Month: January 2023

Restaurant Refrigeration Installation: Get It Right the First Time

What’s the worst thing you can imagine happening right before the grand opening of a new restaurant or food service business? Having problems with your new refrigeration equipment is a big one. After all, if your refrigeration installation goes badly, ALL your cold food storage equipment could be affected and fail to hold the correct … Continued

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Ice Machine Cleaning Could Save Your Restaurant

Food safety must be a primary concern for every NYC restaurant owner. If it wasn’t, you wouldn’t stay in business very long. The consequences of serving potentially dangerous food are serious, not only to your patrons’ health, but also for your business: Poor health inspection grades Negative reviews on social media and in the press … Continued

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What is an air handler? HVAC terms defined

At, our writers create solutions that put you in control of your HVAC system. Our product reviews and recommendations are researched and backed by real buyers and industry experts, not dictated by our partners.

blower motor

An air handler is a component of your central heating and cooling system that circulates air through your ductwork. Sometimes people refer to the air handler as the “blower,” but the blower motor is a part of the air handler.

This article will answer the question, “What is an air handler?”. We’ll explain what it does and how to determine if yours needs repair or replacement.

If you’re shopping for a new air handler, check out our reviews of the best air handlers

Let our experts help you choose the best air handler for your home.

What does an air handler do?

An air handler is a piece of your central HVAC system. It attaches to your air conditioner, furnace (or heat pump), and plenums, leading to your ductwork.

Your air handler takes the warmed or cooled air created by your HVAC equipment and blows it into the supply plenum, which connects to your air ducts. Your ductwork distributes the treated air throughout your home.

Your air handler also connects to your return plenum, which takes air from inside your home and brings it into your HVAC system. Depending on the season, the air handler pushes that air to either your air conditioner or furnace, where it’s heated or cooled.

On the outside, an air handler is a large metal box that looks similar to your furnace. It’s typically installed alongside your furnace in your garage, attic, utility closet, or basement.

Parts of an air handler

Your air handler moves treated air through your home using the following components.

Blower motor

The blower motor powers a fan that pushes air into your ducts. It also helps circulate air from your home back into your AC or furnace.

Blower motors come in single-speed, dual-speed, and variable-speed varieties.

Single-speed blower motors can function at only one setting. These are typically less expensive upfront, though they’ll cost you more on utility bills in the long run.

Dual- and variable-speed blower motors can adjust automatically to different speeds. They’ll keep your home more consistently comfortable. They’re a bigger investment, but they’ll save you on utilities over time.

Evaporator coil

Your compressor is part of your outdoor AC unit (the condenser). The compressor pumps refrigerant into the air handler’s evaporator coil.

When the blower motor’s fan moves air over the evaporator coil, it cools the air. As the refrigerant warms in the coil, it gets pushed back to the compressor to cool down again.

Air filter

Your air handler’s air filter is on the return side of the unit. It filters air entering your HVAC system from your home. 

Air filters remove dust, mold, and bacteria from the air. This improves your household air quality and also protects your HVAC system.

Electrical components

Your air handler contains electrical components, such as a contactor and relay board, that help it do its job.

One notable electrical part is its emergency heat strip. The heat strip turns on when cold outdoor conditions make it difficult for your HVAC system to keep up with your heating needs. 

Common air handler problems

The average cost for air handler repair is $350. It may help to diagnose the problem yourself and try a few air handler troubleshooting tips before calling a professional to fix your system. 

Air handler is not turning on

Your air handler may be clogged due to a dirty air filter. Change your filter, dust the unit, and try again. 

If this doesn’t help, reset your air handler at your fuse box.

Blower motor is not working

The blower motor is a hard-working part of your air handler, so it’s often the cause of issues with the system.

Switch your thermostat to “auto,” “on,” and a few degrees higher or lower to see if that will start it working. The problem may be the connection between the air handler and the thermostat if it does.

