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Tinley Park, IL

(708)845-7922

Residential and Commercial plumbers and plumbing contractors available in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Oak Lawn, Palos Heights, Midlothian, Oak Forest, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, and the surrounding Chicago South Suburbs. 24 Hour Emergency plumbers.

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Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing Blog

Kevin Szabo Jr Plumbing is Tinley Park, Orland Park, Oak Forest, Midlothian, Orland Hill, Homer Glen, Mokena, Frankfort, Crestwood, Palos Heights, Oak Lawn, local plumber. Read our blog for advice, tips, a good laugh, and basic home improvement.

**We are moving our old blog to our new and improved website. Too see all our posts visit kevinszabojrplumbing.blogspot.com

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4 Effective Tips On Turning Your Basement Into A Chic Home Office

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4 Effective Tips on Turning Your Basement into a Chic Home Office

The basement has the potential to become the favorite room in your household, instead of forever being that odd damp place you visit occasionally to check the water heater and if the mold is under control. Particularly, your basement has the potential to become the home office you always dreamed of, and skyrocket your at-home career in the process.

The possibilities here are endless, as you will be working with a blank canvas of sorts, a space where you are yet to bring a unique, personal setting to life. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the four key tips that will help you transform your basement into an elegant home office you won’t want to leave.

Inspect the space and make a detailed plan

First things first, you need to establish a foundation for your project based on meticulous research. You will need to conduct a thorough inspection of the available space, and most importantly, determine if there are any hazardous materials or air particles residing here. Typically, this will be mold, but you could also encounter asbestos from cracked walls if your house is old, so be sure to bring in a professional inspector.

Next, you will need to brainstorm the layout of your office. Keep in mind that this is not simply a space where you will work – this is a space where you will spend the majority of your day, so it needs to be functional, inspirational, and fully optimized for top productivity.

Make it functional first

When it comes to layouts, there are three key areas you need to consider: the main work and lounge area, the bathroom, and the kitchen. Consider this office space as you would any other, and remember that these auxiliary spaces will prove vital for your productivity throughout the day.

Particularly, you shouldn’t have to go upstairs every time you need to go to the bathroom, so focus on allocating enough space for a small restroom, making sure to introduce the necessary plumbing features. Additionally, consider adding a small kitchen area or even just a mini-fridge to avoid lengthy trips upstairs in the middle of your work.

Pay special attention to lighting

The basement is an inherently dark place, so one of your priorities should be to illuminate the entire area for top productivity and day-long zeal. The basement-office trend has grown widely popular with Australian homeowners, so take note.

In the Land Down Under, homeowners will plan their lighting scheme with the help of an experienced level 2 electrician in Sydney and other remote-work hubs around the country, in order to light the room for minimal eye and mental strain. In the absence of adequate natural lighting, nailing your artificial lighting scheme should be your no.1 priority as well, so be sure to let your electrician in on the project early on.

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Introduce your personal flair and brand

Designing a home office is a wonderful opportunity to make the space an extension of your personality, and a setting where your brand’s colors and stories can come to life. To that end, you want to choose a color scheme that will influence your mindset in a positive way, and introduce various decor elements on your desk, the shelves, and the walls that will speak to your heart and mind.

However, refrain from cluttering the space too much, as physical clutter can quickly become emotional stress. Stick with a couple of personal belongings on your desk, add vibrant artwork on the walls to give the room a sense of class, and allocate the rest of the space to storage – you are going to need it.

Transforming a basement into a home office is a unique project that requires careful planning, as there is plenty that can go wrong along the way. With these tips in mind, though, you will have no problem designing a basement office that is functional, elegant, and a natural extension of your true self.

Guest Contributor, Chloe Taylor

The Most Reliable Water Heater Brands on the Market

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The Most Reliable Water Heater Brands on the Market

The water heater is an essential part of every modern household. We depend on it night and day, all year long. Typically, the water heater is responsible for almost 20% of your energy bill. Those are the two prevailing reasons why everyone is interested in the most reliable water heater brands on the market.

The following list consists of some of the most reputable brands currently. They have been recognized as the leaders in their industry not just by the buyers, but by independent market researchers as well.

Rheem Water Heaters

Rheem is an American manufacturer that has been in business since 1925. They manufacture both commercial and residential water heaters. For almost a decade they have been considered as the largest manufacturer of water heating products in North America. They are present not just in Canada and the US, but in another 14 countries as well.

Their water heaters are available in various sizes and come with multiple warranties. Their tankless water heaters are their most popular product in the US. They are known to recover quickly and that they require minimum maintenance, like the RTEX-18. When it comes to on-demand water heaters, they are at the very top. Their energy efficiency is another of their trademarks. All in all, it is a brand that is well-known to the American consumer and one that will remain on top in the foreseeable future.

