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Mark King

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5 Money-Saving Tricks for Homeowners

By Plumbing and Air Conditioning Dallas TX

When the weather outside turns frightful, there’s nothing more delightful than a house perfectly warmed by a reliable furnace. But for such a sophisticated piece of machinery, it can run quite a pretty penny if used improperly. You don’t want to spend upwards of $2,000 running it for a single cold season, and at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we don’t want you to either.

To make sure that doesn’t happen, here are five money-saving tricks for homeowners during the winter.

1. Switch to a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are a great decision across the board and regardless of the season. These fixtures are tech-forward and can be controlled via any kind of smart device. This will allow you to adjust the temperature of your household from virtually anywhere with WiFi.

And that’s only the beginning of what you can do. A smart thermostat can reduce your heating costs by 10%, and that number only goes up if you schedule a regular furnace tune-up. Smart thermostats will also build a monthly energy report so you can know for certain how much energy you’re using and what you can do about it.

2. Use Energy-Saving Techniques

When you perform a furnace tune-up, you can ensure your heating system is running the best it can, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it an extra push. You can take steps to reduce the strain on your heater and allow it to run with less effort. 

If you have a ceiling fan, you can switch the rotation of the blades to push down warm air when it’s needed most. This is usually as easy as shutting the fan down and switching the direction switch on the center motor. You want the blades running counterclockwise in the summer to create a downdraft and the opposite for an updraft when it’s cold.

But even if you don’t have a fan, you can use your curtains to maintain heat strategically. Any south- or west-facing windows should be opened during the day to allow warmth from the sun. Then at night, you pull the curtains closed, preventing any heat loss through the glass.

3. Keep Your Furnace Clean

There’s a good chunk of the year when you’re not using your furnace. In that time, it’s bound to accumulate dust and debris. That’s why we suggest getting a furnace tune-up every year in the late fall. But before you do that, you can do some work on your own. 

This can be as easy as vacuuming any dust around your furnace. And for the parts that the vacuum can’t reach, you can dampen a rag and wipe them clean. Doing this allows your furnace to function the way it should with no deterrents, but there are many internal components in your heater that need serving as well. 

We don’t suggest trying to clean the inside of your furnace yourself. It’s a lot safer and more effective to arrange for a furnace tune-up, where a professional can work with all the minute details that they’re trained to focus on.

4. Schedule an Annual Furnace Tune-Up

There are many good reasons to perform an annual furnace tune-up for your household. It allows you to stay covered under your heater’s warranty, where you otherwise be stuck paying for a full repair on your own. It also makes sure that your system is running in the best way possible. The little things that our technicians clean and adjust quickly add up in terms of performance. 

And while there is a cost to regular tune-ups, it doesn’t compare to the cost spent on repairing a faulty unit. There’s even the chance for a technician to find a repair and fix it before it escalates into a bigger problem. They will do this, as well as: 

  • Test the safety controls
  • Clean and lubricate the parts that need it
  • Adjusting electrical components
  • Check for leaks in the system and ducts
  • Tighten belts and pulleys
  • Inspect the heat exchanger

All this work allows your heating system to last for years longer, and it gives you the chance to make the most out of your investment.

5. Find the Right HVAC Provider for You

In order to get a furnace tune-up you can rely on, you need the best provider you can get. And if you live in Plano, TX or the surrounding area, that provider is Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We’ve been striving to serve homes for years in every aspect of plumbing and HVAC they may need. 

When you work with us, you can trust that you get the guarantee of five-star service with every job we do. We even provide a two-hour work window, so you aren’t waiting all day for someone to show up. So to save time, money, and struggle on your furnace, call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning. It’ll be a cool choice for a cold day.

Richardson Heating Services

What Is “Short-Cycling”?

By Plumbing and Air Conditioning Dallas TX

In an ideal world, you don’t need to think that heavily about your furnace. You turn it on when it’s cold out and enjoy a steady flow of warm air throughout the home. But when that balance is disrupted, suddenly all you can think about is your furnace and its many sudden failings.

There are many cases where you need to seek a furnace repair. You know there’s something wrong when the system stops working altogether, but what if it’s barely trodding along no matter how much you prod it? Or what if it’s not working at all? Call Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for a furnace repair today. We’ll tell you why, and we’ll fix it!

What Is Short-Cycling?

Your heating system runs on a cycle, and the average heat cycle lasts around 15 minutes. This is enough time for you to set the unit to your desired temperature and allow the burners to heat enough air to warm your home to your heart’s content. Once your unit reaches the set temperature on your thermostat, the unit will shut off until the level drops, and it needs to warm again. 

But if your furnace can only run for maybe ten minutes or less, that’s what HVAC professionals call “short-cycling.” In that fractured time period, the average furnace cannot fully raise the internal temperature of your home. As a result, things get chilly, and you wind up dissatisfied.

What Causes Short-Cycling?

Before you seek a furnace repair, you may be curious as to what’s causing your heating system to short-cycle. The problem can come from many sources, and it’s best diagnosed by an HVAC professional like the ones at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning. Still, let’s talk about some of the major issues and how a technician can work to resolve them. 

Dirty Filters

This is one of the only causes of short-cycling that you could solve yourself. You should be changing your filter every few months (less often for thicker filters, and more often if you live with pets or allergies). If you don’t prioritize this maintenance task, the filter quickly clogs, and a clogged filter will prevent the flow of return air into the furnace. 

Without return air, your furnace is far more likely to get too hot and shut itself down, resulting in a shorter cycle. You may be able to solve this by changing the filter. If that doesn’t keep your system from overheating, you may want to change your action plan.

Overheating

Much like any other piece of technology, your furnace will shut down if it gets too hot. It does this to prevent the damage that can come from overheating. You may notice a burning smell coming from the vents around your home or strange noises coming from around the furnace when it happens.

