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Here’s how to troubleshoot strange furnace sounds or noisy furnace ducts

All HVAC systems, to a degree, make noise while operating. However, how do you know if these noises are normal or an indicator that something is wrong? If you’re hearing strange furnace sounds or experiencing noisy furnace ducts, it could be either business as usual or a sign of trouble. In this article, we’ll review the wide variety of sounds that your furnace and air ducts can make, and which ones should lead to you giving us a call for furnace repair here in Buffalo and Western New York.

Start by ruling out potential furnace problems

Before you start thinking about what sounds are coming from your ducts, you’ll want to rule out that the sounds are coming from your furnace. There are several different furnace sounds that signal potential trouble. Here’s why you need to keep an ear out for popping, screeching, and rattling.

For help diagnosing noisy furnace ducts in your home, call the professionals at Reimer.

For help diagnosing noisy furnace ducts in your home, call the professionals at Reimer.

Popping Sounds

The sound of a loud “pop” coming from the furnace could be a sign that the furnace is igniting too much gas in the combustion chamber. In most cases, the root cause of this issue is a defective gas valve or dirty burners. Basically, what you’re hearing is a (small) explosion inside of the furnace.

This is something that you’ll want to get checked out by a gas furnace professional. Eventually, the furnace flame sensor—a safety mechanism that checks for the presence of a flame to ignite the gas—may kick in, shutting down your furnace.

Screeching Sounds

A loud screeching sound is not a natural part of a furnace’s cycle. It’s probably an issue with the blower fan’s belt. As these belts age and wear, they begin to fray and cause strange sounds. If you’re hearing a distinctive screech coming from your furnace, it’s probably not something you want to ignore for too long. Call our team and have us out to inspect the system.

Rattling Sounds

Chances are that you do not have a rattlesnake in your furnace, so the likely culprit of a rattle is something that is loose. The furnace produces a harmless low-frequency hum while in operation. Anything that’s loose—from screws and components to the heat exchanger itself—could start rattling from this natural vibration. Again, this is something you’ll want one of our technicians to help you diagnose. The rattling of a loose part is typically an early warning for an impending breakdown.

Diagnosing the sounds made by noisy furnace ducts

Now that you’ve eliminated the possibility that the noise could be generated by your furnace, it’s time to turn your attention to your ducts. Here are some of the most common sounds made by noisy furnace ducts while your heater is running.

Banging Sounds

Once you’ve ruled out the sound coming from the furnace itself, the next likely explanation of a loud popping or banging sound is the ducts. As hot air enters a cold duct, the metal expands and warps in response to the sudden temperature change. This leads to the metal “banging” as it shifts into place. This same phenomenon occurs when a duct, once filled with hot air, cools down after the furnace has been shut off. This sound is pretty harmless, and it’s natural to hear it whenever your furnace turns on or off.

Rattling Sounds

The rattling noise is most often caused by loose metal ducts that tend to knock against one another. This could be a sign that your ducts have leaks or gaps between them, which will ultimately have a negative impact on the performance and efficiency of your heating system. As ducts age, the connective sealing between them begins to deteriorate or loosen. This isn’t going to cause a breakdown or anything, but it’s still worth having a Reimer technician look into this winter.

Vibrating Sounds

A sound of vibrating or shacking of the duct walls normally occurs due to the blockage of the return side airflow. This usually happens due to a clogged filter that results in a drop in the air pressure that makes the duct walls vibrate and shake.

Booming Sounds

A loud booming noise coming from the ducts typically emanates from the plenum where all the ducts meet. This connecting point tends to endure the greatest swings in temperature. Inadequate expansion of joints or dampers contributes to the noise. What you’re hearing is a loud boom echoing through the supply ducts.

Whistling Sounds

In some cases, you can hear a whistling or rumbling noise emanating from the ductwork. The whistling noise is normally caused due to excessive airflow through the ducts. On the other hand, the rumbling noise could be due to pressure differences between the supply and the return ducts.

