Annual Maintenance, Equipment Checks and Your Wallet

Maintenance is an important part of home ownership and you don’t want to leave yoMaintenanceur heating and cooling systems off your yearly maintenance checklist.

By performing yearly maintenance and regularly checking your equipment, you can greatly extend the life of your units. Plus, you can fix any small problems before they grow into large, expensive problems.

It’s advised that at the very least, you have your air conditioning unit cleaned and checked early each spring before the weather gets too warm. And you should have your furnace checked each fall in late September or early October, before the first freeze.

By having your heating and cooling units inspected each year, you can ensure that whenever it’s time to flip on your air conditioning or furnace, it will run smoothly. Remember, maintenance means fewer unpleasant surprises down the road.

Unfortunately, busy schedules can make it hard to remember to have your much needed yearly maintenance compl10411_image6 copyeted. A great way to stay on top of your heating and cooling maintenance schedule is to sign up for an annual club membership.

That way you can completely forget about your annual
maintenance schedule, because when it’s time for your systems to be maintenance, someone will contact you to remind you and help you schedule an appointment.

A club membership is the easiest way to ensure that your air conditioner and furnace remain at their top performance levels!

Other great benefits of an annual club membership are:

  • SAME DAY SERVICE – GUARANTEED!
  • Reduced diagnostic fee
  • 10% Discount on all repairs
  • FREE Precision Tune-Up and safety inspection on your furnace and AC
  • Replacement Discounts
  • *$250 off a Complete New System
  • Go to trusttiger.com to learn more!

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

Tips for Child Safety and Protection Month: Home Edition

November is Child Safety and Protection Month and your home can be very dangerous for your kiddos. You want to keep your kids and family safe and you think you’ve child proofed your home well enough, but maybe there are a few safety issues you’re overlooking.

Check out these simple home safety tips, design to protect your children.

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Safety

1. Water Heater 101

Most wate64830r heaters allow you to set the temperature but have a manufacture default water heating setting. It is best to set the temperature yourself and ensure that it’s not hotter than 115-120 degrees F. By lowering the water temperature settings, you’ll reduce the risk  of scalding water burns. If you’re not sure how to set your water heater temperature settings our professional plumbers will be happy to help! And be sure to ask about an Anti-Scald Device for added safety!

2. Invest in a good welcome mat

You don’t know what toxins, debris, pesticides and other harmful elements maybe on your or your guests shoes. Having a good welcome mat that you and your guests can use to wipe a way dirt and debris is extremely helpful.

3. Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) and electrical safety

To help prevent shocks, electrical burns and possible electrocution, GFCIs should always be used in all kitchens, bathrooms and anywhere water might come in contact with an electrical outlet. GFCIs are designed to shut off when they come into contact with water. So if you drop something in a sink full of water, the appliance should power off before it can cause a shock. (But you still should keep electrical appliances a way from water, just to be safe).

Most homes should already have GFCIs installed, but if your home is older or if additional outlets have been installed, you’ll want to ensure that they are GFCIs. If you aren’t sure if your outlets are GFCIs one of our Electricians will happily check for you! Just click here to make an appointment.

4. Choose nontoxic decorkitchen-sink-212854_640

House plants are often used to liven up a home. Just make sure that you do your research before selecting a new house plant. Some children cannot resist munching on colorful plants, so make sure the plants in your home are nontoxic!

5. Natural Gas Safety 101

General Safety Rules When Dealing With Natural Gas

  • 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 appliances.
  • Keep gas ranges clean, make sure burner bowls are free of 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 the 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.
  • 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 immediately!
  • 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.

6. Be careful where you place your furniturebooks-535352_640

Blocking vents and/or heaters with furniture of any kind is a potential fire hazard. Make sure that you anchor all bookcases and larger furniture pieces to the wall, to prevent them from falling on top of children. Securely mount large televisions to the wall or place them on top of low to the ground, secure furniture pieces.

Call 1-888-9TIGER4 or visit TrustTiger.com to have a Licensed Plumber, HVAC Technician and/or Electrician come out to your home and address any safety issues or concerns you may have.

