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

  1. Locate and identify any and all shut off valves in your home and make sure they work
    1. Everyone should know where their “Main water valve” is and how to operate it
  2. Identify any potential problems
    1. Areas where pipes may be on outside walls, ceiling, crawl spaces, attics, etc.
  3. 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.
    1. Dryer vents, windows, cable penetrations, etc.
  4. Turn off and drain all standard outside hose bibs.

2 – When the temperature is expected to drop

  1. Open kitchen sink and any vanity doors of any potential problem area
  2. 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.
  3. Temporarily seal off any crawl space vents that may be around the foundation.
  4. 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.)

  1. If you experience a “no flow” situation.
    1. Turn off the “Main” water valve” to the house and leave the faucets “open” **
    2. DO NOT use any open flame to attempt to thaw the pipe
    3. DO NOT use any electric heater, hair dryer applied directly to the piping as any leaking water may cause electrocution
    4. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. Turn the Main water valve off to your home ***
  2. Leave the heat on to the house and set no lower than 60*
  3. 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

Keep Snow Build Up Away from Venting Systems

Keep Obstructions Away from Venting Systems

Here’s a super easy tip that can save lives and your heat from failing.  Keep Snow Build Up Away from Venting Systems.  Snowdrifts or a large snowfall can block your furnace or hot water heater exhaust pipe and cause it to stop working.
High efficiency furnaces, water heaters and other energy-saving appliances may have exhaust vents that exit your building through an exterior wall rather than through a chimney.  These vents can become blocked in the winter months by snow and ice, which can affect the safe operation of the appliance.  Make sure that all snow, ice and other obstructions are removed from your venting systems.  Drifting snow and caused a buildup of carbon monoxide inside of the house.  It’ important to think plan for and take steps to keep snow build up away from venting systems. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call Green Apple Mechanical toll free at 888-611-7191

NJ Snow Storm Prep: A Survival Guide for 2016

A few days before a “major winter storm” was expected to dump up to a foot snow on NJ (that is, if the storm system doesn’t veer eastward at the last minute), the state released its annual guide to surviving the weather.
“We’ve had bitterly cold weather this week and snow is in the forecast, so we want people to make sure they’re fully prepared for all that winter may bring,”
Make a Plan

  • Make sure your Household Disaster Plan is ready and all members of your household are familiar with how to contact one another in an emergency.
  • Winterize your Go Bag by adding a blanket, warm socks and gloves.
  • Your Emergency Supply Kit should be fully-stocked to allow you to sustain yourself for up to three days without power, or in the event you are unable to travel far from home. You may wish to include additional items such as extra blankets, additional warm clothing, and a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio to monitor weather conditions during a storm.

Winterize Your Home

  • Install storm shutters, doors and windows; clean out gutters; repair any roof leaks; and have a contractor check the stability of your roof in the event of a large accumulation of snow.
  • Insulate walls and attic. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows. Install storm windows, or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
  • Have safe emergency heating equipment available. For residences with functioning fireplaces, keep an ample supply of wood. Utilize portable electric space heaters. Keep a fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Install and check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Make sure you have sufficient heating fuel; you may have difficulty obtaining fuel in the immediate aftermath of a bad storm.
  • Service snow removal equipment, and have rock salt on hand to melt ice on walkways. Kitty litter can be used to generate temporary traction.

Winterize Your Car

  • Make sure to have a mechanic check the following items on your vehicle:
  1. Battery
  2. Antifreeze
  3. Windshield wipers and washer fluid
  4. Ignition system
  5. Thermostat
  6. Lights (headlamps and hazard lights)
  7. Exhaust system, heater, brakes, defroster
  • Oil level (if necessary, replace oil with a winter oil or SAE 10w/30 variety)
  • Install good winter tires that have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require vehicles to be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
  • Regardless of the season, it’s a good idea to prepare for an in-car emergency. Assemble an Emergency Supply Kit for your vehicle, and consider adding the following items for winter conditions:
  1. Blankets, sleeping bags, extra newspapers for insulation
  2. Plastic bags (for sanitation)
  3. Extra mittens, socks, scarves and hat, raingear and extra clothes
  4. Sack of sand or kitty litter for gaining traction under wheels, small shovel
  5. Set of tire chains or traction mats
  6. Working jack and lug wrench, spare tire
  7. Windshield scraper, broom
  8. Small tools (pliers, wrench, screwdriver)
  9. Booster cables
  10. Brightly colored cloth to use as a flag, flares or reflective triangles

Tips for Staying Warm
Exposure to cold can cause life-threatening health conditions. Avoid serious conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia, by keeping warm.

