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Water Softener

Top 5 Reasons Why Water Softeners are Good for Your Home

In all of Canada, the hardest water you’ll find is in the prairies, and Edmonton is no exception. In case you were wondering, ‘hard water’ means that the water that runs through your home or business has a high content of dissolved minerals in it, like calcium and magnesium. In some places, water can contain aluminum, iron, zinc, barium, and manganese. These minerals can cause all kinds of problems. In industrial settings, water hardness is monitored and adjustments are made to soften it when needed.

In homes, hard water is less of a problem and can actually be good for your health because of the extra calcium and magnesium you can obtain by drinking it. That said, Edmonton has moderately hard water at 6 grains of dissolved minerals per gallon, and if you have calcium or magnesium deficiency you would be better off taking a supplement instead.

If you’re not from Edmonton, you can find out how hard your water is by checking this webpage, Water Hardness in Canada.

The Benefits of Having a Water Softener

In order to soften your water, there is an easy fix! It’s called a water softener, and here are some of the benefits you’ll experience when you have one installed in your home or business.

Your clothes will be softer and brighter! The minerals in hard water get stuck between the threads in fabric, making it stiff. To combat this, many people use fabric softener, which chemically softens your clothes.

Hard water mineral buildup on clothes can make them look dull and dingy after a while, so if you have softer water, your clothes’ colours will stay true longer.

Your hair and skin love soft water! If you’ve ever stayed in Vancouver, you might have noticed how great your hair and skin feels after washing. Their water has 0.3 grains of minerals per gallon, and you don’t have to use as much soap to get a nice, rich lather. This means that more of your natural oils are left on your skin, which is what makes it feel soft and healthy.

Another reason your hair and skin feel so nice is because when the minerals in hard water react with the chemicals in your soap, a thin layer of soap curd forms on your skin. Not only does this make your skin and hair feel sticky and look dull, it can also cause skin infections by trapping bacteria.

Everything you clean using water, like dishes, mirrors, shower doors, tiles, cars, plumbing fixtures, etc., will look cleaner and shinier! The same chemical reaction that happens when you clean your hair and body happens when you clean your house and leaves a scummy residue on everything the water touches.

When you have soft water, no scum forms, and everything you clean will actually look clean! Imagine that!

Your appliances will last longer! There are SO MANY appliances in your home that use water: your coffee maker, dishwasher, washing machine, ice maker, humidifier, and kettles. These appliances benefit from switching to hard water. The calcium and magnesium particles in hard water can damage the things they rub against or collect on, which can make them malfunction or break.

Your pipes won’t clog or corrode because of hard water! Hard water causes pipes to corrode or clog, causing leaks or low water pressure. These problems take a while to appear because the minerals build up slowly over time, but if you can see flaky residue on the edges and insides of your faucets, you can just imagine what kind of shape the insides of your pipes are in.

Water softener for your indoor plumbing.

Want to Get a Water Softener? We Can Help You With That!

If you’re looking to get a water softener installed, we can give you a recommendation. Once you’ve decided, we can help you install it in your home or business. Start enjoying the benefits of softened water now by calling us at Kingstree Plumbing at 587-410-3554 or fill out our contact form.

Famous People from St. Albert

At Kingstree Plumbing, we’re not just St. Albert plumbers, we’re members of the communities in and around Edmonton. One of the communities we serve is St. Albert and we’re proud to share a fun blog with you about some of the amazing people who are from one of the best cities in Canada.

Many notable Canadians are from Edmonton. Edmontonians get to brag about once being home for Michael J Fox, Leslie Nielson, and k.d. Lang, but there are quite a few celebrities, bands, and professional athletes who came from the suburbs of St. Albert.

Mark Messier - Ice hockey players from St. Albert, Alberta

Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Messier_-_2009.jpg

Mark Messier

– Messier was born in Edmonton but he got his hockey career going when he moved to St. Albert, where he played with the St. Albert Saints in the Alberta Junior Hockey League at the age of 17.

When you look at his biography, you can see that hockey was pretty much his whole life, and he played in the NHL for 25 years and then went on to be part of the management team for the New York Rangers. Mark ‘The Moose’ Messier didn’t just play hockey, he played it extremely well, winning two Hart Trophies, six Stanley Cups (two as team captain!), two Conn Smythe Trophies, and was recognized as an NHL All-Star 15 times!

Jarome Iginla - Ice hockey player from St. Albert, Alberta

Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Jarome_Iginla

Jarome Iginla

– Iginla grew up in St. Albert and his amazing skills on the ice soon turned hockey from a hobby into a career when he was drafted into the NHL at the age of 18 and was the youngest player to play for the Calgary flames since 1983!

