It’s Getting Cold: 4 Steps to Get Your Boiler Ready for Winter

Posted by on Oct 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on It’s Getting Cold: 4 Steps to Get Your Boiler Ready for Winter

Now that winter is just about here, it’s time to get your boiler ready for the colder temperatures. The last thing you want to deal with this winter is a broken boiler. This is particularly true if you live in a region that experiences freezing temperatures. To make sure your boiler is able to keep you warm all winter, here are four steps you should take to keep it functioning properly. Take Care of the Preventative Maintenance The best way to prevent winter breakdowns is to make sure your boiler is working properly to begin with. Before the freeze settles in, schedule a maintenance appointment with your repair technician. They’ll be able to identify and repair any potential problems before the issues become a winter heating emergency. Give It Some Insulation While you’re busy insulating your water heater for the winter, be sure to add an insulation blanket to your boiler too—particularly the hot-water cylinder. Those freezing temperatures can affect the hot-water cylinder, and that can lead to problems with your boiler. You can protect your boiler by insulating the hot-water cylinder each winter. Keep It Turned On You might be tempted to save energy by turning the boiler off when it’s not in use. Unfortunately, that can actually damage your boiler. If you’re not going to be using the boiler—such as if you go away for the holidays—simply turn your home’s thermostat down to a lower setting. This will ensure that the boiler is functional while you’re gone. It should be noted that turning your boiler off while you’re gone could cause the water inside the pipes to freeze. If that happens, the pipes could burst, and that would lead to water damage inside your home as well as a damaged boiler. Fluctuate the Boiler Thermostat Your boiler is operated by two separate thermostats—the one inside your home and the one that’s installed directly on your boiler. The thermostat inside your home controls the interior temperature. The thermostat on the boiler controls the operating temperature of your boiler. To keep your boiler functioning properly, be sure to fluctuate the boiler thermostat whenever the outside temperatures change dramatically. For instance, when the temperatures outside fall, raise the temperature setting on your boiler thermostat. When the temperatures rise, lower the setting on your boiler thermostat. This will ensure that your boiler doesn’t have to overwork to keep your home warm. Those cold, winter temperatures will soon be here. Use the tips provided here to make sure that your boiler is ready for the temperature change. If you experience problems with your boiler this winter, be sure to contact a company such as Rickett Industrial Environmental Systems at the first sign of...

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AC Losing Its Cool? 3 Tips To Help You Solve The Problem

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on AC Losing Its Cool? 3 Tips To Help You Solve The Problem

If you’ve got your air conditioner running non-stop this summer, but your home is still hot, the cool air might be escaping. There are actually several ways that cool are can escape from your home. Unfortunately, it that’s happening, your air conditioner has to work that much harder to keep your home cool.  Here are just three of the ways that your home could be losing its cool. Inadequate Insulation If it’s been a while since you’ve added insulation to your attic, it might be time. Even the best insulation can wear out. Once that happens, your home is only partially protected against energy loss. To keep your home cool, be sure to add additional layers of fresh insulation. You should also use spray foam insulation to seal off cracks and crevices that could be allowing your cool air to escape. The spray foam insulation will expand and harden as it dries, creating an air-tight seal wherever you apply it. Doors and Windows Not Properly Sealed Take a look at your doors and windows. If you can see light coming from around the window frames or door jambs, they aren’t properly sealed or caulked. To keep more of your cool air inside your home, apply a generous layer of silicone caulking around each of your window frames. To prevent air loss from around your doors, you should install new weather-stripping. For the best protection, be sure to remove the old weather-stripping first. This will ensure that your fresh weather-stripping has a secure bond around your door frame. Problems with the Ducts You might not realize this but problems with your ducts can actually cause you to lose cool air. If you have tears or gaps in your ductwork, the cool air could be escaping before it even has a chance to make it into your home. Place your hand up against the vents inside your home, if you’re only getting a small trickle of cool air through the vents, you should have your ducts inspected. This is particularly true if you’ve taken care of the previous two issues described above. You don’t have to lose your cool this summer. The tips provided here will help you keep more of your cool air inside your home, where it belongs. If you continue to have problems keeping your home cool this summer, be sure to contact your local HVAC contractor as soon as...

