Are you noticing that your skin is feeling a bit dry lately? Or maybe your throat has been sore more often than usual. If so, it might be time to consider investing in a humidifier for your home. In our most recent blog, Grove Heating & Cooling discusses a few signs you need a humidifier in your Maryland home. We’ll also explain how a whole house humidifier can help alleviate these symptoms and balance moisture for better indoor comfort.
As the weather gets colder, it’s important that you watch for signs you need a humidifier installed in your home. Take action if you notice any of these symptoms to avoid further discomfort and to create a more comfortable indoor environment.
Dry, itchy skin is a common problem during the colder winter months, when indoor air is typically drier than outdoor air. While there are several possible causes of dry itchy skin, one of the most common is simply exposure to dry indoor air. First, when the air is dry, it robs the skin of its natural moisture. This can lead to dry skin that causes flaking and irritation. Second, dry air can also irritate the skin’s protective barrier, making it more susceptible to irritation and inflammation. Finally, dry air can also aggravate conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
This can happen when homes and office buildings are not properly humidified, causing the air to evaporate moisture from the skin. As a result, people who spend a lot of time indoors during winter may be more likely to experience dry itchy skin.
Most of us have experienced the discomfort of a dry, scratchy throat at some point. Low humidity indoors is one of the leading causes of this condition, as dry air can strip away the protective mucus that lines the throat and nose. This can leave us vulnerable to infection and make it difficult to breathe. In addition, dry air can cause nosebleeds and congestion by drying out nasal passages.
Over time, wooden furniture and flooring can begin to warp and crack as a result of dry indoor air. This is because wood is a natural material that contains moisture. When the air is too dry, the wood will lose moisture and shrink. This can cause the wood to warp, as well as crack and splinter. In addition, dry air can also cause the finish on wood furniture and wood floors to fade or peel.
Dry indoor air is one of the leading causes of static electricity. When air is dry, it doesn’t have as much moisture to hold onto particles of dust and other materials. As a result, these particles become charged with electrical energy and are attracted to surfaces like walls, furniture and your body. When you touch one of these surfaces, the electrical charge is discharged and you feel a shock.
Dry air can be a problem in any season, but the signs you need a humidifier are especially noticeable in the winter. A whole house humidifier can help to combat dry air and the problems associated with it by increasing moisture levels in the air. Depending on the model you install, the humidifier will release steam into the air or add moisture to the air as it passes through the unit and HVAC system. This moisture will then be circulated throughout the house through the HVAC ducts. By maintaining healthy relative humidity levels, a whole house humidifier can help you enjoy a more comfortable and healthy home all winter long.
Installing a whole house humidifier will increase the humidity level in the entire house, making it more comfortable for everyone who lives there. In addition to improving your comfort, you won’t experience the bothersome signs you need a humidifier.
If you notice any of the signs you need a humidifier mentioned above, call Grove Heating & Cooling today to request a quote for the installation of a whole house humid
Replacing your home’s water heater is a big project, but it’s one that can significantly improve your quality of life. How do you know when to replace water heater equipment? Grove Heating & Cooling explains a few signs to keep in mind.
Is it time to replace your home’s water heater? There are a few signs you can look for to decide whether or not a replacement is necessary. Here are some of the most common signs that indicate when to replace water heater systems.
If you’re thinking of replacing your hot water heater, one of the things you’ll want to consider is the age of your current unit. Tank hot water heaters typically last 8 to 12 years, while tankless units often last 20 to 30 years. The age of your unit can be a good indicator of when it’s time for a replacement.
Obviously, a tank water heater unit that’s been in service for 8 to 12 years is getting close to the end of its lifespan, so it’s time to start shopping for a new one. On the other hand, a unit that’s only 5 or 6 years old probably doesn’t need to be replaced just yet if age is the only concern.
Have you ever jumped in the shower only to be met with a stream of cold water? Or have you tried to fill up the tub only to find that the water never gets hot? If so, then you may need to replace your hot water heater. Most homes have a tank-style water heater, which uses gas or electricity to heat water and then stores it in a tank until it’s needed. Over time, the heating element can break down, the tank can rust, and sediment can build up, all of which can decrease hot water production.
