Our trash that goes in the can or recycling is waste we have no choice but to face. Whether it’s hauling the trash cans to the sidewalk, bringing recycling to a center–it’s a mass of garbage that we have to contend with.
Liquid waste, on the other hand, simply gets rinsed down the drain and it’s “bye-bye never have to think about you again.”
It’s a much more expedient process–one that’s hidden from the eyes of any sanitation departments–and one that can wreak waves of environmental chaos, not to mention what it can do to your pipes. We often don’t realize the harm we are doing by what we rinse down our kitchen sinks, bath and shower drains, and even what we flush down our toilets.
In a study published in 20015, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected and analyzed water samples from 139 streams in 30 states. The goal of the study was to measure concentrations of 95 wastewater-related organic chemicals in water. And guess what? One or more of these chemicals were found in 80 percent of the streams sampled.
Half of the streams contained seven or more of these chemicals, and about one-third of the streams contained 10 or more of these chemicals. Pharmaceutical and personal-care products are to blame for many of the chemicals found in the USGS study. Research has shown that there can be effects on aquatic organisms like fish and frogs. Lesson here: don’t flush unwanted prescriptions and try to purchase all-natural personal care products.
But another area of concern is kitchen waste–namely fats, oils and greases which can not only clog pipes, but are terrible for sewage systems. According to the Watership Environment Foundation (WEF), sewer overflows and backups can cause health hazards, damage home interiors, and threaten the environment.
An increasingly common cause of overflows is sewer pipes blocked by grease–this results in raw sewage overflowing in your home or your neighbor’s home; An expensive and unpleasant cleanup that often must be paid for by you, the homeowner; Raw sewage overflowing into parks, yards, and streets; Potential contact with disease-causing organisms; and an increase in operation and maintenance costs for local sewer departments, which causes higher sewer bills for customers.
Where does the grease that causes sewer overflows come from? Much of it from the kitchen sink.
- Meat fats
- Cooking oil
- Butter and margarine
- Food scraps
- Baking goods
- Dairy products
Grease sticks to the insides of sewer pipes (both on your property and in the streets). Over time, the grease can build up and block the entire pipe. Note that home garbage disposals do not keep grease out of the plumbing system. These units only shred solid material into smaller pieces and do not prevent grease from going down the drain. Commercial additives, including detergents, that claim to dissolve grease may pass grease down the line and cause problems in other areas.
WEF suggests these tips to alleviate pipe blockage and sewer overflows:
• Never pour grease down sink drains or into toilets.
• Scrape grease and food scraps from trays, plates, pots, pans, utensils, and grills and cooking surfaces into a can or the trash for disposal (or recycling where available).
• Do not put grease down garbage disposals. Put baskets/strainers in sink drains to catch food scraps and other solids, and empty the drain baskets/strainers into the trash for disposal.
• Speak with your friends and neighbors about the problem of grease in the sewer system and how to keep it out.
• Call your local sewer system authority if you have any questions.
Other things to never wash down your drain:
- Fats, oils or grease from cars or lawnmowers
- Coffee grinds
- Egg shells
- Produce stickers
- Chunks of garbage
- Feminine hygiene products
- Paper towels
- Flushable cat litter
- Motor oil, transmission fluids, anti-freeze or other toxic chemicals
- Solvents, paints, turpentine, nail polish, polish remover
- Flammable or explosive substances
- Corrosive substances that are either acidic or caustic
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191
We still have cool-to-cold weather here in NJ, and can expect a few more weeks of it before the temperature begins to warm up. Your home’s heating system will keep working for a while longer, but you should also know how to prepare your heating system for the time when it will shut off for a few months during the summer. You don’t want it to have trouble starting up again when the fall and winter weather return.
Here are some ways to prepare your heating system for its summer siesta. For professional assistance with your heating—from maintenance to repairs to new installation—trust to the skilled workers at Green Apple Mechanical.
Preparing for summer—with your heater
- Have lingering repairs taken care of now: It is very tempting to put off fixing a malfunction in a heater with the warmer weather approaching. However, you should make sure that your heating system shuts off for the season working as well as possible, since you do not want to encounter trouble when you really need it later. This time of year is less busy for HVAC repair technicians, making it easy to schedule the work—the winter rush will present a much more difficult time for scheduling. Also, any repair needs your furnace has can deteriorate during the long period of inactivity and become worse.
- Have a maintenance visit if you haven’t already: Spring is when most homeowners have a maintenance visit for their air conditioner. If you’ve delayed maintenance for your heater for more than a year, you should also have maintenance done for it now so that it will be in good shape for when you need it again. You want your heating system in the best shape possible when you need it once more. Maintenance will also make sure there are no safety issues in the system—such as gas leaks—that can become problems.