After proving himself to be an outstanding player, he was named Captain of the Calgary Flames and probably ate for free whenever he went out because he was so loved by the people of Cow Town. Calgary held onto him for years, declining offers for trades and multimillion dollar contracts to keep him on the team.

After 16 years with Calgary, Iginla accepted a trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins, saying he was looking forward to working with great players like Sidney Crosby, who is also a Canadian from Halifax. Currently Jarome is playing with the Colorado Avalanche NHL team.

Mike Comrie - Ice hockey player from St. Albert, Alberta

Source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Mike_Comrie

Mike Comrie

– Knowing St. Albert, it shouldn’t surprise you that some of the people on this list come from wealthy families. One of them is Mike Comrie, whose father and uncle were the owners of The Brick furniture store until they sold it in 2012 for $700 million.

Being a local hockey star, he was an instant favourite with fans of the Edmonton Oilers and scored 133 points from 2001-2003. Comrie went on to play for five more NHL teams before retiring because of a recurring hip injury in 2012.

Social Code alternative rock group from St. Albert, Alberta

Source: By Komputer124 (talk) – I created this work entirely by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19348566

Social Code – In 1999, when we thought Y2K was going to break all of our computers and send us back to the dark ages, four young men formed the band Social Code (later adding a fifth member). After a few short years, Social Code was signed by a major label and started touring with big-name bands in the alternative music scene.

They opened for Deftones, Good Charlotte, Fall Out Boy, and Rise Against at a time when alternative, punk, and emo music was topping the charts and spawning a generation of pierced-up, moody societal rejects. Of course, music tastes change and the bands that survive are the ones that can adapt to the new scene, and eventually Social Codes members took a permanent hiatus to work on individual projects in the indie and electronic music genres.

Tupelo Honey - rock band formed in St. Albert, Alberta

Source: http://tupelohoney.ca/2016site2/Tupelo_Honey/Blank.html

Tupelo Honey – The extremely talented members of Tupelo Honey are originally from St. Albert, but they met and formed a band together when attending the music program at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton. Their musical backgrounds couldn’t be more different: Dan Davidson was into indie and punk rock, Greg Williams and Steve Vincent were jazz musicians, and the group’s first gig together was as a folk music band!

As Tupelo Honey, they won several contests, titles, and awards for their music and videos, and they’ve played huge venues like Stage 13. The band toured with some huge names in the music industry such as Bon Jovi and Econoline Crush. Despite many offers, they choose to remain independent and release music at their own pace.

They are proud of their roots and still come back to St. Albert to play shows and visit schools from time to time. Follow them on Twitter to find out when they’ll be in St. Albert again!

Cathy King – No list of famous Canadians can be complete without a curling champion! Cathy King is a former St. Albertan who fits that bill. Curling is an inclusive sport that can be played by anyone at any age but Cathy King is a curling superstar!

Over the 30 years that she was active in the sport, Cathy picked up several curling championship medals, and there has never been a curler to win Canadian titles at all three levels–junior, women’s, and senior–before or since Ms. King.

And Many More…

More noteworthy people can be found on The St. Albert Gazette’s website. They have an ‘Our People‘ section that features biographies of people from St. Albert with remarkable lives and achievements.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for other up-and-comers by supporting local sports teams, artists, and musicians.

Michael J Fox from St Albert, Canada

Share this article with your friends and neighbours to let them know about some of the great people who come from this great little city that we at Kingstree Plumbing are proud to say we serve.

Did we miss someone who belongs on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Famous People from Sherwood Park

Notable Canadians from Sherwood Park

Kingstree plumbers serve Edmonton and the areas around it, and as proud members of the outlying cities and, in this case hamlets, we want to tell you about some of the great people who came from those areas. So read on to find out who got their humble beginnings right here in Sherwood Park.

Sara Canning - raised in Sherwood Park, on the TV Show: Remedy

Sara Canning as Dr. Melissa Conner in the TV show Remedy Source: http://www.globaltv.com/remedy/video/extras/mel-and-the-new-guy/video.html?v=415424579756

Actress Sara Canning

Sara Canning grew up in Sherwood Park and started acting in junior high. First she starred in her school theatre productions and then went on to act professionally, notably with a role in the Citadel Theatre’s production of George Orwell’s 1984 when she was just 19.

Edmonton isn’t known for its film scene like Vancouver is, so she made the move to the rainy city in hopes of getting her big break. That breakout role came when she was cast on Vampire Diaries and since then she’s been in Supernatural, Smallville, Remedy, and Republic of Doyle. Next year you can catch her in War for the Planet of the Apes, so go see it when it comes out to support local talent!

