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Summer Plumbing Woes: Common Issues to Watch Out For

As the temperature rises and summer activities commence, it’s crucial to be aware of potential plumbing problems that can arise during this season. Understanding and addressing these issues promptly can save you from a plumbing disaster. This article will explore the most common plumbing problems in summer and provide valuable tips on prevention and maintenance.

Clogged or Slow Drains: Don’t Let the Fun Go Down the Drain!

Summer is a time for barbecues, gardening, and increased water usage, but it can also lead to pesky clogged drains. Accumulating debris, grease, and food particles can enter the drains, causing clogs and slow drainage. To keep your drains clear, follow these preventive measures: Use drain covers or strainers: These simple devices catch hair, food scraps, and other debris, preventing them from going down the drain and causing clogs. Avoid pouring grease down the drain: Instead, let grease solidify and dispose of it in the trash. Grease can harden and create stubborn blockages in your pipes. Save jars so that once the grease/oil has cooled, you have a safe receptacle to pour into. Periodically flush drains with hot water and vinegar: This helps dissolve buildup and keeps your drains flowing smoothly. You can use a plunger or drain snake for minor clogs as a DIY solution. However, if the clog persists or is recurring, it’s best to call a professional plumber. They have the expertise and tools to tackle even the most stubborn blockages.

Sewer Line Blockages: Stop Roots from Wreaking Havoc

Tree roots can be a summer plumbing nightmare as they grow faster during this season. They can infiltrate sewer lines, causing blockages and backups. They are attracted to the moisture and nutrients inside sewer pipes. They can penetrate and damage the pipes as they grow, leading to blockages and potential sewage backups in your home. If you have existing trees near your sewer lines, consult with a professional arborist to find the best way to manage root growth. Slow drains, foul odors, gurgling sounds in the pipes, or sewage backups in sinks, toilets, or bathtubs are signs of a potential sewer line issue. If you notice any of these signs, addressing the problem promptly is crucial to prevent further damage. Hydro jetting is a powerful technique professionals use to clear sewer line blockages caused by tree roots. It involves using high-pressure water to break apart the roots and clear the pipe. Regular professional inspections and root maintenance treatments can prevent future problems.

Leaky Outdoor Faucets: Saving Water and Money

Outdoor faucets, also known as hose bibs, can develop leaks during summer due to wear and tear or improper winterization. Over time, the seals and washers inside the faucet can deteriorate, resulting in leaks. Freezing temperatures during winter can also cause pipes to crack or rupture, leading to leaks when the faucet is in use. Check for any visible leaks or drips around the faucet. If you notice leaks, tighten the connections or replace faulty washers. For frozen or burst pipes, it’s best to call a professional plumber to handle the repairs. To prevent leaks and prolong the lifespan of your outdoor faucets, disconnect hoses and drain them before winter, insulate the faucet with a cover or wrap, and regularly check for leaks or damage.

Toilet Turmoil: Handling Bathroom Mishaps

With more guests in your home during the summer, toilets can experience an increased workload and potential problems. More people using the bathroom can lead to clogs, running toilets, or leaks. Remind guests only to flush toilet paper and to avoid disposing of items that can cause blockages. Clogs can often be resolved using a plunger or a toilet auger. Running toilets may require adjusting the flapper valve or replacing other faulty components. Leaks should be addressed promptly to prevent water waste and damage. Regularly inspect the toilet for any signs of leaks, ensure proper flushing mechanisms are in place, and avoid using excessive toilet cleaners that can damage the toilet components. You can maintain a smoothly functioning bathroom by educating your guests about proper toilet usage and addressing issues promptly.

Sump Pump Survival Guide: Protecting Your Basement from Summer Storms

Heavy summer rainstorms can overload sump pumps, leading to their failure and potential basement flooding. Sump pumps are designed to remove excess water from the basement, preventing flooding and water damage. Issues like power failure, stuck floats, or clogged discharge pipes can hamper the functionality of sump pumps. Regularly test your sump pump, clean the inlet screen, and install a battery backup system for protection during power outages. Check the sump pump’s components for proper functioning, including the float switch, discharge pipe, and backup battery. Ensure the sump pump is debris-free and the outlet pipe directs water away from your foundation.

Garbage Disposal Dilemmas: Avoiding Kitchen Nightmares

Summer cookouts often involve food preparation and clean up, putting extra strain on garbage disposals and increasing the likelihood of jams or clogs. Common challenges with garbage disposals during summer: Food scraps, fibrous materials, or grease can cause clogs or damage to the garbage disposal. Avoid disposing of hard items like bones or fruit pits; never pour grease down the drain. Run cold water while operating the disposal to help flush food particles, cut larger items into smaller pieces before disposing of them, and regularly clean the disposal with vinegar or baking soda to remove buildup and odors. If your garbage disposal gets jammed, use a wrench or an Allen wrench to rotate the blades and dislodge any obstructions manually. Maintain your disposal by avoiding harsh chemicals and scheduling professional inspections as needed.

Embrace a Trouble-Free Summer with Proactive Plumbing Care

Summer plumbing problems can disrupt your enjoyment of the season. Still, with awareness, preventive measures, and timely maintenance, you can minimize the risks and keep your plumbing system in top shape. Remember to address issues promptly, seek professional help, and practice water conservation to make the most of the summer months without plumbing headaches. Stay proactive and enjoy a worry-free summer!

