The Best Time to Buy and Install an Air Conditioner in West Tennessee

Air conditioners are a big purchase. But if you know when to buy, you can save a ton of money.

You see, air conditioners, like most of the things we purchase, are affected by supply and demand. There is an in season and an off season for the best times to buy. 

So, when exactly is the “season” for buying and installing an air conditioner in West Tennessee and still getting the best price?

Well, it gets a little tricky with West Tennessee weather but the general rule of thumb is to buy your air conditioner in the cooler months (December through May) when people don’t need to run their A/C’s or furnaces aka, low demand.

We’ll explain why.

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY AND INSTALL YOUR A/C IN THE COOLER MONTHS: 

You’ll see lower contractor prices: 

When the weather is perfect in West Tennessee, homeowners don’t have to turn on their air conditioners or furnaces. And that means people aren’t running into HVAC problems (they’re probably not even thinking about their heating/cooling systems). 

With fewer calls coming in for A/C or furnace repairs and replacements, HVAC contractors hit a lull in business and are therefore more likely to offer lower-than-usual prices to install an air conditioner.

You aren’t rushed to sign a contract:

If you’re buying an air conditioner mid-summer in West Tennessee, we guarantee you won’t take your time shopping around for the best deal. You’re probably seeking immediate relief from the heat and will settle for one of the first bids you receive, right?

But when you’re buying during the cooling season, there’s less urgency to replace your unit. That gives you time to shop around, get multiple bids and choose an experienced contractor who’s offering a competitive installation price accompanied by a warranty you can rely on.

Contractors have time to perform a quality installation:

Some lower quality contracting companies will sloppily rush through an installation job, especially during the summer busy season. And a sloppy installation results in a unit that’s inefficient and costs you more money in the long run.

For example, some contractors cut corners when it comes to sizing your A/C unit and resort to using a rule of thumbs like square footage of your home to determine the size of A/C you need. Instead, contractors should perform a Manual J load calculation to determine your A/C size. A Manual J load calculation takes longer but it prevents you from getting a unit that is too small or too big for your home.

Having a contractor install your A/C unit in the slower winter season will allow them to slow down and perform the job correctly. 

OTHER TIPS ON FINDING A GOOD DEAL ON YOUR A/C INSTALLATION: 

  • Search for rebates and financing options. Different states offer different rebate options for high-efficiency air conditioners. Some contractors will also offer financing options that allow you to pay off the cost of an A/C installation over time. Do some research to see what financing options different HVAC contractors offer.
  • Don’t be afraid to walk away. Don’t get pressured into signing a contract with any contractor right away. Always ask them if their offered price is the best that they can do, then tell them that you’re still shopping around and will get back to them. More often than not, a contractor will knock down the price when they hear that response, in order to secure your business. 
  • Beware of contractors who come down a lot on their price. Most likely, they’re able to dramatically reduce their price for you because they were planning to overcharge you in the first place and that’s a red flag that the contractor is dishonest. Keep looking.

NEED AN HONEST CONTRACTOR AT A REASONABLE PRICE?

If you’re ready to save money and start shopping for your new air conditioner, we’re here to help. We offer flexible financing, honest and experienced technicians and an easy installation process. Just contact us for your free estimate today.

February is American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. To prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, McCoy’s Heating, Air & Plumbing is proudly participating in American Heart Month. Locally, around 15,000 people are affected by heart disease. It is the number one killer in Tennessee. We can make a big difference in our heart health by taking these small steps during the month of February and beyond.

Schedule a visit with your doctor to talk about heart health. It's important to schedule regular check-ups even if you think you are not sick. Partner with your doctor and health care team to set goals for improving your heart health, and don't be afraid to ask questions and trust their advice.

Add exercise to your daily routine. Start off the month by walking 15 minutes, 3 times each week. By mid-month, increase your time to 30 minutes, 3 times each week.

Increase healthy eating. Cook heart-healthy meals at home at least 3 times each week and make your favorite recipe lower sodium. Food cooked with too much oil and cholesterol are directly linked with blood pressure and coronary heart disease. For example, swap out salt for fresh or dried herbs and spices. Also, make sure to eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables help prevent heart disease and stroke.

Take steps to quit smoking. If you currently smoke, quitting can cut your risk for heart disease and stroke. Learn more at CDC's Smoking and Tobacco Use website. Also, make sure to stay away from secondhand smoke.

