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Attention homeowners—It’s time to upgrade your HVAC system!

The Earth is rotating towards smarter, cleaner and greener technology. And so is the law. By the year 2030 your old air conditioning and heating system will not only be outdated but nearly outlawed. 

Since its creation, the R22 refrigerant has been wreaking havoc on the environment, not to mention your health.

The time is now. We are being called upon by the greener powers to update our air conditioning systems and rid ourselves and our planet of toxic chemicals. 

Keep reading to learn more about the harmful effects of the R22 refrigerant and why you need to upgrade your HVAC system today.

What is R22 and Where Does it Come From?

Attempts to harness the cold for personal use began in the mid-1700s when Dr. William Cullen published a book about evaporating fluids and the means of producing cold. 

Since then, inventors, innovators, scientists and the like participated in the evolution of “producing the cold”. In 1928, three scientists created the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants. These produced the world’s first non-flammable refrigerating fluids, providing safety for the air conditioners used back then.

One of the compounds produced from this elemental alliance was R22, which is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). Also referred to as R-22 freon or HCFC-22 freon, the R22 became the standard refrigerant used in air conditioning systems ever since. 

Fast forward to the future…

R22 is Damaging to the Environment

Decades later scientists discovered that chlorine, a component of both CFC and HCFC refrigerants, had been damaging the ozone layer and our health.

Once chlorine is released into the air, it has the ability to bind with organic and inorganic materials. CFCs and HCFCs are very stable, and so they are able to remain intact as they reach the Earth’s stratosphere. In the stratosphere, they are finally broken down by UV radiation where they release highly reactive chlorine atoms.

When these atoms are released, they go on to react with the ozone (O3). This creates another reaction that releases more chlorine atoms, and so a chain of reactions is created, destroying the ozone.

The chlorine atoms eventually make their way back down to the lower atmosphere where they form stable compounds. They react with methane and create hydrogen chloride. Hydrogen chloride reacts with water vapors and creates hydrochloric acid. This is the recipe for acid rain.

This not only makes chlorine damaging to our environment but our health as well. 

Consistent exposure to breathing in chlorine over a long period of time has been shown to affect the immune system, the heart, the blood and the respiratory system in animals and humans. These effects include skin and eye irritation, coughing, chest pains, water retention in the lungs, and cancer.

The 1987 Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol is a global agreement to protect our environment by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS). Under this protocol, all ozone-depleting substances are considered a class I or class II controlled substance.

The protocol was finalized by 1988 to involve a “phase-out” plan. This was a step-by-step plan to keep from having a severe economic impact on the private and public sectors. It gave home and business owners the option to switch to chlorine-free refrigerants once it was time to replace their current air conditioning system or heat pump.

The plan is set to completely phase out the R22 refrigerant as well as the common refrigerant blends that contain HCFC-22 by the year 2030. This includes the R-401A, R-402A, R-408A, R-409A, R-414B, and the R-502A refrigerants. (There are actually a total of 34 HCFCs being phased out).  

By January 1, 2015, the ban on the production, import, and use of all HCFCs began except for the continuing service needs of refrigeration systems. However, by the year 2020, R22 and the like will no longer be or produced nor imported for continuing service needs.

After the year 2020, only reclaimed, recycled, or previously produced HCFC-22 can be used to service existing equipment. Until we hit the year 2030 that is. This is why, if you haven’t already noticed, the cost of the R22 refrigerant has increased greatly.

Out with the Old, in with the New

Since the R22 and other HCFC-22 refrigerants are being phased out, manufacturers of heat pumps and air conditioning equipment have redesigned their systems. The new systems will welcome the new, chlorine-free R-410A. refrigerant. 

Unfortunately, due to the global warming potential of all HFC refrigerants, another amendment to the Montreal Protocol was made. There is another phase-down plan happening for the R-410A which is expected to begin in the year 2020.

In the meantime, homeowners with this upgraded system will at least be purchasing a chlorine-free option, and increasing energy efficiency at the same time.

The future looks like a single-component refrigerant called R-32. It is said to only have one-third the global warming potential as its predecessor, the R-410A refrigerant. The codes and standards for this new refrigerant are currently being updated for mainstream use, which is expected by 2020. 

Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

What This Means For Home and Business Owners

While the phasing out of the Ozone-depleting HCFCs is a step in the right direction for salvaging our environment, it will be a costly step for business owners and homeowners.

With the phasing out of the R22 refrigerant and now the R-410A refrigerant, business owners who rely on air conditioning systems installed prior to 2015 will have a very expensive time maintaining and having those systems serviced.

The R22 refrigerant is already scarce and very expensive, and it won’t be too long until it is banned completely from use. This means that even an HVAC specialist won’t be able to recharge your system, let alone repair it. 

For homeowners as well, air conditioning systems will have to be completely replaced in order to upgrade to the up and coming eco-friendly alternative. This could pose an expensive issue for those who have already made the costly upgrade to the R-410A refrigerants.

Let’s just say the transition from the R22 to the R-410A refrigerant is like converting a diesel engine to a gasoline powered engine. Major changes have to be made including replacing the R22 compressor, evaporator and units, and in some cases, the copper lines that connect these components.

An integral part of this entire process is removing all of the moisture from your entire HVAC system and making sure their are no leaks. Leaks will make it next to impossible for the specialist to properly drain and dry the system. Any repairs that are needed will add to the overall cost of this conversion.

Not to mention, the process is not a quick one. Depending on the size of your system, this could take anywhere from hours to days.

As of right now, if you have an HVAC system running on R22 refrigerant that is in good condition, you should be fine until the final ban is placed and you have to get a whole new HVAC system.

For those who have already made the R-410A conversion, don’t worry—not all is lost.

Upgrading Your HVAC System Will Pay Off During Tax Season

Aside from the fact that legally, all home and business owners will have to upgrade to the new eco-friendly systems and refrigerants, there is an upside to the costs you will endure.

There is a new tax law that allows business owners to immediately expense their air conditioning, heating, and ventilation system.

Under this new tax law, you can offset the cost of a whole new HVAC system for up to $5,000 or more. And that’s just on an average sized system. Larger commercial systems will have an even more substantial value in savings. 

Before this new law, you would have to take into account the depreciation of your HVAC system for up to a period of 39 years—despite the fact that they don’t even last that long. Now you can quite literally write off each and every component of your new HVAC system. 

For homeowners, the tax situation is slightly different in that you technically can’t write off your entire new HVAC system and its components. However, you can claim a tax credit.

Claiming Your Tax Credit for Your New AC System

There are two criteria for qualifying for a tax credit on your new HVAC system:

1. Energy efficient requirements. When you choose a new HVAC system for your home it must be rated at the highest energy efficiency tier.

The energy efficiency tiers are determined by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency. The Consortium for Energy Efficiency consists of an efficiency program of administrators. They are either provincial or state energy offices, local utility offices or organizations set up by the government.

2. It must be for a primary residence. You will only receive this tax credit for your primary residence. This means that your vacation home is a different story.

Of course, this may be circumstantial, especially if you rent your other properties for at least six months out of the year.

If your new HVAC system meets the energy efficient requirements and guidelines, you will be able to receive up to $300 maximum from the IRS. If you choose to install other pieces of property that also meet the energy efficiency requirements and guidelines, you may be able to receive up to $500.

It doesn’t seem like a whole lot compared to what business owners may get, but your new HVAC system can cost anywhere from $500 to $4,000. So depending on which equipment you choose for your home, this tax credit may be just enough.

In order to claim your tax credit on your federal tax return, you need to use the 5695 form. This form will allow you to enter the property costs of any qualifying energy-efficient improvements. This can include unit assembly and installation as well.

The IRS also requires this form to be in addition to a 1040EZ form or a 1040A form. Otherwise, you won’t be able to claim your tax credit. Your new AC unit will also count as a standard deduction rather than an itemized deduction.

What are the Benefits of Upgrading My HVAC System?

Aside from doing your part to save the planet and the tax credits, there are other benefits to upgrading your HVAC system:

  • Lower running costs
  • Higher efficiency
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Convenience with smart technology
  • Increased value of your home
  • Better temperature control
  • Better air quality in the home

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that about 42 percent of homeowners’ power bills come from heating and cooling. It’s one of the greatest expenses of being a homeowner.

