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Ovens St. Louis The Holidays are here! With all the holiday excitement and cheer, also comes all the holiday meals. If you’re cooking or baking this holiday season, then read these 3 tips to prepare your oven for cooking. Regularly clean your oven. To make sure your oven clean and working efficiently, give it a wipe down with a damp cloth once a month and immediately clean up any major spillages. If you bake and use your oven frequently, clean it weekly. Don’t rely on the self-clean cycle as your only method of oven cleaning! You should only use the self-clean once every 3-4 months. Run the self-clean cycle an entire month before your holiday cooking or wait until the holidays are over. It’s very common for ovens to fail because of the self-cleaning cycle! This way you won’t have to worry about your oven breaking the day before Thanksgiving. When...

Posted by on in Plumbing
Plumbing St. Louis Winter can create lots of problems with your home plumbing system. Frozen water in your pipes can destroy your plumbing from the inside out. Prepare for winter’s temperature drop with these preventative measures: Fix all pipe leaks. Check all exposed indoor and outdoor pipes for leaks. Insulate your pipes. Locate any exposed pipes in your attic, garage or crawl spaces and wrap them with plumbing insulation foam. This will protect your pipes and will help keep your home and water warmer in the winter. Drain your evaporative cooler or swamp cooler. Turn off the cooler’s water and power, then drain the water supply line and water out of the cooler. Insulate and heat your pump house. If you have a well, make sure that your pump house piping is well insulated. Also, make sure that your pump house has a properly working heater to keep its temperature...

Posted by on in Heating
Heating Efficiency St. Louis Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE, measures the energy efficiency of a gas furnace in percentages. The higher the percentage of AFUE, the greater the efficiency. Every U.S. furnace is at least 78% AFUE because of government regulations. The AFUE number indicates the amount of gas used when your furnace is on. For example, a furnace with 90% AFUE wastes 10% of the gas that it uses to heat your home. Furnace Installation St. Louis Of course, AFUE directly correlates to how much money you spend when heating your home in the winter. When you have a furnace with 90% AFUE, you spend $1 on natural gas but only 90 cents of that dollar heat your home (the rest escapes as exhaust). The higher the AFUE, the less fuel used and the less money you spend on heating. If you’re considering installing a new furnace, factor in...

Posted by on in Uncategorized
Washer Repair St. Louis Did you know that not only your dryer has a lint trap? Your washer has one too! If you notice a coat of lint on your clothes coming out of the wash, then its lint filter is probably clogged. A washing machine lint trap can be a cleanable filter or a mesh lint trap. You can find these by checking your owner’s manual for the location of your washer’s lint filter. If you have a high-efficiency washer, then your machine doesn’t have a laundry drain lint trap. Instead, it has a pump filter that removes lint from the wash. Check the pump often to make sure there aren’t any blockages. This will help your washer run correctly and efficiently! Washing Machine Cleaner St. Louis When you find your washing machine’s lint trap, you will probably notice that it has a sticky layer of lint, detergent, and fabric...
Electrical Outlets St. Louis Outlets are one of the scariest electrical dangers for kids. They are right at your child’s eye level and are quite often an object of curiosity. Protect your children with: Outlet covers. These are quick and easy solutions to slide into an outlet. However, they’re just as easy to take off as they are to put on. This means that your children will probably be able to remove these without much problem. Tamper-proof outlets. These outlets protect your children the best. They cut off access to not in use outlets completely by using spring-loaded shutters. They also have a dual-lock, which means that they’re protected against anything from butter knives to small fingers. Electrical Strips St. Louis Electrical strips are also very dangerous for your children because they sit on the ground and are full of multiple plugs. You can simply solve this by: Using special strips....
Furnaces St. Louis When deciding to invest in a new furnace, you want to make a well-informed decision. However, if you’re looking for a new furnace in an emergency, you may not always have the opportunity or time to choose the best option for you and your family. That’s why we recommend to replace a furnace before it fails and is reaching the end of its life. Read on for the top 5 signs that your furnace needs replacement. Heating St. Louis Age: The average lifespan of a furnace is 16-20 years of age. If your furnace is close to this range, then you should start looking for a new one. High utility bills: If you notice that your utility bills have increased while your heat usage hasn’t, then your furnace may need replacement. As furnaces get older, they become much less efficient especially if they haven’t had routine maintenance. High...

Posted by on in Indoor Air Quality
Humidifiers St. Louis With Fall approaching, we finally have some relief from the unbearably hot and humid St. Louis summer. However, this also means that Winter will be here sooner than we know it. In the Winter, the colder air cannot hold as much moisture, causing very low humidity. When the air is dry, the low humidity can create a variety of problems: Dry & itchy skin Static electricity Higher susceptibility to colds & infections Damage to wood furniture & floors Indoor Air Quality St. Louis If you’ve ever experienced a St. Louis winter, then you probably are very familiar with these problems. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to combat the dry, Winter air and keep your indoor air quality optimal. An indoor humidity level of 30-40% is recommended during the Winter. You can check and control this from your thermostat.  Here are some ideas to increase home humidity: Use...

