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How well do you know your HVAC? Better yet, do you know what HVAC stands for (answer: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning)? Do you know how to handle a burst pipe in the dead of winter? For many of us, our HVAC system and plumbing are things that go ignored until they break. Maybe we remember to get our HVAC serviced once and awhile, but we aren’t really sure why.

That said, we are thrilled to have Total Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing as our experts this month! Here are a few tips and facts they want to share with you.

www.yourtotalcomfort.com • 540.373.9780

badgesTell us a little about Total Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing.

Total Comfort is family-owned and operated and has been a trusted member of this community since 2002. Our team has over 50 years of combined experience solving plumbing and HVAC problems. Plus, our technicians are NATE Certified (North American Technician Excellence), they’ve gone the extra mile to be true experts in their field. Total Comfort’s commitment to the best customer service possible has earned us an Angie’s List Super Service award and an A+ rating with the BBB. Total Comfort is the only company that I am aware of that offers a Lifetime workmanship warranty to give you trust in the long-term quality of our services.

thermostat 350When and how often should people be getting their HVAC serviced?

Your home’s HVAC will be more efficient and last longer if you receive bi-annual maintenance. One check for the cooling season and another check for the heating season. Even if your system appears to be working fine, there could be issues that are building and may fail with heavy use during the hotter or colder weather months. With proper care, your heating system can last up to 20 years and your air conditioner 15 years. Having your system maintained regularly will also help avoid inconvenient scheduling of emergency service calls and costly repairs or replacements.

How often are we supposed to be changing out air filters?

Depending on the filter type the answer could be as short as one month for standard filters or up to 6 months with media type filters. Changing your filters may possibly be the single most important thing you can do for your home. Think about all the pollen, dust, dander and smog that is floating around in the outside air. Your HVAC filter is what protects you from redistributing it back through your home. The air filter is also the first line of defense against larger objects such as bits of loose insulation being pulled into the system. When a filter gets clogged with these types of contaminates, it becomes hard for your unit to distribute air. This makes it run harder, become more inefficient, and reduces the life span it was designed to reach.

What is the most common plumbing mistake you see people making?

There are four mistakes we see more than others.

  • Not having a leak repaired right away when they notice a problem.

  • DIY/homeowner correcting problems themselves and not using the proper materials, such as connecting galvanized pipes to copper pipes without using a dielectric union that will keep it from corroding and creating additional problems.

  • Waiting until the water heater leaks before replacing it versus having it checked annually and replaced before the leak happens, possibly causing major damage to your home.

  • Turning the water heater temperature too high and creating the danger of getting burned or scalded. The Department of Energy recommends setting your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. (A big safety concern)

Going into the colder months, what steps should we be taking to prep our homes?

Taking steps to prep your home for the colder months will potentially save you money and protect your home in the future. Here’s what should be done:

  • Turn off the water spigots, the water source to the outside of the home, as well as remove the hoses from the spigots to make sure they don’t freeze, break and leak when they thaw.

  • Make sure all gas appliances are in proper working order. If you have any form of gas in your home, you need carbon monoxide detectors in working order both near any gas appliances and on each level of the home to keep the occupants safe from possible dangers.

  • Run fans in reverse switching to a clockwise rotation circulates the warm air pooled near the ceiling back into the living space.

  • Have a winter maintenance checkup performed to make sure the heating system is performing efficiently.

  • Install storm doors and windows to assist with sealing drafts and reducing air flow.

  • Check that the home’s insulation and infiltration areas to the home are up to the tasks of keeping the home comfortable and as efficient as possible.

Do you have questions for Total Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing? Be sure to join us during our Facebook Live interview this month! Details to follow on our social media pages:

Facebook: @fredericksburgparent
Twitter: @fredparent
Instagram: @fredparentmagazine

TotalComfortvan

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Pouches' Community Corner

Be KIND at Home and Abroad

pouches cartoon

This month, Pouches highlights two community events and one international aid opportunity for families to support. 

On October 13, there will be a Kindness Day pancake breakfast at Spotsylvania Towne Centre. On the 20th, the Happy and Healthy Kids Fair is at the Children's Museum Fredericksburg.

Also in October, Pouches is preparing for a trip to Ecuador to bring used orthotics and prosthetics to people in need in that country. 

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