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PLUMBING • DRAINS • COOLING • WATER QUALITY

ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning

ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning

Thursday, 10 January 2019 01:16
How Old Is My Water Heater?

Knowing how old your water heater is can be helpful when planning for replacement and knowing when you're better off replacing the unit instead of putting money towards repairs. In most cases, if a water heater is more than 10 years old you should consider replacement. As water heaters enter their second decade the risk of developing leaks increases, which can potentially cause damage to your home.

You can find the age of your water heater by looking for the serial number on the manufacturer’s sticker near the top of the water heater. The serial number contains the date that the water heater was manufactured. It will not be in a standard date format, but will have a date code such as "G062052658".

G is for the month and G is the seventh letter in the alphabet, so it represents the seventh month, July. Next, the first two digits of the serial number are 06, which represents the year, 2006. So this water heater was made in July 2006. Each manufacturer uses a similar date code, but they may vary – so check the manufacturer’s website to learn more.

Have questions about your home's water heater? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help answer all your plumbing questions.
Tuesday, 08 January 2019 01:09
Being surrounded by water in Southwest Florida it's easy to forget that fresh water is our most precious resource. As fresh water supplies become more strained by growth and saltwater intrusion, it's up to all of us to do our part to conserve water in our homes.

Conserving water in Southwest Florida

While installing water saving toilets and low-flow shower heads are important steps to prevent wasting water, there are other steps you can take. Not only will you help preserve our most important natural resource, you'll save on your water bill as well.

1. Laundry - Use the clothes washer for full loads, or adjust water levels to match the size of the load. Avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses about 5 extra gallons of water per load.

2. Upgrade to a dual-flush toilet - Installing a dual flush toilet can save an average family 15,000 gallons of water each year. Extra water is available when needed, but for most flushes you’ll reduce the amount of water by 70%, saving a significant amount of water. Existing toilets can be upgraded with a dual flush converter that turns a standard toilet into a dual flush toilet.

3. Fix Water Leaks - Leaking toilets, faucets, showers and leaking pipes can add up to a lot of waste. To see if your house has hidden water leaks, read your home's water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.

4. Save Cold Water - A lot of water is wasted while waiting for the shower or faucet tap to reach higher temperatures. Instead of letting the water go down the drain, keep a container nearby to collect and save the cold water and use it for watering plants or filling the pet's water bowls.

5. Use the Dishwasher - It turns out that washing dishes by hand uses a lot more water than using the dishwasher. Newer dishwashers are designed to be very efficient. In fact, the EPA estimates an efficient dishwasher uses half as much water, saving close to 5,000 gallons each year!

Bonus tips:

• Clean sidewalks and driveways with a broom instead of a hose
• Cover your swimming pool to reduce evaporation
• Compost food waste instead of using your under sink disposal
Wednesday, 30 January 2019 13:32

January 2019 Customer Spotlight

"David has serviced/checked our A/C & furnace a few times. This check up, he also installed our new Nest thermostat. He is fantastic! He has always been on time, pleasant and efficient."
Google Review – 01/08/19

"Outstanding Service. We had our waste lines flushed out. Henry provided great customer service!!!! ***** *"
BBB Review – 01/15/19

"Tanner discussed my options and gave knowledgeable information regarding a new hot water heater. He was prompt, courteous and did a very good clean up. ABC scheduled my installation the day after I called and Tanner stayed till 6:30 to complete it for me that day. Thank you ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning."
Facebook Review – 01/17/19

"Very courteous & efficient technician. Service was very timely & well done. Thank You."
Facbook Review – 01/19/19
Thursday, 20 December 2018 14:23
Does Your AC Need a Recharge?

A central air conditioner is designed to never lose refrigerant, it should last longer than the system itself. When a refill is needed it's usually the result of a leak caused by a manufacturing defect, lack of maintenance, or damage to the unit.

Refrigerant is what extracts the heat from the air through the transfer of heat. If the refrigerant level is low or empty, there will be no transfer of heat. So how do you know if your central air conditioner needs a recharge? The symptoms of low refrigerant levels include:

Warm air is blowing through the vents. This is a telltale sign of lack of refrigerant. While there can be other causes, such as a malfunctioning thermostat, a slow reduction in cooling is most likely caused by a refrigerant leak.

The AC unit is freezing. Refrigerant is supplied through the unit's condensor coils. If you notice a buildup of frost or ice on the coils it usually indicates that there is a leak.