A.O Smith

A.O. Smith is a brand known not just in the US, but worldwide as well. The company is in business since 1874. They started operating in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and kept headquarter there till present day. Their water heaters are sold only by authorized dealers and contractors. Their main trait is their energy efficiency. As a result, many of their water heaters qualify for utility rebate and state tax credits.

Bradford White Water Heater

This is an American product, designed and produced on American soil. They are at the very top of most wanted water heater brands in the US. They are known for their outstanding quality and durability. They give a 10-year warranty for each of their water heaters installed by some of their authorized representatives. They are one of the most expensive brands on the market, but that’s the price of exceptional quality.

Ecosmart

Price, quality, and efficiency. That’s what Ecosmart water heaters are all about. Their patented technology can generate 60% savings. That’s 60% saving on the water heating bill. On top of that, they come with a limited lifetime warranty. All that for an unbeatable price. As a result, there is a constant flow of positive reviews on Amazon.   

Rinnai

Rinnai is a Japanese brand that has been around since 1920. They first started producing water heaters in 1964 and has been going strong since then. Today, by some industry experts, they are considered as the top-selling tankless water-heating brand in both the US and Canada. The fact that their water heaters come with a 12 years warranty speaks tons about the quality of their products. Also, there are thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon that play in their favor. According to their data, so far they have installed over 20 million water heaters worldwide.

Guest Contributor, Verner Ellen

An IntroductionTo Renters Insurance Coverage

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An Introduction to Renters Insurance Coverage

Renters insurance is an extremely affordable way for tenants to keep their belongings safe, with the average premium totaling less than $150 per year. Yet under 40% of all renters are insured, in large part because of a lack of awareness among tenants about the benefits of renters insurance.

It’s impossible to predict when an emergency situation will strike, and the best way to prepare for the unexpected is to stay insured. Understanding the benefits and coverage of a renters insurance policy will allow you to make an informed decision about acquiring coverage.

How Does Renters Insurance Work?

Since relatively few people purchase renters insurance, there are some common misunderstandings regarding what exactly is covered under a typical policy. Some tenants assume that they’re automatically protected under their landlord’s insurance, but the truth is that you need your own policy to be covered in case your possessions are damaged or stolen.

Many tenants wonder if renters insurance covers water damage, bedbugs, and other unexpected occurrences. While there are some important differences in the fine print of many policies, a typical renters insurance plan provides coverage up to a certain limit in case of weather events such as rain, wind, fire, and hail. That said, more extreme conditions like earthquakes and floods will generally require additional coverage, so it’s important to make sure you’re protected if you live in a vulnerable region.

Your policy will also pay for temporary relocation in case your apartment is no longer habitable, a responsibility that may or may not be picked up by your landlord. The price of a few coffees each month is well worth the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ll be kept on your feet no matter what happens.

Exceptions to Renters Insurance Coverage

While renters insurance provides critical protection for a number of costly situations, there are some things that most policies won’t cover. The first two examples are earthquakes and flooding, which many insurance companies offer as a separate policy. 

Under a standard renters insurance policy, you won’t be compensated for any damage done to extremely valuable or rare items such as jewelry and fine art. The most common insurance limit is $100,000, but you’ll likely still need to purchase additional insurance if you want these items covered.

Other common situations tenants often find themselves in, like losing a phone or having a pet cause damage, are not covered under renters insurance. Your protection also won’t apply to anyone else living in the apartment unless they purchase their own coverage.

Renters insurance is a low-cost, reliable method of keeping your belongings safe and ensuring you’ll have a place to stay even in a worst-case scenario. For less than a dollar a day, you can cover all the possessions in your apartment from loss or damage resulting from anything from fire to theft.

Guest Contributor, Armand Levitz

Warming Places in Cook County

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We’re lucky to have heat in our homes, unfortunately there’s families without heating or proper housing. It’s more sad to think that there’s homeless people dealing with this weather. It’s -50, please help the people that you could and if you can’t, call one of the numbers below they should be able to advise you.

Here’s a list of all the Warming Places in Cook County.

Berwyn (Library)

2701 S. Harlem Ave.
Berwyn, IL

9:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. M-THU
9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. F-SAT
1:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. SUN
Transport: No

Berwyn (Freedom Park)

3701 S. Scoville Ave.
Berwyn, IL

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. M-THU
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. F
Transport: No

Berwyn (Recreational Dept.)

