Tankless Water Heaters VS Traditional

water heaters

 

Are you considering an upgraded water heater? The right water heater can meet your household’s water consumption needs and save you money in the long run. The first big decision is whether you want a tank or tankless style water heater. Here’s what you need to know:

Tank Water Heaters

Tank water heaters are the traditional wall- or floor-mounted unit. They vary widely in capacity, price and energy rating, so be sure to shop around and ask questions to get the right model for your household. Some things to consider are:

Price

Prices start at around $350 for a very small capacity unit and on average run around $900 for a standard 40-50 gallon tank. Remember to include any installation and delivery fees into your budget.

Lifespan

Traditional water heaters can last for up to 15 years.

Pros:

  • Affordable initial cost
  • Easy to install
  • Available in many styles and sizes

Cons:

  • Constantly heats water, wasting energy and costing more to operate
  • Takes up more space
  • Can run empty with heavy use, requiring waiting for the fresh water to heat up again

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are small wall-mounted units that heat up the water only when it passes through them. This can mean significant savings in the long term, but they come with a number of drawbacks.

Price

Prices typically range from $500-$3000, not including installation.

Lifespan

Tankless water heaters can last 20+ years.

Pros:

  • Much more energy efficient than large tank water heaters
  • Features a smaller, streamlined design that doesn’t take up floor space
  • Longer lifespan and less maintenance

Cons:

  • Higher initial fees
  • Requires professional installation
  • Limited capacity and can’t supply hot water throughout the whole house

Choose the Right Plumber For the Job

Purchasing a new water heater is a major household investment. You want to be sure that you’re not only choosing the right model, but that it’s installed correctly the first time. If you need a Bellingham, Massachusetts plumber, contact us today.

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Preventative Plumbing Maintenance for Your Home

plumbing maintenance

 

Homeowners like you know what a headache it is to deal with an unexpected plumbing emergency. However, in many cases you can prevent this with a little application of your DIY household handyman skills. Take a crack at common plumbing issues and you might save big on the monthly budget.

Fix Dripping Showerheads and Leaky Faucets

Both of these are may seem like a minor issue that’s more of a pesky nuisance than a real problem. However, if left unattended, these can add up to some real money literally going down the drain. They can also cause gradual water damage and corrosion. Check periodically for drips around the taps, showerhead, and the base where the faucet or spigot connects with the housing.

Unclog Slow or Stopped-up Drains

A drain can get obstructed for a wide variety of reasons, and it can cause extensive water damage if not dealt with. There are both commercial and home-ready DIY products available like Drano or vinegar and hot water. However, for really tough clogs, you may have to call in a professional plumber.

Hunt Down Hidden Leaks

Any appliance that is connected to your home’s water line can potentially leak. The ice maker on your refrigerator has its own water line, as does your washing machine, dishwasher and water heater. If these leaks aren’t addressed, they can saturate drywall, cause mold and rot in your flooring, or potentially damage the device itself. If you see any signs of unexpected dampness or standing water, check for the source immediately.

When in Doubt, Call an Expert

If you aren’t sure that the problem’s solved or are faced with a bigger plumbing issue, contact us for your Bellingham, Massachusetts plumbing needs. Don’t let leaks and other issues turn into a major home renovation; call us and we’ll send a trained professional over to fix the problem.

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Problems to Look for with Your Heater in the Winter

indoor thermometer

It’s easy to forget about the more practical aspects of winter when you’re trying to prepare for the holidays at the same time. But there’s no better time to show your heater a little love than right now. From frozen pipes to a broken heat pump, there are a number of things that can interfere with its efficiency (and your energy bills!) If you’re having problems with it now, they’re certainly not going to get any better when the heater starts working overtime.

Tips for Bellingham Heating

Before you get out the toolbox or start tinkering around with the pipes, you can start with something a little more basic. If it seems like it’s taking a lot longer to heat the home or you’re noticing the air flow is inconsistent from room to room, you may need to have the vents or the actual heater checked. Most of the time, heaters start malfunctioning either due to wear and tear or a lack of maintenance.

