Category Archives: Winter

Winter has Arrived: Learn How You Can Cut Heating Costs

Winter weather and frigid temperatures have come to the St. Louis Metro East area and with it comes an increase in heating costs. But staying warm and comfortable does not have to cost you an arm and a leg! Just follow these simple money saving tips to help get you through the long cold winter months.

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1. Try layering your clothing.

The first and perhaps easiest step to staying warm this winter is layering your clothes. You may not need to set your thermostat has high if you can wear enough layers to help keep you comfortable.

2. Insulate, Insulate, Insulate!

The heat from your furnace just loves to escape your home through poorly insulated walls and ceilings. Ensuring that your ceilings, walls, basement, attic, etc. are well insulated will not only save you money during the winter, but proper insulation will save you money on your heating and cooling bill all year long. Which means choosing high-quality insulation is a worthwhile investment for both your home and your wallet.

3.  Seal up your home.

Use caulk around your windows, especially if you have an older home/ older windows. Nothing wastes money during the winter months like drafty windows!

4. A little maintenance now can save you big later!102754_image4 copy

Your furnace is working twice as hard to keep up with the plummeting temperatures during the winter months. If your furnace isn’t operating at its optimal level, you’re basically burning money on heating costs. Contact us today to have your heating system inspected and tuned-up, for added peace of mind and savings this winter.

5. Block off unused rooms.

If there are rooms in your home that are not used often, you can save some money on your heating bill by closing off those rooms. Make sure that you close the heating vents and all doors. WARNING: don’t close off a room that contains plumbing, you don’t want to have to worry about frozen pipes.

6. Make your windows work for you!

During the day, open your blinds and curtains and let the sunlight naturally warm your home. Then at night, close those blinds and curtains, to help keep the warm air inside your home and keep drafts out.

 7. Cook more.

kitchen-1129803_960_720Using your oven will help you heat your kitchen (and home depending on your layout). So, put that oven to work by making a roast, meatloaf, casserole, etc. and after you’re done cooking dinner, bake a cake or some brownies to keep that oven running longer. After you’re done cooking/baking, TURN YOUR OVEN OFF and then leave the oven door cracked open to get the most heat out of your oven as possible. WARNING: you should never use your oven as the only method to heat your home and NEVER run your oven when you’re not cooking.

8. Turn on your ceiling fans.

Winter may seem like an odd time to run your ceiling fan, but they can distribute warm air through your home efficiently. If you set your ceiling fan to spin clockwise and run it on a low speed, it will help push the warm air back down. This is extremely helpful and cost effective since warm air rises.

Here are a few more helpful money saving heating tips for winter:

  • Change your filter at least once a month, to help ensure that your furnace runs as efficiesmall_8121287668ntly as possible.
  • Setting your programmable thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees when you’re not home, can save you up to 15% on your heating bill.
  • To keep the warm air flowing freely, be sure to clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed. Remember to make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
  • Eliminate trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if unsure about how to perform this task, contact a professional.
  • Place towels, pipe insulation or some other form of thick material at the bottom of your exterior doors. This will help prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from pouring in.
  • Have an Electrician install foam installation behind your electrical plate covers and outlets.
  • A new and more energy efficient furnace will provide you with major long term savings on your heating bill each winter.

Stay safe and warm this winter!

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

Stay Warm, Stay Safe: Portable Generator Safety 101

Brr…it’s cold outside and many of us keep a backup portable generator (or two) around in case of power outages. A generator can be a lifesaver on freezing winter days when power fails us. However, generators can be extremely dangerous as well and it is important to take the necessary precautions to keep your home and your family safe.

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Portable Generator Safety 101

The main hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide poisoning, electric shock or electrocution and fire. There are some easy steps you can take to protect yourself against these hazards.

To Avoid Carbon Monoxide Hazards:

  • Always use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents.smoke-315874_640
  • NEVER use generators in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install battery-operated or plug-in (with battery backup) carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home, following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Test CO alarms often and replace batteries when needed.

