Don’t Overlook These Two Tips For Your Central Air

Schedule Professional Maintenance Every Year

A central air conditioner is a big investment. Just as you take your car into the shop for a tune-up, you should have an HVAC contractor look at the unit every year. When a Green Apple professional services your air conditioner, we will make sure the various parts have sufficient lubrication and will make adjustments that will help increase the efficiency of your system. They will also let you know about minor problems that need attention before they become expensive repairs in the future.

Inspect Your Duct Work

A central air conditioner blows cool air through a series of ducts in your home. If one of the ducts has a leak, cool air will end up in parts of the house where it’s not needed, like inside the walls. Have a professional inspect your ductwork every three to five years. Follow the inspection with professional duct cleaning service to remove dust and debris in the ductwork that downgrades the quality of your indoor air. In some cases, a professional may recommend that you repair the ducts to increase the efficiency of your air conditioner.
Green Apple are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the NJ area for years with professionalism and expertise. Customer service and care are always our number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns call us toll-free at 888-611-7191

Let Us Be There For You

Season through season let us here at Green Apple Mechanical be there for you. We have years of experience and professionalism behind us. So whether it’s annual maintenance or an HVAC emergency feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical toll-free at 888-611-7191

A Stitch In Time Saves 9

There is definitely something to the age-old saying “A stitch in time saves 9”. It is especially true when referring to your heating and cooling systems in your home. It is much better to have annual maintenance performed on your HVAC system then wait for something to go wrong before you call your local Green Apple Mechanical professional. Catch a small problem now before it turns into a larger one. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC problems please feel free to call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical NJ toll-free at 888-611-7191

Central Air vs. Window Unit

As the warmer months are here it’s time to start seriously thinking about the best way to cool your home. Late July into August has historically been the hottest time of year! We’ve talked about the natural ways to cool your house this summer, but with the highest temps rolling in fast, you need to have the best and most effective method of cooling your home. So you need AC, your next question might be, do I want central air or window units? We’re here to layout the advantages and disadvantages of both to help make your decision a little easier.

Cost

The cost of centralized air vs. window units can not be compared upfront, but over time. The initial cost of window units are significantly lower than installing central air. The downside to paying less upfront is the eventual long term cost. Window units only cool the one room it is installed in, while central air is set up to cool the entire household. You’d have to buy an individual unit for each and every room of your house, bumping up the initial cost of a window unit. And, if a window unit stops working, falls out the window, or malfunctions, you’d have to buy a new one, where with central air there are repair teams who will come to your home and fix the system.

Efficiency

Energy efficiency can be complicated for both central air and window units. Both are measured by the EER (energy efficiency ratio) rating, but central air can also be measured by the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating. The Energy Star certification allows buyers like you to know if your unit is energy efficient, therefore your window unit must have an EER of 9.4-10.7, while your central air system must have a rating of at least 12 to be certified. Central air systems are generally rated higher, meaning they are more efficient. If you have any questions about efficiency ratings of your AC unit, contact one of our professionals here at Green Apple Mechanical NJ. Call toll free at 888-611-7119

Maintenance

Like any appliance in your home, any AC system requires maintenance and care post installation. Window units require upkeep that can generally be done manually. Basic maintenance requires vacuuming out the condenser coils, replacing or cleaning clogged, dirty or old filters that could reduce efficiency and checking the condenser coil for bent cooling fins. Central air requires the cleaning of the condensation pump and checking the air filter which can all be done by your Green Apple Mechanical NJ professional. It will requires virtually no maintenance for you, keeping your home cool and your summer stress free!

Size of House

When deciding between the two AC systems, a question to consider is how many rooms are you trying to cool during the hottest months? Larger homes with four or more rooms find central air to most effectively cool every room with the best long term cost and quality. Larger homes, as opposed to apartments, also have more room to install central air.
The choice between using central air or window units to cool your home during the hot summer months may be different for everyone. With years of experience in providing outstanding service and installation of air conditioning systems to the New Jersey area. Green Apple Mechanical NJ offers unmatched service and repair. Contact us today to ensure a cool rest of the summer!

The Most Common Heat Problems During Winter

The one thing that no homeowner wants to encounter during the winter months is a malfunctioning heat pump. In the wintertime, the heat pump transfers heat from the outside of your home into the inside. The lower the temperatures drop outside during the winter, the harder it becomes for your heat pump to continue normal operations. Here are seven common heat pump problems that you may experience during the winter.