Take medication as prescribed. Talk with your doctor about the importance of high blood pressure and cholesterol medications. If you're having trouble taking your medicines on time or if you're having side effects, ask your doctor for help.

PS don't forget to wear red on this Friday, February 3, 2017.

Sorce: 

https://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/

https://www.tn.gov/health/article/statistics-and-reports

https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/downloadable/ucm_307213.pdf

 

 

 

Winter Plumbing Tips

After a long summer and keeping our shorts and shades on into November, we’ve been on a roller coaster ride of temperatures, and now it looks like we’re heading for cooler times. Ideally, you should winterize your pipes in the fall, before winter seriously sets in. But if you’ve forgotten and all of a sudden, you’re in the middle of a deep freeze, there’s still time to prevent disaster. Here are some easy tips to save your pipes from bursting this Winter:

Keep it under wraps: During the coldest temperatures, your uninsulated pipes are at their highest risk—especially the draftier areas like your garage or attic and outside areas, as well. When it gets below freezing, any water left in these pipes can freeze and expand, causing the pipes to crack or burst. And that means trouble. Instead of just hoping for the best, take preventative measures by wrapping your pipes and outdoor plumbing fixtures in insulating material such as towels, foam or insulation sleeves.

Open cabinet doors: During cold weather, open any cabinet doors covering plumbing in the kitchen and bathroom. This allows the home’s warm air to better circulate, which can help prevent the exposed piping from freezing. While this won’t help much with pipes hidden in walls, ceilings, or under the home, it can keep water moving and limit the dangerous effects of freezing weather.

Let it run. If the temperatures have dropped into freezing and intend to stay there, turning on your faucets — both indoors and out — can keep water moving through your system and slow down the freezing process. There’s no need to waste gallons of water: Aim for about five drips per minute.

Call it in. If you do see a leak in any of your pipes or fixtures, make sure you act immediately. A leak is no cosmetic issue, especially during the winter. If there is a leak, there is a good possibility your pipes are already damaged and may be ticking time bombs for bigger issues (we don’t even want to think about). Don’t wait for a “convenient time”; call in a plumber (us, of course) ASAP to avoid further damage.

Know the drill. If, despite your best efforts, you still experience a burst pipe this winter, you’ll want to know what to do immediately so that damage can be minimized. The most important first action step is to turn off the main water line to avoid a total flood. After that, call a plumber (us!) immediately, or if you’re not sure where the main shut off is located, call us the minute you know there is a problem. If you know the plumbing layout of your property you can try to identify the source of the leak and fix it yourself, but be sure to insulate the pipe when you replace it to avoid future issues.

Source: http://morganmillerplumbing.com/dont-get-left-cold-winter-plumbing-tips/

Tips to Protect Your Pet in Cold Weather

Santa Paws.jpg

In many areas, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm by following these tips:

Keep pets indoors: The best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time. Don't leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet's life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage. Longer-haired and thick-coated dog breeds, such as huskies and other dogs bred for colder climates, are more tolerant of cold weather; but no pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing weather.

Provide choices: Just like you, pets prefer comfortable sleeping places and may change their location based on their need for more or less warmth. Give them some safe options to allow them to vary their sleeping place to adjust to their needs.

Protect family: Odds are your pet will be spending more time inside during the winter, so it’s a good time to make sure your house is properly pet-proofed. Use space heaters with caution around pets, because they can burn or they can be knocked over, potentially starting a fire. Check your furnace before the cold weather sets in to make sure it’s working efficiently, and install carbon monoxide detectors to keep your entire family safe from harm. If you have a pet bird, make sure its cage is away from drafts.

Winter wellness: Has your pet had his/her preventive care exam (wellness exam) yet?  Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and it’s as good a time as any to get him/her checked out to make sure (s)he is ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather.

Know the limits:  Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection, and short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes. The same goes for very young and very old pets. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, consult your veterinarian.

Play dress-up: If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or dog coat. Have several on hand, so you can use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside. Wet sweaters or coats can actually make your dog colder. Some pet owners also use booties to protect their dog’s feet; if you choose to use them, make sure they fit properly.

Collar: Many pets become lost in winter because snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that might normally help your pet find his/her way back home. Make sure your pet has a well-fitting collar with up-to-date identification and contact information.

Check the paws: Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of iceball accumulation by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes.

