Furnace Sounds You Cannot Ignore

Loud Bang or Boom

If you hear a gunshot sound go off when you turn on your furnace, you may have a gas build-up in the system. Never ignore this loud sound coming from the furnace. It could crack the heat exchanger, which is both dangerous and expensive. Turn the system off immediately and call a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical professional.

Dirty burners may have delayed the ignition, which causes the gas to build up and “explode” when the ignition finally comes on. Annual furnace maintenance will take care of this problem since your technician will inspect and clean the burners as part of the tune-up.

Expanding and contracting ducts could have caused the loud bang or boom, but this sound is normally easily distinguished from a gas build-up “explosion.” It’s a common problem that homeowners with central HVAC systems have to deal with. Luckily, there are ways to prevent loud duct noises. Contact a professional Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical HVAC technician to take a look. Solutions may include sealing and insulating ducts, replacing undersized ducts, adjusting dampers, or replacing the air filter.

Metal Against Metal

If you hear loud clanking and scraping, you could have a serious problem with your furnace’s blower wheel. Turn off your furnace immediately and wait until a professional Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical HVAC technician has had a chance to inspect the system

  • The blower fan may have come loose and is now hitting the blower house casing. If the blower wheel/fan isn’t too damaged, the repair should be quick and easy.
  • The blower fan may be broken and need professional replacement.
  • If the piece holding the motor and blower assembly together has broken, the whole assembly may have dropped and is now hitting the housing. A professional diagnosis is needed.

Rattling

A rattling sound coming from the furnace can indicate a loose panel or a loose screw. Before attempting to work on your furnace, make sure you turn off power at the source. Then, you can try tightening your panel with a screwdriver to see if that fixes the rattling sound.

If it’s not a loose screw, it could indicate a leak or crack in your heat exchanger, which can be very serious. A faulty heat exchanger can leak dangerous (and potentially lethal) carbon monoxide into the home. Contact your local Green Apple HVAC professional right away if you cannot solve the rattling sound by tightening a screw or two.

Rumbling

There’s a difference between rattling, banging, and rumbling. A rumbling sound normally indicates a furnace that hasn’t been maintained in a while. This usually means dirty gas burners or a pilot light that needs to be adjusted.

The furnace flame should be blue, which indicates a clean and efficient burn. It’s fine if there is a small yellow tip, but if your flame is any other color than blue, contact your Green Apple HVAC professional right away. A lot of red, yellow, orange, purple, or green indicates inefficient and potentially hazardous conditions.

High-Pitched Squealing or Screeching

The fastest and most effective way to fix this problem is by calling your local Green Apple HVAC professional to take a look and fix the problem for you.

If, however, you would like to find out what is going on and see if it’s something you want to handle, continue reading.

Squealing, whining, and whistling noises aren’t as big of a deal as metal-against-metal and booming noises, but it’s still something you want to keep an ear out for.

  • If you have a belt-driven motor, loose, or damaged blower belts can cause a squealing or similar sound.
  • Shaft bearings and other moving parts may have become dry. Contact a Green Apple professional technician to lubricate your moving furnace parts. Again, a furnace tune-up would have taken care of this issue.
  • Malfunctioning blower motors may be the culprit. Contact a Green Apple professional for information on repair or replacement.
  • Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the New Jersey area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

A Little Preparedness Goes A Long Way

These are the reasons why it’s so important to have your furnace checked and serviced every year:

