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

The Very First Labor Day Celebration

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Labor Day as a federal holiday, held on the first Monday of September, has been with us now for 120 years. President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made Labor Day a national holiday in 1894. Ever since then, the three-day weekend has provided people in the U.S. with the opportunity for vacations, time with their families, shopping trips, and a general celebration of the conclusion of summer and the beginning of fall.

However, there were twelve years of Labor Day observations in the U.S. before it became an official holiday. The first Labor Day celebration took place in 1882 in New York City on September 5. According to the accounts from the time, it had a rough start and almost didn’t happen.

The main event planned for that first Labor Day was a parade along Broadway that was to start at City Hall. However, the parade ran into a bit of a snag early on. The marchers started to line up for the procession around 9 a.m., with a police escort to make sure the event went peacefully. However, the problem of the day wasn’t rowdy members of the parade—it was that nobody had remembered to bring a band!

With people ready to march, but no music to march to, it started to look like no parade would happen at all, and the first Labor Day would have ended up a failure. But just in time, Matthew Maguire of the Central Labor Union—one of the two men who first proposed the celebration—ran across the City Hall lawn to the Grand Marshal of the parade, William McCabe, to inform him that 200 men from the Jeweler’s Union of Newark were crossing the ferry to Manhattan… and they had a band!

At 10 a.m., only an hour late, the band from Newark walked down Broadway playing a number from a popular Gilbert and Sullivan opera. They passed McCabe and the other 700 marchers, who then fell in line behind them. Soon, the spectators joined in, and an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people marched through Lower Manhattan.

According to the New York Times, “The windows and roofs and even the lamp posts and awning frames were occupied by persons anxious to get a good view of the first parade in New York of workingmen of all trades united in one organization.”

The parade concluded two hours later when the marchers reached Reservoir Park. But the party was only getting started. Until 9 p.m., some 25,000 people celebrated with picnics and speeches and beer kegs. It was an enormous success, and all thanks to the speedy arrival of jewelers carrying band instruments.

If those musicians from Newark hadn’t shown up, perhaps we wouldn’t have the holiday opportunity that we now have every year. However you celebrate your Labor Day, our family at At Your Service wishes your family a happy end of summer.

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Some of Your Options for Sprinkler Systems

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Having a quality sprinkler system set up for your lawn and yard removes a major chore from your “to-do” list each week. With the right sprinkler system hooked up to your water line, you can have an even spray of water to keep your property green available at just the turn of a handle—or turned on with an automatic system.

You’ll need a master or journeyman plumber in Salt Lake City, UT to install the right sprinkler system for your property. It’s not only vital to make sure that there are no leaks or potential problems for your plumbing, but also to see that you have the correct kind of system sending out sufficient water for your plants and grass without over-watering.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air has installed sprinkler systems for over 30 years. You can trust our plumbers to help you keep a green and growing yard with efficient and effective sprinklers.

Options for Sprinkler Systems

Sprinkler systems come in a variety of basic types:

  • Slow-drip systems – This is an excellent way to save water while irrigating your plants. Instead of sending water to the plants all at once over a short period of time, a slow-drip system releases a few gallons of water per hour into the soil. There is less evaporation of water than from spray and rotor systems, and they fit well with the plumbing in older homes because they require less pressure to operate. However, they may not release enough water to fit the needs of some properties.
  • Spray-type – A spray sprinkler is the type most people are familiar with. They release water in a gentle spray that doesn’t change, much like a shower head. These sprinklers work well for smaller lawns and tighter area. They are simple and usually require few repairs.
  • Rotor-type – Rotor sprinklers rotate as they work, instead of spraying water in a fixed pattern. They are excellent choices for larger lawns where the sprinkler must cover a wider area. A popular type of rotor sprinkler is the impact sprinkler, where a swinging arm strikes the body of the sprinkler and makes it rotate. Another version of the rotor sprinkler uses gear-driven rotors to create quieter and smoother operation.

Along with these different sprinkler types, you have the option for the sprinklers to work on timed systems and to operate as “pop-ups” that drop back down into the lawn once they finish watering. Your plumber will help you figure out what sprinklers are an ideal match for your yard’s need as well as your budget.

When you need a plumber in Salt Lake City, At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air is ready to assist you with your new sprinkler system. We offer a lifetime workmanship warranty as well as 24-hour emergency service if you encounter issues with your system.

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Common Problems with Condensate Pan

Friday, August 15th, 2014

A common misconception about AC is that air conditioners create cool air. In fact, air conditioners cool a home by removing heat from the air. And thanks to this process, an AC can also remove moisture from the air. Too much humidity makes people feel hot and uncomfortable because sweat is unable to evaporate into the air. But the evaporator coil, condensate pan, and condensate drain of an AC system help control these levels. However, these parts may run into problems leading to the need for air conditioning repair.

