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What are the benefits of a geothermal heating system?

red truck drilling for a geothermal system outside a home

Choosing a Geothermal Heating System

Like homeowners everywhere, here in Mills River, North Carolina area, we look for ways to cool and heat our homes efficiently. The summers are beautiful and fun in this coastal area, but the winters can be brutally cold too. And geothermal heating systems have become a more popular way to keep comfortable at an affordable price. 

But what is geothermal heating exactly?  A geothermal heating system also works as a cooling system too. It is an energy-efficient system that utilizes the natural stable ground temperature to warm your home in the winter and cool your home in the summer. A geothermal heating system is an energy-efficient solution with the system itself in the ground with a heat pump in your basement or garage.

The pipes of the geothermal heat system are buried approximately 300 feet, where they will absorb the ground’s temperature that the sun has heated up. A liquid in the pipes then takes that heat and distributes it throughout your home through vents as a standard HVAC system would.

Can you cool your house with geothermal systems? 

Yes, during the summer, that liquid is cooled below the surface and then sends the cooled air through your home. So, how much land do you need for geothermal? This is always a concern for any homeowner, nobody wants their entire lawn dedicated to cooling and heating their home!  

And it doesn’t take much space either! So, how deep do you dig for geothermal heating? A geothermal heating system installation requires a four to six-inch diameter wide area where a three to 500-foot loop will be installed down below the surface. Like other means for power development, geothermal does need to produce and develop too. The plants for geothermal heating systems don’t use as much land as coal and nuclear power plants and what land they do use, the environmental impact is minimal.

What are the benefits of geothermal heating?

Like any new technology, the upfront cost is usually the worse part, and a geothermal heating system isn’t any different. But once you get past that initial cost, you can expect the following benefits: 

  • Eco-Friendly: A geothermal heating system is an environmentally friendly way to heat your home because it doesn’t produce carbon monoxide or any greenhouse gasses, minimizing your contribution to air pollution and your carbon footprint.
  • Affordable Operation: Once your geothermal heating system is installed, you’ll start saving money with the operation of the system thanks to the technology used. A geothermal heating system offers a 400% efficiency rating and creates four units of energy for every unit of energy that is electrically produced. Because it doesn’t burn fuel to create heat, it transfers heat from the earth. Homeowners have seen savings of up to seventy percent on utilities!
  • Cash Flow: With a geothermal heating system, it will be paying for itself over a 3 to 5-year period. When you consider the government tax credits, you could see a positive cash flow sooner than that! 
  • Lifespan Cost: Is geothermal better than the standard HVAC system? Yes, starting with a longer lifespan. The standard HVAC system typically needs replacing within 15 years or sooner, depending on the quality of the equipment and the maintenance schedule. In comparison, how long does a geothermal system last? With a geothermal heating system, because they aren’t exposed to the climate and environment outside, like ice, rain, and snow, they will last longer. The indoor components consist of a compressor, fan, and pump that have a lifespan of 10 years or more and the underground portion can last for generations. 
  • Quiet Operation: A geothermal heating system doesn’t have any outdoor condensing unit, and the indoor components operate quietly.
  • Safety: Geothermal heating systems are safe, are clean to operate because there isn’t any combustion involved in the operation. No fear of carbon monoxide poisoning with this renewable energy way of heating your home. 
  • Increased Comfort: A geothermal heating system offers air purification and dehumidification, improving the air quality of your home. Because it isn’t recycling the air, there are fewer concerns or threats to your home’s indoor air quality.

Will a geothermal heating system raise my heating bill?

Because of the electric usage with a geothermal heating system, there is a concern the electrical bill will increase. The electric bill will be less in the summer months for cooling, which will balance out the electrical cost during the winter. 

At what temperature does geothermal keep your house?

It will keep your home toasty warm in the winter because it is not pulling in the cold air and heating it like a heat pump system. It is pulling the heat from the core of the earth where it stays hot constantly!  Set your winter thermostat to a warm 72 degrees and you’ll have a warm 72-degree home! 

close-up of a truck drilling for a geothermal heating system

So – At the End Of The Day 

Is a geothermal system worth it? Well, that will be your decision to make when it comes down to it, but we can tell you that you can save money on your energy bills with a geothermal heating system. You’ll have an upfront out-of-pocket expense, but the payback of lower bills will offset that quickly!

What are the signs your hot water heater is going out?

close-up of a hose being connected to a water heater

Getting a New Water Heater

You’ve had a good night’s sleep – or maybe not such a good night’s sleep. Either way, you know you can always count on that hot morning shower to start the day off! At least until you find the water isn’t getting hot. Now, were there any indications before that morning that you may need to plan a new water heater installation?

If you have any of the following issues, and you’re wondering, “Should I repair or replace my water heater?”, the answer is yes. You should have already had a new water heater installation scheduled, or at least you should have expected this to happen anyway. But to make things a little easier, what are the tell-tale warnings a water heater is at its end of service life? 

Things to Watch Out For

These are pretty obvious signs a water heater is about to call it quits. If the unit is 10 years old (or older), none of these should surprise you. 

  1. Discolored water. When the water coming out is discolored, or rusty, the water heater is probably corroded inside, which can corrode the plumbing too. A professional plumber can check your water heater and water supply and advise you if just the water heater is the problem, or if you have other issues too. 
  2. Strange sounds. As sediment builds up over at the bottom of a water heater, it hardens and causes the water heater to have knocking or rumbling sounds. The sediment is doing more than just causing these noises. It is limiting the efficiency of the water heater too, wearing it out and could cause it to start leaking.
  3. Leaks or moisture. If the base of the water heater has moisture on or around it, puddles of water around it on a regular basis, it probably is already leaking, and you need to schedule a water heater installation sooner than later. 
  4. Lukewarm water. If the water is taking too long to get water to the faucet, the water heater is probably full of sediment. It could also be the heating element or thermostat. Depending on the age of the unit, a water heater installation is the best way to fix this issue. 

Is a noisy water heater dangerous?

It could be enough noise to make you think it is about to take off to the moon, but it is rare that a water heater explodes to that level. The knocking and rumbling sounds aren’t so much a danger to the water heater. The danger is more to the walls surrounding your water heater, which could need repairing, even replacing, as well as the floor under the water heater. A noisy water heater is a good reason to either have a plumber come inspect the unit or schedule a water heater installation. 

Is a leaking water heater dangerous?

In the rare cases of a water heater exploding, or more commonly, when a water heater begins leaking, it can contain over 100 gallons of scalding water. When a leaking water heater isn’t addressed with a new water heater installation to replace the existing one, there are several possibilities of damage and more that can result. 

