7 Common Signs That You Need a Holiday Drain Cleaning

7 Common Signs That You Need a Holiday Drain Cleaning

Clogged drains can be a frustrating nuisance, but having a dirty drain during the holidays could mean bursting pipes in your home. The winter season already puts enough strain on your plumbing, freezing your pipes and wearing down your water heater. No homeowner wants a home flooded from a burst pipe, which is why it’s important to schedule a holiday drain cleaning.

When You Should Clean Your Drains

Plumbing problems can be frustrating, and a dirty drain can disrupt your daily activities. It might be tempting to overlook one clogged drain, but a clog left untreated can result in costly damages. Your plumbing is complicated, but you can avoid most plumbing catastrophes by thoroughly cleaning your drains and routine maintenance. The more you clean your drains, the better, as it never hurts to be proactive with your plumbing. Clogs however, can happen despite how often you clean your drains, which is why it’s important to know the warning signs of a dirty drain. To prepare your drains this holiday season, here’s what to watch for.

  • Water starts to back up. When using the faucet, bathtub, or shower, the water should always drain. Water should never go up your drains, but if you notice after flushing a toilet or running the faucet that water starts to back up versus drain down, it could be a clogged drain.
  • Foul odors. One of the most unpleasant warning signs of a clogged drain is the foul odor of sewage. A drain that’s clogged accumulates all the waste that’s flushed down the drains until the odors come back out the drains. Kitchens with garbage disposal can also be notorious for foul sewage odors, especially when enough food particles build up inside your drains.
  • Odd sounds. Listen carefully to your drains. When a drain is blocked, water is then forced through small spaces or to change course which can result in bubbling or gurgling sounds. If you start to hear odd gurgling sounds from your drain, it’s time to clean your drains. 
  • Frequent clogs. Clogs can be a common plumbing problem, but if they happen often enough, it could be caused from a clogged drain. Some clogs can be resolved with a plunger or drain cleaner, but if you notice the same fixture keeps clogging regardless, you’ll need a plumber to professionally clean your drains.
  • Multiple clogs at the same time. Not all clogs require calling in a plumber, but multiple clogs at once is problematic. If you notice multiple different fixtures have clogged all at once, it means there is a clog deeper inside your sewer line and requires a professional drain cleaning.
  • Slow drains. A slow drain is one of the most common signs of a clogged drain, as no water fixture should have a slow drain. Watch your sinks and water appliances. If you notice it takes more time than usual to drain the sink or your washer or dishwasher is still full after the cycle, it’s time to clean your drains.
  • Fruit or drain flies. Any buildup of food or waste inside your drains will attract flies. Tiny fruit flies are more than just an annoying pest; they can become a health risk, and are usually attracted to the scent of a clogged drain. Drains flies are another pest to watch out for, as they like to breed in drains and sewer lines. If your home has some clogged drains, you might start to notice drain flies buzzing in your bathroom.

How to Clean Your Drains and Keep Them Clogged Free

Knowing when to clean your drains is a good place to start, but it’s best to start habits that keep your drains clean and prevent future clogs. A clogged drain left untreated can result in costly plumbing problems, but luckily they can be avoided with proper care and cleaning practices. Here’s what you can do to avoid holiday drain cleaning service.

  • Avoid chemical drain cleaners. Although chemical drain cleaners can be an easy and instant fix for some clogs, they’re incredibly toxic and eat at your pipes over time. There are several non-toxic drain cleaners available such as vinegar and baking soda, which work naturally well to eliminate odors and flush down any stuck waste.
  • Avoid flushing down food waste. Garbage disposals are great if you have them, but contrary to what you might think, it’s to flush down as little food waste as possible. Most foods will clog your drains and break down the blades. Kitchen sinks without a garbage disposal are even less equipped to handle any food waste that goes down the drain. Do your best to avoid flushing food down by scraping and rinsing your plates. Avoid flushing down fats, greases, and oils, as well as starchy foods.
  • Use drain strainers. It’s not just food waste that clogs your drains, but hair, soap scum, and other random debris, which is why it helps to place drain strainers on top of your drains. Make sure to periodically clean out your drain strainers so that your drains can drain properly.

Keep Your Holidays Fun and Festive with Clean Drains

A clog can be a frustrating, if not common plumbing problem, but the winter season adds the additional threat of your pipes freezing. No homeowner wants a flooded home in the dead of winter, that’s why it’s important to keep your drains clean and clear this holiday season. Not all clogs, however, can be cleaned yourself, and that’s where the professionals come in. Crystal Blue Plumbing can treat your drains and guarantee your holidays stay dry and happy. Don’t wait until you smell sewage, call Crystal Blue today!

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10 Common Furnace Problems

10 Common Furnace Problems

The best way to avoid furnace problems is to ensure it has regular maintenance checks.  Giving your family the security of a safe home (particularly during the cold season) requires an effective and dutiable working furnace.  With this in mind, it is good to know if there are furnace problems which only a professional can diagnose.  

You can expect a well operating system to be calm, noise free and make your environment safe.  It will also circulate heat properly. Heat thoroughly penetrating to every room during the cold season. You will also be comfortable because the house is warm and cozy. You will have regulated heat and no need to worry if the blower is expelling cool air. You can feel secure not worrying about carbon monoxide poisoning.  An old system lets you down in many ways by not keeping your home warm, driving up the cost of your utility bill, and may even negatively affect the quality of your air.10 Common Furnace Problems

Read below to find out 10 common furnace problems and how to successfully maintain the life and functionality of your furnace:

1. Strange noises

If your furnace is making unusual sounds like rattling, popping or squeaking this is a sure sign that something definitely isn’t right.  The belts in the mechanical section of the heating compartment may need looking over.  If they are loose, replace them immediately.  Loose belts are a dangerous sign in any furnace.  If noises continue call an HVAC expert to look it over.

