How Energy Conservation in Abbeville, Lafayette, and New Iberia, LA Can Combat Global Climate Change

Smart EnergyOur use of fossil fuels to produce electricity is the largest contributor of CO2  emissions in the America, accounting for nearly 37% of the nation’s total CO2 emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). CO2  is one of many greenhouse gases that contribute to global pollution and climate change. Energy conservation is the most effective way to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that harm the environment and you can do it right from the comfort of your own home!

We take energy conservation very seriously at Pipes & Plugs, LLC. That’s why we offer a variety of money and energy saving electrical services in New Iberia, LA, such as electrical upgrades and energy audits. Our expert electricians can help you identify easy ways you have save money on electricity while reducing your environmental footprint.

Take a look at these simple ways to save money electricity in New Iberia, LA and beyond!

 

  • Call Pipes & Plugs, LLC to schedule an energy audit Your home may have problems areas you’re unaware of that are taking a toll on the environment and your wallet. An energy audit can find and resolve these issues and ensures your home is energy efficient.
  • Getting rid of dust is a must Your refrigerator coils should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner at least twice a year or according to the manufacturer’s directions. Likewise, you should replace your HVAC filter every four to six weeks for maximum efficiency and money savings.  
  • Unplug Phone and tablet chargers are two examples of “vampire” electronics that continue to drain your home of electricity even if they’re not in use! As long as they’re plugged in, electricity is being wasted. Keep these and other kinds of electronics unplugged until you need to use them.
  • Keep an eye out for leaks Making sure your home is properly insulated is a great way prevent the waste of energy and money. Sealing door and window leaks keeps you comfortable while saving money and the environment.
  • Program your thermostat Heating and cooling make up roughly 42% of a home’s energy costs, so it’s easy to see why programming your thermostat is such an important energy conservation measure. To increase your savings, keep your thermostat set to 78°F during cooling season and 68°F in the winter.
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs Energy Star certified light bulbs use between 70 to 90% less energy than their traditional incandescent counterparts. They also last six times as longer and help to reduce cooling costs because they produce less heat. Now that’s getting more bang for your bulb!

We believe that energy conservation is a community effort. Pipes & Plugs is dedicated to doing our part to combat climate change while helping our customers save money with our professional electrical services in Abbeville, LA. For service and savings you can count on, call Pipes & Plugs, LLC.!

 

10 Water Contamination Do’s and Don’ts in Abbeville, Lafayette, and New Iberia, LA

No Drugs Down The ToiletHeavy metal contamination isn’t the only thing that can impact water quality and safety. Runoff from farms and industrial waste are the most common culprits of water contamination, but did you know that many household products can contribute to this problem due to improper disposal? Doing your part by properly disposing of these products helps to preserve the water quality in Abbeville, Lafayette, New Iberia and beyond!

Pipes & Plugs, LLC is proud to offer eco-friendly plumbing services in Lafayette, LA that make it easy to reduce water contamination. These services incorporate “green” technology that can save you money by increasing your home’s energy efficiency while reducing its water usage. We’re dedicated to doing our part to help our community become even more environmentally responsible.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveal that over 286 million Americans rely on community water systems for their tap water. Everyone should do their part to reduce water contamination to preserve tap water quality. Here’s how you can help!

DO report improper disposal of chemicals by companies, neighbors, etc., to the public health department or a local water preservation organization. No one likes to tattletale, but preserving our area’s water quality is important!

DO install high efficiency plumbing fixtures. This is especially important for homes with septic tanks. Water efficiency reduces the risk of septic system failure which can cause groundwater contamination.

DO clean up after your pets. This prevents disease causing bacteria from entering storm drains and the public water supply.

DO remember to maintain your vehicle responsibly. Leaks allow antifreeze, coolant, and oil to seep into the groundwater or flow down storm drains. Wash your vehicle at a carwash, where companies must drain wastewater into the sewer system for proper treatment.

DO use homegrown fertilizer by making a compost pile out of kitchen scraps such as vegetable peels. It’s better than using harsh chemical fertilizers.