Be sure to check out Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram for more valuable safety tips for your  home!

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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Fall is Here! Is Your Home Ready for the Changing Seasons?

autumn-581074_640Fall has finally arrived! Which means winter is not far behind. I know, no one wants to think about winter on the first day of fall, but it’s important that you take advantage of the nice weather while we have it.

The beautiful weather of the fall is the perfect time of year for maintenance. Plus, no one wants to worry about their furnace going out or their pipes freezing in the dead of winter. Take a look at our fall home maintenance checklist, so when old man winter comes knocking, you’ll be ready for him!

1. Caulk Your Windows

If your windows aren’t properly caulked and ready for the cold weather, you’ll have a long winter to look forward to. Cold air will creep into your home, warm air will seep out and you’ll watch your power bill climb higher and higher as your furnace works to keep up!

2. Clean Yicicles-431975_640our Gutters

Everyone’s favorite job right? Of course not, but it’s important to clear away all of those fallen leaves, to avoid ice damage down the road.

3. Give Your Roof a Quick Inspection

While you’re on that ladder cleaning your gutters, you might as well hop onto your roof and check for any signs of damage. The condition of your roof is something that you need to stay on top of. Repairs are expensive and the damage done to your home by a leaky roof will be even more costly!

4. Insulation, Insulation, Insulation

Heating and cooling your home accounts for at least 47% of your total energy costs each year. This percent increases if your home is improperly insulated.

5. Battery Check

Fall maintenance is the best time to check and replace the batteries in your smoke alarms  and carbon monoxide detectors. Don’t forget to test your alarms to ensure they’re in proper working order!

P.S. Remember that Carbon Monoxide risks increase greatly during the colder months.

6. Furnace Clean and Check102754_image4 copy

Late September and early October are the best times to have a professional technician inspect and clean your heating systems. Annual maintenance is your best defense against your furnace failing you in the middle of winter. And having your system checked each fall will ensure your furnace will be ready the first time you turn it on!

7. Get Your Humidifiers Ready

Winter brings dry air and dry air means dry, cracked, itchy skin! Which is what makes humidifiers so important. Make sure that your humidifier is cleaned and ready to go, to avoid itchy consequences.

P.S. Make sure that you clean your humidifier every two to three weeks to prevent bacteria building up in your system and distributing throughout your air.

8. Prepare To Give Your Air Conditioner A Much Needed Vacation

The heat will soon be gone, hopefully, and your air conditioner will no longer be needed. Fall is a great time to dry vac the outer parts of your unit, so it’ll be ready to be turned back on next spring.

9. Ensure Your Winter Equipment Is In Working Order

The middle of a snow storm is not the time to discover that your brother-in-law never returned the snow shovel he borrowed, you’re out of salt or your snow blower won’t start. This fall, take the time to ensure that you have all of your snow removal equipment is in working order, stocked and in its proper place.

10. Don’t Let Your Pipes Freeze Up On You!

Frozen pipes are one the worst things that can happen to any home owner, but luckily there are a few steps you can take, to help prevent this type of disaster.broken-frozen-pipe

  • Turn off the water valves to your exterior pipes.
  • Ensure that any opening in which pipes enter your home are well sealed, insulated and caulked.
  • Have your pipes checked by a licensed plumber each fall, to ensure there are’nt any cracks or weak points that might freeze.

11. Have Your Portable Generator Inspected

Portable generators can be life savers if the power goes out during a strong snow storm. However, they can be very dangerous and need to be inspected by an electrician on a regular bases to ensure they are functioning properly.

12. Do You Feel A Draft?

Check your basement windows for cracks, loose frames and other sources for cold air to enter your home. Caulk where needed.

13. Change Up Your Air Flow

Since heat rises, it is to your benefit to redirect the air flow away from your ceiling,  back down toward the floor. You can do this if you change the direction your ceiling fan spins, so that it creates an upwards draft and sends the warm air back down.

14. Call 1-888-9TIGER1 or visit TrustTiger.com to have a Licensed Plumber, HVAC Technician and/or Electrician come out to your home and address any fall or winterizing issues or concerns you may have.

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

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