Exploring Furnace Components And Builds

Answers To Your Questions On Fireplace Inserts

Posted by on 4:54 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Answers To Your Questions On Fireplace Inserts

One of the most underused fixtures in many homes is the fireplace. This is simply because the idea of dealing with a wood burning fireplace seems like too much work for many people, plus the efficiency of trying to actually get heat from a plain fireplace can be a challenge. An insert can make your fireplace much more useful, as they are simple to use and maintain. Plus, many are designed for efficiency so they help to heat your home. The following can help answer some of your questions. What type of fuel should you choose? Generally, you have a choice between gas or wood inserts. Wood inserts tend to cost less mainly due to installation concerns. For example, for a gas insert you must either have a gas supply to the house or have it installed, and then the supply must be piped into the fireplace. Of course, if you don’t want to store wood or pellets, or if you are looking for a low maintenance unit that doesn’t require frequent cleaning of ashes, then the initial cost of a gas unit is well worth it. Is chimney preparation necessary before installation? Before an installation can occur, your chimney will require an inspection. In some cases you may need to have the chimney relined or a chimney pipe will be required to run from the insert up your existing chimney. With gas inserts, a chimney pipe is usually used so an inspection is simply to make sure there are no hazards within the existing chimney. The firebox in the existing fireplace may also require inspection, primarily to make sure that the heat shielding isn’t damaged. Are permits required for installation? This depends on your state and municipality. Some areas do require that permits are issued and that the fireplace is inspected after installation. Generally, your installer will be in charge of securing the permits and arranging for the inspection. You may also be required to get permission and an inspection by a homeowners association if you live in attached housing, such as in a condo or townhome. It is up to you to verify the necessary requirements in this case. What is the service frequency of a fireplace insert? You will need to plan for outside service upon occasion. Generally, you want to have your insert and the chimney, including any gas connections, inspected annually. Many homeowners insurance policies require that you have a certificate of inspection on hand if you have an insert installed. Gas inserts rarely require maintenance beyond inspections, although you will want to clean the glass on occasion when the fireplace isn’t in use. Wood fireplaces will need to be swept out at least weekly and professionally cleaned once a year so soot and creosote doesn’t build up inside. For more help, talk to a fireplace installer in your area, such as A One Heating & Air...

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What’s The Big Deal With Creosote?

Posted by on 8:58 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What’s The Big Deal With Creosote?

If you own a wood-burning fireplace, then you’ve probably heard about creosote buildup. It’s a common occurrence when you use your fireplace, but it can also be a serious danger if it isn’t dealt with regularly. The following explains why creosote is such a big deal and how you can deal with the inevitable buildup. What Is It? A common byproduct of wood-burning, creosote is a distillation of the various tars and other chemicals commonly found in wood, fossil fuels, and other plant-derived materials. Historically, creosote has been used for a wide variety of purposes, including as a wood preservative and as part of various medicines. What Happens When It Builds Up? As wood burns in your fireplace, creosote mingles with soot and various other tars to form a coating on the chimney lining. There are several degrees of creosote buildup: First-degree buildup: This stage usually contains a high amount of soot, which is relatively easy to clean and also indicates relatively good combustion. Second-degree buildup: You’ll start seeing heavier creosote buildup, usually in the form of dry, hardened tar flakes. This buildup is common with fireplaces equipped with glass doors. Third-degree buildup: This stage occurs when conditions for wood-burning are less than optimal (poorly adjusted air controls, oversized flue, use of unseasoned wood, etc). The creosote buildup becomes extremely heavy, shiny in appearance and extraordinarily hard to remove. What Are the Dangers of Creosote Buildup? An excess buildup of creosote can set the stage for a chimney fire. As chimney temperatures approach 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the tar-like buildup can ignite and cause an intense fire that’s fueled mainly by the creosote buildup. Chimney fires can weaken the surrounding chimney structure and place the rest of your home’s structure in jeopardy. Creosote buildup can also restrict or even close off the air damper, preventing enough air from circulating throughout the chimney. This may allow more smoke to linger longer in the chimney and leave behind even more creosote deposits. How to Get Rid of It? For light creosote buildup, your chimney specialist will likely use a standard chimney brush to deal with the thin coating. Moderate creosote buildup may require the use of a rotary brush attached to a heavy-duty power drill. Your specialist may also decide to use chemical creosote removers to tackle moderate buildup. Third-degree creosote buildup often proves impossible to remove with wire brushes, in most cases. Chemical removers can tackle third-degree creosote buildup as long as the creosote has yet to ignite and burn. In most cases, your specialist will recommend a replacement of the entire chimney liner as an alternative to a potentially unsuccessful cleaning. For more information, go to...