If you suspect the motor is having trouble, turn it off at your fuse box. Remove the air handler’s cover and dust inside with canned air and a soft cloth

Air handler is short cycling

Check out our short cycling guide to fix this problem. You’ll likely have to clean out your system or repair your flame sensor. 

Air handler is leaking

If you feel air flowing out of the joints around your air handler, fix them immediately. This means treated air from your HVAC system isn’t making it into your home, causing your equipment to work harder than necessary (and raising your utility bills in the process.)

You can DIY fix air leaks with aluminum tape and duct sealant

Air handler repair help has pages to help troubleshoot specific Goodman, Rheem, and Lennox air handler units. 

If our tips don’t do the trick and your air handler isn’t working, call an HVAC contractor for help.

Schedule an appointment for air handler repair with one of our trusted local pros.

How much does an HVAC air handler cost?

According to the 2023 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator, installing a new air handler costs between $3,662.90 and $25,820. HomeAdvisor suggests most homeowners pay far less than that at $2,450.

An HVAC air handler’s price depends on its capacity, features, and blower motor style.

How long does an HVAC air handler last?

Air handlers have a useful life of about 10-15 years.

Call us if your air handler keeps breaking down, and you suspect it’s time to replace it. We’ll match you with a licensed local HVAC dealer who can help you find the best new air handler for your home.

Book an appointment with one of our top-rated HVAC pros now.

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What is a plenum? HVAC terms explained

At, our writers create solutions that put you in control of your HVAC system. Our product reviews and recommendations are researched and backed by real buyers and industry experts, not dictated by our partners.

furnace and plenum

An HVAC plenum box is a piece of ductwork attached to the air handler. The plenum moves air through the house and your HVAC system.

In your home, the HVAC plenum helps reduce humidity and improve airflow. You likely have two plenum boxes, one on the supply side and one on the return side of your ductwork.

This article will answer the question, “What is a plenum?”. In addition to explaining its function in your HVAC system, we’ll provide tips on plenum repair and things to consider when purchasing a new plenum.

Looking for HVAC repair? Schedule an appointment with a local expert.

What is an HVAC plenum?

A plenum is a box made of sheet metal. It connects your HVAC system’s air handler to your ductwork. 

Your HVAC system creates cool or warm air depending on the season. That air goes from your furnace or air conditioner to the air handler. 

On the supply side of the air handler, the plenum takes the newly warmed or cooled air and leads it into your ductwork. This is how the air from your HVAC system is distributed throughout your home.

On the return side of the air handler, the plenum takes air from inside your home and sends it to your air conditioner or furnace to be heated or cooled.

What’s the difference between an air duct and a plenum?

Plenums can be considered part of your ductwork. They serve as the piece that connects your ductwork to your central HVAC system.

Plenums are usually box-shaped and made of sheet metal. Residential air ducts are sometimes also box-shaped and made of sheet metal.

Some homes have cylindrical air ducts made of galvanized steel, aluminum, or wire coil covered in durable plastic. No matter the type of air ducts you have, the plenum is usually always a sheet metal box.

Your air ducts are the vehicle that distributes air from your HVAC system throughout your home. Your plenums are the pieces that join your HVAC equipment and your ductwork, allowing circulation between the two.

Do you need a plenum?

A plenum is a necessary component if you have a central heating and cooling system. In fact, you need two for your system to work correctly and circulate air within your home.

Common HVAC plenum issues

While a broken plenum isn’t a frequent cause of HVAC problems, there are occasions when plenums may malfunction and require repair.

Leaky plenum

Sometimes, your plenums may leak air. This can cause your HVAC equipment to work overtime, as the heated or cooled air never makes it into your home.

If your system cannot achieve the temperature you’ve set on your thermostat, examine your system for a plenum leak. Simply locate your air handler and check to see if you feel air flowing out of the plenums. has good tips on detecting home air leaks

If you find an air leak, the repair is DIYable. Use silicone caulk and aluminum tape to seal the plenum at its joints. 

Dirty plenum

Over time, your plenums may experience a build-up of dust or dirt. This may cause them to operate inefficiently, diminishing airflow in your home.

