Get Your Air Conditioner Checked Now

With spring well underway the weather will be heating up before you know it. Don’t wait until it’s steamy out to make sure your air conditioner is in good working order. You will be relying on your air conditioning system throughout the summer and don’t want it to unnecessarily break down on you. If you haven’t had your system checked out by a professional Vermont plumbing and heating expert like Stan and his Plumb Perfect team then call us now to make an appointment at 802-233-5564.
 
Get Your AC Unit Checked Now
 

Why Fix What Ain’t Broke?

Many of the problems that air conditioning systems can develop don’t have any recognizable symptoms. Once are signs it’s usually a good indicator that you left it go too long without regular maintenance and upkeep. If you want to keep your air conditioner in good operating condition, don’t wait that long. Waiting until you notice something is wrong usually means there is likely more damage than you can see. As with most mechanical items, the best way to prevent problems is by regularly scheduled preventive maintenance by a professional.
 

Preventive Maintenance is Just Smart

Preventive maintenance involves closely inspecting the various parts of the air conditioning system. This kind of close inspection highlights any problem with the air conditioner, and gives us the opportunity to repair them before they get any worse. If you are careful to schedule preventive maintenance for your air conditioner at least once a year with Stan the Plumber, you can save quite a bit of money on repair costs over time.
 
Get Your AC Unit Checked Now
 

Planning Ahead

Make sure you have your air conditioning system checked every spring, so that it’s in top condition for the added stress of summer.
 
Stan the Plumber and his Plumb Perfect team offers comprehensive air conditioner maintenance services in Burlington, Vermont and the surrounding areas of Chittenden County.
 
If you need air conditioning services, contact Stan today to schedule an appointment by calling 802-233-5564.
 


Are You Considering a Heat Pump?

Heat pumps have been popular in the southern states for a long time but not until recently has their popularity began to spread into the northern states. For those who aren’t familiar with heat pumps, it is an air conditioner that also works in reverse to heat your home during the colder months. When paired up with a gas furnace, it’s a fabulous, cost-effective way to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Stan and his Plumb Perfect team have plenty of experience in heat pump installation.
 
Are You Considering a Heat Pump?
 

How do heat pumps work?

Heat pumps move heat from one area to another, basically. In the summer, it works as an air conditioner and pumps (ie. moves) the indoor heat to the outdoors. In the winter, it does the opposite by pushing outside air in, warming it, and pumping it into the home.
 

The benefits of a heat pump

The energy efficiency of heat pumps is what makes them more and more appealing to people. They can cut your electricity use by 50%! While they do require electricity to function, they produce up to three times more energy than they use. Systems like furnaces can only produce as much energy as they consume. Heat pumps are different because heat isn’t being created, just moved.
 
Are You Considering a Heat Pump?
 

Can it handle a Vermont winter?

Heat pumps alone can keep your home warm at a savings down to 30 degrees. When the temperature drops below that a backup heat system is required. This is why it is best paired with a gas furnace. This is called a dual fuel system or hybrid heating system. The furnace is used as supplemental heat only when the heat pump can no longer heat the house sufficiently on its own. You get the energy efficiency of a heat pump for most of the winter but can still meet your heating needs in the coldest parts of a Vermont winter.
 
If you’d like more information on heating pumps give Stan the Plumber a call at 802-233-5564. Stan will be happy to talk with you about all of your heating options.
 


Water Heaters: Tank vs. Tankless

Both the traditional tank type water heaters and tankless water heaters are efficient and effective at providing hot water for your family regardless of whether they’re electric or gas. If you’re looking for a Vermont plumber to troubleshoot water heater issues or recommend and install a new water heater, call Stan the Plumber with Plumb Perfect today.

At Plumb Perfect we carry high efficiency traditional tank and tankless water heaters from leading manufacturers. Following is some information to help you in the decision making process when purchasing a new water heater system.

Water Heaters: Tank vs. Tankless
 

Tank Water Heater Benefits

A traditional tank water heater has a number of benefits over a tankless model. They are more affordable during initial installation because your home likely already has a tank water heater. The connections are in place and all you we have to do is remove the old water heater and install the new tank.