  • Electrocution or gas leak
  • Risk of scalding
  • Fire hazard
  • Explosion

How do I know if my water heater element is bad?

In most cases, it is the lower heating element that will go out. To find out, a DIY homeowner with some basic electrical knowledge and a multimeter can take the following steps: 

  1. Turn the power off to the electric hot water heater, if it is plugged into a wall socket, unplugging it will be sufficient. Otherwise, you’ll need to turn the breaker off at the main panel. 
  2. There are two wires at the element; remove them and push them to the side. 
  3. With the multimeter set at ohms or resistance, set the scale to the lowest reading.
  4. Touch one multimeter probe to each screw on the heating element. If there is no reading or the reading is at max, that is the bad heating element. 
  5. Touch one probe to a screw on the heating element and the other probe to the water heater metal tank. If there is a small ohm reading or a slight needle movement, you have a shorted out element.

If you’re not sure you’ve performed these testing procedures correctly, have a professional plumber inspect the unit. They will test the element as well as another factor related to the water heater. 

How do I know if my water heater thermostat is bad?

With an electric water heater, the thermostat can be found on the front of the unit under an access panel. It is the thermostat’s job to keep the water hot inside the tank. There is a bi-metal switch against the wall of the water heater tank and as the water heats up inside the tank, that bi-metal switch heats up within the thermostat.

Once the water has reached the recommended 120°F setting, the switch opens and turns off the electrical flow, resulting in the heating element shutting off. When the temperature gets lower, this all happens in reverse. 

There are two elements to a water heater and a thermostat connected to each one. The thermostats are wired where only one of the heating elements is on. The upper thermostat brings the top one-third of the water to the desired temperature then turns off when the electricity is redirected to the lower thermostat.

These two steps will tell you which thermostat is bad: 

  • Upper Thermostat – If the upper thermostat/heating element is defective, then the water heater won’t heat any water. 
  • Lower Thermostat – If the lower thermostat/ heating element) is defective, the water will only reach a lukewarm temp, or it will run out of hot water fast. 

What causes a pilot light to go out on a water heater?

Often it is either a dirty or bad thermocouple that will cause a pilot light to extinguish. Another cause is the unsealed combustion chamber, common for older water heaters. And if a gas water heater isn’t getting enough mixture with fresh air, that can cause a pilot light to go out. 

The thermocouple can be cleaned or replaced. If there isn’t a sealed combustion chamber, the unit should be replaced with a new water heater installation. The newer models are sealed and safer. If the water heater isn’t piped correctly to vent outside, you should have a professional plumber come inspect the unit and make the appropriate changes. 

How much does it typically cost to replace a hot water heater?

A new water heater installation in 2020 averaged between $400 and $1200, with the cost varying depending on factors such as whether you choose professional installation. If you’re considering going with a tankless water heater installation, expect to pay upward of $2,000. 

water heater in a utility room

A Few Final Words 

So, just who do you call for a water heater problem? A professional plumber with license and insurance. You’ll want to confirm they offer water heater service, as some plumbers specialize in other areas only. If you’re on a budget, you may want to do your own water heater installation, but that isn’t recommended. 

Can a homeowner install their own water heater? Yes, you may be able to do the work, however, where you live may require a licensed plumber to do the water heater installation. A permit may be needed, and a city inspector will need to check the unit once the job is complete.

Are Sewer Line Inspections Necessary?

close-up of a sewer line being worked on

Choosing Sewer Line Inspection

You use it every day, but you never see it. It is impertinent to a properly functioning plumbing system, but you never see it. We’re talking about the sewer line to your home. Without it, or with its malfunctioning, our homes would be a major, unhealthy mess! This makes having regular sewer line inspection so important – the unseen is often the most necessary.

What does a sewer inspection consist of? 

Today, sewer inspection companies will send a trained, professional technician that is licensed to inspect with specialized sewer inspection equipment to perform a sewer scope inspection. 

What is a sewer scope inspection? 

A sewer scope inspection is a process of inspecting your sewer line by using a camera connected to a flexible cable that will ‘snake’ through the sewer line from the house to the main sewer line. The process is done by the following steps:   

  • The sewer line inspection technician will run water at each appliance first to flush the sewer lines. This provides a lubricated line for the sewer scope to slide through, hopefully removing any debris. The water also helps the camera float as the flexible cable pushes it through. 
  • Next, the inspector finds an access point of the sewer line and checks around it for possible leaks. 
  • The next step, the technician inserts the camera and flexible cable into the sewer line and guides it through the sewer line. The plan at this point is for the camera and cable to go from that access point to the main sewer line connection. 
  •  As the camera and cable are guided through the sewer line, blockage, cracks, gaps, holes, or other defects are recorded by the camera, relayed to a computer, and recorded as the technician watches a small television-like screen. 
  • With the sewer line inspection complete and a detailed report created, the technician will discuss what was found, if anything, and offer suggestions for any repairs or replacements needed. 

The sewer inspection and cleaning are usually done at the same time. The cleaning process allows the technician to see the inside of the pipe better. How long does it take to do a septic inspection?  The process typically takes an hour or less, depending on what the technician finds. 

The technician will check all aspects of sewer lines from inside the house as well. This includes all the drains to make sure everything is draining, flushing, and flowing as they should. This part of the sewer line inspection is done prior to the camera part so they can observe if there are any issues. Then the camera part of the sewer line inspection allows them to pinpoint the problem if there is one.   

How much is a sewer line inspection?

A professional sewer scope inspection cost can vary from area to area and the specifics of the property. Every company that offers sewer line inspections will have its own rates as well, with the average starting around $150 and reaching up to $500.  

While this may seem like an unnecessary expense if you’re not having sewer line issues. However, considering it as a preventive maintenance expense, it could save you extensive amounts of money in the future. Especially if they find a need to make a small repair now before it became a bigger problem later that could cost thousands. 

Sewer line inspections are required by lien holders and mortgage companies when financing the purchase of a home. If you already own your home, you may need a sewer line inspection if you’re having issues with your sewage. Issues like constant clogged drains and toilets are an indication that possibly tree roots have invaded the sewer line. 

How do I know if there are roots in my sewer line?

A tree’s root system is typically three times longer than the tree’s height. So, the taller and bigger the tree, the bigger, deeper, and more complex the root system. This happens as the root reaches out seeking moisture and nutrition for the tree, which is how they end up busting through sewer lines. 

