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Emergency Plumbing Tips Every Homeowner Should Know

Posted on January 30th, 2018 by ChristainSon_Admin

From non-stop leaking faucets to a leaking water heater, there are several emergency plumbing tips every homeowner needs to know. These tips let you know what to do to contain the problem and protect your home against water damages.

You will need to know the location of your breaker box and where the water main shutoff for your home is located. Depending on the type of plumbing emergency that arises, you may need to shut off the water to the home as well as the breakers for specific types of appliances.

Emergency Plumbing Tips Every Homeowner

Broken Water Pipes

Water pipes can break for a variety of reasons. If you have a broken water pipe, you need to shut off the water main right away. Turn on the faucets in the house to remove as much water as possible. You want to also clean up any standing water that is inside the home. Remember to shut off breakers for the hot water heater, water softener, and so on.

Leaking Water Pipes

Leaking water pipes can do more damage to the home than broken pipes. This is because leaks can be harder to notice. By the time you do, water could have gotten into insulation, wood, and other areas of the home not easily accessible.

You will want to shut off the water main and drain all water out of the pipes like you would for a broken pipe if you do not know the source of the leak. If the leak is coming from a specific location, like from under the dishwasher, you may only have to shut the water off under the kitchen sink. Additionally, if the leak is related to a water-type appliance, shut off the breaker to that appliance.

Plumbing

Leaking Toilets

Shut off the water to the toilet and flush it to drain the tank and bowel as best you can. It is a good idea to put buckets under the leak or use towels to keep water contained, as there will still be some water left in the toilet.

Leaking Faucets

Shut off the water under the sink or in the tub/shower access area to the leaking faucet. Turn it on to drain out any remaining water.

Leaking Hot Water Heaters

For this problem, shut off the water main into the home. Turn off the hot water heater breaker. Then, turn on both hot and cold faucets to drain most of the water out of the pipes and the tank. Your water heater should have a drain pan under it with a connected drain. Any remaining water should remain contained and go down the drain.

Clogged Toilets and Sinks

Try using the appropriate plunger to unclog the blockage. Do not flush the toilet or add more water to the sink. If you choose to use a clog-removal product, verify it is compatible with your plumbing system.

After taking the necessary steps to address the plumbing emergency, call your nearest Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing location in Austin, New Braunfels, San Antonio, or Temple for emergency plumbing services.

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How Plumbing Leaks Can Attract Rodents and Pests

Posted on January 5th, 2018 by ChristainSon_Admin

Rodents and pests need water to survive much like we do. If you have a water leak in your plumbing lines or a leaky faucet that leaves water in the sink or tub all of the time, you are essentially rolling out a “welcome mat” for all the rodents and pests near your home. To prevent rodent and pest problems in your home, you need to do occasional leak checks. If you find one, call our 24-hour plumbing service to get it fixed promptly.

What Types of Pests Can Water Leaks Attract?

Rodents are one type of pest water leaks attract. Rodents are a broad category used for a variety of furry animals, including:

  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Chipmunks
  • Squirrels

Rodents and Pests

Rodents will look for water leaks under crawl spaces, as this will provide a steady source of water. They will also drink water dripping from outdoor spigots. Some of these rodents can also climb. So, if your eaves and gutters are clogged up with leaves and there is standing water, that will attract rodents, too.

Two other small mammals that could be attracted to your leaks are:

  • Raccoons
  • Possums

These are in the carnivora and marsupial classes, respectively, but if they are in your house you will probably just call them nuisances.

Insects and arachnids are the other types of pests that water leaks can attract. Some of the more common insects and arachnids you might notice in your home include:

  • Cockroaches
  • Termites
  • Carpenter Ants
  • Powderpost Beetles
  • Mosquitoes
  • Fire Ants
  • Black Ants
  • Red Ants
  • Spiders
  • Scorpions
  • Silverfish
  • Booklice

Unlike rodents, noticing various insects and arachnids are invading your home can be problematic, as you may not notice signs of an infestation right away, allowing them to build their colonies or homes undetected and right under your nose.

Pests and Water Leaks

  • TIP: If you notice an increase in rodent or insect activity inside or around your home, this is often a good indication there is a water leak somewhere nearby.

What Types of Damages Can Pests and Water Leaks Do to My Home?

Water leaks are bad if they are in plumbing lines in the subflooring, walls, or underneath sink cabinets. As the water slowly drips out from the source of the leak, over time it wets the wood, insulation, laminate, concrete, and other such materials used to build your home.

With the passing of time, and thanks to the warm and humid conditions we have here in Texas, mold and mildew will start to grow and form near the water leak. Not to mention, the wood will start to soften and rot and, eventually, the water will become so excessive, it can start to soak into the backside of drywall.

Ultimately, the drywall will give out, and you could end up with water running out of the wall or from your ceiling into your home. If the water is leaking under your shower, tub, or toilet, it is not uncommon for the floor to become spongy and then give way. In addition to the water running out, you may find your shower, tub, or toilet falling through the floor! Not while occupied, one hopes.

Water Leaks My Home

This is just the damage from the water leak itself, not any damage caused by pests. With pests, the extent of damage depends on the type of pests that invade the home. Let’s take a look at some of the types of damage pests can cause inside your home when you have a water leak.

Rodents and Other Small Mammals

Rodents and other small animals love to find places where they can feel safe and secure. They build nests to mate and have babies. The insulation inside your walls or attic makes a great material and location where they can mate, have babies, and build families. They also love chewing on wood, PVC and plastic-type plumbing, electrical wires, and even concrete.

If they have access to a source of water inside your home, they could easily move in for the long haul. Plus, if you have pets and leave pet food out, it’s a double win for the rodents since they also will have easy access to a source of food.

