Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Gas FAQs

    • Do natural gas lines or propane lines need to be replaced?
      Yes, they would need to be replaced if they show signs of wear or they’re leaking. It’s best to stay on top of this situation to prevent any long-term damage or catastrophe. You can inspect your own gas lines or call in the pros from PowerHouse Home Services. We can spot any problem you have now and help you determine any issue you may have in the future.
    • My gas bills are going up for no reason. What is causing that?
      Homeowners who experience an increase in natural gas or propane consumption bills may have a leak in one of the natural gas or propane lines. This situation isn’t going to solve itself. It will get worse…fast. PowerHouse Home Services recommends an evaluation and testing by one of our professional gas technicians. We’ll be able to find the leak, fix it and get your bills back in line!
    • Can a leaky gas or propane line make me sick?
      Yes! If you experience physical, unexplainable health ailments that seem to come out of nowhere, this could be due to a natural gas leak in one of the lines. Symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, or being overly tired are common symptoms of a natural gas leak within the home. If these ailments seem to improve when you leave the home you may have a gas leak. The safest thing to do is leave the home and call PowerHouse Home Services to inspect the situation.

    • I’m concerned about viruses in my home. What can I do?

      PowerHouse Home Services can set your mind at ease. Our UVC/UVV Oxidizing System is a whole-house air purification solution. It installs directly into the central heating and cooling system ductwork and disinfects the air by sterilizing or killing airborne pathogens including bacteria, viruses and other micro-organisms. Your home will benefit from the most powerful residential UVC/UVV light on the market today. Now you can be proactive and reduce the likelihood of spreading viruses in your home.

    • What can we do about the high humidity in our home?

      High humidity is uncomfortable. You feel clammy, sticky and miserable. Even with the A/C running you can still feel the humidity in the air. Indoor relative humidity should be kept below 60 percent. In fact, the EPA suggests indoor humidity levels be between 30 percent and 50 percent. A whole-house dehumidifier installed by PowerHouse Home Services is the answer for year-round comfort throughout your entire home. Plus, whole house dehumidifiers up to 4 times more energy efficient than single room, portable dehumidifiers. When you use a whole-house dehumidifier, you will remove up to 135 pints of moisture per day from the air in your home; that is the equivalent of up to 16 gallons!

    • What causes cracks to form in a gas furnace heat exchanger?
      A heat exchanger is the device inside your furnace that heats the air from the gas flames. The heat exchanger experiences repeated heating and cooling which causes the metal in the exchanger to flex and break. This biggest concern is a cracked heat exchanger allowing deadly carbon monoxide fumes to enter your home. This is a repair that needs to be done right away. In fact, you need to shut down your furnace immediately. PowerHouse Home Servies can make the fix and get your furnace running again.
    • How humid should my home be?
      The most comfortable relative humidity is around 35%. Higher humidity levels can cause mold problems and lead to allergies and respiratory problems. Humidity levels that are too low can lead to a dry nose, sore throat, dry skin, and static electricity. PowerHouse Home Services can help you control humidity in your home for year-round comfort. We offer whole-home dehumidifiers and whole-home humidification systems that run automatically!
    • What is the AFUE rating on my furnace mean?
      Every furnace has an efficiency rating. It’s called an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFU-. This efficiency rating is a guide for you to know how much it will cost to heat your home. When you increase the AFUE rating, the furnace becomes more efficient. Over time the savings really add up. In fact, the cost to replace an old inefficient furnace is returned in lower utility bills, and that’s money back in your pocket! When you’re shopping for a new furnace, you can compare AFUE ratings. That’s because a rating of 95 on one brand is the same as a rating of 95 on all other brands. If you would like more information about AFUE ratings and which new furnace is right for you, call PowerHouse Home Services.
    • Is my A/C getting ready to break down?

