In the modern world, both minor and major enterprises pay much attention to the quality factor of the goods and services they provide. Professionalism, dedication, and commitment— here are the distinctive qualities a decent company, as well as their employees, should feature. And now, in the reality we live in, the need for highly-trained specialists has risen manifold.
Plumbers have been of paramount importance since the very old days when piping systems in the biggest of cities would be made mostly of clay. Today, plumbing specialists apply high-end techniques and tools to perform complex and sophisticated tasks, far tougher than their colleagues did back in history. Ask the 5 Star Plumbing professionals what challenges they have had to take, and you will have to admit it!
With the construction and housing spheres exploded, modern plumbers face new tasks, and not every company can brag about having the right masters in their employ to handle them. The plumbing industry has been continuously evolving, leaving behind those who couldn’t keep up with the requirements of the epoch and meet the demand. Licensing and certification, as well as perpetual training that professionals should undergo, have become attributes of the best companies on the market, with the most reliable employees. Let us have a look at where things stand today, define what makes a great plumbing professional in the modern world, speak about security and safety issues concerned, and figure out what makes a plumbing business successful. Read on to discover!
DIY Approach vs Pro Plumber
Needless to say that in a plumbing grid, every little piece of it bears a ton of importance: should a small jigger start bothering, pipes leaking, or valves refusing to function, the entire system can run out of order in a while. Mind the expenditure concerned, too. Some homeowners can boast their extensive knowledge of instruments and approaches to fix virtually next to any plumbing issue there occurs. However, such homeowners are more of a rare sight. In contrast, more people around the globe tend to call professional plumbers for help. However, not every company can provide reliable plumbing masters who would be able to handle plumbing problems efficiently and to a great effect! Some minor skills in plumbing will be a good asset of yours because you are able to solve small misfortunes on your own. Major leakages, blockages, rust-eaten valves, and tree roots breaking through the pipes— are all reliable signs you have to get a pro plumber immediately.
Owners of old houses will agree that small issues with plumbing can arise every now and then, undermining the regular functionality and comfort of the household. Some, even the smallest, issues can require broad expertise, costly restoration, or even complete replacement, which is a hit on the budget and can take up some great piece of your time. In such cases, the DIY method is out of the question unless you want to get the house flooded. And a safe tip for those who know nothing about plumbing: do not attempt to perform any, even the smallest, operation by yourself because it might lead to adverse outcomes, such as a ruined or severely damaged household, for one.
Why Should I Call a Pro
When you think about having some major plumbing work done in your household, you should have great confidence in your plumber. Why is professionalism so important in the plumbing sphere?
- Pros provide the perfect timing of the project.
- Professionals have extensive knowledge and awareness of higher-end tools and techniques.
- Real specialists ensure efficiency and effect!
- Severe issues can be avoided by hiring a pro.
- You can learn the plumbing essentials from them, too!
What a Proper Plumber Should Do
While some minor problems are easily eliminated by a nurtured hand, such things as basement floods, dishwasher breakages, damaged piping are among the regular targets of real plumbing professionals. They have their experience, modern instruments, and techniques, ages of practice. Therefore you should not pose a threat to your household and the health of your family, choosing to fix the issues yourself or calling a cheap and unprofessional plumber. It will be beneficial for you not to take any risks and rely on a qualified specialist.
Here are the main features of a good plumbing master:
- Deep knowledge of theory and practice concerning plumbing
- Considerable physical and intellectual capacity
- Knowledge of the modern and reliable instruments to be effective and efficient
- Ability to assess, fix, and replace parts and entire plumbing systems
- Awareness of contemporary approaches to plumbing operations
- Ability to monitor grids on faults
- Ability to understand technical documents
- Licenses and certificates are a must, too
Licenses and Certificates
Plumbing professionals have to be licensed and certified in order to provide their services nearly anywhere in the USA. Obviously, there are fines and other measures that can be applied to those plumbers who don’t heed the requirements of state laws. While some plumbers can lack licenses but have great reputations and can be recommended to you by your friends and neighbors, dealing with such workers can turn out costly and even dangerous. Of course, the rates such plumbers offer can look pretty, but at the end of the day, you might pay twice to mend the problems caused by their non-professionalism.
