Three Reasons to Schedule AC Maintenance Now

Call a Specialist Before the Heat Waves Roll In

Scheduling AC maintenance before summer rolls around is just plain smart. It saves money, energy, and patience. Moreover, it prevents every homeowner’s worst nightmare: California in the summer with no AC.

It’s better to schedule an AC maintenance check-up sooner rather than later. Some reasons why include the following:

There’s More Availability Early in the Season

During July and August, some homeowners have to wait weeks to schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician. That’s because there’s high demand for their services. Yet, homeowners can generally schedule an appointment at the beginning of the season (or even at the end of spring) with no problem.

Here, a technician can:

  • Clean the evaporator coils
  • Patch any leaks
  • Address any frayed or severed wires
  • Change the air filter
  • Clean the air ducts (if necessary)
  • Address any mold or mildew growth

A professional may also recommend replacing some appliances if necessary. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, many EnergyStar appliances are more affordable than ever.

Prevents Problems

Air conditioners always seem to break down at the worst possible times. Yet, by scheduling an AC tuneup appointment, one can prevent the following:

  • Short cycling. When the AC system overheats, it may turn on and off frequently. Not only does this waste energy, but it never gets the home to the desired temperature.
  • Refrigerant leaks. If refrigerant leaks from the AC system, it’ll blow warm air––the opposite of what anyone wants during the peak of summer.
  • Frozen evaporator coils. If the AC unit’s evaporator coils freeze, this could cause short cycling and other headaches.
  • Clogged air ducts. When the AC system can’t “breathe,” this could cause overheating, wasted energy, and above-average humidity. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that homeowners should clean their air ducts on an as-needed basis––which looks different for everyone.
  • Mold and mildew growth. A leaking HVAC system can quickly lead to mold and mildew growth. This can compromise the home’s indoor air quality and make breathing unsafe.

In addition to preventing problems, homeowners can save money on their monthly energy bills. The Environmental Information Administration (EIA) notes that the average California household spends $123 monthly on their monthly electric bill. One can save even more by regularly consulting with a professional to optimize their appliances.

Extends the AC Unit’s Lifespan

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that the average HVAC system lasts about 15 years. Well-maintained HVAC systems last longer. That’s because:

  • Frequent maintenance keeps any components well-lubricated
  • Catching small problems prevents them from becoming large issues
  • Energy-efficient appliances make the most of their hardware
  • Frequently replacing certain components reduces wear and tear
  • Homes with better indoor air quality typically feature better appliances

Some homeowners may wonder what options they have if they already have an HVAC system that’s passed the 15-year mark. In that instance, an AC system serviceperson may suggest replacement. Newer AC systems on today’s market feature smart home compatibility and other energy-saving features.

About Chris Wilson Plumbing & Heating Repairs Inc

Chris Wilson Plumbing & Heating Repairs Inc and his HVAC professionals have served Palm Desert, CA, since 1999. In that time, they have surpassed all expectations by consistently delivering service with a smile. They treat their clients like family by offering same-day service, honest estimates, and reliable repairs. For more information on AC service, interested parties can call today.

Three Reasons The Faucet May Be Leaking

The Leaky Sink Faucet Can Be Caused by The Smallest of Parts

It may seem like a simple task to fix a leaky faucet, but determining the cause of the problem may be the most complicated part. Modern sinks and taps are masterpieces of engineering with many different internal parts, but even they can produce a leaky faucet if just one piece is worn out or suffers corrosion. This article will discuss three parts of the faucet unit that can cause a leak.

Bad Part #1: The O-Ring

The o-ring is a small, flexible ring that helps hold the handle valve in place for either the hot or cold supply line. If this piece is sheared or worn, the faucet begins leaking from the handle when turned on. When the handle is turned, the water allowed through the valve makes its way up through the damaged o-ring and seeps out from under the handle. If a homeowner’s sink leaks like this, it does not mean the whole faucet needs to be replaced; it can be fixed simply by replacing the o-ring and possibly the faucet cartridge. The replacement will be a quick job for a plumbing technician, but even the average homeowner can do it. The main difficulty for a DIYer is making sure that they purchase the correct part for their particular sink.

Bad Part #2: The Washer

Another flat ring, called the washer, sits at the bottom of the handle. Some faucets have washers made of metal, and some have semi-flexible washers made of rubber or silicone. If these become corroded or damaged in some other way, the valve cannot be fully closed, and the faucet will leak. This problem is often ignored because people try to give the handle an extra twist to tighten it or simply don’t think the problem is a high priority. Reasons that a leaking faucet should not be ignored are listed below.

  • Mold and Mildew: These microbes thrive in warm, damp environments. A leaking sink is perfect for these harmful things to take root.
  • Money Waste: If the water is dripping, it is counted as used, and the homeowner will pay for that drip.
  • Water Waste: Water is a precious resource that should not be wasted. A small drip can add up fast to gallons of water.

