Is Maintenance Still Necessary with a Ductless System?

March 20th, 2015

Ductless HVAC systems, commonly referred to as ductless mini splits, have gained a considerable following in the residential sector. They offer many benefits, including the use of heat pump technology in order to maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the year, as well as outstanding efficiency and the ability to control temperatures throughout the house by zone. Of course, they also eliminate the need for ductwork in the home altogether. However, you must remember that this seemingly simpler design does not mean that your ductless cooling system does not require the same attention that any other system does. You must still schedule professional ductless cooling system maintenance, and Air Mechanical, Inc. is the company to call for doing so.

It is true that many issues with different types of cooling systems can stem from problematic ductwork, including issues with improper air balancing, leaks, and poor sealing. However, routine HVAC maintenance services entail much more than simply evaluating air ducts. Ductless cooling systems share a lot in common with more traditional systems, and this can include many of the problems that those types of systems encounter.

Like any other cooling system, for instance, your ductless air conditioner requires refrigerant in order to facilitate the heat transfer process. If you have even a minor refrigerant leak, your refrigerant charge is going to be low. This will seriously impede the cooling capability of your ductless cooling system. The additional strain on that system and its components, as it struggles to effectively cool your home, can lead to a number of different problems, including high energy costs and subpar performance quality.During routine maintenance, though, we’ll check your refrigerant levels, charging your system and pinpointing any leaks as needed.

Additionally, we will thoroughly clean your ductless air conditioner during routine maintenance. This may sound like one of the simpler aspects of a tune-up, but never underestimate just how important it is to have a clean system. Should your air filters be dirty and clogged, or if any electrical contacts and components are coated with dust and debris, there is just no way in which you can hope for your system to function as effectively and efficiently as possible.

All mechanical systems require professional maintenance services to function at peak performance levels, and your ductless AC is no exception to this rule.

Contact Air Mechanical, Inc. today to schedule your ductless cooling system maintenance services. That way, you can cool your home with the quality of performance that you deserve.

Can’t I Clean My Dryer Vent Myself?

March 13th, 2015

The vent that exhausts heat and moisture from your clothes dryer must remain as unobstructed as possible. There are three reasons for this:

  • To help thoroughly dry clothes during the drying cycle.
  • To keep the dryer as energy efficient as possible.
  • To lower the chances of a house fire.

The third reason is the most important: a large number of house fires start every year because lint clogging the interior of a dryer vent ignites from the heat. Lint is a highly flammable material, and you want most of it removed from the vent and the hose connecting the dryer to the vent.

You need to have your clothes dryer vent cleaned on a regular basis. But this isn’t a job you should take on as a DIY project. Instead, call professionals who offer dryer vent cleaning in Blaine, MN, like the skilled team at Air Mechanical, Inc.

Why dryer vent cleaning is a job for professionals

Crude older clothes dryers had vents and hoses that were simple to access, but this is no longer true. The modern efficient dryer is built with a more complex ventilation system that isn’t one a homeowner can reach on his or her own.

But even if you could reach the vent without trouble, you should still only rely on skilled professionals. Experienced technicians have equipment that allows them to thoroughly clean out the vent in only a short time, without creating a mess or potential problems with the dryer hose in the future. Unless you have professional level equipment, you will spend hours trying to do what will end up as an inferior job. When you have experts tackling the work, it will take less than an hour to complete and you’ll have dryer in great shape.

Dryer vent cleaning does more than simply pull lint from the hose and vent opening. It also checks on other components of the exhaust system for your dryer, such as the outer wall damper. It takes experienced technicians to make these checks to see that the dryer’s exhaust is at its safest and most effective.

Hiring professionals to clean your dryer vent is an investment in speed, energy efficiency, and safety: results you couldn’t get if you tried the job on your own.

The next time you need to schedule dryer vent cleaning in Blaine, MN, you only need to give Air Mechanical, Inc. a call and we will take care of everything.

Why Schedule Bio-Clean Pipe System Treatment Services?

March 6th, 2015

Our plumbing systems are incredibly important in our day to day lives. Every time you brush your teeth, shower, or do the dishes, you depend upon your plumbing system to supply you with the clean, potable water necessary to accomplish these tasks. Of course, you must also know that your plumbing system is capable of disposing of this water in a hygienic, convenient manner when you are done with it. This is where many homeowners encounter problems with their plumbing systems. It is also why you are wise to consider scheduling Bio-Clean pipe system treatment services in Oak Grove. The professional plumbers at Air Mechanical, Inc. have some information that should help you to understand why this is such a great idea. 

