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

Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system.

Here at Air Mechanical Inc., we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

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Can You Benefit from Zone Heating in Apple Valley?

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Have you ever had a disagreement with a family member about the temperature in the home? Many people have individual temperature preferences that lead to arguments in the house about whether it is kept too cold or too hot. But you can keep from ever hearing an argument about the temperature again by installing zone control.

A zone control system is installed as a set of dampers in the ductwork that open and close to let more or less airflow in and adjust the temperature in a given room. Each room has a thermostat that controls only the damper in the duct that leads to that room, and there is also a master thermostat that controls all of the areas of the house. This means your family members can choose to keep a room warmer or colder according to their preferences. There are many other benefits to zone heating, detailed here.

Even Temperatures throughout the Home

One of the ways zone heating helps homeowners is by keeping temperatures even throughout the house. In large houses or homes with unique architectural designs, one area of the home often feels warmer than the others. Heat rises, so it may be that the upstairs areas are typically warmer, or it could be that a large window in a single room keeps it cooler. In any case, zone heating can help keep temperatures even no matter where you are in the home since you can adjust that zone separately from the others.

Save Money

Another way zone heating benefits you is by saving you money. For one, you won’t feel the need to blast the heat throughout the home just to make the downstairs feel as warm as the second floor. Additionally, you can save money by turning off the heat to unoccupied areas of the home. If you don’t use the upstairs rooms throughout the day, try shutting off the heat in that area only. And in the summer, you can continue to save money by using the same set of dampers and thermostats for zone cooling as well!

Are you interested in a zone heating system for your home? Call Air Mechanical, Inc. to ask how you can get zone heating in Apple Valley today!

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Which Air Cleaner Is Best For My Home?

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Professionally installed air cleaners are one of the most effective methods to provide higher quality indoor air for a house. There is a wide variety of air cleaners currently available, and it is important that you make the choice for your home with the assistance of indoor air quality specialists. These professionals will identify what sort of contaminants you need to have removed from the air circulating through the rooms and HVAC system of your home, and then determine which air cleaner will best target and remove them.

When you call Air Mechanical, Inc. for help with air cleaners in Ham Lake, MN or the surrounding areas, you’ll have the help of experts who will dedicate themselves to making sure you receive the finest installation possible.

There are two broad categories of air cleaners to consider, mechanical and electronic.

Mechanical air cleaners

These cleaners work by capturing pollutants that try to move through them on a mat of fibers, filtering them out from the airflow. There are many different levels of effectiveness of mechanical filters, measured by their MERV rating. The higher the rating, the smaller the particles the filter can trap. However, you need to be cautious of extremely high MERV ratings, since you do not want to restrict the airflow from your heater or air conditioner and make it inefficient. (For example, the high-efficiency HEPA filters are mostly for commercial use and will interfere with residential systems.) A properly selected and installed mechanical air cleaner can filter out more than 99% of the contaminating particles circulating through a home’s HVAC system.

Electronic air cleaners

A weakness of mechanical air cleaners is that they do not affect gas and odor molecules, which will slip through them. If you need stronger air cleaning power to deal with chemicals, smoke, and bad odors from your HVAC system, then an electronic air cleaner is perhaps your best choice. One of these systems ionizes the air and changes the charge of the pollutants in it. The ionized pollutants are then drawn toward a set of collector plates where they are trapped. An effectively installed electronic air cleaner can capture particles down to 0.1 microns in size. These cleaners require electricity to run, but only a small amount and their operation should not have a noticeable impact on energy efficiency.

Contact us for help with air cleaner installation

If you are looking into air cleaners in Ham Lake, MN or the surrounding areas, call our team.

Air Mechanical, Inc. has served the 7-county Metro Area with healthier air quality since 1985, and we will locate the ideal air cleaner to serve your home and family.

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3 Common Furnace Repairs That Annual Maintenance May Prevent

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Maintenance isn’t just a quick check of your heating system; it provides a tune-up for your entire heating system. During a routine maintenance appointment, your heating system is thoroughly inspected, cleaned and adjusted, and all moving parts are lubricated. In addition, small issues like worn fan belts and corroded wiring are fixed before they can cause bigger problems, which helps to reduce the need for furnace repair in Blaine. If you haven’t scheduled annual maintenance for your furnace yet, call Air Mechanical, Inc., today.

Repairs Maintenance Can Help Prevent

Maintenance can’t prevent all repairs, but there are some that can be avoided with consistent annual maintenance:

Fan Problems

The fan in your heating system has several components that, when left unattended, can fall into disrepair. Problems commonly detected and attended to with regular maintenance are: friction created by dry ball bearings in the fan shaft; loose or bent fan blades; loose motor mounts; worn fan belts; motor issues and electrical issues, including frayed wiring.


The components in your furnace can become dirty. When the burner is covered in a layer of dust and dirt, problems can develop, such as uneven heating, an inability for all the burners to light, and excessive wear and tear. During routine maintenance, the burner is inspected and cleaned, so that it can function optimally.


Many of today’s furnaces light via electronic ignition. There are two types of electronic ignition: intermittent and hot surface. With both types, the igniters can become dirty. The fuel nozzle in the intermittent pilot can become clogged, which can block the gas from flowing. With the hot surface igniter, dirt on the outside of the igniter can act as insulation, and the igniter won’t become hot enough to light the gas jet. Part of routine maintenance involves cleaning the components, which helps prevent issues caused by dirt and grime.

Maintenance is good for you and your system. Help prevent repair with your furnace in Blaine this year by scheduling fall maintenance today with your Air Mechanical, Inc., expert.

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