slab leak signs

How to Tell if There Is a Slab Leak in Your Hanford, CA Home

You're relaxing in your home when you hear it: the sound of rushing water. You're not using your plumbing, so you jump up to find the source, but there are no obvious culprits. Your heart sinks as you realize what this might mean.

Slab leaks are a homeowner's worst nightmare. Unlike other issues, these nefarious leaks are hard to spot and even harder to control alone. Worse, if you don't catch one soon enough, you could end up spending thousands on structural repairs!

That's why knowing the common slab leak signs can be so crucial. By catching these plumbing leaks early, you can get fast repairs to preserve your home's structure. If you're not sure what to look for, read on for the most obvious warning signs.

High Water Bills

Water bills have been on the rise for a while, but this increase should be gradual. Though your water bills may fluctuate throughout the year, any unusual spikes should be a red flag.

If your bill has skyrocketed and you aren't sure why, there's likely a plumbing leak in your home. Because most serious leaks become obvious after you inspect common culprits in your kitchen or bathrooms, an unexplained leak may be an issue with your slab. When water is running 24 hours a day, you can bet your bills will suffer for it!

The cost of a slab leak can vary depending on the severity of the leak. However, even a minor leak costing just a few dollars more each month can cause serious damage over time.

Reduced Water Pressure

No one likes struggling with low water pressure, but this issue is more than a simple frustration. If your home's water pressure dips all of a sudden, all that water must be going somewhere.

When your slab starts to leak, you'll often have less water running through the pipes in your home. This may be more or less noticeable depending on how bad the leak is. Rule out common culprits behind low water pressure before seeking help for a slab leak.

Rushing Water

Sometimes, you can hear a slab leak long before you see the signs.

If you notice the sound of water running, even when you aren't using your plumbing at the moment, always investigate. Turn off water sources in your home, including water-guzzling appliances like the dishwasher or washing machine, and listen. If the rushing sounds don't stop, contact a plumber for help.

"Hot Spot" in the Floor

As you walk around your home, you probably don't think too much about the temperature of your floors. However, slab leaks can cause sudden and obvious "hot spots" that feel warmer than the rest of your flooring. The temperature change is most obvious on solid floors such as laminate or linoleum.

These warmer areas can happen when a slab leak is present in your hot water line. As water leaks, it heats your flooring in a single area.

Calling an expert plumbing contractor right away is crucial if you want to preserve your floors!

Warped, Wet, or Damaged Floors

If you're unlucky, a leak in your water lines will seep far enough to the surface that it affects your flooring.

Certain types of flooring are more prone to damage than others. Organic flooring materials (such as wood) will often start to bend, buckle, or darken sooner than synthetic floors. With linoleum and laminate flooring, the surface may begin to warp. You might also notice damp or even wet floors, especially with carpets.

Moldy, Mildewed, or Damp Odors

Foul scents are among the most common signs that you have plumbing problems, and that's true with slab leaks as well.

As water accumulates under your home, all the moisture gets trapped in place. Worse, it often infiltrates your flooring.

That moisture creates an open invitation for mildew and mold growth. These can create musty or damp smells in the areas most affected by the leak.

Mold spores spread fast, creeping through your flooring and into your walls. Even worse, this nuisance is awful for your household's health, causing a slew of common symptoms that wreak havoc on your respiratory system.

Rapid Plumbing Issues

Everyone needs a professional plumber now and then, but you shouldn't have to keep one on speed dial! If you're calling your local plumber for back-to-back appointments to address leaks, it should be a sign that something else is going on.

An expert plumbing contractor should realize that your slab is the hidden culprit, but you should know the warning signs if they miss them. Stopped-up tubs, toilet backups and clogs, and other plumbing issues that recur may indicate that water is seeping upward fast.

Cracks and Buckling

If your slab leak goes on for long enough without plumbing repair, it may start to affect the structure of your home.

As it gets into your flooring and even into your walls, you'll see signs of water damage in your home's materials. This may include cracked walls and buckling or sagging floors. You may also notice bubbling paint.

Pooling Water

If you notice water pooling on your bathroom floor when no one's taken a recent shower, take it as a warning sign. This is especially true if there's no sign of an indoor leak elsewhere.

Watch for water pooling outdoors as well. If you haven't had any rain in recent days, there's no reason why puddles should be forming in your backyard, especially in the areas nearest your home.

Know the Common Slab Leak Signs

No one wants to deal with the hassle and expense of a slab leak, but catching one early can save you a lot of headaches. By knowing the common slab leak signs, you'll be better poised to seek plumbing solutions sooner rather than later. Sometimes, fast action can save you hundreds or thousands!

If you've noticed any of the signs above, it's time to call the experts at Comfort Now. Our experienced plumbing contractors offer fast and reliable service throughout the Hanford, Visalia, and Porterville areas and beyond. To diagnose your issue and get speedy slab leak repairs, contact us today.

furnace filter merv rating

Clean Air in Porterville, CA: Why a Furnace Filter MERV Rating Matters

Car exhaust, smokestacks, and smog are likely some of the first things you picture when you hear the words "air pollution." However, what if we told you you're way more likely to experience pollution within the walls of your own home?

According to the EPA, concentrations of indoor pollutants can be 2-5 times higher than they are outdoors. Since we spend an average of 90% of our time inside, this can be terrible for our health!

That's where your filter comes in. Your furnace filter MERV rating tells you how well your system will capture airborne particles that pass through your home.

Unfortunately, the number scrawled on the side of the filter frame isn't always easy to understand. How do you know which rating is best for your air quality? Do you need a HEPA filter, too?

We've got you covered. Here's what you should know about choosing the right furnace filter for your home.

Basics of MERV Ratings

When you buy a filter, you'll see the MERV rating printed as a number on the side. If you can't find the rating, your filter likely has the lowest-quality MERV rating.

MERV stands for "Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value." Designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) back in the 80s, the rating system evaluates how well an air filter performs.

You'll find MERV filters with ratings that run from 1-20. Each numerical rating lists a minimum amount of particles that the filter must be able to capture.

