Plumbing Service Pittsburgh | AC Repair In Pittsburgh | wahlheatingandcooling.com

Signs Your AC is Increasing Your Energy Bills

Isn’t it painful when you have to shell out half (if not more) of your paycheck to cover home care costs, such as your water or electric bills? We bet you would take any opportunity you could to lower your utility costs, right? Well, there’s something you can do — check your HVAC system. With a little digging, you could start to notice the signs your AC is increasing your energy bills. AC-is-Increasing-Your-Energy-Bills-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Signs Your AC is Increasing Your Energy Bills

There’s no stable temperature.

If you’re noticing that your home rarely feels consistently cool, but rather has periods of feeling warm than cool then back to warm and so on, your AC isn’t working properly and is costing you more money.

Your cooling your entire house.

Older HVAC systems typically have one setting that runs on one cycle, meaning you could be cooling parts of your home that don’t need to be cooled. Does the guest bedroom you use twice a year need to be chilly? No, it doesn’t.

Your home still feels humid with the AC on.

Your AC helps dehumidify your home, so if you’re still feeling sticky or sweaty when it’s on, it’s not doing its job and is just increasing your energy bills.

Your utilities are going up.

Unless you suddenly started running two more refrigerators in your home, your energy bill likely stays around the same amount each month. If you notice it’s going up, your AC may be to blame.

Your system is close to 10 years old.

Older systems weren’t made with the same energy-efficient modifications as newer systems were. If your system is approaching its 10th birthday, your AC is increasing your energy bills more than a newer system would.

At Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, we offer high-quality AC installation as well as repairs and maintenance for the Pittsburgh metro area. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

Where are the Best Places to Install Smoke Detectors?

When it comes to protecting your family and home, we’re sure you would take every step necessary to keep them safe. And while there are plenty of ways you can do that, an extremely simple way is to properly arm your home with smoke detectors. These little devices make a bigger difference than you may think, and believe it or not, there are best places to install smoke detectors. best-places-install-smoke-detectors-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Where are the Best Places to Install Smoke Detectors?

Your Bedrooms

It’s essential to have detectors in each bedroom of your home to detect smoke in these rooms as quickly as possible. And don’t just install them in bedrooms you use each night — guest bedrooms need them as well.

Outside the Bedrooms

Having smoke detectors outside the sleeping areas of your home can alert you before smoke seeps into your bedrooms, giving you more time to get up and out of your home to safety.

Your Kitchen

Forty-one percent of home fires start in the kitchen, so one of the best places to install smoke detectors is here.

Your Basement

If a fire starts in your basement, having a smoke detector there can warn you of danger well before the fire spreads to the rest of your home.

On Each Floor of Your Home

It’s best to cover all your bases when it comes to fire and smoke safety. On floors that don’t have bedrooms, some of the best places to install smoke detectors are your den or family room — spots people often relax in.

Pro Tips:

  • Make sure you’re using smoke detectors that have been tested in a reputable lab.
  • Don’t install then near windows or doors — drafts can interfere with their operation.
  • Installing dual-sensor alarms will give you better protection from different types of fires.
  • Interconnecting your alarms is safer than having stand-alone alarms since one alarm going off will trigger the others in the house.
  • Make sure to test your smoke alarms regularly.

At Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, your family’s comfort and safety is of the utmost importance. We offer smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to keep your family safe from dangerous fires and fumes. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

 

Why Is There Mold in Your Basement?

If there’s one thing you never want to find anywhere in your home, it’s mold. Beyond being downright disgusting to look at and smell, molds poses serious threats to you and your family’s health. There are a few common places for it to develop in your home, so here’s why you may have mold in your basement. mold-in-your-basement-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Why is There Mold In Your Basement?

Condensation

Your basement is usually where cool temperatures and high humidity meet. The humidity usually develops since basements are notorious for poor ventilation and little sunlight . This makes for a lot of condensation and allows mold to grow on pipes, walls, and floors.

Flooding

Whether it be from a natural disaster or heavy rainfall that seeps through the ground, flooding in your basement can lead to a lot of excess moisture and mold growth. If you experience flooding in your basement, get dehumidifiers right away to get rid of excess moisture.

Leaking pipes

Small drips may not seem like much, but even that can lead to a buildup of moisture that allows mold to grow in your basement. If you notice any leaks, big or small, get them repaired right away.

How to Get Rid of Mold in Your Basement:

Depending on how severe your mold problem is, you may need to call for professional help to prevent safety hazards.

If you notice moisture problems in your basement, call the experts at Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. We can outfit your home with the right dehumidifying and cooling systems to prevent mold from growing in your basement in the first place. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

Do Big Storms Harm Your AC?

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We know you’re well aware that big storms can do a lot of damage to your home. They can tear down trees, cause flooding and water damage, and bring power outages that keep you (quite literally) in the dark for uncertain amounts of time. You probably have a mental checklist of all the things to take care of after these events, but you should also be wary if those big storms harm your AC.