  • When outdoors, wear warm clothing and cover exposed skin. Use multiple layers to maintain warmth.
  • Wear a hat, hood, or scarf, as most heat is lost through the head.
  • Wear layers, as they provide better insulation and warmth.
  • Keep fingertips, earlobes, and noses covered if you go outside.
  • Keep clothing dry; if a layer becomes wet, remove it.
  • Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs.

What to Do Before a Storm Strikes

  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio and your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information. Know what winter storm watches and warnings mean.
  • Check on relatives, friends, and neighbors who may need assistance preparing for a storm.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions and avoid unnecessary travel.
  • Let faucets drip a little to help prevent freezing.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Know the Terms

  • Freezing Rain: rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.
  • Frost/Freeze Warning: issued when temperatures are expected to drop below freezing over a large area for an extended period of time.
  • Sleet: rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.
  • Ice Storm: when ice accumulations are expected during freezing rain situations. Significant ice accumulations are usually 1/4 of an inch or greater.
  • Wind Chill: the temperature it “feels like” when you are outside.
  • Heavy Snow: snowfall accumulating to 4 inches or more in depth in 12 hours or less; or snowfall accumulating to 6 inches or more in depth in 24 hours or less.
  • Winter Weather Advisory: issued by the National Weather Service when a combination of winter weather (snow, freezing rain, sleet, etc.) may present a hazard, but does not meet warning criteria.
  • Winter Storm Watch: issued by the National Weather Service when there is a potential for heavy snow or significant ice, usually at least 24 to 36 hours in advance. The criteria for this watch can vary from place to place.
  • Winter Storm Warning: issued by the National Weather Service when a winter storm is producing or is forecast to produce heavy snow or significant ice. The criteria for this warning can vary from place to place.
  • Blizzard Warning: issued by the National Weather Service for winter storms with sustained or frequent winds of 35 mph or higher with considerable falling and/or blowing snow that frequently reduces visibility to 1/4 of a mile or less. These conditions are expected to last for a minimum of 3 hours.

 
What to Do if You Lose Heat or Hot Water at Home
Call GREEN APPLE MECHANICAL right away at (888) 611-7191
Take measures to trap existing warm air and safely stay warm until we come to you, including:

  • Insulate your home as much as possible. Hang blankets over windows and doorways and stay in a well-insulated room while the heat is out.
  • Dress warmly. Wear hats, scarves, gloves, and layered clothing.
  • If you have a well-maintained working fireplace and use it for heat and light, be sure to keep the damper open for ventilation. Never use a fireplace without a screen.
  • If the cold persists and your heat is not restored call family, neighbors, or friends to see if you can stay with them.
  • Do not use your oven or fuel-burning space heaters to heat your home. These can release carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that you cannot see or smell.
  • Open your faucets to a steady drip so pipes do not freeze.

Safe Home Heating Tips
Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.
Fire safety tips:

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in every room. Test them at least once a month and change the batteries twice a year.
  • Use only portable heating equipment that is approved for indoor use. Space heaters are temporary heating devices and should only be used for a limited time each day.
  • Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting at least three feet away from the heat source. Never drape clothes over a space heater to dry them.
  • Never leave children alone in the room where a space heater is running. Always keep an eye on heating equipment. Turn it off when you are unable to closely monitor it.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord or power strip. Do not plug anything else into the same outlet when the space heater is in use. Do not use space heaters with frayed or damaged cords.
  • If you are going to use an electric blanket, only use one that is less than 10 years old from the date of purchase. Also avoid tucking the electric blanket in at the sides of the bed. Only purchase blankets with an automatic safety shut-off.

