The Benefits of Working With Bryant® Factory-Authorized Dealers

We here at Palo Alto are proud of our designation as a Bryant® Factory-Authorized Dealer. Not only do we offer some of the best heating and cooling systems in the country, our team of certified plumbers and HVAC technicians are also dedicated to doing whatever it takes to provide exceptional customer service. Here’s an overview of the benefits of working with Bryant Factory-Authorized Dealers.

Conserving Water With Efficient Plumbing

Water is one of the most important resources we have on Earth, and plumbing and heating systems play a huge role in ensuring its sustainability. That’s why, in celebration of World Plumbing Day last March 11, our experts at Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning have listed our best plumbing tips to help your home become more efficient at water conservation. Read more

Understanding Your Home’s Water Usage

Water is a vital component of any home’s daily activities. From the heating and the plumbing to cooking and even landscaping, there’s almost an endless list of ways in which we use water every day. According to a 2016 study by the Water Research Foundation (“Residential End Uses of Water, Version 2.”), an average American home with four members will use over 10,000 gallons of water monthly. This amounts to almost 100 gallons per day per person. Read more

4 Common Causes of Noisy Water Pipes

Water pipes are expected to route tap water into your home, so if you have persistently noisy water pipes, they should be addressed by a professional plumbing contractor. The following are some common causes of noisy water pipes.

  1. Water Hammer – One of the most common causes of noisy pipes is known as water hammer. Water pipes carry a significant amount of pressure. If running water is interrupted by turning the faucet off quickly, the halted pressure travels back through the pipes, making a hammering noise that sounds as unnoticeable as a single tap, or loud and continuous like a jackhammer. Typical residential plumbing has air cushions that absorb the excess pressure, but can get worn out over time and will need to be fixed by a professional.

  2. Squealing Pipes – There are many reasons why water pipes can start squealing. One of the most common causes is an old, worn-out main shut off valve. You can tell this is the source if the sound carries throughout the house. Worn-out washers are another common cause of squealing pipes. Replacing these parts should be fairly simple with proper precautions, but if you’re not confident in replacing parts of your home’s plumbing, call a professional.

  3. Loose Pipes – Loose pipes are somewhat similar to the sound a water hammer makes, except that it happens randomly, instead of being triggered by faucets and showers opening and closing. If this is the case, your water pressure may be too high. Installing a pressure-reducing valve solves this problem.

  4. Toilets – A common problem with toilets is a banging or rattling noise heard as the tank ends its fill cycle. If this is the case, the ballcock assembly, the part that regulates the fill process, is worn out and will need to be replaced.

To learn more about our plumbing services, call Palo Alto Plumbing Heating & Air today at (650) 856-3400 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We are located in Palo Alto, CA and service surrounding areas.

What to Do When You Want Energy-Efficient Plumbing

Thanks to technology, your home can reduce the amount of energy it uses to maintain its temperature and get rid of waste. While some of this technology could be more expensive upon installation, being able to save money on water and electricity bills for the rest of your life may be a good payoff. At some point, you’ve recouped the cost of installation and are working on reduced bills.

The Importance of Choosing the Correct Air Filter for Your Home HVAC System

Using the wrong air filter can affect your heating and air conditioning’s performance and energy efficiency. We recommend consulting with AC professionals before choosing your air filter if you want to prevent future problems with your system.

Plumbing Basics Every Homeowner Should Know

You can learn a lot over the years as a homeowner. While some info you may pick up can be of a trivial nature, there are essential things you need to pick up sooner rather than later. Basic plumbing concepts fall into this category. Read more

Humidifiers Can Help Relieve Your Allergy Symptoms

If you suffer from allergies, you know their symptoms can make life miserable. Obviously you’d be interested in anything that can bring you relief, and that’s why you may want to seriously consider buying at humidifier for your home.

What Is a Humidifier and How Does it Work?

Humidifiers are electrically-powered machines that use various methods to turn liquid water into vapor. The vapor is spread across adjacent rooms, moisturizing the air and raising relative indoor humidity in the process. Humidifiers are commonly employed during the winter time in cold climates, where excessive dryness of the air is a constant problem, and all year round in arid or desert climates where the air is chronically lacking in moisture.

Point-of-use humidifiers are portable devices that can be moved from room to room and are generally appropriate for any house or apartment. But another type of unit, known as a whole-house humidifier, disperses much larger quantities of moisturized air from a centralized location. Whole-house humidifiers are used in both commercial and residential settings.

How Do Humidifiers Help Reduce Allergy Symptoms?

Allergy attacks can dry out the throat or nasal linings even as they clog sinuses. Excessively dry air will only exacerbate the trouble, making this type of allergic reaction more severe than it otherwise might be.

