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Grilled food can really hit the spot on nice Arizona days. Before you use your BBQ, make sure that you keep these grilling safety tips in mind. This helps ensure that you and your family can enjoy grilled dinners without any trouble.
Store Propane Tanks Properly
Grilling safety involves storing propane tanks properly. Tanks for gas grills can easily become a hazard. Store these tanks in a vertical and upright position. Also make sure they are kept far away from any heat or ignition sources, such as lighters or matches. If you have a gas line for your grill, you don’t have to deal with propane tanks at all.
Turn the Grill on Safely
Another important grilling safety tip is to make sure that you turn the grill on correctly. This involves opening the lid and turning the propane on. After this is done, turn the knobs for the burners, then push the ignition. Doing this the right way lowers the risk of fires and other accidents.
Never Use Lighter Fluid
Never use lighter fluid to ignite a gas grill. Lighter fluid is a major fire hazard when it isn’t used properly. You will avoid having to worry about this if you have a gas grill with its own natural gas line installed.
Check for Leaks
Gas leaks can occur when you use propane tanks for your grill. You should check for leaks by putting a solution of water and light soap on the gas tank hose. If you see bubbles, this means you have a gas leak that needs to be fixed by a professional right away. Grills with a gas line have a lower risk of ending up with these leaks.
Don’t Reignite Right Away
If your grill doesn’t ignite, don’t light it again right away. You could have gas in the air that needs time to clear out. Lighting it again immediately could result in a fire and serious injuries. Wait for 5 minutes before you try to ignite your gas grill again.
Keep Your Grill Clean
Grilling safety includes making sure that your gas grill stays in good condition. Grease and other debris can build up over time, which can increase the risk of a fire. Clean debris off your grill and from the tray under it. You should wait for your grill to cool before cleaning it. Getting into the habit of doing this after using your grill each time means you won’t have to scrape a lot of debris off later on.
Turn Your Grill Off Properly
When it comes to grilling safety, it’s important to ensure that you turn your grill off the right way. This reduces the risk of injuries and accidents. You’ll need to turn the gas tank off before shutting off the gas burners. Make sure that your propane cylinder valve is fully closed to prevent gas from leaking. With a gas line grill, all you have to do is shut it off without having to deal with any tanks.
If you’re ready to install a gas line for your grilling area, contact Forrest Anderson. We can ensure that this is done properly for your safety.
When it comes to grilling, every backyard expert has an opinion on which fuel is best. Ask enough people, however, and you’ll soon learn that there is truly not a definitive answer. Whether it’s natural gas, charcoal or a propane grill, each method has its loyal legion. It’s an argument almost as old as time.
Charcoal aficionados will tell you there’s no way they’d ever cook with gas. Propane and gas cookers scoff at the perception of wasted effort by charcoal grillers. The truth is, both are right. There’s no right or wrong way to cook with fire, just different methods.
Charcoal grillers rest their argument on one main principle: the increased taste from the smoke that charcoal imparts on the meat. Meat drippings are also vaporized and re-introduced to the meat’s surface when hitting flame; something that doesn’t happen with natural gas or propane.
Those that prefer cooking with a different fuel point to a couple big differences between charcoal grilling and gas or propane grilling. Controlling the heat of a charcoal grill presents something of a learning curve. It can be done, but it takes time to master 2-zone grilling and dial in the dampers to control the flame just right. Do that, and you’ll have a fire that burns hotter than propane or natural gas.
It’s also important to perfect the technique of getting the coals going. Relying on starter fluid to get a stack of briquets going can be tricky. Use too much fluid, and your food will develop an unpleasant taste.
Grilling with propane may not impart the same flavor profile as a charcoal grill, but it offers a number of other advantages that some grillers go for.
Propane grilling is a much quicker process for a number of reasons. It gets hotter quicker, allowing you to spend less time tending the grill. It’s also much easier to control heat levels accurately.
Propane grills offer a bit more portability than natural gas grills and therefore are a bit more popular. Propane grills come with more features like side burners.
Natural Gas Grilling
While natural gas grills are not as common, it’s becoming more and more popular. Matters of convenience, cost and environmental impact lead many homeowners to install natural gas grills in their backyard.
