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How You Can Help Your Heater Be More Effective

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warm couple

Warm Is The Word

Winter is a wonderful season. Cuddling up in a fluffy blanket with a cup of hot cocoa while the wind whips around outside is such a great feeling. Great, that is, as long as your Lubbock home’s heating system is in top working condition.

Keeping your heater working well isn’t difficult. You can take some simple steps to keep it in good shape to ensure that it will be effective in keeping your home toasty warm when the temperature drops. Keep your heater working perfectly with the following tips.

Keep Air Filters Clean

One of the easiest ways to keep the warm air flowing is to check your furnace’s air filter and change it when needed. When a filter becomes clogged with dirt, dust, and debris, heat cannot move through it to get to the air ducts and out to the vents in the house. The filter generally only needs to be changed once at the beginning of the cold weather season.

Have A Professional Inspection Done

If you want to make sure everything is in tip-top shape prior to firing up your furnace for the season, having a professional technician perform regular maintenance is a great idea. A technician can also provide information on proper home insulation, which also lessens the strain on your heater’s output. This can prevent problems later on that could become major issues in the middle of winter.

Add Moisture To Warm Up The Air With A Humidifier

Indoor heat can create extremely dry air. Air that contains moisture feels warmer than air that is dry. A humidifier helps to add moisture to the air, making it feel warmer so that you can dial back the thermostat, giving your heater a bit of a break.

It takes just a little planning and attention to help keep your heater working perfectly. For more tips on helping your heater perform perfectly, go to https://btacinc.com or call (806) 589-1014.


Top 3 Problems and Fixes With Household Plumbing

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Fix Those LeaksMost people have a few tools on hand to fix minor plumbing repairs. Many times, a clogged drain or leaky faucet only needs a little elbow grease to get things up and running again. And if you’re handy around the house, tackling small repairs like replacing a drain cover or worn out washer is easy. However, trying to repair even the most common issues can sometimes lead to more significant problems.

Common Household Plumbing Problems

Dripping Faucets

There you are snug in your bed and you hear it; drip, drip. This common problem is not only annoying, but it’s also a huge waste of water. When the washer wears out, they can become stiff or even tear, which allows a tiny trickle of water to drip. Replacing the old washer usually fixes this problem. However, if your faucet continues to drip, the repair job could be more complex than simple washer replacement.

Clogged Drains

If the water in your tub or sink is slow to drain or not draining at all, a plunger may be the answer. Plungers work well to dislodge clogs, but they cannot completely remove them. Drain cleaners are also safe for occasional use, but if you find yourself reaching for the plunger on a regular basis, it’s time to call a plumber.

Running Toilet

If you have to jiggle the handle of your toilet to make it stop running, you may need to replace its inner workings. Typically, toilets will continue to run when the flapper valve is no longer doing its job. Most toilet repair kits work for most models and require very little effort to install. However, there are times when toilets run for more complex reasons. If you replace the flapper and still have to jiggle the handle, a plumber can dig deeper to find the root of the problem.

Some issues are far too complex or even dangerous to tackle on your own. When in doubt, contact us at (806) 589- 1014 and we’ll send an experienced plumber to your home who can identify and correct the plumbing problem.


3 Common Commercial HVAC Repairs You Can Avoid

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Repairs You Can Avoid

You’ve poured all your energy, time, and resources into your Plainview, Texas, business, and while many things are out of your control, don’t ignore your HVAC system. While it doesn’t contribute directly to your bottom line, an efficient HVAC system provides a better atmosphere for both your employees and customers. By keeping an eye out for poor heating and cooling, strange noises, and other warning signs, you can avoid costly commercial HVAC maintenance.

Poor Heating and Cooling

If you’ve noticed drafty rooms in your office or another room that seems to turn into a stuffy, hot room, your HVAC system is definitely a concern. Without proper maintenance, your heating and cooling system can’t keep up with the demands. To exacerbate problems, systems that are 10 years or older can suffer from a lack of efficiency, even with routine repairs.

Bizarre Noises

When your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace starts to make bizarre noises, it’s indicative of a greater problem with your HVAC system. The most common types of strange noises include hissing and squealing. Hissing is usually caused by a leak in your refrigerant line or compressor, while a squealing is normally a problem with your blower fan. Only one of our trained technicians can tell for sure, and we’re equipped to solve the situation with a quick inspection.

