Thursday, June 29, 2017

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FAQ

How does current forced air gas heating technology work?

If I am going to replace my old gas-guzzler furnace, do I need to replace it with the same BTU capacity?

How will I know it's time to replace my system?

How important is my heating and cooling system?

Is there anything I need to do to get my heating system ready for winter?

What causes cracks to form in a gas furnace heat exchanger?

What are some ideas for saving on your heating bills?

How long should a central air conditioner last?

I have a foul odor coming from my garbage disposal. What can I do to eliminate this odor?

My shower head and faucet aerators have a buildup of a white substance around the area where the water comes out. Is there anything I can do other than replace them?

My air conditioning is not working - What can I do?

What are the signs of potential electrical hazards in the home?

Is an old-fashioned fuse box a hazard?

How can I tell when an electrical outlet isn’t safe?

Can I add more outlets in the kitchen?

How long does electrical wiring last?

How long do outlets and switches last?

Where should I place a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

How Serious Is Indoor Air Pollution?

How can I improve indoor air quality?

Why is my throat dry?

What are the benefits to installing a humidifier?

Can I increase the water pressure in my bathroom faucet?

What should I do to maintain my faucets and sinks?

How can I prevent clogged drains?

Should I close and open the main water supply shutoff valve periodically?

Why do I hear a vibrating noise in my pipes?

Are caustic liquid drain openers such as Drain-o or Liquid Plumber harmful to pipes?

What can I do about a sewer line blockage?

Why doesn't my old water heater work as well as it used to?

We cannot use more than one plumbing fixture at a time because the pressure is too low. What can be done?

When I'm in the shower I either get scalded or frozen whenever a toilet is flushed. Why does this happen?

How does current forced air gas heating technology work?
The thermostat senses that the room temperature is cooler than the set temperature and signals the furnace to come on. Inside the furnace a small exhaust vent blower comes on to force the unused vent gas out the flue. This in turn allows gas and air into the "heat exchanger" to be ignited by a glow bar. When the gas begins to burn it heats up the metal "heat exchanger". The furnace blower then comes on and blows the air warmed by the heat exchanger into the room through your duct system and registers. Ultimately, you and your family feel warmer.

If I am going to replace my old gas-guzzler furnace, do I need to replace it with the same BTU capacity?
In most cases the answer is NO, you won't need as large an input furnace. With today's furnaces obtaining 80% to 90% in efficiency you just don't need as large a furnace. The old "gas guzzlers" were wasting almost half of their heat up the flue vent to the outside and not into your home. An AJ Danboise comfort specialist can help you in deciding what system is right for your home.

How will I know it's time to replace my system?
When your system starts giving you more problems and the problems are not cost effective to repair, particularly when major components such as the compressor start making unusual noises or otherwise indicating need for service. Because newer equipment is more energy efficient, the money you save in reduced utility costs, might pay back your purchase price of a new system years earlier than you might think.

How important is my heating and cooling system?
One of the most important investments in your home you’ll ever make is an improvement in your heating, cooling and indoor air quality system. These systems are vital to your family’s comfort and health. Although it is not glamorous, good home comfort equipment that is correctly installed can increase the value of your home, prevent costly repair bills, and even help improve some health problems. If your furnace is very old and you replace it with a new high efficient model you could see a savings of up to 40% in your gas bill.

Is there anything I need to do to get my heating system ready for winter?
Most heating systems are quite reliable and will provide you with quick, comfortable heat when you need it, providing you take good care of the system. Have your furnace inspected by one of our professional technicians before the cold harsh winter sets in.

What causes cracks to form in a gas furnace heat exchanger?
In the normal course of a gas furnace operation, the heat exchanger experiences repeated heating and cooling, which causes a corresponding expansion and contraction of the heat exchanger metal. As the heat exchanger ages over the years, cracks will tend to form in areas of the heat exchanger that are weak, such as the areas that have been welded together. More weak spots and holes will form as a result of corrosion. Corrosion of the heat exchanger often signifies problems with the exhaust venting. It is always a good idea to have us inspect your furnace once a year.

