Why Is My Commercial Ice Machine Not Making Ice?

Why Is My Commercial Ice Machine Not Making Ice?

  • Miscellaneous
why is my commercial ice machine not making ice

Every restaurant, hotel, and many other businesses rely heavily on their commercial ice machines. But there comes a time when you may ask, “Why is my commercial ice machine not making ice?” This is a common concern, and there are a myriad of reasons for it. Let’s dive into the key reasons, prevention tips, and how North Shore Home Energy can be your savior during such crises.

Common Reasons a Commercial Ice Machine Stops Making Ice

Power Issues

The most basic reason can sometimes be a power outage. Ensure the ice machine is connected to a power source, and the outlet is functioning correctly. Occasionally, circuit breakers can trip, cutting off power to the machine.

Water Supply Issues

“Why is my commercial ice machine not making ice?” It might be a water supply problem. Ensure that there’s a consistent water flow to your machine. Check for any clogs, frozen lines, or closed water valves.

Temperature Problems

Commercial ice machines require an optimal environment to function correctly. If the room is too hot, the machine might not produce ice. Ensure that the machine’s surroundings are cool enough and that its internal thermostat is set to the right temperature.

Blocked Ice Maker

Sometimes, ice can become lodged in the ejector’s arm, preventing new ice from forming. Make sure there are no obstructions, and remove any ice blockages gently.

Faulty Components

Parts like the water inlet valve, thermostat, or pump could be malfunctioning. If you suspect a component is faulty, consult with a professional for a diagnosis.

Dirty or Scaled Evaporator Plates

Over time, minerals from water can accumulate on the evaporator plates, affecting ice production. Regular cleaning can help, but if scaling is excessive, descaling solutions might be necessary.

How to Prevent Commercial Ice Machine Issues

  • Regular Maintenance: Routine check-ups and cleanings can prevent many common issues.
  • Optimal Placement: Ensure your ice machine is in a cool, well-ventilated area.
  • Water Filtration: Using water filters can prevent scaling and improve ice quality.
  • Train Staff: Ensure your team knows how to operate the machine correctly to prevent 

How North Shore Home Energy Can Help with Your Commercial Ice Machine Issues

North Shore Home Energy boasts a team of professionals well-versed in tackling all kinds of problems. Whether it’s routine maintenance, component replacement, or full-scale repairs, North Shore Home Energy is equipped to restore your ice machine to its optimal functionality. Don’t let the question, “Why is my commercial ice machine not making ice?” plague your business operations. Reach out to North Shore Home Energy for a hassle-free solution.

Unfreezing the Ice Machine Mystery

In conclusion, while there can be multiple reasons your commercial ice machine stops producing ice, from power issues to dirty evaporator plates, proactive measures and regular maintenance can prevent many of these issues. And when in doubt, professionals like those at North Shore Home Energy are always at your service to resolve any complications.

Don’t let ice machine issues put a freeze on your business operations. Understand the problems, take preventive measures, and have a reliable partner like North Shore Home Energy by your side.

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What You Need to Know About Electrical Code Compliance

What You Need to Know About Electrical Code Compliance

  • Electrical
  • Miscellaneous
electrical code

If you’re upgrading your home’s electrical system or about to start a remodeling project, then it’s important to be aware of electrical code compliance requirements. Electrical codes are specifically designed to set a safety standard that minimizes the chances of injuries and property damage due to electrical shock, faults, or fires. In other words: While complying with electrical codes might seem like a hassle, it’s an investment in your and your family’s safety.

Of course, due to increased household power consumption and technological advancements, homes today have to meet a different set of requirements than homes that were built 20, 30, or 40 years ago. And although you won’t be required to upgrade your home’s old wiring just because it’s old, it’s a good idea to do it because it’s much, much safer. 

Once you start working on your home’s electrical system, it’s good to have a general overview of all applicable requirements. The following brief overview will provide you with a basic understanding of electrical code compliance. 

National and local codes

  • National codes: The National Electrical Code (NEC) describes all national codes for both commercial and residential wiring. 
  • Local codes: In addition to the NEC, there are also local codes that are determined by local building departments. Note that local codes can vary significantly between different municipalities.

