Category Archives: Heat Pump

Money Saving Energy Tips in Time for Energy Awareness Month

October is Energy Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to learn a few
amazing money saving energy tips for your home!

  1. When to Turn Off Your Personal Computer
  • Yes, there is a small surge in energy when your computer first starts up, but this small amount of energy is considerably less than the energy used when your computer is running for long periods of time.
  • For energy savings and convenience, consider turning off…apple-691282_640
    • The monitor if you aren’t going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes
    • Both the CPU and monitor if you’re not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours.
    • Make sure your monitors, printers and other accessories are on a power strip/surge protector.
      • When this equipment is not in use for extended periods, turn off the switch on the power strip to prevent them from drawing power even when shut off.
    • If you don’t use a power strip, unplug extra equipment when it’s not in use.
  • Most PCs reach the end of their “useful” life due to advances in technology long before the effects of being switched on and off multiple times have a negative impact on their service life.
  • The less time a PC is on, the longer it will “last.”
  • PCs also produce heat, so turning them off reduces building cooling loads.
  • Note: Screen savers are not energy savers.
    • Using a screen saver may in fact use more energy than not using one.

2. Laundry Tips

  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
  • Wash and dry full loads.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
  • Don’t over-dry your clothes.
    • If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
  • Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
  • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked.
    • This will save energy and may prevent a fire.
  • Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks.

3. Air Leaks and Your Wallet

  • One of the quickest energy– and money-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal and weather strip all seams, cracks and openings to the outside.
  • Tips for Sealing Air Leaks
    • Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
    • Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings and officiants over cabinets.
    • Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
    • Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists and caulk them.
    • Cover single-pane windows with storm windows or replace them with more efficient double-pane low- emissivity windows.
    • Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.
    • Cover your kitchen exhaust fan to stop air leaks when not in use.
    • Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use.
    • Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials such as sheet metal or sheetrock and furnace cement caulk.

4. Air Conditioning Tips

  • Set your th10411_image6 copyermostat to 78° F or as high as comfort permits.
  • Close your blinds and curtains during the hottest part of the day.
  • Close cooling vents in unused rooms and keep doors to unused rooms closed.
  • Check, clean or replace air filters every month.
  • Clean the outside condenser coil once a year.
  • Insulate your house.
  • Schedule periodic maintenance of cooling equipment by a licensed service representative.
  • Attics must be ventilated to relieve heat buildup caused by the sun. If necessary, improve attic airflow by adding or enlarging vents.

5. Energy Saving Lightning Tips

  • Indoor Lighting Tips
    • By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $75 each year.
    • When replacing incandescent bulbs from recessed light fixtures, use energy-efficient bulbs that are rated for that purpose.
    • Consider purchasing ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures.
      • They are available in many styles, distribute light more efficiently and evenly than standard fixtures, and some offer convenient features such as dimming.
    • Controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use.
    • Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels.bulbs-932838_640
    • Keep your curtains or shades open to use day-lighting instead of turning on lights.
  • Outdoor Lighting Tips
    • Because outdoor lights are usually left on a long time, using CFLs or LEDs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy.
    • CFLs and LEDs are available as flood lights.
      • These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures.

6. Water Heating

  • Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F to get comfortable hot water.
  • Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank but be careful not to cover the thermostat.
  • Insulate your natural gas or oil hot-water storage tank but be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat or burner compartment.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations; when in doubt, get professional help.
  • Insulate the first six feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.
  • If you are in the market for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, consider buying an efficient, water-saving ENERGY STAR® model to reduce hot water use.
  • Drain a quart of water from your water tank every three months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater.

7. Heating

  • Set your thermost102754_image4 copyat as low as is comfortable in the winter.
  • Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Release trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if in doubt about how to perform this task, call a professional.
  • Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
  • During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

8. Ducts

  • Check your ducts for air leaks.
    • First, look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes.
  • If you use tape to seal your ducts, avoid cloth-backed, rubber adhesive duct tape, which tends to fail quickly.
  • Remember that insulating ducts in the basement will make the basement colder.
  • If your basement has been converted to a living area, hire a professional to install both supply and return registers in the basement rooms.
  • Be sure a well-sealed vapor barrier exists on the outside of the insulation on cooling ducts to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Long-Term Savings Tip: You can lose up to 60% of your heated air before it reaches the register if your ducts aren’t insulated and they travel through unheated spaces such as the attic or crawlspace.
  • Get a qualified professional to help you insulate and repair ducts.

