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/
Who does water quality testing for my drinking water? That depends on your water source.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How bad is pollution from plastic bottles? Pretty bad.
In the United States alone, 1000 plastic bottles are opened every second. Only one in six of those bottles is recycled. 60 million plastic bottles a day are thrown away by Americans, with most of them ending up in landfills. That's close to two billion bottles thrown away per month. Once the bottles are in the landfills, they can take up to 1000 years to degrade. That means that every plastic bottle produced in the history of man is laying somewhere on the earth, slowly degrading into smaller pieces.
Many times, those smaller pieces end up being swallowed by birds. The plastic ends up killing them because it's too big to pass through their system and doesn't degrade. Eventually, the birds will eat enough plastic to either get internal injuries or starve to death.
Massive plastic dumps can be found in the world's oceans and waterways near underdeveloped countries that do not have waste control and recycling systems as good as the ones in the United States and other developed countries. Once the plastic is dumped into the water, it simply floats on top. The shapes and colors attract water life, which swallows the plastic and ends up with the same fate as the birds. As the plastic sits in the sun, it also begins to break down, releasing chemicals into the water.
This issue is only expected to get worse as bottled water consumption rises in the United States and elsewhere. Americans already consume more bottled water as a nation than they do milk or beer. And billions of plastic soft drink bottles are also adding to the pollution problem worldwide.
Overseas, people in China and other nations are starting to consume more bottled water as their economy improves and they can afford this necessary human resource. Distrust of water quality in developing nations has led to an unquenchable thirst for bottled water.
If you are a regular consumer of bottled water and want to cut back to save money and the environment, consider an AlwaysFresh water filtration system from the Geiler Company. Always Fresh filters attach right to your water source for reliable and instant clean water every time with no bottles required. Call the Geiler Company (513) 574-0025 and we can help you find the right AlwaysFresh system for your home.
What is the best way to heat an attic? Many people who ask that question are looking to expand the living area of their home as a private living space or storage for items that could be negatively affected by extreme temperatures.
The first step is involving a Geiler Company HVAC professional. Decisions involving cost and safety have to be made at various steps in the process to ensure that you end up happy with your new livable attic area.
We will begin by examining the existing insulation. Without sufficient insulation, any heating energy will escape to the outside and end up costing you money. Depending on the size of your attic space and the level of insulation already present, it might be necessary to add more to make your attic livable.
The next step is to make sure that the attic floor is solid enough to hold the weight of persons, furniture and storage items. You don't want anyone or anything falling through the floor.
Next, you will want to run electricity to the attic space if it's not there already. Extension cords from the floor below will not do. Those are a safety hazard. Make sure a Geiler Company professional takes a look at your situation and provides you with analysis and options and then have them do the work.
Now that you have a safe and properly insulated space with available electricity, what is the best way to heat the attic? The Geiler Company recommends a single zone mini split system heat pump. "Single zone" means that it's only responsible for heating one area, and "split system" means that it is separate from the HVAC system of the house. These systems can cost anywhere from $1500 to $2000 or more, depending on their heating capacity. That may sound like a lot, but it's probably cheaper than cutting up your attic floor to extend existing duct work into your attic. If your attic is large enough, your house's HVAC system might not be able to handle the extra space. If that happens, you will have to get a system with a higher capacity. Given these facts, a single zone split system heating unit is the smart way to go. One important consideration is to buy a unit with enough capacity to generate enough heat in the space provided during those single digit winter nights.
Every situation and every home is different. That's why we recommend involving a Geiler Company professional in the planning process for heating your attic. We will make sure the job is done safely, promptly and professionally. Call the Geiler Company today at (513) 574-0025 today and let us help you get started.
A ductless heating system could be a low cost and energy efficient system for your home that could also save you a lot of money in the long run.
Ductless heating systems are also referred to as "split systems" because they rely on a main outside unit and up to eight wall mounted inside units that provide different zones or areas that can be controlled individually. These systems are ideal for homes that don't need to heat certain rooms in the winter. Certain rooms can be set to warmer temperatures to maintain comfort and other rooms can be set a little lower to save money and energy. The wall mounted units can also be installed within hours with very little construction activity needed. A small hole for the piping from the main heating unit and a some wall brackets are all that are needed.
A ductless air conditioning system could be a low cost and energy efficient system for your home that could also save you a lot of money in the long run.
Ductless air conditioning systems are also referred to as "split systems" because they rely on a main outside unit and up to eight wall mounted inside units that provide different zones or areas that can be controlled individually. These systems are ideal for homes that don't need to cool certain rooms in the summer. Certain rooms can be set to cooler temperatures to maintain comfort and other rooms can be set a little higher to save money and energy. The wall mounted units can also be installed within hours with very little construction activity needed. A small hole for the piping from the main cooling unit and a some wall brackets are all that are needed.
Some of the advantages of a ductless air conditioning system include:
Energy efficiency: Ductless air conditioning systems directly cool the area that they are in, rather than having cold air forced from a central air conditioner through a traditional duct system. Up to 25 percent of energy in a traditional cooling system can be lost as it travels throughout the home, more if the ductwork is leaking in places you can't see. This wasted cold air costs you money. Also, if the central thermostat for a traditional ducted air conditioning system is located in a warmer area, the whole system will continue to burn energy (and money) to meet the demand.
More control: Ductless air conditioning systems can be programmed individually to deliver the precise amount of cool air desired to a single area at a lower cost. For example, rooms with east or west facing windows can be kept cool without making other areas of the home too cold for comfort. The units are also Energy Star compliant, which means that homeowners may be eligible for rebates and/or tax breaks by installing a ductless air conditioning system. The Geiler company can help you find out what local, state and federal tax breaks or loan incentives are available when you purchase a ductless system.
Quiet operation: The units continually work to deliver cool air to their designated area of the home rather than starting and stopping. They are also designed to run quietly. The days of hearing the central air conditioner turning on and off or hearing the loud fan pushing the cool air through the home are a thing of the past for ductless air conditioning system owners.
Improved air quality: The units are designed with a mulit-stage filtration system to ensure air quality. Hundreds of feet of traditional ductwork in a home can gather a lot of dust, mold, and other contaminants. Ductless air conditioning systems eliminate this issue when cleaned regularly.
Ductless air conditioning systems are ideal for new construction, home additions or free-standing areas. Contact the Geiler Company at 513-574-0025 today to see if a ductless air conditioning system is right for you.