Actor Patrick Gilmore, from Sherwood Park, as Tom Drexler in AMC’s The Killing

Patrick Gilmore as Tom Drexler in AMC’s The Killing Source: http://www.amc.com/shows/the-killing/talk/2011/09/patrick-gilmore-interview

Actor Patrick Gilmore

Sci-fi fans have probably seen Sherwood Park native Patrick Gilmore on screen at some point. He’s been on all three Stargate shows (SG-1, Universe, and Atlantis), Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, and Smallville. If you watch The Killing, you’ve seen him as the young, self-made millionaire Tom Drexler, who is the kind of guy you love to hate.

In real life he’s actually really funny and humble, as you can see in this interview for AMC’s website or on his Twitter where he likes to tweet about his life, friends, and shows he’s involved in. Follow him to keep up on his latest projects and for funny tweets like this one:

“OMG he’s just in his underwear” I leaned over my balcony to see who was talking. Eye contact. Breeze on my mostly naked body. A dog barked. – Patrick Gilmore on Twitter

NHL Oiler’s Defenseman Andrew Ference Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Ference

NHL Defenseman Andrew Ference

The list of notable people from Sherwood Park is about 60% hockey players, but the most current and well-known on the list would have to be Andrew Ference, who plays for his hometown team Edmonton Oilers.

Ference got an interesting start in the NHL when, after playing in the WHL for Portland, he wasn’t ranked by Central Scouting for the NHL draft. Eager to get onto a team in the national league, he wrote a letter to every single general manager in the NHL, showing that he had the drive and the stats to make it. The letters paid off for Ference: he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins and has played for the Flames and the Bruins before coming home to Edmonton in 2013.

You can cheer him on next season when the Oilers hit the ice at the new Rogers Arena!

NHL Hockey Team Carolina goalkeeper Cam Ward from Sherwood Park, Alberta

Source: http://www.foxsports.com/carolinas/story/at-30-cam-ward-is-eager-to-prove-he-still-has-what-it-takes-in-goal-090414

NHL Goaltender Cam Ward

As goalies go, Cam Ward is phenomenal! And even though he doesn’t play for a Canadian team (right now he plays for the Carolina Hurricanes), he represented Canada during the Ice Hockey World Championships three times and brought home gold, silver, and respectable 5th place wins!

He’s been an amazing player for the Hurricanes right from the start, which was in 2006 and the year they won the Stanley Cup. He was the first goaltender in the NHL to win the cup in his rookie year since Patrick Roy! Clearly the Hurricanes aren’t interested in letting him go. He’s now been on the team for over 10 years, and it’s very likely you’ll see him playing for them again next season. Go Cam!

Olympic Figure Skater Kaetlyn Osmond

Kaetlyn Osmond was born in Newfoundland, spent time in Montreal, and eventually made her home Sherwood park all before she was 10 years old, but all that moving around didn’t stop her from becoming a world class figure skating champion.

As of 2016, she’s still only 20 years old, but she’s racked up a handful of championship medals, including a silver as part of team Canada in the Sochi Olympics. She’s graceful, skillful, and incredibly talented. It’s no wonder that the town she was born in named a street and an arena after her. It’s clear that Osmond’s passion for figure skating isn’t dying anytime soon, so keep your eyes peeled for more great performances!

Guitarist from the Stereos, Miles Holmwood

A decade ago, all the bands you heard playing in your neighbour’s garages sounded much like the pop punk rock noise that was the beginnings of the more refined tunes heard on the radio today. Miles Holmwood started out in one of those garage bands, and that lead to him becoming part of a band that fell under the hip hop and pop genre, the Stereos.

The Stereos saw some short-lived fame and were featured on the MuchMusic series disBAND, but they broke up in 2012. You can still find Miles on Twitter and Facebook to see what he’s up to now.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for other up-and-comers by supporting local sports teams, artists, and musicians.

Share this article with your friends and neighbours to let them know about the great people who come from this great province that we at Kingstree Plumbing are proud to say we live and work in!

Famous People from Alberta

Did we miss someone who belongs on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Things to do in St. Albert this Summer

Awesome things to do in St. Albert in the Summer

At Kingstree Plumbing, we work hard, but we also take time to enjoy the festivals and have fun in the communities we serve. We wanted to share some of our favourite things to do in St. Albert during the summer so you can enjoy them too. Maybe we’ll even see you there!

Kick off the Summer at the Rainmaker Rodeo

Alberta is famous for a lot of reasons: we’re home to some fantastic hockey players, we’re officially called Oil Country or Texas North, and we gave the world stars like Michael J Fox and Nathan Fillion. But if you’ve ever been to a festival, an event kick-off, a holiday celebration, or a corporate function, you’ll come to realize that Alberta is also famous for its pancake breakfasts.