General code requirements

  • Circuits: Existing circuits cannot be overloaded by the addition of a new service. Residential buildings generally have 120 volt circuits at 15 amps, with kitchen and utility areas having 20 amps. 
  • Wires: 15 amp circuits require 14-gauge wire, and 20 amp circuits require 12-gauge wire. 
  • Service panels: Service panels usually don’t require upgrading unless you’re adding a new circuit.
  • Cable: Non-metallic cable can generally be used unless the cable will be exposed, in which case conduit or armored cable will probably be needed. 
  • Fixtures, appliances, and receptacles: All fixtures, appliances, receptacles, and switches must be safely grounded. 
  • Boxes: Most municipalities allow plastic boxes, although there are some local codes that require metal boxes. 

Additional code requirements

In addition, there are also highly detailed electrical code requirements for each room in the home, as well as the home’s exterior. For example, pull chains for light activation are not allowed in many rooms including the bedroom, living room, and dining room. A kitchen with several appliances such as a dishwasher, garbage disposal, stove, refrigerator, and microwave may require those appliances to be on their own individual circuits. In the bathroom, all receptacles must be GFCI-protected and light fixtures must be moisture-proof. Exterior electrical receptacles and lighting must all have waterproof covers and fittings, and cable may not be exposed.

It should be clear that ensuring compliance with national and local electrical codes is both complicated and necessary. That’s why it’s always best to hire a qualified local electrician in the event your electrical system needs upgrading or expanding. He or she will be able to advise you on your best options and make sure that all the work that’s done is up to code. 

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Accessories to Consider for Your Automatic Backup Generator

Accessories to Consider for Your Automatic Backup Generator

  • Generators
  • Miscellaneous
generator accessories

Whether you’re in the shop for a new automatic backup generator or you’re a seasoned owner of a reliable, considering a few helpful accessories can save you from potential headache later down the line. Accessories that you’ll locate online will range from pure-maintenance use to pure-aesthetic purpose, so figuring out exactly what you desire/ are looking for in an accessory can be totally subjective to the buyer. We’ve laid out the most common accessories, dabbling in both the aesthetic and the practical, to try and help you pinpoint exactly what you may want to consider tacking on to your automatic standby generator purchase or grabbing to help your already-installed backup generator.

Extra Oil Filters

Clean oil is a crucial element to any well-maintained automatic generator. As time rolls on, your current filter will begin to dirty due to a variety of reasons that could honestly make up their own separate article. A dirty filter means bad news for your engine. At first the filter will be less and less effective at separating different contaminates from your engine that make their way into your oil. This can cause damage to the engine over a long period of time. When the filter gets dirty enough, it will become clogged and limit the oil that can get to your engine when it needs it. This can do serious damage to your backup generator and warrant extra cost for repair. 

Extra Air Filters

If it hasn’t become clear yet, the engine coupled in a backup generator is maintained very similarly to an automotive engine. You’ll see many of the same terms mentioned regarding both. When an air filter is blocked with contaminants, airflow and clean oxygen intake is decreased significantly. Without clean oxygen to mix with the fuel, your engine cannot use the gas you provide it as efficiently as it would like, and the engine begins to experience a significant amount of stress. This stress, over time, can cause unbeknownst damage to your generator. Having an extra air filter on hand means that you will be able to stay on top of generator maintenance instead of being purely reactive to issues when they come up.


These are purchased for more aesthetic reasons than any, but also provide some practicality. Purchasing some fascia that fits together around your unit will give it a sleeker, smoother look than the clunky, box-like look it most likely has now. This will allow your generator to look a lot more natural sitting in your yard with the rest of your landscape. For anyone, including small children, running around in your yard, fascia can prevent them from getting any nasty scrapes or wounds while passing by the corners of the generator during play.

Touch Up Paint

Despite how it may sound, touch up paint is in fact not used for aesthetic purposes. As much as we’d love to tell you that you can spray paint your generator that neon-green you’ve always wanted, touch up paint is actually used to prevent future corrosion on your generator. You simply spray it on current scratches and other signs of wear and tear on your generator, and the spray will prevent any corrosion from building up in those spots. This can be particularly useful for seasoned generator owners who haven’t checked for corrosion in their generator yet, and need a quick way to stop it from growing or prevent any more from happening.