Lower-rated filters capture fewer particles. Higher-rated filters capture more. Because of this, you might consider choosing your filter a no-brainer: why not pick a filter with the highest possible rating?

Not so fast!

The more particles a filter can capture, the more reduced your airflow becomes. With the highest-rated MERV filters, your system may struggle to circulate air. This can put a serious strain on your furnace.

In other words, finding the right filter is always about balancing particle capture against efficiency.

Furnace Filter MERV Rating Guide

Every home is different, and you might prefer a higher or lower MERV rating based on your household makeup. This quick guide can help you navigate the rating system:

1-5 MERV Rating

For most households, we don't recommend choosing a furnace filter with a MERV rating below 5.

These lower ratings don't block particles smaller than lint, sanding dust, and carpet fibers. In other words, they allow the bulk of other airborne contaminants to circulate in your home.

6-8 MERV Rating

In general, we recommend that most homeowners start with a MERV rating of 6-8.

These filters will block out common pollutants like dust, pollen, dust mites, and even certain kinds of mold spores. For the average residential home, this option is a great balance between indoor air quality, comfort, and furnace efficiency.

9-13 MERV Rating

If anyone in your household has respiratory conditions, a better filter may be ideal.

Choosing a furnace filter with a MERV rating of 9-13 can help reduce common allergy symptoms. It will also trap fine dust, pet dander, smog, and smaller mold spores at the cost of slightly lower furnace efficiency.

14+ MERV Rating

We don't recommend choosing a MERV filter above 13 for most Porterville homes. At these high levels, these filters become overkill.

Higher MERV filters are common in commercial buildings and hospitals. This is because they block airborne threats like smoke, bacteria, and even viruses like COVID-19. They're great for industrial equipment, but they're not ideal for your home furnace!

If you feel you need a higher-rated filter, speak to a reputable HVAC company about options and alternatives.

Additional Factors to Consider

Keep in mind that not all systems are capable of handling higher-rated MERV filters.

If you have an aging furnace, a filter of 13 or higher could cause serious damage over time. You may even overwork the system to the point of a breakdown.

Always check your owner's manual, which should list the maximum recommended MERV rating. If needed, talk to a heating service professional about upgrading your system or finding a MERV rating that will work for an older unit.

In addition, maintaining a clean air HVAC filter is even more important with moderate to high MERV ratings, no matter the age of your filter. As a higher-rated MERV filter collects more contaminants faster, the buildup of debris can strain your system.

To make airflow easier, check and change your filter at least once every 90 days, depending on your household makeup. Periodic cleaning of your system helps as well.

What About HEPA Filters?

To add to the complexity of choosing an air filter, there's another design standard you can opt into: HEPA filters.

HEPA stands for "high-efficiency particulate air." These filters always have a MERV rating of 17 or higher.

In addition, HEPA filters can remove up to 99.97% of all airborne particles larger than 0.3 microns. If you're concerned about your indoor air quality or anyone in your home has severe respiratory conditions, these filters are hard to beat.

It may be possible to find and buy a commercial-grade HEPA filter for your furnace, but you'll run into the same problems we've mentioned above. Because these filters are so good at catching contaminants, they also create high air resistance. This can be tough on your furnace.

For that reason, we recommend choosing a separate air purifier or vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. These systems trap airborne particles without reducing your system's energy efficiency.

Get More Out of Your Furnace Filter

Your filter is a crucial part of your furnace, shielding your system from debris while improving your air quality. That's why it's so important to find the right furnace filter MERV rating! Use the tips above to find a filter that balances your system's and household's needs, allowing you to enjoy cleaner air and a longer-lasting furnace.

If you're struggling to choose or replace a furnace filter for your home, Comfort Now is here to help. Our team serves homes throughout the Hanford, Visalia, Portersville, and beyond. 

Boost your indoor air quality and preserve your home's comfort with a free system evaluation! Contact us to learn more.

air ducts

Signs Your Air Ducts Need Repair: A Hanford, CA Homeowners Checklist

Around 90% of U.S. households use air conditioning. While an HVAC system can be a great asset in the winter and summer, it needs to be taken care of to do its job right. 

If you have an air conditioning system, there may come a time when you need air duct repair. Damaged air ducts can lead to poor airflow and efficiency and need to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Fortunately, we're here to help. In this Hanford, CA checklist, we'll list the top signs that your air ducts need repair. 

Loud Noises

Strange noises are a clear sign that something is wrong with your HVAC system. If you notice strange sounds, you'll want to get your system inspected by HVAC services in Hanford. You may need to make repairs to the air ducts to remedy the issue.

Common sounds that you may hear include bumping, clinking, and banging noises. Metallic sounds, big thumps, and grinding noises may indicate that certain parts in your system are bumping against one another and causing problems. 

Bad Smells

In addition to strange noises, strange smells can be indicative of ductwork problems as well. The smell of mold or mildew should alert you that there's a problem that needs to be checked out by a professional.

Remember that mold issues can lead to health problems. If you have it in your ductwork, then it could cause you or your family to have difficulty breathing. This is particularly true if you have asthma or a similar condition.

In addition to mold and mildew smells, also pay attention if you notice any other odd smells as well. Take if you notice a burning smell or a sweet scent, which could be indicative of a refrigerant leak.

A Buildup of Dirt and Dust

A visible cue that your air ducts aren't working correctly is if there is a large amount of dust building up on your air vents. If you see noticeable dust around the vents, it could mean that your air filter isn't working as it should or that other issues need to be dealt with.

The buildup of dust and contaminants can lead to further damage to your HVAC system and could lead to high energy bills. It may be time to clean your air ducts or replace your air filter to eliminate the problem.

Increased Utility Costs

Many things can lead to your energy bills going up unexpectedly. One of the most common issues is if your ductwork is not working as it should. If airflow has been restricted or if there are leaks in the ductwork, then this could cause your HVAC system to work harder than previously to heat or cool your home adequately.

If there are problems, you're likely wasting money on your utility bills each month. Getting your system checked out is a great idea and can allow you to ensure your system is working as efficiently as possible.

Inconsistent Temperatures

If there seem to be uneven temperatures throughout your home, it could be a sign that you need cooling and heating maintenance.