      Take this simple test to find out:

      Check ALL the boxes that describe your air conditioning system:

      • It takes longer to cool your home
      • The outside unit is wet or sitting in water
      • It’s in need of constant repairs
      • The A/C circuit breaker is tripping
      • The A/C is blowing warm air
      • The A/C turns on and off more often than usual
      • The A/C is making loud or unusual sounds
      • The A/C is more than 10 years old
      • You’re unhappy with higher electricity bills

      If you checked 2 or more boxes, your air conditioner may be on its last legs.

      Even when your air conditioning system is still blowing cool air, there are common warning signs you need to watch out for when it comes to your air conditioning system. If you notice any of the signs above it's time to call the professionals at PowerHouse Home Services. Looking for some good news? Maybe all you need is a tune-up!

    • What can I do to make my home more comfortable in the winter?
      During the winter, reverse your ceiling fan blades to a clockwise direction. This creates a mild updraft, which forces warm, heated air near the ceiling down into your living space. You’ll be able to adjust your thermostat lower and save energy dollars. Another great way to save energy dollars is to install a programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, you only heat and cool your home when you’re home! Another thing to consider is a humidifier. Humidifiers help keep the moisture level in your home at a comfortable level. During the winter, your heating system is drying out the air inside your home. Humidifiers can ease problems caused by dry air including dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips. Humidifiers can also help ease symptoms of a cold or another respiratory condition. PowerHouse Home Services can help you be more comfortable all winter long.
    • How often should I replace my furnace filter?
      The rule of thumb is to replace your furnace filter every three months. However, if you’re doing a remodeling project or kicking up a lot of dust, maybe every month is better. Homes with a lot of pets should change the filter more often, too. Replacing the furnace filter will help make your heating and air conditioning system run more smoothly and more efficiently.
    • What is a SEER rating on my air conditioner?
      Air conditioner efficiency is measured by its SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. So, when shopping for a new air conditioner the SEER rating is very important. Here’s why. Think about a SEER rating like the gas mileage you get in your car. The higher the miles per gallon the more efficient your car is, right? Well, the higher the SEER rating on an air conditioner the more efficient it is to operate. Here’s something cool about a SEER rating. It allows you to compare one A/C to another because a SEER rating of 21 on one brand is the same as a SEER rating of 21 on all other brands. PowerHouse Home Services offers a wide range of air conditioning systems to meet your needs and your budget.
  • Plumbing FAQs

    • Will PowerHouse Home Services come to my home just for a leaky faucet or clogged drain?
      Sure! Leaky faucets and clogged drains are very common. Our plumbers can fix most any faucet and unclog any toilet, sink and even clear out the main sewer line.
    • My garbage disposal is jammed. What’s up with that?

      Well, you probably tried putting too much down the sink. First off, don’t keep turning it on and off. This will just burn up the motor. PowerHouse Home Services can usually fix the jammed garbage disposal. If we can’t, then the unit will probably need to be replaced. Our expert plumbers can give you the best advice and make quick work of it to get you grinding again!

    • I have low water pressure in my home. What can I do about it?
      The first call is to PowerHouse Home Services. Low water pressure could be the result of a malfunctioning shut-off valve, a crimped water line, or deposits that gather in old galvanized pipes. It could also be a rusted-out bell valve, too. No matter the problem, you’ll need to call in a pro to fix this one.
    • What are the best ways to purify drinking water in my home?

      FACTS FIRST: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your tap water is safe from coronavirus. However, your tap may contain a number of toxins, chemicals, bacteria, minerals, and other microscopic organisms that can be harmful or make water taste horrible. Water filtration and water purification systems will remove chemicals, odors, bad tastes, and contaminants so you can enjoy crystal-clear water. PowerHouse Home Services can test your water and offer you three great water treatment and filtration options to meet your needs and your budget: 

      Carbon Filtration: Treats water to remove bad tastes or odors by using activated carbon as a filter. Reverse Osmosis: Water is forced across a semi-permeable membrane to filter out contaminants. One of the most efficient water filtration systems. Ultra-Violet Light: Uses UV light to kill off various bacteria that may be in your water supply.

