Welcome To PDM’s Library

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Since 1885, in addition to our in-depth experience, we’ve accumulated an abundance of useful information. Please feel free to browse our library.

It Pays To Be Green

The average American home spends $2200 a year on energy. $3300 on gasoline. In 2016, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,766 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 897 kWh per month.- eia.gov

For each kilowatt-hour (kWh) you save by using energy-efficient technologies, you reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (primary cause of global climate change), sulfur dioxide (key component of acid rain) and nitrogen oxides (responsible for smog).‌ According to ENERGY STAR®, a programmable thermostat could save up to $150 per year on bills.

AIR CONDITIONING NOT WORKING? LEARN WHAT TO CHECK FIRST.

We sometimes visit and find a simple fix that you can do.

  • Is the thermostat set to COOL?
  • Is the temperature lower than room temperature?
  • Turn thermostat OFF, wait 1 minute then turn ON.
  • Check to see if the electrical breaker is tripped.
  • Check for closed or obstructed registers.
  • Check for dirty furnace air filter. 
  • Make sure the furnace air filter door is closed tightly. If not, a safety feature may automatically prevent furnace fan from running.

Not enough cold air coming from register.

  • Check your air filter. If it looks like a gray furry cat time to replace. A dirty furnace air filter can reduce airflow 60%, increase utility bills and cause costly breakdowns.
  • If the air filter is ok you may have a faulty air movement protection system. Could be dirty or needs to be replaced. Call PDM Cooling specialists for trusted help since 1885.

No air is blowing at all.

  • Usually suggests an air movement system fault.
  • Possibly the indoor blower isn’t working or the outside unit is dirty or weeds restrict airflow.
  • Or you may have a refrigerant transfer system problem.

AC constantly runs all the time.

  • Your thermostat could be the problem, both the setting (recheck setting) and the mechanical side (may need to be replaced).
  • Refrigerant transfer system problem.
  • Or a dirty system; check for a dirty air filter, clean outdoor unit of weeds and dirt.

Air conditioning system refrigerant lines are freezing up or covered in ice.

  • AC refrigerant line is covered in ice—which seems crazy on a hot day.
  • Freezing generally has to do with blocked or low air flow or refrigerant problem and can severely damage your AC system if it keeps freezing a number of times.
  • Chances are your inside evaporator coil is frozen solid.
  • DO THIS NOW. Turn the thermostat AC/COOL system OFF and turn the FAN ON to help defrost the unit. This helps to unfreeze the coil and prevent damage to the expensive compressor.
  • There are a number of possible causes. Begin by checking your air filter. If it looks like a gray cat  then replace or try to clean, last resort is to remove the filter temporarily. Next make sure your duct air registers and return line are open and not blocked by drapes or furniture.
  • If your air ducts are dirty it’s a good idea to have them scrubbed clean.
  • You may need professional help to stop your AC from freezing up. Call PDM Cooling for reliable help.

My home AC is not cooling properly.

  • If you feel the air from your vent is not cool, this usually means the outdoor unit stopped running.
  • There might be a frozen line between your fan and compressor.
  • Or even a dirty air filter.

Call PDM Cooling specialists for trusted help since 1885.

LOWER YOUR HEATING COSTS & ADD COMFORT WITHOUT A NEW FURNACE

Low indoor humidity levels is why we tend to get sick in the winter and why heating bills can be 20% higher.

At 10 degrees outside your home’s indoor relative humidity can be in the single digits with a furnace. The relative humidity of one of the driest places on earth, Death Valley, CA, is 25%. Your body likes around 35% to stay healthy.

How your body’s immune system works and the power of humidity.

It’s dark and cold when you come in the back door. Red faced, dry, itchy skin, chapped lips. The house even feels chilly at 70 degrees. You naturally feel dry air in the wettest parts of your body first. Your sinuses, throat, eyes and skin dry out making you uncomfortable. Dry nostrils can crack and give you a nosebleed.

Scorched sinuses, itchy skin.

Did you know your sinus cavities are protected by paper thin and fragile mucous membranes? Mucus keeps them pliable. When dry, they crack allowing germs and sickness a direct channel into the bloodstream. That’s a real problem in winter, when cold bacteria and flu viruses linger longer in the dry air after someone coughs or sneezes or touches a doorknob.

Mucus’ job is to wash viruses and other icky invaders found in your nose and sinus into a little opening at the back of your throat, your uvula. That’s where mucus from sinus cavities drains into your stomach allowing acids kill the germs.

How does your body furnace regulate temperature?

Body temperature is controlled by secreting moisture from perspiration, which evaporates, absorbing heat from your skin. The dryer the air, the faster evaporation and quicker your body cools.

When it’s cold you feel chilly and turn up the furnace thermostat, drying the air even more causing your body to evaporate moisture and the cooler you feel.

Your furnace then kicks up clouds of dust, pollen, and other allergens that can inflame your sinuses and airways. (Learn about air cleaner.) For some people with asthma, cold and dry air can lead to a narrowing of breathing passages and trigger an attack.

What’s the lowest-cost way to lower heating bills?

Moist air will help keep your skin, mouth, and nose lubricated, help prevent those nasty static shocks and makes your home warmer allowing you lower heating bills up to 5% for every 1 degree you lower the thermostat. A whole home central humidifier also helps with creaky wooden floors, piano or other wood instruments, leather, furniture, rugs, sinus problems, comfort complaints, even electronics.

Dry winter air reminders.

Seal your home windows, doors, basement, attic. Prevent the cold, dry outside air from paying you an unwelcome visit. Can help lower heating bills 10% according to the EPA.

Hydrate often. Keep your skin and mouth moist by drinking.

Moisturize your skin. Use a good lotion for dry skin and keep your nasal passageways moist by using saltwater (saline) drops.

Air cleaner. Since your furnace is blowing dust and germs around, a whole home air cleaner can help you breathe easier. See air purity video.

Improve your health and indoor comfort by trying a PDM Whole Home Humidifier. We believe in a humidifier so much we want you to try it for 30 days free. If you are not happy we’ll remove it and refund your money. Contact PDM.

IAQ. WHAT ARE YOUR LUNGS TELLING YOU ABOUT YOUR HOME?

Air is to breathing like … lungs are to your home.

You might not want to use that comparison on your next science test. Still, it gives us a chance to make a point: when indoor air quality affects a person’s home, the lungs might be the first to know. That’s because there’s a real connection between indoor air quality and respiratory health, including lung diseases like asthma.

Are you concerned that indoor air is causing problems in your home?

The first question you’ll want to address is “when” you (or someone in your family) feel health symptoms that could be caused by poor indoor air quality. Do these health symptoms improve when you leave your home? Do they return when you come back inside? If so, you’re on your way to investigating an indoor air pollution problem.

The American Lung Association offers a checklist of questions to ask as you evaluate your environment, starting with the following potential sources:

  • Is anyone smoking indoors? No one should smoke indoors.
  • Can you see or smell mold or mildew?
  • Is the humidity regularly above 50 percent?
  • Are there leaks or standing water anywhere – kitchen, basement, attic?
  • Are all fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, water heaters, fireplaces) fully vented to the outdoors?
  • Is there an attached garage or basement where cars, lawnmowers or motorcycles are stored?
  • Are household chemicals, paints or solvents stored indoors or in an attached garage or basement?
  • Have you recently remodeled or added new furniture, carpeting or painted?
  • Do you use odor-masking chemicals or “air-freshening” devices?
  • Has kitchen or food garbage been covered and removed?
  • Have you used pesticides recently?
  • Have you tested your home for radon? Although radon doesn’t cause noticeable, physical symptoms, you should test your home for this dangerous substance.
  • If you’d like a more thorough evaluation, we can help. Your home comfort system also has an impact on indoor air – for good or bad, depending on your system’s condition. We’ll look for potential trouble spots in your environment as well as your system and make sure you’re breathing the best you can.

To schedule your indoor air analysis, just call 815-726-6264 or email, and we’ll take care of you.

P.S. Learn when to consider duct cleaning, watch the video “Air Purity In Your Home”

BASEMENT FLOODING? LEARN WHY.

If your basement is wet, most likely water pressure was building up around your foundation. Water naturally seeks the path of least resistance and enters through cracks in your walls or floors. The result…a wet basement. If it stays wet you may see unhealthy black mold growing. Sump pumps usually are a great solution.

“But I have a sump pump that works except during heavy rains. Plumbers have showed up and recommended a new sump pump or a larger sump pump, but the symptom remains: too much water. What else can cause my basement flooding?”

Over 100 years we’ve seen a lot of flooding problems. Sometimes a back-up sump pump is needed to handle the added volume of water. But excessive flooding could also be caused by two other problems: drain-tiles and water run-off.

Drain-tile, weeping tile or footing drains.

Pipes placed around your home’s foundation, maybe 12″ to 18″ below your basement floor depth.

Drain-tile collects groundwater during rainfall or when your garden beds are irrigated. On older homes, groundwater trickles to the drain-tile entering a clay tile at the joint. Newer homes use plastic perforated PVC drainage tubing or pipe.

Blocked drain-tiles.

From time to time, especially after many years of use, drain-tile can crack or become plugged with debris. Downspouts connected directly to the drain-tile will sometimes carry sediment and rotting leaves which have landed on the roof. Soils can also build up in the drain-tile.

The consequence of non functioning drain-tiles might be water seeping through the porous concrete foundation or leaving a damp mark on the basement floor or foundation wall or more serious flooding. The vast majority of blocked drain-tile repairs calls for the excavation and replacement of the clogged section.

Water run-off: grading problem.

Do you notice your landscape or property grade allows water to flow towards your home rather than away? Heavy rains could be overwhelming your drain-tiles and sump pump capacity which means basement flooding. Your solution can involve building up soil around your home or grading your land to force rain water away from your home. The less water around your home the better.

Let a plumber with a 131 year track record find the right drainage solutions to keep you dry. Call PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.

CARBON MONOXIDE FACTS


Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning closely resembles the symptoms of a cold or flu.

AIR FILTERING IN YOUR HOME


Did you know that 65% of illnesses start with something you inhale?

HOW IS YOUR INDOOR AIR QUALITY?

You take 20,000 breathes a day.

Many people spend 90% of their time indoors (50% at home) and take about 20,000 breaths every day. Do you know what you are breathing? Dirty indoor air can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, even fatigue.

Improve your health by breathing less dust, dust mites (40,000 can live in an ounce of dust), pet dander, mold spores, pollen, bacteria and viruses. See air purity video.

There are many types of ventilation and whole home air cleaners. Below are six examples.

1. Standard 1” filter traps 5-15% of airborne particulates and recirculates the rest. Primary purpose is to keep dust and dirt from building up on you HVAC equipment. A dirty air filter can reduce airflow by 60% and cause an expensive breakdown. Change air filter every 1 to 3 months.

2. MERV Media filters can remove up to 97% of pollen, airborne dust and other large particles. Permanently traps indoor allergens that can lead to respiratory problems. MERV filters removal efficiency vary by size and manufacturer. Change filter annually.

,p>3. Enhanced electronic air cleaner works when air particles are charged in the electrical field and then collected on grounded micro-fiber media. Captures over 98% of airborne contaminants down to one micron in size. Kills captured bacteria and spores and permanently traps particles. Energy Savings & Protection—keeps dust and dirt from building up on your heating and cooling equipment for peak efficiency and longer furnace life.

4. UV Germicidal Light commonly used in hospitals, restaurants, government offices. It’s purpose is to kill contaminants like viruses, bacteria, yeast and mold. A good second level air cleaner.

,p>5. Whole home ventilation attic fan is seasonal and can replace all the stale air in your home quickly with fresh outdoor air. You’ll love how quickly your home cools down and feels better.

6. Heat Recovery Ventilator is an efficient way of exchanging the air inside your home with fresh outdoor air all year long. In winter months, the heat of indoor air warms incoming cold fresh air, recovering approximately 77% of the energy. In the summer, warm fresh air passes near outgoing conditioned air, cooling it down. At no time do the stale and fresh air streams mix, instead they pass each other separated by thin walls that allow only the air’s energy to transfer, cutting your heating and cooling bills. Fresh air all year long. Stay safe and comfortable.

If it is time to improve your indoor air, call PDM for free breathing advice and free estimate.

RO IS THE BEST DRINKING WATER FILTER AVAILABLE.

How’s the quality of your water?

Even if your water is crystal clear, you may have a problem from pollutants like lead and bacteria that can adversely affect the quality of your water.

Do You Buy Bottled Water?

If you do you must trust the quality and like the taste of bottled water over your tap.

You have to admit, bottle water is inconvenient when it comes to buying, storing and moving it from one place to another. Include the added cost and environmental concerns of unfriendly plastic being dumped into landfills and you begin scratching your head wondering if you should invest in a quality water filter for your home.

Reverse osmosis (RO) water filter is used by many water bottling plants and industries needing ultra-refined water.

Reverse osmosis can make your tainted water disappear fast. We offer a quality commercial grade reverse osmosis water filter – the most convenient and thorough filtering method.

How does reverse osmosis work?

Water pressure forces water molecules through a 0.0001 micron semi-permeable spiral wound membrane removing contaminants. An important part of reverse osmosis is that substances left behind are automatically flushed down a drain so contaminants don’t build up in the system like most water filtering devices.

What value do you place on convenience?

Add lower water cost, environmental concerns, and most importantly, quality assurance (some bottled water is filtered for taste only), and a reverse osmosis filter is your answer.

$50 OFF new RO filtering system.

  • You’ll receive unlimited filtered water that’s clean, clear, and fresh tasting right from your fauce
  • Convenient, no more trips to the store
  • Makes better tasting food, coffee and tea.
  • Reduces lime scale build up in kettles and coffeemakers.
  • May improve the color, texture of foods and reduce the amount of scum produced during cooking.
  • Actual cost of home filtered water is only a few cents a gallon. Compared to bottled/delivered water (maybe $0.80 gallon) you could save hundreds of dollars a year and help pay for your initial filter investment.
  • When you look at the cost over the long run, a quality home (or business) filtering system makes sense.
  • A friendly, knowledgeable technician will be by to plan the filter location and piping required. He’ll explain your options and then go to work, all the while protecting your place. When done he’ll explain the system and clean up many time better than when he began.

Begin drinking clean, fresh tasting water from your faucet today. Tell a PDM Water Expert you want to take advantage of our special online $50 discount. Call 815-726-6264.

HOT WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE.

Here are a few maintenance tips to help extend the life of your heater and improve energy efficiency.


Sediment builds up and turns rock solid reducing the amount of water heated and energy efficiency

  • Why drain your water heater?

    As water is heated, minerals are released from the (hard) water and left behind in the water heater tank. The rock-like sediment cause poor energy efficiency, shorter water heater life and less hot water. Learn how to drain your water heater safely.

  • Temperature-pressure relief valve operation is critical for safe operation.

    Test pressure buildup by lifting or depressing its handle and draining water from the overflow pipe once a year. If water doesn’t drain out, shut off water to the heater, open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house, replace valve. A defective pressure relief can cause the water heater to explode. Due to the scalding potential of the hot water, the outlet from the valve should be piped to a safe area. Typically they are piped down into a drain line.

  • Anode rod prevents water tank corrosion.

    This metal rod usually made of magnesium or aluminum. It helps prevent corrosion of the metal tank. Electrolysis eats away the metal anode instead of the metal of the tank. Once the anode is gone the tank itself begins to corrode. To prolong the life of the tank, make sure your anode rod is still there, and replace it when needed. The anode is screwed into the top of the tank and can be replaced. Sometimes the anode is built into a special outlet fitting.

  • Gas burner.

    You may need to clean burner. Dirt causes poor combustion, wastes up to 15% energy.

  • Ensure sufficient flue draft

    upstream to make sure deadly carbon monoxide gases leave the building.

  • Water Temperature.

    It doesn’t take long for hot water to cause serious burns. Be extra cautious with babies, young children and elderly. About 4,000 children are scalded by tap water every year, injuries that can leave permanent scars or cause death.

    120°F – Can scald in over 2 minutes (make sure it’s safe)

    125°F – 90 to 120 seconds

    130°F – up to 30 seconds

    135°F – up to 10 seconds

    140°F – Less than 5 seconds

    145°F – Less than 3 seconds

    150°F+ – About 1 second

  • Dip tube.

    This is a long narrow tube that directs incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank. If a dip tube is broken, it may seem as though you run out very quickly, or you just get a luke warm temperature.


Recirculation Pump

How long do you wait for hot water at your faucet or shower?

Save up to 16,000 gallons of water each year with a demand hot-water recirculating pump. And use less energy than it takes to run a 25-watt light bulb…to say nothing of the tremendous ecological benefit that goes along with it.

A re-circulating pump attaches directly to your heater.

Requires no additional wiring or electrical expense. The pump keeps the water in your pipes moving, resulting in a constant availability of hot water without the wait or the waste! Turn the shower on and get hot water.

Older water heaters cost up to 27% more to operate!

  1. Older efficiency standards as well as more energy is needed to penetrate lime scale buildup.
  2. Minerals take up physical space in the tank meaning you’ll have less hot water.

If your unit is eight years or older and you’re having a problem, for a quarter or so a day a new heater can help pay for itself in energy savings, give you more hot water and peace of mind. We recycle your old heater too.

Call PDM Plumbers for water heater help.

TOILET LEAKING? EPA SAYS 20-40% Of TOILETS LEAK.

A silent toilet leak can waste up to 30 gallons of water a day.

  1. Check for toilet leaks.
  2. Add food color to the toilet tank and wait 30 minutes.
  3. Then check the toilet bowl to see if coloring appears. If so, your toilet leaks.
  4. Flush the toilet promptly to make sure tank is not stained.

Toilet flapper.

  1. If your toilet flush handle frequently sticks in the flush position, letting water run constantly, replace or adjust it.
  2. Toilet flappers last about five years—unless you’re using those white puck-like toilet bowl cleaning tablets. Then you may find that your flapper is leaking in two years or less!
  3. Touch the flapper. If the coloring from your flapper gets on your fingertips, your flapper is deteriorating and needs to be replaced.

A new toilet seat is a nice gift.

The new Grip-tight Kohler Reveal Q3 Toilet Seat features an innovative overhanging lid that completely conceals the seat ring, creating a sleek, clean look that works well with contemporary and transitional bath styles.

If your toilet needs help or you want a new efficient toilet replacement, PDM Plumbing Since 1885can help.

HOT WATER HEATER FAQ


Hard water scale build-up (concrete-like) shortens heater life and gives you less hot water

With 131 years of water heater service PDM has answers to your problem.

Safety tips for leaking water heater.

If the leak is major:

1. Shut off fuel supply (gas or electric)

2. Shut off cold water supply to the water heater

3. Open all hot water faucets in your home

4. Learn how to drain a water heater

5. Call PDM Plumbers for quick help.

Electric water heater no hot water.

Check fuse or breaker, reset or replace if necessary. Another reason for no hot water could be that the thermostat or element may be defective.

Gas water heater.

Make sure gas supply line is turned on. Remove the inner and outer burner access covers and check to see if the pilot light is lit.

Not enough hot water.

Check the thermostat setting, it may be set too low. But be careful, a hotter setting can lead to scalding within seconds. Check the dip tube, if the dip tube has broken or fallen off, incoming cold water will be drawn out through the hot water outlet without being heated. Other possible causes are clogged burners and low gas pressure. If older heater, scale build-up can be a problem.

Slow hot water recovery.

Sediment buildup in bottom of heater, flushing the water heater may help. Other possible causes may be insufficient combustion air caused by insufficient ventilation, a clogged flue (could be dangerous and allow carbon monoxide poisoning), or improper burner operation.

Pilot light is lit.

Turn on a hot water faucet and let the water run. Check to see if burner comes on. If not, run the hot water several more minutes. If the burner still does not come on the problem could be a defective safety system. Check to see if the control valve knob is in the “on” setting and not set to the “pilot” position.

Pilot light won’t stay lit.

Sometimes a draft will blow the pilot light out. Make sure the burner access covers are in place. Other possible causes are dirt in the gas line, or a gas safety device problem.

Pilot light is not lit.

Follow the instructions posted on your water heater and attempt to re-light pilot with care.

Make sure gas valve is open. If the pilot light will not re-light, the problem could be that gas is not reaching the water heater or a clogged pilot line. Call a licensed plumber for help

If the pilot light will light but does not stay lit when the gas valve control is released the problem could be a defective pilot safety switch or perhaps a loose pilot safety switch connection to the gas control valve. Make sure the pilot safety switch connection to the control valve is tight.

Burner flame noisy (whistling).

Problem may be improper gas pressure or dirty burner orifice.

Yellow flame.

Problem could be scale on top of burner, dirty burner orifice, flue way clogged or improper gas pressure.

Burner flame floats.

Problem may be improper gas pressure, wrong orifice or clogged flue.

Discharge from temperature and pressure relief valve.

The relief valve will open when the water temperature is to high or if the pressure gets too high. If the inlet to the water heater is fed directly from the water main with no pressure relief valves or check valves between them then when the water heater heats the water and it expands, the extra volume of water simply flows back toward the water main. If however there is a blockage such as a check valve or pressure reducing valve with a defective bypass then the increase in water volume has no where to go and the pressure with increase dramatically. Placing an expansion tank in the line at the inlet will give the increased volume of water someplace to go and prevent operation of the relief valve.

Another possibility is that the City water pressure has increased above the setting of the relief valve. Again the installation of an expansion tank will solve the problem.

Popping or banging noise.

Scale can build up in the bottom of the tank causing all sorts of noises to occur while the water heater is heating water. Try flushing the tank. Make sure you turn off gas or electric before flushing.

Sooting.

Combustion air inlets or flue-way is restricted or not enough ventilation air supplied to room. Also, may be improper gas pressure or dirty burner orifice. Remove obstruction or debris from heater or flue way and improve ventilation. An obstruction could create carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hot water smells like rotten eggs.

Certain types of bacteria can react with the magnesium anode rod resulting in a rotten egg odor. Clean the tank using chlorine bleach or by changing the anode rod to aluminum usually will solve the problem. If older heater, you’re better off replacing with new efficient unit.

Rusty or black water.

Anode rod may have dissolved or there is excessive sediment build-up. Check anode rod. You may be better off replacing tank with an energy efficient model.

Milky water.

May be as simple as aerated water. Allow a glass of hot water to set for a few minutes. If the water turns clear, the condition is a natural occurrence. If not, call PDM for help.

Leaking water heater tank.

Replace the water heater with energy efficient model. The savings in energy can help pay for the heater. PDM Since 1885 offers same day replacement and a variety or warranties are available.

Call PDM Plumbers for water heater help.

LEARN ABOUT UV LIGHT ANTI-GERMICIAL TREATMENT

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) cleaners have been used by hospitals, restaurants and nursing homes for years to disinfect and prevent the spread of germs.

The U.S. government now specifies that anti-germicidial UV light be used in air handling units to improve indoor air quality in public buildings by controlling airborne and surface microbial growth.

Anti-germicidal light Air Treatment Systems zaps mold spores and certain live, airborne bacteria passing by the lamp to prevent them from being re-circulated in your ductwork.

It is impossible to rid your home of unhealthy bacteria and viruses. But anti-germicidal UV light helps combat sickness to you and your family. Call PDM’s UV light experts for free help.

Furnace UV light installation in Bolingbrook, Channahon, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Minooka, Naperville, New Lenox, Plainfield, Romeoville, Shorewood, and surrounding areas.

FURNACE NOT WORKING? LEARN WHAT TO CHECK. HEATING FAQ’s.

No heat? Check these points before calling for service.

  • Is the thermostat set to HEAT?
  • Is the temperature higher than room temperature?
  • Turn furnace switch OFF, wait 1 minute and turn back ON.
  • Check to see if the electrical breaker is tripped.
  • Check for dirty furnace air filter.
  • Check to see if the gas pilot is off.
  • Check for closed or obstructed registers
  • Make sure the door to the furnace (air filter) is closed tightly. If not a safety feature may automatically prevent furnace from running.

Furnace turns on and off quickly.

You may have an electrical fault in the overheating protection system. The furnace burners turn on and off so the furnace does not overheat. Gas ignition system safety controls not responding to commands.

Not enough heat coming from register.

Check your air filter. If it looks like a gray furry cat time to replace. A dirty furnace air filter can reduce airflow 60%,increase utility bills and cause costly breakdowns.

If the air filter is ok you may have a faulty air movement protection system. Could be dirty or needs to be replaced. Another possibility is you may have a problem with your ductwork.

Banging furnace sound.

Could be a delayed ignition problem. Your furnace is “exploding” each time it turns on. Consider this dangerous.

Call PDM Heating specialists for trusted help since 1885.

WHY ARE MY AIR CONDITIONING COILS ICING UP?

Your A/C freezing up on a hot day seems crazy. Freezing up generally has to do with blocked or low air flow, over-use, broken parts, no maintenance, or refrigerant problems. Chances are ice forms around the inside evaporator coil preventing the a/c system from working.

  • DO THIS NOW. Turn the thermostat AC/COOL system OFF and turn the FAN ON to help defrost the unit. This helps to unfreeze the coil and prevent damage to the expensive compressor.
  • Check furnace air filter. Does it look like a gray furry cat? You may find the problem is simply due to a dirty filter which can block over 60 percent of the air flow.
  • Next make sure your duct air registers and return line are open and not blocked by drapes or furniture.
  • If the problem continues call PDM Cooling before this sticky situation becomes worse. And if you haven’t had air conditioning maintenance it’s time to act. You’ll feel better.

YOUR THERMOSTAT CONTROLS 50% OF YOUR UTILITY BILLS.

HVAC thermostat.

Size-wise, the thermostat to your heating and air conditioning system is fairly small. Yet this small device is obviously a major player in the control of your energy costs. According to the Department of Energy, if you set your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, you can save 5 to 15 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills. Each degree accounts for a savings of as much as 1 percent when the setback period is eight hours long. (In the summer, you can follow the same strategy – just in a different direction.)

This “setback” makes even more sense when you consider that your home is either unoccupied for that period of time, or else it is when you are sleeping and don’t need the higher heating level. In other words, the energy savings come with no sacrifice in comfort.

Furthermore, you can make these temperature adjustments automatically and on a set schedule with the assistance of a programmable thermostat. These energy-saving devices can store multiple daily settings that, if needed, you can always override manually when your schedule changes. Because you can set the temperature changes to take place automatically, your house can return to a comfortable temperature before you return home or before you rise for the day.

Choosing Your Programmable Thermostat.

How do you know which programmable thermostat is best for you? Energy.gov explains your basic options: “Most programmable thermostats are either digital, electromechanical, or some mixture of the two. Digital thermostats offer the most features in terms of multiple setback settings, overrides, and adjustments for daylight savings time, but may be difficult for some people to program. Electromechanical systems often involve pegs or sliding bars and are relatively simple to program.”

Will these continuing changes increase the work your system has to perform? Energy.gov provides another important piece of information: “A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly. The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature. The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer – a higher interior temperature will slow the flow of heat into your house, saving energy on air conditioning.”

Setting Up A Weekly Schedule For Your Programmable Thermostat – from Energy.gov.

“Set it and forget it.” Set your temperatures based on the times you are normally home and your habits — and then you almost never have to bother with it.

Here’s how a weekday schedule might look for a family that are out of the house all day for work and school:

  • 6:45 a.m.: The family wakes up to get ready for the day. Winter temperature of the house is 68°F; the heat automatically turned on a bit earlier so it would hit this temperature by 6:30. Summer setting 78°F or higher.
  • 7:45 a.m.: The family leaves the house and the winter thermostat is set to 56°F. Summer daytime about 85°F. By turning their thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, the family can save 5% to 15% a year on their heating or cooling bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
  • 4:30 p.m.: The family starts returning home from work and school. The heat turned back on a bit before this so the house would again be 68°F for (winter) their return. Summer 78°F or higher.
  • 10:30 p.m.: The whole family has gone to bed (bundled in warm pajamas and snuggled under blankets), and the thermostat is again set to 56°F. Summer temps as warm as you as you feel comfortable. Remember you can turn the thermostat fan “On”.

Note that for all of these temperature changes, the family never once touched the thermostat. At the beginning of the season, they programmed it once to follow this schedule and the changes happen automatically — and so do their savings. That’s important for busy people!

If you’d like to save energy in your home, schedule a convenient appointment.

HOW TO LOWER YOUR UTILITY BILL

The cost of home heating continues to hit the homeowner harder each year. But sometimes, you can end up spending even more than necessary by overlooking energy wasters in your home that, in many cases, are easy to remedy.

A home energy audit can help by pinpointing these areas and identifying ways to cut energy costs. In fact, you can conduct a simple audit on your own by following a few recommendations from the Department of Energy. To take stock of your home energy use:

  • Check insulation levels in your attic, exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors and crawl spaces.
  • Check for holes or cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets.
  • Check for open fireplace dampers.
  • Check caulking and weather stripping, and repair if necessary.
  • Schedule an annual tune-up for your heat pump, furnace or boiler.
  • Seal and insulate leaky ducts to ensure that the airflow distribution system serving your heating equipment is operating at peak efficiency.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
  • Seal holes around plumbing and heating pipes.
  • As lower temperatures set in, make an effort to set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. Or consider having us install a programmable thermostat that will automatically lower temperatures at night or during the day when the home is unoccupied.

When you call us for a tune-up, ask for a free estimate of how much you can save with a new energy efficient system.

Schedule an appointment or learn more about how PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Since 1885 can help you save energy.

PDM HOT WATER HEATER INSTALLATION

Whatever your budget or need is PDM Water Heater Specialists can help.

We offer gas and electric tank-type units, as well as tankless, copper-tube water heaters, storage tanks and solar water heating systems. Gas water heaters with atmospheric, power vent, direct vent, induced draft and powered direct vent units.


Water heater help usually within 2 hours

Your water heater installation includes:

  1. Quality Ruud professional water heater. A leader in energy efficiency, performance and reliability plus industry-leading warranties. Energy Star models for home and business.
  2. Solid warranty – 1, 6 or 10 year limited parts and labor insurance and 6, 8 or 12 year limited tank warranty.
  3. Safety first. Replacing is one thing, but is your existing water heater installed to current safety codes? PDM plumbers are state licensed and will make sure your water heater is safely installed to code.
  4. Clean your chimney base of all debris and see if the flue pipe from the new heater is pitching up toward the chimney to keep you safe.
  5. Change any parts needed within three feet of your water heater. Some companies quote a cheap price and then add-on charges.
  6. Designed to look great. We don’t use cheap flexible copper water connectors. We solder copper fittings designed for your unique job.
  7. Ensure sufficient draft upstream to make sure deadly carbon monoxide gases leaves your home or business.
  8. Test emergency gas, electric and water shut-off valves. We also test the temperature and pressure relief valve, gas and water leaks, even carbon monoxide for safe operation.
  9. Prevent painful hot water scalding by setting water temperature around 120 degrees.
  10. Clean up the work area, many times better than when we began. Surprisingly that’s not always the case with other companies, they leave you a mess. If we leave a mess you get $75.
  11. Free removal of your old water heater, $25 value.
  12. Recycle your old equipment. Every little bit helps.
  13. You could be liable if an unlicensed, uninsured worker gets hurt on your property. PDM protects you. We’re licensed, bonded, insured.

Fast water heater service, usually within two hours.

Call the Water Heater King for neat, honest service.

Options clients have chosen for safety and comfort.

Tired of waiting for hot water?


Recirculation Pump

With a PDM Comfort Series Instant Hot Water System you’ll enjoy hot water from the moment you turn on the hot water faucet. You’ll also save up to 16,000 gallons of water each year and use less energy than it takes to run a 25-watt light bulb…to say nothing of the tremendous ecological benefit that goes along with it.

A re-circulating pump that attaches directly to your heater.