The upgraded air conditioning systems with the R32 refrigerant use 20 percent less refrigerant than the older systems. This means lower energy costs for you, which is one of the major benefits of this upgrade.

Another major benefit of this upgrade? Your health. We spend most of our time indoors these days, and with the old systems, the air inside our homes is actually up to five times more polluted than outdoors.

Now you can breathe easy knowing that the air inside your home is fresh and clean and that you’re not only benefiting the planet, but your bank account as well.

Get Off the Fence!

R22 refrigerant is in the past. The future is green, and it’s here.

With all the great benefits that the new and energy efficient compliant HVAC systems provide, don’t wait to upgrade yours.For all of your questions, comments, and concerns involving plumbing, HVAC systems, electrical issues, and commercial services, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

We’ll get back to you in 24 hours or less.

The post What is R22 and Why is It Phasing Out? appeared first on Happy Hiller.

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In the US, plumbing leaks waste 1 trillion gallons of water annually. That’s equivalent to 40 million swimming pools. Most of these leaks don’t even need the attention of a professional.

Armed with a wrench and a few plumbing basics, you can fix some of the most persistent leak problems. Fixing leaks yourself is obviously economical, but you also need to know when to call in the plumbers.

In this article, we’ll dissect the complex mesh of pipes to its most basic. You’ll learn when to go DIY, when to call a plumber, and how to differentiate the two.

Let’s dive right in.

How Does Plumbing Work: Plumbing Basics

Home plumbing is pretty straightforward. A casual gaze at the interwoven mesh of pipes and valves may seem overwhelming but bear with me. Understanding a few plumbing basics will see you navigate the mesh like a pro.

House plumbing consists of two systems:

  • Water supply system
  • Drain-water vent system (DWV)
House Plumbing Basics: Water Supply System

Water supply is a system of pipes that brings fresh water into the home. The system is highly-dependent of pressure. Water in these pipes come from one of two sources:

  • City water
  • Wells

City water enters your house from a humongous pipe ‘the main pipe’ that’s usually parallel to your street. If your connection to the main has a problem, call a professional. Damage to the main can result in civil lawsuits and hefty fines.

People who don’t have access to city water usually get their fresh water supply from wells. Water must then be pumped into the home at high pressures. Reduced pressure keeps water from reaching the furthest and highest parts of your house.

Running showers and faucets are usually the first victims of low pressure. Factors affecting pressure range from leaks to blockages. If the leak is caused by a loose connection, it’s easily handled in-house.

If, on the other hand, the leak necessitates re-piping, you best call for a professional plumber. You can read more plumbing problems you should leave to a plumber, here.

The main pipe is connected to your water meter. There’s a shutoff valve before or after your meter. The valve cuts off the water supply system making it useful when doing repairs.

Let’s look at the common problems facing the water supply system.

Basic Plumbing Tips: Maintaining the Water Supply System

Correctly installed piping is leak-proof. The system, however, disintegrates with time. In some cases, a plumber may find it necessary to do a complete overhaul of the plumbing.

The water supply system performs optimally when pressure is high. This makes the system rather sensitive to damage.

To illustrate, a leak in the drainage system will only cause damp-related problems. By contrast, leaks in the water supply system take things a step further: They affect water pressure. Low pressure makes it impossible to run showers and flush toilets.

Evidently, leaks are most harmful in the water supply system. Due to the sensitivity of the system, its problems are best handled by professionals.

Let’s move on to the next system:

Plumbing Basics: Drain Water Vent (DWV) System

The two home plumbing systems don’t overlap and for good reason. However, there are bridges all over the home where the two systems meet. Plumbers call these bridges fixtures.

You, on the other hand, know them by their household names: Sinks, faucets, washing machines, and the like.

A fixture is, therefore, defined as any point of water use. Clean water enters a fixture, wastewater leaves. The drainage system relies heavily on gravity to rid the home of wastewater.

The DWV has three main components:

  • Drain pipes
  • Drain traps
  • Drain vents
Plumbing Basics: Components of the Drain Water Vent System Drain Pipes

These are downward angled pipes that rely on gravity to move water from the fixture and into the sewer line. By observation, you’ll tell this system is more complex than the water supply system: Reliance on gravity has its downsides.

Drain pipes have to be engineered and placed in a manner that lets them play gravity to their advantage. To illustrate, consider the angle of the pipes. These pipes are also bigger than water supply system pipes.

Their size allows them to carry waste without blocking.

Drain Traps

Drain traps, also called P traps, are U-shaped pipes that prevent backflow in a plumbing system. These pipes also hold water consistently, thanks to their curvature.

Why should a drain pipe hold water?

The DWV system connects your house to the sewer line. Without the drain trap, sewer gases would turn your house into a stink-fest. Drain traps also allow grease, hair, and other debris to sediment.

This debris is then removed through clean out plugs. Without the traps, the debris would move down the pipe and cause clogging.

Drain Vent

If you turn a bottle of water upside down, water flow is rather hectic. That’s what happens when water flows through a closed system; it’s just not smooth. That’s where drain vents come in.

The drain vent system runs from your roof and into your drain pipe. It releases air into the plumbing to ensure smooth drainage.

Damage to any of these three systems will be reflected in the overall efficiency of the DWV system. Sub-standard products also affect your drainage’s efficacy. Only buy certified quality plumbing products.

Basic Plumbing Tips: Maintaining the DWV System

Clogging is the biggest problem associated with DWV water systems. Hair is the most common cause of clogging in the bathroom, but grease takes it in the kitchen. To mitigate the risks of clogging, frequently empty clean out plugs.

You must also be on the lookout for leaks. The DWV’s piping is hidden, for the best part. Tell-tale signs of leaks include mold infestations, damp ceilings, and stinky rooms.

Leaks also cause structural damage. It doesn’t hurt to call a professional plumber to look through your piping system for leaks. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there: 10% of US homes lose 90 gallons to leaks every day.

Home Plumbing Systems

Plumbing in the home is focused around two areas:

  • The kitchen
  • The bathroom

Let’s take a closer look at these two systems:

The Kitchen Plumbing System

The kitchen’s plumbing is largely hidden in the walls. The water supply system brings both hot and cold water to fixtures. Plumbing in the walls is another task best left to the plumbers.

The Bathroom Plumbing System

Bathrooms are heavily reliant on pressure. This system also has separate hot and cold piping systems. If pressure ever reduces to a point of concern, call a plumber.

To reduce pressure by that degree, the leak has to be quite extensive. A DIY approach isn’t the best for such extensive problems. You’ll only make the problem worse.

Basic Plumbing Tips

Now that you’re armed with a few plumbing basics, how do you put them into use?

Let’s look at maintenance. What should you do to prevent expensive plumbing issues? Below are 10 actionable tips:

Unclog Slow Drains

Clogging is a slow process. When you notice water draining slowly, it’s time to take some preventative steps:

  1. Unclog the pipes. A mixture of vinegar, baking powder, and hot water usually does it.
  2. Empty the clean out plugs where applicable.
  3. Call a professional if the problem persists.

Read also how to fix common plumbing problems.

Check the Pipes

Always inspect exposed pipes for signs of wear and tear. Check for leaks where possible and signs of leaking where pipes are hidden. Below are a few signs of leaky pipes:

  • Exceptionally high water bills. The average US family uses 400 gallons daily
  • Mold and damp
  • An ever-running meter
Drain the Water Heater

Empty water heaters at least twice every year. Sediment reduces the efficiency of the heater and may cause complications down the road. If the heater already shows signs of damage, call a plumber.

Most plumbers spend about 2000 hours in apprenticeship. Even the greenest plumber is better-equipped than you to handle that heater.

Winter Wisdom

Always insulate your pipes in the winter. Most people know this, but you’d be surprised to realize just how many people fall victim to frozen pipes every year. That’s not even the worst-case scenario.

Water expands as it freezes. Therefore, insulation keeps your pipes from exploding.

Strainers

Strainers will save your pipes from clogging. They keep debris from entering the plumbing, saving you hefty plumbing fees. However, strainers are also susceptible to wear and tear.

