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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.

Plumbing basics blog 1With more families spending time at home during the virus, it can take a toll on your plumbing system. Here are a few basic plumbing tips for homeowners:

1. Constantly running toilets are annoying and costly. This issue is usually caused by a flapper that has gone bad. The flapper is a rubber part inside the back of the toilet that can often be found at the hardware store for under $10 and it only takes about ten minutes to replace.

2. One of the most common plumbing problems is a leaky faucet.  These can also be caused by the wearing of an aerator, but could also indicate the need for replacement of a washer, rubber seal, or an o ring. These are all products that can be found at the hardware store and easily replaced. 

3. In case of a pipe burst, learn where the water main is located and how it shuts off. 

4. In case you don't have draino on hand, you can try a natural solution of 1/2 cup each of vinegar and baking soda. Mix it and pour it slowly into the drain to see if that helps move it.

5. If your toilet seat is loose, it is usually a quick fix. There are bolts on the underside of the seat that can loosen over time. Tighten those and you should be good to go.

Our plumbing team is operating and here for you in case of emergencies!