Signs & Symptoms of a Damaged Furnace Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger on a furnace is the section that keeps the combustion chamber and the breathing air separate. A heat exchanger is made of thin metal, and as it heats up from the combustion of the furnace, it transfers the heat to the air being distributed through the house by the blower. When a heat exchanger becomes damaged and the combustion fumes and gases mix with the clean air, serious consequences can result. Inspecting your heat exchanger regularly for damage is important to keep everything running safely and smoothly.
Visual Metal Cracks
The easiest way to tell if a heat exchanger is damaged is to inspect it and actually see cracks that have formed in the metal. Many companies use infrared light to detect cracks, but a flashlight is sufficient for more noticeable cracks. If you don’t notice damage from a visual inspection, it doesn’t mean there is no damage. Regular inspection by a professional is a wise idea.
Buildup and Discoloration
Often when cracks are present in a heat exchanger, soot from the combustion process will seep through and discolor the metal. The result will be a buildup of soot around the crack site and/or spots that are a darker color than the rest of the metal.
Carbon Monoxide Detection
Although you should certainly not wait until your carbon monoxide detector sounds to determine if your heat exchanger is broken, if you do get an alarm, it is a strong sign that damage is present. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of the combustion process, and it can seep through the cracks of a damaged heat exchanger. Contact your local fire department right away if your carbon monoxide detector goes off.
Difference in Furnace Flame
Sometimes, if the heat exchanger is damaged and the fresh, breathing air mixes with the combustion air, the flame in your furnace can change. If you suspect damage, have someone turn the thermostat up to initiate the furnace, then sit and observe the flame. A damaged heat exchanger may produce a flame that jumps and dances after the blower fan has been on.
If you have any questions or concerns about your furnace or any of your HVAC needs fell free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191
5 Central Heating Problems
It’s not a luxury or option to have your central heating working effectively and efficiently. When your central heating system can’t keep up and keep your home warm, everybody suffers. By performing routine maintenance to your furnace, you should be able to avoid costly problems.
As you’re maintaining or trouble-shooting your central heating system, visit the U.S. Department of Energy for helpful information about one of the important components of your heating system – the ductwork. Although you can’t see every part of the ductwork system, it’s an integral part of the heating system, delivering warm air throughout your home.
Once you know the top five central heating problems, you’ll be in the perfect position to keep your house warm and comfortable.
1.Complete Loss of Heat
If you turn on your furnace and get absolutely no response from the heating system, the first thing to do is try to isolate the problem – figure out where the issue lies. If the heating system isn’t getting electrical power, you should probably call an electrician. Check the pilot light – is it igniting? If not, the issue probably lies in the gas supply and you should call the company that supplies your gas. Check the thermostat to make sure it’s set to “on” and that the temperature is set high enough to activate the furnace.
If you turn on your furnace and get absolutely no response from the heating system, the first thing to do is try to isolate the problem.
2.Partial Loss of Heat
If you notice that you are still getting heat, but the furnace doesn’t seem to be operating at peak efficiency, you may have a few different issues going on. It’s possible that your ductwork system has problems with leaks or blockages. If you have radiators, it’s also possible that your radiators need bleeding to release trapped air.
Because the ductwork system is so extensive throughout your home, there are many places where blockages can occur from rodents or insects. A ductwork blockage will generally require the service of an expert, who can diagnose and fix the issue. Ductwork leaks, resulting in heat escaping from the ducts and not expelling where you want it, also requires expert service to repair.
If you notice that the temperature of your home begins to have wild extremes, with high temperatures one minute and freezing temperatures soon after, the thermostat may be malfunctioning. This could cause the furnace to misread the actual temperature of your home and run when it shouldn’t or fail to run when it should. Call a professional to come out and recalibrate your thermostat. If your thermostat can’t be repaired, consider replacing it with a programmable thermostat that will help you reduce your heating bills.
For proper heating, the pilot light of your furnace must be lit continuously. If you check and you don’t see it lit, you will need to reignite it. If you see that the pilot light is on, check to assess its strength. The pilot light flame should be strong and blue – not yellow and weak. A weak pilot light could be a dangerous situation, resulting in high levels of carbon monoxide in your home, which could be fatal. Call a professional if you see indications of pilot light problems.
While you may not be able to resolve central heating problems yourself, you can probably diagnose issues and get a Green Apple Mechanical NJ technician to come access the problem. Feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191
Is It Worth It to Upgrade a Working Gas Furnace?
