Backup Power Generator Safety Tips

Good Deals Heating and Cooling backup power generator

With storms on the horizon, many backup power generators are sold every year. These generators are used as a household electrical backup. And because of the electrical power they generate, safety is a critical issue. It is a fact that generators made by well-known manufacturers conform strict safety rules. But if not properly installed or operated even the safest generator can become a hazard. This article will give you some safety tips and how to avoid the most common mistakes.

Owner’s Manual – Read the Owner’s Manual that came with your generator. It is essential that you know the basics of operating the generator. If you have read the manual before an emergency, you will be better prepared to use the generator when needed. So read the manual NOW. If you misplaced the manual, then download a copy of it at the generator manufacturer’s website. Have the model and serial number on hand (this is found on the generator), so you can download the correct manual.

Proper Installation – A qualified, licensed electrician should install backup power generators to ensure that they meet local electrical codes. Power from an improperly installed generator can back feed along power lines and electrocute anyone coming in contact with them, including line workers making repairs.

Grounding -Make sure your backup power generator is properly grounded. The manual will describe how to do this.

Water – Keep the generator dry. Water is an excellent electrical conductor.

Extension Cords – Make sure extension cords used with a generator are rated for the load, are free of cuts and worn insulation, and have three-pronged plugs.

Proper Load – Generators are rated to carry a certain load. Do not overload the generator. A backup power generator should be used when absolutely necessary and only to power essential appliances or equipment.

Ventilation – Never operate the generator in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. Backup power Generators produce high levels of carbon monoxide very quickly, which can be deadly in poorly ventilated areas. Also, do not place generators near any air intake vents to the home.

Circuit Interrupter – Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to help prevent electrocutions and electrical shock injuries. Portable GFCIs require no tools to install.

Fuel – Make sure fuel for the generator is stored safely, away from living areas, in properly labeled containers and away from fuel-burning appliances. Always make sure the generator is off and let it cool down before refueling.

Shutting Down – Turn off all appliances powered by the generator before shutting down the generator.

Children and Pets – Keep children and pets away from power generators at all times.

These safety tips will help you safely use your backup power generator when there is a power outage due to a storm.

For more information on repairs to your heating and cooling system, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Why Is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling furnace repair

You walk past a vent, and the air is the polar opposite to what it should be. The vent is supposed to be letting out hot air, but instead, it’s cool. There must be a problem, and if it has nothing to do with the furnace settings, you might need to call a technician for a furnace repair. Before you pick up the phone troubleshoot the problem by checking these few items.

Thermostat. The first thing you should do if the furnace is blowing cold air is to check the thermostat. The thermostat may be set to “on” instead of “auto.” The fan works continuously in the “on” setting – heat or no heat. With the fan on the air feels cool though the room is warm. Change the switch to “auto” and the fan will only come on when heating. If the problem persists and the thermostat settings are okay, the furnace needs to be repaired.

Air Filter. Changing the air filter can quickly solve the problem. If the screen is dirty, its restricting airflow which leads to overheating causing the safety control to shut off the burners. It is a safety mechanism for the furnace protecting it from damage caused by overheating. The solution is changing the filter.

Ignition Problems. If the pilot light has a problem the furnace isn’t lighting the fuel, and this means it can’t heat your home either. Check the pilot light is on.

Insufficient Fuel Supply. If you use a gas furnace, the gas supply may be turned off, or the gas has low pressure and is not supplying adequate gas to the furnace. In this situation the furnace locks down, and the fan continues blowing cold air. Check with gas supplier.

Duct problems. If proper maintenance isn’t done on an HVAC system, leaks can develop in the air ducts. Cold air from the crawlspace enters the duct through these holes, and the vents circulate cold air making it feel like the furnace isn’t working.

Drain Line. There are modern high-efficiency furnaces that have a condensate drain line. The line removes water formed during the heating process, and if it gets clogged, switches are triggered that turn off the burners and prevent them from lighting.

Once you have checked these items and the HVAC system still has a problem, the best thing is to contact an HVAC service and repair company.

If you are in need of a furnace repair, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Important Tips to Prepare Your HVAC Unit for a Winter Snowstorm

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC UnitBefore the temperature drops to freezing and you crank your thermostat up, take a few minutes to inspect your HVAC unit, change your air filters, and prepare your home for the long, cold winter and snowstorm months ahead. A couple of simple techniques will get your home’s heating system in top shape, so it can do its job to keep your home warm. Besides helping to make sure that you don’t end up in the middle of the cold season with a broken heater or furnace, these tips can also save you money on those expensive heating bills.

