Tag Archives: massachusetts homeowners

How to Prepare Your Holliston Home for Hot Weather This Summer

The weather this summer is hot. And your home may be making it difficult to stay comfortable inside. Is your Holliston home ready for the summer? Knowing how to prepare your Holliston home for hot weather will keep you comfortable this summer.

How to Protect and Secure Your Home Against the Heat

programmable thermostat3
Source: iStock.com/Wojciech Kozielczyk

What can you do to get your home ready?

  • Keep the cool inside by weatherproofing your home. Hot air can get in from the outside through cracks around doors and windows. You can use caulk to seal any openings around frames. Weatherstripping provides protection around the moving parts of windows and doors.
  • Have your HVAC system checked. Like most mechanical equipment, your A/C needs routine maintenance to work smoothly. Once a year, have an HVAC professional do a tune-up and inspection.
  • Change your air filters regularly. Your air filters help your HVAC run smoothly and efficiently. When they get clogged, it can decrease the system’s efficiency.
  • Use your ceiling fans, in the right direction. During the summer, your ceiling fans should rotate counterclockwise for the best movement of air. The movement of the air will make your skin feel cooler and let you turn the A/C up a few degrees. If you don’t have ceiling fans, install them this summer.
  • Put your drapes to work. When the sun is streaming in your windows, it is heating up your home. Use your drapes to keep the heat at bay. If you don’t have insulated drapes, consider installing them. They can make a real difference in how comfortable your home is.
  • Get a programmable thermostat. You can program the thermostat to have your home nice and cool when you are there, and save money when you are not there.

Once you know how to prepare your home for hot weather, you can enjoy the fun that summer brings. And there is a bonus. Many of the things you do for the summer will translate to better comfort in the colder months. If you need someone to inspect your HVAC system, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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Why You Should Update the Plumbing Fixtures in an Old House

You live in older home with older plumbing fixtures. Those fixtures work well enough. You may be thinking, “Why should I update the plumbing fixtures in my home if they are all working?” Before you learn how to update the plumbing in an old house, you need to know why it is important.

Why You Need to Update

plumber
Source: iStock.com/Ridofranz

Here are 7 reasons why updating your home’s plumbing is important:

  1. It makes things look new again. There is no reason why your old home needs to look old. New faucets and drains can make your bathrooms and kitchen look more modern and up to date.
  2. It is more hygienic. Older drains often do not let waste flow away efficiently. This can leave standing waste within inches of your drain opening. That is a breeding ground for bacteria and other microbes.
  3. It is better for the environment. Adding aerators to your faucets and replacing your old showerhead with a low flow model will help reduce the amount of water you use drastically, which is environmentally sound.
  4. It is better for your wallet. While you are saving water, you are saving money at the same time. If you upgrade your old water heater for a new one, you can save on electrical or fuel costs also.
  5. It can prevent property damage. Old leaky pipes can do a lot of property damage if not repaired or replaced. Wood rot, a corroded foundation, and damaged drywall are just a few examples.
  6. It can improve the quality of your water. If you have lead pipe or galvanized steel pipe in your home, you likely have high levels of poisonous contamination in your drinking and cooking water.
  7. It can prevent indoor air quality issues. Many older homes have mold and mildew caused by leaky pipes. Mold spores are a major contributor to poor indoor air quality in many homes.

You can see why updating your plumbing is so important. If you want more advice on how to update your plumbing in an old house, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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5 Reasons Why You Should Let Professionals Install Plumbing Systems

Calling in a plumber often sounds like a waste of time. DIY shows and online videos make it sound like plumbing systems are something a homeowner can do without the help of a professional. The reality is a bit different. There are certain advantages of professional plumbing installation that make it well worth the investment.

