The Plumbing Industry’s Best Kept Secret About Hard Water

The Plumbing Industry’s Best Kept Secret About Hard Water

hardwatersecret
There’s an old saying that claims that if you knew how the sausage was made, you’d never eat sausage again. In the plumbing industry, many believe that if our customers knew how their plumbing gets fixed, they would never need plumbers again.
 
At Heidler, Inc. we have more faith in our community than that! That’s why we decided to open up about one of the plumbing industry’s best-kept secrets: hard water stain removal! Read on to learn how the pros deal with hard water, including why you should consider investing in a water softener.

What Does “Hard Water” Mean?

watersoftenerHard water is a term that is used to describe water that has a high mineral content- usually high in magnesium and calcium.
 
It’s not necessarily dangerous to your health, but hard water can be a nuisance and wreak havoc on your clothes, skin, and hair.
 
Hard water is also known to leave behind hard to clean stains on surfaces in your home. Everything from your bathtubs, showers, toilets, and sinks, to your silverware, glasses, and floors can be streaked or spotted with hard water stains.
 
Not to mention that hard water makes it tougher to rinse soaps and detergents away, so it can lead to a buildup of soap scum. It can also require you to use more detergent in your laundry, costing you more money in the future.

How Can You Clean Hard Water Stains Yourself?

Now we get to the good stuff: how you can clean hard water stains yourself, using ingredients you probably already have in your house! All you need is vinegar, baking soda, fresh lemon juice, and a spray bottle.
 
cleaningstainsOn most surfaces:

  • Mix 50% vinegar and 50% water in the spray bottle
  • Spray stains and let sit for 5-10 minutes
  • Rinse, and wipe the surface clean to avoid more stains

On tougher stains:

  • Combine baking soda and vinegar until it forms a paste
  • Cover stains with the paste and let sit for 15 minutes
  • Scrub until the stain is gone
  • Rinse and wipe clean

On faucets and fixtures with scale buildup:

  • Using a spray bottle, spray lemon juice directly onto scale buildup
  • Let sit for a few minutes
  • Wipe faucet clean and run water for a few seconds
  • Repeat as needed until all mineral deposits are gone

Why Should You Install a Water Softener?

Now that you know how to clean up after your hard water stains, what can you do to prevent more stains in the future? You can install a water softener! Water softeners remove hard minerals from your water, and:

    watersoftener

  • Improves the look and feel of clothes, skin, and hair
  • Makes your water using appliances last longer
  • Improves your water pressure
  • Keeps your surfaces free from stains!

No one wants their mirrors, tubs, dishes, or clothes to stay looking (or actually being) dirty after they’ve cleaned them.
 
Don’t let these secrets be secrets any longer- share this article with all your friends today!
 
Remember that when you’re ready to put an end to hard water in your home, you can call Heidler, Inc. at (410) 268-7191 for water softener installation in Annapolis, MD.

Tell Your Dirty Air to Bite The Dust

Tell Your Dirty Air to Bite The Dust

cleanair

Ah, springtime- such a lovely time of year! Take a step outside and take a deep breath. Sure, you may smell fragrant flowers or the scent of an oncoming rainstorm, but you’ll also be taking in a sweeping whiff of allergens like pollen, dander, and dust. Yum!

It’s one thing to experience allergy symptoms when you’re outside, surrounded by nature, but if you’re still getting the sniffles or feeling itchy, even inside your home, you may have an air quality problem.

Heidler, Inc. wants to help you figure out some ways that you can clean up your air, and be better able to enjoy spring allergy-free this year! Read on to learn exactly what “air quality” means, why you need an air filter, and how clean air can improve different areas of your life!

Air Quality

healthissues

What is “air quality”? Why is it so important? The term “air quality” refers to how clean your air is, or how much dust, pollen, dirt, dander, mold, and other allergens are in the air you are breathing.

If you don’t prioritize good air quality, you could be breathing all of those environmental contaminants every day. Having low air quality can be devastating for people with allergies or other respiratory condition.

As it means that the very things that trigger their allergies are freely floating through the air around them. Conditions like asthma, skin sensitivity, COPD, and more are also negatively affected by poor air quality.

