07 Jan / 2017
When it comes to heating your home, you have several options for fuel and equipment. One great option is a gas fireplace. Here are some benefits to consider for installing a gas fireplace in your home.
A gas fireplace provides a constant heat source, one of its best features. Unlike a wood fireplace, you don’t have to worry about your fire going out and rebuilding it. Unlike a furnace, you don’t have to wait for it to get cold and kick on. You can ignite a gas fireplace for a steady source of warmth to keep your home and family cozy whenever you feel a chill.
A gas fireplace is lower maintenance than a wood burning fireplace. It is simple to turn on and doesn’t take long to heat up. Wood-burning fireplaces require a lot of attention – from having dry, cut hardwood on hand, storing the wood and carrying in the wood to the fireplace. And once the fire is built, it takes care and attention to maintain the fire. After the fire is extinguished, care must be given to clearing out the ashes. With a gas burning fireplace, you simply turn it on and relax. There’s no mess, no ash, and wood to bring in from outdoors.
Lower Insurance Rates
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to require a separate policy for wood-burning fireplaces. Some policies are excluding coverage for damage caused by them. With a gas fireplace, you can have the warmth of a fireplace and save money on your homeowners policy.
No Worry About Allergies
If someone living in your home suffers from allergies, the byproducts of a wood-burning fireplace can present a health challenge. With a gas fireplace, this isn’t even an issue. This means less aggravation for the allergy sufferer and better overall health for your family.
A gas fireplace heats more efficiently than a wood-burning fireplace. Newer models of gas fireplaces allow for zoned heating, where you can only heat one room, or several, depending on your needs. Because a wood fireplace is open, heat escapes through the chimney. A gas fireplace is more efficient with little loss of heat through its chimney.
Safety is always a key concern. House fires are always a risk in homes with wood fireplaces. A gas fireplace doesn’t pose as many risks because there are no sparks, no hot ashes, and no opening the door when the fire is started.
Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can help you convert from wood to gas or provide you with gas fireplace installation. If you have any questions about more of the benefits of gas fireplaces, or any other home heating concerns, call or contact us today.
With American’s aging population, many are giving serious thought to ways they can make their homes safe and comfortable in our later years. 33 million Americans have some disability that makes it difficult for them to carry on the activities of daily living. 2.2 million Americans are using wheelchairs today; 6.5 million are using assistance devices such as a walker, a cane, or crutches.1 It is essential for many homeowners to install or update their bathrooms to a handicap accessible bathroom. Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling installs handicapped bathrooms featuring name-brand and trusted equipment. We don’t sacrifice quality. We improve the convenience for people with disabilities and their caregivers. If you are thinking of installing a handicap bathroom in your home, there are a few things you will want to consider when exploring your options.
Entryways, Floors, and Walls
The doorways need to be widened to 34” and ample room must be given for access to all of the fixtures in the room. The door should open outward to maximize the space inside the room. Floors should be level and clear of all obstacles. Make towel bars, hooks, soap dishes and brush holders at an accessible height.
- Walk-In Tubs or Showers
Choosing a walk-in tub or shower will allow a handicapped user to have easier access in and out. It’s also a good idea to have water controls within easy reach so that no one has to struggle to reach and adjust the water. Some bathrooms may need to be outfitted with lifts and transfer seating. Keep in mind that the caregiver needs room to assist the person with disabilities.
- Vanity, Sink, and Faucet
The sink should be mounted taking into consideration the person using the bathroom, usually no more than 34” high. The vanity area should be clear under the sink to allow room for the person’s knees to fit beneath the sink area. The mirror should be lowered, or lengthened or tilt down to be better used.
- Non-Scalding Faucet Adjustments
Installing non-scalding faucet adjustments is the safest way to ensure that you don’t get hurt when turning the water on and off in the tub. This allows you to limit the water temperature of the tub and shower to no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Handsfree Toilet Flushing
Hands-free flushing makes it easier for people who are unable to reach, grasp, and hold. Have other hands-free items installed in your bathroom as well, so someone doesn’t have to worry about grabbing onto things if they are unable.