To keep your plenums clean, change your air filters every three months. Clean your air ducts regularly. 

Though DIY duct cleaning is important and useful, it won’t reach your plenums. We recommend supplementing your DIY cleans with professional air duct cleaning every 3-5 years.

Poorly sized plenum

An incorrectly sized plenum will negatively impact your whole HVAC system. If the plenum is too small, it will inhibit airflow. If it’s too big, it may cause your system to work harder than necessary, increasing your utility bills.

Contact a licensed HVAC technician if you suspect one of your plenums is the wrong size. They’ll be able to test it and suggest an appropriate replacement.

Since your plenums are such a vital piece of your home comfort equipment, we don’t recommend attempting repairs on your own – always seek the help of a professional.

Incorrectly installed plenum

If your plenums weren’t installed properly, you may be experiencing air circulation issues and a frequently malfunctioning HVAC system. The installer might have connected the plenum inefficiently, cut duct holes poorly, or made attachments at awkward angles that halt airflow.

If you think this is the case with your plenums, consult with an HVAC professional. They’ll be able to identify the exact issues and remedy them, improving the overall performance of your heating and cooling equipment.

Schedule plenum repair.

HVAC plenum repair or replacement

We don’t recommend attempting a plenum repair or replacement on your own. This piece should be specially fit to your HVAC system and installed securely by an expert.

When hiring an HVAC contractor, you can expect to pay $100-200 for a new plenum, assuming your system requires one of standard size and material. Pros typically charge $50-150 per hour. This job should take a few hours at most.

Purchasing a new plenum

We don’t recommend buying your plenum from sites like Amazon or a home improvement store before installation. Let your HVAC contractor take care of securing the materials for you.

Most plenums are made of sheet metal and can be custom-sized by your technician to fit your space and HVAC system perfectly. They’ll likely need to cut holes to fit and connect your ductwork.

Brand names don’t matter when it comes to plenums. They generally don’t have special features or any differentiating bells and whistles.

HVAC plenums: the bottom line

Plenums ensure air cycles through your home and your heating and cooling equipment. One plenum is as good as the next as long as it’s effectively connecting your HVAC system and ductwork.

Contact one of our top-rated local HVAC professionals if you suspect your plenum needs cleaning, repair, or replacement.

Let us find the best HVAC contractor for your job.

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Buyer’s guide to Aprilaire humidifiers

people doing yoga in kitchen

Is your indoor air feeling dry? An Aprilaire humidifier may provide the moisture boost your home needs.

We explored hundreds of customer reviews on popular Aprilaire whole-home humidifiers. Learn what to expect during Aprilaire humidifier installation and how much the process costs so you can decide if it’s the right indoor air quality investment. 

Get a quote for whole-home humidifier installation.

Does Aprilaire make good humidifiers?

Aprilaire is an industry standout for whole-home air quality. The American manufacturer has an 80-year reputation for innovation. 

Aprilaire’s parent company, Research Products Corporation, introduced whole-home humidifier technology to the HVAC industry. The catalog has expanded to include dehumidifiers, air purifiers, thermostats, and other air quality products. 

Aprilaire whole-home humidifiers

Aprilaire humidifiers are for whole-home use only. In this context, whole-home means each model connects to a central heating system with ductwork. 

The humidifier adds moisture to the air inside the duct system. The heating system’s ductwork and vents distribute the air through your home.

Aprilaire makes one model (the Aprilaire humidifier 300) that humidifies homes with ductless mini splits for heating and cooling. 

Are Aprilaire humidifiers right for me?

Aprilaire focuses on whole-home technology. The specialization leads them to create high-quality products with more rigorous testing.

Though Aprilaire has an impressive catalog of whole-home systems, they haven’t expanded to portable applications. Some of their competitors, such as Honeywell, offer whole-home and portable options. 

