DC Cheek Heating, Cooling & Plumbing Blog

Watch for These Signs of Heater Problems

January 27th, 2020
woman-looking-surprised

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a heating system that never experienced problems? Unfortunately, this will never be the case. Let’s face it, natural wear and tear is always going to be a factor, and eventually, you will need heater repairs.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t take steps to mitigate how severe these repair needs will be! Scheduling maintenance, for instance, is the #1 way to avoid heater emergencies. It also increases the lifespan of your heating equipment and helps the system work more efficiently. Our techs are able to fully inspect your system during maintenance, so we can alert you to small repair needs before they grow bigger.

What if you need repairs between maintenance sessions, though? Is there any way for you to know? Yes! Watch and listen for the following signs, and if you notice them, give our team a call.

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How to Best Prevent Clogged Drains

January 13th, 2020
plumber-using-drain-snake

Do you have your drains routinely cleaned? If not, you should be! Our plumbers will come to your home and use the best in currently technology, such as hydro-jetting technology, to comprehensively clean out the drainpipes throughout your home. This removes the buildup that leads to frequent slow drains and clogs, and also helps prevent pipes from suffering other damage as well.

“But wait,” you might be wondering, “can’t I just use liquid drain cleaner I bought at the store to treat clogs?”

You can, but this would only provide a temporary solution to the problem, and these drain cleaning chemicals are so caustic that they could be harmful to you and are definitely—perhaps even ironically—harmful to your pipes. The corrosive chemicals cause corrosion, leading to premature pipe replacement. The best thing to do is invest in routine drain cleaning, and also to know how to prevent clogs from forming to begin with, which we’ve delved into below.

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Furnace Repair Needs: The Danger of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

December 30th, 2019
jets-of-gas-furnace

If your home is like most throughout the Roswell area and beyond, then you use a furnace for your heating needs. Given that gas is so widely available, it’s very likely this heating system is gas-powered. A gas furnace produces a large amount of heat, and it does so at less expense than using an electric furnace, since natural gas costs less than electricity per unit.

However, there’s a potential hazard with using a gas furnace. We aren’t saying that to scare you—gas furnaces are not inherently dangerous, after all—especially with all the safety features built into today’s models. But older furnaces or furnaces that haven’t been well cared for over the years have one specific danger that needs to be watched for—a cracked heat exchanger.

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Is Your Furnace Well Maintained?

December 16th, 2019
technician-looking-over-furnace

Surely, with the official start of winter just a week away, you’ve scheduled furnace maintenance, right?

If not, don’t worry, it’s not too late! In fact, it’s much better to schedule your furnace maintenance now, or even in the middle of winter, than to skip it altogether this year. This is particularly true if you have a gas furnace—skipping a tune-up in this case might not only leave your furnace at risk of operational problems, but expose you to safety issues as well.

Sure, it’s typically best to have this job done before temperatures drop to their coldest, and sometimes we can get cold snaps far before wintertime comes around, but if you’re reading this and haven’t scheduled your tune-up yet, please give us a call! In the meantime, read on to learn more about the importance of this service.

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“Is My HVAC Air Filter Enough to Clean My Air?”

December 2nd, 2019
couple-enjoying-interior-of-home

The very short answer to this is, “no.” But don’t worry, we’ll elaborate!

The air filter that comes standard with your HVAC installation is there for an important reason. Its function is to protect the HVAC system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can settle on its internal components and negatively impact the system’s efficiency and performance—costing you more money in the long run. This air filter certainly helps pull a little bit of dust and other contaminants from your indoor air, but this isn’t its intended purpose.

For more powerful air cleaning, you’ll want to consider the installation of a whole-house air purifier.

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7 Ideas To Save On Your Water Bill (And Use Less Water)

December 2nd, 2019

You already know how important it is that we all try to reduce our use of water. Our planet’s future depends on it! And, there are so many practical and surprisingly easy ways for us to do that.

So, here are seven really practical ways for you to conserve water in your home…

1. Monitor your water bills

Check your water bill each month and if it goes up try to figure out if there’s a good reason (filling the swimming pool). If it spikes and you don’t know why, you probably have a leak somewhere.

Seriously, the average home wastes more than 10,000 gallons of water a year from easily fixable plumbing leaks. It’s worth it to bring in a plumber if you suspect you have a leak but cannot find it.

2. Use the water meter to check for hidden water leaks

Go read your water meter and write down the number. Stop using water for two hours. Then go back to the meter. If it’s not at the exact same number, there’s a water leak in your house. If you can’t find it, call your home services company to send out a plumber.

3. Use every drop

Find ways to repurpose water so it doesn’t just go down the drain. For example, when you boil potatoes or pasta, pour that water through a colander and into another pot to capture the hot water. After it’s cooled, this water can be used for your household plants. You can do something similar whenever you run the tap and wait for hot water.

