Idaho Falls Home Services Specialists
My Dad Can Do That! Serving All Your Plumbing & HVAC Needs in Idaho Falls

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Serving Idaho Falls, Rigby, Ammon, Shelley, Blackfoot, Pocatello, St. Anthony, Chubbuck, Rexburg, Sugar City, Driggs & Victor

Advanced Home Services is committed to providing high-quality products and trustworthy service in Idaho Falls and surrounding communities. We have included answers to the most frequently asked questions on this page. If you have any other questions, please contact us.

We are always happy to answer your questions. Contact us online or by telephone at (208) 269-9556 for help.

AC & Heating Questions

  • What are good reasons to replace heating and cooling equipment?

    If your system is old, frequently in need of repair, has poor energy efficiency, or your home is not as comfortable as you would like, it may be time to replace your heating and air conditioning equipment. Newer systems have far greater comfort, reliability, and energy efficiency. When you finance your new system, the reduction in your energy bills helps to offset the cost.

  • What is the cost of a new air conditioning system or heat pump?

    The cost of a new system depends on factors such as the size of the home, condition of the ductwork, and any accessories that you choose, such as an electronic air cleaner or programmable thermostat. A full range of equipment and accessories is available to provide the right home comfort solution for every home and household budget.

  • How do I choose the right system for my home?

    Our comfort consultants can provide a heating and cooling calculation for your home. This is used to ensure that the ductwork is the right size for your home. We calculate the size of the equipment and factor in any comfort issues that need to be corrected, such as uneven temperatures in different areas of the home. We help you consider budget parameters, system efficiency, and any monthly savings offered by improvements in energy efficiency. These savings can help offset the cost of the unit, either over time or immediately when new equipment is financed.

  • What is the process of replacing an old heating and cooling system?

    We begin with an assessment of your system to determine what needs to be done to optimize performance, such as correcting problems with the ductwork, improving insulation, refrigerant and condensate drain piping, electrical wiring, and other components of your heating or air conditioning system. Doing this before placing the new equipment helps maximize efficiency and performance.

  • How long should a new system last?

    In order to maximize the lifespan of the equipment, it must be cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. When a qualified technician provides regular maintenance service, most heating and cooling equipment should last between 10 and 15 years.

  • When should the indoor coil be changed?

    Generally, the coil should be replaced when it is causing problems or you are replacing your heat pump or air conditioner. The efficiency rating of a heat pump or air conditioner is based on a matched system, so changing only the outdoor portion would reduce the efficiency and cost savings.

  • How can I get replacement parts?

    In most situations, replacement parts are only available from a licensed professional. Please contact us to schedule service.

  • How can I control the level of humidity in my home?

    Humidity levels can be reduced with a variable speed furnace or air handler. Variable speed furnaces and air handlers run longer, at lower speeds, and remove more moisture from the air, as it is constantly circulating.

    In colder months, the humidity level can be increased by adding a humidifier to your system. When the system has a variable speed motor, the fans move the air constantly to keep the humidity level comfortable.

  • What should I do before calling for service?

    Due to the complicated nature of the components of an air conditioner or heat pump, a certified technician should handle all repairs. There are a few basic things that you can try before calling for service.

  • Before calling for service you can:
    • Check the circuit breakers
    • Check the filters to be sure they are clean
    • Check the thermostat setting and batteries
    • Be sure the switch on the thermostat is on the correct setting for heating or cooling
    • Make sure the supply and return vents aren’t covered

    Of course, if you do not feel comfortable performing these steps, you can call for an appointment and our technicians can handle it for you.

  • How is warm and cool air moved through my home?

    The return grills in the rooms of your home pull air into the ductwork and through your furnace or air handler, where the air is either warmed or cooled. The conditioned air is then pushed into the ductwork and through the supply vents or registers delivering warm or cool air to each room of your home.

  • How often should filters be replaced?

