Anthony Expert Advice

If you’ve noticed dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold spores and bacteria invading your home, an electronic air cleaner is the perfect solution. Pollution isn’t a curse exclusive to the outdoors. In fact, trapped indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air. Even though you may have filters in your furnace and air conditioner, these filters only stop about 15% of harmful airborne particles. We’ll go over the different types of contaminants that can enter your home, how these contaminants affect your health, how electronic air cleaners work to combat these contaminants, types of air cleaners, and other ways you can improve the air quality of you home aside from electronic air cleaners.

Types of Pollutants

Before we look at electronic air cleaners, we’ll go over the different types of pollutants that they fight off. Particulate matter might include dust, smoke, pollen, animal dander, tobaccos, or smoke. Dust mites, mold, bacteria and viruses can also fester in your home. Gaseous pollutants come from combustions processes, and can be caused by cooking stoves, vehicle exhaust and tobacco smoke. Building materials, cleaning products, pesticides, paints, and adhesives may also be the culprit. Sometimes lead in house dust, formaldehyde, fire-retardants, radon or cleaner chemicals might be the issue. Pollutants can be introduced to the home via a new mattress, furniture, carper cleaners or paint. You’ll need to watch out for all these pollutants in your home and react if you notice signs of their presence. pollutant

How Contaminants Affect Your Health

According to the EPA, many health issues can arise immediately after being exposed to bad indoor air quality. You may experience irritated eyes/nose/throat, headaches, dizziness and fatigue. If you have asthma, your symptoms may be aggravated by pollutant exposure. We often recommend humidifiers for those with asthma, but an electronic air cleaner can do the trick as well. Your age and pre-existing medical conditions play a part in how strongly you’ll react to pollutants in the air. You may become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants due to repeated exposure. Symptoms appear similar to a cold or viral disease, so it may take a while for you to pick up on the fact that your air is the problem. You’ll be able to distinguish the two by checking when and where symptoms occur. If you notice your ailments fading when you’re away from your home for an extended period of time, air quality is most likely the issue. You may experience side effects years after exposure or only notice a health difference after long or repeated periods of exposure.  These effects can include such serious health problems as respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer. Everyone reacts differently, but you should be sure to remedy the problem with an electronic air cleaner if indoor air quality is harming your health.

Types of Air Cleaners

Investing in an air cleaner will increase the efficiency of your comfort system, reduce odors, lower operating costs and destroy harmful airborne contaminants. The two types of air conditioners are (1) arrestors and (2) non-arrestors. Arrestors physically trap pollutants while non-arrestors alter the pollutant characteristics without capturing them.

Mechanical Air Filters (Arrestor)

Otherwise known as media filters, these air cleaner systems utilize a mesh material, such as fiberglass fibers, to trap particles. They remove dust by capturing it in the filter medium, which is the material that makes up the filter elements. The HEPA (high efficiency particle arrestor) is one of the most efficient on the market. It can trap 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns in size. The effectiveness of a mechanical air filter is measured by MERV ratings (minimum efficiency reporting value). If your filter has a lower MERV rating, chances are it will need more maintenance. Many of these filters are also washable.

merv ratings for air cleaner

Electronic Air Cleaner (Arrestor)

Electronic air cleaners aren’t filters, but rather an electric field that ionizes particles that pass through. These ionized particles are then drawn down to two, oppositely-charged collector plates on the cleaner and are caught there. You’ll need to provide an external power source to get these babies running. Electronic air cleaners are often necessary because they can remove contamination that is too small for a mechanical filter to catch. These types of cleaners require maintenance, since the plates accumulate particles. You should wash the air cleaner’s metal cells every 8 days unless you have an electronically-charged media air cleaner. These specialized units last one year, but require no cleaning at all.

electronic air cleaner

Ionic Air Cleaners and Ozone Air Cleaners (Non-Arrestors)

An Ionic air cleaner generates an electrical charge (negative ions) that makes the pollutants in the air become ‘sticky’. The ions attach to airborne molecules, making them negatively charged and attractive to the positively charged particles nearby. They cling to the ceiling and walls in the room, preventing them from drifting around your home. This may cause dirty surfaces in the area surrounding the air purifier. One downside is that they may produce ozone as a byproduct. Ozone air cleaners create a type of oxygen that combines with pollutants and alters their chemical make-up. They’re used primarily for smoke and odor removal. Large amounts of ozone are not healthy for your body. What makes an ionic air cleaner so tempting aside from that is that they are quiet, energy efficient and don’t require replacement filters.

Ultra-Violet Air Cleaners (Non-Arrestors)

If you choose to go with an ultra-violet lamp, you’ll have it installed in your heating and cooling system to destroy bacteria, mold, and viruses. Performance is dependent on the speed of the air and light intensity. UV air filters can destroy particles without any filtration. The UV rays incinerate particles as they pass through, making it easier for those with asthma, lung complications and allergies. Since UV air filters don’t use actual filters, you don’t have to worry about dirty filters further contaminating your home. UV air purifiers will need new bulbs at least once every couple of years.ultraviolet cleaners

How to Keep Your Air Clean

There are several ways you can keep your air clean aside from an air cleaner, but we recommend air cleaners when pollutants are negatively affecting your health. Aside from air cleaners, you can maintain the cleanliness of your floors, keep a healthy level of humidity, keep smoke out of your home, test for radon and regulating fragrances.

1. Clean Floors

One thing you can do to fight pollutants is keep your floors fresh by using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, strong suction, and rotating brushes. This will suck up any lead, pollen, pet dander, dust mites and brominated fire-retardant chemicals that may be festering there. Be sure to get the walls, carpet edges and upholstered furniture. And keep in mind that your vacuum filter needs to be cleaned out regularly. Other options for floor cleanliness are mopping with microfiber mops and placing floor mats at your front door to keep dirt from entering your home. You can also ask guests to remove their shoes at the door.microfiber mop

2. Healthy Humidity Level

Since dust mites and mold flourish in humid climates, you should keep your humidity levels between 30% and 50% to snuff them out. Combine a dehumidifier and run your air conditioner in the summer to reduce indoor air pollen. Other tactics for dehumidifying include (1) using an exhaust fan while cooking, (2) fixing leaky plumbing and (3) venting the clothes dryer to the outside.

3. Remove Smoke

Not only does smoking in your home yellow the walls, but it also creates second-hand smoke. This smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals which can increase a child’s risk of ear and respiratory infections, cancer, asthma and infant death.

4. Conduct a Radon Test

Radon is a key contributor to lung cancer (second leading cause in U.S.). Since radon is colorless and odorless, you never know when it has invaded your home. This radioactive gas is formed from the natural decay of uranium found in soil, and it enters your home through cracks in the foundation. There’s also a correlation between granite countertops and increased radon levels. You can check out this guide on purchasing a radon test kit if you suspect radon may be the culprit.

radon test

5. Make Your Home Smell Good

It may surprise you to hear that synthetic fragrances in bleaches/detergent and air fresheners can pollute your home air with chemicals. One plug-in air freshener on the market was found to release 20 volatile organic compounds, seven of which were considered ‘toxic’ or ‘hazardous’ under U.S. federal laws. Companies are able to trick consumers into purchasing these products by simply listing ‘fragrance’ on the label. Many don’t realize that fragrances are made from petroleum products which haven’t been tested for negative effects on human health. To minimize the chemicals being released into your home, you can stick with fragrance-free/naturally-scented products, use mild cleaners, cut out aerosol sprays, open windows to let in fresh air, bring plants into your home and use lemons/baking soda to create a fresh scent.

Contact Us

If you’re considering an air cleaner for you home, contact us. We would love to answer any questions you may have and get you set up with the system that fits your budget and needs.