4. Use your dishwasher more

You might be surprised, but as it turns out washing dishes by hand uses a lot more water than running the dishwasher, and even more so if you have a newer more water-efficient model. Newer dishwashers will also adjust to use less water for smaller loads. (If you don’t have a newer dishwasher, see #7.)

5. Run full loads in your washing machine

You can adjust water levels to match the size of your load, but it’s even more water-efficient to run larger loads in your washing machine.

6. Cover your swimming pool

It takes a lot of water to fill your swimming pool and to keep it filled. In the summer sun, pools can lose an inch or more of water each week to evaporation. Getting a cover for your pool can save thousands of gallons of water each season. Make it a solar blanket and you can also reduce your heating cost. But this only works if you’re diligent about covering the pool when it’s not in use.

7. Install a new dishwasher

Newer dishwashers use as little as four to seven gallons per load—again that’s a lot less than washing by hand and much less than older dishwashers.

Summary

If we all work on conserving water, we can make a big difference. While taking these practical steps, be sure to contact a home services company if you need help finding a water leak or installing a new dishwasher.

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5 Tips to Extend the Life of Your HVAC System (& 1 Tip on When to Replace It)

November 22nd, 2019

Your home’s HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition) system runs ’round the clock, 24/7, all year long. You can’t expect it to last forever, but you can expect your furnace to last for about several years—depending on the model, you may get 15-20 years out of your furnace and 10-15 years out of your air conditioner. It’s a big investment to replace your furnace or air conditioner, so we have five tips for you to try to extend the life of your HVAC system.

1. Schedule two HVAC tune-ups per year

Contact a home services company to give your furnace a tune-up in the fall and your air conditioner a tune-up in the spring. This preventative maintenance usually includes a good inspection, cleaning, lubrication and any necessary adjustments. (Save $20 on a Tune Up)

2. Change the air filter regularly

Disposable fiberglass filters should be replaced every 30 days, but check your filter and furnace manual to see how often you should be replacing the filter. A dirty filer will make your HVAC system work harder to circulate air and that can cause extra wear on the system.

3. Clean your ducts

Be sure to keep the return air vents clean and prevent the build-up of dust and debris. You might also want to have your ducts professionally cleaned so that your system is delivering the cleanest air possible.

4. Give the HVAC system a break sometimes

Does your HVAC system really need to be running almost 24/7? Can you give it a break when you’re on vacation? On a cool evening could you open the windows and give the a/c the night off? You’ll be saving energy and giving the system a break.

5. Upgrade your insulation

The better your home is insulated, the less your HVAC system will need to run to maintain the temperature. The first place to check for sufficient insulation is your attic.

When to Replace Your HVAC System

Even if you follow these tips and take good care of your HVAC system, eventually it will need to be replaced, but when? If you’re approaching the projected end of life for the unit, you can’t go wrong replacing it because you will be saving money with the new, more energy efficient replacement. But if you want to prolong the system as long as possible, contract with a reliable home services company for your annual tune-ups and then ask the HVAC tech for their input on when to replace. Be honest with them about the maintenance you’ve carried out on the unit—even if that means confessing that sometimes you didn’t replace the air filter for a season or two. Hopefully you can get to know the techs from the home services company and get to where you can trust their input on when to replace your furnace or air conditioner.

Summary

Take good care of your HVAC system and it may well last longer than the average lifespan, but also know when to replace it before it becomes unreliable or so inefficient that it’s costly to keep it running.

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Is Your Sump Pump in Good Shape?

November 18th, 2019
sump-pump-system

There are some parts of the country where homeowners have never even heard the term “sump pump” let alone do they know what it is. They don’t need to know, after all—their home may be in a position where flooding is just not a concern.

Unfortunately, we’re not in that part of the country! Sump pumps are common in our area, and very often necessary. Winter and spring are times for heavy rains, and then as we get later in the year we also have tropical storm conditions to contend with—that can send floodwaters right into your home.

The question is, is your sump pump in good condition to handle this?

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Now Hiring: Master Plumber

November 11th, 2019
dc-cheek-company-logo

DC Cheek Heating & Cooling is now hiring a Master Plumber.

  • Applicants must have a current driver’s license and a good driving record as they will be driving a company vehicle to customer’s homes and businesses.
  • Must possess own tools necessary to complete a plumbing diagnosis and repair.
  • Must be willing to pursue, develop and participate in continuing education.

If interested, please fill out the form on our Careers page.

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It’s Time for Furnace Maintenance!

November 4th, 2019
technician-servicing-furnace

We may be known for our hot and humid summers, but that doesn’t mean our winters don’t pack quite the punch as far as weather is concerned. As temperatures begin to cool off, we’re almost ready to start using our furnaces on a daily basis. As such, you should be scheduling your professional preventive maintenance if you haven’t yet.

It’s definitely a good idea to have this job completed before the chillier weather arrives—and that can happen before the official start of winter. Read on to learn about the many benefits of scheduling furnace maintenance, and give our team a call when you’re ready to schedule your tune-up.

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