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F.H. Furr's Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical Insider Blog

6 Tricks to Avoid Winter Risks in 2015!

Low temperatures make for increased risk of heating problems

You’ve heard it said, “The best offense is a good defense!” The same is true for your home comfort needs. In order to withstand heating troubles during the cold winter months, make sure you have regular maintenance performed on your home’s heating systems. Take back your comfort, reduce heating costs, and prevent the need for future repairs and replacements! Take our advice in avoiding winter risks!
In addition to regular maintenance, recognize the value of periodic inspections on all heating equipment. F.H. Furr’s comfort consultants can identify existing problems as well as potential issues, not to mention those hot and cold spots in the home where you can take simple, no-cost action to protect against the cold! Here are some simple tricks that can help you avoid heating disasters!

1. Set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit and your water heater to a standard setting of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. You may be able to save an estimated 5% on your utility bill for each degree you drop within the 60-70 degree range on our thermostat, and there is a potential to save 7-11percent on your hot water heating bill!

Topics: maintenance hvac service Heating Service insulation

4 Tips To Prevent Holiday Toilet Clogs!

Take a look at this helpful infographic in order to avoid those nasty toilet backups while you've got guests in your home! It's the holidays! The last think you need is a toilet clog! We're got a few simple suggestions that could make all the difference in your home this season!

Topics: plumbing infographic

5 Essential Tips to Find An Honest Plumber

Most people put a lot of work into finding a new dentist or hair stylist. They’ll ask friends, neighbors and coworkers, or even the checkout girl at the grocery store. They’ll obsessively read online reviews and maybe even do an office visit. But how much energy does anyone put into finding a plumber in Northern, Va. You already know the best way to find a reliable plumber is by word-of-mouth. But if you’re new to the area or prefer to scour the internet, heed these five crucial tips to ensure your plumber is a good, honest fit.

Topics: plumbing

5 Winter Plumbing Issues And How To Avoid Them

Winter is in full swing, and Jack Frost is blowing that icy chill our way! Not only can winter be uncomfortably cold, but it’s often stressful as well. Most people want their homes to be warm, inviting and stress free during the winter months. Unfortunately, one of the most common issues for homeowners this time of year is their plumbing. Here are 5 of the biggest winter plumbing issues, along with some tips on how to prevent them....because come on, there’s nothing warm or cozy about a clogged toilet!

Topics: plumbing maintenance

5 Ways to Stay Healthy in Fluctuating Temperatures

We've had some crazy weather this winter. 60 degrees to snow, followed by rain and cold! Old mother nature just can't seem to decide what the plan is! Well, we have a feeling it'll be cold from here on out, still, fluctuating weather temperatures often lead to the common winter cold. Despite how common they may be, they are miserable! We've got 5 tips for you to fight back this winter and stay healthy! According to WGNO's Dr. Rachel Reitan, "Cold weather does predispose you to getting sick". It's also a common known fact that drastic weather changes can add stress to your body, including causing asthma and allergies to flare up...who knew? Keep that annual cold away! We'll show you how!

Topics: Air Quality hvac service Heating Service insulation

Our Biggest Sale of the Season!

We've all been there; your house is freezing and despite how high you crank the heat, it just won't give out the warmth that you know a functional system would. So you pile on the ugly christmas sweaters in hopes to stay warm through the cold season! But that shouldn't be your go-to plan. You've known for a while that you need a heating system replacement, but the cost has been keeping you from taking the plunge. If only Santa could get a hold of YOUR christmas list!

The good news is that if you’ve been in need of a new heating and cooling system all year long, the wait is over…AND you don’t have to rely on Santa to bring it!

Topics: Holiday Sale hvac service Heating Service

10 Tips to Conserve Energy On Your Heating

10 Tips to Save Energy on Your Heating

Winter is one of the harshest times of the year, not only because of the cold weather, but because of the stress on your wallet! Everyone has their heat pumping overtime, so wouldn’t it be great to find some way to stay warm without breaking the bank? Here are 10 easy tips to save energy and money on your heating this season with these energy saving tips.