An Aprilaire humidifier may be a good fit if you:

  • Don’t plan to move soon
  • Have a central heating or cooling system
  • Want to add moisture to your whole home

An Aprilaire humidifier isn’t the best option if you:

  • May move in the future
  • Use space heaters or portable/window air conditioner for heating and cooling
  • Want to adjust the humidity in one room, not the whole house

Aprilaire humidifier controls: manual vs. automatic

Aprilaire humidifiers can have manual or automatic control systems. Humidifiers with manual controls have a dial with corresponding humidity levels. The homeowner turns the dial to the desired humidity level, and it stays constant.

An automatic control system pairs with a humidistat. The humidistat is installed outside the home and senses outdoor humidity levels. The humidistat communicates with the humidifier and adjusts the humidity level on its own.

Aprilaire humidifier installation

The average cost to install a whole-home humidifier is $575, though it can range $400-2,500 depending on the home’s size and the unit type. 

Aprilaire humidifiers range in cost $130-1,000. Including installation, you’ll pay $200-1,900.

The Aprilaire humidifier installation process is straightforward and should not take a technician much time. Since whole-home humidifiers are usually installed on your return air duct, installation won’t significantly disrupt activities in your home.

We don’t recommend DIY Aprilaire humidifier installation. The process involves cutting into your ductwork, running water lines, and connecting electrical wires; tasks better left to the pros. Additionally, DIY installation may void the warranty.

Schedule an appointment for whole-home humidifier installation.

Aprilaire humidifier filter replacement

Humidifier filters are also known as water panels. You can purchase Aprilaire humidifier filter replacements online via Amazon or other home improvement retailers. 

Aprilaire water filters come in four sizes: 10, 12, 35, or 45. You can find the right size for your model by checking the inside door of the humidifier.

You should conduct an Aprilaire humidifier filter replacement at least once a year. You may need to change the water panel more frequently during the winter if your humidifier is in frequent use or if your home has hard water.

To change your water panel, turn off the water to your home via the outdoor valve. Open the humidifier’s cover and remove the existing filter. Insert a new filter. Close the cover and turn the water back on.

Aprilaire humidifier models

Wondering which Aprilaire humidifier models work best for your home? The company currently sells seven whole-home humidifier options.

Aprilaire humidifier 300

The Aprilaire humidifier 300 is designed for homes with ductless heating and cooling systems like mini splits. It has a capacity of 13 gallons per day to humidify homes up to 2,000 square feet.

Since you don’t install the Aprilaire humidifier 300 within your ductwork, you may be able to DIY installation if you’re savvy when it comes to home improvement. It’s available for sale on Amazon. 

Aprilaire humidifier 400

The Aprilaire humidifier 400 has a capacity of 17 gallons per day. This humidifies homes up to 5,000 square feet.

This humidifier is a water-saver model that ensures all water is used and dispersed in the house before adding more water.

The Aprilaire humidifier 400 is used with ducted heating and cooling systems, so it requires professional installation. It’s also available in a 400M model with a manual humidistat.

Aprilaire humidifier 500

The duct-mounted Aprilaire humidifier 500 humidifies homes up to 3,500 square feet with its 12-gallon daily capacity. 

Though the humidifier 500 is automatic, Aprilaire also offers a 500M version with a manual humidistat.

Aprilaire humidifier 600

The Aprilaire humidifier 600 has a 17-gallon daily capacity. It’s for homes up to 5,000 square feet. 

This model is duct-mounted. The Aprilaire humidifier 600 is automatic, though the 600M version comes with a manual humidistat.

Aprilaire humidifier 700

This fan-powered duct-mounted humidifier relies heavily on your furnace to humidify your home in the cold season. Its 18-gallon daily capacity is for homes up to 5,300 square feet.

The Aprilaire humidifier 700 is automatic. The 700M model offers a manual humidistat option. 

Aprilaire humidifier 800

The Aprilaire humidifier 800 is a whole-home steam humidifier. It heats water in an internal canister to create steam. 

This humidifier is for substantial homes (5,000+ square feet) with a 34.6-gallon capacity.

Aprilaire humidifier 865

The Aprilaire humidifier 865 is a whole-house steam humidifier with a fan pack. It includes a sensor that measures when the humidity drops below the set level and automatically turns the fan on. 