    This depends on how much the system operates, the climate, and how often the system is running. The filters should be checked each month and changed when needed. You can hold the used filter up to the light and compare it to the new one. When you hold up your old filter, but can’t see light filtering through, it should be replaced. They should always be changed at the beginning of the heating or cooling season and then as needed after that. You should also have maintenance performed on the system at the beginning of the season.

  • Is it possible to add refrigerant without locating and repairing leaks?

    As of 1992, it is against the law to intentionally or accidentally release refrigerants into the atmosphere, due to the damage caused to the ozone layer. Refrigerants need to be recycled to remove contaminants, allowing it to be reused. Our technicians can locate and repair leaks.

  • Why do the components of a system need to be matched?

    When the indoor and outdoor components of an air conditioner or heat pump are correctly matched, the system will provide optimal performance, maintain proper cycle times, humidity levels, and keep all areas of your home comfortable. In addition, a matched system offers better energy efficiency. When a high-efficiency system is properly matched to your home based on a load calculation, you will enjoy the right level of warmth and cooling and keep utility costs under control.

  • Is it always better to buy a larger air conditioning system or heat pump?

    An air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump need to be correctly sized to the home. If the system is too large for the home, you will likely have a problem with short cycling. This results in higher levels of humidity and decreased energy efficiency. Short cycles mean the unit starts and stops more often, which increases energy consumption and wears down equipment faster, so your system may not last as long.

  • Do I need a high-efficiency air filter?

    Proper filtration prevents dirt and dust from building up in your system. A high-efficiency filter removes more dust and particles from the air. This offers benefits for performance, efficiency, and indoor air quality.

  • Is annual maintenance really necessary?

    A well-maintained system reduces energy consumption, repair costs, prevents unexpected equipment breakdown and may extend the life of the system. Failing to maintain your equipment will result in a decline in performance and may shorten the lifespan of your equipment.

  • What is the best way to reduce allergens and improve indoor air quality?

    High-efficiency air cleaning systems are able to remove up to 99% of pollen, spores, viruses, and other particles in the air. In addition, these systems reduce the amount of dust, dirt, odors, smoke, and other contaminants, leaving your air cleaner and reducing allergy symptoms. If you have a problem with dry indoor air, you can add a whole house humidifier to the air cleaner to improve the humidity levels and reduce dry, itchy skin, static electricity, and prevent damage to wood floors and furnishings.

  • How can I reduce energy costs in the heating and cooling seasons?
    • Consider replacing old, inefficient equipment with newer high-efficiency air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces.
    • Have annual maintenance performed on your equipment.
    • Add insulation
    • Install a programmable thermostat
    • Make sure vents and grills are no blocked by furniture, window treatments, or other objects.

    Install ceiling fans to maintain a comfortable temperature and increase energy efficiency throughout the year. In the winter, you can reverse the blades, so they rotate in a clockwise direction to push warm air down from the ceiling.

Plumbing Questions

  • How do drains get clogged?

    Bathroom and kitchen drains may become clogged when people aren’t careful about what goes down them. In the kitchen, food particles, grease, and other items get stuck in drains. In the bathroom, hair, residue from soaps and shampoos, and small objects put into the drains by children often cause clogs.

  • What are the causes of dripping faucets?

    A variety of factors can cause faucets to drip, such as high water pressure, hard water, or sediment and debris build up. Faucets have internal parts that may need to be repaired or replaced. You can help prevent problems by gently turning faucets, installing a filter or water softener, and keeping your water pressure at 80psi or below.

  • How can pipe leaks be prevented?

    Inspect the plumbing pipes periodically to look for rust or lime deposits, which can indicate the beginning of a leak. When you notice a small problem, call Advanced Home Services for an Idaho Falls plumber to inspect your system and repair any leaks. You don’t want to wait, as leaks can quickly become a bigger problem, causing damage to your walls, flooring, furniture, and other belongings.

  • What should I do if my water heater is leaking?

