5 Things You Need To Know About Drain Clearing - Elmers Home Services

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If you are experiencing any of the signs that your water heater needs repair or replacement, don’t hesitate to call a professional.

Elmer’s Home Services in San Antonio TX can help you assess the situation and make the best decision for your needs. We have experienced plumbers and quality service, so you can get back to enjoying hot showers and baths in no time.

About Elmer’s Home Services

Our business provides water heater repair, emergency plumber services, and plumbing repair in San Antonio, Texas. We have proudly served over 20,000 customers. Our professional plumbers are punctual and take pride in providing reliable and affordable home services to our neighbors.

Discover the difference in our services when you get it done “The Elmer Way”. Call us today to get more information!

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Home Service Tips
Whether you have a clogged drain or your home needs a complete overhaul of the plumbing system, finding a professional that offers comprehensive plumbing services can be challenging. Where does a homeowner even start when they need to call a plumber? In this article, you’ll find several tips on how to choose the best plumber. You’ll want to keep this information handy next time you have plumbing problems.

DIY or Professional Plumbing Services?

If you’re like most homeowners, the first thing you do when you have a home maintenance problem is to try to fix it yourself. Things like clearing minor clogs and dealing with a drippy faucet are relatively easy for the average person to handle. If you can wield a plunger or replace a faucet washer, you may not need a plumber. However, many plumbing problems require professional tools that the average homeowner can’t access. Even more important is the expert plumbing professionals bring to the job. Plumbers spend several years learning the trade. They know how to diagnose and fix plumbing problems quickly. Hiring a professional for your plumbing project will usually save you precious time and money.

Asking the Right Questions Helps Shorten the Search

If you’ve never needed a plumber before, you may not know what to look for when you call for plumbing services. What you know is that you want to find a reliable, trustworthy company that won’t overcharge you for services just because you’re unfamiliar with plumbing systems. It’s not uncommon for an inexperienced homeowner to feel somewhat timid about asking too many questions or asking the wrong questions. Relax. A good plumber won’t mind the questions, and most even enjoy talking shop with customers to ensure they understand their plumbing issues and the services needed to get things running smoothly. Of course, you’ll want to know how long a company has been in business and whether they’re licensed and insured. Those are standard questions you’d ask any contractor. Beyond that, it’s always good to know about rates, hours of operation, and how the plumbing company guarantees their work. Keep this list of questions nearby when searching for a plumber near me.

Where to Find the Best Plumbing Services

Isn’t everything a person needs today just a click away? While the internet is an excellent place to begin, a company can appear first in your search and not be the best contractor in town. There’s a difference between savvy marketing and excellent service.

Family and Friends

The best way to find a good plumber is to ask people you know who they’d recommend. There’s nothing like word of mouth to narrow down your choices.

Online Referrals

You can also find great plumbers from online referral sources. Most referral sources have some type of vetting process, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do some of your own research on an individual company before you make your final hiring decision.


Many plumbing contractors advertise on social media, TV, and through print ads. Those are all good ways to catch customers’ attention. Unfortunately, big advertising budgets don’t guarantee quality. If you don’t know a friend or family member who can give you a referral, check online to see if you can find any current reviews. If the company you’re interested in working with has a website, look for a page with testimonials given by satisfied customers.

What Type of Services Do You Need?

You may need to call a plumber when you have a clogged kitchen sink or a toilet that won’t stop running. Did you know plumbers offer a wide variety of services? Some of those services include:
  • Sewer line inspection
  • Sewer cleaning
  • Drain cleaning
  • Slab leak detection and repair
  • Water heater repair
Many plumbing contractors also install new plumbing systems, fixtures, and appliances, such as tankless water heaters. You may also find a company that offers HVAC and plumbing services together. Choosing a plumbing company that offers multiple services can save you time and money.

