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Summer 2012

7 Garbage Disposal Dos and Don’ts

Keeping your garbage disposal running smoothly is easy when you maintain it. Knowing the dos and don’ts of garbage disposal maintenance is the first step.

Here are a few tips to remember when operating your disposal.

  1. DON’T pour fats or cooking oils down drains or into a garbage disposal. They solidify in pipes. Instead, wipe grease from pots with paper towels and throw in trash. Coffee grounds can also clog the drains, as they often contain oils and they cannot be broken down further.
  2. DON’T use the disposer like a garbage can. Avoid letting items like bread ties and napkin rings fall into the sink, as they can cause jams.
  3. DON’T fill a disposer with too much waste at once. To maximize the grinding ability of the disposer, gradually feed food waste into the disposer. Run cold water down the drain for several seconds before and after disposer use to flush food waste through the plumbing system.
  4. DON’T put stringy, fibrous or starchy waste in the garbage disposal. Poultry skins, celery, fruit & potato peels, for example, cannot be sufficiently broken down.
  5. DO grind hard materials such as eggshells and ice. A scouring action is created by the particles inside the grind chamber. But don’t put anything too large or that may harm the blades.
  6. DO use the hex wrench located below the disposal to unclog a jam.
  7. DO call a technician if your garbage disposal is jammed and the proper tools won’t work to unclog the jam.

Repair or Replace: When Do You Need a New Air Conditioner?

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding to repair or replace your air conditioner. The first is the age of your system. Air conditioners can last a long time with regular maintenance and repair. If your system is only a year or two old you’ll certainly opt for repair. If you’re having trouble with an AC that is 8 or 10 years old, however, it may be worth replacing. Even if the necessary repairs are not that expensive, many of the advancements in the industry over the past decade may make it worth investing in a new system.

Before deciding to repair a damaged air conditioner, consider its efficiency. Look back at its performance and costs of operation last srepaireummer. If it wasn’t efficient at the beginning of last season, you might want to look at newer options. Look for information about the system, including its SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). If your system is outdated and has a low SEER, then even with repairs it will not be capable of running as efficiently as newer models. You may be able to fix your current air conditioner for less money than you’d spend on a new system, but over time the financial benefits of a new, high efficiency machine can easily outweigh the one–time–savings of repairing an older AC.

If you do decide that your old system is ready for replacement, the next step is to talk to a qualified HVAC technician. They will be able to help you through all the steps involved in deciding on, purchasing and installing a new air conditioning system. Remember, you don’t have to stick with what you’ve had. If your old ductwork is leaky or compromised, you may want to consider a ductless system. Maybe a heat pump is right for your heating and cooling needs. With so much to consider, the best thing to do is ask the pros. Call us any time.