5 Tips for Faster – But Still Effective – Household Cleaning!

We all spend more time cleaning than we want to, and when you add in work, dinner, homework, and afterschool activities, life gets down right messy and, way too often, dirty.

And yet the trick to maintaining a clean and organized home is not to work harder, but smarter. Not quite sold on that idea?  Well, check out these five proven effective cleaning shortcuts, and soon you might be whistling while you work (around the house) too!

  1. blogBreak up the tasks: Instead of writing “clean kitchen” on your to-do list, break up the task into smaller steps. For example: “Empty dishwasher,” “wipe down stove top,” “clean the microwave,” and “sweep floor”. This not only gives you a greater sense of accomplishment as you complete each task, but also makes it easier for others in the house to help out. When you write out each step your expectations are clear to everyone, and can easily be delegated to others.
  1. Keep cleaning tools handy: Quick cleaning becomes more doable when you don’t have to walk all over your house for supplies. Instead, keep cleaning supplies handy for each task.  For example, while the kids are in the bath, grab the cleaner under the sink and give everything a quick spray. While you’re waiting for water to boil on the stove, grab a sponge and wipe down the counter.
  1. Use a basket: Ever start cleaning the living room, find a pair of shoes that belong in a bedroom, and end up cleaning the bedroom instead? Try using the basket trick! As you clean up the room, place all the items belonging to one family member inside its own dedicated basket.  Then it’s their job to return the basket and its contents to their rightful places while you stay focused on, in this case, the living room.
  1. Clean as you go: Most people save deep cleaning for when company is coming, holidays, or spring cleaning. By then the to do list is long, overwhelming, and only adds to the stress level around the house. It’s much easier to clean regularly when the opportunity arises. Are you already on your belly looking for a lost toy under the couch? Grab the broom, and sweep under the floor while you’re there. Only use your food processor or other small appliance a few times a year? Be sure that it returns to the closet with the cord wiped down, and all parts cleaned.
  1. Make it fun: Put on music and make house cleaning a game! A great clean up game for kids is to make a race to put away everything in their respective piles the fastest. That’s less work for you, and they’re having so much fun they don’t even realize they’re helping out.  Talk about the ultimate win-win.

More frequent and organized cleaning also leads to faster detection of plumbing leaks.  Let’s say, for example, this is your designated week for vacuuming and dusting behind your refrigerator.  But once you pull it away from the wall, you notice a small pool of water.  Or maybe black mold spots on the wall that were previously blocked by the fridge.  Those are two pretty clear signs of a water leak, and those need to be taken care of pronto to avoid further loss of water and even greater damage to your home.

Anytime you spot signs of water where there shouldn’t be any, contact Eagle Service Company for a fast response, expert leak detection, and the right remedial solution.  Eagle Service Company:  for all your home plumbing needs.

Enjoy the Flexibility of a Ductless Air System.

blogA ductless air system (heat pump) is a dual heating and cooling system that functions without the use of ducts.

Ductless systems have outside condensing units, just like central air systems.  But instead of pumping conditioned through air ducts, ductless units pump it directly to one or more wall-mounted blowers. A single ductless condensing unit, in fact, can support up to five such blowers.

How might ductless air serve your family’s home comfort needs?  Consider the following possibilities:

  • If your house doesn’t have air ducts and it’s not practical to add them, you can enjoy the all the benefits of central air with a ductless system, one that can also replace your present furnace or boiler.
  • If you already have central air but the system can reach every room in your home, a ductless system can prove to be the missing link.
  • Or, let’s say you’re planning to build an addition to your home and your current AC system can’t provide the added cooling capacity. Once again, a ductless air system can work hand-in-hand with your other home comfort system to help bridge the gap.

Here’s what else you enjoy with a new ductless air system:

  • Quiet operation since there are no potentially noisy air ducts needed to distribute the air.
  • Installation costs are typically lower for a whole-house system comparted to installing a whole-house central AC system air ducts and all.
  • Ease of maintenance.
  • Remote control operation.
  • If you’re thinking about purchasing a ductless system to replace window air conditioners, you’ll enjoy the added security ductless system provides – burglars cannot remove a ductless wall blower go gain indoor entry.

If you’re thinking about replacing your central AC system or adding central air for the first time, contact Eagle Service Company where we can help you explore the additional option of a ductless air system.  It’s definitely worth a closer look.

What to Do Before You Call a Plumber!

Murphy’s law tends to tell us that if something can break, it will, and usually at the worst possible time. Plumbing issues included.