The results are in! Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has been voted by the readers of Johnson County Lifestyle Magazine as the BEST service provider in two categories! After a record number of votes Anthony PHC was selected as the BEST Plumbing and BEST Heating & Cooling company in the area!

Additionally, Anthony PHC was voted by the readers of Leawood Lifestyle Magazine as the BEST Heating & Cooling company in the city.

Since 1951, Anthony Plumbing, Heating Cooling is Kansas City’s most trusted plumbing, heating and cooling provider with “The Technicians You Can Trust With Your House Keys!®”.

Anthony PHC has the largest customer referral network in the Kansas City area. All Anthony PHC technicians are drug tested and background checked, and, holding to a strong heritage of expertise and customer satisfaction, AnthonyPHC technicians participate in weekly classroom and hands-on training.

The Anthony Service Agreement Program (A.S.A.P.), extends the life of customer’s heating, cooling and plumbing system with annual preventative maintenance including semi-annual tune-ups and is widely supported by manufacturers and customers. Anthony PHC provides service seven days a week and is always open to attend to our customer’s needs.

Anthony PHC specializes in plumbing, heating and cooling service, maintenance and installation. Furthermore, Anthony PHC is an industry leader in home automation with its Anthony MyHome line of products.

Owner & Home Comfort Expert, Steve Burbridge proclaims, “We are honored to have been voted as the best plumbing, heating and cooling company in the area as we strive every day to provide solutions for our customers to be safe, healthy, and comfortable with the least amount of energy use. We welcome anyone who is not a current customer to see why we truly are “The Technicians You Can TRUST With Your House Keys!®”.

Furnace Repair

If you’re considering furnace repair in Kansas City, there are a few things you should know about furnaces first. In this post, we’ll go over the different parts that make up a gas furnace, as well as how these parts interact to give you a heated home. For troubleshooting purposes, this can be a good guide to determine exactly which part of your furnace is in need of repair. Though we don’t recommend conducting furnace repair in Kansas City on your own, understanding how your system works can always be beneficial.

Parts of a Gas Furnace

A gas furnace (aka ‘home furnace’) turns gas to heat and keeps the circulation of indoor air warm. Most gas furnaces operate at 95% efficiency. They are made up of three parts, the first part is composed of a burner, heat exchanger, vent and draft inducer. The second part contains the safety devices and controls (i.e. circuit board relays, thermostat, flame sensors, etc.). Lastly is the blower and air movement. We’ll go over each of these parts to help you better understand how the system works and determine whether you require furnace repair in Kansas City.

furnace diagram

Furnace Burner

The furnace burner is the part where air and fuel are combined, resulting in heat. After this step, the heat is distributed throughout the home. In some cases, the burner has a pre-mixer that mixes the air and fuel. Because of this, combustion is more efficient. Fuel sources can include gas, oil or propane, and a furnace can have more than one burner. Once the thermostat calls for heat, the fuel valve opens and the air intake sucks in air from the exterior of the home. This mixes with the fuel and the pilot light engages. Heated air travels across the heat exchanger, sending warm air into the ductwork. Blower fans take care of the rest.

furnace burner

Heat Exchanger

A heat exchanger makes it possible for heat from a fluid to pass to another fluid without the two fluids mixing together or coming into direct contact with each other. Through this process, it transfers hear from one medium to another via conduction. There are different types of heat exchangers; An air-cooled heat exchanger moves cool air through a core of fins to lower the temperature of the liquid. Shell and tube heat exchangers, on the other hand, move the fluids through and over tubes. What’s important to know about a heat exchanger is that is transfers heat without transferring the fluid that carries the heat. As far as furnace repair in Kansas City goes, this is a part that you need to maintain.

heat exchanger

Furnace Vent Pipe

Why is a vent pipe so important? Because it transmits emissions from the combustion process outside the building. This means you never have to worry about toxic gases and harmful byproducts of the heating process. In addition, this part prevents fires. There are three types of vents: natural, direct and sidewall. A natural vent is powered by natural air convection, and they’re standard in most modern gas furnaces. It takes air from within the home for combustion. Since warm air rises, the gases created during combustion rise through the vent. From there, the air is vented outside via a vertical pipe in the roof. A direct vent uses two pipes that are different sizes. An outer pipe sucks in the air from outside to be used for the combustion process, and the smaller pipe inside vents the exhaust fumes. They’re more costly than natural vents, but also have easier installation and less environmental pollution. Finally, the sidewall power vent (aka induced draft fan) is positioned at the end of the exhaust pipe, drawing out combustion gases and expelling them outside. It works with the furnace and is one of the most budget-friendly options out there. These types also are highly efficient and safe.

furnace vent pipe

Draft Inducer

Essentially, a draft inducer is a fan that’s positioned within the furnace near the heat exchanger. It’s one of the first parts activated once the furnace starts up the heating cycle. It turns on prior to the burners igniting in order to remove the combustion gases that hang around after the previous heating cycle. Draft inducers provide the burners with a consistent source of oxygen. The draft inducer blows the combustion gases out of your furnace before flames are lit, ensuring your furnace is safe for the home. They also improve the system’s efficiency by ensuring you get the most out of your burner’s efforts. Heat production is maximized since it runs the whole time, and heat is evenly distributed within the heat exchanger’s walls.

draft inducer

Furnace Thermostat

A thermostat senses the temperature of a system to ensure the desired set point is maintained. This is a ‘closed loop’ control device, because it works to reduce the error between the desired and measured temperatures. With gas furnaces, a thermostat will start drafting the fan to create a column of air flowing up the chimney. Then, the ignitor will be heated. Open gas vales ignite the main burners, and the heat exchangers eventually reach a proper operating temperature for the main blower fans to be activated. Mechanical thermostats work by using the thermal expansion principle (things get bigger when they heat up and smaller when they cool down) to switch an electric circuit on and off. Most thermostats use bimetallic strips or gas-filled bellows.

furnace thermostat

Furnace Blower

A furnace blower moves the heated air throughout the duct work in your home, ensuring all rooms are heated evenly.  The blower motor is one of the hardest-working parts of your furnace. There are a couple different types to choose from as well. The single speed blower has only two settings: on and off. It’s either at full capacity or nothing. A variable-speed blower motor, on the other hand, gives you a soft start. This means that blowers don’t start out on full throttle when the heater is activated, but rather increase as runtime goes on. This saves on energy, because the blower motor only runs at full capacity when needed. The blower is activated when the heat sequence is initiated. The relay in the circuit board closes, thereby powering up the motor of the blower. When a desired temperature is achieved, the blower is activated by a blower relay in the circuit board.

furnace blower

Safety

To ensure optimal safety with your gas furnace, you should follow these steps. For one, make sure your furnace is cleaned and checked every year by a certified Anthony PHC technician. Do this before the heating season. Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your home and change your furnace filter regularly. This filter will be located inside the front cover of the furnace and can be accessed via a door on the front of the furnace. When your filter is cleaned regularly, dust doesn’t circulate around your home. Additionally, you should maintain a clean area around your furnace and keep the burner area of your furnace clean. As a rule of thumb, you should never operate your furnace without the front-panel door properly in place. This is where carbon-monoxide poisoning becomes a possibility, since some older models don’t have a safety switch that prevents furnace operation when the panel to the blower compartment is not in place. Keep any combustibles, like paint thinners or gasoline, away from your furnace to prevent fires. By following these steps, you ensure that your furnace can run worry-free. If you’d rather a professional take care of these safety measures, you can call out an Anthony PHC representative to work on your furnace repair in Kansas City.

furnace filter

Why Choose Us

What distinguishes us from the competition is that we offer a two-year, money-back, 100% satisfaction guarantee. This means that you take zero risk by deciding to go with us. A twelve-year parts and labor guarantee ensures your furnace installation in Kansas City is top-quality, and you receive a whole new unit if a major part failure pops up. Plus, we guarantee that your home will be kept at 70 degrees even when it’s zero degrees outside. We promise that your furnace will save on utilities by the time we’re through with it, and we offer a referral-rewards pay-back program. This means you can receive furnace repair for FREE if you have enough referrals under your belt. One of the most annoying things about hiring a technician is having to take a half-day so you can be home during their ridiculous time frame. Not with us. Since we’re the ‘technicians you can trust with your house keys’, all you have to do is leave your keys and let us take care of the rest. Every technician is drug-free and background tested—we have years of experience to back up our technicians’ legitimacy.

furnace repair in kansas city

If you choose to go with a new furnace, they are test-fired to burn-off any manufacturing oil on the heater exchange. With a noise-dampening package, you can be sure that your furnace will stay as quiet as a mouse. Not only do we file a quality control report with a new furnace installation, but we also train you on how to operate your new system. Contact us if you’d like to receive a free estimate or require furnace repair in Kansas City!

