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How To: Test Your Home’s Water Pressure

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When it comes to the water pressure in your home there is a fine line you can walk! The water pressure in your home should be hard enough to take comfortable showers and fill cooking pots in a sensible time; however, if the water pressure is too high it can cause unwanted stress on your pipes.  There are a few methods to take in order to determine your specific home’s water pressure.  As always the BELOMAN is here to help!

Testing Pressure:
Pressure gauge: A pressure gauge is a tool that can easily be attached to your outside house faucet to determine the pressure in your house. Contact us for more info on this special pressure gauge!  According to Mark, our residential plumbing manager a psi of 60-70 is a really good reading!
Use current fixtures: If you are house hunting and are without a pressure gauge there is another way to check the water pressure.  All you have to do it turn on the shower and any sink faucets in the bathroom, flush the toilet and see what happens with the water flow!  If it appears the water pressure in the shower drops significantly there should be additional investigative work performed to see why the water pressure is not up to par.

Causes:
Leak: Your plumbing could have a leak that needs to be detected.  Leaks will allow water to escape before it reaches the faucet and cause low water pressure.
Buildup: Aside from a leak, there is also a possibility of a buildup somewhere in your plumbing blocking airflow. This blockage is also another cause of low water pressure in your home.
Water main break: There is another option that doesn’t have anything to do with your home specifically.  The culprit could have something to do with a problem with the city water department.  If this is the case it’s most likely out of your hands; however, a phone call to the water department would help!

Solution:
Advice from Mark (residential plumbing manager at BELOMAN): “If you have low water pressure first make sure the main water valve inside the home is all of the way open.  If you are experiencing low water pressure at only one fixture you should make sure the shut off valve going to that fixture is all the way open.  If the water pressure is low at the shower head only then you’re problem could have something to do with a calcium clog.  If you only experience low water pressure on the hot side of every fixture, then you should make sure the shut off valve on the hot water heater is open all of the way.  If all else fails–next…call BELOMAN!”

If you would like further information you can give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN or visit our website here. We would love for one of our plumbers to help you today!  For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, indoor air quality, sheet metal/fabrication or pest solution help give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to save the day! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

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Is A Ductless System A Good Solution For Me?

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Trying to cool or warm a room that is separate from your home or with no ductwork? Consider a ductless unit! These systems are designed to help make rooms that have been recently added more comfortable and to your liking. Is a ductless system right for your home?  Let us help you!

When is it time to go ductless??

*New additions: If you have a home with a new addition, sun room or garage apartment that you are wanting to control the temperature of-a ductless system is a perfect solution!

*Downsizing: If you have rooms not in use and don’t want to pay to heat/cool those rooms a ductless system is a good alternative to keep those rooms comfortable.

*Family feuds: Is there a dispute in your home to adjust the thermostat higher or lower?  With a ductless system you have more control for zoning certain areas of a home.

*Support: If you already have a ducted system in your home but have a small kitchen producing a lot of heat from a large stove or several picture windows letting in tons of warm sunlight-a ductless system can help cool or warm that area.

*No existing ductwork: If you have purchased a home without ductwork installed, it may be a cheaper idea to go the ductless route rather than adding all new ductwork.

If you have decided to go the ductless system route you should contact a professional rather than making it a DIY project. It is crucial that ductless systems are properly sized and installed.  A professional will also be able to make sure it is properly sealed and make sure refrigerant is handled properly according to EPA guidelines.

If you would like further information you can give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN or visit our website here. For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, indoor air quality, sheet metal/fabrication or pest solution help give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

“If Comfort Is Your Plan, Call The BELOMAN!”

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When Is It Time To Go Tankless??

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Many are well aware of a conventional water heater but did you know that there are now options when it comes to the hot water flow in your home. A trending water heater is a tankless option!  These water heaters heat water directly on demand as it flows through your pipes.  There are many benefits to choosing a tankless water heater as well as a few cons to take into account when deciding if a tankless option is right for you!

When it may be a pro:
1. More efficient: Tankless water heaters are much more efficient compared to conventional water heaters. Because it does not have to frequently re-heat stored water, less energy is used! There also energy-saving features specific to various models.
2. It’s compact: Tankless water heaters are more compact than conventional. This is a pro because it is more visually appealing when comparing how either look in your living space. By having a tankless option you can also free up additional storage space that a conventional water heater would use.
3. Longevity: When properly maintained a tankless water heater can last up to 20 years
4. Increased home value: When it comes time to sell your home, a home with a tankless water heater will have a leg up on the competition.

When it may be a con:
1. Higher upfront: Compared to a conventional option, tankless water heaters have a higher upfront cost. Because the installation of a tankless is not a DIY project and requires more skill, the installation cost may be higher. Although the upfront costs are higher don’t forget about how much energy you’ll be saving over the long run.
2. Some outpace: There are some conventional models that may outpace a tankless water heater. If you have a family with a lot of members wanting to shower in a shorter time frame you might notice a difference here for the water heater providing enough hot water.
3. Location location location: Depending on the location of the faucet to the water heater, it may take slightly longer for hot water to make it to the faucet in use. Because of this slight delay you may experience more water waste.

