Preventing frozen pipes in your Chicago area home this winter

Every year, every winter, thousands of Chicago-area homes and businesses fall victim to the same disaster: frozen pipes bursting, sending water flooding through the building. This causes a ton of property damage, and can ruin your holiday season. Preventing frozen pipes needs to be your top priority this winter.

In this blog, we’ll run through the best ways to prevent your pipes from freezing, both before winter and during it. To schedule a furnace tune-up or plumbing services with King, call us at (708) 687-6898 or contact us.

Preventing frozen pipes

Preventing frozen pipes is easy with these tips from KingPipes freeze when the water within them is exposed to consistent, freezing temperatures for a sustained period of time. The most common cause of frozen pipes is your furnace breaking down in the middle of the night, causing the temperatures in your home to plummet.

Our first recommendation? Schedule a furnace tune-up in the fall with King.

With that out of the way, here are some other tips for protecting your pipes from the deep freeze.

Preventing frozen pipes before winter starts

  • Insulate your home properly by insulating unprotected pipes. Try not to leave any gaps during the process. If it’s unavoidable, use pipe sleeves. Seal the joints and the slits with tape if you have to.
  • Check your basement, attic, and crawlspaces for cracks or air leaks, and seal any you find. (This will also help make your home more energy-efficient!)
  • Have a contractor install heat cables that can be controlled with a thermostat. Follow the instructions given in the manual to ensure you install the ones meant for your pipes correctly. At the end of the season, unplug the cables to preserve energy.
  • Replace single-pane windows with storm windows or ones that are more energy-efficient.
  • Contact the team at King for a FREE plumbing inspection to examine your plumbing beforehand. We’ll tell you what can be done to ensure your pipes do not freeze during the chilly weather.

Preventing frozen pipes during the winter

When the coldest nights of the year arrive and the blizzard hovers over Chicago, follow these tips to further protect your home’s pipes:

  • Cut off the water supply to faucets and plumbing outside your home by closing the valves.
  • Make sure your garage doors are closed at all times to protect the pipes located there from the cold.
  • Keep your kitchen and bathroom cabinets open sometimes to allow warm air to circulate inside. The warmth will help keep the pipes from freezing over.
  • Allow pipes that are susceptible to the cold drip a little. This includes both hot and cold water pipes. This subtle water movement—even at the pace of a drip—makes it harder for the water to freeze.

Here are some more tips from The Chicago Tribune on how to avoid frozen pipes.

Long-term solution for protecting your pipes

These probably aren’t things you’ll be able to do in the middle of a blizzard, and they’re above-and-beyond the DIY tips shared above. But, they’re a good idea for the Chicago homeowner who is interested in protecting their pipes, above all else.

Install fiberglass insulation

Installing fiberglass insulation is one of the best ways to ensure those pipes remain warm during the winter. Professional plumbers know how to install these without damaging your property. This includes examining the insulation requirements in your home’s crawl spaces, attic, basement, and other places that are hard to reach.

With this process, pipes that do not have adequate insulation will be insulated to keep them from freezing over once the cold weather hits.

Call King for plumbing repair and more advice on avoiding frozen pipes

As a company that provides both heating and plumbing services to the Chicago metro, King knows a thing or two about preventing frozen pipes. After all, we’ve been serving you for more than 45 years!

To schedule your furnace tune-up, your free plumbing inspection, or just talk through the state of your home’s pipes, give King a call at (708) 687-6898. Or, contact us online.

What are the signs of trustworthy HVAC companies?

Most people tend to go for the price or the age of the company when selecting an HVAC service provider. However, cost or age are not the only signs of trustworthy HVAC companies. There are actually a number of things you should look for when selecting a HVAC business.

In this blog post, we’ll review four qualities that all trustworthy HVAC companies share in common. We’ll also explain what makes our business fit those criteria, and why you should call us for your heating, cooling & plumbing needs.

Here are the 4 signs of trustworthy HVAC companies

Here are four important factors that you should consider when hiring an HVAC company. Thinking about these tips ahead of time will ensure that you hire the right professionals from trustworthy HVAC companies who won’t dupe you when it comes to maintenance and repair of the HVAC unit.

1. Most quotes / estimates cannot be given over the phone

You should be wary of HVAC companies that say they can provide you an estimate for a new air conditioner over the phone.

Even when it comes to repair or maintenance, a lot of factors need to be considered that can’t be seen over the phone. Some of these include: What is the condition of the ducts? Is the motor fan working properly? How dirty are the filters? What is the condition of the condenser coil? Is the thermostat working properly?

