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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! 

Gilman Blog Post HVAC installing air filter 1Due to COVID-19 a lot of us are stuck at home right now. So, the G-Man wanted to share some HVAC check tips you can do on your own.

1. Check your filter. This is an easy fix for your HVAC system. Simply swap out the filter to improve airflow. 

2. Check the power. If your system is suddenly off, it could be the circuit breaker. 

3. Clear your vents. If vents are blocked it could impact airflow. Move furniture or other items at least 2 feet away.

These are just 3 easy steps you can take to ensure your HVAC is running its best. If none of these things improve your system, we are still here for you. Our crew is following all safety protocols and are ready to serve you should you need it.

AC Prep for Spring - Gilman BlogWinter is not quite over in Virginia, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't already be thinking about preparing our air conditioners for spring. So far we haven't had massive winter storms, but that doesn't mean your outdoor unit wasn't affected by the weather. We have had lots of rain and other damaging weather, like wind, this winter.

The first step is to visually inspect your unit. Is there debris or other rubbish around it? Be sure to clear the area around your air conditioner.

Next, be sure to replace your filters. Old filters can greatly reduce your air conditioner's productivity. Filters should be changed about every 3 months. (Tip - set an alert in your phone to indicate when you need a new filter.)

Check all your lines. Do another visual inspection of all the pieces of your system, including the lines. Look for any damages that may have happened over the last few months.

And finally, get an inspection. A professional HVAC inspection, like our Comfort Plan maintenance, is the best way to ensure your AC unit is all set for spring and summer. You can learn more about our Comfort Plans here.

Plumbing - Closed GarageWinter is about to touch down in Virginia. One of the biggest plumbing concerns during the cold weather months is frozen pipes. Here are a few tips to help prevent that.

1. Keep your garage door closed. Making sure you close your garage every time you enter or exit will help your pipes stay warmer because water supply lines can be in the garage.

2. Don't turn down your heat a night. While it may help you save a dollar or two, turning down your heat when it is below freezing outside could damage your pipes. Keep your temperature the same during both night and day.

3. Open your cabinet doors. Expose your kitchen and bathroom pipes that are in cabinets to your heat. 

4. Check your basement and attic. For these areas of the house that may not have heat, make sure your pipes are insulated.

If you have a plumbing emergency, Gilman is here for you. You can quickly schedule an appointment here, or learn more about our plumbing services here.

HVAC money savings 2020A new year (and decade) is just days away. Maybe you are making New Year's Resolutions. Maybe one of those resolutions is to save money. Including HVAC into your plan is a great way to focus on that goal.

Here are a few tips on how to save some money in the new year:

1. Seal all cracks. If air (either hot or cold) is escaping from your home, that means money is escaping too. Caulk up windows and other openings to ensure as much of the air you are paying for stays inside!

2. Commit to an HVAC maintenance plan. While you may think this is an added expense, it saves you a ton of money in the long run. A standard plan can cost about the same as a new pair of shoes and go much further. With regular maintenance, the health of your heating and air conditioning system will be much better. 

3. Learn how to bundle up. If you can reduce the temperature of your heating by just a few degrees, you can save a lot of money. Encourage your family to reach for a blanket or sweatshirt instead of the thermostat when they are chilly.

By following these tips for your HVAC, we hope that you can fulfill your 2020 resolution of saving a little money. The G-Man and the rest of Gilman hope you have a happy New Year!