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What Is the Ideal Water Pressure? Signs It Is Too High

Posted on January 31st, 2023 by ChristainSon_Admin

Man washing hands in bathroom sink at home checking temperature touching running water with hand.

Most people want decent water pressure in their homes to shower, do dishes, or fill a pot to boil water. Yet, when the water pressure is too high, it can cause damage to the home’s plumbing system. As such, it is worthwhile to know the symptoms of high water pressure in a house and the ideal water pressure.

What Is the Normal Water Pressure for a House?

The ideal range of normal water pressure for a house is between 30 psi (pounds per square inch) and 80 psi. Anything over 80 psi is considered too high and could damage your plumbing system.

On the other end of the spectrum, anything below 40 psi is considered low pressure, and anything below 30 psi is considered too low. Low water pressure can create issues with being unable to run more than one faucet or appliance at a time. Furthermore, it can be below current building and plumbing codes if it is too low.

Most people strive to have their water pressure to be somewhere between 50 psi and 70 psi. This range is considered the “sweet spot,” where pressure is sufficient enough to handle multiple faucets and appliances without any noticeable differences.

Signs of High Water Pressure in a House

Plumber repairing sink pipe leakage

It is easy to recognize the signs of high water pressure in a house when you know what to look for, including the following:

Frequent Appliance Repairs

High water pressure puts a lot of stress and wear and tear on appliances. Hoses and water supply lines can burst. The seals and water pumps are also easily damaged.

Frequent Fixture Repairs and Replacements

Excessive water pressure can cause seals and washers inside fixtures to be pushed out of the way, even when shut off. This causes leaks that gradually worsen.

Hearing Banging in Your Pipes

Water hammer is a condition where the water flow is abruptly stopped and bangs into the pipe. If you are hearing banging sounds whenever the water is turned off, the water pressure could be too high.

High Water Bills

Water flows at a much faster rate when it is under more pressure. For example, if you turn on the tap at full speed, you will use about 15 gallons of water in about 5 minutes at 50 psi. At 70 psi, you will use about 21 gallons of water in about 5 minutes. So, if you notice your water bills seem a bit much, high water pressure could be the cause.

Plumbing Leaks

High water pressure places additional strain on your home’s plumbing system. Over time, it can push apart pipe fittings, joints, and other connections. As it does, small water leaks start that will eventually become bigger, causing water damage to your home.

If you hear dripping water or the sound of running water and your water is off, you most likely have a water leak from high pressure.

Toilet Tank Overfills

High water pressure will damage the shutoff valve on toilets. When it does, the water will continue to run and will cause the toilet tank to overflow.

The Location of Your House

When your house is located toward the bottom of a hill or at the very bottom, water pressure will be naturally higher. This is because water flows downward due to gravity and can increase the pressure of the water coming into your home.

Your Home’s Pressure Regulator Failed

Most modern homes have a pressure regulator connected in between the main water supply line and where the plumbing enters the house. The pressure regulator allows you to set the psi on the water flowing into the home. So, if you notice the water pressure has increased, your pressure regulator probably failed.

You Have City Water

Some municipalities keep their water pressure turned up much higher than is needed. This is to ensure water can reach higher floors in highrises, condos, and other tall buildings. Higher pressure is also required for fire hydrants.

How Is High Water Pressure Fixed?

When there are symptoms of high water pressure in a house, it is crucial to have a plumber fix the problem as soon as possible. Some of the potential solutions include the following:

  • Install a pressure regulator valve. If your home does not have a pressure regulator, one can be installed and adjusted to lower the water pressure.
  • Replace a pressure regulator valve. If your home has a pressure regulator and it is broken, it can be replaced.
  • Have a detailed plumbing inspection performed. You will want your plumber to do a detailed inspection of all faucets, fixtures, and plumbing lines to ensure high water pressure has not caused any damage.

What if My Pressure Is Too Low?

The first thing to check, especially if you have city water, is to see if your house has a water pressure regulator. It may be turned all the way down, which means the water pressure going into the home will be low.

If your home does not have one or you have well water, your plumber can install a water pressure booster pump. The pump should be installed and configured by a professional plumber to ensure it meets current building codes.

You do need to be aware that the pump will increase your electricity use. However, you will have higher water pressure inside your home.

Another common cause of low water pressure is water leaks. So, if you used to have decent pressure and it recently dropped, you probably have a water leak.

How Can I Find Out What My Home’s Water Pressure Is?

plumber

Most home improvement and hardware stores that sell plumbing supplies will sell water pressure gauges. You can pick up one of these and connect it to the faucet to check the pressure.

Once it is connected to the faucet, make sure all other water lines are turned off. Turn on the faucet and it will show the water pressure on the gauge.

