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Plumbing Maintenance and Repair in Central Massachusetts, Lowell, Harvard, Groton, Pepperell, Nashua

Why a home emergency is the worst time to call a plumber

Look, we get it. No one wants to call a plumber until their bathtub won’t drain or they’re wrapping their dishtowels around a spraying pipe. You’d rather spend your money on a beachside vacation, a nice restaurant or Christmas gifts for your kids. Plumbers are there to fix problems, right? So why call one when everything looks fine?

That’s a huge misconception, and one that costs a lot of people more money than it saves. You might avoid being forced to wade through your basement or take your grimey plunger to the kitchen sink if you check up on your plumbing system now.. The best person to do that is a plumber.

Fortunately, a lot of plumbing problems can be avoided with skilled maintenance and upkeep. We have four licensed plumbers on staff that can help thwart issues before you even know they’re there. If we catch it early, you won’t have water damage to deal with and fewer parts to replace. It can also save you from having to endure some awful experiences like backed-up pipes or showers with low water pressure.

Calling a plumber to perform routine maintenance is a normal part of being a homeowner. The cost of having a certified expert plumber check your home is tiny compared to the destruction that can follow an unchecked problem. That’ll leave you more money for plane tickets, steak tartare and plastic figures.

Call Wilson Brothers today at 978-433-5373 to learn more about our plumbing and maintenance services.

Indoor air quality filters and HVAC system need Spring Cleaning just like the rest of the house

Don’t leave your HVAC system out of your Spring Cleaning

Winter is over and while you may not be ready to shut off your heating system for the year – May snowstorms do happen in Massachusetts – you should start making plans for the warm summer months by cleaning your HVAC system before you need to run it.

Regular maintenance will extend the lifespan of an HVAC system and save money. Over time, filters collect debris and the system will have to work harder to move air through the clogged filter. This wastes energy – energy that the homeowner will have to pay for – and may harm efficiency by as much as 25%. It also makes the system work harder, which can harm the system in the long run.

Unless a homeowner knows exactly what they are doing, they should consider having one of our technicians come in and perform an annual maintenance checkup. This can include some services that require special equipment, such as testing the system for air leaks that allow cool air to escape and drive down the system’s efficiency. Annual checkups are include in our VIP program, along with discounts and priority positioning for our 24 hour repair service.

Indoor air quality filters and the filters in dehumidifiers will also need to be checked as part of a spring cleaning course. This will maximize comfort within the home and help any residents or visitors with allergies. It can also help the system run as quietly as possible by keeping the system well lubricated and running with as little effort as needed.

By focusing on the annual clean up in the spring, homeowners can ensure their HVAC system will be ready to keep their home cool and comfortable by the time June rolls around. It will also keep the HVAC system running for as many years as possible while cutting down on energy costs.

Indoor Air Quality, Indoor Air Filters, Westford MA, Lowell MA, Chelmsford MA, Burlington MA, Littleton MA, Ayer MA

Getting the most out of your indoor air filter

Allergy sufferers can tell the exciting days of summer are almost over each year when they first step outside and start to sneeze or feel their eyes burn. Fall allergies, brought on by the increased pollen and mold spores in the air, cause havoc to 35 million Americans each year and without appropriate steps the suffering will continue inside their own homes.

That’s why we sell and install indoor air quality systems, so one’s house can be an oasis of relief from fall allergies. Our systems are silent and can be connected directly to the home’s central heating or cooling system to prevent pollen and other unwanted particles from entering. They can be programed it to work continuously or only at certain times.

But as helpful as all of that is, it’s not a complete approach to ending indoor allergy problems. Homeowners still need to make small efforts to keep their indoor air quality high, just as owners of a welcome mat still need people to take muddy boots off before they enter.

Both the Environmental Protection Agency and American Lung Association recommend indoor air filters for people with allergies or asthma. The EPA also recommends some additional steps to maintain top-notch indoor air quality:

*Choosing hard flooring over carpeting to give allergens fewer pockets to inhabit.

*Use outdoor-venting fans in the kitchen and bathroom.

*Keep pets out of bedrooms and outside as often as possible.

*Ban all indoor smoking.

*Keep heating and cooling systems maintained.

An indoor air quality system does a great job of filtering air coming into the building and moving throughout it, but the result will be much better if air pollutants have no indoor sources or places to hide.

When to shut down your air conditioner for the season

Much like Christmas lights, many homeowners don’t know when it’s time to shut down their air conditioning system for the season. Even with the end of the hot summer days, some people delay shutting it down just incase they get hit with an unexpected hot fall day, but no one wants to have to wade through snow to put a cover on the outdoor unit.