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2 Simple DIY Furnace Maintenance Tasks

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Simple DIY Furnace Maintenance Tasks

Over the years, your furnace is bound to become a little less energy efficient. But, when your furnace starts to lag, there are quite a few simple things that you can do to improve its functionality. There are a few simple DIY furnace repairs that you can do on your own, with basic tools and a little direction. You don’t need to be an HVAC specialist to perform these repairs. Best of all, they will make your furnace more energy efficient, saving you money in the long run. This article explains two simple furnace maintenance tasks that will make your unit more productive. Cleaning the Motor Before you do any service on your furnace motor, make sure you shut off the power to the unit. The motor to your furnace is very easy to locate. Most modern furnaces have access doors that can be opened and closed with ease. Some older furnaces require you to loosen up a couple of screws to remove the access door. Once you have access to the inside of your furnace cabinet, the motor is easy to find because it is near the fan. If you notice dust and grind buildup around the perimeter of the fan motor, you want to remove it as well, if possible. Usually, a hose vacuum with a brush attachment is the best for this job. However, you might also want to wipe it down with a slightly damp rag. But, don’t use any cleaning liquids inside the furnace. If you have full access to your furnace cabinet, you should vacuum out the entire inside. Any dust on the inside can eventually end up in the motor, where it slows down the operation and forces the furnace to use more energy. Change the Filter Changing your furnace filter on a regular basis is very important. There are no set timelines for how often you should change your filter, but you should at least check it every year or so. The filter is very easy to locate because it is on the outside of the furnace cabinet. It is in a small slot between the cabinet sidewall and input duct. If you pull out your filter and notice the ridges are kicked up with dust and dirt, you should immediately replace it with a new one. With a new filter and clean motor, your furnace is bound to operate more smoothly and efficiently. This will ultimately reduce your energy bill. Contact a furnace repair expert if you need further advice....

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Coming Your AC Unit With A Heat Pump To Increase Your Savings

Posted by on Jun 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Coming Your AC Unit With A Heat Pump To Increase Your Savings

An AC unit is an efficient way to cool a home, but even a properly sized AC unit can struggle to cool a home down after a long day of combatting heat gain. On the other hand, a whole house fan can cool a home in a matter of minutes. While it would not be wise to replace your AC unit with a house fan, you can save money on operating costs if you add a house fan to an already existing AC unit.  The Strengths and Weaknesses of an AC Unit An AC unit cools air by using a fan to push the hot air inside your home over evaporator coils. The refrigerant vaporizing inside the coils will absorb heat from the air, and the air thus cooled will then cool your home. This means that no matter how hot it gets outside, your AC unit will be able to provide at least some cooling to your home. On the other hand, an AC unit is one of the most expensive home appliances to operate. Furthermore, an AC unit can only process so much air at a time, so it can take your AC quite a while to catch up when the temperature inside your home climbs.  How a House Fan Can Help It is important to note that a whole house fan is not the same thing as a ceiling fan. While a ceiling fan is designed to move air around one room, a house fan is designed to cool your whole house. It accomplishes this by venting hot air out of your home through the attic. For the best cooling, you should wait until the outside temperature falls below the temperature inside your home. You can then open your windows, turn off your AC unit, and use your house fan to pump cool air into your home as it pumps hot air out. In this way, a house fan can cool your home in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, because a house fan uses 10% of the electricity that an AC unit requires, you can save money by using your house fan whenever possible.  During the hottest times of the day, an AC unit is exactly what you need to fight off the heat. On the other hand, once the outside temperature starts to fall, your AC unit can labor for several minutes or hours to cool your house down. By way of contrast, a house fan can cool your home in a matter of minutes. Thus, combining an AC unit with a house fan will improve your ability to keep your home cool and save you money in the process. Contact local professionals, such as those from Action Air of Florida, for further...

