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Plumbing problems are some of the most annoying issues a homeowner can have. At Gilman, we are committed to high quality plumbing repair and service.

Here a few signs it may be time to upgrade or replace your plumbing:pipe

  • Foul Smelling Water - if your water smells foul, that is a serious sign it's time to replace your water heater. Over time bacteria can enter your pipes and cause this foul odor.
  • Old Pipes - different pipe materials last different lifespans. Galvanized steel and brass pipes have the longest life at 80 to 100 years. Copper pipes last 70 to 80 years and PVC can last 25 to 40 years. Knowing how old you pipes are and what material they are made of are essential. (Note: you should not have any lead pipes, as these are dangerous!)
  • Corrosion - if you notice your pipes having bubbles or other problems on the outside, this is a sign that they need to be replaced. If pipes look bad on the outside, the inside is only worse.
  • Trouble Spots - if you have frequent leaking (more than once a year) it is time to replace that pipe. While minor leaks are natural wear and tear on a house, frequent leaks are signs of a bigger problem. Getting the pipes fixed will save you in the long run.

If you have any plumbing questions, call the G-Men!

To avoid large plumbing issues, often it just takes a little work on your end to keep your systems in tip top shape. Read on for some common plumbing issues and how you can fix them at home.

leakypipe1. Dripping Faucet - a common problem that can really escalated the cost of your water bill. Often the drip is caused by an old washer. Try replacing that to see if the leaks stop.

2. Low Water Pressure - surely one of the most annoying plumbing issues. Low water can be caused by calcium build up over time. A quick solution to this is rinse your faucets with vinegar. To do this affix a plastic bag filled with vinegar over the faucet head overnight.

3. Running Toilet - a toilet that is constantly running can be a nuisance. Often the issue is the flapper does not close all the way. There are simple toilet repair kits for this. 

4. Leaky Pipes - usually a sign of a bigger issue, but can sometimes be a quick fix. Start by checking and tightening the joints. If this doesn't solve the problem, please call a professional.

5. Clogged Drains - often an easy fix for a homeowner. Take out your trusty plunger or drain cleaner and this will generally clear up. 

If any of these issues persist or you do not feel comfortable with the repair, always call a professional like Gilman to help you out. Regular maintenance checks, like ones with our comfort plan, are a great way to get ahead of bigger issues to save time, money and hassle in the long run.

As the season starts to turn, it’s the perfect time to give your HVAC system a little extra care to be sure it’s running efficiently before the cold weather strikes. Here are some tips from the G-Man:

Change your Air Filters

Your air filter collects dust, dirt and allergens. If the filter is dirty, it will reduce the system's airflow. This can cause the unit to cool inefficiently. When dirt gets on the coils, it allows frost to build up, making it more difficult for the unit to cool your house and could even cause water damage in your home. Pet hair, smoke and home renovations can mean you may need to change your filter more frequently.

Update your Thermostat Settings

A programmable thermostat can help reduce energy costs by programming the temperatures for when the home is occupied and unoccupied. Upgrading to a programmable wifi thermostat can increase your peace of mind by easily controlling the settings while you are away from your home during work, holidays and other trips.

Monitor Humidity Levels

Humidity is a comfort problem and can cause an unhealthy indoor environment. Make sure all exhaust fans (kitchen, bathroom, laundry vents, etc.) are vented to the outside and use ceiling fans to increase ventilation. A dehumidifier and humidistat can help monitor and manage your homes indoor humidity level as well.

Check your Outdoor Landscaping

Keep outdoor units clean and free of debris. Trim back tall grass, shrubs or trees and clean the outside coils with a garden hose before the temperatures get in the freezing range.

Schedule your Maintenance Inspection

Some things should be left to the professionals, like your routine precision tune-up. During your fall maintenance inspections, Gilman will preform an all-points inspection to include the following:

  • Verify refrigerant levels
  • Check voltage across electrical connections, circuit board and/or capacitors
  • Light evaporator coil cleaning or recommend a deeper coil cleaning
  • Inspect and clean out the condensate drain and drain pan
  • Clean or replace customer supplied air filters and visually inspect duct systems
  • Check overall system performance

Give us a call today or book your appointment online before the cold sets in.

Did you know that cooling your home accounts for 15% of all home energy usage? While that may seem like a lot, think about the work it has to do cooling your home top to bottom! No other appliance has to work that hard (well, beside your heating system, but that's for another season).

So what is the most effective use of that 15%? A couple window units throughout the home, or a central air system?

There are pluses and minuses to both:

  • Appearance: Let's be honest, central AC is just better looking, since it is virtually invisible throughout the home, as opposed to window units which are an eyesore!
  • Energy efficiency: While a window unit may seem like it would use less energy, because of it's small size, that's not always true. Due to the small size of the unit, there are not a lot of capabilities built in, whereas with a central AC unit, you have one large structure with more room for the up to date energy saving gadgets.
  • Noise level: a window unit loses every time here. While they may blast you directly with cold air, that direct blast comes at a cost, it is LOUD! 
  • Temperature control: this can go either way, depending on how you look at it. It you want your whole home temperature controlled, a single unit is the most efficient and cost effective. If you desire room by room temperature control, a window unit provides you with that capability easily, but be careful not to run up your power bill!

Whichever you have, don't forget Gilman can service it for you. And if you decide you are ready for an upgrade, we can take care of that too!

It gets hot in Richmond during the summer. Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure your AC is running at full capacity:


  • Check to see if there is any visible water around your unit. This may be a sign it needs to be serviced.
  • Make sure to clear all debris from around your outdoor unit. Sticks, leaves, etc. can decrease your unit's efficiency.
  • Check your AC filters monthly. If they look dusty and dirty it is time to replace them.
  • After a storm, be sure to check your breakers to make sure everything is still on and functioning.

If your AC is just not cutting it this summer, let one of our certified technicians come out to look at your system today. We can look and see if you need a new unit and you could be on your way to cooler days tomorrow! Schedule your appointment online, or give us a call and talk to one of our customer service reps 804-977-2593.

 

 

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