Carbon monoxide safety tips:

  • Carbon monoxide comes from the burning of fuel. Therefore, make sure all fuel-burning devices such as furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, and clothes dryers are properly vented to the outdoors and operating properly. If you are not sure, contact a professional to inspect and make necessary repairs.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Most homes and residential buildings in New York City are required by law to have carbon monoxide detectors installed near all sleeping areas. Owners are responsible for installing approved carbon monoxide detectors. Occupants are responsible for keeping and maintaining the carbon monoxide detectors in good repair.
  • If you have a working fireplace keep chimneys clean and clear of debris.
  • Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven, charcoal barbecue grill, or kerosene, propane, or oil-burning heaters.
  • The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are non-specific and include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. Severe poisonings may result in permanent injury or death.
  • If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911, get the victim to fresh air immediately, and open windows.
  • If a carbon monoxide detector goes off in your home, call 911, quickly open a nearby window, and go outside for fresh air immediately.

How to prepare your home for the big snow

Before you run out for milk and toilet paper in a pre-snow panic, you’ll want to ensure that your home is ready for a day or two of hunkering down. Here’s what experts say you should do now:
1) Protect your outdoor faucets, which are particularly vulnerable to plunging temperatures. Shut off the inside valve leading to any outside faucets and unhook hoses. Run the outside faucet to drain any water from that pipe and then close it.
2) Watch out for your water pipes. If yours are prone to bursting, keep cabinet doors beneath sinks open so warm air from your home can reach the pipes more easily. Use a blow dryer to warm up exposed pipes instead of space heaters, which can be a fire hazard. If you’re in an older home, consider keeping your thermostat up a bit higher than usual, even up to 74 degrees. Even a few degrees makes a difference, plumbers say. “You’ll spend a little more on your heating bill, but you’ll save your pipes,” said Tom Nicholson, president of Kensington-based Nicholson Plumbing Co.
3) Use space heaters with care. Keep them at least three feet from any curtains or clutter and turn them off when you go to bed.
4) Plan for a possible power outage. Stock up on flashlights and batteries. Charge cellphones, laptops and the tablets you might want to keep the kids entertained. Don’t burn a candle unless you remain in the room with it. Don’t use a gas stove or burners for heat — they are a burn hazard and a source of potential carbon monoxide. Don’t use a gas grill indoors, including in your garage, because of the carbon monoxide risk. Don’t run generators in garages or outside where it’s close to windows, through which carbon monoxide can seep into a home. If the power goes, unplug appliances to prevent them from succumbing to a surge when it comes back on.
5) Keep snow clear from outside drains and vents from your home. You’ll need the drains, including for sump pumps, clear when the snow starts to melt, and indoor heating systems can shut down if the vent gets clogged.
6) Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Anything that uses combustion to produce heat, including gas appliances and wood-burning fireplaces, can produce carbon monoxide if not vented properly.
7) Keep an eye on what you’re flushing. Having a home full of people home all day means lots more flushing than usual. Make sure everyone goes easy on the toilet paper, as this will be a tough weekend to get on a plumber’s call list. “If this is as bad as they’re saying, no plumber will be able to get around in it,” Nicholson, the plumbing company owner, said of the storm.
8) Clear snow from area fire hydrants.
9) Make sure your furnace filter is clean. A clogged filter can shut it down.
10) Make a “personal disaster kit” that includes water, food and medicines. This is where the milk and toilet paper come in.
11) Lastly, take a deep breath and watch the flakes fall. As Pete Piringer, spokesman for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, put it: “Just have fun and relax. With a little bit of planning ahead of time, the experience will be wonderful for most of us.”

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.

