Small Changes Can Make A Big Difference!

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Every day we are faced with daunting information about all of the things in our environment and lifestyle that can create disease in our bodies or even take us to an early grave.  We are called to make changes that seem a bit over the top.  This can send us into information “overload”.  We want to run away and yell “everything can kill you!” But this isn’t exactly true.

Although it impossible to eliminate all of the toxins and unhealthy influence in our lives, we can do what we can do.  You are the gateway to a healthy environment, a nourishing diet, and healthful lifestyle habits that can create longevity and an enjoyable, energetic life.

Start small and grow from there

We all have to start somewhere, and everything unhealthy you remove from your life, no matter how small, can make a huge impact.  Think of all of the areas in your life that need attention and build from there.  Each week focus on one habit that you can change from each of the following areas:

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  1. Diet
  2. Environment
  3. Sleep
  4. Lifestyle
  5. Movement

 

Diet

I know, this is a hard one.  We want what we want.  Emotional eating, sharing meals with friends and family, and just plain indulging in the things that give us comfort can be hard to imagine giving up.  Try to examine the reasons behind why you reach for unhealthy foods.  Make a conscious effort to replace the bad stuff for something that nourishes you but is just as enjoyable.  Things like music, hot baths, message, or a relaxing walk.

You might just find that these simple changes can put you on the road to creating permanent habit change that can make a huge difference in your health.  Diet is an enormous topic and is difficult to sum up in such a short space.  Permanent habit change comes not from dieting or deprivation, but from really laser focusing in on the “why” behind the unhealthy food choices that we make daily.  Finding the “why” will help you to thwart off these urges and create ways to feed these needs in a healthy, sustainable way.

Tips:  Choose foods daily that nourish you and come up with 10 healthy meals that you love.  Work to plug these meals in weekly to help you stay on track.  Try to make sure that you are eating slowly, giving yourself at least 20 mns per meal.  Hydrate!  Be sure to drink half of your body weight in ozs of water per day.  (150lbs = 75 ozs water)

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Living in a healthy environment can be hard to control.  Especially when we are out and about all day.  But you are the gatekeeper in your own home and can make a seriously huge impact on the toxins that enter your body each day.  It can be difficult to think of completely changing how you do everything in your home, but consider these changes as you make improvements.

1.  Kick out all of the candles in your home – candles contain fragrances that are full of literally hundreds of harmful chemicals as well as toxic wicks.

2.   Laundry detergents and fabric softeners are high on the top 10 list of carcinogenic gas producing substances in your home. These substances                  can out-gas into your closet and home daily, well after your clothes have been washed and put away.

Tips:  Consider switching to a natural laundry detergent such as Thieves laundry detergent made by Young Living.  Use baking soda in place of fabric softener.  To replace the bleach in your laundry, mix 1 gallon of distilled water with 1 ½ cups peroxide, ½ cup lemon juice, and 12 drops lemon essential oil.  Use wool balls with a few drops of your favorite essential oil in the dryer.  Your clothes will be clean, fresh, bright, and free from the harmful effects of traditional laundry detergents and fabric softeners.

3.  Get rid of the air fresheners in your home. Air fresheners are full of poisons that can leave you and your loved ones infertile, brain damaged, or even chronically ill.  They are the number one cancer causing, chemically loaded substance in homes today.  Instead, diffuse essential oils in your home to eliminate odors, enhance relaxation, and improve the overall health of your family.

4.  Change your air filters. Your HVAC system is running all of the time and is circulating allergens, toxins and gasses throughout your home.  Make sure that the maintenance on your HVAC system is up to date and change your air filters regularly.

Sleep

Sleep is vitally important!  Getting the proper amount of rest allows our bodies to heal, regenerate, and renew each day.  Unfortunately, many of us forgo the proper amount of rest feeling that we can “get by” on fewer and fewer hours of rest.  The consequences can be catastrophic to our health and well-being.  Try to power down all electronics an hour before bed each evening.  Set a bedtime and stick to it, allowing yourself 7-8 hours of sleep or more if you need it.  Keep electronic devices away from your bed.  Give yourself time before bed for quiet reflection in order to clear your mind of the clutter of the day.  Everything that you do will be easier, more effective, and clearer when you have had the proper amount of rest.papa-2056816_1920

Lifestyle

NOURISH YOURSELF!  I’m not talking about food, I’m talking about your spirit.  Allow yourself downtime each day to relax and unwind.  Create time in your schedule for the ones that you love and guard that time diligently.  Choose hobbies or activities that you love and plug them into your week.  Above all, find opportunities to experience joy in your life!  This can create good health in you all the way down to a cellular level!

