Air Mechanical, Inc Blog : Archive for March, 2012

How Heat Pumps Can Reduce Humidity in Anoka County

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Humidity is a big problem for a some families in Anoka. When not properly controlled, excess humidity can lead to damage to your furniture, excess mold growth and dust mites. In the warmer months of the year, this is a big problem. Fortunately, if you have recently had a heat pump installation, you have a strong weapon against excess humidity.

Heat pumps have both cooling and heating modes. In the winter, when your heating mode is active, you likely don’t need dehumidification. In fact, you may need a humidifier to keep it from getting too dry in your home. However, in the summer, excess humidity can make everyone uncomfortable.

Air conditioning has long been a natural dehumidifier. Because the process works through evaporation and condensation, water can be extracted from the air by the device whenever it is on.

However, for your heat pump to truly provide the dehumidification you need to remain comfortable, it must first have a dehumidification setting – often called the “dry” cycle. During this cycle, the device will dehumidify your home, pulling air from inside the house and extracting moisture from it through the indoor evaporator coils.

Dry cycling is effective because it doesn’t draw new air in from outside to cool your home. It uses the same air already in your home and can therefore remove humidity over time. While new air is draw into your home through vents, the system is designed to continuously cycle the humidity out of the air and keep you from being uncomfortable.

Choosing the Right Heat Pump for Humidity Control

Not all heat pumps offer humidity control settings, so you should talk to a professional about your needs before selecting a new model for your home. Make sure it offers the dehumidification options you’re looking for and can cover the full area of your home.  If you have any questions about this please call Air Mechanical.

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Plumber Tips: When to Call the Plumber

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Many aspects of plumbing in Ramsey County are around simple fixtures and easy repairs for the homeowners.  Videos on the internet have made most simple plumbing repairs even easier by showing step-by-step processes to get them done.

Some projects obviously are more complicated and require the special skills and knowledge that only years of experience can provide.  Especially when water is gushing out and you don’t know where the main shut-off is located, the damage that can intensify minute by minute should be mitigated by calling in the expert plumber.

A Fix in Time

Leaky faucets and drains, a garbage disposal or even a toilet replacement are tasks that can be accomplished with a few good tools, patience and a little information off the internet.  Knowing where to shut off the water supply–so any problems that might happen don’t turn into catastrophes–begins many repairs that end with a pat on the back.

Even sweating of copper pipes to install a new shower valve or shut-offs nearer the fixture are not life-threatening and create a high level of satisfaction for handy husbands and wives.  Installing an under-counter water filtration system is just a matter of following instructions.

Saving Nine

When something has broken and is causing serious flooding, whether or not you can find the main shut-off, it still probably makes sense to call a plumber to get the repairs made quickly and correctly.  For much less emergent situations, plumbing can still be a tricky sport to find the right size fittings so getting a plumber with a truck full of odd parts can cost a little money but save a lot of aggravation and return trips to the local hardware store to exchange the 5/8 male coupling with gasket you expected it to be for the 3/4 female that was needed.

For any project that requires a permit, a licensed plumber makes good sense who knows the proper codes and intricacies of supplies, drains and venting so the work will pass inspection.  Replacing larger items like a hot water heater, shower unit or sink are far simpler for professionals to wrestle.

Any maintenance for hot water heaters or radiant heat systems are better left to plumbers to fix who know how to properly bleed and refill the pipes to flow without air bubbles.  If there is a problem with the sewer main inside or outside the house, a plumber will be better equipped to cut and repair the pipes (as well as deal with the mess).

Because of their lethal risks, gas lines to appliances must be installed and connected by a certified technician which many plumbers are.

Ultimately, if you have any doubt about your abilities, even though you’re playing with water, a mistake can make a big mess.  Calling Air Mechanical can often save a lot face.

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Why You Should Regularly Clean the Sump Pump and Well in your Carver County Home

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Keeping the sump pump clean in your Carver County home has many benefits. Not only does a clean sump pump run more efficiently, which lowers your energy bills, but it also helps prevent malfunctions. The sump pump in your home pumps out excess groundwater that could potentially flood your basement and cause major water damage and mold growth.

To prevent flood damage in your home, make sure your sump pump well is free of debris and that the pump it is maintained regularly. Call Air Mechanical any time if you have questions about how to maintain sump pump or to have it professionally cleaned and inspected. Here are some specific reasons why a clean sump pump is important.

Float Switch Malfunctions

Most submerged sump pump models have a floater or similar device that detects the water level inside the well. Once the water table reaches a certain point, the float switch turns the pump on. If debris or dirt gets trapped underneath the switch, it can get stuck in the “on” position, which causes the motor to run constantly and potentially overheat.

Clogged Filters

Most filters in sump pumps are designed to allow smaller particles through, but larger pieces of debris can clog the system and cause it to shut down. An overheated motor or tripped circuit could result from a clogged filter because the motor has to work harder to pump out the water. If you aren’t sure how to check the filter for debris, call a professional plumber for advice.

Preventative Maintenance Tips

Try to keep debris from falling into the well, and clean out any large particles that you can see in the water. For a quick plumbing maintenance chore that you can do yourself, fill the well all the way with a hose and test the floater switch to make sure it’s working properly. At least once a year, hire a professional plumber to drain your well and clean the inside of the well and the pump. Your plumber will also inspect the pump to make sure it is in good working condition.

You can help maintain the sump pump in your Carver County home simply by keeping it clean!

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Different Types of Furnace Filters for Your Ramsey County Home

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

A good filter for your Ramsey County furnace is a must. Because that device heats and blows air throughout your home, you want to be sure that it doesn’t recycle contaminants and bacteria that could easily be captured at the air handler. That’s why it’s vital to choose the right heating installation on the first try. Here are some furnace filters to consider and their various benefits to your home and family:

  • Electrostatic – Most electrostatic filters are permanent and must be washed on a regular basis. They are electronically charged to capture particles as they pass through, much like a magnet. These filters are effective because they are both physical and electronic. However, keep in mind that they are only as efficient as the cleaning they receive.
  • HEPA – HEPA is the highest rating available for a filtration system, removing up to 99.9% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns. However, they are also inefficient when used in furnaces as they severely reduce air flow. They are not often recommended for this reason.
  • Pleated – Pleated filters come in both reusable and permanent forms and can be either purely mechanical or electrostatic. There is a very wide range of efficiency ratings for pleated filters so make sure you analyze your home’s specific needs before selecting any one pleated filter.
  • Activated Carbon – Activated carbon is unique from the other three filter types because it effectively removes fumes, odors and chemicals from indoor air along with other larger particles. It is recommended that if you choose an activated carbon filter, you supplement it with a pleated or electrostatic filter (or choose a combination filter) to remove all unwanted components from your home.

There are a lot of options when it comes to furnace filters. To make sure you get only the best air quality, call Air Mechanical, we can help you determine which pollutants are the biggest problem in your home.

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