A water heater is an essential appliance in most homes, providing hot water for everything from cooking and cleaning to bathing and laundry. When a water heater starts to break down, it can be a major inconvenience. If your hot water heater needs frequent repairs, it’s probably best to replace your water heater. A new water heater will be more reliable and efficient and save you money in the long run. Plus, you’ll benefit from a new warranty term to protect your wallet in case certain repairs are required over the next few years.
A leaking water heater can certainly be a cause for concern. The good news is that not all leaks are created equal. If your water heater is leaking from a faulty pressure relief valve or loose connection, then hot water heater repair is likely an option. However, if the leak comes from cracks or corrosion in the tank itself, replacement is likely necessary as these leaks are signs of when to replace water heater units.
If your water heater is on its last legs, don’t wait for it to fail completely. Invest in a new one today and enjoy the many benefits it will bring. If you are noticing signs of a failing water heater, contact us for a quote on our new water heater installation services. Grove Heating & Cooling can help you find the perfect water heater replacement and get your home back up and running in no time.
While many of us take steps to protect ourselves from outdoor air pollution, what about the air inside our homes? Indoor air can be just as polluted – if not more so – than outdoor air. That’s where UV air purifiers come in. How do UV air purifiers work? Grove Heating & Cooling explains the details of these excellent indoor air quality devices.
A whole home UV light air purifier is a device that uses ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses in the air. The ultraviolet light emitted by the purifier is powerful enough to destroy the DNA of these microorganisms, making them unable to reproduce. As a result, a whole home UV air purifier can effectively reduce the amount of harmful airborne contaminants in your home. In addition, UV light technology can also help to eliminate odors and improve air quality.
Most whole home UV air purifiers are relatively small and can be easily installed alongside your furnace or air conditioner. When used properly, a whole home UV air purifier can provide you with clean, fresh-smelling air and peace of mind.
A UV air purifier works by exposing the air to UV light, which kills or damages the bacteria and viruses in the air. This type of purifier is effective at treating a variety of organic indoor air pollutants, including mold, mildew, and dust mites.
Not sure if your home could benefit from a UV air purifier? Now that you know how UV air purifiers work, here are a few signs that it might be time to invest in an air purifier.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, it might be time to invest in a UV air purifier. These devices can improve your family’s health and make your home more comfortable to live in.
UV air purifiers are a great way to improve the quality of the air in your home. UV air purifiers remove harmful particles from the air, but they also kill bacteria and viruses. If you’re interested in installing a UV air purifier in your home, contact us for a quote. We would be happy to help you get started on improving the air quality in your home.
In the average home, the water heater will run for about three hours each day. Total run time can range from one to two hours for new tankless water heaters to five or more hours for older tank style water heaters. If you find your water heater constantly running, Grove Heating & Cooling explains some reasons why this happens and what needs to be done to stop your water heater from wasting energy.
When you have a water heater constantly running, it could be due to one (or more) of the following causes.
Water heater leaks are frequently behind water heaters that run constantly. When a water heater leaks, the leak essentially drains the hot water tank, and the system loses hot water. If you find signs of a leak, call your plumber right away to schedule water heater repairs. Depending on the source of the leak, repairs may be possible or replacing the water heater entirely may be recommended.
Another common reason for a water heater that runs too frequently is that it is losing heat due to a lack of insulation. When the water heater isn’t properly insulated, a great deal of heat can be lost from the stored hot water inside. This forces the system to run more in order to maintain the desired temperature of your hot water.
Solving insulation issues can be done in a number of ways. You can purchase and install an insulation blanket that fits around the unit, which will help it better retain heat. Or, it may be time to upgrade if your hot water heater is an older model. Buying a new water heater can get you a system that has better insulation for increased energy savings.
Sediment buildup may be the reason you have a water heater constantly running. Over time, minerals in your water can settle at the bottom of the tank and form a sludge. This sludge can then block the heating element, preventing the water from heating up to the appropriate temperature. The water heater will run more often because it must work harder to keep water warm despite this blockage.
