THE DANGER ZONE: WHEN AND WHY PIPES FREEZE
Especially in places that typically see cold winter weather, like New Jersey, well-constructed modern homes are built to protect pipes against freezing. In older homes, however, or during unusually cold temperatures, pipes that are most at risk of freezing are
- Exposed pipes in unheated areas of the home,
- Pipes located in exterior walls, and
- Any plumbing on the exterior of the home.
Exposed pipes in the basement are usually warm enough that they aren’t in danger of freezing. But exposed plumbing in areas such as crawl spaces, attics, and garages may be at risk. Tests of residential water systems showed that for uninsulated pipes installed in an unheated attic, freezing began when the outside temperature fell to 20° F or below. Surprisingly, both hot and cold pipes can be at risk. As water freezes, it expands and can increase the pressure in your plumbing system; too much pressure can cause pipes to burst or crack.
Many homeowners don’t take appropriate precautions to protect plumbing that is connected to the outside of the home, such as outdoor kitchen plumbing, exterior spigots, or even a garden hose. Water expanding in a frozen garden hose can increase pressure throughout your home’s plumbing enough to burst an interior pipe.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or Plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
Uphold Your System’s Warranty
Many warranties provided on heating systems have a clause that void the warranty if furnace inspections or maintenance are not completed at regular intervals. These warranties may also be voided if someone other than a professional has worked on the system.
Keep Your System Running Efficiently
A furnace inspection will ensure that your furnace is running efficiently; this can save you a lot of money on energy costs over the cold months.
Having your furnace inspected before winter sets in can save you from experiencing an emergency, such as your furnace breaking down on the coldest night of the year.
Keep Your System Operating Safely
By having a professional inspect your furnace, you can ensure that your furnace is safe to use. Furnaces that have leaks or obstructions can cause fires and potentially devastating damage to your home.
Evenly & Comfortably Heat Your Home
Regular furnace inspections and tune-ups can make sure that your home is heated evenly, as dirty filters and obstructions can leave one room boiling hot and another freezing cold.
Extend the Life of Your Furnace
By having your furnace inspected each year, you may be able to extend the life of your furnace. Many furnaces will last up to 20 years, however, if your furnace is not taken care of, the lifespan can be much shorter.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ toll-free at 888-315-5564
While holiday activities can put a strain on your home’s plumbing, there are ways to ease this strain. Here are six quick tips to prevent a plumbing catastrophe during the holidays:
- Clogged Sinks – Avoid draining oils and greases down your kitchen sink. Fatty substances can solidify in your pipes and clog your kitchen’s plumbing. Instead of pouring cooking oil and grease down the drain, let it cool, wipe it up with a paper towel and dispose of it in the trash. Using strainers in your sink drains will also help prevent clogs by catching larger items that might otherwise slip down the drain and cause issues. Additionally, clean your plumbing fixtures with vinegar to remove any build up. This will help ensure a free flow of water. As an added bonus, your faucets will be sparkling for your guests.
- 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 at 888-315-5564
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 essential to keep your furnace running efficiently because it gives a 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 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 at 888-315-5564
We would like to wish all of our customers a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday from your Friends at Green Apple Mechanical. And remember don’t put turkey bones down the garbage disposal!
WORLD TOILET DAY HISTORY
World Toilet Day aims to raise awareness of sanitation and hygiene issues around the world. Poor sanitation and hygiene refer to lack of access to clean drinking water toilets and showers. Poor sanitation drastically increases the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially for women and children. Today, 2.6 billion people, about one-third of the population on the planet, do not have access to proper sanitation, a problem that kills nearly 1 million young children every year.
World Toilet Day was designated by the United Nations in July 2013. It is celebrated annually on November 19 as people all over the world take action and support the basic human right of access to clean water and sanitation.
If you are experiencing any trouble or concerns with your toilet, call the experts at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ. 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. Call toll-free at 888-315-5564
Professional maintenance is a lot more than just a look-over that can be easily overlooked. 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!
- If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing concerns call Green Apple toll-free at 888-315-5564
- Run a trickle of water: Run a thin trickle of water from the faucet furthest from the water line coming to your house. Usually, this is in a room at the back of the house. Allowing the water to circulate through your home’s plumbing helps to keep it from freezing. Some consider this a waste of water, but the cost of the water used is extremely slight compared to repairing broken pipes and the resulting water damage. Also, the water can be captured in a bucket and used for other purposes around the home, like watering plants and washing dishes.
- Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses: Detach all hoses from faucets and allow them to drain. This action guard against the water in the hose or pipe from freezing and bursting the faucet or pipe to which it is connected.
- Eliminate the amount of cold air coming into the home around water pipes.
- If your home has a crawl space, cover the outside vents to prevent winter winds from freezing the pipes.
- Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas: Pipes located in unheated areas of your house, such as a garage or crawl space under the house or in the attic, are subject to freezing. If you have time to do this before freezing temperatures arrive, wrap these pipes with insulation materials made especially for this purpose. These materials can be found in most hardware stores or home improvement centers.
- If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-315-5564
Tip #1: Keep the Heat On
If you or your tenants are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on your property. It may be difficult to convince your tenants to leave their heat on when they are away, especially if they are responsible for paying their own utilities. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if your pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions.
If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can allow the faucet to drip slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus, keep the pipe from bursting.
Pipes are often located in cabinets. When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.
You should cover any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. This should be done on both interior and exterior walls. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191
Insulate the attic. Is there insulation in your attic? If so, how much? The existence and amount of insulation that is there is crucial to your home’s ability to hold in the rising warm air. If checking your attic insulation status is not something that you can easily do, contact a local contractor or insulation installer for an in-home evaluation.
Insulate your walls. Some older homes have very little insulation in their walls. The minimum that usually suggested for exterior walls is 6” thick. But, some have only four inches. Removing your walls to add more fiberglass insulation is all but impossible and can be a very involved home repair. Blown-in insulation is an easier and more efficient option. The amount of insulation in your walls can be increased quickly and easily by using it. If you think that some of your home’s heat loss could be attributed to the lack of insulation in your walls, then consider adding some blown-in insulation.
Replacement windows. Ill-fitting, warped, old windows can certainly be a contributing factor to your heat loss. Old wood windows with single pane glass are a far cry from the double pane insulated glass windows of today. Vinyl replacement windows are custom made to fit and are composed of the highest quality vinyl. These windows will add beauty while making your home more energy efficient.
Replace your doors. Entrance doors can be the focus of the exterior of your home. They can easily add character, color, and style to set your house apart. Unfortunately, if these doors are old, they very well could be allowing cold air into your home and hot air out. Replacing your doors with a new replacement fiberglass or steel door can stop this unwanted air exchange.
If you have any HVAC or plumbing questions call Green Apple toll-free at 888-315-5564