Maintenance Kits

For any standby generator, and to a much larger extent any engine in general, routine maintenance is a must. The consensus for maintenance on a standby automatic generator is at least once a year. Exposure to the outer elements, dust, or even salty air can cause long-term issues with your generator if not maintained properly. Luckily, many generator suppliers, including Generac, offer maintenance kits that make your generator upkeep as easy as possible.

Most commonly a maintenance kit will include:

  •         Fresh oil that is compatible with your generator
  •         A new oil filter to replace the old one in your system
  •         A new air filter to replace the old one as well
  •         A pre-cleaner
  •         An oil funnel
  •         New spark plugs
  •         Chamois
  •         A reminder sticker

All of these items are essential for that yearly tune-up that your generator requires. Kits are priced around the $50-$100 range depending on the make and model of your generator as well as the contents of the kit.

Cold Weather Kits

If the temperature surrounding your generator regularly dips below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be in your best interest to consider a cold weather kit. Colder climates can affect everything in your generator from the oil itself to the battery. The longevity of your generator, as well as the efficiency at which it runs is put at serious risk in cold temperatures.

Most cold weather kits include:

  •         Fresh oil
  •         An automatic battery warmer
  •         A crankcase oil heater
  •         An automatic thermostat that functions in tandem with the crankcase and battery warmer

In cold/sub-zero temperatures your battery longevity is reduced and your oil becomes more Jello-like than smooth liquid. Getting the warmers attached to your generator will help prevent these detriments while keeping your generator healthy and functioning. All of these accessories can be found at most generator providers’ websites, including Generac’s!

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7 Factors to Consider Before a GFCI Installation

7 Factors to Consider Before a GFCI Installation

  • Electrical
  • Miscellaneous
gfci installation

Many people don’t understand how electric circuits work, and the equipment used to protect your family from an electric shock or fire. This is done through a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), which is one of the most important pieces of equipment in a home that can save your life. For any areas that have both water and electricity, a GFCI is a must, and is required by law according to the National Electric Code (NEC).

What does a GFCI do?

A GFCI detects any irregular current flows and shuts off the power before things become serious. Without a GFCI, there is a heightened risk, putting you and your family at risk. Without a GFCI in place, property values are lowered due to the high risk of electrical issues being present. There are three main advantages to having GFCI outlets:

  • Preventing Shock

GFCI outlets prevent electrocution and shock. The built-in sensor monitors the change in electric flow and will shut down when there is a problem. Although a little more expensive than standard outlets, it is well worth the cost.

  • Preventing Fire

GFCI outlets detect ground faults. This aids in preventing electrical fires. Coupled with the assistance of electrical fuses, the likelihood of an electrical fire occurring is very slim.

  • Prevention of Appliance Damage

As time passes, there are instances where electric currents can damage certain appliances within home. This is one reason why computer hard disk drives fail or shut down. When using a GFCI, when leaks are detected, the circuit will shut down. This helps protect your appliances and equipment from being damaged.

What is the difference between a GFCI and a circuit breaker?

Circuit breakers are designed to protect an electrical circuit from damage caused by overload or short circuiting. It can be reset automatically or manually to continue operation. They are designed in a number of sizes – consider it a mechanical fuse. A GFCI senses a leak in the circuit, usually before the circuit break. Although both interrupt electrical shortages, the GFCI is more sensitive, identifying other places that have water usage.

Where should you install a GFCI?

Before installing a GFCI, it is best to know where it should be placed. Because GFCIs detect electrical currents near water, it should be installed in an area that is subject to moisture. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, garages, and other places where moisture can collect.

How do you test a GFCI?

If you have a GFCI that was installed prior to 2006, you need to test it with a circuit tester. You plug it into the outlet and push the test button. If the power goes off, the GFCI is still working. Pressing the reset button will restore power. If the power does not go off, that means the GFCI is no longer working. Newer GFCIs give you an automatic warning when they are no longer working, and the power will shut off on its own. This indicates it needs to be replaced.

