Posts

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, contact us online.

Preventing frozen pipes

Preventing frozen pipes in your home means scheduling heating maintenance and insulating pipes.Pipes 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.

Here are long-term solutions 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, contact us online.

Why you should make the switch to a new Carrier air conditioner

Earlier this summer, we outlined some of the reasons you should change out your old, failing air conditioner for a newer model. However, here’s something else to consider: you should switch to a new Carrier air conditioner. As one of the world’s most-trusted names in indoor comfort, Carrier is the right system, and King is the right team to install it.

Pictured: A King rep talks to homeowners here in Chicagoland about their new Carrier air conditioner.The best place to start after reading this blog? Give us a call to schedule a free in-home estimate on a new Carrier system. During this estimate, we’ll help you find the right air conditioner for your home and your family’s cooling needs.

Why Carrier?

Carrier is one of the world’s oldest and most-trusted cooling companies. There’s a reason for that, actually: their namesake Willis Carrier practically invented the first air conditioner all the way back in 1902.

Most companies would just ride those credentials all the way to today, but the incredible thing is that Carrier has continued to innovate, invent, and establish themselves as one of the top HVAC manufacturers in the world. Today, they’re at the cutting-edge of sustainability, energy-efficiency, quiet design, and a number of other categories.

What makes a new Carrier air conditioner different?

Carrier’s whole line of air conditioners is built to impress. First, these systems are balanced, providing equal parts energy-efficiency, cooling performance, and quiet design. This results in a happier, cooler home, without the huge energy bills in the summer. Believe us: with the heat and humidity here in Chicagoland, you want to cut right through that and have a comfortable home.

Perhaps these hallmark qualities of a great Carrier air conditioner are best seen in the Infinity® 20 Air Conditioner with Greenspeed® Intelligence. Arguably one of the most efficient air conditioners available today, this system packs a cooling punch. It’s the top-of-the-class.

Why Carrier versus other brands?

Ask your neighbors: chances are that the system they trust to cool their home is a Carrier. That’s because generations of Americans have turned to Carrier for superior comfort and cooling. Carrier has long been focused on saving people money on energy bills while still providing high-quality systems.

Here’s another great reason to choose a Carrier: King’s professional AC installation experts can help you install your new system right. After all, an air conditioner is only as good as the installation, and our NATE-certified techs have the know-how and training to make sure your air conditioner is good to go and ready to start cooling your home.

To get started on your free in-home estimate, contact us! We’d love to meet with you and help you find the right Carrier for your home.

Here are the 4 signs you should replace your water heater

A water heater is a convenience most homeowners don’t fully appreciate until it stops working. If you aren’t a fan of freezing cold showers or baths (and who is, especially when it’s cold here in Chicagoland), pay attention to these signs you need water heater replacement from the pros here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.

King is the premier choice for plumbing services here in Oak Forest, Joliet, and Orland Park. To schedule water heater services, contact us today!

Pictured: It might be time for water heater replacement from the pros here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing.The 4 signs you need a new water heater

If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to have an experienced plumber from King out to your home to inspect your water heater.

1. Your water looks muddy or sandy

If the water coming out of the tap looks muddy or sandy, you could have a buildup of sediment in your water heater tank. You may be able to rectify the problem by simply draining the contents of the tank and clearing out the sediment. However, if muddy water continues to be a problem, it may be time for a new water heater.

2. Your water heater doesn’t produce hot water anymore

When the heating element in a water heater burns out, it will no longer put out hot water. If your water heater is still fairly new, you may be able to get the heating element repaired. If it’s old, it may make more financial sense to just replace the entire unit. Your King plumber will advise you on the best course of action.

3. You have no idea when your water heater was last replaced

If you have been in your home for longer than 10 to 15 years and you have no idea when your water heater was last replaced, it’s time for a new one. Most water heaters last a maximum of 15 years, so if yours is older, it’s probably very close to the end of its operational life.

4. You frequently have to schedule repairs

One of the most common water heater replacement signs is the need for frequent repairs. If your water heater breaks down all the time, you’ll be better off replacing it. Not only will you save money in the long run by purchasing a new unit, but you’ll also have greater peace of mind that you’ll actually have access to hot water when you need it.

