Blogs

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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How Heat Pumps Work

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Amana heat pump

A heat pump works like an air conditioner to transfer heat away from your New Deal, Texas, home in summer. In winter, it reverses directions and absorbs heat from the air outside your home instead. That way, a heat pump keeps you and your family comfortable all year. It may be more expensive than a conventional air conditioner, but it’s worth the investment since you can save money on your utility bills. Also, you won’t need to pay for a separate furnace. Here’s some useful information about how heat pumps work in summer and winter.

How Heat Pumps Work in Summer

A motorized fan pulls warm air from the inside of your home into your ductwork through one or more return vents. Then, the warm air indoor air travels to the indoor air handler. It passes over the interior evaporator coil while a special liquid called refrigerant travels through the coil. The refrigerant absorbs heat from your indoor air, and the cooled and dehumidified air goes back to your ductwork. The motorized fan pushes it through your air registers and into your home. When your air temperature rises, the cycle starts again, pulling warm air into your ductwork. 

How They Work in Winter

To heat your home, your heat pump reverses the direction that the refrigerant flows, turning the coil in your outdoor unit into the evaporator coil. Your outdoor unit absorbs heat from the outside air and then releases it through the coil in your indoor air handler. This heats your indoor air as it moves through your ductwork instead of cooling it. The coil that releases heat is a condenser coil. It’s indoors in winter and outdoors in summer.

BTAC or Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning has over 45 years of experience, and we’re an Amana Advantage Specialist. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of HVAC equipment, including heat pumps. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014 for great service from one of our expert technicians.


3 Reasons to Schedule HVAC Maintenance Today

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HVAC maintenance

The hot, humid Ransom Canyon, Texas, weather can make you feel sluggish and miserable without air conditioning. It’s also dangerous for children, elderly people, and those with severe health problems. A hot house can cause an elevated body temperature, heat exhaustion, and even death. Regular HVAC maintenance keeps your home comfortable and safe for you and your family. Air conditioning maintenance also saves energy, improves your indoor air quality, and prevents expensive, inconvenient breakdowns.

Energy Savings

Problems with your HVAC system keep it from performing efficiently and waste energy. Leaks in your ductwork or rusty or worn parts in your unit keep it from working properly. If you don’t have it repaired promptly by a professional, a minor problem could even force you to pay for a new air conditioner eventually.

Better Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air quality can lead to unpleasant smells, increased asthma and allergy symptoms, skin rashes, eye irritation, and more. You should check your HVAC system’s air filter once per month and change it at least every three months to prevent these problems. Also, keep leaves, grass clippings, twigs, and other debris away from your outdoor unit. Rinse off your unit with a hose when needed, but don’t use a pressure washer or other equipment that could cause damage.

Fewer Breakdowns

Dirty coils or low refrigerant levels could cause ice or frost on your air conditioner, which keeps it from working well and can eventually lead to damage. Regular maintenance can catch this and other problems before they become severe. It also extends your HVAC system’s life. That way, you can save money on repairs and get the best possible performance from your air conditioner.

Bruce Thorton Air Conditioning or BTAC has more than 45 years of heating and air conditioning experience, and we’re an Amana Advantage Specialist. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of HVAC equipment. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014 for excellent service.


3 Ways to Build an Energy-Efficient Home

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insulate for efficiency

Making a home more energy-efficient has become very popular around the country. However, it’s not because of a fad or anything that’s going to fade rapidly in popularity. Instead, building an energy-efficient home helps reduce your carbon footprint, cut energy usage, and makes your home more attractive to potential buyers. If you’re looking for ways to build an energy-efficient home in Dickens, Texas, here are a few suggestions to help you along the way.

Install ENERGY STAR HVAC Units

If your HVAC system is 10 years old, it’s time to start thinking about purchasing a new one. If you want to increase efficiency, it’s only natural to consider a furnace or air conditioner with the ENERGY STAR logo. These units improve efficiency while providing the perfect temperatures for your home.

Switch to LED or CFL Lighting

One of the biggest sources of lost energy in your home is in the light sockets. If you’re still using incandescent bulbs, it’s time to make the change to LED or CFL lighting. While these bulbs are more expensive, they cut your monthly energy bills greatly and last far longer than traditional lights. This means you only have to purchase one bulb about every 10 years. You’ll reach a break-even point in just a few years.

Insulate

If you live in an older home, you may not have the proper insulation to keep your home energy-efficient. Most often, areas around your doors, windows, and in your attic allow air from the home to escape outside or cold outside air to flow in. To counteract this effect of lost air, you need to insulate. In your attic, you can choose between loose fill and fiberglass insulation, while installing fresh weatherstripping around your doors and windows is an effective way to combat the situation.

Building an energy-efficient home doesn’t necessarily take a ton of money. Instead, it takes a commitment from you. If you’ve decided it’s time to green your home, call BTAC, Inc. at 806-589-1014 for all your installation and energy needs.