When your drains back up, the last thing that you should do is to run out to the hardware store to purchase harsh, ineffective chemical cleaners. These are bad for the environment and really won’t stand a chance of effectively clearing out your drains. Bio-Clean doesn’t rely on corrosive chemicals in order to clean your drains. Instead, it uses bacteria in order to remove organic waste from the drains. This bacteria will eat its way through organic materials, such as grease, food scraps, paper, etc., without putting the integrity of your pipes themselves at risk.

This is a great way to remove clogs from your drains, but that is not the only benefit that Bio-Clean pipe system treatment services have to offer. By using Bio-Clean, you can also help to eliminate unpleasant odors in your home. A lot of these odors are the result of organic matter building up and rotting in your drains. It is precisely this type of matter that is targeted by the bacteria in Bio-Clean. Plus, this bacteria will attack organic waste in your drains from any direction necessary, meaning that it isn’t just going to flow in one direction as it follows gravity’s pull, as chemical cleaners do.

We have the answers you need to determine if this is the right step for your plumbing system. If so, our professional plumbers will ensure that the job is completed properly every step of the way.

If you have any further questions or if you are ready to schedule Bio-Clean pipe system treatment services in Oak Grove, just call Air Mechanical, Inc. today. 

Ensuring a Successful Heating Installation: Why Size Matters

February 27th, 2015

It doesn’t matter if you are in the process of building a brand new home which requires a brand new heating system, or if you are finally ready to replace your older heating system with a newer, more efficient model; you must schedule your heating installation in Blaine with a skilled, trained, and experienced professional. Doing so, fortunately, is quite easy. You need only call upon the experts here at Air Mechanical, Inc. We will work closely with you to ensure that you find the perfect heating system for your home’s requirements and your personal preferences. We will then install your heating system with the skill and expertise that only seasoned veterans in the heating industry can offer. This includes the proper sizing of your heating system, without which you will just not be able to effectively or efficiently heat your home.

There are a few reasons as to why it is so vital that your heating system is of the right size for your home. First and foremost is the fact that this is the only way in which you can hope to enjoy the very best performance that your new heater has to operate. The failings of an undersized heating system are fairly simple to anticipate. If your heater is too small to handle the heating output that you require of it, it will run longer than it should have to in order to heat your home. In all likelihood, it will fail to do so effectively in spite of its best efforts. This can leave you paying more money for an underwhelming performance from your heater.

Of course, a heater that is too big for your home has its own drawbacks. They begin at the time of purchase, when you will pay money for heating capacity that you will never need. An oversized heater can also bring temperatures in your home up too rapidly. While heating your home quickly may sound great, heating it too quickly can result in short cycling, meaning that your system will turn on and off more frequently than it ought to. Not only can this waste energy, but it can result in unnecessary wear and tear to your system. Ultimately, this wear and tear can lead to damages to your heater.

If you really want to heat your home with outstanding results, then it is absolutely necessary that you schedule your heating installation in Blaine with a qualified professional.

That way, you’ll surely not only have the right heater for the job, but one of an appropriate size. Contact Air Mechanical, Inc. today for more details.

How Can an ERV Benefit Homeowners?

February 20th, 2015

In an effort to be energy efficient, many homes have become as air-tight as possible. This is good for maintaining energy efficiency, but not so good for healthy ventilation. It can be hard to find ways to properly ventilate your home during winter without losing heat, but there is a device that can help: an energy recovery ventilator (ERV). An ERV can bring fresh air into your home without compromising your energy efficiency; in fact, it can improve your energy efficiency. How does an ERV work? Let’s take a look.

How It Works

An energy recovery ventilator is a box-like device that has a heat exchanger at is core. The way an ERV works is this: in the winter, your stale, warm indoor air is expelled to the outside; at the same time, a small fan inside the ERV draws the cold air from the outside into the ERV. In the heat exchanger, the energy from the outgoing air is applied to the incoming air; this adds heat and moisture to the incoming fresh air, pre-treating it before it can enter your HVAC system. During the summer, the opposite happens: the outgoing cool, dry air is applied to the fresh incoming warm air, which cools and dehumidifies it. Why pre-treat? Pre-treating the air helps to either pre-cool or pre-heat the fresh incoming air, depending on the season. This means less work for your HVAC system.

Why Install an ERV?

The pre-treating of the incoming air takes some of the work load off your HVAC unit; this helps increase energy efficiency, which you’ll see in your monthly energy bills. An ERV also allows for a continuous stream of fresh air into your home, increasing the ventilation and indoor air quality. Reducing the amount of work your system has to do helps increase the system’s longevity and can reduce the incidence of repair.

An ERV should be installed by a trained expert, so if you think an energy recovery ventilator is a good fit for your home in Ham Lake, call the professionals at Air Mechanical, Inc., today!

