How to Save on Heating and Cooling Bills in Your Home

Home and Garden

Keeping cool in summer and warm in winter is easy in a modern home. All you have to do is crank the thermostat up or down as needed. However, you are probably spending more on heating and cooling here in Raleigh, NC than you have to.

You can save quite a bit on your energy bills without sacrificing your comfort. Follow these three tips, and you can free up some much-needed cash for other things.

Seal it in

The biggest problem for most homes when it comes to heating and cooling is leaks. It could be holes in your HVAC system, or drafty doors and windows. It is easy enough to repair duct tears with duct tape if you know where they are.

However, you might have to get an HVAC specialist to find them for you. While you are at it, have them clean your HVAC system. Even a little dirt makes your system work harder. This means higher energy bills. For leaky doors and windows, get busy with weather stripping and caulk.

Window magic

Your windows can do a lot to keep your home comfortable. In summer, keep the blinds and curtains closed to keep the sun out. This will help the air conditioner make your home easier to cool. In winter, keep them open to let the sun in.

Even when it is cold out, the sun’s rays are still warm. Letting them into the house can help heat it the natural way.

Set and forget

The thermostat is a technological wonder, but you have to know how to use it. Changing your thermostat setting all the time wastes energy. Set your thermostat to your ideal temperature and keep it there. The recommended setting for summer is 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter.

However, that still depends on your comfort levels. It might be a good idea to put in a programmable thermostat that automatically adjusts depending on the time of day. If you are out the whole day, you may want to set your thermostat higher in summer and lower in winter.

The point is, avoid changing the settings on a whim.

These are three easy ways to save some money on heating and cooling expense. It does not take much to do, and it can make a big difference in your energy bills.

When and Why Do You Need Professional Residential Rooter Services

Home and Garden

When something is awry with the plumbing system in your home, when is it necessary to invest in the expertise of residential plumbing service professionals? The schools of thought on this matter differ in many ways, but united in perspective: if it is too much for you, call in the big guns.

For example, drains that are malfunctioning are drains that get the undivided attention of excellent rooter service providers in Salt Lake City. Below is a discussion of what these specialists can do.

Accurate diagnosis of the problem at hand

Diagnosing the problem in your home’s drainage system is one of the jobs of plumbers. These days, plumbing services typically involve the use of a video camera and monitor. Plumbers access pipes buried deep in the earth, behind the walls, and under flooring tiles through cleanouts.

When there is no other option aside from excavation, then you have to endure the process until they solve the problem. Some problems occur proximally – near your home or inside the house affecting specific appliances and their drainage systems.

Other problems occur in larger pipes, which are more difficult to resolve because they can affect bigger areas. The worst-case scenario involves the sewer line and the potential for wastewater back up and exposure to contaminated water seepage.

Keeping drains functioning optimally

Drain experts have the skills necessary to keep the drains in your household efficient, effective, and clog free. The best of them know when to employ a specific method to deal with pertinent problems and avoid unnecessary expense.

With tools that they are trained to implement, drainage experts have the means to tackle toilet blockages, dislodge sink drain clogs, or snag bathtub clogs before they can advance forward where they are more difficult to reach, and where they can cause bigger problems.

It may be time to call in the pros. When you call them for a job, you can expect great results in terms of hydro jetting, pipe bursting, clog and stoppage removal, leak detection and repair, and sump pumps backflow prevention, among others.

Show Your Plumbing Pipes Some Love this Winter — Here’s How

Home and Garden

Salt Lake City sees its fair share of harsh winter days. And with below zero temperatures, the first thing you probably would want after experiencing the biting chill is a relaxing hot shower or bath.

But in the event you run into plumbing problems, you may just end up seeing your home with puddles of freezing water everywhere — all because of a burst pipe.

It may just be one pipe, but you are potentially looking at hundreds — even thousands — of dollars’ worth of water damage. The good news is that you can prevent this from happening to your Salt Lake City home, with the help of a reputable plumbing company.


