As with anything in your home, the more proactive you are, the better off your equipment will be. You can stay on top of routine furnace maintenance by doing a number of things. The most common (and most often overlooked) maintenance you can do is to change the filters. This should be done every two to three months in average households. In homes with more than three occupants and/or multiple pets, filters should be changed once every thirty days and every three to six months in seldom used vacation/seasonal homes.
If you live alone in a small condo or apartment and don’t have any pets, then you may only need to change the filters once every three or four months. It really just depends on your home and lifestyle. Although, it’s recommended to remain cautious and change them out every two to three months. It’s also smart to buy a one year supply every May or November (before the start of heavy usage seasons such as summer and winter). You can typically buy a four or six-pack for about $50 to $100 at your local home improvement supply store but you should make note of the size of the air filters your unit requires by writing down the dimensions before you go to the store. There are few things more annoying than buying air filters, bringing them home and then realizing you actually needed 20”x25”x1” and not 20”x20”x1”.
Frequent Test Runs
Another thing you can do is test your system every few months. For instance, if it’s the middle of July, then you most likely already know that your air conditioning is working fine, but your heat probably hasn’t been turned on in a few months and winter is just around the corner. Therefore, it’s usually good to check your heating at least once per summer and your air conditioning at least once per winter; run each for about ten minutes at a time. That way you can avoid any unhappy surprises when it comes time to switch over the thermostat. It also helps to burn off some of the dust which has collected on the heating coils which tend to make for one unpleasant afternoon in December when eight months of dust is burning off at one time.
If you have a unit with a lot of different settings (various levels of heat and cool air, five fan settings, energy efficiency mode, timers, etc) then it’s also a good idea to go through each of the settings to test them one at a time. It may sound tedious, and it sort of is, but you’ll be happy if you discover a problem five months before you would ever be bothered by it. Not only is this good for staying on top of maintenance but it also helps you budget for any work that does need to be done. It’s much easier to save up for five months to get your heater fixed rather than desperately needing someone to come out tomorrow because it’s only twelve degrees outside.
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 put that down the drain!
Indoor plumbing is an amazing invention, and your kitchen sink can make cleanup a breeze. Pour in liquids or use the disposal to grind up scraps. Then, turn on the water, and it’s all magically swept away. That is, except when it gets stuck in the pipes.
Yes, the No. 1 culprit for plumbing problems after Thanksgiving is homeowners trying to use their sink or garbage disposal as a garbage can, resulting in clogged pipes.
Keep the water flowing smoothly by remembering that these things (many of them Thanksgiving staples) should never go down your sink, even if you run them through a garbage disposal:
- Cooking oils
- Potato and onion peels
- Fibrous vegetables like celery and pumpkin
- Skin from poultry
In the bathroom, remember that cotton balls, swabs, cleansing cloths, dental floss, and similar items need to go into the trash, not get flushed down the toilet. This includes wipes that are labeled “flushable.” Don’t believe the hype. Toss ’em.
Check What You Can And Can’t Flush
- Sanitary napkins/feminine products
- Flushable wipes
- Cleaning wipes
- Facial Cleansing Pads
- Cotton Balls & Swabs
- Paper towel
Throw Greasy Food In The Trash
Dispose of oily, greasy or fatty foods or liquids in the trash. Take a paper towel and wipe the food and grease into the garbage before washing it in the sink or placing it in the dishwasher. The fat and grease will solidify and can cause clogs. 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 @888-315-5564Read More
Did you know that Thanksgiving is the busiest day of the year for plumbers? While you are enjoying a good meal with your family, watching relatives doze off before the pumpkin pie is served or watching the football game, plumbers are hard at work at homes all over the country.
The garbage disposal will be the origination of most Thanksgiving and holiday plumbing problems. The problem is during the hours and hours of cooking, either too much waste gets thrown down the disposal or items are discarded that cannot be broken down. No matter what the reason, if you call an emergency plumber during the holidays, they will likely head straight into the kitchen without needing to know the exact reason for your call.
