At first glance it my not seem like there's much to think about when it comes to choosing a toilet. Pick a color that matches your decor and your done, right? Not quite. That's only one of the many choices to make when it comes to choosing a toilet. Size, height and how well it functions should also be part of your decision.
Finding a Toilet That Fits
There are many toilets on the market, but a rough-in distance, measured from the finished wall to the center of the sewer drain for the toilet, will narrow the options. The standard rough-in is 12 inches, and the widest number of toilets are available in this size. If a bathroom remodel makes use of an existing rough-in that is a different size, 14 or 10 inches for example, the options are more limited.
Most folks find elongated toilet seats to be more comfortable, but in a smaller bathroom, a round bowl will save some space, as well as a few dollars in most cases.
Taller toilets are also becoming more popular, which makes a bathroom accessible to all users regardless of mobility, because they make sitting down and standing up easier.
What Style of Toilet?
There are a few toilet designs available. A two-piece toilet, which has the tank bolted to the top of the bowl, is usually a little more affordable. A one-piece toilet, with an single tank and bowl, can cost more, but are easier to clean because they have no seams. Wall-mounted toilets add design flair to a bathroom, and cleaning under them is a breeze. However, these high-end fixtures can be more expensive to install because they require a secure wall to mount the toilet and store the tank, and repair and maintenance could mean opening up the wall.
While having a perfect fitting and great looking toilet is important, it won't matter if it doesn't flush right everytime.
Prior to 1994, toilets used around 3.5 gallons of water per flush. Then Congress, in an effort to conserve resources, reduced the amount of water new toilets could flush to 1.6 gallons per flush. Unfortunately, the first generation of low-flow toilets couldn't get the job done, and that's a stigma these commodes are still trying to shake more than a decade later. Manufacturers have since introduced low-flow toilets that work very well, using either a gravity or power-assisted flush.
Dual-flush technology features a split plunger-style flush mechanism on top of the tank. Pushing one button releases .08 gallons of water and pushing both doubles the flow to 1.6 gallons. Over the life of the toilet, a four-person family can save thousands of dollars.
Most homeowners would like to see their home’s energy consumption decrease in order to boost energy savings. The experts at Maitz Home Services are happy to help by offering our top 5 ways to drive energy savings higher, no matter the season.
These 5 tips can help you save money throughout the year:
1. Use your programmable thermostat to set an energy-saving schedule, and be sure to implement at least one eight-hour period a day when you dramatically adjust temperatures for maximum savings. Most homeowners schedule these periods when the home is unoccupied or when they’re sleeping.
2. Upgrade the insulation throughout your home. This action will create a better barrier to prevent heat gain during the summer, and prevent heat loss in the winter
3. Seal the air leaks around your home’s exterior. When you close leaks, you’ll keep more conditioned air inside and reduce energy consumption.
4. Change your system’s filter regularly to ensure proper airflow through the A/C. When airflow is constricted, your system will consume more energy.
5. Replace old, inefficient HVAC equipment, like your A/C or water heater, with high-efficiency systems that will dramatically boost your monthly energy savings, and maximize your investment over the life of the equipment.
By implementing some simple strategies to boost energy savings, homeowners can reduce their energy consumption while making their homes more comfortable. For expert advice, contact the HVAC professionals at Maitz Home Services today.
Your home's central air conditioner is a power-hungry and complex machine that can fail at any time without warning. However, there are a few simple ways you can identify air conditioner problems that could tip you off to a potential problems before the unit fails completely.
Some of the early warning signs of potential air conditioner problems are:
One of the most common complaints we hear is that the air conditioner is making a wailing noise. Left unchecked, the minor annoyance can quickly grow deafening when the unit is operating at full capacity. Loud noises such as these are generally caused by a fan belt becoming dislodged over time. Your technician will check the bearings in the motor, as they may require lubrication or replacement.
Frozen AC Coils
Another issue that often arises is frozen coils. Frozen coils and ice can impede the operation of the unit, creating blockage in the circulation of Freon and air. Heat pumps often contain heating elements to reduce this problem, but sometimes the unit doesn’t cycle quickly enough. Recalibrating the unit can eliminate this problem.
An air conditioner that is leaking water inside your home can cause significant water damage as well as mold and mildew. If your AC unit no longer drains away condensation effectively, it could be the result of a rusted out condensation pan or blockage in the drain itself. Check the pan and drain lines for signs of leaks.
Clogged Ventilation Grills
One of the most common causes of air conditioner failure is blocked grills. Annual maintenance to clean the unit's fins, fan, motor and other parts of dirt and debris will allow the unit to operate at peak efficiency during the hottest weather.
Other AC Problems
If the air conditioner simply isn’t cooling, more advanced diagnostic tools may need to be applied. Is the fan or compressor running without the other? Does the unit work only part of the time? Does it over cool or not cool enough? Questions such as these can help you give your technician a head start in quickly zeroing in on the source of the problem, so be sure to take a second to observe operation before you turn of power to the unit and call for service.
Generally most problems can be identified from the details above. If, for instance, the unit shuts off before the room is a comfortable temperature, it may not be cycling enough air through the thermostat to take a measurement. This could be due to poor calibration or a blocked sensor.
A Freon leak can render the machine weak or ineffective, especially if recharging the gas supply doesn’t solve the problem. The thermostat could be broken as well, which usually means it has to be replaced.
Finally, the A/C unit may be short-circuited to the ground, causing circuit breakers to fail every time the machine turns on. Be sure to provide a description of the problem to your technician to help him solve your problem as quickly as possible.