If you regularly drain the tank for maintenance, this issue can be solved by simply flushing your unit. However, you don’t want to do this task if you have never done so before and your water heater is older. At this point, that sediment may be blocking cracks in the lining, and flushing the tank can create irreversible leaks.
If your water heater is older, it’s likely that its functionality has diminished over time. The age of a water heater is one of the most common reasons for it to constantly run. At this point, repairs are unlikely to correct the issue and it is best to replace the system.
When you notice a water heater constantly running, don’t ignore this plumbing problem. Call Grove Heating & Cooling to schedule service with our licensed plumbing team.
It’s that time of year again – the weather here in Maryland is starting to get a little warmer. Homeowners are starting to wonder when they should turn on their air conditioners. Turning on your cooling system too early can lead to unnecessary energy consumption and spending, but you don’t want your home to feel uncomfortable! The pros of Grove Heating & Cooling share the best time to turn on AC equipment and other alternatives that will keep you cool and help you save money.
There’s no single answer to the best time to turn on an AC system. It depends on the climate, your home’s insulation, and even your daily routine. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to find the right time for your household.
For most homeowners, the ideal time to turn on their air conditioner unit is when the temperature reaches 75 degrees Fahrenheit indoors. If you have particularly good insulation, you may be able to wait until outdoor temperatures are much higher before you need to switch on the cooling system. Keep in mind that turning on your AC will use energy and drive up your utility bills. So only turn it on when it’s really necessary.
There are a few instances when you might want to consider opening a window instead of using your air conditioner. If it’s a mild day and the breeze feels nice, crack a window open and let the fresh air circulate. You can also open windows if your home is particularly stuffy or you have pets inside. In general, opening windows is a great way to save on energy costs and keep your home cool without relying on mechanical cooling systems. If you do need to use the AC, just make sure windows are closed before turning on the system.
So, when is it better to use a fan instead of the air conditioner? The answer depends on the temperature and the humidity. If it’s hot and humid outside, using a fan will only make you feel more uncomfortable. In this case, you should turn on the air conditioner to cool down the room. If it’s cool or dry outside, using a fan can help you save money on your energy bill while keeping your living areas comfortable. Fans should only be used in rooms that are occupied, as their cooling effect is only beneficial when people are present to enjoy it – otherwise, running the fan just wastes energy.
There are pros and cons to using air conditioners, and the same goes for opening windows. The main advantage to using the air conditioner is that it can quickly and efficiently cool down a room. It’s also helpful in dehumidifying the air, which can be useful when it is humid.
AC units can be expensive to operate. Opening windows allows fresh air to circulate in a room, and it’s a free and natural way to cool down your home. However, opening windows does not have as much of an impact on cooling down a space as using an AC unit. Additionally, opening windows can let in pests or noise from outside. A fan is a good compromise between using the AC and opening windows. It’s affordable to operate and doesn’t impact the environment like an air conditioner does. Plus, it can help cool down a room quickly.
Get your air conditioner or heat pump tuned up before the days start to become hot. Typically, you’ll want to schedule this professional service in the spring to make sure your unit is cared for before it’s time to use it again. An air conditioning unit maintenance tune up will help ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently, and will also help prevent any costly repairs down the line.
When it comes to determining the best time to turn on AC units, there’s no one definitive answer. It depends on outdoor temperature, the time of year, and your own personal preferences. However, following these general tips should help you make the most of your AC unit – and help you save money on your energy bills in the process.
Get ready for air conditioning season! Schedule your annual tune up with Grove Heating & Cooling before turning on your HVAC system this year. Contact us today to schedule a service call.
The thermostat is a critical component of any heating and cooling system, as it communicates the HVAC equipment’s operating instructions to maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. While there’s a seemingly infinite number of device models on the market, there are only a few types of thermostats. The HVAC professionals of Grove Heating & Cooling explain the different types of thermostats and how they function so homeowners can easily understand the available options for controlling heating and cooling equipment in your Maryland home.