Requires no additional wiring or electrical expense. The pump keeps the water in your pipes moving, resulting in a constant availability of hot water without the wait or the waste! Turn the shower on and get hot water.

THERMAL EXPANSION TANK and how it can help.


Hot water expansion tank

With a PDM Comfort Series Instant Hot Water System you’ll enjoy hot water from the moment you turn on the hot water faucet. You’ll also save up to 16,000 gallons of water each year and use less energy than it takes to run a 25-watt light bulb…to say nothing of the tremendous ecological benefit that goes along with it.

A re-circulating pump that attaches directly to your heater.

Requires no additional wiring or electrical expense. The pump keeps the water in your pipes moving, resulting in a constant availability of hot water without the wait or the waste! Turn the shower on and get hot water.

THERMAL EXPANSION TANK and how it can help.

WAGS – a water and gas safety valve, can automatically turn off water before becoming a flood and shut off gas feeds before disaster can strike. Great insurance against the unexpected. Add now and save.

WATER ALARM gives you added protection.

Invest in a water alarm and minimize the risk of water damage. Easy convenient alarm can be set near water heaters, washing machine, sinks, sump pit, anywhere you’re concerned about water.

Call PDM Plumbing for trusted help today. 815-207-4111.

DRAIN CLEANING RECIPES.

In the old days dogs and rats were used to clean sewers.

In the early years, before specialized equipment came along to help clean sewers, one unique approach to cleaning a sewer was practiced:

First a rat was caught and put in a cage which was set down in the invert of the sewer at a manhole. Next a rat terrier dog was put into the next downstream manhole; with a tag line tied to it. When the dog sensed the presence of the rat, he would run up through the sewer towards the cage … dragging the tag line with him.

The dog was then lifted to the surface and the tag line used to pull through a rope — which, in turn, was used to insert heavier tools, etc., into the sewer. The Early Years of Sewer Maintenance.

Slow drain? Try a safe homemade drain cleaner recipe. The good news is you don’t need a rat or a dog… 

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into drain and then add 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
  2. Cover lightly for 15-30 minutes. Mixture should foam.
  3. Then flush with water for a minute.
  4. Repeat on tougher clog.
  5. Try this monthly to keep your drains open.

If you’re looking for a top notch drain specialist, call PDM, the oldest drain cleaner around.

FAUCETS DRIPS CAN WASTE 2,086 GALLONS A YEAR.

Fix a leak. You’ll feel better that you did.

  1. A dripping faucet can waste a lot of water over time.
  2. And an old faucet can use up to 5 gallons per minute (fpm).
  3. New high-efficiency faucets can use 1.5 gpm or less.
  4. The average family home, retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, can save up to 30,000 gallons per year.
  5. The average home can waste more than 11,000 gallons of water a year due to household leaks including running toilets, dripping faucets, and other pipe leaks? That’s about 1 trillion gallons a year!

Shower.

Make sure that all water from your shower or bath stays there. Secure shower doors and tightly close curtains. Take signs of mold seriously. Keep your eyes open for cracks and don’t procrastinate. A little time now can save thousands of dollars later. On a preventive maintenance trip, PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can inspect your tub and shower seals for you. Just ask.

Water fact. 

Of all the water on earth about four percent is freshwater. And, of the total freshwater, over 68 percent is locked up in ice and glaciers. Another 30 percent of freshwater is in the ground. Rivers are the source of most of the fresh surface water people use, but they only constitute about one percent of total water.

Whatever your water or faucets needS are PDM Plumbers can help. 815-726-6264.

WATER SAVING FAUCET AERATORS & SHOWER HEAD

Add low-flow faucet aerators.

  1. Bathroom low-flow aerators can deliver 0.5 to 1 gallon per minute (gpm) with the same force of spray, but often in a more pleasing fashion.
  2. Kitchen faucets may require a higher flow rate of 2 to 4 gpm if you regularly wash dishes. If you tend to let the water run when washing dishes, the lower flow rate of 0.5 to 1 gpm may be more appropriate. Some kitchen aerators will allow you to flip between two flow rates without affecting the water temperature.

Install low-flow shower heads.

These can reduce your water waste by as much as 60%. A standard shower head uses 4 to 7 gpm. A low-flow shower head uses 2.5 gpm or less. With a fifty-fifty mix of hot and cold water, the savings in heated water would be about three gallons per minute of showering. So, during a five-minute shower, a low-flow shower head saves about 15 gallons of heated water. Multiply that by a spouse and two teenagers (and longer shower times) and you can easily save 60+ gallons of heated water in just one day of showering. You’ll enjoy a low flow shower head in more than one way.

PDM Plumbers can help with any faucet need.

GREEN COMMERCIAL WATER & ENERGY SAVING TIPS.

Do you have a green building policy to lower your ownership costs? 

America’s 120,000,000 buildings are energy hogs consuming 42% of our primary energy (more than any other sector), 72% of its electricity and 34% of natural gas.

For each kilowatt-hour (kWh) you save by using energy-efficient technologies, you are reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide (primary cause of global climate change), sulfur dioxide (key component of acid rain), and nitrogen oxides (responsible for smog).

15 ways to lower energy costs, 6 ways to conserve water, and funding retrofit projects.

Don’t forget about the Small Business Energy Savings Energy Efficiency Loan Program. Do you own a small business and also own your building? You may be eligible to finance energy efficiency improvements with low rate financing. Make your building work more efficiently, sustainably, and profitably.

15 TIPS TO LOWER YOUR ENERGY COSTS.

1. Educate, train your staff to improve operational efficiency that pays higher dividends. Create Web dashboards to educate everyone and offer tips and rewards for wise behaviors.

2. Regular maintenance is the best way to minimize service calls, eliminate surprises, and control your total cost of operation. Federal Energy Management Program shows regular maintenance reduces energy use up to 30%, downtime by 35-40%, cuts breakdowns by 70-75% and repair costs by 5-20%.

3. Monitor key HVAC points like chilled water temperature, hot water temperature, discharge air temperatures, and fan CFM. Setting these values to the minimum levels required for comfort will save energy and reduce stress on mechanical systems.

4. Eliminate equipment shakes, rattles. Excessive vibration is costing you money.

5. New high efficiency, boilers, gas furnace, chiller, cooling tower or rooftop package system can lower operating costs up to 30 percent.

6. Combine chillers in multiple buildings – run efficient ones first. Isolate off-line chillers and cooling towers to lower energy usage.

7. Add thermostats. Install or adjust programmable duct zoning to control heat-cool temps when rooms are empty.

8. Match HVAC and lighting to occupancy. Install controls that enable systems to provide light, heat and cooling to rooms only when they are occupied.

9. Night pre-cooling involves the circulation of cool air within a building during the nighttime hours with the intent of cooling the structure when utility costs are lower. The cooled structure is then able to serve as a heat sink during the daytime hours, reducing the mechanical cooling required.

10. Heat recovery allows you to pre-heat air or water meaning the heating system needs to use less energy.

11. Pumps in most HVAC systems are oversized. Adjust impellor to proper size for energy savings.

12. Daylight can supplement artificial light while improving productivity. Smart lighting systems use occupancy, time of day and light sensors to control dimmable fixtures and coordinate with automated shade systems.

13. Insulate air ducts in unconditioned space – energy gain of 10% to 30%.

14. Plugging air leaks – According to the EPA and Energy Star, save up to 10 percent on utility bills just by plugging building, door, window air leaks.

15. Schedule office cleaning during regular work hours to avoid keeping the lights, heating, and air conditioning on at night.


Leaky toilets can waste 10,000 gallons a year – EPA says 20-40% of all toilets leak!

6 TIPS TO CONSERVE WATER.

City water rates have risen by 100 to 500 percent in the last decade and are likely to keep rising according to The U.S Dept. of Energy.

Try these six water conservation tips to help support your sustainability goals.

1. Educate your team to improve operational efficiency that pays higher dividends.

Create Web dashboards to educate everyone and offer tips and rewards for wise behaviors.

2. Measure water usage and waste, fix leaks, maintain equipment.

Improve operating practices and keep plumbing system efficient and leak-free. A slow faucet leak can waste 300 gallons of water a month.

3. Efficient plumbing products.

  1. Lower water use up to 15% with water saving toilets, urinals, faucets and low flow fixtures for lavs, showers, motion sensor operated devices, reduced flush or reduced flush urinals.
  2. Water conserving dishwashers.
  3. Faucet aerators can reduce water consumption by 25%.
  4. Low flow shower heads reduces your water waste up to 60%.
  5. Adding controls to regulate and monitor water usage.

4. Hot water savings.

  1. Old water heater can waste 27% in energy and provide less hot water due to sediment buildup.
  2. Heat water using recovered heat and solar thermal systems.
  3. Instantaneous hot water heaters – tankless water heaters are a good choice for the right application.
  4. Water heater insulation, every bit helps.
  5. Insulate hot water piping.

5. Toilet & urinal.

  1. The world flushes up to 30 percent of its drinking water down a drain. According to a Water Conservation Study, the average person flushes the toilet five times a day. That means we could flush a toilet 140,000 times in our life.
  2. If your toilet was installed before 1994 you could be wasting up to 10,500 gallons each year (per toilet) with a 3.5 to 7 gallons a flush!
  3. New toilets can save up to 6 gallons per flush.
  4. Leaky toilet can waste 10,000 gallons a year – EPA says 20-40% of all toilets leak!
Toilet flappers last about 5 years.
  5. Check for toilet leaks. 
Add food color to the toilet tank and wait 30 minutes. Then check the toilet bowl to see if coloring appears. If so, your toilet leaks. Flush the toilet promptly to make sure tank is not stained.

Waterless urinals – You’ll find waterless urinals in crowded public restrooms. Building owners saw that by using dry urinals, they’d save money on water and sewer charges for thousands of flushes. They’re installed in the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and New York Mets. Arizona made waterless urinals mandatory in public buildings. By replacing one high water use urinal with a zero water model, you can save an average of 45,000 gallons of water per year.

6. Outdoors.

  1. One inch of rain on a 1,000SF roof yields 600 gallons of water. This is no longer just a residential option—industry and business leaders have begun to reclaim otherwise wasted water. For example, the new headquarters of Panduit, based in Tinley Park, IL, has a water reclamation system that collects rainwater for non-potable uses; the system is projected to save the building 910,000 gallons of water annually.
  2. Adopt water-smart landscaping, from using the proper plants to using in-ground sensors to trigger watering only when truly necessary.

FUNDING RETROFIT PROJECTS – STAGE OVER TIME.

Whether you’re a private or public entity, you may qualify for grants or low-interest loans for water conservation projects under state-sponsored initiatives. Performance contracting is another way to fund efficiency projects with no up-front investment. The most rewarding energy performance contracts combine water and energy-saving projects. Nicor Gas and ComEd offer some commercial rebates too.

Create a to do list and stage energy saving projects over a number of years.

Small Business Energy Efficiency Loan Program. Do you own a small business and also own your building? You may be eligible to finance energy efficiency improvements with low rate financing through the Illinois Energy Efficiency Loan Program.

Got questions? We got answers.

Ask Rudy Mahalik, Jr. at PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Since 1885 for a free consultation. Contact us online.

6 HOMEMADE BATH & KITCHEN CLEANER RECIPES.

Did  you know vinegar is made from grain and diluted with water?

The acid in vinegar makes a great cleaning product. Heinz concocted a Cleaning Vinegar 20 percent stronger than traditional white vinegar for safe and effective cleaning. Make sure you label your homemade cleaner bottle!

Here are six natural household cleaner recipes.

Fixture cleaner – soak a cloth in cleaning vinegar and go to work on your faucets and appliances.

Floor cleaner – mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar and a gallon of warm water. Tough stains? Use undiluted Cleaning Vinegar directly on the stain.

Bathroom film, soap scum cleaner – warm white vinegar and pout it into a spray bottle. Use on your shower, tub, sinks. Let soak for 12 minutes. Scrub with a nylon sponge. Re-spray if needed.

Drains cleaner – pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar into your drain. Cover lightly for 15 minutes. Mixture should foam. Then flush with cold water. Try this monthly to keep drains open.

Cut Dust and Grease on exhaust fan grills, ceiling fan blades and air-conditioning grills by wiping with Heinz Cleaning Vinegar.

Window cleaner – Use 1/4 cup white vinegar with a quart of water in a spray bottle.

From the queenofclean.com

THE COST OF NEGLECTING YOUR HVAC SYSTEM.

Looking at cost is more than seeing a price tag.

Take the annual tune-ups for your heating equipment. If you apply a small percentage of the value of the equipment in routine annual maintenance, your investment reduces your energy expenses, saves on repairs and takes care of you longer.

That’s a pretty sweet deal.

However, if you neglect to routinely take care of your furnace, you incur issues both seen and unseen that can cause breakdowns, waste energy and develop potentially dangerous problems for you and your family. Here are just a few areas where neglect can prove so costly.

Energy use increases. When dirt clogs your system, it has to work harder to keep you warm. Less efficiency means higher operating costs. In fact, energy experts say that your energy costs can be reduced by 30 to 35 percent when heating equipment is serviced regularly and properly maintained.

Equipment life is shortened. With all that dirt and grime causing efficiency problems, your system is running longer and more often. Thus, the parts feel the pressure, and they’ll wear out sooner. Even a small problem that goes undetected for a long period of time can lead to an earlier than normal system failure – or cause breakdowns with big repair bills.

Preserving your manufacturer’s warranty. Heating and cooling systems are big-ticket home improvements that come with long-term warranties. But many of these warranties require routine maintenance to keep them in effect. Don’t risk losing your warranty due to neglect.

Protecting your family’s safety. This may be the last “cost” in this list, but certainly ranks highest in what matters most. An unmaintained system can put you at risk of a deadly carbon monoxide leak. Loose electrical connections in an unmaintained system can also create a fire hazard. Neither are worth the risk of neglecting routine maintenance.

If you’d like to schedule a tune-up, we’d be honored to have you trust your system to us. Let us hear from you.

AC Tune-Up: Why a Cool Day Is the Best Time

Quite a few of us operate according to the principle “out of sight, out of mind.” Meaning, we don’t think about it until we actually need it. Unfortunately for many homeowners, their air conditioning system falls into that same “put it off” thinking – and they end up with a toasty surprise right when they want cool comfort. But there’s a better way. And a better time.

In the industry, we call it “the pre-season.” You might call it “spring.” This is when heating repairs fall off and air conditioning repairs aren’t yet hopping. So scheduling a preseason tune-up during this period gets you the attention you deserve at a time that is most convenient for you. However, when homeowners ignore their systems until they notice how warm they are – and that something’s wrong with their system – well… that’s happening all over town. The calls start coming in fast. Your appointment isn’t as convenient, and you’re warm while you’re waiting.

So, what does a tune-up actually involve? EnergyStar.gov says that a typical maintenance check-up for your air conditioning system should include the following (and we do too):

  • Check thermostat settings to ensure comfortable cooling.
  • Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty connections can cause unsafe operation and reduce the life of major components.
  • Lubricate all moving parts, whichcan cause friction and increase use of electricity.
  • Check and inspect the condensate drain. A plugged drain can cause water damage and affect indoor humidity levels.
  • Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates and shuts off properly.
  • Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
  • Check your refrigerant level and adjust if necessary.
  • Clean and adjust blower components to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.

So now that you’ve got this on your mind, why not schedule your tune-up now?  Save $20 on a quality ac tune-up, normally $129, now $109 for a limited time.

Duct Cleaning: When Should You Consider?

Clean Air and Energy Efficiency: Making the Connection

Saving on energy pays off – especially when you’re talking about keeping your home comfortable. Cooling and heating, after all, accounts for about 56% of the energy used in a typical U.S. home. Therefore, savings in this area can have a significant impact on your household’s monthly budget.

An energy efficient system is your starting point. For example, air conditioning and heating systems that have earned the ENERGY STAR® designation help you reduce high energy bills and improve your comfort while protecting the environment.

An airtight home helps too by keeping conditioned air inside your home – and, in warm months, keeping the hot air out.

But what about when saving on energy comes with a price? Airtight homes seal in the air, yes – but they can also seal in pet dander, toxins from household cleansers, cooking smoke, and on and on. An energy efficient home with poor indoor air quality is not a desirable result.

To improve your indoor air quality, you can control or eliminate the sources of your pollutants, as well as ventilate as weather conditions permit. You can also use an “air cleaning device.” There are different types of air cleaners, including those that remove particles through mechanical air filters or electronic air filters.

Now – to connect the dots between energy efficiency and clean air – your best bet is an energy efficient home comfort system with a built-in air cleaner.

Want to learn more about how to cool your home and save between 14-22% on energy right away – with the added bonus of a built-in air cleaner that filters up to 99% of airborne contaminants? Get a free energy saving review and find out how it works.

 Don’t forget. Big utility rebates and 10% PDM Cash-Back are now available for a limited time for new high efficient A/C and furnace systems.

Learn when you should consider duct cleaning – video. Ask PDM for $100 off our normal whole house air duct cleaning service. Learn what to expect.

Get back to normal, fast. Call PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Since 1885 at 815-207-4111 or 630-378-4488.

Learn How To Avoid AC Breakdowns & Lower Utility Bills

The Benefits Of Regular Maintenance

Heating & Cooling Scams: Protecting Yourself

The Number One Reason Furnaces Fail

IAQ. Ultraviolet Germicidal Air Treatment System.

Take comfort in knowing you have healthier indoor air.

Germicidal ultraviolet lights control and kill contaminants like viruses, bacteria, yeast and mold. Installed inside your HVAC duct system to help sterilize HVAC equipment and ducts too.

Ultraviolet light can reduce allergy, asthma symptoms, headaches, nasal congestion, sinusitis and more. No ozone emissions. Bulbs need to be changed annually.

Hospitals us them. UV ultraviolet and object purifiers are ideal for offices, lounges, smoking rooms, daycare centers, residential homes, and any location where clean air is desirable.

Contact PDM for honest air advice.

Ventilation – Good Air In, Bad Air Out!

Fresh air all the time.

Ventilating a home by opening doors and windows may not always be feasible due to security reasons or outdoor noise levels, rain, snow or weather conditions.

Mechanical ventilation allows a quiet, energy efficient way to exchange stale, unhealthy indoor air for fresh, outside air throughout your entire home in an energy-efficient way 365 days a year.

What is the main benefit of an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)?

An ERV constantly supplies fresh air to provide a healthy indoor environment by reducing odors and/or indoor pollutants, such as radon, formaldehyde, tobacco smoke, nitrogen dioxides, carbon monoxide and pesticides.

How does the ventilator work.

Energy Recovery Ventilator is an efficient way of exchanging the air inside your home with fresh outdoor air. In winter months, the heat of indoor air warms incoming cold fresh air, recovering approximately 77% of the energy.

In the summer, warm fresh air passes near outgoing conditioned air, cooling it down. At no time do the stale and fresh air streams mix, instead they pass each other separated by thin walls that allow only the air’s energy to transfer, cutting your heating and cooling bills.

Whole home ventilation attic fan is seasonal less costly option and can replace all the stale air in your home quickly with fresh outdoor air.

Free ventilator estimate.

PDM has a variety of ventilating fans to meet your needs and budget. Call PDM today.

8 Clogged Dryer Vent Warning Signs.

  1. Does your dryer take longer to dry, even a 2nd cycle?
  2. Do clothes come out of the dryer very hot?
  3. Are you finding very little lint on your lint screen?
  4. Does your dryer stop during a cycle?
  5. Do your clothes have a moldy smell?
  6. Is your dryer hot to the touch while running?
  7. Do you find lint on your clothing?
  8. Do you have a plastic exhaust duct from your dryer to the wall? Upgrade to a metal exhaust duct to prevent fires.

Clogged or poorly vented dryers can cause fire hazards and even carbon monoxide poisoning.  PDM can ensure that your dryer is properly vented and free from lint, as well as possible nests of mice or birds. 90% of all appliance fires are dryer related. As many as 15,000 fires are dryer vent related.

When lint accumulates in an exhaust duct, it reduces the dryer’s ability to expel heated water vapor causing heat energy to build up within the machine. As the dryer overheats, mechanical failures can trigger sparks, which can cause lint trapped in the dryer vent to burst into flames. Fires generally originate within the dryer but spread by escaping through the ventilation duct, incinerating trapped lint, and following its path into the building wall.

Clogged clothes dryer vents increases drying costs and shortens the life of your dryer. Learn the true condition of your dryer vent. Call PDM for Help.

Heating System Failures: How to Avoid 90% Of Problems


Dirt is the #1 Reason for heating system failure

It’s easy to ignore your home comfort and put it on the back burner.

But there’s real cause for concern when it comes to your home comfort system. This is the time of year when the #1 reason for heating system failure should be on every homeowner’s mind.

Dirt. Five year olds love it, plants can’t live without it, and you’re breathing it in every day. Not just breathing it in—you’re paying to inhale the largest cause of your home’s dust and allergy problems.

You’re probably thinking that’s an exaggeration. But the simple truth is that you are paying to run your heating and cooling system, more and more as the weather heats up. And since dirt is the number one cause of system failure—90% of all failures, in fact—chances are good that dirt is keeping your system from running at peak efficiency.

Before you invest in a family set of gas masks or prepare for a nomadic existence in the Sahara (hey, at least then you won’t be paying for the dirt), you might want to give your PDM heating professional a call.

Your system works hard, turning on about 70 times a day. It’s constantly circulating and heating the air that keeps your family comfortable. Like anything else that works, it gets dirty and has to be cleaned.

There are a few questions to ask yourself before having your system cleaned:

  • How long has been since your HVAC system was cleaned?
  • Are there pets in the home?
  • Do any of your family members experience burning in the eyes, nose, or throat while in the home?
  • Is your air dry?
  • Do any family members show sinus problems

System failures caused by dirt, as well as expensive repairs, can be avoided with a little preventative maintenance. Most people don’t realize how much money they can save by making sure their system runs efficiently.

Learning the precautions are part of PDM’s effort to educate and show homeowners that certain neglected maintenance items that can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs or system replacements.

You can have your heating system inspected, plus receive other energy saving tips by calling The PDM Clean Team at 815-207-4111.

Furnace Heat Exchanger Crack Danger

A heat exchanger is combination of one or more chambers furnace-repairor “cells” where the air in your home gets
heated. The heat exchanger is designed as a barrier, it’s job is to contain a 3300 degree fire*, transmit the heat to an occupied living space, and vent the toxic combustion by-products to the outdoors, without harming anyone. (*Approximate temperature of burning natural gas.).

But if your heat exchanger has a crack or hole in it your furnace must be condemned unsafe for operation as it can cause sickness, even death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Call PDM Heating Since 1885 for a furnace safety check-up. Call 815-207-4111.

Sewage Ejector Pump Helps Move Wastewater

Occasionally, a toilet or even a sink needs to be installed below the nearest sewer or septic line, and the waste from the drain must be lifted to the level of the main drain.

A sewage ejector pump or grinder pump solves this problem and is used when wastewater cannot flow to its destination by means of gravity at a velocity of at least 2 feet per second. PDM is an expert in sewage ejector repair, replacement and installation.

Sewage ejector repair and replacement.

  • Quality built sewage ejectors, maintenance free
  • Up to 10 year warranty, built to last 20 to 40 years.
  • Powerful 100 GPM flow rate.
  • Non-clogging pumps for unscreened sewage, waste water, sewage lift stations and industrial waste.
  • PDM sewage ejector pumps can fit existing installations without piping changes.
  • Quik Jon’ from the Zoeller Pump Company is a self-contained system that has everything but the toilet and the final plumbing drain and water hookups. Quiet, leak-proof and odorless.
  • You’ll also have the confidence of knowing it was installed properly by an experienced professional. Whatever you need PDM can help.

New sewage ejector installation.

PDM installed some of the first submersible wastewater pumps in the mid-1950s. We’ve seen and done it all.

Class. There are two classes of submersibles sewage ejector pump, the smaller pump is used in home and light commercial, and larger pumps for large commercial buildings and municipal wastewater systems.

Size. The farther the distance the waste must be lifted, the more powerful the pump must be to do the job. A whole-house system must be larger and more powerful than one that services only one toilet. Residential sewage ejectors normally handle up to 2-inch spherical solids and range from 1/3 to 2 horsepower and are available in two types, non-clogs and grinders.

3 ways to size a sewage pump based on peak flow:

  1. The Fixture unit calculation estimates usage demands of a typical plumbing fixture(s). This method is suitable for residential and small commercial applications.

  2. The Larger Capacity System Chart takes fixture frequency of use into consideration. This method is appropriate for motels, apartment complexes, and large office buildings.

  3. The Population method is used when designing large-scale municipal sewage systems.

Types: non-clog and grinder. Non-clogs pump high volumes and can handle solids from 2 inches thru 4 inches and are used both in residential and municipal lift stations.

Grinder pumps grind solids instead of passing them. They are sized only for residential or small commercial locations, often pumping to a pressure sewer system but also in gravity sewers with high vertical lifts or long horizontal runs.

Ejector pumps can be installed in wet pits or sewage basins and typically sits in a hole cut through the concrete slab floor. By installing the ejector beneath the floor, the fixture need only be raised minimally to accommodate the flange and waste pipe.

Installation. Some cutting of concrete will be involved in basement installation as well as digging down a few feet will add to the cost as well as the difficulty of installation.

Call the oldest and most experienced plumber for proper sizing and installation of a sewage ejector system. Call PDM.

Drains, Catch Basin, Lift Station, Sewer Backflow Valve


Commercial sewage ejector pump

Oh my drain is flowing in the wrong direction. And this time the blockage won’t go away. Ick. Clogged drain and I have to invite a stranger over. HELP. I need someone who I like and can trust.

Since you are here, give the PDM Clean Team a chance. We’ve been keeping drains flowing for over 100 years. Some of our services include:

In-line video sewer inspection. Take the guesswork out of sewer line cleaning and repairing. A PDM drain and sewer video camera lets you see grease buildup, leaks, broken pipe, obstructions and the best solutions.

Clogged drains opened fast with powerful water jetting or power rodding equipment. Roots, grease, you name it PDM’s experience can minimize your downtime.

Broken sewer line fixed right. When you’ve been repairing and installing sewer piping for over 100 years you learn a lot. PDM can help with:

  • Cracked, broken, offset drain pipe. Damaged sewer pipes due to shifting soil, settling or frozen ground, etc.
  • Corroded sewer pipes. Sewer line has deteriorated and collapsed the line.
  • Sewer root problem. Bushes or tree roots have entered the sewer line, preventing normal cleaning or has damaged the line.
  • Leaking sewer line joints. Seals between pipes broke, allowing water to escape.
  • Off-grade drain pipe — existing drain pipes are made of substandard material and have deteriorated.

Sewer grease traps & catch basins help.

PDM can clean, repair and install your grease traps and catch basins quickly. PDM serves the needs of many commercial kitchens. We’ll get things flowing in the right direction fast.

  • Grease trap plumbing tip: Help reduce service calls by not using hot water (over 140 degrees), acids, caustics, solvents, or emulsifying agents when cleaning grease traps (weekly) & interceptors. Scrape the grease trap sides, lid, and the baffles with a putty knife to remove excess grease.

Lift station maintenance.
We’ll keep your equipment in top operating condition. Your pump and impeller are tested, motor amps checked. Clean your floats, inspect check valve, alarm system and make sure your motor electrical connections are tight and parts show no signs of wear.

Commercial rooftop drain problems?
Water backing onto or under your roof membrane and causing unwanted problems? Whether your rooftop drains are stopped up or you need to add more, PDM will get things flowing in the right direction.

  • Roof drain tip.Locate drains no more than 50 feet from roof perimeter. Place drains no more than 100 feet apart. No roof area should have less than two roof drains. Horizontal pipe capacity must be checked. Cast iron roof drain piping is available in 2″, 3″, 4″, and 6″ diameters. Let PDM help avoid future roof drain leaks and inconvenience.

Flooding protection: sewer backflow valve.

In some areas, flooding can cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up into buildings through drain pipes. Sewer backups cause damage that is difficult to repair and create health hazards. A good way to protect your business from sewage backup is to install sewer backflow valves, which are designed to block drain pipes temporarily and prevent flow into the building.

Call a drain company with a proven track record and a reputation people have trusted for 129 years.

Chlorinated Water: What You Need To Know.

The good and bad of bathing and drinking chlorinated water.

Municipalities do their best to provide drinkable water to you. They use chemicals, among them chlorine, to treat the water and kill most disease-causing bacteria and viruses. These chemicals are necessary to get the water to your home faucet, free of many contaminants that would make you sick.

However, scientists have known for years that consumption of chlorinated tap water carries risks including increased rates of bladder cancer, birth defects, and brain cancer. While you can evaporate out most chlorine and chlorination byproducts simply by letting a pitcher of water sit for a couple of days, when you bathe or shower with tap water, you will be exposed to chloroform, a hazardous byproduct of chlorination that can be absorbed through the skin, by breathing, or by ingesting shower water.

PDM’s filtering systems can help!

  • The treatment is much easier than spritzing yourself with Evian water.
  • A top-quality filter can cleanse chlorine contaminants from all the water coming into your house.
  • “Bottled water” throughout your entire home, cost-effectively and conveniently.
  • The filter is connected to the main water line entering your home.
  • It works automatically… nothing for you to do except enjoy the benefits of clean, healthier water at every faucet.
  • If you want the best filtering system, we can include a reverse osmosis filter for drinking and cooking.

 No Risk 30-day Money-Back Guarantee

  1. If you are not sure this is the right solution to your problem, we have a special offer.
  2. Try it for 30 days. Enjoy the benefits of clean, clear filtered water throughout your home. If at the end of the 30- day free trial period, you are not happy for any reason with the ultra- clean filtered water, PDM will remove the system and return the money you paid.
  3. No hassle, no questions asked!

People ask how we can make this unconditional guarantee offer? 

It’s easy. We have been in the business of providing quality water to our clients for over 128 years. We know what works. Contact the PDM Filtering Experts for free advice.

What You Can Count On From PDM

Sump Pump Helps Avoid Flooding.


Industrial grade sump pump

A sump pump can stop periodic basement flooding and even prevent the spread of mold.

PDM can offer you dependable industrial grade sump pumps for your home or business. We specialize in sump pump repair, replacement and new installation for 100 years. We’ve seen and done it all.

If you’re sump pump takes care of basement water most of the time but floods during heavy rains, you may either need a back-up pump or have a problem with drain-tiles. Click to learn about drain-tiles.

Sump pump replacement

  • PDM powerful sump pumps replacement without piping changes.
  • Your sump pump is water and dust tight for long life
  • 100% factory tested underwater.
  • Solid warranty for submersible and vertical sump pump
  • You’ll also have the confidence of knowing it was installed properly by an experienced professional.

New sump pump installation If you’re tired of mopping up after a rain storm, let the oldest plumber help. Water generally seeps into the basement because water pressure was building up around your foundation. Water naturally seeks the path of least resistance and enters through cracks in your walls or floors. The result…a wet basement. If it stays wet you may see unhealthy black mold growing.

We collect water seeping in the walls or under the basement floor through a series of pipes that empty into a sump pit. The sump pit is placed at the lowest point in the basement. A sump pump then expels the water and keeps your basement dry.Installing a new pit and pump will take us most of a day, but you’ll love the results. Call PDM for help.


Sump pump basin

  • Break out a 4′ x 4′ area of your floor with a jackhammer
  • Dig down about 30 inches, install a plastic pit liner
  • Surround with coarse gravel to help move water out.
  • Connect drain line to existing indoor line up to 20’
  • Upper half of the pit liner is perforated to allow water to seep in and collect at the bottom.
  • A float-activated submersible pump at the bottom of the sump pit automatically pumps out the water when it reaches a preset level.
  • To finish the job, we pour a new concrete floor around the sump pit to match the original floor. A clean, neat, professional job. Call PDM today.
  • For backup protection, we recommend a battery operated backup pump. It will switch automatically to battery current when power fails or your main pump fails or requires more pumping power.