Call King for water heater replacement here in Chicagoland

If you’ve noticed any of the above signs, it’s time to consider installing a new water heater. King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has skilled water heater replacement pros on our team, and we’re ready to help. Our plumbers have experience repairing and replacing all water heater makes and models.

To schedule your appointment, call us today!

Save energy this summer by switching your old AC to a new model

This summer season, do yourself and your family a favor by considering switching your old AC to a new model. Make the change from your current, worn-out AC unit to an energy-efficient Carrier system. It’s easy to enjoy the many benefits such a change can offer.

King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is here to keep you and everyone else in your home as comfortable as possible no matter the time of year. In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits of upgrading to a new air conditioner this summer.

Boost your home’s energy-efficiency

While installing your new unit, you might find out that there are several reasons your home isn’t as energy efficient or kept as comfortable as you’d like for it to be. For instance, it might be that you need a new unit and that your home’s insulation isn’t as great as it should be.

There might also be energy leaks in your home as well as leaks around your windows and doors that need to be addressed. There’s little need to get a new air conditioner and leave it at that if more work needs to be done to your property.

Invest money rather than waste it

When you spend money on repairs to an older HVAC unit that’s really starting to show its age, what you’re doing is wasting money rather than making a good investment. This is because your money is better spent on a newer unit that will last longer, rather than on a unit that’s likely going to completely fail soon.

Get the right-sized unit for your home

You can also save energy by getting the correctly-sized air conditioner for your property. Units that are either too big or too small drive up energy costs. Also, a unit that’s too large for your home is likely to fail faster than an accurately-sized unit.

This is why it’s vital that you choose a reputable and experienced company (like King!) for switching your old AC to a new model.

Get a free in-home estimate from King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

Can’t remember when your current air conditioner was installed? Give us a call here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing to find out more about efficient Carrier air conditioners and how an upgrade can improve your home comfort.

Here are 3 reasons to join a HVAC maintenance program

One of the best-kept secrets in the HVAC world is the HVAC maintenance program offered by  King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. This program includes regularly scheduled maintenance, priority service, and a number of other perks.

At King, our Royal Treatment Plan offers a great way for homeowners to save, both through energy savings as a direct result of tune-ups and through discounts and priority service. To learn more about the Royal Treatment Plan, contact us online, or give us a call at (708) 687-6898.

#1. Regularly scheduled inspections and tune-ups

Don’t underestimate the power of a tune-up! In fact, regular inspections and maintenance can keep your air conditioner and furnace running right throughout the year, while also lowering your monthly energy bills.

If that wasn’t enough, a solid maintenance record—the kind you’ll have as a member of a HVAC maintenance program—has two other benefits. First, you’ll keep your manufacturer’s warranty intact. Second, you’ll extend the lifespan of your system.

As a member of a HVAC maintenance program like the King Royal Treatment Plan, you’ll receive regularly scheduled tune-ups that keep your system running at their best. At our company, we call you to schedule these tune-ups, making the process all that more convenient.

#2. Priority service matters when you need it

Most HVAC maintenance programs come with additional priority service, where the company considers you a “VIP” customer and handles your service needs first. That’s certainly true here at King! Our Royal Treatment Plan members receive priority service for all the other services we offer. It’s our way of saying thanks!

Ask any homeowner: on the hottest days or coldest nights of the year, when the air conditioner or furnace has stopped working, being first in the queue for service from a trusted HVAC company matters. That’s why this particular perk of your HVAC maintenance program makes all the difference.

#3. All the other perks

Companies often throw in a number of other awesome perks with their HVAC maintenance program. Here at King, Royal Treatment Plan members—on top of regularly scheduled tune-ups and priority service—also get a discount on parts and labor.

That’s right: no matter what the need or service, Plan members can count on King to not only help them first, but to give them a discount. Maybe this is just one of the reasons we’re one of the best-reviewed HVAC, plumbing, and home service companies in Chicago’s South Side.

Join a HVAC maintenance program that benefits you. Join our Royal Treatment Plan!

There are many reasons why joining a HVAC maintenance program just makes sense for homeowners. Here in Chicago and Chicago’s South Side communities, consider joining the King Royal Treatment Plan for great service and fantastic perks from an award-winning team.

To learn more or to get started, contact King today, or give us a call at (708) 687-6898.

What NATE-certified means (and why you should choose King)

When you need AC repair this summer, you want to hire the best to work on your system. In this blog, we’ll explain why NATE-certified techs are the best the HVAC industry has to offer, and why King hires experienced professionals to work in your home.

To schedule cooling services from King, contact us today. Or, give us a call at (708) 687-6898.

We Employ NATE Certified TechniciansWhat is NATE-certification, anyway?

The North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program is the nation’s premier training, certification, and resource center for HVAC companies.

Founded in 1997 by a coalition of HVAC and service companies, NATE has helped improve customer satisfaction rates; reduce the return of improperly installed equipment; and more. Basically, NATE has changed the game.

Through NATE, HVAC technicians are not only trained, but they’re also thoroughly tested and vetted to determine whether or not they’re ready to go out into the field. NATE-certified technicians represent the pinnacle of the industry, and that’s why King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing hires them.

Why does being certified matter?

Your air conditioner and furnace are advanced, complex machines. They need a professional inspecting, repairing, or installing them. After all, you wouldn’t want just anyone handling your auto repair. The same thing goes for your HVAC units.

However, some HVAC businesses like to save money and cut corners by hiring techs who are inexperienced. That basically means that, at best, they’re learning on the job—with your air conditioner as the training exercise. Yikes! At worst, they could be completely out of their depth and making major mistakes.

At King, we recommend only have professional, experienced technicians inspect or repair your HVAC units. Our NATE-certified techs give you the peace of mind of knowing that you don’t have some random guy working on your system. Instead, you have a true, trained professional.

Why trust King?

King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has been serving the communities of Oak Forest, Orland Park, Frankfort, and Joliet since 1968. We’re a full-service HVAC business that is locally trusted: we’re a seven-time winner of the Chicago Tribune’s “Best of Chicago’s Southland” award.

Recently, King won the 2017 Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics—one of the highest honors the BBB can bestow upon a business. We’re also a seven-time Carrier President’s Award winner. Finally, we’re HomeAdvisor Screened & Approved.

Beyond our awards, we’re a local business with great customer reviews and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. When you need HVAC, plumbing, or other kinds of home services, there’s only one team to call: King.

Schedule your service from King’s NATE-certified techs

To get started on your service from our NATE-certified techs, contact us today or call (708) 687-6898.

Here are the top-3 signs you have sewer line problems

If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t spend much time thinking about your sewer pipes. In fact, they probably don’t cross your radar until an issue arises.

Often, by the time you notice warning signs, you’re already having serious sewer line problems. If you have any of the issues mentioned below, you need to call King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for professional plumbing repair.

Or, give King a call to schedule a free plumbing inspection! (708) 687-6898.

1. Mold spots in your home

Mold growth thrives in humid, moist environments. Do you notice mold spots on the walls, ceilings, or floors? If so, the pipe system is likely leaking in those areas. It’s best to have skilled plumbers address this situation immediately. Mold is not only unsightly, but also poses a serious health threat to everyone living in the home.

2. Slow water drainage

Clogged drains are a common household issue. In most cases, you can resolve this matter with a drain cleaner or a plunger. Are you experiencing this problem on a regular basis? Does it happen simultaneously in the bathroom, kitchen, shower, toilets, and sinks?

If yes, you’re probably experiencing one of the following problems:

  • Tree roots obstructing the pipeline
  • Cracked, collapsed or broken sewer line
  • Bellied, or sagging, sewer pipe

3. Sewer gas odor

Sewer lines are designed to be airtight. Because of this, there shouldn’t be a foul odor coming through the drains. Do you smell a gas-like stench inside and/or outside your home?

If so, the pipeline may be cracked. It’s also one of the signs of a broken sewer line.

Call on the experts at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing

These are the most common signs of sewer line problems. If you’re encountering any of these circumstances, contact us today at 708-687-6898. We’ve served the greater Chicago area for nearly 50 years, and we know a little something about solving all types of plumbing issues.

Our plumbers are available 24/7, including nights and weekends.

We offer our customers a free plumbing inspection. This is a good deal when you want to catch sewer pipe issues before they become a major headache. By taking this preventive step, you can save yourself tons of stress and money.

Why we work with Carrier and install their products

When you need a new air conditioner or furnace, there’s two names that should come to mind: King, and Carrier. The first is your local, award-winning HVAC company right here in the communities south of Chicago. The second is the world’s premier HVAC manufacturer that we’re partnered with.

In this blog, we’ll review the reasons why we work with Carrier as a Carrier Factory-Authorized Dealer. If you need a new air conditioner this spring, contact our team to schedule your free in-home estimate.

Carrier HVAC Dealer in Oak Forest#1. World-leading comfort

Carrier is a brand name synonymous with comfort. After all, Willis Carrier invented the modern air conditioner in 1902, and the company that bears his name hasn’t stopped innovating in the decades since.

The Infinity® class of air conditioners, for instance, boast industry-leading comfort features. Take the Carrier Infinity® 17 Central Air Conditioner has a two-stage compressor that keeps your home’s comfort exactly on point, while offering superior dehumidifying.

#2. An eye on energy-efficiency

Carrier is proud to manufacture some of the most energy-efficient air conditioners and furnaces available today. These systems lead the industry in their combination of comfort with energy savings.

The Carrier Infinity® 21 Central Air Conditioner is a great example of the company’s commitment to energy-efficient design and innovation. A Consumer’s Digest Best Buy with up to 21 SEER, this unit is one of the efficient HVAC systems on the planet.

If you’re looking to save money on your monthly energy bills for years to come, a Carrier might be right for your home. Call us for a free in-home estimate to learn how much you can save.

#3. Superior long-term reliability

For decades, Carrier air conditioners and furnaces have been known for their long-term reliability and ability to keep up with your home’s cooling and heating needs.

#4. Carrier products + King techs = better results

When you take great, energy-efficient Carrier air conditioners and furnaces and pair them with the factory-trained, NATE-certified techs at King, you’re in for great cooling and heating.

Our techs have experience installing new Carrier systems, and use only official Carrier tools and parts to do so. This ensures that each install is done right from the start, and that the installed air conditioner or furnace is ready to provide comfort to your home for years to come.

Call King for a free in-home estimate on a new Carrier system

King is your local, trusted Carrier dealer. This spring, if you need a new air conditioner, call King! We offer free in-home estimates on new systems, and our tech can help match you and your cooling needs to the right Carrier system.

To get started, contact us online, or give us a call at (708) 687-6898.

Here’s what it means to be HomeAdvisor screened

King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing is a HomeAdvisor Screened & Approved business. But, just what does that mean? In this blog post, we’ll review what HomeAdvisor is, what it means to have their approval, and what that says about King.

What is HomeAdvisor?

HomeAdvisor is a trusted source for reviews, recommendations, and awards for home service companies, ranging from remodelers and upholsterers to plumbers and electricians.

Whether they’re connected to HomeAdvisor through helpful blogs, reviews for local companies, or the (very cool) “True Cost Guide,” homeowners trust this site, and others like it, as part of their decision-making process.

The King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing team accepts the 2017 BBB Torch Award for Ethics.

What does being “screened and approved” say about King?

We’re a licensed business

HomeAdvisor screens all businesses it works with to determine that they have state-level licensing, and that they’re qualified to work in the service areas (in our case: HVAC, plumbing, and other home services) that they claim to work in.

We only hire the best

HomeAdvisor checks the company’s ownership to determine that all the owners / principals are free of any criminal records. They also confirmed that we’re in good standing with the state of Illinois.

We’re a company you can trust

In addition to being a HomeAdvisor Screened & Approved business, King is a HomeAdvisor Top Rated business. This means that we’ve received a top rating of trust from our customers.

We’re an award-winning company

While we’re proud of our great standing with HomeAdvisor, King also has many other awards. We’re the 2017 recipient of the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics. We’ve also won the “Best of Chicago’s Southlands” award seven times, and we’ve matched that total with seven Carrier President’s Awards.

King: Proud to be your heating, cooling, and plumbing company

Despite all these awards, here’s what we’re most proud of: that you, our customers, have consistently given us such great reviews. It means the world to us that you think we’re one of the best HVAC and home services companies here in Chicagoland.

If you need service, turn to the experts at King. Contact us to get started, or give us a call at (708) 687-6898.

What is the furnace coil, and what are things that can go wrong with it?