Do Big Storms Harm Your AC?

They can. High intensity winds can blow debris into your outdoor unit and cause damage to your compressor or motor, while power outages can mess with how your AC works. The key to avoiding all of this is proper preparation.

To Prepare Your AC for a Big Storm:

  • Make sure it’s well-maintained. Any problems with your unit will only be made worse by rough weather, so have it inspected beforehand.
  • Clean away loose debris. Get rid of leaves, sticks, or other debris around your outside unit that could damage it. You should also tie up any loose parts that could be blown away and place a tarp or cover over the unit.
  • Turn off the the circuit breakers. Just before the storm hits, switch off the circuit breakers connected to your AC.

After the Storm Subsides:

  • Check your AC for damage. If you notice any major dents or any problems that may prevent your unit from working, call an HVAC technician.
  • Be careful turning your unit on. If you think there may be damage to your unit, refrain from turning it on, especially if there has be flooding in the area.

If big storms harm your AC, call Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing for help. We offer comprehensive AC repairs as well as 24/7 hour service. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

Is My AC Low on Refrigerant?

You probably think about the last time you went food shopping or went to the doctor pretty often. But when’s the last time you thought about the refrigerant levels and your air conditioner? Probably not for a while, if ever. Thing is, if your AC is low on refrigerant, you could be causing your unit to work much harder than it should. Luckily, there are a few signs that can tell you if you have this problem.

Sign Your AC Is Low on Refrigerant:low-on-refrigerant-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Your unit is blowing warm air.

The whole point of refrigerant is that it helps cool air in your AC to push to your home. If your unit is blowing warm air, your refrigerant levels are probably low and need to be recharged.

Your home takes forever to cool.

While your AC doesn’t cool your home instantly, it shouldn’t be taking hours for you to feel its effects. If your home is taking a long time to feel cool, you may be low on refrigerant.

You have high energy bills.

While high energy bills could be a result of a few problems, low refrigerant levels can cause your AC to work harder to call your home, therefore using more energy and increasing your utility bills each month. Without fixing the problem, your bills can continue to cost you more money.

You hear hissing coming from your unit.

Unlike gas in a vehicle, refrigerant doesn’t get used up as your AC uses it. The only way for it to become low is if a leak allows it to escape from your unit. Hissing or bubbling noises coming from your AC are usually a sign of a leak that needs to be repaired by an HVAC professional right away.

If you believe your AC is low on refrigerant, call the experts at Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. We offer comprehensive HVAC repairs in the Pittsburgh metro area and have been trusted to help homeowners and businesses since 1980. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

Causes of Poor Office Indoor Air Quality

Everyone has off days at work, but you shouldn’t feel sluggish and down all the time. You’ve probably heard that different ways of decorating can affect the ways employees feel in the office, but did you know that the air itself can affect them too? The causes of poor office indoor air quality have bigger effects on your productivity and health than you may think.poor-office-indoor-air-quality-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Causes of Poor Office Indoor Air Quality

  • Chemical Pollutants: These include tobacco smoke, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and fumes that come from office products like furniture, walls, carpets, and cleaning products.
  • Particles: Dust, pollen, dirt or other particles can irritate allergies and leave employees feeling ill. You’ll often be able to see these when sunlight shines through a window and illuminates the particles.
  • High Humidity: No one wants to feel sticky or sweaty while working. High humidity levels not only contribute to discomfort but also can allow mold and other biological contaminants to grow in the office.
  • Poor Ventilation: If there is not a good ventilation system to carry air in and out of the building, employees could be stuck breathing in stale air, which can negatively affect their health.
  • Space of Furniture: If furniture is too close together, it limits airflow and can lead to poor office indoor air quality.
  • Temperature: Keeping the office too warm or cold can affect the humidity levels and lead to an abundance of dust and other harmful particles in the air.

Having poor office indoor air quality can negative effects on productivity and employees’ health. Make sure the air in your office is conducive to a healthy work environment with help from Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing. We can help install air purifiers and HVAC systems that help keep your office’s air clean and safe. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

Why Does My AC Smell Bad?

Has your air conditioner ever kicked in and you’ve noticed that it’s blowing some pretty gross-smelling air? It’s bad enough that your home is being circulated with bads smells, but it’s even worse when you think of the bacteria that could be in that air itself. There are a few problems that could make your AC smell bad. 

Why Does My AC Smell Bad?ac-smells-bad-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Mold or Mildew on the Evaporator Coils

As condensation builds up on your evaporator coils, it mixes with any dust or dirt there and allows mold, mildew, and other bacteria to grow. This may happen to your unit if:

  • You can physically see mold or mildew on the coils.
  • There is ice forming on the coils.
  • Your AC’s air flow is not as strong as it usually is.

