It's a New Year! Is it Time for a New Heating System?

Get that New Boiler, Furnace, or Heat Pump Installed for the New Year

The new year has just begun, and the heater may not be working as well as it once was. Over time, heaters lose efficiency and can raise energy bills due to age or a problem in the system. Homeowners would do well to be aware of common signs that the heater is faltering. This article will share some of those signs and the options available for heater replacement. 

Indicators of a Failing Heater

A heating system is often overlooked among household appliances as it is hidden and does most of its work quietly, creating a comfortable space for inhabitants and guests. Once a heater becomes a squeaky wheel, however, it will likely need attention quickly or will simply stop working altogether. Common signs a heater is coming to the end of its lifespan include:

  • It is more than ten years old.
  • It has bad smells, such as burning or musty odors.
  • Temperature fluctuations happen in the home.
  • It is not blowing hot air.
  • The rooms are too hot.
  • The rooms are too cold.
  • It is constantly cycling on and off (short cycling).
  • It makes strange sounds, such as banging and whistling.

Choosing the Correct Type of Heater Replacementheater

Several different types of heating systems can be installed in a home, ranging from the older but reliable technology of boilers to the newer innovations of the heat pump. These options include:

  • Boiler: The technology behind the boiler heating system has been around for a long time. It was used as a central heating system for large homes and buildings even before the advent of electric lights. As the name suggests, boilers use a heat source to boil water sent through tubing or pipes to radiators located throughout the home. Nowadays, tubes can even be installed in trim boards and underneath flooring to create radiant heat without the need for radiator units. This system is highly efficient and tends not to dry out the air like the more popular heating systems with blowers. Unfortunately, it can be costly to install and repair, and maintenance, while usually easy on the unit itself, may prove more difficult if a leak occurs within the walls or floor of the home.
  • Furnace: This is another technology that got its start centuries ago. It starts with a heat source, usually a natural gas-fueled flame, that warms up air that is then blown into and distributed through ducts. This technology is generally easy to maintain and install. However, gas leaks and carbon monoxide leaks resulting from furnace malfunction can be quite dangerous.
  • Heat Pump:  This bit of modern technology is becoming increasingly popular due to its high efficiency. This particular heater does not have a heat source. Instead, it pulls heat from the outside and transfers it inside or can be reversed to remove heat from the house during the warmer months. This heat transfer from one place to another is where the heat pump gets its name. 

Heating Maintenance

maintainingEven if a homeowner’s heater is running perfectly, they should still know that routine professional maintenance can help any type of heating system work at its most efficient. This efficiency leads to saving on utility bills and will help the system last longer since it won’t need to work as hard for the same results. 

Maintaining a heating system can save money and hassle in the long run. Regular maintenance will ensure that a heater continues to operate effectively and efficiently while helping to reduce costly repairs or unexpected breakdowns.

About KC's 23 ½ Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning

KC's 23 ½ Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning has been named Best of Home Advisor for eight years running while serving Palm Springs, CA, and the surrounding areas. They provide flat-rate menu pricing, financing, and the latest technology. Call them today for boiler, furnace, heat pump, or heating services in Palm Springs, CA.

Invest in a New Sump Pump This Holiday Season

Give the Gift of a Sump Pump This Holiday Season 

Rainwater ground runoff and flooding can cause homes to flood with water. A sump pump is a device designed to collect and remove water that has been collected into a sump pit. Having standing water in a home can cause mold, bugs, and damage. A new sump pump is a perfect gift for homeowners this holiday season because it helps them prevent flooding and the water damage that comes with it.  

Benefits of Installing a Sump Pumppump

A sump pump is a piece of home hardware that uses a pump to remove unwanted water from the basement or other lowest parts of a home and prevent flooding. Sump pump basins are cut into the ground and collect the water. When water levels start rising in the basin, the pump removes the water from the pit through a drain outdoors. 

