Posts tagged ‘Maintenance’

10 Ways to Keep Your Cool!

HomeServiceCorp.comThe recent issue of Money Magazine had a list of 10 ways to cut your cooling costs. Although it is not a complete list it contained some very good information. We have added additional thoughts that the article did not consider but will add to your comfort.

  1. Clean The Condenser Make sure shrubs, plants and ground cover are at least a foot away from the unit outside. Wash down the unit with a hose but be sure not to force debris between the coil fins.
  2. Replace Filters Replace the filter in your furnace at least twice a year. If you have pets or a lot of activity in your home it may be necessary to replace it much more often
  3. Plant a Tree If you plant a larger tree on the West or South side of your home, the shade can reduce cooling costs.
  4. Tighten Ductwork If your basement is considerably cooler that the rest of your house, it could be the ductwork in the basement is leaking the cool air into the basement and not allowing it to flow into the main areas of the home.
  5. Install Ceiling Fans Air movement helps us to feel cooler. Installation of ceiling fans can help circulate air in your home and provide more comfort. Just be sure to turn off fans in rooms you are not using and save energy.
  6. Use the Shades Closing window treatments on the South and West side of your home on sunny days can reduce solar heat gain. It can also reduce fading of carpeting and furnishings.
  7. Keep the Air Flowing Leave doors between rooms open to allow air flow. Also be sure vents are open and not covered with furniture or other stuff.
  8. Open Windows On cool nights or cool days it may make sense to open windows in your home. There are some risks here for home security and allow airborne allergens into your home.
  9. Upgrade If your unit is 10 years old or more replacing it with a new high efficiency unit can save you bucks this year.
  10. Get a Checkup Having a semi-annual checkup of your system by a qualified Technician can assure your unit is operating at the maximum efficiency for your unit.Home Servoice Corp. Heating and Cooling

 

If you need service on your system or are thinking about a replacement, call us today!

It’s a good time of year to have our trained experienced air conditioning Technicians solve your cooling problems whether you live on Grosse Ilse, in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Melvindale, or Oak Park.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Pros & Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

There has been a lot of hype in the last few years about replacing

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Which Saves you Money?

a home’s tank type water heater with a tankless style heater. For many homes and homeowners it is a great alternative. They are compact and they can provide continuous hot water for those using a lot of water. There is little energy loss from a tank filled with hot water. Many are very energy efficient during operation. Perhaps the reason many get them is it’s the newest and greatest (at least by the advertising hype).

Let’s take a look at things to consider when you need to replace your existing tank or decide to replace your existing tank.

Installation Cost

Most tankless heaters require a natural gas line to them as does your tank type heater. The difference is the tankless requires a supply of gas about 6 times that of your tank type of heater in order to provide a continuous supply of hot water. That does not mean it uses 6 times as much gas it just uses it over a shorted time. This being the case, often the piping from the gas meter to the tankless heater must be increased in size which requires much more in materials and labor.

The high efficiency tankless heaters vent the flue gases out through plastic piping not through the chimney. In some cases, especially condominiums, there is not a practical way to do this. If it can be done once again additional labor and materials are required.

Older tank type heaters do not require an electrical power supply. The tankless type heater will require an electrical power supply which may add cost.

Installed cost will typically be 3-5 times the cost of a tank type water heater. It could easily take 20+ years to overcome the installation costs and receive a payback.

Instantaneous Hot Water

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Tankless Installation

The burners of a tankless water heater come on in seconds of the call for hot water. There is hot water leaving the tank but that does not mean instant hot water at the faucet. If the faucet is a distance away from the tankless heater, you will still have a wait for hot water. This can be overcome with a tankless or tank type water heater by installing a recirculation system. This is an additional expense to either water heating system.

If you turn on a faucet at a very low hot water flow, a tankless heater may not sense it and cause the unit to fire providing hot water as needed.

Maintenance

Tank type water heaters require very little maintenance over a life of 6- 12 years. Ever those with power vent units are quite simple. A tankless heater has some sophisticated controls and systems inside of the unit which could be very costly to repair.

Another issue can come into play with the heat exchanger of a tankless heater. The passages for the water to flow through can be narrow. Mineral build up in these passages can cause them to malfunction and require extensive service. This is especially true in areas with hard water conditions or other mineral content in the water supply.

Uniqueness

Each home and family is unique. Their needs are unique. We install a variety of hot water heating systems to meet these unique needs. We can help you decide which system will best meet your family’s needs.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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“Mom, Our basement stinks!”

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Finished Basement

Have you ever had an offensive odor in your home that you just could not find the source? Have you been able to determine it’s coming from the basement? From time to time we receive a call from a homeowner wanting us to send a Technician out to check into “a bad” odor in their home emanating from their basement.

The customer tells our Customer Service Rep that they have checked to be sure the dog or cat has not left a surprise for them in the basement. A search of the basement has not come up with a dead critter of some sort either. The children didn’t have an issue and put soiled clothing in the basement laundry basket, and the husband didn’t drop his sweaty gym clothes or sports equipment in the basement. The customer has tried covering up the odor with one of those new sprays but to no avail.

