Plumbing 101 - What You Need to Know to Take Care of Your Anaheim Home

Anaheim is known for its great attractions and wonderful weather, two of the many reasons people love to call Anaheim home. The Southern Californian residents are fortunate enough to have warm weather for the majority of the year, allowing them to do whatever they want to do whenever they want to do it! But imagine having a great day full of fun at Disneyland and coming home to a busted pipe in your home? That would be sure to ruin anybody’s fun! Today we are going to discuss all things Plumbing 101, from routine maintenance to 24-hour plumbing repairs, we will break down the ins and outs of everything you may need to know! So when something pops up, you have the right tools to get the job fixed quickly.

Plumbing 101

Plumbing revolves around three basic things: gravity, pressure, and water seeking its own level. Knowing that these are the main three factors causing issues in your home can help you save money, time and frustration!

Two Main Systems

Homes are fitted with two main systems, one for bringing fresh water into the home and one for removing waste. The water traveling into your home is always pressurized so it can travel where it is needed! Upstairs, in the backyard, in the basement, and even in your kitchen, water travels quickly via water pressure. In a plumbing emergency, it is crucial to understand where your main shut off is. This will allow you to shut off all water going into your home in a quick manner. In a matter of seconds, your home can become flooded if a main pipe breaks and you can prevent any further damage by understanding how to turn it off quickly!

The drainage system or waste system runs on a whole different set of principles. Instead of using pressure to move around the waste, this system uses gravity! The drainage pipes all pitch, or angle, downward. Gravity pulls the waste along. The sewer line continues this downward flow to a sewage treatment facility or a septic tank.

Common Issues and Easy Ways to Fix Them

Clogged Drains

Your sinks in your household are put through more issues than most people go through in their entire life. Endless amounts of hair, saliva, shaving cream, makeup, you name it, are put down the bathroom sinks on a daily basis. Every once in a while, you can get a clog that holds up any sort of drainage. Most people first tend to think it may be time to buy some Draino! But this is not the first solution to the problem. There is a much cheaper way to get the job done…. Try removing the trap and clearing any contents that may lie inside. This is usually the first step to take because you will be able to solve the issue very quickly! Draino is costly and does not always work. If it is a toilet that is clogged, first try using a plunger and see if you can get rid of the blockage. Sometimes professionals are needed to fix toilet clogs but for the most part, a simple plunging should fix the issue!

Leaking Sinks and Faucets

Sometimes your sinks and faucets begin to leak. This can be caused by a number of things, but the solution is usually somewhat simple. First, try tightening any loose nuts or bolts that may be causing the leak. Sometimes a water line will be loose underneath the sink which can cause issues. It is a great idea to periodically check under your sinks because any unattended leaks can cause huge issues in the long term! Sometimes a leaking sink or faucet is something that cannot be explained other than the sink or faucet is old and needs replacing.

Garbage Disposals

One of the most annoying things to deal with as a homeowner or tenant is a busted garbage disposal! It makes irritating noises when broken and is somewhat scary to fix with the blade of unknown down in the dark hole. There are a few steps that are needed to be taken to assure a safe fix! First, press the reset button on the bottom of the garbage disposal, located underneath your kitchen sink. If you hear a noise but then quickly turns off, it is likely an obstruction. If you don’t hear anything, the unit itself may be broken.

Obstruction

When something is blocking the garbage disposal it is smart to make sure you unplug the unit from the wall before sticking your hand down the sink. Check to see if any debris may be causing the blades from spinning. Sometimes glass gets broken down there causing big issues so make sure to be careful when feeling around. If you do not find anything in the sink, the next step would be to manually crank the garbage disposal. There usually is a spot to turn with an Allen wrench. Keep turning until the unit seems to be spinning with ease. This is usually what fixes the issue! If not, you may need to reach out to a local expert.

Preventative Maintenance

Water is one of the most damaging element that there is on this planet. In just the matter of minutes, your entire home can be flooded and ruined if a main pipe bursts. The key to maintaining a safe home is to continue to take preventative action with your pipes. When an emergency occurs in someone’s plumbing line, everything in its path is usually ruined, costing many dollars and many hours of clean up.

There are two main things that we recommend you do on a monthly basis. One, check your water pressure. Low water pressure is very uncommon and usually not damaging, but high water pressure can ruin homes. Most state plumbing codes call for the pressure to be below 80 psi, but sometimes things can go wrong! This is why you should regularly check the pressure. High pressure can destroy anything in its path. The second tip is to visually inspect your plumbing. You will often see signs of wear or tear on your pipes well before they burst, so catch the issue early!

When in doubt, you can always reach out to Nexgen for more advice and for a full evaluation.

4 Signs That it's Time to Change Your AC | Escaping the Anaheim Summer Heat

Anaheim is known for its great attractions and wonderful weather, two of the many reasons people love to call Anaheim home. The Southern Californian residents are fortunate enough to have warm weather for the majority of the year, but we also have our very hot days. Just like anyone else, Anaheim residents fight back against the scorching weather by blasting their air conditioners. But one negative factor that comes with using air conditioning…. costly power bills. But an outdated air conditioner can cost more than just money, as it also can pollute the air that your family is breathing.

