Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

Is Your Heater Running on Borrowed Time?

February 11th, 2019

question-markNow that we’re getting into mid-February, some homeowners out there are no doubt starting to eagerly anticipate the spring season. Just because warmer temperatures may be visible on the horizon in the near future, however, does not mean that you can let a struggling heating system limp along through the rest of the winter. There is too much work to be done yet. By rolling the dice in that way, you are only putting your comfort at risk.

If you were training for a marathon and sprained your ankle a few miles out from the finish line, chances are that you’d have that ankle taken care of before you decided to give it another shot and cross that finish line. The same mindset should apply to your heating system. Our Ankeny, IA, HVAC professionals want to ensure that you understand the signs that your heater is giving you. It may be that repairs are needed, of course. However, considering different factors, it may become clear that a full heating replacement is your best option, even with spring close ahead. 

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Prepare for the Coming Extreme Cold!

January 30th, 2019

logoIn the next few days, we all will experience temperatures and wind chills that our homes’ heating systems in the Des Moines area are NOT designed for. -20 to -30-degree temperatures with wind chills into -40 and down to the -50s! Newer homes will struggle to maintain temperature and older homes will NOT maintain temperature—the temperature WILL drop while the heating system is working at full capacity. Here are some helpful tips to make the next few days a little more bearable.

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How Ductwork and Heating Problems Are Linked

January 28th, 2019

sealing-ductWhen you invest in a good heating system and you schedule routine heating maintenance, you may think that you’re in the clear and that nothing bad can happen in terms of your overall heating experience. Unfortunately, this is just not the case. Even the best heating systems on the market, even when expertly installed and meticulously maintained, can still run into trouble. Things are only complicated further by the fact that different components of the system at large, rather than the heating unit itself, may be to blame.

Case in point? Your ductwork. If you use a heat pump or a furnace to heat your home, then you are using a forced air heating system to distribute heat throughout your living space. That means that air is heated and then circulated throughout the house by air ducts. If those ducts are not in great working condition, then your entire heating system is compromised. Let’s take a look at some signs of trouble with your ductwork in Altoona, IA.

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Is Your Heater Running Properly?

January 14th, 2019

dog-blanketWhat does this mean, you may be wondering? Is my heater starting up? Sure it is. Is it generating heat? Well, yes. That would be a pretty obvious problem, and I don’t really need a blog post to tell me that a heater should be doing so.

That’s not really what this blog is about, though.

In today’s post, we are going to talk about an issue that a lot of homeowners face, and that a lot of homeowners fail to recognize as a serious issue: short cycling. Because your heater will still technically be firing up and producing heat when it is short cycling, you may be tempted to ignore the issue, if you register it as such at all.

Don’t.

We are going to take a look at some of the potential causes of short cycling, as well as some of the ways in which it works against you and your system. If necessary, we can handle your heating repairs in Des Moines, IA.

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Keep Your Heater Working Efficiently

December 31st, 2018

money-savingIf we were able to provide you with free heating, it would be our honor to do so. That’s just not a possibility, however—which is actually good for us, since giving away free heating probably wouldn’t be great for our finances. That being said, you certainly don’t want to be paying more than is necessary in order to heat your home. Too many homeowners write off their high heating costs as the norm, though, even though boost efficiency can be quite simple.

Now, we’re not going to be able to make your heater any more efficient than it is rated for. All systems do have their upper limit. However, we’ can help you to keep your heater working as closely to that upper limit as possible. Sure, replacing your old, inefficient heater with a new, more efficient model is an obvious way to get a more efficient heating performance. We’d like to share some other, less expensive tips with you today, though. 

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Is Your Heater in Trouble Already?

December 17th, 2018

servicing-furnaceIt’s only December, which means that we have a whole lot more winter weather to contend with before things start to warm up once again. That can be a startling realization when you run into problems with your heating system relatively early into the heating season. The best way to protect your comfort, the condition of your heater, and even your safety is to schedule prompt heating repairs in Clive, IA. To do so, however, you need to recognize the signs of trouble.

Not all of them are incredibly obvious. That’s the bad news. The good news, inasmuch as we can use the word “good” in this context, is that not every problem is terribly serious, either. However, most warning signs do point to potentially serious problems, so the right course of action is to treat any such issue as a priority. In doing so, you help to prevent serious damages to your heating system that could have been avoided with more prompt action!