If the existing furnace already was installed when you moved into your home, you may not have a clue about its age. On the inside of the furnace cover or the combustion chamber door is the manufacturer’s serial number plate. Write down the number, contact the manufacturer’s customer service online or by telephone, and get a manufacture date. If it’s more than 15 years old, you’re past the average life expectancy for most gas-fired furnaces; this doesn’t guarantee a 12-year-old unit won’t fail tomorrow, nor that every 17-year-old unit is ready for the scrap heap. However, it does let you know if your furnace now has more service behind it than ahead. Upgrading may be a case of sooner rather than later.
Components in a furnace tend to have similar design life. As a furnace approaches the end of its service expectancy, the failure of one component may foreshadow the failure of others in the very near future. A good rule of thumb is that if the parts and service expense of keeping an existing furnace working exceeds 40 percent of the cost of upgrading, you’re better off going for the replacement unit. Some expensive repairs are, by themselves, deal breakers: The cost of replacing a heat exchanger in an aging furnace that’s out of warranty makes the decision a slam dunk: Start shopping for a new furnace.
A furnace 15 years old or older may have an AFUE (annualized fuel utilization efficiency) of 76 percent or less. The AFUE represents the percentage of fuel utilized to actually produce heat versus the amount lost in the combustion process. Switching the old-school unit for a new, high-efficiency furnace buys you an AFUE of 90 percent or more. The upfront sticker price is high, but that 21st-century unit starts saving gas from day one, and may pay for itself in a reasonable length of time from lowered gas bills. However, this depends on your local climate, the length of a typical heating season, and the overall energy efficiency of your home. Homeowners in warmer climates may not run the furnace enough on a daily basis to realize the kind of cost savings that will pay for a new high-efficiency unit in a meaningful time frame.
Gas furnaces combine an open flame with high temperatures plus the potential to produce deadly carbon monoxide. If you’re nursing a questionable, outmoded unit through another season simply to buy more time before an upgrade that’s inevitable, reconsider for the safety of your family.
If you have any questions or concerns about your furnace feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191
Common Gas Furnace Problems
The first thing to check is the battery. Most digital thermostats have a battery indicator on the display. If you see an icon in the display asking for a battery, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and replace the battery with an appropriate size.
If you see no display at all, check the power to the furnace. This particular thermostat has a sealed battery in it, and it’s not replaceable.
If you’ve checked the battery, you’ve checked the power supply, and your thermostat is still not operating properly, it’s likely that you’re just going to have to replace your thermostat. It’s important to understand how your thermostat operates when it’s normal, when everything is right. If you’re familiar with the proper operation of your equipment, then it’s going to make it easier if you notice something acting unusually and you can call ABC a proper diagnosis.
Mismatching Furnace and Thermostat
Your home’s gas furnace needs to be paired with the correct thermostat to work properly; if it isn’t, you could run into problems.
Thermostats have to be matched to the system based on the type of furnace that’s used and the capacity and capability of that furnace. The best way to make sure you’re going to have a thermostat that matches your system is to get it from an HVAC professional.
Electronic Ignition Furnace Problems
To determine what type of ignition system you have, open the front of the furnace and initiate a call for heat. Observe what happens in the burner area. If there’s a very small flame that starts first, and then ignites all of the main burners, that’s an intermittent pilot type of ignition. If the ignition happens and the main burners come on immediately, then that’s a direct ignition.
Once you determine which type of ignition system you’ve got, if you see it operating in a way that’s not correct, it’s best to call an ABC service technician as soon as possible. It’s important that your are is aware of how the system is supposed to operate when everything is normal. So that way when things do change, you can be aware of it and call for service before it becomes a bigger problem. It’s going to help maintain the equipment, keep it lasting longer, keep it safe, and also reduce your energy costs.
Furnace Has a Noisy Operation
Squeaks, rattles, and rumbles are some of the things that we hear from furnaces. In the case of a squeak, it can be related to a motor failing or just making noise. Rumbling and rattling can be caused by an out of balance blower wheel caused by debris or just age or just being dirty. Early gas furnaces used a motor with a belt to drive the wheel. That’s the blower that moves the air into the house. All modern furnaces use a direct drive blower that’s permanently lubricated. It doesn’t require any lubrication or maintainance on that.