So we send a Technician out to the home to check out the situation and determine if there is a plumbing problem. When the Tech arrives, he will ask several questions of the homeowner to help him hone in on the source of the customer’s problem. Although the customer may have told the Customer Service Rep on the phone, the Tech will ask questions to be sure he fully understands the customer’s need and clarify any information he received from the office.

As the Tech begins his investigation of the odor, he will check into all the plumbing in the basement. An unfinished basement is often much easier to check since walls, floors, and ceilings are exposed and the plumbing can be traced. The Tech will check the drain piping for leaks and possible cracks. If there is a laundry area or a bathroom in the basement it will also be checked for cracked or leaking piping. The drain traps for each of these will be inspected to be sure there is water sealing each of the traps. If the trap is dry, sewer gases can escape from the system and enter the home causing the noxious odor. Although the Technician is not a general contractor or mold inspector, he/she would look for signs of mold near plumbing fixtures and other common mold occurring areas of the basement. Some forms of mold can have noticeable smells which we find offensive and could be a health hazard. The Technician would also check to be sure drain cleanouts plugs are in place and sealing the system and he/she would check the floor drains to be sure they have a good water seal in them.

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Typical Trap

Many of these possible causes will require the expertise of a plumber or specialty contractor to solve, but a simple solution is often to add 2-3 cups of water to the floor drains in the basement on a monthly basis. This should also be done if there are plumbing fixtures that are rarely used in the basement since the water seals in the traps for those may dry up allowing sewer gas to escape into the home. Occasionally we find a floor drain trap that has rusted through the piping and requires the floor drain to be replaced.

If you have checked everything out without finding the source of the odor, give us a call. We can help.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Resolution Time!

 Home Service Corp. HeatingWe all make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, to get fit, to stop a bad habit, or some other “life changing” promise to ourselves. Here are some activities to put on your calendar that will save you money and improve your health!

Your heating and air conditioning system heats, colds, humidifies, cleans, and moves air around your home. With some simple steps you can have a cleaner, more comfortable, safer, home and save money. These are always good resolutions to add to your list. Here is a simple tip on an easy way to accomplish these resolutions.

On that new calendar or on that new tablet or smart phone calendar do the following:

·        Put in a task to once a month check the filter on your furnace. If it is dirty, change it out every month. If it is clean check it again the following month. A dirty filter can cause your increase your furnace blower motor to work harder thus using more electricity..

·        Put in a task to check and clean the humidifier once a month during the heating season. Soak the pad in a 50% vinegar/water solution overnight and rinse with water. Replace the pad at least once during the heating season. The build-up of minerals will decrease the effectiveness of the humidifier. This reduces comfort and causes more hours of humidifier operation which costs you money. Also open the humidifier bypass damper at the beginning of the heating season along with the water supply valve. At the beginning of the cooling season close the humidifier bypass and shutoff the water supply to the humidifier. If you have UV light check it for proper operation.

·        While you are doing the things mentioned above, be sure no “stuff” is stored within a foot of the furnace or water heater. If there are flammables nearby, be sure to get them out of the house! A malfunction of the furnace or water heater can quickly cause a major fire if flammables or combustibles are nearby.

·        Mark April to call for a service call by a professional to safety and operational check your air conditioner before the season of hot weather is here. When your system is properly adjusted, it saves you money and provides better comfort.

·        Mark August to schedule a fall safety and operational check on your furnace. Every fall hundreds of people are hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning from poorly operating furnaces.

·        Put in a task to check the air conditioning unit monthly during the warm months for weeds, leaves, cottonwood or other debris that can partially clog the intake of the air conditioning unit and reduce efficiency and the life of the unit.

·        Put a task on the first day of spring and the first day of fall to replace the batteries on your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detector. Also check for operation. If they are more than 10 years old, they should be replaced.

·        While you are changing out batteries on your smoke detectors, also change out the batteries on your thermostat if needed. Check the manual for instructions. Also remember the clock on the thermostat may need to be changed when we “spring ahead” or “fall back” to be sure you have you program operating properly on your thermostat.

That new smart phone or tablet can be used for more than just games. Home Service Corp. CoolingIt can remind you of the simple tasks needed to assure comfort, safety and energy saving in your home this coming year.

Happy New Year for all of us to you and your family!

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Cider Time?

Cider Time?

We have just passed from summer into fall and the change in weather confirms it. The kids are back to school, cider mills are open, and the football season is in full swing. Our days of 90+ degrees have ended for another 9 or so months, the baseball season is quickly winding down, and the shorts and flip-flops are put into the back of the closet. The maple trees are showing their color and the others will be soon. This morning there was frost on the grass in our backyard. So why am I discussing the weather and the season change?Home Service Corp. your full service heating company

Well, it’s that time of year to have your furnace, humidifier, and air quality equipment checked out. Your furnace will be running very soon if it isn’t already providing warmth for you and your family. It has set idle for the past several months with the exception of the blower and although it started up when you cranked up the thermostat, it may not be running at its peak performance. “What does that mean” you ask? If your furnace isn’t running at its peak performance, it may be in need of a repair or it may need to be adjusted to assure you are using the least amount of natural gas possible. The National Comfort Institute tells us that even a newly installed furnace does not operate at peak performance without proper adjusting and testing at the time of installation. A furnace that has been installed for several years will need to be checked to assure your money savings that furnace promised. Our NATE certified technicians can check and adjust your unit to keep it running at its peak.

