Keeping Your Furnace Free From Obstacles

 Make sure all household vents are free

In order for your heating system to work properly, the air in your house must circulate completely throughout the system. That means your furnace should be fully operational. It also means your vents are clear and working properly. Are all vents in your home open, adjusted to allow air to flow freely, and free of furniture, boxes, or other household items blocking the path? Closing a vent down or blocking it can cause the furnace to work hard and less efficiently, eventually damaging it before its time.

 For gas furnaces, verify the exhaust flue to the outside is clear

There are three main reasons an exhaust flue needs regular attention: carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. These three components can be found in the fumes from your furnace, especially if it hasn’t been serviced in awhile. If the exhaust flue is blocked and isn’t allowing air to freely move from inside the system to the outside of your home, problems occur quickly. And they can cause very nasty health effects:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Collapse
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death

Combustion gasses might not be drafting safely up your flue because of blockage or back-drafting. If you suspect a problem, call immediately and have it checked out.

Remove all flammable objects from around your furnace

Your furnace is usually located in a separate area of your home the basement, a crawl space, a storage room. However, your furnace isn’t designed to operate with storage containers built around it. Anything flammable, clothes, paint, aerosols, gasoline, boxes, and other household items should never be placed in the general vicinity of your furnace or water heater.

 Clean your heating systems vents and ductwork

As with all systems, your entire heating and cooling system needs to be cleaned and regularly maintained to ensure it’s in good operating condition. Take a quick walk around at the start of each season. Are all vents accessible? Are floor registers free of debris, pet hair, dust and scraps of paper? Anything inside the vents can move down into the ductwork and reduce efficiency. Remove floor registers and use a vacuum to clean up any messes that occur near them. You can also consider having your ductwork cleaned, especially if you have made significant renovations to your home, or it’s been several years since they were cleaned.

Maintaining your furnace doesn’t take too much time or effort to keep it in perfect working condition. A little common sense and a small amount of TLC each year can keep a lot of the issues at bay. If you have a question, we are here to help. Just give us a call. 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 @888-315-5564

8 Major Plumbing Problems You Need To Be Ready For

Plumbing Problems can be an inevitable part of owning a home. While some problems come with aging fixtures or normal wear and tear on plumbing equipment, others may be caused by how certain systems are used and maintained.

At Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ, we’ve seen and fixed all types of plumbing problems big and small alike! Here’s a look at some of the most common issues our expert plumbers handle and what usually causes them.

If you’re dealing with any plumbing problem at your New Jersey home and you need help now, don’t hesitate to call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ for same-day service.

 

1. DRIPPING FAUCETS

Dripping faucets are annoying, wasteful, and costly. Sometimes, these drips can be caused by a worn-out washer or O ring, which can easily be replaced. In other cases, corrosion or even improper faucet installation can be the problem causing the drip.

If your faucet is dripping:

  • Drips are expensive and are definitely costing you.
  • Let our expert plumbers diagnose the problem if a simple washer or O ring replacement doesn’t fix your drip!

2. LEAKY PIPES

Leaky pipes can be caused by all sorts of problems, including:

  • Stubborn clogs
  • Incorrect pipe laying
  • Pipe corrosion
  • Pipe joint damage
  • Cracked seals or cracked pipes
  • Excessive water pressure

No matter what’s causing leaky pipes, this common plumbing problem needs to be fixed fast! The longer leaky pipes are ignored, the more damage they can cause both to your plumbing system and to your home itself!

3. RUNNING TOILETS

Did you know that a running toilet bowl can waste up to 200 gallons per day? That’s a lot of water waste! In most cases, the issues that cause running toilets include:

  • Refill tube problems
  • Worn out flapper seals or flush valves
  • Improperly sized flapper chains
  • Corroded toilet handles

4. LOW WATER PRESSURE

Weak water pressure can make it challenging to use pretty much any plumbing system in your home! Often, low water pressure is a symptom of bigger plumbing problems, like:

  • Pipe corrosion
  • Hidden water leaks in your home
  • Drain or sewer clogs
  • Cracked or blocked sewer lines

5. LEAKING HOSE BIBB

A leaking hose bibb is very common. After a long, cold winter, many hose bibbs that aren’t protected can crack and begin to leak. We advise our customers to invest in a frost-proof hose bibb, which can reduce the chances of having future leaks.

