Home & Lifestyle

The Pros & Cons of Cooking on a Gas Stove

blogIf you spend enough time watching the Food Channel, you know that all the top cooks and chefs use gas stoves and ovens to prepare their culinary wonders.

And now, perhaps, you’re past the stage of curiosity and seriously considering switching from electric to gas, but not until you’re sure you’re making the right decision. Well, to help you along in the process, here are the top pros and cons of cooking with gas.

Gas Stove Pros

  • It’s faster. You turn on a burner, it’s already hot, and away you go.
  • Readily adjustable. Want to switch from medium to simmer? Just turn the know and eyesight alone will take you exactly where you want to go.
  • More uniform cooking. Gas flames cook more evenly than an electric burner because the flames spread themselves along the bottom of a pot or pan.
  • Lower cost. Assuming you already have natural gas, it will cost you less to operate a gas vs. electric stove.

Gas Stove Cons

  • Higher upfront cost. And yet, you will recoup the difference over time in lower energy costs.
  • Safety concern. You have to be diligent when operating a gas stove or oven to make sure it turns on. If not, then it’s still releasing gas into the air and, if left unattended, real and serious problems can result.

And yes, if you switch from and electric to gas range and don’t already have a gas connection in your kitchen, you’ll need that too. And that’s a service Boden is ready and able to provide. We are licensed plumbers and gas fitters, and that’s your assurance of the right combination of skill and strict adherence to safety standards to ensure the job meets or exceeds your expectations. Contact Boden today to learn more and, at the same time, we’ll be happy to answer all your questions.

Outdoor Grilling Safety in Sonoma and Glenn Ellen

blogMuch like baseball, gardening, and yard sales, grilling is a quintessential part of spring. After all, what’s better than being called outdoors by warmer weather and longer daylight hours than the tempting odors of flame-broiled food – meats, seafood, and veggies alike!

But it’s not all sunshine and burger, as outdoor grilling comes with its own fair share of risk. That’s why we’ve prepared the following safety tips to help keep everything delicious, and your family free from harm.

Get to Know Your Grill

Whether it’s gas, charcoal, or propane, brand new or well loved, familiarize yourself with your grill. Give it a thorough inspection and cleaning at the start of grilling season, and clean it after each use. Routinely check for any loose hoses, leaks, corrosion, or damage. And only light your grill according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Location, Location, Location  

Choose a flat, sturdy, non-flammable surface for your grill, at least 10 feet away from any buildings, hanging tree limbs, or awnings. If you routinely entertain outdoors, make sure the grill is away from heavily trafficked areas. Never attempt to move a grill once it’s been lit.

Don’t Get Burned

Have the proper grilling tools on hand, such as long-handled utensils and fire-resistant oven mitts. If you’re in charge of the grill, avoid wearing loose clothing, or clothing with strings, ties, or frills that could catch fire.

Be Prepared

Every home should have a working portable fire extinguisher. Never attempt to douse a grease fire with water, it will only make the flames flare. Should your gas grill catch fire, turn off the burners and tank valve if you can reach it safely. If you have a charcoal grill, closing the lid should stifle the flames. If the fire involves a propane tank, evacuate the area and call the fire department immediately.

One way to enjoy added safety and convenience is to connect your gas grill to your home’s natural gas supply. As licensed plumbers and gasfitters, that’s a job we’re eminently qualified to perform on your behalf. Contact Boden Plumbing Heating & Air today for more information or to request a new gas hook-up.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Home in Sonoma and Glen Ellen

blogAs we usher in a new season, it’s time to pull back the drapes, dust off the cobwebs, and get a jump on the annual chore of spring cleaning. But let’s face it, spending countless weekends dusting and scrubbing is no one’s idea of a good time. Luckily, with a little planning you’ll be able to eliminate all the hidden dirt and debris that’s accumulated all winter long in less time than usual.

In fact, here are some tips to help you stay on task and work more efficiently so that you can move on to enjoying the springtime weather with family and friends.

Come up with a plan. Is your priority to de-clutter, organize, or deep clean all the nooks and crannies of your home? Maybe it’s all of the above. Figure out what you want or need to accomplish, then prioritize what you’re going to tackle first. A spring cleaning checklist can help you stay focused and encourage you to keep going as you check items off the list.

Stock up on supplies. Whether you’re scrubbing the house from top to bottom, touching up paint, or reducing the clutter, you’ll work more efficiently if you have everything you need in advance to get the job done. Restock necessary cleaning products; gather storage bins or boxes for items you plan to store, donate, or toss; and, make room for items you plan to sell at an upcoming tag sale.

Set aside a block of time. With all the other activities and responsibilities you’re faced with, it’s easy to get distracted. So whether you only have an hour each day or plan to dedicate the next two weekends to deep cleaning and organizing, pencil that time in on your calendar to help keep yourself accountable.

Set the mood. Do you work better with music blaring or in complete silence? Prefer classical or pop? Will having your kids home be a help or a distraction? Getting in the right mood or frame of mind will help keep you motivated as you dive into your seasonal cleaning.

Tackle one room or project at a time. Trying to do everything at once can be exhausting, but working on one room or task at a time can help you work more efficiently and maximize your feeling of accomplishment.

And what happens when no amount of cleaning can make an old faucet or sink look any better than it already does, which isn’t very good? Then it might just be time to freshen up one or more of your home plumbing fixtures. Today, like always, you can count on Boden for expert installation and help in selecting the styles, colors, and finishes that best suit your home, taste, and budget.

