Do I Really Need A HVAC Inspection This Fall?

Professional maintenance is a lot more than just a look-over that can be easily overlooked. Proper care ensures your system gains a lot of crucial benefits that aim to keep your heating costs (and stress level) much lower when the cold kicks in.
The benefits of maintenance include:

  • Lower heating costs. A well-maintained system can perform its function faster, better, and at less effort on the machine’s part. This means you’ll get all of the high-quality comforts you need without your system overworking and using too much energy, which directly impacts your monthly energy costs.
  • Higher quality comfort. That efficiency also spells out better comfort. Whether you use oil heating, gas, or an electric furnace, you’ll get better heating that never leaves cold spots or cool rooms.
  • Less risk of breakdowns. One of the most important parts of a professional maintenance service is ensuring your system is working optimally, and all components are in great working condition. The vast majority of seasonal breakdowns can be directly traced to poor component health or air flow problems; both issues are addressed with an inspection!
  • Longer service from your furnace. Depending on your type of furnace, you can generally expect around a decade or slightly more of service from your furnace. But that amount of time takes into account getting inspections and maintenance, without which you can cut that decade down to even just a few years!
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing concerns call Green Apple toll-free at 888-611-7191

 

How Not To Let This Weather Destroy Your Plumbing

  • Run a trickle of water:  Run a thin trickle of water from the faucet furthest from the water line coming to your house. Usually, this is in a room at the back of the house.  Allowing the water to circulate through your home’s plumbing helps to keep it from freezing.  Some consider this a waste of water, but the cost of the water used is extremely slight compared to repairing broken pipes and the resulting water damage. Also, the water can be captured in a bucket and used for other purposes around the home, like watering plants and washing dishes.
  • Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses: Detach all hoses from faucets and allow them to drain.  This action guard against the water in the hose or pipe from freezing and bursting the faucet or pipe to which it is connected.
  • Eliminate the amount of cold air coming into the home around water pipes.
  • If your home has a crawl space, cover the outside vents to prevent winter winds from freezing the pipes.
  • Insulate pipes or faucets in unheated areas: Pipes located in unheated areas of your house, such as a garage or crawl space under the house or in the attic, are subject to freezing.  If you have time to do this before freezing temperatures arrive, wrap these pipes with insulation materials made especially for this purpose.  These materials can be found in most hardware stores or home improvement centers.
  • If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191

How To Save Your Pipes From Freezing

Tip #1: Keep the Heat On

If you or your tenants are leaving for a period of time, make sure that the heat is kept on your property. It may be difficult to convince your tenants to leave their heat on when they are away, especially if they are responsible for paying their own utilities. You should inform them that the heat can help prevent pipes from freezing, and if your pipes freeze and burst, it can cause a lot of water damage to the property and to their possessions.
The heat does not have to be kept as high as you normally would keep it if you were actually in the property, but keeping it set above 50 degrees Fahrenheit is a good idea. This should provide enough heat to keep the pipes warm and to prevent any water inside from freezing.
Tip #2: Allow Faucet to Drip
If you are afraid a pipe will freeze, you can allow the faucet to drip slightly. Allowing the faucet to be open like this will relieve pressure in the system. If a pipe freezes, it is actually the pressure that is created between the blockage and the faucet that will cause the pipe to burst. Allowing the faucet to be open will prevent this pressure from building up and thus, keep the pipe from bursting.
Tip #3: Keep Interior Doors Open
Pipes are often located in cabinets. When the temperatures drop, it is a good idea to keep these cabinet doors open so that the heat from the rest of the house can keep the pipes warm as well. You should also keep all interior doors open so that the heat can flow throughout the home.
Tip #4: Seal Up Cracks and Holes
You should cover any holes or cracks that exist near pipes. This should be done on both interior and exterior walls. Doing so can help keep the cold air out and the warm air in.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191

2 Major Reasons You Must Schedule An Annual Furnace Inspection

 

Reduce Repairs

Having a technician check your furnace significantly reduces the number of furnace repairs that you could have possibly done. Some heating problems can easily be averted through checkups. This is because the checkups include cleaning the furnace as well as fixing any small problems before they turn into major problems. Remember, your furnace works overtime during fall and winter due to the enormous demand of warming the home and this eventually results in system failure if a checkup is not done on time.

