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

Water Filtration FAQ: How Do I Know If I Need a Water Testing Service?

Monday, November 26th, 2012

The water supply in the Blaine area comes from many different sources. The municipal water sources are routinely checked for mineral, ion, and metal levels. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely free of contaminants that can affect its taste or cause health problems for some people.

Water Testing Benefits

Air Mechanical provides complete water testing services for home water supplies. We will analyze your water for minerals, salts, ions, metals, nitrates, carcinogens, and all other potentially harmful contaminants. We will explain the results and consult with you about the best way to clean you water, if necessary.

Ground water may contain harmful metals such as arsenic, and toxic chemicals from pesticides and agricultural runoff, such as nitrates and nitrites, and this can get into some systems accidentally. Our high quality testing services can detect even small amounts of these substances in your water. If you need a specialty cartridge to remove these contaminants from your water supply, we can set it up for you and explain how it works.

At Air Mechanical, we’re serious about water quality. We want you to have the peace of mind that the water you and your family are consuming is as safe as can be. Here are the types of water tests available and when you should request one.

Types of Water Tests

We recommend that you get your water tested every 12 to 24 months. We will check for acidity, bacteria and other microorganisms, and levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) which includes most of the common chemical contaminants found in municipal water supplies and wells. Water quality testing is particularly important if you or a neighbor recently had construction on your property that could have disturbed the underground piping.

Even if previous tests have shown that your water is safe, you should have it checked periodically. Water sources change over time, and minerals, metals, and toxic chemicals can enter the water supply from runoff and storm water.

Clean water is essential to good living. Having your water tested can give you the peace of mind that you and your family aren’t being exposed to contaminants that can build up in the body and cause health effects over time.

Call Air Mechanical today, and we’ll explain the full range of our Blaine water testing and water purification services.

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Heating Tip: Comparing Heating Fuel Costs

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Looking for a new heating system or upgrade for your Ham Lake area home? Before you choose a new furnace or boiler system, be sure that you understand how to compare the costs of fuel in your area. While you may thing that natural gas is the best choice for a furnace, you may find that an electric furnace would provide better energy savings for your particular home.

There are many factors other than just the cost of the fuel to help you choose a cost-effective heating system to install. Call the Ham Lake heating professionals at Air Mechanical to help you through this process. First, you’ll need to decide which type of system you want to install.

Heating Options

Whether you are building a new home or retrofitting an existing heating system, you’ll have several options. You may decide that you want to upgrade your split system heat pump to a ductless mini split, especially if you are facing costly ductwork or adding a room to your home. While many newer homes the area install high-efficiency systems, you can also upgrade to zone control or install programmable thermostats to get more energy savings.

Keep in mind that before installing a new high-efficiency furnace or boiler system, it’s a good idea to make other upgrades to ensure that your home is ready for this type of system. Radiant floor heating is ideal in new homes, since the flooring would have to be ripped up in remodeling jobs. We can go over the different types of heating systems that we install and help you select the most cost-effective one by going over different factors you should consider. Fuel cost is one of these factors.

Gas or Electric

While natural gas is typically less expensive than electric heating systems, you will definitely need to research fuel costs in the area before choosing. You may also choose a dual fuel system, such as a dual fuel heat pump. This type of system uses the electricity for the heat pump in heating mode until it is no longer efficient to do so. Then the system automatically switches to the gas furnace as a backup heater. Make sure you understand the costs of heating your particular home with both types of fuel before choosing a dual fuel or standard heat pump or gas boiler system.

Feel free to call the Ham Lake heating experts at Air Mechanical if you have further questions about comparing fuel costs in our area.

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Furnace Efficiency Tips

Monday, November 12th, 2012

If you’re like many people in Andover, you’re looking for ways to save money on your energy bills. With energy prices on the rise, people are doing everything they can to decrease the amount of fuel that they have to buy to heat their home. If you have a furnace in Andover, you’re likely in the same situation. Whether you have a gas-fired furnace or an electric furnace, we put together some tips on how to maximize the efficiency of your furnace.

Andover Insulation

Insulation is one of the most important factors in improving the energy efficiency of your Andover home. During the winter, the insulation in your attic is especially important. As heat rises into your ceiling and your attic, the insulation there needs to be able to keep as much heat inside your home as possible. Having a heating professional inspect your home’s insulation is a great way to find out exactly what state your insulation is in and if it needs to be replaced.

Seal Your Ducts

The ducts are like the veins of your heating system: they carry the heated air to each room in your home. If you have leaks or holes in your ducts, all the fuel that you purchased to heat the air might be lost when the air escapes out the cracks in your ducts. As your ducting ages, it might also shift and begin to pinch.  Unnecessary pinches or bends in your ducts can reduce the efficiency of the heater as it tries to push the air through.

Use Solar Power

If there is sunshine during the day, open your window blinds to allow in as much sunlight as possible. While there might not be a lot of heat, the sun’s heat will still collect inside your home.

Close the Doors between Rooms

By closing the doors between the rooms, you can trap the heat inside. This will keep heat from escaping out into your hallways or other spaces.

If you have any questions about the efficiency of your home in Andover, call the professional heating technicians at Air Mechanical. We take pride in the furnace and heating services that we offer our customers. We would love to talk with you about how you can improve the efficiency of your home and reduce your energy consumption.

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Common Causes of Kitchen Plumbing Problems in Ham Lake

Monday, November 5th, 2012

We use our home plumbing systems every day of the year. Dependable indoor plumbing is one of the greatest luxuries that modern life has to offer, and your kitchen plumbing allows you to cook and clean conveniently and hygienically. Any disruption to the convenience can be a real headache, but every now and then a kitchen plumbing problem does develop. Knowing the common causes of kitchen plumbing issues – and avoiding the practices behind those causes – can help ensure the continued, uninterrupted performance you want from your kitchen plumbing system in Ham Lake. The expert Ham Lake plumbers at Air Mechanical have some information for you to review. If you have any further questions about the common causes of kitchen plumbing problems give us a call. One of our professional plumbers will be happy to provide you with the help you need.

At some point we will probably all have to deal with a leaking pipe or two. One convenient aspect of the plumbing in your kitchen is the fact that so much of it is exposed. Take a peak under your sink. With small leaks the most common cause to keep an eye out for is a poor or loose connection at a joint in the pipe. A worn out washer is another likely culprit, and both problems are easy and affordable to repair. A more serious leak can develop if your pipe has corroded through or is cracked.

A backed up sink is another common problem in the kitchen. When you’re cooking be sure to dispose of any food scraps in the garbage before washing them. Even small chunks of food can get trapped and block other scraps from passing by, leading to a backup. Remember also to never put any grease or fat down your drain. That frying pan may be full of liquid after you cook your bacon, but once that liquid cools down it will congeal and become gelatinous. This goop can stick to the sides of your pipes and cause serious problems.

If you have garbage disposal be sure that you are only putting appropriate foods down it. Pasta may not seem like it’s much of a match for those whirring blades, but its soft texture protects it from being broken down small enough to avoid trouble. Pasta also absorbs water, meaning that you’ve now basically got a shredded sponge in your drain. Oh, and next time someone tells you that eggshells are good for your disposal and sharpen the blades, ask them just how exactly they think that works. It doesn’t, and it’s a good way to clog your pipes.

There are plenty of other minor issues that cause the most common problems with kitchen plumbing. If you need help with a plumbing issue in the kitchen of your Ham Lake home, call the great plumbers at Air Mechanical. We’re always here to help.

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