Archive for December, 2014

5 Facts about Santa Claus

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Many holiday traditions involve the story of Santa Claus, the lovable old man who spends most of his time at the North Pole taking a single evening to deliver presents and candy to children everywhere. But since Santa Claus is so elusive (unless he happens to be visiting your local shopping mall), how do we know so much about him? Where exactly does his journey begin? Our holiday guide details 5 of the most common traditions associated with Jolly Old Saint Nick.

  1. The Origins of Santa: The name “Santa Claus” comes from St. Nicholas (a name which became Sinter Klaas for short in Dutch), a Christian Bishop from 4 A.D. who was known for giving his fortune away to those in need in Turkey. Santa Claus’ first associations with gift-giving comes from Holland’s St. Nicholas’ feast day, during which children would leave out their shoes overnight and find presents waiting inside the shoes on the next morning.
  2. The Stocking by the Chimney: While many people associate Holland’s shoe tradition with the origins of hanging a stocking, this isn’t entirely accurate. Hanging stockings instead comes from the legend of a time St. Nick helped a man afford to marry off his daughter by throwing a bag of gold down the chimney, which landed in a stocking that was hanging up to dry.
  3. St. Nick’s Outfit: Santa got his fashion sense from a wooden cutout handed out during a meeting of the New York Historical Society in 1804. But it wasn’t until a 1930s Coca Cola advertisement that his traditionally blue, white, and green outfit was transformed into a big red suit.
  4. Leaving Cookies out for Santa: Food was traditionally used as ornamentation during the holidays in medieval Germany as apples and cookies commonly adorned the home at wintertime. When the Christmas tree became a common symbol of the season, edible treats began to vanish, a phenomenon which became attributed to Santa Claus’ snacking habits.
  5. Why Santa Drives a Sleigh: Santa gets his sleigh from a tale spun by Washington Irving, the same author who brought us the Headless Horseman. He wrote down an account of a dream in which Santa Claus drives a weightless wagon through the sky, and the stories became so popular, they stuck around.

Here at Ardon Maintenance, we hope that you have a joyful and safe celebration, no matter what holiday traditions you engage in this year. Happy holidays!

Hidden Problems You May Have in Your Plumbing System

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

So you don’t give your plumbing system much thought on a daily basis, but who would want to? Modern plumbing systems are designed so that we don’t have to worry about the water and sewage that flows through them, as pipes are hidden behind walls and underneath the property. Your fixtures are setup in such a way that they require minimal attention and care, but unfortunately all of these modern conveniences means it’s difficult to tell when something goes wrong with your plumbing.

We all know that an unexpected plumbing issue can turn into a disaster, causing water or sewage to flood onto your property. That’s why many companies offer preventive plumbing maintenance to give homeowners some peace of mind. Plumbing maintenance involves a thorough inspection, some cleaning, and an adjustment of the most important parts of your plumbing system, including the smaller parts like the garbage disposal and water heater. Here’s what may go wrong without an occasional tune up.

  • Leaky Pipes: You may have spotted a leak once before when water pooled underneath the sink or when your water pressure was significantly reduced. But a leak can remain fairly hidden, and most homeowners don’t notice there is a problem right away. A hidden leak may not cause much of an effect in your shower, but it could be leaking several gallons of water a day, costing you extra on your utilities, or else a sewage leak underneath your property may pose a health threat.
  • Impending Drain Clogs: Don’t wait until a drain has slowed or is stopped completely before scheduling service. With maintenance, a technician may notice a problem with your garbage disposal or buildup in the pipes that could lead to a clog later on.
  • Corroding Water Heater: Your water heater contains a component called an anode rod which attracts rust so that the water heater will not corrode. When this rod becomes rusted through it needs replacement or else rust can accumulate in the tank instead, which will lead to the need for replacement.

Protect your pipes, your property, and even your garbage disposal, by calling Ardon Maintenance today for professional plumbing maintenance in Madisonville, TX.

