reduced by as much as 46%, which depending on the home and the furnace model, could result in as much as $67.00 per year in energy savings.
Although the old furnaces with PSC induction motors may still be in stock for a short time after July 3, they will only be available while supplies last. Some homeowners may opt for repairing an old furnace, but it can be a costly decision when compared to the energy savings of replacing it with an energy efficient furnace. The question then is, “how expensive does a furnace repair need to be before it’s not worth it?” Even for less expensive repairs, depending upon how old your furnace is, replacement may be a more cost-effective option.
To help you make the best choice possible, Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling will help you assess when and if you should replace your furnace. Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.
The Clock is Ticking – What’s Your Plan?
If your AC uses the refrigerant known as R-22, it is time to plan your replacement strategy. If you have to add refrigerant to your AC unit, then your time may be up this year.
Because of Environmental Protection Agency concerns about R-22 effects on the ozone, it will not be produced after January 1, 2020, and the only way to acquire it will be through recycled or stockpiled supplies which will be prohibitively expensive to purchase. The price of R-22 has been increasing steadily over the last few years already, which has made R-22 AC systems too expensive to continue to run, making replacement the more affordable option.
The last AC units using R-22 were manufactured in 2010. So if your AC unit is one of these, it is already old enough to consider replacement. If your AC uses R-22 refrigerant and you’ve had to add refrigerant recently, then it is time to replace your AC system. Refrigerant doesn’t get used up – the only time you have to add refrigerant is if you have a leak. And if you have a leak, you will have to add more and more refrigerant each year.
Refrigerant leaks happen to all units eventually as they age. Refrigerant circulates under high pressure and therefore wears down and thins the inside of the tubing. Because AC units last only 10 – 15 years on average, it is time for your R-22 unit to be replaced, especially if it is leaking refrigerant.
How Do I Know if my AC Unit uses R-22?
Steve Burbridge, owner of Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, recommends homeowners have an HVAC technician inspect their system to determine what kind of refrigerant it uses. Age of the system is one determinant – no R-22 units were manufactured after 2010. But R-410A units have been manufactured since 1996, so just because your unit is old it doesn’t mean that it uses R-22.
Can I Wait One More Year?
Making a choice to wait will also put you in the same boat as all of the others who are waiting until the last minute, and prices for new AC systems go up when demand is high. And even if you are lucky enough to get a reasonably-priced replacement unit, the wait for available technicians to install it might be long. And the last thing you want to do is be faced with weeks without air conditioning during the summer heat.
What if I Can’t Afford to Replace Right Now?
Replacing a central AC unit can cost thousands of dollars, more than many of us have saved up. This is where financing comes in. Fortunately, there is financing available for just about any credit score. Click here to review the many financing options available through Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling: https://www.anthonyphc.com/financing/.
Rebates from energy companies can also help financially. KCPL offers rebates when you purchase energy-efficient AC systems installed by authorized contractors like Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. For more information on rebate programs, call our us at Anthony or click here: https://www.kcpl.com/save-energy-and-money/home/rebates/heating-and-cooling.
The one bright side to incurring an extra monthly expense through financing is the reduction of energy costs that you will receive when a new unit is doing the cooling, which will help offset this expense. New AC units outperform old units significantly, no matter what their Energy Star rating is. And you will no longer have costly repair bills to pay either.
Have questions on R-22 refrigerant, AC system replacement? Call our knowledgeable experts night or day at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO, or submit this form to request an estimate: https://www.anthonyphc.com/schedule-estimate/.
Ah the ooey gooey feeling of sticky pumpkin innards that cling to your hands when pumpkin carving. Think cleaning up after that is a nightmare? What’s worse is what could happen if you wash the pulp and seeds down your drain.
Oh but you are putting them in the garbage disposal you say? Bad idea! Despite popular belief, garbage disposals are not meant to be garbage “dispose-alls.” We refer to these handy appliances as garbage “disposers” for this reason.