Rodents and Other Small Mammals

Another concern with rodents is they carry various illnesses and diseases that can affect both humans and your pets. Some even carry the rabies virus, so, if you are bitten or scratched, you could be looking at a long series of shots.

Wood-Destroying Pests

Termites, carpenter ants, and powderpost beetles love destroying rotting wood. If you have a water leak, the wood in your home starts to rot. These pests like hiding in the dark, away from prying eyes. However, you might get lucky and notice a carpenter ant or powder post beetle inside your home.

If you do, then you probably want to check for water leaks. Termites are harder to spot and tend to avoid light as much as possible. Some signs of termites you might notice around the home could include:

  • Small mud-like tubes on the sides of your home.
  • Paint that is peeling or bubbling up on the ceilings or walls.
  • Soft spots on hardwood or laminate flooring.
  • Small pin-sized holes in cabinets or drywall.
  • A sawdust-like powder along the baseboards.

You will want to get your home treated for the wood-destroying pests and repair any damages they caused. Part of your repairs should include having a qualified plumber fix the water leak.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes

Standing water provides an ideal area for mosquitoes to breed and lay eggs. If your eaves and gutters are clogged up or there is a puddle of water under the house from a water leak, mosquitoes will become a problem around your home. If you notice an increase in these pests, start looking for sources of standing water nearby.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches can live for several weeks without food, but they do need water more often. Other than being an annoyance, they can carry bacteria and diseases, which they spread around the home. Not to mention, they can fit into rather small spaces, so they could get inside electronics or appliances, where they can lay eggs.

Spiders, Ants, Scorpions, Silverfish

These creepy crawlies can be annoying if their numbers start to grow inside your home. With certain species of spiders and scorpions, you do have to be careful, as their bite could be painful, much like being stung by a bee or wasp. When it comes to ants, red and black ants tend to not bite humans. However, fire ants will, and the bites can be unpleasant and painful.

Spiders

Booklice

Booklice are not actual lice, being in the order psocids, but they are about the same size. They eat mold and mildew growing in your home. If you have a water leak, they will multiply quickly because water promotes the growth of mold and mildew.

Checking for Signs of Water Leaks in the Home

There are several areas of the home you can check on your own to see if you might have a water leak that could attract pests:

  • Check all faucets for slow dripping leaks. If a sink, tub, or shower faucet is leaking, it will leave water in the bottom that will attract pests. Fixing this type of leak is very easy, as the hardware inside the faucet often needs to be replaced and, when that is not possible, a new fixture should be installed.
  • Look under sinks for signs of leaks and drips. Discolored stains on items under the sink or on the base of the cabinet indicate an occasional or slow leak. If you notice standing water, then you have a bigger leak problem. Another indication of under-cabinet leaks would be if the baseboard is warped, curved, or the base has soft spots in it.
  • Look under and behind appliances that use water. Your washing machine, ice maker, dishwasher, refrigerator, or other water-using appliances can develop leaks over time. The washers that connect plumbing lines and prevent leaks can wear out and no longer seal correctly. Water lines can also get damaged if your water pressure in the home is too high.

Signs of Water Leaks in the Home

  • Check your basement or crawl space. Look for areas of wetness or standing water. If you have a sump pump in your home in the basement or crawl space, check to make sure it is properly covered so any standing water does not attract pests.
  • Check outdoor spigots and make sure they turn on and off correctly. These faucets can wear out and develop slow leaks when washers do not shut correctly.
  • Clean your eaves and gutters to prevent clogs. Remove leaves and debris from the eaves and gutters to prevent standing water.
  • Check around the hot water heater. Water should not drip out of the hot water heater. Nor should there be any standing water underneath it.

If you discover any type of water leak, it is important to get it repaired as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs and pest problems.

  • TIP: If you notice your water bill increases from one month to the next and your water usage has stayed the same, it could indicate you have a water leak somewhere in your home.

For help finding water leaks in your home, more tips on how to check for water leaks, or to schedule a water leak inspection or plumbing repairs for your home, please feel free to contact your nearest Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing location in Austin, Temple, San Antonio, or New Braunfels today!


Is Your Heating System Too Loud? Cycling On and Off? We Can Fix That

Posted on January 5th, 2018 by ChristainSon_Admin

Your home heating system should run fairly quietly when it is operating correctly. The only types of noises you should hear are the movement of air out of ducts and possibly a clicking sound at the thermostat signaling the unit to turn on and shut off at the end of the heat cycle.

Heating System

Unless you are right next to the furnace, you should not hear the actual sounds of the furnace running. If you can hear the sound of the blower motor, blower motor fan, or other types of noises throughout the home, it could indicate something is wrong with your furnace.

Troubleshooting the cause of the noises will depend on the type of system installed in your home. Let’s take a look at some of the various systems and common causes of noises.

Radiator/Radiant Heating Systems

These types of systems use hot water to deliver heat to the rooms in your home. Newer designs allow for radiant heat systems to be installed under flooring without the need for a radiator in each room.

Radiator Radiant Heating Systems

In order to transport the hot water through the system, various plumbing pipes are used, similar to your water pipes. These systems can produce banging or knocking sounds when there are no air relief valves attached to the water lines or the pipes are not secure in the walls or subflooring.

When the flow of the hot water is abruptly stopped when the system shuts off and there are no pockets of air in the relief valves, it “hammers” against the side of the pipes from the reverse flow.

To illustrate, think about a vehicle crash test into a solid steel wall. Upon impact, the car hits the wall and the force of the impact causes it to move backward. The same is true when the water in the radiant heat system shuts off and the pressure cannot be released through air relief valves.

