Air Mechanical, Inc. Blog : Archive for March, 2014

Boiler Repair Guide: The Circulator Pump

Friday, March 28th, 2014

A boiler is an excellent alternative to using a forced-air system such as a gas furnace to heat your home. Boilers use hydronic power—the power of water—to circulate heat to radiators and baseboard heaters that send out clean, dust-free warmth into rooms, and they perform more efficiently on average than furnaces. Another advantage of boilers is that they have low maintenance and repair needs, which leads to longer lifespans.

The reason that boilers do not require as many repairs as systems like furnaces and heat pumps is because they operate using only a small number of mechanical parts. However, they aren’t completely free of moving parts: an essential component of a boiler is the circulator pump, which sometimes needs repairs to keep a boiler running.

If you have troubles with the circulator pump on your boiler, or if you need any other kind of boiler repair in Andover, MN, call Air Mechanical, Inc. We’re available 24/7 for your convenience.

The Circulator Pump

Without the circulator pump, the hot water in a boiler would have trouble moving through the pipes to the terminal points to send out heat. Convection currents from heat would move the water along the pipes, but at only a fraction of the power. The circulator pump contains an electric-powered impeller motor that removes the hot water from the tank to circulate through the pipes to the baseboard heaters or radiators. At the same time, the pump draws in cold water to start the heating cycle.

If a circulator pump wears down, it can begin to cause problems. An overworked pump can cause circuit breakers to trip, which is often an early warning sign that the pump needs repairs. Broken inside components and valves can cause the pump to stop working. A pump can also develop leaks because of corrosion, and this will cause the water pressure inside the tank to drop and reduce the heating throughout the house. A leaking pump or one with interior damage usually must have a full replacement, although sometimes a repair specialist can put caulking around the joins and flanges to keep the pump operating for a few more years.

Because the circulator pump works almost silently, any strange noise coming from it should prompt you to call for repairs. Loud noises often indicate that a large amount of air has gotten trapped inside the pump, or that a bearing has come loose. Loose bearings usually mean a pump that’s past repair, but trapped air is something a technician can fix.

Whatever problem ails your circulator pump, whether it calls for repairs or a new pump, you can trust to Air Mechanical, Inc. to come to your assistance. We’ve offered boiler repair and other HVAC system services in Andover, MN since 1985. Give us a call today and speak with one of our HVAC experts about your boiler repair needs.

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3 Major Sources of Bathroom Plumbing Clogs

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Your home’s kitchen and the bathrooms receive the most running water down their drains, and are the places where you will most likely encounter clogs. The majority of bathroom clogs you can fix using a simple plunger (always keep one handy) but sometimes a clog will resist all plunging attempts. In that case, forget about using a bottle of liquid drain cleaner (those chemicals are acidic and toxic, good for neither your drain nor you). Instead, contact a plumber with the experience and the tools to quickly and safely clear up that aggravating bathroom clog.

We’ve put together a short list of the 3 most common reasons for clogs blocking up your bathroom drains. When you need professional assistance with your bathroom plumbing in Oak Grove, MN, call Air Mechanical, Inc.—24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

3 Causes of Bathroom Drain Clogs

  • Hair:
    It’s difficult to avoid hair going down into a sink basin, tub, or shower. When hair goes down into a drain, it will often get caught in the sludgy debris that lines the pipes. Hair will continue to accumulate until it forms a thick mass that will lead to a slow drain and then a full stoppage. To help prevent this, you can purchase drain covers that will help keep most hair out of the drain.
  • Soap scum:
    The residue of soap will build up in sinks, showers, and tubs, and it will also get down in the drains. This accumulation—especially when combined with hair—can eventually block off the drainpipe. This is more common in older plumbing systems with pipes that have less smooth interiors. Here is another situation where a good drain cover can help slow down the deposits.
  • Toys and other small objects:
    Your bathroom contains an assortment of small objects that like to gather at the edges of sink and on the ledges of showers. It’s easy for one of these to tip over and fall down the drain, lodging in the pipes. Common nuisances include the caps of toothpaste tubes, children’s toys, and medicine bottles. Plungers usually can’t do anything about this type of problem, and you’ll need a plumber to help—especially if the item that went down the drain was valuable.

Help Prevent Clogs With Bio-Clean

To fend away clogs, have professional plumbers give your drains the Bio-Clean treatment, which uses the natural power of bacteria to eat away at clogs without leaving toxic residue—and Bio-Clean agents will remain in your pipes afterwards, keeping away further build-up.

Air Mechanical, Inc. offers Bio-Clean to unclog your bathroom sinks and keep them that way. Give us a call today for all your needs for bathroom plumbing and other drain and sewer services in Oak Grove, MN.

