Keeping our giving dollars in the local community

There’s nothing wrong with giving money to a large national charity, after all we did it for many years. What made us switch to helping mostly  local charities,  was the concern that not enough of their dollars were being used for the cause.

That’s why we focus on helping local grassroots organizations and causes. We still donate to some large charities like the Special Olympics and the veteran charity Toys for Tots, but we take the majority of our charity money and keep it local.

It is the local community that supports our business, so it is the responsibility of local business to support the community. What better way to do that than by supporting the food pantries? We contribute to both the Devens Loaves and Fishes and the Pepperell Aid from Community to Home food pantries, as well as local youth sports teams.

It takes hard work from kind, dedicated volunteers and staff members to keep these local food pantries running, and that’s something our founders Tom, Paul and John Wilson, all grew up respecting.

“We never really had a lot,” said Tom Wilson, one of six children in the Wilson family. His family didn’t receive help from the community, but  was always getting involved in volunteer work, through their church and other local programs. He said at this point, their values are so ingrained that they can’t imagine not making charitable contributions.

 

What Tomorrow Will Bring

Wilson Brothers knows that providing the basic needs to people who are in bad situations is the spirit of community involvement. We also know that we are investing in our local community and helping it prosper and grow and we’re honored to be recognized for the work we do.

This coming year, 2017 will be our 30th year in business, and as long as we are in business, Wilson Brothers HVAC, Inc. will always support our local food pantries and other important local programs, including those that help the children of the community. They are the key to the future and we want that future to be as warm and comfortable as possible.

How to Protect Your Pipes from Freezing

Frozen water expands, and as anyone who has suffered frozen pipes knows, ice is a powerful force that can break open most containers, including metal ones. Keeping your pipes from freezing in the winter is an essential task for New England homeowners, but fortunately there are some basic approaches to minimize the risk.

 

Before the storm

Foam insulation sheaths can be wrapped around water pipes to protect them from the cold air. The most vulnerable pipes are ones located inside exterior walls, run through an unheated portion of the house like a garage, and those that connect to an outdoor opening like a spigot.

Another option is to wrap heat tape around the vulnerable pipes. Heat tape is a flat ribbon that is coiled around the pipe like a corkscrew and uses electricity to keep the pipe warm, like an electric blanket.

Special heat lamps can also be aimed at pipes in cold sections of the house. Typically, these lamps will have a light that shines on the pipe. This makes it easy to check up on. If the light isn’t on, the lamp isn’t working.

Of course, adding heat tape or a heat lamp to your home means there will be an ongoing cost in the form of higher electric bills. Prices depend on the local power costs, but expect to pay between $40 to $60 each month for every 100 feet of heat tape.

If you’re going to leave your home for an extended time during the winter, such as a week-long vacation, then keep your heat on and set it to no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also consider shutting off the main water supply and draining all the water out by running the faucets dry and flushing the toilets.

Plumbing pipes aren’t the only ones that can freeze. The pipes in a hot tub, a hot water heating system or any other type of pipe can freeze if the unit or its pipes are exposed in a cold space.

Many hot water heating systems allow you to use antifreeze to protect the system from freezing. Check your heating system’s manual and specifications to find out how,. If you do decide to add antifreeze, it needs to be checked each year to make sure it’s still working.

Remember that the best way to solve a plumbing emergency is to prevent it from ever happening.

 

During the big freeze

When a cold night comes, you want to keep the air around your pipes as warm as possible. For the pipes in your garage, keep the garage doors closed to keep out the chilled air. If the pipes in your kitchen are at risk, however, you need to use the opposite approach. Keep your kitchen cabinets open to allow heated air to flow over your plumbing.

You can consider letting your water run at a slow stream just above a drip if the inside of the house is extremely cold, such as if you lose electricity but your plumbing still runs. This movement will stop water from staying in prolonged contact with the pipes. While there will be a cost in the form of a higher water bill, it’s much lower than the cost of burst pipes.

 

Dealing with the aftermath

If things warm up and you notice any new plumbing problems, such as a decrease in water pressure, have a look at all of your pipes. Look for icy build ups around a section of pipe or visible cracks.

If you do discover the worst and you’re in our coverage area, call us as soon as you can so we can contain and fix the problem. We can be reached at (978) 433-5373.

If you want to try to thaw out a frozen section of pipe yourself, don’t use open flames like blowtorches or lighters. Instead, try a hair dryer or wrap an electric warming blanket around the frozen section.

Plumbing Maintenance and Repair in Central Massachusetts, Lowell, Harvard, Groton, Pepperell, Nashua

Why a home emergency is the worst time to call a plumber

Look, we get it. No one wants to call a plumber until their bathtub won’t drain or they’re wrapping their dishtowels around a spraying pipe. You’d rather spend your money on a beachside vacation, a nice restaurant or Christmas gifts for your kids. Plumbers are there to fix problems, right? So why call one when everything looks fine?

