How To Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

WHY PIPES BURST

When water freezes, it expands in volume by about 9 percent. And it expands with tremendous force: The pressure inside pipes may go from 40 pounds per square inch to 40,000 psi! No pipe can hold that much pressure, so it breaks open. The break may occur where the ice forms, but more often, it occurs where water pressure finds a weak spot in the pipe. That may be inches or even feet from the frozen area.

TEMPORARY STEPS

The first sign of ice forming in pipes is reduced flow at faucets. So if the flow slows to trickle during a cold snap, or if you suspect your pipes are vulnerable, take action. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Turn up the heat.
  • Set up fans to blow heat into cold rooms.
  • Open vanity or cabinet doors so warm air can reach the pipes under sinks.
  • If you have exposed pipes inside closets or pantries, leave doors open.
  • Disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Even “frostproof” faucets can burst if a hose is connected.
  • Keep the garage door closed.
  • If you have reduced water flow, heat the most vulnerable pipes (usually in basements and crawl spaces or near exterior walls) with a hairdryer. Leave the faucet on while you apply heat. As you melt ice, the flow will increase.
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing concerns call Green Apple  Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free at 888-315-5564

How You Can Always Be Prepared For A Nor’easter

CHANGE THE FILTER SEASONALLY

The filter is what collects dust, debris, and prevents these airborne irritants from circulating throughout the home. Gradually over time, all of that dust and debris will accumulate and clog up the filter, which can place excess pressure on your furnace and force it to work even harder to maintain the right temperature. That’s why it’s important to change the filter at least every season to keep it working properly.

ANNUAL INSPECTION

To ensure that your furnace is running properly and efficiently, an annual inspection is always recommended. A trained technician will inspect it and clean out internal components, perform fine-tuning and will be able to detect if there are any potential safety concerns that should be dealt with. A furnace is an expensive investment, so having it inspected frequently is the best way to extend its lifespan and get the most bang for your buck.

AUTOMATE YOUR THERMOSTAT

Automating your thermostat can also help to reduce your usage by automatically adjusting the temperature. For example, when you and the family head out for the day, you can set it so the furnace isn’t working so hard to heat up your home. And then once you’re heading back home, you can automate it to kick on just in time to warm up the house before you get in. This can help keep your monthly bill nice and low.

If you can have any questions or concerns call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ us toll-free at 888-315-5564

Do You Know How Old Your Plumbing Fixtures Are?

Know your water pressure.
A small pressure gauge is always a good investment – and they’re not even that expensive. Ideally, the water pressure should be no more than 80psi; stronger than this and your pipes and fixtures can get damaged.

Know where your waste goes and where the clean-out plugs are.
Some homes have septic tanks, others are connected to the sewers. Either way, there are clean-out plugs that can help you in case of a clog or a backflow.

Know your equipment.
You don’t have to be an expert on plumbing fixtures but it is important that you know how old your fixtures, pipes, and heaters are. If your plumbing is older than 10 years, you have to figure out whether it is more efficient to do preventive maintenance or to invest in new ones altogether.

Keep an eye on your heater.
Your leaking heater is as good as a dead one so have it replaced at once before it floods your basement/garage. A pan underneath the heater is always a wise investment too.

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

These Furnace Sounds Are Cause For Concern

LOUD BANG OR POP WHEN THE FURNACE TURNS ON

Here are two common reasons for the loud banging or popping coming from your furnace:

  • Dirty furnace burners – the dirt on the furnace burners delay the burners from igniting, causing an excess of gas to build up. So when the gas does finally ignite, you’ll hear a loud bang. You should never ignore this noise because these small explosions could crack the heat exchanger (which is expensive to repair). Regular furnace maintenance can help prevent this issue before the heating season even starts.
  • Expanding and contracting air ducts – this is a common noise for homeowners with metal ducts. The ducts expand and contract as the blower turns off and on. This could be a sign of undersized ducts, closed vents, flimsy ducts, or a clogged air filter.

SQUEALING OR WHINING NOISE

A high-pitched squealing noise is caused by:

  • Loose, slipping, or fraying blower belt (should be adjusted by a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ technician or replaced if fraying)
  • Shaft bearings that need oil (a technician needs to apply lightweight oil to the lubrication port at each end of the shaft)
  • Malfunctioning blower motor (needs to be fixed or replaced)

This squealing or whining noise isn’t as big of a deal as the others listed above, but it’s best to get it fixed before it causes any further troubles inside your furnace. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call us toll-free at 888-315-5564

Do Not Ignore Any Of These Furnace Warning Signs

  1. Malfunctioning thermostat: A faulty thermostat can lead to problems with the fan or comfort levels.
  2. The furnace doesn’t heat at all: A furnace that doesn’t perform its main task may have problems with the thermostat setting, power, gas or the pilot light.
  3. The furnace doesn’t heat enough: In addition to a clogged filter, a furnace may not produce enough heat if it’s the wrong size for the space.
  4. Frequent cycling: Cycling between the “On” and “Off” modes may indicate a clogged filter, improper airflow or a bad thermostat setting.
  5. The blower continuously runs: Blower issues may indicate a problem with the limit switch, which a Green Apple Mechanical NJ professional may need to replace.
  6. The furnace is too noisy: Rumbling, squeaking, and rattles aren’t normal. The sounds may indicate a mechanical problem, airflow reductions or a clogged burner.
  7. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs, please feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free at 888-315-5564

How Not To Be Left Unprepared For A Snow Storm

You really don’t want your furnace to break down ever but you really don’t want it breaking down in weather like this. That’s why Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ always emphasizes the importance of having maintenance checks done on your furnace at least once a year. We can check to make sure there are no small problems that can turn into much larger problems down the road if left unchecked.