Air Filter

airfilterThe good news for people with poor air quality is that your HVAC unit has a filter that, when properly maintained can drastically improve your indoor air quality.

If you notice that there is an excessive amount of dust in your home (even to the point that you wipe down your furniture, leave the room, and return to find it dusty again) it may be because you aren’t using your AC filter properly.

When was the last time you changed your filter or, if you have a reusable filter, cleaned it? If it has been more than 30 days, it has been too long. In general, you should change or clean your filter every 30-90 days. In the spring, however, when there is more dust in the air, it’s recommended that you replace your filter once a month.

Clean Air

breatheeasyIf you make sure to change your filter regularly, and you occasionally wipe down your air vents, you’ll see a remarkable difference in the air you breathe.

With that, you’ll find that you see a difference in your breathing too! Your sinuses will begin to clear, your skin won’t feel itchy, your eyes won’t be as irritated, your home will stop smelling dusty, and your furniture will stay clean for a reasonable amount of time! It’s amazing how much of a difference clean air makes!

As we said before, spring is definitely the season for dust and other allergens- so much so that it is often referred to as allergy season.

Now that’s not entirely fair to spring! Spring has so much more to offer than just dust and allergens, with its beautiful flowers of every color, warm sunny days, and cute baby animals. Help spring regain its reputation as a cheerful time of year, with air quality services from Heidler, Inc.!

Committing to Your Home’s HVAC

Committing to Your Home’s HVAC

commitinghvac

While most of the world views Valentine’s Day as a romantic day to spend with your significant other, spoiling them and showing them how much you love them, for those of us with commitment issues, it is a different experience entirely.

If the very idea of committing to a relationship makes your heart race and your palms start to sweat, we have a new kind of commitment for you this Valentine’s Day that you’ll be excited to make: a preventative maintenance agreement!

Heidler, Inc. offers a range of maintenance agreements, from annual plans to lifelong memberships, for all levels of commitment resistance. Trust us when we say that this is a commitment worth making. You won’t be sorry for committing to take care of your HVAC systems this Valentine’s Day!

Heating Emergency

heatingemergencyHaving a plan for maintaining your heater can help you prevent a heating emergency. You wouldn’t want to get stuck without heat in the middle of a harsh February, would you?

Well, with a planned maintenance agreement (PMA) from Heidler, Inc. you can be confident that your heater is always in good working condition.

Not only does your PMA include tune-ups that keep your heater and all its parts working properly, but it also allows your HVAC technician to inspect your system and diagnose any potential problems before they cause a real emergency.

Cooling System

coolingsystemAnother important part of the PMA procedure for HVAC systems is cleaning all parts of the heating and cooling unit, as well as other parts of the cooling system like the ductwork and air vents, when necessary.

This process can not only prevent major HVAC emergencies but will also help extend the life of your HVAC system. Inevitably, dust will settle on different parts of your cooling system.

This dust can get in the way of the system working efficiently. It can burn when the system is turned on, causing a burning smell throughout the house, and it can get into the condensate drain, causing it to become clogged.

Regularly clearing out AC unit’s condensate drain, as part of your PMA, can prevent it from becoming clogged and causing a leak.

Long Term

If you are a homeowner and plan on living in your current home for the foreseeable future, then a long term PMA may benefit you greatly. Heidler, Inc. offers a lifetime agreement at a very competitive price to help you keep your HVAC systems well maintained for years to come. If you are renting, or if you are planning on leaving your current home in the next few years, we have a PMA for you too.

Whether you are ready to make a lifelong commitment to your HVAC maintenance, or a short term one, Heidler, Inc. is here to help you take the next step! Now here’s a question that’s easy to answer: Do you want to save money while keeping your HVAC systems in proper working order?

If you answered no, then there are plenty of other HVAC companies that would be happy to overcharge you for standard heater maintenance. If you do like saving money, however, then give Heidler, Inc. a call today at (410) 268-7191 to speak with one of our expert HVAC technicians and set up an HVAC maintenance plan!