Take note if some areas of your home seem cold while others seem hot. Your HVAC system may not be distributing air correctly and there could be airflow restrictions that are causing problems. You'll want to hire a professional to look at your air ducts to get to the root of the issue.

Weak Airflow

If airflow seems particularly weak, then you may need to get your vents and air ducts checked out. Air should be coming out of your vents with some force, and if it's not, then it could mean that your ductworks are damaged in some way. 

You may discover that there is a hole in your ductwork or that there are other issues that are leading to weak airflow. It's also possible that an air filter or vent is dirty and not working as it should.

If you notice weak airflow in your home, you'll want to get to the bottom of the problem. You may find that your air ducts need repair. 

Pest Infestations

Another sign that you need air duct repair is if you notice pests in your home. Pests such as rats can end up chewing your ductwork and creating holes. Other types of pests can cause various types of damage as well.

It's also possible that pests will leave behind bacteria and droppings. These can cause health issues as they're pushed through the air vents in your home.

If you notice that you have a pest problem, you should have someone check out your HVAC system and air ducts to ensure that no damage has been done. In some cases, repairs will be needed.

High Humidity

Another sign that your air ducts need repair is if the humidity in your home has gone up. Your HVAC system should be working to eliminate some of the humidity in your home.

If it seems to be failing at this task, then it could be a sign that your HVAC system needs to be examined more closely. There could be a problem with your system air ducts or there could be another problem with the system such as with the evaporator coil. 

Consider calling a professional to take a look at your system. They can help you get an idea of whether the functioning of your HVAC system is to blame for the increase in humidity.

Signs Your Air Ducts Need Repair

There are many signs that your air ducts need repair in Hanford. Whether you notice strange noises, strange smells, uneven temperatures, high energy bills, or another sign of trouble, be sure to call a professional to get your air ducts checked out.

With 9 years of operation and many 5-star reviews, Comfort Now is here for all of your HVAC needs. Our HVAC company offers excellent customer service and is knowledgeable about common HVAC issues.

Do your air ducts need repair in Hanford, CA? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help meet your needs.

emergency water heater repair

Signs You Need Emergency Water Heater Repair in Visalia, CA

Picture this: you've had a long day, and there's nothing you're looking forward to more than the comfort of a hot shower or bath. Unfortunately, when you turn on the tap, you're greeted with something unexpected. Cold water, a nasty smell, or discolored water spills from the faucet instead of the clear hot water you were hoping for. 

Out of sight is often out of mind where our water heater is concerned, but these devices often give us a few warning signs when they need help. Emergency water heater repair can help fix minor issues before they snowball into major headaches, so it's crucial to know what to look for. Here are a few red flags to be aware of with your water heater.


A leaking water heater is the most obvious sign that emergency repair services should be in your future. Whether you've spotted water pooling beneath your system or a subtle drip, don't wait around! Investigating right away and contacting a pro where appropriate can help keep your system in good condition.

In some cases, leaks may happen due to a loose part you can tighten on your own. Condensation is another common culprit for false leaks, so wipe down the surface of your unit and see if the dripping stops.

If you can't locate or address the problem, find an expert to help right away. Even small leaks can cause substantial damage over time.

Fluctuating Temperatures

Your water heater has one job: delivering hot water to your home. If it's doing a shoddy job of it, you should always take it as a red flag. This is especially true if you can't get hot water even after you've adjusted the temperature on your unit, which should sit somewhere around 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Worse, water fluctuations can be more than a minor annoyance.

Sometimes, these fluctuations happen when mineral deposits accumulate in your tank. These deposits can wreak havoc on your system in more ways than one, and they can even damage your unit's heating element. That's why it's crucial to contact an expert whenever you notice that your water is not getting hot.

Strange Noises

Your water heater likely makes a few quiet sounds during its usual operation as the tank fills and the heating element dials up. However, if you notice anything odd that breaks up the typical pattern of water heater noises you're familiar with, it should be cause for alarm.

In many cases, strange noises from a water heater come from mineral deposits as well. As these deposits grow in size, they sometimes break into smaller chunks when water flows through your tank.

During your system's operation, these chunks can float around in your system, battering themselves against the sides of your unit. As you can likely guess, this isn't great for the interior of your water heater!

Rusty or Discolored Water

When you notice cloudy or rusty water flowing from your taps, it can come as a huge shock. You might even notice tiny, dark particles in the water as well. If this discoloration only happens when you're turning on the hot water but never cold, the problem most likely lies with your water heater.

Discoloration can happen for a few reasons. Sometimes, certain types of mineral deposits can cause discoloration in your system. If the water appears rusty, the pipes or other metal components of your system may be damaged.

This water may not be safe to drink, though it is unlikely to be otherwise hazardous to your health. Contact emergency repair services right away to figure out what's going on with your system.

Unpleasant Smells

The water flowing from your system should always be odorless. If you notice a strange smell, sometimes paired with cloudy water, you might be dealing with a bacterial infection somewhere in your system. The most common unwanted smell from water heater tanks is similar to a rotten egg, as sulfate bacteria are the most likely type to develop within a tank.

Sometimes, the easiest way to fix the issue is flushing your tank, a basic maintenance task you should tackle at least once a year. However, if this doesn't get rid of the smell, avoid using your water and call a technician. A repair expert can disinfect and clean the tank, giving you access to clean water again.

Low Water Pressure

Weak pressure from your water heater is never a good sign. If the water pressure seems fine for your cold water but not the hot water, your unit may be struggling to keep up with your needs.

This can sometimes happen when mineral deposits settle and calcify around the heating element in your system. In other cases, a faulty distribution line or shoddy installation may be to blame. Getting a water heater repair expert on the scene can help you troubleshoot the problem and get a steadier amount of pressure from your hot water taps.

Little Hot Water

If your household never seems to get as much hot water as it used to, something is likely wrong with your tank. As long as your system is appropriately sized for your home and the temperature settings are correct, you shouldn't run out of hot water from reasonable use.

Often, the problem lies with a malfunctioning heating element or burner. This can sometimes require a repair or a full water heater replacement, so work with your emergency repair technician to decide what your next steps should be.