Look for Leaks

One of the first steps that you can do is inspect your home’s windows and doorways for leaks where the air is moving. If you find these, and chances are you will, caulk or install some weather stripping to seal up the exposure. It may take some time going to each window to perform this maintenance, but it’s a great way to get familiar with the challenges that your HVAC system has to overcome to keep your home comfortable. These tiny gaps around windows and doors may seem insignificant, and they likely are when viewed singly. But combine them, and you can watch your heat flowing straight out of your home – along with a couple of dollars from your wallet too. If the heat in your home is escaping through cracks around window frames and sills, or openings around your doorways, your heater has to work extra hard to maintain the thermostat’s temperature. Sealing these cracks will save unnecessary work on your HVAC system, and undue strain on your wallet.

Change Home Air Filters

Air filters trap particles of dust, debris, and germs and can get pretty nasty fast. Once you are spending a lot of your time indoors this winter, make sure the air that you’re breathing is as clean as it can be. Not only will you help combat allergies, but clogged air filters will also put a strain on your home’s heating system. Once the air filters get clogged, air ceases to flow through the filter properly making it harder to keep the temperature in your home regulated. A clean air filter means your heating unit can push warm air through your duct system quickly and effectively, and you can make sure the air you are breathing is clean.

Know Your HVAC Unit

Finally, research your home’s HVAC unit. Take the make, model, and year number and perform a little background research. You’ll discover common problems, DIY fixes, the average lifespan, and you’ll find replacement parts and tips to keep the machine running optimally. Get to know the heating and cooling unit that does so much to keep your family comfortable!
If you want to call a professional to give your home’s heating and cooling system a checkup, consider asking your HVAC company to inspect your home’s duct system to see if it needs cleaning. This process is a simple process, and HVAC companies are incredibly familiar with it, especially around the season changes.

Good Deals Heating & Cooling can perform all routine maintenance efficiently and give you some extra tips on keeping your family warm, and your HVAC unit happy, this winter.  For more information call 215-947-1166.

What To Do If Your Heat Goes Out On Christmas Day

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC repairWinter ushers in Christmas and New Year’s Day which are times for fun and celebration. Unfortunately, winter is also the time of year when the weather can take down power lines or overstress a furnace resulting in a breakdown. So what should you do if it’s cold outside and the heat stops?

Being prepared is always a good idea. Having a power generator, a kerosene heater, a toasty fireplace with plenty of wood or a wood/pellet burning stove, are all great ideas. Unfortunately, having ready sources of backup heat is not always an option, and many of us are caught unprepared when the furnace goes silent. What should you do to stay warm while waiting for the repairman to come?

The first thing to determine why the furnace stopped. Is it due to a power outage? Call the power company and find out how long you may be without power. Knowing what you are facing helps you plan the actions you should take. If the problem is with the furnace, call an HVAC repair service. Once again, determine when a service provider will be able to come out and do the repair.

Next, assess what you have to keep warm. Gather blankets, sleeping bags, winter clothing, and any warming aids (chemical hand and body warmers) that you can find. Do you still have hot water? Empty glass bottles make great warmers when filled with hot water.

Insulate to Keep the Heat In and the Cold Out

Wear layers of clothing to maintain warmth. Start with a base layer, ideally thermal underclothes. These garments are designed to trap air against your skin to keep you warm. On top of the thermal underclothes, add a wool sweater or thick sweatshirt. For the legs put on denim jeans or wool pants. This second layer should be breathable fabrics that still allow airflow. If it is extremely cold, top off these clothes with a jacket or coat – a garment that “seals” the heat. Remember your extremities so add gloves, scarves, a woolen hat, ear muffs, and even boots.

Drink Warm Liquids

Ingesting warm liquids in the form of tea or soup helps the body stay warm. Staying hydrated will help the body generate the heat required to function. Avoid drinking alcohol because the “warming effect” you feel is false. Alcohol does not contribute to warming the body.

Pick a Room

Is there a room in your house or apartment that can accommodate everyone and can be closed off from the rest of the house/apt? Set up camp in that room. It will be much easier to stay warm together in one place than spread out. Whenever possible, bundle up in blankets, sleeping bags, and extra clothing.