 

There are several reasons why your home AC may be blowing hot air. We’ll go over the different causes, reasons for malfunctions, and troubleshooting for the problem. We’ll also go over causes for your car AC blowing hot air and some quick fixes outside visiting a mechanic.

Home AC Blowing Hot Air

1. Thermostat Setting

If you’ve noticed that your AC is blowing hot air, the first step is to make sure that your thermostat system is set to ‘cool’ and your fan is on ‘auto’ (if you don’t have a whole-home air cleaner). When your fan is on, it’s constantly blowing air through your vents. It can be active even when your system isn’t cooling the air that’s leaving the vents. It’s a good way to improve air quality for those with a whole-home air cleaner, but it doesn’t do much to cool your home if the system isn’t set to ‘cool’. This is a common reason warm/neutral air might be blowing through your vents. You should also lower your temperature setting to be at least 5 degrees below what the room temperature says on the thermostat. Make sure your unit’s temperature isn’t set too high on auto either. Remember to change the setting from ‘heat’ to ‘cool’ in the summertime.ac blowing hot air thermostat

2. Dirty Condenser Unit

Otherwise known as the outside unit, the condenser unit may be the culprit for an AC blowing hot air. The inside and outside unit work together to remove heat from within the home. If there’s anything interfering with the system’s moving parts (dirt, leaves, tall grass, etc.), you’ll need to remove this blockage to get your AC working the way it should. If there’s restricted airflow, the condenser coil won’t be able to do its job. Use a broom to get rid of visible debris and trim brushes, weeds and tall grass that may be interfering with airflow.

dirty condenser unit

3. Dirty Air Filter

Since the air filter protects the inside of your AC unit from dust and dirt, it can prevent proper airflow if not properly maintained. Those who live in warmer climates needs to check their air filter once a month. The filter alone won’t be the cause of your AC blowing hot air. However, it can add to the problem and reduce cooling efficiency. To fix this issue, turn off the unit, order a new filter or clean the dirty filter, then reinstall the filter.

dirty clean air filter

4. Low Refrigerant

When your AC unit is losing refrigerant, the air blowing throughout your home will not be cool. It’s an issue that requires a professional to come take a look at it, because you can’t see a leak with the naked eye. Since refrigerant isn’t ‘used up’ over time, low refrigerant indicates a leak. If you don’t fix the leak, the refrigerant you add will just continue to escape. These leaks could be caused by a loose joint due to frequent use or perhaps the unit was assembled poorly by the manufacturer. Another common culprit is a worn service valve. This is typically caused by turning on the AC after inactivity all winter. You can prevent leakage by having the unit serviced before turning it on for the summer or right after turning it on.

5. Leaky Air Ducts

Other leaks can be responsible for AC blowing hot air. Leaks in air ducts can mess up the system’s cooling process, so contact a professional to locate the ducts within your walls, attic or basement and seal the leaks. When cooled or heated air leaves through the duct leaks, your AC has to run longer to match the thermostat setting. This means you have a higher energy bill on top of warm air. You’ll also have to deal with more AC repairs, hot/cold spots in your home and more frequent filter changing. In most houses, 20-30% of the air moving through the duct system is wasted due to holes, poorly connected ducts and leaks.

leaky air duct

6. Loss of Power to Outside Unit

When the outside unit loses power but the inside unit doesn’t, you might notice your AC blowing hot air. Power can be lost in the circuit breaker (check to see if it got tripped) or an emergency shutoff switch. You’ll find this switch on your home’s exterior wall next to the outside AC unit. If the breaker switch (pictured below) is your problem, flip it all the way off and then back on. Normally, breakers flip on or off due to power overload. With too much current, it switches off as a safety precaution. If flipping the breaker back on doesn’t do the trick, contact an Anthony PHC technician. In the even that your breaker is dead, an electrician will need to be called in.ac breaker valve

7. Air Conditioner Freezing

Air conditioners can freeze solid into a block of ice, a common reason for your AC blowing hot air.  The part of your AC that’s frozen is the evaporator coil. It blocks cool air from entering your home. The motor is what’s providing the heat if the fan isn’t frozen as well. This freezing occurs when condensation builds up within the unit. If the temperature at which the AC Is blowing falls below 32 degrees, the freezing process begins. Where we see this most often is on hot days when homeowners crank up their AC to the highest setting. To prevent this, keep your thermostat between 70 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit on auto. To combat a frozen air conditioner, turn it off and let it thaw over the span of a couple hours. Then, turn the unit back on again. If the problem continues, you may need to contact a professional.frozen ac

8. Bad Compressor

Your compressor collects cool, low-pressure refrigerant gas from inside, then squeezes the refrigerant and raises its temperature/pressure.  When this happens, the transformed refrigerant exits the compressor as a hot, high-pressure gas. If the compressor isn’t working properly, the whole system collapses. Normally these compressors go out due to electrical failures, overheating and refrigerant coming back to the compressor. Compressors are sturdy parts, typically lasting at least 10 years and into 20. This part can be replaced, though it may be more cost-efficient to just purchase a new AC unit.

compressor

9. Electrical Problems

If a wire is frayed or damaged, it can cause your AC to underperform or break entirely. Wires can undergo damage from overheating or family pets, so it’s important to keep your wires unexposed. An AC repair company can take care of your broken wires.

Car AC Blowing Hot Air

1. Blocked/Broken Condenser

The condenser, which looks similar to the radiator, is located at the front of your vehicle. It turns the hot, compressed refrigerant into an ambient temperature as it comes from your compressor. It also uses the air your car is traveling through. Without a working condenser, the warm refrigerant travels through the expansion valve. This results in the AC blowing hot air. Condensers are susceptible to blockage because they’re located at the front of the vehicle. You can remove any debris that may be causing the blockage, or remove the condenser yourself if you feel confident in your mechanical skills. The condenser is mounted in with a few bolts and there are 2 refrigerant lines which you will need to remove. If the puncture isn’t visible to the naked eye, you can use UV dye in your AC system to find the puncture point.

car ac unit

2. Low Refrigerant

Refrigerant turns hot air into cold air by taking in and releasing heat, leaving the cool air behind. Low refrigerant can be caused by a loose connection, the escape of refrigerant as time goes on, or an old hose. Even a minuscule leak can be the cause of your car AC blowing hot air. A common refrigerant is Freon, a liquid which is similar to motor oil and radiant coolant. To identify a refrigerant leak, you can check for oily residue around the AC hose units or connections. Leaks can occur in the compressor, condenser and/or evaporator.

3. Broken Cooling Fans

Another possibility is that the vehicle has a broken cooling fan. Condensers need air moving over them to cool the refrigerant. This fan can wear out and eventually die. Another issue may be that the cooling fans blew a fuse or was clogged. Other electrical system failures might include issues with the relays or pressure switches.

