| Plumbing, Sewer, Electric & HVAC Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:41:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What Do I Do if My Furnace Stops Working? | Mon, 26 Sep 2016 20:55:50 +0000 When you come home to a cold house on a chilly Chicago winter day, you face the reality of furnace problems. The furnace can be a costly thing to repair, but sometimes you can do some troubleshooting of your own to deal with the problem. Here’s what you should do if your furnace stops working.

Troubleshooting Your Furnace Problems

If your furnace stops working, start by checking these areas:

  • Switches and breakers. See if you have tripped a circuit breaker or switch on the switch board running to the furnace. The furnace should be marked on the breaker or switch board. If you see any that are tripped, flip them to the “on” position and see if the furnace starts working.
  • Air filter. If you haven’t changed the air filter in a while, it could be blocking air flow through your furnace. Swap it out and see if the problem is resolved.
  • Thermostat. Double check that the thermostat is set properly and functioning properly. Try replacing the battery to see if that fixes the problem.
  • Gas service. Check the gas line flowing into your home. It should be set to “open.” If not, turn it on. If it is on, check the hot water to see if the water heater is running. If the water is cold, then you may have a problem somewhere in the line.
  • Intake and vent covers – Is anything covering the intake or release vents? If so, remove the obstruction. This may allow the air to start flowing again.

More often than not, a malfunctioning furnace will fall into one of these areas, so start here before calling for service.

Know When to Call for Help

If you’ve checked each of these areas and not found a problem, then it’s time to call for help. offers a full list of heating and furnace repair services.

Our team understands the frustration a furnace breakdown can bring. Our friendly comfort specialists work hard to address every service inquiry and schedule appointments in a timely manner. In fact, the furnace repair is not complete until we verify the system is operating to the manufacturer’s original specifications. After the job is finished, our invoice amount will never exceed the final estimate.

Furnace Repair Services in Houston

Our team offers 24/7 emergency repair services, so you can rest assured that no matter the time of day that you call, we can help you in a pinch. Don’t let a furnace issue keep you from enjoying a cozy, comfortable home this winter. Call to speak with our professional HVAC technicians today!

Should I Keep the Furnace Fan on all the Time? | Sat, 10 Sep 2016 20:58:26 +0000 Setting your thermostat properly is an important part of keeping your home’s HVAC system running efficiently, but sometimes it’s difficult to know how to do so. One of the areas where you may be confused is with your home’s furnace fan. Should you have it running only when the furnace is running, or leave it on continuous mode? Here’s how you can decide.

Of course, if you would like an expert opinion up close and personal, call the team at at today!

Benefits of Continuous Fan Operation

When you leave the fan on continuous mode, it will constantly recirculate the air through the house. This helps keep the temperatures in each individual room even. Additionally, this feature is especially beneficial in multi-story homes, where rising hot air can cause the upper floors to be uncomfortably warm. A fan running continuously will pull that hot air back through the HVAC system to keep the temperature even.

Running the fan all the time can also help keep allergens out of the air, pulling air through the air filter along with any air cleaner you have installed. When the fan switches off, those cleaning mechanisms don’t work.

Finally, some believe that running the fan continuously extends the life of the motor on the furnace because it’s not stopping and starting all the time. This has yet to be proven, but makes sense when factoring in the typical working process of a motor.

Potential Drawbacks of Continuous Operation

Continuous operation does have one main drawback: it will cause you to have slightly higher electric bills. After all, it takes electricity to keep that fan running! That said, a newer furnace with a high efficiency motor or a variable speed furnace will not have as much of an impact on your energy bills.

Furnace Services in Chicago, Illinois

If you’re looking for reliable heat pump and furnace services in the Chicago area, look no further than Our expert technicians can ensure your heating unit is repaired on time and within the means of your budget.

Do you have further questions about how you can run your furnace as efficiently as possible? Let the team know by filling out a contact form today!