Posted by on in Heating
Furnaces St. Louis Winter is coming here in St. Louis. The last thing you want when the temperature starts to drop is for your furnace to malfunction! You will want proper heating in your home. Even though your furnace may not blow sparks or emit a loud noise when it breaks down, there will be very clear signs that something is wrong. Heating St. Louis The two main signs that your furnace isn’t working correctly are sudden heat loss and short cycling. Sudden heat loss means that your furnace shuts off unexpectedly and permanently. This can happen anytime, but often occurs at the coldest time of the night so you will wake up to a very cold home and no heat. Possible causes of sudden heat loss are: Loss of power Malfunctioning pilot light Faulty wiring Furnace hasn't been maintenanced for a long time Short cycling is when your furnace turns...

Posted by on in Plumbing
Water Treatment System St. Louis If you use water from the city, you most likely know that it went through a water treatment plant before flowing into your home. The water treatment plant aims to remove most of the harmful contaminants naturally found in the water supply. The effectiveness of this treatment process varies from city to city, but no city water treatment plant is 100% effective. If you want higher water quality and less harmful contaminants in your home’s water and plumbing, then a water treatment system would be a good option for you. Water Filtration St. Louis Unfortunately, harmful contaminants found in many water supplies across the country can cause health problems if you’re exposed to them. Lead, cyanide, and other toxic substances are sometimes present in your water. Even though you probably won’t absorb a fatal amount of these toxins from drinking water, any exposure to these contaminants...
Ductless Air Conditioning St. Louis Ductless units can heat and cool areas that are difficult to reach or places where traditionally HVAC systems couldn’t be installed. Ductless systems don’t need all the vents and ductwork that most central air units need. Ductless air conditioners and heaters have two components: an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air handler. The indoor part is installed high up on a wall or ceiling and delivers air to your home. The outdoor unit remains outside on a solid and stable surface. The two units are connected by a 3-inch opening that allows a pair of lines to deliver electricity and remove condensate. Ductless Heating & Cooling St. Louis Here are the advantages of having ductless heating & cooling over central HVAC systems: Quick and simple installation because no ductwork is needed A ductless system is smaller and runs more quietly than a central or window AC...
Heating and Cooling System Control St. Louis The right thermostat for your home can help keep you comfortable and control your energy usage. Depending on how you want to program your heating and cooling system and utilize its functions, you have multiple choices for thermostats. Just make sure that the model you choose is compatible with you HVAC system. Thermostats St. Louis There are 3 types of thermostats: Manual, Programmable and Smart. Manual thermostats work by you manually moving a needle up or down to how hot or cold you want your home. They are good for people who prefer a fixed temperature, but they are limited on energy efficiency. Programmable thermostats allow you to set a specific schedule with settings for every day of the week. Depending on the model, you can program your thermostat for 7-day, 5-1-1 day, 5-2 day or 1-week. These types of thermostats can help you...

Posted by on in Heating
Furnaces and Heat Pumps St. Louis Whether you have an electric heat pump or an 80%, 90%, 95% efficiency furnace that is single stage, 2 stages or modulating – you know that your heat will be running in these upcoming months. That’s why we want to share these 3 quick tips to help you keep your heat pump or furnace working optimally through the colder months. If you use these tips, you can help reduce the chance for malfunctions, breakdowns, and inefficiencies that lead to higher utility bills this Fall and Winter. Furnace Filters St. Louis Change the filter regularly. This is such an important, easy and inexpensive thing that most homeowners can do on their own. Don’t allow your furnace’s filter to clog with lint, dust, pet dander and other debris! It will choke off airflow which causes a variety of problems. When there’s a lack of airflow across a...
Sewer Services St. Louis Since sewers are underground and generally unpleasant, you rarely think about them. However, they are the most essential plumbing in your home for sanitation. If your sewer line breaks or your sewer main drain clogs, then you will have serious consequences—sewage will flood your home and leave you with very expensive repairs. How do you know if you need your sewer lateral line or main drain serviced, repaired or replaced? Keep an eye out for these warning signs so that you can catch a problem before it escalates into a bigger, more expensive episode. Sewer Repair St. Louis Fixtures Clogging All at the Same Time: If your sinks, drains, showers and toilets are clogging all at one, then this is a tell-tale sign that your sewer line has problems. Make sure to call a plumber to perform a sewer drain cleaning quickly and eliminate even the worst...
Track Lighting St. Louis If you want a stylish way to control the direction and amount of light in a room, then track lighting is a great option. Track lighting is a series of small directional lights suspended from the ceiling along a metal track. Popular in art galleries and homes, track lighting allows you to achieve the right aesthetic or accentuate specific features. LED Lighting St. Louis If you want efficient, long-lasting lighting in your home, then LED lights are the perfect option. LED lights can save you money and help the environment with their energy efficiency and durability. Known for their brightness and versatility, LED lights can also come in all types of colors and configurations. Recessed Lighting St. Louis If you have lower ceilings or very restricted space, recessed lighting may be the right option for your home. They don’t protrude into the room itself and disperse light...

