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?

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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

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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!

Spot Air Duct Mold in Your Home Using this Simple Guide

Spot Air Duct Mold in Your Home Using this Simple Guide

mold

Summer is a great time to enjoy the heat and maybe catch some rays. It’s also a good time to turn on the air conditioning. This is when mold can start to form. Mold loves dark and damp places and can grow and multiply quickly.

Indoor air quality can severely be affected when there is mold in the home, causing respiratory issues, migraines and more. Read on to learn how to identify if you have mold on your HVAC system.

You or Your Family Consistently Gets Sick

healthissuesIf you have mold in your air duct system, it can seriously affect the air quality in your home. You and your family may start to suffer from symptoms such as coughing, dizziness, and headaches.

These signs, along with sneezing and mucus in the throat and lungs can be ongoing. They won’t go away until the mold is removed from your home. This can also affect your pets. If you suspect there may be mold in your home, or have unexplained sickness occurring with your family or pets, have someone come and inspect immediately.

You Notice Mold or Stains Around Your HVAC System

visiblemoldThe last thing any homeowners wants to experience is mold living in their home. Unfortunately, this can happen, especially in your HVAC system due to its high moisture environment.

Check your HVAC system for visible mold. It will look black and be patchy or blotchy. It could look like a smudge or stain but will be difficult to wipe away.

Mold in your HVAC will make indoor air quality poor, and you will run the risk of getting your whole family sick. Seek out a professional in Annapolis, MD if you suspect or see mold in your home.

There is a Strong and Constant Odor in the Home

strongsmellMold has a very distinct smell. If you notice a musty, almost wood-rotting scent in your home, you may have mold growing. Mold is a very fast spreading organism, and it won’t take long, given the right environment, for it to multiply throughout your house.

This is a serious issue that must be addressed, and mold is extremely hazardous to our health. Call a professional right away if you suspect mold growing in your home, do not wait.

Do not procrastinate when it comes to your health and the health of your family. If you suspect mold in your home, it is your responsibility to have it removed right away, keeping you and your family safe.

Signs That a Replacement is Better Than a Repair

Signs a Replacement is Better than a Repair in Your Plumbing System

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It happens to many homeowners in Annapolis, MD who are faced with delicate plumbing devices. Each time it breaks you wonder which is the best option: calling for repairs or buying a new one. Getting it fixed might cost less in the short-term, but you know eventually it will need to be replaced.

Buying new equipment might cost a lot of money, but modern devices tend to be more energy efficient and don’t require too much upkeep. It’s an investment that might pay off down the road. But how do you know if it’s time to buy a replacement? Here’s what you need to know when it comes to repairing or repiping.

Concerning the Shower Top

showertopSomething to keep in mind when it comes to shower tops is the possibility of clogs. This may be caused by sediment buildup and impact on the device’s water pressure and efficiency.

It also could lead to water leaks and widespread water damage. If you think it’s time to buy a replacement shower top, go for a water-efficient model. Save money on your next utility bill by consuming less water.

Anything but the Kitchen Sink

kitchensinkA kitchen sink in good condition should be a top priority. It’s the most used sink in your home. Any damage or cracks mean it’s likely to begin leaking.

The resulting water damage may spread throughout your kitchen, which will be expensive to fix.

Purchasing a new kitchen sink to replace an old, beat up one will prevent this scenario from happening. When you’re out for a replacement kitchen sink, be sure to get water-efficient faucets as well. This will reduce a home’s water consumption and lower the charges on your water bill.

Water Heater in Decline

waterheaterWe often take water heaters for granted but must remember they go through a lot of stress every day. Some heaters end up wearing down at an alarming rate. Water leaks, rust spots, and loud noises caused by sediment buildup are all signs of a device in decline.

These types of problems could reduce the device’s efficiency and accelerate the damage being done. One solution to these issues could be to buy a tankless water heater.

These devices connect directly to a home’s plumbing, which gives you access to a limitless supply of hot water but only as much as you need. Since you don’t need a tank, you can remove the old one to gain more storage space. Tankless water heaters are both practical and efficient.

Washing Machine Replacement

washingmachineWashing machines are sturdy and meant to last about a decade, but that doesn’t mean something can’t go wrong and cause homeowners to buy a replacement. Leaks due to cracks in the tub or loose drums or motor mounts, for example, cost a lot of money to fix.

In these cases, it often makes more sense to purchase a replacement washing machine rather than call for repairs. Modern washers also consume less water and energy than old models. This means you can save on utility charges while helping the environment.

Can you Heat Your Entire Home With Radiant Floor Heating?

Can you Heat Your Entire Home With Radiant Floor Heating?

Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant floor heating isn’t just about the nice luxury of keeping your feet warm (which admittedly is very welcome on chilly Annapolis, MD mornings). It is a type of heating that offers a number of benefits.

Compared to other heating systems, with radiant floor heating, you have dusty ductwork, rattling radiators or noisy vents. Rather, you’ve got a quiet, even distribution of heat when and where you want it.

Yes! (Or Wherever you Have a Floor)

YESThe short answer to “Can you heat your entire home with radiant floor heating”? is yes. In theory, as long as you have a floor, you can utilize radiant floor heating.

The heating system goes right into the floor, heating water or using electricity in an infrastructure of pipes.

While it generally is room-specific (i.e., for the kitchen or bathroom, where you are standing a great deal, or might be in bare feet), it is a viable and effective way to heat your home. If you plan to use radiant heating to heat your whole house, the hot water method (hydronic) is recommended.

It is More Energy Efficient

EnergyEfficientRadiant floor heating is more energy efficient for a number of reasons. It functions more on an on-demand basis, which means that you waste less.

Remember too that heat rises, so given that this type of heating is located in the floor, it harnesses the natural ability for heat to float upwards in the room, generating more heat without consuming more energy.

How Does it Work?

How?With radiant heating, hot water tubes or electric wires are buried within the floor. These tubes/wires radiate heat that floats upwards through the room and warm objects as these heat waves encounter them, further spreading the heat throughout the space.

This is contrasted with forced air heating, which is what you find in most homes in the U.S. Heat blasts out of the vents in the room, moving quickly up to the ceiling quickly and cooling as it falls back down to the floor.

Theoretically, your upper body could be warm, while your feet are freezing, as the warm air doesn’t always extend all the way down to the floor (which is why floors are so often cold when you wake up in the morning).

In short, radiant heat is more even and more effective than forced air heating. It’s a little more costly to install, but, like with all energy efficient upgrades, you recoup your costs over time with savings on your bills.