Professional maintenance is a lot more than just a look-over. Proper care ensures your system gains a lot of crucial benefits that aim to keep your heating costs (and stress level) much lower when the cold kicks in.
The benefits of maintenance include:
- Lower heating costs. A well-maintained system can perform its function faster, better, and at less effort on the machine’s part. This means you’ll get all of the high-quality comforts you need without your system overworking and using too much energy, which directly impacts your monthly energy costs.
- Higher quality comfort. That efficiency also spells out better comfort. Whether you use oil heating, gas, or an electric furnace, you’ll get better heating that never leaves cold spots or cool rooms.
- Less risk of breakdowns. One of the most important parts of a professional maintenance service is ensuring your system is working optimally, and all components are in great working condition. The vast majority of seasonal breakdowns can be directly traced to poor component health or air flow problems; both issues are addressed with an inspection!
- Longer service from your furnace. Depending on your type of furnace, you can generally expect around a decade or slightly more of service from your furnace. But that amount of time takes into account getting inspections and maintenance, without which you can cut that decade down to even just a few years!
- Call Green Apple toll-free with any questions or concerns you may have regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing concerns at 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
- 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
1. How old is your furnace?
A good place to start is to compare your furnaces age to the national average. The average life expectancy of furnaces in homes today is between 16 and 20 years. If your furnace is close to this age or older, you should begin shopping. Shopping for a replacement furnace in an emergency does not allow time to make your best decision. Most people prefer to replace their furnace as a planned home improvement rather than a panic replacement when your furnace is faltering or failed. For starters, look at your furnace to see if you have a pilot light. If you do, it is almost certain to be over 25 years old!
2. Gas & Electric Bills Going Up?
Rising gas and electric prices are not the only reason for high bills. Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age especially if they have not been properly maintained. As a result, your furnace may run longer to provide the same amount of heat. This will cause your gas & electric bills to go up. The money you pay the gas & electric company every month could be used to pay for a new furnace.
3. Any Furnace Repairs in the last 2 years?
Furnaces are like cars. As they age, you can replace one part only to have to replace another part next year. It doesn’t take long to spend $500 just to keep the old furnace running. Furnaces incur the most breakdowns in the last 2 years of their lives. Another repair sign is whether you had to wait to get parts replaced. As furnace ages, it gets harder to get replacement parts. This waiting can really be cold on a below zero night.
Call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical with any questions or concerns you may have regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs 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.
Whole House Cooling
Stepping into an air-conditioned home from a muggy 90-degree day is indeed a relief. If you own an older house and have been using window units, a central A/C unit will be a big improvement, for both convenience and efficiency. Central air conditioners are often more economical to run than many separate units installed in individual rooms. You’ll also avoid having to set up and take down window units at the beginning and end of every summer.
If your home has a central forced air heating system, installation of central air is a relatively easy task because the ductwork and air handling fans are already in place. Adding a cooling coil into the existing air handling system saves the expense of a new or secondary air handler. Homes that have baseboard, radiant and other ductless systems will require a more involved A/C installation. If your home falls into this latter category, there are other options available that may prove less costly or intrusive to install.
Installing Central Air during the “Off Season” is often cheaper and involves less wait time for appointments and installation. Call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical toll-free at 888-315-5564