How does a GFCI differ from an AFCI?

An Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) outlet is designed to recognize arc faults, which are in the wiring. A GFCI protects people from electric shock. Faulty wiring in arc-faults can be a result of humidity or heat, extended mechanical or voltage stress, or age. When wires become damaged by nails or other punctures, animal bites, or bent wires that cause cord damage, this can result in arc-faults.

How do you use a temporary GFCI?

A temporary GFCI is used to provide electricity for areas that need temporary use. This is done by installing a GFCI breaker that should be tested on a weekly basis to ensure there are no hazards that could cause electric shock or fire. There are certain rules to follow for temporary installation, and additional guidelines to be followed for installation removal.

When can you use temporary GFCIs?

You can use temporary GFCIs when you have certain activities going on that require electricity, but can be removed after completion of the purpose. This includes remodeling, demolition of buildings, developmental work, emergencies, tests, decorative lighting for events, and other instances where temporary electrical power is needed. Temporary GFCI installation has time limits on the amount of time it can be used, based on the use. Portable GFCI devices are also widely used on job sites, for portable generators, vending machines and more.

Knowing these seven factors on how and why GFCIs are important can provide peace of mind, knowing the risk has been lessened and will keep your family comfortable and safe. Now you are aware of what is required, whether installing yourself or using a contractor. This will assist in making sure your home is protected the right way.

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10 Common Causes for Furnace Electrical Failure

10 Common Causes for Furnace Electrical Failure

  • Heating
  • Miscellaneous
furnace electrical failure

Your heating system broke down in the middle of the coldest night of the season. Oh no! Before you call a professional for furnace repair, you need to know what caused your system trouble to begin with. If it’s a result of bad electrical connections, you definitely need to know what went wrong, even it just comes down to a blown fuse. The clock is ticking, and the weather isn’t getting any warmer.

Here, we’ll explain what kinds of electrical problems can sink your furnace’s performance so you can call for help before you’re left without heat at all.

The Importance of Furnace Maintenance

Your furnace has a big job. It’s tasked with keeping your family warm and comfortable during the winter months. With proper maintenance, your furnace will continue to heat your home efficiently for many years to come, helping you save money on utility bills while providing a steady flow of heat throughout your home. If left unattended to, however, your furnace could leave you facing costly repair or replacement bills. Improperly maintained furnaces often have shorter life spans and increased safety hazards. Not to mention, they can leave homeowners without heat when they need it most.

10 Common Causes of Furnace Failure

Wondering what leads to furnace electrical failure? The following are 10 common problems incurred by improperly maintained furnaces:

  1. Clogged filter. Dirty or clogged filters reduce airflow, which ultimately forces the furnace to work harder to circulate air. Clogged filters can also damage the limit switch, which is responsible for controlling the fan. Be sure to clean your filters regularly, or simply swap them out for new ones.
  2. Loose wiring. When your furnace is running, it causes a certain amount of vibrations. Over time, these vibrations can cause internal wiring to become loose, which can eventually lead to an electrical short. A single loose wire can be difficult to find, so it’s best to have regular tune-ups to ensure your wiring stays tightly connected.
  3. Incorrect fuses. It’s essential to equip your furnace with fuses large enough to handle the capacity of your heating system. If a fuse is too small, it will almost assuredly result in electrical problems.
  4. Dirty fuses. Dirt and soot are normal parts of your furnace’s daily life, but it’s important not to let these elements build up. Excessive grime can impede your fuses from being able to connect to the electrical components. To ensure sustained connectivity, be sure to keep your fuses cleaned as part of regular, ongoing maintenance.
  5. Exposure to water. Water and electricity don’t mix. If your furnace is tucked away in a damp place or located near any water leaks, an electrical failure is likely in your future. Seal any leaks to remove excessive moisture that could cause your furnace’s electrical system to fail.
  6. Transformer failure.  Transformers are responsible for converting energy into the correct voltage necessary to run your furnace’s controls, ignition, and timer. If your transformer isn’t functioning properly, it won’t support your home’s electrical system correctly. If you’re unsure about your transformer’s capacity, it’s best to contact an HVAC professional as soon as possible.
  7. Faulty starting capacitor. The capacitor is to your furnace as the starter is to your car. It’s necessary to get the system started. If your capacitor is on the fritz, it may cause intermittent electrical problems. Faulty capacitors can be replaced fairly inexpensively, which should solve the problem.
  8. Faulty blower motor. Motors require a good amount of energy. If your blower motor is failing, it will put additional strain on your power source, eventually leading to an electrical short. A faulty blower motor should be replaced by an HVAC expert.
  9. Failed valves. Natural gas or propane furnaces are equipped with valves that regulate gas pressure. If a valve is malfunctioning and unable to open and close properly, the pressure regulators will not work properly. This can cause the malfunctioning valve to heat up, resulting in an electrical short and a blown fuse.
  10. Thermostat control wiring problems. There are plenty of wires surrounding your furnace, and if someone isn’t careful, he or she could inadvertently move or disconnect the wires that interact with your thermostat. The control board of your furnace has a separate fuse that keeps it from getting too hot. Beyond the surface lies your furnace’s wire frame, which can easily be the culprit for blown fuses and short circuits, particularly if someone erroneously found their way to this thermostat control system and relocated some of the wiring.

