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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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15 Instances You Should Call an Emergency Plumber

Posted on April 25th, 2022 by ChristainSon_Admin

Plumbing emergencies often occur when we least likely expect it. You might be woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of running water because a water pipe burst. You could flush your toilet only to have it overflow from a major clog.

What Is Considered a Plumbing Emergency?

A plumbing emergency is any type of plumbing problem or failure that prevents you from using your home’s plumbing system. Certain types of plumbing problems are pretty clear and require an emergency plumber.

For example, if your sump pump fails, the water the sump pump normally pumps safely away could back up and flood your basement. So, you would want to get emergency plumbing repair for your sump pump as soon as possible.

On the other hand, finding out you have no hot water when you take your shower could be an emergency situation for you, or it may not. It just depends on the level of inconvenience and potential for water damage the plumbing problem is creating for you and your family.

To find out more about the instances when you should call an emergency plumber, we invite you to continue reviewing the following infographic.

When you have a plumbing emergency in San Antonio or the Austin Metro area, have it resolved quickly, day or night, by calling the emergency plumbers at Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 today!

Instances You Should Call an Emergency Plumber Infographic

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How to Prevent Clogged Bathtub Drains

Posted on April 20th, 2022 by ChristainSon_Admin

white Bathroom with Amenities, Bathtub and sink.

Bathtub drain clogs are preventable by giving your bathtub drains some attention. Luckily, the amount of attention you need to give them does not require much additional work on your part. However, before you can take preventative measures, you need to understand what causes clogged bathtub drains.

Why Is My Bathtub Clogged?

Bathtub drain clogs gradually appear from continued use of the drain. You may first notice water does not drain as quickly as it once did. This indicates that a clog is developing and will eventually cause a blockage. Some of the more common causes of clogged tub drains include:

#1. Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner, Shaving Gel Scum

You would think that these personal hygiene items would not cause clogs, but they do. As soap, shampoo, and conditioner go down the drain, they can leave a residue that turns into a gel-like scum. Over time, the gel-like substance will start to harden, similar to bar soap. Eventually, it can build up so badly inside the drain line that it causes a clog.

#2. Dirt, Grass, and Other Outdoor Debris

plum in the bathroom clogged with hair

You may be wondering how a bathtub drain gets clogged with dirt, grass, and other debris. If you spend time outdoors doing yard work or mowing the lawn, you can quickly get dirty.

When you bathe or shower, that debris gets rinsed down the drain. If you have children that enjoy playing outdoors, they also can get covered in dirt and debris that gets washed off and sent down the drain.

#3. Hair

We all shed some hair when we shower or bathe. If you shave while in the shower, that hair also goes down the drain. The hair gets stuck to other debris inside the drainpipe, where it continues to build up and eventually causes a clog.

#4. Pets

Pets are another reason bathtub drains clog from pet hair, pet dander, dirt, and the pet shampoo we use to clean our furry family members.

#5. Hard Water

Homes with well water have hard water unless they have a water softener. The calcium and minerals in hard water turn into scale deposits that build up inside the bathtub drain pipe and attract other debris.

#6. A Combination of All of the Above

Most clogged bathtub drains are caused by a combination of everything mentioned above. For example, the gel-like substance from personal hygiene products makes it easier for hair to get stuck in the drain line.

How to Unclog Bathtub Drains

Before you can start to use preventative measures to reduce the frequency of tub clogs, you need to resolve current clogs and slow drainage issues. For minor problems, using a plunger may be all that is necessary.

However, if your bathtub keeps clogging, starting with clean drain lines is better. Your plumber has special plumbing snakes and other tools they use to professionally clean and remove all buildup from inside your tub drains. So, it is recommended to schedule a professional drain cleaning service if your drain pipes have never been professionally cleaned.

What About Using Drain Cleaners?

Drain cleaners are ineffective at fully removing clogs and can cause more damage than good. In addition, most of these products use harsh and toxic chemicals that are not good for your plumbing lines.

Furthermore, drain cleaners only address certain types of clogs. So, your clog may not even go away. Therefore, it is better for your home’s plumbing system to have your plumber clean the drain lines.

Tips to Prevent Drain Clogs in Bathtubs

Once your bathtub drains are cleaned, you will want to take steps to prevent clogged bathtub drains in the future using these great tips:

#1. Flush the drains weekly.

Sprinkle some baking soda in the tub drain. Allow this to sit for about 10 minutes. While that is sitting, boil about a gallon of water, and then carefully pour the boiling water into the tub drain. The hot water and baking soda helps remove scum and other debris from inside the drain pipe.

#2. Install Drain Covers

Drain covers are essentially filters for your tub drains. They contain small openings to allow the water to drain away while catching hair and larger debris. Some covers fit over the drain, and others are like mini baskets that fit into the drain. Just remember to clean these out after showering or bathing by wiping them out with a paper towel.