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How To Replace The Draft Motor Inducer In A Gas Furnace

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Replace The Draft Motor Inducer In A Gas Furnace

Has your gas furnace started cycling on and off too quickly? Or has the furnace suddenly stopped warming at all? The problem could be in the draft motor inducer, which sucks in air that helps regulate the burner’s temperature. Lack of this air draft can cause the system to overheat and shutdown. If you’re sure the problem is the draft motor inducer, replacing the assembly only requires a few simple tools and a bit of time. Feel stuck at any part in the process? Call in an HVAC tech for help. Things You Need: Screwdriver Wrench New draft motor inducer assembly Step 1: Remove the Old Draft Motor Inducer Assembly Turn off all power to the furnace using the circuit breaker or shut-off switch. Locate the combustion panel door. Remove the door by twisting the knobs then pulling the door up and off the furnace. Set the door aside. Now you can see the draft inducer housing. Detach the drain hose and pressure switch hose from the housing by simply pulling on the hoses near their connection points. Use a screwdriver to remove the mounting screws holding the pressure switches in place. Remove the pressure switches and set the switches aside. Loosen the fastener on the exhaust vent pipe from the outlet port. The fastener could be either screws or a clamp that you need to loosen with a wrench. Pull the exhaust pipe out of the outlet port. Push the pipe upwards into the furnace to make some work room and to expose the wire you need to work on next. Locate the grounding wire, loosen its mounting screw, and pull the wire out of position. Let the wire dangle down inside the furnace for the moment. Disconnect the draft inducer motor wires. Remove the mounting screws for the draft inducer motor assembly. Pull the old assembly out of the furnace and discard. Step 2: Install the New Draft Inducer Motor Assembly Read the instructions on your new draft inducer motor assembly to find out about any prep work you need to do before installation. This might include installing a restrictor disc into the inlet port before installing. You should also remove the caps that block the areas where the tubes need to hook into on the new motor. Place the new draft inducer motor assembly in the appropriate location in the furnace. Screw the mounting screws into place to secure the new assembly. Connect the draft inducer motor wires to the appropriate terminals at the bottom of the assembly. Put the grounding wire into place and attach with its mounting screw. Feed the exhaust vent pipe down into the outlet port. Secure the vent pipe using its mounting screws or clamps. Hook the drain hose and pressure switch hoses up to the appropriate ports on the assembly. Position the pressure switch bodies onto the correct spot on the motor assembly. Secure the pressure switches into place using the mounting screws. Put the combustion door back on the furnace and twist the knobs to secure. Restore power to the unit and conduct a test run. Is there still a problem occurring? Call in a furnace repair person, like those at Bill’s Heating & Air Conditioning, for a...

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3 Landscaping Ideas That Will Help Keep Your Basement Safe From Water Damage

Posted by on Feb 10, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Landscaping Ideas That Will Help Keep Your Basement Safe From Water Damage

The drainage of the landscaping around your home can affect your home’s foundation. If your home is on a basement, poor drainage can lead to water damage and costly repairs. In addition to your basement waterproofing, you may want to consider some landscaping improvements to keep runoff away from your home’s foundation. Here are some landscaping projects that are sure to help keep the water out of your basement: 1. Rain Collection To Save Water Irrigating And Keep It Away From The Foundation If you want to protect your home from water damage and get savings on your utility bills, a rain collection system can be a great solution to protect your foundation. This water can then be used for landscape irrigation. If you have the tanks installed above ground, you may want to consider using wood privacy screens around them to make an enclosure. Doing this will make the tanks more attractive, so they do not interfere with your landscaping design. 2. Disguising A French Drain System As Landscaping Flowerbeds With Gravel Cover If the terrain around your home is relatively flat, it may be hard to create a good grading design for better drainage. Instead, you may want to consider a French drain system to help divert the runoff away from your home. If you decide to do this, the top layer of gravel can be a landscaping cover and the drainage system can be disguised as a decorative flowerbed around your home or even stone pathways. 3. Create Dry Riverbeds That Lead To Dry Wells Or Garden Water Features In addition to a French drain system, you may want to consider drainage canals and dry wells to give excess water a place to go. A great way to do this is to build a dry riverbed, which you can decorate with large river rocks and create stone gardens along the banks. These features can lead to a dry well for your home or to water features like decorative garden ponds. If you may it go to the pond, you may want to add an overflow area that leads to a small dry well. These are some landscaping projects that are sure to help keep the water out of your basement. If your basement has a water problem, contact a foundation waterproofing contractor to do the repairs to your foundation. They can help you with some of these problems, as well as do crawl space encapsulation and other...