Bad Part #3: The Valve Seat

This third part is only found in faucets with a single handle controlling both the hot and cold water valves. This resembles the washer in the more traditional two-handle setup. Dripping will come from the faucet when the valve seat is worn out. Again, replacing the valve seat is not necessarily difficult, but a homeowner must ensure they have the right part. If they do, they can change the valve seat in the following way.

  1. Turn off the water to the faucet
  2. Remove any decorative cover on the handle
  3. Remove the bolt holding the handle in place
  4. Remove the handle, the sink cartridge, and the valve seat
  5. Replace the valve seat
  6. Reassemble the other parts
  7. Turn the water back on

About Chris Wilson Plumbing & Heating Repairs, Inc.

For over 20 years, Chris Wilson Plumbing and Heating Repairs, Inc. have served Palm Desert, CA, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties. They are a family-owned and operated business and are ready anytime with 24/7 emergency service. Call today for all types of plumbing services.

3 Good Reasons to Avoid DIY Heater Repair

The Dangers of Amateur Heating Maintenance and Repair

At the end of the cool season, it can be tempting for homeowners to work on their heater. Whether homeowners are trying to turn back the clock on the heater with a little routine heating maintenance or trying to repair it to keep it running, DIY heater repair is seldom a good idea.

Cost savings and time usually drive the urge to work on the heater in the home. Unfortunately, too often, homeowners never realize the benefits they think they will reap from DIY heater repairs. Instead, why not call a professional and avoid these three big problems with DIY heater repairs?

Misdiagnose the Problem

An HVAC contractor has years of on-the-job training. To be eligible to call themselves a contractor means they have accumulated thousands of hours of work and passed tests to prove their competence. Due to these factors, HVAC technicians and contractors are very accurate in their diagnosis of HVAC problems.

Amateurs, on the other hand, don't have this experience. Even handy homeowners will have to do a certain amount of guessing when they make repairs or perform maintenance. This can lead to wasting time and also incurs real financial costs. Spending money on parts and potentially damaging the heating unit can take away the financial benefits of DIY heater repairs with one slip of the wrench. Instead, let professionals do their jobs and fix problems correctly the first time.

Wastes Valuable Time

Along with the wasted costs of buying the wrong parts and potentially damaging the heating unit, time is money, and homeowners attempting DIY heater repairs can waste a lot of it. Think about it. Picking up parts takes time driving to the hardware store. Before anyone takes a trip to the hardware store, they will have to do a lot of research to determine if they are fixing the right problem. After the problem is "fixed," the inevitable nervous will wait to see if the repair is right.

Just save that time and call an HVAC contractor first. HVAC contractors will usually arrive within hours of a phone call. They carry parts and tools so they save time shopping and digging through the garage.

Could Create Big Problems with Insurance

The final and less well-known reason why homeowners should leave heater repairs to the professionals is the insurance. Heaters can be dangerous pieces of equipment when not cared for properly. They can be destroyed by bad maintenance, or they can start fires that result in property damage. If professionals cause these problems, their insurance will cover the damages. If homeowners do the repairs and complications occur, they are liable.

Skip the insurance headache and prevent the risk. Always hire professional HVAC technicians to do heater repairs.

About Chris Wilson Plumbing & Heating Repairs Inc

Chris Wilson Plumbing & Heating Repairs Inc perform residential and commercial plumbing and heating repairs. Their skilled team of technicians provide 24-hour attention and top-quality HVAC service. Call today for competitive pricing in Monterey, CA.

Learn About the First Black Woman Master Plumber

Meet Adrienne Bennett: A Trailblazer In the Plumbing Industry

February is Black History Month - a time for reflecting on the lives and achievements of those Black pioneers who knocked down walls, fought for equality, and helped change the world for the better. Some of the more famous examples come from the worlds of the Civil Rights movement, academia, entertainment, sports, and politics - but one of the most inspiring examples comes from an unexpected place: the plumbing industry. Keep reading to learn about the life and career of Adrienne Bennett, the first Black woman to become a Master Plumber!

Humble Beginnings

Adrienne Bennett got into plumbing through a chance encounter at a Detroit rally for President Jimmy Carter in 1976. It was here that she met a recruiter for the Mechanical Contractors Association of Detroit, Gus Dowels. Dowels was looking to recruit minority women for a 5-year apprenticeship program with the Plumbers’ Union.

Bennett was studying engineering at the time, so this was an intriguing opportunity that seemed like a good fit. The deal was sealed when Dowels mentioned how much she could make if she completed the program - $50,000 a year.