Here are some tips: First, even if you aren’t going to be the actual cook for this meal (we know how pushy your mother-in-law can be), make sure that everyone who is going to be using the disposal knows what shouldn’t be put in there:
- No corn husks
- No grease
- No bones
- No potato skins
- No eggshells
- No lettuce
- No metal, of course
Second, don’t stuff too much down the disposal at once. Do a little at a time. If you see a problem, pay to have a Green Apple plumber fix the disposal before you find yourself standing in a flooded kitchen.
It can be a tricky hoop to jump through since this meal is often a group effort, but you either need to marshal everything that will go in the disposal or put out a mandate of how to use it. Everyone will, of course, feel insulted, but it is better to be safe than to have your kitchen flood just as everyone sits down to eat.
So Many Guests
On a typical Thanksgiving, a normal household of 4-5 people can swell to more than 20, what with both sides of the family and all their kids. So consider that there might be 4-5 times the amount of hands being washed, glasses of water to fill, and trips to the bathroom, which is going to distress your plumbing in general.
While there is nothing you can do to force people to use the bathroom less or cook less, you can make sure that everyone (mainly the kids) knows what can and can’t be flushed to avoid paying for toilet bowl repair during the holidays. You might even say to your guests the plumbing has been acting up so keep a close eye on it. This will ensure your guests are mindful when they use the garbage disposal or visit the bathroom, and it might just keep your plumber off your guest list. 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 your number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your plumbing or HVAC needs call toll-free @888-315-5564Read More
HVAC Winter Maintenance
Schedule a routine maintenance check for your HVAC system each fall to check for loose belts in the blower, measure the pressure of the gas, and check for cracks in the heat exchanger.
Loose belts mean your system has to work harder to pump out the desired amount of air. Cracks in the heat exchanger can cause problems with the pilot light as well as soot buildup from improper combustion, leading to a host of fire concerns.
Inspect Your Ducts
Have a licensed Green Apple professional inspect and clean your ducts to make sure you have a clean, energy-efficient holiday season. If you have leaks in your ducts, you will raise your heating bill as your heating system pushes out more heat to make up for what’s lost in the leaks.
To reduce worry about cleaning ducts and to minimize home heating during the winter, you should also consider a ductless heating pump. By eliminating ducts you also eliminate the chance of heat escaping through cracks or improperly sealed ducts.
Prevent Heating System Fires
The overwhelming majority of home heating system fires occur in the months of December, January, and February. While there are many causes of home heating fires, clogged or dirty equipment is the most common. You should get your heating system checked by a Green Apple professional technician every year before you turn the system to heat, but if you let it slip, make sure to get a check-up before holiday get-togethers.
Make sure your filters and vents are clean and free of debris because dust is extremely flammable and in large quantities can cause fires to spread. Dust can also accumulate above the furnace and cause a fire within if the debris falls down into the heat exchanger.
You also want to make sure to keep anything flammable away from heating devices, especially blankets, boxes of holiday decorations, and packages. During the holidays the house can get crazy, but it’s important not to forget home heating safety.
Check Your Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A natural byproduct of gas furnaces is carbon dioxide, an odorless, colorless gas that is usually safely combusted and vented away from the home. If your heating system’s venting is dirty or clogged, the carbon monoxide can build up and leak into the home with potentially deadly effects.
You may also want to be careful if you have an older, smaller house without updated ventilation. If several appliances are running and competing for a limited amount of fresh air, it can lead to a carbon dioxide buildup.
If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, we highly recommend you purchase enough to place one near or in each separate sleeping area. Additionally, we recommend you place an additional carbon monoxide alarm at least 15-20 feet away from the furnace or any fuel-burning heating systems.
Make Use of Your
Programmable thermostats are great for the holidays because you can set them and forget them. You can set preferable temperatures for up to four times a day, making sweltering dinner times and freezing breakfasts non-existent.
If you are hosting holiday parties, set it for a slightly cooler temperature the day everyone is scheduled to come over. With that many warm bodies and the oven going, it can get hot inside pretty quick. Put out some blankets on the couch so that the family can stay warm even after the kitchen has cooled down.