#3. Get a Water Softener

If your home has hard water, you should consider having your plumber install a water softener system. Besides eliminating the calcium and minerals from your water, you will also benefit from never having white scale spots on your tub walls or dishes. Plus, you will save money on detergents and personal hygiene products because you won’t need to use as much.

#4. Rinse the Tub Out

We are all guilty of getting out of the tub and just letting the water drain. Once the water has fully drained, get into the habit of turning on the hot water and allowing it to run for a few minutes to help rinse off any remaining residue and ensure it is flushed out of the drain.

#5. Never pour mop water down the drain.

Another bad habit a lot of us have is pouring dirty mop water down the bathtub drain. All that dirt, debris, hair, and anything else you mopped off the floors will go right down the drain and could lead to a clog eventually.

If you cannot dispose of the mop water outdoors, use a fine mesh strainer to catch the debris before pouring the dirty mop water down the drain. Afterward, rinse out the drain with hot water.

#6. Rinse Off Dirt and Grass Outside

After doing outdoor chores or playing with your kids, rinse off excess dirt, grass, and dust outside. This way, most of what was stuck on you or your kids gets left outdoors instead of in your tub drain line.

When to Call a Plumber for Help with a Bathtub Clog

Plumber unclogging bathtub with professional force pump cleaner.

Even with your best efforts to prevent clogged bathtub drains, you may still need to call a plumber for professional help to unclog and clean bathtub drains. However, the frequency of clogs will be less often thanks to your hard work at using the above tips to prevent bathtub clogs.

You should also call a plumber if you are experiencing the following problems:

  • You have multiple drains that drain slowly or seem clogged.
  • You hear gurgling sounds coming from drains not being used.
  • You notice wastewater backs up into shower and tub drains when flushing the toilet or running water elsewhere in the house.

These types of plumbing problems often indicate a broken or damaged sewer line.

For professional help removing bathtub drain clogs, drain cleaning, and resolving other plumbing problems in San Antonio or the Austin Metro area, please feel free to call Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 today!

What Qualifies as an HVAC Emergency?

Posted on April 18th, 2022 by ChristainSon_Admin

As summer approaches, now is a great time to have your HVAC system serviced to ensure your air conditioning will work correctly when it heats up. Far too often, homeowners put off having annual AC maintenance performed in the springtime, only to need emergency HVAC repair on the hottest day of the year.

What Is Considered an HVAC Emergency?

worker repairing ceiling air conditioning unit

Deciding what is considered an HVAC emergency and what is not requires having a general working knowledge of your HVAC system. You should know how your system cycles, how to tell if it is blowing out hot or cold air, where the air filter is located, and how to check to ensure that it is draining correctly.

You should also be aware of the sounds your HVAC system makes when it is running in both heating and cooling settings. This will help you identify strange sounds should they become apparent and indicate a potential problem.

Keeping these things in mind, here are some common sounds and signs that indicate you need emergency HVAC service:

#1. No Heated or Cooled Air

If you put your hand up to the air vents and the air coming out is not heated or cooled, there is something wrong with the system. However, before calling your HVAC technician, check your air filter. Dirty and clogged air filters can prevent sufficient airflow and cause the system not to heat or cool correctly.

#2. Buzzing Sound or Burning Smell

Buzzing sounds and burning smells indicate electrical problems. They can occur from faulty connections to parts that are overheating and melting others. Shut off the system and contact your HVAC technician for emergency HVAC repairs asap.

However, it is worth noting that a burning smell is normal during the first few heating cycles, as it is burning off dust inside the system. Yet, if the burning smell continues to be present, then it could indicate a problem.

#3. Clunking, Banging, Screeching, and Popping Sounds

These noises are not normal and indicate something is wrong with the HVAC system. For example, screeching sounds could indicate the system is operating under excessively high pressure levels. If the system is not serviced, there are risks of the parts under high pressure rupturing and exploding.

#4. No Airflow

Another problem that often indicates you need heating and cooling emergency services is when the system turns on, but there is no airflow. The air handler unit and blower motor could have failed. There could also be an electrical problem where something shorted out, so the blower motor is not working properly.

#5. System Does Not Turn On

If your HVAC system does not turn on when it should, it could indicate a wiring or electrical problem. Start by checking the thermostat first to ensure it is set to heating or cooling and turned on. Next, check your breakers to verify they do not need reset. After checking these things, if the system still won’t turn on, then call your HVAC technician.

#6. You Smell a Strong Gassy Smell

If you have a gas heater and notice a strong rotten egg odor, it could indicate a gas leak. You should shut off the gas main immediately. Contact your HVAC technician for emergency service to check for gas leaks.

#7. The Pilot Light on Your Furnace Is Yellow

Natural gas flames should appear bluish in color. If your pilot light is yellow, it indicates there is excess carbon monoxide, which is dangerous. Contact your HVAC technician asap for emergency HVAC service. You should also open up doors and windows to let in fresh air or leave your home until the problem is resolved.