What are some ideas for saving on your heating bills?
Try lowering your thermostat setting a few degrees, especially while you sleep. Changing it from 72 degrees to 67 degrees could save up to 10%. You can also have AJ Danboise install a programmable set back thermostat that will do this automatically. Check your home over carefully for air leaks, especially around windows, doors, electrical switches and outlet plates on outside walls. Make sure your fireplace damper is tightly closed when the fireplace isn't in use. Glass fireplace doors can reduce the loss of heated air when you are using the fireplace. Use kitchen, bath and other ventilation fans sparingly in cold weather. Exhaust fans remove a very large amount of heated air. Make sure heating registers and air returns are not blocked with furniture and personal items. Have your furnace system cleaned and properly adjusted annually. A dirty gas furnace can be a real gas-guzzler! Consider replacing your old, inefficient heating system with a new high efficient energy-saving 95% efficient gas furnace.

How long should a central air conditioner last?
The useful "life" of an air conditioner can vary greatly. Such factors as climate, maintenance care, and quality and capacity of the original equipment can increase or decrease the service a system will give by months or even years. On the average, a residential central air conditioner will last from ten to fifteen years.

I have a foul odor coming from my garbage disposal. What can I do to eliminate this odor?
Foul odors occur from a buildup of food debris within the disposer. To eliminate this odor, place ice cubes and lemon or orange peels in the disposer and run for 30 seconds. Next, squirt a little liquid dish detergent into the disposer while it is still running. Finally, run cold water for about 30 seconds to rinse all the debris away.

My shower head and faucet aerators have a buildup of a white substance around the area where the water comes out. Is there anything I can do other than replace them?
We would be happy to replace them for you. But first, try this. To remove mineral deposits from the shower head, take a plastic bag and pour a cup of vinegar in it. Place the bag over the shower head and use a twist tie to hold it in place overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and use an old toothbrush to gently scrub off the deposits. You might be able to remove the aerators from the faucets and allow them to soak in the vinegar overnight.

My air conditioning is not working - What can I do?
One of the most common causes of failure is that some one has switched off the power supply. So check that circuit breakers and fuses are all OK and working. Another common cause is blocked air filters, so check they are clean and are regularly kept clean. If all else fails and you are still having a problem, contact our service department and we’ll send out a qualified technician and have your air conditioner fixed in no time.

What are the signs of potential electrical hazards in the home?
Some things to look for: Room lights dim when the refrigerator or air conditioner kicks on; the television screen shrinks; circuit breakers frequently trip; outlets or dimmer switches seem hot to the touch. These conditions indicate that the electrical wiring in your house is overloaded.


Is an old-fashioned fuse box a hazard?
The short answer is no, because fuses provide the same protection against overloaded wiring as circuit breakers. However, when fuse boxes were in widespread use, most homes had only 30 or 60-ampere service.

Today’s homes need at least 150 to 200 ampere service to safely supply power for major appliances. If you have a fuse box and you’ve added any large appliances over the years, it is recommended that you have your home wiring inspected to make sure it is still safe. Call AJ Danboise and we can send a qualified electrician to inspect this for you.

How can I tell when an electrical outlet isn’t safe?
There are three indicators of an unsafe outlet. If an outlet can no longer hold a plug snugly; if any parts of the outlet are broken; or if the outlet feels hot to the touch. If any of these conditions exist, we can replace the outlet for you.

Can I add more outlets in the kitchen?
Most likely, yes. And don’t forget to install GFCI outlets in the kitchen. This is a job for a licensed electrician and we’re ready to help do it right.

How long does electrical wiring last?
That’s a hard question to answer, since it depends on the type of use and abuse the system has experienced over the years. If you have any doubts about your wiring, or notice some frayed or broken insulation, call us and have a complete inspection of your home’s electrical wiring.

