Category Archives: Spring

How to Protect Your Air Conditioner from Storm Damage

These past few weeks have brought a lot of rain and storms to the area. In addition to all of these storms, the temperatures have also been climbing. You have likely been running your air conditioning system to keep your home comfortable. Unfortunately, thunderstorms can pose a serious risk to your ACFollow these handy tips when a strong storm hits and help protect your
Air Conditioner from the elements.

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-Turn Off Your AC During Thunderstorms 

Whenever possible turn off your air conditioner before a storm hits. Strong storms typically mean lightning. Electrical surges are common when lightning hits and you don’t want your AC’s electrical components destroyed, or risk a fire! If the weather is particularly hot, you can usually run your AC until the sky darkens. Keep in mind, however; lightning might be flashing before the rain comes so don’t wait that long, to turn off your unit. 

-Cover Your AC Before A Storm

Covering your air conditioning unit can be a great option to help protect it during a strong storm. Fast winds, hail and flying debris can cause some serious damage to the exposed components on your unit. You can use a tarp or even a board to cover your AC, to help protect it when severe weather hits.

*Make sure your cover is secure so it doesn’t turn into debris itself to cause damage elsewhere, and after the storm passes, remove the covering before starting up your unit again.

-Clean Up Your Yard

Speaking of flying debris, cleaning up your yard is a great way to help reduce the amount of debris that can be tossed around. Well before a storm hits, pack away outdoor furniture, toys, your barbecue pit and anything else that’s not tied down. Clean up branches that might have fallen and remove anything else that could puncture your AC equipment. Collaborate with neighbors to clean up their yards as well. Storms have no respect for property lines!

*If the storm is already rolling in or you see lightning, it is best to skip this step. Your own safety is more important. 

-Inspect and Clean Your AC Before Start-up

Once the storm has passed and it is safe to go outside, it is a good idea to do a thorough inspection of your AC unit and refrigerant piping to check for damage. Be sure to clear any debris that might be covering your air conditioning unit. As long as you’re certain that the unit is free from damage and debris, turn it on and monitor to make sure it’s working as it should.

-Get Professional Help

If despite your best efforts, your unit or piping has been damaged, call us right away at (866)844-3770We can also help you prepare for the storms ahead and reduce your equipments risk of being damaged.

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

(866) 844-3770

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Spring Rain and Your Plumbing: How April Showers Can Damage Your Pipes

Spring is here! Goodbye, yucky winter weather and short days. Say hello to budding leaves, blooming flowers and rain, lots and lots of rain. While spring brings the excitement of warming weather, it also brings hazards like heavy April rain showers, basement flooding and damaged pipes.pipes

Here are some ways your pipes can be affected by April rain showers:

1. Moving water can erode soil where a pipe is buried; exposing it.

Heavy rain can create rushing water that becomes a powerful force. This force can erode the soil around buried pipes, exposing them to damage. This is particularly concerning for the plumbing lines coming to your house from the city’s system.

Make sure you know where your pipes are buried and take extra care during and after flooding to avoid those areas. Once the rainwater has subsided, do a thorough check to make sure they are still buried. If the soil has been eroded, inspect the pipes for damage or have one of our plumbing experts come out and inspect them for you.

2. Pipes can burst. 

Flooding brings debris as well as lots of water. This debris can easily gather in a storm/drain pipes causing them to back up. If the pressure is high enough from the water draining, this can lead to bursting. You can minimize the risk of bursting by keeping your yard clean so there is less debris to back up your drainage system.

3. Pipes can corrode faster.

Depending on the material of your piping, exposure to flood waters and any changes in water chemistry can cause it to rust faster. This most often happens over a number of seasons of flooding and heavy rains. Inspect any visible piping for signs of rust, particularly if you have old cast iron piping in your home. Copper also corrodes and gets pinhole leaks so you still have to inspect those pipes as well.

4. Dirt and debris in the water supply can erode pipes internally.

Erosion is another way pipes can be damaged. Floodwaters carry sediment that destroys the
internal wall of drainpipes. While you cannot inspect the inside of pipes, you can call in one of our plumbing experts if you are concerned that you might be at risk for damaged piping from dirt and sediment erosion.


