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Northwest Ohio & Southeast Michigan


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If you've been shopping for a new appliance like a refrigerator or stove, you have likely seen an ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR® is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program started in 1992 that helps consumers save money and reduce their impact on the climate through better energy efficiency.

Energy Star

The government has partnered with other industry to include not only major appliances but also air conditioners, water heaters and even new homes and buildings. In order to be Energy Star rated, appliances must meet strict energy efficiency guidelines, as set out by that program. Look for this label when shopping for an appliance if you want to reduce your energy costs.

One of the most energy intensive appliances in the home is the central air conditioner, accounting for almost half of the energy us in many homes. If you're replacing a 10 year old air inefficient conditioner you could save $100 on your energy bill with an Energy Star rated central air conditioner. The ENERGY STAR label guarantees significant energy savings and do not cost any more than standard appliances.

When its time to replace your old central air conditioner, ask ABC Southwest for information on the latest ENERGY STAR® units. You'll be surprised how much the savings can add up.
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 02:09

How to Check a Gas Pilot Light

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How to Check a Gas Pilot Light

Furnace Pilot LightWhile electronic ignition furnaces have been around for a while now, you may still have a gas furnace with a standing pilot light that remains lit all the time. The standing pilot light works in conjunction with a thermocouple to control the ignition of the burners and the flow of gas. The thermocouple senses if the pilot flame is hot enough to ignite the fuel to the burner.

If you have an old furnace that uses a pilot light, it needs to be kept clean burning and properly adjusted to ensure that the furnace operates safely and efficiently.

Inspecting a Gas Furnace Pilot Light Flame

Remove the furnace cover panel to expose the burner assembly and pilot. You should be able to clearly see the flame of the pilot light.

The first thing to check is the color of the flame. A natural gas flame should be a bright blue color with a small amount of yellow at the very tip. A propane flame will have more of a bluish-green flame with a tinge of yellow at the tip. The flame should strong enough to cover about 1/2 inch at the end of the thermocouple tip.

If the flame is too strong and not adjusted correctly, it will be blue and may make a hissing sound as the flame crosses the thermocouple. The pilot should be adjusted to reduce the intensity of the flame.

A yellow flame is caused by lack of oxygen and incomplete combustion. If the pilot light is a weak yellow flame it will not get hot enough to heat the thermocouple to the temperature needed to enable the gas valve to open. This is often caused by a dirty pilot tube tip.

A split flame is usually caused by debris inside the pilot tube.

A flickering or wavering flame is usually caused by a draft. Check to see if there are sources of drafts in the room and take steps to reduce the effects on the furnace.

Have questions about your gas furnace or boiler? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing.

Solving the Most Common Boiler Problems

1. The Burner Is Not Operating

There are several reasons the burner may not operate, they include a lack of fuel, a thermostat that is set too low or no electrical power to the unit. If there is sufficient fuel, check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit. Next, turn the thermostat up higher by a few degrees. Check that the filter and ductwork are not blocked or restricted and that the blower motor is operating.

2. The Burner Will Not Fire

If the burner is working, but will not fire, it could be a fuel supply problem. This can be caused by a failed oil pump or a clogged nozzle filter or oil line.

3. Smoking Burner

Smoking burners are often caused by an out of adjustment burner, a dirty or wrong type of nozzle or end cone. Other causes include a defective heat exchanger, incorrect oil pressure or an obstructed chimney.

4. High Fuel Consumption

When an oil boiler is consuming too much fuel it if often because off lack of maintenance or a system that is out of adjustment. An improperly sized or adjusted boiler can also cause inefficient operation and high fuel consumption.

5. Heating System Odors

Many of the same problems that can lead to a smoking boiler can cause odors, including a clogged nozzle, broken heat exchanger or a burner that is out of adjustment. The chimney may also need to be cleaned.

Have boiler problems? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can help with all your home boiler maintenance and repair needs.

The Importance of Regular Boiler Maintenance

Whether you have a gas or oil boiler, it's important that it be kept clean and properly tuned to keep it running safely and efficiently all winter long. Annual boiler maintenance will pay for itself in prolonged heating system lifespan and fewer service calls.

A Gibson's Boiler Tune-Up is designed to find the small problems that could lead unsafe carbon monoxide levels or breakdowns. We do the following:

Clean the Combustion Chamber

The combustion chamber is where fuel mixes with air and is ignited, generating heat. The byproducts of combustion are soot, water vapor and carbon dioxide. If soot is allowed to buildup it can cause the chamber walls to corrode. The chamber is also inspected for holes or corrosion.

