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Is it time to replace my Air Conditioner?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

How Do You Know If It’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

Sometimes it seems like our homes are a moving target. Just as soon as you get one part of the house just like you want it, something needs tending to in another area. So, for most of us, we’re always on the lookout for the next big thing that’s going to show up – invited or not – on our “home maintenance” to-do list.

Now, when “air conditioning system replacement” comes up on that list, that’s quite a significant situation. Home comfort systems are a sizeable part of your home investment, so it’s never something to take lightly. But when it’s time, three things should be on your evaluation list:

System Age – If your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you could save up to 20 percent on cooling and heating costs if you replaced it with a unit that has earned the Energy Star label.

Repair/Energy Costs – A home comfort system has what’s called “operational” costs. If your system is racking up repair bills and guzzling up your energy dollars, you may be overdue for an efficiency upgrade.

Uncomfortable Environment – A home comfort system is supposed to create a comfortable home environment, right? Well, if you’re not comfortable, take note. Are some rooms too hot or too cold? Does your home have humidity problems? This could be a sign of poor or improper equipment operation.

All of these issues when compounded can result in you spending more than you should on your power bill. For as little as $55 DOLLARS PER MONTH you could be saving the 20% which may even cover the system. Call or email us today for your free in home evaluation!

Dont pay more because its Hot!

Friday, April 10th, 2015

 

What Everyone Should Know About Contractor Scams

We’ve all heard these stories and seen the images. When a natural disaster hits a community, friends, neighbors and charities rush in to help. It always warms the heart to see the outreach in services and donations. And yet … there’s that other side of the response. There are selfish people who try to take advantage of a bad situation and use the natural disaster as an opportunity to scam.

Often during these times, law enforcement agencies make announcements about what you should and should not look for when hiring someone to work on your home. People become aware, alert. And yet … scam artists come into communities and neighborhoods even when our fellow citizens are warned to be hyper-vigilant, even when the skies are blue, and the wind is calm, and the weather is perfect.

In other words, contractor scams get more attention during natural disasters, but they can occur at anytime, anyplace. And that means right here in the great city of Atlanta. Oh, I don’t mean to scare you about any particular situation. I’m not reporting news, just tendencies. I’m talking about possibilities that call for wise practices. For example, here are some of the tips the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends for hiring someone to work on your home:

  • Get recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, insurance agents or claims adjusters.
  • Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Check with the local Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been lodged against any contractor you’re considering.
  • Get a written estimate that includes any oral promises the contractor made. Remember to ask if there’s a charge for an estimate before allowing anyone into your home.
  • Take your time about signing a contract. Ask for explanations for price variations, and don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder.

Please know, we’ll be glad to help you with whatever home comfort problem you may be experiencing. At Henson Mechanical, we’re proud to have grown a business through referrals and recommendations from satisfied customers, and we hope our list of satisfied customers includes you too. So, if you need us, just email or call.

Do I need to replace my furnace when I replace my air conditioner?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Do I need to replace my furnace when I replace my air conditioner?     Our homes comfort system that provides heating in the winter and cooling in the summer have certain functions and equipment they share (and not just the thermostat). Energy Star is a program of the federal government that promotes efficiency in appliances and makes a point about this connectedness when discussing its recommendations for cooling: ENERGY STAR qualified central air conditioners: have higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (EER) ratings, making them over 15% more efficient than conventional models. The central air conditioner also needs a blower motor – which is usually part of the furnace – to blow the cool air through the duct system. The only way to ensure that your new air conditioner performs at its rated efficiency is to replace your heating system at the same time. It’s especially recommended if your furnace is over 15 years old. If you purchase a new energy-efficient air conditioner but connect it to an older furnace and blower motor, your system will not perform to its rated efficiency. So, heating and cooling are connected – at least within your home comfort system. But you’ll also find that your heating and cooling efficiency is connected to the whole-house environment. As Energy Star adds: No matter what kind of heating and cooling system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. But remember, energy-efficient equipment alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with recommended insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling — and reduce environmental emissions — from 20%-50%. When we install your new system it will with an AHRI certificate that will have your specific model numbers listed which will produce a SEER rating. So that’s why you have to replace your furnace to achieve the SEER ratings on your air conditioner. If you’d like to learn more about how the energy efficiency of your home is impacting your energy bills, let us conduct an energy analysis and show you ways you could be saving. To schedule your free energy analysis, just call or email Henson Mechanical today!

Wanna Save some Money?

Monday, April 6th, 2015

 

Here Is a Method that Is Helping Homeowners Save More Energy with Better Comfort

 

Most of the time we think that life has us running in circles. But the truer view is that life runs in cycles. For example, each season brings certain opportunities and obligations, and spring has a definite “caretaking” flair.

