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Saturday, August 9, 2014

How to Save Energy while Using Central Air Conditioning

Most of us know that there are many appliances on the market today that are designed to operate without using the high volume of energy that their predecessors used. While buying a high-efficiency air conditioning unit is a good start, your efforts at being more environmentally friendly shouldn’t start there. In addition to using an air conditioning service to provide regular AC maintenance to keep the air conditioning operating at optimal efficiency, there are also ways to save energy that start with the selection of the unit you have installed.

Purchase the Right Size AC Unit for Your Home

While some homeowners think that keeping their air conditioning system on the small side will prevent it from using too much energy, the opposite is true. The unit will have to work that much harder to try to keep the entire home cooled. As a result, it uses more energy. The same is true for a unit that is too large. Have a technician look at your home and evaluate the perfect size. Otherwise, you will end up with a unit that uses more energy and doesn’t do an efficient job of keeping your home cool and comfortable.
Have the Unit Professionally Installed

Installing your air conditioning system should never be a do-it-yourself project, or left in the hands of an air conditioning service that doesn’t have the experience to install all models of AC systems. Proper installation plays a large role in the efficiency of the unit, and the amount of wear and tear. 

Install a Thermostat that You Can Program

Only cooling your home from the time immediately before you arrive until you leave in the mornings can save a significant amount of energy use, in comparison to leaving the AC running throughout the day. 
Maintain AC Maintenance

Regular AC maintenance is essential to make the system run efficiently, and it will extend the life of the AC unit. A regular maintenance plan ensures that your AC will be taken care of professionally, without any need for you to remember when it’s time to call for service. 

Any additional changes you make to your home, such as adding energy-efficient windows, doors, or lighting, will improve your energy usage and help your AC unit make your home more comfortable. To learn more about our professional AC installation, call Aire Serv of Wichita Falls at 940-447-4966.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Special Needs of Businesses for Repairs of Heating and Cooling Systems

There are many ways that businesses differ from each other, especially when it comes time for repairs of new heating and cooling systems. Even a short period of time without the heat and air working can have a negative impact on your business. When your HVAC system stops working, it must be repaired as quickly and efficiently as possible. Many HVAC companies take a long time to respond, and they do not have the properly trained technicians for the job, costing you more than repairs, but also the cost of business that is lost.

When summer heat is at its hottest, or the winter freeze is causing indoor temperatures to drop, it isn’t just your customers that you have to worry about keeping comfortable. Providing a comfortable atmosphere in which to work is essential for the well-being of your employees, as well. Even if your business is one that does not have a high volume of customers or clients, you want to keep your employees healthy and productive. That means keeping your business at a comfortable temperature year around.

Although there are a number of similarities between commercial and residential HVAC systems, it is essential to get service from the company that well knows the few differences between them. Every situation and every call for repairs on heating and cooling systems is a unique one. Some of the details that we will evaluate when we arrive at your business are:

  • Brand and age of the HVAC system 
  •  Whether it is not working efficiently, or at all 
  •  The likely cause of the problem 
  •  How to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future

 Your commercial HVAC system is too important to take chances on. A regular maintenance service can prevent many of the problems that commonly occur to HVAC systems. To learn more, call Aire Servof Wichita Falls at 940-447-4966.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Avoiding Common Plumbing Problems

Your home’s plumbing plays an integral part in your daily life. As such, a little plumbing knowledge can go a long way toward avoiding some of the most common plumbing problems you’re likely to experience at home. The more you know about your plumbing, the better you’ll be able to tackle minor issues, as well as recognize when you need to call your Anderson plumber for professional help.

Cleaning Your Shower Drain
Shower drains often clog when hair, soap scum, dead skin cells, and dirt wash down the drain and collect into blockages. Keeping your shower drain clean can prevent backups that can cause inconvenience and water damage to your bathroom’s finishes. Never pour harsh drain cleaning chemicals down a slow shower drain—this can damage the plumbing and lead to bigger problems down the road. Instead, remove the drain cover with a screwdriver and use a shop vacuum or hand auger to break up and remove clogs to prevent complete blockage of the drain. You can also reduce the likelihood of clogs by using a mesh drain cover during showers; make sure to empty the drain cover in the trash after each use.  