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 @888-315-5564Read More
The most basic type of filter on the market, fiberglass filters check all of the essential boxes. These filters are flat, made with fiberglass, and have a metal structure as support. They don’t offer much in the way of cleaning the air in your home, but they do protect the HVAC system from large particles and some bacteria. Fiberglass filters generally have very low minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings between one and four.
Keep in mind that even basic filters like these won’t be effective if you don’t change them regularly. Most HVAC technicians recommend changing air filters every two to three months for most of the year and replacing them every four weeks during the winter months when you are constantly using the furnace. By changing the air filter as often as possible, you’ll ensure that it helps the HVAC system run as smoothly as possible.
A step up from fiberglass, pleated filters are made with polyester. With a pleated format, these filters boast more surface area, which allows them to trap and capture more airborne contaminants. More than just a protective shield for the HVAC system, many pleated filters can also help clean pollen, dust, and mold from your home’s air supply, which contributes to quality indoor air. Most pleated filters have an MERV rating between five and 13, with the higher-ranked models offering superior filtration capabilities. In general, these are a good, affordable option for most furnaces.
Like fiberglass filters, pleated filters must be replaced regularly. Mark, your calendar to change the filter yourself every 60 to 90 days during the off-season and every 30 days during high season. Alternatively, schedule preventative maintenance for your HVAC system to check both filter replacement and system checkup off your list.
Air filters that boast high-efficiency ratings look and operate much like pleated filters. Their MERV ratings are even higher, and most have a rating between 14 and 16. These also tend to be expensive, with an average price tag of $100. Before splurging for one of these filters, make sure it will work with your furnace. Some high-efficiency filters are thicker or offer too much air resistance, so they’re not the right choice for every system.
Note that HEPA filters are often considered a top choice for air filtration since they can capture nearly 100 percent of airborne particles. Due to their unique construction, however, HEPA filters won’t work with most HVAC systems which can’t provide the high air pressure that these filters require.
Most air filters are disposable, which means that while they might be effective, they’re not always environmentally friendly. When you’re looking for a greener option, consider a reusable air filter, which is made to be removed, washed, and reused regularly. These filters create little waste, but they do require maintenance about once per month.
Most reusable filters offer moderate efficiency, with MERV ratings between six and 10. Keep in mind that many reusable filters have higher price tags, but since they don’t require a replacement, the cost balances out over time.
Made with self-charging cotton or paper fibers, electrostatic filters are able to trap some of the smallest airborne particles. While most filters can trap medium and large pollutants, electrostatic filters can capture bacteria and odor particles. The ability to trap such small particles makes these filters a good choice for homeowners working hard to manage their indoor air quality.
Electrostatic filters come in both disposable and permanent varieties with mid-range price tags. These filters generally have MERV ratings between eight and 10. While they’re not the most efficient models on the market, they do offer advanced air cleaning properties. Since the permanent filters can be washed and dried, they’re also an environmentally friendly option.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free @888-315-5564. 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.Read More
You Have No Water in the House
In instances when water stops flowing within your house, it is localized around one area, such as a bathroom sink or shower. But rarely will water stop flowing to your entire house.
Check all water outlets within the house to confirm that none of them are receiving water. Be sure to check both the hot and cold water supplies. Often, if there is a problem with the hot water heater and hot water is no longer being delivered, the cold side is still operable.
If you still cannot get the water to run, you may have a serious problem. It is possible that the buried water pipe leading from the streetside water meter to your house has burst or has been severed, diverting water intended for your house. Or the leak may be centered around the water meter.
You Have a Rapid Drainage Line Leak
If your kitchen sink or bathroom sink leaks from the trap directly below the counter, that is a fairly common issue that most homeowners can fix with simple tools and materials. Simply turn off the water, get under the sink, and replace the trap. In kitchens, the leak may be emanating from the garbage disposal. In this case, fix or replace your garbage disposal.
But drainage lines extend far beyond the sink cabinets and are not always so accessible. When a drainage line is actively leaking and is sealed up behind a wall or under a floor, you need to take immediate action. Calling a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ plumber is the most expedient way to fix this problem and prevent further damage to the drywall, paint, subfloor, or floor covering. 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