Tank type water heaters can be fueled by natural gas, propane, fuel oil, and electricity. This type of water heater makes and store hot water 24 hours per day in its storage tank, typically ranging from 20 to 120 gallons.

Sometimes the lowest-priced tank water heater may turn out to be the most expensive to operate and maintain over its lifetime. Therefore, consider water heaters that offer higher levels of tank insulation.

At Plumb Perfect we carry a wide assortment of gas and electric tank water heaters. They are the lowest installed cost choice for replacing an existing tank system.

Water Heaters: Tank vs. Tankless
 

Tankless Water Heater Benefits

While tankless water heaters may cost a bit more to install initially, they are far more efficient in the long term. They take up a fraction of the space consumed by a tank heater and can be mounted inside or outside on the wall.

Tankless water heaters are compact heating units that provide hot water as it is needed, and do no store hot water like traditional tank-type water heaters. When a hot water tap is turned on, water enters the tankless water heater. A sensor detects the water flow and activates an electric or gas heating device, which quickly raises the water temperature to a preset level. When water flow stops, the heating element shuts off.

Thermostatically-controlled tankless water heaters adjust their output water temperature according to flow rate and inlet water temperature. This can reduce your energy bills from hot water by as much as 40%.

Because tankless heaters do not store water, they are less subject to corrosion than tank-type heaters. As a result, their expected equipment life is possibly longer — more than 20 years — compared with 10-15 years for traditional water heaters.
 

How to Choose Which is Right for You

When the time comes to select a water heater, make sure you take all factors into consideration. Ask yourself what your budget is, how much hot water you need to have access to on any given day and what you are willing to pay on a monthly basis for hot water. Both options offer a number of benefits, but if your budget up front is much tighter than your long term budget, you will find that one works better for you than the other.

Whatever your decision, Stan the Plumber and his Plumb Perfect team are available to install a tank or tankless water heater in your home. Call us at 802-233-5564 to discuss your water heater needs and to learn more about our full range of water heating services including installation, maintenance and repairs.
 


What To Do During a Plumbing Emergency

Like with most emergencies, those involving your plumbing or heating systems don’t always occur between the hours of 9 and 5. While you can call Stan the Plumber at any hour for your plumbing emergency in Chittenden County there are some things you can and should do immediately. By taking immediate action as soon as you realize there’s a problem you can reduce damage to your home to a large degree. This is a big reason why it’s so important that adults in your household are familiar with the plumbing and heating systems in the house in the event they need to shut them off.

What To Do During a Plumbing Emergency

Know Your Home

Whether it’s a frozen pipe, a leaking water heater or a pinhole in a pipe that’s caused a cascading waterfall in your foyer, as the homeowner it’s in your best interest to know how to control the flow of water in your home to mitigate the damage if you can. Also, pass that information along to anyone you may have house sitting for you in the event you’re out of town.

When a plumbing emergency occurs, there are some steps you should take to limit the damage as much as possible. Read on for more information about what you can do during a plumbing emergency.

 

Turn Off the Water

When there is a plumbing emergency involving free flowing water of any kind the most important thing to do is to turn off the water at its source. Every home has a main water shut-off valve and you should know where that is so you can turn it off. This turns off the water to the entire house. Water damage can be a nightmare so the sooner you get the flowing water stopped the less damage there will be. If you are unable to find a way to turn off the water to the whole house then turn off the water to the individual rooms. Kitchens and bathrooms have their own shut off valves under the sink. This will help to prevent a lot of increased damage.

What To Do During a Plumbing Emergency

Call Stan the Plumber

Once you have the water turned off pick up your phone and call Stan at 802–233-5564 letting him know it’s an emergency. Give Stan your name, address and a description of the problem. We will never leave you stranded when you are having a plumbing emergency. We are ready to resolve your emergency so you don’t have to worry about the problem creating more damage and costing even more.

Clear the Area

The next step is to clear the area around where the problem originates. Remove all furniture and other vulnerable objects from the area, to protect them from water damage. Once the water has stopped flowing you should mop up any standing water on the floor and other surfaces. This will protect your home and make it easier for us to reach the problem.

