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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!

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.