4. Worn Out Compressor

The compressor circulates refrigerant through several stages to remove the heat from your car, but it can wear out over time due to contamination or other failed parts. To prevent your compressor from going out, you should run it for 10 minutes once a month in the off season. This can be done by turning on the defroster. You can also visit a mechanical for an AC checkup.

compressor

Contact Us

While these are some troubleshooting tactics that you can try when your AC is blowing hot air , we recommend contacting a professional if these tips don’t fix the problem. Our certified technicians receive 100 hours of training each year, and we pride ourselves on being the ‘technicians you can trust with your house keys’. Check out our blog post on air conditioning repair to learn more about how the system works and what you can do to maintain a healthy system.

Do I need Plumbing Services?

What’s one of the worst sounds you can imagine? That’s right—the water running in your toilet. There’s a lot that a plunger can help with, but some cases require a professional. Our services go beyond the humble porcelain throne though. Plumbing repair can include anything from faucet repair to garbage disposers to tankless water heaters. In this post, we’ll go over some of the different services we offer. We’ll also reveal some indicators that your appliances may need repair. You ready? Let’s plunge in.

Indicators of a Broken Pipe

If you notice bubbling noises when you flush the toilet or use the sink, this could be an indicator that air isn’t escaping into the sewer lines. Whistling noises might mean that a pipe is dented. If a segment of the pipe becomes too small for the amount of water that needs to come through, a whistling noise is emitted. If this pressure becomes too much, the pipes may burst. Clanking noises occur when loose pipes bump into each other, an issue which can later lead to leaks if untreated. Yucky odors, sink holes in your yard, puddles within your home and damp drywall are also tip-offs that something’s up. If you experience persistent clogs, frequent backups, lack of water, poor water quality (unusual color or smell) or a higher water bill, contact a professional. We deal with plumbing repair so you don’t have to worry about holes in your backyard!

sinkhole

Garbage Disposals

With the option to choose between three different garbage disposals, we can accommodate any preference. Our standard option has ¾ horsepower, a heavy duty motor, a stainless steel grinding chamber (to prevent rust) and a 3-year in-home warranty. With the next level, you get 7/8 horsepower, a heavy duty motor and a 2-stage stainless steel grinding chamber. Within this chamber, your food waste is liquefied.  Once liquefied, they are safe for pipes, sewer and the septic system. Extra insulation makes it quieter, and you receive an 8-year in-home warranty. At the top of the line is our 1.1 horsepower heavy duty motor garbage disposal system. It’s 60% quieter than a standard model and comes with 3-stage stainless steel grinding chambers. It also comes with a 12-year in-home warranty. Plus, an auto-reverse feature prevents jams.

Benefits of a Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals eliminate bad odors, can be easily cleaned and are better for the environment than dumping your organic waste in the trash can. Odors are eliminated when the disposal grinds waste material into small pieces and flushes it into the sewer system—no more suffering through the rotten smell wafting out of your trash can!  Garbage disposals are easy to clean as well—all you have to do is clean the motor.  You also help out the environment when you invest in a garbage disposal. They prevent food scraps from entering the trash cycle, and the waste from disposals can be turned into renewable energy. Most importantly, they can reduce the amount of methane gas. When less trash is dumped in landfills, less trash is decomposed. If your garbage disposal is suffering from blockage, we can take care of it as part of our plumbing repair services.

garbage disposal

Instant Hot Water Installation

This temperature is not for washing your hands. Once we install a hot water heater, you’ll be able to reach a water temperature of 200 degrees. Kitchen sink heaters are installed in an attractive dispenser beneath the sink—they’re a great asset for making coffee, tea, coco and instant hot cereal. It’s also great for cleaning pots and pans as long as you’re careful. Stainless steel tanks and a 3-year parts warranty make this a great purchase.

Tankless Water Heater

What distinguishes a tankless water heater is that it doesn’t heat up water when it isn’t needed, saving on your energy bill. Since tank water heaters use gas continuously to keep the entire tank of water hot, they rack up those energy bills. When water is called for somewhere in the home, water enters the heater to be warmed up. Not only does it save on energy, but it also prevents corrosion; Water isn’t collected in the system. No corrosion=longer life (estimated at about 20 years). If you use 41 gallons or less of hot water each day, tankless water heaters can be 24%-34% more energy efficient than a conventional water heater. They may need to be tuned up once a year, but this is only to ensure the longevity of the system. Having endless hot water is one of the major selling points of this offer, as well as lower operating/energy costs. They may cost more than conventional water heaters, but it’s worth it in the long run.
tankless water heater

How it Works

The first step that takes place is that the water goes into the stainless steel heat exchanger. It uses the heat from the exhaust to preheat the water. This water then travels into the copper heater exchanger that uses heat from the burner to warm up the water. Electrical elements may be used to heat the water as well.  The one downside to a tankless water heater is that its output limits the flow rate. They provide hot water at a rate of 2-5 gallons per minute, a number which may be too small to run multiple hot water sources at once. A gas-fired tankless water heater can produce hot water at a faster rate than electric tankless water heaters. If you still like the idea of a tankless water heater but know that you’ll be needing plenty of it, you should consider installing two or more tankless water heaters. Separate heaters can also be installed for certain appliances, such as dishwashers. If you put in a water heater at each hot water outlet, you can save 27%-50% in energy. Tankless water heaters are one of our most popular plumbing repair and installation services.

Outdoor Hose Faucet

Sprinklers, washing your car, hosing off the dog…all great reasons to install an outdoor hose faucet. At Anthony PHC, we only install freeze-proof outdoor faucets. By placing the rear chamber 10 inches inside your home, we ensure that the warmer air prevents freezing in the winter. You can also help prevent freezing by disconnecting your hose in the winter. If a faucet isn’t properly installed at a downward angle, the water can freeze and create broken pipes. To prevent cold weather damage, we also use silicone around the exterior opening. Anything to make sure your appliances last as long as possible.

hose faucet

Faucet Repair

Your faucet is one of the most important appliances in your home. Whether it’s a kitchen faucet, shower drain or bathroom faucet, we have the skills to take care of any issue that arises. We can replace faucets, take care of leaks, remedy slow drains and fix low water pressure. If your faucet brakes, you can turn off the water supply by locating the water shut-off valves beneath the sink. There will be two of them, and they’ll most likely be chrome with an oval handle. If you turn the handle or lever clockwise, the water will stop running! Presto.

plumbing repair shut-off valve

Noisy Faucet

If you notice a loud vibrating noise when you turn on/off your faucet, this could be caused by a worn-out faucet washer. To fix the issue, simply turn off the water to the faucet and use a wrench to remove the retaining nut that’s attached to the sill cock. Then, slide the handle and stem assembly out. Take off the screw located at the end of the stem and remove the washer. Replace the old washer with a new one, then put everything back together. Those who have a spring-loaded sleeve near the washer will need to replace the entire faucet. If you’d rather have a professional come take a look at it, one of our plumbing repair specialists would be happy to oblige.

Water Softeners

For those suffering from hard water, water softeners are the solution for you. There are a few indicators that should let you know if your water hardness is becoming a problem. Water that is overly hard might taste or smell off. A metallic taste indicates that there is too much iron in your water, and a rotten eggs smell means naturally occurring hydrogen sulfide gas may be reacting with magnesium to create sulfates. Water that tastes like dirt could be an indicator of sediment, old pipes or algae. If you notice reddish stains on your appliances, hard water could be the culprit. Consistent soap scum from water evaporating and leaving calcium deposits is another tip-off. Finally, spotty dishes, clogged shower drains, rough towels after washing and skin irritation could be the results of hard water.

To combat the negative effects of hard water, you can invest in a water softener. These mechanisms remove minerals (ie: calcium and magnesium) from the water. That way, your skin will feel smoother and your dishes will show less spotting. Your appliances will last longer when protected from hard water deposits. At Anthony PHC, we install Northstar softeners. They learn when you use water and regenerate only when the water needs it. This means less salt and water is wasted.

water softener

Contact Us

If you require any of these services, contact us. Each and every one of our employees is given 100 hours of training each year, and our plumbers work from experience—not just books. Whether you’ve got pipes that need fixing or a tankless water heater than needs installation, we’re here for all your plumbing repair needs.