This humidifier is designed for homes up to 5,200 square feet with a 34.6-gallon daily capacity. It’s ideal for large homes in dry, desert climates.

How to buy an Aprilaire whole-house humidifier

You can purchase an Aprilaire whole-house humidifier on sites like Amazon or via a local HVAC contractor. 

For more information, check out our guide on how to shop for a whole-home humidifier and our reviews of the best whole-home humidifiers on the market today. 

Click below to connect with an HVAC expert who can help you select and install a humidifier in your home. 

Book an appointment with a trusted HVAC technician.

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Frozen condensate drain: how to fix it yourself

At, our writers create solutions that put you in control of your HVAC system. Our product reviews and recommendations are researched and backed by real buyers and industry experts, not dictated by our partners.

frozen condensate drain

If your furnace abruptly stops working when it’s below freezing outside, you may have a frozen condensate drain. In most cases, you can fix this yourself. 

Keep reading for directions on how to repair a frozen condensate drain. If you’re not up for DIY, no worries! Click the box below, and we’ll connect you with a vetted local dealer who can help you.

Fix my condensate drain!

Locating your HVAC condensate drain

Your condensate line drains condensation created by your HVAC system out of your home. It is usually a white PVC pipe on an exterior wall from inside to outside your house. Sometimes, it’s near your condenser

If the water inside the pipe freezes, your furnace can no longer properly drain condensation. As a safety measure, it will shut itself off until you clear the drain.

Fixing your frozen condensate drain

Once you’ve located your frozen condensate drain, there are a few ways to defrost it. Make sure to turn your furnace off at the fuse box first.

💧 Use a hot water bottle Heat water on your stove or run hot water from your tap. Fill a stainless steel water bottle or thermos with the water. Affix it to your condensate drain line with a bungee cord or other fastener. Keep it there until the water inside the drain melts and your furnace works again. 
🫖 Pour hot water Fill a vessel like a kettle with hot water. Take the vessel outside and slowly pour the hot water over the condensate drain until the ice melts. You might need to do this several times before the line defrosts completely.
💨 Heat with a hair dryer Connect your hair dryer to an extension cord. Choose its highest heat setting and point it at the drain, warming it until the ice melts. This may take 20+ minutes. Make sure it’s not raining, snowing, or otherwise wet outside if you choose this method. 
🔥 Bring your space heater outside Connect your space heater to an extension cord or use a battery-powered heater. Place it near the condensate drain to warm it and melt the ice inside. Do not leave the heater unattended. Do not choose this method if it is unsafe to use electrical appliances outdoors. 

Be careful not to burn yourself or damage your HVAC equipment. Never use electrical appliances in rainy or snowy conditions.

Do not use boiling water on your frozen condensate drain. It may crack your pipe.

Once your drain line is ice-free, turn the furnace back on at the fuse box. It should work as expected.

If the weather remains cold, your condensate drain may freeze again. Simply repeat the process and consider hiring an HVAC technician who can take measures to prevent the condensate line from freezing in the future.

How to prevent condensate line from freezing

The most straightforward way to keep your condensate line from freezing repeatedly is to insulate the pipe. You can try to do this yourself with an insulated wrap

If that doesn’t solve the problem, call an HVAC contractor. There may be more factors at play, such as the slope of the pipe or a clog unrelated to the cold weather.

If your condensate drain line is especially long, it might help to shorten the pipe, leaving less opportunity for freezing. For example, if your drain pipe leads under the house, through your crawl space, and out to the yard, you may benefit from shortening it.

A licensed furnace contractor can conduct this repair for you, cutting the condensate line and redirecting it to drain elsewhere.

Click below to connect with an HVAC technician who can examine your condensate drain line and recommend a course of action to prevent freezing. 

Book an appointment for HVAC repair now.

Furnace troubleshooting

If your furnace isn’t working and defrosting your condensate drain line doesn’t help, check out our furnace troubleshooting tips. Performing these simple tasks may fix your issue and save you the expense of a professional repair. 

