Forced Air Furnace Facts
The forced air furnace is the most common appliance used to heat American homes. There are also oil and propane furnaces but gas is the most widely used. Furnaces work by burning fuel which is forced through a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is designed with curved metal tubing which radiates heat as hot gases pass around the heat exchanger. These toxic gases are vented outdoors and sealed to prevent accidental poisoning.
In a forced air furnace, warm air is circulated through vents in your home. As the air passes over the heat exchanger it warms up and circulates through the house. The heat exchanger is sealed to keep the warm air separate from the toxic gases which are a by product of combustion.
Efficiency is measured by the AFUE rating, or annual fuel efficiency rating. This is the percentage of energy returned to your home as warm air.
Standard Furnaces have an AFUE rating of 80-85% Your typical standard furnace has one heat exchanger. This average rating of means that 15% – 20% of your energy is lost.
High-Efficiency Furnaces use a secondary heat exchanger to extract even more heat and can have ratings as high as 96% AFUE, which means an energy loss of only 4%. High-efficiency furnaces are now the preferred choice for furnace replacement and new construction.
Look at Your Own Furnace
Older School Furnaces do not have blower fans and have very low efficiencies, as little as 30%. If your home has one of these ancient relics you might want to think about upgrading. The savings will be well worth the investment.
How A Furnace Can Turn Deadly
In furnace related deaths it is usually due to a cracked heat exchanger. Cracks occur over time as the burners turn on and off to regulate heat. Expansion and contraction fatigues the metal and causes cracks. A cracked heat exchanger is a serious issue, because even a small crack can release carbon monoxide gas, which is a silent odorless killer.
If you don’t know how to maintain your own furnace or air conditioning unit hire a professional to inspect, lubricate parts, check for damage, and tune it up. Another important test is for carbon monoxide leaks and safety of operation. Furnace tune-ups usually cost $50-100, but they can reduce your heating costs and guard against exposure to carbon monoxide.
Change or clean your filters on a regular basis. A dirty filter slows airflow and reduces efficiency which can result in higher heating costs, and could even damage the motor.
There are three types of filters:
1. Fiberglass filters are the cheapest, but the least efficient. If you have allergies consider spending a little more money on your furnace filters. They only block the largest particles allowing pollen and other particles like mold to pass through.
2. Washable electrostatic filters attract dirt and other matter with an electric charge. They only filter out about 15% – 20% and can be a chore to clean.
3. The pleated filter design is the best with more surface area and denser material. They last three times longer than cheap furnace filters and trap much more air borne allergens and dust.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms
A carbon monoxide alarm near your furnace can save your life. Two or more in your home is better, but make sure to have at least one installed in your home. Carbon monoxide gas is odorless and colorless, so the only way to avoid disaster is with an alarm. Replace existing alarms every five years.
A programmable thermostat will save money in the long run. Take a few minutes to set it up each season, so you can let it run. This will save energy by not heating your home when you’re at work for instance.
Check your heating vents for obstructions. With a clean vent system you will have better heat flow, which will save energy. If you have never done this you might consider bringing in a professional.
Make sure you hire a crew with proper equipment. It’s essential they use compressed forced air and industrial vacuums. Too many small operators scam home owners by pretending to clean your vents with a personal vacuum cleaner.
Outdoor Exhaust Vents
Every winter do an inspection of your intake and exhaust vents. If your vents become blocked, carbon monoxide can back up into the house, and the furnace could even shut down.
For a professional opinion on your heating system, call Efficient Furnace. They will address your concerns and let you know what’s needed for peak performance.
Cuppy – Heating Up
A Brief History of Air Conditioning
Most people associate air conditioning with a very modern electrical appliance, but that is not exactly true. Did you know that the first real discovery of the technology behind today’s air conditioners was actually discovered back in 1758, when none other than Benjamin Franklin and Professor John Hadley noted that an object can be chilled enough to freeze water due to the evaporation of certain volatile liquids.
However, it was not until well into the 1830s that the science behind the freezing took a substantial step. It was then that a doctor in Florida, John Gorrie, made what is the equivalent of today’s freezer, an ice machine which used compression to make ice and then have that same chilled air blow over the ice blocks, keeping them cold.
