Appliance Lifespans

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Is your HVAC System ENERGY STAR VERIFIED?

appliance_107The heating ventilation air conditioning industry has grown by leaps and bounds since 1978. Recent studies from several sources have found that 50-70% of HVAC systems are installed incorrectly. This is the industry’s dirty little secret. Sure, your HVAC system will still work but not to manufacturers specifications or at the HVAC unit’s maximum efficiency. An inefficient heating and cooling system costs more money to run and reduces the life expectancy of the equipment. How can you guarantee your HVAC system is operating at its peak level of performance?

The missing puzzle piece is called ReliableGuard, smart monitoring for your heating and cooling system. ReliableGuard represents a SMART MONITORING option with unprecedented insight regarding your heating and cooling system. ReliableGuard is like having your own expert HVAC technician dedicated to monitor your heating and cooling system. A sensor package is installed on your HVAC system to monitor key performance metrics. Sensor data is transmitted to a monitoring station where auto-alerts are generated for out-of-range operating specifications.

Even more exciting… ENERGY STAR has re-launched a program called ENERGY STAR Verified HVAC Installation (ESVI).You’ll have real assurance that your new HVAC system has been installed correctly and that the installation has been third-party verified. That means increased comfort, lower energy bills, reduced risk of equipment failure, and much more.

The computer is advanced enough to accurately predict equipment failure before components start to fail, including water leaks!

Make sure to ask about an ENERGY STAR Verified HVAC Installation before choosing your HVAC contractor.

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Nexia Video Blog

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Nest

Nest. Welcome to the magic of home.
The Nest Learning Thermostat

Programs itself. Then pays for itself.

The third gen Nest Learning Thermostat is more beautiful than ever, with a thinner, sleeker design and bigger, crisper display. And it’s proven to help save energy. In independent studies, the Nest Thermostat saved an average of 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills.

Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm

It thinks, speaks, and alerts your phone.

There’s never been a smoke and CO alarm quite like this. Nest Protect looks for fast-burning fires, smoldering fires, and carbon monoxide. It also speaks up when there’s a problem, can be hushed from your phone, and it will even message your phone in case you’re not home.

Nest Cam

See your home on your phone. Get alerts that matter.

Nest Cam helps you keep an eye on what matters to you. It looks for motion and listens for sound.

And if something’s up, it sends an alert to your phone.

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Basement Electrical Services

Basement Finishing
Many people have found their basement can be finished into a home theater or play area for their children. Many families are adding extra bedrooms or kitchens for an extended family to live in their basement. Reliable electricians can handle all your electrical needs for all basement finishing and also provide all wiring for your Internet or cable TV needs.

Can lights, sauna wiring and hot tub wiring are just a few of the amenities Reliable electricians can provide for your basement. Reliable can provide the heating & air, plumbing and electrical for any size project.

Sub Panels
Often when one wants to finish their basement, they do not have adequate space in their electrical panel to add the needed lighting and outlets desired. Most likely, they have enough electrical service coming into their homes, they just lack the open slots for expansion. Reliable electricians can install a sub panel or extra electrical panel that allow for current and future expansion.

Panel Replacement
Sometimes a complete new electrical panel is the better option due to age of the current breaker panel or brand of the existing panel. Some older electrical panels are not designed as well as today’s modern panel and it is better to simply replace them. Reliable electricians can handle this job easily and efficiently assuring one of a safe and modern electrical system.

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Different Types of Furnaces

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There are two different efficiency categories of furnaces available, regardless of brand and within those categories there are three basic types of furnaces. The two different efficiencies of furnaces are 80% efficiency and those that are 90% efficiency and greater.

A furnace with a rating of 80% uses 80 cents of a dollar worth of gas to heat your home and 20 cents of that dollar goes up the chimney of your home. Furnaces in this range go all the way to 82% efficiency.

Furnaces that are in the 90% efficient category range from 90% all the way up to 97.3% efficient meaning virtually no waste- 97.3% of every heating dollar goes to heat your home and only wastes 2.3 cents up the chimney.

Both efficiency categories have three different types of furnaces available and they are single stage, two stage and variable speed modulating furnaces.

