Saddleback Plumbing Heating & Air Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Rancho Santa Margarita’

Been a Rough Summer for Your AC? Here Are Ways to Tell

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Right now we’re in the middle of the worst heat of the summer in Southern California so far. This is when you most want your AC to work reliably and without needing emergency repair calls. But what makes August heat waves so difficult for air conditioning systems is that they’ve already been working regularly for a few months—plenty of time to build up dirt and stress that can lead to serious problems when the pressure is on from 90°+ heat!

If your AC has already gone through a rough summer, here are ways to tell that you may need to call us for preventive air conditioning repair in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA before the trouble becomes an AC that won’t cool at all.

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Safe Drain Unclogging Methods to Try Before You Call a Professional

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Is there any regular plumbing problem more irritating than a clogged drain? True, there are plenty of worse plumbing problems you can think of (or don’t want to think of), but the drain clog is a nuisance everybody has encountered at some point, and they happen too often for most of us. There are ways you can prevent drain clogs with tools like drain strainers and regular professional drain cleaning services—but today we’re going to talk about what you can do when you’ve got a drain clog.

Calling our plumbing technicians is a sure way to see that you have any clog removed. In some situations, the clog may be a deeper issue down in the sewer line, and this absolutely calls for experts who know their plumbing in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. But we know you’d like to exhaust all the safe unclogging methods you have at home first before you call, so we’re going to go through the steps.

(And we want to emphasize safe—because there are methods you might try that can seriously damage your plumbing or you!)

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What Is “Too Old” for a Furnace?

Monday, January 27th, 2020

No furnace can last indefinitely, and there’s no such thing as “the last heating system you’ll ever need to buy.” Even in warm Southern California, furnaces gradually wear down from use. In fact, homeowners often neglect to have routine service for their furnaces because they don’t rely on them often. This will speed up the furnace’s decline.

If you’ve come to this post, it’s because you suspect your furnace is past its expiration date—whatever that may be. What is considered “too old” for a furnace? We’ll take a look at this question, which has several answers.

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The Truth About Electric Furnace and Gas Furnace Efficiency Ratings

Monday, October 21st, 2019

twenty-dollar-bill-foldedFall is the usual time for homeowners to make changes in their central heating systems. Even in sunny Orange County, where the only snow we see is on the distant peaks, a central heating system is necessary for homes that often get drafty on the winter nights. Sometimes the upgrade for a heater is to buy a new one.

If you’re home is like most, you use a furnace for central heating. The two common types of furnaces people use are natural gas furnaces and electric furnaces. You might not face a choice about which type of have—if you don’t have a natural gas line, you definitely won’t get a natural gas furnace! But when you do have to make a choice, be careful that you don’t make the mistake about furnace efficiency ratings that has often misled customers into making the poorer system choice.

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Yuck, Drain Flies! How to Get Rid of Them and Keep Them Gone

Monday, August 12th, 2019

guy-screamingIs this happening in your house? Tiny insects, looking something like dark dust motes, are circling around a kitchen or bathroom drain or a shower/bathtub drain. It’s not a pleasant sight, and even worse it’s not a pleasant idea that there is a source for the breeding of flies inside your home. Although these “drain flies” (moth flies) are harmless for people, you still don’t want them in your house, and you want to eliminate the source. In many cases, this jog requires a plumber in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA to help.

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How Zone Control Works in an Air Conditioner

Monday, July 15th, 2019

inside-air-ductHere’s the standard way central air conditioners all used to work: the air conditioned by the evaporator coil is pushed into the ventilation system by the blower fan in the air handler, sending the air to every vent in the house. On the surface, this sounds like exactly what a central AC is supposed to do.

But consider this comparison: what if you turned on one light switch in your house, and instead of a single light coming on, all the lights in the house came on? That’s incredibly wasteful of energy. But this isn’t much different than turning on the air conditioner and having cooled air sent to every room, even if those rooms don’t need cooling because no one is in them.

This is where zone control HVAC systems make the difference. Zone control divides a house into different “zones” that can be cooled separately from the others. For example, there’s no need to cool empty bedrooms when everyone is gathered downstairs.

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Is an Electric Furnace the Best Choice If My Home Doesn’t Use Gas?

Monday, January 14th, 2019

question-mark-badgeThe use of natural gas is widespread, but it isn’t universal to all homes in Orange County. Some homeowners prefer not to use natural gas at all because of concerns about safety. Of course, it’s easy to operate a home entirely through electricity—but it can present a few tricky questions when it comes to an appliance like a heating system. Homes with natural gas will almost always use a gas furnace—it’s simply the most powerful and most energy efficient option. There are also gas boilers, but these are less common in Southern California.

The heating option for all-electric homes that most commonly springs to mind is the electric furnace. Is this the best choice, however? Well, like so many things in life, it depends.

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Furnace Short-Cycling: Why It Happens, What to Do About It

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

If your furnace is turning on and off rapidly, more often than it should, it is short-cycling. This is a problem since it will put extra strain on the furnace, raise heating bills, and create repair issues. If you need help with a short-cycling furnace, call on Saddleback Plumbing. We have many years of experience in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA with furnace repair, installation, and other services. With more than three decades of helping Orange County stay warm, we are the contractor you should trust for furnace repairs.