Stan the Plumber and his Plumb Perfect team know how inconvenient plumbing issues can be, especially during the holidays. That’s why we’re happy to provide emergency plumbing services to homeowners around Chittenden County, Vermont. Don’t wait until an emergency to write our number down — 802–233-5564.

If you have a plumbing emergency do not hesitate to call Plumb Perfect. We respond to all plumbing emergencies, no matter how small or extensive!

 


Preventing Holiday Plumbing Emergencies

As October winds down homeowners have long ago turned off air conditioners and started up their furnaces to take the morning chill off the house. If you’ve discovered your heating system is already acting up, is sluggish or won’t start at all, it’s not too late to replace it. Call Stan the Plumber and we can make sure all of your heating and plumbing systems are in tiptop shape for the upcoming holiday season. Maintenance and seasonal tune-ups of all your systems will ensure they work efficiently throughout these long New England winters.

Preventing Holiday Plumbing Emergencies

Running Interference on System Failures

Dropping temperatures tend to turn our thoughts to the upcoming holiday season. There are lots of entertaining and family dinners that will be taking place during the next few months and the last thing you need is to have a plumbing or heating system failure in your home. If you’re planning on traveling over the holidays take precautions so your pipes don’t freeze while you’re away. Leave cabinet doors open and keep the furnace turned up to at least 65 degrees. It’s always a good idea to have someone check on your home while you’re away. For complete peace of mind, hire a house sitter and make sure they know where the water supply turnoff valve is located.

Don’t Ignore the Early Warning Signs

Consider if you’ve had warning signs that maybe you keep putting off. Have you noticed water accumulating under appliances in the basement? Is your kitchen sink draining at a snail’s pace? Do you suspect a toilet is leaking or have seen your faucet dripping? Deal with these things now, before the holidays arrive, and you can entertain with a peaceful mind. Give Stan and the Plumb Perfect team a call and we’ll schedule a time to come in and take care of these pesky issues for you.

Stressing the System

Having company staying in your home over the holidays puts added strain on your plumbing systems in the bathroom as well as the kitchen. Get your drains running freely long before your guests arrive and they’ll appreciate it immensely. Nobody wants to take a shower standing in 3” of water. If you’re having trouble with a sluggish toilet be sure to keep a plunger in the bathroom that is easily accessible. Then call us and we’ll get to the bottom of the problem for you.

We can fix that dripping faucet

Basic Maintenance for the Homeowner

~ Use a sink strainer in the kitchen sink if you don’t have a garbage disposal. This will prevent food waste from going down the sink drain and blocking it.
~ Keep your drains running smoothly by squirting Dawn dishwasher liquid down your drain with hot water at least once a month to cut the grease.
~ Run the cold water for 30 seconds after using the garbage disposal to push food waste further down the drain.
~ With company coming you won’t want to run out of hot water. Adjust the temperature on your water heater a bit and it will go further.

Call For Emergency Plumbing Services

Stan the Plumber provides a full range of comprehensive plumbing services around Chittenden County in Vermont. Whether you need service, installation or repair, we’re equipped to get all systems in your home up and running in a short amount of time. Give Stan a call at 802-233-5564 and he’ll schedule a time to meet with you.


Upgrade to a Boiler Heating System and Save $100 Now

With autumn officially here we probably shouldn’t be too surprised that the temperatures are now falling into the 30s. Foliage is changing fast and frost is in the forecast for northern Vermont. It won’t be long before the snow flies. As we wake up to a chillier house each morning, thoughts turn to our heating systems and when we’ll first turn them on. If you’ve been considering an upgrade, you can get $100 off a furnace and boiler installation and replacement at this time.
 
Upgrade to a Boiler Heating System and Save $100 Now
 
Autumn is your last chance before winter sets in to get that new heating system installed. Don’t make this be another year that you spend in a drafty house with outrageous repair bills for that old furnace. No matter which type of heating system you go with – boiler or furnace — it’s important to consider the advantages of each.
 

