Monthly Archives: June 2019

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.

 

Plumbing Cracks

 

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.

Plumbing Fungi

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.

sewer camera

Where Does your Responsibility End, and the Local Water Authority’s Begin?  Your Plumber Must Determine

Maintenance of your sewer main is shared by you and your local water authority.  If a back up occurs on your part of the sewer main, or “on-property,” it is your responsibility to fix it and to pay for it.  If it happens on your local water authority’s part of the system, or “off-property,” it is their responsibility to fix it and to pay for it.

It is up to the homeowner’s plumber to make the determination on whose part of the sewer main the back up is located and to let the local water authority know if there is a problem with their part of the sewer system.  So it is important to make sure you hire a plumber who specializes in diagnosing sewer backups.

How Can You Tell if Your Back Up is “On-Property” or “Off-Property?”

The place where your responsibility ends and the local water authority’s begins is in your lateral sewer main.  The lateral is the sewer main that runs from your house and connects to the local water authority’s sewer main.

Every home on your block has a lateral sewer main that connects to the sewer main of the local water authority, which is also called a sewer main, so differentiating between the two in conversation can be confusing.

So at what spot in your lateral sewer main does your responsibility ends and the local authority’s responsibility begin?  It is different in every home, and it is up to your plumber to determine whose portion of the lateral main the back up resides on, yours or the local water authority’s.  That is why it is important to choose a plumber who specializes in diagnosing sewer backups.

A Sewer Back Up is an Expensive Problem, Unless it is Not Your Problem…

Your plumber should be able to tell you which main is affected, your lateral main or the local authority’s sewer main.  And if the back up is in the lateral main, your plumber needs to be able to tell you if the back up is in the “on-property” portion of the lateral, or in the “off-property” portion.

Your local water authority relies on the plumbers hired by homeowners to let them know when there are off-property backups so they can send the proper teams out to correct the problems.

Camera and Diagnostic Equipment are Critical to Determine where the Back Up is Located

Luckily Anthony’s plumbers have cameras to make the job of diagnosing and repairing sewer backups easier.  If your plumber finds that your back up is off-property, they will be able to take pictures to prove where the blockage is.  These cameras also have receivers and digital location systems which identify the location and depth of pipes.

In some cases, it may cost extra for a plumber to use this diagnostic equipment, but it is well worth the money for homeowners if it can determine that backups are off-property.  Cameras allow plumbers to make better and faster repairs to your pipes which can also save you money in labor.

They can quickly tell you where the blockage is, and determine if there are sewer pipe repairs are needed as well, and where, to minimize digging.

The Benefits of Opening vs. Cleaning

There is a difference between opening a sewer main to temporarily resolve a backup, and cleaning a sewer main completely, especially in price.  Many plumbers will advise homeowners to opt for opening a pipe, which involves punching a hole in the back up with a snake, leaving only a partial opening, rather than completely cleaning the pipe.

It is much easier and more affordable to open a pipe than clean it out completely, and homeowners appreciate the cost savings.  To avoid the need for repeated drain openings and to provide a more permanent fix, a sewer main needs to be thoroughly cleaned, not just opened.

When Your Plumber Fixes Off-Property Back Ups, They Need to Tell the Local Water Authority

If your plumber determines that your back up is “off-property,” they will still fix the back up for you and have the local water authority reimburse you for the work.  Even if your plumber is able to correct a back up that is off-property, the local water authority still wants to be informed by your plumber so they can keep an eye on it and make further repairs if necessary.

A sewer main backup can cause devastating damage to multiple homeowners if left unchecked, even so as to require a house to be condemned if waste backs up and ruins electrical and HVAC equipment.  Water levels can rise quickly during a sewer main break before there is time to intercede.  So the role of the plumber in diagnosing and reporting sewer main problems is a critical one.

How Do I Know if My Back Up is in the Sewer Main Lateral or Just the Floor Drain?

Sewer main backups require much heavier snakes to open your 3 to 4 inch lateral than snakes that can negotiate a 2-inch branch line to your floor drain, so it is important to know where your back up resides, so you can call the right plumber.  The easiest test is to check to see if toilet paper or human waste is present in the standing water.  If no waste is present, have a spotter watch the floor drain while you run cold water into a bathtub somewhere else in the house for several minutes.

If the spotter never sees any water rise, then the back up is in the floor drain.  If water does rise, then the back up is in the sewer main lateral or local authority’s sewer main.  Sometimes sewer main backups can cause water to back up in your toilet or bathtub instead of your floor drain, even though the floor drain is lower.

How Do You Clear a Back Up in the Lateral Sewer Main?

You can never clear a lateral sewer main back up through the floor drain, so if the plumber you call attempts to do so you have not chosen the right plumber.  Lateral backups can only be cleared through your home’s main inside clean out which is located on the lower level and capped by a screw on plug.

Occasionally homeowners make the mistake covering up access to clean outs during remodeling; if that is the case, laterals backups must be cleared by removing a toilet and snaking from there.  If worst comes to worst a lateral back up can also be cleared from the stack which extends above the roof where the sewer gases escape, but the cost of hoisting equipment to the roof can be great.

Choose Wisely, and Seek Professional Advice

Sewer backups put your life on hold, but don’t get in a hurry and hire the first plumber available or the cheapest one you can find.  Be patient and qualify plumbers carefully; you will save a lot of money and time and aggravation.  Call us at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO and we will help you through this process.  For more information on fixing and preventing different drain issues, click here to read our blog on “Easing Drain Pain.