When Is It Time to Replace My Boiler?

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Boilers are built to last. If the boiler that heats a home receives proper care during its service life (annual inspections and tune-ups, repairs done as soon as necessary) it can often continue to provide comfort for longer than a generation. A child can grow up in a home and go to college with the same boiler keeping him or her warm all those years.

Like any machine, a boiler cannot last forever. Work strain will eventually cause the heating system to deteriorate past the point where continued boiler repairs and maintenance will provide no help, and the best choice for warmth and energy efficiency is to have the boiler replaced. Below we will look at ways to tell if that time has arrived for your home’s boiler. Ardon Maintenance is here to provide the assistance you need to make the choice regarding new boiler installation in Huntsville, TX. We can take care of repairs or replacement, whatever it turns out is better for your family’s continued comfort.

Signs a boiler is approaching the end of its service life

Check on your boiler’s age and its manufacturer’s estimated lifespan. In general, a well-built boiler can last 20 years or more. A boiler that has gone past 20 years should receive special attention, since this is usually the point where the system will encounter a decline in performance and efficiency. If a boiler at this age needs repair work, check with the repair technician about the possibility of replacing it. If a single repair is greater than half the cost of a replacement, then replacement is a much more cost-effective choice.

The cumulative number of repairs that a boiler needs during a year is also a good measuring stick for whether you should replace it. If the costs for repairs to keep a boiler running is $500 or more a year, it is no longer worth continuing to repair the system; the repairs will only become more frequent and the system less efficient, and it will possibly experience a permanent failure within a few years right when you need it the most.

If a boiler starts to develop corrosion along its tank, it almost certainly needs to be replaced; when corrosion gets a hold, the system is simply too old to continue to function well. Also listen for strange sounds from the tank. Boilers usually operate quietly, and when that silent operation vanishes under odd noises, it often means the aging system is close to a full failure.

Finally, a gradual rise in the cost to run the boiler which does not decrease because of maintenance or repairs, shows that wear and tear have taken too large a toll. Call for a technician to look into the boiler’s operation and see if it’s time to retire it for a new, higher-efficiency model.

Contact Ardon Maintenance if you have doubts about your boiler. Whether you need repairs, maintenance, or boiler installation in Huntsville, TX, we will handle the job with speed and professionalism.

How Moisture in the Air Diminishes the Indoor Air Quality

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

A little bit of moisture in the air can be a good thing. Homes that are too dry make the air feel stale and can cause skin irritation, dry throats and noses, peeling paint, and illness. But a home that has too much moisture can be even more detrimental to the indoor air quality.

For one, too much humidity in the air can make the home feel stuffy and warm. Moisture keeps your skin from evaporating sweat, which is why on a humid day the weather outside can seem so much hotter than it actually is.

However, the bigger threat to you and your home is mold growth. Mold thrives in areas with a lot of moisture, so it may be growing anywhere in your home where humidity levels are not quite right. Mold slowly destroys whatever it lives on, resulting in structural damage to the home. If the problem isn’t taken care of quickly, you may need to renovate large portions of your construction. What’s worse, however, is that mold spores in the air can aggravate allergies and asthma, cause illness or irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, or attack those with compromised immune systems.

Generally, the solution is a whole-home dehumidifier. Whole-home dehumidifiers work with your HVAC system to control moisture levels and inhibit mold growth in all of the areas of your home you occupy, not just a single room. It supplies an additional means for moisture in the air to collect as condensation and drain so that it doesn’t recirculate through the ducts.

How do you know if there is too much moisture in the air in your home? Well, look for signs of moisture buildup, like wet spots on the walls or ceiling. A big giveaway is if your home tends to feel clammy and moist. And if your allergies continuously act up, don’t pass it off as something normal—we cannot stress enough how serious a problem mold growth truly is.

If you’re still unsure of whether a dehumidifier is right for you, contact Ardon Maintenance. Our highly trained technicians are experts on indoor air quality in Riverside.