The toilet area of your bathroom needs to be changed to make the bathroom usable for persons with disabilities. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right toilet options for your bathroom.
- The height should be adjusted to about 18” high.
- If adjusting the commode height is not an option, a thicker toilet seat can be installed to add height.
- The height of the paper roll should be adjusted to accommodate the placement of the toilet.
Grab bars should be installed at a proper height and distance from the shower, tub and toilet so that anyone using them has help getting up by themselves.
You need adequate lighting in your new bathroom to ensure everyone can see clearly, whether they are taking a bath or putting on makeup. If possible, use natural light, which is better to see by.
Think of having light switches on the wall lowered so that your loved one can easily reach them from their wheelchair. If your loved one still has problems with light switches, consider putting in motion detectors that will turn on the lights when they enter the room.
Will the disabled person need medical supplies or equipment in the bathroom and how should these items be placed? Careful consideration should be given to the deterioration in the future for those using the bathroom. Expertise in long range planning together with a company who is familiar with outfitting and installing a handicap bathroom is critical. Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling knows about the details large and small to make your handicap bathroom, accessible, convenient, safe and economical. Do your best to protect the handicapped loved one in your home; call or contact the professionals at Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling today.
1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
19 Nov / 2016
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and, once that is over, winter starts in earnest. While you are getting ready for the holidays, you need to start getting your home ready for the winter months as well. One of the biggest concerns for any homeowner during the long, frigid winter months is the fear that their pipes will freeze, then burst, causing a ton of grief and costly repairs. Read on below for some top tips to help you get your pipes ready for the upcoming winter temperatures.
Locate Your Water Main
Make sure to search out the water main to your house, if you don’t already know where it is. It’s best to have this location in mind before the temperatures start to drop. If you’re planning an extended vacation or trip away from home during extremely cold weather, you should consider turning off the water and draining the pipes.
Take Care of the Pipes in the Attic, Crawlspaces, and Basement
It is important to remember the pipes that are in your attic, crawl spaces, garage, and basement. Make sure before the really cold weather hits that pipes in these spaces are protected from the cold. Adequate fiberglass insulation, pipe sleeves, and thermostatically controlled heat tape are three ideas to protect your pipes. A pipe sleeve provides a barrier between a pipe and its surroundings. These sleeves can fill the gap in a wall where pipes run. You can prevent freezing pipes by checking the insulation in rooms that are not typically heated. The heat tape is used to wrap pipes in unprotected areas. The tape heats when the environment reaches a certain temperature.
Now it’s time to check any plumbing outside. Faucets and sprinkler systems should be serviced so no water can freeze in the lines. Garden hoses should be removed from faucets to be drained and stored before the first hard freeze.
When the temperature drops below 32 degrees, extra precautions need to be taken:
- Leave the cold water in every sink in the home running just a trickle before you go to bed at night. This will allow water to flow freely through the pipes, generating heat and preventing them from being frozen when you wake up in the morning.
- Open the doors to the cabinets in your bathrooms and kitchen. This will allow warm air from the house to get to the pipes and stop them from freezing.
- Close your garage door to keep the pipes in the garage from freezing as well.
- Keep your home at a consistently warm temperature, day and night, (at least 55 degrees), even when you are going to be away for a while.
If your pipes do end up bursting or freezing, call in the professionals at Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to take care of the problem for you right away. We offer 24-hour emergency service, including holidays and weekends. If you would like help preparing your pipes for winter, we can also come out and make sure your pipes will withstand to the freezing temperatures by winterizing your plumbing system for the upcoming winter months. Call or contact us for this or any other type of plumbing service in Burlington County, Camden County, and throughout South Jersey.
02 Oct / 2016
The hot water heater in your home is one of the biggest users of energy and one of the largest drains on your electric bill in today’s modern world. No one wants to jump into a cold shower on a frigid winter morning. Is your hot water heater working to its full capacity? Is it time for a new hot water heater? Here are our professional tips and suggestions to help you decide the type of water heater to work best for you.
