An A/C. Like New. Like Now

It’s hard to argue with a simple principle: If you take care of something, it lasts longer.  That’s true whether you’re exercising to tone your body, driving your car to a service appointment or updating the exterior paint on your house.  And it’s certainly true for taking care of your home’s air conditioning system.

Any piece of equipment can show signs of deterioration as it ages year after year.  Yet routine maintenance can substantially slow the aging process – while neglect can lead to a system a failure long before its time.Lennox rebates

To turn back the hands of time, schedule a routine tune-up every year on your air conditioner.  With this check by a professional tech, you’ll get a clear picture of how your system is holding up as it performs its duties of keeping you cool and comfortable. Filters

By tightening connections, lubricating parts, cleaning coils and blower components, checking drains, clearing debris, adjusting settings, checking refrigerant levels and checking controls, your system can be restored to its top condition, and you’ve got a much better chance of avoiding inconvenient repairs.

It’s always a good idea to take care of your large investments, and your air conditioning system plays heavily into your home’s value.  Plus, reliable, energy-efficient operation is well worth the time it takes for a friendly visit from a technician.

To keep your cooling comfort at peak performance, call us to request a tune-up on your air conditioning system. We’re here to keep things running smoothly all season long.

NOTE: Act fast to save!  Lennox rebates expire June 9th, 2017.

How to Keep Your Cool

Springtime temperatures create built-in benefits for enjoying indoor comfort while conserving energy. Try these tips to make the most of lower energy costs:

Add Ventilation – During moderate temperatures, natural ventilation is your best strategy for saving on energy, so fling open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. The use of well-placed fans will keep the air moving breezily through your rooms.IMG_1698

Reduce Heat – Watch how appliances and lighting heat up your home. Something to consider – the Department of Energy says that only 10-15 percent of the electricity used by incandescent lights actually produces light; the rest produces heat. Turn off fixtures you aren’t using.

Prepare Your Equipment – Be sure to get your air conditioning system serviced before summer. with proper maintenance, you’ll increase the life of the equipment and preserve its energy efficiency. A professional technician may also be able to pinpoint problems early on before they lead to untimely breakdowns. Call us to schedule your tune-up.Maintenance Agreement/J & R Heating

Watch Your Settings – When you do turn on your air conditioner for seasonal comfort, choose your thermostat setting wisely. According to the DOE, you can save up to 1 percent for each degree you set the temperature back for eight hours or longer. For example, if you run your air conditioner at 78 degrees instead of 72, you can save between 6-18 percent on your cooling bill. A programmable thermostat will monitor these settings for you.IMG_1696

My Word

Hello Friends,My Word

Is spring a time to slow down or speed up?  The milder weather certainly gives us a chance to get outdoors more often, take in fresh breezes and enjoy the green and blooming landscape.  It’s great to relax and recharge after a long winter.

But being busy has its advantages, too!  That’s why we’re so grateful to our customers for allowing us to serve you.  Our winter was packed with all sorts of opportunities to help folks like you with fast repairs and routine service.  Some of you are enjoying the start of this season knowing that you have a trustworthy and highly efficient new system to keep you comfortable.

As we’ve said, the best way to avoid future problems is to have your cooling and heating equipment tuned up before the start of the next busy season.  So, please call to schedule yours before we’re booked.

Sincerely,

Jim Petersen

Cooling System Checklist

Carbon Clean Merv 16 filter

Carbon Clean Merv 16 filter

Here is a DIY checklist to make sure your cooling system will save you money on your electric bill this spring and summer.

  • Have the cooling system maintained and inspected yearly, by a qualified contractor like us.
  • Set the thermostat at 78°F.  Each degree higher saves approximately 6% on air conditioning costs.
  • Don’t turn the thermostat lower than the desired setting.  The house will not cool off any faster and can overshoot the desired temperature – wasting energy.
  • Install a ceiling fan to create air movement.  The air movement can keep you cool at a higher temperature, allowing you to avoid using your air conditioner, or letting you set the air conditioner at a higher temperature.
  • Cut back plants, bushes, and trees that may restrict air flow to the outdoor unit.
  • Keep the outdoor coils free of dirt, debris, and leaves.
  • Keep windows shut when closing up the house for the day or when running the air conditioner.
  • Make sure your clothes dryer is vented outdoors.  You don’t need the heat or humidity inside the house.
  • Close your drapes on hot days.  If there is some way to shade your windows from the outside, this will keep out even more heat.
  • Use kitchen and bath vents to rid the house of excess heat and moisture.  Turn off the gas furnace pilot light in the summer.
  • Change the furnace filter.  They need to be changed anywhere from every 30-270 days.