5. Prevention and cure.

Let us inspect your home’s plumbing to make sure it can withstand this April’s showers. When the floodwaters subside, we can help you find and repair any damage you may have incurred. Give us a call and we will keep your piping in shape for many more years of spring weather!

 

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Should I Shut My AC Off During Thunderstorms?

Thunderstorms and rocky weather are a way of life here in the Metro-East Area and we are all aware that there are some safety precautions we should follow when severe weather starts. Head indoors or take cover, do not sit near windows, roll up your car windows if driving, etc. but many people may not be aware of the risks that come from running their AC Units during thunderstorms.

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The extremely hot, sticky, humid conditions that make you want to run your AC are the same conditions that thunderstorms thrive in. Unfortunately, running your AC during a storm can cause some serious and expensive damage to the unit. So, it is a good idea to shut your AC off when a storm rolls in.

Why Are Thunderstorms and AC Units A Bad Combination?

One of the most dangerous elements of any storm is the possibility of lightning, and AC’s are not immune to the damage that comes with a lightning strike. The good news is that lightning striking homes are rare, but they are possible. And if lightning strikes the spot were your utility lines connect to your roof, five billion joules of electricity will surg10426_image7 copye throughout your home’s electrical system and wiring. This power can surge through your home before the breakers have a chance to be triggered to trip, leaving your electrical devices and appliances vulnerable.

Your AC can be rendered completely unusable by the damage caused by a lightning strike. If your AC is running when lightning hits your home, the delicate electrical circuitry of your AC Unit can be completely fried and the plug for your unit can be melted. Your AC could require expensive repairs or need to be replaced outright. 

In order to protect your AC Unit, it is best to turn it off when Thunderstorms or lightning begins rolling in.

Thunderstorms

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Warning Signs that Your Home Needs A Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier can be extremely helpful during the hot summer months. Humidity is on the rise here in the Midwest and many of us turn to the comfort of our Air Conditioned homes to escape the sticky weather. However, sometimes an air conditioner is not enough to beat summer’s humidity. Your home may also need the aid of a dehumidifier.

Dehumidifier

Signs You Need A Dehumidifier:

1. You see mold and mildew spots on your ceiling or walls.

Mold loves moisture and during the warmer months the added humidity can raise the moisture levels in your home. This makes it easier for mold spores to take root and grow. Bathrooms and kitchens are especially vulnerable, since cooking and bathing only help to increase the moisture levels; but during the more humid months, you may see mold growth in other areas of your home. Be sure to inspect areas with little to no ventilation: basements, attics, closets, etc.

2. You have water marks on your walls, floors or ceiling.

Not as worrisome as mold but just as unsightly, water marks can be a sign that you have an excess of humidity in your home.

3. You or your guests notice a musty odor when entering your home.

Musty odors can be a dead giveaway that the humidity levels in your home are way to high. These odors can also be a sign that mold and mildew growth is present.

4. You notice condensation on your windows.winter-1169046_960_720

High humidity levels in your home can cause condensation to form on your windows and sometimes other glass surfaces as well.

5. Your home just feels sticky and uncomfortable.

There is no bigger sign that you need a dehumidifier than a sticky home. Living in the Midwest, we all know what high humidity levels feels like. Keep this icky feeling outdoors in the summer, where it belongs!

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

(866) 844-3770

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Rain, Rain, Go Away, Don’t Ruin Memorial Day

Memorial Day marks the unofficial beginning of summer, but the rainy spring weather isn’t ready to let go just yet. There is a lot of rain in the forecast this week and we are all crossing our fingers, hoping that the weather improves before the big holiday weekend. Unfortunately, along with the heavy rain falls, the temperature and humidity levels are also on the rise this week. One thing is clear as we head into Memorial Day weekend; the weather is not on our side. Don’t panic just yet! Here are some steps you can take to help prevent the extreme weather from ruining your holiday weekend.Memorial Day

1. Avoid a Sump Pump Disaster

Sump pumps are designed to help prevent basement flooding, especially during periods of constant and heavy rainfall. The protection offered by sump pumps is especially important in finished basements with recreation rooms, home offices, bedrooms or rooms storing electronics or valuables. Like all other vital equipment in your home, your sump pump needs regular maintenance to ensure everything is functioning properly and so you can avoid a major disaster.  We’ll be happy to inspect and evaluate your sump pump needs, to give you peace of mind.