Don’t Block Your Radiators

If your apartment has radiators, they should always be kept clean – any amount of dirt and dust sitting on top of them will absorb some of the heat that is produced. You should also remove any radiator covers when the heat is on, as covers can block the airflow through the radiator in addition to absorbing heat.  Move your furniture so that all chairs, couches, bookcases, entertainment units, desks, beds, etc. are not too close to your radiators or heating convectors. Don’t let your drapes or curtains cover them either, as they will divert heat to the windows (and therefore out of your apartment if they aren’t adequately sealed) instead of into the rest of the room.

What Not To Do

  • Don’t use your oven to warm the house.
  • Don’t use propane heaters or charcoal stoves in the house (or garage). Staying warm is important, staying alive is even more so. Carbon Monoxide is toxic and accounts for hundreds of deaths every winter.
  • Don’t use hot showers or baths to warm up as your body temperature will drop to a lower level afterward. When in doubt, stick with extra clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, hot water bottles, and shared body warmth to keep you warm.

Prepare yourself and then have a beautiful, happy, peaceful, and safe Christmas. Enjoy the break and recharge your batteries for work in New Year.

Contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling for emergency HVAC repair.  Call 215-947-1166.

Does My HVAC Need an Air Filter?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC filterAs you move into your new home, one of the things you’ll want to be mindful of is the HVAC unit. Short for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning,” this unit is important because it will play an essential role in how comfortable or uncomfortable your home’s climate feels. Heating and cooling are two of the main concerns, but one thing that new homeowners may forget is that the filter used within the HVAC is just as important.

Let’s get the big question out of the way first: do you need to have an HVAC filter for your unit to function? Technically speaking, no you don’t. Air will still push through the system, and your house will cool down or heat up as you desire. However, in the long run, there will be some significant issues that will crop up.

Low-Quality Air

The filter is put into your HVAC for a significant reason: to help filter out airborne particles that are bad for your health. With a filter, mold, dust mites, and other things will not be collected and will run rampant in your house. They can make you sick, and because the particles are circulating in your home, you run the risk of getting sick again and again.

Freon Tube Damage

Your air conditioner functions by having air blown onto the perpetually wet tubes filled with freon. Because they’re wet, anything that wasn’t caught with the filter will get stuck onto them. Eventually, all the gunk will build up, and they won’t function the way they should. Your AC may not cease to produce cool air.

Humidity Level

The filter helps to keep your AC functioning so that water condensation evaporates and doesn’t assist breeding mold and other airborne particles (which are bad for your health). This is also important because if you rely on your AC for dehumidifying your home, it won’t be able to without a filter.

Ductwork Damage

Much like your freon tube, your HVAC’s ductwork will be affected by condensation that collects in its aluminum casing and eventually will have mold spores growing within them. These will travel down from the ductworks and spread across your house via the ventilation shafts. Mold can cause health issues for you and your visitors.

When moving into your new home, we strongly advise that you not only make sure to have a filter in your HVAC for the reasons above but to make sure to change it periodically. We recommend checking it each month and replacing it based on your living situation. If you’re in a climate in which you have the unit on year-round, you may want to change it as often as every one-two months. If you live with multiple pets, you’ll also want to change filters every couple of months due to animal hair and dander floating around. Every three months is recommended for those who don’t use the unit that often. But you should be able to determine which frequency works for you if you’re checking it each month.

For more information on HVAC filters, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Do I Need To Have My Ducts Cleaned?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC ductworkYour heating and cooling ducts play an essential role in your home. Not only do HVAC systems control the temperature of your home, but they also are responsible for cleaning the air that you breath in your home or office. Having HVAC ductwork performed is an essential part of caring for your system.
HVAC ductwork cleaning offers you a small amount of cleanliness. That does not mean that HVAC ductwork cleaning does not have a purpose. There are multiple times when you will need to have your HVAC ductwork cleaned.

One of the most crucial times to have HVAC ductwork cleaning conducted is when you notice an odor coming from your system. A handful of different problems could cause your HVAC system to start emanating a smell. All of them need to be addressed quickly. Locating the source of the odor and removing it is priority one and then cleaning the ducts will remove any lingering smell.

Reduced airflow through your HVAC system could be an indicator that you need to have HVAC ductwork cleaning performed. When airflow becomes reduced, it is typically due to an obstruction somewhere in the system. An HVAC system with an obstacle will function at reduced capacity and will also require more power, raising your power bill.
If you live in an area that has a high level of particulates in the air, you should have HVAC ductwork cleaning performed regularly. HVAC systems are typically not designed to put up with a large number of particulates from inside or outside the home. Regular ductwork cleaning helps to ensure that the system is working as efficiently as possible.