Squeaks and squeals can also happen from air leaks. There can be a leak in the duct work or around the furnace somewhere that’s allowing a small amount of air to leak in or out causing a whistling or squeaking sound. If you suspect that a high-pitched squealing or whistling noise could be coming from the air flow, what you want to do is check some of the gaps or joints where the sheet metal is connected. Those are the likely sources where that can happen and it can be simply sealed up with tape or a piece of putty or something like that. Sometimes something as little as this door being out of alignment can cause a squeal or a squeak and you can just move it a little bit or just make sure it’s firmly placed where it should be.
So when you look at the burners on a furnace, you can kind of judge the condition. If you see any kind of dust, lint or other kind of dirt in the furnace, that could be clogging one of the burners and causing excess noise in a furnace. In that case, it’s really important to get a professional out to do a proper cleaning on the furnace for you. Knowing a little bit about your system and being educated about it is the best way to stay on top of it and avoid breakdowns. A lot of times when homeowners hear the system operating in an unusual way, they can have us come out and take care of it before it becomes a bigger issue.
Furnace Blower Does Not Turn Off
The first thing to check is the fan switch on the thermostat. “Auto” means that the fan should only be running to try to heat or cool the home to try to match the thermostat setting. If you see the thermostat fan switch set to “on,” or “low,” “medium,” or “high,” then you’re going to have continuous fan operation.
The next thing to look at is your furnace filter. If you find a clogged filter, it may have caused damage to the limit switch. What the limit switch does is it senses the temperature inside the furnace. If it sees a temperature that’s too high, then it shuts off the fire as a safety and only will allow it to come back on once it’s cooled sufficiently. If the filter has been clogged for too long, then it may have damaged that switch to the point where it needs to be replaced. In this case, the furnace high limit is a small button type device that’s got two wires connected to it. Every furnace is a little bit different. Some of them have more than one limit, and some of the limits look very different. If that limit switch is failed, it’s very important to find the source of why it failed and not just replace the switch. It’s a very important safety issue.
Furnace Cycles On and Off Too Frequently
If you notice the frequency of the heat cycles becoming too short, that’s an indication of a problem with your system. The first thing you want to check is the fan switch on the thermostat. In this case, it’s up here in the display and it says “auto.” Now, “auto” means that the fan should only be running to try to heat or cool the home to try to match the thermostat setting. If you see the thermostat fan switch set to “on,” or in this case “low,” “medium,” or “high,” then you’re going to have continuous fan operation.
If your filter has been in the furnace for a long time and its gotten very clogged, it can cause the furnace to what we call cycle on limit. That means that instead of heating continuously, the flames turn on and off because the unit is overheating due to that clogged filter.
The important thing with filters is watching the air flow direction. There’s always an arrow that tells us which way the air should flow through the furnace. On most furnaces, people have drawn arrows that tells you which way the air flow direction should be.
Furnace Does Not Produce Enough Heat
One of the most common sources of this kind of problem is a clogged filter. It’s very important that you check your filters regularly and change them frequently for good furnace operation and best efficiency. The second possibility is that the furnace was not sized properly, meaning that it doesn’t have enough capacity to keep the home warm. It’s important that a heating and air company size the equipment for the capacity needed to keep your home warm. Another possibility, though it’s pretty rare, could be that your burners could be clogged to the point where it’s not allowing the furnace to create enough heat and meet its full capacity.
Furnace Does Not Heat
Some possible causes of that are: thermostat not adjusted properly, the power going to the furnace could be shut off, the gas going to the furnace could be shut off, or the pilot light could be out. A couple things to check with the thermostat: Now, the first thing to remember is that everybody’s thermostat is going to be different. In this case, when the red light is on, that means that it’s in heat mode, so it’s ready to heat the house. The next thing to check is to make sure the set point is higher than the room temperature. So if we raise that set point above the room temperature, that’s going to turn the heat on.
Furnace Pilot is Out
Some of the common sources of a lost pilot light are a failed thermocouple, a strong draft, or a clogged orifice to the gas supply to the pilot light. A thermocouple is a device on a standing pilot system that proves the flame to the gas valve and allows gas to keep flowing as long as there’s a flame sensed. It’s probably best if you have a professional check it out, clean it and verify that it’s working properly. Now, the thing to keep in mind is most modern furnaces don’t use a standing pilot light anymore.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191
New High Efficiency Furnace, New Moisture Problem
Tom has lived in the same split entry house since it was built in 1980, and has never had any moisture problems with his home until recently. Shortly after replacing his old mid-efficiency natural draft furnace with a high-efficiency furnace, Tom started noticing a host of moisture problems with his house. It started with condensation on the windows that never used to be there. Next thing he knew, water spots showed up on the ceiling around the skylights, which were the result of excessive condensation in the attic.