Replace them as often as necessary. That simple tool is probably the only thing standing between you and a clogged sink.

Enzyme-Based Pipe Cleaners

There’re many pipe cleaning solutions in the market, but not all are equal. Corrosive pipe cleaners do more harm than good. They quickly remove the clog, but at the expense of the piping’s longevity.

This is why you should always go for enzyme-based pipe cleaners. These natural cleaners introduce bacteria into the plumbing. The bacteria break down clog into liquid for easy expulsion.

Bacteria does all that without harming the plumbing’s structural integrity.

Water Pressure

Reduced water pressure is a precursor to plumbing problems. Always call in a plumber when pressure runs low. The quick reaction may save you from incurring hefty repair fees in the future.

In the showers, reduced pressure may be caused by sediment in the shower head. Be sure to clean out shower heads before calling a plumber.

Pro Tip: When leaks are serious enough to reduce your home’s water pressure, they’re best left to a professional. You’re probably looking at a problem that’ll necessitate pipe replacements.

Sewer Lines

Take time to understand how your sewer line is set up. Avoid planting trees along the line because the roots can cause damage. To keep things smooth, periodically snake the lines.

Leave all other sewer problems to the professionals. Damage to shared parts could clog your neighbors’ plumbing which is a sure way to attract civil lawsuits.

Watch What You Flush

keep debris from the drains and you’ll keep clogs from the plumbing. Teach the kids how to maintain the plumbing. Arming them with a few plumbing basics may just save the plumbing from them.

Clogs take time to grow into proportions of concern. Therefore, most people are unaware that the clogs of today are caused by yesterday’s mistakes. Don’t be one of them. Watch what goes down your drains.

Regular Maintenance Run

Calling in the plumbers when there’s a problem is calling in the plumbers too late. Schedule maintenance runs where a plumber inspects the state of your plumbing. Another trick is to ask for suggestions from a professional when buying plumbing equipment.

The professionals always know best.

Final Thoughts

Plumbing makes or breaks a house. Maintaining the plumbing keeps a house’s value high. Therefore, professional plumbing services must be part of a house maintenance’s schedule.

Good plumbing efforts also keep the house free of allergenic mold. Most people only find out about their mold problem when they are selling the house. Considering the health risks posed by these molds, that’s a saddening fact. Prioritize your plumbing.

This article has equipped you with vital plumbing basics. We hope that you appreciate the role good plumbing plays in your home. If you do not feel at all comfortable with any of the tips, let a plumber handle the maintenance. Done wrong, even activity as basic as unclogging a toilet can cause plumbing mayhem. Therefore, be sure to confirm the credentials of your plumber before trusting them with your plumbing. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

The post Understanding The Basics of Plumbing appeared first on Happy Hiller.

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Did you know that approximately 25% of the air in your HVAC ductwork is lost as a result of leaks and poorly fitted ducts?

This can translate into hundreds of dollars wasted each year.

Luckily, there are solutions to this problem. You can either upgrade your ductwork or consider air duct replacement services.

It is imperative to do something when it comes to the condition of your ducts before it’s too late. Keep reading to find out how to spot ductwork problems and what to do in such cases.

Why HVAC Ductwork Is So Important?

When people are considering their HVAC system, they often overlook the ducts.

This can be a costly mistake. The ducts pull air from various parts of your house to be heated or cooled and then they conduct it back to other parts of your house.

If the ductwork is poorly connected or has multiple holes, air pressure is lost. This makes your HVAC system work harder which increases your energy bill.

Ducts are designed to last for about 10-15 years on average. They are made from a combination of materials such as fiberglass and plastic.

At some point, these ducts will get damaged. The sooner you see signs of damage and do something about it, the better. That’s because you avoid spending too much on your energy bill and prevent more costly repair projects.

When ducts get damaged, your comfort level will drop significantly. For example, your air conditioning unit might not be that efficient and you’ll end up with cold or hot spots in certain rooms. Obviously, you can do things to make your AC unit more efficient, but it’s important to fix the ducts first and avoid more complicated problems.

Similarly, damaged ducts can also push toxic air through the vents because of mold and mildew problems. Having your HVAC ducts maintained properly is paramount for your health and quality of life.

Signs That You Need Air Duct Replacement

Here are a few important signs to look for to determine if your ducts need repair or replacement.

1. Noisy HVAC Operation

Your HVAC system is designed to make noise while working, but the sound shouldn’t be annoyingly loud.

If you constantly hear rattling sounds or if the HVAC ductwork is vibrating too much when heating or cooling your house then you need to inspect the ducts.

Remember that the ducts in your house are connected using plastic or fiberglass joints. If these joints get damaged, you’ll often hear rattling or whistling sounds.

If there are holes in the ductwork, you’ll also hear loud noises when air circulates through the ducts. don’t ignore this noise because it can only get worse.

2. High Energy Bills

It’s normal for some air to escape when traveling through your ducts.

However, when more than 20% of air escapes, you’ll eventually see this reflected on your energy bill.

The reason is simple. You turn the thermostat to a certain level to enjoy a warm home. The indoor temperature gets higher, but not sufficiently enough. That’s because a lot of air is escaping, so the HVAC system is inefficient.

This inefficiency is what makes you pay more for your energy bill because the HVAC system eventually has to work harder to heat or cool down your house.

If you know you haven’t installed a lot of electronics in your house recently (laptops, computers, kitchen appliances, etc) then the spike in your energy bill might be caused by leaky ductwork.

3. Uneven Heating or Cooling

Homeowners might discover that one or more rooms in the house are improperly warmed or cooled down, in comparison with the rest of the house.

This can be caused by faulty ductwork which doesn’t send enough air to certain parts of your home.

You can easily verify this using an indoor thermometer. If the differences in temperature are clearly off the scale, you need to inspect your ducts right away. This problem might be caused because a duct has huge leaks in it. The air will escape through these leaks and it will not be able to warm up or cool down a particular area of your room.

4. Having A Dusty Home

It’s almost impossible to get rid of dust. It can be found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors.

However, if you see that there is simply too much dust in your house, this problem might be caused by damaged ductwork.

How so?

Well, dust from outside the ducts is getting inside through holes and leaks. The HVAC ductwork then carries this dust to the vents and disperses it throughout your house.

If you sneeze more often than usual, you might have a very dusty home and the culprit can be faulty ductwork. It’s important to do something about it right away, otherwise, you risk developing cardiovascular diseases.

5. Smelling Mold and Mildew in Your House

In a similar fashion, mold and mildew problems can also be caused by poorly connected or poorly insulated ducts.

Mold and mildew appear as a result of uneven temperatures inside and outside the HVAC ductwork. For example, when warm air travels through cold ducts, condensation can appear. Over a period of several weeks or months, mold and mildew can develop and you’ll smell it when the air is pushed into your house through vents.

Mold and mildew can cause a lot of health problems and they can drastically deteriorate your furniture items, so make sure that you inspect your ductwork right away if you smell mold in your house.

6. Having A Problem with Pests

Apart from mold and mildew, old and damaged ductwork might also cause a pest infestation.

This happens because of the leaks and holes in your ductwork which allows bugs and rodents to enter. These pests can easily establish colonies and cause a lot of problems in the long run.

Some of the problems caused by pest include unpleasant smells, spreading of bacteria and microbes, making weird noises in the middle of the night, etc.

On top of that, your HVAC system can also get damaged if bugs or rodents cause blockages in the ductwork. What to do in this case? Simple – just inspect your ductwork thoroughly. If you see signs of pest infestation, you need professional help to both fix the ducts and get rid of pests.

7. Having Respiratory Problems

Do you or your family members sneeze often?

How about allergies or weird coughs which are not associated with colds or flu?

Keep in mind that leaks in your ductwork can facilitate the entering of allergens such as pollen and small dust fragments.

Pollen is known to cause allergies in most people, particularly in those who also suffer from asthma problems. You should do your best to inspect the ductwork and fix leaks and holes before they ruin the indoor air quality. Other impurities which cause allergies are cigarette smoke, lint, pet hair and so on.

8. Seeing Debris Around The Vents

The vents are designed to push hot or cold air inside your house, depending on your needs.

