How To Prepare Your Furnace For Seasonal Change

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

Use This Simple Household Tool To Fix Your Pipes

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

Are You Hearing Spooky Sounds From Your Furnace? Check This Out!

  • 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

The 6 Golden Rules For Fall Plumbing

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

How To Save Money And Protect Your Furnace This Fall

  • 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

If You Flush Your Toilet , You Need To Read This

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.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564

Why An Annual Furnace Inspection Is Essential

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

How To Prepare Your HVAC System For a New Season

Preventive maintenance can dramatically lower the chances of problems developing with your furnace. However, preventive maintenance cannot guarantee that a problem will never develop. The longer you have your furnace, the greater the chances will be that you’ll have to deal with a problem between maintenance appointments. If and when you do have a problem occur with your furnace, it’s a good idea to be able to identify issues with the system. If you can identify problems with your furnace faster, you can have it repaired faster and limit the damage.

There are a variety of symptoms that might indicate that your furnace is in trouble. Odd noises can often indicate that a part of your furnace is malfunctioning, and might even be on the verge of failure. It’s not a good idea to ignore any strange noises that may be coming from your furnace. You should also call for Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ professional services if you notice a drop in heating output coming from the system.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @ 888-315-5564

Do Not Ever Put This Down Your Drain

While tree roots and fats, oils, and grease (FOG) have always been causes of sewer backups, in recent years sewer agencies around the country are dealing with the problem of flushable wipes.

Companies have been marketing these products as “flushable” over the last few years, but wastewater professionals are finding out these products are not safe for sewage systems.

Flushable wipes are supposed to be biodegradable and break up like toilet paper, but they don’t.

These wipes do not disintegrate. They can cling to the interior walls of pipeline and/or get hung up on snags inside the pipes. They accumulate in pump stations and can clog and pumps. De-ragging pumps and unclogging pipes are labor intensive and increase the cost of maintaining your sewer system.

Examples of products that you should not flush include:

  • paper towels
  • diapers
  • baby and cleaning wipes
  • sanitary napkins/tampons
  • condoms

Do not flush any items that are not designed to disintegrate like toilet paper when flushed. If you have any questions or concerns call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free at 888-315-5564

Why HVAC Maintenance Is Essential

We are positive that you have heard people say that you need to have your heating and cooling system (HVAC) serviced regularly. But how often do you need to have an HVAC tune-up and what maintenance is really necessary? We will answer these questions here.

Is Regular HVAC Maintenance Really Necessary?
If your HVAC system isn’t experiencing any obvious problems such as weird noises, you might think you can skip on the HVAC maintenance. But saving on the HVAC service costs now can end up costing you a lot later on.

Routine HVAC maintenance and tune-ups is meant to help prevent breakdowns later on. Breakdowns can be expensive to fix, especially when you’ve got to order a specialty replacement part. Aside from preventing breakdowns, routine HVAC servicing will help your unit last much longer.

Another important part of HVAC maintenance is to make sure your system is running efficiently. HVAC systems account for nearly half of all energy bills, so it is alarming to hear that most HVAC systems are losing about 20-30% of their efficiency from just leaks. They lose more efficiency from other problems like old thermostats which aren’t regulating temperatures properly and dirty air filters.

If you haven’t had your HVAC system inspected and you have some questions or concerns regarding your HVAC system or your plumbing call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