What can we say? We love our hearty breakfast foods! We also love rodeos and St. Albert will give you both every May at the Rainmaker Rodeo. If you like cowboys and cowgirls, bull riding, country music, and our famous pancake breakfasts, you should definitely mosey on down to the rodeo.

It’s Festival Season in Alberta! Check out the Seven Music Festival this Summer

You might not have heard about it yet because 2016 was only its second year, but the Seven Music Festival is an event that features some local bands along with some big headliners like Dear Rouge and Walk Off The Earth.

Seven Fest is a family friendly event where you can set up camp for a fun day of music and relaxation on Mission Hill. While you’re there you can enjoy delicious food truck meals and refreshing beverages and pick up some merch from your favourite acts. If you didn’t get to check it out this year, don’t worry. The City of St. Albert has committed to the festival for at least three more years! Check out Seven’s Facebook page for news.

Canada Day Celebrations for the Whole Family

All over Canada on July 1 communities celebrate the anniversary of the day we came together as a country with parades, parties, and events. St. Albert is no exception, and they put together one heck of a show!

The day starts out with–you guessed it–a pancake breakfast, followed by an afternoon of activities like games, crafts, face painting, and a bouncy castle. Kids and adults alike can enjoy the music performances that run all day and then finish off the day with one of the best fireworks shows in the Edmonton area.

Want more info on St. Albert Canada Day celebrations? Check out the city’s website for more details.

Father Lacombe Chapel Provincial Historic Site

Are you a history buff? If so, you should spend an afternoon at the Father Lacombe Chapel. This simple log structure is the oldest standing building in Alberta and it was restored to look almost exactly like it did when it was built in the 1860s!

The chapel is only open from May until the first week of September, so you’ll have to check it out in the summer. Here is a link to their summer events.

Splash Around this Summer at the Grosvenor Outdoor Pool and Woodlands Water Play Park

One of the best things about summer is it’s the only time we get to enjoy outdoor water fun. St. Albert has both an outdoor pool called Grosvenor Pool remains open (weather permitting) and a water spray park. Both are open for 79 glorious days each summer.

An adult can enjoy the pool for a mere $6, and kids get in for just $4. The Woodlands Water Play Park is FREE! Bring a picnic for lunch and relax in the sundeck while your family plays in the water, just don’t forget your sunscreen!

Take in the Summertime Blossoms St. Albert Botanic Park

After making it through our long, dark, cold Alberta winters, we are rewarded with amazing summers with gardens like the St. Albert Botanic Park that burst with colour and fragrance. A couple of staff and a few volunteers maintain the five acres of trees, shrubs, vegetables, and flowers that are enjoyed by the community.

The botanic park is host to events, like the Canada Day Strawberry Tea, weddings, and an annual rose show. There are even classes for kids and adults where you can learn about gardening. Be sure to go visit before the end of the season for some beautiful sights, smells and a little bit of exercise.

Take in the International Car Show at Rock’n August

One of the biggest events of the summer is Rock’n August, which is an international car show. It kicks off with a pancake breakfast at the start of the first three days that are followed by car shows, casino nights, a dance, a barbeque, and a Friday night cruise.

If you’re a car lover, you’re not going to want to miss this! Follow them on Facebook or more info on the event.

So get out to St. Albert and enjoy the weather! And if you happen to need plumbing services, we can help you out quickly and professionally so that you can go back to having fun in the sun this summer.St. Albert Rural Community in Alberta

Give us a call at 587-410-3554 or send us a message for all your plumbing needs.

Things to do in Sherwood Park this Summer

Fun Events and Activities Happening this Summer in Sherwood Park

It’s summertime in Alberta, and that means it’s time to get out there and enjoy all the events and activities. As Kingstree plumbers, our area of expertise is in home and commercial plumbing services, but in our downtime, we like to take part in the things going on in the communities we serve, like Sherwood Park. So we’ve created this fun blog to share some of the things we’ll be up to this summer.

Practice Your Swing at One of Sherwood Park’s Golf Courses

You don’t have to be an experienced golfer to enjoy a driving range. All you need is a few bucks and some decent weather for a fun afternoon of whacking golf balls as far as you can. There are a couple driving ranges in Sherwood Park where you can practice your swing. One is Longshotz, which is just off Highway 21. A little further north on Highway 21 is the Crosswinds Driving Range. Both offer lessons too, if you’re interested in getting some tips from the pros.

Cool Off at the Remax Spray Park

When temperatures climb up to the mid-to high-20s, the best way to cool off is to get yourself to some water! The Remax Spray Park in Broadmoor Lake Park is a great new place to play, have a picnic, and watch the kids run around and spray each other with water cannons.

