Helpful Hints from Redding's

Redding’s understands that the responsibilities of homeownership can sometimes seem overwhelming. That’s why we’ve collected a few simple maintenance tips and suggestions to give you plumbing, heating & cooling peace of mind.

Heating & Cooling:
Thermostats
Registers & Grills
Heat Pump Maintenance
Gas Furnace Maintenance
Common Problems

Plumbing:
Leaks
Gas Water Heaters
Cleaning Plumbing Fixtures
Outside Faucets
Toilets
Common Problems

Water Conditioning:
Life of a Water Heater
Water Softening Systems
Water Conditioning Systems
Water Filtration Systems
Common Problems

Heating & Cooling Tips

Thermostats:
Redding’s recommends 70-75 degrees; in summer, 74-78 degrees in winter. To further reduce energy costs (and greenhouse gas emissions), consider installing a programmable thermostat. You can save up to 10% of your heating bill by programming the thermostat to automatically drop the temperature by a few degrees while you’re at work or asleep. Call Redding’s to learn more about the advantages of programmable thermostats.
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Registers & Grills:
Air flow is the secret to a comfortable home. Avoid efficiency (and comfort) losses by keeping all heating and cooling registers free of obstructions, like furniture, drapes and carpet. If your home has "High/Low" return air registers (pairs of registers, located at the bottom and top of the wall), maximize air flow and increase efficiency by opening and closing the registers. In the winter, open the bottom registers and close the top. In summer, close the bottom and open the top registers. This draws cool air off the floor when it’s cold and warm air off the ceiling when it’s hot. Be careful not to close too many supply registers.   Your system needs adequate air in order to function efficiently.
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Heat Pump Maintenance:
Keep the heat pump’s outside unit free of obstruction such as leaves, grass, shrubs and snow. To ensure efficiency, check the filters once a month and clean or replace them, if necessary. Don’t worry if you see steam rising from the heat pump in winter, it’s normal. This is a sign that the defrost cycle is doing its job to remove ice from the outside unit and keep it functioning smoothly. Heat pumps work best when they’re regularly maintained twice a year by a trained professional. Call Redding’s to learn about our Maintenance and Service plan.
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Gas Furnace Maintenance:
High efficiency gas furnaces require an outdoor vent to ensure safe operation. Keep vent pipes clear of obstruction (snow, leaves, etc) at all times. A clogged exhaust vent will lock out the furnace and shut it down. If this happens, don’t delay in calling Redding’s immediately. This is a serious situation. Avoid trouble and increase furnace efficiency by checking the filters once a month and cleaning or replacing them, if necessary. We recommend that all furnaces be checked and maintained once a year by a trained professional. Call Redding’s to learn about our Maintenance and Service plan.
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Common Heating & Cooling Problems:
Q. My unit looks like an ice sculpture!
A.
If your air conditioner or heat pump is frozen, it may be due to a clogged air filter or low refrigerant levels. Check and clean the unit’s filter, if this does not solve the problem, call Redding’s to schedule a service call.
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Q. I have no cooling!
A.
Storms and power outages will often trip breakers and shut down units. First, check if the unit is running. If not, reset the breakers. Sometimes, that’s all that is needed. If the unit still does not start, call Redding’s to schedule a service call.
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Q. My air conditioner is running but there is no air coming out!
A.
It may simply be a clogged filter. Check and clean the filter. If that doesn’t work, call Redding’s to schedule a service call.
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Q. My inside unit is leaking!
A.
Several things could be wrong; all of them require the attention of a trained professional. Call Redding’s to schedule a service call and consider a Service Agreement to avoid such problems in the future.
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Plumbing Tips