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Tips For Caring For Your Gas Stove

Posted by on 6:29 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Caring For Your Gas Stove

A gas stove can be an efficient and dependable option for your kitchen. However, you need to understand the type of care that these stoves require as it can be very different from an electric stove. To make sure that you are prepared to care for this type of stove, you should learn more about some of the basic care steps that you will need to follow to keep your gas stove in great condition. Inspect The Pilot Light And Igniters To ignite the gas, these stoves use igniters and pilot lights. While these are relatively simple devices that are extremely durable, they can become clogged with gas residue and grease. Failing to remove these substances will contribute to your gas stove experiencing difficulties staying lit. Fortunately, cleaning these parts of your gas stove is fairly simple. You will simply want to use a dry toothbrush to gently scrub these components. When scrubbing, use strokes that move away from the small hole that provides gas. This will limit the risk of accidentally clogging it. Thoroughly Clean The Oven Every Couple Of Months Over the course of time, the interior of your oven can become coated in a thick layer of grease and grime. In a gas stove, these substances can lead to a number of serious performance issues. For example, these substances can coat the heating elements, which may limit or influence heat production when the oven is being used. Furthermore, it can be possible for these substances to pose a fire hazard as they may combust when the oven is on particularly high settings. To clean the interior of the oven, you will need to apply a clean solution that is specially designed for use in ovens. Typically, these cleaning solutions will need to be left in place for at least several hours before they should be removed with a damp cloth.   Avoid Using Water When Cleaning Knobs And Other Controls The controls for an oven can be particularly prone to becoming sticky and dirty. Unfortunately, some people will use a damp cloth when cleaning these parts of their gas stoves. This mistakes can allow water to seep behind the knob or button, which can lead to corrosion of the internal metal components. To avoid this problem, you should always use a dry cloth to clean these components. If you have a stain or spot that requires water to remove, you should only wet the corner of your cloth so that you can be as precise as possible. For more information, contact appliance repair companies like AAA Home...

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Do You Want To Prevent Air Conditioner Coil Icing? Maintain Your Air Handler

Posted by on 5:01 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do You Want To Prevent Air Conditioner Coil Icing? Maintain Your Air Handler

To effectively cool a room, a central air conditioner needs to suck in air from a home. It usually relies on the air handler to do this. This, and the fact that the air handler is also responsible for pushing the air through the air ducts and into a home, makes air handler maintenance important. One of the main consequences of poor air handler maintenance is coil icing. Here is what you should know about the relationship between poor air handler maintenance and coil icing and what you can do to keep your air conditioner coils ice-free. Poor air handler maintenance and restricted air-pulling capacity When dirt accumulates on the fan blades of an air conditioning system, they become heavier. This increases the effective load that the fan’s motor has to handle. It reduces the efficiency of the motor, something that then leads to a reduction in the capacity of the system to pull in air.  Dirt accumulation can also have the same effect on its air-pulling capacity by simply reducing the blade’s cupping. Dirt can also settle on the rotating parts of the air handler. This will reduce the effectiveness of any lubricant within the system, something that will then reduce the effectiveness with which the air handler operates. Worm-out bearings, bent air handler fan blades and an overheated motor can also have the same effect. Restricted air-pulling capacity and coil icing With the ability of the air handling system to suck in air into the system restricted, the amount of warm air that becomes available at the evaporator coil area will be limited. This will create an imbalance between the rate at which the refrigerant absorbs heat and the rate at which the system delivers warm air to this area. This imbalance leads to an extreme drop in temperature that then causes the freezing of any moisture available in the passing air. And since the formed ice insulates the coils, it usually causes a drop in the overall cooling capacity of the air conditioning system. To prevent coil icing and its effect on the performance on an air conditioning system, regular cleaning of your air handler is recommended. Simply cleaning the fan’s blades with a wet rag will prevent the devastating effects that dirt accumulation has on the air handler. You should also inspect the air handler and make sure that any bent blades are straightened and blown bearings are replaced. Doing this will restore the air handler’s ability to pull in air, something that will then prevent airflow-related coil icing. Talk to a professional, such as Thermotech Inc for more...

