How Ductless Cooling Can Save You Money

August 19th, 2014

Installing a ductless mini split heat pump or air conditioner in your home offers a number of excellent advantages. These comfort systems are especially useful if you live in a houses that lacks room for ductwork (such as an older or historic house), or if you plan on new home construction and wish to have the complete freedom to design the interior without worrying about fitting in a ventilation system.

Ductless cooling can also save you money. In fact, it also certainly will if you make sure that you have the system installed professionally and schedule regular maintenance for it during the year. To start out right with ductless cooling in Ham Lake, MN, contact the company that has provided the 7-county Metro Area with quality home comfort since 1985: Air Mechanical, Inc. We offer excellent ductless installation, repairs, and maintenance.

The money-saving properties of ductless mini splits

At first, a ductless mini split AC/heat pump may seem more like a construction convenience and a method to improve indoor air quality than as a way to conserve energy. But there are two important ways that going ductless will lower your bills during the year:

  • Reduced energy loss: Air traveling through ducts loses energy along the way, no matter how well-sealed and maintained the ventilation system. Because ducts are placed in closed-off and stuffy areas of a home (between the walls, in the attic), heat will enter through the duct walls and raise the temperature of the area, making the air conditioning less efficient. (The reverse applies for a heat pump in heating mode: heat radiate out of the ducts.) The development of dust and dirt inside ductwork also causes air resistance that lowers system efficiency. Ductless systems give you cooling sent straight from blower units mounted on walls, providing you more efficient heating and cooling.
  • Zone control: Because ductless mini splits use individual blower units placed throughout a home, each with its own individual controls, you can shut off cooling to sections of the building that don’t need it. You no longer have to cool down the entire house when your central cooling comes on, only the rooms that are occupied. You will significantly reduce your cooling bills when you get rid of the need to wastefully condition empty rooms.

We also offer annual maintenance from trained technicians to make sure that your ductless system runs in the best condition and saves you money the way it should.

Ductless mini split systems are not the ideal option for every home, so before you choose to have installation of ductless cooling in Ham Lake, MN, contact our specialists at Air Mechanical, Inc.

The Different Types of Geothermal Loop Systems

August 12th, 2014

Geothermal energy for home heating and cooling is a rapidly growing industry that is available to more homes now than ever before. One of the reasons that an increasing number of homeowners are opting for the geothermal heat pumps—aside from their advantages in reliability, longevity, and energy efficiency—is that the variety of different geothermal systems professionals can install means even more homes can take advantage of geothermal energy.

At Air Mechanical, Inc., we can handle installation of many types of geothermal loop systems in Oak Grove, MN. There are four basic systems available; contact our experience geothermal team to find out which type will work best for your home.

at Air Mechanical, Inc. our experts will survey your property to determine the geothermal installation that will deliver you all the benefits you expect.

The four different loop systems

  1. Horizontal loops: This is the most common type of loop system, and if a home has sufficient space and the right weather conditions, horizontal loops are usually the number one choice for geothermal installation. They are highly efficient and also easy to repair. The installers dig trenches 4–10 feet deep across the property, then lay the loops flat along the bottom of the trenches and fill them in.
  2. Vertical loops: When there is less space available for the loops, or when the loops need to be buried deeper to access a stable underground temperature, a vertical loop configuration may be the best option. The installers drill holes between 100 and 400 feet into the ground, and pipes connected with a U-joint are lowered into them, which are then joined to a horizontal pipe that runs to the heat pump.
  3. Pond or lake loops: Even though it goes against the name “geothermal,” water can also be used as a heat exchange medium for a geothermal system. If a home has a body of water close enough, the loops can be placed at least eight feet below the water surface to take advantage of the stable temperatures (and to avoid freezing during winter).
  4. Open loops: All the above systems are closed loop, which means they circulate an antifreeze refrigerant through them. With an open loop system, water is used as the refrigerant, and once it is used it returns to the ground. An open loop system connects to the fresh water supply to the house so it always has water available.