Throughout the nineteenth century the technology continued to make advances and in the very early 1900’s a man named Willis Carrier invents what he calls the Apparatus for Treating Air. Essentially, what this machine did was take that principle of using compressed evaporated liquids and blow the cool air that is produced over coils which will stay cooler far longer controlling not only cooler temperatures, but also regulating humidity.
Black And White AC Video
It was this step that was the major breakthrough, from this point other inventors realized that this air cooling treatment could be used not only in small spaces, but large rooms, and was soon being installed in newspaper printing rooms and on yarn factory floors. Just like with today’s computers, the first air conditioners were absolutely massive and it was not until the 1930’s that the technology made it so that these air conditioners could be sized down to fit in windows for individual rooms in homes or flats.
As you can imagine, these air conditioners were amazingly expensive costing well over a hundred grand in today’s dollars! From there, air conditioning was moved into automobiles and lorries, of course the first systems actually had no way to control the temperature from within the vehicle. From the early 1950’s on in the huge growths after the end of World War II, air conditioners are everywhere, in both homes and cars, and being sold at an amazing rate, especially within all of those new suburban regions that were appearing all over places like the United States.
From there, air conditioners shifted again from being available as central air, moving cool air through a series of ventilation systems in the home. These new cooling devices went hand in hand with the residential central heating furnace of the day. The next real change to air conditioning did not occur until decades later, however, when it was discovered that the chemicals which were being utilized as the refrigerant components (that which cools the air), were doing quite a bit of damage to the environment, particularly the ozone layer. Regulations were passed, and all of the major companies have since developed a new series of coolants which have been much more environmentally friendly.
As you can see, there are some things best left to the pros when it comes to service and maintenance. There are some things you can do your self, so click here for those types of DIY tasks. Another innovator in the home services field is Mr. Rooter Plumbing one of the best known plumbing franchises in North America. If you ever have a plumbing problem they are a dependable organization anywhere you find one of their offices.
This article has been provided by Electric Point, one of the largest electrical wholesaler groups in the UK. With their extensive stock, broad range of specialist products and experienced staff, they will be able to serve most of your needs. Please visit their website to find out more.
All about Ductless Split System Air Conditioners
Do-it Your Self Plumbing
When you become a homeowner, you will discover there are quite a few things in your home that can very easily go awry. From heating to roofing to floods and more, it can be quite daunting at first. However, experienced homeowners will always tell you that having first-hand knowledge of a few simple home repair skills can truly be a lifesaver.
This can be especially true when it comes to plumbing. As many homes will have any number of toilets, sinks, washbasins, dishwashers, baths, and more in their home, there can be problems just lurking around the corner. So, the very best thing a new homeowner can do is to get yourself a few simple supplies that will enable you to fix any minor issues that may come up. Save the big problems for your trusted local plumber.
The number one supply in any home should be the plunger. Let’s face it, things with drains clog, for a variety of reasons, it is one of the most common plumbing issues out there, and you don’t need to be stumped when it happens to you. Make sure you have a good quality plunger that forms a really tight seal and get pumping.
Another indispensable tool is an auger. You may not have heard of an auger, but you probably have seen one, another term used for it commonly is a plumbers snake. Essentially it is a very long steel cable that gets cranked out to untangle a clog. The benefit of this is that it can reach clogs that are further down the toilet or drain than you cannot get to manually. Augers can come quite in handy, so it is a great tool to have. Here’s a little more detail on why drains get plugged.
Pliers and wrenches are also good to have around the house, not just for plumbing, either. Pliers and wrenches come in a few different types, so it’s a good idea to take a peek around your home to see which kinds you will need, but generally speaking having a nice set of pliers and wrenches will be able to tackle any sort of loosening or tightening that you would need to perform on any pipes, nuts or bolts around your home.
Teflon tape is one of the best things to have in your toolbox in case of a plumbing emergency. If a pipe springs a leak, get your Teflon tape out and wrap it around the leak as well as the surrounding area, this will make a huge difference in stopping water damage, and should be able to hold the situation steady until a professional plumber arrives.
