Water Heaters 101: Learning the Basics

Water Heater Basics

Water heaters are an appliance that provides homeowners with hot water to wash their dishes and clothes and take a shower. This appliance is essential to the functionality of modern homes nationwide.

In the past, water was heated through kettles and pots and then distributed to tubs where clothes would be washed, or people would bathe. The modern-day water heater was designed in 1889 by Edwin Rudd, and since then, people have been able to enjoy the benefits of having hot water straight from the faucet.

Many homeowners may not realize just how many components are involved in water heaters. In this article, experts will discuss some of those components, the types of water heaters, and their maintenance.

Water Heater Types

different water heaters There are several types of water heaters available today. The main types on the market include conventional water heaters such as gas water heaters and electric water heaters, tankless water heaters, solar water heaters, condensing water heaters, and heat pumps.

Conventional Storage Tank Water Heater

The conventional storage-tank water heater is the most common type of water heater found in households. Much like the name implies, this water heater consists of a tank where water is stored and heated.

With this type of water heater, homeowners can expect to have a capacity of how much hot water is available at one time. Insulation on the inside of the tank allows it to keep the warm and hot water ready until it’s needed. They can be powered by gas or electricity.

Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters are a type of water heater with no large tank involved in the water heating process, hence the name tankless water heater. Coils are used in place of the tank. These coils are kept extremely heated and fill and heat water only as needed.

Since it only heats water as needed, tankless water heaters are more energy efficient and save homeowners money on their utility bills. They can also be powered by either gas or electricity.

Heat Pump Water Heater

Also known as a hybrid water heater, the heat pump water heater helps homeowners save on energy consumption which means a lower electric bill at the end of the month. This is because instead of using electricity to heat the water, it uses heat in the air and the ground. The only time electricity is used is to move the heat from the ground or air into the water.

Solar Powered Water Heater

Another great option for homeowners looking to cut their electricity bill down is a solar-powered water heater. These units draw energy from the sun to provide hot water to the home. However, this type of water heater does require roof-mounted solar panels to keep it energized.

Condensing Water Heater

Finally, a condensing water heater relies on the unused gas of a home to heat the water. This is a great option for homeowners who already use natural gas to energize their homes.

Water Heater Maintenance

professional maintenance The tasks involved in maintaining a water heater will vary greatly depending on the type of water heater involved. For the sake of time, this article will focus on the most common type of water heater: the conventional storage-tank water heater.

Homeowners should hire a professional for routine maintenance to keep their water heater working efficiently and effectively. Some steps a pro will take for maintenance include:

  • Testing the TPR valve
  • Checking the anode rod and replacing it if it’s worn out
  • Drain or flush the water heater tank to clear out sediment
  • Adjusting the temperature
  • Insulating the pipes and heater

These tasks should be done routinely, once or twice a year, to ensure that the water heater is working as it should be.

Signs of a Bad Water Heater

Homeowners need to be aware of the signs of a faulty water heater so they can contact their local plumbing company as soon as possible. By getting a plumber immediately, homeowners can prevent further damage to their water heaters.

Common symptoms of a faulty water heater include:

  • Leaks
  • Loud noises
  • Discolored water
  • Irregular water temperatures
  • Not enough hot water being produced
  • Frequent repairs

Additionally, water heaters older than ten years old will likely need to be replaced soon. Homeowners that notice any of the symptoms mentioned above should contact a professional plumber for a water heater repair or replacement.

About Paramount Plumbing, Heating & Air

Paramount Plumbing, Heating & Air is a locally owned and operated company serving residents of Los Angeles County for 15 years. They provide same-day service, emergency services, and the latest technology. Call them today for water heater services in Paramount, CA.

Types of Ductwork

Air Ducts

Air ducts are an important part of HVAC systems because the ductwork is what allows the air to travel through a home to heat and cool. It is important to know the differences between the types of air duct designs. Not all homeowners benefit from the standard because of their house layout. To further understand the differences and choose a design, homeowners should call air duct experts and designers.

