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How Often Should I Schedule Furnace Maintenance?

Tuesday, November, 4th, 2014 at 11:12 PM by Gold Medal

Winter is just around the corner, which means it’s time to treat your furnace to an annual tune-up! New Jersey winters can be brutal, so it’s important to have your furnace running at optimal level.

New Jersey Furnace Maintenance

Scheduling annual furnace maintenance with Gold Medal Service can do wonders for you and your furnace, such as:

  • Diminish the need for frequent, costly repairs
  • Ensure optimal efficiency, thus saving you money
  • Prolong your furnace’s life
  • Provide you with the peace of mind you’ll be warm and cozy all winter long!

Scheduling annual furnace maintenance also includes a cleaning and full inspection of your unit to make sure there are no troublesome cracks, ventilation issues, or damaged areas. You could have a carbon monoxide leak and not even know it. Make sure you install carbon monoxide detectors by your furnace and outside of every sleeping area. 

You wouldn’t go years without having a medical checkup or car inspection, would you? The truth is, your furnace needs just as much attention as your car or health! Tune-ups are vital as they provide added safety and comfort to your home by making sure your furnace is always functioning at its best.

Don’t find yourself shivering throughout the frigid cold winter because of a broken furnace. Be proactive by scheduling your annual furnace maintenance visit today with Gold Medal Service!

Gold Medal Service fixes all heating problems – gas furnaces, heat pumps, boilers, and more.

This useful video from the Consumer Education Video Series from one of our heating system providers, Carrier, offers different ways you can conduct your own furnace maintenance before having to call the pros:

Leave it to the home heating experts at Gold Medal to complete your comprehensive and thorough tune-up. Give us a call at 1-800-553-6060 or visit our website to schedule your annual furnace maintenance before the frigid temperatures come.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more useful information and how-to’s!

Mischief Night: Toilet Paper Edition

Wednesday, October, 29th, 2014 at 6:47 PM by Gold Medal

In honor of Mischief Night, one of New Jersey's most loved (and hated) traditions, Gold Medal Service is taking an in-depth look at toilet paper. Although toilet paper can create a fire hazard when exposed to utility lines, compared with eggs, paintball guns, and rocks, it is a fairly harmless Mischief Night prank. Let's hope that a TP-ed tree or house is the worst thing that happens to you on Mischief Night.

New Jersey Plumber

 

If you do end up getting egged, however, act fast and use warm water (not hot). For a full guide to cleaning off egg stains from your house, take a look at this WikiHow article (w/ pictures).

If you want to be a mischief maker, learn how to properly TP a house here, also on WikiHow.

 

New Jersey Plumber

Source: WikiHow "How to Toilet Paper a House"

 

As you are planning your TP attack, reflect on all the hard work and history that went into making this Mischief Night tradition possible:

1.) The first recorded use of toilet paper was in 6th century China. 

2.) Wealthy Romans used wool soaked in rose water and French royalty used lace.

3.) Other things that were used before toilet paper include: Hay, corncobs, sticks, stones, sand, moss, hemp, wool, husks, fruit peels, ferns, sponges, seashells, and broken pottery. Ouch!

4.)  It wasn’t until 1935 that a manufacturer was able to promise “Splinter-Free Toilet Paper.” Ouch, again!

5.) The average roll has 333 sheets.

6.) In 1973 Johnny Carson caused a toilet paper shortage. He said as a joke that there was a shortage, which there wasn’t, until everyone believed him and ran out to buy up the supply. It took three weeks for some stores to get more stock. 

7.) Colored toilet paper was popular in the U.S. until the 1940s.

8.) During Desert Storm, the U.S. Army used toilet paper to camouflage their tanks. 

9.) The Pentagon uses, on average, 666 rolls of toilet paper per day

10.) When asked what necessity they would bring to a desert island, 49% of people said toilet paper before food.

TP trivia taken from Buzzfeed's article, "36 Weird Things You Never Knew About Toilet Paper."

There is one last thing I want to tell you about toilet paper: toilet paper clogs

To prevent toilet paper clogs, use only the necessary amount and remember that it is better to flush twice then to risk a toilet clog. Also, do not use those "flushable wipes," however enticing they are. They're not as flushable as you may think. To find out more about how to avoid toilet paper clogs, check out these toilet paper reviews by Good Housekeeping, which uses clogability as a ranking category.

If you have a clog, visit our drain and sewer repair page. If the clog is really serious, consider High Pressure Water Jetting.