Finding Your Perfect Bathroom/ Kitchen Sink

Finding Your Perfect Bathroom/ Kitchen Sink

bathroomsink

Finding the perfect sink to fit the look of not only your kitchen or bathroom but also of your home, in general, can be more stressful than you initially anticipated. Who knew there were so many different kinds of sinks and faucets?!

If you are struggling to find the perfect bathroom or kitchen sink for your home, don’t worry! Heidler, Inc has put together some information to help you find a new kitchen or bathroom sink that will suit your home and lifestyle perfectly!

Research Different Kinds of Sinks

sinkresearchIf you are feeling overwhelmed by the number of options available for both kitchen and bathroom sinks, it may help do some sink research and narrow down your choices.

The internet is a near limitless source of information and can be very useful in helping you look for types of kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, and even bar sinks for your entertaining area.

Getting a visual of the different types of sinks and faucets that are out there can help you get an idea of what you like and don’t like.

Once you have that, you can head out to a showroom to look at what a particular style of sink might look like in a completed bathroom. You may find that the sink you had in mind looks better in pictures than in practice, and that’s alright! It’s all part of your sink research.

How Much Should Your New Sink Cost?

sinkcostAs with any home improvement project, it’s always important to keep your budget in mind when selecting your new sink.

Installation for kitchen or bathroom plumbing can run you anywhere from $200 to about $550, depending on the style of your sink, the materials it’s made of, and how involved the installation process is.

With that in mind, you may need to compromise a bit in order to get a sink that suits both your style and your budget. If you live alone, for example, and wash the few dishes that accumulate throughout the day by hand, then a sink with an attached drainboard may be a wise investment for you. A large, farmhouse sink may be more aesthetically pleasing, but you probably won’t get the full value out of it.

Head to Your Local Plumbing Store For More

callusNow that you know what kind of sink you are interested in and how much you are willing to spend on certain features, it’s time to call up your local hardware or plumbing store to make sure your perfect sink is actually available.

If you call up a plumbing store and they don’t sell the type of sink you are looking for, don’t lose heart. They may be able to refer you to a different store that carries exactly what you are looking for.

Heidler, Inc is here to answer any other questions you may have about choosing and installing your new kitchen or bathroom sink!

Give us a call today at (410) 268-7191 for service in Annapolis. And don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family to help them find the perfect sink as well!

Everyone Needs to Know Where The Heating System Vents Are!

Everyone Needs to Know Where The Heating System Vents Are!

needstoknow

How much do you know about your home’s heating system? If your answer is “not very much,” then you are not alone. The unfortunate fact is that most people don’t take the time to get to know their HVAC systems as well as they should.

The more you recognize about your heating system, the easier it will be to understand what’s wrong if you start to have heating system issues. This can help you understand what repairs are needed and find the right HVAC company.

Distribution System

distributionMost American homes today are heated by a central furnace, which is either electrically powered, or powered by natural gas or oil.

A furnace blows warm air through a way of ducts and delivers it to various rooms via warm air registers or grills.

Another type of central heater is a boiler. Boilers are usually powered by natural gas or heat oil and distribute heat by heating water that flows into radiators in various rooms.

The heat from the water heats the metal of the radiator, which then radiates the heat out into the air, while the now-cooled air returns to the boiler to be reheated.

Heat pumps are another option for central heating. They distribute heat through ducts, just like in a forced-air system. Heat pumps pull any warm air they can find outside during winter months and pump it into a house. During the summer the process is reversed (pumping warm air out of the home) to cool the house.

Close Vents

ventOne way that people may try to save money on their heating bill is by closing the registers, or air vents when they leave a room.

At first glance this seems to make sense; close the vent, so that warm air isn’t being wasted in a room you are not using.

The truth, however, is that closing your vents can end up costing you more on your monthly heating bill than just leaving them open.

Aside from raising your energy bill, closing your vents can also lead your system to break down, and potentially throw off the amount of warm air being distributed to other parts of your home.

Save Money

moneyIf you’re looking to save on your energy expenses this winter, there are a few ways to do it.

One easy way to save money is by taking advantage of the free heat given by the sun. Keep your window curtains or coverings open during the day to let in heat from the sun, and keep them closed at night to keep the heat in.