Some food items should never be placed into a garbage disposer, and the fibrous, sticky flesh and hard seeds like those in pumpkins innards are two biggies that should be avoided.
Garbage disposers work by spinning your food waste against a grind ring on the side of your disposer wall. Fibrous foods like pumpkin flesh and potato peels can stick to the sides of the grind ring before they can pass through and become pulverized, and that can clog your disposal.
The stringy flesh of certain vegetables and pasta should also never go into your garbage disposer. These stringy food items can wrap around the spinning impellers at the bottom of your garbage disposer and jam them.
Hard foods like pumpkin seeds should also stay out of your disposer, as they are too hard to be completely pulverized by the grind ring, as are the tough rinds of pumpkins and other melons. These food items that don’t get pulverized can still pass through your garbage disposer and get stuck further down your drain pipes.
Even pumpkin flesh that gets shredded adequately in a disposer can clog your drains. The sticky goo of pumpkin innards dries quickly once it attaches itself to the walls of your pipes, and becomes a clog in the making. If you have ever tried to pick a dried pumpkin seed off of a plate then you can understand the glue-like consistency of pumpkin guts. Add a few errant pumpkin seeds to the mix and you’ve got a recipe for a Halloween nightmare only a call to our plumbers will fix.
Before you begin your pumpkin carving adventures, have a “pumpkin disposal plan” in place that does not include putting pumpkin innards in your sink. If you do end up with a garbage disposer problem or a clogged drain, call our expert plumbers at Anthony PHC right away at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.
We all take our plumbing for granted when it works, but when it doesn’t work it can be inconvenient, frustrating and costly. Did you know that you can keep your home’s plumbing in great shape and avoid costly problems with a plumbing tune up? What is a plumbing tune up, you ask?
There are many steps that can be included in a professional plumbing tune up, but we will cover the more important steps here.
Check water pressure and adjust if needed
Several factors can cause your water pressure to change, including leaks, clogs, or issues with municipal water suppliers. Water pressure that is too high can damage seals, cartridges, faucets, appliances and water heaters. Having your water pressure checked once a year by an expert Anthony PHC plumber safeguards these items and prevents expensive repairs and replacements. But if you hear your pipes banging don’t wait, have your water pressure measured right away – this is called water hammer, and it can happen when water pressure is too high.
Remember that high water pressure also increases your water usage and costs you more on your water and sewer bill.
Check for leaks and repair if needed
Even a small leak can increase your water bill significantly, not to mention damage your walls, cabinets and floors. Leaking faucets are easy to spot, but our expert Anthony PHC plumbers check for hidden water damage caused by leaking water behind cabinet doors and appliances. They also check washing machine hoses for bulges – a bulging washer hose can burst and cause a lot of money in water damage, especially if you are away from home for an extended period and not around to notice the leak. If you leave your home for extended vacations, consider having our plumbers install an Anthony Water Guardian water leak detection system that will alert you of damaging leaks via your cell phone, and automatically shut the water off to your home, preventing damage.
Unclog faucets, drains and sewers
Over time, faucets can get clogged by mineral deposits and debris which restrict water flow. Cleaning the aerator in your faucets regularly prevents this. Fixtures that don’t have aerators will benefit from a good vinegar soaking to help remove mineral scale and improve water flow.
Remember that mineral scale deposits build up in drain pipes as well, along with hair, grease and other debris. Our expert Anthony PHC plumbers will inspect slow moving drains cabled them to release partial blockages. Some homeowners find a periodic sewer mainline rodding helpful to prevent blockages caused from tree roots.
Condition or soften your water
As mentioned above, mineral scale build up from hard water can clog your faucets and drains, but it can also damage your water heater, dishwasher, coffee pot and other appliances. If you haven’t yet incorporated a conditioning of softening system into your home’s plumbing, you should consider doing so. “Tuning up” your water by removing hardness can extend the life of your pipes, fixtures and appliances and save you money and plumbing problems. Our expert Anthony PHC plumbers will test the hardness of your water and review the best water conditioning options for your home and your family.