Topics: energy audits home tips Heating Service

Ask Furr: Is It Worth It To Winterize My Home?

Question submitted by: Stephanie L. Herndon, VA

Topics: Emergency Service plumbing hvac service Winter Home Preparation Heating Service insulation

Is Your Water Pressure Off Balance?

We’ve all had it happen—waking up at the crack of dawn for work, nearly falling asleep during your morning shower, when all of a sudden, a toilet flushes in another bathroom and you suddenly find yourself dodging liquid bullets of icy water in a tile chamber of torture! You gasp for air, clutching the shower curtain in your fist as you proceed to slip on the porcelain flooring of your tub! You plunge down, ripping the curtain off ring by ring by ring…

Topics: plumbing Hot Water Heater

Halloween Weather Watch! Snow In The Forecast? Be Prepared For Cold!

Perhaps you've heard rumors of snow in our forecast for the weekend of Halloween! There's a good chance that you're correct. Snow has been predicted for this upcoming Friday in several areas of Virginia and cold weather could be coming in full force on the heels of record warmth earlier this week. According to weather reports, with the expected intensity of this upper-air disturbance and magnitude/depth of cold air plunging south, some of us could experience an accumulation of snow this weekend!

Topics: snow weather hvac service Heating Service

Ask Furr: My Water Smells Strange! What Could It Be?

Question Submitted by Cathy F., Manassas, VA

Topics: Emergency Service rotten smell plumbing hvac service sulfate

Water Heaters - A Brief History

With today's technological advances, we often take simple daily luxuries for granted. Case in point, the hot water that flows readily from our home faucets. So adept to the availability of heated water, do we ever stop to think how it got there? Before the modern water heater, to get heated water, people would have to rely on boiling water on a stove or fire or naturally heated water such as mineral hot springs. A warm bath was truly a luxury as it was both labor intensive and time consuming to provide heated water.

Topics: plumbing Hot Water Heater

Winter Is Coming! Brace Yourself with A 28- Point Heating Inspection!

The cool fall weather is here! As homeowners embark on autumn adventures like pumpkin picking excursions, pumpkin spice lattes and fall sightseeing, we want to remind you that fall is the predecessor to winter! Yeah we know....huge downer, but we're here to give you a gentle reminder that fall only lasts for a brief time, and during that break from severe weather, you need to be preparing your home's heating system for the yearly battle against the cold! Being caught off-guard is NOT an option!

Topics: Winter Is Coming furnace hvac service Heating Service

Ask F.H. Furr: How Do I Prep My Water Heater For The Cold Weather?

Question submitted by Jane W. Sterling, VA.

Topics: plumbing hvac service

5 Signs Your Garbage Disposal is On the Fritz

Here at F.H. Furr we have a high opinion of the good people of the metro D.C. area, so we’re going to assume you know that if you put chicken bones down your garbage disposer, it’s not going to work – at least, not for long. If you’ve been following our plumbing advice, your garbage disposer should be working just fine.

Topics: rattling Disposal working garbage disposal

Labor Day Weekend: HVAC Checklist

Labor Day Weekend! It's finally here. Besides the beach traffic that is sure to plague you during this holiday, you've got a vacation to look forward to! A break is needed, even if it's only a long weekend! So what are your plans? Heading out of town? Many homeowners are abandoning their routine in favor of an out of town weekend! Before you leave your house, we've got a checklist of what you'll need to do to prepare your HVAC for your absence! Protecting your home, especially when you're away, is imperative! Take a gander at our labor day weekend HVAC checklist!

Topics: labor day weekend maintenance hvac service A/C Service

Drowning In Utility Bills? What You Should Know About Leak Detection!

Each month, homeowners receive bills in the mail, and although these aren’t necessarily items they look forward to, they’ve become used to opening the envelopes and going over the charges. Most of the time, they aren’t surprised by what they see, yet, have you ever ripped open that water bill only to find that it’s soared since last month? Or maybe it’s gradually gotten higher and you barely noticed. Either way, your bill can creep up on you. So what’s the cause of this sudden inflation? More often then not, the rise is due to water leaks!