What Secrets is Your Air Conditioner Not Telling You

It’s nearly scandalous.  We get phone calls during spring for a variety of service reasons.  Sometimes the whole repair could’ve been avoided if you’d been listening to your AC’s secrets.  Here’s what I mean:

Funny noises that aren’t funny.  Sometimes a homeowner will hear these noises at start up, but then they go away, so they assume all is ‘ok.’  Then the noises last longer or get louder, and most homeowners have numbed themselves into believing, “Oh, it just does that.”

Could be a loose damper, which is very easily fixed.  Or maybe a bearing is going bad.  A tiny little ball designed to reduce friction has quit doing that, and the machine is screaming in protest for some attention.  If you don’t fix it the machine can and will often self-destruct the bearing assembly.

As you would imagine, not cheap.  Yet if caught in time, a shot of lubricant or another quick fix could’ve avoided the whole thing.

“My house is having hot flashes.”  This is your A/C whispering for a little TLC.  When one room is warmer than another – by say more than 3 degrees – that means there’s a correctable flaw in the system.  Blockage, duct venting or maybe a different diffuser could take care of this annoyance very easily.

The thing is, don’t “just get used to it” when you’re paying to be comfortable in your home!  Seriously, let us check it out.  This is what we do.

Bottom Line: The longer you ignore you A/C’s little secrets, the more they grow to potentially drain your wallet.  So let us come out to help soothe your system and bring your system and bring you the comfort you both deserve.  All it takes is a good listener.Cooling System

Inventors to Thank for Everyday Appliances

Garbage Disposal: John W. Hammes got the garbage disposal patented by 1935 and had it on the market by 1940. He made the very first garbage disposal in 1927 in Racine, Wisconsin.

Washer: Clothing washers have been around since almost the beginning of time with creations like the wash board.  The way people washed their clothes changed forever in 1908 when Alva J. Fisher invented the first electric washing machine.

Dryer: In 1915 J. Ross Moore invented the first electric clothing dryer in North Dakota and patented the design by 1935.

Microwave: Percy Spencer patented the first microwave on October 8th 1945.  However this microwave, unlike it’s modern counterpart, was around 6 feet tall, 800 pounds, and nearly 5,000 dollars. It wasn’t until around 1965 that the microwave become affordable and kitchen ready.

Refrigerator: The first modern refrigerator was designed in 1805 by a man named Oliver Evans. Unfortunately, Evans did not further pursue his refrigerator design until he moved to Philadelphia and met a man named Jacob Perkins. Evans and Perkins modified the refrigerator design and patented the first modern refrigerator in 1835.

Dishwasher: Josephine Cochran, in 1893, invented the very first motor run dishwasher that used water pressure instead scrubbers to clean the dishes. Cochran got the dishwasher patented in 1897 in Shelby, Illinois.

Air Conditioner: Willis Carrier invented the first modern air conditioner in Buffalo, New York in 1902. The air conditioner was patented in 1906. In 1914 Carrier was layed off from his engineering position at Buffalo Forge Company.  This was a blessing in disguise as he later went on to co-found the Carrier Engineering Company.  Still today the Carrier Engineering Company is one of the major manufacturers of heating and cooling appliances.

 

Furnace: Alice H. Parker designed the first furnace in Morristown, New Hampshire in 1919. On December 23, 1919 Alice Parker’s patent was accepted for the first single source, gas-fired furnace.

5 Common Energy Myths

Some ideas are so widely believed they don’t even cause a second thought. Although often true, such common wisdom may be based on outdated or false information. Popular misconceptions about energy use can reduce home comfort and raise utility bills. Listed below are five energy myths that may be costing you.

  1. If you set the thermostat higher or lower it will heat or cool a room faster.

    No matter what the thermostat setting, air conditioners and furnaces work at the same speed. As a matter of fact, more energy may be wasted as the system continues to run to reach the further set point.IMG_1696

  2. If you leaving the lights on it uses less energy than turning them on and off.

    In most instances, the small surge of power needed to turn a light on is much less than the power that is wasted by leaving it on when it’s not needed.  In fact, MythBusters busted this myth in one of their episodes years ago.IMG_1697

  3. If you close off vents you will reduce heating and cooling costs.

    Closing vents is a terrible way to save on energy costs. Cooling and heating systems are designed to distribute air evenly; closing vents causes pressure to build up. This pressure build up often results in duct leaks that waste energy.