Movement

I know, exercise……..the dirty word.  But exercise and movement doesn’t have to mean beating yourself up at the gym…unless that’s your thing.  Movement comes in many different forms and, above all, must be enjoyable to be sustainable.  Take daily walks, go horseback riding, take a dance class, play golf, or go for a bike ride.  The possibilities are endless!  The key is remain consistent, enjoy yourself, and keep your body moving.men-1245982_1920

When looking at all of the changes that we can make to live a healthier life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and just give up.  Remember, healthy living is doable if we are willing to make small changes, just a little bit at a time.  Choose one simple item that you would be willing to do from each of the categories listed above.  Write them down and post them somewhere in your home.  Focus on them each day for a week or two until they become automatic.  Keep scratching off the things that you master and add new items as you go.

Before you know it, you’ll be feeling better, living healthier, and feeling great about the accomplishments that you’ve made.  Healthy living is absolutely a journey.  We never fully arrive.  There is always something new that we can do to improve our health and well-being.  Stay conscious, consistent, and always remember, small changes make a huge difference!

 

 

“Everyone Needs a Superstar Like This!” – Meet Our Lead Service Technician, Anthony Comberiati!

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Over 10 Years of Dedicated Service

Anthony has been an integral part of the Philbrick family for over 10 years.  His dedication to quality customer service and workmanship is second to none.  Anthony is therefore, one of our most VALUED employees!

Quality Customer Service and Relationships Go Hand In Hand

Anthony works closely with the management team to help promote the Philbrick brand.  He enjoys daily interaction with his customers and cultivates meaningful, positive relationships.  Anthony is such a positive, upbeat person and has a smile for everyone!  He has a way of making everyone’s day a little brighter.

 

A Heart For Excellence

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Anthony believes that his drive for excellence is part of what sets Philbrick apart from other competitors.  “When I am in a customer’s home, their HVAC concern is the only thing that is important to me.  My top priority is to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”  It’s this passion for excellence and tireless effort that makes Anthony such a valuable member of our team.  In addition, Anthony works hard to not only address the problem at hand, but to provide preventative measures where applicable.  Anthony’s goal is to prevent any future HVAC issues before they occur.   “I’m a roll-up-my-sleeves and get the job done kind of guy!”  This is one guy that never quits!

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A family Man

In his free time, Anthony enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and son.  He is a true family man and genuinely values his time with them.  When Anthony isn’t helping his customers or hanging with his amazing family, you might find him on the beach or relaxing at home and racing his remote control cars.  We are super grateful for Anthony’s dedication and service to our Philbrick family.  Everyone should have an “Anthony” on their team!

“Happy Lighting, Happy Life”

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Did you know that lighting can have a huge impact on your overall health and quality of life?  Some people actually hire light “experts” and designers to help them create the best mood enhancing atmosphere possible.  With all of the health related facts constantly being tossed our way, who would have thought that lighting could actually be one of them?  Here are 5 reasons why “healthy happy lighting” produces a “healthy happy life!”

  1. Healthy Brain Power!

Fluorescent Lighting is most often found in places like schools, office buildings, and medical offices.  These are places where our brains require consistent stimulation.  Unfortunately, spending too much time in fluorescent lighting can cause you to feel nervous, antsy, and just plain unsettled.

It’s best to be mindful of this effect and, when possible,  use a dimmer switch to adjust the lighting depending your needs.

 2.  Healthy/Happy Mood!indoors-1868748_1920

The different types of lighting that we are exposed to can have a profound impact on our moods.  Natural light through windows can have a very calming, soothing effect on our moods,  Poor lighting and low level artificial lighting can trigger depression and negative emotions. It can also cause our serotonin levels to plummet.  On sunny days, we tend to be more optimistic, helpful, and upbeat!

If you’re in a slump, head outside for 15 minutes and feel your mood brighten!

 3.  Healthy Decision Making! 

Studies tell us that the intensity of our emotions and decision making is directly linked to the brightness of the lights that we are under.  When buying emotional products such as an engagement ring, baby items, or flowers, we might notice that the lights are as bright as possible.  Conversely, low level lighting can reduce the emotionality of our decisions in everyday situations.

Where ever you are, take note of the lighting that fills your decision making environment and adjust accordingly.

