Almost Time for Fall HVAC Maintenance

Get Heating Systems Ready

The end of summer isn’t the time of year when homeowners typically think about cold weather and their heating system.  The only part of the HVAC system commonly thought about at this time of year is the air conditioner. 

Yet, the start of fall is the perfect time to schedule HVAC maintenance and get a head start on the colder seasons coming in the weeks ahead. Maintenance of the HVAC system is recommended twice a year. Once for the heating system and once for the air conditioner. With early fall tune-ups, homeowners can be sure their heating unit is ready to battle the cold weather without interruptions or system breakdowns. 

Why Should Homeowners Opt for Maintenance?

benefitsScheduling heater maintenance now reduces the likelihood of a breakdown when temperatures outside are cold.  HVAC technicians are trained to spot problems when they’re small and can fix them before they worsen. Their keen eye to detect issues with heater efficiency and defunct parts can save homeowners money on monthly heating costs and repair costs every year.  

Other benefits of heating maintenance include:

  • Improved airflow and efficiency, lowering energy bills 
  • Reduced humidity levels in the home  for improved air circulation
  • The EPA recommends it
  • Improves lifespan and performance of the heating system
  • It prevents costly breakdowns or repairs in the future
  • Peace of mind and year-round comfort

What Goes Into Heater Maintenance?

filter Experts servicing heaters complete three phases during fall maintenance:

  1. Inspection: The HVAC technician inspects the unit for signs of broken or worn-out parts and other signs of defect. Homeowners can schedule a service appointment if the technician finds the need for major repairs.
  2. Cleaning:  The next phase involves cleaning.  Professionals will clean coils and the other components of the system to improve indoor air quality and prevent system issues. The EPA recommends changing air filters in the HVAC system at least every three months to help maintain the heating and cooling system. Clean air filters help keep the system working in tip-top condition and are a task that homeowners can do themselves.
  3. Service:  HVAC service is the final phase of a fall tune-up.  At this phase, the technician repairs defects found within the unit during maintenance, refills the coolant if needed, and replaces parts that are broken or not performing at peak efficiency. 

When Should Homeowners Think About Heating Maintenance?

It’s never too early to worry about the heater and its performance capabilities.  Scheduling maintenance now ensures the HVAC company isn’t too busy to service the unit like they could be later in the fall and winter when most homeowners schedule heater appointments.  

When colder weather rolls around, the heater becomes the most important appliance in the home. A breakdown or malfunction can leave the entire family wrapped in blankets to stay warm and lead to poor indoor air quality throughout the house. A breakdown can also cost homeowners a lot of money in repair costs or force an early system replacement—however, the earlier the fall tune-up, the fewer worries of problems like these.

About KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning

KC’s 23 ½ Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning has over 40 years of experience serving the residents of Palm Springs, CA, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat-rate pricing, financing, and 24/7 emergency service. Call them today for heating maintenance in Palm Springs, CA.

Learn About Water Heaters This Back To School Season

What Are Hot Water Heaters?

A water heater is a piece of plumbing hardware that provides the home with hot water on demand for important tasks like washing hands, cleaning, and bathing. The water heater is one of the most expensive and essential pieces of plumbing equipment found in modern homes. Homeowners can protect their investment in their water heater by educating themselves on the basics of water heater systems.

What Are the Different Types of Water Heaters?

types of water heatersThe main types of water heaters are gas, electric, and tankless water heaters, and there are pros and cons to each. Gas water heaters are the most common type in modern homes, but electric water heaters are also popular. Tankless water heaters are a modern solution to provide hot water with minimal waste of energy by only heating the exact amount of water needed for each task.

Gas water heaters are slightly more expensive to install than electric water heaters but have much lower operating costs. A gas water heater uses a gas burner to heat the water. This means that the water heater needs to be connected to natural gas. Electric water heaters are a more versatile option because almost every home has electricity hooked up, while not every house has a gas connection.

While electric water heaters are easier to install, they have higher operating costs than gas water heaters. Tankless water heaters have the cheapest operating costs because they do not waste energy in the heating process. Installing a tankless water heater is more expensive than the traditional options, but homeowners can expect to get 20+ years of performance compared to gas water heaters 10-15 year lifespan.

How To Do Water Heater Maintenance?

leave it to a professional Plumbers recommend that homeowners drain water heaters annually or twice a year to flush the tank of sediment. Sediments result from natural minerals in the water separating into solids during the heating process. Over time, sediment buildup can corrode the water heater tank and cause valves to age prematurely.

During maintenance appointments, the water heater technician will flush water heater tanks and inspect the system for signs of damage. Most water heaters use a system of valves to control the flow of water. Valves are notorious for wearing out over time, and replacing them can help to promote efficient and long-lasting water heater performance. The anode rod must also be checked and replaced if it is over three to five years old. Anode rods attract corrosive materials in the water to prevent tank corrosion.

