Why Does My Toilet Bowl Get Dirty So Quickly?

Having hard water in your toilet isn’t necessarily the root cause of those colored mineral deposits in your toilet bowl (at least not directly). Those deposits are more likely caused by mineral buildup in and around your toilet’s siphon jets.

The siphon jets are located underneath the rim of your toilet bowl, and they move clean water from the tank into the toilet bowl every time you flush. But if those jets are surrounded by grimy mineral buildup, they will push some of that into your toilet bowl every time you flush too. So removing the mineral buildup from the jets will help keep your toilet looking much cleaner for longer!

How To Clean Your Toilet’s Siphon Jets

There are a couple of methods you can use to remove mineral buildup from your toilet’s siphon jets. If they aren’t too dirty, the first method is a quick and easy way to take care of the problem. If your siphon jets are really grimy, use the second, more powerful cleaning method.

 

Method #1: Quick Vinegar Soak

You’ll need:

  • Toilet brush
  • Toilet cleaner
  • White vinegar
  • Paper towels
  • Gloves

Grab a few paper towels and soak them in white vinegar. Wring the paper towels out a bit so they are wet, but not soaking. Tuck the vinegar-soaked paper towels underneath the rim of your toilet bowl. Continue adding more soaked paper towels until all of the areas underneath the rim is covered.

Leave the toilet alone for a couple of hours, then remove the paper towels. Scrub underneath the rim with a toilet brush and your preferred toilet bowl cleaner, then flush.

If you are experiencing any other troubles with your HVAC or plumbing needs call toll-free @888-611-7191

11 ways to lower air conditioning costs

With summer comes a rising electric bill as you fight to keep your home cool and take refuge from the sweltering heat.

Luckily, there are many ways to fight astronomical air conditioning costs — here are 11.

1. Upgrade your windows

If your home has old windows, they might not be energy efficient. You can cut the costs of cooling your home by installing new energy-efficient windows. Some upfront cost is involved, but you’ll make it up in the long run with lower bills.

2. Seal your windows

Poorly sealed windows leak air, which makes your air conditioning system work harder. Caulking leaks or cracks and weather-stripping your windows will prevent cool air from leaking out of your windows.

3. Install a programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats cut energy usage by adjusting temperatures while you’re away or asleep. You can program them yourself or purchase one that slowly adapts to your temperature preferences. Some can even be set up with an app away from home.

According to the Energy Department, you can save up to 10% annually by adjusting your temperature by seven to 10 degrees for eight hours a day. Programmable thermostats can automate the process.

4. Use ceiling fans

Ceiling fans circulate cool air, taking some of the burden off your air conditioning system. Use your existing ceiling fans (or install them throughout the house) to increase energy efficiency.

5. Replace your HVAC air filters

Air filters keep your HVAC system running smoothly by preventing dust from blocking your vents and promoting air circulation. If the filters are dirty, your system will have to work harder to circulate air.

You’ll want to replace your filters at least every few months, and possibly more if you have pets or kids. Luckily, air filters are cheap and easy to switch by yourself.

6. Avoid cooking indoors

Cooking on an oven or stovetop generates a lot of heat, which strains your air conditioning system. The summer months are great for outdoor cooking, and grilling outside a couple of times a week can help. Alternatively, you can use appliances that throw off less heat, such as Crockpots or electric griddles. Crockpots can help you save money, too.

7. Reduce the sunlight

Sunlight streaming in through your windows raises the temperature of your home. By blocking the sunlight, you can calm that effect. Planting some shade trees outside your windows can curb encroaching sunlight while blackout shades or curtains are another low-cost option.

8. Insulate your walls and attics

Windows aren’t the only part of your home that leak air. Attics, walls and crawl spaces lose air as well. Professionally insulating your home is one of the best ways to increase energy efficiency. If you have an older home, this could be worth the investment.

9. Find lower ground

Heat rises, so avoid the upper floors of your home as much as possible. By doing this, you can probably leave your thermostat set to a higher temperature for longer periods during the day. You can lower the temperature at night if your bedroom’s upstairs.

10. Get your air conditioning system serviced

Hiring a local contractor to service your air conditioning system can keep your system working efficiently. Your contractor should clean outdoor coils, check voltage connections and make sure the refrigerant is at proper levels.

11. Install solar panels

Solar panels, which are usually installed on roofs, use the sun’s energy to power a home, which can greatly reduce cooling costs. The price for installing these panels depends on whether they’re bought or leased, and the amount you save on your bill will depend on your energy usage and system.

Air conditioning tips: How to stay cool in the summer heat

Brutal heat has been beating down on the U.S., and across the globe, with high temperatures reaching above 90 degrees  — and in some cases over 100 — recently in NY and NJ.

When extreme heat strikes, the best place to be is inside somewhere — anywhere — with air conditioning. And, indeed, the vast majority of Americans can cool off in their own homes. Seventy-five percent of U.S. households have air conditioners according to the Department of Energy.