To Avoid Electrical Hazards:

  • Keep the generator dry. Op102754_image4 copyerate on a dry surface under an open, canopy- like structure.
  • Dry your hands before touching the generator.
  • Plug appliances directly into generator or use a heavy-duty outdoor- rated extension cord.
  • Make sure a tire extension cord is free of cuts or tears and the plug has all 3 prongs, especially a grounding pin.
  • NEVER plug the generator into a wall outlet. This practice, known as back feeding, can cause an electrocution risk to utility workers and others served by the same utility transformer.
  • If it is necessary to connect a generator to house wiring to power appliances, have a qualified electrician install appropriate equipment. Or, your utility company may be able to install an appropriate transfer switch.

To Avoid Fire Hazards:

  • Before refueling the generator, turn it off and let it cool. Fuel spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.
  • Always store fuel outside of living areas in properly labeled, non-glass containers.
  • Store fuel away from any fuel-burning appliance.

Stay safe this winter!

Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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

Frozen Pipes are Nightmares Come to Life, Stop them Before they Happen

Winter weather is slowly creeping up on us and your pipes are extremely vulnerable to the cold, especially at night. Whenever temperatures start dipping below 32 degrees, the water in your pipes is at risk of freezing. Frozen pipes are any homeowner’s worst nightmare during the winter months.

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When water freezes, it expands. And if the water inside your pipes expands, the results can be disastrous, not to mention expensive! If you want to avoid a fractured frozen pipe this winter, be sure to take these precautions.

  1. First and foremost, turn off and/or disconnect all outdoor faucets and w
    ater supplies.
  2. Ensure your pipes are well insulated, especially the pipes that are exposed to cold air and/or wintry elements. This includes plumbing in exterior walls,
    crawl spaces and unfinished basements.
  3. If your bathroom and/or kitchen sink’s plumbing runs along an exterior wall, try leaving cabinet doors open, to allow heat to reach under the sink.
  4. Never set your thermostat lower than 55 degrees.
  5. Have any older pipes and plumbing fixtures replaced by a plumber. (You may want to replace any plumbing that is prone to clogging, as well).
  6. Be sure to seal any gaps in your insulation, especially if these gaps are near any plumbing.
  7. If you can, have any pipes exposed to cold air, re-routed.
  8. Have your heating equipment inspected by a professional, to prevent equipment failure.
  9. For colder winter nights, set your thermostat a little warmer to help protect your pipes.
  10. If you are going on vacation or planning to be away from your home for an extended period of time, you may want to shut off the main water valve to your home. Then drain all of your plumbing pipes and turn off your hot water tank.

Other helpful tips:

In the event of a power-outage, you can help reduce your chances of frozen pipes by letting water slowly drip out of your faucets. If water is not coming out of your faucets, you will want to close the main water valve to your home and drain the existing water that is already in your pipes.

If the weather is cold and suddenly one or more of your faucets/pipes stop working, you may have a frozen pipe. Remember it is possible for one pipe to freeze, while the others remain working. If this happens, follow these steps:

  1. If you can, insp65186ect the pipes to see if they are just frozen or if the pipe has burst. The flooding will not start until the water thaws buying you some time. If your pipe has burst or you are unable to tell call us at (866) 844-3770 immediately.
  2. If flooding happens, shut off your main water valve.
  3. Avoid using your toilet, unless you are 100% positive that the water supply to the toilet is functioning properly.

Winters can be rough for those of us in the Metro East Area, but remember if your pipes do freeze, we are here 24/7 to help you. Just call us at (866) 844-3770 or feel free to check us out online at TrustTiger.com.