Posted by on in Water Heaters
Hot Water Heater Repairs St. Louis If your water heater breaks down, you probably will want it fixed ASAP. You need hot water for your showers, laundry and dishes! Unfortunately, the decision to repair or replace your water heater can be unclear. There are a few things to consider when trying to make this decision: Age: If your water heater is relatively new, it may still be under warranty! You will want to repair—especially if the replacement parts are covered too. This is a great option for water heater units less than 8 years old. However, if the unit is older than 8 years, you may want to consider replacement. Older units tend to have more problems, need more repairs, and cost more to run and fix than to buy a new, more efficient water heater altogether. Parts: You can easily have some parts replaced, but sometimes once a certain part...

Posted by on in Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning Filters St. Louis Tip #1: Change out your Indoor Air Filters Monthly Air Conditioning failure results from many things, but especially from the buildup of dust, debris, and dirt. St. Louis late summer humidity causes all the debris caught in your AC filter to turn into hard mush, substantially blocking air flow. Stay cool in these hot and humid months by replacing your air filters so that your air conditioner can work properly and efficiently. Thermostats St. Louis Tip #2: Check your Thermostat Weekly Check the thermostat settings. When temperature settings are adjusted incorrectly, your thermostat programming is affected. This happens when people press buttons on a thermostat to change a setting without knowing how to properly do so. Make sure to routinely check your settings to make sure that your thermostat is working correctly. Check to see if the thermostat moved. Thermostats only work properly when they are calibrated....

Posted by on in Uncategorized
Power Surges St. Louis Power surges don’t just damage your home—they also can cause your appliances and electronics to fail completely. Generators are great to temporarily power your home, but unfortunately, they will not protect your home when there's a power spike or sag. To avoid the cost of replacing all your appliances and electronics, you should protect your home with a surge protector. Here’s why: Any item with a microprocessor will be affected by a power surge. This means a power surge will damage your cell phones, TVs, computers, microwaves, dishwashers and fridges. Their circuits will fry from large power surges and will degrade over time from lower-level surges, which will make them eventually fully fail. Here are some causes of power surges: Operation of heavy-duty electrical appliances: When appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, or elevators are turned on and off frequently, they use a large amount of energy. Smaller...
Extreme Heat St. Louis St. Louis is under extreme heat warnings this week! You can get heat sickness when your body can’t compensate for the heat and properly cool you down. When the St. Louis humidity is high, sweat won’t evaporate as fast as it should. This keeps your body from releasing heat as quickly as it needs to.  Heat-related deaths and illnesses are very serious, but easily preventable. Keep you and your family safe this week by preparing for the dangerously hot temperatures. Cooling St. Louis Everyone should take these steps to prevent heat-related sicknesses and deaths: Stay indoors with air conditioning as much as possible Drink more water than usual, even if you’re not thirsty Take cold showers or baths to cool down Avoid using your stove and oven to cook – it will make you and your home hotter Don’t rely on a fan as your main method...
Geothermal Heat Pump Savings St. Louis Geothermal heat pumps use energy absorbed from the sun to heat and cool your home as an affordable energy efficient alternative to your traditional air conditioner and furnace. Geothermal heat pumps also cost much less to operate compared to your standard heating and cooling methods. You will see that you will have around 30-35% savings in energy costs when using geothermal heating and cooling systems. Installing a Geothermal Heat Pump for heating and cooling is just as affordable as installing a typical HVAC system, thanks to tax credits and utility rebates. Geothermal Heat Pump Energy Efficiency St. Louis Let’s put this into perspective: A standard HVAC fossil fuel furnace is about 78-90% energy efficient. A geothermal heat pump is 400% energy efficient.  Another way to reduce energy and save money is to use a smart programmable thermostat. Why heat or cool your home, when you’re...
Appliances St. Louis How long does it take for a load of laundry to dry? A large load should take about 45 minutes to dry, on average. If your dryer is taking longer than an average of 1 hour to dry your clothes, then you should have your dryer vents checked. Why do ovens smell bad when they’re cleaning? This is just from the food and grease your oven is burning off. To combat the bad smell, try to ventilate your kitchen more by opening windows. Does storing a refrigerator / freezer in the garage damage it? Damage only occurs if you have a self-defrosting refrigerator or freezer and your garage temperature falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The refrigerator’s or freezer’s oil may thicken and cause premature compression failure. Appliance Repair St. Louis Repair or replace an existing appliance? If you replace your existing appliance with one that is comparable in...
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