They find the small crack in a pipe, or a small leak where humidity has been created. The tree roots will bust through the pipe and keep growing, expanding, and filling the sewer pipe. Eventually, the pipe is blocked. If this is left unattended, serious problems begin to develop from this root obstruction, putting the structural integrity of the entire sewer system at risk. 

Here are four indications that you have a possible tree root problem and should have a sewer line inspection: 

  • Drains Slow Emptying 

If all your drains are emptying slowly, or the toilet drains slow and gurgles as it drains, you may have tree roots in the sewer line.  

  • Sinkholes

Most of the time, a sinkhole is normal, but could be an indication of serious sewer line issues from tree roots. If you have a visible sinkhole in your lawn, schedule a sewer line inspection immediately and stay away from the area to avoid any accidents.

  • Blocked & Collapsed Pipes

A backed-up toilet can be more than an inconvenience if there are tree roots invading the sewer line. The best way to find out why your toilet has frequent clogging is to have a sewer line inspection performed.

  • Sewer Odors

If tree roots have busted and damaged your sewer lines, you will begin noticing unpleasant sewer-like odors inside & outside your home, like rotten eggs. This definitely justifies having a professional sewer line inspection. 

black sewer line laying in a trench in the ground

In Closing – The Effects of Unrepaired Sewer Lines

In addition to unrepaired sewer lines causing structural damage that can cost thousands, the following health risks to your family are possible: 

  • Bacteria can lead to cholera, E-coli, salmonella, and typhoid fever. 
  • Funguses like aspergillus can grow, causing allergy symptoms and irritating anyone that suffers from asthma or other breathing issues. 
  • Parasites like giardia lamblia and roundworm may begin to breed, causing diarrhea, fever, nausea, and stomach cramps. 
  • Sewage can develop hepatitis and lead to liver disease. 
  • Harmful gases like carbon dioxide, chlorine, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and nitrous oxide remove oxygen from your home. 
  • Mold spores can worsen any preexisting respiratory issues and irritate the eyes and skin. 

These are just a few of the things that make sewer line inspections important.

Can Coke clear a clogged drain?

red aluminum soda can

Maybe you’re washing dishes or taking a shower, the task at hand doesn’t really matter, but when there is a clogged drain, cleaning of any kind stops right then and there. The only cleaning that takes place then is clogged drain cleaning, and it needs to be done ASAP!  Nothing can be worse than standing in a shower of dirty water or just a sink full of dishes covered in dirty water.

Yuck! 

How do I know if I have a clog?

Drains get clogged, it is a fact of life and there are several reasons it happens. From debris, various elements and a multitude of materials will accumulate in a drain over time. Eventually, they all gang up and you have a clogged drain. If it isn’t addressed and fixed, it isn’t only inconvenient, it can become unhealthy and cause other issues.  The following are indicators that you have one, you’re about to have one, or worse, you have a broken sewer line.

Unexplained Yard Puddles

If you’re noticing random puddles in the yard and it hasn’t rained recently, you could have a really deep clog or a broken sewer line. This is going to need professional plumbing service for clogged drain cleaning or sewer line repair.

Toilet Not Flushing

A toilet that is not flushing is a common indication that you need clogged drain cleaning to remove an obstruction in the toilet pipes. Or it could be a deeper clog or broken sewer line. Try plunging the toilet first, if that didn’t clear it, try an auger (plumber’s snake). If still not clear, you’ll need to call a professional plumber. 

A Foul Odor in the Drains

It isn’t unusual to have a brief odor when you flush or pour something in a drain. However, if that odor is consistent, then you may need clogged drain cleaning. That odor is from accumulated bacteria in the pipes. This can be an especially foul odor in the kitchen because of stuck food particles. There have been some cases where the foul odor was a rodent stuck in the pipes – a real foul odor! If you have tried several ways to freshen the drain without any success, call a professional plumber. 

Gurgling Drains

A smelly drain is an indicator you need clogged drain cleaning, and so is a gurgling drain. A gurgling drain is telling you there is air trapped in the plumbing lines because of an obstruction, or the vent stack on the roof may have a clog. This will need professional clogged drain cleaning by a plumber. 

Slow Drains

When it takes a long time for water to drain in a bathtub, shower, or sink, you’ll know that clogged drain cleaning is needed. Clogs in these areas are often caused by soap scum, toothpaste, and hair built-up. These types of clogs can be cleared easily by you. 

How can I unclog my drain?

If you are faced with clogged drain cleaning, it may be confusing as to what to pour down a clogged drain that is effective, but safe.  Of course, the first thing is to try plunging the clogged drain, and often that will do the trick. They’ve been around forever, but you’ve read warnings not to use an over-the-counter drain cleaner. 

Why, can drain cleaner make a clog worse? Yes and no. A chemical cleaner like Drano or Liquid-Plumbr can clear a clog, but the liquid solution can also become solid and clog your drain even more, depending on the original clog problem. In addition, repeated use of chemicals can damage the pipes, leading to leaks.  

So – how to unclog a drain without chemicals? 

Here is a four-step process for clogged drain cleaning with the products you already have in your home: 

STEP 1: Pour a pot of boiling hot water into the drain.

STEP 2: Pour one cup of baking soda, one cup of water, and one cup of white vinegar into the drain. 

STEP 3: Cover the drain and wait 10 minutes. 

STEP 4: Pour a pot of boiling hot water into the drain again. 

The baking soda and vinegar will have a bubbling reaction as the mixture loosens the clog, and the boiling hot water in step four will remove the clog and mixture from the pipes. Baking soda and vinegar are all-natural materials that won’t hurt the pipes or the environment as the clog flushes on through into the sewer system. 

So, will vinegar clear a clogged drain and how does that work? 

Yes, vinegar will clear the clog when used with baking soda and water. The baking soda is the base product, sodium bicarbonate, and vinegar is made up of acetic acid and water. When you combine baking soda and vinegar, molecules are exchanged and create carbon dioxide, the water bubbles through and breaks up the clog, resulting in loose material that will flow through the pipes after you add the boiling hot water.

Drainage pipes are not pressurized like the pipe in your water system. So, when boiling hot water is added, it creates pressure. Coupled with the gravity of plumbing, the unwanted goop is flushed out of the piping, and you have an all-natural clogged drain cleaning!  

Will bleach clear a clogged drain?

No, and this is because it cannot eat through hair, soap scum, toothpaste, and the other kinds of substances that cause clogged drain. Cleaning the bacteria and germs is all that bleach will do, though it will make it smell clean and fresh. 

Can you use drain cleaner in a clogged toilet?