Valentine’s Day: Pagan Revelry, Clandestine Marriage, and 14th Century Poetry

February 14th, 2015

What do you think of when you think of Valentine’s Day? Perhaps rushing off to the stationary store after work to choose the perfect card with which to express your feelings towards a loved one? Dinner reservations at a fancy restaurant? Roses, dark chocolates, and other gifts and confections? Whatever Valentine’s Day may look like to you, chances are that it is a far cry from the history surrounding this holiday – or at least we hope so. Here are a few interesting facts about this most romantic of holidays, from your friends here at Air Mechanical.

The fact of the matter is that there is no definitive history as to how Valentine’s Day came to be. There are a few different saints with variations of the name Valentine, for example. One of the most prevalent legends, and one certainly in keeping with the romantic nature of the holiday as we know it today, pertains to a priest serving during the 3rd century in Rome. Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II, who believed that young men made for better soldiers if unfettered by marriage, it was illegal for young men to marry. A true believer in love, Valentine would marry young couples in secret. Until, at least, he was found out, and met a very unpleasant end for his crimes.

Like many of our modern holidays, Valentine’s Day can also be traced back to pagan ritual. Lupercalia, as the pagan festival is known, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, a god of agriculture. As is often the case with Roman celebrations, the details of this celebration are unfit to detail here. Suffice to say that, while there is certainly a touch of the amorous in the proceedings, the festival was a far cry from what we associate with Valentine’s Day today.

How, then, did our modern version of Valentine’s Day come to be? The answer may lie in, of all places, 14th century poetry; particularly, in the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer. Famed for his Canterbury Tales, Chaucer may well be the very first writer to associate Valentine’s Day with romantic love, in the manner of which we are familiar with it today. His The Parliament of Fowls details the dream-vision of a narrator consumed with the idea of romantic love and the natural order of finding a mate. Valentine’s Day is mentioned by name a number of times, as the narrator witnesses a parliament of eagles vying for the hand – or, perhaps more aptly, the wing – of a mate.

Whatever you may think of the holiday’s sordid and convoluted history, we here at Air Mechanical hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day with the special someone in your life.

Benefits of Honeywell WIFI Thermostats

February 5th, 2015

Regardless of whether your existing thermostat has run into trouble or not, you can benefit tremendously from installing a WIFI thermostat for home heating and air conditioning control. A Honeywell WIFI thermostat has programmable settings much like any modern digital thermostat. However, a Honeywell smart thermostat contains features that help homeowners to monitor their heating and cooling systems, control them with greater precision, and keep temperatures at an energy efficient level—no matter where in the country the homeowner may be.

The majority of people in the United States has access to the internet in some form or another, and a Honeywell WIFI thermostat takes advantage of this increased access by hooking up to your heating and air conditioning system and connecting to the wireless router in your home. You can access the thermostat directly from the wall unit, or you can program the HVAC system from your smart phone, tablet, or computer. All you have to do is download an application, and you can control your unit from almost anywhere.

This benefits homeowners in many ways. First and foremost, WIFI thermostats help homeowners to save a lot of money over the course of the year. Coming home late from work? Access your thermostat online and delay the thermostat settings for another hour. You can also track your usage and get information about the humidity in the home. A WIFI smart thermostat will figure out exactly how long it takes to get your home to the right temperature so it doesn’t waste energy running a second longer than it needs to.

Furthermore, Honeywell WIFI thermostats essentially “learn” your preferences within about 7 days. It can even learn to adapt to your preferences if your schedule changes over time. In fact, these systems are “smart” enough to realize that changing the temperature on the thermostat once or twice throughout the week doesn’t mean that it’s a permanent revision to the programming settings. It should learn to set it to the most energy efficient temperature while you’re away and turn it back to your preferences when you or your family arrive home.

A professional is the best person to install a new thermostat to make sure it’s in an energy efficient location and to test it for accuracy.

Contact Air Mechanical, Inc. today to learn more about Honeywell WIFI thermostats and how they can improve the heating and cooling of your home.

3 Common Sink Repairs

January 29th, 2015

Your kitchen sink sees a lot of action: dirty dishes, dirty pans from cooking, basic washing and drying. With this much work, you likely have to make some kind of repairs at some point. Because of the type of use your kitchen plumbing sees, there are a few common problems that occur fairly regularly with kitchen plumbing. It can be tempting to resolve kitchen plumbing issues in your Blaine home on your own, but unless you know exactly what you are doing, it’s best to call for a plumbing expert, like the ones at Air Mechanical, Inc. Our trained and certified plumbing experts bring 30 years of experience with them to each job, so if you are having kitchen plumbing problems, give us a call right away.

