HVAC Services in Monmouth & Ocean Counties
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DIY Heating & Air Conditioning Tips in Monmouth County

Minor HVAC Repairs & Maintenance You Can Do Yourself!

Some heating and air conditioning issues can actually be solved with a simple, at-home fix. Check out our helpful DIY heating and air conditioning repair and maintenance tips below! Have a major HVAC problem? Call Joe Hurley, Inc. for professional heating and AC services in Monmouth County and throughout Ocean and East Mercer Counties!

Keep Sludge from Heating Systems

Here’s a simple DIY tip that almost anyone can do. Did you know that oxygen can cause corrosion and help build up sludge? You should bleed your system every winter and use an inhibitor if sludge build up persists.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended amounts. Add a liquid inhibitor to the bleed valve. Most manufacturers give instructions in the manual on how to do this. Make sure to follow these steps meticulously.

Fix Leaks in Heating System’s Pipework

Oftentimes, homeowners can fix simple leaks in heating systems without calling a service professional.

Joints that had been soldered and are leaking need to be replaced, but first, the system needs to be drained. Compression joint leaks sometimes can be fixed by tightening the nut by a quarter turn. Keep the other nut in place with a wrench, so the joint is not pulled from the pipe.

Sometimes even small jobs can be too big for the common consumer, so consulting a retailer or professional could be a wise choice when you need heating or air conditioning services in Monmouth County or the surrounding areas.

No Heat or Hot Water? Check Power, Energy Supplies

If you have no heat or hot water, do a quick inspection of your heating system:

  • First, check to make sure the power supply is on. Has a fuse blown? Is the gas turned on? Is your oil storage tank empty?
  • If you cannot find any problems with power or energy supplies, make sure the system is on and the thermostat is set high enough. Next, check the pilot light. If it is not lit, you’ll need to re-ignite by following the instructions in your owners’ manual.
  • If you still have not isolated the problem, check the pump to make sure it runs. An inoperable pump requires the services of a contractor. You also will have to contact a service contractor if you have sealed heating system.

Trapped Air Keeps Radiator from Heating

Here is a common problem: Your heat is on but the radiator itself is cold. In this situation, the radiator’s air rises, keeping hot air from the top of the radiator. But the problem can be fixed easily.

First, turn the heat off. Find the radiator key and loosen the valve. It should be located at one end of the radiator. You should hear a hissing sound when you loosen the valve—this means trapped air is coming out. There may be some water dripping under the radiator so be careful when you wipe up the water, as it may be hot. As soon as the water begins to flow in the radiator, close the vent. The heat can then be switched back on.

Keep Harmful Gases from Indoor Air

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, unscented, and, at high levels, deadly gas. Lower concentrations of carbon monoxide can cause headaches, lightheadedness, and fatigue. Winter months may pose health and safety risks with heating systems. Poorly maintained chimneys and flues may release carbon monoxide and other harmful gases into the air. Fireplaces and wood stoves that do not have ample outdoor air supply can pour carbon monoxide and other pollutants into living spaces.

Here are some DIY home heating projects that will help keep the air clean, and keep you and your family safe:

  • When using a space heater, allow some air flow in the room. Open a door in the room where the space heater is located. It’s a good idea to crack a window as well.
  • When using an un-vented kerosene or gas space heater, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for fuel use and maintenance. A yellow-tipped flame is an indication of harmful gases. The flame tip should be blue.
  • Don’t use a gas stove to heat your home.
  • Keep the flue open when the fireplace is in use.
  • When purchasing a new woodstove, make sure it is sized properly for your home and meets EPA standards.

Furnaces and Flues Can Emit Harmful Gases

The indoor air flowing through your house may be the source of harmful pollution if you do not do regular maintenance of heating equipment. Furnaces, flues, and chimneys can emit harmful—even deadly—gases and toxins, like carbon monoxide.

Here are some tips to follow for keeping the air you breathe inside your home fresh:

  • Follow instructions from the owner’s manual for changing and cleaning air filters. If you do not have the owner’s manual, change filters monthly, or at least twice each winter.
  • Vent furnaces to the outdoors.
  • Contact a service professional if you cannot do your own maintenance or need help with your heating system.

DIY Tips for Heating with Woodstoves

Many Americans who heat homes with furnaces also enjoy the warmth of a woodstove in a great room or kitchen. When heating with a woodstove, keep soot and harmful emissions from the indoor air.

Here are some DIY heating tips for the safe use of woodstoves:

  • Make sure the doors fit tightly on your woodstove. If you have an older woodstove, the gaskets on the doors may contain asbestos. If you think they do, check the EPA website for safe handling of asbestos, or contact a service professional.
  • Use aged or dried wood in your woodstove. Don’t use wood that is chemically treated or pressure-treated. Make sure the wood is not wet also. Wet wood releases smoke, which can stain interior walls and can be harmful if inhaled.
  • Follow your owner’s manual when starting, stoking and extinguishing the woodstove fire.

Need professional heating or AC services in Monmouth County or the surrounding areas? Joe Hurley, Inc. can help! Contact us online or at (732) 624-6372 to get started.

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