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Mark King

Benefits of Touchless Faucets in Your Home

5 Benefits of Touchless Faucets in Your Home

By Blog

Touchless faucets make it easier and cleaner to use the sinks in your kitchen and bathroom. Thanks to a built-in sensor, water begins to flow when you place an item under the spout and stops when you remove it. With touchless technology, you can enjoy more efficient, convenient sinks.

Here are five points to consider when you decide whether an automatic faucet installation is beneficial for your home or not.

1. Touchless Faucet Sink Installation Saves Water

Touchless faucets drastically reduce water usage when compared to a regular tap because they only operate when you need them to. When you turn the water on, your plumbing pumps out around two gallons of water every minute. As a result, a typical faucet flushes gallons of water down the drain while we wash our hands, clean the dishes, or brush our teeth.

A touchless faucet eliminates the problem of wasted water. Because air is combined with the water, hands-free faucets are engineered to have a considerably lower flow rate. You may get the impression that you’re using a larger amount of water, but you’re actually using less than you would with a regular faucet. Over time, you can see significant savings on your water bill.

2. Keeps Germs at Bay

When you’re considering a touchless faucet installation, think about your health. We learned the importance of germ avoidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Touchless faucets help keep germs at bay in public settings and when you return home.

Because you can’t wash your hands prior to using the sink, your faucet handles harbor bacteria, such as coliform bacteria, E. coli, and even staph. The handles of commonly used faucets in the home can host thousands of germs per square inch.

Automatic faucets are a vital addition to ensure the safety and health of your family and friends.

3. Simple to Use

The most appealing feature of a touchless faucet is how simple it is to use. All you need to do is place your hands in front of the sensor to start the water flow. It’s as simple as that. When you finish washing your hands or rinsing your toothbrush, the water turns off. Touch-free faucets are also easy for young children and seniors to use.

4. Easy to Clean

A touchless sink fixture also has the advantage of not getting as dirty as standard faucets. You don’t have to worry about germs and debris collecting on the surface because it doesn’t require touch. It makes all of the harmful germs much less of a concern for you!

5. Greater Convenience in the Kitchen

If you’re considering a new sink installation in your kitchen, a touchless faucet may be in your best interests. Preparing food in the kitchen is considerably easier with a touchless faucet. You won’t have to turn it on and off while cutting, chopping, and slicing vegetables and fruit that you want to rinse. When you’re working with raw meat, it eliminates the need to touch the handle with your dirty hands.

A sensor-equipped faucet can be a more accessible option than a traditional one because it eliminates the need for a handle. Individuals who have arthritis, hand injuries, or other concerns may find touchless faucets refreshingly simple to use.

This type of plumbing installation also means that the fixture and its components last longer. The knobs, levers, or handles of regular faucets get a lot of use. When you don’t have to use handles, there are fewer things that will need repair.

5. Touchless Faucets Are Safer

Taking care of family and guests is an essential part of being a homeowner. Hands-free sinks with fixed temperature settings prevent accidents that could result in burns.

Even though there aren’t visible handles like traditional sink faucets have, you still remain in control of the temperature settings. Whether you’re living with children, the elderly, or just want a safer method for washing your hands, a touchless faucet is a great choice!

Plumbing Repair and Faucet Installation

At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we’re proud to help our neighbors in the Plano, TX area! Regardless of your plumbing needs, our experienced and trained specialists will expertly handle your request, whether it’s for a touchless faucet installation or an urgent plumbing repair.

Our friendly team will arrive on time, respect you and your home, give you a fair rate, and have your plumbing in good working order as soon as possible. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Plumber

What’s a Pilot Light? Is Mine Off?

By Blog

As a homeowner, you will have to learn a little bit about every feature of your house. This education includes learning about the pilot light on your water heater to ensure you can check it for simple issues.

Even though you’re not an expert in the operation of your water heater, a basic understanding will tell you when you need to call a Carrollton, TX, plumber for service.

What Is the Pilot Light?

If you’re unfamiliar with gas water heaters, you may not even know what a pilot light is or how it functions. While you might think it’s a small light bulb due to the confusing name, it’s actually a small flame that’s located just inside the bottom of the water heater.

It stays lit all of the time, and as you will learn, a pilot light that won’t stay lit requires professional plumbing repair services.

The pilot light is located close to the burner on the water heater. As sensors indicate a need to heat the water, gas is pushed through the burner. The pilot light is there to ignite the gas, allowing the burner to heat the water. Without the pilot light, you would need to ignite the burner with a match or cigarette lighter each time you wanted hot water.

How to Tell Your Pilot Light is Out

It’s usually pretty easy for a Carrollton, TX, homeowner to tell when their pilot light is out. The most obvious indication that the pilot light isn’t lit is that you can’t get hot water from your faucets or shower. An extinguished pilot light may not be the only problem, but this is usually the first thing you should check before calling a plumbing repair service.

When you approach your water heater, the first thing you should look for is the indicator for the gas control valve. The indicator light will change color when there’s a problem, and there will be a chart to show you what each color means. The color representing an extinguished pilot light should be on that chart.

The third way to verify that your pilot light is out is by doing a visual inspection. This inspection will require kneeling in front of the heater and pulling off the plate that covers the burner chamber. As you look into the chamber, you should see a small orange or blue flame. If it’s dark, you have verified that the pilot light has been extinguished.

What Causes Your Pilot Light to Extinguish?

There are several reasons that a pilot light may go out. Before you call for plumbing repair, it can help to know a little something about these causes. This knowledge will help you understand any issues your plumber needs to discuss with you after they inspect your water heater.

Drafts

Even if you have the protective plate in place to protect the burner chamber, a draft can still blow out the pilot light. If this is the case, you may only need to reignite the flame.

Gas Pressure Changes

While this is a rare occurrence, a change in gas pressure in the line can create a lapse that will extinguish the flame. This occurrence is another cause that can be fixed simply by lighting the pilot light.