What Contributes Most to Home Resale Value in Kenwood and Napa?

If you listened to everyone who said “do this because it will increase your home’s resale value,” you’d never stop spending money on your home. And you wouldn’t even come close to recouping your total investment.

Which is to say, adding to your home’s resale value, while generally a good idea, should rarely if ever be your sole reason for making certain improvements.

Let’s say, for example, that you live in a neighborhood where no one’s even heard of tankless water heaters. If in fact that were the case, then by all means add the tankless water heater if you think it’s a the best way to provide for your family’s hot water needs now and going forward, assuming you’re not planning to move any time soon. Down the road, the value of that tankless water heater to potential buyers will determine itself.

Here’s another way to look at enhancing your home’s resale value. Our best advice? Here you Boden Plumbinggo

  • Prioritize your home improvement needs
  • Establish a budget
  • Set a timetable
  • Get at least 3 estimates on each project on your list

Most importantly, don’t make resale value your primary reason for choosing one project over another. Your home is meant to be enjoyed, so make those improvements mostly likely to enhance your quality of life AND your family’s safety.

At the same time, we need to answer the question we posed at the top of this blog, i.e., “what contributes most to home resale value?”

While there are a lot of opinions out there, we like the list provided on the American Home Shield website:

  • Install a steel door
  • Update your kitchen
  • Create a new bedroom
  • Add a deck
  • Redo a bath

Click here to read more on the subject.

At the same time, please keep in mind that Boden Plumbing offers several ways to help add value to your home along with greater indoor comfort and convenience for your entire family. Our many residential services include:

  • Kitchen and bath upgrades
  • Replacement water heaters
  • High efficiency home heating and cooling systems
  • Various solutions to help improve the quality of your indoor air

Contact us today for more information, or to schedule an in-home quote.

Bathroom Cleaning Shortcuts in Kenwood & Napa

Cleaning the bathroom is nobody’s idea of a good time. But between the teeth brushing, shaving, bathing, and everything else that goes on, it’s a chore that begs to be heeded, and in timely fashion at that.

So isn’t it nice to know that with a few easy shortcuts, you can get your bathroom sparkling clean and guest-ready in no time flat? Best of all, you can do it without the use of harsh chemicals.Boden Plumbing

Here are 5 simple tricks for removing (and preventing) soap scum, disinfecting the toilet, and making your fixtures shine without breaking a sweat.

  1. Showerhead – Easily remove mineral deposits from your showerhead by soaking it in vinegar overnight. Simply fill a plastic zip lock bag with white vinegar, wrap it around the showerhead, and secure it with a rubber band. In the morning, wipe the showerhead down with a clean cloth.
  1. Mirror – Fill a clean spray bottle with a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar and keep the bottle in your bathroom cabinet. After you brush your teeth in the morning, spray the mirror down and wipe with paper towel.
  1. Toilet bowl – Before jumping in the shower, flush the toilet and sprinkle the bowl with baking soda or Borax. Let it sit while you shower, then give it a scrub with a toilet brush.
  1. Chrome fixtures – Remove cloudy stains from chrome fixtures with lemon. Use half a squeezed lemon to polish away mineral and hard water deposits, them wipe clean with a soft cloth.
  1. Soap scum – Prevent soap scum build-up by wiping your shower walls down with a squeegee after each use. Use a terry cloth towel to wipe down the bathtub as well. If soap scum does build up, spray it with a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water, let sit for a few minutes, then rinse clean.

Of course, if all the cleaning in the world still doesn’t get your bathroom looking the way you’d like it to, maybe it’s time to spruce things up with a new sink, faucet, shower, tub, and so on.  For help with your bathroom make-over project, contact Boden plumbing.  We offer great advice, superior products, plenty of options, and skilled installation service.  In short, everything it takes to make your bathroom look and feel like new.

Common Water Heater Repairs in Sonoma and Santa Rosa

Even if you’re brand new to the whole home ownership thing, chances are you’ve already dealt with a plumbing “issue” or to. Either replacing or fixing something that was just plain bugging you, or engaging in something more extensive like a kitchen or bath upgrade.blog2

Well, in our experience here at Boden Plumbing Heating & Air, there are two types of home owners: those who don’t even want to think about home repair problems until they happen, and those who want as much advance knowledge and warning as they can get so they can better prepare themselves for the disruption and expense to follow.

By virtue of the fact that you’re reading this blog, we’re going to assume that you’re the “I want to know” type, and we’re more than happy to oblige.

So here you go – a list of common water heater repair symptoms both here in Northern California and around the country:

  • Not enough or not hot water at all
  • Rust colored water
  • The smell of rotten eggs
  • Low rumbling or popping noise
  • Higher pitched whining
  • Water leaking around the base of the storage tank

Even if you’re the handy type, don’t go exploring troubleshooting on your own at least until you do the following:

  • Turn off power to your electric water heater. Do this by turning off the circuit breaker or fuse powering the heater.
  • For a gas water heater, turn the gas pilot control valve to “pilot” setting.
  • Shut off the water supply.

Or, you can simply pick up the phone and give us a call: Boden Plumbing Heating & Air. We’ve been making sure families like yours have all the hot water they need, when they need it, since 1992. Our services include water heater performance and safety inspections, precision repairs, and new installations. Boden: how can we best serve you today?