Weather fluctuates from year to year, so there’s really no good day to mark on the calendar in advance.

Our recommendation is to link the task to some other change of seasons task you’re already doing. For example, when you put away your patio furniture, cover your swimming pool, untie your hammock, winterize your lawnmower or put your motorcycle battery on a trickle-charger.

Alternatively, you could wait for the first frost to hit. That’s a dead give-away that you won’t need to cool the house anytime soon. If you find yourself turning the heat on and you haven’t prepared your cooling system for the season yet, it’s time to get on it right away.

Why it matters

Some units, not all but some, have an internal heating system for the cooling system’s condenser. This keeps some of the liquids in the machine from freezing during operation. Unfortunately, the warmth can make an attractive nest for field mice once the cold weather hits. During the summer, the field mice have plenty of warm places to dwell in, but once it gets cold out they get desperate and will enter a condenser unit.

Wilson Brothers technicians install an electric switch for customers in their electric panel marked “AC Condenser” that will stop all power from going to the condenser. Homeowners also need to go shut down their control panels for the season as well.

Go outside and shut it off, but unless that power switch is thrown, electricity will still get to the unit.

In addition, not enough people place outdoor covers on their condensers for the winter. The units are made to be outside year round and the refrigeration oils and other liquids can safely be left inside, but a cover is still needed to protect it from direct contact with ice and snow.

Use only true factory-made covers for your specific outdoor unit. Some people try to make their own covers with blue tarps and bungee cords. While that does create a barrier for the elements, it lacks the ventilation that the proper covers have. The tarps will trap air inside and create a small habitat with trapped moisture inside. The condensation will pit and corrode the electric contractors and damage the unit.

3 Summer Energy Tips to Save Money

The hot days of summer can be a menace to your utility bills if you’re not careful. Here’s a trio of handy tips to keep cool and reduce your need to run your cooling system.

We previously recommended clearing the filter on your cooling system at the beginning of summer. Well, even if you did it then it’s now a good idea to check it once more. Clogged filters slow down the air flow and make your system work harder than it has to. We recommend checking the filter every month.

Remember that upright and ceiling fans do not cool rooms; they only cool people. The fan blades create a wind chill effect when they blow air on a person, but the heat produced by their motors actually warms makes the room slightly warmer. That means leaving a fan on in an empty room isn’t just wasteful, it’s counterproductive.

Your outdoor grill is probably a hit at Fourth of July parties when you load it up with burgers, hot dogs and BBQ chicken, but don’t think that’s the limit of what you can use it for. Using the grill won’t heat up the house the way your oven will so use it every chance you get. The Internet is filled with tips on how to cook all sorts of things outdoors on the grill, including corn on the cob, lobster tails and even buttermilk biscuits.

Five tips to get your A/C running at it’s highest efficiency

Air conditioning systems require regular maintenance to keep them working at highest efficiency, whether they are window units or central A/C.

The inner components can collect dust, dirt, and mildew, which can lower their operating efficiency and your home’s air quality. Check the manual that came with your unit and follow basic procedures to keep it working properly. Here are Five Tips to get your system working properly:

  1.  Make sure the air conditioner is installed at least two feet away from foliage and 10 feet away from your dryer’s vent. Trim foliage and clean up nearby debris to minimize dirt near the condenser unit. If you have an outdoor unit for central air, do not surround it with shrubs or solid fencing.
  2. Clean or replace your air conditioner’s filter every month during regular use. If you have dogs or cats indoors or if you live in a dusty area, you may need to change or clean it more frequently.
  3. Be sure the drain line of your central air unit isn’t clogged with mold and mildew, which can cause water to back up into the home. Pour a cup of bleach into the line’s access hole each spring. If a clog occurs, place the nozzle of your wet/dry vacuum over the line’s opening to suck it out.
  4. Wipe off the housing when it becomes dirty and then remove it. Sweep any debris away from the inner components with a paintbrush. If the aluminum fins are bent, contact a repair person to adjust them.
  5. Contact a service technician yearly to inspect the condenser and evaporator coils which may require chemical cleaning. The technician can also check the motor and electrical components to ensure that everything is functioning properly.
  6. If you have questions about proper air conditioning maintenance or to schedule an Air Conditioning Tune-Up, Lowell, Nashua NH, Burlington MA, Chelmsford MA from the All Season Comfort Specialists, call Wilson Brothers today!

800-498-5373 or 978-433-5373