9. Kitchen Tips

  • Refrigerator/Freezer Energy
    • Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer section
      • If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0°F.
    • Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit.
      • Don’t allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
    • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight.
      • Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator.
      • If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you might consider buying a new unit.
    • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Other Energy-Saving Kitchen Tips
    • Be sure to place the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water; placing the lever in the hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never reach the faucet.
    • If you need to purchase a natural gas oven or range, look for one with an automatic, electric ignition system.
      • An electric ignition saves natural gas because a pilot light is not burning continuously.
    • In natural gas appliances, look for blue flames; yellow flames indicate theflame-871136_640 gas is burning inefficiently and an adjustment needs to be made.
    • Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; they will reflect the heat better, and you will save energy.
    • Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water; it’s faster and it uses less energy.
    • Match the size of the pan to the heating element.
    • Use small electric pans or toaster ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven.
      • A toaster oven uses a third to half as much energy as a full-sized oven.
    • Use pressure cookers and microwave ovens whenever it is convenient to do so.
      • They will save energy by significantly reducing cooking time.
  • Dishwasher
    • Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer’s recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120°F).
    • Scrape, don’t rinse, off large food pieces and bones.
    • Soaking or pre-washing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food.
    • Be sure your dishwasher is full, but not overloaded, when you run it.
    • Don’t use the “rinse hold” on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
    • Let your dishes air dry; if you don’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open a little so the dishes will dry faster.

To have all of your plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical systems energy efficiency checked call 1-888-9TIGER4 or visit TrustTiger.com today!

Be sure to check out Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram for more valuable money saving information!

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101 Plumbing Tips, Tricks and Advice You Need to Know

Plumbing is something that every one of us uses and relies on. From our bathrooms to our kitchens, ensuring that all of your plumbing pipes are running smoothly and efficiently is important to your health and happiness. So, here is a list of great plumbing tips, tricks and advice, every homeowner should know!plumbing-840835_640