Get Emergency Water Heater Repair Now

Whether you're dealing with weird sounds, struggling with your water pressure and temperature, or cringing at unpleasant smells, you don't have to suffer through hot water issues alone. Diagnosing and fixing the problem can be difficult without the right expertise, so contact a pro for immediate help.

When you're searching for trusted local experts for your emergency water heater repair, look no further than Comfort Now Heating and Air Conditioning! We're proud to serve homeowners throughout the Visalia area and offer 100% satisfaction guarantees on our workmanship. Contact us today to schedule your free plumbing inspection.

gas leak detection companies

4 Warning Signs There May Be a Gas Leak in Your Porterville, CA Home

Have you ever walked into your home and felt that something just wasn't right? That unsettling feeling could be a silent alarm for a potential danger lurking within the walls of your home: a gas leak. Gas leak detection companies play a crucial role in safeguarding households, but the first line of defense always starts with you.

Understanding the signs of a gas leak is not just about safety. It's about preserving the sanctuary that is your home. Think of your family, the gatherings in the living room, the laughter in the kitchen; all these cherished moments hinge on the security and safety of your environment.

Let's explore how you can detect the silent threats and take proactive steps to protect what matters most.

1. Unusual Smells

When it comes to a gas leak in your home, your nose might be your best detective. One of the most telltale signs is an unusual smell, something out of the ordinary that grabs your attention.

Natural gas is inherently odorless, but gas companies add a distinctive odor, similar to rotten eggs, to alert you in case of a leak. This safety measure can be a lifesaver.

Imagine walking into your kitchen and catching a whiff of this strong, sulfur-like odor. It's not something to ignore. This smell is an immediate red flag that indicates the potential presence of a gas leak.

Studies have shown that the human nose is quite sensitive to this additive which means even a small leak can be detected early. Homeowners should be vigilant, especially in older homes where gas lines may be more prone to wear and tear.

2. Hissing Sounds

Another key indicator of a gas leak is sound. Specifically, a hissing or whistling noise coming from your gas lines or appliances. This sound can be subtle, but it's a clear signal that gas is escaping from its intended path.

Often, this sound can be heard near gas appliances like stoves or heaters, or where the gas pipes enter your home.

This hissing noise is caused by the pressure of the gas escaping through a small opening or crack in the pipes or appliances. It's like the sound you hear when air escapes from a balloon, but in this case, it's gas, and the implications are far more serious.

Detecting a gas leak through sound requires a quiet environment. If you hear a hissing noise near any gas-powered appliance or suspect a leak, it's important to act quickly.

Don't try to fix it yourself, as this could be dangerous. Instead, turn off the gas supply if possible and call a professional. Remember, detecting a gas leak promptly can prevent a small issue from turning into a dangerous situation.

3. Physical Symptoms

When natural gas, especially carbon monoxide, leaks into your living space, it can cause a range of physical symptoms in those exposed. Recognizing these symptoms early can be a lifesaver.

One of the most immediate and noticeable symptoms is a persistent headache. Unlike normal headaches, these often worsen when you're at home and improve when you leave, signaling that something in the home environment is the cause.

Dizziness and nausea are other common symptoms, which, while easily dismissed as signs of fatigue or a minor illness, may indicate prolonged exposure to gas.

Fatigue or a general feeling of tiredness, particularly after spending time near gas appliances, should also raise alarms. This fatigue often feels different from regular tiredness; it can be overwhelming and unexplained.

Exposure to low levels of natural gas can result in flu-like symptoms, including body aches and a feeling of lethargy, which might not immediately connect to a gas leak in your mind.

More severe symptoms include difficulty breathing or chest tightness, which are particularly alarming signs. These symptoms indicate that the gas concentration in the air might be reaching dangerous levels. In extreme cases, prolonged exposure can lead to unconsciousness or worse, so taking these symptoms seriously is crucial.

Children, elderly individuals, and pets may show symptoms first or more severely, given their sensitivity to environmental changes. In homes with infants, unexplained irritability or drowsiness could be a clue.

Pets might seem lethargic or have difficulty breathing. Keeping an eye on these vulnerable family members can provide early warning signs.

It's important to note that these symptoms can have other causes, but if they appear in conjunction with other signs of a gas leak, it's best to err on the side of caution.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emphasizes the importance of installing carbon monoxide detectors in homes as a precautionary measure. These detectors can provide an early warning before physical symptoms become apparent.

4. Visible Signs on Appliances

Visible signs on your appliances can be key indicators in fixing a gas leak. One of the most evident signs is a blue flame turning orange or yellow on a gas stove.

Gas appliances are designed to burn gas completely, producing a blue flame. An orange or yellow flame suggests incomplete combustion, potentially signaling a gas leak.

Moreover, soot or black marks around appliances are clear warnings. These marks often appear on the outside of a gas stove, heater, or boiler. They are caused by the incomplete burning of gas which indicates that the appliance is not functioning properly.

Another visible sign to watch out for is excessive condensation on windows or walls near the appliance, more than what's typical in a normal household environment.

It's also vital to inspect the external components of your gas appliances. Look for signs of damage or wear and tear on gas hoses and connections. Cracks, holes, or loose fittings can be the primary causes of gas leaks.

Secure Your Sanctuary

In Porterville, the safety of your home hinges on recognizing gas leak signs, and here's where gas leak detection companies like Comfort Now step in. We bring expertise and diligence to every inspection to ensure your home remains a safe haven.

Our team is equipped to handle the nuances of detecting and fixing gas leaks, offering peace of mind and protection. If you suspect a gas leak, don't hesitate. Reach out to Comfort Now for thorough and reliable detection services. Together, let's keep your home secure and your loved ones safe.

heating repair

How to Know You Need Heating Repair in Visalia, CA

California is known for having a fairly warm climate, but you'll still want to be prepared for those colder winter months. A home heating system will ensure you and your family are comfortable when the temperatures drop, but only if it's working correctly.

Even a well-maintained heating system will experience issues. Wear and tear take a toll and parts fail. There will be times when you need the services of a professional heating repair company, but how do you know when this is?