Tom called the HVAC company that installed his furnace and complained about the moisture problems he was having. A badly cracked heat exchanger could lead to moisture problems in a home, and a vent that is not properly exhausting to the exterior could also cause serious damage to the home. The installers came out and checked everything, but it was all working fine. Why is Tom having moisture problems now?
The answer has to do with combustion air and dilution air. On a standard furnace, combustion air and dilution air are taken from inside the house. Combustion air provides the oxygen that is required for combustion, and dilution air helps to lower the temperature of the exhaust gases. When you add up the combustion air and dilution air, it equals quite a large volume of air that is constantly rising up and out of the house during the heating season.
Combustion air and dilution air get replaced with cold, dry outside air. This is part of the reason that older houses get so dry in the winter. Is this starting to make sense?
High efficiency furnaces save energy by taking combustion air directly from the exterior, rather than wasting the heated air in your home for combustion. When Tom replaced his natural draft furnace with a high efficiency furnace, he stopped wasting all that warm, moist air. In reality, the high efficiency furnace didn’t ‘create’ the moisture problem; it just replaced a less efficient furnace that was helping to prevent a problem.
In order to address the moisture problems in his home, Tom has a few options. He could install a continuous exhaust fan to constantly remove air from the home, but this obviously wouldn’t be a very Green thing to do, because all of that warm air would always be replaced with cold air. Nelly could run dehumidifiers all winter, but again, this would be expensive. Tom’s best option would be to install a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). An HRV will constantly change out the air in the house while at the same time removing humidity from the house.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191
How to Protect Your Home During Extreme Cold Weather
Extreme cold weather can be hard on both you and your home. Here are some tips to put into practice when freezing weather, snow, and ice hit your area.
How to Deal with Frozen Pipes
- Disconnect and drain garden hoses.
- Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers.
- Turn off water to outside faucets, if available, and open valves on faucets to allow them to drain.
- Turn off sprinkler system and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them.
- Close or cover foundation vents under house and windows to basements.
- Close garage doors.
- Insulate exposed pipes (both hot and cold) under house with foam pipe insulation.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks.
- Drip hot and cold faucets in kitchen and bath. Drip single control faucets with lever set in middle.
- Set icemaker to make ice if the water line to it runs under the house.
- Don’t forget to check on pipes to your washing machine in the laundry room
- Locate water main cut-off valve, and have a cut-off key handy.
- Use a hair dryer, heat lamp, electric heat tape, or a portable space heater to thaw frozen pipes that have not burst.
- Keep the faucet open when thawing frozen pipes to allow water to begin flowing through it.
- After the weather has warmed above freezing and any frozen pipes have thawed, turn off dripping faucets and monitor your water meter to check for unseen leaks.
How to Keep Warm in Your Home
- Have your furnace inspected before cold weather arrives. Inspect the heat exchanger for cracks, install a clean air filter, and check the thermostat to see if it’s working properly.
- Inspect fireplaces, and chimneys before using, and have them cleaned if needed.
- Keep drapes and blinds closed, except when windows are in direct sunlight.
- Put up storm windows, or install sheet plastic window insulation kits on the inside of windows.
- Cover or remove any window air conditioners.
- Insulate electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls with foam seals available at home centers.
- Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.
- Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows.
- Run paddle ceiling fans on low in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to circulate warm air.
- Put draft snakes on window sills, between window frames, and against doors.
- If you heat with propane or fuel oil, make sure the tank is full.
- If you heat with wood or coal, have plenty of fuel on hand.
How to Protect the Outside of Your Home
- Clean your gutters and downspouts before cold weather arrives to prevent ice from forming in them.
- Spray an ice repellent solution on steps and walks before freezing weather arrives
- Check antifreeze levels in cars. Add if needed, then run the engine to circulate the new antifreeze through the radiator and engine block.
- Add freeze resistant windshield wiper fluid, and spay to circulate it in lines.
- Check air pressure in tires, since cold weather causes the pressure to lower.
- Bring in container plants, add mulch around plants, and cover plants that are prone to frost damage. Remove covering when temperatures warm above freezing.
- Drain birdbaths and fountains
- Gently sweep snow off plants and shrubs in an upward motion with a broom.