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Is Your Furnace Getting Loud? Check The Blower Motor And Do Some Maintenance

Posted by on 5:57 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Is Your Furnace Getting Loud? Check The Blower Motor And Do Some Maintenance

If your furnace is getting loud when it turns on to heat the house, you want to get it inspected before it goes out and you need an emergency repair service appointment. Instead, call the heating and cooling company in your area to have the furnace looked at, and to see if you need to replace any parts. You don’t want to end up with a furnace that breaks down when the temperatures are low, and it’s the middle of the night, and you don’t want to have a mechanical problem that spirals out of control because one component damaged others. Here is what you want to do as soon as you notice the loud noises. Schedule an Inspection The HVAC company will look at all the mechanical components of the furnace to see which parts are faulty, what parts are wearing and need replaced, and if there are any mechanical issues. During this time they will also look at plumbing fixtures and electrical wiring, to see if there are other major concerns that could cost you money down the road, or that need to be fixed right away. The inspection could prevent safety hazards or problems. Pay for Cleaning and Maintenance Have the furnace cleaned and tuned-up while the HVAC inspection does the inspection. The cleaning is going to help the components work more easily, and the parts may need to be lubed for preservation. The cleaning also helps to improve the air quality, and you’ll want to have the filter changed at the same time. Blower Motor Replacement Ask if the blower motor is the unit on the furnace that is making all the noise, and if you should replace it while the HVAC professionals are at your house. If you should, consider the cost for the parts and labor and determine if that is worth the investment, or if because of the furnace’s age you should consider replacing it. There are many efficient options if you’re considering replacing the furnace, and if you don’t think it’s worth investing the money for a cleaning and inspection, or for part replacement. There are a lot of different issues that could be causing the loud noises in your furnace, and sometimes just getting the unit cleaned and tune-up can make those noises go away. Talk with the HVAC experts like Biggerstaff Plumbing Heating & Air and get to the bottom of the problem sooner rather than...

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Clean Vent Covers And Duct Openings That Are Connected To Your Mobile Home’s Central Air System

Posted by on 5:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Clean Vent Covers And Duct Openings That Are Connected To Your Mobile Home’s Central Air System

If you moved into an older mobile home and cool air does not blow strongly through the vents that are attached to the duct work that runs underneath the trailer when your central air conditioning system is turned on, debris may be trapped inside of each duct opening. The following steps will teach you how to clean the vent covers and duct openings to assist with even air flow. Once finished with the cleaning steps, keep the duct openings maintained to prevent future problems.  Materials screwdriver vacuum cleaner with hose or brush attachment bucket dish detergent water bleach scrub brush lint-free cleaning cloths disposable gloves flashlight Remove And Clean The Covers Turn off the power to the air conditioning system. Use a screwdriver to remove hardware that is connected to the vent covers. If dust is stuck between the grooves in each cover, use the hose attachment to a vacuum cleaner to remove it. Place the covers in a bucket of soapy water. Leave them in the cleaning solution for several minutes to loosen dirty residue. Use a scrub brush to loosen dirt from each cover’s surface. If any of the covers have stains on them that are difficult to remove, use a scrub brush and a small amount of bleach to remove them. Rinse the covers with water and dry each one with a lint-free cloth.  Clean The Duct Openings Put on a pair of disposable gloves. Shine a flashlight into each duct opening and remove any large debris that is inside of them by hand. If dust is caked on the interior walls of each opening, use a vacuum cleaner hose or brush attachment to loosen and remove it. Use a damp, soapy cloth to wipe off the interior walls when finished, followed by a cloth that has only been dampened with water. Once you have cleaned each of the duct openings to the best of your ability, dry their interiors with a clean cloth. Maintain The Covers And Openings Replace the vent covers and secure the hardware pieces in each one. Turn on the air conditioning system and check the airflow that is emitted through each cover. If the airflow feels stronger and the inside of your mobile home cools down in a reasonable amount of time, the cleaning steps that you completed were successful. Inspect and clean the duct openings and vent covers periodically in order to prevent blockages or inconsistent airflow in the future. Get more info about duct cleaning on this...

