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How to Perform Basic Air Conditioning Maintenance

Close-up of air conditioner grateDuring the summer months, an air conditioner is your best friend. However, once it breaks you may be stuck suffering through many sticky, warm days before you finally get it repaired. Understanding how to perform basic maintenance throughout the summer can help drastically reduce the risk of a breakdown. At Armbrust Plumbing, we want to provide our customers with the knowledge they need to keep their air conditioning in Carol Stream, IL running at full capacity.

The first thing you want to do is shut off the air conditioner’s power. Doing so prevents any electrical accidents from happening while you’re handling the unit. Once you’re certain it’s safe to begin messing with the machinery, remove the fan cage and clean any leaves and other debris from the AC interior. If you have an indoor AC unit, be sure to clear the filter of any dust and dirt that has collected on it.

Once you have removed all of the dust and debris, use a garden hose to spray the fins to clean them of any built up dirt. Then check to see if any of the fins have been bent and carefully straighten them with a butter knife. Any obstruction in airflow reduces your AC’s productivity, so it’s important to make sure the interior is clean and in top shape.

Put your AC back together and clean the area around the unit, by removing excess leaves and branches or dusting the window sills and floors. If you’re in need of more advanced air conditioning maintenance, don’t hesitate to call Armbrust Plumbing at (630) 547-7500.

3 Signs Your Air Conditioner Needs Immediate Attention

Air Conditioning Service Wheaton ILDo you suspect your air conditioner is on its last leg? We understand you would rather not replace your air conditioner unless there is something really wrong with it. We created a list of three main signs that there is something wrong with your AC. These signs are typically the warning signals before the air conditioner stops working completely, but sometimes they can be repaired.

Not Blowing Cold Air– If your AC is blowing warm or room-temperature air when the thermostat it set to a cold temperature, then you should schedule a maintenance appointment.

Weak Air Flow- When the air conditioner is not cooling your home, it could be due to a weak air flow. There could be some type of blockage in the vents.  If this is happening in your home, you should make an appointment right away before it gets worse.

Unique Smells- Unusual smells can indicate mold or burned wires. Since you are breathing the air your AC is pumping through your home, you should not wait to make an appointment with a professional.

If you are experiencing any of these warning signs, do not hesitate to give us a call at (630)547-7500. You can rely on us for any air conditioning service in Wheaton, IL.

3 Ways to Keep Your Cooling Bill Low This Summer

Men grilling in backyardAs the temperatures rise, your electric bill should not rise with it. Are you wondering how you can stay cool this summer without making your AC work overtime or break the bank? At Armbrust Plumbing & Heating Solutions, we want to help you stay cool this summer. Keep reading to see how you can beat the heat without touching the thermostat.

Grill Out- The warmer weather is great for grilling out, but did you know it can help keep your home cooler? Whether you are using the oven or the stove, when you cook inside it heats up the overall inside temperature which causes the AC to turn on. Plus, everyone loves a backyard BBQ.

Keep Fans On- Keeping the ceiling fans on will help keep the air circulating. When you are underneath the fan you are cooler which means you will touch the thermostat less.

Close Curtains During the Day- The sun can quickly heat up your home if you do not have your curtains closed. The heat will make its way into your home if it is not blocked by curtains.

These are just a few ways you can keep your home cooler without cracking up the air conditioning. When you are in need of HVAC in Wheaton, you can count on us to cool you down. Give us a call today at (630)547-7500 for all your HVAC needs.

Most Common Plumbing Myths, Part 2

checkered sink filling up with waterWhen it comes to understanding how your plumbing works, there are unfortunately some myths and misconceptions being passed on from homeowner to homeowner. Armbrust Plumbing is the leading provider of Illinois plumbing and heating solutions and our team is trained to handle a wide variety of plumbing issues. Below are three more common plumbing myths that end up costing homeowners everywhere.

Your Drain is Only Clogged if Water Stops Going Down

Just because your shower water seemingly flows down the drain with no issue doesn’t mean the pipes are all clear. If you notice that the water is draining slowly, or slower than usual, that can be a tell-tale sign that something is blocked in your pipes. Another indication can be the drainage sounds. Drains, plug holes, and toilet flushes that make gurgling sounds as water makes its way down can mean that it’s time to clean them out!

Hand Soap is perfect for Cleaning Your Plumbing Fixtures

Hand soap may be a convenient cleaning option in a pinch, but depending on what type of fixtures you have it may be doing more harm than good.  Only gentle cleaning solutions, such as lemons and baking soda, should be used on brass fixtures. Toilet bowls on the other hand, need to be wiped down with a hefty disinfectant as they are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria.

