When Will a Home Benefit From a Water Softener?

Understanding Hard Water 

Hard water is a problem that plagues the majority of US households. Most people don’t even realize that the problems they have with their water are caused by hardness. Despite the widespread problems that hard water can cause, most people don’t know what hard water is or how to recognize the signs. 

Hard water is a term used to describe the amount of dissolved ions in drinking water sources. The ions come from minerals found in the subsoil of a region that water leeches out and carries with it through the treatment process and into the home. Removing these minerals, mostly calcium and magnesium, is expensive on a municipal scale. Still, it can be easily and cheaply done in the home to avoid the problems that hard water can cause. 

How Does a Water Softener Work? 

water softenerWater softeners work by removing hard minerals from water. Owners can install a few different types of water softeners to deal with their hard water. The most common choices are: 

  • Salt-Based Water Softeners: These are the most common and time-tested soft water solutions. They use a special resin that attracts ions to remove them from incoming water. Once the resin is full of hardness ions, a strong brine is washed over the water-softener resin to regenerate it, and the cycle starts again. 
  • Template-Assisted Crystallization: “TAC” devices use a special matrix to encourage ions to crystalize together. This causes the ions to clump together, reducing their effects on the hardness of water. 
  • Point-of-Use Water Softeners: Water softening devices can be installed on shower heads or faucets to provide soft water to single-use points. 

How to Tell a Home Has Hard Water 

Since most homes deal with hard water, but only a few install water softeners, there is a deficit of knowledge regarding hard water. If people knew the signs of hard water and the benefits of soft water, more people would take advantage of cheap technology to fix the problem. Some of the common signs of hard water are: 

  • The unsightly buildup of mineral scale on fixtures
  • Constant water pressure problems
  • Short-lived water heaters
  • Plumbing problems
  • High water heating bills
  • Dry hair and skin
  • Poor tasting water

Reasons to Install Whole-Home Water Softeners 

save money One of the biggest barriers to entry regarding water softeners is that people are reluctant to spend money on a problem when they don’t have a firm grasp of how the solution will help them. This is especially true with water softeners since most people haven’t experienced how effective their water can be when it is softened. Some of the reasons to install whole-home water softeners are: 

  • Water rinses away grime more effectively, leaving dishes spotless and laundry brighter
  • Soaps are more effectively removed from skin and hair, leaving them radiant and smooth
  • Fewer ions in the water means better-tasting water
  • Having fewer corrosion-causing ions allows plumbing fixtures to last longer and reduces the cost of plumbing bills 

About Bedell Home Services

Bedell Home Services helps owners achieve better water and plumbing every day. Their licensed experts handle water softener installation and various plumbing services. Call today for expert water softening in Carmel, IN. 

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Everything Buyers Need to Know About Heat Pumps

Understanding Heat Pumps 

Buying and installing a new heating and cooling system in the home is a big choice. New equipment and its installation are expensive, and owners will have to live with the new system for decades. Often, this locks owners into a particular utility that they use to heat their home, and with fluctuating energy prices and constantly increasing environmental regulations, burning fossil fuels for heat is continually getting more expensive. 

To combat rising fuel prices, new technology is constantly being developed and improved. One of the most exciting advancements in heating and cooling has been the development of the heat pump. Here is a quick article on heat pumps to explain what they are and why they may be the perfect choice for homeowners upgrading their heating and cooling systems. 

What are Heat Pumps? 

heat pumpA heat pump is a revolutionary new way to heat and cool the home. While the technology has existed for a while, the system wasn't practical until recently. With new developments, heat pumps have been improved, so many people are starting to switch. But what exactly is a heat pump? 

To understand a heat pump, think about feeling the heat coming off an air conditioner's outdoor unit during the summer. This heat is from the inside of the home. Now, imagine if the process was reversed. Could the heat being dumped inside the home be reversed to heat the home instead? This is how a heat pump allows for efficient summer cooling and heating in winter. 

Benefits of Heat Pump Installation 

Heat pumps have become the fastest-growing heating and cooling system type worldwide for several reasons. First, they are the simplest type of HVAC system. Unlike a furnace, a heat pump uses the same blower and ductwork as an outdoor unit. This means there are fewer moving parts, so they generally last longer. 

Probably the biggest selling point for a heat pump is the cost reduction compared to resistance heating and fossil fuels. Heat pumps require only electricity, so most homeowners do away with their gas bills. As gas prices fluctuate and steadily rise, it can be easy to see how fast the savings can add up. 

Signs That Heat Pump Repairs are Needed 

energy billHeat pumps are generally more reliable than other heating and cooling systems because the machinery works all year. Central furnaces are cycled off during the warm months, allowing them to develop problems. Running a heat pump year-round keeps it in good operating condition. However, they still are subject to repairs. Some of the signs that heat pump repairs are needed can be: 

  • Long cycles
  • High electricity bills
  • Inadequate heating or cooling 
  • Poor indoor air quality
  • Unusual sounds or noisy operation

Luckily, the signs that heat pumps are struggling are familiar to any homeowner who has owned an air conditioner. If something seems wrong, it probably is. Call a professional before things get worse!

