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Broken Boiler in Alaska

In Alaska, a heating emergency could be deadly. If you have a broken boiler and no alternative heat source, do the following immediately:

  1. Close off unneeded rooms
  2. Stuff towels or rags in cracks under doors
  3. Cover windows at night

Then see if you can troubleshoot your heat loss problem.

  1. Strange noises: Banging or knocking probably indicate incorrect installation. You'll need a professional to correct it and prevent heating problems.
  2. Insufficient heat: Mineral deposits in the the boiler or heat exchanger, or low water pressure are the most likely causes. First, check the pressure or combination temperature / pressure gauge. If the water pressure is lower than 12 psi, add water to the tank by opening the water feed valve until pressure is 12 - 15 psi. If the problem is mineral deposits, have a professional flush the tank.
  3. No heat: First, check the pilot light. If it's off, make sure the gas is on before re-lighting the pilot light. "Wind can come through the exhaust and just blow out the pilot," says Mike Bell, owner of Extreme Radiant in Carson City, NV. "That's an easy fix for the homeowner." Follow the manufacturer's instructions, which should be posted on or near the unit. If your boiler is electric, its circuit breaker may be tripped or its fuse could be blown. Replace the fuse or reset the circuit breaker if needed. Then verify the thermostat is in "heat" mode and set to the desired temperature. Try changing the thermostat a bit and see if the boiler fixes itself. If that doesn't work, you could have air built up in your heating system. Release it by using a flat head screwdriver or radiator key. There should be a small valve on top of each radiator. Give it ¼ turn counterclockwise to release excess air. Once water appears, turn the valve back to its original position. Repeat for all radiators.

If this doesn't fix the problem, Mike Bell says that most likely your boiler's igniter or controller has failed and must be replaced.

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Home Heating Systems

Home Heating Systems
It usually isn’t until we receive our energy bill that we remember how our home is heated. Heat is often taken for granted because for the most part our heating systems are controlled by a simple turn of the thermostat and magically we have heat! In recent times, homeowners are becoming more conscious of how much heat is used because energy costs are taking a bigger bite out of our household budgets.

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Common Air Conditioning Problems

Common A/C Problems
Most air conditioning problems are a result of flawed installation, poor service, and insufficient maintenance. However, there are several ways to check for and resolve problems associated with your central air conditioning. Common problems include the compressor failing to turn on, the air not coming out cool enough, low airflow, and water leaks.

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Energy Efficient Air Conditioning

Energy Efficient Air Conditioning
In order to get the most out of your air conditioning system, it is important to understand the different designs, components, and operating principles. Paying close attention to the proper sizing, selection, installation, maintenance, and correct use are keys to lowing your overall costs.

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