The Do’s and Don’ts of Garbage Disposal Maintenance

The Do's and Don'ts of Garbage Disposal Maintenance When it comes to sheer convenience, few appliances have as much of an impact on your household than your garbage disposal. Your disposal is handy for getting rid of food scraps and waste that might otherwise create a smelly mess in your kitchen.

Garbage disposal maintenance is absolutely essential if you want it to last for years to come. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind to keep your disposal in great shape and prevent maintenance emergencies.

Do’s

  • Operate your garbage disposal regularly. Disuse can lead to rust, corrosion and clogs.
  • Drop a few frozen vinegar cubes into your garbage disposal. This not only keeps the blades sharp, but it also helps clean and disinfect the disposal itself.
  • Flush your garbage disposal with cold water and keep running your disposal until all food scraps have been flushed out.

Don’ts

  • Don’t grind onion peels, corn husks and other stringy, fibrous foods in your disposal. These fibers can easily get tangled around the motor and burn it out.
  • Don’t feed bones, fruit pits and other extremely hard foods into your disposal.
  • Don’t stick your hand into your garbage disposal to retrieve dropped items without disconnecting the unit’s power beforehand. If possible, use needle-nose pliers or a bent coat hanger to retrieve items.

Don’t forget that your technician can also help out with garbage disposal maintenance, especially when it comes to tough jobs like motor repairs and blade replacements.

The experts at Roth Heating & Cooling can help maintain your garbage disposal. Contact us whenever your Portland home’s disposal needs a professional’s touch.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Got Shaking Water Pipes? Find a Pro to Fix the Problem

Got Shaking Water Pipes? Find a Pro to Fix the ProblemYou may not know that your water pipes are shaking until you hear a sudden bang or rattle coming from somewhere deep inside your walls. This may happen when you turn water on or off at a faucet, or when your washer stops the flow of water coming in.

The sound of shaking water pipes can be annoying. However, what’s worse is the potential damage these pipes can sustain. You need to fix them now to avoid leaking pipes in the future.

What Causes Pipes to Shake?

Flowing water contains energy, and when something disturbs the water’s flow, it releases contained energy into the structure around the water. This released energy can cause unsecured water pipes to move around quite a bit. Solenoid-triggered water valves, found on dishwashers and washing machines, can stop the flow of water suddenly, causing stored energy to shake your pipes. Water flowing above 80 psi can cause backflushing, which also results in moving pipes.

Shaking pipes strain pipe joints and seams, but the damage may not show itself for a long time. One day, your pipe joint might fail or a crack, leaving your with a major water leak on your hands.

What Can You Do About Shaking Pipes?

To subdue your rattling pipes, you need to bring in a licensed plumbing contractor. Your plumber will identify what’s causing your pipes to shake and offer solutions to fix the problem. This might be as simple as securing your pipes to studs and joists, or be as complicated as installing water hammer arresters and water pressure regulators.

A water hammer arrester is a sealed tube installed on top of water pipes near the valve. It contains a cushion of air that absorbs the energy within the water when the valve shuts. A water pressure regulator keeps the amount of water flowing into your home at a manageable pressure below 80 psi.

If you have a problem with shaking water pipes, contact Roth Heating & Cooling in the Portland area today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Common HVAC Problems & How to Fix Them

Common HVAC Problems & How to Fix ThemHome HVAC systems are designed to provide many years of reliable service. Even so, these rugged pieces of equipment can develop problems that interfere with functionality. Here are some descriptions of common HVAC problems and what you can do to fix them:

Dirty air filters: Air filters are vital components of both heating and cooling systems. They can help keep indoor air clean by removing dust, pollen, fibers, mold and other particulates from the air circulating through your HVAC system.

When these filters get dirty, the restriction in airflow can cause your furnace or air conditioner to malfunction. In some cases, blocked air filters can even cause damage to HVAC equipment. Check your air filters and see if they are dirty or clogged. If so, replace them with fresh, clean filters.

