Rentmeister Total Home Service Blog: Archive for August, 2014

The Very First Labor Day Celebration

Friday, 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.

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The Differences Between a Heat Pump and a Central AC

Friday, 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.

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Why You Should Install Low-Flow Faucets for Your Home

Friday, 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 the work to install these faucets for your home to make sure that they work the way they should.

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How to Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal

Friday, August 8th, 2014

The garbage disposal in a home’s kitchen does an enormous amount of work chopping down organic waste to allow it to easily flow into the plumbing that enters the sewage system. But garbage disposals are not invincible; without proper care, your garbage disposal may end up having a short service life and need a replacement earlier than it should.

We have some tips to help make sure that your disposal receives the best care and lasts for many years performing its useful service. Whenever you encounter any troubles with the disposal, call for a professional plumber in Salt Lake City, UT from Rentmeister Total Home Service. We have 24-hour emergency service for your convenience, and we’ve served homeowners with excellent plumbing since 1953.

Tips for Caring for Your Garbage Disposal

  • Don’t pour oil, grease, or fat down it: This is probably the #1 reason for trouble with garbage disposals. Because oil, grease, and fat are liquid when they are hot, people assume they’re harmless for disposals. However, when these liquids cool down, they change into waxy solids that can jam up the moving components of the disposal like the flywheel, leading to mechanical wear and tear and eventually a breakdown. Place these liquids into a separate receptacle and remove them to the actual garbage.
  • Use cold water with the disposal: It seems logical to run hot water down the disposal, since it helps with cutting through grease when washing dishes. But cold water helps keep the motor, bearings, and flywheel assembly from overheating.
  • Do not attempt to overload the disposal: Let food particles go into the disposal opening a bit at a time, and let the system run and completely clear before you add more food. (Also allow the cold water to continue to run for a few moments after the disposal clears, which will give time to flush out the drainpipe.)
  • Do not turn the disposal on without running water: Running water is important for the lubrication of the moving parts and to prevent the engine from overheating.
  • Do not put solids into the disposal: This includes chicken bones, popcorn kernels, banana peels, coffee filters, fruit pits, egg shells, and hard shells from shrimp or crab. Basically, if your teeth can’t chew it, the garbage disposal can’t either.
  • Call for professionals when it needs repairs: Avoid attempting to fix a broken disposal on your own, either by sticking your own hand down into it, or trying to use utensils, tools, or poles to get it unstuck. This can cause damage (to you and the disposal) that will make the situation worse. Rely on plumbers for the work.

A garbage disposal is an essential part of the modern kitchen, and you don’t want to discover how important it is because you suddenly don’t have a working one. Follow the above advice, and turn to Rentmeister Total Home Service and the work of a professional plumber to make sure you receive the longest life possible from your garbage disposal.

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How Does Faulty Ductwork Affect Air Conditioning?

Friday, August 1st, 2014

The ductwork of your home is fairly out of view, which means detecting problems may not be easy. But ducts are prone to developing problems that may cost you a lot of money every month in energy bills. In fact, ducts are responsible for up to 30% of energy loss in typical homes with central air conditioning. If the ducts in your home are not properly sealed and insulated, or if they are blocked in any way, your monthly bills may be higher than they should be.

You can catch faulty ductwork early on if you schedule regular maintenance with an air conditioning specialist. During a maintenance visit, a technician cleans and inspects your system so that you can schedule repairs early on.

Here are some of the reasons you may need ductwork repair and how faulty ducts affect your air conditioning system.

  • Poor Insulation: Heat moves naturally from warm areas into cooler areas. Heat from outside of the ducts may enter into the cooler space, causing warm air to enter into your home. If your ducts are poorly insulated, you may not get enough cooling power or you may have spots in the home that are warmer or colder than others.
  • Loose Connections and Leaks: Ducts are assembled together in pieces, so it’s common for connections to become loose or break apart. When this happens, the pieces need to be reconnected, and holes need to be sealed.
  • Blockage: The efficiency and performance of your air conditioner may also be affected if dirt or debris obstructs the ducts and restricts airflow. If this happens, your air quality may suffer, or dust may move to the evaporator coil, reducing your air conditioner’s ability to absorb heat and efficiently cool your home.

Ductwork repair is not a job you should attempt on your own. You may not have the equipment of expertise to locate and repair all of the afflicted areas, and you may cause a lot more damage as well. Instead, call the professionals at Rentmeister Total Home Service for any air conditioning service in Salt Lake City. Pick up the phone today!

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