Advanced Home Services Blog

How to Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal

December 3rd, 2014

Garbage disposals can be great tools for your home and kitchen, but if misused, they can cause clogs and costly repairs. Knowing how to take care of your garbage disposal can help you keep it running well. Here are some tips from our Advanced Home Services technicians to help you properly maintain your garbage disposal:

  • Dispose food only – it’s called a garbage disposal, but it isn’t really for all kinds of garbage; what it is for is to pulverize food waste. As such, putting items like glass, cans or paper will cause problems to develop with your disposal.
  • Do not pour grease down the disposal – just as it’s bad to pour grease down your sink drain, it is just as bad to do it with a garbage disposal. While the grease may not affect the disposal very much, it will cling to the piping, and can eventually cause a blockage to develop.
  • Use only cold water – it can seem counter-intuitive, but warm or hot water causes grease and food to liquefy and stick to the pipes, so it’s best to use cold water to wash food down into the disposal.
  • Run water before and after using – it’s recommended that you run water for 20 seconds before and after using the disposal to help with optimal operation.
  • Clean with ice cubes – it is recommended that once a month you use ice cubes to clean your disposal. Simply grind a few ice cubes while running cold water; this has a scouring action and can help clean out sticking debris.
  • Be judicious with potato peels – potato peels can become pasty when they are wet; as such, putting an abundance of potato peels down your disposal can create a situation where the potato peels create a thick paste that can cause the blades to stick.
  • Don’t put “expandable” foods into the disposal – foods like pasta and rice expand when left in water; the same thing will happen with the disposal and can cause clogs to develop.
  • Don’t use drain cleaners – drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that can erode both the piping and the components of your garbage disposal.

Your garbage disposal can help you manage your food waste, but only if you treat the device properly. If you are experiencing problems with your garbage disposal or any other type of plumbing issue, call us today. We professional service garbage disposals and offer a variety of plumbing services in the Rigby area.

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Advanced Home Services, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Which Kind of Furnace Will Work Best for My Home?

November 19th, 2014

Furnaces are the most common kind of whole-house heating system in the U.S. and have been for many years. However, furnaces do not come in a one-size-fits-all model: there are numerous different types of systems that use a variety of fuel sources. They share in common that they heat air and then distribute it through a home via a blower fan and ductwork. Almost everything else varies from model to model.

This raises a key question: “When shopping for a new furnace installation for my home, which one is the best?” We can’t answer this question in a general blog post, because every home and family has different heating needs and available energy sources. We can help you sort out some of your options and think about what type might do the ideal job for your home. However, to ensure that you end up with the correct furnace to suit all your requirements, call the professionals at Advanced Home Services. We have helped many families with the installation of furnaces in Pocatello, ID, starting with the selection of the right units.

Natural Gas Furnace

This is the most popular kind of residential furnace, and the one that we recommend if you have a natural gas line already connected to your home. These furnaces have among the most powerful heating levels of any heater on the market and can overcome extreme cold weather even in poorly insulated homes. They are also cost-effective because natural gas is a less expensive fuel source than electricity.

Electric Furnace

Since all homes have electricity, an electric furnace is always an option. Although more expensive to run than a natural gas furnace, an electric furnace can still provide high levels of warmth, and have the advantage of costing less to install and having long service lives. They are also good options if you do not want to use natural gas in your home.

Propane Furnace

If you don’t have a natural gas line, but would prefer to have a less costly system than an electric furnace, a furnace that runs off stored propane is a good choice. The new propane furnaces are much more fuel-efficient than the older ones and can generate excellent heat levels.

Advanced Home Services offers high quality installation services for furnaces in Pocatello, ID: we install natural gas, electric, and propane furnaces. In addition to our skilled installation jobs, we also offer 2-year parts and labor warranties on the majority of our services, and our upfront pricing will assure that you know in advance what you will pay before we begin the work. Give us a call today to schedule your furnace installation.

