5 Heating Tips for Entertaining During the Holidays

 

family baking in the kitchen

The weather might be frightful outside, but your home should be warm and inviting to guests this holiday season. Here are some ways to ensure your heating system keeps your home cozy and ready for entertaining.

Schedule Heating Maintenance

One of the best ways to ensure your home’s heating system is ready for winter temperatures is to enroll in a maintenance program. Not only does it ensure your manufacturer warranty is valid, but it also identifies issues that could become larger problems.

Regular heating maintenance can also ensure your heating system is more efficient and less likely to fail and leave guests in the cold.

Check for Clean Air Filters

Holiday entertaining can sometimes mean having guests in rooms you use less often. Replace dirty air filters helps to ensure proper airflow to all rooms, so you don’t have uneven temperatures throughout the home.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are a great way to make sure your home is at the desired temperature at the desired time.

You can easily set times to help your home’s heating system be more efficient by lowering the temperature when the holiday fun is at your neighbor’s house and ensuring your home is comfortable when it’s time for you to host.

Seal Drafty Windows & Doors

Most home heat loss comes from doors and windows with broken seals. Don’t let your guests feel a draft at your holiday gathering. There are lots of DIY ways to seal your drafty window or doors.

Perform an Energy Audit

Inadequate insulation in your attic and cracks through structural gaps can lead to air leaks, making your home’s indoor temperature uncomfortable. This could also lead to poor indoor air quality from mold and mildew that can grow inside your compromised areas.

You can find spots where your home is leaking air via a blower door test. You can also hire a professional to measure your insulation levels.

Call Russo Bros. & Co. for Fast Heating Services

Don’t ignore a heating system that is giving you signs it needs some attention this holiday season. Russo Bros. & Co. can help if you have:

  • Uneven heating in your home
  • Inaccurate thermostat readings
  • High energy bills
  • Strange noises coming from your heating unit

We offer routine heating maintenance, emergency heating repair, and expert heating replacement throughout Northern New Jersey.

Call our 24-hour operators at (973) 887-1334 or contact us online now to request heating services for your home.

Indoor Air Quality Services in Northern New Jersey

Many factors contribute to poor indoor air quality in your home. From nearby construction and car emissions to volatile organic compounds from household products and pet dander, your home is filled with pollutants that negatively affect your health.

At Russo Bros. & Co., our technicians are equipped with the right indoor air quality solutions to restore clean air by eliminating odors, allergens, and pollutants for better breathing and well-being.

Call (973) 887-1334 or contact us online to request indoor air quality services for your home.

Signs You Have Poor Indoor Air Quality

Did you know that the air inside your home can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air? Be on the lookout for warning signs that you need to improve your indoor air quality:

  • Coughing and difficulty breathing
  • Allergy symptoms, such as sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Strange odors
  • Congestion
  • Dry skin and rashes
  • Excess dust accumulation

Contact us online or call (973) 887-1334 if you’ve noticed any of these signs. We can determine which indoor air quality solution is needed.

Benefits of Improving Your Indoor Air Quality

The negative impact of poor indoor air quality is real, and so are the benefits. Improving your air can help you:

  • Breathe easier
  • Keep your allergies at bay
  • Keep your home odor-free
  • Decrease your utility bills
  • Optimize your home comfort

Improving your indoor air improves your health and wellness. Call (973) 887-1334 or contact us online to schedule service today!

Whole-Home Humidifier & Dehumidifier Installation

You’ll notice if the air in your home is too dry or moist. Humidity can greatly increase or reduce your home’s comfort level and affect your at-home health.

Without the right humidity level, your home can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew and help spread viruses easily from one family member to another. Keep your air healthy with whole-home humidifier and dehumidifier installation from Russo Bros. & Co.

Air Purifier Installation

Air purifiers help to remove irritants and pollutants from your home for cleaner air and easier breathing. Our team of experts will help you select and install the right filtration system to keep your home’s air quality high.

When choosing the right purifier, it’s important to note how efficient your desired filtration system is. Air filters are measured by their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), which ranges from 1 to 16.

MERV ratings tell you how effectively your air filter removes particles and other contaminants from the atmosphere. The higher number means fewer contaminants will pass through the filter.

UV Light Purifiers We Install

Fresh-Aire UV Light 

Features and benefits include:
• Killing mold, bacteria, viruses, and allergens in your home.
• Neutralizing and sterilizing over 95% of airborne particles within one second
of passing through the light.
• Sterilizing surfaces inside the ductwork and helping to eliminate and prevent
mold growth wherever the light falls.