Testing Your Water Shutoff Valves
In case of an emergency, your home’s water main and every individual line that sprouts from it have an emergency shutoff valve. Knowing where these valves are can help you act fast in case of a plumbing issue, allowing you to shut off the incoming water and prevent flooding or water damage. In most homes, the main water shutoff valve is located near your water meter. Once you have found the main water shutoff valve, test it periodically to make sure it will work when you need it. Additionally, every plumbing fixture (tubs, toilets, sinks, washing machines, etc.) should have its own shutoff valve. These valves are located near the wall on the water line leading to the fixture. You should test these valves periodically as well to ensure you can turn them easily to shut off the water to an overflowing appliance or fixture, should the need ever arise.

Checking Your Water Pressure
While water pressure that is too low can make it difficult to enjoy showers and wash clothes or dishes, water pressure that is too high can damage your plumbing. Banging pipes when you turn the water on or off could indicate high water pressure in your home. If you have periodic water pressure issues or are concerned that your water pressure may be too high, you can measure the pressure of incoming water with the help of an inexpensive water pressure meter, which you can purchase from your plumber or at a hardware store. Attach the water pressure meter to an outdoor hose bib and follow the instructions that come with the meter for reading your water pressure. If your home’s water pressure reads above 75 psi, contact your plumber. He can install a pressure regulator to reduce incoming water pressure and prevent plumbing damage associated with excessively high water pressure.

Avoiding common plumbing mistakes and mishaps will help to keep your life stress-free and protect your home’s plumbing system. You can learn more about plumbing maintenance and DIY repairs by checking out the articles on our blog. Visit our website to learn more about our professional plumbing services in Anderson, SC, including drain clearing, backflow prevention, and sewer repairs.

Sampling San Diego’s Best Coffee

Do you love a good cup of coffee and a great atmosphere in which to enjoy it? San Diego is home to some amazing—and unique—coffee shop experiences. If you’re ready to explore San Diego’s coffee culture and discover the perfect cup of Joe, check out some of these locally- and nationally-recognized coffee shops:

Bird Rock Coffee Roasters
Located on La Jolla Boulevard in La Jolla, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters was voted the 2012 Micro Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine. Stop by to can enjoy a top-quality cup of coffee while admiring the oceanfront views. Every cup of BRCR coffee is crafted with quality in mind, starting with the highest standards for coffee beans and ending with a rigorous brewing process designed to bring out the richest flavors as you take each sip. BRCR is also dedicated to finding more sustainable and green ways of growing, harvesting, roasting, and serving coffee. Coming this summer, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters will be opening a new coffee bar location in Little Italy, so stay tuned!

Elixir Espresso Bar
Many could argue that today’s “coffee craze” started with Italian espresso. Elixir Espresso Bar takes coffee back to its roots, starting with its historic location in the Marston Building. This espresso bar treats coffee as more than just a beverage—instead, it’s an art form. Enjoy the best espresso shots you’ve ever tasted; pair your drink with a delectable homemade crepe if you’re hungry for a snack as well. Patrons can enjoy free WiFi and both indoor and sidewalk tables where you can take in the unique ambiance of this stunning location.

Café Moto
At Café Moto, “We drink all we can—the rest we sell.” A local coffee shop with roots that date back to 1968, Café Moto has earned itself a large local following thanks to their passion and dedication to roasting the perfect cup of coffee. Café Moto is a fair trade-certified coffee roaster that strives to make positive and lasting changes in the San Diego community. Inside Café Moto’s National Ave. café, you’ll find plenty of seating as you enjoy handcrafted and small batch-roasted coffee blends. Café Moto also serves tea and smoothies and hosts a retail area where you can purchase coffee and other merchandise to enjoy the Café Moto experience at home.

Ryan Bros. Coffee
Each Ryan Bros. Coffee location is a quirky, home-like setting where you’ll find a friendly atmosphere, a comfy seat, and complimentary WiFi. Ryan Bros. Coffee began with the three Ryan brothers, who came together to create a place where family and community could flourish—and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. Ryan Bros. Coffee micro-roasts their own coffee using a slow-roasting process that has been perfected over time. Each employee strives to deliver the best-tasting cup of coffee you’ve ever had, guided by the establishment’s motto: “Life is too short to be bitter!” Today, Ryan Bros. Coffee is an award-winning brand as well as a service-based establishment focused on cultivating customer satisfaction and enrichment.

