Furnace Facts You Never Knew

 

In most New Jersey area homes, the furnace is kept in the basement. This means that most of the time, we do not even bother to check on it. However, regular maintenance is important for your furnace to keep working efficiently and for as long as possible. With proper care, your furnace could end up serving your family for a very long time. There are a number of furnace facts that many people may not realize. Read on to find out all that you need to know about caring for your furnace.

Furnace Facts That You Need To Know

How much do you really know about your furnace? If you are like most, it may not be much, and that is okay! Here are 10 furnace facts that can come in handy at any time.

1. Furnaces are the most common source of heat in homes

It is a well-known fact about furnaces that they are found in almost all American homes. They usually work by sending heated air through air ducts and can be powered by oil, gas, electricity or a combination.

2. Furnaces can last many years

When it comes to determining how long a furnace will last, there are a lot of things that need to be taken into account. However, a furnace fact that is worth noting is that they can last for up to 18-25 years if they are well maintained.

3. Furnaces have been around for a long time

 

While furnaces may be thought of as a modern convenience, a furnace fact that is not well known is that these heat-producing tools have been around for centuries. The Roman Empire first used furnaces to heat up public places and homes. Monks also used furnaces to heat the running rivers around their monasteries.

4. Furnaces are made up of three main components

Most homeowners do not realize what parts make up their furnaces. Your furnace is made of three main components; a burner, a heat exchanger, and a blower. Each of these work in combination to produce heat and distribute it throughout the home.

5. Furnace installation is regulated by the government

Both the federal and local governments regulate your furnace’s installation for your safety and protection. It is because of this furnace fact that you have to get your furnace installed by a certified technician.

6. Gas furnaces are the most common

A cool fact on furnaces is that despite there being several types available, most homes today use gas furnaces. This is because they come with high-efficiency ratings and can be used almost everywhere including rural areas.

7. There are 5 types of gas furnaces

Gas furnaces come in 5 standard types. This includes horizontal gas furnaces, packaged gas furnaces, upflow gas furnaces, downflow gas furnaces, and lowboy gas furnaces.

8. Never store things around the furnace

An often forgotten or overlooked furnace fact is that you should never store flammable items directly around the furnace. As many homes have their furnaces set up in the basement, which also serves as the storage area, it is important to make sure that the area around the furnace is clear.

9. Read the manufacturer’s warranty or policy

As with many appliances and large purchases, many homeowners do not take the time to go through the warranty or manufacturer’s policy before making a purchase. An unpopular furnace fact is that not every part is covered in the warranty. Because of this, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the warranty policy before buying a furnace.

10. Schedule regular maintenance to protect your furnace

The last of our furnace facts is a reminder of the importance of regular furnace maintenance. Regular maintenance can help you save a lot in terms of repair costs while improving efficiency! It is important to schedule an annual maintenance check, especially if you have had the furnace for over 5 years.

Green Apple Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the New Jersey 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 @888-611-7191

How To Preserve Your Garbage Disposal

Your garbage disposal is an efficiently constructed machine and the workhorse of your kitchen.

Let’s take a look at some tips on how to prevent clogs and maintain a clean, fresh-smelling disposal without the use of harsh chemicals.

Avoid the Following to Prevent the Garbage Disposal Drain Clogs

There are a few things to avoid in using your sink and garbage disposal to help reduce the chances of clogs or slow draining waste lines.

  • Do not grind up potato peelings. They will form a starchy paste similar to mashed potatoes when ground up and will surely clog your drain.
  • Do not grind up banana peels. These are a similar problem to potato peels except they also add stringy fibers to the mix. Not good.
  • Do not put coffee grounds or eggshells into your disposal. They create very tiny granular waste that will stick to any sludge in the pipe and quickly create a clog.
  • Do not put ground glass in your disposal to ‘clean’ it. It will not sharpen the disposer’s cutting blades, it will not clean your drain pipes and will not easily drain.
  • Avoid odors by also treating your disposal every month with a combination of a couple of handfuls of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar. Let that set in the disposal hopper with the unit turned off.
  • After it’s done foaming, rinse it down the drain with hot running water.
  • Maintain your disposal by regularly grinding up pieces of lemon or orange peel and ice cubes.
Warning

Do not use bleach and water to clean your disposal. Bleach will harden grease in your drain lines and is very caustic. It will also kill the bacteria necessary in your septic holding tank making your septic system less effective.

