Helpful Tips

How To Keep Your Furnace Running At Peak Efficiency

Keeping a natural gas furnace in good working order is not all that hard if you follow a regular maintenance routine every few months with the filters and at least once a year with the gas components. We suggest you write out a maintenance schedule for everything that needs attention in your home, starting with the furnace. Here are a few tips that will help you keep the furnace running at peak efficiency.

1. Air Filters
The filters are the first line of defense and an important part of the system. They are inexpensive and easy to change. Doing so every three months will keep the air flowing and the heat at full capacity. A dirty filter will cause a decrease in heat and increase the work load.
2. Keeping The Furnace Clean
Turn everything off and let it cool down. Summer time is best for this task as it’s off anyway. Open the furnace door to look at the heat fins and the bottom of the furnace. There will be dust and possibly rust if it has been a while since it was vacuumed. You can use a stiff brush to dust off the heat fins and vacuum it out to finish the job.
3. Tension Belts
If the tension belt is loose you will hear it but may be wondering what the noise is. Chances are good the tension belt needs tightening or replacing.
4. Oil The Motor
The motor should be oiled once a year, and it’s easy to find the nibs if you have the manual. A few drops of light oil will keep it running smoothly.
5. The Pilot Light
The pilot light must be on for the furnace to work. If you cannot see the flame at the bottom, then chances are good the pilot light has gone out. It should burn a deep blue color, but if it is not burning that color then it may be time for a tune up. If you can’t get the pilot light to start then call a local plumber for help.
6. The Thermostat
Do a little test to see if the thermostat is working properly. Old school thermostats use mercury to flip the switch. To test it, eliminate all noise and remove the thermostat cover. Move the lever and watch for a tiny spark, or listen to hear if the furnace turns on. With digital thermostats you only need to look at the read out to see what’s happening.
7. Venting
Check to see that the vents are not blocked. When ventilation systems are installed they are usually custom built. If you have never had your vents cleaned then you may need to cut a hole in the vent pipe to look inside and poke around. But only do so if you have the tools to close the hole. If your ventilation has never been checked and five years has passed, then it would be time to have them cleaned. Dirty vents can be the cause of sickness in the home. The accumulation of dust, rodent droppings, dead stuff, lost toys and a host of other things that get lost down the vents need to be removed every few years, usually for health reasons.
8. Leaking Gas
If there is a gas leak you will smell it. All utility companies inject natural gas with mercaptan, which has a rotten egg smell. So if you smell rotten eggs, then take care to get out of the house first and then call for help later. If you can think of it leave the doors and windows open. Do not call from inside the house! Do not smoke, light a match , turn on anything electrical, or use any source of ignition. Doing so may ignite the fumes. Once outside, go to the nearest phone and call 911 for help.

For general maintenance and up-keep calling a professional is a wise choice. In the lower mainland area, the best company for Vancouver furnace service would be Efficient Furnace. The technicians in their employ have decades of experience behind them and do excellent work.

Common Sense Solutions to Common Plumbing Problems

Plumbing problems can be troublesome and time-consuming such as a toilet that keeps running when you’re trying to sleep or hearing the drip-drip of a bathroom faucet that just won’t stop. However, there are some common sense tips that will help; things you can try before contacting a plumber.

Test Things First

What could be more annoying than a toilet that runs during the day or night? This sound is caused by water running from the toilet tank into the bowl. To take care of this problem, try jiggling the handle. In some cases, taking this step can free the float ball or flapper. Then, you can open the back lid and lift the float ball above the water level. If these two steps don’t work, the flapper needs to be replaced. Flappers can be purchased at most hardware stores and this may take care of the problem.

Simple DIY Tips

Clogged toilets are a nuisance and if it’s too messy a lot of people will find a Vancouver plumber. However, there are a few things you can try before doing this such as purchasing and using a bellows-type plunger. Keep in mind, though, if you have a small and fragile toilet bowl, try using a simple bell, flat-mouthed plunger. Bellows plungers are shaped like an accordion, are stronger and plunge more effectively than other bell toilet plungers. All it takes to clear your bathroom fixture with a bellows-type plunger is to plunge it several times and the clogs are gone.

Clogged drains are a nuisance and can be a hindrance; especially when you’re in a hurry and need to get going. This kind of problem, especially when dealing with a clogged bathroom drain, can be cured by using a drain snake, a closet auger or by using Liquid Plummer or Drano.

Then, there is the clogged shower head. This plumbing problem is brought on by mineral deposits. Sometimes this problem can be resolved by taking a medium-sized bowl, filling it with warm water and then adding a cup of white vinegar to it. Then, place shower head into the vinegar and water solution and let it sit for several minutes. The vinegar solution, in most cases, will dissolve the mineral deposits and soon you will have free-flowing shower head.