In cases where you hear a constant banging while the system is in operation in different areas throughout the home, this signifies the pipes were not properly secured when they were installed. The pipes can bang against interior structures and cause an echo effect.

Radiant Heating Systems

Aside from banging, other noises you could notice include hissing sounds and cracking and popping sounds. Hissing sounds are caused when there is a restriction in the pipes, like from scale buildup, where the water flow has to pass through a narrow section. Cracking and popping sounds occur when there are instances of scale buildup, corrosion, and any other sediments in the hot water or boiler tank.

Resolving these problems is not difficult as long as you get help from a qualified and experienced plumbing and heating repair company. The reason we recommend using a professional is that working with hot water lines can be dangerous and could result in personal injuries from the hot scalding water.

Conventional Furnace Systems

These types of systems are where you have the furnace installed somewhere inside the home, like your garage or basement, and it is connected to your outdoor AC condensing unit. Most people refer to this type of system as central heating and air conditioning.

Conventional Furnace Systems

Some of the more common noises you might hear from a conventional furnace system could include:

  • Hissing – Hissing noises can occur when there is a restriction or blockage in the ductwork and the air is being forced around it.
  • Clicking – If you notice clicking noises coming from the furnace unit, it could mean many different things, such as certain components are not engaging when they should and the relay switches keep clicking attempting to turn them on or off.
  • Cracking and Popping – Cracking and popping noises could emit from your furnace if the heat exchanger or heating element inside the unit is damaged or cracked.
  • Banging – Banging can occur if parts and components are loose, like the blower motor fan blades banging against the inside of the unit because they are no longer securely attached.

Packaged Heating and Cooling Systems

Packaged systems are all-in-one units that are installed outside the house. They provide both heat and air conditioning for the entire home. These types of systems are very popular in southern areas of Texas where it does not get that cold in the winter.

It can be harder to notice sounds coming from packaged systems inside the home. However, if you notice the unit seems a bit louder, and you can hear it turn on and off, hear the fan, or other sounds from inside the home, then there could be problems that require an inspection from a cooling and heating system technician.

Heating and ooling Systems

Other Types of Heating Problems

Aside from making noises, there are other problems that can occur when firing up your heater for the first time. Initially, you might notice a burning smell coming from the air vents in your home with conventional and packaged systems.

This is normal and should dissipate after one or two cycles. If the smell persists for more than two cycles, then there is a serious and potentially dangerous problem with the system. Shut it off immediately and call for emergency service right away.

If you have a gas furnace, and you notice the thermostat clicks but nothing happens, the pilot light might have gone out. No pilot light—no heat. However, do take caution when checking the furnace, as gas will still continue to come out.

If the pilot is out, shut it off, open and air out the room, and wait an hour before attempting to relight the pilot. If the pilot continues to go out after being lit, this is when it is time to call in a professional.

Other Types of Heating Problems

Other common problems have to do with the cycling on and off of the system. There is a variety of different issues based on the type of system you have installed in your home, but could include:

  • Blower motor fan continues to run even after the unit has cycled on and off.
  • Blower motor fan does not engage during the furnace cycle.
  • The blower motor turns on before the furnace does.
  • The furnace cycles continuously and never shuts
  • The furnace cycles on and off almost constantly with only a minute or two between cycles.
  • The furnace only runs for a few minutes and shuts off before reaching the preset temperature on the thermostat.
  • The thermostat clicks to signal the furnace to turn on, but it never does.

Troubleshooting these types of problems can be very complex because they could involve electrical systems, electrical wiring, natural gas lines, pilot systems, plumbing systems, and more.

In some cases, the problem could be as simple as a broken or loose wire that needs to be fixed and reattached to the right connection on the thermostat. Other times, the problem could be due to the age of the system and various parts and components wearing out.

As such, it is in your best interests and safety to contact a professional plumbing and heating technician to troubleshoot and diagnose what is wrong with your home’s heating and cooling system.

  • TIP: To avoid unexpected heater failures and emergency service calls, schedule bi-annual heating and cooling maintenance services with your professional technician in the fall and spring. The spring service inspects and verifies your AC is ready for the hot Texas summers, while the fall service inspects your furnace to ensure it will provide heat on those colder winter mornings.

For problems with your home’s heating system or to schedule maintenance service, please feel free to contact your nearest Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing location in Austin, New Braunfels, Temple, or San Antonio today!


How to Reduce Stress on Your Pipes to Prevent Leaks

Posted on December 30th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

While frozen pipes are not too much of an issue, here in Texas, there are still other plumbing problems that can cause stress on the pipes in your home and lead to unwanted leaks. Leaks can quickly become a major headache for homeowners if they are not detected right away, like a slow leaking toilet soaking the subflooring in your bathroom or a leak from the hot water heater that increases your energy bills.

Common Causes of Leaks in the Home

Common Causes of Leaks in the Home

Is the water pressure too excessive?

Most homeowners are surprised to learn their water pressure is set too high. This increased pressure places more strain and stress on plumbing inside the home. It can cause washers inside faucets to get damaged and create leaks. It can also cause blowouts in between pipe connections, which creates leaks inside walls or in subflooring.

Do you have hard water?

If you have well water, then you have hard water. Hard water has calcium and other minerals that can create deposits inside the walls of plumbing pipes and fixtures. The deposits can restrict the flow of water and inadvertently cause an increase in water pressure.

Are the pipe connections sealed correctly?

Joint compound and plumber’s tape are two products that are used to ensure pipe connections are sealed and secure to prevent leaks. Without these, there is always the chance a leak can develop as the plumbing in the home ages.

Are the pipes secured with the right hardware?

The pipes should be attached to special hardware that holds it in place inside the walls and subflooring. If the pipes are allowed to move freely, the change in pressure when you turn water on and off can cause the pipes to “bang” and eventually lead to leaks.

