Max Sr. & Paul Schoenwalder Plumbing Heating Air Conditioning Blog

Drain Cleaning Advice from Professional Plumbers

April 9th, 2018

hand gripping drain pipeDrain clogs and blockages are an unfortunate part of modern living, one that we all have to deal with at one time or another. However, clogs are also one of those things that homeowners deal with incorrectly. When a blockage develops in the average home, most people go out and get some store-bought drain cleaning liquid to manage the issue. This is actually a terrible way to deal with it!

Keep reading for some tips from the pros on why you should always have a plumber handle drain cleaning in your living space.

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How to Check Your Sump Pump Properly this Spring

March 26th, 2018

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system.Your sump pump is one of the most important components there is when it comes to your plumbing system. It helps prevent water damage from flooding, and goes to work automatically as excess water gathers in the sump (a pit). Then, that water is pumped out either into the municipal wastewater supply or a well.

Of course, not all homes in the Madison area have basements, and not all neighborhoods are susceptible to flood risks. However, sump pumps definitely have their place for the homeowners who do benefit from them. Whether it’s snowmelt or a plumbing burst, your home can certainly accumulate a lot of property damage without a functioning sump pump, from rotted wood and mold growth to other hazards caused by the excessive and stagnant moisture.

What if you already know all this and have a sump pump in place already? That’s great! Now is the perfect time to test it and make sure it’s ready for the coming season!

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4 Common-Sense Ways to Save Money on Heating

March 12th, 2018

hot-house-air-conditioningWe could all use a bit of extra spending money, but those monthly bills get in the way. Often, homeowners are paying a lot more than they have to on home necessities without realizing it. Some small changes to the way you use and maintain your heating system can help it to run more smoothly and reduce your monthly spending on energy and fuel costs.

As heating experts, we know of many ways to upgrade a heating system and help your home to operate more efficiently—things we wouldn’t recommend homeowners try on their own. However, there are also some small things you can do which, when you think about it, just make sense!

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What You Should Know about Common Toilet Repairs

February 26th, 2018

toilet-repair-openIt’s certainly not a fun topic to address. But the more time you spend on preventing repairs for an essential item like a toilet, or addressing them the right way, the less you’ll have to worry about them. It’s so frustrating when something you use and need every day, like a toilet, is out of order or difficult to use properly. We want to help.

Today, we go through the details of a few common toilet repairs, and what you should do to ensure these don’t happen or that they don’t become too severe. Please feel free to contact our team for more information.

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Why You Cannot Afford to Wait for Heating Repair

February 12th, 2018

piggy-bank-dollarYour heater has started to act strangely, making weird noises or having trouble at startup, but you’re not sure you should get it serviced just yet. You don’t want to spend money fixing a heater that is still working, after all, and you feel you might as well wait and see what happens. But this logic is flawed: your heating system won’t fix itself!

In fact, a problem is likely to get a lot worse over time. And in the end, this might cost you. Don’t wait to schedule heating repair! Find out what might happen if you do in the guide below.

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The Difference Between Two-Stage and Regular Furnaces

January 29th, 2018

furnace-burner-litWhen you’re shopping around for a new furnace, you might start to develop a new vocabulary. There’s the AFUE—Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency—that helps you determine the efficiency of your new system. And another set of terms you may see used often are as follows: “one-stage,” “two-stage,” and “modulating” furnace.

You might notice that modulating and two-stage furnaces receive a higher rating for efficiency and performance (or simply find that the price for these units is higher). Wondering why this is? Does a two-stage or modulating furnace really make that much of a difference? Find out in today’s guide to these powerful systems.

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What You Should Know about Boilers and Scaling

January 15th, 2018

gauge-boiler-water-heaterThe boiler is an incredibly reliable heating system. Many people keep their boilers for decades (although this can be unsafe, and we recommend replacing them before their 15-20 year lifespan is up). Yet, boilers can still run into their share of trouble. One of the most common issues our customers come across in a gas hydronic boiler has to do with something called scaling.

If you hear noises from your boiler, notice a drop in performance, or want to have routine maintenance to ensure your system is in good shape, give us a call! Otherwise, read on to find out what scaling, or mineral buildup, can do to affect your system.

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Why Won’t My Heat Pump Heat Anymore?

January 1st, 2018

question-mark-blue-whiteA heat pump is a highly efficient air conditioning and heating system, all in one. Most heating systems, like furnaces and boilers, have to generate heat using natural gas or large amounts of electricity. Heat pumps use electricity, but they only have to move heat, rather than generating it. This results in much lower energy usage than comparable systems, especially if you purchase a high-efficiency heat pump.

However, like any system, a heat pump can run into trouble. One of the most alarming is when a heat pump just won’t heat! You might hear that the fan has turned on and the system appears to be running—so why don’t you feel any heat from the vents?

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Features to Look for in a New Furnace

December 18th, 2017

couple-coffee-floor-paint-samplesChoosing the latest and greatest technology when it comes to something like a cell phone or a smart TV is a matter of convenience and, let’s admit it, fun. You picked out that smartphone with the high megapixel camera because you love showing off your awesome photos, or you got that new TV to watch the big game in a way you never have before.

However, when it comes time to pick out a new furnace, you might not be so excited to go for the latest and greatest technology. After all, you won’t be looking at the furnace, and heat is heat, right? We certainly don’t think so. While it may not be as flashy as some of the other technology in a home, a new furnace with the latest features can certainly help you feel more comfortable and save money. It’s worth it!

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Troubleshooting a Gas Hot Water Boiler

December 4th, 2017

boiler-system-residentialIn general, we don’t recommend that you attempt to troubleshoot a boiler on your own, and certainly don’t believe the average homeowner should attempt to make repairs to a hot water boiler. This could be dangerous, and time-consuming when you don’t know what to look for. Technicians with the proper training can come to your home and make a quick assessment with all the tools they need to do so.

Still, it’s useful to know what can go wrong. That way, you know why it’s so important to take care of issues quickly and have a better idea of what to expect.

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