Rentmeister Total Home Service Blog : Archive for March, 2015

How a Clogged Air Filter can lead to Furnace Repair

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Many of the problems that can afflict your furnace are obvious in nature. If your air handler stops working, for example, you’ll know because you won’t get any heat. One of the most dangerous problems for your furnace, however, also happens to be the most subtle. If you don’t know what signs to look for, you may not even notice it until it’s far too late.

Let’s take a look at how a clogged air filter can lead to furnace repair.

The Air Filter

The air filter itself is designed to shield the furnace from any dust and debris that might blow in from the ducts. It’s pretty good at this role, capturing any particles that are blown into it, while allowing air to pass through it unobstructed. The problem is that once the air filter collects these problems, it has no way to get rid of them. In order for the air filter to keep working properly, it has to be cleaned or replaced every few months. If this isn’t done, the air filter can become so clogged with debris that it starts to obstruct the flow of air into the furnace. That’s when the problems start.

Short-Cycling

When the air flow into the furnace is restricted, it causes the temperature inside the system to rise. Eventually, the furnace will overheat, activating the limit switch and causing an emergency shutdown. Though this will temporarily protect the system from damage, it won’t address the source of the problem. As long as the air filter remains clogged, the system will overheat again as soon as it starts up. This locks the furnace into an endless start/stop cycle, which puts it under far more stress than it was designed to handle. If not fixed quickly, the entire furnace might break down and need to be replaced.

Short-cycling is one of the most damaging issues to afflict furnaces, though it is often one of the easiest to fix. If you haven’t been changing your air filter every few months, we highly recommend that you start doing so now.

If you’d like to know more about air filters and short-cycling, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. We provide furnaces throughout Salt Lake City.

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When is a Good Time to Replace My Water Heater?

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

The older your water heater gets, the more efficiency it’s going to lose to accumulated wear and tear. There’s nothing you can really do about this, it’s just a reality we have to accept. Parts wear out, and when enough parts wear out in the same system it becomes easier and cheaper to replace the system than to replace the parts.

So, how do you know when the time to replace your water heater has arrived?

There are a few different criteria that you can use to decide whether your water heater needs replacing. Let’s take a look at some of the more pertinent ones.

Repair Increases

As mentioned above, there’s really nothing to be done about simple wear and tear on your water heater. As with all things, water heaters eventually just wear out. Parts start to lose effectiveness, and eventually they fail. When enough of those parts start failing in rapid succession, it’s a good sign that your water heater is reaching the end of its life. If it seems like you need to have a professional out to service your water heater every few months, talk to them about the possibility of replacing it.

Age

The lifespan of each individual water heater is dictated by its own circumstances. However, it is still possible to estimate approximately how long the average water heater will live. If your water heater is 15 years old or older, then you will probably have to replace it pretty soon. There are, of course, cases where the water heater will last significantly longer. However, 15 years is a good benchmark.

Before the Rules Change

As of April 16th, 2015, new rules will be implemented by the Department of Energy concerning water heater efficiency. These new rules will require that all water heaters manufactured be held to a higher standard of energy efficiency. While a good thing in the long run, water heater prices are expected to spike soon after the rules go into effect. If you’re thinking about replacing your water heater, it would be a good idea to do it before the rules change causes a price increase.

If you need to replace your water heater, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. We provide water heaters throughout the Salt Lake City area.

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Which Water Heater Type is Better: Tank or Tankless?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

It wasn’t too long ago that your choice for a new or replacement water heater was pretty simple. These days, there are a number of choices when it comes to hot water heaters, and the main question every homeowner has to ask is, do I want a storage tank type of water heater, or do I go tankless?

Each type of hot water heater has its own benefits, so deciding between the tank vs. tankless water heater debate isn’t as easy as it may seem. One of the best ways to help determine which type of system will work best in your home is to work with a trained expert.

The water heater specialists at Rentmeister Total Home Service can help you decide which type of water heaters will best fit your home. Call us today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Tankless Water Heaters

One of the most asked about items regarding tankless water heaters is how they work. It’s actually pretty simple: tankless water heaters use a heat exchanger to heat water very quickly when hot water is needed. This is why tankless water heaters are also called “on-demand.” Tankless water heaters offer a number of benefits to homeowners, including endless hot water, very good energy efficiency and a longer life span (about 20 years). Homeowners can use electricity or natural gas to power a tankless system. However, tankless water heaters have higher initial costs, and gas tankless systems have a complicated installation process.

Tank Water Heaters

Storage tank hot water heaters have been a staple in homes for years, and with new regulations coming this spring, they will be more energy efficient than ever before. Tank water heaters have lower initial costs and wide variety of sizes. As with any home appliance, there are some drawbacks to utilizing tank water heaters. Some of these include significant standby heat loss and a shorter lifespan that ranges from 8-12 years.

If you need to install a new water heater and are confused by the tank vs. tankless water heater debate, call the people who can help: Rentmeister Total Home Service.

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Signs That You Have a Drain Problem

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

There are few home maintenance problems that are more frustrating than plumbing problems, and one of the most common of those is drain problems. Most homeowners don’t really think about the drain cleaning in their homes until they become clogged or develop some other issue.

While a clog is a pretty obvious sign that you need plumbing repair, there are other signs that you’ve got a drain problem. Let’s take a look at some of the other signs that you have a drain problem.

Slow Drainage

Contrary to what a lot of homeowners believe, clogs are not things that suddenly occur without warning. In fact, the debris that causes clogs tends to build up slowly, first accumulating on the inner walls of the pipe and then building towards the center. If you want to cut down on the number of clogs you have to deal with, pay attention to the rate at which your drains work. If you notice a drain start to work more slowly than it usually does, that’s a good sign that a clog is forming in the pipe. You should then take steps to get rid of the clog before it can completely form. Pouring boiling water down the drain often does the trick.

Sewer Smells

You plumbing system is designed to prevent anything from the sewer from coming back up the pipes and into your house. This includes sewer gases, which are actually vented through the house and out into the air. On occasion, however, a portion of this venting system can fail, causing horrible smells to come up through your drain and into your home. If you notice terrible smells coming from your drain, it is likely caused by a venting failure. This could be because of a vent valve becoming stuck, or even the exhaust pipe becoming blocked by something. Either way, if you notice bad smells coming out of your drain, you should call a plumber as soon as possible.

If you think you may have a drain problem, call Rentmeister Total Home Service. Our plumbers serve all of Salt Lake City.

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Join Us at the Standard Examiner Home and Garden Show

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Join us March 13-15, 2015 at the Standard Examiner Home & Garden Show at the Golden Spike Event Center in Ogden. Stop by Booth #71 to find out about our current specials, the latest water heater regulation changes and what this means for you, or for more information on how we can help make your home as efficient and comfortable as possible. We look forward to seeing you there!

Event Hours:

Friday & Saturday – 10AM-9PM

Sunday – 10AM-6PM

 

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