Call Reimer to have our team diagnose noisy furnace ducts

When it comes time to care for your furnace or your ducts, make sure that you hire an experienced and licensed furnace technician. An experienced technician will expertly identify and resolve all kinds of furnace problems due to which you can spend the entire winter months in total comfort and warmth.

At Reimer Home Services, our experienced techs are ready to assist you with diagnosing strange furnace noises and the source of noisy furnace ducts. Contact us today to schedule service here in Buffalo and Western New York.

Signs you’re having sewer line problems and what to do about them

While your home sewage line might not be something that crosses your mind daily, it’ll certainly be top-of-mind when you have sewer line problems. Dealing with sewage problems can be very unpleasant and is best left to experienced hands.

In this blog, we’re going to review the top-3 signs of major sewer line problems. If you believe you’re seeing any of these signs, don’t wait to contact Reimer Home Services here in Buffalo and Western New York.

Here are the 3 major signs you’re having sewer line issues

#1. Mold inside your home

Mold. Just hearing the word can make anyone feel uncomfortable. When found within the walls of your own home, mold can feel like a violation of your personal space. Mold becomes a problem most often in damp or humid places.

If you discover mold growing on surfaces of your home such as ceilings, floors, or walls, you may be seeing the effects of a broken or damage sewer line. Treating mold quickly and resolving the problem at its core are the best ways to prevent the health effects that mold can cause for pets and residents alike.

#2. Regular drain clogs

While drain clogs are commonplace for most homeowners, reoccurring clogs may be a symptom for more serious concern. After applying your common drain cleaning solution or plunging repeatedly to no avail, it may be time to have a professional take a closer look.

  • Probable sewage line problems may include:
  • Damaged pipes or broken sewer line
  • Sagging lines known as “bellies”
  • Obstructed pipelines from underground root overgrowth

#3. Foul-smelling drains

Drains can often become bogged down with smelly debris over time. More serious sewage problems can lead to a lingering foul odor. If a gaseous smell is wafting from the drains inside or around your home it is best to call our plumbers for a proper diagnosis.

When sealed properly, your pipelines should not give off strong enough odors—or at least strong enough  for you to pick up regularly. A strong and frequent smell, especially above ground around your sewer line, may be an indicator that there is a crack or full break along your current sewage pipe line.

Call Reimer for help with your sewer line problems

When you’re in need of sewer line repair, the Reimer team has the knowledge and experience to do the job right. Contact us to make an appointment at your earliest convenience. We’re your trusted team for plumbing repair here in Buffalo and Western New York.

Why you should work with an HVAC company that values its employees

For many HVAC employees, working for a company that treats its personnel well is just as important as working for a company that pays well. Reimer is proud to be one of the top HVAC, plumbing, and home services companies in Buffalo and Western New York.

In this blog, we’ll review just some of the reasons our team loves working at Reimer—and why you should never settle for less than an HVAC company that values its employees.

Pictured: Reimer is a great HVAC company with fantastic employees!Why work with Reimer Home Services?

#1. Greater sense of fulfillment in your work

Employees who are treated well generally have a greater sense of fulfillment in their work. If you want to feel like what you do really matters, choose to work for an that appreciates your efforts and rewards you well.

#2. Improved opportunities for advancement

Employee-centric companies love to offer opportunities for advancement. They emphasize upward movement and reward top performers by giving them the ability to move up the ladder and experience even greater levels of success.

#3. Attractive workplace culture

Who wants to work in an environment marred by poor morale and bad attitudes? Unsurprisingly, the answer is no one. A company that values its employees works hard to create an attractive workplace culture that inspires employees to willingly perform at their best.

As a natural result of such an environment, morale generally remains high and good teamwork becomes more achievable.

#4. Work with top talent

It’s no secret that top industry talent tends to flock to companies that value their employees. If you want to work with other professionals who are just as committed to quality as you are, apply to work at a company that treats their HVAC technicians and plumbers well.

Work with an HVAC company that cares about its employees

At Reimer Home Services, we take pride in treating our employees like the indispensable assets they are. Happy employees generally outperform unhappy employees and find more fulfillment in their work.