Permits and Building Codes

When planning a plumbing project, you’ll need to consider permit requirements. Even some repairs require a permit from your local building department. One mistake many homeowners make is assuming it’s only the major plumbing remodels that need permits. Even what you might consider small plumbing projects may require a permit. In most cities, the person doing the work secures the permit. Typically, your plumber will take care of all permits and inspections. It’s just another benefit of hiring a professional.

Make Sure to Use a Local Plumber

When you search online, you’ll find several local plumbers, but in the mix, you’ll also likely notice large plumbing corporations that don’t have a local office. Local plumbing services are always the best choice for several reasons. First, a local plumber can get to you quickly must when you have a plumbing emergency. Second, a local business is invested in your community and strives to build a good reputation there. Another reason to work with a local plumbing contractor is that they understand the building codes specific to your city. This means they know which permits are necessary, they know the local building inspectors, and they’ve worked on the different plumbing systems standard in your area. These are all things you’ll appreciate once you’ve started your project.

Sometimes You Need an Emergency Plumber

While a slow-draining bathtub or a nagging drippy faucet don’t usually require immediate assistance, other issues are more pressing. For example, if you have sewage backing up in your basement, you’ll want a plumber to come out as soon as possible. Sewage and sewer gas can cause health problems. While many plumbing professionals offer 24/7 availability, not all do. Make sure you find a plumber that provides this level of service. You never know when you might have a plumbing emergency. The best plumbers offer after-hours emergency services, including weekends and holidays. Do plumbers work on holidays? If they offer round-the-clock services, yes, they even work on holidays. Thanksgiving or the day after is a high-demand day for plumbing services. Any holiday or event where you cook a big meal and clean up after a large group of people in your home can aggravate your plumbing system. It’s all the FOG that goes down the drain!

What About Plumbing Maintenance?

Another essential service many homeowners miss out on is preventative plumbing maintenance. Plumbing maintenance keeps your pipes clean, which helps extend the plumbing system’s life. Clean lines also improve your water quality. Look for a plumbing company that offers maintenance services. Some contractors even offer maintenance plans. A maintenance plan usually includes one or two plumbing inspections every year. Plumbing maintenance should include the following:
  • Inspecting for water damage
  • Inspecting for damage or corrosion to pipes
  • Checking toilets for leak
  • Water pressure checks for all faucets
  • Checking for clogs
  • Inspection of the water heater
  • Pressure test to detect hairline cracks or leaks
  • Drain cleaning
These are the basic checks and inspections you should expect when a plumbing professional makes a routine maintenance visit. You may also need other maintenance services not covered in a maintenance plan. For example, while some plumbing contractors offer lead testing, it’s not usually included in routine maintenance. After you’ve taken care of your plumbing problems, it’s great to talk with your contractor about ongoing maintenance. They can help set you up with a routine maintenance schedule and, in the meantime, offer tips on things you can do to keep your system running smoothly between maintenance visits.

How Do You Know When You Find the Best Plumber?

Aside from reaching out to friends and family and doing your online research, how will you know when you’ve found the plumbing professional that best meets your needs? Here are a few traits of an excellent plumbing company:
  • Responsive to your calls or emails
  • Arrives on time
  • Fully equipped to handle any plumbing job
  • Provides estimates
  • Positive online ratings
Another sign of an excellent plumbing professional is that they don’t use a bunch of plumbing jargon. That’s right! A good plumber won’t confuse you by talking in plumber-speak. Instead, they will do their best to explain your plumbing issues and the repairs in terms that are easy for you to understand. Of course, if you find a plumbing company that also offers heating and cooling services, you’ve discovered a real gem!

Need Help Locating Plumbing Services?

Finding a plumber to treat you right shouldn’t be stressful. Keeping the tips shared in this article in mind when contacting a company for plumbing services should make the process easier. In the San Antonio area, look no further than Elmer’s Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We take our customers seriously and strive to provide 100% satisfaction with every project we handle. We also make it easy to schedule a service. Call us today at 210-570-1717 and book an appointment!
As the weather gets colder, now is the time to start thinking about winterizing your home—and that includes your heating system. By taking a few simple steps to winterize your furnace or boiler, you can help keep your family warm all season long while also saving money on your energy bills. Plus, a little bit of preventative maintenance now can help you avoid costly repairs down the road. Here are four easy steps to winterize your heating system.