Unless you are in an above-mentioned area with heavy particulates, regular HVAC ductwork is probably not needed. However, if you notice any of the circumstances mentioned above, then you should contact your local HVAC service company. You should also contact the company if you see anything that appears to be amiss. Animal droppings or food in the ducts are a sign that there is a problem.

Don’t let a company pressure you into a service you might not need in your area. Do your research and be an informed consumer. You have already started the process by reading this article.

For more information on HVAC ductwork maintenance, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality with HVAC

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC installationIn most areas, indoor air can be 10 to 60 times more polluted than the outside air. The impact of long term poor air quality on your family’s health can be devastating, especially to those with allergies or asthma. Although the indoor air quality may seem alarming, there are simple ways to ensure your indoor air quality is excellent.

When it comes to improving your home indoor air quality, HVAC installation remains one of the best options. Although there are different ways to improve the indoor air quality, HVAC installation stands out. According to EPA, HVAC is an integral part of indoor air quality design tools. Different things can cause poor indoor air quality. That is why it is essential to understand the causes before finding a lasting solution.

Causes of Poor Indoor Air Quality

It is a popular thought that pollution from vehicles, outdoor machines, and power plants contribute to poor outdoor air quality. However, most people ignore the problem of air pollution in their homes. And because we spend most of our time indoors, indoor air pollution can sometimes be worse than outdoor. By learning the causes of poor indoor air quality and how to prevent them, you can help yourself and the people around you. Here are the reasons for poor indoor air quality:

  • Mold
  • Dust Mites
  • Household cleaners
  • Pet Dander
  • Smoking
  • Chemicals from furniture, fragrances, and carpets
  • Polyurethane (found in mattresses)
  • Pesticides

Symptoms of Poor Indoor Air Quality

Here are the signs to know there is a problem with your indoor air quality:

  • Mucus membrane and dry skin
  • Irritating nose, throat, and eyes
  • Nausea and dizziness
  • Headaches, mental fatigue, and sleepiness
  • Airway infections and coughing
  • Skin Rashes

How to improve Your Home’s Air Quality

Focus on Vents – Parts of your home like the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room can directly impact the quality of air in your home. Ensure they are vented directly outdoors. Central vacuum cleaners and dryers, as well as wood stoves and fireplaces, should be vented outdoors.

Use Doormats – Doormats may look like a simple tip, but it can have a significant impact on the quality of air in your home. Better yet, remove shoes at the door.

Don’t Install HVAC in Garage – HVAC installation shouldn’t be done in garages because it can draw contaminants like pesticides, paint, car exhaust, etc. into your home. Whenever you want to carry out HVAC installation, ensure you work with professional HVAC specialist who will assist you to figure out the best location for it.

Change Air Filters – It is essential to replace your air filters regularly to increase the efficiency of your HVAC.

When it comes to HVAC installation and air filters replacement, Good Deals Heating and Cooling has the expertise to get the job done. You deserve nothing less than fresh and quality air in your home, so it is high time you stopped breathing poor air. Call 215-947-1166.

Common Furnace Problems and How to Fix Them

Good Deals Heating and Cooling Furnace heatingWhen your furnace is having problems in the middle of winter, it is an anxiety-elevating problem. Whether it’s a residential or commercial setting, a working heating system is a must. There are different issues that people encounter when it comes to furnace heating. This article will focus on some common problems and how to fix them.

No Heat

Feeling heat coming from the air ducts is one way to know if the furnace is working. If there is no heat, double check the thermostat is set to heat and that the temperature is at a comfortable level. Next check to see if the circuit breaker for the furnace was tripped, if so, reset.

Not Warm Enough

Once again, check the thermostat to see the temperature setting. Check the air filters and if they are dirty, replace them. A dirty filter will make the furnace much less efficient.

Limit Switch

The limit switch turns on the blowers that circulate the air throughout the house. There is a sensor on the limit switch to turn on once the air is warm. Otherwise the blower circulates cold air. A malfunctioning limit switch shortens the lifespan of your furnace blower. To fix it, have a technician replace the limit switch.
faulty pilot control or an electric ignition

A gas furnace heating system can either have an electronic ignition or a pilot control for a constant flame. Clogs or drafts can cause these systems to malfunction. Inspect your furnace after turning it off and follow the direction to reset the pilot or consider calling a technician.