No! No! And NO!  A chemical drain cleaner like Drano, Liquid-Plumbr, or any chemical-based clogged drain cleaning product is too abrasive and harsh on the pipes. NEVER use a chemical-based product in a clogged toilet. 

young woman plunging a sink

At The End Of The Line – Can a clog cause a leak?

If you don’t get a clogged drain cleaning done, by a plunger, natural ingredients, or a plumber, will it harm the pipes or cause a leak?  It can! A clogged drain will cause water to back up into the drainpipe and other plumbing fixtures. This leaves standing water in the pipes, and over time, that water will begin to leak through the caulk and seals.

What are the signs your hot water heater is going out?

a modern water heater

Dealing With a Faulty Water Heater

You’ve had a good night’s sleep – or maybe not such a good night’s sleep. Either way, you know you can always count on that hot morning shower to start the day off! At least until you find the water isn’t getting hot. Now, were there any indications before that morning that you may need to plan a new water heater installation

If you have any of the following issues, and you’re wondering, “Should I repair or replace my water heater?”, the answer is yes. You should have already had a new water heater installation scheduled, or at least you should have expected this to happen anyway. But to make things a little easier, what are the tell-tale warnings a water heater is at its end of service life? 

These are pretty obvious signs a water heater is about to call it quits. If the unit is 10 years old (or older), none of these should surprise you. 

  1. Discolored water. When the water coming out is discolored, or rusty, the water heater is probably corroded inside, which can corrode the plumbing too. A professional plumber can check your water heater and water supply and advise you if just the water heater is the problem, or if you have other issues too. 
  2. Strange sounds. As sediment builds up over at the bottom of a water heater, it hardens and causes the water heater to have knocking or rumbling sounds. The sediment is doing more than just causing these noises. It is limiting the efficiency of the water heater too, wearing it out and could cause it to start leaking.
  3. Leaks or moisture. If the base of the water heater has moisture on or around it, puddles of water around it on a regular basis, it probably is already leaking, and you need to schedule a water heater installation sooner than later. 
  4. Lukewarm water. If the water is taking too long to get water to the faucet, the water heater is probably full of sediment. It could also be the heating element or thermostat. Depending on the age of the unit, a water heater installation is the best way to fix this issue. 

Is a noisy water heater dangerous?

It could be enough noise to make you think it is about to take off to the moon, but it is rare that a water heater explodes to that level. The knocking and rumbling sounds aren’t so much a danger to the water heater. The danger is more to the walls surrounding your water heater, which could need repairing, even replacing, as well as the floor under the water heater. A noisy water heater is reason enough to either have a plumber come inspect the unit or schedule a water heater installation. 

Is a leaking water heater dangerous?

In the rare cases of a water heater exploding, or more commonly, when a water heater begins leaking, it can contain over 100 gallons of scalding water. When a leaking water heater isn’t addressed with a new water heater installation to replace the existing one, there are several possibilities of damage and more that can result. 

  • Electrocution or gas leak
  • Risk of scalding
  • Fire hazard
  • Explosion

How do I know if my water heater element is bad?

In most cases, it is the lower heating element that will go out. To find out, a DIY homeowner with some basic electrical knowledge and a multimeter can take the following steps: 

  1. Turn the power off to the electric hot water heater, if it is plugged into a wall socket, unplugging it will be sufficient. Otherwise, you’ll need to turn the breaker off at the main panel. 
  2. There are two wires at the element; remove them and push them to the side. 
  3. With the multimeter set at ohms or resistance, set the scale to the lowest reading.
  4. Touch one multimeter probe to each screw on the heating element. If there is no reading or the reading is at max, that is the bad heating element. 
  5. Touch one probe to a screw on the heating element and the other probe to the water heater metal tank. If there is a small ohm reading or a slight needle movement, you have a shorted out element.

If you’re not sure you’ve performed these testing procedures correctly, have a professional plumber inspect the unit. They will test the element as well as another factor related to the water heater. 

How do I know if my water heater thermostat is bad?

With an electric water heater, the thermostat can be found on the front of the unit under an access panel. It is the thermostat job to keep the water hot inside the tank. There is a bi-metal switch against the wall of the water heater tank and as the water heats up inside the tank, that bi-metal switch heats up within the thermostat.

Once the water has reached the recommended 120°F setting, the switch opens and turns off the electrical flow, resulting in the heating element shutting off. When the temperature gets lower, this all happens in reverse. 

There are two elements to a water heater and a thermostat connected to each one. The thermostats are wired where only one of the heating elements is on. The upper thermostat brings the top one-third of the water to the desired temperature then turns off when the electricity is redirected to the lower thermostat.

These two steps will tell you which thermostat is bad: 

  • Upper Thermostat – If the upper thermostat/heating element is defective, then the water heater won’t heat any water. 
  • Lower Thermostat – If the lower thermostat/ heating element) is defective, the water will only reach a lukewarm temp, or it will run out of hot water fast. 

What causes a pilot light to go out on a water heater?

Often it is either a dirty or bad thermocouple that will cause a pilot light to extinguish. Another cause is the unsealed combustion chamber, common for older water heaters. And if a gas water heater isn’t getting enough mixture with fresh air, that can cause a pilot light to go out. 

The thermocouple can be cleaned or replaced. If there isn’t a sealed combustion chamber, the unit should be replaced with a new water heater installation. The newer models are sealed and safer. If the water heater isn’t piped correctly to vent outside, you should have a professional plumber come inspect the unit and make the appropriate changes. 

How much does it typically cost to replace a hot water heater?

A new water heater installation in 2020 averaged between $400 and $1200, with each installation varying with requirements needed for professional install. If you’re considering going with a tankless water heater installation, expect to pay upward of $2,000. 

hot water coming from a shower head

A Few Final Words 

So, just who do you call for a water heater problem? A professional plumber with license and insurance. You’ll want to confirm they offer water heater service, as some plumbers specialize in other areas only. If you’re on a budget, you may want to do your own water heater installation, but that isn’t recommended. 

Can a homeowner install their own water heater? Yes, you may be able to do the work, however, where you live may require a licensed plumber to do the water heater installation. A permit may be needed, and a city inspector will need to check the unit once the job is complete.

Is electric heating a good option?

Young woman sitting on a sofa and watching the snow fall outside.

What is an electric heating system?

Summer and fall are both wonderful times here on the East Coast, drawing people from all across the country. And when the cold season arrives, we still have tourists that want to experience that Eastern seaboard winter – as long as there is a working electric heating system. Yes, the winters get chilly out this way, and there is nothing better than a roaring fireplace, snuggly blankets, and working heat. 

How does an electric heating system work?

