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September 2020 Blog Post HVACWe got our first taste of fall weather in Virginia this week. You likely have been able to turn off your air conditioner and open some windows. (And for the chillier mornings, maybe you had the heat on in your car.) Before the weather gets too cold, we have some tips to prepare your HVAC unit for the cooler temperatures.

1. Check your filters. This is an easy one! If the filter looks dirty, get a new one and replace it. This will keep the air moving properly in your home. It will also help with fall allergens.

2. Seal any air leaks. Now is the time to check your home for where air can sneak in or out. Think places like windows, doors, or other cracks/crevices in the home. Sealing these up will help keep heat IN your home and lower that energy bill!

3. Clear debris from your unit. Much like the dirty filters, debris around your unit can cause problems. Be sure leaves, branches, and other potential problems are cleared out. You will want to stay vigilent about this throughout the season as leaves start to fall.

4. Turn on your heat before you need it. You may be thinking you aren't ready to heat your home, but running the heat one cooler day to make sure it works is smart. Listen for any unusual noises. If everything is running smoothly, great! If not, give us a call so we can get it fixed before the first cold snap when you will want that heat to be pumping.

 

Air Conditioning August 2020Summer in Virginia is hot! This leads to increasing home energy costs due to various factors. Here are a few ways to control your energy bill:

1. Don't cool empty rooms. Use a programmable thermostat to manage your AC when you aren't in the house. You can set it on a schedule and forget about it.

2. When possible, make sure your unit is in a shady spot. Having your unit in direct sunlight all day can decrease its efficiency. 

3. Don't overcrowd your unit. Make sure all the shrubbery and other plants around or near your unit are trimmed. Overcrowding the unit causes poor ventilation.

4. Clear your indoor vents. Make sure furniture, curtains, etc. are not impeding the airflow from your vents.

5. Use fans to help circulate the air in your home. Ceiling fans should be set counterclockwise for best results, so they push the cold air downward.

With these few tips, you should see improvement in your energy bills over time. If your AC does not seem to be performing as well as it could, please schedule an appointment. We would be happy to come to take a look!

AC Appreciation Days Gilman BlogJuly 3rd through August 15th we celebrate "Air Conditioning Appreciation Days." Willis Carrier invented the air conditioner back in 1902 and we have been grateful ever since. Not only is it nice to cool down our homes, offices, and other places we visit, but it also has other benefits you may not realize.

Health Benefits of Air Conditioning:

  • AC can help reduce the possibility of asthma attacks because it reduces the amount of pollen and other allergens in the air.
  • Air conditioning also reduces the risk of heatstroke which can be fatal.
  • Having a cool home can help you sleep better which is better for your long term health.
  • It reduces the risk of dehydration because you aren't sweating. 
  • AC provides you with a cool place to exercise which is, again, important for your long term health.

Additional Benefits of Air Conditioning:

  • Air conditioning can reduce pests. This is especially important for your furry family members. 
  • Your AC helps keep all of your electronics cooler, which will help prevent overheating.
  • It can help with your productivity and to stay alert. This is more important now with more people working from home.

We may all take our air conditioners for granted sometimes, but these benefits can certainly help us appreciate our AC units a little bit more in the future!

Plumbing & HVAC Tips for Homeowner Month June 2020June is National Homeowner's Month. It's a time to celebrate your current home or your future home. For those shopping for a new home, we want to share some tips on what to look for with your HVAC and plumbing.

Plumbing:

1. Test all your faucets and sinks. Turn on all faucets to check the water pressure and to be sure the water drains quickly. 

2. Flush all of the toilets and check the tank.

3. Check for leaks. Look around the faucets, at the base of the sinks, and around the base of the toilets.

4. Inspect your water heater. Verify the age of the heater (most last about 15 years), check for leaks, listen for any strange noises, and look for any corrosion or rust.

HVAC:

1. Run the system while you are looking at the house. 

2. Listen for any strange noises like clanging or hissing.

3. Look for damages. Check the unit for water stains, cracks, dents, rust, etc.

4. Inspect the ductwork. Look for cracks, loose connections, and signs of condensation.

Purchasing a home is both exciting and scary. You want to be sure you are investing in the right property. If you need a maintenance check on either a plumbing or HVAC system, schedule an appointment with us today. We would be happy to assist you!

 

Sewer Line Blog Post - PlumbingHomeowners often forget about their sewer lines, only dealing with obvious plumbing problems like leaky sinks and clogged toilets. But, getting your sewer line checked is just as important, even if it's harder to tell when you should.

These are some of the signs it's time to check your sewer line:

1. Your water levels are low or inconsistent in your toilets.

2. Your water drains slowly in the drains throughout your home.

3. There are bad odors in the drains or toilets.

4. Mold is growing in your drains.