So, in a sense, it’s the same thing year after year: you take care of important home maintenance projects in order to preserve your investments. But the good news is that this “same old, same old” can make your home comfort equipment seem just like new.

Here’s how.

One of the best benefits of regular tune-ups is that your systems get cleaned, inspected, filter gets changed, and reset to factory specs – almost like we turned back the hand of time. The result for homeowners is improved energy efficiency (saves on energy bills), better operating equipment (not as likely to break down at an inconvenient time) and better overall comfort.

But how can you make this happen? Actually, there’s one method that makes routine maintenance very routine: enroll in a maintenance agreement program that brings a Henson  Mechanical Professional to your home to provide routine maintenance on your air conditioner and heating system – during twice-a-year intervals when the weather is mild.

You get the benefit of extended equipment life, savings on tune-ups and repairs, priority service – and overall peace of mind.

Ready to make this method a part of your routine cycle? To learn more about the energy-saving, comfort-improving, equipment-prolonging benefits of maintenance agreements, just call or email and ask us about our Ultimate Service Agreement today!

Common Kitchen Plumbing Problems

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Your home’s kitchen sees a tremendous amount of work daily, and no set of drains, faucets, or appliances experiences more stress than those in the kitchen. Regardless of how well you maintain and care for your kitchen’s plumbing, at some point you’ll need the services of a skilled plumber to remedy a problem.

These three kitchen plumbing troubles occur more than most. When you encounter any of these, make sure to call Henson Mechanical Inc for a plumber in Loganville, GA. We have 24-hour service to make sure you have the kitchen restored to you in time for breakfast (or late dinner).

Drain clogs

Clogging inside kitchen sink drainpipes occurs more frequently than clogging anywhere else in the house. The large amount of food waste, which includes oil, fat, and grease, that goes down kitchen drains creates an interior coating over time that makes it easy for drains to close up entirely. Although a sink plunger can remove some simple sink clogs, most kitchen clogs don’t count as “simple.” Often, you’ll need an extensive cleaning job from a professional plumber using a powerful hydro-jetter to remove the build-up of organic material that develops inside kitchen pipes to reduce future clogging and lower water pressure inside the plumbing.

Broken garbage disposals

No appliance inside a kitchen experiences rougher work—or more accidental abuse—than a kitchen garbage disposal. Disposals handle food waste, and should never have objects thrown in them that human teeth couldn’t handle. A good rule to follow: “If you can’t chew it, neither can the disposal.” Damage from hard objects can cause the disposal’s flywheel to break or jam. Liquid fat, grease, and oil that turn into waxy solids when dry can also lead to jamming mechanical components. Do not put your hand down into a disposal to try to get it unstuck! Call in professional plumbers to safely handle the problem, whether mechanical or electrical.

Leaking faucets

Kitchen faucets have higher water pressure than other faucets in a house. When they develop leaks, it can turn into major problems that cause immense water waste. (A basic kitchen faucet leak can cost an extra $20–$30 a week on water bills!) Homeowners often attempt to troubleshoot leaky faucets on their own with a set of wrenches, but this can lead to further problems when dealing with a kitchen faucet. Call plumbers to do the necessary tightening and gasket replacements to fix leaks.

Make sure to use caution when approaching any clogging or leaking in your kitchen. Pulling out a box of hardware store tools and attacking the issue without the trained knowledge of a professional plumber may result in larger trouble. Don’t take any risks: call Henson Mechanical Inc for a plumber in Loganville, GA who will take care of your kitchen dilemmas and do the work right the first time.

Materials Used for Pipe Installation

Friday, April 4th, 2014

In the earliest days of plumbing, hollowed wood served as “pipes” to conduct water. We’ve come a long way since then: today plumbers use a variety of durable materials for pipe installation. The type that a plumber uses on a job depends on the pipe’s purpose and the plumber’s preferences for how best to achieve the work to please a customer. In this post we’ll look at some of the common materials used in home plumbing.

Make sure you hire an experienced plumber in Athens, GA for your pipe installation: someone with the experience to know what material to use for each job so you’ll end up with plumbing in excellent shape. Contact Henson Mechanical Inc for the quality installation you need.