Putting your ceiling fans to use is another good way to make your heating system more efficient. Keep your ceiling fans running at low speed, rotating clockwise to push warm air back down gently and keep the room warmer.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can also save money by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees at night, and use warmer sheets and blankets in your bed.

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends and loved ones to encourage them to learn more about their heating distribution systems. The next time your heating system needs servicing, call Heidler Inc. (410) 268-7191 to speak with an HVAC professional in Annapolis.

Who’s Picking up Your Plumbing Bill?

Who’s Picking up Your Plumbing Bill?

nobodytells

Is there anything worse than getting home after a long day of work, and a stressful commute home, than opening your front door to find that a plumbing catastrophe has taken place in your absence?

Honestly, I think not. What makes the entire situation worse is knowing that once the mess is all cleaned up, you’ll be stuck with a plumbing bill to pay…but maybe you won’t have to pay that bill yourself.

If you rent your home, you should know that your landlord may be responsible for fixing the emergency plumbing issues in your home. Let’s take a look at why your landlord has to pay, and how much they are responsible for.

How Much Does Your Landlord Have to Pay For?

landlordpaysWhen you sign a lease to rent an apartment, you agree to pay monthly for your living space, and your landlord agrees to provide you with a comfortable living space.

That means that when you have a plumbing emergency that threatens your comfort and personal safety, your landlord has to pay to fix it.

Flooding caused by a backed up drain can lead to harmful bacteria in your home, and any kind of excess water in your home can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can lead to a host of respiratory and health issues.

Plumbing Repairs For Rental Homes

rentalhomes

As long as you rent your home, you won’t have the responsibility for emergency plumbing repairs.

If you own your own home, however, there is no landlord to take on that responsibility for you, so it falls on you.

If you own a building or house, but you hire a management company to handle the rental operations, then the company becomes responsible for plumbing repairs. In some cases, even as a renter, you may be required to pay for minors repairs.

Your lease agreement may also stipulate a specific amount, below which you agree to pay for plumbing services. If your emergency repairs cost more than the agreed upon amount, however, the responsibility falls back on your landlord again.

Consult Local Rules And Ordinances

localrules

Always remember that there are certain laws and local rules that protect you as a renter.

In some cases, your landlord may be under legal obligation to cover the cost of any emergency plumbing repairs that tenants like you might incur.

The specific legal requirements your landlord can be held to vary somewhat from one state to another, and even from one city to another. Always check local rules and ordinances, to see precisely what your local government has to say about your landlord’s responsibilities to you with regard to plumbing repair costs.

If the cost of plumbing repairs has been keeping you from calling for plumbing services in your home, you can stop worrying about that now!

Now that you know the responsibility of paying for your emergency plumbing repairs falls on your landlord, you can call Heidler, Inc. for all your home plumbing needs. Our experienced plumbing technicians are ready to help you with plumbing repairs, installations, and maintenance in Annapolis, MD.

The Subtle Art of Heating Technologies

The Subtle Art of Heating Technologies

Thanks to modern technology, there is a slew of options to choose from when it comes to heating your home. From “clean energy” sources like solar power and geothermal energy to electric heating, you’re sure to find a heating system that is ideally suited to your home and lifestyle!

Solar Powered Heating

In a solar heated home, solar panels absorb radiant energy from the sun and convert them into power to heat your home and power certain appliances. While this is one of the most talked about forms of renewable energy, the bulky space consuming panels required make it infeasible for a lot of homes, especially in metropolitan areas.

Some of the benefits that solar heating brings include lower monthly energy bills, little maintenance on panels and heater, and even government stipends for surplus energy! That’s right; if you have extra solar energy you don’t need, the government will take it off your hands and pay you for it!

Geothermal Heating

Geothermal heating involves taking energy from within the earth to heat and power your home. The heat energy is produced within the earth’s core, which can reach temperatures over 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and then stored in the crust.

Geothermal energy is helpful because it is accessible in most areas across the country, and doesn’t take up as much space as other renewable energy systems with wind turbines and solar panels. It also doesn’t experience the same “low-energy” fluctuations that solar and wind power do. Geothermal heating is proven to save users as much as 30%-70% on monthly heating costs!