Do Your Research
The first thing you should do is get online and do some research. There are plenty of articles and websites out there to help you understand how hot water heaters operate. Decide whether you want a gas or an electric hot water heater. Both have their advantages and disadvantages – for example, gas water heaters are more energy-efficient and tend to be easier to repair, while electric water heaters heat water faster and generally have a longer life expectancy. If you’re still not sure which type of unit is best for you, call us and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you.
Consider a Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters have become extremely popular in the last few years as an alternative to storage type water heaters. Instead of storing water all of the time, a tankless hot water heater only produces water when you need it. This is not only great for your electric bill but great for the environment as well. They can save you valuable space in your home – another reason that many homeowners are going with tankless models.
Decide on a Size
Once you have decided on the fuel type you want to use, then you need to figure out what size water heater you need to service your home. If you are a single person who is rarely home, then you won’t need a large water heater. If you have a family of four and plans to grow, you should consider going with a larger water heater that can keep up with the needs of a large family – with several bathrooms, loads of laundry, and dishes to wash.
Compare Prices and Brands
There are many different makes and models of hot water heaters on the market today, and the sale prices vary from store to store. Do your research online and try to set a budget that works for you. When searching for your new water heater, check out brand, warranty, and service information as well as prices for the unit, installation, and haul away of your old hot water heater.
We are here to offer our expert advice in choosing the perfect hot water heater for your home. Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers top brands in gas, electric, or tankless hot water heaters. Call or contact us today for more information about hot water heater repair and installation services.
01 Sep / 2016
Fall is a great time to check off your home maintenance items. Although you probably still have your AC turned on, winter is right around the corner. If you’re not prepared, you and your family could be in for a very cold and uncomfortable season.
Fall temperatures can be extremely unpredictable; you may have the AC on one day and the furnace on the next. That’s why it’s important to make sure your entire system is in good working order and that your furnace will be there for you when you need it exclusively for the colder temperatures. Here are some ways to ensure you’ll have a warm and comfortable winter.
- Change your air filter: Ideally, your air filter should be changed every three months and this is something you can easily do yourself. If you have a home maintenance checklist (and you should!), make sure it’s included. Consider purchasing high-quality filters from your local home or hardware store; you’ll get much better efficiency and cleaner air. If you or someone in your home is an allergy sufferer, you may want to change your air filter monthly.
- Have your ducts cleaned: This isn’t something that you need to do every year, and if you have an air cleaner in your home, it may only be necessary once every few years. But if it’s been more than three years since you’ve had them cleaned, you really should get it done. It will cut down on the dust and debris that accumulate in your home and can make living with allergies a little bit easier. Once the ducts have been cleaned, consider investing in an air purifier. These can be purchased separately or attached to your furnace.
- Consider a professional inspection: If your furnace is less than two years old, you’re probably still covered under warranty. An inspection is recommended nonetheless, just to make sure that everything works well. If it’s older than two years, than you should definitely consider having a professional inspection. It’s also a good idea to sign up for a monthly maintenance plan. This can save you thousands of dollars in the long run and keep your furnace in good working condition all season.
- Consider upgrading your thermostat: Today’s ‘smart meters’ are technologically advanced and can save you plenty of money in the colder months. With a programmable thermostat, it’s much easier to manage the inside temperature when unpredictable weather patterns occur. If your budget allows, opt for one that automates both heating and cooling portions of your furnace so you don’t have to remember to switch it over manually. Some models can be programmed via a smartphone app!
- Check your outdoor landscaping: This is a good time to inspect your landscaping and trim hedges, grass around your AC unit. Get rid of any debris that may have built up over the summer and be careful not to dispose of grass clippings onto the unit itself. It’s also a good idea to put a cover over the unit before the cold weather hits.
With some preparation and planning, you can ensure that the fall and winter months will be comfortable and cozy. Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Riverton, NJ offers HVAC inspections and heating repair services. Call, contact, or visit our website to learn more about our heating system services.
