Maintaining Your Hot Water Boiler To Prepare For Winter

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Maintaining Your Hot Water Boiler To Prepare For Winter

The coldest month of the year is when you need your boiler to run properly and produce the heat for your home the most. Taking the time to prepare for winter by having your boiler serviced and inspected is important. The cost of the service will vary from area to area. Here are some things to consider doing before winter sets in. Cleaning the Burner When you have your boiler serviced, the technician will clean the firebox and burner by disassembling the boiler and brushing the parts out with a wire brush. excess soot can build up and plug the burner and flue up, causing the boiler to run poorly or smoke not to properly leave the firebox if it is not clean. Cleaning the Filters The filters in the system are there to filter the air coming into the boilers burner and firebox area. If these filters become clogged, the furnace will not get enough air and the burner will run rich. The result is a fire box filled with too much fuel. The burner can not process and burn the extra fuel and the burner will flood or shut down. Air is critical to the process and the filters need to be maintained, either by cleaning them or replacing them regularly. Replacing or Cleaning the Fuel Filter At the base of the fuel tank, there is a filter that the fuel runs through before entering the fuel line. The line carries the fuel to the burner where it is fed into the nozzle then mixed with air and sprayed into the burner. If the fuel filter is dirty, the fuel going to the line may carry debris to the nozzle or the line can become blocked. In either case, the result is a boiler that will not run properly. Replacing the Nozzle In the Burner Lastly, the nozzle inside the burner should be cleaned or replaced before the winter season begins. The nozzle is the mixing point between the fuel and the air that need to combine in the fire box to make the boiler run properly. In some cases, the nozzle can be cleaned many times but if it becomes damaged, it will need to be replaced with a new one. A local burner technician such as Custom Comfort will be able to tell you whether they can clean it or if it needs to be...

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Problems With Aging Furnaces… And How To Deal

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Problems With Aging Furnaces… And How To Deal

An older furnace can start to have many problems that affect its performance and energy efficiency. Here is how to troubleshoot the performance of an older furnace.  Keep the Combustion Chamber Clean One problem that comes up with older furnaces is that they don’t combust fuel as efficiently as they used to. Part of the problem is that the combustion chamber can get clogged up with lots of debris, so the fuel doesn’t burn as cleanly. But with a furnace repair and inspection, it’s easy enough to clean the combustion chamber so that it burns almost like new. Check on the Pilot Light A weak pilot light can also affect the performance of your furnace. If you check the pilot light and it is weak or it lights inconsistently, call out a heating maintenance team to troubleshoot ASAP. Do Regular Maintenance of Parts Certain parts need to be replaced regularly on all furnaces, but it’s even more important when you’re trying to keep an older furnace going. The blower is one component that can break easily, as it’s constantly in motion. Filters also need to be replaced or cleaned regularly, depending on whether they are permanent or disposable. Check your user manual to determine what other parts should be checked on regularly. Make Sure the Ductwork Is Intact Your furnace can’t function effectively when it’s blowing air into faulty ductwork. When your HVAC ducts have holes in them, air can leak out and you effectively start heating your crawl spaces rather than your home. Have an HVAC inspector out to check on the ducts and seal up any cracks to ensure efficient flow of air. At the same time, you may want to have them clean the ductwork itself. Dust, mold, and other unwanted debris can get stuck on the sides of your ductwork, and then your furnace blows dirty air around your home. Get a Good Thermostat Finally, when your furnace is on its last legs and you’re trying to make it last longer, you may want to consider how you can economize your heating power better. A programmable thermostat is one way to do this. For example, you can have the heating system shut off during the hours that you are away from the house. Your heater won’t need to work all day long just so that the home is warm when you get home for the...

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How To Replace A Broken Or Defective Gas Furnace Thermocouple

Posted by on Dec 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Replace A Broken Or Defective Gas Furnace Thermocouple

If your natural gas furnace has stopped working, one of the first places you should check is the thermocouple. This simple but vitally important device maintains the safety of your furnace and prevents a potentially devastating fire or explosion. However, if it fails to work as it should, you will not be able to turn on your furnace. Fortunately, replacing this component is relatively easy and is also a low-cost repair. Below is more information about the humble thermocouple and how to perform a replacement: What a thermocouple does For gas furnaces that use a pilot light, the thermocouple serves as a monitoring device for the presence of a flame. One end of the thermocouple is extended into the flame space on the pilot light, while the opposite end is attached to the furnace’s control system. If the thermocouple detects the pilot light flame, then the system has an “all clear” to light the main burners whenever a call for heat is sent to the unit. Likewise, if the thermocouple does not detect a pilot light, it will automatically shut down the gas supply to both the pilot light and the main burners, thus preventing the release of large volumes of unburned natural gas. As with any electro-mechanical device, a worn or broken thermocouple will provide a false indication of a problem with the pilot light and prevent it from sustaining itself or ignite the burners. How to replace the thermocouple Fortunately, the thermocouple replacement job is not difficult and should only take a few minutes. Here are a few steps you can take to smoothly change out a defective thermocouple with a new one: 1. Turn off the system completely — Begin by disconnecting both the natural gas supply and electrical supply to the system; there will be a main gas valve located in close proximity to the unit, and turning this off entails turning it clockwise. Most gas valves will be gate valves, which only need to be moved about 90 degrees to the right to shut off the gas. For the electrical supply, there should be a switch located near the system, and this simply needs to be flicked off like a wall switch. If you can’t locate a switch, then turn off the relevant breaker at the circuit breaker panel. 2. Remove the old thermocouple — After disconnecting the power and gas supply, locate the thermocouple and make a careful note of how it it is attached. In most cases a few turns of a screwdriver or wrench will easily remove the flame sensing end near the pilot light. Disconnect the thermocouple and set the flame sensing probe aside. Next, locate the other end of the thermocouple where it attaches to the unit and remove it by unscrewing or unbolting it. 3. Select and install a new thermocouple — Once the old thermocouple is out of the way, buy a unit that is compatible with your furnace. You may need to check with a parts supplier or reputable HVAC dealer or service provider for additional help. Installation of the new unit is easy, as you simply need to reattach the end to the countrol panel while reattaching the other end to the space adjacent to the pilot light. Restore power and gas to the unit,...

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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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