The Geiler Company Blog

Does it make sense to insulate my furnace ducts?

[fa icon='calendar'] May 11, 2020 1:53:00 PM / by Reid Geiler posted in furnace

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Should I insulate my furnace ducts?  Yes, you should.  Insulating your furnace ducts will help your furnace transport heated air more efficiently throughout your home.  Better heating capacity means the furnace will run less, which will save you money on electricity and other energy costs.

Leaking duct work can send heated air into crawl spaces under your home or into your attic instead of where you want it.  To keep this from happening, you will have to do a little detective work to check for leaks.  Get to where the duct work is and check for sections that should be together but have separated over time and also check for holes.  While the system is running, slowly move your hand over the duct work to see if you feel any air escaping.  If you do, mark the area with a pen or tape.  Once you have found areas that you can seal off yourself, make sure you use duct mastic or other sealants that are approved for heat.  Regular duct tape will not last long enough to make it worth using.   Professionals should also take a look at unconditioned spaces to make sure everything is working properly once you finish your minor repairs.

If you come across large gaps in your duct work or a number of holes, it's time to call in a professional.  Once a system reaches a certain age, it becomes safer and more cost effective in the long run to replace it rather than be on the constant lookout for more minor leaks.

The Geiler Company can inspect your home and come up with the best solution for you based on the age of the system in your home, your square footage and other factors.   Call us at 513-574-0025   or Send a TEXT for a fast and professional estimate so you can get the most out of your home heating system for years to come.

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What is that hissing sound coming from my toilet?

[fa icon='calendar'] May 4, 2020 1:40:29 PM / by Reid Geiler posted in Plumbing

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Why do I hear a hissing sound from my toilet?   It's because water or air is moving through your water line into your toilet tank.

Let's talk about water first, which is usually an easy fix once you find the problem.  Toilets have what's called a refill valve.  It controls how much water goes back into the tank after you flush.  If the refill valve is not working properly, you can end up with too little or too much water after each flush.

A hissing sound can mean that the refill valve is still letting a tiny bit of water into the tank because it hasn't shut off like it's designed to.  The valve shuts off automatically based on the water level in the tank.  A faulty valve or one not set properly will keep running.  When you hear the hissing sound, take the lid off your toilet tank.  The first thing to check is to see if water is running down the overflow pipe.  If it is, your refill valve is not shutting off when the tank is full.  That means that water is constantly going down the refill tank and running up your water bill. 

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What is measured in a water quality test?

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 28, 2020 1:23:00 PM / by Reid Geiler posted in water, Smell, Water Quality, Hard Water, Rotten Egg Smell

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What is measured in a water quality test?  A lot of things.

Water quality tests are important in a number of ways.  The Environmental Protection Agency has minimum standards for drinking water that must be met at every step of the process.  That starts at the water source, extends through the water processing plant and delivery system to your home.  State and local regulations also apply to water quality.

So what is measured when determining water quality?  New homes and existing wells are tested for the presence of coliform bacteria, which is very important.   The best known coliform to many people is e. coli, which can make you very sick.  Your water should test negative for coliform.

There are a number of other properties to test when determining water quality.

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Hard Water and Tankless Water Heaters

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 21, 2020 12:56:00 PM / by Reid Geiler posted in Water Quality, Hard Water

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How important is water quality for tankless water heaters?  Very important when it comes to the hardness of the water. 

Water hardness is caused when minerals are present.  Usually, the culprits are calcium and lime.  When water is heated, the minerals tend to clump up and cause scale deposits.  In traditional water heaters, these deposits usually just sink to the bottom of the tank and go unnoticed.  But with a tankless water heater, the deposits can form inside the unit, eventually clogging it up or releasing the deposits into appliances like your washing machine or dishwasher.

The water in the Cincinnati area is very hard, so that is something to consider when you have a tankless water heater.  Without a water softening system, the tankless heater should be flushed at least once a year to prevent damage to it or other household appliances.  The Geiler Company can do this work for you. 

If you are in the market for a more permanent solution, the Geiler Company has a full range of water softening options that will fit the bill in your home and still allow you to enjoy the benefits of a tankless water heater.  One such option is the Scale Stik, which is an electricity and salt-free way to keep your water soft with very little expense or hassle.

The type and amount of water softening you need depends on a number of factors, including your amount of hot water use and the type of tankless water heater you have.  Each model has a specified level of water hardness that it can deal with before it becomes a problem. 

Call or TEXT the Geiler Company at 513-574-0025 for an evaluation of your water quality and your tankless water system.  We will make sure that your hot water needs are met in the most efficient and affordable way possible.

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Does water have a taste?

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 13, 2020 8:30:00 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in Water Quality

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Does water have a taste?  The short answer is yes.

Research done on the perception of taste in water shows that there are a number of factors at play, including what minerals are present in the water, where the water comes from and the unique biology of the taster.  That's why some people will insist that their water has a taste and others can't taste a thing.

Let's start with the minerals.  Water from natural sources like rivers, springs or wells all have microscopic bits of minerals in them, even after the filtering process.  If you look at a bottle of water or get a water quality report from your municipal provider, you will find a measurement of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS on the label) in parts per million (PPM).  All this means is that minerals are present.  Research has shown that bicarbonate, sulfate, calcium and magnesium are the four minerals that affect taste the most.

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Who does water testing?

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 8, 2020 10:27:18 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in Water Quality

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Who does water quality testing for my drinking water?  That depends on your water source. 

If you pay a water bill to a municipality or water utility, they are legally bound to follow federal and state water quality guidelines.  This includes regular inspections from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and state enforcement agencies.  Water quality is tested and regulated at the source level when it enters a water treatment plant, inside the plant itself, when it leaves the plant and when it is in the pipes leading to your home.

