A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog : Archive for November, 2013

Thanksgiving, 2013: The Presidential Turkey Pardon

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Thanksgiving began in 1621, but didn’t become a national holiday until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared it in hopes of bringing a divided nation together. We have many Thanksgiving traditions in this country, from turkey at the meal to the annual Cowboys and Lions games on television. But one of the most beloved is the annual Presidential turkey pardon, in which the U.S. President “pardons” a turkey to life in a petting zoo rather than ending up as someone’s main course. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, we thought you’d like to know a little more about the history of this fascinating tradition.

Farmers have sent turkeys to the White House as far back as the 1800s, hoping to have the honor of providing the President’s annual meal. There have been scattered stories of individual turkeys being “pardoned” throughout that time, including one in which President Lincoln’s son Tad successfully convinced the president to spare a bird intended for the family’s Christmas dinner.

Starting in 1947, the National Turkey Federation became the official supplier of the President’s Thanksgiving birds. The White House arranged for an annual photo op that year with the President receiving the turkey in the Rose Garden. Sadly, there was no pardon as yet; those birds all ended up on the Presidential table.

The push for an official pardon picked up steam in 1963, when President Kennedy ask that the bird be spared just a few days before his assassination. President Nixon opted to send each of the birds he received to a nearby petting zoo after the photo op, though there was no formal pardon attached.

But it wasn’t until 1989 that the pardon became official. On November 14 of that year, President George H. W. Bush made the announcement, and sent the bird to a Virginia game preserve to live the rest of its life out in cranberry-and-stuffing-free bliss. Since then, every President has held an annual pardoning ceremony, with the lucky turkey spared the axe and sent off to live in peace. Since 2005, the pardoned birds have gone to Disneyland in Anaheim, California where they have lived as part of a petting zoo exhibit in Frontierland.

No matter what traditions you enjoy this holiday, or who you enjoy them with, all of us here wish you a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving weekend.

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How to Tell if You Might Need Whole-House Repiping

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Here in Ontario, CA plumbing systems don’t need to worry about some of the problems they face back east. Pipes freezing are rarely an issue, for example, and we don’t face many issues with civic sewer systems being overwhelmed via flooding.  At the same time, plumbers in Ontario, CA face their share of challenging problems, and while your plumbing system may last a good long time, sooner or later, you may need to think about replacing it. Here’s how to tell if you might need whole-house repiping.

Barring some kind of huge catastrophe, it’s not likely to be something that happens all at once. Hard water, corrosion, and clogs take their toll over time: working slowly and gradually over the years to damage your plumbing. If the situation can be resolved by replacing just a single piece of piping, that’s obviously preferable to something more systematic.

Bigger problems arise when those singular issues start recurring throughout the house. Leaks may spring up in multiple locations as sealant gives way. Back-ups become more prevalent and ruptures and breaches might spread beyond the plumbing to affect other areas of the house. Leaks can affect the wood and drywall surrounding the pipes, and can cause damage silently without anyone being aware of it.

As far as signs go, you’ll probably be aware of the biggest one: recurring repairs that seem to take place all over the house. Another sure sign comes with your water bill. If it seems to keep going up, even though you’re not using any more water than normal, you’re probably looking at a serious leak (or series of leaks). Finally, if you’re detecting damage outside the pipes – rotten sections of the wall or strange puddles forming where they shouldn’t – you may need to consider repiping. These issues should appear all over the house in order to make such a move, not just in one place.

For other tips on how to tell if you might need whole-house repiping, or to set up a consultation on the matter, contact Avis Plumbing, Heating & Air today. We can spell out the particulars for you and set up an installation plan that meets your specific needs. Give us a call and let us show you what we can do!

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How to Find a Heater that Works for Your Home

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Riverside, CA heating services need to adapt to a wide variety of homes and needs. Ours is a fairly old city by Southern California standards, and we have our share of stately older homes from the heyday of orange farming. But we’re also a vibrant and growing city, which means plenty of modern houses adopting 21st century designs. Heating systems need to be as varied as the homes themselves, tailored both to the space they need to heat and the owner who wants to heat them. When you go looking for a new heater, it pays to consider your unique circumstances in making the decision. Here are some tips on how to find a heater that works for your home.

For starters, you want to size a heater properly to match your space. We like to call it the Goldilocks rule: your heater should be neither too small (in which case it won’t be able to warm your home) nor too large (in which case it will cycle on and off rapidly, wasting energy), but just right. Sizing a heater includes such elements as the amount of insulation in your home and the amount of exposure to sunlight, as well as the square footage.

From there, you need to consider the type of heater you want. Most people think of traditional gas furnaces, which use a system of ducts to blow hot air into your home. That’s a standard option, but you might also want to think about a heat pump, which combines the features of a heater and an air conditioner into a single unit. Heat pumps use less energy than traditional furnaces and work extremely well in places with mild winters like ours.

Finally, you should think about specific features of your heater, such as zone control systems that allow you to heat just one or two parts of your home at a time, or thermostats with specific features like programmable start and stop times. Such features aren’t always necessary, but they can work well for homes of a certain type.

For professional heating service in Riverside, CA – including installation and repair options – talk to the experts at Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. We can show you how to find a heater that works for your home, then set up an installation schedule that works for you. Pick up the phone and call us today!

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