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What Not to Flush Down the Toilet

Posted on June 9th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

On the surface, using the toilet in your home seems like a straightforward and simple task, but we all know that toilets are susceptible to clogs and other flushing issues over time. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what you should avoid flushing to prevent problems.

 

What’s Okay to Flush (and What’s Not)

You might think it’s fairly obvious which items can and can’t go down the toilet drain, but there are a few things you may not realize should be tossed What Not To Flush Down The Toiletin the trash rather than flushed.

Facial tissues like Kleenex, for example, are designed to stay together and not break down as easily as toilet paper. For that reason, they’re considered non-flushable. Is it bad to flush tissues down the toilet? If done every day, yes. If it happens by accident on a few occasions, it shouldn’t cause much trouble. If they’re flushed regularly, however, a blockage could develop over time. Similarly, baby wipes, tissue paper, and paper towels should be thrown away, not flushed.

Another thing you may be tempted to flush are old, unused pharmaceuticals. Whether they’re over the counter or prescription drugs, flushing medications isn’t a safe method of disposal. Water treatment plants often aren’t capable of removing all of the chemicals in certain medications, which means that they persist in the water and may be put back into the local water table.

 

Be Mindful with Toilet Paper

One of the simplest ways to avoid flushing problems is to pay attention to exactly what you’re tossing into the bowl as well as how much of it there is. Using too much toilet paper at a time is one of the most common ways to create a clog. Usually, these can be dislodged with a plunger, but ongoing overuse of toilet paper could cause a blockage further down the line.

 

The Trouble with Toddlers

No matter how careful you are about the things you flush down the toilet, young children often aren’t as careful. Even if you tell little Daisy that her Toilet Not Flushingdoll can’t breathe underwater, there’s still that chance that dolly will find her way into the pipes. Because of this, it’s important to make sure that small children are told what not to flush and that they don’t have the opportunity to put things into the toilet.

Of course, with kids, anything is possible. Should your two-year-old create a backup while you’re answering the door, the understanding experts at Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing are available to come to your rescue.

 

Get Your Toilet into Good Flushing Shape with Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing

 Should your toilet struggle to flush properly, the plumbing contractors at Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help you bring it back to good working order. Whether you’ve got a clogged toilet or need a full toilet replacement, our plumbing experts will thoroughly inspect your situation and help you find the most affordable, complete solution.

Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing has four convenient Texas locations in Austin, San Antonio, Temple, and New Braunfels. If you’re having toilet problems and live in one of our service areas, contact us today to schedule a service appointment at your home.


Tips on How to Avoid Jamming Your Garbage Disposal

Posted on May 31st, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

The garbage disposal is an incredibly useful tool that can help get rid of waste and scraps that could cause some unfavorable smells in the kitchen. However, it’s worth mentioning that there’s plenty of foods that could damage or completely destroy your garbage disposal. For example, people tend to assume that garbage disposals utilize “blades” to break down waste, but it actually uses a ring of teeth-like shredders that force the waste down the drain after it grinds it down. Since there’s no honest way to sharpen your shredders, keeping them clean is incredibly important. Such products that shouldn’t be put down the garbage disposal are:

  • Fibrous Food– Fibrous foods can leave behind some very dangerous waste that your disposal can’t handle. Potato peels, onion skins, carrots, Egg Shells Damaging Your Garbage Disposalcorn husks, lettuce, asparagus, artichokes and strings of celery can easily wrap around the grinding teeth, which can destroy the garbage disposal’s motor. So if you’re in a situation whereas fibrous foods must be put into the disposal, run cold water from start to finish of the disposal process, and dispose of the fibrous food in very small quantities.
  • Oils, Fats & Grease– Foods with grease can leave a film over the shredding teeth, which can weaken their effectiveness. The grease will start to decay at some point, which will leave behind an unfavorable smell in one’s kitchen. In addition to this, pouring grease into a drain can lead to a clogged drain once the grease solidifies.
  • Egg Shells– Some individuals have the understanding that egg shells can help sharpen the garbage disposal’s blades, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The shell’s layers have no problem getting into the shredder’s ring, which allows the shell to be ground into a sandy consistency that can clog your pipes.
  • Beans, Potatoes, Rice & Pasta– Small particles of such foods can turn into a paste-like substance when mixed with water. Once this paste-like substance is created, it can eventually clog your garbage disposal.
  • Non-Food Items – Don’t make a terrible decision by putting plant clippings, sponges, fabric, pull tabs, cigarette butts, twist ties, or rubber bands into your garbage disposal. Since these products cannot be broken down by your disposal, they’ll stick around and ruin your disposal every time it’s in operation.Your kitchen garbage disposal is incredibly sturdy, but it can still sustain damage from unsuitable items. So if you’re in a position whereas you may need garbage disposal replacement or garbage disposal repair, we offer 24 hour plumbing service to assist you at any hour. We’ll gladly send over a 24 hour plumber to settle your situation and get your garbage disposal up and running again in no time.

    In addition to garbage disposal repair, we also offer ac repair services. Regardless of your ac company or ac dealer, we can set you up with an ac contractor today to correct your cooling issues. We have a long list of ac companies we work with, so finding the solution to your problem should be a breeze. Contact us today so we can solve your ac or plumbing issues in the future!