How long do outlets and switches last?
It depends on use. Electricians will tell you they see outlets more than 50 years old that still work fine, and others that are worn out after only a few years.

Where should I place a Carbon Monoxide Detector?
Because carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air and also because it may be found with warm, rising air, detectors should be placed on a wall about 5 feet above the floor. The detector may be placed on the ceiling. Do not place the detector right next to or over a fireplace or flame-producing appliance. Keep the detector out of the way of pets and children. Each floor needs a separate detector. If you’re getting a single carbon monoxide detector, place it near the sleeping area and make certain the alarm is loud enough to wake you up.

How Serious Is Indoor Air Pollution?
Most people are aware that outdoor air pollution can damage their health but may not know that indoor air pollution also can have significant harmful effects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor levels of many pollutants may be two to five times, and occasionally more than 100 times, higher than outdoor levels.

How can I improve indoor air quality?
The first step to improving your indoor air quality is to identify the sources of air pollutants. Eliminating these sources to the extent feasible is the most effective way to clean the air.

Chemicals in carpets, household cleaners, furniture and building materials, just to mention a few, all contribute to poor indoor air quality. Damp basements and other areas where standing water is prevalent can become the breeding grounds for pollutants such as mold, mildew and other microbes. Although it is not possible to eliminate every contaminant source, reducing the sources and/or the amount of pollutants they emit will contribute to a healthier living environment.

While not every pollution source can be eliminated completely, ventilation plays an important role in improving indoor air quality. However, in an effort to increase energy efficiency, today’s homes are being built tighter, making it increasingly difficult to have the proper amount of exchange between indoor and outdoor air. Improper ventilation can lead to an increase in the concentration of pollutants inside your home. To increase ventilation, open doors and windows, particularly when you are using cleaning agents. Also, make sure to operate any exhaust fans your home may have.

A third way you can minimize the concentration of pollutants in your indoor air is by thoroughly cleaning your living spaces. Frequent dusting and vacuuming can help reduce the amount of dust particles in the air. Washing bedding in hot water is the only way to kill dust mites. Not only will your indoor air quality improve, but your furnishings will benefit as well.

Although these methods are effective, not all airborne particles can be removed. Some particles are so small; they may escape through the vacuum or never land on a surface. To capture these particles, products such as electronic air cleaners and high-efficiency air filters can be beneficial.

AJ Danboise can explain the advantages of our complete line of indoor air quality products. Your family’s health and comfort are priorities, and working together, we can help to provide you with a breath of fresh air.

Why is my throat dry?
Dry air in your home can make your throat feel dry and cause or aggravate respiratory ailments. It is recommended that your home maintain a humidity level between 20 and 60 percent.

During extremely cold weather, your home loses humidity to the outdoors and the level may drop to as low as 10 percent. A humidifier adds moisture to your indoor air and can help relieve ailments related to dry respiratory membranes.

The start of the heating season each fall causes many people to begin having repeated attacks of winter colds. Winter weather is blamed for these problems, but the actual cause may be dryness, which develops in the membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes. Relative humidity also has a significant effect on controlling the occurrence of airborne infections.

What are the benefits to installing a humidifier?
With central heating, people are confined indoors with unnaturally dry air for many months each year. Humidifiers help to keep comfortable levels of moisture in the air, and properly maintained levels of humidity are beneficial for your respiratory system.

Whole-house humidifiers work like old-fashioned room humidifiers: They add moisture to the air, making harsh, dry air easier to breathe. Whole-house humidifiers use water mist instead of hot steam, which keeps the entire house at the desired humidity level.

Can I increase the water pressure in my bathroom?
Begin by checking the emergency shutoff valve under your sink to make sure it's fully open. If rubber washers or seals have started deteriorating, you'll also lose water pressure, so be sure to check them as well. Calcium and lime buildup will also cause low water pressure.