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How to Get the Best Refrigeration For Your Business

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commercial refrigeration

The look and usability of your refrigeration unit are crucial to the success of your business. From units that allow customers to see and purchase their food to kitchen units that help streamline prep and service, refrigeration is a vital aspect of your Amherst, Texas, business. However, few new business owners know the best way to pick the perfect refrigeration unit. If you’re trying to find the best refrigeration unit for your business, here are a few tips to get you started.

Select the Right Style

One of the first things you’ll want to consider when choosing a commercial refrigeration unit is the style. This typically refers to the color, handles, compartments, and lighting of the refrigerator. This is especially important for businesses that display their food to customers or let the customers choose the food themselves in places like delis, ice cream parlors, or grocery stores. By choosing the right style, it helps your food look more attractive to customers while blending seamlessly with the decor of your business.

Size Considerations

Another important aspect of choosing the right unit for your business is the size. Assessing size is one of the more difficult aspects of purchasing a refrigerator, as it has many variables that are dependent on your own calculations. Don’t overlook any of the aspects of size, which may include the size and scope of the business, how much food you intend to store and for how long, the actual square footage of the business, and if you need any special units.

Ease of Use

Regardless of whether you’re going to have employees or customers accessing your refrigeration units, you want something that’s easy to use. For employees, this might mean having several sections for each type of product or units that are easy to open, even with your hands full. Customers might like improved lighting and easy-to-open cases that allow them time to browse.

No matter what type of refrigeration unit you need, the pros at BTAC, Inc. can help. Give us a call at 806-589-1014 for all your commercial refrigeration needs.

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These 3 Invading Pests Can Wreck Your HVAC

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hvac pests

The HVAC system in your Whiteface, Texas, home is a source of comfort for your family throughout the year. However, it’s also a place many pests may choose to call home. If you think you may have some invading pests but aren’t quite sure what they are, here are a few that can severely damage your HVAC system.

Mice

Mice love the warmth of the furnace, especially during cold weather. Most often, mice set up shop in the air intake of your furnace, which you’ll find next to the air filter. If you have mice hiding there, you can usually smell these culprits when you turn on the furnace; it will smell of urine, feces, or decay. To alleviate the situation, you may want to put some glue traps or mousetraps in the area and check them frequently.

It’s also important to note that the frequency of infestation increases greatly with neglected or older HVAC systems. If you live in an older home, it becomes even more important to get a tuneup, as our technicians can find potentially problematic areas.

Roaches

There’s nothing more disgusting than having roaches invade your home. The problem is that roaches love to hide in hard-to-reach places, especially in your air ducts. Not only do the ducts provide undetectable passage from room to room, but they also offer the moisture necessary to keep colonies thriving. Pest traps are usually the best prevention here, as insecticides may be blown through your home when the unit kicks in.

Squirrels

Larger animals can also wreak havoc on your HVAC system, yet they’re easier to detect. It’s easy to hear a squirrel scamper through the vents, so detection of this one is easier. If you do find a squirrel in the vents, using a trap or a pest extermination company can eradicate the problem.

The best way to keep pests out of your home is by prevention. With some proper HVAC care from BTAC, Inc., you can keep these unwanted tenants from entering your home. Call us today at 806-589-1014.

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Think About What Your Kitchen Needs for Custom Fabrication

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Custom Kitchen

You walk into your kitchen, step over the laminate flooring that just won’t sit right, and open a cupboard to an unmistakable whiff of mold. But didn’t you just bleach the wood? Clean all you want, but at some point, it’s time to renovate your kitchen. Don’t cringe! While the sound of your neighbors’ home projects echoing around Lubbock, Texas might have made you wary of renovations, your family’s health is worth it. Make the process simple by preparing ahead of time. You’ll want to consider your materials, size, and configuration.

Materials

Now that you’re ready to change up your kitchen, you have the chance to make it the kitchen of your dreams. Before that dream can come true, however, you’ll need a dash of practicality. Will you replace the old laminate or vinyl floors with a newer laminate or true tile? Will your countertops be made of granite, marble, or chef-level metal?

When it comes to what to use for your sink and oven hood, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel. Stainless is durable, easy to clean, and can withstand high temperatures. Plus, our team at BTAC can fabricate your sink or oven hood to whatever size, shape, or style you need, so any place where you use steel is a chance to use a custom piece.

Size and Configuration

With a well-loved house full of kids, you might think your design options are limited, but look up, and you’ll see that much of the design opportunity is in the air. You can expand your cabinet space and install that deep sink you’ve always wanted. But remember that safety should always be a determining factor in the size and configuration of a kitchen. We’ll help ensure that your kitchen has sufficient ventilation to draw out smoke and limit condensation to keep mold totally out of the picture.

Any home renovations are exciting, so make the most of it! To truly build the kitchen of your dreams, take advantage of our custom metal fabrication by calling BTAC at 806-589-1014.

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