So, whether you’re a customer looking for a great HVAC company, or you’re a HVAC / plumbing professional looking to take the next step in your career, call Reimer. We’ve been serving Buffalo and Western New York since 1921.

Here’s how to clean your kitchen’s in-sink garbage disposal

Your garbage disposal is a great way to get rid of unwanted food items when you do dishes. While this is true, your garage disposal may actually start to smell like garbage after a little bit, making you long for the days of having a clean garbage disposal. In this blog, we’re going to tackle just a few of the ways to clean your kitchen’s in-sink garbage disposal unit.

For help dealing with sink clogs and other drain cleaning problems, call us at Reimer Home Services.

Pictured: Citrus is a great means for cleaning your kitchen's in-sink garbage disposal.

Use the power of citrus fruit to clean your in-sink garbage disposal.

Use the power of citrus

Citrus fruits, like grapefruit, lemon, and lime, are natural deodorizers. Not only that, but they can also help with cleaning. For both of these reasons, that leftover orange peel or lemon from your tree are excellent tools to clear food waste from the wall and blades of your disposal.

To use this disposal cleaning method, put a few slices of citrus fruit down into your disposal. Hit the “on” button and let the fruit grind around for a minute before switching the system off.

Give your in-sink garbage disposal a wash

To give your garbage disposal a good cleaning, you don’t need to do anything special! All you need is some dish soap and a strong-bristled scrubbing brush. Take the scrub brush and apply some soap to it. Then, scrub down all the parts of your garbage disposal that you can see.

This cleaning methods eliminates food stuck in your disposal while also preventing mold from taking over as time passes. Mold most often develops in the joint between the rim of the disposal and the sink, so it’s a good idea to clean it every once in a while.

Mix baking soda and vinegar

This tried-and-true combination is a great way to clean your garbage disposal! Plus, you probably already have both baking soda and vinegar in your kitchen. Simply fill our disposal with some baking soda, add some vinegar, and then let the solution sit for a few minutes before rinsing the drain with water.

Let our plumbers help

If you still can’t get your garbage disposal to smell better, or your disposal isn’t working at all, give us a call at Reimer Home Services. We offer expert plumbing services throughout Buffalo and Western New York. We’re always happy to help, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Here’s the complete picture of what a tankless water heater costs

By now, you’ve probably heard about tankless water heaters. Also known as “demand-type” systems, these water heaters are capable of providing your home with limitless hot water, greater energy-efficiency, and even space savings. However, homeowners most want to know what a new tankless water heater costs.

In this blog, we’re going to dive into both the short-term and long-term pictures of what a tankless water heater costs relative to a standard water heater. Our goal is to paint a complete picture of what getting a demand-type system will entail.

For a quote on a new tankless water heater here in Buffalo and Western New York, contact the team at Reimer.

Pictured: Two tankless water heaters. In this blog, we break down what a tankless water heater costs.Higher upfront costs, but savings for years to come

A tankless water heater costs typically more than a standard water heater. Just how much more can greatly depend on the brand or type (gas / electric) being compared, but—on average—it’s not unusual for a tankless unit to cost twice or three times as much as a “tanked” water heater.

Yet, just looking at these upfront costs doesn’t tell the complete story. In many cases, upgrading to a tankless water heater means you’ll come out ahead. Let’s explain:

Energy-Efficiency

Tankless heaters are about 30% more efficient at heating water for your home than a standard unit. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that switching from standard to tankless can save homeowners, on average, about $100 a year. That number increases as you use more hot water; larger families with large hot water needs will likely see more savings.

“$100 a year,” you might say. “That doesn’t seem like all that much.” Sure, but consider this: your tankless water heater will likely last about 20-25 years before needing to be replaced. That’s $2,000 – $2,500 in savings over the lifespan of the system. In many cases, that’s more than the initial difference in price between a standard and an upgraded system.

Of course, that long system life has another advantage for your bottom-line:

Longevity

Tanked water heaters just aren’t made to last. That’s not a knock on manufacturers: it’s just that the constant combination of heat, metal, pressure, and water is inevitably headed for system failure at one point or another.