  • Keep your furnace running smoothly. The technician inspects parts, replaces ones that have worn out, lubricates components where necessary, checks the unit’s electrical wiring (they will let you know whether you need to call in an electrician, and so on. You wouldn’t put off the tune-up for your car. Think of this as a tune-up for your furnace.
  • Improve efficiency. How? Here’s an example: in order to heat your home properly, the furnace pulls air through a filter. In time, the filter can become clogged with airborne particles, making the furnace work harder to move air through it. The furnace’s efficiency decreases, shortening its life and increasing your heating bill. However, if the filter is maintained, via regular cleaning or changing, you’ll avoid this problem.
  • Protect your health and that of your family. Neglected, dirty filters can release mold spores and other toxic airborne particles into your home, causing respiratory problems and disease. A well-maintained system improves indoor air quality and helps prevent such problems from occurring.
  • Keep the furnace working reliably. Annual furnace inspection and maintenance allow the technician to spot problems that may be small now but that could become serious if left untreated. HVAC technicians where the temperature can sink as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (without taking wind chill into account), will tell you that the customer who calls every year for routine maintenance usually sounds a lot calmer than the customer they haven’t heard from in a while, whose furnace has suddenly stopped working in the middle of a cold snap.
  • Help you regulate the temperature in your home. The Green Apple technician will verify and calibrate your thermostat to make sure that the furnace is heating your home properly and reliably, at the temperature you want, when you want it.
  • Save lives. Fuel-burning furnaces (natural gas, oil, etc.) tend to release carbon monoxide in their exhaust. When the furnace is working properly, this gas is channeled out of the home through an exhaust pipe. But leaks happen, and a carbon monoxide leak is dangerous because that particular gas is odorless and deadly. A licensed Green Apple professional will test the furnace for leaks as part of routine maintenance.
  • Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

Call A Plumber ASAP If You Have Any Of These

Clogged drains, damaged pipes, and gas leaks are the most common residential emergency plumbing situations that people summon their plumber for. The irony is that such plumbing emergencies can be prevented by us from the start. Indeed emergency plumbers report that plumbing negligence is the number one cause for stubborn obstructions in drains and defective pipes. Surprisingly this indicates that we value our cars more than our home. Why? Simply because we service our cars once a year while we dismiss doing the same to our plumbing systems until we face a plumbing emergency by which time it is too late to undo the damage done to our home.

In general preventive maintenance to your home’s plumbing, every once in a while, will not only keep plumbing fixtures, drains and pipes in good condition for a long time, but will further allow you to spot early problems and have them fixed before they escalate to costly plumbing emergencies. When you encounter an emergency plumbing situation you can take steps to reduce damage to the minimum thereby cutting down your plumbing cost too.

Follow the top 5 common emergency plumbing troubles and their repair:

Burst Pipes: Your top objective until the Green Apple plumber arrives on the scene is stop water flowing out of the hole. Locate the main shutoff valve to your house and close it. Turning off the shutoff valve will close the water supply to the fixtures and therefore stop the flood. Next turn on cold water taps to quickly drain pipes from trapped water and steam. After damage controlling the emergency call in your Green Apple plumber to repair or replace the burst section of the pipe.

Frozen Pipes: When the water in pipes freeze they expand and may even burst the pipe. Close the main shutoff valve. If the pipe has not split yet, thaw it with hot water bottles from the end of the pipe nearest to the tap. Thawing must be gentle, never with a naked flame, to avoid thermal water expansion that too can split the pipe. As a preventive maintenance make sure your pipes are appropriately insulated against the cold months.

Leaky Plumbing Fixtures: Close the shutoff valve singular to the leaky fixture. Check the fixture’s trap for debris, hair, soap scum, and food particles that might obstruct its opening and cause overflowing of the fixture. Contact your Green Apple plumber for effective plumbing repair.

Blocked Drains & Toilets: Try to lift the obstruction by means of a plunger or a plumber’s snake. If such plumbing tools fail to dislodge the clog, call in your Green Apple plumber.

Gas leaks: When smelling gas simply evacuate the building. Gas leaks do not lend themselves to D.I.Y repair due to their deadly nature in the wrong hands. Once outside the home call in your Green Apple plumber or Gas Company. You can and under professional guidance attempt to turn off the gas meter at the control valve.

Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-611-7191

Don’t Wait If Your Plumbing Is Doing Any Of These!

1. Leaky Pipes

Dripping faucets aren’t just annoying, they can also cost you hundreds of dollars in wasted water. Some of the most telltale signs of a pipe leak include:

  • Constant dripping sounds
  • Moisture under the sink
  • Noisy pipes (hearing water rushing when nobody is using it)
  • Brown, wet spots on your walls, ceilings, or floors

Slowly leaking pipes can cause serious water damage. Even worse, once pipes have a small leak, they’re more susceptible to bursting or breaking.

You may be able to repair your leaky pipes on your own using a fitting compound or joint filler. However, this only a temporary fix. Call a Green Apple pro when leaks are small to avoid the possibility of much bigger problems.

