What Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Plumber

Whether you’re in the market for a whole-home repiping job or just need some minor water leak repairs, if you are in a situation that requires you to call a plumber, you are probably overwhelmed and could use some guidance. It can be overwhelming to find a plumber if you are already dealing with the repercussions of a broken pipe or a malfunctioning toilet. You can find the right plumber if you ask the right questions when you call around for a quote. You should always be careful to research to find the best technician for the job. You want someone reliable and affordable to service the needs of your home like PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air.

Are You Certified and Licensed?

You should double-check when you call for a quote from a plumber and ask if they are certified or licensed. You want to ensure that whoever you trust to work on the plumbing in your home is qualified to do so. The last thing you need is someone who is underqualified to work on your home. This could lead to mistakes that would not otherwise be made that cause further damage.

Can I Get a Quote Before Hiring a Plumber for the Job?

You should never hire the first professional you call. When you require someone like a plumber to work on your home, you should do your research and call multiple companies. Ask if you can get a quote for services before you hire them. Once you have gathered detailed quotes from different companies, you can compare and contrast them to figure out what you need to do.

Can You Provide a Detailed Report of the Fees?

Unfortunately, it is possible that some professionals might try to hide fees within their final bill. To avoid paying for something you were unaware of, you can ask for a detailed report of service costs. When you are calling to book a plumber’s services, you should ask if this is something they can provide you with before you pay them for their services. If they are honest and reliable, they should have no problem agreeing to these terms before you hire them for services.

Do You Have Liability Insurance?

Liability insurance is an important thing to ask for when hiring a professional to come into your home. Liability insurance will help to cover costs if something goes wrong. This is a manual labor job, and something may go wrong that could harm your plumber or damage your home. Liability insurance will prevent you from having to pay for any damages. Only hire a plumber if they have liability insurance and workman’s comp.

What are Your Areas of Expertise?

Depending on your plumbing issue, you might need a plumber with specialized skills. When you call to hire a plumber, you can ask them what their area of expertise is. If they are more equipped to handle installation vs. repair, you need to know that before you hire them, especially if repair service is what you are looking for. When calling, ask plumbing companies for a quote to them if they have any specialized skills or areas of expertise.

Can You Provide References?

References are always a good way to verify the quality of a professional’s work. Ask every plumber you call for a quote if they have references. They should be able to give you the information of individuals who were satisfied with their work and can attest to their experience with this plumber. You can hire a plumber knowing how they conduct their work.

How Are Your Ratings and Reviews?

This is the first thing you should ask, and can easily done on your own with just a few clicks of the mouse. Do a quick search of their reviews through various online sources like Google, Facebook, and Yelp to see if they are highly rated and what their customers are saying. Glass Door is another online review source that shares what their employees have say about the company. You also want to pay attention to the total number of reviews they have. A five-star rating may look great, but if they only have one review it may not be an accurate indication of the quality, value and service they provide.

Do You Provide Warranties on Your Work?

A great question is whether or not they provide warranties on their work. Sometimes mistakes are made, and things go wrong after a plumber is finished with their work on your home. A warranty would guarantee that if something went wrong with your plumbing within a specific time frame, the plumber would come out to fix that issue for a reduced price or free of charge. A warranty guarantees quality work, and it is fair to ask a plumber if they offer warranties before you hire them for services.

How Many Years Have You Been in Business?

It is reasonable for you to want someone with enough experience to qualify for the job. If you hire someone with a good amount of experience, you can ask them how long they’ve been in business. You can usually find peace of mind knowing that a technician is reliable if they have years of experience.

If Your Plumber Notices a Separate Issue on the Job, Will They Repair It Right Away or Bring it to My Attention?

You can ask them if they plan to notify you of all issues they encounter while working on your home. If they find damage, they should fix it immediately or bring it to your attention before they proceed. If they work outside your original agreement, it could cost you more money.

Final Thoughts

Finding a plumber to take good care of your home can be daunting. You don’t want to worry about which plumbers are reliable and which aren’t when searching for the best technician for the job. You can ask several questions to help you find the most reliable plumber. Make sure you figure out who has the best price for service, ask for referrals, make sure they have insurance, and make sure they are licensed professionals before you hire them for your plumbing issues.

If you need residential or commercial plumbing and aren’t sure where to turn, or if you’ve already called a plumber and they’re giving you a price that seems too high, contact us at PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air and we’ll tell you whether the price you’re being given is too high, and what you should be paying.

Even if you don’t use us, call us and we can tell you if you’re paying too much.