  1. Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period.
  2. Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the thermostat.
  3. Insulate your gas or oil hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat or burner compartment; when in doubt, get professional help.
  4. Install non-aerating low-flow faucets and shower heads, to save major bucks on your water bill
  5. Although most water heaters last 10-15 years, it’s best to start shopping for a new one if yours is more than 7 years old.
  6. Doing some research before your heater fails will enable you to select one that most appropriately meets your needs.
  7. Lower the thermostat on your water heater; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high-temperature settings
  8. A water heater setting of 115°F provides enough hot water for most users
  9. Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater.
  10. If you heat with electricity and live in a warm and sunny climate, consider installing a solar water heater.
  11. Egg shells are a great way to clean garbage disposals
  12. Take egg-shells-706502_640more showers than baths. You use 15-25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.
  13. Choose a water heater with an appropriate first-hour rating (FHR) by estimating your family’s peak-hour demand for hot water
  14. Determine the appropriate fuel type for your water heater. If you are considering electricity, check with your local utility company for off-peak electricity rates for water heating.
  15. Natural gas, oil and propane water heaters are less expensive to operate than electric models.
  16. For safety as well as energy-efficiency reasons, when buying gas- and oil-fired water heaters, look for units with sealed combustion or power venting to avoid back-drafting of combustion gasses into the home.
  17. Do not install the water heater in an unheated basement.
  18. Try to minimize the length of piping that runs to your bathroom and kitchen.
  19. If your drain is clogged you can pour half a box of baking soda and ½ a cup of vinegar down the drain, then wait 30-45 minutes and pour boiling water down the drain.
  20. For electric water heaters, install a timer that can automatically turn the hotcloggeddrain water off at night and on in the morning. A simple timer can pay for itself in less than a year.
  21. Toilets and sinks require different types of plungers to remove clogs. Make sure you’re using the correct one.
  22. Take sure to check all of your pipes for leaks, even just a small leak can waste nearly 20 gallons of water per day. Just imagine what a larger leak can do.
  23. Don’t go crazy when using detergents, bleach or other chemicals, overusing these products can kill the natural bacteria that your septic system needs
  24. Septic systems should be checked twice a year, to ensure they’re running properly
  25. Using biodegradable soaps will help you conserve more water
  26. A spring loaded timer that attaches directly onto your outdoor faucet, will help prevent you from over or under watering your garden
  27. Check your water meter when no water is being used then check it again about eight hours later. If your meter has moved, that’s a clear sign that you may have a leak
  28. A leaky toilet can increase your water usages by more than 40%, you’ll want to repair the leak ASAP to save money on your water bill
  29. Have an older shower head? You can save up to 7.5 gallons of water per minute by replacing it with a newer model.
  30. If you suspect a leak in your sink, toilet, water main, etc. turn off the water before attempting repairs
  31. If you have never been trained on how to use an auger, you can cause serious and expensive damage to your pipes.
  32. Keep our number handy: 1-888-9TIGER1. You never know when you’ll have a plumbing emergency.
  33. Don’t overload your garbage disposal with too much food at one time
  34. Remember to use lots of water while running your garbage disposal, to prevent clogs
  35. Never put rice, pasta, bones, corn cobs or beans in your garbage disposal
  36. To stop an overflowing toilet locate the valve behind your toilet and turn it off immediately
  37. If plunging doesn’t fix your clogged toilet, it’s time to contact a professional plumber
  38. Those toilet flushing tabs, are horrible for your toilet and will create major problems down the road
  39. If nothing happens when you flush, it means you have a loose handle or valve
  40. Clogged toilet? Let it sit for a few hours or overnight, then try flushing again. Often times this is all you’ll need to do, to fix the issue. Just be ready for the water to overflow if this doesn’t work.
  41. You can also add some hot or boiling water to your bowl and try flushing, to correct a clog.
  42. Adding dish soap to the bowl is another method that might remove a clog
  43. Distilled vinegar can remove hard water stains on your shower head. Just tie a bag of vinegar around your shower head and leave it there for a few hours. Then you can simply wipe away the stains with a cloth.
  44. Letting Coke soak in your toilet, is the easiest way to clean your bowl.
  45.  To clean your dishwasher, pour ½ cup of white vinegar into the detergent cup and simply run the empty machine for one full cycle.
  46. You can use half a lemon to rub away any hard water stains on your
    faucets.
  47. Disposable diapers, feminine hygiene products, hair, coffee grounds, toothpaste, food particles, oil from cooking and mineral build up are the most common causes of clogged drains
  48. Small bathroom? A corner toilet is a great way to save space!
  49. Looking to save on your water bill? Place a bucket in the shower to catch water, which you can later use to wash your vehicle
  50. Most newer water meters have an easy to read leak indicator on the face of the dial
  51. It’s a myth that low flow toilets don’t perform as well as regular flow toilets
  52. WaterSense labeled toilets get the job done
  53. High-efficiency toilets do not cause problems with home plumbing systems
  54. WaterSense labeled toilets meet or exceed plumbing standards
  55. High-efficiency toilets are available in a wide range of modelspipe-406906_640
  56. Plastic piping is superior to metal piping in almost every way
  57. Plastic piping  is cheaper than metal
  58. Plastic piping is much easier to install, adjust and tighten if a leak develops, than metal piping
  59. Plastic piping, unlike metal, won’t corrode.
  60. When a metal drain leaks it’s usually a great idea to replace the metal with plastic piping
  61. A clog can often be yanked out with an easy tool like a Zip-It or other flexible-shaft pick-up tool
  62. A wet/dry vac can often suck out a clog
  63. Both tape and dope work equally as well when you’re sealing pipe threads
  64. Tape is only meant for pipe threads, don’t use tape on compressors or other connections
  65. “Plumber’s putty,”  can damage plastic and it can leave stains.IMG_0018 2
  66. You can remove that gross tub ring by sprinkling the tub with salt and taking half a piece of grapefruit use it as a scrubber
  67. Use food coloring, to test for a leaky toilet. Place a few drops in your toilet’s water tank. Wait a few hours, then check the bowl to see if there is any color there. If there is, it’s an indicator that you have a leaky flapper
  68. You can use a wet/dry vac to retrieve items that fall into the toilet
  69. By tying a piece of string around your faucet that reaches down to the drain, you can quiet the sound from a dripping faucet.
  70. The most common causes of dripping faucets are worn washers, bad internal seats or  worn/faulty faucet cartridges
  71. If your water pressure is too high, like over 80 pounds per square inch, for example, it can cause damage to your faucet and create a leak
  72. If your kitchen sink is clogged by grease, you can remove the clog by pouring ¼ cup of dish soap down the drain, wait about 20 minutes and then pour roughly a quart of boiling water in the drain
  73. Pouring chemicals down your drain will corrode the pipes.
  74. The newer, thicker chemicals meant to remove clogs from drains will often cause or worsen clogs.
  75. A pedestal sump pump has the motor attached to the top of a shaft; this motor is not designed to be under water.
  76. A pedestal sump pump works well if you have a smaller diameter basins
  77. Sump pumps usually come with an automatic on/off switch for your convenience
  78. A float switch is the most common sump pump automatic switches.
  79. Sump Pump float switches are designed to raise with the rising water levels your basin and the pump is started after the water reaches a certain level.
  80. Submersible sump pumps are designed to sit in the base of the sump basin, below water level.
  81. Submersible sump pumps are more adapted to larger sump basins
  82. Submersible sump pumps are typically quieter than pedestal pumps.
  83. To determine the size of sump pump you need, you must know how much water you’ll need to be pumped, how high the water will be pumped and the length and size of pipe.
  84. Do not assume that having a large horsepower sump pump will be the best choice for you, do your research before buying
  85. A large horsepower sump pump, in a small diameter basin, will cause the pump to cycle more frequently, shortening your pumps life.
  86. Pump capacity charts are available through professional plumbers and installers or pump manufacturers or they can be found on the web.
  87. When installing a sump pump, it is usually recommended that a check valve be installed, this prevents water left in the outlet pipe from flowing back into the basin
  88. Some check valves can be attached to the sump pump itself, while others are placed farther up the outlet pipe
  89. A dedicated electrical circuit should be used for the sump pump. Most pumps have a high amp load when starting
  90. Do not use an extension cord to plug the pump into the outlet
  91. To maintain a sump pump, periodically check the system.
  92. Make sure the float in your sump pump is free of obstructions
  93. Observe the outlet on your sump pump to make sure water is actually being pumped
  94. Listen for unusual noises when your sump pump is running, strange sounds are signs something is seriously wrong
  95. If a sump pump fails, and water gets into the basement, do not attempt repairs without first turning off the power to all basement outlets.
  96. If you call a plumber right when you first notice a leaky faucet you’ll likely only need a simple, small repair, but if you wait a few months, the leak will worsen and cause more damages leading to more costly repairs
  97. Watching home improvement shows and reading DIY plumbing blogs, doesn’t make you a master plumber. Plumbers spend years training and learning the plumbing trade, it’s best to leave big plumbing issues to the professionals and save yourself a headache.
  98. A leaky toilet can waste enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in one year. Now just imagine what that is doing to your bill
  99. Many toilets really do run only at night; that’s because people use much less water during these hours and in many municipal water systems, the water pressure rises considerably during this time
  100. If you only notice your toilet running in the middle of the night, there is a good chance that the water level in your tank is set too high
  101. If you have plumbing concerns call 1-888-9TIGER1 or visit TrustTiger.com to have a plumber address and issues you may have.

