Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces, Inc. Blog

Heed These Signs It Is Time to Call a Professional Plumber

June 25th, 2018

woman looking under sink in panicFor the average homeowner, and even for an inexperienced plumber, plumbing problems can be hard to detect without the right equipment. Most of your plumbing system is hidden from view, after all, and the problems that usually affect plumbing are subtle in the beginning. For this reason, we recommend scheduling preventive maintenance for your plumbing at least once a year.

But it’s equally important to familiarize yourself with any warning signs that your plumbing system is experiencing some sort of problem. On the rare chance that a problem does occur between maintenance appointments, you can detect it quickly it and schedule repairs with a professional plumber in Waterloo, IA. Keep reading to learn more about these signs.

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How to Make Your Life Easier with Smart Home Additions

June 11th, 2018

Do you want to know the quickest way to make your life a little easier? Installing smart home technology! In the past few years, smart home upgrades have become more accessible and more affordable. Here are few upgrades that the Dalton team recommends to make your home in the Cedar Falls and Waterloo area more comfortable.

Save Your Air Conditioning

Smart thermostats aren’t new to the market, but changes in their technology have made them more convenient and easier to use. New smart thermostats take the guesswork out of maintaining your home comfort. They can sense when you’re at home or away and adjust the temperature accordingly. Additionally, you can control them remotely, so no more returning home to an overheated house. Instead, you can lower the temperature while you are in commute and enjoy the cooled air when you arrive.

Save Your Electricity

Did you know that your lighting can contribute to about 15% of your electrical bill? Every bit adds up, so we suggest installing some “smart” upgrades. Not only are smart lights eco-friendly, but they are connected to a hub unit that allows you to control them while you’re at home or away. That means no more getting out of bed to switch off the light! Simply turn off any light, fan, or lamp with the simple touch of a button.

 Save Your Water

When it gets hot in Eastern Iowa, we can use extra water in the garden. Did you know that you can stretch this extra water with smart sprinklers? The systems allow you to alter the settings remotely, so if it the temperature cooled, or we receive an unexpected rain shower, you can skip the water that day. On the other hand, if the heat is particularly excruciating, amp up the flow!

To take it a step further, you can set up zones in your yard that will quantify the amount of water they’ve received. This way, you can create the ideal watering levels for your unique landscaping.

Get Peace of Mind

There are dozens of devices that can improve your peace of mind while you’re home or away, including smart smoke and CO detectors. Are you guilty of disabling your detector when it goes off? You’re not alone! In fact, a recent figure shows that two-thirds of all resident fire fatalities occur in a home where the smoke detector was missing or disabled. Some units can even save you money on your homeowner’s insurance.

Do you have questions on smart home upgrades, or are you ready to install some new technology? Call Dalton today for help because, with Dalton, your comfort is our promise.

 

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Is Surge Protection Really Necessary?

June 11th, 2018

electrical outlet with plug in itIn short, yes! If you disagree, we urge you to reconsider. Homeowners throughout our area have beyond have become more and more dependent on electronic devices and high-efficiency appliances in even the last couple of decades. When you couple this with inclement weather of any kind (although surge protection is not just “storm protection”) the risk of power surges increase. Power surges present a more serious threat than you likely even realize—to your appliances, electronics, and home overall.

Perhaps you believe you can just get by with a small, portable surge protector that you can get at any hardware or office supply store. These are referred to as power strips and sure, you can plug in your television, stereo, computer, lighting, and more. This is convenient, no question. But it’s not enough to offer the level of protection needed for your home and to prevent the most severe of Waverly, IA electrical repair needs.

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Improve Your Home’s Landscaping with This Electrical Addition

May 28th, 2018

outdoor lighting for homeWhen you think about the landscaping of your home, what comes to mind? If you’re like the average homeowner, the types of flowers and trees you’ll plant, and whether you’ll go with grass, or some type of wood chip or rock ground foundation is probably also a consideration.

But, what about your lighting?

Outdoor lighting is not something many people think about too much when moving into a new home or planning to redo their landscaping in an existing home, but it should be! There are a number of ways in which outdoor lighting, professionally installed by a Waterloo, IA electrician, can improve your home’s landscaping, making it both visually appealing and functional.

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It’s Never Too Late for a Generator Installation

May 14th, 2018

generator being installed by two techniciansTemperatures have only just begun to warm up, but as a diligent homeowners, you’ve probably already begun thinking about your air conditioner—getting it serviced if need be, or upgrading to a new, more efficient system. This is a very important part of summer preparation, but certainly not the only home system you should be thinking about.

Coping with power outages is a very real threat in our area. They may not be frequent, but when long term blackouts do occur, you need to have some way to keep your HVAC system running as well as other important home components. This is where Cedar Falls, IA generator installation comes in.

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Inexpensive Peace of Mind: Everything That Comes With Your A/C Tune-Up

May 11th, 2018

There are so many things to maintain in your home that it can feel like a full-time job! Don’t worry, the team at Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric, and Fireplaces is here to help. Our expert technicians are standing by to take care of any issue in your home, including your air conditioner tune-up in Cedar Falls.

At Dalton, we want our customers’ hard-earned dollars to work for them. That’s why every service we offer is completely comprehensive, so you can get the most bang for your buck. Here are just a few things that come with your air conditioner tune-up.

What Comes with Your Air Conditioner Tune-Up?