And while your natural inclination might be to call a plumber as soon as signs of trouble rear their ugly heads, not so fast! There are a few things you can first to help prevent matters from becoming worse, and the repair solution costlier. Let’s have a look:

blog1. Locate the problem

If no one in your home is using any water, but you hear the sound of running water anyway, you very well could have a problem on your hands.  If you discover, for example, that a toilet is overflowing, turn off the toilet’s water valve.  If that proves to be too difficult for any reason, your next best move is to shut off your home’s water main valve.

2. Determine the extent of the problem

Is the problem one leaky faucet or has the issue – whatever it might be – spread to multiple areas?  Also, just how extensive is the damage?  Information is knowledge, and knowing what you’re facing will help you determine what to do next, and when.  If, for example, you have a leaky faucet that wakes you up in the middle of the night and you definitely want a plumber to to fix it for you, at least you’ll know you can defer that phone call to the following morning.

3. Talk to your water company

Is your plumbing problem the result of working in progress by your local water company?  If so, you should have been notified in advance.  Just to play it safe, give them a call or visit their website for information about what they’re working on and where.

4. Do your research

Unless you have a plumber you know and trust, take some time under calmer circumstances to locate and secure the services of a local plumber in advance.  That way, you’ll know exactly who to call if and when the need arises, and which local plumbers offer 24/7 emergency repairs.

Here at Eagle Service Company, we offer everything you could want and need from a professional plumbing resource, including round-the-clock emergency repair service.  Having a problem right now?  We’re ready to take your call and do whatever is necessary to make that problem disappear.

The Value of AC Preventative Maintenance.

blogEvery time you dive into a new air conditioning system without having preventative maintenance performed on your central AC system, you’re more or less asking for trouble.  Not on purpose, of course, but the end result is likely to be the same.

That’s because your AC system has a limited lifespan, but it’s one that can be stretched with proper care, the kind we provide here at Eagle Service Company.  In fact, with our multi-point AC and heating inspection, you have a great deal to look forward to, including:

  • Longer system lifespan
  • Fewer if any repairs
  • Reduced repair costs
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Consistent temperatures throughout your home
  • Added safety
  • Cleaner indoor air

All of which leads to your greater peace of mind.

What exactly does an AC inspection consist of?  Here are just some of the steps we employ on your behalf:

  • Check refrigerant pressure
  • Clean or replace filter, as needed
  • Check amp draw on motors
  • Check run capacitor
  • Inspect bearings and lubricate moving parts, as needed
  • Check drain pans, fuses, and thermostat
  • Inspect outdoor coil
  • Run and test your system

That’s the short version, but you get the idea which, ultimately, is this:  your AC system is not capable of maintaining itself.  But Eagle Service Company is more than up to the job, and that goes for your home heating and plumbing systems, too.  Has it been a year or longer since professional preventative maintenance was performed on your AC system?  If so, contact us today so we can help keep it in its best possible working condition.

How to Make the Best Use of Your Living Space.

Ever wonder how those homes featured in designer magazines or home reality TV shows always look so flawless, while your living room looks like a hodge-podge of furniture and “stuff”?

Well, making the necessary adjustments to improve the look and feel of virtually any room in your room is usually a lot simpler than you might think.  Better yet, you won’t need an interior decorator to get you from point A to B.

Here are 6 tried and true ways to achieve amazing results, and that’s true whether you’re starting with an empty space and an already fully furnished room.

  1. blogPull your furniture away from the wall. Even a small room can benefit from a little extra breathing room. You’ll be surprised how spacious yet inviting your room will actually look.
  1. Add secondary lighting. Don’t rely just on overhead lighting to deliver the ambiance you desire. Floor lamps, table lamps, and sconces are perfect ways to create a soft glow and defining sitting areas.
  1. Avoid blocking the flow of traffic. You and your guests shouldn’t have to maneuver around furniture just to get into or out of a room. Make sure your furniture placement enhances rather than impedes flow.
  1. Remember that less is more. Too many furniture pieces – no matter how beautiful and stylish – can make a room feel like it’s closing in on you. Which is to say you probably don’t need the 12-piece living room set you recently saw advertised on TV, no matter how favorably priced it might have been.
  1. Group together items of similar style and scale. A large, bulky piece placed next to a short, slender one will look off-balance and thrown together. Consider size and scale when purchasing or arranging furnishings.
  1. Think about how you intend to use a room. Is it formal and rarely occupied or is it the favored gathering place for friends and family? If the latter, perhaps those sleek, stainless steel arm chairs you’ve been considering aren’t really the way to go.

What can we do to help?  Well, interior decorators we are not, but we are indoor comfort experts. In fact, we get calls all the time from folks looking for ways to more efficiently heat and cool homes whether or not they’re actively involved in a home remodeling project.  Perhaps a baseboard unit can be re-located so your sofa won’t block a large percentage of the heat.  Maybe you need a ceiling or floor vent moved – or one or two new ones added – to enhance indoor comfort.  Or, how about adding a wet bar to your family or dining room to make entertaining more fun and with fewer back and forth trips to the kitchen.