Overheating can be due to a dirty filter, but that’s not the only thing causing your heating system to run hot and inconsistent. The dust from your filter may have traveled to the rest of your system’s internal components. If these vital parts get too dirty, it loses its ability to self-ventilate, which will cause it to short-cycle. 

We don’t suggest cleaning your internal components yourself. It’s much more effective to call us for a furnace repair to get things back in working order.

Blocked Heat Grates

These are two more problems resulting in overheating, specifically relating to the heat grates in a larger home.

As with your air conditioner, your furnace sends air through a series of grates scattered around your home. You can control which rooms get heated through the dampers over their grates, but if too many grates are closed, your furnace can’t properly disperse the heat. This will cause the heat to build up in your system and lead to it overheating. 

The best way to keep this from happening is to make sure at least 75% of your grates are kept open. If that’s not enough to keep the heater from shutting off, you may need a more in-depth furnace repair.

What Can You Do?

A furnace repair can help keep a furnace running the way it should. And it’ll work even better when you do it through the right HVAC service provider. At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we serve homes in Plano, TX and the surrounding area, solving any problems they may have with plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and more.

We focus on a five-star guarantee with every job we do. Because when you work with Sirius, that’s exactly how we’re going to treat your home’s needs一seriously. And we don’t stop until you’re satisfied with the comfort of your home. So if you’re in an on-again, off-again relationship with your furnace, make things right with Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We’ll set things right!

Keep It Cool with a Ductless Mini Split System

Keep It Cool in Carrollton with a Ductless Mini Split System

By Air Conditioning

Located in the heart of the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area, Carrollton is known for its vibrant historic district and abundance of natural beauty. With summer temperatures in the mid to high 90s, Carrollton is also known for its hot climate. Months of warm weather leave many residents looking for more efficient ways to cool their homes.

If you have found yourself in the same predicament, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning can help! We have the perfect solution for keeping it cool in Carrollton, a ductless mini-split AC installation.

For years, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning has provided our clients with superior HVAC contracting services. Whether you find yourself searching for an “AC tune-up near me” or need a new air conditioning installation, our team is up to the task.

But enough about us, let’s get back to the problem at hand, cooling your Carrollton residence with a ductless mini-split AC installation. While you may have never even heard of a ductless mini split, they are a great way of saving money and beating the heat. Talk about a win-win!

Read on to find out more about the new innovative solution to an old problem, overcoming the Texas heat.

What Is a Ductless Mini Split?

Often referred to simply as “mini splits,” ductless mini-split air conditioners are unique heating and cooling systems that do not use traditional air ducts. Instead, they pump conditioning air directly into a room.

Ductless mini-split units have two primary components. First, they have an outdoor compressor/condenser installed on a concrete slab, usually near the indoor air handler. Next, there’s the indoor air handler, which is attached to a wall or hung from the ceiling, depending on the style of your home. You can link multiple air handlers to a single outdoor unit. 

Benefits of Ductless Mini Split System

Ductless mini splits have several benefits when compared to traditional air conditioning installations. Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning customers typically experience the following perks when switching to a ductless mini split:

Flexible Zoning

Ductless systems are compact and offer superior flexibility over other AC installation options. Homeowners can choose a custom design to meet the unique heating and cooling demands of their homes.

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning has multiple models available, some of which can accommodate up to four indoor units on a single exterior compressor/condenser.

These units allow you to control the temperature in each living space precisely. Each room will have its very own thermostat. That is incredibly convenient if you and your loved ones can never agree on the ideal temperature setting in your Carrollton home.

Easy Installation

Installing or replacing ductwork is incredibly time-consuming. Plus, it can really make a mess of your home. That means that the install team will need to take extra time to clean up after themselves, resulting in a prolonged disruption of your everyday routine.

Ductless mini-split AC installations are incredibly fast and straightforward. Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning’s technicians can quickly connect your indoor and outdoor components with a piece of conduit.

While these systems are normally installed close to the wall of your home, we can move them further away to conceal the condenser. That allows you to keep it cool without ruining the curb appeal of your Carrollton home.

Energy Efficient

As if ductless mini splits were not appealing enough already, they are also incredibly energy efficient. Most of the lost power in an air conditioning system occurs when air is transported through ductwork. Since your new system does not have ducts, it will deliver all of that precious cool air right where it belongs.

Save money and sweat less with Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning’s ductless mini-split air conditioning installation services.

Noise Reduction

Like many Texans, you have probably tried supplementing your home’s central AC system with window units. While these cumbersome and unsightly machines can help keep a room more comfortable, they are noisy. Plus, running your HVAC system and window units simultaneously will cause your electric bill to skyrocket.

Ductless mini splits are incredibly quiet. They make far less sound than a window unit and do a better job of cooling, as well.

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning only carries the best brands of ductless mini splits. That means that your new units will look sleek and blend in seamlessly with the décor of your home.

Enhances Home Security

Speaking of those pesky window units, they can be a real security hazard. Even a properly installed window unit is wedged in a windowsill. A committed intruder can easily dislodge your window unit and enter your home. They might even make off with the portable AC while they are at it.

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning’s ductless mini splits are incredibly safe and secure. During install, our technicians will only need to make a small (about 3 inches) hole in your wall to feed the conduit through. Our technicians will ensure that the space surrounding the tube is tightly sealed to keep out all pests. Ductless systems do not create any extra opportunities for bad actors to gain access to your home.

Better Indoor Air Quality

In addition to the heat, Carrollton residents also have to endure seasonal spikes in pollen levels. If you or a loved one suffer from allergies, you know just how important it is to maintain good indoor air quality.

