4 Signs That Your HVAC System Isn’t Running at 100%

hvac systemIs your heating and air conditioning system running at 100%? If you’re not sure, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got four signs you can watch for that will tell you if your HVAC system isn’t running up to par.

Sign #1: The Humidity is Out of Whack

If your house feels too humid, it could be a sign that your HVAC system isn’t running right. Particularly in the summer, your HVAC should remove some of the humidity, keeping your home more comfortable.

Sign #2: Inconsistent Temperatures

Do you feel like you have hot and cool spots or that your heat or AC just aren’t keeping up anymore? A heating and cooling system should provide consistent comfort year-round, and if yours isn’t, it’s a sign that something is amiss.

Sign #3: Your Energy Bill is Going Up

If your energy bills seem to keep going up each month, it could be your HVAC system. It’s one of the biggest energy users in your home, but drastic changes in your utility bills are not a good sign.

Sign #4: Strange Sounds

Most heating and cooling equipment make some noise when it runs. However, if you hear knocks, banging, squealing, or other unusual sounds coming from the system, it’s a sign to call for service.

If you’re seeing signs that your heating and air conditioning isn’t running at 100%, don’t panic. Regular maintenance is often the key to keeping it running right. For service and repair you can count on, contact the team at Hill Plumbing and Air.

What is the Best Type of Water Heater for My Home?

hot water heater

Not so many years ago, choosing a water heater for your home came down to capacity and price. Everyone had a tank system because that’s what was available. Now you have the option to go with the standard tank system or a tankless one. How do you choose? Here are some things to consider.

What to Know About a Tank System


Most homes have tank water heaters. They consist of a large tank that holds water. A heating element heats the water and keeps it at a consistent temperature, so it’s ready when you turn on the hot water tap. This type of heater is affordable, generally between $500 and $800, and they’re easy to replace when they get old and worn out or if they break down. Though newer models are more energy-efficient than older ones, one of the drawbacks of a tank heater is that they lack efficiency. As a result, they always keep water hot, even if not needed, using excess energy.


What to Know About a Tankless System

Unlike a traditional tank, a tankless water heater provides hot water on-demand. Instead of heating the water in the storage tank continuously, tankless systems heat it as you need it. When you turn on the tap, the system heats the water as it runs through the pipes in your home, resulting in energy efficiency that is about twice that of a traditional water heater. The downside is the initial cost, which is also about twice that of a tank heater. The good news is they last longer and will save you money on your energy bills that can more than make up for the cost.

Still on the fence? Ask the pros at Hill Plumbing and Air for guidance on the best type of water heater for your home.

3 Signs That Your Plumbing System Needs Maintenance

Did you know that your plumbing system needs maintenance from time to time? It’s not like your HVAC system that requires twice-yearly service, but plumbing systems assessment every two years will ensure it’s in good working order. If your plumbing could benefit from professional attention more frequently, there are some definite signs to look for. Here are three of them.

#1: Your Pipes are Getting a Little Noisy

You should be able to hear the normal sounds of running water when you turn on the tap, but anything else could indicate a problem. Gurgling, bubbling, and sucking sounds are usually from water trying to go around a clog in the pipe. Things like hair and soap residue are common causes, but if left untreated can lead to bigger issues with your plumbing.

#2: Your Drains Running Slow

Have you noticed your drains are slower than usual? If you think your sinks, tubs, and showers take a little longer to empty, it could be the sign of a pipe clog or other issue. It might be a little annoying now, but it can lead to pipe damage and potentially flooding and water damage.

#3: Loss of Water Pressure

If you like a nice, strong shower but the water pressure has dropped recently, don’t ignore it. When you lose pressure, it could be the sign of a plumbing issue, including a broken, cracked, frozen, or clogged pipe, that requires attention.

If you notice anything unusual with your plumbing, it could be a sign that it requires service, repair, or maintenance. Don’t wait! Contact the best team in the area at Hill Plumbing and Air.

3 Tips to Save Money on HVAC This Year

The last couple of years have been challenging in many ways, and lots of homeowners are looking for simple solutions to help save money in 2022. The good news is you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to do it. With these three tips for saving money on your HVAC this year, you’ll stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and your bank account will still feel some relief. Take a look.

Tip #1: Consider Upgrading Your Old Thermostat

Out with the old and in with the new doesn’t just ring true for the new year. If you’ve got an old and outdated thermostat, you aren’t doing your utility bills any favors. You can save a significant amount on your energy bills by upgrading to a smart thermostat. The newer technology allows you to program your heating and cooling preferences, so they adjust based on your lifestyle.