Covered in Ice

It is normal for a light layer of ice or frost to appear on the coils of your heat pump during periods of normal operation. When this happens, the heat pump will de-ice itself with the defrost cycle. However, when the ice or frost extends beyond the outside of the coils and covers practically the entire unit and inside of the coils, it is time for you to be concerned. Leaving your heat pump covered in ice and frost for an extended period of time can result in damage to the unit.

Nonfunctioning

Sometimes a heat pump may not be functioning due to a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse. Reset the fuses and circuits to the unit and then proceed to turn the unit on. If after checking and resetting the fuses and circuit breaker, the heat pump does not power on, you need to contact an HVAC professional to get to the root of the problem.

Blowing Cold Air

When your heat pump starts to blow cold air, there are a couple of things you can do to correct the situation. Check the thermostat to ensure that it is not set to the “cool” setting. Check the refrigerant levels in your pump and inspect the unit for refrigerant leaks. If the coolant levels are low or you notice a leak, you need to have your heat pump serviced as soon as possible. There may be a problem with the outdoor compressor or the coolant lines themselves.

Draining Problems

Improper drainage can cause a heat pump to freeze over and prevent it from working properly or even at all. Signs of draining problems include leaking and dripping. To enable your heat pump to drain properly to prevent freezing, make sure that the unit is placed on a sturdy surface. That surface should be high enough to prevent the unit from being submerged in snow, rain and other elements. Keep the coils dry and change the filters regularly.

Blocked Coils

Blocked coils can cause the heat pump to work harder, decrease airflow and cause condensation and moisture to collect around the coils. If you factor in the cold temperatures, the chances of your heat pump freezing significantly increases. Remember, your heat pump needs to have a sufficient amount of airflow to allow it to gather heat from the environment to heat the inside of your home. When the coils are blocked and airflow is compromised, the efficiency of the unit diminishes. Keep the area surrounding the outside of the coils clear to prevent problems with airflow and efficiency.

Weather Elements

Snow, freezing rain and ice can all interfere with your heat pump’s ability to function properly. These elements can prevent the fan in your heat pump from working, thereby rendering your unit useless. To get rid of any ice that has accumulated and blocked the fan, you can either wait for the ice to melt on its own or pour some warm water over the unit. If those methods do not work, contact your HVAC service to fix the problem. Never attempt to remove any ice from your heat pump with force, such as with an ice pick, hammer or shovel. Check to ensure that the unit is located where it won’t be affected by any runoff from your roof or gutters.

Time for Replacement

Sometimes even with regular maintenance and care, a heat pump can still malfunction. If you notice that your heat pump is needing service more often, it may be time for you to replace it. It is recommended for homeowners to replace their heat pump every 10 years to ensure maximum comfort throughout the year. Replacing your old unit with a new and more energy efficient heat pump can save you more money on your energy bills.
Although some issues regarding the heat pump can be resolved without professional help, it is highly recommended for you to have an HVAC professional come out to inspect your heat pump to prevent further problems. Failure to get any issues resolved within a timely manner can result in high utility bills, a reduction in comfort and higher repair bills. Call your friends at Green Apple Mechanical at 888-611-7191

What Is the Ideal Temperature to Set Heat to in Winter to Save Money?

For many homeowners, wintertime is the time of year when they are tempted the most to turn their thermostats up to the highest setting possible in order to keep all of those cold drafts at bay. While this may seem like a good idea, it is not. Constantly setting the thermostat to a high temperature during the wintertime will cause a big spike in energy bills. In order to save money and keep your HVAC system from working too hard, here are some ways you can program your thermostat in order to save energy and money during those cold winter months in New Jersey.

Day Time Temperature Setting

Setting the thermostat too high when it is cold outside is the equivalent of tossing money out of the window. The warmer your home is the faster thermal energy will be lost to the outside. The lower the temperature is inside of the home, the slower the rate of thermal energy loss. To achieve optimal comfort, it is recommended for homeowners to set their thermostats between 68 to 72 degrees while there are people inside of the home. 68 to 72 degrees is a temperature range that is not too warm or cool, and is sufficient enough to warm up the home just enough so that everyone is comfortable regardless of the type of clothing they have on.

Night Time and Away Temperature

When the house is empty for an extended amount of time and at night, it is a good idea to lower the temperature to 58 to 62 degrees. When everyone is sleep and less active, there is no need for the heating and cooling system to waste energy when it is not needed as much. That temperature setting is also enough to keep the pipes in the home from freezing when the temperatures outside drop and no one is home.

Energy Efficient Appliances

Older furnaces and heat pumps take longer to heat up the inside of a home. This can cause the home to feel colder than it really is since the appliance is taking more time to heat things up. In order to improve how fast the furnace responds and to maintain the warm atmosphere inside of the home, it is a good idea to replace all older appliances including the furnace with energy saving appliances.

