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Tips for Dishwasher Maintenance

Posted on September 18th, 2022 by Jill Ponek

Technician sitting near dishwasher with screwdriver in kitchen with instruments

Dishwashers are the perfect kitchen appliance that makes doing dishes quick and easy. They not only save us time but help save water. Did you know that running a dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand?

On average, you can use 27 gallons of water or more washing dishes by hand. Newer Energy Star certified dishwashers use between four and eight gallons of water per cycle. Even if you have an older model that is not Energy Star certified, it uses between 9 and 14 gallons of water per cycle.

Ensuring your dishwasher continues to work correctly requires periodic dishwasher maintenance using the following tips:

Clean the Filter and Drain Trap

Under the lower spray arm, in the bottom of the dishwasher can be a filter. You should remove the filter and rinse it off under hot water to remove debris. If your dishwasher doesn’t have a filter, clean out excess food debris from the drain trap to avoid dishwasher clogs.

Clean the Dishwasher Every 30 Cycles

Most dishwasher manufacturers recommend running a clean cycle monthly or every 30 cycles. You can use dishwasher cleaning tablets by running a clean cycle or normal cycle. You can also pour a cup of vinegar into the bottom before starting a normal cycle. Regardless of the method, ensure the dishwasher is empty before cleaning it.

Clean the Door and Seals Monthly

Food particles, grease, and other icky stuff can get stuck on the door seals and interior side of the dishwasher door. Use hot water mixed with a few drops of mild dish soap and a damp cloth to clean these areas. For difficult, stuck-on gunk, wet the cleaning cloth and place it over the area for about five minutes to help loosen and break up the gunk.

Use Your Dishwasher Weekly

You never want your dishwasher to sit for a prolonged period without using it. The rubber seals and gaskets can dry out, crack, and break. If they do, your dishwasher can leak out onto the kitchen floor when you run it. Even if you only have a partially filled dishwasher, running it at least once a week is better than letting the seals and gaskets dry out.

Start the Cycle with Hot Water

Before starting a wash cycle, turn on the sink faucet and wait for the water to heat up. Starting a cycle on cold water can leave a greasy residue on the dishes. Even if your dishwasher has a high temperature or water heating option, you still want to start with hot water to put less strain on these features.

Use a Rinse Aid

You may notice white spots on your dishes and scale and mineral deposit buildup inside the dishwasher if you have hard water. Using a rinse aid can help prevent these problems some of the time. However, if you have especially hard water, consider having your plumber install a water softener for your home.

Only Wash Items Meant to Go in the Dishwasher

Not all dishes and utensils are dishwasher safe. For example, cast iron pans should never be washed in a dishwasher, as they can rust. You also would not want to wash fine china with gold, silver, or copper accents in a dishwasher. Always verify whether something is dishwasher safe. When in doubt, don’t put it in the dishwasher.

Prevent Rust

Most dishwasher racks are made of metal with a plastic coating over them. Over time, the plastic coating can come off, exposing the metal. When this happens, it can rust and cause rust spots on your dishes. Most dishwasher warranties cover the racks for at least five years, sometimes longer, so get them replaced if necessary.

Should I Repair or Replace My Dishwasher?

Repairman fixing dishwasher in kitchen

By using these dishwasher maintenance tips, you should avoid most dishwasher problems. However, if your dishwasher starts to have problems, consider the problem and repair cost versus the cost of a new dishwasher to decide if it is better to repair or replace it.

For example, replacing door gaskets is a reasonable repair. However, if the dishwasher motor goes out, it can be more expensive, and it may be better to buy a new dishwasher.

When you have dishwasher issues and need a dishwasher tune-up or help to remove and install a new dishwasher in San Antonio and the Austin Metro area, you can rely on the experienced plumbers at Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Contact us at 512-246-5400 to schedule dishwasher repair service today.

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Save Energy with Your Water Heater This Summer

Posted on August 22nd, 2022 by Jill Ponek

Woman managing her smart boiler using her phone

According to the Department of Energy, 20 percent of your home’s energy use is for water heating. Furthermore, the average household uses about 64 gallons of hot water daily. So, looking for ways to reduce water heater energy use is a great way to lower your water heating costs.

Before summer is over, now is the perfect time to start implementing cost-cutting measures by checking out these excellent ideas and tips.

Upgrade to Water-Saving Fixtures

Switching out your faucets and showerheads with ones that use less water cuts your hot water usage. Your local plumber can provide you with a selection of water-saving fixtures for your home.