What is the Purpose of Having Different Types?

The purpose of having different types of air ducts is that not all homes are built similarly. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an efficient and convenient air duct design. For example, homeowners need to know their house layout, the common air duct materials, and the British thermal unit (BTU). Different air duct designs can also be used together in the same ductwork system.  

The Four Most Common Types of Air Ducts

ducts There are four common types of air ducts to consider when designing a home. For example, sheet metal air ducts use sheet metal throughout a home. They are inexpensive materials and also thick and smooth enough to repel bacteria and mold.

Fiberglass-lined air ducts are different since they are made with fiberglass. This is a material that combines fabric with small particles of glass. It can be dangerous to inhale. Fiberboard air ducts are similar to both fiberglass air ducts and sheet metal air ducts since they use both materials. A fiberboard air duct is made with small pieces of fiberglass. The compressed fiberglass is then pressed down and hidden behind metal and foil that are tightly packed together. 

Last, but not least, flexible air ducts use softer materials and aluminum foils to fit even the toughest spots in a home. They are great for smaller areas where other air ducts do not fit. Installing flexible air ducts is harder and can kink and bend during the process.

Which Air Ducts are the Best?

ducts Technically, there is no ‘best’ air duct since all designs are unique to the materials and house layout of a homeowner. That being said, there is a ‌consensus that sheet metal air ducts are the most common type. HVAC experts recommend using sheet metal air ducts ‌because they are made with a non-porous material that prevents mold or bacteria from breeding in the ducts.

Fiberglass is one of the most inexpensive air duct materials. Although many homes still use this type of air duct, there are health concerns associated with the material since fiberglass is made with small glass particles. Fiberglass air ducts get dirty fast, leading to homeowners needing air duct cleaning. Homeowners should leave their air duct design to HVAC professionals and experts.

About Paramount Plumbing, Heating & Air

Paramount Plumbing, Heating & Air is a locally-owned and operated company with 15 years of experience serving the community of Paramount, CA, and the surrounding areas. They provide same-day service, emergency services, and the latest technology. Call them today for heating and air conditioning services in Paramount, CA.

3 Simple Steps to Avoid Plumbing Mishaps This Summer

Prevent Those Summer Plumbing Issues 

Many homeowners don’t realize that summertime is when plumbing issues are at an increase. These issues can be attributed to many different factors: clogged disposals from BBQing and pouring grease down the drain, problems with garden and lawn sprinklers, outdoor faucet leaks, and washing machines that are overloaded with sweaty clothes. 

However, homeowners can do a few tips and tricks to help prevent these plumbing disasters. 

crack

Check for Cracks and Leaks 

One surefire way a homeowner can prevent plumbing issues from spiraling into a more serious problem is to check for cracks and pipe leaks. Since homeowners will surely be using their plumbing system more during the hottest months of the year, they must assess their plumbing fixtures and look for common signs of leaks. 

These signs include water stains on the ceiling, indicating a toilet or sink leak, stains around the fixtures such as the bathroom or kitchen sink faucet, and higher water bills. 

It’s important to regularly check for these cracks and leaks to catch these issues before they become worse and cause more damage. If ignored, these leaks can cause damage to the ceiling, walls, and floors and result in costly repairs. 

Drains Aren’t for Grease or Oil drain

Homeowners often enjoy grilling and cooking outside during summer, inviting family, friends, and neighbors for get-togethers and backyard feasts. With so much cooking indoors and outdoors, a collection of leftover grease and oil can build up. 

While it may be tempting to dispose of this leftover grease and oil down the kitchen sink’s drain, grease and oil should never be poured down any drain, regardless of how little there is of it. Pouring grease or cooking oil down a drain can cause significant pipe clogs that can damage the pipes and plumbing system, resulting in expensive repairs. Instead, leftover grease and oil should be placed into a disposable container and thrown away. 