Bad Thermocouple

The thermocouple is a sensor that shuts off the flow of gas if it detects an extinguished pilot light. If the sensor is dirty or faulty, it may think the pilot light is out and cut off gas flow as a response. This cut-off causes the pilot light to go out as the flow of gas is interrupted. If your pilot light goes out multiple times, this may be the cause.

Poor Airflow

If you remember your high school chemistry classes, you know that combustible air is needed to maintain a fire. Poor airflow where your water heater is located may make it difficult to keep your pilot light lit.

This issue requires immediate plumbing repair to ensure the situation isn’t resulting in a buildup of carbon monoxide in your Carrollton, TX, home.

How Can a Plumbing Repair Service Help You Maintain Your Water Heater?

Anytime you experience a problem with your pilot light or the functioning of your water heater, you should call a Carrollton, TX, plumber. They can fix any problem you may be having with your pilot light and can also fix leaks in the unit, remove sediment in the bottom of the tank, and address gas flow problems.

Your plumber can also advise you when you should start budgeting for a new water heater. Depending on the quality of the heater and the size of the tank, a residential water heater can last from 6 to 13 years. If your water heater is 11 or 12 years old, you should already be planning for a replacement.

Your plumber can help you choose the best water heater for your situation, but there are a few things to consider.

Look for a water heater with the Energy Star logo to ensure you’re buying an energy-efficient model. You can also downgrade to a smaller water heater. If you’re single or your adult children have moved out, you may not need a larger unit that uses more fuel to operate.

Should You Shut Off Your Pilot Light?

Some Carrollton, TX, homeowners shut off their pilot light to conserve energy and water. While this won’t damage the weather heater, it can become an inconvenient process to reignite the pilot light each time you want hot water.

The best way to conserve is to lower the temperature setting on the water heater. This lowering will help you use less gas, and you probably won’t even notice the slight drop in water temperature. You will put less stress on your water heater, and that can help you extend its life.

When you do need service for your water heater or other plumbing components, contact Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We perform inspections, repairs, and new equipment installations to ensure all of your plumbing needs are met. Reach out to us today.

Top Ways to Improve Your Water Quality and Efficiency

6 Top Ways to Improve Your Water Quality and Efficiency

By Blog

Clean water is something everybody needs, but not everybody thinks about it on a day-to-day basis. Most people assume that their running water is clean and safe to use. Unfortunately, the quality of water in US homes has been declining.

Towns all over the country are suffering from water quality problems. Whether the cause is sewage leaks, oil spills, or other water pollution events, contaminated water is finding its way to more communities than ever. 

Homeowners in Carrollton, TX, may be seeking information on the best ways to improve water quality. Your home’s water greatly affects your quality of life – not to mention your water bill. Here are some tips on the top ways to improve your home’s water quality and efficiency.

  • Test Your Water Quality

Before you can enhance the water quality in your home, you first need to determine exactly what state your water is in. Testing your water will let you know if it contains any bacteria or contaminants that are potentially dangerous. 

Lead, pesticides, nitrogen, chlorine, and a host of other contaminants are seriously harmful to your health and need to be filtered out.

Some people purchase at-home solutions to test their water, but these do-it-yourself kits are often expensive and frequently hard to read. For the best results, you should consult with a professional. 

  • Keep Your Plumbing Properly Maintained

Long-term water quality and efficiency depend on your plumbing system. The best way to ensure there won’t be any lead in your water is to update your pipes. 

Old, unmaintained pipes and plumbing can deteriorate to the point of causing lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is not always immediately detectable. It can lead to grave health concerns, including severe kidney damage.

If you have an older home, you should make sure your home has been repiped. If it hasn’t, or if you’re not sure, now is the time to call a professional.

Attempting to work on your home’s plumbing yourself can open you up to the possibility of mistakes that are expensive to fix. The quality of your water is something that you should leave in the hands of an expert.

  • Make Sure Your Water Heater Is in Good Condition

Water heaters can hold a significant amount of bacteria. What many people don’t consider about their water heater is how frequently it is used. Harmful metal, bacteria, sediments, and other hazardous contaminants build up at an alarming rate. 

You should drain your water heater regularly to avoid sediment buildup. A professional plumber will do this during a routine maintenance visit.

Making sure your water heater is well-maintained throughout the years keeps you from having to call professionals for plumbing repair instead of simple plumbing maintenance.

  • Install a Comprehensive Water Filtration System

Everyone is aware of popular retail water filters that are easily attached to your sink and promise to cleanse your water of contaminants and heavy salts. While these easy-fix water filters are quick options for basic water filtering, something more full-scale is needed for complete water filtration in your home. 

There are numerous reasons to consider a water filtration system for your home, such as:

  • Longer lifetime for your plumbing
  • Saving money
  • Healthier and clearer skin
  • Better-tasting drinking water
  • Removing contaminants like nitrates, pesticides, and viruses
  • Cleaner dishes and clothes
  • Helping protect the environment

Before harsh water wears down your pipes and you need professional plumbing repairs, think about hiring professionals to install an efficient water filtration system. Not only will your drinking water and showers be dramatically improved, but your overall health will benefit too. 

  • Schedule Necessary Plumbing Repairs

A common mistake many homeowners make is letting much-needed plumbing repairs linger too long. This results in problems growing even more dire, which means they will be that much more expensive to fix. As soon as you notice an issue, contact expert plumbers for plumbing inspections and repairs.

Letting plumbing issues go unaddressed will exacerbate the problem and cause you an increasing amount of frustration and stress. Your plumbing will be more efficient, and your water quality will greatly improve when you fix problems right away.

  • Talk to the Professionals

There are plenty of steps you can take on your own, but the experience of licensed professionals will help you decide what will be the best next step for your home’s water quality and efficiency. 

Do-it-yourself solutions and attempts to patch-repair your plumbing issues typically result in a bigger mess than you had before. What’s worse, every day you have to wait for a plumber is a day that you will be inconvenienced. 