What should I do to maintain my faucets and sinks?
Even small drips can waste thousands of gallons of water, 150 gallons or more a day. Check under your sinks for moisture or pin-hole leaks. If you find a leaky faucet repair it immediately and save yourself from paying for wasted water and damage to your fixtures and pipes. Remove and clean aerators regularly to ensure an even flow of water. Make sure overflow holes on tubs and vanities are clear from obstructions to prevent water damage to floors and ceilings.

How can I prevent clogged drains?
Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink. Liquid fats solidify in the cold pipes and create clogs. To help prevent clogs, fit all of your tubs and shower drains with a strainer that catches hair and soap chips, and clean the strainer regularly.

Should I close and open the main water shutoff valve periodically?
It's a good idea to close and open the main water shutoff valve from time to time to make sure that it will close if you ever need to close it during an emergency. You should also close and open other shutoff valves in your home on your tubs, sinks, and toilets. If you're having trouble locating your homes shutoff valves let one of our helpful technicians know and they'll be happy to assist you. We can tag your shutoff valves for free as a service to you and your family in case of an emergency.

Why do I hear a vibrating noise in my pipes?
It's not uncommon to hear some noises coming from your plumbing supply lines. When washers in a faucet are loose you may hear a rattling and knocking. If you're hearing a vibrating noise when you open or close faucets rapidly, it generally means pipes are loose. Anchoring these pipes can resolve this, or if it really bothers you, add air chambers at the end of long pipe runs - contact us and we can help with this repair.

Are caustic liquid drain openers such as Drain-o or Liquid Plumber harmful to pipes?
For very minor clogs, they're fine, but never use them on a drain that is completely clogged. The caustic ingredients are trapped in your pipes, and it can severely damage them. Contact AJ Danboise and we can snake the drain for you. Never use caustic drain openers in a drain that has a garbage disposal.

What can I do about a sewer line blockage?
The main culprit is probably tree roots. Once tree roots have blocked the line, we recommend consulting a professional drain cleaning company. Contact AJ Danboise and we can send one of our skilled plumbers to your home to assist you with analyzing the issue, clearing the blockage and also options to prevent the issue from re-occurring. There are products that can be used to limit blocked sewer lines, such as Root X, but once your sewer line is blocked you will need to have it snaked before beginning treatment on the line. Our plumbing service technician can snake the line to get it as clear as possible, but the sewer line will more than likely need to be repaired or replaced.

Why doesn't my old water heater work as well as it used to?
This can be because of a sediment buildup in your tank. As water heaters get older they accumulate sediment and lime deposits. If these deposits are not removed annually, the sediment can create a barrier between the burner and the water. This barrier between the burner and the water will reduce the water heater's performance. To prevent this we recommend draining water from the tank. Draining a gallon or so on a regular basis helps remove the sediment.

While draining water from your tank annually, we also recommend doing an inspection of your water heater burner. The flame should appear blue with yellow tips. If it's mostly yellow, or if it's sooty under the burner, your flue may be clogged, which is a dangerous situation. Contact us and have one of our professional plumbers inspect it. Our plumber will check the drain valve for signs of leakage, and the anode rods for corrosion.

We cannot use more than one plumbing fixture at a time because the pressure is too low. What can be done?
This problem is typically a problem with the water service or the piping inside the house. A common misconception is that the pressure is bad. However, the pressure might be fine and the real problem could be the volume of water that is coming out. A lot of homes built prior to 1975 had galvanized water service lines, and many homes built before 1965 had galvanized piping throughout the home. The problem with galvanized pipe is that they can begin to rust and over time the inside of the pipe is so full of rust that only a fraction of space is available for water to run through them. If you're experiencing an issue like this, we can send a plumber to your home and they can do a thorough diagnosis and present you with options to resolve the issue.

When I'm in the shower I either get scalded or frozen whenever a toilet is flushed. Why does this happen?
The easiest way to stop your shower from burning or freezing you is to replace the shower valve or install a tempura valve.

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