1. Schedule a tune-up with a professional.

Just like your car, your furnace or boiler needs regular maintenance to run efficiently. scheduling a tune-up with a professional before the weather gets too cold is a great way to make sure everything is in working order and catch any potential problems early on. Most HVAC companies offer fall furnace tune-ups for a reasonable price, so this is an easy way to get started with winterizing your system.

2. Change your air filter.

Your furnace or boiler has an air filter that helps remove dirt, dust, and other airborne particles from the air before it’s circulated throughout your home. Over time, these filters can become clogged, which can reduce the efficiency of your heating system and cause it to work harder than it needs to. Checking and changing your air filter at least once every three months is key to keeping your system running efficiently—and it’s something you can do yourself without having to call in a professional.

3. Inspect your vents and ducts.

Another easy task you can do to winterize your heating system is to inspect all the vents and ducts in your home and make sure they are clear of any debris or obstructions. All it takes is a quick visual inspection; if you see anything blocking the vents or ducts, simply remove it so that air can flow freely through them. This will help improve the efficiency of your heating system and ensure that every room in your home stays nice and cozy all winter long.

4. Invest in a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats are a great way to both save money on energy bills and keep your home comfortable year-round—and they’re relatively inexpensive, too! By investing in one of these devices, you can set specific temperatures for different times of day and have complete control over when your furnace or boiler turns on and off. Many newer models even allow you to control the temperature remotely using your smartphone or tablet, so you can adjust it no matter where you are.

Schedule your tune-up with Elmer’s.

Now that you know how to winterize your heating system, it’s time to schedule a tune-up with Elmer’s Home Services. Our technicians are highly trained and will make sure your system is running efficiently. We’ll also check for any potential problems so you can avoid costly repairs down the road. Schedule your appointment today and rest easy knowing your heating system is ready for winter.
It is hard to think of a product that provides more value for people than quality heating and air conditioning. Statistics show that the United States has an industry for heating and air conditioning contractors that generates above $120 billion every year! There are more than 590,000 people in the United States working in the heating and air conditioning contractor industry. Of course, finding a great “HVAC service near me” can be especially important when the winter months are approaching. There are a number of things that people can do to prepare their heating systems for the winter. Failing to take these steps can mean paying a price in efficiency and the health of your system. With the right preparations, your heating system will be as efficient as it can be during the upcoming winter months. That can lower your energy bills. On top of that, doing your yearly preparations for the winter will help your system last longer. So what do you need to do to make sure that your heating system is ready for winter? Read on to learn all about the most important steps to take to get your heating system ready to manage colder months!

Prioritize the Health of Your HVAC System

This may be the best time in our lifetimes to learn about taking care of the health of our heating and air conditioning systems. In recent months, inflation has led to higher energy bills. However, those bills have gone even higher due to the effects of international unrest. Events around the world are decreasing access to traditional sources of energy. Together, these effects mean that an inefficient heating system can cost you a lot more money than it would have cost you in the past.

Check for Any Possible Heating Issues

Depending on your situation, it may have been some time since you tested the heating abilities of your HVAC system. Many people wait until it gets cold enough for their system to automatically switch over to heating. However, it is at that point that they often discover that they have maintenance issues with their heating system. Of course, finding this out as the months get colder is terrible timing. For that reason, you may want to prioritize testing your heating system as soon as you can. It is better if you can discover any problems it might have before it gets too cold. That way, you can make any necessary repairs before you have to deal with a cold house. To do this, you can set your thermostat to a higher temperature. The higher you set the thermostat, the greater the chance it will turn on your heating system. However, if your system never turns on no matter how high you set the thermostat, you may have a problem. You can check to make sure that your system has access to power. If you know a little bit more about your system, you may also be able to check the heat pump or the furnace fan for any obvious problems. However, in most cases, if your system doesn’t turn on, you will need to call up professional contractors to help you get your system ready for the upcoming winter.

