3 Signs That Your Plumbing Pipes May Be in Need of Replacement

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Pipe Replacement

Maintaining the plumbing pipes in your Wolfforth, Texas, home is crucial to staying comfortable and avoiding leaks or water damage. Unfortunately, plumbing pipes can wear down over time or become damaged, leading to problems you may not even see. If you notice discolored water, low water pressure, or a bad smell or taste to your water, it may be a sign that your pipes need to be replaced.

Discolored Water

The water coming from your pipes should always be clear. If there is any sort of discoloration, this is definitely a red flag. If the water coming out is dark, it could be an indication of corrosion along your pipes. Not only does this cause rust to get into your water supply, but it can also lead to clogging.

Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure may only seem like a minor inconvenience, but it may often indicate a serious problem with your pipes. Issues can range from a simple clog to leaks along the line. If leaks are the problem, you’ll need to find the area leaking and have your pipes replaced to prevent water damage to the frame or foundation of your home.

Bad Smell or Taste

The water coming from your tap should be odorless and clean. If the taste is foul, or you notice a strange odor coming from the water, it could be a sign that it’s time for a pipe replacement. The likely culprit is bacteria that has entered into your pipes and spread through your system. Bacteria can get into your system from corrosion or through cracks in the pipes. New pipes will eliminate bacteria and restore your water’s taste.

Don’t let plumbing problems continue unchecked. If you notice any of the signs listed above, contact us at 806-589-1014. One of our BTAC plumbing specialists will help diagnose your issue and determine if a pipe replacement can help correct the problem.

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4 Worrisome HVAC Odors

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Worrisome HVAC Odors

If you smell something unpleasant in your Abernathy, Texas, home, your HVAC system could be the cause. Stinky HVAC odors often indicate the presence of a more serious problem within the system or ductwork. Take a look at some of the most concerning HVAC odors that you might smell.

Rotten Eggs

Unless you actually have eggs that have gone bad in your home, the smell of rotten eggs often comes from natural gas. This odor is especially worrisome because it can indicate that your HVAC system has a gas leak, which can put your family in danger. If you smell that familiar natural gas odor, shut off power to your HVAC system and contact your gas company as soon as you can. Next, you’ll need to have an HVAC technician take a look.

Electrical Smells

If you smell wires burning, your system may be having an electrical issue that needs to be resolved. An electrical odor can occur if the motor inside the heating or cooling system is burning out, or it can happen when the wiring is going bad. Any type of electrical problem can increase the risk of fire, so get it checked out as soon as possible.

Musty Odors

A musty odor in the air usually means you have moisture somewhere in your HVAC unit. This can happen when water isn’t draining properly from the condensation line when your air conditioner is running. You could have a clog in the drainage line. Moisture in the ductwork can also cause the musty odor, so if the condensation line isn’t clogged, having your ducts professionally cleaned may resolve the issue.

Fuel or Oil

Many heating systems rely on gas or oil to operate, but you shouldn’t smell it unless something is wrong. If you catch a whiff of oil or gas in your home, the unit may be leaking or you could have a clogged burner. A leak can usually be resolved by tightening a valve, but a clogged burner is potentially dangerous, so get it checked by an HVAC expert.

At Bruce Thorton Air Conditioning, our HVAC technicians can diagnose the cause of worrisome HVAC odors, so give us a call at 806-589-1014.

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How to Tell if There’s a Hidden Water Leak in Your Home

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Water Leak

Water leaks can cause serious damage to your Ropesville, Texas, home, particularly if the leak is happening behind the scenes. Here are a few signs that there is a hidden water leak in your home that requires attention from a plumbing professional.

Your Water Bills Are High

Checking your water bills is one way you can determine if you’re dealing with a hidden water leak. While it’s true that your water bill will likely be higher some months than others, if you have a bill that’s way higher than normal, a pipe leak is a likely culprit, especially if the bill shows an unexpected increase in your water usage.

Damage to Your Ceilings, Floors, and Walls

Inspecting the ceilings, floors, and walls in your home is another way that you can detect a hidden leak. When one of your pipes is leaking, it can cause major damage to your home that should be very noticeable.

