When Should I Schedule Heating Maintenance?

October 10th, 2014

If your heating system malfunctions in the middle of a particularly cold night, it can be frustrating, leaving you waiting for a technician and paying for unexpected repairs. You need a reliable heater for the cold winter months in Salt Lake City, which is why scheduling professional heating maintenance every year is vital.

Heating maintenance ensures the well-being of your unit because a technician completely inspects your unit for damages. This means you can schedule any necessary repairs early on, before they damage your system and it stops working when you need it most. Furthermore, parts of your unit are cleaned or adjusted as needed, to keep dirt and minor wear and tear from affecting your system.

So when is the right time to schedule heating maintenance? If you haven’t already called for maintenance this year, the best time is now! Don’t wait for issues to occur before calling a technician. There may be problems with the parts of your system that are hidden from view or are not yet large enough to cause an obvious problem. Waiting longer for maintenance increases your chances of your system malfunctioning. As winter goes on, the parts of your system may become overworked, which can lead to reduced heating or a failed system. And a technician has the right tools and training to catch repair needs that may not be immediately apparent.

In fact, the prospect of fewer repairs is not the only reason to call a technician early in the heating season. Scheduling maintenance early on also keeps you from paying too much on heating. If parts of your unit are worn down, other parts often have to work harder to pick up the slack, which means your unit will use more energy than it should. And with some types of heaters, maintenance can even protect your home and safety, preventing water damage and gas leaks.

For a thorough inspection of your heating system, call the dependable team at Rentmeister Total Home Service. We offer complete heating maintenance in Salt Lake City for any type of heating system as well as 24-hour emergency service, in case your unit suddenly breaks down.

When to Schedule Heating Repairs

October 3rd, 2014

Everyone knows that they need to have their heating system maintained and repaired from time to time. Your heating system won’t last nearly as long without regular maintenance, after all. That being said, some situations are far more advantageous than others when it comes to heating repair.

Read on to discover the best time of the year to schedule your maintenance.

Fall Maintenance

The best time to have your heating system maintained is always before a period of heavy usage. What’s the time of year that you use your heating system the most? Winter. So, the best time to schedule your annual maintenance is during the fall season. This way, you can be confident that your heating system is performing at peak efficiency during the season that you need it the most.

Waiting until winter is in full swing is not recommended. For one thing, HVAC repair demand will start to rise as the number of breakdowns increases. For another, you will increase the chance of your own system malfunctioning the longer you wait. The last thing you want is to be without heat in the middle of winter for any length of time. The increased technician demand will only increase the time you have to wait. Save yourself a great deal of time and money by having your heating repair done every fall.

Spot Checking

The other time you’ll want to have your heating repair done is when you notice something wrong. This may seem obvious, but the point is to schedule a service call as soon as you notice a problem. It may be tempting to put it off until the fall season. You likely aren’t going to be using it much during spring or summer anyway, right? Ignoring problems, however, will only make them that much worse when you finally do address them. It’s always best to tend to the problem as soon as it comes up.

If you have a problem with your heating, or haven’t scheduled your annual maintenance yet, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. We conduct heating repairs throughout Salt Lake City.

Why do Furnaces Need an Exhaust Flue?

September 26th, 2014

While it may not be the most glamorous part of your furnace, the exhaust flue is the most important part for ensuring your safety. Furnaces produce a number of harmful and potentially deadly gases, and without a properly functioning flue those gases become trapped in your home. A well-maintained flu directs all of these harmful combustion byproducts out of your house, allowing you to turn up the heat without worry.

Combustion Byproducts

As the furnace burns fuel a number of gases are produced, collectively known as “combustion byproducts.” These include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. Heavy or prolonged exposure to these gases can have devastating effects, and thousands die every year as a result of being poisoned by them. Even low level exposure can be dangerous if it occurs over a long period of time. Symptoms of low level exposure include nausea, fatigue, unconsciousness, headaches, and disorientation. The best way to prevent exposure to these byproducts is by properly maintaining all carbon fuel-burning appliances, including furnaces.

Maintaining Your Flue

The two things required for the flue to do its job correctly are a clear path of egress and proper furnace ventilation. If the flue vents through a chimney, make sure that the chimney is clear of debris that might block the flue access. This will allow the combustion byproducts to vent out of the home. Proper furnace ventilation is a bit more difficult. If the furnace is not getting enough oxygen to maintain heating, it will draw in outdoor air through the flue. This causes the flue to operate in reverse, potentially trapping combustion gases in your home. The easiest way to fix this is to install ventilation ducts to direct more air to the furnace.

