Are you thinking about getting a ductless mini split? This high-efficiency home comfort device is the perfect solution for both heating and cooling without the need for ductwork. Ductless units function as miniature heat pumps, with a compressor located outside your home and one or more air handlers mounted to interior ceilings or walls. The sleek jacket covering the indoor component helps it blend in with your décor rather than drawing attention to itself.
Perhaps you recently had a ductless mini split installed, and now you want to know the best tips for taking care of your new heating and cooling system. Of course, the first step is to leave the installation work to a professional. Drilling a hole in the wall to connect the indoor and outdoor components, setting up refrigerant lines, and making changes to your electrical wiring all require industry knowledge and experience.
Once the installation is complete, you’re left to operate and maintain the ductless mini split correctly. If you take proper care of the unit, you can expect it to last up to 15 years. Here’s what you need to do.
- Clean the filter regularly: Filtration is necessary to keep airborne particles off the delicate inner workings of a ductless mini split. Most wall-mounted air handlers have tabs to ease the process of removing the filter. Clean or change it once a month, or according to the manufacturer’s directions, to promote good airflow.
- Maintain the compressor: Keeping the outdoor unit in good condition is as simple as hosing it down every couple of months to remove caked-on dirt and grass clippings. If you spot any bent fins while cleaning, straighten them with a fin comb. You should also trim back vegetation to at least two feet for optimal airflow.
- Check the drainage: During the summer, your ductless mini split operates in cooling mode, removing both heat and humidity from the air. Check the outdoor unit occasionally to ensure it’s draining properly. If you don’t notice any condensate, call a technician to schedule an inspection.
- Set the temperature correctly: Ductless systems are easy to control using a wireless remote. Adjust the temperature until the built-in thermostat displays your desired setting. Then, the unit will maintain the temperature to within one degree. Set the fan to “auto” rather than “on” to maximize energy efficiency.
- Reset a faulty remote: If your remote ever becomes unresponsive, fix it by pressing the reset button located at the bottom. If that doesn’t do the trick, reach out to a technician for help.
Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating provides quick, cost-effective heating and cooling solutions, including ductless mini split installation and repair. Our customers in Berkeley enjoy working with our licensed, insured, and highly trained technicians for a guaranteed job well done. When you’re ready to receive honest advice and recommendations about installing, operating, and maintaining a ductless mini split, please contact us at 510-843-6904.
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It is time to replace your water heater? If you’re dealing with poor performance, rising energy bills, or an expensive upcoming repair, the answer might be yes. You could always install another traditional storage water heater, but why not consider tankless water heating? Learn the pros and cons of this modern alternative to help you make the best decision for your family and budget.
Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters
If you’re open to trying something new, a tankless water heater could benefit you in the following ways:
- Energy savings: Since tankless units produce hot water on demand rather than storing it 24 hours a day at 120 to 140 degrees F, you can expect to see a noticeable dip in your utility bills. In fact, going tankless can save you between 11 and 69 percent on water heating!
- Endless hot water: If you have ever rushed through a shower because the water turned cold halfway through, you can appreciate the concept of endless hot water. With a tankless unit, your family can shower one after the other, and the last shower will be just as hot as the first.
- Space savings: If you own a small townhouse or condo where space is limited, you could benefit from a tankless water heater’s small dimensions. At about the size of carry-on luggage and mounted to the wall, a tankless unit frees up room in your basement or utility closet, giving you more storage space.
- Long lifespan: While storage water heaters last about a decade, tankless models can serve your home for 20 to 30 years! Just make sure you keep up with routine maintenance to encourage the longevity of your tankless unit.
Limitations of Tankless Water Heaters
If you decide to go tankless, make sure you understand the limitations first.
- Flow rate restrictions: A traditional storage tank offers 7.5 to 9.5 gallons per minute (gpm) of hot water, but a tankless water heater is limited to 2.5 to 5.0 gpm. This means it can only handle one or two hot water activities at once.