2. The furnace refuses to heat

Don’t be alarmed if this happens.  Finding out why is simple enough.  The first items to check are the fuse, the main electrical panel, or other subpanels in the furnace.  It may be the case  that the circuit breaker tripped, in which case you can always turn it off then on again to reset it.

3. Over Cycling

Cycling over and over while in the off on transition could mean a clogged filter, poor airflow or improper thermostat modes.

4. The blower is always running

If you can always hear your blower the limit switch is malfunctioning.  A professional would have to replace it.

5. The pilot light is bad

The pilot light indicates that carbon monoxide is leaking out. Always check to see what color it is.  If the color is any other than blue – yellow, green, red, etc. – this means the combustion is not at its peak.  It could also mean the components are blocked or have a malfunctioning electrical element.

6. Switching the furnace on does no good 

In a case like this, don’t forget to check the ignition.  If the ignition goes out the furnace won’t percolate properly.  The ignition is what sparks the heat. If that fails call a professional.

7. Bad air from a dirty filter

When the filter is clogged the airflow is limited and over works the furnace.  Dirty filters also cause the limit switch – which controls the fan – to malfunction.

8. Thermostat not working

A faulty thermostat can cause problems with the fan or comfort level.  The thermostat is the heart of a furnace. If this isn’t serviced regularly it shortens the lifespan of the furnace.

9. Basic wear and tear

Average wear and tear could restrict the mechanisms of your thermostat and that causes number 10

10. Higher monthly bills.

You can expect several great benefits from upgrading or purchasing a new system.  Self maintenance may be good, but getting a professional consultant or upgrading your system is even better.

If you are considering purchasing a new furnace find out what type of system will benefit you most.  Fuel types give you a choice of gas, electric or oil operated furnaces.  Also consider pure air.  Consider whether your new furnace will keep your air clean when selecting your type.  Ask the technician to review your present systems air ducts and filters. The cost is also an important factor. If you definitely plan to purchase a new furnace be sure to get the best model you can afford.  A good furnace is one that saves you money, yet works effectively and uses less energy.  Also, be sure to check the warranty. A new system’s warranty will not pay for labor costs.  Also consider rebates and rewards that come with a new purchase.

Having a good furnace means you can be confident that this silent killer isn’t permeating the house. It also means peace of mind because it won’t give out on you when you are not home.  You will feel good coming home to a comfortable house.  A clean furnace also means clean air.  Your home will be free of harmful airborne pathogens that cause viruses or allergic reactions. Dependability comes from knowing the thermostat is regulated and the temperature in your home is ideal. Ensuring your furnace is working effectively is an economic step towards not worrying about high monthly bills.

If you have furnace problems, then don’t wait around and get stuck in the cold. Schedule service with Crystal Blue today!

Ways That Air Filtration Can Help You and Your Family During the Holidays

Ways That Air Filtration Can Help You and Your Family During the Holidays

Ways That Air Filtration Can Help You and Your Family During the Holidays

During the holidays, we decorate our homes, cook festive dinners, and host fun parties for friends and family. Yet when it’s cold outside, the indoor air quality can suffer more than during other times of the year. Read on to learn why — and to find out how air filtration can help you and your family breathe a sigh of relief.

Why Indoor Air Quality Suffers During the Winter

We already spend most of our time indoors, and when it’s cold out, we’re even less inclined to go outside. In fact, plenty of us don’t like to open a window to let some fresh air in during the winter. That means there’s no circulation of fresh air inside our homes during this time. 

However, indoor air is full of contaminants such as dust, paint particles, chemicals from cleaning products, and much more. During the summer, a steady supply of fresh air removes these contaminants from the home. During the winter, however, there’s no supply of fresh air. This means that the contaminants build up and the indoor air quality diminishes. This can cause or aggravate respiratory issues, worsen colds, and even impact your skin.

How an Air Filtration System Can Help During the Holidays

During the festive season, the indoor air quality can get even worse for several reasons. Trees, wreaths and other green decorations can bring mold into the home. Holiday decorations that are used only once a year are often covered in dust. And cooking smells can linger for a long time, creating an unpleasant living environment. Fortunately, an air filtration system can help with all of this by:

  • Removing regular air contaminants: An air filtration system — especially if it has a HEPA filter — is specially designed to remove airborne contaminants. 
  • Removing mold: When we bring trees and other green decorations into our home, we’re often also bringing mold spores with them. These get into the air and can aggravate our airways. An air filtration system filters them out.
  • Removing dust: An air filter eliminates any dust from ornaments, decorations or other items that are usually in storage.
  • Eliminating smoke: If you’re hosting a party and one or more smokers attend, the smell of smoke can linger for days. At the same time, passive smoke inhalation is unhealthy and can even make healthy people feel sick. A good air filtration system will remove smoke particles from the air.  
  • Eliminating cooking smells: Whether it’s fried onions or garlic pasta sauce, nobody wants to smell yesterday’s cooking when they wake up in the morning. An air filter can eliminate stubborn cooking smells so the only thing you smell when you get up is your morning coffee!

Clearly, having a good air filtration system in your home during the holidays can be a significant boost for you and your family’s health and well-being. Contact Crystal Blue to learn more about the available options and to find out what system is best for you.

Call Crystal Blue Plumbing Heating and Air Today and Avoid Getting Sick During the Holiday Season and See Ways That Air Filtration Can Help You and Your Family During the Holidays!