Protect paws from salt: The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

Wipe down: During walks, your dog’s feet, legs and belly may pick up deicers, antifreeze, or other chemicals that could be toxic. When you get back inside, wipe down (or wash) your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk that your dog will be poisoned after (s)he licks them off of his/her feet or fur. Consider using pet-safe deicers on your property to protect your pets and the others in your neighborhood.

Prevent poisoning: Clean up any antifreeze spills quickly, as even small amounts of antifreeze can be deadly. Make sure your pets don’t have access to medication bottles, household chemicals, potentially toxic foods such as onions, xylitol (a sugar substitute) and chocolate.

Avoid ice: When walking your dog, stay away from frozen ponds, lakes and other water. You don’t know if the ice will support your dog’s weight, and if your dog breaks through the ice it could be deadly. And if this happens and you instinctively try to save your dog, both of your lives could be in jeopardy.

Make some noise: A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it’s deadly. Check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn before starting the engine to encourage feline hitchhikers to abandon their roost under the hood.

Stay home: Hot cars are a known threat to pets, but cold cars also pose significant risk to your pet’s health. You’re already familiar with how a car can rapidly cool down in cold weather; it becomes like a refrigerator, and can rapidly chill your pet. Pets that are young, old, ill, or thin are particularly susceptible to cold environments and should never be left in cold cars. Limit car travel to only that which is necessary, and don’t leave your pet unattended in the vehicle.

Provide shelter: We don’t recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time, but if you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. Make sure that they have unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl). The floor of the shelter should be off of the ground (to minimize heat loss into the ground) and the bedding should be thick, dry and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment. The door to the shelter should be positioned away from prevailing winds. Space heaters and heat lamps should be avoided because of the risk of burns or fire. Heated pet mats should also be used with caution because they are still capable of causing burns.

Recognize problems: If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia. Frostbite is harder to detect, and may not be fully recognized until a few days after the damage is done. If you suspect your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Be prepared: Cold weather also brings the risks of severe winter weather, blizzards and power outages. Prepare a disaster/emergency kit, and include your pet in your plans. Have enough food, water and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heartworm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least 5 days.

Feed well: Keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the winter. Some pet owners feel that a little extra weight gives their pet some extra protection from cold, but the health risks associated with that extra weight don’t make it worth doing. Watch your pet’s body condition and keep them in the healthy range. Outdoor pets will require more calories in the winter to generate enough body heat and energy to keep them warm – talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional needs during cold weather.

Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold: If you encounter a pet left in the cold, politely let the owner know you're concerned. If they don't respond well, document what you see: the date, time, exact location and type of animal, plus as many details as possible. Video and photographic documentation (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case. Then contact your local animal control agency or county sheriff's office and present your evidence. Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak with and when. Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been remedied

Toys Safety Guidelines

It’s the most popular time of the year for buying toys for little one. Toys are the treasures of childhood. But if you're not careful, toys can be hazardous, too. Each year, numbers of kids are treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries. Choking is a particular risk for kids ages 5 or younger, because they tend to put objects in their mouths. To keep your child or a child you’re buying for safe, follow these guidelines when choosing toys.

Pick Age-Appropriate Toys: Most toys show a "recommended age" sticker, which can be used as a starting point in the selection process. Be realistic about your child's abilities and maturity level when choosing an age-appropriate toy. Toys that have projectiles, for example, are never suitable for a child under age 4 – and even some 6-year-olds aren't mature enough to handle them. Likewise, if your 3-year-old still puts everything into his mouth, wait a little longer to give him toys and games with small parts and pieces.

Choose toys that are well-made: Used toys passed down from older relatives or siblings or bought at yard sales can be worn or frayed, which can sometimes be dangerous. Check all toys – new or used – for buttons, batteries, yarn, ribbons, eyes, beads, and plastic parts that could easily be chewed or snapped off. Make sure a stuffed animal's tail is securely sewn on and the seams of the body are reinforced. Parts on other toys should be securely attached. Make sure there are no sharp edges and the paint is not peeling.

Think big. Until your child turns 3, toy parts should be bigger than his mouth to prevent the possibility of choking. To determine whether a toy poses a choking risk, try fitting it through a toilet paper roll. If a toy or part of a toy can fit inside the cylinder, it's not safe.

Make sure your child is physically ready for the toy. For example, parents of older kids may buy a bike one size too big so as not to have to buy a new bike the next year. This tactic can lead to serious injury if a child doesn't have the physical skills to control the bigger bike.

