Keep the Cold Out of Your Home this Winter

Keep the Cold Out with these 4 Tips

1. Protect Your Pipes

Water expands as it freezes which can cause your pipes to crack and burst causing a lot of damage.  Take a few steps to winterize your pipes and avoid a potentially catastrophic event.

  • Drain water from outdoor faucets and sprinkler systems to keep those pipes from freezing
  • Disconnect and store outdoor hoses; cover outdoor faucets with foam insulators
  • Protect water pipes that run through unheated areas of your home with insulation, such as the attic, basement, or garage

2. Change Your Heat Filter

Change your furnace filter at the start of the season and then every two to four months after.  Filters get dirty much more quickly if your home is dusty or if you have furry or feathery pets.

  • Clogged or dirty filters are less efficient, which means your home might not warm up properly
  • Consider installing a programmable thermostat that can save you money by programing it to be warmer when you return home or get up on cold winter mornings

3.  Inspect Your Fireplace and Chimney

      Before you light up that first log, make sure your fireplace and chimney are clean and critter-free

  •         Keep your home’s warm air from escaping out the chimney when you’re not using it by keeping the flue closed and you shouldn’t be able to feel any cold air coming down the chimney
  •             You can also install glass fireplace doors or a chimney inflatable that blocks cold air from coming down the chimney and keeps in warm air

4. Seal Windows and Doors 

Gaps around windows and doors can make it tough to keep your house warm in winter.  Caulk around windows and install weather stripping around doors as needed. This minor and inexpensive task can help you save on heating costs. 

What is Orangeburg Pipe?

Orangeburg is wood pulp and asbestos fibers bound together by tar used from 1945-1972. Orangeburg is a low cost, brittle pipe that is easily penetrated by tree roots. The name originated because the manufacturer was Orangeburg Manufacturing Co., Inc. located in Orangeburg, New York. This product actually started to evolve in the 1890’s, making the company successful for 60 years.

Options to repair

If most of the line is collapsed, then a full dig and replacement would be your only option. If only a section has collapsed, then pipelining will be the best option. Once the liner is inserted and steam heated, it is harder than concrete. The liner is guaranteed for fifty years.

Signs of a sewer line crack or breakage

  • Frequent or persistent drain issues and clogs
  • Decreased flows and water pressure
  • Indentations and puddles on lawns
  • Lush grass in specific areas
  • Progressing or sudden pipe collapse
  • Tree root and biological penetration into pipelines
  • Frequent toilet back-ups
  • Foul sewer odors from drains
  • Sinkholes in the foundation

Everything You Should Know About Tankless Water Heaters

nsplashWe are on the cusp of a national water heater shortage. Part of the reason has to do with bad weather in key states that manufacture, Texas for example. A few years ago, Texas was hit hard by a tornado that made getting furnaces difficult. We will soon see a similar scramble in our area of Union, New Jersey trying to locate the traditional 40-gallon water heaters. This past week we have installed seventeen gas water heaters in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Springfield, Teaneck, and the Watchung, New Jersey area. We recommend having your water heater serviced and checked before the summer to be safe. The alternative is a tankless water heater for those who can’t get one in time for a replacement.


What are the negative aspects of a tankless water heater?

Tankless water heaters produce an endless supply of hot water, they take up less space, have a low risk of leaking or flooding, and have a longer lifespan. The main downside of tankless water heaters is their upfront cost is higher than tank-style heaters.

Pros and cons of on-demand hot water:


  • Pros of tankless water heaters
  • High efficiency
  • Long-term savings
  • Environmentally friendly and
  • Rebate money for NJ residents


  • Cons of tankless water heaters
  • Limited flow rate
  • High upfront cost
  • Can require prior setup work


A typical family of 5 would need a 10 GPM gas tankless heater if you live in the northern part of the USA, where the input water has a lower temperature. The tankless heater works harder to bring the water temperature up to 110˚F.

A high efficiency tank water heater uses up to 8 percent less energy to do its job. The savings is calculated by better insulation and more efficient components. Overall, the tankless water heater saves more energy and is lower in utility costs. If you are looking to increase the value of your home, adding a tankless water heater to your features is a good investment. According to a study conducted by Zillow, homes with tankless water heaters sold for 4% more than their expected value and these homes also sold 43 days faster than expected. Another good place to find information on tankless water heaters is Another plus is that tankless water heaters are the only ones with a rebate money from New Jersey Clean energy.

When you open a hot water tap or start using hot water, the tankless water heater recognizes the need and starts the heating process. The temperature of the incoming water is used to calculate how much heat the burners must produce to deliver water at designated temperature. When the demand for hot water stops, it shuts down and stops using energy. You use only what you need at the time you need it. The small size makes it appealing to apartments, condos, and town homes. If you have traveled to Europe, you will notice tankless water heaters are common in residential homes.