Which loop system will work best for my home?

To find this out, contact Air Mechanical, Inc. and arrange for an appointment. We will bring our years of experience to the task of determining which of the various geothermal loop systems in Oak Grove, MN will provide your home with year-round comfort and energy savings.

Common Bathroom Plumbing Repair Issues

August 5th, 2014

No spot in your house uses more water on a daily basis than the bathroom(s). The stress put on the drains and waste water and freshwater lines in a bathroom are immense, and even the best cared-for bathroom will eventually run into plumbing issues. When this time arrives for a bathroom in your home, make sure that you call for professional plumbing repair in Ham Lake, MN. Unless the issue is a clog that is simple enough to eliminate using a plunger, you must leave bathroom plumbing to trained professionals, or else you risk massive leaks, damage to construction material, and even flooding.

Here are some of the more common issues with bathroom plumbing that can lead to repairs. Since 1985, Air Mechanical, Inc. has helped homeowners in the 7-county Metro Area with home comfort. We are ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to help with any plumbing emergency your house may encounter.

The common bathroom plumbing problems

  • Sink and shower drain clogs – The drains in bathrooms typically encounter two problems that will lead to clogs: hair and soap scum. Although you should keep a drain cover over both drains to help prevent excess hair and soap from entering them, you can’t stop all of it. Hair will form into thick clumps down inside the p-trap (the curved pipe section below the drain) and soap scum will develop on the pipe lining and gradually build-up. Soap scum can also create an acid that can eat through the pipes. Plumbers can use professional drain cleaning methods to clear out these blockages.
  • Leaking toilet – A toilet can start to leak water for a variety of reasons. The most frequent causes are loose gaskets between the tank and bowl, a decaying wax ring in the base where the toilet connects to the floor, and cracks along the bowl. It usually takes a plumber to detect what the exact reason for the leaking is. Whatever the cause, it must receive attention immediately. Not only can a leaking toilet lead to flooding into the bathroom and unsanitary conditions, but water damage to the floor material can weaken it to a dangerous point where the weight of the toilet can cause it to break through the floor. (Yes, this happens… far more than you might think.)
  • Weak water pressure – Build-up of scale inside the pipes of your bathroom can lead to a drop in water pressure, and even eventually a loss of water flow entirely. You will need plumbers to descale the plumbing. In many cases, a plumber will recommend that you install a water softener for your home that will remove the minerals that are causing the development of scale.

Air Mechanical, Inc. has highly trained professionals for your needs for plumbing repair in Ham Lake, MN. Call us any time of the day or night to restore your bathroom’s plumbing.

How Ductless Air Conditioning Cools Your Home

July 29th, 2014

All air conditioners rely on the same basic components to run, but only a select few can deliver air to your home without requiring the use of ducts. In many homes without ductwork, homeowners choose to install a ductwork system so they can take advantage of central air conditioning. However, in some older homes, this is not a possibility. And in some room additions or home extensions, this is impractical and unnecessary.

Ductless air conditioning is a popular alternative to central air conditioning with many benefits. These air conditioners are energy-efficient, operate with less noise than window air conditioners, and have built-in zone control so that the people in your home may choose to set the temperature at different levels in different areas of the home. But how can an air conditioner distribute air to your home without using any ducts?

Ductless air conditioning, like most conventional central AC systems, has two main components: the outdoor condenser unit and an indoor unit. However, unless you are cooling only one room, most ductless air conditioners have up to four indoor air handlers per outdoor unit. The only renovation to your home is a small hole drilled in the wall so that refrigerant can move through a line that runs to each unit.

Each indoor air handler contains a blower fan that sucks the air from an area of your home. The air is cooled by the evaporator coil, where refrigerant changes from a liquid to a gas and removes heat from the air. The blower fan sends the now-cooled air into your home, and refrigerant then moves outdoors to release heat. The outside condenser unit of a ductless system contains the same components of any conventional system: the condenser unit, which changes refrigerant into a liquid as heat is transferred to the outside air, and the compressor, which compresses refrigerant into a higher-pressure liquid so that it can move indoors to repeat the process over again.