6501 W. 31st St.
Berwyn, IL

7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., M-F
Transport: No

Bloom

425 S. Halsted St.
Chicago Heights, IL

8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. M/W
8:00 a.m. – 4:40 p.m. T/THU/F
Transport: No

Bremen

16361 S. Kedzie Parkway
Markham, IL

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., M-F
Transport: No

Calumet

12633 Ashland Ave.
Calumet Park, IL

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: Yes, please call 708.388.6606.

Cicero (Village Building)

4949 W. Cermak Rd.
Cicero, IL

8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Cicero (Library)

5444 W. 34th St.
Cicero, IL

8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m., M-F
Transport: No

Cicero (Community Center)

2250 S. 49th Ave.
Cicero, IL

8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m., M-F
Transport: No

Elk Grove

2400 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL

9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Hanover (Senior Center)

240 S. IL Route 59
Bartlett, IL

8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M/W/F
8:30 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. T and THURS
8:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. SAT
Transport: Yes

Lemont (Township Offices)

1115 Warner Ave.
Lemont, IL

9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: Yes, please call 630.257.2522

Lemont (Community Center)

16300 Alba St.
Lemont, IL

9:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: Yes, please call 630.257.2522

Leyden

2620 N. Mannheim Rd.
Franklin Park, IL

6:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. M-F
6:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. SAT
6:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. SUN
Transport: No

Maine

1700 Ballard Rd.
Park Ridge, IL

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Niles

5255 Lincoln Ave.
Skokie, IL

9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Norwood Park

7833 W. Lawrence Ave.
Norridge, IL

9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. M – THUR
9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. F
Transport: No

Oak Park

130 S. Oak Park Ave.
Oak Park, IL

8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Orland Park

14807 Ravinia Ave.
Orland Park, IL

8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M/W/THUR/F
8:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. T
Transport: Yes, for seniors 55 and older. Please call 708.403.4222.

Palatine

721 S. Quentin Road
Palatine, IL

8:30 a.m.- 7:00 p.m. M
8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. T- F
8:30 a.m.- 12:00 p.m. SAT
Transport: No

Palos

10802 S. Roberts Road
Palos Hills, IL

8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Proviso

4565 W. Harrison St.
Hillside, IL

8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M-F
Transport: Yes, for seniors 60 and older. Please call 708.449.4300.

Rich

22013 Governors Hwy
Richton Park, IL

9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

River Forest

8020 W. Madison St.
River Forest, IL

8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Riverside

27 Riverside Road
Riverside, IL

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Schaumburg

1 Illinois Boulevard
Hoffman Estates, IL

8:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m. M-THURS
8:30 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. F
Transport: No

Stickney

7745 S. Leamington Ave.
Burbank, IL

8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. F
Transport: No

Wheeling

1616 N. Arlington Heights Rd.
Arlington Heights, IL

8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Worth

11601 S. Pulaski Rd.
Alsip, IL

8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. M-F
Transport: No

Couple Finds Thousands While Renovating Their Home

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If you ever needed an excuse to remodel your home, here’s one: couple found thousands of dollars in the floorboards while renovating a home. They have been remodeling houses for 13 years. Their company, Accessible Homes, remodels homes for people with disabilities. I couldn’t have happened to a better company.

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“We looked through it,” Rasmussen said of finding the money while renovating an accessible home for a nonprofit Thursday. “It’s $20s and $50s, I’d say $30,000. Maybe more.”

“When we opened up the floor there’s a heat duct that was run under the floor,” Rasmussen said. “And so someone previously must have gone into the utility room and thrown the money up on top of that duct. Pretty crazy.”

“It’s hard to process that amount of cash just laying around, and no one knew existed,” he added. “Well, someone knew, but forgot about.”

The house is owned by Bethesda, a non for profit that provides housing and services for people developmental disabilities. The money is going to help their organization make a difference in people’s lives.

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source: http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/couple-finds-thousands-in-cash-under-the-floorboards-during-home-renovation

Make a DifferencE, change the roll

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Everyone Wants to Change the World

“Changing the toilet paper roll won’t make a difference to the world, but changing the toilet paper roll will make a difference to one person.”

Make a Difference, Change the Roll.

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How to Navigate a Flooded Apartment

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How to Navigate a Flooded Apartment

No one wants to deal with a flooded apartment. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes unavoidable. Knowing what to do if such an incident happens is important.

You’ll hopefully never have to use these tips. That said, if your apartment ever does flood, keep the following points in mind.

Protect Yourself First

This point actually has more to do with preparing for a flood. The whole experience will be a lot less stressful if you’re prepared with renters insurance.

If your apartment floods, renters insurance might cover it. Most plans are very affordable, costing about the same as a few cups of coffee per month.

