Air Mechanical, Inc Blog : Archive for June, 2012

Andover Plumbing Q/A: Why Do I Need Water Filtration?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Like most Andover homeowners, you’re probably asking yourself why you need water filtration – what exactly happens to your water that makes it necessary to install an entire new system in your home to keep it clean? There are a few things that might be an issue here and your specific circumstances will determine which affects you the most.

 Common Water Contaminants

While most homes don’t suffer from all of the following, there is a good chance you will have at least some of these contaminants in your home:

  • Sediment
  • Bacteria
  • Chlorine
  • Copper
  • Fluoride
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Nitrate
  • Sulfate
  • Viruses

This is only a partial list too – there are a number of other, more exotic substances that might be in your water. Now, this doesn’t mean your water suffers from all or even most of these problems. Many homes only have one or two contaminants and they may not even be immediately dangerous to your health.

But, here’s the issue – and the number one reason that most homes in Andover should have a water filtration system. Things change. While your home may not suffer from virus or sulfate infiltration now, it could later. Things happen to the water supply – pipes get old, things get into the water tables and chemical levels change at treatment plants.

The only way to combat these problems is to have a good water filtration system already in place. Specifically, a reverse osmosis system that can remove all of these contaminants through an advanced chemical process.

 Testing Comes First

To make sure you have the right system in place to tackle your water contamination problems, make sure you first contact someone to perform full water testing on your home’s drinking water. Because some of these contaminants must be treated with chemical infusions through pumps or special cartridges, it is important to know in advance what you’re up against. Call Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today if you think you need water filtration in your home!

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HVAC Tip: Save Money in the Long Haul with AC Maintenance

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Every year, it’s recommended that you have a Rosemount HVAC contractor visit your home and tune up your air conditioner. This visit will ensure the system is ready for the intense, regular use it will receive during the hottest months of the year. How much money can this visit save you, though? Let’s take a closer look.

Cost of Operating Your Air Conditioning

An air conditioning system on average costs a homeowner between $500 and $1500 per year to operate depending on the length of the cooling season and the efficiency of that air conditioner. That number represents top efficiency for the unit, however. When a system has dirty filters, hasn’t been cleaned properly or the thermostat is no longer calibrated accurately, the cost increases – sometimes dramatically.

Just how much more could you be spending on cooling each month when this happens? The EPA’s Energy Star website estimates an increase in cost of between 10-30% resulting from poorly maintained systems, and it can be even higher if your system is old and is severely affected by a drop in energy efficiency.

Annual Tune Up Necessities

So, what should be at the top of your tune up list? If you call a Rosemount HVAC contractor, they will perform a variety of tasks including:

  • Inspect Coolant and Pressure Systems
  • Calibrate the Thermostat
  • Tighten Wiring, Capacitors, Relays and Contacts
  • Clean the Evaporator Coil
  • Clear and Clean the Condenser and Condensate Drain
  • Inspect the Condenser Fan and Motor
  • Check Compressor Efficiency

This is just a starter list for standard tune up of a central air conditioning unit. You can supplement this tune up by checking your filters once every 30 days and clearing away debris from around any outdoor units. You should also check your thermostat monthly to ensure it is working properly. If not, call for an inspection to avoid heavy increases in operating costs.

Major repairs to your air conditioning system generally take less than a day and when you’re on an annual maintenance plan, they cost significantly less than if you needed someone to fix the device in an emergency situation. To schedule an appointment today, give Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call!

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Air Conditioning Tips: How to Troubleshoot a Failed AC Unit

Monday, June 11th, 2012

For most scenarios, air conditioning system repairs follow a handful of typical troubleshooting steps. If you would like one of our Andover air conditioning technicians to help you get your AC unit running again, give Air Mechanical Inc for assistance. We can also send someone to your home if we can’t get your system working again.

Here are some basic steps to try before you call for a repair.

Check All Controls and Fuses

When your air conditioner won’t cool your home properly, always check the thermostat to see if it is on “cool” and set for the right temperature. If the air conditioner has shut down, check to make sure that the unit is receiving power by looking in the fuse box for a flipped circuit breaker and also making sure it is plugged in properly. You can also inspect the visible wires and electrical components for obvious damages. Call a TOWN NAME air conditioning technician if you see physical damage to the electrical components. Never try to fix this yourself.

Sometimes when there’s extreme weather conditions in the summer, such as very high temperatures or high humidity levels, the high-pressure switch can get flipped and turn off the air conditioner. You can easily find the switch on most AC models in the compressor’s access panel. Check your owner’s manual or call us if you don’t know how to locate or reset the limit switch.

Check for Refrigerant Problems or Condensate Pan Leaks

Refrigerant problems caused by the wrong amount of refrigerant can keep the AC unit from cooling your home properly, and you can usually tell if there’s a refrigerant issue by looking for frost or icing on the evaporator coil. When there’s excess coil icing, it means that there isn’t enough cool air being delivered to your home. If you see thick frost on the evaporator coil, a technician will most likely need to charge the refrigerant, or there could be a leak in the refrigerant line.

Condensate leaks into the condensate pan can also cause an air conditioner to fail. The condensate drip pan is installed underneath the air handler to catch condensate leaks if the drain system gets clogged. Most of the time, a small clog in the drain line can be easily cleared. Also check the condensate switch for issues; sometimes these can be defective and cause your air conditioner to shut down.

At Mechanical Air Inc, we want to be the only Andover air conditioning contractor you’ll ever need. Call us any time to get troubleshooting advice for your AC system.

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Problems Roots Can Cause Your Sewer Lines in Minnetonka

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Your sewer line in Minnetonka is a major component for your home’s plumbing, but because it is buried, rarely needs maintenance and almost always works as intended, most people forget about it. However, a sewer line can quickly become a much bigger problem if you allow tree roots to grow close to it. Here are some of the problems an errant tree can cause for your sewer line and what to do about them.

What Roots Do to Sewer Lines

Trees actively seek water at all times. They grow slowly, but when they grow they move their branches toward sunlight and their roots toward water. On most developed properties attached to a city sewer system, the best source of water is the sewer line.

If allowed to continue, tree roots grow toward the sewer line and eventually infiltrate the line. It may take time, but eventually those roots will find seams and cracks in the pipe and break into it seeking water.

Over time, this will result in leaks, cracks and clogs in your line that can flood your lawn, back up in your home or cause problems for your neighbors.

Solving the Tree Root Problem

The first thing you should do is ensure there are not trees or shrubs growing close to your sewer line. If you don’t know where your sewer line is, check your property assessment or have a plumber help you find it. Remove any trees in the vicinity to avoid such a problem.

If you suspect a tree root problem, have your plumber perform a video camera pipe inspection to check for roots and other blockages. If they find roots, high pressure jetting can often remove the problem completely.

Keep in mind that if the damage is advanced enough, you may need to have parts of your sewer line replace or relined. The actual work required will depend on the severity of the damage and the opinion of your plumber. Talk to a professional to learn more about what options are at your disposal.

A sewer line is vitally important to the operation of your home’s plumbing system. If you even suspect that a tree’s roots are infiltrating your pipes, contact Air Mechanical right away for a full inspection.

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