An electric heating system is often a part of an HVAC system, along with air conditioning. The electric heating is created with a heating element, an electrical resistor, and other parts. The electricity is what converts the electrical energy into heating energy with a heating element. Most today are nichrome wire and ceramic insulators.

Depending on the size of the electric heating system, it will have between three and six electric-resistance elements. Those elements have between 3 and 7 kW each, which work much the same as the elements you see inside your toaster. Inside your electric heating system are other important components: 

  • Contactor: This controls the voltage to the heating element by way of the thermostat
  • Sequencer: This turns the heating element off and on, keeping the current spike low since it doesn’t take much to turn it on. 
  • Transformer: This provides power to the control circuits for the contractors, sequencer, and thermostat to work. 

Which electric heating system is best?

There are several electric heating options for homes, and if your home already had an electric heating system when you purchased it, you probably didn’t give any thought to other options. However, if you’re planning to upgrade or you’re having a new home built, give this matter some thought now because cooling and heating a home creates about 17% of our carbon footprint. That is more than all the other emissions our homes create. 

By choosing an electric heating system that is more efficient, you’ll save money each month and you’ll be helping the environment too. Here are the options to choose from and how they affect your budget and the environment.

Good Electric Heating System

An electric heating system may have 100% AFUE (annual fuel-utilization-efficiency) compared to a rating as low as 55% for a gas heating system. Gas does heat faster, so it runs less, and natural gas is cheaper in most places than electricity. A gas heating system can be rated by Energy Star, whereas electric heating systems aren’t. So, depending on the climate, electric heating is better for some, whereas gas is typically better in colder climates. 

Better Electric Heating System

When it comes to an electric heating system, there are better choices, like electric air-source heat pumps. This will draw heat from outside – yes, even in cold weather – and transfer that heat indoors. No fuel is required and minimal electricity is needed. In fact, this type of electric heating system will use less than half that of an electric furnace system. Additionally, you’ll save on cooling with the heat pump because they work as an air conditioner too. 

Another better option for an electric heating system is going with solar power. A solar heating system uses collectors that are mounted on south-facing walls. The hot air that is collected cycles with cool air inside the home and the solar thermal heat use rooftop collectors that are connected to a water tank indoors. 

Best Electric Heating System

For the most efficient electric heating system, a geothermal energy system will use up to 50% less than conventional electric heating systems. A residential geothermal heating system uses a heat pump that exchanges the heat with the earth. The cost of a geothermal heating system is more expensive, but usually within three years, it has paid for itself. 

Is it expensive to heat a house with electricity?

When looking at it from the outside and comparing natural gas and electric heating systems, yes, an electric heating system is more costly. Based on the raw numbers and comparing electric heating to natural gas heating systems, electric costs up to $800 annually versus the $600 for gas heating. If you’re doing a new build, note that a gas heating system will cost more to install than an electric heating system. This is often a deciding factor when build budgeting is concerned. 

Electric Heating System Pros and Cons

Is your old gas furnace not heating as sufficiently as it once was, leaving you thinking about replacing it with an electric heating system? Here are some pros and cons to consider when it comes to an electric heating system: 

The Pros of Electric Heating Systems

  • Cheaper upfront cost. An electric heating system is more common and when it comes to installation, it is less complex. That means the technicians are done with installation faster and that leads to savings for you with less labor.
  • Minimal disruption with installation. A gas furnace installation will require venting connected to the outside, but electric heating systems won’t. With that in mind, you’ll note you’re not limited to where an electric heating system has to be installed. 
  • Easy maintenance. Gas or electric heating systems will always need basic maintenance and routine inspections. However, an electric heating system won’t be as risky to your safety if it malfunctions.

The Cons of Electric Heating Systems

  • Slow to heat. An electric heating system takes longer to power up and heat up the element to make the air warm. 
  • More expensive over time. Because electric power costs more than gas power, over time, an electric heating system will cost more. This is true even though it offers 100% efficiency.
close-up of a woman's hand adjusting a thermostat

All Is Well and Good – Until It Stops Working

So, you forget to schedule the annual inspection which will include cleaning and maintenance. Then you wake up in the middle of the night, and it’s cold. Your electric heating system is not working, so now what? 

There are basic things you can check, like the thermostat, the circuit breaker, and even the on/off switch of the electric heating system. Even changing out the HVAC filter may be enough to get your heater going. If none of that works, you’ll need to make that phone call for electric heating system service.

Going forward, ask them about a maintenance contract so that you have less chance of these things happening. Meanwhile, if it’s time for you to call for help with your electric heating system in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, you can reach out to All About Plumbing & Septic at 828-778-2425.

How do I know if my garbage disposal is bad?

Top view of a sink drain with a garbage disposal.

Dealing With a Faulty Garbage Disposal

 One of the worst things that can happen in a kitchen is the garbage disposal breaking down. This is one well-used appliance, and we don’t think about garbage disposal repairs often – not until we need them! But if you’ve found yourself in need of garbage disposal repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, the team at All About Plumbing & Septic can be there to help. Just call 828-778-2425 to get the services you need.

How long does a typical garbage disposal last?

A quality garbage disposal that has been maintained can last up to 10 years in most cases. But if that’s the case, you ask, why does your garbage disposal keep clogging? No matter how careful you are about what goes into the garbage disposal, they can be finicky instruments and can seem to clog for no reason. But there are things you can do that will minimize clogging and prevent having to call for garbage disposal repair. Some of the problems that can lead to a garbage disposal clog include the following: 

  • A foreign object that’s fallen into the garbage disposal
  • Pushing too much rubbish into the garbage disposal too quickly
  • Not running enough water while the food is processing 

Is my garbage disposal broken?

Luckily, with many issues concerning your garbage disposal, repairs can be taken care of on your own and you can avoid calling the plumber. You’ll at the very least be able to diagnose the problem by paying attention to the following things: 

  • Won’t Turn On

It can be frustrating when the garbage disposal won’t turn on at all. Typically this is a power issue, so press the reset, which is usually located on the bottom of the unit under the sink. This is a built-in safety feature for use when the garbage disposal is jammed, or if the unit overheats. Next, make sure it is plugged in under the sink. After that, check the circuit breaker. If none of these things gets it going, it’s likely time to start shopping for a new unit. 

  • There is Power – But It’s Not Turning

If the garbage disposal is getting power but not turning on, or if you’re hearing odd sounds, you probably have a jammed garbage disposal. Unplug the unit from the power source and insert a hex wrench into the small opening at the bottom of the unit. Jiggle it back and forth and the flywheel should loosen and start to turn. Finally, plug the unit back in and try again. You may need to repeat these steps one or two more times.  