  4. If you leaving a ceiling fan on it will cool a room.

    Ceiling fans circulate air which makes you feel cooler.  This allows you to save energy by raising the temperature on the thermostat. However, they don’t cool the air. Leaving fans on in empty rooms wastes energy.IMG_1698

  5. Hand washing dishes is cheaper than using a dishwasher.

    It’s a widely believed misconception that dishwashers are convenient, but use more water and energy than hand washing. When in fact, washing a typical load of dishes in a dishwasher uses 37% less water.  Likewise, using a dishwasher, rather than hand washing, may cut your annual energy costs by more than $40, according to ENERGY STAR.IMG_1699

    Valentine

    Happy Valentines Day!

50 Ways your Home can Save the Earth – A Good to be Home Infographic

Reduce your negative impact on the environment and improve your well being with 50 ways your home can save the earth.

Just a note: I apologize for the metric system measurements.  The source is from the United Kingdom.50-ways-your-home-could-save-the-earth

Source: 50 Ways your Home can Save the Earth – A Good to be Home Infographic

Ammonia – 10 Things You Should Know

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  1. Water absorbs ammonia to form ammonium hydroxide and has a high pH (alkaline).  Contain pooled amounts in a safe location so the ammonia solution can evaporate or otherwise be mitigated.
  2. Ammonia reacts violently with chlorine, acids brass, copper, silver, and zinc.  These elements corrode rapidly when mixed with ammonia in the presence of moisture.
  3. Large volumes of water dilute ammonia but form a highly corrosive ammonia hydroxide solution.  Avoid using water unless it’s absolutely necessary to protect live (evacuation or rescue).  Never put water on ammonia liquid, an aerosol steam, or an aerosol-dense gas cloud.
  4. Ammonia is easy to contain by tarping the component that is releasing it, especially for outside releases.  For inside releases, close doors and block openings to the buildings with a tarp.
  5. If an ammonia cloud is spreading toward your home or business and you cannot immediately escape upwind safely, stay indoors (shelter in place), seal the doorways and windows, shut off heating and ventilation systems, and wait until the cloud passes.  If ammonia vapor enters the structure where people are sheltered, consider using a wet washcloth over the nose and mouth to catch the ammonia vapors (rinse or replace the cloth if it becomes saturated with ammonia vapor), take shallow breaths through the nose, and/or move to a bathroom and turn on a shower.
  6. Free-flowing ammonia vapor tends to stay together in a a shape of its own, because in dense amounts it creates a cooler-than-ambient environment.  Ammonia travels downwind in a V-pattern and eventually dissipates upward into the atmosphere.
  7. Stay out of a cloud of ammonia contained inside a room, as it may be flammable and will be very cold.
  8. Allow ammonia vapors to escape to the atmosphere unless the release is causing a serious threat to life safety.  Dry, windy weather dissipates ammonia the fastest.  Humid and foggy weather results in poor dissipation.  Inversion pressures (smoggy day) slow dissipation.  Rain dissipates ammonia releases (contain the runoff until the pH is in the 7-9 range).  Ammonia will follow the wind direction and track along low valleys until is dissipates.
  9. The best overall method of handling a release is to control ventilation and reduce pressure by releasing it to the atmosphere (from containment within a building or under a containment tarp).  Allow ammonia to dissipate to the atmosphere if people downwind are adequately protected or evacuated.
  10. If caught in an ammonia release, escape laterally and move upwind.  When the release direction is difficult to assess, move inside to shelter in place or move toward someone who has proper personal protective equipment.

Source: Ammonia Safety & Training Institute; www.ammonia-safety.com

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Staying Powered for Fall/Winter

Just because the leaves have dropped and snow has fallen, depending on where you live, doesn’t mean it’s time for your HVAC unit to go into hibernation like a bear.  Most people think it’s okay to turn off their units once the weather cools down, but doing so could be costly in the long run.  Here are three reasons you should not power down your units during the fall/winter season:

  1. Year-round results: HVAC units don’t just cool and heat; they also circulate air and act as dehumidifiers when the cool fall air makes things damp.
  2. Cost-efficient: Constantly turning units off and on is not the ideal way to save.  It’s inexpensive to simply keep the units on, as long as homeowners adjust their thermostat to the home’s desired comfort level so they’re not needlessly cooling or heating.
  3. Fall maintenance: Keeping the units on gives dealers the chance to perform fall/winter maintenance and discover any problem areas before the units are needed for severe weather.Maintenance Agreement/J & R Heating