     

    Source

    http://www.christiansonco.com/
    http://www.christiansonco.com/about-us/
    http://www.christiansonco.com/air-conditioning/repair-service/
    http://www.christiansonco.com/air-conditioning/system-replacement/
    http://www.christiansonco.com/plumbing/
    http://www.christiansonco.com/request-service/
    http://www.christiansonco.com/testimonials/


Top DIY Plumbing Tricks and Tips for Every Homeowner

Posted on April 27th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

There’s no doubt common plumbing problems need to be fixed sooner rather than later. Even small leaks can turn into major water damage, and water damage can do more than just leave puddles in an unfinished basement. Thankfully, there are several easy fixes a homeowner can do themselves before they call a 24-hour plumber.

The best prep work a home plumber can do is the research needed to understand how all the pieces and parts work together to make a unit. Your toilet, faucets, and bathtub drain are all a part of the primary water line. When something goes wrong, it helps to have a general sense of the bigger picture before you get your tools out.

An Ounce of Prevention

Sometimes, the best plumbing DIY projects are the ones you complete before you notice anything is wrong. Washing machine hoses, for example,DIY Plumbing Tricks need to be replaced every three to five years or so, but they’re often forgotten about until they start to leak. Check for cracking or frayed hoses on a regular basis and replace as needed. You can also inspect the pipes under the sink and the walls around your appliances for any signs of leaking. Mold is notoriously difficult to eliminate, and tiny leaks that go undiagnosed can add up to thousands in clean-up costs.

You should also insulate your pipes during the cold weather. If your pipes come into contact with the exterior of the home, then there’s a good chance they will freeze. By insulating the entire space, you ensure you’ll still have running water even when the temperatures start to fall. If the pipe goes through the cement foundation, you may need a frost-free hose bib. Bibs can be installed closer to the interior of your home, so there’s less chance of icy trouble should you need to turn the water off.

You’ll also want to know where the main sewer clean-out line is, which is the pipe that connects to the main sewer line. If there’s a blockage or you just want to do normal maintenance on your sewer, then check either the property around the house or the basement. The clean-out line will be marked with a cap that is either steel-threaded or plastic. Plastic caps generally come in one of three colors: black, white or green.

Gathering Your Tools

All homeowners should have a bucket to catch leaks, a plunger to unclog a stopped drain, and a variety of wrenches (including Allen keys) in different sizes. Multi-bit screwdrivers also come in handy and make for less crowded tool boxes. Blind caps help you work on valves that are set far back into the wall. Duct tape, leak sealing tape, or Teflon tape can provide a great temporary fix for leaks, and strong glues like epoxy may even provide a more permanent solution to leaks.

Turning Off the Water

If you’re not sure where the leak is coming from, you’ll want to turn off all the water lines so there’s no further leaking. Your main shutoff valve is normally located near the water meter, which is generally underground or potentially on the side of the house. (You may have to call your utility company to find the meter.) Remove the cover from the meter and turn the valve 90° clockwise with a cutoff key or adjustable wrench. If you have a secondary valve, it should be in the basement.

If you do know where the leak is located, then you can turn off the primary valve by turning it clockwise. Typically, you can easily find the valve under the sink if it’s a broken faucet repair, but a shower or bathtub faucet repair may be much harder. A bathtub installation may or may not have a shutoff valve, and if it does have a valve, it may only be accessible through the wall. Instead of ripping out your tiles, you should turn off the main water line. If you can find the secondary shutoff valve for the shower though, the leak is likely caused by a bad gasket or washer (both easy and inexpensive repairs.) Once you shut off the water, just take out the handles, check the stem, and then replace the part.

Hot Water Heater Maintenance and Repairs

Whether it’s making odd sounds or you just won’t be using it for the next two months, you need to know how your water heater works. First, ensure the pitch (slope) is toward the steam, so you know the water is draining correctly. If the water heater is leaking, it could also be because the liner has worn away. (Many heaters have extended warranties, so you may want to see if yours is still covered.) Gas water heaters have a supply knob that has an on/off switch, while electric heaters have a circuit breaker that needs to be flipped off. Electric heaters may also need the fuses removed first. Once that’s done, you can turn the cold water supply off by turning the shutoff valve clockwise.

Sink or Toilet Clogs

A slow-moving drain may not seem like something that needs immediate attention, but the longer you wait, the worse it will be. If it seems like your Tips for Unclogging a Toiletdrain or bathroom plumbing is under more pressure than usual or they’re clearly blocked, you may need to try a few solutions before you find the right one.

The first thing to do is start with some gloves and your hand to clear the blockage (e.g., your child’s toy). Common chemical draining products (e.g., Drano) should be used as a last resort because the chemicals can damage the pipes. If your hand doesn’t work, a plunger is typically the next step. For sinks and toilets, use plungers to rid the drain of a variety of particles. If you think it’s a grease or hair clog though, then skip the plunger. You may just push the blockage deeper into the drain. For hair or grease clogs, use drain-cleaning tools that can be found at your hardware store (e.g., Zip It.) If this doesn’t work, you may need to check the trap and use a bottle brush to work through the material (ensure you clean the drain well with soap and water after completing).