Do the Following to Maintain a Clog-Free Disposal

  • Lots of water! The simplest way to avoid a clog is to make sure you flush the disposal with plenty of water when it is grinding up food waste and then for 30 seconds afterward. Then occasionally maintain your disposal by regularly grinding up pieces of lemon or orange peel and ice cubes.
  • Use dishwashing detergents that de-grease your dishes. Grease is the ‘glue’ that holds bacteria causing odors in your drain pipes and adds to the likelihood of the slow draining clogs you want to avoid.
  • Avoid grinding up potato peelings, banana peels, coffee grounds or eggshells as described above.

By following these simple tips you will help keep your garbage disposal trouble-free, sanitary and clean smelling. Green Apple Mechanical NJ 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 @888-611-7191

Choosing The Right Furnace

Tip #1: Take Your Time

One of the biggest mistakes we can make when buying something new is “jumping the gun”. What is usually the main cause of this? Our emotions!

For example, if your furnace has gone out in the Winter and you need a new one immediately, your emotions and feelings are probably going to be the main force driving your search. And that’s understandable. Who wants to be cold inside? But, don’t let your emotions control you. Take time to think through the process. Let your emotions be a signal, but not your guide. You are in charge, not your emotions.

Another example is when you feel like you found a good deal. It’s very tempting to just jump on that deal and be done with it. But wait! Just because you think you found a good deal on a furnace doesn’t mean you should end the search process. If you found one good deal, there are probably more out there!

It’s important to let your emotions settle and then see what route you want to take. Making a split decision when emotions are high can lead to regret and loss.

Tip #2: Do Your Research

The first question most of us ask when shopping for a new furnace is what furnace should I buy? This can be overwhelming for some because there can be so many options to choose from. But, again, take your time and do your own personal research (or task someone else with doing the research). Compare products along with their prices and determine which is best for me and my situation.

By doing your own research, you are giving yourself first-hand knowledge and a sense of expertise on the subject. This will give you more comfort and assurance when it to comes to actually buy the furnace.

Some of the things you will need to know are:

How many BTUs are needed to heat your home or business? How many BTUs did your old furnace produce? Was that sufficient and did it seem to produce enough heat? If you aren’t sure about the answer to these questions, your local Green Apple Mechanical NJ professional can come out and provide you with some helpful information. Green Apple Mechanical 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 @888-611-7191

What Is Your Clogged Drain Trying To Tell You

The drain clog. The slow drain. We all know them, and we all find them an annoyance. Although we can take steps to prevent them by being careful of what goes down the drains and remembering to arrange for routine drain cleaning from plumbers, clogs are still going to happen from time to time. And in most situations, the reason for a clogged or slow drain is an obstruction or build-up in the drainpipes. This is a basic fix for a professional Green Apple Mechanical plumber.

But slow and clogged drain can also point to deeper plumbing problems: a busted sewage pump, a broken sewer pipe, or root infiltration into the sewer line. These are serious situations that call for Green Apple professional repair work before sewage starts to back up into the house.

Below are signs that something worse than a standard clog is blocking up your drains or making them drain slowly. Don’t hesitate to contact us at Green Apple Mechanical NJ when you have a bigger issue than basic clogged drains.

The drainage problems are frequent

You shouldn’t have to deal with a clogged drain problem more than once a month if that. When the troubles become so common that a plunger or hand-cranked drain snake is an essential tool kept on hand in the kitchen or the bathrooms, you have a more serious problem that needs an investigation from a Green Apple professional.

More than one drain is clogged or slow at a time

A local drainpipe clog will affect one drain. So when you notice that more than one drain is clogging up at the same time, it indicates blockage or breaks farther down in the drainage system. Watch out in particular for when the clogging starts to happen in the drains lowest in the house first, such as in basement drains and sinks.

The drains are making gurgling noises

When you pour water down a slow drain or one that’s clogged, you might hear a gurgling sound from it. This could be sewer gas that’s being forced up the pipe because of damage or blockage in the sewer line.

Foul smells from the drains

When a single drain emits unpleasant sewer odors, it’s usually because the drain hasn’t been used for a while and the p-trap has dried up. This removes a barrier against the flow of sewer gas. It’s easy to fix: just pour some water down the drain. But if this doesn’t solve the problem, or there are sewer odors coming from more than one drain, it’s probably trouble in the sewer line or a broken sewage pump.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your home’s drains. Perhaps you only need standard drain cleaning But you may require more extensive sewer line services, and you can rely on our Green Apple professionals to discover what’s wrong with your plumbing and then get the job done right. Green Apple Mechanical New Jersey are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the New Jersey area for years with professionalism and expertise for years. 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 @888-611-7191

You Must Read This If You Have A Furnace!