3 Advantages of Boiler Installation

November 12th, 2014

Boilers have been around a long time and for good reason: they are durable, reliable systems. Some may think that a boiler system isn’t as up-to-date as some other systems, but this simply isn’t true. Today’s boilers are energy efficient and offer homeowners some benefits that other systems do not. We’ll outline some of these benefits below, but if you are ready for a new heating installation in Idaho Falls, call the trained and certified technicians who can do the job correctly and efficiently: Advanced Home Services.

How Do Boilers Work?

Most boilers today use hot water to heat your home, but there are some that still use steam. In either case, the water used is held in a vessel. When a new heating cycle starts, the fuel for your boiler is ignited in the combustion chamber; the most common fuels used are natural gas and oil, but some boilers can also use solid fuels. The heat and gases from the combustion heat the water in your system anywhere from 160 to 180 degrees. With steam boilers, a small dome captures the steam and releases it when the correct temperature is achieved; a hot water system requires help to move the water, so once the right temperature is achieved, circulator pumps push the water through the piping. Heating outlets can be radiators, baseboard heating or hydronic floor heating. When the water cools, it returns to the vessel for the next heating cycle.

Advantages of Boiler Systems

Here are some of the advantages boiler systems have over other heating systems:

  • Good for allergy sufferers – forced air systems blow heat into your living spaces, which inevitably swirls dust and other potential contaminants around your home; this is not the case with a boiler system.
  • Easily zoned – the piping system that distributes the hot water or steam can be easily separated into zones, helping you to customize your home’s heating.
  • Comfortable heating – the heat from a boiler system is gradual and even, so it can feel more comfortable to some homeowners as compared to a forced air system.

Boiler systems can be great for many homes. To determine if a boiler is the right heating installation for your home in Idaho Falls, call Advanced Home Services today and schedule an appointment with one of our trained experts.

What Is the Best New Heating System for My Home?

November 5th, 2014

Winter is coming, and people are beginning to prepare their home heating systems for the frosty onslaught. If you’re thinking about replacing or upgrading your heating system, the number of options can be quite daunting. Fortunately, we’ve compiled this helpful list for residential modular and mobile homes in the market for new heaters. Read on to find what system works best for you.

Heat Pumps

A heat pump is unlike other systems in that it does not burn fuel to create heat. Instead, it “pumps” heat from outside the home into the home to warm it. It does this through the use of two units, an interior and an exterior. The exterior siphons thermal energy from the surrounding air and directs it inside to the interior unit, where it is used to warm and circulate the air. This makes the heat pump quite energy efficient compared to other systems, though it loses some of that efficiency in consistently sub-zero temperatures.

Radiant Heating

Radiant heating is a boiler-based system that revolves around water pipes installed in the walls or floor of a room. Sometimes there will be terminal units, like iron radiators or baseboard heaters, installed in the room. The boiler than heats and distributes hot water through these pipes, which radiates heat upward and outward into the room. This system is very energy efficient, avoiding the 20-30% heat loss to duct leaks that forced air systems experience.

Radiant heating is also much more adept at evenly distributing heat where it is most needed. Warm air from a forced air system will rise to the ceiling until it cools, descending to the floor and creating uncomfortable heat fluctuations. Radiant heating transmits thermal energy through solid objects, avoiding this problem altogether by keeping heating closer to the floor. By avoiding blowing air throughout the house, radiant heating also avoids circulating contaminants like pollen and viruses. You will notice a vast improvement in air quality after installing a radiant heating system.

If you’re thinking about installing a new heating system this season for your residential modular or mobile home, contact Advanced Home Services to schedule an appointment today. We provide quality heating services in the Rigby area.

What Are Slab Leaks and Why Do I Need a Plumber to Fix One?

October 29th, 2014

When plumbing leaks occur anywhere on your property, they require immediate professional attention. Leaks can dramatically increase your water usage, leading to higher utilities, reduced water pressure, potential flooding, and structural damage.