True professionals in plumbing do have licenses and certificates; they undergo thorough training courses on a regular basis; they provide you with uncompromised quality, safety, and security of your household and your family; their skills are always improving; their professionalism is your guarantee. Besides licenses, permits are the other factor in terms of safety and overall result. Let us have a look at them.
Insurance and Bonds
To keep yourself and your household away from dangers brought about by the unprofessional approaches of plumbers, ensure that your future plumber is bonded and insured. By that, you will have a chance to receive monetary compensations should any issue occurs. Both bonds and licenses are required for your peace of mind and the safety of your budget.
Where do I find the Best Plumber?
There are many ways: recommendations, reviews, and video testimonials on the web. You can flip through the official pages of plumbing companies in your area or rely on a tip from your relatives. Paper-made local magazines and newspapers are an option, too! All in all, word of mouth has always been a great spreader! A little research will certainly help you find the best professional! But what questions will you ask them as you have found them?
Questions to Ask a Professional Plumber
As a final step of our article, let us figure the most important questions to ask before a plumbing project in your household starts off. This measure will ensure your safety and fuel up your confidence as to the results of the job.
Top-10 Questions to Ask:
- Are you certified?
- Have you had much experience in the field?
- What goes into the total price?
- Do you work by hourly rate or flat rate?
- Can I ask for discounts?
- When is the payday?
- Do you have a portfolio of completed projects?
- Who will be in charge if anything goes off?
- Can I have a private conversation with the plumber before we start?
- Will you clean up when it’s all finished?
We truly hope you will find the best plumber to fix any plumbing issue you are dealing with! Good luck to you whatever approach you take!
Having to call from air conditioner repairs can be costly. Because of this, most homeowners realize how important it is to maintain their unit regularly.
Unfortunately, even with proper and routine maintenance, issues may still occur. Knowing what the most common AC problems are can help you prevent them.
Keep reading to find out what these problems are.
1. The Filter
One reason AC units aren’t working properly is that the filter is dirty or clogged. It’s best to know and follow instructions from the unit’s manufacturer to determine how often the filter should be changed.
Some units require monthly changes, while others only require this every three months. There are also reusable filters that need to be cleaned whenever they are dirty.
During an AC tune up, you can find out for sure how often your filter should be changed. This is important because dirty filters may reduce the airflow and cause your unit to freeze.
2. Water Leaks
If water leaks from the indoor unit, maintenance are overdue. One reason this happens is if the condensate drain is clogged because of fungi or algae. This may result in water backing up the pipe and into your home.
Another reason is if your condensate pump breaks down. At this point, the part must be replaced.
3. Strange Sounds
Your air conditioner may make different sounds based on the issue. There are several reasons your AC produces these sounds.
For example, if there is a hissing noise, it is likely due to a refrigerant leak. Clicking sounds when you turn off and on your unit could be a relay problem. Banging, rattling, or thumping sounds may indicate a problem with the motor assembly or blower.
The fan or compressor motor can create a screeching sound, and banging noises are usually caused by problems with the blower motor or assembly. An electrical issue will create a buzzing sound.
If you notice any of these issues, calling for service is best to make sure the problem doesn’t get worse.
4. The Thermostat
Another simple fix is to ensure your thermostat is turned on. You should also check to see if it is level, clean inside, and not affected by natural light.
Check what setting you have it on, too. If issues continue, another issue may be to blame.
5. Worn Contactor
In your AC unit, contactors are used in the compressor, the condenser fan motor, and the blower motor. They create the electrical connection that starts the compressor and motors. If pitting or arcing occurs on the contactor, the electric current may not be able to start the motors.
Now You Know the Most Common AC Problems
When it comes to common AC problems, there are more than a few that can occur. Knowing what they are will help you with this.
If you are searching for more information and components for your house and home, be sure to check out other information on our site.
Did you know that heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25-30% of residential heating and cooling use?
