What Is A Hydronic Heating System?

Now that it’s really getting cold in Wisconsin, people are starting to prepare the homes for the harsh winter. Hydronic heating is a type of home heating system that uses tubing to run a hot liquid underneath the floor, along the walls, and through radiators. This type of heating system was common before furnace and HVAC systems. However, it’s rising once again in popularity because of its energy efficiency.

How Does Hydronic Heating Work?

Houses heated by these heating systems have a system of plastic tubing running all throughout the house. It’s most commonly underneath flooring and along the base of walls. The system continually pumps a hot liquid through the pipes to warm the house.

This is in comparison to HVAC systems that heat the air in the furnace and pump that hot air through vents in the ceiling. They are both very effective ways to heat your home.

Why Is Hydronic Heating Energy Efficient?

These heating systems are energy efficient for several reasons. For one, you get to control the exact temperature you want the room to be.

Many people have temperature control systems that are separated by each room. For example, if you are not using a room in your house, you can cut it off from receiving hot liquid through its pipe system, so as not to heat a room that no one uses.

Warm Floors = Extra Comfort

One notable perk of having a hydronic heating system is that your floors are always warm. Hopping out of bed in the morning is not so bad when the floor isn’t as cold as ice! Hydronic heating systems basic operations means your home’s floors are always warm and comfortable.

Contact Ihn Company Today!

For superior knowledge in all things from plumbing to heating to cooling, contact Ihn Company Inc. We can give you a quote for whatever kind of repair or restoration you may need.

4 Benefits of Gas Line Installation

Whether you’re planning to install the latest water heater, stove, or furnace, a gas line installation is a great place to begin. A gas line transports natural gas safely to the appliances and equipment that requires natural gas to power them. Using natural gas can work to your advantage in many ways. Therefore, it’s crucial that your pipes are working correctly for your home and the environment.

Not sure if gas piping is right for you? Let’s take a look at 4 benefits of gas line installation.

Natural Gas Saves You Money

As one of the most affordable forms of energy available, natural gas is almost always cheaper than electricity. Generally speaking, choosing all gas appliances can save you up to 30 percent on your utility bill. Many appliances that run on natural gas require less money to operate than electrical appliances do. Therefore, natural gas is typically a more cost-efficient choice.

Gas Line Installation is Environmentally Friendly

Natural gas produces nearly half as much carbon dioxide per unit of energy. Unlike coal, natural gas is an environmentally friendly resource. A gas line installation produces natural gas as a clean and efficient source for household use. Additionally, less pollution and reduced greenhouse gases are created compared to other energy sources such as oil and coal.

A Gas Line Installation Does More Than Provide Heat

Gas piping provides natural gas that powers a wide variety of appliances. Gas piping is commonly used for:

  • Fireplaces
  • Furnaces
  • Drying clothes
  • Swimming pools
  • Gas stoves and ovens

A gas line installation is a great economic resource that you can use both indoors and outdoors. With so much use, it’s crucial that homeowners understand the importance of clean pipes. Gas lines and pipes should be cleaned and inspected regularly by a licensed professional.

Increased Convenience and Efficiency

Not only is natural gas a more cost-efficient option, but it is also the most convenient option. You can have peace of mind knowing that natural gas is always there when you need it, especially during electrical outages and winter storms.

In addition to adding value to your home, a natural gas conversion also increases your overall energy efficiency. Gas-powered appliances generally consume less energy than their electric counterpart. Natural gas provides the best energy value to heat your home with reliable power.

Gas Line Installation from a Professional

Gas piping can be hazardous and possibly lead to gas leaks if poorly installed. The very first step to a proper gas line installation is choosing a licensed professional to complete the job. In order to take full advantage of all of its benefits, it is highly recommended that homeowners schedule routine maintenance for both gas pipes and appliances.

As a company with over 30 years of experience, Ihn Company is fully licensed by the State of Wisconsin so that you can feel confident in the craftsmanship we provide. We offer a variety of services for commercial and residential properties all over Southeastern Wisconsin. Contact us today!

