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.

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.