Differentiating the types of thermostats is done by looking at the way they operate. From there, thermostats are further categorized by the various functions and features they provide.
There are two different types of thermostats: line-voltage thermostats and low-voltage thermostats. Each of these thermostat types works with certain types of heating systems and they differ based on the voltage they use to operate.
The line-voltage thermostat gets its name from the fact that it runs on the same electrical circuit as the heating unit and uses the same circuit voltage, either 120 volts or 240 volts. This type of thermostat essentially acts as a switch that supplies the heater with power, as electrical current flows through the unit.
Amongst the different kinds of thermostats, more specific equipment categories exist. These thermostat categories offer different features and functions, providing users with options for varied control over temperature settings and convenience features. Categories of the different types of thermostats are:
With so many thermostat makes and models available, it can be difficult to determine the best choice for your home and heating or cooling system. When it’s time to upgrade your thermostat, work with Grove Heating & Cooling to explore your options. Contact us today to receive an estimate for thermostat installation in Maryland.
Dry air is a common winter problem that comes with colder temperatures. You know that high humidity levels can cause problems inside your Maryland home, but did you know that dry air is problematic, too? Grove Heating & Cooling shares some signs of dry air to be on the lookout for this season.
Unsure if your home’s air is too dry or not? Here are some dry air clues you can watch for:
Is touching your loved ones a shocking experience throughout the winter months? If the number of static shocks you suffer seems excessive, the excess static electricity is a sign your air is too dry. As we mentioned, cold air holds less moisture than warm air. With low humidity and moisture levels in the air, electrons aren’t able to travel as freely as they can when the air is warm and moist. Instead, electrons collect in one spot, which produces that big jolt you feel when you make contact with people and things in the home. If you’re bothered by static shocks in the winter, these jolts indicate that you might need to install a humidifier.
Chapped lips, dry skin, frequent nosebleeds, dry throat – these are all the results of dry air exposure to your body. Prolonged contact with dry air will dry out the body’s moisture, from skin and mucus membranes, which cause some bodily symptoms that can feel quite uncomfortable. Consider installing a whole house humidifier if these dry air issues are common amongst members of your household.
Some viruses are more easily spread when the air is dry. When air is humid, the virus particles are unable to stay in suspension for very long. In dry air, these pathogens can circulate much more freely. The more time they spend in the air, the more likely they are to travel from person to person and infect others. If viruses seem to spread like wildfire through your household when cold weather is present, increased illness can indicate that you need a humidifier.
How’s the woodwork around your house looking these days? Is it contracting, cracking, even warping? Are floorboards creaking and doors sticking? Dry air zaps the moisture held within wood materials, causing them to shrink and break. If wooden furniture, floors, doors, and cabinets are having problems this season, consider installing a humidifier.
When your home’s air is too dry, you need some extra help replenishing the moisture that’s naturally present during warmer times of the year. A whole home humidifier is a great tool that can increase relative indoor humidity levels across your home and alleviate the bothersome dry air symptoms you feel. Depending on the model, whole home humidifiers use a water panel to add moisture as air circulates through the heating system or create steam that is sent directly into your ducts to add moisture to heated air.
By raising the relative humidity levels of your indoor air, your body and your home are exposed to more moisture. Moisture in the air helps the body retain its own moisture – as well as helps it feel warmer! You can put away the lip balm and lotion and let your skin soak in the airborne moisture to alleviate symptoms. Plus, illnesses are less likely to spread so you’ll feel healthier, too. As the woodwork in your home is surrounded by properly humidified air, it can hold its shape and function properly, without squeaks, creaks, or cracks.
Now that you know the signs of dry air at home, it’s easy to figure out how to know if you need a humidifier. If you or your loved ones suffer any of the symptoms above, call Grove Heating & Cooling today and request a quote for whole home humidifier installation.
Furnaces are forced air heating systems, meaning they rely on a blower motor and fan to circulate heated air from the unit into the home through the duct system. Just like any other system component, it is possible for the blower motor to go bad and require a replacement blower motor. Grove Heating & Cooling shares bad furnace motor blower symptoms to watch for so you’ll know when to schedule repair service and have your blower replaced.
