Blog – Michael & Son https://www.michaelandson.com Official Website Fri, 21 Jul 2017 17:25:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Benefits of HVAC Zoning https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/the-benefits-of-hvac-zoning/ https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/the-benefits-of-hvac-zoning/#respond Fri, 05 May 2017 08:35:55 +0000 https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/?p=802 Does the temperature in your home fluctuate from room to room? Do you find yourself constantly adjusting the thermostat in your home but never achieving an evenly heated or cooled home? For many people, the upstairs portion of the home is most troublesome and it’s usually attributed to the fact that heat rises. While this is true and many times a simple attic fan can remedy the issue, it many not always be such an easy fix. If this sounds like your home, HVAC system zoning might be the answer for you.

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How it Works

Zoning your home’s HVAC system is simple but extremely effective. Zoning works by using multiple thermostats that operate dampers within the ducts forced air system. In a nutshell, zoning lets you choose where the air goes. for instance, if your home’s bedrooms are on the top portion of the home, simply close the dampers to the lower levels when they are no longer in use and redirect the to the bedrooms. This process is easily completed with the push of a button; if you can adjust the temperature on your traditional thermostat, you can work operate the zoning control panel.

Benefits

Aside from making your home more comfortable, zoning can also save you money on your monthly power bill. In fact, according to the US Department of Energy, zoning can save you up to 30% on your overall energy cost. Because zoning allows you to send the air where you want it to go, your unit works less to cool or heat your home. As a result, your home’s HVAC system will last longer and require less maintenance.

Experienced Professional

As we have learned, zoning has many benefits that range from personal comfort to saving money; both of which can have a significant impact on your day to day life. However, if the zoning system is not properly installed, it will not work as designed. Like most home improvement projects that go wrong, the homeowner is stuck with the frustration and cost of a system that does not work. That’s why choosing a reputable HVAC contractor experienced with zoning systems is very important. Michael & Son Services is the area’s leader in not only HVAC but home repairs in general. Call us today or visit our website to learn more about Michael & Son Services HVAC services. Also, like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter and subscribe to ourYouTube page to find out about upcoming events, special events and much more!

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Spring Cleaning: Prepare Your Home for Spring in 7 easy steps https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/spring-cleaning-checklist/ https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/spring-cleaning-checklist/#respond Tue, 04 Apr 2017 10:34:33 +0000 https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/?p=987 Winter is on its way out and the long-awaited spring weather is being ushered in. Before you crank up the A/C and relax in the cool comfort of your home, it is a good idea to prepare your home for the season’s demands. Spring preparation is vital in order to keep your home in tip-top shape for the upcoming months, and if you are not ready, you could be caught off guard. The best way to ensure your home is ready is to create a spring cleaning checklist. Today we would like to offer some tips that will help ensure you have a trouble-free seasonal transition.

Plumbing

Sump Pumps – We have all heard that “April Showers bring May flowers”; however, if your sump pump is not in good working order, you could end up with a flooded basement. You can test your pump by removing the lid and pouring water into the crock. If the pump is working, you should hear it switch on. If it fails the water test, call a plumber for a replacement.

Pipe Inspection – Cold weather can cause cracking in exposed pipes. Make sure that any exposed pipes are free of any cracks, leaks or condensation. Also, inspect areas in your home where pipes are behind the walls for any condensation as this is a sign of a leaky pipe.

Water Heater – Make sure there is no leaking or condensation build-up on or around your water heater. It would also be a good time to drain and refill your water heater. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, call your local plumber. 

Outdoor Hose / Bib – The cold weather can be hard on your hose and bib. Check for any cracks or leaks and replace if necessary.

HVAC

Filters – It’s always a good idea to start the new season with a new filter. Changing your filter is quick and easy; for a breakdown on the different types of filters, check out our Air Quality post for instructions

Duct Cleaning – After months of having your windows shut, your ducts collect all kinds of dust and dander. Those contaminants can cause common colds and worsen the symptoms of those that suffer from allergies and asthma. Remember, not all duct cleanings are equal.

Outdoor Unit – Make sure your outdoor unit is clear of any debris and obstructions. Things like leaves and branches built up around your unit can impede its performance.