- Check and replace air filters: This is part of regular maintenance that you can do on your own. If the air filter for your heater is clogged, or if you haven’t changed it in over a month, you should switch it out now. Your air conditioner will probably use the same filter, so this will help you during the summer as well.
Schedule service today
Get a head start on the summer, and next winter, with the service your heater requires. Call Green Apple Mechanical and set up an appointment for maintenance or repairs for your heating in NJ.
It’s for your own good.
Your air conditioner has been dormant for months.
And you will save money!
- Reduced breakdowns – Annual air conditioner tune-ups allow you to find small problems before they turn into large ones. For example, a plugged A/C drainage line is an easy fix, but if left untended could lead to a much larger repair.
- Increased efficiency – The Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, ENERGY STAR, and local utility companies all recommend annual air conditioner tune-ups to increase your cooling system’s efficiency.
- Increased lifespan – Regular maintenance can extend the useable lifespan of your home’s air conditioning system. An annual air conditioner tune-up can also give you an idea of how much longer your system may have before you should consider a replacement.
Considering adding central air conditioning to your New Jersey home? Read on for a list of features and reasons why you should go ahead and take the central air conditioning plunge.
- Central air conditioners provide cool air flow directly from the source into every room of a house, not into just one or a few rooms, as do unit air conditioners. Cool air travels through the air ducts and vents to cool individual rooms, as well as hallways.
- Central air conditioning is less noisy than room or unit air conditioning.
- The only visible component of central air conditioning is the compressor, which is usually placed in a hidden spot outdoors. Therefore, central air conditioning is not cumbersome nor does it take away from your window view.
- Many high efficiency central air conditioners are available on the market today.
- Most central air conditioners also act as air filters and dehumidifiers.
- Many central air conditioning systems also pump hot air in the winter, or work in a reversed cycle.
Need more reasons why you should choose to install central air conditioning in your New Jersey? Green Apple Mechanical NJ who provide expert heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and geothermal services throughout the entire New Jersey area.
Central air conditioning requires regular maintenance – including duct cleaning.
If you have any questions or concern feel free to contact your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191
Checking the Condenser Fan
The condenser fan is located outside of the building in a large metal box-like container called the condenser box. Remove any plastic or tarp cover from this unit, if applicable. Remove the grill that covers the fan and clean the blades with a vacuum attachment brush. Vacuum out the bottom of the condenser box to remove any debris, dead leaves or anything else that may have been sucked inside from the operation of the fan. Make sure nothing is blocking the airflow to the fan blades. Vines or bushes that interfere with the airflow must be trimmed back, and any debris that may have stuck to the fan grill must be removed.
Cleaning the Condenser Coils
The condenser coils are located inside the condenser box, and both the side and top panels must be removed to gain access. These are generally held on with screws. The coils will look like the fins on a radiator, and can be cleaned with either a water hose or a vacuum cleaner and brush attachment. Any stuck-on grease or gunk can be removed with condenser coil spray and then hosed off. Always be extra careful to not bend the coil fins during cleaning. Bent fins will reduce the effectiveness and efficiency of your air conditioning unit.
Checking the Coolant Lines
The coolant lines must be checked for both leakage and insulation continuity. Damaged, crimped or leaking lines must be replaced by a professional heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor. All coolant pipe lines must be covered by intact insulation, and any areas of damaged insulation should be cut off with a utility knife and replaced. Coolant pipe insulation is readily available at hardware stores.
The Filter and Ductwork
Change the filter in your HVAC unit before the air conditioning unit is turned on for the first time. Check the ductwork that supplies the conditioned air to each room. All of the ductwork seams must be sealed and intact, and any damaged or compromised ductwork runs must be repaired or replaced before the unit is turned on.
Check the battery in the thermostat if you have a computer-controlled model. A good idea is to change the battery every year at the start of the cooling season. This will ensure proper and maintenance-free thermostat function throughout the entire year. Make sure the breaker switch is operable. Flip it to the “on” position and notice if it stays on. If it breaks after a few seconds before the unit is running, there is an electrical short in the system, and a qualified electrical technician must be called in to troubleshoot the problem.
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191
Is your old air conditioner collecting dust? If so, spring is the perfect time to have central air conditioning installed by the professionals at Green Apple Mechanical NJ. In the HVAC industry, central air conditioning is a major advancement because it replaces individual air conditioners and can cool an entire house with the flick of a switch.
Central air conditioning is the best way to effectively circulate cold air throughout your home. Another advantage of this state-of-the-art system is that it can improve air quality in your home. Indoor air pollutants won’t be able to call your house their home.
When it comes to installing central air conditioning systems, our goal is providing your home with comfort and efficiency.Starting in the spring and during the summer, there is nothing more refreshing than basking in central air conditioning. Also, traditional air conditioners use more electricity than central air conditioning units. Therefore, a new central air conditioning unit will be more energy efficient than an old one.
