Here’s how to deal with frozen pipes in your home this winter

Frozen pipes are the fear of every Chicago homeowner. All it takes is one cold night, one problem with your furnace, and you’re suddenly dealing with pipes filled with ice. In this blog, we’ll discuss what frozen pipes are, how to deal with frozen pipes this winter, and what not to do when your pipes freeze.

For fast, reliable plumbing services here in Chicagoland, call your friends at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We offer 24/7 emergency frozen pipe repair services here in Oak Lawn, Frankfort, and Joliet, IL.

Avoiding frozen pipes is easy with these tips from KingWhy are frozen pipes such a problem?

As water freezes, it also expands. You may see this phenomenon when you make ice in a freezer ice tray: even when you fill the water up to the fill line, the resulting ice cubes often freeze over the top of that line.

In that scenario, the water has room to expand into as it freezes. However, in the case of your home’s pipes, there is no where for the ice to go. As the molecules expand, they push against the metal or ceramic sides of the pipe, exerting tremendous pressure on the interior walls.

Best case, the pipe walls hold, and there’s no long-term damage to your pipes. Worst case, they don’t, and you suddenly have water flooding into your home.

How to deal with frozen pipes this winter

Call us. Seriously: if you suspect your pipes have frozen, you need to call a licensed, professional plumber immediately. Doing so increases the chances that we can safely thaw out your pipes without long-term structural damage.

After you’ve called, shut off all the water to your home using the main water shut-off valve. There’ll still be some residual water in your home’s pipes, but this will at least limit the amount that can come out of a cracked pipe.

Here’s what not to do

Never try to thaw your home’s frozen pipes yourself! There’s a lot of “home remedies” out there on the Internet, from using a hair dryer to an electric blanket. At best, they just don’t work. At worst, they can actually increase the stress on your pipes, leading to a burst and other problems down the road. Or, they can present a danger to yourself and your family. Take that hair dryer, for instance. You’re using an electric appliance in a position where, if something went wrong, there could be water everywhere.

A professional plumber can help inspect the plumbing system prior to beginning the thawing, which helps identify if freeing the ice in one spot is going to cause a torrent in another damaged spot.

Call King for 24/7 frozen pipe services

If you suspect that your home’s pipes have frozen, call our team for 24/7 plumbing repair here in Chicagoland.

Here are 5 signs your furnace may be failing and needs to be replaced

Here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we understand just how important your furnace is to the comfort and safety of your home. Repairs and scheduled tune-ups are often enough to keep yours running efficiently, but if your furnace is more than 15 years old, these signs may indicate that your furnace either needs to be repaired or replaced.

If you need to upgrade to a new furnace, call King! We offer free in-home estimates on new heating systems here in Chicagoland.

5 signs your furnace may be failing

Here are the five biggest signs you should call the team at King for a furnace inspection this winter:

1. You hear unfamiliar noises

While most furnaces make some noise when kicking on, if you begin to hear banging, clanging, or grinding that you’ve never heard before, your furnace may be on its last legs. This is usually a sign that the furnace is having to work extra hard to heat your home. Not only could this lead to additional wear-and-tear, but it could hurt your system’s energy efficiency.

2. The pilot light is yellow

A furnace’s pilot light should be a blue, consistent flame. Anything other than this, and especially a yellow flame, is not a good sign. It could be that your furnace is putting out too much dangerous carbon monoxide. You should turn the system off and call King for an inspection—it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to potential carbon monoxide issues.

3. Your home has cold areas

If you begin to notice that some areas of your home never warm up, or that there are some areas that are too hot, the furnace may not be working right. A properly functioning furnace should heat your home evenly; in contrast, one that isn’t running right will leave certain rooms cold and others hot. Even more, if the air blowing from your vents is cold, something is definitely not working correctly.

4. Your heating bill keeps going up

When you open your monthly bill, you likely expect to see a fairly consistent number each time. If that number instead is growing each billing cycle, it could indicate that your heating system is breaking down. Over time, instead of spending more on your bill, it may be time to invest in a new furnace.

5. You’ve spent a lot on recent repairs

Once your furnace has reached between 10-15 years of age, the need for repairs tends to go up. If you find that you are frequently forking over good money to repair your old furnace, it could be a sign that it is failing and needs to be replaced.

Call King for a furnace inspection!

The professional team at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is here for your heating needs in Oak Forest, Joliet, and Frankfort, IL. If you suspect that your furnace is on the verge of a breakdown because of the reasons listed above, give us a call to schedule an inspection.