Turn Down the Temperature Setting

Female hand puts thermostat of electric water heater

You can lower your natural gas and electricity consumption by reducing the temperature setting on your water heater. You need to ensure you do not turn it below 120 degrees Fahrenheit because this is the lowest temperature where harmful bacteria are killed.

Insulate Your Water Tank

Your water heater uses energy to maintain your desired temperature by running periodically to compensate for heat loss. Heat loss transfer occurs when the tank is not insulated as the heat slowly escapes.

Insulating your tank helps create a barrier to reduce how fast the heat is lost. As a result, your tank runs less often to keep the water hot.

Insulate Your Pipes

Heat loss transfer also occurs if your hot water pipes are not insulated. As you run hot water, the water loses some of its heat. Therefore, the water heater has to work harder and run longer to provide the hot water you need. Having your pipes insulated helps reduce heat loss and keeps the water hotter.

You should also insulate the incoming cold water supply line that connects to your water heater. Insulating this line helps reduce temperature differences as the cold water enters the tank, resulting in less heating time and energy usage.

Upgrade Your Appliances

You could get a new washer or dishwasher with energy efficiency and water-saving features to reduce hot water usage. Some new appliances also have steam settings that use a fraction of hot water to clean clothes and dishes.

Only Run Full Loads

Get into the habit of not running the dishwasher or washing machine unless you have a full load. Partial loads waste hot water and increase your energy use.

Wash Your Clothes on Cold

Another way to lower hot water usage is only to use cold water to launder your clothes. Most detergents work just as effectively in cold water.

Wash Dishes in Your Dishwasher

It might seem faster to wash dishes by hand. However, you are wasting more hot water than loading and running the dishwasher. According to the NRDC, you use 27 gallons of water or more to hand wash your dishes compared to as little as three gallons using an Energy Star-rated dishwasher.

Even older dishwashers use less water ranging from five to ten gallons a cycle. Plus, you do not need to pre-rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. You just need to scrape off excess food.

Schedule Water Heater Maintenance

Regular water heater maintenance helps ensure your water heater is operating properly. Over time, the heating elements will lose efficiency, so they should be replaced regularly.

In addition, sediment and particles accumulate inside the tank, further reducing water heating efficiency. Have your plumber flush your tank yearly as part of your annual maintenance.

Furthermore, maintenance helps identify potential problems and resolve them before they become major repairs.

Fix Any Water Leaks

If you have any hot water leaks in your plumbing system, you need to have those fixed. Not only are you wasting hot water, but you are also causing water damage to your house. As the water damage worsens, it promotes wood rot, mold, and mildew growth.

Fix Dripping Faucets and Fixtures

Do you have dripping faucets and fixtures where the drips are coming from the hot water supply? If so, these drips will cause your water heater to run more often. You are also wasting water. Resolving the drip could be as easy as having your plumber replace a washer inside the faucet handle.

Reduce Water Usage

Another way to reduce water heater energy use is to change your hot water usage habits. For example, instead of taking daily baths, take showers instead. If you have a bad habit of leaving the warm water running while brushing your teeth, break the habit by shutting the water off until you are ready to rinse.

Upgrade Your Water Heater

As water heaters age, they slowly lose their energy efficiency. So, if your current water heater is ten years or older, upgrading to a new tank-type heater can help reduce your energy usage. New tank-type heaters are more energy efficient than older models.

Better yet, upgrading your water heater to a tankless water heater will provide you with the most energy savings. Tankless water heaters make hot water on demand and provide an endless supply of it. Unlike tank-type heaters that run periodically to maintain the desired temperature, tankless heaters only run when you use hot water.

As a result, you save a significant amount of energy compared to tank-type heaters—up to 40 percent in energy savings. Plus, tankless water heaters are an upgrade that will add value to your home. Even though they cost more upfront, they have an average lifespan of about 25 years.

Plumber repairing an hot-water heater

Water Heater Services in San Antonio and Austin

Annual or bi-annual water heater maintenance from Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing ensures water is not wasted by finding corrosion, improper venting, leaks, and other potential problems that reduce energy efficiency.

When it is time to upgrade or replace your water heater, we provide access to energy-efficient tank-type water heaters and even more energy-efficient tankless water heaters with complete installation.

To schedule water heater maintenance or to request a quote on a new water heater, please feel free to contact us at 512-246-5400 today.

Sources:

  1. U.S. Department of Energy. Water Heating.
  2. NRDC. 9 Tricks That Save Tons of Water.


Why Does My Shower Drain Smell?

Posted on August 17th, 2022 by Jill Ponek

water drops on metal gutter of shower tray in valser quartzite stone

Have you noticed foul shower drain smells every time you take a shower? Maybe the smells have become so bad they stink up your bathroom all the time? There can be several causes why your shower drain stinks, depending on the cause.

