Ask The Expert - Service 1 Plumbing, Heating & A/C, Inc

Ask The Expert

Ask the Expert

Here at Service 1 Plumbing, Heating & A/C, INC. we pride ourselves on unparalleled customer support. If you have any questions, we want to work and help resolve any and all issues you may be experiencing with your heating and cooling systems.

Below you will find our Frequently Asked Questions, where we offer our expert information. If you’re unable to find an answer below, please give us a call!

Recently Asked Questions

What is the average life expectancy of equipment?

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC)systems require proper and regular maintenance in order to work efficiently, but even in the best case scenarios most components of such systems only last 15 to 25 years. Furnaces on average last 15-20 years, heat pumps 16 years, and air conditioning units 10-15 years. Tankless water heaters last more than 20 years, while an electric or gas water heater has a life expectancy of about 10 years. Thermostats usually are replaced before the end of their 35-year lifespan due to technological improvements.” (National Association of Home Builders/ Bank of America Home Equity Study of Life Expectancy of Housing Components)

How often should I change my air filter?

To make sure you have the cleanest air possible and to stay away from dust build up, you want to make sure you are changing your air filters on a regular basis. When you have a dirty air filter you will reduce the amount of air coming through and will make your furnace work harder than it should to maintain the temperature. If you have pets you will want to change your air filters more than usual because you stand the chance of having more blockage happening. If you’re still not sure how often to change your air filter you can give us a call and we can give you the proper guidance.

Why should I switch to a high efficiency air filter?

Having a clean air filter will ensure that the air filtration throughout your home is clean and healthy for both your health and family. When you do not change your filters on a regular basis, the filter will begin to build up with dust and dirt which will impact the operation and efficiency of the unit.

Should I have my furnace and air conditioner serviced every year?

Yes. Having a yearly inspection of both your furnace and air conditioner will ensure you are keeping your system properly maintained. When you don’t have your units serviced they can begin to break and cause expensive maintenance.

Why should I purchase a service agreement?

If you don’t purchase a warranty then you will be left with significant expenses and labor costs. When you purchase a service agreement you will have an extensive warranty coverage on your units that will save you big with both your unit and labor.

How can I reduce allergens and improve the air quality in my home?

When you have a high efficiency air filter you will be able to remove up to 99% of the pollen and spores that make its way into your home. When having a high efficiency air filter, you will also be able to reduce the amount of dust, dirt, smoke, and other air pollutants in your home.

What is duct cleaning?

Duct cleaning is when you clean both the heating and cooling system components. This process includes cleaning the return and supply air ducts, registers, grilles and diffusers, cooling coils and heat exchangers, fan housing and fan motor, and the air handling unit housing. When you have your air ducts clean you will see an improvement in airflow from the vents and an improvement in temperature.

What does SEER mean?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio. Air conditioners are rated according to their SEER.The higher the SEER rating of your air conditioner, the more you save on electricity. The U.S. DOE (Department of Energy) revised its energy conservation rules in 2006 requiring all new products to have a 13.0 SEER rating or higher. Manufacturers of air conditioners can offer SEER ratings of 13.0 to 21 or higher. (energy.gov)

What does AFUS mean?

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. A higher AFUE means higher efficiency. AFUE is used to measure furnace or boiler heating efficiency. AFUE measures the amount of actual heat delivered to your house compared to the amount of fuel being supplied to the appliance. A furnace that has an 80% AFUE rating means it converts 80% of the fuel that heats your house and the other 20% is lost going up your chimney. Manufacturer’s furnaces can offer AFUE ratings of 80% to 98.5%.

What does BTU mean?

British Thermal Unit. BTU is a basic measure of energy.

What does HSPF mean?

HSPF stands for Heat Seasonal Performance Factor. This is what measures the heat pump and the heating efficiency.

What does EER mean?

EER is the Energy Efficiency Ratio. This measures the efficiently of a cooling system and how it will operate when the outdoor temperature is at a certain level.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is an all-in-one cooling and heating system. A heat pump is different because it is all in one, unlike having two separate units (air conditioner & heating system).

How do I know what size unit I need?

Knowing what size unit you need vary completely by the size of your house, insulation, how many people live in the house, the number of windows, major heat producing equipment and personal preference.

What temperature should I set my thermostat?

The temperature settings of your thermostat depend mainly on the time of year and your personal preferences. If it is during the summer time, the average temperature setting is 75°-80°. During winter, we recommend that you keep it between 68°-72°

What is a geothermal system?

A geothermal unit allows you to utilizes the temperature from the constant temperature of your geographical location for heating and cooling your home. While using this system you can save up to 60% energy savings vs. traditional systems.

What is two-stage heating?

A two-stage heating system means that a furnace has two levels of heat output. There are both; high for cold winter days and low for milder days. Having a two-stage means that the furnaces swill tart in the first stage, and will not reach full capacity all at once. Because of this, you will not see a sudden blast of air. When in the low setting, it will meet the household heating demands 80% of the time, allowing a two-stage unit to run for longer periods and provide more even distribution of heated air.