 

 

Infrared Garage Heater

It may seem far off now, but winter is coming—and your garage best be prepared when it arrives. Lucky for you, we’ve provided this handy guide to ensure your garage heating is taken care of. Our recommendation is the Auto-ray infrared garage heater, because it has easy installation, doesn’t use electricity and runs on natural gas. These handy devices can heat a 2-3 car garage (500-600 square feet) with hardly any cost to you. We’ll go over the science behind infrared, the perks to using natural gas, the effects of cold weather on your vehicle, and a couple other garage heating options besides infrared.

infrared garage heater

Benefits

Since the garage is the area of the house that gets the least home heater attention, it’s important to implement a separate heat source that will de-ice your vehicle and stored items in the wintertime. We know how annoying it is when you have to heat up your car every morning just so you can feel your fingers. If you’ve earned the coveted garage spot, you deserve a warm, ice-free car. Garage heating is the solution. They work great for an out-building or detached work shed. Plus, an infrared garage heater helps the rooms above your garage stay warm too. An infrared garage heater directly heats people and objects, thereby heating the surrounding air to the set temperature. The adjustable thermostat puts the control in your hands, so you never have to finagle with the system. An infrared garage heater is maintenance-free and odor-free. Plus, they’re not noisy like other HVAC units. We offer a one-year warranty on gas control and a five-year warranty on the burner, so you can rest assured that these systems will last you a while.

CSA Certified

The infrared garage heater is also CSA certified, meaning an accredited third party has reviewed this product for safety and performance. This reassures retailers, regulators and consumers alike that this product does what it’s supposed to.

How Infrared Heating Works

Before you invest in an infrared garage heater, it’s important to know how it works. Similar to how the sun heats our planet, electromagnetic waves make the molecules oscillate and release energy as warmth. These systems produce sun-like heat tuned between 9-14 micron meters, ensuring safe heating. Where traditional heating systems pump expensive heat into the air only to have it rise to the ceiling of the garage, infrared garage heaters are up to 50% more energy efficient. This type of heating doesn’t suck the moisture out of the air, and it prevents heat loss through ventilation (ie: heat escaping through open doors and windows). In other words, you don’t have to worry about your garage losing its heat just because the garage door is open.

how heating works

Infrared light isn’t visible because our eyes can’t access the spectrum it’s on. The same works for an infrared heater; the heat is a product of the light that we can’t see. Since our skin and clothes absorb the heat, these heaters aren’t wasting energy on the spaces that don’t need heat. Infrared heaters can use propane, natural gas or electricity. Our preferred infrared garage heater uses natural gas, because it’s the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is the least damaging fossil fuel. It comes from deep beneath the Earth’s surface and is made up mostly of methane. It formed from the remains of decayed plants and animals mixed with sand and silt. The buried layers or organic material were turned into coal, oil and natural gas via pressure and heat. In some spots, the natural gas moved into large cracks and spaces between layers of overlying rock, while some natural gases remained trapped in the tiny spores of shale, sandstone and sedimentary rock. Natural gas has fewer impurities than other fuels, is less chemically complex, and has a generally less harmful pollution output from combustion. Natural gas produces less carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas), sulfur dioxide (acid rain), nitrogen oxides (smog) and particulate matter. On top pf being environmentally friendly, natural gas is also efficient. In fact, 90% of the natural gas produced is delivered to customers as useful energy. On the other hand, 30% of the energy converted to electricity in conventional generating facilities reaches customers.

natural gas graph

How the Cold Affects Your Vehicle

Low temperatures and dryness can create trouble for your vehicle. That’s why an infrared garage heater is so important. Leaving your car in a cold environment for long periods of time can have these effects on your car:

  • Most cars have several rubber components (ie: windshield wipers, belts around engine, etc.) which are susceptible to altercations from cold weather. Low temperatures can make rubber less pliable, thereby increasing chances of a rip, tear or break. Your windshield wipers can even be less effective during the colder months, because the cold rubber can’t conform to the shape of the windshield.
  • Another issue that can arise if your car isn’t kept in a warm location is that your battery can die. If your car is going to be in cold conditions, you should have the battery checked to avoid a surprise dud. Extreme cold (below 30 degrees Fahrenheit) pulls voltage from a battery, which makes it more difficult for your car to start.
  • Sometimes when the temperate drops, fluids (oil, antifreeze, power steering, brake, transmission) can thicken, making it harder for your car to function the way it should. In fact, if transmission fluid isn’t flowing quickly, your car won’t function at all.
  • Cold air can also affect tire pressure; Tires typically lose 1 pound per square inch for every 10 degree Fahrenheit drop. Tires that aren’t fully inflated won’t perform as well and are especially susceptible to damage in snowy and icy climates.
  • Other parts that can be damaged by the cold are wipers and washer solvents. If you clean your windshield before turning on your wipers, you’ll avoid creating more damage. Blades can get torn and wiper transmissions can break when the weather overpowers the freezing point of the washer fluid.
  • Spark plugs are another feature that cold weather targets, weakening their reliability. As it gets colder, you’ll have a hard start. If your plugs and wires aren’t in pristine condition, you may have issues getting your car going.

Other Types of Garage Heaters

If you’re not sold on infrared, there are other great options you can look at, such as zoning and geothermal heating. While neither option has the cost-effectivity of infrared garage heaters, they may be the better choice if you’re looking to change up the heating of your entire home.

Zoning lets you customize the temperature for different parts of your home. This means you can funnel extra cooling/heating into the rooms that need it the most without wasting energy changing the temperature of the entire home. The system uses automatic dampers and an electronic monitor to send individual temperature instructions to each of the rooms that are set up in the system. It’s a great option for homes that have multiple levels, have a bonus room off the back or over the garage, have finished areas in the basement or attic, or have a portion of the home built over a concrete slab floor. If you want to heat your garage from the same system as your home heater without using up the same amount of heat, this is a great option.

zoning

Geothermal heating works by tapping into the renewable energy in the Earth’s surface to heat or cool your home. This option negates the need for burning fossil fuels at all; Instead, we set up a system to collect the Earth’s temperature via underground water pipes and a ground source heat pump. This saves you up to 70% on your utility bills compared to a conventional system. This is the most environmentally friendly option for heating or cooling your home, and has been approved by the U.S. Department of Energy. They even save owners money by lowering utility bills, cutting out about $129/mo. They end up paying for themselves within 5-10 years, and the government offers a 30% tax credit incentive for purchases on energy efficient products. You can easily access indoor components, and the geothermal heating system lasts 24 years. Not only do they have a longer lifespan, but they also have fewer moving parts to worry about (no maintenance!). Outdoor components, like the ground loop, can last upwards of 50 years. This lowers the amount of energy needed to heat up your garage and the rest of your home.

geothermal heating

Contact Us

If you’re looking for a garage heater that will make the most of your budget and harness the warming capabilities of the sun, an infrared heater is the way to go. For those interested in zoning or geothermal heating, we’ve got you covered there too. Contact us, so we can get you set up with your very own system. Keeping your vehicle warm will be worth it in the long run—trust us.

What is HVAC?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. It encompasses the technology of indoor and vehicular environmental comfort. HVAC is meant to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality using the principles of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. HVAC systems provide ventilation, reduce air filtration, and maintain pressure relationships between spaces. This guide will provide a breakdown of how the different systems operate, as well as causes for your AC blowing hot air. We’ll even go into HVAC in Kansas City and the best systems for our climate.

