As winter sets in and temperatures begin to drop, it is essential that every home, office and other places of work be sufficiently prepared to keep their occupants warm. During the season temperature does get extreme.
Being pro-active as well as having a routinely maintained HVAC system, there should be little worry about New Jersey winter storms. However, most people are caught off-guard by storms that seem to appear out of nowhere and little time to prepare. The results can range anywhere from spending more on heating costs to no power & heat at all!
Why maintenance and preparing your HVAC system before a potential winter storm is essential.
Preventive maintenance at any time of year and especially before a winter storm sets in is essential to ensure that your home & family are protected to keep their houses warm.
By following the tips below, you are sure to cut your power usage & lower electricity bills, as well as extending the lifespan of their HVAC systems.
Replacing old furnaces and heating elements.
When properly maintained and taken care of, most furnaces will function properly from 15 to 20 years. To last this long, the system must be maintained on a yearly basis. Without proper maintenance, the HVAC furnace can be an individual’s or family’s worst nightmare, especially during extreme snowstorms.
Signs if there is a problem:
- If the furnace is more than 15 years old.
- Electricity bills are often higher than expected or usual.
- The furnace is unable to warm your home sufficiently.
- The furnace makes noise when running.
- If the furnace has not been inspected and maintained for longer than 2-3 years.
- Keep your home’s exhaust pipes clear of snow and ice.
- Insulate any vulnerable pipes. Wrap them with insulation sleeves to prevent freezing.
- If you haven’t already, turn off all outdoor water lines (to hoses and outdoor spigots).
- If any pipes get frozen and burst, turn off your water supply to that pipe and drain it by opening the faucets. Leave faucets open until you can get the pipe repaired.
- If you have an oil tank, make sure that you have enough oil to last.
- 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
Use Cold Water in the Garbage Disposal
Did you ever notice how we talk about the garbage disposal a lot? That’s because we get a lot of calls about clogged garbage disposals around Thanksgiving and Christmas, and often the problems are preventable. In addition to knowing what you should and shouldn’t throw in there be sure to run cold water during and for 30-60 seconds after you put food in the garbage disposal. Hot water will solidify any grease poured down the drain by someone-who-isn’t-you (because you know better).
Do a Toilet Check
There’s no getting around it: Your ceramic throne is going to get a lot of use around the holidays. Give it a check-up. Inspect the handle, the lift arm, and chain, the flapper and break the news to it gently. Speaking of gentle, a gentle reminder to guests in the form of a polite sign about what not to put in the toilet might save you some plumbing headaches and ensure your guests save face. Keep some supplies in plain sight, too, like extra toilet paper and a plunger.
Install Drain Catchers
If you’re hosting overnight guests, they’re going to log shower time. With more showers comes more hair down the drain. Installing a drain catcher, an easy-to-find and affordable item will help prevent clogs.
Get the Water Heater Ready
More showers also mean more hot water usage. Encourage guests to put a bit of space between shower sessions in order to give the water heater tank a breather. The extra time will allow it to recover. Consider turning up the heater (no more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit) while guests are there so that a little goes a long way. Lastly, if you’re due or overdue for water heater maintenance tend to that before the holidays to avoid hot water mishaps.
Show Guests Where the Main Water Valve Is
If plumbing trouble brews, shutting off the main water valve or appliance-specific emergency shutoff valve can minimize damage and help get you into problem-solving mode. Mark the valve so guests can quickly find it in a pinch, give them the spiel about shutting off the water (for example, when the water rises in the toilet), and have them practice turning it off and on. This is a “hope you don’t have to use it” measure but a useful one should guests be home alone when a plumbing issue occurs. 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 @888-315-5564Read More
If you have or are looking at purchasing a gas furnace, there are five standard types
- Horizontal gas furnace
- Package gas furnace: also comes with an air conditioner
- Upflow gas furnace: airflow enters the bottom, and the heated air exits the top
- Downflow gas furnace: opposite of the upflow, airflow enters the top, and the heated air exits the bottom
- Lowboy gas furnace: shorter units designed for tight spaces
If your home has a gas furnace…you are not alone
Gas furnaces are the most common heating units found in homes across America. This is primarily due to the fact that they have such high-efficiency ratings and can be used in rural or remote locations. They can operate off of natural gas (if it’s available in the area) or propane, which makes them very convenient for homes with no natural gas lines.