Having an expert guide you through proper plumbing insulation and carrying out the insulation itself is one of the best ways you can show your pipes some TLC this winter. This is especially true for vulnerable or exposed pipes.

Failure to keep them warm and protected with quality insulation greatly increases their risk of freezing, which is the number one cause of bursting.

And when they explode due to the below-zero temperature, the water they spit out can cost you a lot more than what you would have otherwise spent on high-quality insulation.

A thorough cleaning

Home maintenance experts recommend that you have your home’s plumbing system serviced at least once a year. This routine maintenance can go a long way to prolonging the life of plumbing pipes since one of its goals is to eliminate any clogs that may have developed over time.

This doesn’t just keep the plumbing system performing optimally. It also helps your water heater. It won’t have to deal with those sediment buildups that can make the heating process longer to take.

With these, you can prevent the costly effects of busted pipes this winter while also ensuring you keep enjoying all those hot, relaxing showers.

Buying an Older House? Here’s What to Consider

Home and Garden

A plumber fixing a pipeBuying an older home or a fixer-upper can offer plenty of rewards. You get to restore the life and character of the house while adding your own personal touches. However, an older home may also hold some unexpected and unpleasant surprises.

Before buying one, you need to consider a few important things. Read on to find out more.

Hire a Plumbing Expert

Ask a plumbing expert to come and inspect the house before you buy it. Allow the plumber to check everything, from the pipes to the water heater. It would not be good to move into the home only to discover that you need water heater repair in Orem. Instead, discover what plumbing repairs the house needs before you sign the sale agreement.

Consider Your Budget

Keep in mind that an older home may require many new additions or expenses. For instance, the house may need a new roof or new windows. Older houses also tend to have issues with lead paint and outdated heating and cooling systems. Make sure you have the budget to tackle any repairs or replacements. Better yet, buy a house that fits your budget and does not have any hidden issues.

Think About Renovations

If the home is outdated, consider what you would like to renovate. For instance, you might want to update the kitchen or bathrooms to create a modern look and feel. If that is the case, remember that kitchen renovations can cost roughly $20,000, whereas bathroom renovations might set you back nearly $13,000.

Follow Your Instincts

If your instincts tell you that you can afford anything the home needs and you truly love it, go ahead and buy it. Make sure you take the time to think about everything before you decide. When buying a house, new or old, you should always make sure it is a wise investment.

The advice above will help you determine if buying an older home is right for you. It will also help you plan carefully, so you prepare for whatever might happen throughout the process.

Clean Your Furnace Filter in Easy Steps

Home and Garden

HVAC units have furnace filters that need frequent change, especially if you do not maintain them well regularly. If changing the filters is a tedious task, it is advisable to learn some steps to change the filter. This will also help you clean the filters and even replace them.

Steps to Change Furnace Filters

Websites such as recommend that you need to disconnect the fuel or power source before you work on the furnace. Read the maintenance service panel of your furnace and understand if you require any particular tools for changing the filters.

1. Look for the filter panel. You can lift this door off its holding hooks or unscrew it.

2. Check the filter. The filter is often near the blower motor. See if it is a disposable filter or needs to be cleaned or replaced. If it is a disposable filter, look for the size and model on the edge of the frame.

3. For filters that need cleaning, you can clean it with water. Make sure that no dust or dirt remains. Dry the filter properly before reinserting it into your furnace.

If it is a disposable filter, buy a replacement filter and slide it into place. Make sure that you follow the directions indicated in the proper direction of the airflow.

Learn to handle the furnace filters

Next time professional plumbers visit your home for furnace replacement in Utah or elsewhere, learn how to change the filters easily. Well cleaned filters will help your furnace function efficiently as the air flow will be open. This will also protect the respiratory health of you and your family.

The cleaned filters can filter out pathogens and harmful substances from the air in your interiors. An efficient filter will not only save you a lot of money but also decrease the risk of a fire in your home due to a clogged filter.

Check your filters regularly

Check your furnace filters at least once a month and clean the blockages thoroughly. This should be done especially during the winter when you might use the furnace more.

