Tuesday, September 5, 2017

How to Exercise the Emergency Shut Offs & Valves in Plumbing Systems

Every home has shut off valves, and each one of those valves should be exercised every few months. These shut off valves go to your sinks, toilets, water heater, and your main water supply. To clarify, by “exercise” we mean that the valve should be closed and opened. Testing the operation of each valve in your home is important to ensure there are no leaks at the valve point and the valve is functioning properly. Another important reason to test valves by opening and closing them is to remove any mineral deposits and other sediment, making it less likely the valve becomes sealed or difficult to operate.

Knowing where your shut off valves are located is key so you can prevent serious water damage in case you have a leak in your plumbing system. In addition to shut off valves under your sinks and toilets, and attached to your water heater, your water meter typically has a shut off valve on either side of it. The valve on the house-side of the meter is meant for homeowners to use. By testing shut off valves periodically you are ensuring the valves are not stuck or compromised in any way, which can save you from experiencing unnecessary problems down the road should you encounter a water leak or other emergency.

If you’re looking for a dependable plumber and HVAC service provider in the Thornton and Denver metro region, Blue Mountain Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today at (720) 839-4015 to schedule an appointment for service or repair. We will also evaluate your current heating and HVAC system. Be sure to keep our number nearby so you can call on us when you need a professional to take care of an emergency repair day or night.

Friday, July 28, 2017

When to Change Your Air Filter and Why It's Important

How often do you currently replace the AC filter in your home? Knowing when to change air filters is very important for the health of your ac unit. Changing the air filter in your home air conditioning system on a regular basis helps improve the quality of the air you, your loved ones, and your pets breathe every day. A new air filter also helps prolong the life of your heating and cooling system by keeping it clean.

The air filters in your home system are designed to trap damaging dirt and debris. Airborne pet dander, spores, dust, pollen, and other harmful particles and contaminants in the air can wreak havoc on both your health and your home air conditioning system. All of these contaminants can cause a flare up of allergy or asthma symptoms in individuals who suffer from these conditions. Deciding when to change your air filter could be more or less frequently depending on these conditions. When you replace an AC filter more often, not only will it help your overall health but it can improve the health of your ac unit, as well.

We are happy to tell you that, replacing your air filter can save you money on costly repairs or replacement of your HVAC system. In addition to providing general residential and commercial plumbing and electrical service and repair, we also provide our customers with expert, skilled HVAC system maintenance and repair services. If you like, we can also evaluate your current plumbing and HVAC system, and make you aware of any potential problems we may find.

How Frequently Should You Replace an AC Filter?
Deciding when to change the air filter in your home depends on a few factors. In the average suburban home without pets, changing your filters every 90 days should be sufficient. If you have a pet dog or cat, filters should be changed every 60 days. If anyone in the home suffers from asthma or allergies, or you have more than one pet, changing filters every 20 to 45 days is recommended. In a summer or vacation home, or if there is only a single occupant and no pets or allergies exist, once every 6 to 12 months is often enough.

For more questions on when to change air filters or any other HVAC related questions, call us at (720) 839-4015.

Blue Mountain Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Be sure to keep our number nearby and call on us when you need a professional to evaluate your plumbing, heating, and cooling system needs, or to take care of an emergency repair, any time of the day or night.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Why Do AC Units Freeze Up?

why do air conditioners freeze up

There are a couple of main reasons why AC units freeze up. The first is due to airflow issues. By “airflow” we are referring to the air flowing over the evaporator coil (the tubes that have cold liquid refrigerant running through them). When your air conditioning unit experiences insufficient airflow over the coils, it can get too cold and can be the cause for a broken air conditioner. When this happens, condensation and moisture will build up on the coils causing them to quickly ice up.