DON’T over do it with bleach, detergent, and dish soap. Use the recommended amount. Better yet, switch to an eco-friendly, biodegradable brand. These are tough on dirt but gentle on the environment.

DON’T treat your toilet like a trash bin. The sewage treatment process is hindered by paper and plastic waste, which ends up as litter.

DON’T flush medication down the drain or the toilet. Trace amounts of pharmaceuticals have been found in some public water supplies. Take old and unused medication to a pharmacy for proper disposal.

DON’T pour cooking oil, grease, or fat down the drain. Pour into a container and throw it in the trash once it’s solid.

DON’T dispose of household cleaners, chemicals, and harsh products irresponsibly. Reach out to your local sanitation or environmental health department for help with proper disposal.

Remember, just because it disappears down the drain or the toilet doesn’t mean it goes away! For more information on our eco-friendly plumbing services, call Pipes & Plugs, LLC today!

8 Cool Ways to Increase Refrigerator Efficiency and Save Money in Abbeville, Lafayette, and New Iberia

Refrigerator EfficiencyThis may come as a shock — no pun intended — but your refrigerator accounts for nearly 14% of your home’s total energy usage, so improving its efficiency can really help you save money on your electric bill. Since they run for 24 hours and play such an important role in everyday life, increasing efficiency is one energy conservation opportunity that you can’t afford to miss!

Here at Pipes & Plugs, LLC., one of the best parts of having over 40 years of combined experience is that we’ve seen refrigerator efficiency come a long way. Energy conservation is important to us because it helps our customers save money. You can trust our Lafayette electrical services to keep your home powered as efficiently as possible!

Want to learn how to use less electricity in New Iberia while increasing refrigerator efficiency? Here are 8 simple tips!

Check the seals

Regularly inspecting the seals on your refrigerator door allows you to find a faulty seal that could be costing you money by letting cold escape. This causes the internal temperature of the refrigerator to rise.

Clean the coils

Over time, a buildup of dust and grime can form on your refrigerator’s coils. This will act as a form of insulation that makes your refrigerator use more electricity than it should. Coils can be cleaned using a vacuum with a crevice attachment.

Choose the right temperature

A temperature between 33 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for refrigerators. Any higher only wastes electricity and will spoil your food. Too low of a temperature will also waste electricity and may freeze your food.

Pick the right location

Never put your refrigerator next to a heat generating appliance, such as a microwave, oven, or stove.

Fill it up

Keeping your refrigerator full allows it to run more efficiently. It’s harder to keep an empty space cold, so use gallon jugs of water to take up empty space and improve efficiency.

Keep refrigerator trips to a minimum

Warm air rushes into your refrigerator every time the door opens, causing it to use more energy to stay cold.

Allow food to cool down

Putting hot food directly into the refrigerator causes it to worker harder than normal just to maintain its temperature and cool the food down. Wait for food to cool before putting it away in the refrigerator.

Wrap food in aluminum foil and plastic wrap

Cooling the uneven surfaces of food requires more electricity than cooling a flat surface, so be sure to wrap food — after it’s cooled — in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

You should also consider if it’s time to upgrade to an energy efficient refrigerator. Energy Star certified refrigerators can save you between $35 to $300 in energy costs during its lifetime! At Pipes & Plugs, we love finding ways to help our customers save money on electricity, so don’t hesitate to give our New Iberian electricians a call!

 

#FlashbackFriday on March 11th in Honor of World Plumbing Day in Abbeville, Lafayette, and New Iberia

worldplumbingdayCreated by World Plumbing Council (WPC) in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), World Plumbing Day is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness regarding the integral role plumbing has in the lives and health of people across the globe. Since its creation in 2010, World Plumbing Day has been honored as a time to appreciate not only how far plumbing technology has come but what it can do to keep you and the rest of the world healthy.

With decades of combined experience in providing the Lafayette and surrounding communities with top notch electrical and plumbing services, Pipes & Plugs, LLC is happy to help you explore the benefits of plumbing this World Plumbing Day and every other day of the year!

In the spirit of World Plumbing Day, here are a just a few ways life would be different without the convenience of today’s plumbing technology.

