Wm. Henderson Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. Blog : Archive for February, 2012

When You Should Get Your Cooling System Checked?

Monday, February 27th, 2012

It’s a fact that cooling and heating systems account for nearly half of the energy cost in a typical home. This is the reason that high-efficiency heating and cooling systems are a big part of the market right now. Having a high-efficiency system can save you a significant amount money year round. But, just maintaining your existing system and checking that it’s running at peak performance can also save you money in the long run.

Wm. Henderson suggests you have your cooling system checked at least once a year by a professional. A trained professional will clean the air conditioning coils and the evaporator, check the refrigerant level, clean the blower and other moving parts and make an in-depth check of all the controls to make sure they are functioning properly.

Individually you can increase the life of your cooling system by checking the filter regularly. A quick monthly checkup during the peak cooling season is best. Pull the filter out and make sure it is clean and clear of debris. Excess debris in the filter will cause your cooling fan to run longer and harder using more energy and wearing down the moving parts. At a minimum, you should check your filter every three months.

A quick search for HVAC cooling services will bring up many companies that can perform cooling system maintenance. However, none of these companies have 35 years of experience servicing Delaware County and the Mainline like William Henderson Maintenance. We know we can keep your systems functioning properly, and keep your home cool and clean in the heat of the summer.

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Do You Have Hard Water?

Monday, February 27th, 2012

To most people, water is water. It’s wet and when we turn on the faucet – there it is. But, water does have qualities to it that make it different depending on where in the United States you live. Water that has a lot of minerals in it is considered to be hard, versus water with low mineral content that is considered to be soft. Although hard water is not bad for your health, it can cause a great deal of problems in your plumbing systems.

You will know you have hard water in your home if your faucets and pipe joints show signs of calcification. Calcification is the buildup of minerals where the water is screened or where the water evaporates. Many times you will find calcification where the water leaves a fixture like the faucet on your kitchen sink or in a shower. These buildups can cause long term damage to your pipes as they restrict the flow of water and in some cases corrode the pipe and cause leaks.

If you have hard water in your home, it is possible (and recommended) to use a water softener to remove the calcium and other minerals before it enters your main plumbing system. Water softeners use complex science to remove minerals, but basically it is a drum with a thick filter of resin that the water passes through. As it travels through the filter, the minerals are captured and suspended, while the water passes through to travel safely through the system until it reaches the faucet.

There are many Plumbers in Havertown that can help you determine how hard your water is and what, if any actions you need to take. However, William Henderson plumbing services has 35 years of experience helping Delaware County and Mainline homeowners troubleshoot and repair their plumbing problems. We understand the science behind soft water and can recommend a good system to ensure that your plumbing system stays safe and operates smoothly for a long time to come.

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What Causes Sink Odors?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

The drains in our plumbing system have a hard job; taking the crud and brackish water that we no longer want to deal with and sending it away. Because this job is so important, you can have some serious problems if your drain systems begin to break down and no longer function as they were intended. Kitchen plumbing in particular is subject to these types of problems, but bathroom drains also are susceptible. A common issue once drains begin to break down is the odor of sewer coming up from the pipes. This typically happens for one of two reasons.

The most common cause of odor from you sink is because your traps have run dry. Your plumbing has many traps, but a trap that you can see is under any sink in your home. It is the portion of the pipe that curls up towards the ceiling. The purpose of this trap is to collect water, which then acts as a stop for sewer gas coming back into the home. If a trap in your system goes empty, sewer gas can enter the home.

The second, most common reason for sink odor, comes from the pop-up section of your drain. This is the part that contains your trap and connects to the sink. Within the first few inches of the pipe is a drain stop. This is the device that is inside the pipe that stops the water from draining when you don’t want it to and it is the number one cause for plumbing services. The drain stop traps hair and other debris heading down the drain. As this material starts to decompose, it starts to stink. Plumbers know all too well that besides working to unclog sinks, cleaning off the drain stop often stops odors.

William Henderson Plumbing can help you with any of sink odor problems you may have. Let our 35 years of experience work for you to get your drains running clear and clean.


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Did You Get a New Heating System in 2011? You Might Get a Tax Rebate

Monday, February 20th, 2012

It’s the beginning of the year and that means tax season. If you were one of the many homeowners who chose to invest in their home, then chances are you will do well this tax season, especially if you had a major heating system replacement. If you did install a new heating system, not only will you save money on your future heating bills, but you may be eligible for a tax rebate from the federal government.

