6 Plumbing and HVAC Myths, Debunked

When it comes to plumbing and HVAC, it’s important to know how to separate the well-meaning advice from the misleading myths. Fortunately, our decades of experience means that we’ve seen all of the most common myths and then some. Here are six common plumbing and HVAC myths, along with the facts behind them.

Myth 1: Routine HVAC maintenance isn’t necessary

Just as you schedule routine maintenance for your car, and annual checkups for you and your family, your HVAC system needs an annual tune-up as well. While it may be tempting to skip a routine maintenance appointment to save some money, this decision can have negative financial impacts in the long run. This is due to the fact that routine maintenance gives a technician the opportunity to spot and fix small problems before they become more serious and more expensive. At Chas Roberts, our comprehensive 26-point maintenance plan is unmatched in the industry, and leaves no stone unturned when it comes to identifying potential problems in your HVAC system.

Additionally, many HVAC warranties require annual maintenance as one of their terms for coverage. If you choose not to have your HVAC system maintained, you could end up voiding your warranty, leaving you without coverage in the event of a large repair or costly breakdown.

Myth 2: It’s safe to use chemical drain cleaners like Drano

When you’re faced with a clog or a slow drain, it’s important to resist the urge to grab a jug of Drano. While chemical drain cleaners can get the job done in a pinch, they do a ton of damage to your plumbing in the process. The caustic main ingredients can wreak havoc on plastic or PVC pipes, leading to corrosion that can ultimately cause plumbing emergencies like burst pipes or large leaks. Instead of harsh chemicals, try a drain-safe alternative.

Baking soda and vinegar

When it comes to removing clogs, the tried-and-true combo of baking soda and vinegar can get the job done naturally. Add one cup of baking soda to the clogged or slow drain, then follow with two cups of vinegar. Listen for sizzling noises that indicate that the mixture is working and wait a few minutes before running water down the drain. If the issue hasn’t resolved, repeat the steps.

Enzyme-based drain cleaners

Enzyme-based drain cleaners use bacteria cultures and powerful enzymes to naturally eat away at organic matter. After consuming whatever blocked your pipes, these organisms proceed to reproduce and spread “good” bacteria throughout your plumbing system, preventing future clogs. Enzyme-based cleaners may not be the best solution in a pinch, as they need to sit overnight in order to work, but they’re much safer and beneficial in the long run than traditional liquid-chemical drain cleaners.

Professional drain cleaning

Got a clog you can’t seem to fix? Or a stubborn slow drain that won’t clear no matter what you do? It might be time for a professional drain cleaning. With the help of a video inspection, our plumbers can accurately identify all sorts of blockages and help determine what method is necessary to remedy it.

Myth 3: You can put anything in a garbage disposal

Your garbage disposal is a powerful appliance, but there are certain foods it can’t handle. If you don’t want to end up calling a plumber, steer clear from putting harmful products in your disposal. Everyday cooking items and household waste can spell trouble for a garbage disposal by dulling the blades, causing clogs, or harming the motor. Avoid the following troublemakers:

  • Grease and fats
  • Oils
  • Flour
  • Coffee grounds
  • Starchy vegetables (celery, asparagus, corn husks, potato peels)
  • Pasta and rice
  • Fruit seeds and pits
  • Paint and paint thinner

Myth 4: When it comes to air conditioning, a bigger system is better

According to HVAC professionals, up to 80% of the homes they service have oversized air conditioners. An oversized air conditioner is prone to short cycling, or turning on and off without completing a full cooling cycle. This places a large amount of stress on the crucial components of the system. The stress makes the components more likely to fail, which leads to frequent and potentially costly repairs.

A system that’s too large and poorly sized for your home will also likely fail to remove humidity from the air as well. In dry climates like Arizona, this may not seem like a big deal, however, during the crucial annual monsoon season you may find yourself in a muggy and humid home. If you suspect that your HVAC system is too big for your home, the experts at Chas Roberts can examine your system and offer a free estimate if a properly-sized replacement is necessary.

Myth 5: Closing vents in empty rooms will lower cooling costs

This myth makes sense in theory—if you’re not using a room in your home, why not close the vents so you won’t have to pay for heating or cooling an empty room? However, closing vents can actually cost you more money in the long run by damaging vital components of your HVAC system. Even if your vents are closed, air is still circulating through your ducts. This increase in pressure can damage your ductwork, and damage your blower fan by causing it to overwork. Bottom line, it’s best to leave all of the vents in your home open so that air can circulate throughout your home properly.

Myth 6: Hard water is only a cosmetic issue

Soap scum and cloudy spots on dishes, mirrors, and showers may be the most visible signs of hard-water damage, but they’re not the only ones. Hard water can cause increased wear and tear on your appliances and water heater. The accumulation of minerals can impact your pipes, causing damage and even blockages. Over time, hard water causes pipes to corrode or even burst, creating a major plumbing emergency. Hard water also decreases the lifespan of plumbing fixtures and appliances and increases the chance you’ll have to replace them earlier than expected.

The best way to address a hard water problem is with a filtration system. That way, mineral deposits and contaminants can be removed from the all the water that enters your home, and not just the water that come from specific faucets. At Chas Roberts, we specialize in installing whole-home water filters that use the filtration method detailed above. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, we can visit your home for a filtration assessment.

Trust Chas Roberts for all things plumbing and HVAC

Need help separating fact from fiction? The experts at Chas Roberts are glad to be of service. We know the world of HVAC and plumbing can be confusing, which is why we’ve remained dedicated to providing the best service to our customers for over 75 years. Give us a call today and let us handle the rest.