Not so hot — or clean — bath water

Running out of hot water can be annoying, but imagine not even having a hot water heater? Although storage hot water heaters were invented in the late 1800’s, they did not become popular in American homes until years later. In fact, in the early 1900’s less than 14% of homes even had bathtubs! Bath water was heated on a stove and shared by the entire household!

Risky business

Without proper sewage treatment and water sanitation, the risk of contracting a waterborne illness is quite high. Unfortunately this was the harsh reality of life without today’s intricate sewer systems. Untreated waste was typically buried or simply poured into rivers and other bodies of water. Sewer beds, or plots of land where raw sewage was dumped, were also used by municipalities before the implementation of sewer systems.

Dirty laundry

Washing clothes by hand using a bar of soap, a washboard or river rocks, and a lot of elbow grease makes today’s chore of doing laundry look like a walk in the park! Even the early versions of washing machines were still powered by hand and difficult to use.

Water collection

Today’s indoor plumbing fixtures are such a luxury compared to the task of having to bring water from outside. If a well wasn’t nearby, it was common for people to trek miles to the closest water source, often daily.

Waterborne illness

WPC statistics reveal that 1.6 million people across the world die preventable waterborne illnesses every year as a result of not having access to clean water, an issue which indoor plumbing and other safety measures could easily fix. This number was much higher before advances in plumbing technology were made!

Although we’re not able to fix these plumbing problems of the past, we are able to fix yours in the present and in the future. Call Pipes & Plugs anytime! Happy World Plumbing Day!

 

Illuminating Lighting Design Ideas for Winter in Abbeville, Lafayette, and New Iberia


Modern Bathroom Interior With Glass Door ShowerAlthough commonly forgotten, lighting design plays an integral role in interior design and decorating. Although color themes, furniture and decorative accents contribute to the aesthetics of a space, interior lighting design determines the mood and serves a more functional purpose. A good example of this is in a corporate office, where bad lighting can lead to decrease employee productivity, eyestrain, headaches, and drowsiness.

Unsurprisingly, your home’s lighting can have a similar effect on your mood. During the short, dark days of winter, this is especially true. A lack of sunlight can lead to irritability, food cravings, and low energy. Incorporating the right lighting design techniques can transform the look and feel of any space and even make you feel better!

You can rest assured that Pipes & Plugs, LLC., has the expertise to bring your interior lighting design ideas to light! Our professional electricians have the creativity and experience to install the latest trends in lighting design, such as eye-catching light fixtures and recessed lighting. You can rely on our electrical services to do it all!

Here are just a few bright lighting design ideas that are perfect for winter and year round.

Task lighting

Thanks to technology, many people choose to work remotely out of a home office. This is especially convenient during the winter when road conditions can be poor. Task lighting can not only make your home office more comfortable, but it can even create the right environment for increased creativity and productivity. It can also make viewing reflective objects such as computer screens and tablets easier by reducing the glare.

Unique lighting fixtures

A popular trend in lighting design is the use of unique lighting fixtures to make a bold statement. Eye-catching fixtures can act as a focal point while serving their lighting purpose. They’re great for dining rooms and kitchens were entertaining guests usually takes place. Two examples of popular accent lighting fixtures are bowl and pendants lights. Artisanal or handmade lighting fixtures such as vintage glass bottles are also becoming popular.

Recessed lighting

If you’re trying to make a room look and feel bigger and draw attention to its unique architecture or hanging art, then recessed lighting is for you. Recessed lighting is also a great way to make the wall color pop. Adding a dimmer switch only enhances the versatility of recessed lighting and its effects. This is why it’s become one of the most popular lighting design trends within the last decade.

Shower lighting

Taking a long, hot shower is a great way to unwind during the winter and the right lighting can really enhance that experience. Using recessed lighting into your bathroom and shower not only makes it safer but is perfect for creating a relaxing spa-like atmosphere right at home.

With our electrical services, Pipes & Plugs, LLC. can help you lighten up your home this winter! Call us today!

