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Get Your AC Unit Ready for the Summer Heat with Lazer Home Services!

Even as you continue to weather the snow and cold of a Midwestern winter, it’s important to start thinking warm thoughts. Don’t wait for the intense summer heat and humidity to invade the area before getting your home’s air conditioning system checked by Lazer Home Services.

Lazer Home Services is a leading plumbing, electrical, heating, and air conditioning contractor serving the Des Moines area and all of Central Iowa. We want to keep you warm in the winter, and make sure you stay cool when the weather heats up. Contact us today to schedule service!

How to Help Prevent Burst Pipes in the Winter

If you’re reading this you might be wondering, why do pipes freeze and why is it dangerous? Simply put, water has a unique property that makes it expand as it freezes. This expansion property puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, like plastic or metal pipes.

No matter the strength of a container, freezing, expanding water can cause pipes to break. As a result, if left untreated, homeowners risk paying more than just the average repair costs for burst pipes.

Just think about the cost to replace damaged drywall or kitchen cabinets, should the water affect other areas of your home… Not to mention, if water enters your home, you’re also at risk of mold which can be hazardous to your loved ones!

Which Pipes Are Most Susceptible to Freezing?

All pipes have the opportunity to freeze, but the pipes that homeowners should keep a close eye on during the winter season are:

  • Outdoor hose bibs, water sprinkler lines, and swimming pool supply lines.
  • Pipes in unheated interior spaces like crawl spaces, basements, attics, kitchen cabinets, and garages.
  • Pipes that run up against exterior walls that have little to no insulation.

Tips for Preventing Pipes from Freezing:

  1. Have your thermostat set both during the day and night to no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Even if you plan on leaving your home, keep your thermostat on to prevent freezing.
  2. Let your faucet drip. Running even a trickle of hot water through your pipes helps prevent them from freezing.
  3. Apply heating tape and add extra insulation where you can. The more you use, the lower the chances you’ll have of dealing with freezing pipes.
  4. Open up bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls

What to Do if You Suspect Frozen Pipes

If your pipes still froze despite your best preventive measures, don’t panic! Just because they’re frozen it doesn’t mean they’ve burst just yet. Check out this video to see a few things that you can do:

If you’ve noticed any warning signs of frozen pipes or suspect you have a burst pipe, minimize water damage and prevent further plumbing issues by giving Lazer Home Services a call. No matter the damage, our professionals can guarantee timely repairs. To learn more, just browse our site or contact us at your earliest convenience.

R-22 Refrigerant Phased-Out in the Fight Against Climate Change

R-22, or Freon as it is more commonly known, is a common refrigerant and propellant which absorbs heat and transfers it outside of the home or refrigeration unit. Freon was originally utilized by DuPont scientists in 1928 as one of the first refrigerants, along with HCFC, to be non-combustible and non-toxic and available for commercial use. It revolutionized residential life forever and has provided us with comforts, including refrigerated and frozen foods and air conditioning – comforts that we may take for granted. Unfortunately, though R-22 was touted as a safe refrigerant, studies have concluded that the use of Freon is contributing to the depletion of the ozone layer, causing a mass phase-out of the chemical to take place in Europe and North America.

What the R-22 Phase-Out Means for Us

Ever since it had been discovered as a greenhouse gas, the U.S. Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer laid down the groundwork for a complete phase-out of this hydrochlorofluorocarbon by 2020, a date which is nearly upon us. Unfortunately, AC and commercial refrigeration units which use R-22 have been produced up until 2010 (just under 10 years ago), and are still releasing this chemical into the air.

Replacing this refrigerant is another issue due to the sudden cap on R-22 production. If a unit uses R-22 and needs a refill, the prices of the fluid have increased by over 500 percent since 2003, so it’s an expensive way to harm our environment. There are R-22 “drop-in” refrigerants that can be used in place of R-22; however, they are only recommended as a temporary “quick-fix” because they do not work as well as the original, causing unit efficiency and reliability to eventually diminish.

Out With the Old, In With the R-410A

In newer air conditioning units, a new refrigerant, R-410A, is used. This refrigerant’s main active component is fluorine instead of chlorine, which means it has no effect on the ozone layer. R-410A also has relative price stability and availability, making it the overall better option for cooling our homes. It has become the standard refrigerant in residential AC units for a good reason.

If your unit was manufactured or installed before 2010, it likely uses R-22; if the unit is malfunctioning and needs to be refilled, it is recommended that you purchase a new unit entirely. At Lazer Home Services, we provide the best AC replacement and repair services in Iowa. If you are interested in replacing your old, R-22-fueled unit, contact us today!