Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC Blog: Archive for the ‘Home Maintenance’ Category

Do Low-Flow Fixtures Really Make a Difference?

Monday, September 24th, 2018

green-leaf-houseIf you are considering making some updates to the plumbing in your bathroom or kitchen, the low-flow fixtures are probably on your list of installations to consider. (And if they aren’t … put them on the list now.)

Low-flow fixtures work pretty much exactly like their name: they slow down the amount of water flowing from a tap. In the case of toilets, low-flow models restrict how much water is used per flush. This helps to save water. But how much of a difference do these fixtures make? Enough for them to be worthwhile upgrades for a bathroom or kitchen?

Continue Reading

Why Is My House Not Getting Cool Enough?

Monday, June 18th, 2018

air-conditioning-grateAs the summer weather starts, you may find that you’re not getting the comfort you expect in your home. You turn down the thermostat, hear the AC turn on, feel cool air coming out of the vents—but the house still feels too hot, or perhaps some parts are staying cool while others aren’t. What’s going on? Is your air conditioner shot and needs to be replaced?

It might be. Or there might be another problem affecting the HVAC system that’s limiting its power or creating an uneven spread of cooling throughout the house. Below are some of the reasons you may find that your house is too hot and stuffy this summer.

Continue Reading

Things You Didn’t Know to Keep Out of the Garbage Disposal

Monday, July 25th, 2016

The most common calls we get have to do with the kitchen drains. Clogged up drains and broken garbage disposals are annoying, and they cause more trouble than you realize (until it happens to you). Not being able to cook or clean with ease is a big deal, and preventative maintenance is your best bet for avoiding these issues.

Continue Reading

Why You Should Consider a Whole-House Generator

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Think about the last time the power went out in your house. Of course, you probably weren’t expecting it to happen (unless it was a planned maintenance period, in which case it was likely brief). You may have had to light a few candles and started a fire in the fireplace, hoping the power would turn on in just a few short hours.

Continue Reading

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at Basnett Plumbing & Heating hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

Continue Reading

3 Advantages of Owning a Generator

Friday, May 30th, 2014

Generators act as a sort of ace in the hole for your household in the event of a disaster. When fueled and well-maintained, they can offer a number of advantages for your home. Here in Lexington, generators are a popular addition to numerous homes, and if you are a homeowner, you might seriously consider having one installed.

3 Advantages of Owning a Generator

  • Reliability. Storms have a way of wreaking havoc with even the most reliable civic system, and when the power goes out, you could be stuck in a very tough spot. A generator gives you the power to keep food refrigerated, run lights and heaters, and even stay in contact with the outside world. We all hope we never need such self-sufficiency, but when the time comes, a good generator can be worth its weight in gold.
  • Low operating costs. Assuming you have the right sort of fuel and keep it well maintained, generators are very easy on the pocketbook. They don’t cost an excessive amount to install and running them during an emergency can be surprisingly affordable. That enhances their attractiveness during the installation stage: the only time when you seriously have to watch the costs involved.
  • Resale value. When the time comes to sell your home, a functioning generator can be an attractive component: adding value to the home and increasing its attractiveness to potential buyers. In the long run, it might even cover the cost of installation, and at the very least will help make the initial costs more affordable.

For more advantages of owning a generator, or to schedule an installation session, contact the experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating. We have the skills and experience to do the job right, and we can discuss your options with you before installing a generator perfectly suited to your needs. If you live in Lexington, generators can be a godsend whenever the weather gets dicey.

We’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction at every turn and we won’t rest until you’re happy.  Give us a call today to set up an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!

Continue Reading

Fall Tips from Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Fall is fast approaching and we here at Basnett Plumbing, Heating & AC want to help people in our local Littleton, MA community by providing some handy tips for the upcoming season. If you have any questions about any of our tips feel free to reach out to us with any questions!

Change your furnace filter.  Changing the filter regularly increases operating efficiency, reduces the chance of a breakdown and improves air quality in the home.  If you have questions, please ask your technician while he performs your fall tune-up.

Consider a programmable thermostat.  It automatically increases or decreases temperatures during day and night to suit a family’s lifestyle and reduces energy costs.

Have your fireplace checked.  A professional check is essential once a year. Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods in your fireplace.

Fall is a good time to start thinking about your heating system before the surprise of a cold weather “no heat” emergency is knocking at your door.  Consider having your heating system inspected and serviced by a qualified trained technician. Regular maintenance and care can save you from a larger expense later should a problem arise.

Open the shades and curtains. This helps produce radiant heat of the sun. Close them at night to keep out the cold.