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

 

Winter is Coming! Just Kidding…It’s Already Here

Winter is everyone’s favorite time of year. Just kidding! Winter is a rough season for those of us who live in the Midwest. All of that snow, ice, frigid winds, bitterly cold temperatures. Plus all of the fun that accompanies the unpleasant weather. Like; icy windshields, frozen pipes, high heating bills, snow covered driveways, cold and flu season, etc. winter can be a long, miserable three months. Not to mention, expensive! The good news is that there are several things you can do to help cut the costs of staying warm and comfortable this winter.windshield-245281_640The cost of heating your home is by far your biggest expense during the winter months, but there are ways to cut down on your costs.

  • Change your filter at least once a month, to help ensure that your furnace runs as efficiesmall_8121287668ntly as possible.
  • Setting your programmable thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees when you’re not home, can save you up to 15% on your heating bill.
  • To keep the warm air flowing freely, be sure to clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed. Remember to make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
  • Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
  • Keep your curtains and blinds on your windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home. And close them at night to help keep heat inside and reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
  • Leave your oven door open after you’re done cooking (and you’ve turned your oven off). This allows the heat from your oven to help warm your home.
  • Eliminate trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if unsure about how to perform this task, contact a professional.

Keeping the heat inside and the cold outside can be tricky, especially if you have an older home. Here’s a quick checklist to help you keep winter out of your home.

  • Make sure that your home is well insulated! If it’s not, you’re just throwing money away.
  • Place towels, pipe insulation or some other form of thick material at the bottom of your exterior doors. This will help prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from pouring in.
  • Have an Electrician install foam installation behind your electrical plate covers and outlets.
  • Inspect window and door frames for cracks, that can let the winter air in.

Frozen pipes can spell disaster for your home and your wallet! Take the necessary precautions to protect your plumbing.

  • First and ffrozen-pipeoremost, make sure that you have turned off all of your outdoor water supplies.
  • Make sure that you disconnect and put away any outdoor hoses.
  • Insulate your water heater and any pipes on your home’s exterior.

Looking for a more long-term solution to lower your winter energy costs?

  • A new and more energy efficient furnace will provide you with major long term savings on your heating bill each winter.

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

Holiday Decorations: Tips to Make Decorating Safer

The holiday season has arrived and many of us are in decoration mode. All of these fun holiday decorations really do brighten our homes and neighborhoods. However, it is important to decorate with some caution, in order to protect your home and family from a potential holiday accident. Here are a few tips to make decorating your home for holidays saferchristmas-315661_960_720 1. Inspect your holiday lights before going through the process of hanging them

Everyone loves holiday lights! They’re festive, bright and available in so many different fun colors, but it’s important to inspect each strand you use for frayed wires or loosened bulbs that could pose a fire hazard.

2. Remember to turn off your lights overnight

It’s tempting to leave those cheery lights on all night long but it’s best to let those lights rest. Plus, leaving that many lights on around the clock will leave you with an unpleasant surprise in January when you open your power bill.light-562557_960_720

3. Ensure that your lights are secure

Loose lights are a serious tripping hazard. Especially for small children or pets.

4. Use ribbon not wire hooks

If you have small children in your home, those wire hooks on your ornaments can be really dangerous. Instead, swap those hooks out for some festive ribbon or string.

5. Spring for the shatterproof ornaments

This is another tip for homes with children and/or pets (or clumsy adults). Glass ornaments are fragile and will likely break if they fall from the tree. And the last thing you want is broken glass everywhere.

6. Bells are a great defense

 Holiday bells on your tree not only make great decorations but they’re also a brilliant warning system if little hands or paws get too close to the tree.

7. Little mouths require larger ornaments

Pets and small kids sometimes can’t resist grabbing a hold of colorful objects and popping them in their mouths. That’s why it’s wise to spring for larger ornaments.

8. Be smart when using candlesadvent-wreath-1069961_960_720

Candles unquestionably add a little extra holiday flare. Just remember to be smart and never leave them unattended.

9. Don’t use a ladder by yourself

Ladders can be dangerous and you never want to use them to hang decorations unless someone is with you, just in case.