In the worst cases, you’ll need to use an auger, which is a snaking tool that can reach into your drain to clear it out. This is particularly good for toilets that have a major blockage. Augers have a handle that you can crank to reach and remove the clog. If you don’t have an auger, you may be able to unbend a wire coat hanger, but use carefully because it may scratch the enamel on your toilet.

Replacing a Washing Machine Hose

To replace a washing machine hose, you’ll need to unplug the machine, turn off the water, and then disconnect the hose from the back of the machine. Make sure you have a bucket handy as water will leak out. Connect the new hose to the right valve, and then turn the water back on.

Fixing a Leak with Epoxy

Smaller leaks may be able to be fixed with strong glue or a repair clamp. Once you know where the leak is, turn off the water and dry the pipe off. Put the epoxy together by kneading the parts into one, and then place it around the pipe. Once the glue has set, just turn the water back on, and check for further leakage.

For a repair clamp, you’ll need to loosen the screws on the clamp, place it around the pipe, and then tighten up the screws again. The rubber gasket needs to be against the leak for best results.

Fixing a Running Toilet

If the toilet is running, it’s likely a fixable problem with the tank. Do not continue to flush either a clogged or running toilet. Either the water is too high or the flapper that sits between the tank and the toilet bowl has worn out. Remove the lid so that you can lower the tank’s float. This is usually done by turning the adjustment screw or by sliding the rod. Adjust the float until the water level is below the overflow tube, and then test by flushing.

If the water level is below the top of the tube, then it’s likely you need a new flapper. These are easily found at any hardware store.

  • Turn the shutoff valve off, which will be located below the toilet tank.
  • Remove the rubber flapper located at the bottom of the tank.
  • Remove the chain from the rod.
  • Dry off the drain.
  • Install the new flapper and chain.
  • Check the toilet, and adjust valve chain as needed for easier flushing.

Fixing a Leaky Faucet

Because faucets are a mechanical fixture, eventually they will start to leak. Use the following guide to fix a dripping faucet, so you can stop wasting water, and silence that infernal dripping noise at the same time. Below you’ll find the fixes to the most likely culprits.

Replacing a Washer

Rubber washers regulate the pressure of your water and are found on compression-style (older) faucets.

  • Turn off the shutoff valve to the faucet.
  • Remove the cap on the faucet handle.
  • Find the screw under the handle and remove.
  • Take the handle off to gain access to the valve.
  • Remove the valve with a deep socket wrench.
  • Find the screw holding the washer in place to the valve and remove.
  • Replace washer and use Teflon tape on the threads of the valve.
  • Screw the valve back in, and tighten (don’t over tighten).
  • Replace the handle and cover.
  • Turn water back on and check for leaks.

Repairing the Valves on Cartridge of Ball Faucets

The newer faucets may be less likely to leak, but they’re also more difficult to fix. If you have a leaking cartridge faucet, you’ll normally need to replace the entire cartridge. This involves taking off the cap and the handle before getting to the valve. Depending on your faucet, this can become rather complicated, rather quickly.

There are lots of parts in a ball faucet, which can make replacing just one impractical for novice plumbers. The good news is that you can buy repair kits for ball faucets that give detailed instructions for fixing the leak.

When to Call a 24 Hour Plumber

Unfortunately, there are times when you won’t be able to fix the problem on your own without endangering your pipes and plumbing. The best time to call a plumber is when you think you may do more harm than good to your plumbing or pipes. Fortunately, you can find a 24 hour plumbing service to find an expert. Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing has the skills to not only spot the underlying problem but also to see the spider effect of damage it may have caused to the other parts of your home (e.g., inside the walls, under the floors, etc.). The faster a plumber can diagnose the problem and repair it, the safer your home will be.


How Clean Air Can Affect Your Allergies & Overall Health

Posted on April 27th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

Air pollution has become so rampant in the environment today such that it is affecting you both indoors and out. One would think that being at home and keeping the outside air from getting inside a house will make it have clean air, but that’s not the case. Air pollutants range from the things you use inside your house to some very tiny particles that you collect when you are outdoors. Some harmful gas particles even get embedded in your clothes when you just go out in the morning for a jog.

The effects of air pollution

The effects of poor air conditioning services are worst experienced by children, the elderly, and people with preexisting respiratory diseases. Most allergies affect the eyes, nose and the entire respiratory system. Some people get headaches, nausea and general body weakness. It is important to contact an AC company immediately if family members experience such symptoms.

Numerous causes

Causes of air pollution are many. They range from poor initial AC installation, leaking pipes in the house, and pollutants from the fuels you use in your home. It is important to note that a professional plumbing service company can help fix all the gas and fuel leaks in time to avoid pollution.

Water leaks cause mildew to grow in your basements or any hidden places like under the kitchen sinks. This can cause serious allergies and subject you to unnecessary medication. Fuel pollutants can come from traffic, especially if your house is located near a busy highway. This happens mostly to people living in densely populated cities. Also, a car in your garage with a running engine is a significant contributor to the lack of clean, fresh air in your house.

How to stay safe

The preventive measures for air pollution are numerous as well. Some are within your control, but some would require unique skills and proper Vital Health Benefits of Having Clean Air in Your Premisesmachines or equipment to tackle. Use of AC systems from an experienced AC dealer and having a professional AC installer install it for you reduces the risk of infections. It makes it easy to maintain a constant supply of fresh air in homes and offices.

