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Water Softener Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I replace my existing heating or air conditioning system?
You may wish to consider replacing your air conditioning or heating system if it is old, inefficient, in need of repair or if you just want something that will keep your more comfortable. Today's systems are as much as 60% more efficient and provide greater comfort than those systems manufactured as little as ten years ago. In addition, if not properly maintained, the dust build up in a system, and normal wear can reduce the actual or realized efficiency of the system. If you are concerned about higher utility bills or are faced with an expensive repair, you may want to consider replacing your system to avoid another costly season or paying to replace an expensive component on a system that might not be very reliable. The utility savings of a new system may provide an attractive return on your investment. If you plan on financing the purchase of a new system, the monthly savings on your utility bill should be considered when determining the actual monthly cost of replacing a system. The offsetting savings may permit you to purchase a more efficient system.
What can I expect to pay for a air conditioning or a heat pump system?
Many different factors can change and determine the cost of a heating or air conditioning system, including the size of your home, if the ductwork installed properly and sized right. Also the accessories you might need such as a thermostat or an electronic air cleaner. We have a complete range of systems and accessories available to meet all your needs. One of our comfort consultants will be happy to assist you in finding the right system to meet your comfort needs and your household budget.
How do I select the right heating/cooling system?
We make sure to do heating and or cooling calculation for your home to determine if the ductwork is the correct size fot the home, then we will calculate the size of equipment that will be needed. Next, consider any comfort issues in the home. Some products can reduce uneven temperatures from room to room. If you have allergies, a new heating/cooling system with an energy efficient fan motor will allow you to circulate the air in your home continuously while filtering the air for about the same cost as operating a standard light bulb. Finally, know your budget parameters and the efficiency of the system being proposed. Does the system offer a payback? In other words, will the monthly savings over time offset the cost of the new unit or efficiency option being considered?
What is involved in replacing an old system?
Aside from the placement of the new equipment, we will assess the whole system and determine if there is anything else it needs in order for it to perform to its ability. Some of the items include: ductwork of correct sizing and location, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical, wiring, thermostat, condensate drain piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, filters, driers, registers, grills, and evaporator coil.
How long can I expect a new system to last?
If the furnaces filters and the system is cleaned on a regular basis, you have a qualified technician perform regular service, and your system was sized and installed correctly to begin with, the industry averages suggest that a heating and air system should last 10-15 years.
When should I change my indoor coil?
When replacing your air conditioner or heat pump, the answer is most likely at that time, unless it is having problems before that. The efficiency ratings that are advertised for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on the performance as part of a matched system. If only the outdoor portion is changed, the efficiency and savings could be less than that of a matched system.
Where do I get replacement parts?
You can only get parts through a licensed professional, give us a call to schedule an appointment for service.
What can I do to control the humidity levels in my home?
Using a variable-speed furnace or air handler as part of your heating and cooling system can reduce humidity levels. Variable speed units run longer, at lower speeds, allowing air to constantly circulate against the cooling coil and remove more moisture during months that are warm and muggy.
Humidity level also can be raised in the winter months by installing a humidifier to your homes heating system, systems that have variable speed motors on the fans can be set up to constantly move the air around in your home and keep the humidity at a constant level that in return provide lots of benefits like keeping you warm and comfortable, keeping your nose and skin moist, and keeping hardwood floors and cabinets looking good.
Variable-speed motors also use less electricity than regular motors, reducing your energy costs.
What can I do before calling someone to service my system?
Furnace, air conditioning or heat pump systems are a complicated series of components that should be serviced by a certified professional technician. However, if your system seems to be malfunctioning, you can try a few of the basics which may correct your problem, prior to calling a service professional. If you do not feel comfortable performing any of these tasks, however, do not hesitate to call or e-mail us to set up a appointment.
- Make sure your circuit breakers are in the on position.
- Make sure your filters are clean.
- Open all of the supply and return vents and make sure they are not being blocked or covered.
- Check the settings and your batteries on your thermostat.
- Make sure the thermostat switch is on the appropriate cool or heat setting.
How does my heating and air conditioning system move air throughout my home?
A fan draws your homes indoor air in through vents called return grills located throughout your home in the bedroom, living rooms and hall ways. There the air travels through ductwork that run to your systems' air handler or furnace where it is heated or cooled down then pushed into the ductwork the connects the supply vents or registers in your wall, ceilings or floors.