Carmel Pacific Ridge offers luxury living in our premier apartment community in San Diego. You’ll discover amenities that include an outdoor yoga deck, community wine bar and fireside living room, onsite tanning salon, and Moroccan-inspired outdoor living room. Inside your apartment, you’ll find details like contemporary solid wood cabinetry, wood-style flooring, and a private balcony or patio to relax or socialize. Are you ready to find the San Diego apartment of your dreams? Visit us online to learn more about our floor plans, availability, and move-in specials.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Enjoy These Free Summer Activities in San Diego!

Are you looking for something to do this weekend in San Diego? America's Finest City has plenty to offer this summer—all without costing you a single cent! Keep reading to discover some fun and free activities and sites you can enjoy all summer long, just minutes from the door of your Carmel Pacific Ridge luxury apartment.

Coronado's Summer Concert Series
On Sunday evenings all summer long, you can enjoy the Coronado Free Summer Concert Series in Spreckels Park, located on Orange Ave. and Seventh St. This time-honored tradition takes place every Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day, with concerts starting between 4pm and 6pm. Grab a blanket, pack a picnic basket, and head on down to the park to enjoy the music drifting from the gazebo bandstand at the center of the park. If you stop by early on the first and third Sundays of the month, you can check out the work of local San Diego artists at the Coronado Art Association's Art-In-The-Park event.

Seaport Village
Have you ever wondered what it might have been like to stroll along San Diego’s waterfront 100 years ago? Seaport Village recreates the past with all the benefits of modern day in a 14-acre waterfront shopping and dining complex. You’ll find 17 restaurants and 54 one-of-a-kind shops as you stroll through Seaport Village’s idyllic cobblestone streets. While you shop and eat, take some time to stop and admire Seaport Village’s fountains, landscaping, and oceanfront boardwalk views. Each weekend, you can enjoy live entertainment and music including Beatles tribute bands, outdoor movie nights, and a free Sunday Concert Series. From Seaport Village, you can also easily connect to nearby attractions that include the Convention Center, Marriott Hotel & Marina, and the Midway Museum.

Stargazing with the San Diego Astronomy Association
Each Wednesday at dusk, you can attend a free public sky viewing hosted by the San Diego Astronomy Association. Head over to the large fountain in Balboa Park to take a look through various telescopes and learn about the objects you’ll be seeing, both near and far. Even with the city lights all around, you’ll be able to easily see the moon, the planets, and nearby stars through each telescope’s eyepiece. Don’t forget to bring all of your astronomy-related questions—SDAA members will be happy to answer them and explain about the telescopes and sights you’ll see in more detail. If you’re interested in even more stargazing events with the SDAA, you can see some amazing sights if you’re willing to travel just outside the reach of San Diego’s city lights.

Mission Trails Regional Park
Encompassing a total of almost 5,800 acres of both developed and natural recreational areas, Mission Trails Regional Park brings the amazing beauty of the natural landscape into the heart of San Diego. Start your visit in the Visitor and Interpretive Center, which contains extensive information about the park and its more than 40 miles of hiking and biking trails. You can also learn about the area’s wildlife and its native San Dieguito people, who inhabited the area long before it was discovered by outsiders. Mission Trails Regional Park also features campgrounds, which are available for reservation on a first-come, first-serve basis for a $20 fee per night.

You can experience all that San Diego has to offer when you make Carmel Pacific Ridge your home. Our apartment community offers spacious floor plans with luxury amenities and finishes that offer high-class living you’ll enjoy every day. Explore our neighborhood and more online, or stop by in person to discuss leasing with us today.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Using and Troubleshooting Your Dishwasher

You rely on your dishwasher to make cleanup after meals easy and energy efficient. Learning how to use your dishwasher properly will maximize its efficiency and longevity, preventing many of the most common problems you might encounter. Keep reading to find out how to use, maintain, and troubleshoot your dishwasher in Portland. If you do encounter a problem you can’t fix, contact your appliance repair service promptly for the assistance you need.

Loading Your Dishwasher
One of the easiest mistakes to make—and the simplest to avoid—is overloading your dishwasher. Overloading your dishwasher reduces its efficiency and can even block portions of the spray arm, meaning your dishes won’t come out clean. Too many dishes and too little soap can also result in dishes that aren’t as sparkling as you expect. If you’re experiencing trouble with your dishwasher, first try loading the dishwasher with fewer dishes. Make sure no dishes or glasses are touching to avoid accidental damage to these items while they’re being cleaned. Avoid overloading the silverware baskets as well—if the water can’t reach every part of your silverware, it won’t come out clean.