  • Not Draining

If the garbage disposal isn’t draining, you probably have a clog in the drainpipe keeping it the sewer line block. This isn’t a garbage disposal repair, but a clogged drain. First, try using a basic household plunger to loosen the clog. This may take two or three attempts if the clog is larger in size. 

If you don’t have any luck, take the drain apart at the P-trap and clear both ends of the drainpipe out. There could be a dishrag stopped up… or anything that might have made its way in! If all else fails, try using a plumber’s snake. These tools can get further down into the drain line and can often pull out things you had no idea were in there. 

  • Leaking Garbage Disposals

There are four places where you will typically notice a garbage disposal leak: the dishwasher hose, drainpipe, sink flange, or the bottom of the unit. The flange, hose, and drainpipe are fairly easy garbage disposal repairs that most homeowners can take care of themselves. But if it is the bottom of the unit that’s leaking, it is probably wearing out and you likely need to replace the entire unit. 

What should not be put into a garbage disposal?

There are 14 things that should never be put into this dependable yet vulnerable kitchen appliance: 

  • Paint – As more homeowners become DIYers, plumbers are getting more garbage disposal repair calls only to find units full of latex or oil paint that’s been poured straight into the drain and hardened. 
  • Coffee Grounds – Coffee grounds may reduce odors, but they can also create bigger problems the further down the drain they go. 
  • Pasta – Pasta expands when wet – need we say more? 
  • Bones – Garbage disposals can grind up food, but they aren’t designed to grind up bones or other extremely hard items.
  • Oatmeal – Oatmeal is like pasta – it swells when wet. 
  • Nuts – When nuts are ground up, they become a paste – think about peanut butter. 
  • Onion Skins – Chopped or diced onions won’t be a problem, but the thin membrane that makes up the outermost layer of the onion isn’t going to get ground up, but wrap itself around the blades instead.  
  • Egg Shells – Just don’t. They aren’t good on the blade, contrary to popular rumors.
  • Potato Peels – Potato peels can slip past the disposal and clog the drain. 
  • Pits – Peach pits or any other type of pit should not be put into the garbage disposal. If you can’t cut it with a knife, the garbage disposal blades can’t cut it up either. 
  • Cleaning Chemicals – Just avoid harsh chemicals.  
  • Corn Husks – Corn husks will wrap themselves around the blades, just like potato peels.
  • Shells – Seafood shells should never be placed in a garbage disposal. 

When should your garbage disposal be replaced?

If you’re not sure whether a garbage disposal repair or replacement is in order, consider this – how many times have you had it repaired in the past year? If the answer is more than once, it is probably time to replace the unit. If the garbage disposal is 10 years old or older, it should be replaced because the parts are likely not still available and if they are, it will cost as much to repair the garbage disposal as simply installing a new unit. 

Apple being peeled into a sink garbage disposal

In Closing 

If you’re not a DIY homeowner and need a garbage disposal repair, who should you call for garbage disposal repair? Your local plumber or electrician can get the job done for you in most cases. On rare occasions, such as if the drain is blocked and you call an electrician at first, they may need to bring in a plumber.

This is why it’s often good to start with a plumber. There are small electrical things they can usually handle. And if you need garbage disposal repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC, you can count on the All About Plumbing & Septic team to take care of you after you make a simple call to 828-778-2425.

What is trenchless sewer line repair?

trenched sewer repair

What does trenchless mean?

North Carolina is a beautiful place to call home. Until the sewer line breaks or backs up. Fortunately, one fear every homeowner has about sewer line problems can be avoided today – A destroyed lawn. Today, plumbers have a new technology, trenchless plumbing, enables them to find where the problem area is and a way to fix it – all without destroying your landscaping! 

With the new technology today, advanced trenchless plumbing means you may not have to sacrifice your landscaping to have your sewer line repaired or replaced!  Trenchless plumbing is a technology where the plumbing crew does most of the work underground with few or no trench digging on the surface.  Trenchless plumbing is the latest in plumbing technology that uses equipment and new techniques to make things happen without disturbing your lawn. 

What is trenchless plumbing?

Trenchless sewer installation is the process of connecting or replacing the sewer line from your home to the main sewer line without damaging or destroying your landscaping. The following are some details explaining a trenchless plumbing which includes pipe bursting and pipe lining:

  • The pipe bursting process is the existing (damaged) pipe is busted up by a machine with a new sewer pipe going in right behind that process. This is done with two holes, one for entry into the home and one for entry to the main sewer line. 
  • The pipe lining process is the installing a new flexible pipe that is coated with trenchless sewer epoxy resin is blown or pushed into the old pipe. Once the new pipe is in position, it is then inflated with a hardening agent that creates a new hardened pipe inside the old pipe. The diameter is minimized by a quarter of an inch, which doesn’t have any negative impact on the drainage system. 

Does trenchless sewer repair work?

There are two downsides to trenchless sewer main replacement method. One is the cost; It is more expensive because the equipment and expertise training the plumber must got through. The second downside is the trenchless plumbing method is always possible. 

For trenchless plumbing, the plumber will need access to the plumbing at the house and at the main sewer line. If they can’t access or there is any difficulty, they will need to go through the old school trenching replacement.

Let’s review the strong positives about trenchless plumbing that far outweigh the cost factor:

  • Better quality: Using this state-of-the-art equipment with quality materials by an experienced plumber, you’ll get a durable and quality pipe system that is resistant to corroding, cracking, rusting, and tree roots.
  • Time-Efficient: The new trenchless plumbing takes a few hours versus days with the old school way. 
  • Less Expensive: Yes, we listed the cost as downside, but it is overall less expensive, up to 75% for the labor costs because it takes less time. 
  • Versatile: Old school plumbing used materials that couldn’t be flexible, like cast iron, clay, concrete, or orangeburg. The new trenchless plumbing method can work with all types of pipes, making repair and replacement easier. 
  • Eco-Friendly: In addition to financial savings, you’ll be a part of saving the planet with this environment-friendly trenchless plumbing sewer line repair process.
  • Durable: Trenchless plumbing uses epoxy resin line pipes. It is an efficient and non-invasive process that will last up fifty years. 

Does pipe relining work?

Yes, the resin hardens once it has been installed then forms a pipe inside the damaged pipe. It may seem the plumber isn’t doing much because it all take place under the surface of your lawn. That is the magic of trenchless plumbing!  Little fuss and little mess! 

How much does it cost to fix a broken sewer pipe?

On average, homeowners needing sewer line repair will spend anywhere from $1100 up to as much as $4100 or more. For a complete sewer line replacement, the cost can range between $3,000 and up to $25,000. The cost is effective by factors such as how long the sewer line, where the damage is located, and how severe the problem. 

sewer line system

Ten Symptoms Of Deteriorating Sewer Line

When you start noticing any of the following, there is a possibility of a broken or cracked sewage line.  Call a professional plumber to inspect and provide a detailed quote of what it will to repair the line. 

  • Regular sewage backups and blockages
  • A sewer gas odor
  • Mold growth 
  • Slow drains
  • Patches of extra green and lush grass
  • Indentation in driveway, lawn, or sidewalks
  • Cracking, settling foundation or sink holes
  • Pooling sewage waste in yard 
  • Abundance of insects and rodents

A busted sewer line can create more problem from the above listed things. For instance, a cracked or settling foundation can lead to more plumbing breaking. The sewer gas odor can make your family ill, just as the mold can make aggravate allergies and asthma. Need help with your sewer line in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC? Call 828-778-2425 today.

What Causes a Drain to Get Clogged?

Unclogged drain

What causes a drain to clog?

In the realm of all things that can wrong, a clogged drain isn’t the worse thing to happen. Until you have a clogged drain anyway, then it is annoying and usually ill-timed. Why and how does a clogged drain happen anyway? We’re going to answer that question and a few on how to unclog that drain today, as well as offer advice on how to avoid it from happening. 

A clogged drain is aggravating and annoying, but it seems  that finding the problem and taking care of it should be simple. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy to find and fix, but what is easy is to learn the causes for clogged drains, how to keep it from happening. 

The common causes of clogged drains start with the configuration of the pipes for sewer and water draining. The pipe configuration in your home is like a tree with branches. There is the main line, like the tree trunk, the biggest diameter of all the pipes. Then there are the smaller lines, the tree branches. Anywhere within that tree, there can be a disruption in the functioning of the draining, aka, a clogged drain. 

A clogged drain can form and become lodged at any point of this drain system. Something that we don’t think about when we have a clogged drain, is that it can be affecting other parts of the branches too. So, let’s look at the most common clogged drain causes and what can be done to fix them: 

  • Tree roots: This is the #1 cause in clogged drains and blocked sewer lines. The older the home, the more likely tree roots are going to cause a problem. Tree roots seek moisture, so if there is even the tiniest of leaks in a sewer or water line, they will find it. One of the first indicator that you have tree roots closing in on your water lines is a gurgling sound. As a homeowner, you need to be observant of tree roots closing in on your pipes and take measures to redirect those tree roots. This can take the help of a professional, which may be an expense, but cheaper than having new sewer or water lines installed. Also less expensive and annoying than having a professional clear a clogged drain. 
  • Wipes: Wipes are a wonderful thing for parents, and with the pandemic of 2020/2021, we all found how wonderful they can be, except for one thing: They are advertised as “flushable”, when in fact they are not. Flushable wipes are a detriment to the branches in your home’s sewer system. The city of New York spent almost $20 million dollars within 5 years fixed clogged drains to fixed clogged drains and sewer lines caused by flushable wipes. Contrary to advertising, they do not disintegrate when flushed down the toilet. Just because something fits down the toilet, doesn’t meant it needs to be flushed. 
  • Diapers and Feminine Hygiene Products: These are two more “flushable” products that are in truth not flushable. Part of their make-up is from cotton and fibers that are not biodegradable. They are a tremendous threat to plumbing systems and cause other agents to clog drains too. Human waste is met by microorganisms that cause it to disintegrate. Diapers and feminine hygiene products are not biodegradable, and as such, they are not “flushable”, but instead, are a big problem causing clogged drains. 
  • Fat, oil, and grease: In the restaurant industry, this is called FOG, and this is why restaurants and industrial kitchens have grease traps. However, every day homes do not have grease traps and cleaning up after a meal, it is too easy to pour any fat, oil, or grease down the drain. Maybe you aren’t guilty of pouring your bacon grease down the drain, but what about other items like meat trimmings, butter, chocolate, cream, or vegetable oil? These are sticky substances and water is not going to rinse them down the drain. Instead, they are going to build up and before long, you’ll have a clogged drain. 
  • Hair: Hair is often a huge contributor to clogged drains. It accumulates, becoming a big hair ball in the drain, slowing the flow or creating a clogged drain. Our hair coming out or breaking off can’t be helped, it’s natural, but we can do things to minimize how much of hair gets in the drains. Like after each hair brushing, sweep the sink out and put the hair you collect in the trash, don’t clean your brushes and combs over the sink or in the shower either. When you notice an accumulation of hair at the drain, use the tweezers or needle-nose pliers and pull the hair out before it gets washed down the drain. 
  • Pipe scale: This is another act of nature that can cause a clogged drain from mineral deposits that water leaves behind. Those mineral deposits are from calcium and magnesium dissolving along with other metallic elements found in water. They collect in one area of the pipe, and then keep collecting and growing. Eventually you have a large mineral scale build up inside the water drainpipes. This build up will affect other appliance that use water like your dishwasher, ice maker, and washing machine, even the shower head! 
  • Food:  You never should let food go down the drain! Food chunks are often hard, sharp, sticky, or  stringy, and these things are not good for water drains and pipes. Even in your garbage disposal, be cautious what you put down them. Not all foods easily shred or disintegrate.
  • Foreign Objects: Another big culprit to causing clogged drains are foreign objects like bar soap chunks, jewelry, dental floss, condoms, and children’s toys. Remember, the only thing that should go down the shower and sinks are water and the only thing down the toilet should be water and human waste. Cat water, any pet waste, should not ever be flushed or poured down a drain! 

Is Drano really bad for pipes?

No,  Drano®  is a powerful product that can dissolved whatever is causing most clogged drains, however, it is gentle on metal and plastic pipes. The Drano® Max Gel Clog Remover product even contains a special corrosion prevention ingredient.

What to use to clean blocked drain?

Using a household plunger is always a good start, and where you have double sinks, close on up with a plug.  If the plunger doesn’t work, try a wire coat hanger, or use a plumber snake. If none of these efforts work, call a professional plumber.

How do you unclog a drain naturally?

Cleaning a clogged drain can be done with natural products that you probably have in your home already, like baking soda and white vinegar.  Simply pour hot water in the clogged drain and then baking soda followed by an equal amount of white vinegar. Cover the drain and after thirty minutes, add more hot water. 