The furnace’s blower assembly is made up of a motor and fan that runs to circulate heated air from the furnace system, through the ductwork, and into your home’s various living areas. If your blower motor starts to wear out, you may notice some symptoms such as:
As mentioned, the blower’s job is to circulate air through the system. If the blower motor is going bad, it will struggle to operate the fan. The result will be weak airflow coming from the vents inside your living spaces. This airflow issue can be one of the main symptoms that indicate the component needs to be replaced.
Additionally, you may have a bad capacitor and require a replacement to power the motor, or the motor may simply be clogged and require a good cleaning from your HVAC technician. Duct leaks and disconnections may also be to blame for poor airflow and should also be checked out by a professional.
If the blower fails to operate, you won’t receive any heated air through the vents in your home. If the blower isn’t turning on at all, this is a symptom that can indicate a full replacement motor is necessary. Other problems that can cause this symptom are a faulty relay, bad thermostat, or problem with the unit’s fan control. Each of these issues should be diagnosed and repaired by an HVAC technician.
Your furnace should produce very little operating noise under normal conditions – a click or two upon startup and a steady hum as the furnace runs is typical. If you suddenly hear loud and strange sounds like squealing or grinding, these are symptoms of a bad furnace motor blower that can signal signs of motor bearing problems or a damaged belt in older belt-driven models.
Repairs may be possible or it may be time to replace the blower motor entirely. Rattling or knocking noises can indicate a part is damaged or broken in the blower that requires repair. All of these symptoms can be assessed and corrected by a professional.
If you notice a burning smell coming out of your air vents while the furnace runs, these smells are symptoms that tell you the furnace blower motor is overheating. Overheating of the blower motor can happen due to an accumulation of dirt and dust, which you may be able to clean yourself, if you feel comfortable doing so – or your technician can complete this task. There may be a part in the assembly that has failed and must be replaced, or the motor may just be wearing out and is due for replacement.
Energy bills that are suddenly higher than normal are a general sign that points to furnace issues, rather than bad blower motor symptoms specifically. A bad blower motor can cause the HVAC system to use more energy and drive up your heating bills, and is one possibility that should be investigated if you notice a spike in your winter utility expenses.
When you notice bad furnace motor blower issues over the winter, give Grove Heating & Cooling a call right away. Our skilled heating and air conditioning technicians can diagnose and correct your heating system issues, whether a part needs to be repaired or your entire blower motor needs to be replaced. Contact us to schedule HVAC unit services anytime.
Many homeowners across Maryland use heat pump systems for efficient cooling over the summer months. When winter comes, these versatile HVAC systems can also be used for home heating! Grove Heating & Cooling answers how does a heat pump work in winter so you can better understand the capabilities of this HVAC equipment option.
Let’s run through how a heat pump works in the summer, then it will be simple to understand how a heat pump works in winter! Warm air from the home circulates back to the indoor unit which contains a coil – as refrigerant cycles through the coil, it absorbs heat from the air to lower air temperature.
Cooled air then circulates back into the home via the blower while the refrigerant travels to the outdoor unit. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant and increases its temperature before it moves to the outdoor coil. Within the condenser coil in the outdoor unit, the refrigerant releases heat into the air outdoors. This process repeats as needed to keep the home at a comfortable, cool temperature.
Before we explain how a heat pump works in the winter, let’s first discuss the basics of heat pump operation. A heat pump is an appliance that transfers heat from one source to another. Unlike fuel-burning furnaces and boilers, a heat pump doesn’t generate heat. Because it is merely transferring heat between two sources, this HVAC unit has the ability to both heat and cool a space.
Heat pump systems are split systems. For air-source heat pump systems that transfer heat between indoor air and outdoor air, the heat pump unit sits outdoors, which can be paired with an air handler or even a furnace indoors. The two units are connected by refrigerant lines that run through an exterior wall of the home. Geothermal systems exchange heat between the indoor air and the ground, using a ground loop buried in the ground and a heat pump that is typically installed indoors.