What Causes a Shower Drain to Smell?

Biofilm Stuck to Drain Pipes

If you think about everything that goes down a shower drain, including hair, shampoo, conditioner, soap, and shaving gel, it is only a matter of time before these things start to build up in the drain lines. Eventually, as hair decomposes and is mixed with the other things stuck to the pipes, it can start to stink. This slimy, icky stuff is often referred to as biofilm.

Removing biofilm from drain pipes requires a professional drain cleaning from your local plumber. They have special equipment that removes the biofilm and cleans the drain line to eliminate foul odors.

Vent or P-Trap Issues

Sometimes the smells from your shower drain come from farther down the drain line. Shower plumbing is connected to a p-trap that allows water to flow into the main sewer line. A vent is also connected to the p-trap to allow gases and air to escape as the water drains away.

If the vent is clogged, broken, or damaged, the air cannot escape. So, it can be forced back up the drain line and bring unwanted smells with it. Furthermore, if the p-trap is not retaining enough water, it can dry out and lead to bacteria growth, which causes unwanted smells.

This type of smell is also common when you rarely use a shower, such as in a guest bathroom. So, running water down the drain a few times a week is a good idea to prevent it from drying out. However, if you are running water regularly and it still smells, you should call your plumber for assistance.

Water Leaks

Leaks in water supply lines and drain lines can cause unwanted smells in the shower. Water leaks also promote the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria, all of which can stink. If you suspect a water leak and cannot find the source of it yourself, your plumber has the tools that pinpoint leaks so they can be repaired.

Damaged Backflow Preventer

As wastewater and raw sewage exit the home, it passes through a backflow preventer. This device stops the water and sewage from back-flowing up the drain pipes. Unfortunately, when this is damaged, there is nothing to prevent the backflow, which can cause shower drains to smell like sewage.

Clogged, Broken, or Damaged Sewer Lines

Caucasian men cleaning linear shower drain

When your main sewer line is clogged, broken, or damaged, it can cause smells to travel back up drain lines. Usually, you will notice smells coming from the shower drain first. However, the odors can become more noticeable in other drains the longer the problem exists.

What Is the Best Way to Resolve Shower Drain Smells?

The best way to resolve smelly shower drains is with assistance from your local plumber. At Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we offer leak detection, sewer repair, p-trap and vent repair, and drain cleaning in Austin and San Antonio to eliminate foul odors from your shower drains. Contact us today by calling 512-246-5400.

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How to Handle Allergies Inside Your Home

Posted on July 18th, 2022 by Jill Ponek

Sick woman blowing nose in tissue paper while sitting at home

The last thing you want when trying to stay cool indoors from the hot, triple-digit temperatures in summer is to start coughing and sneezing because of allergies from your AC. Unfortunately, some people can experience air conditioning allergic reactions.

However, the allergic reaction is not from the cold air being blown into the house. Rather, it is caused by one or more allergens in the indoor air.

What Are Allergens?

Allergens are various types of harmless antigens that the body’s immune system perceives as a threat, so it triggers an immune system response, such as:

  • Runny Noses
  • Watery, Itchy Eyes
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing

What Are Some Common Allergens?

The most common allergens people are sensitive to include:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Pollutants
  • House Plants
  • Chemicals Used in Household Cleaning Products

Reasons You Experience Allergies from Your AC Inside a Home

As cool air is circulated throughout your house, it easily spreads allergens to every part of the home. So, if you are sneezing, coughing, or experiencing other allergy symptoms, you need to track down the source of the allergens to determine how to best resolve the issue. Start by checking the following parts of your air conditioning system.

Is there an air filter in the air return, and is it dirty?

Running your air conditioning without an air filter is never recommended. Dust, dirt, and debris can get inside the cooling system. When it does, it can cause operational issues, shorten its lifespan, and spread the dust, dirt, and debris throughout the ductwork and the home, triggering your allergies.

When the air filter is dirty and not changed regularly, it can become clogged and no longer remove allergens from the indoor air. Therefore, you want to inspect your air filter monthly and change it whenever it is dirty.

What quality is the air filter?

Low-quality air filters will not filter out allergens that well. You want a decent air filter that does not restrict airflow yet can remove allergens from indoor air. To choose the best air filter for your AC system, ask your AC technician to recommend one.

Do you smell mildew when the AC is running?

If you do, chances are your home also has mold. Both mold and mildew thrive in humid environments, including inside your AC system. You should have your AC technician help find the source of the mold and mildew so it can be eliminated.

Do you have air leaks in your home?