Lack of power or fuel: Make sure your equipment is plugged into a functioning power outlet and that the circuit breakers controlling your HVAC system haven’t tripped. Then, check if there’s a supply of fuel coming in from the local utility lines and that there’s sufficient fuel in the storage tank. Next, reset tripped breakers and call for a fuel supply delivery.

Thermostat problems: A broken or malfunctioning thermostat can prevent your HVAC equipment from working, so installing a new thermostat may be necessary. Make sure your thermostat is set to the correct function (heating or cooling) and that the temperature settings are appropriate for the season.

Low refrigerant level: Air conditioners and heat pumps require a manufacturer-specified amount of refrigerant to properly capture and move heat. If the refrigerant level falls below this point, your equipment won’t work correctly. Make sure there are no refrigerant leaks before having your HVAC professional recharge the refrigerant to the correct level.

Roth Heating & Cooling provides top-quality HVAC services for customers in Portland, Hillsboro, Canby and the surrounding Oregon communities. Contact us today for more information on identifying and resolving common HVAC problems.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Keep Your Gas Fireplace in Prime Condition with These Cleaning Tips

Keep Your Gas Fireplace in Prime Condition with These Cleaning Tips Soot buildup in your gas fireplace can cause ignition problems and clog your burners, leading to inefficient operation and even possible safety issues. By cleaning your gas fireplace at least twice a year using the following procedure, you can ensure it operates safely and efficiently.

  • Turn off the gas supply to your fireplace, as well as the electric supply if equipped. Allow all components to fully cool before attempting to clean them.
  • Then, remove the screen and logs carefully. Use a vacuum to clean away any dust or other loose materials from both the logs and the screen before using a damp rag to wipe each surface. Next, use the vacuum to clean inside the fireplace itself, removing all dust, cobwebs and debris.
  • Use a vacuum to clean your burners, removing all loose debris. If there’s soot stuck in the holes of the burner, use a can of compressed air to dislodge the debris, followed by the vacuum to remove it completely. Wipe the burners with a damp cloth, and use a soft-bristle brush to remove any stubborn residue.
  • Next, use the can of compressed air to clean out the pilot tube and the air inlet before using the vacuum to remove any debris that was loosened.
  • Use glass cleaner and a rag to clean any glass surfaces, starting outside and then moving inwards to avoid transferring soot. Do not spray the cleaner directly on the glass, as it may cause damage to other surfaces if too much is applied.
  • Afterwards, use the vacuum and a damp cloth to clean the exterior surfaces of your fireplace. Avoid using harsh cleaners that may damage sensitive surfaces, such as marble or brass.
  • Lastly, put the logs and screen back into their original positions and restore your gas and electric supplies. Now, you can relight your fireplace and check for problems.

For more information about operating and cleaning your gas fireplace, talk to our home heating experts at Roth Heating & Cooling. We have been serving Portland and the surrounding areas since 1976.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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How to Tell if Your Garbage Disposal Motor is Burnt Out

How to Tell if Your Garbage Disposal Motor is Burnt Out Most modern homes contain a garbage disposal in the kitchen. While this addition to your sink can be a convenience, it can also require more maintenance on your part. It’s not uncommon for garbage disposal motors to burn out, but sometimes you might think this is the problem when your disposal is really just jammed. Here are the steps for determining whether you need a new garbage disposal motor:

Preliminary Precaution

Before you get started, it’s important that you double check that your garbage disposal is turned off. The breaker associated with the disposal should be switched off to avoid any accidents, and you should never try to clear a jam by simply sticking your hand down into the disposal.

Checking the Motor

  • The first step when your disposal is not working is to check to see if the circuit breaker has been tripped. Try switching the circuit breaker on and off, then turn the garbage disposal on to see if it works. As always, avoid placing your fingers near the disposal.
  • You can also use a special wrench designed for garage disposals to work on the blades at the bottom of your disposal. This may help the motor kick start, but be sure to only make contact with the blades with your wrench.
  • There should be a reset button for your disposal. If the above suggestions don’t work, try holding this button in for approximately 30 seconds.
  • Unplug your garbage disposal and plug a different appliance in the outlet to see if the problem is your power source. If there’s no electrical current flowing through the outlet, you’ll need to consult with an electrician to remedy the problem without risking injury.