Installation, however, is where you really need to draw a line in the sand and insist on a free in-home estimate. That’s because air conditioners and furnaces come in a variety of sizes and settings, and a good technician will measure your home to make sure you’re getting the system that’s right for you and your family’s comfort.

Shady HVAC repair companies will provide the lowest possible quote for the job without even carrying out an inspection. Without an upfront and honest quote, the bill at the end of the repair may come as a shock to you.

That’s not how we do things here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We provide upfront, honest pricing on all of our services, and we provide free in-home estimates on new air conditioners and furnaces.

2. Check with the Better Business Bureau

Another important tip is to search for the company on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) site. This website rates companies based on their online reputation. You should select a company with a good BBB rating. A company with a very good BBB rating—like King Heating—is more likely to be reliable and trustworthy.

3. Read online reviews

You should also read online reviews for the business to know about the reputation of a company. Online review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List, SuperPages, and Yellow Pages contain reviews written by actual customers. Read the reviews and then use your judgment. This will also help you in selecting a trustworthy HVAC company.

Interested in seeing reviews for King? We have multiple customer reviews on Facebook, Google, and Yelp.

4. Choose based on reliability, not cheapness

A common mistake people make is selecting the company that offers the lowest quote for a repair or replacement work. The company that quotes the cheapest price may not be the most trustworthy, or the best at what they do. Look for a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Do they stand by their work like King does?

You should be especially beware of companies that offer unusually low price. When it comes to price, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is. If you have doubts, call other companies and ask them if they’re willing to match that quote.

Call King for HVAC and plumbing services you can trust in Chicago

If you want to get in touch with a reliable and experienced HVAC company in Chicago’s south suburbs, contact King Heating Cooling and Plumbing. We have been serving these areas with complete dedication and integrity for decades.

You can reach us by phone at (708) 687-6898 or by contacting us online.

When to consider buying a new hot water heater

When you own a home or condo, there’s a lot to worry about. There’s your appliances, your roof, your backyard, your garage door—and that’s just the home maintenance, nevermind your actual life, which includes work, play, and spending time with your family. Here’s probably what you’re not giving much thought to: your home’s water heater, or your plumbing in general.

Like your air conditioner and furnace, your hot water heater is almost always running and keeping your home comfortable, yet it’s easy to overlook because it just sits there and does its job, year-after-year, for years to come. While it’s nice to have one less thing to worry about, your water heater won’t last forever, and you’ll need to pay some attention to it, especially as it begins to age. In this blog post, we’ll review situations in which you should consider purchasing a new hot water heater from the professionals at King.

Need a new hot water heater?Has your water heater been failing?

This is the number one reason people upgrade to a new hot water heater. After all, we push most buying decisions until the point where we need to replace something, and a water heater that is no longer working is a powerful incentive to upgrade.

However, there are instances in which getting a new water heater prior to your old one failing make sense. For example, if your water heater becomes incapable of raising your water temperature above a certain level, or if you’ve noticed that the stored hot water it produces has noticeably diminished, preventing you and your family from getting ready in the morning.

Alternatively, you may notice small leaks or condensation on the outside of the system. While not yet at the crisis level of the system bursting, any moisture leak from the system means that it’s time to call the professionals at King Heating & Cooling for a replacement hot water heater. Don’t ignore the signs of hot water heater failure and be stuck without hot water—or, worse, a flooded home.

Are your energy costs skyrocketing?

As a general rule, the equipment manufactured today—whether we’re talking about hot water heaters, air conditioners, or furnaces—is more energy efficient than preceding models. Part of that is improved materials and technology, while some of that is owed to an increased emphasis on preserving energy. Whether your water heater uses gas or electricity, an older system is less likely to be conserving energy in your home. This inefficiency can add up: the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that water heaters account for 17% of residential energy use on average.

The good news is that, by upgrading to a new hot water heater, you can save on your monthly energy bills. Generally speaking, gas systems are more energy saving than electric ones, so be sure to ask King about your options if you have gas lines in your home. No matter what system you choose, it’s going to be more efficient than the older system that you’re replacing.

Is your current water heater nearing the end of its lifespan?

Hot water heaters typically last between 10 and 12 years, although some can live well beyond that. Generally, though, your water heater’s second decade of life will be its last, and you should at least be prepared to think about replacement during that time. That’s something King can help with. We have a wide selection of new hot water heaters.

Ready to upgrade to a new hot water heater?

King has experienced plumbers and technicians who have the training needed to install new hot water heaters that work great and save you money on your monthly energy bills. If you’re looking for a new hot water heater in South Side Chicago, turn to the professionals at King. Contact us online or reach us by calling 708-687-6898.