Prevent Leaks in the Home

How to Prevent Leaks in the Home

It is recommended to have the water pressure checked by an experienced plumber. Most new homes should have a pressure regulator already installed;  otherwise, your plumber can install one. The regulator can be adjusted and turned down to reduce water pressure and prevent unwanted damage to your plumbing and leaks.

If you have hard water, you can avoid deposit buildup in pipes and fixtures by getting a water softener installed. The softener system removes calcium and minerals from the water. As an added bonus, you will use less soap and detergent so you save money here, too!

If your plumbing was not connected correctly or secured with the right hardware, this requires some replumbing work. Getting it done sooner rather than later can help you avoid the potential damages leaking pipes and avoid 24-hour plumbing service calls.

To have your water pressure checked, to learn more about water softeners, or to have pipes checked to verify they were properly installed, or if you have an existing water leak, please feel free to contact your nearest Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing location today!

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Top 10 Benefits of Having a Garbage Disposal

Posted on November 16th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

Installing a garbage disposal unit under your kitchen sink is an alternative to sending food scraps to the landfill or composting them on your own. The process is simple. Throw your leftovers in, open the tap, and flip a switch; the machine then shreds the material into tiny pieces that can pass through plumbing pipe. Although they last a while, garbage disposal replacement will eventually be needed, but you can count on a licensed plumber for prompt service.

Garbage Disposal

Here are 10 benefits of a garbage disposal for any homeowner.

Saves Time

Disposal of kitchen waste is a faster process. The garbage disposal breaks up food items, so you don’t have to make up the garbage and take it out. That means more time to relax after finishing a meal.

Less Trash

There is much less food waste to throw out, reducing the amount of work. You also use less plastic and paper every day. There is less to get from the store and fewer things to throw out.

Reduced Kitchen Odor

Once disposed of, food waste will not be left in a garbage can to rot. Kitchen odors are, therefore, eliminated. Food is ground up by a motor, and you don’t have to call on local plumbers to find the source of bad smells if they’re not coming from the trash.

Fewer Pipe Leaks

Food scraps are ground up, so there’s less pressure on drainage pipes. You won’t have to call a 24-hour plumber to fix a clog, leak, or burst pipe.

Cost Savings

You’ll save cash not requiring a 24-hour plumbing service as often. The disposal unit helps to improve drainage and protect your pipes. It also avoids spending money on trash bags and other supplies.

Long-Lasting

Although one garbage disposal unit differs from another, they can last a few years. Some last a decade or more. You might spend more with a longer warranty, although that doesn’t mean the machine will last longer.

Protect the Environment

Disposing of your own food waste cuts down on greenhouse gases emitted by garbage trucks, and less methane produced at landfills. Plus, wastewater treatment plants can use it as a source of energy and fertilizer.

Benefits Garbage Disposal

Choice of Models

You can select garbage disposal units that are most convenient for you. Continuous-feed models let you throw things in as it grinds up old waste. With batch-feed models, the stopper must be closed before the blades activate, improving safety.

Useful Features

Depending on the model, you may have an auto-reverse mode to clear jams or higher horsepower motors able to cut up bones and other hard waste. A quick-mount neck speeds installation, and look for safety covers to prevent accidental activation before the device is closed.

Repair by Plumbing Experts

Many plumbing services are experienced with garbage disposal repair and replacement, which is one more benefit of owning one. That means you can rely on the same company that fixes your drain, faucet, toilet, or dishwasher. For professional kitchen plumbing service, you can depend on Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing for prompt service and efficient repairs and replacements. Contact us online or call one of our local numbers to schedule service.

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Reasons Why Texas Should Be Your Next Vacation Spot

Posted on November 10th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

Texas is the second largest state in the nation. Within this large expanse, you can encounter a wide array of climates, scenery, and cultures. If you were to venture from one end of the state to the other, you would notice just how diverse the state truly is. Some locals liken the trip as enjoying an extended ride through four different Southern European countries.

Not to mention, depending on the time of year you visit our beautiful state, you can experience multiple seasons all at the same time. For instance, in Northern Texas, in the fall, you are greeted by the changing of the leaves, accompanied by cooler and brisk temperatures. However, if you head to Southern Texas, you can still experience tropical-like temperatures and weather.

Vacation in Texas

Where Should I Vacation in Texas?

Deciding where to visit and vacation in Texas should be based on exactly what type of vacation you want to experience. Texas offers everything from “roughing-it” in the country to five-star luxury resorts in our major cities. Some tourists even do the “glamping” version of camping so they can experience the expansive outdoors while still having the comforts of a five-star resort.

Beach Vacations

You can experience the warm Gulf waters year round all up and down the Eastern seaboard of Texas. Some of the more popular beach vacation spots include:

  • Galveston Island
  • Padre Island
  • Crystal Beach
  • South Padre Island
  • Rockport Beach
  • Port Aransas
  • Boca Chica

Aside from the surf and sand, several of the beaches in Texas feature boardwalks, carnival attractions, and more to keep you entertained.

Beach Vacations

Thrill Vacations

Texas is not short of theme parks and thrills. You can find Six Flags parks in San Antonio and Arlington (near Dallas/Fort Worth). There is also SeaWorld in San Antonio that has thrill rides and plenty to do. After riding roller coasters, you can also experience one of numerous water parks in different cities throughout the state.

If you are traveling with younger kids during the warmer summer months, you can take a break from the heat and check out the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Grapevine. This is the ultimate indoor Lego® play area, with rides, play areas, indoor theater, and more. Also found in Grapevine, just outside Dallas, is the Great Wolf Lodge resort, which features the nation’s largest indoor water park!