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When Your Commercial Freezer Needs Repair: Four Emergency Backup Solutions

Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When Your Commercial Freezer Needs Repair: Four Emergency Backup Solutions

Commercial freezers have large jobs to do. They have to run continuously to keep food cold for restaurants, convenience stores and grocers. When they break down, everything inside them is at jeopardy and could become a financial loss to your business. Most of the goods will keep for several hours, so long as the freezer door remains shut. If you are dealing with high heat and humidity outside and/or inside your business, or you know employees will open the freezer door too many times to count, you may need an emergency backup solution. While you search for an HVAC contractor, such as Pro-Staff Mechanical Inc, to perform commercial refrigeration services, here are four backup solutions to keep your goods and food items cold and fresh. Clear out the Employee Refrigerator If your breakroom has an employee refrigerator, you can commandeer it for this emergency situation. Just make sure the employee refrigerator is clean and that all of your employees are aware of the fact that it is temporarily a business overflow fridge. If you only have a mini-fridge for employees, place the most expensive food items in it and figure out an alternative for everything else. Rent a Refrigerated Truck It may be possible to rent a refrigerated truck to hold the rest of your food items until the HVAC contractor can repair the business’s freezer. Possible companies with which to make contact include frozen food delivery trucks, ice cream trucks and cold storage shippers. Companies that produce frozen foods and frozen meals or appetizers within your area will also have a fleet of refrigerated trucks, so it pays to contact them as well and ask for their help. Empty Your Slushee Machine, Your Ice Cream Machine and/or Your Shake/Malt Machine and Use Those If you are in a very tight spot, you could empty the mix contents out of a slushee machine, an ice cream machine or a shake/malt machine and use the empty, refrigerated compartments to store all of your commercial freezer’s foodstuffs. Just make sure that you thoroughly clean and sanitize these compartments before using them as emergency cold storage and after the crisis is over and your freezer is repaired. Have a Couple of Smaller Residential Freezers Delivered In the event that your commercial freezer will not be repaired for a couple of days, you may want to order a couple of residential freezers and have them delivered. These are compact and may even fit inside your current commercial freezer if you are tight on space. You can run the cords out through the commercial freezer door and within the couple of hours it takes for the cold air to escape the commercial freezer, these smaller freezers are ready to take on the responsibility of saving your meat, cold drinks and...

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Four Home Improvement Tips to Help Reduce Heat Loss This Winter

Posted by on Nov 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Home Improvement Tips to Help Reduce Heat Loss This Winter

As the cold weather sets in, you are probably ready to crank up the heating. This also means that you will be spending a lot more on your utility bills. If you want to reduce the energy costs for your heating, putting a stop to heat loss can help. Here are some things you can do to stop heat loss this winter and lower your utility bill: 1. Evaluate Your Home for Air Leaks and Stop Them Air leaks can be a major problem with energy loss in your home. They can cause heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. You will want to look for any possible areas where your home is losing energy. This is often in places on exterior walls where mechanical systems are located. Find these leaks and stop them with foam gaskets or cans of spray foam. 2. Stop Drafts by Adding Treatments to Windows and Doors In addition to air leaks from utilities, the windows and doors in your home can cause you to lose heat. This can be easily addressed by adding window treatments. Do not just do this to windows, but also to areas like glass doors or entrances with side glass windows that cause cold air to come into your home. 3. Keep the Heat in Your Home by Checking Chimneys and Exhaust Stacks With the winter holidays coming, you may be using fireplaces and wood stoves to warm your home in addition to a furnace. These can also be a place where a lot of heat goes right out the chimney. To stop heat loss here, make sure exhaust and chimney dampers are in the correct position. They should be opened to the back, which allows fumes to escape but reflects heat back into your home. 4. Reduce Heat Loss by Adding Insulation to Areas That Need It Insulation can also help to prevent heat loss in your home as well as protect from problems like ice dams on your roof. Check your attic to make sure it has efficient insulation to keep the heat in your home. You may also want to consider adding insulation to areas of your home like garages and unfinished rooms. These are some of the things that you can do to stop heat loss this winter and reduce your energy costs. In addition, many of these techniques will also help you to keep your home cool in the hot months. If you need help with repairs or maintenance to your heating or air conditioning system, contact an HVAC service like Omega Air Conditioning and talk with them about helping you make your system more...