Topics: plumbing water damage

3 "No Brainer" Plumbing Tips Every Homeowner Should Know!

Most homeowners aren't plumbers. This is a fact. No one ever said you had to be, that's what plumbers are for! So why should you ever have to know anything about plumbing? The answer is simple: to avoid everyday blunders that could create an issue when you might desperately NEED a plumber's assistance. Although we are always ready, we know that you'd rather call for a leaky sink, than a flooded basement!

Topics: Emergency Service plumbing

Record Cool? Don't Let The Weather Leave You Unprepared!

Well, here we are, enjoying the first days of August, one of the hottest months of the summer. The question is, will it be a cool August? Normally, this isn't a logical query, but this year after our record breaking cool July, it's very valid! Although those 70 something days in the midst of summer have been delightful, we have a warning for you; don't get too comfortable! With some mild weather behind us, homeowners will be tempted to believe that the worst of the heat is over, opening their windows and neglecting that A/C that hasn't been pumping too well. If you're avoiding getting your A/C serviced because of the "cool weather we've been having", think again, because the heat will be back in full force!

Topics: hvac service Heating Service A/C Service

Did You Know HVAC Maintenance Series: HVAC Duct Sealing

With August only a few weeks away, gear up for the last hot month of the summer! We're back with our HVAC Maintenance series and we've got more tips for you for savings and efficiency!

Topics: Air Quality Ductwork energy audits Did You Know hvac service

5 Signs of a Sewer Line Problem!

Your home may be suffering from sewer issues! Take a look at these helpful tips to find out whether you've got leaks, burst pipes or backups beneath your home! These issues can be disastrous if left unattended! Be sure to have on of F.H. Furr's trained technicians take a look at your home's sewer lines to see if a repair or replacement is needed! Take a look at this informative infographic to see the 5 important signs of a sewer line problem! Do you have any of these issues at your house?

Topics: plumbing

Leak Detection Infographic!

Water leaks have your utility bill on the rise? You could be wasting thousands of gallons of water each month if you allow them to continue! Have the professionals perform a leak detection on your home and find out how much you could be saving every month!

Topics: F.H. Furr - Infographic plumbing

Rescue Your Home From Water Leaks!

What would you do if you discovered that you were wasting hundreds of dollars every single year without even knowing it? What if you found out that your money was simply going down the drain…. literally! Most Northern Virginia homeowners don't realize that water leaks can happen all year long, and there’s a good chance that they could be happening in your home right now! So what are water leaks, and how can you prevent them?

Topics: Emergency Service plumbing Northern Virginia

"Did You Know" HVAC Maintenance Series: High Efficiency Switch!

Here we are in the middle of July, which means that summer is half over! With so much to do, and seemingly so little time, we hope you're taking advantage of these beautiful summer days! Of course, we all know that those come with the price of some pretty serious heat and you've probably been pumping your A/C all summer so...we've got more tips for your HVAC savings!

Topics: High Efficiency Boiler energy audits High Efficiency go green hvac service A/C Service

Noisy A/C? Discover the Cause Today!

Noisy air conditioning unit driving you nuts? Constant droning that keeps you from focusing on anything? Maybe you're working from home (yeah right, no one can work with that noisy crate in the background), or maybe you're just trying to get ahead on your studying for night school before dinner has to get made. There are a million reasons you want peace and quiet in your home. There also a good amount of reasons that your A/C unit might be throwing a noise tantrum! Take a look at these common sounds and their possible causes! Get rid of that noisy A/C for good!

Topics: Cooling and Heating plumbing hvac service A/C Service

Take The Plunge With A Higher Efficiency Toilet!

More often than not, you don’t put much thought into your toilet, because come on...it’s a TOILET! But what most people don’t realize is that toilets actually account for about 26% of water use in single family homes. Without your knowledge, it’s more than likely that you’re flushing money down the toilet....literally! By switching over to a high efficiency toilet, you could save money by reducing the amount of water that you use each month.

