Bud Matthews Services Blog

Have You Scheduled Air Conditioning Maintenance Yet?

May 14th, 2018

air-conditioning-manometer-pressure-refrigerantThe heat of summer is already here in May, with some days climbing into the 90s. Air conditioning systems across the state are already getting to work managing the comfort of homes. Your home is probably one of them.

Now be honest: Did you remember to schedule air conditioning maintenance in April? If you didn’t, don’t worry—you can do it now as well. But don’t hesitate any longer! Your air conditioning system, your budget, and your household will be better off once this essential annual tune-up and inspection is finished.

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Heat Pump Water Heater vs. Electric Water Heater

April 30th, 2018

big-question-markNot all homes have a connection to a municipal natural gas line and must run entirely from electricity. Although electricity is more expensive an energy source than natural gas when it comes to powering appliances such as the furnace, oven, and stove, it’s readily available and decreases safety concerns connected with natural gas. Plus, using electricity doesn’t have to be as expensive as it might seem at first. Smart energy use and high-efficiency appliances (always look for the ENERGY STAR label!) can keep bills in check.

We’re going to look at an important appliance choice for an all-electric home: what type of water heater to install. Gas water heaters are powerful and inexpensive to run, but what type of water heater will work best for a home that only has electricity? There are two big options, an electric water heater or a heat pump water heater?

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The Dangers of Store-Bought “Drain Cleaners”

April 16th, 2018

drain-with-chain-plugThere’s an old saying that the simplest solution to a problem is usually the best solution. We tend to find that’s true—but the problem is people often don’t know what the “simplest” solution is. It isn’t necessarily the quickest or the least expensive. A simple solution is the one that has the fewest possible complications.

Take, for example, clearing out a clog in the sink. What’s the simplest solution? You’ll probably think of a sink plunger, and that’s a good first idea. Often times, a plunger will get rid of the clog. But if the plunger doesn’t work, then it wasn’t the right solution. What’s next? If you said, “chemical drain cleaner,” that’s actually not a simple solution because of all the complications and potential dangers. No, the simple solution is to pick up the phone and call a professional plumber. It goes straight to the point: an expert comes to your house and cleans the drain. Done! And done right!

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Yes, We Do Offer Commercial Plumbing!

April 2nd, 2018

commercial-plumbingAt Bud Matthews, our slogan is “For All Your Home Service Needs!” And we mean that: we provide complete services for plumbing, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, water heaters, indoor air quality, remodeling, and new construction. If your home needs it, you only have to call us—we have 24/7 emergency service.

However, you may not know that we offer commercial services as well. If you need work for your commercial plumbing in Chapel Hill, NC or elsewhere in our wide service area, we’re the people you can trust with the job. We bring the same level of commitment, skill, and technology to commercial plumbing work as we do to residential work.

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Can a Tankless Water Heater Save Me Money?

March 19th, 2018

tankless-water-heaterYou’ve probably heard talk about “tankless water heaters” as one of the best new options for a home and perhaps wondered if you should have one installed. If you have an aging storage tank water heater that may need to be replaced within a few years—or even this year—then it’s a good idea to keep a tankless water heater high on your list of choices. It might not be the best choice, but the many advantages of this type of water heating system are impossible to ignore. We’ll look at one specific example today: how tankless water heaters can save you money.

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More Than One Drain Is Clogged in My House—What’s Wrong?

March 5th, 2018

drain-pipe-root-infiltration

To paraphrase a famous novelist and playwright, “To have one drain clog may be seen as a misfortune. To have two seems like carelessness.”

Okay, multiple drain clogs in your home don’t necessarily mean you’ve been careless (although scheduling regular drain cleaning each year will help prevent problems like this). But it does mean something bigger is wrong than a standard clog. A clog of hair or grease or an object knocked down a sink drain will affect only that drain. When you find drains in the showers, kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, and elsewhere around the house either fully clogged or draining slowly, you’ll know something is up. But what is it?

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Put in New Water-Saving Plumbing Fixtures for Your Home

February 19th, 2018

piggy-bank-dollarWe can all do our part to help the environment by cutting down on the amount of water we use in our homes. There are some simple ways to reduce your household water usage, such as taking shorter showers, only running the dishwasher on a full load, turning off the sink faucet when you’re brushing your teeth, etc. A professional plumber can also help you achieve marvels when it comes to saving water: whenever you have a leak of any type in your home, or notice a higher water bill than usual, call a licensed plumber to locate the leaks and seal them up. A single leaky pipe can waste thousands of gallons per year.

But today we want to focus on a few big, long-term water saving solutions: the professional installation of special water-smart appliances for your home.

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Hard Water Is Bad News for a Water Heater

February 5th, 2018

water-heater-tankHard water is unfortunately a common issue in homes today, and it often occurs in cities. Minerals seep down through the ground and into the pipes carrying fresh water from the municipal treatment plants to residential and commercial buildings—this is why hard water can affect homes even with the best city treatment plants.

The good news is that hard water isn’t dangerous to drink. The concentration of minerals that cause hard water—mostly magnesium and calcium—are found in many foods people eat on a daily basis, and the levels in hard water are not harmful. The problems with hard water show up elsewhere: deposits on fixtures, filmy surfaces on glass, and the difficulty working up soap lather.

But the biggest danger hard water poses is to plumbing and appliances. The household appliance that’s in the greatest danger from hard water is the water heater.

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How Ductless Heating (And Cooling) Saves Money

January 22nd, 2018

ductless-wall-unitIt’s midwinter, and you’re debating replacing your old heating system with a new one. Or you’re considering a new house construction or remodeling in the coming spring. We recommend you think about having a ductless heating system installed, i.e. a ductless mini split heat pump.

There are multiple reasons to look into ductless systems, such as the improvements in indoor air quality and the flexibility they offer for homes. One benefit that’s often overlooked is the savings a household can enjoy thanks to a ductless heating system. Compared to standard forced-air systems like a furnace, a ductless mini split heat pump can save 30–40% off energy costs.

Below are some of the ways you’ll recoup the costs on a ductless heating installation—and then keep on saving:

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The Top Causes of Drain Clogs

January 8th, 2018

drain-metal-sinkIn our last post, we encouraged homeowners to start off the New Year with a great service to care for their plumbing: scheduling routine drain cleaning. There’s no better way to see a house enjoys a clog-free 2018 than to have professional plumbers use the best drain cleaning technology to scour away all the build-up inside the drains around the house.

Right now, we’d like to address the actual build-up, the problems down in drains that create clogs. Almost anything can stop up a drainpipe, like a child’s toy falling down a drain. (We recommend keeping covers over all drains to help prevent this.) But there are a few sources that account for the majority of drain clogs. Knowing what they are will make it easier for you to avoid future drain problems, as well as remind you why routine drain cleaning is such a helpful service.

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