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at

Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedInGooglePlus and Instagram

The Silent Killer: Carbon Monoxide 101

Carbon monoxide(CO) kills an estimated 660 Americans each year. What makes carbon monoxide so dangerous is its lack of warning signs. Smoke typically precedes fire; gas leaks often produce strong odors. Carbon monoxide, on the other hand, is an odorless and colorless gas; you may not know you’re breathing until it’s too late.gas-stove-138885_640

CO is created by the incomplete burning of gasoline, wood, charcoal, natural gas, propane, oil or methane. Vehicles running inside an attached garage, furnaces, gas ovens, poorly vented stoves or fireplaces, are some of the most common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The effects and dangers of carbon monoxide vary depending on several factors:

  • Infants, small children, pregnant women and those in poor health, are more at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • CO poisoning can be a long, slow process if a person’s exposure is limited or the carbon monoxide leak is small.
  • However, carbon monoxide poisoning can happen much faster, if the leak is larger. Carbon monoxide can kill within minutes if a person is exposed to enough CO.

The  symptoms of CO poisoning are often mistaken for other common illnesses. People often believe they are suffering from food poisoning, the flu, viral infections or exhaustion. So, many people never even consider there might be a carbon monoxide leak.

Keep an eye out for these warning signs:

  • Dizziness

  • Headaches

  • Nausea

  • Breathlessness

  • Collapsing

  • Loss of consciousness

How to tell if these symptoms are from a common illness or warning signs of CO poisoning:

  • The symptoms you’re experiencing, only occur when you are at home

  • Your symptoms seemed to improve when you leave your home.

  • The other members of your family are experiencing similar symptoms.

  • Your pets also seem to be suffering from CO poisoning symptoms.

Strategies to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure:

  • Have youreal-estate-475875_640r heating system, water heater and any other gas-, oil- or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
  • Install a battery-operated CO detector and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
  • Do not use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, garage or near a window.
  • Do not run a vehicle inside a garage attached to your home, even if you leave the garage door open.
  • Do not burn anything on a stove or in a fireplace that is not vented.
  • Do not heat your house with a gas oven.
  • Interconnected CO alarms offer the best protection; when one sounds, they all do. One of our Certified Electricians can install hard-wired interconnected CO alarms throughout your home.
  • Or you can install wireless alarms, plug-in alarms or battery operated alarms.

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at
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Myth or Fact? Plumbing Urban Legend Edition

There are some pretty interesting urban legends out there when it comes to Plumbing. But which of this legend are myths and which ones are rooted in fact? Prepare to find out once and for all!

1. Snakes Biting People On The Toilet

Have you heard the stories of snakes crawling up people’s toilet pipes and biting them when they go to use the restroom? Well, if you’re sitting there thinking that this has to be a plumbing myth, then think again. Snakes entering your bathroom through the toilet is a plumbing fact.

While rare, snakes can and have, slithered their way into people’s homes, via the toilet.  Snakes can gain access to your plumbing in a few different ways, butsnake-660781_640 homes with a crawl space are the most vulnerable. Snakes love crawl spaces and if there is a hole or large enough crack in one of your pipes, a snake can easily slide right in. Then it’s just a short distant from there to your toilet bowl.

Plus, damaged or cracked pipes can cause a lot more serious plumbing and financial issues. If it’s been a while since you’ve had the condition of your pipes examined, it might be time to contact a licensed plumber, to ensure that your pipes are hole free!