- Slow heat-up time: After you call for hot water, it takes a moment for the tankless unit to turn on. Then, it takes time to calibrate how much heat is needed for the current flow rate. These factors mean you wait a little longer at the tap for hot water.
- Higher upfront cost: Expect to pay a bit more to purchase and install a tankless water heater. Fortunately, thanks to its impressive efficiency and long life, you should more than recoup your investment over the unit’s lifetime.
Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating is proud to perform tankless water heater installation for our customers in Berkeley. We offer fixed cost estimates so you know just what to expect. Our team is also licensed, certified, and highly trained to ensure great results. To learn more about the benefits of tankless water heating, or to request an installation estimate, please contact us at 510-843-6904.
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If your toilet runs constantly, or you notice occasional “phantom flushes” when no one is even near the toilet, the flapper is most likely to blame. This is the small rubber device at the bottom of the tank that opens when you flush the toilet and closes again to allow the tank to refill. Fortunately, you can fix or replace a finicky flapper without difficulty.
Before you get started, turn the valve behind the toilet to stem the flow of water as you work. Then, follow these tips to fix a troublesome toilet flapper.
Adjust the Chain
Lift the lid off the tank, and take a look inside. You’ll see a thin metal or plastic chain connecting the rubber flapper to the handle arm. This is what lifts the flapper when you flush the toilet. Assess the length of the chain. It should be long enough that the flapper sits properly over the opening but short enough that it doesn’t get caught under the flapper as it closes. Shorten or lengthen the chain by a link or two, and see if that fixes the problem.
Clean the Flapper
Old flappers can collect gunk around the rim, preventing them from closing tightly. A slow leak can lead to phantom flushes and water waste. With the valve behind the toilet turned off, press the handle to empty the tank. Then, gently lift the flapper off its seat and wipe it clean. For stubborn mineral buildup, try a scouring pad or old toothbrush. Finally, close the flapper, turn the water back on, and see if the flapper sits tightly now.
Replace the Toilet Flapper
If adjusting the chain and cleaning the flapper doesn’t work, try replacing it. Toilet flappers are inexpensive and available at your local hardware store. It’s wise to bring the old flapper with you to make sure you purchase a compatible replacement.
Simply unsnap the two arms from the posts holding the flapper in place. Then, unhook the chain from the top of it. Attach the new flapper to the same link on the chain and insert the arms onto the posts. While you’re at it, wipe down the interior of the toilet tank with a rag to remove mold and mineral buildup.
With the new flapper firmly in place, turn the water back on. The tank should fill to the proper level automatically. Once it stops, test your installation by flushing the toilet. Hopefully, your days of dealing with a troublesome flapper are now behind you!
While it’s easy enough to troubleshoot and replace a toilet flapper, this is far from the only thing that can go wrong with your commode. Count on Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating the next time you need toilet repair or replacement in Berkeley. We offer fair prices and guarantee our work with nearly four decades of experience to back us up. Contact us at 510-843-6904 today to schedule the plumbing services you need!
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If you’re like most people, you spend 90 percent or more of your time indoors. And since indoor air pollution is often two to five times higher than outdoor pollution levels, this lack of fresh air could negatively impact your health. Implement the following seven tips to improve indoor air quality so you can start breathing easier.
Replace the HVAC air filter:
If you have a furnace and central air conditioning, a built-in filter traps particles as the forced-air system operates. Plan to change the filter monthly or according to the manufacturer’s directions. When you do, consider upgrading your filter to one with a higher Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) to increase home filtration and improve indoor air quality.
Install a UV germicidal lamp:
UV light destroys mold, bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that circulate through the HVAC system. Remove these microorganisms from the air, and your allergies are bound to improve.
Use an air cleaner:
Set up a portable air cleaner in your bedroom while you sleep. Different models work by capturing particles—such as dirt, dust, mold spores, and bacteria—while others also remove odors and vapors from the air.
Remove excess moisture:
Mold is a significant deterrent to good indoor air quality, so strive to keep standing water and high humidity at bay. You can do this by fixing pipe leaks, drying off the bathroom tiles after you shower, using exhaust fans while cooking and bathing, and running a whole-house dehumidifier.