To act as heating systems during the winter months, a heat pump will work in reverse to provide a home with heat. A component called the reversing valve redirects the flow of refrigerant so that heat is absorbed from the outdoor air by the outdoor coil. Heated refrigerant cycles through the indoor coil, releasing heat energy into the air circulating through the unit to raise the air temperature. This process repeats as needed to provide enough warmth for comfortable indoor conditions.
If you’re just learning about how a heat pump works in winter, the process may seem hard to believe – is there really enough heat in the air to keep a whole house warm when it feels chilly outside? Believe it or not, yes! Though it may not feel warm to you, there is plenty of heat energy in the outdoor air for sufficient indoor warmth, depending on the outdoor temperature.
Conventional heat pumps offer very efficient heat up to a certain point, as far as outdoor temperatures go. Once outdoor temperatures fall around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, a heat pump will lose some energy efficiency. When temperatures hit about 25 degrees and below, a heat pump is no longer going to be the most efficient source of heat for a home. It may struggle to keep your home at your preferred temperature and it is best to use a backup heating system at this point, if you have one installed. There are newer cold weather heat pump units that are better equipped for operating in cold temperatures, which can be installed to avoid this winter problem.
A heat pump in the winter doesn’t differ much from summertime cooling operation – the HVAC system simply runs in reverse! Learn more about these versatile heating and air conditioning systems and receive an estimate for the installation of a new heat pump in your home – contact Grove Heating & Cooling today!
A home’s tap water can exhibit various odors and colors due to a number of different issues with the water supply or the plumbing system. Rust-colored water coming from your hot water heater can occur for several reasons, which need to be addressed to avoid health issues and plumbing problems. Grove Heating & Cooling explains the causes of rusty water coming from a water heater and what can be done to return your water color to normal.
If you have rust-colored water, the hue may be caused by bacteria growth somewhere in your plumbing system. While the problem may not originate from your water heater, it may appear that it does because you notice hot water takes on this color – however, both hot and cold water can be rusty when bacteria are present. Types of iron-reducing bacteria are known to create rust-colored water, which is very unappealing to homeowners and anyone who uses a tap in the house. This type of bacterial growth is most common in water supply pipes as well as the water heater tank.
If a plumber determines your water heater rust-colored water is caused by bacteria growing in your plumbing system, the way to get rid of it is by shocking the system. This can be done by adding chlorine to the system. Many homeowners with well water add chlorine bleach to the water well to chlorinate the water supply system. After a wait of 6 to 12 hours, the system should be flushed – open all taps throughout the house and allow water to run until the notable chlorine smell dissipates from your water.
Whenever rust-colored water is noticed in a tank water heater system, corrosion is an immediate suspect. Over time, the metal of the tank can break down due to water conditions if the inner glass lining cracks and allows the outer metal to be exposed to water or if the sacrificial anode rod designed to prevent corrosion isn’t replaced at proper intervals. Even combustion gases can cause the metal to corrode in an older tank water heater.
If rusty or discolored water is isolated to only your hot water, you’ll know that it stems from an issue with your water heater. Unfortunately, when corrosion is present, the only real solution is to replace the unit with a new water heater. Ignoring a corroded hot water tank could lead to a major leak and water damage in your home.
Water lines in some Maryland homes are made of cast iron, which can corrode. These rusty pipes may be present in your home if it was built before about the mid-1980s. In the best case scenario, cast iron water supply pipes will last 50 years, but that isn’t always the case.
A professional plumber will be able to determine the material your water pipes are made of as well as if you have water heater rust-colored hot water or if the hue is due to pipe corrosion rather than water heater tank corrosion. If your home has older cast iron pipes that are starting to break down and display rust in your water, the solution to fix this issue is to replace your home’s piping. This is an extensive job best trusted to a licensed Maryland plumber.
If you have rust-colored water because of your water heater or rusty hot water that stems from another plumbing source, don’t wait to address this issue. Call Grove Heating & Cooling today and schedule water heater repair or plumbing service with our trusted plumbing team.