Bring your kids, toddlers to teens, and have some fun at this great nautical themed spray park. There are a couple Broadmoor Lake Play Days to attend too – click here for more information on those.

Incredible Edibles Straight From the Source

Another thing you can only do during the summer is fruits and vegetables straight from the garden. There are a couple places near Sherwood Park where you can do this:

Creekside Saskatoon Berry Farm
The Berry Farm

Or find a farm that produces your favourite crop with the Alberta Farm Finder Website.

Attend Gardening Workshops this Summer at Salisbury Greenhouse

Every year during the summer months Salisbury Greenhouse holds workshops where you can learn about container gardening, how to arrange plants in planters, how to make beautiful hanging baskets, and more. You can check out their schedule for the season here.

Buzz Around Strathcona County this Summer

This year Strathcona County is celebrating 20 years as a specified municipality by holding a contest called Buzz Around the County where you visit locations in the county, take your photo, and write a couple sentences about your experience at the location for a chance to win a $500 gift card for the Sherwood Park Mall!

Go Camping Close to Home at the Strathcona Wilderness Centre

For a taste of the outdoors, why not head out to the Strathcona Wilderness Centre for some camping? The campsites are rustic and treed, and there are fire pits with firewood, access to water, outhouses, and lots of trails to go exploring on. Get more info and book your spot.

Don’t Let Plumbing Problems Slow You Down this Summer!

Now that you know what’s going on in Sherwood Park this summer, get out there and have some fun! And don’t let plumbing problems get in the way. If you need a new gas-line hooked up for your barbeque, a new sump pump installed, or even just a toilet or drain unclogged, give us a call so you can get back to enjoying the great weather.

Sherwood Park, AB

Call Darren at 587-410-3554 or send us a message for any of your plumbing needs, and we’ll be there to serve you quickly and efficiently, and always at a reasonable price.

How to Protect Yourself against a Plumbing-Related Insurance Nightmare

Most people probably don’t think about insurance coverage against emergency plumbing disasters in their day-to-day lives, but if something goes wrong, having coverage can save your money and your sanity. We spoke with an insurance expert to get some plumbing-related insurance tips that will keep you protected in the case of a plumbing emergency.

Protect Yourself Against Flooding

Three years before the wildfire in Fort McMurray, thousands of Albertans were evacuated for weeks because of catastrophic flooding. According to the Calgary Herald, the flood caused about 5 billion dollars of damage, but the Insurance Bureau of Canada only reported 1.7 billion in claims. That means that 66% of the damage was not covered by insurance.

Many homeowners had property insurance, but they didn’t realize that those policies don’t cover flood damage, or as they call it in the insurance industry “Overland Flooding” Coverage.

Insurance can be purchased for some water-related perils in Canada, but at the time, comprehensive residential flood policies weren’t available. Most of us don’t need Overland Flooding Coverage because we live in Edmonton, which isn’t a high-risk area, but that doesn’t mean you won’t experience flooding! Even a small amount of rain can cause flooding.

Having a sump pump and a backwater valve can protect you from flooding and get you a discount on your insurance if you have one. Our insurance expert, Maria Spadafora from Liebel Insurance Group , told us that the discount could be around 10% for a sump pump, 5% for backflow water valve, and about 15% for both.

An additional discount or rating difference comes from having a battery back-up on the sump pump and alarm. Water sensors also provide a discount but the discount you receive varies. It could be anywhere from 2% all the way up to 25% if you have all of the above.

A lot of people are unaware that not only can it save you up to 25% on your home insurance rate, but you can be given a different rating such as “preferred” (Preferred Risk) therefore lowering your overall rate because insurance companies view the client as someone who is responsible and takes initiative to prevent claims.

Protect Yourself Against Sewer backup

Over 80% of all home insurance claims are because of water! About 70% of those water-related claims are caused by sewer back-ups, so making sure you are protected from a sewer backup is an investment in your future wellbeing.

Having a sump pump and a backwater valve will reduce the chance that you will experience sewer backup. Sump pumps collect water and pump it away from your home and backwater valves prevent overloaded sewer pipes from backing up and filling your home with sewer water.

Old Pipes Can Lead to Problems

Another thing that can lead to plumbing-related nightmares is if your home has old iron or galvanized plumbing. Old iron pipes are seen as very high risk and many homes have had the service line under their property burst!

Insurance companies will pay for the damage to the home, but very few of them offer coverage on the actual water line under the ground and the city does NOT cover this. That means you have to dig up your yard and get the pipes underneath replaced and re-piped all the way out to the city sewer system. With the cost of labor, plumbing material, landscaping, and possible garage or concrete work (depending on where the line is),  this can end up being a HUGE expense and most companies offer don’t offer coverage.