Split systems—combination HVAC setups that contain both heating (typically a furnace) and cooling (either an air conditioner or heat pump) components—have something unusual not found in ordinary furnaces: a furnace coil. But, just what is a furnace coil, and how do they work? In this article, we’ll explore this little-understood part and explain why it’s a big part of your split system’s performance—and why keeping it clean matters.

First, a quick note: if you need furnace or heating services here in Chicagoland, you’ll want to call the team here at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. Our techs know their way around all kinds of furnace setups and installs, and we can help address your maintenance, repair, and installation needs. We always recommend having us do a seasonal furnace tune-up in the fall to clean the furnace coil and other parts of your system.

What exactly is the furnace coil?

This type of furnace coil is commonly known as an "A Coil" because of its distinctive shape.

This type of furnace coil is commonly known as an “A Coil” because of its distinctive shape.

Commonly known as “evaporator coils” or “A Coils” due to their distinctive triangular shape, furnace coils play an important role in your split system.

Air conditioners and heat pumps both work by moving heat from one location to another. For both systems in the summer, this means taking heat from inside the house and moving it outside. This is accomplished with refrigerant. As the refrigerant moves through the evaporator coil inside your home, it absorbs heat. That refrigerant then travels outside, where the heat is expelled and the refrigerant is then cooled, starting the cycle over again.

Heat pumps, of course, are able to reverse that operation in the winter, pulling heat energy from outdoor air (it might not seem like it on a cold Chicago night, but there’s some ambient heat energy there!) inside and expelling cold air.

Why is the evaporator coil installed with the furnace?

During the winter, as your furnace uses gas or electricity to generate heat energy, the furnace coil acts as a heat exchanger, absorbing that heat so that the blower can distribute it through your air ducts.

Why is cleaning the coil so important?

Furnace coils are not only typically inside the furnace assembly, but may be in their own casing, as well. Most of the problems associated with dirty coils come from the lack of access homeowners have to clean them.

Dust and dirt

The buildup of dust and dirt can cause problems. Dirty furnace coils are not as good at transferring heat energy, and you’ll start to see your system’s energy-efficiency dip. In severe cases, extremely dirty coils can trap heat inside your furnace, causing the system to overheat and trigging temperature failsafes that shut off the system entirely.

Mold and mildew

When the air conditioner or heat pump is in use during the summer, the cold refrigerant stored in the heat exchanger, reacting with the warm air in your house, can cause the exterior to generate liquid condensate. This can lead to ideal conditions (warmth and water) for mold and mildew to develop. For obvious reasons, you’ll want to deal with this before it negatively impacts your indoor air quality.

Cleaning the furnace coil

As previously mentioned, it’s nearly impossible (and certainly not advisable!) for a homeowner to reach the furnace evaporator coil. The best time to get your coils cleaned is during your seasonal heating tune-up, which we recommend scheduling in the fall before the first truly cold days of winter. The earlier you book your tune-up, typically the easier it will be to schedule you in.

To make sure you stay on top of your furnace maintenance on an annual basis and avoid any problems, we recommend joining our maintenance program. Known as the King Royal Treatment Plan, this program includes regularly scheduled tune-ups and a number of other perks. Probably the best part of this plan is that we call you to schedule the service appointment. Nifty, right?

Why can’t I clean my own coils?

Beyond how difficult they are to access, we don’t recommend diving into your own furnace. You run the risk of voiding your manufacturer’s warranty when you open up your own system, and there’s always a chance that something can go wrong or get broken, making our 24/7 emergency repair a necessity. Worst case scenario, if not done right, you run the risk of harming yourself.

Honestly, take it from us: when you don’t have the right tools or the right training, it’s just not worth the trouble. It doesn’t even guarantee that your furnace will run any better!

Replacing the furnace coil

In the event that your furnace coil has stopped functioning altogether, you’ll need to have it replaced. The part you’ll need is dependent on your system’s manufacturer, the model, the system’s orientation, and more. For instance, Carrier—the brand King installs—has several types of coils, both in cases and out-of-cases. We recommend giving our team a call so that a technician can match you to the right part you need for your specific system.

Call King and get help from expert technicians

Our advice? Let our experts handle your furnace repair and maintenance—including cleaning your condenser coil. Contact King today for 24/7 repair.