To save yourself time, frustration, and money, just call a professional before you do anything to your home’s plumbing system.

The Importance of Water Quality and Efficiency

Water quality is a growing concern of many homeowners, and understandably so. The outcome of consuming contaminated water will be critical health issues that are both costly and uncomfortable to go through. For many homeowners, their home’s water quality is a sneaky problem that appears suddenly and needs immediate attention.

Water efficiency directly affects the environment and your water or utility bill. When you have long-lasting plumbing issues, like leaks, for example, your water efficiency will take a direct hit. Keeping your eye on it will ensure you save money and don’t put too much wear and tear on your home’s plumbing system in a short amount of time.

Water Quality and Efficiency in Carrollton, TX

While most homeowners understand the seriousness of properly maintaining their home’s plumbing system, a surprising number of people aren’t conscious of their water quality.

The effects of poor water quality and efficiency aren’t always immediately observable. Sometimes, the symptoms of these issues aren’t visible for some time, which makes the problem even worse. 

Consulting with professional plumbers is the easiest, most cost-effective way to ensure your home’s water quality and efficiency are up to par. If you want your home to have the best water quality possible, contact Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning in Carrollton, TX, today!

How to Prepare Your HVAC System for Spring

How to Prepare Your HVAC System for Spring

By Blog

Spring is approaching us soon in Plano, TX, with warmer and longer days. While you might be looking forward to the sights of gorgeous Texas wildflowers, butterflies in gardens, and birds chirping, this is also the perfect time to take stock of your HVAC equipment.

Summers in the Lone Star State can be debilitatingly hot. Your air conditioning system will soon be working very hard around the clock to keep your indoor temperatures cool and comfortable.

The AC system also plays a significant role in maintaining air quality in your home. Checking the condition of your HVAC equipment can help you stay prepared for the hot days ahead.

Spring Is the Perfect Time for AC Maintenance in Plano, TX

As the temperatures are not very high yet, many homeowners put off prepping their air conditioners until summer. As the weather gets hotter, the demand for AC services increases, and you do not have to wait in a long line of customers looking for an appointment during peak season. Ideally, there is no better time than spring to take action and prepare your HVAC unit for the hot and humid days ahead.

Regular maintenance can be crucial whether your air conditioner is new or has been around for years. With proper care, you can confidently rely on your HVAC unit to keep you and your family safe and comfortable during extreme weather conditions.

Avoid Unexpected Surprises with an AC Tune-Up

It is never a pleasant experience to have your air conditioner break down suddenly, leaving you uncomfortable and miserable indoors. Unfortunately, homeowners spend a lot more on replacing and repairing their air conditioning systems during the peak summer season due to lack of maintenance.

When you schedule an HVAC tune-up, an experienced technician will thoroughly inspect your unit and detect any problem early on, saving you a lot of stress and money.

Prolong the Life of Your Equipment

A seasonal air conditioner tune-up is the best preventive maintenance that you can do for your equipment. An air conditioner is expensive and can cost thousands of dollars. By taking care of it regularly, the unit can last longer and function more efficiently at an optimal level.

Save on Your Energy Bills

If you notice an unusual increase in your electricity bill, your HVAC unit might be suspect. A well-maintained system runs smoothly and consumes lower energy. However, when the air ducts are clogged or some parts are wearing off, there is immense stress on the system, thus leading to increased energy consumption.

Keep Your Warranty Active

Many companies require that you schedule an annual HVAC tune-up to keep your warranty current. Your claim can get rejected if you do not have proof of regular maintenance of your cooling or heating system.

Ensure that the Air in Your Home Is Clean and Safe

Did you know that indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air? Your ventilation system plays a crucial role in determining the quality of the air you breathe.

Worn-out filters, clogged air ducts, and disrupted airflow can increase airborne particles, such as dust, mold, dirt, odors, and allergens. These contaminants can affect the health and well-being of you and your loved ones.

Your Air Conditioner Can Also Enhance Safety

HVAC systems can detect carbon monoxide levels in indoor air, and high levels of carbon monoxide can be dangerous and sometimes fatal. By maintaining your equipment, you create a safer environment for your family.

There’s No Better Time to Prep Your AC System

By enrolling in a maintenance plan for AC tune-up, you can be spared a lot of stress and take advantage of the fact that your air conditioner will be in perfect working condition. A trusted HVAC contractor in Plano, TX, can make sure there will be no surprises and sudden outages.

What Is Done During Spring Maintenance?

A professional technician will check the unit and catch any issues early on when you schedule AC maintenance. They’ll perform a thorough system evaluation to check for buildup, unusual sounds, and wear and tear. The entire unit will be inspected, including:

  • Thermostats
  • Fans
  • Air ducts
  • Level of refrigerant
  • Gas connections
  • Compressor amps and volts
  • The temperature of air coming in and going out
  • Condenser core
  • Potential leaks
  • Condenser and evaporator coils
  • Primary and secondary drain lines
  • Filtration system
  • Connections or potential loose connections
  • Wear and tear
  • And much more

Having a sound maintenance plan in place can be like having insurance for your expensive HVAC equipment. It just might even save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning Provides Trusted AC Maintenance in Plano

We know how stressful it can be when your AC breaks down. And it’s not only stressful, but it’s unsafe, especially if you have an infant or an elderly loved one in your home. Repairs and replacements can be costly, and many times, they are altogether avoidable with an AC tune-up.

Take Advantage of Our Affordable Sirius Care Comfort Program

We care about your peace of mind at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning. Our maintenance program is designed to offer you the complete range of care that your HVAC equipment deserves.

Our members can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Annual spring AC tune-ups
  • Annual fall furnace checks
  • 10% discount on all air conditioning, heating, and plumbing repairs
  • Priority scheduling throughout the year
  • Hassle-free reminders to schedule servicing

Do not wait until summer crops up with the extreme heat and humidity in Plano, TX. Scheduling an HVAC tune-up during spring can undoubtedly take the load off so you can relax and enjoy the seasonal activities with your family.