A slab leak is a leak that occurs underneath the concrete foundation of your home. A slab leak is a serious issue, as it may be difficult to detect, and water may pool underneath the concrete leading to foundational damage. While any type of leak threatens to damage your home, a slab leak can be particularly devastating because there may be some delay in detection. In many cases, your insurance won’t cover you if the damage has progressed too far, which is why early detection is key.

Detecting a Slab Leak

If you notice the signs of a slab leak and call a professional for repairs early on, you may reduce the potential damage to your home and keep any renovation costs to a minimum. A telltale sign of a slab leak is cracks in the walls of your home. Unfortunately, when cracks begin to form in the foundation of your home, they could cause a chain reaction that causes cracks to form along the walls or windows. When this happens, the damage is unsafe to the members of your household, and you’ll need repairs right away.

However, you can detect slab leaks earlier by paying attention to a few key factors. Listen for the sound of rushing water and watch for unusual water spots that appear to be coming from underneath your property. Check your water bills for any recent inconsistencies. And pay attention to reduced water pressure in your home, which is always a sign that you should call a plumber.

Repairing a Slab Leak

Repairing a slab leak is a difficult job, as it requires pinning down the exact location of a leak. For the inexperienced technician, this means dismantling some areas of your property. However, experts have listening devices and sensors that help plumbers to detect the precise area of the leak before making any major decisions about repair.

You’ll need professionals with the right tools and a keen sense of detection to help spot one of the most difficult plumbing leaks. When you require professional plumbing in Pocatello, ID for residential and mobile homes, call the experts at Advanced Home Services.

Why Use a Water Softener?

October 20th, 2014

There is no denying the incredible convenience that a quality plumbing system brings to our lives. From washing dishes and doing the laundry to brushing your teeth and showering, there are countless ways in which access to running water in your home, as well as the means by which to dispose of it, benefit you. That being said, it is important to note that there are a whole lot of things that can go wrong with the plumbing system that you depend upon so much. One issue that many homeowners encounter is hard water. This is the type of problem that may seem like little more than a nuisance, but can actually cause some real issues. With the right water softener for your home in Idaho Falls, ID from Advanced Home Services, you can nip this problem in the bud.

Hard water is the result of high levels of minerals in your water, such as calcium and magnesium. These minerals cause a few problems around the house and throughout the day. First of all, the hard water that they cause can leave you feeling less than refreshed after showering. Hard water makes it difficult to get a good lather from your soap. This is not confined to the soap that you use to clean your body, though. Dish and laundry detergent will suffer in performance quality as well. Worse, the hard water can interact with these soaps and detergents, leaving behind unsightly soap scum. With a water softener, you can ensure that your dishes, laundry, and you are all better cleaned.

Additionally, hard water can leave deposits on plumbing fixtures and inside your pipes. This is problematic for a few reasons. First of all, the buildup of these minerals is quite visually unappealing on your faucets and drains. Secondly, it can lead to issues with drainage and your plumbing system as a whole, including different appliances which work in conjunction with your pipes.

A water softener may be the right option for you if you have issues with hard water in your home. Just remember that it is important that you work with a professional plumber if you hope to resolve your problem entirely. If you think that you may need a water softener to improve water quality in your house, call the pros at Advanced Home Services today.

Signs That You Need a Humidifier

October 13th, 2014

There are a lot of ways in which your indoor air quality can suffer. It can be a bit more difficult to realize that there are problems with your indoor air quality than it is to notice that temperatures in your home are uncomfortable. Make no mistake about it, though: the quality of the air in your home is every bit as important to your overall comfort as the temperature is. That is why you may find yourself in need of the services that only a skilled indoor air quality specialist can provide. One common IAQ issue that many homeowners encounter is very dry air in their homes. To solve this problem, a whole house humidifier in Idaho Falls, ID is your best bet.

Before you can schedule your humidifier installation service, of course, you must first recognize that the air in your home is too dry to begin with. Fortunately (so to speak), there are a number of early warning signs that can alert you to the situation. One of the most obvious is the impact that dry air can have on your body. You may suffer from dry, itchy skin as a result of dry air. Sore throats may be common, and you could even encounter frequent bloody noses. Humidifying the air to proper levels can help to resolve such problems.