Once the water passes the water meter, or if you have a private source, the responsibility for water quality falls to you.  The EPA recommends annual testing of well or spring water that is used as a primary water source.    Some of the things you should test for include coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels.

 The EPA has more information on testing at https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-11/documents/2005_09_14_faq_fs_homewatertesting.pdf

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What Causes A Rotten Egg Smell In My Water?

[fa icon='calendar'] Apr 6, 2020 7:59:00 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in Water Quality, Rotten Egg Smell

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What causes a rotten egg smell in my water? 

That is a chemical called hydrogen sulfide.  It's not harmful, but even a small amount can really stink.

Hydrogen sulfide occurs naturally and can build up in your appliances or pipes over time until you begin to smell it.  There are three places that are usually the origin of the rotten egg smell.  To find which one it is will require a little aquatic detective work. The first step is to run hot and cold water in all the faucets of your house at the same time.  Quickly go from room to room and give each fixture a sniff.  Smell them together, then turn off one at a time to get an individual whiff.   Note whether the smell is coming from all faucets or just those in one particular room.

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Why Is Water Hardness Important?

[fa icon='calendar'] Mar 30, 2020 10:00:00 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in Water Quality, Hard Water

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Why is water hardness important? 

The proper hardness level in water can control how long your water heater lasts, how sudsy your soap gets and even how the glasses in your cabinet look.

So what is hard water?  In this case, the word "hard" means that the groundwater contains mineral deposits, usually calcium and magnesium.  The more mineral deposits, the "harder" the water.  According to the United States Geological Survey, groundwater in the Cincinnati area is very hard.

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Why Does My Washing Machine Smell?

[fa icon='calendar'] Mar 23, 2020 9:45:00 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in Smell, Washing Machine

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 Why does my washing machine smell?

  Very likely, it's because of mold, mildew or both.  Here's how to solve the problem.

Washing machines create two of the favorite things for mold and mildew...heat and moisture.  Once you detect a mold or mildew smell, take action right away.  Waiting will only make the problem worse and result in more stinky clothes coming out of the washer.  

First, check above the normal waterline in the washer tub.  Soiled water and soap get splashed above the waterline during use and sometimes doesn't drain away properly during the rinse cycle.  It just sits there, creating mold and mildew and bacteria.  One of the first ways to detect this problem is to smell your laundry that comes out of the washer.  If it stinks, it's likely because the clothes have rubbed against the soiled area during the washing process.

So what do you do to attack that smell?  There are a few options.

Reach for the bleach.  Bleach is the go-to cleaning method for mold and mildew.  Just be careful not to use too much, have proper ventilation and wear protective gear on your hands.  Also, be careful not to get any on your clothes.  One other very important note:  If you are using bleach around other chemicals, make sure you read the labels.  Mixing bleach and ammonia results in a toxic gas that can be deadly in an enclosed space.

To clean your washer with bleach, add 1 cup of bleach to the bleach dispenser of the washer or directly into the machine itself.  Run the cleaning cycle or a hot wash cycle, depending on your washer.  This needs to be done without laundry.  When the cycle is done, wipe down the inside of the washer and any bleach or fabric softener dispensers inside.

Use vinegar.  If you don't want to use bleach, you can try some vinegar.  White distilled vinegar will kill mold spores and bacteria.  The process is different depending on whether your washer is a top loader or a front loader.

For a top loader, set your washer on the hottest and longest cycle.  If you have a cleaning cycle, use that one.  Once the washer fills up and begins agitating, add four cups of white distilled vinegar.  Close the lid and let the washer agitate for a few minutes and then stop it.  Let the water and vinegar mixture sit for about an hour and then close the lid and let the washer continue the cycle.  If it still smells when it drains, repeat the process.

For a front loader, select the hot water or cleaning cycle.  Pour about a cup of distilled white vinegar into the bleach dispenser.  Let the washer go through the cycle and then run an additional rinse cycle.  When it finishes, wipe down the inside, remove the bleach and fabric softener dispensers and clean them with warm soapy water.  Dry them and replace them.  Finally, clean the gasket around the door with a dry towel.

Now that the washer is clean, here are some tips to keep it that way.  First, follow the above steps regularly to keep the washer clean.  You can also follow these simple steps to keep odors away:

Use your cleaning cycle if you have one.  It's a simple thing, but a lot of people forget to do it.  Check your washing machine's owners manual for details on how often they recommend using the cleaning cycle.

Keep the washer door open when it's not in use.  Doing this allows any moisture inside to evaporate more easily.

Keep things moving.  Don't let a load of laundry sit in the washer once it finishes.  Put them in the dryer right away and remove them from the dryer quickly after they are done.  Warm, wet clothes are easy targets for mold, mildew and bacteria to grow.

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How to clean bathtub stains

[fa icon='calendar'] Mar 16, 2020 7:15:00 AM / by Reid Geiler posted in Bathtub

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Cleaning your bathtub regularly helps to hold down stains that can develop over time.  But if you find yourself with stubborn stains that won't go away easily, here are some tips to return your bathtub to looking like new.

What you use to clean the tub depends on two things; what the tub is made out of and what the stain consists of.  Most bathtubs these days are made out of plastic, steel or cast-iron.  Steel and cast-iron tubs are usually coated with porcelain enamel. 

Abrasive cleaners are very effective on enamel, but can damage the surface of plastic tubs.

If you have a plastic tub, it's a good idea to try out the stain removal options below on a hidden area of the tub to make sure that the surface is not damaged by abrasive or corrosive materials in the cleaner.

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