However, if the air is too dirty, it will eventually leave small marks around the vents. This is usually done over a long period of time and you might not notice it at first.

The debris is created as a result of an accumulation of dust, dirt, lint, pet hair, even small insects. This is not only an aesthetic problem, but a surefire sign that your ductwork requires a proper inspection right away.

9. Tangled Ducts

Kinked or tangled ducts can also prevent your HVAC system from working correctly and causing high energy bills.

Ducts can get damaged or tangled for various reasons. For example, something heavy might have fallen on your ducts such as a rock or tree branch. This might make the duct twist in an abnormal angle and restrict airflow. On top of restricting airflow, ducts can also develop holes and leaks.

You should look for tangled or kinked ducts particularly in your basement, garage or attic since this is where most of the problems appear.

10. Very Old Ductwork

Having old ducts can cause problems at some point in the future.

Even if your ductwork appears to be working normally now, you never know when issues start to appear. Especially if your house was built back in the seventies and it relies on asbestos insulation (which is a cancer-causing material), you need to inspect your ducts right away.

Duct installation methods have been improved in the last years. New, more efficient and safer materials are used to install and insulate your HVAC ductwork. By not upgrading your pipes, you risk wasting money and putting your health in danger.

How To Fix Your Ductwork

If your ducts present one or more of the aforementioned signs of damage, you need to take a closer look at them.

In some cases, it’s not necessary to perform a complete HVAC duct replacement project, but just to fix one or two faulty pipes.

For example, you might want to seal, insulate, or just clean your ducts to solve the problem. Let’s talk about these improvements in greater detail.

1. Cleaning Your Ducts

This is the simplest improvement you can make and it’s usually the least expensive.

You might want to look at your ducts once every few years and try to give them a thorough cleaning. Pipes can get clogged with pet hair, debris, birds droppings, dust, dirt and even mold and mildew in worst cases.

These impurities can cause blockages which will make your HVAC system work harder and compromise the indoor air quality. The cleaning project involves using special cleaning solutions and tools. A ductwork cleaning project is done by a professional team who can get the job done in a single day in most cases.

2. Sealing Your Ducts

Sealing your ducts is also a good idea to prevent bigger and more expensive problems.

For example, you can seal the ducts at their connection points. Most homeowners use aluminum tape to seal their ducts, but you can also use other materials.

The idea of sealing your ducts is to cover big holes or leaks and prevent further damage. This is a temporary solution which can be done once a year. If you see that your ducts are badly damaged, skip the sealing altogether and call a professional for a complete duct replacement project.

At Hiller, we use a product by the name of Aeroseal to seal your ducts.  Aeroseal automatically finds and seals all the leaks throughout your entire duct system with precision. Giving you a home with even temperatures in every room, healthier air, and energy savings.

When we come out to your home, we can seal your air ducts in a few, short hours. You will be able to feel the difference immediately, not to mention seeing the savings on your energy bill!

3. Insulating Your Ducts

Insulating the pipes of your HVAC system is also a great idea. This is particularly recommended if you see frequent temperature changes in your rooms. Poorly insulated ductwork can cause condensation which facilitates the development of mold and mildew.

Insulating the ducts doesn’t only prevent mold, but it also makes the HVAC system more efficient, so you’ll eventually spend less on your energy bill.

There are numerous ways you can insulate the ducts. Most homeowners use insulation fiberglass or aluminum tape, among other items. See what you can find on your nearest home improvement store or call an expert and let him do it for you.

Keep in mind that some ductwork might be too damaged to be fixed like this. Only an experienced technician can tell the difference from a seriously faulty pipe or a mildly damaged one, so don’t rely on DIY projects to fix your ducts. DIY projects are inherently risky, especially when it comes to HVAC systems.

In some cases, you might need a brand new HVAC system to properly heat or cool down your house throughout the year and that’s why you should call a professional for a close inspection.

Get Your HVAC Ductwork Inspected Today!

Whether you want to fix some of the ducts in your HVAC system or you are considering a complete air duct replacement project, it’s important to not postpone this step any longer!

Give us a call today and let our professionals inspect the ducts in your house. We have a lot of experience when it comes to HVAC systems and our services are affordable.

The post Signs You Need Air Duct Replacement appeared first on Happy Hiller.

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Did you know that the United States generated nearly 4 trillion kWh of electricity in 2017 alone?

As of 2016, there were more than 20,000 electricity generators used to feed America’s increasing energy needs.

With that being said, there’s no wonder why so many households require an emergency electrician to solve electrical problems.

Electricians are safety professionals who study extensively to practice their job correctly. You always need an electrician’s number in your phone book, just in case.

But when is the best moment to call an electrician?

And what to do in case of electrical emergencies?

That’s what you’re going to find out in this article, so stay tuned!

10 Cases When You Need An Emergency Electrician

A residential electrician is ready to help you with electrical maintenance as well as electrical emergencies. It’s not hard to choose a good reputable electrician, you just have to pay attention to a few aspects.

Hopefully, you never encounter an emergency situation, but just to be safe, here are a few moments when you should call an electrician.

1. When Fuses Blow Very Often

It is normal for fuses to blow from time to time, but if this happens too often. There might be a serious problem in the electrical system.

This usually occurs because the system draws more electricity than the fuses can handle. You can change the fuse by yourself, but it’s best to call an electrician to inspect the electrical panel for bigger problems.

2. When Switches Are Warm to the Touch

When switches or electrical appliances feel warm to the touch for no apparent reason, there might be an electrical problem.

For example, if you didn’t use your microwave, but it’s warm when you put your hand on it, call an emergency electrician immediately.

Similarly, when light switches feel warm to the touch, this is a surefire sign of electrical fault.

3. When Lights Are Flickering

It is not normal for lights to flicker. This can happen at random or when you turn on an electric appliance which draws a lot of power such as a vacuum cleaner or your fridge.

This happens because there is a high electrical demand put on the power outlet. For a brief moment, the light bulbs in your house receive less electricity and that’s why they flicker.

An electrician can help by installing additional power outlets and putting large appliances on their own circuits.

4. When Power Outlets Are Overloaded

If a power point is giving electricity to too many appliances at the same time, this is a sign that you need to install more power outlets.

Overloaded power points can cause huge stress on your electrical system. At some point in the future, this can cause electrical problems which are expensive to repair.

5. Having Too Many Extension Cords

It’s great to use extension cords, but if you use too many, chances are that you have too few power outlets in your house.

An emergency electrician can fix this problem by adding several more power points. Best of all, you can tell the electrician to install them where you need them the most such as near the bed, next to your office, etc.

6. Light Bulbs Deteriorate Frequently

Similar to fuses which blow too often, your light bulbs can also get burned rapidly if there’s an electrical problem in your system.

Instead of simply changing the light bulb and hoping for the best, you should call an electrician to inspect your electrical system.

7. You Get a Huge Electrical Bill

If you haven’t installed many new appliances lately (no new fridges, freezers, computers, etc), but your electrical bill is absurdly large, chances are that there is a problem in your electrical system.

You should call an electrician to inspect the problem and see what circuits are inefficient. This type of problem doesn’t go away on its own.

8. Switches Give Mild Shocks

Do you feel a small electrical shock when you touch an appliance?

This is a surefire sign of an electrical problem. One that you must address immediately because these appliances are dangerous to use.

It might happen that residual current gets stored in the appliance. When you touch it, some of that electricity is transferred to you.

Call an electrician immediately to inspect the problem and to protect your life.

9. Your Power Outlets Don’t Accept 3-Prong Plugs

A 3-prong plug is a grounded unit. It provides additional safety in the case of an electric shock.

Many houses, especially old ones, have power outlets which accept only 2-prong plugs. You should call a residential electrician to remove the old power outlets and replace them with safer ones.

10. You Haven’t Checked The Electrical System In A Long Time

You never know the state of the electrical system until you check it.

Especially if you haven’t done this in a long while, now it’s the perfect time to do it and avoid more expensive electrical problems.

In some cases, just upgrading the electrical panel can prevent serious damages to your appliances.

What to Do in Case Of Electrical Emergency

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to electricity!

You never know when you might run into an electrical problem and it’s great to know what you have to do in case of an emergency.