Thrill Vacations

Educational Vacations

If you are looking to expand your culture or want to learn more about the history of Texas, there are plenty of educational adventures to explore. San Antonio is home to the Alamo, as well as the Children’s Museum of San Antonio. If you are looking to explore San Antonio’s culture, you will want to visit River Walk.

Over in Houston, you can visit the Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston if you want to learn more about space travel, how it works, and the future plans of NASA and private space agencies. Houston is also home to several other attractions, including:

  • The Houston Zoo
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Houston Downtown Aquarium
  • Houston Military Museum
  • Houston Children’s Museum
  • Houston Fire Museum

If you are visiting Dallas, they also have a zoo, as well as the Dallas World Aquarium, Frontiers of Flight Museums, and the Museum of Nature and Science. If your vacation takes you to Austin, you can experience the Austin Nature and Science Center, Austin Zoo, or the Austin Steam Train Tours.

Just remember, this is just a small sampling of the different types of educational vacations you can experience in Texas. We recommend exploring specific cities and destinations in greater detail to see everything that is available.

Educational Vacations

Nature/Outdoor Vacations

If camping out under big star-filled night skies in Texas sounds appealing, you would not be alone. There are many different types of nature and outdoor vacations for people of all ages and families to experience. Many of these types of vacations are found in West Texas, where there are canyons, desert-like conditions, and mountains; and North Texas, where you will discover the prairie lands.

  • If you are looking to escape the busy cities and want a nice quiet break, you can camp outdoors at Caprock Canyons in North Texas.
  • Over in West Texas’ Texas Hill Country, you can discover Enchanted Rock if you want to go rock climbing.
  • In East Texas, near the Louisiana border, you can experience a camping and canoe vacation at Caddo Lake.
  • If cliff jumping into water sounds like fun, you can check out Jacob’s Well in Wimberley. It is part of the longest underwater caves in the state, Edward’s Aquifer, and here you can cliff jump directly into the first chamber of the cave.
  • Inks Lake State Park in Hill Country is another popular vacation spot you can visit. You can canoe and kayak on the lake, climb rocks, cliff jump, and even discover some of our state’s stunning waterfalls here.
  • Over by Austin, if you are looking a way to escape the summer heat on your vacation to the city, head down to Hamilton Pool. While cooling off, this natural pool will provide you some great views of a collapsed canyon.
  • If you want to explore the canyons of Texas, make sure your vacation includes a hike to the Lighthouse, located in Palo Duro Canyon. This natural rock formation looks like a lighthouse. You can also ride bikes or go horseback riding through the canyons.

As you can see, there are plenty of outdoor and nature adventures waiting for you all through Texas. Again, these are just a sampling of the many others you will discover.

Nature Outdoor Vacations

Foodie Vacations

Texas is a foodie lover’s paradise. Texas is already known for its BBQ. In fact, each region within the state has its own types of BBQ foods waiting to be tasted. Plus, you will find numerous types of chili all across the state at all different “heat” levels, from mild to “five-alarm” bowls.

If you are looking to experience some food from south of the border, Texas offers a diverse selection of Mexican cuisine, as well as our spin on it, which we call “Tex-Mex.” Did you know many of your favorites were created by our Tex-Mex chefs, not in Mexico?

  • Fajitas
  • Chili Con Carne
  • Nachos
  • Chili Con Queso

Even margaritas were invented in Texas, in Dallas, to be precise, before spreading nationwide.

Foodie Vacations

Many of our cities feature different types of “Foodie Tours” you can explore if you want a structured sampling of foods. However, what we highly recommend if you want to eat like the “locals” is to hit up some food trucks and ask us where we like to eat to discover many of our “best-kept restaurants secrets” and flavorful meals most tourists never find.

Locals Can Discover New Adventures, Too

You would be surprised by how many “locals” never consider vacationing in-state. With so many different types of vacations for couples, families, and people of all ages, you do not have to travel far to discover a new favorite destination.

If you like cruising the Caribbean or Bahamas, our cruise ports are expanding and bringing in new cruise offerings from the major cruise lines all the time, including Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival. These cruise lines all sail out of Galveston, and some also sail out of other various Texas ports.

Discover New Adventures

The best part of taking an in-state vacation is you do not have as far to travel, but can feel like you are thousands of miles away! Before taking your next vacation, to ensure you come home to a comfortable home, remember to get your air conditioning system inspected and tuned up by Christianson Air Conditioning and Plumbing.

Feel free to call your nearest location in Austin, San Antonio, Temple, or New Braunfels today! We offer indoor air quality testing and inspections, heating and cooling repairs, heating and air conditioning replacements, new HVAC installations, air duct repairs and installs, and most types of residential plumbing services.

 

Sources

  1. https://www.tripping.com/explore/5-best-family-vacations-in-texas
  2. https://www.theoutbound.com/sarah-vaughn/the-10-best-adventures-in-texas
  3. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g28964-Activities-c52-Texas.html
  4. http://www.onlyinyourstate.com/texas/amazing-beaches-tx/


Prepare for Winter with Replaced Gas Lines & Water Heaters

Posted on October 30th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

Even as warm summer weather persists into fall, the cold of winter isn’t far behind. Don’t let mother nature deceive you. It’s important to prepare for winter in Austin, TX before the cold sets in. This will promote comfort, heating efficiency, and lower energy bills, as well as increased safety. Gas water heater repair and other home maintenance tasks should be completed now, so you’re ready for the winter cold as it sets in around San Antonio, TX.

Here is a checklist for preparing for winter, starting with your gas lines and water heaters.

Gas lines:

  • Have them checked for leaks. A rotten egg smell and hissing sound can indicate a problem, which can create a very dangerous situation, so contact a professional for an immediate repair.

