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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!

GIlman Blog Winter HVACCold weather can come out of nowhere in Virginia. One day it's 50 and sunny, the next we are expecting snow and below-freezing temperatures. It's important to prepare your home and HVAC before we hit those frigid temperatures. 

To start, walk your house. Do you see vulnerable areas? Maybe a window that could let cold air in? Maybe a filter that needs to replaced. Take notes on your phone or a pad and paper.

Next, prioritize your list. If you need to go to the store for caulk or weather stripping, plan your trip. Do you need any other materials? Batteries for your flashlights in case you have a power outage? 

Do some of the easy things first, like replacing your air filters. This will immediately give you energy-saving results. Next, do things like sealing windows and doors to keep your heat inside and the cold outside. 

If you have larger projects on your list, decide if you can DIY or need to call in a professional. If you need to schedule an appointment, do so as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more appointments will book up with winter emergencies. 

Need our help? We have a simple online schedule tool you can use! Click here to check it out.

Preparing ahead of time will save you from worrying this winter season. But if you need emergency HVAC service, we are always here for you!

Christmas Baking with KidsMaybe the kids are home from college, maybe you are doing more cooking any usual, whatever the reason for your active home, we want to help you avoid common plumbing issues that could derail your holiday celebrations.

1. The Kitchen Sink. With more mouths to feed and more time spent at home, we know your oven gets a workout during the holidays. But, so does your kitchen sink. To avoid clogged drains, be sure you are properly using your garbage disposal and sink strainers. 

2. Leaky Faucets. Handwashing is so important, but leaky faucets are annoying and a waste of money. Do a walkthrough of our house to check all your faucet washers to be sure they are tightly fastened and in good shape.

3. Low Water Pressure. Often, low water pressure can be solved by simply cleaning the showerhead. Give your bathroom a deep clean and pay particular attention to the showerhead before the holidays. 

We hope you and your family enjoy a warm and safe holiday season. If you do have a plumbing emergency, we are here for you!