If your garbage disposal motor is broken, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional to get it fixed. Contact Roth Heating & Cooling to schedule an appointment in Vancouver today today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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A Basic Guide to Unclogging Plumbing Vent Pipes

A Basic Guide to Unclogging Plumbing Vent Pipes Clogged vent pipes can wreak havoc on the plumbing in your home. You may first notice the problem in a slow draining sink. Later, this may progress into a bigger problem when you start hearing gurgling noises. All of these signs indicate that something is clogging your drain pipes.

Note: Unclogging plumbing vent pipes is something you need to leave to a professional plumber due to the potential dangers.

What Causes Vent Pipe Clogs?

Vent pipes are often clogged by outdoor substances:

  • Nesting birds
  • Deceased rodents and birds
  • Leaves and debris
  • Tennis balls/softballs

On rare occasions, in extremely cold regions, frozen water can block your vent.

Due to potential dangers, unclogging plumbing vent pipes should be left to the professionals. Call Roth Heating & Cooling in Orlando. Our plumbing team can clear up any clog.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Top Ways to Eliminate Moldy Odors From Your Basement

Top Ways to Eliminate Moldy Odors From Your Basement Moisture problems and stale air can produce unpleasant odors in your basement. These smells seep into your home through central air units and can seriously impact your indoor air quality. Luckily, the steps listed below can help eliminate moldy odors in many cases.

Seal Unfinished Floors

Dirt floors are a common feature in basements, and they can let water and mold spores seep through. Fixing the problem may be as simple as putting down some thick plastic cover to serve as a moisture barrier, but it’s best to lay down a solid floor.

If you don’t want to spring for a professional, you can lay wire mesh over the thick plastic, and then smooth quick-mix concrete over the top. A DIY concrete finish may be rough, but it significantly cuts down on dust, moisture and other issues common to dirt floors.

Improve Underground Ventilation

Improper ventilation often leads to moisture problems, and a typical basement environment is perfect for mold and other fungal growth. Air exchangers provide extremely effective ventilation, but are expensive to install and may not be worthwhile if your basement isn’t used often. A combined dehumidifier and fan can remove moisture from the air, while an ultraviolet light can help discourage mold growth and eliminate moldy odors.

Eliminate Existing Mold

Discouraging mold growth won’t do a lot of good if you already have mold growing in your basement. You should first address any obvious moisture issues, such as wet spots or visible moisture damage.

Because mold can permeate building materials, such as wood, wallboard and cracked concrete, elimination is not as simple as scrubbing everything with a mold-killing cleaner. At-home test kits can help confirm the presence of mold, but you should consult a mold removal expert to truly eradicate the problem.

For more expert advice on how to eliminate moldy odors, contact Roth Heating & Cooling. We provide comprehensive HVAC services to Portland and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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How to Install Outdoor Security Lighting

How to Install Outdoor Security LightingInstalling extra lighting is an effective way to increase the security around your home. Outdoor security lighting can also increase the value of your property, while keeping you and your family members safe. Read on to learn how to install outdoor security lighting around your home.

The first thing you have to do is determine where you need the lighting installed. Walk around your home at night and determine where the darkest areas are. Also, look for places where people can enter your home. This could be your patio doors, the window to your basement, or the window to your garage. You want to have sufficient lighting installed around these areas to make sure there’s no place for an intruder to find a safe entry point.

Next, you need to decide on what kind of lighting you need. Outdoor lighting can come with motion detectors, light sensors and other features, which make it more versatile. A motion detector will turn a light on if someone moves within a certain range, while a light sensor will turn the fixture on automatically when it’s dark outside. A timer can turn off your light after a certain interval.