2. Ice Cubes Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades

There is a popular theory, that you can keep the blades in your garbage disposal sharp, by grinding up ice cubes. This is a plumbingabstract-18722_640 myth.

At best, ice cubes might clean the blades in your disposal. So, if you notice a strong odor coming from your sink, you might consider tossing a few cubes in your disposal to see if that helps.

3. Water Flushes  In Different Directions In Different Hemispheres

The Coriolis Effect, makes water flush counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and
clockwise in the southern hemisphere. No, no it doesn’t, this is a huge plumbing myth.

The Coriolis Effect, really only applies to large bodies of water. Toilet bowls are just too small for the Coriolis Effect. The only thing that determines the direction water flushes is the design of the toilet.

4. Egg Shells Clean Garbage Disposals

Grinding up my morning egg shells will help keep my disposal clean and oplumbing dor free. Egg lovers rejoice, this one is a plumbing fact.

Go ahead a toss those egg shells in your disposal. They are one of the few items, soft and safe enough to go in the disposal, that will actually help keep it clean.

5. Flushable Wipes Are Fine To Flush

I can flush my Flush-able wipes down the toilet with no problem. After all, why else would they be called Flush-able? You might want to think twice about tossing those wipes in your bowl. This is a plumbing (and advertising) myth.

Keep this in mind, just because you can flush it, doesn’t mean you should flush it! Regularly flushing these so called Flush-able wipes down your toilet will cause major plumbing issues that will cost you major bucks

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at

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Repair Your AC Now Before Summer Scorches

10216_img 11 copyIt’s starting to heat up here in the Midwest, and that means that we’ll be turning on our air conditioners soon, perhaps for the first time this year. What happens when we change the thermostat and nothing happens? Our air conditioner doesn’t turn on, or it does, but is not blowing cold air?

Air Conditioner repair is sometimes necessary. It’s important to have a diagnostic check on your system prior to having it run for the next couple of months nonstop. Though the repaired system in the home will continue to work for years, sometimes decades, repairs are no longer possible in some instances. In this case, making the decision to install a new system is often a good one. However, you should not base this on factors such as the age of the current system. Rather, you should be able to get help from a trained technician who can provide you with more information and guidance about when to replace an existing system.

small_206605470When Repairs Are Likely

In many cases, air conditioner repairs are possible and, often times, probable. If the system is still within its warranty, then performing repairs is easy to do. Even those that are significantly older can still be fixed rather than replaced. If the system is maintained and all appropriate preventative maintenance steps are taken during its lifetime, the system is likely to need just updates or replacement of key components. However, repairs will not be good enough in some situations. That includes situations like the following.

Does the system require a very expensive replacement part? For example, if you need to replace the condenser or the motor, it may be more cost effective in the long-term to replace the system. This is especially true when there are instances in which possible breakdowns from other compenents are likely.

Energy certificateIs the system no longer efficient? Over time, the system may become harder to maintain and to keep running efficiently. If you are spending more on your energy bill to cool the home than you used to, it may be time to replace the system. Those systems older than ten to fifteen years are often less efficient than newer models.

Does the system no longer provide enough cooling for the home? If so, it may be a good idea to replace it. A system that is too small or one that is not properly working can become a risk for the home. Replacing it could save money in the long-term.

111028_img17 copyOverall, air conditioner repair is the first step. Discuss your needs for this with your technician. He or she will conduct a thorough inspection of the current system to determine what the problems are, if there are any, and then will offer recommendations about whether repairs or replacement is best. Sometimes the repairs are simple and inexpensive. In other cases, newer models can pay for themselves over the short term by reducing energy consumption needs. A trained technician can help you to know the difference. Schedule an appointment online today, or give Tiger Heating & Air Conditioning Services a call at 1-866-TIGER70.

Your Sinus Headaches May Not Be Caused By Allergies…

Did you know that headaches can be caused by poor indoor air quality?

When we get headaches, that we often contribute to seasonal allergies, we don’t think that they could be caused by our own homes or the buildings in which we work; however, more often than not, environmental causes may be 4867472163_422821ed85the culprit for our achy heads – including poor indoor air quality. Having good indoor air quality is vital for the maintenance of proper health. According to the statistics presented by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the pollutant level inside the home is often two to five times higher than what is outside. These pollutants include different types of airborne particles as well as particulate matters such as gases, lung irritants, allergens, toxic chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

If you get headaches often, take time to notice if it only happens when you are in a particular room or building.  If so, there are two likely causes: Mold or Clogged Air Ducts. The presence of mold in your home or building may lead to several health issues.  In addition to headaches, recurring mold exposure may produce the following symptoms: decreased attention span, fatigue, respiratory distress, asthma, irritations of eye, nose, throat, and lungs, and redness and rashes, among others.

