Heating and Cooling Summer Maintenance Tips for Homeowners Part 2

Your home is likely your biggest investment, and like all other investments, it requires ongoing care and maintenance to retain its value. Knowing that your plumbing and cooling appliances are at the heart of a safe and functional home, the importance of setting aside time to perform standard upkeep procedures in these systems becomes undeniably clear. But when schedules change and life gets hectic in the summer, it is easy to lose sight of these routine upkeep tasks, which can cause unpleasantly high repair bills in the future.

To help you keep track of your summer routine maintenance tasks, review part two of our comprehensive summer plumbing, cooling, and heating maintenance checklist listed below.

Look for Leaky Faucets

Make time to go through your home and examine each faucet, beginning with your sinks. Keep in mind that a faucet leak may not be overtly noticeable, so consider leaving a small bowl below the faucet for a while to check for any water accumulation. If you discover a leak in the faucet, take steps to repair it now to preserve water and reduce the chances of your utility bills rising this season.

Check Your Appliances

When considering everything a home’s appliances do every day, many homeowners realize how much time and exertion their major devices save them on a daily basis. To keep them in good condition, they will need to be cared for regularly. In addition to checking your kitchen and bathroom appliances thoroughly for any signs of leaks, here are a few key appliances you’ll want to check up on this season.

Refrigerator and Freezer: Make sure the condenser coils are dust-free, and remember to switch out the water and air filter if necessary for your unit. In addition, check to be sure the fridge gasket is clean and covered adequately.

Dishwasher: Make a point to cleanse your dishwasher’s filter to extract hard water sediments. While you’re at it, clean your unit’s food trap every two to three months.

Washer and Dryer: Look at your unit’s exhaust vent once a year at the least to check for lint accumulation. If necessary, clean your units to reduce the risk of a fire.

Garbage Disposal: Your garbage disposal is bound to be working overtime as you host summertime events, which is why now is the ideal time to get it professionally inspected and serviced to make sure it continues working properly throughout the summer and into the fall.

Heating and Cooling Summer Maintenance Tips for Homeowners Part 1

Your home is your greatest investment, and your plumbing, heating, and cooling systems are the core of a properly functioning home.

To keep your home safe and secure, it’s important to make time for routine maintenance tasks throughout the year, and the summertime is no exception. But when life gets busier during the summer, many homeowners may forget to conduct routine maintenance, which can result in hefty repair expenses in the long-run.

To help you stay on top of your summer routine maintenance duties, take a look at part one of our routine summer plumbing maintenance checklist below.

Deep Clean Your Kitchen and Bathroom

Keeping your home tidy can be a difficult task for even the most conscientious cleaners, which is why it’s a good idea to have your house deep-cleaned on an annual basis. Certain areas of a home will inevitably need a more rigorous cleaning than others, such as the bathrooms and the kitchen. To keep germs at bay this season and throughout the year, think about hiring professional cleaners to deep clean these spaces.  

Replace Your HVAC Filters

Your home’s furnace not only stimulates effective air flow throughout your house; it also helps decrease the amount of dust, debris, and other contaminants circulating within your indoor air. To ensure your filters are working efficiently, be sure to change them every 2-4 months at the very least.

Monitor Your Drains and Water Pressure

If you notice any slow drains or clogs in your plumbing system, don’t wait until they develop into a larger problem to have them cleared. While you are at it, check your home for plumbing issues that often get overlooked by monitoring your water pressure using a pressure gauge. If you find that your water pressure is high, make a point to have a professional service your water pressure regulator.

Clean Your Air Ducts

Dirty air ducts can circulate dust, debris, and other allergens throughout your home and impact your HVAC system’s ability to function at its optimal level. If you haven’t had your ducts cleaned at least once in the past 3-5 years, this summer is the perfect time to check this task off your list.

Plan Your Summer Kitchen or Bathroom Renovation Project with These 3 Tips

Remodeling your bathroom or kitchen not only enhances the attractiveness of a home, but can increase the home’s value, as well. A remodeling project also offers you the chance to incorporate the latest and greatest plumbing and other appliances. Consider the following bathroom and kitchen remodeling tips to get started planning your end-of-summer plumbing renovation project before the season ends.

Budget Accordingly

If you are planning to make smaller, cost-effective changes to your bathroom or kitchen, money might not be a large concern. However, many homeowners might be looking to make large-scale upgrades, such as installing a hot tub, getting a new shower system, or expanding the size of a room. Knowing exactly how much the upgrades you want will cost and how you will fund them will assist you in aligning the project to your budget.