Tip #2: Give Your Dirty Filter the Heave-Ho

If you haven’t changed your air filter in a while, it’s time. Ideally, you should replace your HVAC filter every 30-90 days, give or take, depending on the amount of dust, pollen, and pet dander you have in your home. A dirty filter will make your heating and air conditioning equipment work overtime because it must work harder to pull the air through the dirty and clogged filter. HVAC overtime means higher energy bills for you.

Tip #3: Don’t Forget to Schedule Maintenance

If you haven’t changed your filter recently, you probably haven’t scheduled HVAC maintenance either. It’s easy to forget in our busy lives, but it really can make a huge difference in how much money you spend monthly to heat and cool your home. A well-maintained system will use significantly less energy and require fewer costly repairs than a unit that doesn’t get the TLC it deserves.

Are you looking for more ways to save money on your HVAC costs this year? Contact the pros at Hill Plumbing and Air today.


Why Is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

furnace blowing cold airIt’s a cold winter morning, and you turn on your furnace to find nothing but cold air coming out. That’s no way to start the day. Instead of panicking, here’s a quick guide to help you figure out why your furnace is blowing cold air.

A Clogged Air Filter

When your air filter is dirty and clogged, it can lead to overheating of the heat exchanger. When this happens, the high limit switch can trip and turn off the burners that heat the air that comes from your furnace. A clean air filter is essential for proper furnace function.

The Thermostat is Set to Fan

If your thermostat setting is on “fan,” that means the fan will run whether the furnace is blowing heat or not. The fan on constantly will cause cold air to come through the vents when the furnace isn’t on. Set it to “auto,” and it should fix the problem.

The Pilot Light Has Gone Out

The pilot light ignites the flame that turns on the furnace burners to heat the air that warms your home. If the pilot light goes out, the burners can’t turn on, and the furnace can’t heat the air. Relighting the pilot light should fix the problem.

Some troubleshooting is easy to DIY, but other things require the attention of an experienced professional. If your furnace is blowing cold air, or you’re experiencing any  HVAC issues, your go-to team for repairs is at Hill Plumbing and Air. Contact them today to schedule a service to get your furnace back in business.

What Happens if My Pipes Freeze?

preventing frozen pipesCold winter weather means there’s a risk for frozen pipes in your plumbing system. Let’s look at what happens when your pipes freeze and how to prevent it.

When Pipes Freeze

Water expands when it freezes, leading to increased pressure in your pipes which can cause them to burst. Because of this, any water in your pipes exposed to extreme cold is at risk of getting cold enough to do damage.

Signs of Frozen Pipes

There are some distinct signs that you could have frozen pipes. They include:

  • No water coming out of the faucets
  • Frost on the outside of your pipes
  • An unusual smell coming from your drains
  • Gurgling or clanging coming from your pipes

What to Do If Your Pipes Freeze

If you think you might have frozen pipes, it’s critical to act quickly. Frozen pipes can rupture and lead to extensive water damage in your home. Make sure you contact a professional plumber before trying to thaw or repair the pipes yourself.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Some steps to prevention might seem like a pain, but they’re much easier than dealing with frozen pipes. A few measures to take to keep your pipes from bursting include:

  • Drain your irrigation lines before winter
  • Insulate areas where plumbing is close to exterior walls
  • Detach outside hoses from spigots
  • Talk to a plumber about how to protect the pipes in your home

Whether you want to protect your pipes before anything goes wrong or have a pipe that’s burst, a reliable plumbing company can help. Contact the team at Hill Plumbing and Air for all your plumbing needs.

3 Reasons to Use Programmable Thermostat

Keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer is a priority, but if you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you could be missing out. There are many reasons to use one. Here are just three of them.

Save Money

One of the biggest benefits of using a programmable thermostat is the money it can save you. Nearly 40% of the energy used by your home goes to your HVAC system. Programming your thermostat to adjust to your heating and cooling needs and your lifestyle and schedule can reduce energy use by up to 30%. Less energy use means lower utility bills.

Increased Energy Efficiency

Making your home more energy efficient is important to most homeowners and bill payers. A programmable or smart thermostat allows you to create a schedule to automatically turn the heat or air up or down based on your preferences, when you’re home or away, and when the weather changes unexpectedly. This functionality leads to less energy use and greater energy efficiency.

Greater Convenience

Are you sick of constantly adjusting the temperature setting on your thermostat? If you’re ready to set it and forget it, a programmable thermostat is the right choice for you. The intuitive interface and broad range of options mean you can set your HVAC system once and it will adjust the temperature automatically based on those settings. What could be more convenient?

If you’re ready to upgrade to a programmable thermostat, we can help. Contact Hill Plumbing and Air, and one of our experienced technicians can help get you on the track to a more comfortable home.


Why the Hill Plumbing & Air Palmetto Club Saves You Money

Your plumbing system takes care of you year-round. Are you doing your part to take care of it? Hill Plumbing and Air Palmetto Club provides one annual plumbing inspection to make sure everything is running right. Here’s why signing up will save you money.