Regularly Flush Drains 

It may seem insignificant, but regularly flushing drains can be beneficial in keeping the drains clean from debris and gunk. By doing so, homeowners can help prevent clogs from buildup in drains and pipes. 

When it comes to flushing and cleaning drains, homeowners need to know that chemical drain cleaners can cause more bad than good and should be avoided.

Instead, homeowners looking to clean their drains can use a simple combination of ½ cup of baking soda and ½ cup of white vinegar. Once this mixture has been left in the drain for 15 minutes or so, homeowners can pour down a pot of boiling water to finish the flushing process. This process may need to be repeated a few times for more challenging clogs. However, boiling water should not be used in homes with PVC pipes because the heat can damage them. 

About Paramount Plumbing, Heating & Air 

Paramount Plumbing, Heating & Air is a locally-owned company with 15 years of experience serving the community of Paramount, CA, and the surrounding areas. They provide same-day service, emergency services, and on-time service. They are also licensed and insured, so homeowners can have peace of mind. Call them today for plumbing services in Paramount, CA

Use High Indoor Air Quality to Beat Spring Allergies

Spring Brings Better Weather– And Allergies!

Spring is known for its fabulous displays of natural beauty. The beginning of spring means that nature is in a mad dash to propagate itself by producing flowers. Unfortunately, flowers mean pollen, and pollen means allergies!

Steps can be taken to lessen the severity of allergy season, but medicines can leave people dizzy, and herbal teas offer only limited relief. The best step homeowners can take to beat seasonal allergies is to give the respiratory system a break and allow everyone a chance to breathe clean indoor air. This allergy season, take advice from air quality experts and look into these solutions.

air purifier

Clean the Air With Air Purifiers and Air Scrubbers

These two devices can come as whole-home air purifiers or package units that clean up the air within specific square footage inside a home. Air purifiers are a great place to start for those that suffer from allergies because small units can be easily affordable and quickly installed.

Air purifiers work by removing all particles from the air down to .3 microns. That means that dust, dander, and nearly all pollen are removed from the air by powerful HEPA filters, leaving the air pure. This reduces the total allergen load on a person and gives them a chance to breathe easier.

Air scrubbers take this one step further and are common in hospitals and other environments where extreme hygiene is necessary. Air scrubbers filter pollen and ionize the air, so other irritants clump together to be more easily screened.

Protect the Home With Air Sanitizers and Dehumidifiers

While HEPA filters remove nearly all of the allergens from the air, there is one category that escapes them: mold. Mold spores are too small to be captured by HEPA filters, so people use two other strategies to control them.

The first method of mold control is to use dehumidifiers. Dehumidifiers reduce the amount of moisture in the air that accelerates mold growth. When water is under control, mold won’t release spores that trigger allergies.

UV sanitation is the second strategy to control mold if humidity control isn’t an option. UV sanitizers can be installed in existing equipment, and they work to destroy mold and viruses that hang in the air. Between air filtration and the power of UV light, the air is rendered pure.

Spring Clean the AC with AC Maintenance Service schedule maintenance

The strategies listed above can relieve severe allergies, but they may not be necessary in some cases. The first step of protection that people should take from seasonal allergies is good seasonal AC maintenance. AC maintenance works to clean up the air by:

  • Replacing air filters
  • Increasing efficiency
  • Removing dust from blowers
  • Keeping air dehumidifier

When seasonal maintenance is done every year, homeowners can expect benefits like:

  • Better air quality
  • Cheaper energy bills
  • Fewer repairs
  • Long-lasting equipment

 

About Paramount Plumbing, Heating & Air

Paramount Plumbing, Heating & Air is a locally owned business with 15 years of experience serving the residents of Los Angeles County. They provide same-day service, on-time service, and 24-hour emergency services. Rest assured they are also licensed and insured. Call them today for air conditioning services in Paramount, CA.