And if TP isn't your thing, get some Mischief Night inspiration from this HowCast video:

For all your plumbing problems, call the New Jersey Plumbing experts, at 1-800-553-6060. For more information, visit our website and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Death by Indoor Air: 15 Ways to Fight Back

Tuesday, October, 21st, 2014 at 5:18 PM by Gold Medal

People spend an estimated 90 percent of their time indoors, and most of that time is spent at home. The Environmental Protection Agency says indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Poor indoor air quality can contribute to various health issues including but not limited to, lung cancer, infections, headaches, congestion, nausea and fatigue. 
 
 

New Jersey Indoor Air Quality

So, what exactly contributes to poor indoor air quality?

 
A variety of sources can contribute to poor indoor air quality, including ventilation, chemicals, cleaning products and pesticides. If you want to identify the types of pollutants present in the home, the best way to do this is to schedule an in-home air-quality test with your local Gold Medal technician.
 

Can I improve my indoor air quality? If so, how?

 
You're in luck! There are many things you can do to improve the quality of your indoor air.
 
  • Clean regularly to reduce allergens and irritants. We recommend using non-toxic, non-aerosol, unscented cleaning supplies.
  • Store household cleaners, paint, and other chemical products in tightly sealed containers and safely store outdoors or in basement.
  • Regularly wash stuffed toys and linens.
  • Try to vacuum once a week with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filters for best results.
  • As the weather cools off, it's tempting to let your pets inside. Be sure to groom your pets regularly to reduce fur and dander. 
  • Let some fresh air in! Open windows when cleaning, cooking and crafting (especially painting). 
  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. Gold Medal can calculate how much ventilation you need – if you have too little or too much. (Some homes are too insulated and as a result, trap airborne pollutants inside with no way to escape.)
  • If remodeling, opt for hard surface floors as opposed to carpet for easier cleaning. Consider blinds instead of curtains to reduce dust buildup. After any extensive remodeling, make sure you have a professional HVAC technician inspect the area for proper ventilation and make sure your system is balanced.
  • You may want to look into purchasing air purifiers. There are a variety of models, ranging from small to large. A Lennox air purification system removes and destroys 50% of household chemical vapors and odors within 24 hours. Gold Medal is a Premier Dave Lennox Dealer.
  • Change the air filters in your heating and cooling systems regularly, every 30-60 days.
  • Minimize moisture by keeping the humidity level in your home at less than 50 percent. Dehumidifiers may do your home well. 
  • Purchase only non-toxic candles and do not allow smoking indoors.
  • Leave all shoes at the door to reduce the tracking in of dirt. Or use shoecovers, like all of our technicians do. smiley
  • Call Gold Medal about Lennox Touchscreen Thermostats to regulate moisture leveles and temperatures to improve indoor air quality and enhance comfort.
  • To have air filtration and purification capabilities integrated into one system, consider purchasing the Lennox Signature Collection PureAir air purification system is the only indoor air quality product that removes all three sources of contaminants (particles, bioaerosols and odors).

​Here is a great video on how to improve your indoor air quality, courtesy of Lennox Residential:

 

To calculate the quality of your indoor air and determine which air quality system best fits your home, please call GOLD MEDAL SERVICE, and we will gladly answer any question you may have, or we'll connect you with the right person to service your needs.

Have an emergency? We can handle it, no problem! Our 24/7 call center is there for you (at no extra cost). 
 

Call us at 1-800-553-GOLD (6060) or visit us on our website, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

Drain Cleaning 101: How to Unclog Bathroom Drains

Tuesday, October, 14th, 2014 at 6:21 PM by Gold Medal

Unclog Bathroom Drain in New Jersey

If you have hair (of any length), we bet you have run into the problem of a clogged bathroom drain. And if you have longer hair, you’ll know that those liquid clog removers don’t do diddly-squat. It can get pretty gross pretty fast. If you don’t learn how to unclog your drains, the problem might become so bad that you have to spend money on a plumber.

We know that you don’t want to resort to calling a plumber every time a drain gets clogged. That’s why we made this how-to article for anyone who is willing to be their own plumber and unclog bathroom drains. All you need for this project is a couple of dollars and about 30 minutes.

Materials: wire hanger, drain snake (if the wire hanger isn’t enough), rubber gloves, baking soda and vinegar, liquid drain cleaner (optional), hair catcher (optional)

Time: 30 min.