Water heaters:

  • Flush the tank so there is no sediment that can cause damage or lead to hot water heater failure during a cold snap.
  • Seek professional hot water heater installation of newer, more energy-efficient models.

Gas lines water heaters winter

Plumbing:

  • Insulate basement, crawlspace, and attic pipes to protect them against freezing.
  • Use heat tape on pipes especially prone to freezing.
  • Roll up and store garden hoses inside the house.
  • Have in-ground sprinkler systems blown out to purge them of freeze-prone

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

Gas water heater repair isn’t the only important preparation. Your ventilation and air conditioning system can be the source of many issues that affect your Temple, TX home in winter. Here are a few items to consider in terms of efficiency:

  • Remove window-mounted air conditioners or seal them with insulated liners.
  • Switch fans into reverse to blow warm air toward the floor.
  • Install a programmable thermostat for better heating control.
  • Limit the flow of outside air by sealing duct leaks, installing insulating sheets behind exterior outlets and switch plates, and replacing the damper in a drafty fireplace.
  • If you have a whole house humidifier, clean it and have the evaporator pad replaced.
  • Inspect the firebox and flue system for soot, cracks, and other fire hazards.
  • Clean or replace furnace air filters, which improve air quality and efficiency.

Seal Windows and Doors

  • Replace leaky weatherstripping around doors and doorframes.
  • Replace door and window screens with stormproof materials.
  • Caulk any drafty windows or doors to prevent heat loss.
  • Repair or replace windows with cracks, gaps, or broken glass.
  • Repair or fix rotted or decayed wooden window frames.

Prepare HVAC winter

Professional Service

If you live in Austin, San Antonio, Temple, or New Braunfels, TX, you can ready your home for winter by detecting hot water heater problems early and having professional technicians look for other issues. For example, Christianson can provide expert air conditioning repair or conduct an airflow analysis to detect duct leakage and other inefficiencies. We can repair gas lines and install water heater systems that save energy and stay reliable for years to come.

Protect your home and family, comfort, and wallet. Contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing for seasonal or emergency AC or plumbing service.

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7 Reasons Why Texas Should Be YOUR New Home!

Posted on October 16th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

According to a report by the Texas Association of Realtors, Texas is one of the fastest growing states with new inbound residents. The number of out-7 Reasons Why Texas Should Be Your New Homeof-state residents that relocated to the Lone Star state in 2015 amounts to 553,032, yet this was offset by an outflow of 445,343 people.

Yet, this still amounted to a net population increase of 107,689 new residents. In addition, this represents a net gain of 4 percent over 2014, which means a net population increase of 103,465 new residents.

Why are so many people moving to Texas? Let’s take a look at seven of the more popular reasons people are relocating from out-of-state that you may want to add to your “moving to Texas things to know” list.

1.No State Income Taxes

One of the biggest reasons people have on their moving to Texas checklist is that Texas is one of the few states which does not have a state income tax. Rather, the state supplements its revenues from property taxes and the hospitality and tourism industry. In addition, for small business owners, Texas offers several different tax incentives to relocate to or start a business.

2. Texas Has All Four Seasons

Texas is one of the few states that allow people to choose whether they want to live in an area that goes through all four seasons or in milder areas No State Income Texasfurther south. Northern Texans enjoy leaves changing color in the fall, brisk and cold winter mornings, snow, and the beautiful flowers of springtime.

Further south, temperatures can still get chilly in the wintertime but tend to be milder. So, if you dislike snow and cold, then southern Texas is a perfect place to move. Part of the reason why Texans can enjoy all four seasons is also due to having a wide array of ecosystems.

You will find tropical conditions in South Texas. In West Texas, you can enjoy the desert, mountains, and canyons. Over in East Texas, there are bayous and wetlands. Then, in North Texas are green pastures and fields, as well as prairie lands.

You may want to make a note about this on your moving to Texas checklist. This way, you can decide which area of the state appeals the most to you, based on your personal climate and seasonal preferences.

3.The Housing Market Is Booming

Texans were not affected as badly by the housing market bubble bursting a decade ago because Texas has stricter lending rules. These rules help Texas Housing Market Is Boomingprotect home buyers and contribute to the booming housing industry in Texas.

New inbound residents will find they have several different housing options available. New condos are popular in the bigger cities when people want to enjoy busy city life. For others who want a quieter area, there are plenty of existing homes for sale on the market.

You may find getting a new construction loan and building your own custom house to your liking. You do not have to worry, as there is plenty of land for housing, too. The processes to get building permits and milder weather in most areas mean it is faster to build homes in Texas, compared to other states.

4. Most Areas Are Family-Friendly

Many of the inbound out-of-state moves have been families. Not only does the affordable housing and wide range of options attract them, but also the family-friendliness of the majority of cities and communities throughout the entire state. This family-friendliness extends to the LGBT community, too. You will find San Antonio has one of the largest populations of LGBT families, not just in the state, but in the country.

5. Texas Has Six of the Largest Cities in the U.S.

Out of the 20 largest cities in the United States, six of these are in Texas:Texas Largest Cities

  • Austin
  • Dallas
  • Houston
  • Fort Worth
  • San Antonio
  • El Paso

Since many of these cities originally came of age back in the 1960s to 1980s, most are being updated with new buildings, new eco-friendly public transportation, and other updates to make these Texas cities modern.

Plus, most people find Texas has some of the best income-to-cost-of-living ratios for those that like to live in big cities. Unlike other cities, like LA or NYC, where residents may have to work two jobs or share homes, Texans earn enough to cover their city housing expenses.