Your air conditioner is one of the most important parts of your home, so it is quite smart to keep track of how efficient and effective you’re A/C is working as time rolls on. It can become very obvious that something is wrong with your air conditioner because it will have to work very hard to output the same amount of air that it normally could. However, sometimes the damage is a little harder to spot. Here are some things to keep an eye out when considering your air conditioning unit:

15 Years or Older

If your air conditioner receives routine maintenance and is still under the 10-year mark, then you may be okay for a few more years! But if your air conditioner unit is 15 years or older, it may be time to consider your options for a new unit. Newer units are much more efficient and will save you money in the long run on your power bills. All ground unit air conditioners in the United States, since 2005, are required to have a minimum SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio)

of 13. You can see the SEER rating for your unit by looking at the Energy Guide sticker on your air conditioning unit. It is not uncommon for an older air conditioner to have a SEER in the single digits.

You will see that it would not take long for a new air conditioner to pay for itself just through the vastly reduced energy consumption. And, you can even buy an air conditioner with a SEER over 20 for maximum efficiency! Although a new air conditioner can be a big investment, so can the costs of continuing to repair and operate an old, inefficient unit. Energy Star recommends upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your current central air conditioner is 10 or more years old.

Lacking Air Flow

Have you noticed a big decrease in the amount of air that certain rooms in your home are receiving? Or maybe you are not receiving air at all in your upstairs rooms? Both of these problems can occur because the air conditioner may be on its last few days. But these also can be an effect of a buildup in your air vents. The best possible solution would be to contact your local experts at Nexgen Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing. We will make sure to lay down your options for whatever the issue may be, trust the job to our HVAC technicians. Repair costs aren’t the only factor that should be weighed when deciding between repairing once again or finally making the jump to that new air conditioner. New air conditioners will also improve airflow in your home, and a new system can also do a better job controlling dirt, pollen, dander, and other debris that can cause allergies as well as other health problems.

Increases in Power Bills

One tell-all sign is that of an increased power bill! This is because your air conditioner will have to work much harder to produce the same amount of air it normally would. Normally it would take 25 minutes to cool down your home but now it takes almost an hour and a half… this will most definitely cause your bill to skyrocket! Upgrade to new equipment, and you can reduce your bills for years to come. A HUGE warning sign for your unit’s effectiveness and efficiency is an increase in your power bill cost & this is usually the biggest factor that pushes people over the edge.

Temperature

Have you noticed that your home fluctuates in temperature pretty frequently? Does it take a while to get your home up to proper temperature? These are two of many signs that your air conditioner may be needing a replacement. From low Freon levels to a broken compressor, any number of issues could be a factor. This also could be a sign that your air conditioner may be outdated and not have enough power to cool the entire house. Sometimes an air conditioner is improperly fit when originally selected for the home, this can cause an issue with cooling down certain rooms. Occasionally the final straw pushing a homeowner over the edge is the high cost of a big repair that may be needed. When this does happen it is best to weigh the advantages of moving to a new air conditioning unit versus paying for a repair. Sometimes it may be smarter to move on!

Replacing your air conditioner is a big investment for your home, but wasting money on repairs won’t solve any long-term problems that an old unit has. You will not regret investing in a new piece of equipment, your home will finally feel comfortable on those hot summer nights and your power bill will see a drop in price. But don’t let the high costs of investing in a new unit scare you away! Depending on the type of unit installed, a tax rebate can cover up to 30 percent of the cost of a new HVAC system. Also, check with your utility company if they offer any rebates and incentive programs for energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

If your air conditioner does not seem to be working as well as it should, your natural first reaction is to go out and look at the unit to see if there is anything you can do quickly to correct the problem. Of course, you cannot assess the situation unless you know what you are looking for. For instance, if you see ice forming on the condenser coil or anywhere else on the air conditioning system, you will know you found the likely source of the problem.

Ice can form in your air conditioner for a number of reasons. The most common one is that your refrigerant levels are low. The reason a lack of refrigerant can cause this ice buildup is due to what refrigerant itself is. Refrigerant in part transfers heat from the indoor coil and once warm moves to the outside coil where it dissipates heat into that coil. This cools yours home, when there is not enough refrigerant it begins to move more quickly through the system. This means that the heat transfer is not happening. Since this refrigerant is contained in a closed system, a deficiency in refrigerant means that there must be a leak somewhere in that system. Only a certified professional can refill your refrigerant and determine where the leaks are in the system to make the necessary repairs.

Another reason that ice can develop in your air conditioner is because the air is not flowing fast enough through the system and across the coils. This can happen because of a problem with the fan or because there is an actual physical impediment to the air flow. This lack of airflow is most commonly caused by a buildup of dirt between the fins of the coil. Regardless of the reason, the ice will form because without adequate air flow the condenser coils will get too cold.