Natural gas grills are typically attached to a fixed gas line that’s installed by a professional. Portability is not a factor with natural gas grills. Since a natural gas grill has an always-on, always-accessible fuel source, however, it offers a distinct advantage over propane grills, which run off tanks that need to be refilled. Natural gas grills can also be used to cook over a large area, just like propane, giving both gasses an advantage over charcoal.
Recently, natural gas grills have been gaining popularity for another reason. It’s a cleaner-burning fuel than propane, meaning it’s better for the environment. Natural gas is also a cheaper fuel.
For those who would like to experience a streamlined, no-hassle backyard grilling experience, natural gas grills are truly the way to go. When you decide to make the move to natural gas, call on our professional team at Forrest Anderson to install your gas line. We’ve been servicing the heating, cooling and plumbing needs of the greater Phoenix area since 1961.
Many homeowners aren’t familiar with the different parts of an HVAC system. Although you should let HVAC professionals handle problems with your system, it’s helpful to know some of the most important parts. This can help you understand what’s going on if you have issues with your heating and cooling system.
The blower motor in your HVAC system is the part that blows heated or cooled air into your home. When this motor kicks in, it pushes this air through your ductwork, which allows it to reach all parts of your home. Blower motors are available in conventional and variable speed models.
Blower motors can run into problems that affect how well your HVAC system heats or cools your home. Problems with the blower motor include having it run too often or having it not start at all. HVAC technicians should check this part of your HVAC system to make repairs or replace it if needed.
A compressor, or condenser coil, is an HVAC component that helps keep your home cool. Heat pumps and central air conditioning systems have these outdoor units. Compressors send heat into the air outside and cool homes by condensing refrigerant.
Compressors are prone to having problems when airflow through these units is obstructed. This can happen when you have leaves or other vegetation around the unit. Shrubs or bushes can also obstruct compressors. Have HVAC technicians do maintenance on your compressor to keep it in good condition.
Evaporator coils are important components inside heat pumps and central air conditioning systems. This coil contains refrigerant that absorbs heat and sends it back into your home as cooled air. This component also helps lower the humidity in your home.
Evaporator coils can have too much moisture on them, resulting in mold growth. These coils can also become frozen if you have any refrigerant leaks. Mold and ice can lower your air quality and even cause your HVAC system to break down. Have these coils cleaned and maintained to prevent this.
The combustion chamber in a furnace is also known as a burner. Gas and air enter this part of your furnace, which causes a pilot or electronic ignition to start. In some furnaces, there is also another combustion chamber. This chamber catches and compresses unburned fuel and carbon monoxide. The result is a furnace with better efficiency.
Problems with the combustion chamber usually involve the way it ignites. Electronic ignition systems can be damaged or may malfunction. Pilot lights can go out or end up letting carbon monoxide into your home. It’s important to have an HVAC technician check and repair any problems you have with the combustion chamber in your HVAC system.
Furnaces, including electric and gas models, have a heat exchanger that is used for warming up cooler air. This part of your HVAC system is what generates heated air to keep your home warm in winter.
Heat exchangers are made to be durable. However, they can develop cracks that could cause a carbon monoxide leak inside your home. Regular HVAC exchanger inspections can help prevent cracks and leaks.
Whether your HVAC system is louder than usual or just won’t start, contact Forrest Anderson today for service.
Imagine coming home from a long day at work to find your bathroom flooded. Unfortunately, plumbing problems don’t wait for the ideal time to give you grief. While some issues can wait until morning, there are a few that require the immediate attention of an emergency plumber.
Knowing the difference between a plumbing problem and a plumbing emergency is critical for homeowners. Plumbing problems rise to an emergency level when they threaten the integrity of your home or put your family at risk. These are situations when paying a premium for immediate plumbing expertise is in your best interest.
When to Call an Emergency Plumber
A general rule to remember is: if there’s a risk of flooding or a lack of running water for an extended period of time, call an emergency plumber. At Forrest Anderson, we offer 24/7 Emergency Plumbing Repair. We know plumbing emergencies happen outside of business hours and we’re standing by to resolve your plumbing issues.