8 Furnace Warning Signs

8 Furnace Warning Signs

Discover 8 fast and easy ways to know when to replace your gas furnace before it costs you money or becomes unsafe. A comfortable and healthy home environment requires an efficient and sound heating system. Such a system heats the home without using large amounts of energy and it does not endanger the indoor air quality by overtaxing the supply of oxygen needed for combustion.
It is important to know the 8 warning signs that your furnace may need replacing. It is especially important not to wait until a crisis occurs . A cold night , with the furnace faltering or failed, is not the time to assess your heating system. Do it now.
Information is the key to making a wise decision. This report will teach you what the 8 warning signs that your furnace may need replacing.
This report is based on research undertaken by the federal Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, Minnesota Department of Public Service and electric and gas utilities. It also draws on the training resources of heating and cooling manufacturers, trade associations, and field service personnel.
1. How old is your furnace?
A good place to start is to compare your furnaces age to the national average. The average life expectancy of furnaces in homes today is between 16 and 20 years. If your furnace is close to this age or older, you should begin shopping. Shopping for a replacement furnace in an emergency does not allow time to make your best decision. Most people prefer to replace their furnace as a planned home improvement rather than a panic replacement when your furnace is faltering or failed. For starters, look at your furnace to see if you have a pilot light. If you do, it is almost certain to be over 25 years old!
2. Gas & Electric Bills Going Up?
Rising gas and electric prices are not the only reason for high bills. Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age especially if they have not been properly maintained. As a result your furnace may run longer to provide the same amount of heat. This will cause your gas & electric bills to go up. The money you pay the gas & electric company every month could be used to pay for new furnace.
3. Any Furnace Repairs in the last 2 years?
Furnaces are like cars. As they age, you can replace one part only to have to replace another part next year. It doesn’t take long to spend $500 just to keep the old furnace running. Furnaces incur the most breakdowns in the last 2 years of their lives. Another repair sign is whether you had to wait to get parts replaced. As a furnace ages, it gets harder to get replacement parts. This waiting can really be cold on a below zero night.
4. Does your thermostat keep you comfortable?
Do you feel that some rooms are too cold while others are too hot? Or are you always trying to adjust your thermostat to make your home more comfortable? This is a sign that your furnace lacks the ability to properly distribute the air to keep you comfortable in your home.
5. Is your burner flame yellow instead of blue?
A yellow or flickering flame may be a sign that poisonous carbon monoxide could be created by your furnace. Other possible signs of carbon monoxide are: Streaks of soot around furnace; Absence of an upward draft in your chimney; Excess moisture found on windows, walls, or other cold surfaces; Excessive rusting on flue pipes, other pipe connections, or appliance jacks; Small amount of water leaking from the base of the chimney, vent, or flue pipe; Rust on the portion of the vent pipe visible from the outside.
6. Is your furnace making strange noises?
Old furnaces often start to make some strange noises as they get toward the end of their life. Have you heard any banging, popping, rattling, or squealing noises coming from your furnace? Another noise is when you hear the furnace blower running excessively. Does your blower turn on & off frequently or does it blow cold air sometimes? If so, this is a sign that your furnace may need to be replaced.
7. How have you & your family been feeling?
Furnaces as they age run the risk of developing cracks in the heat exchanger inside your furnace. Carbon monoxide, if present, could leak into your home undetected. Signs of this may be frequent headaches, a burning feeling in nose or eyes, nausea, disorientation, flu-like symptoms. Should you experience any of these, air out your house, open a window to the furnace room and immediately call a gas service technician. Cracks in the heat exchanger can occur undetected which is why no one advises waiting until they occur.
8. Is your house dry or dusty?
Old furnaces often lack the ability to moisturize and clean the air in your home. Your house air may feel stuffy or stale. Does anyone in your family suffer from allergies to airborne dust, mold, pollen, viruses or dander? Or does anyone suffer from dry nose, dry throat, or dry skin? Other signs may be frequent dust accumulation, static shocks, drooping plants, furniture cracking and musical instruments that do not stay in tune. These signs all suggest that your old furnace is not capable of providing you with the comfort you and your family may want.  If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical toll free at 888-611-7191

Furnace Facts For Comfort And Health

 
Heating equipment is part of your home’s heating system much the same way your heart is part of your circulatory system – while the heart is critically important, the efficiency of the whole system depends on the health of each part. The following furnace facts will focus on the heart of the heating system – the heating equipment, namely the furnace. The other components of a heating system that add to comfort, lower bills, and healthy air – ducts, filters, ventilation, and caring for your investment – will be covered in other blogs.
Today’s gas furnaces come in many sizes, are improved in efficiency, have greater features, and are much safer to operate. If you are seeking maximum comfort and lower monthly bills, begin your journey to a new furnace by arming yourself with information:

1.

If you can spare the time, hire a certified energy professional* before investing in new heating equipment.  The efficiency of a heating system is dependent upon how well a home is insulated and sealed from air leaks. The energy pro can use diagnostic tools to pinpoint ways to reduce the amount of energy your home wastes so more heat from your new furnace can go to comfort. The energy pro may also be able to supply names of utility trade partners that will help you get rebates on the energy upgrades you make. Call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical if you have any questions or concerns. Call toll free at 888-611-7191

14 Winter Home Improvements That Save You $$$$

The polar vortex already seems to have descended with a vengeance on much of the U.S. this year, setting records for low temperatures and threatening to send utility bills skyrocketing.
While you can’t do anything about the chilly weather, you can take steps to make your home more energy efficient and pay less for heating. To start, the U.S. Department of Energy has a do-it-yourself energy audit on its website, or you can call a contractor for a professional audit.