If troubleshooting doesn’t solve your problem, it may be time to call in an expert. can connect you with a top-rated local furnace contractor to diagnose and perform a repair. Click below to schedule an appointment.

Schedule an appointment with a furnace repair expert.

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Restaurant Event Planning: 7 Tips for NYC Restaurant Week

During NYC’s restaurant week (which has become closer to a month), there will be hundreds of restaurants gearing up to put their best foot forward. How do you stand out in the crowd? Add entertainment to the menu. Restaurant event planning is a big deal for a reason: it draws people into your restaurant and … Continued

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What is a MERV Rating and Why Does it Matter?

Have you heard your HVAC technician mention the MERV rating? It stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and describes the filtration efficiency of your furnace or air conditioner.

Air FilterWhen it comes to indoor air quality, it’s not just about comfort — it’s about your health. You spend most of your time in your home or office, so you want to ensure that you and your family breathe clean air.

We’ve put together some information about MERV ratings to help you understand why it’s important to have the right rating for your HVAC system.

What is a MERV Rating?

MERV is the minimum efficiency reporting value for air filtration. It’s a standard created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for measuring the ability of an air filter to capture particles from the air passing through it. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient it is.

Standard Meme
So, what does this mean for you?

If you have allergies or asthma, a higher MERV rating means your air filter captures more allergens and irritants from the air that passes through it.

However, the highest ratings aren’t always the best for your home HVAC. Trapping too many small particles can cause stress to your HVAC system, meaning higher energy bills and more repairs. It’s best to ask your HVAC technician which filter is right for your home.

Understanding a MERV Rating

The MERV rating measures the filtration efficiency of an air filter. A common misconception is that this measures the size of the particles that are filtered out. But it’s a measure of how well the filter can trap dust and pollutants.

Dust Photo The higher the MERV rating, the better a filter will remove particles from the air. The best MERV filters remove particles as small as 0.3 microns!

The most common filter in homes is between MERV 8-13. These filters can improve your indoor air quality without costing you too much in energy bills.

MERV Ratings and Their Uses

The MERV rating system measures the ability of an air filter to capture particles in its surface area.

MERV rating 1-7

Air filters with a MERV rating of 1-7 are used in larger industrial settings where airflow is already good. They’re primarily used to protect machinery by removing larger particles from the air, which can damage motors and other equipment.

These filters are more energy efficient. However, they aren’t always suitable for residential settings. Using a lower-rated filter may help you save money on your bills, but your indoor air quality will be poor, putting your health at risk.

MERV Rating 8-13

As a general rule, most people will want to use an air filter with a MERV rating of 8-13 for their homes. A rating of 8 is suitable for those who don’t live near smoke pollution and don’t suffer from allergies or asthma.

The higher the pollution levels near your home, the higher the MERV rating you need. For example, a MERV rating of 13 should be able to filter down to 0.3–1.0-micron particle size.

MERV Rating 14-20

Hospitals and laboratories use very high MERV ratings because they have special needs regarding air filtration. They need their filters to capture as many bacteria, viruses, and other infectious agents as possible while still allowing clean air into their buildings.

These kinds of air filters sound appealing to have in your home. However, they use a lot of energy, and as a result, you end up with higher energy bills.

The best way to keep your air as clean as possible at home is to use a HEPA filter.

Do HEPA Filters Have a MERV Rating?

The importance of air purifiers cannot be overstated. Not only do they help create a healthy home environment, but they also contribute to the overall health of your family. If you are looking for an air purifier that is both effective and affordable, then consider a HEPA filter.

But what is a HEPA filter, and how does it differ from a MERV-rated filter?

Marv Thick Air Filter ScaledA high-efficiency particulate absorbing filter or high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter is a type of air filter designed to trap tiny particles, including bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.

Most HEPA filters have an efficiency rating of 99 percent or higher when tested using an internationally accepted test method.