Heartbreaking Ways Water Damage Can Ruin Your Valentine’s Day in Abbeville, Lafayette, and New Iberia

ToiletValentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to show those you love exactly how much they mean to you, so don’t forget about your plumbing system! Plumbing problems such as water leaks can cause a whole lot of head and heartache around this time of year, especially if you’re not proactive about staying on top of maintaining your plumbing system.

At Pipes & Plumbing LLC., we understand how heartbreaking the damage caused by plumbing problems can be. It’s something we see all the time! You can rely on our decades of proven experience to tackle any plumbing issue, big or small. Whether it’s a leaky faucet or an emergency plumbing repair, we offer a variety of plumbing services to address each and every one of your plumbing concerns.

Here are just a few ways plumbing problems that can break your heart this Valentine’s Day.

Damage to ceiling, wallpaper, etc.

Hot and steamy showers are the perfect way to unwind, but the heat and moisture can make your wallpaper bubble and wrinkle over time, causing it to become an eyesore. Not to mention, hidden water leaks in your bathroom can lead to mold and mildew growth as well as ugly stains on the ceiling below the bathroom. Many don’t realize that toilets can leak too. If you ever discover water building up around the base of your toilet, or it seems like the floor is more flexible around the toilet, call us right away. You could have a toilet leak.

Basement flooding

Forget about your refrigerator; is your sump pump running? A working sump pump is the best way to avoid an absolute plumbing nightmare. Be sure to test your sump pump regularly and keep up with its maintenance.

Frozen or burst piping

A burst pipe is a serious plumbing emergency that can cause thousands of dollars of water damage in just a few minutes! It’s important to protect your pipes from freezing. We’re happy to help you unfreeze your pipes and show you ways to winterize your plumbing system to prevent it from happening.

Overflowing toilet

How embarrassing would it be to have your toilet overflow on the big night all because of a toilet clog? To avoid this disaster never flush items such as baby wipes, paper towels, and personal hygiene products down the toilet. If you do have a clog, you can trust our drain cleaning service to get things flowing again.

Smelly laundry

Washing your clothes in cold water is a great way to save energy and money but using mainly cold water to do your laundry can make it difficult for debris and residue to wash away, leading to a musty smelling washing machine and stinky laundry. Do your hottest load last to prevent this and never let your laundry sit in the washing machine for too long!

Show your plumbing some love this Valentine’s Day by taking measures to avoid these issues. Have a plumbing problem on Valentine’s Day? You can rely on Pipes & Plugs’ 24-hour, 7-day a week plumbing service. That’s how much we love plumbing!

 

Shockingly Simple Ways to Reduce Your Winter Electric Bill in Abbeville, New Iberia, and Lafayette

The monthly electric bill is very expensiveHow does your electric bill compare to the national average of $110. 21, which is based on a 2013 study performed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)? This amount can quickly increase in the winter as seemingly small things begin to add up. However there are a number of easy ways to save money on electricity in New Iberia this winter!

If you’re concerned about your home’s winter energy usage and want to learn how to save money on electricity in Abbeville and the surrounding areas this winter, then give Pipes & Plugs a call today! The wide range of professional electrical services that we proudly offer are meant to resolve a variety of electrical problems, including efficiency and safety.

Curious about how to save money on electricity this heating season? Use these easy tips!

Turn down your thermostat

Programmable thermostats are an easy way to save money, so keep yours set to a comfortable money saving degree range, ideally between 68° and 70°F. Lower is better! Dress warmer instead of turning the heat up. Program your thermostat to turn down 10° to 15° for eight hours while you’re away or sleeping. This simple step can save as much as 10% on heating costs according to DOE’s suggestions for how to save money on electricity in winter.

Change the furnace filter

It may be easy to forget to do this but don’t forget that changing your furnace filter as recommended by the manufacturer can save you as much as 5% to 15% in energy costs by helping it run more efficiently.

Adjust your water heater

Long, hot showers might feel good but they use a lot of energy and can irritate dry, itchy winter skin. Your water heater accounts for 18% of your home’s total energy usage, so taking shorter showers and turning your water heater down can save you as much as 5% on water heating costs. You can increase these savings by installing a low flow showerhead, which uses less gallons per minute (gpm) without compromising on water pressure.