If your windows are old and need to be replaced, you could save a lot of money by updating them now. But how do you know what is the best window material for your home?
Luckily, there is a wide range of materials and styles to suit every budget and need.
Here are the top five options to consider to help you pick the perfect new windows.
If you are looking for affordability and energy efficiency, vinyl may be the right choice for you. Many vinyl windows have the option of foam insulation which can increase their insulating properties and energy efficiency.
Plus, vinyl windows can withstand high impact and buffer noise, which makes them an ideal candidate for urban homeowners.
One of the biggest benefits of choosing fiberglass windows is that they can withstand sub-zero temperatures and extreme weather. They also won’t rust, rot, or bend.
Not only are they durable, but they are also energy-efficient and can help reduce your monthly utility bills. While they cost a bit more than vinyl, you can trust that they are built to last.
One of the oldest and most common window materials is wood. Prized for its natural look and beautiful finish, it can be easily customized to suit the color scheme in your home.
Just be sure to treat wood windows with a stain and sealants to protect them from insects, humidity, mold, and other damage.
Aluminum windows are a popular choice for warmer climates. While they are a very budget-friendly option, they are not recommended for the Northeast or other very cold areas.
These windows are strong and durable and better suited to Southern coastal areas.
If you’re looking for different window materials that go beyond the usual, try a new proprietary blend called Fibrex. These windows are made of composite materials that outperform vinyl and wood by a longshot.
Fibrex is low maintenance, durable, resistant to decay, structurally rigid, and has insulating properties. You can try Fibrex from Renewal by Andersen in a wide variety of colors and styles.
How Do You Choose the Best Window Material?
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a replacement window material is the climate you live in.
If your home is located in a northern area, you’ll want a material that can withstand harsh weather conditions. If you are in a southern region, you might want to consider windows that keep out the heat.
Find Your Perfect Match
Now that you’ve learned about the different types of window materials, you can choose the best match with confidence.
Vinyl, fiberglass, wood, aluminum, wood, and Fibrex windows all have their benefits and can increase the value and lifespan of your investment. The best window material for your home will suit the local climate and your budget.
Did you find this post helpful? Check out the other ones on our site for more useful tips!
If you live in a harsh-climate area and have to endure really cold winters, using electrical equipment like radiators is inevitable. To keep electricity bills at a minimum, many avoid using them altogether, choosing to endure the painful cold instead. However, you don’t have to bear the cold to keep yourself warm. There are plenty of ways you can keep your costs at a minimum and stay warm.
Here are five such effective ways to keep the cold from entering your house.
Switch to a Modern Heating Appliance
Buying a new radiator altogether may not seem very cost-effective, but it’s the best way to reduce your costs in the future. Investing in a modern radiator will require less maintenance and power costs. There are many great options on the market for you to choose from. Opting for an eco-friendly heating appliance also reduces your individual carbon footprint. Using a modern heating appliance can help you maintain the room temperature without constantly changing the setting. Take your time to choose the right radiator and replace your old one with the one that is more efficient and reduces your monthly bill amount extensively.
Get Your Home Checked By an Expert
Having your home checked by an expert can help in many ways. First, getting an energy audit done will let you know how much energy each appliance is consuming in your home. Second, they’ll check your entire house for areas where cold air from outside could potentially enter your house. Based on these changes, you’d make your house more energy-efficient and reduce indoor heat loss.
Insulate Your Home Well
Whether your home is old or new, keeping the cold out is dictated by the level of its insulation. Any cracks or gaps between walls, window panes and doors will allow the cold to come in and drop the room temperature. Insulating well can help maintain the warmth of your room without having to crank up the radiator time and again.
You could either get your home insulated by technicians or could do it by yourself. First, go around the house looking for any gaps or cracks. Run your fingers over any noticeable areas and check if you can feel any air. If you do, you can either put duct tape over that area or fill it up with a silicone gun.
Do the same for doors and windows. You can even buy rubber panels by yourself and stick them under doors and around windows. Glass can also let in outside heat and should also be insulated. To do this, simply take a piece of cling foil and stick it from end to end of the glass. All these steps will significantly improve your home’s insulation.