- Use rock salt, sand, or clay based kitty litter on walks and drives (NOTE: Salt can damage grass and other plants).
- Don’t overdo it when using a snow shovel.
- Stay off your roof during freezing weather, but once the ice and snow have melted, inspect your roof for any damage.
How to Stay Safe in an Ice or Snow Storm
- Stockpile nonperishable food and water.
- Refill prescription medications in advance of storm.
- Fill car with gas.
- Charge cell phones.
- Have flashlights, batteries, a weather radio, and a manual can opener on hand.
- A portable generator can come in handy when the lights go out, but take precautions to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning when using.
- Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and the batteries powering them are fresh.
- Have a working fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.
- A chain saw can come in handy for removing broken limbs after an ice storm.
Cold weather survival tips: From saving frozen pipes to warming Valentine’s hearts
With a blast of Arctic air set to sweep into New Jersey this weekend, now is the time to make sure furnaces are in working order and your home’s pipes are protected.
Low temperatures on Saturday night into early Sunday morning will approach zero and could slip below zero in our area, according to the National Weather Service.
“The combination of wind and cold will make for dangerous conditions for the homeless and those not properly dressed this weekend,” according to AccuWeather.
Dressing for cold weather is both an art and a science. Think layers and choose the right fabrics.
Recognizing the warning signs of cold exposure — hypothermia — could save your life.
Here are some tips on what to do to keep pipes from freezing — and what to do if it happens anyway.
How to prepare:
- Know what areas of your home, such as basements, crawl spaces, unheated rooms and outside walls, are most vulnerable to freezing.
- Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors.
- Know the location of your main water shut-off valve. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
- Protect your pipes and water meter. Wrap exposed pipes with insulation or use electrical heat tracing wire; newspaper or fabric might also work. For outside meters, keep the lid to the meter pit closed tightly and let any snow that falls cover it. Snow acts as insulation, so don’t disturb it.
When temperatures are consistently at or below freezing:
- If you have pipes that are vulnerable to freezing, allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe.
- Open cabinet doors to expose pipes to warmer room temperatures to help keep them from freezing.
If your pipes freeze:
- Shut off the water immediately. Don’t attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints.
- Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it, or by applying heat directly to a pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space heater or hot water. Be sure not to leave space heaters unattended, and avoid the use of kerosene heaters or open flames.
- Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.
Who to call for help:
- If pipes inside the home are frozen, call us at (973) 943-0927.
- If there is no water or low pressure, and neighbors are experiencing the same situation, it could be a water main break, and customers should call the 24-hour customer service line at 1-800-652-6987.
When you are away:
- Have a friend, relative or neighbor regularly check your property to ensure that the heat is working and the pipes have not frozen.
- A freeze alarm can be purchased for less than $100 and will call a user-selected phone number if the inside temperature drops below 45 degrees.
- Residents are also reminded to clear snow from hydrants. Substantial snow accumulations combined with the after-effects of plowing roads and parking lots can leave fire hydrants partially or completely buried in snow.In these conditions, extra precautions should be taken to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of carbon monoxide-related deaths in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Snowdrifts can shut down a new furnace
Homeowners are often surprised when their fairly new high-efficiency furnace shuts down unexpectedly in mid-winter. These furnaces exhaust combustion gases and bring in fresh air through PVC pipes to the outside, usually routed through a house sidewall. Often, the problem is ice build-up in the vent pipe, blocking the exhaust flow. The cooler exhaust produced by high-efficiency models can allow moisture (produced by combustion) to condense in the flue, especially when outdoor temperatures drop below 30 degrees.
The pipes can also be blocked outside the house. During wintry weather, you should check the exhaust and intake pipe exits on the outside of the house regularly, to make sure they aren’t covered by snow or ice. Besides shutting down the furnace, a blocked exhaust pipe can allow carbon monoxide to build up inside the house.
More rarely, the pipes may not have been installed correctly or may have developed problems later. If your newer furnace shuts down, check these common venting problems:
- Incorrect size of the exhaust pipe. Manufacturers specify the maximum length and number of elbows that pipe of a given diameter can handle.
- Not enough hangers to support the exhaust pipe, so condensate pools in low spots where the pipe sags, blocking the vent enough to trigger a furnace shut-down.
- Incorrect pitch of the exhaust pipe. The pipe should slope back toward the furnace, rather than towards the outside. The exhaust piping should slope at least 1/4-inch per foot, so condensate drains freely back into the furnace.