Personal efforts like changing your bed sheets and pillow cases regularly also help in reducing the number of dust particles your loved ones are exposed to. It is also paramount for morning joggers to avoid busy highways when possible. If it is inevitable, then make sure to change the jogging clothes every morning and clean them daily to reduce the level of exposure.

AC companies always come in handy in helping you control indoor air quality in your home. As mentioned earlier, the effects of poor air conditioning are diverse. Some are short term while others are long term. Even if you have not experienced any irritation or any allergic reactions, it is still good to contact your plumbing company or the AC installation company especially if your pipes and AC need to be checked.

Although your air conditioner can give a continuous supply of fresh air in all seasons, it is important to reduce its workload when possible. This can be done by encouraging people to smoke cigarettes outside your home. This will save you the money for AC repair and will also protect the health of the house’s occupants.

Before contacting your AC contractor or plumber, do a thorough home inspection on your own so you know exactly whom to call. And depending on the extent of the damage, you will have to choose from one of the many companies available in the locality.

Among the areas you should inspect include:

1) The bathroom: A bathroom can be the source of contaminates which could be making you sneeze every morning. The cleaning detergents and air fresheners stored in the bathroom may contain particles that are too sensitive for one of your family members. Leaky pipes can cause mildew growth. Look around every corner before making the call.

2The kitchen: Just like the bathroom, the kitchen sinks can leak for a while before you notice. It is important to regularly check under the sinks to ensure that your kitchen plumbing is intact. Proper ventilation and good air conditioners will ensure that odors from burnt food stay out of your home. Cleaning your cabinets regularly will also reduce the amount of dust and make your home a safe place to live.

3) Living area: During winter, most people tend to use any form of heating in their homes with the aim of keeping warm. Some people burn coal or charcoal in their fireplaces. Burning coal produces poisonous carbon monoxide gas that is harmful to not only people with allergies but also every member of the family. With a reliable air conditioner, you will achieve sufficient circulation of air throughout.

4) The garage: Garages are a source of gas pollutants. Running your engine inside the garage introduces the pollutants that originate from burning gasses to your home. Most people do not ventilate their garages well. Very few use an air conditioner. Storing chemical fertilizers in a garage requires you to have a good HVAC to protect your health.

To have a safe and cozy home, you should have the contacts of a 24 hour plumbing service company, like Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing, or a 24 hour plumber to solve your troubles as soon as they arise. Air conditioning is not just a luxurious service; it is a must-have for proper health and peace of mind while at home!

Source

  1. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=2163
  2. https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/introduction-indoor-air-quality
  3. http://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/do-you-need-an-air-filter


Go Green With Your Plumbing!

Posted on March 29th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

There is a growing global movement happening, and you can be a part of it! Every single day, more and more people across the world are taking the time to learn more about how to make their lives, homes and offices just a little bit greener. This includes taking a look at your current plumbing system to see how you can waste less water and use less energy.

Living green means more than the things that most of us associate with it, such as sorting your recyclables or buying reusable grocery bags. It’s about being more conscious of the impact that your everyday actions have on the environment and on the future of our planet. Every little eco-friendly choice you make adds up to a bigger change, and your choices may even inspire others to make similar environmentally friendly changes. If we all take small steps toward greener living, we can make a very big difference. As an AC contractor and 24 hour plumbing service, we love helping our clients do their part to protect and preserve the environment.

One way to make a change is to make some green adjustments to your plumbing system. There are many different steps you can take to do this, most of which are easy to implement with the help of a plumber or AC installer:

  • Protect Your Pipes —When your water pipes are not insulated properly, the time that it takes for your water to warm up when you run your faucets can be much longer. When you turn on your hot water tap, that water has to make the journey all the way from your hot water heater toHow to Go Green With Plumbing your kitchen or bathroom. When your pipes are not well-insulated, the hot water flowing to your faucet loses a significant amount of heat on its way to you. Consider how many times a day you turn on the hot water in your sinks. That adds up to a lot of lost water and the added amount of energy that your hot water heater needs to expend.
  • Go for a Low-Flow— Many new models of more environmentally friendly toilets are now on the market that can make a big difference in the amount of water you use on a daily basis. Regular toilets require more than 3 gallons of water for every single flush. Try one of the new greener options instead.
  • High-Efficiency Toilets —These models use only 1½ gallons of water instead of the standard 3 gallons. That’s already cutting your water loss by almost half!
  • Dual-Flush Toilets —This model toilet allows you to use either a 1-gallon flush for liquid waste and a 1½-gallon flush for solid waste. Even less water loss!
  • Add Some Aerators to Your Faucets —Chances are good that the fixtures and faucets you currently have installed in your bathrooms and kitchen are standard plumbing fixtures. It’s simple to install either low-flow fixtures, or add an aerator to your existing faucets to reduce your water flow. Aerators work by adding air into the water stream when you turn on your faucets, using less water at once but without losing your water pressure.
  • Locate and Stop Leaks —This is another simple step that makes a big difference. Any leak, no matter how small in your existing plumbing system adds up to a tremendous waste of water. Along with your plumbing, you may have leaks in your AC unit as well. To fix these, you will want to contact a licensed AC company or AC dealer.
  • Faucets and Toilets —Leaks aren’t just from your pipes — you should also check for a toilet that runs or a faucet that drips all the time. These issues can typically be corrected with a quick and easy repair.
  • Larger Leaks —One way to keep an eye on the possibility of a larger leak in your overall plumbing system is to know what the general water usage is on your water bill. A surprising jump in water usage can signify a problem that will need to be inspected by a professional. Visibly large leaks will need to be serviced immediately — many plumbing services offer a 24 hour plumber for emergencies.
  • Eco-Friendly Efficiency —For a more permanent eco-friendly update, consider having your old hot water heater replaced with a more energy-efficient model. Or try a tankless model, which heats up water as you need it rather than holding it in a reservoir as older models doIf you’re interested in implementing any of these greener alternatives to your conventional plumbing system, contact one of our offices at Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing today! In addition to offering 24 hour plumbing services, we are one of the top AC companies and can answer any of your questions to help you get started on your way to a greener lifestyle. If you would like to learn more about our AC installation, AC repair and plumbing services, feel free to contact us today.