Washing Your Dishes
There are a few factors that can affect your dishwasher’s performance while it’s washing your dishes. One factor is the amount of soap—check your detergent tray after each wash cycle for soap residue. If you’re consistently finding excess soap or residue in the detergent tray, you’re using too much. Try cutting back on the amount of soap you use until there is no residue left in the tray after each load. Alternatively, you can try switching to detergent packs, which provide exactly the right amount of soap for each load. If you notice that your dishwasher appears to be leaking while it works, check the rubber seal, or gasket, around the door. Gaskets can wear out over time, causing a break in the watertight seal that can lead to leaks. Look for areas that have cracked, crumbled, or are otherwise damaged. You can replace the gasket yourself, or have your appliance repair service do so for you.

Dishwasher Leaks
The most common cause of dishwasher leaks is a failed gasket. However, if replacing the gasket on your dishwasher’s door doesn’t solve your leak, the problem is likely either the pipes that provide water to your dishwasher or the drain hose that funnels wastewater away from the appliance. One indication that the drain hose is at fault is an excessive amount of water left in the bottom of your dishwasher after each load. The pipes and the drain hose are located behind or beneath your dishwasher; thus, the appliance must be moved away from your counter to access these areas. It’s often best to have an appliance repair service address issues with your dishwasher’s pipes or drain hose to make sure the appliance is properly removed and replaced during this process. If you’re experiencing a constant leak from your dishwasher, turn off the incoming water supply to the appliance until your repair service can fix it.

Using your dishwasher properly is the best way to avoid breakdowns and other common problems. If you run into dishwasher trouble you can’t handle, visit our website to schedule dishwasher repairs in Portland. Check out our blog for more tips and tricks to keep your dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, and dryer running smoothly!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dress Up Your Home with a New Roof!

The roof is one of the largest and most visible cosmetic components of your home. If you’re considering a new look for your home’s exterior, it’s important to consider the look of your roof as well. With many different styles, colors, and materials to choose from, you can completely customize the look of your roof to boost you home’s overall value and appeal in Alexandria, Fairfax, or Bethesda.

The style of your roof affects the overall look of your home. Do you want a traditional shingled roof that fades into the background and allows other aspects of your home to come to the forefront? Are you aiming for an Old World look with large tiles that will give your home stately appeal? Is your dream roof one that hearkens back to the wood-style roofs of country homes? Because roofing materials are so customizable, you can tailor the look of your roof to match the overall style of your home with very little trouble. Keep in mind that certain types of roofing materials will cost more to purchase and maintain. Additionally, tile roofs can be very heavy; your home may need additional structural support if it was not originally designed to hold this type of roof.

Roofing materials offer various cosmetic and functional features that can influence your ultimate choice. Asphalt shingles are extremely common, making them easy to repair and maintain. Wood shingles are popular because of their luxurious look; however, keep in mind that wood will change color naturally over time, so talk to your roofing contractor about how you can expect the look of your roof to change over time. This information can help you select the best type of wood that will age well and increase the appeal of your home as the years go by. If you want the look of wood without the maintenance or aging properties, asphalt and cement shingles can be made to look like wood, offering the cosmetic features you want with less maintenance and more predictability. Tile roofing is extremely long-lasting, making it a desirable choice if you don’t want to update your roof for many years to come. Metal roofing is quickly gaining in popularity because of its durability. Studies show that re-roofing with metal can even increase the value of home by up to six percent if you plan to sell it in the future.

Regardless of the materials you choose, the color of your roof will also have a large impact on its final appearance. There are many factors to consider when selecting the color of your roof. Dark roofing absorbs more heat from the sun, while lighter colors are better at reflecting incident light to keep your home cooler. However, dark colors can be appealing if you want to give your home a more classical look. Ultimately, the color of your roof should be one that complements the colors of your exterior, including the color of your siding, brick, and trim.

A new roof can completely transform the look of your home. If you’d like to learn more about roof installation or repairs in Alexandria, Bethesda, Fairfax, or Columbia, visit our website to check out our full range of roofing services or to request a next-day estimate.