The benefits of installing a sump pump include preventing flooding, property damage, personal injury, mold, and mildew growth, and keeping the basement clean. Flooding can cost homeowners an arm and a leg if the water damages essential home hardware. Homeowners may also want to add a dehumidifier to further prevent the growth of mold from excessive moisture. It can also be disastrous if the water reaches electrical wiring so installing a sump pump keeps homeowners safe and the basement sanitary.

Submersible vs. Pedestal Sump Pumps

pumpsThe big difference between the two main types of sump pumps is that the motor of a submersible sump pump is submerged inside the sump pit, and the motor of a pedestal sump pump is not. Submersible sump pumps are also more powerful and can handle more flooding. Because the pump’s engine is submerged in the water from the basin, they are quieter but don’t last as long. Homes with heavy flooding will most likely need a submersible sump pump. 

A pedestal pump is not as powerful as a submersible pump, but it does have some benefits. Pedestal pumps are less expensive and easier to install and maintain. They also typically last longer than submersible pumps because they experience less wear and tear since their motor does not go into the pit with water. 

Get a Sump Pump Backup

It’s a good idea to have a battery backup sump pump in case the power goes out due to storms or another weather event. Most sump pumps require electricity to run. In the case of a power outage, the sump pump may not be able to prevent the home from flooding without a power backup. A battery-powered backup or combination sump pump will help homeowners protect their homes and property during power outages. 

Some areas may experience such bad flooding that more than one sump pump is needed to keep the floor clear of water, making a backup sump pump even more important. Combination sump pumps have a battery-powered backup pump that is installed at the same time as the primary sump pump, so in the event of a power outage, the battery-powered one will take over. Starting the new year with a new sump pump can give homeowners peace of mind that they will be protected from flooding, water damage, mold, and mildew growth.  

About KC's 23 ½ Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning

KC's 23 ½ Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning has over 40 years of experience serving Palm Springs, CA, and the surrounding areas. They provide 24/7 emergency service, upfront prices, and financing. Call them today for sump pump services in Palm Springs, CA.

Ways to Save Money on Energy Bills For Holiday Shopping

3 Tips to Help Homeowners Lower the Electric Bill This Holiday Season

When the holidays roll around, everyone starts figuring out different ways to save money so they can buy the things they want for their loved ones. The holidays are always seen as a time of year to spend money, so many people don’t realize that they could save a ton of money every year on their energy bill. Homeowners could use all of this saved money toward buying presents for their loved ones!  

Continue reading to learn three energy and money-saving tips every homeowner should know. 

Switch to a Programmable Thermostat

thermostatThere are new thermostats on the market that are revolutionizing the modern home and the HVAC industry. Whether it’s called a smart thermostat, wifi thermostat, or programmable thermostat, they are all essentially the same thing. However, there are different price point options, so smart thermostats are more readily accessible for all income levels. 

Here are a few features they can offer: 

  • Whether it is done via an app on a smartphone or the thermostat, homeowners can set up the thermostat settings to happen on a timer. 
  • Have motion sensor options to recognize when people are in the home or not and accommodate the temperature in the house, depending on who is there or not. 
  • Smart thermostats can also tell homeowners when it’s time for maintenance or repairs.
  • They can also notify homeowners when it’s time to change the air filter 
  • They are convenient, easy to use, and save the homeowner time, stress, and money! 

Air Filter Replacement

filterThe air filter is an essential part of the HVAC system. It doesn’t require much attention from the homeowner other than remembering to replace it on time. 

If homeowners remember to change air filters on time, they will notice several benefits, including: 

  • Better indoor air quality
  • Fewer illnesses and health issues
  • Fewer HVAC breakdowns
  • Fewer HVAC repairs
  • A longer-lasting system
  • A lower energy bill each month

Homeowners who live alone with no pets can typically replace their air filters once every three months. If there are multiple people/pets in the home, the air filter should be replaced more often. If homeowners are concerned about frequent air filter changes and what it does to the environment, they can look into reusable air filters! 