Plan Your Remodel

After you get an accurate idea of how much you can afford to spend on your bathroom or kitchen upgrades, you can move on to making concrete plans to incorporate all the alterations you want to have done. Be sure to take wall and floor measurements, if necessary. You may also want to consider whether your current space can handle the renovations you desire, or if you will have to expand the size of the room to accommodate the installation of new features or appliances.

Optimize for Small Spaces

If you have a small bathroom and don’t have the budget to finance a room expansion at this point, there are numerous ways to optimize the amount of space you already have in your bathroom. Here are a few tips to organizing a bathroom remodel when you have limited room to work with.

Install a corner sink that is situated to the side, which will enable more space for traffic and provide you with the opportunity to create a storage area or have cabinets installed in the space below.

Opt to install a shelf over your toilet that can give you extra room for storage and decorations.

Mount your faucet on the wall by selecting a narrow sink to free up the walking space.

When to Replace the Filter in Your Heating System

Replacing the air filter in your home’s heating and air-cooling system is an essential household chore, but many homeowners forget this task and experience the unpleasant side effects that usually accompany a dirty air filter. Some cheaper filters may need replacing every month or so while higher-quality pleated filters can last six months or more. However, as a general rule you should replace the filter around every 90 days. 

Signs You Need a New Air Filter

Irregularities in inside air control are usually easier to detect for individuals who suffer from allergies and sensitivity to certain particles, like pollen or pet dander. These particles enter the air in the home and when they pass through the heating and air system, the filter traps them to prevent them from circulating back into the air supply. If you typically do not experience problems with your allergies inside and then start noticing symptoms, this could be a sign of a dirty air filter that needs replacing.

Factors to Consider 

There are additional factors to consider if you’re thinking of replacing your air filter. The heating and air systems in larger homes move a larger quantity of air, and more square footage means more potential to accumulate dust and other particles. Larger homes may require more frequent air filter replacement than smaller homes.

If you have pets, it is likely their displaced hairs will find their way into the air system of the home, so this may require you to replace the filters more often. This is also true if you have young children under the age of four; infants and toddlers have more sensitive and vulnerable respiratory systems, and regular filter replacement every month or so can help ensure health and safety from germs and airborne bacteria. 

Remember, just because an air filter looks clean does not mean that it is. If the filter still appears clean after three months of use or longer, you should still replace it if you’re experiencing issues with the air quality in your home.

Prevalent Thanksgiving Plumbing Emergencies and How To Avoid Them

Now that Thanksgiving is just around the bend, numerous homeowners in Bromall, Pennsylvania, are eager to gather with their friends and families to enjoy an assortment of traditional Thanksgiving staples. Whether you are the host or a guest this Thanksgiving, having a basic understanding of some of the most frequently occurring Thanksgiving plumbing issues can help you decrease the likelihood of a serious plumbing catastrophe interfering with your holiday plans.


Malfunctioning Garbage Disposals


The garage disposal will be operating continuously throughout Thanksgiving and during the entire holiday season, which means it will be particularly susceptible to being impacted by several plumbing problems. Some of the most common garbage disposal issues happen when a large quantity of scraps or food waste go down the drain, or when substances that the disposal can’t handle make their way accidentally into the sink.


A variety of food items and cooking ingredients that are part of the traditional Thanksgiving spread can seriously damage a garbage disposal, including corn husks, turkey bones, and egg shells. Even if you aren’t preparing the meal this Thanksgiving, take a look at the following list of items to keep out of the disposal. This can be the key to preventing unpleasant blockages and clogs this season:


  • Corn husks
  • Coffee grounds
  • Liquids such as oil, fats, grease
  • Bread, rice, pasta
  • Beans
  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Cherry and peach pits
  • Turkey bones
  • Potato peels
  • Mashed potatoes


Avoid throwing these items down your garbage disposal, and you should also refrain from discarding a large amount of food scraps down the disposal at one time.


Worn Out Appliances   


When your entire family comes together to celebrate the holidays, it’s not unusual for the number of people in a home to double, or even triple. As a result, the plumbing appliances are used more often, making them more susceptible to experiencing issues. While there is nothing you can do to avoid this, you can help everyone learn what can be flushed or put down the garbage disposal in order to decrease the chances of a large-scale plumbing accident ruining your Thanksgiving.