  1. Healthy Eyesight!

We’ve been hearing this since we were kids.  “Don’t read in low light, you’ll strain your eyes!”, “Don’t stare at the sun, you’ll go blind” This is just to name a few!  Old wives tales?  Not at all.  The wrong level of light can cause serious eye strain and even permanent damage to our eyes.  Permanent retinal damage can occur after only a few minutes of staring at the sun.  There is mounting evidence that bright artificial lighting can cause real damage as well, often resulting in a headache and exhaustion after a long day.

Adjust your indoor lights when eye strain becomes evident.  Also, remember to wear those sunglasses outside!

5.  Healthy Sleep Patterns!portrait-of-a-woman-1786435_1920

Our circadian rhythm, the built-in biological sleep process that oscillates every 24 hours, it directly affected by our exposure to daylight.  Studies show that when we expose ourselves to bright light for extended periods of time in the evening, we disrupt the rhythm and set ourselves up for a later and later bedtime.  When we disrupt our sleep patterns, we become more vulnerable to illness.

Power down every evening at least an hour before bedtime.  Electronic devices should be set on “read” mode in order to reverse the light effect.

From moods to decision making, lighting sets the stage for how we navigate through our day.  If you think about it, fast food restaurants keep the lights bright.  They want you in and out quickly.  Fine dining restaurants keep the lights low, soothing, and dim so that you’ll linger and relax.  Check the lighting wherever you are, it could mean the difference between a stressful experience and a smooth, productive, and relaxing day.

 

Meet Our General Manager, Jason Sawning!

IMG_0066Meet Philbrick’s General Manager, Jason Sawning! Jason has been a dedicated part of our family for over 5 years.

JUGGLING MANY DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS

Jason works tirelessly to lead and manage our HVAC, plumbing and electrical services, and install departments. Jason’s duties at Philbrick include a broad scope of additional activities such as managing our office staff, human resource department, business operations, and customer service needs.

Jason is quite an asset to our team. His ability to manage all aspects of our service departments, coupled with his EXCELLENT inter-personal skills have produced a winning combination for our business.

A DEEP APPRECIATION FOR COMPANY AND WORK ETHIC

Jason has many wonderful things to say about Philbrick. Jason’s perspective on what makes his team so successful is that “We take what we do very seriously and want our customers to get the absolute best service in the business. At Philbrick, we want our customers to feel like a member of our family and count on us for life.”

Jason also prides himself on being loyal, dependable, honest, and friendly.

A FREE SPIRITED, FAMILY MANIMG_0065

Outside of work, Jason enjoys spending quality time with his precious son, Jacob.  You might also find Jason outdoors. He loves running, concerts and festivals. As a free spirit, Jason tries to live his life to the fullest while serving his community through his role as General Manager at Philbrick Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical!

Changing The Air Filters In Your HVAC System Is More Important Than You Think………

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Thinking about whether or not you need to change the air filters in your home? Should you invest in the more expensive HEPA filters to keep the air cleaner for your family? Keeping up with maintaining your heating and cooling system can be quite a challenge. You might be asking yourself which filters are the best choice?

Home Air Quality and Your Health

As particles like dust, danger, pollen, and other airborne materials move through your home, they can have an incredible impact on your health.  Individuals with serious allergy problems and chronic respiratory illness definitely need to pay special attention to Air Quality in the home environment.  In fact, everyone can benefit from making sure that the air filters in your home are clean.

Are expensive air filters better?

Changing your filters regularly is a crucial step in keeping your heating and cooling system running smoothly.   Unfortunately, those pricey HEPA filters may not always be the best choice. The sheer density of these filters can create too much air-flow resistance, putting extra strain on your equipment.  These filters can wind up costing you more on your utility bill! In addition, this build-up of pressure can cause air leaks around the filters thus defeating the purpose. Purchasing basic, less expensive, free flowing, well-fitting air filters for your HVAC system is a much better choice when considering the longevity of your unit.

How often should I change my air filters?

IMG_0013Changing air filters regularly is also key in keeping the air in your home clean and free flowing. Get into the habit of changing your air filters each month when you pay your rent or mortgage. Regularly changing you air filter will maximize your energy efficiency and extend the life of your heating and cooling system.

Keeping your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently can take minutes each month and doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Changing your filters monthly with basic or pleated filters can keep the air cleaner in your home and increase the longevity of your HVAC system.

Punxsutawney Phil Saw His Shadow Today…. You Know What That Means!

Just when we thought we were rounding the corner of old man winter…. that silly groundhog saw his shadow!  So it looks like we might be headed for six more weeks of winter after all.  Don’t let the ‘winter blues’ get a hold of you! winter blues

Take a peak at these helpful tips and tricks to keep your chin up and your spirits soaring!