Inspect the Flue Pipe

Holes in the flue pipe can leak carbon monoxide so small holes are patched with foil tape, while corroded flues are replaced.

Replace the Oil Filter

A clean oil filter is important for keeping oil-burner nozzle free of contaminants, which could result in a combustion problems that can shut down the system.

Adjust the Burner and Test Efficiency

A combustion analyzer is used to calculate furnace efficiency by measuring gasses in the exhaust flue. The burner's air gates are adjusted as needed for the proper fuel to air mixture. The oil nozzle, which atomizes the fuel just before it ignites, is inspected and replaced if needed.

Need help maintaining your oil or gas boiler? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can help with all your home heating service needs.
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 19:22

Space Heater Safety Tips

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Tips to Stay Safe With Space Heaters

Did you know that 80 percent of home heating fire deaths in the U.S. involve space heaters and that 32 percent of home heating fires are caused by space heaters? It is estimated that space heaters cause over 19,000 home fires, 360 deaths, and over 1,000 injuries a year.

Once a house fire starts it is only a matter minutes before it becomes life-threatening. By following a few safety steps when using a space heater you can avoid becoming a statistics.
  • Space heaters should never be closer than 3 feet to upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses, bedding and other flammable material.
  • Place the space heater on a hard, level and nonflammable surface
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters
  • Never leave a space heater running when you are away from home.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a grounded wall outlet without adapters or extension cords
  • Choose a model with features like a built-in thermostat that shuts the heater off when the room temperature is met and a thermal cut out switch that shuts the heater off if it gets too hot.
  • If you have kids or pets, a cool touch exterior can prevent accidental burns
  • Ensure there is a working smoke detector on every level of the home and test them monthly
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 00:59

Winter Home Heating Checklist

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Winter Home Heating Checklist

Freezing weather is right around the corner in the corner. Now is the time to ensure that your home's heating system and other areas of your home are ready to fight off the chill of winter. Here are a few things to check to ensure your heating system is operating safely and reliably this winter.
  1. Schedule your furnace tune-up. Keeping your furnace maintained will keep it running longer while helping it operate more efficiently.
  2. Replace your furnace filter at least once a month. A dirty air filter will reduce furnace efficiency and reduce the lifespan of the heating system.
  3. Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees. For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs.
  4. Program your thermostat. If you're on a predictable schedule, set your thermostat to turn the temperature down when you're not at home.
  5. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans to direct the warm air downward towards the living space.
  6. Check your smoke and CO detectors. Replace the batteries as needed.
  7. Ensure that air ducts are not covered or restricted by rugs or furniture.
  8. Seal air leaks around windows and doors.
  9. Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. 
  10. Open all air ducts, even in rooms that are unoccupied.
Call Gibson's today to schedule your furnace tune-up and ensure that your heating system is ready to keep your home warm all winter long.
Professionals rely on advanced thermal imaging cameras to identify problems with plumbing, ductwork, insulation and other systems around the home. Thermal imaging works by converting infrared light into an visible image on a video screen called a thermogram. Temperature differences are easily seen as a range of bright and dark colors. Aim a thermal imager at an old window and cold air leaks become easily visible. By performing a thermal inspection of an entire house you can locate leaking air ducts and attics with insufficient insulation.

The advantages of thermal imaging are not limited to home heating and cooling. Problems with plumbing and electrical systems can also be identified. Water leaks inside walls and ceilings, and clogs inside pipes can be detected through thermal imaging. The cause of overheating electrical systems can also be quickly located by identifying temperature variations in electrical wiring and components.

Inexpensive Thermal Imaging for Homeowners

Until recently the high cost of thermal imaging systems meant they were used almost exclusively by professional contractors. With the rise of smartphones, inexpensive thermal imaging cameras are now in reach of the average homeowner. One example is the Seek CompactXR®, a portable thermal imaging camera that plugs directly into your smartphone. It works by translating thermal energy (infrared light) into a visible image right on your phone. So the next time you're weather sealing your your home tracking down water leaks, or checking for overheating electrical systems, you can take the guesswork out of the equation by using a thermal imaging device to pinpoint the source of the problem.
Many homes have rooms that go unoccupied for long periods of time. Guest rooms, bedrooms and basements make up a large percentage of the air volume in the average home. So it seems like a simple question: if the room is unused, why not close the air registers? The reality is that closing vents can actually waste energy, harm your furnace and air conditioner, while also making occupied rooms less comfortable.

