8 Plumbing Tips to Save You Money

If you have ever experienced a leaky toilet or broken pipes, you know that plumbing repairs can be extremely expensive. Knowing a handful of preventative tips can help you save money and hassle in the future. It’s better to take care of plumbing problems from the start in order to avoid big repairs that can cost thousands of dollars.

 McCoy’s Heating & Air has gathered a handful of helpful tips to save you money on common plumbing problems. Take a look!

  1. Utilize strainers to prevent hair and debris from clogging drain lines.

  2. Clear your shower and sink drains by using a solution and drain stick regularly.

  3. Do not flush feminine products down the toilet as they can build up and prevent other items from flushing down the pipes.

  4. If your toilet is clogged because of an accumulation of waste, try using a plumbing snake or a closet auger.

  5. If you have a garbage disposal, avoid pouring fats, oils or harsh food items that will clog the drain.

  6. Watch out for leaks and drips. If you do have a broken pipe or leaking toilet, turn off your main water valve to save water/money. The faster you fix a leaky pipe the less you will have to spend in maintenance costs.

  7. Some plumbing problems are do-it-yourself. Before you call a professional, take to the internet to research what the problem is and if you can achieve the solution yourself.

  8. Preventative maintenance costs money but will pay for itself in the long run by catching minor problems and providing the necessary care to keep your plumbing system in good shape.

 If you are experiencing a major plumbing malfunction or a simple leak, McCoy’s Heating & Air can help! We offer a wide variety of residential, commercial and industrial plumbing services to protect your home and business. If you have a puzzling plumbing problem and need assistance, don’t hesitate to call the friendly team at McCoy’s Heating & Air at 731-668-7492.

How to Landscape Around Your A/C Unit

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We get it…outdoor air conditioning condensers are, well, not the most attractive things in the world (although I’m sure many of our techs would beg to differ). They’re big and bulky, taking up valuable space in your yard, and can sometimes bring down the curb appeal of your home. So when homeowners want to hide these unsightly but necessary pieces of equipment, we totally understand. However, when you are landscaping around your condenser unit, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Give the A/C unit some breathing room. When using fencing or other construction materials to cover your condenser, make sure there is at least 2’ of space surrounding the unit. The 2’ rule should apply to plants as well – any type of plant you opt to use to hide the condenser should leave plenty of space for air to flow freely around the unit, as well as allow a technician easy access in the event that a repair or a replacement is necessary.

Cover the ground around the unit. Wind and rain can cause sand and dirt to get into your condenser, leaving it dirty and creating the potential for clogs. Before you start your landscaping project, cover the space around the unit with mulch, gravel, or rocks. This will help to prevent debris from getting into the unit during bad weather.

Think about severe weather. If your home is new construction, you likely had a conversation about where to put the condenser in the first place – hopefully that conversation took into account severe weather conditions. If so, the condenser is likely shielded from the worst of the winds during a storm. If your home is older, it’s possible that this conversation didn’t happen, and that the unit is open to strong winds and flying debris. If this is the case, take into consideration what weather conditions might be like before deciding on a landscaping plan. You may benefit more from a fence or a portable solution than from trees that could potentially fall and cause damage.

Shading your A/C unit is a good idea. Keeping the condenser itself cooler means that it won’t have to work as hard to cool the air in your home. If your condenser is located in a shady spot already, perfect! If not, you may want to think about adding plants that are tall enough to shade your system.

Watch for foliage fallout. Shade is great, but you may want to be selective with your plant choices. Plants that do a lot of shedding, either of leaves, berries, or fruit may pose some problems, as all of the stuff falling from the plants could cause a clogging issue with the condenser. Does that mean you can use plants that shed leaves, berries or fruit? No, but you’ll definitely need to remember to clear off and around the condenser unit on a regular basis. We recommend evergreen shrubs and trees for the purpose of hiding an unsightly air conditioner year-round.

Think big. Large pots or planters may be your friend when hiding an unsightly air conditioner. Because they are portable, large pots or planters make a great option for hiding a condenser unit. They can be moved when work needs to be done, and you aren’t necessarily stuck with the same plants year after year in this scenario. We loved the idea of planting ornamental grass in large pots to create a screen – it’s perfect.

5 Houseplants for Improving the Air Quality in Your Home

Many posts on this blog focus on improving the air quality in your home. We do all we can to ensure total home comfort with regular cleaning, upgrades and repairs to your system, but, along with this regular maintenance, you might also consider reaching out to mother nature for a helping hand when it comes to improving the air quality in your home.

We would like to believe it’s not true, but the air in our home can contain mold, dust mites, radon (from rocks below the foundation or even granite countertops) and volatile organic compounds such as benzene and formaldehyde. Ongoing exposure to these pollutants can negatively impact our health. However, many plant varieties have been proven to naturally purify the air and compliment a good home comfort system.