As you can see, all it takes are just a handful of tools to get yourself started. This way, you will be able to tackle a variety of small issues right away before they might become big problems down the road, saving you quite a bit of time, energy and money later on.
If you find a drain problem is too much to handle call the Vancouver Drainage Experts. We will get things moving again quick as a wink
Why Drains Get Plugged
If you see dirty water coming out of the tap do not panic. It could be the simplest of solutions. Sometimes the city flushes their systems, breaking up debris and sending it into your home. Fixing this requires flushing the drains and strainers until the water runs clean again.
If a municipal flush caused a problem like water pooling in your yard or a wet basement, that could mean your drains need to be flushed to clean out mud and debris. Or it may also mean your drainage system has root intrusion and may need a roto-rooter machine to cut out the roots.
In extreme cases you may have to replace the perimeter drains or even have the pipes leading to the sewer system replaced. If you feel it is a plumbing emergency then click on the link to be taken to one of the nations best plumbers, Mr Rooter.
Emergency Plumbing Contact
In Case of a Flood
If water is flooding your home, immediately switch off the main electrical power. If water comes into contact with any electrical components, it can become a fatal situation. Once the power is off, then deal with the flood water. Put your own and your family’s personal safety first, and show each member of the family how to shut off the power.
To help you find a good plumber, you should get recommendations from people whom you trust, or read more about good plumbing tips. Asking a friend or a neighbor is usually more trustworthy than picking a random plumber out of the phone book. You need a competent plumber, otherwise you could be in for a much bigger problem down the road.
The Main Water Shut off Valve
Make sure you know where your home’s water shutoff is located. You never know when there might be an emergency involving a broken pipe or damaged connection that requires you to turn off the water right away. In addition, knowing where the shutoff is located is vital before you start any plumbing project, in case anything goes wrong.
For a clogged drain try using a plunger first, as your clog may simply be a build-up of hair and debris. If this doesn’t work you may have to clear the drain with a snake. Feed the snake into the drain line as far as it will go. Turn the crank gently which will either collect the blockage or loosen the clog. Remove the snake, and run water down the drain to see if the clog has been removed. You may have to use the snake a couple of times, before the clog is cleared so don’t give up!
How to Retrieve a Lost Ring
If you drop a small item like a ring or earring into a sink drain, hope is not lost. By carefully removing the U-shaped trap underneath the sink, you can probably retrieve the item. Be aware that the trap will be full of water, though, so have something under it to catch the spills.
If all else fails click here and call this local Vancouver plumbing company they will dispatch a technician right away if it’s an emergency. If it can wait we usually book an appointment that’s convenient for both.
Sometimes the city flushes their systems, breaking up debris and sending it into your home. If this municipal flush caused a problem like a drop in water pressure though, that could mean your drains need to be flushed to clean out mud and debris. In extreme cases you may have to replace the perimeter drains or even have the pipes leading to the sewer system replaced.
Plumbing Tips For Residential
For 24/7 year-round service for all kinds of plumbing problems call Mr Rooter They offer residential plumbing service for faucets, toilets, sewer line, gas meters, bathtubs and showers, drain pipes, gas vents, kitchen sinks, water softeners, laundry centers, bath sinks, water heaters, garbage disposals, and back flow prevention. They also offer complete drain and sewer service like clogged drains, septic tanks, pipe repair, grease traps, washer lines, toilets, video inspections, floor drains, trench-less repairs, pressurized water cleaning and removal of tree roots.
Finding Plumbing Problems
Noisy pipes can be caused by water logged air chambers, loose pipes, or very high water pressure. Exposed pipes can be anchored easily even by the homeowner as a simple solution to this problem. However for concealed pipes, the service of a plumbing expert is highly recommended. Water hammer which is a situation where a hammering noise is produced when flowing water from a faucet or appliance is turned off quickly. This may be caused by loose pipes which can be secured to wooden floor joists or there may be air chambers in the piping system or just like in noisy pipes, the water pressure is too high.
