10-Point Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist

Spring HVAC Maintenance

10-Point Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist

  • Plumbing

10-Point Spring HVAC Maintenance Checklist

It’s time to start thinking about Spring HVAC maintenance. Most folks think about Spring cleaning as a time to get rid of useless stuff you’ve been accumulating over the winter, a time to brush away the cobwebs, and to finally get rid of the dust bunnies hibernating under the couch. It’s also time to start thinking about some other chores that are a crucial part of your Spring cleaning routine such as the need to do a little HVAC maintenance to make sure your heating and cooling systems are running properly and efficiently for those cooler spring days, and soon to come warmer summer weather.

 

A properly running and maintained HVAC system is one of the most important things you as a homeowner must achieve to ensure the comfort of your family and the lowest possible utility bill each season. Many folks don’t think they need to call the HVAC company to come out unless they are having a problem with their system. That is truly not the case. Think of HVAC maintenance as a tune up for your unit. You would not go without tuning up your vehicle, and you should not go without tuning up your  HVAC unit! Why should you have the Spring HVAC maintenance performed on your system? Here’s what might happen if you don’t take care of your HVAC system with regular maintenance:

If You Don’t Have Spring and Fall HVAC Maintenance You Put Yourself at Risk For:

  • Wasting money on utility bills because the system isn’t clean and is forced to work harder
  • Systems may fail just when you need them most if they are not properly maintained
  • Water lines may become clogged causing major damage to your home

Why Spring HVAC Maintenance is Important

The old adage is true: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Having your HVAC System maintained in the Spring before the hot summer days require it to work hard all day long is imperative to keeping your system in peak condition. Following a scheduled HVAC maintenance routine will not only save you tons of money on utility bills, it will give you peace of mind knowing that your HVAC system will work properly and efficiently when you need it most (cool spring nights and hot summer days.) It is not a good feeling when you need your home to be heated or cooled only to find your system is not working properly. In many cases, these issues can be identified during a preventative maintenance inspection before they become a major issue. Not familiar with what a preventative maintenance visit for your HVAC unit entails? Here are the services performed and a little insight as to the importance of the task at hand.  

Spring HVAC Service Includes:

  • Clean and lubricate indoor HVAC components such as blower fans and coils so that the unit is working efficiently and keeping your utility bills low.
  • Check AC’s refrigerant levels to ensure your AC is blowing cold air. If the technician notices the level is low, this could indicate a possible leak in the system.
  • Changing the air filter during the Spring visit will help your unit run more efficiently and will keep down dust and allergens in your home.
  • Tighten electrical connections as well as inspect the fan blades and motor for damage and normal wear.
  • This is also a great time for the technician to lubricate the parts as needed and inspect safety devices for proper operation.
  • Check the operation of all HVAC units (heating, cooling) to make sure everything is in peak running condition for the upcoming season.
  • Clean out the outdoor unit to remove any leaves, twigs, grass, dirt, etc. that might have gathered during the winter months.
  • Test thermostat for proper operation, calibrate and level to ensure your home is heating and cooling to the right temperature.
  • Most air conditioners have a drainage hole on the base of the cabinet. This hole needs to be kept clear so that the air conditioner works properly. The technician will remove any obstructions during the inspection as he flushes and treats the condensate drain.
  • Inspect ductwork to check for leaks.

 

Ideally, you should have your air conditioning and heating equipment checked before the beginning of a new season. This routine preventative maintenance will help ensure that your system is working properly and ready for the new season of heating or cooling your home. Taking care of this important part of your home is a great way to save money and rest assured that your family will be comfortable no matter what Mother Nature brings.

Call Papalia Home Services today & take care of any plumbing problems before spring arrives!

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8 Common Plumbing Repairs You May Need Before Spring

plumbing problems before spring

8 Common Plumbing Repairs You May Need Before Spring

  • Plumbing

Plumbing problems happen all the time and the harsh weather conditions from the winter season will only contribute to more problems. The frigid temperatures put your plumbing at risk of freezing, which if left untreated can result in costly damages. Your plumbing requires proper maintenance no matter what time of year, which is why it’s time fix some much-needed plumbing problems before spring comes into bloom.

