Energy-Saving Tips for Cooling Your Home

Energy-Saving Tips for Cooling Your Home

The average home dedicates nearly half of its entire energy consumption to heating and cooling. Consequently, any tool that can cool your home more efficiently can save a lot of money over time. If you want to make your cooling system more efficient, you have plenty of options. Most of them are quick and easy to implement, so it is convenient to slash your energy bill with a little bit of effort.

1. Use a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats connect to your phone or computer, which allows you to control your air conditioner from almost anywhere. They also make it easy to program your thermostat, which ensures you will never accidentally leave the air conditioner running. Modern smart thermostats can even analyze your settings and create a program that maximizes energy efficiency. Those features make them one of the most convenient ways to save energy.

There are a lot of different smart thermostats on the market, so it can be hard to pick the right one. If you want to be sure you make a good choice, you need to get help from experts. At Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air, we focus on helping our clients get the most out of modern technology. We can guide you through the entire process and handle the upgrade if you live anywhere in or around Sacramento, CA.

2. Maintain Your Air Conditioner

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your air conditioner working efficiently. Many components in air conditioners, such as the condenser coil, need regular cleaning to remove debris that accumulate over time. It is also important to keep the refrigerant supply at the right level and check the electrical connections. If you do not maintain your system, it will gradually lose efficiency as these problems build up.

Air conditioning maintenance is complicated, so it is important to have a professional handle it. We know how to test each component and maintain the system without introducing new problems. If you want to keep your system operating at peak efficiency, have us take a look at it every year. We can even set up a maintenance plan to make sure your system gets regular care.

3. Change Your Air Filter

You need to replace your air conditioning system’s air filter more often than any other component. If your filter is too dirty, it will interfere with the system’s airflow. That forces your air conditioner to work harder, which wastes energy.

Your filter’s lifespan will depend on your home’s air quality and how much you use it, which is often seasonal. Summer and winter tend to put more strain on the filters than other seasons. Your filter’s lifespan will also decrease if your home is full of dust or other airborne particles. You should check your filter every month and change it if it looks too dirty. If it looks reasonably clean, you can keep using it for another month. When in doubt, it is best to play it safe and replace the filter.

4. Check Your Ducts

Many cooling systems rely on air ducts to carry cold air throughout your home. Those ducts are vital, but they are also one of the leading causes of energy inefficiency. The problem is that old ducts tend to leak. As they suffer wear and tear, they accumulate little holes that allow cold air to escape. Your air conditioner has to work harder to force more air through the system to compensate for the loss. Some homes waste nearly a third of their system’s cold air, so fixing the leaks can have a big impact.

You can avoid this problem by having us seal your air ducts. We can test your ducts to find all of the leaks and then repair or replace them as necessary. The repairs also offer a few benefits beyond saving energy. Loose ducts can be noisy because they rattle when air passes through them. Damaged ducts are also prone to pulling musty air into the home. Fixing the ducts will help keep those bad smells and irritating noises under control.

5. Upgrade Your AC Unit

Maintenance can do a lot to boost an air conditioner’s efficiency, but it has limits. Technology marches on, so modern air conditioners are more efficient than old ones. If your air conditioner is getting old, it may be time to replace it. You should expect your air conditioner to last for roughly a decade as long as you maintain it properly. If your system is older than that, you should think about replacing it.

Replacing your air conditioner is a big project, so it is important to make informed choices. That is why we encourage you to call us for help. At Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air, we understand that it can be hard to choose the right air conditioner. We will be happy to explain all of your options and guide you to a unit that will meet your needs. Our team will also assess your home’s needs to size the new unit properly. This ensures that you will not waste energy by using an excessively powerful air conditioner.

6. Keep Heat Out With Curtains

Interior design can be the key to keeping your home cool on a hot day. Sunlight naturally warms your home over time. You can keep your home cool by blocking that light with blackout curtains. The exterior should be a light color to reflect light away from your home.

It is important to remember that this is a passive and preventative method. It will help prevent heat from entering your home, but it will not help if your home is already hot. You also have to remember to keep the curtains shut, which can interfere with lighting. This can supplement your air conditioning unit, but it cannot replace traditional cooling.

7. Turn Devices Off

All electrical devices release waste heat when you use them. Your phone and other small devices will not make a big difference, but desktop computers and other major devices have a big impact. You can think of them as small space heaters. Your air conditioning system needs to work harder to counteract that extra heat. You can save a surprising amount of energy by turning your electronics off when they are not in use. It reduces your cooling bill and avoids wasting energy to run the electronics, so you benefit twice.

Your Local Home Comfort Professionals

You can live in Sacramento without paying large utility bills if you make an effort to save energy. It’s easy if you maintain your air conditioner, use modern technology, and avoid bringing excess heat into your home. If that appeals to you, we can help. At Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air, we have spent more than 40 years keeping people cool in Sacramento. Besides cooling, heating, and indoor air quality installation, maintenance, and repair, we offer a complete line of plumbing services. We know that businesses thrive when they have happy, loyal customers, so we’ll always prioritize your satisfaction.

Give us a call at Crystal Blue Plumbing, Heating & Air today if you want to cool your Sacramento home without wasting energy.

How to Prevent and Deal with Clogged Drains

How to Prevent and Deal with Clogged Drains

Clogged drains can compromise your day-to-day life, such as making your toilet overflow and the water in the kitchen sink drain slowly. For this reason, we have listed some tips below to help you prevent and deal with backed-up drains.