Air leaks can occur around doors and windows, allowing pollen and other allergens to get inside. Another cause of air leaks is in your ductwork. You will want to resolve air leaks to prevent outside air from getting into the house.

When was the last time your AC system was serviced?

Regular maintenance is essential to help prevent problems that could contribute to allergens inside your home. For example, when the water drain on the AC is clogged, it can back up inside the unit, resulting in higher humidity levels that can lead to mold and mildew problems.

Your AC may also require cleaning to remove dust, dirt, and debris from the outside unit so that it doesn’t get into the system and into your home.

How Can Your HVAC Technician Help?

happy male worker removing ceiling air filter

Your HVAC technician offers a range of services to help reduce and eliminate most allergens from your indoor air, including:

  • Air Quality Inspections – You can find out what allergens and pollutants are in your air to determine what sort of solutions can help improve indoor air quality and reduce your allergies.
  • Air Duct Cleaning and Sealing – Cleaning and sealing your air ducts will help remove and prevent problems with dust, dirt, and debris being circulated through the AC system.
  • Allergen Reducing Air Filters – Getting a better air filter that helps remove allergens can improve indoor air quality and reduce your allergic reaction
  • Dehumidifiers to Control Humidity Levels – Maintaining humidity levels helps prevent problems with mold and mildew.
  • Air Purification Upgrades – Air purifiers, UV sterilization lighting, and special HEPA filters are some of the upgrades you might want to consider when you want to remove allergens from your home.

If you are experiencing air conditioning allergies inside your home and want help improving the indoor air quality to eliminate allergens, Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help. We can test your indoor air quality, clean and seal your air ducts, and make recommendations about what upgrades could benefit you and your family the most and provide you with the highest possible indoor air quality.

For further information or to schedule an appointment in San Antonio or the Austin Metro area, please feel free to call us at 512-246-5400 today.

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10 Tips for Your HVAC System This Summer

Posted on July 15th, 2022 by Jill Ponek

Man replacing dirty HVAC air filter in ceiling vent.

With record-breaking summer temperatures across Texas, the last thing you want is for your air conditioning system to stop working. Your air conditioning will be working overtime to keep your house cool and comfortable. Since it is running more often, it is essential to keep an eye on it to spot potential problems, so you can have them fixed before your HVAC system breaks down.

It is also beneficial to use the following summer HVAC tips to ensure you stay cool and comfortable to make the rest of your summer a breeze.

#1. Clean around the outside unit and remove any debris.

You need to ensure airflow is not restricted in any way by leaves, brush, or overgrown grass. You need at least three feet of clearance all around the unit for proper airflow.

#2. Check the drain pipe on your HVAC system.

Verify the drain pipe connected to the air conditioner is draining properly and is not clogged. You should also clean the drain pipe to remove any debris stuck to the inside of the pipe. When you schedule an AC tune-up, your HVAC technician will check and clean the pipe as part of the AC maintenance service.

#3. Schedule an AC tune-up with an HVAC technician.

An AC tune-up checks to make sure your air conditioner is running optimally and efficiently. It will help identify potential problems before they become major repairs. Your HVAC technician can also clean the outdoor unit to remove dust and debris from the cooling coils and interior where it could create airflow problems.

#4. Upgrade to a smart thermostat for better energy efficiency.

Young guy pushing button on smart home system.

While programmable digital thermostats are helpful at regulating your home’s temperatures, they are not as efficient as smart thermostats. Smart technologies allow your thermostat to learn your cooling preferences and make adjustments based on whether you are home or away to conserve energy.

#5. Verify your ceiling fans are in “summer” mode.

Switching the direction of your ceiling fans helps keep your house cooler and reduces how often your air conditioning runs. To determine if you need to switch directions, turn the ceiling fan on and look up to see which way the blades spin.

The blades should be spinning counterclockwise or to the left in the summer. If they are spinning clockwise or to the right, shut the fan off and adjust the switch on the ceiling fan to switch modes.

#6. Check your air filters monthly and change them when they are dirty.

Man replacing dirty HVAC air filter in ceiling vent.

Dirty air filters restrict airflow and will cause your HVAC system to work much harder and use more energy. Dirty filters also place added wear and tear on the system, so it wears out much faster.

For instance, even if you have a 90-day air filter installed, it may need to be replaced before 90 days. If you didn’t check it monthly, and it was clogged with dirt, dust, and debris, it could cause your AC system to work harder at trying to keep your house cooler. It could even cause your AC to overheat and stop working. This is why you should check the air filter monthly.

#7. Have your ductwork checked for proper airflow and to verify it is clean.