The Benefits of a Smart Thermostat

If you’re like many other homeowners, you’re trying to think of ways to make life a lot more convenient for yourself. One way you can improve your household is to invest in a smart thermostat. Many benefits will come from this investment. The following are several of the leading reasons to install smart thermostat products:

Match temperatures to your household routines.

You can use a smart thermometer to set your system to temperatures your family is accustomed to being at. That way, you can always be comfortable, and you can keep electricity bills down as well.

Control other devices from your mobile phone.

Remote access is a favorite feature of many people who purchase smart thermometers. You’ll have the ability to control other items in your home while you’re at work or on vacation using a simplified mobile application.

That’s not only convenient, but it also gives you a high level of control. The power will be in your hands to lock and unlock things, illuminate or darken lighting, and perform other tasks. The tasks you’ll be able to control will vary according to your program.

Keep track of your energy bill with reports.

Smartphone thermostat programs have extra features that allow you to keep track of your energy bill. With those amazing features, you can make adjustments to keep your energy bill low if you want to.

For example, you can test a few different strategies and see how well they work from month to month. Once you find a sweet spot for keeping your electricity bill low, you can stick to that plan.

Control your HVAC system with your voice.

The latest smart thermostat systems come with a feature called voice command. With this feature, you can train the unit to learn your voice and then speak to it when you need it to perform certain tasks.

Voice command features can make life simpler when you’re trying to get the rest you deserve, or you simply don’t feel like getting up to do something.

Rest easy while using the product.

Programmable smart thermostats are most likely easier to use than you think. Many people use them and are surprised by how quickly they learn how to operate them. Furthermore, the knowledge you gather is transferrable.

In other words, once you become accustomed to using one smart thermostat system, you’ll have a very easy time learning the next one.

Get alerts when something changes.

You can also get alerts from your smart WiFi thermostat program about when temperature changes and other variations occur. If the temperature falls out of line, you can make your adjustments quickly to bring the temperature to a place where you can enjoy it once again.

Now that you know all the valid reasons to invest in a smart thermostat, you can contact a company that can help you grab hold of one. PlumbSmart can assist you with smart thermostat installation; you just need to reach out by phone or contact form and request additional information.

Why Do You Need an Air Filter in Your House?

An air filter is a device that helps to remove contaminants from the air in your home. The filter traps these particles, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens. Doing so helps to improve the indoor air quality in your home and can reduce the symptoms of allergies and asthma.

Changing Your Air Filter Regularly

Changing your air filter regularly is essential, as filthy filters can worsen your indoor air quality. How often you change your filter depends on a few factors, such as the type of filter you have and the level of contaminants in your home. In general, however, most filters should be changed every three months.

If you don’t change your air filter with a service like PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air regularly, the contaminants it traps will eventually build up and cause the filter to become clogged. This can reduce the efficiency of your heating and cooling system and lead to increased allergies and asthma symptoms. In extreme cases, a clogged air filter can even cause your HVAC system to overheat and break down.

Changing the air filter regularly will prolong the life of your heating and cooling system and improve its efficiency, especially when you get the electric bill.

A clogged air filter will cause your system to work harder, using more energy and costing you more money on future air conditioning maintenance.

How Does the Air Filter Work?

An air filter works by trapping airborne particles as air passes through the filter. The air filter traps dust, pollen, mold spores, and other pollutants that can cause respiratory problems. The air filter also helps to keep the air in your home clean and free of allergens.

Can I Run My AC Without a Filter?

If you have a central heating and cooling system in your home, it is designed to circulate air throughout the house. The system pulls in air from the outside, heats or cools it, and then sends it back into the house. An essential part of this process is the air filter.

The air filter’s job is to trap dust, pollen, and other airborne particles before entering the HVAC system. This helps keep the system clean and prevents these particles from circulating throughout your home. If the unit becomes clogged, it can reduce the system’s efficiency and will most likely damage it.

So, can you run a central unit without an air filter? Technically, yes. The system will still operate without one. However, it is not advisable to do so. Running the system without a filter can shorten its lifespan and lead to costly air conditioning repairs. It can also cause indoor air quality problems as dust, pollen, and other particles are circulated throughout the house.

How to Tell if Air Filter Needs Replacing?