Very dry air can have just as negative an effect on your home as it may your body, of course. If the air is dry, your wallpaper may peel away from the wall and your paint may chip. It is even possible for wooden fixtures and floorboards to splinter and crack if the problem is pervasive enough. Because of this, a whole-house humidifier can actually protect your property as much as it can your comfort.

Of course, it is necessary that you schedule your whole-house humidifier installation with a qualified technician. These devices are installed directly into your HVAC system, unlike portable models. To learn more about the benefits of using a humidifier in Idaho Falls, ID, or to schedule humidifier services, just give the exceptional staff at Advanced Home Services a call today.

Why Consider Using a Tankless Water Heater?

October 6th, 2014

One of the greatest luxuries that we enjoy as modern homeowners is a steady supply of hot water for use throughout the home. From washing up at the end of a long day to doing the dishes and cleaning your linens, your water heater is in high demand. That is precisely why it is so important that you choose the right water heater for your home and specific demands. There are a number of water heaters available on the market today. While there is no “best” water heater, of course, there is one best suited to your preferences and usage habits. One well-worth your consideration is the tankless water heater. To determine if a tankless water heater in Idaho Falls, ID is the right option for you, just call the pros at Advanced Home Services.

To understand the benefits of a tankless water heater, it is necessary to understand the operation of such systems. As you have probably figured out, tankless water heaters manage to heat the water that you need without the use of a storage tank. This has earned them the alternate moniker of “on-demand” water heaters. When you call for hot water at a point of use in your home, it passes through the tankless water heater and is heated along the way. The elimination of the storage tank can benefit you in a few different ways.

First of all, tankless water heaters are much smaller than storage tank models, allowing them to be tucked away in small closets and similarly tight locations. Plus, you won’t have to worry about the standby energy loss that tank style water heaters are subject to. When you maintain a reservoir of hot water at the ready, it is inevitable that some of that heat will go to waste. This means that you must pay to replace the lost energy. This is not the case with a tankless water heater, which means that the use of such a system can boost energy efficiency in your home.

To discuss the installation of a tankless water heater in Idaho Falls, ID, give Advanced Home Services a call. We are here to answer any questions that you may have. Whichever water heater you decide upon, know that we will install and service that system expertly. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

Why Schedule Professional Drain Cleaning?

September 29th, 2014

At first glance, you may not think that slow moving or clogged drains are really that serious of a problem. Don’t be fooled, though: drain clogs are much more than a minor nuisance, and pervasive issues with clogged drains demand the skill and expertise of a professional to resolve entirely. There are a number of products and methods that you may use in order to clean your drains on your own, or, at least, to attempt to. If you really want your drains cleaned effectively and responsibly, though, you are wise to schedule professional drain cleaning in Idaho Falls, ID. In order to do so, you need only give the professional plumbers at Advanced Home Services a call.

While you may not think too much of a clogged drain at first, keep in mind the fact that there is a delicate balance of pressure in your plumbing system. Depending on where the clog is, as well as the severity of the clog, it is possible for it to upset this balance of pressure, which can result in serious operational problems and even damages to your pipes. The trouble with DIY attempts at cleaning your drains is the fact that, like it or not, you are likely going to leave parts of the clog behind.

Harsh chemical cleaners may be able to remove parts of the clog, but the pieces they leave behind will waste no time in building themselves back up. You are essentially pouring money down the drain. And yes, you can buy a drain snake at the hardware store: however, you are as likely to force it through a clog, opening up a hole while leaving material on the surface of the pipe, as you are to actually remove it effectively.

A professional plumber not only has the right tools to clean your drains thoroughly, but also the expertise to use those tools with precision. Schedule your professional drain cleaning in Idaho Falls, ID with Advanced Home Services today to enjoy the exceptional performance that you deserve from your drains. We can inspect your pipelines with specialized equipment, and we can use hydro jetting technology to blast blockages into oblivion. Call us today to schedule an appointment.