Make sure a toy isn't too loud for your child. The noise of some rattles, squeak toys, and musical or electronic toys can be as loud as a car horn — even louder if a child holds it directly to the ears — and can contribute to hearing damage

Avoid toys with small magnets. The CPSC calls magnets a hidden home hazard. Small, powerful magnets are often used in toys, and they may fall out of the toy and be swallowed by a child. Two or more swallowed magnets (or a magnet and a metal object) can be attracted to each other through intestinal walls, twisting and pinching the intestines and causing holes, blockages, infection, or worse if not discovered and treated promptly. Between 2009 and 2011, the CPSC received reports of 22 accidents involving children who swallowed magnets, including 11 incidents that resulted in surgery. The agency recommends keeping toys with magnets away from kids under the age of 14.

Watch out for toxic toys. Even when you find a toy that seems safe, you'll want to be sure it's not made with chemicals that can harm your child. Phthalates, or "plasticizers," are used to make plastic more flexible and durable, and these chemicals are found in many toys. Cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic are other chemicals you can find in everything from dolls and action figures to children's jewelry and stuffed animals.

Keeping Toys Safe at Home: After you've bought safe toys, it's also important to make sure kids know how to use them. The best way to do this is by supervising play. Playing with your kids teaches them how to play safely while having fun.

Parents should:

Teach kids to put toys away.

Check toys regularly to make sure that they aren't broken or unusable:

Wooden toys shouldn't have splinters.

Bikes and outdoor toys shouldn't have rust.

Stuffed toys shouldn't have broken seams or exposed removable parts.

Throw away broken toys or repair them right away.

Store outdoor toys when they're not in use so that they are not exposed to rain or snow.

And be sure to keep toys clean. Some plastic toys can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but read the manufacturer's directions first. Another option is to mix antibacterial soap or a mild dishwashing detergent with hot water in a spray bottle and use it to clean toys, rinsing them afterward.

Reporting Unsafe Toys: Check the CPSC website for the latest information about toy recalls or call their hotline at (800) 638-CPSC to report a toy you think is unsafe. If you have any doubt about a toy's safety, err on the side of caution and do not allow your child to play with it.

Source: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/safe-toys.html#

Winter Home Maintenance

Stay ahead of ice dams. Ice dams form because the edges of a home’s roof are colder than the upper regions (where more insulation is below), causing ice to form around the eaves. Snow melts above, and the melted snow backs up behind a “dam” of ice, potentially causing leaks and permanent damage to the roof and home (Hint: Prevention is far easier than treatment!) 

Before winter weather sets in:
Remove debris from gutters — water can back up, causing leaks and ice dams or damage to your roof and siding.
Inspect and upgrade attic insulation and ventilation.
Purchase a roof rake.
Remove snow as quickly as possible after storms — use your roof rake to regularly remove snow from the roof of your home (or hire someone to do this for you).

What to do if you notice the beginnings of an ice dam:
Carefully remove snow and ice if possible without damaging roof and gutters.
If you have heat cables, turn them on. Heat cables cannot prevent or fully remove ice dams, but can melt enough of the ice to create a channel for water to flow out, preventing some damage.

2. Keep an eye on trees. Big snowfalls and ice can settle onto tree limbs, making them heavy and more prone to breaking — which can be especially dangerous if a tree is within reach of your house. Ease the burden on your trees by brushing off snow after each snowfall, using a broom to extend your reach. Don’t shake the tree to remove snow, since this can cause brittle limbs to break. 

3. Keep paths cleared of snow and ice. Regular shoveling (or snow blowing) is the best way to keep walkways, driveways and sidewalks safe and ice-free all winter. Keep some pet- and plant-safe ice melt or sand on hand to provide traction on stairs and other slippery areas.

4. Have your fireplace cleaned. If you haven’t done so yet, have your fireplace cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. Regular cleaning is a necessary safety measure for wood-burning fireplaces and wood stoves, since buildup of creosote (from past fires) inside the chimney can potentially cause a house fire. Gas fireplaces should be checked too —even though gas is a clean-burning fuel, there could be an old nest or other debris blocking the chimney.

5. Prevent frozen pipes. Because water expands as it freezes, frozen pipes can burst, leading to extensive water damage and costly repairs. 