The following three examples are reasons that may require you to call an emergency plumber. This list doesn’t include every plumbing emergency.
If you’ve ever had a sewer line backup, you know this is the very definition of a plumbing emergency. When this emergency happens, raw sewage sits at the backup point and can cause physical damage to your home. Backed up sewage can be a health problem for your family as well. If you have a sewer backup, it’s time to call an emergency plumber.
An overflowing toilet is another plumbing problem that no homeowner wants to deal with. In addition to flooding your bathroom, the dirty water can pose a sanitary issue for you and your family.
Often, a clog in the toilet or pipe leads to an overflowing toilet. The first step to fixing it is to shut off the water to the toilet. If you aren’t sure what to do next or you can’t stop your toilet from overflowing, it’s time to call an emergency plumber.
Even if you suspect the problem may simply be too much toilet paper, it’s still a good idea to have a plumber come out and assess the situation. You may think you can just shut off the water and wait for normal business hours, but if you’ve misdiagnosed the issue and things take a turn, you may find yourself in a worse situation.
Another plumbing issue that can lead to physical damage to your home is a burst pipe. Unlike the first two issues, the water flowing from the pipe is clean and most likely not a health risk. However, repairing a burst pipe is a significant project and requires the expertise of a professional emergency plumber. Once they arrive, they can inspect the scene and quickly fix your pipe, allowing you to get your home’s water running as soon as possible.
Although there aren’t too many nights below freezing in the Valley, pipes do occasionally freeze. Sometimes, this leads to a burst pipe. If you suspect your pipes may be frozen, call a plumber to schedule an inspection. Even if the water is thawed, the damage may lead to cracks and leaks.
Call a Trusted Emergency Plumber
Whether it’s your home or business, a plumbing emergency can be a dirty, dangerous, and unhealthy problem. If you have a plumbing emergency, day or night, you can trust that Forrest Anderson’s team of experienced plumbers will be there to fix the problem quickly and thoroughly.
If you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency, stop reading and call Forrest Anderson right away!
Although Phoenix is known for its hot summers, the chilly desert nights leave people in the Valley appreciating their home heating systems each winter. Having a reliable home heating system is important so you can stay comfortable throughout the season. Before choosing a new system for your home, consider the pros and cons of some of the top options.
Furnaces are a common type of home heating system. They’re available with different heat sources, including electricity and gas.
Electric furnaces use an electrical element, such as heating strips, to warm up your home. These furnaces can be a good option if you don’t have a gas line running to your property.
- Pro: Electric furnaces typically have lower installation costs than heat pumps.
- Pro: Electric furnaces don’t have the potential safety issues that gas furnaces have. This can make them a safer option for Phoenix homeowners.
- Pro: Electric furnaces are generally more energy-efficient than gas furnaces.
- Con: These furnaces can cost more to operate due to the higher cost of electricity compared to gas costs.
- Con: Electric furnaces can have a difficult time keeping homes well-heated if temperatures drop below freezing.
Gas furnaces are home heating systems that use a heat exchanger to warm up air. The air is then circulated throughout your home.
- Pro: These furnaces generally cost less to install than other types of home heating systems.
- Pro: Gas furnaces tend to last longer than heat pumps and other heating systems.
- Con: These furnaces depend on fossil fuels to operate, making them less environmentally friendly.
- Con: Gas furnaces can create safety hazards, such as carbon monoxide leaks.
Many Phoenix area homeowners use heat pumps to warm their homes in the winter. This system works by transferring warm area from one area to another. If needed, these systems can warm up the air more before having it circulate to different parts of your home.
- Pro: Heat pumps don’t rely on fossil fuels, such as gas, which makes them a cleaner source of energy.
- Pro: These home heating systems do double duty by acting as air conditioners during the summer. In this case, the process switches and they pull hot air from inside your home and move it outside to cool off the interior.
- Pro: Heat pumps generally use less electricity than electric furnaces.
- Con: Heat pumps don’t usually last as long as furnaces since they run more often in order to heat and cool homes.
