Do I Need a New Central Air Conditioning System?

Central air conditioning systems in Salt Lake City can last a long time, but eventually will need replaced. Is your A/C working as efficiently as it used to? Is it running at all? If you are having issues with your central air conditioning system, it is a good time to consider whether you should replace it or repair it.

Do You Need to Replace Your Central A/C?

air conditioning system
Source: iStock.com/ Maudib

Here are seven reasons you might want to replace your central A/C:

  • Your current system is 10 years or older. Energy efficiency standards have improved over the past decade. Even a system installed a decade ago will not be as efficient as one purchased today.
  • Your cooling bills keep going up. As an A/C system ages, it can start requiring more energy to do the same job it did when it was first installed. This means your energy bills go up every cooling season.
  • You want to make your home more energy efficient. A brand new, energy efficient central air conditioning system is a greener choice, especially if your old system is highly inefficient.
  • The ductwork in your home was installed when it was built. Ducts installed even 10 years ago are likely to have leaks and gaps. This makes them inefficient and will drive up your costs.
  • You have rooms in your home that never get comfortable. The cool air never seems to reach those rooms. It may be due to a struggling A/C system or major issues in the ductwork.
  • You have high levels of humidity in your home. Air conditioning systems pull humidity out of the air while simultaneously cooling it. If your A/C is not running efficiently, you may be having humidity problems.
  • You may have a malfunctioning thermostat. Older thermostats are not as accurate as they were when they were first installed. The temperature on the thermostat may not be what the temperature of the air is.

If you want to talk with an HVAC expert about central air conditioning systems in Salt Lake City, call us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

Summer HVAC Maintenance Tips for Your Holliston Home

The hot summer months are definitely here. Your air conditioning is going to be working overtime. You need to keep your HVAC in good working order to keep your home cool in this heat. You can use the best summer HVAC maintenance tips to help your system keep up with the worst summer can bring.

Summer HVAC Tips to Use

If you haven’t already done basic maintenance on your HVAC system, now is the time to start. Here are five tips to get you going:

hvac system
Source: iStock.com/Maudib
  1. Make sure supply and return vents are not blocked. Your HVAC works by moving air out of and into the system. During summer, the warm air comes in, gets cooled, then gets expelled out to cool the house. If you have furniture or other items in front of the vents, the air flow is blocked, which means it takes longer to cool your home.
  2. Vacuum dust and pet hair from vents. Over time, dust will accumulate in the fins of your vents. As the dust accumulates, it starts attracting larger debris and slowly cutting off air flow. If you want your HVAC to be as efficient as possible, keep those vents clean.
  3. Rinse the outside unit with a hose. The outside part of your HVAC system gets dirty over time. In summer, grass clippings can accumulate. In the autumn, leaf debris is the main culprit. Spring brings plenty of pollen. All of this can decrease the system’s energy efficiency.
  4. Change air filters monthly. Air filters help remove the minute particulates that can decrease the HVAC system’s efficiency. They also help improve the air quality in the house.
  5. Have an annual service visit. Your HVAC system needs regular maintenance to work at its best. Having an HVAC professional make a visit and do a tune-up will keep the system running efficiently. It also prolongs the system’s life and keeps repair needs to a minimum.

These best summer HVAC maintenance tips will help you beat the heat. If you need to schedule your annual maintenance visit, give us a call here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

How to Prepare Your Holliston Home for Hot Weather This Summer

The weather this summer is hot. And your home may be making it difficult to stay comfortable inside. Is your Holliston home ready for the summer? Knowing how to prepare your Holliston home for hot weather will keep you comfortable this summer.

How to Protect and Secure Your Home Against the Heat

programmable thermostat3
Source: iStock.com/Wojciech Kozielczyk

What can you do to get your home ready?