Steps to prevent pipes from freezing in winter:
Insulate pipes — at least those by windows and doors, and in unheated areas of the home.
Disconnect your hose from the outside hose bib (outside faucet).
If prone to freezing, leave faucets dripping slightly — the theory is that running water does not freeze.
Keep the heat set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you are away.

Too late? Here’s what to do if a pipe freezes:
Turn on the tap of the frozen pipe and leave it open while treating the pipe.
Allow warm air to flow safely to the affected area — always use any heat source (electric heating pad, blow dryer, space heater) safely to avoid potential harm and damage to your home and its occupants.
If you’ve found one frozen pipe, check all the taps in the house — if only a drip comes out, there is likely another frozen pipe.
If you cannot access the frozen pipe, or if your efforts to thaw it do not work, call us and our licensed plumber will come help.

6. Protect entryway flooring. Between tracked-in snow, ice, road salt and sand, entryway floors can really take a beating in the winter. Increase the longevity of your flooring by using floor mats both inside and outside each entrance to your home. Provide a boot scraper or brush outside for removing excess snow, and a waterproof tray inside for placing wet shoes and boots.

7. Check your emergency supplies. With snow and ICE comes more potential for power outages — be prepared with fresh bottled water, shelf-stable foods, flashlights and batteries, first-aid supplies and a hand-cranked radio and smartphone charger.

8. Keep heating system running smoothly. If you notice any strange new noises coming from your heaters, or if one area of the house suddenly seems colder, have the system looked at by us right away, as these can be signs something is wrong. Make sure to change the air filters in your furnace regularly.

9. Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly. This is especially important during winter, when we keep windows closed and use wood-burning stoves and fireplaces more often. Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in each bedroom, on each floor of the house and in the kitchen. Check detectors monthly and change batteries as needed.

10. Stop cold air from getting in. Feel a cold breeze? Take action in early winter as soon as you notice a problem. Boost your home’s energy efficiency and stop cold air in its tracks with these tips: Check and repair caulking around doors and windows and anywhere something penetrates a wall, like outside faucets and air vents. Check weatherstripping on doors and windows. Lastly, seal cracks in foundation walls.

We hope these maintenance tips help you get your home ready for the cold temperatures, ice and snow we have in store for us! Also, if you have any heating, plumbing, ductwork problems and services make sure to give us a call or use the app and we will have one of our certified technicians/plumber out to your house! P.S. we have great Christmas specials going on until December 31, 2016.

Save Money on Heating this Winter

Winter is coming, but it doesn't have to bring outsized heating bills with it. Take a tour of your home and check out these problem areas; fixing them up could dramatically reduce how much you need to spend to keep the place warm and toasty.

Decorate with LED Lights for the Holidays: Buy new LED holiday lights, which use at least 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than older, incandescent lighting. In addition to consuming less energy, LED lights don't emit as much heat and are more resistant to breakage, making them a safer alternative. Bonus tip: Always unplug your holiday lights before going to bed or leaving the house. As with all appliances and electronics, your holiday lights will continue to draw power even when not in use, which adds unnecessary expense to utility bills.

Use the Sun for Free Heat: That bright orb in the sky should be the focus of temperature control in your residence throughout the year. Open the curtains on your south and west facing windows during winter days to bring free heat into your home. Close your window coverings when the sun goes down to keep the heat inside.

Bundle Up with Warm Accessories: This is one of the easiest ways to save on your heating bill. Instead of turning the heat up, put on a cozy winter sweater and warm socks. Keep throw blankets on your couch, and add an area rug to insulate the floor.

Use Ceiling Fans to Your Advantage: Homes that have better ventilation and airflow can be more energy efficient in the summer and winter months. If you have ceiling fans in your home, you have more control over ventilation than you know. Ceiling fans can be used strategically to achieve better airflow: counter-clockwise will push hot air up in the summer and clockwise will trap heat inside to keep your rooms warmer during cooler months. Turn your ceiling fan on a low setting to gently push hot air back down.

Let Your Thermostat Think for You: Don’t waste money heating an empty home.  Install a programmable thermostat and schedule your home’s heat to lower when you are away or asleep and turn back up when you are returning home or waking-up. When used strategically, programmable thermostats can save you nearly $180 a year and even more during the winter months (larger homes can expect even bigger savings). If a new thermostat isn’t an option, adjust the thermostat at night. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save about 10% per year on your heating bills by turning your thermostat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours. Consider investing in flannel sheets and a warm comforter for your bed and keeping your home cooler when you sleep.