Why Is My Air Conditioner Tripping the Breaker? | Thu, 25 Aug 2016 06:59:40 +0000 If your home has a tripped breaker every time you turn on the AC, then you need to get to the bottom of the problem. Not only is this frustrating, but it puts your comfort on the line and could even be dangerous. Here’s what you need to know about having an air conditioner that trips the breaker every time you run it.

Of course, if you need help with an air conditioner problem in the Chicago area, give the team at a call today at today!

Understanding the Role of the Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker is a safety mechanism designed to “trip” when too many amps are running through the circuit, so you do not have an electrical fire. If your circuit breaker is tripping, then it means that the air conditioning system is pulling in more amps than the breaker’s rating. If this is happening, resetting the breaker and restarting the AC is not the answer. Instead, you need to find out why it’s happening.

Common Causes for an Air Conditioner to Trip the Circuit Breaker

Your air conditioner can trip the circuit breaker for a number of reasons. Some common problems include:

  • Something impacting airflow, like a dirty air filter or dirty outside unit
  • A short in the motor
  • Problems with the circuit breaker itself
  • Loose electrical connections
  • Damaged wiring
  • Dirty condenser coils

If you inspect your air conditioner system and don’t see an obvious cause, then you need to call a professional.

Air Conditioner Repair in the Chicago Area

Electrical work is not something to leave to those who are not fully trained on how to do it. That’s where can help. For your Houston or Chicago area home, trust for all of your air conditioning needs, including a tripped breaker from your AC unit. Call or fill out a form online to learn more about our extensive services.

Why an Air Conditioner Inspection Is Important | Tue, 26 Jul 2016 20:01:37 +0000 When was the last time you had your air conditioner inspected? Has it been months? Years? If you haven’t had an inspection or maintenance appointment for your air conditioner this summer, you may have some problems waiting around the corner. is here to help you with all of your air conditioning needs, and that starts with proper maintenance and inspections. Learn more by giving us a call at .

The Importance of Air Conditioning Inspections

Every summer, your air conditioner works hard to keep your home cool. With the high temperatures and humidity common to Chicago area summers, this is not an easy task. Over time, the wear and tear of everyday work can cause problems for your unit. Without proper maintenance, components begin to break down, and this can not only hurt the overall function of the system, but also its efficiency.

When you schedule an air conditioning inspection with, our trained, professional technicians will perform a thorough inspection of your system. During this inspection, we will look for everything from problems with the circuit and computers to problems with the moving parts. We will inspect for components that are nearing the end of their lifespans, so we can recommend repair before the system breaks down completely.

With an inspection from a qualified air conditioning technician, you can ensure that your system is going to function well for many years to come. You can also improve the efficiency of your air conditioner, which can lower energy bills throughout the summer. Sometimes, inspections will find problems that could cause complete system breakdown if left unattended. Having your system inspected and acting on the recommendations form the inspection could extend the life of your system.

Want to Save Money on Air Conditioning Inspections? Try the Crystal Club!

At, we know that it’s easy to forget about your maintenance needs. That’s why we created the Crystal Club. The Crystal Club is our maintenance service program that gives you free maintenance automatically performed at the start of the heating and cooling seasons. As a Crystal Club member, you will never have to worry about remembering to make your maintenance appointment, so you can save time and money! Contact us to learn more about becoming a member.

Trust for Your Air Conditioning Inspection Needs

It’s not too late to schedule your air conditioning inspection for this year. Even now, we can discover problems that could help improve the efficiency or lifespan of your system. Whether you are ready to join the Crystal Club or simply want to schedule your maintenance inspection, give a call today at . We proudly serve customers and businesses in Houston and the rest of the Chicago suburbs.

What Type of Air Conditioner Is Best for My Home? | Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:41:26 +0000 If your Chicago area home is getting hot and you don’t have an air conditioner, then it may be time to consider investing one. At, our goal is to help you find exactly the unit you need to enjoy a cool, comfortable home. Here are some common types of air conditioners you might consider and some information on what they can do.