In this guide, we'll cover some of the tell-tale signs that you need heating maintenance in Visalia, CA. Keep reading for more.

Unusual Noises

Most heating systems make some noise when they're functioning properly, but you'll quickly get used to these. At some point, however, you may start to notice different noises, and this could be a bad sign.

Banging, clanking, or screeching noises might happen if there's something wrong with your system. Various parts can cause this, and it may be tricky to know exactly what's wrong.

A professional heating maintenance technician should be able to identify the problem and deal with it. In most cases, you won't experience a complete failure as long as you deal with the issue quickly.

Bad Smells

You may notice a slight smell when you first turn on your furnace. This is probably just dust burning off the ducts and it's nothing to worry about as it should fade within a few hours.

If there's a smell that doesn't go away, however, then there might be another issue. For example, there could be a broken mechanical part that gives off a smell similar to burning rubber or plastic.

Sometimes a smell can come from dirt and debris getting caught in the filter. Changing the air filter may eliminate the smell, so try this first.

If a smell persists, don't ignore it. This is a clear sign that something is't right. Contact a professional as soon as you can to take a look at your system.

Uneven Heating

A working furnace should be able to heat your home evenly. If there are cold spots in your home, then there's likely an issue.

You may move from one room to another and notice a sizable temperature change. There are several issues that can cause this.

The first is a faulty thermostat. You may need to adjust the settings or replace it with a new one. Fortunately, you can do this without replacing the entire system so it's a fairly simple repair job.

A clogged filter may also cause uneven heating, so replacing this could be the solution. You can do this yourself and it won't cost too much.

If neither of these work then there's likely a larger issue such as a damaged heating element. You'll want to contact professional heating services to investigate and find out what the problem is.

Unusually High Energy Bills

During the winter, it's normal to experience higher bills due to increased energy use. Heating bills always seem to be on the rise too, so your bills this year may be slightly higher than they were last year.

With that in mind, there shouldn't be a huge increase. If you notice a sudden spike in your utility bills, a faulty furnace could be the reason.

In many cases, a furnace that isn't functioning properly will become noticeably less efficient. It will need to use more energy to heat your home. As a result, your energy bills will go up quite a lot even if you aren't increasing your usage.

You should contact a heating repair company as soon as you can. The longer you leave it without doing anything, the more you'll spend on these excessive bills.

Reduced Air Quality

This isn't something you can see, so it may be difficult to detect, but you can still notice it. Some heating system issues can cause the air in a home to get stuffy or hazy, making it less comfortable.

A flawed furnace could circulate contaminants like allergens, dust, and mildew spores. These can present a health risk, and you and your family might experience respiratory issues as a result.

Changing the filter is a good idea when this happens. It can cause such issues if it's damaged or clogged. You should regularly check your filter to avoid this.

The problem could be more than just the filter, however. In this case, a professional will be able to examine your system and diagnose the issue. This is something you want to deal with immediately as it can negatively impact the health of your family.

Frequent Repairs

As a furnace gets older, parts will fail more frequently and it will experience more issues. It may get to a point where repairs are needed very often, and this will be costing you a lot of money.

A new furnace will experience far fewer issues. While there will be an initial investment, it may be well worth it.

The money you're spending on repairs could be excessive, and it will be struggling to keep up with your needs. On top of being more reliable, a new heating system will be more efficient, so you'll also start saving money on your energy bills.

You Have to Constantly Adjust Your Thermostat

When you set your thermostat, your heating system should keep your home at a stable temperature. It might struggle to do this if there's something wrong.

You may find that you have to keep adjusting the thermostat to keep your home comfortable. This is a sign that there's something wrong, but it can be difficult to know what. Contact a professional so they can investigate and figure out the issue.

Professional Heating Repair in Visalia, CA

If your heating system is doing anything it shouldn't or isn't functioning properly, you'll need to have a professional take a look. A qualified heating repair company will be able to tell you what the issue is and suggest the best fix.

Comfort Now is a professional air, plumbing, and heating company in Visalia, CA. We provide Visalia heating services and offer a 12-month no-breakdown guarantee. Check out our heating services page to find out more about how we can help.

air conditioner cleaning service

Understanding the Duct Cleaning Process: What to Expect in Winter in Portersville, CA

Has the sound of someone sniffling or sneezing in bouts become more common in your home? Have you noticed your nose curls up whenever your HVAC system turns on? And do these things stop happening once you leave the house? 

If so, you probably need duct cleaning. It's even more likely if you haven't had this heating and air conditioner cleaning service done for years. By now, your HVAC ducts may already have significant dirt, dust, and debris build-up.

After filtration, the air flowing through the system can pick up those particles. This can lead to poor indoor air quality (IAQ), which can cause or contribute to lung diseases. That includes infections, allergies, and asthma.

All that should be enough reason to consider investing in duct cleaning.

But what exactly happens on the day of this HVAC maintenance service? This guide explains it in more detail, so please read on. 

Confirm the Appointment With a Call

After booking your appointment with a professional HVAC service provider, expect a call from them on the day of your service. They'll call you 30 to 60 minutes before your scheduled slot to confirm they'll arrive on time. 

Once the uniformed technicians arrive, they'll park their service vehicle as close to your house as possible. This way, their high-tech cleaning equipment, including vacuum hoses, can reach your ducts. 

Explain the Process

Before the technicians start, they'll discuss the process and its steps with you. They'll also warn you about the sounds their machines can make, which can be loud. They'll likely recommend wearing ear muffs if you must be near the work area.

You can also ask them questions about your heating and air conditioning system. It's also wise to tell them about other HVAC problems in your Portersville home.

Thoroughly Inspect the Ducts

After happily answering your questions, the technicians will then inspect your ducts. They'll ask you to take them to every vented room in your Portersville home. This will help them map out their cleaning course. 

They'll look for and document duct damage, such as leaks, kinks, or torn insulation. You might also want to take before photos to see the difference after the service.

If the damages are only minor, the technicians will fix them. But if they're severe, they may recommend air duct repair.

Air leaks can make your heating and cooling bills jump by hundreds of dollars yearly. So, sealing them up and insulating your ducts are among the best ways to cut energy costs. 

