Monthly Archives: April 2014

Should You Get a Zone Control System?

Zone control systems are energy-saving inventions. The system links multiple thermostats that are strategically placed in your home so that you can adjust the temperature to a level of comfort in each room. This is useful if your home has many rooms or if your home is a programmable thermostatmultilevel structure.

A zone control system is composed of multiple thermostats on each level of your home and in different areas, or zones, of your home. Most homes have two thermostats, but some larger homes can have up to six thermostats installed. The group of thermostats monitors the air temperature throughout the structure. They are linked to a main control panel so that you can adjust the temperature at a main switch. If you are closing off a section of your home because you are not using it, you can handle that with ease at the control panel by turning the unit off in that area. If you are reopening a section because family members are coming to visit, you can quickly adjust the temperature in that zone of your home at the control panel.

Why Do You Need a Zone Control System?

If your home is constructed as a multilevel structure, the heat rises and causes the top floor to be warmer than the downstairs areas. The zone control system will monitor the air temperature and help regulate it to a comfortable temperature. Cool air sinks so the lowest level of your home will often be the coolest area year round. The zone control system will help you maintain a comfortable temperature in this area as well.

Traditionally, the thermostat is located in a hallway in the center of the home. It is an accurate gauge of the air temperature, but it is limited in scope and function as it can only measure the air temperature in the location where the thermostat is mounted on the wall.

What are the Benefits?

The zone control system will reduce the overworking of your unit. You can save on your utility bill because you are not constantly adjusting the thermostat. Selecting a comfortable temperature for each area of the home will reduce the need for constant adjustments and not force the air conditioner or heater to “catch up” with the temperature changes.  Family disputes will be resolved since you will no longer be cranking up the heat because someone is freezing downstairs while someone upstairs is complaining because they are “frying.” Family will become united once again.

Are You Helping or Harming Your AC Unit?

Your air conditioning unit is exposed to all sorts of weather and the elements. You can be exposing your air conditioning unit to harmful substances during the spring and summer months.  As harmless as it sounds, mowing your lawn can be harmful to the health of your air conditioner conditionair conditioning unit. Newly cut grass can be sucked into the unit and cause clogs that greatly reduce the air flow for your air conditioning unit. The best thing that you can do is turn your air conditioning unit completely off before you begin to mow your lawn. This will prevent the need to call a heating and air repair technician later.

If you are not using a bag to collect your grass as you mow, the grass flies through the air and lands on the air conditioning unit. Grass adheres to the unit and must be removed. During the spring, pollen collects faster than the grass grows, and it builds up in the air conditioner condenser also. If the pollen is pulled into the unit along with the grass, the reduced air flow will cause the condenser to have to work harder. After you are finished mowing, find your water hose and use the highest setting for the water pressure. Wash the air conditioning unit to clean the condenser and rid the unit of the grass and pollen residue. If the gunk is not removed, it will overwork your condenser and will reduce the life span of your unit.

Washing this gunk away will extend the life of your air conditioning unit. After a long hot day of mowing the grass, indulge yourself with the cool water from the water hose as it splashes back toward you from the air conditioning unit. You can play a bit in the water and do something good for your pocketbook at the same time. This will reduce the need for your heating and air technician to come out and professionally clean your unit for you. You will find that your unit works better and cools much faster than it has in the past when it has been covered with debris and gunk. Be a helper for your air conditioning unit; you will reap the benefits of your hard work both inside with a cooled house and in paying a reduced utility bill later.

Do You Have Hard Water Problems?

How to Tell if You Have Hard Water

What is Hard Water?

Hard Water is a term for water filled with minerals that build up on your plumbing fixtures and can cause drain clogs. There are many types of hard water. One of the most common is solutions for hard water problemslimescale. Calcium and Magnesium in the water attach to the pipes and plumbing fixtures as the water runs through the pipe into the faucet and onto the sink. This “limescale” builds up and causes the drain to clog or water pressure to decrease.

How Can You Detect Hard Water?

When you are shampooing your hair, does your shampoo lather quickly or does it take more than just a dab of shampoo to get the bubbles you desire?  If it takes more soap than normal to lather, the water is considered hard. There are hard water test kits that you can purchase to test your water to determine if it is mineral-rich or not.

Water that is supplied from public utilities can be hard water as well. It has been reported that up to 85 percent of the nation’s water is hard water. Calcium, magnesium, and manganese are the three main minerals dissolved in the water. You can contact your water utility provider to obtain a copy of the Consumer Confidence Report, also known as a water quality report, if it is not available online from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The report lists the minerals and substances found in the water.

What Can You Do to Soften the Water?

Installation and use of a water softener kit is the most cost-effective way to soften your water. The water softener filters out the minerals before it reaches the inside of your home. This reduces the amount of residue clinging to the inside walls of your water pipes, your faucets, sinks, tubs, showers, and commodes. With fewer residues to leave behind, the less likely it is that you will have a clog caused by hard water buildup.

Does Hard Water Taste Like Chlorine?

If your public water has too much of a chlorinated taste, you can remedy this by purchasing a carbon filter. This is a different type of filter that corrects taste and odor problems. However, hard water that has been purified with chlorine and filtered with a carbon filter is still hard water. You will still need to purchase or lease a water-softener system to soften the water.

Can I Install the Water Softener Myself?

If you are familiar with plumbing do-it-yourself projects, you can install your own water softener.  However, for most households, it is recommended that a professional plumber install this system for you. It costs less in the long run for the professional to install it right the first time. During incorrect installation, water pipes can break or fittings can be stripped, and both of these situations are not easily fixed by a novice.