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Why Does My Heater Make a Screeching Sound?

Nov 26, 2018

You finally get home after a long, chilly day. As soon as you come inside, you crank up the thermostat hoping to knock some of the chill out of your bones. But instead of being greeted with a warm, gentle breeze from the furnace, you’re startled by the sound of an earsplitting, hair-raising screech.

Your first thought is probably, “That sounds expensive.”

A screeching heater is unnerving. However, most of the time, it’s a simple fix that requires a bit of expert knowledge and skilled hands to repair. It’s not a sound that you want to turn up the TV and ignore, though—the longer your heater screeches, the more you risk costly damage.

Let’s take a look at the most common causes of a screeching or squealing heater.

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Why Is My Furnace Running but Not Blowing Hot Air?

Oct 29, 2018

Your furnace clicks on and the blower motor is running, but the air coming from the vents is cold or cool instead of hot. Or maybe the air starts off hot, then turns cool before the furnace shuts down.

Let’s look at some of the solutions to this common furnace problem.

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Why Do You Need a Draft Check and Combustion Analysis?

Oct 17, 2018

Gas fired appliances like furnaces, boilers and water heaters create gases as a byproduct of the combustion process. In order for these appliances to work safely, they must be vented properly and maintain a proper draft to make sure the gases exit your home. Gas leaks, high carbon monoxide levels, and improper drafting can all be dangerous if not addressed.

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Where are My Water and Gas Shut Off Valves?

Aug 14, 2018

If you need to turn off your home’s gas or water due to a needed repair or a weather issue, first you have to know where the water and gas shut off valves are located. Ideally, you’ll want to locate the main or master shut offs, as well as the supply shut offs, before an emergency happens.

SAFETY NOTE: If you suspect a gas leak, do not try to turn off the gas to your home. Get outside, move away from the house, and then call the gas company.

If you have a water leak, your municipal water supplier may have an emergency number you can call to report it.

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4 Reasons You Should Replace That Old Toilet

Jul 17, 2018

Does your toilet require lengthy instructions to guests on how to flush it? Is it worn out to the point where no amount of cleaning can make it presentable, and you hope guests don’t ask to use it in the first place? Why haven’t you replaced that old toilet already?

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Top 4 Reasons Your Air Conditioner Isn’t Working

Jul 03, 2018

Oh, fantastic. You’re sweltering on a hot day and no matter how low you set the thermostat, your air conditioning system just can’t seem to cool the house. Or maybe you feel warm-ish air coming out of the vents instead of nice cold air. What could be going on?

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The Difference Between Commercial and Residential HVAC Services for your Chicago Property

Jun 13, 2018

Do you know the differences between residential HVAC and commercial HVAC? Knowing the differences can help you choose the right contractor for your routine maintenance, repairs and HVAC replacements.

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How Old Is Your Sump Pump?

May 14, 2018

“Do you know how old your sump pump is?”

I love to ask people this when I get the chance. Unless they recently had a flooded basement, they don’t remember. Nobody does.

That’s not surprising. There’s a lot to remember these days … passwords, websites, birthdays, anniversaries (especially that last one!). After awhile, it’s hard enough to remember your own age, let alone the age of your sump pump. Plus, it’s down in the basement where you never go if you can help it. Even if you do look at the sump pump, it’s not like there’s a tag on it that clearly tells you the age.

Here’s the thing. Even though forgetting your sump pump’s birthday is understandable, it can lead to problems (and not because you didn’t get it a gift…).

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How to Keep Your Household Safe from Furnace Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Feb 12, 2018

Most of us view our homes as inanimate objects, constructed of wood, bricks, steel, glass, and roofing materials. Few look at our houses as a representation of who we are. Literally.

Take, for example, our home's electrical system. It serves as the “nervous system” of our houses, providing the power it needs to function efficiently. A home's plumbing serves much like our own and even our insulation qualities are similar. Have you ever given thought to the fact that your home's HVAC system serves as the lungs of your home?

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The 3 Most Common Furnace Repairs for NW Chicago Homeowners

Feb 06, 2018

This has been another brutal winter in Crystal Lake and the NW Chicago area. The fact is, relatively few areas of the country have been spared from the cold. In Northwest Chicago, however, it seems we have gone weeks at a time without the temperatures reaching above freezing. It is easy to see these conditions are tough on our cars and our attitudes but they are also tough on our furnaces. Our furnaces are asked to work overtime to keep us comfortable in these weather conditions without much regard to age or condition. Eventually, the weakest link or links will fail creating a need for a furnace repair. At Althoff Industries, these are the most common repairs that we have encountered for NW Chicago area homeowners.

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