Don’t ruin your plumbing by following these common misconceptions! If you’re concerned your plumbing systems are not functioning properly, give Armbrust Plumbing a call today at (630) 547-7500.

Most Common Plumbing Myths, Part 1

stainless steel kitchen sink with running waterMaintaining the plumbing in your home is absolutely essential to the everyday life of you and your family. Without it, your toilets, sinks, and other drains will be completely useless. Though basic maintenance can be common knowledge to most homeowners, there is a large amount of people who are misinformed when it comes to their plumbing system’s functionality. At Armbrust Plumbing, we want to make sure every homeowner is informed of the basic plumbing knowledge, which can prevent unnecessary and costly repairs. Below are some of the most common plumbing myths people believe.

Stuffing Lemons down Your Garbage Disposal Will Clean it

One common plumbing myth is that running lemons through your garbage disposal will clean it. This may make your drain smell better initially, but it is overall a waste of lemons. In order to properly clean your garbage disposal, you’ll need to use a solution of mild soap and warm water. Spray the cleaning solution into the drain; let it soak for a few minutes, then scrub the disposal with a brush. Do make sure you disconnect your garbage disposal before sticking anything, especially your hands, down inside of it.

Running Water down the Garbage Disposal will help Anything Go Down

Another garbage disposal myth people swear by is running water down the drain allows anything you put in it to go down smoothly. As much as we may wish, you can’t put everything down the garbage disposal. Many hard or thick items, such as banana peels and eggshells, can end up damaging your disposal and leave you with costly repair work (and no garbage disposal for everything else).

If you’re in need of a plumber in Glen Ellyn, IL, Armbrust Plumbing & Heating Solutions is the place to call. Contact us today at (630) 547-7500 for expert service in water heaters, garbage disposals, sump pumps, and more!

Why is My Air Conditioner Leaking?

air conditioning unit in wallNow that the temperature is steadily climbing up each day, you may find yourself starting to turn toward your air conditioner for a break from the heat. Air conditioners can provide a much needed respite on days when you’ve been out in the sun and need to cool down, or during nights when the heat makes it a little too hot to sleep. However, sometimes people notice that their unit begins to drip water from the part of the unit that is in the home. There are a few reasons why this could be happening – read on for more information.

Damaged/rusted drain pan – If your air conditioning unit is older (10+ years), you may have a damaged drain pan. If a drain pan is rusted through, water will fall right through it.

Clogged condensate drain line – When a condensate drain line gets clogged with dust, dirt, sludge or mold, the water that’s supposed to be disposed through it is going to back up into your home. This is the most common cause of a leaking air conditioning unit, and can easily unclogged by an expert in air conditioning service in Wheaton, IL.

Dirty air filter – A dirty air filter prevents necessary airflow over the evaporator coil which often results with the coil freezing over. When it eventually melts, the drain pan will have too much water to handle, resulting in the drip.

Low refrigerant – Without the proper levels of refrigerant, pressure will lower in the AC system and this will also cause the evaporator coil to freeze over, resulting in a similar issue as having a dirty air filter.

If you’re AC is leaking and you need it fixed for the upcoming warmer months, contact Armbrust Plumbing for air conditioning service in Wheaton, IL today.

Strange Noise Your Garbage Disposal is Making

Garbage disposals are a great modern convenience that can help shred food into small pieces to go smoothly down your pipes instead of sitting in a garbage can and accumulating odor. While these machines may not be your priority in the home if something doesn’t sound quite right, it’s important to address any issues as disposals can be dangerous if there’s something wrong. There are three distinct noises garbage disposals tend to make that may alert you that something isn’t right:

Loud, metallic rattling – If you start hearing a sound like this, chances are something got down the pipe that wasn’t supposed to. A hard object that falls into the disposal with gets bounced around by the blades, causing the rattling noise. This is a simple fix as long as no damage has been done to the disposal: simply unplug the disposal and use heavy work gloves or slender tongs to remove the object.

Humming or whirring – When debris gets stuck between the shredder ring and the impellers, you can cause the flywheel mechanism of your disposal to get stuck, causing the humming and whirring you hear. This is not as simple of a fix if you are not comfortable with the machine, and should be handled by a professional.

Squealing – If you hear a squealing noise coming from your unit, turn it off immediately. This can indicate a larger issue with the flywheel drive belt or a failing motor or bearing. Once your disposal is shut down, contact Armbrust Plumbing for a trusted plumber in Glen Ellyn, IL to take a look and determine the issue.