How often should I replace the filter?
There's no one specific answer. The frequency of filter changes is driven by how much your heating and air conditioning system operates, which is also determined by the climate in which we live and how often we run our system. Checking the system's filters at once a month is probably the best habit to get into, unless you are doing something to create more dust in your home like remodeling then you would want to check it more often until you are completed. To check the systems filter hold the used filter up to the light and compare it to a clean "spare." When light is obscured by captured dust and dirt particles, the old filter should be changed. Keep a record for one year and then replace the filter on that basis. At a minimum, it is always a good idea to change filters at the start of the heating and cooling seasons and then in between according to your need. Also, it is a good idea to have your heating and air system checked and annual maintenance performed at the beginning of heating and cooling season to insure proper operation.
Can you ad coolant to my system without checking for a leak or repairing an existing leak?
Since 1992 it is illegal to release refrigerants into the atmosphere, either intentional or accidental, because they can cause severe damage to the ozone layer. When refrigerants such as Chlorofluorocarbon’s (CFCs) are removed, they should be recycled to clean out any contaminants and returned to a usable condition. We recommend that the leak is found and repaired.
Is a bigger sized system better?
You don’t want your air conditioner or heat pump to be too big. Air conditioners control the comfort level in your home by removing the heat and humidity thus cooling the air. An oversized air conditioner will cool the home down faster, but it will use more energy and will not remove humidity adequately because of what's called short cycling.
Air conditioners or heat pumps that are too big for your home will have short run cycles. It may take only a short time to cool the air, but the unit shuts off before enough air blows across the indoor coil where moisture condenses into water and drains from your system. Too much moisture left in the air can lead to mold and mildew problems.
Short run cycles also mean your system starts and stops more often which uses more energy and causes a lot of wear and tear. An air conditioner operates more efficiently during long run cycles.
The same logic is true with heating systems. An oversized furnace will warm the house quicker, but it uses more fuel and causes greater temperature swings in the home.
Is a system with matched components important?
Properly sized matched system enables every component to perform as designed, meaning proper cycle times are maintained, humidity is controlled, system sound is minimized and all of the rooms in the home are comfortable.
Another reason matched systems are important is efficiency. Most systems people buy are too large for their homes, which use more energy than needed for your home. A high efficiency comfortable matched system configured by a company who has completed a load calculation for your home provides just the right amount of heating and cooling you need so you get the most value for your utility dollar.
Should I switch to a high efficiency air filter?
Installing a high quality furnace or air handler filter is just as important to the health of your heating and cooling system, like breathing clean air is as important to the health of your family. Without proper filtration, dust and dirt can build up on your system, which impacts operation and efficiency. A high efficiency filter will remove more dust, dirt, and other particles from the air keeping your system in good working condition. No matter what type of filter you have – make sure you change it regularly.
Furnace and air conditioner serviced every year, is it necessary?
Your system needs to be properly maintained, it will lower energy and repair costs, prevent breakdowns and prolong the life of your equipment. Neglecting necessary maintenance will ensures a steady decline in you systems heating and air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.
What can I do to reduce allergens and improve the air quality in my home?
With a high efficiency air cleaning systems you can remove up to 99% of the pollen, viruses, and spores that find their way into the home. There is also a great reduction in household dust, dirt, smoke, odors, and other air pollutants. Your indoor air will become cleaner and fresher while reducing the allergens and dust that circulate throughout the house. And by adding a whole house humidifier with your air cleaner, you can relieve the irritating discomfort of dry indoor air. The humidifier reduces itchy skin, scratchy throats, static electricity, and damage to your furnishings and woodwork. Since humid air feels warmer than dry air, you do not have to set the thermostat as high to feel the comfort you want. A lower thermostat setting will reduce the costs of your energy bill.
What can I do to reduce my energy costs during the heating season?
- There are many new high-efficiency heating system out there. They use less fuel than an older system, and it can save you up to 25% of your home-heating costs in one year, and within a few years, you’ll have recovered the initial cost of replacing/upgrading your homes heating system. Choosing a model with an energy efficient fan motor can save 20% to 50% of the energy normally needed to continuously operate a fan motor.