You can also use the water pressure gauge on different faucets and fixtures to verify the pressure is consistent throughout your house. If your pressure is too high or too low, you will want to schedule a plumber to help resolve the problem.

Alternatively, you can schedule a water pressure test with your plumber, such as the plumbers at Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We are happy to test your water pressure in the San Antonio and Austin Metro areas.

If you notice signs of high water pressure in your house, or you want to have your pressure tested, call us at 512-246-5400 today.


A Guide to Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Systems

Posted on January 24th, 2023 by ChristainSon_Admin

Reverse osmosis water purification system at home.

When you want to improve the quality of your drinking water, you have a few different options. You could have your plumber install a whole-house filtration system or a reverse osmosis water filter system in specific locations in your home.

What Is a Reverse Osmosis Water System?

A reverse osmosis water system is a type of water purification system that purifies drinking water. Unlike a whole-house filtration system, only the faucets connected to the RO plumbing will receive the purified water.

What Is the Difference Between a Filtration System and a Purification System?

Water filtration is where water is fed through one or more filters to remove impurities from the water. Impurities often consist of calcium and heavy metals when you have hard water. They can also remove chlorine and other chemicals when you have city water.

Water purification also filters the water but has added benefits. They can remove all types of impurities, pollutants, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), viruses, and bacteria.

Do I Need an RO System if I Have a Whole-House Filtration System?

Most people with a whole-house filtration system will still consider reverse osmosis system installation. Since the system is only installed under specific sinks in the home, it can be beneficial to have purified water for drinking and cooking.

On the other hand, if you do not require whole-house filtration, reverse osmosis water filter systems can be installed in just those locations where you want purified water.

How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?

It is essential to remember there are different systems with various options. In general, the system will process the water through a series of filters and a RO membrane, as follows:

  1. The water passes through a sediment filter to remove sediment.
  2. Next, the water passes through a carbon filter to start the water purification process.
  3. Then the water passes through the RO membrane, removing any remaining impurities. These impurities are flushed out a drain line while the filtered and purified water continues through the system.
  4. Next, the water moves through a deionization filter, removing any remaining pollutants.

More advanced systems can have two additional steps where the water moves through a chamber exposed to UV light that kills bacteria and viruses. Last, it moves through a second carbon filter to remove any odors or funny tastes to deliver the purest water for drinking and cooking.

Most in-home reverse osmosis plumbing lines are connected to a storage tank that holds RO water until it is required. Once the storage tank is full, the RO system shuts off until the water level drops to a preset amount.

What Are the Benefits of a Reverse Osmosis System?

a glass of fresh water

The primary benefits your home gains when you have a reverse osmosis system include:

  • Improved Tasting Water
  • Odor-Free and Mineral-Free Water
  • Impurities and Contaminants Removed
  • Safe Water for Drinking and Cooking Ensured
  • Most Sodium from the Water Removed

In addition, you do not have to worry about wasting money on bottled water, water filter pitchers, and other such products. Furthermore, a RO system is eco-friendly because you are not using tons of plastic bottles that end up in landfills.

Another benefit of investing in a reverse osmosis system for your home is it can reduce plumbing repairs. Since it purifies the water, the water from the faucet is mineral- and contaminant-free. As a result, faucet aerators and screens do not get clogged, and you do not develop leaking faucets as quickly.

Choosing the Right RO System for Your House

The first step is to have your plumber test your water quality to find out exactly what is in it. Once you know what it contains, you can decide what type of filtration system you want for your home.

For example, installing a water softener would be recommended if you have hard water. Next, if you want to filter all the water coming into the house, you need a whole-house solution. Then you could have individual RO systems installed underneath the sinks where you want purified water.

On the other hand, if you have city water and want purified water for drinking and cooking, a single system in the kitchen would be appropriate. Once you decide what type of system you need, the next step is to determine what level of filtration and purification you would like. Most people invest in a 4-stage or 5-stage RO system because it provides the best quality water.

Benefits of Professional Reverse Osmosis System Installation

Reverse osmosis system installation is not an easy DIY project. You also need to ensure the system is installed correctly and according to current building and plumbing codes. Therefore, this is a job best left to a qualified plumber.

Your plumber will also be able to ensure that the component and parts needed for the system will fit correctly in the space under the sink and still allow for some storage. Additionally, most plumbing companies offer maintenance programs where the plumber performs maintenance and changes the filters every six or twelve months.

Get an RO System Installed Today

If you have further questions about RO systems, what type of filtration systems would be best for your home, or want a free estimate, please contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400. We also can perform maintenance and repairs on existing water filtration and RO systems already installed in your San Antonio or Austin Metro area home.