Use these tips to ensure your safety:

1. Keep An Electrician’s Phone Number Handy

In the case of a power outage, you don’t want to be forced to look for an electrician’s number in a phone book with a flashlight in your hand.

Instead, program an electrician’s phone number in your mobile phone. Share it with your family members too. If you happen to be in Tennessee, Southern Kentucky or Northern Alabama, we encourage you to program Hiller’s number, as we are always available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our toll-free number is 844-694-4553 or you can find a local telephone number of an electrician near you here.

2. Have A Fire Extinguisher In Your House

Electrical fires can appear as a result of faulty electrical systems, tangled wires and so on.

Having a fire extinguisher handy can help you minimize the danger quickly. Make sure you know how to use it and keep it up to date.

Fire extinguishers come in various sizes and shapes. The best ones for extinguishing electrical fires are:

  • Carbon dioxide extinguishers
  • Ammonium phosphate extinguishers
  • Sodium and potassium bicarbonate extinguishers

Make sure that you read the instructions manual and instruct your family members on how to use one, if possible.

3. Don’t Touch An Electrocuted Person

Electrical shocks are very dangerous.

They can happen if a person touches a faulty electrical appliance such as a toaster, microwave oven or fridge.

In the case of electrical shock, don’t touch the person because you can get electrocuted too.

Instead, cut off the main power supply from the power switch board. Safely position the injured person on the ground and call an ambulance.

Make sure that the injured person is standing still as movements can worsen his/her situation.

4. Don’t Touch Fallen Power Lines

Fallen power lines can be the result of a powerful storm.

They might also be caused by tree branches falling on them.

Remember that there is still electrical current passing through these lines. Under no circumstance should you touch them or go near them. Instruct others to do the same.

If someone got injured, call an ambulance and lay the person on the ground until the paramedics arrive.

Call the local electrical company and inform them about the fallen power lines.

5. Stop The Electrical Supply If Appliances Release Smoke

Faulty electrical equipment can release smoke sometimes.

This might happen because plastic components get burned. You might encounter this situation with light switches, toasters, microwave ovens, etc.

If you sense smoke, don’t touch the appliance. You should immediately stop the electrical supply from the main switchboard.

Once you have done that, safely unplug the appliance from the power outlet.

Restore power from the switchboard and call an electrician immediately. The power outlet which caused the electrical problem needs to be inspected immediately.

6. Don’t Touch Cables Which Caught Fire

Tangled wires might cause electrical fires, especially if the electrical system is faulty or outdated.

If you sense a burning smell in your house emanating from around a power outlet, it might be caused by tangled wires.

Cut off the power supply immediately from the switchboard. Make sure that neither you or your family members touch the wires. Call an electrician to inspect the damages and replace the cables.

7. Unplug Appliances In Case Of Power Outage

Power outages might happen from time to time.

They usually occur during storms or, if you believe in the sci-fi lore, when a UFO passes by.

It’s important to remain calm, especially if the power goes out in your entire neighborhood. Electrical companies are usually aware of this problem and they work hard to fix it as soon as possible.

While you wait, you should use a flashlight to find your way around the house. Make sure that you unplug appliances from the power socket to avoid damage when the power comes back.

How To Prevent Electrical Problems

You can do a lot of things to prevent or at least minimize electrical emergencies and damages to your appliances.

For example:

1. Use Power Surge Protector

A power surge protector is a special type of power outlet strip.

It is specially designed to prevent damages to your appliances in the case of an electrical spike.

During a thunderstorm or when the power comes back on after a blackout, the electrical circuits might receive too much electricity for a brief moment.

If you have appliances plugged in, they might be fried by this high electrical spike.

A power surge protector absorbs the excessive amount of current and gets fried itself, protecting expensive appliances and hardware.

At Hiller, we offer whole home power surge protection for a very affordable amount.

2. Have Your Hands Dry When Handling Electric Equipment

This should be a no-brainer since electricity and water don’t mix.

If you want to change a light bulb or a blown fuse, always do that with dry hands.

If you spill water on cords, don’t touch them. Cut off the power supply and then attempt to dry the cords.

Try not to use appliances in the bathroom, even if you have a power outlet installed there. The bathroom is always a humid environment which might facilitate electrical problems or even electrocution.

3. Keep Wires Away From Trafficked Areas

This piece of advice is valid in households as well as workplaces.

Electrical cords should be hidden from plain sight, especially from these places where a lot of people walk often.

There is a high chance that someone might trip on the cord and get injured. If people step on the cord, this can damage its protective layer in the long-run. This can result in an electrical fire. Keep cords organized and as close to walls as possible.

4. Don’t Hide Cords Under Rugs

Contrary to the popular belief, you should never place a rug or a mat over an electrical cord.

Keep in mind that if the cables get hot, they might cause a fire since rugs are flammable materials.

In a similar fashion, make sure that you never keep an iron or hair dryer close to curtains or mats as they might cause a fire.

5. Keep The Fridge On Its Separate Power Outlet

Appliances which use a lot of power should be kept on their dedicated power point.

For example, the fridge requires a lot of electricity to run. If you keep it on the same power outlet with multiple other appliances, the circuit board becomes overloaded. This can cause electrical faults in the long run.

Similarly, the air conditioning system is another “hungry” appliance. It should have a dedicated power outlet.

When using the vacuum cleaner, make sure that you follow this rule too as this appliance requires a lot of energy to run. So does your freezer.

Expand Your Knowledge About Electricians

Handling electricity is not an easy job and that’s why you should always call an emergency electrician to solve electrical problems.

Electricians train for years and know how to fix these problems safely and quickly.

Learn more about why it’s best to call an electrician instead of going the DIY route from our articles!

We highly recommend that before you attempt to perform any electrical repairs on your own, please consult an electrician near you. Thanks for reading!

The post Do You Need an Emergency Electrician? appeared first on Happy Hiller.

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Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical (Hiller), the region’s premier provider of residential and commercial service and repair, was named East Coast Metal Distributor’s “Amana Dealer of the Decade” in 2019. This award, crafted specifically for Hiller, recognizes the company’s dedication to providing customers with superior HVAC installation and service.

Since 2009, Amana and Hiller have partnered to bring customers exceptional service and industry-leading lifetime unit warranties for heating and cooling products. The Dealer of the Decade award pays homage to both Hiller’s remarkable sales volume and customer service support over the past 10 years.

“We look forward to many more successful decades of partnering together to provide Hiller’s customers with Amana’s industry-leading lifetime warranties and sales support”, remarked Jeff Prince, Territory Manager for East Coast Metal Distributors.

This award marks Hiller’s second product vendor honor in 2019. In April, Hiller was named Ruud’s #1 Most Reliable Contractor for the 6th consecutive year.

“We are so honored to receive recognition from our valued industry partners”, noted Jimmy Hiller, Founder and CEO of Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. “Awards like Amana’s ‘Dealer of the Decade’ mean so much to us”, he continued, “Because they highlight our dedication to providing the best experience to our customers”.

Launched in 1990 with a single employee and just $500, Hiller was founded on the tenets of professionalism, exceptional levels of customer satisfaction, and a dedication to high quality work. As a result, Hiller has grown to include over 480 trucks, 13 locations, and more than 630 employees across the southeast. In the past decade alone, Hiller has experienced over 900% growth in revenue.

East Coast Metal Distributors, established in 1954 in Durham, North Carolina, provides contractors with top-quality heating and air conditioning equipment, parts and supplies. With more than 50 years in the HVAC distribution business and more than 45 locations in 11 states, East Coast Metal Distributors puts the customer first and has the products, experience, and technical know-how to be the HVAC supplier of choice. For more information about the products East Coast Metal Distributors offers, visit www.edmci.com.

The post Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical Honored with Amana Dealer of the Decade Award appeared first on Happy Hiller.

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Welcome to Nashville! We can’t tell you how stoked we are to see so many new faces in town for the NFL Draft! Whether it’s your first time in Music City or you’re a regular in these parts, check out the events we’ve listed below to make the most of your time here. With music festivals, live music, food trucks, and more…you’re in for a wild weekend of fun! We doubt you’ll ever want to leave!