Our technicians are highly trained, fully licensed, and insured. We have been serving the community for decades, from new installations to repair and maintenance.

Contact Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning today, and ask us about our maintenance services.

You Should Never Pour Hot Oil Down Your Sink Drain

You Should Never Pour Hot Oil Down Your Sink Drain, and Here’s Why

By Blog

You’ve just sauteed up a beautiful meal in Plano, TX, and all you can think about is sinking your teeth in. But there’s all this cooking oil left over, and you’re not sure what to do with it. Well, the sink is right there; it wouldn’t hurt to pour the leftover cooking oil down the drain, would it?

If you’re thinking about pouring oil down the drain: Stop right there! While it seems like the most convenient option at the time, it’s actually quite the opposite. Pouring cooking oil down your drain can cause a host of problems that will cost you time and money to fix.

In the end, you’ll wind up frantically searching for “plumbers near me” or “plumbing repair near me,” and you’ll have a big service bill to handle as well. Save yourself time, money, and hassle by disposing of your hot grease the right way the first time. 

What Happens When You Pour Hot Oil Down the Drain?

When you pour hot oil down your drain, it will flow out easily as a liquid. However, hot oil and grease don’t stay in liquid form. Instead, they solidify as they cool, and this is where the problem lies.

As the grease solidifies in your pipes, it will cause a blockage. If you only do it once, or if you only pour a small amount of oil down your drain, you may be blissfully unaware of how much damage it can cause.

However, if you pour enough oil or have older pipes, one time may be all it takes to wind up in an emergency plumbing situation that leaves you in desperate need of professional drain cleaning services.

You see, hot oil can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. As it makes its way through your pipes, this oil can solidify and cause a blockage. Even if you only pour down a little hot oil, it can still fuse with residue, hair, and food particles to create a massive blockage.

Eventually, this blockage will keep clean water from flowing, sending dirty water back up through your pipes. This could render your sink unusable until you call a professional for drain cleaning services.

Issues with one drain in your home can also cause other plumbing equipment to malfunction around your house. You may end up needing toilet repairs or garbage disposal repairs as well! 

Rather than wasting time searching for “plumbing repair near me” and shelling out money for repairs, it’s best to just avoid pouring any oil down your drain in the first place. 

Further Consequences of Pouring Hot Oil Down the Drain

Not only will hot oil cause damage to your home’s plumbing system, but it can have a detrimental effect on the community water supply as well. Sometimes hot oil doesn’t build up directly in your pipes, but that doesn’t mean it won’t cause problems elsewhere. 

 

Improperly-disposed grease and oil can also flow into the sewers, and that’s where it becomes a problem for everyone in the area. Over time, all this unused grease and oil combine together in the water supply. The grease formations naturally break down into fatty acids and glycerol and then combine with calcium in the sewers.

As these materials combine, they become what’s known as “fatbergs,” or soap-like compounds. As the sewer levels rise, the existing fatbergs attach to sewer ceilings and grow in size.

As they get bigger and bigger, fatbergs will start to block the entire sewer pipe. This affects the entire community, and it’s a common problem all over the world. To help take care of your local water supply, it’s imperative to never pour hot oil or grease down your drain. 

How to Properly Dispose of Hot Oil

Luckily, it’s very easy to dispose of your hot oil the right way. It may take a little more time than pouring it directly down the drain, but you’ll be doing your part to keep your community clean, and you’ll also avoid a high plumbing bill in the process.

Here’s how to take care of leftover oil:

Reuse It

First, remember that you can reuse cooking oil if you’re so inclined. Used cooking oil can be ideal for fried foods or for adding flavor to other meals. To store your used cooking oil, wait until it’s cooled a bit but is still in liquid form.

Then, strain it through several layers of cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove any bits of food. Finally, place it in an airtight container and store it in a dark place until you’re ready to use it. You should only use it once or twice more before disposing of it completely. 

Throw It Away

If you want to get rid of your oil completely, just wait until it’s cooled but still in liquid form. Then, you can pour it into a non-recyclable container and throw it directly into the garbage. Old milk containers make the perfect container for your used oil.

You can also place your hot oil in the refrigerator and let it harden completely. Once it’s hard, it’s fine to just throw the whole lump of hardened oil into the garbage. A really easy way to do this is to place your pan or whatever you were using to cook directly in the refrigerator when you’re done until it’s cooled down enough.

Once the oil has hardened inside the pan, just scoop it out with a spoon into your garbage. Washing your pan afterward will be a little tricky, so wipe it with a paper towel first to remove all of the remaining grease before you wash it in the sink. 

Call Plumbers Near Me in Plano, Texas

If you’ve poured hot oil down your drain, call the trusted team of professionals at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

We offer expert drain cleaning services to remove your blockage and keep your water running smoothly. We also offer a full range of plumbing services, including toilet repair and garbage disposal repair, so if any of your appliances have been affected, we will get them back in working order. 

Rely on your experts in Plano, TX, and call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for all of your plumbing needs.

How Gas Furnaces Are Becoming More Efficient

How Gas Furnaces Are Becoming More Efficient

By Gas Furnaces

Gas furnaces are the most popular type of heating system throughout America. They’re used in Plano, TX, homes, and houses all over the country. However, gas furnaces haven’t always been energy-efficient. 

Gas furnaces all have AFUE ratings or “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency” ratings. These ratings showcase the energy efficiency of the unit. 

The average rating was between 56% and 70% in previous years. These numbers mean that the furnace would essentially waste the remainder of their fuel source, so about 30%-44%. Most of the fuel source is lost as exhaust out of the flue or from a heat bleed in the combustion chamber. 

However, nowadays, gas furnaces are more efficient than ever. Modern options can have an AFUE rating from 80% to a whopping 98.5%. 