Common pipe material

  • Galvanized steel: You won’t see this used for new pipe installation, since it’s now out of date. But for many decades, steel was the top metal for piping because of its strength and durability. If you have a home built before World War II, you likely have steel pipes. However, because steel eventually decays because of corrosion, other materials have replaced it.
  • Copper: The principal metal found in modern plumbing is copper. It’s corrosion-resistant and will last longer than steel, but it also has other advantages over older pipes. Its rigidity keeps it from bowing when stretched over open spaces. Its light weight makes it easy to work with, and it resist temperature changes well. It is bacteriostatic, which means that bacteria will not grow inside it and contaminate the water supply.
  • CPVC: Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride pipes have replaced PVC pipes as a popular rigid plastic tubing for plumbing. These pipes are inexpensive, and their extreme light weight makes them easy for plumbers to work with for almost any space. They also have high durability and smooth interiors that resist scaling, making for improved water flow.
  • PEX: Crosslinked polyethylene pipes have grown in use since they first entered the U.S. in 1980. They are flexible pipes capable of fitting into any space necessary, giving them an edge over rigid plastic like CPVC. Like other plastic pipes, they resist scaling on their interior and are highly cost-effective. The color-coding on these pipes makes them favorites of plumbers because it allows for fast identification of hot and cold water lines.

Trust to an experienced plumber

Pipe material is not an all-or-nothing proposition; most plumbing systems use a combination of types, with central copper lines and plastic lines branching off. With a highly trained and professional plumber, you can feel at ease that he or she will put the right pipes in for your installation.

For assurances on the plumber in Athens, GA you call for pipe installation, look to Henson Mechanical Inc. We also offer 24-hour emergency service for any breaks or leaks you encounter.

How Professionals Clear Clogged Drains

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

When it comes to clearing out a clogged drain in your house, you only have two options: use a plunger, or call a plumber. Any other method you should avoid—especially pouring toxic and acidic chemicals down your pipes. If the basic kitchen and bathroom plunger can’t blast through the clog, then call for a plumber to bring the professional equipment that will restore your drain in no time.

For excellent plumbing repair in Athens, GA, whether removing a drain clog or repairing a broken sewer line, you can call Henson Mechanical Inc any time of the day or night. Let our experienced staff take care of whatever ails your plumbing.

What professionals can do to unclog drains

The basic tool that a professional plumber will use to take care of a drain clog that a plunger cannot handle is the drain snake, or drain auger. A drain snake is a long, flexible wire coil attached to either a hand crank or a powered system. The plumber pushes the drain snake down into the drainpipe until reaching the clog. The end of the metal coils then “corkscrew” into the clog and either extract it or break it apart. Tougher clogs will require powered drain snakes, while the manual models can take care of easier ones.

Hydro-jetters are another common tool of the trade. These machines fire out high-pressure, high-temperature water streams from the end of a hose that goes down into a drain. A motorized compressor maintains the high pressure for the hydro-jetter to work. These systems can thoroughly clean out clogs and keep drains clean in general. Hydro-jetting is potentially dangerous work, so trust this work to the professionals, who take precautions and use special safety gear to protect themselves.

In some cases, a plumber may need to use video inspection equipment to find the location and nature of the clog. These miniature cameras mounted on long cables give the plumber a detailed picture of the problem affecting your drains, and allows for more precise cleaning and unclogging.

Don’t reach for that liquid drain cleaner!

Yes, it’s tempting to use an inexpensive liquid drain cleaner when you have a clog that resists your attempt to plunger it away. But keep those cleaners on the shelf (preferably the store shelf) and avoid causing damage to your drainpipes or yourself. Instead, reach for the phone and contact a professional plumber. Henson Mechanical Inc is here when you need top-quality plumbing repair in Athens, GA.

3 Ways to Spot a Water Leak

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Pipes spring leaks from time to time, no matter how good a plumbing system you have. In some cases, the leaks are obvious: water pooling under the sink or running across your bathroom floor is hard to miss. But if the leak occurs in a more secluded part of your house, such as a basement or a crawlspace, then it might be much harder to locate. These are the most dangerous kinds of leak because they can cause all sort of damage to your Athens, GA home before they are detected.

Here are 3 ways to spot a water leak in a tough or hidden place:

  • Lower pressure: Leaky pipes translate into reduced pressure, which you can spot when you turn on your faucet or showerhead. In some cases, there may be no water pressure at all, though that isn’t always the case. If you notice lowered pressure in your pipes, call a plumber to take a look at your system to see if leaks are causing the issue.
  • Higher water bills: Leaks mean wasted water, which you can spot by an unexpected rise in your water bill. If you suddenly notice your bill going up, despite the fact that you haven’t used any more water than normal, then you may have a leak somewhere on your property.
  • Soft or mushy drywall: If leaks spring up in your walls, you can spot it by a warping of your dry wall – or even wooden studs – as it becomes swollen with water. This is a serious situation which can cause widespread damage to your home, and it requires the immediate attention of a trained plumber.