Saves time

Getting your furnace checked before winter is not only convenient but it will also save you on time and inconvenience. A furnace checkup will definitely save you from sitting in the cold as you wait for the technician to come. Besides, when done at the right time the charges are bound to be more affordable.
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 regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191

Don’t Ignore These Furnace Sounds

5 Furnace Noises You Shouldn’t Ignore

The regular sounds your furnace makes are a comfort in themselves, letting you know your system is at work, keeping your home warm.  But what about the sounds that aren’t part of your furnace’s usual operation?  Could these sounds indicate impending problems for homeowners?  And just what do these booms, screeches, and crashes really mean?
Below, we’ve outlined five furnace noises you shouldn’t ignore.

Warning Signs Your Furnace Needs Repair

Noises are usually an indication that your furnace needs routine maintenance or repair. However, some noises can indicate an issue with your furnace which could possibly put you and your family at risk. Here is a list of the five most common furnace noises and what your furnace is trying to tell you.

  1. Booming – It’s not uncommon for homeowners to hear a boom when the furnace engages.  In some furnaces, especially older models, a boom could indicate the build-up of gas from a delay in the ignition.  Call a Green Apple service technician immediately, especially if there is an odor of natural gas around the furnace.
  2. Clicking – A clicking noise coming from your furnace is typically an indication of a faulty flame sensor, or possibly a problem between the ignition and the gas.  This will also require immediate attention.
  3. Squealing – Not unlike a car, squealing coming from your furnace could indicate a faulty belt, or possibly, a failing fan motor.  Both fixes are usually pretty routine but do require a Green Apple service technician.
  4. Rattling – A rattling sound that doesn’t subside could be indicative of worn or broken components in the motor or fan. If the rattling worsens, you could be hearing the sound of a complete system failure.
  5. Chirping – Chirping noises are common in a furnace that hasn’t been used in a while.  If you hear chirping, and it’s the beginning of the furnace season, wait a bit.  If the chirping doesn’t go away, you may need your fan belts replaced or some similar routine maintenance.
  6. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191

How To Keep Your Furnace Fresh With New Filters

You don’t see your furnace filters often so many people don’t think of them often. When you have a clean furnace filter in place, your furnace will run optimally, keeping your home at an ideal temperature. A dirty filter will inhibit the performance of your furnace. It may even cause your furnace to fail.

What Kind?

There are so many different kinds of furnaces, and each has its own unique filter size, shape, and life cycle. Know your furnace filter size. As a homeowner it’s important to always have a few on hand. Use a marker and write the date on it when you put it in place. When you mark the date on your furnace filter you will know how long it’s been in place, and get a better idea of when it’s time to replace it. A good habit to get into would be to check it monthly.

When?

The disposable, inexpensive furnace filters will typically need to be replaced every 4 to 6 weeks, or whenever they get too dirty to function properly, or according to manufacturers recommendation. How can you tell if it is too dirty? Take the filter out and hold it up to the light. If you can mostly see through it, it’s still clean enough to function properly. If you can’t see through it, it’s time to change it.

Which Way?

Do you know what direction the air is flowing through your furnace? If you’re not sure, ask your Green Apple HVAC technician to show you. Mark your furnace with an arrow and write “Air Flow”. Inexpensive filters may also have an arrow or “Air Flow” marked on it. Make sure to place the filter in the proper orientation.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191

4 Tips To Keep Your Pipes Clean & Clear

1. Maintain Your Sinks

To keep your drain clear after you clean it out in this manner, from time to time pour a little bleach into the sink. Let it sit overnight or for at least an hour before you run water down the drain again.

2. Ditch the Grease

Grease build-up in your kitchen sink drain can be remedied with liquid dish detergent and a large volume of boiling water. Put a big pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. Squirt a generous amount of dish liquid (at least a tablespoon) directly into your drain and pour the boiling water into the drain, a little at a time. The rapidly boiling water will melt grease deposits while the detergent helps to dissolve grease and oil and allow the boiling water to flush it away. You may want to repeat this process two to three times if the grease build-up is substantial.

3. Hotter Than Usual Water

It may seem obvious, but simply putting hot water down your kitchen and bathroom sink drains at least weekly can go a long way to keeping them clean and clear. For the kitchen sink, hot water will help to melt and flush away light grease deposits. Bathroom drains also benefit from very hot water since you normally wouldn’t use such hot water for washing your hands or face.