For more information on how we can improve your family’s indoor comfort while adding greater convenience into your everyday lives, contact Eagle Service Company today.

 

“Why is My Toilet Gurgling?”

blogIs your toilet attempting to communicate with you?  In its own way, it’s very capable of that, especially when it starts making gurgling or burping noises.  And in those moments, what exactly is it trying to tell you?  That something is CAUSING it to make that sound, “So could you please check it out and make it stop?!”

Toilet Gurgling has Two Main Causes.

All plumbing and drain lines need the right amount of air to create the suction necessary to fully drain water.  Suction comes from vents that are installed throughout your house – most of them hidden in walls or under floors – that eventually lead to one or two main vents you can see either on your roof or the side of your house.

Should your toilet start to gurgle, it’s either because there’s a clog inside a sewer or drain line or your outdoor vents are clogged with leaves or other accumulated debris.

The Cure for Gurgling Toilets.

Hear a gurgle?  Then grab a plunger and/or a snake and see if you can “get to the bottom” of the problem on your own.  If that doesn’t work, and you’re the handy and adventurous type, then climb up on your roof and attempt the following:

  • Use a flashlight to see if there’s a clog, and how far down it goes.
  • If it’s not too far down, use a stick or garden stake and try to move it to the side so air can escape.
  • You also can snake the vent pipe if you suspect the clog is further down than your stick or rake handle will reach.
  • If you’re still having no luck, grab your garden hose and, using the high pressure setting, blast water into the vent to break up the clog. If you’re successful, you’ll hear a whooshing sound that indicates the clog has been broken up and air is once again mixing with water.

Above all, please don’t try doing any of this on your roof without taking all safety precautions, including having someone reliable on the ground to assist you.

 

Self-Help Measures Not Working?  Just Call Eagle!

At Eagle Service Company, there’s no blocked toilet or vent problem too difficult for us to handle.  In the process, we’ll turn that gurgle into the sound of smooth flushing water – the sound of “all’s well” with your drains again.  For prompt scheduling and your 100% satisfaction guaranteed, contact us today.

Is Your Toilet Leaking Water from the Tank? Let’s Find Out.

blogBesides being a nuisance, a leaking toilet represents a disastrous waste of water – up to 200 gallons of water per day.  And means more than 6,000 gallons of wasted water per month if the leak goes undetected or unrepaired.

If you have a toilet tank that’s leaking water, it’s clearly in everyone’s best interest to find out and get it repaired or replaced just as quickly as possible.

How do you go about spotting a crack in your toilet tank?  Eagle Service Company has the answers:

Outside the Tank

The easiest cracks to spot are those on the outside of the tank, of which there are three basic types:

  • Hairline cracks at or near the top, and probably not causing a leak.
  • Hairline cracks along the side of the tank – those can usually be repaired.

Inside the Tank

If you suspect your tank is leaking water but see no such evidence on the exterior, it’s to go looking inside.  But before you can do an effective job of that, you first need to drain the tank.  First, turn off the valve behind the toilet and then flush until the water in the tank is completely or nearly gone.  Then look inside for the following:

  • Hairline cracks on the top edge – more cosmetic than problematic.
  • Hairline cracks below the water line – these can usually be repaired with an epoxy.
  • Larger cracks below the water line – there’s no effective way to repair these.

Let’s say you don’t want to go to all the trouble of draining your tank, but still want to know if, in fact, your tank is leaking water.  Here’s an easy way to find out.  Grab a little food coloring and place a drop or two in the tank.  Then, about a half hour later, check the bowl and don’t let anyone flush in the meantime! If the water has a trace of the same food coloring, you definitely have a leak.

For toilet or plumbing problems of any kind, contact Eagle Service Company today.  We provide service throughout the Birmingham area, and we guarantee your complete satisfaction with our work on your behalf.

 

The Latest in Home Bathroom Accessories

We all can use – and totally appreciate – a little luxury in our lives, even if it’s only once in a while. For you, maybe luxury means a snazzy car with all the bells and whistles, an all-inclusive island resort vacation, or a $500 bottle of wine at your favorite restaurant.  Or perhaps you prefer simpler luxuries – those you can more readily afford and enjoy every day in the comfort of your own home.

If you’re leaning toward simpler, then lean in a little closer and check out these five very cool bathroom accessories for your home.