Reme Halo

In addition to the above features and benefits, the Reme Halo also:
• Works effectively against odors using hydrogen peroxide molecules.
• Uses ionization technology to enhance high-efficiency filters by making
particles easier to capture.
• Uses an LED light with a four-year bulb life.

Choose Russo Bros. & Co. for Indoor Air Quality Services in Northern New Jersey

Maintaining your home also means maintaining the air in your home. When you enlist the services of Russo Bros. & Co., you’re choosing technicians that are highly trained and licensed to perform quality work that makes a difference in the air you breathe.

With upfront pricing, financing options, and more, our family-operated team guarantees that we’ll help restore your home’s air quality.

Call (973) 887-1334 or contact us online, and we’ll find the right solution for your home’s air quality issues.

Heating Breakdowns: How To Tell if Your Furnace Is Failing

Homeowner adjusting thermostatIs it the fall temperature swings or furnace issues that has your home caught between seasons?

Check out these seven signs that your furnace is failing and when to call an HVAC technician.

Short-Cycling

If your furnace shuts down before it completes a heating cycle, it could be caused by:

  • A dirty furnace filter
  • A dirty flame sensor
  • A malfunctioning ignitor

Your professional HVAC technician can get to the bottom of your short-cycling issue and apply the right furnace repair.

Burning Smells

A burnt smell from your heating system can indicate an issue with your unit’s electrical wiring.

Don’t wait to call a professional. Your technician needs to access, diagnose, and repair your furnace to prevent an electrical fire.

Changes in Airflow

Heated air is blown through ductwork to distribute it throughout the home. If your blower fan, air filter, or ductwork gets clogged with dust, pet hair, or other debris, it can put a bigger strain on your blower fan and cause it to burn out.

If you have decreased airflow from your vents, your problem could be your blower fan. An HVAC technician can perform a deep cleaning of your blower fan to restore airflow.

Long Runtimes

Issues with your furnace can make it work harder and run longer to reach your home’s desired temperature. While dirt buildup on your heat exchanger can force it to work harder, a damaged or cracked heat exchanger can be an even bigger issue.

Performing routine maintenance can identify furnace issues before they become costly repair jobs.

An Undersized Furnace

When your furnace is constantly running, it’s because it has difficulty keeping up with demand. If you have a new home addition or have completed other renovations, it’s possible your furnace isn’t sized properly for the square footage.

An undersized furnace will do a poor job of providing even temperature throughout your home and can also require frequent repairs because of the demand.

Strange Sounds

A furnace that is functioning well shouldn’t be loud. Sounds that require professional inspection and repair to resolve include:

  • Screeching
  • Rattling
  • Clicking

High Energy Bills

Energy costs are increasing, but if your furnace is more than 15 years old, you might be wasting money on energy bills due to an inefficient furnace.

Consider replacing your outdated unit with a new, energy-efficient furnace. It’s a wise investment that you’ll reap the benefits from for years to come.

Call Russo Bros. & Co. for Heating Repairs, Maintenance, or Replacement Today

If you’re worried your furnace is failing, call the experts at Russo Bros. & Co. Our team can assess your furnace and repair or replace it without leaving you in the cold.

Don’t get heated over furnace problems this winter. Call (973) 887-1334 or contact us online for reliable heating repairs today.

5 Causes of Brown Tap Water

brown tap water

The sight of brown tap water can be alarming. Discolored water indicates the presence of potentially harmful contaminants, and the importance of finding their source can’t be overstated.
If your tap water has a brownish discoloration, take that as a clear sign you need a professional plumber to determine the cause of the problem and the right solution for it.
Frequent causes of brown tap water include:

Rusty Pipes

Age, poor materials, or pipe damage can eventually lead to rust. Older homes built with galvanized steel pipes all eventually have this problem.

Rusty sediment in your pipes commonly appears as a symptom of aging, with water discoloration appearing early in the day but clearing as water runs for a short time.

Repiping your home may be the best solution if you have rusty pipes. This involves replacing outdated piping materials with PVC pipes or another material that isn’t prone to rust.

Sediment Buildup in Water Heater Tanks

If the discoloration only appears in your hot water, the cause may be sediment buildup in your water heater.

Water heater maintenance by a trained plumber should address this issue. Your plumber should flush your water heater annually to prevent this issue.

Faulty Water Treatment System

If your home’s water treatment system needs repair or can’t handle the volume of water it needs to treat, discoloration may result. A faulty water treatment system will allow contaminants to filter through and visibly affect your tap water.

Depending on the age and conditioner of your system, you may need water treatment system repair or replacement.

Changes in the Water Table

Heavy rain or drought can cause changes in the water table in the area of your home. Excess rains cause a higher water table, producing excess iron in well water.