Should you decide to tackle your home’s air quality from the ground up, here’s a list of five air-quality conscious plants:

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Garden Mum

The garden mum is a relatively inexpensive plant, and it’s an air-purifying champion. Specifically, the garden mum is one of the best house plants for removing benzene, a solvent commonly used in inks, oils, paints, plastics and rubber. Benzene is also used for manufacturing detergents, pharmaceuticals and dyes.

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Dracaena:

This purifying plant is effective for removing xylene, a solvent found in many common household products such as paints, lacquers, adhesives, rust preventers and thinners. Xylene is even found in permanent magic markers. However, if you have pets, you may want to consider an alternative houseplant, as Dracaena is toxic to cats and dogs.

 

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Bamboo Palm:

A great pet-friendly plant is bamboo palm. This palm variety can grow up to 12 feet tall and is a superstar when it comes to filtering formaldehyde, a pollutant found in virtually all indoor environments. If your home was built prior to the 1970s, you may find foam insulation containing formaldehyde in your basement, crawl spaces or unfinished attic spaces. Formaldehyde is also found in particle board or pressed-wood products, and household basics such as grocery bags, waxed papers, facial tissues and paper towels.

 

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Spider Plant:
Spider plants are also very effective for removing formaldehyde, and as one of the easiest plants to care for, they are a great choice for homeowners who don’t possess a green thumb. Spider plants can help remove the formaldehyde resins found in common household cleaning agents as well as floor covering, carpet backing and permanent-press clothes.

 

Peace Lily
Peace lilies are easy to grow, and they are one of the best house plants for removing trichloroethylene, making them extremely beneficial for your home. Trichloroethylene is a commercial product with a variety of industrial uses, specifically in the metal degreasing and dry-cleaning industries. Trichloroethylene is also used in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes and adhesives.

Many of these houseplants are easy to care for, but make sure you take into account your plant’s specific needs when placing a plant in your home.

According to Esposito Garden Center, when picking the right plant for your home, take note of the plant’s individual light, temperature, humidity and water requirements; this information can usually be found on the plant’s label. A well-rounded fertilizer will also help keep your living “air-purifiers” happy, healthy and looking fresh.

In today’s world, it’s impossible to completely eliminate exposure to these common pollutants. But, a quick trip to your local garden center, combined with regular maintenance on your home comfort system, could prove to be a breath of fresh air. If you have any questions about your home’s air quality, contact McCoy’s Heating & Air Conditioning at 731-668-7492.

Diagnostic Fee Waived

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AC or Heating System Not Working Properly?

McCoy’s Heating & Air will waive your diagnostic charge with the authorization of any repair!

When your AC or heating system stops working, you need to get to the root of the problem to make sure you find a solution that will last. McCoy’s Heating & Air will waive the fees for your HVAC system diagnostic with the authorization of a major repair.

Trained Technicians

McCoy’s Heating & Air has NATE certified technicians, which is the highest level of certification in the HVAC industry. They’re knowledgeable about factory standards for all major HVAC brands. They will diagnose every aspect of your heating and cooling system.

Reasons to Get Your HVAC System Diagnosed

An HVAC system diagnostic check can be a beneficial part of preventative maintenance, but it’s especially important if you’re noticing a change in your unit’s performance. Here are some of the warning signs that you’re overdue for a diagnostic check:

  • Abnormally high energy bills

  • Failure to reach desired temperature on thermostat

  • System makes unusual or especially loud noises

  • Unit won’t start or stop when it should

  • Blower or fan problems in your outdoor unit

  • Rubbing noises from moving parts in outdoor unit

  • Longer running time than before to reach desired temperature

  • Unusual readings or lights on thermostat interface

Trustworthy HVAC System Diagnostic

As a family-owned business since 1981 our vision has been to provide the best client experience and deliver the highest quality products and services available. McCoy’s Heating & Air aims to embody unrivaled craftsmanship and knowledge in the HVAC industry. Fast forward four decades, we are the Jackson Sun Readers’ Choice awards winner for over 10 years in a row and have over 500 5-Stars reviews!

To get your heating and air conditioning system diagnosed by the most reliable company in West Tennessee, reach out to McCoy’s Heating & Air. We even offer special financing for major repairs with approved credit.

Restoring Your HVAC After Flooding

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Flood recovery is on everyone’s minds after flood watch in West Tennessee. Whenever a home is flooded, there’s a lot of work that has to be done to make it safely habitable again, in part due to the infectious microorganisms like bacteria and fungus that floodwaters carry. The HVAC system, in particular, generally requires major remediation or total replacement in order to make sure that the home’s air will be safe and healthy to breathe.

AFTER THE FLOOD

After the floodwaters have subsided, the first step in flood recovery for HVAC is determining how much damage has occurred and whether the system needs to be completely replaced or can be cleaned and repaired. The Air Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) recommends that flood damaged HVAC systems should always be replaced, but depending on the amount of damage and the cost of repairs, some homeowners choose to remediate their system instead.