When it comes to your home heating system, it’s always better to be proactive, rather than reactive. Furnace electrical failure can leave you out in the cold when you need heat the most. To ensure your heating system stays healthy and happy, schedule regular furnace tune-ups with HVAC professionals.

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Furnace 101: Everything You Should Know As a Savvy Homeowner 

Furnace 101: Everything You Should Know As a Savvy Homeowner 

  • Heating
  • Miscellaneous

The most common source of home heating in the United States is the furnace. But most people don’t understand how this amazing piece of machinery really works.  It’s either out in the garage or in the basement, out of sight and out of mind.

However, if you’re a homeowner, it is important to understand how this heating system works. Why? If your furnace is displaying issues, it’s better to recognize there is a problem and have a general idea of what may be causing the furnace problem rather than have the issue go unnoticed or ignored.  The results could be dangerous and extremely expensive in labor, repairs, replacement and other costs.  

Benefits of Understanding How Your Furnace Works

Homeowners who understand how their furnace works will experience many long-term benefits, including:

  • A longer lasting heating system:  When a homeowner understands how their furnace works, the chances of noticing a problem right away increases.  The more a furnace is inspected and maintained, the longer it will last.  And since this is an expensive piece of equipment for your home, you will want to avoid having to replace it before its time.  
  • Greater energy efficiency:  A furnace that is working at it’s best will produce heat in your home with ease, making your property greener. However, if your furnace struggles to work, it will take more and more energy to produce heat and in the long run, this will cost your more money and put unnecessary stress on the furnace system.  
  • Quicker reaction time to problems: The faster you notice a problem with your furnace, the quicker you can get someone to take a look at it.  This will prevent any hiccups in your heating. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a cold house where the heat isn’t working.  
  • Improved home comfort:  When your furnace works the way it is supposed to, you can be guaranteed a warm, comfortable home all season long.  By paying attention to your furnace and how it is working, you can avoid any major problems during the colder months.  

How Your Furnace Works

The furnace is a remarkable piece of machinery that is responsible for you keeping you and your family warm as the temperature drops outside.  To understand how it does this, we have broken down the process into steps.  Essentially, a furnace heats a home using the six step process outlined here:


  • Step 1:  The thermostat senses the temperature in the home.  If the temperature is too low, according to the temperature you set on the thermostat, the furnace burner turns itself on. Sometimes you will hear a clicking sound when this happens.  
  • Step 2:  Once the burner is on, it will continue to run until the temperature set on the thermostat is reached and maintained.  Your furnace is smart and can sense the temperature in the house at all times – as long as it is working correctly.  
  • Step 3:  Now that the furnace is running, what is actually happening inside the device?  The heat produced by the burner circulates inside the heat exchanger, which then transfers combustion gasses to the flue vent connector and then to a building chimney where they are vented outside. These gases belong outside because if they are contained in a small space, such as your home, they produce negative health effects such as eye and respiratory irritation, coughing, headaches, tiredness and dizziness.  