Window Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners fit into your window, providing cooling into the room in which they are installed. They are simple to install and have all of the important parts in the telltale box. However, because they are not connected to the ductwork, they will not cool the home evenly. You may need to use fans to move the cooled air through your home, and you will need more than one if you have multiple hot spots in your home. Still, this is a cost-effective, instant, and easy-to-install option if you are in a pinch.

Portable Air Conditioners

If you want to be able to cool areas of your home where a window unit won’t work, or if you want to move your cooling unit around the home, a portable air conditioner might be the right fit. These units have hoses that you run to a window to carry air in and out as the system cools the air. Like a window unit, these have all of the parts inside one box.

These units are far more expensive than window units. Like window units, they do not require a connection with the ductwork to function. In general, this type is seen as a last resort, because they are less efficient than window units.

Ductless/Split Air Conditioners

If you are ready for something a bit more permanent, but don’t have the ability to tap into ductwork, a ductless or split unit is a great option. This type of unit has an indoor component mounted on the wall and an outdoor component that sits outside the home. These units will require you to run wires or hoses through the walls, but they can be installed by many homeowners with moderate DIY skills.

These units have excellent cooling power and provide the closest to central air as possible. However, like window units, they are only functional in the room they are installed, so you may need to use fans to move air through the home.

Central Air Conditioner Installation

The best and most effective way to cool your home is through a central air conditioner. Central air requires ductwork to work properly, and if you don’t already have ductwork from your furnace, this can be an invasive addition. That said, a central air conditioner is the only option that will evenly cool all of your home.

Also, central air conditioners will provide cooling much longer than some of these other types. They are designed to be long-term cooling solutions. This is an excellent investment in your home, as central air conditioners will provide increased value for your property while improving the comfort of your family.

Air Conditioner Installation in Chicago, IL

If you are interested in installing a new central air conditioner or a ductless system, you need professional help to ensure the right fit and the right installation. Contact the team at Pluming & Mechanical for help, and ensure that the air conditioner you choose will properly cool your home. Call to learn more!

Is Drain Cleaner Bad for Your Drains? | Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:38:35 +0000 You wake up in the morning and head into the bathroom. The first thing you grab is your toothbrush. You turn on the water. In your bleary-eyed state you realize that the water isn’t draining from your sink. Before you reach for the bottle of drain cleaner, make sure you understand what you are doing to your pipes.

Do you live in the Chicago area and need help today? Call to speak with the experts at

The Dangers of Chemical Drain Cleaners

Chemical drain cleaners may clear away the clog, but at what cost? If you have to turn to the bottle of drain cleaner on a regular basis, you may actually be weakening and damaging your pipes.

Why? Drain cleaners use a caustic chemical to dissolve the clog. This works well, but the problem is that the chemical reaction taking place inside your drains can actually create heat. Heat softens PVC pipe, and can also lead to corrosion of older metal pipes.

This is bad enough, but sometimes drain cleaners don’t work. When the chemicals sit in your drain, you have a serious problem. These chemicals are highly likely to hurt the pipes as they sit, unmoving, in the pipe. Now, if you pour more drain cleaner down the pipe, you are increasing the risk even further. In addition, should the pipe burst, you can actually get burnt by the chemicals that have been sitting in your drains.

As you can see, drain cleaners are not the best way to clear out clogs. So what can you do? You can always call for help! In the meantime, there are some safe ways to clear drains on your own.

How to Clear Drains Safely

Before you grab the caustic drain cleaning chemicals, consider a biological drain cleaner. These cleaners use enzymes and bacteria to eat the waste that is sitting in your drain. While it won’t work as quickly as your bottle of chemicals, it’s not going to cause damage to your pipes.

You can also try snakes to unclog clogged drains. Of course, sometimes a snake won’t work, but it’s an affordable option and worth trying as you try to fix the drain on your own.

Drain Cleaning Services in Chicago, IL

If these methods don’t work, or if you have a drain that needs to be fixed right now for you to function, then it’s time to call a professional. The team at will help you safely and quickly clear out your drains, putting your kitchen or bath back in good working order. Contact today for help!

