Should I Cover My Outside AC?

Pros & Cons of Wrapping Up an Air Conditioner for Winter

Should I cover my air conditioner?

Ask any air conditioner technician and they’ll tell you the key to having an air conditioner that lasts a LONG time is good maintenance. So, when you hear of different ways to protect your AC, like covering your outside AC unit over the winter, you may think it’s a good thing to do.

Not necessarily.

There are many important maintenance tasks homeowners should be sure to take care of. Changing the air filter on a regular schedule is probably the most important task you can do. But there are some AC maintenance tips you may hear that are not worth your time and effort. Sometimes these so-called great tips may cause you problems.

Covering up your air conditioner over the winter may be one of those tips you should probably ignore.


Why you should think twice about covering your air conditioner

It may seem like a good idea to buy one of the many available AC unit wraps made specifically to cover an outdoor air conditioner (aka the condenser) during the winter. For only 20 or 30 bucks, it may seem like a smart purchase for protecting your air conditioner.

If you do cover your AC correctly, it can be a good idea for your home. However, covering your air conditioner can cause problems.


Pros for Covering Your Air Conditioner

An AC wrap can protect your outside unit from dirt, debris, snow, and ice. Here in Kansas, we see a lot of problems with leaves and dirt getting stuck in air conditioners. You should clean your air conditioner and its coils when it gets covered in this muck. Having a cover on your AC all winter will make that spring cleaning task quick and easy.

However, there are some hazards most fabric AC wraps can’t protect our unit from. Ice falling on an AC can damage it. If your air conditioner sits under an area where icicles form, you may want to cover it, but not with a fabric wrap. Instead, put something hard over the top of the unit, such as a piece of plywood.


Cons for Covering Your Outdoor AC

2 air conditioners installed at Manhattan, KS homeWhile AC wraps can come in handy when it comes to keeping debris out, a wrapped air conditioner wrapped can attract animals. A wrap can be seen as a welcoming home to mice and other little creatures. These rodents may decide to make your AC their winter home. While they are huddled under the wrap staying warm, the small animals may nibble on the wires and damage your air conditioning unit. If you do choose to get an AC wrap, you will want to get one designed to keep small creatures out.

Another reason to not wrap an AC is that they are designed to be outdoors. The unit was built and tested to withstand the conditions. Covering an AC for part of the year may prevent some rust or damage, but it does not make up for the potential hazards that wrapping it can cause.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you cover your air conditioner, make sure you uncover it BEFORE your AC needs to start working again.

You will likely have a lot of problems on your hands if you don’t uncover an air conditioner before it gets hot and the AC starts up again. You may even find that your air conditioning unit isn’t working at all!

If you find your AC isn’t working, give Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in Manhattan a call for a quick repair at (785) 776-5012.


Give Your AC Plenty of Space

Your outdoor unit needs space around it to properly work.

When landscaping or decorating, be careful to avoid putting anything within 2-3 feet of an outdoor unit. If you are planting something, make sure that it will not grow too close to a unit over time. Keep any nearby plants from getting no closer than two or three feet from the air conditioner itself.

Standard Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning in Manhattan, KS

Get a professional AC service from the experienced team at Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. All our HVAC technicians are trained and experienced in servicing any type of air conditioning system.

Give us a call today to schedule AC maintenance at (785) 776-5012, or you can conveniently request service by sending us a message online.



When You Need Professional Drain Cleaning

7 benefits of professional drain cleaning service in Manhattan, KS

7 Benefits of Hiring a Manhattan Plumber to Clean Clogged Drains


When you have a clog, it stops more than your water. It makes simple daily tasks difficult. In wanting to find a drain cleaning solution right away, it is tempting to reach for one of those drain cleaners you can buy at the store.

But are they safe? And will they be effective?

Clogs in your home can be a significant hassle. You may simply not have the time to wait for it to clear out before you do laundry or shower. If that is the case and you are looking at drain cleaners as an option, think again. Drain cleaners are dangerous chemicals.

kitchen sink drain cleaning

Do Drain Cleaners Work?

Yes, they do. But the problem is that these products are not meant to be used regularly or regularly. Drain cleaners only take care of an issue temporarily. And if you use them too much, it can damage your pipes, leading to further issues down the line.

What chemicals are in typical drain cleaners?

Hydrochloric acid is used in most drain cleaners. This chemical can create harmful fumes, especially when combined with other chemicals like bleach or ammonia. It’s also corrosive to skin and eyes on contact, so if it leaks out of the bottle onto your hands while you open it, severe burns are possible.