If your air filters are getting excessively dirty in a month or less, your ductwork and vents may need to be cleaned. Air leaks in air ducts draw in warm air and dust, reducing the efficiency of your air conditioning and lowering your indoor air quality. Your AC technician can perform different tests to check the airflow and clean and seal the ductwork when there are air leaks.

#8. Verify your home is properly insulated.

If your home lacks sufficient insulation, it will cause your AC system to run more often and longer. Adding more insulation to the walls and attic will help make your home and HVAC system more energy efficient.

#9. Keep window blinds and curtains drawn during the day.

Heat energy from the sun when it is excessively hot outside can heat up your home through the windows. By keeping your blinds and curtains drawn, it will help keep your home cooler. If you must have sunlight indoors, only open one blind or curtain partially in each room or wait until later in the day when it starts cooling down.

#10. Upgrade to a new, energy-efficient air conditioning system.

If your existing air conditioning is more than ten years old, or if you have noticed your energy bills have been increasing, you could benefit from a new, energy-efficient AC unit. New units provide better energy efficiency and use less electricity to keep your home cool all summer long.

Make the Rest of Your Summer a Breeze with Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing

By using HVAC tips, you can keep your house cool and comfortable for the rest of the summer. If you are having any cooling system problems or need an AC tune up in San Antonio or the Austin Metro area, please feel free to contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 today!


Signs You Have Poor Water Quality in Your Home

Posted on June 24th, 2022 by ChristainSon_Admin

When you have poor water quality issues in your home, it can lead to all sorts of problems, including health issues, stained sinks and tubs, discolored clothing, and increased risks of illnesses and infections.

Why Is It Crucial to Have Great Water Quality?

Having the best water quality possible helps eliminate many poor water quality issues. As a result, your water will look clear, taste clean, and smell good. Furthermore, you will not have to worry about your drinking water making you or your family sick.

How Do You Know If Water Is Clean and Safe?

The easiest way to find out if you have any symptoms of bad water is to fill a clear glass with water. You want to inspect the water visually for sediment, particles, or oily or greasy residue. Also, take note of the color of the water.

Next, smell the water to see if it has any strange odors. Lastly, taste the water and see if there are any strange tastes. To learn more about the signs of poor water quality, we invite you to continue reviewing the following infographic.

Afterward, do not hesitate to contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing to schedule a water quality inspection to find out what is in your drinking water. Don’t live with water that tastes like chlorine or smells like rotten eggs. Call 512-246-5400 today!

Signs You Have Poor Water Quality in Your Home Infographic

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10 Signs Your Thermostat Is Not Working Properly

Posted on June 20th, 2022 by ChristainSon_Admin

An Ecobee smart thermostat in a home

Your home’s heating and cooling system relies on the thermostat to tell it when to turn on and off. When you have problems with your thermostat, it can affect how your home heats and cools and whether the furnace or air conditioning runs correctly.

Knowing what signs to look for when things are not running how they should can help you determine if you need a new thermostat or if something is wrong with your air conditioner or furnace.

What Does a Thermostat Do?

A thermostat is connected to the heating and cooling system in your home. It monitors the indoor air temperature and turns on whenever the temperature gets above or below your preset preferences.

When it does, the thermostat electronically sends a signal to the air conditioner or furnace to start the cooling or heating cycle. It then monitors the cycle and sends another signal when the indoor temperature reaches the desired setting for the air conditioning or heating system to shut off.

While a thermostat looks like a basic electronic device, it is very complex. If you were to remove it from the wall, you would see different colored wires connected to specific terminals on the thermostat. Additionally, the thermostat’s wiring configuration is equally essential to ensure your system operates correctly.

Why Is My Thermostat Not Working Properly?

Man adjusting room temperature with electronic thermostat at home

#1. Installation Location

Your thermostat needs to be installed along an interior wall out of direct sunlight and away from potential heat sources. For example, if your thermostat is in a location where it is in direct sunlight, it will think it is hotter. As such, your air conditioning will run longer and more often.

A similar problem can occur when it is installed under an air duct. As the hot or cold air blows out, it will alter the temperature readings and cause your heating and cooling system to short cycle.

#2. HVAC System Won’t Turn Off

Once the desired indoor air temperature is reached, your thermostat should signal the HVAC system to shut off. When the shut off signal is not received by the system, there is something wrong with the thermostat. If it turns on without any issues, then it could be a bad board connection, a loose wire, or a broken wire.

#3. HVAC System Won’t Turn On

Another problem that can occur is when your thermostat is not able to communicate with your HVAC system to tell it to turn on. The issue could be a loose wire, a broken wire, or a faulty temperature sensor.