What Is a Backflow Inspection? | Mon, 13 Jun 2016 17:33:05 +0000 Have you ever given any thought to backflow and its impact on your family’s health? Most homeowners have little idea of what backflow is, and few have given any thought of it. In Chicago, we have an excellent water system that keeps our drinking water fairly clean, but mistakes and problems can happen. Even just the exposure to the elements that is unavoidable in Chicago’s climate can lead to damage on the water lines. Backflow, one of those potential problems, can pose a serious danger to your health, which is why you need to know what it is and how to prevent problems.

What Is Backflow?

Backflow occurs when unclean (non-potable) water flows the wrong direction in the plumbing system and enters your drinking water. Backflow can come from just about anywhere, including the sewer, your pool, and even your home’s sprinkler system. If you have a boiler heating your home, this can also be a source of backflow.

Stop and think, for a moment, about what this means. If you have a backflow problem, you could realistically be drinking water that was just sewage or the intense chlorine from the pool. As you can imagine, this is not a sanitary situation. In fact, at, we consider this a plumbing emergency.

How Backflow Occurs

Now, in a normally functioning plumbing system, backflow should not happen. However, sometimes the pressure downstream in the system becomes higher than the pressure upstream. This pushes the dirtied water back into the clean water. This situation is known as backpressure backflow.

Backflow can also occur when a problem somewhere down the line occurs, like a broken water main or water that is redirected to fight a fire near you. This can create a vacuum in the system that causes unsafe water to be sucked into the clean water lines.

Protect Your Family with Backflow Inspections

If backflow is happening, you may not have any way of knowing it. Backflow inspections inspect your water lines for this serious problem. offers annual inspection and maintenance of your plumbing system, including backflow inspections.

During a backflow inspection, our team will inspect the assembly that connects your home to the public water supply. This assembly has valves that can become damaged, especially due to exposure to the weather, allowing backflow to happen. Our through inspection will determine if there is any problem, so you can take measures to ensure the water you are drinking is clean.

Because of the serious risk of backflow, we believe that backflow inspections should occur every year. Don’t wait for the city to notify you that your home is due for inspection. Schedule your inspection from a licensed backflow inspection provider, like the team at, today.

Call to learn more about our services!

Five Signs Your Air Conditioner Needs to be Replaced | Mon, 13 Jun 2016 17:29:26 +0000 When you turn on your air conditioner this summer, and something doesn’t quite seem right, how can you tell if the system needs to be repaired or replaced? While a qualified HVAC professional is really the only one who can make that determination, there are signs you can spot that may indicate replacement is warranted. Here are five signs that your AC in your Chicago home or business might need to be replaced.

1. Blowing Warm Air

An air conditioner is supposed to blow cold air, so this is the most obvious sign that something is wrong. While it could be something simple, like the need to recharge the refrigerant, it can also mean that the compressor has failed. Have a professional HVAC technician come and inspect the system if you have this problem.

2. Poor Air Flow

If the air is coming out cold, but weak, then the system has a serious problem. This could indicate problems with everything from the ductwork to the compressor. Again, you will need a professional inspection to determine the source of the problem, but it could mean replacement is in order.

3. Unwanted Moisture Around the Unit

If your system starts to leak, you need to address the problem quickly. Leaks typically happen for one of two reasons. Water pooling next to the air conditioner can be a problem with the drain tube, which means the air conditioner’s condensation cannot flow out of the system as it should. However, liquid could also be a refrigerant leak, which is a health risk. Again, get a professional to help.

4. Ever-Increasing Energy Bills

Your air conditioner may be working fine, but if you notice your energy bills creeping up in the summer and the system is 10 or more years old, it may be time to replace it with an ENERGY STAR labeled model. These can save up to 20 percent on your heating and cooling costs, which can lower those energy bills significantly.

5. Humidity Problems in your Home

Your air conditioner does more than just cool your home. It also removes humidity so your family can feel more comfortable at a warmer temperature. Humidity removal also helps to protect your home from moisture damage. If you are starting to notice condensation on your windows, mold growth problems, or any other signs of too much moisture in the air, your air conditioner may not be doing its job as well as it should.

