Sometimes you have a plumbing emergency or small problem that happens at a time when a plumber is not available. These little crises can be dealt with, and we have some suggestions on how to handle them.
Tips for Sudden Clogs
When you have a normal clog and want to take out the trap, you can use a plunger. This will accomplish two things. One, the water in the trap will be sent down the line and two, if you have to remove the trap some of the gunk in there will be sent down, too.
If you have been experiencing water flow reduction in your kitchen sink, you may have an easily fixable problem. If you have a sprayer, it may be catching on the shut-off valves below the sink. Getting the hose away from the shut-off valves prevents snarls, too. All you need to do to fix this is get under the sink and free up the sprayer line. You can place a foam cover over the valves or just take a tie wrap, keeping it loose, and guide the hose through it and mount it on the cabinet wall.
More serious problems can be solved by visiting our website and scheduling an appointment with one of our Lorain County plumbers. You can receive a $10.00 discount when you schedule a plumbing appointment online or contact us by phone for emergencies.
photo credit: Powellizer
The time for spring cleaning may have ended with Memorial Day, but—with apologies to Neil Young—dust never sleeps. The Memorial Day weekend reminded us that we will be having many visitors over the summer, and Raymond Plumbing wants those visitors to enjoy themselves as if they were in their own home.
Things like pet dander and other particles summer brings, like pollen and dust, can be a problem for those with asthma and allergies. Check out our 10 Clean Air Tips for ideas on how combat these annoyances to healthy breathing.
Certainly the better the filter in your air conditioning system, the better your family members and visitors will feel. Our experienced Lorain County HVAC tech can place high performing filters, much better than those you can get at a big box store, in your A/C unit as part of our total system performance check.
Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
We can also help improve the overall air quality with a mechanical or electronic air cleaner. While either choice would increase the comfort level of your home, the electronic filtering systems are the better performers, as they will do more than fight airborne particles. They will cut down on the amount of dust you will be removing from furniture and hardwood floors.
You can even opt for the best solution and install a ventilation system, which is a highly efficient way to increase fresh air in your home. These units have excellent filtering systems and keep the air in your home fresh 365 days a year. The air they bring in is heated or cooled by the air being sent out, making for an efficient exchange that also freshens your indoor environment.
Visit our website for more information on all of these choices and to schedule a visit with one of our HVAC technicians. Having better, fresher air in your home and less dust to clean is a great way to enjoy the summer.
In 1973 the code requirement for the use of smoke detectors was passed. The International Code Council (ICC) dedicated the first week of this year’s Building Safety Month to this well-known lifesaver. Certainly building safety begins with fire awareness and nothing has contributed more to safety than this small inexpensive piece of equipment.
Some construction codes passed over the years have been belittled by contractors and customers alike because the extra money spent abiding by these codes add to an already expensive proposition. This is not the case with the smoke detector - there is no way of knowing how many lives have been saved by them over the last forty years, especially at night when the whole house is asleep. Since that time, another life saver, the CO2 detector, has become part of the building code and with good reason.
Check the Batteries in Your Detectors
At Raymond Plumbing, we have seen many people over the years using natural gas appliances for drying clothes, heating water, cooking food and heating their homes. This proliferation of natural gas use has made the possibility of carbon monoxide emissions in the home much greater. As part of our own building safety awareness actions we encourage everyone to check the batteries or electric lines to all your home detectors. Many like to do it when the clocks change but some are still waiting for that telltale chirp. Why not get ahead of the curve and put in some new batteries now?
Another way to keep safe could be to schedule a heating and air conditioning performance check. Our experienced Lorain County HVAC pros will clean and review all the important working features and check for leaks in the equipment that could be damaging to the unit and your health. Visit our website to schedule an A/C check today and take advantage of our $15.00 discount – be safe and save money, it’s a win-win.
photo credit:Karin Beil
Some of us will never come to like the word audit even though about 95% of the people who shudder when they hear the word usually don’t have anything to hide. An audit doesn’t necessarily have to conjure up negative thoughts though – in fact, some audits can actually help you put money back in your pocket.
The Basics Behind Energy Audits
An energy audit is certainly a term most have heard in this day and age of “going green” and becoming more energy efficient. An energy audit may cost you a bit but it will often pay for itself – in fact, if done properly, an energy audit can save up to 20% of your utility bill. Homeowners who are handy may even be able to avoid putting out any money by conducting a basic energy audit on their own.