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Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing for 2023

Posted on January 18th, 2023 by Jill Ponek

The new year is a great time to give some attention to your home’s plumbing. Whether planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel or looking for ways to avoid plumbing problems, check out these great tips.

Schedule Plumbing Maintenance

Scheduling plumbing maintenance services help prevent plumbing problems and identify potential plumbing issues before they become more costly repairs. For example, part of your regular plumbing maintenance should include annual drain cleaning. Keeping your drains free of soap, hair, and other gunk will prevent clogs.

Focus on Water Conservation

Reducing your water usage can be accomplished by making some plumbing upgrades and changing your water usage habits. For instance, you could have your plumber install water-conserving fixtures throughout your home.

Consider Bathroom Upgrades

Start the new year fresh by upgrading to a spa-style shower head, updating fixtures, or replacing a rickety toilet. These are small but impactful changes that can affect the overall appearance and experience in your bathroom.

Be Mindful of What Goes Down the Drain

One of the most common causes of clogs and plumbing problems is putting things down drains or flushing them in the toilet when you should not. The only things that should go down sink drains are water, soap, hair-care products, and shaving gel. Likewise, the only thing that should get flushed in the toilet is toilet paper.

We invite you to continue reviewing our tips to prepare your plumbing for 2023 for inspiration and ideas on creating your own plumbing maintenance checklist.

Schedule Plumbing Services Today

After reviewing our infographic, request further information about our plumbing maintenance services. Please feel free to contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 to request a free quote in Central Texas today.

Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing for 2023 Infographic

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Things You Can Do for Your Home in the New Year

Posted on January 4th, 2023 by Jill Ponek

The start of the new year is a great time to make some New Year’s resolutions for your home. You can do all sorts of things, from simple improvements to complete renovations. Taking the time to set some goals for the things you want to accomplish can pay off in the long run too.

Declutter and Reorganize

After taking down your holiday decorations, this is the perfect time to declutter your house and get rid of anything you no longer want or need. You should also consider reorganizing your home to make it more comfortable and functional.

Remodel Your Kitchen or Bathroom

Beautiful bathroom in luxury home with double vanity, bathtub, mirror, sinks, shower, and hardwood floor

When you have renovation resolutions you want to accomplish, make a list of how you want to transform your kitchen or bathroom. Some ideas to help get you started include:

  • Low-Flush Toilets
  • Water-Saving Fixtures
  • New Shower
  • New Bathtub
  • More Storage Space
  • New Energy-Efficient Appliances

Make Energy-Efficient Improvements

Woman controlling temperature with a smart thermostat mounted on the wall at modern apartment.

There are many different ways to make your home more energy efficient, such as:

  • Have a smart thermostat installed.
  • Upgrade to a tankless water heater.
  • Have solar panels installed.
  • Insulate any exposed plumbing lines.
  • Insulate your tank-type water heater.
  • Top off your attic insulation.
  • Upgrade your windows.
  • Seal air leaks around doors and windows.
  • Replace your air conditioning and heating system if it is more than 15 years old.
  • Upgrade your lighting to LED smart bulbs.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Most people are surprised to discover their indoor air quality is worse than the air outside. Have your indoor air quality tested by your HVAC technician. After the test, they will make recommendations on how you can improve the air quality inside your house.

Have Air Ducts Cleaned and Sealed

Man replacing dirty HVAC air filter in ceiling vent. Home air duct system maintenance for clean air.

Part of poor indoor air quality is when there are air leaks in the air ducts. Having these cleaned and sealed will improve the air quality and reduce the amount of cooled or heated air lost.

Have Your Water Tested

Even if you have city water, there can still be things in the water that affect its smell and taste. Have your plumber test your water to find out exactly what is in it.

Afterward, they can recommend an appropriate water filtration system to suit your needs. If you have hard water, you may also want to consider getting a water softener as part of your new system.

Test Your Smoke Detectors

The start of the new year is a good time to test all the smoke detectors in your house to ensure they are working correctly. You should also replace the backup batteries at the same time.

Have a Carbon Monoxide Detector Installed

If you use natural gas in your home for cooking, hot water, or heating, it is highly recommended to have a carbon monoxide detector installed. Carbon monoxide detectors can alert you when there is a gas leak.

Have Your Water Heater Serviced

Whether you have a tank-type or tankless water heater, you should have it serviced annually. Part of the annual service to help it last longer includes flushing out the water heater to remove any build-up and debris that have accumulated in the unit.

Replace Old Plumbing

If you have an older home with steel or metal plumbing lines, you should consider getting new plumbing, especially if you notice rust in your water. Replacing your plumbing now will also help you avoid potential water leaks and other problems that occur with steel and metal plumbing lines the older they get.