The Jammed Garburator

A jammed garbage disposal is another irritating plumbing problem. To solve this problem, try using an allen wrench. It will unjam the garbage disposal. To use the allen wrench, locate the bottom of the disposal and then turn the wrench in both directions. This will free the motor. Pipes, sewer concerns, a clogged sink, a leaky faucet, a clogged shower, a wet basement; are concerns that most households face on a routine basis. And, in some cases, these problems can be resolved without calling a plumber.

hot water tankAnnual Maintenance Stuff

If you find that you are constantly running out of hot water; it may be happening because of a buildup of sediment. One of the most effective ways to fix this problem is to drain your water heater. However, if there is a great deal of sediment to drain, you may want to seek a professional plumber. If your water heater is leaking, it could be rusting out and needs to be replaced. In that case call a professional.

To conclude, most of us deal with plumbing problems and sometimes we can take care of those problems; however, whenever you feel that the problem needs the attention of a professional plumber, don’t hesitate to contact one. We have mentioned Vancouver a few times in this article and if you live there call these guys.

The Pros And Cons Of Doing Your Own Plumbing

Nowadays the need for effective home plumbing is on the rise. The demand for products and equipment leads to some very innovative techniques that you can do yourself. Now is your chance to find something that works for your plumbing system. Here are some tips that you can use to get you started with doing your own plumbing.

Plumbing Prevention Tips

To prevent the pipes from freezing, it is advisable to seal off air vents, cracks and access doors. In order to keep the heat in and the cold out, you can try using insulation or caulk. In the event a leak occurs, make it a point to remind everyone where the master circuit breaker is so it can be shut off immediately.

Do Not Stress and Panic in an Crisis

If you’re doing work near an indoor, fireplace, or gas appliance, be sure to know where the gas shutoff for your home is located. If there were to be an accident, and gas started leaking into your house, the smallest spark could set it off. If you know in advance where the shutoff is, you’ll be able to respond faster to the issue before it becomes an emergency. You always want to solder correctly, the biggest mistake most people make when soldering is failing to get the interior of the fitting and the exterior of the pipe shiny and clean. Polish these surfaces with a fine emery clot until bright. Instead heat the fitting, even though when soldering, never heat the pipe. Doing so allows the solder to be drawn into the fitting by capillary action.

A Clean Drain Will save Hassles

If a pipe ever freezes, you need to make sure to shut off the water. This will keep the pipe from bursting and causing you major damage to your home.

Periodically check your pipes for leaks and cracks. These can be forgotten, since pipes are usually hidden away, but checking for leaks and cracks can help you identify a small problem before a big problem occurs. You may have to enlist the help of a family member to turn on and off the water stream as you are checking. If you feel a more professional approach is best then call these North Vancouver plumbers for help.

If grout is stuck in your plumbing, getting rid of it is likely not going to be a do it yourself project. You can attempt to dislodge the blockage or break it up to help remove it. This works better with plastic than metal pipes. However, in the end you will see that a professional plumber is needed to fix the problem.

Avoid using hard cleaners on your toilets, such as drop-in cleaner tabs in the tank. When these tabs are almost completely dissolved, what’s left of the tab gets washed into the bowl. This can then end up clogging the toilet’s port holes, preventing the toilet from flushing properly. It can take months for this debris to finish dissolving in those holes.

Your water heater works more during the winter and fall so make sure that you eliminate all sediment buildup around this piece of equipment. Flushing this device can lead to increased longevity so that you do not face plumbing problems during the winter. This precaution will save money, time and effort.

Do you have a frozen drainpipe? You can use a garden hose to thaw it out. First, of all, remove the trap from the drainpipe and insert the hose until it will not go any further. While lifting up the other end of the hose, pour hot water down it. Keep pouring hot water down the hose until the drainpipe thaws. To save time with cleanup, keep a bucket underneath to catch the water that overflows.

Do you have any specific Vancouver plumbers in mind before you have an emergency. Most people don’t think about plumbers until they find themselves having a big problem that needs to be fixed right away. Choose a plumber who you are comfortable with and whose experience you trust–way before you actually need his services instead.

To be able to get a good plumber you can be comfortable with, remember which of your friends are actual home owners and not renting. At some point, every home owner has had to call in a plumber. They can give you a good personal reference they had a positive experience with.

Believe it or not, it is not a very good idea to use a plunger if your toilet is clogged. Plungers just push whatever is stuck deeper into the drain. Instead, it is a better idea to use a closet auger. It will do a better job and is affordable.