First you need to find places in your home that lose energy through cracks and other passageways to the outside. Weather stripping and caulk are the homeowner’s best friends in this area. You will also want to check all electrical outlets: they may be exposed to the drafty basement. This problem can be easily remedied with insulators purchased at your local home center.
Building a Budget
You can budget for what you need to improve your home’s efficiency. You may not have the money available at the moment to replace a heater or central air conditioner but that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce energy use and save money. Combining the installation of a programmable thermostat with a full service heating and air conditioning performance check can be a money saving alternative to those major changes.
Once you’ve performed your energy audit, contact our Lorain County HVAC experts to schedule an appointment. Our technicians can install a programmable thermostat and ensure that your current unit is operating properly to bring your home up to its maximum efficiency without breaking the bank.
photo credit: 401(K) 2013
Bob Vila has been advising people on home improvement for more years than maybe even he can remember. He has his own website and he has made up a 20 point slide show on going green in your home. Per usual, Vila doesn’t just want you to do something for the sake of doing it, he wants you to save some money in the bargain. As you might guess, his first job is to seal up any holes exposed to the outside and to use weather stripping to close up any cracks by doors and windows that let in air or let it out.
Tips for Going Green
Vila gives pointers about managing water use and even tips for going green with your gardening and clean up chores. The home improvement experts goes over the very important tip of lowering the temperature on the hot water heater and suggests washing clothes in cold water to save even more. By following these two tips you are effectively doubling up on the potential savings when it comes to water use.
It’s also a good idea to lower your thermostat in the winter and raise it a little in the summer and Vila mentions the best way to do that with tip number 17: program your thermostat. As Vila mentions, programmable thermostats have become much more affordable and really can make a big difference in your utility bills.
How Raymond Plumbing Can Help
Another great way to save money all year long is make sure your HVAC filters are kept clean. Our Lorain County HVAC experts can help keep you’re A/C and furnace clean and running smooth with our comfort system performance check. Visit our website and schedule an appointment to get your comfort systems operating more efficiently and to begin saving money today.
photo credit: slack12
The Consortium for Energy Efficiency has been doing a survey since 2000 on the recognition of the ENERGY STAR label. In the first year less than half of the homeowners surveyed reported knowing anything about it. The survey for the year 2012 was quite different though, with eighty-seven percent of those questioned recognizing the label when they saw it.
Seventy-four percent of people in 2012 said they recognized the label without seeing it, meaning they know that it stands for energy efficiency and savings. A team of professionals are sharing in the success of the past twelve years, including the CEE itself and energy program administrators who continually promote the brand and label when discussing energy efficiency.
More People are Purchasing ENERGY STAR
The survey reported on other things besides recognition. In the last year, forty-one percent of the households answering have said they purchased a product with an ENERGY STAR label. Part of that result may be that it is on many more products than years past, but it is still good news that in addition to knowing the label people are using it to make buying decisions.
That has been duly noted as Hilary Forster from the CEE stated in their press release, “Americans understand and knowingly take advantage of the ENERGY STAR label”. Computers, LED lights, CFLs and even homes and buildings are now being rated by ENERGY STAR, so it certainly seems to be here to stay.
Our Lorain County Plumbing and Heating contractors have been working with ENERGY STAR labeled heating and air conditioning systems for many years. Now is the perfect time to upgrade your air conditioning system before the hot weather comes. Don’t put off the chance to improve your comfort while saving money on electricity by trying to squeeze one more year out of an old unit.
Set an appointment with our HVAC pros today to find out what a new, highly efficient A/C system can do for you.
photo credit: MoneyBlogNewz
There is a new McDonalds in neighboring Cuyahoga County where the owner has placed a personal stake as far as energy efficiency is concerned. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has done a story about Bob Jursich, an owner of five McDonalds franchises who—when building the latest franchise—financed an additional $1,000,000 to make it a super model of energy efficiency. According to the story, a McDonalds franchise would normally cost between $2 and $2.25 million to build, so he is putting a lot of additional money into this venture.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
In addition to LED lighting and geothermal heating and cooling, the restaurant has 341 solar panels on canopies in the restaurant parking lot. This is a 4,000 square foot building and no energy is wasted if Mr. Jursich can help it. Ten geothermal wells below the pavement not only heat and cool the building, they also cool the icemaker, refrigerators and freezers. Waste heat from the refrigeration and ice makers are used to heat water for the restrooms and dishwashers. The solar panels are estimated to give the restaurant 25% of the electricity needed annually.
He has even installed a white membrane roof reflecting heat away to lower temperatures inside and added solar tube fixtures to reduce electricity used for lighting during the day. There was no mention of how much the restaurateur believes he will save or what tax incentives he is taking advantage of, but nevertheless he is committing quite a pretty penny to this highly efficient building.