Vitamin D3

  • Both a vitamin and a hormone – because of its effects on hormones in the body, it’s thought to affect mood by improving your sense of well-being.
  • For Seasonal Affective Disorder or ‘SAD’, 1000-5000 IU can be effective.
  • Check with your doctor first – Vitamin D levels can be checked by a simple blood test

Philips GoLITEBLU Energy Light

  • SAD is a cyclic form of depression caused by changes in the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour cycle that regulates biochemical processes in the body. When the levels of light change in the fall and winter, in some people, this cycle can be disrupted.
  • Levels of melatonin and serotonin drop in the winter, and can cause lethargy and weight gain
  • Light therapy treats the cause of SAD, lack of light, without any side effects
  • Easy to use/travel with – portable and rechargeable
  • Available on Amazon for about $120
  • Place at midriff 20 to 30 inches from face
  • Use at least 15 minutes per day

Don’t fight it – rest, hibernate (go to bed early, movie binge, say no to too many activities/making other people happy instead of yourself, take days off)

Warm foods (soups, crock pots) Nesting with comfort foods is so enjoyable!

get fresh air and sunshine

Step outside as often as possible to soak up the sunshine and feel the fresh air (ice skating, walks, skiing, sledding, throwing snow balls) Getting outside every day, even for 15 minutes, is an incredible mood booster!

See comedy shows, like improv and stand-up – check out our local and   most sought after comedy club “The Funny Bone”, located right here in Hampton Roads!

  • Humor and laughter strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, diminish pain, and protect you from the damaging effects of stress
  • Triggers the release of endorphins
  • Laughing with others is even more powerful than laughing alone
  • It’s a great date night

Get involved in a new hobby. New projects are exciting, exhilarating and so motivating! Partner up with a friend and get creative together!  Join a neighborhood bunco group, book club or craft group.  If you don’t have      these opportunities available to you, Michael’s has a whole host of fun,        creative and crafty nights on their calendar every month!

keep your spirits lifted!

Cuddle your pets!  If you do not have pets of your own, seek out a local animal shelter or pet store and give those furry/feathery/scaly babies some love.  Studies show that cuddling animals greatly increases the dopamine (the happy center in the brain) and can drastically improve mood.  Volunteering with animals in need is always a sure fire, feel good way to give back and make a difference!
Finding ways to lift your spirits and keep your perspective fresh are essential to beating the winter blues!

Say NO to Frozen Pipes and YES to a Disaster Free, Fun Weekend in the SNOW!

10 to 12 inches of snowfall in Hampton Roads…. say WHAT?! Let’s talk about how to avoid frozen pipes during these freezing cold temperatures so that you can focus on fun in the snow!

If you have been living in Hampton Roads for any length of time, you are probably well aware of the areas extreme weather conditions.  It might be 70 degrees one day then snowing the next day.  While this type of weather forecast might produce excitement for some of us (especially our children), it also presents an opportunity for disaster if you’re not prepared.  Your #PhilbrickFamily is dedicated to keeping you warm, comfortable and safe during all seasons and climate changes.  With that said, lets take a moment to review a few helpful tips that might save your wallet AND help you prevent frozen pipes in your home.  dont-let-frozen-pipes-catch-you-by-surprise-21

  1.  Be sure to insulate all pipes that are exposed to outside temperatures and consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes. Heated insulation tape like a “pipe sleeve” could be an option or installing UL-listed “heat tape,” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes could do the trick!
  2. If relocating these precarious pipes is an option, think about contacting a licensed plumber to do the job. It could save you big by preventing you from having to pay for the damage of a burst pipe in your home.
  3. Be sure to insulate attics, crawl spaces, and basements to keep the temperatures up and the potential for disaster down. This could save you on heating and cooling costs as well.
  4. The American Red Cross suggests that you let water drip from the faucets in your home that feed into pipes exposed to freezing conditions. In addition, keep those cabinet doors open to share the warmth with your pipes.
  5. Open all cabinets under your sinks and allow any pipes to be exposed so that the heat in your home can reach the pipes.
  6. Keep the temperature on your thermostat stable throughout the day and night. Turning down the temperature at night might seem like a way to save on heating, but it could cost you big in the long run if your pipes explode.
  7. Finally, if you do come home to a geyser flooding your basement or gushing from your outdoor plumbing, immediately shut off the main water supply to your home. It is important to know where the valve is located and to have it inspected yearly by a licensed plumber.

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Preventative measures are a must when protecting your home against the disasters that could occur from frozen pipes. Bundle up, stay warm, and don’t let Old Man Winter put the freeze on your plumbing!!  As always, your Philbrick family is here for you 7 days a week, 24 hours a day!