#4. No Power to the Thermostat

If you have a digital or smart thermostat and it does not have power, your heating and cooling system will not run. You should check your breaker box to see if you have a circuit breaker that needs to be reset. If the breaker blows after resetting it, then there is an electrical problem. So, you should call your HVAC technician for assistance right away.

#5. Will Not Respond to Changes in Temperature Settings

Whenever you turn the thermostat up or down below the current indoor temperature, the HVAC system should respond within 30 to 60 seconds. If it does not, or there is no response at all, your thermostat probably needs to be replaced.

#6. Inaccurate Temperature Readings

As thermostats age, the internal temperature sensor wears out. As a result, your thermostat may think the indoor temperature is from the actual temperature. When your thermostat cannot sense correct temperatures, your home will not be heated or cooled to the desired temperature.

#7. Increases in Your Energy Bills

As HVAC systems age, they lose their efficiency, and your energy bills will increase. The same is true with your thermostat. When it starts to wear out, it becomes less efficient and can cause heating and cooling cycles to run much longer and increase your energy usage.

#8. The HVAC System Short Cycles

Short-cycling is when the system turns on, runs for a short period, and shuts off. As a result, the system can never complete a full cycle, so your home is never able to reach the desired temperature. Short-cycling can be caused by a dirty air filter or problems with your thermostat.

#9. The Thermostat Keeps Resetting Itself

If you have a digital or smart thermostat and notice your program settings are being deleted or reset, the problem could be with the internal backup batteries. First, try replacing the batteries to see if that resolves the issue. If this does not resolve the issue, then you need to get a new thermostat.

#10. The Thermostat Is a Decade Old or Older

Thermostats are designed to last around ten years on average. So, if you notice problems with your thermostat, now is an excellent time to replace it with a new digital or smart thermostat. Upgrading to a newer model helps ensure your HVAC system runs more efficiently and helps reduce your energy usage.

Features to Look For When Replacing Your Thermostat

When replacing your thermostat, you will soon discover a wide range of options and features. Some of the favorite features most homeowners enjoy are:

A happy plumber fixing thermostat

  • Easy-to-Use Controls
  • Wi-Fi Enabled
  • Mobile App for Remote Control
  • Automatic Temperature Adjustments
  • Automatic Reminders
  • Smart “Learning”
  • Automatic Changeover from Heating to Cooling

Get a New Thermostat Installed Today

Have you noticed any of the signs mentioned above? If so, you may need a new thermostat if it needs to be replaced. The best way to find out is to contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing and have one of our experienced HVAC technicians diagnose your existing thermostat thoroughly.

Should you need a new thermostat, we provide access to the latest digital and smart thermostat models. Call us at 512-246-5400 to schedule thermostat repair and installation services in San Antonio or the Austin Metro area today!


When Is the City Responsible for Sewer Line Issues?

Posted on June 18th, 2022 by Jill Ponek

When you have issues with your sewer plumbing, it is essential to understand who is responsible for fixing the sewer line. In some cases, your city may be responsible for making the repairs. In other cases, it is your responsibility to call a plumber and have it fixed.

When Is the City Responsible?

sewer inspector

To determine when the city is responsible for sewer lines, you need to locate the source of the problem. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly assume the plumbing that runs into and out of their homes is the city’s responsibility.

However, that is not the case. Homeowners are responsible for all sewer lines on their property, regardless of who installed the lines. Essentially, the city is only responsible for the main sewer line, which is usually located under a street or another location on city property.

Additionally, the city can be responsible for the sewer lines that run from your property line to the main sewer line. Yet, that is not always the case, as you will see shortly.

What Is Your Responsibility?

As previously mentioned, you are responsible for sewer and water lines that are on your property. So, if there are drainage problems, backups, or other problems, you have to get them fixed. You may also be responsible for tree roots and clogs for the part of the sewer line that runs from your property line to the main sewer line.

For example, trees on your property may have grown into the pipes and damaged them. Since the trees are on your property and connected to the roots, you are responsible for the tree root damage.

Another example is when a clog forms in this part of the sewer line. If the cause of the clog can be traced back to your home and sewage waste, then you are responsible for the costs of removing the clog.

What Can You Do to Avoid Sewer Line Problems?

There are several effective ways to help reduce and avoid sewer line problems that are your responsibility.