What Could Potentially Be Wrong with Your Plumbing

Leaks and clogs are common plumbing nuisances that happen at any time, but the problem is that most of them can happen unnoticed until it’s too late. While you may have winterized your plumbing for the worst, plumbing problems before spring arrives can still arise and it’s best to catch them before the snow melts. While winter puts your plumbing at risk of freezing, spring can overwhelm your pipes and sump pump. It’s always better to be proactive versus reactive when it comes to your plumbing. To spare yourself a plumbing catastrophe, here are eight common plumbing repairs you may need before spring.

  • Low water pressure. If you’ve ever experienced a disappointing shower, it’s probably because your plumbing has low water pressure. If water doesn’t gush out of your faucets like it used to, it could be because of a clogged aerator. If cleaning the screens of your faucets does nothing, however, then the issue may have to due with a leak or clog in your plumbing. On rare occasions, low water pressure can also be a sign that’s something is wrong with the main water line. While less pressure may be nothing more than a nuisance, it shouldn’t be ignored, as it often indicates another issue with your plumbing.
  • Slow drains. One of the most common signs of a clog, if you experience slow drains, it’s important to clear the clog immediately. While clogs anytime of the year are problematic, clogs during the winter season can be especially dangerous as it makes your pipes more vulnerable to freezing. Most clogs can be solved with a drain cleaning, but if the slow drain still persists, the issue may be much deeper inside your plumbing. Stubborn clogs usually stem from a damaged sewer line and will require a licensed plumber to repair it.
  • Running toilet. Your toilet is one of the most used water fixtures in the house, and it’s prone to leaking which could cost you in your next water bill. A constantly running toilet is a common, but costly problem. Since there are several culprits for a running toilet, it’s important to have a plumber check the problem right away. Some issues such as a faulty flapper or fill valve, can be an easy fix, other problems, however, will require professional help.
  • Busted garbage disposal. While it may be tempting to put aside the cost of repairing the garbage disposal later, a damaged garbage disposal harm your plumbing. Most culprits for a busted or damaged garbage disposal usually also clog the drain, and are an invitation for unwanted pests like drain flies.
  • Dripping faucets. Often it’s easier to ignore that one annoying dripping faucet, but a dripping faucet wastes water and costs you money. While it’s encouraged to let your faucets drip during the winter season to avoid a freezing, a faucet that drips on its own usually indicates something is wrong with the faucet. Faucets come with a water-tight seal that prevents water from escaping, but over time those can wear down and the result is the notorious annoying drip. Replacing the washer is a common solution for a dripping faucet and is best down by a plumber who has specialized tools.
  • Leaky pipes. Leaks are a problem no matter what time of year, but they can be especially problematic during winter when it’s still below freezing. It’s best to catch a leak as soon as possible as it can lead to costly water damages and mold. Watch for water spots, bubbling paint or discolored wallpaper, and puddles of water. If you smell something foul and musty, call a plumber immediately.
  • Damaged sump pump. Your sump pump is an important appliance that can often be forgotten during the winter season, but it still works to keep your basement flood-free. While you may experience little to no rain before spring, it’s important to inspect your sump pump for damages. Test to see if it works by filling the tank to the top with water. If it doesn’t start immediately, it may be time to schedule a repair.
  • Old water heater. The winter season can put a lot of strain on your water heater, which is why it’s a good idea to inspect your water heater. Over time, mineral deposits can form inside the tank and will require a flush to remove them periodically. Since water heaters require little maintenance, it’s easy to forget about them, but a water heater in need of maintenance can result with a busted tank flooding gallons of water in your basement.

Take Care of Your Plumbing Before the Snow Melts

While you may be counting down the days until spring, it’s best to take some precaution with your plumbing. A clog or leak, if left untreated, can result in costly damages, or worse, a flooded home. Any plumbing problem is best repaired as soon as possible, but some issues are difficult to detect without professional help. If you want to start the spring season right, make sure to schedule one last plumbing inspection before it’s too late.

Call Papalia Home Services today & take care of any plumbing problems before spring arrives!

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Indicators That It’s Time to Repair or Replace Your Furnace 

repair or replace your furnace

Indicators That It’s Time to Repair or Replace Your Furnace 

  • Heating

As the cold season is in full effect and your furnace is under the spotlight. Now that the temperature has dropped, your furnace-use has likely skyrocketed to keep your home and your water warm enough to survive. Unfortunately, just like every other major appliance you love in your house, your furnace doesn’t get any younger. Whether this thought has occurred to you already or not, something could go wrong with your furnace that warrants a repair call or a replacement furnace altogether. Here’s four indicators that its time to repair or replace your furnace:

Age 

Typically, the average lifespan of a furnace is 15-20 years, but higher quality furnaces that have been well maintained may extend far beyond that. This first issue may seem obvious, but we’ve found that not many people can answer how old their furnace truly is. Rule of thumb dictates that if your furnace is old enough to acquire its own driver’s license and go to prom with another beautiful furnace, it is probably time for a replacement.

