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If you're ready to replace or upgrade your window air conditioners, you may want to consider a ductless, or mini-split system instead. While initial installation costs are usually higher, in most cases a ductless system will offer better aesthetics, efficiency, convenience and versatility that will pay for itself.

Here are a few of the advantages ductless systems offer versus window AC units.
  1. No window needed. A window air conditioner blocks the view outside and can present security issues. Window AC units can also be unsightly both inside and outside the home. Ductless systems are typically small, narrow units that can be mounted up high near the ceiling or in the floor where they won't get in the way.
  2. Heating. In addition to cooling, some ductless systems can provide heating.
  3. Expandability. Mini-split systems can be connected together to cool and heat up to 8 rooms.
  4. Less Noise. Because the condenser is located outside the house, ductless mini-split systems are typically much quieter than window air conditioners.
  5. Advanced Features. With some models you can monitor and adjust your ductless system with a remote control and create programs and schedules from your smartphone or tablet.
If you're considering replacing your window air conditioners with a ductless cooling system, call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can help answer all your questions.
As the population continues to age, many homeowners are finding that their home does not provide the level safety and convenience that it once did. Bathrooms in particular can present safety and access issues. Thankfully, their are many ways you can update your bathroom to increase your safety and improve your quality of life as you age.

Updating a bathroom to make it more safe and user friendly doesn't have to involve a complete remodel. Some bathroom upgrades can be performed with a few simple skills and basic tools.
  1. Toilets - Low toilets can make it difficult for individuals with low mobility. Installing taller "comfort height" toilets, as well as grab bars, can make access much easier. Ensure that grab bars are securely anchored to studs with screws.
  2. Faucets - Faucets with knobs or hard to turn levers can be replaced with designs that use large paddle style levers or a single lever. Motion detecting faucets offer effortless function.
  3. Showers and Bathtubs - Grab bars can be attached to provide secure entry and exit. A stable shower seat combined with a hand-held shower head will allow for bathing while seated. Shower curtains can be easier to operate and provide greater access than shower doors.
  4. Floors – To prevent slips, use rubber-backed rugs and ensure that showers and tubs have good traction.
  5. Lighting - Good lighting is essential to any safe and user-friendly bathroom design. With compact, bright LED lighting you have light exactly where you need it, even in the shower.
Have questions about making your bathroom safer and more accessible? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can help with all your plumbing upgrade needs.
If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you may be surprised by how far home cooling technology has improved. These are just a few of the advancements that you can expect with a new central air conditioner.

Less noise - Advanced designs with quieter fans and newer refrigerants have enabled air conditioners to run much quieter than previous generations.

Green - Unlike the Freon® coolant used over a decade ago that caused damage to the earth's ozone layer, newer R410A are environmentally friendly and also perform better.

Reduced Energy Consumption - Decades ago it was not uncommon for a central air conditioner to consume 6,000 watts of electricity every hour to cool a typical house. Today, that level has been reduced to around 1,700 watts an hour, thanks to technology like variable speed fans and scroll compressors.

Have questions about central air conditioners? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can help answer all your home cooling questions.
With over 50 percent of the average household's energy bill going towards heating and cooling, many homeowners are looking for economical and greener alternatives than traditional gas, oil or electric systems.

Geothermal works on the simple principle that regardless of the temperature above ground, the temperature deep underground is very consistent. This means that during the hot summer months, the underground temperature is often much cooler than the ambient air temperature. During the cold winter months, the underground temperature is warmer than the outside air.

The take advantage of this temperature difference, geothermal systems act like a large heat pump, extracting the warm air underground during the winter and exchanging it with the cooler air inside the home, then reversing the process in the summer to cool the home.
The result is a renewable source of heating and cooling that provides a virtually supply of energy.

While a geothermal system does require electricity to power the heat pump, it uses far less power than a conventional central heating and cooling system. For every one dollar of electricity used they return up to four dollars of heat.

