Red Rock Mechanical, LLC Blog

How Long Can I Expect My Furnace to Last?

April 1st, 2019

Furnace-standardYou probably know that the furnace in your house won’t last forever. Any type of machine that does as much work as a furnace during Vermont and New York winters will wear down to the point where it needs to be replaced.

To get the best return on investment in your furnace, you want it to last as long as possible—although not so long that it becomes a huge energy waster, develops safety problems, or become unreliable. Knowing how many years you can expect from your furnace will help you anticipate when to replace it.

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Can My Furnace Explode? (And a Few Other Questions)

March 18th, 2019

gas-flames-furnaceFurnaces are found in more homes than any other type of central heating system. Ironically, they’re also not well understood by the average homeowner, and that’s probably because they are so common; they’re easy to take for granted.

You don’t need to be a furnace expert to have a good working furnace—that’s why you have professionals like us to help with any furnace service or other heater repair in Burlington, VT you may require. In fact, only professionals with licenses to work on gas-powered heaters should ever handle service on a furnace.

But extra knowledge is always helpful, and homeowners often have questions about the furnace. Below are two of the most urgent people have—plus a bonus one that pops up as well.

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How Can a Heat Pump Get Heat From Outside in Winter?

March 4th, 2019

hot-and-cold-houses

This is a common question people have when they first hear about how a heat pump works. The conversation usually goes something like this …

HVAC Tech: A heat pump is basically like an air conditioner. But it can work in reverse.

Homeowner: What happens when an AC runs in “reverse”?

HVAC Tech: Well, normally an AC draws heat from out of your house. That’s why the air feels cooler indoors.

Homeowner: I thought an AC generated cooling.

HVAC Tech: Cooling is the lack of heat. The AC takes the heat away, making the air cooler. But the AC has to put that heat somewhere, so it releases it outdoors. Now imagine doing it the other way. A heat pump when in heating mode draws heat from the outside and releases it indoors. Presto! Home heating.

Homeowner: Oh, I see. But … wait a minute, I’m only going to run the heat pump in heating mode when it’s cold. So that means the heat pump is bringing in heat from the cold air outside?

HVAC Tech: Yes.

Homeowner: How does that work? It’s … cold outdoors!

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A Toilet Leaking Around the Base Is Trouble

February 18th, 2019

toilet-with-button-flushLeaks of any kind in your home are a problem, and most will need to be addressed with the help of skilled plumbers. The most troublesome leaks are the sort that escape notice because they’re coming from pipes hidden in walls, floors, or in the foundation. If there’s a leak you can see, you can move fast to have it repaired. For example, water on the bathroom floor that shouldn’t be there? You’ll probably need a plumber.

A common source of bathroom plumbing leaks is around the base of the toilet. This is a major problem for two reasons:

  • It can create unsanitary conditions, allowing harmful bacteria into your living space.
  • It can cause extensive damage to the floor, the subfloor, the ceiling (if it’s a second-story bathroom) and other building material. The most extreme case—the toilet collapses through the floor!

You can call us for plumbing in Montpelier, VT to discover what’s wrong with the bathroom toilet and fix it fast.

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What to Do With Cooking Grease (Aside From Pour It Down Drains!)

February 4th, 2019

water-running-down-drainCooking grease, as well as fats and oils left over from cooking, should never go down the kitchen drains. Ever, if you can possibly help it! It’s unavoidable for some grease to go down the drains when you’re cleaning up, but if you have grease in a pan or skillet after you’ve finished cooking, don’t tip it over and send it down the kitchen drain.

We know this is tempting because it’s easy. And when you look at the grease in the pan, it seems harmless. It’s just a liquid that will wash down the drainpipes like water. But that’s not the case. There are ways to dispose of grease without resorting to the drain.

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The Shower Nightmare in Reverse: No COLD Water!

January 21st, 2019

showerhead-ceiling-runningThis is a flip-side one, a Bizzaro World problem that’s more common than you may think. In fact, you’re probably reading this because it’s happening to you—you’ve turned on the shower, but the water is too hot and you can’t get it to cool down. This can actually be worse than having no hot water in the shower, because nothing-but-hot-water may mean the water is at dangerous scalding temperatures. Cold water at least won’t damage your skin.

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There’s Smoke Coming From My Heat Pump! What’s Wrong?

January 7th, 2019

geothermal-vents-in-groundIf you’re asking this question, this is probably the first winter you’ve spent with a heat pump providing comfort for your home. You made a change in spring or winter to your HVAC system and replaced it with a heat pump. This is a great choice—heat pumps are able to deliver excellent cooling in hot weather and energy efficient heating in winter. Thanks to advances in heat pump technology, heat pumps operate in cold temperatures better than ever before.

But making the change to a heat pump brings with it a few adjustments. When you see what looks like smoke coming off the outside cabinet of the heat pump, please don’t panic—this is actually how the heat pump is supposed to run, as we’ll explain below.

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Bad Garbage Disposal Odors: Why They Happen, How to Prevent Them

December 24th, 2018

pouring-waterYou never want bad odors wafting through your house, but especially not during times when you have guests staying over. And one common source of unpleasant odors in your house is the garbage disposal. Although you should never be placing actual garbage down the garbage disposal (and every plumber wishes these devices had different, less misleading names), you can still end up with a disposal giving off a “garbage” smell.

We’re going to look into some of the reasons why you may have bad odors coming from the garbage disposal, as well as what you can do to prevent this from happening.

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Tips on Frozen Pipe Prevention

December 11th, 2018

frozen-pipeYou might love the winter season, but your plumbing isn’t as happy about it. One of the biggest threats to your plumbing arrives along with the cold weather and snow: freezing pipes. When pipes freeze solid, it not only blocks water flow, it threatens the pipes with bursting.

If you have a frozen pipe during the winter, call for a professional plumber in Burlington, VT to come to the rescue. Attempting to thaw the pipe on your own is often what causes bursting! (The spike in pressure as the ice melts laterally tears open the pipe.) A professional plumber can handle the thawing without endangering the piping.

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Why Is There a Sewer Odor in My Home?

November 26th, 2018

girl-pinching-noseThe end of the year is when you’ll probably entertain more houseguests than any other time. You want the inside of your home to be a welcoming place, clean and tidy. You absolutely don’t want strange, foul odors of sewage wafting through the rooms!

Of course, you don’t want these odors to occur at any time. They likely mean an issue with your plumbing that could point toward more serious concerns in the drainpipes and sewer line. If sewer gas is entering your house, it also poses health hazards. These gases not only smell terrible, they can cause dizziness and respiratory problems and lead to the spread of bacteria.

But what’s causing this in the first place? Below are the common reasons for these terrible plumbing smells. In some cases, you’ll need the help of a plumber in Plattsburgh, NY to solve the problem. Keep our number handy, and we’ll come to your rescue when you need it.

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