Why Leave It to the Professionals

plumber
Source: iStock.com/AndreyPopov

Here are five reasons to leave plumbing issues to the professionals:

  • Prevent water damage. If an installation or repair is done incorrectly, the chances of a leak occurring is quite high. What may start out as a minor, occasional drip can gradually lead to a major water leak or burst pipe. That can lead to water damage inside walls, through the ceiling below, and eventually
  • Doing the job right the first time. Many homeowners find that trying to do the work themselves ends up costing them more in the long run. For example, cutting the hole for a new sink in the countertop requires precision. One wrong cut and you either have to replace the countertop or get a new sink.
  • Prevent gas leaks or electrical shocks. Some plumbing-related jobs involve natural gas lines or electrical wiring. If the work is not done properly, the potential of a deadly gas leak or a fatal shock is quite significant.
  • Get the work done within code. Local building codes are there to prevent potential problems. Our professional plumbers knows and follows these codes. Not only it is the smart thing to do, it is also the legal thing to do.
  • Keep the water and waste flowing properly. If you do not have drain lines installed at the proper slope, you can end up with slow drain lines and waste backing up into your house. Improperly installed water lines can bang around due to air in the lines. Those are just a few of the plumbing problems that can happen if the pipes are not installed and secured properly.

If you want the advantages of professional plumbing installation, give us a call at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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How to Choose Plumbing Fixtures for Your New Holliston Home

Learning how to choose plumbing fixtures for a new home starts behind the scenes. While you may be focusing on the finishes and styles of your faucets, it is very important to consider what is going on behind the walls and under the floors first. That is where the majority of your plumbing runs. And you want the plumbing to work with minimal problems for decades to come.

In the past few decades, plumbers gave homeowners two choices: galvanized steel or copper pipes. Today, there are a number of choices available, many of which are more reliable than those stand-by choices.

There are three things to consider when selecting your pipe material.

How will it be installed?

galvanized steel pipes
Source: iStock.com/curraheeshutter

Copper pipes are joined together with pipe fittings sealed with solder, which is melted using a torch. Many house fires have been associated with misuse of a torch. Modern plumbing materials do not need the use of a torch, instead joining with solvent cement instead.

How long do you want it to last?

Hard water or corrosive soil conditions can erode metal pipe, especially those made with copper. To avoid the need to replace your plumbing system in just a few years, you need to go with plumbing materials that can stand up to potentially corrosive conditions. CPVC, for example, has a proven track record for being able to withstand decades of extreme water and soil conditions.

Will the pipe material affect drinking quality?

Lead piping used to be a common fixture in many older homes. Today, it is completely banned because the lead leaches into the water, poisoning the people who drank it. Pipes made from other metals, like copper or steel, can start leaching into the water as they begin to corrode. Going with a material that doesn’t corrode is the better choice for your water quality over the long term.

Before you learn how to choose plumbing fixtures for a new home, learn a bit about the pipes to be installed in your home. Contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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Important Home Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

Your A/C is one of your main defenses against the heat of the Massachusetts summer. To keep your air conditioning unit working efficiently throughout the summer, you need to keep it in good working order. You can use these home air conditioner maintenance tips to keep the cool air flowing all summer long.

A/C Maintenance Tips

air filter
Source: iStock.com/BackyardProduction

Here are five tips to help you maintain your A/C system:

  1. Change the air filters. The air filter in your A/C captures dust and fine particulates. It keeps the interior of the equipment clean, which promotes efficient operation. It also helps clean the air, promoting good indoor air quality. If a filter gets clogged, it can cause the A/C to run harder. Clean or change the air filters at least once a month.
  2. Clean the supply and return vents. Even with a good air filter, dust can get into your ducts and the A/C system. One way to keep this to a minimum is to clean the return air vents. You can use a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner or use a brush to remove the dust. You should also clean the supply vents. If you find excessive dust in those vents, you may need a duct cleaning.
  3. Clean the condenser coil. Dirt and debris can clog the fins on the condenser unit. This decreases its efficiency. You can use a vacuum or a gentle spray of water to clear these fins.
  4. Clear away any blockages around the condenser. The condenser needs a clear air flow to run smoothly. You need to make sure there are no weeds, dirt, or leaves blocking the air flow.
  5. Schedule a maintenance visit. To remain efficient, your A/C needs a regular tune-up and inspection. This should be done by a licensed HVAC technician once a year. He will do routine maintenance, check fluid levels, and electrical connections, among many other things.

These home air conditioner maintenance tips should keep your A/C running smoothly and at optimal levels. If you need to schedule routine maintenance, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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Which HVAC System Size Fit My Home?