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine just how much damage has been done. For instance, while a gas furnace may look fine after floodwaters recede, AHRI points out that if any moisture has gotten inside of the valves or controls, it can lead to corrosion over time. Corrosion due to moisture can be a problem for electric furnaces too.

AHRI does provide the reassuring note that heat pumps and air conditioners are generally sealed systems, so as long as that seal hasn’t been broken, the refrigerant system may be fine after flooding. However, it goes on to say that if the flood water managed to shift either unit of a split system, even if only a small amount, then that sealed system may have broken open, allowing refrigerant out and flood waters in. That will require major repairs or replacement.

SHOULD I CLEAN THE UNIT OR REPLACE IT?

If homeowners decide to clean and repair their HVAC system rather than replacing it, then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide detailed instructions for the restoration of HVAC systems after flooding.

The CDC and AHRI both strongly recommend that all work be performed by licensed and trained HVAC professionals because of the serious health hazards involved. To begin that restoration, even if the air ducts and HVAC unit themselves don’t have to be replaced, all flooded insulation that’s around any part of the HVAC system must be removed and disposed of, along with any HVAC filters. Insulation and filters simply cannot be cleaned sufficiently to make them safe again.

The CDC states that the entire system must be cleaned and disinfected. Dirt and debris must be vacuumed out of the unit and air ducts using specially filtered vacuums. Once the debris is cleared, all surfaces must be thoroughly disinfected to kill off any microorganisms that remain. AHRI notes that fully cleaning the ductwork requires taking it apart, cleaning and disinfecting, and then putting back together again. The cleaning must be done carefully and in a specific order to ensure that already-cleaned areas don’t get re-contaminated with microorganisms from parts that haven’t been cleaned yet. Again, that’s why this is work for trained professionals!

Once the entire system has been disinfected, the CDC explains that it must be rinsed out with clean water. As part of the process, the fan should also be removed from the unit to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, then dried out and tested before it’s put back in place. After all cleaning and rebuilding of the system, including replacing insulation and filters, has been completed, the system must be checked by a trained professional. Then it should be run on its normal settings for two to three days to see if any bad odors persist. These odors can be a sign of a missed area that still needs to be cleaned.

Finally, after all cleaning and restoration and testing is complete, and the home is considered habitable again, the CDC recommends that the HVAC system be checked frequently to ensure that everything is working properly and that no microorganisms, such as mold, have started to grow due to any lingering moisture.

FLOOD INSURANCE AND FEMA

As you can see, restoring a home’s HVAC system after flooding is not a small job, so whether the system is remediated or completely replaced, it can be very expensive. If you have flood insurance, it may pay for the restoration of your home’s HVAC.

If you don’t have flood protection on your home insurance tat’s where FEMA steps in. Homeowners in a federally declared disaster area can apply to FEMA for grants or loans that may cover the cost of replacing or cleaning and testing HVAC systems damaged by flooding. That’s because part of FEMA’s mission is to make homes in disaster areas habitable again (which doesn’t always mean completely restoring them to their pre-disaster state). FEMA considers working HVAC systems as necessary to making a home habitable—and we certainly agree!

IN CONCLUSION

Hopefully, you and your family will never have to deal with flooding like we’ve seen in West Tennessee in 2010. But less severe floods can still cause damage to homes and HVAC systems. If your HVAC system is ever contaminated by flood water, make sure to call a trusted, licensed HVAC contractor to get your restoration done right. Your family’s health depends on it.

Preparing for Winter Storms

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In West Tennessee, we have come to expect freezing temperatures to start in January and can go until April. Freezing temperatures means ice on the road, close schools, power outage, but more importantly the furnace suddenly going out or a pipe burst. It’s important to keep yourself and your home ready for the unexpected and ensure you’re preparing for seasonal ice in advance.

In the coming weeks, gather emergency kit essentials:

  • Have an ice-melting agent such as rock salt available for your driveway

  • Sturdy shovels that are easily accessible to clear your driveway

  • Flashlights in a few areas of your home

  • Candles and matches

  • Extra firewood if you have a wood burning stove or fireplace and portable space heaters

You should also ensure that you have plenty of clothing for layering. Remember that in the event of power loss and being stuck in the cold, you should avoid sweating and maintain a comfortable body temperature by adding and removing layers as time passes.

  • Keep the water in your home running during severe winter storms. Keeping all taps running at just a trickle will help to prevent your pipes from freezing.

  • Check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

  • Fully stock your First Aid Kit with:

    • Medication

    • Bandages

    • Compresses

    • Ointments

  • You can even add extra batteries and a portable radio near your First Aid Kit so you have everything accessible in the same area of your home.

  • Fully charge portable battery packs for your cellphone in case your phone battery is low when the power goes out.

  • Be sure to have those extra things your family specifically needs, like dog food or baby formula.

  • Store at least 3 days’ worth of non-perishable food and water for each member of your family.

  • Avoid going out when you hear warnings of winter storms, but keep your car’s gas tank full in case you run out of power and need to leave.