The following last steps are straightforward and explain how a furnace turns a cold house into a place of warmth after getting rid of combustion gases. 

  • Step 4:  The furnace also works as an air filter during this next step.  Using an electric fan, the furnace pulls in fresh, cold air and filters it so that you won’t be breathing in dust and other harmful particles.  Not only that, but the air must be clean when running through the system to keep the machinery in tip top shape. For this reason, it is Important to replace filters every few months.  
  • Step 5:  At this point, the filtered air passes into the plenum, a small, enclosed space.  The hot air rises from the heat exchanger and then circulates throughout the home via air ducts. This heating process continues over and over until the desired temperature is created and maintained throughout the home.  
  • Step 6:  The furnace regulates itself with a blower fan.  The fan is able to turn on and off to regulate the amount of heat produced.  System size is important at this stage.  If a furnace is too large for the area it intends to heat, it will short-cycle.  If it is too small, the furnace will constantly run during the colder months and  in turn use a lot more energy to heat a home than should be necessary.  

As a homeowner, it is your job to understand how something as important as a heater works to heat your home.  Being able to recognize the steps a heater takes to produce heat will help you understand if there is a problem and get it taken care of right away.   

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Homeowners: Are You Guilty of These 10 Common Furnace Mistakes?

Homeowners: Are You Guilty of These 10 Common Furnace Mistakes?

  • Heating
  • Miscellaneous

Taking care of the systems in the home is part of being a good homeowner and this is especially true in regards to your furnace. Failing to properly use or maintain the home furnace can result in safety issues, an increased risk of furnace or flue fires, higher than normal utility bills, unexpected repair costs to correct the problem, inefficient heat, shortened lifespan, or even a complete furnace failure. If you are in charge of caring for your home’s furnace, this list of ten common mistakes homeowners often make with their furnaces will help you avoid future problems and ensure that your home stays safe, cozy, and warm all winter long. 

Filter change issues 

Before the furnace can provide heat to comfort a room, the warm air must first travel through a filter system. This filter system benefits the occupants of the home by removing dust particles and other contaminants from the air, making the air quality of the home healthier and helping the home stay free from contaminants and dust. Over time, the filter becomes clogged and the air can no longer travel efficiently through the filter to warm the room to the level specified by the thermostat setting. this causes the furnace to work harder to try and reach that level and results in higher utility bills and premature aging of the furnace components. To ensure your furnace does not suffer these problems, make sure that you use the filters specified by the furnace manufacturer or installer and ensure that they are changed on schedule. In addition, if the home is subjected to severe winter weather causing the furnace to work harder, changing the filter more frequently will help to keep it running properly. 

Failing to schedule annual maintenance by a qualified professional 

Even furnaces that are running perfectly can benefit from having an annual maintenance checkup. In addition to cleaning and adjusting your furnace to improve efficiency, your furnace professional will be able to look for signs of developing issues and make proactive repairs to prevent failures and mechanical issues during the winter heating season. 

Setting thermostats too high 

Setting the thermostat too high forces the furnace to work non-stop to attempt to reach the temperature of the thermostat setting. Instead, choose to keep the thermostat on a normal setting and look at making other changes in your home to help your furnace run more efficiently, such as adding more insulation, covering exposed windows with insulated draperies or blinds, and having a heating professional assess your home to see if your furnace is sized correctly and working as efficiently as it should. 

Failing to upgrade or replace aging systems

 Postponing furnace service, upgrades, or replacements is not a good way to save money. In most cases, a furnace that is 15 years old or older will run far less efficiently than a newer system, making the utility bills rise sharply. Planning to replace an aging system before it fails or causes utility bills to skyrocket is an excellent way to get the best value from your home’s furnace. 

Using cost as the only guide when choosing a new system 

When looking for a new system, cost should only be one factor in choosing the replacement system. A quality furnace that offers improved efficiency will end up being less expensive over its lifespan than one that costs less to purchase but results in higher utility and maintenance costs.  