Filtered Water for Your Home: An Underrated Necessity

Posted on March 15th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

Water is one of the fundamental building blocks of life. Our bodies are comprised of seventy percent water, and our brains around ninety percent; our cells, our blood—everything about us that makes us human—is built on the basis of water, and we need a regular supply to keep functioning.

In human prehistory, access to drinkable water was the determining factor for migratory movements and the foundation of civilization, while control Filtered Water for Your Home - An Underrated Necessityof water sources has been the catalyst for innumerable wars and conflicts. It’s important, and any doctor will tell you that hydration is crucial to maintaining overall good health and well-being.

Millions of Americans go about their daily lives in a state of chronic dehydration, suffering the physical consequences of not drinking enough water without even realizing that there’s a problem.

Symptoms of chronic dehydration impact everyone differently and can include headaches, sluggishness, poor digestion, and high cholesterol, as well as long-term effects like weight gain, premature aging, and increased risk of autoimmune diseases like chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis.

Many of us learn to function through chronic dehydration, often reaching for chemical remedies like painkillers and concentration aids to help us power through when all we really need is to drink more water.

Like everything else, we have choices when it comes to our drinking water, and where there are choices there will inevitably be confusion. Many bottled waters vie for our attention in advertising copy, “healthy” fads like alkaline and distilled water tout themselves as cure-alls for common ailments, and, of course, the taps in our homes provide easy, unlimited access to the municipal water supply.

However, according to numerous studies and medical investigations, the water we reach for by default may often be harmful to our health in ways we don’t think about.

Filtered water has often been demonstrated to be the safest long-term choice, but countertop and faucet-mounted carbon filters are laborious to maintain and, depending on the method and brand, may not actually be as helpful as they claim in keeping your water free of contaminants.

A certified plumbing and AC contractor can install a filter at your home’s source, and, while it may seem unnecessary at first glance due to the ubiquity of available water options, a Reverse Osmosis system filtering your whole house’s water supply can save you thousands in medical concerns later on.

 

Tap Water: A Dangerous Default

There’s nothing easier than turning a tap and, when we need a quick glass of water, that’s often where we reach. We also tend to use regular tap water for cooking, cleaning, and bathing; the water that comes out of your shower is the same water that comes out of the sink, after all. Tap water is the go-to for untold millions of Americans, and some people even have a dismissive attitude about it like: “I don’t need fancy water; tap is fine for me.”

While they’re right in asserting that “fancy water” is mostly just snake oil marketing, the tap water you drink on a daily basis can contain all sorts of contaminants that you’d otherwise never consider putting in your body.

If you heard, for example, that a certain restaurant’s food contained unsafe levels of arsenic or chemical runoff from landfills, you’d probably never eat Tap Water Maybe Dangerous to Your Healththere again. The fact is, these poisons, and more, are often present in the municipal water supply and are piped straight into your home via the taps; any plumbing and AC installer worth their salt can tell you about the various chemicals and additives necessary to keep public water from turning poisonous, but these chemicals themselves often present a risk in their own right.

Chlorine, for example, is often used to disinfect public drinking water. It’s great for it; that’s why we use it to kill all the bacteria that would turn our swimming pools into murky swamps if left unchecked.

However, think about how your skin feels when you get out of a chlorinated swimming pool—dry, itchy, sapped of all moisture. Now think about what high levels of chlorine in the drinking water would do to your insides. Even small amounts, consumed daily over long periods of time, put us at risk: According to the U.S. Council of Environmental Quality, “Cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.”

Many Americans’ drinking water also contains aluminum, which is useful for ridding water of disease-causing microorganisms. Yet, aluminum itself can cause massive health problems including liver disease, gastrointestinal distress, skin problems, and Parkinson’s disease. Long-term exposure has also been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in adults and learning disabilities in children. It’s not good for our bodies, but it’s right there in our drinking water.

Add in the additional exposure from cooking and showering, and the numbers only get worse. This is why having an affordable plumbing service install a reverse osmosis water filter for your home’s incoming water supply is the best way to keep you and your family safe; it’s better, in the long run, to know that any water sourced from your home is safe and clean, rather than having to worry about long-term risks.

 

Bottled Water: Expensive in More Ways Than One

Everyone knows, to some extent, that bottled water is a bit of a scam. After all, we’re essentially paying for serving-sized portions of a free commodity, when, with a little preparation, we could easily use refillable containers from home.