These are just a few simple tips to help you get ready for the spring season. Want a more in-depth look at your home’s systems and appliances? Call Michael & Son today for our signature whole home inspection. Michael & Son Services is one of the largest providers of HVAC and plumbing services in the region. We offer a wide range of products from top-rated manufacturers as well as comprehensive maintenance plans. If you would like more information regarding Michael & Son’s HVAC and plumbing services, contact us today. Also, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube page to find out about special offers, upcoming events and much more!

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Michael & Son Launches Live DC Bathroom Map https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/michael-son-launches-live-dc-bathroom-map/ Thu, 30 Mar 2017 18:54:48 +0000 https://www.michaelandson.com/?p=8309

Michael & Son Launches Live DC Bathroom Map

DC Metro restrooms are hard to find. If you’ve ever gone searching for a toilet while on your daily commute, you may have found it to be inaccessible or entirely nonexistent. But, when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go!   Avoid bathroom-related mishaps with this comprehensive map depicting the closest restroom of each DC Metro station:

https://www.michaelandson.com/dc-metro-bathroom-map/

The map has taken off on Reddit becoming the top trending post on multiple subreddits in the DC area.

For more information or to schedule an interview to meet the team, please contact Christopher.thompson@michaelandson.com or call 703-658-1152.

Michael & Son Services has been serving the region for over 30 years with electrical, plumbing, heating & cooling services. Our motto has always been, “If you can’t, we can!”  Check us out at www.michaelandson.com

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A Different Career Path https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/career-path-trade/ Wed, 15 Mar 2017 19:04:52 +0000 https://www.michaelandson.com/?p=7886 When graduating high school, most teens have no idea what they want to do with the rest of their life. Many high school grads have a broad range of interests, and a lack of passion for most of them. Despite that, most people believe they need to attend a 4-year college in order to obtain a fulfilling career. What that career could be like would be anyone’s guess. When you think about it, “higher education” is a little bit convoluted. Show up on your first day, wing it until you figure out how the whole “college” thing works, plug away for 4 years, and walk away with a degree that promises to unlock doors in your career path. Some students are even willing to bury themselves in over $100,000 worth of debt just to obtain this degree. If this same premise was applied to any business scenario, it would be referred to as a gamble rather than an investment. While college is a popular career path to take, there is another career path that is often overlooked in our modern society; trades. While trade jobs may not have the allure of a more corporate position, there are countless perks and benefits to working in a trade.

Job Market & Job Security

Over the next 10 years, skilled trades jobs are expected to increase faster than the national average of all jobs (11%). Population and business growth, remodel and repair needs and maintenance of older structures are the reasons the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives for a roughly 20 percent average job growth rate in skilled trades careers. Perhaps one of the biggest positives to working as a tradesman is job security. Even in difficult economic times, households still need regular maintenance such as HVAC, plumbing and electrical work. Because of this, skilled technicians are in high demand, and there will always be work in these fields.

The High Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree

According to the department of labor, the average bachelor’s degree cost around $127,000. Because of this high cost, most people will end up taking out student loans and hope they are able to find a job that will allow them to pay the loans back. Around 44 million Americans owe $1.3 billion (yes, you read that right) in student loans and a large majority of those loans go into default. In addition to monetary cost, there is the cost of time. A bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete, whereas it only takes 2 years to become a service technician – that’s even including trade school, apprenticeships and certifications.

Average Salary

The average salary for someone right out of college is roughly $50,556. A service technician in the DC area earns around $47,620 and can have the potential to earn even more. In addition, these figures do not factor in the long term growth and earnings for service technicians. Don’t forget – it is unlikely for a service technician to have $100,000+ in student loans, making the $47k average go much further.

Those are just a few of the major reasons to consider a career path as a tradesman. For those who want to learn hands on, receive the best training the industry has to offer, and come out of training with a full time position at one of the fastest growing service companies in the nation, The Michael & Son Technical Academy is the way to go! Attendants can choose between fully immersed HVAC or Plumbing. With 12 weeks of classroom learning taught by field certified trainers with the latest industry knowledge and technology, it truly is the best training the industry has to offer! The Academy is located in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Wythe building. Attendees will have access to state-of-the-art training facilitates, and don’t worry if you are not a resident of the area, dormitories are available for out of state students!

