Air Mechanical, Inc. Blog : Archive for October, 2012

Humidity Problems in Ham Lake

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Do you know the humidity levels in your home? We can easily check the humidity levels of the outdoor air by looking on the internet or in the newspaper. But few people are actually aware of the humidity levels in their own home. There are a number of problems associated with high and low humidity in your house. Below we’ve listed some of the common problems that people in Ham Lake experience because due to too much or too little humidity.

Low Humidity

We’re all probably familiar with the feeling of low humidity levels: the air feels dry and your skin can feel uncomfortable. Here are a few of the problems associated with low moisture in the air.

  • Dry skin – This can lead to painful or irritating cracks in the skin.
  • Dry throat and nasal passages – One of our body’s way of defending itself is with the mucous membranes in the nose and throat. Without proper humidity, these can dry out and potentially leave you more vulnerable to viruses.
  • Allergies – With low humidity, dust levels can increase because of dry skin and because the shells of dust mites dry out and enter the air.
  • Property – In dry conditions, some pieces of furniture and paintings can wear faster, dry out or crack.
  • Static electricity – When it’s too dry in your house, you may discover that static electricity builds up quickly and can be annoying and painful.

High Humidity

On the other side of the coin is high humidity. This has its own set of difficulties and problems.

  • Dust Mites and Other Insects – In homes with high humidity, dust mites and pests thrive. This can create and unhealthy environment who suffer from asthma or allergies.
  • Mold – Mold needs two things to live: oxygen and moisture. In homes with high humidity, typically in the summer, mold levels can increase. This can also cause problems for people who are sensitive to mold spores.
  • Rot – Wood rot is another problem associated with high humidity levels.

If you have questions about your home’s humidity levels, or if you’re interested in a home humidity control system, contact Air Mechanical. We have years of experience keeping our customers in Ham Lake comfortable in their homes.

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Ham Lake Plumbing FAQ: What is a Pressure Vacuum Breaker?

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

We get a lot of Ham Lake plumbing questions from our customers, and one we get frequently is about pressure vacuum breakers. The plumbing experts at Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing want to help answer all your questions. Call us any time if you would like information about your plumbing system or the services we provide.

Here’s a basic description of a pressure vacuum breaker and how it works.

A pressure vacuum breaker (PVB) is a device that helps prevent the risk of waste water getting back into your fresh water supply. This is why they are also called backflow prevention devices. PVBs use a spring-loaded valve that blocks the waste water from flowing in the wrong direction. The opening of the valve is determined by the pressure of the water inside the check valve, which only holds up to 1psi at a time. The valve will only open when the pressure is greater than 1psi. Therefore, the water leaving the home on the other side of the check valve cannot enter back into the water supply because there’s no pressure behind it.

Keep in mind that your vacuum breaker valve must be tested periodically by a certified plumber who is familiar with local codes. We recommend that you have your backflow prevent devices inspected at least once a year. The life of the components depends on several factors, including the condition of your water. Corrosive water conditions may limit the lifespan of the equipment; however, routine inspections and maintenance will help ensure that the internal parts are working properly and extend the life of the machinery.

Any type of backflow prevention device needs to be maintained according to the regulations of the Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC), so it is imperative that you make sure that you hire a plumber certified to handle these kinds of inspections.

Call the Ham Lake certified plumbers at Air Mechanical for all your backflow prevention needs.

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Blaine Geothermal FAQ: Which Geothermal Heating Maintenance Service Should I Request Before Winter?

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Are you wondering what type of maintenance service to schedule for your geothermal heating system before winter arrives? While geothermal systems do require regular maintenance just like any other HVAC system, the good news is that there’s very little maintenance required for the seasonal tune-up. That means you save even more money on operating costs.

The Blaine geothermal experts at Air Mechanical can answer all your questions about geothermal heating and air conditioning. We also provide maintenance programs to help you keep track of the preventive maintenance for your heating system.

In addition to filter changes and routine cleaning, here are a few things that will need to be checked to ensure that your system works properly.