Water testing and treatment can identify whether the contaminants causing your water’s discoloration come from water table change and determine the next steps.

Changes in Water Pressure

Discoloration due to water pressure changes can have multiple causes. During droughts, municipal water demand increases while fresh surface water mixes with sediment more readily.

If you rely on city water, other homes in your neighborhood may experience similar discoloration issues. Contact your utility company to resolve the issue.

A faulty well pump may be the culprit if you rely on well water. Contact a professional plumber for well pump repair or replacement.

What To Do if You Have Brown Tap Water

When you first observe brown, discolored water, run cold water from a tap for 20 minutes. If the cause is disturbed sediment in pipes during periods of low usage, this can clear the problem.

If that doesn’t resolve the problem, you need plumbing services from Russo Bros. Our background-checked technicians are available for same day and emergency services.

Our 24-hour live call operators will schedule your appointment with a precise arrival window so you know when to expect your plumber.

Call Russo Bros. at (973) 887-1334 or contact us online today!

Top 7 Things That Will Damage Your Septic System

toilet not trash can

Whether you have a sewer or septic system, it’s important to know what not to send down your drains.
Flushing items that aren’t biodegradable down your drain has the potential to damage your septic system, but there are seven types of items that are particularly harmful to your septic system:

Drain Cleaners & Other Chemicals

While household drain cleaners might boast powerful cleaning capabilities, they often cause more harm than good, so it’s better to just call for professional drain cleaning.
Antibacterial cleaners can work against your septic tank, which uses good bacteria to break down waste and keep your system running smoothly.

In addition to liquid drain cleaners, homeowners should avoid flushing other heavy chemicals, such as:

  • Household cleaners
  • Gasoline
  • Insect or weed killers

Sending any harsh chemicals or cleaners down your drain won’t just harm your septic system. It can also contaminate your soil and water supply. Dispose of these chemicals safely and use eco-friendly products whenever possible.

Flushable Wipes

Even though the label reads “flushable,” you should never send cotton wipes down your drains. Wipes are not biodegradable and will build up over time, clogging your septic system and causing severe plumbing problems.

Avoid putting other cotton-based products down your drains for the same reason, including:

  • Tampons and sanitary napkins
  • Cotton balls and swabs
  • Diapers
  • Paper towels

Grease, Fat & Oil

Grease and oil don’t break down like water and waste. Pouring grease down the drain will only end in a clog, making it difficult for anything to pass through safely. You could also risk a sewer line clog resulting in sewage backup that wreaks havoc on your system.

Instead of sending grease, fats, and oils down your drain, pour these materials into a can where they can safely solidify and be thrown in the garbage. You can also wipe your pans clean with a paper towel to ensure they are free of any greasy debris that could clog your drains.

Cat Litter

If you have a cat at home, don’t make the costly mistake of flushing litter down the drain. Most cat litter expands in liquid, making it extremely dangerous to flush down the drain.

You shouldn’t even flush biodegradable and flushable kitty litter. It’s not worth the risk to your septic system!

Medications

You shouldn’t flush pills, capsules, or liquid medication down your drains either.

These materials won’t just clog your drains and pipes but can also corrode your system over time. Dispose of medications properly by throwing them away in the trash.

Food Waste

Sending food items down your drains is never a good idea. If your home relies on a septic tank, even using a garbage disposal can end up causing problems for your system. While any food waste is risky, the following items are particularly hazardous:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Starchy foods, such as rice, potatoes, etc.
  • Fibrous foods, such as broccoli, celery, etc.
  • Eggshells

Trash

Anything you’d typically throw in the garbage should not be flushed down your drains. This includes anything from cigarette butts to dental floss and contact lenses.

When in doubt, opt for the trash can instead of your drain pipes. Your septic system will thank you!

When To Contact a Plumber for Septic System Repair or Maintenance

Mistakes happen, and avoiding sending dangerous materials down your drain isn’t always possible.

If you have pesky drain clogs, don’t try to clear them yourself. When you notice signs of multiple drain clogs or sewage backups in your home, it’s time to contact a professional for septic system repair or maintenance.

At Russo Bros. & Co., our plumbers have the skills and experience to resolve even the toughest septic system service requests.

Request hydro jetting or septic system repair or maintenance for your home by contacting our team at (973) 887-1334 today!

6 Signs Your Furnace May Need To Be Replaced

Woman adjusting thermostat

Your home’s furnace is the engine behind ensuring you are warm and comfortable this winter. Take a look at these signs that your furnace is failing.