That’s why not all HEPA filters come with a MERV rating. Instead, they exceed the MERV ratings – meaning they’re one of the best filters you can buy.

Lastly, air filters don’t last forever. They need maintenance like any other aspect of your HVAC system. So, when you see your filters collecting dust and debris, it’s time to replace them.

Standard Meme Still trying to decide which air filter is best for your home? Contact the HVAC experts at Service Champions today for more information.

How Long Do PEX Pipes Last?

Today, most new plumbing installers use PEX piping. And if you’re thinking about using it, it’s important to know some facts before making a choice. Let’s explore the lifespan of PEX pipes and how PEX piping stacks up against other popular plumbing materials.

What is PEX piping?

PEX piping, which stands for polyethylene cross-linked, is a type of plastic tubing that can be used for residential plumbing systems. It’s an alternative to traditional home plumbing materials like copper and iron.

PEX pipe is often used for water supply lines because it’s flexible and easy to install. It’s also easier to bend and manipulate than rigid plastic pipes such as PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

PEX piping is made from cross-linked polyethylene, which makes it resistant to temperature changes. The material also has high chemical corrosion and abrasion tolerance, making it ideal for homes with hard water conditions.

When is PEX piping used?

PEX plumbing is a great choice for residential and commercial plumbing projects. It’s easy to install and has many benefits over other types of pipes, including copper, CPVC, or steel.

Cut Pex PipeYou can use PEX piping for many different applications, such as central heating systems, underfloor heating systems, and radiant floor heating systems. But it’s mainly used for hot and cold water lines.

How long do PEX pipes last?

PEX pipes can last for decades if properly installed. But their lifespan depends on the quality of the materials and how well they’re maintained.

Plumber Meme
What’s more, poorly installed PEX pipes can need repair faster than those properly installed by a professional plumber. If you have a damaged PEX pipe, it can be repaired by replacing the damaged section. Replacing damaged areas with new ones is cheaper than replacing the entire system.

The Pros and Cons of PEX Piping

Should you use PEX piping? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide.


It’s cheaper than copper

PEX installations are less expensive than copper installations because the materials are more affordable and easier to work with. So, if you’re on a tight budget or want to save money on your next home improvement project, PEX pipes may be the right choice.

Easy to install

It takes less time to install PEX pipe than copper because there are no soldering joints or fittings to make. Instead, you simply cut the tubing into lengths and crimp the ends onto the fittings with a pair of pliers.

Easier to cut

Metal pipes have to be sawed carefully so as not to damage their internal threads or leave burrs on the outside of the pipe. The burrs can cause leaks and other problems if they are not removed. PEX piping is softer and can be cut using a scissor-style knife or a PEX pipe cutter without leaving sharp edges.

Corrosion and freeze resistant

One benefit of PEX piping is that it can withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it perfect for use in cold-weather climates.

Frozen Pipes

PEX is also more chemically resistant than copper and other metals, making it ideal for use in areas with high chemical levels.

Drinking water safe

Copper pipes are made from metal and can corrode over time. A small amount of corrosion is acceptable in a water system, but too much can result in the contamination of your water supply.

Unlike metal, PEX can withstand long periods of contact with water without breaking down or developing leaks. This makes PEX piping a safer option than copper when it comes to drinking water systems because you don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into your water supply.

Reduced plumbing joints reducing leak points

Copper piping has to be cut at the joints where it connects to other pieces of pipe, which can lead to leaks if the joints aren’t properly sealed. PEX piping doesn’t require these joints, which makes it easier to install and less likely to leak.

Pex PipesCons

It can’t be used outside

You shouldn’t use PEX piping outdoors in cold climates because it can become brittle and crack when exposed to freezing temperatures without insulation.

Also, PEX can become brittle or develop cracks over time when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods. When this happens, it could cause leaks or cracks in your pipes that could lead to significant damage if not addressed quickly enough.

Rodent attacks

Rats and mice love to live in warm places, so they often make their homes in your attic or basement. Unfortunately, they have a keen sense of smell and see your PEX pipes as a source of food and water. This can cause leaks in your plumbing system sooner than you’d like.