No one likes to think about the consequences of major plumbing or sewage issues – but as a homeowner, plumbing is a critical element for keeping you and your family safe and comfortable. Little problems can lead to major ones if ignored. A leaky faucet may not seem like a big deal, but if left for too long can cause clogs, backups and water damage. Plumbing services in Riverton can help keep your plumbing issues from becoming severe. Here are some signs that indicate your plumbing problem may be a major one:
- Clogged Drains: If your sinks and toilets are slow to drain, this could be indicative of a clogged drain. While a clogged drain is normal once in a while, if it happens on a regular basis, you should have your pipes inspected by a professional. Store-bought drain cleaners are not meant to be used on a regular basis and can actually corrode your pipes over the long term. Some are not recommended for septic tanks.
- Gurgling Noises: If you hear gurgling noises from one or more of your drains, the pipe’s diameter may be restricted by a clog; the gurgling is the water as it struggles to fit through the pipe.
- Backup of Waste: If you notice waste coming through a different drain (for example, up from the tub when you flush the toilet) it could be due to a clog in the pipe that carries your sewage away from your house, impeding its flow. This would be a good time to call a professional for an inspection.
- Invasive Tree Roots: This is one of the most common sewer and plumbing issues. If your home has mature trees near your sewer (10-20 feet), the roots could imbed themselves around and in the underground pipes. When you plant a new tree, make sure it is well away from your sewer lines. If you suspect that roots are getting in the way, have your system inspected.
- Damaged Water Lines: If your faucets don’t run clear when you first turn them on, or you experience low water pressure, it could be due to damaged water lines. The pipes could be corroded or there could be a breach where contaminants are getting in. This could be a major safety issue and should be dealt with immediately.
- Water Hammer: Pipes that make knocking or banging sounds when you run the faucets or flush the toilets in an older home can come from several areas of your plumbing system and should be addressed by a professional.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your home, a professional plumbing service such as Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can physically inspect your pipes and sewer lines to determine what the root cause of the problem is. Once they have diagnosed the problem, they will discuss the options that are available to you in order to have your issues fixed quickly. Call or contact us today if you suspect you have a plumbing issue. It’s best to call as soon as you notice a problem; waiting will only lead to bigger and more expensive issues down the road.
22 Jul / 2016
After a long, cold winter, the prospect of summer brings promises of sunshine and warm weather. Before you run that AC unit on full blast, though, you may want to do a few things first; otherwise, your home could turn into a sauna because you’re in need of cooling repair. Here are 5 HVAC tips for summer that will have you cool and comfortable all season long.
- Clean the Air Ducts
Over time, your air ducts collect dust and other particles throughout the entire system. Having a professional HVAC company, such as Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, inspect and clean your air ducts will make sure that the cool air coming out is as clean as possible. Having air ducts that are dusty and dirty can also aggravate those with allergies or breathing problems.
- Inspect HVAC System
A thorough inspection of your AC and HVAC systems will ensure that it will work all season long, without interruption. The technician will inspect all major components to make sure they are in working condition and that everything is up to code. If any problems or issues are found, you can find out right away and deal with them immediately. Unattended maintenance issues can cause bigger problems later on.
- Clean Around the AC Unit
Most air conditioners have drainage holes at the base of the cabinet. It’s important to keep this clear of dust and debris (such as dead leaves) that may have piled up over the winter. A clogged hole means that the AC unit won’t work as efficiently as it should. A qualified technician can inspect and clean around your entire unit to make sure it the drainage holes are unblocked.
- Replace Filters
As a general rule, filters should be replaced every 3 months or so (more frequently for those with allergies). The start of summer is a great time to replace your filters. This is something you can do yourself; just make sure you are purchasing the right type and size for your HVAC system. If you’re unsure, you can ask your HVAC technician to verify the type and size you need.