Ductless systems are an efficient source of cooling for any home that cannot easily accommodate central air conditioning.

When you need a professional to install, replace, repair, or maintain ductless air conditioning in Ham Lake, call the ductless experts at Air Mechanical, Inc.

Reasons to Install a Honeywell WIFI Thermostat in Ham Lake

July 22nd, 2014

Thermostats have always been an important tool by which to manage your indoor air comfort. With recent technological advances, they have also become important tools for energy efficiency. There have been a number of new types of thermostats to hit the market, but one that is truly advanced is the WIFI thermostat from Honeywell. If you want to achieve great energy efficiency with the comfort and convenience of smart technology, installing the Honeywell WIFI thermostat in your Ham Lake home may be the answer.

Benefits of a Honeywell WIFI Thermostat

There are multiple benefits to installing a Honeywell WIFI thermostat:

  • Control from anywhere – Honeywell’s reliable and highly-rated, free app allows you to program your thermostat from your computer, tablet and/or smartphone, whether you’re across the room or around the world
  • Easy setup – the WIFI smart thermostat’s easy setup guides you through a few basic questions to get your 7-day program up and running for immediate energy efficiency
  • Customizable color touchscreen – the bright, easy-to-read touchscreen can be color-customized to match your indoor decor
  • Built-in smart response – the thermostat learns your heating and cooling cycle times to deliver the right temperature when you want it
  • Advanced fan/comfort control – improves air circulation and helps regulate the temperature throughout your home
  • Auto alerts – extreme temperature alerts and filter change reminders are sent to your connected network devices and are also displayed on your Honeywell WIFI smart thermostat, so you’ll never miss an alert
  • Indoor humidity sensor – your indoor humidity is displayed right below the temperature
  • Locking touchscreen – advanced locking features and password options provide security and convenience
  • Compatible with heating, cooling and heat pumps
  • 1-Year Warranty

One item to note about this thermostat: it does not work with heat pumps with electric baseboard heat (120-240V).

Ready to Have the Best? Call Us!

A Honeywell WIFI thermostat in Ham Lake offers the best in thermostat technology for your home.

If you are looking for the comfort, convenience and energy savings a WIFI thermostat can offer, call Air Mechanical, Inc. today to learn more.

Is a Whole House Dehumidifier Right for Me?

July 14th, 2014

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes… and that also means it’s the land of high levels of water vapor in the air during the summer. Excess moisture in the air means more discomfort during the heat, water damage to your home, and spending extra money to run your air conditioner.

There are methods to reduce humidity in your home, but the most effective is to have a whole-house dehumidifier installed. This requires the work of professionals, who must select the right type of dehumidifier and the correct size, and then install it in your ventilation system so that it does the job it’s supposed to do.

If you are on the fence about whether whole-house dehumidifiers in Andover, MN are right for your home, call our indoor air quality specialists at Air Mechanical, Inc.

How a whole-house dehumidifier can benefit you

  • Greater comfort: High humidity makes it more difficult to release body heat through perspiration; the moisture in the air slows down the rate of sweat evaporation. This makes the air feel hotter than it actually is, and can make the summer days quite unpleasant. Balancing the humidity will make your home much more comfortable for the warm months.
  • Save money on air conditioning: Lowering humidity from 80% down to 50% will usually make you comfortable enough that you can reduce your use of the air conditioning system by a third. If you feel that you must keep the air conditioning running most days to combat the sweltering heat, then installing a whole-house dehumidifier will make a significant reduction in your cooling costs.
  • Stop mold, mildew, and wood rot: High moisture is a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and other biological growths that you do not want developing in your home. All of these growths can cause significant damage to wood and drywall. In addition, mold can release dangerous toxic spores that will harm your indoor air quality. Mold and mildew inside a home is often a major warning sign that you need to have humidity controls installed.

