Your Thanksgiving Plumbing Checklist

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 Disposal

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 @888-315-5564

Is Your Furnace Ready For Thanksgiving?

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 Thermostat

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 @888-315-5564

Choosing The Best Filter For Your Furnace

Fiberglass

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.

Pleated

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.

High-Efficiency

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.

Reusable

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.

Electrostatic

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.

Don’t Wait to Call A Plumber When This Happens

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

How Water Quality Affects Your Plumbing

Hard Water Is a Big Issue

If you were hoping for something really dramatic, such as information about water quality so bad that it will burn through copper pipes like acid, then we’re sorry to disappoint. And honestly, if you ever do encounter a problem like that, maybe a plumber is not the first person that you should call. While hard water may not be quite as exciting as that made-up scenario, it is what we’re going to talk about today.

There are a lot of issues that you may encounter with your water quality that may not result in problems with your plumbing itself but could pose health threats. Hard water is the exact opposite type of problem, though. While hard water is characterized by its high levels of mineral content, including magnesium and calcium, it is not a health risk. It is, however, something that can prove very problematic for your plumbing system.

As hard water travels through your pipes, it can leave deposits within those pipes. When that happens, the pipe is basically getting narrower and narrower. That’s a problem because constricting the flow of water through the pipes like that can result in increased pressure within those pipes. It’s not all about that ugly buildup that you see on fixtures in homes where hard water is an issue. This is a more serious problem than that!

But You Can Solve It!

How? With the use of a whole-house water softener. It’s just that easy. A water softener swaps out the minerals in the water causing hardness with sodium ions, and it treats all of the water running into your home. You don’t have to worry about hard water deposits restricting water flow through your pipes, nor do you need to worry about deposits building up on your water heater’s heating elements, in your washing machine, etc. Contact Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ today. 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

What Is Causing Your Clogged Drain?

Clogged drains can damage your home and severely slow down your everyday routine. Simply hoping that the water eventually drains out of your bathtub won’t fix the issue, but calling Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ professional plumbers will! We can assess what is causing your clogged drains and capably resolve the problem, at an upfront, flat-rate price.

Common Causes of Clogged Drains

Over time, there are a number of common factors that can contribute to a need for drain cleaning. Soap by itself is not a problem, but soap combined with hair can become an issue. Another common problem is quilted toilet paper, which doesn’t break apart as easily as non-quilted brands. Believe it or not, clumped cat litter can also become a major source of clogging if flushed down the toilet. Starchy vegetables, oils, fats, grease, and hair can also be common items that lead to unwanted drain clogs.

How Do I Know If I Need Drain Cleaning Services?

Some clogs are easily remedied. In some cases, you can simply remove the item that is clogging the drain and go on with the rest of your day. However, many drains need professional cleaning in order to regain their usability.

Check out common signs that mean your drain needs cleaning:

  • Drains that are slow to empty after normal usage
  • Garbage disposals don’t eliminate effectively
  • Problems with normal toilet flushing

If this is the case, experts recommend trying a bio drain cleaning solution as a preventive measure, This may work for organic clogs, but if you have foreign objects or hair in your drains you may require additional drain-cleaning service to fix the problem.

Tough Clog? Leave it to the Drain Cleaning Experts!

If you have tried everything you can, but your drains just won’t get back to normal, call the professional plumbers at Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ. We have the skill and expertise needed to provide innovative solutions to your plumbing problems. Schedule an in-home estimate with us today! 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

Are You Paying Attention To The Signs Your HVAC System Is Giving?

 INSPECT AND CLEAN DUCTS TO PREVENT CLOGS AND LEAKS.

Because dirt and dust are bad, you’ll want to see if they’re hanging out in the furnace ducts also. Especially if you have a gas furnace, which forces the air out of the furnace. To clean this you can use a high-powered vacuum cleaner with a long extension. Once you’ve finished cleaning, Also, check the ducts to make sure they’re properly sealed and connected. If the ducts look damaged, or you’re concerned, contact Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ as soon as possible.

