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Could Your Ducts Be Contributing to Allergies and Sinus Issues?

When was the last time your air ducts were cleaned? One of the most common things people leave off their Spring-cleaning list is to have their air ducts cleaned out. Over time, allergens, dust, and bacteria build up in your ducts. When your AC unit blows air through ducts lined with allergens and dust, the result is polluted air in your home. This can aggravate allergies and increase the likeliness of your family getting sick.

We recommend that air ducts be cleaned every 3-5 years to ensure optimal air quality. With the worst of allergy season coming to an end, this is the best time to have your ducts cleaned and start fresh. To minimize future build up, we recommend having an air purifier installed. Our favorite is the Dust Free Active Air Purifier. Many air purifiers sit out in your home and wait for air to pass through. The Active Air Purifier is installed directly into the supply ducts and it proactively treats the air and surfaces in your home.

Dramatically reduces:

• Allergens
• Odors
• Bacteria
• Smoke
• Viruses
• Dust

How to React in Various Plumbing Emergencies

Flooding or Overflowing Appliances/Sinks/Toilets
In most homes, you’ll notice that water-using appliances have special hook ups behind them. With those hookups, there will be a small knob. That knob is the water shut-off valve for that appliance. Each of your sinks and toilets should be equipped with one as well. By closing that vale, typically by turning it to the right until it comes to a full stop, you can prevent anymore water from accessing that appliance. This is the quickest way to stop an overflowing sink, toilet, washing machine, refrigerator, and similar appliances.

Burst Pipe in the Walls or Under the Floor
If a pipe has burst inside of your wall, or if you hear a leak in your walls or floor, you may not know which pipe is causing the leak. Don’t worry, your plumber will locate that when he or she gets there. For now, locate your main water line shut-off valve, and turn it off. You can usually find this valve on one of the front walls outside your home. This will turn off all the water inside of your house, stopping any leaks immediately. When the plumber arrives, the leak will be repaired, and the water will be turned back on.

Main Water Line Break
If you’ve come home to a flooded yard, your main water valve may not be able to shut if off. In this case, there is one last valve you can try – the one located close to the street in front of your house. This is the valve that the city uses to control water access to your home. In emergencies, you can use that valve to shut off the water to your home, though not all cities allow civilian access to those valves.

If you ever find yourself in the middle of a plumbing emergency, call our team at (512) 267-1188.

 

What to Look for When Hiring a Service Company

At some point almost everyone needs plumbing or AC repairs done. So, who do you trust to get the job done? On top of the stress that emergencies bring, it can be a bit daunting to let a stranger in your home, so we have some tips to help you choose a service company!

First, read reviews. Who better to trust than other customers? Here at Lantz’s Lakeside Plumbing & AC, we take great pride in the feedback we receive from our customers. We are passionate about what we do, and it shows in our work.

Next, look for a company that cleans up their mess. Did you know that some service companies do not requires technicians to clean up after a job? At Lantz’s, we challenge our technicians to leave the place even cleaner than when they arrived. It shows that we respect our customers’ homes and businesses as if it were our own.

Look for a company with warranties on both parts and labor. It shows you that they confidently stand behind their work. Lantz’s values both quality of the parts we use, and of the service we provide.

We would love to be there for you in your next plumbing or AC emergency! Should a plumbing or AC issue arise, give us a call at 512-267-1188.

 

Are Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures Worth the Investment?

Low flow plumbing fixtures are making their way into more homes and cutting down water bills. Toilets, faucets, and shower heads all come in water-efficient versions now. Low flow faucets and shower heads have a lower flow rate, meaning they use fewer gallons of water per minute. Low flow toilets are designed to use less water per flush. These fixtures can be more expensive, so is it worth it in the long run? Let’s look at each type of low flow fixture…

Low Flow Toilets
Typically, they use about half the water of a normal toilet. Many upgraded models have half and full flush options, depending on whether you’re flushing liquid or solid waste. Due to the lower gallons per flush, these toilets have a wider drain, making clogs less likely.

Low Flow Shower Head
A typical shower head uses about two and half gallons per minute. Most low flow shower heads cut that down to two gallons per minute. While it may not seem like much, it really adds up over time. If you take a 15 minute shower, you would save about seven and a half gallons of water each day. Over one year, that’s over 2700 gallons.

Low Flow Faucets
Most faucets also use about two and a half gallons of water per minute – sometimes even more. If you’re going to invest in a low flow faucet, we recommend looking for one with a flow rate of one and a half gallons per minute or less. This will cut down on water usage by roughly 40%.

In conclusion, YES! There is great return from investing in low flow plumbing fixtures. Not only will your water bill go down, but you also will be helping the environment. If you’re interested in having any of these low flow fixtures installed in your home, call Lantz’s Lakeside Plumbing & AC at 512-267-1188.

 

What’s Really in Your Household Cleaning Products?

It’s easy to assume that all household cleaners are safe, but have you ever looked at what exactly is in your cleaning products? Many cleaning products on the market contain toxins. However, because they aren’t products meant to be ingested, they don’t have to be regulated by the EPA. Although the intent is not to ingest these cleaners, you are still being exposed to the chemicals every time you use them.

It is important to understand what chemicals you may be exposing yourself t. Here are just a few of the most common toxins found in cleaning products and why they could be harmful to you.

2-Butoxyethanol
This is commonly found in products labeled “multipurpose cleaner,” which are typically used in the kitchen and bathroom. It can irritate the eyes and skin and may be linked to liver and kidney conditions.

