Let me cover another W.E. Brown focus group favorite—knowledge sharing. Something that is near and dear to my heart is new construction and home efficiency. It’s not obvious and so I’ve created an article and blog on the topic: The choices you make behind the drywall should be as remarkable as the ones in plain sight.
Behind the studs are the hidden gems that create your home’s central nervous system— plumbing, electrical,
heating, and air—working in harmony with the individuality of your blueprint. Some options just come down to the way you live. Ask these questions to make sure you build a healthy home.
Your HVAC system works with your walls, insulation, and siding to keep you comfortable regardless of weather. So HVAC options require much more data than just the square footage. A Manual J calculation determines the heating and cooling loads based on your home’s specifics like orientation to the sun, duct tightness, appliances, and occupants: People add heat and humidity to the load!
And your ductwork is just as important. Manual J calculates the exact heating and cooling load that must be delivered to each room to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Along with any heating and cooling, air cleaners, humidifiers, and ventilators will compliment any system you’re considering to boost the air quality of your home.
Electrical code requires one outlet for every twelve feet of wall space, one bathroom outlet, one outlet on the front and back exterior of the house and so on. You get the idea, right: The government minimum.
Electrical design should reflect your routine and the way you live. Walk the floor plan during framing, think about what your family will be doing in each room and plan for future upgrades, outdoor space, convenience, and holiday lighting. You should also make sure the panel box is placed near a heavy load center, the meter is installed close to the panel box, and consider pre wiring now for that hot tub or whole-home generator— any future upgrades you now have in mind.
Whether through copper or PEX, get expert advice based on your water supply, lot location, and personal preferences. Copper resists chlorine, bacteria, performs well outside, is 100 percent recyclable, and has a larger inside diameter allowing maximum flow. A lot of new construction uses PEX which offers cost savings, chlorine resistance, faster installation, and holds heat better than copper making it a no-brainer for closed-loop heating applications like radiant-heat flooring. Although PEX is more resistant to bursting in freezing temperatures than copper, it’s not adequate for outdoor use.
From consult to installation, our plumbers are experienced in all construction phases. So ask if you have questions about water-heater size, or where to put the main water shutoff.
Ask now, before the drywall is smooth and painted that perfect shade of cool-gray.
Creating a more efficient world at home,
When a breaker trips in your home, it’s due to overcapacity or a short: The breaker trips, stopping the flow of electricity as a safety measure. A tripped main breaker will cut the power off to your entire house. SOME COMMON CAUSES CAN INCLUDE: too many appliances; appliances that require too much electricity; damaged breakers;Read More
Routine maintenance makes sure your heat pump is working at peak performance. But if one room is typically colder than the rest of your home, here are a few DIY tips you can do to help. Test your thermostat. Affix a thermometer on your wall next to your thermostat. Place a towel behind the thermometerRead More
To ensure that your toilet doesn’t overflow, remove the lid from the toilet tank and close the rubber flapper—unless you have a pressure-assisted tank. You may also reach behind the toilet and turn off the water supply. (Make sure you turn the supply back on when you’re ready to flush again.) PLUNGER Grab a heavy-dutyRead More
What is emergency heat—and why do I need it? As a follow-up to our recent blog “My A/C won’t keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day,” we’re taking a look at how heat pumps use emergency heat to perform adequately during the winter. Emergency or auxiliary heat is a supplemental heating component installedRead More
It’s 95 degrees outside, and you can’t get your indoor temperature to go below 75 degrees—even with your thermostat set on 72 degrees. It seems as if the AC can’t keep up. First thing you might think; okay, let’s get a larger AC to keep perfectly cool when summer temperatures hit above 93 degrees. However,Read More
One year ago in May, severe rain in Charlottesville, Va. caused the banks of rivers and streams to flood; so much so that people lost their lives. I recently sat with Diana and Scott outside their home in White Hall to talk with them about the flood and how it changed their perspective on service.Read More
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, an R-22 refrigerant phase-out has been taking place in the air conditioning industry (since 2013) that will affect you—if it hasn’t already. (Some systems after 2010 were manufactured with the use of R-22. You can check the nameplate on your condenser for the refrigerant type.) The R-22Read More
There are many steps you can take to create a more air-friendly indoor environment. Some of the devices and claims can make the topic of air filtration confusing. Well, it doesn’t have to be. Read our blog and take a look at the simplified diagram to see if we can help clear the air onRead More
Defined as relative worth, merit, or importance: value is different for everyone. The “best” may not always be the right value for your home. And this nuance is important to consider when it comes to replacing your HVAC system. Start with the right HVAC consultant or technician; they will walk you through a series ofRead More
Snow and ice are in the forecast for us (again). If you’re off to grab a few provisions, don’t forget to build in a little time to make sure your heat pump is ready for snow. A few simple steps can go a long way in ensuring you stay comfortable and safe during the snowRead More
There comes a time in every home owner’s life when they realize their furnace just isn’t what it used to be. Years of wear took its toll, and your once young and powerful heating system is now struggling to keep your room warm. We know it is hard to say goodbye, but delaying its replacementRead More
As you prepare to welcome your little one, there are probably a million things running through your mind when it comes to “baby-proofing” your home. While we cannot cover every safety tip out there, there are some important steps you can take to keep your family comfortable and safe during this new stage of life.Read More
A Smarter and More Efficient Way to Manage As manager of the call center, there is never a dull day for Chrissy Kelly. Her job involves overseeing all of the operations in the department, meaning she must keep track of a lot of information. The call center team works together to handle all follow-up coordination,Read More
There is a reason why more and more homeowners are making the switch to programmable thermostats every year–well… ten reasons actually: 1) It Saves You Money (Really) The best way to combat those high bills is to reduce your energy usage. Instead of heating or cooling your house while you are away, you are ableRead More
After decades of experience providing reliable plumbing, electric, and HVAC services, W.E. Brown has expanded their products/services to include smart-home technology. While the idea of smart-home devices may be intimidating for some, Jay Taggart (CEO of W.E. Brown) saw this addition as a natural progression for the company. After all, they have been installing theRead More
Seven years ago, Jessica Pritchett began to dream about becoming an electrician, but put her goals aside to care for others. Despite all odds, her unwavering passion led her to pursue that dream at W.E. Brown years later. Her whole life, Jessica has been passionate about fixing things and discovering how they worked. However, pursuingRead More
When a family’s cat was in serious danger, duct mechanic Roy Haislip and call center employee Jennifer Perry did not hesitate to come to its rescue. Their heroic actions and compassion for others exemplify what we always aim to achieve at W.E. Brown. Read about how the event unfolded through the eyes of Roy andRead More
Everything working together to create your whole-home comfort (your HVAC, dishwasher, washer, and dryer) has a lifespan. A lot of people tend to wait until their system fails or gets entirely run into the ground before having it replaced. Something to consider, however, if you know the manufacturer’s lifespan on any of your products, isRead More
New Look, Same Reliable Service Here at W.E. Brown, we are always striving to go above and beyond for our customers, and there is no detail too small when it comes to providing an excellent experience. From the moment our trucks hit the road, our goal is to provide customer service that is both personalRead More
Yep, and we give this video ‘Two Thumbs Up.’ As a routine check-up, a Sewer Camera video inspection of your main sewer line is a noninvasive and cost-effective way to forecast your home’s plumbing health as well as identify an invasive root before it grows, collects debris, and turns into a significant clog in yourRead More