McCoy’s Heating & Air hope you keep these tips in mind and stay safe this winter by preparing for the occasional cold temperatures and ice

Stay warm this season!

Be Prepared for Cold Weather with a Winter Plumbing Inspection

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When the full force of winter weather finally descends upon West Tennessee region, there are many home maintenance tasks to think about. From having your annual furnace tune up to ensuring your emergency kit is well stocked in advance of any winter storms. An equally important but often overlooked task is to schedule a winter plumbing inspection.

Importance of Winter Plumbing Inspection
Proper plumbing is important going into the winter season for a number of reasons:

Frozen Pipes: When pipes freeze, they often burst, causing a lot of damage that is expensive to repair. During a winter plumbing inspection, a certified plumber will be able to spot any trouble areas and make recommendations to help ensure that all your pipes are properly insulated.

Hot Water Tank Inspection: On a cold, snowy day the last thing you want to do is have to endure an ice cold shower. With a professional inspection, a plumber will assess your water heater and make recommendations for repairs or replacement to keep your showers hot all winter long.

Prevent Clogs: You’ll want to ensure that your pipes will be able to handle the increase in demand. Friendly Reminder: Never pour fat or grease down your sink—it can accumulate in your drain and cause clogs and backups.

Our Whole-Home Plumbing Inspection is only $50. During this inspection, our certified plumbers will inspect your water pressure, kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, hot water tank, and main shutoff valve to ensure that your plumbing system is ready for whatever winter brings.

Schedule a service appointment with one of our plumbing professionals today and stay ahead of winter plumbing problems.

McCoy’s Heating and Air has provided reliable plumbing, heating, cooling and air quality service and installation in the West Tennessee areas since 1981. We are available for any of your plumbing needs and are happy to help you keep your pipes working all winter long.

9 Easy Ways To Keep Dogs Warm In Winter

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Few things are more unpleasant than feeling chilled to the core, especially when you are unable to do anything about it.

Unfortunately for dogs, many of them find themselves in this position when their humans forget to think of their basic needs… like “Is my dog warm enough!”

So here are some practical ideas to consider if you think your dog may be getting cold during the day or night, and how to keep them warm…

1. On sleeping outside…

Not all dogs are designed for the cold night air…and if freezing temperatures hit then some dogs do not have the ability to stay warm… Period. So if you have a dog who didn’t originate from the colder climates then give them a bed inside the house.

2. Kennels

Every dog that’s left outside should be given the choice of using a kennel. If they don’t need it then great, but many will if it really gets cold. Kennels should be watertight and protect from driving rain at the front. Consider the use of vertical plastic strips if water is getting in (or look for a kennel with a bigger roof out front).

3. Thick blankets

Every dog’s bed should have enough blankets or covers to keep warm. These could be old sacks, hay, or soft beautiful blankets! Wool blankets will keep much more heat than most. This may even be an old sweater that you’re thinking of throwing away!

4. Get your dog off the ground

The ground can suck a lot of heat out of a dog so get them off the ground. This may be a simple dog bed, or even a wooden pallet with a good thick cover over the top.

5. The doughnut ring

For maximum heat retention place the blankets in a doughnut shape with space for your dog to curl up in the center. With protection from the cold on all sides (and underneath) they only lose heat upwards rather than all directions…

6. Doggy Jackets

Some dogs love them, some hate them… Even if you have tried one before it may be worth giving it a second go.

7. Inside the home…

Of course if your dog is sleeping inside with you then they are probably going to be pretty warm. Many dogs would do anything to be allowed to sleep inside and keep warm. Maybe give it some thought.

8. Wrapping them up at night

I’m not sure how it has ended up that every night all 4 of my dogs get wrapped up! (I shall catch it on camera one night) I’m sure it’s because it makes them feel warm and safe… Something to consider if it’s cold!

9. Shelter

Every dog needs shelter from the rain so if you haven’t already put some sort of shelter together then today is the day. Doesn’t have to be flash but they need something…!

Hoping these tips will help you love your dogs even more this winter…

Stay warm everybody!

Six Ways to Stay Warm without Central Heating

Whether you’re looking for ways to save a few bucks or to be kinder to the environment, these are some fun tips to fight the cold.

Here are a few extremely DIY ways to save on your heating costs this winter.

1. COVER THE WINDOWS:

Feel your windows, if they're cold, that means they're making your whole house cold. The smart, cost-effective solution is to insulate your doors and windows for extreme weather conditions. Proper insulation cuts your electric bill and makes your house more energy-efficient. If you don’t have time or short on money then nail heavy blankets over the windows. One important tip: make sure the windows are shut all the way before you cover them.

2. HOT WATER BOTTLE:

They're not just for sick cartoon characters any more! Water has a high heat capacity, which means it takes a lot to change its temperature. A bottle of warm water will hold its heat for a while even in a cold house, acting as a very cheap mini-furnace. The rubber bottles made for this purpose may be better insulated and more comfortable to hug, but any bottle will do in a pinch. A quick and dirty DIY cover made out of an old sweater improves warmth storage and snuggliness.