Use Foil Sheets as Reflectors
Air isn’t the only way the outside cold can come inside your house. They can also drop your room temperature by reducing your radiator’s efficiency. Radiators are designed to warm your room walls and use them as a medium to keep the entire room warm. Should your radiator be placed against a wall that faces an outside wall, the heat will disappear due to the outside cold air. This is neither efficient nor cost-effective.
To increase your radiator’s efficiency, simply stick a tinfoil sheet at the back of the radiator. Since it’s a good conductor of heat, it will act as an extension to your radiator and direct the heat to your room. This way, you manage heat loss through the walls and keep your room temperature maintained.
Place Flaps on Vents and Ducts
Cracks and gaps under doors aren’t the only way outside air can get inside. Vents and ducts, including your air vents and dryer ducts, can also provide a space for cold air from outside to enter your house. The best way to fix this is to place flaps on your vents and ducts.
These flaps can act as barriers or uni-directional valves that only allow air to go out and not in. If necessary, you can seal some of the ducts and vents using a silicone gun or rubber panels to completely close any space, which could result in your home’s heat loss.
Using these five methods is highly effective in maintaining your home’s warmth and restricting any outside air from coming in. Not only will it make it more comfortable for you inside your home, but it will also reduce your monthly electricity bill amount.
Summer is fast approaching and the problem is you do not have a working air conditioning system. You are tired of the hot and sweaty nights, and you are now desperate to install a new unit as the existing one is irreparable.
Working with a reliable air conditioning company will help in saving money. They will give recommendations on the most energy-efficient, quality, and affordable systems.
Always check for positive reviews and ask around for referrals to make sure you are dealing with a quality AC service provider.
If you live in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions, an AC is a necessity, especially in summer.
Two reasons why you should invest in a new one is that they are more powerful and quieter. They are also more energy efficient which helps in saving on power bills.
What Is the First Thing That You Need To Do?
The first thing you need to do is contact several HVAC experts. They will give more insight on the best unit for your needs.
Talk about what you need, the size of your home, and how much you can afford. Based on this, they will recommend a suitable air conditioning system.
How Much Will the Installation Cost?
The installation cost is determined by several factors. For example, the size of the unit, the SEER ratings, the technician hired, the scope of the work, and the type of the AC system.
It is not just about the cost of the air conditioner, but everything involved until it is up and running.
The Suitable Size for Your Home
In a big home, a small air conditioner will not be ideal. You need one with more cooling power. It will not have sufficient power to serve its purpose that is the reason, the right-size must be purchased.
If your home is about 1,600-square-foot, a two-and-a-half-ton air conditioner will be ideal. It means that it can remove about 36,000 BTU (British thermal units). This is the amount of heat it removes in an hour and is sufficient for the home.
Also, consider how hot your area is and whether the basement is cooler. It will help in determining the actual size of the unit needed.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)
It is a crucial factor that is a part of the installation cost. What is SEER? It is the cooling output of the system and the total electrical energy input seasonally. It rates how efficient the unit is.
The higher the rating, the more energy-efficient it is, and the higher the cost. For example, a unit with a SEER rating of 23 will be more expensive than that of 15.
Even though the initial price is high, it will save on energy bills in the long-run. The running costs are low compared to low-efficiency ones. You would rather purchase it at a high cost, rather than pay high bills to maintain it monthly.
The Air Conditioning Technician Hired
HVAC technicians have different rates based on the scope of work. Some service providers will give discounts, and this plays a part in the cost of installation.
Are breakers required in the electric panel, ductwork, and wiring? The more work there is, the higher you will pay. It will also matter whether the contractor will mount the air conditioner on a concrete pad or metal brackets.
The size of the AC is also considered. The more tons of the unit, the more you pay for the installation.
It might seem expensive to hire a technician, but you will realize it is worth every dollar. There is a lot of work and expertise required for successful fixing.
Even when you feel like you can fix it, avoid it if you are not certified.
How Quiet the Air Conditioner Is
The quieter the model, the higher the initial price. You do not want a unit that will cause sleepless nights or discomfort due to the noise it emits.
