3 Problems Happening Behind the Scenes of Your Shower

Some of the biggest issues in your shower could be the ones that you can’t see. There is a lot going on behind the scenes in your shower, including all your pipework. When an issue occurs there, it can cause a lot of damage before you become aware of the problem. Here are five problems that occur behind the scenes and warning signs that may help you spot the problem sooner.

Are These Issues Happening Behind the Scenes of Your Shower?

Hairline Cracks Letting Moisture into Your Walls

If a leak is flowing onto your floor, it’s pretty easy to spot by the puddle left behind. But if a hairline crack is allowing moisture into the area behind your shower, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to detect. Hairline cracks can happen in the tub itself (especially if a lighter, less expensive material is used). They can also happen along the seal where the tub meets the wall. Old tile may be to blame for the leak as well. Hairline cracks can happen where old grout wears away and lets water slip in. In some cases, these hairline cracks are best treated by replacing the shower instead of trying to repair it.

What are the warning signs?

  • Water stains on walls behind the bathroom or on the ceiling below the bathroom
  • Mold or mildew appearing in areas other than the shower walls
  • Warped walls or flooring around the shower

Drain Sizes Not Up to Code

There are very specific building codes attached to the size of drain required in your bathtub or shower. These codes have changed over time, too. If you are living in an older house that’s never had a bathroom renovation, there is a good chance your drain sizes aren’t up to code. They may not be up to code if a builder installed them who didn’t know better. But why does size matter? Because it’s going to affect how the shower drains. If your drain is too small for your shower, you could end up flooding the shower pan and causing water damage. Even if you haven’t encountered this issue yet, it’s one that you’ll want to address before it becomes a problem in the future.

What are the warning signs?

  • Bathtub or shower drains slowly
  • Standing water while you are showering

Corroded Pipes Leaking Behind Your Drywall

Unless you have x-ray vision, it’s tough to know what’s going on with your pipes. Unfortunately, pipes don’t last forever. Pipes can corrode over time, especially if the plumbing system hasn’t been properly maintained. Corroded pipes can become weak and allow leaks to start. Because these pipes run through your walls and all over your home, a leak can cause a lot of damage. If you live in an older home, it’s a good idea to have your pipes inspected to determine if they need replacing. New homes aren’t immune, though, either. Poor quality pipes can spring leaks even when they are new, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye out.

What are the warning signs?

  • Water stains on drywall of walls or ceilings
  • Warped walls or flooring, including bulging or giving way when you touch it

Worried About What’s Happening Behind the Scenes in Your Shower?

If you suspect that problems are happening behind the scenes of your shower, you need to contact our team right away. The sooner we can diagnose the issue, the less water damage is likely to happen. We will help you diagnose the issues happening with your plumbing system and get them fixed. We can help address minor leaks or major plumbing renovations throughout your home.

5 Reasons To Get Indoor Air Quality Tested

5 Reasons to Get Your Home’s Air Quality Tested

Homes are getting more energy-efficient, and that’s a good thing. Good insulation and new windows keep your home comfortable, reduce your monthly energy bill, and do their part to protect the environment through reduced energy usage. But as homes are built to seal up drafts and keep treated air locked inside, they can simultaneously ruin your home’s indoor air quality.

The first step to knowing if your home has poor air quality is to get it tested. A professional HVAC company can send out a technician to test your home’s air. They can zero in on common causes for poor air quality and offer recommendations to make sure fresh air circulates through your home.

Here are five reasons to take that first step:

1. You or your family’s medical conditions are getting worse.

If you have asthma or allergies, you probably stay inside when there’s pollen or poor air quality outside. But many of those irritants can come inside without having a way back out of your house. Every time someone comes inside or opens the front door, pollen, dust, and air pollution follow them. If your HVAC doesn’t have a clear way to pump them outside, they will accumulate on the filter. Finer toxins will slip through the filter and endlessly circulate through your home.

A certified technician can test the air and make sure your filter is doing its job to pull irritants out of it.

2. Toxins can give people sick building syndrome.

You may have heard about sick building syndrome becoming a problem in offices more than in homes. When large commercial buildings made their windows unopenable and sealed the buildings to make them meet environmental regulations, the air inside the buildings grew stagnant. Printer ink, germs, mold on a large scale, and chemical residue built up in the air and people’s respiratory systems started to suffer.

The same thing has started to happen in homes. While your house might not face the same industrial chemicals or high amounts of foot traffic like in office buildings, the contaminants, smoke, and mildew can build up until your air isn’t safe. Even if you don’t have a preexisting health condition, poor air quality can give you sick building syndrome.

