Boston Home Heating Trends 2018

Nicole Stevens

smart home boston maBoston is no stranger to harsh winters. One thing that most just cannot afford to happen is having their heating go out in the middle of a snowstorm.  Thankfully here we have a few of the best trends for heating your home in 2018. These will ensure you don’t end up stuck in the cold this snowy winter.

  • Upgrade your equipment! Older heating units can be energy suckers, raising your bill incredibly high during the cold months. Along with that, older units tend to be less safe and don’t run as efficiently as once before. Upgrading your system is also a big step in making sure your home remains heated throughout the entire winter.
  • Get a new thermostat. A smart thermostat is always improving, providing the family inside the home with the most comfortable temperature figured by the learning thermostat.
  • Know what you’re putting in your home! Become aware of the efficiency of the products used in the insides of your home.
  • Heat up specific spots in your home. This type of system will make it, so only certain rooms are being heated at one time, rather than it powering the entire house. It makes more sense to focus on a living room full of people, rather than the whole home with many vacant rooms.

Stay warm coming into 2018 and keep up with these helpful home heating trends. No snow can stop your home from being a toasty fortress from the cold!

Sources 1, 2


Do's and Don'ts To Keep Pipes From Freezing

frozen pipes

Winter is here and the means the temperatures are going to keep dropping. A big thing to keep in mind is making sure your pipes don’t freeze over. Not having any hot water on a cold day can be a slight irritation but realizing your entire pipe system is frozen solid can ruin your entire week. Here you will find a few do’s and don’ts to keep your pipes from freezing this winter.

DO insulate your pipes now. Before you need that heavier jacket, now is a good time to check your pipes and insulate any exposed areas. An exposed pipe can easily freeze.

DON’T cut corners when covering exposed pipes. A good DIY insulation for bent pipes are pool noodles left from summer, cut up and split open to slide over pipes. Seal open ends with heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables.

DO drain and store outdoor hoses in a garage or even sealed containers.  

DON’T close the outside hose bib, this allows water to drain. But do remember to close the INDOOR valves that supply water to the hose bib.  

DO let water drip slowly from faucets if the weather is very cold out. Running water, even the slightest trickle, can keep pipes from freezing.

DON’T ignore the insulation in your attic or garage. If there are water pipes present, additional insulation in the room can further prevent them from freezing.

The main idea is to bundle up your pipes in advance to keep them fully insulated and not a victim of a freeze. Keeping an eye on that little bit of water trickling out the kitchen faucet could save you from an icy home disaster. 

Sources 1, 2, 3


Smart Kitchen

smart kitchenFlying cars might not yet be a reality, but we are definitely living in the future. Refrigerators with a Wi-Fi connection, Bluetooth coffee pots, and even an app that tells you if your eggs are about to go bad – these are all very real products in the kitchen of tomorrow, today.   

At least once in everyone’s life, they have opened a refrigerator and stared at it, just to close it and repeat the same process multiple times. What if you could just pull out your phone and check what’s in your fridge without having to get up and leave the door open forever? Samsung has created a Family Hub refrigerator that does just that. This comes in especially handy if you’ve left a grocery list at home but can take a quick peek behind cold doors and see what you’re missing in the fridge.

Companies like Amazon and Google have come out with home helpers that activate and order items when woken up and commanded. Simply stating a command and asking out loud to order more paper towels will have them at your door in no time. Sometimes shouting out orders feels silly, well now Amazon has come out with their Dash program. It interacts with Alexa and keeps a shopping list as well as various buttons you can leave throughout your home. Low on coffee? Just press the Amazon dash button for your coffee order, and it will be shipped promptly, no need to run out to the store and waste the gas!

Do you tend to overcook some things? New smart kitchen appliances make cooking easier than ever, especially if you can input the recipe right in and the device cooks accordingly to a tee. An example of this would be the Tefal Actifry Smart XL, powered by Bluetooth technology. It finds the correct temperature and even cooks to perfection, even giving the user detailed instructions on how to finish the meal in areas the fryer cannot.

Even if you’re trying to watch your weight, there are many new options to upgrade your kitchen to a smart and healthy kitchen. Various new technology that can gauge certain food intakes from readings on a Bluetooth enabled fork. You can even get a set of plates so advanced that they will send you notifications to your phone, letting you know if your portioning is too generous.