There is a good reason for all the warning labels on drain cleaners. According to the National Institute of Health, these chemicals can be harmful if you swallow them, come in contact with them or even breathe them in. If you do have these cleaners in your home, you have to be sure to store them in a safe place, away from pets and children.

clogged bathroom sink


There are other problems with using store-bought drain cleaners. For one, they’re only effective on certain types of clogs. They also don’t address the root cause of your drain problem and can cause additional problems if you use them too often or in situations where they aren’t needed.

Drain cleaners you can buy in the store are notorious for leading to a cycle of slow and stopped drains. Because these solvents quickly flow past the obstruction once water flow is restored, they can leave parts of the clog in your plumbing system. This leaves your drain susceptible to more clogs later.

If you use drain cleaners too often, they can cause damage to your plumbing system. They contain strong chemicals that may be harmful to the metal piping of your drains and septic tank. Furthermore, these harsh chemicals are ineffective on some types of clogs, including hair or grease balls.


How Drain Cleaners Affect the Environment

Drain cleaners are bad for the environment. They contain harsh chemicals that eventually make their way into the water system. This can further damage organisms within rivers and lakes or even cause groundwater contamination.


Why would a professional drain cleaning service be safer?

A professional is trained to use the chemicals properly and know how much of them they need. They have protective gear that you don’t, like gloves or masks, so it’s less likely that these dangerous chemicals will cause an accident in your home.

Plus another benefit to hiring a professional plumber to clean your drain pipe is that they will also be able to spot any other plumbing problems you may be having. They will find issues you were unaware of and fix them before they become a bigger problem.

7 benefits of professional drain cleaning service in Manhattan, KS


7 Benefits of Professional Drain Cleaning Service

  1. MONEY: It may be cheaper in the long run to have a professional fix it. They will ensure your drain runs well, stopping you from having to buy more drain cleaner if/when your efforts fail. And they can clear it more thoroughly, preventing other problems in your pipes.
  2. SAFETY: You don’t have to worry about the dangers of using these harmful chemicals or even with having them in your home.
  3. FULLY FIXES THE CLOG: We are experts. We won’t just tackle your clog, we’ll make sure there aren’t any other problems lurking to strike later. Our plumbers are experienced at handling whatever issue could arise and are experts at spotting problems before they happen.
  4. NO HASSLE: Leave the mess to us
  5. PEACE OF MIND: The chances are that a bottle of draino will not solve your problem entirely or for long. You’ll be left wondering if it’s really cleared out. You don’t have to worry about whether your drain is cleaned when you have a professional doing a job.
  6. YOUR HOME SMELLS BETTER: A clog in your sink can create a smell that makes its way throughout your home. Getting a drain professionally cleaned means whatever material in your pipes will be eliminated. You won’t have to hold your nose while taking a shower or running the dishwasher.
  7. SPOT THE REAL CAUSE: Sometimes, what’s causing the clog is never going to be affected by a store-bought drain cleaner. If it’s a tree limb or other massive obstruction, no chemical liquid will fix that. An experienced professional plumber will spot the cause of your problem and have a solution to fix it fully.

The Right Material for a Bad Clog

Professional drain cleaning companies like Standard use technology that you can’t easily purchase anywhere else. For example, the Hydrojet is a specialized high-pressure hose that blasts away blockages and other residue.

The Hydrojet is fully portable and comes with connectors for almost any drain outlet. Once applied to a drain, hydro jetting can blast in many directions to get rid of unnecessary clogs.

drain cleaner vs plumber


Where to Find Professional Drain Cleaning Service in Manhattan, KS

If you find yourself with a stubborn clog, skip the Drano and call the Manhattan plumbers who homeowners have trusted for over a century! Standard Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning provides complete plumbing services for homes in and around Manhattan, including Wamego and Junction City.

Call on the expert drain cleaning plumbers at Standard Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning today at (785) 776-5012 or by sending us a message for service online.


1 Task to Make Sure Your AC is Ready for Summer

A Spring Tip to Prevent an Air Conditioner Emergency

outside air conditioning condenser unit serviced by Standard in Manhattan, KSMuch of the summer work we do in homes all across Manhattan, Wamego, Junction City and surrounding towns comes down to one thing: fixing an air conditioner. Over the hottest days, we are flooded with phone calls from homeowners who suddenly find out their AC system isn’t working.

We usually can quickly solve their problem with simple maintenance or tune-ups. Sometimes more of a repair is needed for the air conditioning system. And then there are times when the system is too broken down (or simply too old) to be worth a large repair. In those times, our technicians work hard to get a new air conditioning system installed.