Tap water is dangerous, though, and many bottled water companies play up the “fact” that their products are clean, pure, and bottled at the “source.” Why even bother consulting with a plumbing filtration and AC installation specialist when you can just grab a 24-pack of bottled water and keep it in the trunk?

Many people, in a misguided attempt at health consciousness, try to exclusively drink bottled water. It makes a kind of sense when you think about it, especially if bottling companies’ claims of purity and filtration were true.

The fact of the matter is that up to forty percent of bottled water is literally the same as stuff as tap water, acquired from the same sources and bottled for convenience and profit. Independent testing has shown that bottled water contains hidden contaminants and pollutants just like tap water because it’s the same exact thing.

Bottled water also comes with the added detriment of being packaged in plastic, which might be inexpensive for bottled water producers but, ultimately, presents huge health concerns. Most plastic bottles contain a chemical compound called BPA, which functions as a synthetic hormone disruptor.

When plastic bottles are exposed to heat or direct sunlight, BPA can leach into the water within and even further contaminate your drinking supply; anyone who’s ever worked in shipping or warehouse management can tell you how hot it gets in the back of semi-trucks, and how long pallets can sometimes sit in direct sunlight on loading bays before being received and sorted.

Most of the chemicals and carcinogens in tap and bottled water are trace amounts, which don’t cause harm any immediate harm with minimal exposure. Yet think about how much water you need every day to stay healthy—common practice says eight glasses, as a rule, while some specialists suggest halving your body weight and drinking at least that many ounces throughout the course of your day.

All that water adds up, and exclusively drinking tap or bottled water will create a buildup of toxins and impurities in your body over time that increases your risk for cancer, coronary disease, and many other ailments.

Reverse Osmosis Filtration: Peace of Mind Pays for Itself

Most people would give anything for a guarantee of long-term health and wellbeing. After all, we spend so much time and money on fitness programs, diet plans, cleanses, and various skin and hair treatments in an attempt to stave off the advance of time and keep ourselves at peak performance.

The reality and irony of the situation are that having access to legitimately clean water and drinking enough of it on a daily basis is the best way to achieve these ends.

We simply don’t drink enough water, and, as illustrated above, the water we do drink, more often than not, contains impurities that threaten our longevity and well-being in the long term. The process of reverse osmosis filtration works to remove impurities from the freely provided water that’s tapped into our homes and represents an affordable plumbing solution that will work to keep you healthy, happy, and worry-free when it comes to staying hydrated.


Your Indoor Air May Be More Polluted Than Outside: Here’s What to Do About It

Posted on March 1st, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

When we hear the word “pollution,” most of us tend to picture smoggy metropolitan cities like Los Angeles and Delhi, India. For the most part, we Your Indoor Air May Be More Polluted Than Outsidetend to expect that the air in our homes is safer for us to breathe than the exhaust and pollen-filled air outdoors. In recent years, however, scientific data reported by the Environmental Protection Agency has begun to show that the air inside homes, offices, and other buildings can actually be more heavily polluted than the air outside.

While this is a hot topic among A/C companies, homeowners often rarely think about the quality of their indoor air. Though some are meticulous about HVAC upkeep, many are not, potentially leading to poor air quality, higher energy bills, and increased system stress.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the ways in which indoor air quality can affect health and HVAC functioning, as well as methods recommended by air conditioner companies to improve indoor air quality and properly maintain an efficient air conditioning system.

 

Why Does Indoor Air Need to Be Clean?

The most obvious reason indoor air quality matters is because the human body needs to be able to breathe properly. When the air in an area is full of pollutants like smoke, dust, mold, or bacteria, it creates discomfort and puts those breathing the polluted air at risk of various health concerns.

Upon immediate exposure to such pollutants, a person can experience symptoms like eye, nose and throat irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and/or Why Does Indoor Air Need to Be Cleanheadaches. If exposed to them for years, a person can develop debilitating conditions like respiratory disease, heart disease, or even cancer.

As anyone living in central Texas knows, allergens are another example of why the quality of indoor air is such a major concern. If you, a family member, or other regular guest suffers from allergies, the purity of your home’s air is of the utmost importance. Not only can allergies cause frustrating and uncomfortable symptoms, but in some seriously affected individuals, an allergic reaction can become an emergency.

While most pollutants are small enough to go relatively unnoticed, some pollutants are less difficult to ignore. Smoke and tar from years of indoor smoking, for example, can create a pervasive, unpleasant odor throughout every room where the air is circulated regardless of whether a smoker was present in that room. Similarly, the tar can actually deposit itself on various surfaces which eventually turn light-colored walls and objects into unsightly yellow.

Whatever the pollutants and their effects, these mostly invisible particles can wreak havoc on our homes and physical systems. Just as we tend to be concerned about the effects of outdoor pollution on the environment and wildlife, it’s important that we also consider the effects of indoor pollution on ourselves, our families, and our coworkers.

 

How Air Filters Help You Maintain Clean Indoor Air

One of the most important elements of a building’s HVAC system is the air filter. All of the air that flows through your home goes through this filter at a rate of approximately two times per hour. As this air passes through, the filter catches any particulate or microscopic pollutants that might otherwise be circulated throughout the rooms (though the percentage of pollutants a filter is able to capture can vary, as we’ll discuss shortly).

