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

Ways to Conserve Water in Your Home

It’s 2017 – everyone is (and should be) concerned with conserving our natural resources. One of the biggest resources we use each and every day is water. It’s the driving force behind our lives, but if we waste it, generations to come won’t have any left. That being said, here are a few ways you can conserve water in your home. conserve-water-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

In Your Kitchen

  • When washing dishes by hand, fill a basin with water, and use that to rinse off soap rather than letting the water run.
  • Don’t waste water defrosting food. Let it thaw out in the fridge instead.
  • Use leftover pasta water to start cooking soups.
  • Collect the water you use to wash fruits and veggies, and use it to water house plants.
  • Use high-efficiency dishwashers that use less water.
  • If you have a newer dishwasher, don’t pre-rinse dishes as much. Newer models clean better.

In Your Laundry Room

  • Wash your dark clothes in cold water.
  • Buy a high-efficiency washer.
  • Match the water level to the size of the load.

In Your Bathroom

  • Shorten your showers by just two minutes. It saves hundreds of gallons of water per year.
  • Test your toilet for leaks once a year by putting food coloring in the tank and seeing if it seeps into the bowl.
  • Install a dual-flush system.
  • Put aerators on your faucets.
  • While you wait for water to warm up, collect it and use it to water plants.
  • Turn off the faucets while your brush your teeth or wash your hands.

At Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing, we are committed to helping you and the environment, which is why we offer plenty of systems to help you conserve water. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at 412-276-9245.

Are You Still Wasting Money on Cheap Air Filters?

When you’re out shopping for air filters for your furnace and ducts (and we know that you are because you take our advice for caring for your HVAC system), you’re probably tempted to purchase the cheapest ones you can find. And hey — we get it. You want to save money wherever you can. But the thing is, you could actually be wasting money on cheap air filters that don’t even get the job done rather than saving money like you though you were. cheap-air-filter-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Are You Still Wasting Money on Cheap Air Filters?

The Difference in Costs & Worth

  • Inexpensive Filters: These filters may cost less up front, but they have to be replaced each month, requiring you to purchase more and keep close track of when you install them. If you don’t replace them when you should, you could risk damaging your HVAC system. These also don’t catch as many contaminants in your air.
  • Washable Filters: These cost slightly more, but don’t requiring as frequent of replacing. You can simply wash them to get them clean instead. These catch about 50% of the particles in your air, still leaving you without the best air quality.
  • HEPA Filters: These are going to be the most expensive air filters you can purchase, but they are designed to catch the most amount of air pollutants in your home, making for better indoor air quality.

Why You Should Invest in More Expensive Air Filters

Simply put: they’re better for your health. Cheaper air filters are not designed to catch as many particles or contaminants, while the more expensive air filters do. If you want better-smelling, cleaning, and healthier air, spend the extra money on HEPA filters.

At Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing, we put a big emphasis on keeping the air in your home healthy and safe for your family. If you’re ready to improve your indoor air quality, give us a call at 412-276-9245.

Why You Shouldn’t Cover Your Air Vents

True or false: Covering your air vents is a great way to redirect air to other rooms in your home. False! This is the common idea people have when trying to save energy with their HVAC system, but there are a number of reasons you actually shouldn’t cover your air vents. shouldnt-cover-air-vents-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

Why You Shouldn’t Cover Your Air Vents

You could mess with the air flow.

Just because you cover the vent, it doesn’t mean your HVAC system knows that. It will keep pushing air to those vents, and if they’re closed, you could cause a buildup of air pressure and insufficient airflow which could damage your system.

You could damage the heat exchanger.

If there’s a buildup of pressure from air being pushed to covered vents, the low airflow could create problems with your heat exchanger, causing it to crack and lead to carbon monoxide emissions.

Your could develop mold and mildew.

If you live in a humid area, a blocked air vent could allow mold or mildew to develop in and around your vent and air ducts.

You could waste energy.

You probably thought covering your air vents would save you energy, but it does the opposite. Since this could harm your HVAC system, cracks and other damage could allow air to escape your ducts and cost you more in energy bills.

Pro Tip: Air ducts aren’t always covered on purpose. Check if drapes, rugs, or furniture are blocking any air ducts in your home, and move them to allow air to flow freely.

At Wahl Family Heating, Cooling, or Plumbing, we love giving our customers tips and tricks to keeping their homes comfortable. If your HVAC system could use a little attention, give us a call at 412-276-9245.

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?

big-storms-harm-your-ac-wahl-family-heating-cooling-plumbing

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.

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