You should always look at what’s covered in the policy
Contrary to popular belief, not every component of a furnace is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. In fact, it’s common for the more expensive parts to not be covered by the warranty. Make sure you do your research and read the fine print before making any purchase.
Never store things around your furnace
Heating units are typically located in the basement where many families keep seasonal items between uses. This is a bad idea for several reasons. If you need to get to your furnace in an emergency quickly, you have no quick route to access it. And if you have a gas unit that uses a burner, you could have a potential fire hazard on your hands.
Always, always commit to preventative maintenance.
If nothing else, preventative maintenance can help you spot small problems before they become significant problems. But regular maintenance on your furnace can also help prolong the lifespan of the unit and keep your energy costs down. In fact, most manufacturers require annual maintenance to maintain warranties. Make sure you add an annual check-up to your maintenance list, especially after the 5-year mark.
If you notice your furnace beginning to make strange noises or not performing as well as it should contact a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ professional so they can also help you set up a preventative maintenance schedule so your system stays in tip-top shape and keeps your family warm for many years. 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 @888-315-5564Read More
You manually adjust temperatures frequently
When it gets too cold, you turn the thermostat up, and when it’s hotter than you’d like, you lower temperatures or shut the furnace off. This may seem logical and like an efficient way to run the furnace only when you need it, but this simply isn’t the case.
Your furnace is designed to run in balanced cycles in order to keep temperatures just where they need to be. When you manually turn the thermostat on and off, you wear down the components quickly. Rather than turn the furnace up high and then lowering temperatures dramatically, it makes more sense to find a reasonable temperature and keep it there, letting the furnace run in its usual cycles.
You don’t change the air filter
Neglecting to change the air filter might not seem like a big deal to you, especially if you don’t have active allergies. But it’s not just there to clean the air. A dirty filter can actually harm a furnace (or air conditioner) because it blocks the flow of air through the system.
The blower fan has to work harder to try to suck in air through a dirty and clogged filter. Parts wear down, but what’s worse is that your furnace can overheat and shut off completely.
You don’t use a programmable or smart thermostat
Older thermostats tend to work just fine even with some brand new equipment. Many people don’t upgrade their thermostats when they replace a heating system, but we think this is a mistake. The wrong thermostat can easily overwork your furnace even if it’s working just fine.
You’ve probably left the heat on high by accident before leaving the home many a time. But a smart thermostat helps you prevent this. If you need to make an adjustment after you’ve left the home, all you have to do is open up an app on your smartphone.
You shut the vents
When you shut a vent in an unoccupied room in the home, you might think you are saving energy. After all, no one is using the room, and it only makes sense to keep from paying for that extra heat. However, closing the vent actually creates more work for your heater.
A furnace is designed and sized specifically to heat the amount of space in your home. Closing off space can lead to overheating or short cycling as the furnace may have to start and stop more often than it is meant to. 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
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
While we can’t control the weather, there are things we can do to prevent pipes from freezing. To prevent pipes from freezing and causing major damage, follow these steps:
- Drain water from pipes that are likely to freeze. This includes your swimming pool and sprinkler water supply lines.
- Disconnect any hoses from the outside of your home, drain the hoses and store them in the garage. Make sure to close the indoor valves supplying these outdoor access points.
- Insulate the area around vents and light fixtures. This helps prevent heat from escaping into the attic.
- Seal any wall cracks. Be sure to pay careful attention to the areas around utility service lines.
- Open kitchen cabinets. This allows the warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- Keep the garage doors closed to protect water lines.
- Allow your faucets to drip cold water on the coldest days. The movement will make it harder for the water to freeze.
- Keep your thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Never let it fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you leave your home.
- Ensure you have proper seals on all doors and windows.
- Place a 60-watt bulb in areas where you’re concerned about pipes freezing. Make sure there are no combustible materials near the bulb.
Protection from Frozen Water Pipes
Frozen water pipes and the damage they can cause are a reality for thousands of people each year. That’s especially the case when you are at below-freezing temperatures for an extended period of time.
The Insurance Institute says a burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage. That’s because the damage can be extensive.
Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your plumbing. Green Apple 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
Your furnace works hard to warm your New Jersey home, and you can help. Here are five ways to make sure your furnace is working efficiently this cold season.
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 important to keep your furnace running efficiently because it gives our Green Apple 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 can help, with programmable thermostats, annual furnace inspection, and energy-efficient furnaces. 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