HVAC Services in Chicago, Illinois

If you are noticing any of these problems, don’t delay. Contact a qualified HVAC professional right away to have your system inspected. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start planning for repair or replacement. In the Chicago metro area, is here to help. We serve commercial and residential customers throughout Houston and can help you assess the problem and determine if replacement is in order. Contact us today!

When to Install a New AC Unit | Tue, 26 Apr 2016 13:19:05 +0000 No one wants to spend the money on a new air conditioner, but sometimes that’s the only option available to you. Recognizing the signs that your air conditioner is no longer going to do the job will help you make the right choices for your home or business.

Here are some of the signs that it’s time to start thinking about air conditioner replacement.

1. Frequent Costly Repairs

Modern HVAC technology means most problems can, in theory, be repaired. But sometimes the cost of ongoing, frequent repairs limits your ability to enjoy the system. If you are facing a “nickel and dime” problem with your air conditioner repairs, then it’s time to consider replacement.

2. Your Energy Bills Are Going Up

Are your energy bills higher this year than they were last summer? High energy bills can be an indication that it’s time to replace your air conditioner. As cooling equipment ages, it becomes less efficient. Also, if your system is 10 or more years old, replacing it with one that bears the Energy Star® qualified logo will help you save as much as 20 percent on your cooling costs, because modern units run so much more efficiently.

3. Humidity Problems in Your Home

If your home is too humid in the summer, which can be seen when water condenses on the windows of your home, it’s time to look at replacing your air conditioner. The air conditioner should remove humidity from the air. If it is not doing this job well, you may need a new one.

4. Refrigerant Is Leaking

Refrigerant is a serious environmental risk, and if the system is leaking it may need to be replaced. While your air conditioning repair technician can top off the levels to buy you some time, leaks will get worse, and you need to start looking for replacement options.

5. The Compressor Fails

The compressor can be replaced, but in an older system it’s not a worthwhile expense. The overall life of the unit is going to bring down the benefit of saving money by installing a new compressor. You will be better served to simply buy an entirely new unit, save the money on energy costs and avoid the frustration of investing in a new compressor, only to have the system fail in just a few years.

Air Conditioner Replacements in Houston, TX

If you are noticing signs that your system is in need of replacement, is here to help. Serving Chicagoland and the suburbs, is your source for comprehensive air conditioning repair needs. Contact today for a quote on a new air conditioner for your home or business.

Your 3 Most Expensive Energy Habits | Mon, 14 Dec 2015 17:14:17 +0000 plugged appliances

We all have bad habits, but some of them are costlier than others. Habits like leaving your phone plugged in or leaving the heater on all day will quickly make your energy bill go through the roof; take action to combat these habits and conserve your Houston home’s energy.

Not Adjusting the Thermostat

If you leave the thermostat at the same setting all day and all night, you’re probably wasting a lot of energy. After all, your heating and cooling can account for up to half of your home’s total energy usage. You don’t want to waste the energy heating the house all day while you’re at work.

Have a smart thermostat installed so you can program a heating and cooling schedule. That way, the thermostat will adjust itself when you’re not home and you can forget about it.

Leaving Things Plugged In

Do you leave your desktop computer, printer or cable box plugged in all the time? What about charging your cell phone while you’re sleeping? These devices sap energy while they’re plugged in, and while it may be a negligible amount on a daily basis, those small amounts add up very quickly. Get a power strip with an on/off switch and turn it off whenever you don’t need those devices.

Letting Your HVAC System Go Without Maintenance

Dirty air filters, an old furnace, and holes in your ductwork all cause your HVAC system to lose efficiency. The only way to get that efficiency back is to have a professional check your HVAC system at least once a year (twice is better!). Considering how much of a role your HVAC system plays in your home’s overall efficiency, it only makes sense to get it running the way it should.

Don’t allow your habits to cost you more money than you should be paying on energy. Let the pros at assess your HVAC system’s energy-efficiency or install a smart thermostat for you. Call today.

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