At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog: Archive for April, 2014

How Important Is Air Conditioning Maintenance?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

People often take fastidious care of their automobiles with regular inspections and tune-ups. However, many other important devices in their lives often go without necessary maintenance. Consider the air conditioner: it’s a vital part of life in a state that can get as hot as Utah, but many homeowners neglect to have their ACs professionally serviced each spring.

Annual air conditioning maintenance isn’t an extra service: it’s mandatory if you want to get efficient and effective cooling from your system, and if you want it to last for more than a few years before it needs to be replaced. It’s not difficult to schedule, either. Just call a reputable HVAC company, like At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, and ask about a regular maintenance program for your air conditioning system in Salt Lake City, UT. The maintenance session will usually take less than an hour and pays off with enormous benefits.

Here Are Some Important Things To Know About Air Conditioning Maintenance:

  • An AC that goes without maintenance for one year will begin to perform 20% less efficiently on average. Each year after that will see a further 5% drop in efficiency. So if you have a 20 SEER unit, it will only take three years for it to starting performing like a 15 SEER unit. Studies show that a regularly maintained unit will keep 95% of its efficiency for most of its service life.
  • The average lifespan of a central air conditioning system with regular maintenance is 10–15 years. The average lifespan without maintenance is 5–7 years.
  • Repair needs will skyrocket the longer an AC goes without an annual maintenance session. Air conditioners that receive regular inspections and tune-ups rarely need to have repair service during the first 5 years of operation.

Now, when you take the facts above, also consider this: any time an air conditioner isn’t running at its best, it will not provide the maximum level of comfort. So, along with increasing system longevity, fending off repairs, and saving money, regular preventive maintenance will make an air conditioner better at its job—which is keeping you cool during a Salt Lake City summer.

Although you can schedule maintenance any time of the year if you’ve fallen behind, spring is the usual time when most homeowners have it done: it helps prepare the system for the summer. Call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today and ask about our maintenance services for air conditioning in Salt Lake City, UT. Our NATE-certified technicians will see that you receive top quality inspections and tune-ups. (And remember to maintain your heater during the fall!)

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Water Treatment FAQ: What Is a Reverse Osmosis System?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Water treatment in Salt Lake City, UT is often important for a home to receive high quality water from its taps. The water in a municipal supply can contain multiple impurities that result in inferior taste, unpleasant smells, health issues, and plumbing damage.

Installing a whole-house water treatment system can alleviate these problems, but you need to have the right type of treatment system to address the specific water quality issues you have. We’ll look at one popular water treatment installation in this post: the reverse osmosis system.

For installation of a variety of water treatment systems in Salt Lake City, as well as the water testing that will pinpoint the issues you need to address, contact At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

Reverse osmosis systems

These treatment systems solve the most water problems of any available system. They have an almost unmatched level of particle filtration—superior to any standard filter—and can help balance out the pH level of your water.

Reverse osmosis works through a natural process wherein different levels of pressure force water from one area to another. This works in a water filtration device by separating two areas of water between a semi-permeable membrane capable of removing the minutest contaminants. However, water will not naturally flow through such a fine membrane. To push the water from the municipal supply through the membrane, a reverse osmosis system creates two different pressure areas, so the side with the higher concentration of molecules (the water entering your home) moves to the lower concentration side, passing through the membrane and removing the particles.

You can have a reverse osmosis system installed for individual faucets (point-of-use), but a whole-house system will take care of all the water entering your home. This is especially useful if you need to address problems with hard water—excess magnesium and calcite minerals—that can negatively affect your plumbing. If you already have a water softener installed, but it places excessive salt into the supply, a reverse osmosis system will remove the salt to balance the water. Reverse osmosis will also extract sulfur dioxide, the source the “bad egg smell” that sometimes affects a home’s water.

