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Fall 2012

How to Spot a Leak

A leaky plumbing system is no good. Even a small leak can cause serious water damage, foster the growth of harmful mold and mildew, and invite termites into your home. For these reasons, it is important to get leaks repaired right away, but what if they are not obvious?

Read on to learn how to spot the warning signs of leaks before they become a serious nuisance.

Look Around

Although you may not be able to see a leak directly, many times there is evidence left around the house. Call a professional to inspect the plumbing system if you notice any of the following warning signs:

  • Damp carpet or water on floors that cannot otherwise be explained. Water may be seeping up through the floor or dripping from the ceiling above.
  • Brownish stains on the ceiling or near the top of walls.
  • Mold or mildew growing on walls or floors. These tiny plants need water to survive and grow, so their presence often indicates an increase in moisture. They especially like to crop up in bathrooms, where it is warm.
  • Puddles or other unexplained damp spots in your yard. This can be a sign of a water or sewer line leak.

Listen Up

Even if you don’t see signs of a leak, you can sometimes hear them. For instance, if it sounds like there is water running through your pipes even when no one is using water, it can be a sign of a leak. If you notice these sounds, especially combined with any of these other red flags, it is probably time to call in a professional.

Pay Attention

Lastly, there are two important areas where you should watch for changes. One is water pressure. If your home’s water pressure drops appreciably, it can mean that there is a leak somewhere in the system. Signs of low water pressure include weaker streams from the shower head and the washing machine taking longer to fill.

You may also notice that your water bill has increased, even though your family’s usage habits have not. This is a sign that water is being wasted somewhere, and a leak may be the culprit.

No matter what the warning signs, it is important to have all leaks looked at and fixed right away in order to prevent serious damage. Call a professional at the first sign of trouble to stop leaks before they start.

 

Why HVAC Installation Matters

When it comes to heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems, durability starts at installation. A large number of mechanical breakdowns, emergency repairs and other HVAC issues can be traced directly back to poor installation, even when they occur years later. Getting a new HVAC system properly installed may not seem like a big deal at the time, but paying attention during the installation process can save huge headaches later on.

Better Installation Means Fewer Repairs

The various components of your HVAC system are meant to work together in harmony, with each one doing its part to keep your home comfortable and your air clean. That means that a simple error during installation, such as failing to secure a connection properly, can cause not just one problem but a whole host of them, which you may have to contend with year round.

This is even truer of matched systems, in which components are designed by the manufacturer to work together perfectly. This maximizes efficiency when done properly, but it also means bigger problems when installation is done poorly.

Dealing with repairs is a hassle that no one wants. Good installation prevents that hassle.

The Secret to Long Life

Unfortunately, this newsletter does not contain the secrets of the Fountain of Youth. It can, however, help you keep your HVAC system running for a good long time, which starts at the moment it’s installed.

Aside from preventing breakdowns, proper installation also extends the life of your HVAC equipment. Little things like the correct filters, tight fittings and appropriate ductwork can make a huge difference in the life of your system.

The longer your HVAC system lasts, the longer you can wait to replace it.

Getting the Right Installer

A good installation starts with the right installer. You want a professional, skilled, licensed contractor who can get the job done right the first time. Here are some tips to help you find one in your area:

  • Do your homework. Read reviews online of local contractors to see what others think.
  • Check credentials. Look into whether prospective contractors have professional certifications that set them apart from the others.
  • Ask around. Chances are your friends and family in the area have had some work done on their HVAC systems. Ask them who they used and what their experience was like. They may have a great recommendation.
  • Once you have found a professional you like, hold on to his information. File it away in a safe place so you can call him next time you need HVAC help.

A good contractor may cost a little more but will save you money in the long run as you’ll need fewer repairs and your system will last much longer. That’s a good deal no one can argue with.