What can you do if you have an older home? Most people just hope for the best. Thankfully, the better companies have coverage for this. If your home is over 75 years old, you should definitely get them replaced because they will probably cause problems sooner than later. Or, better yet, instead of spending $10,000 on that, have the appropriate insurance coverage for if it does happen.

Emergency Plumbing Services in Alberta

Now that you know, Take Action!

So now that you know about the different kinds of plumbing-related problems that can cause problems, you can protect yourself against them by getting a sump pump, backwater valve, battery backup, and proper insurance coverage.

At Kingstree Plumbing, we can help you get the best type of sump pump for your home. We can install it and provide maintenance to ensure that you don’t experience flooding or sewer backups. If you have an older home that has iron pipes, we can help you with that too, just give us a call at 587-410-3554 or send us a message via our contact form.

For insurance coverage, Maria Spadafora of Liebel Insurance is an amazing resource, and she has helped a lot of people get great rates so send her an email or give her a call at 780-341-7474.

What is the Best Type of Air Conditioner for You?

Maintaining a comfortable temperature is essential in Edmonton where we experience extreme weather during the summer and winter months. Every home has a furnace or heating system that keeps us warm in the winter, but not every home comes equipped with air conditioning to keep us cool in the summer.

Are you thinking about getting an air conditioner or upgrading your existing one without going all out and installing a central system? We outline the different types of air conditioners and the advantages and disadvantages that go along with each one so you can decide which one is best for you.

Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner

Ductless air conditioners are made up of an outside compressor/condenser unit, inside blower units, and the tubing and power cables that connect them.

Instead of transferring air from outside to the inside of a home, ductless air conditioners use a refrigerant to cool the air and blowers inside the home to circulate the cool air. These conditioners have a sleek design and are relatively quiet when in use.

Pros

  • The indoor blowers are small and less noticeable than portable air conditioners.
  • If you have several blowers installed in your home, you can choose to only use AC in the rooms you spend time in.
  • Since they are ductless, the cooled air doesn’t warm up as it travels through ducts, which reduces energy costs.
  • Compared to other systems, they are easier to install.
  • You have many options of how to install them in your home. You can mount them on walls or ceilings, have them installed flush with the ceiling or hang them from ceilings. There are also floor-standing models you can get.
  • They’re small but mighty. One unit is enough to cool your entire home if you place it on the top floor.
  • Your ductless air conditioner can last up to 20 years.

Cons

  • Ductless mini-split air conditioners are less efficient than central systems. And they cost twice as much to operate than window air conditioners.
  • A unit that is too large or too small for the space it’s in can be more expensive to run.
  • These air conditioners need to be cleaned regularly, especially the outdoor parts.
  • Some units have charcoal filters that need to be dusted and exposed to sunlight for 8 hours every 6 months to function properly.

Package Terminal Air Conditioner

Package Terminal Air Conditioning units (PTACs) are an all-in-one heating and cooling unit. If you’ve been in a hotel, you probably noticed a PTAC on an exterior wall in your room that helped you maintain the perfect temperature. They are also commonly used in dorms, high-rise apartments, retirement homes, and offices.

PTACs cool down the air in a room by using compressor pumps to fill their inner coils with refrigerant fluid. The cold coils attract heat and humidity, which is then pumped outside. A well maintained and properly serviced PTAC unit can last up to 10 years. Click here for some maintenance tips for your PTAC.

Pros

  • PTACs are commercial-grade and are very durable.
  • They can be used for heating and cooling.
  • You can have several PTACs in a building and control them all from one place or individually.
  • No vents or additional units are required, so installation is quick and easy.

Cons

  • You will need to cut a large hole in an exterior wall to accommodate a PTAC.
  • Exterior grille and external sleeve must also be purchased but are sold separately.
  • They are more expensive than window air conditioners.

Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners are the stand-up kind that you can move around from room to room, depending on which area needs cooling. They are a popular choice when people run to the store in the middle of a heat wave because installation is so simple. Portable AC is also preferable to merely running fans or taking constant cold showers when window AC units aren’t allowed and central AC isn’t installed, like in many rental homes and apartments.

Pros

  • You can haul them around from room to room, which is more efficient than cooling rooms you’re not using.
  • Portable air conditioners are the easiest to install. You don’t need to follow any codes or get any permits. All you need is a hose that vents outside and a power source.
  • Some are lightweight and can be moved around from room to room by any family member.
  • They are easy to store when not in use. Just put them in a closet or under a bed.