Choosing the Ideal HVAC System for Western North Carolina

Living in Western North Carolina presents a set of climatic challenges. From sweltering, sticky summers to chilly, frosty winters, having a dependable HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) unit is vital to achieving maximum comfort at your residence. This article will delve into the factors singular to Western NC so you can settle on the ideal HVAC system for your requirements.

Consider the Climate:

Western North Carolina experiences a mix of climates, with hot summers and cold winters. The region typically has a humid subtropical climate, meaning summers can be muggy while winters are chilly. Choosing an HVAC system that can handle both extremes and provide efficient heating and cooling throughout the year is crucial.

In the summer, temperatures can soar into the high 80s and 90s, accompanied by high humidity levels. To combat this, a reliable air conditioning system is essential. Central air conditioning units are popular, providing whole-house cooling by distributing cool air through ductwork. This ensures consistent and comfortable temperatures throughout your home.

During the winter, temperatures in Western NC can drop below freezing, requiring an efficient heating system. Furnaces are frequently employed to provide reliable and economical heating to homes and buildings. Gas furnaces can efficiently and quickly heat a living space and retain a comfortable temperature even in chilly climates. Conversely, if an eco-friendly heating method is desired, electric furnaces and heat pumps could be contemplated.

Determine Heating Requirements:

Heat Pumps

When it comes to finding the best and most modern solution for comfortable living in Western North Carolina, heat pumps take the spotlight. These innovative systems draw energy from the outdoor air and transfer it indoors to warm your house during the winter. What sets heat pumps apart is their impressive efficiency and versatility, as they can provide both heating and cooling, making them ideal for year-round comfort.

Unlike traditional heating systems, heat pumps tap into the abundant energy present in the outdoor air. They extract warmth from the environment and seamlessly distribute it throughout your home, creating a cozy sanctuary during the chilly winter months. But heat pumps don’t stop there—they also excel at cooling. By reversing their operation, they efficiently remove heat from your living space and release it outside, ensuring a refreshing and pleasant indoor environment even during the sweltering summer heat.

Furnace Systems:

Given the colder winters in Western NC, a furnace system is an alternative. Gas furnaces provide efficient and cost-effective heating. These systems use natural gas to generate heat throughout your home via ductwork. Gas furnaces are appreciated for their quick response and heat output, which makes them suitable for temperatures during extreme winter conditions. An electric furnace can be an eco-friendly alternative since it depends on electricity to generate heat and exclude the need for gas. While the operating cost could be slightly higher, they provide consistent and reliable heating with no greenhouse gas emissions.

Assess Cooling Needs:

Air Conditioning Units:

An efficient cooling system is crucial in Western NC’s hot and humid summers. Central air conditioning units are widely used and offer whole-house cooling. They distribute cool air through ductwork, ensuring consistent temperatures in every room of your home. Paired with a furnace or heat pump, a central air conditioning system provides year-round comfort and convenience.

Ductless Mini-Split Systems:

Consider ductless mini-split systems if you prefer a more flexible and energy-efficient cooling option. These systems consist of an outdoor unit and individual indoor units installed in specific zones of your home. Each indoor unit can be controlled independently, allowing you to customize the temperature in different areas. Ductless mini-split systems are especially beneficial for homes without existing ductwork or those seeking zoned cooling capabilities.

Evaluate Energy Efficiency:

Given energy costs and the negative environmental impact that energy consumption can have, homeowners should focus on the energy efficiency ratings of their HVAC systems. To ensure maximum efficiency, homeowners should consider systems with high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings for cooling and Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings for heating. Higher SEER and AFUE ratings indicate better energy efficiency, lower utility bills, and reduced carbon footprint.

Investing in HVAC equipment that is energy efficient can provide savings in the future and is beneficial for the environment. Getting rebates or incentives from utility organizations or government bodies may further reduce your expenditure.

Finding Your Perfect HVAC System for Comfortable Living in Western North Carolina:

Choosing the right HVAC system for Western North Carolina involves considering the climate, heating requirements, cooling needs, and energy efficiency. Selecting an HVAC system that can deal with the area’s varied climate and temperature levels all year round is essential. To find a suitable system, it is wise to speak to HVAC professionals about your heating and cooling specifications, and energy performance requirements. This way, you can get an HVAC system that is suitable for you and aids in maintaining your inside comfort. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and together we can figure out the best way to increase your comfort.

“Central Heating & Air” or “Central Air Conditioning”

“Central Heating & Air” or “Central Air Conditioning” is a term for a heating or cooling system that circulates heated or cooled air throughout a home or building using ductwork.  The source of the heated or cooled air, known as an “air handling unit”, “air handler” or “furnace” is located in within the building or near its permitted.  The air handling unit has a system of ducts connected to it.  Using a fan, often referred to as a “blower”, the air handling unit moves conditioned air into the ductwork system to the desired locations in a building. Air is also returned from within the building to the air handling unit using ducts, so that it can be conditioned and returned to desired areas in the home.  This type of central heating &air system is sometimes referred to as a “forced air” system.

The most common type of heating & air conditioning system in homes in Western NC is a heat pump system.  A heat pump system consists of an outdoor condensing unit and 1 or more indoor air handling units.  Heat pumps are very popular and affective due to their ability to efficiently provide heat in colder temps and air conditioning in warmer weather.