Cold temperatures are present here in the New Jersey area. That means your furnace will be in use frequently. Our expert Green Apple Mechanical NJ technicians are offering up the top things every homeowner should know about their furnace, plus tips to keep you comfortable all season.

  1. Your furnace needs to be properly sized to your home. Some homeowners think that the larger the furnace, the warmer their home will be but this could not be more false. Oversized furnaces can make your home uncomfortably warm in certain areas while other areas remain too cold. And they will not operate efficiently because they spend the majority of the time warming up only to shut off without completing a full cycle since it does not fit your home correctly.
  2. Furnaces typically need to be replaced after 15 to 20 years. We encourage our customers to shop early to find out what they want in a furnace before they experience a system failure. Our team will help you find a system that fits your budget and comfort needs, so you’re not left scrambling when your furnace goes out.
  3. Maintenance is 100 percent necessary to keep your system running. Regular cleanings and inspections keep your system clear of buildups and can even help us catch minor issues before they cause large breakdowns. Your system will also operate more efficiently saving you on heating bills.
  4. Rotten egg, metallic, and electrical overheating smells and clanking, humming, and banging sounds coming from your furnace are not normal. They are most likely signs of a larger issue, so give us a call to inspect your system. Regular maintenance can help you avoid these issues.
  5. Green Apple Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been serving the New Jersey 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 HVACC or plumbing needs call toll-free at 888-611-7191

Why An Annual Furnace Inspection Is So Important

If maintenance is the most important aspect of homeownership, then prevention is perhaps the most important aspect of home maintenance. It’s always better to stop problems before they start, and when it comes to the furnace in your home, you can do that by making sure to have it inspected and maintained by a qualified Green Apple HVAC technician every year.

Annual Furnace Inspection: Why It’s Important 

Here are a few reasons why it’s so important to have your furnace checked and serviced every year:

  • Keep your furnace running smoothly. The technician inspects parts, replaces ones that have worn out, lubricates components where necessary, checks the unit’s electrical wiring (they will let you know whether you need to call in an electrician, and so on. You wouldn’t put off the tune-up for your car. Think of this as a tune-up for your furnace.
  • Improve efficiency. How? Here’s an example: in order to heat your home properly, the furnace pulls air through a filter. In time, the filter can become clogged with airborne particles, making the furnace work harder to move air through it. The furnace’s efficiency decreases, shortening its life and increasing your heating bill. However, if the filter is maintained, via regular cleaning or changing, you’ll avoid this problem.
  • Protect your health and that of your family. Neglected, dirty filters can release mold spores and other toxic airborne particles into your home, causing respiratory problems and disease. A well-maintained system improves indoor air quality and helps prevent such problems from occurring.
  • Keep the furnace working reliably. Annual furnace inspection and maintenance allow the technician to spot problems that may be small now but that could become serious if left untreated. HVAC technicians where the temperature can sink as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (without taking wind chill into account), will tell you that the customer who calls every year for routine maintenance usually sounds a lot calmer than the customer they haven’t heard from in a while, whose furnace has suddenly stopped working in the middle of a cold snap.
  • Help you regulate the temperature in your home. The Green Apple technician will verify and calibrate your thermostat to make sure that the furnace is heating your home properly and reliably, at the temperature you want, when you want it.
  • Save lives. Fuel-burning furnaces (natural gas, oil, etc.) tend to release carbon monoxide in their exhaust. When the furnace is working properly, this gas is channeled out of the home through an exhaust pipe. But leaks happen, and a carbon monoxide leak is dangerous because that particular gas is odorless and deadly. A licensed Green Apple professional will test the furnace for leaks as part of routine maintenance.
  • Green Apple Mechanical NJ 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 @888-611-7191

5 Most Common Plumbing Emergencies

Clogged drains, damaged pipes, and gas leaks are the most common residential emergency plumbing situations that people summon their plumber for. The irony is that such plumbing emergencies can be prevented by us from the start. Indeed emergency plumbers report that plumbing negligence is the number one cause for stubborn obstructions in drains and defective pipes. Surprisingly this indicates that we value our cars more than our home. Why? Simply because we service our cars once a year while we dismiss doing the same to our plumbing systems until we face a plumbing emergency by which time it is too late to undo the damage done to our home.

In general preventive maintenance to your home’s plumbing, every once in a while, will not only keep plumbing fixtures, drains and pipes in good condition for a long time, but will further allow you to spot early problems and have them fixed before they escalate to costly plumbing emergencies. When you encounter an emergency plumbing situation you can take steps to reduce damage to the minimum thereby cutting down your plumbing cost too.