Not a lot of people jump at the opportunity to unclog bathroom drains, but it’s one of the most frequent problems for bathrooms and one of the most important to take care of. If hair frequently clogs your bathroom drain, consider purchasing a hair catcher from your local hardware store or supermarket.

  • Removing hair and grime from your pop-up stopper is also an important habit to adopt. Before getting underneath the sink, raise the stopper lever fully so that the stopper is all the way closed and sealed.
  • Underneath the sink, behind the main pipe running from your sink, you can see where the pop-up stopper mechanism is connected. It is a horizontal pivot rod that is connected to the clevis strap (has many holes in it for height adjustments).
  • Disconnect the metal arm (or clevis strap) by bending the small piece of metal (spring clip) holding it in place. The spring clip keeps the clevis strap in place and allows you to adjust the height of your stopper mechanism.
  • The stopper will release as soon as the pivot rod is out of the drainpipe.

Unclog Bathroom Drains in New Jersey

Unhitch the pivot rod from the stopper so that you can get access to the drain.

  • After disconnecting the pivot rod, the plastic pop-up stopper should be free to pull out, allowing you to pull it up and out of the sink. But before you pull the stopper out, put on your rubber gloves, because it is about to get gross. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  • Pull the stopper out and clean it off in a different sink. Do NOT turn on the sink you are unclogging!
  • Clean all parts with rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution. Put the clean stopper aside as you grab your wire hanger and bend it into a hook shape (you can use needle-nosed pliers to help).
  • Use the hook-shaped hanger and pull out as much gunk as you can. If you have a drain snake, you can use that instead.
  • You can use an old toothbrush to clean the sides of the pipe. You might also be able to pull some hair gunk through the hole where you took the pivot rod from.
  • If you think that there is a clog in the P-bend of the pipe, you can go ahead and unscrew the P-bend and clear out any obstructions that might be there; however, simply cleaning out the stopper will fix most bathroom sink clogs.
  • You can also remove the P-bend if you prefer to remove the clog down through the pipe instead of up and out through the sink bowl.
  • Pour some baking soda and vinegar slowly into the drain. Remember those old science fair erupting volcanoes? Well, that’s why you should pour the ingredients in slowly. Follow with some boiling water, and your drain should be clean and clear and under control. If you would rather use a liquid drain cleaner, follow the instructions on the bottle. We recommend using Bio-Clean, the best natural drain cleaner.
  • It is important that you be proactive with your drains and not simply wait for a problem to occur. Turn on all sinks, showers and tubs to make sure that everything is draining properly and quickly. If any of these are draining slowly, address the problem quickly before it gets worse.

Here is a video that shows you how to use a drain snake and plunger to unclog tubs:

  • Use a drain snake or auger for drains that are too stubborn to be unclogged by a wire hanger.
  • Go ahead and take a look at your p-traps located under your sinks to make sure they aren’t leaking. Look for any signs of moistures. If there are, in fact, signs of leakage, check to see that all the pipes are tight. If all looks right then it may simply be time to replace your p-trap.

If you run into problems when trying to unclog bathroom drains, talk to a representative at Gold Medal Services at 1-800-553-6060. For more tips about everyday home service and handy how-to’s, visit us on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.

Easy Ways to Cut Cooling Costs

Friday, August, 22nd, 2014 at 6:28 PM by GoldMe5

icyAugust is the hottest part of the summer, which means you’re probably trying every play in the book to keep cool without having to break the bank. Here are some helpful tips to cut your cooling costs:

  • Use energy efficient fans and plenty of them. Run your fans counter-clockwise during the summer. 
  • For extra cooling, plant trees or shuddery on the east and west sides of your home.
  • Avoid the stove and oven, as it only makes your house hotter. On a sizzling hot day, consider cold sandwiches or a salad.
  • Unplug any unused electronics. It’s tempting to leave computers and consoles on for faster startups, but turn them off if you want a cooler home.
  • If buying a new air conditioner, be sure that it’s properly sized. Get assistance from an energy auditor or air conditioning contractor.
  • Maintain your A/C to maximize efficiency.
  • Change your air filters regularly. Neglecting to do so will only make your A/C work harder and longer. 
  • Turn off your A/C if you’re going to be gone for more than an hour. 
For more tips on being energy efficient, or if you’re in need of an expert technician, visit our website at http://goldmedalservice.com or call us at 1-800-553-6060.