Pilots, Thermostats and Filters

These three components of your heater may seem trivial, but the damage they can cause is nothing short of a ripple effect. A broken thermostat will direct the heater to start and stop at all the wrong times, and a dirty filter can push your energy bills through the roof. If the flame sensor on the pilot is broken, it will cause the home to drop its temperatures significantly. The more regular care and attention your heater receives, the longer it will last.

If you’re concerned about getting your furnace ready for the winter, Victory Air Conditioning, Heating, and Plumbing can help. We know winter is a pivotal time of year to bring our customers comfort from the cold which is why we check every component of your system before diagnosing the problem. If you want superior Bellingham heating, it’s time to give us a call.

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Prepping Your HVAC System for Winter

winter snow

When the weather outside becomes frightful, prepping your HVAC system keeps your home delightful. Here’s how your home in Bellingham, Massachusetts can stay comfortable even when blustery storms arrive.

Get Your Yearly HVAC Inspection

It’s smart to check out your system before the cold weather hits. An annual inspection and maintenance will detect problems early and keep your unit energy-efficient. This saves you money on both heating costs and repairs.

Inspect Your Air Ducts

If you’re going to inspect the HVAC, you might as well invest extra cash into an air duct inspection. If there are any breaches in your air ducts, your HVAC will have to work harder to send warm air into your home. Fixing any of these breaches will help your HVAC work at peak capacity and be more energy-efficient.

Update Your Thermostat

Sometimes your home may be slow to heat because of a faulty thermostat. If you find that yours isn’t working well, you should upgrade your thermostat to a product that will better communicate with your HVAC unit. You should also consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat, which can save you on utilities by altering the temperature automatically when you’re asleep or away.

Replace Your Air Filters and Clean the Fan

Clogged air filters make it more difficult for air to circulate, while dirty ones make the air quality inside your home less than optimal. Change these filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid any problems. Also, your HVAC’s fan can get quite dirty during the year, so it’s a good job to professionally clean it before winter.

Does Your HVAC Need to Be Serviced?

Preparing your Bellingham HVAC for the winter can save you money and trouble when the weather gets severe. Schedule an inspection with Victory Air Conditioning, Heating, and Plumbing today to keep your Bellingham home warm and toasty all winter long.

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Ways to Stay Warm Without Your Heater

cozy fireplace

As everyone in the Bellingham, Massachusetts-area is well aware, New England winters are bitter cold and heating bills can run quite high. Depending on how long and how low the temperature plummets, heating costs can bust your budget. At Victory Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing, we hope these suggestions prove helpful in helping to keep you warm without reaching for the thermostat.

Secure Window and Door Gaps

Re-caulking windows before the season settles in can make a tremendous difference in terms of warmth. Cold drafts can offset the work and energy your heating system produces. Many traditional New England homes keep the original windows for their beauty, and they are sometimes difficult to fully seal. A fallback position can be to invest in plastic sheets designed to secure windows. Historic doors also suffer drafts. Your local hardware store usually carries liners that can be directly applied to make them snug.

Stop Fireplace Drafts

The classic brick or stone fireplace can be cozy warm when it’s burning, but flues are not the best at keeping out cold air when you aren’t burning logs. Insert a fireplace plug when you aren’t using it, and that may make a significant difference.

Double Up On Ambient Heat

There are a wide variety of things we do that generate underused heat. For example, the warmth from hot showers often gets vented out while drying off. By cracking the bathroom door, some of that heat will flow to other rooms. The common practice of closing the oven door after baking is another place you can double dip. By leaving that door open after you remove a pie or dish, that energy will get a second usage. The basic idea is to maximize energy.

We hope these tips prove useful during the frigid winter months. If you have an emergency with your Bellingham heating, call Victory Heating at (800) 993-4822. Our Rapid Repair team is available to respond to your needs 24/7.