Digital Thermostats

Invest in a digital thermostat to make setting and maintaining temperatures a breeze. Digital thermostats make it possible for homeowners to set their thermostats in advance and not have to worry about setting them again until the season changes. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and install the digital thermostat in an area that is convenient for you to reach and away from all drafts, sunlight, furniture, doorways, and windows.
When setting a digital thermostat be mindful of the times that everyone is awake and sleep. Consider programming the device so that it lowers and raises the temperatures shortly before everyone gets up, goes to sleep, or leaves the house. If the home is going to be empty for three hours or more, do not forget to set thermostat to a lower temperature to save energy and money while you are away.

Ways to Save Money on Energy Costs in the Winter

While setting the thermostat to the right temperatures can improve the comfort of one’s home, it is not the only way to do so. Other ways for a homeowner to minimize energy usage and costs, while improving the overall environment inside of his or her home include:

  • Wear warmer clothing and consider setting the temperature to lower than 72 degrees to see more savings on energy bills.
  • Inspect and regularly replace filters.
  • Get an inspection and furnace tune up before the arrival of winter to get the furnace ready for the season.
  • Inspect the home for drafts and leaks. Seal up any cracks, holes or gaps in the home’s entryways, walls, and foundation to prevent thermal energy from escaping.
  • Use weather stripping on doors and windows that are used frequently.
  • Caulk or seal the windows and any unused exterior doors.
  • Set the water tank temperature to 120 degrees to reduce thermal energy costs.
  • Open the curtains or blinds to let the sunlight in to help heat the home.
  • Rearrange furniture so that no one has to sit where there may be drafts coming in.
  • Check all pipes and faucets for leaks. Insulate the pipes by covering them with a blanket.

Prior to the cold weather setting in, homeowners should make every effort to winterize their home. Stop playing with the thermostat and get more enjoyment out of your home by making it as energy efficient as possible.

Solutions to 3 of the Most Common Furnace Problems

Each winter, we receive numerous calls about problems with furnaces and heaters. Some are easy fixes and some require more complex diagnosis. Here are some of the most common problems and their causes.
Q. Why is my furnace blowing only cold air and/or why isn’t my furnace providing enough heat?
A. Gas and electric furnaces heat air that is then circulated through your home by ducts. If your furnace turns on and air comes out of your vents, but the air is either not heated or not heated enough, there could be several possible problems.

  • Air filter is dirty – A dirty furnace filter prevents proper airflow to your furnace and makes it more difficult for your furnace to heat your house. Your filter should be changed every one to three months, depending on the kind you have.
  • Air ducts are leaking – Cracks and weathered seals in your ductwork as well as insufficient insulation can allow your heated air to escape through your ductwork. If this is your problem, have the ducts sealed or insulated by a professional.
  • Uneven airflow – If some rooms in your home are heated while others remain cold, the problem is likely not with your furnace at all. Instead, your ducts may be designed improperly or you may have the wrong size system for you home.Contact a professional for more information.

Q. Why won’t my furnace turn on?
A. There are several factors that play into diagnosing this furnace problem, such as the age of your unit and whether it has been regularly maintained. It’s difficult to find the solution without a proper diagnosis. However, here are the most common reasons a furnace fails to turn on.

  • Faulty thermostat – Verify the thermostat is switched to “heat”, the temperature is set correctly and the fan is set to “auto”. If you are still experiencing problems, you may need to replace the batteries or get a new thermostat.
  • Tripped or blown circuit – Your furnace is likely on its own circuit, so if it is tripped or blown, you may not notice until you try to turn your furnace on. Check your circuit breaker.
  • Malfunctioning pilot light – A pilot light can go out for a number of reasons. If you are unsure of why your pilot light has gone out, please contact a professional that can help diagnose and repair the problem.

Q. My furnace seems to circulate heated air, but runs frequently for short intervals. Why?
A. Typically, a furnace will turn on when the temperature in your home goes below what is set on your thermostat and continue to heat until it is a few degrees warmer. This allows the heater to be more efficient. If your furnace is instead running only for a very short time and then cycling on again quickly, there could be one or more of the following problems.