6. SLOW OR CLOGGED DRAINS

Drainage problems can cause health hazards and even plumbing disasters if they’re not addressed quickly! In general:

  • One slow or clogged drain in a home usually means that a problem is localized to that area of the home. Commonly, these drain clogs happen because hair, soap, and other foreign objects have simply built up in a drain over time. Routine drain cleaning can be the ideal solution for addressing this issue!
  • Multiple slow or clogged drains are a red flag that you may be dealing with sewer line problems To prevent a sewer backup in your home, it’s crucial you call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ whenever you notice multiple slow drains in your home especially if the problem starts with the drains in the lowest areas of your home!

7. SUMP PUMP FAILURE

Sump pump problems can be related to a problem with the unit or an external issue. Usually, the causes of sump pump failures include:

  • Stuck switches
  • An overwhelming amount of water, like after heavy rain
  • Clogged discharge pipes
  • Improper sump pump installation
  • Aging, with sump pumps around 10 years old being prone to failure

8. WATER HEATER PROBLEMS

Hot water is a necessity in any home. So, when water heaters can’t provide enough or any hot water, homeowners can be dealing with a plumbing crisis! Usually, water heater problems are caused by issues like:

  • Heating element failures
  • Corrosion or sediment buildup in systems
  • Loose or broken electrical connections
  • Improper water heater installation
  • The wrong size or type of system to support a home’s needs

Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ HAS ALL OF YOUR PLUMBING REPAIR NEEDS COVERED

Whether or not you’re dealing with a common plumbing problem, the trusted plumbers at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical can help! We have the expertise and state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and repair any plumbing problem. Plus, we offer same day and emergency service. 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 @888-315-5564

A Little Maintenance Goes A long Way

Dirt is one of your furnace’s biggest enemies. A dirty furnace can not only cause unexpected breakdowns of your heating system, but it can also have a direct effect on the health and energy consumption of your home. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the top reasons you should keep your furnace clean and the two best ways you can go about doing it.

  • Better air quality. If dirt is making its way to your furnace, there’s a good chance it’s also getting into your home’s airflow. Dirt particles and other airborne contaminants can make you sick and aggravate symptoms of asthma and allergies. By taking steps to keep your furnace clean, you’ll also improve the quality of air that you and your family breathe.
  • Improved efficiency. If you don’t keep your furnace clean, dirt can build up on different components of your heating system and reduce its efficiency. A  dirty air filter, for example, will restrict your furnace’s airflow and cause your blower motor to work harder than normal to compensate. When dirt builds up on your blower’s blades, it can weigh them down and reduce their efficiency. In either scenario, your furnace will have to work harder and consume more energy, which will cause your heating bills to rise. Keeping your furnace clean will avoid these problems and allow your heating system to operate efficiently.
  • A safer home. When your heating system has restricted airflow due to dirt buildup (as described in the point above), your furnace will overheat and put extra stress on your heat exchanger. That extra stress can cause your heat exchanger to crack and allow carbon monoxide to get into your home’s air. Keeping your furnace clean will help avoid this dangerous problem.
  • Less unexpected repairs. Lack of cleaning is one of the top reasons a furnace unexpectedly breaks down. Often times, these breakdowns lead to expensive repairs that could have been avoided if the furnace was cleaned properly. Some of these problems can also take years off of the operating life of your heating system.

Best Way To Keep Your Furnace Clean

The two best things you can do to keep your furnace clean are keep up with your filter changes and have your furnace tuned- up once a year. By keeping up with your filter changes, you can prevent dirt from building up on your furnace, improve indoor air quality and prevent airflow issues. During an annual tune-up, your furnace will be completely cleaned and prepared to run safely and efficiently for the heating season to come. 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

Your Most Common Furnace Problems

  1. What Are the Most Common Furnace Problems?

    Below are the 10 most common furnace problems. Read on for advice on how to repair and fix future furnace problems.