  • Keep the cool inside by weatherproofing your home. Hot air can get in from the outside through cracks around doors and windows. You can use caulk to seal any openings around frames. Weatherstripping provides protection around the moving parts of windows and doors.
  • Have your HVAC system checked. Like most mechanical equipment, your A/C needs routine maintenance to work smoothly. Once a year, have an HVAC professional do a tune-up and inspection.
  • Change your air filters regularly. Your air filters help your HVAC run smoothly and efficiently. When they get clogged, it can decrease the system’s efficiency.
  • Use your ceiling fans, in the right direction. During the summer, your ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise for the best movement of air. The movement of the air will make your skin feel cooler and let you turn the A/C up a few degrees. If you don’t have ceiling fans, install them this summer.
  • Put your drapes to work. When the sun is streaming in your windows, it is heating up your home. Use your drapes to keep the heat at bay. If you don’t have insulated drapes, consider installing them. They can make a real difference in how comfortable your home is.
  • Get a programmable thermostat. You can program the thermostat to have your home nice and cool when you are there, and save money when you are not there.

Once you know how to prepare your home for hot weather, you can enjoy the fun that summer brings. And there is a bonus. Many of the things you do for the summer will translate to better comfort in the colder months. If you need someone to inspect your HVAC system, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

How to Keep Your Home’s AC System Cool This Summer

Your A/C is going to be working overtime this summer. You do not want it to overheat and break down. The best way to prevent problems is getting the equipment in good working order and keeping it that way. Learning how to keep your AC system from overheating is not difficult and does not take much time.

Keep Your A/C in Good Working Order

Use these tips to maintain your air conditioning system and keep it from overheating:

    air filter
    Source: iStock.com/Serenethos

  • Change the filters regularly. Filters help keep the insides of the A/C and the ductwork clear of dust and debris. They also play a role in keeping your indoor air quality good.
  • Hose off the outdoor condenser. The fins on the condenser unit can get dirty, which decreases its efficiency. Use a gentle spray of water to clear it away.
  • Cut back bushes and plants. The outdoor condenser needs a steady flow of air to work efficiently. Overgrown grass, weeds, and bushes can block that air flow. Keep the area around the condenser trimmed.
  • Have a professional HVAC maintenance visit once a year. Your A/C needs regular maintenance to run efficiently. An annual visit from an HVAC professional will keep it running throughout the summer.
  • Check ducts and hoses for leaks. If your ducts have leaks, you are losing cool air to your attic or crawlspace. If the hoses are leaking, the system cannot cool efficiently.
  • Use ceiling fans. Fans do not cool rooms, but they make people in the rooms feel cooler. Turning on the fans allows you to turn the A/C temp up.
  • Block the sun with drapes. UV rays coming through the windows heats up your indoor space. Insulated drapes help block that heat and keep the inside cool.
  • Use a programmable thermostat. You can program it to keep the house cool when people are at home and go into energy saving mode when everyone is gone.

Using these tips will help you learn how to keep your air conditioner from overheating. If you need to schedule an annual tune-up, contact Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning today.

Why You Should Update the Plumbing Fixtures in an Old House

You live in older home with older plumbing fixtures. Those fixtures work well enough. You may be thinking, “Why should I update the plumbing fixtures in my home if they are all working?” Before you learn how to update the plumbing in an old house, you need to know why it is important.

Why You Need to Update

plumber
Source: iStock.com/Ridofranz

Here are 7 reasons why updating your home’s plumbing is important:

  1. It makes things look new again. There is no reason why your old home needs to look old. New faucets and drains can make your bathrooms and kitchen look more modern and up to date.
  2. It is more hygienic. Older drains often do not let waste flow away efficiently. This can leave standing waste within inches of your drain opening. That is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microbes.
  3. It is better for the environment. Adding aerators to your faucets and replacing your old showerhead with a low flow model will help reduce the amount of water you use drastically, which is environmentally sound.
  4. It is better for your wallet. While you are saving water, you are saving money at the same time. If you upgrade your old water heater for a new one, you can save on electrical or fuel costs also.
  5. It can prevent property damage. Old leaky pipes can do a lot of property damage if not repaired or replaced. Wood rot, a corroded foundation, and damaged drywall are just a few examples.
  6. It can improve the quality of your water. If you have lead pipe or galvanized steel pipe in your home, you likely have high levels of poisonous contamination in your drinking and cooking water.
  7. It can prevent indoor air quality issues. Many older homes have mold and mildew caused by leaky pipes. Mold spores are a major contributor to poor indoor air quality in many homes.