Do your chores wisely

A full load of dishes helps a dishwasher run more efficiently by using less energy and water. The same goes for your clothes dryer. Drying at least two loads at a time allows you to take advantage of an already warm dryer. Only dry your clothes for as long as they need to instead of a full cycle. Remember to change the lint filter regularly. Failure to do so can increase your dryer’s energy use by as much as 30%

This winter, let us help you keep your home safe, comfortable, and energy efficient with our expert electrical services. If you want to learn about other ways to save money on electricity in Lafayette this winter, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

 

New Year, New Plumbing Upgrades to Consider in Abbeville, New Iberia, and Lafayette

New plumbing upgrades are a great way to ring in the year and can help you save money on utilities while increasing the value of your home. Even small plumbing upgrades can make big differences in the aesthetics of your home as well as its energy efficiency.

At Pipes and Plugs your family’s comfort and safety is our top priority, which is why our courteous and professional plumbers go the extra mile in helping you decide which plumbing upgrades are best for you. We’re here to help you save money and our expert knowledge of high efficiency plumbing fixtures can help you do just that.

Here are a few plumbing upgrades to consider for the New Year.

In the bathroom

fresh showerThe bathroom is a hotspot for water wasting, with the average person using 80 to 100 gallons of water or more each day. Simply upgrading to energy efficient plumbing fixtures such as high efficiency faucets, low flow showerheads, low flush toilets can dramatically reduce your water usage. Though these kinds of fixtures have been available for a while, there are now a number of ultra-efficient fixtures that use even less water without compromising performance. These WaterSense fixtures have been tested and approved by the Environmental Protect Agency under strict guidelines and are up to 20% more efficient than other water-saving fixtures.

In the kitchen

In the average four person household, faucet water usage accounts for 15% to 18% of the home’s overall water usage, so it only makes sense to install a high efficiency faucet. Low flow kitchen faucets can cut your water usage in the kitchen in half! Some ultra-efficient models are motion sensor operated or use foot pedals for added convenience. A quick and easy way to make any kitchen faucet more efficient is to upgrade the small screen screwed onto the end, known as the aerator. While you’re at it, you may want to consider upgrading your garbage disposal. They can take a beating over time, and older ones are more likely to cause plumbing problems.

Everywhere else

Maybe it’s time for a new hot water heater? Perhaps even a tankless water heater depending on your hot water needs? They’re known for their energy efficiency! With the popularity of drinking spring or purified water and growing concerns over water quality, installing a whole house water filter is an excellent way to ensure clean, filtered water free of chemicals and pollutants emerges from every water source in your home. A great way to make sure your basement or crawlspace stays dry even if the power goes out is to upgrade to a battery backup sump pump, which can help safeguard your home against flood or water damage.

Need help deciding which high efficiency plumbing fixtures are right for your home? Call Pipes & Plugs with any questions or concerns about plumbing upgrades in Abbeville, New Iberia, and Lafayette.

Four Bright Ways to Avoid Common Winter Electrical Problems in New Iberia, Lafayette, & Abbeville!

Winter can be a tough season for your home’s electrical system. Data from the U.S. Fire Administration shows that more than 26,000 fires are caused by electrical problems each year, with December and January being especially hazardous months.

Routine inspections and appliance maintenance are just a few of the wide range of electrical service we offer at Pipes and Plugs, LLC. These services can not only help save you time and money this winter — and throughout the year — but more importantly, they can keep you safe by ensuring your system is working properly.

Take a look at these four bright ideas for avoiding common electrical problems in Lafayette this winter.

Schedule a home electrical inspection

If you haven’t done so already or one hasn’t been performed within the last decade, now is the time to schedule an electrical inspection. For older homes where outdated and deteriorating electrical wiring are common issues, this is especially important. Without a professional inspection, you can never assume your home’s wiring is okay. Many today’s modern appliances and gadgets weren’t designed to run on older electrical circuits and doing so can cause problems. Inspecting and upgrading outdated equipment will make your home safer and more efficient.