Inspect and test your sump pump and battery back up sump pump
Our expert Anthony PHC plumbers will inspect and test your sump pump as well as your battery back up system. Alignment of each pump’s float is critical for proper operation. Any debris in the sump pit will be removed and the discharge piping will be properly secured as well as tested. Systems that infrequently operate are subject to clogs in the discharge piping which renders the pump useless. Neglecting to provide periodic maintenance to a sump pump can void your sump pump endorsement on your homeowners insurance, leaving you with no coverage for water damage caused if your sump pump fails. Our expert Anthony PHC plumbers will perform these inspections and maintenance for you, and document their work to satisfy your homeowners insurance.
Water heaters need a yearly tune up
Your water heater will live a long life if it is tuned up annually. Traditional tank water heaters need to be drained and flushed to remove mineral deposits. Tankless water heaters must have yearly maintenance to remove scale build up. Our expert Anthony PHC plumbers will perform both of these tasks, as well as check and clean the burner, make sure the combustion bi-products are venting properly, and test your gas pipe connections to make sure no gas is leaking.
Anthony PHC’s A.S.A.P. plumbing membership adds peace of mind
As you can see, caring for and maintaining your plumbing is a big job, and an important one, to save your money and your family’s health. The best way to stay on top of your home’s plumbing needs is with an Anthony Service Agreement Program low-cost plumbing membership. Anthony PHC customer care staff will call you to schedule this yearly service so you don’t have to think about it, and your expert Anthony PHC plumber will take care of all the maintenance and inspections for you. We have heating and cooling memberships available as well. Call us today at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.
The Anthony PHC’s A.S.A.P. plumbing membership includes the following annual maintenance steps:
10-point water heater tune up:
- Check water shut-off valve for proper operation
- Test temperature and pressure safety relief valve
- Drain water from tank to flush out sediment and replace drain valve if necessary
- Inspect anode rod if accessible
- Check water pressure at the tank and install expansion tank if needed
- Clean burner or lint chamber on FVIR water heater
- Check thermocouple and clean if necessary
- Check for gas leaks
- Check for proper drafting of vent gases and integrity of venting system
- Check for visible corrosion and stability of tank base
Dye-test all toilets and check all toilet connections and seals for tightness
Check all faucets for proper operation and clean faucet screens
Test sump pump and battery back-up sump pump for proper operation
Inspect all exposed drain pipes and floor drains
Inspect all gas piping and valves
Install safety identification labels on plumbing valves and piping
Check garbage disposer, dishwasher, clothes dryer and washing machine connections
Toss that Reverse Osmosis and Water Softener! Whole Home Water Filtration & Conditioning the Healthy Way
Unfiltered water? You’ve got that covered with your reverse osmosis (RO) system with the expensive filters that you have to change, and the mineral drops that you add back into the water, ugh. Hard water? You’ve got that covered with your water softener and its heavy and expensive bags of salt, yikes. Stop! These are old technology.
New Catalytic Water Conditioning Technology Removes Hardness without Removing Minerals
There is now an easier and healthier way to take the hardness and contaminants out of the water in every faucet and appliance in your home, with a whole home water conditioning plus filtration system. Water conditioning softens your water not by removing the minerals that your body needs, but by changing their molecular structure through catalytic treatment. This new catalytic treatment technology requires no maintenance, no electricity, no bags of salt and no expenses, and can be installed in your home quickly.
Water Conditioning plus Non-RO Filtration Makes the Healthiest Drinking Water
Water conditioning alone does not filter contaminants out of your water. That is where whole home water conditioning plus water filtration systems come in. Unlike RO systems that filter only the water that comes to your sink or refrigerator, whole home water filtration filters all of your home’s water, including the water you shower in and spray on your vegetable garden. And unlike RO systems, they leave in the important minerals that your body needs. While whole home RO systems do exist, they are expensive to maintain and waste a lot of water.