    • Is there a test I can do to see if my sump pump is working?
      Yes! Here’s the best way to see if it’s operating: 1. Remove the lid from the sump basket. 2. Slowly pour water from a 5-gallon bucket into the basket. The sump pump should come on and empty the basket. 3. Wait for the sump pump to turn off. Pour more water into the basket to ensure the pump turns on again. Test your sump pump twice a year. If you suspect a problem, call PowerHouse Home Services. We’ll keep your feet dry!
    • What is water hammer?
      Are your pipes banging when water is shut off to a faucet, washing machine, toilet, dishwasher, or another water-using appliance? If so, you’re experiencing water hammer. Water hammers can be hard on pipes weakening the connections and causing leaks. A water hammer can also be hard on your water heater, washing machine, and other appliances. PowerHouse Home Services recommends that you don’t ignore water hammer noises. Ignoring it can lead to more serious repairs.
    • How can I avoid a burst pipe this winter?
      Burst water pipes are not uncommon in our area. The worst part is they can burst without warning. Cold weather freezes the water inside the pipes, the water expands, and BOOM! You’ve got a huge problem. The solution is to keep pipes from freezing. Here are a few tricks for extremely cold days: 1) Keep a faucet near cold areas of your home dripping. 2) When pipes are located on an outside wall, open cabinet doors to let some room heat in. 3) Remove hoses from outside faucets. If your pipes do burst, shut off the main water supply to the house and call PowerHouse Home Services right away!
    • How easy is it to install a toilet, sink or faucet in my home?
      Some homeowners are pretty good at this, but for most it can be a real challenge. There are specific tools to remove a faucet and adjust the handles. If you don’t know the tricks to installing a toilet you could end up flooding your bathroom. Messy! We love DIYers but there are times that you need to call in a pro from PowerHouse Home Services.
    • What is the most common reason for sump pump failure?
      The most common reason for sump pump failure is age. Manufacturers will say sumps pumps will last up to 10 years. Well, don’t believe it. A sump pump that gets a real workout could fail in 3 or 4 years. The key is having it checked out by PowerHouse Home Services. We’ll make sure it works when you need it most!
    • How does a tankless water heater work?
      Tankless systems heat water on demand. The unit senses water flow and starts the heating process. When the demand for hot water ceases, the tankless unit shuts down and uses no energy. This is a revolutionary advantage over inefficient, conventional tank-style heaters, which heat and reheat water continuously whether you’re using it or not, wasting energy and costing you money. With a tankless system, you’ll enjoy energy savings of up to 40% and all the hot water you want whenever you want it.
    • Our sinks have a soap scum build up, and our dishwasher is spotting our clean dishes. What is causing that?
      PowerHouse Home Services says hard water is the problem! Hard water has a very high mineral content including calcium, magnesium, and iron. Hard water can also stain sinks and toilets, and wreak havoc on your water heater and shorten the life of appliances. It can even ruin your plumbing system. The solution is to install a water softener. A water softener turns hard water soft by removing harmful minerals. You’ll enjoy softer skin, cleaner clothes and use less soap to clean clothes and showers. Your soft water, and all the benefits that come with it, are only a phone call away!
    • What are the signs of a failing water heater?
      Did you know the average water heater only lasts 8 to 12 years? As it begins to fail it will give off signs that it’s nearing the end of its useful life. Your water heater may be ready to throw in the towel if you’ve noticed any of the following symptoms: 1) Discolored water, 2) Unusual noises, 3) Leaking around the base, 4) Water gets warm, but never hot, 5) Insufficient hot water, or 6) Hot water runs cold very quickly. If you’re not sure your water heater is performing as well as it should, give PowerHouse Home Services a call.
    • Should I repair or replace my garbage disposal?
      You can usually repair a garbage disposal if the undercutter disk becomes jammed or the hoses and seals are leaking. Rest assured, the qualified technicians PowerHouse Home Services can diagnose and recommend the best solution to fit your needs and your budget. Of course, garbage disposal repair is always the first option, but if your disposal has seen its better days, we also offer complete garbage disposal installation. We have the most popular models on the truck and ready to install so we can complete the job in only one visit!
    • Where is my main water shut off valve?
      If you experience a burst pipe, overflowing sink or toilet, broken plumbing or malfunctioning washer you could have a water emergency on your hands. That’s why it’s important to make sure everyone in the family knows where the main water shut-off valve is located. In most cases, it’s located in the basement of your home and near your water meter. We recommend tagging the valve so everyone knows where it is. PowerHouse Home Services can perform a whole-house plumbing diagnostic inspection service to make sure your plumbing system is good to go for many years of worry-free service. We’ll even tag your main water shut-off valve! Give us a call for details and to schedule your plumbing inspection.
  • Electrical FAQs

