Here’s how to keep your garbage disposal like-new for years to come

We all love our garbage disposals. If you’ve ever lived in a home without one, you realize just how easy they make food preparation or cleaning up after dinner. However, garbage disposals are not immune from problems caused by wear-and-tear. From foul odors and dull blades to significant performance issues, disposals need maintenance and upkeep. In this article, we’ll review the steps homeowners can take to keep their garbage disposal like-new for years to come—as well as when it’s time to throw in the towel and call us at Southern Air for disposal replacement.

A garbage disposal requires regular upkeep to retain blade sharpness and avoid foul odors.

Cleaning and sanitizing your disposal can help it both run and smell better.

Sanitize your garbage disposal and remove odors

As your disposal grinds through night after night of leftover table scraps, it may begin to take on a foul odor. We recommend that you clean your blades frequently. This is actually quite easy! Take some leftover citrus—lemon and limes work well—and put them down the drain with some cold water running from the tap. Then, turn the disposal on and allow the blades to tear through the citrus peel and flesh of the fruit. The acidity of the citrus will sanitize the blades, killing any odors and leaving your disposal and sink smelling fresh.

There are also commercially available cleaning products specifically manufactured for garbage disposals. If you’re not satisfied with the results of the citrus treatment outlined above, you can always try one of these products.

Sharpen the blades

Over time, your disposal’s blades—just like your kitchen knives—will start to dull. Not only is this an inconvenience for you when you’re doing dishes, but it’s also a risk factor for your pipes and your sewer line. The worse the disposal is at quickly disintegrating food waste into smaller pieces, the larger pieces of waste can get into your pipes and sewer line, putting you at risk of a sewer blockage (more on this below).

The good news is that you can sharpen your blades relatively easily. Start by running cold water from the tap. Then, dump a cup full of ice cubes into the disposal, along with a tablespoon or so of sea salt. Turn on the disposal for about a minute until all the ice has been ground down. This should clean and sharpen the blades. Do this once per-month, and you’ll notice the difference in how your disposal works and smells.

Watch what you put down the sink

For many homeowners, the in-sink garbage disposal is a major convenience. You don’t have to think as much about what food waste goes down the sink when cooking or cleaning. You can clean dishes without worrying about bits of remaining food getting trapped deep in your pipes and forming a serious clog.

However, there are consequences to treating your garbage disposal like a trash can. While the disposal can grind food waste down to tiny pieces that move easier through your pipes and sewer line, too much volume at one time still has the potential to form a clog.

Certain things should never be put the kitchen sink:

  • Grease: Hot grease that is a liquid may cool and start to solidify as it moves through the drain and into the sewer line. Accumulated grease deep in the sewer line is a major cause of sewer line blockages here in the United States. Always dispose of grease in a separate container, allow it to cool, and then throw it into the trash.
  • Oils: As with grease, many oils—olive, vegetable, and coconut—can become trapped deep in lines. Coconut oil, in particular, can shift from being solid to becoming a liquid based on temperature.
  • Coffee Grounds: These gritty grounds can get stuck in pipes, forming a semi-solid clog. Avoid dumping used grounds down the drain and instead dispose of them in a trash can.

When should a disposal be replaced?

Overall, most in-sink disposals last about 10 years. In the second decade of operation, you’ll likely start to notice the disposal slowing down, the blades dulling more frequently, or the under-sink unit starting to leak. Or, the system might stop working altogether. These are all signs that it’s time to replace the garbage disposal sooner than later.

Here in Alexandria, you’ll want to call the plumbers at Southern Air for this kitchen plumbing repair service. Our team can quickly remove your old, broken disposal and replace it with a new unit, all without a major disruption to life in your home. Call us today for all your plumbing service needs.

What are some warning signs that your kitchen sink needs repairs?

The kitchen is the heart of your home. From a plumbing perspective, it’s also one of the most-used rooms of your home, with heaviest-used drain: the kitchen sink. If you’re like most homeowners, you may be unsure when it’s time to replace or repair the kitchen sink. What are the signs that your kitchen sink needs repairs, and when should you call Southern Air for plumbing services in Alexandria?

If you need drain cleaning, faucet and fixture replacement, or other plumbing services here in Alexandria and Ball, give us a call today. We can help!

Deal with kitchen sink problems immediately

Don’t wait until an actual problem turns into sleepless nights and extensive repair and remediation expenses. Check out when we at Southern Air Heating & Cooling recommend contacting professional plumbing services in Alexandria.