- Have an annual maintenance
- Install a new thermostat. A programmable thermostat or better yet a thermostat hooked up to your homes WI FI enables you to control your home’s temperature at anytime from anywhere.
- Don’t block vents or grills. Keep your supply and return air vents free of objects like blinds, carpets or furniture so your furnace can operate efficiently and there is even heat distribution in all rooms. People think that they are saving money by blocking off vents but in reality they are just causing problems. The heating system was designed to run with all vents open.
Install ceiling fans – Change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fans. In the winter, the blades should operate in a clockwise direction helping to push the warm air from the ceiling down into the room.
What can I do to reduce my energy bill during the cooling system?
- There are many new high efficient air conditioning or heat pump systems available. Swapping out your old, inefficient system for a high-efficient one can cut electricity bills by one-third. Consult one of our professionals to ensure your system is the right size for your home. Click here to view our current offering.
- Add insulation to your home
- Have an annual maintenance performed – Having an annual maintenance performed on your air conditioner by a licensed technician will help ensure it operates at its peak efficiency and catches any potential breakdowns before they occur.
- Don’t block vents or grills. Keep your supply and return air vents free of objects like blinds, carpets or furniture so your cooling system can operate efficiently and there is even distribution in all rooms. People think that they are saving money by blocking off vents but in reality they are just causing problems. The system was designed to run with all vents open.
What are Heat Pumps and how do they work?
Heat pumps are a great solution for your home if you have electric heat. They work to provide both heating and cooling. Heat pumps have SEER ratings like air conditioners and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) ratings for measuring heating efficiency. Higher SEER and HSPF ratings mean greater energy savings.
Heat pumps are a very efficient upgrade to electric heating systems. A heat pump works the same as an air conditioner in the summer, but it runs in reverse in the winter to heat your home. The system will be matched with a backup-heating source, most often electric heat for those extremely cold days of winter. Heat pumps in heating mode are around 300% more efficient than standard electric heat.
Why does my drain get clogged?
Usually drains are clogged because we are not careful of what gets put in them, especially in the kitchen. Other drains, like in the bathroom, get clogged because of the oil residue from soaps, soap scum, shampoos and hair. It is recommended that you are conscious of what you put down your drains and treat them regularly with a drain cleaner such as Bio-Clean.
What causes faucets to drip?
Usually when a faucet is dripping multiple issues like hard water, high pressure, sediment or debris could cause the problem. The internal parts or the faucet itself needs to be repaired, rebuilt, or replaced. Did you know that you could extend the life of your faucets internal parts by turning off your faucets gently rather than forcefully, adding a filter to your home, installing a quality water softener, and making sure your home does not have water pressure over 80 psi.
How can I prohibit leaking pipes?
Take the time every once and a while to inspect your pipes. If rust or lime is depositing on them, this may indicate a leak is starting. If this is happening, contact Advanced Home Services to address the problem. By having your system checked bi-annually you could stop a small problem before it turns into a large and expensive one. Leaking pipes can damage floors, walls, and belongings, becoming much more costly than if the problem was detected early.
What can I do if the water heater is leaking?
You should call Advanced Home Services right away. Leaking water heaters usually indicate the bottom of the tank has rusted. There are really no good repairs for this problem. You most likely need a new water heater.
What can I put in my garbage disposal?
This can be huge problem for homeowners. Here are some tips to keep your disposal in good working order:
First, always run cold water when grinding to move the waste all the way down the drain lines. Fats and grease congeal and harden in cold water and can be flushed through the system. Hot water should not be used because it can dissolve fats and grease, which may then accumulate in the drain line.
Almost all-biodegradable food waste can be fed into disposers. However, they should not be used to grind clam or oyster shells, cornhusks or other material with high fiber content. Under no circumstances should you put glass, plastic or metal non-food materials through a disposer. This includes bottle caps, tin covers or aluminum foil, which are some of the items service technicians commonly find in clogged or broken disposers. . It is recommended that you are conscious of what you put down your food wasted disposal and treat them regularly with a drain cleaner such as Bio-Clean.
I have low water pressure in my home. What can I do about it?