Prep the Ducts for Vacuuming

The technicians will now prepare your ducts for cleaning, starting with surface protection. They'll place drop clothes on the floor and use corner guards for the walls. 

Next, they'll run the vacuum hose from their service vehicle to the main trunk line. They'll also gather the compressor hose and all the tools they need. They'll then seal off all your registers and vents. 

The technicians will also cut access holes in the ductwork. They'll connect the vacuum hose to these openings. Finally, they'll hook the powerful vacuum to the trunk line. 

Vacuum the Ducts Vent by Vent

With everything all hooked up, the technicians will turn on their high-tech equipment. They'll use compressed air to agitate, blow debris off, and remove allergens from the ducts. They'll then use their high-powered suction machines to clear the dislodged particles.

They'll do those steps one vent at a time.

You can also expect the pros to take before and after photos of each area they clean. This allows them to confirm that they've thoroughly cleaned the ducts. They'll also show you the pictures once they've completed the job. 

Disinfect the Ducts

Airborne pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and molds can flow within HVAC ducts. Some can settle on the ductwork's interior surfaces, while others can mix with your indoor air. Either way, they can contribute to poor IAQ and potential illnesses.

Many germs love moisture, so high indoor humidity problems can compound the problem.

Fortunately, heating, ventilation, and air conditioner cleaning service providers can disinfect your system. You can request them to include it in the duct cleaning process.

The disinfectants can help kill or inactivate common germs, molds, and mildew. They're also effective at neutralizing foul odors affecting your ducts. 

Clean Other Parts of Your System

After the ducts, the technicians will clean other parts of your HVAC system. This often includes the evaporator coil, blower, and drain pan.

If your air filters are dirty, the technicians will replace them if you have new ones available. If not, the technicians may offer compatible replacements that you can buy from them. 

Seal the Holes

Next, the technicians will close all the holes they've cut in your ductwork. They'll seal these openings with high-quality, durable plugs and sheet metal. They'll also reopen the registers and vents they closed.

They'll then run the HVAC system and test it for air leaks to ensure they've closed all the holes.

Clean the Work Area

After the main cleaning job, the technicians will clean up the work site. They'll carefully remove the wall protectors and drop sheets they've used. They'll also sweep the areas they've worked in and put things they've moved (e.g., furniture) back in their place.

Review the Job With You

The technicians will go over everything they've done. They'll prove this by showing you the before and after photos they took.

The technicians will also tell about HVAC problems they found during their inspection. For example, they may have seen your AC pan leaking because it's severely cracked or corroded. In this case, they'll recommend you have it replaced ASAP. 

Schedule Your Heater and Air Conditioner Cleaning Service Today

If you haven't had your ductwork cleaned for years, now's the time to show it some TLC, considering its crucial roles in your home's comfort and IAQ. The pre-cleaning inspection can also reveal issues the HVAC technicians can fix pronto.

So, why not schedule your ductwork, heater, and air conditioner cleaning service with us at Comfort Now? We've been in business for over a decade, providing high-quality HVAC services to Portersville, CA, and the surrounding areas.

Call, message, or chat with us today! We'll happily clean your ductwork ASAP.

toilet keeps clogging

What Should You Do if Your Toilet Keeps Clogging in Hanford, CA?

If your toilet keeps clogging, it can transform a serene home in Hanford into a scene of chaos. It's a problem that seems to have both residents and their plumbing in a twist.

In this article, we're going to decode the mess of clogged pipes, exploring the labyrinth that leads to these plumbing predicaments. Within these paragraphs lies a map to navigate the murky waters of toilet clogs - identifying the common causes, home remedies, and the times when a professional should take the wheel.

With practical advice and no-nonsense tips, we're here to guide you back to smooth sailing in the bathroom. Keep reading as we plunge into the solutions and ensure your toilet troubles are washed away for good.

Common Reasons Your Toilet Keeps Clogging

Before we can solve the mystery of the clogged toilet, we've got to meet the usual suspects. In Hanford's homes, several covert operatives can turn a functional toilet into a frustrating fiasco.

The Low-Flow Dilemma

In an effort to conserve water, low-flow toilets became popular. Yet, sometimes they lack the necessary force to clear the pipes, making them a common catalyst for clogging.

Unseen Obstructions

Not all blockages make a grand entrance. Many lurk out of sight, accumulating over time, setting the stage for a sudden clog when you least expect it.

Flushing No-Nos

Everyday items are often mistaken for flushable, when in reality, they're a ticket to Clogsville. Wet wipes, hygiene products, and even certain types of tissue can lead to stubborn blockages.

Pipe Problems

Lastly, we must consider the pipes themselves. Old or poor plumbing installation can have rough interiors or misaligned sections where waste catches and builds up, disrupting the flow and causing repeat clogs.

DIY Declogging: A Step-by-Step Guide

Facing a clogged toilet doesn't always mean a call to the plumber. There are effective DIY methods to tackle this common household problem. The right approach can clear up the issue and get your toilet back in working order.

The Plunger Protocol

The classic plunger remains your first go-to tool. To use it effectively, cover the drain hole completely to create a tight seal. With a firm grip, pump the plunger with strong and steady thrusts to dislodge the clog. Persistence here often pays off.

Homemade Solutions

Sometimes, a gentle nudge is all a stubborn clog needs. Baking soda followed by vinegar can create a fizzy reaction that helps break down the blockage. Let it sit and finish with hot water to clear away the remnants. 

The Power of Dish Soap

A surprising ally, dish soap can lubricate the pipes and help ease the clog through. Pour a generous amount into the bowl, let it sit to break down fats and greases, then follow up with hot water.

Maintenance Flushing

Regular preventative flushing with just hot water can maintain a clear path, reducing the chance of clogs forming. This is especially effective for toilets that aren't used frequently, as standing water can lead to sediment buildup.

By incorporating these simple techniques into your routine, you can often resolve common clogging issues and maintain a well-functioning toilet without professional intervention. However, for persistent or recurrent problems, seeking professional help is advisable.

Seeking Professional Help

Sometimes, a plunger and home remedies just won't cut it. When you've tried every trick in the book and the water still rises ominously, it's time to call in the professionals.