Change the Air Filters in Your System

Your heating system processes incredible quantities of air to control the temperature of your home. At the same time, it doubles as a type of air filter. If it didn’t do so, then the contaminants from the air outside would be channeled into your home through the heating system. Fortunately, your system will have filters in place to catch these contaminants and keep them out of your airspace. At the same time, the more contaminants these air filters catch, the harder it is for air to flow through them. Many people ignore this problem without realizing the consequences of doing so. The harder it is for your system to pass air through it, the more energy it will consume to keep your home warm. That is even more expensive considering recent increases in energy costs for many people. Changing your air filters will also help you enjoy superior air quality in your home. Old air filters struggle to continue to filter out dust and other contaminants from the air. You can call a contractor to do general maintenance on your HVAC system. They can install a new air filter while they are doing so. On the other hand, you may be able to handle the process yourself. If you are not already calling a professional for help, then it might be worth your while to figure out how to change your air filter on your own. The process is often as simple as opening up your system, pulling out the air filter, and pushing in the new one.

Cover the Condenser to Avoid Emergency AC Repair

When you are getting your system ready for winter, it is important to also make sure your air conditioning doesn’t take damage during the colder months. Heat pump systems do not require you to cover the AC condenser. However, other kinds of HVAC systems will have an AC condenser that you may want to cover. This way, falling icicles and other potential damage will not affect your air conditioning system.

Consider Cleaning Your Heat Exchanger

In the ideal case, you will make sure your heat exchanger is clean at least once every year. If you can’t do that yourself, you can find a contractor to do it for you as part of system maintenance. However, you should make sure to clean the heat exchanger one way or another. Otherwise, it could cause a leak of carbon monoxide into the house.

Consider Investing in a Smart Thermostat

This may be the right time to invest in a smart thermostat. Of course, more and more people have smart thermostats and end up not choosing to use them. Although these systems can be confusing at first, a single hour of getting to know them can pay off for the rest of your life! With the right programming, you can set your thermostat to keep your home comfortable without using up more energy than is necessary. Many people are lowering the temperature of their entire homes to try to cut costs on energy. However, you may be able to keep the important rooms in your home warm while still lowering your energy bills. Smart thermostats allow you to tell your heating system when to warm up which rooms in the home. In many homes, there are rooms that people do not use during certain times of the day or night. Figure out which rooms people tends not to use in your home, and set your thermostat not to heat those rooms during the hours that people are absent. This will also decrease the strain on your heating system. That will help it last longer and experience less wear and tear.

Look For Other Ways to Increase HVAC Efficiency

While you are prepping your heating system, you can also look at the insulation of your home. The better your home insulation, the easier it will be for your heating system to maintain the desired temperature. Just as with using a smart thermostat, that will decrease the burden on your heating system. When your system has to run every hour of the day, it wears out faster than when it can take occasional breaks. Improving your home insulation will also decrease your energy bills and help you avoid drafts in the home.

Invest in Quality HVAC Maintenance

Most people do not know how to take care of the various HVAC system maintenance tasks that allow for maximum efficiency and system health. If you haven’t done so recently, there is a good chance you would benefit from hiring a professional service to restore your heating system to excellent condition.

How to Find the Best HVAC Installation Service

If you are looking for an HVAC service, consider looking at online ratings and reviews. These can help you to find whichever HVAC professionals are the best choice for your specific situation.

Find the Right HVAC Service Near Me This Winter

The more that you know about how to prepare your heater for the winter, the more efficient it will be and the longer it will last. Not everybody takes the time to learn about these essential preparations, but doing so is an investment that pays for itself. Of course, that may mean that you need to find a great “HVAC service near me” to help you with maintenance and preparation. To learn more about how to make sure that your heating system is ready for the upcoming winter months, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!