When your central heating and cooling system was installed your HVAC technician carefully measured the volume of air in your entire home, then matched the size of your furnace and air conditioner to provide the best performance. Reducing the air volume by closing vents will not make your AC cool less or the heating system heat less, it will simply send the same amount of air to the open air ducts and vents throughout your home. In addition, during normal operation a home's ductwork will lose 20-30% of the air though leaks. Closing vents will simply cause more conditioned air to leak, wasting energy.

Closing air vents also increases the pressure inside the ductwork, which in turn will make the blower fan work harder to push the air through. The result is an increased risk of the AC evaporator coil freezing or the furnace's heat exchanger overheating.

Of course, closing one or two air vents is not going to cause major issues, but for each vent that is closed the performance of your central heating and cooling system will be diminished.
A lot of homeowners like to save money by tackling home improvement projects themselves. However, there are some projects that are definitely not DIY – including most central heating and air conditioning repairs. For your safety, and to ensure that HVAC equipment is working properly, always have a qualified, licensed professional install and repair air conditioning and heating equipment.

Consider These Facts and Statistics:
  • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 15% of consumer-product related electrocutions are related to contact with large appliances. These electrocutions occur most commonly while someone is attempting to service or repair the appliance.
  • In 2006, an estimated 33,500 injuries were reported to hospital emergency rooms as involving air conditioners, fans, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, and heat pumps. The leading types of injuries were laceration (14,890), contusion or abrasion (6,110), and strain or sprain (4,430).
  • In 2006, air conditioning or related equipment was involved in an estimated 7,400 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 270 civilian injuries and $200 million indirect property damage.
  • In 2003-2006, the 7,000 reported home structure fires per year involving air conditioning and related equipment included 2,400 per year involving central and room air conditioners specifically and 3,700 per year involving fans.
  • In 1995-2003 (excluding 1999, which was not reported), there were 11.5 electrocution deaths per year involving air conditioners and 4.3 electrocution deaths per year involving fans.
So the next time you need help installing or maintaining your home's air conditioner or furnace, call the pros at Gibson's Heating and Plumbing, we're here to help keep you safe and comfortable.
In some home, as much as 40 percent of the air from the central heating and cooling system does not make it to the rooms it is supposed to reach. The main reason is leaking air ducts, and it's one of the most common reasons that some rooms never feel comfortable even as the furnace or air conditioner seems to run much more than it should. Leaking air ducts waste energy and cost you money. So what can you do?

Your home's ductwork is a maze of joints, curves and creases that provides many places for air to leak out. A professional HVAC technician can find these leaks and offer fixes to improve airflow throughout your home. One option is professional duct sealing. Duct sealing involves measuring the rate of air entering and returning in through the HVAC system, then sealing the ducts form the inside using sprayed on polymers that fill the gaps and stop leaks.

The first step to fixing air duct leaks is to have Gibson's inspect the efficiency of your HVAC system. We can identify any problem areas and recommend solutions to reduce air leaks. Call today to learn more.
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Furnace & Boiler Service, Repairs & Installation

  • Emergency Heating Services 24/7
  • We Repair All Makes & Models
  • Furnace Repairs, Sales & Installation
  • We Carry A Complete Line Of Innovative American Standard Heating Systems & Products
  • Zoning
  • Heat Pumps
  • Programmable Thermostats & Talking Thermostats
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors
  • Custom Duct Work & Duct Cleaning
  • Humidifiers & Whole House Humidification Systems
  • Indoor Air Quality
  • Electronic Air Cleaners
  • High Efficiency Air Cleaning Systems
  • UV Lights
  • Annual System Tune-Ups & Safety Inspections
  • Maintenance & Service Plans

Why Choose Gibson's?

Check Live operators – no answering machines Check We listen to your needs & talk in non-technical language
Check Convenient appointments made around your schedule Check We follow up to make sure you are 100% satisfied
Check Friendly, uniformed technicians Check We stand by everything we do – NO EXCEPTIONS!
Check We use floor protectors and thouroughly clean the work area  
 Live operators – no answering machines
 Convenient appointments made around your schedule
 Friendly, uniformed technicians
 We use floor protectors and thouroughly clean the work area
 We listen to your needs & talk in non-technical language
 We follow up to make sure you are 100% satisfied
 We stand by everything we do – NO EXCEPTIONS!

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