Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

What Is “Kettling” In a Boiler?

December 27th, 2021
boiler-residential

Boilers play a crucial role in keeping you and your family comfortable during the cold season. But when these appliances start showing signs of malfunctioning, life during winter can be challenging. For this reason, it is important that you are aware of some common signs that may be warning you to an issue with your boiler.

Have you noticed any whistling sounds coming from your boiler? This could be kettling. Kettling indicates a serious issue that needs to be examined by experts in heating repair in Germantown, MD.

Here are some important details you need to know about kettling in a boiler.

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Post-Thanksgiving Drain Cleaning Is a Great Idea!

December 13th, 2021
cleaning-drain-cut-away

December means more festivities and feasting—right after you finished with one of the biggest celebratory home feasts possible, Thanksgiving. If you hosted a Thanksgiving celebration at your house this year, we’d like to make a suggestion that can help make both the end of the year and most of the new one less stressful for your plumbing in Germantown, MD: we recommend you schedule post-Thanksgiving drain cleaning with our professional plumbers.

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My Furnace Is Making a “Boom!” Noise—Is This Dangerous?

November 15th, 2021
burner-assembly

If you’re listening to your furnace for odd sounds, you’re already off to a good start when it comes to ensuring you have a heating system that runs safely and effectively. Gas furnaces have numerous safety features and aren’t normally dangerous for a household. (Let’s be honest: if they were, they would never be permitted into homes in the first place!) But malfunctions can happen, and the best way to prevent them from turning into potential safety issues for your household is to pick up early on warning signs and call for heating repair in Frederick, MD

So we’re glad you noticed this boom noise from your furnace and want to know more about it. We’ll get into details about this below, but remember that if you’re ever in doubt about anything regarding your furnace, it’s always safest to look to professionals for assistance.

The Cause of the Startling Noise

Nobody wants to hear a gas-burning appliance go “boom!” Just writing that sounds scary. If you’re near your furnace when it makes this sound, it can make you jump with alarm. 

What you’re hearing is the sudden combustion of a large amount of natural gas within the furnace’s combustion chamber. If you listen to the furnace coming on during normal operation, you’ll hear a small whoosh sound as it starts up: this is the same sound but on a smaller scale. The ignition system in the furnace ignites the gas from the burners, and as the flames consume oxygen to light, there’s a sound of air displacement. 

When this noise becomes louder to the point you worry about it, what’s occurring is a delay with igniting the burners. When the furnace is running normally, the igniter lights the burners soon after the gas valve opens to allow natural gas to flow into the burner assembly. If the igniter delays lighting the gas, a large amount of unburned gas will build up in the combustion chamber, and when it does ignite, the oxygen displacement is large enough to create a startling boom sound.

Is This Something to Concern You?

Yes. It may not pose an immediate danger, but it means a malfunction in the furnace’s start-up. Several different issues could cause this.

A common one is a failing electronic ignition system. These igniters often fail years before the furnace does and will need a replacement—this is a simple job for technicians. It could also be a failure in the control board, a more serious problem that can start to affect other parts of the furnace. A more serious possibility is a failing flame sensor. This device registers if the burners have ignited; if they don’t, it will shut off gas flow to prevent the build-up of unburned gas in the combustion chamber.

You don’t need to worry about finding out the cause yourself. Leave that to our team. We recommend you shut off the gas to the furnace, then call us to come check on the heating system and find out what parts need to be repaired or replaced. 

At Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we pledge to exceed expectations at every turn. Call us when you need fast and effective heating repairs.

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Water Stain on the Ceiling? You May Have a Serious Plumbing Leak!

November 1st, 2021
pipe-copper-leaking

There are many problems you don’t want to see in your house, and one that people often fear is seeing a noticeable water stain on the ceiling. What does it mean? What can you do about it? 

Unfortunately, the answer many people have to the second question is “Ignore it.” We know that denying a problem often seems like the easiest way to deal with something in the short term. But trust us as professional plumbers—ignoring a water stain on the ceiling is the worst thing you can do. Almost as bad is trying to cover up the stain. This isn’t just a cosmetic problem: you likely have a major plumbing issue. 

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Tips to Prepare Your Plumbing for Colder Weather

October 18th, 2021
frozen-pipe

Many people love the winter season, but without question, the freezing temperatures put a serious strain on your home that can result in expensive damages if you don’t take the proper precautions. No part of your home is more vulnerable to the ravages of the season than your plumbing, where frozen pipes and other mishaps can bring your home life to a halt and lead to expensive repairs. 

Prevention and preparation are key to helping your plumbing through to the spring so you can enjoy the parts of winter you love. We offer plumbing service in Silver Spring, MD, and have a long familiarity with winter plumbing problems, so we know what measures to take to winterize your home to avoid a seasonal nightmare. Follow us below for our winter plumbing preparation guide.