  • Thermostat is malfunctioning – Your thermostat may be not relaying the temperature to your furnace accurately. Replace the batteries to see if this solves the problem. If not, you may need to replace the thermostat.
  • Heat vent is too close to thermostat – If your thermostat is located near or directly under a heating vent, it may be the culprit. When the furnace kicks on, it quickly heats the air near the thermostat. But then when it shuts off, the warm air flows to colder rooms, causing the furnace to turn on again.
  • Your home is leaking air – Uneven heating in your home or major heat loss will cause your furnace to come on again quickly. The heated air quickly dissipates and flows to colder rooms or outside through air leaks.
  • Furnace is overheating – Your furnace may be overheating from lack of ventilation. Change your filter and make sure all ducts and the exhaust vent are clear of debris. There could be more serious issues causing your furnace to overheat as well, so contact a professional if the problem persists.

The best way to avoid these furnace problems is regularly maintain your unit. Your furnace is a high-tech machine that, much like your car, requires regular maintenance to continue to run efficiently. If you have any questions call your friends at “Green Apple Mechanical NJ” at 888-611-7191

Keeping Your Home Safe and Comfortable during the Holidays

The holidays will be here soon. It’s the time to enjoy family, friends, holiday decorations, good food, and  winter weather. However, there are also additional risks this time of year that can be potentially dangerous for you and your loved ones. Faulty heaters and poor indoor air quality are two of the most common risk factors that can be avoided by taking a little extra precaution. With a few safety measures, you can go a long way towards avoiding a potentially dangerous or unhealthy situation during the holidays.

Heating and Indoor Air Quality Safety Tips Keep holiday trees, wrapped presents, blankets, papers, and other combustible items away from heater vents and space heaters. If your home has a gas heater, make sure you have carbon monoxide detectors and alarms, and that they are functioning. Check batteries in them to ensure they’re operational before you use your heaters. Make sure that your home is well ventilated when using a fireplace or gas heater. Do not block your heater’s vents or intake. Get your heating system regularly maintained to ensure that it is functioning as it should be. Minimize soot and other air contaminants by using soy candles instead of those made from paraffin. Keep smoking guests outdoors! Clean with non-toxic cleaners and avoid air fresheners. Make sure to water your Christmas trees regularly, and dispose of them before they dry out. A cut tree can be both a fire hazard and a big producer of allergens that can cause hay fever like symptoms. Use natural decorations like pine cones, fruit, nuts, and holly instead of plastic to reduce toxic gasses that substantially reduce indoor air quality We encourage you to contact us to learn more about our services including heating system maintenance and indoor air quality management. Call your friends at “Green Apple Mechanical NJ” toll free at 888-611-7191. “Green Apple Mechanical NJ” is your 24 hour emergency service provider through the holidays and all year long.

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 in January, 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.

Why a Furnace Tune-Up Every Fall is Important

Imagine this: It’s well below freezing. The ground is covered with snow. You’re just about ready to turn in for the night when you shiver. Come to think of it, you can’t remember the last time your furnace kicked on. You try to troubleshoot, but it’s no use—your furnace has quit working. As you wait for the furnace guy to arrive, your home goes from chilly to downright freezing.
To prevent the nightmare of a dead furnace in below freezing temperatures, schedule a tune up every fall. Furnace contractors are often at their busiest once winter arrives, so if you call for a tune-up or repair once winter is in full swing, not only will you more than likely have to wait, you may be charged  emergency fees on top of repair costs.

Protect your investment with a performance tune.

Scheduling a tune-up during the fall, however, will ensure that your furnace is in good working order before the cold weather hits. Not to mention maintenance fees are much less costly than emergency repairs. The small investment in a furnace tune-up now will return big rewards later in more ways than one. Here’s how:

Ensures proper airflow

Restricted or limited airflow places an unnecessary strain on your furnace that can lead to increased repairs and a shortened lifespan.

Keeps you safe

Even a small combustion problem can lead to gas leaking into your home or dangerous carbon monoxide levels.

Saves Time

Getting your furnace tuned-up now, before the weather is cold, is much more convenient–and less expensive–than waiting for a repairman in a cold home.

Improves energy efficiency

Cleaning and inspection of the furnace burner and heat exchanger ensures safe operation and keeps your furnace running efficiently all winter.

Did you know?

What many homeowners don’t realize is that it’s nearly always stated in the fine print of the owner’s manual or warranty that the homeowner is required to maintain the furnace for the warranty to remain valid. Some manufacturers even require proof of regular maintenance, so always keep a copy of your receipt for any service work performed.
Along with routine maintenance, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your furnace running as efficiently as possible.

  • Make sure nothing flammable is stored next to your furnace.
  • Dust the outside of your furnace regularly.
  • Test your furnace while it’s still warm out.
  • Switch your thermostat to the heating mode.
  • Change your filter regularly, especially during heavy use.
  • Install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector and test it monthly.