SIGNS YOUR FURNACE NEEDS MAINTENANCE

If you have an old furnace or a brand new furnace, you should always create a routine check to help prevent dust build-up and future maintenance issues. And, if you’re still not sure what you should be looking for, here are those signs we told you about:

  • Strange noises (banging, rumbling, hissing)
  • The constant increase in your energy bills
  • Improper burning pilot flame (should be a strong blue flame, NOT an orange or yellow flame)
  • Trouble starting
  • Starting and stopping
  • Age (furnaces have an average lifespan of about 12-15 years, so after a certain age you’ll expect malfunctions, but stay alert)

Whether you’re in need of a brand new furnace or just need help with some routine maintenance to keep your furnace running in exceptional shape, our highly trained HVAC professionals are always here to help. Green Apple 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

What Is The “Stack Effect”?

 Furnaces have long lives

There are many factors that determine how long a furnace will last, but overall, they average lengthy lifespans. Conventional and mid-efficiency furnaces last about 18-25 years. High-efficiency furnaces last about 15-20 years.

 The “Stack Effect” describes how air moves through a building

The Stack Effect principle refers to the movement of air through spaces, most specifically, the rising of heat in buildings. In the cold winter months, the warm air in the building is less dense than the cold air outside. That warm air bubble wants to rise up and out of the building.

This rising air causes cold air to be drawn into cracks at the bottom of the house. This is why your basement is colder than your highest floor. This is also why leaky houses consume larger amounts of energy.

 In Britain, “furnace” has a whole different meaning

In Britain, the term “furnace” only refers to industrial metallurgical furnaces used for smelting iron ore, lead or copper. In America, we call this type of industrial furnaces “blast furnaces”. The Brits call their heating systems “central heating”.

 The word “furnace” has Greek origins

It’s said that the name comes from the Greek word “fornax” which means oven.

 They really do require maintenance

Did you know that a 6 room house collects an average of 40 pounds of dust a year? You can see why regular maintenance of your HVAC is so important! A Well working and maintained furnace will produce cleaner and healthier air.

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 call us toll-free @888-315-5564

Protect Your Pipes While You Are On Vacation

Ways to help avoid frozen pipes while on vacation

Traveling in the winter months might be a break in your routine, but don’t forget to think about your plumbing before you leave. What can you do?

  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55°F (12°C). Also, be sure to replace the battery in your thermostat.
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing.
  • Shut off and drain the water system. Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system in your house, it may be deactivated when you shut off the water.

Your pipes freeze, what might you do?

What if your pipes still freeze, despite your best preventive measures? First step: Don’t panic. Just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they’ve already burst. Here’s what you can do:

  • If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical plumber.
  • Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water. You could be electrocuted.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house!
  • You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe using a hairdryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of the pipe.
  • If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.
  • 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 Essential Furnace Checklist For Very Cold Days

5 ways to help your furnace deal with extreme cold weather

  1. Keep your air filter clean. When it’s freezing cold outside, your furnace needs all the help it can get in order to keep your home warm. That’s why it’s extremely important to ensure that you have a clean air filter installed during extreme cold weather in order to stop your furnace from working harder than it needs to.
  2. Hold off on setting back your thermostat. Normally, it’s a great idea to lower your thermostat’s temperature setting. during the hours that you’re away from home in order to conserve energy. However, this can cause more trouble than it’s worth when it’s excessively cold outside because it will be harder for your furnace to bring your home back up to your desired at-home temperature. Keep your thermostat set at a consistent setting until the weather warms back up to normal temperatures for this season.
  3. Be prepared for colder indoor temperatures. Your furnace can only maintain a differential between outdoor and indoor temperatures to a certain degree. During extremely cold weather, some furnaces might not be able to bring your home all the way up to its desired temperature level. Instead of cranking up your thermostat (which won’t help the matter), try wearing warmer clothes and blankets around the house to stay warm.
  4. Keep vents clear in high-efficiency furnaces. The vents that are used in high-efficiency furnaces lead outside of your home and are located near ground level. This leaves them vulnerable to getting clogged with ice and snow. When it’s extremely cold out, check to ensure that those vents stay clear so that your system doesn’t develop performance or safety issues.
  5. Ask a neighbor to check on your house when you’re gone. If your furnace goes out during severely cold weather, it can leave your home more susceptible to other potential problems like frozen pipes. If you’re going to be away from home for a while and you know that we’re expecting colder weather than usual, have a neighbor check to make sure that your heat is working so that you can catch problems before they get worse.
  6. 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