How Boiler Systems Work

A boiler heating system uses water to distribute heat throughout the house. We install a network of pipes through the subfloor of each room in your home. When the system is turned on the boiler heats and distributes water throughout the pipes. As the water flows through the network of pipes, the heat radiates off the pipes and into the rooms of your home. Forced air furnace systems, are different in that they use air to circulate heat throughout the house.
 

Advantages of Boiler Systems

A boiler system uses less energy than a forced air system does meaning your electric bills are going to go down. Water is a better thermal conductor than air. This means it warms up faster and retains heat for longer. Boilers also heat rooms much more comfortably than forced air systems, because this method of heat distribution prevents hot and cold spots from forming.
 
Stay warmer with a boiler heating system
 

Local Installation

At Plumb Perfect we can install Weil McLain GV90+ and HTP VersaFlame high mass combination boilers for you in the greater Champlain Valley area. Whether you need the traditional reliability of American made Cast Iron oil or gas boilers, or the latest high efficiency boiler systems, we have the experience necessary to help you make the best choice for your home.
 
High efficiency modulating water boilers are the fastest growing segment in hydronics. These products are generally lightweight, space saving, and utilize advanced controls and operating systems.
 
Cast iron boilers are known for their rugged reliability, operating efficiencies and longevity. Our products range from small residential boilers to the large cast iron models.
 
Give Stan a call at Plumb Perfect at 802-233-5564 when you want to talk heating systems and specifically boilers.

 


DIY Spring Plumbing Maintenance for Your Kitchen & Bath

It’s not by accident that people get the urge to clean when springtime rolls around. After being cooped up indoors all winter this is when we open the windows and let the fresh air blow through. For your home, a thorough cleaning is a fresh start and with cleaning comes fixing those little things you may have just put up with all winter long. Plumbing maintenance is needed in the kitchens and bathrooms as they are the rooms that get the most use and traffic of anywhere in your home. So, it’s no wonder that when things go wrong these are the locations.
 
Keep up with the small fixes mentioned below and you won’t need to call in the professionals, like Stan the Plumber. But should you fall behind, or have no desire to do your own plumbing maintenance, Stan takes pride in his service response time. Just give him a all.
 
DIY Spring Plumbing Maintenance for Your Kitchen

Kitchens

Check for drips from the faucet and handles. Replace washers if needed. If you’re unable to stop the leak, call Stan at 802-233-5564.
 
Make sure your kitchen sink has a strainer in place to prevent debris from going down the drain.
 
Look under the sink for leaks from the pipe joints or drains.
 
Turn water supply valves on and off beneath the sink to prevent them from freezing in place.
 
Check the dishwasher, ice maker and washing machine supply hoses for leaks or bulges. Replace every 10 years or if showing signs of weakness. Consider using stainless steel hoses which are more reliable and less prone to bursting.
 
To eliminate odors from a garbage disposal, grind ice cubes and lemon peels in the disposal for about 30 seconds.
 
DIY Spring Plumbing Maintenance for Your Bath

Bathrooms

Check for drips from the faucet and handles. Replace washers if needed. If you’re unable to stop the dripping, call Stan at 802-233-5564.
 
Check to be sure the sink plunger seals the drain completely and doesn’t leak.
 
Look on the floor beneath the toilet tank and in front of the bowl to be sure there is no water accumulating. This would indicate there’s a leak.
 
Inspect the toilet bowl and tank for cracks or leaks. If cracks are found, call Stan at 802-233-5564 to replace the toilet.
 
Make sure the toilet flushes properly the first time. If the handle must be jiggled to stop the water from running or held down for a thorough flush you may need to replace worn tank parts.
 
Be sure the shower drain has a strainer in place. Occasionally remove it to pull out any hair or other items that may clog up the drain.
 
Clean the shower head by removing it and soaking in vinegar. Soak overnight then and gently scrub before replacing. This will remove accumulated mineral deposits.
 
To find slow water leaks in your home take a reading on your water meter before bedtime. The next morning, without using any water overnight, take another reading. If the reading has changed you have a leak that should be located and repaired.