The pros at Green Apple Mechanical can install a new central air conditioning that is the most conducive and effective for the layout of your particular home. Give your friends at Green Apple Mechanical a call toll free at 888-611-7191 for a free estimate or consultation. So go ahead and take a well deserved breath of cool air.
There are many things that make our lives easier that we often take for granted such as electricity, cell phones, and air conditioning.
I personally would add indoor plumbing to that list mainly because I enjoy the easy convenience of taking a hot shower in the morning and running my dishwasher at night not to mention the most convenient feature of all…an indoor toilet!
And yes, there are still people out there who choose to forgo this modern convenience but I am definitely not one of them. But indoor plumbing not only makes our lives easier, it also plays a critical role in public health.
While we take plumbing for granted when it works, we definitely do not when it doesn’t. Who wants to deal with a sink that won’t drain let alone a toilet that’s backed up and overflowing? Many people take the work of the plumber, the one we call to fix a leak and unclog the drain, for granted and who hasn’t heard a plumber joke or two?
In reality, plumbing, when properly installed and maintained, is critical in ensuring that our health is protected. Unsafe water supply systems within buildings and ineffective sanitation could, and sadly does, lead to significant health problems and even, at times, death.
With an increasing global focus on climate change, the plumbing industry is again a major player whether in relation to water conservation, use and reuse issues or in the installation and maintenance of equipment using renewable sources of energy.
In many developing countries, lack of an effective plumbing infrastructure is a huge factor in the tragic statistics when people do not have access to safe drinking water or to effective sanitation systems. The World Health Organization estimates over three million children under the age of five die each year due to water related diseases.
On a local level, we have seen issues with improperly installed or clogged plumbing vents causing sluggish drains and even worse, allowing unsafe sewer gas to enter the home. Faulty plumbing has also caused waters systems to become contaminated and broken sewer pipes have led to sewage leaking inside and under homes.
For these reasons, March 11 has been designated by the World Plumbing Council (WPC) as World Plumbing Day. The aim of the Day is to raise awareness about the critical role which today’s plumbing industry plays in relation to public health and the health of our planet and the environment. So take the time to thank a plumber for all their hard work in keeping our world a little safer and healthier and a whole lot more convenient.
Change your furnace filter.
There’s no reason to wait to change the filter in your furnace. Over the winter, your filter operated as the “lungs” of your home. As you can imagine, those “lungs” got pretty dirty in the process of keeping the air clean. If you’re not sure how to change your furnace filter, call Green Apple Mechanical NJ and we’ll arrange to come for an end-of-season house visit. During the visit, we’ll show you how you can change the filter yourself in the future.
Make sure your carbon monoxide monitor is still going strong.
If you didn’t change your carbon monoxide monitor during the “spring forward” time change, do it now. Any indication of carbon monoxide in your home necessitates an immediate call to your gas furnace utility provider after getting your family out of the house to prevent fatalities or illnesses. Once you have protected everyone and the utility has turned off the natural gas to your home, Contact Green Apple Mechanical NJ so it isn’t a danger to your family’s health.
Check your pilot light and burner assembly.
The pilot light and burner assembly are located in your furnace and can be visually inspected. However, many homeowners aren’t certain as to what they are looking for. In this case, it’s always better to get the assistance of an expert so you can be sure the pilot light and burner are a-okay. Occasionally, they may need to be cleaned or replaced.
If you will need a new furnace (or you want to switch from oil to gas or electric), start shopping now.
Most furnaces are operable and efficient for around 15-20 years. This means yours could be on its last legs if you’ve had it for the better part of two decades or even longer. Start investigating your new furnace options during the spring and summer; that way, when you are ready to purchase another furnace in the fall, you’ll have all the information you need to make a smart decision.
As with all home improvement projects, the more preventive steps you take to care for your furnace, the less concerns you’ll have when the weather cools down again.
If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191
- Add an elbow for pipe and extension, although that often leaves the outlet still too close to the house.
- Use a splash guard that stretches about three feet.
- Attach a flexible extension hose to the end of the down-spout and bend it in away 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
Today more than ever, everybody’s looking for ways to use energy more efficiently around the house and cut down on utility bills. But when it comes to heating, cooling and using home appliances, there are more myths, urban legends, and old-wives-tales out there than you can shake a stick at. In fact, some of the more popular myths that you may think are saving you energy and money are actually doing the opposite.
The time has come to set the energy-efficiency record straight. Here are the facts on some of the most common home energy myths, fallacies and outright falsehoods:
MYTH: Closing off vents and registers will reduce your heating bill.
False. If you have a modern forced air heating system, the pressure load is balanced throughout the house. Blocking the vent will impact how the system inhales and exhales air; it can throw the system out of balance, causing it to have to work harder or possibly break down.