From Apprentice To Business Owner

Bennett’s apprenticeship was a difficult period for her. She was surrounded by men (five women had joined the program before her but dropped out for various reasons), making her a target for discrimination, intimidation, and even physical harassment. Bennett refused to quit or be broken by the abuse she endured almost daily. Instead, she completed the apprenticeship and became a journeyman plumber in 1985.

Two years later, she passed her master plumber exam - making her the first Black woman to obtain a master plumber license. But her career only gets more impressive from there. She went on to become the first Black female plumbing inspector, work as a code enforcement officer for the City of Detroit, and serve as senior project manager for the $80 million expansion of the Henry Ford Hospital. In 2008, she became a business owner when she founded the plumbing contractor Benkari with her son.

Where Is Bennett Today?

Adrienne Bennett is still the President & CEO of Benkari. As a growing independent contracting company, they have completed numerous commercial projects, with plenty more in the works. Bennett was thrilled to have Benkari be involved in the restoration of Michigan Central Station, which she remembers fondly from her childhood in Detroit. Some of Benkari’s other projects include the construction of Little Caesars Arena and the renovation of much of Detroit’s utility infrastructure.

To this day, Bennett remains the only Black female master plumber in America - but she wants to change that. She is a vocal advocate for women and people of color in the plumbing industry. She continues to exemplify what’s possible through hard work, perseverance, and adversity. Truly, Adrienne Bennett’s story is one slice of Black History that will inspire and encourage generations to come!

About Chris Wilson Plumbing & Heating Repairs Inc

Chris Wilson Plumbing & Heating Repairs Inc has been Monterey’s preferred plumber for over 35 years. As a family-owned and operated local business, they are honored to have been named Nextdoor’s Neighborhood Favorite company for two years. They offer same-day service, competitive pricing, membership plans, and 24/7 emergency plumbing service - so there’s no better choice for plumbers in Monterey, CA!

How to Save Money On Heating Bills for Holiday Shopping

Lower Electric Bill Means More Holiday Spending Money

Heating costs are one of the biggest expenses that homeowners face during the cold winter months. It can be difficult to juggle the demands of heating a home while saving enough money to buy holiday gifts, enjoy vacations, and fund holiday festivities. Parents may want to give their children the Christmas of their dreams but wonder how it will be possible to afford gifts while also paying for rising heating costs.

In this blog post, HVAC experts share advice on how homeowners can reduce their energy usage and save money this winter. Saving money on utility bills can mean substantial savings towards holiday shopping. Improving the efficiency of the home's heating system will help keep the home warm all winter long without breaking the bank.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Homeowners who want to reduce electric bills this winter should consider installing a programmable or smart thermostat. Thermostats control the overall function of the heating and cooling system. A new wifi thermostat can benefit homeowners by making it easier to program and adjust the temperature for efficiency.

Making small adjustments to the temperature, such as lowering the heat at night when people are asleep or when no one is home, can help homeowners to save money on their electric bills. There is no need to heat an empty house, so why not save money by programming the thermostat around work hours?

New wifi thermostats connect to smartphone applications so that homeowners can adjust their system from anywhere at any time. Smart thermostats are the best for improving energy efficiency. Smart technology learns the home's environment to make automatic adjustments for maximum energy savings without the homeowner lifting a finger.

Air Filter Replacement

The air filter is a mesh screen placed over the air intake for the home's HVAC system. It prevents particles of dust and airborne contaminants from being sucked into the HVAC system. A clean air filter is essential for preventing airborne contaminants from recirculating throughout the house and clogging up the inner workings of the heating system.

The air filter needs to be changed around every three months. Some people may need to change their air filters more frequently, such as people who smoke indoors or have many pets. Animal fur, dust, and other debris can become lodged in the heating system, leading to increased energy bills due to inefficient performance.

Keeping the HVAC system clean by replacing the air filter on time can significantly reduce energy bills. Failing to change air filters often enough is one of the most common reasons people experience a sudden spike in heating costs. When the heating system is full of dust, it cannot perform efficiently, and the struggle to heat the home leads to more energy usage.

HVAC Maintenance

HVAC maintenance at the beginning of the season can help save homeowners money on heating during the cold winter. A tune-up on the heating system is a great way to ensure everything works smoothly. Any parts in the HVAC system that are worn out could cause high utility bills.

Cleaning the inside of the HVAC system to remove any dust and debris can also help improve the performance immediately. Working on heating systems can be dangerous because of the high temperatures, so homeowners should always trust an experienced professional. HVAC technicians will know how to safely inspect, clean, tighten loose parts, and make small repairs to the heating system.

About Chris Wilson Plumbing & Heating Repairs Inc

Chris Wilson Plumbing & Heating Repairs Inc is proud to serve Monterey, CA, and the surrounding areas with outstanding services from expert technicians. Homeowners can depend on the team from this local plumbing and heating company to always be on-time, professional, and knowledgeable. Call them today to schedule an appointment for HVAC maintenance in Monterey, CA!