3 Things to Consider Before You Convert Your Garage

The decision to convert your garage could be motivated by any number of reasons: from installing a family recreation room or home theater, to creating an independent living space for another occupant such as an aging parent, to simply adding additional usable square footage to a home you’ve outgrown. A garage conversion is usually not a major building project—but it’s not a small DIY mat [...]

The Latest in Tankless Water Heating Technology

Tankless water heating technology outperforms the conventional water heater in many ways. First and foremost: no tank! The familiar storage tank has always been a weak link in water heating performance and efficiency. Water stored on “standby” cools and requires re-heating—a substantial energy drain. Also, because tank capacity is necessarily limited, so is the amount of hot water available [...]

Why Does My Sump Pump Smell? (And What Can I Do About It?)

Sump pump odors are your sump system’s way of letting you know it needs attention. Installed in the basement floor and concealed beneath a cover, a sump basin can be one of the most seldom-inspected areas of the house. It’s there to remove ground water rising up through the foundation or water leaks in the basement from sources like a ruptured pipe. As the basin fills, the pump actuates and pu [...]

Repair or Replace: Troubleshooting Your Toilet

Is it time for toilet repair in Cincinnati or time for a new toilet entirely? Toilets are sturdy plumbing fixtures and often last decades. That doesn’t mean that problems with wear and tear don’t occur along the way, however. It also doesn’t mean that a 1980s toilet is the best choice for the water conservation in the 21st century, even if it’s still fully functional. Here are some guideli [...]

When to Call for Boiler Repair in Cincinnati

Professional boiler repair in Cincinnati is generally called for whenever you notice changes in the system’s heating performance or energy efficiency, or see visual signs of component failure like leakage. Boiler heating involves high temperatures, pressure and flammable natural gas. For safety reasons, options for do-it-yourself diagnosis are very limited. Making sure the system is turned on at [...]

Does Ceiling Fan Direction Matter?

As the seasons change, so should your ceiling fan direction. Ceiling fans are bi-directional and rotation can be altered by a switch on the side of the motor or a setting on the remote control. All ceiling fans move air, but direction matters for both comfort and energy efficiency. Here’s how proper ceiling fan direction varies by season: In Summer In hot weather, a ceiling fan should blow strai [...]

Why Balanced Home Humidity is Important in the Cooler Seasons

Balanced home humidity matters any time of year. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends keeping indoor humidity levels in the range of 30 percent and 60 percent. That can be a challenge in all seasons as outdoor climate, as well as indoor factors such as human activity and HVAC equipment, influence humidity inside the house. Here are some reasons why maintaining balanced home humidity is i [...]

How Often is Air Filter Replacement Necessary?

The most important DIY task you can do for your cooling and heating system is regular air filter replacement. Nothing decreases system airflow like a dirty filter and insufficient airflow is the primary cause of poor cooling and heating performance, high operating costs and even premature component failure. So there’s no doubt that regular air filter replacement is well worth the effort. The que [...]

4 Home Energy Myths Debunked


Like other fables, home energy myths tend to be accepted and passed along without ever being subjected to scientific proof. Relying on untested methods for energy savings often results in the opposite: increased energy use and higher operating costs. Science doesn’t yet know everything about how to make a home as energy efficient as possible. However, we can be certain about a number of things t [...]

The Latest in Surge Protection Technology


Power surges have always existed, but the need for effective surge protection is much greater than ever today. The reason is simply because the number of electronic devices in the home are greater than ever and those devices typically incorporate circuitry and microprocessors that are highly sensitive to voltage fluctuations. Power surges are transient spikes in voltage that usually last only a fe [...]

3 Common Causes of Low Water Pressure


Low water pressure in a home is an annoyance, as anything that utilizes water takes longer, and the effectiveness of shower heads, sink sprayers, and other devices is also compromised. But low water pressure can also be a signal of other developing plumbing problems. The water pressure inside your home should generally range between 45 p.s.i. and 60 p.s.i. A qualified plumber can attach a gauge an [...]

Why is Carbon Monoxide so Dangerous?


Wherever combustion occurs, hazardous carbon monoxide gas is the natural by-product. This includes your gas furnace, stove or water heater, the engine of your automobile, a charcoal grill or even firewood burning in the fireplace. Carbon monoxide (CO) in sufficient concentrations is fatal, and in an average year about 500 people in the United States die from inhaling it. Thousands of others are si [...]

4 Household Plumbing Myths You Can Ignore


Mostly hidden away out of sight, your household plumbing system is often a mystery, as well as a source of plumbing myths. Over time, these misconceptions get passed along until they’re accepted as proven truth. Sometimes, these fables are simply harmless folklore. Other times, however, they can actually make a plumbing issue substantially worse. Here are four common plumbing myths you can disre [...]

10 Things That Should Never Go Down the Drain


Your household drain system isn’t a lot of things. It’s not a garbage can, a toxic waste disposal or a recycling receptacle. Drains are designed to accommodate certain liquids and some liquefied or finely-pulverized solid materials. Anything that falls outside those specifications may cause a nasty clog and/or damage or deteriorate your plumbing. This, in turn, will necessitate the services of [...]

Furnace/Heat Pump: When to Repair or Replace


If you keep your home long enough, eventually you’ll be confronted with the decision to either repair or replace the furnace or heat pump. The combined expected service life of these units averages about 15 years, and many gas-fired furnaces are still on the job for up to 20 years. Nevertheless, like all mechanical devices, furnaces and heat pumps incur wear and tear over that time span. They ar [...]

4 Ways to Stay Safe in a Power Outage


A power outage can be more than inconvenient. It also presents certain safety hazards. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the frequency of power outages has remained stable in the U.S. in recent years, but the average duration of each outage has gotten steadily longer. In other words, if the grid does go down, it may stay down for an extended time. So will your household elect [...]

What is the Difference Between Power Rodding or Hydro Jetting


Today, professional drain cleaning and maintenance usually means power rodding or hydro jetting. Plumbing techniques and technology have advanced to methods that are more effective and easier on your pipes. It’s a recognition that simply punching a hole in an obstruction causing a clog with a snake or other instrument is frequently a temporary expedient. As long as conditions inside the pipe tha [...]

3 Ways to Prevent Clogged Drains


Smelly drains are drains that are likely to clog. That unpleasant odor wafting up from the sink usually indicates that the drain pipe is harboring sludge. It’s a gooey concoction of decaying organic material that has been washed down the sink or bathtub, combined with soap residue. Sludge accumulation gradually narrows the diameter of drain pipes, slowing the flow of waste water and generating [...]

5 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Water Heater


Keeping up with water heater maintenance is a good way to decrease the odds of early replacement. Statistics say that the water heater is the most frequently replaced major appliance in a typical residence. While it was once common to get 20 years of service from a standard water heater, today the average is about half that. If proper water heater maintenance by a qualified professional plumber is [...]

Does Attic Ventilation Matter in the Winter?


During summer, proper attic ventilation seems like a no-brainer. On a hot day, an under-ventilated attic can turn into a broiling oven that radiates heat down through the ceiling into living spaces below, raising cooling costs and diminishing comfort. It may not be as self-evident, but attic ventilation is also important in winter, although for less obvious reasons. Ice Dam Prevention Ice dams for [...]