If the age is getting up there, usually after year 10, it is most likely reasonable to assume that you may be in store to repair or replace your furnace pretty soon, especially if no maintenance work has been done previously. Parts get old and rust/corrosion takes its toll. Also, it’s important to dig out your furnace warranty information and maintenance history. Some furnace warranties extend as long as 20 years, so check your warranty, whatever service you need may be covered. 

Noise

This may come as a shock, but your furnace does not double as a percussion instrument. The only noise it should be making is the low grumble it exudes when it is cycling, similar to a reluctant family member who forgot to do a chore. Bangs, scrapes, booms, screeches, thumps, or any other array of comic book onomatopoeia should be treated as a sign that a repair or assessment call needs to be made as quickly as possible. Noises coming from your furnace can be attributed to any number of issues but if it is particularly loud and disrupting when turning on it may be a sign of a serious safety issue that should be addressed straightaway. 

Efficiency 

Is your monthly heating bill becoming an increasing burden? If so, your furnace may be to blame. In the past furnaces were far less efficient than today’s best models. Many furnaces common in homes have efficiency ratings (the amount of fuel that is turned into heat) that are in the ~70 percentiles. The most efficient options today have ratings as high as 98.5%.

An increased heating bill without increased use is almost certainly indicative of a furnace in need of repair. You will want to act on this realization as quickly as possible, or turn your furnace off altogether, for every second this furnace is running you are paying for resources that you are not necessarily in need of. The main culprit of this problem can usually be traced to the ductwork within the furnace, but that’s not to say it couldn’t be a plethora of other reasons. A repair should be able to take care of the issue, but in some less frequent cases you may end up having to start shopping for a new furnace depending on how severe the issue. 

Sight and Smell

As you’ve probably guessed by now, a furnace in distress can mostly be noticed by you in the moment. We’ve already covered hearing, but often times visual and auditory cues will key you in that something’s wrong. Two liquids pooling around your furnace that you’ll be able to see and know that something is wrong are water and gas. One of these things is a lot more dangerous to have pooling than the other, but either way you will want to notify your contractor about the issue immediately. If you smell gas, odds are the furnace is leaking gas but you just can’t see it. In both cases if you can see or smell gas, you will want to turn off your furnace as well as its gas supply valve in that moment. Especially if it is leaking gas, your home could be at risk if not treated appropriately and right away

If you’ve concluded that a new furnace is necessary, it’s not all bad news, and may be a long-term win. You can ensure your home is equipped with a safe, quiet, warrantied and efficient furnace that results in lower monthly heating costs, no unexpected repair bills, higher home resale value and greater peace of mind.

Schedule furnace service today with Papalia Home Services! Whether you need to repair or replace your furnace, we’ll make sure you stay warm this winter.

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Important Sewer Replacement Considerations That May Save You Money

sewer replacement

Important Sewer Replacement Considerations That May Save You Money

  • Drain & Sewer

Your sewer is by far one of the most important parts of any home. Even though you do not see it each and every day, the sewer system in your home keeps it running and can cause a great deal of damage if it is not properly cared for and properly replaced when necessary. Sewer problems are never convenient and it seems like they always happen at the worst times. That being said, there are some ways that you can make yourself aware as a homeowner of the specifics of repairing your sewer system for the fastest and easiest repairs possible or when you will need sewer replacement.

Pains and Issues to Deal With

When replacing any part of your sewer system, be it the largest pipe or the smallest washer, you should always take the time to consider the unique parts of your sewer system. Though most sewer systems are basically the same, each has pipes that have been laid differently, it may have parts or components that are not common, there may be specific needs that fit your system that are not part of other systems, and more. Since each sewer system is similar but inherently different, you should take the time to get to know your particular system and the repair that it needs.

Benefits of Knowing Your Options

Knowing what options you have on the table before you ever set out to get a repair can help save you time, money, and effort overall as you are going to be equipped with knowledge so that you can start to make a decision before the repairs begin. This means that you are not going to have to be a fish out of water so to speak when the repair company starts throwing out estimates and repairs at you. Full sewer replacement of your system is going to be a big undertaking and knowing what things to keep in mind before you start a full replacement can help you prepare for the seemingly huge mess that will follow. Though every sewer replacement starts out looking incredibly messy and scary, with a professional company the knowledge that you need to make educated decisions, it will all come together.