- Con: Heat pumps aren’t as efficient at heating homes when temperatures drop too low. A backup source of heat, such as electrical strips, can kick in to warm up homes. This can raise energy bills.
Other Types of Home Heating Systems
Furnaces and heat pumps aren’t the only types of home heating systems available. Phoenix homeowners can also have radiant baseboard heat or radiant floor heating systems installed. These systems use electrical or water sources to heat homes. While these home heating systems are less noisy than furnaces and heat pumps, they also typically cost more to run and are quite rare in the Valley.
Rely on the Professionals
When choosing your next home heating system, consider the cost of fuel and the efficiency of the unit to help determine which option will be more cost-effective. The team of trained technicians at Forrest Anderson will work with you to understand your needs and create a solution that’s right for you.
Whether you need to replace an outdated system or you’re looking to increase your energy efficiency, we’re here to help. By understanding how you use your heat today, we can recommend a replacement system that’s energy efficient and offers you the comfort you desire.
Are you thinking of replacing or upgrading your HVAC system? Contact Forrest Anderson to discuss which home heating system would be best for you.
When everything is working as expected, it’s easy to take your HVAC for granted. During the summer, cool air is vital in the hot desert climate. Unfortunately, sometimes HVAC airflow problems can cause a unit to fail. Taking the time to maintain your HVAC system can help prolong the life of your unit and save you money in the long run.
Dirty or Old Filters
It’s easy to forget about air filters, but this is one of the most common reasons for HVAC airflow problems. Depending on your system, you will either need to clean or replace your filter. A dirty filter can restrict your home’s airflow and cause issues with your HVAC system.
During the summer, your A/C is constantly running. You should change your filter once a month. During the cooler season, you can change it every other month. Depending on your environment, such as furry pets or carpeting, you may need to change it more frequently. Although cheap filters cost less up front, they may also need to be replaced more often.
Ductwork delivers air to your rooms. Over time, ducts can develop small holes or cracks which allow the air to leak out. This can affect the amount of airflow they deliver to your rooms.
A professional can inspect your ductwork. In some cases, narrow ducts may be clogged and simply cleaning them can resolve the issue. In other cases, the ductwork may need to be replaced. This is not a DIY job.
Coils in your outdoor unit are exposed to the weather, debris, and who knows what else! Eventually, they can get dirty which may prevent the unit from functioning properly. This can lead to HVAC airflow issues.
If you’re wondering what you can do to help prevent dirty coils, you’re in luck. Simply keeping everything at least a few feet away from the unit can help prevent leaves and other debris from falling into your unit.
An air conditioning maintenance agreement includes an inspection and cleaning of the coils. Your technician will be able to monitor and help prevent issues before they turn into larger problems. A clean system runs more efficiently and can save you money.
Normal Wear and Tear
In a perfect world, you would never have HVAC airflow problems. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world! Over time, normal wear and tear on your HVAC unit can cause airflow problems or even overheat your system. Be aware of the signs that your unit may be dying.
AC Blower Issues
The AC blower is located inside your unit and it may be the reason for your HVAC airflow problems. The blower is the “fan” that pushes the cool air through your ducts and into your home.
Sometimes, the blades begin to build up excessive amounts of dust or dirt, reducing your airflow. In this case, you should call a service technician to inspect and clean your unit. They’ll be able to diagnose the issue and get your unit working more efficiently in no time.
If cleaning the blades doesn’t help, you may need to replace your blower motor. In which case, you’ll want to hire a professional to come in and handle the job. While they’re in there, they can inspect the rest of your unit and discuss any other issues they see.
HVAC Airflow Problems: Know When to Call for Help
Now you know about a few of the most common HVAC airflow problems. Although you may be able to resolve some of the issues on your own, learning when to call someone qualified to help can save you time, money, and stress. If you’re having HVAC airflow problems, contact Forrest Anderson today.
Your food waste disposer, or garbage disposal, is one of the hardest working appliances in your home. This device is found in more than half of American houses and is typically used on a regular basis. However, just because you use your food waste disposer all the time doesn’t mean you’re using it correctly. Here’s what you need to know to use it right and extend the life of your machine.