The average Lorain County homeowner doesn’t need an extra million dollars to improve energy efficiency with all these renewables. You can save money by simply improving your air conditioning system with an annual air conditioning system performance check.
Visit our website today and schedule this valuable service- you will save $15.00 up front and enjoy savings on your utility bill all summer long.
photo credit: Thomas Hawk
In 2011, Congress and the DOE passed a law that non-weatherized gas furnaces installed in 30 northern states must have an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating of 90 or more starting May 1, 2013. These units are highly efficient but do carry a higher cost.
Discussing Replacement Furnaces
HVAC contractors made customers aware of this date when discussing the replacement of their furnaces. Some encouraged customers to get a unit that will probably not make the grade after May 1. This may have been problematic financially or inconvenient to the homeowner though, and this has caused some friction between customers and installers. In April, the DOE said that since there has been a settlement to a legal challenge brought by the ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America), the APGA (American Gas Association,) and the HARDI (Heating Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors of America) to this law, they were not going to enforce the standard until the settlement is finalized.
The AHRI (Air-Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute) joined the fray by asking for, and getting, an official stay to enforcement until then. This ruling is about non-weatherized natural gas and propane burning units only. Non-weatherized units are those placed indoors - weatherized units, which are less efficient due in part because they are kept outside, are not a part of these court actions.
Since Ohio is one of the Northern States affected Lorain County HVAC contractors will have to continue to monitor this situation closely. Raymond Plumbing has a number of units that will comply with the standard as originally written and even have some rated as high as 96%AFUE.
Visit our website and schedule an appointment with one of our experts today to review all the money saving fuel efficient options we have available.
photo credit: Messiah Lutheran (Mechanicsville, VA)
The article we read about which heat pump is better to install predictably had no cut and dry answer. If you are posing the question in part one we looked at some things you need to consider and part two has even more information on this.
Remember the building envelope factor? A leaky home letting in too much air in or out must be sealed up before any units are installed. If you compare other options with the heat pumps this factor still weighs heavily as does the amount and age of your home’s insulation.
Ductwork: Is yours leaking?
Leaking ductwork will harm the good that the heat pump is supposed to provide. Now if this is the case, and you have a smaller home, a system with no duct work could possibly outperform either heat pump. Maybe a well-sealed, smaller house could see improved energy efficiency with a ductless mini-split system.
These units have compressors outside attached to heads containing condenser coils inside installed in one or more rooms, like a room air conditioner that also heats. These units do not go into windows but they do have efficiency ratings that can make comparison to all other options possible. The biggest drawback for these systems is that too large a house means more outlets installed lowering the total efficiency gained. As an added bonus, the money you save on your utility bill can be used to improve the building envelope making your home operate even more efficiently.
Well here’s answer number one - contact one of our Lorain County HVAC professionals and allow him to assess your home and make suggestions on which type of unit is best for you. We have all the information on tax incentives, unit efficiency and the amount of money you can expect to save over the life your new unit.
photo credit: .scarlet.
The Green Building Advisor had presented an article last July that makes one thing perfectly clear - you can save money on energy, if you are willing to do some investigation. The article started with the question of what is a better heat pump – geothermal or air to air.
Geothermal heat pumps, as subsequent questions and answers show, get the best tax credits and there is the belief that they are using totally renewable energy.That is erroneous though, as geothermal pumps still use electricity for operation and so they aren’t as “green” as they may be portrayed.
Air source heat pumps also use electricity and, just like a regular furnace or AC system, ratings for efficiency need to be compared to be sure you install something that will save money over the long haul.The overall impression one can get from this article is that there are many factors for consideration for the Lorain County homeowner who wants to install a heat pump:
- What combination of tax incentives and improved efficiency will give me the most bang for my buck? Geothermal costs more than air source but incentives for it are higher.
- Climate Zone. Lorain County is in climate zone 5 and 4 Marine. These zones have enough milder weather that makes a heat pump a good choice for comfort systems.
- Building envelope tightness or lack thereof may make any unit perform poorly as far as saving money for you.
- Is the contractor well-regarded as a geothermal pump installer? The article mentions poor performance can be attributed to inexperienced installers.
In part two we can show other competing systems that the Lorain County HVAC professional can also install expertly, like the heat pumps mentioned above. We also have highly efficient furnace and air conditioning options that can come close to heat pump energy efficiency levels.
photo credit: loungerie via photopin