If you want to get down to what a tankless water heater costs, think about lifespan. A tanked system may last anywhere from 8-12 years (possibly longer than that, but efficiency might take a huge dip in the back-half of the system’s life). A tankless system typically lasts between 20 and 25 years.

Realistically, that means you could be in the position of buying two regular water heaters in the period of time you’d buy one tankless. At that point, you’re not saving all that much money with your initial decision to choose the cheaper of the two systems.

Avoiding disaster

Most homeowners don’t like to think about this, but—with a standard water heater—the potential for a tank burst always exists. Especially as they age and the anode rod corrodes fully, that combination of pressure, water, and heat on the metal can lead to hairline fractures that, left unchecked, develop into a fissure, requiring plumbing repair.

In contrast, tankless units don’t have tanks that can burst.

The difference in costs between these two types of water heaters is probably far, far less than your home insurance deductible—or the hit to your home’s market value—if you have to clean up flooding or damage from a burst tank.

Sure, there’s no price on peace of mind, but there is an actual cost-benefit to choosing a demand-type system here.

Your comfort matters, too

In this blog, we’ve made the case that tankless water heater costs aren’t always what they seem at the “sticker price” level. However, you should also consider the other benefits of a tankless system, including the main one: limitless hot water.

If you have a large family with a busy house, and you’re constantly running out of hot water in the mornings, a tankless system will make your home more comfortable and less stressful. You just can’t put a price on that.

For a detailed breakdown of tankless water heater costs, call Reimer

Interested in learning more about whether or not a demand-type system is right for your home? Contact us here at Reimer! We’re always happy to give plumbing advice to homeowners here in Buffalo and Western New York.

Signs of water heater issues, and when to call Reimer for plumbing repair

No one wants to step into what they think is a hot shower, only to be greeted with lukewarm or cold water. Understanding how your water heater works and knowing the signs of water heater issues can prevent this scenario by allowing you to get problems fixed in advance.

For emergency plumbing services here in Buffalo and Western New York, contact us at Reimer.

The inner workings of your water heater

Pictured: A shower that no longer has hot water refreshed is one of the signs of water heater issues.Most standard water heaters are fairly simple, consisting of a large metal drum filled with water and a heating apparatus inside or at the bottom. While some homes have tankless water heaters, they are less common than those with tanks.

Cold water travels from your home’s water lines into the cold water intake at the bottom of the tank, where it’s heated and delivered to the sinks and showers on demand. The heating mechanism turns on automatically when you request hot water and switches off when you’ve reached the desired temperature.

Here are some signs of water heater issues:

Water heater repair signs are easy to spot if you’re aware of them. Some of the most common symptoms that could signify a problem with the heater include:

  • Lack of sufficient hot water, which could be caused by mineral deposit buildup in the tank or by failure of the heating element
  • Popping or banging noises caused by overheating
  • Leaking from the tank, which occurs when overheating causes the metal to fail
  • Hot water that looks cloudy or has an unpleasant odor, similar to the smell of rotten eggs
  • Leaky or rusted connections caused by depletion of the anode rod, an element that prevents corrosion
  • Leaking temperature or pressure release valve

Call Reimer for emergency plumbing repair in Buffalo

Left untreated, water heater issues can cause expensive, dangerous problems, including a water tank failure if the pressure release valve fails.

Here in Buffalo and Western New York, consider scheduling regular water heater service with Reimer Home Services. If you are noticing any of the signs of water heater issues listed above and want to have your water heater checked by our experienced professionals, contact us!

What you need to know about hybrid HVAC systems

Whether you are buying a new house or updating the one you currently own, you need to decide what kind of heating and cooling system you should have. You may be familiar with standard furnaces and air conditioners, but do you know about hybrid HVAC systems?

These systems are gaining in popularity because of their energy-efficiency and cost savings over time. In this blog, we’ll explore what these systems are and how they work.

For a free in-home estimate on a new hybrid system, contact our team!