Why Chemical Drain Cleaners are Bad for Your Plumbing

When dealing with a clogged drain, we often head straight towards our chemical drain cleaner and immediately pour it down the clogged pipe. Chemical drain cleaners may seem like the perfect solution, but cleaning your clog isn’t the only thing they can do. There are some risks involved when using drain cleaners in your household pipes.

Generally speaking, the more you use drain cleaners, the more your pipes can become damaged over time. Let’s take a look at why drain cleaners are damaging and how alternative solutions are beneficial.

Chemical Drain Cleaners are Bad for Plumbing

As one of the most popular methods of clearing clogged pipes,  drain cleaners may seem like a quick and easy solution to a stubborn clog. However, not all drain cleaners are safe for pipes. The chemicals used in drain cleaners need to be strong in order to dissolve drain clogs.

Once applied to a clogged drain, these chemicals react with electrons in the blockage to generate heat and gas, therefore dissolving the clog and clearing the drain. Because of their high toxicity levels, these products are hazardous to your health if inhaled or swallowed.

Different Types of Drain Cleaners

Generally speaking, chemical drain cleaners come in various forms, including gel, liquid, and powder. If your pipes are old, lye, trichloroethane, and other harsh chemicals can do more harm than good. There are three basic types of chemical drain cleaners:

1. Acid drain cleaners – This type of drain cleaner isn’t commonly found in stores and is instead purchased by licensed plumbers. Because they contain large quantities of sulfuric or hydrochloric acid, they are extremely dangerous for your health. Furthermore, they can cause damage to your pipes if used incorrectly.

2. Caustic drain cleaners – This solution erodes the typical “gunk” that makes up most common clogs. It’s typically used for more heavy duty clogs that require dissolving the substance.

3. Oxidizing cleaner – Bleach and nitrates are used to clear blockages by causing organic material to lose electrons and become oxidized. In general, this solution is best for food-based blockages in kitchen sinks.

DIY Drain Maintenance

Drain cleaners dissolve blockages in your pipes with a chemical reaction. In doing so, they are often so powerful that they damage your pipes and even melt right through plastic plumbing in PVC in some cases. Instead, let’s take a look at DIY solutions to clear a clogged drain without causing any harm:

  • Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by half a cup of vinegar. Let it sit overnight then flush the drain with hot water. This method can be used with regular drain maintenance at least once per month.
  • Mix baking soda with salt or lemon juice and pour it down the drain. Let it sit for up to an hour and if you need to shift the blockage, pour boiling water down the drain.
  • Pour very hot (not boiling) water down the drain followed by cool water to flush out the clog.
  • Use a drain snake.

DIY Not Working? Call Ihn Company.

No one wants to wake up or come home to a clogged drain. We understand how inconvenient a really bad clog can get, so call the professionals at Ihn Company. We have serviced Southeastern Wisconsin with our commercial and residential plumbing repair for over 30 years. You can trust us to do quality work and put your worries at ease. Contact us today!

Spring Plumbing Checklist

Spring is finally here and that means it’s time for your spring plumbing checklist. It’s safe to say that most of us do spring cleaning, but have you ever thought about a little preventative maintenance on your plumbing? This may seem unnecessary but it can save you money down the road and reduce your chances of plumbing issues in the future. Let’s take a look at ways to ensure your plumbing system is in tip-top shape this season.

1. Inspect Your Toilet Bowls

The first thing to check in the most plumbing-heavy rooms are the pipes. Take a look at your toilet tank and bowl for cracks or leaks. It’s also important to make sure the toilets are flushing properly. To easily check if your toilet is leaking, add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet tank. If the color appears in your toilet bowl, then your toilet is leaking.

2. Check the Area Under Your Sink

After inspecting your toilet, check the water supply valves under your sinks to make sure they aren’t sticking. Remove all of the items from under your sink and inspect the area. Make sure there isn’t any lime build-up on the turn off valves and the bottom of your pipes show no signs of a leak.