Clean the air ducts:
After years of use, your ductwork could be filled with dust, cobwebs, mold, and other irritants. A visual inspection is a good place to start. Then, if you find problems that could be causing increased asthma and allergy symptoms at home, consider having professional duct cleaning performed. Your system will run more efficiently, and you’ll breathe easier knowing the ductwork is free of contaminants.
To cut back on this common allergen, do away with knickknacks, wall-to-wall carpeting, and excessive upholstery. Wash bedding and rugs often, and dust hard surfaces using a damp microfiber cloth. This attracts dust, rather than simply moving it around, and it doesn’t require chemical dusting aids.
Open the windows at the right time:
Opening the window in a stuffy room provides a breath of fresh air, but it could allow more contaminants to enter if pollen counts are high. In this case, you’re better off running the air conditioner rather than letting these allergens drift inside. Keep an eye on the daily pollen counts from your local weather service, and only open your windows when the numbers are low.
Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating is your local indoor air quality expert. We proudly serve the Berkeley, CA area with high-quality HVAC services that help you breathe easier all year round. To learn more about us, or to schedule indoor air quality services, please contact us at 510-843-6904.
There’s a lot of discussion about pollution and how to clean up the air in our cities, but how much thought do you give to the air inside your home? Indoor air pollution is a real problem because when the air in your home is not good quality air it can put you and your family at risk for many health issues. Allergies and illnesses like stroke, heart disease, COPD, and lung can result from poor air quality, but fortunately, you can take steps to improve the air in your home.
- Keep your house as clean as possible. Regular cleaning can cut down on dust, animal dander, and mold, which improves your indoor air quality. Vacuum at least once or twice a week, and switch to hard surface flooring instead of carpeting if possible. Clean bedding and drapes regularly, and consider dust mite-proof covers on pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Keep clutter to a minimum because it can be a trap for dust and other allergens.
- Change your HVAC filters as recommended. Most filters need to be changed every one to three months, and keeping up with this simple maintenance task can make your air cleaner as well as helping your HVAC run more efficiently.
- Consider an air purifier. Especially if you’re allergic to something you can’t keep out of your house, like a beloved family pet, an air purifier may be helpful. Ionic purifiers, in particular, can capture some of the irritants in your home’s air. A dehumidifier might also be useful, especially if you have problems with mold in damp areas of your home.
- Get some fresh air. When possible, open the windows and let in some outdoor air. It’s also smart to remove air contaminants from bathrooms and kitchens by using the exhaust fans in those rooms.
- Have your HVAC inspected. At the beginning of each season, have a professional come out and perform maintenance on your HVAC system. An air conditioner expert can tell you if there’s anything more you need to do, like have your ducts cleaned, and can catch issues in your system that could be causing problems for your air quality.
When you need an expert to look over your system, you can trust Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating. At Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating, we are passionate in our pursuit of safety, professionalism, and excellence in caring for our customers, co-workers, and community. That’s why this family-owned business has been around for 30 years, consistently delivering the customer satisfaction that’s earned us our superb reputation. A full-service plumbing company, we provide a wide range of services which include expert repairs to existing plumbing, water, gas, and sewage systems, copper piping, water main replacements, trenchless sewer replacements, and water heater installations. We also provide renovation services for kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms, to update the design or upgrade the energy efficiency. Contact us through our website or call 510-843-6904 for more information on all we can do for you.
Have you recently moved into a home with a septic system? If you don’t have any experience with septic, there are a few things you need to know. Understanding your septic system and knowing how to maintain it can save you a world of trouble and a lot of expense.
- First, it’s good to know how the system works. Typically, a septic system has four components: a pipe from the house, a tank, a drainfield, and soil. The pipe from the house transports all of your household wastewater from you’re your home into the septic tank. Once in the tank, the water stays there long enough for the solids to settle out, forming sludge, and oil and grease to float to the surface, becoming scum. The tank is designed to let the water out into the drainfield while keeping the sludge and scum in the tank. The water travels to the drainfield, where it’s treated by microbes in the soil. In most states, a reserve drainfield is required in case your current drainfield fails. Percolating into the soil, the wastewater is cleansed of harmful bacteria and viruses, as well as nutrients, so suitable soil is necessary for successful wastewater treatment.
