Air Mechanical, Inc Blog : Archive for September, 2012

Reasons To Install Garage Heating in Ham Lake

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Heating is expensive in Ham Lake. Probably the largest expense you have related to the comfort control of your home. So, why would you consider installing a heating system for your garage when no one spends a significant amount of time in it during the winter? it may seem strange, but extending heat into your garage or installing a standalone system can actually be very beneficial. Here are a few reasons why.

  1. Pipe Protection – Water pipes running through your garage need to be kept warm. While the weather may not always be cold enough to damage them, if it ever becomes that cold, you’ll want to be sure those quasi-indoor pipes are protected.
  2. Cold Air Barrier – If nothing else, you need to have some kind of barrier between the garage and your home – insulation or weather stripping on the door. Even still, cold air from your garage can leak into your home and heat from your home can leak out through the garage. You may already be heating the garage to some degree, but in the least efficient way possible.
  3. More Uses for Your Garage – Think about it. You can use your garage as a work space, a place to relax or any number of other things when you have a heating system in there. While you may not spend every day in the garage, it can be a fun place to spend time away from the usual areas of your home and with a heating system, it is possible to get some real work done there.

A garage heating system in Ham Lake doesn’t need to be extensive and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune to operate, but when properly installed and well maintained, it can provide ample heating for your garage and protect your home against heating loss or cool air coming inside. Consider a new garage heater for your home and see the benefits they bring.

For more information on how to improve your homes heating and plumbing this winter, contact Air Mechanical today! Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has been a trusted provider of heating services in in Ham Lake since 1985.

Continue Reading

Plumbing Repair Tip: How Much Water Does a Leaky Faucet Waste?

Monday, September 17th, 2012

A leaky faucet can be a real annoyance. The rate at which the drips come out can determine how much water you are actually losing on a given day, week, or even year. For a home that has one leaky faucet which drips only once a minute, that is the equivalent of 1,440 times a day. Although it may not seem like a significant number, over the course of a year that single drip will equal 34 gallons.

If you happen to have two leaky faucets in your Ham Lake home which each drip on average 10 times a minute, you will be losing over a gallon of water a day from each, or over 694 gallons a year. Many faulty faucets can drip much more often than that, even up to a drip a second. When this happens, one faucet alone can cost you five gallons a day or 2,082 gallons a year.

If you’re interested in just how much water your home is losing due to one or more leaky faucets, there is a great website that will calculate it for you. The U.S. Geologic Survey has a quick drip calculator anyone can use to figure it out. Go to http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/sc4.html and plug in the numbers for yourself. What may seem like a little, insignificant drip can wind up being a lot of wasted water and money, literally going right down the drain.

In addition to losing water and increasing your water bill, this wasted water can have a negative impact on the environment, especially for people living in areas with drier climates or places that haven’t gotten as much rainfall as normal. When water isn’t conserved or is wasted, the supply can’t be replenished and the entire ecosystem will suffer as a result.

To save you both the annoyance and increased cost on your water and energy bills, call an Ham Lake plumber at Air Mechanical to come and fix the problem or install a new faucet. Leaky faucets are usually a quick fix that can end up saving you money the minute they quit dripping.

Continue Reading

Andover Heat Pump Question: Why Won’t My Heat Pump Start?

Monday, September 10th, 2012

A heat pump that just doesn’t start one day is quite a common problem. The following are the most common problems that lead to an unresponsive heat pump.

  • A faulty thermostat
  • A faulty contactor
  • Some problem with the time-delay relay mechanism
  • A fault with the thermostat cable
  • The unit may be off due to a safety device being left open and exposed to high/low temperature, high/low pressure
  • A problem with the control module

There are instances in which the thermostat is not set correctly. This could lead to your heat pump not starting. If your emergency switch has been turned off, it could also lead to your pump being unresponsive. Apart from this, if your pump plug has been pulled out or the circuit breaker has tripper due to a surge, it could also lead to the same problem.

These may seem too obvious or simple but they are often the cause of an unresponsive heat pump. Other similar, simple problems may include a condensate pump switch being left open, the outdoor reset button may have been left off or the unit may have been locked out. In the last case, you can always turn the system off and turn it back on to get it to start working.

So before you go ahead and make that call to the service technician, make sure you check the following:

  • Ensure that no emergency switch is off
  • Make sure all breakers for the outdoor and indoor units are on
  • Check your fuses if possible
  • Check the safety switch on the condensate pump if you have one

If the problem persists even after trying all these steps, it is time to call the Andover heat pump technician. For any heat pump repairs that you need, give Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call!

Continue Reading

HVAC Guide: Green Building Trends for New Homes

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

In a society with an increasing an eye on reducing waste and creating energy-efficient spaces, it might not be as surprising to know that the green building market has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and in years to come is expected to triple from what it is now.  The variety of green building trends for new homes in Ham Lake which are in place today are staggering and exciting, and will ultimately change the way we build homes and business facilities, permanently.  According to the Earth Advantage Institute, below are the latest green building trends for new homes to watch for in the near future.

  • Urban Density:  Homeowners are opting to build in the empty space between existing homes or buildings.  These lots are desired by those who want to be closer to city-centers and hotspots.
  • Green Multi-Family Homes:  An increased interest in energy-saving building options and an increase in the number of multi-family homes being built mean an increase in green multi-family homes.
  • Energy Upgrades Drive Home Remodels:  Consumer preference has switched to remodeling in order to save energy in their upgrades.  Thus contractors have begun to offer these types of services as a standard option in remodeling projects. This includes new, energy saving HVAC equipment.
  • Development and Testing of New Materials: National labs and research departments are working with construction firms in order to produce test facilities and sensor-filled buildings which track real-time energy performance of new materials and equipment.
  • Consumer-Friendly Home Energy Tracking Devices:  Sensor-based energy and water monitoring systems are being used by consumers to save money all throughout their homes and the number of companies creating these tracking devices is increasing, making them easier to come by.
  • Energy Education for Commercial Tenants:  Commercial building energy disclosure is pushing building owners to be more energy efficient, this in addition to educating tenants on ways for them to contribute to saving energy means that more commercial buildings are going green.
  • Transparency in Home Marketing:  Consumers who have instant access to information are more educated and can see through housing scams more easily. Real estate agents who are forthright and educate clients even further on the benefits of having energy efficient home features means more confidence in the green housing market.
  • More Accurate Appraisals:  With more educated consumers looking for Certified Residential Green Appraisers, the lending community is beginning to follow suit and pay attention even further to the added value and return on investment for green homes and green remodels.
  • Broader Adoption of Residential Energy Ratings for Homes:  Energy labeling systems are being put into place nationally, thus causing homeowners to be more educated regarding energy savings possibilities.  More extensive usage of residential energy ratings for homes means homeowners are undertaking more energy upgrade work.
  • Smart Grid-Compatible High-Performance Homes:  More new homes are utilizing “grid-aware” appliances which monitor and report their own usage with the ability to increase or decrease electric usage remotely, thus saving energy.

For more tips on how to improve your Ham Lake home, or for any plumbing, heating, or air conditioning service you need, give Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call!

Continue Reading