Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air Blog : Archive for December, 2014

Why Do We Hang Up Mistletoe?

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Of course, you probably know part of the answer to this question already. You hang up mistletoe so that the people standing underneath can share a romantic holiday kiss! But what you may not realize is that the origin of this longstanding ritual predates many of the other holiday traditions we celebrate today. Why would a plant that has many poisonous varieties (most types sold for use in the home have few negative effects, but you can wrap it in netting to prevent children from consuming any fallen berries or leaves) be used as a symbol of holiday affection?

There are a couple of ways to explain the positive associations of (potentially hazardous) mistletoe. For one, this semi-parasitic plant has long been hailed as a treatment for illnesses and pain. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it to cure cramps, epilepsy, and more. Even today, mistletoe extracts are one of the leading alternative medicines studied for their effectiveness in killing cancer cells. And because the early Celtic Druids saw it as a sign of healing and life, they may be the first to bestow upon the plant its romantic associations, deeming it worthy of treating the infertile.

But it is Norse mythology that is likely responsible for a majority of the modern traditions associated with this small hanging bunch. One of the powerful Norse god Odin’s sons, named Baldur, was said to be invincible due to an oath his mother took to protect him from harm. But Loki, a god who often set out to make trouble for the gods, set out to find the one thing that could do some damage, and eventually discovered that Baldur’s mother Frigg had never included mistletoe in her invincibility oath. When mistletoe was finally responsible for her son’s demise, the grieving Frigg vowed that the plant would never again be used to hurt another living thing, and that she would plant a peaceful kiss upon anyone who walked underneath it.

And that is one of the reasons that, today, kissing under the mistletoe is viewed as a source of good luck. From our family to yours, we wish you a safe holiday season, and we hope that you and your family are full of joy and good fortune—mistletoe or not! Happy holidays from Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air!

How to Know if the Capacitor in Your Furnace Is Damaged

Friday, December 19th, 2014

A lot of articles you’ll find on the topic of home heating talk about the actual heating parts of a furnace. The pilot light, the burners, the heat exchanger, etc. all get a pretty good amount of attention from both experts and homeowners. What isn’t often discussed, however, is that your furnace relies on electricity whether it is combustion-based or not. Without an electrical current, your furnace’s air handler would be unable to circulate air through your house and the whole machine would be pointless. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how one of the most important electrical parts in your furnace works. Then, we’ll discuss how you can identify issues with it.

The Capacitor

Every furnace contains an air handler, comprised of the fan, motor, and other parts necessary to circulate air through the ducts in a home. When the thermostat tells the furnace to start, the air handler starts at more or less the same time to actually distribute the heat the furnace produces. As the electric current runs into the air handler, the capacitor is the part responsible for actually closing the circuit and allowing the thing to start. Without the capacitor, therefore, the air handler would be unable to start.

Detecting Problems with the Capacitor

The easiest way to identify a problem with your furnace’s capacitor is to see if the fan starts blowing when you turn on the heat. If the capacitor is malfunctioning, the furnace will still turn on but the fan will not. There are variations on this issue, of course. If the fan seems to be turning on and off randomly at different times while the furnace is running, it’s a good sign that the capacitor is malfunctioning. Clicking sounds coming from the furnace are also a common sign of a failing capacitor, as well as a burning smell.

If you think you may have a problem with your capacitor, or with any other part of your furnace, call Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air. We provide furnace repairs throughout the Sacramento area.

What to Look for in a Heating Services Company

Friday, December 12th, 2014

When it’s the middle of winter, your heating system isn’t working, and your skin is turning blue from the cold, it can be tempting to just pick up the phone book and call the first HVAC company you find. That is rarely in your best interests, however. It always pays to do a little research on heating research companies before you hire one, and to have a set of expectations in mind that you want them to meet. Let’s examine some of the most important things to look for in a heating services company.

Scope of Service

The more knowledgeable your HVAC company is, the more likely it is that they will be able to solve any problems that may arise with your heating system. The easiest way to measure this across companies is to look at their scope of service. The more different services the company offers, the more they obviously know. No smart company would advertise a service that they did not have full confidence that they could perform. So, always look at how many different services a company offers when you are in the market for an HVAC company.

Good Reviews

When you’re looking online for an HVAC company, it pays to read their reviews. Some HVAC companies post reviews from their customers on their own website, which is a good sign. If their website doesn’t have any customer reviews on it, dig around a little and see if you can find any on other websites. Remember: customer reviews are from people who are, or should be, more or less unbiased. They’ve already used the service, and cared enough to write a review informing other people about it. Take advantage of this resource!

Responsiveness

Ultimately, you want to hire an HVAC company that puts you first as a customer. Call them up and explain your problem to them, then see how they react. Once you start interacting with the company, you can form a pretty good impression of how they treat their customers. If you like what you hear, go ahead and go with them.

If you need a great HVAC company, call Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air. We provide professional heating services throughout Sacramento.

5 Reasons to Call Your Local Plumber

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Your home’s plumbing system is one of the great amenities of the modern home. Talk to any old-timer and you’ll realize that life wasn’t always so easy. But despite the fact that today’s plumbing has never been more reliable, it’s nevertheless susceptible to problems just like any other part of the home. When professionally installed and maintained, such issues can be largely avoided, but you can’t prevent everything.

Here are 5 reasons to call your local plumber. It’s best to catch such problems before they get out of control.

  1. This is perhaps the most common problem that a plumbing system can have. Leaks can occur anywhere water is contained, and considering the network of supply and waste pipes that are installed in any given home, there are plenty of spots where leaks are probable. In general, you should keep an eye on water pressure levels, your utility bills, as well as signs of water damage such as staining on the floors and walls.
  2. The majority of plumbing systems encounter clogs at some point or another. They are prevalent in areas such as the shower drain where hair and soap scum build up, as well as in the kitchen drain where food scraps can easily get caught in the pipe.
  3. Overflowing toilet. This can be an unpleasant consequence of a deep clog within your drainpipe system, or just too much toilet paper. If you’ve tried to unclog the toilet by yourself, but are having difficulty doing so, then give your local plumber a call so that the job can be dealt with safely and thoroughly.
  4. Slow drains throughout the house. A system-wide issue with your drainpipes often stems from an issue with your sewer line. If you find that your drains are all slow or clogged, then you may need to have your sewer inspected by a video camera and possibly also cleaned, repaired or even replaced.
  5. Noisy water heater. A noisy water heater is often one that has too much sediment built up inside its tank, and this can lead to a number of problems in the future from a lack of hot water to premature replacement.

Call our plumbers today so that any such problems can be dealt with immediately. For professional plumbing services in Sacramento, call Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air.