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Potential Problems with Your Water Heater

December 3rd, 2018

tank-water-heaterHot water in your home is not only a convenience, but a necessity. We use hot water every day, and we tend to take it for granted. When your water no longer runs hot, you will notice. When this happens, it is time to call a trusted professional.

We know that many homeowners wait until their hot water heaters break down completely before calling for repair. Homeowners may also not realize how serious a problem really is. We understand that scheduling a repair might be the last thing you want to do today, but trust us, waiting will only make matters worse. Waiting until your water heater breaks down will make for a costlier repair bill.

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Hard Water Doesn’t Have to Mean Hard Times!

November 19th, 2018

water-softenerThere are a lot of problems with your plumbing system that you may encounter. It is not all about leaks and clogged drains, however. The problem may actually be with the quality of the water coming out of your taps itself. One of the most common plumbing and water quality issues that homeowners face is that of hard water. Now, hard water is not necessarily an emergency. Not right away, at least. It can cause some serious problems, though.

In today’s post, we are going to discuss hard water in-depth. We’ll talk about what hard water is, what kind of issues it can lead to, and how best to resolve problems with hard water. In fact, we’ll come right out and say that you’ll want a whole-house water softener in Des Moines, IA if you have hard water. There is no better way in which to deal with the problem effectively and conveniently. Now, let’s take a closer look!

What Is Hard Water?

No, we are not talking about ice—though it is certainly getting chilly out there! Hard water is just regular old water that has too high of a mineral concentration. Typically, we are looking at calcium and magnesium levels. Hard water is not going to make you physically ill, the way that certain other contaminants in your water can. It may not even make it taste bad. So why the concern?

Problems Caused By Hard Water

Because those minerals don’t stay in the water, that’s why. Hard water is most commonly recognized by the deposits that it leaves behind. These ugly buildups are yellow, white, and green in color. They build up on plumbing fixtures and drains. They can stain laundry, leaving it looking yellowed even after it’s just been washed. Hard water can make it difficult to get a good lather from your soap, leaving you feeling unclean after showering, and it can make something as simple as rinsing the conditioner out of your hair more of a problem.

Perhaps the most serious issue stemming from hard water is the buildup that it leaves in pipes and appliances, though. You may hear your boiler or water heater rumbling if these buildups are present. You may have issues with narrowing drains due to increasing buildups. These are real issues that cannot be ignored!

Prevent Those Buildups from Building Up in the First Place

How do you prevent hard water deposits from building up? You get those minerals out of the water before it circulates throughout your plumbing system, that’s how. Sound time consuming and labor intensive? Don’t worry. Doing so is actually quite simple, once we have installed your water softener!

A water softener uses a brine tank to swap out hard water minerals with harmless sodium ions. It’s a whole-house solution, so you don’t have to worry about using multiple units or anything like that. Just one will take care of all the water coming into your home. All that you’ll have to do is replenish the salt tank with the appropriate product as needed.

Schedule your water softener services with Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling.

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Winter Plumbing Challenges Solved!

November 5th, 2018

frozen-pipeWinter brings a lot of challenges. It makes commutes tougher. It makes taking the dogs out for their walks tougher. Heck, it makes getting out of bed in the morning tougher. All that being said, it is easy to overlook some of the worst challenges that winter has to offer, including those affecting your plumbing system. You’d be remiss to do so, though. Why? Because if you wait for problems to take hold, you’re already in a world of trouble!

Today, we are going to be talking about the classic conundrum that plumbing systems face in the winter season. You guessed it: frozen pipes. Is there a way to guarantee that you’ll never run into problems with your plumbing pipes freezing? Unfortunately, no. Is there a way to make that risk as minimal as possible? Fortunately, no.

Wait, what?

There’s not “a” way—there are plenty of them! Read on for tips regarding winter and your plumbing in Des Moines, IA.

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How Filters Affect Furnaces

October 22nd, 2018

hello-winterFurnaces have long ranked among the most popular of all home heating systems, and they are not likely to be unseated from the throne any time soon. They are highly effective, provide prompt heating throughout the house via their use of ductwork, and modern models are quite efficient. At least, this is all true when the furnace is in the best working condition possible. Scheduling routine maintenance can help to ensure that this is the case.

However, there is also one important step that you must take on your own if you really want to get the most from your furnace. That is to change your air filter as needed. Typically, this is every one to three months, though we suggest that you err on the side of caution and do it on the more frequent side of that range. Yes, your technician will change the filter during your tune-up, but once a year is not enough. A fresh filter can help to stave off furnace repair in Ankeny, IA.

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