Failing to adjust the heat when nobody’s home 

Most homeowners can see real savings on their utility costs by installing a programmable thermostat and taking the time to set it to reflect the family’s schedule. While mom and dad are at work and the kids are at school, or the family is sleeping, the thermostat can automatically reduce the temperature in the home creating a significant savings on the utility bill and prolonging the life of your furnace. Your furnace professional can help you select and install the best programmable thermostat for your particular system.

Allowing clutter to build up around the furnace components 

Since furnaces are often located in basements, closets, attics, and other seldom used spaces, clutter can really build up around them. This not only creates a potential fire hazard, it also prevents the furnace from having proper air flow which can shorten the life of the system and make it work less efficiently. A good way to keep this from happening is to take a few moments during each filter change to vacuum the area and clear away any clutter near your furnace components. 

Disregarding potential signs of trouble, such as odd odors, noises, or visual clues that something may be amiss 

Most families become so familiar with their furnaces that they fail to notice when it is actually operating. If a normally quiet furnace begins to make unfamiliar sounds or there are any odd odors, noises, or visual signs that something is different, contact your furnace professional immediately for a maintenance checkup. Noticing these signs and attending to them can be the best way to prevent an emergency failure and costly repairs later.

Failing to keep the furnace components clean or eliminating contaminants 

Like any other appliance, your home’s furnace will operate safer and more efficiently when it is kept clean. Allowing dust or other contaminants to build up in or on the components can shorten the lifespan and create conditions that could result in a fire. Using a shop vacuum or a soft, clean cloth to clean the surfaces will help to prevent this type of problems. 

Not following manufacturer’s instructions for use, care, and maintenance 

Failing to read or follow manufacturer’s instructions for use, care, and maintenance is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make. Furnace models, sizes, and fuel types vary greatly and each one will have specific requirements for peak efficiency and lifespan. To get the most from your system, make sure that you learn what the manufacturer recommends and follow the instructions carefully.  

For more information about using or maintaining your heater, ask your heating professional to assess your system, answer your questions, and help you develop a good maintenance plan. 

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How to Stay Warm During a Heating System Breakdown

How to Stay Warm During a Heating System Breakdown

  • Heating
  • Miscellaneous
heating breakdown

If you have ever experienced a heating system breakdown in the midst of winter, you know how miserably cold it can get in your house in a short period of time. So you make the call for emergency heating repair and get help on its way. In the meantime, you still need to stay warm while your home slowly tries to turn into an ice castle around you. Fortunately, there are several different things you can do to keep your home warm, even if your heating system is limping along or not working at all. While you may not be as comfortable as you otherwise would, you can at least feel a little better while you wait.

Don’t Wait or It Could Get Worse

When your heat goes out, make the call right away to get someone headed to your home for heating system repairs. If you leave things alone for too long, you could end up with frozen pipes and other problems. You also won’t be comfortable, and that could increase the chances of feeling depressed, unhappy, or even getting sick. Rather than suffering in silence , take comfort in knowing that a service technician has been contacted and is on their way to you as soon as they can get there. If they have a lot of service calls, that could be a few hours. What do you do in the meantime?

Be Proactive for Big Benefits

If you take a proactive stance on your home heating needs, you can find that staying comfortable is more easily achieved. Even when your heating system is struggling, or when it is not working at all, there are ways you can protect yourself and your home against the worst of the chill until a heating technician arrives to get your system up and working again. That can help you eliminate stress and ensure that you will not be spending your time without at least some source of heating that can help you feel better while you are waiting.

Follow These Tips to Stay Warmer While Waiting:

  • Close all doors and windows – When a heating system breaks down, the first thing you want to do is make sure every window and door in your home is tightly shut. That way you reduce the amount of cold air that comes inside and the heat that is already in your house will last longer. 
  • Sealing air leaks in duct systems – If there are any air leaks in your duct systems, seal them off. It is better to have this done beforehand, but that is not always possible. If you can feel air moving, there is a leak somewhere. Finding and blocking it will protect your home and your body temperature.
  • Keep candles handy – Having candles on hand can be very beneficial if your heating is out due to a power outage. But they can also be a good choice when it comes to a heating breakdown. They can easily warm your hands and having them nearby puts off some much-needed heat for the space.
  • Insulate windows – Putting builder’s plastic or another extra surface up in your windows can mean that the cold air from outside does not seep in so much and the warm air in your home is not able to escape as easily. Even double pane windows do not offer complete protection, so add those extra layers.
  • Use your fireplace – If you have a fireplace, either gas, electric, or wood-burning, make use of it. While it will not heat your whole house like your heating system would, it can keep at least one room warm enough to be comfortable while you wait. Then you can avoid the worst of the cold until a heating technician arrives.
  • Use the sun for heat – If the sun is out, make use of it. Open your curtains and blinds on the side of the house where the sun is shining. Allowing the sun to come in the (closed) windows can warm your house up, and make things feel better during a heating system breakdown. Just be sure to keep the blinds or curtains closed if there is not any sunlight, to help hold the heat in as much as possible.

Wear layers of clothing – Dressing warmly is one of the best things you can do if your heating system breaks down. By dressing in layers you not only have more clothing to keep you warm, but layers also trap heat and hold it against your body. That will reduce the chances of you getting too cold, and can make your wait to have heat restored much easier to get through

For More Information on All Things Heating Maintenance, Call NSHEC Today!

Contact North Shore Home Energy Today for the Best in Heating Maintenance!

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By nshec

Save Cash With Our Holiday Energy Tips!

Save Cash With Our Holiday Energy Tips!

  • Miscellaneous
Holiday Energy Tips in Kingston by North Shore Home Energy

With Thanksgiving out of the way, the holiday season has officially begun. Homeowners across New Hampshire are bringing out their lights and preparing their ovens for holiday feasts. However, all this celebrating can put a real strain on your energy bills. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to help minimize the increase in your energy bills. As our Christmas present to you, we want to offer some holiday energy tips to help you save more this winter.

Here are some holiday energy tips any homeowner can use:


Smaller gatherings, smaller meals

Do you have more reserved holiday gatherings that don’t get as many visitors? If so, you can save some energy by getting a smaller main course. Not only will it be quicker to cook (which uses less energy,) but you also won’t have to deal with having a week’s worth of leftovers.


Other simple cooking tips

There are plenty of other ways to cook smarter and save energy, such as:

  • Not messing with the oven door or pot lids when something is cooking inside. Even a quick peek can drop the internal temperature by 25°F. This will force your oven to work harder to maintain your preferred cooking temperature.
  • Cooking side dishes alongside the main course, such as stuffing alongside Christmas ham. Keep in mind how the temperature for the main dish will affect cooking times for other dishes.
  • Using the smallest appliances you can. Why cook something in an oven when a microwave will work while using less energy?


Avoid phantom energy drain

Many New England families like to go on vacation somewhere warmer during the winter. However, electronics can still put a drain on your energy bills when they aren’t in use. Before leaving on vacation, unplug your electronics such as computers, TVs, and printers. That way, they can’t use small bits of energy and raise your bills.


Deck the halls with LED lights

It’s no secret that decorating your home with lights is a common holiday tradition. However, you can save money on this tradition by switching to LED Christmas lights. On average, these use about 10% of the energy normal light strings use. Also, they produce less heat, making them safer and less likely to cause fires if used improperly.


Heat your home with body heat

Having friends and family over can be one of the best parts of the holidays. Also, it can be a good opportunity to reduce your heating bills. Having lots of people in your home can raise the temperature from their body heat. If you drop your thermostat before company arrives, you can balance out the increase in heat while spending less on energy. You can expect an average savings of about 3% per degree you lower the temperature.


What makes North Shore Home Energy a high-quality pick for winter heating assistance?

North Shore Home Energy LLC is a small local dedicated HVAC & Refrigeration service company in the North Shore providing excellent service to homes, businesses, and restaurants. With over 25 years in the industry, North Shore Home Energy is here to educate our customers on maintenance and strive for 100% customer satisfaction. Our attention to detail, on-demand service, and fair pricing will keep you running smoothly year after year. We are a proud participating contractor with the Mass Save program. Ask us about rebates up to $3,500 and 0% financing for 7 years. Call North Shore Home Energy today to learn more about keeping your home warm this winter!

By nshec