If you would like more information regarding The Michael and Son Technical Academy, click here. Also, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel to find out about special offers, upcoming events and much more!

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Alexandria’s George Washington’s Birthday Parade https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/presidents-day-parade-alexandria-va/ Tue, 21 Feb 2017 21:18:12 +0000 https://www.michaelandson.com/?p=7161 Each year on Presidents’ Day, the George Washington’s Birthday Parade is held in Historic Old Town Alexandria. On the third Monday in February, thousands of participants fill the streets to enjoy the music, food and festivities. With this year’s 70 degree temperatures, the crowd size was one of the largest turnouts the parade has ever seen! The most anticipated event during the parade is the float pageant where local businesses, schools, churches and dozens of other organizations pull their creative resources to create amazing floats for the parade.

This year, we at Michael & Son Services decided to try our hand at float building for the first time. Michael & Son employees and their families all pitched in to create, build, and assemble the float for the parade. Our marketing team gathered together to design the Michael & Son hands out of chicken wire and colored tissue paper to be paired with the tools of the trades Michael & Son provides as a service. After a week of hard work, the float was completed and ready for the parade route! Towed by a large truck filled with employees tossing out t-shirts and beads into the crowed, the Michael & Son float was a big hit. We are proud to announce that Michael & Son Services was awarded First Place for best float in the Parade! Thank you to everyone who helped us and worked very hard to make this parade possible. Check out the pictures below!

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Read This Before Replacing Your Home’s HVAC System https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/replacing-your-homes-hvac-system/ Sat, 18 Feb 2017 14:56:02 +0000 http://www.michaelandson.com/?p=7116 If you have recently been told its time to replace your HVAC system, you are probably still in shock after seeing the quote. There is no getting around it, replacing your homes HVAC system is not cheap; they are mechanically complex and require a high degree of skill to install properly. Most people call an HVAC contractor because the unit isn’t cooling the home well or evenly, their energy bills are higher than normal or the unit flat out won’t work. While those very well maybe valid reason to replace your unit, many times there are other contributing factors that are causing the issues. Today we would like to go over those potential causes and solutions you can try before taking the plunge on a new unit.

The Slacker

Does your home always feel cold in the winter and warm during the summer months? It may not be your unit that is the issue. One of the biggest culprits of poor performance is dirty ducts. In order for your HVAC system to work properly, the air needs to circulate freely through your home. Dust, dander and other debris are drawn like magnets to your duct system and can collect in amounts that surprises most homeowners. Remember, not all duct cleanings are equal and there are plenty of scams out there. Michael & Son uses industrial strength equipment to ensure you homes ducts are clean and clear.

The Over Achiever

Does it seem like your HVAC unit is constantly running? This may actually be caused by poor insulation and not mechanical issues. Your homes HVAC unit is operated by a thermostat and when the temperature fluctuates erratically, your unit will follow suit. Properly insulating your home and installing energy efficient windows can make a tremendous difference in your energy cost. Also, if you have an attic and do not have a fan installed, the floor directly beneath it will always be warmer than the rest of the home. Installing an attic fan is a quick and inexpensive way to improve your HVAC systems performance. Michael & Son Service offers attic fan installations at a great price.

The Flat liner

Going to power up your HVAC system for the first time during a season change and getting no response might be the worst feeling ever. While that may fall under the category of “first world problems”, the prospect of freezing / sweating while waiting on a huge repair bill is never enjoyable. Before you panic, take a deep breath and check your electrical panel. We can’t tell you how many times our HVAC techs have been called out to a home as a second opinion by someone who’d just been told their system needs to be replaced, only to fix the issue by flipping a fuse in the panel box. Remember, your system needs electricity to function, a poor connection or bad fuse will shut it down completely.

Those are some of the more common issues that lead many people to replace a perfectly serviceable system. Remember, most well maintained HVAC systems can last up to 20 years without giving you any real headaches. Like anything else mechanical, maintenance is the maker and breaker. Michael & Son Services can help you ensure your unit works well and lives up to its potential. Call Michael & Son today for all your home service needs. Also, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube page to stay up to date on upcoming events, special offers and much more!