How To Clean Your Toilet Tank

Your toilet tank typically stays pretty clean. The dirty water is in the bowl only and stays out with the rubber stopper at the bottom of the tank. The tank can get dirty on its own though, making it important to clean it occasionally.

Empty the Tank

The first step to cleaning the tank is to empty it of all the water. You can do this by shutting off the water supply to the toilet. Turn the knob on the wall near the toilet a few times to close the water connection. Then flush the toilet a few times to get rid of the water in the tank.

Scrub the Inside of the Tank

Use a long-handled scrub brush or a scouring pad to scrub the surface of the tank. You’ll want to go easy with the brush or use a softer sponge on the key elements inside of the tank. Be careful not to damage the pieces with the scrub brush.

Use Vinegar for Mineral Deposits

If there are mineral deposits built up in the tank from hard water, soak them with vinegar. You can either fill up the entire tank with vinegar and let it soak, or just pour the vinegar on select areas. If you don’t like using vinegar, lemon juice may work, too. Skip this step if your home runs on a septic system. Dumping chemicals into the tank can cause a big problem for septic owners. Be sure not to use any ammonia-based cleaners, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide after flushing the tank with vinegar to avoid a bad chemical reaction.

Refill the Tank

Once you’ve completed your scrub of the tank, open the water knob and let the flow of water back into the tank. Flush the toilet a few times to get the extra cleaners out of the tank. Once this is complete, you are ready to continue using your toilet.

Clean the toilet tank twice a year to keep everything in working order. It is best to clean the tank by hand, avoiding the drop-in cleaner tablets. Those contain chemicals that can degrade the components of your toilet and can harm your septic system. For all your plumbing needs, call McCuen Plumbing, Heating and Cooling.


How to Choose Your Plumber

Your plumber can play a role in determining the efficiency and longevity of your home’s systems. Finding the right plumber in Broomall, Pennsylvania, takes identifying your unique goals and needs, as well as a bit of research into the local options. Knowing the traits of top-tier plumbing companies can help you understand what to look for during your search. Look for the following things before hiring your plumber.


Skilled and Certified Technicians


A plumbing company is only as good as the people it sends to complete jobs. Partner with a company that keeps high standards for who it hires. Look for skilled, experienced, and friendly technicians. They should also have the education and certifications necessary for completing the type of job you need done. Explore an About Us page or ask the company outright about its technicians.


A Variety of Services


Once you find a reliable, trustworthy plumber, you don’t want to have to find another for different services. It’s beneficial to find a good plumber who offers a wide variety of plumbing, HVAC, sewer, and water services in Broomall. That way, you’ll only have to conduct your plumber research once. A variety of available services at one location can provide maximum convenience for home and business owners.


Friendly Representatives


The world of plumbing can be an enigma to homeowners. It’s a plumbing technician’s job not only to repair and maintain systems, but to explain things and answer questions as well. It’s important to find a plumbing company with friendly and caring representatives who listen to your concerns and work with you to find solutions tailored to your needs. Reading company reviews can give you a better idea of how the company treats clients.


Fast and Efficient Services


When you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency, you don’t have time for companies that send your call to voicemail or charge outrageous amounts to visit after hours. You need a plumber you can rely on to show up when and where you need services, at affordable rates. John McCuen, Inc. offers 24-hour emergency plumbing services in Broomall, along with coupons and discounts you can apply to reduce the price. We have everything you need in a plumber and more.




How to Plan a Cost-Effective Bathroom Upgrade This Summer

Having your bathroom appliances upgraded can break a budget quickly. To keep your upcoming summer bathroom renovation project affordable, you’ll need to understand how to avoid unnecessary costs. Look at the following list of ideas to help you plan a reasonably priced bathroom upgrade project this season.


Before planning your budget for your bathroom renovation project, commit to crafting a plan centered around these cost-saving considerations.


  • Select just one appliance, feature, or fixture to splurge on.

  • Be sure to make room in your budget to cover any unforeseen costs, such as having water damage repaired or renting a dumpster to remove debris after your project is complete.

  • Think about renovating your bathroom in phases to give you time to save up money in-between the upgrades.

  • Work with the space you have in your bathroom already, as expanding a room is generally an expensive and time-consuming job.