3. HOT BEVERAGES:

This one is hardly a secret, but cup after cup of tea, cocoa, and/or coffee are an integral part of any winter survival plan. It seems important to mention here that, despite what you may have heard, liquor doesn't actually make you warmer. However, for those so inclined, the right drink can make you feel warmer. A cup of just about any kind of non-fruity tea with a shot of whiskey combines the best of both worlds.

4. FORTS:

Living-room forts should be familiar to anyone who has ever been or met a child, but here's how they work: gather as many pillows and blankets as you can from around the house and pile them into an inhabitable structure. They're not only a fun way to make a mess of the house, forts can keep you warm for free. As long as you're willing to confine yourself to one room that you leave for food and cocoa, a fort is a great way to make a final stand against the cold since it concentrates all the available insulation in a smaller space. Fort building is also a fun group activity to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression.

5. LAYERS:

Anyone who puts on one sweater and then wants to turn on the heat just isn't trying hard enough. If one doesn't work, try two, three, seven sweaters or pairs of socks. This is basically the same operating principle as step four: concentrate available warming materials. If you're cold under a blanket or two, add more. If you've nailed all your extra blankets to the walls in accordance with tip one or constructed them into a fort as in tip four, put a few clean towels in between layers. Sure, you may not be able to put your arms at your sides wearing all your flannel and sweaters at the same time, but you won't be cold.

6. COMPANY:

The most efficient, least costly, and most fun way to stay warm in the face of winter's chill is to hang out with friends and family. Besides distracting you from the cold, people produce their own heat. Crowd everyone into a small room or a fort in accordance with step four and feel the literal and figurative warmth. A concentrated crowd can turn an icebox into a party sauna, and everyone can bring their own sweaters and blankets, increasing the collection of warmth beyond your physical into your social network. All the hot water bottles in the world don't hold a candle to sharing the cold with others.

Follow These Steps To Winterize Your Hose Bib

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As we’re nearing the winter months and our first frost, it’s time to disconnect your garden hose(s) and turn off the water to your hose bibb (also commonly known as an outdoor faucet). It’s best to disconnect the hose early — one night of freezing weather can cause a break in the pipes.

In order to prevent damages to your home and belongings this winter, we’ve provided you with step-by-step instructions to properly winterize your hose bibb:

  1. Regardless of what kind of hose bibb you have, frost proof or not, it’s important to remove your garden hoses from the spigot first.- After you remove the hose, untie any kinks or knots, and then drain all of the water out completely.- When the water is drained and the kinks are out, wind the hose in a circular shape and store it in a warmer location like your basement or heated garage. Sometimes garages and outdoor sheds reach freezing temperatures, which can ruin the hose.

  2. The next step is to inspect your outdoor faucet for leaks. It’s important to repair any leaks or drips you find. It doesn’t matter how much water is leaking or the speed of the drip, the water can build up and freeze in the pipe or the fixture causing a major mess.

  3. Once you’ve removed the hose and inspected the area for leaks and drips, it’s time to turn off your inside supply line. Once you’ve shut that off, make sure you turn on your outdoor faucet to drain the existing water — this is very important. If you have a hose bibb that is not frost-proof, the best way to do this is to shut off that line, if possible, and drain it down. If you can’t isolate the water supply to the hose bibb to shut it off be sure to use extra insulation.

  4. For extra protection, consider installing a hose bib cover or a frost-proof hose bibb. The covers are typically made of thick foam so it’s effective keeping most of the cold away from the valve.

Once you’ve completed the steps above, your garden hose and hose bibb should be ready for the cold weather.

We know the last thing you need to worry about this winter is a plumbing issue, so if you’re interested in installing a frost-proof hose bibb, give us a call today!

Seasonal Plumbing Tips for Fall

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Chilly fall temperatures serve as a polite reminder that when winter arrives it can be sudden, often leaving homeowners unprepared for the troubles associated with extreme cold. A few simple plumbing preparations now will help prevent headaches and costly repairs throughout the winter months.

  • Disconnect outside water hoses. If left connected, water in the hoses can freeze and expand causing faucets and connecting pipes inside your home to freeze and break.

  • Make sure outside faucets aren't dripping or leaking. Make the necessary repairs or call a plumber before freezing temperatures arrive. Be aware that when pipes freeze, water pressure builds causing cracks - no matter if the pipe is made of plastic, copper or steel. Even a tiny crack can unleash enough water to cause serious damage or flooding.

  • If your home is equipped with interior shut-off valves leading to outside faucets, close them and drain water from outside lines.

  • Cover outside faucets using a Styrofoam faucet insulation kit available at home centers.

  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as garages or crawl spaces. Apply heat tape or thermostat-controlled heat cables around pipes that are exposed and prone to freezing.

  • Seal leaks around doors and windows to reduce cold air penetration.

