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Hazy. Hot. Humid.

These three words are often used to describe July weather in New England.

This has been especially true as a stifling heat wave has swept across the Northeast in recent weeks, causing rising temperatures throughout the Massachusetts area.

In fact, with so many people running their air conditioners around the clock, officials at ISO New England have even expressed concerns about residents putting too much stress on the power grid.

Just this week, the ISO-NE regional grid manager asked residents to conserve electricity in order to reduce the risk of power outages.

Energy saving suggestions from the group — which oversees the operation of New England’s bulk electric power system and transmission lines — include raising air conditioning thermostats, turning off unneeded lights or office equipment and putting off chores requiring electricity until the early morning or late evening hours.

Here’s a few more ideas from the plumbing and heating professionals at Rapid Response for conserving energy while still keeping your home cool:

1. Rearrange.

Believe it or not, moving your furniture around can actually help reduce energy costs.

The configuration of air conditioning vents in many homes may mean you’re wasting energy cooling the bottom side of a couch or the back of a chair instead of blowing that cold air out into your room.

If this a problem, there are extensions you can buy to direct air the right way, but often times it can be easier to just shift your sofa to another wall or move a chair across the room.

2. Give 78 degrees a try.

No, it’s not a 90s boy band. 78 degrees is a recommended level for many air conditioning units to run at their optimal level.

You may think of that as warmer than you’d like it, but give it a try before you knock it. After all, compared to the sweltering temps outside, 78 should feel pretty nice.

Setting your thermostat even 5 degrees higher can cause your air conditioner to use up to 40 percent less energy.

3. Set it warmer when you sleep.

Your body doesn’t need the same level of cool while you’re sleeping as it does during your waking hours.

During the nighttime hours, try turning your air conditioner down  — setting your thermostat to a higher temperature — starting an hour or two before you go to bed.

The same thing goes for when you’re at work during the day. Turn your thermostat up to 85 and close the curtains or blinds.

It will be hot for a few minutes when you get home, but the cost and energy savings can be significant.

4. Service your A/C.

Of course, one of our great heating and plumbing professionals at Rapid Response would be the best option for giving your air conditioning unit the full check-up it needs, but even some basic self maintenance can help.

Most units would benefit greatly from a good hosing out, especially if your home is plagued with pesky trees or shrubs that drop seeds, which can stick to the unit’s filters and make it work significantly harder.

5. Turn the lights off.

Turning off some lights in rooms you’re not in can not only help reduce the amount of heat being given off in your home, but also save plenty of energy.

Also, paying attention to how much light is being let in from outside can keep your home from heating up due to the hot sun outside.

These tips should help you and your family avoid over-stressing the grid during any heat wave and keep your air conditioner running smoothly all summer. But don’t forget to also schedule your maintenance appointment with our team at Rapid Response.

However, if your A/C unit does decide to go on summer vacation and break down, don’t forget you can call Rapid Response anytime at 888-549-0222 or contact us for A/C repair, HVAC maintenance or plumbing services 24 hours a day!

No matter whether you live in a historic home or a brand-new apartment, eventually there’s a good chance your hot water heater is going to stop working.

While this is often a problem associated with wintertime, it does happen year round and no one wants to wake up to an ice cold shower in the morning — even in the summer!

While the warm months offer a great chance to have a professional do a seasonal check-up and maintenance on your home’s hot water heater, the reality is that many times water heaters are ignored until there’s a problem.

If you’re one of the many folks in the Massachusetts area dealing with a busted water heater, a big decision is whether to go with a gas, electric, oil or propane option.

Electric Heaters vs. Gas Heaters

Installing an electric water heater can often be an arduous process that requires quite a bit of time and can be more trouble than it’s worth if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Installing a water heater can be very tricky as it not only requires turning off the water, but disconnecting wiring and hook-ups, draining the water heaters, soldering, as well as moving the heavy water heaters around.

Utilizing gas water heaters over the alternative of electric is much more cost effective as gas prices are lower. Generally, these heaters work extremely well and the hot water that comes from a gas heater lasts longer.

In Massachusetts, only a professionally-licensed plumber and gas fitter is allowed to install any kind being gas electric or oil water heater. Home owners are not allowed to do this work.

In many areas there are handymen that advertise water heater installation, but beware that unless they are licensed by the state they are breaking the law.

And you might have a problem with your insurance company because only a license plumber can take out a permit from the city or town that you live in.

That’s why it’s best to consult with a licensed plumber for gas water heaters in the state of MA. Rapid Response has maintained its MA license 8679 for 40 years in the Massachusetts area and is always available to help with installation.

This goes especially for old houses, it is best to call a professional plumber to deal with your water heater problems.

Luckily, the plumbing professionals at Rapid Response are available to help at any time and have plenty of experience fixing and installing water heaters of all kinds. Contact us today for help! 

It’s very simple to accidentally knock a wedding ring, nickel, or other small metal object down a sink drain or into the garbage disposal.

The most prudent thing to do is call the plumbers and have them come out on fix it. Many people, however, prefer to try to retrieve the item themselves.

If you are going to attempt to retrieve anything out of the garbage disposal, please follow these tips:

  1. Head to the circuit breaker and cut off the power to the disposal.
  2. Grab a flashlight, extra long needle nose pliers (or tweezers) and safety gloves.
  3. Have a partner shine the flashlight into the disposal and see if you can see the object.
  4. Use the extra long pliers to grab the item and pull it out.

Do not stick your hand into the garbage disposal without safety gloves on, as the blades are very sharp.

If you can’t see the object in the disposal, please call professional plumbers. Garbage disposals can be very tricky to disassemble and reassemble.

The last thing you want to do is to take the disposal apart and not be able to put it back together. A professional plumber will be able to take apart the disposal, retrieve the object and put it back together without too much trouble.

If you need a plumber in the Massachusetts area, call the expert team at Rapid Response.

Our family-owned and operated company has been serving the metro-west area since 1933. Rapid Response believes in treating the customer with respect and giving them with quality honest service at a fair price. Their experienced technicians can help you with any problem whether you have a 200-year-old house or a brand new home. If you having any plumbing issues, contact us today!

Rapid Response will now be blogging about plumbing, water heater, heating, and cooling issues in the Boston Metro West area. We have an in depth knowledge of the plumbing and HVAC issues that affect certain towns, and we want to keep our customers informed.

We have been providing the Metro West with emergency plumbing services for over 70 years, and our sense of commitment to our customers extends beyond our exceptional courtesy and service. We hope this blog will keep our clients informed with the latest information affecting plumbing, heating, and cooling issues in the Boston Metro area.

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