This rating means modern furnaces may only end up wasting less than 2% of their fuel supply in some cases. These days, to earn an ENERGY STAR rating, natural gas furnaces must have an AFUE of at least 90%.

A failing furnace may have you searching the internet for things like “furnace repair near me.” However, if your furnace is over ten years old or if you’ve needed frequent repairs, it may be time to upgrade your heating system. 

A new energy-efficient furnace could be the perfect option, as it will not only heat your Plano, TX, home, but it could save you money on your monthly energy bills as well. 

Advancements in Gas Furnaces that Create High Efficiency

Gas furnaces are now not only a great way to heat your home quickly, but they can also be an incredibly energy-efficient heating option. If you’re considering a furnace replacement for your home, a new gas furnace should be one of your top contenders. 

There are many new technologies that have contributed to these highly-efficient gas furnaces, including:

Eclectic Ignitions

Many modern furnaces feature electronic ignitions instead of pilot lights, and this is one of the ways they preserve energy. Pilot lights need to stay constantly lit, which means they are always using gas throughout the heating season. Because the pilot light is always on, it is constantly draining fuel.

However, new furnaces use electronic ignitions, which only come on when needed. This approach eliminates a major power drain on your furnace, saving energy and money in the process. Additionally, electronic ignitions are more reliable, so you’ll gain more peace of mind with this new advancement as well.

Condensing Technology

The most energy-efficient furnaces score AFUE ratings of 98.5%, and they’re known as “condensing furnaces.” These furnaces feature a second heat exchanger that removes the exhaust vapor from the first one and condenses it. This condensed vapor can then be released as even more heat for your home. 

As you can see, a condensing furnace makes the most out of the available heating power. In fact, they squeeze the highest amount of heating power from the fuel supply compared with any other gas furnace on the market. 

Sealed Combustion Chambers

Many older furnaces have open combustion chambers. These chambers lay wide open to the rest of the house, so they naturally lose heat from the burners as it escapes. However, modern, energy-efficient furnaces often feature sealed combustion chambers that prevent this from happening. 

Air currents are still required for combustion in these sealed chamber furnaces, which is made possible through a PVC pipe that runs outdoors. Sealed combustion furnaces also offer other benefits. For example, they’ll help keep your home from becoming too dry while your furnace is in use. 

Replacing Your Old Furnace

If you have a failing furnace in your home, you’re probably looking for repair options, and you might even be conducting frantic internet searches like “furnace repair near me.” However, repairing your furnace may not be the right option. 

Furnace repairs are effective, but over time, they add up. Not only are repairs expensive, but older furnaces are simply not as efficient as new ones, so you’re probably wasting money each month on your energy bill as well. 

Upgrading to a new energy-efficient furnace could save you money each month, and you also won’t have to keep shelling out money for repairs. 

If you’re looking for a furnace replacement, newer gas furnaces should be at the top of the list. However, keep in mind that even though these new furnaces are very efficient, they will still need annual furnace tune-ups to keep working smoothly over the years. 

During your furnace tune-up appointment, a professional will clean the internal components and lubricate moving parts. They’ll also replace your air filters if necessary to keep your heating system running smoothly and to decrease the number of pollutants in your home. 

Annual furnace tune-ups are an essential part of supporting your furnace throughout its lifespan. Without tune-ups, small issues can become major problems, so you may need frequent and expensive repairs or a preemptive furnace replacement.

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for Your Plano, TX, Furnace Needs

At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we proudly offer expert furnace installation services, as well as furnace repairs and tune-ups. We also feature top-of-the-line energy-efficient furnaces at the best prices, and we even offer a 100% money-back guarantee.

Don’t hesitate to call us with any questions about your new furnace. We’re happy to provide you with all of the necessary information you need to pick the perfect heating system for your home. When you’re ready, we’ll complete your new furnace installation quickly and efficiently, leaving you to enjoy your home in comfort.

You can also rely on our trusted furnace repair services if anything goes wrong, and you won’t need to waste time searching for “furnace repair near me.” Instead, just pick up the phone and give us a call. We offer quick scheduling, so even if you need emergency repairs, we can handle your job in the time needed to get you back on track.

Trust the experts when it comes to your furnace repair, and rely on your friends in the business. Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning is here for all of your Plano, TX, heating system needs, large or small.

Where Do Gas Leaks Come From

Where Do Gas Leaks Come From?

By Gas Leaks

Natural gas is one of the most common sources of energy in the country. It is used every day to heat homes and buildings, cook, and even fuel power plants. While it is a reliable source of energy, it can also be hazardous. Natural gas is flammable and can also displace oxygen, creating a risk of oxygen deprivation for those around it.

Gas is generally considered to be a safe energy source, but it can quickly become dangerous when there is a gas leak. Most leaks occur at utility pipelines, but leaks occasionally happen in residential areas, including in-home leaks.

The best thing you can do to keep your home safe from in-home leaks is to maintain your gas-powered appliances well and call for repairs right away. If you are near Frisco, TX, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning should be your go-to service provider. Whether you need maintenance, repairs, or furnace replacement, if you are searching “furnace repair near me,” look no further.

What Causes a Gas Leak

Gas leaks can happen any time, anywhere, any season. It is important to stay vigilant and be aware of your surroundings to take action in the event of a leak. The most common gas leak causes are corrosion, poor piping, and human error.

Corrosion

Gas is responsible for powering high-use appliances, like stoves and HVAC units. Over time, parts naturally wear out and corrode. Sometimes, appliance seals wear away and can allow gas to escape. This usually happens slowly over time but worsens, so a tiny leak can eventually become a big one.

The best way to avoid a gas leak due to corrosion is to inspect your appliances regularly. Scheduling a yearly furnace tune-up or air conditioning tune-up will ensure that any leaks or potential leaks are caught early on.

Faulty Piping

The piping in your home is a complicated maze of pipes that is responsible for carrying gas and liquids from one place to another. Even the best quality pipes can erode due to natural wear and tear. In some cases, the pipes can even become disconnected, allowing gas to escape into your home.

