7 Things To Consider When Shopping For An Air Conditioner

Choosing an air conditioner that’s right for your home can be a difficult task. Science can help you determine the best air conditioner for you. Air conditioners have come a long way since they were first invented back in 1902 by Willis Carrier. The first air conditioner wasn’t even invented for houses; the first one was created to control the humidity at the printing plant where Willis Carrier worked at.
Listed below are a few factors to consider before purchasing your air conditioner:

  • One thing to keep in mind is how big is the space that you plan on cooling? Are you going to cool just a single room or multiple rooms? Once this is determined you can figure out the tonnage needed to cool the space or spaces effectively.

    If You Need Air Conditioner Repair or Installation Service, Call Our HVAC Contractors Today!

  • The next one to answer is what type of air conditioner unit do you want? There are a handful of different types ranging from mini-split ductless air conditioners to heat pumps and packaged central air conditioners. Each unit is different from the other and what you choose will depend on your needs.
  • Is the AC you want too noisy? This one is a very important question to answer. Some cities have sound ordinances which means not all AC units are allowed to be installed depending on their sound level. Aside from that, you wouldn’t want to upset your neighbors because your AC keeps them up, or your own family for that matter! The average air conditioners sound level is 60 Db and anything above 60 Db’s can cause damage to eardrums if exposed to it for too long.
  • The majority of air conditioners all need proper ventilation to work successfully so this will need to be taken into consideration.
  • Energy efficiency is something to keep in mind when choosing which model of AC you decide to go with. Energy efficient air conditioners vary and will perform at different levels some better than others.
  • Where is the filter located? Each type of air conditioner has their filter located in different areas. Typically an AC filter is located along the venting ducts that the air flows through and mini-split ductless filters are in the head unit behind the vents. It’s also good to know what your filter is made of and how often they need to be changed. A dirty filter can reduce the energy efficiency of the air conditioning unit.
  • Temperature sensors help regulate the temperature more efficiently in your house and are more common than one would think. Newer air conditioners work with touchpad and smart thermostats to regulate the temperature in your home. Does the AC you choose come with a control panel or remote control? The control panel is the thermostat to control the unit itself, and a remote control does the same thing. A remote control is more convenient in a sense that you don’t have to get up every time you want to turn it on and off or adjust the temperature.

The most important aspect of this all is making sure the install is done correctly. If installed incorrectly none of the stuff we mentioned earlier will matter because it will not work from the beginning. Give Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air in Santa Cruz and San Rafael, CA a call at 831-244-6718 to get your new air conditioner installed properly.

Check out Jen’s Reviews for tips on choosing an air conditioner!

What Causes Sewer Blockages?

Clogged Sewer Line

Yard Flooding is a Pretty Direct Sign That Something is Going on With Your Sewer Line!

Have you ever seen someone’s yard transform into a pound because of a busted sewer line? Or worse, have you ever smelled it? It’s not pretty! Thankfully, there are ways to quickly address the problem or even prevent it altogether. If you think you may have a broken, busted, or clogged sewer line, read carefully!

How Can I Avoid Getting a Clogged Sewer Line?

If you’re worried that your sewer line may develop a clog in the future, there are a couple of ways you can avoid a yard flooding disaster. First, make sure to schedule an inspection for your sewer line every once in a while. Don’t panic! Nowadays, it’s very easy to examine your plumbing system without trenching through the yard, thanks to video inspection technology. Getting an inspection will help detect potential hazards early on.

There are several plumbing complications that can develop into a main sewer line clog. One of the most common is a buildup of mineral deposits. Silt and other matter can gradually accumulate in your pipes until a breach is created by the excess pressure. Even normal wear and tear can allow dirt and stones to slip into your sewer line and clog it. Finally, tree roots can curl up against the pipe and create a rupture, or even grow into the line itself. While it would be very difficult to avoid all damage to your sewer line, you can address each of these problems with careful water treatment, routine inspections, and tree root pruning.

Is There a Way to Fix the Damage?

Clogged Sewer Line

Even Tree Roots Can Create a Nasty Clog From Time to Time.

Many plumbers with sewer camera tech are also equipped to repair the damage without trenching. The important thing is that you act quickly before the clog can get any worse. You’ll also want to limit your water use while the main line is clogged, as you could suffer some nasty backflow otherwise. If a section of the pipe is beyond repair, a prompt sectional replacement will help you get your line back in working order (though this would require isolated trenching).

Plumbing Help for Your Main Sewer Line Clog

If you need help with a clogged sewer line, or if your home is experiencing any other sort of plumbing leaks, you are welcome to call our courteous professionals at Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air. We’ll happily answer your questions and schedule an inspection for your home! Call 831-244-6718.

The Difference Between a Furnace and a Water Heater

Furnaces and Boilers Can Be Installed Together To Save Time, Space, and Money

Do you take long showers or are you always cold at night? Do you live in an area with harsh winters? The questions to these answers can help you answer whether you should get a furnace or water heater in your home. But what is the difference between a furnace and water heater? Here is a brief breakdown of the two:


A furnace is a forced air system that uses fuel like gas or electricity to heat coils in the unit. A fan in the device blows air across the warm coils where it is filtered throughout the house to heat your home. A furnace is an efficient and cost effective way to heat your home, but does dry out the air quicker, causing allergy symptoms like dry nasal passages to worsen.

Water Heater

A water heater connects your plumbing to your gas or electricity line. In a water heater, coils at the bottom of the tank are heated by your energy system, warming the water in the tank so it is ready for use. A water heater differs from a boiler in that a boiler has piping that runs underneath your floorboards to provide both hot water and hot air. Water heaters are more common in America since we have stagnant seasons and boilers are more common in countries with harsher winters.

If you are needing a furnace or water heater installed or repaired in Santa Cruz and San Rafael, CA, Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air provides services to both units. Call us today at 831-244-6718.

How much do main line sewer repairs cost?

Why is mainline sewer repair so expensive?

The average range of costs for mainline sewer repairs is $1,052 – $3,920.

Oftentimes, main line sewer repairs require experts to dig trenches and repair or replace pipes that are underground. This process is rather difficult and can take up the majority of the expenses incurred for mainline sewer repair.

  • Excavation – This process requires professionals to dig up the mainline pipes and repair or replace them. This process frequently requires heavy duty equipment like jackhammers and backhoes to dig through lawns and driveways. The cost for excavation varies widely on the length of the pipe that needs to be removed/replaced, and the type of landscape being excavated (concrete patio, lawn, etc.).
  • Camera Inspection – Typically, this is done in conjunction with other repair options to customize the replacement or repair to your specific needs. A camera inspection helps professionals know the scale of the project before beginning. The unfortunate part of a mainline camera inspection is the cost; the average cost is $250-500.
  • Post Repair Costs – Depending on the amount of damage that occurred when the pipe malfunctioned and from the excavation, post-repair cleanup costs may need to be taken into account as well.

Post-Main Line Repair Costs

Unfortunately, main line sewer repair does require some post-repair repairs. The area dug up during excavation will need to be fixed; this could mean a patio needs to be replaced, new lawn needs to laid, or sidewalks have to be remade. These costs can vary greatly, but should be considered part of the mainline repair costs.

Landscape repair costs are typically around $300+.

Driveway or walkway repair is a little more expensive, costing closer to $2,500+.

Fencing costs can vary, but are typically $2,000+ for professional installation.

Should there have been a broken main line that caused damage to the home before the professionals came in, you will also need to pay to restore that are of the home which can cost $500+ with a professional’s help.

Broken Versus Clogged Sewer Lines

Clogged main sewer lines may not cost as much as a broken main sewer line. With a clogged pipe there are options outside of excavation that will save time and costs. A clogged sewer line may cost approximately $300 instead of the thousands that a broken main sewer line may cost.

Call Fast

If you suspect you have a main sewer line break or clog, call quickly by dialing 831-244-6718! The longer you wait, the more damage it will cause and money it will cost you!

Fast & Reputable Furnace Repair Service by Bellows

When you need a furnace repair service, you will know. Even in the San Jose area where we don’t get far below the 40’s and 50’s, we all need a reliable furnace! Stay warm and comfortable in your own home when the temperatures start to drop. Call in the technicians at Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air for all of your home furnace repair needs. Our professional technicians are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your call about your home furnace repair needs. 

But how do you know you may need a professional furnace repair service?

If your home is cold even after setting the thermostat to heat your home or if you cannot feel hot air circulating through your home, it’s clearly time to call someone in to repair your furnace. Give the professional technicians at Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air a call today. If you are unsure whether or not your furnace requires a professional repair, take a look at these symptoms of home furnace problems:

Noisy Operation

Unusual sounds coming from your furnace could indicate a loose or broken belt or problems with the furnace ignition. These issues should be addressed immediately by a professional before they become bigger issues.