Homeowners should start with smaller tweaks to their home before making big-ticket purchases. “There are a lot of changes you can do before you get a new furnace,” say experts.

What matters most is keeping the warm air in and the cold air out. There are a number of measures you can take to accomplish those goals, from inexpensive, do-it-yourself repairs to more pricey renovations that require hiring a contractor.
The areas where you can get the most energy savings for the money are insulation, windows and closing up cracks in walls, around windows and doors and any other spot where air might slip through.
“If you can replace windows, you can see a huge savings,” say experts who recommend at least double-paned replacements. “Buy the best windows you can. With windows, you truly get what you pay for.”
Few homes, even new homes, have enough insulation. Many developers build only to minimum code, and “half the homes in America are underinsulated,” experts say, so adding additional insulation can make a dent in your heating bill. Attic insulation deteriorates over time and needs to be replaced.
Some cities, counties, states and utilities offer rebates or incentives to help pay for home energy-saving improvements. The U.S. Department of Energy also provides some weatherization assistance grants, which are administered by states and other agencies.
Here are 14 winter home improvements to make now to save money and energy:
Caulk around windows and doors, and seal up cracks and holes. Not only are you keeping out cold air, you’re keeping out mice and other critters that may seek refuge. Consider sealing around the heating ducts in the basement and attic. If necessary, add or replace weather stripping.
Put down area rugs on tile and wood floors. That creates a layer of DIY insulation, plus makes it more comfortable to walk in bare feet.
Cover holes around electrical outlets. You can buy covers that can be easily installed behind the plate. Put your hands down to feel around the outlets. “If you can feel that area is a little cooler … you’re losing air through that outlet,” Recknagel says. “You really do lose a lot of energy through that air escape.”
Install glass doors to close off your fireplace. Those doors keep cold air from coming down into your house and your warm air from escaping up through the chimney. If you use your fireplace, make sure you close the flue when you’re finished.
Insulate your attic door. You can buy covers for attic staircases or openings. They’re typically easy to install and remove, and they’ll help you reduce energy costs year-round.
Cover your windows. If you don’t have storm windows, you can create your own DIY storm window with a window insulation kit. Inside your house, use insulated drapes.
Buy insulated garage and exterior doors. The garage doors that come with most homes aren’t insulated. An alternative to replacing exterior doors is to add a storm door.
Add insulation. The obvious place to add insulation is the attic, but also consider the crawl space, garage and basement. If you’re doing any construction that opens up exterior walls, that’s a good time to add insulation in the walls. “If your house was insulated more than 20 years ago, an added layer in the attic always helps,” Recknagel says.
Reverse ceiling fans. Running the fans counterclockwise makes it cooler during the summer months. Reverse them to run clockwise, and they will circulate the warm air back into the room.
Change your furnace filters. Dirty filters make the furnace work less efficiently. They should be changed monthly during the heating season.
Get a programmable thermostat. Each degree you turn down the heat saves 3 percent on your bill, Recknagel says. You can set the thermostat to lower the temperature after you go to bed and raise it when you get up, for example. You can also get the same results by manually lowering a conventional thermostat, but the key is remembering to do so.
Replace your outdated furnace or heat pump. Newer units produce more heat with less energy. If you buy a new furnace, make sure you get the right size for your space.
Put a blanket around your hot water heater. That seals in the heat and keeps the water hotter longer.
Replace or repair thresholds and door sweeps. Since this is where your door seals shut, it keeps cold air from entering underneath and bringing down the temperature in your home. In a pinch, use a towel to cover a draft. If your furnace needs maintenance or repair or to be replaced feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical toll free at 888-611-7191

Common Winter Heating Problems

Winter heating problems are not the end of the world. However, they are a major inconvenience for anyone wishing to stay warm at home during winter.
Green Apple Mechanical NJ is here to provide solutions for some common winter heating problems. There is no worse time for home heating problems than in the dead of winter. Here are a few tips to help you diagnose some common winter heating problems.

