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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.

4 tips for preventing mold in ductwork

Tips to Prevent Mold In DuctworkWith the right conditions, mold can grow in your home’s cooling and heating ductwork. Mold in ductwork is a more common problem than you might think, and it negatively impacts your indoor air quality and can pose a health risk.

Exposure to molds can result in eye irritation, nasal stuffiness, skin irritation, and wheezing. Moreover, people with chronic lung disorders can develop a mold infestation inside the lungs.

Mold infestations are common in regions with humid weather. While you can’t completely get rid of mold, you can take actions to prevent and control mold infestations. Here are four steps that you can take to prevent mold from growing in your home’s ductwork.

1. Keep furniture away from vents

You should make sure that your furniture is not blocking the air flow vent. Any blockage could prevent the air conditioner from properly circulating the air in your home.

Stagnant air, combined with dark light conditions, can bring about condensation. This can encourage mold growth inside the ducts. That’s why you should keep furniture items—from drapes to couches—away from your home’s vents.

2. Keep moisture at bay

High humidity levels also encourage mold growth inside the ducts. To avoid mold infestation, you should consider using a dehumidifier to keep the humidity levels inside the house balanced.

Also, you should consider buying a humidifier monitor that can monitor the humidity level inside the house. The humidity level should be kept between 35 – 50 percent. Mold growth will start in the ducts if the humidity level inside the house is more than 70 percent.

3. Keep HVAC ducts clean to prevent mold in ductwork

Regular cleaning of the HVAC ducts will prevent mold growth. Not cleaning the ducts regularly could result in mold buildup, or the buildup of other materials that negatively impact your home’s indoor air quality.

Call King for our ductwork cleaning service. You should have your ducts cleaned by a professional technician, as cleaning the ducts to remove and prevent mold growth requires great expertise and skill.

Also, be sure to ask King about our selection of air purification systems.

4. Have King install the right HVAC system for y our home

Keep in mind that large-sized HVAC units tend to create more moisture. More moisture means increased risk of a mold infestation. That’s why it’s recommended to use a proper size unit to avoid the chances of a mold infestation. King offers free in-home estimates on new air conditioners and furnaces so that our professional technicians can match you to the right system for your space and comfort needs.

Prevent mold in ductwork by calling King!

Contact King to get in contact with professional air conditioning and heating technicians.

When do I need to replace my current AC system?

Here’s a situation: your current air conditioner has just stopped working, and you’ll need to have it repaired as soon as possible. Right? Or, is it a better deal to just purchase a new air conditioning unit?

AC Repair or ReplacementEvery situation is different. However, there are some things you can think about before making your decision and calling King Heating and Cooling. We’re the South Side’s HVAC experts, and our industry-certified technicians can help you decide between replacement and repair.

When to consider AC repair

  • If your system still has life ahead of it: If your air conditioner is less than ten years old, it may not be time to throw in the towel just yet. Most cared-for AC systems can last past 15 years, so getting rid of your current system may not be as appealing if it hasn’t reached the peak of its lifespan.
  • If the repair is a one-off affair: If this repair is a one-time thing that isn’t likely to become a recurring issue, it might be worth fixing the system. When you have a professional from King Heating and Cooling look over your system, be sure to ask them what they think. If they indicate that there’s other damage that could cause further breakdowns, that should probably come into your decision-making process.
  • If you can get professional help for a great price: Before you start adding up the price of repairs on the calculator, consider that King Heating and Cooling offers regular specials and coupons for our services that may make a repair far more feasible.
  • If you like your air conditioner: This is more important than most people think. If you really like the cooling power of your air conditioner and your current electricity bills, it makes sense to put the money into the system to keep it running. Of course, the opposite may be true. Again, every cooling situation is different. If you’re struggling to weigh the positives and negatives, ask the professionals.

When to consider AC replacement

  • If the price is right: It’s true for repairs, and it’s true for new air conditioning systems, as well. King Heating and Cooling regularly offers special deals on new AC installations, and we can match you to the right system for your cooling needs. If the cost of your repair even begins to approach the cost of a new system, don’t hesitate to opt for the new air conditioner. You may even make up the cost gap in energy savings!
  • If you need something more efficient: Nevermind the system breaking. Even before your old air conditioner stopped working, it was leading to some eye-popping electricity bills. For an older system, there’s only so much that regular maintenance can do. Eventually, a new system may make sense on the grounds of energy efficiency alone.
  • You want to boost your home’s resale value: Even if you’re not planning on selling your home right now, a new air conditioner can increase your home’s value if you do have to move. It could even be the difference between making a sale or just missing out.

No matter what you decide, King can help

Need to talk to a trained and experienced technician? Just ask King. We can help match you to the perfect AC system for you, your family, and your cooling needs. We also offer financing to customers with qualifying credit—learn more about this program.