So how can you get the most out of your unit and stay cool? Here are just a few tips that we want to share with us:

HOW LOW SHOULD YOU GO?

“So, an air conditioner is not a refrigerator”. “The lowest an air conditioner should be set is 68 degrees.”

But you may not need to go that low. Where you set your thermostat will depend on what goes on in your space. No matter the household, there’s going to be foot traffic throughout the house, leading to temperature changes.

“I like to keep my temperature down to 77 (degrees) when I’m at home”   “I have a programmable thermostat that increases that number to 81 (degrees), keeping the system on during the day, but not using as much energy to keep the house cool.”

WINDOWS AND PLANTS

The sun’s rays coming through your windows is one of the ways your house absorbs heat. When choosing landscaping, consider planting trees that provide shade near a window, Martin says. Drapes and blinds in lighter colors are also good picks to help keep the heat out.

But while having beautiful plants inside your home may boost your home’s zen factor, believe it or not, too many will increase moisture and your home’s humidity level according to Martin.  “So, that is going to increase your cooling costs”.

GENERAL MAINTENANCE

Performing general maintenance on your unit isn’t the most fun activity, but on hot days, you’ll be glad you did.

Longer cycles of your air conditioning system running on and off, noises, water leaks from condensation and equipment vibrations are all signs that it may need servicing, says Martin.

Also, call a technician when you experience an excessive split, an extreme difference in temperature between a home’s thermostat reading and the temperature of the air coming out of the air ducts.

Martin also recommends changing your air conditioner filters once every one-to-three months, certainly “when they turn that ashy gray.”

One air conditioner can run over some two thousand hours-per-year and should be “properly cleaned and maintained … according to the manufacturer’s recommendations,” says Martin.

Try To 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 888-315-5564

How To Avoid Common Summer Plumbing Problems

Summer and the living is easy – but not for your plumbing system. With a little forethought you can avoid some of these plumbing issues.

  • Clogged Disposal

Summer fruits and vegetable may be good for you but not for your disposal.  Cornhusks, celery, onion skins and other fibrous foods can damage the blades in your disposal unit or lead to stubborn clogs. Used cooking oils are also damaging to garbage disposal systems, so avoid pouring the dirty grease down the drain after grilling out. It is also a good idea to run cold water through your disposal for a few seconds before and after you use it to clear any remaining bits of food.

  • Sewer Line Backups

Excessive rain can get into sewer pipes through cracks and cause the sewer line to back up. You might also experience trouble if tree roots spread underground and crack the pipes. If you see any signs of sewer line trouble such as water from the toilet backing up into the bathtub drain, call Green Apple Plumbing NJ right away.

  • Washing Machine Maintenance

Your washing machine may get more of a workout during the summer. Spending days at the pool or the beach results in more laundry to wash, which can put additional stress on your washing machine. Check hoses regularly for bulges and kinks.  Make sure they are securely attached to the machine.  Always turn water off to your washing machine when not in use.

  • Clogged Toilets

Household toilets are also used more regularly in the summer, thanks to summer entertaining and school vacation. Some people treat their toilets like garbage cans. They flush products like cotton balls, facial scrubs, cotton swabs, paper towels and hygiene products. Toilets are only designed to flush human waste, if you flush other foreign objects it can quickly lead to a clog

Located in New Jersey and serving the surrounding area, Green Apple Plumbing NJ takes the hassle out of those plumbing issues, and provides you with professionals to fix your problem.

If you have any questions or concerns about any plumbing problems or any of your HVAC needs please feel free to contact your friends at Green Apple Plumbing NJ toll free at 888-315-5564

Protect Your Property From Serious Summer Plumbing Problems

When we think of potential problems for homeowners in the summer, plumbing issues may not readily come to mind. However, the warmer months are a prime time for plumbing problems that may not occur at other times of the year. How can homeowners protect their property from serious summer plumbing problems and what particular issues should they be careful to avoid? Here are five of the most common plumbing problems that arise during the summer.

1. Clogged Disposal

Are you having plenty of cookouts this summer? If so, you will need be careful of how you dispose of waste food. While produce may be organic, it is generally not good for your in-sink garbage disposal, particularly if you are getting rid of hard fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon or corn. These types of produce can damage the blades in your disposal unit or lead to stubborn clogs. Used cooking oils are also damaging to garbage disposal systems, so avoid pouring the dirty grease down the drain after grilling out. It is also a good idea to run cold water through your disposal for a few seconds before and after you use it to clear any remaining bits of food.

2. Sewer Line Backups

Certain areas of the country may be prone to summer rain showers or thunderstorms, especially as the air heats up in the afternoon. Excessive rain can get into sewer pipes through cracks and cause the sewer line to back up. You might also experience trouble if tree roots spread underground and crack the pipes. If you see any signs of sewer line trouble such as water from the toilet backing up into the bathtub drain, call a qualified plumber right away. He or she may recommend a sewer line replacement if the damage is extensive.

