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My Furnace Won’t Ignite: What Should I Do?

Furnace Won't Ignite

You are ready to curl up to enjoy a movie on the couch when you realize that it is still freezing in your home despite turning on your furnace. After some quick investigating, you come to the conclusion that your furnace won’t ignite. Sadly, there is not an easy answer to why this might be happening.

Any of the following problems could be responsible for your furnace not working properly:

  • Clogged filters
  • Loose wiring
  • Low gas supply
  • Malfunctioning thermostat
  • Your pilot light is out
  • The furnace is old or broken

Some of these problems will be easier fixes, while others will require professional help. When your pilot light goes out, your furnace won’t ignite and heat your home. Sometimes, this is the only problem that you need to fix, and things will go back to normal. Other times, the pilot light is still on, but other parts of the furnace could be malfunctioning. Or, it could be that … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Electric Bill So High?

Why Is My Electric Bill So High

No homeowner wants to be hit with a surprisingly large utility bill. With so many other things on your plate, it can be hard to determine exactly why your energy costs might have skyrocketed suddenly, or why your monthly costs have gotten so expensive over time. If you find yourself in the position of asking yourself: Why is my electric bill so high?, you should know that while there are actually a number of factors that could be responsible, the most likely is a problem with your heating and cooling system.

Air Conditioning Or Heating Issues

You may not realize that keeping your home at a comfortable temperature typically accounts for nearly half of your energy use for any given month. Reviewing your billing history is always a good place to start your research if you feel something is amiss. Check your current statement against the same month one year ago. In … Read Full Post »

Pros And Cons Of Water Softeners

A bathroom

For those who live in an area with hard water, installing a water softening system is a popular solution. As with any decision about your home, there are pros and cons of water softeners. On the positive side, these systems can help protect your hair and skin from chemicals, make cleaning easier and help you save money, among other benefits. The only true downside to installation is the up-front cost. If you can overcome that barrier, most homeowners say they wish they had made the switch earlier.

A few of the other advantages to installing a water softening system include:

  • A longer life for your pipes, drains and appliances.
  • Much easier cleaning and maintenance of your clothing, linens and home.
  • A reduction in your overall energy consumption by almost 30%.
  • A cure for dry, itchy scalp and skin.

Of course, there is an added cost associated with installing and maintaining a water softening system. However, many … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Hot Water Heater Leaking?

Hot water heater leaking

No homeowner wants to discover a leak. Dripping water isn’t just an annoyance—it can cause serious damage to your property if left unattended. When you combine leaks with hot water heaters or electricity, potential dangers increase. So, what does it mean if your hot water heater is leaking? And more importantly, what should you do about it?

There are many possible reasons why your water heater might be leaking, including:

  • Your valves need to be replaced or tightened
  • Your fittings or supply piping need to be replaced
  • You need to install an expansion tank
  • There is condensation
  • Built-up sediment is causing the tank to crack and leak
  • There is a larger problem which may force you to consider replacing your water heater

Obviously, some of these problems are more serious than others. Unfortunately, neglecting to address the issue will only continue to allow mold and mildew to grow in the area around your water heater. Even condensation may … Read Full Post »

My Furnace Won’t Stay On: What’s Going On?

Furnace Won’t Stay On

You’re freezing, so you get up to turn on the heater to warm things up. You hear your furnace click on and go sit back down, assuming you’ll feel toasty soon. A couple of minutes later, you hear the heat shut off. You repeat this process a few times when you come to terms with the fact that your furnace won’t stay on. So, what’s wrong? And, more importantly, what should you do to get your heat working again?