  • Your water heater works harder during winter months. Flush it out and remove sediment buildup, which causes corrosion, shortens life span and reduces heating efficiency. Drain several gallons from the faucet near the bottom of the tank. Connect a hose to the faucet and direct water into a nearby drain. Check your water heater manufacturer 's website for specific instructions concerning your make and model.

  • Carefully test the water heater's pressure relief valve (Danger: water is very hot) by lifting up on the lever and letting it snap back. The valve should allow a burst of hot water into the drainpipe. If not, call a professional to have a new valve installed. Caution: if your water heater is more than five years old and the pressure relief valve has never been tested, you can actually cause a leak by testing older valves that have corroded or stuck seals. A plumber should be consulted.

  • Check the temperature setting on your water heater's thermostat. Set at 120°F for optimum performance.

  • Clear leaves and debris from outside gutters and downspouts to ensure easy drainage when water freezes and thaws throughout the winter season.

  • Inspect and clean sump pump and pit. Pumps exposed to extreme cold can freeze, preventing the pump from operating.

  • When leaving home for extended periods, shut off the main water valve and drain the system by opening faucets at the highest and lowest points of the house. Make sure the heat is left on and set no lower than 55°F.

  • Caution! These plumbing tips are intended for homes that will be inhabited throughout the winter months. Many additional steps should be taken to winterize vacation properties that will be left unattended for weeks or months at a time. Seek professional help for winterizing such properties.

Why Regular Furnace Cleaning and Maintenance Are a Must

Most homeowners have a strict maintenance schedule they follow to keep their home clean and their landscape maintained, but despite their diligence, they may be forgetting to care for one important thing.

If you have a furnace, it should be a part of your regular maintenance routine. Furnace cleaning is important throughout the year, but it becomes especially important before the winter.

Benefits of a UV Light Air Purifier

Benefits of a UV Light Air Purifier

Indoor air quality has become a pretty important topic in recent years. Homeowners tire of dealing with the dust, the dander, mold, and other common allergens and contaminants that are rampant in our homes. Luckily, there have been some great solutions that have surfaced, not the least of which are UV light air purifiers, which is what our services professionals are going to talk about today.

Choosing the Right Furnace Filter

Why is your furnace filter black? What size furnace filter do you need when it comes time to change the filter? Many homeowners have questions about their furnace air filters and aren’t sure where to look to find that information.

First and foremost, a dirty furnace filter overworks your HVAC unit and hampers its ability to be energy efficient. For that reason, you should replace your furnace filter regularly.

How do you choose the filter that’s right for your furnace?, Understanding that there are different types and sizes of furnace filters is the first step in finding the right one. Plus, having knowledge of a filter’s MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value), will help a homeowner understand how effective that filter is.

Understanding MERV Ratings

To understand the efficiency and effectiveness of a filter, one must first understand MERV ratings. MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, rates air filter effectiveness. A higher value MERV means that the air filter has a finer filtration, meaning less dust particles and airborne contaminants can pass through. The MERV scale ranges from one to twenty, with twenty having the finest filtration.

Types of Furnace Filters

Furnace filters come in many different types. Here are a few options for you to choose from:

Disposable Fiberglass Filter

This is the cheapest type of furnace filter. It's made of 1-inch spun fiberglass. It screens out large particles such as dust, debris, textile fibers, sanding dust and lint that could clog your HVAC system. It often has a MERV rating of 2 to 3. This filter is good for you if you're a renter and don't have asthma or allergies. This type filter typically costs between $1-$2 and can be found at a local hardware store.

Disposable Pleated Filter

This popular filter is made from cotton paper or polyester. It removes smaller particles like mites and spores. It's relatively inexpensive and has a MERV rating of 6. You need to replace it frequently to prevent clogging and restriction of airflow that makes your furnace less efficient. This filter can be used in commercial buildings, residences or industrial workplaces.

High-Efficiency Pleated Filters

These are usually made from synthetic polyester or pleated filter paper and are four to five inches thick. They can screen out very small particles. The filter is attached to a metal grid to prevent links or fulttering. Their MERV rating ranges from 14 to 16. They are beneficial to people with autoimmune disorders or respiratory problems. They are expensive to run, costing around $100 and can only be used in special housing because of their thick size.

How do I Install a Furnace Filter?

Once choosing a filter, it comes time to install it. Installing your filter can be done in three easy steps.

If you are unsure where the filter box is, look at the ductwork. The heating duct is located near or at the top of the furnace, and the cold air return is located near the bottom, which is where the filter box will likely be located.

There’s a chance that your filter box will have a door, or possibly that the filter will be visible inside a notch that the filter slides into. From here, remove the old filter and discard. Your new filter will have air flow arrows along the sides. The arrows indicate the correct orientation of of the filter. A fun little tip to remember which way to put your filter in is that the arrows always point towards the furnace!

With the arrows pointing towards the furnace, slide the furnace filter in the air box. And you’re done!