Have Your HVAC System Serviced

Scheduling bi-annual maintenance on your air conditioning and heating system will keep it working correctly and help it last longer. Ideally, you should schedule air conditioning maintenance in the spring and heating maintenance in the fall. However, if you have not had any maintenance performed lately, schedule maintenance as soon as possible.

Add a Splash of Color

It is easy to give the rooms in your home a new look and feel by adding some color. For example, you could repaint the walls in a trendy color or change the color of the cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom by painting them.

Keep Your House Clean

The new year is a good time to establish a weekly cleaning schedule for your home and stick to it. Decide what chores you want to accomplish and when, so you still have time to relax after working all week.

You can even break your list of chores up so you do things on alternating weekends, such as vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping one weekend and dusting and washing sheets and bedding the following weekend.

Schedule Drain Cleaning Plumbing Services

Soap, food particles, grease, hair, and other gunk build up inside drain pipes, eventually leading to clogged drains. This icky stuff can also start to smell and stink. Scheduling plumbing services to have your drain lines cleaned annually can prevent clogs and keep drain lines from stinking and working correctly.

Why Is Creating Home Resolutions Important?

One of the benefits you gain when you create home resolutions in the new year is feeling like you are in a new home. You will notice your house has a different look and feel, making it more inviting, comfortable, and appealing. In addition, many of the improvements you make throughout the year will increase the value of your house.

Furthermore, when you improve your home’s indoor air quality and water quality, you and your family benefit. You will notice feeling healthier and having fewer allergies, respiratory problems, and illnesses.

Schedule HVAC and Plumbing Services Today

Whether you are renovating your kitchen or bathroom, want to make energy-efficient improvements, or want to schedule maintenance for your HVAC system or plumbing, you can count on Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing.

Our HVAC technicians and plumbing professionals can take care of all your home’s heating, cooling, air quality, water quality, and plumbing needs in San Antonio and the Austin Metro area. Contact us at 512-246-5400 today.


Remodeling Your Bathroom in 2023: Plumbing Considerations

Posted on December 24th, 2022 by Jill Ponek

Stylish spacious bathroom with round mirror above sink and wooden tabletop

Planning a bathroom remodel in 2023 is a great way to increase the value of your home. Having a new, updated bathroom allows you to customize your bathroom with the features you desire the most like a larger shower or a spa-like tub. However, there are some important considerations to evaluate before you get started renovating your bathroom.

The Placement of Existing Plumbing

The first step in planning a bathroom remodel is deciding if you need to move any of the existing plumbing lines. For example, some people dislike the current layout of their bathrooms. They may want to move the toilet, tub, shower, or sinks to make the bathroom layout more functional.

Moving plumbing lines does require the assistance of an experienced bathroom remodel plumber. The lines have to be carefully moved, so they do not affect support walls and the foundation.

Additionally, relocating plumbing lines will increase the cost of renovating a bathroom. So, you need to decide if the existing lines are fine where they are located for your remodel or if you absolutely need them moved.

Plumbing Fixtures You Want to Upgrade

The next consideration is whether or not you want to upgrade any of your existing bathroom plumbing fixtures. Fixtures include the toilet, faucets, and shower head. Most people will replace these during a remodel to ensure their bathroom has a new look. In addition, upgrading bathroom fixtures to water-conserving ones can help lower your water usage.

The Size of Existing Drains

Some drains may be too small and are constantly getting clogged with hair, soap, and shampoo. Enlarging the drain size is not difficult by selecting sink, shower pans, and tubs with larger openings.If you decide you need larger drains, then you probably want to replace your sinks, shower pan, and tub as part of your bathroom renovation.

Upgrade Your Water Heater

Another consideration is whether you want to upgrade your water heater as part of your bathroom remodel. For example, if you have a tank-type water heater that barely meets your current hot water needs, you may want to upgrade to a tankless water heater for a never-ending supply of hot water.

Do You Want Radiant Heated Flooring?

Since many people also replace the flooring in their bathrooms when remodeling, now is the time to decide if you want radiant heated flooring. If you dislike cold bathroom floors, this should be a “must-have” upgrade.

The Type of Shower Pan Base You Want

Modern bathroom interior

There are all types of shower pan bases in various sizes and shapes. You can even get customized bases to fit your specific dimensions. So, if you want a bigger shower or a change to its shape, you will need to replace the base during your remodel.

In addition, if you want a zero-entry or barrier-free shower entry, you need to ensure the base is installed correctly. Your bathroom remodel plumber will install it with a slight slope so that water does not run out of the shower and all over your bathroom floor. Furthermore, the flooring under the shower may need to be slightly altered to accommodate the new shower base.

