What role does your air filter play in efficient heating this winter?

If you’re like most homeowners, replacing or cleaning your home’s air filter is probably pretty far down your list of priorities this winter. However, there’s certainly a case to be made for adding this to your to-do list. A clean air filter is critical to your home’s indoor air quality, energy-efficiency, and winter heating. In this article, we’ll review what you should know about your air filter and the role it plays in your home during the colder months of the year here in Chicagoland.

At King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we’re your go-to team for a wide range of heating services. Call us today to learn more about how we can improve the indoor air quality of your home, as well as the efficiency of your heating system.

Call our team for air filter replacement here in Chicago. Our Filter Club is a great, convenient way to save on new filters.

Call our team for air filter replacement here in Chicago. Our Filter Club is a great, convenient way to save on new filters.

A clean air filter is more important than you might think

While it tends to get overlooked, your home’s air filter plays a crucial role in your home’s air quality and energy-efficiency. Here’s how:

Energy-efficient heating

A dirty air filter can actually be costing you money every month on your utility bills. As the air filter clogs with dirt, dust, and pet hair (gross!), it becomes more difficult for the furnace’s blower to push heated air through the filter. This results in the furnace and blower having to work more to create heating for your home, which in turn can cause a spike in your monthly heating bills.

Prevent furnace problems

All the extra effort your furnace puts into pushing air through a dirty, clogged filter can lead to significantly more wear-and-tear. However, that’s only the start. Your furnace also intakes air through the filter. If it’s unable to take in enough air from your home, the blower and furnace will not be able to work properly. In fact, since gas and electric furnaces rely on the blower to push hot air out of the system, it could lead to the system either short cycling or overheating.

Even if the furnace is able to get air through the filter, that dust and other contaminants could head the other way into the system, leading to the inside of the furnace becoming dirty. This, in turn, can have other negative repercussions for the furnace’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Keep your home’s air fresh

Every time you turn on the furnace with a dirty air filter in place, you’re essentially having that dust and dirt pushed into the air of your home. Especially during the winter when windows and doors tend to be closed more often, this can have a negative impact on your indoor air quality as the trapped dust, dirt, pet dander, and more have nowhere to go.

Replace or clean your air filter regularly

Generally speaking, you should replace your air filter about every 90 days. However, if you have pets or suffer from allergies, you may want to bump that up to every 60 days or even every month. In truth, every home is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to indoor air quality. That’s why talking with a professional here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is always a great play.

Join our Filter Club!

At King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we make it easy to keep your home’s air filter fresh. As a member of our Filter Club, we’ll deliver fresh filters, on-time, right to your door! No more hassle or having to remember to go to the store to get new air filters. Instead, we’ll deliver the right professional-grade filter, right on time. To learn more about our Filter Club and all of our HVAC and IAQ services, call us today.

Here’s what you need to know about sump pump upkeep this winter

If your home has a basement, there’s a good chance that it has a sump pump. Here in the Chicago area, sump pumps are essential to the protection of basements from water incursion. Yet, many homeowners take their sump pump for granted. In reality, you should be checking your pump regularly to ensure that it’s functioning properly and protecting your home. In this article, we’ll provide a guide to sump pump upkeep and some signs you should call us for sump pump services and a free plumbing inspection.

Why is a working sump pump so important?

Sump pump upkeep can help keep your basement dry and safe during times of heavy rain here in Chicagoland.

Sump pump upkeep can help keep your basement dry and safe during times of heavy rain here in the Chicago area.

During the winter and spring months here in the Chicago area, heavy snow and rain can saturate the ground with excess water. Since many basements are below the water table, water will begin to seep up from the ground into the basement. The sump pump, being located at the lowest physical point in the home, is the first line of defense. When it senses water intrusion, the pump kicks on, sucking in water, and pumping it through pipes to places where it can safely drain off.

During times of heavy rain or snowmelt, a basement sump pump is the only thing preventing your basement from flooding, causing significant water damage and leading to needed mold remediation.

There are many different types of sump pumps and ways that sump pumps can be set up. However, here’s what is true for all of them: a working sump pump is essential. In the next section, we’ll review how you can confirm that your pump is working as expected—and what to do if it is not.

How can you make sure your sump pump is working properly?

You should periodically check your home’s sump pump to ensure that it’s working as it should. Here are some quick and easy ways to test that your pump is operational and diagnose any potential issues:

  • Since they pull in water from the bottom, most sump pumps only work properly if standing upright. Many sump pump disasters occur because the pump has been accidentally knocked over.
  • The pump should automatically turn on when it senses water. Take some water in a bucket to the sump pump and confirm that the device turns on and is actively draining the water. If not, you’ll need to give us a call.
  • The pump has to put water somewhere. Make sure that the discharge pipe is free of any blockages, including leaves or rocks. These can prevent the pump from effectively removing water from the basement.
  • Take a look at the sump pump’s electrical cord to ensure that it isn’t damaged or fraying. A sump pump needs to be plugged into a grounded outlet with its own breakers. If the sump pump doesn’t turn on during your test, try resetting the breakers and seeing if that resolves the issue.
  • If your sump pump relies on a backup power supply—such as a propane generator—you should also confirm that the generator is working before the start of winter.

Again: when in doubt, call in one of our plumbers for a free inspection. When it comes to a sump pump and the prospect of your basement flooding, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

When should you call the experts?

At King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, we specialize in sump pump upkeep, repair, and installation. No matter what your sump pump needs are here in Chicagoland, we have you covered. Call us today for 24/7 emergency plumbing service and a free plumbing inspection. We’ll send one of our experienced, friendly plumbers out to your home to diagnose the issue with the pump and make the right fix.

Remember: proactive, fast action can be the difference between a dry and flooded basement this winter. When in doubt, call us.