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How to Prep Your Plumbing for Houseguests

bathroom faucet

The holidays can be a time of joyous get-togethers when family and friends visit. Those wonderful guests can also put a tremendous strain on your plumbing. Here are some precautions that may help you prepare and avoid an unwelcome plumbing problem. At Victory air conditioning, heating and plumbing, we hope these suggestions prove helpful to members of the Bellingham, MA, and surrounding community.

Cover Your Drains

Additional house guests generally mean excessive hair and debris entering your drains. By fixing strain blockers to the drains, these items won’t end up causing a clog. Having to plunge or call a plumber during a holiday feast can be an unwelcome distraction.

Ready the Trash Bins

When it’s just you and your immediate family at home, routines about what to throw in a trash bin and where they are located is usually not an issue. But newly arriving guests don’t walk in your day-to-day shoes. Be sure to place a small trash collector or two in the bathroom with a plastic liner. Place them near the toilet and sink. That will send the subtle message to not flush things that can create an obstruction.

Plumbing Problem Solvers

Be sure that you take out your plunger, drain snake and clog-removing products several days before your guests arrive. That will give you time to pick up anything you need and put them in a handy spot. You are the first line of defense against an overflow. Be prepared.

Look for Leaks

If your plumbing is going to spring a leak, it goes without saying it will happen at the worst possible time. Check your pipes for subtle drips and leaks. This can be accomplished by running a dry paper towel over them. Also, the base of the toilet should be checked and make sure it hasn’t loosened.

If you have a Bellingham plumbing emergency during the holidays, call Victory plumbing at (800) 993-4822. Our Rapid Repair team can respond 24/7.

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8 Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Using Your Heater

heater

Winters in Massachusetts can be unforgiving. As early as September, you may wish to break out the space heater and begin warming up your home. However, keep these essential safety tips in mind when operating your heater.

Inspect the Heater

To meet safety standards, you should be able to view a label on the heater verifying it has undergone safety testing. Examine the heater to check for any broken parts, frayed wires or loose connections.

Safe Space

Keep anything flammable a minimum of three feet away from the heating source. Children and pets should also keep a safe distance away from the heater.

Safety Features

Many new models of heaters come with safety features to prevent malfunctions. A heater with overheat protection will use temperature sensors to automatically shut down if internal parts reach a dangerous temperature.

Professional Installation

Professionals can help install stationery heating equipment to ensure you and your family’s safety. The installation team will also be up to date on all manufacturing standards.

Never Leave Unattended

If you’re using a space heater, you should be in the room with the device. Turn off and unplug the heater if the room is unoccupied. Always plug the heater directly into an outlet, too, since using extension cords pose a safety risk.

Install Detectors

Install and regularly test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors before using a new heater. Detectors should be on every floor of the home and placed outside bedrooms.

Keep Area Dry

Due to the risk of electrical shock, water and heaters don’t mix. Never place heaters in damp areas such as bathrooms and basements.

Use Level Surfaces

Don’t place a heater on furniture that can become overheated and start a fire. Use heaters on flat surfaces ground-level.

Victory Air Conditioning, Heating, and Plumbing is available to address any of your Bellingham HVAC issues or concerns. Located in Bellingham, Massachusetts, we have a Rapid Repair team on staff to handle any emergency issue 24/7. Give us a call today at (800) 993-4822 or visit our website for more information on our invaluable services.

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4 Tips to Keep Your HVAC Safe During a Storm

stormy sky

Your HVAC unit is an important investment that you will want to protect during a storm. Follow these four tips to keep your HVAC safe the next time a nor’easter blows through Bellingham:

