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

How to Choose the Most Efficient Furnace for Your Home

Monday, September 29th, 2014

No matter where you live, getting through the winter months without a furnace probably isn’t a pleasant prospect. Not all furnaces are created equal, however. There are a number of vastly different options available, each capable of meeting your heating needs in different ways. So, how do you choose the best one? Let’s take a look at what you need to know to pick the most efficient furnace.

AFUE

AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. This number measures how efficient a furnace is at converting fuel into heat over an average year. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit is. For example, if a furnace has an AFUE of 60%, it means that 60% of the fuel it burns is converted into heat while 40% is lost to other factors. That isn’t a very efficient furnace. Furnaces with a lower AFUE will require more fuel to reach target temperatures, which will cost you more money. The current minimum requirements are around 80% for most types of furnaces, but you should still examine each unit to compare AFUE numbers.

Energy Star

The most efficient furnaces will have the ENERGY STAR label on them to highlight their efficiency. These are probably the best choice in colder climates. Their extremely high AFUE rating (90%+) makes them the least expensive if they are going to be used quite often.

Retrofits and Replacements

There are ways to retrofit your older furnace to be more efficient. Oil burning furnaces can be converted to use gas, for example. Depending on how old your furnace is, however, it would likely be far more cost effective to simply replace it. Some older furnaces are extremely inefficient, and replacing them could double the effectiveness of your heating system as a whole. Ultimately, you will have to weigh your options and go with what fits your home situation the best.

If you are looking for furnaces in Oak Grove, call Air Mechanical, Inc. No matter what your home situation is, we can find and install a furnace that meets all your heating needs.

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A Few Options for Heating Replacement This Fall

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Replacing your heating system can be an opportunity to help you and your home become more energy efficient and comfortable. How? Thanks to technology and advancements in the cooling and heating industry, there are a number of heating choices available to homeowners, and you may find that a new kind of system will fit the needs of your home better than your last system. So if you are looking at heating replacement in Andover this fall, work with the people who can help you choose and install a great home heating system: Air Mechanical, Inc.

Types of Heating Systems to Consider

There are several choices available to homeowners these days, and each comes with its own set of benefits:

  • Ductless heating – as the name indicates, this type of heating system does not require air ducts because it uses individual indoor blowers to distribute the air. The blowers are connected to an outdoor unit via a conduit through an exterior wall. A single outdoor unit can support up to 4 indoor blowers. Because the indoor blowers are individually operated, you can customize your heating. However, one of the best benefits of a ductless system is that it can also cool your home.
  • Boiler system – a boiler is part of a hydronic heating system. In a hydronic heating system, water (or steam) is used to distribute heat via radiators, baseboard heaters, or tubing beneath the floor. Boilers offer very even heating, and the piping used in the system allows for easy zoning. Boilers are very common systems, and are used widely in residential homes. Common fuel types for boilers are natural gas and oil.
  • Geothermal systems – geothermal systems harness the natural, steady temperature of the Earth below the frost line to offer your home both heating and cooling. They do this via a ground loop system and heat pump that transfer heat: during the winter, heat from the ground is transferred into your home, and in summer the heat from inside your home is transferred to the ground. Geothermal systems are extremely energy efficient and have a very long life span.
  •  Hydronic floor heating – hydronic floor heating has become a popular choice for homeowners. With this type of heating, durable piping is installed in a serpentine method underneath your flooring through which heated water or steam is dispersed. This type of system provides even heat and is very energy efficient, but there can be a cost involved with the piping system.

Our winters in Minnesota are cold, so having a reliable, efficient heating system is very important.

If you need help with your heating replacement in Andover, call Air Mechanical, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

 

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The History of Labor Day

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The official end of summer and the beginning of fall lands on September 23rd, which marks the Autumnal Equinox, when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes the center of the sun and the length of day and night are roughly equal. However, for most people in the U.S., the summer really concludes with Labor Day, the first Monday in September. Labor Day and Memorial Day (the last Monday of May) together serve as the bookends of the summer.

The Labor Day Holiday is a time that people in this country associate with a last summer blast: another reason for an outdoor picnic, a chance for a three-day vacation, family trips to amusement parks, and of course, taking advantage of numerous sales that retailers always offer. (Labor Day is often the second largest shopping day of the year after Black Friday in November.) It’s also the point when school traditionally goes back in session, although some schools start a week earlier and some a week later.

Labor Day’s origins lie in the 1880s. In 1882 Matthew Maguire, a machinist in New York City who was secretary of the Central Labor Union (CLU) at the time, and Peter J McGuire of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), first proposed a celebration of the hard working men and women of the United States. However, five years would pass before the first state made it an official holiday, Oregon. Other states quickly followed this example, although not all selected a date in September.

By 1894, thirty states had started Labor Day celebrations. President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made Labor Day a federal holiday only a week after Congress voted unanimously to approve the legislation. The date chosen for the holiday was the same one that Maguire and McGuire had originally proposed.

The U.S.A. is not the only country that celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September. Canada observes the holiday as well, although they spell it “Labour” Day. In fact, Canada celebrated the occasion earlier than the U.S., and was an early inspiration in this country for the development of the holiday.

All of us here at Air Mechanical, Inc. hope you and your family—whether at work or at play—enjoy a relaxing and memorable Labor Day weekend and have a fantastic start to the fall.

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