Call for professional assessment of humidity in your home

When you notice the signs of high humidity in your home, call Air Mechanical, Inc. and talk to one of our staff members knowledgeable about whole-house dehumidifiers in Andover, MN. An assessment of your home will help our team determine if you will benefit from a dehumidifier, and what type and size will do the right job. The process of selecting a unit is more complicated than your may think, and you will be thankful for the professional assistance of our technicians.

How Excessive Dust Build-Up Can Lead to Air Conditioning Repair

July 7th, 2014

You clean your home as often as you can. Vacuuming the floors, cleaning the oven, dusting the shelves, and doing the laundry are all normal parts of your routine. But did you know there’s one component of your home that may cost you a lot if you don’t keep it clean? Your air conditioner needs attention too. If you are missing one important step in your cleaning routine—regularly changing air filters and scheduling maintenance—you may end up paying big for air conditioning repair.

One of the most common reasons air conditioners need repair, and one of the most preventable reasons, is excessive debris build-up. Your AC needs the proper conditions to operate efficiently, including a certain level of airflow throughout the system. If anything prohibits this airflow, your system will not operate as well as it should, and it could mean costly repairs in the future.

There are many ways that dust can affect your system. A couple of these include:

  • Dirty Air Filters: It may be easy to forget to change an air filter, but dirty air filters can lead to a whole host of problems. Airflow issues can the indoor evaporator coil to freeze, which could lead to a serious repair issue. Furthermore, the accumulation of debris in the ducts can lead to efficiency and performance issues.
  • Blocked Coils: Your system relies on an indoor and outdoor coil to remove heat from your home and release it outside. If either of these coils becomes blocked due to excessive dust build-up, your system may not be able to deliver cool air into your home, and your system may become overworked and could eventually fail.

To prevent issues caused by dirty air filters, you should clean or replace your filters once every month or so. To prevent any other problems caused by excessive dirt build-up, call an AC technician to look at your system during a once-a-year maintenance call to clean any dirty system components that could lead to problems.

If you need maintenance or air conditioning repair in White Bear Lake because your system has gotten a little too dusty lately, or for any other repair issue, call Air Mechanical, Inc. today!

Denmark Also Celebrates the Fourth of July

July 4th, 2014

Maybe an elementary school teacher tried to trip you up with this test question: “Do other countries have a Fourth of July?” If the teacher had phrased the question as, “Do other countries celebrate the Fourth of July?” you would be less likely to slip up and answer “no.”

Except… and your teacher probably didn’t know this at the time… there is another country that celebrates the Fourth of July. They don’t celebrate a holiday that happens to fall on July 4 (there are quite a few of those spread across the globe), but the actually celebrate U.S. Independence Day.

That country is—Denmark.

Every July 4, in the Rebild Region in the north of Denmark, thousands of people gather in Rebild National Park to hold the largest Fourth of July celebration outside the U.S.A., an events known as Rebildfesten. This tradition has continued for over a hundred years now, starting in 1912. The origins of this unusual celebration is that in 1911 a ground of Danish Americans purchased the 140 acres of the parkland between the woods in Rold and the Lindenborg stream. The next year, they deeded the land to the Danish King and people of the country as a memorial to Danish Americans, under the condition that the place remain undeveloped, open to the public, and used to celebrate U.S. holidays. Today, the park also hosts a museum on the history of Danish immigrants to the U.S., housed inside a log cabin.

This display of solidarity with the U.S. is because of the country’s warm welcome of 300,000 Danish settlers who were among the earliest to migrate across the seas. The celebration continues as sign of the long friendship between the two nations.

Since its inception, the celebration has hosted famous speakers such as the members of the Danish royal family (the queen and princess both attended for the 100th anniversary), Walt Disney, Keith Carradine, and Richard Chamberlain. The festivities actually start two days earlier, but on the fourth is when the major parade is held (which marches over 3 miles from the train station) and the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra performs a selections of music from both countries.

