Easy Maintenance Tips to Extend the Life of Your Water Heater

The water heater is one of the most important appliances in your home. We rely on hot water every day for showers, cooking, laundry, and to clean our homes. Learn how to extend the life of your water heater and keep your unit in top condition with these easy maintenance tips. Regular Inspections A good rule of thumb is to inspect your water heater every six months. Regular inspections will help ensure your unit works efficiently and can alert you of any issues before they become catastrophic. Here are a few things to look for: Do you see any signs of a leak? Look all around and underneath the unit (raised water heaters) to make sure there is no condensation or leaks. Also inspect the ground near and below the unit for signs of drips, sediment, or puddles of water. Do you have a gas water heater? Take a look at the pilot light. A solid blue light indicates the heating element is working efficiently. If the flame is split, mostly yellow, or weak, this could indicate a need for repair. Also watch out for blackened areas near the burner, which could be caused by improper combustion or back drafting. Place your hand on the pipes on top of your unit. The pipe on the left side, labeled “hot,” should feel warm, and the pipe on the right side, labeled “cold,” should feel cool. If the pipes are reversed, this could greatly reduce the efficiency of your unit ― which could lead to higher energy bills and a shorter life-span of your unit. Inspect the unit for rust or corrosion ― this could indicate that it’s time to replace your unit. Regular Maintenance There are two fairly simple maintenance steps that will keep your water heating working properly for years. If you are handy, you may want to tackle these items yourself. Or our expert plumbers can perform these steps for you to ensure your water heater remains in top shape and lasts for years to come. Replace the anode rod. The anode rod is one of the important parts in your water heater, and regular replacement is the best way to extend the life of your unit. The anode rod attracts all the corrosive elements that would normally cause rust and corrosion in your water tank. Over time, the anode rod will wear down, and when this happens...

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4 Tips to Go Green with Your Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling your home is a huge energy drain and during peak months can account for more than 50 percent of your home energy costs. In addition to costing you money, such high-energy usage also leaves a detrimental carbon footprint on the environment. With all of the energy needed to keep your home or office comfortable during sweltering summer days and icy winter nights, can you really go green with your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system? Yes, you can — and there are many options for making your HVAC more energy efficient, which is great for the environment and will make your wallet happy. Here are four tips you can consider. Install a High-Efficiency Unit: You may find yourself intimidated by the upfront costs associated with replacing your HVAC system with a new high-efficiency system, but take heart, because the unit will pay for itself in just a few years through reduced energy usage. High-efficiency units can drastically cut energy usage by as much as 50 percent. The HVAC pros at Mr. Green can help you select the right unit for your home. Make Sure Your HVAC Unit is the Right Size for Your Space: When it comes to HVAC, bigger isn’t always better. Your unit should be proportionate to the space it serves. If it is too big or too small, it will run less efficiently, will waste energy and may have a shorter life-span. Ensuring that the unit is the correct size and in the right configuration will enable your unit to run continuously to rather than frequently cycling on and off, which puts unneeded additional wear and tear on your HVAC unit. Having your HVAC running all the time also maximizes dehumidification Prevent Escaped Air: Unless you’ve properly sealed windows and doors to prevent escaped air, your new top-of-the-line HVAC system will not be nearly as efficient as it could be. A trick to find leaky ducts is to light an incense stick and hold it next to a suspected leak. If the smoke blows sideways, you’ve found the leak. When installing a new HVAC system, take advantage of the opportunity to inspect and if needed replace insulation around doors and window frames. This also may be a good time to replace old windows with energy-efficient ones, helping you save even more in energy costs. Improve Your Insulation: Dollar for dollar, one of...

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5 Ways to Use Technology to Lower Your Energy Bill

Most people are familiar with basics of saving money by conserving energy in our homes: turn off lights when you leave a room; use a programmable thermostat to reduce energy when you are away; keep your furnace filter, registers and vents clean to improve efficiency, etc. Yet there is so much more you can do to drastically reduce energy use, and it is easy thanks to advancements in energy technology. These five technology trends will help you cut your energy costs and become more energy efficient. Try one or more, and watch the savings start to roll in! 1. CFL and LED Bulbs One of the easiest and fastest ways to cut energy costs is to swap out incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency CFLs or LEDs. These bulbs use drastically less energy than conventional varieties. And, CFL and LED bulbs are worth the investment — each costs only a couple of dollars to power every year, and they are designed to run for 10 – 25+ years! 2. Smart Thermostats Programmable thermostats certainly reduce energy use. Yet, new high-tech smart thermostats make it even easier to save money and heat/cool your home efficiently. These devices enable you to adjust your home’s temperature according to your schedule, and you often can control them remotely via your smartphone — a great feature for on-the-go homeowners. 3. E-Vents E-vents or smart vents are a fairly new technology that allow homeowners to open and close vents remotely, usually using a smartphone app. Just replace your current vents with e-Vents, and you can easily redirect airflow throughout your home to only the rooms that need it. 4. Smart Power Adapters Did you know that conventional power adapters can account for 13 percent of a home’s energy usage? This is mainly because they continue to draw electricity even when the plugged-in device is fully charged or is turned off. Green Plug is working to create a smart power adapter that offers state-of-the-art digital control and reduces wasted energy. 5. Home Automation Home automation takes high-tech thermostats a step further and allows you to control virtually any electronic device in your home remotely. Simply log into your system and adjust your thermostat, turn off your coffee pot or control your houselights. These systems make your home safer and also make it easy to manage energy usage. Learn more about which system best fits your needs. Today’s technology...