Unfortunately, not every home is built with quality piping work. Sometimes builders cut corners and install pipes incorrectly. Pipes installed improperly can experience premature wear and tear or just come apart over time.

If you notice your gas furnace or AC system isn’t working properly, it could be an issue with the piping. If you are in the Frisco, TX, area, call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning right away for furnace or AC repair. We can detect if there is a leak and fix it right away.

Human Error

Gas leaks are not always the results of wear and tear or appliance-related issues. Another common cause of gas leaks is human error. Humans cause gas leaks when they dig into the ground and accidentally hit a gas line. This is why you’ve probably seen the signs that say “call before you dig.”

Gas leaks can also be caused by work on appliances. When you schedule an air conditioning repair or furnace replacement, the technician will have to contact your gas lines. Accidents occasionally happen, and the line or pipe can become compromised, causing a leak.

Signs of a Gas Leak

Recognizing the signs of a gas leak can avoid damage to your home and get you and your family out of a potentially dangerous situation. 

Smell

The most common way that gas leaks are detected is the smell. If you smell gas in your home, call a professional immediately. 

Whistling Sound Coming from Gas Lines

You won’t always smell gas in the event of a leak. Another tell-tale sign is a whistling sound coming from a gas pipe or gas line. Whistling is almost always the sound of gas escaping the line, indicating a leak.

This is why you should always pay attention to the sounds that your appliances make. Furnaces and air conditioners are easy to check on, but one appliance that people often forget about is their gas-powered water heater. If you notice a whistling noise near your water heater, call for water heater repairs right away.

Elevated Gas Bill

If you don’t see or smell the sign of a gas leak, another indication is a higher-than-normal gas bill. Unless you are hosting guests, out of town, or breaking some other way from your normal routine, your gas bill should stay relatively consistent all season.

If you notice that suddenly there’s been a jump in your bill, you should first call your utility company. If the utility company indicates that everything is normal, you should consider calling a professional to check for a gas leak. 

How to Prevent a Gas Leak

While gas leaks are not 100% avoidable, you can lessen the chances of one occurring in your home. The best and most effective thing you can do is schedule regular maintenance for all of your gas-powered appliances. This includes furnaces, AC units, and water heaters.

Maintenance appointments are affordable and have other benefits aside from detecting gas leaks. Appliance tune-ups will detect other underlying issues and make your appliance run more efficiently, ultimately saving you money.

Don’t wait for a gas leak to happen that could put you or your family at risk. Call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for a tune-up today.

Choose Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning has over two decades of experience in the industry. We proudly serve the Frisco, TX, area, and we’ve prioritized customer satisfaction since day one. In addition to maintenance and repair services, we also provide installation services, including air conditioning installation, tankless water heater installation, and more.

Don’t just search “furnace repair near me” when you need plumbing and HVAC services. Call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning today!

Chemical Drain Cleaners Are Bad

Why Harsh Chemical Drain Cleaners Are Bad (and What’s Better)

By Drain Cleaners

If you’re a homeowner in Frisco, TX, or if you’re living anywhere with toilets and drains, you’re likely going to encounter a clog at some point. Over time, hair, food particles, and other debris can build up in your plumbing system, leading to a clogged drain.

When you notice a clogged drain or a backed-up toilet, your first instinct probably isn’t to call for professional drain cleaning services or toilet repair. Most homeowners decide to go with a quick chemical solution to handle the issue, you can find these products in almost every supermarket around the country.

However, while harsh chemical drain cleaners are a popular option, it’s actually horrible for your plumbing system. In fact, professional plumbers hate these products, and for good reason. They can cause serious damage to your pipes over time, which can leave you searching for “plumbing repair near me.”

You’ll likely end up with costly repairs if you use chemical drain cleaners repeatedly, including toilet repairs or even garbage disposal repairs, depending on where you’ve used them. 

How Do Chemical Drain Cleaners Work?

You’re probably feeling a bit confused. After all, how could a product be so popular and yet so harmful? The quick answer is that chemical cleaners can be effective at removing blockages, but the way it does so can also be damaging to your pipes, as well.

You see, most chemical drain cleaners are made up of aluminum, salt, sodium nitrate, bleach, and lye. You might be familiar with these chemicals, and when they’re joined together, several chemical reactions will happen simultaneously.

First, the lye will decompose any physical matter in your pipes. Next, the aluminum comes in to react with the lye. This reaction creates a near-boiling temperature, which helps to speed up the decomposition process.

The lye will then react with the grease in your drain to form a soapy substance that serves to dissolve your clog. This creates enough room for hot water to wash away the rest of the clog, which is why you always follow a chemical drain cleaner with a flush of hot water.

These chemical reactions effectively remove blockages, but they’re also way more than most residential drains can handle. Prolonged use of chemical cleaners can cause damage to your pipes, and you will probably end up searching for “plumbers near me” before too long. 

Why You Should Not Use Chemical Drain Cleaners

There are many reasons to avoid using harsh chemical drain cleaners. Here are some of the top problems you may encounter after using this product or anything with a similar chemical makeup:

Damage to Your Plumbing

One of the biggest problems with chemical cleaners is that they are corrosive to your household pipes. The same chemical reactions that remove your blockage can also eat away at your pipes, causing cracks, leaks, and other issues.

These products can also melt the glue that holds your pipes together, causing a host of issues. In the end, you may need to replace your pipes, or at best, you could end up needing repairs. 

Potential Health Risks

As we explained, these cleaners are made up of dangerous chemicals. As you use it in your drain, you will undoubtedly inhale some of the fumes, which can be very bad for your health.

Fumes from these products can also cause your eyes to burn, and it may be difficult to take a breath unless the area is well-ventilated. If you use enough chemical drain cleaners, over time, you could experience health complications, and even one exposure isn’t good for your body. 

