Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page.
To see the questions and answers for a particular category click on the questions below.
Random FAQs.
Our shower head has a slight white film and does not have much water flow to it. Can you or we clean it and if we can, how?
You can remove the head and soak it in CLR cleaner, or just replace the head all together.
Greg Young, Owner
Schnibble Services, Inc.
Are any filters better than the others ?
Yes there are different types and qualities of filters. One of the best on the market is a Trane HEPA filter which can help take smells and allergens out of the air. This can be used on any furnace but needs to be installed by a HVAC technician and isn’t available at retail stores.
For types that you can buy at stores, there are a variety but the pleated versions are the best. Take a look at the MERV rating, the higher the better. Watch out for the ones that state they are 60 day filters, as every house is different and may not last that long. Try and stay away from the fiberglass and reusable versions - they have lower MERV ratings and will only catch larger objects, etc.
How often should I have my air ducts cleaned?
The EPA says to have your home air ducts cleaned at least every 3 to 5 years. We use a system that cleans every part of the duct system and normally lasts up to 3 years.
Dale Letteer, Owner
Complete Air Duct Cleaning
Are the energy rebates still available for replacing a heater. Do we have to buy a specific brand?
Unfortunately, the tax credits are not available for 2011. For the 2010 credit, the furnace has to be a 90% efficient furnace or better to apply, and there are no particular brand requirements.
At night, our TV, DVD player, and cable box have power lights on. Do they use much electricity?
Yes, it is estimated that these electronic devices cost the consumer approximately 10% on their electrical bill each year. Vampire power, Standby power, or Phantom draw power are a few of the terms used in the industry. Vampire power is the little red, green, blue, yellow, orange lights that you see on these devices. It continuosly draws current through your electric meter..., and you are paying for it. There are power strips on the market that can help turn these devices off when not in use; do a Google search for Vampire power to find some links that could help you with a solution.
Dave Iten, Owner
Valley Electric
With all the items out on the market, What is a good one to get to help save on energy at the home?
There are several items that can be used. On the large scale there are solar & wind products that can supplement or replace your current energy consumption. On the smaller scale there are compact fluorescent lamps (cfl), light emitting diodes (led lighting), programmable timers, and dimmer switches.
Dave Iten, Owner
Valley Electric
When should I have my air ducts cleaned?
Anytime is a good time but here are a few suggestions; how about when you want to get rid of odors in your home, or perhaps after new construction or home remodeling, how about in the spring before you turn on the air conditioner, or in the fall to have all the dust out before you use the heater. One thing to keep in mind, some air duct companies increase their price closer to winter.
Dale Letteer, Owner
Complete Air Duct Cleaning
Do the mold test kits work that we see at the hardware stores? Are they really dependable?
The over the counter mold tests are poor at best.
The test normally is a petri dish that the mold spores settle on when left open. The customer (at their expense) then has to send the sample to a lab that analizes the type of mold or molds that grow or are culturable. Mold is everywhere all the time, it is only when there is an elevated spore count that a potential problem may exist. Any petri dish left open will have culturable mold spores.
Mold spores are either viable (will grow or reproduce) or non-viable (unable to reproduce). Both viable and non-viable mold spores present a potential health risk, as the mycotoxins are mainly in the shell or outer covering of the spore.
Without trying to become to long or technical, the first problem is that not all mold spores are viable and the spores that grow (cultured) are only a small portion of the total airborne old spore count. Viable tesing (petri dish) is used to determine the actual species of the mold and used in conjunction with air sampling that is taken in a cassette to establish the total airborne spore counts. Viable type tests must be shipped cold and be sent overnight for valid analysis.
Another problem is that when performing mold testing, all of the samples must be of the same volume or size. Professionals use an air pump for a set time period so each sample can be compared equally for the same type of molds and quantity's of mold spores.
Mold testing starts with taking an outside air sample to establish a baseline or normal environment, and then samples are taken of suspect areas/rooms, of the interior. Along with the air samples, additional samples may be taken with swabs, tape lifts, or vacuum cassettes to determine a settled mold spore count or what is a history of mold spores that have settled out of the air onto surfaces.
When using over the counter tests, even if a petri dish is placed outside, the air movement outside will be different than the air movement inside, so the volume will not be consistent. A baseline of the normal environment can not be correctly established so any sample taken of the interior will be bias or in-valid, and not all airborne mold spores will be determined.
The companies that sell these home kits have a network of mold inspectors that they refer the public to after the home tests are analized. The lab often times send the results along with a letter stating there may be a problem or additional testing is recommended, and include a list of professionals in the area that are in their network of certified mold inspectors for that additional testing. Many times these professionals are home inspectors who do mold testing as a sideline to their inspection business, and have only had a two (2) day on-line training course.
Instead, always use a professional to start with. It will save time and money in the long run.
Jay Hoffman, Owner
Executive Pro-Dry