Even if you don’t notice any problems with your furnace, it is recommended that you have it checked by a professional once a year. If you haven’t had your furnace serviced yet this year, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. We are experts in heating repair service covering the entire Salt Lake City area.

Why It’s Important to Schedule End of Summer Air Conditioning Repairs

September 19th, 2014

As we head into the cooler temperatures of the fall season, it can be very tempting to pack up your air conditioner and move on to heating – even if you have an existing problem. Ignoring or waiting to fix a problem doesn’t make it go away, and more than likely, will make it worse over time. There are other reasons to schedule end-of-summer repairs for your air conditioning too, as we’ll outline below. And remember – it’s important to hire trained professionals for all your repair needs to ensure the job is done correctly, so call the people you can trust: Rentmeister Total Home Service.

Reasons It’s Important to Schedule End-of-Summer Repairs

As we touched on above, leaving an existing problem to wait until the next cooling season is likely to make the problem worse, so it’s best to fix it now. But there are some other factors to consider when deciding whether or not to make end-of-season repairs:

Repairs Now Can Save You Money

We’ve already discussed existing problems, but what about developing problems? Unless a trained technician has inspected your system, you won’t know about them. We’re talking about things like worn fan belts and trapped debris – small things that can become big problems unless they’re attended to.

Repairs Now Can Save On Energy

A system that is run down in any way won’t function optimally, and when a system doesn’t function optimally, it needs more energy to run. Making needed repairs ensures that malfunctioning parts aren’t just fixed, but running as they should. This can save you energy, which can save you money.

Repairs Now Can Help Extend the Life of Your System

Allowing a system to run when needing repair can age the system prematurely. Making needed repairs restores that part or component to its optimal state, which can help extend the life of your system.

Repairs Now Can Maintain and/or Increase Indoor Comfort Levels

An air conditioning system that isn’t performing optimally can struggle to achieve the temperature you’ve set in your home; this can compromise indoor comfort levels. Making the needed repairs now can ensure the comfort level you need and want.

No one enjoys air conditioning repairs, but it’s always better to make repairs as soon as possible rather than ignoring them or waiting to see if things improve. If you are seeing problems with your air conditioner, call Rentmeister Total Home Service today and schedule AC repair service in Salt Lake City with one of our experts.

Items to Keep Out of Your Garbage Disposal

September 12th, 2014

Garbage disposals are a huge help for many busy homeowners. Putting food waste into the disposal means one less item will fill up the trash can. Plus, cooking and cleaning move quickly when you can simply toss scraps into the sink. Without a working garbage disposal, you are likely to run into clogs more often and your drains may begin to smell. That’s why you should take care to protect your garbage disposal from damage.

But many people are misinformed about what can and cannot go down a drain. If you want to keep your garbage disposal running as it should, be sure to avoid the following items.

  • Non-Food Items: Sometimes, materials get tossed into the disposal that may seriously harm your unit or your pipes. Your disposal simply cannot handle items like plastic wrappers or cigarette butts. These items may cause your unit to overheat, or they may catch in the drain pipes and cause major clogs.
  • Hard Foods: Your garbage disposal is also incapable of breaking down many hard foods such as meat bones or popcorn kernels. These items may prevent your blades from moving, stopping the motor.
  • Fibrous Items: One type of food that’s surprisingly harmful to your garbage disposal is fibrous foods that may wrap around the blades. These include items such as celery, corn husks, artichokes and onion skins. If you do choose to put these items down the disposal, break them into smaller pieces first to prevent them from catching on the blades and stopping the motor.
  • F.O.G. (Fat, Oil, and Grease): Fats, oils, and grease may seem like innocuous substances to pour down a drain, but these may seriously damage your pipes. These substances solidify as they cool, so when they move down your drain they may line the insides of pipes and create clogs. Furthermore, they may coat the blades of your unit, reducing the effectiveness of your garbage disposal. While running cold water can help your processor break down F.O.G, you should always try to dump these substances down a separate trash receptacle instead.

While these tips can help protect the garbage disposal and your drains, problems may still occur with your unit. If you need repairs for your garbage disposal in Salt Lake City, call the experts at Rentmeister Total Home Service now!