Your Thermocouple Is Bad

If you have a furnace with a pilot light, then you will have a thermocouple. The job of the thermocouple is to determine whether or not the pilot light is lit. This is a safety device that closes your gas valve when the pilot light goes out so gas doesn’t enter your home. You can check to see if this is your problem by seeing whether or not your … Read Full Post »

What Is EM Heat On A Thermostat?

frozen leaves hanging from a tree

If you take a look at the thermostat that controls your home’s heating and cooling systems, you might notice a switch or button labeled “EM heat.” If you see this, your home probably has a heat pump. The first part of the phrase “EM heat” stands for emergency. The emergency heat setting on your thermostat controls your heating system’s auxiliary heat source, which can be tapped into when outside temperatures drop below a certain threshold—usually anything colder than 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Now that you understand the answer to the original question—What is EM heat on a thermostat?—let’s learn more about this setting and why it comes on.

When functioning properly, the heating system’s heat pump pushes warm air from inside your home to the outside during hot weather and moves heat to the inside during cold weather. When outdoor temperatures drop into the thirties, however, it can become too … Read Full Post »

What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?

What Do Baby Bed Bugs Look Like

The emotional toll of a bed bug infestation can be significant, in part because these tiny pests are so difficult to eradicate. For one thing, they hide in discreet locations, making them almost impossible to find. If you are currently dealing with bed bugs in your home, you’re probably wondering, what do baby bed bugs look like? Do they bite? And, perhaps most importantly, how can I get rid of these pests?

Baby bed bugs, which are also called nymphs, are actually similar in appearance to their adult counterparts, except for some key differences—mainly their size and their color. After hatching from tiny white eggs that are so small that they are difficult to see with the naked eye, bed bugs go through five stages before reaching adulthood.

First-stage nymphs are tiny (less than 1/16″)  and a pale, yellowish-white color. After feeding, baby bed bugs’ abdomens turn red due to the blood … Read Full Post »

What Is Digging Up My Lawn At Night And How Do I Stop It?

what is digging up my lawn at night

Plenty of homeowners have experienced the unpleasant shock of discovering unsightly holes, torn-up turf and piles of dirt scattered around the yard that seemed to appear while they were sleeping. If this has happened to you, you probably immediately wondered what is digging up your lawn at night.

Raccoons and skunks are two common grub-eating nocturnal culprits for digging in yards. Skunks tend to make shallow holes with loosened soil, while raccoons can actually use their front paws to pull up chunks of sod and flip them over to find whatever delicious food might lie beneath. Rabbits are burrowing animals that have also been known to dig holes in yards, and they have a better chance of doing so undetected at night. In addition, there are other animals that are active during the day, including squirrels, that might damage your lawn, and you may not discover the problem until the following … Read Full Post »

Do Squirrels Eat Mice? How To Stop An Infestation

Do Squirrels Eat Mice

There are holes in the food boxes in your pantry. You hear scratching in the walls throughout the night. You’re in denial until one night you see it—a mouse. Horrified, you start to wonder about how you can keep these creatures away. Are there any creatures around your property that eat mice? For example, do squirrels eat mice?

While a squirrel will eat a mouse, it would prefer not to. Like all other animals, squirrels require protein, carbs and fat in their diet. While they would prefer to get these nutrients from nuts, leaves, mushrooms, roots, seeds and insects, they’ll eat from a larger menu when the going gets tough. So, if the squirrel on your property is faced with starving to death or eating the mice in your attic, they’ll decide on the latter.

What this means for you is that squirrels are not going to be an effective method of … Read Full Post »

Will Pipes Freeze At 32 Degrees? Avoiding Disaster

Will Pipes Freeze at 32 Degrees

Here in Texas, we are lucky that our winters are relatively mild. However, we do have those nights where it can get a bit chillier than we’re accustomed to. When it drops below freezing, many homeowners start to wonder: Will pipes freeze at 32 degrees? Water freezes at 32 degrees, so technically that is the temperature at which it becomes possible for pipes to freeze as well. That said, it’s not quite that simple.

Pipes can freeze at 32 degrees or below, but it will take a sustained period of time for this to happen. In other words, a pipe needs to be at freezing temperatures for at least half a day before homeowners have to worry about any freezing occurring. And, generally speaking, the temperature needs to be well below 32 for at least that length of time before freezing becomes likely.

While you may assume that homeowners in the North … Read Full Post »