For instance, if you look at your walls and see large water stains, sagging, or bubbling, a water leak is the probable cause. If you notice any of these warning signs, be sure to call a professional plumber for help right away so that you can limit any further damage.

Strange Plumbing Noises

Although your plumbing system will make noise from time to time, certain noises can help you identify problems, including hidden leaks. If the leak is large, for instance, you may hear water rushing out of your pipes and when you turn on your faucet, it’s also possible to hear a stuttering noise because the leak has allowed air into your pipes.

You Have a Bug Problem

Certain types of bugs love moisture, which means they’ll be attracted to homes where there are water leaks. If you’re suddenly seeing roaches, earwigs, or silverfish in your home, it could be because you have a hidden water leak.

If you suspect there’s a hidden leak in your home, call Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning today at 806-589-1014. We’ll find the leak in your system and fix it so that your home will be protected.

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Get Green: Supplement Your Air Purifier with these 3 Plants

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House Plants

It may be easy to stay indoors and avoid the outdoor pollutants in Lubbock, Texas, but homeowners may forget that some air pollutants that plague their living space occur inside. Carpets, furniture and cleaning chemicals can contribute to volatile organic compounds inside a home. Removing indoor air pollutants may require a combination of air purifier technology as well as nature’s purifiers: plants. Here are three plants that can supplement your air purifier and clean your air.

Peace Lily

If you’re new to caring for plants, the peace lily is a great plant to get you started. This plant requires little light and water, and it even droops to let you know it needs more moisture. The peace lily also removes a number of pollutants from your air, including formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. Be careful as the peace lily can be toxic if ingested. Wash your hands after touching it, and keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Snake Plant

Also known as "Mother-in-Law’s Tongue," the snake plant is another great way to get green even if your thumb isn’t so green. The snake plant can survive in a wide range of temperatures and lighting. Snake plants also thrive with less watering. Like the peace lily, this plant is also a fantastic natural filter, removing formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, nitrogen oxide, and more from your air. Be sure to keep this plant from being ingested by kids and pets, too.

English Ivy

You may have seen English Ivy climbing up walls and lattices in outdoor landscaping, but you can also bring this plant indoors for both a splash of color and an improvement to indoor air quality. As long as your English Ivy is at a constant temperature and has direct sunlight as well as generous watering, it will thrive and remove formaldehyde, xylene, and more from your air. This plant may also help reduce biological growth in your living space.

You can never get too much help improving your indoor air quality. Take the best nature has to offer, and use it to supplement the best in air cleaning technology. Don’t have an air purifier? Have one installed by calling BTAC at 806-589-1014 for an appointment.

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2 Reasons Why Your Water Smells Off

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If the water in your Lubbock, Texas, home smells off, there could be a number of explanations. It’s always unpleasant to have bad-smelling water, and knowing what’s causing the problem can be helpful when looking for a solution. Here’s a quick guide to two of the main reasons why your water may be smelling strange.

Gas Buildup

If you notice a sewage-like odor, chances are you’re dealing with a gas buildup. The smell itself is caused by debris such as food or other decaying matter sitting in your drain. When the water is turned on, the liquid disturbs the gas, making it smell like the water itself is the issue. To check and ensure that this is actually the issue, pour a glass of water and then walk well away from the sink. If the water smells fine, you can proceed to fix the problem.

To combat this, just run some hot water through your drain and your disposal if you have one. Using some soap, carefully clean out the area around and just inside the drain. Pouring vinegar down the sink can also help.

Presence of Bacteria

If your water still smells after you walk away, you may be looking at an issue with bacteria in the water itself. This can appear as a sewage smell or sulfur smell. Hydrogen sulfide is the most common culprit behind these odors. Found in oxygen-deprived locations such as deep wells, hydrogen sulfide isn’t dangerous for you and is common in many of these reservoirs, both private and public.

Get a water testing kit and see if your water tests positive for hydrogen sulfide. If it does, contact a professional to check if there is proper ventilation at your water source. The magnesium rod in your water heater may also play a role. You can get it replaced with an aluminum alternative to hopefully reduce the smell. You may also benefit from filtration, but if not, you may need a new system altogether.

If you’re facing an issue with your water smelling off, the experts at BTAC can help. Give us a call at 806-589-1014 to set up an appointment today!

