Three Signs It’s Heating Season – and What That Means for You

September 17th, 2018

Are leaves crunching under foot? Does your favorite coffee shop smell like someone forgot to take last year’s pumpkin out of the truck? Have you noticed tweens in the neighborhood exchanging their Birks for Uggs and comfy leggings?

Yep, it’s time to turn up the thermostat. But heating season doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank to pay your energy bills. Whether you’re in Springfield, Texas or Springfield, Minnesota, you can do some things to ensure you stay cozy while cutting energy costs this fall/winter heating season.

Tips for Energy Saving During Heating Season Some small fixes can help your home or business stay warm and save you some coin at the end of the month. Here are some to consider.

  • Inspect Your Filter Monthly. Checking and changing your filter regularly is one easy way to ensure your heating bills stay reasonable this year. Change your filter when it looks dirty. A dirty filter will slow airflow through your vents, forcing your heating system to work harder. When your system works harder, it costs more to run. Filter changes will also prevent dirt buildup and dust in the system, leading to early system failure.
  • Consider a Programmable Thermostat. Programmable thermostats can turn the heat down remotely, meaning you can adjust it when no one is home or turn it up ahead of early morning chills. This device usually costs less than $100, but it pays for itself pretty fast. In fact, by cutting energy consumption by 20-30%, you can save about $180 a year in energy costs.
  • Turn on Your Ceiling Fans. It may seem counterintuitive, but using your ceiling fans in the winter can actually push heat back down rather than letting it rise. Keep it spinning on low and make sure the blades turn clockwise when you look up – the opposite of what it should do in summer – and the ceiling fan will push the warm air back down to you.
  • Don’t Block Your Heating Vents. A few common heat blockers include curtains, furniture, and even toys. This easy fix can be a quick cost saver – keep your heating vents free of clutter, window dressings and heavy objects.
  • Repair Air Leaks in Your Home and Duct System. Air leaks mean energy is flying out the window – along with your money. Some easy fixes include sealing drafts with putty or caulk, adding weather stripping to doors and windows, and installing attic insulation. You can even insulate your heating ducts.
  • Use Your Windows for Efficiency. When the sun is out, open your blinds or curtains and let the earth’s natural energy heat your home. At night or on cold days, close the window dressings to help increase insulation.
  • Choose an Energy-Efficient Heating System. Most of the furnaces chugging away in our homes use dated technology, wasting your pocket money and the nation’s environmental resources. If your furnace is ready for an update, choose one that will save you some cash in the long run. Investing in an Energy Star furnace can save you up to $75 annually on energy bills. Rebates are available for some areas when you purchase energy-efficient furnaces or other energy-saving devices.

Stay Ahead of the Heating Season Winter With These Tips Saving energy doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and taking advantages of some of these small changes will ensure your energy bills don’t break the bank.

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It’s That Time Again: Schedule Your Heating Maintenance

September 17th, 2018

calendar-scheduling-bookYou are probably enjoying this warm September in Iowa and soaking up the last heat of the year. We hate to interrupt this idyll with a reminder about your home’s heating system, but this is the ideal season to schedule annual maintenance for your heating in Des Moines, IA and throughout the Des Moines and Grimes Metro Areas.

Yes, This Maintenance Must Be Done Every Year

Please don’t think of annual heating maintenance as an optional service or a luxury. All HVAC professionals, as well as government agencies, agree that heater maintenance from a trained technician is necessary each fall to ensure peak performance, a long system life, and safe operation of a residential heating system.

Let’s go through those three points:

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Thinking of a Geothermal HVAC System Install for the Fall?

September 3rd, 2018

geothermal-heat-flow-diagramGeothermal energy is an expanding field, and each year it becomes easier to set up geothermal heat pumps to provide comfort for homes. If you’re thinking about replacing the old HVAC system in your house this fall, or you are purchasing a new house and haven’t decided on how to provide residential heating and cooling, using a geothermal system may be on the list of possibilities.

But … is going geothermal feasible for you? Affordable? Let’s take a closer look at geothermal to help address these concerns.

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Extreme Heat Warning! Watch Out for AC Failures

August 20th, 2018

shocked-womanWow, another hot August here in Des Moines. Is your AC putting in a lot of work? Yeah, we thought it might be. This is when you really appreciate a quality air conditioning system for your home, one installed by professionals who know how best to deliver comfort throughout the rooms of a house while also keeping bills under control.