Have questions about geothermal heating and cooling for your home? Give Gibson's Heating and Plumbing a call, we can help answer all you questions.
Monday, 27 March 2017 17:46

Spring Energy Savings Plan

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With the winter heating season winding down and the hot weather not far behind, spring is a good time to identify areas to save energy around the home by increasing efficiency and eliminating energy waste.

Fix Drafts and Air Leaks

While we usually think of drafts and leaks when the weather is turning cold, you can waste just as much energy in the summer by running your air conditioner in a drafty, poorly insulated home. Replace worn weather striping around doors and windows and ensure that you have sufficient insulation in your walls and attic.

Stop Vampire Energy Loss

With the increase in electric gadgets and appliances in the home, so does amount of electricity used. Energy that is consumed while electronics are not in use or are in standby mode is called vampire energy loss. Unplug devices that are not in use or use power strips that can turn off the power supply.

Don't Rinse Dishes Before Loading Them In the Dishwasher

Most newer dishwasher and detergents are designed to clean dishes without pre-rinsing.

Replace Your Old, Inefficient Water Heater

Replacing a 10-year-old water heater with a new, high efficiency Energy Star® rated model  can save a family of four over $325 a year on their utility bill. At that rate the new water heater can pay for itself in less than three years.

Tune-Up Your Air Conditioner

It's a fact that a dirty, unmaintained air conditioner cost you money not only in less efficient operation, but in the increased likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and repairs.

Dry Clothes On a Clothesline

Clothes dryers use a lot of energy and generate heat and humidity which can make your air conditioner work harder. Consider using an outdoor or indoor clothesline to dry your clothes.

Perform a Home Energy Audit

Looking for more ways to save energy around the home? Consider hiring a professional to perform a home energy audit. Or, check out for tips on performing your own energy audit to find out where your home is losing energy. With help from the pros you can prioritize areas that need attention to make your home more efficient and comfortable.

With the mild winter weather we have experienced the spring allergy season is expected to arrive early this year. If you or someone in your family suffers from seasonal allergies, there are steps you can take to reduce the level of allergens in your home.
  1. Keep the windows closed. On warm spring days it's tempting to open up windows at night to let the cool air in while sleeping. When pollen counts are high, keep the windows closed and use the air conditioner instead.
  2. Change your clothes after being outside. Because pollen will stick to everything, including your clothing and hair, changing your clothes and washing your hair after being outdoors for an extended period of time will lessen the contamination inside the home.
  3. If you have pets, keep them out of bedrooms. This will lessen the amount of pollen and pet dander you are exposed to at night.
  4. Clean carpet, rugs and bare floors with a HEPA vacuum cleaner regularly. 
  5. Encase beds, mattresses, and pillows in microfiber covers. These covers are designed to reduce dust mites and pet dander. Wash your sheets weekly in hot water and dry on high heat.
  6. Consider installing a whole house air cleaner. High efficiency air cleaning systems are installed directly to your heating and cooling system, each time the system runs the air in your home goes through a sophisticated media filter capturing and removing dust, pet dander, mold spores, dust mites, viruses, pollen, bacteria, smoke, odors and much more.
As the spring weather arrives, now is good time to ensure that your home's plumbing system is in good shape to prevent any unexpected problems. Here are a few simple inspection and maintenance tasks that we recommend every homeowner perform at least twice a year.

Sewer & Drains

  1. If you have slow or drains that regularly back up. Have Gibson's clean out the drain before there is a backup.
  2. Ensure that sink drains have strainers to prevent debris from building up inside the drain.
  3. If there are drains that are unused for long periods of time, such as floor drains, pour a bucket of water to keep the trap filled. This will prevent sewer gases and odors from entering the home.
  4. If your home is more than ten years old, have a video camera sewer line inspection to check for tree root intrusion or other damage.

Sump Pump

Test your sump pump to ensure it is working. Pour several gallons of water into the sump pump pit. Pour slowly until the sump pump turns on and removed the water. Do not pour in more water than the basin can hold. The sump pump should begin pumping out water when the water level reaches about 8 to 12 inches from the bottom of the pit. If it doesn't, contact Gibson's to repair or replace the pump.