While a central HVAC system requires regular professional duct cleaning, mini-splits do not. Ductless mini-splits provide that, too! They offer multi-stage filtration and can dramatically reduce the amount of pollen, allergens, dust, and bacteria in your home’s air supply. That means that you will be able to breathe easier all year long, even during peak allergy season.

Ductless Air Conditioning Installation in Carrollton

Are you ready to keep it cool in Carrollton with a professional ductless mini-split AC installation? If so, then it is time to partner with Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

We will provide you with a free quote on a ductless mini-split system. Once you choose a setup for your home, we will have your new ACs up and running in no time! Contact the best and get Sirius about your home’s heating and cooling needs.

Essential AC Services

Keep Your Cool with These 5 Essential AC Services

By Plumbing and Air Conditioning Dallas TX

Summer is approaching, which means you’ll soon need to rely on your air conditioner to get you through the heat. And living in Frisco means dealing with some serious heat.

That’s why you need an HVAC services provider that knows how to serve you through every kind of weather, from the sweltering heat to the blistering cold.

At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we understand every aspect of air conditioner care. Whether you need your unit fine-tuned or replaced entirely, you get a job done right when you work with us. To prove we know our stuff, here are five AC services you can take advantage of to keep your home cool this summer.

  • AC Tune-Up

You should schedule an air conditioning tune-up annually, preferably when it’s colder out, since you’re less likely to need it. But, of course, that’s not always possible. What matters is that you get frequent maintenance done on your unit, even if it seems to be running perfectly fine.

An AC tune-up will ensure your system is running as efficiently as possible. Our technicians know what needs to be done to maintain an air conditioner unit, and they’ll adjust, tighten, and clean every part of your AC. When they finish, they’ll know the state of your air conditioner inside and out.

At that point, they’ll help you plan what to do next. If your unit doesn’t have any significant issues, you may just need to schedule another appointment for the following year. However, if a technician finds something wrong with your unit, they may suggest an in-depth repair or even a unit replacement.

  • AC Repair

If you tolerate your AC more than you enjoy it, that’s a problem. You shouldn’t have to grit your teeth through weird smells or bothersome noises, especially because signs like these bode poorly for your comfort and wallet.

When your air conditioner unit isn’t running properly, it uses an increasing amount of energy to produce almost no desirable effect. That means your broken unit is likely hiking up your energy bill. In this instance, air conditioning repair will provide cool air for your home, reduce your carbon footprint on the environment, and get your utility bills back to normal.

An AC repair will not only keep your home cool in the summer, but it will also make sure the air circulating through your system is as clean as possible. If you or someone in your household has allergies or other respiratory illnesses, you want to make sure your AC isn’t pushing dust or other harmful particulates through your vents. Your health is just as valuable as your comfort and your home’s climate.

  • AC Installation

If you live in an older home with a traditional AC model, the odds are that your unit is only designed to last for up to 12 years. If you haven’t been able to keep up with regular maintenance, you may have cut that lifespan in half. Is your current system not cooling your home as it should? It may be time to look into an air conditioning installation.

Modern AC units are better all across the board. These robust systems run cleaner and more efficiently than older units, saving you time, money, and trouble. While an older air conditioner has a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of around seven or eight, newer models have a SEER of 13 or more. That has the potential to lower your energy bills by up to 50%.

And if you have an older AC system in Frisco, there’s a pretty good chance that it might contain freon, carbon dioxide, or ammonia. Once the unit starts to break down, these gases run the risk of leaking and damaging your health and the environment.

Our technicians know how to properly dispose of these units to make sure everyone and everything is safe. And what’s cooler than that?

  • Other AC Services

Thermostats don’t have a concrete lifespan, but the average devices experienced a dip in quality after about ten years. After that point, you’ll start to notice signs of malfunction, such as fluctuations in temperature, incorrect readings, or a significant spike in your energy bill.

It’s technically possible to change your thermostat on your own, but it’s best to leave the work to someone with electrical training as it’s an electrical fixture. And when you come to Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning for your thermostat replacement, we can guide you through the many options on the market.

If you’re a tech-savvy or tech-forward consumer, there are several smart thermostats available. You can control these AI assistants through any smart device, and you can program them to turn your cooler on before you get home or off as you drift to sleep.

Your thermostat is a valuable tool to keep you cool. And when it’s no longer doing its job, we can get things back in working order.

  • Sirius Comfort Care

Whether your unit is old or cutting edge, it’s invaluable to form a relationship with a provider you can work with to keep your home cool summer after summer. And Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning offers a special Home Comfort Care Program for an annual fee of $129 a year.

This program includes two complimentary annual tune-ups—one for your furnace and the other for your air conditioner. With these services, the program already pays for itself. But there’s more to it. Sometimes things break down even when you’ve cared for them the best you can, and that’s why our program offers 10% off all HVAC repairs all year round. And no matter how busy we get, you’re promised VIP service with our Home Comfort Care Program.

When a Frisco heat wave hits your home, you want to have a plan in place to defend yourself. Your system will work for you if you do what’s needed to keep it working. And when you want a provider to bring serious service to your system, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning is your go-to team. We will make sure your system stays just as cool as you are.

Protect Drains and Pipes from Damage

How to Protect Your Frisco Drains and Pipes from Damage

By Plumbing

There are many old homes in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, and they come with all the plumbing problems familiar to homes built long ago: Bad repairs by previous owners, antiquated pipes, and shifting foundations and drains. All of these factors can lead to frequent drain clogging.

Drain clogs are one of those messy, unpleasant home problems that no one wants to handle. Most kitchen sink or dishwasher drain clogs result from foreign objects, grease, or food. For bathroom clogs, the culprit is usually dirt, skin flakes, or hair that binds to soap scum in your pipes. In either instance, clearing these clogs up is an urgent yet unwelcome task. 