Rat Meme
Looking for affordable and efficient plumbing services for your home or business? Contact the experts at Service Champions today.

The Secrets to Low Energy Bills

Want to know the secrets to low energy bills? It’s not as hard as you might think. You can dramatically reduce your energy costs with some small tweaks, and the right equipment.

Here are our top ten ways to help you save on your energy bills without sacrificing your home comfort.

Get an Energy Audit

If your home is losing energy, it can be hard to figure out where it’s going. An energy audit will help you understand where your home is losing heat and cooling by using specialized detection equipment. The auditor will also suggest improvements that increase the efficiency of your home.

Audit Meme

An energy audit is a good idea if you live in a home over 10 years old or if you’re planning to sell your home. It’ll help make your home more attractive to potential buyers.

The process involves testing your home’s airtightness, insulation levels, and ventilation efficiency. An auditor will also look for leaks in ductwork and other features that affect how well your heating system works.

You’ll receive a report of recommendations for improvements, and the auditor will usually provide estimates of how much money these improvements should save you.

Make Sure Your Home is Insulated

Insulation is one of the best investments you can make in your home. The cost will be recouped over time through lower heating bills and improved comfort.

Man Insulating A Home

There are two types of insulation: loose-fill cellulose, made from recycled newspaper, and batt-style fiberglass or foam board. Both provide a high R-value (the measure of thermal resistance) that helps keep heat inside during cold weather and out when it’s warm outside.

Check with a professional if you need clarification on which type your home requires.

Insulate Your Water Heater

A water heater is one of the biggest energy hogs in the home — it accounts for about 20 percent of total residential energy use.

They waste energy because they’re made of materials that conduct heat. When you insulate the water heater and cover it with an insulated jacket or blanket, you prevent heat from escaping into your home. The result is low energy bills and less waste.

Use Appliances During Off-Peak Hours

One easy way to reduce energy costs is by using appliances during off-peak hours. Off-peak hours are generally between 8:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.,but it can vary by region and utility company. You can sign up for an energy-saving program with your utility company. That way, you can plan your usage around those hours to reduce your energy usage.

Change Your Air Filter

A dirty filter restricts airflow and increases strain on your HVAC equipment. As a result, it may have to work harder and use more energy. This can lead to higher energy bills and more frequent repairs.

Woman With A Dirty Filter

Moreover, a clogged filter reduces the effectiveness of your HVAC system. It can’t remove as much dirt and debris from the air as it does with a clean filter.

Scheduling regular HVAC maintenance keeps your filters clean and your energy bills low.

Lower the Settings on Your Thermostat

Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature without spending too much money is about finding that balance between comfort and cost. The lower you can set your thermostat without feeling uncomfortably cold, the more money you’ll save over time.

By lowering the temperature by just a few degrees, you can save as much as two percent on your heating bill. That may not sound like much, but over time it adds up.

Landscape for Shade

Keep your home cooler in summer and save on air-conditioning costs by planting shade trees. Trees are one of the most effective ways to reduce the heat from the sun and help insulate it from heat loss in winter.

House Shaded By Trees

Replace Your Showerhead

Replacing your shower head is an easy way to reduce water usage and save money on your energy bill. Most shower heads use up to three gallons per minute (GPM) of water.

Water Waste Meme

By switching to a low-flow shower head that uses two GPM, you’ll use less water which means less energy needed to heat it.

Use LED Light Bulbs

LED bulbs use less energy and are more efficient than other types of bulbs. This means that they produce less heat, save on energy costs, and help protect the environment.

Make Sure to Get HVAC Maintenance and Tune-Ups

The more efficiently your system runs, the less it costs to operate. A professional tune-up will ensure that all system components are running at their highest level of performance. This means you’ll use less energy to keep your home comfortable. Plus, any issues that arise during the process can be addressed before they cause significant damage.

Hvac Tools

Need HVAC maintenance? Get affordable HVAC care with the professionals at Service Champions.

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