About Bedell Home Services

Bedell Home Services handles heat pump installations and repairs. They have over 35 years of experience helping owners save money on heating and cooling costs. Call today for HVAC installation and repair in Carmel, IN. 

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How to Prevent Burst Pipes Around the Home

Avoiding the Damage Caused By Burst Pipes 

It may be hard to believe, but winter is coming. That means the threats posed to the home from the plumbing will change. Most people don't realize it, but many plumbing problems are seasonal, and burst pipes become more common with cooler temperatures. 

While most people understand that frozen pipes commonly cause pipe bursts, they aren't the only cause. When conditions are right, Burst pipes can be a threat all year. When pipes burst, they can quickly flood a home with thousands of gallons of water or sewage and take months to recover. Luckily, there are easy ways to prevent these plumbing disasters. Here is a quick guide from local plumbing contractors that can help owners take action to stop burst pipes. 

Prevent Clogs 

clogsOne of the causes of burst pipes that can occur at any time of the year is a burst sewer pipe. When sewer lines are installed they are never intended to handle much pressure. They are simply meant to be a thoroughfare to flush away waste. Unfortunately, clogs can occur in sewer pipes that aren't properly cared for. A clogged pipe causes sewage to back up, which in turn causes pressure to build in the pipe. Since the sewer pipe was never intended to handle that pressure, the pipe can burst. 

The best way to stop clogged pipes is to prevent them with good drain habits and preventative maintenance. First, pay attention to what goes down the drain. Discard all kitchen waste in the trash, and never flush anything other than waste and toilet paper down the commode. Secondly, scheduling drain cleaning, especially hydro jet drain cleaning, can prevent clogs by removing the root cause, namely, buildup on the inside walls of the pipe. 

Protect Pipes From Freezing 

No discussion of burst pipes would be complete without mentioning frozen pipes. Frozen pipes are a very common problem, but they are all preventable when the right measures are taken. To start, always make professionals ensure plumbing repairs. Plumbing codes are designed to protect pipes from freezing, so most frozen pipes are prevented simply by having professional installation done. 

In some cases, good installation practices aren't enough to protect pipes from freezing. In those cases, pipe insulation is probably all needed to prevent frozen pipes. 

Stop Corrosion 

corrosionCorrosion is a problem in any kind of plumbing that uses metal pipes. Copper and galvanized pipes that carry fresh water and steel or iron sewer pipes tend to rust. When corrosion occurs inside a pipe, the innermost layer of metal is oxidized and can start to flake off inside the pipe. This creates the perfect opportunity to interrupt the flow and cause a loss of water pressure and a spike in the internal pressure inside the pipes. 

The best way to stop corrosion is to ensure chemical drain cleaners are never used. These dangerous chemicals quickly corrode metal pipes, making them much more likely to burst. Leave drain cleaning to the professionals and simply schedule a drain cleaning visit from a local expert. 

About Bedell Home Services

Bedell Home Services has nearly 40 years of experience preventing and responding to frozen pipes. They offer flat-rate pricing on most repairs. Call today for regular or emergency plumbing service in Carmel, IN. 

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Want Better Indoor Air Quality? Read This In Time for National Wellness Month

Understanding Indoor Air Quality

Indoor air quality, often referred to as IAQ, describes the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially concerning the health and comfort of the people living and working in these enclosed spaces. Homes and places of business with excellent indoor air quality are great places to live and work, as they allow occupants to breathe easily and comfortably without encountering any respiratory issues. 

Places with poor IAQ, on the other hand, may be hounded by some of the most common indoor air pollutants, which may include things like asbestos, biological pollutants (such as viruses, pollen, dust, and bacteria), carbon monoxide, lead, pesticides, secondhand smoke, and other indoor particulate matter. 

There is a long list of pollutants that can adversely affect the health of residents, and even more possible causes or sources of these pollutants, but the good news is that awareness of their existence as well as what causes them can help homeowners prevent their spread indoors to keep all who live there safe and healthy.

How Poor Indoor Air Quality Affects Your Health

sickKeeping indoor air at its highest quality should be a top priority for homeowners, seeing as people spend a lot of time indoors, in their own homes, especially in extreme weather that drives people to shelter at home. If indoor air quality isn’t kept at an optimum level, a home’s occupants may start to experience health effects that can be minor irritations at best or cause severe reactions at worst. 