Ways to Protect Your Pipes

One of the best ways to avoid clearing a clog is to prevent it in the first place. Consider some of these ways to keep your pipes clear.

Keep the Junk Out

One of the simplest ways to prevent a drain clog is to keep the garbage out of your pipes in the first place. 

Remove as much grease and oil as possible from your dishes before putting them in the sink or dishwasher. Make sure the barbecue plates have been scraped thoroughly of those beef drippings and sauce. Remember scrape grease and large chunks of food into the garbage can, not the sink! 

As for your bathroom drains, practice regular drain cleaning to remove hair and other debris from your drain. That way, the buildup won’t go down the pipe and affect your plumbing.

Hot Water Treatment

Pour boiling water down your pipes periodically to help loosen the buildup of any scum or debris. Then run hot tap water to rinse away whatever debris you loosened. Boiling water can also break up and clear away some minor clogs. 

Drain Covers

If you don’t have drain covers, think about getting them. They can prevent the need for drain cleaning when used properly. You can usually find different cover sizes and styles at any hardware store. Those little wire nets that fit most drains will keep a tremendous amount of hair and other junk out of your plumbing, preventing a severe clog for a minimal investment.

Keep Drain Covers Clean

Once you’ve invested in those drain protectors, make sure you keep them clean. Don’t let gunk build up in the drain covers! Occasionally, you may want to pull the drain covers off the drains and run them through a dishwasher cycle. Washing them will make sure they’re free of any slime, oil, or grease buildup.

Ways to Clear Your Drains

If you haven’t kept up with your drain cleaning or some other drain-related disaster has occurred, you may want to try some of these standard drain cleaning remedies before calling the professionals.

Remove a Visible Clog

If you can see the debris causing the clog, try to remove it by hand. Put on rubber gloves, then use tweezers or a wire coat hanger so that you’re not directly touching whatever gunky mess there is. Both of these utensils make excellent clog removal tools.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

One of the simplest methods of drain cleaning involves standard household supplies. Mix one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. Pour that mixture down the drain and let it sit for at least three hours. Next, pour boiling water down the drain. You can repeat this several times if necessary. 

Some people pour the baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of table salt and a cup of white vinegar. If you choose this technique, let the mixture sit for ten minutes, then flush the drain with boiling water.

Drain Snake

If you have a drain snake (also known as a plumber’s snake), you can run it down the drain to break up or displace the clog. Drain snakes are great for drain cleaning, and they come as reusable or disposable. If yours is reusable, make sure to wash it after the job is done.

Plungers

Plungers work on any drain where you can create suction. They may be a challenge to use if your drain has an overflow valve (also known as a relief valve) because this device will prevent you from generating suction. Still, plungers are a valuable tool if you can cover the drain and get the power you need to pull out or push forward the clog.

Boiling Water

Sometimes, the most straightforward drain cleaning remedy is the best. Try pouring boiling water down your clogged drain. If the clog results from grease or soap scum, the water may well melt through it. You can repeat this strategy as many times as necessary.

Commercial Drain Cleaners

Chemical caustic or acidic drain cleaners may work well on your clog, but they have many downsides. These drain cleaning agents can damage your pipes, and if misused, can cause gusher-like backup and chemical burns or blisters on your bathroom fixtures. 

Drain cleaners also put poisonous chemicals into the water supply and can create toxic fumes in their efforts to de-clog your drain.

Enzymatic Drain Cleaners

Today, there are also enzymatic drain cleaners that consist of bacteria used to feed on your clogs. You can use these cleaners periodically as a preventative measure as well as a cleanser. Monthly treatment with this type of product can keep your drains running clean. 

Clean the Drain Trap

If you’re confident and somewhat skilled, you can remove the U-shaped portion of your pipe (also known as a P-trap) at the bottom of your drain and clean it out. Most plumbers recommend you leave this task to the professionals, as an error can cost you money in repairs. 

Bring in the Experts

Sometimes, no matter how hard you work to keep your drains clean or how hard you’ve tried to clear a problem on your own, you are still stuck with a stubbornly clogged drain. In that case, you’ll wonder, “how do I  find someone to do a plumbing repair near me?” That’s when you should call a skilled plumbing professional who can diagnose your clog and use the appropriate tools to fix it promptly, safely, and expertly.

At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we’re just those professionals! Give us a call if you need assistance with drain cleaning or de-clogging.

Common Ways to Spot a Slab Leak

Common Ways to Spot a Slab Leak in Plano

By Slab Leak

Slab leaks are particularly troubling. They can often go undetected until they have caused a significant amount of damage. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to catch these leaks before they go too far. Keep reading to learn the signs that it is time to schedule slab leak repair for your Plano home.

What Is a Slab Leak?

The word slab refers to a flat, concrete foundation found under some homes. If your home has a slab foundation, water and sewer lines may lie just below the concrete. If those pipes rupture, you have a slab leak.

What Causes Slab Leaks

Several things can cause slab leaks. These include the following:

  • Pipe corrosion
  • Friction from concrete or rebar
  • Pressure resulting from ground settling or shifting

Remember that soil weight and density can vary from place to place in Plano. Pipes that last for decades in one area may crack under the pressure of surrounding dirt in others, leading to an urgent need for slab leak repair.

How Urgent Is Slab Leak Repair?

If you, or your plumber, notice a slab leak, you must immediately take action. The potential for damage is significant. You should also assume that the leak occurred for at least some time before you found it.

Slab leaks can lead to the following home-related problems:

  • Mold
  • Electrical system damage
  • Rotting floor joists
  • Soil erosion

Without early detection and slab leak repair, you could be dealing with significant damage.

How Do Plumbers Detect Slab Leaks in Plano Homes?

