If you're a homeowner, it may appear that everything around the house requires maintenance. While this is generally true, we occasionally wait for things to fail before undertaking necessary maintenance.
Take, for example, home radiators. Consider this. When was the last time you had it serviced for preventive maintenance?
We thought it would be a good idea to put together suggestions on how to prevent and fix the common causes of radiator leaks after suffering from what seemed like an endless winter.
What Causes Radiator Leaks in the Home?
We decided to start here because most owners are unaware that even the most basic chemical reaction can create rust and leaks in your heating unit. Typically caused by untreated sludge in home radiators—if left untreated, it can form microscopic holes in your unit, causing leaks.
Water and steel will always react. So, unless you're seeking to replace your home radiator, inspect it and remove any mud-textured stuff that could cause the radiator to cease working properly.
How Can I Avoid Rusting?
If your system is still under warranty, make sure the plumber washed away any debris before installing your unit. Any garbage that recycles itself through your system increases the likelihood of corrosion.
However, if your system is free of dirt, we recommend using a corrosion inhibitor. Because this offers an extra layer of protection to your unit, it slows the corrosion process and increases its longevity.
What if my unit has already begun to leak?
Simply because your radiator is leaking does not necessitate buying a new unit. Radiator leakage, contrary to popular assumption, does not necessarily result in exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses.
If you have a dripping radiator, follow these steps:
1. Determine the source of the water. Dry out the radiator completely and determine the cause of the leak.
2. If the leak is originating from one of the valves, you should contact a plumber. Take a wrench and completely close the radiator valve. This should stop the leak when your plumber arrives at your house.
3. A leak can occur at the junction of a pipe and one of the valves. Tighten the loose bolts yourself before making a house call. This could be the solution to your problem.
4. However, if your leak is originating from your electric radiator, this indicates that your radiator needs to be changed right away.
Replacing your radiator is never fun, and the costs may add up quickly. So, if you haven't completed a basic system maintenance check, we strongly advise you to do so before it's too late. Don't wait until your home radiator breaks to perform routine maintenance and drain cleaning.
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Air will accumulate within your central heating circuit over time. As a result, cold spots occur and the panels become less efficient at dissipating heat. As a result, one of the simplest things you can do to increase operational efficiency and make your home more comfortable is to flush radiators throughout your home.
This straightforward procedure is best described in the video below, hosted by Craig Phillips. Do you remember him? Big Brother 1's all-around wonderful egg? Anyway, it's only around 3 minutes long, so give it a look; there are also some simple instructions underneath.
Radiator Bleeding Procedure
What you'll require:
First, turn on the heat and warm up the radiators throughout your home. This will increase the pressure in the radiators.
Go around each radiator and make a note of the ones that have cold spots, which are usually near the top of the panel. Here is where the air has gathered.
Turn off the heat and, once the radiators have cooled slightly, begin the bleeding procedure. Some valves have a slot in them that will accept a flathead screwdriver if you don't have a bleed key.
To evacuate the surplus air, use the radiator bleed key, preferably a brass one. Turn the square bleed screw or screwdriver anti-clockwise slowly. You can hear the air hissing as it escapes. Any droplets of water should be collected with rags or a sponge. When all of the air has been expelled, you will get a jet of water rather than a drip. Close and tighten the valve immediately.
Bleed radiators one at a time till finished.
Restart the central heating system and check for chilly spots once more. Repeat the procedure as needed.
If no air escapes despite this procedure, the pressure in the boiler may be too low to force the air out. To top up the pressure, follow the process, which is normally available on the front panel of the boiler.
Also, if the operation is effective, the boiler pressure may have dropped and may need to be replenished.
That's all there is to it.
Though forced air heating is more somewhat commoon, most residents rely on radiant heating systems to heat their homes today.
They may seem old-fashioned to some, but radiators provide consistent and comfortable heating. Radiators keep interiors warm without the dry heat of warm air heating, and the systems last for a long time. Radiator maintenance is minimal, but it is important to make sure you do it properly to keep your system running efficiently.
Ready to learn how to care for your radiator system? Read on to find out which tasks you can complete yourself, and which are better suited to a professional.
How Radiators Function
Radiant heat is driven by hot water. A closed system consisting of a boiler and connecting pipes are filled with water, which is heated by the boiler to over 87 degrees Celsius. A pump pushes the hot water through the pipes and into strategically placed radiators, which heat the air around them.
Once the water cools down, it returns to the boiler. This closed system constantly recycles water by returning it to be heated again. This means you have an efficient system that uses minimal utilities.
One big benefit of radiant heat is that it is great for your home environment. While forced air systems may be more powerful, they also dry out the air around you and force dust and particulate around your home. Radiant heat can also be more consistent.
Older radiators are typically made of cast iron, which is very heavy and retains heat for a long period of time. Newer radiators are made out of lighter, more inexpensive materials such as steel.