NFL Draft Fact Sheet
https://www.titansonline.com/nfldraft/

NFL Draft Schedule
https://www.visitmusiccity.com/nfldraft/nfl-draft-event-schedule

Making The Most of Your Experience
https://www.visitmusiccity.com/nfldraft/make-most-your-nfl-draft-experience

 

Thursday – April 25, 2019

Food Trucks from 11-2
http://nashvilleguru.com/89524/street-eats-nashville

Way Late Play Date at Adventure Science Center
http://www.adventuresci.org/waylate

St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
https://www.runrocknroll.com/en/events/nashville/registration

Playing on the NFL Draft Experience Stage
– New North (Americana)
– Striking Matches (alternative rock, pop rock and blues rock)
– Mikky Ekko (alternative)

 

Friday – April 26, 2019

George Jones Live Rooftop Concert Series 
https://georgejones.com/rooftop-concert-series/

Nashville Flea Market
http://www.thefairgrounds.com/fleamarket/dates.asp

Nashville Draft Music & Food Festival
https://nashvilledraftfest.com/

St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Packet Pick Up & Event
https://www.runrocknroll.com/en/events/nashville/registration

Playing on the NFL Draft Experience Stage
– Willie Jones (country)
– Kid Politics (indie pop)
– Jessy Wilson (neo soul/rock)
– Charlie Worsham (country singer-songwriter)
– Jonny P (soul)
– Rayland Baxter (alternative)

 

Saturday – April 27, 2019

George Jones Live Rooftop Concert Series 
https://georgejones.com/rooftop-concert-series/

Nashville Flea Market
http://www.thefairgrounds.com/fleamarket/dates.asp

Nashville Draft Music & Food Festival
https://nashvilledraftfest.com/

Yoga Under the Stars
http://www.adventuresci.org/yoga

Franklin Main Street Festival
https://williamsonheritage.org/mainstreet

St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon
https://www.runrocknroll.com/en/events/nashville/registration

Playing on the NFL Draft Experience Stage
– Katie Schecter (Rock n Roll and soul)
– Jason Eskridge (soul)
– Three Star Revival (soul/jam/funk/Americana/rock)
– Andrew Combs (indie folk)
– Charles Esten (country/rock “Nashville” TV show star)

 

With all the things you can do, Nashville is the perfect place to have a fantastic sports fan getaway.   The most important part is to have fun while you’re here. 

The post Your Nashville Tour Guide for the 2019 Draft appeared first on Happy Hiller.

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Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical (Hiller), the region’s premier provider of residential and commercial service and repair, was named #1 on Ruud’s Most Reliable Contractors List for 2018. This award marks Hiller’s sixth consecutive first place rank on the list, beginning with the 2013 award.

Ruud’s Top-20 Most Reliable Contractors list recognizes exceptional American contracting businesses for sales, customer support, and overall service excellence. Ranking as America’s #1 Most Reliable Contractor again this year was Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Electrical.

Hiller was honored at the 2019 Top Pro Partner Awards in a ceremony held on March 26th at The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

“It is an honor to receive the top contractor spot among the Ruud Top-20 list again this year”, remarked Jimmy Hiller, founder and CEO of Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. “Each year, this award recognizes our dedication to treating our customers right”, he continued. “At Hiller, we believe that when we care about our customers, our communities, and our employees, we all win.”

Launched in 1990 with a single employee and just $500, Hiller was founded on the tenets of professionalism, exceptional levels of customer satisfaction, and a dedication to high quality work. As a result, Hiller has grown to include over 480 trucks, 13 locations, and more than 630 employees across the southeast. In the past decade alone, Hiller has experienced over 900% growth in revenue.

Ruud, part of the Rheem family of brands, provides Ruud-branded heating, cooling, and water heating products for residential and light commercial use to professional installers across the United States and Canada. Named for water heating pioneer, Edwin Ruud, the brand was acquired by Rheem in 1960. To learn more, visit www.ruud.com . Founded in 1925, Rheem is the only manufacturer in the world that produces heating, cooling, water heating, pool/spa heating and commercial refrigeration products. Rheem, headquartered in Atlanta, has an international presence in 14 countries. To learn more, visit www.rheem.com

The post Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical Tops Ruud’s Reliable Contractor List for 6th Consecutive Year appeared first on Happy Hiller.

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Does one of the bathrooms in your home have a toilet that’s clogged?

More often than not, you’ll be able to fix a problem like this on your own without the assistance of a professional plumber. The only thing you’ll need to get the job done is a trusty plunger.

But there are lots of other times when you’re not going to know where to start when you’re experiencing plumbing issues. In these cases, it’s best to call on plumbing technicians in your area to supply you with the plumbing services you need.

Just make sure you do your homework and bring the right plumbing pros on board to lend a hand with your problem. It’ll help you avoid making the issue even worse than it already is.

Here are 15 common plumbing problems you should leave to professional plumbing services.

1. Clogged Drains

Does it take forever for water to drain out of one of the sinks in your home? Many times, homeowners will have slow-draining sinks in their kitchens and bathrooms because the pipes attached to those sinks are clogged up with food particles, hair, and other gunk.

There are all kinds of products that you can buy that are designed to clean drains. But some of them can do damage to your drains if you’re not careful. They could even cause your drains to back up more.

A plumber can provide you with the drain cleaning services you need to clear your drains out. They’ll rely on tools like plumbing snakes to find and eliminate clogs in your plumbing system.

2. Leaky Pipes

As long as plumbing pipes are installed properly when a home is first built, they’ll last for years and years to come. But over time, pipes can start to wear down and even leak in some cases.

There are some signs of leaky pipes that are rather obvious. For example, if you see a huge wet spot forming on a ceiling in your home, it often means that a plumbing pipe that sits right on top of it has a leak in it.

But there are also less obvious signs you should look out for at all times. They include:

  • A series of high water bills
  • Mold and mildew growing in bathrooms
  • A water meter that is almost always running
  • Musty smells in bathrooms and basements
  • Cracks in a home’s foundation

If you suspect you have leaky plumbing pipes in your home, it’s a good idea to hire a plumber to come out and inspect your home. They can identify leaks and figure out a way to fix them.

3. Leaky Faucets

Leaky faucets are some of the most common plumbing problems on the planet. If you own a home long enough, you’re eventually going to find that at least one of your faucets will start leaking.

It’s important to fix leaky faucets as fast as you can because they can waste a lot of water otherwise. Faucets that drip a single drop of water every second can run through more than 3,000 gallons of water every year.

Some people assume that leaky faucets must be simple enough to fix. But there are a number of things that can cause a faulty faucet, including:

  • Worn-out O-ring
  • Bad valve seat/washer
  • Old cartridge

In some instances, a plumber can fix a specific part on a faucet to make it stop leaking. But in others, they’ll need to replace the faucet altogether to prevent a homeowner from wasting water.

4. Burst Pipes

The temperature doesn’t fall below freezing too often in Nashville, TN and the surrounding areas. But the mercury does dip under 32 degrees Fahrenheit every now and then, and it could put your home’s plumbing pipes at risk when it does.

When it’s freezing cold outside in the wintertime, there is a chance that your plumbing pipes could freeze up and burst. And if they ever do, they can cause massive amounts of water damage to your home.

There are some steps you can take to prevent your plumbing pipes from freezing in the winter. You can:

  • Let your faucets drip on cold days and nights to keep water flowing through your pipes
  • Repair any cracks that exist in your plumbing pipes
  • Make sure your plumbing pipes are insulated if they run through a cold part of your house
  • Open up cabinets that have pipes in them to allow them to get access to heat
  • Keep the heat in your home turned up to a comfortable level at all times during the winter

By doing these things, you can usually stop plumbing pipes from bursting. But if you ever experience burst plumbing pipes, you’ll have an emergency situation on your hands. It’ll be imperative for you to seek plumbing services right away.

5. Pipe Replacement

No matter how hard you work to maintain and repair your home’s plumbing system, the plumbing pipes inside your house aren’t going to last forever.

You’ll get about 20 to 50 years of life out of galvanized steel supply lines, 50 years out of copper supply lines, and 40 to 70 years out of brass supply lines. Cast iron drain lines, meanwhile, will give you about 75 to 100 years of service.