Today, there are all kinds of helpful technologies to help plumbers see—and sometimes even hear—leaks below your slab foundation. Your plumber might use helium detection, ultrasonic detection, infrared technology, or sonar to discover a leak.

It’s great that these technologies are available. Unfortunately, they are often not deployed until it’s clear that something is wrong.

Signs of Slab Leaks for Homeowners

Fortunately, there are measures that homeowners can take to detect the need for slab leak repair. Remember that the sooner you can catch a leak, the better. Chances are, you will have to invest less money in repairing the leak and dealing with any residual damage.

Here are some signs that you are dealing with a slab leak:

  • Unexplained wet spots on the ground around your home
  • Warm places on your floor
  • Excess moisture, especially in your basement
  • Mold or mildew

If you notice any of these things, contact a licensed plumber in Plano. They will come out to assess the situation for you. Then, they will recommend the best process for slab leak repair. Remember that it’s always helpful to take regular walks around your property to see if anything seems off. You never know what problem you might catch early.

Can Slab Leaks Be Prevented?

There is no slab leak prevention method that’s 100% effective. Still, there are things you can do that can reduce your risk of a slab leak.

First, keep in mind that you can best avoid slab leak repair if your home was properly constructed and maintains good structural integrity. If you are lucky enough to be involved in the construction of your home, insist that a reputable company in Plano handles the plumbing. They will assess the ground and other factors to determine the materials and processes that will best assure that no pipes rupture in the future.

As a homeowner, there are other precautions you can take. First, avoid using chemical drain cleaners. They are harsh and caustic, and they can cause damage to sewer pipes. They’re also largely ineffective. Another way to prevent slab leaks is to avoid using high water pressure. Finally, buildup from hard water can cause issues with your pipes. Consider a solution to mitigate that before damage occurs.

What to Expect From Slab Leak Repair

If your home does have a slab leak, you may be pretty worried—and reasonably so. Any issue relating to your home’s foundation is always concerning. Fortunately, qualified plumbing services can help you with slab leak repair.

Remember that every situation is different, but below, we’ve listed some of what you can expect during the slab leak repair process.

Slab Leak Detection

Your plumber will come to your home and listen carefully as you describe the symptoms you’ve noticed. They will have specialized equipment, as mentioned above, that will allow them to determine that there is a leak. This equipment will help them pinpoint the leak’s exact location. When they have finished looking, your plumber will know exactly where the leak is and have some suggestions for repairing it.

Assessment and Advice

Before they do anything, your plumber will need your consent. They will explain what they found, provide you with all of your possible options, and give you a price estimate. At this point, it’s up to you to decide what you want to do.

Slab Leak Repair

There are a few ways to repair a slab leak. If it is a single leaking pipe, your plumber may recommend repairing it. However, if your pipes are old or have other issues, repair may not be the best idea. Repairing a leak may work for a while, but a new leak is likely to crop up.

Your second option is to have your plumber reroute the plumbing to bypass the ruptured pipes. They will essentially add new sewer or water pipes that will go around the broken ones. Your plumber will cap off the broken one to prevent any water or sewage from flowing through them.

Finally, if there is significant damage or the pipes are in poor condition, replacement is the only real option. Your plumber will remove the existing pipes and replace them with newer lines made of modern materials.

Where to Find Plumbing Repair Near Me

If you need help with a slab leak, Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning can help! We are your source in Plano for all types of plumbing repair. Contact us, and we will send a qualified plumber right away.

Myths About Plumbing

Common Myths About Plumbing in Plano

By Plumbing

Plumbing is one area of home maintenance where people are quick to try their solutions instead of calling in professionals. Some home remedies have merit to them, but many are based on myths and misconceptions.

Don’t throw sound judgment down the drain. Let Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning dispel the most common myths about plumbing for you so that you can make the right decision the first time.

“Flushable” Wipes

Some homeowners see their toilets as a handy way to dispose of just about anything. That is a big mistake, and we’re sure that many readers have already learned this the hard way. Many items have no business going down the toilet.

Baby wipes are one such item. These wipes do not break down like toilet paper, so they can cause major clogs and blockages if flushed. Anything vaguely similar to these products—such as make-up removal wipes and wet wipes—shouldn’t go down the pipes, either. Even wipes advertised as flushable can create disastrous clogs and other issues once they reach municipal wastewater treatment facilities.

Faucet Drips Are Nothing to Worry About

Many people think it’s best to learn to live with leaky faucets. They don’t consider it a big deal and assume repairs are more trouble than they’re worth. In reality, leaky faucets are a primary source of wasted water across the entire country.

Not only do leaky faucets contribute to water shortages, but they’re also bad for your fixture. Leaving leaks unfixed can damage your equipment over time, and the constant dripping and depositing of minerals can leave unsightly marks in your sink bowl.

Tightening Faucets Can Fix Any Leaks

The average person’s response to a leaky faucet is to turn the tap as far as to the right as it can go. Some homeowners even take a wrench to it, almost always damaging the tap beyond repair. Leaky taps aren’t a major undertaking like slab leak repair, so bigger tools won’t help.

People do everything they can to avoid what they consider a drastic response—googling “plumbers near me” and calling in the professionals. However, tightening any plumbing fixture too much will strip threads and make leaks worse, possibly damaging more parts in the process. After that, you’ll definitely need to call for help.

Emergency Water Heater Repairs for Any Bump or Clank

Water heaters contain a lot of hot water, leading many homeowners to become overly fearful of explosions. They hear strange sounds and assume the worst-case scenario is about to happen. There’s no particular need to worry when you hear the following:

  • Popping
  • Rumbling
  • Clunking
  • Ticking
  • Knocking

These sounds are typically just air bubbles escaping from sediment on the bottom of the tank. Simple annual flushing of your unit will prevent these noises, which are a symptom of a relatively minor problem. You could also consider a tankless water heater installation, which can have numerous benefits. Still, concern over exploding tanks shouldn’t be the deciding factor.