The air filter in your house is there for a reason – to keep the air clean and free of contaminants. So how do you know when to change the air filter? Here are some signs to look out for:

  1. The air quality in your home feels worse than usual. If you notice that the air in your home feels stuffy or stagnant,
  2. Your energy bills have gone up. If you’ve noticed a sudden spike in your energy bills, a clogged air filter makes your heating and cooling system work harder to circulate the air, driving up your energy costs.
  3. Your HVAC system is making strange noises. If your furnace or air conditioner starts making strange noises, it could be a sign that the air filter is blocked. A clean air filter will help reduce the strain on your HVAC system and make it run more smoothly.
  4. The airflow from your vents is weak. If you notice that the airflow from your vents is weaker than usual, it’s a sign that the air filter needs to be changed. A clogged air filter will restrict the airflow from your vents, making it harder for your HVAC system to circulate the air.
  5. You’ve changed the air filter recently, but it’s still dirty. If you’ve changed the air filter recently, but it’s already dirty again, it could indicate a problem with your HVAC system. A professional technician can inspect your system and ensure it’s operating correctly.

Does Every AC Have a Filter?

Yes, every AC has a filter in the unit, but some have one while others have more than one. 

PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air knows AC units and assists the customer in any way possible, even something minor as changing filters. For more information on anything air filter related, contact us today.

Energy-Saving AC Tips for Summer

Summer can be draining financially. Energy rates reach peak levels during June, July and August and cooling your home during this time requires a considerably greater amount of energy, often leading to skyrocketing utility bills. Investing in energy-saving tips can relieve your wallet, giving you peace of mind and body.

Efficient energy is excellent, though it does not have to make you boil in high temperatures or scorching sun. Summer can be an energy-saving time for you and your family if you observe the following energy-saving tips from PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air.

Money is a scarce resource. Employing the energy-saving tips will significantly impact your life positively as resources used while cooling or heating are reduced considerably without necessarily interfering with your comfort level. Use of smart thermostats, insulation, and ceiling fans, unplugging all gadgets not in use, and ensuring curtains and windows are shut on warmer days will ensure your home remains cool, not just in summer but also warm in winter. Reduced energy loss improves efficiency as well as saving resources that otherwise would be lost in thin air.

For more information on anything related to your heating and cooling systems, please contact us today.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your AC Filter?

If you are one of those people that forgets to clean your air conditioning unit filter throughout the warm months, this article will explain what happens when you don’t clean your air conditioner filter. Does my air filter need to be changed? Short answer: yes!

 

The air filter of your air conditioner is not just part of the unit to help the air that comes out of it stay clean, it actually plays a very important role in the overall operation of your air conditioner. By changing or cleaning the air filter, you are doing one of the most important steps that you can possibly take to head off potential problems while also improving the energy efficiency level of your unit and will allow you to avoid spending your hard-earned cash on air conditioning repairs.

 

Potential Issues from a Dirty Air Conditioner Filter

There are many issues that can happen if you do not know when to replace air filters in your home. What happens if you don’t clean your air conditioner filter? Let’s find out:

Freezing Up: When your air conditioner’s filter is clean, the air can flow freely out of your unit, but if your air filter is dirty, it will restrict that flow of cold air, which can then cause it to build up inside of the unit and lower the internal temperature, which could result in ice forming on the coils of your air conditioner which means it will eventually freeze up.

Short-Cycling: Your air conditioner is designed to cycle on and off throughout the day and night, but if your air conditioner filter is dirty, it can make those cycles happen more frequently than they are supposed to. This will cause more noise from your unit, along with temperature changes that are not comfortable, and energy waste.

Allergen Buildup: A major issue with not cleaning your air conditioner’s filter at least once a month will cause many people to have respiratory allergy issues. Also, if someone already suffers from asthma or some other respiratory illness, a dirty filter can cause even more problems for that person since allergens can be released into the air from the forced air system of your air conditioner. You could even have a buildup of mold in the ducts of your air conditioning unit if you do not keep the filter clean. 

Uneven Cooling: dirty filters can cause your air conditioning unit to have a restricted amount of airflow which is not good for your system’s overall cooling power. This will cause more hot spots and cold spots throughout your home or business, yet you will be paying more money and energy costs for temperatures that are uncomfortable.

 

Longevity of the Unit: if your air conditioner is maintained properly, it will last longer than if it is not. By cleaning or replacing your air filter, you will stop any dust, dirt, and debris from building up inside your air conditioner’s internal components, which means fewer major air conditioning maintenance issues or repairs you will have down the road.

Reduction of Unit’s System Efficiency: while purchasing a replacement filter may be a little pricey, you will actually save money in the end since an air conditioning unit with a dirty filter will use much more power to cool your home so you will end up paying more in energy bills.

