Rentmeister Total Home Service Blog : Archive for September, 2014

Why do Furnaces Need an Exhaust Flue?

Friday, 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.

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

Friday, 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.

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Items to Keep Out of Your Garbage Disposal

Friday, 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!

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Join us at the Standard Examiner Fall Home Show

Thursday, 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

 

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Objects You Should Never Put Down a Garbage Disposal

Friday, 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.

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