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

New Year’s Traditions Explained

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

2014 is almost upon us, and with the coming of the New Year, we thought we’d take a brief look at some of the more popular traditions associated with this holiday. It’s been around for at least 4,000 years: as long as we’ve figured out how long it takes for the seasons to come and go. Here’s a quick discussion about some of our more modern traditions and where they started:

  • Auld Lang Syne. The famous song began in Scotland, where it was published by Robert Burns in 1796.  He claims he initially heard it sung by an elderly resident of his hometown, which suggests it has traditional folk origins even before that. It became even more popular when big band leader, Guy Lombardo, started playing it every New Year’s Eve, starting in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Dropping of the Ball in Times Square. The tradition of dropping the ball in Times Square started in 1907. It was made out of iron and wood with light bulbs located on the surface, and the ball originally “dropped” over the offices of the New York Times at One Times Square. Dick Clark famously broadcast the event every year from 1972, until his death in 2012.
  • The Rose Parade. The Tournament of Roses Parade has been held in Pasadena every year since 1890; taking advantage of California’s warm weather to present a parade of floats, bands and horses. A football game was eventually added to the festivities in 1902, when Michigan dominated Stanford’s team by a score of 49-0
  • Baby New Year. The use of a baby to signify the New Year dates back to Ancient Greece, where it symbolized the rebirth of Dionysus (the God of wine and parties). Early Christians initially resisted the pagan elements of the story, but soon came to adopt it since it matched the traditional Christmas symbol of baby Jesus in the manger. Today, people of all faiths and traditions refer to the New Year as a baby, representing new beginnings.

Whatever traditions you choose to celebrate, we here at Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air wish you the very safest and happiest of New Years. May 2014 bring you nothing but the best!

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Longer Days Ahead: Why Winter Solstice Is a Reason to Celebrate

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Holiday greetings from all of us at Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air!

December is a time of celebrations across the globe, despite the cold weather that affects much of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, the cold weather is one of the reasons that it is so important for people to embrace celebrations of light, color, food, and warm drinks—what better way to cheer up during a time of short days and low temperatures?

There is another reason to feel joy at the end of December, regardless of your religion or culture: an astronomical event called winter solstice.

Four astronomical markers divide the seasons on planet Earth: two solstices and two equinoxes. Equinox (a combination of the Latin words for “equal” and for “night”) is the point in Earth’s orbit when its axis is parallel to the Sun. Solstice (from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still”) is the point in orbit where the Earth’s axial tilt points toward the Sun. During the equinoxes, which occur at the start of spring (vernal equinox) and fall (autumnal equinox), the periods of day and night are the same length. During the solstices, which occur at the start of summer (June solstice) and winter (winter solstice), either day or night is at its longest period. June solstice is the longest day of the year; winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year.

Occurring on the 20th or the 21st of the month (this year it falls on the 21st), winter solstice marks the official beginning of winter, but also the point at which the days start to grow longer once more. The sun, which has dropped lower in the sky since the June solstice (June 20-21) and reaches its lowest point above the horizon on noon on winter solstice, once again begins to rise.

From the earliest human prehistory, people have recognized the winter solstice as an important event in their lives. When winter survival was difficult for early human societies, the sight of the sun beginning to rise in the sky once more was a symbol of hope and a reason to celebrate.

(All of the above applies to the Northern Hemisphere of Earth. The equinoxes and solstices flip in the Southern Hemisphere. For example, in Australia, Christmas is a summer holiday.)

However you commemorate and observe this time of year, we hope you and your family have a joyful and safe season!

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Tools That Professional Plumbers Use

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Your home plumbing kit should consist of a basic drain plunger and a toilet plunger. Those are two handy devices that can take on simple clogs. However, you shouldn’t try to have a larger assortment of tools than that, unless you are a trained plumber. Trying to work on any repair needs for your plumbing greater than basic clogs can cause serious damage to your pipes. Instead of risking this, contact a plumber with experience and all the best tools.

Here are some of the advanced tools that professional plumbers will use when they come to your house on a repair call. Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air will make sure we send the best equipped and trained plumbers to handle your plumbing services in Riverside, CA.

Common tools of the professional plumber

  • Motorized drain snakes: Drain snakes, which are like extended corkscrews that can slide down into a drainpipe to remove clogs, are one of the best devices available to clean out drains. Manual drain snakes are available through hardware stores and on-line retailers. However, you will need a professional with a motorized model to take care of serious drain blockage problems. Even if you can get hold of a motorized drain snake yourself, they are expensive and difficult to use without proper training.
  • Hydro jetters: These motorized devices blast hot, high-pressure water through drain pipes, eliminating clogs without damaging the plumbing (which is what commercial liquid drain cleaners will do) and wiping away other deposits along the interior of pipes. Hydro-jetters can be dangerous if handled by amateurs because of the force of the water, so don’t try to purchase one to use on your own.
  • Pipe inspection cameras: One of the advanced tools that professional plumbers have at their disposal is a camera designed to enter pipes to find breaks, leaks, corrosion, and clogs. These miniature cameras are mounted on long cables that snake far down into drains so plumbers can identify the areas that need work—without having to dig or tear out furnishings to get to the pipes.