It is quite common for a breakdown or problem to happen without the homeowner having any clue there was a looming problem. It can be quite a surprise to wake up sweating because suddenly your AC has started blowing hot air instead of cold. It doesn’t take long during some of our hot Manhattan summers for a home’s inside temperature to shoot up when there’s not a cooling system doing its job properly.

As we know, another hot Kansas summer will be here before we know it. Before it comes, we want homeowners to know the best thing they can do to avoid any sort of air conditioner emergency.

There is one simple thing you need to do.


The 1 Best Way to Avoid an AC Emergency

You need to turn your air conditioner on. Yes, that’s pretty much it. But there is a catch. It’s when you turn your AC that make this simple step be effective.

You need to test your AC unit in the spring. When it’s blustery and chilly outside, it may seem odd to be thinking about needing your AC. But that is precisely when you need to turn it on for a test run. This time of year Kansans are not relying on their AC, and also probably not needing their furnace as much as they did. At Standard and other HVAC companies across Manhattan, this our slow time. While we often schedule heating and cooling installation and maintenance checks during this time, we are not getting a lot of calls for repairs. We are more readily available to come to your home right away, often the same day.

Finding out your air conditioner isn’t putting out cold air in March or April means we’ll definitely get to fixing the problem before you need your home’s cooling system. However, if you wait until the first 80-degree day to find out your AC is broken, you’ll likely have to wait. You won’t just have to wait for work from us at Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, but any reliable, professional HVAC technician will also be swamped with AC repairs at that time. You and your family will unfortunately be left sweating it out until a technician is available. Some will resort to using a less reputable repair person for the job.


A Manhattan Homeowner’s Spring Air Conditioner Test

To test if your AC is working, set your thermostat several degrees below current temperature. Also make sure that it is set to the COOL setting.

Do you hear your outside AC unit kick on? If you do, you’re not out of the woods yet. A running air conditioner doesn’t mean everything is in working order.

Check to see if you feel cold (not just cool) air coming from your vents. Your cooling system likely already has cool air inside it that you may immediately feel, but that is not air that’s actually been cooled by the system. Wait to ensure that the air you are feeling is cold, air-conditioned air. You may need to turn your thermostat down a few more degrees to help you make sure it is cold air created by your air conditioning system.


Beyond the Spring AC Test

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that an air conditioner you test in March or April will work just as well in June or July. A lot can happen over a couple months. Dirt and pollen could clog up your outside unit and cause problems. A rodent could take to nibbling on exposed wires to your AC unit. There are a variety of other issues that could happen that a homeowner may easily miss.

How can you be sure your AC is ready for the next Kansas summer? Contact us. Our team of experienced heating and air technicians can not only repair broken air conditioners, we can maintain and tune-up working systems to ensure they continue working throughout the next season and beyond.

With a Spring AC Check & Tune-Up, one of our experienced HVAC technicians will come out and do all necessary testing of your home’s air conditioning system. We will make sure that your AC is working properly and efficiently. An inefficient system can waste energy and possibly leave you with a larger than expected energy bill.

Standard’s Spring AC Check & Tune-Up Includes:

• Install new 1” filter (or clean re-usable one)
• Check Freon levels
• Clean condenser
• Check condensate drain and clean if necessary
• Check evaporator coil, electrical connections and compressor
• Clean and check thermostat
• Check and record all electrical readings
• Check, adjust and align belts

Because a tune-up of your cooling system is the best way to ensure your home is ready for a hot Manhattan summer, we are offering a special deal. Contact Standard today to take advantage of our Spring AC Check and Tune-Up Special available through June 30, 2023.

It is our commitment to provide the heating and air service you need as quickly as possible. If you allow us to service your air conditioning system before the summer sets in, you can have peace of mind that your system was checked and maintained by experienced AC professionals.

ac tune up maintenance discount deal

Annual Heating & Cooling Maintenance to Make Sure Your AC is Ready for Summer

While this special can have you set for summer, Standard does provide a maintenance service all year round. With our VIP Maintenance program, you can receive maintenance checks, tune-ups, discounts on repairs and a variety of other great benefits all year long. There are great reasons to become a VIP member.  Call us at (785) 776-5012 to see how Standard in Manhattan can take the worry and work of home maintenance off your hands.

Graphic image of Standard’s VIP Maintenance program

Sink Gurgles When I Flush the Toilet

sink gurgles when flush the toilet

Troubleshooting Toilet Clog with Gurgling Bathroom Sink


A lot of things can happen in your pipes. That means a lot can go wrong. Some problems are worse than others.

Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has provided quality plumbing repair to communities in and around Manhattan for a century! So you can imagine that we have seen everything that can go wrong with pipes and home plumbing.

While often we get calls for what homeowners are seeing, sometimes they tell us about the toilet and sink problem they are hearing.

Gurgling. Bubbling. These are not things you want to hear coming from your sink simply because you flushed the toilet.

It sounds wrong to hear a sink gurgle when you’re not using it. And for a good reason. It is not supposed to.

Does a sink that gurgles after a toilet flushes mean you have a big problem? Not necessarily. We will go over the possible things that can cause a gurgling sound from your sink and some troubleshooting steps to get it fixed.


When a Sink Gurgles After a Toilet Flushes

Flush blue toilet and sink gurgles

Whenever there is a gurgling sound coming from a sink, there is likely an airflow problem in your pipes. The sound is actually from air passing through the sink P-trap, which is not supposed to happen.

Air flows easily through the lines in a plumbing system working as it should. This airflow helps waste run smoothly out of your home. So a gurgling sound indicates that there is negative air pressure building up in the drain line. There is a negative airflow happening that is pushing back through the drains.

If your pipes are not getting vented properly, the water flow may be affected and even become blocked.



Gurgling Sink is Sign of a Clog

You don’t want to ignore this warning sign of problems in your pipes. It means you likely have a clog in one of a few places.

There could be a clog in your drain line, not far from your toilet. A drain line clog typically happens when someone puts wrong things down a toilet. Most often, with this type of clog, your toilet will be backing up and overflowing. Fortunately, it will likely be easy to fix with just a plunger.

The other likely place for a clog is deeper in the sewer lines. There may be a clog in the main sewer line that connects to your community’s sewer system, or the clog may be in your home’s vent stack. This vent stack is a pipe that releases sewer gas out through your roof.


sink gurgles when toilet flushes


Troubleshooting Step: Plunge the toilet

Whether or not you have a clogged toilet, the best way to fix the problem is by plunging your toilet.

Close off the drain to nearby sinks. This is important as it helps ensure optimum air pressure happens as you are plunging. You can use duct tape to seal off sink drains.


With a good plunger (read about some top-reviewed plungers), pump it into your toilet a dozen or more times.


Open sinks back up and flush the toilet. If there is no longer a gurgling sound coming from the sink, you may likely have solved your problem! However, if your sink is still bubbling or gurgling, you should try plunging again to push out the clog.


If the plunger does not fix it, you can try tackling the clog with an auger, also known as a plumber’s snake. This tool often is able to remove clogs that plungers can’t.


If these steps don’t fix the problem, the clog is probably too far down to easily reach. A longer motorized tool may be needed. However, if the clog is deeper into the sewer lines, a different tactic will be required.

Your best option is to call for a repair from a professional with drain and sewer experience like the plumbers here at Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. One of our experienced and trained plumbers will be able to diagnose the source of the clog and completely fix it.

Standard has been plumbing homes and businesses in Manhattan, KS since 1923! You can trust us with your home’s pipes. Call us today for a quick repair – (785) 776-5012.

Standard Plumbing in Manhattan, KS can fix a stubborn clog


Don’t Ignore a Gurgling Sink

A gurgling sink is a sign you have a problem. It may be a relatively minor problem like a clog that can easily be removed, but it should not get ignored.

If you don’t fix the issue now, it could turn into a big problem later, and one that is more expensive to fix. A clog that does not get removed can get worse and cause damage in your home, like cracking pipes or collapsing sewer lines. Waste may start backing up into toilets or bathtubs.


Preventing a Clog

Drains get clogged in many different ways, but fortunately, the problem can be avoided many times.

Remember this important rule: Toilet paper is the only thing to flush down a toilet (other than waste).

You should never flush any other type of paper. That includes paper towels and wet wipes. Do not flush down the wet wipes that claim to be flushable. They can still cause clogs and problems to your plumbing system.

Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning provides professional drain cleaning service to the entire Manhattan area, including Wamego and Junction City. We provide a full range of plumbing services, including service on pipes and sewers. So you can count on our team of experienced plumbers to handle whatever problem is happening in your pipes.

If you have a stubborn clog or any other plumbing issue, request service conveniently online or call Standard at (785) 776-5012.

Mold in Your Ductless Mini Split

ductless mini split "does your system have mold?"