2. Discolored Water

As a general rule, the water coming out of your faucet should always run clear. Red, yellow, or brown discoloration is usually caused by old, rusty pipes. Green or blue shades are often the result of corroded copper plumbing.

Discolored water is not only unsightly, but it’s also likely an indicator that you have more serious home plumbing problems.

3. Foul Smell

A sewage or sulfur smell might mean there’s a broken sewer pipe or vent under your home. This can cause serious damage to your home’s foundation and contaminate the environment.

Any time you notice a foul smell coming from your plumbing, it’s smart to have a Green Apple professional check it out.

4. Slow Drains

If your toilet, tub, or sink are draining slower than usual, you likely have a full or partial clog. Sometimes you can fix this with a plunger or over-the-counter drain cleaner. If the clog won’t go away or your pipes clog repeatedly, you probably need a Green Apple plumber.

Liquid drain cleaner is caustic and long-term use can damage your pipes. If you try too hard to remove a clog on your own, you can end up breaking your pipes, costing yourself thousands of dollars in repairs.

5. Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are an urgent issue. Some of the most obvious signs include:

  • Water that won’t run
  • Noise coming from the taps when you turn them on
  • Moisture or frost on exposed outdoor pipes

Never try to thaw out your pipes on your own. Doing so can lead to cracks or even burst pipes. If you think you have frozen pipes, call a Green Apple plumber ASAP.

Is it Time to Call a Plumber You Can Trust?

At Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ, we believe in doing things right the first time. You can trust us to deliver quality work on everything from small jobs to large jobs. Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

Preventative Maintenance Tips You Need!

Most homeowners are reactive. They notice something wrong and they call a technician or contractor out to fix the problem. And though there are times when you have no option but to react, there are other situations in which a precautionary approach is superior.

Preventative maintenance is, as the name suggests, a method by which you invest in maintenance before an issue occurs in the hopes of cost-effectively avoiding major problems. When it comes to HVAC, preventative maintenance also lessens the risk of getting stuck without cold air in the middle of the summer (or heat during the dead of winter).

Here are a few tips to help you adopt a more responsible approach:

Swap Out Filters

The most common reason a heating and air conditioning system breaks down is because of a dirty filter. “As dirt accumulates, air can’t pass, or worse, the system overheats. The motor then has to work harder. In a best-case scenario, your unit will need to be repaired. In the worst case, if your unit is older, not replacing filters could put it over the edge and require you to buy a new one.”

Regular replacement of air filters not only extends the life of your HVAC system, but it also keeps energy costs down, improves air quality inside the home, and offers peace of mind.

Every HVAC professional in the industry uses different rules of thumb regarding when/how often to replace air filters. But generally speaking, an average suburban home without pets should have the air filter replaced every three or four months. For homes with pets, replacing a normal filter every 60 days is encouraged.

Monitor Energy Bills

All homeowners should monitor and track how much they pay each month to cool their homes. “Obviously some fluctuation in your energy cooling costs is to be expected as you adjust your usage to the temperature outside, but if you notice a definitive spike in your A/C costs without an increase in usage, this sudden drop in efficiency may indicate a need for professional A/C repair services.”

Comparing your bill to that of your neighbor or friend down the street is no good. Every home is different. Factors like the age of the home, quality of insulation, lot orientation, square footage, number of windows, type of HVAC system, ceiling heights, etc. can all influence what you pay. It’s imperative that you track your own energy bills from month to month and year to year. Only then you can identify trends and notice when something is out of whack.

If you notice that your energy bills are spiking without any clear rhyme or reason, have your Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical  HVAC technician to take a look. Catching a simple problem early on could prevent a much costlier issue at a later date.

Keep Systems Free of Debris

AC units are built to withstand a beating. But even though they’re made to endure the outside elements, this doesn’t mean you should just let them do their thing. For best results, inspect your unit every couple of weeks and remove any sticks, leaves, rocks, or other yard debris that are in direct contact with your unit.  Any standing vegetation such as grass, shrubs, or weeds should not be permitted to grow within 18 to 24 inches of the unit.

Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

Show Your HVAC System Some Love

  • Annual maintenance helps your furnace operate more efficiently. Maintenance helps to free your furnace of dirt and debris buildup and keeps all the moving parts well lubricated so that it runs, quite literally, like a well-oiled machine. And when it operates more efficiently, you’ll likely save money on your utility bills.
  • Maintenance can keep the need for repairs at bay. It helps catch small problems before they become larger, much more expensive issues. That’s because qualified Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ technicians are analyzing your system on an annual basis, and can easily spot any concerns that might become bigger problems for you down the road.
  • A well-maintained furnace is a longer-lived furnace. As mentioned above, annual maintenance helps find potential problems and allows you to take care of them right away. And, maintenance keeps your furnace clean and operating efficiently, which can add to its lifespan.
  • Preventive maintenance keeps your warranty intact. You might not realize this, but chances are if you read the fine print on your equipment warranty, you’ll see that annual maintenance is required. Most manufacturers view annual maintenance as a reasonable measure the homeowner can take to keep equipment running smoothly. And, not getting maintenance may void your warranty.
  • The air in your home stays cleaner, too. One of the best ways you can help maintain your furnace is by cleaning or changing the filter when it becomes dirty. The air that flows through the filter into your home will contain fewer contaminants as a result. Not only will you breathe easier, but also your furnace will operate better when it doesn’t have to force air through a dirty filter. We’ll clean or change your filter during your annual maintenance, but ideally, you should change it monthly during times of high usage.
  • Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the New Jersey area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

Super Easy Ways To Avoid Plumbing Mishaps

 TIPS ON HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR PLUMBING AND AVOID PLUMBING SERVICE CALLS.

  • Watch what you put down your kitchen sink. Dumping grease, chicken scraps, and tough fruit peels down your kitchen drain is a sure-fire way to clog your sink, no matter how good your disposal is.
  • Use a hair trap. A metal or plastic hair trap that fits over the shower drain is a cheap, effective way to prevent annoying clogs and having to pull nasty hairballs out of the drain.
  • Don’t flush wipes and hygiene products down the toilet. Hygiene products are not plumbing safe, and even the wipes that are supposedly flush-friendly are not. Toss them in the trash.
  • Watch out for leaks. Not only do leaks waste water, they can also cause mold and dry rot. Check your pipes occasionally for any sign of water leaks, and call a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ plumber ASAP if you see one.
  • Reduce your water pressure. For about 8 to 10 dollars, you can buy a water pressure test gauge that twists onto your garden hose. If your water pressure is over roughly 80 PSI, then your plumbing is being strained, and there’s a high risk of leaking and failure. If the pressure is too high, hire a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ plumber to install a pressure reducer (this is not the same thing as the water flow reducers often used in sinks and showers).

We know it can be a hassle to call a plumber. But sometimes, it’s the right thing to do to protect your home and ensure your family’s comfort and convenience. If you’ve got a stubborn plumbing problem, call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ for help. Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

Are You Sabotaging Your Furnace?

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 in doors and windows with weatherstripping.

And it’s not just the temperature of the air that you’ll find change the air inside will likely maintain it’s humidity better as well. “What causes the air to be dry inside the house is the 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 the pros 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.”

You may have to fight every instinct to keep your hands off the thermostat when you want to hurry the furnace along, but by doing so you’ll avoid the furnace heating your home to a warmer temperature than you’d really like and a higher number than you’d like to see on your utility bill.

Blocking vents with furniture. Sometimes a vent just happens to be in the same location you have to put a couch. But you’ll sacrifice the quality of heating and cooling in the room if you place it there.

You’re more likely to achieve an even distribution of warm air by keeping vents free of obstruction. But if you like your furniture where it is, you may benefit from exploring different heating options. Hydronic heating, which heats rooms with hot water pipes under the floorboards, maybe a better fit to keep your design aesthetic from being dictated by vents. Some vents can be closed individually, but depending on your duct system, closing vents may make your furnace less efficient.  Consult a Green Apple Mechanical HVAC professional to determine what’s best for your home.

Not changing your filter. Most boilers and furnaces in the U.S. are kept in the basement, attic or a similarly out-of-the-way area, so it’s all too easy to forget about regular maintenance on the system. The air filters on an HVAC system need to be replaced periodically, or you’ll likely see it reflected in your energy bills because the furnace is forced to work harder.