Plumber working in the bathroom, plumbing repair service, repairing leaking sinks with adjustable wrench

  • Sewer Line Inspections – Have your plumber perform a sewer camera line inspection annually. This can help identify potential problems, such as tree roots, clogs, and cracking and breaking sewer lines.
  • Have Your Sewer Line Cleaned – Regular cleanings can help remove waste, sludge, and small tree roots. The frequency of cleaning depends on your household size.
  • Resolve Leaks Quickly – If your sewer lines are leaking, have them repaired by your plumber sooner than later. Trenchless repair is a great way to resolve leaks and tree root problems without digging up your entire yard.
  • Review Your Insurance Coverage – Contact your insurance provider to find out what type of sewer line coverage you have available. Knowing what types of losses are covered is beneficial and can put your mind at ease should a sewer line problem occur.

Sewer Line Inspections, Cleaning, and Repair Services

Whether you suspect a sewer line problem and want a camera inspection, your sewer lines need cleaning as part of annual maintenance, or you have a sewer line problem that needs to be fixed, the experienced plumbers at Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing are here to help.

Please feel free to contact us at 512-246-5400 to schedule sewer plumbing service in San Antonio or the Austin Metro area today!

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How to Find a Good Plumber for Your New Construction

Posted on June 15th, 2022 by ChristainSon_Admin

Handy man having a deal with young woman client after the repairment on the kitchen.

When you are getting ready to build your new home, apartment community, or subdivision, it is essential that you find a good new construction plumber to take care of all your plumbing needs. It might be tempting to simply hire a general contractor and let them handle hiring other contractors required for your project, such as electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians.

However, it is better to do your own research and verify you are hiring the best new construction contractors for the job. Choosing the right contractors yourself ensures you will be entirely satisfied with the quality of work.

How to Choose the Right Plumber

There are several things you should look for when choosing the right construction plumber or plumbing company for your plumbing needs, as follows:

#1. Age of Business

How long has the plumbing company been in business? The company should be well-established as this shows they have been offering home services and construction services for decades to the local community. Ideally, the contractor should have at least a decade of experience in construction projects.

#2. Training

How well does the plumbing company take care of its plumbers? Do they provide ongoing training and certification programs to ensure their plumbers are up-to-date on current building codes, plumbing methods, etc.? You want to verify the plumbing contractors you are considering to hire for your project are current on their training and certifications.

#3. Years of Experience

While the plumbing contractor may have other plumbers working under them, the plumber in charge of your project should have the most years of experience. You also want to confirm they have experience in new construction plumbing.

#4. Emergency Services

Should there be a plumbing problem during the construction project or long after, you want a reliable plumber who will be there to respond to plumbing emergencies. Verify what emergency services your plumber offers and how fast their response time is to resolve plumbing issues.

#5. Range of Services/Offerings

It doesn’t hurt to review what other types of services and offerings are available from your construction plumber. For example, some plumbing companies also provide access to experienced HVAC contractors to take care of your heating and cooling system needs. So, you may find you can hire both a construction plumber and a construction HVAC technician through a single plumbing company.

#6. Commitment to Customers

You want a plumber who is committed to their customers and takes pride in helping resolve their customers’ plumbing problems. You can verify their commitment easily by researching and reviewing online reviews of the plumber, their work, and the quality of customer service.

#7. Credentials

The quality of the work is also directly related to the types of credentials the plumbing contractor has obtained. For example, whether plumbers, electricians, or HVAC technicians, construction contractors should be certified by the NAHB (National Association of HomeBuilders).

The NAHB requires applicants to undergo a rigorous quality improvement program and regularly audits the contractor to ensure they maintain the standards of quality required for certification through each respective trade.

#8. Honesty

How honest does the plumber seem to you? Are they direct about the scope of the work needed, the plumbing materials required, and the best way to take care of your construction plumbing needs? If they do not know the answer to your questions, do they tell you so?

Honesty is based on integrity and the plumber’s commitment to their customers. You want a plumber who is not afraid to tell you the truth, even when they cannot answer one of your questions.

#9. Upfront Pricing

Does their pricing seem fair and reasonable? Does their project estimate detail all the work to be completed without any risks of hidden charges or fees? The last thing you want is to get a final bill with a bunch of added charges and fees for plumbing system installation in your home, apartments, or subdivision homes.

#10. Single Point of Contact

The best contractors provide a single point of contact for you to work with from the early planning stages of the project right on through until project completion.

#11. Can Work Well with Other Contractors

When evaluating plumbers for your construction project, take the time to inquire about how well they get along with other contractors. You want the type of plumber who can work alongside other contractors to ensure your project is completed on time.

Additional Tips for Hiring a Plumber

Male plumber and female customer in the kitchen

Hire a plumber at the start of the project.

It is always a good idea to find a plumber the moment you decide you are going to start a construction project. Your plumber can have input into the planning and placement of plumbing lines, bathroom design, and other details that can ensure you are not overspending on plumbing services.