Hidden or Exposed Plumbing Lines

Leaving plumbing lines exposed could fit with your design, as when you were going to a modern, industrial style. However, if your design doesn’t fit, then it is better to hide exposed plumbing lines using cabinets.

Finding the Right Bathroom Remodel Plumber

When you are remodeling your bathroom, there are certain things you may want to do yourself. However, renovating a bathroom will require assistance from an experienced bathroom remodel plumber when it comes to your bathroom’s plumbing.

It is easy to find experienced plumbers in San Antonio and the Austin Metro area at Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Request a free bathroom plumbing remodel quote by calling 512-246-5400 today.

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Should I Replace My Thermostat?

Posted on November 24th, 2022 by ChristainSon_Admin

a happy plumber fixing thermostat

The thermostat is an essential part of your home’s HVAC system. This component is responsible for communicating with your air conditioning or heating system to turn on and off to keep your home comfortable. When you notice problems with your HVAC system not operating correctly, replacing the thermostat could solve your problems.

The Importance of a Good Working Thermostat

The thermostat is the heart of your home’s heating and cooling system. A good working thermostat can turn the system on and off to regulate and maintain desired indoor temperatures, whether it is hot or cold outside.

When you have an old thermostat, it can show signs that it is no longer communicating effectively with your HVAC system. For example, the thermostat may send false signals because it inaccurately reads indoor air temperatures.

As a result, your HVAC system can turn off or on unexpectedly. In addition, it could run longer or short-cycle because the thermostat is not sending the correct information to the system.

Signs Your Thermostat May Need Replacing

Smiling African American man using modern smart home system, controller on wall

  1. Your HVAC system will not turn on or off. If you notice your HVAC system is not turning on or will not shut off, the culprit could be your thermostat. Try adjusting the setting up or down to see if this turns on or shuts off your system.
  2. There is nothing on the display screen. If your thermostat is not getting power, it will not operate your HVAC system. Verify the breaker is not blown and attempt to reset it.
  3. The indoor temperature reading on the thermostat is inaccurate. When the temperature on the display screen is off by a few degrees or more, it will cause your home to be warmer or cooler. Adjusting the thermostat to compensate for the variance is a short-term solution. However, you will want to contact your HVAC technician to have them test the thermostat to see if it needs replacing.
  4. The thermostat is outdated for your HVAC system. Newer HVAC systems may not be compatible with old thermostats. If you recently upgraded your HVAC system or are planning on doing so, it is a good idea to replace the thermostat too.
  5. You notice an increase in heating and cooling bills. Aside from increases from your energy provider, other increases in energy bills could be related to your thermostat not working properly or indicate your HVAC system is aging. Have your HVAC technician test your system to determine the cause.
  6. You notice your air conditioning or heating is short cycling. Short cycling can occur when the thermostat signals the system to shut off before the heating or cooling cycle is complete. This can also happen when your current system is undersized for your home.
  7. The thermostat’s technology is outdated. Digital programmable thermostats have been around since the 1980s. However, newer technologies, like smart thermostats, can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system.
  8. It is installed in the wrong location. Your thermostat should be installed on an interior wall, away from direct sunlight and register vents. Direct sunlight will cause your thermostat to think it is warmer inside than it is in the rest of the house. If the thermostat is installed near register vents, when the system runs, the hot or cold air will heat or cool the thermostat, resulting in short cycling.

How Long Do Thermostats Last?

Most thermostats can last about ten years before they need to be replaced. In addition, digital and smart thermostats have backup batteries to retain settings that should be replaced every year or two. However, if you like having the latest technology, replacing a thermostat before it is ten years old will give you access to the latest features to heat and cool your home.

Thermostat Replacement in Austin and San Antonio

If you have an old thermostat, notice any of the signs we mentioned, or simply want to replace a thermostat to upgrade to the latest technologies, please feel free to call Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 today. Our HVAC technicians will perform a detailed HVAC system inspection to determine if your thermostat is bad and to identify other potential HVAC problems.

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How Cold Weather Affects Your Water Heater

Posted on November 22nd, 2022 by Jill Ponek

Plumber repairing an hot-water heater

Many people do not consider how cooler winter temperatures affect their home’s plumbing and water heater. Instead, they take their water heater for granted for hot steamy showers and doing dishes. However, in wintertime, things are more likely to go wrong with your water heater and leave you wondering why your hot water is not working in cold weather.

How Does Cold Weather Affect a Hot Water Heater?

The water coming into your home will be much cooler than it is in the summer.

While temperatures do not get below freezing much in Austin or San Antonio, they still can get quite cold. As a result, you can expect the water coming into the home to be around 25 degrees cooler and even colder if it should get below freezing.

With the colder water refilling the water heater’s tank as you use hot water, it will need to run longer to bring it up to your desired temperature. So, you will notice right away an increase in energy bills.