Winter heating problem #1
Sudden loss of heat

The first thing you think of when your furnace suddenly stops is a power outage or surge. If you haven’t lost power, check your fuse box to make sure that you still have power going to the furnace.
A malfunctioning pilot light or ignition system may also be the issue. This means you need some work from a professional, as ignition and pilot light work is not a job for an amateur.

Winter heating problem #2
Cycling heat

A clogged, dirty filter or blower can cause inadequate air flow. This may cause your furnace to click on and off frequently at it shuts off after heating up too quickly.
A faulty thermostat can also cause this issue. If you do not know your furnace components, have home heating experts inspect your furnace and resolve the issue of unwanted heat cycling.

Winter heating problem #3
Inconsistent room temperatures

Draft issues
If your house is cold despite a continuously running furnace, a draft might be the problem. Leaking windows, drafty doors, and poor or damaged insulation are major heat losses.
Check the most obvious places. A professional energy audit from your local utility provider can also help.
Unbalanced air flow issues
Another source of inconsistent room temperatures is unbalanced air flow. Manually adjusting the vents may resolve this problem. However, air flow problems are often caused by dirty coils or filters.
Make sure to schedule routine air filter inspections with an HVAC professional. You can also prevent this issue by having that professional provide routine vacuuming of your registers and returns.

Winter heating problem #4
Carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a major risk for home owners. It is odorless, colorless and tasteless, giving it the nickname of “silent killer.”
If your gas furnace is 10 to 15 years old, there is a higher risk of having a rusted heat exchanger. Tiny cracks in the heat exchange can leak carbon monoxide. Sometimes, these cracks can be very small or difficult to find.
If you have an older gas furnace, installing a carbon monoxide detector is a smart, safe idea. Be certain to have a professional inspect your HVAC for potential carbon monoxide leaks whenever you have these experts at your home for maintenance, repairs, installations or other work. You can always call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll free at 888-611-7191

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO CHANGE YOUR FURNACE FILTERS

All of the heated air that flows from your furnace into the living spaces of your New Jersey home must first pass through an air filter. If the filter is dirty with contaminants, the air will filter through those pollutants as well. Air filters don’t just help improve the air quality of your home, however. They protect your heating system equipment from damage, too. The Environmental Protection Agency calls changing your furnace filters whenever they become dirty the most important maintenance task that you can do to optimize your heating system’s energy efficiency.

BENEFITS FROM REGULARLY CHANGING YOUR AIR FILTER

Energy savings, lower utility bills and better indoor air quality are the three greatest benefits that you’ll enjoy when you change your furnace filters whenever they’re dirty. An understanding of the role that air filters play helps explain why they’re so important:

  • Air flow. Even the most energy-efficient furnace can’t keep your home snug and warm without a well-operating air distribution system. The heat that your furnace generates is directed into the ductwork with a blower, which is typically a fan with a rotating wheel that draws in and blows out air. If an air filter becomes so clogged and dirty that it restricts air flow, the blower will pull in air from any leak or crack in the air handler or ductwork, impacting your home’s indoor air quality. Dirt can also accumulate on the coils and further restrict air flow.
  • Heater performance. Dirty filters can cause dust, grime and debris to build up on heater components, which can impair the efficiency of the entire heating system. Over time, the heater’s performance weakens while the energy usage steadily increases. Replacing a clogged filter with clean one can lower an HVAC system’s energy consumption by as much as 15 percent, according to the EPA.
  • Indoor Air Quality. Filters are rated according to the number and size of particles that they can trap. The rating system used is called the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale. The higher the MERV number, the better the filter is at removing tiny particulates. Because high efficiency filters are made with denser materials, however, they can impair air flow. An expert from Hollub Heating can help you select the filter best for your heating system.

PROFESSIONAL HVAC SOLUTIONS

Enrolling in a preventive maintenance plan is an affordable and convenient way to ensure that your heater gets the regular care that it needs to operate at peak efficiency. Your heater will last longer and need fewer repairs with scheduled maintenance as well. A seasonal heater tune-up from the pros at Green Apple Mechanical NJ includes air filter checks and replacements. If frequent filter changes aren’t doing enough to minimize indoor air pollution in your home, we also offer a wide range of indoor air quality products that can help everyone in your household breathe easier. For effective solutions for all of your comfort needs, contact Green Apple Mechanical NJ today. Call toll free at 888-611-7191