Topics: Flood Damage High Efficiency Toilet energy audits plumbing Efficiency

What Do You Do If You HAVE A Plumbing Leak?

Ask F.H. Furr: What to Do if You Suspect Your Plumbing Has Developed a Leak...and how do I go about detecting it? Asked SAM G. of Bethesda, MD.

Topics: hvac service

Don't Let Unexpected Flooding Take You By Surprise

You've seen it. You've heard about it. But will it happen to you?

Topics: Flood Damage plumbing water damage Water Alarm

Happy 4th of July! Celebrate Independence Day With These Fun Facts!

Celebrate Independence Day, with these fun 4th facts (with some Furr Facts thrown in for good measure)! We hope that you have a wonderful and happy 4th of July! We are thankful for our independence and the freedom that we enjoy in this great country!

Topics: Independence Day plumbing hvac service Freedom

5 Tips To Survive The Heat Wave!

June is nearly over, and the hottest months of the summer are right behind it! Northern Virginia is kicking it off with a heat wave from Tuesday-Thursday. Be prepared for 95 degree weather! For those of us who anticipate the heat, this is great news, but for many, weather above 75 can be severely uncomfortable, as well as dangerous! Here are 5 tips for staying on top of the heat wave this summer!

Topics: maintenance hvac service Heating Service A/C Service

"Did You Know" HVAC Maintenance Series: Air Filter Replacement

We hope you've had a relaxing weekend and are getting a great start on your Monday routine. With the beginning of July right around the corner, we know you've been pumping your home's air conditioning to combat this summer heat! Not only is July a month characterized by its heat, it's also a patriotic month! The 4th of July is a time to celebrate freedom, and we all know that family will gather together to enjoy this holiday...possibly at your home. If this is the case, you'll want to be sure your A/C is pumping full force! If you anticipate a house full of guests on the 4th, or for seasonal bar-b-q's in general, then get ready to maintain that HVAC like we've discussed in our HVAC Maintenance Series. If you've already gotten our inspection, then you've noticed the savings on your monthly bill!

Topics: Air Quality service Did You Know hvac service A/C Service

A/C Stealing Your Vacation? The Importance of HVAC Maintenance

This Spring, make sure that your air conditioning is cooling your home the way it should: with efficiency! Don't use vacation money on fixing or replacing an air conditioner; maintain and protect, with F.H. Furr's Home Comfort Inspection! Invest in your HVAC Maintenance!

Topics: Air Quality Vacation Theft hvac service A/C Service

Programmable Thermostat Equals Savings!

Saving money. This is an act that we hate and love at the same time. Got some clothing on sale? You saved a buck, and you’re proud of it! Turned down that beach vacation with the extended family because you’re “watching your pennies”…that’s an act of saving that doesn’t feel quite so good.

Topics: programmable thermostat hvac service Heating Service

Insulation Issues? 3 Realities of Attic Insulation

What’s fluffy, pink, white or yellow and hides in your attic, unnoticed? Why, it’s your insulation of course! You may be wondering, “Who cares?” but the thing is, the insulation in your attic is a large part of what keeps you comfortable all year long. So the answer is, “You”. Many homeowners don't realize that insulation is not just important for keeping heat in, but it's just as important for keeping it out! Here are three important facts about insulation that Fairfax homeowners should know that could save them money and improve their comfort and the safety of their home. Here are 3 realities of attic insulation!

Topics: Attic Services insulation

Did You Know?: HVAC Maintenance Series: A/C Unit Longevity

Well folks, summer has officially begun! That means Bar-B-Q’s, weekends spent poolside and beach vacations! It also means the start of your cooling working overtime. Your might not notice it, but your HVAC systems are running consistently, heat in the winter, cooling in the summer. Even if you’re one of those who have taken your HVAC for granted, you certainly notice when it breaks down! Why? Because your home is either stifling or frigid…neither is acceptable. How can you increase your A/C Unit Longevity?