A clean air filter also keeps the entire HVAC system from becoming dirty, clogged, and ultimately overworked. In fact, a dirty filter is a main cause of How Air Filters Help You Maintain Clean Indoor AirHVAC failure, and providing a clean air filter is the best way to maintain your system’s overall efficiency. Because you spend a large portion of your monthly energy expenses on your home’s HVAC, keeping the system running at optimal efficiency means more money in your bank account and can save you from a more costly home air conditioning replacement.

Different types of HVAC systems will require different sizes and types of air filters, depending on their hardware, home size, and other details. The easiest way to determine the size of filter required is to check the air return for an existing filter and read the dimensions from the edge of the filter itself. If there is no filter present, simply measure the width, length, and depth of the space so that the filter you purchase has an ideal, snug fit.

In general, homeowners use air filters containing synthetic fibers that physically capture the pollutants in the air that passes through. These filters are generally ranked for effectiveness in terms of their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value—or MERV—rating. The higher the MERV rating, the less often the filter will need to be replaced.

Air filters come in a variety of types:

  • Flat-panel fiberglass filters: the least expensive, but more geared toward HVAC system protection than to actual air quality. Generally removes less than 10% of pollutants.
  • Pleated air filters: a step up, removing approximately 45% of pollutants at a cost of approximately $10 per filter.
  • High-efficiency air filters: a highly practical option, capable of removing as much as 85% of pollutants from indoor air.
  • High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters: the highest quality, able to remove up to 98% of air pollutants. Can only be used with stand-alone air purifiers or whole-house filtration systems.

Once you’ve determined the appropriate kind of filter for your home size and system, it’s important to regularly change out the filter with a new one per manufacturer recommendations. The frequency at which you should replace your air filter depends upon a variety of factors. First, take note of the type of filter you have. Is it flat? Pleated? What kind of material is it made from? These little details will affect how your filter works and how often it will need to be replaced.

There is, of course, a ballpark range you can follow for certain kinds of filters: for most one-inch thick filters, a change every month or two may be required. For larger, three- to five-inch filters with pleated cartridges, you may only need to replace it once or twice a year. The best way to know when your filter needs to be changed is to look at it on occasion. If it looks dirty, change it!

As with most things in life, the less money you spend on your air filter, the more often you’ll probably have to change it (in other words, “you get what you pay for”). It might not be true across the board, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind.

 

The Importance of an Up-to-Date Air Conditioner

Making sure that your home’s air filtration and air conditioning system is up to date can help to prevent polluted air. According to a 2013 study from medical researchers in Taiwan, the use of air conditioning to reduce indoor air pollution has been directly linked to improved cardiovascular health in the general population. Clearly, properly functioning air conditioners can be much more than just a source of cool air in the summertime.

As technology has marched forward, A/C systems have marched along with it, leading to lower energy usage, new compressor technology, better fan-blade shapes, new refrigerants, and more. By upgrading your A/C on occasion through a reliable air conditioner company, you can ensure great system efficiency and improve your home’s ability to filter air (plus, a well-maintained and updated system could be a great asset if you ever need to sell).

 

Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing.: Over 65 Years of Expert Service

If you’re uncertain as to how to change your air filter, in need of a central air conditioning replacement, or properly maintain your A/C system, Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing is standing by! We’ve been serving Texans’ air conditioning and plumbing needs since 1950, and even offer a convenient emergency service line for each of our four locations.

To learn more about our A/C and plumbing services or to book an appointment with one of our experienced professionals, contact your local Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing location in Austin, San Antonio, Temple, or New Braunfels today!

 

Sources

https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/inside-story-guide-indoor-air-quality

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-often-should-you-replace-your-home-air-filter.htm

https://household-tips.thefuntimesguide.com/best_air_filters/

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/air-conditioners-really-are-getting-better

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969713006463


Maintenance Tips to Help Keep Your Air Conditioning System Running Efficiently

Posted on February 16th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

On average in central Texas, an air conditioning system will last from 10 to 12 years. The service life can be shortened or extended, depending on how regularly preventive maintenance is performed. Maintenance will also help the system run more efficiently so that your home or office stays more comfortable and it costs you less money. Regular maintenance ensures your system is more energy-efficient and requires fewer repairs, both of which save you money.

There is some maintenance you can do yourself, while other maintenance requires the service of an HVAC system expert. Professional maintenance should be performed on an HVAC system twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

The following is a list of the tune-up, inspection, and services offered at Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing:Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

  • Thermostat calibration & setting – ensures comfort when at home and saves energy when you’re away
  • Check & tighten all electrical connections – system operates more safely and increases life of components
  • Lubricate all moving parts – reduces energy by minimizing friction and overheating
  • Check & inspect condensate drain – plugged drain can affect indoor humidity levels and more seriously cause water damage
  • Check all system controls – ensures the systems starts, operates and shuts off properly
  • Clean condenser coils – dirty coils increase energy costs and reduce the life of equipment
  • Check refrigerant levels & adjust if necessary – too much or too little refrigerant increases energy costs
  • Clean & adjust blower components – airflow problems can reduce efficiency up to 15%
  • (If applicable) Check all gas connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger – Improperly sealed gas connections are a fire hazard. Dirty burners or failed heat exchangers can allow carbon monoxide to escape which can be extremely unsafe or possibly fatal.