For example, if it runs over 80 decibels, this will be too noisy for your home. When relaxing on a summer afternoon or evening, this is the last thing that you need.
Some of the noises can be heard outside the house or in different rooms of the house.
For a quieter running, go for a unit that runs at 70 decibels. You will barely hear its noise. Spend a little more on purchase and avoid excessive noise.
Zones and Controls
This is another factor that influences the cost of unit installation. In some cases, multiple types of air conditioning may be required in different rooms.
If your home requires a multiple-zone air conditioner, the cost will go up. If different rooms such as the kitchen require more cooling power than the bedroom or living room, variable cooling will be ideal.
A unit that gives additional control will come in handy. An AC with a wireless thermostat gives you control over the cooling and heating system. It can also be done remotely which is a convenience for many.
The more zones there are, the higher the installation cost.
What Determines the Cost of AC Installation?
When installing an air conditioner, some things could increase the cost. An expert must evaluate the scope of the work before you can purchase the system.
If a huge amount of ductwork needs to be done, the technician will charge more. If a new thermostat is required, the installation cost will go up.
The size of the system and the technician that you hire for the work also determines the cost. Large units tend to cost more, and contractors’ rates may vary.
Keep In Mind
If your home requires a new air conditioner, first understand what will influence the installation cost. It will be easy to tell how much you can afford for the right unit.
Consider the size required, the SEER rating, the scope of work, how quiet it is, and the technician that you hire. It all boils down to these factors.
It is better to purchase the most suitable air conditioning at a high price, but you save on operation costs, and you enjoy quality.
Your roof performs several vital functions to keep your home safe and comfortable. It keeps hot and cold air in your home, prevents rain and other precipitation from entering, and so much more.
As such, roofing issues can many other problems. Leaks can cause water buildup. Openings can lead to cold or hot air escaping the house, increasing your AC bill.
Because of this, dealing with roofing issues is essential to keeping your home safe and secure. To help you with this, we’ve compiled five essential tips for handling home roof repairs. We hope this article gives you the help you need!
1. Shingle Replacement
One of the most common problems in domestic roofs is loose or missing shingles. Shingle problems usually occur as a result of long-term weathering. Rain, snow, hail, and even strong winds all wear down your asphalt shingles.
Moreover, this weathering affects the adhesives and nails that hold the shingles down. When those shingles come loose, the layers of your roof underneath those shingles become vulnerable.
If all you’re facing is fixing a few loose shingles, all you have to do is take some adhesives and nails onto your roof. Put the adhesive down beneath the shingles, then nail down the loose shingles and the shingles around it.
2. Keep Your Gutters Clean
This is a preventative measure in making sure your roof doesn’t get compromised. Clogged gutters aren’t just an aesthetic flaw; they are a common cause of water buildup on the roof.
Water buildup wears down the structural integrity of your roof in places and causes leaks in the home. This can lead to expensive repairs further down the road. Avoid that problem by cleaning out your gutters.
3. Inspect Your Roof’s Valleys
The valleys (or ridges, as they’re sometimes known) of your roof are the place where two sides of your roof intersect. These are the places where rainwater will pool up after rain.
As said before in the gutters section, water buildup on your roof often leads to leaks and further damage. Inspecting the valleys can prevent that buildup from occurring.
4. Hammer Nails In Completely
Whether you’re trying to fix shingles or the flashing beneath them, you’re going to have to hammer down some materials on your roof. When you do, make sure to drive them in completely.
If you leave nail heads exposed, it is much easier for those nails to become loose. This will leave your shingles more vulnerable to wind and other weathering.
5. Take Proper Safety Precautions When Doing Home Roof Repairs
When making roof repairs, make sure you take the proper safety measures. Wear rubber-soled shoes for good grip and traction on the roof, along with safety goggles for dealing with nails and debris.
Know When to Call Professionals
There are many things you can do yourself for home roof repairs. However, some problems go much deeper than a DIY project. When that happens, it’s best to call a professional service; learn more here about hiring a roofing contractor.