We will also ensure that all air filters are clear so air flow will be optimal and air quality will be pure. Also depending on the age of your furnace, we will check to see if it’s still up to date. We 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 please feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free at 888-315-5564

Don’t Overlook This Common Problem

  • A leak never gets better on its own. The flow may fluctuate, but once it starts, it won’t stop without a repair. Leaks are a sure sign that something is wrong, just as your gut instinct led you to believe.
  • A leak is usually caused by a mechanical malfunction. Your sink may need plumbing help in the form of a new part, such as a washer or rubber seal.
  • A leak could be a sign of an old pipe – another problem that must be addressed and inspected for damage. Weakened pipes almost always must be replaced.
  • A leak can cause drywall damage, depending on where it’s located. It’s easy to forget that water travels, seeking the path of least resistance. Wet drywall often must be replaced, too.
  • A leak can cause mold damage. And the longer a leak has gone undetected, the more extensive the mold damage is likely to be. Fortunately, mold that is contained in a small area – that hasn’t “traveled” along the route of the water – is fairly simple to remedy.
  • A leak can damage floors, furniture and other items that the water has penetrated. If your home has ever incurred even 1 inch of water, you know how invasive water can be, often ruining everything in its way.
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your plumbing or HVAC needs please call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free at 888-315-5564

Tips You Didn’t Know For Optimizing Your Furnace

1. DECORATIVE INSULATION

Carpeting and area rugs on floors help insulate against drafts. They also feel great underfoot, help with soundproofing, and make us feel warmer because they’re so cozy looking.

2. KEEP A GOOD HUMIDITY LEVEL

Most people notice that the air in our homes tends to be really dry in winter. It’s not only drying on skin and throats, but it can make us feel colder than we really are. Using a humidifier to bring your humidity level up to about 40% will help transfer heat better. You can lower the setting on the thermostat and not notice it. More humidity is also better for wood floors and furniture and can help prevent asthma and allergy attacks.

3. MAKE SURE YOUR GARAGE DOOR IS SEALED

The garage is one of the biggest culprits of energy loss in the modern home. Make sure the garage door is touching all the way down and there aren’t any drafts around the sides are top.
By following these tips, you’ll keep your furnace running smoothly all winter long. You’ll also stay cozy and warm for less money.

We are the professionals 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 feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free at 888-315-5564

Hot Tips On How To Have A Trouble Free Furnace

1-KEEP THE AREA AROUND THE FURNACE CLEAR

Most furnaces are kept in the basement, where we also love to store extra belongings. It’s really important to keep a three to five foot area around your furnace completely clear of stored items. This is a safety issue because there is burning gas in the furnace. But it also helps the furnace run smoother because air can circulate freely.

2-. CURTAINS ARE A GREAT WAY TO SAVE ENERGY

Strategically using your curtains can make a noticeable difference in your energy bill. By closing them at night, you can prevent heat loss to the cold outdoors.

Opening them in the day on the south or west-facing windows allows warm sunshine to enter and heat the inside of your home, just like with a car left in a parking lot. On any north windows, try to keep them closed, even during the day.

3. GET REGULAR FURNACE TUNE-UPS

Make sure you have your furnace inspected and tuned up every year by Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ to ensure its running at peak efficiency. One faulty part can place a strain on the rest of the system, and can lead to sudden breakdowns.

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

How To Be Prepared For These Plumbing Musts!

  • Test the faucets both inside and out. To do so, turn on the hot and cold water one at a time. You may notice some air in the lines in your outdoor faucets, but don’t be alarmed. This is normal if you turned the water off during the colder months.
  • Inspect your pipes. Drastic changes in temperature at the end of winter can compromise the integrity of your pipes potentially causing them to burst or leak. For this reason, it’s imperative that you know how to shut the water off to your house quickly. Take this time to test shutoff valves.
  • Flush the water heater. Since you should be flushing it once a year, take this time to get rid of sediment in the tank. If you turned up the thermostat for hotter water during the winter, bring it back down to 120°.
  • Reattach garden hoses and check for leaks. It’s that time of year again – where you’ll be spending time outside gardening or washing your car. Reattach hoses, turn on the spigots and check for leaks. Leaky hose bibs can drive up your water bill.
  • Clean out the gutters. We all know how much rain we can get during the spring season so take this time to clean out the gutters. It’s also important to make sure they are draining properly and that water is redirected away from your home and foundation.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free at 888-315-5564