    • Do I need to be concerned about flickering lights in my house?

      At one time or another, most people will experience flickering or dimming lights in their homes. It can be annoying. It can also be a sign of a more serious problem. Here’s how to tell the difference. If your lights dim when you use a printer, microwave, space heater, hair dryer, or another device that uses a lot of energy it’s usually nothing to be alarmed about. But if you experience frequent burnt-out light bulbs or random dimming or flickering lights it may be a sign of a serious electrical issue. Flickering or dimming lights sometimes means there are loose connections in light switches, outlets, or your electrical panel. Loose connections cause electrical arcing. Arcing occurs when a spark of electricity jumps from one connection to another. Arcing can cause a fire, which means this could be a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

    • How Do You Test a GFCI Outlet?
      You might think that pushing the little test button is all you need to do. Pushing that button shuts off the power to the outlet but it doesn’t tell you if the outlet will work to prevent a shock. For that, you need a special tester. If your GFCIs are tripping more frequently they could be coming to the end of their lifespan. The average GFCI only lasts 10 years. If you have concerns about your GFCI outlets, call PowerHouse Home Services. We can test them to make sure they’re all operating as they should.
    • If I buy a ceiling fan at a big box store, can I install it?
      Installing a ceiling fan isn’t a DYI project. Professional installation is important to ensure your ceiling fan is properly wired, mounted and balanced. PowerHouse Home Service’s licensed electricians have years of experience installing ceiling fans so you can avoid the hassle (and heights!) of doing it yourself. Enjoy the year-round energy savings and comfort of your new ceiling fan…and stay off the ladder!
    • Can I wire my own hot tub?
      The short answer is no. This is not a DIY project and it needs to be done by a licensed electrician. Call PowerHouse Home Services. We never take shortcuts when it comes to safety and reliability. We pull the electrical permit. We perform the work to electrical code. We guarantee it will pass any electrical inspection. An improperly connected hot tub or pool can be disastrous. It won’t pass the electrical inspection; it can create an electrocution hazard and it can destroy the electronics in your new hot tub or pool. Your hot tub and pool installation project starts with PowerHouse Home Services. Our electricians are hot tub and pool wiring specialists.
    • How do I know if my carbon monoxide detector is expired?
      Many carbon monoxide detectors have the expiration date printed on the back of the detector, but not all of them do. So, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) began requiring that carbon monoxide detectors produced after August 1, 2009, have an end-of-life warning notification that alerts the homeowner the alarm NEEDS to be replaced. In most units, the alarm will beep every 30 seconds or display ERR or END. Carbon Monoxide is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it is virtually undetectable without using detection technology. Elevated levels of CO can be dangerous to humans depending on the amount present and length of exposure. If you can’t remember when you installed your carbon monoxide detectors, it’s probably time to replace them!
    • I have switches and outlets that don’t work. What going on?
      Is it time to switch that switch or oust that outlet? A broken switch or outlet is annoying at first and downright dangerous if you ignore them. Replacing a switch or outlet isn’t a DIY project. A PowerHouse Home Services Electrician will first evaluate the reason for the failure before installing the replacement. We want to make sure there isn’t an issue with the wiring or other reason the switch or outlet has failed. Most of the time we discover it’s just an old switch or outlet that’s seen its better days. Replacing them is a good idea because old or faulty switches or outlets can be a fire hazard.
    • When should I replace my carbon monoxide detector?
      If your carbon monoxide detectors are over 10 years old you need to replace them with new ones immediately. That’s because old CO detectors lose their ability to “sniff out” carbon monoxide. If they have a battery backup, replace batteries every six months. Put a reminder in your phone right now to check your CO detectors. Or, give PowerHouse Home Services a call to install new ones.