Also the most energy efficient practice you can do is to have heat evenly distributed throughout the house. Blocking vents in certain rooms will make those rooms colder. Because heat moves from greater concentrations to lesser concentrations, these colder rooms will draw heat from other rooms in the house, making the whole house feel colder and causing you to raise the thermostat.
MYTH: Fiberglas insulation alone keeps cold air out of your home.
Fiberglas actually does a better job at keeping heat in than keeping cold out. If you have cracks, air leaks and drafts anywhere in your house, the cold air will seep in no matter how much insulation you have. Air sealing is the most important thing you can do to plug these holes and gaps and keep the chill from creeping in.
MYTH: Leaving a ceiling fan on will cool a room…even when you’re not there.
Fans cool your skin, not the air; they do not lower room temperature. A fan works by circulating the air in a space; when the air moves across the skin, we feel cooler even though the air temperature in the room remains the same. If a fan runs in a room when no one is there, no one is feeling its benefits. So it’s just wasting electricity.
MYTH: Buying an energy efficient furnace or air-conditioner will automatically reduce my energy bill.
Not necessarily true. Even the highest efficiency-rated heaters and air conditioners can cost you more money to operate if they are improperly sized or installed. According to the Department of Energy, shoddy installation and improper sized equipment can waste as much as one-third of your energy consumption.
MYTH: Duct tape is good for sealing ducts.
Duct tapes has many great uses. But despite the name, it actually does a pretty lousy job at sealing ducts. It doesn’t work well in dirty or dusty conditions…and you can’t get dirtier or dustier than an air duct. Also, the tape tends to fall off as it ages and the adhesive dries out. Mastic tape sticks, seals and insulates much better.
MYTH: The higher you set your thermostat, the faster your furnace will heat up your house.
False. Furnaces deliver heat at the same rate no matter how high the thermostat is set. If you set your thermostat at the desired temperature, it will reach that point just as quickly as if you set it higher. And since you’ll probably end up having to move the temperature down a few degrees anyway, you’ll probably wind up using more energy than you intended in the long run.
The same applies to air conditioning. Setting your A/C at full-blast will not make it reach a comfortable temperature any faster. It’s just going to make the room colder and make your system work harder.
MYTH: There’s no benefit in adjusting your thermostat when you don’t need heating or cooling…such as at night or when nobody’s home.
Research shows that the longer your house stays at a reduced temperature when heating or at an increased temperature when cooling, the more energy and money you will save. This is because heating and cooling cost depends mostly on the difference between indoor and outdoor temperature. When you adjust the temperature down in the winter or up in the summer, you simply reduce this temperature difference. In fact, setting your temperature back 10 or more degrees for 8 hours while you sleep or go to work can reduce your energy bill by 5-15%. A programmable thermostat can adjust temperatures automatically for you.
MYTH: Leaving lights, computers and appliances on uses less energy than turning them off and on repeatedly.
This may have been true of computers 20 or more years ago when they were massive energy hogs and prone to energy surge damage and wear & tear. But today’s computers are much more durable and use a lot less energy. The small surge in energy created when any electrical product is turned on is much smaller than the energy used by running the device when it’s not needed. Rule of thumb: any time you can turn a machine or light off, it will save energy.
MYTH: It requires less energy to boil water if you fill your pot with hot water from the tap.
Totally bogus. It takes the same amount of energy to reach the boiling point whether you use hot or cold water. If you use hot water, you’ve already paid to heat the water in your water heater; you may have a headstart of a few degrees, but you’ve already paid for that headstart.
MYTH: A dripping faucet is not all that significant.
Really? Put a bucket underneath and see how quickly those drips add up. A single dripping faucet can add up to 300 or more gallons of water per month. That’s a big chunk of your water bill.
MYTH: Showering uses less energy and water than taking a bath.
This one is true! Taking a 10-minute shower with a low-flow (2.5 gallons per minute) shower head uses 25 gallons of water. A typical bath takes 30-50 gallons. There are high-quality hower heads that use 1.5 gallons per minute or less for even more water and energy efficiency.
MYTH: Energy efficiency increases the initial cost of a home.
Not necessarily. There is little if any correlation between energy efficiency and a home’s purchase price. In some instances, efficiency can even reduce the initial cost when smaller highly-efficient heating and cooling systems are installed. Smaller, high efficiency units generate as much heating or cooling benefits as large, inefficient ones.
MYTH: Energy efficiency doesn’t appeal to home buyers and doesn’t enhance a home’s future sales price of the home.
Not according to the National Association of Home Builders who is actively supporting programs such as the use of ENERGY STAR heaters, air conditioners and appliances, as well as its own Green Building Guidelines. A 2008 NAHB study shows that 51 percent of homebuyers are willing to pay up to $11,000 more if energy costs are reduced by just $1,000 annually.
If you have any questions or concerns about heating or cooling your home feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191