Plumbing can be an advanced, highly technical profession where more often than not, you need an experts help. Sometimes that is not the case and there are some simple do it yourself home fixes, however. If you take a little time to read about them you will find some of the most common plumbing problems are able to be handled by the common man.

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Powerful Solutions for Difficult Search Positions

Yellow PagesOne of the biggest online media problems any service oriented business has to solve, is to first achieve top search positions. The other problem is to maintain those positions. In the dog eat dog world of home services, media dependency is more the norm than most like to believe.

Search engine optimization has become the new Yellow Pages now, and getting found on page one is equivalent to one of the old quarter page or half page ads in the Yellow Pages. The top three positions on first page in search are the coveted spots where over 60% of all searches end up in a click through and visit to the site.

Traffic and Sales Conversion

When you are getting a majority of the traffic in your niche, chances are good that the phone will ring and new business will follow. Unfortunately that is not always the case. These days there is a lot of competition with visually appealing websites, so it is important to make an immediate impression.

People have become accustomed to higher levels of professionalism when searching for any service company now. They expect to be impressed by something in the first few seconds, otherwise they will back out and keep searching. They are looking for something that will evoke trust, quality, experience… things designed to sway them to call you instead of a competitor.

There are a number of obvious factors when it comes to making a favorable impression with a prospective customer. The visual appeal of a website is important, but if there is too much graphics then you may lose them with a lack of content. Balance is important if you want to make a good first impression. Things like an explanation of experience and accomplishments in the field will help. Even better, write about what a customer will get when hiring you for service work. They want to know what’s in it for them.

Professional Associations

Graphics and Icons from professional associations you are a member of can be linked from your site to the exact profile. This helps evoke trust and shows a level of commitment on your end. The BBB is a good example of that. Have someone call your local BBB rep and ask for their tracking code to your membership profile. Then send that code to your webmaster so people can click from your site to your BBB profile.

online reputationYour Online Reputation

Another conversion factor is the online reputation of your company. When people have time to research the service they are interested in they will look for online reviews. They want to see what other people have to say about their experience with your service. This is a form of social proof that we all use to help make decisions, because we are too busy to go into extensive research on everything we need to deal with day to day.

Fact: Few people will voluntarily write reviews on purchases. We are all consumers living in a world full of choices. Do you go around writing reviews on everything you buy? Of course not, so why would anyone expect their customers to do that. What really motivates someone to write a review is when they feel like they were treated poorly or ripped off. Then watch out!

Online reviews have actually helped raise the level of customer service in some industries. Google probably knew this when they decided to include reviews as a ranking signal for search. If your business is not asking for reviews then we suggest that you consider doing that. Everyone gets the occasional bad review and that’s normal. The thing you must do is get as many positive reviews as possible, so when prospects are looking at your review profile they see a balance of good and not so good. That will actually look more natural than 5 star reviews on everything. A phony review profile is almost as bad as a ton of complaints.

To wrap things up, of the SEO factors mentioned in this article, the most important is reputation. You don’t need top search positions to get traffic… that can be done with paid advertising. You do need a good reputation though. People will search for your company name and add reviews or reputation behind the name as a search phrase to see what others have to say. Good work helps, but a good reputation will win the day.

Search Engine Optimization Delivers Traffic

The use of seo services is something that every business owner should consider implementing in order to begin bringing in a large portion of the potential customers that are surfing around the internet on a daily basis. When you begin a website for the purpose of helping you to market services or products, you may do so with the assumption that simply having some place that people can come to around the clock would be the key to making profits and allowing your business to grow.

However, you are quickly going to find that this is something that can be very difficult to do when you are attempting to offer something different from other companies. One common problem that many companies tend to have would be mixing in and getting lost in the shuffle. When you begin to use Vancouver seo services, you are going to find that this will make all of the difference in the results that you are able to achieve. Effective use of search engine optimization would allow you to use popular keywords in order to attract the attention of a larger number of potential buyers in the market. It would also allow people performing a local search to discover your business and decide that they would like to give your establishment a try.

The benefit of a local search has to do with the fact that people living within your community are likely interested in having a place that they can visit on a regular basis that would provide them with a comfortable environment and an enjoyable experience at the same time. However, they may not be aware of all of the options that are currently available to them. Local search and seo services could provide everything that you need in order to help people find you and decide that they want to become invested in what you are offering. Start using local seo advertising as an alternative to print media, TV or radio, and you will quickly notice the difference.

Choosing The Right SEO Company in Vancouver

While advertising through print media, TV and radio may be the type of advertising that you have attempted in the past, search engine optimization and local seo Vancouver would offer the advertising benefits you may spend much more on when going with radio, TV or print media. Save yourself some money by simply avoiding the use of TV and radio when you want advertising results.

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