Some of the ways poor indoor air quality affects a person’s health include:

Benefits of Replacing and Maintaining Air Filters Regularly

filterDespite the prevalence of indoor air quality, homeowners should rejoice in the knowledge that poor IAQ doesn’t have to be something they can take lying down. There are many things homeowners can do to keep air quality levels at their highest, the easiest of which is to simply engage in regular HVAC maintenance. This means conducting air filter replacement regularly to prevent indoor pollutants from building up.

Air filters improve indoor air quality by trapping solid particulates, pollutants, and microorganisms in a fibrous or porous material that would otherwise float in the air and cause respiratory irritation. Changing the air filter at least once every 3 months and contracting professional indoor air quality services to maintain the HVAC in its best and cleanest condition can keep IAQ at its optimum level.

Best Devices To Help Clean Up The Air

Aside from regular HVAC maintenance, homeowners can also augment their efforts at keeping indoor air clean by investing in devices that perform this specific function. Most of these devices will fall under either the air purifier or UV sanitizer category, both of which perform the job of cleaning indoor air in two entirely different ways.

An air purifier cleans the air by passing it through a series of filters that trap airborne contaminants, while UV air sanitizers do the same thing using UV-C light or aerosol vapors. While they both do a great job of cleaning the air, homeowners may want to take note of their specific strengths to address a home’s specific needs. Homeowners prone to allergies may find the air purifier better captures larger allergens. At the same time, those who want to get rid of germs and other smaller particles like viruses and bacteria may want to invest in an air sanitizer, which does this job better.

About Bedell Home Services

Bedell Home Services has been providing expert plumbing, heating, and air conditioning services to the communities of Carmel, IN since 1988. This family-owned and operated company is licensed, bonded, and insured, employing highly trained and trustworthy professionals who can get any job done right the first time. They also offer competitive pricing and easy financing options for their customers. Call them today for HVAC services in Carmel, IN. 

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Routine Plumbing Maintenance is Crucial

Reasons to Schedule Plumbing Maintenance 

There is never a wrong time to do the right thing, especially when it comes to plumbing maintenance. Plumbing maintenance is a standard service practiced by most plumbers, but unfortunately, too few homeowners know its benefits. 

Take preemptive action instead of paying high water and energy bills and dealing with short-lived and routine plumbing emergencies. If a home's plumbing seems less reliable than usual, maybe it's time to let a professional take a look. Here are three direct benefits of plumbing maintenance in the home. 

Keep Things Running Smoothly 

The plumbing in a home is usually reliable. With modern building codes and advanced materials, plumbing problems infrequently pop up. However, when plumbing problems arise, they can be catastrophic. 

Plumbing maintenance is just as important as protecting the home as keeping fire extinguishers around. When sewage leaks occur, or pipes burst, the damage can be very expensive and inconvenient. Luckily, homeowners can avoid nasty situations like clogged drains and toilets that won't flush away waste when they choose to have their system inspected and maintained. 

Increase the Lifespan of Plumbing Materials 

plumbing The plumbing system in a home is made up of various materials and fixtures. One of the benefits of plumbing maintenance is that it allows the homeowner to know what is going on with the infrastructure in the home. Since most plumbing is hidden underground or behind walls, outdated materials can exist in a home for decades without the owner knowing. Understanding the lifespan of different plumbing materials can help homeowners make smart decisions about upgrading to protect their homes from potential damage. 

The shortest-lived component of a plumbing system is probably the water heater. Without routine maintenance, water heaters are only expected to last around seven years. After this point, they are subject to leaks and major inefficiencies. 

Next on the list are the fixtures. Plumbing fixtures can be reliable for decades, but many will show problems like leaks. Usually, these can be quickly repaired during a plumbing maintenance visit. 

Finally, piping is the long-lived component of a plumbing system but also the most crucial. With modern building codes, there are no situations where iron or galvanized piping is reliable. Early PVC installations can also be out of date. Discuss upgrading options with plumbing system maintenance plumbers to understand how to proceed. 

Lower Bills 

saveThis may be the most popular choice on the list. Plumbing maintenance can lower bills in three different ways. First, allowing professionals to inspect the plumbing and correct any minor deficiencies can stop problems from growing and becoming more expensive. This can save a lot of money on unexpected repair bills. 

One of the downsides to plumbing is that when a problem occurs, it can continue to waste money until it is repaired. Leaks are the perfect example. When leaks occur in fixtures and piping, they slowly waste water and money until repairs are made. Allowing professionals to do plumbing maintenance prevents wastage and lowers bills by reducing water usage

Finally, plumbing maintenance lowers bills and saves money by maintaining the water heater. Water heaters are huge portions of monthly bills, and when they run inefficiently, the cost is obvious. Flushing and draining the water heater is an important part of plumbing maintenance that can drastically lower energy bills. 

About Bedell Home Services

Bedell Home Services are local experts that add a personal touch to their service. With comprehensive plumbing, HVAC, and excavating services, they are reliable providers for thousands of local homes. Call today for flat-rate pricing on plumbing repairs in Carmel, IN.