Once your plumbing pipes start to wear down on you, you’ll need to have them replaced with new ones. And rather than trying to do it on your own, you should call on a professional plumber who knows how to replace pipes quickly without making a huge mess. 

6. New Plumbing Installation

Are you in the process of building your dream home? If so, you’ve spent hours coming up with the right layout for the home and thinking about what each room inside of it is going to look like.

But before you get too carried away picking out paint colors and choosing hardwood flooring, you should make sure the bones of the home are strong. That includes installing a plumbing system that will be capable of supplying your whole home with water and draining water away.

A plumbing company that specializes in new plumbing installation can make the job easier for you. They can also speak with you about what’s possible as far as adding special sinks, showers, toilets, and more to your home’s bathrooms.

7. Pipe Relocation

If you’re currently remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, you might want to take a sink, a toilet, or even a bathtub and relocate it to a different part of the room. It’s possible to do this—but it’s not always easy.

In order to change the location of a plumbing fixture, you need to relocate all the plumbing pipes that go along with it. This often means you need to remove flooring and subfloors and reroute plumbing pipes throughout a room.

This is most definitely not a job for an amateur that doesn’t know what they’re doing. You’ll want a professional plumber by your side providing you with plumbing services before you begin moving things around in a kitchen or bathroom.

8. Refrigerator Water Line Installation

Did you just put a new refrigerator into your kitchen with an ice and water dispenser in it?

If your last refrigerator had a dispenser, you can hook your fridge up to the same water line that you used for that. But if you’ve never had a dispenser before, you’ll need a plumber to come out and do refrigerator water line installation for you to get your new fridge up and running.

9. Leaky Water Heater

Have you noticed that there is water pooling around the outside of your home’s hot water heater? This might mean that your water heater has failed on you.

However, this also could be an indication of a problem with one of the parts inside your hot water heater. If, for example, you have too much pressure built up inside your water heater’s tank, it can cause your temperature and pressure relief valve to stay open and leak water.

A plumber can take a closer look at a leaky water heater to see if it needs to be repaired or replaced. This can help you avoid the inevitable water damage that will come along with your water heater leaking in the slightest.

10. Water Heater Installation

The average hot water heater is only designed to last for somewhere between 8 and 12 years. Once it gets to be that age, it will eventually fail and stop producing hot water for your home.

When your hot water heater fails, you’ll have a tough time taking showers, washing dishes, running your washing machine, and even just washing your hands. You’ll want to do hot water heater installation as soon as you can to start sending hot water back through your home again.

Reputable plumbers can show you the different water heaters that are available today. They can also take care of installing the one you want so that it’ll last you for a long time.

11. Sump Pump Failure

Homes with basements are often equipped with sump pumps that stop water from collecting in them. To keep your sump pump functioning properly, you should install, maintain, and repair it the right way.

Most homeowners don’t have the faintest clue how to care for a sump pump to keep it going. If you fall into this category, a plumber can show you the ins and outs of your sump pump and prevent it from falling into a state of disrepair.

12. Low Water Pressure

If you just turned on a faucet to wash your hands or went to take a shower and realized there is almost no water pressure in your home, it could be because of an issue with your town’s water supply. Something like a water main break can temporarily reduce water pressure.

But if it feels like your home always has low water pressure, there could be an issue with your plumbing system. Some common causes of low water pressure include:

  • Your water meter valve is closed
  • Your water shut-off valve is closed
  • You have a blockage somewhere in your plumbing system

Whatever the case might be, you’ll need to hire a plumber to find the source of your low water pressure problem and fix it.

13. Hard Water

Hard water is water that’s filled with minerals like calcium and magnesium carbonates. It can leave spots on your glasses when you wash them, dry out your skin and hair, and do damage to your entire plumbing system.

You’ll need to lean on a plumber to fix any damage done to your plumbing system if you ever discover you have hard water. You may also want to consider installing a water softener to prevent hard water from doing additional damage in the future.

14. Water Line Break

There is a water line that runs underground from the street out in front of your house into your home. It’s responsible for supplying your home with all the water that it needs.

But since water lines are out of sight and, therefore, out of mind, it’s not all that uncommon for them to break as they wear down over the years. And water lines are highly pressurized, which means even the tiniest leak in one can cause a lot of wasted water.

If the water pressure in your home ever drops suddenly or if you ever see water pooling in your front yard out of nowhere, contact a plumber to see if you have a water line break. It’s best to spring into action quickly to stop it from taking a huge toll on your home and the rest of your property.

15. Sewer Line Backup

Of all the issues listed here, a sewer line backup is easily the worst of the bunch. If your sewer line ever clogs up on you, it can send disgusting sewage that’s filled with bacteria back into your home.

Outside of being gross, a sewer line backup can also cause extensive damage and even put your health in jeopardy. Work with a plumber to get this problem under control right away so that you don’t have to worry about dealing with sewage for any longer than you have to. 

Schedule Plumbing Services Today

Are you dealing with any of the issues found here at the moment?

Instead of trying to tackle them on your own, let a plumber provide you with the professional plumbing services you need to take care of the problem. Whether you have a clogged drain, a leaky faucet, or burst pipes, we can come to your home and make things right.

Contact us today to schedule plumbing services in your home.

The post Common Issues You Should Leave to a Plumber appeared first on Happy Hiller.

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Your air conditioning system could account for approximately 12% of your total annual home energy expenditures and up to 70% during the hotter summer months. The HVAC is the biggest energy user in your entire house.

If you are like most homeowners, you are probably searching for a way to improve air conditioner efficiency and reduce your costs. Unfortunately, this may be easier said than done.

Don’t despair. There are some tips that can help you. Keep reading to learn how you can help your AC unit run more efficiently and cost you less through the course of a year.

Before diving into the specifics of how to improve AC system efficiency, it’s a good idea to learn some of the signs that your system isn’t efficient.

Signs Your System May Not Be Operating Efficiently

You may wonder how to tell when efficiency has dropped. Some signs your system is experiencing this problem include:

Increased Costs

One of the most obvious signs of AC inefficiencies is if your utility costs are going up. When an AC isn’t operating efficiently, it requires more energy.

If you notice a significant jump in your usage and costs, then it’s a good idea to have the system inspected and cleaned. The professional will be able to determine the underlying cause of the increased costs.

Frequent Cycling

Your thermostat is the “brain” behind your AC system. If you notice it starting to cycle on and off too often, it may be an indication the thermostat needs to be replaced. Everyday use and dust can wear on the internal mechanism of the thermostat.

Another reason your system may be cycling frequently is the compressor. It’s best to have a professional determine the precise issue.

Ice on the Compressor

If ice starts to build on your AC unit, it’s a definite sign that you need professional repairs. Ice can begin to build-up due to a leak in the coolant line.

Another cause of this problem is if damage to your coils has occurred. A dirty filter may also cause this problem. If there is ice, you can feel confident that your unit isn’t operating as efficiently as it should.

Unusual Sounds

Each appliance in your home is going to have its own set of unique sounds. Chances are you have gotten used to some of the sounds that occur due to the regular operation of your unit.

If you notice something unusual, then it’s a good idea to shut everything down, to prevent the issue from getting worse and book a service call.

Now that you know the signs of inefficiency, it’s time to get into what you can do about it.

Effective Ways to Increase Air Conditioner Efficiency

Improving your unit’s efficiency can help you save money and extend its life. Keep reading to see what you can do.

1. Unblock and Vacuum Your Vents

One of the best ways to boost the efficiency of your air conditioner is to keep the vents free from debris. Take some time to walk around your house and take stock of the vents.

These are either going to be on the ceiling or the floor. Consider the following during your evaluation:

  • What size air filter is needed if any for the vents?
  • Do the vents look dirty with pet hair, dust, and other debris?
  • Can you remember the last time you vacuumed the vents?
  • You may also opt for a full professional duct cleaning.

Take some time to remove any debris from your indoor air supply vents. This is absolutely essential if you want to maintain steady airflow through your system. Even if you dust and vacuum on a regular basis, your vents may still be blocked by blinds, rugs, toys, or furniture.

Make sure each of the vents is clear. This is crucial, even if you have to rearrange the furniture in a room.