3. Take a Look at Your Water Heater

Water heaters have a limited lifespan and typically require replacement after roughly ten years. The temperature of your water heater should be set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding and reduce energy use. Furthermore, a proper temperature allows your home to get the best balance of energy efficiency and performance.

Consider a water heater upgrade if your unit displays any of the following issues:

  • You notice rusty water.
  • Your home lacks hot water.
  • Your water heater is leaking.
  • You hear odd noises coming from the water heater.

4. Sump Pump Maintenance

It’s important to periodically check the discharge lines to make sure that they are working properly. Look around the area where the discharge line is emptied outside of your home and remove any visible obstructions. Additionally, you can evaluate your sump pump by pouring a few buckets of water into it. If the pump doesn’t quickly turn on and discharge the water, you may be in need of a professional inspection to clear the blockage.

5. Don’t Forget About the Outdoors

Next, inspect your yard drains, gutters, and downspouts. These should be cleaned out and free of debris. Turn on your outdoor water to check the outdoor faucets for leaks and ensure the water is flowing correctly. Even a small, constant drip can unnecessarily waste water. Furthermore, it can potentially seep into the ground and damage the foundation of your home.

We Can Help You Complete Your Spring Plumbing Checklist

Overwhelmed by this spring to-do list? We understand that not every Milwaukee homeowner wants to get involved in plumbing repairs. With over 30 years of experience, Ihn Company is your one-stop-shop for all Milwaukee plumbing and foundation repair services. Contact us today!

4 Signs Your Water Heater Needs to Be Replaced

Your water heater is one of the most important features in your home and is vital to everyday living. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy a hot shower, warm water for hand-washing, or laundry and dish cleaning. Did you know that the average person typically uses warm water up to 20 times per day?

With so much daily use, you’re bound to see signs that your water heater needs to be replaced. Let’s take a look at 4 signs you’re in need of a water heater replacement.

Your Water Heater is Leaking

Generally speaking, the life expectancy of a water heater is about 8 to 12 years. However, this can vary depending on the quality of installation, design, and location of the unit. For that reason, there is an increased chance that water may begin appearing on the floor around the tank.

When the water heater is located on the ground level of your home, leaks could result in significant damage to your property, such as:

  • Soaked/ruined carpet
  • Mold due to the absorption of water into your carpet or floors
  • Water damage to your walls, furniture, or electronics

Therefore, a leaky water heater is the most serious problem that can occur and should be replaced immediately.

Your Home Lacks Hot Water

If your shower runs out of hot water each time you use it, it’s time for a replacement. Sediment builds up in water heaters which separate the heat source and takes up space in the system. In short, your hot water heater’s ability to provide your home with hot water significantly decreases.

There are typically three possible issues that can lead to a loss of hot water:

You Notice Rusty Water

Seeing rusty water falling from your pipes isn’t an enjoyable experience. If rust appears in the hot water from your faucets, chances are you have a rusty water heater. On the other hand, there could be an issue with your pipes. Since your piping system is made up of galvanized pipes, rust can inevitably form on the insides.

One way to check if rust is originating from the water tank or your pipes is to drain a few buckets of hot water from the tank. If your water is still rusty by the third bucket, then the tank is the source of the issue and not the pipes.

Odd Noises from the Water Heater

If you notice banging or rumbling noises in your water heater, it may be a sign of sediment building up in your hot water heater. When sediment build-up begins to harden and take up space in your water heater, it makes it difficult for the system to properly heat your water supply. The best way to ensure that your hot water heater does not endure inefficiency or accelerated damage due to sediment build-up is to replace your water heater as soon as possible.

Is Your Water Heater in Need of Replacement?

When water heating accounts for 20% of your household budget, it might be time to look for a more efficient water heater. If you’ve got a cold water problem and your current tank water heater is draining you of time, money and resources, then look no further than your local Milwaukee water heater specialists!

Ihn Company has over 30 years of experience providing services for commercial and residential properties in the Milwaukee area. Contact us today!