- Clean Air Vents
It’s important to vacuum and clean the air vents all around your home, particularly your bathrooms, where a lot of hair can accumulate. Thorough vent cleaning will get rid of built-up dust and debris and will help minimize impurities in the air. Keeping your air vents clean can help minimize allergies and breathing issues.
Summer is a good time to have your HVAC system inspected. Keeping your system maintained will keep it working longer and more efficiently. Once your system is over 10 years old, it might be time to think about replacing it with a more energy efficient unit.
Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can take care of all your air conditioner repair and air conditioning service needs. Call or contact us today to learn more about our range of HVAC services.
Did you know that the average American household uses more than 400 gallons of water every day, and that there are more than 133 million households across the nation? Go ahead, do the math: that’s a staggering amount of water used each and every day for a variety of purposes. Whether you live in New York City, Los Angeles, or Riverton, conserving water should be one of your top priorities.
Fortunately, there are some simple ways you can conserve water this coming summer season, without compromising on your everyday habits. Small changes can make a huge difference in our overall water consumption! Here are a few ideas:
- Take Shorter Showers: Shaving just two minutes off of your shower can save you a staggering 1,500 gallons of water annually. If you must have that longer shower, look for water-efficient shower heads. This will save both on water and energy. That’s a win-win all around!
- Run the Dishwasher: Environmental studies have shown that using your dishwasher uses less water, less soap, and less energy than hand-washing your dishes. Today, most dishwasher models are energy efficient and use only half the water as compared to filling your sink. That’s a great reason to invest in a dishwasher and letting the machine do the work!
- Don’t Water your Lawn Midday: The sun is strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., so watering your lawn adequately during this time can actually require more water, as the soil will dry out much quicker and water will soak into the earth at a faster rate. Try to water your lawn and garden first thing in the morning, or after dinner, when the sun is at its weakest.
- Shut off the Tap When Brushing your Teeth: The only time you should run the tap water when brushing is when you spit out your toothpaste (and rinse the sink when you’re done). Running the tap throughout the entire brushing process can waste precious gallons of water.
- Fix your Leaks: Leaky faucets? They could be wasting hundreds of gallons per year, and costing you more on your energy and water bills. Make sure all faucets are functioning properly, and have them either fixed or inspected by a professional. Plumbing services in Riverton, as in other areas, can help ensure that all of your faucets are in good operational order.
- Switch to Water-conserving Toilets: Today’s models are built to use less water than traditional toilets. If you are looking for maximum water efficiency, look for the EPA’s WaterSense label, which means that the toilet is certified to meet their very stringent conservation criteria.
- Invest in a Rain Barrel: Are you watering your lawn with a garden hose? Try using a rain barrel! These are inexpensive, and are just as good, if not better, for your lawn and garden. There are a number of models and designs on the market – or, if you’re the DIY type, you can build your own.
Part of owning a home or property is maintaining both the structural and mechanical elements so that everything runs smoothly and efficiently. When something goes wrong – with a hot water heater, for example – we often have to decide whether the item can be repaired or if a full replacement is necessary, and it’s not always easy to know which way to go.
Here’s what you should know when making the decision.
Factors to take into account when considering a repair:
- AGE: Most manufacturers recommend that a water heater be replaced about every 10 years. If it’s younger than this, a repair might make the most sense.
- WARRANTY COVERAGE: If the water heater is still covered, this will most likely make a repair a lot easier. Find out what your coverage includes.
- CONDITION: For a relatively well-maintained unit in good condition, a repair might be the most cost-effective option.
- COST: Minor repairs can extend the life of your unit and save money.
- LIVING SITUATION: Selling a house with a functioning hot water heater is a requirement. This does not mean, however, that a unit on the cusp of the 10-year mark need be replaced. You may determine that the cost of repairs far outweigh the price of a new hot water heater in a house you’ll no longer be living in.
If you’re thinking about repairing your hot water heater on your own, do your research and know your capabilities. It’s important to know what fixes you can make yourself and when it’s time to call in a professional.