When water bill goes up without any announced increase rate from the water provider, it is usually a sign of leaking pipe. The sound of running water is heard even when all fixtures are turned off, is also an indication of pipe leaks. To verify suspicion of a leak, one must make sure that all faucets are tightly closed. If the dial in the water meter is moving then there is leak in the plumbing system. This type of leak can be fixed by any of the experienced Vancouver plumbers available in the area.
Preventing Burst Pipes
Frozen pipes can cause bursting if not prevented early. In severe cold snap, a pipe can be frozen yielding no water in the faucet. Preventing the pipes from freezing can be done by keeping a trickle of water running from the faucets when temperatures fall very low. The exposed pipes can be warmed by using a hair dryer or small heater. Un-insulated pipes can be wrapped with newspapers or self-adhesive insulating tape. Cabinets and doors must be kept open between unheated and heated rooms. Here is some more info on how to avoid plugged drains.
Shower heads that have weak or erratic pressure usually have mineral buildup in the outlet. The outlet holes can be cleaned with a pin or by unscrewing the perforated face plate and submerging it overnight in a vinegar solution. The plate must be scrubbed with an old toothbrush before screwing it back to the shower.
The Mr. Rooter franchise in Vancouver can be contacted from their website. Also, they offer plumbing services with a pool of qualified, insured, and licensed plumbers. Keep in mind there are varied reviews in the internet to help you decide which of the numerous plumbers and companies can be contacted. Their skilled personnel can provide the necessary solutions to numerous plumbing problems of residential, industrial and commercial areas. They can also respond in a timely fashion.
How To Avoid Plugged Drains
If you are suffering from a bad case of plugged drains, the solution is usually to call a local trades person to come round and fix a problem. This is sometimes a plumber although there are also specialist drain cleaning companies who might sometimes use very specialist equipment to inspect and clear drain blockages. However, if you would like to keep a few more of your dollars in your pocket rather than paying them out to specialists, these problems are obviously best avoided. Simple maintenance usually extends the life of any installation like this, so here a re a few tasks you can add to your job jar.
Here are a few tips on the subject of avoiding plugged drains:
1. If by chance you have failed and your drains are plugged anyway, be cautious about trying to shift the blockage yourself. Poking things down your drain or pouring strong caustic liquids into your system isn’t always a good idea and might cause more trouble than it’s worth. Don’t start trying to dismantle your drains on a DIY basis either – it’s potentially a can of worms. Call a professional instead;
2. In terms of your kitchen, avoid pouring fat and oil down the sink drain accidentally or intentionally. Even if you have fat traps in place, the result can still be long-term accumulation of gunk that might generate odors and eventually blockages;
3. Your toilet is designed to cope with certain products only – and that’s really all that should go down it! You might be amazed at what plumbers and other specialists have found down toilet pipes;
4. Even if you don’t like gardening, make an effort to keep your valleys and garden drain filters clear of fallen leaves and other stuff. If valleys get blocked then rain will come pouring off in all directions but even if they don’t, the accumulated muck can get washed down into your drains causing blockages;
5. If you have old metal drain pipes around the house (not common but you do see them in iron in some very old properties) then there’s a fair chance you’ll get corrosion and that can accumulate and cause problems. The only preventative action you can really take is to hire a plumber to flush a clogged drain or ask for them to be replaced with better material; but upgrading drains and piping is very expensive.
6. If you have drains outside your property, make sure that trees aren’t planted too near them or if they are, that their growth is controlled. Root intrusion can be a major cause of drain damage and blockage and when the problem is external, your local drains specialist or plumber might need to make a camera-type inspection to find the problem. Prevention here is important because digging up and replacing external drains is very expensive;
7. Don’t put food waste down your kitchen sink unless you have some form of waste disposal unit. It can accumulate in the pipes, smell bad and it might also lead to blockages;
8. In bathrooms, always use a hair trap/filter in showers and baths – make sure it’s emptied regularly. If you use bar soap, try not to let the splinters at the end of the bar’s life slip down the sink hole;
By following these tips, you should avoid some of the more common causes of plugged drains.