If you're having either of these symptoms a qualified HVAC technician should inspect the unit. If the refrigerant level is low, the cause of the leak should be diagnosed and repaired before recharging the unit. Refilling the AC's refrigerant is a task for a professional HVAC technician. In fact, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) mandates that a certified professional perform the procedure.

An annual AC inspection will help to find small problems before they lead to problems like a loss of cooing from a refrigerant leak.

If you're central air conditioner is not cooling, call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help diagnose the cause and recommend solutions to get the cold air flowing again.
Thursday, 13 December 2018 16:22
Preventing mold growth in Southwest Florida

High humidity is a feature of the tropical southwest Florida climate. One of the keys to controlling humidity indoors is a central air conditioner and good ventilation. If the AC and ventilation are not optimal, mold and mildew can quickly gain a foothold, leading to potential negative health effects. Inhaling or touching mold spores can cause cause an allergic reaction, leading to hay fever-like symtoms, such as a runny nose, sneezing, red eyes and skin irritation. For those with a health conditions such as upper respiratory diseases, including asthma, and compromised immune systems, mold can represent a more serious health risk.

Because it can be difficult to remove mold once it begins to grow on walls and inside air ducts, it's best to prevent its growth in the first place. The best way to prevent mold is to control moisture indoors.

Here are 5 ways to prevent mold growth inside your home:
  1. Look for water stains in ceilings and under sinks. Locate the cause of the leak and repair it. These are usually caused leaking roofs or plumbing.
  2. Reduce indoor humidity by properly venting bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas. Install or upgrade existing exhaust fans if there is excessive condensation.
  3. Keep your air conditioner maintained and ensure that the condensate line is draining. There should be no standing water in the drain pan.
  4. Use moisture proof flooring in bathrooms and indoor spas.
  5. If excess humidity is a concern, consider a whole-home dehumidifier to supplement your AC and HVAC system.
Have questions about preventing mold in your home? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. We can help.
Tuesday, 04 December 2018 16:44
Drain Snake Sarasota

When a kitchen sink, toilet, bathtub drain or main sewer line becomes clogged one of the most popular tools for clearing blockage from a pipe is a drain snake, also called a plumber's snake or pipe snake. A hand drain snake is a thin, flexible auger with a crank handle or motor at one end and a metal wire with a splayed gap between the coils at the other end. The auger is inserted into the drain and turned to physically remove debris that would typically be too stubborn for a plunger to clear.

Other types of drain snakes used by plumbers include drum augers and roto rooters. These are powered augers should be used carefully to avoid damaging the pipe, especially when cleaning out PVC piping.

Snaking a Toilet

When a plunger is not effective at clearing a toilet clog, a toilet auger should be used instead of a standard drain snake. A regular drain snake can damage the toilet by scraping the porcelain bowl. A toilet auger is designed to pass through the toilet trap and is more rigid, which will prevent it from looping back when it hits an obstruction.

Other drains that can be cleared with a drain snake include:
  • Main drain
  • Sewer main line
  • Bathtub drains (usually through the overflow drain)
  • Shower drains
  • Washing machine drains
  • Kitchen drains
  • Bathroom sink drains
Have questions about clearing drains in your home? Call ABC Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we can help with all your sewer and drain cleaning needs.
Thursday, 27 December 2018 23:02
"David Bragg was on time, professional, thorough and friendly. He answered all my questions in a polite confident manner. He has been the one to service my AC before and he remembered the previous visits. All of this was done promptly and gives me confidence in the quality of his work and of the company. Thanks."
– Facebook Review, 12/05/18

"David Blagg was very helpful and courteous and explained the options that we had to remedy the problem in our A/C ducts."
– Buzzbox Review 12/18/18

"I recently had my a/c system replaced by ABC. Bryon and Trenton were fantastic! They arrived st the agreed upon appointment time and went straight to work. They kept me informed as their work progressed. Their craftsmanship was superb! I am completely satisfied with the job they did! Bryon and Trenton were professional, engaging and informative! ABC is the right choice for your a/c and plumbing needs. Thank you guys for a job well done!"
– Google Review, 12/20/18

"Bryon and Trenton were fantastic. They arrived at the agreed upon appointment time and went right to work keeping me informed as to the progress along the way. The quality of their workmanship was superb! Very professional, engaging and knowledgeable! I am completely satisfied with my new ac system! Thank Byron and Trenton! ABC is the right company to hire for your ac and plumbing needs!"
– BuzzBox Reviews, 12/20/18
Tuesday, 27 November 2018 15:19
Central air conditioners are generally very reliable. When problems arise it's usually the result of lack of maintenance or an aging unit that is reaching the end of its lifespan.  Here are some things to check of your AC is not cooling.