Schedule water testing

To know if a reverse osmosis water treatment system will address your home’s needs, or if another treatment system may work better, call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air to schedule water testing. Our specialists will analyze water samples from around your home and find out what pollutants treatment can remove. They will then recommend the steps to take, and our experts in installing water treatment in Salt Lake City, UT will take care of the rest. Call us today to start down the road toward better quality water.

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3 Long Term Heater Issues That Can Be Addressed by Heating Repairs

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Not every heating issue announces itself by shutting down your furnace completely. In fact, some of them are practically invisible, and won’t make themselves known until you check your heating bill and find the costs spiking. It can be very easy to let such problems slide, which could end up costing you a great deal of money over time. Companies that offer heating repairs in Salt Lake City often treat such problems, and can end up saving you more than the price of the repair session over the long term.

Here are 3 long-term heating repairs in Salt Lake City that can be addressed by the HVAC technicians at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air:

  • Clogged burners. Most furnaces use multiple burners to heat the air. When one or two of them get clogged with dirt or suffer from some other malfunction, the remaining burners will still work as normal. That leeches heating potential from your furnace, forcing it to work harder and use more energy to do its job without necessarily alerting you to the nature of the problem. Replacing the damaged burners or cleaning up the clogs will go a long way towards improving your furnace performance.
  • Blocked air flow. Similarly, dust build-up and other types of air blockages can develop slowly over time, leaving you unaware of them until they have severely restricted the flow of air. Low air flow means that the furnace must work harder to do its job, which means that you’re paying more than you should in higher energy costs.
  • Rust. Rust happens when trace moisture passes through the heater along with the gas, or outside moisture gets in through a leak or breach in the furnace’s covering. It’s a serious problem largely because it can spread over time, eventually damaging vital components like the heat exchange. If you detect rust anywhere in your furnace, call a repair service immediately.

The good news is that heating repairs in Salt Lake City can be treated by the HVAC experts at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air. We routinely handle long-term heater issues, as well as more unusual problems that can be addressed by heating repairs. Pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad you did!

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Treating Lingering Heating Repair Issues

Friday, April 4th, 2014

As you use your heater less and less during the progression from winter to spring and on into summer, you may detect issues with its performance that started to develop during the cold months. If you still have any problems lingering into these last days when you may still need the heater warming your home, is it best to wait until the fall to deal with them, or should you have repairs done as soon as possible?

The answer is: as soon as possible. Delays on any repairs for an important household system can mean a breakdown at an inconvenient time. Use this slower period during the spring to call up a quality cooling and heating service in Salt Lake City, UT to schedule repairs for your furnace, boiler, or radiant heater. At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air is ready with 24-hour emergency repairs, 7 days a week.

Some lingering issues to watch for

  • Uneven heating: If your heater begins to lose its heating power, it will cause some rooms to receive less heat than others. If you’ve started to discover some rooms feel colder than they should, don’t shrug off the trouble just because warmer weather will arrive soon. Your heating system will likely continue to decline, and you need to stop the wear and tear as soon as possible.
  • Noisy operation: You should be familiar with the noises that your heating system makes during normal operation. If it started to develop a new, unpleasant noise at the end of winter, it almost always indicates a repair need somewhere inside the system. Whether it’s rumbling in a boiler or screeching from a furnace, the sound needs the attention of a professional to see what ails the heater.
  • Odd smells from the vents: This applies to furnaces, which use ductwork to distribute heated air to the rooms. If you smell acrid or musty odors from the vents, it’s a major warning sign of something going wrong. The burning smell probably comes from a motor about to stop working. The musty smell might be due to breaks or leaks in the ductwork, which requires the work of duct sealers to fix.
  • Leaking: This applies to boilers and hydronic radiant heating systems. You shouldn’t see any leaking coming from the water tank or the pipes, and this could mean a dangerous increase in water pressure. Technicians can seal the leaks and then look for the cause, such as sediment build-up or corrosion.

Make certain that your heater goes “offline” for the summer in the best shape possible; that way it will be best prepared for the first cold day of winter. At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air has excellent heating service in Salt Lake City, UT to bolster your heater.

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