Unpredictable Results

These products are also unpredictable, and it may not even clear your clog in the first place. Even if your water starts running smoothly again for a short while, that doesn’t mean it will continue doing so. In fact, this is only considered to be a temporary fix, which is another reason why professional plumbers never use it.

Though a chemical cleaner may temporarily restore water flow, part of the blockage likely remains. This serves as an easy target for more buildup, so over time, your blockage will probably return, leaving you in the same situation as before.

Not only that, but products like these can react in unpredictable ways depending on how you use it. There may be other chemicals in your drains you’re unaware of that could react poorly with the ones in the drain cleaning product. The result can be disastrous, so it’s best to avoid using it in the first place. 

Environmental Damage

Even if your cleaning experience goes smoothly, that doesn’t mean it can’t have negative consequences elsewhere. These products are full of chemicals that are terrible for the environment, and when you pour it down your household drain, those chemicals are eventually released into the community water supply.

While wastewater treatment facilities can remove these chemicals, they still need to travel all of the way there. Along the way, the chemicals can seep into the ground, harming all plants and wildlife in the area. 

Call Professionals Instead of Using Harsh Chemical Drain Cleaners

If you have a blockage in your plumbing system, hold off on using a chemical product. Chemical drain cleaners can be detrimental to your pipes, health, and the environment. Instead, you’re better off searching for “plumbing repair near me” because professional plumbers can remove your blockage without using harsh chemicals.

Professionals will use specialized equipment that’s designed not to cause damage to your drain. While it will cost slightly more than a bottle of drain cleaner, these professional services will be more effective, so you won’t need to keep clearing the same blockage over and over. 

Additionally, since these products can actually cause significant damage to your pipes, you’ll avoid the need for more expensive plumbing repair by going with a professional the first time around. 

The Experts: Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning 

The next time you need expert plumbing services due to a blockage, don’t waste your time searching for “plumbers near me.” Instead, call the team of experts at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning in Frisco, TX. We offer trusted and timely drain cleaning services to clear your blockage and get your water flowing smoothly again.

Type of Heater Has the Lowest Emissions

Which Type of Heater Has the Lowest Emissions?

By Heaters

While Frisco certainly has less demand for home heating than many other areas in the USA, houses here still need a reliable heat source during the winter months. In general, heating costs can account for around 30% of utility bills on average. That means a lot of energy is used to heat your home, and that energy has to come from somewhere.

While there are many different types of heaters today, chances are your Frisco home uses either a gas furnace or electric heat. Both have their upsides and downsides, and it isn’t always obvious which is best for your home. There’s more to consider than one might think when it comes to emissions.

How Your Home’s Heating System Works

While heating systems all work towards a common goal, they accomplish it differently. If you have gas heating in your home, you’ll have either a furnace or a boiler. These two appliances serve the same purpose in different ways, with both making it possible to circulate heat throughout your home.

A furnace exchanges heat from burning gas to air that flows through heat exchangers in the furnace. This heated air is then directed through the ductwork in your home, providing warmth throughout.

A boiler, on the other hand, heats the water. This heated water then circulates through pipes running through your walls. While the distribution method is different, both solutions rely on burning natural gas to heat your home.

Electric heating is different, relying on electricity to heat your home. In some cases, an electric boiler can distribute heat as a gas boiler does. In other cases, a home might rely on electric baseboard heaters. These contain thin wires that heat up and directly heat the air in the room, working on the same principle that lets a toaster generate heat.

Emissions from Your Home’s Furnace

The fuel burned in your furnace is natural gas, also known as methane. This abundant resource is relatively easy to handle, being distributed through pipelines. Of course, this means it’s only an option in regions that have natural gas pipeline networks. However, its low cost has led to gas networks being everywhere.

Natural gas does create emissions. It doesn’t simply disappear when burned. It makes combustion products that must be released into the atmosphere. Like any other fuel source, the carbon in natural gas is turned into carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide when burned.

While carbon dioxide emissions are a primary concern for being environmentally unfriendly, natural gas doesn’t cause many other emissions. 

Fuels like oil, diesel, gasoline, and even wood have chemicals that lead to sulfur and nitrogen compound emissions. Natural gas, on the other hand, produces essentially just carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

While natural gas is in many ways a better option when it comes to the environment, it is still consuming resources and putting carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into the air. In theory, a solution that provides heating without the need to extract natural gas or other fossil fuels would be much better, but can that theory be put into action today?

The Problem with Electric Heaters

You might think that an electric heater produces zero emissions at a casual glance. The baseboard heaters or electric boilers in your home aren’t giving off carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide or any other emissions, but there’s far more to consider than what’s going on in your home.

The electricity that you use to heat your home comes from somewhere. It has to be generated at some kind of power plant. To accurately measure the emissions from electrical heaters, we need to look at the generating stations that produce the electricity.

While renewable energy production is on the rise, electricity in the USA is still derived mainly from fossil fuels. In fact, one-third of US electricity is generated from burning coal, producing carbon dioxide and a wide variety of other harmful emissions.

Over two-thirds of electricity is generated by burning fossil fuels in general, including natural gas, oil, and coal. What this means is that, despite not producing any emissions in your own home, your electric heaters are still contributing to overall emissions.

It’s also important to consider the waste generated by all of the extra steps required for electrical heating. While a gas furnace simply burns gas and transfers the heat to air inside your home, electrical heat relies on electrical transmission systems and the initial generation of electricity.

Essentially, the process turns fuel into heat into electricity and then back into heat, adding another potential step where energy loss can occur. While a move towards an electrical grid that relies less on fossil fuels and more on renewable resources could see the net emissions from electrical power improve, this simply hasn’t happened yet.

Other Methods that Really Can Reduce Your Heating Emissions

While switching from a gas furnace to an electric heater probably isn’t going to improve emissions, there are some innovative steps that you can take to reduce emissions. In fact, simply improving the efficiency of your furnace helps in the long run. If you have an older furnace, newer models work more efficiently and reduce your overall emissions.