What You Can Put in Your Food Waste Disposer
This appliance is great for getting rid of leftover food waste. When preparing meals or clearing the dinner table, you can dump many food items into the disposal. Make sure that none of the food waste is too large or hard.
Although many people use hot water to flush their garbage disposals, it is actually better to use cold water. Hot water can melt the fat in food, causing it to stick to the sides of the machine instead of flushing it through your plumbing. Cold water, on the other hand, makes it easier for the machine to move foods along.
After using your food waste disposer, let the water run just a little longer. This will ensure that everything gets flushed out through the pipes. You can also add a bit of dish soap for extra cleaning power.
What You Can’t Put in Your Garbage Disposal
Food waste disposers are quite durable, but they can’t handle everything. You should never put hard items like bones, fruit pits, and similar items down your garbage disposal. A food waste disposer is exactly that, to dispose of food waste. Never put non-food items, such as matches or napkins, in the disposal.
Aside from hard items, you should also avoid putting grease and other fat down the disposal. As the grease cools, it hardens, and it can clog your pipes if enough of it builds up over time. Similarly, nut butter and other sticky foods shouldn’t go in either.
Starchy items, like potato skins and rice, shouldn’t go in the food waste disposer. When they get wet, they release starch, which can make them stick to the inside of your appliance instead of exiting through your pipes. This can lead to odor over time and can damage your food waste disposer. In addition, rice and pasta expand when they get wet, which can cause them to create a blockage in your pipes.
Care and Maintenance Tips
Caring for your food waste disposer is relatively easy. Most of the work takes place when you are using the device. As mentioned above, let the water and machine run a bit longer than needed to ensure that no lingering food remains. You can also use your disposal to grind up leftover lemons and their peels. Their juice acts as a deodorizer, eliminating any odors that have developed.
When using your food waste disposer, start running the water first. Then turn on the appliance. When adding the food, put it in slowly, just a few pieces at a time. This will prevent you from overloading or breaking the machine. Let the water continue to run for a few seconds after you turn off the disposer.
When to Call an Expert
If your food waste disposer isn’t working properly, try a bit of troubleshooting before you call us. For starters, reset the device using the reset button. This button is typically red and on the underside of the motor under your sink. Your machine may have shorted out, and this will get it up and running again.
For stubborn problems that persist, call the experts at Forrest Anderson. We’ll identify the issue so we can repair it for you right away.
When you’re looking into a new air conditioning system for your Phoenix home, you’ll find plenty of brands and equipment options. Many of these are advertised as the best solution for keeping your home cool, but which one is the best option for you? Keep the following information in mind when you need to choose between a mini split air conditioner or a central air conditioning system this summer.
How They Work
Central air conditioning systems work by moving cool air through your ducts so that it can reach different areas of your home. The cool air from the ducts flows out of vents and into rooms in your home.
Have you recently constructed a room addition? Do you have a room that isn’t heating or cooling properly? A mini split air conditioner might be the right option for your home. This system moves cool air from a box on your wall to cool an individual room. It does not require vents or ducts.
Our team of trained technicians will work with you to understand your needs and find a solution that’s right for your home. Replacing an existing AC unit is a relatively quick process and typically only takes one or two days. However, installing a central air conditioning system, including new ducts and vents, may take a week or longer.
If you only need one mini split air conditioner, installation usually only takes a couple of days. Our team will install a box in a single room and connect it to the outside condenser. If you don’t have ducts in a room, a mini split air conditioner may be the better option.
Short-Term and Long-Term Costs
The total price for a central air conditioning system will depend on the unit you choose, whether or not you need ductwork or other additional work, and the price of installation. The cost of your A/C unit will depend on what size you need. It’s a classic “three little bears” scenario: you want a unit with enough power to cool your home, not too little and not too much.
Another factor that affects the price of the A/C unit is the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the number, the better, but also the more costly. Some A/C units even offer a quieter option, for a price. Think about what’s important to you – noise level, SEER rating, or just having a comfortable, cool home. Our professionals will work with you to determine the right air conditioner unit size and model for your home.