There are several things that could cause low water pressure, including a partially closed or malfunctioning shut off valves, Plugged faucets, a crimped water line, or deposits that gather in older galvanized pipes. If your neighbors have strong water pressure, the problem is most likely between the water meter and your home if on municipal water or otherwise known as city water. Also Homes on their own well could be experiencing other issues like bad well pumps, pressure tanks, pressure switches, and or other electrical components. A highly trained Advanced Home Services plumber will be able to identify the problem and explain your options.
How do I eliminate the foul odor coming from my garbage disposal?
This is a common household question. Foul odors occur from a buildup of food debris, grease, and soap scum within the disposal. To eliminate odors, place ice cubes and lemon peels or orange peels in the disposal, and run for 20 seconds. Then run water for 45 seconds to flush. Next try mixing up some Bio Clean and pouring it into the disposer, let it sit over night.
Replacing a toilet in my home?
When needing a new toilet for your home, we recommend that you choose one made by a quality manufacturer. If cracks or fissures are present in the tank or bowl, this can impede the operation of the fixture. Improper installation, deteriorated seals and flanges can affect the operation as well. The new toilets conform to new government standards that require they use no more than 1.6 gallons per flush; so buying a good one is a must if you don't want to become an expert with the plunger!
How Much should I water my lawn and how frequent?
A good Practice is to water less frequently with longer watering times. Water 2 to 3 day's a week and long enough to put down at least a ½ “ of water each day. Most lawns around eastern Idaho need between 1 to 2 inches of water depending on how hot and windy the weather is. Also take into consideration your type of soil.
What time of day should I water my lawn?
It is best to water in the early morning hours as close to sunrise as possible to minimize the chance of fungus.
OK, what steps do you have to do to winterize your sprinklers?
Start with shutting off the main supply of water to the system, and make sure it is off all of the way. Drain the system by using an air compressor, use it to force air through the system and evacuate the water. Be careful not to use too much pressure of air or you could break or damage your sprinkler system. Too little volume of air or too low a pressure and you will fail to evacuate most of the water. Any residual water left may lead to a possible winter freeze-up and damage.
How do water softeners affect a septic system or drain field?
The University of Wisconsin conducted a study in the 1970’s confirming that a salt-brine discharge from water softeners had no adverse effects on the operation of typical anaerobic or newer style aerobic home treatment systems. Data also gathered during that study stating water softener regeneration discharge did not interfere with drain field soil percolation and under some circumstances, improved soil percolation. The significant and beneficial difference is that septic tank effluents containing water softener effluents include substantial amounts of calcium and magnesium, which balance the effect of sodium, in addition to promoting and sustaining soil permeability. The study results indicated that it is preferable to discharge water softener waste to septic systems than to separate dry wells or ditches.
I was interested in purchasing a water softener and was wondering if I would still use the same amount of soap if I were to have one installed in my home?
No, the Water Quality Association says soft water can save up to 55% on detergent use whether it’s in the Shower, Bathtub, clothes washer, or dishwasher or just for general cleaning. Start with using half the amount of soap you have used previously, this can be adjusted up or down based on preference. The combination of soap or detergents and hard water can make your clothes fabrics brittle; this is eliminated with soft water so fabrics last longer (you will notice a big reduction in the amount of lint you will be cleaning out of your lint trap from your dryer).
In Eastern Idaho, are there different types of well water?
Water from a well may have a variety of elements, so not all well water is the same, even among wells within close proximity to each other, some might be deeper than the other or closer to the river or a canal. Typical well water issues include sand, sediment, hardness, bacteria and iron. You should have your well water tested to determine the proper treatment for your water.
What causes rust staining?
Iron is not immediately visible as it flows from your faucet, and iron is the culprit. Upon exposure to air, the iron oxidizes, leaving rust colored stains on sinks, showers, clothing, and plumbing fixtures.
Does hard water affect appliances and plumbing fixtures that use water?
Hard water causes build-up in plumbing and water-using appliances, leading to a restricted flow of water in appliances and fixtures such as washing machines, dish washers, water heater and plumbing appliances. Ultimately the build-up leads to the need to service or replace these items more frequently. In many hard water areas, it is common for the flow of running water through household water lines to be decreased.
How does a water softener work?
Hard water enters your water softener and passes down through the resin, which are charged with sodium ions. The hard water ions (calcium and magnesium) are attracted to the resin and an equal amount of sodium ions are bumped off. When the water reaches the bottom of the tank, it is softened and ready to use.