What are the dangers of ignoring kitchen sink plumbing problems?

Plumbing issues are no fun to deal with. If there is a garbage disposal in the mix, you might even find yourself wondering how to prevent problems without putting you and your family’s safety at risk. Here are some warning signs your kitchen sink might be on the fritz:

  • Gurgling sounds
  • Ghastly drain smells
  • Garbage disposal malfunction
  • Banging noises
  • Leaks or low water pressure
  • Loss of water temperature control
  • Rust and damaged sink components
  • Rust and blemishes to the sink or fixtures

Bad water lines and kitchen sink fixtures are not just a pain to deal with and look at, they can also compromise your home’s safety and water quality. No one wants to come home to discover a kitchen sink pipe has burst, foul smell, or to need the garbage disposal only to find out it’s not working. it makes it hard for you and your loved ones to enjoy

Many kitchen plumbing concerns get worse when left unresolved. What starts out as a small leak can turn into a huge watery mess when least expected. Some kitchen repair issues happen intermittently, others on a consistent basis. While some problems may not seem like major inconveniences now, if given enough time they can be. No matter what DIY plumbing tactics you think you know, do yourself a favor and be proactive and call us at Southern Air.

Call the kitchen plumbing experts at Southern Air for plumbing services in Alexandria

Protect your home and family from the misfortunes of a bad kitchen sink or plumbing system. To learn more about our kitchen sink inspection and repair services and to prevent the consequences of unresolved plumbing problems, contact us for plumbing services in Alexandria and Ball — and for your own peace of mind.

We’re your source for HVAC services and plumbers in Shreveport

When you need HVAC and plumbing services here in northwest Louisiana, call Southern Air Heating & Cooling! We’re a team of HVAC professionals and plumbers in Shreveport, and we’re ready to help you with your home service needs.

In this article, we’ll review our most-popular services here in Shreveport and Bossier City, as well as what sets us apart from other HVAC and plumbing companies. Need service? Contact us today for fast, reliable service from our friendly team!

For expert plumbers in Shreveport, LA, call Southern Air!Our services

Air conditioning

It’s vital to have a working air conditioner in Louisiana during the summer months. With temperatures that regularly exceed 90 degrees, it’s not just about comfort. Heatstroke is a serious condition that can be avoided indoors with a properly running air conditioner.

We have some of the best AC technicians in Shreveport working on our team. We’re proud to offer both 24/7 emergency service and install new Carrier and Trane systems.

Air duct cleaning

Part of keeping your air conditioner at its best is to have clean ducts. Over time, dirt, dust, and allergens can accumulate and cause problems, including:

  • Reduced efficiency
  • Poor indoor air quality
  • Higher costs

Southern Air Heating & Cooling can get your ducts back into prime condition. Not only do we clean air ducts, but we’re also able to repair and replace areas that may have suffered damage.

Heating

Whether you’re using a heat pump, ductless system, or traditional furnace, we can help you keep your home comfortable during cold weather. Our experts are NATE-certified, ensuring you receive the most knowledgeable service.

We’re also available any time you’re in need of emergency repair. No matter the hour, we can stop by to get your system back up and running.

Plumbing

We’re your source for plumbers in Shreveport, and we’re here when you need us with our 24/7 emergency service. In fact, we offer a wide variety of plumbing services, including:

  • Water heater problems
  • Leaking pipes
  • Sewer issues
  • Clogged drains
  • Broken faucets

Need an upgrade? We can install plumbing, including fixtures and water heaters.

Our 100% satisfaction guarantee

Doing right by our customers is important to us, which is why we offer a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. If the equipment we installed doesn’t perform up to standards, we’ll provide you a full refund. We take pride in our reputation as your trusted HVAC technicians and plumbers in Shreveport.

Call us for emergency service!

If you’re in need of emergency air or plumbing services, Southern Air Heating & Cooling is available 24/7. We’re proud to have served our Shreveport community for nearly 25 years and guarantee the highest quality for our customers. Contact us today for service!

Here’s what backflow prevention devices are and how they work

It can be easy to take potable water for granted. Most American homes have access to all they need for drinking, cooking, and washing with nothing more than the turn of a valve or handle. In reality, though, that clean water supply could easily be contaminated without the aid of a backflow prevention device. Today, we’ll take a look at these invaluable devices and how they function.