Young children are particularly vulnerable to the various health risks associated with polluted indoor air, as their lungs are still developing and are smaller in size. They also need to take more breaths in throughout each day, which becomes difficult if the air quality is bad. If a person is experiencing asthma attacks or allergy symptoms, then bad indoor air quality in his or her home might be a probable cause for such symptoms. Poor indoor air quality can be caused by a variety of factors, such as lingering odors, poor ventilation, water damage, new furniture, a new pet or environmental changes such as a recent construction.

If the ductwork in your home or building is clogged, clean air cannot reach the room or rooms it is vented into. When this happens, only stale air and carbon dioxide re-circulates and the lack of 4873976130_97338fc1f2oxygen-rich air will cause headaches. The best way to treat poor indoor air quality is to have your air duct system cleaned and disinfected.

Likewise, If you experience allergic reactions more severely when you are in a certain room, space, or building than you do in others, it is likely caused by the presence of unknown allergens. If you are bothered in a certain area with allergic reactions, it is very important to get indoor air quality testing to rule out the possibility of poor indoor air quality being the cause of your allergies.

Using professional duct cleaning experts, such as those at Tiger Heating & Air Conditioning Services, will ensure that the indoor air that you breathe is healthy.  Schedule an appointment online, or call us today at 1-866-TIGER70. Don’t delay, get headache and allergy relief today!

 

photo credit: Day 286, Project 365 – 8.6.10 via photopincc

photo credit: Outlet via photopincc

New Water Heater Regulations Mean The Time To Replace Is Now!

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 3.02.39 PMWhile most homeowners are worrying about getting their taxes submitted on time, contractors across the nation are gearing up for new federal Department of Energy regulations regarding water heaters. The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act, or NAECA, raises the minimum efficiency (energy factor) of nearly all residential water heaters. Going into effect April 16, 2015, NAECA impacts all tank-type brands of water heaters. Although older units may be available in limited quantities and can be installed after this date, manufacturers across the United States will not be making the “old style” anymore. This new regulation is being implemented as a government energy savings initiative.

Although the new regulations impact manufacturers, dealers, and contractors, the ones who will be most affected by the regulations will be homeowners. The new standards do not require homeowners to replace their current water heaters, but as time passes you will only be able to buy units meeting the new DOE efficiency standards. Some of the extra cost may be recouped in energy savings, eventually. In most cases the savings amount to less than a couple of dozen bucks a year, with payback periods as long as 10+ years.

wh402For models under 55 gallons in capacity, there will be additional insulation on the water heater. Although units will be using similar technology as before, most models will grow by 2 inches to meet the new standard.  This change could be in height and/or width. What this means for homeowners is that additional planning and preparation may need to go in to a water heater purchase. There could be size and placement restrictions, and additional plumbing or gas line alterations may need to be completed prior to water heater installation. This is not the only issue presented by the new standards regulations. History tells us that whenever a change of this magnitude is instituted, prices of higher efficiency equipment are always affected. Following the last major efficiency upgrade, there was a price increase for the new standard equipment of between 8-12%. We now know from one of the major manufacturers that these price increases on the new NAECA compliant products will be up to 40%. We can only surmise that all major water heater manufacturers will follow suit.

wh502For models over 55 gallons in capacity, there is a bigger change. The new standards have forced manufacturers to adopt technologies that are likely to increase the price of water heaters and their installation significantly. Large water heaters of 55 gallons and above may double or triple in price, according to some industry observers. Most models will be required to change to a newer technology. This involves massive re-engineering and retooling. Gas water heaters will now be required to be High Efficiency Condensing models. Electric water heaters will need to be Hybrid Electric Heat Pump models. There are significant size differences in these new style water heaters over 55 gallons.

There are a few exceptions to the new standard. Several of today’s high efficiency models are already compliant. Hybrid, high efficiency gas and electric models, tankless, and power vented water heaters are unaffected because they already meet the new efficiency regulations set by the DOE.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 3.02.25 PMFor new construction projects, be sure to allow more space for the water heater to be installed. For retrofit or replacement projects, plan ahead. The professionals at Tiger Plumbing Services recommend that if you are on the fence about a new or replacement water heater, to act now. Due to the new manufacturing requirements, prices of water heaters will begin to rise. In addition, you may have to relocate your water heater or downgrade in capacity because of the new size requirements.

Industry statistics show that the average storage tank water heater lasts 10-15 years. If yours is at the outer edge of that life span, even if it is in good working order, this is a good time to consider replacing it now. In addition to paying more money in the years ahead, you will be forced to try out new technology that has been rushed into the marketplace and may well have a few bugs to be worked out. Also, water heaters compliant with the new standards will be larger and may not fit in the space your water heater now occupies, leading to more headaches.

The new regulations allow sellers of water heaters to deplete their inventories of pre-2015 models before taking on the new high-efficiency units. This means that homeowners may still have access to some older units after April 16th. As time passes those older models will become harder and harder to find, and their prices are likely to go up accordingly. This may also be a good time to consider a tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters do not store hot water, but heat it on demand. They boast efficiencies of up to 96% and already meet the new federal regulations.