Common Repairs

Here are some of the common repairs our plumbers see when it comes to kitchen plumbing:

Leaking Faucets

That drip, drip, drip from your kitchen faucet is more than annoying – it’s wasting literally gallons of water each week, which is something you may see in your water bill. The constantly dripping water can also erode certain types of sinks and create rust stains, which can be a challenge to remove. Faucets typically leak due to worn or broken seals and washers, which is a repair your plumber can complete quickly.

Clogs

There are three main culprits when it comes to kitchen clogs: food waste, FOG (fats, oils and grease) and soap scum. Food waste can easily lodge inside your pipes, causing blockages, and FOG and soap scum cling to the inside of the pipes and create build-up. It is never a good idea to use over-the-counter drain cleaners to remove a clog as these types of cleaners are caustic and can do damage to your pipes for weeks to come. Instead, call for an expert who can clean your pipes effectively without causing any damage.

New Caulk

Caulk helps hold your sink in place and creates a seal so that water can’t fall between the areas where the sink meets the counters. Caulk can age and crack, allowing water to enter into these smalls space, causing water damage and possible erosion.

Just because repairs may be common doesn’t mean they are easy and can be handled by anyone.

If you are experiencing problems with your kitchen plumbing in Blaine, call the experts you can count on: Air Mechanical, Inc.

What Is a HEPA Filter?

January 22nd, 2015

Modern building codes, security standards, and health codes emphasize safety, which is why we have locks on the doors of our homes, vents over the oven, and handrails in public restrooms. Without modern advancements in technology and government regulations in manufacturing and construction, there could be a health or safety risk in any area of your home or a public building—even in the air you breathe. As it turns out, the air inside of a building could be more polluted than the outside air. Thankfully, air conditioning and heating manufacturers and installers are required to use filters in forced air HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems, and one of the most advanced of these is the HEPA filter.

HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters were actually designed to eliminate radioactive contaminants from the air after the invention of the atomic bomb, and that’s how you can tell that these systems are effective. In fact, HEPA filters eliminate over 99% of the contaminants that pass into it (down to 0.3 micrometers in size), which is far more than the average home filter. This is partly due to the design of the filter; it’s folded into pleats to create a larger surface area, so that small particles are more likely to become trapped in the fibers as the indoor fan sucks them in.

Most of the filters installed in a home heating and air conditioning system have a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) of about 1 to 6, which means that they can only filter out about 75-90% of the particles that pass through, no less than 3 to 10 micrometers in diameter. That means your home filter may eliminate dust mites, pollen, and dusting aids, but not all mold spores, which would require a MERV 8 filter.

HEPA filters, however, are generally not effective for use in homes unless they are built into separate electronic air cleaners. This is because a HEPA filter can actually interfere with airflow to the air conditioning or heating unit. The unit needs a certain amount of air to come in in order to work properly, and a HEPA filter is simply too powerful and can block some air from entering. HEPA filters are more common in hospitals, laboratories, and even airplanes, although you may be able to get the power of a HEPA filter with a home air purifier.

Speak with the indoor air quality experts at Air Mechanical, Inc. to learn more about air cleaners in Ham Lake. Contact us today!

What to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Garage Heater

January 15th, 2015

It gets cold in Minnesota, and if you work in a garage, you know that without heat, a garage in sub-freezing temperatures is not much more than a lean-to. However, there are some choices to make before installing a new garage heater, as we’ll explain below.

How Big Is Your Garage?

Installing a garage heater that can’t effectively heat your entire garage space pretty much negates installing one in the first place. As such, the first thing to do is assess what is known as heat range, which is the amount of square feet that needs to be heated in your garage. Heaters should be labeled with this information, but if it’s not, your installation technician can do the calculation for you.

Fuel Types

There are two main fuel choices when it comes to garage heaters: natural gas (or propane) and electricity. Both can heat your garage effectively, but each has its own advantages. Gas garage heaters can heat spaces that are both small and large; some gas heaters can heat spaces up to 4,500 square feet. Gas fuel can also be less costly in the long run. Electric garage heaters are best for spaces 500 square feet and under as they are not as effective in larger spaces. Because electric heaters don’t use fossil fuels, they can be easily relocated and have very high efficiency ratings. Working with a trained expert can help you determine which fuel type is best for your needs.

Features to Consider

There are a number of features that can come with garage heaters; some may be included with the model you choose, some may need to be added. Safety features are always included with garage heaters, including finger-proof grilles and shut-off safety controls. Other types of features include:

  • Fans
  • Portability
  • Mounting brackets
  • Adjustable thermostats

Don’t let our Minnesota winter turn your garage space into an igloo. Call Air Mechanical, Inc., today and schedule an appointment for garage heating installation in Blaine.