Radiator systems are very easy to care for, requiring some basic seasonal maintenance to keep them running for years to come. Follow these steps in order to make sure your closed system is functioning efficiently:
Bleed the Radiator
Though a boiler and its connected pipes are a closed system, air can escape from within the water as time passes. The air, which is lighter than water, rises to the top of the radiators and creates air pockets. As part of your seasonal maintenance, it’s important to bleed this excess air out of the system.
The first step is to turn off the system and allow the water to cool. Alternatively, you could perform this maintenance shortly before the weather cools down, before you’ve turned it on for the first time.
Your radiators should have a small valve toward the top. They may have a special key or may be able to be turned by hand. Holding a bowl under the opening below the bleed, turn your valve counter-clockwise and listen for a hiss as air escapes.
When you turn the valve, the pressurized system will force air out. Leave the valve open until water comes out, then close it by turning the valve key counterclockwise. It’s normal for the water in the lines to look murky or dirty, so don’t be alarmed.
Check the Boiler Pressure
After the system is bled of air, you will next want to check the boiler pressure. Open the service panel on the boiler, and look for a temperature and pressure gauge. A cold boiler should read 1.3 bar, depending on the manufacturer, and a hot boiler should read 1.5-1.8 bar.
If your boiler falls under these pressure guidelines, you may need to add more water to the system. A cold water pipe that leads into your boiler can be opened in order to allow more water in, which you should do while closely watching the pressure gauge. Shut the cold water valve when your gauge hits 1.3 bar.
If you do accidentally bring the pressure above 1.3 bar, your system will have a pressure relief valve. Be aware that this valve will evacuate water to balance the system, and make sure you have a large bucket underneath it to catch any water that spills out. You can also use this valve to release water if your gauges are reading too high from the beginning.
Combustion Chamber Maintenance
Your boiler is powered by a combustion chamber, which provides the fire to heat the water. If the chamber collects too much residue, it may not perform efficiently. Cleaning out the chamber is dangerous due to fire risk, so it is advised to have a professional service this element of your system every few years.
Stay Safe and Warm
With these tips, you’ll have a better idea of what radiator maintenance you can do each year to keep your system working efficiently. A properly maintained system can last for decades with little work.
Always use caution with your radiator system, ensuring the water is cooled and safe before attempting any of these maintenance tasks. Though radiators are very safe, any maintenance performed when the boiler is hot can result in severe burns from hot water or steam.
If you’re looking for high-quality and designer radiators, visit us at Elizabeth Drain Service today!
Why does my air conditioner have such a foul odor? What should I do if the air emitted by my central air conditioner smells chemical? What is the odor of freon?
These are the most typical questions we get as HVAC professionals from both homeowners and business owners.
There is almost never a legitimate cause for your air conditioner to begin releasing nasty odors. It is undeniably hazardous to your health.
To make matters worse, some scents are dangerous and require immediate attention. Here are the top six, as well as remedies.
Your air conditioning unit is one of the most often used items in your home. As a result, when it breaks, it is both unpleasant and inconvenient.
Fortunately, it performs an outstanding job of notifying us when it needs repair.
Bad odors from the air conditioner are one of the most important things that many home and business owners notice.
However, an odor problem necessitates scrutiny and does not always imply that a solution will be pricey.
A freon leak, a broken sewage vent pipe, or a backed-up sewer line adjacent to some ducting are all worse than a dirty air filter or mold growth caused by excess moisture in the HVAC system which makes associated drain cleaning maintenance more difficult
The following are the six most noticeable and potentially hazardous aromas from an air conditioner that you may be smelling:
1. Smells like burning or electricity
Electrical odors are common air conditioning odors that may indicate a mechanical defect with your air conditioner's compressor or fan, a failure of an electrical component, or a wiring issue.
Because these components are formed of various chemicals and metals, prolonged exposure to their odors is not recommended.
An air conditioner may emit a burning odor that smells electrical or dusty the first few times it is turned on.
The odor usually fades after 20 to 30 minutes. If so, it was most likely clearing out the dust inside the appliance.
This is normal when the gadget has been dormant for some time.
You should consult with a certified HVAC contractor to investigate the problem and, if necessary, repair the equipment.
If you prefer doing things yourself, here is an article about DIY AC repair.
Electrical odors are typically caused by the compressor, fan motors, or wiring.
If you attempt to repair these yourself, you risk severe damage. If you are unsure about conducting repairs on your own, contact a local air conditioning specialist.
2. The odor of gunpowder
The smell of gunpowder and electrical odors are connected.
A fried fan motor or circuit board may emit odors similar to gunpowder.
These, too, may be harmful to your respiratory system because they are constructed of numerous metals and chemicals.
A system should be evaluated by a professional before being restarted after a long period of inactivity.
3. The odor of rotten eggs
If you smell sulfur or rotten eggs coming from your air conditioner and haven't hidden any rotten eggs elsewhere in the house, it's most likely a natural gas leak that's made its way into your ventilation system.