Factors to take into account when considering replacing your unit:
- AGE: Older units (over 10 years old) become less efficient and are more prone to breakdowns. The cost to replace with a brand-new, high-efficiency hot water heater may be worth the expense of frequent repair costs.
- WARRANTY COVERAGE: If the hot water heater is no longer covered, you may find yourself with a repair cost that makes replacement (and a new warranty) a better option.
- CONDITION: If the unit has not been well-maintained over the years, its useable lifespan can decrease.
- COST: If you find yourself spending over half the original cost of your older hot water heater on repairs, it may be time to replace.
- LIVING SITUATION: If you love your home and plan on staying there for years to come, an older hot water heater that stops functioning on a regular basis can be unpleasant and result in time lost from work or other activities due to frequent repair appointments. Additionally, if you have “outgrown” your smaller tank, upgrading to a larger tank will make your home life more comfortable.
- PARTS: Older hot water heaters may no longer have available parts. In this situation, repairing is not an option.
- EXTENT OF DAMAGE: Corrosion or considerable leaking of the unit is usually not able to be repaired. If you see external corrosion, you most likely also have it on the inside (and more extensively) where you cannot see it.
For expert advice, contact Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, a plumbing, heating and air conditioner repair service in New Jersey. Wolfschmidt is a full service company, providing heating and air conditioner installation services. Call us 24/7 at 800-658-8611 and let us assist you with your plumbing, heating and air conditioning system needs.
03 Apr / 2016
Your HVAC system is one of the most important components of your home; without it, you’ll either be very cold or very hot! Keeping your system in top condition all year long will ensure that it’s there when you need it. Here are three important reasons to call an HVAC company this spring to inspect and clean your unit.
Cleaning and Maintenance
If your air conditioner is part of a comprehensive HVAC system, it’s been sitting dormant all winter long. The furnace portion has been continually working and can cause a build-up of potentially harmful dust particles. Even if it’s a stand-alone system, there will still likely be a build-up of dust and other debris from not being used – even if covered all winter. These particles can move through air vents when turned on and can cause breathing problems for you and your family, particularly if there are allergies in the home.
A reputable HVAC company, such as Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, can give your entire system a thorough spring cleaning. Knowing your air conditioning system is operating properly and is repaired professionally if needed, you can rest assured that your air conditioning system will be there when you need it (similarly, if you have a fall cleaning of your furnace, you know you’ll get through the winter comfortably).
Many companies also offer maintenance packages. For a monthly fee, an HVAC technician will come to your home on a regular basis to inspect your system and make sure everything is working properly. This is an invaluable resource, as you will be alerted to potential issues before they become bigger problems that will cost more to repair down the road.
Replacing or Upgrading Your System
Like most items in your home, your air conditioning system has a lifespan. Typically, it’s anywhere from 10 – 15 years. Once your system ages significantly, you may find yourself calling in repair technicians more often. You may also find your utility bills increasing, as older units become less energy efficient.
An experienced HVAC company can provide air conditioning service in New Jersey and assess your current system so you can decide whether or not you need a replacement air conditioner. This recommendation is based on several factors including age and performance. They can then discuss the available cooling repair or replacement options for your home.
Trust the Experts
One of the most important reasons to call an HVAC company to service your air conditioning system in the spring is that they are experienced – and this experience makes all the difference. When you hire a qualified technician, such as one from Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, you can be assured that highly skilled, licensed, and insured professionals are working on your air conditioning system. These technicians will inspect and clean your system thoroughly and then provide a report of how it’s working and what issues you should be aware of. You can decide from there how you want to proceed.
When you call an HVAC company to inspect your air conditioning system, you are being a proactive homeowner and protecting you and your family from potentially harmful air particles as well as system breakdowns.
Wolfschmidt Plumbing, Heating & Cooling provides air conditioning service in Riverton, and throughout Burlington County and Camden County. Their professional team can take care of all of your maintenance, air conditioner repair, or replacement needs. Call or contact us today to book an air conditioning system cleaning and inspection appointment, or if you have any other HVAC issues.