Clogged or Dirty Filters

Most HVAC systems perform valiantly when you need them to, but not without proper care. However, you don’t always need us to solve the problem. Keep a vigilant eye on your air filter, which helps remove contaminants and particles from the air. If this filter gets clogged or excessively dirty, it can put extra strain on your HVAC system, lower your indoor air quality, and cause excessive wear and tear. Fortunately, this is easy to amend by changing the filter every 30 to 90 days depending on usage.

If you notice any of these problems with your HVAC system, don’t wait to contact BTAC. Our technicians can expertly diagnose and repair any commercial problems to get you back into your routine. Give us a call today at 806-589-1014.

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We Can Help You Take Care of Your Skin This Winter

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Take Care of Your Skin

Winter weather in Lubbock, Texas, can wreak havoc on your skin. The air loses most of its moisture, and without this natural moisturizer your skin can turn into a scaly, alligator-like condition. But don’t fear. You have plenty of options when it comes to making your skin as healthy as possible during the colder months. With proper home humidity, skin care, and hydrating, you can avoid itchy, scratchy, uncomfortable skin.

Proper Home Humidity

Although outdoor humidity can fall to levels that can impact your skin, you have full control of it indoors. According to the EPA, indoor relative humidity should range between 30 and 50 percent. However, you can’t keep the humidity at this level without a bit of help. With products like the Performance Fan-Powered Humidifier or the Performance Steam Humidifier, you can keep your humidity levels at the optimal levels without a second thought.

Hydrate

When the weather gets cold in Lubbock, you don’t often think about reaching for a glass of water like you would during summer. However, without proper hydration, your skin can dry out quickly. If you’re cold, a cup of hot water with lemon and honey should warm you from the inside, while also keeping you hydrated and improving your skin.

You can also carry over this hydration to your diet. Many fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cantaloupe, kiwis, cucumbers, and carrots are full of water and vitamins, giving your skin just what it needs to stay healthy.

Moisturize

Moisturizing is second nature to many people, but when winter comes, you have to take your regimen to the next level. The best time to put on some lotion or moisturizer is right when you hop out of the shower, which helps seal in the dampness. In addition, you may want to moisturize overnight, which helps retain moisture, especially in dryer areas like the knees, elbows, and face.

You can do many things to improve your skin during the winter, but without the right home humidity, it’s an uphill battle. For home humidifier installation and other indoor air quality considerations, call BTAC today at 806-589-1014.

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Backflow Prevention: What You Need to Know

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Need to Know

It’s all too easy to ignore your plumbing system, but things can and do go wrong. To keep the plumbing in your Ransom Canyon, Texas, commercial building in top shape, pay attention to possible issues. Some problems are obvious, but others are invisible and can cause serious damage. Backflow is an issue that commercial building owners should be aware of because it will contaminate your potable water supply.

What Is Backflow?

Backflow occurs when the contents of a pipe or plumbing system start flowing in the wrong direction. It is caused by a cross-connection between the fresh water supply and wastewater or other sources of contamination. Along with being inconvenient and downright gross, backflow can cause contamination of potable water by sewage or harmful chemicals.

Backflow is one of the most serious issues that can affect a plumbing system, and it must be remedied immediately. It’s dangerous for everyone working in the building, and it can cause serious damage to the building and the plumbing system.

How Backflow Happens and How to Prevent It

The cause of backflow is a difference between the pressure in your plumbing system and the pressure in the water supply system. If the pressure in your plumbing system exceeds the pressure of the system that delivers fresh water to your building, then the contents of your system will flow the wrong way for the duration of the pressure.

Protect your commercial building with backflow prevention devices, like air gaps and specialized valve assemblies. Having the right kind of backflow prevention device installed will ensure that your commercial building’s plumbing is protected from backflow. Don’t try to deal with backflow yourself. Hiring a qualified plumber is the best way to rectify the problem and install preventative devices.

BTAC is your plumbing resource for commercial buildings. Call us at 806-589-1014 so that we can examine your system and install the right backflow devices. We’re on call 24/7, so if you’re already experiencing a problem, we can get a plumber out to you quickly.