Leaving water heater maintenance to a qualified professional is best because working on water heater tanks is extremely dangerous. Up to a hundred gallons of hot water contained within a water heater tank could pose a serious threat to property and people if it bursts. It is a good idea to have a trusted plumber just a phone call away in case of a water heater emergency.

Water Heater Repair or Water Heater Replacement?

Homeowners should look out for signs that their water heater is failing. A broken water heater is not just an inconvenience because of a lack of hot water. If it's malfunctioning, it could pose a safety hazard to the home. Water heaters contain high temperatures and a large amount of water, which could be dangerous if it bursts.

Signs that a homeowner needs to call a plumber for water heater repair include discolored water, foul-smelling water, or a noisy water heater. Other obvious signs of an old or broken water heater include inconsistent temperatures, waiting a long time for water to heat up, or not enough hot water to complete tasks. Water heaters typically only last between 10-15 years, and as water heater repairs become more frequent, homeowners should consider their options for water heater replacement.

About KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning

KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning has over 40 years of experience serving Palm Springs, CA, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, 24/7 emergency service, and financing. Call them today for water heater services in Palm Springs, CA.

Most Common Air Duct Types

Are There Different Types of Air Duct Designs?

Many homeowners may be surprised to find out that there are actually four primary types of ductwork designs that can be used throughout commercial and residential buildings. A few factors determine which type of duct will be installed in a home. In this blog, experts share the primary types of air ducts and what goes into deciding which should be used. 

Reasons Why There Are Different Types 

There are various reasons why there are different ductwork designs. These factors include the house layout, air duct materials, and British thermal units (BTUs). Although there are four main types of ductwork available, the two main categories include flexible ductwork and rigid ductwork.

Flexible ducts are usually round tubes constructed out of steel wire helixes. These helixes are covered in durable plastic and often insulated. On the other hand, rigid ductwork can vary in size and material, and its shape can be rectangular or cylindrical. These two ductwork categories and the ductwork designs that fall within them are intended for specific use. 

Most Common Air Duct Types

ductsAs originally stated, there are four common types of ductwork designs: flexible ductwork (which is also a category), sheet metal ducts, fiberglass lined ducts, and fiberboard air ducts. The last three types fall under the rigid category. 

Flexible Ductwork

Flexible ductwork is easy and inexpensive to install. If the space where the ductwork is going to be installed in tight or awkward, then flexible ductwork is the best choice for design. Flexible ductwork, as the name suggests, can be bent around structures and other odd sources to fit in almost any area. 

Flexible ductwork can also benefit indoor air quality, helping keep the air clean from particles that can get stuck in rigid ducts. 

Sheet Metal Air Ducts

Sheet metal ducts are a type of rigid ductwork that is made of either galvanized steel or aluminum. They’re lightweight and easy to install. Also, they’re mold-resistant, making them an asset to indoor air quality, much like flexible ductwork. 

Sheet metal ducts are the most durable of the ductwork types because they maintain shape and are not easily crushed. However, they are not without faults. Sheet metal ducts are the most likely to have leaks. 

Fiberglass Lined Air Ducts

Another type of rigid ductwork, fiberglass-lined ducts, is similar to sheet metal ducts but is lined with fiberglass. This lining helps keep them insulated, which helps to quiet the sound of the HVAC system. 

Unfortunately, fiberglass can deteriorate, and when this happens, fibers are released into the air, which can cause health problems for those exposed for prolonged times. Another disadvantage of this type of ductwork is that they are harder to keep clean and are prone to mold, mildew, and bacteria. Any air duct cleaning conducted on fiberglass ducts should be performed by a professional HVAC company for safety.

Fiberboard Air Ducts

The last common type of ductwork is fiberboard ductwork. This rigid type of ductwork is constructed from compressed fiberglass fibers. These fibers were sealed to keep particles from escaping into the air. 

Fiberboard is protected by foil covering the entire outside, helping to be a barrier for air and moisture and providing insulation. Fiberboard is the cheapest ductwork to install, but similar to fiberglass, it is prone to mold and mildew growth. 

Which Ductwork is Best?

ductThe most common type of air duct design to be installed is the sheet metal air duct. These ducts have a non-porous nature that prevents them from mold, mildew, and bacteria that can often breed inside the ductwork. Unlike fiberglass, sheet metal air ducts are safe and do not pose any negative health risks. 

However, to determine the best style of ductwork for any home, it is recommended that homeowners consult with a professional. A professional will recommend the best ducts for a home using factors like house layout, air duct materials, and British thermal units (BTUs). 

KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning

KC’s 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning is an award-winning company with over 40 years of experience serving the community of Palm Springs, CA, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat-rate pricing, 24/7 emergency service, and financing. Call them today for heating and air conditioning services in Palm Springs, CA.