It’s also important to look for early warning signs. Identify them, and you may be able to prevent a flood.

Regularly check plumbing appliances for signs of leaks. After rain, check for leaking surfaces. Alert the landlord as soon as you spot a problem.

Protect Belongings During the Flood

Obviously, during a major weather-related flood, you need to get to a safe place.

Not all apartment floods are major, though. Some result from internal plumbing issues. During minor flooding, get valuable items away from the water as soon as possible. You might even prepare ahead of time by finding a place nearby where you could store your belongings in case of a flood. Perhaps a friendly neighbor would let you keep your valuables in their apartment should the need ever arise.

Once you’ve secured your belongings, alert the landlord. You might be able to stop the leak yourself as you wait for them to send a professional. However, if the flooding is substantial, don’t go into the apartment until the utility company has disconnected the electricity.

Addressing Post-Flood Damage

The process of handling the aftermath of an apartment flood will vary on a case-by-case basis. Different regions simply have different laws and regulations.

In general, though, your landlord’s insurance will only cover the building itself and any features of the apartment they provided. It will not cover your personal belongings if they are damaged in a flood.

True, there are circumstances in which the landlord may be found liable. Perhaps the flood resulted from an issue you had previously informed them about. If they failed to address it in a timely manner despite numerous reminders, they might be responsible for covering damage to your belongings.

That said, this usually isn’t the case. This is another reason to have renters insurance. You’ll avoid dire financial circumstances if you have a policy. Renters insurance could also help with relocation costs if flooding makes the apartment uninhabitable.

Depending on the degree of damage and the cause of the flood, you might be able to terminate your lease without any repercussions. Some landlords are also willing to let tenants relocate to similar units within their properties.

Investigate your options immediately after a flood. Again, the specific laws that apply vary from one region to another. Protect yourself ahead of time with renters insurance, and you could avoid a lot of headaches if the applicable laws don’t favor tenants in these situations.

Guest Contributor, Armand Levitz

How to Install a Ventilation Fan in Your Bathroom

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How to Install a Ventilation Fan in Your Bathroom

Your bathroom is the one room in your home that is constantly under assault from a variety of sources. Harsh chemical cleaners, steamy showers and the remnants of last night’s Mexican entrees all need a way out and vent fans can do just that.

While the odor of a recently used restroom is definitely something we want to get rid of, the more important factor in installing a ventilation fan is evacuating the steam and water vapor created from baths and showers. 

This moisture, if left unaddressed can cause floors to bow, caulking to degrade, and mold to grow in our bathrooms, leaving us with costly repairs and unsightly walls, floors and ceilings. 

When you’re ready to start keeping your bathroom dry, here’s how to do it. 

Selecting a Ventilation Fan

Finding the right fan for your bathroom is an easy process, but an important one. When considering which fan fits your needs, consider the following. 

● Square footage. Fans are designated by the CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air that they move. You’ll want a fan that has at least one CFM for every square foot of your bathroom. Find square footage by multiplying the length of a room by its width. 

● Features. It may sound silly, but this is the 21st century, even our ventilation fans come with features and options now. Modern fans can commonly be equipped with a built in light, a heater, humidity sensor, motion detector, night light and even Bluetooth speakers. 

● Install options. Vent fans can be installed with or without attic access, on the ceiling or walls, and with or without cutting into the wall material. Figure out which option suits you best and pick a fan to match. 

The Tools

Installing a vent fan is a diy task that most homeowners can take on. However, you will need a few tools. 

● A drill with bits and drivers

● Screws

● Flathead and phillips screwdrivers

● Utility knife

● Jigsaw or drywall saw

● Respirator and eye protection

● Duct tape

● Wire cutters and crimpers

● Assorted electrical connectors (may be included with fan)

Time to Get Started

Once you’ve selected the right fan and have assembled the tools, you’re ready to get going. First, determine where your fan will be installed and gain access to that area. If you’ll be venting the fan through the ceiling, you’ll need to be able to get into the attic. 

Drill a Reference Hole

Find a suitable position on the ceiling, ideally between the shower and the toilet, and drill a reference hole through to the attic. A 3/8” bit is big enough for this. 

Measure the vent fan housing and note it on a piece of paper, you’ll need this next. 

Now, climb into the attic and locate your reference hole. Clear away any debris, insulation, or stored objects from the area. Using the measurement you just took, locate the final position of the fan between two joists nearest your hole. 

Note that position in relation to your reference hole so you can transfer that to the ceiling back in the bathroom. 

Mark the Layout in the Bathroom

Back in the bathroom, measure the inside dimension of the fan’s intake. 