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Clogged Sewer Lines: What You Need to Know https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/clogged-sewer-lines-what-you-need-to-know/ Tue, 07 Feb 2017 16:12:27 +0000 https://www.michaelandson.com/?p=6801 ditch-witch

When you think of a clog in your home, it’s usually a toilet or bathroom sink. Those types of clogs can usually be dealt with in short order by even the least handy among us. However, clogs that involve your homes sewer line are far more costly and complicated to deal with. While you can knock out a clogged toilet with a few sloshes of the ol’ plunger, you’ll need an excavator and Ditch Witch to repair a clogged sewer line. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help avoid some of the causes of clogged sewer lines.

What are Signs and Causes of Clogged Sewer Lines?

Soggy Grass on a Dry Day – Most homeowners will discover a leak or back up in their sewer line when mowing the lawn and noticing a soggy patch in otherwise dry grass. This is more times than not a sign of issues with the sewer line.

Stubborn Clogs – Do you have a sink or drain in your home that is always clogged no matter how many gallons of deadly chemicals you pour down in it? It’s probably a sign of a clogged sewer line.

Sewer Clean Out Not So Clean – Every home has a sewer clean out valve which is a black or white pipe normally located along the side of your home. Locate the clean out and if its full of sewer water, you have a clog in your sewer line. How can you identify sewer water? Trust me, you’ll know it when you smell it.

Roots of the Problem – Tree roots go where they want, your sewer line is no exception. If you have a tree root in your sewer line, there is nothing else you can do except call a plumber.

How Can Clogged Sewer Lines Be Avoided?

Even Your Drains Need Enzymes – Add enzymes cleaners to your drains once a month. Enzymes cleaners are available at any hardware store.

Beat Back the Bush – Keep bushes, shrubs and small plants away from your sewer lines. Those small roots will one day grow up and become line wreaking powerhouses.

Your Toilet is Not a Garbage Disposal – Many people treat their toilet like a bottomless pit and flush anything down. Make sure to flush only human waste and septic safe products down your toilet.

Schedule a Physical for Your Sewer Line – Just like you see a doctor every year, so should your sewer line. Call Michael & Son today and schedule a sewer line checkup.

Keeping your sewer line working properly is just like anything else in your home; maintenance and checkups will keep issues at bay. However, problems are sometimes unavoidable and when they arise, you need a professional. Michael & Son Services can help with all your plumbing needs, including sewer lines. Michael & Son specializes in directional boring, camera inspections and sewer line replacements, call Michael & Son Services today. Also, Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube page to find out about upcoming events, great savings and much more!

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Residential Fires – It Can Happen to You https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/residential-fires/ Tue, 24 Jan 2017 14:00:02 +0000 https://www.michaelandson.com/?p=6042 On January 12th a likely avoidable tragedy claimed the lives of 6 young children and critically injured two others. Early that morning, a fire tore through the Baltimore home where a mother and her 9 children slept. Within minutes it was over; the fire had gutted nearly the entire home leaving only a burning frame and stunned onlookers who congregated in front of the home. The mother had managed to escape with three injured children but was unable to rescue the other 6 who remained inside. To date, investigators have only been able to rule out foul play, leading them to believe the fire was related to an issue with the gas, electric or supplemental heat.

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According to the NFPA, there were 2,290 deaths caused by home fires in 2016 alone; a staggering 50% increase from 2015. When the figures are closely examined, trends begin to emerge that shed some light on what’s causing the fires and the surrounding circumstances. A common theme that stands out in the statics is space heaters being used by families living in lower income areas.

For many families, the cost of repairing or replacing an HVAC unit is more than they can afford, so when faced with cold weather they seek out other means of heat. Space heaters, while safe with conservative and monitored use, become dangerous when relied as a primary source of residential heating. Couple that with aged / faulty wiring and you have a recipe for a potentially fatal home fire.

Space heaters are not the only causes of home fires; if not properly maintained everything from your electrical panel to water heater is a safety hazard. Even if your home is in tip top shape, every household should have working Co2 / smoke detectors and a well-planned escape route. Always remember, in the event of a fire, the number one goal is to remove yourself and loved ones from the home as quickly as possible.