You can see why updating your plumbing is so important. If you want more advice on how to update your plumbing in an old house, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

5 Reasons Why You Should Let Professionals Install Plumbing Systems

Calling in a plumber often sounds like a waste of time. DIY shows and online videos make it sound like plumbing systems are something a homeowner can do without the help of a professional. The reality is a bit different. There are certain advantages of professional plumbing installation that make it well worth the investment.

Why Leave It to the Professionals

plumber
Source: iStock.com/AndreyPopov

Here are five reasons to leave plumbing issues to the professionals:

  • Prevent water damage. If an installation or repair is done incorrectly, the chances of a leak occurring is quite high. What may start out as a minor, occasional drip can gradually lead to a major water leak or burst pipe. That can lead to water damage inside walls, through the ceiling below, and eventually
  • Doing the job right the first time. Many homeowners find that trying to do the work themselves ends up costing them more in the long run. For example, cutting the hole for a new sink in the countertop requires precision. One wrong cut and you either have to replace the countertop or get a new sink.
  • Prevent gas leaks or electrical shocks. Some plumbing-related jobs involve natural gas lines or electrical wiring. If the work is not done properly, the potential of a deadly gas leak or a fatal shock is quite significant.
  • Get the work done within code. Local building codes are there to prevent potential problems. Our professional plumbers knows and follows these codes. Not only it is the smart thing to do, it is also the legal thing to do.
  • Keep the water and waste flowing properly. If you do not have drain lines installed at the proper slope, you can end up with slow drain lines and waste backing up into your house. Improperly installed water lines can bang around due to air in the lines. Those are just a few of the plumbing problems that can happen if the pipes are not installed and secured properly.

If you want the advantages of professional plumbing installation, give us a call at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

How to Choose Plumbing Fixtures for Your New Holliston Home

Learning how to choose plumbing fixtures for a new home starts behind the scenes. While you may be focusing on the finishes and styles of your faucets, it is very important to consider what is going on behind the walls and under the floors first. That is where the majority of your plumbing runs. And you want the plumbing to work with minimal problems for decades to come.

In the past few decades, plumbers gave homeowners two choices: galvanized steel or copper pipes. Today, there are a number of choices available, many of which are more reliable than those stand-by choices.

There are three things to consider when selecting your pipe material.

How will it be installed?

galvanized steel pipes
Source: iStock.com/curraheeshutter

Copper pipes are joined together with pipe fittings sealed with solder, which is melted using a torch. Many house fires have been associated with misuse of a torch. Modern plumbing materials do not need the use of a torch, instead joining with solvent cement instead.

How long do you want it to last?

Hard water or corrosive soil conditions can erode metal pipe, especially those made with copper. To avoid the need to replace your plumbing system in just a few years, you need to go with plumbing materials that can stand up to potentially corrosive conditions. CPVC, for example, has a proven track record for being able to withstand decades of extreme water and soil conditions.

Will the pipe material affect drinking quality?

Lead piping used to be a common fixture in many older homes. Today, it is completely banned because the lead leaches into the water, poisoning the people who drank it. Pipes made from other metals, like copper or steel, can start leaching into the water as they begin to corrode. Going with a material that doesn’t corrode is the better choice for your water quality over the long term.

Before you learn how to choose plumbing fixtures for a new home, learn a bit about the pipes to be installed in your home. Contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

Important Home Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

Your A/C is one of your main defenses against the heat of the Massachusetts summer. To keep your air conditioning unit working efficiently throughout the summer, you need to keep it in good working order. You can use these home air conditioner maintenance tips to keep the cool air flowing all summer long.