Remove garden hoses from outside faucets.  Frozen hoses can cause pipes to burst. If your home is equipped with interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from outside lines.

Inspect and clean sump pump and pit. Pumps exposed to debris can clog the pump, preventing the pump from operating.

Check weather stripping and caulking.  Eliminating drafts can significantly improve efficiency and comfort.

Install ceiling fans with reversible motors. Save energy in the winter by having ceiling fans push warm air that collects at the ceiling level back down into the room.

Have winter supplies readily available.  Make sure you have salt, snow shovels and curved blades (to protect your back) and other supplies on hand.  Check the batteries in your flashlights.

Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed.  They should not be blocked by furniture, carpeting, drapes, etc.  Be sure that everything is ventilating correctly for the most efficient use of your HVAC system.

Have your sprinkler system blown out and shut down.  A professional with an air compressor can handle the job. You want to make sure there is no water in the lines. Also, turn off the water feeding the sprinkler system from the house (usually a valve in the basement or crawl space), and make sure to drain that water line (typically there is a valve near the shut-off valve that will do the trick).

Clear leaves and debris from outside downspouts. This ensures easy drainage when water freezes and thaws throughout the winter season.  Cleaning gutters can prevent serious water damage due to ice backup on the roof.

Test your CO monitor to make sure it is working properly.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to test whether the circuitry is operating correctly. Also, monitors have a recommended replacement age, which can be obtained from the product literature or from the manufacturer. We recommend replacing them every 5 years.

Continue Reading

Helpful Tips from Basnett Plumbing & Heating

Friday, April 13th, 2012

MetroWest | Honeywell | BasnettPrepare for emergencies with natural gas and propane powered generators.

Basnett now supplies and installs natural gas and propane powered generators to protect your home during any powerloss situation.
Wondering how to select a backup generator for you home? Check out this useful chart!

FREE cold weather kit with purchase of Standby Generator

Hidden Ways to Save Energy

While many homeowners are increasingly more aware of ways they can save energy and lower their bills, there are plenty of energy-saving tips that are not as well known. Making a minor change or improvement, such as installing a new thermostat, can make a difference. Even if you’ve just installed a new high-efficiency AC unit, here are some ways you can maintain its performance levels and save on energy bills.

Ductless Vs. Central Heat Pump Systems

Installing a new heat pump system in your home is a significant investment and decision; however, there are many options on the market today, including high-efficiency and ENERGY STAR models. All the different models should be researched before making your choice. Here’s some helpful information about the pros and cons to both ductless and central heat pump systems.

SAVE with a $500 Rebate on Ductless AC Mini Splits

Continue Reading

Lunenburg HVAC Tip: DIY Home Maintenance

Friday, January 13th, 2012

If you own a home in Lunenburg, there are a lot of fun ways you can stay on top of regular maintenance without hiring a contractor. Sure, there are some tasks only a Lunenburg contractor should perform, but there are plenty of others you can take care of with a little spare time on the weekend.

  • Fixing Leaks – Unless it’s in a main line or in your sewer, you can usually fix a leak or clog in your pipes by yourself. Replacing a faucet, snaking a line, or taking apart a fixture should still be done with the help of manufacturer’s guidelines, but as long as you turn the water supply off correctly, you should be okay taking things apart and making quick repairs.
  • Yard Installations – Short of digging it up (always have it checked for gas and electricity lines), you can do pretty much anything on your own in the yard. This includes composting, landscaping, adding a barbeque pit or upgrading your back porch.
  • Painting – Feel free to paint anything in or around your home without the help of a pro. Just make sure to use proper ventilation and to ensure that you remove any old paint carefully. If you’re not sure about the age of your paint, it should be tested for lead before you chip it clean, especially if you have children.
  • Replace Appliances – Old appliances can be removed and replaced relatively easily as long as you have someone to help you get rid of the old ones. Also, if you have a gas stove or other appliances that run on gas, always have them checked by a professional. Never unplug gas lines without someone there to ensure the gas supply to your home is off.
  • Tiling – Tiling is something anyone can do, but make sure you’re ready for the time commitment. Especially if you plan on putting tiles on a wall, it’s easy to make a mistake and ruin good tiles or good walls. Also, proper sealing around water fixtures like a bathtub or sink is vital. If you’re not sure, call a plumber to help.

There are a lot of ways you can have fun and fix up your house without paying for a professional’s help. But, remember not to take on jobs that are too much for you. If you aren’t sure how to complete a task or you want a second opinion, never be afraid to call a pro in for some help. Even if they just check your work, it will save you money and you get the satisfaction of having done the work yourself.

Continue Reading