Get to know dual-fuel

Hybrid systems, like those Reimer offers, are different than standard units because they rely on two power sources to run. They combine the best aspects of both electric power and gas power, which can include propane, fuel oil, or natural gas.

With the use of smart technology, the hybrid HVAC can switch back-and-forth between the fuel sources to use the most efficient and affordable option for the temperature and season.

Most of the time, the electric heat pump is in charge and functions much like a typical heat pump would by drawing warmer air inside during the cooler months or reversing and pumping warmer air outside during the summer.

When the temperatures dip lower, typically around 40 degrees F, the hybrid HVAC control system will switch over to the gas fuel system for better efficiency. Some systems allow homeowners to manually switch the fuel source, while others may work automatically.

Fall in love with the savings!

Hybrid HVAC systems may cost more initially, but they can save homeowners on their heating and cooling bills all year long—for years to come. It’s a win-win because you can be more comfortable in any season and save around 30-50 percent on your energy expenses.

Not only are you saving money, you are also doing your part to help save the planet. Just like a hybrid vehicle, a hybrid HVAC can reduce your carbon footprint. Many homeowners want to find greener features for their homes, and these hybrid systems fit the bill.

Call Reimer to learn more about hybrid HVAC systems

If you want to learn more about the advantages of hybrid HVAC systems, contact the pros at Reimer Home Services.

Stop hard water from damaging your home’s plumbing

Western New York State’s unique geologic formations account for the area containing areas with water that includes an overabundance of calcium and magnesium. This condition, known as hard water, may eventually cause damage to your home’s plumbing system if not dealt with appropriately with water softening.

Pictured: Do you know what's in your home's water? Here in Buffalo, many homes have hard water, and need water softening solutions installed.

If you have hard water, not only the pipes running in-and-out of your home, but also anything connected to those pipes may be harmed by the resulting mineral buildup. Appliances such as water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers are especially at risk.

Homeowners can solve most hard water problems with the professional installation of a water softener. These devices use charged ions to remove alkaline minerals from the water supply. Solving hard water problems early, before any damage occurs, is the most cost-effective way to deal with the issue.

How to spot hard water in your home

Your local water company should be able to provide you with a water hardness report, but several signs can also alert you to a potential problem.

  • Washing machine issues When you start noticing that it takes longer for your washing machine to fill up, it could mean hard water deposits are beginning to clog the supply line.
  • Water heater problems Mineral buildup inside your water heater tank can cause you to have less available hot water and frequently burned out heating elements in electric models. This is one the main reasons homeowners need water heater replacement.
  • Dishwasher difficulties Spots on dishes and glassware are the visible signs of hard water, but minerals may also partially clog your dishwasher supply lines.
  • Low water pressureThe pipes in your home that supply water throughout your home are susceptible to blockage caused by hard water.
  • Water leaks In severe hard water situations where the homeowner delays taking action, water leaks and even burst pipes may occur.

What to do if you suspect you have hard water

Like most problems in the home, early detection and correction can save you money in the end. If you notice water leaking from pipes or around appliances, it is time to contact a qualified plumbing repair company like Reimer before your home incurs any more damage.

If you need water softening in your home, contact us at Reimer, and we will gladly discuss your options on correcting this common plumbing problem.

Cure the summertime blues with a new AC system, installed by Reimer

Western New York is not known for its sweltering summers, but it does get warm enough here to notice if your air conditioning unit is no longer pulling its weight. After years of protecting you and your family from the uncomfortable effects of heat and humidity, your old unit might not be able to keep up. You may need a new AC system.

Air conditioners eventually start running less efficiently and may do so for years before failing. You may begin noticing higher electric bills in the summer or your AC unit struggling to keep your home at the
desired temperature.

With a new AC system, you will start to see and feel some immediate benefits. Here’s what you can start to expect with new AC installation from Reimer:

Depend on having a working unit

It is a nice feeling to wake up every day knowing that your AC is far, far less likely to cause you trouble.