    1. Lack of maintenance
    2. Dirty filters
    3. Wear and tear
    4. Electric Ignition or pilot control problems
    5. Malfunctioning thermostat
    6. The furnace doesn’t heat at all
    7. The furnace doesn’t heat enough
    8. Frequent cycling
    9. The blower continuously runs
    10. The furnace is too noisy

    In the cool fall and winter weather, hundreds of people call Green Apple furnace repair experts because of a problem with their heating system. Whether it’s a commercial or residential setting, the same basic problems plague furnaces. By knowing what the most common furnace problems are, you can take proactive measures to prevent them.

    1. Lack of maintenance: You fail to schedule annual furnace maintenance and inspections that could prevent unexpected problems and breakdowns. These routine inspections can help the appliance run more efficiently and reliably.

  2. Dirty filters: Dirty or clogged air filters reduce airflow, making a furnace work harder to circulate. In some cases, a clogged filter may damage the limit switch, which controls the fan.
  3. Wear and tear: Normal wear and tear can cause airflow problems, heat control-related problems or even overheating.
  4. Electric ignition or pilot control problems: A faulty ignition or pilot could make it difficult to heat a home or commercial space. Thermocouple problems, drafts or clogs in the appliance may result in an unlit pilot light.
  5. Malfunctioning thermostat: A faulty thermostat can lead to problems with the fan or comfort levels.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Frequent cycling: Cycling between the “On” and “Off” modes may indicate a dirty filter, improper airflow or a bad thermostat setting.
  9. The blower continuously runs: Blower issues may indicate a problem with the limit switch, which a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical professional may need to replace.
  10. 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.
  11. 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

Do This To Get The Most From Your Furnace

 Change Your Filter

 Your HVAC unit works incredibly hard during the winter and summer months. With all that hard work, your systems air filter will most likely be clogged or dirty due to all the dust and particulate matter it collects from your home.

Most HVAC systems require that you change your air filter once per month, though some high-quality filters can last a few months longer. A clogged or dirty filter affects the air you breathe, as well as the performance and longevity of your heating and cooling equipment. In most cases, your heating and cooling systems share the same air filter (you may have one or more filters in your home), so it’s important to make your filter replacements in both hot and cold seasons.

 Scheduling Consistent Maintenance Services

By having annual maintenance services completed on your HVAC system, you will ensure the best performance from your equipment, and save money on your utility costs in the long run. Most local heating professionals will provide you with a clear understanding of your heating and cooling system’s condition, whether any immediate or preventative repairs should be done, and if your filter is clogged. By having these routine maintenance checks completed, you won’t have to worry about why your house is too cold or overheated while saving money.

 Home Energy Audits

 Piggybacking off of consistent maintenance services, having a home energy audit done is also beneficial towards maximizing heating efficiency. A home energy audit allows you to learn how you’re using your energy, determine where it’s being wasted, and will help prioritize your efficiency upgrades. Once you figure out where your energy and heat is being used, Green Apple heating professionals can help review your HVAC system and suggest improvements on how to efficiently get the most out of your system.

Sealing Your Home

 Sealing your home can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to maximizing your heating efficiency. The point of sealing your home is to prevent the warm air in your home from escaping, meaning that if you have specific areas in your home where air leaks, you run the risk of losing all the moisture in your home while the cold, dry air enters your home. After you or a Green Apple heating professional perform a home energy audit to find out where the leaks are, you can then take the necessary steps towards sealing your home.

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

Tips To Prepare Your HVAC Unit For A Snow Storm

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.

The Basics:

  • 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

Your Holiday Plumbing Checklist

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 @888-315-5564

How Prevention Is Key When It Comes To Plumbing

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 @888-315-5564

How To Ensure Your Furnace Is Working Efficiently

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 @888-315-5564

Happy Thanksgiving From Green Apple!

 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:

  • Fats
  • Cooking oils
  • Potato and onion peels
  • Fibrous vegetables like celery and pumpkin
  • Bones
  • 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

The only thing that should be flushed down your toilet is toilet paper and human waste! If you’re having overnight guests or you’re hosting Thanksgiving, chances are somebody won’t follow your “toilet paper only rule.” It may be worth posting a sign in your bathroom that warns your guests to not flush the following items:
  • 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 @888-315-5564