A backflow prevention device can help prevent contaminants from re-entering your potable water.

A backflow prevention device can help prevent contaminants from re-entering your potable water.

If you need plumbing services here in Alexandria, Southern Air is the team to call. We install backflow prevention devices in local homes and offer 24/7 emergency plumbing repair services.

Potable water is a one-way street

Under normal circumstances, pressurized water from the main supply line flows into homes and buildings, where it is piped to faucets, major appliances, and so forth. Backflow is a condition that can occur when the necessary pressure no longer exists, possibly due to use of a nearby fire hydrant, or a breakage in the main line. In these instances, a prevention device is all that stands between clean potable water and a contaminated supply.

Contamination situation

Think for a minute about all you send down your home’s various drains; cleansers and chemicals are probably the most pleasant types of waste to speak of. Without backflow prevention devices, however, everything your family rinses, washes and flushes away could end up mixing in with the greater water supply, quickly placing public health at risk.

The right backflow prevention device for the job

The right backflow device depends on several factors, including local regulations and where the device will physically be installed. Some of the most common types include:

  • Atmospheric vacuum breakers
  • Double check valves
  • Pressure vacuum breakers
  • Reduced pressure zone assemblies

In most cases, residential plumbing systems require the most basic form of backflow prevention. On the other hand, commercial buildings will generally demand greater protection, particularly locations that handle more hazardous types of waste, such as hospitals and manufacturing facilities.

When plumbing problems strike, call Southern

Tackling issues with your plumbing can be tough, especially when it comes to specialized components like backflow preventers. When you’re in need of professional assistance, Southern Air has you covered. Count on us for satisfaction-guaranteed service at any time of the day or night—we’re available round the clock, seven days a week, so contact us today and put backflow issues to bed with confidence.

Why we value our HVAC technicians and plumbers

When you’re calling someone about working on your home, you want to have peace of mind that the people sent to your home are the very best in their industry. At Southern Air, we treat our employees like family, and we believe that valuing our HVAC technicians and plumbers makes a huge, positive difference in the customer experience.

To schedule cooling, heating, and plumbing services here in Shreveport, Monroe, Alexandria, and beyond, call us today.

Our technicians are proud to work for us

A lot of people are in the HVAC business for the money. For us, it’s all about the people we employ and serve. Here’s why our technicians enjoy working for Southern Air:

  • Our jobs pay well.
  • We provide training and support to ensure our employees are set up for success.
  • We make sure they’re certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE).
  • With more than 20 years in business, people can experience stability by working for us.

Put simply, our technicians love the company, their jobs, and the families they help along the way.

Why you should care about employee satisfaction

You shouldn’t just choose an HVAC company for the services it provides. The core of a business is the company culture. We strive to create an environment full of stability and support for your technicians. When businesses don’t treat their employees correctly, they don’t take pride in their work and end up doing subpar jobs.

We know that happy workers mean happy clients. Our technicians do the best work possible because they know they’re valued. If you hire us, you’ll see it for yourself. Our great local plumbers and HVAC professionals always go the extra mile to ensure their clients are satisfied, because we go the extra mile for them.

Experience the difference great HVAC technicians and plumbers make

Whatever occurs at the top of a company trickles down to the client experience. That’s why you should choose Southern Air. Our high-rated plumbers get treated with respect and dignity, which means you will be too.

You’ll be treated like family when our technicians serve you. All of them are courteous, polite, and friendly. You don’t have to worry about anyone being rude, intruding on your personal space, or leaving a mess.

At Southern Air, we’re here to provide you with the highest quality service you can get. Contact us to get started.

Avoid big sewer line problems with knowledge and prevention

Chances are, if you’re like most homeowners, you’ve avoided taking a close look into your home sewer lines. However, a small problem with the sewer system can turn into an expensive, messy problem, so it’s important to understand how the sewer lines work so you can identify and fix issues sooner rather than later.

If you suspect that something is wrong with your home’s sewer line, the time to call Southern Air for emergency plumbing services is now.

Pictured: Watch out for trees in your yard that grow close to your line. This can lead to sewer line problems later.Causes of home sewer line problems

When you flush the toilet, gravity pulls waste downward and into the sewer lines, where it flows out of your home to be disposed of within the public sewer system. If a problem occurs with the pipes, you may face a backup of sewage into your home or leaking into the yard.