Is your current HVAC system too small or too large? Up to 50 percent of heating and cooling systems installed in the U.S. are not sized properly. Knowing how to choose the right size HVAC system will cut your energy costs.

HVAC system
Source: iStock.com/Maudib

Undersized HVAC Equipment

One obvious sign of an undersized HVAC system is an uncomfortable home on the hottest and coldest days of the year. The unit is running continuously, but the house never gets comfortable. On moderate days, the system runs much more than it should. That translates into higher energy bills.

There are also hidden costs. Because the system is running so much, it sustains excessive wear and tear. That leads to more frequent repairs and shortens the life of the equipment.

Oversized HVAC Equipment

Oversized HVAC systems cycle on and off frequently. During the summer, the A/C does not have enough time to remove the excess humidity in the house. That can lead to mold growth. The frequent cycling also causes excessive wear and tear, leading to more repairs and a shorter life.

You are going to also pay more upfront installing an oversized unit.

Getting Properly Sized HVAC Equipment

If you need to replace your current HVAC equipment, keep these things in mind:

  • Don’t let the contractor do a one-for-one swap based on the current size of the unit. If your current unit is over or under-sized, you do not want to replace it with the same size unit.
  • Don’t let your HVAC contractor use a rule of thumb (like one ton of capacity for every 500 square feet) for guessing the size of the new equipment.
  • Make sure your HVAC contractor in Holliston uses Manual J from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America to calculate the size of your new HVAC equipment. This is a comprehensive method for figuring out the exact load that your home needs based on its size, dimensions, orientation, and features.

Save money by knowing how to choose the right size HVAC system. If you need to replace your HVAC equipment, call here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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5 Helpful Tips for Your Window Air Conditioning Unit

A window air conditioning unit is a good choice for keeping part of your home comfortable during the hot Massachusetts summer. However, like other kinds of mechanical equipment, it needs routine maintenance and care to perform efficiently. What window air conditioning unit tips can you use to keep your system running smoothly?

window air conditioning unit
Source: iStock.com/stask

Tips to Keep Things Smooth and Cool

Try these tips to keep your window air conditioning unit performing in top condition:

  • Isolate the area being cooled by the window unit. Window units are not made to cool an entire home. It is usually meant to cool only one or two rooms. For efficient operations, it is good practice to isolate those spaces from the rest of the house. Closing doors and sealing window leaks will usually do the trick.
  • Make sure your window unit is properly sized. Don’t make the mistake of trying to use an undersized unit to cool too large a space. The unit will never shut off, driving your energy consumption through the roof. Plus, the space will never reach a comfortable temperature. The right-sized unit will do the job efficiently.
  • Do not run heat-generating equipment when the A/C is running. If you run a stove, dryer, or other heat-generating appliance, the A/C is going to have to fight that heat to keep the space cool. Avoid using them when the A/C is on. Otherwise, you may find your electric bill going sky high.
  • Use window treatments to keep windows shaded. If any of the windows in the space you are trying to cool gets direct sunlight, you need to block it to prevent heat gain. Blinds, curtains, or shutters will do the trick.
  • Have routine maintenance performed once a year. This is true for any kind of air conditioning equipment. It will keep the system running efficiently, reduce repair needs, and extend the life of the equipment.

If you follow these window air conditioning unit tips, your space will stay cool without driving your electric bills too high. For more information on air conditioning solutions, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.

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Helpful Air Conditioning Tips for Spring in Massachusetts

Warmer weather has arrived here in Massachusetts. Summer weather is just around the corner. You need to take advantage of the mild spring weather to get your air conditioning ready for the hot weather ahead. Use these air conditioning tips for spring in Massachusetts.