4. Use Cold Water Wisely

Conversely, when running your garbage disposal, run copious amounts of COLD water down the drain, not hot. Cold water will keep oils and grease in a solid state so they can be broken up by the disposal, whereas hot water will melt and soften grease and encourage it to coat the inside of your drain. Only use hot water after you have already run the disposal to help remove any grease deposits that may have formed when you were washing pots and pans.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call Green Apple toll-free @ 888-611-7191

How Not To Make Your Furnace Work Too Hard

Whether you’ve got a forced air system that blows heat through ducts from your furnace, electric baseboards, old-school radiators or even radiant heat under wooden floors, chances are you’re shocked each winter when your utility bill goes through the roof. Tack on a broken heating system in the middle of winter, and you’ll be spending thousands more to keep your home warm.
Not turning your thermostat down when you leave. The best way to cut down on energy costs from your heating system in winter is to make it run less while you’re asleep or out of the house. Programmable thermostats make it easy to set a schedule for the temperature to be turned down while you’re out during the workday or on vacation – say, to the mid-60s – and rise to your preferred temperature just before you come home.

Letting cold air in the house. If you’ve got a drafty house, your heating system is going to be overworking itself to keep the inside warm while cold air keeps coming in. Adding insulation to the walls can help keep the warm air trapped inside, but you should also consider closing gaps in doors and windows with weatherstripping.

And it’s not just the temperature of the air that you’ll find changed – the air inside will likely keep it’s humidity better as well. “What causes the air to be dry inside the house is infiltration of 20-degree outside air coming in.”
Cranking the thermostat when you’re cold. When you get home from a cold walk outside, it probably feels natural to turn up the thermostat a few extra degrees to pump out the hot air a little quicker. But experts say doing so won’t help at all: “Most people tend to think that if they put the thermostat up high, it’s going to get warmer faster.” “If the ideal temperature you want is 70, setting it to 75 is not going to get it to 70 any faster.”
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @ 888-611-7191

What Is The Average Life Span Of A Furnace?

While some furnaces can last over 40 years (extremely rare), the average lifespan of a typical gas furnace is around 15-30 years. As long as you have scheduled yearly furnace maintenance, your furnace should easily last over 15 years.
Here are some factors that will affect how long your furnace will last:

  • Make and model of the furnace (newer systems have longer lifespans than older units).
  • Frequency and quality of furnace maintenance. In order to maintain manufacturer’s warranties and keep your system clean and efficient, schedule fall furnace maintenance every year with a licensed Green Apple technician that also fully cleans your system. Learn more about professional furnace tune-ups.
  • Moisture levels and proper ventilation. Too much moisture can cause heater components to rust and premature breakdowns. Moisture is especially harmful to heat exchangers.
  • Proper installation. According to Energy Star, over half of all new HVAC systems are improperly installed. As a result, rated efficiency levels can be reduced as much as 30% and can lead to premature breakdowns, comfort problem, and insufficient air distribution and dehumidification. The most important day of your furnace’s life is the day it is installed.

As you can see, many factors play a role in how long your furnace will last. No one thing will be able to tell you how long your furnace will last (age, tune-ups, humidity levels, installation). If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-611-7191

You Would Never Have Guessed Not To Put These Down Your Drain!

Household Fluids

Household fluids include things such as household cleaners and car fluids. While these don’t necessarily cause clogs in your pipes, these chemicals can be harmful when they are mixed into the water supply. If you’re washing them down the drain, they will make it into the water. Car fluids also should never be disposed of through your household water system. Check with your city or county, or a local auto parts store, for disposal guidelines. And, last, but not least, avoid allowing toxic household cleaners into the water system by switching to all-natural cleaners. If you’re feeling especially industrious, you can make your own.

Produce Stickers

These seemingly harmless little stickers can actually cause big problems inside of your pipes. They may not seem like it, but even the little bit of adhesive that’s on them can be enough to cause them to stick to the insides of the pipes. If they make it past your pipes, they can also get caught in wastewater treatment pipes and filters, causing problems with the equipment designed to treat your water. If somehow they make it past both of these barriers, they can end up in the water supply. Any way you look at it, that just spells trouble.
If you are experiencing any problems with  any of your HVAC or plumbing concerns call Green Apple toll-free at 888-611-7191