Wednesday, September 20, 2017
 
HVAC is often taken for granted, but it is the most overworked system in homes. It works 365/24/7 in order to keep every room in the home at the correct temperature. Here are some signs of a broken HVAC system and the time you should call a technician for service.

Noises

Some sounds, such as the blower motor squealing may be easy to fix. As long as it is not broken, the belt just needs to be changed. However, the belt and the oil that are needed vary from machine to machine. If you are not comfortable with research, it may be best to call an HVAC technician as soon as you hear this noise.
 
If there is banging, some screws may have come loose on the outside of the unit that can be fastened easily. However, if the blower has come loose, it is important to turn off the unit and call an HVAC company. Not only is the noise annoying long term, but the blower will break altogether and cause further damage to the unit.
 
A dying capacitor will cause clicking noises during use. It is best to call someone immediately because the noise will eventually turn into a humming sound. This means that the unit is still trying to use the dead capacitor.
 

Odors

If you smell anything from the unit, turn it off immediately before investigating the problem, especially if you smell something burning. It could be overheating or a wire burning. Rotten eggs or a gas smell is a sign of a gas leak.
 
The most common, foul smell from an HVAC unit is a musty smell. This is caused by condensation that does not drain properly. Although it is not serious, the impure air quality coming out of the unit will be hard on the respiratory system in the long term or short term if you or a family member already suffers from respiratory difficulties.
 

Leaks

The most common leak is a water leak caused by condensation. Normally it goes into a pan under the unit, but the pan may need to be changed. More serious causes that will need a service call include the drain line not being pointed downwards, a faulty condensation pump, or the humidifier overheating.
 
Never underestimate how hard your HVAC unit works to keep your home comfortable. By listening to these little cues, you will save your comfort and money in the long run.
 
 
We serve the cities of Pottstown, Boyertown, Reading, Collegeville, Gilbertsville, Douglassville, Phoenixville, Oley, Fleetwood, Royersford, and East Greenville. Contact us for more information or to request a service! 
 
Friday, September 8, 2017
Fall officially begins Friday, September 22. That's just a few weeks away. For Pennsylvania residents, temperatures will steadily begin to drop. Conditions will be much milder as cooler weather arrives. That makes the final weeks of August and first weeks of September the perfect time to begin prepping Pennsylvania homes for the coming Winter season. Here's your Fall season prep plan, recommended by home services experts:

Inspections:

Inside and outside are critical appliances and equipment that need to be inspected by qualified professionals:
  • Furnace
  • Water heater
  • Stove
  • Air quality control equipment, such as humidifiers
  • Carbon monoxide detectors
  • Smoke detectors
  • Fireplace and chimney
  • Windows
  • Exterior faucets
  • Roof and gutters
  • Attic

Prep:

After inspection, your home service professional will make recommendations for prepping your home to make it Winter ready. Tips might include:
  • Replacing furnace filter
  • Replacing batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
  • Caulking gaps around windows and doors
  • Installing window insulation kits
  • Drain and insulate outdoor faucets
  • Clean fireplace and chimney
  • Upgrade or add attic insulation
  • Heating system tune-up
  • Clean gutters, downspouts and drains
  • Reverse ceiling fans to force warm air downward

Prep Right & Save Money:

Making the right decisions when it comes to prepping your home properly can save you money on energy bills over the course of the cold weather season. Savings can really add up, making the minimal investment of a home inspection and preparations well worth it. 

Stocking Up:

Although most people undertake a garage clean-out as a Spring cleaning project, Fall is really when you should do it. Clean out the clutter and make space for storing a 4-day supply of all the essentials you need to stock up on. Here's what you need:
  • Canned foods
  • Manual can opener
  • Bottled water
  • Plastic eating utensils
  • Paper plates
  • Flashlights
  • Extra batteries
  • Battery powered radio and clock
  • First-aid kit
  • 4-day supply of extra prescription medication
  • Insulated blankets
  • Extra winter clothing
  • Pet food
  • Snow shovel
  • De-icing compound

Special Stuff:

While prepping the home for Winter, don't forget about putting together your Winter road kit:
  • Antifreeze (check car's antifreeze level)
  • Inspect car battery and replace if needed
  • Keep gas tank topped off
  • Inspect tires and keep properly inflated
  • Stock Road Kit: bag of sand or salt, ice scraper, jumper cables, small shovel, tire chains, flares, blanket, flashlight, extra batteries, drinking water, first-aid kit
To schedule a Fall inspection and get the jump on prepping for Winter, please contact us, the professionals at Gehringer Mechanical. We offer comprehensive home services. Gehringer has an expert that can meet every need within your home. 
 
We serve the cities of Pottstown, Boyertown, Reading, Collegeville, Gilbertsville, Douglassville, Phoenixville, Oley, Fleetwood, Royersford, and East Greenville.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
 
HVAC usage accounts for over half of electricity in American homes. This can be rough on the environment and expensive for the wallet each month. Here are some ways you can make your home greener and save money in the long term too.
 