HVAC: Maintenance How to Clean a Mini Split Unit

Does your ductless system have mold?

Ductless mini splits are becoming much more popular options in America for providing comfort for living and work spaces. They are modern HVAC systems that provide heating and cooling for homes, offices, and other places. As the name suggests, they require no ductwork. So these ductless mini split systems are an excellent option for spaces where it is not possible or feasible to install ductwork. But they can face their own unique problems, including finding mold in the mini split.


Standard Heating & AIr is Mitsubishi Diamond Contractor in Manhattan area for mini splits

Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning are professional installers of mini split systems here in Manhattan and surrounding Kansas communities. We are the area’s Diamond Contractor for Mitsubishi ductless systems.

We provide full service for ductless units including repair and maintenance work on any brand or type of ductless system. Our techs are experienced at handling whatever problem is happening. They have often been called out to handle a repair on a mini split unit that was completely preventable.

Just as traditional heating and cooling devices need regular maintenance, so does a mini-split unit. One of the most common problems we run into here at Standard is servicing a mini split unit that is dirty and moldy.

A dirty mini split can lead to several problems. Having mold inside a unit that is dispersing air throughout your living space can greatly decrease the quality of the air you breathe.

Mold in mini split system

Finding Mold in Your Mini Split

Finding out that you have mold in your mini split unit can be quite alarming, not to mention disgusting. But unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think.

When not properly maintained, the inside of your ductless mini split could become a home for mold and mildew. A ductless unit with mold inside emits mold spores into the air you breathe. This damages your indoor air quality and can make create problems for your home and also be detrimental to you and your family’s health.

Whenever mold is found or suspected, a homeowner should not ignore it. Mold can cause a variety of problems, especially to the health of the people and pets living in the home. The Environmental Protection Agency lists the Ten Things You Should Know About Mold.

5 signs you have mold in your mini split

5 signs of a Mold Problem

While opening your mini split unit will likely reveal whether you have a mold problem, there are some other tell-tale signs that you may notice, including:

  1. A bad odor that may smell like a dirty sock or something cheesy
  2. Black or odd-colored splotches on the wall unit, visible when lifting the cover on the air handler
  3. Finding a lot of moisture or standing water beneath your ductless unit
  4. Having increased difficulty with respiratory problems
  5. Experiencing more allergy-like symptoms inside your home


How to Clean Mold from Mini Split

So what can you do when you find disgusting black mold in your mini split? One option you have is to call for cleaning and maintenance from Standard Plumbing, Heating, & Air Conditioning. Our mini split cleaning and tune-up services start at $79.99. We can quickly come out to get your system completely cleaned so you can quickly go back to having clean, fresh air again.

You could also try to clean the mold out of your ductless unit yourself. Opening and cleaning a mini split is typically not too difficult and does not require great technical skill. Cleaning mold from your mini split is something just about any homeowner can handle themselves.

Process to Clean Mold out of a Mini Split

  1. Start by turning off your system.
  2. Flip up the top cover in order to remove the filters.
  3. Find the two filters right at the top and pull them up and out.
  4. Take those filters to a sink and rinse them off.
  5. Allow the filters to completely dry (wait at least 20 minutes)
  6. Put the filters back in the mini split unit.
  7. Put the cover back on. It should click in place.

It is important to note that some mini-split systems have an additional antimicrobial, anti-allergy filter. If your has that, remove it from the larger filter before washing as this special filter should not be cleaned. Reattach it back to the other filters once they are completely dry.

Mold in mini split

Following those steps you should be able to successfully remove any dust, debris, and mold. But if the mold in your ductless unit is a bigger problem or if mold is apparent on parts of your mini split system other than the filters, you may need professional service. Call us at Standard for a thorough mini split cleaning and tune-up by contacting us online or by calling (785) 776-5012.

Click here for more information on our professional mini split mold cleaning service.


How to Prevent Mold Problems

6. Mini split mold control preventionThe best way to prevent mold from developing in your mini split is by keeping the unit always turned on.

You can prevent future mold problems by simply not turning off your system, even when you don’t need it on. Unlike a furnace and AC system, mini splits do not cycle on and off again repeatedly. These units will instead continue operating in low-power mode.

When a mini split is on, the device is doing more than just working to provide the desired temperature. It is also draining moisture. When you turn the mini split off, it cannot work to remove the moisture. And so that moisture stays inside the unit causing mold to form.

For ductless mini split system installment, repair or maintenance in Manhattan, Wamego, Junction City or the surrounding communities, call the Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning mini split experts at (785) 776-5012.