Now, whether we’re the contractor who put in your current air conditioning system or not, we want to make sure you keep enjoying the cooling you need during the August heat wave. One of the best ways we can do that is to give you some pointers on how to detect an AC that’s having trouble, before that trouble turns into a failed air conditioner! You can count on our professionals for air conditioning repair in Indianola, IA, and elsewhere in the Des Moines and Grimes, IA Metro area—and calling us sooner is better than later.

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Some Strange Reasons for Drain Clogs

August 6th, 2018

shocked-womanThe drain clog is such a common problem for plumbing systems that most people can immediately think of many of the basic causes behind them: soap scum, fats and grease build-up, hair, dirt, food, objects knocked accidentally into drains, etc. These are among the most common reasons that homeowners call our plumbers to clean out their drains and get them unclogged.

However, plumbing is a big field, and every plumber who has spent any time at the job can tell you a few stories about strange reasons a drain got clogged up. Below, we’re going to list some of these uncommon causes of a stopped up drain. Remember, if you can’t get the drain unclogged using a plunger or hand-cranked drain snake, call on our plumbers in Des Moines, IA for drain cleaning. (Don’t use chemical drain cleaners, which are ineffective and may damage your pipes.)

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5 Big Misconceptions About Air Conditioning

July 23rd, 2018

1950s-woman-pointingCentral air conditioning systems are common for modern homes, but knowledge of how they work is quite uncommon. Of course, not everyone can be a trained expert in the refrigeration technology of air conditioning systems, but there are a number of misconceptions about air conditioners that HVAC experts run into all the time. A bit of knowledge can go a long way in the quest for the best home cooling, so we’ve listed five of the biggest misconceptions people have about home AC systems.

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Do I Need a Full or Partial Repiping for My Home?

July 9th, 2018

pipe-decayOver the long history of indoor plumbing, many different materials have been put to use for constructing pipes. During much of the 20th century, metals such as galvanized steel (steel coated with zinc to prevent corrosion) and cast iron where the most common residential piping materials. Cast iron went out of favor after World War II, and starting in the 1970s galvanized steel was replaced with copper, a lighter metal with better corrosion resistance. Plastic pipes such as PVC and PEX also became popular for plumbing systems.

Modern homes today use plastic and copper piping almost exclusively. But if your house is one of the many in the Des Moines Metro Area that was built earlier than the 1980s, it may have some amount of piping, fixtures, elbows, and joints made from outdated material. We recommend you arrange for repiping services to replace steel and iron plumbing pipes, which are in danger of corrosion and may even lead to toxicity in your fresh water.

But how much repiping do you need?

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Tankless Water Heaters Need Maintenance Too

June 25th, 2018

tankless-water-heaterWe stress water heater maintenance every year, the same way that we stress maintenance for a furnace or boiler. Without routine inspections and tune-ups, a storage tank water heater is in danger of developing problems such as corrosion due to a rusted out sacrificial anode rod. Maintenance will catch troubles with leaks and high water pressure and ensure the best efficient use of energy.

But there’s something we also want to stress, because it sometimes gets lost: tankless water heaters, even though they endure longer than storage tank models and require fewer repairs, must also receive annual maintenance. Although tankless water heaters consume less energy and have generally lower workloads than standard tank units, they’re precision machines that require special attention to ensure they keep providing the great performance that make them so beneficial to homeowners.

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Can I Repair My Garbage Disposal on My Own?

June 11th, 2018

hand-holding-wrenchThere was a time when garbage disposals were new devices and only a few homes had them installed into their kitchen sinks. Today, it’s difficult to imagine daily life in the kitchen without a garbage disposal. A disposal makes it easier to get rid of food waste and clean up after cooking, and it helps to keep a large amount of organic waste out of landfills.

If your garbage disposal stops working, it’ll mean an inconvenient kitchen until you have the unit repaired. But can you handle repairing a broken disposal on your own? In some cases, yes. But most of the time, you’ll probably need a professional plumber in Ankeny, IA to make the repairs so they’re done correctly and safely. In some situations, replacing the garbage disposal is a better option than fixing it, and this job also requires the work of a professional plumber.

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Why Does My AC Stop and Start So Much?

May 28th, 2018

Air-Conditioning-outdoor-unitIt’s a warm day, and your air conditioner starts working to cool down your home, either because you changed the settings on the thermostat or because the thermostat’s programming has automatically turned on the AC. The compressor kicks on, making a familiar hum. And then, the compressor stops—earlier than you expect it to. Then it starts again. And stops soon after. This continues until you start to wonder if something is wrong.

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