Boosting indoor humidity can help eliminate most of this unpleasant dryness, and humidifiers are extremely efficient at doing this. Good-quality units usually include a control device called a hygrometer, and if you set it to produce relative indoor humidity of somewhere between 40 and 49 percent it should bring you almost instant relief. Colds and the flu often manifest in the same way as allergies, so humidifiers can also make you feel better when you’re sick.

Some allergies cause rashes or itchiness, which is also related to excessive dryness (of the skin in this case). People who suffer from eczema also experience much more intense and frequent outbreaks of this disorder when the air is dry. But higher humidity levels works as a remedy to skin allergies and eczema; comfortably humid air can moisturize the skin even more effectively than many over-the-counter topical creams designed to treat dry skin conditions.

One word of caution: if you let your indoor humidity get too high (50 percent or more), it can encourage the breeding of dust mites and the growth of mold, both of which are frequently responsible for allergic reactions. When using a humidifier for allergy relief you have to be careful not to overdo it.

Common Types of Humidifier

Evaporative humidifiers rely on the forces of nature (evaporation, in other words) to moisturize a home’s air gradually, while vaporizing humidifiers use an extra energy input to convert water directly to steam. Point-of-use and whole-house units both require the regular replenishment of water supplies in order to keep functioning, as do impeller and ultrasonic humidifiers, a couple of other options you may want to investigate.

Fighting Allergies with Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating and Air

If you or a family member suffers from allergies, adding a humidifier to your home’s climate management system may be the perfect solution.

In Palo Alto and surrounding cities, we encourage you to visit Palo Alto Plumbing, Heating and Air if you’re in the market for a humidifier. We offer a complete line of outstanding humidifiers from Bryant, the preeminent name in the HVAC/air quality management industry. Contact us today and we’ll help you choose the best style, size and model of humidifier for your home—or for your place of business, if that is where you need it.

Follow our blog to learn more about exciting developments in heating, cooling, plumbing and air quality management.

Troubleshooting Water Heater Problems

Most of the time the cause of water heater problems is revealed with little or no troubleshooting. For instance, if your heater is not heating the water, there is a leak around the heater or it makes a strange gurgling or popping sound when opened, its evident that there is something wrong with your water heater. Gas utility companies will normally makes a free house call if the problem has to do with supply of gas to the tank or the gas water heater’s burner, but you are on your own when it comes to other problems with the water heater. So you should do yourself a favor and learn as much about solving basic water heater problems as you can. For those intricate and technical problems you should definitely call a qualified water heater person to assist you.

One of the most common problems with water heaters is that it doesn’t heat water. In other cases, it either heats the water up too much or doesn’t heat it hot enough. The first and most obvious solution in this case would be to adjust the temperature dial. If this fails to solve the problem, then you should try a few more potential solutions. Usually the culprit when it comes to not enough hot water, is a undersized or small water heater. If you enjoy soaking in the tub and taking long showers you may need to invest in a larger water heater. If you notice that the water is too hot, you should attempt to adjust the temperature dial. Wait a few hours and see if there is a change in the water temperature. If hot water starts shooting out of the faucet,or you can hear the water boiling inside the heater, it could mean that the heater is not switching off at its required or set temperature.

There are many ways in which you can keep an eye on your water heater. You may attempt to adjust the temperature dial and do certain things to fix the problem with your water heater, provided that it is safe to do. Follow us for more useful information on how to save money.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Water Heater

Modern household water heaters are expected to operate for 8 – 12 years. Unfortunately, many water heaters never last this long due to lack of water heater maintenance. This means many people never get the most out of their water heaters. The following tips may help resolve this problem.


i) Flush the Water Heater Regularly

Flushing is the process of removing sediments, impurities and dirty water that may settle at the bottom of the water heater tank. It entails draining water through the drain valve at the bottom of the tank, running more cold water into the tank and repeating the process until clean water comes out. Flushing can be done as a DIY project, but hiring a professional is recommended if you know little about water heaters.


ii) Insulate the Heater Properly

The efficiency and performance of your water heater depends on the type of insulation you have. The insulating material reduces heat loss to the surrounding, so your heated water can stay hotter for longer. In addition to insulating the water tank, be sure to also insulate hot water pipes running from the heater to faucets and shower heads. Proper insulation can save you a lot of money in the long run.

iii) Inspect the Anode Rod Regularly

The anode rod in your heater is responsible for maintaining cleanliness in the water heater. It is normally located in the upper section of the water heater. Ideally, you should check the anode rod annually and replace it if necessary.


iv) Adjust the Temperature Setting Accordingly

Water heaters normally come with a default setting of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but this is just too hot. In fact, most homeowners would live comfortably with a temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Lowering the temperature setting will not only lower your energy bill, but also improve the performance of your water heater.


v) Check the Rated Life Expectancy

Knowing when your water heater is expected to expire is crucial as it will enable you to start making early preparations for a replacement.

Water heater maintenance can help you get the most out of your water heater. It will also reduce your monthly heating bill as well as extend the lifespan of your water heater. Follow us for more great articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs.