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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.

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!

Here are some tips for cleaning your garbage disposal

Garbage disposals provide an easy way to get rid of food waste. Sometimes, flushing that leftover lasagna down the drain is better than dumping it in the trash can.

However, one drawback of using this household device is that bacteria and food particles can build up over time, which can cause unpleasant odors. With our tips for cleaning your garbage disposal, you can eliminate the stink.

For professional plumbing repair here in Oak Forest, Orland Park, and Joliet, contact King.

Pictured: Running citrus fruits, like lemon and lime rinds, through your garbage disposal can help things smell a lot better.

Running citrus fruits, like lemon and lime rinds, through your garbage disposal can help things smell a lot better.

#1. Get fruity with it

Citrus fruits are natural deodorizers. The best choices are lemons, grapefruits, oranges and limes. These items also double as cleansers. You can use them to remove debris and food waste from the disposal’s wall and blades.

Place a few slices or the whole fruit in the disposal and hit the switch. All it takes is a few seconds of grinding and your kitchen will smell like an orchard.

#2. Mix up some baking soda and vinegar

There’s nothing quite the dynamic cleaning duo of baking soda and vinegar. Vinegar kills bacteria while baking soda neutralizes foul odors. When combined, they’re like an all-purpose cleaner on steroids.

Chances are you already have these staples in your home, so you don’t have to go out and buy a chemical-based product. All you do is fill the drain with baking soda and then pour in half a cup of vinegar. Let the mixture sit for 60 minutes. Next, run cold water down the drain for 60 seconds.

#3. Give it a good wash

Can you handle a little elbow grease? If so, all you need for this tip is dishwashing liquid and a scrubbing brush or dish wand. Apply a generous amount of soap to the utensil and scrub all the visible parts of the garbage disposal.

This removes foodstuff, trappings and debris. Giving the unit a good wash down also prevents and removes mold growth, which can develop in the joint that connects the sink basin and disposal rim.

Call us if you’re having serious problems

These garbage disposal cleaning tips are a few common DIY options for keeping that area of your kitchen fresh and tidy.

If you still smell a foul odor after following any of these tips, the unit may need a repair or replacement. Let one of our plumbers check things out for you. Schedule a service call today by calling us at (708) 687-6898.

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.

Signs you have furnace problems in Chicago this winter

We’re in the middle of the winter season here in Chicagoland, and many furnaces are pulling multiple shifts just to keep up with your home’s heating needs. Furnace problems can often come out of nowhere, but knowing the signs of trouble can help you take quick and decisive action to get your furnace fixed—before it breaks down.

When you encounter furnace problems, contact the experts at King. We offer 24/7 furnace repair here in Oak Forest, Joliet, and surrounding areas.

What are the signs you have furnace problems?

There are four prominent signs that your furnace is on the verge of a breakdown. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for:

#1. Your heating bills are constantly increasing

One of the most common and obvious signs your furnace needs repair is that your heating bills are continuously increasing. Poorly maintained furnaces often become less effective and require more energy to run at full capacity. (That’s why a furnace tune-up is so important!)

Be on the lookout for increased utility bills this winter. If your December bills are incredibly high, consider calling our team for a furnace inspection and repair.

#2. You hear strange noises from your furnace

Strange noises coming from the furnace is one of the most prominent red flags when it comes to the health of your furnace and heating system. If you hear screeching, popping, humming, or banging sounds coming from your furnace, you probably have furnace problems.

Call an expert right away and get your system checked before it stops working altogether.

#3. You smell gas or other strange smells

If you have an older furnace in your home, you should have a working carbon monoxide detector and be on the watch for any gas issues.

Older furnaces have a higher chance of developing a cracked heat exchanger—a fault that has the potential to release deadly carbon monoxide gas into your home. Other furnace problems can lead to gas you can smell. Be vigilant, and—when in doubt—call in the experts.

#4. Your furnace isn’t performing to your expectations

You should be able to trust your furnace to keep you and your family warm all winter. If you’re encountering cold spots in your home, a lack of heat at night, or other problems, don’t just settle for poor heating. A heating system that is struggling to keep up with your needs is a heating system in need of repair or replacement.

Furnace problems don’t just go away magically. What’s a minor inconvenience today could turn into a full breakdown during the next blizzard. Call King to schedule a heating tune-up or for repair if you suspect something is wrong.

Call King in to address you furnace problems this winter

These are just some of the warning signs that can help you identify that your furnace is in need of repair or maintenance. Look out for these signs and—if you notice any of these—call the experts at King right away.

For professional furnace repair and maintenance in South Side Chicago, the South Suburbs and Parts of NW Indiana, contact our team.

Here’s how to reduce electric bills without sacrificing your comfort

Running your air conditioner 24/7 during the summers can cause a significant surge in your electric bills. However, most people are not comfortable with the alternate. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can reduce electric bills without sacrificing your comfort.

reduce electric bills

Here we have listed some effective tips that will help you to slash your air conditioner bills without having to sweat during the sweltering summer days.

1. Keep the blinds closed during the day

Keeping the blinds closed is a simple way to reduce electric bills. The sunlight that enters the room warms up the temperature inside. As a result, your air conditioner will have to work extra hard to cool the room.

Simply closing the blinds during the day will prevent these rays of sunlight from heating your room.

2. Keep the air conditioner temperature at 72  (22 ℃) or higher

The ideal air conditioner temperature at home to save electricity bills without sacrificing comfort is 72 ℉ (22 ℃). Keep in mind that every degree you raise will result in savings of about three to five percent on your electricity bills.

Setting the temperature at a higher setting may feel a bit uncomfortable, but you will be able to reap monetary benefits.

3. Reduce electric bills by installing a programmable thermostat

Another important tip to reduce your cooling bill is to install a programmable thermostat. These thermostats feature a built-in timer. You can program the thermostat to set a higher temperature when you are normally out during the day and a lower setting when you’re at home during the evening.

This will help you maximize your cost savings. Also consider installing a WiFi thermostat, as such a device will allow you to set the temperature in your home, no matter where you are. You’ll never have to worry about forgetting to adjust the temperature when you are outside.

4. Avoid placing the thermostat near hot objects

You should not place the air conditioner thermostat near sources of heat. Don’t place it near lamps or in direct sunlight. The thermostat can sense the heat, resulting in abnormal functioning.

The air conditioner will run for long periods, even after the desired temperature is reached. This will unnecessarily result in increased energy bills.

5. Schedule an AC tune-up with the team at King Heating & Cooling

A regular air conditioner tune-up from King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing will keep your AC unit in working condition. With a tune-up from our professional technicians, your AC will run efficiently without using too much energy.

Our expert technicians will carry out a thorough inspection of the air conditioner and perform need repairs. In this way, your air conditioner will run without any strain resulting in reduced energy bills.

Call King for your AC tune-up and tips on how to reduce electric bills in your home

Contact us to schedule an AC tune-up, or for your other air conditioning needs. Our professional and certified technicians can identify and resolve all kinds of air conditioning issues.