HVAC in Kansas City

Ventilation

Ventilation is the process of exchanging or replacing air in any space to provide high indoor air quality. Essentially, this process replaces stale air with clean air via natural or mechanical means. Proper ventilation is made possible by temperature control, oxygen replenishment, and removal of moisture, odors, smoke, heat, dust, airborne bacteria, carbon dioxide and other various gases. This transfer of air sucks out the unpleasant smells and excessive moisture and keeps the interior air moving. Ventilation is the most important factor for ensuring indoor air quality is up to standard.

Mechanical/Forced Ventilation

This type of ventilation is provided by an air handler (AHU), which is used to regulate indoor air quality. Excess humidity, contaminants and odors can be controlled by dilution or replacement with outside air. In more humid climates, more energy is obviously required to extract excessive moisture in the air. Oftentimes, kitchens and bathrooms already have mechanical exhausts that regulate odors and humidity. Your system can vary depending on flow rate (vent size) and noise level. Ceiling fans work by circulating air in a room to make it seem as though the temperature has lowered. This is done by increasing the evaporation of perspiration on the skin. Fans can even be used in the winter to circulate the warm stratified air from the ceiling to the floor.

ceiling fan

Natural Ventilation

This type of ventilation utilizes outside air to circulate the indoor air—no fans or mechanisms necessary. Sometimes this ventilation is made possible via trickle vents or operable windows. Another tactic is to allow warm air to rise and flow out of high building openings to the outside. This causes the cooler outside air to be sucked into the low building openings. Though this method may be cost-effective, it doesn’t work as well in climates that are warm and humid. An air-side economizer combines fans, ducts, dampers and control systems to funnel outside air into a building. Natural ventilation is dependent on air change rate or air changes per hour, which is the hourly rate of ventilation divided by the volume of the space. Most buildings and homes require a minimum of four air changes per hour. Natural ventilation also reduces the spread of airborne illness like tuberculosis, mold, influenza and meningitis. Natural ventilation may not be ideal for HVAC in Kansas City unless it’s being utilized during the more mild-weather times of the year, like Spring and Fall.

Heaters

The heat pump picked up popularity in the 1950’s. They extract heat from various sources (environmental air, exhaust air, ground) and are popular in both warm and cool climates. With heated water and steam, the piping is utilized to move heat into rooms. The modern hot water boiler heating system has a circulator (pump) which moves hot water throughout the distribution system. Radiators, hot water coils, and other heat exchangers transfer the heat to surrounding air. You can even install radiators in the floor to produce floor heat. When water is used for heat transfer, it’s called hydronics. Heated water can also be supplied to the auxiliary heat exchanger for bathing and washing. Warm air is moved throughout a building via duct work systems of supply and return air through metal or fiberglass ducts. These same ducts are tasked with distributing air cooled by an evaporator coil for air conditioning. This air supply is cleaned before it reaches you via air cleaners that take out the dust and pollen particles.

hydronics

Refrigeration Cycle

First, the system refrigerant begins as a gas. Then, the compressor pumps the refrigerant gas up to a high pressure and temperature. Once it enters a heat exchanger (aka condenser coil), it loses energy (heat) to the outside, cools and condenses into a liquid. The expansion valve ensures the refrigerant liquid flows at the proper rate. The liquid refrigerant can evaporate once it’s returned to another heat exchanger (evaporator coil). During the evaporation process, the liquid refrigerant absorbs energy as heat from the inside air. From there, it returns to the compressor and repeats the cycle. During this process, heat is absorbed from indoors and transferred outside. This creates cooling. This can also be reversed in climates with dramatic seasonal changes. Using a reversing valve, you can switch from heating to cooling via a reverse flow of refrigerant. This means you can heat and cool a system using only one piece of equipment.

Free Cooling Systems

These systems are incredibly efficient, especially when paired with seasonal thermal energy storage. When these two systems work together, the cold of winter can be released in summer air conditioning. This cold air is stored in either deep aquifers or natural rock masses that are buried beneath the ground and accessed through small-diameter, heat-exchanger-equipped boreholes. Oftentimes, systems with small storages tap into free cooling early in the season and then later utilize a heat pump to chill the circulation coming from the storage. This storage functions as a heat sink when in cooling mode, meaning the temperature increases during the cooling season. With ‘free-cooling mode’, the control system opens the outside air damper and closes the return air damper. As a result, fresh air from the outside is supplied to the system. In the case that the outside air is cooler than the temperature required, the demand is met without using the mechanical supply of cooling. Energy saved! Free cooling systems are a great option for HVAC in Kansas City because of the regions diverse temperature ranges throughout the year.

free cooling system

Dehumidification

Where a humidifier might help with your asthma, dehumidification can prevent mold growth in your home. Dehumidification is powered by the evaporator, which operates at a temperature below dew point. When the moisture within the air condenses on the evaporator coil tubes, the moisture collects at the bottom of the evaporator in a pan and is removed by piping to a designated drain or the ground outside. Essentially, a dehumidifier operates like an air conditioner. Instead of controlling the temperature though, it controls the humidity. They’re used most often in basements with a higher relative humidity due to lower temperatures.

Maintenance

By maintaining your HVAC in Kansas City, you ensure that your systems live a long life. All AC systems come with internal air filters (made of lightweight gauzy material) that have to be changed out or cleaned. Environments with high dust levels or furry pets may need their filters cleaned out more often. If you don’t clean out your filter, there will be a lower heat exchange rate—this means you’re wasting energy! Plus, your equipment won’t last as long and your energy bills will increase. If the problem continues and there isn’t enough airflow to de-ice the evaporator coils, the air flow can stop completely. Plug filters that are extremely dirty or plugged filters result in overheating, creating damage and possible fire hazards. You also need to regularly clean the coils (see below), since an air conditioner transfers hear between the indoor and outdoor coils. Condenser coils also need cleaning, otherwise the compressor will suffer damage. The condenser coil discharges the indoor heat and the heat created by the electric motor driving the compressor.

cleaning coils

AC Blowing Hot Air

If your AC is blowing hot air, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem. Start with the thermostat setting—make sure you’re set to ‘cool’, your fan is on ‘auto’ and your temperature setting is below what the temperature reads on the thermostat by at least five degrees. A dirty condenser unit (outside) may also be the culprit. Check for debris like dirt, tall grass, or leaves that may be blocking the system. The final issue that you can solve by yourself is a dirty air filter. Warmer weather climates should check their filter more often. A professional will need to be called in if a low refrigerant leak or leaky air ducts are the cause of your AC blowing hot air. A low refrigerant leak means you need to get the problem fixed before you add in more refrigerant—otherwise you’re just putting a band aid on the problem. Leaky air ducts alter your system’s cooling process as well. There are ducts are in your walls, attic and basement, so you’ll need to check all of them to pinpoint the leak.

Contact Us

For any HVAC assistance, including cooling and heating, contact us for service you can trust. Our 24/7 availability ensures you never have to be uncomfortable in your own home. HVAC in Kansas City is our specialty, and our highly trained technicians go through over 100 hours of training each year to ensure we deliver the highest quality of service.