2. Battling the Humidity

With the heat rising and the rain falling, dealing with humidity this week is not going to be pleasant. To help you get through this muggy week, try out a few of these easy humidity-busting tricks.

  • Turn on your exhaust fans when bathing, doing laundry or cooking.
  • Cover pots as much as possible when cooking.
  • Use portable fans to improve airflow in stuffy rooms.
  • Take cooler and shorter showers.
  • Make sure all windows and doors are shut tight and that air isn’t able to leak through them.
  • Turn on your air conditioning to improve air flow and lower your home’s temperature.
  • Use a dehumidifier.

3. Make Sure Your AC is ready for the Long Haul10411_image6 copy

Many people have been holding off on turning on their air conditioners, but the weather this week may mean it’s finally time to flip on that AC. The temperatures will be in the 80’s and the rain and humidity will mean that your windows will need to be closed. You’ll likely need to turn on your air conditioner for some much-needed relief but will your AC be up for the challenge? Air conditioning units require yearly maintenance and inspections to keep them running properly. Call on our expert technicians here at Team Tiger to make sure that your AC can handle the heat.

4. Keep the Power On

Power outages are always a real concern during stormy weather. Having a Whole-Home Standby Generator installed will help you keep the lights on and your AC running during even the most severe weather. A generator is not only useful during stormy spring and summer weather, but it can also come in handy during the winter months if a blizzard blows in. Like your sump pump and AC, generators require yearly maintenance. So if you already have a generator for your home, make sure to have one of our Certified Electricians come out and ensure everything is running properly and safely this season.

Happy Memorial Day!

 

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

(866) 844-3770

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April Showers Brings…A Flooded Basement!

April Showers Brings May Flowers is a cute saying; however, April Showers can also do a lot of damage, especially to your basement. As you know, a flooded basement is a nightmare for homeowners. All of that flood damage is a mess to clean up and expensive to repair, plus a wet basement leads to mold in your home. And if your basement is prone to flooding, you’re probably not looking forward to April Showers season. The good news is that there are several preventative measures you can take to help protect your home and your bank account from a flooded basement this April.

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-If this April is anything like what we’re used to, then we can expect heavy and frequent rains that will compromise your sump pump. Sump pumps are designed to help prevent basement flooding. The protection they offer is especially important in finished basements containing recreation rooms, offices and bedrooms. As the water table rises and falls through the seasons, the pump collects excess water and moves it away from your home’s foundation, preventing flooding or other damage. Sump pump failure is one of the main causes of basement flooding but the good news is that it is easily avoidable. A typical sump pump has a lifespan of nearly five to seven years, but as you know, appliances and vital equipment have the tendency to fail when we need them most. That is why it is extremely important to check your sump pump operations regularly. You do this by removing the cover and slowly pouring water into the sump tank. Watch for the “float” to rise and trigger the pump. Once the pump is engaged, the water level will quickly lower and the float will shut off the pump. This is what is called a normal sump cycle and it is how you know your sump pump is functioning properly.

If your pump does not cycle properly or you’re just not sure if your sump pump is up to the numerous April Showers ahead, contact us and we’ll gladly send one of our expert plumbers to your home to make sure your sump pump is up to the challenge of a rainy spring.

-Keep the power on. Keep in mind that your sump pump only works when the power is on. If you tend to experience frequent power outages during strong storms, it might be a good idea to have a backup generator installed or invest in a battery-powered backup sump pump, just in case.

– Make sure your foundation does not fail you. Take some time and inspect the interior walls of your basement and your exterior foundation for cracks or damage that water could seep through. If you find any cracks, they need to be repaired as soon as possible.

– Do a gutter check. Keeping your gutters clear of leaves and other debris April Showers and making sure your downspouts are properly positioned, will help protect your home’s foundation from water damage. You want to ensure that your downspouts are draining water at least three feet away from your home. If your gutters are over flowing or your downspouts are not position correctly, the excess rain water will collect around your home’s foundation, causing it to erode and water will get into your basement.