Quick Furnace Filter Tips

Furnace filters need to be replaced every month, or when you can no longer see them in the filter box. If you’re unsure of the size of filter you need, correct filter measurements for your furnace will be located on the filter box.

Always turn the furnace off before replacing the filter! Not turning the furnace off could result in injuries such as burns.

Let McCoy’s Help you

Buying the right furnace filter will save you money and improve your home's air quality. For more information on selecting a furnace filter, contact us at McCoy’s Heating & Air. We aim to provide our customers with most accurate information and the highest quality service.

Have you ever had a unit installed, serviced or repaired from McCoy’s Heating & Air and want to share your experience with the Jackson community. Please leave us a review! We want to ensure that we are providing our customers with the best service possible.

Why You Should Replace Your Old HVAC System in the Fall

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After a long, hot summer you are probably happy to be turning off your air conditioner for the last time until next spring when you hope it starts up again, right? Well, you might want to rethink that. Before you put your AC system away for the winter, you might want to consider having it checked out by a certified contractor. If it is older or has been giving you problems, you might want to have it replaced. AC replacements done in the fall often have much better outcomes for consumers than those done in the heat of the summer or when you first start your system up in the spring.

Here are five good reasons to replace your old AC in the fall.

1. Saves you $$$ – By replacing your system in the fall, you put time on your side. Time to research the type of equipment that would be best for your situation instead of just replicating whatever you had before. Fall replacements also give you time to search for the best contractor in the area to do the installation and chances are, since contractors are in between the cooling and heating seasons, they will be much more available and willing to spend time with you to help you figure out the best ways to solve your cooling problems. Since investments in new HVAC systems can be significant, this time also allows you to plan. You might even consider covering it under a home equity loan, thus saving on financing costs.

2. You Can Get What You Want – Since you and the contractor both have more time to figure out what system to buy, you can also take time to see some of the latest technology available in HVAC systems. A lot has changed since your old system was installed. You will probably realize some significant improvements in comfort and reductions in energy costs, and there are many more options available today than 15 or 20 years ago. Today you can decide on systems that provide superior nighttime comfort and humidity reductions, as well as being less noisy both inside and outside of your home. Controls, communications and programmable thermostats are some other features you might consider if you have the time to research them.

3. Beware of the Zombie Heat Pump – If you have an air conditioner that doubles as a heat pump in the winter you should definitely have your system checked out in the fall. If it was not keeping up during the hottest days in the summer, it will not keep up on the coldest days of the winter and you might end up paying extra on your power bills since you will be using auxiliary resistance heaters to stay warm. We call these “zombie” heat pumps because they appear to be alive and running but in reality, they are not keeping up or might not be cooling at all. Because most heat pumps come with backup heaters, you might not even know this until you get your first heating bill. If you have a conventional furnace instead of a heat pump, fall is also a good time to have that checked out by a contractor. If it is older like the AC, you might be better off having them both replaced at the same time.

4. Can I Rethink This? – If you have contractors out to check your AC system in the fall, you might have time to have them run some new calculations on both the actual cooling requirements for your home as well as the ductwork and airflow calculations. A lot might have changed with your home since that old AC system was installed and these changes can affect both the size and type of system you now need to adequately cool and heat your home. For example, if you added insulation, added or upgraded to windows that are more efficient, knocked out some walls or added a room, you might need a different system size. If you get the wrong size system, you could have multiple problems.

  • If your system is too small, it will not keep up on the hottest days.

  • If your system is too large, it will cycle too much and cause wide swings in your indoor temperature.

  • If you live in an area where humidity levels can be high, a wrong-sized system will not remove all the humidity from your home and you will have problems – especially at night, when you are trying to sleep.

  • If, for example, you have kids going away to college and you want to shut off the AC vents in their rooms while they are gone, you might be better off with a system that has at least two steps of capacity modulation or you will run into the same problems as having the wrong size system. Closing room vents and doors effectively makes your house appear smaller to your HVAC system and in addition to comfort problems, you could even do significant damage to the system or cause it to fail prematurely.

5. Last but not least, consider the energy savings you might get from high efficiency systems – Based on the results of our recent homeowner survey, the consumers who had the time to consider higher efficiency systems were more satisfied. Consider this: 88 percent of the respondents who said they were “satisfied” had discussions with their contractor about high-efficiency system alternatives, versus just 67 percent with the “dissatisfied” group – even if they did not end up buying the high-efficiency models. The satisfied group also showed a higher incidence (35 percent) of contractor inspections of ductwork, insulation and square footage than the dissatisfied group (27 percent) – and these inspections often take time.

The survey also indicates that, on average, HVAC systems get replaced when they are about 14-16 years old (or more, depending on the length of the cooling or heating seasons and accumulated run time). So, if your system is getting older or you have had some problems recently it might be worth taking some time in the fall to do your research and find a few good contractors who can talk with you about the best options for your home HVAC investments.