A home sewer blockage is one of the most common sewer line issues faced by property owners. A clog can be caused by flushing inappropriate items down the toilet or by tree roots that grow into the sewer lines, damaging, breaking, or blocking the pipes.

In addition, damage to the pipes leads to leaking sewage, which can be a health hazard.

7 potential signs of sewer line problems

Sewer line problems in your home aren’t always immediately visible. That’s why knowing what to look for allows you to have more information, and then call in a professional. If you have a home sewer clog, blockage, or leak, you may notice:

  • The constant sound of running water through the pipes: If this occurs, turn off all faucets and check the toilets. If the sound persists, leaks in the lines could be the culprit.
  • Floors that have a spongy or moist feeling when you step down: Leaking water from the sewer lines can damage the interior flooring.
  • The odor of mold or mildew: This is caused by moisture from a leak that becomes trapped in the walls.
  • Cracks in the home’s foundation: Sewage leaking into the soil can damage its structural integrity.
  • Unusual landscape growth in concentrated areas: This can also be caused by leaks of sewage into the soil.
  • A rodent problem: Rats and mice are attracted to the smell of sewage.
  • Higher water bills: If you have a leak, your plumbing system is working overtime to compensate.

Call Southern Air for emergency plumbing services here in Alexandria!

If you live in Alexandria, Louisiana, contact our team at Southern Air for help with your sewer line problems. We can expertly diagnose and repair problems with your home sewer lines, including tree root incursion, damaged pipes, and broken lines.

Your water quality matters, and water filtration can help

For many homeowners, water filtration is pretty low on the list of home upgrade priorities. That’s understandable: after all, your home’s air conditioning and water heater impact your life on a daily basis. However, water quality does matter. In this blog post, we’re going to make the case that you should invest in water filtration.

Southern Air offers professional free in-home water tests here in Alexandria, Louisiana. Contact us online, or give us a call at (318) 640-3151, to schedule yours.

Do you know what’s in your tap water?

According to the non-profit Environmental Working Group, Alexandria’s water supply largely comes from groundwater sources. In 2017, the group found that the city’s water contained elevated levels of Bromodichloromethane and Dibromochloromethane, known carcinogens.

Remember: not knowing what’s in your water doesn’t make it any safer. When you drink, shower, or wash your hands using unfiltered tap water, you’re essentially agreeing that you’re okay with anything in that water entering your body.

It can often be a matter of taste

Most people agree: water from the tap can often not taste as clean or good as filtered water. That’s due to a variety of factors, but here’s a big one: tap water is often sanitized at the municipal level with chlorine. Even residual parts of this chemical can lend water from your tap a strange, off-putting taste.

With a water filtration system, you’ll be able to drink (and feel) clean, purified water. For many homeowners, it’s a game-changer.

Protect your pipes and appliances by softening your water

Since Alexandria gets much of its drinking water supply from underground wells, the water is generally considered “hard.” Hard water is that which contains a larger portion of minerals than normal water, and a much larger amount than softened water.

So, what’s the big deal with hard water? After all, hard water isn’t dangerous to drink. Here’s the thing: hard water has a negative impact on your home’s plumbing and appliances. That’s because the minerals present in hard water eventually begin to deposit on the inside of pipes, water intakes, and, well, anywhere the water goes. Over time, this causing scaling issues that can—at their worst—clog up your home’s pipes.

If your home is struggling with hard water, a water filtration system that also softens water makes sense. By removing minerals from your water, a water softener protects the pipes and appliances in your home, while creating better-feeling water.

Water filtration just makes sense

If you don’t have a water filtration system in your home, it’s time to make the upgrade. Your home’s water will taste and feel better, your appliances and pipes will last longer, and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your home’s water is safe to drink.

Here at Southern Air, we’re proud to install Krystal Klear Water Filtration systems. Krystal Klear systems are capable of both purifying and softening your water.

To learn more about and to schedule a free in-home water test, give Southern Air a call at (318) 640-3151. Or, contact our team online.

Here are the benefits of tankless water heaters

Considering upgrading your water heater this spring? If you’re changing out your old water heater, you should consider upgrading to a tankless system. In this blog, we’ll review the benefits of tankless water heaters, and why you should consider one for your home.

When you’re ready to get started (or need more information!), contact Southern Air for professional plumbing services here in Louisiana, including Alexandria, Monroe, and Shreveport.