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps create warmer air in your home by simply moving warm air from the outside atmosphere into your home during the winter. It can also move cooler air from outside into your home during the summer to cool it.

Heat pumps offer a legitimate alternative for heating homes in colder regions, like New England, and they can cost as little as ¼ of what conventional heaters cost! Heat pumps are also convenient for homes without a central duct system, as they can be purchased as a mini-split system.

homeheating

Oil Heating

Heaters that use oil heating have a heating element at the bottom of the unit that heats up the oil, which then transfers the heat to the metal exterior. The metal exterior then conducts the heat energy into the air around it using air convection and thermal radiation.

Oil heaters are not among the most popular heating systems, but they are one of the most efficient, losing only about 10%-20% of heat energy.

Gas-Powered Heating

Gas powered heaters draw air in a heat exchanger, where the natural gas burner heats it. Then a fan blows the newly heated air back out into your home. Gas heaters are one of the most commonly used heaters in the country because they are convenient, reliable, and efficient! In fact, higher quality gas furnaces run at up to 90% efficiency, while lower quality ones still run a the minimum required 78% efficiency.

Electric Heating

Electric heating is another commonly used system, and one of the easiest and most convenient to use. Central electric heating costs less to install than most other heating units, and the regular maintenance it requires also costs less than it would on some other heaters. There are even energy efficient electric heaters on the market today, to save you money on your monthly bill!

Heating System Not Turning On?

Heating System Not Turning On?

heatingoff

A finicky heating system that won’t turn on when you need it can be extremely dangerous, especially in the middle of winter in Maryland. So how do you get a heater to turn on when it’s acting up? Should you just toss it out and get a new one, or is there a simpler, less expensive solution?

The heating service professionals at Heidler Inc. know all about the various issues that may be causing your heating system to break down, and we’ve written a few of them down for you here. Read on to learn more about why your system may not be working, and what you can do about it.

You May be in Need of a Checkup

heatingcheckupThe first thing any heating technician will ask when your heater isn’t turning on is “when was the last time your system had a check-up?”

Regular inspection and maintenance on your heating and AC systems can prevent significant issues that could cause it to break down.

There are many advantages to having regular maintenance and check-ups performed on your system, including:

  • It allows your technician an opportunity to spot potential problems before they start.
  • Regularly changed filters mean better air quality in your home.
  • If your system does need repairs down the road, they will likely be minor jobs that don’t cost as much.
  • Keeping your system well-maintained means it will probably have a longer lifespan!

Check Your Thermostat

Often, when your central heating system is giving you trouble, the problem isn’t in the heater itself, but in the thermostat. Here are a few ways you can check your thermostat to see if it is the real cause of your heating problems:

  1. checkthermostatCheck to make sure that the thermostat is set to “heat” and that the fan is set to “auto.”
  2. Next, if you have a digital thermostat, try replacing the batteries.
  3. Take the thermostat cover off, and check that all the wires are properly connected to their respective mounting screw.
  4. Test the wires. This can be dangerous, as it involves electricity, and should only be attempted by someone who knows what they’re doing. If you are not comfortable testing the wires yourself, consider calling a professional heating technician.

Make Sure Your Pilot Light is On

lightonIf your home is heated by a gas-powered furnace, one of the first things you should check to make sure that the pilot light is on.

If you find that your furnace’s pilot light has gone out, there may be a few different reasons why.

One is that the flame began to burn inefficiently, which can be noted by the flame burning yellow instead of blue, so the thermocouple cut the gas, thus putting the pilot light out.

A malfunctioning thermocouple would also cause the pilot light to go out for seemingly no reason. Sometimes, the pilot light can burn out over simple things like the intake valve being dirty, or a strong draft blowing through the furnace.

3 Major Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

3 Major Bathroom Remodeling Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

mistake

Remodeling your bathroom seems like a fantastic idea. It’s a fun project and saves you plenty of money. You know exactly what you’re doing, right? Chances are you have a general idea of what you’re doing but might not be entirely qualified to perform all tasks.

Maybe you have a different idea for the flooring or underestimated expenses. These mistakes can be costly, slow your progress, or be the cause for significant repairs in the future.  Let’s review a few bathroom remodeling mistakes and how to avoid them!