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Problems Caused by Faulty Thermostats

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

The thermostat has a tremendous amount of power for so small an object. This unobtrusive unit attached to a wall in your house has full control over the heating and cooling systems that make indoor life comfortable year round. But because people often overlook the thermostat, they don’t realize when a thermostat with a fault is creating trouble with their HVAC system. Sometimes, what seems like a malfunction in the system cabinet will turn out to be a problem with the thermostat.

Bringing in professional technicians when you have problems with your heater or AC will make sure that you discover thermostat problems. Experts will know how to track repair issues to their source and avoid unnecessary tampering with unrelated components. And thankfully, thermostat repairs are among the faster ones for technicians to accomplish.

Air Mechanical, Inc. performs heating system repairs for thermostats in Anoka, MN, as well as installations of thermostat upgrades to help homeowners get the most from their heating and cooling.

Problems That Can Stem From Thermostat Faults:

  • The heater/air conditioner won’t start up – Whenever a home comfort system refuses to turn on when it should, the usual conclusion is that the system has broken. However, the problem could be that the thermostat isn’t working right. Sometimes this is due to a miscalibration in the unit that makes it read the temperature incorrectly and consequently not turn the heater/AC on when it should. At other times, wiring defects can cause the thermostat to lose its connection to the system.
  • The heater/air conditioner won’t stop running – This is the opposite problem, although the cause is similar. Either a miscalibrated thermostat keeps sending incorrect instructions to the HVAC system to keep working, or the specific wire that turns the heater/AC off has broken.
  • Uneven temperatures Thermostats that develop quirks will lead to your home experiencing hot and cold spots where they shouldn’t be. If the thermostat keeps switching the HVAC system on and off at the wrong times, it will lead to poor distribution of temperatures to the rooms farthest from the central unit.

Have Professionals Find Out What is Wrong

There are many causes for a thermostat to begin working incorrectly: miscalibration, incorrect placement in the way of direct sunlight or drafts, wires wearing down, computer system errors in digital models. Don’t try troubleshooting any of this yourself beyond making basic temperature adjustments. (Remember, the thermostat may not be the issue.) Instead, speak with a professional heating service in Anoka to help you find out what the issue is with your thermostat.

Air Mechanical, Inc. has technicians ready 24-hours a day to help you when your heating or cooling starts acting abnormally. Give us a call today and ask us about how we can upgrade your thermostat as well.

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What Can a Humidifier Do for My Home

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Most people know how terrible high humidity can feel during the summer, which is why they wish the weather would switch to a “dry heat.” Although a dry heat brings some relief during hot spells, dry air in general isn’t good for your home—especially during winter when the cold temperatures cause a plunge in moisture. To find the right balance of humidity in your home, you’ll need to have professionals install a humidifier.

Here are three benefits your home will receive from a humidifier. When you think that humidifiers in Blaine, MN will help solve moisture problems in your house, contact our indoor air quality specialists at Air Mechanical, Inc.

Here Are Some Benefits From a Humidifier

  • Better indoor comfort: Finding a balance in humidity inside your house will help you feel more comfortable with the temperature in cold weather, and consequently you’ll need to run your heating system much less. The same way that high humidity makes people feel hotter, low humidity makes people feel colder. The dry air absorbs moisture from your body, and this causes you to feel that the air is colder. With humidity in the 33%–55% range, your indoor comfort will increase during cold weather, and you can give your heater some time off.
  • Improved health: Low humidity is linked to a number of health issues, such as dry skin and itching; breathing trouble and respiratory infections; congestion and nose irritation; and the rapid spread of flus and colds. Dry air is also an environment that favors the growth of a number of viruses. You can expect fewer colds and other infections if you have your air balanced with a proper humidifier.
  • Improve your furnishings: A house with too little moisture in its air will develop cracks along wood fixtures and warping of floorboards and walls as moisture is pulled out of them (the same way it pulls moistures from your body). This will not only affect your home’s construction material, but it can also affect your possessions as well. Wooden musical instruments are particularly subject to the cracking and warping from lack of moisture in the air.

Upgrade Your Life With a Whole-House Humidifier

Although you can alleviate some problems with low moisture in your home with a portable room humidifier, this will only address a small part of the trouble. With the installation of whole-house and room humidifiers, you can tackle the problem in full. Air Mechanical, Inc. can help you with proper moisture control for your home in Blaine, MN. Give us a call today and we can help you select the right size humidifier and then install it. You’ll have the best comfort and health in your home. We also offer a variety of HVAC services in Blaine.

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