We are currently offering FREE 10 Years Parts & Labor Warranty and FREE U-V Purifier Light with any new York equipment install. Call today at 668-7492 to schedule your FREE estimate.

Plumbing Tips for Fall

Fall is here and it is time to start thinking about taking care of your plumbing before heading into the winter months.  It is never too early to prepare your plumbing for the changing seasons.

It’s officially time to retire the garden hoses and prepare your home for the cooler air with these fall plumbing tips.

1. Remove, Drain and Store Garden Hoses

We want your garden hose to last another year, so it’s important that you properly stow it away. When the hose has been disconnected, drain the water and place it in an area of your home that will not reach freezing temperatures.  Water that’s left over inside the hose can freeze and expand causing the hose to break!

2. Turn Off Your Hose Bibb

One of the most important tasks that you’ll need to do this season is to properly turn off your hose bibb and inside water supply line. Follow these step-by-step instructions to complete this.  If you noticed that your hose bibb was leaking this summer, we advise that you invest in a frost-proof hose bibb before the first frost occurs.  If a hose bibb isn’t properly turned off, water can freeze in the supply line, which can cause pipes to burst.  To avoid any issues, give us a call today to complete any hose bibb installation or repair!

3. Check Your Sewer System

Believe it or not, the fall, winter and spring months can overwork your sewer system. If you have had any issues in the past or would like to have preventative maintenance completed, give us a call to schedule a sewer line inspection.

4. Complete Water Heater Maintenance

Annual maintenance is crucial to extend the life of your water heater. While most water heaters will last anywhere from 8 to 12 years, water heater flushes tend to increase water efficiency and saves money on your future utility bills.  If you want to increase water efficiency and save some money on your utility bill this season, schedule a water heater maintenance service with us!

We’re here to make sure your plumbing system is prepared for the temperatures ahead!  No job is too big or too small for our expert technicians.  Give us a call today or schedule an appointment online to take care of those pesky plumbing issues.

4 Tricks That Keep Your Fall HVAC Bills Super Low

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Okay, to be fair, we are not in true “fall weather” yet. The good news about that, though, is that if you do things right during our fall season, you could end up with crazy low utility bills.

To keep your fall bills super low, follow these “tricks”:

  • Drop the temperature at night

  • Open your windows (for people who are still running the AC)

  • Open your drapes during the day

  • Schedule heating maintenance now (before the cold weather)

We’ll explain the logic behind each of these tips below.

Trick #1: Drop the temperature at night

Why this works: The lower you set your thermostat, the less often your heat/ac will run at night (which saves you money).

The average low temperatures in Jackson during the fall season are:

  • September- low of 61

  • October- low of 49

  • November- low of 39

  • December - low of 31

That said, it might be tempting to keep your thermostat set somewhere in the mid to low 70s. But that means your system will likely run a lot during the night to keep your home warm. Or if you like to keep your home cooler that night then you are missing a great chance to have lower temps without the high electric bill.

Instead, we suggest dropping the thermostat to 65° about thirty minutes to a hour before bed. Of course, if you’re willing to drop it lower, go for it.

Just remember, the less your system runs through the night, the less energy it’s consuming (and the less electricity you’re being charge for).

Trick #2: Open your windows (for people who are still using their AC)

Why this works: when the weather is cooler than the set temperature on your thermostat your home will be warmer than it is outside. If you like a cool house then open your windows to bring in the chilly fall weather inside. Plus you will save money and energy since your system will not be running. Of course do not leave your windows open if you are not going to be home or if the temperature is to rise above your normal setting.

Trick #3: Open the drapes during the day

Why this works: Opening the drapes during the day (while you’re out) allows heat into your home. This keeps your home warmer at night, which means you won’t have to run the heat as much. Of course if you still want to keep your home cool then keep them close.

Let’s face it, “fall” daytime temperatures are still pretty warm. For example:

  • October daytime temperatures: average high of 74°

  • November daytime temperatures: average high of 62°

You might be in the habit of keeping your shades drawn to keep the summer heat out of the home, but we suggest keeping them open if you want to warm up your home.

Over the course of the day, your home will accumulate heat. Which means, when the temperatures drop in the evening, your home will still maintain that heat and you won’t have to run the heat nearly as much.

If you want to keep that heat in your home even longer, just draw the shades/curtains at night. This will help prevent heat loss through the night.

Trick #4: Get your heating system maintained before winter

Why this works: Getting heating maintenance keeps your system efficient—which means lower energy bills.

Getting maintenance before the cold season hits means your system will already be prepared to run smoothly and efficiently. Which means you’ll start saving money on energy bills right away (instead of halfway through the cold season).

Plus, when you schedule maintenance ahead of time, you’ll beat the rush. Most homeowners wait until the first pass of cold weather to call us for maintenance. Which means, if you wait until the cold weather arrives to schedule maintenance, you likely won’t get the appointment day and time that you want. But when you schedule ahead of time, you get priority scheduling.

So, schedule your heating maintenance now to save time and money.