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2 Innovative Heating Options for the Home

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Innovative Heating

Homeowners across America have historically relied on the traditional furnace to keep them toasty-warm all winter, but there are other, more innovative heating options for the home. Even if you don’t have a furnace or live in a milder climate like that of Lubbock, Texas, it’s good to learn about some of the latest heating options out there.

Dual-Fuel Heat Pump

The dual-fuel heat pump concept essentially combines the gas-powered furnace with a heat pump to maximize comfort. Traditional heat pumps do not use fuel to operate, but the dual-fuel heat pump system does. During the winter months, the heat pump can draw on gas heat as needed, but electricity takes over when the temperature exceeds 35 degrees.

In regions with harsher winters, this type of system can potentially save homeowners thousands of dollars over the life of the system. In areas like Lubbock, where winters are milder, you can probably get by with a simple heat pump.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

One innovative option that’s already available in most of the country is the geothermal heat pump. While it’s a major investment in terms of up-front costs, a geothermal heat pump is super-efficient and can save you a huge chunk of money over its lifetime.

Geothermal heat pumps are also the greenest heating option on the market because they use the energy from the earth to heat homes. Long loops of pipes underground store liquid that’s warmed by the heat stored in the ground. Not only are geothermal heat pumps clean, safe, and quiet, but they are also reliable and have a longer lifespan than traditional furnaces.

Whether you’re looking to go green, save money on energy, or maximize your home’s comfort, Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning can help. Call BTAC at 806-589-1014 to discuss your current HVAC options. With over 40 years of experience in the industry, we’re the Lubbock area’s leading comfort specialists, and we have the expertise you’re looking for in an HVAC company.

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Tips to Manage Fall Allergies

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Manage Fall Allergies

When you’re suffering from fall allergies in Anton, Texas, you might experience unpleasant symptoms that cause discomfort. Certain types of trees, plants, and grass bloom during the fall season, which can cause these allergies to flare up in many local residents. Reduce allergy symptoms this fall by keeping up on regular maintenance in your home.

Keep it Clean

Allergies often worsen at night when you go to sleep. If you’re constantly waking up with symptoms like congestion, a sore throat, or itchy eyes, you may need to make some changes in your bedroom. Use allergy-proof pillow cases and bedding covers to limit dust mites, pollen, and other allergens from getting into your linens. If you have curtains, consider replacing them with blinds that won’t accumulate as much dust, or regularly take them down to clean them. Dust often and avoid keeping knick-knacks or piles of clutter in your bedroom.

Get an Air Purifier

Using an air purifier in your home can also help reduce indoor allergy symptoms. There are several kinds of air purifiers, but most pull air through a filter to catch dust and other allergens. You can purchase small air purifiers for use in specific rooms, like the bedroom or living room. You can also opt for a whole-home purifier that works with your HVAC system, improving the air quality throughout every room.

Regular Maintenance and Duct Cleaning 

Another common cause of allergic symptoms is poor indoor air quality. It’s easy to tell if your symptoms are caused by indoor air. Simply leave the house for a few hours to see if you start to feel better. Keep up on regular HVAC maintenance, including duct cleaning, to keep allergy symptoms under control.

Duct cleaning performed at least once a year can reduce contaminants in the air you breathe, lessening symptoms throughout the changing seasons. During a duct cleaning service, your technician will use a high-powered vacuum to remove dust, dirt, and debris from the ducts.

Contact BTAC (Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning) to schedule maintenance and duct cleaning at 806-589-1014.

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3 Top Appliances for an Energy-Efficient Home

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Appliances for an Energy-Efficient Home

Looking for ways to reduce energy waste in your Lubbock, Texas, home often starts with a review of how often you leave lights on and appliances running. However, poor efficiency can lead to substantially more waste than forgetting to turn the light off when you leave for the day. Outdated appliances are a common culprit when it comes to energy waste, so check out these efficient options and upgrade your home to improve efficiency.

Washer and Dryer

Newer washers and dryers use substantially less energy than older models. You can also choose high-efficiency units, available from the top brands in the industry, to reduce water waste when you’re washing your clothes. If you opt for an Energy Star certified model, you’ll save as much as 25 percent of energy and 45 percent of water compared to non-certified washers.

