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Frequently Asked Questions

You Have Questions, Our Team Has Answers!

Electrical FAQ

Why are my lights flickering?

Flickering lights can mean a lot of different things. Most commonly, a sudden light flicker is a symptom of turning on some device that uses a high amount of electrical current, such as a vacuum cleaner or microwave. However, continuous flickering independent of devices being plugged in or turned on is a sign that your electrical connections may be preventing your light fixtures from receiving the proper amount of power. Call today and schedule an inspection.

Why are my outlets and switches not working?

If your outlets and switches are not working in just one room, then your circuit breaker has probably tripped and needs to be reset. See the next question for instructions on how to do this. If the impacted room is a garage or bathroom, then your GFCI may have tripped, and all you need to do is press the “reset” button on the outlet in the room with two buttons in the middle. If more than one room has the same issue, then you may have a more serious problem with your electrical system and should call an electrician right away.

How do I reset a circuit breaker?

Resetting a circuit breaker is easy. Simply open the door to your panel, find the breaker labeled for the room that has gone out, and you should see that it has flipped either all the way off or halfway into the middle. To reset the breaker, turn the switch all the way to the off position, wait for a second, and then turn it all the way back to the on position. If the breaker immediately turns off again, unplug something from the impacted room and then repeat the process. If the breaker still doesn’t stay on, then call an electrician to inspect the problem.

HVAC FAQ

Why does my air conditioner smell bad?

A strange smell in your air conditioner can mean a few things, but typically it isn’t anything to worry about. This is a frequent phenomenon in the first cooling cycle of the year because your cooling coil may have become dusty. What you smell is condensing water rinsing this dust off and the odor being imbued into the air that passes through your system. However, if you smell mold, mildew, or any other uncharacteristically bad odor, call for a system inspection, as you may have a more serious issue in your ductwork.

What temperature should I set my air conditioner to?

ENERGY STAR recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher for optimal energy consumption. Those with programmable and smart thermostats should set them to roughly seven degrees higher during hours when nobody will be home to avoid energy waste. Likewise, set your thermostat to around four degrees higher during sleeping hours.

Why isn’t my HVAC system turning on?

There are lots of reasons why your HVAC system may not be turning on, but one of the most common and often overlooked is that the battery in your thermostat may have run out. Many thermostats are actually battery-operated, and a dying battery means your thermostat can’t send the signal to turn on your HVAC equipment. Simply pop the unit off the wall, replace the battery, and then replace the thermostat. Then try turning your system on again. If it still doesn’t turn on, call for a service appointment.

Why do I smell something burning when I turn on my heater?

A burning smell during the first cycle of the year is extremely common. In most cases, this is just dust in the heat exchanger burning up, and the odor should pass within about 10 minutes. If you smell burning plastic or rubber, on the other hand, shut off your heater and call a pro for help right away, as your issue is far more serious.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a type of heating system that doesn’t produce any carbon emissions or even burn fuel at all in order to heat your home. These systems collect heat from outside, carry it indoors, and then release it into the air inside—a process that is remarkably efficient for most homeowners. Think of it sort of like an air conditioner in reverse.

How often should I test my carbon monoxide detector?

You should test your carbon monoxide detector every month, change the battery every six months, and replace your detector entirely every three years. And you should always have a carbon monoxide detector placed near your furnace in order to alert you in the event of a carbon monoxide leak.

Plumbing FAQ

What are some signs of a clogged drain?

If any drain in your home recedes slowly or not at all, you probably have a drain issue. If the issue is with multiple drains in the same room, your issue is probably further down in one of the larger branches of your drain network. If the issue is with all of your drains, particularly all of your downstairs drains, then the issue might be with your main sewer line, and you should call for help immediately.

How long will my water heater last?

Water heaters typically last around eight years and may get two or three added years of use with proper maintenance and care. However, if your water heater is approaching a decade in age, then you should start planning to replace it soon. Water heaters can fail with little to no warning, and it’s best to change them out before they become a serious issue.

How often do I need a sewer inspection?

For most homes, we recommend a sewer inspection every two years. For older homes, we typically recommend a sewer inspection every year. For homes that have recently been impacted by a natural disaster, such as a sinkhole, earthquake, or other significant foundation shifting, then we recommend an inspection right away, as the ground movement may have badly damaged or even destroyed your sewer.

Generator FAQ

What type of generator is best?

“Best” isn’t necessarily a cut-and-dry thing when it comes to generators, as different people will have different goals, different budgets, and different needs from their generator. If you’re just looking for a little bit of emergency power to run a few lights and some small electronic devices, then a mid-size portable generator will probably suit you fine. However, if you’re looking to minimize disruption with an easy-to-use experience, standby generators are the way to go. Talk to a member of our team to learn more.

Can I use a generator during an outage?

Yes! However, you’ll want to make sure you have the ability to “island” your home away from the rest of the grid during the outage in order to protect the electrical lines and anybody who might be working on them. Talk to an electrician when considering a generator to find out more about this.

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