The total price for a mini split air conditioner will depend on the unit you choose and the price of installation. While there won’t be the added expense of ductwork, the system may have a higher upfront cost. The system can run more efficiently than a central air conditioning system, which may reduce your energy bill over time.
Home Comfort and Air Quality
Central air conditioning systems can affect the air quality inside your home. Dust and debris often build up inside ducts and are then carried into your home through the vents. Family members with respiratory problems or allergies can experience health issues when this happens. Central air conditioning systems require routine duct cleaning to remove dust and other indoor pollutants from your home.
A mini split air conditioner system’s filter traps dust and other indoor pollutants. This can help prevent them from getting into your home. These systems tend to have a longer cooling cycle, which helps keep your home from becoming too humid. Even though a mini split air conditioner has no ductwork, keep in mind that regular maintenance is still needed. This helps keep your system running at optimal efficiency all summer long.
Making Your Decision
Whether you decide on a central air conditioning system or a mini split air conditioner, regular maintenance is important to keep it in good condition. Contact Forrest Anderson for help choosing the right system and to set up a routine maintenance schedule at your Phoenix home.
Few household chores pay off as much as air conditioning maintenance. Not only is this a great way to keep your AC unit working at an optimal level, but it can also help reduce emergency breakdowns and help you save money on your energy bills.
Proper maintenance and routinely scheduled inspections will help your AC unit run more efficiently. A person who schedules regular air conditioning maintenance will likely have a unit that lasts longer than someone who does not. In the end, that could save you money.
The Importance Of Air Conditioning Maintenance
While some of the tasks can be done by you, the homeowner, there are many that should be left to a professional with proper training and certification. If there is ever a time where the job is too big, or you’re left scratching your head trying to figure out how to complete a certain task, call a professional.
Pro Tip #1 – Cleaning & Replacing the Air Filter
If you have a reusable filter, cleaning it is an important step to air conditioning maintenance. If your AC unit has a disposable filter, it’s important that you regularly replace it. Replace your filter at least once a month during the seasons when you use your AC the most. Replace it again, at least once in the fall and again in the spring.
The filter should be located in these places:
- A slot in the top, side, or bottom of the furnace
- Inside the blow compartment
- Behind the air grille
- In the return air duct or blower compartment
If you’re having trouble finding it, ask your service technician during your next scheduled maintenance appointment.
Pro Tip #2 – Clean the Unit
Imagine all of the extreme conditions your outside unit faces each year: from dust storms and rain during the monsoon season, to nearly freezing temperatures overnight in the winter, plus any leaves or debris that fall into the unit. Just like you prepare your grill after it sits for a season, you also need to maintain and prepare your AC unit before you use it.
- Removing things like grass, dirt, and leaves will increase air flow and system capacity, so it runs properly.
- After shutting off the power for the unit, a garden hose can be used to spray out any debris. Do NOT use a power washer. These can bend the coils and will cause major issues.
- Cut back any plants, trees, or shrubs that are close to the AC unit.
Pro Tip #3 – Check Wiring and Modules
Without experience, inspecting an AC unit can feel overwhelming or even dangerous. If you aren’t sure what to look for or think something looks wrong, call to schedule an appointment to have a professional check it out. If your current service technician isn’t doing these things, then it’s time to call the professionals at Forrest Anderson:
- Check unit for signs of overheating.
- Inspect the contactor switch.
- Secure all electrical connections.
Pro Tip #4 – Check the Unit’s Condenser
If you have an older AC unit, sometimes the fan bearings will need to be re-oiled to keep it working properly. Making adjustments to the unit’s condenser can cause damage if done incorrectly. Make sure your current service technician can:
- Check that the fan is securely mounted to the top of the unit.
- Replace any broken blades.
- Replace any fan blades with cracks or chips.
Pro Tip #5 – Call a Professional
You may be able to give a quick inspection yourself. However, in many cases, you’re going to need help. A trusted air conditioning maintenance company can help keep your AC unit working. They can also perform maintenance tasks on a regular basis to help the unit last as long as possible.
Only an experienced technician can perform maintenance quickly and in accordance with all standards. Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, contact Forrest Anderson today.