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3 Common Problems For Gas Fireplaces

Posted by on 5:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Common Problems For Gas Fireplaces

Compared to their traditional wood burning kin, gas fireplaces represent a wonderful blend of comfort and convenience. Yet these home heating appliances are still prone to experience problems from time to time. If you own–or are considering installing–a gas fireplace, read on. This article will introduce you to three commonly experienced problems. Strange Sounds Though gas fireplaces are by and large quite silent, it is perfectly natural for them to make some noises–especially just after they’ve been turned on. Things like popping and clicking are generally just the result of the fireplace’s metal frame expanding as its temperature rises. Yet certain sounds may indicate more serious problems. If your fireplace is producing a roaring sound when off, chances are your pilot light is improperly adjusted. Consult your owner’s manual as to the location of the appropriate adjustment knob. Lowering the intensity of the flame will often eliminate this problem. A similar sound when the fireplace is on often indicates burners that are dirty and in need of cleaning. Soot Soot occurs when there is fuel that is not being completely consumed. For those who own an unvented gas fireplace, the presence of soot is a rare occurrence and one that will require intervention by a professional repair person. Vented gas fireplaces, on the other hand, are more likely to produce some degree of soot. If the amount of soot being produced by your vented fireplace strikes you as excessive, you may need to adjust your fireplace’s air setting. This will allow more oxygen to mix with the fuel, thus promoting a higher degree of combustion. You may also be able to reduce the amount of soot being produced simply by adjusting the damper; increasing the draft will help to carry that soot out of your home. Odd Smells Under no circumstances should you ever detect the sulfur-like smell of raw gas coming out of your fireplace. If you do, this represents a serious–and potentially life threatening–issue. Contact your fire department at once, and if possible, remove yourself and your family to a safe location until the gas leak has been addressed. Gas fireplaces may also give rise to other, less threatening odors. These are often caused by dirt, pet hair, and other substances that find their way inside of the burner. Such odors will be much more pronounced if the glass panel on the front of the fireplace isn’t sealed properly. Check that the clips responsible for holding the glass in are securely fastened. Ideally, the glass should be pressed up snugly against the back of the fireplace door. For more information, contact Nebraska Heating & Air or a similar...

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4 Ideas To Improve The Efficiency And Reliability Of Your Renewable Energy Systems

Posted by on 10:26 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Ideas To Improve The Efficiency And Reliability Of Your Renewable Energy Systems

If you have invested in renewable energy for your home, such as solar arrays to produce power, wind energy or solar collectors for heating and hot water, they may not produce all the energy you need. The solar array alone, may make little difference on the power you use in your home. It is a combination of these systems and efficient improvements that will help make your home independent. Here are some ideas you may want to consider to make your renewable energy systems more efficient: 1. Add A Solar Water Heater To Give Your Home Heating And Hot Water There are many ways that you can use solar energy in your home. With PV panels, solar energy can be used to produce electricity for your home. You can also use it as a way to heat your home with things like passive heating. You may also want to talk with a heating and air conditioning contractor about installing a solar hot water heater to provide mechanical systems with thermal energy. 2. Improve Solar PV Panels With Micro Converters And Efficient Controls If you do use solar panels on your home, there are many things that can be done to make them more efficient. For example, you may want to install micro converters and more efficient controllers. The micro converters will help prevent problems with drops in power production when there is a problem with just one panel in an array. 3. Add Wind Energy To Help Reduce The Need For A Grid-Tied System In addition to solar energy, you may also want to consider adding wind energy to your home. This can be done with the addition of wind turbines that can be integrated into a solar system. There are even vertical turbines that can be an attractive solution and less noticeable than the conventional windmill types of turbines. 4. Use Water Collection And Grey Water For Drip Irrigation And Other Needs Water collection is another solution that you may want to consider for energy efficiency. You can use water from rain for clean potable water in your home. You can also reuse grey water from things like appliances to be used for the irrigation systems of your home. This can help make your home more efficient and sustainable. These are some ideas that you may want to consider to help make your home more efficient with renewable energy systems. If you are ready to improve the energy systems for your home, contact a heating and air conditioning contractor like C & D Cooling & Heating Co and talk with them about efficient energy solutions for your home’s HVAC...

