The Geiler Company Blog

How Not To Break Your Home Renovation Budget

[fa icon='calendar'] Sep 16, 2018 9:41:14 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in Split System, Home Renovation

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Home renovation is extremely popular these days. The TV show Fixer Upper has made Chip and Joanna Gaines famous. We also know that it can be stressful and does not always turn out so well as demonstrated by the divorce or Christina and Tarek El Moussa of the TV series Flip or Flop.

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What Is the Best Air Conditioner For An Attic?

[fa icon='calendar'] Sep 15, 2018 10:54:53 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in Split System

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One of the problems you face when looking to install air conditioning in your attic is the lack of duct work.

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Why can’t I stop sneezing?

[fa icon='calendar'] May 28, 2018 10:39:00 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in indoor air quality

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If you find yourself having frequent sneezing fits, especially if they’re accompanied by watery eyes, a runny nose, or a cough, then it could be a sign of excessive allergens  or pollutants in your home.

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Why do I keep having nosebleeds?

[fa icon='calendar'] May 21, 2018 11:42:00 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in indoor air quality

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The inside of your nose is lined with a sensitive mucus membrane fed by lots of blood vessels. When this membrane is damaged and one of those blood vessels ruptures, this results in a nosebleed. Obvious causes are injury or trauma to the nose, but many people are unaware that home air quality and humidity levels can also play a major role in nosebleeds.

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Why does my home have a musty smell?

[fa icon='calendar'] May 14, 2018 5:27:00 PM / by Reid Geiler posted in indoor air quality

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It’s normal for a home to have its own unique smell. However, if you’ve been noticing an unpleasant, musty smell around your home recently, it could be a sign of mold or mildew.

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Allergies, Asthma & Indoor Air Quality

[fa icon='calendar'] May 7, 2018 10:20:00 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in indoor air quality

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An allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks a harmless foreign substance, known as an allergen. Inhaling airborne allergens can cause a runny nose, congestion, watery eyes, or irritated skin — mild allergic reactions that can be managed fairly easily. However, severe reactions can trigger allergic asthma, a dangerous condition in which the airways narrow and breathing becomes difficult.

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How to control household dust and fight dust mite allergies

[fa icon='calendar'] May 2, 2018 5:16:02 PM / by Reid Geiler posted in indoor air quality

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Dust allergies are caused by a reaction to insects called dust mites, specifically their droppings or decomposing bodies. Invisible to the naked eye, these tiny bugs feed on the organic matter found in household dust, such as dead skin cells and hair from humans and pets (pet dander).

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Why does my water taste funny?

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 3, 2018 9:23:30 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in water

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If you start noticing a strange taste from the tap water at your home, or if you get more than you expected from the taste of the water somewhere else, there are a number of possibilities.   The first and most obvious answer is that there is something in the water that shouldn't be.  But what is it?  That depends on the taste.

My water tastes like dirt

Water that tastes or smells like dirt is more common than it should be.  if the taste is coming from an isolated faucet, you should remove it and clean it thoroughly, including replacing the filter.  If that doesn't help, replace the faucet.  If that doesn't work, the problem may be in the pipes leading to the faucet.  In that case, you should consult a plumbing professional.  If the taste and smell is coming from all of your water sources inside, it is likely coming from your supplier that way.  One common cause in warm weather are algae blooms on water sources that are not quite filtered out during processing.  If you begin noticing the taste of dirt, contact your water supplier immediately.

My water tastes like metal

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Why did my water bill increase so much?

[fa icon='calendar'] Mar 16, 2018 3:34:13 PM / by Reid Geiler posted in water bill

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If your water bill increased sharply from one month to the next, the reasons can vary from the simple to a bit more complicated.  First, do you have any new house guests who are using more water?  Did you buy a new or additional water consuming appliance like a dishwasher or washing machine?  If the answer is no, and nothing else had changed in your water use habits, then it's time for a little detective work.  Here are some possibilities in order of likelihood.

1.  A leaky toilet

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the toilet is the single biggest source of indoor water use, accounting for 26.7% of consumption in an average home.  A leaky toilet can run through up to 200 gallons in a day.  That's 1400 gallons a week or 6000 gallons in a month.  A three person household typically uses about that much, so a leaky toilet can double your water bill.  There are a couple of simple ways to check if your toilet is leaking.  First, just listen.  If you hear a hissing noise, that's the water entering the toilet tank.  If it's doing that constantly that means the water is leaving constantly as well, likely through a faulty flapper at the bottom of the tank.  Another way to test for a toilet leak is to put food coloring in the tank.  If the color makes its way to the bowl, you have a leak.  A new flapper is an easy fix for most people, but if it looks like a different problem or it's one that you don't want to mess with, call a professional plumber.  The money you spend will be made up in lower water bills.