Catalytic Water Conditioning Plus Filtration offers Many Benefits over Reverse Osmosis
The NaturalSof water conditioner plus filtration system is a great example of a water conditioning plus water filtration system that installs easily at your home’s water source and softens and filters your water all in one. It also offers the following benefits over water softening and RO:
- requires no maintenance, no salt, no filter replacement
- requires no electricity like traditional water softeners do
- doesn’t leave your hands feeling oily or soapy like traditional water softening
- removes the hardness from water without removing the health benefit of the minerals
- filters all of your home’s water, not just the water going to your RO tap
- wastes no water
- adds no sodium to your water
The NaturalSof 6L removes the following contaminants from your drinking water:
- disinfectant byproducts
- trace pharmaceuticals
Removing Hard Water Keeps Your Plumbing and Appliances Healthy
We all know that water filtration is important for the water you drink. But did you know that removing the hardness from your water is just as important to your home and appliances? The mineral scale build up from hard water does damage to your home in the following ways:
- clogs your home’s plumbing and appliances like dishwashers and washing machines
- leaves scale on heating elements in tankless water heaters, coffee pots and vaporizers
- increases maintenance needed on whole home and stand-alone humidifiers
- damages and clogs plumping fixtures
- leaves spots on shower doors and glassware
- causes you to use more detergent and soap
No home or family should be without a whole home water conditioning system and a drinking water filtration strategy. Traditional water softeners and RO systems are still right for some, but there are many options available to suit the needs of every home and family’s particular needs. Call our plumbing experts at Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today to analyze your options at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO.
Can air conditioners spread allergens?
The answer is yes, they can. If not cleaned and properly maintained, they can put allergens into the air which contribute to a myriad of health issues namely those dealing with respiration such as allergies and asthma.
A dirty air conditioner filter prevents cool air from flowing. It takes trapped dirt, dust, dander, and pollen and distributes it throughout a room. People who spend time in the space breathe in the air and develop allergies in the process. Investing in regular AC cleaning prevents that problem from occurring.
It prevents the spreading of pollutants throughout the home. It does not, however, eliminate them. In order to do that, you must first identify the source of the problem and do your part to get rid of it before it worsens. The next section addresses the top in-home allergens so you can determine if they’re what is causing you or a family member’s allergies to worsen.
The Top In-Home Allergens
To better understand what you’re up against, it’s important to know what causes allergens to build up inside the home. Among the biggest culprit is a dirty air conditioner filter which is easily taken care of with AC cleaning. Replacing the filter every few weeks is highly recommended with the frequency increasing in homes with pets.
Other allergens that cause concern include:
- Cigarette Smoke. Second-hand smoke can cause respiratory problems in children and adults. It can also be problematic for pets. Asking that all smokers take their cigarettes and vape pens outdoors to smoke keeps the nicotine out of the home and lungs of the residence’s occupants. Most people have no issue smoking or vaping outdoors especially if the person they are visiting requests that they do so.
- Dust Mites. The parasites live in linens and gather on clothing and toys that sit untouched for a while. The best way to deal with them is to clean and vacuum the home regularly. It’s impossible to get rid of them completely but you can reduce the problems caused by the dust mites significantly by dusting, vacuuming, and washing sheets, pillowcases, and blankets frequently. Creating a weekly cleaning schedule for yourself helps you take care of all the potentially problematic areas inside the home.
- Mold. Using a dehumidifier inside the home helps reduce instances of mold. When it’s warm, dark, and damp in a room, spores appear. Hiring a professional to tackle a mold problem before it worsens is imperative. Mold is the type of problem that can get a home condemned if it gets bad enough.