Stay Warm During the Holidays! ~ DIY Furnace Repair

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By now, all of you have most likely turned on your heating system. As temps fall, and we bundle up tight, we often rely on our HVAC systems for the comfort we deserve.

A broken furnace or heating system is never convenient and, with the holidays upon us, we want to make sure you aren’t left in the cold! Below are a few DIY tips and tricks to ensure warmth and happiness in your home. If these tips don’t seem to help, Philbrick’s team of NATE-certified technicians are available to inspect, diagnose, and repair your homes furnace and heating system quickly.img_0002

MY HEATING SYSTEM DOESN’T TURN ON

  • Check your thermostat; be sure that the thermostat is set to “heat” mode, and adjust the temperature settings above the current room temperature.
  • Circuit breaker; ensure that the breakers controlling your furnace or heating system are on and no fuses have blown. If you discover an issue, reset breakers and replace fuses.
  • Power switches; make sure the power switch on your furnace or heating system has not been turned off.

MY HEATING SYSTEM ISN’T CIRCULATING ENOUGH WARM AIR

  • When is the last time you changed your air filters? Clogged and dirty filters will block air flow from your furnace or heating system. Clean or replace your air filter if necessary.  We recommend changing them once per month and a good rule of thumb is to change them each time you pay your mortgage.
  • Check your registers and vents; make sure register dampers and vents are open and clear of furniture or other obstructions.

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We are happy to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all of your heating needs. “On behalf of your Philbrick Family we’d like to thank all of our loyal customers for depending on us for all of your heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical needs”. –President, Neil Philbrick

Check out our heating SPECIALS!

Comfort is what we do. Family is who we are.

Love is in the Air!

IMG_6732Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. As we prepare to wow that “special” someone in our lives, why not spread the love to those who may not have a sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. Here are some helpful hints to help you cover everyone around you with that loving feeling:
• We all have a friend who hasn’t quite hit the jackpot in the “love” department just yet. How about taking them to lunch, (because you already have dinner plans), and shower them with appreciation for all of the positive things about them that you love.
• Do you have a single, elderly person living in your neighborhood? Make the day very special for them by offering to weed the flower bed, wash windows, wash the car, or help with something that just seems too daunting for them. Nothing says love like community and service!
• If you love animals, visit your local animal shelter and volunteer to walk the dogs, cuddle the cats or just plain help in any way needed. Animals need the love too!
• Have a medical or dentist appointment on Valentine’s Day this year? Leave a special treat behind for your nurse before leaving. You’ll surely bring a smile to their face.
Flowers are always a good way to bring sunshine into anyone’s day. Anonymously leave a flower on the desks of everyone in your office. Watch the buzz as everyone tries to figure out who their admirers might be!
There are so many ways to spread the love this Valentine’s Day. Remember those around you who might not have someone to shower them with the spirit of the day. After all, it is love that makes the world go around!

Brrr, it’s Cold! Problems with your heating system? We can help!

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A broken furnace or heating system can pose major problems in the winter months. Before it starts getting bitter cold and the snow begins to fall, it’s best to go ahead and get those problems resolved! Some issues you may experience have a wide variety of causes. Here are a few DIY tips and tricks you can try yourself before giving us a call.

MY HEATING SYSTEM WON’T TURN ON

Check your thermostat; check that the thermostat is set to “heat” mode, and adjust the temperature settings above the current room temperature.
Check your power; check the breakers controlling your furnace or heating system are on and no fuses have blown. If you discover an issue, reset breakers and replace fuses.
Check the switches; make sure the power switch on your furnace or heating system has not been turned off.

MY HEATING SYSTEM ISN’T CIRCULATING ENOUGH WARM AIR

Check your air filter; clogged and dirty filters will block air flow from your furnace or heating system. Clean or replace your air filter if necessary.
Check your registers and vents; make sure register dampers and vents are open and clear of furniture or other obstructions.

If these simple tips don’t solve the problem; or you’re experiencing other issues, you will need professional furnace and heating assistance. Philbrick Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical’s team of NATE-certified technicians are available to inspect, diagnose, and repair your homes furnace and heating system quickly.

At Philbrick Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical, we pride ourselves on providing professional, dedicated service to all of our neighbors in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and the surrounding Hampton Roads communities. Family owned and operated since 1956, keeping your family comfortable is our family tradition! 

Contact us today at 757-488-8367!  NOW OFFERING- Heating tune up and safety check for $59.95!