Plumbing FAQs

How do you fix a toilet that a constant running?

When you experience constant running from your toilet. The cause could be because the flapper in the bottom of the tank could be broken and can be easily replaced.

Why does a plumbing system need a vent?

A plumbing system vent does just that: it “vents” the plumbing system in your home. This vent will allow sewer gases to be vented outside the home.

What factors contribute to a high water bill other than leaking faucets and / or pipes?

Most leaks will be caused from the toilet tank. These leaks happen because the parts are either worn or improper alignment with the flushing mechanism.  

If my drain is clogged, should I use a chemical drain cleaner before I call a plumber?

As a rule of thumb, we always advise our clients to never use this method for a serious of reasons. Keeping harsh chemicals likes these in your home are very toxic and are not a good thing to keep around pets or children. When you use these harsh chemicals it may deteriorate your pipes from the inside out. When this happens you will end up having to pay pay even more money to fix and replace drain lines.

What should do if i have a major leak in my home?

As soon as you find a leak in your home the first thing you should do is immediately turn off the water by turning off the water supply at your main shutoff valve. If you can not locate the valve or if you do not have one in your home, you can find your meter and turn off the water there in an emergency situation. When the leak is found you should call a plumber to inspect the problem to prevent any future leaks from happening.

What causes plumbing and drainpipes to rattle all the time?

If you hear any rattling coming from your plumbing and drainpipes the main problem could be that the water lines are not properly secure. This can be a quick and easy fix as long as your water lines are easily accessible. To fix the problem, you will need to have a plumber install plastic pipe hangers that will go between the water lines to keep them in a stable position and prevent them from making rattling or other strange noises.

Why does my hot water smell like rotten eggs?

When you have a strange smell coming from your hot water, the main cause can be from the combination of hydrogen, sulfur, and bacteria. There is a magnesium anode rod which is installed in the tank that protects the tank surface, but will also create enough hydrogen to create an order when it interacts with sulfur in the water or bacteria in the tank. Replacing this magnesium anode rod will help minimize the smell problem. To completely eliminate the smell, the best method is to control the bacteria from building up. To stop the bacteria from building up, you will have to use chlorine injectors or ultraviolet light. This method will destroy the bacteria and eliminate the smell.

Why does my toilet sweat and what can I do?

The sweat is from condensation of the outside of the tank caused when cold water filling the tank up and the humid air in the bathroom. This is not a serious problem, however, there are ways to prevent and minimize the sweat from happening. You can get a mixing valve which will put in your cold water and will warm it up to prevent the sweat from occurring. Another method is to purchase a tank cover which is put on the outside of the tank.

Why won’t water enter the bowl when i try to flush my toilet?

First, make sure the water supply is turned on. Once you ensure the water is on you will want to remove the lid to the toilet tank to check if the chain or strap has broken or became loose. If none of these fix the problem then you may have a blockage in the toilet jets, which is located under the rim of the toilet.

How do i get my toilet tank to stop over flowing?

When this is occurring, one of the most coming problems is because the fill valve in the tank has a leak. If the fill valve has a leak or is old, you should replace it and the over flowing may stop. If this doesn’t solve the problem, then another cause can be because the shaft or wire that is used to set the level corrodes off. If this is the case, then you will have to replace the shaft or wire.

Water Heater FAQs

What type of maintenance should i do on my water heater?

To ensure your water heating maintains the best performance, you will want to have regular maintenances.

  • Keep the top of the water heater clean
  • Maintain a clean space around your water heater.
  • Make sure there are not flammable sources next to the water heater

What does the energy factor (EF) on my water heater mean?

Energy Factor is a measure of the overall efficiency of the water heater. The EF is used to compare the energy efficiency of water heaters.

Why doesn’t my old water heater make as much hot water as it used to?

One of the most common problems is because you have too much sediment buildup in your rank. When heaters get older, they begin to accumulate sediment and lime deposits. To make sure this doesn’t happen to your tank, you will want to have your tank cleaned periodically. When the tanks are cleaned it will create more room for the hot water and won’t make your heater have to work as hard.

If my water heater was in a flood, do i need to replace it?

Simple answer, yes. It is recommended that if your water heater (or any other unit in your home) was in a flood that it should be replaced and not repaired.

Can I use my water heater with a solar heating system?

Because there is a massive increase in the cost of energy, turning to the sun is a way to heat your water and decrease cost. You can purchase a solar water heating storage tank for the use with solar systems.

Is a drain pan necessary?

A drain pan is installed to prevent damaging to floors, ceilings, and furniture if the heater leaks. When you install a drain pan, you will want to make sure you also have a pipe from the drain pan to a drain or other outlet to dispose of the water buildup.