Your water heater will have to run more often if it is not insulated.

The amount of heat transfer loss from the water heater will be more in the winter. So, as heat is lost, the water heater will run more frequently to maintain your desired temperature level. Unfortunately, this also places added wear and tear on the water heater. Therefore, you should insulate your water heater to reduce and prevent heat transfer loss.

The location of your water heater affects its wintertime performance.

Most homes have the water located in a garage, basement, or other areas of the house that have minimal protection from cooler weather. The colder air that circulates around the water tank lowers the water temperature and causes the water heater to run more often. Hence, the importance of insulating your water heater.

In addition, if there are air drafts, and you have a gas water heater, you need to keep an eye on the pilot light. The water heater pilot light goes out in cold weather more often because there tend to be more drafts than in summer. So, if you are scratching your head and thinking “Why is my water cold?”—check the pilot light.

Your water heater can start to make snapping, popping, and crackling noises.

The sediment found in the bottom of tank-type heaters will tend to become more noticeable in the winter. This is because as the water heats up, the sediment becomes warmer and draws in heat from the water. Not only does this cause your water heater to work harder, but it also causes the sediment to snap, pop, and crackle.

Your demand for hot water is often higher in the winter.

If you are like most people, you tend to take longer hot showers in the winter to warm up. Sometimes you may shower a few times each day. However, as hot water demands increase, your water heater may have a hard time keeping up.

While it can be tempting to crank up the temperature dial on the water heater, it increases the risk of being scalded. Plus, your water heater will have to work even harder to heat water to a higher temperature, shortening its lifespan.

The ideal temperature for a water heater is 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if your water heater is currently set at 120, it is okay to turn it up to 130 or 140 to see if this helps keep up with your hot water demands—but never go over 140.

How to Prevent Water Heater Problems in Cold Weather

Close-up of female hand adjusting temperature of water heater.

You can do several things to ensure you have plenty of hot water in your home all winter long. Many of these things will take the added strain, wear, and tear off your water heater too.

  • Insulate your water heater and exposed plumbing lines. We already mentioned insulating your water heater will help stop heat loss transfer and keep it from working as hard to maintain your desired water temperature. Furthermore, you should also insulate any exposed plumbing lines. Doing so will prevent a frozen water heater and frozen pipes should temperatures drop below freezing.
  • Have your plumber flush your water heater. Regular flushing will help remove sediment from the tank to help it last longer.
  • Schedule annual maintenance on your water heater. Yearly maintenance allows your water heater to be inspected and tested to identify any potential problems or parts that need to be replaced.
  • Upgrade to a tankless water heater this winter. Tankless water heaters are much more energy-efficient than tank-type heaters. Next, they can be installed just about anywhere inside the home, so they are not exposed to cooler temperatures. Best of all, they make hot water on demand to provide as much hot water as you need when you need it.

Signs Your Water Heater Needs to Be Repaired or Replaced

Worker adjusting temperature of water heater

Instead of waiting for your water heater to fail, it is better to be aware of common signs indicating that it needs to be repaired or replaced.

  • The hot water temperature never gets hot.
  • You run out of hot water frequently.
  • Your energy bills have increased excessively.
  • Your water heater is more than ten years old.
  • Your water heater is rusty or has leaks.
  • Your hot water has sediment or rust in it when it comes out of the faucet.
  • Your water heater constantly runs.
  • Your pilot light goes out often.
  • Your water heater is making strange sounds.

By taking the time to address these issues, you can avoid waking up on a cold winter morning and not having any hot water.

Water Heater Services in Austin and San Antonio

It is easy to ensure your water heater is prepared for cold weather by scheduling water heater service with the trusted and experienced plumbers from Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Our plumbers can take care of water heater maintenance, flushing, repairs, and new installations of tank-type and tankless water heaters. Contact us at 512-246-5400 today to book your appointment.


Most Common Winter Plumbing Issues & How to Avoid Them

Posted on October 31st, 2022 by ChristainSon_Admin

When colder winter weather arrives, it can cause varying problems to your home’s plumbing system. Many of these problems, however, can be easily avoided if you take the time to winterize your home correctly.

Unfortunately, some people mistakenly assume it will be a mild winter and later have to deal with a host of winter-related plumbing problems because they did not plan ahead. Even if you think it may be mild this winter, you are better off winterizing your home’s plumbing system. This way, you will not have to worry once temperatures dip below freezing.

Frozen plumbing lines are one of the most common winter plumbing problems because they are not properly insulated. For example, exposed plumbing lines in exterior walls, crawl spaces, or basements are vulnerable to freezing.