10. Choose your tree wisely

If you’re opting for a real tree this year, you’ll want to ensure to pick one that’s not a dried out fire hazard. Look for a tree with green, healthy needles are that harder to remove. Check the trunk and make sure it’s sticky to the touch. Give the tree a good shake or bounce on the ground, if a lot of needles fall, the tree is dried out.

11. Use caution when decorating around the fireplace

Don’t place the tree or other decorations too close to the fireplace. And when decorating the fireplace, make sure that your stockings, garland and other decorations are hanging high and away from the flames.

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12. Use electricity wisely (Bonus holiday lights tips)

On average each year there are 150 House fires caused by holiday lights.

  • Never link more than three strands of lights together
  • If your wires become warm to the touch, unplug them immediately
  • Don’t leave your home with your lights still on
  • Don’t use a cracked or damaged wall socket
  • Do contact a professional electrician to have an electrical audit performed, to ensure that your home is ready for all of your holiday decorating fun!
  • To learn more about holiday electrical safety call us at 1.888.9TIGER4 or feel free to check us out online at TrustTiger.com.

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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
Publication4

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

Winter is Coming! Here Are Some Quick Winterizing Tips

Winter in the Midwest can be brutal and unfortunately your home tends to be vulnerable to the extreme cold and winter weather. Winterizing your home now is the best way to help ensure that you’re not left out in the cold this winter!

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Check out this simple home winterizing checklist:

  • Odds are you’re about done watering your lawn or hand washing your car for the season. To prevent freezing this winter make sure that you disconnect and drain all of your outdoor hoses.
  • Remember to lock your windows tight! Locking your windows makes their seals tighter.
  • Have your pipes checked by a professional. Before the real winter weather gets here, you’ll want to have a plumber inspect your pipes for holes, cracks, insulation problems and other issues that could cause your pipes to freeze.
  •  To prevent serious plumbing issues this winter call us at 1.888.9TIGER4 to have frozen-ice-189996_640your pipes professionally insulated.
  • Clear your gutters of leaves a debris. Cleaning gutters is no ones favorite chore. However if your gutters become clogged then water will run over the sides and straight down around the foundation of your home. This may lead to erosion around your foundation and moisture can get inside your house.
  • Insulate older basement windows during winter months. Doing so will help keep warm air from escaping through your basement. Saving you some real money on your heating bill.
  • Hanging heavy curtains over your windows is another great way to cut the cost of your energy bill this winter.
  • Replace your furnace filter! A new clean furnace filter will ensure that your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard to warm your home, saving you even more money on your power bill this season.
  • Stock up on salt, ice melts, shovels and other winter items now. These items have a bad habit of selling out when you need them most!

To have any of your winterizing concerns addressed by one of our Plumbing Experts, Heating and Cooling Technicians and/or Electricians call 1.888.9TIGER4 today or feel free to check us out online at TrustTiger.com.

Be sure to check out Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, GooglePlus and Instagram for more valuable  winterizing information.
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Help Us Support Toys for Tots this Holiday Season

This holiday season Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical Services will be collecting NEW unwrapped toys for our local Toys for Tots chapter. The toys we collect will be donated to needy children in the Metro East St. Louis area.

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We will be collecting donations from Monday, Nov. 9th to Sunday, Dec. 18th and you can donate two ways:
1. For your convenience you can hand your donations directly to our technicians during your service call
2. Or you can drop toys off at our location in Collinsville:
1902 Vandaila St. Suite 100
Collinsville, IL 62234
 
Items Needed:image3
1. Brand NEW unwrapped toys for kids of all ages.
2. Sporting Equipment.
3. Books for Kids of All Ages.
4. Board Games.
5. Bath Gift Sets.
6. Radio Controlled Cars/Trucks.
Items Toys for Tots Can NOT Accept:
1. Clothes Items.
2. Stuffed Animals.
3. Food Items
For more information please visit the Toys for Tots Website.
With your help, we can work together to make the holidays a little brighter for the children in our area.
For more information on how to donate or to have any other questions answered please call 1.888.9TIGER4 or feel free to check us out online at TrustTiger.com.
Be sure to check out Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, GooglePlus and Instagram.