Chlorine
Two frequently used products that contain chlorine are bleach and toilet bowl cleaners. Chlorine is one of the more common chemicals that we are exposed to, so it can be trickier to avoid. However, some of the possible health risks include respiratory and thyroid issues.

Ammonia
This chemical is particularly dangerous for people who have breathing conditions, such as asthma, because it can worsen symptoms. It is typically found in bathroom polishes and glass cleaners. If you are using products that contain ammonia, make sure to not use simultaneously with bleach.

For a safer option, try making your own household cleaners out of things such as vinegar, lemons, baking soda, essential oils, and other natural ingredients.

 

What Kind of Water Filtration System Should I Get?

Regular tap water is completely safe to drink, but if you are still looking to improve the quality of your water, you may have considered a water filtration system. There are a variety of ways to filter your home’s water such as distillation, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet disinfection, and carbon black filters.

If you are looking for a filtration system that will improve water taste, remove impurities, and is reasonably priced, we recommend a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system. They are highly effective and automatic. Our favorite RO system is from Nimbus Water Systems. Here are few of the top benefits:

Improves Taste
A Residential RO System removes contaminants from tap water to provide top notch drinking water. The Nimbus system also features top quality coconut carbon post-filtration to provide a final polishing for the freshest taste.

Removes Impurities
In addition to removing contaminants that can alter taste, it also removes many impurities. A few of these include sulfates, bacteria, pharmaceuticals, and nitrates. Because the Nimbus system also include a post-filtration carbon filter, it also will remove chloramines and chlorine.

More Efficient
The Nimbus Ro System has a 30% higher flow from the faucet than other filtration systems, and wastes 50% less water in the filtration process. It also refills the storage tank significantly faster than other systems.

In comparison to other filtration systems, this RO system is very reasonably priced, easy to install, and requires very little maintenance. If you are a bottled water drinker, you will also save money from not needing to purchase bottled water anymore. If you would like to find out more about how a RO system can improve your home’s water, call Lantz’s Lakeside Plumbing & AC at 512-267-1188.

 

Eczema and Hard Water

If you or someone you know has eczema, you know how difficult it can be to find relief. The cause of eczema is different for everyone, and in many cases it’s unknown, making it even harder to treat. Similarly, all bodies respond differently to each method of treatment. Topical creams, vitamins, avoiding certain foods, and switching up your laundry detergent can provide relief, but for some it doesn’t provide the comfort they want. If you feel like you have tried everything to get rid of that dry, itchy skin, you may have started to wonder if something in the water is contributing to the eczema.

Water comes out of your faucets hard, unless you have a water softener. Hard water still contains high levels of magnesium and calcium. Research has shown that hard water can harm your skin’s natural protective barrier, which may lead to the development of eczema. Once you have developed eczema, your skin becomes even more sensitive to hard water. Some people have a genetic predisposition to eczema and certain triggers can cause the dry, itchy skin to develop. Hard water is one of these triggers.

When your skin’s protective barrier becomes weaker from hard water, you may notice even more sensitivity to soaps, lotions, and other topical products. Hard water also does not wash the soap off your skin as effectively as soft water, leaving soap residue on your skin that can be irritating.

While a water softener has not been proven to cure eczema, it can greatly reduce your symptoms. If you are expecting a baby soon and eczema, or skin sensitivity runs in the family, you may want to consider installing a water softener. Research has shown that it can help prevent the development of eczema in those who have genetic predisposition.

 

Why is my water bill so high?

Leaking toilet or faucet
Leaking toilets and toilets that continuously run are two very common plumbing issues. Although not major, they waste more water than you might think, and you will see it on your water bill. Leaking faucets are just as common and can waste up to 25 gallons of water per day.

High Flow Fixtures
Low flow plumbing fixtures are water saving fixtures that use less gallons per minute. The change isn’t too drastic, but the savings add up by the end of the month. They are budget friendly and environmentally friendly.

Lifestyle changes
Take some time to think about your recent water usage. Are you taking longer showers? Do you have more people in your house? Life gets busy and sometimes the reason for an increase on your water bill can be as simple as lifestyle changes.

Leaky Pipes
The pipes under your home that lead to the meter could be leaking. Damage to these pipes is often caused by tree roots or animals. If there are no other likely causes of increased water use in your home, this may be something to investigate.

The best way to determine the cause of your high water bill is to have a professional plumber do a full home plumbing inspection. If you are interested in a plumbing inspection, call Lantz’s Lakeside Plumbing & AC at 512-267-1188.

Is Regular Plumbing Maintenance Necessary?

Plumbing will eventually malfunction; there’s no way to get around it. Just as your car requires regular maintenance, so does your home’s plumbing. Most plumbing systems are designed for durability, but they are not invincible. They still require annual maintenance to help prevent major issues down the line.

The goal in a plumbing inspection is to find corrosion, blockage, and leaks and repair them before they turn into costly damage. Many plumbers will not only inspect the pipes, but also large appliances such as water heaters, water softeners, and reverse osmosis systems.

One added perk of a regular plumbing inspection is that it will help maintain water purity. Keeping the pipes in your home clean helps ensure that your water is as fresh as possible.

The plumbers at Lantz’s Lakeside Plumbing & AC are trained to catch brewing issues in your home’s plumbing system. We understand that plumbing emergencies can be expensive and inconvenient. Our goal is to minimize these emergency plumbing disasters. We recommend an annual plumbing inspection of your home’s pipes and appliances. Catch problems while they are still small will save you both time and money in the long run. To schedule a plumbing inspection, or for more information, call 512-267-1188.