How To Avoid Costly And Damaging Bursting Pipes

THE DANGER ZONE: WHEN AND WHY PIPES FREEZE

Especially in places that typically see cold winter weather, like New Jersey, well-constructed modern homes are built to protect pipes against freezing. In older homes, however, or during unusually cold temperatures, pipes that are most at risk of freezing are

  • Exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home,
  • Pipes located in exterior walls, and
  • Any plumbing on the exterior of the home.

Exposed pipes in the basement are usually warm enough that they aren’t in danger of freezing. But exposed plumbing in areas such as crawl spaces, attics, and garages may be at risk. Tests of residential water systems showed that for uninsulated pipes installed in an unheated attic, freezing began when the outside temperature fell to 20° F or below. Surprisingly, both hot and cold pipes can be at risk. As water freezes, it expands and can increase the pressure in your plumbing system; too much pressure can cause pipes to burst or crack.

Many homeowners don’t take appropriate precautions to protect plumbing that is connected to the outside of the home, such as outdoor kitchen plumbing, exterior spigots, or even a garden hose. Water expanding in a frozen garden hose can increase pressure throughout your home’s plumbing enough to burst an interior pipe.

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

Is An Annual Furnace Inspection Really Essential?

Uphold Your System’s Warranty

Many warranties provided on heating systems have a clause that void the warranty if furnace inspections or maintenance are not completed at regular intervals. These warranties may also be voided if someone other than a professional has worked on the system.

Keep Your System Running Efficiently

A furnace inspection will ensure that your furnace is running efficiently; this can save you a lot of money on energy costs over the cold months.

Minimize Breakdowns

Having your furnace inspected before winter sets in can save you from experiencing an emergency, such as your furnace breaking down on the coldest night of the year.

Keep Your System Operating Safely

By having a professional inspect your furnace, you can ensure that your furnace is safe to use. Furnaces that have leaks or obstructions can cause fires and potentially devastating damage to your home.

Evenly & Comfortably Heat Your Home

Regular furnace inspections and tune-ups can make sure that your home is heated evenly, as dirty filters and obstructions can leave one room boiling hot and another freezing cold.

Extend the Life of Your Furnace

By having your furnace inspected each year, you may be able to extend the life of your furnace. Many furnaces will last up to 20 years, however, if your furnace is not taken care of, the lifespan can be much shorter.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free at 888-315-5564

How To Ensure Your Furnace Works Properly

RUN CEILING FANS IN REVERSE

Warm air rises, and turning your ceiling fans on reverse forces the warm air back down where you want it, ensuring your home reaches a comfortable temperature quickly. This gives your furnace a bit of help when it comes to keeping your home comfortable.

USE YOUR PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT

There’s no reason to have your furnace heating your home when you aren’t there to enjoy it. Use your programmable thermostat to lower the heat in your house while you’re away, and heat it back up to a comfortable temperature just before you come home.

CLEAR THE AREA AROUND YOUR AIR VENTS

When your air vents are obstructed by furniture and curtains, your furnace can’t get the air it needs to work properly. Clear the area around your air vents, and vacuum or sweep around air vents regularly during the winter months to keep dust from gathering.

CHECK AND REPLACE FURNACE FILTERS

When your furnace’s air filter becomes clogged with dust particles, it causes your furnace to work harder than usual to draw air in. Replace or clean your filters every month to ensure your furnace can get the air it needs. Mark on your calendar when to change your filter so you don’t forget this very important task.

SCHEDULE A FURNACE INSPECTION

Lastly, an annual inspection is essential to keep your furnace running efficiently because it gives a technician a chance to clean dust and debris from the furnace’s interior and replace worn parts. Inspecting your furnace annually also prolongs the life of the unit and can prevent costly breakdowns.

Helping your furnace heat your home efficiently saves energy and saves you money on heating costs. 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 at 888-315-5564

Happy Thanksgiving From Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ!

We would like to wish all of our customers a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday from your Friends at Green Apple Mechanical. And remember don’t put turkey bones down the garbage disposal!

Did You Know Toilets Have Their Own Holiday?

WORLD TOILET DAY HISTORY

World Toilet Day aims to raise awareness of sanitation and hygiene issues around the world. Poor sanitation and hygiene refer to lack of access to clean drinking water toilets and showers. Poor sanitation drastically increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children. Today, 2.6 billion people, about one-third of the population on the planet, do not have access to proper sanitation, a problem that kills nearly 1 million young children every year.

World Toilet Day was designated by the United Nations in July 2013. It is celebrated annually on November 19 as people all over the world take action and support the basic human right of access to clean water and sanitation.