2.  Leaky faucet fixtures

One drip per second is 3000 gallons per year literally down the drain.  It's also about an extra 10 percent of water use per month for a family of three.  Double the drip rate is double the water wasted.  These are easy to spot, and now that you know they are costing you more money than you think, sometimes easy to fix.  Many faucet fixtures can simply be unscrewed and examined.  If you find a bad washer, which is usually the culprit, it can be easily replaced.  If you are hesitant about messing with your fixtures, it's time to call a professional.  Just like with a leaky toilet, fixing a leaky faucet will pay for itself sooner than you think.

3.  Irrigation leaks

Now things start to get more complicated.  If you have an irrigation system built into your landscaping, you could have a cracked water line or loose joint.  If that's the case, water (and money) are leaking out underground.  To check for leaks like these, take a look at your yard.  Is there a damp or sunken in patch?  Is there a spot where the grass is fuller and greener than the areas around it?  If so, you may have an underground leak.  In a case like this, it's best to call a professional plumber right away to see what you are dealing with and the best way to fix it.   

4.    Lateral line leaks

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5 Easy Ways To Fix A Clogged Toilet

[fa icon='calendar'] Feb 19, 2018 2:02:00 PM / by Reid Geiler posted in Clogged Toilet

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How do I fix a clogged toilet?  Sooner or later, we all have to seek the answer to that question.  Fortunately, there are a few ways to accomplish what many consider to be a dirty job.   

The first question you have to answer is "What is down there?"  If you know it's a child's toy or other hard object, it may be time to call a plumber.  If you end up pushing it further down the pipe and making it harder to get to, it could end up being more expensive to fix the problem.

If the clog is, shall we say "organic", there are some options to getting the water flowing again.  The first step is to get some rubber gloves on in case you need to "go deep" and place some paper towels or newspapers around the toilet to pick up the inevitable water that will splash out of the bowl.   
 

5 Easy ways To Fix A Clogged Toilet

 
Use a plunger-  This is the first and easiest option.  This method is more effective with higher quality plungers that have a shaped bottom to ensure a good seal rather than the cheaper "suction cup" types.   

A good seal under water is required for a plunger to work properly.  It's the force of water, not air, that will cause the clog to clear.  If the bowl has drained, fill it with water from the sink until the plunger is under water.  You can also run the plunger under hot water to soften the rubber to ensure a good seal.   

Be careful with that first push, because there will be air in the seal.  This is especially important if there is water in the toilet that you definitely don't want splashed around.  Once you get a good seal, push and pull up firmly without breaking the seal.  It can take ten to twenty pushes to dislodge a stubborn clog, so don't give up.  Check your progress by breaking the seal and seeing if the water drains out.  If it does, flush the toilet to see if it drains properly.  If it does, congratulations.  If not, make the seal and plunge again.  Sometimes this cycle needs to be repeated three or four times before a clog is fully dislodged by being broken up or pushed down the drain.

If plunging doesn't work, there are some other options.

Use a wire coat hanger- Unravel and straighten out a wire coat hanger.  Wrap the end with a rag and seal it with duct tape.  This will prevent the hanger from scratching the porcelain in your toilet.  If the obstruction in the drain is within reach of the hanger, this method will generally work.   

Twist the wire in circles and move it back and forth to try and break up and/or dislodge the clog.  If you feel the obstruction, push against it.  If the water begins to drain, you are making progress.  Keep going until the toilet flushes normally.  If you can't reach anything with the wire coat hanger...

Use a plumbing snake-  These tools are designed to go into and through the twists and turns of pipes to get to clogs.   Plus the snake down the drain, just like you tried with the wire coat hanger.  If you feel the obstruction, try to break it up or dislodge it.  Again, the water draining out of the toilet will tell you when you are successful.  If the snake doesn't work...

Try an enzyme product-  These products are designed to break down organic material in pipes.  They are used in septic tank repair and other plumbing tasks.  Just pour the solution into the toilet and leave it overnight.
 

Try a homemade drain cleaner- Boil a half gallon of water and then let it cool for a few minutes.  Boiling water can crack porcelain.  Put the water near the toilet and add two cups of vinegar to the water. Finally, add one cup of baking soda.  Add the baking soda last, and be prepared for the mixture to fizz quite a bit.   Pour the mixture into the toilet and let it sit overnight.

Try a chemical drain cleaner- If you try the enzyme or the vinegar/baking soda method and the toilet is still clogged the next day, it's time to move on to the last option before calling a plumber.   

Chemical drain cleaners have very caustic chemicals that should not be inhaled.  Follow instructions and use only the specified amount.   Also make sure that the product is specifically made for toilets.  Make sure that the room is properly ventilated, and do not use a plunger after you pour the chemical in.  You risk splashing it on your skin.

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