Other natural ways of clearing a clogged drain include: 

  • Baking Soda, Salt – Pour an equal amount of both baking soda and salt, allow to sit thirty  minutes, then rinse with hot water.
  • Vinegar, Lemon, Salt – In a bowl, mix even amounts of salt and vinegar then had half that amount of lemon juice. Pour into clogged drain and wait thirty minutes for a hot water rinse. 
  • Salt,  Hot Water – Pour one-half cup of salt followed with hot water into clogged drain, wait thirty minutes, follow up with a hot water rinsing. 
snaking a drain

Can too much baking soda clog a drain?

Performing weekly drain flushing with boiling hot water mixed with a grease-fighting liquid dish soap, (Dawn is the most recommended brand) is one of the best ways to keep from getting a clogged drain. If you notice that you have the beginnings of a clogged drain, you can put in as much as ½ of the box you put in your freezer/refrigerator for odor proofing, followed up by 1 cup white vinegar, then wait 30 minutes. Finish up with a boiling hot water rinse and that slow moving drain should be clear and flowing. 

Okay, you’ve tried everything you can do to open up a clogged drain, but no success. So, now you’re going to have to call in the the professional: A license plumber. How much does it cost to clean a clogged drain?Well, first of all, try your best to work around having a clogged drain on a holiday or weekend,  because they charge double in most cases.  The national average for a professional plumber to clear a clogged drain can be as low as $130 and go upward to $180 or more. Some plumbers charge by the hour, others will have a flat rate for jobs like clearing a clogged drain. Call 828-778-2425 today for drain unclogging in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC.

How do I maintain my heating system?

HVAC systems outdoors

How often should a heating system be serviced?

Winter is getting close to being over, but that doesn’t mean your HVAC maintenance routine stops.  Your heater annual maintenance is necessary even if the winter stays in the 80s all season (yeah, not likely in here in North Carolina, but you never know!). So, do furnaces need to be serviced?

Absolutely! In fact, when you have a new furnace installed, manufacturers recommend an annual furnace or HVAC maintenance and inspection be performed by a qualified and licensed technician at least once a year or you risk voiding your warranty. A part of knowing your air will work in the summer and the heater in the winter, heater maintenance for house annually is not something to skip. 

It is recommended by experts in the field that an HVAC system should be professionally checked once a year. Professional HVAC maintenance technician have a heater maintenance checklist they follow that will assure that every aspect is inspected to be in proper working order. On that checklist, the technician will perform the following tasks: 

  • Check the thermostat and adjust as needed.
  • Verify the condenser coil is clean. 
  • Check all connections and wiring.
  • Check blower motor belt wear and tension, then adjust as needed.
  • Check motor voltage and amp draw.
  • Check compressor contact.
  • Perform a visual inspection of compressor and check the amp draw.
  • Check start capacitor and potential relay.
  • Check pressure switch setting.
  • Replace or clean air filter. 

How often should I clean my heating system?

As the homeowner, remember the heater portion of your HVAC system is also responsible for the overall indoor air quality for your home, it isn’t just for heat. When the heater isn’t working as it should, you will have an increase in your energy bills. HVAC maintenance tasks you can do every month to three months without much heater maintenance how to knowledge are: 

  • Change or Clean the Filter: This is the most basic and common thing a homeowner should know how to do, and it should be every 30 days. A dirty air filter will have a negative impact on the air quality and your energy bills. A lack of HVAC maintenance with the filter will cause your HVAC system to work harder, and this will shorten its lifespan. If you aren’t sure how to do this, have the HVAC maintenance tech show you during their next visit. 
  • Clean Debris from the Burners: Keeping the burners clean of any debris and dust as part of the HVAC maintenance plan will keep it working efficiently which will save you money each month. Even during the warmer weather, the heater will gather dirt and dust, which is why a fall HVAC maintenance appointment is recommended. While a homeowner shouldn’t attempt cleaning the burners, you can vacuum around the area of the filter and inside the open areas of the furnace, after you have turned the systems off. 
  • Unblock the Vents: It can be easy for anyone to not realize they have placed a chair or a laundry basket in front of a heating vent. Each day as you walk through your home picking up clothes or dishes, if there is any vent blocked, move the item(s) and remind everyone the importance of keeping the vents clear. Make sure that there aren’t curtains or rugs in the way of the vents either, the simplest of all HVAC maintenance steps. 
  • Check the Thermostat: Make sure the heat is selected on the thermostat if your home isn’t keeping warm. This is a common HVAC service call result and could save you that service call charge by checking it yourself. 
  • Oil the Blower Motor: This is one steps that a professional HVAC maintenance technician will do as part of their service. 
  • Keep the Professional HVAC Maintenance and Inspection Schedule: Never let your professional HVAC maintenance check overlap. This annual professional HVAC maintenance allows the technician the opportunity to find small issues and repair them before they become a major problem. 

How do I clean my furnace in the winter?

Furnaces and heaters will spontaneously stop working on the coldest night of the year. You can prevent that from happening by being proactive with furnace and HVAC maintenance on your part: 

  • Clear the Drain Tube: Small amounts of water accumulate with natural gas and propane furnaces, with some of it blowing exhaust stream and the remaining water drains into a drip pan, usually, the same one the air conditioner drains into.  Once a month or every two months, check the drain pain and empty then check the tubing and make sure it is clear of any blockage or clogs. 
  • Dust and Vacuum: Debris, dirt, and dust collect inside a furnace all year long. When left to accumulate, the furnace will be inefficient or even quit working. You can prevent this by using a small soft paintbrush and gently clean the inner components, removing any debris and dust. Then gently vacuum over the area to collect the loosened debris and dirt. 
  • Clean the Flame Sensor: If you have a gas furnace, keeping the flame sensor clean is important to void the gas furnace to stop working. This only needs to be done once a year, and you can wait for your annual professional HVAC maintenance appointment or do your own. 
  • The Filter: We can’t stress this enough for furnace or HVAC maintenance to change or clean your air filter every 30 days. 
inside a furnace

How do I test my heating system?

Turn the emergency switch on and turn the thermostat up eight to ten degrees higher than the current room temperature. The heating system should cut on in a few minutes. If it doesn’t push the reset button near the burner relay. If still not working, follow the tips we’ve outlined here and if none of those work, schedule a professional HVAC maintenance and inspection. 

By staying on top of the HVAC maintenance, you’ll minimize any surprises with the cooling or heating part of your system. The monthly things we’ve discussed will go a long way in that as well as extend the life of your furnace or HVAC system. Call 828-778-2425 today for HVAC repair in Hendersonville, Mills River and Asheville, NC.