Increased Energy Efficiency and Reduced Water Waste

When it comes to your plumbing, annual inspections ensure they don’t have issues that could bump up your water bill. Here are some of the things included:

  • Evaluate all plumbing and fixtures that are visible and not behind walls or drywall
  • Check all water lines, faucets, and toilets for leaks that could be increasing your water use
  • Inspect gas pipes to ensure there are no leaks
  • Look at waste lines to check for leakage
  • Check water heaters for proper function
  • Ensure pumps are operating normally

Fewer Repairs

Repairs to your plumbing system can throw your budget completely off track. Regular inspection and service can find and repair small issues before they become expensive problems. Additionally, with regular service, well-functioning equipment is less likely to break down, preventing costly repairs.

Longer Life Expectancy for Your Systems

Just like a car that gets regular service, your plumbing will last longer when it gets the TLC it needs. Maintenance and service keep it functioning as it should, cutting down on wear and tear and increasing the life expectancy of your water equipment. If you compare the cost of maintenance to the cost of repair or replacement, you’ll see you’ll come out ahead with the right service plan.

Only one company offers the highly effective and competitive Palmetto Plan. To find out more about how it can save you money, contact the team at Hill Plumbing and Air.



When Should I Start Getting my Heating System Ready for Cold Weather?

Hill Plumbing & Air HVAC Techs discuss a jobYour heating and air conditioning systems need TLC every year. Spring is the time to service your AC, and fall is when you need to take care of your heating unit. But when in the fall is the right time to start prepping the furnace for cold weather? We’ve got the information you need.

What is Fall HVAC Service?

Before switching from air conditioning to heat, it’s important to make sure your heating system is up for the job. It’s been a long summer, and that means a long time since the heat kicked on. Are you sure it’s ready for the work ahead? Things that winter HVAC service should include are:

  • Inspect and lubricate moving parts
  • Change the air filter
  • Inspect the ducts and flues
  • Calibrate the thermostat
  • Check the pilot light
  • Examine the belts, drives, and motor

When Should You Prep for Winter Weather?

It can be hard to know for sure when it’s the right time for fall heating system maintenance. Sometimes winter weather hits when we least expect it. A good rule of thumb is to schedule it as the summer starts to cool, but before it’s so cold that you need to turn on the heat. October is a good month for HVAC service. You’ll rest easy knowing you’re ready for the cold weather whenever it shows up.

For HVAC service you can rely on, and guidance with proper timing for fall heating system maintenance, contact the team at Hill Plumbing and Air now to get on the schedule for fall.

4 Tips to Fix Leaky Showerhead

Leaking water from a shower head. Concept of water wastage

Do you have a leaky showerhead in your bathroom? Not only is the dripping annoying, it’s also wasteful. Before pulling your hair out, check out these four tips to fix the leaky showerhead.

Tip #1: Take a Look

To tell what’s happening inside the showerhead, you need to take it down and look. First, you’ll need to unscrew it from the pipe to check the threads inside as well as on the pipe coming from the wall. Age can break down the threads leading to leaks. Another thing to check is the rubber O-ring inside the showerhead where it screws onto the pipe. When those get old, they crack and allow water through, leading to that dripping you hear.

Tip #2: Try Tape First

Some thread seal tape on the threads of the pipe will allow the showerhead to have a better grip and keep water from leaking out. Make sure the pipe and the showerhead are both clean and dry before taping.

Tip #3: Test Out a New O-Ring

A new O-ring can often fix the leak. It’s an inexpensive and easy repair. Just take out the old ring and replace it with a new one. A new ring creates a better seal when the showerhead connects with the water pipe.

Tip #4: Call a Professional

If you’ve tried these quick repairs and your showerhead still leaks, it could be time to call in a plumber. A leak you can’t fix easily yourself might be more serious and needs professional attention.

If you have a leak you can’t DIY, don’t wait. Contact the experts at Hill Plumbing and Air.

vintage stack

For more than 95 years, Hill Plumbing and Air has built a rock solid reputation by providing the highest quality plumbing services in Sumter, Florence and surrounding areas. We're now pleased to offer Heating and Air services to better serve our customers.

"DREW did a great job on my HVAC SVC!!!!! Many thanks to you DREW !!!! For helping me breathe on the hottest day of 2021!!!!!!! And thanks to MIKE for the great job repair the flooding under my house!!!! Thanks HILL plumbing for the best service my home and I ever had."

Willene D.

"Could not be more pleased with Juan in Sumter area. He is knowledgable and professional and actually fixed our problem for less than the original estimate. Highly recommend Hill Plumbing and Juan."

Michele O.