    • Do I have a defective electrical panel?
      Electrical panels made by Federal Pacific and Zinsco installed from the mid-1950s to the early 1980s have a faulty design. They can fail to trip when there’s a short circuit or they catch on fire. Even though you may not have had any problems so far, it doesn’t guarantee your panel is operating safely. These panels can work fine for years. However, as energy demands in typical homes have increased, these panels may overheat and portions of the panel could actually melt. Inside a breaker panel are individual circuit breakers that have built-in safety features to shut off power or “trip” when there’s too much plugged into one outlet or there’s a short circuit. Sometimes a defective panel overheats and the breakers can’t trip or even be shut off manually. The result? Wires melt and the panel could overheat and catch on fire. If your electrical panel is over 25 years old you should have it inspected by PowerHouse Home Services. If you’re unsure of your panel’s age or if you have concerns about your electrical system, give us a call.
    • I’ve lost power to an outlet and room lights but there aren’t any circuit breakers tripped. What can I do?
      First of all, this is a common problem. A little troubleshooting may get the lights back on again! First, check the GFCI outlets in the home. Make sure they’re not tripped. If they are, reset them. Second, re-check the circuit breaker panel. Sometimes it’s hard to see if a breaker has tripped or a fuse has blown. Gently wiggle each breaker switch. If it’s loose, reset it. For fuses, use a flashlight to look for charred glass or a broken filament. Still no power? One call to PowerHouse Home Services will solve your power problem.
    • What surge protections options do I have for my home?
      We usually think of electrical surges coming from electrical storms outside your home. But, did you know electrical surges can also come from inside your home? Here are two surge protection options for you to consider: For electrical surges from inside your home we recommend a surge protection outlet for the complete protection of valuable appliances and electronics. A surge protection outlet blocks dangerous fluctuations in power and protects components from failing. It looks like a regular outlet, but behind the cover plate is an appliance and electronics lifesaver! For protection against lightning strikes, a whole house surge protection system is recommended. It’s hard-wired to the service panel. When excessive voltage passes through the device it instantly diverts the damaging voltage to a ground wire. As soon as voltage levels return to normal, the flow of electricity is restored to your home.
    • How Long Will a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Last?
      Certainly not forever. Bathroom exhaust fans are like any other appliance in your home. They get used and they wear out. In fact, older exhaust fans and fans that haven’t been properly maintained can be a fire hazard. PowerHouse Home Services recommends that bathroom exhaust fans be cleaned, maintained, and replaced if they show any signs of wear, loud noises when running, or emit a burning electrical smell. Is it time to replace your bathroom exhaust fan? Call PowerHouse Home Services today. We have lots of options available including integrated lights, night lights, built-in heaters, motion sensors, and more.
    • My lights flicker when the wind blows. Is this a problem?
      PowerHouse Home Services says, yes. Strong winds can loosen the main electrical connection to your home. The loose connection causes a short which causes the lights to flicker. Loose electrical connections anywhere in your home are a hazardous situation that can put you at risk for an electrical fire. So, if you see your lights flicker during a windy day you need to have it checked out.
    • Do dimmer switches wear out?
      True story. A homeowner called us out to look into a flickering light situation in a bedroom. Upon first review of the situation, we quickly determined that the breaker was OK, the wiring was OK, and even the light bulbs were OK. So, what was the problem? It was an old dimmer switch. Dimmer switches wear out just like any other light switch. In this case, the switch was a slider switch. There was a small area of the slider that was worn out resulting in poor electrical contact. We replaced the switch and everything worked perfectly.
  • Generator FAQs

