6 Bathroom Renovation Must-Dos for Your Nanaimo Home

A successful bathroom renovation can help one of the most important rooms in your house keep up with the growing needs of your family. If you’re about to start on a bathroom renovation for your Nanaimo home and you want to make sure to do it right, then check out this handy list of 6 bathroom renovation must-dos from the HVAC and plumbing experts at Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd.:

1) Have floor-to-ceiling tile coverage
It is important that the floor, the walls, and even the ceiling of your bathroom are all durable, easy to clean, and water-resistant. Tiles prevent the humidity created by baths and showers from seeping through these surfaces and causing water damage.

2) Go with a straight-shaped shower bath
There are many reasons why straight-shaped shower baths continue to be the most popular choice among homeowners. Not only do they save space by sitting flush to the wall, but their sleek and elegant design never goes out of style.

3) Choose an elegant sink
An elegant, pedestal sink is a great compliment to a straight-shaped shower bath. Even when enclosed in a deck to provide for more storage, pedestal sinks are still more appealing than a cabinet vanity.

4) Pick a theme and stick to it
It doesn’t matter if you choose to go with a contemporary or a more traditional theme for your new bathroom, as long as you stick faithfully to your chosen style. A solid theme will help tie the whole space together and make it much more visually pleasing.

5) Consider your lighting needs
Most homeowners give little thought lighting in their bathrooms, even though bathrooms are where we do most of the work of making ourselves presentable. One single ceiling fixture will likely not be enough. Good lightning is a huge bathroom must-have, particularly over the mirror.

6) Get plumbing work done professionally
The single most important component of a bathroom renovation done right is professionally installed plumbing. The last thing you want after completing your project is to encounter a plumbing disaster the first time someone takes a shower or flushes the toilet.

Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. is always ready to help Nanaimo residents with all of their plumbing and bathroom renovation needs. Contact us today and let us know what we can do to make your bathroom renovation dream a reality.

Most Common Air Conditioning Problems Encountered During Summer in Nanaimo

A properly functioning air conditioning unit is a must-have for staying comfortable during summer in Nanaimo. Air conditioning units, however, are bound to run into problems from time to time. If you start encountering the issues below when trying to cool your home during the summer, then it’s time to call Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd.

1) Inadequate cooling
There are many reasons why your air conditioner may be running but not adequately cooling your home. Fixing the problem could be as simple as checking the thermostat or replacing the air filter. If, however, there doesn’t appear to be a quick and easy fix to the issue, then a technician will have to take a closer look.

2) Non-functioning external fan
Your air conditioning unit’s external fan has to put up with a lot more dirt and debris than the indoor fan, and so may be more prone to breaking. A broken external fan will cause poor air flow, and, if left unfixed, compressor failure.

3) Faulty wiring
Air conditioning units have numerous electrical components that rely on proper wiring. Wiring which was not well-installed in the first place or which has worn down over time can interfere with the functioning of the thermostat, the sensors, the condensers, and the compressors.

4) Refrigerant leaks
Running low on refrigerant because of a leak in the system will cause your air conditioner to function far less effectively. It will need to run longer in order to cool your home and, if it runs out of refrigerant completely, your unit will eventually start blowing warm air.

5) Clogged drain line
Air conditioners remove moisture from the air inside your home and then send that moisture outside through a drain line. If the drain becomes clogged, then the moisture stuck inside your unit can cause some serious damage.

Fixing and Avoiding Nanaimo Summer Air Conditioning Problems
Don’t hesitate to call the air conditioning experts at Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. at 250-753-3641 if you run into any of the problems listed above. We’ll tune what needs tuning and replace what needs replacing. Better yet, you can avoid most air conditioning problems by having Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. come by to perform regular maintenance checks on your unit.

Stopping minor air conditioning issues before they turn into bigger problems will help keep you nice and cool all summer long.

Three Reasons to Call Air Conditioning Repair Professionals in Nanaimo

Your air conditioning unit is an indispensable tool for keeping your Nanaimo home cool and comfortable on hot and humid days. If you begin to notice significant issues but fail to get them addressed by an experienced air conditioner technician, then your unit could break down and you may be in for some highly uncomfortable days.

Air conditioning units in Nanaimo put in a lot of work throughout the year, so it’s no wonder that they can begin experiencing issues over time. You should definitely be getting into contact with the Nanaimo air conditioning repair professionals at Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. if:

1) Your House is Cooling Too Slowly
If your house is cooling too slowly, or if your air conditioner never seems to cool your house completely, then you know that something is going on with the unit. Unfortunately, a symptom such as improper or incomplete cooling can have many different causes. It may be due to low refrigerant, a faulty compressor, a bad thermostat, broken fan motors, or several other problems. Only a trained Nanaimo air conditioner repair specialist will be able to accurately diagnose and fix whatever has gone awry, allowing your air conditioner to cool your home efficiently again.

2) Your Last Monthly Energy Bill Was Surprisingly High
Sometimes the only way to tell that your air conditioning unit is not running as efficiently as it once did is to keep an eye on your monthly energy bills. If you notice a sudden spike in energy usage and can’t think of anything else that may account for it, then an improperly running air conditioner may be the culprit. For example, if your air conditioner is blocked with debris, dust, or other obstructions, then it may have to work several times harder and eat up more electricity in order to cool your home to the desired temperature.

3) Your or Your Family Members Are Suffering from Allergies
If you or your family members are suffering from allergies while indoors, then it could be because your air conditioner is blowing dust, pollen, and other allergens into the air of your home. One of the best ways to prevent this is to upgrade to an air filter which is specifically designed to keep allergens out. The air conditioner technicians at Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. can provide you with a hypoallergenic air filter that will help turn your home into a safe haven from allergies.

Experienced Air Conditioning Repair Specialists in Nanaimo

At Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. we are committed to putting your family’s comfort and health first. We have been providing air conditioning installation and repair services in Nanaimo for the past 45 years, and have built up a reputation for having dependability, integrity, and fair pricing.

If you are noticing any of the three signs above, then it’s time to have your air conditioner checked out. Contact Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. today and we can help you get to the bottom of the problem as quickly as possible.

5 Possible Reasons Your Water Heater is Breaking Down

Having hot water is easy to take for granted until your water heater breaks down and you’re forced to wash dishes in cold water or, even worse, to take a cold shower in Nanaimo, BC. Hot water tanks, just like almost any home appliance, will eventually suffer from some sort of problem and begin malfunctioning.

Here are 5 common reasons that the experienced plumbers at Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. often see for why water heaters in Nanaimo start breaking down:

1) Rust
Most tanks, because they are made of steel, will eventually rust. A tank that is starting to rust over will need to be replaced, as it will continue breaking down over time. If your water heater has been breaking down, then check for signs of rust around the inlet and outlet connections, the pressure relief valve, and the temperature valve.

2) Leaks
Rust and other forms of damage and deterioration can cause your water tank to spring a leak. Leaks are a strong indicator that it’s time to replace your water heater, as they are not reparable. You’ll be able to spot a leak by looking for any pooling water around the tank, or for signs of moisture around the welded joints and the side-wall seam.

3) Age
Even if your water heater is showing no obvious signs of damage and deterioration, it may be breaking down simply due to age. Water heaters in Nanaimo should be replaced at least every 10 years, though some may last for a shorter or longer amount of time depending on use and maintenance. The older your hot water tank gets, the more break downs you can expect.

4) Thermostat Issues
Sometimes your hot water tank may simply be breaking down due to issues with the thermostat. If this is the case, then you likely won’t need to replace the whole thing. Try resetting the thermostat first. If this doesn’t work, then call in a technician to take a look.

5) Electrical Problems
Another common and easily fixed reason why your hot water tank may be breaking down is that you’ve tripped a breaker. Check the fuse box. If your water heater’s breaker is flipped, then flipping it back will likely return your hot water. Take care not to overload the circuit again.

Quality Services for Water Heaters in Nanaimo

Depending on the cause of the breakdown, your hot water tank may need to be either repaired or entirely replaced. A professional plumber will be able to tell you what the best course of action is.

At Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. we provide repair, maintenance, and installation services for water heaters in Nanaimo. For 45 years we’ve been providing plumbing and HVAC services throughout the Nanaimo area. Our technicians have seen it all, and will have no trouble getting to the bottom of why your hot water tank is breaking down.

Contact Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. and one of our licensed journeymen will soon be along to take a look at your hot water tank.

Tips to Save on Heating Bills this Winter in Nanaimo

With our beautiful British Columbia buried in snow and the coldest months yet to come, many BC residents are beginning to ask how to save money on heating costs in our crazy economy. For more than 45 years, Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. has been a family owned and operated business serving Nanaimo’s gas fitting, heating, air conditioning and plumbing needs. During that time we’ve picked up a few hints and tips along the way that can help you, our neighbor, control your heating bill.

While numerous options exist, some are easy, some require a substantial investment. So whether you need one or two easy changes or a significant retrofit of your home, here are a few suggestions to get your savings started.

The simplest and most direct way to save on heating costs is to wear a sweater and stay active. During the day, you can also keep blinds and curtains open on sun-facing windows to take advantage of its natural warming abilities.

However, to begin to see financial savings start by turning down your thermostat one degree (and leaving it there) to notice a difference in your bills. You can save further using a space heater in the one area of the home where you are and turn the thermostat down for the rest of the house. If you turn your thermostat down during sleeping hours, an electric blanket can pre-warm your sheets and keep you warm till dream time.

Next, do some maintenance around your home. Start by sealing drafts – find the drafts, and repair them by replacing weather stripping or using spray foam insulation. Annual furnace cleaning and instrument adjustments can make a real difference in your furnace efficiency – and annual operating cost – and a tune-up is the best way to catch small problems before they turn into big expensive ones.

Once you’ve taken care of all the little steps to improve your home’s heating efficiency, it’s time to look at investing for the long term. Once you’ve done all your home maintenance, or even before you start, a home energy audit professional can search for every air leak and source of energy inefficiency using state-of-the-art technology that produces a detailed report of the steps you can take to maximize your household energy efficiency.

Replace or upgrade are popular terms for this phase because it involves upgrading your attic insulation and replacing outdated and inefficient windows and doors to defend against heat loss. Finally, if your furnace is 10 years old or older, planned replacement is likely to be the way to achieve the biggest gains in your home heating energy efficiency.

At Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. our team of certified, licensed journeymen can offer the same day response to both commercial and residential customers at competitive rates. As an eco-friendly company, we believe in doing our part to help you make a smaller impact on the environment – and save money. Take advantage of our FortisBC™ $800 rebate when you upgrade to a high-efficiency gas furnace. At Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. we are a bonded company that carries pollution liability insurance, and all our work is guaranteed. Contact Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. at 250-753-3641 today to get started with your free estimate on our services.

Reasons Not to Cover an Air Conditioner in Nanaimo

For more than 45 years, Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. has been a family owned and operated business serving Nanaimo’s gas fitting, heating, air conditioning and plumbing needs. Our team of certified, licensed journeymen can offer a same day response to both commercial and residential customers at competitive rates. During that time we’ve been asked a lot of questions like, should I cover my air conditioning unit during the winter months? Fortunately, we’ve picked up a few hints and tips along the way that can help you, our neighbor, find the answers to your questions.

The short answer is predominantly no, with the occasional maybe, depending on the weather. Let me explain.

The most important reason is that it is not really necessary. All outdoor heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment is made to withstand harsh weather conditions and varying temperature extremes. It’s what they are made for and part of the reasoning behind their cost – all of the parts and materials used are designed to stand up to hot summers and harsh winters. You can also add the fact that no major manufacturer specifically recommends that you cover your air conditioner in the winter.

There are a couple of other reasons that it is not desirable to cover your air conditioning unit, many of which might not be that obvious:

  • Rodents can infest covered air conditioners leading to secondary problems like chewed electrical wires and un-insulated Freon lines due to the rodents stripping them to make a nest.
  • Mold and mildew can grow inside your air conditioner in the winter, blocking proper airflow through your coils, which will also decrease your air conditioner’s efficiency.
  • Covering your A/C unit doesn’t prevent moisture from infiltrating your unit from humidity, condensation, and ground moisture.

While covering your air conditioning unit in winter is generally unnecessary, it may be necessary in some extreme weather conditions like hail or during a blizzard in order to keep excess snow from accumulating inside of your air conditioner. You may also want to take a few moments and do some occasional maintenance by removing the snow right around the outside of your unit after each snowfall – it will pay dividends in the long run.

While covering your air conditioner in winter is unnecessary, regular maintenance is a necessity to keep your unit working properly for years to come. This is also a great time to book your spring maintenance to ensure your air conditioning unit is in working order before temperatures rise.

If you want to save both energy and money while you cool your space, count on Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. in Nanaimo to deliver a product that does just that. At Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd., we have the equipment and expertise to install, service, and repair air conditioning for residential and commercial clients in Nanaimo. Contact Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. at 250-753-3641 for a free phone consultation and to set up an appointment for air conditioning in Nanaimo today.

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Air conditioners perform three basic functions: they lower the air temperature, remove air moisture, and filter the air. You have 3 options when it comes to purchasing an air conditioning unit: window units, portable, or built in.

  • Window units can be installed in either a single- or double-hung window and are the most popular because they are affordable and easy to install.
  • Freestanding portable air conditioners can be moved between rooms but can be heavy and are less efficient than newer window units.
  • Built-in air conditioners can be installed in your wall for permanent placement and can provide both cold and hot air. Larger central air units may require professional installation.

Now you need to select the right option for your space. By choosing the right amount of air conditioner BTUs, or British thermal unit, for your room size to get the most energy-efficient cooling system. The BTU rating is a number that essentially tells you how quickly and effectively a unit can cool a room. It’s important to consider factors such as ceiling height, room insulation, sun exposure, location and your area’s climate when choosing a unit with the right BTU rating:

  • Calculate your room size – Multiply the room length by the room width (in feet) to get the square footage of the area to be cooled.
  • Check your connections – Check out your power source (nearby outlet) and make sure to match the unit to that outlet.
  • Measure to fit – Measure the height and width of the opening and check the dimensions of the AC unit you select to be sure it will fit.

For increased savings, all air conditioning units are labelled with an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER). Units with higher ratings offer lower greenhouse emissions and monthly electric bills. Check the yellow Energy Guide label on new air conditioners for more information.

At Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd., we have the equipment and expertise to install, service, and repair air conditioning in Nanaimo. All our work is guaranteed and covered under our no-hassle warranty with competitive rates and no hidden costs. Contact Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. at 250‑753‑3641 for a free phone consultation and to set up an appointment to discuss your air conditioning options in Nanaimo today.

5 Reasons You Need Drain Cleaning in Nanaimo

While a clogged drain is a sure sign that you need drain cleaning, it’s best not to wait until your drains are slow and sluggish. You’ll want to schedule regular drain cleaning in Nanaimo for these five important reasons:

1) To prevent flooding
One of the most common and frustrating problems caused by dirty, clogged drains is flooding. Wastewater can end up seeping back up through the drain or, if the clog is further down, even into other fixtures in your home. Clogged drains can become particularly problematic during a storm, when the main sewer may be overwhelmed by storm water.

2) To prevent water damage
Clogged drains don’t have to overflow to cause water damage. Stagnant water can damage your home by leaking out of old and rusty pipes, or even by evaporating and, over time, contributing to water damage on your walls, floors, and ceilings. Your Nanaimo plumbing is made to handle water passing through it, not standing still in it.

3) To prevent bad odors
Another issue with stagnant water is that it can become a breeding ground for germs, bugs, and bacteria, leading to the development of foul odours. If you notice a bad, musty smell coming from your drains, then it’s high time to call for a professional drain cleaning in Nanaimo.

4) To protect against disease
The germs, bugs, and bacteria that can proliferate inside of a clogged drain aren’t necessarily going to remain there. They can easily find their way out into the air of your home, causing issues such as skin infections and potentially triggering allergies and asthma attacks. Dirty, clogged drains will put the health of your home’s residents at risk.

5) To protect your pipes from corrosion caused by store-bought cleaners
It is possible to clear up some clogs with store-bought chemical drain cleaners, but you don’t want this to be your go-to drain cleaning strategy. Store-bought cleaners can be highly corrosive and may cause significant damage to your pipes over time. You can try them in a pickle, but, if your drains aren’t working properly, you’d be better off calling emergency plumbing services in Nanaimo instead.

Professional Drain Cleaning Services in Nanaimo

Drain cleaning and plumbing in Nanaimo should be left up to the professionals who have the tools and expertise to do it right. If your drains are getting sluggish, then the best way to make sure that they are properly cleaned is to schedule a drain cleaning with Nanaimo’s Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd. We’ll make sure that you don’t have to worry about drainage issues such as flooding, pipe damage, or disease.

For drain cleaning or emergency plumbing in Nanaimo, don’t hesitate to contact the plumbing experts at Norm’s Mobile Service Ltd.

How to Maintain Your Heat Pump This Winter

Heat pumps are a perfect choice for many Nanaimo homes, which have comparatively fewer heating and cooling needs than the rest of Canada. They actually work in a very similar way to most air conditioners. Often, in fact, one unit can both heat and cool a house by reversing the same process of heat transfer, either bringing heat into or removing heat from your house. There are several different kinds of heat pumps that use these principles in different ways. Because heat pumps simply move heat rather than creating it, they are typically much more environmentally friendly than traditional heating methods. Whichever kind of heat pump you have, however, you should be sure to maintain them throughout the winter to keep them running at peak performance.

Here are a few tips on how to maintain your heat pump:

  • Protect your pump from the elements. Remove any dead leaves or other vegetation. Be sure to keep any snow or ice out of it.
  • Keep your pump away from the gutters. Wherever icicles form, that means there’s water dripping. If any ice or water gets into the internal mechanisms of the pump it can cause damage when the water expands and contracts with the temperature changes. Similarly, any ice that forms on your gutters may fall onto your pump, causing damage.
  • Check filters and clean the pump’s coils. This should be done particularly at the beginning of the winter to clear out any dirt or debris that has accumulated over the summer.
  • Keep your pump elevated and away from snow and ice.

The best way to maintain your heat pump is to have it regularly checked by a professional. At Norm’s Mobile Services Ltd. our journeyman heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals are fully licensed and experienced in every problem that can happen to heat pumps in Nanaimo. Contact us today to schedule an inspection or find out more about whether heat pumps are right for your Nanaimo home.

Protect Your Pipes & Your Property

If pipes are old or damaged, they may have been structurally weakened and be more likely to burst. The most common direct cause of burst pipes in Nanaimo is, in fact, water. Although it doesn’t get as cold on Vancouver Island as it does in many other parts of Canada, it’s still cold enough that any water in our pipes can freeze and thaw many times during the year. This constant change in temperature causes water to expand and contact, putting pressure on our pipes. If your pipes have also been structurally weakened, your chances of a burst pipe only go up. Here are a few preventative measures you can take to protect yourself from burst pipes:

  • Insulate your pipes, particularly those exposed to the outside air or in an unheated part of the house.
  • During the winter, leave your heat on at a low temperature to prevent water from freezing.
  • Fix any leaks quickly. They can get worse, or weaken the overall structure of your plumbing. Your pipes are only as strong as their weakest point.

Even if you take every preventative measure possible, leaks and burst pipes still occur sometimes. Here are a few steps you should take if a pipe does burst:

  • Identify the source of the water. This may be more difficult than it appears at first, as any leaks or burst pipes in the floors or walls may not be where you first see water.
  • Close the stopcock (the valve that regulates the flow of water for your house). This will prevent any damage from getting worse.
  • Avoid any electrical devices. They can be dangerous with excess water around them.
  • Move any furniture or valuables away from the affected area.
  • Remove any excess water.

Of course, the best way to prevent any plumbing problem is to regularly have it checked by a local Nanaimo professional. Whether it’s just a regular inspection or an emergency situation, we at Norm’s Mobile Services Ltd. are here for you. We’re a family-owned part of the community and have been plumbing experts in Nanaimo for 45 years. Contact us today to learn more about your plumbing or any heating, ventilation, or air conditioning issues.