Tips for Getting Your A/C Ready

air conditioning unit
Source: iStock.com/Maudib

Here are five tips for getting your A/C ready for summer:

  1. Clear trash, debris, and weeds from around your outside condensing unit. It needs clear airflow to work efficiently. Over the autumn and winter, leaf debris can accumulate around its base. As spring starts to blossom, weeds have a tendency to sprout up everywhere. Remove it all.
  2. Wash the exterior condensing unit off with a hose. If there is caked grime, a mild solution of water and dish detergent should remove it. Do not use a pressure washer on the outside unit as the pressurized water can damage the fins and other components.
  3. Change your air filters. This is actually something you should do every month. To cool your house efficiently, the A/C blower needs a steady supply of air. A clogged filter restricts air flow. Plus, it allows dust and debris to get into the A/C equipment and blow throughout your house, lowering your indoor air quality significantly.
  4. Clean your vents and registers. Even with regular air filter changes, some dust is going to make its way into the air ducts. It will often settle on the fins of vents and registers. Spring is the perfect time to clean those fins.
  5. Schedule an annual maintenance visit. Before you turn the A/C on for the season, make sure it is in good shape. An annual service call from a trained A/C technician will do the trick. This will keep the A/C running efficiently, minimize repair needs, and extend the life of the equipment.

These air conditioning tips for spring will keep you comfortable in the coming months of summer. If you need to schedule an annual maintenance visit for your A/C, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve the Route 495/128 are of Massachusetts.

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Don’t Forget to Spring Clean Your HVAC System

Winter is gone. The warmer winds of spring have arrived. It is the perfect time to get some spring cleaning done. If you are getting your spring to-do list together, don’t forget to spring clean your HVAC system.

Your spring cleaning HVAC list

replacing air filter
Source: iStock.com/simazoran

Use this simple checklist to get your HVAC systems ready:

  • Have a professional do routine maintenance. Your HVAC equipment needs annual maintenance to keep it running efficiently. This helps reduce repair costs and prolongs the life of the system.
  • Check and replace your air filters. This is something you should do every month. However, if your A/C is separate from your heating, you may not have checked the A/C filter since last fall. Now is the time to do it.
  • Make sure the drain hole is not plugged. Under your inside A/C unit, you will find a drain hole where moisture escapes. If that hole gets plugged, it could overflow causing damage to your home.
  • Clear any debris or dirt from around outside units. Dirt, fallen leaves, weeds and trash can clog the airflow going into and out of the unit. It is also important to make sure no plants are growing too close. Airflow is critical for it to run efficiently.
  • Clean vents and registers. It is very easy for dust and other particulates to cling to the fins on vents and registers. You can use a soft cloth or brush to remove any built-up dust. This helps keep air flowing.
  • Have your ductwork cleaned. If you see a shower of dust coming out of your vents when your heating or cooling turns on, you need to have your duct work cleaned. This will help improve indoor air quality year round.

Spring cleaning your HVAC system will only take a short amount of time. However, it is time well spent in making sure it will work as the warmth of summer arrives.

If you need an HVAC professional to check your HVAC system, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. We proudly serve our neighbors in the Route 495/128 area of Massachusetts.

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5 Benefits of Hiring a Professional Plumber in Massachusetts

Do you have a clogged drain? Is there a pipe leaking? Then you need a plumber. While you may be able to fix some minor problems on your own, there are certain benefits of hiring a professional plumber that cannot be ignored.

plumber
Source: iStock.com/Ridofranz

The Benefits

Here are five benefits you will get with professional plumbing services:

  1. Get quick, effective service, any time of day or night. Plumbing failures can happen at any time. You need to get the leak fixed or that drain unclogged quickly to prevent damage and smelly back-ups. A good plumber is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  2. Make sure a simple problem does not turn into a major one. It may appear that you have a simple leak. However, that simple leak may be just the first sign of a major problem. A professional plumber can fix the obvious problem and make sure it does not turn into something worse. They can also handle complicated problems that can be too much for an average DIY’er.
  3. Ensure you get the right parts. Plumbers know which parts should be used in each situation. They know where to get the odd parts that may not be available from your local home improvement store. If a part is no longer made, they know what parts can be swapped out safely.
  4. Get advice on improving your home’s plumbing. If you live in an older home, you may have had ongoing issues with your current plumbing set-up. Pipes are failing. Drains are slow. The water heater is costing you a fortune. A good plumber can give you advice on what plumbing upgrades you should make.
  5. Find someone you can rely on in an emergency. Once you have a good relationship established with a plumber, you can call him without any hesitation. This relationship will serve you well for many years.

The benefits of hiring a professional plumber are well worth the investment into your home. If you need professional plumbing services, call us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. We serve the Route 495/128 area of Massachusetts.

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