Programmable Thermostats

No more worrying if you turned off the air conditioner before you left home or waiting until your guests need a jacket before you turn it off. Configure settings into this thermostat that controls the air temperature inside your home during all hours of the day.
 

Plug air leaks

Cracks in doors and windows should be sealed in order to prevent cold and hot air from leaking. If there are no holes, the HVAC system will not have to keep changing to regulate room temperature.
 

Insulate your attic and garage

The attic is the topmost part of your house. Your garage is often overlooked, but it leaks a lot of air if not insulated. Air insulation allows for climate control so the rooms keep air in, not let air out.
 

Don’t waste water

A leaky faucet and toilet are not just annoying. They actually waste water. It is best to call a plumber right away if you notice a leak because it will get worse, possibly destroying the unit altogether. This will cost you more money to fix in the long run. Installing low flow shower heads are a great investment, especially if you have multiple people taking showers daily, because less water flow prevents water from being wasted.
 
 
Going easy on your HVAC unit not only helps your unit, but you and the house’s infrastructure as well.Contact Gehringer Mechanical Services about our HVAC services.
 
Monday, August 7, 2017
 
It is important to not overlook how important keeping your garage is. It is not just for vehicle storage, but it can be used for a working area or even a place where you can throw a party. The garage is used more than what most people give it credit for, so here are some benefits to insulating your garage so you can maximize its usage, even in the coldest weather.
 

Keeps heat and cold air inside

No matter what weather is outside, the temperature of the garage is affected. When you have an insulated garage, the warmth from your car’s engine will stay inside the garage for a few hours after turning the car off. A space heater will warm up the area quickly, and since the garage is insulated, there will be no need to keep running the heater. This will save on electricity bills. Air conditioners tend to be a costly way of cooling off in the summer, but with insulation, the same rule will apply. Run the air conditioner for a short time, and the cool temperature will stay for a couple hours after turning off.
 
Since an uninsulated garage is affected by the climate outdoors, warm air will come in and affect the refrigerator, should you have one inside your garage. Long term effects may include refrigerator or freezer malfunction, which will waste food and money in replacement costs.

Heat rises

If you have an attic or upstairs room above the garage, a warm garage will cause the upstairs to be warm too. This will be beneficial if much time is spent up there, such as the upstairs room being an office.
 

Keep items looking new

If you keep pictures in the garage, the insulation will protect the pictures from the outside weather that will make them curl. Items that are usually affected by weather extremities will not be affected negatively in your climate controlled garage.
 
Besides being comfortable, the other benefit is money that will be saved over the long term. Contact us for more information.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
 
Each season has its own types of home maintenance and preparation, and autumn is no exception. You start to notice that it is getting chilly at night; this is your hint to get ready for winter.
 

Winter-Proof Your Plumbing

Prevent frozen pipes by having your pipes professionally checked. We can be sure they have enough heat tape and insulation and that the heat tape is functioning well. Have the pipes evaluated to make sure there are no leaks and that the pipes are in good condition. Inspecting now can make sure your water keeps flowing even after it's freezing outside.
 

Preventative Plumbing Maintenance

Fall is a good time to have preventative maintenance done on your plumbing. You make sure that the wear of summer use hasn't caused difficulties, and lower your chances of having to have work done in the dead of winter. Have your hot water heater inspected to be sure there are no leaks or worn pipe. Make sure your garbage disposal is functioning well for increased load of the holidays. Have your drains and sewer system assessed to be sure they are working well before the ground freezes.
 

Home Furnace and Air Conditioning Maintenance

Fall is the perfect time to have maintenance done for your home climate control system. A qualified HVAC technician can evaluate wear and tear in your home cooling system after a summer of keeping your home cool, checking coolant levels, cleaning coils and vents, and checking drainage and electrical connections. This helps to ensure that it winters well and is ready for use when it gets warm again.
 
Then the maintenance technician can make sure your furnace is ready for the increasingly chill temperatures that lead up to winter. If you heat with fuel or gas, they can make sure the fuel connections and pressure are in good shape.  If you have an electric heat system, they can evaluate the electrical connections. They will clean or replace any dirty, worn, or damaged parts. They can clean the vents and make sure the ventilation system is in good shape for use. They will check the filter and change it if needed and will be sure your thermostat is properly calibrated.
 
It is better to have your HVAC and plumbing systems winter-ready before it is below freezing with snow and ice. A little care in the fall will keep you comfortable all winter long.
We serve the cities of Pottstown, Boyertown, Reading, Collegeville, Gilbertsville, Douglassville, Phoenixville, Oley, Fleetwood, Royersford, and East Greenville. Contact us for more information or to request a service!  
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