2. Close All the Doors and Windows

The conditioned air in your home may escape to the outside easily if you leave your home’s doors or windows open. This can lead to serious inefficiencies.

If you want to air out the space, then make sure that you turn your air conditioning unit off, first. Remember, it’s not your job to cool the entire neighborhood.

3. Clean Around the Condenser Unit Outside

Your outdoor unit is going to be at its most effective if it is clean and completely free and clear from any debris. However, cleaning the condenser can be tricky, so be sure you know what to do and how to do it before you get started.

Leave the more in-depth cleanings to the pros. They can ensure the proper methods are used to prevent any type of serious damage.

4. Keep All Heat-Producing Appliances Away from Your Thermostat

The location of your thermostat plays a huge role in the overall efficiency of your air conditioning unit. If your thermostat is installed in a particularly hot part of your home, like next to a sunny window, lamp, or appliance, it may not gauge your home’s temperature properly.

A certified HVAC technician knows this, which is why they will avoid putting a thermostat in an area exposed to a large amount of heat. However, if you have an older system and it is in a bad spot, it’s probably worth it to fix the issue.

This is because if a thermostat is in this type of location, it will “think” it has to cool the space more than what is actually needed. Over time, this is going to cost you more in regard to cooling costs for your home and result in more wear and tear on your AC system.

5. Fix Any Leaks in Your Attic, Around Your Windows, or Under Your Doors

Air leaks are another huge cause of lost efficiency in your home. It these leaks are present, then the cool air that has been distributed in your home is going to move outside.

This often results in the AC system operating longer than necessary. This is another issue that eventually leads to high utility costs.

6. Increase the Temperature on Your Thermostat

Just push up the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees. In most cases, making an adjustment in the temperature of five to eight degrees (up in the summer and down in the winter) can help you save both energy and money.

If you invest in a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the temperature automatically from your smart device. What’s even better, you can make these adjustments regardless of where you are.

7. Cover Your Windows

Pull your curtains or close the blinds to block out the heat of the day. This is extremely beneficial when you are trying to enhance your system’s efficiency.

By covering your windows, you can reduce the total amount of heat coming into the home. This helps to prevent your system from having to work too hard.

It’s a good idea to close your blinds and curtains when you leave for work first thing in the morning. This can help ensure your home stays cool during the day.

When you get home, you can open them, and enjoy the late-afternoon sun. By doing this, you don’t have to sacrifice your indoor comfort.

8. Shade Your Outside Condenser

There’s no question that the summer sun can get brutal. This heat can have a huge impact on your outside condenser unit, making it have to work harder just to cool your home.

To help reduce the strain and wear and tear on your outdoor unit, put a bit of shade over it. The key here is to just provide shade – not obstruct the airflow in any way.

9. Clear the Drain Line

You will find a drain next to the system’s indoor cooling coil. In most cases, this is going to be located over your furnace in the basement (if you have a basement).

By pouring one cup of chlorine bleach down the AC drain and rinsing it with water, you can ensure your drain remains clear throughout the summer months.

When you keep the drain line clear, it will ensure no issues related to water occur. If the drain line becomes blocked, it can cause serious efficiency issues with your AC unit.

On the outside of your home, ensure that the drain lines are not buried under mulch or dirt. You can even vacuum them out with a shop vac!

10. Insulate Any Exposed Ductwork

Did you know there may be exposed ductwork in your attic, or even in the crawlspace under your home? If there is, it may be leaking, which isn’t a good thing since these parts of your house are unconditioned.

While you may be able to determine if there is an issue with your ducts, you may not be able to handle the problem on your own. At this point, calling the professionals to determine the problem and provide the best repairs will be necessary.

In addition to fixing the leakage that has occurred, the professionals will also insulate the ducts using a quality, professional-grade material.

11. Change Your AC Filter

When your AC system achieves maximum airflow, it means it is going to operate at maximum efficiency rates. However, a dirty filter can impact this significantly.

Dirty filters are not only going to reduce the quality of the air inside your home, but it may also reduce the airflow, making the job of your air conditioner even more difficult.

This is an easy and affordable way to prevent efficiency problems. However, if you don’t address this it can lead to you having to invest in expensive repairs.

12. Avoid Using Your Oven or Dryer

On extremely hot days, try to avoid using your hair dryer and your oven. When you use these appliances, they are going to result in warm air being circulated through the home. As a result, the AC will have to work harder to compensate for this surge of warmth.

Avoid this by not using the oven or dryer on very hot days. Your AC system will thank you.

13. Don’t Use the Registers to Control the Temperature

You may be tempted to open or close the registers in certain rooms. However, this isn’t a good idea.

When you do this, it is going to affect the cooling load your AC system has to cool. Over time, it can result in serious damage to your system and result in discomfort inside the home.

14. Consider Installing a Zoning System

If you are looking for a way to control the temperature in each room of your house, there is an option – zoning controls.

With these, you can divide your home into groups of rooms or individual rooms to achieve customized cooling levels. By controlling temperature like this, you can actually improve the efficiency of your system.

15. Schedule Regular, Preventative Maintenance

One of the best things you can do for your AC system’s efficiency is to schedule regular preventative maintenance with a professional technician. They will make sure that everything is working properly and that there are no serious efficiency problems.

Improve Your AC Efficiency with the Tips Here

If you are ready to improve your air conditioner efficiency, then be sure to implement the tips and advice found here. Doing so will help you save money while extending the life of your unit.

If you found the information and tips here helpful, then be sure to check out some of our other informative blogs. For example, we have one that tells you everything you need to know about keeping your pipes from freezing this winter.

Our goal is to help you with any plumbing, heating, cooling, or electrical need you may have. 

The post Different Ways to Improve Your Air Conditioner Efficiency and Save Money appeared first on Happy Hiller.

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On March 12, 2019, the jury in Hiller, LLC v. Success Group International Learning Alliance, LLC, found that Success Group International Learning Alliance (SGILA) and its managing member, Rebecca Cassel, willfully infringed a copyright in Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical (Hiller)’s proprietary training manual. Additionally, the jury rejected the defendants’ affirmative defenses and Intervenor Clockwork IP, LLC’s claims of invalidity and ownership.

The case, filed on April 24, 2017, was presided over by Judge Jon Phillips in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division. Jeffrey Catalano and Jason Stearns of Freeborn & Peters LLP represented Hiller. Defendants SGILA and Ms. Cassel were represented by Butler Snow, while Intervenor Clockwork IP was represented by McGuire Woods.

SGILA provides training programs to assist contractors in the home services industry, including direct competitors of Hiller in the heating and cooling, plumbing, and electrical trades. Intervenor Clockwork IP is a subsidiary of Clockwork Home Services, a franchisor for Benjamin Franklin® plumbing, Mr. Sparky® electrical, and One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning®, all of which are also in direct competition with Hiller.

“At Hiller, we attribute our growth and resulting success to our fundamental values, customer-focused training methods, and service protocols”, remarked Jimmy Hiller, founder and CEO of Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical. “Therefore, it is critically important to us”, he continued, “That our intellectual property, which we worked hard to develop, is protected from infringement from groups that wish to capitalize on the success of others.”

Launched in 1990 with a single employee and just $500, Hiller was founded on tenets that are now signatures of the Hiller brand: professionalism, quality work, integrity, a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and dedication to an exceptional customer experience. As a direct result of its unique training programs and core values, Hiller has grown to include over 480 trucks, 13 locations, and more than 630 employees across the southeast.

“We are pleased that the jury recognized the originality of the Technician’s Guide and rightfully admonished defendants for their deliberate copying”, stated Jeffrey Catalano, lead counsel for Hiller in the case. “It is always particularly satisfying when a client is vindicated by a jury of its peers”.

“Mr. Catalano and Mr. Stearns, as well as the entire Freeborn team”, noted Mr. Hiller, “Were a tremendous asset during these unfortunate circumstances and worked diligently to present the truth”.

For more information about these legal proceedings, please refer to U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division Case Number 3:17-cv-00743. Information cited is public record and can be found in online directories.

The post Jury Rules in Favor of Hiller, LLC., Finds That Defendants Willfully Infringed Hiller’s Copyright appeared first on Happy Hiller.

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