At the same time, the technician can check the operation of your humidifier. Your humidifier provides moisture into the home for more comfort at a lower temperature, reduce static electricity, protect furniture, and keep your family healthier. The filtration system will be checked along with other indoor air quality equipment you may have installed.

If you have a boiler, we can check it out and adjust it for peak performance. Our technicians are well trained on the operation of boilers and there special controls. There are many energy saving techniques for your boiler which will save on your gas bill and provide better comfort.

HSC Your full service plumbing, heating and electrical company.If the technician finds something that needs to be repaired or something that would provide benefit to your family’s comfort, he will give you a quote before he does the work. While he is at your home, be sure to ask him how you can save money on this call and future services.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

OH-Oh! No Hot Water!

Water HeaterWe often receive calls from homeowners with gas hot water heaters who are without hot water. Like many appliances, your water heater will need occasional servicing to maintain peak performance. Sufficient air flow is crucial to the proper operation of your water heater. If the water heater is in a small tight area, a source air for combustion is needed. If the area around the water heater is large and a source for combustion air is available from the space, there may be other causes. The signs of restricted air for combustion are yellow flames, pilot outage, soot, unstable flame, or no hot water. Before starting any service or repair, consult the sections of your owner’s manual dealing with condensation, air requirements, gas supply, venting, and cleaning the air intake screen. Also, make sure that your heater is properly sized for your home. An undersized heater may result in condensation which can drip onto the flame causing a pilot outage.  Your water heater is built to the current industry safety standard and meets all FVIR (flammable vapor ignition resistant) requirements. This assures that any flammable vapors drawn into the combustion chamber and ignited cannot ignite remaining flammable vapors on the exterior of the heater causing a fire or explosion. This design includes a flame arrestor and one or two air intake screen(s). These screen(s) prevent larger particles of dust or lint from entering the heater, thus restricting air flow and causing improper combustion.  The owner’s manual asks you to visually check and clean the screen(s) as necessary.  Smaller particles may pass through these screens and lodge in the flame arrestor.Hot Water Burner Assembly

A second cause of many of these calls is a direct result of the hot water tank corroding and a leak developing in the tank. The appearance of water on the floor around the hot water heater is a visual symptom of a leak. It’s just time for a replacement.

Tankless heaters also require periodic maintenance. This includes deliming of the internal heat exchanger. This will be a more significant issue if you have a water supply with a high mineral content.

If you have an electric hot water heater, the answer could be a burned out heating element. There would not be water on the floor around the tank if an element has burned out.  There may also be a circuit breaker tripped or malfunctioning.

We are so used to just turning on the faucet and having hot water, that it’s a real surprise when the water flow is only cold. Most of these Issues require training and expertise to properly repair so be sure to call a professional. Our Technicians are factory trained to service all types of hot water heaters.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

You Can Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later

You can pay me now or you can pay me laterThis phrase was used by an oil filter company several years ago to remind us that our cars and trucks need regular service. The commercial advised us that if we fail to change the oil and filter at regular intervals as recommended by the automobile manufactures, we would be paying the auto repair shop for major repairs at a later date. Most car owner realize they need to change the oil and filter, check the tire pressure, check the radiator fluid, change the wiper blades, and do the other regular maintenance to keep the car safe, operating, and maximize the life of the vehicle. When a vehicle is purchased the dealer covers the details about the vehicle including the regular maintenance needed. They put you on a mailing list to remind you about maintenance, they email you, they offer discounts for coming in for service, and they even telephone you to remind you about maintenance.

Although your investment in home comfort system is not as great as a new or used vehicle it has become a major investment in your home. The technology and construction of the new units has increased the efficiency of the system, but it has also increased the initial cost and the repair cost substantially. Over the last couple of decades, the installed cost of a new furnace and air conditioning unit have more than doubled. The components of each are much more sophisticated which increases cost and setup. So as an experienced heating and air conditioning contractor, I ask you, “Do you want to pay me now or pay me later?” Twice yearly maintenance on your system can eliminate many of those costly breakdown issues. It will also substantially increase the life of the unit saving you replacement money for many more years. The added bonus is the utility cost for operating your system will be minimized with a well maintained system.

Every manufacturer of heating and cooling equipment strongly recommends semi-annual maintenance. They publish it in their literature and always advise the consumer of that recommendation. Your utility also strongly recommends twice a year maintenance checks on your system. For many, they have partial rebates on maintenance checks to reduce the use of natural gas and electricity.

Call us today for a maintenance check on your system. We can setup a regular schedule so you will be automatically be contacted for your next maintenance checkup. This plan includes special savings on any service or purchase from us, gives you priority service, and protection on your investment. And as an added bonus, we will give you a free inspection of your plumbing system (at your convenience) to help you save utility costs and detect potential issues before they become major emergency problems.Furnace and Air Conditioning Maintenance

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.