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.

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Your Forced-Air System: How It Keeps You Warm In The Winter

forced-air system keeps family comfortable, Long Island, New YorkWhen the forced-air system in your Long Island home is working well, it’s easy to think of it as just a basic appliance that distributes warm or cool air. Although that is what the system does, a number of components are involved in getting that seemingly simple job done. When you’re shopping around for a new HVAC system, it helps to be familiar with your system’s inner workings. Continue reading “Your Forced-Air System: How It Keeps You Warm In The Winter”

Take Care Of Dry Winter Air With A Whole-House Humidifier

whole-house humidifier, Long Island, New YorkWith winter arriving, now’s the time to consider installing a whole-house humidifier to protect both your family and your home from the damaging effects of dry winter air. Consider what you risk from high humidity levels in your home. Continue reading “Take Care Of Dry Winter Air With A Whole-House Humidifier”

Comfort Plus Control with Zoning Systems

An option for your heating and cooling system that allows better comfort, greater control and the potential to reduce energy costs sounds good, doesn’t it? The use of zoning systems gives homeowners that type of increased comfort and control in our homes.

Zoning systems added to a home’s existing heating and cooling systems results in a more consistent temperature level. The home is divided into “zones” that have their own thermostat. The different thermostats tie into a central control allowing the homeowner to have a consistent comfort level in all the home living spaces. This eliminates problem rooms or areas that are too cool in winter or too hot in summer. The flow of conditioned air is more accurately balanced without getting one room too hot or cool in order to warm up or cool off another room. More air is delivered where it is needed, less air where it is not.

The air distribution can be controlled and the comfort level in each zone is more easily maintained. Rooms or areas that are rarely used can be dealt with separately. Keep those areas at a winter level of 65 degrees and a summer level of 78. While the other living spaces maintain a 72-degree level, you are saving energy costs by reducing the heating and cooling of rooms that are seldom, if ever, used. Put the warm and cool air where it is needed, not where it is wasted.

Zoning systems can give you that kind of control. If you and your family have noticed “hot spots” or “cold spots” inside the home, zoning may be a solution. If you would like an assessment of your home to see if zoning systems can give you greater comfort and control, contact us at  T.F. O’Brien. We’re always happy to help with answers and options for your home comfort concerns.

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