    • What size Generator do I need to power my whole house?

      When looking at a home generator, the size to run the entire home is very much case by case. The National Electric Code gives a formula for calculating the service demand of the home. It is dependent on square footage, HVAC equipment, wells, and any other appliances and equipment that require electricity to function.

    • How long will an Installation take?

      Typical Home Standby Generator installations take about 2-3 days to complete once permits have been issued and all equipment is obtained.

    • How long does it take to obtain permits?

      Permits for Home Standby Generator installations vary county to county. See the rough outline below:

      • Collier County - 3 weeks
      • Lee County - 1 week
      • City of Cape Coral - 1 month
      • City of Naples - 1 Month
      • Port Charlotte - 3 weeks
      • Sarasota - 1 month
      • Bonita Springs - 1 week
    • Does my Homeowners association allow Home Standby Generators?

      We have seen one neighborhood in Naples, Florida that did not allow Home Standby Generators, but after a quick meeting between the HOA and our staff, they came around. For many homeowners, a standby generator is a necessity that they can not decline.

    • What brand of Generators do you use?

      We are a dealer for Cummins & Generac.

    • Which Generator Brand is the best?

      Each brand has its pros and cons. When looking at a typical Naples home, we use an air-cooled unit. An air-cooled generator is a v-twin, air-cooled engine, a rotor (revolving field), a stator (stationary field), a controller (the brains), and an enclosure. Some manufacturers use an aluminum enclosure, while others use a composite enclosure.

      In our experience working with generators, we have found that many brands offer similar equipment in terms of features and longevity, however, we highly recommend either a Cummins or a Generac generator. These two vendors have proven time and again that they have our backs with stellar customer service, and their competitors have not. Some competitor brands were estimating weeks and even months to get a replacement part for the generators, however, Cummins and Generac efficiently had them to us within a day.

    • Do Generators need a concrete pad?

      Yes and No. Typical 20/22kw whole home generator installations involve installing a pad. Some applications use our PowerHouse Pad, which is essentially a solid poured pad that is set in place, while for others we pour a pad. Again, case by case.

    • During installation, will I be without power?

      Our Home Standby Generator Technicians are highly skilled and trained. They do everything they can to leave you without power for as long as possible, however, this is a complex installation and sometimes things take longer than expected. We ask our customers to expect up to one day without power. We provide portable generators to ensure food in fridges is not lost.

    • What fuels the Home Standby Generator?

      Home Standby Generators are either fueled by Natural Gas or Liquid Propane.

    • How do you install a Generator?

      The process is as seen in the following steps:

      1. Call our office or submit an online form submission.
      2. A customer service representative will work with you to schedule an appointment for one of our factory-trained specialists to do an onsite evaluation of your home to determine your needs, and location of equipment, and come up with options that will be suitable for you.
      3. We will provide you with a quote onsite unless there are special circumstances.
      4. You accept the proposal.
      5. The permit process starts the same day the proposal is accepted and submitted to the county within 48 hours.
      6. You are signed up for project flare allowing you to see updates to your project live, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
      7. We schedule your installation.
      8. Factory-trained installers will arrive in company-marked vans and install your unit. Typically, this is a two-day process.
      9. Live worry-free. Whether you are a full-time or part-time resident, you can rest assured that PowerHouse has you covered during any power outages.