Your sewer lines to your septic system can also be vulnerable if they are not buried deep enough in the ground. Even your outdoor water spigots and bibb lines are susceptible to freezing. The best solution is to ensure your water pipes are insulated and winterized correctly.

Another common plumbing problem in winter is clogged drain lines. During the holiday season, drain lines and toilets are likely to clog with all the extra cooking and more guests in and out of your home. One solution is never to put anything down sink drains or flush anything in the toilet that you should not.

To learn about the top winter plumbing issues and their solutions, we invite you to continue reviewing the following infographic.

From cold weather clogged drains to frozen outdoor sump pumps in winter, you can count on Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing to be there for you should you have winter plumbing issues.

Our experienced plumbers can also help you winterize your home, so you are prepared. Please feel free to contact us at 512-246-5400 today.

Common Winter Plumbing Issues Infographic

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Why Is My AC Running but Not Cooling?

Posted on October 24th, 2022 by Jill Ponek

Air conditioning for modern house

You rely on your air conditioner to keep you cool and comfortable indoors when it is hot outside. Yet, your air conditioner may not always perform as expected and cool your house correctly. So, when your AC is running but not cooling properly, there are several things you can check before calling an air conditioner repair technician.

Dirty Air Filters

Cooling systems require proper airflow to function correctly. Suppose your air filter is dirty with dust, dirt, pet hair, and other such things. Then the airflow through the system is restricted and will not cool correctly. Therefore, check your air filter and change it if it is dirty. Next, wait about thirty minutes to an hour to see if your AC starts cooling properly.

Outdoor Unit Is Clogged Up with Dirt

There are air vents on your outdoor unit that helps remove heat from cooling coils as the system cycles. When these are clogged with dust, dirt, leaves, and other debris, it can be the cause for your AC not blowing cold air. To have the outdoor unit cleaned, call your AC technician.

Thermostat Issues

Another thing you can check is your thermostat to see that it is set correctly. If it got turned up, the AC could be working correctly, just not cooling your house to your desired temperature. In addition, verify the thermostat is getting power by checking your breakers.

If a breaker tripped, that could be the cause of the problem. Reset the breaker to get your AC going again. However, if it trips again, call your AC technician, as something is overloading the system.

Air Duct Leaks

If you have leaks in your air ducts, they will suck warm air into the house whenever the AC is running. A common sign that your air ducts leak is when your home gets extremely dusty very quickly. You can schedule air duct cleaning and leak sealing with your AC technician.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

If you set your thermostat too low or your air filter is dirty and clogged, it can cause the coolant in the system to freeze. When it does, it will not cool correctly. You will have to shut off the system and wait for it to thaw out. If the problem keeps recurring and your air filter is clean, it is time to call for AC service.

The AC Wasn’t Sized Correctly

AC systems that are too small or too big for your home will not adequately keep your house cool. Undersized systems run almost constantly on hot days because they simply cannot keep up with cooling. Oversized systems tend to short cycle where they turn on, run for a few minutes, and shut off. Have your AC tech verify your system is sized correctly. If not, you should replace it.

There Is a Coolant Leak

Electrician repairing air conditioner indoors

While coolant leaks are not as common on modern AC units, they can still occur. Once the coolant leaks out, there will be insufficient coolant left in the system to cool the air when the system runs. If you suspect a leak, shut down the system and call your AC technician for service.

The AC Is Old

As air conditioners age, they gradually start losing their cooling efficiency. So, if your AC is more than ten years old, it just may be time to get a new energy-efficient unit for your house.

Air Conditioner Repair, Maintenance, and Replacement Services

When your AC is not blowing cold air, you can rely on Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing for AC repair, maintenance, and replacement services in Austin and San Antonio. We will diagnose your system to determine the problem and provide you with potential solutions to get your house cooling correctly. Contact us at 512-246-5400 to schedule service today.

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How Do You Know if Your Duct System Is in Good Condition?

Posted on October 21st, 2022 by ChristainSon_Admin

Man inspecting air ducts shining a flashlight through a small square ceiling vent into ducting pipes.

When your home has a forced-air cooling and heating system, it uses ductwork to force air throughout the house into the different rooms. A return air vent draws air out of the house and moves it through the air conditioning or heating system. However, you will need to consider air duct replacement or sealing eventually.

Why Is a Duct System Important?

According to Energy Star, most homes lose about 20 to 30 percent of the cooled or heated air in the duct system due to holes, leaks, or poorly connected ductwork. Unfortunately, most homeowners overlook their air ducts when maintaining their HVAC systems.

The duct system ensures that cooled and heated air is distributed evenly throughout the house. When there are leaks in the system, it causes a reduction in system air pressure.