Drain Cleaning Basics

Think about how much time you spend sweeping your floors, dusting the mantle, wiping down the countertop. Now think about how much more nastiness goes into your drains. Don’t they deserve the same love? We offer state of the art draining equipment (with video cameras!) to ensure we get out all the gunk. We work with kitchen drains, main sewer lines, shower/bathtub drains, toilet drains, floor drains, and bathroom/sink drains. If you’re looking for a Kansas City drain cleaning service, you’ve come to the right place! This guide will give a breakdown of the different types of drains, tools needed for drain maintenance, and ways you can prevent drain blockage. We’ll also give you some signs to look for, so you can tell if your drain is in need of cleaning or de-clogging.

kansas city drain cleaning

Types of Drains

Kitchen drains are most susceptible to blockage from grease, soap and food waste. Main sewer lines connect to a city sewer line or septic tank. Water-seeking roots can clog main sewer lines, so we go in and cut away all the roots to ensure your drain doesn’t become re-clogged after we’re finished. By cleaning your sewer and drain regularly, you ensure it doesn’t become clogged in the first place. If you notice that your shower/bathroom drain isn’t immediately sucking up the water in your tub, soap or hair may be to blame. With toilet drains, a clog may develop when you attempt to flush facial tissue, baby wipes, or other non-disintegrating products down the toilet. We use a special plumbing tool to hug the inside of the pipe wall and clear out the mess. Floor drains in basements, laundry rooms, garages, patios, driveways, etc. might have a drain to carry away water and prevent flooding. The trap inside prevents odors and sewer gas from escaping, but drains should still be regularly cleaned. For bathroom sink drains, slow draining might be due to toothpaste, soap, hair or grime. If you want to know the exact cause of your blockage, ask a Kansas City drain cleaning expert.

Essential Tools

Plungers, which run anywhere from $5-$10, are the bread and butter of plumbing. If you need to dislodge clogs further down the pipe, a cable auger or plumber’s snake is going to be your best bet. These are long, flexible steel cables that are wound around a spool and fitted with a hand crank. A cable auger is available up to 100 ft., but 25ft. is adequate for any home clog. A closet auger allows you to snake out toilets and is equipped with a hand crank. What makes it unique is that the cable is encased in a rigid shaft instead of a spool. The auger is also bent at a specific angle to make it easy for it to slide through the tight curves of a toilet trap. If worse comes to worst and your you still can’t unclog your toilet with these tools, you can rent out an electric power auger for $15-$30/day.

Floor drains (pictured below) carry wastewater from central air conditioners, washing machines, water heaters and snow-covered cars. Since they collect a lot of soap scum, laundry lint, sand and slimy bacteria, these things can crystallize in a long drainpipe. To penetrate these blockages, an electric power auger will probably be needed with at least 50 feet of cable.

floor drain

If you need us to come out and clear out your floor drain, we’ll begin by removing the strainer that covers the drain hole. Once we find the clean-out plug on the side of the drain basin, we’ll remove it with a wrench. We’ll be able to bypass the trap and feed the cable directly down the pipe. We may have to snake the cable through the trap if the drain doesn’t have this plug. Once we plug in the power auger and position it near the drain, we’ll feed the cable down the drainpipe and set the motor for clockwise rotation. We’ll step on the switch, and the cable will start turning. Then, we’ll push the cable into the pipe until we notice some resistance or heat. Upon resistance, we’ll stop the motor and reverse the rotation. Once we’ve backed out a few feet of cable, we’ll switch back to clockwise rotation and slide more of the cable down the pipe. We’ll repeat this procedure until your clog has been eliminated! To finish things off, we’ll retrieve the cable and flush out the drainpipe with hot water. We’ll be sure to replace the clean-out plug afterward.

Signs of Blockage

Besides the obvious issues draining, you can also detect a clog by overflowing toilets, water backing up in drains, or an unpleasant smell. If water is coming up from a pipe outside the home, this is also an indication of a blockage. Most homes have cleanouts (pictured below) on the exterior of their homes, which serve as an access point to the main drain line. Cleanouts are necessary for if you have a stoppage—you can easily unscrew the cap on the cleanout to ensure the waste discharges outside your home. Another great perk is that you can easily clean the line. You can clean from the outside of your home rather than picking a toilet up and snaking it that way. When water is escaping from the cleanout, there may be a main line stoppage or your septic tank may be full.

clean out

If water is coming up in the home, that’s another sign of drainage problems. You’ll notice this when you flush your toilet and the water rises in your bath or shower. More often than not, this is due to an obstruction in the bathroom drainage branch. When the water has nowhere to go, it’ll funnel into an open drain. This will most likely be the shower, because it is the lowest fixture. Normally, the toilet just needs to be pulled and snaked. This is an instance where a camera might be used by a Kansas City drain cleaning professional.

How Drains Work

Unlike supply systems, drainage systems aren’t reliant on pressure. Waste moves via pipes that pitch/angle downward. Gravity does all the work for you, saving on energy. When you’re installing a pipe, you should make sure it has a drop of ¼ inch per foot to get the proper pitch. The sewer line flows into a sewage treatment facility or a septic tank.  For this process to work, vents, traps and clean outs are needed

Vents pop up from the roof of the house and allow air to enter the drainpipes, making it possible for wastewater to flow out properly and the water in the traps to leave. They’re held by roof flashing, which is made from heavy grade rubber, lead or sheet metal.

Traps are located under your sink and are identified by their curved or S-shape. When water flows from the basin, it has the force to go through the trap and out though the drainpipe. However, enough water sticks around in the trap that it creates a seal to stop sewer gas from escaping into your home.

parts of a drain

Your kitchen sink might also have a grease trap that collects any grease that may cause clogging. These typically have clean-out plugs for easy removal or breakup of blockage. Though you may be able to see them most easily under your sink, they’re also on toilets. Toilets are self-trapped though, so they don’t need a trap at the drain. This whole system is often referred to as DWV: drain-waste-vent. For Kansas City drain cleaning, we have to have a thorough knowledge of all these parts and what their function is.

Prevent Blockages

Blockages in your garbage disposal are fairly common, so it’s important to know how you can keep your drains clean and working properly. For one, you should run large amounts of cold water whenever the disposal is running—start the faucet before the food hits the drain. You should also limit the size of the food scraps you’re sending down the garbage disposal. To avoid blockages ad unpleasant odors, don’t put these items down the drain:

  • Bags (paper or cardboard)
  • Paints, nail polish, and nail polish remover
  • Acidic or caustic substances
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medication
  • Fats, oils and grease
  • Coffee grinds
  • Egg shells
  • Produce stickers
  • Disposable diapers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Paper towels
  • Flushable cat litter

Contact Us

If you’re looking for Kansas City drain cleaning, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us, so we can send a certified expert to take care of the problem. Our plumbing services include a variety of fixes, such as faucet repair, garbage disposals and sump pumps. Check out our tips to avoid costly plumbing repairs so you don’t have to deal with fixes in the first place.

How to Kill Mold

It’s that time of year again when conditions for mold to grow and fester in your home are at an all-time high. Mold survives on mold spores, a food source, darkness, warmth, oxygen, and moisture (water leaks, humidity). In the right conditions, mold can start growing in 24-48 hours. Since humidity is most prevalent in the spring/summer, right now is the ideal time for mold growth. If it rains for several days in a row or you live in a naturally humid environment, mold may start to grow on the walls and benches without you even noticing. This guide gives a breakdown of mold causes, mold locations, types of mold, and the benefits of UV germicidal lamps–the ultimate mold killer.

Mold Causes

Lack of ventilation may contribute to your home’s humidity, since moisture in your house isn’t evaporating.  If you plan on using a humidifier in your house (possibly to help with asthma), try to keep the humidity below 55% to prevent mold. When high humidity creates puddles of water and damp materials, these surfaces can create mold. Mold might also be caused by leaking pipes, so check behind objects and inside walls to make sure leaky pipes aren’t the culprit. The roof may also be the cause of your mold. Roofs that leak into the attic can go months without detection, so it’s important that you keep an eye out for any signs of water damage on the ceiling.

mold causes

Besides leaks, condensation is also another factor to look out for. Cold surfaces (metal pipes, concrete floors) create condensation in your home, heightening the chance for mold to develop. Wet clothes can cause mold due to the moisture they release, so it might be better for you to hang up clothes to dry outside. If a dryer isn’t vented outside, you also have to deal with the humidity released for your dryer machine. Flooding is a no-brainer. If you experience flooding in your basement, the likelihood of mold developing multiplies. Some types of toxic molds (like Stachybotrys chartarum—see below) require more extreme conditions, like several days of extreme wetness. Floods are normally the #1 cause of these more dangerous molds.