- Proper maintenance is vital for a septic system. Typically, the septic system should be inspected, and the tank pumped by a professional, every three to five years. Systems that have electric float switches, pumps, or mechanical components will probably need to be inspected more often than that, possibly even once a year. The frequency that your tank needs to be pumped will also be affected by the number of people in your household, the amount of wastewater generated, the amount of solid material in your wastewater, and the size of the tank. If you’re not sure about the specifics of your system, you may want to have an inspection to make sure everything is working as it should. When you do, the inspector will be able to make recommendations on caring for your system.
- For best results with your septic system, use water efficiently. Fix leaks promptly, install high-efficiency toilets and showerheads, and faucet aerators, and wash your clothes on the proper load setting. You might also consider buying a washing machine with an Energy Star label because those models use up to fifty percent less water than standard washers.
- Be careful about what goes down your drains. Whether flushed, washed down the shower drain, or ground up in the disposal, all your wastewater goes to your septic tank. Be careful what you put into it, only flushing human waste and toilet paper down the toilet, and keeping things like cooking grease, chemicals, and paint out of your drains.
- Mind the drainfield. Never park on your drainfield, and don’t plant trees too near it, because you don’t want roots growing into your septic system. Keep downspouts and anything else that’s carrying water away from your home pointed away from you drainfield as well.
If you need someone to take a look at your septic system, call Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating. At Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating, we are passionate in our pursuit of safety, professionalism, and excellence in caring for our customers, co-workers, and community. That’s why this family-owned business has been around for 30 years, consistently delivering the customer satisfaction that’s earned us our superb reputation. A full-service plumbing company, we provide a wide range of services which include expert repairs to existing plumbing, water, gas, and sewage systems, copper piping, water main replacements, trenchless sewer replacements, and water heater installations. We also provide renovation services for kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms, to update the design or upgrade the energy efficiency. Contact us through our website or call 510-843-6904 for more information on all we can do for you.
You’ve worked all spring to get your yard the way you want it, but suddenly, your sewer system needs a repair. What can you do? It’s heartbreaking to think of workers coming to dig up all your hard work and wreck your beautiful yard, but is there another option? Fortunately, there is: trenchless sewer repair.
Trenchless sewer repair allows your plumber to work on your sewer pipes while they’re still underground, without having to excavate them. This is accomplished with a system of pipes and cameras, sometimes using entry and exit holes to gain access to the underground pipe. Working with a hydraulic system, a cable pulls the old pipe out while the new one is placed. When your plumber uses trenchless repair, it often saves money and energy, as well as being faster, cleaner, and more efficient than excavation.
Of course, trenchless sewer repair is not the right solution for every plumbing problem. Sometimes, especially if the pipes are very old or damaged, they can’t be fixed without traditional excavation. Trenchless repair is often used, though, to repair a burst pipe or replace a liner. It’s not cheap, but on the other hand, it saves money over excavation because there’s no cleanup or landscaping to be done after the job is finished. This means less cost, and less labor. Every sewer is different, and there are many different problems that necessitate calling in a plumber, but for most sewer issues, trenchless technology is a good solution, providing a more efficient, clean, and cost–effective result than excavation, with no damage to the customer’s yard or driveway.
To learn more about trenchless sewer repair, and determine whether it’s right for your unique situation, call the experts at Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating. At Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating, we are passionate in our pursuit of safety, professionalism, and excellence in caring for our customers, co-workers, and community. That’s why this family-owned business has been around for 30 years, consistently delivering the customer satisfaction that’s earned us our superb reputation. A full-service plumbing company, we provide a wide range of services which include expert repairs to existing plumbing, water, gas, and sewage systems, copper piping, water main replacements, trenchless sewer replacements, and water heater installations. We also provide renovation services for kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms, to update the design or upgrade the energy efficiency. Contact us through our website or call 510-843-6904 for more information on all we can do for you.