Despite the fact that gas is odorless, utility companies add the odor to warn customers of a significant breach. As a result, there is a problem if you smell gas.
Another cause of these types of AC odors is a bug infestation or a dead animal in your attic or ductwork.
It would so be desirable to have that examined. If you see a dead animal, contact pest control to get it removed.
Low levels of exposure are unhealthy in and of themselves, but high levels can deplete the oxygen supply in your blood, cause unconsciousness, and even death.
Because gas is incredibly explosive and combustible, causes death each year..
If you discover this type of odor, open all the windows in your home or workplace and leave immediately.
In addition, contact your local natural gas supplier.
4. there are exhaust smells.
Even if fluids leak from certain AC or heating system components, exhaust gases may still be present even if your systems are not gas-powered.
If you notice exhaust-like odors, contact your local HVAC contractor to have the problem professionally investigated to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
When oil and other liquids are burned, large amounts of toxic gas are discharged into the environment. The chemical composition of this gas may differ from what it was when it was first a liquid.
When ingested, these airborne particles can be exceedingly hazardous to your health, lowering the amount of oxygen in your blood and causing a number of serious health problems.
5. Chemical Aromas can be found in a variety of settings.
Using the facts below, you may determine which one is the most likely perpetrator.
Open Containers of Chemicals
It's possible that the stink isn't coming from your air conditioner at all. Open chemical containers kept near an air conditioning intake or ducting could be the source.
Once picked up by the airflow, these odors will aggressively permeate the rest of the house.
Homeowners and business owners routinely store chemicals in garages and attics to keep them safe.
Meanwhile, if they are not correctly sealed, these may eventually leak and find their way into the airflow.
To ensure your safety, please locate all chemical storage containers at your home or place of work and store them safely out of the path of your air conditioning system.
The air conditioner itself
Before using your air conditioner, check to see whether it smells like paint thinner, formaldehyde, or any other chemical.
Your air conditioning system makes extensive use of fluids. When the appliance fails, it may be responsible for a range of chemical-like scents. Speak with a local HVAC contractor to get an accurate diagnosis.
If you recently had ductwork installed, the chemical odors in your home could be explained.
The duct installation glue may generate a strong chemical odor when curing. In this case, you will have to wait for the scent to pass because it will not go away immediately.
Turn on the AC fan and open the windows at your home or place of business to wait for it to pass. If the problem persists, contact your local HVAC contractor.
Freon is leaking
Freon is a chlorofluorocarbon, also known as a CFC or a refrigerant. Freon is used to absorb heat from the atmosphere and transport it to a distant area, usually outside your home or office.
Because of this, you stay cool on the inside. However, when it is not properly contained, it can be hazardous.
Freon is carried throughout a closed system by condenser and evaporator coils and lines. These copper-based coils and lines can develop cracks that allow refrigerant leak.
Freon leaks can be dangerous. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, contact your local HVAC contractor; they may utilize a freon leak detector to locate and repair the problem.
6. Musty or mildewed scents
Is there a dirty socks odor coming from the air conditioner?
A mold and mildew-like air conditioning system is one of the most common odors originating from an HVAC system.
When the air conditioner is turned on, a lot of condensation forms inside it.
If not properly drained, this moisture could escape into the airflow, end up in the air ducts, and cause mold development in your ducting.
This could be caused by a plugged condensate drain line. As a result, it merits research.
Contact a local HVAC contractor to inspect your HVAC system and air ducts for mold and mildew.
They will also inspect your condensate line for obstacles if you don't know where to look.
Cleaning your ducts is a simple way to improve the indoor air quality.
The air conditioner itself has no substantial mold growth.
Your family's health is jeopardized due to poor indoor air quality caused by mold in your system.
Mold increases the risk of respiratory illnesses in both adults and children.
It is advised to turn off your air conditioner until this problem is resolved.
If your air conditioner smells musty, you should have it inspected by a professional.
What an air conditioner should smell like
Now that you are completely knowledgeable about the many sorts of AC odors, you can better negotiate a remedy with your local HVAC contractor.
When solving a problem, use all of your senses. When the HVAC system is running, listen for abnormal sounds such as knocking.
Look around the appliance for any additional liquids or liquids that don't belong there.
According to the odors, the system frequently requires a service. However, more dangerous odors, such as sulfur or gas, indicate a larger problem.
If you detect an electrical or burning stench, turn off the device immediately and contact your local HVAC specialist.
Any issue you may be experiencing can be immediately identified by your local HVAC contractor, who can also give a variety of advice for safe AC operation.
Hire an HVAC contractor right away!
As a result, if your HVAC system requires emergency service and you need an air conditioning or furnace repair expert, we can assist you.
Contact Elizabeth Drain Service to avoid having air conditioner scents mar your day.
We offer the best local, independent home service experts who are well-versed in all types of HVAC systems.
We can also help you if you need a replacement filter.