Join us at the Standard Examiner Fall Home Show

September 11th, 2014

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Join Rentmeister Total Home Service at the Standard Examiner Fall Home Show at the Golden Spike Event Center. The home show will be held Friday, September 26 from 12pm – 9pm and Saturday, September 27 from 10am – 4pm. Stop by our booth to say hi, or meet with one of our friendly experts who can answer any questions or help you find the plumbing and heating solutions to meet your family’s needs.

The SE Fall Home Show is the place to be for advice and tips on remodeling, home improvement, home products and services and much more. There will be daily demonstrations and entertainment as well as prizes and giveaways. General admission is $5 at the door, or 2 attendees for $6 with a coupon from the Standard Examiner daily newspaper. Click here for a full list of home show and event details. We hope to see you there!

Rentmeister home show booth

 

Objects You Should Never Put Down a Garbage Disposal

September 5th, 2014

Many homeowners use their garbage disposals daily to dispose of food waste while cooking and preparing meals. But if you put the wrong items down the garbage disposal, you may one day turn on the unit only to discover the motor won’t start at all. To help you avoid this and other problems with your garbage disposal, we’ve put together this handy list of some items you should never put down a garbage disposal.

  • Your Hands: Perhaps most importantly, you should never put your hands down the garbage disposal. If a motor does not restart when you press the reset button underneath the sink, you should always call for professional repairs.
  • Non-Food Items: Never put any item down the drain that your disposal cannot handle. The disposal cannot process most household items, and these may damage the blades, stop the motor, or clog your drains.
  • Hard Foods: Hard food items such as meat bones, fruit pits, and popcorn kernels cannot be processed by your garbage disposal and may wear down the blades. Furthermore, they’ll interfere with the motor’s function, causing it to become overworked.
  • Fibrous Foods: You should also avoid fibrous foods such as corn husks, celery, asparagus, artichokes, or onion skins. These foods may wrap around the blades, preventing it from turning and jamming the motor.
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease: Many believe these substances are harmless to pour down the drain, but fats, oils, and grease can damage the blades of your disposal and clog your pipes. Grease may build up on the blades, diminishing their effectiveness. Furthermore, these substances solidify as they cool, and they may line your drains and create a serious clog.
  • Foods that Expand: Foods like pasta and rice that expand with water may also jam your disposal or clog your pipes.

While these tips can help increase the lifespan of your garbage disposal and reduce the need for repairs, you may still run into some problems from time to time. If you need to schedule repairs or replacement for your garbage disposal in Salt Lake City, call the professionals at Rentmeister Total Home Service.

The Very First Labor Day Celebration

August 29th, 2014

Labor Day as a federal holiday, held on the first Monday of September, has been with us now for 120 years. President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made Labor Day a national holiday in 1894. Ever since then, the three-day weekend has provided people in the U.S. with the opportunity for vacations, time with their families, shopping trips, and a general celebration of the conclusion of summer and the beginning of fall.

However, there were twelve years of Labor Day observations in the U.S. before it became an official holiday. The first Labor Day celebration took place in 1882 in New York City on September 5. According to the accounts from the time, it had a rough start and almost didn’t happen.

The main event planned for that first Labor Day was a parade along Broadway that was to start at City Hall. However, the parade ran into a bit of a snag early on. The marchers started to line up for the procession around 9 a.m., with a police escort to make sure the event went peacefully. However, the problem of the day wasn’t rowdy members of the parade—it was that nobody had remembered to bring a band!

With people ready to march, but no music to march to, it started to look like no parade would happen at all, and the first Labor Day would have ended up a failure. But just in time, Matthew Maguire of the Central Labor Union—one of the two men who first proposed the celebration—ran across the City Hall lawn to the Grand Marshal of the parade, William McCabe, to inform him that 200 men from the Jeweler’s Union of Newark were crossing the ferry to Manhattan… and they had a band!

At 10 a.m., only an hour late, the band from Newark walked down Broadway playing a number from a popular Gilbert and Sullivan opera. They passed McCabe and the other 700 marchers, who then fell in line behind them. Soon, the spectators joined in, and an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people marched through Lower Manhattan.

According to the New York Times, “The windows and roofs and even the lamp posts and awning frames were occupied by persons anxious to get a good view of the first parade in New York of workingmen of all trades united in one organization.”