Washing Machines

Check hoses for signs of wear or damage. If the hoses are older than 10 years, consider using braided stainless steel hoses rather than rubber hoses. If the washing machine is on an upper level of the home, a drain pan should be used to prevent water damage in the event of a leak.


  1. Check the base of the toilet for water leaks. If there are stains or standing water it could need a new wax ring seal.
  2. Add several drops of food coloring to the tank. If color appears in the bowl after 30 minutes, it has a leak that should be repaired.
  3. If the toilet handle has to be held down in order to flush properly, or jiggled to stop from running, you may need to replace the tank parts.

Tank Water Heaters

  1. Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy waste.
  2. Drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out sediment that can cause corrosion and reduce heating efficiency.
  3. Inspect the anode tube for excessive corrosion. Replace the tube if needed.

Tankless Water Heaters

  1. Tankless water heaters should be flushed to remove mineral deposits. 
  2. Clean or replace the line filter.
  3. If it is making excessive nose, have your plumber inspect the unit.
Always check with your water heater manufacturer for specific instructions regarding maintenance of your specific make and model.

Have questions about maintaining your home's plumbing system? Give us a call, we can help with all your plumbing needs.
With the the hot days of spring and summer just around the corner, now is the time to schedule your annual air conditioner tune-up. A dirty, unmaintained air conditioner not only costs you money from unexpected repairs and a shortened lifespan of your cooling system, but also every time it is running with a dirty filter, condenser coil and blower. Consider these facts:

“A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool – wasting energy and leading to expensive repairs and/or early system failure...A buildup of .042(1/20) inches of dirt on the heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease inefficiency of 21%.” –

“1/8th of an inch of dirt and dust build-upon the blower wheel can reduce airflow by up to 30%” – Texas A&M Study

In addition to keeping your air conditioner clean, a comprehensive A/C tune-up from Gibson's includes lubricating moving parts, checking coolant levels, inspecting the blower motor, belts, electrical systems and much more. So call us today to schedule your annual tune-up before the hot weather arrives and rest assured that your cooling system is operating at peak efficiency and not wasting energy and costing you money.
Thursday, 02 March 2017 17:26

What Is a Dual-Flush Toilet?

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In the 1990's, low-flush (or high efficiency) toilets were brought to market to help reduce the amount of water used per flush, known gallons used per flush (GPF). Low flush toilets are designed to use 1.3 gallons per flush, while a standard toilet used 1.6 or more gallons per flush. The EPA estimates that the average US home will save $90 per year, or about $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet. To be eligible to the EPA's Water Sense label, a toilet cannot be more than 20 percent less than the maximum allowed.

Dual-flush toilets are a version of the low flush toilet that, as the name suggest, can flush different amounts of water depending on what is needed. Depending on the design, the amount of water can be cut in half. While they can save significant amount of water, the downside to dual-flush design is added complexity with more parts, as well as higher initial cost.

Have questions about low-flush toilets or other high-efficiency plumbing fixtures? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can can help with all your home plumbing installation, repair and maintenance needs.
While the plumbing industry and municipal water treatment facilities have worked to reduce lead from water over the past few decades, trace amounts can still be found in drinking water. Here are some of the most common sources of lead in drinking water.

Lead Solder

If your home was built prior to the 1980, lead solder was used to join the copper water pipes. Older plumbing fixtures may also contain lead, although newer plumbing fixtures must pass rigorous tests and be certified to contain levels of lead that are below safety thresholds.

Lead Supply Pipes

There are major utilities in the U.S. that still have lead pipes to supply water to customers. However, because the pipes have been in use for a long time, they have formed a natural oxidation barrier that prevents lead from leeching into the water. Utilities will often add lime or orthophosphates as an additional barrier to prevent lead from getting into drinking water. 

If you're concerned about lead in your home's drinking water, regular testing can help ensure that levels are safe to drink. In addition, EPA has an online guide called “How to Identify Lead Free Certification Marks for Drinking Water System & Plumbing Products” that can help you choose the right plumbing fixtures for your home. In addition, Gibson's can help test your home's water for lead and other potentially harmful minerals or chemicals.

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