- Pollen. Ensuring that your doors and windows have screens on them is one way to keep pollen out. Keeping your AC unit’s filter clean at all times does, too. Investing in the right size of filter for the make and model of air conditioner that you have makes it easier to trap pollutants and keep them from entering your home, nostrils, and mouth while you breathe.
- Pet Dander. Like dust mites, you can’t avoid a pet that sheds. If your dog or cat has long hair, make sure to brush them outdoors regularly. You’ll also want to sweep, dust, and vacuum on a routine basis. Cleaning the pet’s bedding also helps eliminate traces of hair and dander which cause a lot of people’s allergies to kick in.
- Toxic Chemical Cleaning Supplies. Switching to all-natural, organic cleaning products eliminates the level of toxicity inside the home. Individuals with chemical sensitivities notice a distinct difference in how they feel and breathe once commercial cleaners are banned from the residence. Common kitchen ingredients such as baking soda and vinegar are often used in many DIY cleaning recipes. They’re all-natural and not something that aggravates or creates allergies for people.
An indoor air quality test allows you to better understand what could be triggering you or your family member’s allergies. It makes it easier to eliminate the source of the problem by repairing a broken AC unit. AC repair makes the unit work more efficiently at eliminating the issue of indoor allergens.
Making sure that your air conditioner isn’t doing more harm than good is your responsibility. By learning what to do to keep your unit working optimally, you eliminate many of the problems caused by pollutants inside the home. You also protect your investment by keeping your AC in good working order so you can continue to use it for years without replacing it.
What You Can Do to Keep Your AC Running Well
There are things you can do to keep your AC in good working order. The first is to not put off AC repair. If you know that your air conditioner isn’t doing its job, it’s time to call in a professional. The fix could be as simple as air duct cleaning.
Staying on top of routine maintenance prevents your air conditioner from freezing up and running up your home energy bills. An AC can run non-stop, not put out cool air, cause an electric bill to skyrocket, and burn out its motor rendering the unit useless.
That’s why you should take a look at the unit routinely, remove anything blocking its air flow, switch out its filter, and have a technician service it before using it full-time in the hotter months of the year. You’re able to prolong the lifespan of the AC that way and keep yourself from paying exorbitant costs to the electric company.
What AC Maintenance Entails
If you’re unsure of what hiring a professional to perform maintenance on your air conditioning unit entails, don’t worry. Anyone who hasn’t had the experience of working with an expert isn’t sure what to expect. A company such as Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling puts your mind to ease right away by remaining communicative throughout the maintenance process.
Before an air conditioner is turned on for the first time for the season, a technician comes out and takes a look at the unit. They remove the air filter and replace it with a new one. They check coolant levels to make sure they are adequate enough to cool your size of home for the duration of the summer.
The tech turns the air conditioner on to make sure that it gets to the desired temperature right away. They also note any strange sounds the AC makes or smells that come out of the unit. If a repair must be done to get the air conditioner back in good working order, the professional does it on the spot as long as they have the replacement part in stock.
Addressing common furnace problems is something else that we do in addition to repairing a broken AC unit and performing routine AC maintenance. Having a company you can trust to take care of your air conditioning and heating needs is essential as a homeowner. It ensures that your home remains a comfortable temperature year-round.
Contact Us to Schedule AC Unit Cleaning Today
It is highly recommended to contact Anthony Heating and Cooling to set up a time for AC unit check and cleaning. Doing so helps you remove existing allergens from the home and prevent future problems from occurring. Contact us today at 913-268-4669.
When it comes to water, the notion is plain and clear; we need it to survive. Many times individuals who own properties will notice their utility bills inflate to an absurd amount; if this is the case, then it is wise to investigate the instance further as this could indicate a plumbing issue that needs quick attention.
The longer people wait to get their plumbing pipes checked, the more damage could occur costing possible tens of thousands of dollars to fix.
Don’t wait until this happens to you and call Anthony PHC before you become the problem- why the world’s water is being wasted.
Before you end up with a water wasting scenario and habit, our experts at Anthony PHC Kansas City highly recommend that you watch out for the following signs discussed in this article; and remember to always preserve your pipes, drains, and faucets. Be cognizant and save water every moment you get.
Faucet Plumbing Drips
A never-ending drip that slowly leaks from your pipes is a reason to have your plumbing system looked at.
If you experience a faucet dripping at a slow rate, this could mean that you need the components inside of the unit replaced.
If you don’t get this looked at, you could be wasting hundreds of gallons of water per year.
Do you see signs of cracks that lie around your porcelain toilet, tub, or sink?
If you’ve answered, yes, then you will need to call the plumbing experts at Anthony PHC Kansas City and inform us about this problem, before the cracking worsens.
Water can slowly leak through the cracks and can sometimes go unnoticed; you’ll have to take a closer look to see if this is causing your water wasting issue.
Of course, your bathroom is a humid and wet area, especially after you relish in a hot and relaxing shower.
Look around, if you notice any green or black fuzziness or sludge around your pipes, drains, or faucets then you will need to contact plumbing experts who can eradicate the mold or fungi.
Living with this type of problem could eventually cause pipe deterioration and contamination; you and whoever else resides in the building could be exposed to potential health risks.
When fungi is in and around your plumbing system, this wastes water for the mere fact that mold and fungi could be contaminating water supplies; in turn, causing health ailments galore.
Stop wasting water and minimize medical bills. If you see black sludge anywhere near your plumbing system, it is best if you call an expert immediately.
Plumbing Water Discoloration
If your water is exerting a strange color then throw in the towel and get expert advice from a certified, insured, and experienced plumber in Kansas City.
Your water should be clear and shouldn’t have a strange color or smell. If it does and has particles or rock sediments in it, you will need to call the pros at Anthony PHC Kansas City as this is another plumbing problem and water is being wasted.
If you notice any of the signs above, keep in mind, the longer you wait, the higher the chances you may ingest water not appropriate for consumption.
Click here to learn more about how you can preserve water and stop wasting and destroying our world’s water resources through ongoing and unnoticed neglect.
Efficient air conditioners can seem like a luxury in the hot, scorching summers of Kansas City.
Keep enjoying a cool home and ensure your unit is well maintained by getting the necessary repairs before the hot weather hits. Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Kansas City, MO, provide reliable heating and cooling services to homeowners and businesses in KC.
Our licensed and certified technicians have years of expertise in AC repair or replacement using modern equipment and tools to get the job done to your satisfaction. More importantly, knowing how your air conditioning unit works helps you to determine when it needs maintenance, repair, or replacement.
What is an Air Conditioner?
An air conditioner is a system of equipment that converts warm air into cool air and distributes or circulates it throughout the rooms in your home or office; this is done using energy or electricity and the processes of refrigeration, evaporation and condensation. The amount of energy needed to do this depends on the brand or model of the unit.
Older units typically use more energy to cool the same square footage of space compared to the newer models. The high-efficiency units we install use far less energy to provide cool air, saving you a ton of money in the long run. You can get one installed if your current unit has been costing you too much money to repair or has stopped working.
Types of Air Conditioning Systems
There are generally two different types of AC systems. They are room air conditioners and central air conditioners. Then there is the ductless, mini-split unit which is a hybrid air conditioner. Central AC units can be a split system or packaged unit but they both work similarly and function efficiently to provide cool air.
Split-System Central Air Conditioner
The main parts of the split-system central air conditioner are the outdoor unit, the indoor unit, and the thermostat to control the temperature. The outdoor unit or cabinet contains the compressor, fan, condenser coil, and electrical parts. The indoor unit cabinet houses the evaporator and evaporator coil and may also contain a furnace. Otherwise, the coil is installed at the top of the gas furnace in the home.