A smart kitchen is a smart decision. It kept your daily food intake more organized and stocked, thanks to new and improving technology. Bring your home into the future, today!



How to tell if you have a BIG leak under your house!

water leakAny leak is a bad leak when it comes to plumbing, so when in doubt, it’s safe to assume that if you find a foundation crack, there may be a slab leak behind it. While the best route is always to assume a crack should be addressed order to prevent a bigger problem, here are some tell-tale signs that your foundation crack is the sign of a slab leak:

Hissing, splashing noises with no open taps:  If you hear water is running somewhere, check your house thoroughly inside and out to see if someone left a tap dripping. If all taps are tightly closed, and youre still hear the sound, try to find the exact location of the sound and call a plumber to come to perform a slab leak video inspection.

Your floor is warm without a floor heater: this could indicate that a warm water line is leaking beneath your slab - which can mean there is a much bigger problem. A warm spot on the floor usually means that water has started to gather. This water causes moisture, mildew and dangerous mold to form beneath your carpets.

If you notice cracks in your tile floors or bubbles in your linoleum floors: these may indicate a leaking pipe.

Ruptures in the walls: a slab leak can trigger the entire wall to move. If the wall moves, your entire house is affected, including walls and floors nowhere near the leak.

Swimming pool consistently losing water - there may be a leak.

If your water pressure suddenly drops to low, could be an indicator of a slab leak. It is common for slab leaks to occur where the water enters your home from the outside. Even a tiny leak in your water line can significantly lower your water pressure.

Sudden increase in water bill  - Small holes from slab leaks are capable of leaking more than 10,000 gallons of water in just one month, causing your water bill to rise significantly. Check to be sure that all of your taps (as well as your washing machine and toilet) are tightly shut off and take a look at your water meter. If the dial is still moving, you most likely have a leak.


Drafty Room Fixes

by Nicole Stevens

drafty BostonOlder houses come with a certain charm, but sometimes that also come with a cold chill. Drafty rooms are a nuisance in older home owning, and it all usually starts upstairs in the attic. Most old homes equip with attics don’t have completely proper installation causing a “stack effect." This is when all the warm air travels to the upper level of the home and finds small cracks or holes or any out of the ceiling and the warm air escapes. Thus creating a vacuum effect and sucking all the chilly outside air in as the warm air leaves.  This can happen with older homes that are one story as well, though the stack effect doesn’t apply in the same way, holes or cracks in a home can cause drafts to occur. So, what can be done about a chilly, drafty room beside burning up your heat bill by cranking up the thermostat? Here are a few helpful tips to keep that chilly room much toastier come winter!

  • Fill in the cracks! Use a caulking gun to fill up any open cracks or holes found alongside trim on the walls, especially in gaps between plaster and trim.
  • Cracks in the door are always tricky, until now. Recycle an old pool noodle from summer by cutting it in half (or quarters) and attaching it to the base of the door.  Cover the cut noodle in a fabric and bolt or seal it to the door, covering the cracks.
  • Grab that old itchy wool blanket from the closet and use it as a makeshift “thermal curtain” over windows.
  • Using a thin plastic sheet (think cling wrap) or even bubble wrap over windows can show a drastic difference in temperature by keeping up to 55% of the warmth in the room.
  • For bare, non-carpeted floors, rugs are a good addition to tie a room together and also keep your feet warm! Layering rugs is also a good idea if applicable in the room’s décor.
  • A plastic shower curtain can also be used to block drafts from larger/longer windows.
  • If you’re mostly trying to keep the draft out of certain rooms, a bedsheet barrier is efficient. Using pushpins, attach the sheet to the ceiling on both upper corners to block draft from entering certain open rooms/areas.
  • Styrofoam sheets make good, cheap insulators. Especially good for basements windows or blocking drafts from fireplaces.
  • Most of these ideas can be picked up at a dollar store, or even found in spare closets/drawers. It doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg to stay warm in the harsh winter! 


What Others Say About Pilgrim Plumbing

I wanted to let you know how pleased I am with your service tech who came out to repair the leak I had in my Jacuzzi plumbing. He was dedicated to doing a good job, and I appreciate that.

I wanted to switch to a tankless water heater. Pilgrim Plumbing came by and installed it quickly and I was up and running in no time.

As always, I am very happy to have Pilgrim Plumbing as my plumber!

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Boston Home Heating Trends 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Nicole Stevens