A/C Maintenance Tips

air filter
Source: iStock.com/BackyardProduction

Here are five tips to help you maintain your A/C system:

  1. Change the air filters. The air filter in your A/C captures dust and fine particulates. It keeps the interior of the equipment clean, which promotes efficient operation. It also helps clean the air, promoting good indoor air quality. If a filter gets clogged, it can cause the A/C to run harder. Clean or change the air filters at least once a month.
  2. Clean the supply and return vents. Even with a good air filter, dust can get into your ducts and the A/C system. One way to keep this to a minimum is to clean the return air vents. You can use a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner or use a brush to remove the dust. You should also clean the supply vents. If you find excessive dust in those vents, you may need a duct cleaning.
  3. Clean the condenser coil. Dirt and debris can clog the fins on the condenser unit. This decreases its efficiency. You can use a vacuum or a gentle spray of water to clear these fins.
  4. Clear away any blockages around the condenser. The condenser needs a clear air flow to run smoothly. You need to make sure there are no weeds, dirt, or leaves blocking the air flow.
  5. Schedule a maintenance visit. To remain efficient, your A/C needs a regular tune-up and inspection. This should be done by a licensed HVAC technician once a year. He will do routine maintenance, check fluid levels, and electrical connections, among many other things.

These home air conditioner maintenance tips should keep your A/C running smoothly and at optimal levels. If you need to schedule routine maintenance, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

Important Things to Know About AC Maintenance

Your air conditioning is running full blast this summer. If you haven’t already thought about maintaining your A/C, you need to start thinking about it right now. AC maintenance is critical for keeping your cooling costs down, repair needs to a minimum, and system life to the max.

Important Things to Know About Maintaining Your A/C

air filter maintenance
Source: iStock.com/BackyardProduction

Here is a list of things you need to do to keep your A/C running this summer:

  • Change your air filters every month. Air conditioning units require a steady flow of air to run efficiently. The air filters help keep that air clear of dust and debris. But a clogged filter makes the A/C struggle. Simply changing the filter once a month will enhance efficiency and improve your indoor air quality at the same time.
  • Clear weeds and debris away from the outside unit. Like the inside air blower, the outdoor compressor unit needs clear air flow to do its job efficiently. Weeds and debris block the flow of air. When mowing the lawn or weeding the garden, take time to clear things away from the outside unit.
  • Clean your home’s air supply and return vents. Over time, dust will accumulate in the vents’ fins. You want nothing to impede air flow in and out of the cooling system. At least once a season, use a vacuum hose to clear away dust and debris. Make sure furniture is not blocking the air either.
  • Have an annual service performed by a licensed HVAC technician. Like most mechanical systems, A/Cs need tune-ups and service to run efficiently. The technician will check refrigerant levels and make sure the system is tuned properly.
  • Update the programming on your thermostat. If your schedule has changed since you last used the thermostat with your A/C, update its programming. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, get one installed.

Doing routine maintenance of AC systems will keep them running throughout the summer. If you need your A/C system serviced or have a repair need, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

4 Advantages of Split Air Conditioning Systems

Do you need to add air conditioning to a new addition or to a part of your home not previously cooled? You may find that your old A/C can’t handle the new space or that it is impossible to run new ductwork to this new space. The advantages of split air conditioning systems make them a viable option for almost any cooling need you might have.

Advantages to Consider

Here are four advantages homeowners get when they install split A/C systems:

air conditioning system
Source: iStock.com/arenacreative
  1. Easy installation is possible in almost any situation. There is no ductwork involved with a split system. The inside unit can hang from the ceiling or on the wall. The outdoor unit can sit up to 100 feet from the inside unit. A small hole in the wall for the refrigerant pipe and wiring is all that is required.
  2. Quiet operation makes it an option for any room in the home, including the bedroom. The indoor units operate with only a quiet hum. The outside units can be placed where its noise causes minimal disturbance.
  3. More cost-effective than one central A/C unit is. Each room the split system cools has its own thermostat, which can be programmed individually for the occupant(s) of that space. That means the room is only cooled when it’s needed. The inside units use smaller fans which use less energy than a central A/C blower. Units often run at different times, which keeps energy use even lower.
  4. Heating capacity is built-in with these split systems. Most split air conditioning systems are actually heat pumps. This makes it possible to heat and cool the space year-round. If you are adding the system to a basement, attic, or garage space, this can extend the usability of the space to all four seasons.

If you are looking for an affordable, efficient cooling solution for all or part of your home, consider the advantages of split air conditioning systems. Contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for more information.