Air Condioner Problems

1. Low Refrigerant Levels
An air conditioner that is running, but staying on too long and not cooling properly, may have a refrigerant leak or be insufficiently filled.

2. Thermostat or Sensor Problems
Check that the thermostat is set to "cool" and is set low enough to turn the unit on. Also ensure that the batteries are charged if the thermostat has batteries. If the unit does not turn on, check the circuit breaker to make sure it hasn't tripped.

3. Drainage Problems
A damaged refrigerant line or broken fan can cause an air conditioner coil to freeze, casing the unit to malfunction. Also ensure that the drain pan is not backed up, by clearing the drain line if needed.

4. Dirty Air Filter
Air filters should be replaced monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer. A dirty filter will cause the air conditioner to run more frequently, reducing efficiency, wasting energy and shortening the lifespan of the unit.
 
5. Leaking or Obstructed Air Ducts
Air ducts are an often overlooked part of a home's cooling system. Air duct cleaning and sealing can ensure that your system cools as efficiently as possible without wasting energy.

Have questions about your central air conditioner? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning. From annual AC maintenance and repairs, to new cooling system installation, we have you covered.
Thursday, 15 November 2018 19:51
As smart devices make there way into every aspect of our daily life, one of the most popular devices for the home is the smart thermostat. Brands like Honeywell, Nest and Ecobee all promise ease of use and automated control over the climate in our homes. They also have the potential to increase efficiency and energy savings by learning when to heat and cool automatically based on household routines.

How much do smart thermostats save?

So how much many can you actually save with a smart thermostat, and are they worth the price premium over a conventional digital thermostat? A study by Nest® and two independent researchers found that customers saved an average of 10 to 20 percent on heating and 15 percent on air conditioning costs.

Because much of the savings from a programmable thermostat depends on the homeowner programming the unit to operate at the right time of day, they are prone to not being used at the optimum settings, either because they are to complicated to program or schedules that change to often, leading to settings being manually overridden.

Smart thermostats, on the other hand, make it more likely that the unit will operate at peak efficiency by automatically learning the household routine. For example, turning up the air conditioning when the home is unoccupied, then turning it back down when it detects that the home is occupied. Additionally, many models offer smart phone integration, humidity control and detailed power consumption reports and money-saving suggestions.

Have questions about setting up your smart thermostat to work with your home's heating and cooling system? Call ABC Southwest Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we're here to help.
Wednesday, 28 November 2018 20:37
"It's always a pleasure working with David Blagg as our A/C Service Tech. He always has a smile and presents his company very well. He really knows his equipment and we can always be assured our system is maintained to run efficiently. Thanks David for all your help over the last couple of years."
– BuzzBox Review, 11/28/18

"Tanner Schroll and Matt were very helpful, identified the problem and hopefully fixed it. I found the costs of repair a little high in relation to the hours worked."
– BuzzBox Review, 11/27/18

"Tanner Schroll is professional, polite and efficient. I wish he did more than plumbing. There is nothing better than a reliable, articulate and thorough service person. He explained everything clearly, worked efficiently and left the work space cleaner than he found it. We couldn't ask for more. Thanks ABC and Tanner."
– Google Review, 11/20/18

"Billy did the annual A/C Heat service, arrived on time, thorough check of system, made suggestions to improve performance and extend life of the system. Quite professional."
– Facebook Review, 11/19/18

"Outstanding customer service! Our new AC unit was installed and running in four hours."
– BBB Review, 11/05/18
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More than a promise, our level of service is guaranteed

  • Live operators - no answering machines
  • Appointments made around your schedule
  • Friendly, uniformed technicians
  • On time arrival
  • We wear shoe covers and use work mats
  • We explain all options in non-technical language
  • Follow up to make sure you're 100% satisfied
  • We stand by everything we do - NO EXCEPTIONS!
About You No Surprises

What Your Neighbors Are Saying About ABC Southwest

  • "ABC Plumbing& A/C is a company I would keep for all time. Had an emergency at night, and they came right away, very little wait time. 2 days later, Henry and Trenton did a very big job and explained in detail what they had to do. Very polite, knowledgeable, and they even cleaned up!!! Which they didn't have to do. Thank you for all your hard work!!" Read More
    – Henry C., Facebook Review
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