Noisy Furnace

A rattling, rumbling and squawking furnace needs immediate attention. The noise may indicate airflow reduction, mechanical problem or a clogged burner. Several solutions may help reduce noise: insulating the ductwork and cut down the sound, adjust the pilot light or lubricate the blower motor.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

A malfunctioning thermostat in the furnace heating system may cause problems with comfort levels and air circulation. Check to ensure the thermostat is on and that the temperature displayed is accurate. If not, a technician can help.

Continuous Running Blower

A continuous running blower may be as a result of the limit switch, fixing the limit switch will fix the problem.

Safety Switches

The safety switches on the furnace heating door prevent the burner and fan from coming on after removing the access panel. If the burner or fan run when the panel is open, replace the safety switch.

Having your furnace heating system inspected periodically is another way of fixing minor problems before they become major endeavors. Furnace technician and repair professionals are qualified to provide maintenance and repair services.

For more information on furnace heating maintenance and repair contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Tips for Maintaining a Gas Heating System

Good Deals Heating and Cooling gas heating systemIt’s cold out there, and you are sitting in your house with a great gas heating system. Ideally, you want your gas heating system to keep you cozy for a decade or more. This result can only be made possible with care and maintenance. With a few steps, you can avoid a significant breakdown and keep your heating system running efficiently.

Turn Off the Power

First things first! Safety measures must be on the top of the list. Before getting into the furnace cleaning, you have to take some steps to avoid any mishap. There will be a power switch on the furnace. Turn that off to cut the power and to make the heater safe for maintenance work.

Locate the Filter

Most people find it difficult to find the filter because every gas heating system has a different design so the filter can be anywhere within the system. Usually, it’s in the furnace itself, but some are in the vents.  You either need to look in the owner’s manual (hard copy or online) or if you like a challenge, just look in the furnace or vents in the walls or ceiling.

Take the Filter Out

Once you’ve located the filter all, you have to do take out the filter and note its dimensions. You will need those dimensions when purchasing a new one.

Cleaning or Replacing?

It is recommended that you replace the old filter after a specified time (mentioned below). But if you’re not in a mood for replacing it, then just cleaning will do too. Depending on the type of filter this means vacuuming the filter or running it under water.

How Often Should I Replace My Filter?

It depends on the type of the filter your furnace uses. If you have a polyester or pleated filter, then you should change it every three months. One month for a fiberglass filter. However, if you have an indoor pet or someone who smokes, you should change your filters every month.

Finishing Up

Now that you have a new or cleaned filter at hand your job is almost done, all you have to do is to reverse the entire process. Place the clean filter back in its place and tighten up all the screws if there are any.  Close the furnace or vent, turn on the power again, and you’re done!

This straightforward process will keep your furnace running efficiently and maintain excellent air quality throughout your home.

For help maintaining a gas heating system, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

How to Assess Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air qualityTracking and managing the indoor air quality is a priority for most of us. But the problem here is that there are many factors which interfere with getting the results you want. That being said, you can find some methods that will help you quickly test the indoor quality.

Why should you check the indoor air quality? The primary focus here has to be on removing things like bacteria, dander, rodent urine and droppings, dust mites, or mold. These problems can easily lead to various health issues for you and your family. Thankfully, you can avoid those with the right approach.

How can you assess or improve the air quality?  One thing to take into consideration is the dryness inside your home. Humidity levels should read no greater than 60%. Usually, a lower value is better. When humidity readings are higher than 60%, installing a dehumidifier is the right option.

Moreover, we recommend you to do some general cleaning, vacuuming, and wet dusting too. These will help remove the droppings and any contaminants.

Then you have to think about maintenance. Changing HVAC filters and opting for a better filtration system can indeed come in handy. Opt for cleaning products that have natural ingredients. Stay away from harsh chemicals; it will help you stay healthy in the long term.

Using natural pesticides or chemical alternatives is also a good idea. Infestations will end up lowering the overall air quality.

Indoor ventilation needs to be at its best, so make sure that you use a proper ventilation system. Circulating air throughout the house is vital for a healthy home.  Open the windows on nice days to bring in outside air.  Warmer temperatures can also promote the appearance of various microorganisms. In time, these can lead to allergies. Use carbon monoxide detectors to identify any potential problems, especially during the winter when the house is sealed.

Is there a way to boost the air quality? Make sure that you are always focused on improving the air quality using the methods above. If you need help with this and you want to take better control over heating/cooling as well, Good Deals Heating & Cooling is here to help. We are fully committed to helping you with any cooling or heating problems, so just get in touch, and we’ll happily assist!