100 years experience counts! Call a trusted sump pump expert.

You’ll receive courteous, trained technicians, quality products, pricing before work begins, “100% satisfaction guarantee” and a proven track record. You won’t go wrong, guaranteed. Call PDM pump specialists for free consultation.

The physics of freezing pipes.


When a pipe burst, it will spill several hundred gallons of water per hour!

Burst water pipes are caused by the expansion of freezing ice against the walls of the pipe, right? Wrong. 

In a remarkable series of laboratory and field experiments, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated that the actual cause of damage to freezing water pipes isn’t the force of the expanding ice on the pipe, but rather an extreme rise in water pressure downstream from the blockage.

Water pressure can rise in freezing situations from about 40 pounds psi to over 4,000 pounds psi.

For example, copper pipe is exposed to unusually cold temperatures, and ice begins to form on the pipe’s inside walls. Since water volume expands by about 8 percent as it turns to ice, the ice formation eventually can completely block the water flow.

Water upstream from the blockage is able to flow back to its source, such as the street connection (if you do not have a water backflow device).  But the water downstream is trapped because the faucets are closed.  As the ice continues to form and expand, pressures downstream from the blockage skyrocket.  Because the entire section of pipe experiences the same elevated pressure, the failure can occur at any point, even within the heated space of the building.

Thaw frozen pipe.

  • Keep the faucet open. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the frozen section of pipe using an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, or wrap pipes with hot towels. Do NOT use open flame device like a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove.
  • If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too. Check all faucets for low pressure.
  • If you cannot find or access the frozen area or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call PDM Plumbers. We have the tools and experience to get you back to normal fast.

11 Energy Saving HVAC Ideas

  1. Annual AC and furnace head-to-toe check-up. Regular maintenance is the best way to minimize service calls, eliminate surprises, and control your total cost of operation. Federal Energy Management Program shows regular maintenance: Reduces energy use up to 30%, Downtime cut by 35-40%, Cuts breakdowns by 70-75%, Lower repairs 5-20%. Learn more.
  2. Air filter. Dirt is the number 1 cause of breakdowns. Change your air filter regularly. Get the right professional grade furnace air filter with free delivery. Order air filters online here.
  3. Plugging air leaks – According to the EPA and Energy Star, you can save up to 10 percent on utility bills just by plugging air leaks. Infiltration of hot or cold air is your worst enemy. The fewer holes in your home the less energy it takes to keep you comfortable
  4. New, efficient furnace or boiler – A new high-efficiency heating system can often cut your furnace’s pollution output in half. If you heat with gas, upgrading your furnace or boiler from 56% to 90% efficiency will save 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year and can lower heating bills up to 30%. Each degree over 68°F can add 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating.
  5. New air conditioning system – Outdated units can waste up to 40% of your energy. According to the U.S. Department of energy, the average American home consumes more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, causing power plants to emit about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide and 31 pounds of sulfur dioxide.
  6. Whole home humidifier helps to conserve energy in winter. The air in your home won’t be as dry, so you stay comfortable by lowering temperature settings a few degrees. Whole home humidifier can reduce heating up to 20%, help avoid sickness and keep you more comfotable. Learn more.
  7. Do thermostats matter to you? They control up to 50% of your energy bill. Here’s one of the easiest ways you can save energy, money, and help fight global warming, and it’s automatic. EPA says a programmable thermostat can lower heating and cooling bills by 20%. Change your temperature just one degree can cut your energy use up to 5%. Contact PDM for Free thermostat advice and see changes on your utility bills.
  8. Whole home power ventilator can replace all of your home’s stale air every few minutes with fresh outdoor air.
  9. Fireplaces – make sure you have tight-fitting dampers, which can be closed when the fireplace is not in use.
  10. Windows – Cut heat transfer through your windows by 40% to 50% with double pane windows and more with triple pane. In the summer block direct sunlight from windows and use blinds, drapes to block sunlight in the hottest part of the day. Winter, let the sun heat your home and close drapes at night to keep more heat inside.
  11. Kitchen and bath exhaust fans draws conditioned outside your home. Depending on the size of your fan you can pull all of your heated or cooled air outside in an hour. Use fans sparingly.

Air Conditioning Buying Guide

Here’s a few insider tips from a company installing some of the first central air conditioning systems over 80 years ago. PDM has replaced thousands of old, inefficient or broken cooling systems by not cutting corners but by meeting or exceeding safety codes.

Repair or replace.

Nearly half of homeowners who replace an air conditioner, act under duress. They replace the air conditioner because they have to; it broke down and could not be repaired or was too expensive to repair. These are often late season replacements. Over half change out their system when they do not need to make a replacement. Their most important reason for replacing the air conditioner is either that they are replacing the air conditioner at the same time they replace a furnace, they are replacing because they anticipate failure, they want to cut their utilities, they are tired of frequent repairs, or they want to improve comfort.

Air conditioning is an expensive appliance and the last thing you want is to be ripped off by a contractor who tells you you need to replace when it can be repaired, then gives you a low price and a promise to install in a few hours.

If you need an honest second opinion, A licensed PDM technician will be happy to come out for a free evaluation. Here are a few points to be aware of when investing in a new AC:

What brand is best?

Almost everyone asks about good brands. The big secret in our industry is there are only a handful of HVAC manufacturers in the US but they operate under well over 100 brand names! What that means is most air conditioning systems have the same safety features, compressor, controls, parts and efficiencies with many of these components coming from even fewer companies.

The bottom line is there is not much difference in brands.

After installing some of the first AC system in the area in the 1930’s, we’ve seen brands come and go, but most have the same life cycle if maintained annually. In the end we believe a brand equals about ten percent of the value with ninety percent coming from the installation.

Finding the right installer. Don’t assume all contractors are the same. 

Please understand a central AC system is only as good as the installation work done. We’ve seen how a great contractor can install a poor AC, and he will often stand behind it if it fails. Likewise a poor contractor can royally screw up a perfect AC, and will leave you abandoned to fend for yourself.

Cutting corners is easy for a contractor and you may never know. If you are given a low price and told they can install in a few hours, be suspicious. Consumer Reports says finding a contractor you can trust is the most important decision you can make.

Avoid basing your decision on the cheapest air conditioning price or quickest installation time. Consider the lifetime costs of your AC system. Fuel, maintenance, repairs, even inconvenience add up over 10 to 20 years. If a cheap installer cuts corners, doesn’t ask questions or makes assumptions, you’ll pay more over its lifetime. If a larger system is recommended make sure you know all the reasons.

Warranties.

This is one element of an AC brand that gives you value. Besides our economy model, PDM and Amana offers the most comprehensive limited warranty coverage of any air conditioner on the market.

Call PDM air conditioning experts for free advice and free estimate. Ask about the latest rebates on new energy efficient air conditioning systems.

Back to New HVAC page >>

Summer De-Humidification

Feeling hotter is one part of summer humidity. Even worse than that is what humidity can do to you, your family, your health and your energy bills too. Watch video.

How To Set A Schedule For A Programmable Thermostat

LOWER UTILITY BILLS BY RESETTING YOUR PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT

“Set it and forget it.” Set your temperatures based on the times you are normally home and your habits — and then you almost never have to bother with it. From Energy.gov

If you are out of the house all day set back your thermostat 5° to 8° or more for 8 hours and save as much as 1% off your heating or ac utility bill for each degree lower. For example:

  • 6:45 a.m.: The family wakes up to get ready for the day. The winter temperature of the house is 68°F; the heat automatically turns on a bit earlier so it would hit this temperature by 6:30. Summer setting can be 78°F or higher.
  • 7:45 a.m.: The family leaves the house and the winter thermostat is set 5° to 8° lower. Summer daytime temps are set higher. By turning their thermostat back 5° to 8° or more for 8 hours, you save of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
  • 4:30 p.m.: You return home from work and school. The heat is turned back on a bit before this so the house would again be 68°F for your return. Summertime is set to 78°F or higher.
  • 10:30 p.m.: The whole family has gone to bed (bundled in warm pajamas and snuggled under blankets), and the thermostat is again set to 62°F. In the summer temps are as warm as you as you feel comfortable. Remember you can turn the thermostat fan “On” to help move the air.

Note that for all of these temperature changes, the family never once touched the thermostat. At the beginning of the season, they programmed it once to follow this schedule and the changes happen automatically — and so do their savings. That’s important for busy people!

Next best thing is a WIFI thermostat you can control from anywhere.

If you’d like to save energy in your home, schedule a convenient PDM appointment.

How To Drain Hot Water Heater?

Use extreme caution as a hot water heater can scald you in seconds.

  1. To further conserve energy and for safety, flush the hot water heater after bathing, washing clothes, or cleaning dishes when less hot water is in the tank.
  2. Turn the water heater temperature control to low to prevent the gas burner from lighting. Even better turn off gas, then relight when done. Electric water heater? Make sure you turn off the power before draining. If you don’t you could destroy the heating elements.
  3. Option one: Open the drain at the bottom of heater twice a year, letting the water run into a bucket (usually about 5 gallons). Prevents hard water sediment accumulation. (Good reason to have a water softener that removes hard water minerals).
  4. Option two: connect garden hose to water heater drain and run outside. You could empty into a floor or sink drain but you must know that excessive sediment can clog your drain. Check water quality while draining. Be careful as when you turn off cold water to flush the tank the hose water pressure may move. Secure hose.
  5. Do not drain hot water into a toilet as it may crack or onto your lawn as it will kill the grass.
  6. Kitchen hot water faucet, turn on.
  7. Water heater – turn off cold water supply value (top of heater). Make sure you do not leave gas burner (or electric) on when water valve is closed as it can cause excessive pressure gas pressure to buildup.
  8. Drain heater until little pressure. Turn off kitchen faucet.
  9. Flush tank by turning on-off water heater cold water valve a few times to help clean tank of sediment.
  10. Add water and drain until clean.
  11. Please Note: After many years of experience, sometimes a drain valve that’s never been opened before, especially an old plastic drain valve, will leak when closed. If it does screw on a steel cap with pipe thread to stop water leak.
  12. Tighten heater drain, turn on cold water supply and fill. When water is full turn on gas or electric.
  13. Improve efficiency and water quality with regular flushes

If you don’t feel comfortable with this chore, ask a professional like PDM for help.

Furnace Buying Guide: Uncovering The Right Gas Furnace For You.

Most likely you’re reading this because your furnace is old or not performing as you’d like. After installing the first gas furnaces in the 1930’s, PDM Heating is familiar with the questions most folks have when investing in indoor comfort.

While a repair may cost less than a new system, you have to consider all operation costs. A typical home can spend $2000 annually for heating and cooling energy costs. Add in repairs and maintenance and the cost to own adds up many time more than a new furnace.

A repair does not lower energy bills than what the furnace was designed to, improve comfort  or have added warranty coverage. Plus, if cost is a concern, PDM offers financing to fit the budget of qualified clients.

Here is a simple approach to choosing a new furnace and not getting ripped off:

  1. What brand is best?
  2. Finding the right installer
  3. Choosing the right gas valve
  4. Choosing the right blower motor for added comfort
  5. Other furnace components
  6. Warranty and value.

1. What brand is best?

Most furnaces have the same safety features, controls, heat exchangers that transfers heat from metal to air, parts and efficiencies. Many manufacturers buy their parts from the same factory. And all can last 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. Now your furnace can last longer but the costs of keeping it going add up and you’re better off investing in a new system. After 130 years of seeing brands come and go, most have the same life cycle. In the end we’ve seen a brand equals about ten percent of the value with ninety percent coming from the installation.

2. Finding the right installer. Don’t assume all contractors are the same.

Please understand a furnace is only as good as the installation work done. We’ve seen how a great contractor can install a poor furnace, and he will often stand behind it if it fails. Likewise a poor contractor can royally screw up a perfect furnace, and will leave you abandoned to fend for yourself. Cutting corners is easy for a contractor and you may never know. Find a heating contractor with a proven track record. Many contractors come and go out of business within a few years and leave you stuck should the unit need repair.

A new furnace doesn’t mean lower utility bills. If your installer isn’t mindful you can waste a lot of fuel with sheet metal fittings or ductwork or proper sizing. Consumer Reports says finding a contractor you can trust is the most important decision you can make.

Avoid basing your decision on the cheapest furnace price or quickest installation time. Consider the lifetime costs of your furnace. Fuel, maintenance, repairs, even inconvenience add up over time. A new furnace can roughly cost around 30 percent of its lifetime cost. If a cheap installer cuts corners, doesn’t ask questions or makes assumptions, you’ll pay more over time. If a larger system is recommended make sure you know all the reasons.

3. How efficient do you want your furnace?

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency AFUE describes how efficiently the equipment operates, like miles per gallon for a car. The higher the efficiency number, the higher upfront costs are and the lower your utility bills are. The U.S. government’s minimum AFUE rating for a furnace is 80 percent, with a lower upfront cost and a higher cost to operate. About 20 percent of the heat used goes up the chimney. A rating of 96% indicates that for every $1.00 of energy used to operate the furnace only four cents is not fully utilized. In 2012 about 35% of furnaces sold were 90% AFUE or higher

Your efficiency is also based on the gas valve operation. Choices include: one stage, two stage, premium modulating stages gas valve or new condensing furnace for added comfort.

  1. Standard single stage gas valve furnace. Good. This is a common furnace type installed that runs at one constant gas flow when operating to keep you comfortable. The furnace blows a steady stream of warm air (or cool in the summer) until the desired temperature is reached and then the thermostat turns the system off. The results are temperature peaks and valleys.
  2. Two stage gas furnace. Better. This furnace starts out on the low stage, enabling a gradual and pleasant increase in the temperature of your home for better efficiency and predictable indoor temps. And if low-stage heating doesn’t warm your home to the desired temperature quickly enough, the technology shifts the furnace into the high stage automatically to ensure your comfort (about 65 percent of the time). Improve comfort, lower utility bill and filters your air more often too.
  3. Modulating or multi-stage gas furnace. Best. This furnace can constantly adjust to keep you comfortable. A modulating valve is self-adjusting, running at a capacity from 35% to 100% with outstanding levels of comfort, efficiency, and quiet performance. The results are energy savings, tighter temperature control, quieter operation and superior comfort. The Modulating gas valve is a premium furnace system.
  4. High Efficiency Condensing Furnace – Top of the line. This is a furnace that one day soon may be your only choice because of national efficiency standards. The condensing furnace allows you to reuse some of the heat that normally would have been vented out of the home. The condensing furnace with sealed combustion requires modifying the exhaust chimney by installing a new PVC vent and air piping. Although condensing models cost more than non-condensing models, a condensing furnace can save you money in fuel costs over the life of the unit. In some cases the new furnace exhaust flue may require changing the gas water heater exhaust too.

4. Fan speed or blower motor speed for added comfort & efficiency – your choices

  1. ECM Variable speed – Best if indoor comfort is important to you. This blower motor can save 33% or more over single speed. The high efficient electronically commutated motor (ECM) operates very intelligently. The multi-speed blower motor allows it to give you the exact amount of air you need in the winter and summer. By changing the speed of airflow during start-up, your furnace can adjust humidity levels and create more even temperatures throughout your home. The ECM uses significantly less electricity than standard blower motors and reduces operating noise. Variable speed blowers can also remove up to four times more humidity in the summer than a standard blower, increasing your ac efficiency. And if you run the fan only, you get a quiet, low speed fan to filter air and keep an even temperature.
  2. Multi speed blower motor. Better. Quickly, quietly, and efficiently this motor delivers nice levels of warm comfort and reliability. Time-tested durability and designed to deliver quiet performance. This unit allows the installer to set the fan speed but will not change during operation. It provides more or less heat as needed but customized for your home environment.
  3. Constant fixed speed blower motor. Good. Standard motor offers basic on and off control. The blower motor will run at a fixed speed determined by the manufacturer resulting in over or under temperature swings.

5. Other important furnace components.

Ignition system

Today’s furnaces generally use an electronic ignition system to replace the pilot light. The electronic igniter is like a light bulb filament placed in the flow of a gas burner. The ignitor is made of silicon nitrate (usually lasts longer) or a more fragile silicon carbide ignitor (can last 3 to 7 years).

When your thermostat calls for heat, a message is sent to start heating the igniter, really hot, 1800F to 2500F. Then the gas valve opens and ignites the burner. The flame safety sensing system then shuts off the igniter. Each of these steps can stop your unit so getting a strong ignition system makes sense. It’s important to note that keeping your furnace and air filter clean helps extend the life of your ignition system.

Sound

What you hear when your furnace runs is affected by the combustion technology you choose and the fan speeds. Most new units have fully insulated furnace cabinets to begin with so many times your new system will be quieter than your existing system. It’s like buying an economical car or a more luxury ride. The more refined operating system, the quieter it is.

Intelligent controls and thermostats.

Smart technology is leading the way where you can control equipment from your phone, tablet, or computer. And even a voice activated thermostat to raise and lower temperature. Like your furnace it all comes down to how much comfort you want, your efficiency, control, quiet operation, to even room temperatures.

Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is an important part of the furnace. If it cracks or gets a pin hole in it. you have to replace it because it allows deadly gases into your home. Heat exchanger captures heat from the burned gas. High efficiency furnaces usually have two heat exchangers to allow you to use more heat inside your home rather than up the chimney.

Common heat exchanger warranties are 10 to 20 years with the best being a lifetime limited warranty.

6. Furnace warranty and value: Worry-free comfort.

  • Contractors typically offer 5 years to lifetime for the installation work.
  • 5 years is a standard industry parts warranty. Any part is subject to fail, especially when you do not maintain the system. Most warranties require annual maintenance to keep your warranty active.
  • Regardless of the energy efficiency rating, all functional parts of an Amana® Gas Furnace are covered by a 10-Year Parts Limited Warranty*. Several Amana brand Gas Furnace models also feature a Lifetime Heat Exchanger Limited Warranty*. Should the heat exchanger ever fail to the original registered homeowner, a new heat exchanger will be provided at no charge (for as long as they own their home).

* To receive the Lifetime Compressor Limited Warranty, Lifetime Heat Exchanger Limited Warranty, Lifetime Unit Replacement Limited Warranty, and 10-Year Parts Limited Warranty, online registration must be completed within 60 days of installation. Contact PDM for full warranty details.

Call for free advice and added comfort.

Now that you are beginning to understand the choices, call a PDM advisor to inspect your furnace, answer questions and offer you a free estimate for a comforting, peace-of-mind new furnace. You’ll get a polite team who will protect your place, recycle your old equipment and get a new energy efficient furnace running safely and quickly. Contact PDM today.

Air Filter: The Easiest Maintenance Step You Can Take

Changing your air conditioning filters routinely yields two important benefits: it helps keep your air conditioning clean, and it’s good for your indoor air.

In fact, Energy.gov says changing your filters (as often as every 30 days, depending on your filter type) is your most important maintenance task for preserving your system’s efficiency. That’s because clogged, dirty filters block the normal airflow. When airflow is obstructed, air that bypasses the filter could carry dirt straight into the evaporator coil and cause damage. That means the simple step of a filter change can protect your equipment’s life.

It can also save on energy. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy use by 5 to 15 percent. And if that’s not reason enough to take care of this task – if your filter becomes too dirty, it can affect the quality of your indoor air.

Here’s an even better point: changing your air conditioning filter routinely is inexpensive and easy.

Your filter could be located in a return grille or in special slots in the duct system – possibly inside the air conditioner itself. If you aren’t sure, schedule your spring tune-up, and your service technician can show you your filter location and how to change it.

How and when you make the change depends on the type of filter your system uses. While some are reusable, others must be replaced. You’ll want to clean or replace filters more often if your air conditioner is in constant use or if you have furry pets in the home.

Also, don’t forget that your air conditioning system should get a professional tune-up to get ready for the summer season. Some of the tasks on your service technician’s list will be to check your refrigerant levels, your motors and belts and your thermostat accuracy as well as measure airflow through the evaporator coil. Along with improving the performance of your system, technicians are also able to see problems that may be occurring and often make a simple fix before they grow into a larger repair.

If you have any questions or concerns about maintenance on your system, or if it’s time for your regular spring tune-up, just let us know.

How Cleaning Your House Could Be Bad for Your Indoor Air

If the air inside your home is affected by indoor air pollution, one of the possible sources of this dirty air could be a solution you’re using to keep your home clean. Household cleansing products are on the list of usual suspects of those substances that produce indoor irritants.

According to the EPA, common household cleaners release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), when used and stored, and they’re often placed under the kitchen sink. VOCs are emitted as gases and include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.

The products that emit VOCs number in the thousands and include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers and photographic solutions.

Concentrations of VOCs can be up to ten times higher indoors than outdoors. And not only that, most Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors.

To protect yourself and your family, take care in how you use cleaning products. Store household products that contain chemicals according to manufacturers’ instructions and keep all products away from children. You may wish to consider purchasing cleaners without VOCs.

Typically, indoor air quality problems just create discomfort, and most people will feel better when the source of the pollution is removed. However, it’s wise to remember that some pollutants can have long-term effects and continued exposure can lead to respiratory ailments or other serious issues.

If you’d like to learn more about the quality of your indoor air, let us know.

Who Should You Trust to Check Your Home Vital Systems?

If you’re like most folks, your home is your most valuable financial asset. The systems that run your home represent a sizeable part of your investment, of course. So you’ll only want reputable, qualified and competent contractors to take care of them for you.

When you need plumbing, heating, cooling repair service done, many of you ask family, friends and neighbors for names of companies, and that’s a great way to check for a sound reputation. You can also take a close look at the testimonials from satisfied customers. Get a sense of how the company presents itself on the Web and in other advertising.

Your trust should grow the more you know. But when there’s something in the back of your mind that says you’re not sure about what you’re hearing, stop and reassess. For example, the Federal Trade Commission says tip-offs to rip-offs from a less-than-reputable contractor could include any of the following: solicits door-to-door; only accepts cash payments; does not list a business number in the local telephone directory; pressures you for an immediate decision; and asks you to pay for the entire job up front.

If you’re tired of people touting services that are too good to be true, you’re not alone.

That’s why for our customers we keep it plain and simple: 24 hour service; 10 year system warranties; hassle-free Maintenance Agreement Plans; “Fixed Right” guarantee; energy savings; on-time service and up-front pricing.

If you want your air conditioning, furnace and plumbing systems to stay reliable all year long, doesn’t it make sense to call a reliable company for your maintenance?

We’d be honored to have you trust your system to us. Let us hear from you.

AIR CONDITIONING NOT WORKING? LEARN WHAT TO CHECK FIRST.

We sometimes visit and find a simple fix that you can do.

  • Is the thermostat set to COOL?
  • Is the temperature lower than room temperature?
  • Turn thermostat OFF, wait 1 minute then turn ON.
  • Check to see if the electrical breaker is tripped.
  • Check for closed or obstructed registers.
  • Check for dirty furnace air filter. 
  • Make sure the furnace air filter door is closed tightly. If not, a safety feature may automatically prevent furnace fan from running.

Not enough cold air coming from register.

  • Check your air filter. If it looks like a gray furry cat time to replace. A dirty furnace air filter can reduce airflow 60%, increase utility bills and cause costly breakdowns.
  • If the air filter is ok you may have a faulty air movement protection system. Could be dirty or needs to be replaced. Call PDM Cooling specialists for trusted help since 1885.

No air is blowing at all.

  • Usually suggests an air movement system fault.
  • Possibly the indoor blower isn’t working or the outside unit is dirty or weeds restrict airflow.
  • Or you may have a refrigerant transfer system problem.

AC constantly runs all the time.

  • Your thermostat could be the problem, both the setting (recheck setting) and the mechanical side (may need to be replaced).
  • Refrigerant transfer system problem.
  • Or a dirty system; check for a dirty air filter, clean outdoor unit of weeds and dirt.

Air conditioning system refrigerant lines are freezing up or covered in ice.

  • AC refrigerant line is covered in ice—which seems crazy on a hot day.
  • Freezing generally has to do with blocked or low air flow or refrigerant problem and can severely damage your AC system if it keeps freezing a number of times.
  • Chances are your inside evaporator coil is frozen solid.
  • DO THIS NOW. Turn the thermostat AC/COOL system OFF and turn the FAN ON to help defrost the unit. This helps to unfreeze the coil and prevent damage to the expensive compressor.
  • There are a number of possible causes. Begin by checking your air filter. If it looks like a gray cat  then replace or try to clean, last resort is to remove the filter temporarily. Next make sure your duct air registers and return line are open and not blocked by drapes or furniture.
  • If your air ducts are dirty it’s a good idea to have them scrubbed clean.
  • You may need professional help to stop your AC from freezing up. Call PDM Cooling for reliable help.

My home AC is not cooling properly.

  • If you feel the air from your vent is not cool, this usually means the outdoor unit stopped running.
  • There might be a frozen line between your fan and compressor.
  • Or even a dirty air filter.

Call PDM Cooling specialists for trusted help since 1885.

LOWER YOUR HEATING COSTS & ADD COMFORT WITHOUT A NEW FURNACE

Low indoor humidity levels is why we tend to get sick in the winter and why heating bills can be 20% higher.

At 10 degrees outside your home’s indoor relative humidity can be in the single digits with a furnace. The relative humidity of one of the driest places on earth, Death Valley, CA, is 25%. Your body likes around 35% to stay healthy.

How your body’s immune system works and the power of humidity.

It’s dark and cold when you come in the back door. Red faced, dry, itchy skin, chapped lips. The house even feels chilly at 70 degrees. You naturally feel dry air in the wettest parts of your body first. Your sinuses, throat, eyes and skin dry out making you uncomfortable. Dry nostrils can crack and give you a nosebleed.

Scorched sinuses, itchy skin.

Did you know your sinus cavities are protected by paper thin and fragile mucous membranes? Mucus keeps them pliable. When dry, they crack allowing germs and sickness a direct channel into the bloodstream. That’s a real problem in winter, when cold bacteria and flu viruses linger longer in the dry air after someone coughs or sneezes or touches a doorknob.

Mucus’ job is to wash viruses and other icky invaders found in your nose and sinus into a little opening at the back of your throat, your uvula. That’s where mucus from sinus cavities drains into your stomach allowing acids kill the germs.

How does your body furnace regulate temperature?

Body temperature is controlled by secreting moisture from perspiration, which evaporates, absorbing heat from your skin. The dryer the air, the faster evaporation and quicker your body cools.

When it’s cold you feel chilly and turn up the furnace thermostat, drying the air even more causing your body to evaporate moisture and the cooler you feel.

Your furnace then kicks up clouds of dust, pollen, and other allergens that can inflame your sinuses and airways. (Learn about air cleaner.) For some people with asthma, cold and dry air can lead to a narrowing of breathing passages and trigger an attack.

What’s the lowest-cost way to lower heating bills?

Moist air will help keep your skin, mouth, and nose lubricated, help prevent those nasty static shocks and makes your home warmer allowing you lower heating bills up to 5% for every 1 degree you lower the thermostat. A whole home central humidifier also helps with creaky wooden floors, piano or other wood instruments, leather, furniture, rugs, sinus problems, comfort complaints, even electronics.

Dry winter air reminders.

Seal your home windows, doors, basement, attic. Prevent the cold, dry outside air from paying you an unwelcome visit. Can help lower heating bills 10% according to the EPA.

Hydrate often. Keep your skin and mouth moist by drinking.

Moisturize your skin. Use a good lotion for dry skin and keep your nasal passageways moist by using saltwater (saline) drops.

Air cleaner. Since your furnace is blowing dust and germs around, a whole home air cleaner can help you breathe easier. See air purity video.

Add comfort. Improve your health and indoor comfort by trying a PDM Whole Home Humidifier. We believe in a humidifier so much we want you to try it for 30 days free. If you are not happy we’ll remove it and refund your money. Contact PDM.

IAQ. WHAT ARE YOU LUNGS TELLING YOUR ABOUT YOUR HOME?

Air is to breathing like … well … lungs are to your home.

You might not want to use that comparison on your next science test. Still, it gives us a chance to make a point: when indoor air quality affects a person’s home, the lungs might be the first to know. That’s because there’s a real connection between indoor air quality and respiratory health, including lung diseases like asthma.

Are you concerned that indoor air is causing problems in your home?

The first question you’ll want to address is “when” you (or someone in your family) feel health symptoms that could be caused by poor indoor air quality. Do these health symptoms improve when you leave your home? Do they return when you come back inside? If so, you’re on your way to investigating an indoor air pollution problem.

The American Lung Association offers a checklist of questions to ask as you evaluate your environment, starting with the following potential sources:

  • Is anyone smoking indoors? No one should smoke indoors.
  • Can you see or smell mold or mildew?
  • Is the humidity regularly above 50 percent?
  • Are there leaks or standing water anywhere – kitchen, basement, attic?
  • Are all fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, water heaters, fireplaces) fully vented to the outdoors?
  • Is there an attached garage or basement where cars, lawnmowers or motorcycles are stored?
  • Are household chemicals, paints or solvents stored indoors or in an attached garage or basement?
  • Have you recently remodeled or added new furniture, carpeting or painted?
  • Do you use odor-masking chemicals or “air-freshening” devices?
  • Has kitchen or food garbage been covered and removed?
  • Have you used pesticides recently?
  • Have you tested your home for radon? Although radon doesn’t cause noticeable, physical symptoms, you should test your home for this dangerous substance.
  • If you’d like a more thorough evaluation, we can help. Your home comfort system also has an impact on indoor air – for good or bad, depending on your system’s condition. We’ll look for potential trouble spots in your environment as well as your system and make sure you’re breathing the best you can.

To schedule your indoor air analysis, just call 815-726-6264 or email, and we’ll take care of you.

P.S. Learn when to consider duct cleaning, watch the video “Air Purity In Your Home”

BASEMENT FLOODING? LEARN WHY.

If your basement is wet, most likely water pressure was building up around your foundation. Water naturally seeks the path of least resistance and enters through cracks in your walls or floors. The result…a wet basement. If it stays wet you may see unhealthy black mold growing. Sump pumps usually are a great solution.

“But I have a sump pump that works except during heavy rains. Plumbers have showed up and recommended a new sump pump or a larger sump pump, but the symptom remains: too much water. What else can cause my basement flooding?”

Over 100 years we’ve seen a lot of flooding problems. Sometimes a back-up sump pump is needed to handle the added volume of water. But excessive flooding could also be caused by two other problems: drain-tiles and water run-off.

Drain-tile, weeping tile or footing drains.

Pipes placed around your home’s foundation, maybe 12″ to 18″ below your basement floor depth.

Drain-tile collects groundwater during rainfall or when your garden beds are irrigated. On older homes, groundwater trickles to the drain-tile entering a clay tile at the joint. Newer homes use plastic perforated PVC drainage tubing or pipe.

Blocked drain-tiles.

From time to time, especially after many years of use, drain-tile can crack or become plugged with debris. Downspouts connected directly to the drain-tile will sometimes carry sediment and rotting leaves which have landed on the roof. Soils can also build up in the drain-tile.

The consequence of non functioning drain-tiles might be water seeping through the porous concrete foundation or leaving a damp mark on the basement floor or foundation wall or more serious flooding. The vast majority of blocked drain-tile repairs calls for the excavation and replacement of the clogged section.

Water run-off: grading problem.

Do you notice your landscape or property grade allows water to flow towards your home rather than away? Heavy rains could be overwhelming your drain-tiles and sump pump capacity which means basement flooding. Your solution can involve building up soil around your home or grading your land to force rain water away from your home. The less water around your home the better.

Let a plumber with a 131 year track record find the right drainage solutions to keep you dry. Call PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.

CARBON MONOXIDE FACTS


Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning closely resembles the symptoms of a cold or flu.

AIR FILTERING IN YOUR HOME


Did you know that 65% of illnesses start with something you inhale?