Memorial Day: Honoring Our Heroes

As friends and family gather for cookouts and time spent with one another, we hope that you'll remember the real meaning of Memorial Day, a day meant for remembering fallen heroes and those who fight for our freedom! Happy Memorial Day to all!

Topics: Memorial Day

Fear Basement Flooding? Protect Your Home With A Water Alarm!

Your home is one of the greatest investments of your life and you strive to protect it against things like burglary and intrusion, but how secure is your nest egg?

While traditional alarms protect your home from thieves, unwanted intruders and fire, another often overlooked suspect can drain your funds from right underneath you! The culprit is none other than basement flooding!

Topics: Emergency Service Flood Damage plumbing Water Alarm

Ask F.H. Furr: My house is always sticky and hot, is there a solution?

Question submitted by Jordan B. of Great Falls, VA

Topics: Air Quality Whole Home Dehumidifier energy audits Northern Virginia hvac service Heating Service A/C Service

Flood Protection: 2 Important Tips!

"More than a months worth of rain in 24 hours."

Topics: Flood Damage plumbing

Celebrate Earth Day! 5 Ways to Be Eco-Friendly This Year!

Happy Earth Day! Yes, it’s that time of the year when hundreds of cities all over the world celebrate eco-friendliness. In fact, this is the 44th year that Earth Day has been around! Be eco-friendly!

Topics: energy audits go green

Ask Furr: How can I make my utilities more environmentally friendly?

Question submitted by Courtney D. of South Riding, VA.

Topics: energy audits go green hvac service Utility

Vacation Season Is Here! Beware of Vacation Theft!

Summer! Just the word brings feelings of freedom, relaxation, and excitement! Especially after a winter like the one we’ve just been through! Although some of us remain just as busy during the summer, most of us are able to escape for awhile on a vacation that we’ve been anticipating since our last one ended!

Topics: Vacation Vacation Theft hvac service A/C Service

411 On Your Septic System

An issue with your septic tank can be one of the most embarrassing, inconvenient and expensive home disasters out there! Over the years, F.H. Furr has seen some common septic tank problems that could have been easily avoided had homeowners been aware of the following precautions. When a serious problem occurs, we encourage our customers to seek professional service, but we also want them to have options so that they can take action to stop the problem before it starts! Take a look at this list of helpful tips and be proactive against these threats to your septic tank system!

Topics: plumbing

Enlightenment On The Gas Furnace Pilot Light

Did you know that during America’s colonial period colonists kept a little flame burning as a simple and accessible means to light a stove or fireplace whenever needed? They named this light a “pilot”, and it’s from this little historical “fun fact” we derive our modern gas furnace pilot lights. Scary to think that we could be in the same shoes as the colonists if our pilot light happened to go out during the winter months! Before you panic, F.H. Furr wants to give you a helpful “how-to” to keep that little light of yours shining…

Topics: pilot light furnace hvac service Heating Service Electrical

How to Flush Your Hot Water Heater!

Ask F.H. Furr: What is the best way to Eliminate Sediment in Your Water Heater?

Here's a great question that came into us from Alex A. of Washington, DC. Here the best way to Eliminate sediment, in 10 easy steps!

Topics: plumbing Sediment maintenance hvac service Heating Service Hot Water Heater

DYI Homeowner's Most Common Misuse Of Plumber's Putty And Caulk

At F.H. Furr, we have great respect for all of you DIY-ers out there. It can be intimidating to sort through a plethora of Internet resources to find the perfect quick-fix for your minor plumbing problems. Although we recommend you contact an F.H. Furr professional for any of your plumbing needs (improper DIY repairs can complicate the problem and end up costing you more money!), we acknowledge that many prefer to try their hand at home remedies first. So when it comes to using plumber's putty or caulk for plumbing repairs, here's a list of "DO NOT'S" to keep in mind:

Worry In Wonderland? Beware Of Ice Dams!

