Whether you’ve got a forced air system that blows heat through ducts from your furnace, electric baseboards, old-school radiators or even radiant heat under wooden floors, chances are you’re shocked each winter when your utility bill goes through the roof. Tack on a broken heating system in the middle of winter, and you’ll be spending thousands more to keep your home warm.
Not turning your thermostat down when you leave. The best way to cut down on energy costs from your heating system in winter is to make it run less while you’re asleep or out of the house. Programmable thermostats make it easy to set a schedule for the temperature to be turned down while you’re out during the workday or on vacation – say, to the mid-60s – and rise to your preferred temperature just before you come home.
LETTING COLD AIR IN THE HOUSE. IF YOU’VE GOT A DRAFTY HOUSE, YOUR HEATING SYSTEM IS GOING TO BE OVERWORKING ITSELF TO KEEP THE INSIDE WARM WHILE COLD AIR KEEPS COMING IN. ADDING INSULATION TO THE WALLS CAN HELP KEEP THE WARM AIR TRAPPED INSIDE, BUT YOU SHOULD ALSO CONSIDER CLOSING GAPS INDOORS AND WINDOWS WITH WEATHERSTRIPPING.
And it’s not just the temperature of the air that you’ll find changed – the air inside will likely keep it’s humidity better as well. “What causes the air to be dry inside the house is infiltration of 20-degree outside air coming in.”
Cranking the thermostat when you’re cold. When you get home from a cold walk outside, it probably feels natural to turn up the thermostat a few extra degrees to pump out the hot air a little quicker. But experts say doing so won’t help at all: “Most people tend to think that if they put the thermostat up high, it’s going to get warmer faster.” “If the ideal temperature you want is 70, setting it to 75 is not going to get it to 70 any faster.”
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @ 888-315-5564
Whether you are a long time garbage disposal user or have just chosen your first ever disposal, knowing how to care for it will go a long way to making your experience a good one. Garbage disposals are valuable household tools when used properly. If you are careful with what you put through your disposal and keep it clean, it should provide you with many years of carefree service. Many of the common frustrations users experience can be avoided by following just a few tips.
Help! It Stinks!
A common garbage disposal complaint is bad odors. This is often due to a failure to run enough water through and ensure everything is adequately flushed out. To keep your disposal fresh and clean, consider the following tips:
- Grind Thoroughly – Make sure you allow adequate time for everything to get ground and flushed with water. Leftover particles cause odors.
- Clean Regularly – At least once a week, take a bottle brush and scrub inside the disposal. This small maintenance step will go a long way to keeping it fresh.
- Grab Citrus – Fresh orange, lemon, or limes can help cut grease and eliminate odors. Simply grind pieces in the disposal.
- Vinegar is Good – Freeze some vinegar in ice cube trays and blend in the disposal. This helps to eliminate bacteria which can cause odor.
- If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
How Furnace Sizes Are Measured
The first step to finding the correctly sized furnace for your home is understanding how they are measured.
Furnace’s heating capacity is measured in thousands of British Thermal Units (BTU). But keep in mind that two furnaces with the same BTU can actually be different “sizes.”
Furnaces are rated based on how much fuel energy they consume when running. But the amount of energy they output can be different based on their efficiency rating.
For example, a 100,000 BTU furnace with outputs 95,000 BTU while a 100,000 BTU furnace with 80% AFUE only outputs 80,000 BTU. So when comparing furnace sizes, make sure you are comparing apples to apples (the output BTU).
The Importance of Getting a Correctly Sized Furnace
You, like many others, may think that “bigger is better” when it comes to purchasing a brand new furnace.
This is not always true. You definitely want to stay away from a furnace that is too small, but buying one that is too big can also be a problem.
- Consequences of a furnace that is too small – If you buy a furnace that is too small for your home, it will struggle to keep your house warm on cold nights. Furnaces that are too small will also make your energy bill higher.
- Consequences of a furnace that is too big – Furnaces that are too big for your home can be a problem because they will heat up your home too quickly, resulting in an inefficient operation known as “short cycling.”
- If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
Before winter arrives, the most important thing you need to do for yourself and your family is to ensure that your furnace is operational, safe, and as energy-efficient as you can make it. When that first really cold day hits, you don’t want to turn on the furnace only to discover that it isn’t working. (A lot can happen during the warmer months to affect your furnace.)
No doubt about it, your best bet is to call a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical professional and have them come out and inspect your furnace. During a regular maintenance inspection, the technician also will clean the furnace, change the filter, check for leaks and unhealthy gases, and ensure that everything is operational.
Change the furnace filters regularly. Some suggest every three months; others suggest monthly. At least take a look at the filter after 30 days of operation. You’ll be able to tell if it needs to be changed. If your filter still looks pretty good, you can put off changing it.
Stock up on filters during the warmer months. You often can find a bargain on furnace filters and other winter items during those hot summer months.
Remove any items you have stored near the furnace, particularly anything that is likely to catch fire. Also, remove any household items that are suddenly sitting on top of or in front of your air ducts and return vents.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
WHEN SHOULD I USE A PLUMBING SNAKE?
Always try to plunge away your problems first. Plungers are a little easier to use than plumbing snakes and they can handle most clogs, so it’s always your best first step to try the trusty plunger. When that doesn’t work, then it’s time to move on to the bigger guns: Your plumbing snake.
WHAT IS A PLUMBING SNAKE ANYWAY?
A plumbing snake allows you to dislodge clogs that are located deeper in the plumbing pipes that plunging simply won’t help. The snake is a flexible cable that is attached to a spool which you unwind using a hand crank. You can find plumbing snakes up to 100’ long but homeowners are fine with a 25’ model.
OK, SO HOW DO I USE ONE?