 

Do-It-Yourself Air Conditioning Maintenance

Changing air conditioning filters is probably the part of air conditioning maintenance that most people are most familiar with. Still, many fail to keep records or follow up with routine filter changes. Not only is this one of the most important parts of do-it-yourself air conditioning maintenance, it is also one of the simplest.

When dirt builds up on filters, air flow is obstructed, preventing the system from working efficiently. Either cleaning a reusable filter or replacing it with a new one can improve energy efficiency by as much as 15%. To aid in system efficiency and help extend the life of your system, Christianson Leave Air Conditioning Maintenance to the Prosrecommends cleaning or replacing filters once a month.

The air conditioner coils absorb heat, making them an important part of the cooling system. They are also prone to collecting dirt, even when the filter is kept clean. When dirt covers the coils, they are unable to absorb heat efficiently. Indoor units should be examined visually each year, prior to air conditioning season, and cleaned if necessary.

On the outdoor condensing units, the coils are even more vulnerable due to exposure to foliage, dust and grass clippings. It is important to keep grass, weeds, bushes and plant cleared and trimmed away from the condensing unit. It is also a good idea to treat around the unit’s concrete slab with pesticide to prevent ants and spiders.

You may recognize the area on the evaporator and condenser coils known as “coil fins” by sight more than by their name. These flat metal pieces are extremely fragile and easy to bend. Be very careful when mowing or trimming to not damage the coils.  Bent coils reduce air flow dramatically and impact the efficiency and life of your system. If the fins become badly bent or damaged, contact a service provider or a Christianson expert to restore them to good operating condition.

 

Leave It to the Pros

Although some minor maintenance can be performed by the homeowner or business owner, a maintenance plan with Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing includes all the annual and bi-annual maintenance that will keep your HVAC system running more efficiently. These services include two precision system tune-ups annually: one in the spring and one in the fall.

Your air conditioning is a vital component of your comfort and utility bill. Don’t leave its efficiency to chance. Call Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing in Austin at (512) 246-5400 or our San Antonio location at (210) 651-1212 to schedule your maintenance services before hot weather rolls around.


Repair or Replace: Which Choice Is Right for Your Air Conditioning System?

Posted on February 8th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

Air conditioning is not just a matter of comfort; it’s also about energy efficiency and the size of your utility bill. The age and efficiency of your temperature in the workplace also has a direct impact on job performance.

When your air conditioning starts to perform differently or stops working altogether, it needs to be repaired or replaced quickly. The challenge for homeowners and business owners in Texas is in knowing which path to take. You want to get as many years of services out of your air conditioning system as possible, but you also want to enjoy the best possible air quality.

If your system has needed repairs or you fear it’s nearing the end of its useful life, how should you decide whether to repair or replace?  We’ve put together some of the most important considerations to keep in mind when making this decision.

  1. All Repairs are Not Created Equal. Like any mechanical system, as your AC system ages, it will require costlier and more frequent repairs. But the decision to repair or replace can be affected more by the type of repairs.
  2. Equipment Age. Unfortunately, our hot central Texas summers mean AC systems last only 8 to 12 years on average. Your system may suffer a major breakdown earlier or it may run well for much longer.  But it’s clear that the older the system, the more costly the repairs are likely to be and the less efficient it’s likely to run.

Keep in mind that an 8 year old system running efficiently today is still much less efficient than a current model. Just another consideration in the repair or replace decision.

  1. Availability of Parts. As equipment ages it gets more difficult to find replacement parts and the prices usually go up. A common example of this Repair or Replace Your Air Conditioningis the coolant that your unit uses the cool the air in your home.  Freon used to be the industry standard refrigerant until January 2010, when the federal government banned its manufacture.  Since then, new units have used Puron.  Although Freon is no longer manufactured, it is still available.  But its cost rises as supplies dwindle. An older unit that uses Freon is a prime candidate for replacement.
  2. Cost of Repair. Replacement should be considered on an 8-10 year system if the cost of repair is more than $500. For each additional year of age, the maximum repair amount should be $50 less. So, for an 11-year-old AC, the maximum you should pay for a repair is $450. This isn’t an exact formula, but it will give you a guideline to follow.
  3. Today’s best air conditioners use 30% to 50% less energy to produce the same amount of cooled air as air conditioners made just a few years ago. If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, not only do you have a less efficient unit, but your unit is no longer running at its own peak efficiency. Because today’s higher efficiency units can save homeowners up to 60% on their annual utility bills, they are a popular choice.  The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system, the less it costs to operate and the longer the equipment is likely to last.
  4. Allergies or Asthma. If you or a member of your family has recently been diagnosed with seasonal allergies or asthma, your indoor air quality may suddenly be an important factor in deciding whether to repair or replace.  With today’s modern systems, you may be able to improve your whole house indoor air quality by 99%.  A Christianson trained technician can help you determine if system replacement is right for you.

 

The care you provide your air conditioning system will help to determine how well and for how long it performs. Below are the air conditioning services offered by Christianson & Co:

If you decide to replace your A/C, start with a free no obligation estimate so you can accurately compare your cost. Call us at 512-246-5200 and ask how we can install a new energy-efficient A/C system that will save you even more.



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