HOW IS YOUR INDOOR AIR QUALITY?

You take 20,000 breathes a day.

Many people spend 90% of their time indoors (50% at home) and take about 20,000 breaths every day. Do you know what you are breathing? Dirty indoor air can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, even fatigue.

Improve your health by breathing less dust, dust mites (40,000 can live in an ounce of dust), pet dander, mold spores, pollen, bacteria and viruses. See air purity video.

There are many types of ventilation and whole home air cleaners. Below are six examples.

1. Standard 1” filter traps 5-15% of airborne particulates and recirculates the rest. Primary purpose is to keep dust and dirt from building up on you HVAC equipment. A dirty air filter can reduce airflow by 60% and cause an expensive breakdown. Change air filter every 1 to 3 months.

2. MERV Media filters can remove up to 97% of pollen, airborne dust and other large particles. Permanently traps indoor allergens that can lead to respiratory problems. MERV filters removal efficiency vary by size and manufacturer. Change filter annually.

,p>3. Enhanced electronic air cleaner works when air particles are charged in the electrical field and then collected on grounded micro-fiber media. Captures over 98% of airborne contaminants down to one micron in size. Kills captured bacteria and spores and permanently traps particles. Energy Savings & Protection—keeps dust and dirt from building up on your heating and cooling equipment for peak efficiency and longer furnace life.

4. UV Germicidal Light commonly used in hospitals, restaurants, government offices. It’s purpose is to kill contaminants like viruses, bacteria, yeast and mold. A good second level air cleaner.

,p>5. Whole home ventilation attic fan is seasonal and can replace all the stale air in your home quickly with fresh outdoor air. You’ll love how quickly your home cools down and feels better.

6. Heat Recovery Ventilator is an efficient way of exchanging the air inside your home with fresh outdoor air all year long. In winter months, the heat of indoor air warms incoming cold fresh air, recovering approximately 77% of the energy. In the summer, warm fresh air passes near outgoing conditioned air, cooling it down. At no time do the stale and fresh air streams mix, instead they pass each other separated by thin walls that allow only the air’s energy to transfer, cutting your heating and cooling bills. Fresh air all year long. Stay safe and comfortable.

If it is time to improve your indoor air, call PDM for free breathing advice and free estimate.

RO IS THE BEST DRINKING WATER FILTER AVAILABLE.

How’s the quality of your water?

Even if your water is crystal clear, you may have a problem from pollutants like lead and bacteria that can adversely affect the quality of your water.

Do You Buy Bottled Water?

If you do you must trust the quality and like the taste of bottled water over your tap.

You have to admit, bottle water is inconvenient when it comes to buying, storing and moving it from one place to another. Include the added cost and environmental concerns of unfriendly plastic being dumped into landfills and you begin scratching your head wondering if you should invest in a quality water filter for your home.

Reverse osmosis (RO) water filter is used by many water bottling plants and industries needing ultra-refined water.

Reverse osmosis can make your tainted water disappear fast. We offer a quality commercial grade reverse osmosis water filter – the most convenient and thorough filtering method.

How does reverse osmosis work?

Water pressure forces water molecules through a 0.0001 micron semi-permeable spiral wound membrane removing contaminants. An important part of reverse osmosis is that substances left behind are automatically flushed down a drain so contaminants don’t build up in the system like most water filtering devices.

What value do you place on convenience?

Add lower water cost, environmental concerns, and most importantly, quality assurance (some bottled water is filtered for taste only), and a reverse osmosis filter is your answer.

$50 OFF new RO filtering system.

  • You’ll receive unlimited filtered water that’s clean, clear, and fresh tasting right from your fauce
  • Convenient, no more trips to the store
  • Makes better tasting food, coffee and tea.
  • Reduces lime scale build up in kettles and coffeemakers.
  • May improve the color, texture of foods and reduce the amount of scum produced during cooking.
  • Actual cost of home filtered water is only a few cents a gallon. Compared to bottled/delivered water (maybe $0.80 gallon) you could save hundreds of dollars a year and help pay for your initial filter investment.
  • When you look at the cost over the long run, a quality home (or business) filtering system makes sense.
  • A friendly, knowledgeable technician will be by to plan the filter location and piping required. He’ll explain your options and then go to work, all the while protecting your place. When done he’ll explain the system and clean up many time better than when he began.

Begin drinking clean, fresh tasting water from your faucet today. Tell a PDM Water Expert you want to take advantage of our special online $50 discount. Call 815-726-6264.

HOT WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE.

Here are a few maintenance tips to help extend the life of your heater and improve energy efficiency.


Sediment builds up and turns rock solid reducing the amount of water heated and energy efficiency

  • Why drain your water heater?

    As water is heated, minerals are released from the (hard) water and left behind in the water heater tank. The rock-like sediment cause poor energy efficiency, shorter water heater life and less hot water. Learn how to drain your water heater safely.

  • Temperature-pressure relief valve operation is critical for safe operation.

    Test pressure buildup by lifting or depressing its handle and draining water from the overflow pipe once a year. If water doesn’t drain out, shut off water to the heater, open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house, replace valve. A defective pressure relief can cause the water heater to explode. Due to the scalding potential of the hot water, the outlet from the valve should be piped to a safe area. Typically they are piped down into a drain line.

  • Anode rod prevents water tank corrosion.

    This metal rod usually made of magnesium or aluminum. It helps prevent corrosion of the metal tank. Electrolysis eats away the metal anode instead of the metal of the tank. Once the anode is gone the tank itself begins to corrode. To prolong the life of the tank, make sure your anode rod is still there, and replace it when needed. The anode is screwed into the top of the tank and can be replaced. Sometimes the anode is built into a special outlet fitting.

  • Gas burner.

    You may need to clean burner. Dirt causes poor combustion, wastes up to 15% energy.

  • Ensure sufficient flue draft

    upstream to make sure deadly carbon monoxide gases leave the building.

  • Water Temperature.

    It doesn’t take long for hot water to cause serious burns. Be extra cautious with babies, young children and elderly. About 4,000 children are scalded by tap water every year, injuries that can leave permanent scars or cause death.

    120°F – Can scald in over 2 minutes (make sure it’s safe)

    125°F – 90 to 120 seconds

    130°F – up to 30 seconds

    135°F – up to 10 seconds

    140°F – Less than 5 seconds

    145°F – Less than 3 seconds

    150°F+ – About 1 second

  • Dip tube.

    This is a long narrow tube that directs incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank. If a dip tube is broken, it may seem as though you run out very quickly, or you just get a luke warm temperature.


Recirculation Pump

How long do you wait for hot water at your faucet or shower?

Save up to 16,000 gallons of water each year with a demand hot-water recirculating pump. And use less energy than it takes to run a 25-watt light bulb…to say nothing of the tremendous ecological benefit that goes along with it.

A re-circulating pump attaches directly to your heater.

Requires no additional wiring or electrical expense. The pump keeps the water in your pipes moving, resulting in a constant availability of hot water without the wait or the waste! Turn the shower on and get hot water.

Older water heaters cost up to 27% more to operate!

  1. Older efficiency standards as well as more energy is needed to penetrate lime scale buildup.
  2. Minerals take up physical space in the tank meaning you’ll have less hot water.

If your unit is eight years or older and you’re having a problem, for a quarter or so a day a new heater can help pay for itself in energy savings, give you more hot water and peace of mind. We recycle your old heater too.

Call PDM Plumbers for water heater help.

TOILET LEAKING? EPA SAYS 20-40% Of TOILETS LEAK.

A silent toilet leak can waste up to 30 gallons of water a day.

  1. Check for toilet leaks.
  2. Add food color to the toilet tank and wait 30 minutes.
  3. Then check the toilet bowl to see if coloring appears. If so, your toilet leaks.
  4. Flush the toilet promptly to make sure tank is not stained.

Toilet flapper.

  1. If your toilet flush handle frequently sticks in the flush position, letting water run constantly, replace or adjust it.
  2. Toilet flappers last about five years—unless you’re using those white puck-like toilet bowl cleaning tablets. Then you may find that your flapper is leaking in two years or less!
  3. Touch the flapper. If the coloring from your flapper gets on your fingertips, your flapper is deteriorating and needs to be replaced.

A new toilet seat is a nice gift.

The new Grip-tight Kohler Reveal Q3 Toilet Seat features an innovative overhanging lid that completely conceals the seat ring, creating a sleek, clean look that works well with contemporary and transitional bath styles.

If your toilet needs help or you want a new efficient toilet replacement, PDM Plumbing Since 1885can help.

HOT WATER HEATER FAQ


Hard water scale build-up (concrete-like) shortens heater life and gives you less hot water

With 131 years of water heater service PDM has answers to your problem.

Safety tips for leaking water heater.

If the leak is major:

1. Shut off fuel supply (gas or electric)

2. Shut off cold water supply to the water heater

3. Open all hot water faucets in your home

4. Learn how to drain a water heater

5. Call PDM Plumbers for quick help.

Electric water heater no hot water.

Check fuse or breaker, reset or replace if necessary. Another reason for no hot water could be that the thermostat or element may be defective.

Gas water heater.

Make sure gas supply line is turned on. Remove the inner and outer burner access covers and check to see if the pilot light is lit.

Not enough hot water.

Check the thermostat setting, it may be set too low. But be careful, a hotter setting can lead to scalding within seconds. Check the dip tube, if the dip tube has broken or fallen off, incoming cold water will be drawn out through the hot water outlet without being heated. Other possible causes are clogged burners and low gas pressure. If older heater, scale build-up can be a problem.

Slow hot water recovery.

Sediment buildup in bottom of heater, flushing the water heater may help. Other possible causes may be insufficient combustion air caused by insufficient ventilation, a clogged flue (could be dangerous and allow carbon monoxide poisoning), or improper burner operation.

Pilot light is lit.

Turn on a hot water faucet and let the water run. Check to see if burner comes on. If not, run the hot water several more minutes. If the burner still does not come on the problem could be a defective safety system. Check to see if the control valve knob is in the “on” setting and not set to the “pilot” position.

Pilot light won’t stay lit.

Sometimes a draft will blow the pilot light out. Make sure the burner access covers are in place. Other possible causes are dirt in the gas line, or a gas safety device problem.

Pilot light is not lit.

Follow the instructions posted on your water heater and attempt to re-light pilot with care.

Make sure gas valve is open. If the pilot light will not re-light, the problem could be that gas is not reaching the water heater or a clogged pilot line. Call a licensed plumber for help

If the pilot light will light but does not stay lit when the gas valve control is released the problem could be a defective pilot safety switch or perhaps a loose pilot safety switch connection to the gas control valve. Make sure the pilot safety switch connection to the control valve is tight.

Burner flame noisy (whistling).

Problem may be improper gas pressure or dirty burner orifice.

Yellow flame.

Problem could be scale on top of burner, dirty burner orifice, flue way clogged or improper gas pressure.

Burner flame floats.

Problem may be improper gas pressure, wrong orifice or clogged flue.

Discharge from temperature and pressure relief valve.

The relief valve will open when the water temperature is to high or if the pressure gets too high. If the inlet to the water heater is fed directly from the water main with no pressure relief valves or check valves between them then when the water heater heats the water and it expands, the extra volume of water simply flows back toward the water main. If however there is a blockage such as a check valve or pressure reducing valve with a defective bypass then the increase in water volume has no where to go and the pressure with increase dramatically. Placing an expansion tank in the line at the inlet will give the increased volume of water someplace to go and prevent operation of the relief valve.

Another possibility is that the City water pressure has increased above the setting of the relief valve. Again the installation of an expansion tank will solve the problem.

Popping or banging noise.

Scale can build up in the bottom of the tank causing all sorts of noises to occur while the water heater is heating water. Try flushing the tank. Make sure you turn off gas or electric before flushing.

Sooting.

Combustion air inlets or flue-way is restricted or not enough ventilation air supplied to room. Also, may be improper gas pressure or dirty burner orifice. Remove obstruction or debris from heater or flue way and improve ventilation. An obstruction could create carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hot water smells like rotten eggs.

Certain types of bacteria can react with the magnesium anode rod resulting in a rotten egg odor. Clean the tank using chlorine bleach or by changing the anode rod to aluminum usually will solve the problem. If older heater, you’re better off replacing with new efficient unit.

Rusty or black water.

Anode rod may have dissolved or there is excessive sediment build-up. Check anode rod. You may be better off replacing tank with an energy efficient model.

Milky water.

May be as simple as aerated water. Allow a glass of hot water to set for a few minutes. If the water turns clear, the condition is a natural occurrence. If not, call PDM for help.

Leaking water heater tank.

Replace the water heater with energy efficient model. The savings in energy can help pay for the heater. PDM Since 1885 offers same day replacement and a variety or warranties are available.

Call PDM Plumbers for water heater help.

LEARN ABOUT UV LIGHT ANTI-GERMICIAL TREATMENT

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) cleaners have been used by hospitals, restaurants and nursing homes for years to disinfect and prevent the spread of germs.

The U.S. government now specifies that anti-germicidial UV light be used in air handling units to improve indoor air quality in public buildings by controlling airborne and surface microbial growth.

Anti-germicidal light Air Treatment Systems zaps mold spores and certain live, airborne bacteria passing by the lamp to prevent them from being re-circulated in your ductwork.

It is impossible to rid your home of unhealthy bacteria and viruses. But anti-germicidal UV light helps combat sickness to you and your family. Call PDM’s UV light experts for free help.

Furnace UV light installation in Bolingbrook, Channahon, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Minooka, Naperville, New Lenox, Plainfield, Romeoville, Shorewood, and surrounding areas.

FURNACE NOT WORKING? LEARN WHAT TO CHECK. HEATING FAQ’s.

No heat? Check these points before calling for service.

  • Is the thermostat set to HEAT?
  • Is the temperature higher than room temperature?
  • Turn furnace switch OFF, wait 1 minute and turn back ON.
  • Check to see if the electrical breaker is tripped.
  • Check for dirty furnace air filter.
  • Check to see if the gas pilot is off.
  • Check for closed or obstructed registers
  • Make sure the door to the furnace (air filter) is closed tightly. If not a safety feature may automatically prevent furnace from running.

Furnace turns on and off quickly.

You may have an electrical fault in the overheating protection system. The furnace burners turn on and off so the furnace does not overheat. Gas ignition system safety controls not responding to commands.

Not enough heat coming from register.

Check your air filter. If it looks like a gray furry cat time to replace. A dirty furnace air filter can reduce airflow 60%,increase utility bills and cause costly breakdowns.

If the air filter is ok you may have a faulty air movement protection system. Could be dirty or needs to be replaced. Another possibility is you may have a problem with your ductwork.

Banging furnace sound.

Could be a delayed ignition problem. Your furnace is “exploding” each time it turns on. Consider this dangerous.

Call PDM Heating specialists for trusted help since 1885.

WHY ARE MY AIR CONDITIONING COILS ICING UP?

Your A/C freezing up on a hot day seems crazy. Freezing up generally has to do with blocked or low air flow, over-use, broken parts, no maintenance, or refrigerant problems. Chances are ice forms around the inside evaporator coil preventing the a/c system from working.

  • DO THIS NOW. Turn the thermostat AC/COOL system OFF and turn the FAN ON to help defrost the unit. This helps to unfreeze the coil and prevent damage to the expensive compressor.
  • Check furnace air filter. Does it look like a gray furry cat? You may find the problem is simply due to a dirty filter which can block over 60 percent of the air flow.
  • Next make sure your duct air registers and return line are open and not blocked by drapes or furniture.
  • If the problem continues call PDM Cooling before this sticky situation becomes worse. And if you haven’t had air conditioning maintenance it’s time to act. You’ll feel better.

FAUCETS DRIPS CAN WASTE 2,086 GALLONS A YEAR.

Fix a leak. You’ll feel better that you did.

  1. A dripping faucet can waste a lot of water over time.
  2. And an old faucet can use up to 5 gallons per minute (fpm).
  3. New high-efficiency faucets can use 1.5 gpm or less.
  4. The average family home, retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, can save up to 30,000 gallons per year.
  5. The average home can waste more than 11,000 gallons of water a year due to household leaks including running toilets, dripping faucets, and other pipe leaks? That’s about 1 trillion gallons a year!

Shower.

Make sure that all water from your shower or bath stays there. Secure shower doors and tightly close curtains. Take signs of mold seriously. Keep your eyes open for cracks and don’t procrastinate. A little time now can save thousands of dollars later. On a preventive maintenance trip, PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can inspect your tub and shower seals for you. Just ask.

Water fact. 

Of all the water on earth about four percent is freshwater. And, of the total freshwater, over 68 percent is locked up in ice and glaciers. Another 30 percent of freshwater is in the ground. Rivers are the source of most of the fresh surface water people use, but they only constitute about one percent of total water.

Whatever your water or faucets needS are PDM Plumbers can help. 815-726-6264.

GREEN COMMERCIAL WATER & ENERGY SAVING TIPS.

Do you have a green building policy to lower your ownership costs? 

America’s 120,000,000 buildings are energy hogs consuming 42% of our primary energy (more than any other sector), 72% of its electricity and 34% of natural gas.

For each kilowatt-hour (kWh) you save by using energy-efficient technologies, you are reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide (primary cause of global climate change), sulfur dioxide (key component of acid rain), and nitrogen oxides (responsible for smog).

15 ways to lower energy costs, 6 ways to conserve water, and funding retrofit projects.

Don’t forget about the Small Business Energy Savings Energy Efficiency Loan Program. Do you own a small business and also own your building? You may be eligible to finance energy efficiency improvements with low rate financing. Make your building work more efficiently, sustainably, and profitably.

15 TIPS TO LOWER YOUR ENERGY COSTS.

1. Educate, train your staff to improve operational efficiency that pays higher dividends. Create Web dashboards to educate everyone and offer tips and rewards for wise behaviors.

2. Regular maintenance is the best way to minimize service calls, eliminate surprises, and control your total cost of operation. Federal Energy Management Program shows regular maintenance reduces energy use up to 30%, downtime by 35-40%, cuts breakdowns by 70-75% and repair costs by 5-20%.

3. Monitor key HVAC points like chilled water temperature, hot water temperature, discharge air temperatures, and fan CFM. Setting these values to the minimum levels required for comfort will save energy and reduce stress on mechanical systems.

4. Eliminate equipment shakes, rattles. Excessive vibration is costing you money.

5. New high efficiency, boilers, gas furnace, chiller, cooling tower or rooftop package system can lower operating costs up to 30 percent.

6. Combine chillers in multiple buildings – run efficient ones first. Isolate off-line chillers and cooling towers to lower energy usage.

7. Add thermostats. Install or adjust programmable duct zoning to control heat-cool temps when rooms are empty.

8. Match HVAC and lighting to occupancy. Install controls that enable systems to provide light, heat and cooling to rooms only when they are occupied.

9. Night pre-cooling involves the circulation of cool air within a building during the nighttime hours with the intent of cooling the structure when utility costs are lower. The cooled structure is then able to serve as a heat sink during the daytime hours, reducing the mechanical cooling required.

10. Heat recovery allows you to pre-heat air or water meaning the heating system needs to use less energy.

11. Pumps in most HVAC systems are oversized. Adjust impellor to proper size for energy savings.

12. Daylight can supplement artificial light while improving productivity. Smart lighting systems use occupancy, time of day and light sensors to control dimmable fixtures and coordinate with automated shade systems.

13. Insulate air ducts in unconditioned space – energy gain of 10% to 30%.

14. Plugging air leaks – According to the EPA and Energy Star, save up to 10 percent on utility bills just by plugging building, door, window air leaks.

15. Schedule office cleaning during regular work hours to avoid keeping the lights, heating, and air conditioning on at night.


Leaky toilets can waste 10,000 gallons a year – EPA says 20-40% of all toilets leak!

6 TIPS TO CONSERVE WATER.

City water rates have risen by 100 to 500 percent in the last decade and are likely to keep rising according to The U.S Dept. of Energy.

Try these six water conservation tips to help support your sustainability goals.

1. Educate your team to improve operational efficiency that pays higher dividends.

Create Web dashboards to educate everyone and offer tips and rewards for wise behaviors.

2. Measure water usage and waste, fix leaks, maintain equipment.

Improve operating practices and keep plumbing system efficient and leak-free. A slow faucet leak can waste 300 gallons of water a month.

3. Efficient plumbing products.

  1. Lower water use up to 15% with water saving toilets, urinals, faucets and low flow fixtures for lavs, showers, motion sensor operated devices, reduced flush or reduced flush urinals.
  2. Water conserving dishwashers.
  3. Faucet aerators can reduce water consumption by 25%.
  4. Low flow shower heads reduces your water waste up to 60%.
  5. Adding controls to regulate and monitor water usage.

4. Hot water savings.

  1. Old water heater can waste 27% in energy and provide less hot water due to sediment buildup.
  2. Heat water using recovered heat and solar thermal systems.
  3. Instantaneous hot water heaters – tankless water heaters are a good choice for the right application.
  4. Water heater insulation, every bit helps.
  5. Insulate hot water piping.

5. Toilet & urinal.

  1. The world flushes up to 30 percent of its drinking water down a drain. According to a Water Conservation Study, the average person flushes the toilet five times a day. That means we could flush a toilet 140,000 times in our life.
  2. If your toilet was installed before 1994 you could be wasting up to 10,500 gallons each year (per toilet) with a 3.5 to 7 gallons a flush!
  3. New toilets can save up to 6 gallons per flush.
  4. Leaky toilet can waste 10,000 gallons a year – EPA says 20-40% of all toilets leak!
Toilet flappers last about 5 years.
  5. Check for toilet leaks. 
Add food color to the toilet tank and wait 30 minutes. Then check the toilet bowl to see if coloring appears. If so, your toilet leaks. Flush the toilet promptly to make sure tank is not stained.

Waterless urinals – You’ll find waterless urinals in crowded public restrooms. Building owners saw that by using dry urinals, they’d save money on water and sewer charges for thousands of flushes. They’re installed in the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and New York Mets. Arizona made waterless urinals mandatory in public buildings. By replacing one high water use urinal with a zero water model, you can save an average of 45,000 gallons of water per year.

6. Outdoors.

  1. One inch of rain on a 1,000SF roof yields 600 gallons of water. This is no longer just a residential option—industry and business leaders have begun to reclaim otherwise wasted water. For example, the new headquarters of Panduit, based in Tinley Park, IL, has a water reclamation system that collects rainwater for non-potable uses; the system is projected to save the building 910,000 gallons of water annually.
  2. Adopt water-smart landscaping, from using the proper plants to using in-ground sensors to trigger watering only when truly necessary.

FUNDING RETROFIT PROJECTS – STAGE OVER TIME.

Whether you’re a private or public entity, you may qualify for grants or low-interest loans for water conservation projects under state-sponsored initiatives. Performance contracting is another way to fund efficiency projects with no up-front investment. The most rewarding energy performance contracts combine water and energy-saving projects. Nicor Gas and ComEd offer some commercial rebates too.

Create a to do list and stage energy saving projects over a number of years.

Small Business Energy Efficiency Loan Program. Do you own a small business and also own your building? You may be eligible to finance energy efficiency improvements with low rate financing through the Illinois Energy Efficiency Loan Program.

Got questions? We got answers.

Ask Rudy Mahalik, Jr. at PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Since 1885 for a free consultation. Contact us online.

What You Can Count On From PDM

The physics of freezing pipes.


When a pipe burst, it will spill several hundred gallons of water per hour!

Burst water pipes are caused by the expansion of freezing ice against the walls of the pipe, right? Wrong. 

In a remarkable series of laboratory and field experiments, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated that the actual cause of damage to freezing water pipes isn’t the force of the expanding ice on the pipe, but rather an extreme rise in water pressure downstream from the blockage.

Water pressure can rise in freezing situations from about 40 pounds psi to over 4,000 pounds psi.

For example, copper pipe is exposed to unusually cold temperatures, and ice begins to form on the pipe’s inside walls. Since water volume expands by about 8 percent as it turns to ice, the ice formation eventually can completely block the water flow.

Water upstream from the blockage is able to flow back to its source, such as the street connection (if you do not have a water backflow device).  But the water downstream is trapped because the faucets are closed.  As the ice continues to form and expand, pressures downstream from the blockage skyrocket.  Because the entire section of pipe experiences the same elevated pressure, the failure can occur at any point, even within the heated space of the building.

Thaw frozen pipe.

  • Keep the faucet open. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the frozen section of pipe using an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, or wrap pipes with hot towels. Do NOT use open flame device like a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove.
  • If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too. Check all faucets for low pressure.
  • If you cannot find or access the frozen area or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call PDM Plumbers. We have the tools and experience to get you back to normal fast.

How To Set A Schedule For A Programmable Thermostat

LOWER UTILITY BILLS BY RESETTING YOUR PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT

“Set it and forget it.” Set your temperatures based on the times you are normally home and your habits — and then you almost never have to bother with it. From Energy.gov

If you are out of the house all day set back your thermostat 5° to 8° or more for 8 hours and save as much as 1% off your heating or ac utility bill for each degree lower. For example:

  • 6:45 a.m.: The family wakes up to get ready for the day. The winter temperature of the house is 68°F; the heat automatically turns on a bit earlier so it would hit this temperature by 6:30. Summer setting can be 78°F or higher.
  • 7:45 a.m.: The family leaves the house and the winter thermostat is set 5° to 8° lower. Summer daytime temps are set higher. By turning their thermostat back 5° to 8° or more for 8 hours, you save of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
  • 4:30 p.m.: You return home from work and school. The heat is turned back on a bit before this so the house would again be 68°F for your return. Summertime is set to 78°F or higher.
  • 10:30 p.m.: The whole family has gone to bed (bundled in warm pajamas and snuggled under blankets), and the thermostat is again set to 62°F. In the summer temps are as warm as you as you feel comfortable. Remember you can turn the thermostat fan “On” to help move the air.

Note that for all of these temperature changes, the family never once touched the thermostat. At the beginning of the season, they programmed it once to follow this schedule and the changes happen automatically — and so do their savings. That’s important for busy people!

Next best thing is a WIFI thermostat you can control from anywhere.

If you’d like to save energy in your home, schedule a convenient PDM appointment.

How To Drain Hot Water Heater?

Use extreme caution as a hot water heater can scald you in seconds.

  1. To further conserve energy and for safety, flush the hot water heater after bathing, washing clothes, or cleaning dishes when less hot water is in the tank.
  2. Turn the water heater temperature control to low to prevent the gas burner from lighting. Even better turn off gas, then relight when done. Electric water heater? Make sure you turn off the power before draining. If you don’t you could destroy the heating elements.
  3. Option one: Open the drain at the bottom of heater twice a year, letting the water run into a bucket (usually about 5 gallons). Prevents hard water sediment accumulation. (Good reason to have a water softener that removes hard water minerals).
  4. Option two: connect garden hose to water heater drain and run outside. You could empty into a floor or sink drain but you must know that excessive sediment can clog your drain. Check water quality while draining. Be careful as when you turn off cold water to flush the tank the hose water pressure may move. Secure hose.
  5. Do not drain hot water into a toilet as it may crack or onto your lawn as it will kill the grass.
  6. Kitchen hot water faucet, turn on.
  7. Water heater – turn off cold water supply value (top of heater). Make sure you do not leave gas burner (or electric) on when water valve is closed as it can cause excessive pressure gas pressure to buildup.
  8. Drain heater until little pressure. Turn off kitchen faucet.
  9. Flush tank by turning on-off water heater cold water valve a few times to help clean tank of sediment.
  10. Add water and drain until clean.
  11. Please Note: After many years of experience, sometimes a drain valve that’s never been opened before, especially an old plastic drain valve, will leak when closed. If it does screw on a steel cap with pipe thread to stop water leak.
  12. Tighten heater drain, turn on cold water supply and fill. When water is full turn on gas or electric.
  13. Improve efficiency and water quality with regular flushes

If you don’t feel comfortable with this chore, ask a professional like PDM for help.

Furnace Buying Guide: Uncovering The Right Gas Furnace For You.

Most likely you’re reading this because your furnace is old or not performing as you’d like. After installing the first gas furnaces in the 1930’s, PDM Heating is familiar with the questions most folks have when investing in indoor comfort.

While a repair may cost less than a new system, you have to consider all operation costs. A typical home can spend $2000 annually for heating and cooling energy costs. Add in repairs and maintenance and the cost to own adds up many time more than a new furnace.

A repair does not lower energy bills than what the furnace was designed to, improve comfort  or have added warranty coverage. Plus, if cost is a concern, PDM offers financing to fit the budget of qualified clients.

Here is a simple approach to choosing a new furnace and not getting ripped off:

  1. What brand is best?
  2. Finding the right installer
  3. Choosing the right gas valve
  4. Choosing the right blower motor for added comfort
  5. Other furnace components
  6. Warranty and value.

1. What brand is best?

Most furnaces have the same safety features, controls, heat exchangers that transfers heat from metal to air, parts and efficiencies. Many manufacturers buy their parts from the same factory. And all can last 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. Now your furnace can last longer but the costs of keeping it going add up and you’re better off investing in a new system. After 130 years of seeing brands come and go, most have the same life cycle. In the end we’ve seen a brand equals about ten percent of the value with ninety percent coming from the installation.

2. Finding the right installer. Don’t assume all contractors are the same.

Please understand a furnace is only as good as the installation work done. We’ve seen how a great contractor can install a poor furnace, and he will often stand behind it if it fails. Likewise a poor contractor can royally screw up a perfect furnace, and will leave you abandoned to fend for yourself. Cutting corners is easy for a contractor and you may never know. Find a heating contractor with a proven track record. Many contractors come and go out of business within a few years and leave you stuck should the unit need repair.

A new furnace doesn’t mean lower utility bills. If your installer isn’t mindful you can waste a lot of fuel with sheet metal fittings or ductwork or proper sizing. Consumer Reports says finding a contractor you can trust is the most important decision you can make.

Avoid basing your decision on the cheapest furnace price or quickest installation time. Consider the lifetime costs of your furnace. Fuel, maintenance, repairs, even inconvenience add up over time. A new furnace can roughly cost around 30 percent of its lifetime cost. If a cheap installer cuts corners, doesn’t ask questions or makes assumptions, you’ll pay more over time. If a larger system is recommended make sure you know all the reasons.

3. How efficient do you want your furnace?

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency AFUE describes how efficiently the equipment operates, like miles per gallon for a car. The higher the efficiency number, the higher upfront costs are and the lower your utility bills are. The U.S. government’s minimum AFUE rating for a furnace is 80 percent, with a lower upfront cost and a higher cost to operate. About 20 percent of the heat used goes up the chimney. A rating of 96% indicates that for every $1.00 of energy used to operate the furnace only four cents is not fully utilized. In 2012 about 35% of furnaces sold were 90% AFUE or higher

Your efficiency is also based on the gas valve operation. Choices include: one stage, two stage, premium modulating stages gas valve or new condensing furnace for added comfort.

  1. Standard single stage gas valve furnace. Good. This is a common furnace type installed that runs at one constant gas flow when operating to keep you comfortable. The furnace blows a steady stream of warm air (or cool in the summer) until the desired temperature is reached and then the thermostat turns the system off. The results are temperature peaks and valleys.
  2. Two stage gas furnace. Better. This furnace starts out on the low stage, enabling a gradual and pleasant increase in the temperature of your home for better efficiency and predictable indoor temps. And if low-stage heating doesn’t warm your home to the desired temperature quickly enough, the technology shifts the furnace into the high stage automatically to ensure your comfort (about 65 percent of the time). Improve comfort, lower utility bill and filters your air more often too.
  3. Modulating or multi-stage gas furnace. Best. This furnace can constantly adjust to keep you comfortable. A modulating valve is self-adjusting, running at a capacity from 35% to 100% with outstanding levels of comfort, efficiency, and quiet performance. The results are energy savings, tighter temperature control, quieter operation and superior comfort. The Modulating gas valve is a premium furnace system.
  4. High Efficiency Condensing Furnace – Top of the line. This is a furnace that one day soon may be your only choice because of national efficiency standards. The condensing furnace allows you to reuse some of the heat that normally would have been vented out of the home. The condensing furnace with sealed combustion requires modifying the exhaust chimney by installing a new PVC vent and air piping. Although condensing models cost more than non-condensing models, a condensing furnace can save you money in fuel costs over the life of the unit. In some cases the new furnace exhaust flue may require changing the gas water heater exhaust too.