Maintain It

It is imperative that you properly maintain your air conditioning unit. You should definitely clean or replace your air conditioner’s filter at least once every month. If your unit has a filter you can clean, you need to handle it carefully when removing or putting it back into the unit. You can rinse it off with water and then allow it to completely dry out before putting it back in.

If you have an air conditioning unit that sports disposable filters, be sure to get the proper replacement that is specifically designed for your unit. You may pay a little more, but you will get that money back in lower utility bills due to the increased efficiency of your system as well as its better performance. 

 

Keep in mind that you should never allow your air conditioner to operate without a filter in place. Without a filter, your air conditioning unit will pull in debris, dust, dirt, and allergens that will build up on the internal components of your air conditioner which will cause you issues down the road.

Contact Us

To achieve optimum service and filter cleaning for your air conditioner, you can call upon the air conditioning experts at PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air in Mesa, AZ today! Contact us now.

Guide: What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Summertime is upon us, and many people will be replacing their air conditioners or purchasing new ones. If you are one of those people, keep in mind that not all air conditioners are the same and that size matters more than you may think it does.

 

Air Conditioner Ratings

Air conditioners are normally rated in two ways: either by energy efficiency or cooling capacity. When it comes to cooling capacity, all air conditioners will be labeled with a BTUh or BTU rating. BTUh stands for British Thermal Unit per hour while BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. The BTUh Majors the cooling ability in an hour that your air conditioner put out and it is labeled in tons of air conditioning. One ton of air conditioning means that 12,000 BTUs of heat each hour are being removed from the air. The BTU of an air conditioning unit means the amount of energy that is needed to increase the temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

 

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency and some air conditioners are rated with this, which indicates an air conditioner’s amount of energy efficiency. The ratio is determined by the amount of cooling that is provided during the entire cooling season and then divided by the total amount of electrical energy that was used. So, basically, the higher the SEER rating is, then the more energy-efficient the whole air conditioning system is.

Why Size Matters

When it comes to the heating and cooling unit in your home, the unit size is extremely important because if you get one that is too big, you’re going to be paying out more in energy costs then you need to, but if it’s too small, then your home will not be properly heated or cold. Also, if your new AC unit is improperly sized it will not work as efficiently as it was designed to do so. An undersized air conditioning unit is going to have to run basically all the time to be able to reach the desired temperature of your home and will cause it to wear out sooner than it should.

Variables That Can Affect the Size of Air Conditioner

The main factor that is focused upon when choosing the right size air conditioning system for your home is the square footage of your house, but there are some variables that can come into play also.

One variable is climate since warmer climates require air conditioning units throughout the year instead of just during the summer months so people who live in warmer climates may want an air conditioning unit with a higher SEER rating.

Your home’s exterior, including the type of material on the outside of your home as well as the color of it, can affect how much heat is either absorbed or reflected. For instance, lighter colors tend to reflect heat from the sun, while brick homes may absorb more heat and retain heat longer and vinyl siding provides very good insulation.

How much shade you have in your yard around your home and how much exposure your home has to the sunshine can affect your air conditioning unit also. If you have a home that faces the West or the South, it may take longer to cool because of the amount of heat from the sun that it is exposed to during the summer months. Homes with plenty of shade or those that face in an eastward or northward direction, receive less sun exposure and are generally cooler.

The amount of insulation in your home will also play a role in how much heat is kept out and how much cool air is kept in during the summer and in the reverse during the winter months. If your house is very well insulated, it will help your air conditioning unit run more efficiently.

If you have a home with older windows, you may be losing cooler air through those windows, especially if they are single-pane or not energy efficient. You may want to invest in some double or triple pane windows or ones that are coated with a low-emissivity film to help regulate the temperature within your home.

A home with very high ceilings means that you will have to purchase an air conditioner with more BTUs since you will need to calculate one or two higher for the square footage of your home for it to be called efficiently with high ceilings. Also, if you have several heat-generating appliances, you will need an air conditioning unit with more BTUs to keep areas such as laundry rooms and kitchens cooler.

 

How to Calculate Size

To calculate the size of the air conditioning unit you will need, simply multiply the square footage of your home by 25. The answer you get is the number of BTUhs that are needed to cool your home efficiently.

Contact Us

The expert AC repair technicians at PlumbSmart Plumbing Heating and Air in Mesa, AZ, are ready to assist you with all of your Arizona heating and cooling needs. Contact us today for an appointment!