Once you’ve made a decision on the location and type of lighting you need, it’s time for the installation. Installing outdoor lighting is not the same as installing indoor lighting. You need to use wires, switches and fixtures designed for outdoor use. If you need to install cable underground, you should use conduit to protect the cable. To keep your home safe, you should install grounding on each outdoor fixture. Get the help of an electrical professional to make sure your outdoor security lighting is installed properly.

After completing this installation, the final step is to adjust the settings on your fixture. The fixture will have instructions on how to adjust the direction and range of the motion sensor. You’ll also need to set any timers and whether you want the fixture to come on automatically at sundown.

Contact Roth Heating & Cooling in the Metro Portland area if you need help installing outdoor security lighting.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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5 Benefits of Hanging a Chandelier in Your Oregon Home

5 Benefits of Hanging a Chandelier in Your Oregon Home Chandeliers can add a certain elegance to any room in your home. You may think chandeliers are too traditional or fancy for your decor, but today there are a lot more choices then there used to be. Plus, there are numerous benefits of hanging a chandelier in your Oregon home.

  • You can save more space. In small areas, you may not have enough space for a table or floor lamp. So, why not use that electrical connection to install a chandelier? You can find them in a multitude of sizes to fit just about any space, from a walk-in closet to your family room.
  • You get more impact. If you want to transform a space, simply install a chandelier. This can take a plain room and make it into something special. It will also capture the attention of anyone walking into your room for the first time. Chandeliers are easy focal points around which to decorate the rest of your home.
  • You can fit it into any decorating scheme. Decades ago, about the only chandeliers you could find were traditional designs often ornate in appearance. Those days are long gone. With so many other options, why stick with the tried and true? You can find a style that fits just about any decor for your home.
  • You can choose the kind of lighting you want in the space. If you go with a traditional design, you can purchase bulbs that seem to flicker like candlelight. If you prefer a gentler, diffused light, you might go with a design that uses frosted glass or linen shades. You can also put your chandelier on a dimmer switch to control lighting levels.

These benefits of hanging a chandelier show why it’s such a good idea to install one in your home. If you need help installing a light fixture, call Roth Heating & Cooling. We offer electrical services throughout the Portland area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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Enhance Your Outdoor Space with These Landscape Lighting Tips

Enhance Your Outdoor Space with These Landscape Lighting Tips You’ve put a lot of work into making your yard look good. But what it looks like at night is just as important as what it looks like during the day – for aesthetic reasons, as well as for safety reasons.

You could install a few floodlights to provide the illumination you need, but they’re often unsightly and boring. Instead, you can light your property with a bit of style. With that in mind, here are five landscape lighting tips to consider for your property.

Lighted pathways. Get a few low-watt bulbs and place them along either side of the pathway leading to your door. This will look attractive and interesting, while still ensuring guests are able to get across your property safely at night.

Garden lighting. Place lights near interesting and colorful plants. Not only will they provide necessary illumination for navigating your landscape, but they’ll also help highlight your garden and its beauty, even in the middle of the night.

Party lighting. For outdoor gatherings, mount a few light fixtures onto the trees around your patio to provide an even glow for grilling and socializing.

Minimize light pollution. While it’s important to illuminate your property, you don’t want to install lights that are visible from halfway down the block. Use lower watt bulbs and place them carefully around your landscape. You can also use light fixtures with reflectors and shielding to concentrate light on specific areas. Always maintain control of your lighting and where it goes.

Halogen vs. LED bulbs. LED lights are becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. They use very little energy and can last up to 20 years. However, when it comes to landscape lighting, they pose a few problems. They’re very expensive, and thus aren’t suited to lining a walkway. They also tend to give off a cold, harsh light that’s less attractive for outdoor use. Instead, consider using warmer halogen bulbs, at a color temperature of around 3,000 K.

For more helpful landscape lighting tips, contact Roth Heating & Cooling in Vancouver today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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