  • If you must have something replaced, make a point to conduct thorough research and shop around for the best prices. This will allow you to have a complete understanding of all your options before you commit to making a purchase.


Before starting your project, consider these helpful budgeting tips for each upgrade you think about having installed.


Countertops: If you are planning to install a new countertop in your bathroom, consider affordable material options such as tile countertops, granite, or Formica. A simple paint job can also make a major difference in the appearance of your counter, just be sure the paint you decide to purchase works with your countertop’s material.


Decorations: Rather than purchasing a new set of decorations, try revamping your bathroom with items you already have on-hand. Think about transforming your old mirror by having the frame replaced, or simply painting the frame to create an entirely new look. In addition, you can paint your shelving areas a new color instead of spending the money to have new ones installed. If you want to spruce up the room with artwork or additional decorations, take a look around your home for decorative baskets or plants you can use to enhance the style of your space.

Keep Your Home Cool and Your Energy Bill Reasonable This Summer

As the temperatures continue to climb, many homeowners will be looking for ways to keep cool while keeping their energy bills at affordable levels. Here is a list of five steps you can employ to save money on your energy bill without forfeiting the comfort of your home:

Upgrade Your Old Air-Conditioning Units

If you own an older A/C unit but haven’t been maintaining it, consider replacing it with an improved model. Energy Star-rated HVAC models use up to 50 percent less energy than other models, which can offset the replacement expenses by a large margin in the long run.

Purchase a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats enable you to manage your HVAC system when you aren’t physically inside of your home. You can establish thermostat settings in accordance to your specific schedule, so you can minimize energy use while you are away and still come home to a pleasant temperature. You can use programmable thermostats to set distinct temperature zones for rooms throughout your home to maximize your energy preservation efforts.

Check and Replace Air Filters

Dirty air filters can hinder airflow and reduce the effectiveness of your HVAC system. You should replace the unit’s air filters each month to keep your system functioning properly throughout the summer.

Shield Your Unit From Sun Exposure and Debris

A tree can help shade your HVAC unit and reduce the amount of energy it needs to consume when operating. While this can improve its overall functionality, remember that branches or particles can infiltrate your unit, disrupt its operation, and potentially cause lasting damage.

Keep Your Vents Uncovered and Clean

Vents in your home are prone to accidentally being closed or covered when cleaned. If you notice a particularly warm room or section of your home, double check that all the vents are open, so they can distribute cold air effectively.

Keeping your vents clean can also help prevent dust, dirt, and miscellaneous debris from circulating throughout your house. Check both the inside and outside of the house to make sure your vents and air filters are clean and can sustain a healthy airflow.


Preserve Water This Summer With These Seven Simple Plumbing Tips

You use water in many places in your house, which makes the idea of conserving it difficult for many homeowners. While it may appear difficult at first glance, there are numerous strategies you can employ to cut down on your water usage and save money on your bills this summer. Here are a few water-preservation strategies you can use to help you this season.

  1. Run your faucet only when necessary. Don’t have it running when you brush your teeth, flossing, or using mouthwash.
  2. Install water-sense plumbing accessories and appliances. New low-flow shower heads and sink faucets can make a large dent in your water usage without hindering water pressure levels.
  3. Take showers rather than baths. Filling your bathtub requires around 30 gallons of water, while a 10-minute shower only requires around 25. Better yet, upgrade your shower head to a low-flow version to reduce your water usage down to 20 gallons per shower.
  4. Examine your toilet for leaks. Toilets are known for developing leaks that are difficult for homeowners to notice. Unfortunately, undetected toilet leaks can waste a lot of water. To examine your toilet for leaks, put a few drops of food coloring into your toilet tank and wait for about a half-hour without flushing the tank. If you see the coloring in your toilet bowl after 30 minutes, it probably has a leak.
  5. Use your dishwasher. Hand-washing your dishes instead of putting them in the dishwasher uses more water. Leave this task to the machine, but always make sure you have an entire load of dishes in prior to running the dishwasher.
  6. Upgrade to a water-smart dishwasher. If it’s almost time for you to start looking for a replacement dishwasher, choose a water-smart version that uses less water during its cycles. You may also want to choose an energy-efficient dishwasher to decrease energy usage.
  7. Dispose of garbage in the trash instead of your garbage disposal. While the garbage disposal comes in handy when you need to get rid of certain items quickly, you must use water for it to function correctly. If you can toss a product in the trash, save water and dispose of it manually.