Moving Fixtures Without a Plumber

Yes, calling a plumber can increase the amount you spend on your bathroom remodel. However, this increased cost is lowered over time by not having to pay for repairs in the future.

Someone probably told you, “do it right or don’t do it at all.” If this was never said, take heed: putting half the effort or money into a project will only cause problems. Moving fixtures with a plumber’s help will:

  • Improve water flow.
  • Limit the risk of water damage.
  • Ensure there are no leaks.
  • Repair any mold or water damage from old fixtures.

Carpet Flooring

carpet

Carpet flooring is a bad idea in bathrooms. Sure, it’s nice to step out of the shower onto something other than cold tiles, however, moisture and the inability to dry carpet thoroughly is begging for mildew and mold.

Because it’s almost impossible to clean or keep dry leads to other problems, including damage to the wood foundation that often runs under carpeting, it’s best to leave them out of your next bathroom remodel project.

Forgetting Your Budget

Taking on a bathroom remodeling project yourself can save you some money. While this is nice, if you forget about your budget or don’t make one to begin with, you may end up out of money with a half-finished washroom. Follow these steps to make and stick to a budget:

  • Dream Big: Figure out what materials you’d love to use, items to replace, and ideal flooring.
  • Revise the List: Take those big dreams and figure out what is doable and what are must-haves, wants, and impossible.
  • Research: Every material you’ll use should be researched for the best price – always be sure to compare multiple options for the best choices.
  • Allow for Overages: Many contractors recommend adding about 30% of your total cost to the budget. This allows for repairs or forgotten necessities.

Remembering your budget and using it wisely will prevent stretching your finances too thin as well as the annoyance of putting a project on hold.

Professional Help May Not Cost as Much as You Think

After determining your budget and what it will cost you to complete a bathroom remodel yourself, consult a professional. There is a decent chance that you can hire them for specific projects or for the entire project.

The idea behind this is to prevent problems in the long-run and additional costs from faulty installations or missed steps. If you’d like to discuss a bathroom remodel with a professional or maybe get some advice on where to start, give Heidler, Inc a call!

Fit Your Granite Countertops for a Sink

Fit Your Granite Countertops for a Sink

sinkongranite

Granite countertops are increasingly popular, popping up in kitchens all around Annapolis, MD. They give a kitchen a classy look and can seriously increase the value of a home. Adding the right sink to your granite will bring your kitchen to the next level. Learn how to properly fit your granite countertops for a sink and ensure your new kitchen plumbing runs smoothly.

Take the Proper Measurements on the Countertop and Available Space

rightmeasurementBefore cutting the hole for the sink, do the proper measurements on the countertop. Allow enough space for the kitchen plumbing underneath the countertop and ensure it is placed in a practical spot.

Tape the cardboard outline of your sink onto the granite, then cut. For cutting granite, use a diamond blade on a circular saw.

This tool is best not just for cutting, but shaping your stone as well. Once the opening has been made, you can flip your granite over and get ready to insert the sink.

Source a Sink That is to Your Liking and Fits the Space

matchingsinkYour sink should match the design of your kitchen. So, allow for enough space for the plumbing and storage underneath. Now that your granite is cut and flipped, you can secure your sink.

Wipe your granite and sink with denatured alcohol, and then place the sink over the hole to trace. Once traced, remove the sink and apply caulk to the edge of the hole. Place the sink back over the hole and press down. Seal the sink in place using the clamps provided with your sink purchase. Now you can turn your countertop back over to install them.

Consider Professional Installation By a Plumber

callaplumberfWould you take your car to anyone who wasn’t a licensed mechanic? No, probably not. So why try installing your kitchen plumbing on your own if you’re not a plumber? Professional plumbers have expertise that the average homeowner simply doesn’t.

Education and experience can’t be beaten. If you’re investing significant amounts of time and money to make changes to your kitchen, then you might as well consider professional installation by a plumber who will execute the task correctly.

New kitchen features are always great to look at. In addition to being eye-catching, upgrading your kitchen will add value to your home if you ever decide to sell it. Two birds, one stone!