#1. Energy-efficiency

Tankless systems are more energy-efficient than standard water heaters. They use up to 30% less energy than regular water heaters, which can amount to $100 per year in savings. Over the course of the lifespan of the system, those savings can really add up.

If you’ve been looking for ways to make your home more energy-efficient, a tankless water heater is a great place to start. Give Southern a call to learn about other ways you can start saving.

#2. Endless hot water supply

Tankless water heaters are also known as “demand-type water heaters.” This is because, true to their name, they can provide your home with hot water as its needed at the tap or shower head. Since the system heats water as needed, there’s no “running out” of hot water like with standard water heaters.

With an endless hot water supply, your entire family can take showers in the morning without the last person feeling like they’re taking an ice bath.

#3. Less floor space

Most tankless water heaters are wall-mounted, and can go inside your garage, washroom, or even on the side of your home. This frees up the floor space used by your current water heater.

In addition, tankless water heaters don’t carry some of the same risks as standard units. For instance, tankless systems can’t “burst” and flood your home like a tank system can if not maintained.

#4. Systems last longer

On average, tankless water heaters last almost twice as long as standard water heaters. With standard systems, that combination of stored water, heat, and metal can only last so long, even with a sacrificial anode rod. A tankless water heater, in contrast, can last up to 20 years, providing your home with great value for decades to come.

Learn more about the benefits of tankless water heaters

If you’re considering upgrading to a new water heater, contact Southern Air. We have professional plumbers throughout Louisiana who specialize in water heater installation and other plumbing services.

5 signs you need a new water heater in your home

You and your family rely on your home’s water heater for hot water. Yet, these systems don’t last forever. The combination of heat, water, and metal eventually leads to the system’s failure. So, what are the signs you need a new water heater?

How do you know when is the right time to start shopping for a new standard water heater—or even a tankless—system?

In this blog, we’ll run through the five big signs that you should call Southern Air for water heater installation. From rust to age, these are the signals that it’s time to ditch your old system for a new, energy-efficient one.

The 5 big signs you need a new water heater

1. There’s rust coming out of your home’s water supply

Let’s tackle this one first, because it’s the most obvious sign that something might be wrong with your water heater. While pipes or local water contamination can also cause rusting, a heavy presence of rust that only appears while running hot water is a sure sign that your water heater’s anode rod has been exhausted and your tank is starting to rust.

After all, rust in a water heater is an inevitability: the combination of heat, water, and metal for that many years, so consistently, will eventually lead to rust. If you’re seeing rust in your water, it’s most likely too late to replace the anode rod alone. You’ll need to contact Southern Air for water heater repairs.

2. Banging or rumbling noises

If you hear banging or rumbling noises coming from your system, they could indicate that your water heater is about to break down. The noise normally comes when the water heater gets old, and is due to the buildup of sediment deposits at the bottom of the tank.

This sediment deposit hardens as it is heated and then reheated. This will cause your heater to take extra time to warm up the water, and can cause warping that leads to strange noises. This problem, left untreated, can also lead to water leaks from holes or cracks in the system.

3. Just plain old age

This goes hand-in-hand with the anode rod being used up in #1. Eventually, your water heater is going to start to develop problems as it enters its second decade of life. On average, most standard units last about a decade before needing to be replaced.

If you don’t remember when you last bought the water heater, you should consider looking at the manufacturer’s serial number on the sticker on the top of the water heater.

4. Less energy-efficiency = higher energy costs

Water heaters lose energy-efficiency over time, which results in high heating bills as the system gets older. An older unit will struggle to heat the water, having to fight through sediment to do so. This results in high heating bills.

You should consider replacing your water heater with an energy-efficient unit. This will result in greater cost savings in the long run. If you’re really interested in energy-efficiency, a tankless water heater might be right for your home.

5. Water pooling around the water heater

Any kind of tank breach with a water heater is bad news. From the smallest of hairline fractures to actively pooling water, you need to shut off the water and get your system replaced. Hull integrity is everything to a water heater, and you’re risking a flooded home by continuing to use a leaking system.

Call Southern Air for water heater installation in Alexandria

Here in Alexandria, Louisiana, the plumbers at Southern Air are your best choice for water heater installation and replacement. We can help you select the best water heater for your home.

To get started, give us a call at (318) 640-3151 or contact us online. We’re happy to talk to you about the signs you need a new water heater in your home.