Well, here we are in a winter wonderland…again! You’ve shoveled your drive way and salted the sidewalk; but before you wrap up in that snuggie and whip up a cup of hot chocolate, F.H. Furr wants to let you know there may be a little something you haven’t considered. It’s below freezing outside, there’s snow on your roof, and you are toasty inside—these three factors, though seemingly harmless separately, could together be a recipe for a disaster! The heat from your heating system rising and heating the surface of your roof, causes snow to melt. “Perfect, no need to remove it myself!” you say? Think again. While snow nearest the heated part of your roof melts, snow untouched by the heat and refrozen by the winter air creates a dam and traps a store of water that could seep through your attic, into your roof, and eventually your interior walls! Here are some helpful tips to prevent ice dams:

Topics: Ice Dam Ventilation plumbing hvac service Heating Service insulation

Get The Lowdown: Battery Backup Sump Pumps

Alright, let’s talk a little bit about the basement. Basements are the location of every "jumpy scene" in horror movies, but in real life they are often just an average part of your home. Some basements are typical man caves, complete with plasma screens and pool tables. They can even be the main storage area for of the things you aren't sure if you should throw out or hold onto. Often times, basements are an extended living space, bedrooms, kitchenettes, the works. So what do all of these different types of basements have in common? A need for a sump pump!

Learn the Lingo: Common Plumbing Terms

What the blazes is a ‘closet auger’? A ‘branch drain’? You’re advised to think twice before identifying ‘balancing ell’ as a circus routine involving a hefty gray mammal with large fan-shaped ears and a trunk. The truth is, plumbing seems to have its own language, leaving many a homeowner lost and confused when trying to communicate with technicians about any plumbing topic from access panels to zeolites. Don’t be stuck in the “It’s all Greek to me!” mindset, take a look below at a list of common plumbing terms. Maintaining a basic understanding of the terminology will help you communicate with trained plumbing professionals, as well as enable you to have a “leg up” on the issue before deciding to contact an F.H. Furr professional.

Common Plumbing Terms:

Topics: plumbing

Ask F.H. Furr: Why is my sink leaking?

Question submitted by Rush E. Herndon, VA.
Let’s talk about leaks. There’s a reason why “a constant dripping” is a common idiom used for anything irritating or infuriating. Let’s face it, leaky faucets leave no room for patience—and rightly so! Time is money, and the longer that faucet drips, the more money you’re losing down the drain! In fact, The United States Environmental Protection Agency has reported that a home may waste an estimated 10,000 gallons of water a year—enough to supply a swimming pool! The good news is, such a pesky problem usually requires a very simple fix. Contact our trained professionals now and bid your leaky faucet “Farewell!”

Topics: plumbing hvac service faucet

Ask F.H. Furr: My heat went out, what should I check for?

Question submitted by Julia P. Reston, VA
Julia, it's the true beginning of the cold winter months, and we're hoping you're asking this question for future reference, and not because you're experiencing no heat! The cold can be miserable, it's important to know that your house is always warm. Even if you don't mind the cold, you know that the home is where you want ideal temperatures to stay. So, picture this scenario; you're sitting in your living room with the family, it's been a long day and you're watching your favorite show, you feel that things should be perfect. But something is off...and then you realize the problem: it's freezing! You get up to check the thermostat which is sitting at a whopping 60 in the middle of winter. Perplexed, you wonder if someone turned it down without your knowledge. You shrug and increase the temperature. But what if nothing happens? What if it continues to remain cold and your home turns into an igloo before you realize what hit you? That's when you come to the earth shattering realization that something is wrong with your heating system.

Topics: service furnace hvac service Heating Service

What Are Some of the Best Ways to Warm Up for Winter?

This question was sent in by Mary F. of Great Falls, VA

Winter is upon us! Tis’ the season for Christmas caroling, gift giving, and enjoying the cool weather indoors....wait, that last part isn’t right! During the holidays, our homes are meant to be warm and inviting, yet some of us feel like we’re stuck in the North Pole with our teeth chattering, walking around the house in our heaviest coat.

Topics: Lennox energy audits Northern Virginia hvac service Heating Service insulation