 

 


Free Plumbing & Heating Inspections for First Time Homebuyers

If you’re a first time home buyer you may be tempted to buy an older, fixer-upper home to save money. We understand how tempting it could be. We’ve seen the same shows on TV that you have about saving money by renovating falling down homes and then flipping them. But without professionally done plumbing and heating inspections, do you really know what that home is going to cost you?
 
Free Plumbing & Heating Inspections for First Time Homebuyers
 
The demolition and remodeling of bathrooms and kitchens are some of the largest expenses of remodeling or updating a home. It’s important to know what you’re getting into before you sign that purchase agreement.
 
Maybe you are handy at fixing things but there could potentially be a lot of underlying safety and construction issues that your untrained eye may not recognize. These can result in huge unexpected costs down the road.
Free Plumbing & Heating Inspections for First Time Homebuyers
If you’re getting a loan from a lender to buy the house, you will be required to pay for a home inspection, whether it passes or not. That’s money you won’t get back if you decide not to buy the home.
 
Stan the Plumber is offering free plumbing and heating inspections to first time homebuyers in Chittenden County, Vermont. Whether you’re buying an older home, a newer house, or a condo, let Stan give your plumbing, heating and fixtures a thorough inspection before you make that purchase! Give him a call today at (802) 233-5564 or fill out the Contact Us form on our website.
 


It’s Not Too Late to Get That Energy Star Tax Credit

If you’ve installed an Energy Star certified water heater, boiler, furnace, heat pump, biomass stove or air conditioning system in 2015, you may be eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the cost up to $500 or for a specific amount anywhere from $50 to $300. Whether you had us at Stan The Plumber do the installation, did it yourself, or had another company do the install, you may still qualify.

2015 tax credits on Energy Star appliances

 

Encouraging both homeowners and commercial businesses to improve energy usage and efficiency, Congress has voted to extend the Residential Energy Efficiency Property Credit through 2016. This means you could potentially save quite a bit of money on specific improvements and updates around your home. And it’s not too late to apply!

 

Here’s some of what qualifies for federal tax credits:

  • Water Heaters, non-solar — Tax Credit: $300
  • Gas, Propane, Oil Hot Water Boiler — Tax Credit: $150
  • Gas, Propane, or Oil Furnaces — Tax Credit: $150
  • Biomass Stoves — Tax Credit: $300
  • Air Source Heat Pumps — Tax Credit: $300
  • Central Air Conditioning — Tax Credit: $300
  • and other certain home appliances.

 

solar panel tax credit

 

Going solar really does pay off

In addition to the above, the following solar systems provide a federal tax credit of 30% of the cost including installation with no upper limit:

  • Solar Water Heaters
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Small Residential Wind Turbines
  • Solar Panels (Photovoltaic Systems)

Tax credits for the above solar energy systems are available through December 31, 2019. After that, the credit decreases to 26% for tax year 2020; then drops to 22% for tax year 2021 and then expires December 31, 2021.

 

The deadline to file taxes for 2015 has been extended to April 18, 2016. If you’ve already filed and forgot or didn’t know about these federal tax credits you can always file an amended return.

 

It’s also important to know that you will need to use Form 5695 Residential Energy Credits. These deductions are only applicable to your primary residence, but in certain cases a secondary residence could qualify. If you’d like more detailed information regarding these tax credits check the ENERGY STAR website.

 

If you are interested in replacing your older, non-energy efficient appliances with a cost-saving Energy Star certified appliance, we can help you with that. Give Stan a call at (802) 233-5564 and we’ll set up a time to get together.

 


Welcome to Our New Plumbing Blog

We’d like to graciously welcome you to our new Plumbing blog! Whether you found your way here from our Facebook page, Google+ or through our Stan the Plumber website, we’re so happy you’ve arrived.

Each month we’ll be posting about topics of interest to both homeowners and professionals in the HVAC and plumbing industries. We’ll talk about our services, products, tell you about special rebates and lots more.

If you’re one of our existing customers we’d like to ask you to post a positive review for us on Google+. It will only take a few minutes of your time.

When you’re considering upgrades to plumbing or heating or even full renovations, give Stan a call at 802-233-5564 and let him give you a price you’ll be pleased with!