How to Clean a Dirty Furnace Flame Sensor

furnace flame sensor, flame sensorWith summer just about over and the arrival of fall around the corner, you need to be sure your furnace is in working order. When the furnace switches on, you may find that it only runs for a few seconds before shutting off. One possible cause may be a dirty furnace flame sensor.

What Is a Furnace Flame Sensor?

The flame sensor is a thin metallic rod located on the burner assembly and in front of the pilot flame. The furnace flame sensor determines whether a flame is present when the gas is on. Without the sensor, the pilot light could go out, and the furnace could emit harmful gas.

The sensor acts as a safety device. When it detects that the flame isn’t on, it shuts down the entire unit to prevent dangerous gas emissions.

Signs of a Dirty Flame Sensor

The flame sensor can become corroded due to carbon buildup from the flame. This can cause the sensor to fail. If the burner light goes out within seconds of switching on the unit, this is a telltale sign of a dirty sensor. If you see soot clearly covering the sensor, then it’s time for a cleaning. Continue Reading →

Four Summer Barbecue Theme Ideas

barbecue themeWe are moving towards the end of the summer. Nevertheless, now is a better time than ever for a backyard barbecue. Break out your barbecue grill and explore these summer barbecue theme ideas. Make the most of outdoor living during this time of year.

1. All American Barbecue

Even though we’re past the 4th of July, American pride never goes out of style. Adorn your property with red, white, and blue decorations. Scatter miniature American flags over the lawn and bunting over the deck railings. For the grub, serve American-style foods, such as hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken wings, and apple pie.

2. Beach Barbecue

You don’t have to live near the coast to have a beach barbecue. Decorate the table with little seashells and starfish. You can also fill a clear vase with sand for use as a table centerpiece. If kids are in attendance, create a sandpit play area complete with plastic buckets and shovels. For food, serve grilled seafood and tropical fruits such as pineapple and papaya. Continue Reading →

Summer Commercial Refrigerator Maintenance: How to Keep Your Unit in Peak Condition

commercial refrigerator maintenance, refrigerator maintenance, commercial refrigeratorProperly functioning commercial refrigeration is crucial for any business that stores perishable goods. This is especially critical in the warmest time of year. A broken system can result in spoiled goods totaling thousands of dollars. It goes without saying that summer commercial refrigerator maintenance is vital.

Why Summer Commercial Refrigerator Maintenance Matters

During cooler months, lower ambient temperatures keep storage items cool even if the fridge has minor issues. Unfortunately, this benefit goes out the window in the summer months. This is why pre-summer and summer maintenance is the best prevention. It reduces chances of requiring a last-minute emergency repair. Continue Reading →

Summer HVAC Tips for Maximum Air Efficiency

summer HVAC tips, summer air conditioningSummer is here along with the scorching heat. For homes, this means ramping up the air conditioner. Most homeowners, though, also fear drastically higher utility bills. The good news is you can keep the cost to a minimum by following some simple summer HVAC tips.

1. Change the Filter

Changing the air filter is one of the few acceptable summer air conditioning maintenance practices for DIYers. If the AC uses a disposable filter, change it at least once a month. Change it more often if you have pets or are a smoker. Too much dust restricts the flow of cool air.

2. Use a Programmable Thermostat

Manage your HVAC with smart technology. Customize your summer air conditioning schedule even when you’re not at home. If nobody’s home, use your mobile device to switch off the AC. Alternatively, turn it down and let the indoor temperature rise a bit.

3. Use Fans

We especially recommend ceiling fans. Here’s a little-known trick: set the fan to rotate clockwise during summer. This causes air to flow downward instead of flowing upwards where it warms the upper levels of the home.

4. Utilize Curtain and Drapes

How is heat making its way indoors? Heat enters when sunrays penetrate the windows. This causes the HVAC to work harder to combat the incoming heat. Incorporate blinds and drapes and completely conceal the windows to block out sunrays.

5. Reduce Appliance Heat

Unbeknownst to most homeowners, appliances are the biggest generators of indoor heat, which subsequently forces the AC to work harder. Instead of using your oven, for example, consider using an outdoor appliance like a backyard grill.

Apply These Summer HVAC Tips Today

The warmest time of year is upon us. Call All Points Heating to find out if your HVAC is in tiptop shape. Improve indoor air quality this season by following these summer HVAC tips for maximum home comfort.

HVAC Maintenance for Snohomish Residences

Serving customers from Arlington to Renton and Bellevue to Shoreline, including Seattle, Redmond, Bothell, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Everett, Marysville, Mill Creek, Woodinville, Kirkland, Mercer Island and the surrounding area.

How Often Should You Change a Mobile Home Furnace Filter?

mobile home furnace filter, furnace filterAll furnaces have a filter. This is true for furnaces in different kinds of residences, including mobile homes. You need to change the filter regularly to facilitate smooth airflow and keep the heat circulating. So, how often should you change a mobile home furnace filter?