HVAC Storm Safety Tips

  1. Cover the Unit. Bellingham can have up to four hail storms per year, which can damage your HVAC unit. Use a thick canvas cover to protect the system from hail. During the winter season, you may want to use an HVAC-specific cover to protect from snow. Another winter option is to secure a piece of plywood on top of the unit.
  2. Unplug the HVAC. Power surges or outages can put the electrical system in your HVAC at risk. Your best bet is to avoid using the system during a storm. Remember that a nearby lightning strike during a storm could cause a power surge and do electrical damage to the unit. Unplug the HVAC and leave it unplugged until after the storm passes.
  3. Elevate the HVAC. When you have an HVAC system installed, your technician from Victory Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing will recommend raising it off the ground. This is to avoid damaging the unit during heavy rains and flooding. Even indoor basement units should be elevated to prevent water damage.
  4. Keep Your Yard Clean. Heavy winds can blow debris and branches into an HVAC unit and damage it. Keep any bushes or nearby trees trimmed. Remove dead branches near the HVAC as well.

If you follow these tips, your HVAC system should weather just about any storm that comes along in the Bellingham area. If the unexpected happens to your Bellingham HVAC, give us a call toll-free at Victory Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing to schedule an appointment. We have a live operator on call 24/7 and our technicians can handle almost any repair needed for your heating and air conditioning system.

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Surprising Ways to a More Energy-Efficient Home

dollar bills

Now that the weather’s cooling down, everyone’s looking for ways to save on utilities. There are the well-known methods, like using a programmable thermostat and servicing your heating in Bellingham, but what about the other ways? Here are four surprising ways to make your Bellingham home more energy-efficient.

1. Use Insulating Curtains

Letting in the sun may help make your home warmer by day, but shutting out the cold with specialized curtains will help keep the chills away by night. Windows and doors are a common source of cold drafts, so investing in insulating curtains can shield your home from some extreme temperatures.

2. Block Out the Drafts

Renewing the weather strips or resealing any cracks on your doors or windows can keep your energy bills lower. For extra protection against the cold, you can also place an additional draft blocker under your doors before you go to bed.

3. Replace any Traditional Light Bulbs

If you’re still using incandescent light bulbs, you’re in store for some serious savings when you switch them out. Both CFL and LED bulbs are cool to the touch and use far less energy than traditional light bulbs. LED bulbs, though they’re more expensive, provide even more savings than CFL bulbs and can last for decades!

4. Use Power Strips

Did you know that you still use energy to keep your TV and devices turned “off”? By connecting your devices to power strips and turning them off at night, you can accumulate savings on your energy bill over time.

Does Your HVAC Need Some TLC?

Prepping your HVAC for the fall and winter season is another great way to keep utility costs as low as possible. Schedule your seasonal inspection with Victory Air Conditioning, Heating, and Plumbing today to make your home in Bellingham comfortable for the months to come!

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10 Interesting Facts about Air Conditioning

ac units on wall

A quality air conditioning system keeps your home cool and comfortable. It’s easy to take this modern invention that provides so much comfort for granted. There are several interesting facts about your Bellingham air conditioning you may not know!

Air Conditioning Facts

1. The first home with a fully functioning air conditioning system was built in Minneapolis in 1913 by Charles Gate.

2. The first president to enjoy air conditioning was Herbert Hoover. He installed AC in the oval office right after the start of the Great Depression.

3. In the 1940’s a basic AC unit would have cost about $350. Translated into today’s dollars that cost would be approximately $3,500.

4. When air conditioning was initially introduced, the output of the machine was calculated in “ice power.” Today they are called AC units.

5. In 2001, it was estimated that 88 percent of all new homes for single-families built in the United States had air conditioners.

6. One of the first public places to introduce air conditioning were movie theaters.

7. In 1939, the Packard automobile was the first car to offer air conditioning. It was very expensive, however, and took up approximately half of the trunk space.

8. An air conditioning system can do more than just cool the air. They can make the air more comfortable by reducing humidity.

9. The first public building in the United States to use air conditioning was the New York Stock Exchange.

10. It’s been shown that the chance of death during hot days has decreased over 80 percent in the previous 50 years due to the increase of air conditioning.

Victory Air Conditioning

Victory Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing features skilled technicians that provide 24-hour services in Bellingham, Massachusetts. They offer free quotes, free financing and a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Schedule service today with Victory Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing in Bellingham!

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