Furnace Season Has Arrived! But Wait…What is That Smell?

It looks like fall weather has finally arrived in the Midwest and most of us will be giving in to the cold weather and will be turning on our furnaces.8667c17f2d092fcf468de1a802fc0769

And what’s the first thing you will likely notice when that furnace kicks on? A strong odor that lets you know winter is on the way. But what causes this odor and should you be concerned?

That odor you’re noticing, when you first start-up your furnace could indicate a health risk!

The odor is often caused by airborne dust and household chemicals that have settled on the furnace. These are “burnt” off as the furnace heats up. The main source of this problem is from unclean or poorly filtered ductwork where dust, pet hair and debris have settled and decayed over the years.

This debris build-up not only creates that unpleasant smell, but it can also be a fire risk. For your safety and to improve your indoor air quality you should have your ductwork expertly cleaned by a trained professional.


142715_image2 copyAnother potential cause of your furnace’s odor is an old, dirty air filter. If you can’t remember the last time you changed your air filter, you need to do that right away!

There are also products and air filters designed to not only improve your indoor air quality and health, but they also run more efficiently, are designed to save you money and require less maintenance.


To have all of your ductwork professionally cleaned and have your air filter changed or upgraded call 1-888-9TIGER4 or visit TrustTiger.com today!


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

 

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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Fire Prevention Day: Home Safety Checklist

It’s Fire Prevention Day and you may not be aware of all of the potential fire hazards that are in your home. Fire prevention is no joke and ensuring that your home is up to date and that  the risks of home fires are minimal is essential for any homeowner.

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Here are some simple fire prevention facts and tips to keep your home and family safe!

Electrical Fire Prevention:

  •  Electrical Fire Facts:
    • Home electrical fires claim an average of 485 lives in the U.S. each year and another 2,305 more are injured
    • There are an average 67,800 electrical fires in the U.S. each year
    • Electrical fires cost an estimated $868 million in property losses every year
    • Fire deaths are highefire-175966_640st in winter months with December being the most dangerous month for electrical fires.
      • More indoor activities and increased in usage of lighting, heating and appliance are the main causes for the increased number of electrical fires during the winter months.
    • Most electrical wiring fires start in the bedroom.
  • Causes of Electrical Fire:
    • Most electrical fires result from problems with “fixed wiring” such as faulty electrical outlets and old wiring.
      • In urban areas, faulty wiring accounts for 33% of residential electrical fires.
    • Problems with cords and plugs, such as extension and appliance cords, also cause many home electrical fires.
    • Many avoidable electrical fires can be traced to the misuse of electric cords, such as overloading circuits, poor maintenance and running the cords under rugs or in high traffic areas.
  • Home Appliances to Watch Out For:
    • Electric stoves and ovens
    • Dryerstv-629874_640
    • Central heating units
    • Televisions and radios
  • Use These Safety Measure for Your Electrical Fire Prevention Strategy:
    • Routinely check your electrical appliances and wiring.
    • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately.
    • Use electrical extension cords wisely and don’t overload them.
    • Keep electrical appliances away from wet floors and counters; pay special care to electrical appliances in the bathroom and kitchen.
    • When buying electrical appliances look for products which meet the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) standard for safety.
    • Don’t allow children to play with or around electrical appliances like space heaters, irons and hair dryers.
    • Keep clothes, curtains and other potentially combustible items at least three feet from all heaters.
    • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
    • Never overload extension cords or wall sockets.
    • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.
    • Use safety closures to “child-proof” electrical outlets.
    • Check your electrical tools regularly for signs of wear.
      • If the cords are frayed or cracked, replace them.
        • Replace any tool if it causes even small electrical shocks, overheats, shorts out or gives off smoke or sparks.