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Troubleshooting the Common Walk-In Freezer Issues in Your Commercial Kitchen

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Troubleshooting the Common Walk-In Freezer Issues in Your Commercial Kitchen

Having an on-site freezer storage space that is large enough to allow you and your employees to walk in and grab what you need is definitely convenient. However, a walk-in freezer in your commercial kitchen also means that you have to be careful about potential problems, as appropriate holding temperatures can be a huge deal when it comes to food safety. Here are a few of the most common issues that can come up when you have a walk-in freezer unit and the potential problems you should be able to easily diagnose on your own. Problem: You constantly have problems with ice buildup on floors and ceilings. Cause and Solution: Excess ice buildup inside of a walk-in freezer is almost always caused by too much condensation. There could be a few different causes of excess condensation. One, your employees may be leaving the door to the freezer open for long periods, allowing warm air inside the unit. Two, the freezer door flaps may not be in good condition, which allows heat to enter any time the door is opened. Either way, these are easily addressed issues. Simply make it a strict guideline that the door to the walk-in freezer is not left opened for more than a few seconds and replace any damaged plastic freezer flaps. Problem: The temperature inside of your walk-in freezer is not consistent. Cause and Solution: If you start to notice that the products inside your walk-in freezer vary in temperature or frozen consistency, you are dealing with a freezer that is not cooling consistently. Most of the time this means that your freezer fans are not evenly distributing cold air throughout the unit. This could be because of buildup or debris on the fan or it could be related to a faulty fan motor. You can visually inspect the fans for issues, but this will involve shutting down the power to the unit and removing the metal fan guards, which may be a job better left to a repair technician. Walk-in freezers are a valuable asset in any commercial kitchen, but seeing a freezer with issues can be a big deal. If you want to keep your walk-in freezer running as smoothly as possible, be sure you take some time to read over troubleshooting tips that were provided by the technician during installation. You can also contact a professional from a company like D & R Service Inc for advice if you can’t fix the problem...

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Follow These 2 Steps To Prepare Your Air Conditioner For Winter

Posted by on Nov 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Follow These 2 Steps To Prepare Your Air Conditioner For Winter

If you’re like many homeowners today, you probably have a whole list of items that you want to get taken care of around your home before it gets too cold outside. With fall well underway, the clock is ticking on how much time you have left to get everything done. One of the main things you want to get done is winterizing your air conditioning unit. Otherwise, you will end up with a major disaster when spring rolls around and you try to start your unit back up, only to get nothing but a bunch of warm air coming out. To make sure your unit is ready to go when spring rolls around, take the following steps to winterize your air conditioner the right way. Clean the Area around the Unit You don’t want to leave a bunch of leaves, branches, sticks, clutter, bushes and other debris around your unit. Clear a couple feet of space all the way around the unit. This helps to prevent rust, clogging and potential damage to your unit. It also discourages animals from trying to take up residence around your unit. Animals can cause a lot of damage to your unit, so the more you can keep them away, the better. Cover Your Unit with a Piece of Plywood Grab a large piece of plywood and put it on the top of your air conditioning unit. Take a large rock or brick and put it on top of your plywood to make sure it stays securely in position. This prevents leaves, ice and snow from getting inside of the system, while protecting it from sleet and snow damage. Covering the unit with a tarp might not be in your best interest. Essentially, you are trapping all of the things you want to keep out of your unit on the inside. All of the debris, moisture and condensation has nowhere to go. Units are designed to be outside, so it isn’t necessarily a matter of protecting the unit from the outside, just some of the elements out there. if you prefer a manufactured AC cover, there are shorter varieties available that still allow the sides of the unit to vent. Another thing to consider is having a repair specialist, like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating, come out and do an inspection for you at the end and start of any cooling season. This prevents any major surprises from coming your way when you go to turn the unit on for the first time next...

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