Boiling Water to Break Up Stubborn Clogs

Boiling water has been a drain cleaning method for centuries, but it doesn’t really have a solid basis. It works under the same principle as chemical drain cleaning agents—that they should soften and break up any clogs.

However, boiling water rarely does the trick. If a clog isn’t dissolvable in water, the temperature of the water won’t make a difference. And that’s essentially the end of this myth! Time to bring in a professional for drain snaking.

The Safety of Liquid Drain Cleaners

Drano and other liquid drain cleaners are often the go-to solutions for major clogs. However, homeowners are likely doing more harm than good since these chemicals can be just as harsh on your plumbing as they are on clogs.

That fact is especially true for toilets, where chemicals can eventually damage and crack the porcelain. As a result, you’re going to need a toilet replacement, not a toilet repair. The substances can eventually corrode both metal and PVC plumbing over time, as well.

Ice Cubes for Garbage Disposal Repair

This is one of the strangest plumbing myths because it doesn’t seem to have any grounds in logic or common sense. Most other myths at least seem plausible, but why would ice ever sharpen steel blades? There’s no question that ice cubes will dull your blades, not hone them.

Ice is harder than most things you put down your garbage disposal; therefore, it will damage your equipment more than regular food waste. Sharpening or replacing blades are simple garbage disposal repairs that any professional can handle. Using ice is just a waste of your time and may have you sinking more money into your disposal in the end.

Running Water Helps Maintain Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are versatile tools for disposing of food waste. People often think that they can get better performance out of their equipment by running water whenever they use it. However, doing this merely wastes water and for no noticeable benefit.

You might think that running water would help sweep food along or push big chunks through the drain. The truth is that the water running doesn’t provide much pressure or current to help food along. The water from your tap certainly doesn’t carry enough force to dislodge jammed chunks of food.

Lemon Peels for Managing Garbage Disposal Smells

One of the most common complaints about garbage disposals is foul odors. When chunks or juices from food waste are left behind, they can give off unpleasant smells. One of the traditional methods for handling these smells is sending lemon peels into the disposal.

Lemos may smell nice, but they’re not good for your garbage disposal blades. The rinds are highly acidic and will corrode both your disposal blades and your plumbing. The real solution to a stinky garbage disposal is using a mixture of white vinegar with baking soda.

Leaving Plumbing Work to Amateurs

Plenty of people try fixing their own plumbing issues, leading to disaster most of the time. Even those who know better often go with unlicensed tradespeople instead of tracking down an actually certified plumber for the job.

Plumbing is a trade that requires expertise and knowledge. When you go with an amateur, you’re risking significant damage not just to your equipment but to your entire home. These workers are often uninsured as well, meaning you’ll be in real trouble if something goes wrong.

Reliable Plumbers Near Me with Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning provide the residents of Plano and the surrounding areas with reliable plumbing repairs and installations. From clogged drains to tankless water heater installations, we handle it all. Contact us today to choose professional and licensed plumbers you can trust.

3 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bills

3 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bills in Carrollton

By Blog

If you live in Carrollton, you need to use a lot of energy to stay comfortable. The summers are muggy, and the winters are frigid. It’s likely you rely on your appliances all year round to keep things easy. But do that long enough, and your utility bill will inevitably skyrocket.

So you may be asking yourself, what can I do to cut the amount of energy I use in my household? Is it possible to remain energy efficient without making unnecessary sacrifices? And what plumber near me is capable of handling the services I need?

At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we aim to provide answers to questions like these. And for our friends in the Carrollton area, we can make sure your household is efficient, environmentally sound, and easy to live in.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

Smart thermostats are becoming a staple in modern homes. They connect to your phone and allow you to adjust the temperature from anywhere. These thermostats learn your daily schedule and adjust to fit your preferences. They can even change based on the weather.

Programmable thermostats aren’t a new science. For a long time, however, they were incredibly unintuitive. A 2010 survey showed that 89% of respondents rarely or never used their programmable thermostat to set a daily program. But with smart thermostats, they program themselves for you.

A smart thermostat will know when no one is home. Because of that, they won’t be wasting energy on an empty space. They’ll also provide regular energy reports to give a record of how much power you’re using. This will give you a chance to improve your eco-consciousness while lowering your power bill in the process.

It’s an easy process to install a smart thermostat in most homes. You can also apply to get a rebate towards the cost of installation or even a free model depending on your electric provider. Once it’s set up, you’ll be shocked at how easy it is to learn.

Switch to Energy Star 

Let’s talk about power.

According to statistics, heating and cooling appliances take a little less than half of your monthly electricity. Washers and dryers take around 13-14%, and lighting takes 12%. The rest goes to smaller appliances like the fridge, oven, or dishwasher.

Some of these appliances are things that you can’t really help but use. But if these appliances are out of date, they may be taking up more power than they deserve. If your appliance is draining your energy usage, you might want to make the switch to an Energy Star model.

If you’ve shopped for appliances, you may have seen a baby-blue sticker on the side of certain units. This is an Energy Star certification. That sticker signifies that the product has passed the standards set by the US organizations like the Department of Energy. It’s their way of saying that the product in question takes up less energy to work just, as well—if not better.

Why Get Energy Star?

When you buy an Energy Star product, you know you’re buying something of value. These appliances will save 10-50% of the energy used already—even more if you’re upgrading from an older model. This will give a substantial cut to your utility bill and allow the unit to pay for itself over a short amount of time.

Energy-Star-approved products come in a variety of brands that you might already know. There’s Samsung and GE, and also Hotpoint, Blomberg, and Beko. And that’s only a fraction of tested products on the market. It’s likely there’s a brand that’ll fit your household, regardless of your budget. Because of that, it’s easy to make the switch to a cleaner and more efficient home today.

Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance 

Your HVAC system needs regular maintenance. Whether it’s an AC tune-up or furnace inspection, an annual check-in will keep your unit running the best it can. If your energy bill has suddenly gone up for seemingly no reason, this could be a sign that your unit needs work done.

Seeking AC Repair

Since we’re starting another summer, we’ll focus on the AC. Higher energy bills are just one possible sign of needing AC repair. You should also call us if you experience:

  • Warm air coming from the vents
  • Unpleasant sounds or odors
  • Increased humidity
  • Problems with the thermostat

We can send one of our skilled technicians to run an AC tune-up on your system. Through this diagnostic, we can determine the source of any potential problems. From that point, we’ll decide what work needs to be done to keep them functioning properly.

A furnace or AC repair from Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning will make sure that your unit is running safely. It’ll also extend their lifespan and make sure you have warranty coverage over your system if you need it. But what we like best is that a unit repair can save you up to 15% on utility bills. That’s a lot of benefits from one appointment!

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning: The Best Plumbing and HVAC in Carrollton

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning works to make a family out of every household in Carrollton. We’re locally owned with community values in mind, and we bring those ethics into every job we do.

When you work through us, you get the full benefit of the standards we hold ourselves to. This means a complete money-back guarantee for all services, allowing you to invest in your home without risk. And if your replacement or repair fails within three months of our work, we’ll come back and repair it for free. And we offer more security than that. 

Sirius Home Comfort Care Program

If you want regular AC repair for your household, you should consider enrolling in our special Sirius Home Comfort Care Program. For a fee of $129 a year, you become a VIP member even in our busiest times. We provide two complimentary furnace and AC tune-up appointments during the appropriate season. And all year round, we’ll take 10% off of all our services.

We want you to take advantage of the many benefits a more efficient home can give you. So if you’d like to learn more about how we can make your household run better, contact us today!

 

Spring Guide to an AC Tune-Up

Spring Guide to an AC Tune-Up in Frisco

By Air Conditioning

Spring is here, which means that the time has come for your air conditioning tune-up. The last thing you want is for your air conditioning to break smack in the middle of a Dallas-Fort Worth summer!

Here at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we’ve said this before and we’ll say it again:  Few things work harder than a Dallas air conditioner!

In this post, we’ll talk about a few important subjects. First, we’ll cover why regular air conditioning tune-ups are necessary. From there, we’ll highlight some things that you can do on your own to keep your air conditioner in top shape. Next, we’ll discuss what our company’s AC tune-ups include. Finally, we’ll go through all the benefits that you can expect to receive from Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning’s expert service.

Why You Need Regular AC Tune-Ups

Whether your air conditioning system is brand-new or it has seen better days, regular tune-ups are necessary. Tune-ups uncover problems before they turn into full-blown outages. An air conditioning outage is not only miserable, but it can also be unsafe!

Even new air conditioning systems are vulnerable to potentially catastrophic problems. For example, environmental debris can easily damage your brand-new air conditioner. If left unchecked, this damage can quickly turn into an outage.

Regular tune-ups also extend the life of your air conditioner. In other words, if you invest a little on the service end, then you save in the long run. With regular maintenance, your AC will always run as efficiently as possible, thereby prolonging its life and saving you money on utility bills.

Regular maintenance is also often a necessary part of home warranties. By scheduling your AC tune-up, you can protect your investment and keep your warranty intact.

You don’t need to take our word on any of this! A simple Google search will yield countless home maintenance guides from professionals. Without fail, they all recommend regular air conditioning tune-ups.

The bottom line here is that air conditioning systems are complex appliances with many sensitive parts. As such, there’s a lot of things that can go wrong. When you commit to regular maintenance from Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning’s licensed professionals, you can protect your home, your investment, and your family.

How You Can Keep Your Air Conditioner Working

Though regular AC tune-ups by licensed professionals cannot be replaced, there are several things that you can do to keep your AC working in between appointments.

Replace dirty filters often. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on this; some filters last one month, while others are reusable and simply require cleaning. If you have pets, you may need to replace or clean the filters more often.

Clear brush and debris from the area around the outdoor unit. Make sure that there aren’t too many plants nearby. As plants grow against your unit, they can interfere with its proper operation.

Keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to adjust the components of your AC unit on your own. These are delicate systems, and tampering with them can be dangerous.

What You Get with a Sirius Air Conditioning Tune-Up

At Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we provide comprehensive service and maintenance for AC units of all makes and models. Come to us for your AC tune-up, and you’ll receive all of this and more:

  • Clean and adjust thermostat to ensure proper operation
  • Check and tighten loose connections
  • Check and clean condenser
  • Check refrigerant charge
  • Ensure that there are no leaks in the refrigerant lines
  • Monitor voltage and amperage draw
  • Inspect inside cooling coil
  • Monitor air conditioning cycling
  • Clean primary and secondary drain lines
  • Monitor and adjust blower components
  • Check operating pressure
  • Check suction line insulation
  • Check and/or replace filters as needed

Beyond the nuts and bolts, regular maintenance provides you with peace of mind. Your life is busy, and the heat and humidity of a Frisco summer can impact your physical and mental health. Don’t leave your air conditioning to chance; hire a professional, and keep your mind at ease!

How Regular AC Tune-Ups Benefit You

While we’ve already discussed what regular tune-ups do for you, we need to reiterate that they are an investment! Regular air conditioning tune-ups extend the life of your system, which allows you to get the most out of your current unit.

When your air conditioner system is fighting to work in spite of damage or debris, it can make your unit work harder to produce the same volume of cool air. This can drive up your electricity bills significantly.