That’s a huge misconception, and one that costs a lot of people more money than it saves. You might avoid being forced to wade through your basement or take your grimey plunger to the kitchen sink if you check up on your plumbing system now.. The best person to do that is a plumber.

Fortunately, a lot of plumbing problems can be avoided with skilled maintenance and upkeep. We have four licensed plumbers on staff that can help thwart issues before you even know they’re there. If we catch it early, you won’t have water damage to deal with and fewer parts to replace. It can also save you from having to endure some awful experiences like backed-up pipes or showers with low water pressure.

Calling a plumber to perform routine maintenance is a normal part of being a homeowner. The cost of having a certified expert plumber check your home is tiny compared to the destruction that can follow an unchecked problem. That’ll leave you more money for plane tickets, steak tartare and plastic figures.

Call Wilson Brothers today at 978-433-5373 to learn more about our plumbing and maintenance services.

Dehumidifiers Pepperell, Groton, MA

Dehumidifiers decrease moisture and increase comfort in the home with or without an air conditioner

Do you sometimes feel as though you are living in the middle of a swamp?  Does your hair frizz to the point of looking like a hornet’s nest of entangled curls?

More than the number on your thermostat, the combination of heat and humidity can determine your comfort … or in the case of high humidity … your discomfort in the summer.

Air quality can suffer in many ways.  High humidity is that clammy feeling on your skin that remains even when the temperature of the room is appreciably lower. Left unchecked, high humidity leads to moisture buildup that can create problems within the home, including stale air and musty odors, warped wood, peeling paint and mold.  Daily activities, such as cooking, cleaning and showering can add as much as 25 pounds of moisture to your home.

Dehumidifiers Pepperell, Groton, MA

In addition, your home can become a breeding ground for insects.  Dust mites thrive and mold and mildew grow, which can trigger asthma and allergies

Another sign that a whole-house dehumidifier may be needed is when your air conditioner is struggling to create sufficient cool air.

Dehumidifiers range in size from portable, one-room units to whole-home solutions that tie into the home’s HVAC system. A portable dehumidifier may do the trick, but installing a whole house dehumidifier integrates directly with home heating system so that all the indoor air is dehumidified.  The moisture that is removed from the air empties into a drain pipe to a sump pump, utility sink or to the outdoors.

Select a dehumidifier that can hold ten pints of water for a 500 sq.ft space.  Add four pints of capacity for every additional 500 sq.ft. If you wish to dehumidify a 1,000-square-foot basement, you’d need a unit with a 14-pint capacity.

Be certain your dehumidifier is Energy Star-certified.  These units use about 15% less energy than conventional units.  That means a savings of about $175 over the life of the dehumidifier and avoids roughly 2,800 pounds’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions.

Dehumidifiers improve indoor air quality by providing a continuous flow of fresh, dry air in the home.  This results in an energy-efficient solution and keeps mold growth at bay all season long.

A whole-home dehumidifier from Aprilaire automatically extracts the right amount of humidity from the home. The Aprilaire Wi-Fi Thermostat provides simple, automatic control of excess moisture which allows for better monitoring and control of humidity. The system is quiet and requires just a simple annual filter cleaning to keep it well-maintained.  If you are fortunate enough to have a Mitsubishi ductless heat pump system, then you have a dehumidifying mode option which will reduce moisture and add comfort.

Call Wilson Brothers today at 978-433-5373 to learn more about Aprilaire whole-home humidifiers and Mitsubishi Heat Pump Systems.  Visit our website to find out how dehumidification means comfortable and healthy indoor air.

Indoor air quality filters and HVAC system need Spring Cleaning just like the rest of the house

Don’t leave your HVAC system out of your Spring Cleaning

Winter is over and while you may not be ready to shut off your heating system for the year – May snowstorms do happen in Massachusetts – you should start making plans for the warm summer months by cleaning your HVAC system before you need to run it.

Regular maintenance will extend the lifespan of an HVAC system and save money. Over time, filters collect debris and the system will have to work harder to move air through the clogged filter. This wastes energy – energy that the homeowner will have to pay for – and may harm efficiency by as much as 25%. It also makes the system work harder, which can harm the system in the long run.

Unless a homeowner knows exactly what they are doing, they should consider having one of our technicians come in and perform an annual maintenance checkup. This can include some services that require special equipment, such as testing the system for air leaks that allow cool air to escape and drive down the system’s efficiency. Annual checkups are include in our VIP program, along with discounts and priority positioning for our 24 hour repair service.

Indoor air quality filters and the filters in dehumidifiers will also need to be checked as part of a spring cleaning course. This will maximize comfort within the home and help any residents or visitors with allergies. It can also help the system run as quietly as possible by keeping the system well lubricated and running with as little effort as needed.

By focusing on the annual clean up in the spring, homeowners can ensure their HVAC system will be ready to keep their home cool and comfortable by the time June rolls around. It will also keep the HVAC system running for as many years as possible while cutting down on energy costs.