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Renovating Your Kitchen? 3 Plumbing Considerations

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Remodeling your kitchen gives you the chance to get the dream kitchen you’ve always wanted. When redoing the kitchen in your Lubbock, Texas, home, there are a few plumbing considerations you need to keep in mind for a successful project. Here are our top three most major factors to look at during the renovation process.

Pipe Planning

Sorting out the location of your plumbing pipes is a major part of any home update, especially since poor planning can lead to big problems. If you’re keeping your dishwasher and sink in the same spot, you don’t have as much to worry about. However, if you’re planning on switching up their positions, you need to carefully consider where these water-based appliances go.

Plumbing typically has to run at a gradient, which means you may have to do some significant restructuring to get your pipes where you need them for your new layout. In addition, if you’re changing locations, you need to contact your local building inspector to approve the plans. Be sure to get a licensed plumber to tackle this project — you don’t want to perform significant plumbing rerouting on your own.

Install Shutoffs

Shutoffs are any kitchen’s best friend. Designed for any water-based appliance, these instantly shut off water to whichever machine they’re connected to. This helps reduce the chance of damage or flooding due to leaking appliances, which can save you a lot of time, money, and stress should something go wrong. Plus, they’re an all-around good idea and come in handy if you plan to change anything out in the future.

Appliance Add-Ons

If you’re renovating an older kitchen, you may want to consider updating your appliances as well. There are many new technologies available for kitchens. We’re particularly fond of tankless water heaters, which can provide instant hot water whenever you turn on the tap. You may also want to switch to more eco-friendly appliances to help save water and reduce your utility bills.

A remodeling project is a big deal. Fortunately, the licensed technicians at BTAC are here to help. Give us a call at 806-589-1014 to set up a consultation today!

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Simple Tasks That Can Improve Your HVAC Efficiency

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Keeping your Lubbock, Texas home energy efficient is important to not only reducing your home’s carbon footprint but lowering your energy bills as well. Luckily there are a few simple tasks that you can perform to help improve the efficiency of your HVAC system and the overall energy use in your home.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

It is easy to forget to turn the temperature down when you are away or even before you leave on vacation. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can rest assured that your system will be working in a more energy efficient manner by reducing the temperature when you leave or when you go to sleep at night.

Maintain Good Airflow

When the air flow in your home is restricted, your HVAC system will have to work harder to deliver the air to create the ideal temperature. Make sure the vents in your home are away from furniture and any other items that could block it.

Keep Your House Insulated

Don’t let heated air escape through damaged insulation in your home. Poor insulation accounts for a large amount of heating loss and higher energy bills. If insulation becomes damaged or worn, make sure to add more or consider replacement to keep the heat where it belongs.

Be Vigilant About Maintenance

Over time dirt, debris, pollen, and pet dander can build up in your HVAC system and cause problems with efficiency. A dirty system has to work harder to get the right temperature which causes it to use more energy. Replacement of worn or damaged parts is also necessary to ensure your system is running at its optimum level.

Regularly Change Air Filters

Blocked air filters are one of the biggest causes of HVAC inefficiency and also one of the easiest to fix. A clogged filter can restrict airflow and cause your system to work harder than it needs to. Check your filter regularly and change it as needed.

Follow the five simple tasks above to improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. Interested in scheduling maintenance or looking for a more efficient model? Contact us at BTAC at 806-589-1014 today to find available options.

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Go Tankless: 3 Benefits of Choosing a Tankless Water Heater

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Having proper hot water in your Lubbock, Texas home is critical to maintaining the comfort of both you and your guests. While you want a water heater that is reliable, you also want to make sure to choose one that provides better energy efficiency for your home. If you are planning on installing a new water heater, consider investing in a tankless model.

How Does a Tankless Heater Work?

Unlike a traditional water heater, a tankless heater does not use a holding tank where the water is heated before it is delivered to your faucets and appliances. With a tankless model, the water will come directly from your water source and through the heating element in your tankless system. The water is immediately heated and delivered when you need it.