Getting rid of that old air conditioner and replacing it with a new AC upgrade could save you more time, irritation, and discomfort than you initially realize. A new system—with a new manufacturer’s warranty— gives you the peace of mind that if something does go wrong, you are adequately covered.

Stretch your energy dollars

As your older unit starts working harder to cool your home, you may start noticing your electric bill climbing.

By taking the energy-savings step of investing in a new, more energy efficient model, you should see your electric bill falling back in line and allowing you to keep more of your money for summertime fun.

Enjoy better cooling

An air conditioner is supposed to get your home to a cool and comfortable temperature and keep it
there, no matter what the weather outside is doing. If the temperature inside your home noticeably
fluctuates during the day, it is probably time to consider replacing your existing unit.

Call Reimer for a free estimate on a new AC system

If you are looking for a quality installation of a new AC system at a fair price, consider Reimer Home
Services. We have been serving the people of Buffalo and Western New York since 1921, and our
reputation for exceptional service and value continues today.

Stop suffering from AC repair costs, high-energy bills, or seasonal discomfort. Contact us today, and let one of our experienced professionals help you find the right system for your home.

Here’s why indoor air quality matters here in Buffalo homes

It’s school and college graduation season, as well as the start of summer. While you’re planning a summer vacation to get out of the house for some fresh air, you really should take some time to think about how to bring more of that freshness back into your home. Here’s why indoor air quality matters.

In this blog, we’ll make the case for scheduling an indoor air quality test from our team here at Reimer. By improving your indoor air quality, you can live more comfortably, lower the impact of allergies, and spend the summer healthier.

To schedule your IAQ test, contact us today, or call us at (716) 694-8524.

Here's why your indoor air quality matters.

You probably already know what outdoor air does to your allergies. However, if you have poor indoor air quality, you’ll probably be feeling the effects indoors, too.

Poor air quality can aggravate your allergies

Springtime here in Buffalo is bad enough for your allergies without poor indoor air quality playing a role. However, trapped pollen, dust, and other contaminants in your home’s air can easily bring the misery of your allergies inside.

This is just one of the reasons that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America notes that indoor air quality is just as important as outdoor air quality. Dust mites, mold spores, pet hair, and more can trigger an allergic reaction for homeowners.

If you’ve been sneezing, coughing, or experiencing headaches in your home, it might be a good time to call Reimer and schedule an indoor air quality test.

It can make you and your family sick

Beyond just allergies, poor indoor air can actually make you sick. Here’s why: trapped indoor air is a safe haven for airborne viruses and bacteria. Have you ever had an illness that impacted every family member, turn-by-turn? That’s probably because of their close proximity to one another in a closed space, with stale air filled with viruses and bacteria.

The team here at Reimer can install advanced air purification equipment in your home to help clean and purify your air. For example, we have UV purification equipment that kills airborne bacteria and viruses.

In fact, a UV device is on CNN’s list of some of the best ways to eliminate the flu virus in your home.

Bad air often smells bad

This might seem secondary to the other concerns, but it does matter. Poor indoor air quality and circulation issues mean that all sorts of bad odors are trapped in your home, just stewing.

From pet and body odors to dust and dirt and to, well, everything you’ve cooked in the last month, your house can start to smell pretty bad.

When you schedule your indoor air quality test this spring, be sure to ask your Reimer tech to assess the source of various odors in the air.

Adjust your humidity to be more comfortable

Indoor air quality isn’t just about what’s in your air. If your home’s air has been too dry or too humid, it’s time to have Reimer help adjust your humidity to a comfortable level.

In the summers, humidity tends to spike. This makes your home feel warmer, meaning that you have to use more air conditioning to keep cool. In the winter, the opposite effect happens, and you need to add humidity to make your home comfortable again.

Reimer has a wide variety of home humidification and dehumidification solutions. If your home has been uncomfortable so far this summer, give us a call to schedule an indoor air quality test.

Call Reimer for your IAQ test!

Reimer Home Services is your expert indoor air quality team here in Buffalo and Western New York. Schedule your IAQ test today by contacting us online or calling (716) 694-8524.