– Have your sewer lines inspected and cleared if needed. Clogged and neglected sewer lines can lead to a flooded disaster during heavy rains. Our experienced team has the latest hydro-jet cleaning and camera inspection equipment. We can expertly clean your sewer lines from tree roots and debris that can clog your sewer lines before you have a major issue on your hands. Schedule your sewer line inspection appointment today and rest easy knowing that April Showers are no match for your newly cleared sewer lines.

– Invest in window well covers. If you have windows around the foundation of your home, meant to allow natural light into your basement, installing window well covers will go a long way in the fight against basement flooding. You can get clear acrylic covers, so your home is still protected from flooding and the sunlight will still be able to reach your basement. As a bonus, window well covers will also help keep pests and other debris out of your basement.

If you take these preventative measures, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the April Showers this season and dream of all of the beautiful flowers you’ll see this May!

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

(866) 844-3770

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5 Home Maintenance Tasks You Won’t Want to Skip this Spring

Home maintenance tasks may not be your favorite thing to do as a homeowner; however, home maintenance is crucial in the upkeep of your home. Plus, proper home maintenance is the best way to save yourself a ton of money on repairs and damages caused by neglected equipment. So do yourself a favor this spring and don’t skip these vital maintenance tasks.

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1. Clean Your Refrigerator Coils. Hey, it’s spring cleaning time anyway, you might as well add the refrigerator coils to your checklist. Regularly cleaning your refrigerator coils will save you money on an expensive repair bill down the road. These coils can be found either at the bottom or in the back of your refrigerator. Over time the coils become clogged with dirt, dust, hair, cobwebs, etc. when this happens your fridge can’t release heat properly, leading to the compressor having to work harder and run for longer periods of time, this waste an excessive amount of energy and can greatly shorten the lifespan of your fridge.

2. Clean Your Dryer Vent. Each year, nearly 16,000 home fires are caused by lint-clogged dryer vents.  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,lint cleaning, home maintenance these clothes dryer fires result in 20 deaths, 370 injuries and over $75 million in property damage each year. The steady, silent accumulation of fabric particles that get beyond your lint screen will not only decrease your dryer’s performance, it creates a fire hazard. Cleaning your lint trap after every load will slow this process, but cannot prevent it. As your vent gradually becomes caked with lint, your dryer’s airflow decreases. This not only prevents your dryer from drying as it should, it can cause it to overheat and ignite the highly flammable lint. Cleaning your dryer vent this spring can help protect your family and your home.

3. Remove The Built Up Sediment From Your Water Heater. 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. Follow the manufacturer’s directions or call us at (866) 844-3770 and we’ll take care of your water heater for you!

4. Clean Those Gutters. Removing the leaves and other debris from your gutters this spring will help prevent your gutters from getting clogged. Springtime in the Midwest is known to be a rainy time of year and clogged gutters can lead to expensive roof damage, flooding and damage around the foundation of your home, damage to your downspout or the gutters themselves. It is a lot easier to keep your gutters clean than having to deal with a headache and expense that comes with allowing your gutters to become clogged.

5. Have Your Sump Pump Operation Tested. Spring is the time for rain in our area and that means your sump pump will be working overtime. That’s why you want to make sure having your sump pump tested is at the top of your home maintenance checklist this Spring. If your sump pump fails, you can expect serious basement flooding and the expense that accompanies repairing all of the water damage. Call us at (866) 844-3770 to have a professional plumber come out and ensure your sump pump is working at optimal levels.

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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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6 Ways to Defeat Allergy Season this Spring

Allergy season is upon us! If you suffer from allergies, you know that spring can be a rough time of year for you. Taking a deep breath can be a real challenge with all of that fresh pollen, the extra animal dander from your pets losing their winter coats, the large amount of pesticides being sprayed outdoors and don’t forget about the dust mites, fungi, mold spores, etc. invading your home.

But spring allergy season does not have to be so miserable! There are several steps you can take to drastically improve your indoor air quality and your quality of living in general.

 1. First and foremost have your ducts cleaned and sanitized! Dirt, dust, mold, bugs, mites, even rodents and other allergens are all lAllergy iving in your duct system. We can get rid of it all with our Total Source Removal cleaning process. Tiger’s process starts with our patented Toro-Vac industrial vacuum being directly connected to your ducts. It works to draw all debris towards our powerful vacuum and out of your duct work. Simultaneously, Tiger administers our spinning powered airbrush that works to knock stubborn dust and dirt from duct walls and pushes it towards the Toro-Vac vacuum. After each vent has been cleaned thoroughly and all dust has been collected Tiger then administers a patented sanitizing solution which works to kill mold and microscopic bacteria and leaves behind a fresh scent.