Keep Plumbing Safe This Summer with These Tips to Prevent Plumbing Issues

Preventing Summer Plumbing Disasters

During the summer, plumbing issues can cause strife for people trying to take it easy. However, homeowners can take steps to gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing their home is safe from plumbing problems. Here are three tips from plumbing experts to help homeowners protect against plumbing disasters and protect their summer plans. 

Keep an Eye Out for Leaks

leakWhen people think of plumbing leaks, they usually think of a dripping faucet. While a dripping tap can waste a lot of money, it won’t do much damage. The problem with plumbing leaks is when they occur somewhere; the water can cause damage. Common places where leaks can occur and go unnoticed are:

  • Under cabinets in valves and drain lines
  • Behind refrigerators
  • In hidden piping under slabs
  • Hose bibs 
  • Around the water heater
  • Washer hookups

Homeowners should take some time to check the places they can at the beginning of the summer. When leaks occur in these places, big problems can be the result. By taking just a few minutes to check things out, homeowners can relax knowing they won’t have to deal with this plumbing disaster. 

Put Food Waste in the Garbage

oilSummer doesn’t just mean taking off and hitting the road. It also implies garden parties and cookouts. But, every cookout eventually ends, and the host is left to clean up the mess. As the host cleans, putting the garbage disposal to work can be tempting, grinding up food debris and cooking grease. However, this is how major pipe clogs happen. 

As cooking grease cools, it hardens on the drainpipe walls. The sticky and viscous grease then captures other food particles, which can cause a clog that can completely back up the drain. Instead of overtaxing the kitchen sink's garbage disposal and drain system, discarding food waste and cooking grease in the garbage can is far safer. 

Flush Drains to Prevent a Pipe Clog

Routine DIY drain maintenance can help prevent clogs before they occur. A good habit to get into is periodically flushing the drains in a home. Run hot water down the drain for a few seconds. The hot water will loosen up deposits, and the continuous water flow will sweep away debris. For added effectiveness, spoon some baking soda into the drain and chase it with a dash of vinegar. After the bubbling has subsided, flush with more hot water. 

About KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning

KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning has over 40 years of experience serving the community of Palm Springs, CA, and the surrounding areas. They provide 24/7 emergency service, upfront pricing, financing, and a beneficial membership program. Call them today for plumbing services in Palm Springs, CA

Why Is It Important To Schedule AC Maintenance Now?

It’s Time to Schedule AC Maintenance To Beat the Summer Heat!

It’s that time of year again when the heat intensifies, and homeowners use their AC systems more. Regular AC maintenance can aid in the effectiveness of the AC system, just in time before the summer.

There are several reasons why now is the best time for homeowners to schedule a quick and effortless air conditioning tune-up. Homeowners should understand these reasons and call soon to schedule their air conditioning maintenance service.

Currently, There is More Scheduling Availability

schedulingUnfortunately, it’s not always easy to know when an AC system will stop working. However, experts have noted that during the summer, especially as temperatures rise quickly, more people notice problems with their AC. Because of this, more people want to schedule AC services.

It is best to beat the rush by getting an AC tune-up this month or as soon as possible! Air conditioning repair companies only have so many spots available each day for regular maintenance checks. If homeowners wait too long, they can be left with a broken AC system and AC repair scheduled a month later.

Catch Problems Before They Worsen

Homeowners should consider that inspections and proper maintenance allow HVAC technicians to find problems during their earlier stages. Most people don’t notice that their AC systems are slowly breaking and wearing down because the signs are subtle. It is best to call an AC company for maintenance now than have to pay more for an AC repair later.

Not only can waiting be more expensive, but troublesome. Nobody wants to get stuck in the middle of the summer’s intense heat with a non-working air conditioning system. HVAC experts can monitor a homeowner’s system for problems over time. Not only can they watch for problems, but they also maintain the system through regular annual maintenance. 

Annual Maintenance Leads to Efficient AC Systems

acHomeowners should schedule annual maintenance as these services lead to efficient AC systems that run faster, easier, and more energy-efficient. When an AC system is working as it should, this can lead to a lower cost of electricity each month. If the AC system does not undergo proper annual maintenance, then normal wear and tear can accelerate and lower the life expectancy of the AC unit.

Annual maintenance includes various services like changing the air filters and cleaning out the coils and outside vents. When dust particles and other debris get in these smaller spaces, it can cause a clog and backup, leading to a slower and high-energy HVAC system. Homeowners that want an AC system that works efficiently by using as little energy as possible should consider scheduling now for their annual maintenance check.

About KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning

KC's 23 1/2 Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning has served their neighbors in the Coachella Valley for over 40 years and have been named Best of Home Advisor for 8 years running. They provide flat-rate pricing, financing, 24/7 emergency service, and a membership plan that includes annual inspections, tune-ups, and exclusive discounts. Call them today for AC maintenance services in Palm Springs, CA.