3. Washing Machine Maintenance

Your washing machine may get more of a workout during the summer, especially if you have children that are out of school. Spending days at the pool or the beach results in more laundry to wash, which can put additional stress on your washing machine. It is best to stay at home while the machine is running, so that if a problem arises you can stop the cycle immediately and call a professional if needed. You should also move the machine out from the wall a little to prevent the hose from kinking.

4. Clogged Toilets

Household toilets are also used more regularly in the summer, thanks to children using the bathroom during the day. Teach your kids to use a modest amount of toilet paper and to flush only after they actually use the bathroom. Common clogs are fairly simple to clear with a plunger, but if you need additional help, call in a professional.

5. Sprinkler Issues

If you have sprinklers embedded in your lawn, be sure to inspect and clean the heads before the season begins. When you are mowing the lawn, be careful to do so when the sprinkler heads are lowered, in order to avoid damaging them.

Don’t Let This Stop Your A/C Efficiency

1. Dirty Filters Kill Airflow and Efficiency

Air filter isn’t just about air quality—they are about airflow and efficiency as well. During months of heavy use, an air conditioner’s filter needs to be replaced monthly in order to keep the unit functioning properly. When a filter becomes dirty, the system has to work harder to provide the same level of comfort. This overexertion will show in your utility bills. Why pay more for worse performance? You can stop your bills from rising and your system from clogging by changing the filter monthly or as needed. Check for the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value, commonly called the Merv rating. The higher the rating, 1 to 12, the better the filtration it provides. Once you get to MERV 14 and higher, however, you might need a professional modification to account for the larger filter size.

Green Apple Mechanical NJ are the professionals 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.

2 Things You Must Never Put Down Your Drain

Use liquid drain cleaner

We know, it isn’t fair. It doesn’t make sense. That store-bought drain cleaner is supposed to help with plumbing clogs. That’s the whole reason it exists! The thing is, liquid cleaners you pour down the drain are caustic.

Sure, they’ll eat away at a clog, but they’ll eat away at everything else, too. Everything including the metal that makes up the pipes themselves. Drain cleaners can warp pipes or even cause leaks. It’s not worth it. Stick with a plunger, a snake, or a Green Apple Mechanical NJ plumber. You’ll be glad you did.

Pour coffee grounds down the kitchen sink

Coffee grounds seem like they were designed for the express purpose of clogging pipes. They’re sticky. When they’re wet, they get heavy and clump together. When they clump together, they become surprisingly dense. They can retain a surprising amount of water. If they stay wet, they stay sticky, heavy, and clumped together.

Sounds bad, doesn’t it? Donpour coffee grounds down the sink. Just don’t do it. Just throw them out instead. We don’t even love to see little flecks of stray coffee grounds end up in the drain. Try using a paper towel or washcloth to collect stray grounds before they can flush away. It’s a pain, but if you don’t deal with grounds now, the clog they make will be a worse pain.

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

2 Things You Need To Know About Your Plumbing

Reduce Water Pressure

High water pressure through your home cannot only increase your water bill, but also your likelihood of leaks. Installing a pressure regulator, on your main water line, will help keep the pressure below 80 psi, and avoid damage.

Pressure regulators can be sold at any hardware store, and range from about $15.00 – $35.00. If you are unsure of how to install this item yourself, contact your local Green Apple Mechanical NJ plumber.

How to Identify a Leak

The fastest and most effective way to inspect for leaks is to do a whole home check.

 

  • Check your water meter, and record the reading
  • Shut off all water valves, inside and outside
  • Don’t use any water for 10-15 minutes
  • Check the water meter reading again
  • If the reading on the meter spiked, you probably have a leak, and will have to call a Green Apple Mechanical NJ plumber

You can benefit from these tips and tricks on how to take care of your plumbing system. Don’t wait until it’s too late; take care of your plumbing today. 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

2 Big Pluses To Getting Central Air

Savings

The list of ways that regular a/c checkups save you money goes on and on. You will experience lower cooling costs. Your unit’s life will be extended avoiding you having to replace your air conditioner earlier than intended. You will be able to avoid costly repairs, and you will be protecting your warranty which could save you a lot of money should it ever need to be used. Many people think of air conditioning checkups as an added expense when really, it is a money saver!

 

Prevent Unexpected Loss of Cooling

In some cases being surprised is fun: birthday parties, presents, surprise trips or vacations. But when you are surprised with a broken air conditioner and complete loss of cooling in your home, especially during the hot summer months, this is not a surprise to be excited about. Luckily, by having a tune-up performed by a qualified Green Apple Mechanical NJ technician on a regular basis, you are more likely to avoid the surprise of a broken air conditioner.

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 at 888-611-7191