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

If your condensate drain line becomes clogged, the standing water that collects there provides mold, mildew, and bacteria with a breeding ground. This may occur in your unit if:

  • You notice water leaking from your indoor unit.
  • Your AC suddenly turns off.

Mold in Your Ductwork

High humidity levels and leaks in your air ducts can cause mold to grow inside your duct system. The only way you’ll be able to know, for certain, that this is making your AC smell bad is by getting an inside look at your ducts. You should get an HVAC technician to do this as they can get farther into your ductwork using special cameras.

The professionals at Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing can help you handle any air conditioner repairs you may have. We’ve been serving the Pittsburgh metro area since 1980, so you know you can trust us with all of your HVAC needs. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

How to Unclog Your Toilet Without a Plunger

Imagine this: It’s the day before a big gathering at your home when you go to flush the toilet and see the water start to rise instead of fall. It’s one of a host’s worst nightmares — you’ve got a clogged toilet. If you don’t have a plunger, you may be worried that you’re going to be down a bathroom for guests. But not to worry! There are plenty of ways to unclog a toilet without a plunger. 

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How to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

Use an Enzyme Waste Removal Product

These products have a combination of ingredients that break down and liquefy organic waste materials, such as toilet paper and human waste. They’re also a better option compared to chemical drain cleaners since enzyme products don’t harm your pipes or the environment.

Use a Wire Coat Hanger

Unwind a metal coat hanger, and wrap the end of the wire in a rag, using duct tape to keep it in place. Push the wire into the drain, and twist and push it against the obstruction until the water starts to drain. Only flush the toilet once the toilet water has gone down. Pro Tip: Wear gloves when you do this so splashing water doesn’t get on you.

Make Your Own Drain Cleaner

Pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar into your toilet. While that’s fizzing, heat up a half gallon of water, then pour that into your toilet as well. Let the mixture sit overnight, and it should cause the water to drain.

If you’re still having plumbing problems, contact the experts at Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing for help. We are your one-stop shop for all of your home or commercial property’s plumbing service needs. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

Types of Water Heaters

Do you realize how important your water heater is to the functioning of your home? It allows you to clean your clothes, dishes, and yourself, among other things. If yours breaks down beyond repair, you’ll need a new one fast, so use this list to sort through the types of water heaters and determine which replacement is the best fit for your home.

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Types of Water Heaters:

  • Conventional Tank: These are the more traditional water that store hot water in a reservoir.
  • Tankless: Tankless units only heat water when you need them to.
  • Heat Pump: These move heat from one location to another rather than generating heat specifically to heat water.
  • Solar: As the name implies, these use the sun’s heat to provide you with hot water.

Choosing Types of Water Heaters:

You should consider a few factors when choosing your new type of water heater.

  • Size: The size of your home and the number of people using hot water in it will affect the size of water you will need for your home.
  • Energy Efficiency: The higher energy efficiency your type of water heater has, the cheaper it will be to operate and the lower your utilities will be.
  • Fuel Type: The type of fuel your water heater uses will affect the size and energy efficiency. When choosing between types of water heaters, you’ll also need to determine each type’s fuel availability and cost.

You can rest assured that Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing will help you each step of the way choosing a water heater that will not only provide enough hot water for your entire family’s needs, but also one that will be energy efficient for your wallet. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

What You Should Never Flush Down Your Toilet

Have you seen any of the videos that show babies dropping daddy’s watch or mommy’s makeup down the toilet? Everyone thinks it’s so cute, right? Well, that’s a plumber’s worse nightmare. All he or she sees in those videos are clogs, damaged pipes, and messed up septic tanks. If you want to avoid all that plumbing mayhem, here’s what you should never flush down your toilet.

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Oil, Fat, or Grease

Your disposal and sink using the same kind of pipes as your toilet, so if you wouldn’t pour it down that drain, don’t dump it in your toilet. Oil and grease will clog your pipes and lead to your toilet overflowing, and oh, what a mess that will be.

Wipes

We don’t care what the package says – flushable does not mean flushable. Between baby wipes and the increasingly popular “adult wipes” these cloth demons are causing more and more clogs and backups in home and commercial sewers. If you must use them, just throw them out into a trash can.

Sanitary Products

We’re pretty sure these come with a “Do not flush” label to begin with, but people seem to flush them anyway. Feminine products and other sanitary items clog up your pipes and can be dangerous to the environment since they don’t decompose easily.

Pills

Common opinions would make you believe it’s safer to flush unused medication down the toilet, but actually,  you’re doing more damage. Those pills contain ingredients that can be toxic to water supplies and wildlife, so never flush them down your toilet. Take them back to your pharmacy instead.

In reality, the only thing you should be flush down your toilet is human waste and toilet paper. That’s all.

For a more definitive list of what you should never flush down your toilet, call Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing to speak to one of our experts! We specialize in your drain and sewer needs so we’ll have any plumbing problem fixed in no time. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

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