Here at the Michael & Son Blog, we’ve written numerous articles regarding home fire prevention and we invite you to read them over. In light of the recent disaster in Baltimore, we wanted to remind our readers that the danger of a home fire is very real and very avoidable. Be sure to check in with us every week for more home safety tips. Also, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube page to find out about upcoming events, great savings and much more!

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Restoration Services from Michael & Son https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/restoration-services-dc-md-va/ Thu, 19 Jan 2017 18:57:41 +0000 https://www.michaelandson.com/?p=5989 Choosing a Restoration Service Company for Your Home

In the service industry, there are many of what’s known as “fly by night” companies. Basically, a disreputable, unscrupulous and often under qualified business. Depending on the type of work being done, there are instances when hiring a fly by night is not the end of the world. However, if you’ve had the recent misfortune of suffering a serious flood or home fire, the company you hire means everything. When you are dealing with fire or flood remediation you are relying on the company you hire to ensure your home is safe; both structurally and in terms of air quality.

Home fires can leave dangerous dust and residues while floods can cause mold infestations. In order remove both, you need a company that has the proper training, certifications and experience. Michael & Son Restoration Services exceeds the industry standards when it comes to mold removal and fire restoration. Today we would like to offer some tips on what you should look for in a restoration company.

Training

Michael & Son restoration technicians undergo some of the most in-depth and rigorous training in the industry. With state of the art training facilities, Michael & Son technicians learn in real world environments that gives them an edge when it comes to being out in the field.

Certification

When you are shopping for a restoration company, make sure to check out their list of certifications. Restoration technicians work with dangerous chemicals and equipment that can be a detriment to your family and home. Here are some of the certifications to look for:

  • Smoke & Fire Restoration Certification
  • IICRC Certification (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification)
  • Applied Microbial Remediation
  • Odor Control Technician Certification

Experience

Michael & Son restoration technicians have experience working in a wide range of environments; from residential to large scale commercial jobs in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Our experience, training and dedication is apparent in every job Michael & Son takes on. Visit our website or check us out online to read reviews and testimonials from our customers.

If the unfortunate situation ever arises and you find yourself in need of a restoration company, don’t take any chances. Call a company with the know how and experience to do the job right, call Michael & Son. Also, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube page and find out about upcoming events, great savings and much more.

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Toilets https://www.michaelandson.com/blog/toilets/ Wed, 28 Dec 2016 14:29:31 +0000 https://www.michaelandson.com/?p=5299 Of all the appliances in our home, the toilet might be the most resilient. They are an absolute essential for all of us and are used everyday; in fact there is a good chance you are reading this while sitting on one. Toilets can last for years without any noticeable issues and sometimes even wear. Despite the toilets enduring nature, there are plenty of good reasons to replace an old toilet.

Efficiency

The best reason to replace an old but working toilet is to maximize water efficiency. Old toilets can have small cracks and leaks you may not see, which in turn can drastically effect your water bill. Also, older toilets use nearly twice the amount of water as modern high efficiency models.

Worn Parts

Many older toilets work but have a quirk that requires a trick to flush or stop it from running. Jiggling the handle or having to old it down longer than usual are common issues with older toilets. These are indications of a problem with the mechanisms under the tank. Although plumbers can rebuild old toilets, its less expensive and more convenient to have it replaced.

Firm Foundation

A toilet that is not on a solid foundation and has some movement to it could cause serious issues. Any leaks coming from the base of the toilet can rot the floor underneath, resulting in problems with your foundation. If your toilet rocks back and forth, call a plumber immediately to prevent any possible water damage.

Change is Good

Most people would be surprised by the advances in toilet technology that have occurred over the last decade. Smart toilets can sense types of waste and use water accordingly, adjust height and even play downloaded music. Those features are a bit much for most of us, but are available for those that want to enhance their experience. If you are just looking for aesthetics and a more efficient upgrade, there are plenty of options available.

If you are looking to replace your current toilet and want the best options available, contact Michael & Son today. Our plumbers can help you choose from a wide selection of toilets and find one that suits your needs. Make sure to like on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to YouTube page to find out about great savings upcoming events and more!

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