    Give us a call right away. When water heaters leak, it is an indication that the bottom of the tank has rusted and the water heater needs to be replaced.

  • What is safe to put in the garbage disposal?

    Treating your garbage disposal with care will keep it in good working condition. When grinding food, always run cold water to help move the food waste into the drain lines. Generally, most biodegradable food waste can be put in a garbage disposal. Don’t use them for corn husks, clam or oyster shells, and food with high fiber content or non-food objects made of metal, glass, or plastic.

  • What can I do about the bad odor coming from the garbage disposal?

    Odors can be caused by food or grease in the disposal. You can use ice cubes, lemon peels, or orange peels in the disposal. Run the disposal for 20 seconds and then flush with water for another 45 seconds to get rid of bad odors.

  • What can be done about low water pressure?

    First, you need to determine the cause. Low water pressure can be caused by shut off valves being partially closed or malfunctioning, a crimped water line, deposits in older plumbing pipes, and clogged faucets. Other problems can be caused by a problem with the water lines, bad well pumps, or an undetected leak. We can send an experienced Idaho Falls plumbing professional to locate the source of the problem and explain the repair options.

  • How do I know when a toilet needs to be replaced?

    When there are cracks in the tank or bowl, seals are deteriorated, or the old fixture was not installed correctly, it may not function as it should. Newer toilets conform to standards for water usage by using no more than 1.6 gallons to flush, so you can save money on your water bills and conserve water.

Sprinkler Questions

  • How much and how often should I water the lawn?

    Lawns should be watered less frequently for longer times. For example water two or three days a week for long enough to provide a half inch of water each time. In this area, most lawns need between an inch and two of water per week.

  • What is the best time of day to water the lawn?

    It is best to water the lawn in the early morning hours close to sunrise to prevent fungus growth.

  • How do I winterize my sprinklers?
    • Begin by turning off the main water supply to the system.
    • Drain the system using an air compressor and evacuate the water.
    • It is important to use the right amount of pressure, as too much can damage the system and too little won’t evacuate all the water.
    • You want to get the water out to prevent freezing in the winter.

    With the right equipment, you can winterize your sprinklers yourself. If you are not comfortable doing the job, give us a call. We can send an experienced Idaho Falls plumber to handle the job for you.

Water Softener Questions

  • How does a water softener work?

    As the hard water moves through the softener, it passes through resin that is charged with sodium ions. These sodium ions attract hard water ions. By the time the water reaches the bottom of the tank, it is softened and ready for use.

  • Do water softeners harm the drain field or septic system?

    A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin in the 1970s showed that discharge from water softeners had no adverse effects and does not interfere with the soil percolation. The study indicated that the presence of calcium and magnesium balances the effect of the sodium.

  • Will I use the same amount of soap after installing a water softener?

    No, according to the Water Quality Association, soft water saves up to 55% on detergent. You will use about half the amount of soap in dishwashers, washing machines, and while bathing and cleaning. You will notice that your fabrics are softer and last longer.

  • Are there different types of well water in Eastern Idaho?

    The elements present in water may vary, even when wells are near each other. Factors such as the depth of the well and proximity to a river or canal can influence the minerals present in the water.

  • Typical issues contributing to water hardness may include:
    • The presence of hardness in the water
    • Iron
    • Bacteria
    • Sediment
    • Sand

    It is a good idea to have your well water tested to select the best treatment for your water.

  • Why are rust stains present in my sinks, showers, and toilets?

    Iron in the water oxidizes when exposed to air. This causes rust colored stains on showers, sinks, tubs, plumbing fixtures, and clothing.

  • How does hard water affect plumbing fixtures and home appliances?

    Hard water causes build up in plumbing fixtures and appliances, which can restrict water flow to appliances and fixtures. This build-up will result in a need for service or more frequent replacement of appliances and plumbing fixtures.

For answers to all your heating, air conditioning, plumbing, sprinkler, and water softener questions, give us a call today at (208) 269-9556.

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