Cons

  • Portable air conditioners are less efficient than window air conditioners.
  • Some units can be quite heavy and moving them around on carpet can be difficult.
  • Many models require constant draining, sometimes as often as every 30 minutes, because they pull moisture from the air.
  • Initial purchase price can range from $400-$1000. Check out some of the portable AC models Home Depot has to get an idea.
  • They are often noisier than other types of air conditioners.

Window Air Conditioner

Currently the least expensive to run, lightest, easiest to install, and most energy efficient option is the classic window air conditioner. As is suggested by their name, window air conditioners are installed on a window ledge and they are ideal for cooling one or two rooms, which is great if you live in an apartment.

Pros

  • Not only are window air conditioners cheaper to purchase, they are also easy to install. The average person can do it his or herself.
  • Window air conditioners use about a third of the energy to run than a central air conditioning unit.
  • Little maintenance is required for these small units. Regularly cleaning the air filter and occasionally deep cleaning the entire unit is all it takes to keep it running smoothly.

Cons

  • If you only have one window, you might now want an air conditioner blocking it.
  • While window air conditioners are effective at cooling one or two rooms, they won’t be sufficient for an entire house.
  • Water can sometimes drip from the unit, which may be a concern depending on what’s below.
  • Even the modern versions can be unsightly.

Which Air Conditioner is Right for You?

Deciding which of these types of air conditioners is right for you depends on your needs. You’ll need to consider your budget, how many rooms you need to cool, whether you want your air conditioner to have heating and cooling capabilities, aesthetic appeal, and how easy you want installation to be.

Which air conditioner appeals the most to you? Let us know in the comments below. 

At Kingstree Plumbing, we are air conditioning and ventilation experts. Give us a call when you need help installing or servicing your air conditioner in Sherwood Park, St Albert, and adjoining cities.St Albert AC Services in Alberta

How your plumbing and your roof work together to keep your home safe

Like a fish tank where all of the systems work together to keep the fish healthy, your home’s systems work together to keep the house in perfect working order. And also like a fish tank, if one thing goes wrong, the whole environment is affected. In this case we’re going to tell you about how your roof and your plumbing work together to keep your home safe and protected against problems.

Roof Shape Affects Drainage

Your home’s roof is designed to allow rainwater to flow quickly and easily into your home’s drainage system. It starts with the shape of your roof. Yes, the whole system depends on what kind of roof you have because some roofs are better than others for allowing water to drain off them into your eaves troughs and water collection systems.

Simple roofs like hip roofs and shed-style roofs are a couple of the best for drainage because they don’t have any valleys where water can collect and pool. Homes with combination roofs, flat roofs, lots of add-ons like skylights, windows, and chimneys, can also prevent water from draining properly.

You can read more about the different types of roofs and the water draining abilities here.

Good Roofing Material For Good Water Drainage

Some types of roofing material are better than others at allowing rain to flow into the eaves troughs and away from your home. No matter what the material, if it’s well maintained and in good condition, water should drain right off.

Asphalt shingles are the most common, and when it comes to water drainage, keeping them in good shape is a big part of a well functioning drainage system.

If your shingles are in rough shape, you could experience leaks, ice dams, roof rot, or mold! Here are some signs that your shingles need to be replaced.

Directing the Flow of Water with Your Eaves Troughs

Roof shape and shingles are definitely important for getting water off your roof, but that water needs to go somewhere! That’s why your eaves troughs are so important.

Your eaves troughs need to collect the water and direct it somewhere that it won’t damage your home or the areas around it, like your neighbours. Ideally your rainwater runoff will drain away from your home and into the municipal water system. If your downspout is too close to your home, your plumbing system can get overloaded and cause flooding!

Flooding is caused when the drains and pipes in your home suddenly get filled with water, and if you don’t have a sump pump, or it’s not working properly, the water won’t get pumped out into main drain lines for your neighbourhood. Instead it can backup and flow into your basement, which can be a nightmare.

If you do have a sump pump, the water is collected and then piped out of the home and into the local water system.

A backwater valve is also a great idea for preventing flooding. It stops water from coming back out of your pipes and drains and luckily most homes that were built in the past 20 to 30 years have them.

Roofing and plumbing work together to prevent water damage.

Your Roof and Plumbing Work Together

You may not have thought about it before, but hopefully now you know that your roofing and your plumbing work together to keep your home safe and dry–from your roof type, to your sump pump–it’s all connected.

Is your roof properly draining water? Crest Roofing can inspect your roof for damage and help you with repairs or replacement, so get in contact with Crest if you need it.

If you’re concerned about your home’s plumbing, Kingstree Plumbing’s emergency plumbers can help you get your system in great shape so you won’t have to worry about flooding, leaking, or other problems that can damage your home. Give us a call or contact us for a quote.