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How to Detect Leaks


Use your water meter to check for leaks

  1. Make sure no water is being used inside or outside of your house.
  2. Locate your water meter and check the leak indicator to see if it is moving. Depending on the brand of your meter, the leak indicator could be a small triangular shaped dial or a small silver wheel that rotates when water is flowing through the meter. If the dial is moving, chances are, you have a leak.
  3. Or, you can also take a meter reading and wait 1 or 2 hours and take another meter reading (make sure no water is used during this time). If the reading has changed, you have a leak.

After you have determined that you have a leak, the next step is to determine if the leak is inside or outside of your house.

  1. Locate your home’s main shut off valve and shut off the water at the valve. Typically, you will find the shut off valve in the basement or garage directly behind an outdoor faucet, or outside below an outdoor faucet.
  2. Again, check the leak indicator for movement or use the meter reading method, making sure not to use any water during this period. If the leak indicator stops moving or there is no change in the meter readings, then you have a leak inside of the house. If the leak indicator continues to move or there is a change in the meter readings, then the leak is outside between the meter and the house.
  3. If you are unable to locate the leak, you may need to call a plumber.

Leaking Faucets
Leaking faucets are generally a result of a worn rubber washer. The washer on a sink is usually located under the handle. These are relatively easy to replace, if you have the right tools. It does require shutting off the water under the sink or at the main shutoff valve and removing the handle. (Note: faucet handles are not shutoff valves.) Check your local home center or hardware store on how to repair faucet leaks.
Leaking Toilets
Toilet leaks can waste hundreds of gallons and often times are silent. Even a small leak can add up to a lot of wasted water and money over time. Fortunately, most toilet leaks are easy and inexpensive to repair.

To help determine if you have a leaking toilet, simply remove the tank lid and place a few drops of food coloring in back of the toilet tank. (If you don’t have food coloring, you can purchase dye tabs from any hardware or home center). Wait about 30 minutes, without flushing, and then look in the toilet bowl to see of any color has come through. If the water is clear, water is not leaking. If you see food coloring in the bowl you have a leak.

In most cases, you will simply just need to replace the toilet flapper and/or filling mechanism. These are available at hardware or home center stores for about $8.00 each.
Flapper Valve Leaks
The most common reason for a leaking toilet is one that has an improperly working or sealing flapper. The flapper is the rubber valve in the bottom of the tank that lifts up when the toilet is flushed. If the flapper is worn or cracked, it allows water to continuously flow from the tank into the toilet bowl without flushing.
Flush Handle Problems
If the handle needs to be jiggled to keep the toilet from running, the flush level bar and chain (or the handle itself) may be sticking. Adjust the nut that secures it in the toilet tank. If that does not work, the handle may have to be replaced.
Overflow Tube Leaks

Ideally the water level should be set so that is about even with the fill line on the back of the toilet tank (approximately ½” below the overflow tube). If the water is too high in the toilet tank and is spilling into the overflow tube, the water level can be adjusted by turning the adjustment screw or by very gently bending the float arm down so that the water shuts off at a level below the overflow tube.
Note: If none of these steps solve the problem, you may need to contact a plumber to repair or replace the toilet.

Finding Other Water Leaks
The water you drink and bathe with is delivered under pressure, so a leak can be very obvious. Wastewater, on the other hand, is usually moved by gravity and is not under pressure. This makes wastewater leaks much harder to detect. If you suspect a wastewater leak, please call our Maintenance & Operations department for help.

Be aware that the exact location of a leak may not always be immediately obvious. Some leaks may start at one location, then flow along a ledge or other channel for a distance before they drain down and create some visible damage.

Look for wet, warped or discoloration stains on your ceilings, floors, walls and woodwork (such as the bottom of your kitchen or bathroom sink cabinet). As you attempt repair, be sure to check twice for the actual location of the leak, not just the resulting damage from the leak.

Condensation can also be a form of water leak. While condensation is normal, excessive condensation can cause damage to your walls, ceilings, floors and woodworking. If there is too much condensation, insulating your pipes may stop or reduce the condensation.
Underground Leak Detection 

Visual

  1. Look (and feel) for portions of your property that are always wet.
  2. Look at your driveway, curb or street for evidence of water flow. The evidence may not be a steady stream of water; it may only be a puddle that never dries up, or a darker spot (as in what happens when water is spilt on dry concrete).

 Meter Reading

  1. Look at your water meter and write down the meter reading. Don’t run any water for a few hours. Re-read your meter.
  2. If it shows use, and you’ve already fixed all other known leaks, then you may have an underground leak.
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