No matter how you decide to handle these new 2015 NAECA standards regulations, whether you upgrade your equipment now or in the future, always remember to hire a licensed contractor. The professionals at Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, & Electrical Services have the skills, knowledge and experience, not to mention the proper tools, to advise you on the best water heater choice for your home, and to install your new unit correctly and efficiently, the first time. They will also provide a higher grade of equipment than is offered by your local home improvement store.

Give us a call at 1-866-844-3770, or chat with us online at www.TrustTiger.com, to review your options, but don’t wait too long. Demand for the “old style” water heaters is high, while the supply is being depleted to adhere to the new regulations.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 3.03.16 PM

 

Sources:

DOE: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/appliance_standards/product.aspx/productid/27

A.O. Smith: www.hotwater.com/naeca

Bradford White: www.bradfordwhite.com/naeca

Rheem: www.rheem.com/products/water_heating/NAECA/

Pictures courtesy of : http://www.statewaterheaters.com/naeca/

Efficiency Ratings of Furnaces

As the cold, winter weather continues here in the Midwest, you may be shocked by your utility bills. Yes, your furnace is running more with the frigid temperatures, but is it running at peak performance? Even if it is, your furnace still may not meet today’s minimum efficiency requirements. These requirements are designed to save the homeowner money on utilities, and optimize the utilities one is paying for.

A central furnace’s efficiency is measured by annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). The Federal Trade Commission requires new furnaces to display their AFUE so consumers can compare heating efficiencies of various models. AFUE is a measure of how efficient the appliance is in converting the energy in its fuel to heat over the course of a typical year.

Specifically, AFUE is the ratio of annual heat output of the furnace, compared to the total annual fossil fuel energy consumed by the furnace. An AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the energy in the fuel becomes heat for the home and the other 10% escapes up the chimney and elsewhere. AFUE doesn’t include the heat losses of the duct system or piping, which can be as much as 35% of the energy for output of the furnace when ducts are located in the attic, garage, or other partially conditioned or unconditioned space.

An all-electric furnace has no flue loss through a chimney. The AFUE rating for an all-electric furnace is between 95% and 100%. The lower values are for units installed outdoors because they have greater jacket heat loss. However, despite their high efficiency, the higher cost of electricity in our part of the country makes all-electric furnaces an uneconomic choice. If you are interested in electric heating, consider installing a heat pump system.

Inspecting furnace

The minimum allowed AFUE rating for a non-condensing fossil-fueled, warm-air furnace is currently 78% for all types of furnaces except for those designed and manufactured specifically for use in mobile homes, for which the minimum AFUE is 75%. Minimum AFUE requirements for furnaces are based on the type of fuel consumed (i.e., gas, oil, or electricity), whether the unit is non-weatherized (i.e., intended for installation indoors) or weatherized (i.e., intended for installation outdoors), and whether the unit is designed specifically for use in a mobile home.

Began on May 1, 2013, for non-weatherized furnaces and January 1, 2015, for weatherized furnaces, the minimum AFUE requirements are as follows:

PRODUCT CLASS MINIMUM
AFUE RATING
Non-weatherized gas furnaces
(not including mobile home furnaces)
80%
Mobile home gas furnaces 80%
Non-weatherized oil-fired furnaces
(not including mobile home furnaces)
83%
Mobile Home oil-fired furnaces* 75%
Weatherized gas furnaces 81%
Weatherized oil-fired furnaces* 78%
Electric furnaces* 78%

*The minimum AFUE requirements for these product classes are unchanged from the current requirements.

In addition to the minimum AFUE ratings shown in the table above, all non-weatherized gas furnaces and mobile home gas furnaces installed in the northern half of the United States, must have a minimum AFUE of 90% (In these ratings, Illinois and Missouri are considered northern states).

A condensing furnace condenses the water vapor produced in the combustion process and uses the heat from this condensation. The AFUE rating for a condensing furnace can be much higher (by more than 10 percentage points) than a non-condensing furnace. Although condensing models cost more than non-condensing models, a condensing furnace can save you money in fuel costs over the approximately 15- to 30-year life of the unit and is a particularly wise investment in cold climates like ours in the Midwest.

You can identify and compare a system’s efficiency by not only its AFUE, but also by its equipment features, listed below.

Old, low-efficiency heating systems:

  • Natural draft that creates a flow of combustion gases
  • Continuous pilot light
  • Heavy heat exchanger
  • 68%–72% AFUE

Mid-efficiency heating systems:

  • Exhaust fan controls the flow of combustion air and combustion gases more precisely
  • Electronic ignition (no pilot light)
  • Compact size and lighter weight to reduce cycling losses
  • Small-diameter flue pipe
  • 80%–83% AFUE

High-efficiency heating systems:

  • Condensing flue gases in a second heat exchanger for extra efficiency
  • Sealed combustion
  • 90%–97% AFUE

Technician inspecting furnaceIf you think your furnace or boiler could use an upgrade to be more efficient, contact the professionals at Tiger Heating & Air Conditioning Services, Inc., and we will help you understand your heating and cooling system’s efficiency. Call 1-866-844-3770, or visit www.TrustTiger.com, to set up your appointment with one of our comfort advisors today.