Polybutylene Piping

What is Polybutylene (Poly-B) Piping?

Polybutylene was the piping of choice for new home builders from the late seventies until about 1995. It was a light weight, easy to use, cost effective option compared to copper piping. It seemed like a great choice at the time, but over the years the short falls of poly-b have become apparent.

  • So what’s the problem?

    Initially the issues weren’t with the piping at all. The hard plastic joints and elbows were known to crack and break, a problem solved in Canada mostly by using brass or copper. Another issue was the chlorine and heat of the water caused pinhole leaks through homes. There were also several issues with piping being stored outside prior to installation. Exposure to sunlight caused the plastic to deteriorate at an accelerated rate, requiring whole-home repiping. Additionally, poly-b is oxygen permeable; oxidized water can drastically shorten the life of boilers and water heaters.

  • How do I know if I have Poly-B piping in my home?

    Poly-B is easy enough to identify. You can check by opening any plumbing access or checking the plumbing connected to your water heater. You’re looking for grey, plastic tubing with permanent markings down the pipes. If you’re still not sure Kingstree Plumbing can come out and check for you.

  • Oh no! I have Poly-B… Now what?

    Don’t panic! While poly-b will eventually fail, it’s unlikely to happen tonight. Eventually though, you will need to repipe your house. Keep an eye out for small leaks and cracks in the meantime, and book a plumbing inspection with Kingstree Plumbing so you know just what’s going on in your home.

  • So whole home repiping?

    Eventually every inch of poly-b will need replacing, not a small feat when it runs through your whole house. Kingstree Plumbing is here to help you through the process. Starting with a full plumbing inspection to assess your pipes and get you an accurate quote. Next we’ll come up with a plan to get your home back in peak shape. Whether you plan to repipe the whole house at once or work through your home in stages, we can help you out.

  • Can I go through my insurance company?

    Kingstree Plumbing is happy to work with you and your insurance company. Most insurance companies don’t cover the replacement of poly-b piping, nor do they consider it an added risk.

  • What other options do I have for reimbursement?

    Although there are several class action lawsuits being settled throughout north america, those avenues have all closed. The government of Canada did offer a reimbursement program, but only if you finished your whole home replacement by May of 2005 or within 15 years of the installation, whichever was later.

  • How much will this affect me and my family

    Replacing poly-b is nearly always an invasive renovation, but likely less than you think. In terms of cost, it’s impossible to give you a quote without seeing the project. However most repiping projects are comparable to other maintenance projects such as replacing your shingles or changing the carpet in your home. Plus, it can increase the value of your home as well; which makes it an excellent investment.

At Kingstree Plumbing we understand what a huge project this is, and the impact it will have on you and your family. From identifying the problem to making sure it’s taken care of Kingstree Plumbing cares about making your life as stress free as possible. Call Kingstree Plumbing and let us take care of you.

Pipe Replacement Services in Alberta

Whole House Humidifier Installations in Alberta

Whole House Humidifiers

To Humidify, or Not to Humidify

Living in the city of Sherwood Park in Canada, you constantly deal with dry conditions. Dry skin, dry houses, and dry weather. The easy solution is a humidifier, but what kind do you get? Portable or Forced Air? Steam or Ultrasonic? Some people spend hundreds of dollars on portable home humidifiers. Many of which have poor energy efficiency, and leave the potential for burns and spills.

So, how do you decide? What is that tipping point?

Humidifiers: An Overview

Mountains and Dry Climate in AlbertaWell, let’s start with price. Portable humidifiers start as low as $30 but can run as high as several hundred, depending on model and size. Whole-House or Forced-Air humidifiers are a little more of an upfront investment, but the pricing is still comparable to the upper end pricing on portable humidifiers. The downside is you will need to hire a professional for installation. However when it comes down to long term costs the whole-house humidifiers out strips portables. Whole-House are far more energy efficient and can run for pennies a year and some municipalities even have rebate programs in place for energy efficient upgrades to your home.

Humidity levels, that’s the whole point right? Whole-house humidifiers will keep your entire home at the same humidity level. Portables can only be used in one room and levels are not controlled as reliably. Whole home humidifiers use the central air system in your house, which creates a more consistent environment room to room.

There’s nothing worse than trying to sleep with that one noise that engrains itself in your subconsciousness. Portable humidifiers, specifically cold air, evaporative, and ultrasonic options. Whole home options typically are quieter than your furnace, and often placed in a utility room, away from the living and sleeping areas of your home.

So when it comes down to it whole home humidifiers are often the better option for homeowners, even though they will need a professional installation.