As in every situation there are pros and cons to take into account. When determining if a tankless option is right for your home it is important to know how each factor will affect your specific home and family’s needs.  If you would like further information you can find it on our website or give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN.  For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, indoor air quality, sheet metal/fabrication or pest solution help give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

“If Comfort Is Your Plan, Call The BELOMAN!”

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Furnace Replacement & Installation FAQs

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When making a large purchase decision many questions may arise. In order to help you feel confident with your decision concerning your installation and replacement we’ve come up with a list of FAQs in attempt to ease your mind.

Replacement FAQs

*How long will my furnace last before I need to replace it?: The average furnace will last 15 years.  Proper maintenance will determine if you can give or take a few years from the average of 15 years.  Signing up to have bi-annual maintenance performed on your HVAC will help prolong its life.
*Should I repair my furnace or replace it?: If your furnace is nearing its life expectancy and you’ve been required to have several costly repair done it may be time to check into replacing it.  If your repair costs starts adding up to half the price of the cost of a new system it’s also a good indicator to contact a professional for a free estimate!
*Is it best to replace my furnace with the same type or should I switch its fuel source?: The preference of gas vs. electric depends on your liking.  If you’re looking for the efficient route, natural gas furnaces require less operating costs and are more efficient to run than an electric furnace.
*What’s the best time of year to schedule a furnace replacement?: Furnace installations are performed year round; however, for more schedule flexibility it may be best to replace in the spring or fall when companies aren’t as swarmed compared to peak heating and cooling seasons.
*Should I replace my furnace and air conditioner at the same time?: In most situations it is a smarter idea to replace your furnace and air conditioner at the same time.  Replacing both at the same time will keep the balance of all internal equipment working in sync.  If one of your systems is newer than the other and is not ready to be replaced, it may be a wiser financial decision to hold off for the time being.

Installation FAQs

*How much does furnace installation cost?: The answer to this one is not a definite numerical amount.  In order to determine how much a furnace installation will cost it ultimately depends on your specific home.  A lot of factors come into play such as the size of your home or how energy efficient you’re striving for.  To find out how much a furnace installation will cost at your home it’s best to contact a trusted salesman to visit your home and discuss the options.
*How is equipment size determined for my furnace installation?: The size of equipment needed depends on the size of your home, number of occupants, and overall construction of the home.  When the salesman visits he will perform a calculation to determine the heat load your home will require.
*How can I tell how efficient a furnace is?:  When determining the efficiency of a furnace you should take into account the AFUE.  AFUE is the annual fuel utilization efficiency.  All new furnaces must meet a certain level; however, if you are looking for a high efficiency furnace you should look for an AFUE of 90 or greater.
*Can I perform my own furnace installation?: Although some may think an installation is easy, truth is it’s actually a more complex process that should be done by a professional.  There is a lot of knowledge and skill for the technical aspect of it that requires a professional’s help.

If you did not see your questions asked and answered here just give us a call to talk to a trusted professional at BELOMAN today! If you would like further information you can find it on our website or give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN.  For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, indoor air quality, sheet metal/fabrication or pest solution help give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

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How To: Retrieve Lost Items That Wash Down The Drain

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Have you ever been in the position when your precious valuable item suddenly disappears down the drain? Have you ever taken off your new flashy ring to do the dishes, placed a set of earrings near a bathroom sink and suddenly they’re gone?! Scary yes, but gone forever….probably not!  With a little luck and guidance you can easily retrieve them with no harm done. Follow the steps below and you’ll be on your way to retrieving your lost items!

  1. Turn the faucet off immediately. This will decrease the chance of whatever it was from getting carried all the way to the drain stack at which point will drop into the sewer line and will be gone forever. One of the most common items dropped down drains is jewelry which is heavy enough to sink to the bottom of the plumbing trap. This will allow it to become trapped in an area which you will be able to access. It is important to retrieve lost items in the drain sooner rather than later to avoid accumulation of hair and debris to clog your drain. The trap under your faucet is essentially designed to keep horrid sewer odors from backing up into your sink; however, it also miraculously doubles as a way to trap lost items!
  2. Open up the trap: The exact procedure you’ll need will vary depending on your specific plumbing fixture and piping in place; however, most general principles to remove it will apply!
  3. Set a bucket under the trap to catch any water that may spill out.
  4. Use a wench or pliers to remove the “J” part of the trap from the rest of the drain plumbing.
  5. If your plumbing consists of plastic pipes you should be able to simply unscrew the slip nuts by hand.
  6. Once the nuts are loose, you can pull the trap off the pipes and shake out your lost item.
  7. Once your lost item has been retrieved you can put the plumbing pieces back together the same way you took them apart.

