December 2, 2013
This time of year, poinsettias begin appearing in stores everywhere. How often have you purchased a beautiful poinsettia, brought it home to use as a festive centerpiece only to have it droop and loose it's bloom over the course of several days? Proper care of your plant is necessary to keep it healthy and beautiful, but few people know what is required. Hopefully these tips will help.
Although poinsettias are associated with Christmas, they are actually tropical plants. Despite this, poinsettias can last through the Christmas holiday and long after with proper care. Because these plants are grown in warm climates, they must be kept in tropical conditions to remain healthy. Furthermore, poinsettias bloom in response to shortening daylight hours, so these plants will need ample darkness each night to simulate the dark nights of short winter days. This may require you placing your poinsettia in a dark closet for 12-14 hours each night.
During the day, place your plant in a sunny window with access to bright light. The key is, the more light the better. Keep the plant evenly moist. Misting it will help it to retain the humidity that tropical plants require. If you will fill the overflow saucer under your plant with gravel, the plant will avoid sitting in water which will cause it to drown. Hot indoor temperature along with high humidity will keep a poisettia very happy. Decreasing temperatures will cause the leaves to fall off. The goal is to keep your indoor temperature consistent.
After the holidays, many people throw their poinsettias away, but you can cut the plant back and save it for next seaon. Continue to keep the plant moist. To force blooming next year, start reducing the plant's exposure to sun-light in mid-September to October. This means placing the poinsettia in an area that is in complete darkness. Even street lights or indoor lighting can affect the blooming.
Getting a poinsettia to re-bloom is a bit of work. However, when the holiday season arrives and your plant greets you with clusters of beautiful blooms it is well worth the effort. Happy Holiday Season to Everyone from MTB Heating and Air.
November 25, 2013
Do you have a room in your home that always feels cold regardless of how high you crank the heat? This may be cold outside air getting inside or it may be due to issues involving your HVAC system. Below are some common reasons for a chilly room in an otherwise warm home. Some you can take care of on your own, others may require a professional to remedy.
1) Blocked/closed air vents: If your home is heated by a gas furnace or a heat pump, check to make sure that the air vents in the room are not shut or blocked. Sometimes furniture, draperies and rugs can cover an air vent. Make sure all of your vents are open and unobstructed so warmed air can flow.
2) Heat Leaks: Check the windows in the room to see if there are any cracks that need caulking. Add weather stripping to any outside doors. Sometimes (especially if there has been water damage), insulation can break down. If so, replacing it will make a huge difference.
3) Thermostats: If you have zone heating and several thermostats, the thermostat that controls that particular room may be set incorrectly or have developed a miscalibration. If resetting the thermostat doesn't take care of the problem, you may need to have a professional replace the thermostat.
4) Incorrectly sized heater: If the heating system you have is too small to do the job, the result will be rooms not reaching the desired temperature. Unfortunately, this problem will require replacing your existing system with one that is an appropriate size.
If you're unable to remedy the problem, call MTB Heating and Air. We will send a technician out to find your problem and make the repair if necessary.
November 21, 2013
Furnace repairs and be very expensive and inconvenient. But you can easily identify or even fix a number of problems by running a few troubleshooting procedures. Below are some tips to help you fix the problem and save money.
The first step should always start with studying your owner's manual. This will help you learn what components make up your furnace and how they function.
If your furnace isn't running period, check to make sure it is on. Check both your fan switch and the socket switch. The socket switch is located on a gray box near the furnace's side. You should also check your circuit breaker to make sure that a switch has not been flipped or a fuse has been blown. If the furnace still won't power on, check the pilot light if you have an older system; if you have a new system, you won't have a plot light.
Next, check to see if the temperature is cold enough to trigger the furnace to run. Turn your thermostat up to a higher temperature than the outside and see if that triggers your furnace to kick on.
Finally, many furnaces don't work because of blocked filters or air vents. Remember to replace your air filters. Also make sure that furniture and other items are not blocking your air vents.
If you have tried the tips above and still can't get your furnace to come on, call MTB Heating and Air. One of our techs will find your problem and have you warm and cozy in no time.
November 18, 2013
Having your gas furnace tuned up each fall is important for a number of reasons. First, a furnace that is serviced will keep you warm all winter and you will not run the risk of an inconvenient breakdown. Secondly regular maintenance will allow you to get a longer life out of your furnace. Finally, a tune up will save you money on your utility bill because a serviced furnace runs more efficiently and costs less money to operate.
A tune up from MTB Heating and Air is only $89 and will ensure you stay warm this winter and save money all winter long. Below is a list of the services that are performed during a tune up.