How often you need to change your air filter varies based on the type of air filter you purchase, and most will specify the recommended frequency on the package. High-quality HVAC air filters can last up to a year and typically cost around $30. Other filters will need to be changed more often and can go for less than $5.

Skipping annual maintenance. Naturally, we find ourselves returning to the “out of sight, out of mind” issue. All too many homeowners neglect their heating systems until it backfires – and you’ll only notice a nonfunctioning heating system when you need it most. It’s imperative that you have annual maintenance done on your heating and cooling system to ensure maximum efficiency and get ahead of any issues before they become a major problem. Having your heating system serviced prior to the coldest months of the year will likely make it easier to schedule an appointment and lower the probability that you’ll have a problem once the heat is already on.

Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

Don’t Let Aged Pipes Waste Away

Letting Aged Pipes Waste Away

One of the worst things homeowners can do to their plumbing systems particularly those in older homes built from 1945 to 1972, is let their aging pipes decay. Particularly, pipe deterioration occurs quickest in homes equipped with orangeburg sewer pipe, as the tar paper materials these pipes are made of absorb moisture, and as a result, easily deform with pressure.

These sewer pipe systems have a life expectancy of around 50 years; as most were installed prior to 1972, which means their time is almost up. To combat this pipe degrading, the most proactive homeowners will have these pipes replaced before costly, damaging problems develop.

Skipping Routine Checks

Avoiding the above plumbing mistakes, however, cannot make up for general negligence; a vast majority of major plumbing problems can be entirely preventable with routine and annual pipe inspections. For starters, you can diagnose your own pipe and drain problems from home, and check your plumbing performance before the need to call a Green Apple professional ever arises, by evaluating your water meter and water flow on a monthly basis.

However, that does not mean you should forget about professional inspections altogether. In fact, we suggest getting a specialist to look at your home plumbing systems at least once per year, as their trained eyes can catch troubling signs earlier and far more accurately than the average homeowner’s.

Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564

Is 15 Years Old Too Old For A Furnace?

That’s a question that every homeowner eventually asks, usually after another repair bill.

So how old is too old for a furnace? 

On average a furnace that burns natural gas will last anywhere from 15-30 years depending on how well it’s maintained.  If you have neglected annual maintenance to save a few dollars, you will probably end up spending that money and more by replacing the furnace before you normally would have had to. An electric furnace will last about 20 years, with the same maintenance rule of thumb applying.

 

So let’s say that your furnace is in need of major repair.  Factors to consider are the price of repair, the cost of a new furnace and the life expectancy of the furnace you have.   Many people will decide to buy a major appliance if the cost of repair is 50 percent or more of a new unit.  If your furnace is 15 years old and well maintained, it could work for another ten years.  If you haven’t been faithful with regular maintenance the remaining lifespan may not be as long.

Since a new standard furnace starts around $2000 and varies depending on the size of your house it would make sense to buy a new one if the repair bill was approaching $1000.

In general, a furnace should be repaired if it is less than ten years old with a repair bill of less than $500

Another thing to think about is whether to replace your older furnace with a high-efficiency model.  The average cost is around $4500.  That seems like a lot, but if your furnace lasts 15 years, the increased cost comes out to about $11 dollars a month.  If you have proper insulation and a furnace large enough to heat your space without overworking, the savings on electricity and natural gas with a high-efficiency unit should easily exceed $11 dollars a month.  That means that your larger initial investment will more than pay for itself over time.  If your furnace lasts 20 years, the extra cost per month drops to only $8.

Even if your furnace is working fine, there are some signs to look for so that a huge repair or replacement bill doesn’t sneak up on you.

1 A rise in utility costs:  This means that the furnace is operating less efficiently and is using more fuel to get the same amount of generated heat.  This will only get worse over time.

2,  Repairs in the last two years:  Repairs become common in the last two years in the life of a furnace.  If you are making regular repairs, it may be time to bite the bullet and replace it.

3.  Strange noises:  Rattles, bangs or the blower turning on and off too frequently are signs of impending furnace death.

Finally, older furnaces are more at risk to generate carbon monoxide as they age.  A cracked heat exchanger, for example, can allow carbon monoxide to leak into your home.  It’s always a good idea to keep a carbon monoxide detector in your home, preferably near the furnace. Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-315-5564