Persistent Problems

Repeated clogs signal a deeper issue that DIY methods cannot fix. If you find yourself plunging more often than not, a professional plumbing contractor should inspect your plumbing system to diagnose the underlying cause.

Expert Evaluation

Professional plumbers bring a wealth of knowledge and diagnostic tools to peer into the hidden world of pipes. They can quickly determine whether the problem is a simple fix or something more serious, like sewer line issues.

Specialized Solutions

Plumbers have access to powerful tools like motorized drain augers, hydro jetting machines, and video inspection equipment. These tools allow for a more thorough and long-lasting fix than the average plunger or drain snake can provide.

The Cost-Benefit Analysis

It may seem cost-effective to handle it yourself, but frequent clogs can lead to bigger, more expensive problems. Investing in professional plumbing services can save money in the long run by preventing major repairs caused by ongoing issues.

Plus, most professionals offer guarantees, providing peace of mind that the problem is truly solved.

Maintaining a Clog-Free Toilet

Preventing clogs is more rewarding and less hassle than fixing them. With some foresight and routine actions, keeping a clear and functional toilet becomes second nature.

Routine Checks

Regular inspections of your toilet can head off problems before they escalate. Look for slow drains, listen for unusual noises, and monitor for changes in flushing performance to catch issues early.

Smart Flushing Habits

What you flush matters. Stick to human waste and toilet paper-nothing else. Even products labeled as "flushable" can cause backups. Educating everyone in the household on these best practices is essential.

The Right Tools for the Job

Keep a plunger and a toilet auger on hand. These tools are your first line of defense against developing clogs, allowing for quick responses to slow drainage or minor blockages.

Professional Preventive Maintenance

Annual inspections by a plumbing professional can prevent emergencies. They can spot potential problems, perform routine maintenance, and provide advice on keeping your system running smoothly.

It's an investment that pays off by avoiding the inconvenience and expense of clogs.

Clear Pipes, Peace of Mind

Addressing a toilet that keeps clogging can be straightforward. We've navigated through the causes, provided hands-on solutions, and recognized when to seek expert intervention. Regular maintenance and being mindful of what goes down the toilet can prevent most clogging issues.

For those in Hanford, CA, struggling with recurrent plumbing woes, Comfort Now offers expertise and unwavering commitment to your home's comfort. Since 2011, we've set the standard for exceptional service, ensuring that every local plumber we send is the best for the job, backed by continuous training.

When plumbing troubles go beyond the plunger, reach out to Comfort Now where your peace of mind is our utmost priority.

HVAC services

Why You Should Hire Professional HVAC Services in Hanford, CA

There's a good reason why the job outlook for HVAC positions is expected to rise by 6% over the next decade. We rely on these professionals to help keep our heating and cooling systems running efficiently.

However, there's no denying that it can sometimes be a pain to schedule an appointment for HVAC services in Hanford, CA. If a problem arises in your system, it can be tempting to try and solve it yourself.

Or, worse, ignore the problem entirely until it becomes catastrophic. We'll walk you through some of the reasons why you should consider hiring a professional HVAC service for your home.

Maintenance Can Keep Your System Running Properly

All too often, homeowners will wait until something is wrong with their HVAC system before calling a professional. This is a problem for multiple reasons.

First, if your HVAC system cuts out in the middle of summer or winter, it makes your living situation uncomfortable (or even dangerous). And you'll be stuck with no air or heating until a technician can get to you.

What's more, maintaining your HVAC equipment is much more affordable than fixing it. Fixing your system will often require the use of specialized parts that need to be ordered.

If it's bad enough, you will need to replace the entire system. When you schedule AC maintenance with an HVAC professional, it ensures that your system is running smoothly.

Your technician can also identify potential problems before they become an expensive AC repair. Best of all, it significantly improves the life of your HVAC system.

They Know How to Diagnose Problems

Diagnosing an HVAC problem can be incredibly challenging without the help of a professional. Oftentimes, you're only going off of sounds, smells, and sights to identify the issue.

If you aren't trained in HVAC services, it's not likely you'll be able to diagnose the problem, let alone fix it yourself. Luckily, professional HVAC services are familiar with all of the common problems that affect these types of systems.

As such, they can quickly figure out where the issue is coming from and then work with you to figure out the best long-term solution. That way, you aren't wasting hours of your time on troubleshooting websites.

It's Safer Than Doing It Yourself

If you consider yourself a handy individual around the house, you might be tempted to fix or maintain your HVAC system yourself. However, unless you have professional experience doing this, it's not a good idea.

A YouTube tutorial isn't going to teach you the ins and outs of your system. More often than not, you'll just end up making the problem worse. And that's not even considering the safety factor.

HVAC systems often use combustible gasses and electrical components to keep you warm and cool. If you go poking around where you shouldn't be, there's a huge chance you could damage yourself or the house.

It's estimated that there are nearly 1,000 deaths each year from electrical injuries.

A professional HVAC technician knows to stay safe while working on any problem related to your heating and cooling system in Hanford, California. That way, you don't become another statistic just because you want to go the DIY route.

It Can Prevent HVAC Emergencies

HVAC emergencies can range from minor inconveniences to life-threatening events. At best, your heating or cooling system might break down in the middle of winter or summer.

Being without air conditioning in the dead of summer can be downright dangerous. And, while we don't get intense winters here in California, there's no denying that being stuck without heat on a cold day is uncomfortable.

However, if your HVAC system experiences a catastrophic failure, it has the potential to destroy your property and even your life. Electrical fires can burn down whole houses before they're put out.

And leaking heat systems that use gas prevent carbon monoxide and fire hazards. A professional HVAC service ensures that known of these emergencies happen by keeping your system running nice and smooth.

Professional HVAC Services Can Make Upgrade Suggestions

There are constantly new technological advancements being made in the HVAC industry. Some of these advances can improve the functionality of your system.

Other ones can create smart home systems that respond intuitively to air or heat when someone enters a room. You shouldn't be expected to keep up with these HVAC trends.

However, a good professional will know all of the latest advances within the industry. That way, they can suggest any potential improvements you might be interested in. Of course, make sure to be careful around technicians who try to push this new technology on you.