#8. The “Exhaust” Fan on the AC Unit Isn’t Working

There is an “exhaust” fan on outdoor AC units that helps remove heat from the cooling coils as the coolant cycles through the unit. If this fan is not spinning, the coolant overheats, and hot air is blown into the house. Shut the unit off and call your HVAC technician right away.

What Is Not an HVAC Emergency?

woman with flashlight looks into distribution board

Certain types of problems may seem like an HVAC emergency to you. However, not all problems require emergency HVAC service, including:

  • Low Airflow – Low airflow indicates a blockage like dirty and clogged air filters. So, you would want to schedule HVAC service, but it does not warrant an emergency repair.
  • Power Outages – You would be surprised by how many people call their HVAC technicians when the power is out. If there is no electricity, there is nothing your HVAC technician can do to get your system back on. You just have to wait for your electric company to repair the problem.
  • Bi-Annual Maintenance – Your regular system maintenance should never be scheduled as an emergency service.
  • Repairs That Can Wait for a Normal Service Call – When the temperatures are moderate, and you survive without heating or cooling, you may not need emergency HVAC service.

How to Handle an HVAC Emergency

As you can see, certain problems qualify as HVAC emergencies and require calling an HVAC technician. When you need emergency HVAC repair services in San Antonio or the Austin Metro area, call Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 anytime, day or night, holidays or weekends.

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Are Noisy Pipes in a House Normal?

Posted on March 24th, 2022 by ChristainSon_Admin

Chrome pipe lines installation

When you hear strange sounds coming from your plumbing, it is easy to understand you have concerns about whether noisy pipes are normal. For starters, noisy pipes in a house can be a common occurrence as the home ages. However, certain sounds often indicate a plumbing problem that needs to be addressed before it creates an even bigger plumbing problem.

Are Noisy Water Pipes Dangerous?

One common sound you could hear is a knocking or banging sound. This sound is usually caused by water hammer, which is when the water is moving through the plumbing lines and the valve shuts off quickly.

When the flow of the water is stopped abruptly, it “bangs” against the inside of the plumbing lines. Most modern houses are outfitted with air chambers that help absorb the shock when water stops suddenly. Yet, these air chambers can fill with water. When they do, you will notice water hammer.

If you do not resolve water hammer problems, they can gradually damage pipe fittings and connections. Should they get knocked loose, you will have to deal with plumbing leaks, potential flooding, and problems with mildew and mold.

So, while water hammer is not initially dangerous, it can lead to a host of other plumbing problems you can easily avoid.

Can High Water Pressure Cause Noisy Pipes?

High water pressure can cause humming or vibrating noises whenever you run water. In addition, high water pressure is not good for your plumbing lines, appliances, and water heater and can cause damages that will further add to your plumbing repairs.

An easy fix for high water pressure is checking and seeing if you have a water pressure regulator installed. Usually, this will be located where the water main comes into your home. If you do, simply turn the water pressure down. However, if you are unsure what to set it to or do not have one, you want to call a plumber for assistance.

Are Rattling Noisy Pipes in a Wall Normal?

While rattling noisy pipes in a wall are sometimes attributed to water hammer, in most cases they occur because they are no longer secured. For example, if you had a water hammer problem that was resolved, it could have caused the fasteners holding your pipes in place to become loose or break.

As a result, the pipes will rattle anytime water is running as they bang against the interior studs or wall. To fix rattling sounds, you would need to pinpoint the location of the pipes first. Then you will need to remove drywall to access the pipes and re-secure them. Since this type of repair can be rather complex, calling a plumber to help is often better.

What Do Squeaking or Whistling Noisy Pipes Mean?

On the palm of the hand is a twisted water aerator

Squeaking or whistling noisy pipes indicate something is wrong with the flow of water through the pipes.

  • There could be an obstruction in the plumbing line.
  • There could be a defective washer or aerator if the sound is coming from a faucet.
  • Your shut-off valve may be partly closed.

There could also be mismatched pipe connections. For example, the connection to your wash machine is smaller than the supply line. Since water is forced into a smaller connection, it can create a squeaking or whistling sound.

However, whistling sounds can be normal if you recently purchased new appliances. So, check the FAQs or contact the manufacturer to find out if whistling sounds are normal.

When to Call a Plumber for Help with Noisy Pipes

When you notice noisy pipes in your house, the first thing you need to do is determine what sound they are making to know what type of problem you have. Next, you will need to decide if resolving the problem is quick and easy, such as:

  • Replacing an Aerator
  • Turning Down the Water Pressure

If not, or if it is something you are not comfortable with, then you will want to call a plumber for help.

To help determine the cause of noisy pipes in your New Braunfels, Temple, San Antonio, or Austin Metro Area house and have them resolved, please feel free to call Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 512-246-5400 today!

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