How Are Mobile Home Furnace Filters Different?

Like other homes, mobile homes may have an electric or gas furnace. The ductwork in mobile homes, though, is typically narrower. In addition, the furnace filters are also installed at the grill. This differs from conventional furnaces, which have a separate compartment between the ductwork and furnace for storing the filter.

How Often Should You Change the Filter?

Like any other filter, change it out according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Usually, this is every one to three months. You will need to change the filter more frequently if you have pets, or if someone is a smoker. More frequent changing is also necessary if an occupant has allergies. Continue Reading →

The Connection Between Humidity and Allergies

humidity allergiesSpring is the season for sunshine and blooming flowers. Unfortunately, allergies are part of the seasonal package. Do you know how humid your home’s interior is? We ask because a strong correlation exists between humidity and allergies. Reducing humidity can help reduce the sniffles.

How Does Humidity Increase Allergic Reactions?

Moisture in the air acts as a filter that traps dust, pollen, and other allergens. It also creates the breeding ground for mold and even helps dust mites thrive.

While often not as humid as summer, humidity does increase in spring after a dry winter. People also begin to spend more time outside and end up tracking dirt and debris into the home.

What Is the Ideal Humidity Level?

The ideal humidity is 45% moisture level in the air. Aim for a level between 30% and 60%. You do not want to go below 30%; lower is not better. Low humidity causes symptoms such as dry skin, chapped lips, itchy throat, and static electricity. Continue Reading →

Why Is My Second Floor Hotter Than the First Floor?

second floor hotter, second floor temperatureMany homeowners have enquired why their second floor is hotter than the first floor. One reason is that the higher floor has a greater exposure to direct sunlight. However, a faulty HVAC could be another contributing factor. Let’s explore how you can even out the air flow in your home.

1. Check the Air Conditioner

An air conditioner can be faulty in a number of ways. It might simply need a filter change. It could also be too old. Most systems have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. A near end-of-life AC is just not going to perform at the same output as a newer model.

The AC might also be too small for the home. Maybe the original installer did not perform a load calculation or make a correct calculation.

2. Check the Ducts

Air from the AC naturally has to travel further through the ducts to enter the second-floor rooms. More distance travelled means more chances of the air escaping through gaps and openings. You might need to perform an air quality inspection to determine the conditions of the ducts and ventilation system. A pressure test will detect significant leaks. Continue Reading →

Why Air Balancing Is Important for HVAC Efficiency

HVAC air balancing, air balancing, air balanceMany homeowners are not familiar with HVAC air balancing. This is an HVAC industry term that residents should acquaint themselves with because it impacts home energy efficiency. In this article you’ll earn how HVAC air balancing optimizes energy output.

What Is HVAC Air Balancing?

Essentially, air balancing is the process of evenly distributing air to every room, even rooms not in use. This applies whether running the air conditioner in the summer or the furnace in winter. Air quality systems normally do a good job at this, though certain factors can impede it. These factors include leaks in the ductwork, dirty filters, poor insulation, and improper thermostat settings.

By balancing the air, HVAC systems work at their peak. For homeowners, this translates to cost-saving energy efficiency. Continue Reading →

2019 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home

New Year’s resolutions, home resolutionsWhat plans do you have for 2019? If you’re like most people, then you probably have fitness and finance related goals. However, you should also consider New Year’s resolutions for your home. Let’s examine some that will make your living space more inviting.

1. Let Your House Breathe

Many home vents are ill-maintained. In fact, most homeowners don’t maintain them at all. At times, we even find vents sealed with cardboard or shingles. This invites mold growth. We suggest investing in an air quality system for better air flow in every room.

2. Add Zoning Systems

We recommend zoning systems for multi-story homes or if an occupant has a particular temperature preference. We can install air conditioning and HVAC systems with dampers. This has sensors that regulate temperatures for individual rooms. Zoning systems are more commonplace nowadays with the prevalence of smart thermostat devices. Conveniently adjust settings anywhere in the home with your smartphone. Continue Reading →

Four Fun Fireplace Activities for the Holidays

holiday activities, fireplace funLate fall and early winter are when households make use of the fireplace. Both outdoor firepits and indoor fire stoves make for great gathering spots. Here are some fun fireplace activities to partake in during the Christmas holidays.

1. Game Night

We recommend holiday activities that involve a lot of interaction, such as Pictionary or Cranium. If this is an adult-only event, then adding some red wine to the mix adds to the fun. If this is a family gathering with kids, then serve eggnog and apple cider.

2. Shish Kabob Party

Prepare various ingredients, such as organic meats and vegetables. Cooking shish kabobs is ideal if you have an outdoor firepit and a grill or smoker for preparing the food. Once you prepare everything, set the food next to the firepit and allow guests to create their own kabobs. You can end the night by breaking out the makings for smores and using leftover skewers for roasting marshmallows. Continue Reading →