Professional plumbers carry many more devices to help them in their work, such as an array of specialized ratchets and wrenches. A good plumber should have the tools on hand to help you with any plumbing problem you have, from a leaky faucet to a broken sewer main.

Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air has provided high quality plumbing services to Riverside, CA and all of the Inland Empire for over 60 years. We have always kept current with plumbing technology, so you’ll known when you call us that we will send you a plumber with the best tools available. Contact us any time of the day or night.

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Why You Should Commit to Routine Heating Maintenance This Year

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Even though you don’t get as much use from your heater in Riverside as you do from your air conditioner, you still need to keep your home’s heating system in good shape through regular maintenance. If you haven’t gotten maintenance done in a few years, you might think it’s too late to start. Don’t worry: a professional contractor with enough experience can get your heater up to its best possible condition and keep it that way.

For high-quality heating service in Riverside, CA, contact Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air. We’ve served the Inland Empire for over 60 years.

Here’s why you should commit to annual maintenance:

  • Better comfort: A heater without regular check-ups and tune-ups will start to work less effectively. Its heating ability will begin to decline because of clogged ducts, miscalibrated thermostats, or failing motors. Having the system tuned-up once a year will keep it at the top of its performance ability.
  • Better savings: As a heater wears down, it will need to work harder to reach its target temperature. This means it will drain more power than usual, and you will see it reflected in your power bills. A well-maintained heater will keep your bills from rising unexpectedly. You will also have fewer repairs to schedule during the year, another place where you’ll save money.
  • Better peace of mind: The longer a heater goes without routine maintenance, the more likely it will develop malfunctions that could cause it to shut down. Because you will put the most stress on your heater during the coldest days of the year, it is likely to break down during the least convenient times. Maintenance will give you the peace of mind that your heater will make it through the tough days and keep you warm until the spring.

Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air offers the Comfort Club to provide you with maintenance for your heater and your air conditioner. Our plan lets you choose how often and how long you want us to service your home comfort system. Contact us today to commit to better comfort, better savings, and better peace of mind this year with our Riverside, CA heating service.

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Common Reasons Why Your Heater is Inefficient

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Residents of Riverside know that a sturdy air conditioner is a must for the long and hot summer season. However, the shorter winter seasons can bring colds spells and chilly nights, and having an effective heater becomes almost as important. But because our heaters get less use during the year than our air conditioners, we often leave them without the regular care and repair they need. Eventually, that neglect can lead to an inefficient heater that siphons too much power while providing inadequate heating.

Make sure you take good care of your heating system with professional heating repair and regular preventive maintenance. Contact the Riverside, CA heating repair technicians at Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air to get started with protecting your heater so you will always have a comfortable winter.

Reasons your heater might be inefficient

You don’t feel as warm with the heater on, and you’ve noticed an increase in your bills. What’s happening?

One thing you should check is your thermostat. The actual heater may be working fine, but the thermostat has malfunctioned and started to sense the temperature incorrectly or send the wrong signals to the heater. This can lead to the heater turning on and off at the wrong times, or running continually without stopping. This wastes energy and can lead to periods of discomfort. Fortunately, HVAC technicians should have few problems repairing or replacing your thermostat.

If you use ducts to channel heated air, breaks along the ductwork can lead to a plunge in heating efficiency. Air pressure will drop and the heater will start to overwork to compensate. Duct sealing requires specialists; you can’t solve the problem with so-called “duct tape.”

If your heater suffers from wear and tear or an internal malfunction—even if it is something you can’t detect from the outside—it will also start to strain to reach its target temperature. Pay attention to heating bill spikes or rooms that aren’t getting enough heat to warn you about this trouble. Professionals can diagnose what is causing the problem and figure out how to fix it.

Get repairs done as soon as you can—and then keep them from reoccurring

If you heater is running inefficiently, it will not repair itself if you simply wait. The problem will likely increase until the system breaks down. To avoid higher repair bills in the future, and to save money on heightened heating bills in the present, schedule prompt heating repair in Riverside, CA. Then schedule regular preventive maintenance to keep your heater in excellent running shape.

Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air has 60 years of serving the Inland Empire with heating repairs and maintenance. For quality work that will give you year-round comfort, contact us.

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