  1. blogDesigner shower drain cover – Style doesn’t have to go down the shower drain. From artsy patterns to sleek, linear drains, and even discreet tile-ready options, today’s drainage solutions are anything but boring.
  1. Radiant heat flooring – Starting off your day by stepping on a cold tile floor is anything but luxurious. So change all that by warming up your floor with a built-in radiant heating system. And because warm air rises, a warm floor also means a warm room, saving you money on heating costs.
  1. Programmable shower – Imagine getting just the right water temperature, water pressure, and even shower head height at the touch of a button. Better yet, why bother imagining when you can get all that with a programmable shower for a totally personalized shower experience: from customized water stream to your own personal music selections.
  1. Walk-in bathtub – You don’t have to be a senior citizen or otherwise need assistance in the bathroom to enjoy the luxury of a walk-in tub. First, it’s a safer alternative than standard bathtubs because of the very low threshold you simply step over with no worries of losing your balance.  Plus, walk-in tubs come with a built-in bench seat enabling you to sit up higher and still immerse yourself in the soothing warmth of a bath.
  1. Hand Dryer Faucet – Say goodbye to dingy hand towels with a sleek hand dryer faucet. It will wash your hands, and then dry them with a blast of air, reducing waste, laundry, and the spread of bacteria.

Hmm, now let’s see:  what do all these bathroom accessories have in common?  Of course:  they can all be purchased from and installed by Eagle Service Company.  Call now, and discover even more ways we can turn your bathroom from the ordinary into the extraordinary.

“Should I Repair or Replace My Water Heater?”

Before we talk about whether or not you should or shouldn’t replace your water heater, how about a blast of the blindingly obvious:  we have no idea what kind of condition your water heater’s in.  Ultimately, you’ll want a professional plumber to examine your system and give you a recommendation one way or the other – repair or replace.  And be able to explain why he or she feels that qwqway.

What we can do right now, however, is point out a handful of the most frequent repair problems, especially those associated with an aging system where replacement should at least be part of the conversation.

  • Water leaking from the storage tank. If your water heater is at least 8 years old, you should inspect it periodically to see if there’s any water build-up around the base.  If so, that’s a sign of internal corrosion.  Just how bad might that corrosion be?  That’s what we need to find out before properly advising you on what to do next.
  • Rusty looking water. Voila, another sign of internal corrosion.  As in, once rust builds up inside your water heater storage tank, it can begin to flake and taint the color of your hot water supply.  If that’s what you’re seeing, call us right away, because it’s not going to get any better.
  • Increasingly reduced supply. If two or three people can no longer shower in a row when once your water heater permitted such bustling activity, a number of things could account for the combination of reduced supply and increased recovery time.  If, for example, you have an electric water heater, it might just mean that an element has burned out.  Or it could mean that the thermocouple inside your water heart needs to be replaced.
  • The water is hot, but not hot enough. This “sounds like” it might be a problem with your thermostat, although perhaps a family member lowered the thermostat setting without letting anyone else know about it.

There are countless things that can go wrong with a water heater; plus, repair problems can and frequently do vary by by make, model, and type.  So rather than drive yourself crazy and hope that the problem might just fix it itself (trust us, it won’t), why not contact Eagle Service Company so we can inspect for you.  If it’s repairable, we’ll give you a guaranteed upfront price to fix it.  Or, if it needs to be replaced, we’ll give you several options to choose from, answer all your questions, and ultimately recommend the one option we believe best meets your needs and budget.  We look forward to your call.

The Value of Annual Central AC Maintenance.

blogHave anything lined up for the summer?

You know, the funny thing is that any time you ask someone that question, the first thing that typically comes to mind is summer vacation plans or any other activity out of the ordinary.

But what about scheduling an annual preventative maintenance for your air conditioning system? Definitely not as exciting as a trip to Disneyworld or Hilton Head, but it’s way more important than any trip you’ll ever take. That’s because you count on your AC system to keep you reliably cool and comfortable all cooling season long, and not for just a week or two a year.

So, if you haven’t already “lined up” annual maintenance for your AC system, now’s the perfect time to pick up the phone and call Eagle Service Company. You see, our well-trained and experienced technicians are at the top of their game when working to make your life more comfortable, convenient, and a little safer, too.

With all that at stake, our AC cleaning and inspection process is as thorough as can be, including steps like these:

  • Clean or replace your filter, as needed
  • Check all electrical connections
  • Check thermostat for accuracy and proper operation
  • Check for hot and cold spots throughout your home
  • Lubricate all moving parts, as needed
  • Visually inspect ducts for cracks and leaks
  • And much more

How does all of this benefit you? In several important ways, including:

  • Longer system lifespan
  • Fewer & less costly repairs
  • Cleaner indoor air
  • Added safety

So if it’s been a year or more since you had preventative maintenance service performed on your AC system, contact Eagle Service Company today. That way, you can rest a little easier tonight.