Verify they know what plumbing materials are required to meet current building codes.

All new construction projects must meet current building codes. Before the project can be signed off and completed, a detailed inspection is performed. The last thing you want is for your inspector to tell you the plumbing doesn’t meet code. Choosing a plumbing contractor with knowledge of current building codes ensures you won’t have to deal with plumbing issues later.

The best plumbing contractors can help you choose the best plumbing fixtures.

Water conservation and energy efficiency are becoming increasingly important to homeowners and renters alike. Experienced plumbers should know which plumbing fixtures and water heaters can help ensure your project conserves water and is energy efficient.

Hiring a New Construction Plumber in Central Texas

A construction plumber installing bathroom fixtures in a home under construction.

At Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing, we have started as many as 15,000 single-family air conditioning and plumbing projects during the yearly peak construction season. We offer onsite project management, quality assurance, and safety, and we follow all current building codes within the scope of your project.

We work closely with you and your other contractors to ensure all scheduling is optimized at the right times during the construction processes. Additionally, we are happy to assist in the planning stage using CAD (computer-aided design) processes.

Furthermore, the job is not finished once we complete your project. More than 85% of our customers are repeat customers we continue working with by providing plumbing, heating, and cooling maintenance, repairs, and related services.

When you are looking for honest, dependable, experienced, and licensed plumbers for your new construction project, please feel free to contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 today!


Toilet Buying Tips: Choosing the Perfect Toilet for Your Bathroom

Posted on May 18th, 2022 by Jill Ponek

Interior of modern bathroom with toilet and sink

The toilet in your bathroom is designed to last a long time with the proper maintenance and care. However, there can be many reasons why you would want to buy a new toilet. For example, you may be renovating your bathroom or want to get a new low-flow toilet to conserve water. To help you choose the perfect toilet for your bathroom, we invite you to review these toilet buying tips.

#1. Decide on a Color

Toilets come in just about any color you can imagine. When choosing a color, think about how the toilet will fit with the rest of your bathroom decor.

#2. Elongated vs. Round Toilet

The difference between elongated and round toilets is the shape of the toilet. Elongated toilets are more oval-shaped and offer a larger seating area compared to round toilets. So, if you desire a larger toilet seat size, then opt for an elongated toilet.

#3. Self-Cleaning or Manual Cleaning

Certain modern toilet brands include self-cleaning features to keep the toilet clean. A self-cleaning model is a good decision if you dislike cleaning the toilet.

#4. Heated Toilet Seat

Modern bathroom

When buying a new toilet, another modern feature you can find is a heated toilet seat. So, if you dislike sitting on a cold toilet seat, you may want to invest in a heated seat.

#5. Water-Conserving Features

If you want to reduce the water used when flushing the toilet, you should consider the flush performance rating. The performance rating is how many gallons of water is used per flush. You can also find toilets with two different flushing modes to choose whether you need a partial flush or full flush.

#6. The Placement of the Toilet

Most residential toilets are secured to the floor with the drain directly below the toilet. However, some people are upgrading to toilets attached to the wall to free up space, especially in smaller bathrooms. If you are considering a wall-mounted toilet, you need to also consider the toilet drain to wall distance, as your existing drain line will need to be moved.

#7. Toilet Seat Comfort

You want a comfortable toilet seat that does not make your backside sore or one that is unpleasant to sit on while you do your business. When selecting a regular toilet seat, look for thicker ones or upgrade to a padded toilet seat for maximum comfort.

#8. Toilet Bowl Shape

Modern spacious bathroom with bright tiles with toilet and sink.

There are many choices available in toilet bowl shapes, from retro styles to modern and sleek styles. Just remember, if you get a different bowl shape than you currently have, you may need some plumbing work to accommodate the new toilet bowl.

#9. Single-Piece or Dual-Piece Toilet

Most people are familiar with dual-piece toilets where the bowl and tank are separate components. However, single-piece toilets are becoming equally popular in homes. It really comes down to personal preferences and aesthetics when deciding which one you want for your bathroom.

#10. Toilet Height

The height of the toilet will determine how low you feel to the ground when sitting on it. If you like the height of your current toilet, measure from the base to the top of the toilet bowl. Next, measure the distance between the toilet bowl and the toilet seat. These measurements will let you know the height of the toilet and the thickness of toilet seat you need.

Buying a New Toilet

When buying a new toilet, use these toilet buying tips to make a list of everything you want in your new toilet. This way, you can easily verify the toilet brand and model includes all the features and options you desire.

For help choosing and picking out a new toilet for your home in San Antonio, or the Austin Metro area, please feel free to contact Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 today!

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