Increase Thermostat Setting

If you have to increase the temperature on your thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, you may have an issue with your thermostat or furnace. Regularly needing to manually increase the thermostat temperature could indicate leaks in your furnace or heating system.

Rapid Cycling

Wiring systems can cause problems for the main furnace system. If you hear your furnace frequently turning on and off, it is time to take a look at the thermostat, wiring, and ignition system.

Increasing Heating Bill

If your energy bill is increasing over the months that you use your furnace, call in a furnace repair service. This increase in your bill is a clear indicator that your furnace isn’t working properly and that a repair is needed.


To keep your furnace working well all season, routine furnace maintenance is a must. Professional technicians will check up on filters, duct systems, wiring systems, and more to keep your furnace running well. Regular maintenance will also reduce the possibility of furnace malfunction and carbon monoxide build up.

Keeping your furnace running well keeps your family safe and comfortable. Get the best heating and cooling experts in San Jose to help with your home heating needs. Let our certified technicians at Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air provide furnace repair services for your home! Call us today by dialing 831-244-6718

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Residential Heating and Cooling Systems

We all want to save money and lower our bills in the process. We love to pinch our pennies, cut coupons, and be saving-savvy in all aspects of our lives. So when you don’t want to be sweaty all summer or freezing all winter, how do you get the most out of your residential heating and cooling system without spending the big bucks? We’ve put together these 8 tips to help you achieve that goal.


1) Clean around the unit

Outdoor heating and cooling systems work most effectively if they are clean and clear of debris. Dedicating a few minutes a week to keeping the unit clean is the most effective use of your time and money.

2) Keep up on routine maintenance

Along with keeping the unit clean, keep the area around the unit clear and don’t forget to clean those air filters. Keeping up on routine heating and cooling maintenance can keep larger problems from developing and allow the unit to work most effectively, all which save you money.

3) Figure out where air is escaping in your house

One of the worst feelings has to be when you realize that you’ve been cooling down the outdoors by finding a window open after you’ve had the air conditioner on. These situations can be easily prevented and so can other air leaks. It is worth the time to figure out which areas of the house leak air, as this can be a large reason why you stay hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Sometimes these problems can be easily fixed or they may require a more thorough house sealing, but taking care of large air leaks will save you money in the long run on heating and cooling costs.

4) Clean your windows screens and keep them open when weather allows

Take advantage of the few weeks of the year that allow for pleasant outdoor temperatures to cool and freshen your house. Also, clean window screens ensure that only fresh air is getting inside. Additionally, cleaning dust and debris regularly from the screens can be important for your health. If opening your windows is making you sick, you won’t want them open.

5) Do what you can to cool down your house in the summer

Plant shade trees around your house to keep the summer sun from coming in, and keep curtains and blinds closed in the heat of the day for the same reasons. Avoid dryer and oven use in the heat of the day as these appliances will quickly heat up your house. Cook outside at every opportunity you have, whether that be in a sun-oven, grill, or other outdoor oven. If possible, only run the dryer at night when the sun is down so you do not have multiple forces heating the house.

6) Use exhaust fans to keep humidity and water out

Whenever the shower or bath are in use, make sure to turn on your exhaust fans! These fans are a great tool to get the humidity and water out of the air in the bathroom that will eventually travel throughout the house. In addition to keeping mold out of your house, these fans eliminate humidity which can have adverse air effects in both the summer and winter since humidity makes the hot air feel hotter and the cold feel colder.

7) Schedule service early

Tune in to tune-ups! Whether it’s home AC repair, heating and cooling maintenance, or furnace repair services that you are in need of, make sure to schedule maintenance early and regularly to keep your unit in the best care.

8) Keep thermostat temperatures regular

While it can be tempting (especially if people in the house don’t agree on the temperature) to constantly change the thermostat temperature, the constant juggling of the thermostat can cause secondary heating systems to kick in which result in high-cost energy charges that you will really see reflected in your bill. Changing the thermostat for most of the day when people are not home and then changing it again when people get home won’t give you adverse effects (this practice definitely saves money) but consistent thermostat changes is something to avoid.

When it comes to residential heating and cooling, you want to do all that you can to keep your bills down and your heating and cooling sources running. At Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air we are dedicated to helping you get the best use out of your air and heating systems for the lowest cost.

Having trouble with an air unit? Need heating and cooling maintenance? Give us a call today at 831-244-6718 or check out our website.

Dealing with Kitchen Drain Clogs

Kitchen plumbing will try to get the best of you. Luckily, the information and services we provide will help you win the piping battles. 

Clogs and drainage backups can happen when food like grease or starch create a blockage. However, avoiding putting these down your drain won’t always prevent a problem.

 When You Need Us

There are home remedies for a clogged sink, but when these don’t do the trick, Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air is equipped with licensed professionals in the Santa Cruz, Marin, and Santa Clara County areas.

 Your Trusted and Dedicated Plumber

After you schedule an appointment online or call our 24/7 service, one of our technicians will arrive at your home, assess the problem, and offer a solution. You can rest easy knowing that here at Bellows we have pledged to put you first, and we have the experience necessary to solve any plumbing problem you can throw at us.

Some of the Services We Offer for Drainage Clogs Include:

  • Hydrojetting
  • Disposal Replacement and Repair
  • Clogs and Rooter Service


The go-to solution for impossible drain clogs is hydro jetting. This option is particularly advised if your drainage clog is due to:

  • years of built-up trash and food
  • caked-on grease
  • small trapped objects like toys

For any questions about our hydro jetting service, call 831-244-6718

Disposal Replacement and Repair

If our technician finds that a replacement or repair may be necessary, those services can be provided to you. Advised replacements or repairs will be explained to you in depth before any work starts.

Clogs and Rooter Service

Damage to pipes due to roots, rocks, and wear can create serious clogs and drainage backups. Our plumbing technicians are trained on how to recognize what the cause of the problem is, and how to fix it without creating any further damage.

Plumbing work isn’t for everyone. If you would prefer to have a professional assist with even a minor clog, we are here for you. There’s nothing worse than dealing with an inconvenient drain backup in your home, but cleaning out piping and traps, repairing drain damage, and giving you peace of mind is what we live for.

To make your kitchen usable again, contact us today to make an appointment.

5 Ways to Unclog A Drain

Types of Drain Clogs

Drain clogs can be found in many different pipes throughout the house; from a toilet to a shower, or even a kitchen sink. Drain clogs can be caused by a number of different things; the following are a few different types of drain clogs and the most common causes:

  • Toilet Drain Clogs are commonly caused by flushing improper items, like feminine hygiene products, cotton swabs, diaper wipes, and more, down the toilet.
  • Shower Drain Clogs are oftentimes caused by a combination of dead skin, dirt, and hair that combines with soap scum in the pipes, causing a blockage.
  • Kitchen Sink Drain Clogs become a problem when oil, grease, and food particles that start to expand combine in the sink drains and back them up.

Tools You May Need to Remove Drain Clogs

  • Tweezers
  • Drain Stick
  • Plunger
  • Chemical Pipe Cleaner
  • A Professional

5 Ways to Unclog a Drain

1. Remove Stopper

Some drain clogs are as easy as removing the stopper and cleaning out the gunk that has piled up at the top of the drain.

  1. Most stoppers can be twisted off rather easily.
  2. Once the stopper is twisted off, you can use tweezers to pull out the clogged hair and soap scum.

2. Use a Drain Stick

  1. Remove the stopper by twisting off the top.
  2. Stick the drain stick down the pipe and pull it back up. The barbs on a drain stick are great for catching the gunk and helping pull it up if it’s a little bit deeper than just the surface of the pipe.

3. Get Out the Plunger

A plunger helps with drain clogs that are bad enough to have standing water accumulating.

  1. Remove the stopper by twisting off the top.
  2. Place the plunger over the drain and pump up and down a few times to help remove the clog.
  3. Once the standing water is able to drain down, flush the pipe with water to help move everything out.

4. Chemical Drain Cleaner

  1. Make sure the type of drain cleaner you are looking to use works for your pipes, fixture, and type of clog.
  2. Use the chemical drain cleaner as directed on the bottle.
  3. Do not leave the chemicals in the drain for longer than suggested on the bottle, it can cause damage to the pipes that will then create more issues than the initial drain clog.

5. Call a Professional Plumber

There are many instances when it is wisest to call in a professional to take care of the drain clog for you. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have no idea what you’re doing when it comes to drain clogs?
  • Are you worried you might make things worse?
  • Have you tried the above DIY options and they didn’t work for your clog? Sometimes clogs won’t budge unless you try hydro jetting!
  • Are you in a hurry to have it fixed?
  • Does it appear the problem could be worse than just a drain clog?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, be sure to call in a professional plumber. Here at Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air, we are happy to help with any type of drain clog or plumbing issue you may have. Bellows serves the Santa Cruz, Marin, and Santa Clara areas.

Contact us today to set up an appointment and get rid of your drain clog now by dialing 831-244-6718