Professional Maintenance 

There are many benefits of regular AC and heater maintenance by a professional that many homeowners miss out on by neglecting maintenance. The truth of the matter is that routine professional maintenance ends up saving homeowners money in the long run, and here’s why: 

  • It leads to a more efficient system all year round
  • It leads to lower energy bills because the system isn’t overworked
  • It leads to fewer breakdowns and surprises
  • Fewer breakdowns mean less money spent on repairs and damages
  • It leads to a longer system lifespan, saving money on an early replacement

It’s time to schedule that fall maintenance check if homeowners haven’t already! 

KC's 23 ½ Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning Saves Families Money

KC's 23 ½ Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning has over 40 years of experience serving Palm Springs, CA, and the surrounding neighborhoods. They provide flat rate pricing, financing, and a membership plan that includes maintenance and many benefits. Call them today for AC and heating services in Palm Springs, CA.

Silencing the Phenomenon of Water Hammers

What is a Water Hammer?

Understanding what a water hammer is will be the first step in solving the problem of banging pipes. The simple explanation of this phenomenon is the backpressure of water caused by a sudden stop, or change of direction, of the movement of the fluid. These shockwaves are characterized by a loud banging or knocking from the pipes.

Dangers of Water Hammers

pipeIf the noisy water pipes are not enough to drive a person crazy, the damage a water hammer can cause will. The best option when this issue arises is to immediately call a professional plumber who has dealt with the problem before. The damage caused by water hammers can be extensive, and the longer it’s ignored, the more damage they will do, and the repair bills will be substantially more. Dangers of water hammers include:

  • Damage to water pumps – The shockwaves caused by the sudden stop or change of water flow can cause serious damage to the inner workings of the pump. If the pump is damaged and stops working, no water will be pumped into the water lines when needed. The damage means no water in the building until the pump is replaced.
  • Water leaks – The joints and fittings within the plumbing system will start to spring leaks from the excessive amounts of pressure caused by water hammering issues. Water leaks in the piping can cause lowered amounts of water pressure, water damage, and excessive water usage and require damaged joints and fittings to be replaced. 
  • Broken or Burst Pipes – When the water hammers are repetitive and intense, ruptured pipes can occur. This can cause significant damage, especially if it's not noticed right away. The break in the plumbing system will cause a complete drop in water pressure, cause severe water damage, and waste water and money. 

Solutions For Water Hammer Problems

plumberThe sooner a plumber is called for water hammers, the better. The first thing that a professional will do is locate and diagnose the cause of the banging pipes. Plumbers will be able to diagnose the problem with a few simple tests. Depending on the issue that causes the water hammer, solutions can include: 

  • Replace Valve – To fix water hammers, plumbers may need to replace valves used during the plumbing system's original installation. The common style installed will depend on gravity to open and close. The best solution will be to have a spring-driven check valve installed, which creates a smooth, soft closing of the valve.
  • System Flush – If lucky, the only problem may be that the system has some dirt or debris inside pipes or possibly some air bubbles caused by the sudden back-shift of water flow. A qualified professional can completely flush the system, basically resetting the flow to the original amounts that the system was designed for.
  • Installing Pressure Regulators – The plumbing professional may decide that the problem lies in the main water lines coming into the building. Installing a pressure regulator in that line will control the flow of water coming in, which will prevent water hammering by reducing the amount and pressure of water.
  • Air Chambers – Plumbing vents are commonly installed on a plumbing system to help prevent water hammer problems. If the system in the building is old and does not have an air chamber installed, it would be a good time to do so. If one is present, the professional will check to ensure it is working properly and repair it if not.

About KC's 23 ½ Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning

KC's 23 ½ Hour Plumbing & Air Conditioning has over four decades of experience serving Palm Springs, CA, and the surrounding areas. They offer flat rate pricing, financing, and a membership plan with many perks. Call them today for plumbing services in Palm Springs, CA

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.