Regular maintenance ensures that your air conditioner is able to function as efficiently as possible. As such, regular maintenance results in real savings on your utility bills—up to 15%!

Best of all, with the Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning Home Comfort Care program, you can save even more. For $129 per year, you receive the following:

  • A spring AC tune-up
  • A fall furnace check
  • 10% off all heating, air conditioning, and plumbing repairs
  • VIP service, even at our busiest times

For all of your AC tune-up needs in Frisco, TX, and the surrounding communities, the team at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning is here to help!

Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning in Frisco, TX

A well-functioning air conditioning system keeps the utility bills low and the Frisco summer at bay. A run-down system costs more overall, puts your family’s comfort in jeopardy, and poses major risks to your health and safety. As such, regular maintenance is both cost-effective and essential.

Though searching “AC tune-up near me” will yield many results, the team at Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning is your ticket to peace of mind. We have the experience that you need and the attitude that you want. We do so much more than HVAC maintenance — we help to serve our local community. With our 100% money back guarantee, you’ll know that you’re in good hands. Give us a call today to schedule your annual air conditioning tune-up.

Addressing April Showers with a Sump Pump

Addressing April Showers with a Sump Pump in Frisco

By Sump Pump

Here in Frisco, basements aren’t all that common. And while crawl spaces are more frequent, it’s far more common for houses in Texas to be built on slab foundations. That’s why most homeowners don’t give a sump pump a second thought.

However, there are still plenty of reasons why your home might benefit from a sump pump. Several homes in the DFW area do still have basements and crawl spaces, which may be at elevated risk of flooding. In other cases, homeowners might have trouble with insufficient drainage around their property. A sump pump can help to dry out your wet, soggy lawns.

As the spring rains start to fall, if you begin to experience problems with flooding in your home, it’s worth considering whether a sump pump could put an end to your problems.

What Is a Sump Pump?

Simply put, a sump pump helps to clear water from areas where you don’t want it, channeling the water elsewhere instead. These pumps rely on electricity to draw in water which is then forced into a drain. Of course, how your pump does this will depend on where it’s being used, as well as the type of pump that is installed.

In basements and crawl spaces, sump pumps are either submersible or mounted on a pedestal. Submersible sump pumps sit in a basin that collects water, especially due to heavy rainfall or a rising groundwater level. Once the water reaches a certain depth, the sump pump kicks into action. It pumps excess water through a drain, usually emptying into the street. This can help to prevent water from flooding your basement.

Pedestal drains, on the other hand, sit outside of the basin. They draw excess water through a pipe that comes from the basin. While pedestal pumps are typically cheaper to install and tend to last longer than a submersible pump, they’re also much louder, and they take up extra floor space.

Outdoor Sump Pumps

For many homeowners, traditional drainage methods like French drains are enough to keep their lawn from retaining too much water. But depending on conditions, including the soil around your home, the water table, and how frequently your home experiences rainfall, these measures might not be enough to provide adequate drainage, which could leave you with a swampy mess.

Exterior sump pumps make your drainage system more effective by using electricity to actively pump water away from your property, ensuring that your soil doesn’t retain too much water. Typically, exterior sump pumps are installed at the lowest point in your yard. These low points often become small ponds during heavy rains. With a sump pump, you can clear out the most water possible.

Installing a Sump Pump

Trained plumbers have the knowledge and experience necessary to get your pump installed correctly, but they’ll also be able to tell if the pump is being installed in the right place. They make sure that you’ll have the right equipment to get the job done.

Installing a sump pump starts with the basin. Your plumber will either drill or jackhammer a basin at the lowest point of your property, where they’ll install a permeable membrane that allows water to seep in while keeping debris, mud, and other potential clogging agents out.

Once the basin is completed, your plumber will drill holes for the discharge line, which will carry water from the pump out to the exterior drain. Once these holes are cut, they’ll install the pump itself, connecting it to the discharge pipe and ensuring that it’s properly wired into your home’s electrical system.

The next step is to run the discharge line, which is usually buried under your lawn. Once all of the parts are connected, your plumber will test the system, usually by pouring extra water into the sump basin until the pump switches on. They’ll then ensure your pump is working correctly, making any necessary adjustments to the power or the trigger along the way.

Sump Pump Maintenance

No matter what style of sump pump you have installed in your home, it’s important to make sure that you have it periodically tested and inspected. Without regular maintenance, you might discover that your sump pump isn’t working when water starts to pour into your home, either from excess water in your basement or overflowing from a lawn that won’t drain correctly.

You should check your sump pump’s performance about every three months. Luckily, this inspection is easy, and shouldn’t take long! Simply unplug your pump and inspect it for any excess debris that might be clogging the intake. Once you’re sure it’s clear, plug it back in. You can then pour about five gallons of water into the basin to make sure the float switch engages at the right water level.

In addition, you should have your sump pump inspected by a qualified technician every year, ideally in the spring, before the increased rainfall puts extra strain on your drainage system.

When you schedule a maintenance visit with a qualified technician from Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we’ll come out to your home right away. Your technician should do all of the following tasks:

  • Examine the pump for corrosion or rust
  • Clear the pump intake
  • Lubricate any parts that need oil or grease
  • Clean any debris from the sump basin
  • Test the float switch by adding extra water
  • Calibrate the switch level and ensure free movement
  • Examine the discharge pipe for clogs or leaks
  • Ensure that water is draining completely from the discharge pipe

With regular maintenance, you’ll make sure that you get the most out of your sump pump—and that you won’t have to deal with a wet, soggy mess!

Professional Plumbers Near Me

A sump pump is a critical part of protecting your investment in your home. If you need help installing or maintaining your sump pump or if you have more questions about whether a sump pump is right for your Frisco home, contact Sirius Plumbing and Air Conditioning today. We’ll make sure your home stays nice and dry!