Most homeowners simply turn on their heat and enjoy the warmth during the winter. Many don’t think about how a furnace operates or if it needs replacing. Here, our heating experts share five signs to look for that can indicate you’re in need of a new furnace:
Heating repairs are never fun – especially if they happen in the dead of winter. At Oliver Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, & Electrical, we’re here for your repairs 24/7. From strange noises to uncommon sounds to too-little heat, we can figure out what’s wrong and get it back to right. Here’s why so many homeowners trust Oliver for their heating repairs:
Northeastern winters can be beasts in themselves, but they can also bring dangers like frozen pipes. Every year, thousands of homeowners experience pipe bursts in their homes due to cold temperatures. These situations can cost hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars in damage and the worst part is – they can be prevented. Here, we share some tips for how to prevent frozen pipes this winter:
As you know, the winter season can get pretty brutal in PA, NJ, and DE. From below-zero temperatures to feet of snow, it’s important to have a heater that works properly all season long. Here, our heating maintenance company shares some tips for preparing your heater so it can keep you warm when you need it most:
Even with regular water heater maintenance, it can be tough to tell when it’s time to replace your hot water heater. Here, our experts share some signs that could mean a new model is in your future:
Fall is the season where you take a break from using your air conditioning and it’s not quite cold enough to turn on your heat. For a few weeks, your HVAC system can enjoy a break from being used and during this break, we recommend setting up an HVAC tune-up appointment.
Here in the Northeast, heat is an essential element for the winter season and we know there are some families that simply can’t afford a reliable heating system. That’s why each year around the holidays, Oliver Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, & Electrical likes to help those in need by donating heaters.
We Can Answer That!
We know the world of HVAC and plumbing can be a little overwhelming for those who aren’t familiar with it. That’s why at Oliver, we’re happy to answer any questions (short or long) you may have about your home or business’s operations. Here are some of our most common FAQs, answered:
What’s the best air conditioner size for my home?
If the size of your home has changed through an addition or other renovations, or you have made enhancements that affect air flow (such as window or door replacements or changes to your insulation), it may be time to have a professional perform a new Heat Load Calculation on your home to assess the proper size air conditioner. If you are installing one for the first time, a Heat Load Calculation is recommended.
How can I even out the heating and cooling of my home?
You can partially close the registers in the room(s) that are too hot or cold in order to force more airflow into other rooms of your home. (It’s never a good idea, however, to close the registers completely.) Another possible solution is to invest in a furnace equipped with a variable speed blower motor. These furnaces are designed to overcome airflow problems and keep the airflow steady throughout the entire house.
How does an air conditioning system actually work?
An air conditioning system consists of 2 parts: an outdoor unit (where liquid refrigerant is contained) and an indoor coil (where the refrigerant is pumped into). As the air moves across the air conditioning coil, the refrigerant removes the heat and moisture from the air by condensing it on the cold surface of the coil. Thus, an air conditioner not only cools, but also dehumidifies the air.
When should I call a plumber?
This depends on your own skill level and experience in making repairs. If the repair could cause water damage if not performed properly, you may want to call a plumber. It’s also a good idea to call one if you have a problem that needs to be addressed immediately (such as a major leak).
How do plumbers find leaks?
Finding leaks is mainly a visual process: a plumber will inspect all of your pipes for leaks and may use a dye test kit to identify a leak in a toilet. We offer FREE dye test kits as a courtesy to our customers, just give us a call or use the Request Estimate form to let us know you would like one.
If I go away for an extended period of time, what temperature should I set my thermostat to?
We recommend 55 degrees. It’s low enough to save you energy and money but a good temperature to protect your pipes and other vital parts of your structure.
You should change your standard furnace filter every 6-8 weeks. Use your own judgment as to when to change it, but don’t let the filter get clogged, as this can cut down on the efficiency and/or cause damage to the unit.
What can reduce the air quality in my home?
Have you ever been shivering in the middle of winter and found yourself daydreaming about the hot days of summer? Well according to researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), you may soon be able to use that summer heat to keep yourself warm during the winter.
EMPA researchers have developed a new technology that uses the sodium hydroxide (NaOH), commonly known as lye, to store heat and use it at a later time. When the dry chemical is exposed to water, it produces heat. And when this combination is exposed to sunlight, the sun will evaporate the water and leave behind the dry chemical so that it can produce a reaction all over again.
Because the lye is stable, it can be stored up to several years for use at a later time (so long as it doesn’t come into contact with water). The technology that’s paired with it helps ensure its safe containment (after all, lye is a corrosive material) and makes sure it loses minimal heat. In addition, it optimizes it so that it can be used safely in the home’s heating system.
While the technology has been developed, the home heating process is still being perfected. Right now, a heat storage system has been in place for several months and is undergoing testing at EMPA. So far, it’s working reliably and is able to store enough energy to heat an entire house, which means we could soon see a whole new way to warm our homes in the winter.
One of the best parts of Christmas (in our opinion, at least) is the glow of Christmas lights on front porches, roofs, trees, and more. If you plan on hanging Christmas lights on or around your home this year, just remember these safety tips from our heating and cooling company:
Do: Inspect your extension cords to make sure there is no damage.
Do: Use extension cords that are approved for outdoor use (if hanging your lights outside).
Don’t: Use extension cords that show signs of extreme wear such as frayed wires, split casing, or loose prongs.
Don’t: Use extension cords that are too short for your project. Buy one that’s the appropriate length.
Do: Plug your Christmas lights into outlets that are grounded (ones that have three holes instead of just two).
Do: Use outlets that have GFCI receptacles. These are the outlets that have black and red “Reset” and “Test” buttons on them.
Don’t: Overload your breakers. Instead, use surge protectors if plugging in several strands of lights.
Do: Call Oliver if you experience any electrical issue that you can’t resolve yourself.
Do: Opt for LED light bulbs. They’re a little more expensive, but they use less energy and can save you more than 75% on your holiday energy bill.
Do: Make sure that if you’re hanging your lights outside that they’re labeled safe for outdoor use.
Don’t: Hang your lights without first checking that they’re working correctly and that they’re free from damage. Inspect them and plug them in first to make sure they’re good to go.
Do: Consider using electrical tape or insulated clips to hang your outdoor lights instead of nails and a hammer (which can damage your home).
Don’t: Hang outdoor lights in high places without supervision.
Do: Measure how many feet you want to cover with lights, then buy an extra strand of bulbs – it’s better to have too many than not enough.