People interested in truly optimizing their emissions can look into geothermal heating. This approach involves burying pipes underneath the ground to take advantage of the steady temperature there.

During the winter, it’s warmer underground than above ground, and it’s cooler underground in the summer. Geothermal heating lets you take advantage of that difference to pre-heat or pre-cool your HVAC intake air.

Active solar heating is another method to reduce heating emissions. Basically, a fluid runs through flat-plate collectors on your roof, absorbing heat from sunlight and transferring it inside, more efficiently gathering heat than electric solar panels.

Making Your Furnace or Heater as Efficient as Possible

Of course, you don’t need to undergo some significant installation to reduce your emissions right away. Instead, you can reach out to Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for a heating system tune-up in Frisco.

No matter what type of heating system you use, the increased efficiency that a tune-up provides translates into less power used and fewer emissions generated, so give us a call today.

Hot Water Comes Out Cloudy

What Does It Mean When Hot Water Comes Out Cloudy?

By Water Heaters

There’s nothing like pouring a nice clear glass of water, but what if the water is not as clear as you’d hoped? Cloudy water is not an uncommon occurrence, especially if it’s hot water. 

Since it’s the hot water that’s mainly affected, you may blame the water heater first, and although the water heater may be to blame, there are also other possibilities. Read on to find out what causes cloudy water and some simple ways to fix it.

What Causes Cloudy Water?

Water molecules consist of hydrogen and oxygen. When heated, they expand. During expansion, other molecules and smaller particles are trapped, which causes the water to look cloudy. Essentially, bubbles created during the expansion are what cause the cloudy look. So why doesn’t the water always look cloudy? Pressure.

The buildup – and sudden release – of pressure is what causes the separation of molecules, which in turn creates bubbles. Note that air bubbles created this way are not the same thing as air in your hot water lines. Also, pressure isn’t the only culprit. 

Here are some common causes:

Dirty Aerator

The aerator is found at the tip of the faucet. You can usually twist it off easily. When sediment builds up and blocks the path of flowing water, it creates unwanted pressure. This pressure creates more bubbles and makes the cloudy look in the water.

Sediment Buildup in the Water Heater

Sediment will build up in your water heater, and the only way to limit this is by flushing the hot water heater or using a water filtration system. Sediment gathers on the anode – or element – and limits its potential. 

Eventually, the sediment flakes off and settles to the bottom of your water heater. It continues to accumulate over the years until it’s flushed or it eats through the bottom of your water heater.

Heating Up the Water

Heating the water will likely produce cloudiness. If you look into a pot of water on the stove, you’ll see it cloud over from the bubbles. Depending on how hot you have your hot water heater set, it could produce the same effect from your faucet.

The Rare Winter Effect

It’s not common, but water on the verge of freezing can cause cloudiness. There aren’t many freezing days in Plano, but it does happen. If you look at the cloudiness in a piece of ice, you can see the effect cold has on water. Cloudiness in cold water may be a sign of something serious or that you need to insulate your pipes better.

Outside Sources

You may not have cloudy water, but instead, it may look tinted or even muddy. If your municipality is doing work to the outside pipes, there is a chance you may get some ugly-looking water, but it shouldn’t last for more than a couple of hours. 

If you notice irregularities after heavy rain, then there may be something wrong with your pipes, and you should call a professional plumber immediately.

How to Determine if Your Cloudy Water Is a Concern

Cloudy water could be nothing, but it could also be serious. Luckily, there is a simple method to determine whether your cloudy water is a concern.

  1. Get a see-through container. This container can be a glass, bowl, or Mason jar.
  2. Turn on your water till it’s hot.
  3. Fill the container to at least three-quarters of the way full.
  4. Set the container on a flat surface and watch it.

Air is lighter than water and will rise to the top. If the cloudiness is primarily air, you will notice the bottom of the container clears, and the rest of the container will be void of cloudiness within a couple of minutes.

Sediment is heavier than water and will settle to the bottom of the container. With sediment, the top of the container will clear first. It will also take much longer for the container to clear since the hot water makes it difficult for the sediment to reach the bottom.

How You Can Fix Cloudy Water in Your Plano Home

Though it’s easy to blame the water heater, it’s actually the aerator that’s to blame in many cases. One of the simplest ways to find out and possibly even fix the problem is by removing and cleaning the aerator. To do this: 

Remove The Aerator From The Faucet

The aerator should unscrew from the faucet by turning clockwise. You may need to use a wrench if it won’t come off easily using your hands. If you can’t remove it by hand, it’s best to contact a professional plumber, as they can remove it without causing damage. 

Clean The Aerator

After you’ve removed the aerator, give it a thorough visual inspection for any dirt and debris that may be caked onto it. Use a washcloth to remove the loose gunk.

There are small mesh holes inside the aerator where sediment deposits can get lodged. Use a toothpick, paper clip, or small needle to dig them out. If they aren’t coming out easily, or you want to be thorough, soak the aerator in white vinegar overnight to loosen the debris. 

Rinse It Out

Once the aerator is cleaned out, give it a good rinsing before placing it back onto the faucet. Hold the aerator under running water to rinse away any lingering debris that became loosened and may be trapped within it. 

Replace The Aerator

When it’s clean and all ready to go, simply screw the aerator counterclockwise back onto the faucet using your hands to get it as tight as it will go. 

Test The Water

It’s time to see if your efforts paid off. Turn on the hot water and allow it to run for a minute to see if the water is still cloudy. If it is, it means there’s a bigger issue at hand, likely something to do with your hot water heater. A plumbing professional will need to come in and inspect the hot water heater to help diagnose the problem. 

Plano’s Plumbing Experts 

Tired of dealing with cloudy water in your Plano, TX, home? The plumbing specialists at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning are standing by, ready to take your call.

With a “Fixed Right and Left Better Than We Found it Guarantee” and a “100% money-back guarantee on all heating, plumbing, and air conditioning issues, you can trust that the job will be handled right the first time, every time. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment!