Why Is My Home Garbage Disposal Humming?

April 10th, 2020

If you have a garbage disposal humming in the kitchen of your Birmingham home, something is not quite right. This hum isn’t quite like the unit’s regular operating noise, so it clues you in to the presence of a problem that can lead to damage and an expensive repair.

The licensed Birmingham plumbers of Douglas Cooling & Heating explain what causes a garbage disposal to hum and how to fix it. If troubleshooting does not work, give us a call to schedule service, as we are happy to assist you with any plumbing issue you face!

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Humming?

A humming garbage disposal is likely caused by an object in the drain that has jammed the blades. When the blades are jammed, they are unable to rotate. If the garbage disposal is turned on while an object has blocked the blades from spinning, its use has the potential to burn out the unit’s motor. With a bad motor, you’re probably looking at garbage disposal replacement rather than a repair.

Several things have the potential to jam up your unit’s blades and cause a humming sound. Pieces of food that have collected in the unit may clog it up, or kitchen debris like bones that shouldn’t be in garbage disposals at all. a foreign object, such as a kitchen utensil, are common culprits that cause a jammed garbage disposal.

How to Unclog Your Garbage Disposal

Luckily, as long as garbage disposal humming sound is addressed right away, this problem isn’t too complicated to solve on your own. The solution is often as simple as removing the object from the unit. Due to the nature of the equipment and the sharp blades within, you need to be sure you do so in a safe manner. Our licensed plumbers outline the steps to follow to remove objects stuck down in your garbage disposal.

  • Turn off the power to your disposal. Turning it off at the wall switch is not enough – cut power to the unit at your home’s electrical panel.
  • At the bottom of your garbage disposal, there is a small hex-shaped hole. Using the hex wrench, which is also called an Allen wrench, included with your unit, insert the Allen wrench into the hole. 
  • Turn the wrench clockwise. Doing so turns the disposal’s flywheel, which helps to break up the material jamming the blades.
  • Once you feel the resistance release and are able to turn the flywheel with ease, the jam has been eliminated. Use a pair of tongs or pliers to reach into the garbage disposal from the drain to pull out the offending object. And remember, never put your hands down the drain.
  • Make sure to pull out the Allen wrench and turn the power back on by resetting the circuit breaker at your home’s electrical panel. 
  • Turn on the disposal at the wall switch. If it runs, flush it with hot water for about a minute to clear out any debris left down in the unit.

Call Douglas for Plumbing Help!

If your garbage disposal hums when you flip the switch but can’t fix the jam or don’t know the cause, call your plumber for assistance. Douglas Cooling & Heating helps homeowners throughout Birmingham with plumbing repairs for garbage disposals as well as other components of a home’s plumbing system. Contact us today to schedule a service call.

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All The Ways Owning a Generator Benefits You!

March 30th, 2020

generator-installationDuring a power outage, you want to be able to keep the heat on, use the lights, and keep your food fresh. Heck, you might even want power for your favorite video game system—we don’t judge! But here’s the thing, keeping your home and your family safe during a power outage is only possible so long as you’ve got a whole-house generator installed!

There are many benefits of owning a generator, and below, we have outlined them for you. All you have to do is keep reading to find out more, and of course, remember to contact our team when you’re ready to install a whole home generator in Birmingham.

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Coronavirus Response: How Douglas Cooling & Heating is Continuing to Serve

March 24th, 2020

We, at Douglas Cooling & Heating pride ourselves on being part of the communities we serve. Since our opening in 2011, Douglas Cooling & Heating has established and upheld industry-leading standards and superior customer service. 

In light of COVID-19, we would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the policies and procedures that Douglas Cooling & Heating has in place to protect the health and safety of you, our customer, and our team. And also want to let you know we have had no team members that have traveled outside of the state within the last 14 days. 

Our Policies and Procedures

  • We have added warm water and antibacterial soap in our trucks
  • We have a safety kit for each tech that include face masks, rubber gloves, shoe covers
  • We have limited all non-essential travel for all employees for the next 30 days
  • We have limited access to our facility to company personnel only
  • We have discontinued all large gathering events for the next 30 days.
  • Our advanced phone system allows everyone in the call center to work remotely creating no interruption in service to our customers. 
  • Our technicians are not allowed to work if they have a fever or do not feel well
  • If a technician has a fever they will not be permitted to work until released by a doctor

We encourage our team members, customers, and community to:

  • Dry hands with paper towels instead of cloth towels
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home if sick or showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with disposable tissues and then wash hands
  • Closely monitor and adapt recommendations and guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) 

I have no doubt this great state and nation will get through this and highly encourage everyone to follow local CDC guidance in the coming days.