Preventing Clogs in Bathroom Drains

There are numerous ways to prevent and deal with clogged drains in your bathroom sink, toilet, bathtub, and shower.

1. Clean Your Drain Stoppers and Drains at Least Once a Week

Every week, pull out the pop-up drain stoppers in your bathroom sink and bathtub and get rid of any debris there. Use a bent wire or a hair-catching brush to remove hair and other unwanted materials. Once done, clean these stoppers thoroughly before placing them back. Soap scum and hair tend to collect in stoppers, and they can slow down drainage and even lead to blockages if not removed on time.

2. Only Flush Toilet Paper

Aside from human waste, toilet paper is the only material you should flush down your toilet. Other materials, such as diapers and sanitary towels, do not dissolve; hence, they can clog your toilet’s drain. It is also important to note that while toilet paper is suitable for flushing down the toilet, using too much at once can lead to clogging, especially if it is 3-ply.

3. Bathe Pets Outdoors and Brush Your Hair Before Showering

Dogs shed a lot of hair that can easily clog shower drains, even those with hair catchers. For this reason, bathe your pet outdoors. However, if this is impossible, equip your shower or bathroom drain with a drain strainer before you start to wash your pet. You should also brush your hair before taking a shower since this removes loose hair, which may clog your drains.

Preventing Clogs in Kitchen Drains

Consider the tips below to keep your kitchen drains free of clogs.

1. Avoid Pouring Grease or Oil Down Your Kitchen Sink

Grease and oil often become stuck inside drainpipes, making them among the most common causes of kitchen drain clogs. That said, ensure you keep them away from your kitchen sink by letting them cool and then pouring them into a sealable container for easy disposal.

2. Keep Your Kitchen Drains Free of Food Scraps

Unless your kitchen sink has a garbage disposal, food scraps should not end up in your kitchen drains. If not taken care of properly, food particles can build up inside the drainpipes in your kitchen and cause a blockage. To ensure this does not happen, use a drain strainer. You should also schedule a drain inspection with a professional plumbing company to help check for the presence of food particles in drainpipes.

3. Maintain the Efficiency of Your Garbage Disposal

The best way to maintain the efficiency of your garbage disposal is to avoid putting foods in it that do not grind well. Food remnants such as banana peels, coffee grounds, potato skins, and eggshells can be problematic for your garbage disposal; therefore, you should look for other ways to dispose of them. Another way to ensure your garbage disposal is functioning efficiently is to regularly turn on your faucet and let it release a constant stream of cold water that will carry away waste material to the drainage system.

4. Pour Hot Water Into the Drainage System at Least Once a Week

Some grease or oil could still end up in your kitchen sink regardless of how effective the disposal method is. Since even a minimal amount of grease can cause a blockage, take care of it by pouring hot water into the drainage system. Do this with a kettle of hot water at least once every week to melt all the grease that may have found its way into the drainpipes. Ideally, you should pour the hot water slowly to prevent it from splashing onto your hands.

Additional Ways to Prevent and Deal With Clogs

The first is to ensure all your drains have drain screens, which are items designed to fit over the openings of kitchen and bathroom drains. Once there, drain screens ensure no food, soap scum, hair, or other gunk passes through. The second is to have a professional inspect your main sewer line regularly. During inspection, the professional will use equipment such as an inspection camera to spot clogs and a drain snake to remove them. Also, if you have a septic tank, call a professional to inspect it every two to three years.

Another way to prevent clogs is to avoid rinsing cement or grout down the drain. Cement can harden even under the water, creating a clog that is hard to remove. Sand is another material that should not end up in your drains since it is heavy and settles quickly in pipes to create stubborn clogs. Moreover, you’ll want to occasionally pour a bucket full of water into your toilet’s drains, especially if it is a low-flow toilet. While it is great at saving water, a low-flow toilet may not carry away all debris; pouring large volumes of water into the drains at once helps fix this issue.

Dealing With Clogged Drains the Crystal Blue Plumbing Way

Do not wait until it is too late; call a professional plumber the moment you spot signs of a drain starting to clog up your pipes. Some common signs of clogging are water backups, foul smells, gurgling sounds, and standing water in the showers. While it is tempting to tackle most clogs with chemical cleaners, this is never a good idea because these types of cleaners can corrode pipes, thereby shortening their life span.

Instead, look for plumbers who have the experience with tackling clogged drains. At Crystal Blue Plumbing, we have been in business since 1976; thus, we have the skills needed to conduct a thorough inspection and identify potential clogs in your drainage system. Moreover, our plumbers are properly trained and use modern tools like hydro-jets to blast away debris and residue buildup inside drainpipes.

Get in Touch With Us Today

At Crystal Blue Plumbing, we also offer other services, such as AC repair, installation, and maintenance, heating repair, installation, and maintenance, video pipe inspection, repiping, reverse osmosis systems, water treatment, trenchless technology, water leak detection, tankless water heater, auto shut off valves, and more. We are a reliable company dedicated to keeping you and your family comfortable throughout the year.

Our clients throughout the Sacramento area call us for our services because we have outstanding core values, such as workmanship, honesty and integrity, and reliability and dependability. We also focus on delivering exceptional services through our motto, “Quality Service, Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

We are so confident in the quality of our services that we back them with various guarantees, including No Surprises, In-Safe Hands, and 100% Workmanship. Call Crystal Blue Plumbing today to learn more about how to prevent and deal with clogged drains at your home. Ask us about our other plumbing services!