Blogs

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 45 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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Should You Keep The House Sealed to Prevent Allergies?

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allergies or sick

If you’re prone to seasonal allergies during allergy season, then sealing up your Lubbock, Texas, is quite tempting, but that might be counterproductive. Depending on the cause of your allergy symptoms, you might sacrifice your home’s indoor air quality and your health by not getting fresh air.

Distinguishing Allergies

Before trying to prevent your allergy symptoms, you need to make sure the problems are actually caused by allergens. People are more prone to viruses in the fall and can mistake those viruses for allergies. Low humidity is also a trigger for allergy-like symptoms like a runny or stuffy nose, which people confuse for allergies. Key differences are that allergies tend to last longer and are more constant. After determining if seasonal allergies are really the problem, then you can decide what’s best for your household.

Indoor Air Quality Concerns

Indoor air quality issues are also a cause of allergy-like symptoms in your home. If you have poor indoor air quality, it’s just as bad to seal up your home as it is to come into contact with outdoor allergens. Have the indoor air quality tested before sealing up your home, and carry out strategies to improve indoor air quality. Brush and groom pets regularly, dust, vacuum, and don’t smoke in the house. Don’t forget to check and replace your air filter often as well.

Finding a Balance

If you have seasonal allergies, you want to limit your contact with those allergens. Sealing up your home is important for energy-efficiency, but you need to make sure the air inside is clean as well. If you’re not sure that allergies are the problem, enjoy the fresh air as much as possible, and save energy by keeping the windows open as opposed to using your air conditioner during the fall or spring. 

If you have air quality or HVAC concerns, we are the people to call. Contact Bruce Thorton Air Conditioning at 806-589-1014 to schedule an appointment with an experienced HVAC contractor today.

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Going Tankless Means More Comfort

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Tankless Water Heating

If you’re in the market for a new water heater, it’s important to know that you don’t just have to replace your old system with the same standard model. Instead, a tankless model could be the ideal choice for your Southland, Texas, home. Find out how a tankless water heater works and why this type of system could offer more comfort for your family.

Enjoy Unlimited Hot Water

Unlike conventional storage tank water heaters, which warm water until you’re ready to use it, tankless water heaters operate on demand. Every time you take a shower, turn on the dishwasher, or wash a load of clothes, a tankless water heater warms up only as much water as you need, right when you need it. That means your supply of hot water is almost unlimited, and you can look forward to hot water at any time of day or night. Now, that’s comfort!

Waste Less Energy

Since standard water heaters work around the clock to keep dozens of gallons of water warm, they aren’t as energy-efficient as you might like. Because tankless models work on demand, however, they’re up to 34 percent more efficient than storage tank water heaters in the average home. Since tankless water heaters are so efficient, you can keep comfortable while saving money on wasted energy.

Regain Space

If you’ve dealt with a standard water heater for years, you know that these models require specific placement and quite a bit of extra space. So you might be surprised at just how much flexibility a tankless model offers. Install it on an out-of-the-way wall, and reclaim all that lost space you’ve been missing.

Whether you’re ready to upgrade your outdated water heater or you want to learn more about tankless models, we’re here to help with all your plumbing needs. Call Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning today at 806-589-1014.

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How Can I Know if I Have a Gas Leak?

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Beware Gas Leaks

In recent news, there have been several house explosions from gas leaks. While that’s an extreme outcome from having a gas leak, it’s not an impossibility. Fortunately for those in the Lubbock area, these explosions were elsewhere. Gas leaks are quite dangerous and threaten both your family’s safety and health.

Signs You Might Have a Gas Leak

The most obvious sign of a gas leak is a stinky smell. Gases used in homes for appliances and heating are odorless, so manufacturers add ethyl mercaptan because its potent “rotten egg” smell is easily noticeable. People sometimes say gas smells like sulfur or cooked cabbage.

When air gets saturated with gas, it doesn’t contain enough oxygen for adequate breathing. Symptoms of a gas leak might include headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, and sleepiness. If symptoms decrease once you’re outside in fresh air, there might be an indoor leak.

Appliances like your stove, water heater, or furnace have pilot lights that stay lit constantly. When you use one of these, check the pilot for a blue flame, which means there’s a correct ratio. A yellow or orange flame could indicate a leak.

If plants in your home die without reason, a leak may be the culprit, especially if the plants are near a gas appliance. Outside, if unexplained patches of dead grass appear or dead plants are surrounded by healthy, green ones, have your lines checked.

What to Do if You Suspect a Leak

Get out of the house right away! The smallest spark can trigger an explosion or fire. Call your utility company and then a professional.

How Our Professionals Can Help

Our skilled technicians will check your gas lines for leaks. We’ll quickly repair or replace the line so your family can get back to life in your home.

If you suspect a gas leak or your gas bill has mysteriously increased, give Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning in Lubbock a call at 806-589-1014 today. We’re here to help with any questions or concerns.

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