Considerations For Each Homeowner

Though sewer replacement is fairly common, there are considerations that will need to be made for each individual case. Since not all sewers are located in the same place or in the same area, knowing some of these specifics can help speed up the process and make things a bit smoother.

  • Local Plumbing Codes- each neighborhood, city, county and more are going to have codes that are specific to the area. This may include things like how deeply the pipe has to be buried, what material the pipe must be, where the pipe must be subverted to, etc.. Your repair company will likely know the necessary codes but it never hurts to look them up yourself.

 

  • State Codes- knowing your state codes can also help speed up the process and make you feel a bit better about it all. Some states have a specific pitch or angle that the pipes must be buried at to insure that the waste is moved away from the home and much more.

 

  • Where is Your House Trap?- with sewers you are going to know where your house trap is located. The trap is there to help catch anything that may be dropped down the pipes. If your trap is not under your basement floor you may not have added expense but if it is, you may need to budget for having the floor taken up.

 

  • Distance of the Sewer Line- the more pipe that gets laid and the more line that has to be replaced the more expensive the repair. Knowing this ahead of time can ready you for the potential bill.

 

  • Noting Obstructions- roots, rocks, concrete driveways, flower beds and more can all pose an issue for your replacement. They can also add time and money to the overall repair.

 

  • Type of Pipe- A good example of this principle is exchanging a pipe that it common for most systems but that may not fit perfectly for your system. Odds are the pipes under your home and yard were placed the way they were for a reason. Most engineers take the time to consider what part of the yard is safest, most efficient, and best for the location of your sewer pipes. This means that if the pipes are not put back in the exact position and with the same type of pipe you may end up with trouble.

 

  • Do It Yourself or Hire a Pro-  Often times homeowners are flabbergasted by estimates and may be deterred from using professional companies because of the potential for high bills. There is a simple rule of thumb to follow, the simplest of fixes you will likely be able to work out on your own. If you do not possess the necessary skill or knowledge to fix the issue off hand or with little research, you are likely in need of a professional company to prevent further damage to your sewer that will cost even more to fix.

If you’re in need of a sewer replacement or service, schedule & book with Papalia Home Services today!

By admin

10 Warning Signs of Drain And Sewer Problems

drain and sewer problems

10 Warning Signs of Drain And Sewer Problems

  • Drain & Sewer

Although maintaining a fully functioning drain system is a vital element to the upkeep of any home, this luxury is often taken for granted. Indeed, the literal lifeblood of any home, although most people discount the vitality of maintaining a functioning drain system, its importance becomes evident just moments after it begins to malfunction. Rather than waiting until you are forced to endure mishaps such as leaking, frequent clogging, and more, the following is an overview of 10 warning signs that you have a drain and sewer problems.

1. Water Flooding in the Basement

One of the top tell-tale signs of a drainage problem is spotting standing water in your basement. Given that this is the lowest point of your home, it should come to no surprise that waters from things such as overflowing gutters or a fluctuating water table would convene here. 

2. Strange Gurgling Noises Coming from Drain

Your drain/ sewer system should be virtually noise-free. Although there are certainly some exceptions, for the most part, you should not be able to hear what’s going on in your drainage system. If you hear strange gurgling noises coming from your system, this is a sign of some sort of blockage that should be addressed immediately.

3. Foul Odor Coming from Fixture Drains

In addition to that, if you smell any unexplained, unpleasant odors coming from your drain system, this is also a sign of an issue. You should never be able to smell things such as raw sewage assuming your day-to-day activities. If you notice a foul smell that can be likened to that of raw sewage, you may want to contact a plumbing professional as soon as possible. 

4. Home Came with Older Drainage System

Moreover, as with all elements of the home, your drainage system is subject to regular wear and tear. Perhaps, more so than most other elements of your home, your drainage system is one of the most often used parts of your home. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that having a home with an older drainage system would be subject to occasional to frequent malfunctions. 

5. Unexplained Spike in Water Costs 

When your water bill suddenly has an unexplained increase, there may also be an indication of a drain issue. This is largely due to the fact that sewage system issues are related to things such as leaks and frequent clogs, each of which tends to waste an excess of water which causes an increase in your monthly fees.