Be careful when using seasonal electrical appliances

Since it’s likely you haven’t seen or used your electric blanket, space heater, or holiday lights since last winter, it’s important to inspect their condition before you use them this year. Look out for possible signs of damage such as frayed or worn cords. Only use these appliances per the manufacturer’s instructions, paying particular attention to possible fire hazards. If you’re buying a new appliance or lighting, look for products with a safety seal of approval from an accredited electrical organization, such as the Underwriters Laboratory for added peace of mind.

Make sure your CO and smoke detectors are working

Do you remember the last time you tested your carbon monoxide (CO) and smoke detectors? Testing your CO and smoke detectors at least once a month and replacing the batteries at least twice a year is recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. To really be on the safe side, consider upgrading to hardwired fire and carbon monoxide detectors which use battery power as a backup.

Call a professional electrician

There are a ton of DIY projects than can be done around the house during winter but tackling electrical problems isn’t one of them! Without the right experience and knowledge of electrical safety, performing any kind of DIY electrical work can be very dangerous and potentially fatal. Being able to spot possible electrical problems is important but always leave the repair work to a professional electrician.

Knowledge of electrical safety and regular maintenance of your home’s wiring are great ways to stay safe and avoid pesky electrical problems this winter. Our skilled electricians are happy to help with this! Just give us a call!

Unplugging the Mystery of Learning How to Shut Off Your Main Water Valve in New Iberia, Lafayette, & Abbeville!

Water valve set in the building, Control water flow by valve,The most wonderful time of the year is now in season, which means it’s also high time for plumbing emergencies and problems. As aggravating and even intimidating as dealing with plumbing issues can be, being prepared can help keep you calm and focused in the event of a plumbing emergency. It can also save you a bit of money by reducing the risk of water damage!

One of the best ways to prepare for a plumbing emergency is knowing where your property’s main water valve is and how to shut it off . Did you know that a mere two minute delay during a pipe burst can result in a bathtub’s worth full of water — roughly 30 gallons or so — of spilled water inside your home? Now that’s a lot of damage!

At Pipes and Plugs, our expert plumbing professionals are ready to tackle any plumbing emergency at any time of day. We’re proud to offer New Iberia and Lafayette our same day, 24/7 emergency plumbing service, providing you with peace of mind and allowing us to get to work right away!

Read on to find out how to find and operate your main water valve before an emergency!

Find your main water valve

The location of your home’s main water valve is very much dependent on where you live. In colder climates, it will be located inside your home in an area such as the basement, crawlspace, or utility room to prevent freezing. In warmer climates, it’s more likely to be found on an outside wall. Main water valves can be identified by their brass valves and handles located close to your water meter. Round handles that look like wheels are known as gate valves while flat handles that look similar to popsicle sticks are referred to as ball valves. Once you’ve successfully located this valve, it’s important to share it’s location with other family members in case of a plumbing emergency.

Turn the valve clockwise

In order to shut off the main water valve, be sure to turn the handle to the right. Turning it to the right, or clockwise, will shut the flow of cold water into your home. Appliances that use water will not work until the valve is turned counterclockwise and turned on again. Gate valves may require several rotations while ball valves only need to be turned until they’re perpendicular to the pipe.

Turn on all your faucets

Turning your faucets on after shutting off the main water valve opens them and allows water to drain from the system. Remember to unscrew the small screens, also known as aerators, from the ends of your faucets before turning the water back on. This helps to keep small pieces of scale or residue that may have come loose from the inside of your pipes from clogging the small holes found in these units.

Shutting off your main water supply from your home is different than shutting it off from the street water meter. You should only have to do so for one of three reasons: your main water shut off valve inside your home fails, there is a leak between your home shut off valve and the street shut off valve, or you’re having your home’s main water valve repaired. Although most water companies allow access to the street shut off valve, be sure to contact them first just in case.

Typically located in boxes with access covers, street shut off valves and meters can be turned off in the same way that main water valves are. Although they may require tools such as a wrench to access and operate the valve, the same rule of turning it clockwise still applies.

Need some help finding or learning how to shut off your main water valve? Not a problem! Our friendly and experienced plumbers are happy to help you. Give us a call today and we’ll help you feel confident facing any plumbing emergency that comes your way!