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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 signs you need a new water heater

Your water heater is necessary for accomplishing everyday tasks around your home, such as washing the dishes and taking a shower. However, your water heater will start to break down over time. You don’t need to wait until a catastrophe occurs to get a new water heater. Here are the common warning signs you need a new water heater.

Suspect that it’s time to switch out your water heater? Contact your local plumbing experts at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We offer 24/7 emergency service here in Chicagoland!

Here are the 5 signs you need a new water heater

#1. The water is rusty

If you see rust when you turn on the hot water, this is one of the clearest signs you need a new water heater. Rust and corrosion usually happen when the anode rod is spent and the walls of the tank are exposed to water and heat for years. If your water heater is deteriorating, it will start to rust and eventually start leaking.

Pictured: One of the signs you need a new water heater is that your anode rod is spent. In this image, you can see a new anode rod versus a completely corroded one.

Pictured: One of the signs you need a new water heater is that your anode rod is spent. In this image, you can see a new anode rod versus a completely corroded one.

#2. The unit is old

Try to find out when your water heater was made. You can usually figure this out by finding the serial number and looking it up online. If your water heater is at least 10 years old, you should consider replacing it. At the very least, you should call King for an inspection to make sure your water heater is still safely working.

#3. Your water heater is making strange sounds

Your water heater should be relatively quiet. However, it may start rumbling as it ages. As your water heater gets older, sediment will accumulate at the bottom of the tank. As the sediment gets constantly heated, it hardens and causes banging or rumbling sounds.

These noises indicate that there is a layer of hard sediment that is causing damage to your water heater and making it less efficient.

#4. It’s leaking

If you see any moisture near your water heater, it’s time to call the professionals at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. As metal heats up, it expands and it may cause the water tank to develop a small fracture. If the leaking gets worse, it may cause flooding or water damage.

#5. You don’t get enough hot water

Nothing’s worse than feeling a burst of cold water in the middle of a warm, comfortable shower. If this is happening to you on a regular basis, you probably need to replace your water heater.

Noticing the signs you need a new water heater? Contact King immediately!

If you notice any of these things are happening to your water heater, you should get it looked at immediately. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

Make the switch to a demand-type water heater!

Hot water is one of those things that you don’t truly appreciate until you no longer have it. From showering and washing your dishes to doing your laundry, there’s a lot you need hot water for. That’s just one of the many reasons you should consider making the switch to a demand-type water heater.

Demand-type, or tankless water heaters, have many benefits compared to standard water heaters. In this blog, we’ll break down some of the key differences.

Pictured: A demand-type water heater can provide your home with unlimited hot water out of your kitchen faucets.Save money by saving energy

One of the main reasons to switch out your current water heater for a demand-type system is to save money on the cost of heating your water. Among the benefits of these systems is that water is only heated when you turn on the faucet, rather than needing it to be heated and then stored in a tank.

Because of their efficiency, you’ll also be doing your part to save the environment when you install a tankless water heater. It’s easier than ever to go green, and your home’s appliances are a great place to start.

Get more years out of your system

No matter how much you’d like to save on heating, cooling, and plumbing, there’s no denying the fact that home appliances can be expensive. Another great thing about tankless water heaters is that they’ve been known to last for up to 20 years when well-taken care of.

Better water, better safety

When water is heated and left in a storage tank, there’s a chance it can collect rust and scale, which you don’t want coming out of your showerhead or kitchen faucet when you’re ready to cook. You can sidestep that issue with a tankless heater.

You also don’t have to worry as much about accidentally scalding yourself with burning hot water with a water heater that doesn’t use a tank. That’s because such water heaters have unique safety features that keep that from happening.

Call us to learn if a demand-type water heater is right for your home

Interested in learning more about demand-type water heaters? If so, don’t hesitate to contact us at King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today. See for yourself how much space, money, and time you can save with an upgraded appliance.

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.

Is it a good idea to soften your home’s hard water?

Hard water damage is a nuisance. It can leave your skin feeling itchy and dry. Also, it leaves nasty-looking stains in your sinks and toilets. This H2O contains a high concentration of minerals, such as magnesium and calcium. As a result, mineral build-up can occur over time and wreak havoc on your heating system and pipes.

At a glance: what are hot water problems?

Hard water typically affects faucets, tubs, sinks and appliances. Because of this, it can impact several areas of your life. One of the main issues is that it prevents soaps and detergents from lathering. This hinders your personal bathing experience. Also, your clothes and other fabrics don’t get as clean as they can.

Are your energy bills higher than usual? If so, scaled deposits from your hard water may be the culprit. This is a mineral build-up, which is also known as scaling.

When a household unit, such as your water heater, develops these deposits it must work harder. It uses up more energy and becomes less efficient. As a result, it takes a bite out of your pockets.

Call King Heating, Cooling & Plumbing for hard water solutions

Hard water can put a damper on your daily tasks. It hampers personal care, makes it difficult to thoroughly clean clothes, leaves behind stains and drives up energy costs.

This isn’t something you have to live with or accept. Let our plumbing experts handle this situation for you. Our team here at King is available 24/7 and we don’t charge extra for coming out on evenings and weekends. Schedule a service visit by contacting us today.

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.