Summer is a wonderful season, full of long, slow days and beautiful weather. It can get remarkably hot, though, and if your air conditioner fails at the height of summer, things can get miserable pretty quickly. How do you make sure your HVAC keeps its cool all summer long? We’ve got some tips that will help.
- Keep your filters clean. Most HVAC filters need to be replaced every one to three months. Some are reusable and should be washed regularly. Acquaint yourself with your system’s filters, and keep them clean, so that your air conditioner can run more efficiently and keep your home cooler, with better indoor air quality.
- Close your doors and windows. Your air conditioner works by pulling in warm air from your home, running it over a refrigerant, and then blowing the cooled air back into the rooms and expelling the heat from the house. That’s why it’s really important to keep your exterior windows and doors closed so that the heat that was just expelled doesn’t come right back into the house. Interior doors should be closed too, as should vents in rooms you’re not using. When you close the vents and doors of unoccupied rooms, your air conditioner doesn’t have to cool as much air.
- Adjust your thermostat. When no one is home, bump the thermostat up by a few degrees. This will give your system a well-deserved break, and will also save money on energy bills. Want to make adjusting your thermostat really simple? Consider a programmable thermostat, so you can “set it and forget it.”
- Use your fans. Using ceiling fans circulates the cool air, making your home feel cooler, faster. Just remember, the fan cools the people, not the room, so turn fans off when you leave the room.
- Regulate your home’s humidity. Heat is going to feel hotter if the air has too much moisture. A dehumidifier can help your air conditioner run more efficiently and make your home feel up to ten degrees cooler.
- Call in a professional. The best way to make sure your HVAC stays in top form throughout the summer? Have a professional come to do routine maintenance at the beginning of the season. This way, any issues with your system can be detected early, before they turn into costly problems that shut down your air conditioning just when you need it most.
If it’s time for HVAC maintenance or repair, trust Albert Nahman to get the job done right. At Albert Nahman Plumbing and Heating, we are passionate in our pursuit of safety, professionalism, and excellence in caring for our customers, co-workers, and community. That’s why this family-owned business has been around for 30 years, consistently delivering the customer satisfaction that’s earned us our superb reputation. A full-service plumbing company, we provide a wide range of services which include expert repairs to existing plumbing, water, gas, and sewage systems, copper piping, water main replacements, trenchless sewer replacements, and water heater installations. We also provide renovation services for kitchens, baths, and laundry rooms, to update the design or upgrade the energy efficiency. Contact us through our website or call 510-843-6904 for more information on all we can do for you.
Everyone wants to know that the water they are drinking is as clean and pure as possible, but it can be hard to know for sure if the water coming from your taps meets this standard. Bottled water is an option, but plastic bottles are bad for the environment and can be costly. Fortunately, your plumber has an option that can solve these issues: a water filtration system. Could such a system be right for you? Here is what you need to know.
A water filtration system is the last layer of defense between your town’s public filtration system and your taps. Although public filtration systems do a good job of keeping the public water supply clear of many contaminants, runoff from chemicals used in landscaping and other pollutants that can enter the water supply between the treatment facility and your home. Water filtration in your home will remove all of the remaining contaminants before your family takes their first sip.
For more information about water filtration systems, call Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating. Our plumbers in Berkeley are experts in filtration system installation and repairs. For more information about our plumbing services, call (510) 843-6904.
You can’t face summer without air conditioning, but running your AC can be costly. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce the expense of running your AC while still staying comfortable in your home.
Watch this video for tips for cutting your AC costs. Something as simple as closing your curtains or not running your dryer during the daytime hours could make your home dramatically cooler, so that your AC runs less.
Keeping your HVAC system in good condition is another way to ensure it is running as efficiently as possible. Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating can help with AC tune-ups and repairs. Schedule an appointment for AC service in Berkeley by calling (510) 843-6904.