1. Your Furnace Is Short-Cycling

Your furnace may not always be on, but it shouldn’t be turning on and off without reaching the temperature set on your thermostat.While it could be a simple fix like a clogged air filter, short-cycling can also happen when a furnace is too large for a home.

2. Your Furnace Is More Than 15 Years Old

A furnace’s life span is between 15 and 20 years old. If you’re not the first homeowner, you may need to determine your system’s age using its model number.

Regular maintenance helps to keep your system working efficiently, and an HVAC technician can spot potential problems before they affect your comfort or system reliability.

3. Your Furnace Needs Frequent Repairs

If your furnace seems to need frequent repairs and it’s in the last few years of its life span, it might be worth considering a replacement instead of a repair.

If your furnace repairs cost more than 50% of the price of a new furnace, a new unit is a more cost-effective option.

4. Your Furnace Makes Strange Sounds

Grinding, banging, and rattling sounds are not the sounds of a furnace that’s functioning properly. If your furnace is making strange sounds, it’s time to get an expert to take a look.

  • Clicking can indicate a problem with the igniter.
  • Screeching can indicate a damaged furnace blower motor.
  • Rattling can indicate a loose air duct or other loose components.

5. Your Heating Bills Have Risen Over the Years

If your furnace is aging and not working as efficiently as it could, it may be reflected in your heating bills.

If your furnace is wasting energy, it might be time to replace it with a more energy-efficient unit.

6. You Have Hot & Cold Spots Throughout Your Home

A poorly functioning furnace has a difficult time evenly distributing heat to all rooms of the home.

If you notice drastic temperature changes between different areas of your home, call a professional to evaluate your furnace’s performance.

Russo Bros. & Co. Makes Furnace Replacement Easy

If you’re unsure if your furnace is up to snuff, call the experts at Russo Bros. & Co.

Our company is backed by generations of experience, and our trained HVAC professionals have helped many Northern New Jersey homeowners with all their heating needs.

Call (973) 887-1334 or contact us online to request quality furnace replacement from our team.

4 Fall HVAC Maintenance Tasks That Affect Energy Efficiency & Comfort

As you pack up your summer wardrobe and eye that cozy sweater, your heating and cooling systems are finally getting a breather. Fall is that sweet spot for your HVAC system between summer’s cooling demands and winter’s warming needs.
Early fall is the best time for an HVAC system check and seasonal heating maintenance. If you want to see a real difference in your HVAC performance, you should:

Change the Air Filter

Your air conditioning has been cranking all summer, and your filter has kept pollutants, allergies, and dirt from circulating in your indoor air.

While filters can often last up to 90 days, early fall is a great time to start with fresh, clean filters to move into the winter season.

It not only improves indoor air quality, but a clean air filter will also improve the energy efficiency of your HVAC system.

Clean Around Your Outdoor Unit

Your exterior compressor can take quite a beating over the summer. Summer storms can drop branches and other debris onto your outdoor unit. And summer growth can infringe upon the unit’s ability to run properly.

The outdoor unit should have about a 3-foot buffer free of landscaping and other debris.

Start the fall by ensuring your outdoor compressor unit is unentangled by growth or other landscaping. Then, use a blower to brush off grass clippings or fallen leaves.

Secure an Energy Audit

Before turning on that heat, now is a great time to determine where your home might have energy leaks.

You can do your own energy audit to identify cracked caulk around doors and windows and check if your home’s insulation meets standards. All these issues can make your HVAC system work harder than it needs to.

If you want to take your energy assessment ever further, hire a professional to conduct a formal energy audit to determine where you can improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance

Routine maintenance helps identify any issues with your HVAC system quickly and prevents small problems from evolving into bigger ones.

Hire a professional to complete annual HVAC maintenance in early fall. If an expert identifies a problem, you can conveniently schedule a fix rather than waiting for a system breakdown and paying for an emergency repair.

During a system check, your technician will:

  • Clean condenser coils
  • Change the air filter
  • Clear vents
  • Clean out the condensate drain tube
  • Realign bent or crushed fan blades
  • Recalibrate the thermostat
  • Inspect wiring
  • And more!

Call Russo Bros. & Co. for a Fast & Effective HVAC Tune-Up

Fall is a great time to get back into your routine; HVAC maintenance should be part of that.

At Russo Bros. & Co., we can ensure your HVAC system is still in good shape after keeping you cool all summer and is ready to keep your home just as comfortable this winter.

An early fall HVAC system check is the best way to extend your HVAC system’s life and avoid costly repairs.

Call (973) 887-1334 or contact us online today to schedule expert HVAC maintenance in Livingston, Short Hills, Chatham, South Orange, or the surrounding areas!