When to Call a Plumber

man fixing pipeSome people prefer to take care of plumbing problems on their own and that can save some money. However, sometimes the problem requires the skills of a professional to diagnosis and fixes it properly. Here are some of those times when you will need to call a plumber in Wheaton IL.

Frozen Pipes

The first thing to do when pipes are frozen is turn off the water at the main valve. Next, you need to call a plumber to safely thaw the pipes or replace them if they have cracked. You need a professional because if a pipe bursts, you will have a real problem on your hands with the possibility of severe water damage.

Clogged Toilet

If the toilet is slow running, using a plunger will usually take care of a small clog and return the toilet to proper function. If the clog is big, the plumber may need to snake the pipes to remove it. Sometimes, the problem is caused by a clogged sewer line and that will definitely need professional help to clean it out or to replace cracked sections of pipe.

Low Water Pressure

If you have low water pressure in only one faucet or shower head, it may be caused by mineral build-up. If the water pressure is low everywhere, this can indicate a problem somewhere in the supply line. The cause may be debris or rust in the pipes or even a poor design. All these can be remedied by a professional plumber.

Leaky Pipes

Over time, a leaking pipe can not only cause expensive water damage to your home but it can also waste water and raise your bill. If the source of the leak is obvious, like under the sink, you can have a go and try to fix it. But if you see pooling water or signs of water damage and can’t find the source, set up an appointment with a plumber right away.

Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality

woman sneezing into tissueIndoor air can be more polluted than outside air with contaminants that can cause respiratory conditions, allergies, and illnesses. Some sources are mold, bacteria, household chemicals, radon, formaldehyde, lead, and dust mites. Here are some ways to improve indoor air quality:

Better Air Filtration

A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter will trap up to 99% of the small particles in the air like pollen, gas emissions, smoke, and bacteria. If you are concerned about indoor air quality, contact an Illinois plumbing and heating company to add HEPA filters to your HVAC system.

Control Humidity Levels

High humidity causes microbes like mold and dust mites to flourish. The humidity in your home should be between 30 – 50%. One way to regulate humidity is using humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Another way is installing an energy recovery ventilator, or ERV, in the HVAC system. The system cools and dehumidifies in warm weather and heats and humidifies in cool months. With this, the relative humidity of the indoor air will stay between 40 – 50%.

Use Ultraviolet Light

UV light sanitizes air, ridding it of harmful microbial particles like germs, bacteria, fungi, formaldehyde and viruses. These lights can be installed in the return air duct of your HVAC system to kill the contaminants as the air passes through the UV light.

Other Ways to Clean the Air

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with strong suction, rotating brushes, and a HEPA filter. Vacuum drapes, cloth furniture, the edges of the carpet, or anywhere else that dust collects.
  • Do not allow smoking inside the home. Smoke is a major contributor to indoor pollution since it contains over 4,000 chemicals.
  • Do not use products with synthetic scents or petroleum-based candles. Products include air fresheners, laundry soap, and fabric softener. These release many chemicals into the air including VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which are toxic and pose health risks.
  • Add plants that clean the air, like spider plants, English ivy, peace lily, red-edged dracaena, and ferns.

Why is My Furnace Leaking?

water dropletsAs the temperature continues to drop throughout the winter, making sure your furnace is working properly should be a top priority. This can become concerning when something out of the ordinary happens – like it leaking water. This occurrence is one that happens more often than you think and there are a variety of reasons it could be happening to your furnace.

The most common reason your furnace could be leaking is due to a condensation leak. This could only be the case if you have a high-efficiency furnace. A simple way to determine if this is the kind of model you have is to look at the vent pipe. If it’s white plastic PVC pipe, it’s a high-efficiency furnace which leaves it susceptible to condensation leaks. This is because these particular types of units have cool exhaust and produce condensation. The leak could be a result of the condensation becoming clogged. Also, it could be due to the floor drain becoming clogged, which is the area where the condensation collects.

This is only one of a few of the most common explanations for why your furnace could be leaking. If you don’t have a high-efficiency furnace, this certainly won’t be the case. If you are experiencing furnace issues, especially if the leak is very bad, the Illinois plumbing and heating professionals at Armbrust Plumbing can help. We provide both commercial and residential Illinois plumbing and heating services. For more information, visit us at ArmbrustPlumbing.com or call us at (630) 547-7500.