6. Poor Water Quality

Has there been a deterioration in terms of your quality of water? This is a serious sign that you should have your drain system checked immediately. Having drain problems can wreak havoc on your entire water supply by introducing an array of toxic materials and other potentially harmful contaminants. If you notice you water supply appears to be cloudy in nature, that it has a foul odor or anything else you feel is a cause for concern, contact a plumbing professional and have your drain system checked immediately. 

7. Low Water Pressure

If you have noticed that the pressure coming from your sink, bath, or toilet, you should definitely have your system checked. Many systems succumb to things such as tree roots or even feminine hygiene products, among other things. Once your system is sufficiently clogged, you will need a professional to remove the obstruction and get your system back in working order. 

8. Multiple Clogged Fixtures 

Although every drain system is subject to an occasional clog, if you have multiple fixtures in your home all clogged at the same time this is a cause for concern. Given that sewage systems tend to get clogged in the most unreachable places, if your drains seem to be moving more slowly than usual, you may have a massive clog in an unseen area of your home.

9. Slow Drainage

Furthermore, even if your system isn’t actually clogged and is just moving more slowly than usual, this is also a warning sign. In addition to potentially being clogged, your system may just begin to become more sluggish as things cease to work as sufficiently as they once did. 

10. Frequent Overflowing of Toilet

Lastly, if your toilet overflows frequently, this can be a massive sign that you need to have your drain system replaced. Indeed, while a well-functioning drainage system does not typically have such issues, a drainage system with issues with having sporadic issues in regards to the random rising and falling of toilet water levels and more. 

Overall, if you do not pay close attention to the early warning signs of drain and sewer problems, you may end up paying dearly in the end. Not only will you be forced to endure hours, days, or even weeks without a properly functioning drainage system, but you will also put your home at risk for water damage, spikes in service fees and much more. 

If you’re home is suffering from drain and sewer problems, then its time to schedule service with Papalia today!

By admin

Boiler Maintenance Tips for the Holidays

Boiler Maintenance Tips for the Holidays

Boiler Maintenance Tips for the Holidays

  • Heating
  • Plumbing

Hot water is essential to your well-being and your health. And during the holidays, you need it for everything from cleaning pots and pans after a festive meal to taking a long, luxurious bath once all your guests have gone home again. But if your boiler is not working properly, then your life suddenly becomes a whole lot less comfortable. That’s why we’ve put together a list of boiler maintenance tips for the holidays:

  • Check the gas light. The gas light should burn a steady blue. If it’s yellow or some other color or if you notice soot marks around it, then it’s a sign there’s something wrong with the combustion. Call a professional immediately instead of trying to fix it yourself.
  • Remove any clutter. You need to maintain at least two feet of clearance around the appliance at all times. During the holidays, this can be more challenging, especially if you’re looking for extra storage for gifts, decoration boxes or other holiday-related items. Nevertheless, since this is about safety, you still need to keep the boiler free of clutter.
  • Perform a visual inspection. Inspect all sides of the appliance for dings, dents or leaks. If you notice serious damage, corrosion, or a leak, you’ll need to get it fixed. You should also carefully check the valves and pipes for leaks or other damage.
  • Make sure the boiler has the right pressure. While your boiler is properly calibrated for the correct pressure when it’s first installed, it will lose pressure over time. This is completely normal, so there’s no need to worry. However, you do need to maintain correct pressure. The best way to go about doing this is to review the manufacturer’s manual for the correct pressure and follow the instructions on how to adjust it.

More Advice for Safe Boiler Ownership

In addition to these tips, you need to keep your and your family’s safety top of mind. When a boiler malfunctions, it can release carbon monoxide — an odorless, clear and tasteless gas that can be fatal for people and pets. Because it’s basically impossible for humans to detect, you need to make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detection system installed. It’s the only way to guarantee you and your family will be alerted in time in the unfortunate event of a carbon monoxide leak due to a malfunctioning boiler. 

Finally, even if you’re good at maintaining your boiler yourself, you should also schedule annual tune-ups by a professional technician. He or she can perform a good cleaning of all the appliance’s parts, check to make sure they’re in good working order and replace any that aren’t. Your technician will also advise you about your options when it’s time to replace your current boiler. 

Call Papalia Home Services Today!

If you need boiler service after reading our boiler maintenance tips for the holidays then contact Papalia Home Services today and keep you house warm through the season!

 

By admin