Invest in Insulation: Hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs are lost each year due to escaping heat and cold air in homes without proper insulation. Get some inexpensive insulation from your local home improvement store, and cover up all those areas where heat might escape. Start with foam weather stripping for your doors and windows; it's cheap and is extremely easy to apply.

Plug Leaks and Drafts: Stop throwing money out the window.  Your home loses most of its heat to drafts and air leaks (inside and out). Take simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors and you can save up to 20 percent on heating costs. Replace worn weatherstripping around doors and windows. If you can see daylight under your front door, then you’re losing the indoor air you’ve paid to heat. Make sure to adjust door threshold so there is no to little light. Also, the door shouldn’t drag on the threshold or it’ll wear out the weatherstripping

Maintain Your HVAC System: Make sure to clean or change your furnace filters regularly. A dirty furnace filter will slow down air flow, making the system work harder to keep you warm and costing you more money. Also, consider getting a winter tune-up.  Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a semi-annual or yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency, saving you money and making your home more comfortable.

Get a Humidifier to Add Moisture to the Air: The air inside your home can become very dry. Moist air feels warmer and holds heat better, so a humidifier can help you feel comfortable when your thermostat is set at a lower temperature. You can also increase the humidity in your apartment with a collection of house plants.

Only Use Exhaust Fans When Necessary: Exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom pull the hot air that rises to the ceiling out of your home. Use exhaust fans sparingly, and shut them off when you are done with them

Tune up the Furnace and Gas Fireplace: The tune-up includes a furnace or fireplace inspection, preventative maintenance, and identifying parts that may need to be repaired or replaced. Our professional plumbers can also find any gas or carbon monoxide leaks to keep your family safe. Some furnace warranties actually require this annual or regular maintenance.

HVAC Tips to Get You Ready for Thanksgiving

With the first holiday of the Holiday season being in 7 days, it’s time to make those final preparation tips to get your home ready for your guests (or make preparations to head elsewhere for the holidays). For those of you hosting guests for the holidays, it’s safe to say that 24 hours before the holiday, it’s time to clean your home from top to bottom! However, did you know that some of your cleaning can also benefit your HVAC system during the holidays as well? We’ve provided a list of Holiday HVAC Tips to help you along this holiday season making sure that your taking measures to ensure your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible.

Tip #1: Dust, Dust & Dust

One of the best ways to help your home’s HVAC system before the holidays is to simply dust. The more you dust, the less dust particles that travel through your home’s ductwork and spread throughout your home. The best way to dust is to just simply grab a towel that you’re no longer using, lightly wet it, and run it over any exposed surfaces. The dust will be trapped in the towel and all you have to do when you’re finished is throw it in the washer. Also, pay special attention to the vents – and most importantly – the air returns in your home.

Tips #2: Change Your Air Filter

It seems simple enough, but this is often one of the most overlooked maintenance items there is. Changing your air filter is fairly simple as long as you have the right air filter in place. The easiest way to avoid any issues is to bring the used filter to the hardware store and pick up a few for the winter season ahead. Remember, your furnace needs its filter to be replaced monthly.

Tips #3: Turn Down Your Thermostat

If you’re cooking for the holidays, you are guaranteed to have your oven on for extended periods of time. Because your oven will be running so much, it will actually be providing some heat to your home. This means that your furnace won’t be needed to run as much, so feel free to turn your furnace down a few degrees since your oven can make up for the extra heat needed.

Family and employees of McCoy’s Heating, Air, & Plumbing want to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! We hope our short list of holiday HVAC Tips will help you out this holiday season and keep your HVAC system running smoothly! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at (731) 668-7492!

How to Avoid a Plumbing Issue on Thanksgiving

Only 8 more days until Thanksgiving!!!  A great holiday filled with food, family, and fellowship but a lot of preparation work goes into a great Thanksgiving celebration every year.  The warmth of good food, a clean home, and welcome warmth from the cold outside all work in show for an amazing occasion. Unfortunately, the dread of an oncoming disaster can add unneeded stress to an otherwise great celebration.

Holiday problems aren’t always nice enough to wait until after your guests have had their fill and gone home.  Problems may strike both before and during your party.  While you can’t prepare yourself for all of them, there are a few really simple things you can do to ensure that your party is ready to deal with major issues before they arrive.

Don’t treat your garbage disposal like a trash can.