Although we doubt you will be celebrating your Fourth of July in Denmark this year, we at Air Mechanical hope you have a fantastic Independence Day.

Signs That You Need an Air Purifier in Your Home

June 27th, 2014

Throwing open the windows is great in springtime, but if you are finding that the outside air, even on hot days, seems more refreshing than your inside air, it may be time to consider installing an air purifier to your air conditioning system in Oak Grove.

Why install a separate air purifier when your system has a built-in air filter? The air filter that comes standard with your air conditioner is there to protect your system from engulfing too much dirt and dust during normal usage. While this can help somewhat with indoor air quality, improving indoor air quality is not the main job of this filter, so it will not capture microbes like pollen, mold and mildew spores, odors or other things an air purifier can. Following are some of the most common reasons Air Mechanical, Inc., customers have chosen to add an air purifier to their Oak Grove air conditioning systems:

  • Allergy sufferers are suffering – the conditioned air in your home should be a relief to the people in it. If your allergy sufferers are exhibiting the sneezing, coughing and watery eyes that come with allergic reactions inside your house the same as outside your house, this can mean there are too many allergens floating around your home. Using an air purifier will help strain those allergens from the air, capturing them effectively so they can’t keep circulating through your air conditioning system.
  • Lingering smells – are there smells in your home that don’t seem to disappear? We’re talking about things like cooking smells, cleaning supply smells, smells from hobbies, like glue or paint – all odors that should dissipate once the task is completed. With an air purifier, smells don’t have the chance to linger as they are quickly filtered through the purification system, returning as fresh, cool air.
  • Problems with combustion sources – a combustion source is any appliance that burns when in use. Examples of combustion sources would be wood-burning stoves, candles, oil lamps and any kind of tobacco consumption. Anything that burns can become an air pollutant and can contribute negatively to your indoor air environment.

Don’t Let Your Lungs Go It Alone

The average adult inhales and exhales around 11,000 liters of air per day; if your indoor air isn’t healthy, that’s a lot of poor air your lungs have to filter on their own.

If you think your home could benefit from the installation of an air purifier in Oak Grove, call the people with almost 30 years of experience: call Air Mechanical, Inc. today.

Stages Involved in Air Conditioning Maintenance

June 20th, 2014

If you’ve never scheduled air conditioning maintenance, you may be curious about the process an HVAC technician goes through to make sure your AC is working properly. Sometimes it seems as if your air conditioner is working exactly as it should and that your system doesn’t require any maintenance. However, it’s a good idea to get your air conditioner serviced once a year to provide any necessary adjustments and cleaning and to make sure your system won’t break down when you need it most.

When you decide to schedule your Andover air conditioning maintenance, your system will be thoroughly inspected and cleaned and any necessary adjustments will be made. Here is a description of the stages involved in AC maintenance.

Inspection

A technician will inspect every aspect of your system and inform you if any repairs are needed. While your system may appear to be running the way it should, there may be parts that are loose or damaged, such as a damaged evaporator coil or a leaky duct. If left unaddressed, a small problem can eventually cause your system to become less efficient or break down. During maintenance, a technician can tell you whether the damage will become worse and will recommend any additional services that may be needed.

Cleaning

Though you may clean or replace your air filters every month, the evaporator and condenser coils should be disassembled and cleaned by a professional once a year. A professional will also check for and clean any additional dust on the indoor and outdoor fan blades that may affect the performance of your system.

Adjustment

When needed, a technician will adjust your refrigerant and check for the proper charge. Because refrigerant is responsible for absorbing the heat in your home and moving it outside, low refrigerant levels will result in a poor cooling experience. The HVAC specialist will also check for any adjustments that can be made without a repair, such as straightening out bent cooling fins.

When you decide to schedule maintenance for your air conditioning system, call Air Mechanical, Inc. for the best air conditioning maintenance in Andover.