Refrigerator

If you’re still using the same refrigerator that you’ve had for 10 years or more, you’re probably wasting a lot of energy. Replacing your outdated fridge with an Energy Star certified option can reduce waste drastically. A standard 18 cubic foot refrigerator with the freezer on top can improve efficiency by up to 40 percent, helping you to save on your monthly bills. You can also shop for efficient models in other styles, such as side-by-side, freezer on the bottom, or options with French doors.

HVAC Equipment

Your HVAC system uses more energy than any other item within the home, so efficiency is important in this area. Most HVAC equipment is designed to last for 10-15 years, so if yours is nearing this age, start planning and budgeting to replace it. Energy Star-certified air conditioners and furnaces are available to improve the efficiency of central HVAC sytems. However, there are several other options that can provide much more efficiency compared to the central system. They may cost more initially, but will save you money in the long run.

If you’re ready to upgrade your HVAC equipment and take advantage of improved efficiency and lower bills, call BTAC (Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning) at 806-589-1014.

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3 Great Benefits of High-Efficiency Toilets

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High-Efficiency Toilets

According to the EPA, toilets are the main source of water usage in residential buildings, accounting for roughly 30 percent of a home’s total water bill. With such a large portion of water going to the toilet, it’s in your best interest to conserve whenever possible. Breakthroughs in toilet technology have allowed toilets to use 1.28 gallons of water per flush instead of the normal 1.6 gallons while operating with the same efficiency. If you’ve never thought about a high-efficiency toilet in your Lubbock, Texas, home, check out some of the benefits you’re missing out on.

Save Money

Because high-efficiency toilets’ lower water usage by about 20 percent compared to regular toilets, you’re in for some substantial savings. This can translate to a monthly savings of 20 percent or even more if you have old-school toilets that can use anywhere from 3 gallons to 6 gallons per flush. Plus, the improved efficiency can also translate into fewer repairs.

Amazing Performance

Even though high-efficiency toilets use less water, they’re actually every bit as powerful as other models. As soon as you drop the handle, you’ll notice the water escape with a ferocity that’s as impressive as a jet engine. Not only does this remove waste, but it helps prevent any sewer backups from happening.

Reduce Water Usage With a Dual-Flush Toilet

Popular in Europe, Australia, and several other places around the world, dual-flush toilets are a way to reduce your water usage and save money even more. These toilets have two buttons on them, with one for a number one and the other for a number two. When used appropriately, the dual-flush system uses less water than even most high-efficiency toilets, reducing the number of gallons of water you use daily and adding to your savings.

With so many spectacular benefits of a high-efficiency toilet, you should definitely consider replacing one or all the toilets in your home. If you want to get the installation done right, call BTAC today at 806-589-1014.

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Choosing the Right Faucet

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 Right Faucet

When considering upgrades for your kitchen or bathroom, your faucet is one thing in your Lubbock, Texas, home that isn’t just about looks. Although aesthetics are important, the right faucet could also make your life easier and be safer for your home.

Energy-Efficient Upgrades

A popular choice for energy-conscious consumers are low-flow faucets. A faucet aerator or a low-flow faucet significantly cuts your water consumption. You likely won’t notice much of a difference in the water pressure, but you will notice a difference with your water bill. You should definitely consider a low-flow when you’re upgrading, and consider installing an affordable aerator for the faucets in your home that aren’t ready for upgrades. 

Technological Advances

When choosing a new faucet, you may want to consider technological advances for your home. Consider a motion-sense or touchless for your kitchen or bathroom and turn your faucet on and off just by waving your hand. This also senses when something like a cup is underneath the faucet. Although this technology is a little pricey, it also is energy-efficient and will reduce water usage in your home. The touchless faucet is also a good way to prevent spreading germs in your home. 

Single of Double Handled Faucets

When considering a faucet, you should also consider whether you want a single-handle or double-handled one. For many people, the difference is just in appearance, but for some, it can make a real difference. A single-handled faucet is much easier to work than a double, making this option recommended more appropriate for those with arthritis or older generations. Many kids just grab and turn one of the knobs, which could cause harm if they go for the hot. A single-handled knob is more appropriate for children since it’s less likely to be turned toward the full-hot direction. 

If you have questions about which type might be right for your plumbing needs, we are the people to call. Contact BTAC at 806-589-1014 to schedule an appointment today. 

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