Please know the wellness and safety of our team and customers continues to be our top priority. If you do have a service-related emergency, we encourage you to continue choosing Douglas Cooling & Heating for your heating, cooling and plumbing needs. We appreciate your loyalty and trust as a valued customer. We’re to keep you comfortable. We are still available 24/7 to assist and the office can be reached at 205-322-9090 also if for some reason you have an issue or need to speak with me directly I can be reached at 205-484-5207 anytime.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Blake Sanders
Managing Partner
Douglas Cooling & Heating
AL Lic#11120

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All the Benefits of a UV Air Purifier

March 20th, 2020

woman-blowing-noseIn light of current news, we wanted to take a moment to tell you all about the benefits of installing a UV air filter in your home, specifically Global Plasma Solutions (GPS) UV Air Filters. Using an ultraviolet light air filter is one of the best ways to improve your overall comfort, health, and well-being.

But, how exactly does this work? Well, UV light kills or neutralizes any airborne viruses or bacteria passing through your ducts. The UV rays damage the DNA of microbes that pass under it, preventing them from reproducing and causing infections. This helps to keep the air in your home healthier.

GPS UV Air Filters are installed directly into your ductwork and help to purify the air that cycles through your comfort systems, killing off things like viruses, bacteria, and all sorts of other yucky germs. Oh, and here’s an added bonus: the GPS 2400 removes odors as well!

When you pair a top-notch air filtration system with consistent healthy hygiene practices, like washing your hands, you’ll be much better off! Stay safe out there!

Schedule your indoor air quality services with the team at Douglas Cooling & Heating today. Your Experience is What Matters Most! 

There is much to consider regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) and its possible transmission in your home. While there are various and effective indoor air quality measures available to help protect your safety, including duct sanitization, ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light treatment, and HEPA air filters, they alone cannot protect from all forms of COVID-19 transmission. It is important to follow all official guidelines for preventing the spread of this virus.

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Troubleshooting Cooling Issues – My Heat Pump Is Not Working

March 18th, 2020

When a heat pump stops working it causes comfort concerns for homeowners throughout the Birmingham, Alabama area. If you depend on a heat pump for cooling once the weather warms up, learn how to troubleshoot minor issues and get your system back on track, fast!

Douglas Cooling & Heating shares troubleshooting steps to perform when your heat pump suddenly stops working. If heat pump troubleshooting does not solve the problem, give us a call!

1.  Check the Thermostat’s Power

The thermostat allows Birmingham homeowners to communicate their comfort needs to the heat pump. When heat pumps stop working, the first place to look is the thermostat. If there’s no power, it is unable to relay your comfort needs to the heat pump.

  • If the display is not on, this is a sign the thermostat does not have power.
  • For battery-powered units, replace old batteries with fresh ones to see if the power problem was simply caused by dead batteries.
  • For hardwired units, check your home’s electrical panel. The circuit breaker or fuse controlling power to the thermostat may need to be reset or replaced.

2. Check Unit Power 

If your thermostat appears to be powered, next check power to your other heat pump system components. These components have their own power switches and dedicated circuits.

  • Check the power switch located on or near the indoor air handler – it needs to be set to ON.
  • Check the power switch located on the outside unit or nearby on the exterior wall of your home where the refrigerant lines run inside – it also needs to be set to ON.
  • Check your home’s electrical panel to ensure the circuits controlling both the indoor and outdoor units are not disrupted by a tripped breaker or blown fuse. Reset or replace if necessary.

3. Check the Thermostat’s Fan Settings

Warm air coming from the vents inside your home could be caused by improper fan settings – there may not be a problem with your heat pump at all!

Check fan settings and make sure the switch on the thermostat that controls them is set to AUTO. It should not be set to ON, as this causes the system’s blower motor to continuously run, even between cooling cycles. With the AUTO setting, the fan only runs to assist a cooling cycle.

4. Adjust Thermostat Settings

Your thermostat only calls for your heat pump to cool if temperatures inside your home rise above the set point. If it feels like your heat pump isn’t working when it should be, adjust the thermostat’s set temperature down several degrees. If everything is working properly, this should trigger the heat pump to run a cooling cycle. 

5. Check Registers

Blocked registers often make it feel like the heat pump isn’t working because indoor living areas do not receive adequate cooling. Check all vents and registers throughout the home – they all need to be open and unblocked by rugs, furniture and other household items. Move items around and rearrange furniture to ensure rooms receive cool air from your heat pump.

6. Check Air Filter

A clogged air filter is a common cause behind a heat pump not working, as the system doesn’t receive adequate airflow due to this obstruction. The system often overheats and shuts down, leaving you without cooling. Or, not enough cooling makes it into your home due to the restriction.

Check your air filter – if its surface is full of debris, replace it with a fresh filter. Allow the system time to cool down and see if it restarts.