Plumbing snakes are very easy to use. Simply insert one end of the snake into your toilet or drain and slowly feed the cable down the pipe. After you’ve fed it a few inches, you can use the crank to force the cable deeper into the pipe. You’ll notice it becomes harder to advance the cable once the clog is reached, but keep trying to feed the cable until you can’t anymore. Once you’ve gotten as far as the snake will go, gently wiggle the cable side-to-side before slowly winding it back up. The snake may grab the clog and bring it up, or you may need to repeat this motion a few times in order to push the clog down the drain. Flush the drain with fresh water periodically to encourage the clog to drain.
If you still have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call Green Apple toll-free at 888-315-5564
- Grinding noises. This usually indicates metal parts, such as the fan, grinding against other parts: increasing friction and enhancing the chances of a motor overload.
- Booming noises; especially when the furnace starts up. This might mean a problem with the burners releasing too much gas or a similar issue.
- Rattling noises. Rattling noises could mean a loose bolt or another object in the heater itself, or a fan motor or similar component that is loose in its housings and vibrating as it works.
- Groaning noises. Groaning noises sometimes arise on a cold day when you first start your furnace up. The cold metal of the ducts can sometimes stretch a bit when the warm air hits it. On the other hand, it could indicate a component under considerable stress, and in any case, probably needs the attention of Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ professional.
- Clunking noise. A clunking sound could indicate a fan blade that is out of alignment or a cracked fan belt which is thumping in its rotation.
In general, any noise you’re not accustomed to hearing is probably a noise your furnace should not be making. Furnace repair can be handled by the experts at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ. If you’re having a problem with your heating system, then don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call toll-free at 888-315-5564
1- Remove all water hoses and store them somewhere warm and safe for the fall and winter.
2- Consider installing products like pipe sleeves or heat cable to insulate exposed water pipes.
3- Winterize automatic sprinkler systems, pool lines, and pipes.
4-Inspect your home’s foundation and walls, and seal cracks.
5- To to make sure all doors and entryways are caulked and weather-stripped
6- When your home is unoccupied for extended periods of time, turn off the water and open faucets to relieve pressure. Always be sure to know where your shutoff valves are located and check regularly that you can turn it off easily in an emergency.
Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
- Prolong the life of your system – By scheduling a furnace tune-up every fall, you can increase the lifespan of the unit by 30-50% or more. The average life expectancy of a furnace is around 12-20 years; if not maintained, it may not even last 10 years. With professional maintenance, you can easily double the lifespan of the average furnace. Compared with the price of a new furnace, annual service is a no-brainer.
- Keeps system running as efficiently as possible – By having routine maintenance tune-ups, you can increase the efficiency of your system upwards of 25%. And efficiency means your system is being energy-efficient and cost-effective. This is good for your wallet and the environment.
You wouldn’t wait years to get your car serviced, so why would you neglect annual furnace maintenance? Save money, energy, time, and frustration by scheduling fall furnace maintenance. Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call Green Apple toll-free at 888-315-5564
Partial or Slow Flushing
A partial flush or slow, poor performance flush could indicate several things, some of which can be assessed on your own with a little DIY toilet bowl know-how, and some of which require the intervention of a trained plumbing specialist.
A partial flush is usually the result of an over-saturated or faulty flapper valve (essentially, the opposite of a poor flapper seal, which is the leading cause of running toilet problems). When a flapper valve becomes over-saturated, it closes over the water flow pipe prematurely, cutting off flow to your bowl. If your valve closes before roughly 80% of the tank’s water has been flushed through your bowl, it’s probably time to replace your valve.
Matters may be more serious if your toilet is flushing slowly, as opposed to partially. A slow flush is usually a sign of clogging or obstruction somewhere in your plumbing pipes. To test if your toilet’s drain pipes are clogged, fill your toilet bowl with a five-gallon bucket of water and flush as quickly as possible. If the flush uses greater force, your pipes are probably fine; however, if the flush retains the sluggish, poor speed as before, there is most likely a clog somewhere in your plumbing obstructing flow.
In these circumstances or any of the others mentioned in this post, it’s important to not hesitate when professional repairs are needed. Doing so can wind up costing you far more than necessary, or cause further damage to your home’s plumbing. Contact Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ to evaluate and repair your broken, clogged or poor performing toilet can end up saving you hundreds in high water bill or later repair costs.
With cold weather soon to be upon us it’s very important to think about scheduling your furnace inspection. An annual inspection ensures that your furnace will work when you need it and prevents costly emergency repairs and health risks in your home.
Having your furnace inspected or “tuned up” gives your Green Apple technician an opportunity to check for possible issues and correct them before they turn into problems (or emergencies). Here are some reasons why you should schedule your furnace inspection now.
PROLONG THE LIFE OF YOUR FURNACE
The longer you put off having an annual inspection done on your furnace, the more likely you’re going to have a breakdown (usually when you need your furnace the most). During an inspection, a trained Green Apple technician may very well find small problems that if left unchecked could result in a major repair. Annual maintenance on your furnace guarantees that all the parts in your furnace work together to heat your home safely and reliably for years to come.
PREVENT CARBON MONOXIDE LEAKS
When the heat exchanger in your furnace becomes cracked, gases like carbon monoxide can escape into your home.
Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and potentially deadly. For your family’s safety, it’s important to inspect your furnace regularly to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s also wise to install a carbon monoxide detector outside of each bedroom to protect and alert family members.
CLEAN BUILT-UP RUST AND DIRT
A proper inspection includes checking for rust and dirt that can build up on the burners in your furnace. This type of buildup can create pockets that trap gas and cause hot spots on your furnace’s heat exchanger.
Even if your furnace is new, it still requires inspection as different factors can cause rust and dirt to accumulate. Call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical with any questions or concerns you may have @ 888-315-5564