6. A Large Variety of Sports Teams

While college and professional football are big in Texas, people will find Texas has one of the most diverse and biggest varieties of sports teams. Aside from football, sports fans can enjoy:

  • NBA
  • NHL
  • MLB
  • NFL
  • ECHL
  • Women’s NBA
  • American Hockey League
  • North American Hockey League
  • NCAA Men’s and Women’s Sports
  • Champions Indoor Football Leagues
  • United Soccer League
  • National Women’s Soccer League
  • Major League Soccer, and More!

You can catch games being played year round, based on the sports season, so you will always have a team to cheer on.

7. The Food

Texas is home to some of the most authentic cuisines in the country. From Tex Mex and chili to breakfast tacos and BBQ, you will find this the Food in Texasbirthplace of many of your favorites. Not to mention, most of the cities in Texas are a foodie’s dreamland, with a wide array of restaurants and tastings to savor from all around the state, country, and the world.

What About the Hot Texan Summers?

Out of all the moving to Texas pros, the one con is the hot Texan summer. It can get extremely hot in July and August, to where it can be unbearable for some people, especially if it is their first summertime in Texas.

However, you don’t have to fret about the heat, as Texas does offer modern amenities, like central air conditioning to keep your home and business cool. You will even find all of our vehicles come equipped standard with AC!

What most newly relocated residents discover is, after staying for a spell and getting acclimated to the heat, the summers are not as bad as what they might have initially heard. Sure, we like to joke about just how bad the heat can be. Yet, we are more than happy to share our tips and tricks for beating the heat and staying cool all summer long with new residents. Heck, we’ll even forgive you for not moving to Texas sooner!

All joking aside, the best way to make surviving the heat of summer easier on you and your family, especially if you are not used to it, is to remember Hot Texas Summer Nightsto get your AC serviced and tuned up on an annual basis.

Some Texans will also tell you it can be beneficial to have a monthly or bi-monthly home AC service plan to help prevent unexpected breakdowns. Plus, if we do have an unusually hot winter day, you don’t have to worry about your AC not working right.

TIP: What many new residents do not know is that Texas is one of the few states which has deregulated its electricity markets. This means you are free to shop around rates and select the energy provider you want in most areas. You will also find the option to select between fixed-rate and variable-rate plans.

Texas will continue to be a popular destination for new inbound people and families for the foreseeable future. If you think Texas might be a good fit for you and your family, we invite you to visit and check out everything Texas has to offer. We are sure, after you visit, you will be heading home to pack up and move.

To help keep your home cool and comfortable all year round, as well as heated on those few cold winter days, please feel free to contact your nearest Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing location today! We are also experts at new air conditioning, heating, and plumbing installations should you decide to build your new Texas home.

 

Source

  1. https://www.texasrealestate.com/uploads/files/general-files/Texas_Relocation_Report_January_2017.pdf


Humidity, Heat Waves and Hot Summer Nights: We’ve Got You Covered!

Posted on October 11th, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

Summer—especially here in the southwest—can be a killer. Texas summers average a temperature somewhere in the 90s, punctuated by heat spikes upward of 100 degrees.¹ For residents of the Lone Star State, that means lots of air conditioning indoors and extra care outdoors! In this article, we’ll take a look at how the heat and humidity can affect your home and health, as well as how a good air conditioner company can help you keep cool and safe when the temperatures rise.

 

How Humidity Works

Humidity is a measurement of the amount of water vapor in the air. Much like walking through a cloud of steam, the presence of this water vapor Smart Thermostatmakes you feel sticky and slightly damp. The vapor is also the reason certain types of hair begin to frizz and curl in high humidity—the hair is essentially getting wet.

Generally, the amount of water vapor is defined in two ways: absolute humidity and relative humidity. Absolute humidity is calculated as the amount of water vapor divided by the amount of dry air at a given temperature. Relative humidity is the percentage we’re most familiar with in weather reports, as it refers to what percentage of the maximum possible amount of water vapor is currently present.

If the relative humidity is 50%, it means that the air is currently at half its capacity for water vapor. If the relative humidity is 100%, it means the air can’t possibly hold more vapor. At 100%, the vapor generally begins to form clouds. The vapor condenses and eventually falls back to the ground as rain. This is why it can seem so much less humid after a rainfall.

 

What Is a Heat Wave?

A “heat wave” is generally defined as a period of especially hot, potentially dangerous weather. A heat wave may also be accompanied by especially Woman Standing in Humidityhigh humidity. Because there is no respite from the incredible heat for a long stretch of time, people who spend a great deal of time outdoors or who do not have access to a cooled space can become extremely ill. Conditions like heat stroke, dehydration, and even death can result if a person does not take care during a heat wave—especially in the sweltering heat of the southwest United States.

 

Staying Safe in the Hot Outdoors

Whether you’re working during a heat wave or simply enjoy spending your summers in the sun, here are a few key tips for staying safe, cool, and properly hydrated in the great outdoors:

  • Plan rest periods into your workday (preferably somewhere cool).

If you’re laboring outside in extreme heat, make sure you take breaks to cool down and relax. Make sure your body temperature has a chance to level out while you hydrate and rest up before getting back to work. Over-working yourself in severe heat can be extremely dangerous (and it will likely affect the quality of your work).

  • Drink water frequently.

When spending a great deal of time outside in the heat, make sure you drink at least a half cup of water every 15 to 20 minutes to keep your Drinking Waterbody hydrated. Remember: As you sweat, you’re losing water!

  • Dress appropriately for the heat.

Always pay attention to the weather reports and dress for the heat and humidity. Should it cool off suddenly, you can always add layers over time.

  • Pay attention to any unusual symptoms, even if they seem vague.

Don’t take symptoms like dizziness, headache, nausea, or red-hot skin lightly. These may be symptoms of serious conditions like heat exhaustion or potentially fatal heat stroke. If your body starts acting unusually in the heat, it may be trying to tell you that something is very wrong.