4. Fan speed or blower motor speed for added comfort & efficiency – your choices

  1. ECM Variable speed – Best if indoor comfort is important to you. This blower motor can save 33% or more over single speed. The high efficient electronically commutated motor (ECM) operates very intelligently. The multi-speed blower motor allows it to give you the exact amount of air you need in the winter and summer. By changing the speed of airflow during start-up, your furnace can adjust humidity levels and create more even temperatures throughout your home. The ECM uses significantly less electricity than standard blower motors and reduces operating noise. Variable speed blowers can also remove up to four times more humidity in the summer than a standard blower, increasing your ac efficiency. And if you run the fan only, you get a quiet, low speed fan to filter air and keep an even temperature.
  2. Multi speed blower motor. Better. Quickly, quietly, and efficiently this motor delivers nice levels of warm comfort and reliability. Time-tested durability and designed to deliver quiet performance. This unit allows the installer to set the fan speed but will not change during operation. It provides more or less heat as needed but customized for your home environment.
  3. Constant fixed speed blower motor. Good. Standard motor offers basic on and off control. The blower motor will run at a fixed speed determined by the manufacturer resulting in over or under temperature swings.

5. Other important furnace components.

Ignition system

Today’s furnaces generally use an electronic ignition system to replace the pilot light. The electronic igniter is like a light bulb filament placed in the flow of a gas burner. The ignitor is made of silicon nitrate (usually lasts longer) or a more fragile silicon carbide ignitor (can last 3 to 7 years).

When your thermostat calls for heat, a message is sent to start heating the igniter, really hot, 1800F to 2500F. Then the gas valve opens and ignites the burner. The flame safety sensing system then shuts off the igniter. Each of these steps can stop your unit so getting a strong ignition system makes sense. It’s important to note that keeping your furnace and air filter clean helps extend the life of your ignition system.

Sound

What you hear when your furnace runs is affected by the combustion technology you choose and the fan speeds. Most new units have fully insulated furnace cabinets to begin with so many times your new system will be quieter than your existing system. It’s like buying an economical car or a more luxury ride. The more refined operating system, the quieter it is.

Intelligent controls and thermostats.

Smart technology is leading the way where you can control equipment from your phone, tablet, or computer. And even a voice activated thermostat to raise and lower temperature. Like your furnace it all comes down to how much comfort you want, your efficiency, control, quiet operation, to even room temperatures.

Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is an important part of the furnace. If it cracks or gets a pin hole in it. you have to replace it because it allows deadly gases into your home. Heat exchanger captures heat from the burned gas. High efficiency furnaces usually have two heat exchangers to allow you to use more heat inside your home rather than up the chimney.

Common heat exchanger warranties are 10 to 20 years with the best being a lifetime limited warranty.

6. Furnace warranty and value: Worry-free comfort.

  • Contractors typically offer 5 years to lifetime for the installation work.
  • 5 years is a standard industry parts warranty. Any part is subject to fail, especially when you do not maintain the system. Most warranties require annual maintenance to keep your warranty active.
  • Regardless of the energy efficiency rating, all functional parts of an Amana® Gas Furnace are covered by a 10-Year Parts Limited Warranty*. Several Amana brand Gas Furnace models also feature a Lifetime Heat Exchanger Limited Warranty*. Should the heat exchanger ever fail to the original registered homeowner, a new heat exchanger will be provided at no charge (for as long as they own their home).

* To receive the Lifetime Compressor Limited Warranty, Lifetime Heat Exchanger Limited Warranty, Lifetime Unit Replacement Limited Warranty, and 10-Year Parts Limited Warranty, online registration must be completed within 60 days of installation. Contact PDM for full warranty details.

Call for free advice and added comfort.

Now that you are beginning to understand the choices, call a PDM advisor to inspect your furnace, answer questions and offer you a free estimate for a comforting, peace-of-mind new furnace. You’ll get a polite team who will protect your place, recycle your old equipment and get a new energy efficient furnace running safely and quickly. Contact PDM today.

Air Filter: The Easiest Maintenance Step You Can Take

Changing your air conditioning filters routinely yields two important benefits: it helps keep your air conditioning clean, and it’s good for your indoor air.

In fact, Energy.gov says changing your filters (as often as every 30 days, depending on your filter type) is your most important maintenance task for preserving your system’s efficiency. That’s because clogged, dirty filters block the normal airflow. When airflow is obstructed, air that bypasses the filter could carry dirt straight into the evaporator coil and cause damage. That means the simple step of a filter change can protect your equipment’s life.

It can also save on energy. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy use by 5 to 15 percent. And if that’s not reason enough to take care of this task – if your filter becomes too dirty, it can affect the quality of your indoor air.

Here’s an even better point: changing your air conditioning filter routinely is inexpensive and easy.

Your filter could be located in a return grille or in special slots in the duct system – possibly inside the air conditioner itself. If you aren’t sure, schedule your spring tune-up, and your service technician can show you your filter location and how to change it.

How and when you make the change depends on the type of filter your system uses. While some are reusable, others must be replaced. You’ll want to clean or replace filters more often if your air conditioner is in constant use or if you have furry pets in the home.

Also, don’t forget that your air conditioning system should get a professional tune-up to get ready for the summer season. Some of the tasks on your service technician’s list will be to check your refrigerant levels, your motors and belts and your thermostat accuracy as well as measure airflow through the evaporator coil. Along with improving the performance of your system, technicians are also able to see problems that may be occurring and often make a simple fix before they grow into a larger repair.

If you have any questions or concerns about maintenance on your system, or if it’s time for your regular spring tune-up, just let us know.

HOT WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE.

Here are a few maintenance tips to help extend the life of your heater and improve energy efficiency.


Sediment builds up and turns rock solid reducing the amount of water heated and energy efficiency

  • Why drain your water heater?

    As water is heated, minerals are released from the (hard) water and left behind in the water heater tank. The rock-like sediment cause poor energy efficiency, shorter water heater life and less hot water. Learn how to drain your water heater safely.

  • Temperature-pressure relief valve operation is critical for safe operation.

    Test pressure buildup by lifting or depressing its handle and draining water from the overflow pipe once a year. If water doesn’t drain out, shut off water to the heater, open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house, replace valve. A defective pressure relief can cause the water heater to explode. Due to the scalding potential of the hot water, the outlet from the valve should be piped to a safe area. Typically they are piped down into a drain line.

  • Anode rod prevents water tank corrosion.

    This metal rod usually made of magnesium or aluminum. It helps prevent corrosion of the metal tank. Electrolysis eats away the metal anode instead of the metal of the tank. Once the anode is gone the tank itself begins to corrode. To prolong the life of the tank, make sure your anode rod is still there, and replace it when needed. The anode is screwed into the top of the tank and can be replaced. Sometimes the anode is built into a special outlet fitting.

  • Gas burner.

    You may need to clean burner. Dirt causes poor combustion, wastes up to 15% energy.

  • Ensure sufficient flue draft

    upstream to make sure deadly carbon monoxide gases leave the building.

  • Water Temperature.

    It doesn’t take long for hot water to cause serious burns. Be extra cautious with babies, young children and elderly. About 4,000 children are scalded by tap water every year, injuries that can leave permanent scars or cause death.

    120°F – Can scald in over 2 minutes (make sure it’s safe)

    125°F – 90 to 120 seconds

    130°F – up to 30 seconds

    135°F – up to 10 seconds

    140°F – Less than 5 seconds

    145°F – Less than 3 seconds

    150°F+ – About 1 second

  • Dip tube.

    This is a long narrow tube that directs incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank. If a dip tube is broken, it may seem as though you run out very quickly, or you just get a luke warm temperature.


Recirculation Pump

How long do you wait for hot water at your faucet or shower?

Save up to 16,000 gallons of water each year with a demand hot-water recirculating pump. And use less energy than it takes to run a 25-watt light bulb…to say nothing of the tremendous ecological benefit that goes along with it.

A re-circulating pump attaches directly to your heater.

Requires no additional wiring or electrical expense. The pump keeps the water in your pipes moving, resulting in a constant availability of hot water without the wait or the waste! Turn the shower on and get hot water.

Older water heaters cost up to 27% more to operate!

  1. Older efficiency standards as well as more energy is needed to penetrate lime scale buildup.
  2. Minerals take up physical space in the tank meaning you’ll have less hot water.

If your unit is eight years or older and you’re having a problem, for a quarter or so a day a new heater can help pay for itself in energy savings, give you more hot water and peace of mind. We recycle your old heater too.

Call PDM Plumbers for water heater help.

TOILET LEAKING? EPA SAYS 20-40% Of TOILETS LEAK.

A silent toilet leak can waste up to 30 gallons of water a day.

  1. Check for toilet leaks.
  2. Add food color to the toilet tank and wait 30 minutes.
  3. Then check the toilet bowl to see if coloring appears. If so, your toilet leaks.
  4. Flush the toilet promptly to make sure tank is not stained.

Toilet flapper.

  1. If your toilet flush handle frequently sticks in the flush position, letting water run constantly, replace or adjust it.
  2. Toilet flappers last about five years—unless you’re using those white puck-like toilet bowl cleaning tablets. Then you may find that your flapper is leaking in two years or less!
  3. Touch the flapper. If the coloring from your flapper gets on your fingertips, your flapper is deteriorating and needs to be replaced.

A new toilet seat is a nice gift.

The new Grip-tight Kohler Reveal Q3 Toilet Seat features an innovative overhanging lid that completely conceals the seat ring, creating a sleek, clean look that works well with contemporary and transitional bath styles.

If your toilet needs help or you want a new efficient toilet replacement, PDM Plumbing Since 1885can help.

YOUR THERMOSTAT CONTROLS 50% OF YOUR UTILITY BILLS.

HVAC thermostat.

Size-wise, the thermostat to your heating and air conditioning system is fairly small. Yet this small device is obviously a major player in the control of your energy costs. According to the Department of Energy, if you set your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, you can save 5 to 15 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills. Each degree accounts for a savings of as much as 1 percent when the setback period is eight hours long. (In the summer, you can follow the same strategy – just in a different direction.)

This “setback” makes even more sense when you consider that your home is either unoccupied for that period of time, or else it is when you are sleeping and don’t need the higher heating level. In other words, the energy savings come with no sacrifice in comfort.

Furthermore, you can make these temperature adjustments automatically and on a set schedule with the assistance of a programmable thermostat. These energy-saving devices can store multiple daily settings that, if needed, you can always override manually when your schedule changes. Because you can set the temperature changes to take place automatically, your house can return to a comfortable temperature before you return home or before you rise for the day.

Choosing Your Programmable Thermostat.

How do you know which programmable thermostat is best for you? Energy.gov explains your basic options: “Most programmable thermostats are either digital, electromechanical, or some mixture of the two. Digital thermostats offer the most features in terms of multiple setback settings, overrides, and adjustments for daylight savings time, but may be difficult for some people to program. Electromechanical systems often involve pegs or sliding bars and are relatively simple to program.”

Will these continuing changes increase the work your system has to perform? Energy.gov provides another important piece of information: “A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly. The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature. The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer – a higher interior temperature will slow the flow of heat into your house, saving energy on air conditioning.”

Setting Up A Weekly Schedule For Your Programmable Thermostat – from Energy.gov.

“Set it and forget it.” Set your temperatures based on the times you are normally home and your habits — and then you almost never have to bother with it.

Here’s how a weekday schedule might look for a family that are out of the house all day for work and school:

  • 6:45 a.m.: The family wakes up to get ready for the day. Winter temperature of the house is 68°F; the heat automatically turned on a bit earlier so it would hit this temperature by 6:30. Summer setting 78°F or higher.
  • 7:45 a.m.: The family leaves the house and the winter thermostat is set to 56°F. Summer daytime about 85°F. By turning their thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, the family can save 5% to 15% a year on their heating or cooling bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
  • 4:30 p.m.: The family starts returning home from work and school. The heat turned back on a bit before this so the house would again be 68°F for (winter) their return. Summer 78°F or higher.
  • 10:30 p.m.: The whole family has gone to bed (bundled in warm pajamas and snuggled under blankets), and the thermostat is again set to 56°F. Summer temps as warm as you as you feel comfortable. Remember you can turn the thermostat fan “On”.

Note that for all of these temperature changes, the family never once touched the thermostat. At the beginning of the season, they programmed it once to follow this schedule and the changes happen automatically — and so do their savings. That’s important for busy people!

If you’d like to save energy in your home, schedule a convenient appointment.

HOW TO LOWER YOUR UTILITY BILL

The cost of home heating continues to hit the homeowner harder each year. But sometimes, you can end up spending even more than necessary by overlooking energy wasters in your home that, in many cases, are easy to remedy.

A home energy audit can help by pinpointing these areas and identifying ways to cut energy costs. In fact, you can conduct a simple audit on your own by following a few recommendations from the Department of Energy. To take stock of your home energy use:

  • Check insulation levels in your attic, exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors and crawl spaces.
  • Check for holes or cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets.
  • Check for open fireplace dampers.
  • Check caulking and weather stripping, and repair if necessary.
  • Schedule an annual tune-up for your heat pump, furnace or boiler.
  • Seal and insulate leaky ducts to ensure that the airflow distribution system serving your heating equipment is operating at peak efficiency.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
  • Seal holes around plumbing and heating pipes.
  • As lower temperatures set in, make an effort to set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. Or consider having us install a programmable thermostat that will automatically lower temperatures at night or during the day when the home is unoccupied.

When you call us for a tune-up, ask for a free estimate of how much you can save with a new energy efficient system.

Schedule an appointment or learn more about how PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Since 1885 can help you save energy.

PDM HOT WATER HEATER INSTALLATION

Whatever your budget or need is PDM Water Heater Specialists can help.

We offer gas and electric tank-type units, as well as tankless, copper-tube water heaters, storage tanks and solar water heating systems. Gas water heaters with atmospheric, power vent, direct vent, induced draft and powered direct vent units.


Water heater help usually within 2 hours

Your water heater installation includes:

  1. Quality Ruud professional water heater. A leader in energy efficiency, performance and reliability plus industry-leading warranties. Energy Star models for home and business.
  2. Solid warranty – 1, 6 or 10 year limited parts and labor insurance and 6, 8 or 12 year limited tank warranty.
  3. Safety first. Replacing is one thing, but is your existing water heater installed to current safety codes? PDM plumbers are state licensed and will make sure your water heater is safely installed to code.
  4. Clean your chimney base of all debris and see if the flue pipe from the new heater is pitching up toward the chimney to keep you safe.
  5. Change any parts needed within three feet of your water heater. Some companies quote a cheap price and then add-on charges.
  6. Designed to look great. We don’t use cheap flexible copper water connectors. We solder copper fittings designed for your unique job.
  7. Ensure sufficient draft upstream to make sure deadly carbon monoxide gases leaves your home or business.
  8. Test emergency gas, electric and water shut-off valves. We also test the temperature and pressure relief valve, gas and water leaks, even carbon monoxide for safe operation.
  9. Prevent painful hot water scalding by setting water temperature around 120 degrees.
  10. Clean up the work area, many times better than when we began. Surprisingly that’s not always the case with other companies, they leave you a mess. If we leave a mess you get $75.
  11. Free removal of your old water heater, $25 value.
  12. Recycle your old equipment. Every little bit helps.
  13. You could be liable if an unlicensed, uninsured worker gets hurt on your property. PDM protects you. We’re licensed, bonded, insured.

Fast water heater service, usually within two hours.

Call the Water Heater King for neat, honest service.

Options clients have chosen for safety and comfort.

Tired of waiting for hot water?


Recirculation Pump

With a PDM Comfort Series Instant Hot Water System you’ll enjoy hot water from the moment you turn on the hot water faucet. You’ll also save up to 16,000 gallons of water each year and use less energy than it takes to run a 25-watt light bulb…to say nothing of the tremendous ecological benefit that goes along with it.

A re-circulating pump that attaches directly to your heater.

Requires no additional wiring or electrical expense. The pump keeps the water in your pipes moving, resulting in a constant availability of hot water without the wait or the waste! Turn the shower on and get hot water.

THERMAL EXPANSION TANK and how it can help.


Hot water expansion tank

With a PDM Comfort Series Instant Hot Water System you’ll enjoy hot water from the moment you turn on the hot water faucet. You’ll also save up to 16,000 gallons of water each year and use less energy than it takes to run a 25-watt light bulb…to say nothing of the tremendous ecological benefit that goes along with it.

A re-circulating pump that attaches directly to your heater.

Requires no additional wiring or electrical expense. The pump keeps the water in your pipes moving, resulting in a constant availability of hot water without the wait or the waste! Turn the shower on and get hot water.

THERMAL EXPANSION TANK and how it can help.

WAGS – a water and gas safety valve, can automatically turn off water before becoming a flood and shut off gas feeds before disaster can strike. Great insurance against the unexpected. Add now and save.

WATER ALARM gives you added protection.

Invest in a water alarm and minimize the risk of water damage. Easy convenient alarm can be set near water heaters, washing machine, sinks, sump pit, anywhere you’re concerned about water.

Call PDM Plumbing for trusted help today. 815-207-4111.

DRAIN CLEANING RECIPES.

In the old days dogs and rats were used to clean sewers.

In the early years, before specialized equipment came along to help clean sewers, one unique approach to cleaning a sewer was practiced:

First a rat was caught and put in a cage which was set down in the invert of the sewer at a manhole. Next a rat terrier dog was put into the next downstream manhole; with a tag line tied to it. When the dog sensed the presence of the rat, he would run up through the sewer towards the cage … dragging the tag line with him.

The dog was then lifted to the surface and the tag line used to pull through a rope — which, in turn, was used to insert heavier tools, etc., into the sewer. The Early Years of Sewer Maintenance.

Slow drain? Try a safe homemade drain cleaner recipe. The good news is you don’t need a rat or a dog… 

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into drain and then add 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
  2. Cover lightly for 15-30 minutes. Mixture should foam.
  3. Then flush with water for a minute.
  4. Repeat on tougher clog.
  5. Try this monthly to keep your drains open.

If you’re looking for a top notch drain specialist, call PDM, the oldest drain cleaner around.

FAUCETS DRIPS CAN WASTE 2,086 GALLONS A YEAR.

Fix a leak. You’ll feel better that you did.

  1. A dripping faucet can waste a lot of water over time.
  2. And an old faucet can use up to 5 gallons per minute (fpm).
  3. New high-efficiency faucets can use 1.5 gpm or less.
  4. The average family home, retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, can save up to 30,000 gallons per year.
  5. The average home can waste more than 11,000 gallons of water a year due to household leaks including running toilets, dripping faucets, and other pipe leaks? That’s about 1 trillion gallons a year!

Shower.

Make sure that all water from your shower or bath stays there. Secure shower doors and tightly close curtains. Take signs of mold seriously. Keep your eyes open for cracks and don’t procrastinate. A little time now can save thousands of dollars later. On a preventive maintenance trip, PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can inspect your tub and shower seals for you. Just ask.

Water fact. 

Of all the water on earth about four percent is freshwater. And, of the total freshwater, over 68 percent is locked up in ice and glaciers. Another 30 percent of freshwater is in the ground. Rivers are the source of most of the fresh surface water people use, but they only constitute about one percent of total water.

Whatever your water or faucets needS are PDM Plumbers can help. 815-726-6264.

WATER SAVING FAUCET AERATORS & SHOWER HEAD

Add low-flow faucet aerators.

  1. Bathroom low-flow aerators can deliver 0.5 to 1 gallon per minute (gpm) with the same force of spray, but often in a more pleasing fashion.
  2. Kitchen faucets may require a higher flow rate of 2 to 4 gpm if you regularly wash dishes. If you tend to let the water run when washing dishes, the lower flow rate of 0.5 to 1 gpm may be more appropriate. Some kitchen aerators will allow you to flip between two flow rates without affecting the water temperature.

Install low-flow shower heads.

These can reduce your water waste by as much as 60%. A standard shower head uses 4 to 7 gpm. A low-flow shower head uses 2.5 gpm or less. With a fifty-fifty mix of hot and cold water, the savings in heated water would be about three gallons per minute of showering. So, during a five-minute shower, a low-flow shower head saves about 15 gallons of heated water. Multiply that by a spouse and two teenagers (and longer shower times) and you can easily save 60+ gallons of heated water in just one day of showering. You’ll enjoy a low flow shower head in more than one way.

PDM Plumbers can help with any faucet need.

GREEN COMMERCIAL WATER & ENERGY SAVING TIPS.

Do you have a green building policy to lower your ownership costs? 

America’s 120,000,000 buildings are energy hogs consuming 42% of our primary energy (more than any other sector), 72% of its electricity and 34% of natural gas.

For each kilowatt-hour (kWh) you save by using energy-efficient technologies, you are reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide (primary cause of global climate change), sulfur dioxide (key component of acid rain), and nitrogen oxides (responsible for smog).

15 ways to lower energy costs, 6 ways to conserve water, and funding retrofit projects.

Don’t forget about the Small Business Energy Savings Energy Efficiency Loan Program. Do you own a small business and also own your building? You may be eligible to finance energy efficiency improvements with low rate financing. Make your building work more efficiently, sustainably, and profitably.

15 TIPS TO LOWER YOUR ENERGY COSTS.

1. Educate, train your staff to improve operational efficiency that pays higher dividends. Create Web dashboards to educate everyone and offer tips and rewards for wise behaviors.

2. Regular maintenance is the best way to minimize service calls, eliminate surprises, and control your total cost of operation. Federal Energy Management Program shows regular maintenance reduces energy use up to 30%, downtime by 35-40%, cuts breakdowns by 70-75% and repair costs by 5-20%.

3. Monitor key HVAC points like chilled water temperature, hot water temperature, discharge air temperatures, and fan CFM. Setting these values to the minimum levels required for comfort will save energy and reduce stress on mechanical systems.

4. Eliminate equipment shakes, rattles. Excessive vibration is costing you money.

5. New high efficiency, boilers, gas furnace, chiller, cooling tower or rooftop package system can lower operating costs up to 30 percent.

6. Combine chillers in multiple buildings – run efficient ones first. Isolate off-line chillers and cooling towers to lower energy usage.

7. Add thermostats. Install or adjust programmable duct zoning to control heat-cool temps when rooms are empty.

8. Match HVAC and lighting to occupancy. Install controls that enable systems to provide light, heat and cooling to rooms only when they are occupied.

9. Night pre-cooling involves the circulation of cool air within a building during the nighttime hours with the intent of cooling the structure when utility costs are lower. The cooled structure is then able to serve as a heat sink during the daytime hours, reducing the mechanical cooling required.

10. Heat recovery allows you to pre-heat air or water meaning the heating system needs to use less energy.

11. Pumps in most HVAC systems are oversized. Adjust impellor to proper size for energy savings.

12. Daylight can supplement artificial light while improving productivity. Smart lighting systems use occupancy, time of day and light sensors to control dimmable fixtures and coordinate with automated shade systems.

13. Insulate air ducts in unconditioned space – energy gain of 10% to 30%.

14. Plugging air leaks – According to the EPA and Energy Star, save up to 10 percent on utility bills just by plugging building, door, window air leaks.

15. Schedule office cleaning during regular work hours to avoid keeping the lights, heating, and air conditioning on at night.


Leaky toilets can waste 10,000 gallons a year – EPA says 20-40% of all toilets leak!

6 TIPS TO CONSERVE WATER.

City water rates have risen by 100 to 500 percent in the last decade and are likely to keep rising according to The U.S Dept. of Energy.

Try these six water conservation tips to help support your sustainability goals.

1. Educate your team to improve operational efficiency that pays higher dividends.

Create Web dashboards to educate everyone and offer tips and rewards for wise behaviors.

2. Measure water usage and waste, fix leaks, maintain equipment.

Improve operating practices and keep plumbing system efficient and leak-free. A slow faucet leak can waste 300 gallons of water a month.

3. Efficient plumbing products.

  1. Lower water use up to 15% with water saving toilets, urinals, faucets and low flow fixtures for lavs, showers, motion sensor operated devices, reduced flush or reduced flush urinals.
  2. Water conserving dishwashers.
  3. Faucet aerators can reduce water consumption by 25%.
  4. Low flow shower heads reduces your water waste up to 60%.
  5. Adding controls to regulate and monitor water usage.

4. Hot water savings.

  1. Old water heater can waste 27% in energy and provide less hot water due to sediment buildup.
  2. Heat water using recovered heat and solar thermal systems.
  3. Instantaneous hot water heaters – tankless water heaters are a good choice for the right application.
  4. Water heater insulation, every bit helps.
  5. Insulate hot water piping.

5. Toilet & urinal.

  1. The world flushes up to 30 percent of its drinking water down a drain. According to a Water Conservation Study, the average person flushes the toilet five times a day. That means we could flush a toilet 140,000 times in our life.
  2. If your toilet was installed before 1994 you could be wasting up to 10,500 gallons each year (per toilet) with a 3.5 to 7 gallons a flush!
  3. New toilets can save up to 6 gallons per flush.
  4. Leaky toilet can waste 10,000 gallons a year – EPA says 20-40% of all toilets leak!
Toilet flappers last about 5 years.
  5. Check for toilet leaks. 
Add food color to the toilet tank and wait 30 minutes. Then check the toilet bowl to see if coloring appears. If so, your toilet leaks. Flush the toilet promptly to make sure tank is not stained.

Waterless urinals – You’ll find waterless urinals in crowded public restrooms. Building owners saw that by using dry urinals, they’d save money on water and sewer charges for thousands of flushes. They’re installed in the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and New York Mets. Arizona made waterless urinals mandatory in public buildings. By replacing one high water use urinal with a zero water model, you can save an average of 45,000 gallons of water per year.

6. Outdoors.

  1. One inch of rain on a 1,000SF roof yields 600 gallons of water. This is no longer just a residential option—industry and business leaders have begun to reclaim otherwise wasted water. For example, the new headquarters of Panduit, based in Tinley Park, IL, has a water reclamation system that collects rainwater for non-potable uses; the system is projected to save the building 910,000 gallons of water annually.
  2. Adopt water-smart landscaping, from using the proper plants to using in-ground sensors to trigger watering only when truly necessary.

FUNDING RETROFIT PROJECTS – STAGE OVER TIME.

Whether you’re a private or public entity, you may qualify for grants or low-interest loans for water conservation projects under state-sponsored initiatives. Performance contracting is another way to fund efficiency projects with no up-front investment. The most rewarding energy performance contracts combine water and energy-saving projects. Nicor Gas and ComEd offer some commercial rebates too.

Create a to do list and stage energy saving projects over a number of years.

Small Business Energy Efficiency Loan Program. Do you own a small business and also own your building? You may be eligible to finance energy efficiency improvements with low rate financing through the Illinois Energy Efficiency Loan Program.

Got questions? We got answers.

Ask Rudy Mahalik, Jr. at PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Since 1885 for a free consultation. Contact us online.

6 HOMEMADE BATH & KITCHEN CLEANER RECIPES.

Did  you know vinegar is made from grain and diluted with water?

The acid in vinegar makes a great cleaning product. Heinz concocted a Cleaning Vinegar 20 percent stronger than traditional white vinegar for safe and effective cleaning. Make sure you label your homemade cleaner bottle!

Here are six natural household cleaner recipes.

Fixture cleaner – soak a cloth in cleaning vinegar and go to work on your faucets and appliances.

Floor cleaner – mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar and a gallon of warm water. Tough stains? Use undiluted Cleaning Vinegar directly on the stain.

Bathroom film, soap scum cleaner – warm white vinegar and pout it into a spray bottle. Use on your shower, tub, sinks. Let soak for 12 minutes. Scrub with a nylon sponge. Re-spray if needed.

Drains cleaner – pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar into your drain. Cover lightly for 15 minutes. Mixture should foam. Then flush with cold water. Try this monthly to keep drains open.

Cut Dust and Grease on exhaust fan grills, ceiling fan blades and air-conditioning grills by wiping with Heinz Cleaning Vinegar.

Window cleaner – Use 1/4 cup white vinegar with a quart of water in a spray bottle.

From the queenofclean.com

What You Can Count On From PDM

11 Energy Saving HVAC Ideas

  1. Annual AC and furnace head-to-toe check-up. Regular maintenance is the best way to minimize service calls, eliminate surprises, and control your total cost of operation. Federal Energy Management Program shows regular maintenance: Reduces energy use up to 30%, Downtime cut by 35-40%, Cuts breakdowns by 70-75%, Lower repairs 5-20%. Learn more.
  2. Air filter. Dirt is the number 1 cause of breakdowns. Change your air filter regularly. Get the right professional grade furnace air filter with free delivery. Order air filters online here.
  3. Plugging air leaks – According to the EPA and Energy Star, you can save up to 10 percent on utility bills just by plugging air leaks. Infiltration of hot or cold air is your worst enemy. The fewer holes in your home the less energy it takes to keep you comfortable
  4. New, efficient furnace or boiler – A new high-efficiency heating system can often cut your furnace’s pollution output in half. If you heat with gas, upgrading your furnace or boiler from 56% to 90% efficiency will save 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year and can lower heating bills up to 30%. Each degree over 68°F can add 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating.
  5. New air conditioning system – Outdated units can waste up to 40% of your energy. According to the U.S. Department of energy, the average American home consumes more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, causing power plants to emit about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide and 31 pounds of sulfur dioxide.
  6. Whole home humidifier helps to conserve energy in winter. The air in your home won’t be as dry, so you stay comfortable by lowering temperature settings a few degrees. Whole home humidifier can reduce heating up to 20%, help avoid sickness and keep you more comfotable. Learn more.
  7. Do thermostats matter to you? They control up to 50% of your energy bill. Here’s one of the easiest ways you can save energy, money, and help fight global warming, and it’s automatic. EPA says a programmable thermostat can lower heating and cooling bills by 20%. Change your temperature just one degree can cut your energy use up to 5%. Contact PDM for Free thermostat advice and see changes on your utility bills.
  8. Whole home power ventilator can replace all of your home’s stale air every few minutes with fresh outdoor air.
  9. Fireplaces – make sure you have tight-fitting dampers, which can be closed when the fireplace is not in use.
  10. Windows – Cut heat transfer through your windows by 40% to 50% with double pane windows and more with triple pane. In the summer block direct sunlight from windows and use blinds, drapes to block sunlight in the hottest part of the day. Winter, let the sun heat your home and close drapes at night to keep more heat inside.
  11. Kitchen and bath exhaust fans draws conditioned outside your home. Depending on the size of your fan you can pull all of your heated or cooled air outside in an hour. Use fans sparingly.

How To Set A Schedule For A Programmable Thermostat

LOWER UTILITY BILLS BY RESETTING YOUR PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT

“Set it and forget it.” Set your temperatures based on the times you are normally home and your habits — and then you almost never have to bother with it. From Energy.gov

If you are out of the house all day set back your thermostat 5° to 8° or more for 8 hours and save as much as 1% off your heating or ac utility bill for each degree lower. For example:

  • 6:45 a.m.: The family wakes up to get ready for the day. The winter temperature of the house is 68°F; the heat automatically turns on a bit earlier so it would hit this temperature by 6:30. Summer setting can be 78°F or higher.
  • 7:45 a.m.: The family leaves the house and the winter thermostat is set 5° to 8° lower. Summer daytime temps are set higher. By turning their thermostat back 5° to 8° or more for 8 hours, you save of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
  • 4:30 p.m.: You return home from work and school. The heat is turned back on a bit before this so the house would again be 68°F for your return. Summertime is set to 78°F or higher.
  • 10:30 p.m.: The whole family has gone to bed (bundled in warm pajamas and snuggled under blankets), and the thermostat is again set to 62°F. In the summer temps are as warm as you as you feel comfortable. Remember you can turn the thermostat fan “On” to help move the air.

