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plumbing problems grilling blog post june 2021It may seem like most plumbing problems occur in the winter season when temperatures plummet and the weather gets extreme, but the summer months can bring their fair share of plumbing issues as well. One thing is for sure, there is never a convenient time to experience plumbing problems.

Luckily, most summer plumbing problems can be avoided or remedied with some easy fixes. As always, the technicians at Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing are on hand to provide plumbing service whenever you need it. No project is too big or too small!

1. Flooding

Summer downpours can quickly turn into unexpected flooding problems, especially here in the South. If your home uses a sump pump, make sure it is in good working condition as we enter the summer months to avoid flooding issues in your basement or cellar. The master plumbers at Gilman have the knowledge and expertise to detect, diagnose, and fix a wide range of plumbing problems when it comes to sump pumps. If you’re experiencing sump pump issues or just want to prepare for the summer months, give us a call!

2. Clogged kitchen disposals

Backyard barbeques, fresh produce, and grilling out are just a few of the summer bonuses we get to enjoy now that warmer weather is here! The downside is that all of the hard fruit and vegetable scraps can wreak havoc on your garbage disposal. To avoid any major clogs, make sure you’re tossing things like melon rinds, corncob husks, and greasy foods into the trash and not the disposal. Running cold water for a few seconds before and after using the garbage disposal can also help clear out any remaining bits of food and prevent clogs.

3. Washing machine issues

Summertime fun often comes with extra loads of laundry in the form of sweaty clothing and wet towels. Before placing any extra strain on your machine, make sure the machine’s hoses are in tip-top shape. A Gilman plumbing technician can examine the hoses for leaks, cracks, or bulges that could result in a burst line. If possible, try not to leave the house while the washing machine is running. The amount of damage from a burst line can accumulate quickly if no one is home to address the issue immediately.

4. Sprinkler problems

If you have a sprinkler in your yard, be sure to check it for wear and tear. Sprinkler heads are easy to damage – especially when mowing the grass – and undetectable leaks can lead to a massive water bill! By examining the sprinkler heads and lines before use, you can avoid an expensive utility bill down the road. If you do notice damage to your sprinkler, a local hardware store can provide all the replacement parts you would need to fix it!

5. Clogged drain lines

As the temperature rises in the summer, trees spread their roots under the ground searching for water. Unfortunately, they’ll often go straight to underground pipes or drain lines. Older sewer lines are especially vulnerable since rust and cracks can allow roots to do significant damage. They can also let water from heavy rains seep into the pipes and back up into your toilet or tub. Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is always on call for these types of stinky emergencies.

Whether it’s an overflowing toilet, a broken pipe, or a clogged drain, plumbing issues can put a damper on the summer fun. It’s important to always address plumbing problems as soon as possible in order to prevent major property damage. The experts at Gilman Heating, Cooling & Plumbing understand how much plumbing problems can disrupt your summer plans. Call us for exceptional plumbing service any time this summer!

Blog Post backyard BBQIt's almost Memorial Day Weekend, which marks the unofficial start of summer in Virginia. Whether you are enjoying time at the river, beach, or a backyard cookout, we hope you have a wonderful time. With summer on the horizon, we wanted to share a few tips to get your air conditioning ready for the warmer weather!

1. Check the outside unit. Over the winter and spring, it is likely that some debris has piled up around your outdoor AC unit. Be sure to clear that away and inspect it for any damage that may have occurred. 

2. Don't forget about your filters. Make sure you start the season with clean filters. 

3. Inspect your ductwork. Check the exposed ductwork for any signs of damage. 

4. Check your indoor vents. Make sure they aren't being blocked by furniture, rugs, etc. 

5. Have a maintenance check. It's always a good idea to have regular maintenance checks for your unit.

If you are in need of a maintenance check or have questions about your air conditioning, please contact us today!

Gilman Blog April 2021Your garbage disposal is probably something you use every day but often take for granted. It's just there, you use it, and you forget it. Every once and a while it's a good idea to give your garbage disposal some love and give it a clean! Here are a few tips on how to freshen up your disposal:

1. Wash it. Rinse your disposal with hot water and soap to remove any remaining debris. Make sure you clean the splash guard too!

2. Deodorize it. The next step is to pour half a cup of baking soda into the drain and let it sit for 30 minutes. The baking soda will remove any odors that the soup and water didn't take care of. After the 30 minutes is up, pour vinegar down the drain. Let this bubble for about 3 minutes. Then, rinse with hot water.

3. Ice it. This may seem odd, but putting ice into your disposal will really help with the cleaning process. Add ice and salt to the disposal and turn on cold water and run your disposal. The ice and salt together act as a mild scrub to dislodge anything that may be stuck.

4. Lemon it. The final step is optional but will make your kitchen smell great. Drop a few lemon peels in the sink and turn on the water and garbage disposal. This will make it all smell fresh and clean!

If you ever have a plumbing emergency, the experienced team at Gilman is here for you! 

Gilman Blog March 2021 Spring HVACWhen we think of spring, we think of warm weather, spending time outside, and spring cleaning. While the cleaning part is not our favorite, it's important! One of the most overlooked household cleaning chores are things that have to do with your HVAC.

1. Change your filters. This is important to make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible. This also helps with those spring allergies.

2. Dust your large appliances. While this isn't directly related to your HVAC unit there are a few benefits to this. The first is when your AC starts cranking, the less dust it can circulate around the better! Also, dust causes your appliances to work harder. By dusting their coils and other areas you are helping your energy bill.

3. Set your thermostat. Time to change your thermostat settings in anticipation of warmer weather. You may even be able to use fans and open windows during nicer days to keep your costs down!

4. Turn on your AC. We always recommend turning on your air conditioning BEFORE you actually need it to make sure it is running properly. If it isn't, schedule an appointment with us and we will have you up and running for when the Virginia heat comes!

Gilman Blog Feb 2021With the cold weather comes increased heating costs. While this is inevitable, there are a few things that could really be impacting your bill. 

1. Cranking the heat. It seems like a logical solution to a cold home. Turn up the heat. But if you set your thermostat to a very high temperature, your system may have trouble keeping up. This would cause it to run constantly and jack up your bill.

2. Extra laundry. When it's cold we pile on layers of clothes to stay warm. This results in the need to wash more clothes than in warmer months. All that laundry could certainly impact your energy bill.

3. An inefficient furnace. If your furnace is aging or hasn't been serviced recently, it is probably not running at its best. An underperforming furnace needs to work harder and therefore drives up cost. It's best to get your furnace serviced on a regular basis to avoid this pitfall,

4. Poor insulation. Cracks and air leaks around windows, doors, and other open areas in the home can cause heat to escape. 

Increased heating costs are normal when the weather turns colder, but there are ways to make your home more energy-efficient to reduce those costs. If you have questions about this or need to have your furnace serviced, schedule an appointment with us today!