  • Check for any hidden issues
  • Check fan blowers
  • Replace any worn parts
  • Test thermostat
  • Inspect heat exchanger
  • Lubricate moving components
  • Test air flow
  • Inspect all wiring Test controls

 Duct Cleaning and Repair

After the items above have been tested and checked, we will also inspect your ductwork to ensure that there are no air leaks or other damages that may affect the efficiency of your system. We provide duct cleaning and duct repair if there are any issues with your air ducts. A duct cleaning service can improve indoor air quality as well. We also provide dryer vent cleanings to protect your home from one of the most common causes of house fires. These can all be taken care of during the fall maintenance visit.

Air Mechanical can take care of all your Blaine geothermal maintenance and repair needs. Scheduling your annual tune-up before winter arrives will help to ensure that there are no issues throughout the heating season. Call today to set up an appointment with one of our geothermal heating technicians.

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Heating Tips: Small Heating System Upgrades That Add Up!

Monday, October 8th, 2012

The Ham Lake heating technicians at Air Mechanical have a few tips to help you save on heating costs this winter! Here are some small upgrades and changes you can make that really add up in the long run. Call Air Mechanical any time if you have questions or would like more heating tips and ways to save energy throughout the heating season.

Programmable Thermostats

Installing a programmable thermostat is an easy way to save on heating costs, especially if you have an older system. The new high-efficiency heating systems are designed with energy-saving features, such as variable speed fans, that help reduce energy usage and lower heating bills. However, older, two-speed systems run at full speed for longer periods.

By installing a programmable thermostat with an older heating system, you can set the thermostat to automatically turn the system down according to the times you don’t need it. There are many different models to choose from, including models that have weekend and vacation settings.

Weatherization

There are quite a few simple and easy ways to make your home more efficient. Sealing doors and cracks is an easy way to start the weatherization process. You can also seal off attic spaces and garages to help reduce wasted heat. Upgrading doors and windows or adding insulation are other ways to increase overall home efficiency.

Duct Sealing and Cleaning

Duct sealing is another great way to reduce air loss in a central heating system. In addition, duct cleaning can also help ensure proper airflow, which increases the efficiency of a forced air system. If you are upgrading any component of your heating system, it is a good idea to have your ducts inspected and sealed.

Install a Humidifier

The air inside your home can become excessively dry because of the heat output from your heating system. Installing a whole-home humidifier that works with your heating system can help improve indoor air quality. Adding the right amount of moisture to the air can also help protect furnishings, wood furniture, and wood floors.

Call the Ham Lake heating professionals at Air Mechanical any time to learn more about ways you can upgrade your heating system to help save on energy bills.

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Andover Heating Question: Why Get a New Heating System?

Monday, October 1st, 2012

With cold weather fast approaching, it’s natural to think about making sure your Andover heating system is in good shape for the coming winter. Most of the time, that just means getting a tuneup, but if your system is getting older or you have some concerns about its performance, it may be time to consider getting a new heating system.

Upgrading for Efficiency

Especially if your current heating system is more than 10 years old, it can be worth upgrading to a newer model. That’s because the systems now available are so much more energy efficient than their predecessors that you can sometimes cut your heating costs dramatically by switching to a new system.

To determine if that’s the best course of action for you, you’ll have to calculate your current heating costs, projected heating costs with a new system and balance that against the cost of the installation. But more often than not, you’ll find that the new system will quickly pay for itself, making it a sound investment.q

Eliminate Frequent Repairs

If your heating system requires even minor repairs on a regular basis, it’s probably time to invest in a new system. Having a professional come out that often is costly, and even if the repairs themselves aren’t that complex, a system in this state probably isn’t operating at peak energy efficiency. Basically, that means you’re paying extra to heat your home and extra in repair bills, both of which could be eliminated by installing a new system.

Your current system will also probably break down completely relatively soon, meaning you’ll have to make that investment in the next year or two anyway. By upgrading now, you can make the same investment without paying for a year or two of repairs and higher than necessary energy bills.

For more information about installing a new heating system in Andover, give Air Mechanical a call today!

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