Note that for all of these temperature changes, the family never once touched the thermostat. At the beginning of the season, they programmed it once to follow this schedule and the changes happen automatically — and so do their savings. That’s important for busy people!

Next best thing is a WIFI thermostat you can control from anywhere.

If you’d like to save energy in your home, schedule a convenient PDM appointment.

AIR CONDITIONING NOT WORKING? LEARN WHAT TO CHECK FIRST.

We sometimes visit and find a simple fix that you can do.

  • Is the thermostat set to COOL?
  • Is the temperature lower than room temperature?
  • Turn thermostat OFF, wait 1 minute then turn ON.
  • Check to see if the electrical breaker is tripped.
  • Check for closed or obstructed registers.
  • Check for dirty furnace air filter. 
  • Make sure the furnace air filter door is closed tightly. If not, a safety feature may automatically prevent furnace fan from running.

Not enough cold air coming from register.

  • Check your air filter. If it looks like a gray furry cat time to replace. A dirty furnace air filter can reduce airflow 60%, increase utility bills and cause costly breakdowns.
  • If the air filter is ok you may have a faulty air movement protection system. Could be dirty or needs to be replaced. Call PDM Cooling specialists for trusted help since 1885.

No air is blowing at all.

  • Usually suggests an air movement system fault.
  • Possibly the indoor blower isn’t working or the outside unit is dirty or weeds restrict airflow.
  • Or you may have a refrigerant transfer system problem.

AC constantly runs all the time.

  • Your thermostat could be the problem, both the setting (recheck setting) and the mechanical side (may need to be replaced).
  • Refrigerant transfer system problem.
  • Or a dirty system; check for a dirty air filter, clean outdoor unit of weeds and dirt.

Air conditioning system refrigerant lines are freezing up or covered in ice.

  • AC refrigerant line is covered in ice—which seems crazy on a hot day.
  • Freezing generally has to do with blocked or low air flow or refrigerant problem and can severely damage your AC system if it keeps freezing a number of times.
  • Chances are your inside evaporator coil is frozen solid.
  • DO THIS NOW. Turn the thermostat AC/COOL system OFF and turn the FAN ON to help defrost the unit. This helps to unfreeze the coil and prevent damage to the expensive compressor.
  • There are a number of possible causes. Begin by checking your air filter. If it looks like a gray cat  then replace or try to clean, last resort is to remove the filter temporarily. Next make sure your duct air registers and return line are open and not blocked by drapes or furniture.
  • If your air ducts are dirty it’s a good idea to have them scrubbed clean.
  • You may need professional help to stop your AC from freezing up. Call PDM Cooling for reliable help.

My home AC is not cooling properly.

  • If you feel the air from your vent is not cool, this usually means the outdoor unit stopped running.
  • There might be a frozen line between your fan and compressor.
  • Or even a dirty air filter.

Call PDM Cooling specialists for trusted help since 1885.

LOWER YOUR HEATING COSTS & ADD COMFORT WITHOUT A NEW FURNACE

Low indoor humidity levels is why we tend to get sick in the winter and why heating bills can be 20% higher.

At 10 degrees outside your home’s indoor relative humidity can be in the single digits with a furnace. The relative humidity of one of the driest places on earth, Death Valley, CA, is 25%. Your body likes around 35% to stay healthy.

How your body’s immune system works and the power of humidity.

It’s dark and cold when you come in the back door. Red faced, dry, itchy skin, chapped lips. The house even feels chilly at 70 degrees. You naturally feel dry air in the wettest parts of your body first. Your sinuses, throat, eyes and skin dry out making you uncomfortable. Dry nostrils can crack and give you a nosebleed.

Scorched sinuses, itchy skin.

Did you know your sinus cavities are protected by paper thin and fragile mucous membranes? Mucus keeps them pliable. When dry, they crack allowing germs and sickness a direct channel into the bloodstream. That’s a real problem in winter, when cold bacteria and flu viruses linger longer in the dry air after someone coughs or sneezes or touches a doorknob.

Mucus’ job is to wash viruses and other icky invaders found in your nose and sinus into a little opening at the back of your throat, your uvula. That’s where mucus from sinus cavities drains into your stomach allowing acids kill the germs.

How does your body furnace regulate temperature?

Body temperature is controlled by secreting moisture from perspiration, which evaporates, absorbing heat from your skin. The dryer the air, the faster evaporation and quicker your body cools.

When it’s cold you feel chilly and turn up the furnace thermostat, drying the air even more causing your body to evaporate moisture and the cooler you feel.

Your furnace then kicks up clouds of dust, pollen, and other allergens that can inflame your sinuses and airways. (Learn about air cleaner.) For some people with asthma, cold and dry air can lead to a narrowing of breathing passages and trigger an attack.

What’s the lowest-cost way to lower heating bills?

Moist air will help keep your skin, mouth, and nose lubricated, help prevent those nasty static shocks and makes your home warmer allowing you lower heating bills up to 5% for every 1 degree you lower the thermostat. A whole home central humidifier also helps with creaky wooden floors, piano or other wood instruments, leather, furniture, rugs, sinus problems, comfort complaints, even electronics.

Dry winter air reminders.

Seal your home windows, doors, basement, attic. Prevent the cold, dry outside air from paying you an unwelcome visit. Can help lower heating bills 10% according to the EPA.

Hydrate often. Keep your skin and mouth moist by drinking.

Moisturize your skin. Use a good lotion for dry skin and keep your nasal passageways moist by using saltwater (saline) drops.

Air cleaner. Since your furnace is blowing dust and germs around, a whole home air cleaner can help you breathe easier. See air purity video.

Add comfort. Improve your health and indoor comfort by trying a PDM Whole Home Humidifier. We believe in a humidifier so much we want you to try it for 30 days free. If you are not happy we’ll remove it and refund your money. Contact PDM.

CARBON MONOXIDE FACTS


Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning closely resembles the symptoms of a cold or flu.

AIR FILTERING IN YOUR HOME


Did you know that 65% of illnesses start with something you inhale?

HOW IS YOUR INDOOR AIR QUALITY?

You take 20,000 breathes a day.

Many people spend 90% of their time indoors (50% at home) and take about 20,000 breaths every day. Do you know what you are breathing? Dirty indoor air can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, even fatigue.

Improve your health by breathing less dust, dust mites (40,000 can live in an ounce of dust), pet dander, mold spores, pollen, bacteria and viruses. See air purity video.

There are many types of ventilation and whole home air cleaners. Below are six examples.

1. Standard 1” filter traps 5-15% of airborne particulates and recirculates the rest. Primary purpose is to keep dust and dirt from building up on you HVAC equipment. A dirty air filter can reduce airflow by 60% and cause an expensive breakdown. Change air filter every 1 to 3 months.

2. MERV Media filters can remove up to 97% of pollen, airborne dust and other large particles. Permanently traps indoor allergens that can lead to respiratory problems. MERV filters removal efficiency vary by size and manufacturer. Change filter annually.

,p>3. Enhanced electronic air cleaner works when air particles are charged in the electrical field and then collected on grounded micro-fiber media. Captures over 98% of airborne contaminants down to one micron in size. Kills captured bacteria and spores and permanently traps particles. Energy Savings & Protection—keeps dust and dirt from building up on your heating and cooling equipment for peak efficiency and longer furnace life.

4. UV Germicidal Light commonly used in hospitals, restaurants, government offices. It’s purpose is to kill contaminants like viruses, bacteria, yeast and mold. A good second level air cleaner.

,p>5. Whole home ventilation attic fan is seasonal and can replace all the stale air in your home quickly with fresh outdoor air. You’ll love how quickly your home cools down and feels better.

6. Heat Recovery Ventilator is an efficient way of exchanging the air inside your home with fresh outdoor air all year long. In winter months, the heat of indoor air warms incoming cold fresh air, recovering approximately 77% of the energy. In the summer, warm fresh air passes near outgoing conditioned air, cooling it down. At no time do the stale and fresh air streams mix, instead they pass each other separated by thin walls that allow only the air’s energy to transfer, cutting your heating and cooling bills. Fresh air all year long. Stay safe and comfortable.

If it is time to improve your indoor air, call PDM for free breathing advice and free estimate.

LEARN ABOUT UV LIGHT ANTI-GERMICIAL TREATMENT

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) cleaners have been used by hospitals, restaurants and nursing homes for years to disinfect and prevent the spread of germs.

The U.S. government now specifies that anti-germicidial UV light be used in air handling units to improve indoor air quality in public buildings by controlling airborne and surface microbial growth.

Anti-germicidal light Air Treatment Systems zaps mold spores and certain live, airborne bacteria passing by the lamp to prevent them from being re-circulated in your ductwork.

It is impossible to rid your home of unhealthy bacteria and viruses. But anti-germicidal UV light helps combat sickness to you and your family. Call PDM’s UV light experts for free help.

Furnace UV light installation in Bolingbrook, Channahon, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Minooka, Naperville, New Lenox, Plainfield, Romeoville, Shorewood, and surrounding areas.

FURNACE NOT WORKING? LEARN WHAT TO CHECK. HEATING FAQ’s.

No heat? Check these points before calling for service.

  • Is the thermostat set to HEAT?
  • Is the temperature higher than room temperature?
  • Turn furnace switch OFF, wait 1 minute and turn back ON.
  • Check to see if the electrical breaker is tripped.
  • Check for dirty furnace air filter.
  • Check to see if the gas pilot is off.
  • Check for closed or obstructed registers
  • Make sure the door to the furnace (air filter) is closed tightly. If not a safety feature may automatically prevent furnace from running.

Furnace turns on and off quickly.

You may have an electrical fault in the overheating protection system. The furnace burners turn on and off so the furnace does not overheat. Gas ignition system safety controls not responding to commands.

Not enough heat coming from register.

Check your air filter. If it looks like a gray furry cat time to replace. A dirty furnace air filter can reduce airflow 60%,increase utility bills and cause costly breakdowns.

If the air filter is ok you may have a faulty air movement protection system. Could be dirty or needs to be replaced. Another possibility is you may have a problem with your ductwork.

Banging furnace sound.

Could be a delayed ignition problem. Your furnace is “exploding” each time it turns on. Consider this dangerous.

Call PDM Heating specialists for trusted help since 1885.

WHY ARE MY AIR CONDITIONING COILS ICING UP?

Your A/C freezing up on a hot day seems crazy. Freezing up generally has to do with blocked or low air flow, over-use, broken parts, no maintenance, or refrigerant problems. Chances are ice forms around the inside evaporator coil preventing the a/c system from working.

  • DO THIS NOW. Turn the thermostat AC/COOL system OFF and turn the FAN ON to help defrost the unit. This helps to unfreeze the coil and prevent damage to the expensive compressor.
  • Check furnace air filter. Does it look like a gray furry cat? You may find the problem is simply due to a dirty filter which can block over 60 percent of the air flow.
  • Next make sure your duct air registers and return line are open and not blocked by drapes or furniture.
  • If the problem continues call PDM Cooling before this sticky situation becomes worse. And if you haven’t had air conditioning maintenance it’s time to act. You’ll feel better.

YOUR THERMOSTAT CONTROLS 50% OF YOUR UTILITY BILLS.

HVAC thermostat.

Size-wise, the thermostat to your heating and air conditioning system is fairly small. Yet this small device is obviously a major player in the control of your energy costs. According to the Department of Energy, if you set your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, you can save 5 to 15 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills. Each degree accounts for a savings of as much as 1 percent when the setback period is eight hours long. (In the summer, you can follow the same strategy – just in a different direction.)

This “setback” makes even more sense when you consider that your home is either unoccupied for that period of time, or else it is when you are sleeping and don’t need the higher heating level. In other words, the energy savings come with no sacrifice in comfort.

Furthermore, you can make these temperature adjustments automatically and on a set schedule with the assistance of a programmable thermostat. These energy-saving devices can store multiple daily settings that, if needed, you can always override manually when your schedule changes. Because you can set the temperature changes to take place automatically, your house can return to a comfortable temperature before you return home or before you rise for the day.

Choosing Your Programmable Thermostat.

How do you know which programmable thermostat is best for you? Energy.gov explains your basic options: “Most programmable thermostats are either digital, electromechanical, or some mixture of the two. Digital thermostats offer the most features in terms of multiple setback settings, overrides, and adjustments for daylight savings time, but may be difficult for some people to program. Electromechanical systems often involve pegs or sliding bars and are relatively simple to program.”

Will these continuing changes increase the work your system has to perform? Energy.gov provides another important piece of information: “A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. In fact, as soon as your house drops below its normal temperature, it will lose energy to the surrounding environment more slowly. The lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. So the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save, because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature. The same concept applies to raising your thermostat setting in the summer – a higher interior temperature will slow the flow of heat into your house, saving energy on air conditioning.”

Setting Up A Weekly Schedule For Your Programmable Thermostat – from Energy.gov.

“Set it and forget it.” Set your temperatures based on the times you are normally home and your habits — and then you almost never have to bother with it.

Here’s how a weekday schedule might look for a family that are out of the house all day for work and school:

  • 6:45 a.m.: The family wakes up to get ready for the day. Winter temperature of the house is 68°F; the heat automatically turned on a bit earlier so it would hit this temperature by 6:30. Summer setting 78°F or higher.
  • 7:45 a.m.: The family leaves the house and the winter thermostat is set to 56°F. Summer daytime about 85°F. By turning their thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, the family can save 5% to 15% a year on their heating or cooling bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
  • 4:30 p.m.: The family starts returning home from work and school. The heat turned back on a bit before this so the house would again be 68°F for (winter) their return. Summer 78°F or higher.
  • 10:30 p.m.: The whole family has gone to bed (bundled in warm pajamas and snuggled under blankets), and the thermostat is again set to 56°F. Summer temps as warm as you as you feel comfortable. Remember you can turn the thermostat fan “On”.

Note that for all of these temperature changes, the family never once touched the thermostat. At the beginning of the season, they programmed it once to follow this schedule and the changes happen automatically — and so do their savings. That’s important for busy people!

If you’d like to save energy in your home, schedule a convenient appointment.

HOW TO LOWER YOUR UTILITY BILL

The cost of home heating continues to hit the homeowner harder each year. But sometimes, you can end up spending even more than necessary by overlooking energy wasters in your home that, in many cases, are easy to remedy.

A home energy audit can help by pinpointing these areas and identifying ways to cut energy costs. In fact, you can conduct a simple audit on your own by following a few recommendations from the Department of Energy. To take stock of your home energy use:

  • Check insulation levels in your attic, exterior and basement walls, ceilings, floors and crawl spaces.
  • Check for holes or cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches and electrical outlets.
  • Check for open fireplace dampers.
  • Check caulking and weather stripping, and repair if necessary.
  • Schedule an annual tune-up for your heat pump, furnace or boiler.
  • Seal and insulate leaky ducts to ensure that the airflow distribution system serving your heating equipment is operating at peak efficiency.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting or drapes.
  • Seal holes around plumbing and heating pipes.
  • As lower temperatures set in, make an effort to set your thermostat as low as is comfortable. Or consider having us install a programmable thermostat that will automatically lower temperatures at night or during the day when the home is unoccupied.

When you call us for a tune-up, ask for a free estimate of how much you can save with a new energy efficient system.

Schedule an appointment or learn more about how PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Since 1885 can help you save energy.

THE COST OF NEGLECTING YOUR HVAC SYSTEM.

Looking at cost is more than seeing a price tag.

Take the annual tune-ups for your heating equipment. If you apply a small percentage of the value of the equipment in routine annual maintenance, your investment reduces your energy expenses, saves on repairs and takes care of you longer.

That’s a pretty sweet deal.

However, if you neglect to routinely take care of your furnace, you incur issues both seen and unseen that can cause breakdowns, waste energy and develop potentially dangerous problems for you and your family. Here are just a few areas where neglect can prove so costly.

Energy use increases. When dirt clogs your system, it has to work harder to keep you warm. Less efficiency means higher operating costs. In fact, energy experts say that your energy costs can be reduced by 30 to 35 percent when heating equipment is serviced regularly and properly maintained.

Equipment life is shortened. With all that dirt and grime causing efficiency problems, your system is running longer and more often. Thus, the parts feel the pressure, and they’ll wear out sooner. Even a small problem that goes undetected for a long period of time can lead to an earlier than normal system failure – or cause breakdowns with big repair bills.

Preserving your manufacturer’s warranty. Heating and cooling systems are big-ticket home improvements that come with long-term warranties. But many of these warranties require routine maintenance to keep them in effect. Don’t risk losing your warranty due to neglect.

Protecting your family’s safety. This may be the last “cost” in this list, but certainly ranks highest in what matters most. An unmaintained system can put you at risk of a deadly carbon monoxide leak. Loose electrical connections in an unmaintained system can also create a fire hazard. Neither are worth the risk of neglecting routine maintenance.

If you’d like to schedule a tune-up, we’d be honored to have you trust your system to us. Let us hear from you.

AC Tune-Up: Why a Cool Day Is the Best Time

Quite a few of us operate according to the principle “out of sight, out of mind.” Meaning, we don’t think about it until we actually need it. Unfortunately for many homeowners, their air conditioning system falls into that same “put it off” thinking – and they end up with a toasty surprise right when they want cool comfort. But there’s a better way. And a better time.

In the industry, we call it “the pre-season.” You might call it “spring.” This is when heating repairs fall off and air conditioning repairs aren’t yet hopping. So scheduling a preseason tune-up during this period gets you the attention you deserve at a time that is most convenient for you. However, when homeowners ignore their systems until they notice how warm they are – and that something’s wrong with their system – well… that’s happening all over town. The calls start coming in fast. Your appointment isn’t as convenient, and you’re warm while you’re waiting.

So, what does a tune-up actually involve? EnergyStar.gov says that a typical maintenance check-up for your air conditioning system should include the following (and we do too):

  • Check thermostat settings to ensure comfortable cooling.
  • Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty connections can cause unsafe operation and reduce the life of major components.
  • Lubricate all moving parts, whichcan cause friction and increase use of electricity.
  • Check and inspect the condensate drain. A plugged drain can cause water damage and affect indoor humidity levels.
  • Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates and shuts off properly.
  • Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
  • Check your refrigerant level and adjust if necessary.
  • Clean and adjust blower components to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.

So now that you’ve got this on your mind, why not schedule your tune-up now?  Save $20 on a quality ac tune-up, normally $129, now $109 for a limited time.

Duct Cleaning: When Should You Consider?

Clean Air and Energy Efficiency: Making the Connection

Saving on energy pays off – especially when you’re talking about keeping your home comfortable. Cooling and heating, after all, accounts for about 56% of the energy used in a typical U.S. home. Therefore, savings in this area can have a significant impact on your household’s monthly budget.

An energy efficient system is your starting point. For example, air conditioning and heating systems that have earned the ENERGY STAR® designation help you reduce high energy bills and improve your comfort while protecting the environment.

An airtight home helps too by keeping conditioned air inside your home – and, in warm months, keeping the hot air out.

But what about when saving on energy comes with a price? Airtight homes seal in the air, yes – but they can also seal in pet dander, toxins from household cleansers, cooking smoke, and on and on. An energy efficient home with poor indoor air quality is not a desirable result.

To improve your indoor air quality, you can control or eliminate the sources of your pollutants, as well as ventilate as weather conditions permit. You can also use an “air cleaning device.” There are different types of air cleaners, including those that remove particles through mechanical air filters or electronic air filters.

Now – to connect the dots between energy efficiency and clean air – your best bet is an energy efficient home comfort system with a built-in air cleaner.

Want to learn more about how to cool your home and save between 14-22% on energy right away – with the added bonus of a built-in air cleaner that filters up to 99% of airborne contaminants? Get a free energy saving review and find out how it works.

 Don’t forget. Big utility rebates and 10% PDM Cash-Back are now available for a limited time for new high efficient A/C and furnace systems.

Learn when you should consider duct cleaning – video. Ask PDM for $100 off our normal whole house air duct cleaning service. Learn what to expect.

Get back to normal, fast. Call PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Since 1885 at 815-207-4111 or 630-378-4488.

Learn How To Avoid AC Breakdowns & Lower Utility Bills

The Benefits Of Regular Maintenance

Heating & Cooling Scams: Protecting Yourself

The Number One Reason Furnaces Fail

IAQ. Ultraviolet Germicidal Air Treatment System.

Take comfort in knowing you have healthier indoor air.

Germicidal ultraviolet lights control and kill contaminants like viruses, bacteria, yeast and mold. Installed inside your HVAC duct system to help sterilize HVAC equipment and ducts too.

Ultraviolet light can reduce allergy, asthma symptoms, headaches, nasal congestion, sinusitis and more. No ozone emissions. Bulbs need to be changed annually.

Hospitals us them. UV ultraviolet and object purifiers are ideal for offices, lounges, smoking rooms, daycare centers, residential homes, and any location where clean air is desirable.

Contact PDM for honest air advice.

Ventilation – Good Air In, Bad Air Out!

Fresh air all the time.

Ventilating a home by opening doors and windows may not always be feasible due to security reasons or outdoor noise levels, rain, snow or weather conditions.

Mechanical ventilation allows a quiet, energy efficient way to exchange stale, unhealthy indoor air for fresh, outside air throughout your entire home in an energy-efficient way 365 days a year.

What is the main benefit of an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)?

An ERV constantly supplies fresh air to provide a healthy indoor environment by reducing odors and/or indoor pollutants, such as radon, formaldehyde, tobacco smoke, nitrogen dioxides, carbon monoxide and pesticides.

How does the ventilator work.

Energy Recovery Ventilator is an efficient way of exchanging the air inside your home with fresh outdoor air. In winter months, the heat of indoor air warms incoming cold fresh air, recovering approximately 77% of the energy.

In the summer, warm fresh air passes near outgoing conditioned air, cooling it down. At no time do the stale and fresh air streams mix, instead they pass each other separated by thin walls that allow only the air’s energy to transfer, cutting your heating and cooling bills.

Whole home ventilation attic fan is seasonal less costly option and can replace all the stale air in your home quickly with fresh outdoor air.

Free ventilator estimate.

PDM has a variety of ventilating fans to meet your needs and budget. Call PDM today.

8 Clogged Dryer Vent Warning Signs.

  1. Does your dryer take longer to dry, even a 2nd cycle?
  2. Do clothes come out of the dryer very hot?
  3. Are you finding very little lint on your lint screen?
  4. Does your dryer stop during a cycle?
  5. Do your clothes have a moldy smell?
  6. Is your dryer hot to the touch while running?
  7. Do you find lint on your clothing?
  8. Do you have a plastic exhaust duct from your dryer to the wall? Upgrade to a metal exhaust duct to prevent fires.

Clogged or poorly vented dryers can cause fire hazards and even carbon monoxide poisoning.  PDM can ensure that your dryer is properly vented and free from lint, as well as possible nests of mice or birds. 90% of all appliance fires are dryer related. As many as 15,000 fires are dryer vent related.

When lint accumulates in an exhaust duct, it reduces the dryer’s ability to expel heated water vapor causing heat energy to build up within the machine. As the dryer overheats, mechanical failures can trigger sparks, which can cause lint trapped in the dryer vent to burst into flames. Fires generally originate within the dryer but spread by escaping through the ventilation duct, incinerating trapped lint, and following its path into the building wall.

Clogged clothes dryer vents increases drying costs and shortens the life of your dryer. Learn the true condition of your dryer vent. Call PDM for Help.

Heating System Failures: How to Avoid 90% Of Problems


Dirt is the #1 Reason for heating system failure

It’s easy to ignore your home comfort and put it on the back burner.

But there’s real cause for concern when it comes to your home comfort system. This is the time of year when the #1 reason for heating system failure should be on every homeowner’s mind.

Dirt. Five year olds love it, plants can’t live without it, and you’re breathing it in every day. Not just breathing it in—you’re paying to inhale the largest cause of your home’s dust and allergy problems.

You’re probably thinking that’s an exaggeration. But the simple truth is that you are paying to run your heating and cooling system, more and more as the weather heats up. And since dirt is the number one cause of system failure—90% of all failures, in fact—chances are good that dirt is keeping your system from running at peak efficiency.

Before you invest in a family set of gas masks or prepare for a nomadic existence in the Sahara (hey, at least then you won’t be paying for the dirt), you might want to give your PDM heating professional a call.

Your system works hard, turning on about 70 times a day. It’s constantly circulating and heating the air that keeps your family comfortable. Like anything else that works, it gets dirty and has to be cleaned.

There are a few questions to ask yourself before having your system cleaned:

  • How long has been since your HVAC system was cleaned?
  • Are there pets in the home?
  • Do any of your family members experience burning in the eyes, nose, or throat while in the home?
  • Is your air dry?
  • Do any family members show sinus problems

System failures caused by dirt, as well as expensive repairs, can be avoided with a little preventative maintenance. Most people don’t realize how much money they can save by making sure their system runs efficiently.

Learning the precautions are part of PDM’s effort to educate and show homeowners that certain neglected maintenance items that can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs or system replacements.

You can have your heating system inspected, plus receive other energy saving tips by calling The PDM Clean Team at 815-207-4111.

Furnace Heat Exchanger Crack Danger

A heat exchanger is combination of one or more chambers furnace-repairor “cells” where the air in your home gets
heated. The heat exchanger is designed as a barrier, it’s job is to contain a 3300 degree fire*, transmit the heat to an occupied living space, and vent the toxic combustion by-products to the outdoors, without harming anyone. (*Approximate temperature of burning natural gas.).

But if your heat exchanger has a crack or hole in it your furnace must be condemned unsafe for operation as it can cause sickness, even death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Call PDM Heating Since 1885 for a furnace safety check-up. Call 815-207-4111.

What You Can Count On From PDM

11 Energy Saving HVAC Ideas

  1. Annual AC and furnace head-to-toe check-up. Regular maintenance is the best way to minimize service calls, eliminate surprises, and control your total cost of operation. Federal Energy Management Program shows regular maintenance: Reduces energy use up to 30%, Downtime cut by 35-40%, Cuts breakdowns by 70-75%, Lower repairs 5-20%. Learn more.
  2. Air filter. Dirt is the number 1 cause of breakdowns. Change your air filter regularly. Get the right professional grade furnace air filter with free delivery. Order air filters online here.
  3. Plugging air leaks – According to the EPA and Energy Star, you can save up to 10 percent on utility bills just by plugging air leaks. Infiltration of hot or cold air is your worst enemy. The fewer holes in your home the less energy it takes to keep you comfortable
  4. New, efficient furnace or boiler – A new high-efficiency heating system can often cut your furnace’s pollution output in half. If you heat with gas, upgrading your furnace or boiler from 56% to 90% efficiency will save 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year and can lower heating bills up to 30%. Each degree over 68°F can add 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating.
  5. New air conditioning system – Outdated units can waste up to 40% of your energy. According to the U.S. Department of energy, the average American home consumes more than 2,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, causing power plants to emit about 3,500 pounds of carbon dioxide and 31 pounds of sulfur dioxide.
  6. Whole home humidifier helps to conserve energy in winter. The air in your home won’t be as dry, so you stay comfortable by lowering temperature settings a few degrees. Whole home humidifier can reduce heating up to 20%, help avoid sickness and keep you more comfotable. Learn more.
  7. Do thermostats matter to you? They control up to 50% of your energy bill. Here’s one of the easiest ways you can save energy, money, and help fight global warming, and it’s automatic. EPA says a programmable thermostat can lower heating and cooling bills by 20%. Change your temperature just one degree can cut your energy use up to 5%. Contact PDM for Free thermostat advice and see changes on your utility bills.
  8. Whole home power ventilator can replace all of your home’s stale air every few minutes with fresh outdoor air.
  9. Fireplaces – make sure you have tight-fitting dampers, which can be closed when the fireplace is not in use.
  10. Windows – Cut heat transfer through your windows by 40% to 50% with double pane windows and more with triple pane. In the summer block direct sunlight from windows and use blinds, drapes to block sunlight in the hottest part of the day. Winter, let the sun heat your home and close drapes at night to keep more heat inside.
  11. Kitchen and bath exhaust fans draws conditioned outside your home. Depending on the size of your fan you can pull all of your heated or cooled air outside in an hour. Use fans sparingly.

Air Conditioning Buying Guide

Here’s a few insider tips from a company installing some of the first central air conditioning systems over 80 years ago. PDM has replaced thousands of old, inefficient or broken cooling systems by not cutting corners but by meeting or exceeding safety codes.

Repair or replace.

Nearly half of homeowners who replace an air conditioner, act under duress. They replace the air conditioner because they have to; it broke down and could not be repaired or was too expensive to repair. These are often late season replacements. Over half change out their system when they do not need to make a replacement. Their most important reason for replacing the air conditioner is either that they are replacing the air conditioner at the same time they replace a furnace, they are replacing because they anticipate failure, they want to cut their utilities, they are tired of frequent repairs, or they want to improve comfort.

Air conditioning is an expensive appliance and the last thing you want is to be ripped off by a contractor who tells you you need to replace when it can be repaired, then gives you a low price and a promise to install in a few hours.

If you need an honest second opinion, A licensed PDM technician will be happy to come out for a free evaluation. Here are a few points to be aware of when investing in a new AC:

What brand is best?

Almost everyone asks about good brands. The big secret in our industry is there are only a handful of HVAC manufacturers in the US but they operate under well over 100 brand names! What that means is most air conditioning systems have the same safety features, compressor, controls, parts and efficiencies with many of these components coming from even fewer companies.

The bottom line is there is not much difference in brands.

After installing some of the first AC system in the area in the 1930’s, we’ve seen brands come and go, but most have the same life cycle if maintained annually. In the end we believe a brand equals about ten percent of the value with ninety percent coming from the installation.

Finding the right installer. Don’t assume all contractors are the same. 

Please understand a central AC system is only as good as the installation work done. We’ve seen how a great contractor can install a poor AC, and he will often stand behind it if it fails. Likewise a poor contractor can royally screw up a perfect AC, and will leave you abandoned to fend for yourself.

Cutting corners is easy for a contractor and you may never know. If you are given a low price and told they can install in a few hours, be suspicious. Consumer Reports says finding a contractor you can trust is the most important decision you can make.

Avoid basing your decision on the cheapest air conditioning price or quickest installation time. Consider the lifetime costs of your AC system. Fuel, maintenance, repairs, even inconvenience add up over 10 to 20 years. If a cheap installer cuts corners, doesn’t ask questions or makes assumptions, you’ll pay more over its lifetime. If a larger system is recommended make sure you know all the reasons.

Warranties.

This is one element of an AC brand that gives you value. Besides our economy model, PDM and Amana offers the most comprehensive limited warranty coverage of any air conditioner on the market.

Call PDM air conditioning experts for free advice and free estimate. Ask about the latest rebates on new energy efficient air conditioning systems.

Back to New HVAC page >>

How To Set A Schedule For A Programmable Thermostat

LOWER UTILITY BILLS BY RESETTING YOUR PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT

“Set it and forget it.” Set your temperatures based on the times you are normally home and your habits — and then you almost never have to bother with it. From Energy.gov

If you are out of the house all day set back your thermostat 5° to 8° or more for 8 hours and save as much as 1% off your heating or ac utility bill for each degree lower. For example:

  • 6:45 a.m.: The family wakes up to get ready for the day. The winter temperature of the house is 68°F; the heat automatically turns on a bit earlier so it would hit this temperature by 6:30. Summer setting can be 78°F or higher.
  • 7:45 a.m.: The family leaves the house and the winter thermostat is set 5° to 8° lower. Summer daytime temps are set higher. By turning their thermostat back 5° to 8° or more for 8 hours, you save of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.
  • 4:30 p.m.: You return home from work and school. The heat is turned back on a bit before this so the house would again be 68°F for your return. Summertime is set to 78°F or higher.
  • 10:30 p.m.: The whole family has gone to bed (bundled in warm pajamas and snuggled under blankets), and the thermostat is again set to 62°F. In the summer temps are as warm as you as you feel comfortable. Remember you can turn the thermostat fan “On” to help move the air.