Leaks:
If a pipe or fixture springs a leak, quick action can mean the difference between a minor problem and major water damage. That’s why it’s worth your time to learn the location of water shut-off valves throughout your home before anything happens. In new homes, each fixture has a shut-off valve. All homes have a main water shut-off valve that is usually located in the basement where the water line enters the house. If you notice a leak, close the appropriate shut-off valve and call Redding’s for emergency service.
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Gas Power Vent Water Heaters:
Unlike electrical and natural draft hot water heaters, gas-powered water heaters have an outside vent to ensure safe operation. Avoid vent problems by keeping the outside vent clear of obstructions (leaves, snow, debris, etc.). If the unit does not restart after a power outage, unplug the power vent and then plug it back in again. The water heater should restart. If it does not, call Redding’s to schedule a service call.
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Cleaning Plumbing Fixtures:
To keep all your plumbing fixtures looking as pristine as the day they were installed, use non-abrasive cleaners. The abrasive powders used in many cleaners can scratch, or even crack, many tubs, whirlpools, sinks and faucets. Polished brass fixtures add a warm, sophisticated air to any setting; to maintain their shine, always wipe off water drops and moisture. After showering, use a small squeegee to remove water from tiles and shower panels. Then wipe all surfaces with a dry towel for a quick and easy streak-free shine. This prevents water staining and helps prolong the finish of your fixtures. When it comes to acrylic fixtures, choose multi-purpose or glass cleaners and avoid foaming cleansers that tend to damage the finish and cause the fixtures to crack.
Consider trying some of the newest environmentally-friendly bathroom cleansers. Non-toxic, biodegradable products pack effective cleaning power yet are gentle on your fixtures and safe for your family and the environment. Ask us for suggestions.
If your fixtures are damaged or showing their age, Redding’s offers a range of beautiful replacements and upgrades. Call us for an appointment.
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Outside Faucets:
Our winters might be getting warmer, but that doesn’t mean we can neglect outside faucets during the winter months. Once the temperature drops, disconnect all hoses from outside faucets or risk the faucet freezing and splitting. With the hose still attached, slowly turn the faucet handle off. Water will run out of the faucet head until all the pressure has been released. Then disconnect the hose and store it for the next season. Replace hose washers each year to ensure a water-tight connection between faucet and hose and eliminate spraying and water loss at the connection. If you have a frost free type hose bib, turning off the valve inside is not necessary.
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Toilets:
Government regulations require that all new toilets be water-saving models with maximum 1.6 gallon per flush capacity. These toilets are good for the planet, but you have to be good to them in return. They become easily clogged. Go easy on toilet paper and avoid dropping anything into the toilet that doesn’t belong there. If the toilet does clog, a plunger will usually set it right. If you notice persistent or repeated clogging, call Redding’s. We can suggest several solutions to beat your clogs.
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Common Plumbing Problems:
Q. My hot water is cold!
A.
For an electric water heater, push the reset button on the thermostat. If it does not restart, call Redding’s to schedule a service call. To reset a power-vented gas water heater (a motor on top of the unit forces the vent gases out of the house), unplug the motor, wait 15 seconds, then plug it back in. If the unit has a power switch: turn it off, wait 15 seconds, then turn it back on. If you have to reset the water heater more than once in a one-month period, call Redding’s to schedule a service call. For B-vented gas water heaters (which rely on gravity to exhaust the vent gases), no hot water requires professional attention. Call Redding’s to schedule a service call.
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Q. My garbage disposal isn’t disposing!
A.
Grab a flashlight and look for jammed items in the disposal. Remove anything that may be blocking the disposal and hit the reset button located on the disposal. It should restart. If you continue to experience problems, call Redding’s to schedule a service call.
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Water Conditioning Tips

Life of a Water Heater:
The secret to extending the life of your water heater: soft water. You know you have hard water if you regularly see spotting on your faucets and fixtures. Minerals in the hard water build up the water heater tank, causing it to corrode. This can reduce the life and efficiency of your hot water tank. A water softener can solve the problem. Or else, you can periodically drain 7-10 gallons of water from your water heater, which removes the mineral build-up in the bottom of the tank. If you need assistance doing this call Redding's.
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Water Softening Systems:
If you have a water softening system, periodically check the salt level in the softening tank. How often you need to check and how much salt you add depends on your water hardness and how much water your home uses.
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Water Conditioning Systems:
Change your filters at least once a year depending upon that type. Otherwise, your water will start to taste bad or fill with sediment. Redding’s carries replacement filters for all major brands of water conditioning systems.
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Water Filtration Systems:
For the highest quality and purity of drinking water, consider a water filtration system. Newspaper reports are rife with stories about the questionable quality of bottled water – much of it is on par with regular municipal tap water. Plus, the plastic bottles are clogging our landfills. A better solution – for you and for the planet – can be quickly and easily installed under your sink. Call Redding’s to learn about better options to bottled water.
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Common Problems:
Q. My water tastes bad and looks strange!
A.
Water is the best fluid to keep you and your family properly hydrated. If you’re concerned about the quality of your water, call Redding’s. We’ll test your water and discuss treatment options.
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Q. I’m using soap but there are no bubbles or lather!
A.
The culprit may be hard water. Look for hard water stains on your tub, shower and sink, and build-up around your plumbing fixtures. A water softening system may be the solution. It will eliminate build-up and stains (extending the life of fixtures and your water heater) and finally let you lather in style. Whether your water is municipally-treated or from a well, Redding’s can test it for hardness and propose a solution.
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