Understanding and Dealing with HVAC Duct Leaks

Home and Garden

A HVAC technician on the job HVAC systems can’t heat up space efficiently without a series of ductwork. If these ducts leak heat or cold, they might present a host of problems. Take water heaters, for example. The primary heater takes care of the main job, and then the hot/warm water is transferred t to wherever it’s needed. Like air conditioners and furnaces, the duct/pipe work fulfills a critical role in keeping the entire system running.

Water heater repair professionals from firms like Expert Plumbing, Heating, Air and Electrical recommend that potential leaks be identified and fixed immediately. But first, you have to find the leaks.

On the Lookout

Water heaters leak in familiar places. Among the most common areas is the bottom. It’s also easy to determine whether there’s a leak: there’s a pool of water at the bottom of the heater, which shouldn’t happen at all. Aside from causing the water/electricity bill to increase, the leak is also a nuisance and can be a breeding ground for mold.

What if the leaks could be anywhere on the system? When looking for problems, it’s critical to turn off the water supply temporarily to avoid potential complications and unwanted mess. Afterward, it’s time to inspect the entire system. Look at every connection, nook and cranny: the pipes, valves, pumps, controls, and radiators for any semblance of mineral build up. If you see something that looks like hardened sediment anywhere, it might indicate a leak.

Going the DIY route still might not be enough. Calling in an expert to perform an inspection is not just a luxury, but a necessity. Professionals can provide a thorough diagnosis while documenting all issues and possible solutions. This can be helpful especially when negotiating the cost of mending leaks, or for determining whether the heater is due for a replacement.

Water heater leaks are nothing to ignore. A lot of things can go wrong and not just the power and water bill, either. If problems are quite apparent, calling in a professional helps immensely.

A Damaged Plumbing Puts The Health Of Your Family At High Risk

Architecture and Landscaping

Plumbing at HomeWhen you have a damaged plumbing system at home, you’re putting your family’s health at risk. Know what these problems are so you can immediately find a solution and avoid putting your family in danger.

A faulty plumbing system could bring more than just a mere inconvenience to your household as it can expose you and your family to health risks. Such health risks can range from minor to serious health problems that would require intensive medical attention.

This is why it is crucial to periodically check your plumbing system so you would know whether it is still okay or not. Below are some of the plumbing problems that could compromise the health of your family.

Plumbing Leaks

Plumbing leaks are often viewed as mere inconveniences that some households manage to endure, but it can also expose you to respiratory problems. When your plumbing system develops a leak, the water that drips out does not just vanish into thin air. It gathers in various areas in your ceiling, floors and walls, which generate moisture where molds and bacteria thrive.

These organisms, when they become airborne, can cause your family to suffer from myriads of respiratory problems like asthma and other respiratory-related allergies. To prevent this from happening, you should get in touch with expert plumbers in Salt Lake City to fix the leaks if there are any.

Blocked Drains

If your drains are clogged, you may notice water in the kitchen sink or your shower area pools longer before draining out. It could mean that your drain pipes may already have accumulated an unusual amount of residue, making it hard for water to drain out quickly.

Aside from giving you a nasty inconvenience, blocked drains can also become a delightful habitat for harmful bacteria and other dangerous pathogens. According to WebMD, hazardous organisms like E. coli and salmonella can get into your hands and spread to your food. This can expose your family to serious health problems that would require medical attention.

Obsolete Faucets

Living in an old house may give you a lot of benefits like authentic hardwood and brickworks. The problem is that the plumbing system that runs through the walls, floors and ceiling may also be vintage and outdated.

This means that the pipes carrying your water for bathing and cooking can contain lead deposits that have accumulated in the system over the years. Like what Medscape mentioned, when these lead deposits mix with water, it can become toxic, and before you know it, you may have inadvertently ingested some.

When you see the first sign of a plumbing problem, make sure that you correct it immediately. Failure to do so could lead to dire consequences that could compromise your health and your family’s. So act on it now.