A Cracked Heat Exchanger Can Be Bad News

cracked heat exchanger, Long Island, New YorkHaving a cracked heat exchanger can be a stressful situation. Many homeowners, however, don’t know what this means. If you find yourself dealing with such a situation in your Long Island home, it’s important that you know a few facts. Continue reading “A Cracked Heat Exchanger Can Be Bad News”

Furnace Troubleshooting: How Outside Exhaust Vents Can Trip You Up

troubleshooting Long IslandWhen you’re in the midst of furnace troubleshooting, don’t forget to check your outside exhaust vents. The combination of warm air from the vents, exterior moisture and freezing winter temperatures can trip your furnace up.

A large percentage of winter service calls are linked to outside exhaust vents that have iced up, preventing furnaces from venting properly. Before you call a licensed HVAC technician, make a few assessments on your own to prevent an unnecessary call.

Simple furnace troubleshooting tips

  • Check your thermostat. Sometimes the thermostat is bumped accidentally and the setting is unintentionally changed from “heat” to “cool.” Verify that your thermostat is set correctly in case a simple push of a button is all you need to be comfortable again.
  • Verify that your system has power. It could be that your furnace breaker has tripped, in which case your system doesn’t have power. Verify that the breaker hasn’t tripped. Other issues which can cut power to your furnace include:

 

  • The power switch is off. The furnace power switch is usually located on the ceiling above your furnace and looks like a light switch. Make sure it’s in the “on” position.
  • Furnace fan door has come loose. If the furnace fan door isn’t on properly, it will not operate. Call a professional if you’re not sure how to fix it.

 

  • Check outside exhaust vents. Do they look free and clear of debris and ice? Accumulated snow and melting water, which freezes overnight, can clog your vents. Make sure they’re 100 percent free of blockages.
  • Remove vent screens. It’s a good idea to remove the vent screens every winter. While they protect your system from debris, leaves and critters during the rest of the year, screens can act as a snow and ice trap during the winter months. Removing the screen will mitigate snow and ice accumulation in the first place. Don’t forget to replace them again in the spring.

 
If your furnace troubleshooting was ineffective, contact T.F. O’Brien Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided reliable service to Long Island customers since 1934. Our technicians will get your furnace operating efficiently in no time.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics,  download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image via  Shutterstock.com

Water Heater’s Underperforming? Troubleshooting Tips to Get It Back on Track

showerhead Long IslandCan you barely make it through your shower before the hot water is gone? Is washing dishes a challenge with dwindling hot water? Is “hot” water a bit of a misnomer at your house? If so, it’s probably time to take a look at your water heater.

While some water heater issues are best left to an HVAC professional, there are some things you can do yourself if your water heater’s underperforming.

  • Insulate the heater. Is your water heater located in an unheated basement area or utility room? If so, the unit is having to work hard during the cold winter months to deliver that hot water on demand. Save energy dollars and increase the amount of hot water available by insulating your water tank. Most home improvement stores sell specially-designed, insulated blankets that fit snugly over water tanks.
  • Don’t forget the pipes. In addition to the tank, your heated water may be losing its warmth traveling through cold pipes. If the pipes leading from the water heater are in a cold part of the house, consider buying special insulation wraps to help keep the water in them warm.
  • Is it the element? Your hot water challenges may be caused by a problem with the heating elements (on electric heaters), pilot light or thermostat. Have someone check these three essentials to make sure they’re functioning properly.

 
If you’ve checked these three common trouble spots and your water is still lukewarm at best, it’s probably time to call an HVAC professional to identify the source of the problem.

If  your water heater’s underperforming or you need help with  other mechanical systems in your Long Island home, give T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating a call. We’ve been helping homeowners throughout Long Island with their heating and cooling needs since 1934.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics,  download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image via  Shutterstock.com

When You Detect A Hazardous Gas Leak

call from outside if you detect a hazardous gas leak, Long Island, New YorkThere are certain steps that you should take to avoid a hazardous gas leak and remain safe in your house. Natural gas is extremely combustible. If a gas line, connection or household appliance begins to leak, you could find yourself in serious danger. Continue reading “When You Detect A Hazardous Gas Leak”

Gas Furnaces And Boilers Can Be Dangerous To Operate — 3 Tips

gas furnaces and boilers, Long Island, New YorkGas furnaces and boilers operate by burning highly flammable, combustible fuel. As a result, ensuring their safe operation is paramount. This is a task that’s best left to a professional service technician, who will ensure that the equipment is safe to operate, and that you and your family are protected.   Continue reading “Gas Furnaces And Boilers Can Be Dangerous To Operate — 3 Tips”

3 Steps That Help You Prepare For An Annual Furnace Service Appointment

prepare for annual furnace service appointment, Long Island, New YorkBefore the winter hits the Long Island area, it’s a good idea to schedule an annual service appointment for your furnace. Here are three simple steps you can follow to help the service call go smoothly, which will save you time and maybe even a bit of money:

Continue reading “3 Steps That Help You Prepare For An Annual Furnace Service Appointment”

In The Market For A New Home Heating System? You Have Lots Of Options

choosing a new home heating system, Long Island, New YorkChoosing a new home heating system may seem like a daunting task with all of the options at your disposal. By doing your homework and enlisting the help of an HVAC contractor with a proven track record, you’ll ensure a healthy return on investment. Continue reading “In The Market For A New Home Heating System? You Have Lots Of Options”

Need A New HVAC System? Do A Load Calculation First

load calculation, Long Island, New YorkIf you’re starting the process of choosing a new HVAC system, the first and most important step to take is getting a load calculation. Continue reading “Need A New HVAC System? Do A Load Calculation First”

Water Heater Maintenance: How Pro Help Will Extend The Life Of Your System

water heater maintenance, Long Island, New YorkFrom the moment you wake up, you rely on hot water for cooking, cleaning and bathing. Because of this, you may take the luxury of having a water heater for granted. It is critical, however, for homeowners to understand the importance of routine water heater maintenance. Continue reading “Water Heater Maintenance: How Pro Help Will Extend The Life Of Your System”

Try These Troubleshooting Tips When Your Furnace Is On The Fritz

furnace troubleshooting tips, Long Island, New YorkAt T.F. O’Brien Cooling & Heating, we like the idea of empowering our customers. So if your furnace is on the fritz, we’ll probably ask you to follow some furnace troubleshooting tips before making a service call. Continue reading “Try These Troubleshooting Tips When Your Furnace Is On The Fritz”