Why Do AC Units Freeze UpCommon causes for insufficient airflow may include:
  • Dirty air filter (during the summer the filter should be changed once a month)
  • Closed air supply vents
  • Return grills covered by drapes or obscured by furniture
  • Dirt buildup on the evaporator coil
  •  Improperly sized ductwork
  •  Bad blower motor
Another reason why an air conditioning unit may freeze up is due to low refrigerant or a refrigerant leak. It is the refrigerant that collects the heat in your home and moves it outside. When an air conditioner is low on refrigerant or it is charged incorrectly, the coils containing the refrigerant get too cold which can cause ice to build up on the coils. The problem can grow quickly when the air is humid or the coils are dirty and be the cause for a broken air conditioner.

So, why do AC units freeze up? As you can see there are a number of reasons. If your air conditioner coils are experiencing a buildup of ice, the first thing you should do to prevent any extended damage is turn off the air conditioner. Next, set your thermostat’s fan setting to the “on” position to thaw the ice in the inside unit. Once those steps have been taken, call Blue Mountain Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling to conduct an inspection to figure out why the AC unit froze up and determine the exact cause of the ice buildup.

To schedule an appointment for regular service, preventative maintenance and care, or air conditioning service or repair unit please call us today at (720) 839-4015. Additionally, Blue Mountain is available to provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Thornton Utilities & Substation

Thornton Utilities Substation Project to Bring Energy to Growing Population

Thornton Utilities - Energy Needs for a Growing Population

Two years ago, Thornton residents were protesting the proposed location of a new electrical substation. Xcel Energy’s proposed location at the time was in the Marshall Lake subdivision near 136th Avenue and Holly Street. Resident opposition due to concerns of property value declines and health issues as a result of the Thornton substation prompted Xcel to choose a new site. The new site for the $32.7 million substation is on a 7.9-acre plot of land on the southeast corner of Holly Street and East 120th Avenue.

It’s been over a quarter of a century since the last substation was built in Thornton, CO, and the need is clear. Nearly a decade ago the need for a new substation in Thornton was identified. With a considerable population increase over the years, the demands on the existing electrical infrastructure resulted in 38 power outages between 2011 and 2016, impacting over 130,000 residents dependent on Thornton utilities. The substation, which processes raw power to distribute to residents and businesses, will support the city’s rapid growth and provide a reliable and stable source of electrical power to the community for decades to come.

Concerns About the Thornton Substation

Xcel has been very inclusive of community input in the design and construction of the substation. Taking into consideration location, design, and aesthetic impact on the location, Xcel hired architects who designed Anythink Library Wright Farms branch across the street from the proposed project to soften the impact of the substation on the neighboring community. 

To address the visual concerns of the facility in the neighborhood, the footprint of the substation, to include an aesthetically compatible architectural wall designed to blend into the surroundings and enclose the substation, will be situated on the site in such a manner that approximately 3.5 acres will be dedicated to the community as open space. 

All power lines going into and out of the substation will be underground, minimizing the industrial look and feel of the substation, and any risk to property values that are impacted by substations with overhead powerlines. The substation will be set back on the property, minimizing the visual impact to the neighborhood. Combined with the architectural wall that will screen most of the equipment from view, professional, irrigated landscaping, mature trees, sidewalks and open space buffers lend a park-like setting, as shown in simulated renderings of the project provided by Xcel.

Regarding health concern impacts of the substation on the neighborhood, Xcel has addressed the concerns in an FAQ page on the Thornton substation website provided by the company. Xcel noted that experts agree there are no adverse health impacts from 60 hertz electric and magnetic field (EMF) exposure by the substation. They further note that while EMFs are considered a “Class 2B Possible Carcinogen”, other substances in this class include coffee, aloe vera extract, and radio frequencies emitted by cell phones, bringing perspective to the issue.

With any growing population, adequate resources to support the community must keep pace with demand. Such is the case with the electrical needs of Thornton. The new substation will not only satisfy an imminent power need, its thoughtful design, the result of community input, is unprecedented in its attention to providing an aesthetically compatible solution. How will this affect Thornton Gas & Plumbing? No one knows for sure, but we do need to come up with a sustainable solution for energy sources in the future.