Blogs

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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3 Most Common Plumbing Issues

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pipe leak

Have you found the water bill of your Brownfield, Texas, home has unexpectedly risen? It’s possible you may have plumbing issues that need to be fixed right away. There are many common plumbing problems that could cause your water bill to rise or that could result in water leaks. Whatever the cause, the issue should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid costly water damage and emergency repairs to your appliances.

Old or Leaking Water Heater

If you see signs of water damage around your water heater or see puddles of water, call a plumber as soon as possible. But remember, there could be issues with your water heater that may require a replacement instead of a simple repair. When you’re making the repair/replace decision, first consider the age of the water heater. If it’s more than 10 years old, it may be time to replace it. Another common reason for replacing the water heater is finding rusty water coming out of it, which means the inside of the tank is rusting and may begin to leak soon. Have one of our technicians come out to inspect your water heater; after all, you don’t want it broken once the temperatures drop or when you have guests visiting.

Leaky Outside Faucets

Another common plumbing issue you may experience is leaky outside faucets. As faucets age, rust can take a toll on the threads, causing the faucet to leak. Check all your outside faucets and pipes, and upgrade plumbing parts that show signs of corrosion. In addition, consider covering them during the winter to protect against colder temperatures.

Appliances That Leak

You may not realize it, but there could be leaks with any of your appliances that use water, such as your dishwasher, garbage disposal, washing machine, and the ice maker on your refrigerator. If you notice water around any of these appliances, call us immediately so we can replace any faulty parts and stop the leaks.

Plumbing issues can be costly in terms of both high water bills and damaged appliances. If you need emergency repairs to stop a leak, call Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning today at 806-589-1014.

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3 Common Indoor Allergens

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woman sneezing

Many allergens are present all year and can cause a range of symptoms, including sinus trouble, eye irritation, rashes, headaches, and sore throats. You may have also noticed that your symptoms tend to increase when you’re able to open the windows in your Lubbock, Texas, home during the cooler weather. Here are the top three culprits for your allergy symptoms and strategies for taming your indoor allergies all year long.

Pollen

Even if you stay inside almost all the time, you still can suffer from pollen allergies. People and pets can bring pollen indoors, and even house plants produce pollen.

To prevent pollen’s adverse effects, ask guests and family members to remove their shoes and coats before they enter your home, and wipe down your pets with a damp cloth. Another way to cut down on symptoms is to vacuum and dust regularly and be sure to wear a dust mask while doing so. You can also use an indoor air purifier to remove pollen and other pollutants. Avoid indoor plants that produce significant pollen, like juniper, ficus, and chrysanthemum.

Pet Dander

Pet dander is the tiny dead pieces of skin that cats, rodents, dogs, and birds shed with their fur or feathers. You should have your pet groomed regularly to remove excess dander. Don’t let pets sit on your furniture, and wash their beds often. You should also change your HVAC system’s air filter once per month to keep your indoor air quality high.

Pests

You might also be allergic to the droppings from cockroaches, dust mites, and other pests. In cold weather, these small insects are attracted to your home for warmth, moisture, and food. They can even get into your ductwork and spread their allergens around your house. You can prevent this by having your ducts cleaned by a professional every few years.

Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning has more than 45 years of heating, cooling, and indoor air quality experience. We can help you avoid allergy symptoms and keep you and your family breathing easy. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014 for prompt, expert service.

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Plumbing Upgrades That Save You Money

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Are you on the prowl for new ways to save money in your Lubbock, Texas, home? The latest green plumbing technologies are both efficient and economical.

Tankless and On-Demand Water Heaters

The latest and greatest water heaters provide hot water on demand. There’s no need for a storage tank, and that saves space. You don’t have to worry about leaks, and these units live for about 20 years. That’s twice as long as traditional tanked units that last for around 10 years.

Water travels through a pipe during which it’s heated by a gas burner or an electric heating element. Small tankless water heaters can be used to generate additional hot water for laundry, washing dishes or for showering and bathing. Larger units can provide hot water for the whole house.

On-demand units eliminate energy losses associated with keeping a full tank of water hot. Instead, hot water is only generated as needed. Tankless units also eliminate energy losses that accrue while running the water and waiting for it to heat up. Savings can stretch to 15 percent annually.

Low Flow Toilets

Low flow toilet technology can save you money as well. Compared to traditional toilets, low flow fixtures have a smaller tank. That allows greater efficiency of water use. Traditional flush toilets use about 3.4 gallons of water per flush. Low flow toilets only use about 1.6 gallons per flush. No plumbing revisions are required, so installation is quick and easy. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, high-efficiency toilets can save you up to $2,200 during the lifetime of the fixture.

Residential and commercial plumbing upgrades conserve water while saving you money. To schedule an installation of either of these money-saving plumbing items, call us at (806) 589-1014. We serve all of Lubbock, Texas, including the South Plains.


3 Reasons to Get Regular HVAC Tuneups

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Annual tuneups are essential if you want to get the most out of your HVAC installation. You should schedule a visit in fall for your heating system and another one in spring for your air conditioner. These regular visits will help you get optimum comfort and efficiency in your Lubbock, Texas, home.

Lower Your Utility Bills

Regular tuneups for your furnace and air conditioner are key for efficient operation. During your maintenance visit, our technicians will carefully calibrate your system, check thermostat function, lubricate moving parts, and tighten electrical connections. These small tweaks can provide big energy savings. Don’t leave your system to struggle with components that haven’t been cleaned or adjusted in years. Schedule a tuneup now for optimum energy efficiency.

Increase the Life of Your System

An HVAC system that’s well-maintained will enjoy a longer lifespan than one that’s been neglected. With annual maintenance visits for both your air conditioner and your furnace, you can get as many years as possible from your installation. You’ll also suffer from fewer repair needs, so even the individual components of your system will last longer.

Improve Your Home Comfort

If your HVAC system isn’t providing the comfort you need, a maintenance visit is an easy way to start troubleshooting the problem. In many cases, you’ll find that the standard cleaning and calibration that comes with a tuneup is all you need to get things back in order.

During your tuneup, our technicians will also inspect the unit for other signs of potential problems. We can let you know ahead of time if a part looks like it will need to be replaced soon. Our technicians can also offer valuable insights into whether your system is properly sized for your home, so you’ll know what to look for when it’s time for a replacement.

If you haven’t seen one of our technicians in the last year, it’s time to schedule a visit. Call Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning at 806-589-1014 to schedule your maintenance now.

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