  • Get into an air-conditioned space when you get the chance.

Even if you’d rather not be indoors for very long, it’s a good idea to take advantage of modern A/C systems whenever you can. Take a few minutes to pop into a nearby shop or public building to cool off in the air-conditioned space whenever you can. If you’re just hanging out in your backyard, make sure you head inside every so often to chill out—literally!

 

Using A/C Without Racking Up a Gigantic Energy Bill

Air conditioning can be a literal lifesaver in the heat of a Texas summer. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make sure you don’t break the bank trying to stay cool:

  • Make sure your A/C unit is in good condition before summer comes.

Make sure that your air conditioner is in good working order and will function efficiently by getting it inspected and serviced before the intense Fatigued Manheat of summer strikes. An air conditioner contractor like Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing can take a look at your system and help you address any maintenance or repairs that may need to be done before your unit is in regular use for the year.

  • Run the air conditioner less often at night.

Because our bodies generally need less cooling at night, you can set your air conditioner to run at a much lower rate while you’re asleep. If it’s not too hot indoors, you may be able to turn your A/C completely off at night and get by with a bedside fan.

  • Use a thermostat with a scheduling system to avoid cooling the house when no one is home.

Another great way to reduce unnecessary usage is to use a thermostat with a scheduling option that allows you to adjust your home’s temperature at specific times of day. With timed cooling, you can set your A/C to kick on only a half hour before you arrive home, saving money on energy during the day when you’re not around.

  • Opt for a small window unit that cools only a certain area.

If you don’t have central air conditioning or would prefer not to use it, you can save money by heating only a small area or a single room with a Table Fansmall window unit. This uses significantly less energy and still gives you a nicely cooled getaway from the heat.

  • Close vents to rooms you don’t need to be cooled.

If there’s an area of your home that you don’t intend to spend much time in when it’s hot out (like the basement or a rarely used guest room), close the vents to that room. By not sending cooled air into that room, the areas you want cooled will come down to temperature more quickly and your system won’t waste energy.

  • Supplement air conditioning with fans for good movement.

Keep air moving throughout your home with a few fans for good measure. In addition to keeping cooled air distributed, the breeze will provide an extra cooling effect.

 

Beat the Heat and Humidity with Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing

At Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we’ve been helping residents across the Austin, San Antonio, Temple, and New Braunfels areas stay cool for more than 65 years. With our air conditioner installation, maintenance, and repair services, you can make sure that your home is prepared for the next big heat wave.

Whether you need us to perform a full air conditioner replacement or make an emergency repair to an existing A/C system, we’ve got you covered. To learn more about how our expert air conditioner contractors can help you beat the Texas heat, call your nearest Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing location today!

 

Source

  1. https://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/texas/united-states/3213

 

 


How to Operate Air Conditioning Efficiently and Save Energy

Posted on October 1st, 2017 by ChristainSon_Admin

Today, air conditioning is more than simply an optional convenience. It helps keep indoor temperatures at within a tolerable range, which is very Operating an Air Conditioning Systemimportant in the year-round Texas heat. However, that comfort comes at a price—in the monthly utility bill, of course, but also in the energy used. If we look to the past, however, we can discover some air conditioning tips to save energy and money.

Keeping your utility bill down can be a challenge. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that air conditioning can account for nearly half of the average home’s energy consumption. This number may be even higher for Texas residents, who are used to long, sweltering summers. Not all the expense is necessary for most homeowners, though, if they change certain inefficient habits and make sure their HVAC system is running properly and is well-maintained.

The Importance of Proper Installation and Maintenance

Keeping your HVAC equipment in good working condition is important, as the problems can begin almost immediately if your unit isn’t properly installed. That’s why it’s important to hire only experienced HVAC professionals to set up your cooling system.

Just as important, you should have your HVAC unit serviced to save on energy bills, as there is a variety of things that can go wrong that will run up your bill fast. This may include improperly operating fans, malfunctioning condensers, clogged vent-lines, and more. Clogged ducts are so common that the Department of Energy estimates that, in the typical home, 20 to 30 percent of air moving through HVAC ducts is lost through leaks in the ductwork.

Efficient A/C Habits to Save Energy

While it goes without saying that keeping your thermostat at a higher temperature will save you money in the warmer seasons, certain other tips Air Conditioning Installation and Maintenancemay be less well-known.

Keeping your home cool doesn’t mean relying 100 percent on the A/C. In fact, if we look to the past, we can see many ways Texans managed to stay cool before the advent of commonplace A/C, and these “cooling hacks” can still be used today.

Tips include:

  • Use a ceiling fan, and other ventilation strategies. If necessary, put a bucket of ice in front of the fan to blow even cooler air.
  • Install solar screens or window films. These can block out up to 70 percent of solar energy before it enters the home.
  • Have your home properly insulated. Insulation is both helpful for heating and cooling.
  • Don’t create extra heat. Turning certain lights or operating appliances on can turn up the heat in the room. For example, don’t cook in the oven if the outside grill is available, instead. Install energy-efficient lighting that runs cooler than incandescent light bulbs.
  • Turn off the A/C at night. Keep the windows open at night, and close them in the morning and pull down the blinds to keep sunlight from heating your room even more.

Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing has followed several “Green Initiatives” to help save energy and to save you money. These include:

  • High-efficiency equipment
  • Energy star certified products
  • Ozone friendly refrigerants

To learn more tips on how to save on your energy bill, or to schedule an appointment with our HVAC experts, please contact one of our area offices for more information.

Sources

  1. https://energy.gov/public-services/homes/heating-cooling
  2. https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_ducts



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