If you aren’t able to successfully remove your lost item, or are too afraid you’ll cause more damage, you can call your local and trusted plumbing company for help! Your Metro East superhero is ready to save the day! If you would like further information you can find it on our website or give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN.  For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, or pest solutions give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

“If Comfort Is Your Plan, Call The BELOMAN!”

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Humidifier vs. Dehumidifier…Which One Do I Need??

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You’ve probably heard of humidifiers and dehumidifiers before but maybe weren’t so sure about which was which and how either could help improve the comfort of your living space. Both of these options work by taking into account the amount of humidity levels in your home and whether the level needs to increase or decrease.  In order to make your home the most comfortable, first you’ll need to determine which is ideal for your space.

Which do I need?
*In order to determine if your space is in need for a humidifier or a dehumidifier it’s a good rule of thumb to first have an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) expert perform an analysis of your home. These professionals are trained to help assist your family in order to obtain the best air quality for your home. The typical humidity level for most homes is usually between 30 and 50 percent.  The area you live in can also affect the indoor humidity levels.  If your house is above 50 percent then a dehumidifier is needed to pull humidity from the air.  On the contrast, if your house is below 30 percent then a humidifier is recommended to add humidity to the air.

How does humidity affect my health & home?
*Health: both a humidifier and a dehumidifier work to reduce chest congestion and asthma. If your asthma is triggered by humid air, a dehumidifier would complement by pulling humidity from the space.  If you are experiencing a pesky cold with nasal blockage and chest congestion then a humidifier is a nice pairing to break the mucus up by adding moisture to the air.
*Home: the feeling you have in the rooms could also help you decide which is the best fit for your home. If your eyes are getting itchy and you’re also experiencing dry skin and lips, a humidifier could help add moisture to the air.  Opposite from that is if you are seeing damp stains on the ceilings or walls and rotting wood.  This is an indicator that there is too much moisture in the air and a dehumidifier should be used to pull moisture from the space.  Dehumidifiers can also help to prevent mold from growing indoors if too much moisture is inside.

Does the weather affect indoor humidity?
*Summer months will naturally bring more humidity inside your home which could cause it to become sticky and uncomfortable inside which calls for a dehumidifier! Humidifiers should be used more in the winter months when it is dry and cold.
*Pests such as carpenter ants and termites love living in high moisture areas. Adding a dehumidifier to your home can prevent a lot of damage and costly repairs from being needed should a pest infestation take place.
*Plants inside your home can also be affected by the levels of humidity in your home. If the levels of humidity in your home are low, you’ll spend more time watering your plants since the dry air will also easily suck moisture from the soil.  On the contrary, if there is too much moisture in your home, your plants may become infected with diseases.

All in all, there is a lot to take into account when determining if a humidifier or a dehumidifier is needed in your space. Contacting an indoor air quality (IAQ) expert to discuss your options will definitely be your best bet and help you jumpstart a more comfortable living space!  If you would like further information on whole house options, give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN or visit our website here.   For any HVAC or plumbing repairs/installations, or pest solutions give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

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How To: Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing This Winter

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The freezing point for water? 32 degrees! Water left in pipes in an ill heated area can cause your pipes to freeze.  For this very reason it’s important for you to be educated on how to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place.  Follow the 7 recommendations below to avoid a plumbing catastrophe!

  1. Insulate all water pipes: insulating all pipes is a good idea because it helps to slow down the transfer rate of heat to cold. It’s also a good idea to locate your main water shut off just in case.
  2. Use heater tape: heater tape works by utilizing a built-in thermostat. In order for the tape to work, it must be wrapped between the pipe and insulation. Be sure to look at your specific type of tape as some tapes do not allow insulation to be over the heat tape.
  3. Insulate drain lines in crawl spaces & cold basements: focus on the drain’s p-trap will keep it from freezing if it is also protected from moving cold air with a DIY boxed enclosure.
  4. Check the pipe before attempting to thaw it: some pipes made of plastic and copper will sometimes split and flood the area after they have been frozen and are being thawed. Be sure to check the pipes for cracks or slits to save yourself a mess! If you do see cracks be sure to call a plumber to better assist.
  5. Use this, this, or that: in order to prevent a fire, use an electric space heater, hand-held hair dryer or reflector heat lamp to help warm the pipes. As always use care as too much heat can cause combustion. Never leave these devices unattended when not in use.
  6. Always disconnect your water hose: if a water hose is left connected after temperatures drop below freezing, you risk the chance of the hose freezing up to the spigot and reach your pipes. Simply disconnecting your hose can help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
  7. Call and discuss with a plumber: by talking over your situation with a plumber and having a trusted professional visit your home you can easily prevent pipes from freezing in the first place.

If you would like further information you can find it on our website or give us a call at (618) BEL-OMAN. For any HVAC or plumbing repairs, installations, or pest solutions give us a call.  Like always, the #BELOMAN is here to help! BELIEVE IN THE BELOMAN WAY! We’re the only HVAC and plumbing company in the Metro East to receive the Better Business Bureau TORCH Award for ethics.  The award honors excellent commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

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