As a result, the amount of air reaching each room in your home is diminished. In addition, your air conditioning or heating system has to work twice as hard to cool and heat your house.

So, how do you know if you need to repair or replace HVAC ductwork? By familiarizing yourself with the following signs.

Common Signs of Bad Ductwork

Sick woman blowing her nose

There are unexplained increases in your energy bills.

Suppose you notice your cooling or heating bills have been steadily increasing, and there have not been any major increases from your utility company. In that case, it is a good indication that your ductwork has air leaks.

Instead of keeping cooled or heated air inside the ductwork, it escapes. As the air escapes, it draws in uncooled or unheated air and pushes that air into the house. Therefore, your HVAC system has to run longer to reach your desired temperature setting.

You notice your house gets dusty really quickly.

While getting rid of dust completely is impossible, your home should not get dusty that fast. Yet, if you notice that dust is accumulating faster than usual, it could be a sign of bad ductwork. For example, you dust on Saturday and by midweek there is a thick layer of dust where you just dusted.

The excessive dust gets into your house through the air leaks in the ductwork. As we already mentioned, cooled and heated air is lost through the leaks, while uncooled or unheated air is drawn in. As this air is drawn in, it also draws in dust, which is blown throughout the home.

Your HVAC system seems louder than normal.

Your air conditioning and heating system will make some noise when it cycles. However, the noise should not be excessive. If it is, it can indicate a wide range of problems, including air duct problems.

For instance, if you hear a whistling noise when the system runs, this is common when the air leaks are sucking in air through tiny gaps. Another common sound you may hear is a rattling sound coming from the walls, ceiling, or floor, depending on how the ductwork was installed.

You notice an increase in pests inside the house.

Seeing a bug inside the home periodically is bound to happen. However, if you start seeing ants, roaches, or other bugs more often, this indicates they have gained access through an opening, often the ductwork. Increased rodent activity is another common sign of damaged air ducts.

Your seasonal allergies seem to be worse indoors.

If you notice you are sneezing or coughing more often indoors, this is directly related to the air quality inside your home. When you have problems with your air ducts, the air leaks can allow more allergens to enter the house through the cooling and heating system.

You have to change your air filter more often.

Another sign of bad ductwork to look for is how often you change your air filter. For example, if you have a 90-day air filter but have to change it every 45 to 60 days or sooner, this often indicates faulty ductwork that needs to be repaired or replaced.

You notice there are cold or hot spots in different parts of the house.

It is essential to remember air duct leaks can occur anywhere in the duct system. So, if you notice certain rooms in your home feel hotter in summer and colder in winter, it is a good idea to have your duct system inspected.

Should I Repair or Replace HVAC Ductwork?

hvac services - worker install ducted pipe system for ventilation and air conditioning in house

Deciding whether repairing or replacing ductwork is best depends on whether you have a few areas that need to be repaired or if the entire duct system has numerous issues. Unless you replace the whole duct system, there are specific steps you will want to take to ensure the system is repaired correctly.

  1. Determine the location of air leaks. You will want to have your HVAC technician conduct an airflow and air quality analysis to help pinpoint the location of air leaks. If they are widespread, replacement might be necessary.
  2. Replace any necessary sections of the ductwork. If there are huge gaps between ductwork joints or extensively damaged sections, have these replaced and fixed.
  3. Have your ductwork cleaned. The next step in repairing ductwork is cleaning the entire system to remove excess dust, dirt, and debris.
  4. Have your ductwork sealed. After the duct system has been cleaned, you want to have it sealed. There are different sealing methods, and one of the more popular ones is to use a spray sealant and circulate that through the system until all air leaks have been sealed.
  5. Insulate and protect exposed ductwork. If you have exposed ductwork sections, like in your basement or crawl space, you should have these insulated and protected to help reduce the risks of air leaks.

If you replace the entire duct system after installing it, you will want to check for leaks and have it sealed as an added precaution.

How Often Should Ductwork Be Cleaned and Sealed?

It depends on the type of ductwork used in your house. For example, if you have plastic ductwork, you may need to have it sealed more often than metal ductwork. Your best option is to watch for the signs of bad ductwork and have your ducts inspected annually by your HVAC technician.

In addition, you should have your air ducts cleaned and sealed whenever you have a new air conditioning or heating system installed. This way, you do not have to worry about excessive dust entering the new system.

Schedule an Air Duct Inspection Today

When you notice any of these signs of bad ductwork, you will want to get your air ducts inspected today by one of our HVAC technicians at Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing. After your inspection, our technicians will tell you what is wrong and provide you with different air duct replacement, repair, cleaning, and sealing options to resolve air leaks.

Please feel free to call us at 512-246-5400 to schedule an air duct inspection today.

Source:

  1. Duct Sealing



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