3. Poor air quality is noticeable to potential buyers and tenants.

If you plan on putting your home on the market or opening it up for tenants, you know that first impressions matter. You can clean your house, cover cooking smells, and plug-in air fresheners, but nothing can mask the feeling of poor air quality. New visitors can sense the contamination or even develop a slight difficulty breathing while touring your home, even if there isn’t a smell. This sixth sense can make buyers or tenants reconsider.

4. You added new windows and doors to an older home.

Many new homes take air quality into consideration when the plans are being made. Because architectural firms know that more and more people are buying energy-efficient HVAC systems and double-paned windows, they plan out better ventilation to keep the air clean. But if you added these new, green features to an older home, your home’s ventilation wasn’t designed to keep up.

If you have installed new doors or windows or have added new insulation to your house, have a professional test the indoor air quality just in case. You might not yet have noticed a buildup of toxins, and you can stop problems before they start.

5. You can smell mold or stagnant air.

Many times, you can sense a problem just like new visitors can. Whenever you get home, the air feels stagnant. Food smells from the previous day linger throughout the house. Bathrooms or your laundry room always smell faintly like mold. All of these warning signs mean contaminants aren’t being pumped out of your home. Instead, they’re being circulated throughout the house or, even worse, building up.

Whether you feel sicker, sense that something is off about your home’s air, or just did a lot of renovation, don’t wait. Contact us at SWAN Plumbing, Heating & Air of Denver for a quick indoor air quality test. Once you have the results, our experts can recommend the next best steps to make your home safer.

What Type Of HVAC Filter To Use

What Type of Filter Should I Put In My HVAC System?

Routine maintenance is essential to keep your home’s HVAC system running properly. One of the easiest, and most important, aspects of furnace maintenance is keeping the air filter clean. Not only does a clean air filter improve the quality of the air in your home, it also helps your HVAC system perform at peak efficiency. A dirty filter will restrict the flow of air, which can cause your HVAC system to fail. That’s why experts say that HVAC air filters need to be changed every 30 to 60 days. The problem is, choosing the right one can be a challenge.

Types of HVAC Filters

There are a few different types of HVAC filters that will filter the air and improve your HVAC system’s performance. Some are very inexpensive, and readily available at a local home improvement store, other options require installation by a trained professional. Here are some tips to help make the choice easier for you.

Fiberglass Filters

This the most common type of HVAC air filter since they’re both widely available and inexpensive. These filters are created from fiberglass strands that are held together in a frame. They’re good at catching large airborne particles like dust, but they aren’t able to purify the air like some of the other types of filters available.

Pleated Filters

These filters can be polyester, paper, or cotton. The material is folded into accordian-like pleats which increases the surface area. That means they are able to capture dust, dirt, pet dander, dust mites and even hair before it enters the HVAC system. They’re available in both washable and disposable forms.

MERV Filters

The majority of the HVAC filters available for residential units carry a MERV rating. MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and it’s used to describe the level of filtration a filter provides. MERV rankings range from 1 to 16 and the higher the ranking, the better the filter performs.

HEPA Filters

HEPA filters are very good at trapping airborne contaminants. Because of the densely packed fibers, they’re able to remove up to 99.7 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. They virtually eliminate allergens, dust, dirt, and other irritants from the air before they reach the HVAC system for improved air quality.

Which Filter Is Best?

The answer to that question depends upon the manufacturer’s recommendation, what you expect from the filter, and ultimately your budget.

Manufacturer’s Recommendation

Before you go out and buy a new HVAC air filter, take the time to read your owner’s manual. You’ll not only find instructions for changing the filter, but also recommendations about the size and type of filter to use. They’ve tested the different types of filters and they know which ones work best.

Your Air Quality Needs

Indoor air quality can have a major impact on people who suffer with allergies or other breathing problems. If this is the case for someone in your household, consider a filter that removes more particles from the air. If not, then a less expensive, fiberglass filter may well satisfy your needs.

What’s Your Budget?

HVAC air filters start at a few dollars each for the fiberglass type while the higher-end filters have a heftier price tag. While it’s true in this case that you get what you pay for, you don’t have to break the bank to make an improvement. If you’re on a tight budget, an inexpensive, new filter is better than a clogged high end filter.


Your HVAC system works hard all year to keep your family comfortable and it needs a little attention from time to time. Make sure that you’re checking your air filters and changing them regularly to ensure the air flows freely. You’ll save money on your utility bills because your unit will run more efficiently and it will extend the life of your HVAC system. Contact us if you want more information about HVAC filters and we’ll be happy to help you make the right choice for your system.