Note that for all of these temperature changes, the family never once touched the thermostat. At the beginning of the season, they programmed it once to follow this schedule and the changes happen automatically — and so do their savings. That’s important for busy people!

Next best thing is a WIFI thermostat you can control from anywhere.

If you’d like to save energy in your home, schedule a convenient PDM appointment.

Furnace Buying Guide: Uncovering The Right Gas Furnace For You.

Most likely you’re reading this because your furnace is old or not performing as you’d like. After installing the first gas furnaces in the 1930’s, PDM Heating is familiar with the questions most folks have when investing in indoor comfort.

While a repair may cost less than a new system, you have to consider all operation costs. A typical home can spend $2000 annually for heating and cooling energy costs. Add in repairs and maintenance and the cost to own adds up many time more than a new furnace.

A repair does not lower energy bills than what the furnace was designed to, improve comfort  or have added warranty coverage. Plus, if cost is a concern, PDM offers financing to fit the budget of qualified clients.

Here is a simple approach to choosing a new furnace and not getting ripped off:

  1. What brand is best?
  2. Finding the right installer
  3. Choosing the right gas valve
  4. Choosing the right blower motor for added comfort
  5. Other furnace components
  6. Warranty and value.

1. What brand is best?

Most furnaces have the same safety features, controls, heat exchangers that transfers heat from metal to air, parts and efficiencies. Many manufacturers buy their parts from the same factory. And all can last 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. Now your furnace can last longer but the costs of keeping it going add up and you’re better off investing in a new system. After 130 years of seeing brands come and go, most have the same life cycle. In the end we’ve seen a brand equals about ten percent of the value with ninety percent coming from the installation.

2. Finding the right installer. Don’t assume all contractors are the same.

Please understand a furnace is only as good as the installation work done. We’ve seen how a great contractor can install a poor furnace, and he will often stand behind it if it fails. Likewise a poor contractor can royally screw up a perfect furnace, and will leave you abandoned to fend for yourself. Cutting corners is easy for a contractor and you may never know. Find a heating contractor with a proven track record. Many contractors come and go out of business within a few years and leave you stuck should the unit need repair.

A new furnace doesn’t mean lower utility bills. If your installer isn’t mindful you can waste a lot of fuel with sheet metal fittings or ductwork or proper sizing. Consumer Reports says finding a contractor you can trust is the most important decision you can make.

Avoid basing your decision on the cheapest furnace price or quickest installation time. Consider the lifetime costs of your furnace. Fuel, maintenance, repairs, even inconvenience add up over time. A new furnace can roughly cost around 30 percent of its lifetime cost. If a cheap installer cuts corners, doesn’t ask questions or makes assumptions, you’ll pay more over time. If a larger system is recommended make sure you know all the reasons.

3. How efficient do you want your furnace?

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency AFUE describes how efficiently the equipment operates, like miles per gallon for a car. The higher the efficiency number, the higher upfront costs are and the lower your utility bills are. The U.S. government’s minimum AFUE rating for a furnace is 80 percent, with a lower upfront cost and a higher cost to operate. About 20 percent of the heat used goes up the chimney. A rating of 96% indicates that for every $1.00 of energy used to operate the furnace only four cents is not fully utilized. In 2012 about 35% of furnaces sold were 90% AFUE or higher

Your efficiency is also based on the gas valve operation. Choices include: one stage, two stage, premium modulating stages gas valve or new condensing furnace for added comfort.

  1. Standard single stage gas valve furnace. Good. This is a common furnace type installed that runs at one constant gas flow when operating to keep you comfortable. The furnace blows a steady stream of warm air (or cool in the summer) until the desired temperature is reached and then the thermostat turns the system off. The results are temperature peaks and valleys.
  2. Two stage gas furnace. Better. This furnace starts out on the low stage, enabling a gradual and pleasant increase in the temperature of your home for better efficiency and predictable indoor temps. And if low-stage heating doesn’t warm your home to the desired temperature quickly enough, the technology shifts the furnace into the high stage automatically to ensure your comfort (about 65 percent of the time). Improve comfort, lower utility bill and filters your air more often too.
  3. Modulating or multi-stage gas furnace. Best. This furnace can constantly adjust to keep you comfortable. A modulating valve is self-adjusting, running at a capacity from 35% to 100% with outstanding levels of comfort, efficiency, and quiet performance. The results are energy savings, tighter temperature control, quieter operation and superior comfort. The Modulating gas valve is a premium furnace system.
  4. High Efficiency Condensing Furnace – Top of the line. This is a furnace that one day soon may be your only choice because of national efficiency standards. The condensing furnace allows you to reuse some of the heat that normally would have been vented out of the home. The condensing furnace with sealed combustion requires modifying the exhaust chimney by installing a new PVC vent and air piping. Although condensing models cost more than non-condensing models, a condensing furnace can save you money in fuel costs over the life of the unit. In some cases the new furnace exhaust flue may require changing the gas water heater exhaust too.

4. Fan speed or blower motor speed for added comfort & efficiency – your choices

  1. ECM Variable speed – Best if indoor comfort is important to you. This blower motor can save 33% or more over single speed. The high efficient electronically commutated motor (ECM) operates very intelligently. The multi-speed blower motor allows it to give you the exact amount of air you need in the winter and summer. By changing the speed of airflow during start-up, your furnace can adjust humidity levels and create more even temperatures throughout your home. The ECM uses significantly less electricity than standard blower motors and reduces operating noise. Variable speed blowers can also remove up to four times more humidity in the summer than a standard blower, increasing your ac efficiency. And if you run the fan only, you get a quiet, low speed fan to filter air and keep an even temperature.
  2. Multi speed blower motor. Better. Quickly, quietly, and efficiently this motor delivers nice levels of warm comfort and reliability. Time-tested durability and designed to deliver quiet performance. This unit allows the installer to set the fan speed but will not change during operation. It provides more or less heat as needed but customized for your home environment.
  3. Constant fixed speed blower motor. Good. Standard motor offers basic on and off control. The blower motor will run at a fixed speed determined by the manufacturer resulting in over or under temperature swings.

5. Other important furnace components.

Ignition system

Today’s furnaces generally use an electronic ignition system to replace the pilot light. The electronic igniter is like a light bulb filament placed in the flow of a gas burner. The ignitor is made of silicon nitrate (usually lasts longer) or a more fragile silicon carbide ignitor (can last 3 to 7 years).

When your thermostat calls for heat, a message is sent to start heating the igniter, really hot, 1800F to 2500F. Then the gas valve opens and ignites the burner. The flame safety sensing system then shuts off the igniter. Each of these steps can stop your unit so getting a strong ignition system makes sense. It’s important to note that keeping your furnace and air filter clean helps extend the life of your ignition system.

Sound

What you hear when your furnace runs is affected by the combustion technology you choose and the fan speeds. Most new units have fully insulated furnace cabinets to begin with so many times your new system will be quieter than your existing system. It’s like buying an economical car or a more luxury ride. The more refined operating system, the quieter it is.

Intelligent controls and thermostats.

Smart technology is leading the way where you can control equipment from your phone, tablet, or computer. And even a voice activated thermostat to raise and lower temperature. Like your furnace it all comes down to how much comfort you want, your efficiency, control, quiet operation, to even room temperatures.

Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is an important part of the furnace. If it cracks or gets a pin hole in it. you have to replace it because it allows deadly gases into your home. Heat exchanger captures heat from the burned gas. High efficiency furnaces usually have two heat exchangers to allow you to use more heat inside your home rather than up the chimney.

Common heat exchanger warranties are 10 to 20 years with the best being a lifetime limited warranty.

6. Furnace warranty and value: Worry-free comfort.

  • Contractors typically offer 5 years to lifetime for the installation work.
  • 5 years is a standard industry parts warranty. Any part is subject to fail, especially when you do not maintain the system. Most warranties require annual maintenance to keep your warranty active.
  • Regardless of the energy efficiency rating, all functional parts of an Amana® Gas Furnace are covered by a 10-Year Parts Limited Warranty*. Several Amana brand Gas Furnace models also feature a Lifetime Heat Exchanger Limited Warranty*. Should the heat exchanger ever fail to the original registered homeowner, a new heat exchanger will be provided at no charge (for as long as they own their home).

* To receive the Lifetime Compressor Limited Warranty, Lifetime Heat Exchanger Limited Warranty, Lifetime Unit Replacement Limited Warranty, and 10-Year Parts Limited Warranty, online registration must be completed within 60 days of installation. Contact PDM for full warranty details.

Call for free advice and added comfort.

Now that you are beginning to understand the choices, call a PDM advisor to inspect your furnace, answer questions and offer you a free estimate for a comforting, peace-of-mind new furnace. You’ll get a polite team who will protect your place, recycle your old equipment and get a new energy efficient furnace running safely and quickly. Contact PDM today.

Air Filter: The Easiest Maintenance Step You Can Take

Changing your air conditioning filters routinely yields two important benefits: it helps keep your air conditioning clean, and it’s good for your indoor air.

In fact, Energy.gov says changing your filters (as often as every 30 days, depending on your filter type) is your most important maintenance task for preserving your system’s efficiency. That’s because clogged, dirty filters block the normal airflow. When airflow is obstructed, air that bypasses the filter could carry dirt straight into the evaporator coil and cause damage. That means the simple step of a filter change can protect your equipment’s life.

It can also save on energy. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy use by 5 to 15 percent. And if that’s not reason enough to take care of this task – if your filter becomes too dirty, it can affect the quality of your indoor air.

Here’s an even better point: changing your air conditioning filter routinely is inexpensive and easy.

Your filter could be located in a return grille or in special slots in the duct system – possibly inside the air conditioner itself. If you aren’t sure, schedule your spring tune-up, and your service technician can show you your filter location and how to change it.

How and when you make the change depends on the type of filter your system uses. While some are reusable, others must be replaced. You’ll want to clean or replace filters more often if your air conditioner is in constant use or if you have furry pets in the home.

Also, don’t forget that your air conditioning system should get a professional tune-up to get ready for the summer season. Some of the tasks on your service technician’s list will be to check your refrigerant levels, your motors and belts and your thermostat accuracy as well as measure airflow through the evaporator coil. Along with improving the performance of your system, technicians are also able to see problems that may be occurring and often make a simple fix before they grow into a larger repair.

If you have any questions or concerns about maintenance on your system, or if it’s time for your regular spring tune-up, just let us know.

Who Should You Trust to Check Your Home Vital Systems?

If you’re like most folks, your home is your most valuable financial asset. The systems that run your home represent a sizeable part of your investment, of course. So you’ll only want reputable, qualified and competent contractors to take care of them for you.

When you need plumbing, heating, cooling repair service done, many of you ask family, friends and neighbors for names of companies, and that’s a great way to check for a sound reputation. You can also take a close look at the testimonials from satisfied customers. Get a sense of how the company presents itself on the Web and in other advertising.

Your trust should grow the more you know. But when there’s something in the back of your mind that says you’re not sure about what you’re hearing, stop and reassess. For example, the Federal Trade Commission says tip-offs to rip-offs from a less-than-reputable contractor could include any of the following: solicits door-to-door; only accepts cash payments; does not list a business number in the local telephone directory; pressures you for an immediate decision; and asks you to pay for the entire job up front.

If you’re tired of people touting services that are too good to be true, you’re not alone.

That’s why for our customers we keep it plain and simple: 24 hour service; 10 year system warranties; hassle-free Maintenance Agreement Plans; “Fixed Right” guarantee; energy savings; on-time service and up-front pricing.

If you want your air conditioning, furnace and plumbing systems to stay reliable all year long, doesn’t it make sense to call a reliable company for your maintenance?

We’d be honored to have you trust your system to us. Let us hear from you.

LOWER YOUR HEATING COSTS & ADD COMFORT WITHOUT A NEW FURNACE

Low indoor humidity levels is why we tend to get sick in the winter and why heating bills can be 20% higher.

At 10 degrees outside your home’s indoor relative humidity can be in the single digits with a furnace. The relative humidity of one of the driest places on earth, Death Valley, CA, is 25%. Your body likes around 35% to stay healthy.

How your body’s immune system works and the power of humidity.

It’s dark and cold when you come in the back door. Red faced, dry, itchy skin, chapped lips. The house even feels chilly at 70 degrees. You naturally feel dry air in the wettest parts of your body first. Your sinuses, throat, eyes and skin dry out making you uncomfortable. Dry nostrils can crack and give you a nosebleed.

Scorched sinuses, itchy skin.

Did you know your sinus cavities are protected by paper thin and fragile mucous membranes? Mucus keeps them pliable. When dry, they crack allowing germs and sickness a direct channel into the bloodstream. That’s a real problem in winter, when cold bacteria and flu viruses linger longer in the dry air after someone coughs or sneezes or touches a doorknob.

Mucus’ job is to wash viruses and other icky invaders found in your nose and sinus into a little opening at the back of your throat, your uvula. That’s where mucus from sinus cavities drains into your stomach allowing acids kill the germs.

How does your body furnace regulate temperature?

Body temperature is controlled by secreting moisture from perspiration, which evaporates, absorbing heat from your skin. The dryer the air, the faster evaporation and quicker your body cools.

When it’s cold you feel chilly and turn up the furnace thermostat, drying the air even more causing your body to evaporate moisture and the cooler you feel.

Your furnace then kicks up clouds of dust, pollen, and other allergens that can inflame your sinuses and airways. (Learn about air cleaner.) For some people with asthma, cold and dry air can lead to a narrowing of breathing passages and trigger an attack.

What’s the lowest-cost way to lower heating bills?

Moist air will help keep your skin, mouth, and nose lubricated, help prevent those nasty static shocks and makes your home warmer allowing you lower heating bills up to 5% for every 1 degree you lower the thermostat. A whole home central humidifier also helps with creaky wooden floors, piano or other wood instruments, leather, furniture, rugs, sinus problems, comfort complaints, even electronics.

Dry winter air reminders.

Seal your home windows, doors, basement, attic. Prevent the cold, dry outside air from paying you an unwelcome visit. Can help lower heating bills 10% according to the EPA.

Hydrate often. Keep your skin and mouth moist by drinking.

Moisturize your skin. Use a good lotion for dry skin and keep your nasal passageways moist by using saltwater (saline) drops.

Air cleaner. Since your furnace is blowing dust and germs around, a whole home air cleaner can help you breathe easier. See air purity video.

Add comfort. Improve your health and indoor comfort by trying a PDM Whole Home Humidifier. We believe in a humidifier so much we want you to try it for 30 days free. If you are not happy we’ll remove it and refund your money. Contact PDM.

IAQ. WHAT ARE YOU LUNGS TELLING YOUR ABOUT YOUR HOME?

Air is to breathing like … well … lungs are to your home.

You might not want to use that comparison on your next science test. Still, it gives us a chance to make a point: when indoor air quality affects a person’s home, the lungs might be the first to know. That’s because there’s a real connection between indoor air quality and respiratory health, including lung diseases like asthma.

Are you concerned that indoor air is causing problems in your home?

The first question you’ll want to address is “when” you (or someone in your family) feel health symptoms that could be caused by poor indoor air quality. Do these health symptoms improve when you leave your home? Do they return when you come back inside? If so, you’re on your way to investigating an indoor air pollution problem.

The American Lung Association offers a checklist of questions to ask as you evaluate your environment, starting with the following potential sources:

  • Is anyone smoking indoors? No one should smoke indoors.
  • Can you see or smell mold or mildew?
  • Is the humidity regularly above 50 percent?
  • Are there leaks or standing water anywhere – kitchen, basement, attic?
  • Are all fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, water heaters, fireplaces) fully vented to the outdoors?
  • Is there an attached garage or basement where cars, lawnmowers or motorcycles are stored?
  • Are household chemicals, paints or solvents stored indoors or in an attached garage or basement?
  • Have you recently remodeled or added new furniture, carpeting or painted?
  • Do you use odor-masking chemicals or “air-freshening” devices?
  • Has kitchen or food garbage been covered and removed?
  • Have you used pesticides recently?
  • Have you tested your home for radon? Although radon doesn’t cause noticeable, physical symptoms, you should test your home for this dangerous substance.
  • If you’d like a more thorough evaluation, we can help. Your home comfort system also has an impact on indoor air – for good or bad, depending on your system’s condition. We’ll look for potential trouble spots in your environment as well as your system and make sure you’re breathing the best you can.

To schedule your indoor air analysis, just call 815-726-6264 or email, and we’ll take care of you.

P.S. Learn when to consider duct cleaning, watch the video “Air Purity In Your Home”

CARBON MONOXIDE FACTS


Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning closely resembles the symptoms of a cold or flu.

AIR FILTERING IN YOUR HOME


Did you know that 65% of illnesses start with something you inhale?

HOW IS YOUR INDOOR AIR QUALITY?

You take 20,000 breathes a day.

Many people spend 90% of their time indoors (50% at home) and take about 20,000 breaths every day. Do you know what you are breathing? Dirty indoor air can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, even fatigue.

Improve your health by breathing less dust, dust mites (40,000 can live in an ounce of dust), pet dander, mold spores, pollen, bacteria and viruses. See air purity video.

There are many types of ventilation and whole home air cleaners. Below are six examples.

1. Standard 1” filter traps 5-15% of airborne particulates and recirculates the rest. Primary purpose is to keep dust and dirt from building up on you HVAC equipment. A dirty air filter can reduce airflow by 60% and cause an expensive breakdown. Change air filter every 1 to 3 months.

2. MERV Media filters can remove up to 97% of pollen, airborne dust and other large particles. Permanently traps indoor allergens that can lead to respiratory problems. MERV filters removal efficiency vary by size and manufacturer. Change filter annually.

,p>3. Enhanced electronic air cleaner works when air particles are charged in the electrical field and then collected on grounded micro-fiber media. Captures over 98% of airborne contaminants down to one micron in size. Kills captured bacteria and spores and permanently traps particles. Energy Savings & Protection—keeps dust and dirt from building up on your heating and cooling equipment for peak efficiency and longer furnace life.

4. UV Germicidal Light commonly used in hospitals, restaurants, government offices. It’s purpose is to kill contaminants like viruses, bacteria, yeast and mold. A good second level air cleaner.

,p>5. Whole home ventilation attic fan is seasonal and can replace all the stale air in your home quickly with fresh outdoor air. You’ll love how quickly your home cools down and feels better.

6. Heat Recovery Ventilator is an efficient way of exchanging the air inside your home with fresh outdoor air all year long. In winter months, the heat of indoor air warms incoming cold fresh air, recovering approximately 77% of the energy. In the summer, warm fresh air passes near outgoing conditioned air, cooling it down. At no time do the stale and fresh air streams mix, instead they pass each other separated by thin walls that allow only the air’s energy to transfer, cutting your heating and cooling bills. Fresh air all year long. Stay safe and comfortable.

If it is time to improve your indoor air, call PDM for free breathing advice and free estimate.

LEARN ABOUT UV LIGHT ANTI-GERMICIAL TREATMENT

Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) cleaners have been used by hospitals, restaurants and nursing homes for years to disinfect and prevent the spread of germs.

The U.S. government now specifies that anti-germicidial UV light be used in air handling units to improve indoor air quality in public buildings by controlling airborne and surface microbial growth.

Anti-germicidal light Air Treatment Systems zaps mold spores and certain live, airborne bacteria passing by the lamp to prevent them from being re-circulated in your ductwork.

It is impossible to rid your home of unhealthy bacteria and viruses. But anti-germicidal UV light helps combat sickness to you and your family. Call PDM’s UV light experts for free help.

Furnace UV light installation in Bolingbrook, Channahon, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Minooka, Naperville, New Lenox, Plainfield, Romeoville, Shorewood, and surrounding areas.

Duct Cleaning: When Should You Consider?

Clean Air and Energy Efficiency: Making the Connection

Saving on energy pays off – especially when you’re talking about keeping your home comfortable. Cooling and heating, after all, accounts for about 56% of the energy used in a typical U.S. home. Therefore, savings in this area can have a significant impact on your household’s monthly budget.

An energy efficient system is your starting point. For example, air conditioning and heating systems that have earned the ENERGY STAR® designation help you reduce high energy bills and improve your comfort while protecting the environment.

An airtight home helps too by keeping conditioned air inside your home – and, in warm months, keeping the hot air out.

But what about when saving on energy comes with a price? Airtight homes seal in the air, yes – but they can also seal in pet dander, toxins from household cleansers, cooking smoke, and on and on. An energy efficient home with poor indoor air quality is not a desirable result.

To improve your indoor air quality, you can control or eliminate the sources of your pollutants, as well as ventilate as weather conditions permit. You can also use an “air cleaning device.” There are different types of air cleaners, including those that remove particles through mechanical air filters or electronic air filters.

Now – to connect the dots between energy efficiency and clean air – your best bet is an energy efficient home comfort system with a built-in air cleaner.

Want to learn more about how to cool your home and save between 14-22% on energy right away – with the added bonus of a built-in air cleaner that filters up to 99% of airborne contaminants? Get a free energy saving review and find out how it works.

 Don’t forget. Big utility rebates and 10% PDM Cash-Back are now available for a limited time for new high efficient A/C and furnace systems.

Learn when you should consider duct cleaning – video. Ask PDM for $100 off our normal whole house air duct cleaning service. Learn what to expect.

Get back to normal, fast. Call PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Since 1885 at 815-207-4111 or 630-378-4488.

Learn How To Avoid AC Breakdowns & Lower Utility Bills

IAQ. Ultraviolet Germicidal Air Treatment System.

Take comfort in knowing you have healthier indoor air.

Germicidal ultraviolet lights control and kill contaminants like viruses, bacteria, yeast and mold. Installed inside your HVAC duct system to help sterilize HVAC equipment and ducts too.

Ultraviolet light can reduce allergy, asthma symptoms, headaches, nasal congestion, sinusitis and more. No ozone emissions. Bulbs need to be changed annually.

Hospitals us them. UV ultraviolet and object purifiers are ideal for offices, lounges, smoking rooms, daycare centers, residential homes, and any location where clean air is desirable.

Contact PDM for honest air advice.

Ventilation – Good Air In, Bad Air Out!

Fresh air all the time.

Ventilating a home by opening doors and windows may not always be feasible due to security reasons or outdoor noise levels, rain, snow or weather conditions.

Mechanical ventilation allows a quiet, energy efficient way to exchange stale, unhealthy indoor air for fresh, outside air throughout your entire home in an energy-efficient way 365 days a year.

What is the main benefit of an Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)?

An ERV constantly supplies fresh air to provide a healthy indoor environment by reducing odors and/or indoor pollutants, such as radon, formaldehyde, tobacco smoke, nitrogen dioxides, carbon monoxide and pesticides.

How does the ventilator work.

Energy Recovery Ventilator is an efficient way of exchanging the air inside your home with fresh outdoor air. In winter months, the heat of indoor air warms incoming cold fresh air, recovering approximately 77% of the energy.

In the summer, warm fresh air passes near outgoing conditioned air, cooling it down. At no time do the stale and fresh air streams mix, instead they pass each other separated by thin walls that allow only the air’s energy to transfer, cutting your heating and cooling bills.

Whole home ventilation attic fan is seasonal less costly option and can replace all the stale air in your home quickly with fresh outdoor air.

Free ventilator estimate.

PDM has a variety of ventilating fans to meet your needs and budget. Call PDM today.

Heating System Failures: How to Avoid 90% Of Problems


Dirt is the #1 Reason for heating system failure

It’s easy to ignore your home comfort and put it on the back burner.

But there’s real cause for concern when it comes to your home comfort system. This is the time of year when the #1 reason for heating system failure should be on every homeowner’s mind.

Dirt. Five year olds love it, plants can’t live without it, and you’re breathing it in every day. Not just breathing it in—you’re paying to inhale the largest cause of your home’s dust and allergy problems.

You’re probably thinking that’s an exaggeration. But the simple truth is that you are paying to run your heating and cooling system, more and more as the weather heats up. And since dirt is the number one cause of system failure—90% of all failures, in fact—chances are good that dirt is keeping your system from running at peak efficiency.

Before you invest in a family set of gas masks or prepare for a nomadic existence in the Sahara (hey, at least then you won’t be paying for the dirt), you might want to give your PDM heating professional a call.

Your system works hard, turning on about 70 times a day. It’s constantly circulating and heating the air that keeps your family comfortable. Like anything else that works, it gets dirty and has to be cleaned.

There are a few questions to ask yourself before having your system cleaned:

  • How long has been since your HVAC system was cleaned?
  • Are there pets in the home?
  • Do any of your family members experience burning in the eyes, nose, or throat while in the home?
  • Is your air dry?
  • Do any family members show sinus problems

System failures caused by dirt, as well as expensive repairs, can be avoided with a little preventative maintenance. Most people don’t realize how much money they can save by making sure their system runs efficiently.

Learning the precautions are part of PDM’s effort to educate and show homeowners that certain neglected maintenance items that can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs or system replacements.

You can have your heating system inspected, plus receive other energy saving tips by calling The PDM Clean Team at 815-207-4111.

Furnace Heat Exchanger Crack Danger

A heat exchanger is combination of one or more chambers furnace-repairor “cells” where the air in your home gets
heated. The heat exchanger is designed as a barrier, it’s job is to contain a 3300 degree fire*, transmit the heat to an occupied living space, and vent the toxic combustion by-products to the outdoors, without harming anyone. (*Approximate temperature of burning natural gas.).

But if your heat exchanger has a crack or hole in it your furnace must be condemned unsafe for operation as it can cause sickness, even death from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Call PDM Heating Since 1885 for a furnace safety check-up. Call 815-207-4111.

What You Can Count On From PDM

Summer De-Humidification

Feeling hotter is one part of summer humidity. Even worse than that is what humidity can do to you, your family, your health and your energy bills too. Watch video.

Air Filter: The Easiest Maintenance Step You Can Take

Changing your air conditioning filters routinely yields two important benefits: it helps keep your air conditioning clean, and it’s good for your indoor air.

In fact, Energy.gov says changing your filters (as often as every 30 days, depending on your filter type) is your most important maintenance task for preserving your system’s efficiency. That’s because clogged, dirty filters block the normal airflow. When airflow is obstructed, air that bypasses the filter could carry dirt straight into the evaporator coil and cause damage. That means the simple step of a filter change can protect your equipment’s life.

It can also save on energy. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy use by 5 to 15 percent. And if that’s not reason enough to take care of this task – if your filter becomes too dirty, it can affect the quality of your indoor air.

Here’s an even better point: changing your air conditioning filter routinely is inexpensive and easy.

Your filter could be located in a return grille or in special slots in the duct system – possibly inside the air conditioner itself. If you aren’t sure, schedule your spring tune-up, and your service technician can show you your filter location and how to change it.

How and when you make the change depends on the type of filter your system uses. While some are reusable, others must be replaced. You’ll want to clean or replace filters more often if your air conditioner is in constant use or if you have furry pets in the home.

Also, don’t forget that your air conditioning system should get a professional tune-up to get ready for the summer season. Some of the tasks on your service technician’s list will be to check your refrigerant levels, your motors and belts and your thermostat accuracy as well as measure airflow through the evaporator coil. Along with improving the performance of your system, technicians are also able to see problems that may be occurring and often make a simple fix before they grow into a larger repair.

If you have any questions or concerns about maintenance on your system, or if it’s time for your regular spring tune-up, just let us know.

How Cleaning Your House Could Be Bad for Your Indoor Air

If the air inside your home is affected by indoor air pollution, one of the possible sources of this dirty air could be a solution you’re using to keep your home clean. Household cleansing products are on the list of usual suspects of those substances that produce indoor irritants.

According to the EPA, common household cleaners release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), when used and stored, and they’re often placed under the kitchen sink. VOCs are emitted as gases and include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects.

The products that emit VOCs number in the thousands and include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers and photographic solutions.

Concentrations of VOCs can be up to ten times higher indoors than outdoors. And not only that, most Americans spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors.

To protect yourself and your family, take care in how you use cleaning products. Store household products that contain chemicals according to manufacturers’ instructions and keep all products away from children. You may wish to consider purchasing cleaners without VOCs.

Typically, indoor air quality problems just create discomfort, and most people will feel better when the source of the pollution is removed. However, it’s wise to remember that some pollutants can have long-term effects and continued exposure can lead to respiratory ailments or other serious issues.

If you’d like to learn more about the quality of your indoor air, let us know.

BASEMENT FLOODING? LEARN WHY.

If your basement is wet, most likely water pressure was building up around your foundation. Water naturally seeks the path of least resistance and enters through cracks in your walls or floors. The result…a wet basement. If it stays wet you may see unhealthy black mold growing. Sump pumps usually are a great solution.

“But I have a sump pump that works except during heavy rains. Plumbers have showed up and recommended a new sump pump or a larger sump pump, but the symptom remains: too much water. What else can cause my basement flooding?”

Over 100 years we’ve seen a lot of flooding problems. Sometimes a back-up sump pump is needed to handle the added volume of water. But excessive flooding could also be caused by two other problems: drain-tiles and water run-off.

Drain-tile, weeping tile or footing drains.

Pipes placed around your home’s foundation, maybe 12″ to 18″ below your basement floor depth.

Drain-tile collects groundwater during rainfall or when your garden beds are irrigated. On older homes, groundwater trickles to the drain-tile entering a clay tile at the joint. Newer homes use plastic perforated PVC drainage tubing or pipe.

Blocked drain-tiles.

From time to time, especially after many years of use, drain-tile can crack or become plugged with debris. Downspouts connected directly to the drain-tile will sometimes carry sediment and rotting leaves which have landed on the roof. Soils can also build up in the drain-tile.

The consequence of non functioning drain-tiles might be water seeping through the porous concrete foundation or leaving a damp mark on the basement floor or foundation wall or more serious flooding. The vast majority of blocked drain-tile repairs calls for the excavation and replacement of the clogged section.

Water run-off: grading problem.

Do you notice your landscape or property grade allows water to flow towards your home rather than away? Heavy rains could be overwhelming your drain-tiles and sump pump capacity which means basement flooding. Your solution can involve building up soil around your home or grading your land to force rain water away from your home. The less water around your home the better.

Let a plumber with a 131 year track record find the right drainage solutions to keep you dry. Call PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.

RO IS THE BEST DRINKING WATER FILTER AVAILABLE.

How’s the quality of your water?

Even if your water is crystal clear, you may have a problem from pollutants like lead and bacteria that can adversely affect the quality of your water.

Do You Buy Bottled Water?

If you do you must trust the quality and like the taste of bottled water over your tap.

You have to admit, bottle water is inconvenient when it comes to buying, storing and moving it from one place to another. Include the added cost and environmental concerns of unfriendly plastic being dumped into landfills and you begin scratching your head wondering if you should invest in a quality water filter for your home.

Reverse osmosis (RO) water filter is used by many water bottling plants and industries needing ultra-refined water.

Reverse osmosis can make your tainted water disappear fast. We offer a quality commercial grade reverse osmosis water filter – the most convenient and thorough filtering method.

How does reverse osmosis work?

Water pressure forces water molecules through a 0.0001 micron semi-permeable spiral wound membrane removing contaminants. An important part of reverse osmosis is that substances left behind are automatically flushed down a drain so contaminants don’t build up in the system like most water filtering devices.

What value do you place on convenience?