People, especially those with a garbage disposal, tend to treat their kitchen sinks as a waste basket for cleaning up kitchen scraps.  But this mistreatment leaves many of them with clogged or smelly drains, usually just in time to be a problem.

Never pour fats, cooking oil, or excess grease down your drain.  They’re liquids while cooking but they congeal and solidify in your pipes quickly.

Fibrous and starchy foods, such as peels or turkey skins, can hang or collect inside your drains in much the same way that hair does in any other drain.  Stringy items like these should be thrown away with regular trash or composted outdoors.

Always run cold water when you turn your garbage disposal on. Turn it on before you start pushing non-fatty or stringy food down into it. Filling it full and then turning it on is a great day to break your disposal before Thanksgiving even starts.

Keep your garbage disposal clean by pouring a small amount of dish soap inside and run it with some cold water. You can even use a few slices of lemon peel for a fresh scent.

If your garbage disposal is broken, don’t try to fix it yourself. This type of project is not DIY — give us a call before attempting the fix yourself.

What to Do for Clogged Thanksgiving Drains

Do not fix a clogged sink drain, especially one with a disposal, using liquid decloggers or solvents.  While these works for hair traps and some other issues, they are not rated for foods and oils which have been flushed down the sink.  To solve these clogs, use a plumbing snake to clear the clog.  If you’re unfamiliar with how to use a snake, or you don’t own one and simply want a fast-fix before the party starts, call McCoy’s Heating, Air & Plumbing

The only thing that should be flushed down your toilet is toilet paper and human waste!

Clogged toilets area common occurrence, but not by any more of a margin than normal.  For one thing, they’re easy to prevent.  Many of the problems we see with toilets every year are due to improper use of low-flow toilets.  You should never flush anything other than human waste or toilet paper.  Other items, even wet-wipes labeled “flushable” have a high chance of clogging your drains.  If you want to prevent a disaster scenario before it ever starts, be careful of what gets flushed. So, make sure your guests know that the only 2 things that should be flushed down a toilet are toilet paper and human waste.

Guest Staying Overnight

If you have overnight guests make sure to schedule at least 15 minutes between showers in order for the hot water to replenish! Also, this will allow your drains to clear

Fix the existing plumbing issues BEFORE Thanksgiving and before your guests arrive. 

If you have leaky faucet, clogged or slow running drain, a water heater on its last leg, or you’re having garbage disposal issues, give us a call to fix those problems TODAY! Plus, if you’re in need of our services during the holiday, give us a call at 731-668-7492 or schedule on our app! Happy Thanksgiving from McCoy’s Heating, Air & Plumbing!

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Test Out the Furnace

The First Cycle of the Season

Before turning on your furnace for the first time in months, it’s a good idea to check the area of your furnace unit for any flammable materials. Sometimes these things get left behind during the summer months when the furnace is cool, and they could present a fire hazard during the cold, dry winter.

Next, open a few windows throughout your home, because the first cycle is liable to spread a somewhat foul odor. This is usually harmless, however -- dust and lint settle on furnace heating elements all summer long, and when the furnace finally gets fired up, those particles burn quickly. The result is usually a burning smell that clears after a few minutes.

After the furnace kicks on, let it run for at least ten minutes. You’ll want to make sure any initial burning smell goes away -- if not, there may be a problem with your furnace and you should shut it down immediately before calling for service. You should also listen carefully for any new or troubling sounds coming from your furnace, as these are also common signs of trouble.

Routine Maintenance

When testing your furnace at the beginning of cold weather season, it’s also the perfect time to conduct a little maintenance, starting with your HVAC filter. This should be changed regularly, usually every 30 days. If you’re not sure where your filter is located or what size to use, contact your local HVAC service professional.

You should also test your thermostat to make sure it’s controlling your furnace and detecting temperatures accurately. Be sure to try the always-on fan setting to make sure it’s working, as well. If you have a programmable thermostat, this is a good time to update your heating schedule, if needed.

Finally, test and replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This goes hand-in-hand with furnace testing, because malfunctioning home heating equipment is a leading cause of both household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If any of these detectors have expired, replace them before home heating season gets into full swing.

It’s tempting to keep the furnace turned off for as long as possible, but the longer you wait to test your system, the less time you’ll have for repairs if something is wrong. Call McCoy’s Heating & Air right away if you need a tune-up or repair before winter rolls in!

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