The outdoor and indoor units are connected by pipes and the refrigeration lines that contain a gas called the refrigerant. When installing the AC system, ducts are placed throughout the home and function as air tunnels. Finally, a thermostat is installed, usually on the wall in one of the rooms. It is used to set the room temperature as desired.
Packaged Central Air Conditioner
With the packaged central air conditioner, the compressor, condenser, and evaporator are all housed in one unit. It also usually contains a natural gas furnace or electric heating coils. The cabinet may be placed on a concrete slab outside the home or business or on the roof. The ducts are placed through openings in the roof or exterior walls of the building and then connected to the unit. With the furnace or heating coils and the evaporator, this type of AC unit removes the need for an indoor furnace. It also saves on indoor living space.
How Air Conditioners Work to Provide Cool Air
Air conditioners are installed in three-quarters of all homes in the US, yet many people do not know how this important piece of cooling equipment works. The science behind how it works is generally the same but there may be unique differences depending on the type of unit installed.
The refrigeration lines built into the unit are largely responsible for the cycle of cool air that comes through the unit. But each component of the system provides a special function that helps cool the air.
The Cooling Cycle
The refrigerant flows through the refrigeration lines between the indoor and outdoor units of the central AC system. When the AC is turned on, the fan in the outdoor unit will spin and pull warm air from inside the home through the vent and into the ductwork.
The gas refrigerant is vaporized or compressed by the compressor and pumped onto the condenser coil in the outdoor unit, then released to the evaporator coil in the indoor cabinet.
The evaporator coil absorbs the heat in the air and cools it. The cool air flows through the connected ducts and escapes through the vents connected to the HVAC system. This refrigeration cycle continues over and over to lower the temperature and cool the room to match the setting on the thermostat.
Common Air Conditioner Problems
The last thing you want to happen during the hot summer days is for your window, room, or central AC unit to malfunction or stop blowing cool air. Some of the most common problems with these cooling units our technicians have seen and fixed are:
- Clogged filter
- Thermostat isn’t working
- Leaking refrigerant
- Burnt out capacitors
- Dirty condenser coils
- Compressor not working
- Refrigerant needs refilling
- Problems with the breakers or fuse
- Filthy or clogged condensate drain lines
- Worn out fins
When to Get Air Conditioner Repairs in Kansas City
Other times, the problems are an indication that the system needs maintenance or repairs. Your unit may need repairs if any of these problems are present:
- Leaking refrigerant
- The unit blows hot air
- Increase in humidity in the rooms
- Noisy unit, e.g., loud grinding, grating, or squealing sounds
- Pungent, musty, or burnt smell coming from the unit
Skip the DIY and Call the Air Conditioner Repair Experts
The heating and cooling system installed in your home or office are complex. If an AC problem occurs, you may be tempted to try and fix them yourself; however, to avoid causing any damage to the system, it is best to call in the air conditioner repair professionals at Anthonys PHC.
They are available 24/7 to ensure you remain in cool comfort. Having years of expertise diagnosing problems in various types of AC systems, our experts can easily identify what’s causing the problem and recommend repairs if needed. Armed with state-of-the-art tools and equipment, they’ll get your unit working again in no time!
When to Replace Your Air Conditioning Unit
There are times when the only economical thing to do is to replace your AC or cooling system. If any of the following applies you, it may be time to upgrade to a new, energy-efficient air conditioner installed by Anthonys PHC:
- The unit is old (10-15 years)
- It stops working efficiently
- Frequent and expensive repairs
- Energy bills keep rising
- It’s not the right size for your home
Call to make an appointment for AC repair or replacement in Kansas City
If you’re experiencing one or more of the common AC problems, call the AC repair professionals at Anthonys PHC in Kansas City, MO. We provide HVAC services to satisfy the heating and cooling needs of customers in KC. Our technicians are skilled in servicing and repairing various types of cooling units and will run a complete diagnosis to determine the problem.