Tiger’s process is the most thorough duct cleaning process in the market today. Not only will it leave your ductwork sparkling but it will help with your family’s health and protect your heating and air conditioning equipment helping to prolong its overall life expectancy. With a thorough duct cleaning and sanitizing, allergy season will be no match for you.

2. Get your spring cleaning on. Dusting, vacuuming, and mopping weekly is a great way to rid yourself of dust mites and animal dander that is accumulating in your home and getting into your air.

3. Change/upgrade your air filter. Most heating and cooling systems still use a basic 142715_image2 copyair filter. These filters were originally designed to protect the equipment and not the people served by the equipment. The average air filter is only capable of removing 3–5% of the particles that pass through it. Today, however, there are several types of permanent air filters available in various efficiencies that can help you filter the air in your home. If you suffer from allergies, asthma, hay fever or other breathing difficulties, there is an air filter that can help you. We can even provide you with the same type of air filter used in hospital operating rooms.

4. During allergy season, laundry is your friend. Washing your bedding and other linens at least once a week will go a long way to improving your indoor air quality. Dust, animal dander and other allergens like to collect on fabric and you breathe these in at night.

P.S. Don’t forget to wash your pillows once in a while, to remove built up allergens.

5. Keep a dry basement. Basements, especially unfinished basements, like to attract and retain moisture. This moisture leads to mold, mildew and odors; a good dehumidifier can go a long way this allergy season.

6. Use the power Ultraviolet light Technology. Tiger has found that the most successful way to handle system mold is through Ultraviolet (U.V.) germicidal lights. Ultraviolet liAllergy ght has been used to kill microorganisms in hospitals, barber shops, laboratories, pharmaceutical plants, and at the nation’s Center for Disease Control. Residential ultraviolet units have been independently tested and proved to be effective in the constantly moving air environments of heating and cooling systems, killing mold and bacteria quickly and effectively. The UVC energy attacks the organism’s DNA and either destroys it immediately or prevents it from reproducing. For most people, the original motivation for installing the lights is to put a stop to indoor air quality complaints and/or allergies. However, they are also pleased to learn that many hidden odors are also eliminated with U.V. technology. Tiger can easily install these lights in your home and you can begin enjoying the health benefits that come with them.

Good Luck This Allergy Season!

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The Groundhog Says Spring Is On Its Way, Is Your Home Ready?

Great news, the groundhog did not see his shadow this morning and according to folklore, spring will come early this year. But since spring is scheduled to be here earlier this year, you’ll need to ensure that your home is ready earlier as well. Not to worry, simply follow this easy checklist to make sure your home is prepared for an early spring.

Groundhog

1. Be prepared to switch to lighter bedding. You never know when the temperatures will heat up unexpectedly and when they do you won’t want to sleep under a big heavy comforter.

2. Have your air conditioner inspected by a professional to ensure you don’t experience any unpleasant surprises when you go to use it for the first time this spring.

3. Let the light in! With the gloom of winter soon to be behind us, you’ll want to let the beautiful spring sunlight into your home. Clean your windows thoroughly and open those blinds and curtains and let the sunshine in!

4. Be ready for tulips-945826_960_720spring time gardening by ensuring that your water supplies are ready to go! Inspect and test your hoses and sprinklers to be sure they’re free of holes, clogs and the water can flow through freely. Have a plumbing expert come out and inspect all of your outdoor plumbing, to ensure your pipes made it through the winter free of damage.

5.With the changing of the seasons, you should also change out the batteries in your smoke and co detectors.

6. Clean your gutters, to remove all of the leaves and other debris from the fall and winter seasons.

7. Replace the light bulbslantern-1023184_960_720 in your porch lights, flood lights, security lights and other outdoor lighting fixtures. Have an Electrician inspect your outdoor wiring for damage. These preemptive steps will mean that you won’t have to worry about finding yourself left out in the dark this spring.

8. Finally, cross your fingers and hope the groundhog got it right this year!

Happy Groundhog Day!

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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!

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