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Lakewood Plumbing: 5 Common Plumbing Problems You Don’t Expect to Happen

Let Mr. Green Take Care of Your Lakewood Plumbing Needs Today Plumbing problems always seem to come out of nowhere. You are just fine one moment, but suddenly water starts spraying everywhere. We know better than anyone that Lakewood plumbing problems always happen at the most inconvenient times. Mr. Green Plumbing will always be there when you need quick attention, but we can also help you avoid costly repairs through basic maintenance. The top five common plumbing problems we encounter include: Overflowing Toilets No one wants their toilet to erupt into their bathroom. The process is actually a fairly slow one, but the adrenalin of the moment makes it feels as though the water will never stop flowing. In the event of an overflowing toilet, simply reach behind the toilet and turn off the water. This will help reduce the amount of water flowing into the bowl and out onto your flour. Both precautions and maintenance can prevent a toilet from overflowing. The problem is usually a blockage which prevents water from flowing out of the toilet. This can often happen when foreign objects are flushed. Keep a close eye on toddlers and children – they love to flush toys. The only truly safe item to flush is moderate amounts of toilet paper. If your toilet becomes backed up, follow these simple steps to properly use a plunger. If plunging fails to work, you may need professional attention. We can get you back to flushing in no time at all. Plumbing Leaks Lakewood plumbing calls often involve plumbing leaks that went undetected until damage was easily seen. The cost of water waste combines with expensive water damage repairs to create a budget-busting situation. The first thing to do in the case of a water leak is to turn off the water. If you do not have shut-off valves installed at individual appliances and fixtures, you will need to turn off the main water valve to the house. The key to preventing small leaks from becoming large damaging leaks is to fix problems quickly. Take the time to periodically inspect your pipes and hot water tank for potential leak issues. We can help you with the installation of a flow sensor to detect plumbing leaks. The device can automatically shut off water in the event of a leak – saving you a lot of time and money in repairs. Busted...

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With Temperatures Rising, Do You Need AC Repair Or AC Installation In Lakewood?

AC Repair and AC Installation in Lakewood During sizzling summer temperatures, you will thank yourself for either installing a new or repairing an existing air conditioning unit as summers can become unbearable in Lakewood. As a Lakewood resident, you are well aware that having an AC in summers is not a luxury but a need, so the important question is whether to repair or replace your current AC. An AC will keep you comfy and cool inside your office or home and protect you from the scorching Lakewood heat, which can sap the energy out of everything.      When your AC stops functioning properly, the first thing that pops into your head is whether to get a new unit or repair the existing one. Usually, investing in a new AC can prove expensive, but it can be your most cost-effective option in many situations. Here are some factors to consider to make an informed decision: Your Goal Your decision to replace or repair is largely impacted by your goal, which can simply be remaining comfortable or can be a tad more complex like cutting down your energy consumption. If you just want to maintain your comfort, then AC repair is a better option. On the other hand, replacing an AC can lead to up to 30% savings on your cooling costs, which is a better strategy if your aim is to minimize your energy bill. Repair Costs Your next step should be to figure out the cost of the repair. If you are planning to invest over $1,000 into your AC, and its age is in excess of 10 years, you will most likely end up with long-term savings by replacing your AC. However, if your repair costs are modest, it is preferable to have your AC repaired. Efficiency of your Current AC Even an 8 to 10-year old AC system, can suck nearly twice the electricity compared to a new low-end unit. This is because older units usually operate at 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) or lower. This ratio is the amount of electrical energy required to maintain a specified cooling output. Before 2006, a ratio of 10 SEER was deemed standard, but nowadays, federal law mandates a minimum SEER of 13. This can mean up to 30% savings in electrical consumption and cooling bills compared to AC equipment installed just a few years back. So, if your...

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Time for a Checkup: Preventive Maintenance for Your Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

You know the saying: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, a quick look at your plumbing and HVAC system today can keep the professionals at bay. Your body is a machine, and so is your plumbing, heating, and cooling. Simple, regular checkups can prevent small issues from turning into major repairs — and headaches. Here are 5 tips to keep your pipes and HVAC system running smoothly all year long. Fix leaky pipes and faucets. A leaky pipe is one of the most common examples of a small problem that can turn into a big issue very quickly. By design, the water in our plumbing systems is under constant pressure. This pressure is what allows us to turn a faucet on and off, easily starting and stopping water flow. A leaky pipe could mean that something is about to burst. Repair leaky pipes right away to avoid a plumbing disaster. Locate and test your main water supply line and main water cut-off valve. At one point or another, you’ll probably need to shut off water to your home through the main supply line. If a pipe bursts and water starts gushing out, you can avoid turning your bathroom into a lake — and incurring costly flood damage — if you know how to shut off the main supply line. If you are unsure where this is or how it operates, ask your plumber to help you find it and show you how it works. Locate and test supply valves for sinks, showers and tubs, sprinkler systems, toilets, and large appliances. As an extra precaution, know where supply valves are located throughout your home so you can cut off water to specific appliances and systems quickly in case of emergency. Note that secondary shut-offs can fail; if that happens, you’ll need to shut off the water from the main line. Be sure to locate your supply valves and test them to make sure they are working properly. If you find a faulty valve, be sure to have it repaired in the event you need to quickly shut off the water. Change your HVAC’s air filter. Having a clean filter isn’t just good for your HVAC system, it’s also good for your health. Cleaning the filter regularly will improve air flow and reduce allergens in your home. As a rule of thumb, replace your HVAC filter at least...

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