Add lower water cost, environmental concerns, and most importantly, quality assurance (some bottled water is filtered for taste only), and a reverse osmosis filter is your answer.

$50 OFF new RO filtering system.

  • You’ll receive unlimited filtered water that’s clean, clear, and fresh tasting right from your fauce
  • Convenient, no more trips to the store
  • Makes better tasting food, coffee and tea.
  • Reduces lime scale build up in kettles and coffeemakers.
  • May improve the color, texture of foods and reduce the amount of scum produced during cooking.
  • Actual cost of home filtered water is only a few cents a gallon. Compared to bottled/delivered water (maybe $0.80 gallon) you could save hundreds of dollars a year and help pay for your initial filter investment.
  • When you look at the cost over the long run, a quality home (or business) filtering system makes sense.
  • A friendly, knowledgeable technician will be by to plan the filter location and piping required. He’ll explain your options and then go to work, all the while protecting your place. When done he’ll explain the system and clean up many time better than when he began.

Begin drinking clean, fresh tasting water from your faucet today. Tell a PDM Water Expert you want to take advantage of our special online $50 discount. Call 815-726-6264.

HOT WATER HEATER MAINTENANCE.

Here are a few maintenance tips to help extend the life of your heater and improve energy efficiency.


Sediment builds up and turns rock solid reducing the amount of water heated and energy efficiency

  • Why drain your water heater?

    As water is heated, minerals are released from the (hard) water and left behind in the water heater tank. The rock-like sediment cause poor energy efficiency, shorter water heater life and less hot water. Learn how to drain your water heater safely.

  • Temperature-pressure relief valve operation is critical for safe operation.

    Test pressure buildup by lifting or depressing its handle and draining water from the overflow pipe once a year. If water doesn’t drain out, shut off water to the heater, open a hot water faucet somewhere in the house, replace valve. A defective pressure relief can cause the water heater to explode. Due to the scalding potential of the hot water, the outlet from the valve should be piped to a safe area. Typically they are piped down into a drain line.

  • Anode rod prevents water tank corrosion.

    This metal rod usually made of magnesium or aluminum. It helps prevent corrosion of the metal tank. Electrolysis eats away the metal anode instead of the metal of the tank. Once the anode is gone the tank itself begins to corrode. To prolong the life of the tank, make sure your anode rod is still there, and replace it when needed. The anode is screwed into the top of the tank and can be replaced. Sometimes the anode is built into a special outlet fitting.

  • Gas burner.

    You may need to clean burner. Dirt causes poor combustion, wastes up to 15% energy.

  • Ensure sufficient flue draft

    upstream to make sure deadly carbon monoxide gases leave the building.

  • Water Temperature.

    It doesn’t take long for hot water to cause serious burns. Be extra cautious with babies, young children and elderly. About 4,000 children are scalded by tap water every year, injuries that can leave permanent scars or cause death.

    120°F – Can scald in over 2 minutes (make sure it’s safe)

    125°F – 90 to 120 seconds

    130°F – up to 30 seconds

    135°F – up to 10 seconds

    140°F – Less than 5 seconds

    145°F – Less than 3 seconds

    150°F+ – About 1 second

  • Dip tube.

    This is a long narrow tube that directs incoming cold water to the bottom of the tank. If a dip tube is broken, it may seem as though you run out very quickly, or you just get a luke warm temperature.


Recirculation Pump

How long do you wait for hot water at your faucet or shower?

Save up to 16,000 gallons of water each year with a demand hot-water recirculating pump. And use less energy than it takes to run a 25-watt light bulb…to say nothing of the tremendous ecological benefit that goes along with it.

A re-circulating pump attaches directly to your heater.

Requires no additional wiring or electrical expense. The pump keeps the water in your pipes moving, resulting in a constant availability of hot water without the wait or the waste! Turn the shower on and get hot water.

Older water heaters cost up to 27% more to operate!

  1. Older efficiency standards as well as more energy is needed to penetrate lime scale buildup.
  2. Minerals take up physical space in the tank meaning you’ll have less hot water.

If your unit is eight years or older and you’re having a problem, for a quarter or so a day a new heater can help pay for itself in energy savings, give you more hot water and peace of mind. We recycle your old heater too.

Call PDM Plumbers for water heater help.

TOILET LEAKING? EPA SAYS 20-40% Of TOILETS LEAK.

A silent toilet leak can waste up to 30 gallons of water a day.

  1. Check for toilet leaks.
  2. Add food color to the toilet tank and wait 30 minutes.
  3. Then check the toilet bowl to see if coloring appears. If so, your toilet leaks.
  4. Flush the toilet promptly to make sure tank is not stained.

Toilet flapper.

  1. If your toilet flush handle frequently sticks in the flush position, letting water run constantly, replace or adjust it.
  2. Toilet flappers last about five years—unless you’re using those white puck-like toilet bowl cleaning tablets. Then you may find that your flapper is leaking in two years or less!
  3. Touch the flapper. If the coloring from your flapper gets on your fingertips, your flapper is deteriorating and needs to be replaced.

A new toilet seat is a nice gift.

The new Grip-tight Kohler Reveal Q3 Toilet Seat features an innovative overhanging lid that completely conceals the seat ring, creating a sleek, clean look that works well with contemporary and transitional bath styles.

If your toilet needs help or you want a new efficient toilet replacement, PDM Plumbing Since 1885can help.

HOT WATER HEATER FAQ


Hard water scale build-up (concrete-like) shortens heater life and gives you less hot water

With 131 years of water heater service PDM has answers to your problem.

Safety tips for leaking water heater.

If the leak is major:

1. Shut off fuel supply (gas or electric)

2. Shut off cold water supply to the water heater

3. Open all hot water faucets in your home

4. Learn how to drain a water heater

5. Call PDM Plumbers for quick help.

Electric water heater no hot water.

Check fuse or breaker, reset or replace if necessary. Another reason for no hot water could be that the thermostat or element may be defective.

Gas water heater.

Make sure gas supply line is turned on. Remove the inner and outer burner access covers and check to see if the pilot light is lit.

Not enough hot water.

Check the thermostat setting, it may be set too low. But be careful, a hotter setting can lead to scalding within seconds. Check the dip tube, if the dip tube has broken or fallen off, incoming cold water will be drawn out through the hot water outlet without being heated. Other possible causes are clogged burners and low gas pressure. If older heater, scale build-up can be a problem.

Slow hot water recovery.

Sediment buildup in bottom of heater, flushing the water heater may help. Other possible causes may be insufficient combustion air caused by insufficient ventilation, a clogged flue (could be dangerous and allow carbon monoxide poisoning), or improper burner operation.

Pilot light is lit.

Turn on a hot water faucet and let the water run. Check to see if burner comes on. If not, run the hot water several more minutes. If the burner still does not come on the problem could be a defective safety system. Check to see if the control valve knob is in the “on” setting and not set to the “pilot” position.

Pilot light won’t stay lit.

Sometimes a draft will blow the pilot light out. Make sure the burner access covers are in place. Other possible causes are dirt in the gas line, or a gas safety device problem.

Pilot light is not lit.

Follow the instructions posted on your water heater and attempt to re-light pilot with care.

Make sure gas valve is open. If the pilot light will not re-light, the problem could be that gas is not reaching the water heater or a clogged pilot line. Call a licensed plumber for help

If the pilot light will light but does not stay lit when the gas valve control is released the problem could be a defective pilot safety switch or perhaps a loose pilot safety switch connection to the gas control valve. Make sure the pilot safety switch connection to the control valve is tight.

Burner flame noisy (whistling).

Problem may be improper gas pressure or dirty burner orifice.

Yellow flame.

Problem could be scale on top of burner, dirty burner orifice, flue way clogged or improper gas pressure.

Burner flame floats.

Problem may be improper gas pressure, wrong orifice or clogged flue.

Discharge from temperature and pressure relief valve.

The relief valve will open when the water temperature is to high or if the pressure gets too high. If the inlet to the water heater is fed directly from the water main with no pressure relief valves or check valves between them then when the water heater heats the water and it expands, the extra volume of water simply flows back toward the water main. If however there is a blockage such as a check valve or pressure reducing valve with a defective bypass then the increase in water volume has no where to go and the pressure with increase dramatically. Placing an expansion tank in the line at the inlet will give the increased volume of water someplace to go and prevent operation of the relief valve.

Another possibility is that the City water pressure has increased above the setting of the relief valve. Again the installation of an expansion tank will solve the problem.

Popping or banging noise.

Scale can build up in the bottom of the tank causing all sorts of noises to occur while the water heater is heating water. Try flushing the tank. Make sure you turn off gas or electric before flushing.

Sooting.

Combustion air inlets or flue-way is restricted or not enough ventilation air supplied to room. Also, may be improper gas pressure or dirty burner orifice. Remove obstruction or debris from heater or flue way and improve ventilation. An obstruction could create carbon monoxide poisoning.

Hot water smells like rotten eggs.

Certain types of bacteria can react with the magnesium anode rod resulting in a rotten egg odor. Clean the tank using chlorine bleach or by changing the anode rod to aluminum usually will solve the problem. If older heater, you’re better off replacing with new efficient unit.

Rusty or black water.

Anode rod may have dissolved or there is excessive sediment build-up. Check anode rod. You may be better off replacing tank with an energy efficient model.

Milky water.

May be as simple as aerated water. Allow a glass of hot water to set for a few minutes. If the water turns clear, the condition is a natural occurrence. If not, call PDM for help.

Leaking water heater tank.

Replace the water heater with energy efficient model. The savings in energy can help pay for the heater. PDM Since 1885 offers same day replacement and a variety or warranties are available.

Call PDM Plumbers for water heater help.

PDM HOT WATER HEATER INSTALLATION

Whatever your budget or need is PDM Water Heater Specialists can help.

We offer gas and electric tank-type units, as well as tankless, copper-tube water heaters, storage tanks and solar water heating systems. Gas water heaters with atmospheric, power vent, direct vent, induced draft and powered direct vent units.


Water heater help usually within 2 hours

Your water heater installation includes:

  1. Quality Ruud professional water heater. A leader in energy efficiency, performance and reliability plus industry-leading warranties. Energy Star models for home and business.
  2. Solid warranty – 1, 6 or 10 year limited parts and labor insurance and 6, 8 or 12 year limited tank warranty.
  3. Safety first. Replacing is one thing, but is your existing water heater installed to current safety codes? PDM plumbers are state licensed and will make sure your water heater is safely installed to code.
  4. Clean your chimney base of all debris and see if the flue pipe from the new heater is pitching up toward the chimney to keep you safe.
  5. Change any parts needed within three feet of your water heater. Some companies quote a cheap price and then add-on charges.
  6. Designed to look great. We don’t use cheap flexible copper water connectors. We solder copper fittings designed for your unique job.
  7. Ensure sufficient draft upstream to make sure deadly carbon monoxide gases leaves your home or business.
  8. Test emergency gas, electric and water shut-off valves. We also test the temperature and pressure relief valve, gas and water leaks, even carbon monoxide for safe operation.
  9. Prevent painful hot water scalding by setting water temperature around 120 degrees.
  10. Clean up the work area, many times better than when we began. Surprisingly that’s not always the case with other companies, they leave you a mess. If we leave a mess you get $75.
  11. Free removal of your old water heater, $25 value.
  12. Recycle your old equipment. Every little bit helps.
  13. You could be liable if an unlicensed, uninsured worker gets hurt on your property. PDM protects you. We’re licensed, bonded, insured.

Fast water heater service, usually within two hours.

Call the Water Heater King for neat, honest service.

Options clients have chosen for safety and comfort.

Tired of waiting for hot water?


Recirculation Pump

With a PDM Comfort Series Instant Hot Water System you’ll enjoy hot water from the moment you turn on the hot water faucet. You’ll also save up to 16,000 gallons of water each year and use less energy than it takes to run a 25-watt light bulb…to say nothing of the tremendous ecological benefit that goes along with it.

A re-circulating pump that attaches directly to your heater.

Requires no additional wiring or electrical expense. The pump keeps the water in your pipes moving, resulting in a constant availability of hot water without the wait or the waste! Turn the shower on and get hot water.

THERMAL EXPANSION TANK and how it can help.


Hot water expansion tank

With a PDM Comfort Series Instant Hot Water System you’ll enjoy hot water from the moment you turn on the hot water faucet. You’ll also save up to 16,000 gallons of water each year and use less energy than it takes to run a 25-watt light bulb…to say nothing of the tremendous ecological benefit that goes along with it.

A re-circulating pump that attaches directly to your heater.

Requires no additional wiring or electrical expense. The pump keeps the water in your pipes moving, resulting in a constant availability of hot water without the wait or the waste! Turn the shower on and get hot water.

THERMAL EXPANSION TANK and how it can help.

WAGS – a water and gas safety valve, can automatically turn off water before becoming a flood and shut off gas feeds before disaster can strike. Great insurance against the unexpected. Add now and save.

WATER ALARM gives you added protection.

Invest in a water alarm and minimize the risk of water damage. Easy convenient alarm can be set near water heaters, washing machine, sinks, sump pit, anywhere you’re concerned about water.

Call PDM Plumbing for trusted help today. 815-207-4111.

DRAIN CLEANING RECIPES.

In the old days dogs and rats were used to clean sewers.

In the early years, before specialized equipment came along to help clean sewers, one unique approach to cleaning a sewer was practiced:

First a rat was caught and put in a cage which was set down in the invert of the sewer at a manhole. Next a rat terrier dog was put into the next downstream manhole; with a tag line tied to it. When the dog sensed the presence of the rat, he would run up through the sewer towards the cage … dragging the tag line with him.

The dog was then lifted to the surface and the tag line used to pull through a rope — which, in turn, was used to insert heavier tools, etc., into the sewer. The Early Years of Sewer Maintenance.

Slow drain? Try a safe homemade drain cleaner recipe. The good news is you don’t need a rat or a dog… 

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into drain and then add 1/2 cup of white vinegar.
  2. Cover lightly for 15-30 minutes. Mixture should foam.
  3. Then flush with water for a minute.
  4. Repeat on tougher clog.
  5. Try this monthly to keep your drains open.

If you’re looking for a top notch drain specialist, call PDM, the oldest drain cleaner around.

FAUCETS DRIPS CAN WASTE 2,086 GALLONS A YEAR.

Fix a leak. You’ll feel better that you did.

  1. A dripping faucet can waste a lot of water over time.
  2. And an old faucet can use up to 5 gallons per minute (fpm).
  3. New high-efficiency faucets can use 1.5 gpm or less.
  4. The average family home, retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, can save up to 30,000 gallons per year.
  5. The average home can waste more than 11,000 gallons of water a year due to household leaks including running toilets, dripping faucets, and other pipe leaks? That’s about 1 trillion gallons a year!

Shower.

Make sure that all water from your shower or bath stays there. Secure shower doors and tightly close curtains. Take signs of mold seriously. Keep your eyes open for cracks and don’t procrastinate. A little time now can save thousands of dollars later. On a preventive maintenance trip, PDM Plumbing, Heating & Cooling can inspect your tub and shower seals for you. Just ask.

Water fact. 

Of all the water on earth about four percent is freshwater. And, of the total freshwater, over 68 percent is locked up in ice and glaciers. Another 30 percent of freshwater is in the ground. Rivers are the source of most of the fresh surface water people use, but they only constitute about one percent of total water.

Whatever your water or faucets needS are PDM Plumbers can help. 815-726-6264.

WATER SAVING FAUCET AERATORS & SHOWER HEAD

Add low-flow faucet aerators.

  1. Bathroom low-flow aerators can deliver 0.5 to 1 gallon per minute (gpm) with the same force of spray, but often in a more pleasing fashion.
  2. Kitchen faucets may require a higher flow rate of 2 to 4 gpm if you regularly wash dishes. If you tend to let the water run when washing dishes, the lower flow rate of 0.5 to 1 gpm may be more appropriate. Some kitchen aerators will allow you to flip between two flow rates without affecting the water temperature.

Install low-flow shower heads.

These can reduce your water waste by as much as 60%. A standard shower head uses 4 to 7 gpm. A low-flow shower head uses 2.5 gpm or less. With a fifty-fifty mix of hot and cold water, the savings in heated water would be about three gallons per minute of showering. So, during a five-minute shower, a low-flow shower head saves about 15 gallons of heated water. Multiply that by a spouse and two teenagers (and longer shower times) and you can easily save 60+ gallons of heated water in just one day of showering. You’ll enjoy a low flow shower head in more than one way.

PDM Plumbers can help with any faucet need.

6 HOMEMADE BATH & KITCHEN CLEANER RECIPES.

Did  you know vinegar is made from grain and diluted with water?

The acid in vinegar makes a great cleaning product. Heinz concocted a Cleaning Vinegar 20 percent stronger than traditional white vinegar for safe and effective cleaning. Make sure you label your homemade cleaner bottle!

Here are six natural household cleaner recipes.

Fixture cleaner – soak a cloth in cleaning vinegar and go to work on your faucets and appliances.

Floor cleaner – mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar and a gallon of warm water. Tough stains? Use undiluted Cleaning Vinegar directly on the stain.

Bathroom film, soap scum cleaner – warm white vinegar and pout it into a spray bottle. Use on your shower, tub, sinks. Let soak for 12 minutes. Scrub with a nylon sponge. Re-spray if needed.

Drains cleaner – pour 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of white vinegar into your drain. Cover lightly for 15 minutes. Mixture should foam. Then flush with cold water. Try this monthly to keep drains open.

Cut Dust and Grease on exhaust fan grills, ceiling fan blades and air-conditioning grills by wiping with Heinz Cleaning Vinegar.

Window cleaner – Use 1/4 cup white vinegar with a quart of water in a spray bottle.

From the queenofclean.com

Sewage Ejector Pump Helps Move Wastewater

Occasionally, a toilet or even a sink needs to be installed below the nearest sewer or septic line, and the waste from the drain must be lifted to the level of the main drain.

A sewage ejector pump or grinder pump solves this problem and is used when wastewater cannot flow to its destination by means of gravity at a velocity of at least 2 feet per second. PDM is an expert in sewage ejector repair, replacement and installation.

Sewage ejector repair and replacement.

  • Quality built sewage ejectors, maintenance free
  • Up to 10 year warranty, built to last 20 to 40 years.
  • Powerful 100 GPM flow rate.
  • Non-clogging pumps for unscreened sewage, waste water, sewage lift stations and industrial waste.
  • PDM sewage ejector pumps can fit existing installations without piping changes.
  • Quik Jon’ from the Zoeller Pump Company is a self-contained system that has everything but the toilet and the final plumbing drain and water hookups. Quiet, leak-proof and odorless.
  • You’ll also have the confidence of knowing it was installed properly by an experienced professional. Whatever you need PDM can help.

New sewage ejector installation.

PDM installed some of the first submersible wastewater pumps in the mid-1950s. We’ve seen and done it all.

Class. There are two classes of submersibles sewage ejector pump, the smaller pump is used in home and light commercial, and larger pumps for large commercial buildings and municipal wastewater systems.

Size. The farther the distance the waste must be lifted, the more powerful the pump must be to do the job. A whole-house system must be larger and more powerful than one that services only one toilet. Residential sewage ejectors normally handle up to 2-inch spherical solids and range from 1/3 to 2 horsepower and are available in two types, non-clogs and grinders.

3 ways to size a sewage pump based on peak flow:

  1. The Fixture unit calculation estimates usage demands of a typical plumbing fixture(s). This method is suitable for residential and small commercial applications.

  2. The Larger Capacity System Chart takes fixture frequency of use into consideration. This method is appropriate for motels, apartment complexes, and large office buildings.

  3. The Population method is used when designing large-scale municipal sewage systems.

Types: non-clog and grinder. Non-clogs pump high volumes and can handle solids from 2 inches thru 4 inches and are used both in residential and municipal lift stations.

Grinder pumps grind solids instead of passing them. They are sized only for residential or small commercial locations, often pumping to a pressure sewer system but also in gravity sewers with high vertical lifts or long horizontal runs.

Ejector pumps can be installed in wet pits or sewage basins and typically sits in a hole cut through the concrete slab floor. By installing the ejector beneath the floor, the fixture need only be raised minimally to accommodate the flange and waste pipe.

Installation. Some cutting of concrete will be involved in basement installation as well as digging down a few feet will add to the cost as well as the difficulty of installation.

Call the oldest and most experienced plumber for proper sizing and installation of a sewage ejector system. Call PDM.

Drains, Catch Basin, Lift Station, Sewer Backflow Valve


Commercial sewage ejector pump

Oh my drain is flowing in the wrong direction. And this time the blockage won’t go away. Ick. Clogged drain and I have to invite a stranger over. HELP. I need someone who I like and can trust.

Since you are here, give the PDM Clean Team a chance. We’ve been keeping drains flowing for over 100 years. Some of our services include:

In-line video sewer inspection. Take the guesswork out of sewer line cleaning and repairing. A PDM drain and sewer video camera lets you see grease buildup, leaks, broken pipe, obstructions and the best solutions.

Clogged drains opened fast with powerful water jetting or power rodding equipment. Roots, grease, you name it PDM’s experience can minimize your downtime.

Broken sewer line fixed right. When you’ve been repairing and installing sewer piping for over 100 years you learn a lot. PDM can help with:

  • Cracked, broken, offset drain pipe. Damaged sewer pipes due to shifting soil, settling or frozen ground, etc.
  • Corroded sewer pipes. Sewer line has deteriorated and collapsed the line.
  • Sewer root problem. Bushes or tree roots have entered the sewer line, preventing normal cleaning or has damaged the line.
  • Leaking sewer line joints. Seals between pipes broke, allowing water to escape.
  • Off-grade drain pipe — existing drain pipes are made of substandard material and have deteriorated.

Sewer grease traps & catch basins help.

PDM can clean, repair and install your grease traps and catch basins quickly. PDM serves the needs of many commercial kitchens. We’ll get things flowing in the right direction fast.

  • Grease trap plumbing tip: Help reduce service calls by not using hot water (over 140 degrees), acids, caustics, solvents, or emulsifying agents when cleaning grease traps (weekly) & interceptors. Scrape the grease trap sides, lid, and the baffles with a putty knife to remove excess grease.

Lift station maintenance.
We’ll keep your equipment in top operating condition. Your pump and impeller are tested, motor amps checked. Clean your floats, inspect check valve, alarm system and make sure your motor electrical connections are tight and parts show no signs of wear.

Commercial rooftop drain problems?
Water backing onto or under your roof membrane and causing unwanted problems? Whether your rooftop drains are stopped up or you need to add more, PDM will get things flowing in the right direction.

  • Roof drain tip.Locate drains no more than 50 feet from roof perimeter. Place drains no more than 100 feet apart. No roof area should have less than two roof drains. Horizontal pipe capacity must be checked. Cast iron roof drain piping is available in 2″, 3″, 4″, and 6″ diameters. Let PDM help avoid future roof drain leaks and inconvenience.

Flooding protection: sewer backflow valve.

In some areas, flooding can cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up into buildings through drain pipes. Sewer backups cause damage that is difficult to repair and create health hazards. A good way to protect your business from sewage backup is to install sewer backflow valves, which are designed to block drain pipes temporarily and prevent flow into the building.

Call a drain company with a proven track record and a reputation people have trusted for 129 years.

Chlorinated Water: What You Need To Know.

The good and bad of bathing and drinking chlorinated water.

Municipalities do their best to provide drinkable water to you. They use chemicals, among them chlorine, to treat the water and kill most disease-causing bacteria and viruses. These chemicals are necessary to get the water to your home faucet, free of many contaminants that would make you sick.

However, scientists have known for years that consumption of chlorinated tap water carries risks including increased rates of bladder cancer, birth defects, and brain cancer. While you can evaporate out most chlorine and chlorination byproducts simply by letting a pitcher of water sit for a couple of days, when you bathe or shower with tap water, you will be exposed to chloroform, a hazardous byproduct of chlorination that can be absorbed through the skin, by breathing, or by ingesting shower water.

PDM’s filtering systems can help!

  • The treatment is much easier than spritzing yourself with Evian water.
  • A top-quality filter can cleanse chlorine contaminants from all the water coming into your house.
  • “Bottled water” throughout your entire home, cost-effectively and conveniently.
  • The filter is connected to the main water line entering your home.
  • It works automatically… nothing for you to do except enjoy the benefits of clean, healthier water at every faucet.
  • If you want the best filtering system, we can include a reverse osmosis filter for drinking and cooking.

 No Risk 30-day Money-Back Guarantee

  1. If you are not sure this is the right solution to your problem, we have a special offer.
  2. Try it for 30 days. Enjoy the benefits of clean, clear filtered water throughout your home. If at the end of the 30- day free trial period, you are not happy for any reason with the ultra- clean filtered water, PDM will remove the system and return the money you paid.
  3. No hassle, no questions asked!

People ask how we can make this unconditional guarantee offer? 

It’s easy. We have been in the business of providing quality water to our clients for over 128 years. We know what works. Contact the PDM Filtering Experts for free advice.

What You Can Count On From PDM

Sump Pump Helps Avoid Flooding.


Industrial grade sump pump

A sump pump can stop periodic basement flooding and even prevent the spread of mold.

PDM can offer you dependable industrial grade sump pumps for your home or business. We specialize in sump pump repair, replacement and new installation for 100 years. We’ve seen and done it all.

If you’re sump pump takes care of basement water most of the time but floods during heavy rains, you may either need a back-up pump or have a problem with drain-tiles. Click to learn about drain-tiles.

Sump pump replacement

  • PDM powerful sump pumps replacement without piping changes.
  • Your sump pump is water and dust tight for long life
  • 100% factory tested underwater.
  • Solid warranty for submersible and vertical sump pump
  • You’ll also have the confidence of knowing it was installed properly by an experienced professional.

New sump pump installation If you’re tired of mopping up after a rain storm, let the oldest plumber help. Water generally seeps into the basement because water pressure was building up around your foundation. Water naturally seeks the path of least resistance and enters through cracks in your walls or floors. The result…a wet basement. If it stays wet you may see unhealthy black mold growing.

We collect water seeping in the walls or under the basement floor through a series of pipes that empty into a sump pit. The sump pit is placed at the lowest point in the basement. A sump pump then expels the water and keeps your basement dry.Installing a new pit and pump will take us most of a day, but you’ll love the results. Call PDM for help.


Sump pump basin

  • Break out a 4′ x 4′ area of your floor with a jackhammer
  • Dig down about 30 inches, install a plastic pit liner
  • Surround with coarse gravel to help move water out.
  • Connect drain line to existing indoor line up to 20’
  • Upper half of the pit liner is perforated to allow water to seep in and collect at the bottom.
  • A float-activated submersible pump at the bottom of the sump pit automatically pumps out the water when it reaches a preset level.
  • To finish the job, we pour a new concrete floor around the sump pit to match the original floor. A clean, neat, professional job. Call PDM today.
  • For backup protection, we recommend a battery operated backup pump. It will switch automatically to battery current when power fails or your main pump fails or requires more pumping power.

100 years experience counts! Call a trusted sump pump expert.

You’ll receive courteous, trained technicians, quality products, pricing before work begins, “100% satisfaction guarantee” and a proven track record. You won’t go wrong, guaranteed. Call PDM pump specialists for free consultation.

The physics of freezing pipes.


When a pipe burst, it will spill several hundred gallons of water per hour!

Burst water pipes are caused by the expansion of freezing ice against the walls of the pipe, right? Wrong. 

In a remarkable series of laboratory and field experiments, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated that the actual cause of damage to freezing water pipes isn’t the force of the expanding ice on the pipe, but rather an extreme rise in water pressure downstream from the blockage.

Water pressure can rise in freezing situations from about 40 pounds psi to over 4,000 pounds psi.

For example, copper pipe is exposed to unusually cold temperatures, and ice begins to form on the pipe’s inside walls. Since water volume expands by about 8 percent as it turns to ice, the ice formation eventually can completely block the water flow.

Water upstream from the blockage is able to flow back to its source, such as the street connection (if you do not have a water backflow device).  But the water downstream is trapped because the faucets are closed.  As the ice continues to form and expand, pressures downstream from the blockage skyrocket.  Because the entire section of pipe experiences the same elevated pressure, the failure can occur at any point, even within the heated space of the building.

Thaw frozen pipe.

  • Keep the faucet open. Running water through the pipe will help melt ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the frozen section of pipe using an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, or wrap pipes with hot towels. Do NOT use open flame device like a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, charcoal stove.
  • If one pipe freezes, others may freeze, too. Check all faucets for low pressure.
  • If you cannot find or access the frozen area or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call PDM Plumbers. We have the tools and experience to get you back to normal fast.

How To Drain Hot Water Heater?

Use extreme caution as a hot water heater can scald you in seconds.

  1. To further conserve energy and for safety, flush the hot water heater after bathing, washing clothes, or cleaning dishes when less hot water is in the tank.
  2. Turn the water heater temperature control to low to prevent the gas burner from lighting. Even better turn off gas, then relight when done. Electric water heater? Make sure you turn off the power before draining. If you don’t you could destroy the heating elements.
  3. Option one: Open the drain at the bottom of heater twice a year, letting the water run into a bucket (usually about 5 gallons). Prevents hard water sediment accumulation. (Good reason to have a water softener that removes hard water minerals).
  4. Option two: connect garden hose to water heater drain and run outside. You could empty into a floor or sink drain but you must know that excessive sediment can clog your drain. Check water quality while draining. Be careful as when you turn off cold water to flush the tank the hose water pressure may move. Secure hose.
  5. Do not drain hot water into a toilet as it may crack or onto your lawn as it will kill the grass.
  6. Kitchen hot water faucet, turn on.
  7. Water heater – turn off cold water supply value (top of heater). Make sure you do not leave gas burner (or electric) on when water valve is closed as it can cause excessive pressure gas pressure to buildup.
  8. Drain heater until little pressure. Turn off kitchen faucet.
  9. Flush tank by turning on-off water heater cold water valve a few times to help clean tank of sediment.
  10. Add water and drain until clean.
  11. Please Note: After many years of experience, sometimes a drain valve that’s never been opened before, especially an old plastic drain valve, will leak when closed. If it does screw on a steel cap with pipe thread to stop water leak.
  12. Tighten heater drain, turn on cold water supply and fill. When water is full turn on gas or electric.
  13. Improve efficiency and water quality with regular flushes

If you don’t feel comfortable with this chore, ask a professional like PDM for help.

Who Should You Trust to Check Your Home Vital Systems?

If you’re like most folks, your home is your most valuable financial asset. The systems that run your home represent a sizeable part of your investment, of course. So you’ll only want reputable, qualified and competent contractors to take care of them for you.

When you need plumbing, heating, cooling repair service done, many of you ask family, friends and neighbors for names of companies, and that’s a great way to check for a sound reputation. You can also take a close look at the testimonials from satisfied customers. Get a sense of how the company presents itself on the Web and in other advertising.

Your trust should grow the more you know. But when there’s something in the back of your mind that says you’re not sure about what you’re hearing, stop and reassess. For example, the Federal Trade Commission says tip-offs to rip-offs from a less-than-reputable contractor could include any of the following: solicits door-to-door; only accepts cash payments; does not list a business number in the local telephone directory; pressures you for an immediate decision; and asks you to pay for the entire job up front.

If you’re tired of people touting services that are too good to be true, you’re not alone.

That’s why for our customers we keep it plain and simple: 24 hour service; 10 year system warranties; hassle-free Maintenance Agreement Plans; “Fixed Right” guarantee; energy savings; on-time service and up-front pricing.

If you want your air conditioning, furnace and plumbing systems to stay reliable all year long, doesn’t it make sense to call a reliable company for your maintenance?

We’d be honored to have you trust your system to us. Let us hear from you.

AIR FILTERING IN YOUR HOME


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Summer De-Humidification

Feeling hotter is one part of summer humidity. Even worse than that is what humidity can do to you, your family, your health and your energy bills too. Watch video.

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