The parade concluded two hours later when the marchers reached Reservoir Park. But the party was only getting started. Until 9 p.m., some 25,000 people celebrated with picnics and speeches and beer kegs. It was an enormous success, and all thanks to the speedy arrival of jewelers carrying band instruments.

If those musicians from Newark hadn’t shown up, perhaps we wouldn’t have the holiday opportunity that we now have every year. However you celebrate your Labor Day, our family at Rentmeister Total Home Service wishes your family a happy end of summer.

The Differences Between a Heat Pump and a Central AC

August 22nd, 2014

Homeowners have a number of choices when it comes to choosing an air conditioner. Two of these choices are central air conditioners and heat pumps. While they may sound very different, the truth is that their operation isn’t all that dissimilar, with the exception of a few key details. Rentmeister Total Home Service specializes in the installation and repair of a number of air conditioners, and we can help you with all of your air conditioning needs.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

The best way to illustrate the differences between the two systems is to describe how each works, so we’ll start with how a heat pump works.

Put simply, a heat pump transfers heat from one place to another. It does this with a reversible refrigerant cycle, allowing for year round comfort with just one system. During the summer, it pulls the heat from your home and sends it outside; in the winter, it absorbs heat and blows it inside. Like an air conditioner, heat pumps facilitate this transfer with the use of refrigerant.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

An air conditioner uses the same basic principle, but in a different way, known as a regular vapor compression cycle. Using refrigerant, air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from your home, and return cool, conditioned air to your home. Air conditioners cannot reverse the cycle as heat pumps can, which is one of the main differences between the two systems.

Differences between the Systems

As mentioned above, one of the main differences between the two systems is that heat pumps can offer both heating and cooling. Here are a couple of other differences between the two:

  • Heat pumps have a longer life span – the average heat pump has a lifespan of about 15 years versus the life of an air conditioner, which ranges from 10-12 years.
  • Heat pumps use less electricity – heat pumps use significantly less electricity to run, making them more energy efficient.
  • Heat pumps are more expensive to install – heat pumps are typically more expensive to install than a standard central air conditioning system.
  • Heat pumps may require more repairs – because heat pumps run all year round, rather than just the summer months, it is more likely you’ll spend more money on repairs from natural wear-and-tear.

There are many factors to weigh whenever you choose an air conditioning system for your home, which is why it’s important to work with a trained professional. Call Rentmeister Total Home Service today and schedule air conditioning service in Ogden, UT with one of our cooling experts.

Why You Should Install Low-Flow Faucets for Your Home

August 15th, 2014

Your water bills account for a large part of your monthly utility bills, and chances are that they are higher than they should be. You can lower your water bills with careful water conservation methods, such as reducing shower times and collecting the lukewarm water from taps while waiting for the hot water to arrive. But one of the best ways to lower water use in your house is to have low-flow faucets installed in the bathrooms and kitchen. These water-conserving fixtures provide a long-term solution that will save you money for many years without requiring a sacrifice in performance.

Professional plumbers must do to the work to install these faucets for your home to make sure that they work the way they should. For a plumber in Salt Lake City, UT who can recommend and then install low-flow faucets, contact the staff at Rentmeister Total Home Service. We’ve provided plumbing assistance to Salt Lake County since 1953.

The Benefits of Low-Flow Faucets

A regular bathroom faucet uses 2.2 gallons per minute while it runs. A WaterSense-labeled faucet lowers that amount to 1.5 gallons per minute, with no loss of quality. (Products with the WaterSense label have gone through an independent certification process to see that they live up to EPA standards for both conservation and performance.) Low-flow kitchen faucets can achieve similar results. The average WaterSense labeled kitchen faucet uses 32% less water.

How much water savings does this add up to each year? The average family can save 700 gallons over a year, which is the equivalent of 40 showers-worth of water.

There’s an additional benefit: energy reduction. If you reduce the amount of hot water you use through a low-flow fixture, you also reduce the amount of energy your water heater uses. The same family that saves enough water for 40 showers would also save enough kilowatts of energy each year to power their whole house for three continuous days.

Find Out More about Low-Flow Installations

Call Rentmeister Total Home Service to learn about our services to install water-conserving fixtures. Along with faucets, you can also install low-flow showerheads and toilets. These installations cost more than standard fixtures, but they will rapidly pay for themselves with the water and energy savings. Get in touch with a plumber in Salt Lake City today to start reducing your water use and lower your bills.