Using your reference hole and the notes you made in the attic, transfer the measurements from the attic to the ceiling and use a square to mark out the intake port on the ceiling. 

Cut the Hole

Using the saw you have on hand, cut along the lines you just drew for you intake port. Be sure to wear your airway and eye protection and support the cut-out piece so that it doesn’t rip drywall paper from the ceiling as you finish the cut. 

Drop in Your Fan

Now, head back into the attic with your vent fan. Attach a 90-degree elbow to the outlet port of the fan and secure it with duct tape (preferably foil duct tape).

Remove the knock out panel and attach applicable wiring (you may need an electrician for this portion).

Attach the metal brackets to the fan at the designated points. 

Drop the fan into position, through your ceiling hole 

Secure the Fan

Using the drill and 1 ½” drywall screws, secure the brackets to the joists. 

Slide the flexible ducting over the elbow you installed and secure in place with foil tape. 

Cut Your Vent Hole

All exhaust fans need to be vented to the outdoors. Never allow a fan to blow into the attic or other space, this will cause mold and water damage as the steam condenses into water. 

Locate a spot on the inside of the roof close to your vent fan. Using a hole saw sized to the cap kit, cut a hole through the roof to the outside. 

Connect Your Flexible Hose

Once you’ve cut your hole, make your way onto the roof and locate the opening. Using the cap or vent kit, place the cap in position and secure it according to the instructions provided.

The SheltonRoofing.com information guide says that while you’re up there, check out the condition of your roof. Aging and disheveled roofs cause homeowners a multitude of problems and can be extremely costly if they fail.

Back in the attic, connect the other end of your flexible hose to the cap or vent kit and secure it with foil tape. You may also need to fill any gaps around your ceiling hole with spray foam or caulking. 

Give it Power

Ensure that power to the wiring you’ll be using is disconnected. 

In the bathroom, expose the blower motor and its wiring. 

Make the applicable connections using the wiring diagram provided in the fan kit. If you’re uncomfortable with home wiring, consider hiring an electrician. 

Secure all wiring and attach the ground. Cover the blower motor and turn on power to the fan. If it comes on, you’re good to go. 

Finishing Up

Replace the cover to the vent fan and secure it in place. Caulk or silicone any gaps between the fan and ceiling. 

Retest the operation and that’s it, you’re in the venting business.

An exhaust fan makes an excellent addition to any bathroom and removes the water and odor vapors that can cause you bathroom headaches for years to come. With this guide, we hope you can get a new vent fan installed in no time!

Guest Contributor, Tom Masters  

Signs Your Heat Pump Needs Immediate Service

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Signs Your Heat Pump Needs Immediate Service

Heat pumps have always been a reliable way of keeping ourselves warm during the winter. However, heat pumps are still machines that are bound to have something go wrong with it in the course of its lifespan.

When it suddenly acts up, it most likely means that it needs immediate service. Here are some signs that should tell you when to call an HVAC company for a professional heating system repair.

Insanely high energy bills

Getting high energy bills when you’ve got your heat pump running all throughout the summers and winters is perfectly natural. What isn’t is an energy bill that is practically double what you usually get. The prime suspect in any suspiciously high bill will be your heat pump.

Dirty air filters could be the cause as it restricts airflow and makes the heat pump work harder, which in turn leads to more energy consumption and higher bills. There could also be holes in your duct, which wastes a lot of precious heated air. These are possible causes that you can DIY, but some problems like low refrigerant charge or refrigerant overcharge are best left to HVAC experts.

Weird sounds

An HVAC system does make some noise, but when it’s louder than usual, and there are clattering, banging, hissing, or bubbling sounds involved, waste no time in shutting the unit down and calling a trusted HVAC company. Only pros should deal with what could be a poorly-lubricated central air fan motor, a loose fan belts, a compressor running under too much pressure, or a refrigerant leak.

Burning smells

Does the heated air coming out of your heat pump smell have a burning smell? If so, shut it down immediately because there really must be something burning inside. It could be a component that’s overheating or a simple electrical problem. Whatever the cause, never even try to turn the unit on again until the HVAC pros get there.

No more heat

If the heat pump has been running for an hour and everyone is still shivering, then there must be something wrong with your heat pump. A dirty air filter can cause it, but so can a malfunctioning PCB assembly, a defective thermistor, or a failing capacitor.

While you can change the air filters yourself, only skilled and experienced HVAC professionals should deal with the other possible issues.

You wouldn’t want your heat pump to break down in the middle of winter, so if you notice any of the signs mentioned above, call an HVAC company right away.

 Guest Contributor, Michelle West