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Could Your Heating Be More Efficient?

Posted by on 7:12 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Could Your Heating Be More Efficient?

When it comes to heating your home, there are a number of concerns that you need to keep in mind. You want to make sure that your heater can work quickly and keep your home warm, but you also want to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck. In order to help you out with the latter point, here are a number of ways to increase the efficiency of your heating: What is the best type of energy for the job? If you are thinking about getting a new heater in the future or are planning on moving, then you definitely want to consider which type of energy is most efficient for you. In some cases, this is a simple case of comparing costs, but you might also live in an area that just doesn’t have reliable access to certain types of energy. If you are dealing with an area that has frequent power outages, can you handle several hours without heating? Depending on the weather involved and the level of insulation that your home has, this could be far too long. If you are dealing with a remote area that doesn’t have reliable and easy access to a municipal power grid, then you might want to go for propane and heating oil, both of which can be stored up in large containers. If you want to use wood for heating, then you should know that it has very poor efficiency when comparing volume to heating power. Is an upgrade a good idea? If you have an old heater or if your heater has been giving you problems, then an upgrade could save you a ton of money in the long run. More specifically, if your repair costs have been pretty high lately, then the cost of maintaining your old unit could be holding you back from your home’s full potential. When considering these costs, make sure that you think about the time that you have invested in diagnosing and worrying about the problem in addition to the flat monetary cost of repairs. If you have had to spend an hour or two to fix problems with your heater every winter, then that could add up to a lot of wasted time, especially if you have needed to call a professional repair service more than once. The average cost of a new furnace is around $2,000, with gas units costing a bit more and electric units costing a bit less. This may seem like a high number, but the average cost of a furnace repair is around $250. This means that if you have needed to get four separate repairs over the course of your furnace’s lifetime, then you have paid for half of a brand new furnace. If you add on the number of hours that you have spent tinkering around with the furnace, perhaps at a couple of hours per year, then you could easily end up having spent 20-30 hours of your own time over the course of a decade. How much you value your own time is a very subjective matter, but it’s pretty easy to see how a new furnace could end up costing you less money than maintaining your old heater.  To learn more, contact a company like Staley...

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Four Tips To Help With Maintenance Of Biomass Heating During Winter Months

Posted by on 8:24 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Tips To Help With Maintenance Of Biomass Heating During Winter Months

If you have a biomass boiler for heating and hot water in your home, maintenance is important to ensure your system is working efficiently. During the winter months, your system will need to have more maintenance done to ensure that it is working properly. You will need to do things like clean the fire chamber and tubing. Here are some tips to help ensure your biomass heating system is working properly when you need your heating most: 1. Checking Fuel Materials And Making Adjustments To Boiler The fuel for a biomass boiler is one of the most important components. If you have a system that just burns firewood, you want to make sure that it is dry and has very low humidity. The systems that use pellet and smaller fuels can be a little more complicated. You will want to make sure that fuel is always feeding to the system, and you may also need to make adjustments to the boiler when you change fuels. 2. Cleaning The Ash Out Of The Fire Chamber Regularly Since biomass boilers burn materials, they also produce a lot of ash. This ash can build up in the fire chamber and cause various problems, which can even stop your system. This is why it is important to clean the ash out of the system regularly. Doing this will help ensure your system is working efficiently and free of problems. 3. Inspecting Safety Systems And Sensors For Any Potential Problems Biomass boilers can also have safety systems to help prevent fires and explosions. This is especially true for systems that use pellet materials that can produce a lot of dust. Make sure your system is clean and free of dust to ensure that it sensors do not cause it to shut off. Before the cold hits, you may want to take a shop vacuum and clean any dust out of fuel storage or near the boiler. 4. Cleaning The Tubes And Exhaust System For Better Air Flow The tubes and exhaust of your boiler can also become dirty and hamper efficiency. It is important that you clean these components regularly to avoid problems. During the winter months, you may want to do this once every few weeks when you are using your system the most. This will ensure that air is circulating and that your system does not stop when you need it. These are some maintenance tips to ensure your biomass heating system is working when you need it most. If you need help with maintenance or repairs to your biomass boiler, contact a heating repair contractor and talk with them about the care your system needs.   For HVAC contractors, contact a company such as Alliance Heating & Cooling...

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