- Vents positioned too close to the ground, where they can be blocked by snow drifts or critters.
- Running exhaust and intake pipes out different sides of the house. The pipes must be next to each other so the wind pressure is the same on both.
These situations should be addressed by a professional. So feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical toll free at 888-611-7191
What to do about Frozen Water Pipes
The damages caused by frozen water pipes can be catastrophic. Just one burst pipe in a home running at 4-8 gallons a minute from a burst pipe can do tens of thousands of dollars damage in a manner matter of minutes, let alone the following mold mitigation problem. Once you have had a major water leak in your home, your insurance company may even cancel your coverage and you may lose your ability to obtain homeowners insurance. Contrary to belief, the pipe freezes and bursts 1st, then the water starts to flow once the ice thaws. For a burst to happen, the water super cools a couple of degrees lower than freezing in the pipe causing ice to form. It is the growth of the ice water to flow after the thaw.
Green Apple Plumbing NJ’s policy is to educate the public on what they can do to help prevent the possibility and what to do, if it does ever occur.that builds up excessive pressures in excess of 3000psi. This excessive pressure splits the pipe that causes the
1 – Prevention
- Locate and identify any and all shut off valves in your home and make sure they work
- Everyone should know where their “Main water valve” is and how to operate it
- Identify any potential problems
- Areas where pipes may be on outside walls, ceiling, crawl spaces, attics, etc.
- Seal any gaps around the home where cold air may penetrate and become in contact with piping. In the severe cold, especially wind driven, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
- Dryer vents, windows, cable penetrations, etc.
- Turn off and drain all standard outside hose bibs.
2 – When the temperature is expected to drop
- Open kitchen sink and any vanity doors of any potential problem area
- With pipes that are on outside walls that may be a freeze problem, leave a small trickle of both the hot and cold water running.
- Temporarily seal off any crawl space vents that may be around the foundation.
- Keep the house warm
3 – What to do if you experience a frozen pipe
(The first sign of a “frozen” pipe is reduced or no flow at a plumbing fixture.)
- If you experience a “no flow” situation.
- Turn off the “Main” water valve” to the house and leave the faucets “open” **
- DO NOT use any open flame to attempt to thaw the pipe
- DO NOT use any electric heater, hair dryer applied directly to the piping as any leaking water may cause electrocution
- Turning the water back on is best handled with (2) people. One person turning on the water “slowly” and the other walking about the house to be sure no water is running.
- Green Apple Plumbing NJ does not recommend sending a plumber to thaw out piping as it is very time consuming and costly to the client. Heat and patience is the best way to get the pipes to thaw. We do however recommend that if a freeze occurs, find the source and correct it so it will not happen again. If you were lucky enough that it did not burst the first time, you may not be so lucky the next time. The pipe(s) that froze may already be fatigued so the next time they may burst.
- If water is flowing, turn off the Main water valve immediately and open the lowest hot and cold faucets in your home, I.e. basement laundry tray.
** Be aware that if the water to your house is shut off, it may also turn off any fire protection system you may have.
4 – What to do if you leave your home in the winter
- Turn the Main water valve off to your home ***
- Leave the heat on to the house and set no lower than 60*
- Have a neighbor stop by daily, especially when the temperatures are in the 20s or below.
*** If you have “hot water and/or steam heat, the water must remain on even when you are not there. A neighbor stopping by is critical in the scenario. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Plumbing NJ toll free at 888-315-5564
Heating your home efficiently during freezing temperatures
Get ready to brave the cold as you head out the door Tuesday morning.
Temperatures won’t get past the mid-30s all day, so Green Apple Mechanical is helping you prepare for this arctic blast.
Stepping outside in the freezing cold, you may be tempted to crank up the heat in your house, but that can cost you big time. So we have some tips for you to save on your utility bills.
- For your thermostat, set it and forget it. Find the lowest comfortable setting, and don’t change it. The Department of Energy recommends setting it at 68 degrees. Every degree you lower it saves you money.
- Turn your heating system down when you’re not there, but don’t turn it off. Restarting your heating system uses a lot of energy.
- Keep your filters clean. That can save you 10 to 15% in energy costs.
- Only use space heaters to heat small areas for short periods of time. Space heaters only cost $0.18 per hour to operate, but that adds up to a whopping $130 a month.
- Turn your water heater thermostat down to 120 degrees. For every 10 degrees you reduce water temperature, you can save between 3 and 5% in energy costs.