These coils are typically kept just above freezing by the constant flow of air across them. When the air passes by them at this temperature, the moisture from the air condenses on the surface of the coil. But because the coil is not quite freezing, the water then runs down into a collection pan. When the coil is too cold, however, the moisture from the air will freeze on the coil before it can run off.

This ice actually manages to insulate the coil and keeps it from properly cooling the air or removing any additional moisture. If left unattended, the ice in your central air conditioning system can cause real damage to the unit. Plus, it is not allowing the air conditioner to do its job and cool your house down. So, if you notice any amount of ice at all beginning to form on any part of your air conditioner, be sure to call for professional service right away.

Maximize the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

Are your energy bills leaving you with little money in your pocket? According to Energy Star, around half of all of the energy used in today's homes goes to heating and cooling them. While changing out your light bulbs for LED or CFL options and turning off light switches are great ways to save energy, if you are serious about having an energy efficient home, you need to focus on comfort system efficiency. At Nexgen Air, we want to help our customers in Los Angeles, Anaheim and Palm Desert save money by reducing their energy use and costs. Here are some tips from our experts to help you start saving.

1. Add Proper Insulation

How much heat energy is lost through the attic? If your insulation is insufficient, the answer is more than you might think. Adding a layer of insulation will make your home much more efficient, because it will help keep your cooled and heated air inside where it belongs. Nexgen Air can help you evaluate your insulation to see if it's sufficient for your home's needs.

2. Install a "Smarter" Thermostat

A smart thermostat or WiFi thermostat, gives you greater control over your HVAC system, and greater control means better efficiency. With a smart thermostat that you can control from your phone, you can adjust the temperature in your home from anywhere. While a programmable thermostat allows this as well, with a WiFi thermostat you can make adjustments even when your schedule changes while you’re out. As long as you have access to the Internet, you can adjust your home comfort settings to be as efficient as possible.

3. Get New Window Treatments

Curtains can do more than just decorate your space. Energy efficient window treatments can help keep heated or cooled air inside your home. They add another insulating barrier between your home and the outside, so you can enjoy less lost energy.

4. Keep Your HVAC System Maintained

Proper HVAC maintenance will help your furnace and air conditioner run at an optimal level. This means greater efficiency no matter the season. At Nexgen Air, we recommend having a maintenance check at the start of both the cooling and the heating seasons.

5. Plant a Shade Tree

On the west side of your home, plant shrubs or a tree that can block the sun from pouring in. This is important, because this is the side of the house where the most intense heat will come during the hottest part of the day in the summer. If you choose a tree or bush that loses its leaves, you can enjoy the added warmth in the winter when the plants are bare, and the added shade in the summer when the sun is harsh.

Get More Expert Tips from the HVAC Company Los Angeles Homeowners Trust

Are you looking for more tips on making your HVAC system efficient? Nexgen Air has a team of experts who are ready to help you. Contact our team today to schedule a maintenance appointment or to learn more ways you can lower your energy use by optimizing your HVAC system. Proudly serving Los Angeles, Anaheim, Palm Desert and the surrounding Southern California communities, we will help you ensure that your HVAC system is not driving up your energy bills.

Anaheim HVAC Repair

This year’s flu season was particularly aggressive and virulent. Many people were affected, with this particular strain of flu, the most vulnerable of all were families with young children.

In large part, the problem is that many people don’t pay attention to all the factors contributing to the spread of the flu. The most common and most overlooked factor is air pollution. The fact is that poor indoor air quality can have adverse effects on your health. Sometimes it is the only factor that contributes to your illness. Since we spend most of our time indoors, ensuring indoor air quality is vital.

Unfortunately, the air indoors contains so much airborne dirt, pet dander, pollen, viruses, chemicals, dust, bacteria, and other pollutants that it can lead to eye irritation, allergies, fatigue or even headaches. Needless to say, this air pollution considerably increases the chances of getting hit with the flu or other malady.

Indoor Air Quality – Why Should You Care?

You may think that staying indoor is safe but according to some studies, often the quality of indoor air is worse than outdoors. There are many reasons to improve your indoor air quality:

Steps to Improving Indoor Air Quality

Improving indoor air quality is not difficult, and you can save yourself from the flu and other health issues by making some small changes in your home. The first step is to improve your cleaning habits.

HVAC Services in Orange County and Southern California

While all of this may not guarantee the prevention of the flu or colds, it will definitely reduce your chances of becoming ill. Your health is obviously extremely important to reduce absences and to maintain work performance. So do everything you can to ensure good indoor air quality so that you can take care of yourself and your family.

Nexgen Air serves clients all over Southern California, from Oxnard to Indio and from the High Desert to Temecula, improving homes and the lives of our customers. If you’re A/C, heating system, or water heater needs servicing, call Nexgen Air today: 833-3NEXGEN!