Reasons that short-cycling may occur

The bad news first: if you have a new furnace that is short cycling, the problem may be that the furnace is the wrong size for your home. Putting in a furnace that is too large for the area it is supposed to heat is a common error that amateurs make, and one of the reasons you should only entrust furnace installation to experience professionals. If this is the case with your furnace, you usually must start over and have experienced technicians put in a new furnace.

Now for reasons a furnace might short-cycle that require less drastic repairs:

  • The air filter is clogged: This is a common problem, but thankfully it’s easy to fix. Check on the furnace’s filter; if it is congested with debris, change it (and keep doing it every month when the furnace runs on a regular basis) so the furnace receives proper airflow once more. If the furnace continues to short-cycle, call for professional repairs.
  • Thermostat trouble: A malfunctioning thermostat that reads the incorrect temperatures will cause a furnace to shut off before it should. Check to see that the thermostat isn’t exposed to drafts or extra heat. In some cases, the thermostat may need to be moved to a new location.
  • The furnace is overheating: Contemporary furnaces have safety devices to prevent them from overheating. These precautions will shut off the furnace if one of the heat exchangers grows too hot. This will cause short-cycling, and is a repair you need have taken care of immediately.

Please, do not attempt to investigate any furnace short-cycling on your own. Furnaces are complex appliances, and only trained professionals should repair them. This is especially true for a natural gas furnace, the most common type found in homes today. Let Saddleback Plumbing handle the job of finding out what problems are causing your furnace to short-cycle and fix them. We are the Rancho Santa Margarita, CA furnace service professionals who will see that the job gets done right.

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How Does a Sump Pump Work?

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Sump pumps tend to be more of a staple on the East Coast, where heavy rains and flooding are more of a problem here in Southern California. Nevertheless, our recent rainstorm has demonstrated that we’re not immune to such concerns and here in Rancho Santa Margarita, sump pump technology can be a lifesaver. So how does a sump pump work? And more importantly, why should you consider one for my home?

The sump pump is typically placed at the lowest point in the home: a basement or similar location. A hole is dug and the sump pump is placed inside of it. When the rains arrive and flooding begins, the water naturally moves into the sump pit first. A float activator or a pressure sensor in the pump detects the presence of the water and activates the pump. The motor turns on and activates the impeller, which is like a fan. The impeller pushes the water to the sides of the pipe, which creates a vacuum at the center of the pipe. The vacuum pulls he water up and out of the house through a venting pipe.

You can choose between several different types of pumps, most of which run on electricity. (They usually run on a standard plug, so you don’t need any additional equipment to power them.) The cheapest models are pedestal sump pumps, which sit on a pole above the pit and use a pipe to pull the water in. They’re less expensive than other sorts of pumps, but they’re noisier and more obtrusive. Submersible pumps sit inside the water, which serves as a natural muffler. They use waterproof casing to keep their components dry and tend to operate more efficiently.

If you know how a sump pump works, then the next step is to contact an expert to discuss which model might be best for you. At Saddleback Plumbing, sump pump technology and other plumbing services in Rancho Santa Margarita are just some of our many specialties. We can discuss the specifics with you before installing the right model for your home. Give us a call to set up an appointment today. You’ll be glad you did!

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This is Why Water Treatment Systems Should Be in Every Home

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Water treatment systems are essentially filters for your entire home: screening out minerals, chlorine and other impurities from the water in your plumbing system. Here in Rancho Santa Margarita, water treatment systems used by the city are fairly effective, but they’re not perfect. The sea air and water from the Pacific can leave trace amounts of salt in our drinking water, leading to a brackish taste. Furthermore, while small amounts of chemicals won’t usually affect your health, they can still impact the quality of your life in subtle yet definable ways. A good water treatment system can prevent all of that.

Here’s a short list of reasons why water treatment systems should be in every home.

  • Cleaner drinking water. If you need a good direct example of the benefits of water filtrated, fill an ice cube tray with tap water, then fill a second one with filtered water. After they freeze, fill a pair of glasses with them. You can see how cloudy and gray the tap water cubes are, compared to the clean transparency of the filtered cubes.  That translates to improved taste not only for your drinking water, but for any cooking you do that involves water as well.
  • Cleaner bathing water. You might notice a hard, crusty deposit on your bathroom faucet or shower head. Now imagine yourself bathing or showering with the same water that created that build up. Those are hard water deposits, and they can leave your skin feeling rough and irritated over time.  Filtered water leaves you feeling cleaner, and your skin feeling softer after you’ve bathe.
  • Cleaner laundry. Similarly, clothes washed in filtered water tend to feel softer, last longer and retain their bright colors better than clothes washed with unfiltered water.

Those are serious considerations, especially in coastal areas like ours. No matter how good the civic system, the ocean still brings impurities to our drinking water that are impossible to escape (the ocean isn’t going anywhere, after all). This is why water treatment systems should be in every home. Here in Rancho Santa Margarita, water treatment systems can be installed by the experts at Saddleback Plumbing. Call us today to set up an appointment for water treatment or any other plumbing service in Rancho Santa Margarita!

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