Heating and Cooling Systems and Fire Prevention 101:

  • Natural Gas Appliances Fire Safety Tips:
    • Follow directions from the manufacturer for using and taking care of gas appliances. Seek professional help when necessary.
    • Keep combustibles such as papers, fluids, paints, curtains and rags away from all natural gas appliances.
    • Keep gas ranges clean.
      • Make sure burner bowls are free of used matches, grease, paper, etc.
    • Have a fire extinguisher near gas appliances at all times.
      • Use a CO2 or dry-chemical extinguisher for the kitchen.
    • Teach children never to light or play with the controls of any gas appliances.
    • Keep flame-580342_640the pilot lights of your gas range lit.
      • If you put them out to save energy, a dangerous gas build-up can occur if someone accidentally turns on the range.
    • Look for a certification seal when purchasing a new gas appliance.
      • This ensures that the equipment design meets strict safety standards.
    • Never use your gas range to heat your home or apartment.
      • This practice creates a serious fire hazard and puts you and your family at risk from dangerous carbon monoxide fumes.
  • If You Smell Natural Gas:
    • Open windows or doors and leave your home.
    • Do not look for the source of the smell with any open flame (even using a flashlight could be dangerous).
    • If the smell is very strong, or you hear a blowing or hissing noise, leave immediately.
    • Do not use anything that could generate a spark
    • Do not use the telephone
    • Do not turn light switches or equipment using electricity on or off.
    • Do not turn vehicle ignitions on or off.
    • Go to a neighboring phone and call the fire department or 911.
  • Fire Prevention and Your Heating Systems:
    • Heat pumps and oil-fired furnaces and boilers need a yearly professional tune-up
    • A close inspection will uncover leaks, soot, rust, rot, corroded electrical contacts and frayed wires and other potential fire risks.
  • What You Need to Know About Dryer Vents and Fire Prevention:
    • Almost 16,000 residential fires each year involve lint-clogged dryer vents
    • Cleaning your lint trap after every load will aid in your dryer vent fire prevention plan, but this action is not enough on its own to prevent a clothes dryer fire.
    • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, these clothes dryer fires result in 20 deaths, 370 injuries and over $75 million in property damage each year.
    • Periodic cleaning of your dryer vent helps eliminate the risk to your home and family.
    • If you haven’t cleaned or checked your vent in the last four years, you should do it now.
    • Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services has invested in the proper tools to clean your dryer vent quickly and without leaving a mess in your home. Call 1-888-9TIGER4 or visit TrustTiger.com today to have your vents professionally cleaned.

Fire Prevention and Your Water Heater

  • Water heaters are not only fire hazards but a neglected water heater can potentially cause an explosion
  • Water heaters come equipped with temperature and pressure valves
    • These valves are designed to open up and provide ventilation, if your water heater over heats or pressure builds up.
    • If these valves malfunction and fail to open, the pressure and temperature in your water heater can build up, causing an explosion.
    • For your safety, you should have your temperature and pressure valve checked once a year by a professional plumber.
  • Combustion Chamber Hatch in Gas Water Heaters
    • If dust or debris accumulates underneath your water heater it can lead to issues with your combustion chamber hatch, turning your water heater into a fire hazard.
    • For ultimate fire prevention and protection, you should have the area around your combustion chamber hatch inspected and clean by a professional plumber yearly.

When it Comes to Fire Prevention Smoke Alarms are Your Best Friend

  • Smoke alarms are your number one defense against a potential deadly house fire
    • In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning that could save your life.
  • Where Should You Put Smoke Alarms in Your Home?smoke-315874_640
    • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement.
    • Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning.
    • So for extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside sleeping areas.
    • Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible.
    • Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions or have an Electrician professional install them for your piece of mind.

Fire prevention is no joke and if you have any concerns about the potential fire hazards of your homes plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical systems call 1-888-9TIGER4 or visit TrustTiger.com to have your systems evaluated for potential fire risks.

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