If you need a plumber in Athens, GA, call Henson Mechanical Inc. After you spot a water leak, your next step should be to call us right away. We’ll hunt down the source of the leak and conduct repairs in a thorough and efficient manner. Don’t let a hidden leaky pipe wreak havoc on your home. Set up an appointment with us today!

3 Reasons for Sink Clogs

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Of all the things that could go wrong with your plumbing, clogs in sinks are perhaps the most common and therefore the most annoying. Sometimes you can take care of a simple clog with the assistance of a plunger, but the tougher clogs will need a plumber with the right training and tools.

Clogs occur for different reasons, and we’ll list three of the main ones here. You’ll need a skilled plumber in Atlanta, GA to handle these issues, and you can find one at Henson Mechanical Inc—any time of the day or night.

3 common reasons for sink clogs

  1. A coating of “FOG” inside the drainpipes: No, not “fog” as in dense water vapor that makes driving difficult. FOG stands for fat, oil, and grease, three liquids that will turn into waxy solids after they dry. You should never pour any of these down a drain because they will quickly coat the inside of the pipes and lead to clogs. However, even if you avoid pouring FOG down drains, some will still get into them, and over time it might clog your sink. Aside from having a plumber clear the clog, you should consider professional drain cleaning to removing the build-up of organic material.
  2. Sewer line damage: If you’ve noticed multiple sinks clogging at the same time, one possibility is that the sewer line that runs out to the street has suffered damage—breaks, blocks, root infiltration. This is a serious issue that requires immediate repairs from licensed professional plumbers.
  3. Waste paper products: It’s important to remember that drains are not waste baskets or garbage cans. Paper towels, napkins, and other such products should not go into sinks because they will not break down over time. Keep garbage in the garbage. (We should also caution you about rice and pasta going down sinks; they expand from the water in the pipes and can easily cause clogs.)

When stuck, call an actual plumber—not a liquid plumber!

If you can’t unclog your sink with a sink plunger, you should call a professional plumber instead of using a liquid drain cleaner. These “cleaners” contain toxic and acidic chemicals that are neither good for you nor your drainpipes. Plumbers equipped with drain augers and hydro-jetters can eliminate those defiant clogs. And if you have a sewer line break, plumbers will take care of that large repair job as well.

Henson Mechanical Inc employs some of the best plumbers available, so when you need a plumber in Atlanta, GA for that tough sink clog, give us a call.

Tips on How to Keep Your Kitchen Plumbing Running Smoothly

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Although you use more water in the bathroom than in the kitchen on a daily basis, keeping your kitchen plumbing in the best condition possible should be no less a priority. Losing the plumbing in the kitchen can mean a few miserable days when simple tasks like cleaning off a plate becomes arduous.

We have some tips to help you keep your kitchen’s plumbing in good health. But no matter how well you treat your plumbing, at some point you will need to call a plumber in Loganville, GA for repairs. When that time comes, don’t trust the work to unqualified amateurs. Instead, call Henson Mechanical Inc. We have 24-hour emergency service to get your plumbing working for you again.

Advice for keeping your kitchen plumbing in good shape

  • Don’t pour fat, oil, or grease down the sinks: And this applies to the garbage disposal as well. Although liquid fat, oil, and grease may seem innocuous when poured down a drain, they will create serious problems leading to clogs. As these liquids dry, they change into waxy solids that can easily close off a drainpipe. A continual build-up of organic matter along the inside of the drains will start to raise the water pressure even before the clogs happen. Take care to remove these liquids to a separate pan and dispose of them with other solid waste.
  • Avoid liquid drain cleaners: If you have trouble with clogs in your kitchen sinks, don’t reach for a liquid drain cleaner from a store to handle the problem. First try a sink plunger. If that doesn’t work, contact a professional plumber. Liquid cleaners are highly acidic, which will damage the interior lining of your drainpipes. They are also toxic and dangerous for your skin and eyes and leave behind unhealthy fumes.
  • Schedule regular plumbing maintenance: Just like your car or your HVAC system, your plumbing should have regular maintenance from a professional. Many problems can start developing with your plumbing out of your sight, such as pinhole leaks. A plumber can determine if your pipes need thorough cleaning or replacement with different materials. Using hydro-jetting, a plumber can provide a comprehensive cleaning that will keep clogs away for a long time.

It’s easy to start with plumbing maintenance right now: just call Henson Mechanical Inc and ask about our maintenance programs. Whenever you need a qualified and experienced plumber in Loganville, GA, make us your first call.