  • Lubricate Moving Parts. Ensuring all pieces of your unit are properly lubricated will prevent wear. Even better, it will prevent your system from overheating, the typical cause of a mid-season breakdown.
  • Test Refrigerant Levels. Another common cause of overheating stems from a unit running low on coolant levels. Low levels can also indicate there is a leak, which requires maintenance as quickly as possible.
  • Test Starting Capabilities. We suggest having your air conditioner tuned-up before the heat of summer sets in. That way, the Dalton technician can ensure your unit is starting correctly and running efficiently.
  • Tighten Electrical Connections. As with lubricating parts, tightening electrical components will help your system run smoothly. Additionally, it will prevent safety concerns — like electrical fires — when promptly taken care of.
  • Check & Replace Air Filters. Air filters should be regularly replaced to ensure your unit is functioning properly and not spreading dust throughout your home.
  • Remove Dust & Debris. Your A/C technician will help keep your unit clean, including the condenser coils, evaporator, and other key components. We will remove all built-up debris to prevent overheating and decreased efficiency.
  • Clean Dryer Vent. Cleaning your dryer vents is a quick and easy way to prevent fires in your home.
  • Examine Safety Components & Proper Venting. During your tune-up, our technicians will inspect the electrical components, wiring, plugs to ensure your cooling system is free of frayed wires, loose electrical connections or any other safety concerns.
  • Apply Protective Coatings. At Dalton, we take safety very seriously. We elevate the standard of fire prevention by applying non-conductive coatings to the electrical components.
  • Calibrate Thermostat. Thermostats can lose their calibration season to season. Dalton technicians will readjust the settings, as needed, to make sure your unit is cooling your home to the correct temperature.
  • Measure for Proper Volts & Amps. We will test the volts and amps of your air conditioner to determine the amount of energy your unit consumes. If the compressor is operating normally, the unit should consume what is called the Rated Load Amps or RLA.
  • Check Blower Speed. Another key way to test your unit for functionality is to check the blower speed. If the speed is low, it could mean there is a bad blower resistor, or there is a problem with overheating or ventilation.

 Peace of Mind All Summer Long

 Are you ready to schedule your air conditioner tune-up? Or, do you want to take peace of mind to another level with a Complete Home Comfort Membership? Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric, and Fireplaces is just one call away! Book your service now by calling (319) 266-3513.

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Are You Making Any of These Home Security Mistakes?

April 30th, 2018

exterior of a homeIs your home as safe and secure as possible? Sure, you keep the front door locked, you have a basic security system, and maybe you even have a dog whose bark you hope will scare burglars away quick enough that they discover the dog really just wants to lick them to death.

These are all great first steps (though we really don’t recommend relying on the family dog), however to truly protect your home, it’s vital that you have an effective whole-home security system professionally installed by trained and experienced Cedar Falls, IA electricians. This will give you protection as well as a peace of mind whether you are away from home or your family is soundly sleeping.

In addition to this installation, there are a number of things you can do around the house to limit your risks of being burglarized even more. We’ve shared some of the biggest home security mistakes below, to help provide some guidance on how to do just that.

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As the Weather Warms, Don’t Neglect Your Heater!

April 16th, 2018

Young woman shivering during the winter seasonSpring is officially upon us, and even though recent weeks have shown us the last of winter temperatures, soon enough the weather will warm. When that happens, you want to make sure that your air conditioner is well prepared by scheduling maintenance and any repairs you might need, too. However, that doesn’t mean you should forget about your heating system just yet!

In fact, if you have any needs for furnace repair in Waverly, IA, it should be at the top of your mind. After all, neglecting your heater when it needs work done can be detrimental to the system, leaving you in a lurch next fall. Additionally, there are safety concerns when talking about a gas-powered heating system.

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Dalton’s Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

April 4th, 2018

home-maintenanceWe know that during the winter it’s easy to hibernate instead of doing routine chores around your home. However, now that the coldest days of winter are behind us, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work on your home maintenance.

 

Don’t worry! You don’t have to comb the internet to find out which tasks need to be done this time of year, because the Dalton team is here to help. We have the expertise to assist you in sprucing up your home and getting it ready for summer. Take a look at the items we have on our helpful spring home maintenance checklist.

Call Dalton for your Preseason A/C Tune Up!

Any time is better than never, but we think spring is the ideal season to get your A/C tune-up. A preseason tune-up will cut cooling costs, lower the risk of future breakdowns and need for repair, and keep your system running longer.

Get a Chimney Checkup.

We suggest having your fireplace inspected and cleaned at least once each year, especially if you use it on a regular basis. Your Dalton technician will ensure the unit is properly clearing exhaust and waste. After, they will prepare your unit for summer, ensuring your cooled air stays indoors.

Stop the Beeping and Replace the Batteries in your Smoke and CO Detectors.

Even when your detectors aren’t indicating they are low, we suggest switching the batteries out every year. The batteries in these devices can make a life-or-death difference for your family, so it is absolutely worth the time spent replacing them.

Keep it Healthy, Pure, and Clear by Replacing your Water Filters.

To ensure clean drinking water for your family, we suggest changing your filter every three to six months. If you notice the water flow slowing down or altering to a darker color, consider replacing it early and get your water tested by a certified Dalton technician.

 

For help with any of your spring tasks, speak to the team at Dalton Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electric and Fireplaces! We are standing by to help you prepare for summer and keep your home’s systems in tip-top shape. You can reach us at (319) 266-3513.

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“Help! My Pipes Froze, What Do I Do?”

April 2nd, 2018

Icicles hanging from a brown pipe. Frozen water and metal surface, winter time concept. selective focus shallow depth of field photoOverall, our winter was relatively mild this year, with the coldest of temperatures lasting just a few days at a time. Still though, we did have freezing temperatures, and with freezing weather comes frozen pipes.

Hopefully, you did what you could to prevent this problem from affecting your household. For example, one preventive step you might have taken was to open any outdoor faucets used for sprinklers and hoses, and turned off all water flow to these points. After all, the pipes located outside are, understandably, the ones most susceptible to freezing, and leaving the faucets opened helps water to drain from them.

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