Common Mold Locations

Basements are a breeding ground for mold due to their high amounts of moisture, lack of ventilation, and lower temperature. Plus, water that leaks into your home will most likely make its way to the basement due to gravity. Since many don’t spend too much time in their basements, this mold growth can go unnoticed for a long time. Check your house’s foundation for mold as well. Water can build up in the yard around the base of your house, especially if the ground slopes toward the house. Ditches and drains are a good solution to this problem, or you can just deal with the problem when it happens with mold killer.

Mold Sensitivity

According to the Department of Health, children, those with respiratory conditions, those with sensitivities (allergies/asthma), and those who have severely weakened immune system (HIV, chemotherapy patients, etc.) are the most likely to experience severe reactions from mold.

Types of Mold

Alternaria: This type of mold is typically found outdoors, but it might also pop up in showers or under sinks with leaky pipes. Keep an eye out for this mold in buildings that have suffered water damage or experienced recent flooding. It spreads quickly and can cause asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

Alternaria mold

 

Aspergillus: An indoor mold, this type causes allergic reactions, respiratory infections, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. It creates very serious effects, such as the inflammation of lungs.

Aspergillus mold

 

Aureobasidium: This type of mold will most likely show up outdoors. If it is inside, you’ll find this mold on wooden surfaces, wallpaper, and painted surfaces. Damp window frames and caulking may also be a breeding ground for this mold. Look for mold that is pink and black.

Aureobasidium mold

 

Botrytis: You’ll find this type of mold in rooms with poor ventilation and high humidity, like bathrooms. Side effects are allergic reactions and asthma.

Botrytis mold

 

Chaetomium: Characterized by its musty odor, this mold type festers on drywall, carpets and window frames that have undergone water damage.

Chaetomium mold

 

Cladosporium: Common in homes, this type thrives in warm and cold climates. Check for this type in fabrics and on wood surfaces. You’ll notice respiratory problems galore with this type of mold.

Cladosporium mold

 

Fusarium: This mold can grow at lower temperatures and spreads best in water-damaged carpeting and fabrics. It can cause allergic reactions and respiratory infections. Those with compromised immune systems are especially prone to infection from fusarium exposure.

Fusarium mold

 

Penicillium: This mold attacks materials that have been damaged by water and is characterized by how fast it spreads from room to room in your home. It can cause allergic reactions, chronic sinus infection and inflammation of the lungs. It will typically be blue or green. This mold should be dealt with by mold killer immediately.

Penicillium mold

 

Stachybotrys chartarum: Known by its scarier name ‘black mold’, this type of mold produces toxic compounds called mycotoxins. When exposed to mycotoxins, people experience health issues like breathing problems, chronic sinus infections, asthma attacks, fatigue, and depression. You’ll know you’re dealing with black mold if you notice a musty odor and mold growth in places that are consistently damp, such as air conditioning ducts.

Stachybotrys chartarum mold

 

Trichoderma: Similar to black mold, this mycotoxin-producing mold can cause several health problems. Since many people are allergic to it, you’ll start noticing symptoms right away. This mold is normally found on damp carpet, wallpaper and other wet surfaces.

Trichoderma mold

 

Ulocladium: This type of mold needs a lot of water to grow, so you’ll often find it in homes that have been flooded. It grows on wet walls, and many are allergic to it.

Ulocladium mold

Commonalities

Mold is identified by cottony, velvety, granular, or leathery texture. It comes in many different colors and may look like discoloration or staining on the surface of building materials at first. Musty/earthy odors are common.

Preventing Mold

To ensure you and your loved ones are safe from mold, there are some preventative steps you can take. For one, periodically check your plumbing, roofing, foundation, gutters, attic, crawl spaces, and sump pumps. Dry any wet materials in 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth, and insulate/seal air leaks between the attic and the rest of your home. You can divert water away from your home by cleaning and maintaining gutters, sloping the ground and sidewalks away from the foundation pre-construction, and installing a sump pump (pictured below). You can reduce the level of condensation by installing and using exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens, installing vent appliances outside, insulating cold spots, reducing humidifier use, and raising the temperature/increasing air circulation to the colder parts of the home. Keeping your indoor surfaces as dry as possible is also important. Start by keeping the home’s relative humidity between 20-40 percent in the winter and less than 60 percent the rest of the year. Some devices (found at home supply stores) measure the relative humidity of your home. By preventing mold in the first place, you don’t even have to worry about mold killer.

sump pump

UV Germicidal Lamp

This mold killer lamp brings sunshine inside, compensating for windowless rooms. The benefits to a UV Germicidal lamp are fewer colds, fresh smelling air and allergy relief! Who can argue with that? They’re easily installed in your heating and cooling system for permanent UV exposure. The bulb kills germs and harmful contaminants, controlling airborne microorganisms in a natural way. You’ll find Germicidal lamps in hospitals, restaurants, nursing homes and child care facilities to kill germs. If you install these lamps in your home, they kill germs that cause viruses, the common cold and influenza. Plus, they take care of mold and mildew so you don’t have to worry about ventilation, humidity and darkness at all! They keep your ductwork clear. As a nice bonus, ultraviolet light keeps the indoor coil of your air conditioner system looking brand new. This translates to better efficiency and lower electric bills. Other benefits include odor reduction, fewer chemical cleanings, and low operating costs.

UV Germicidal Lamp

How It Works

UV-C light is a germicidal, which means it deactivates the DNA of bacteria, viruses and pathogens by damaging the nucleic acid of microorganisms. This damage is caused by covalent bonds formed between certain adjacent bases in the DNA. When these bonds form, they prevent the DNA from being unzipped for replication, thereby stopping reproduction. A 15-watt germicidal UVC lamp will cover 100 square feet, so you can use this formula to determine the wattage your room requires. Lamps should be replaced after two years of continuous use, and they should be checked every three months for cleanliness. These lamps can be cleaned with a dry cotton cloth or paper towel—wear rubber gloves and clean with alcohol! They produce just as much heat as fluorescent lamps and pose no safety risks to the people using them in their home when properly installed, making them a great form of mold killer.

uv lamp chart

Contact Us

If a mold killer UC Germicidal lamp seems like the best option for your needs, contact us so we can hook you up with the most effective mold preventative tool on the market! We’re open 24/7 and our expert technicians can get the job done on your schedule.

 

R-22 Refrigerant: A Necessary Cost

Out with the Old in with the New!

According to the EPA, refrigerant is damaging to the environment. Because of this, the price of ozone depleting R-22 refrigerant, which is used in many older air conditioning systems, has risen as much as 500%—and we don’t know how high it might go. These are direct costs that we have to pay and we have no choice but to pass those costs along, which is why your refrigerant may cost more now than during previous service calls.

Here’s Why

The U.S. EPA controls how much R-22 can be produced and imported each year through annual allocations. For the last two years the agency has reduced the supply in the hopes of increasing the price of R-22 in order to encourage higher recycling and reclamation rates. This policy, along with a delay in setting permanent allocations for the future, created uncertainty in the marketplace and forced the manufacturers to increase their prices.

What’s Next?

The EPA reduced the annual allocation of R-22 in 2012 by about 45% with a short term, temporary allocation. In March of 2013, the EPA finalized the allocations for 2013 and 2014 with an additional overall reduction of 7%. These allocation reductions will continue until 2020 when the production of virgin R-22 will cease. As a professional contractor, our goal is to provide you with the best possible products and services at the best possible value. Unfortunately, we have no control over the cost of a commodity like R-22 refrigerant.

If you have an older system in need of R-22 refrigerant you might want to consider replacing your unit instead of continuing to pour money into expensive refrigerant that is being phased out.

For a Free, no obligation estimate on a new air conditioner click here.