Humidity Control

An air conditioner removes heat and humidity through the process of heat exchange. Condensation and evaporation play a role in this. Outside, refrigerant condenses into a liquid as heat dissipates into the air. Inside, refrigerant evaporates into a gas at the evaporation coil and absorbs heat from the home.

In order to absorb heat from the home, a blower fan blows warm indoor air over the evaporator coil. Condensation occurs outside of the coil as the warm air blows over the cold coil. As moisture from the air collects on the coil, it needs somewhere to go. The water drips into a shallow tray called the condensate tray. This tray is generally angled so that water can easily flow into the drainage pipe, which leads to an outdoor drain. Although the tray may seem like a small part, it may run into repair needs that may affect your system.

Problems with the Condensate Pan

  • Incorrect Angle: The condensate pan is positioned in such a way that water can easily move toward the drain. This pan may shift accidentally, causing water to leak into your home.
  • Holes: Sometimes, cracks or holes may appear in the condensate pan over time. In this case, the technician usually replaces the pan.
  • Overflowing: The condensate pan may overflow if there is a clog in the pipe or drain. Furthermore, a clogged drain may attract mold and mildew, so you should call for repairs as soon as possible.

Water leaks can cause damage to your home or your air conditioner. When you need air conditioning repairs in Salt Lake City, call the experts at At Your Service.

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How Does an Energy Recovery Ventilator Help with Air Conditioning?

Friday, August 8th, 2014

One of the great difficulties that homeowners encounter with contemporary houses is circulating fresh air through them without either losing heat to the outside (during cold weather) or letting heat inside (during warm weather). Because the modern house has such effective heating sealing on it to prevent energy loss, there is little opportunity for outside air to move through and remove the stale air.

This is where energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) come in handy. These appliances, which professionals can install into your ventilation system, allow outdoor air into the ductwork, where heat is transferred either from it or to it. This fresh air that enters the house will have a negative impact on the indoor air quality. If you are interested in an ERV for your heating and air conditioning system, call our indoor air quality specialists at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

How an AC Benefits From an Energy Recovery Ventilator

Both your heating and air conditioning will need to work less thanks to an ERV, but in this post we will looks specifically at how it helps your AC.

During a hot day, outdoor heat will attempt to enter your house at any spot it can, which will make the indoors hotter and force you to use your air conditioner more. However, the heat sealing on your home (such as insulation) prevents most of this heat from entering. An ERV allows in some fresh, but hot, air to enter through an outdoor vent. Through a process called counter-flow heat exchange, the ERV runs the fresh, warm outdoor air past a current of stale indoor air. The incoming air loses its heat to the outgoing air, and so the outdoor air that enters into the rest of the ventilation system is much cooler.

Thanks to this process, your air conditioner will have less work to do because the ERV prevents extra heat from entering the home, and requires very little power to actually work: counter-flow heat exchange is a natural process that recovers energy from the outgoing air. You will receive an influx of fresh air that will make your home less stuffy and the air quality healthier, and your air conditioner will not need to overwork trying to compensate for additional outdoor heat.

ERVs need to have specialists to install them, otherwise they will not work correctly. If you want fresh air in your home and to save money, schedule air conditioning service in Salt Lake City, UT with our team at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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What Effect Can Excessive Dirt and Dust Have on an Air Conditioning System?

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Every air conditioning system is going to attract dust and dirt. However, when the levels of dust and dirt become excessive, different components can be negatively affected and cause potential operating problems for you air conditioning system. What kind of problems can arise?

Here Are Examples of How Excessive Dirt and Dust Can Impact Your Air Conditioning System


There are two sets of coils in your air conditioning system: the condenser coils and the evaporator coils. These coils play an important role in the heat release and cooling processes within your air conditioning system, and if anything obstructs this process, it can affect how your whole system operates. If dust and dirt are allowed to build into a layer that sits on your coils, this layers acts as insulation, which can interfere substantially with heat release and cooling.

Air Filter

Your air conditioner’s air filter is designed to capture large particles of dust and dirt to prevent them from entering the air stream of your system. However, this filter can become clogged with regular use, and if not changed regularly, (every 1-3 months), this filter can become so clogged that it may constrict the air flow in your system.


Sometimes with ductwork, the old saying “out of sight, out of mind,” can be all too true. It can be easy to forget about your ductwork because you can’t see it, but when too much dust and dirt is in your vents, a number of problems can develop, including poor indoor air quality and stress on your system. While it isn’t necessary to clean your ductwork annually – recommendations are for every 3-5 years – it is important to have them inspected and cleaned when necessary.

One of the best ways to manage the dust and dirt in your system is with bi-annual maintenance. During a routine maintenance appointment, your entire system is thoroughly inspected, and your coils are cleaned and air filters changed. If it’s been a while since you’ve had maintenance or had your ductwork inspected, call At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air and schedule air conditioning service in Salt Lake City with us today.

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