Gas Furnace Tune Up Includes:
1) Inspection of Heat Exchanger
2) Check for Carbon Monoxide Leaks
3) Clean Burners
4) Test Safeties
5) Check Air Filters
6) Check Gas Pressure
7) Lubricate Motors
8) Check Thermostat
9) Check Component's Volts and Amps
10) Check Overall System Operation
November 14, 2013
The biggest appeal of a heat pump is it offers you both heat in the winter and cool in the summer. Heat pumps operate similar to standard air conditioners. They use refrigerant cycling through a closed loop to remove heat from one location and then release it into another. A standard air conditioner, however, can only run the process in one direction- absorbing indoor heat on the evaporator coil and then releasing it outdoors from the condensing coil. A heat pump can switch the direction of the refrigerant and make the evaporator coil act a condensing coil and vise versa. This process then brings heat into your home. So a heat pump offers you both heating and cooling in one.
Heat pumps use forced air to move heating and cooling through your home and they can be hooked up to the existing duct work that you are currently using for you central air or furnace. This makes switching over to a heat pump an easy change out. Heat pumps typically work best in locations with moderate temperatures and every home has its own specific needs. If you have questions about whether a heat pump is the right choice for you, give MTB Heating and Air a call.
November 11, 2013
When the temperature begins to drop, wildlife starts looking for places to stay warm. Although you can't blame them, critters aren't typically welcome houseguests. The problem is, unlike people who wait for an invitation, animals seeking shelter will chew through wood, squeeze through small openings and dislodge aluminum soffits in order to get inside. The first sign you have a problem might be the scurrying of tiny feet across your attic floor keeping you awake at night.
You may not have out a welcome mat, but critters take any crack or opening into your home as a sign that there is a vacancy. Bats, for example, can crawl into spaces with openings as small as 3/8ths of an inch; so if you want to make sure your home stays critter free this winter, you'll have to be diligent in sealing up any and all openings. There are however, some preventative measures you can take to discourage wildlife from taking up residency in your home. Below are some helpful tips.
Clean Your Gutters- Clogged gutters allow water to pool and freeze. The standing water can rot the fascia boards and roof sheathing. Rotting wood is soft and squirrels can chew through it easily.
Keep Dry- Repair water leaks like leaking pipes and clogged drains that will lead to rotting wood.
Get Sealed Up- Seal holes, cracks and all small openings on the outside of your home and basement. Don't forget places where pipes and wires enter your and the spaces between your siding and chimney. Replace loose mortar and weatherstripping. Make sure your doors have doorsweeps at the bottom and cap your chimney.
Don't Feed the Animals- Feeding wild animals attracts them to your home. Bring your pet's dishes in at night.
Trim Up Your Trees- Squirrels are olympic jumpers. Keeping branches trimmed will help keep squirrels off your roof and out of your gutters.
Cover Vents- Cover your house's air vents with grills or screening.
Keep it Tidy- Make sure your garbage cans have lids that fit tightly. Don't store your firewood close to your house. The area under steps provides cover for animals. Keeping that area clean of debris makes it less appealing to critters.
November 7, 2013
Both gas and electric furnaces use a blower to send the heated air out through your ducts. Your furnace's fan is a crucial mechanical component in making sure you stay warm. If your fan develops problems or stops working all together, your furnace is basically useless. There are a number of conditions that can effect the functioning of your fan. These include but are not limited to: a cracked fan belt, a burnt-out blower motor or the fan becoming damaged in some way. A problematic fan needs to be fixed in order for the furnace to function and serve its purpose. So, how do you know if you have a problem with your fan?
Below are 3 signs that signal a fan problem.
1. A loud clanging noise - This sound indicates that your fan has been damaged. This can be caused by debris getting into the cabinet and bending the blades. Bent blades can strike the casing and cause a clanging noise. If you hear this noise, turn off the furnace before more damage is caused. This will require a professional to either repair the blades or to replace the fan.
2. No airflow from the vents - If your furnace turns on and is making it's typical humming sound but your don't feel any air coming from the vents, then your fan has most likely stopped working.
3. Your power bills have gone up - An increase in your power bill can be caused by a number of things related to your furnace, one of which is your fan. If your furnace's fan and the motor get dirty, they have to work a lot harder to reach the targeted temperature.
Fan issues need to be repaired by a professional. If yourthink that your furnace's fan is not working properly or if you have noticed any of the iabove issues, call MTB Heating and Air. We will send an experienced technician out to fix your problem right away.