If you are experiencing any trouble or concerns with your toilet, call the experts at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ. We 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. Call toll-free at 888-315-5564

Get Your Plumbing One Step Ahead Of The Weather

  • Run a trickle of water:  Run a thin trickle of water from the faucet furthest from the water line coming to your house. Usually, this is in a room at the back of the house.  Allowing the water to circulate through your home’s plumbing helps to keep it from freezing.  Some consider this a waste of water, but the cost of the water used is extremely slight compared to repairing broken pipes and the resulting water damage. Also, the water can be captured in a bucket and used for other purposes around the home, like watering plants and washing dishes.
  • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses: Detach all hoses from faucets and allow them to drain.  This action guard against the water in the hose or pipe from freezing and bursting the faucet or pipe to which it is connected.
  • Eliminate the amount of cold air coming into the home around water pipes.
  • If your home has a crawl space, cover the outside vents to prevent winter winds from freezing the pipes.
  • Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas: Pipes located in unheated areas of your house, such as a garage or crawl space under the house or in the attic, are subject to freezing.  If you have time to do this before freezing temperatures arrive, wrap these pipes with insulation materials made especially for this purpose.  These materials can be found in most hardware stores or home improvement centers.
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564

Being Proactive Against A Plumbing Disaster

Tip #1: Keep the Heat On

If you or your tenants are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on your property. It may be difficult to convince your tenants to leave their heat on when they are away, especially if they are responsible for paying their own utilities. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if your pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions.

The heat does not have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were actually in the property, but keeping it set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
Tip #2: Allow Faucet to Drip

If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can allow the faucet to drip slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus, keep the pipe from bursting.

Tip #3: Keep Interior Doors Open

Pipes are often located in cabinets. When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.

Tip #4: Seal Up Cracks and Holes

You should cover any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. This should be done on both interior and exterior walls. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191

Here’s How Not To Let Heat Sneak From Your Home

Insulate the attic. Is there insulation in your attic? If so, how much? The existence and amount of insulation that is there is crucial to your home’s ability to hold in the rising warm air. If checking your attic insulation status is not something that you can easily do, contact a local contractor or insulation installer for an in-home evaluation.

Insulate your walls. Some older homes have very little insulation in their walls. The minimum that usually suggested for exterior walls is 6” thick. But, some have only four inches. Removing your walls to add more fiberglass insulation is all but impossible and can be a very involved home repair. Blown-in insulation is an easier and more efficient option. The amount of insulation in your walls can be increased quickly and easily by using it. If you think that some of your home’s heat loss could be attributed to the lack of insulation in your walls, then consider adding some blown-in insulation.

Replacement windows. Ill-fitting, warped, old windows can certainly be a contributing factor to your heat loss. Old wood windows with single pane glass are a far cry from the double pane insulated glass windows of today. Vinyl replacement windows are custom made to fit and are composed of the highest quality vinyl. These windows will add beauty while making your home more energy efficient.

Replace your doors. Entrance doors can be the focus of the exterior of your home. They can easily add character, color, and style to set your house apart. Unfortunately, if these doors are old, they very well could be allowing cold air into your home and hot air out. Replacing your doors with a new replacement fiberglass or steel door can stop this unwanted air exchange.

If you have any HVAC or plumbing questions call Green Apple toll-free at 888-315-5564

Things You Never Knew About About Your Plumbing

1. STORE YOUR GARDEN HOSES BEFORE TEMPERATURES DROP

As temperatures drop, you’ll want to make sure your hoses make it through the colder weather. Start by disconnecting each hose and draining it, ensuring any leftover water has been removed. If any water is left inside the hose when it gets really cold, it will freeze and can potentially break it.

2. COVER YOUR OUTDOOR FAUCETS WITH STYROFOAM

To protect your outdoor faucets from freezing temperatures, invest in a very affordable foam faucet cover. It looks like half an igloo and basically acts as an insulation to keep the outside cold out. Save your faucets from freezing with this very simple and quick solution.

3. IF YOU’RE AWAY FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD, SHUT OFF VALVES

If you’re not home for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to shut off water valves as temperatures begin to drop. Some water meters are located inside, while some are located outside. Look for a round, wheel-type handle and turn it all the way to the right, clockwise. To check whether it’s shut off, test each faucet by turning it on to its highest level. The water should eventually drain and no longer flow.

4. CLEAR OUT YOUR HOME’S GUTTERS

If you have a ladder handy, carefully use it to inspect the gutters around the exterior of your home. Clear out any leaves or debris that could block water from flowing and draining.

5. CHECK YOUR WATER HEATER SETTINGS

During the colder months, your water heater has to work harder to deliver warm water when you need it. As temperatures drop, make sure your water heater is set to 120 degrees to ensure it’s prepared to perform at its best.

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

Here’s How To Not Let Your Furnace Burn Out

REDUCE REPAIRS

Having a technician check your furnace significantly reduces the number of furnace repairs that you could have possibly done. Some heating problems can easily be averted through checkups. This is because the checkups include cleaning the furnace as well as fixing any small problems before they turn into major problems. Remember, your furnace works overtime during fall and winter due to the enormous demand of warming the home and this eventually results in system failure if a checkup is not done on time.

SAVES TIME

Getting your furnace checked before winter is not only convenient but it will also save you on time and inconvenience. A furnace checkup will definitely save you from sitting in the cold as you wait for the technician to come. Besides, when done at the right time the charges are bound to be more affordable.

Green Apple 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 at 888-315-5564