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Broken Boiler in North Dakota

North Dakota's Health Department warns that winter weather can isolate or confine you in your home, especially in rural areas. It recommends that you prepare to survive at home for at least a week in case a storm makes it impossible for you to get out.

  • Keep an emergency supply of heating fuel on hand and use it judiciously. You may need to close off some rooms temporarily.
  • Have some form of emergency heating equipment (for example a camp stove with fuel or a wood or coal for a fireplace) because you need to keep at least one room of your house warm enough for survival.

Troubleshooting Heating Problems

In the event of a heat loss problem, troubleshoot your boiler. Mike Bell, owner of Extreme Radiant in Carson City, Nevada says that many smaller problems can be fixed easily by homeowners.

  • Too little heat being produced: This could be from mineral deposits in the the boiler or heat exchanger, or your water pressure may be too low. First, see if your water pressure is less than 12 psi by checking the pressure or combination temperature /pressure gauge. If the pressure is low, add water to the tank by opening the water feed valve until pressure is 12 to 15 psi. If mineral deposits are the problem, have a heating professional flush the tank.
  • No heat: Your first move is to check your pilot light. If it's off, verify that the gas is on before re-lighting the pilot light. Your manufacturer's instructions should be posted on or near the unit. Follow them exactly. Electric boilers may have tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses. If that's your problem, replace the fuse or reset the circuit breaker. Then check that that the thermostat is in "heat" mode and adjusted to the correct temperature. You can wiggle the thermostat a little--the boiler may self-correct. Finally, you might have excess air in your heating system. Get it out it by using a radiator key or flat head screwdriver. There is usually a small valve on top of each radiator. Turn it 90 degrees counterclockwise to release air. Water should emerge; at this point, return the valve to its original position. Repeat for all radiators.
  • Unusual noises: Hammering or knocking points to incorrect installation which requires an expert to correct.

Mike Bell says that if these actions don't solve the heat loss, 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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