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Fall Is Here: It’s Time for Your Regular Heating Maintenance

October 4th, 2021
fall-checklist

September is partially summer, partially fall. But October is all fall, and as the air becomes crisper and cooler, you’ll start thinking more about using your home’s heating system.

You don’t want that central heating system to head into the coming winter without the proper preparations. That’s what professional heating maintenance does. So before it gets any cooler and you still aren’t slammed with holiday preparations, call our HVAC technicians to schedule your regular fall heating maintenance appointment.

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The Sneaky Enemy of Your Pipes: Pinhole Leaks

September 20th, 2021
pipe-decay

Hidden plumbing leaks in a house can account for a massive waste of water. While you quietly enjoy your home life, pipes hidden in floorboards and walls might be taking money from your wallet and even causing damage to the building. 

This is why hidden leak detection is an essential plumbing service in Frederick, MD we offer. If you have any suspicions about a rise in your water usage, call us to check for hidden leaks. 

In this post, we’ll examine one of the sneakiest of all hidden leaks: pinhole leaks. As the name indicates, these are tiny leaks—but that doesn’t mean they won’t create problems for you.

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Was This the Final Summer for Your AC? Some of the Signs

September 6th, 2021
air-conditioner-with-dirty-coils

Saying goodbye to an old air conditioning system shouldn’t be difficult. No one forms sentimental attachments to HVAC appliances. An air conditioner is designed to do a vital job for a home—keeping it comfortable during the heat—and when it can no longer do that job effectively or without raising utility prices extremely high, then replacing is a straightforward solution. 

And yet, people still find it difficult to make the final choice to replace an air conditioner that’s on the decline. We understand: the job costs money and takes planning, and maybe the current AC isn’t that bad. It’s easy to procrastinate on this type of home service. 

We’re here to help you make the right choice for your AC at the end of the summer. You don’t want to delay getting a new air conditioner during the fall (a convenient time for the service) if your current cooling system has sent out signals this was its last summer of effective and efficient use. Below are some of those signals:

The AC is 15 or more years old

The raw age of your air conditioning system is a strong indicator of how much longer you can expect it to continue to work. Few central ACs can last much longer than 15 years—it’s the point when the strain on the system’s components catches up with it and repairs and maintenance make much less of a difference. We strongly recommend replacing an air conditioner this old. 

Rising summer electric bills

In the last one or two years of an air conditioning system’s service life, it will start to see a drop in its energy efficiency. This means you’ll see a rise in your electrical costs each summer that’s unconnected to electricity prices and how much you use the AC. This decline will only get worse and you’ll throw money away each time the air conditioner comes on. 

Dropping cooling capacity

The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is how much cooling it can create. When an AC is accurately sized for a house, it will have the right cooling capacity to lower indoor temperatures to a comfortable level without wasting energy. When this cooling capacity starts to drop and you notice your house no longer gets as cool as it used to (unless you keep lowering the thermostat), it’s time for a new AC. 

Excessive and expensive repairs

Needing to repair an AC each year is too often. And twice a year is a big warning that a replacement is the better choice. Also watch out for high costs of repairs: any single repair quote that’s more than half the cost of a new AC is not worth it. 

If you need help making the choice, you have a great resource available: us! We offer air conditioning service in North Potomac, MD and provide honest opinions on repairs and replacements. 

At Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing, we pledge to exceed expectations at every turn. Schedule AC service if you think you need a new cooling system.

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A Wheezing AC: Why Its Airflow Is Low

August 23rd, 2021
room-vent

Think of the ventilation system in your house like it’s a set of lungs. It’s not a clean comparison, but it has enough similarities for us to make a point. You want the air to flow through the ventilation system with as few obstructions as possible: air from inside the house flows through the return vents, passes through a filter, then moves through the AC to receive cooling, and then branches out along the supply vents to reach the room. If this airflow drops, it means the ventilation system is “wheezing”—something is keeping the flow through the ducts, filter, or AC from moving cleanly.

When you have a wheezing AC, it can mean several problems: a drop in cooling, a rise in bills, undue strain on components. You may need to call us for AC repair in Frederick, MD to solve the problem, although sometimes a simple explanation can account for the trouble. Below we’ll look at reasons for a decline in airflow in your AC.

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Why Hard Water Is Bad for Your Plumbing

August 9th, 2021
Water Softener

Hard water may not make you sick but it can damage the plumbing in your home. Hard water has a large amount of calcium and magnesium that gets deposited in your home’s plumbing appliances and pipes over time. 

This can cause blockages and may even lead to leaks in your pipes and faucets. You can install a water softener to improve your plumbing in Rockville, MD. In this, blog, we’ll look at some of the problems caused by hard water and why a water softener is a good way to address them.

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