Benefits of a Tankless Water Heater

There are many benefits that come with investing in a water heater. While some of the benefits are immediate, other benefits will be noticed over time. Benefits you can expect with a tankless water heater include:

  • Space savings – As the name suggests, a tankless water heater does not have the large tank as part of the unit. This makes the unit significantly smaller, allowing it to fit in a storage closet or on a wall as long as it is close to your water pipes.
  • Saving on utility bills – With a traditional model, a heating source will need to constantly heat new water being delivered in the tank so that it can be sent out to fixtures and appliances. With a tankless model, the unit only heats the water when it is used, reducing the overall energy consumption, and saving you a significant amount on your energy bills.
  • Quicker hot water delivery – Your tankless water heater will heat the water as you use it and when you have used a significant amount of hot water, you won’t need to wait for the whole tank to heat up to get more.

Find out the benefits of installing a tankless water heater for yourself by us at contacting BTAC at 806-589-1014 today to check out available models and schedule your installation.

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Why Your Heater Smells at the Beginning of the Season

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Heater Smells

Heating season is upon us in the Lubbock, Texas, area. Though you may resist turning your system on for the first heating round of the season, it will be inevitable by the time winter sets in. One of the undesirable side effects of finally turning to your furnace is that burning smell that occurs the first time or two that you heat your home. If you’re not familiar with the odor, it can even be alarming. Here’s a little background info on what that burning smell from your furnace is, what you should do, and how you can avoid it.

What’s That Smell?

The burning smell that you notice when you turn your heater on for the first time each winter is the smell of dust burning off the vents, registers, and heat exchangers. This accumulated layer of dust heats up quickly when the furnace fires up and creates a distinctive odor as it burns off. Fortunately this smell should only be noticeable for a few minutes the first time or two that you run your system this season.

What Should I Do?

The burning smell from your furnace is rarely a cause for concern, but you should contact an HVAC technician if:

  • You smell burning plastic or rubber
  • The smell has an electrical odor, like burning wires
  • You smell smoke
  • The odor persists for more than a few minutes

If you’ve had the same furnace in your home for several years, you’re probably familiar with the system’s ordinary burning smell. Anything that seems unusual is a cause for concern. Our experienced professionals can help diagnose your furnace issues quickly to ensure a safe, breathable environment.

How Can I Prevent It?

If you want to avoid that burning smell this year, schedule your maintenance visit before you turn your furnace on for the first time. Part of your tune-up is a thorough system cleaning. This can help you avoid any burning odor.

With one of our maintenance agreements, you can make regular tune-ups an easy part of your home care routine. Contact BTAC at 806-589-1014 to learn more.

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Getting Your Plumbing Ready for Holiday Get-Togethers

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Holiday Plumbing Ready

The holidays typically means more cooking than usual and more family and friends visiting your Lubbock, TX home for parties, dinners or small get-togethers. Whatever your situation, keep in mind that increased use of your plumbing system could pose problems, so here are a few reminders.

Check for Clogged Sinks

It’s not uncommon for people to have huge get-togethers during the holidays. Whether you’re having two people over or 20, you need to make sure your sinks are functioning well. A slow or clogged sink can quickly turn into a huge mess, especially if it’s the kitchen sink. You’re going to be doing lots of dishes, so make sure the sinks and drains are good to go. A professional plumber can unclog any drain that is slow or clogged.

Fix the Garbage Disposal

One of the simplest ways to get rid of food and leftovers is to put it down a garbage disposal. This keeps the trash from overflowing and inhibits odors as the food goes bad sitting in the wastebasket. Is your garbage disposal broken? If so, make sure to contact a professional plumber to fix it before your next big get-together. You’ll greatly appreciate having a working garbage disposal once it comes time to clean up the kitchen.

Avoid Frozen Pipes

Even if the holiday get-together is at someone else’s house, you still need to make sure your pipes are in good order while you’re away if temperatures will be below freezing. From holiday parties to traveling halfway across the country to visit family for Christmas, there’s much to do and so little time. If you’re going on a vacation and you’re concerned about pipes in exterior walls freezing, take steps to have the pipes insulated. This ensures if the temperature gets too cold outside, the pipes won’t freeze.

BTAC specializes in a variety of quality plumbing services. We are here to make sure your plumbing is ready for the holidays. Our extensive plumbing knowledge allows you to enjoy the holidays instead of worrying about your plumbing. Contact us today by visiting our website or give us a call at (806) 589-1014.

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