7. Call Douglas for Heat Pump Repair

If the troubleshooting steps above do not fix the heat pump, call Douglas Cooling & Heating to schedule heat pump service. Our technicians thoroughly evaluate your system to find the malfunction and make reliable repairs in order to restore comfort in your Birmingham home.

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Coronavirus Alert

March 17th, 2020

Coronavirus Alert – March 15, 2020

Dear Douglas Cooling & Heating Customers,
At Douglas Cooling and Heating, we pride ourselves on being part of the communities we serve. Since our
opening in 1972, Douglas has established and upheld industry-leading standards and superior customer service.
Keeping your home safe has been and always will be our top priority.
In light of COVID-19, we would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of the policies and
procedures that Douglas has in place to protect the health and safety of you, our customer, and our team.
Our Policies and Procedures
● We are requiring that a team member with any symptoms of any respiratory illness or fever stay home and
not return to work until cleared by a physician.
● Each technician has a safety kit that includes face masks, gloves, and shoe covers. Our technicians will
wear a new pair of disposable gloves and new pair of disposable shoe covers before entering your home.
● Before entering your home, each technician will wash their hands with soap and water per the instructions
specifically for COVID-19 virus provided by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).
● While in your home or business our technicians will avoid touching any non-essential installation,
maintenance, and/or service items. We will also avoid close contact.
● We have increased our routine environmental cleaning for our offices and work vehicles.
● We have limited all non-essential travel for all employees for the next 30 days.
● Access to our facilities is limited to Douglas personnel and essential vendors only.
● We have discontinued all large gathering events for next 30 days.
● Our advanced phone, dispatching, and accounting system allows most everyone in our two office locations
to work remotely, creating no interruption in service to our customers.
● In order to comply with guidelines by the CDC and ADPH, and to protect our staff and customers, we are
canceling calls to homes where someone is quarantined, has symptoms of respiratory illness, and/or has
fever.
Please know that the wellness and safety of our team and customers continue to be our top priority. If you have a
service-related emergency, we encourage you to continue choosing Douglas for your HVAC, Water Heater,
Electrical, and Generator needs. We appreciate your loyalty and trust as a valued customer. We exist to keep you
comfortable.
Sincerely,

Jay Douglas
General Manager
Douglas Cooling and Heating

 

Call Douglas Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more.


There is much to consider regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus) and its possible transmission in your home. While there are various and effective indoor air quality measures available to help protect your safety, including duct sanitization, ultraviolet (UV) germicidal light treatment, and HEPA air filters, they alone cannot protect from all forms of COVID-19 transmission. It is important to follow all official guidelines for preventing the spread of this virus.

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Now is the Perfect Time to Schedule AC Maintenance!

March 16th, 2020

Finally! Spring is well on its way and before you know it, it’ll be summer. Of course, no summer in Alabama is complete without a great air conditioner, so it is important that yours is in tip-top shape. One way to do that, of course, is with annual maintenance services!

There are plenty of reasons to schedule your maintenance services now, and below, we have listed a few of them. All you have to do is keep reading to find out more—and, remember to call our team when you need AC repair in Birmingham, AL.

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New Heater? Now it’s Time for a New Thermostat!

March 2nd, 2020

So, you just bought a brand-new heater for your home and you couldn’t be happier, right? Well, what if we told you that your new heating system is only going to work efficiently and effectively so long as you have a great thermostat controlling it.

See, what many homeowners don’t realize is that their thermostat is just as, if not more, important than the heating system itself, which is why we recommend upgrading to a smart thermostat. In fact, there are many benefits of upgrading your thermostat, and below, we have listed some of them for you. All you have to do is keep reading to find out more, and of course, remember to schedule your heating services in Birmingham with us!

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Is It Time for Electrical Rewiring?

February 17th, 2020

outletImagine what the world would be like if Benjamin Franklin didn’t discover electricity? Imagine not having a refrigerator, or lightbulbs, or an air conditioner, or your phone? Of course not! See, your electrical system is extremely important to your overall comfort, so you definitely don’t want to take it for granted!

Over time, the wires that deliver electricity all over your home can begin to fray, leading to all sorts of other issues. Therefore, it is important to have a professional inspect your system on a regular basis to see if rewiring is necessary. In fact, there are a number of signs that suggest its time for rewiring and below, we have outlined some of them for you. All you have to do is keep reading below to find out more, and of course, remember to contact our team when you need a Birmingham electrician!

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We’re Generac Certified!

February 4th, 2020

Our employees here at Douglas Cooling & Heating are awesome. Why? Well, besides helping countless homeowners with their air conditioning and heating services, they traveled all the way to the Generac headquarters in Wisconson to take the Generac Air-Cooled course, and now, they’re certified!

What does this mean for you?

Well, this means that three members of our team can now provide Generac generator services! So, go ahead and schedule those services with our experts today.

 

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