Follow the top 5 common emergency plumbing troubles and their repair:

1 – Burst Pipes: Your top objective until the Green Apple plumber arrives on the scene is stop water flowing out of the hole. Locate the main shutoff valve to your house and close it. Turning off the shutoff valve will close the water supply to the fixtures and therefore stop the flood. Next turn on cold water taps to quickly drain pipes from trapped water and steam. After damage controlling the emergency call in your Green Apple plumber to repair or replace the burst section of the pipe.

2 – Frozen Pipes: When the water in pipes freeze they expand and may even burst the pipe. Close the main shutoff valve. If the pipe has not split yet, thaw it with hot water bottles from the end of the pipe nearest to the tap. Thawing must be gentle, never with a naked flame, to avoid thermal water expansion that too can split the pipe. As a preventive maintenance make sure your pipes are appropriately insulated against the cold months.

3 – Leaky Plumbing Fixtures: Close the shutoff valve singular to the leaky fixture. Check the fixture’s trap for debris, hair, soap scum, and food particles that might obstruct its opening and cause overflowing of the fixture. Contact your Green Apple  plumber for effective plumbing repair.

4 – Blocked Drains & Toilets: Try to lift the obstruction by means of a plunger or a plumber’s snake. If such plumbing tools fail to dislodge the clog, call in your Green Apple plumber.

5- Gas leaks: When smelling gas simply evacuate the building. Gas leaks do not lend themselves to D.I.Y repair due to their deadly nature in the wrong hands. Once outside the home call in your Green Apple plumber or Gas Company. You can and under professional guidance attempt to turn off the gas meter at the control valve.

Green Apple Mechanical NJ 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 @888-315-5564

How Serious Are Your Furnace Repairs?

Your Furnace Seems Less Effective Than Ever

Have you noticed that some rooms in your house are warmer than others? Do you feel like you need to run back and forth adjusting the thermostat to stay comfortable in any given area? Does the air feel muggy or humid? If so, these might be signs that your furnace is losing its effectiveness.

If your furnace felt less powerful this past winter than it did in previous years despite similar temperatures and household routine your system might be losing power, or you may have an outdated duct system that’s struggling to distribute heat evenly through your home. If the system has continued to worsen after two heating seasons with no apparent cause, it may be time for maintenance.

You can make the decision to repair or replace an ineffective system by considering the furnace’s age and the cost of repairs:

  • Repair: If the system is less than 15 years old and the cost of repairs doesn’t exceed 50% of the cost of replacement, repair the issues that are causing lost productivity.
  • Replace: If your furnace is nearing the end of its expected lifetime, repairs may provide a temporary fix to a problem that will increase over time. Consider replacing ineffective older systems.

 Repairs Are More and More Serious or Frequent

Like an old car, you know when your old furnace just isn’t worth the cost of excessive maintenance. If you’ve had the same system for over 15 years that has only needed repairs once or twice but you now find yourself calling a heating specialist once every few months, this indicates that your furnace isn’t worth the cost of upkeep. Likewise, you may need to consider purchasing a new heating system if repair costs are increasing with each repair. You can expect future maintenance to be more severe and frequent once a furnace has reached its life expectancy, which puts an unnecessary strain on your wallet. It’s often more cost-effective to install a brand new system than to patch an existing broken-down one.

However, if you notice frequent or serious breakdowns in a newer furnace that is well within its expected lifespan, this could mean that the problem is being misdiagnosed or mistreated. If you have a younger system that’s needed two or three repairs in the past couple of years, consider contacting a different heating specialist to get another opinion on the root issue.

Consider the following options when dealing with severe or frequent repairs:

  • Repair: Repair if your furnace needs minor maintenance such as low airflow, water leaks or thermostat repairs, and get a second opinion for repeated repairs of a newer system.
  • Replace: Replace your system entirely for major repairs such as a damaged heat exchanger or control module, and replace old systems that need frequent maintenance.
  • Green Apple Plumbing & Mechanical NJ 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 @888-315-5564

Your Furnace- Repair Or Replace

Repair Vs. Replace

While there are no set rules, there are some factors to keep in mind as you determine whether to keep your current furnace or upgrade to a more efficient model. Consider the following scenarios to help you decide whether you should repair your system or replace it entirely. Of course, no matter what time of year, the decision to repair or replace your furnace can be overwhelming. It’s never a simple choice, and every situation is unique.