How to Find the Best Professional HVAC Services in Hanford, CA

Hopefully, by now we've convinced you of the benefits of hiring a professional HVAC service. However, it's vital to remember that not all HVAC companies are created equally.

So how do you find a good one for your home? For starters, make sure to check out their online reviews. This will give you a better sense of how other clients were treated by the business.

Next, you want to make sure they're available 24/7. HVAC emergencies can strike at any time and often require immediate intervention. Plus, every minute without a functioning HVAC system can be miserable.

Lastly, you want to make sure the HVAC company offers the types of services you're looking for.

For example, here at Comfort Now we provide a wide assortment of different HVAC services depending on your needs. That way, you can get the help you need without calling around a million different companies.

Ready for the Heating and Cooling Your Home Deserves? Contact Comfort Now

We hope this guide helped convince you to hire professional HVAC services in Hanford, CA. Here at Comfort Now, we know that it can sometimes be frustrating to deal with an HVAC company.

Often, they overwhelm you with complicated industry jargon until you relent to whatever service they recommend.

That's why we prioritize clear communication for our Hanford, Visalia, and Portersville clients. So if you're ready to have all your HVAC questions answered in a way you can understand, contact us today.

plumbing contractor

Dealing with Hard Water Issues in Hanford, CA

These days, many of the foods and drinks we get at the grocery come fortified with vitamins and minerals. From breakfast cereal to eggs, these staples come packed with things like iron, calcium, and iodine, which help with common nutrient deficiencies.

However, there's one beverage you don't want to be fortified: your home's water! Around 85% of the country has this mineral-rich "hard water," and it's especially common in California.

Extra minerals in your water can cause lime buildups around faucets, excess soap scum in your shower, and irritated skin. It may even force you to call a plumbing contractor for appliance issues, repiping services, limescale in your water heater, and more.

If you have hard water in your Hanford home, finding ways to address it can save your household a lot of headaches. Here's what you should know about dealing with this common complaint.

Identify Hard Water

First, are you sure you have hard water?

You can buy a test kit, or you can do a quick DIY test at home with a clear glass or plastic water bottle with a cap. Fill a third of the bottle with water from the tap. Add a few drops of dish detergent, shake the bottle, and let it rest.

With soft water, soapy bubbles will fill much of the bottle. With hard water, you may only have a thin layer of foam. The water may also look hazy or pale.

Lower Your Water Temperature

Warmer water is more likely to cause mineral buildup and hard water stains.

Minerals separate more easily at higher temperatures, allowing them to clump together and create dense calcium buildups. This is why manufacturers often recommend setting your water heater's temperature to no higher than 120 degrees. If you don't mind using an even lower setting for your home's water, this may be even better for your tank.

If your household has hard water, it's even more important to perform basic plumbing maintenance on your water heater. Experts recommend flushing a water heater at least once every six months, but you should do this more often if you have harder water. Skipping this task can lead to plumbing leaks and even a premature tank failure.

If you don't feel comfortable flushing your tank alone, find a local plumber who can help.

Use Vinegar for Cleaning

Most hard water is heavy with calcium. This mineral reacts with the chemical content of soap and shampoo to create a solid residue on drains, tiles, or showers. It may also build up on your hair or skin.

To deal with soap scum, grab some distilled vinegar from your pantry. The acidic makeup of vinegar helps to dissolve calcium deposits, and it also helps address bacteria, germs, and even mold.

Soak a cloth with warm vinegar and use it in your daily cleaning. To remove any lingering calcium scale on faucets, pour vinegar into a Ziploc bag and tie it over the faucet to let it sit for a while. You can also pour vinegar into a container and let any items with built-up soap scum soak.

You can also use vinegar to treat hard water issues in your appliances.

Running vinegar through your coffee maker, for example, can clean areas out of reach while keeping minerals out of your morning coffee. Adding some to the laundry in your washing machine can help remove any set-in deposits within.

Placing a bowl of white vinegar onto the top rack of your dishwasher can help as well, though you'll also want to scrub the sprayer nozzles with vinegar by hand. Supplementing this with rinse aid in the dishwasher dispenser can also help combat hard water stains.

Buy Specialty Soap and Shampoo

Vinegar may be great at breaking down the residue of hard water, but you likely won't want to use vinegar on yourself!

Instead, consider grabbing specialty soaps and shampoos that are formulated for hard water. Often called "clarifying" products, these products tackle your mineral buildups and revive lifeless hair and dry skin. You'll also notice that they create more suds, unlike the soap you used in the DIY hard water test above.

Add Washing Soda to Your Laundry

Washing soda, not to be confused with baking soda, can help you tackle hard water in your laundry. This powder contains carbonic acid salt, or sodium carbonate, which can help remove calcium and magnesium in hard water.

This makes it easier for your laundry soaps to create a good lather, resulting in cleaner clothes without the mineral deposits.

Consider a Water Softener

The techniques above can help you deal with hard water, but you'll have to put in a lot of regular effort. Cleaning soap scum, monitoring your plumbing and appliances, and buying special skincare products requires you to invest ongoing time and money!

Instead, consider getting a comprehensive water purification via a softener.

You can get water softeners for a single sink or faucet, or you can choose a whole-house device that tackles your hard water the second it reaches your main water supply line. While these solutions will cost more than the tips above, they're permanent fixes that get rid of the problem throughout your home.

Getting a water softener is also the only way to prevent early appliance failures or the need for repiping services due to mineral buildups.

In addition to addressing water hardness, water purification can help remove impurities, contaminants, and harmful substances from your home's water. Our team of expert plumbing contractors can help you find a system tailored to your household's needs.

Call a Plumbing Contractor Today

Hard water can wreak havoc on the plumbing and appliances throughout your home, and dealing with it can be a nightmare. Though the steps above can help you stay afloat, you don't have to address this issue alone!

A plumbing contractor from Comfort Now can help you get rid of hard water for good while addressing any issues this nuisance has caused. From new plumbing installation to water heater repair to drain cleaning, we tackle it all! To learn about our hard water solutions, contact us today at (559) 205-7928.