Tiger Continues to Support Cancer Research

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

METRO EAST, IL. – Tiger Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning has expanded their fleet of orange tiger-striped trucks and vans with two pink tiger-striped vehicles. The van and the truck will help raise money for cancer awareness in our area.

“We wanted to do something to help out our community, so a portion of the proceeds from each service call that we go to in one of these vehicles is donated to the American Cancer Society,” said Jeff Gamblin, owner of Tiger Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. “To date, we have donated over $8,000 to the organization.”

The eye-catching vehicles are a big hit at local community events as well.

“We like to take the vehicles out to local Relay for Life events, and other cancer-related awareness events,” said Gamblin. “On June 27th, 2015, we will be at the Relay for Life event in Collinsville, Illinois, to show our support.”

“The funds donated from these vehicles are helping the American Cancer Society to create a world with more birthdays,” said Relay for Life Specialist, Amanda Kernan. “Because of Tiger’s commitment to finish the fight against cancer, the American Cancer Society is able to ensure patients have transportation to and from treatment, provide free lodging for both patients and caregivers, fund life changing cancer research, and so much more.”

acstiger2Tiger Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Services, which has been in business since 1993, has a fleet of more than 24 vehicles, and supports more than 7,000 calls in the Metro East each year.

“Everyone knows somebody that has been affected by cancer,” said Gamblin. “This is our way of making a difference in our community.”

To request one of the pink vehicles to come out to your home for service, call 1-866-TIGER70 or visit TrustTiger.com today.

A Pre-Season Furnace Tune-Up Optimizes Your System and Saves You Money!

Fall is the best time for a furnace tune-up. Systems will operate more efficiently and minor problems can be detected before they become expensive repairs.small_363042911

The burning smell that invades homes every year when consumers first turn on their furnace is an accumulation of dirt and dust on the furnace heat-exchanger.

A simple checkup will verify that your furnace is operating safely, and will remove the dust and dirt that has accumulated allowing your family to breathe cleaner air. A clean system also operates more efficiently and saves you money on your utility bills. In addition to a preseason checkup, changing your filters every month will keep your system operating at maximum efficiency.

Inspecting furnace

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 14% of all home fires are caused by faulty heating equipment (second highest after cooking). A checkup of the heating system can safeguard against unnecessary threats, and bring peace of mind.

 

Electric heating systems should also be serviced to prevent equipment failure and reduce the threat of fire.

Consumers with all-electric homes not utilizing a heat pump who find that their electricity bill runs higher in the winter might consider a Tiger Signature Series heat pump system for their home. A heat pump removes the heat from the outside air and releases it into the home instead of relying on old-fashioned resistance heat strips to heat the air inside the home. A heat pump can be up to three times more efficient with potential energy savings of 66%!

“My home in St. Clair County is all-electric and this leads to high heating costs in the winter,” said James Nichols. “I currently have a 14 SEER split A/C system, but I’m really looking forward to installing the Tiger Signature Series 16 SEER heat pump system this fall. Even though the SEER rating is only 2 points higher, I know I will save a lot of money because the system operates differently than a traditional air conditioner. When my Tiger technician explained how it works, the decision was a simple one.”

Man Changing Furnace FilterThere are many steps involved in a full-system furnace tune-up from Tiger Services. Some of the most important of them include:

Inspecting furnace for performance problems. During a tune-up, your technician will run your furnace through the entire heating cycle and check for any performance problems. This helps identify whether or not your system requires any repairs.

Test airflow. Proper airflow is crucial to heating your home properly. That’s why we check your blower, ductwork and other components to ensure your system’s airflow is up to par.

Cleaning system components. Dirt buildup is one of the leading causes of furnace breakdowns. During your tune-up, we’ll clean all of the essential parts of your furnace in order to avoid future problems.

Tighten connections and lubricate moving parts. Your furnace worked hard last heating season, during which some electrical connections might have loosened up. That’s why we tighten up those connections during your tune-up in addition to lubricating moving parts so that your system runs smoothly.

Check for carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced as a byproduct of the heating process. When your system is running correctly, that carbon monoxide is exhausted out of your home. However, heat exchanger cracks and problems with your chimney or flue can allow CO gas to build up in your home. This can be extremely dangerous, which is why checking for carbon monoxide leaks is one of the most important parts of a furnace tune-up.

Technician inspecting furnaceNow is the best time to get heating systems professionally checked by visiting www.TrustTiger.com or scheduling an appointment today for a furnace tune-up by calling 1-866-TIGER70.