1. Your Furnace Is Emitting Carbon Monoxide

Any system that could potentially expose you and your family to harmful carbon monoxide needs to be replaced not repaired as soon as possible. A furnace with a cracked combustion chamber allows carbon monoxide to leak into your home and should always be replaced immediately.

Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas that causes death when inhaled over long periods of time. The highest number of deaths occurred in the winter during the months of frequent furnace use.

Some signs that your furnace may be emitting carbon monoxide include:

  • Yellow furnace burner flame instead of blue
  • Excess moisture on windows, walls and other surfaces
  • Rusting on pipes
  • Streaks of soot around the furnace
  • Absence of upward draft in the chimney
  • Feelings of nausea, disorientation, headaches and other flu-like symptoms.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you need to evacuate your home immediately, call the fire department, notify your utility company to turn off your gas and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Afterward, contact a Green Apple Mechanical heating professional to get your furnace replaced.

2. Your Furnace Was Installed Over 15 Years Ago

Unfortunately, even the highest quality heating systems don’t last forever. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a furnace should last 15-30 years before you’ll need a replacement. Of course, this varies by brand, furnace quality, and various other factors. But a heater will generally start to show increased signs of wear that will lead to more frequent and costly repairs during this timeframe. Instead of continually monitoring an old system for repairs, it may be a more economical choice to replace the furnace with a newer system.

If your furnace has been serviced a year ago or less and continues to need costly repairs, this may be a sign that your system is too old to function properly. Similar to a car with high mileage, an old furnace may run okay with minor repairs but won’t be able to adequately keep up with your needs as efficiently as a replacement. However, if it was recently installed and hasn’t reached its full lifespan potential, you should consider making repairs to keep it running as long as possible.

Overall, use the following to judge whether to replace your furnace due to age:

  • Repair: If the system is less than 15 years old, it’s often best to have it serviced rather than install a new one.
  • Replace: Any system over 15 years old is prone to frequent and expensive repairs and may need to be replaced.
  • Green Apple Mechanical NJ are the experts you can trust. We have been servicing 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 @888-611-7191

5 Clues You Need To Call A Plumber

Nobody really wants to call a plumber, but failing to do can have serious consequences. Water damage from burst pipes and leaky bathroom fixtures cost homeowners an average of $1,000-$3,000 per incident.

Don’t let this happen to you. Here are five clear indicators that you need professional Green Apple plumbing help right away.

1. Leaky Pipes

Dripping faucets aren’t just annoying, they can also cost you hundreds of dollars in wasted water. Some of the most telltale signs of a pipe leak include:

  • Constant dripping sounds
  • Moisture under the sink
  • Noisy pipes (hearing water rushing when nobody is using it)
  • Brown, wet spots on your walls, ceilings, or floors

Slowly leaking pipes can cause serious water damage. Even worse, once pipes have a small leak, they’re more susceptible to bursting or breaking.

You may be able to repair your leaky pipes on your own using a fitting compound or joint filler. However, this only a temporary fix. Call a Green Apple pro when leaks are small to avoid the possibility of much bigger problems.

2. Discolored Water

As a general rule, the water coming out of your faucet should always run clear. Red, yellow, or brown discoloration is usually caused by old, rusty pipes. Green or blue shades are often the result of corroded copper plumbing.

Discolored water is not only unsightly, but it’s also likely an indicator that you have more serious home plumbing problems.

3. Foul Smell

A sewage or sulfur smell might mean there’s a broken sewer pipe or vent under your home. This can cause serious damage to your home’s foundation and contaminate the environment.

Any time you notice a foul smell coming from your plumbing, it’s smart to have a Green Apple professional check it out.

4. Slow Drains

If your toilet, tub, or sink are draining slower than usual, you likely have a full or partial clog. Sometimes you can fix this with a plunger or over-the-counter drain cleaner. If the clog won’t go away or your pipes clog repeatedly, you probably need a Green Apple plumber.

Liquid drain cleaner is caustic and long-term use can damage your pipes. If you try too hard to remove a clog on your own, you can end up breaking your pipes, costing yourself thousands of dollars in repairs.

5. Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are an urgent issue. Some of the most obvious signs include:

  • Water that won’t run
  • Noise coming from the taps when you turn them on
  • Moisture or frost on exposed outdoor pipes

Never try to thaw out your pipes on your own. Doing so can lead to cracks or even burst pipes. If you think you have frozen pipes, call a Green Apple plumber ASAP.

Is it Time to Call a Plumber You Can Trust?

At Green Apple Mechanical NJ, we believe in doing things right the first time. You can trust us to deliver quality work on everything from small jobs to large jobs. Green Apple Mechanical NJ 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 @888-611-7191