On Dec 31, 2011, the federal tax credit expired, but many heating products that you purchased for your home in 2011 are still eligible. One thing to note is that the $500 credit is for your lifetime. This means that any heating system related product that you purchased from 2006 through 2010 count towards this lifetime credit. So, if you spent $200 in 2008 and another $300 in 2011 you would have maxed out your credit after claiming the $300 on your 2011 taxes.

There are a number of appliances and heating equipment that will earn you a credit and the official IRS website contains a detailed list, but some items include:

  • Any water boiler system that uses oil, propane or natural gas fuel.
  • High efficiency fans that circulate air within heating ducts.
  • Any type of heat pump that moves air throughout the home to increase efficiency.

In order to claim your credit you will have to file IRS form 5695 in addition to your regular tax forms.

Remember that Wm. Henderson Plumbing and Heating not only has 35 years of experience in heating services, but we also have 35 years of experience saving you money. If you have any questions about potential tax credits related to newly installed heating systems give us a call and let us help you get back what you can this tax season.

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Why Most Plumbing Emergencies Are Preventable ?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Plumbing emergencies happen when we least expect it, and they never seem to come at a good time. Real plumbing emergencies often involve enlisting the plumbing services of a professional after hours, which can cost a great deal of money. Although you will likely never eliminate the chance of ever having a plumbing emergency, you can cut down on the amount of disasters you have with your plumbing system by treating your system right and performing routine maintenance checks.

Because a plumbing system does not have moving parts, many homeowners don’t consider the way they treat their fixtures and drains. The fact of the matter is that there are rules to how you should use the system you have in your home.

It’s important that you never pour liquid fat or animal fats down your drain. As the liquids cools it congeals and clogs up the pipe. This combined with other sinuous fibers, such as from fruits and vegetables flushed down the drain by your garbage disposal, can quickly clog your drains. In high traffic homes or during the holidays when our drains are at peak flow, this especially becomes a danger.

In order to keep the drains in your kitchen clean and clear, make sure you run cold water while the garbage disposal is running, as well as for a while after you have turned it off, to ensure that any solids make it all the way out to the sewer main.

The drains in the bathroom have the same rules as those in the kitchen. It may seem perfectly alright to put waste materials into the toilet to flush them away, but only human waste and toilet paper belong in your toilet. Human waste is biodegradable, normally softened by water, and is easily flushed. Toilet paper is designed for septic systems, and it is capable of making the journey from your bathroom to the sewer main. Food and other items which often get flushed are not in this same category and will eventually cause many problems.

Following these simple rules will ensure that you have less plumbing emergencies. But if you do find yourself on Thanksgiving with a turkey-grease-clogged kitchen drain, Wm Henderson Plumbing is here to help.

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Heating Maintenance Means Peace of Mind

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Peace of mind. It’s something that homeowners rely on to get to sleep at night, but not something that comes easily. With so many systems and appliances in our home, it seems like there is always something that is broken or just about to break. This is why seasonal maintenance from a qualified heating repair company is a good idea not only for your heating system, but your own well-being.

It doesn’t matter what type of system you have to heat your home. Maintenance is important to ensure that it functions properly and delivers heat to your home in the most efficient manner possible. A well trained plumbing and heating technician can spend a short time in your home and determine the condition of your heating system. In many cases, these short visits often result in small fixes that prevent greater damage down the road. Additionally, periodic maintenance allows a professional to suggest improvements to your system that will lower heating bills and save you money. A professional will also perform a CO test to ensure the safe operation of your heating system.

Heating systems that go years on end without any maintenance begin to lose efficiency and may even become a safety hazard. A gas furnace with no maintenance and an old filter clogged with years of dirt not only heats inefficiently, it could cause fumes to enter your home that are hazardous to your health. An old boiler without a yearly inspection may develop a leak that, over years of neglect, causes mold and structural damage. Animals that nest in exhaust vents block the flow of air your worn-out heating system slowly, but permanently.

Contacting a reliable heating repair company in PA to perform seasonal maintenance on your system is important to preserving the longevity of your home and ultimately gives you peace of mind. If you find yourself wondering about your own system, let Wm. Henderson Heating come and give you a reason to sleep well all night long.

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