We have listed a few helpful tips and procedures that may save you from needing a service call or reduce damage in an emergency.
Shutting the water off to your home
There is a shut off valve located where the water comes into the home. This valve will shut the entire water supply system down. If you do not know where it is; follow the cold water line from your water heater back to the valve. There is almost always a direct line from the main valve to the water heater.
Lighting a pilot
Lighting a pilot is pretty much the same procedure on any gas appliance. Not all appliances have pilots. Newer furnaces and gas dryers generally ignite on their own. Water heaters, older furnaces, and ovens generally have pilots that need to be relit. The directions specific to the appliance is generally on a sticker attached to the appliance.
General procedure is to turn the gas valve to the pilot position, press down on the knob and hold, at the same time light the pilot, continue to hold the knob down for 60 seconds, release the knob, and turn the knob to on.
Garbage disposal not working
If the disposal is not humming, push the reset button under the disposal, this is a surge protection reset.
If the disposal hums but the blades do not spin, attempt to un-jam the disposal with either an allen wrench supplied with the disposal (there is a slot for the wrench on the bottom of the disposal) or you can try using a broom handle to manually turn the blades.
Air conditioner not working
Have you checked your electrical breaker or fuses? Electrical surges and thunder storms cause frequent service failures to the air conditioning system.
The outdoor unit should have a fused disconnect box located on the wall next the air conditioner. Test or replace those fuses. Check your air filter. Dirty or clogged air filters can restrict air flow and cause failures to the system or lack of cooling. If the system is running but not blowing air or you notice ice on the indoor or outdoor system, turn the system off. We cannot service the system if ice is present.
Check for a pilot if your system has as standing pilot system (usually older furnaces) and see above directions for relighting pilot.
Newer furnaces sometimes have circuit boards that show fault codes. Look for blinking lights located towards the bottom of the unit, behind the first door. Write down how the unit is flashing (example: 1 long – 3 short) and report them to the technician repairing your equipment.
Once you have recorded your fault code, turn the power off to the unit for 60 seconds. Turn the unit back on and it may recycle and turn on to give you heat until we can come test the system.
Winterize / Un-winterize your outdoor faucet
To winterize: Locate and turn off the indoor shut off valve to the outdoor faucet. Remove any hoses from the outdoor faucet and open the outdoor faucet completely. Lift any O-rings or backflow protection devices (located at the outdoor faucet) to allow system to drain properly. Go back inside and remove the bleed cap on the side of the indoor shut off valve. Some systems should be blown out with air from the bleed on the indoor shut off valve to help remove all water from the line.
To un-winterize, repeat in opposite direction.
HVAC in Spray Foam Insulation (SPF) Houses
For tightening up your home, there is simply nothing better than spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation. SPF is so good at tightening up your home, in fact, that you’ll need to be careful with many of the parts of your HVAC system to keep it working safely and efficiently.
Furnaces or water heaters with continuously lit pilots should not be used in homes with SPF insulation, as CO backdrafting can occur. Be sure you only use sealed combustion or power vented equipment.
Since they are sealed so tightly, special care needs to be taken to ensure that SPF homes get proper airflow. Supply ventilation and balanced ventilation systems are the best ways to achieve this.
Sizing HVAC Equipment
Since the typical “rules of thumb” don’t apply to homes with SPF insulation (old estimates take into account natural airflow that you don’t get with SPF). Instead, Manual J calculations must be used to properly size HVAC systems. Having a properly sized HVAC unit is crucial in SPF homes not only because it helps your system run more efficiently, but it also helps prevent humidity and moisture buildup.