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

5 Facts about Santa Claus

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Many holiday traditions involve the story of Santa Claus, the lovable old man who spends most of his time at the North Pole taking a single evening to deliver presents and candy to children everywhere. But since Santa Claus is so elusive (unless he happens to be visiting your local shopping mall), how do we know so much about him? Where exactly does his journey begin? Our holiday guide details 5 of the most common traditions associated with Jolly Old Saint Nick.

  1. The Origins of Santa: The name “Santa Claus” comes from St. Nicholas (a name which became Sinter Klaas for short in Dutch), a Christian Bishop from 4 A.D. who was known for giving his fortune away to those in need in Turkey. Santa Claus’ first associations with gift-giving comes from Holland’s St. Nicholas’ feast day, during which children would leave out their shoes overnight and find presents waiting inside the shoes on the next morning.
  2. The Stocking by the Chimney: While many people associate Holland’s shoe tradition with the origins of hanging a stocking, this isn’t entirely accurate. Hanging stockings instead comes from the legend of a time St. Nick helped a man afford to marry off his daughter by throwing a bag of gold down the chimney, which landed in a stocking that was hanging up to dry.
  3. St. Nick’s Outfit: Santa got his fashion sense from a wooden cutout handed out during a meeting of the New York Historical Society in 1804. But it wasn’t until a 1930s Coca Cola advertisement that his traditionally blue, white, and green outfit was transformed into a big red suit.
  4. Leaving Cookies out for Santa: Food was traditionally used as ornamentation during the holidays in medieval Germany as apples and cookies commonly adorned the home at wintertime. When the Christmas tree became a common symbol of the season, edible treats began to vanish, a phenomenon which became attributed to Santa Claus’ snacking habits.
  5. Why Santa Drives a Sleigh: Santa gets his sleigh from a tale spun by Washington Irving, the same author who brought us the Headless Horseman. He wrote down an account of a dream in which Santa Claus drives a weightless wagon through the sky, and the stories became so popular, they stuck around.

Here at Air Mechanical Inc., we hope that you have a joyful and safe celebration, no matter what holiday traditions you engage in this year. Happy holidays!

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Still Time to Receive Federal Tax Credit!

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Money in hand

There’s still time to take advantage of federal tax credits for high efficiency furnace, air conditioning, and heat pump models. If you have an old system that is 15 years old or more, a new system can save you an average of $350-$650 annually on your utility costs. And you can qualify for up to $500 in tax credits!

Even if you already bought a new system in 2014, you may still be eligible to take advantage of these tax credits. Give us a call or check with your tax professional for more information.

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How Can I Tell if I Need a Humidifier?

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

When weather reports detail the relative humidity outdoors, most people pay no attention. But if you’re way more concerned with the temperature than you are with the amount of moisture in the air, you may be missing out on a chance to better control your climate with whole-home humidity control. The amount of moisture in the air contributes greatly to how comfortable you feel and even to your level of health, which is why you sometimes run your heater or air conditioner at full force without feeling any more restful.

Too much humidity in the air causes people to feel hot and sticky, since sweat cannot evaporate from their bodies. But in the winter, low humidity is more likely to affect you, leaving you feeling dried out and even possibly upsetting the structure of your home. Because of this, contractors often recommend whole-home humidifiers to homeowners in Andover, as the following symptoms can make them a near necessity in your home.

  1. Dry skin: Dry, itchy, or flaky skin and chapped lips are a couple of fairly irritating ways to tell that a humidifier is right for you. A humidifier emits water vapor into the air so that the air so that your skin can retain more moisture. This ensures healthier skin, hair, and sinuses, and can even help prevent a sudden acne breakout.
  2. Prolonged sickness: When there’s not enough moisture in the air, your sinuses and mucus membranes can dry out as well. And when the nasal passages don’t have any moisture, it takes your body a bit longer to heal from an illness like the cold or the flu. This is why a whole-house humidifying unit is recommended over a portable unit as they give everyone in the home an equal chance at recovery.
  3. Cracked walls and peeling paint: Finally, it may surprise you to learn that low humidity can even affect your environment, causing paint to peel, walls to crack, and even damaging wood furniture and floors.

Speak with an expert at Air Mechanical, Inc. today to learn more about all of the benefits homeowners have discovered by installing humidifiers in Andover.

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Why Schedule Plumbing Maintenance?

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Just as you maintain your cooling and heating systems, you should also maintain your home’s plumbing systems. Plumbing problems can be messy and incur water damage, and certain types of plumbing repairs can be very costly. How can maintenance help prevent these types of things? We’ll explain more below, but first let’s take a look at what happens during a routine plumbing maintenance appointment:

  • Thorough inspection of all plumbing systems
  • Water pressure checks in all piping and fixtures
  • Check all toilets for leaks
  • Inspection of water-using appliances, such as washing machine and dishwasher
  • Inspection of all main valves
  • Inspection of all piping, with a particular focus on any potential leaks or corrosion
  • Inspection of faucets and drains
  • Inspection of piping under all sinks
  • Inspection of emergency shut-off valves

If any problems are found, the issue(s) will be explained to you and recommendations given for repair.

Benefits of Plumbing Maintenance

Here are some of the reasons why scheduling plumbing maintenance is beneficial:

  • Maintenance of appliances – plumbing problems can put stress on appliances like washing machines and dish washers; properly maintaining your plumbing helps prevent this kind of stress, which can extend the life of your water-using appliances.
  • Prevent/reduce clogs – if you’ve been experiencing slow drainage in any of your drains, your plumber can inspect the problem(s) during maintenance. Even if your drains are flowing well, your plumber will be able to inspect your drains for potential soap scum and/or hair build-up.
  • Improve water pressure – if you’ve been experiencing problems with your water pressure, maintenance can help clear some of the issues that may be causing this.
  • Decrease water bills – small leaks can increase your water bills; during a maintenance appointment, these leaks are repaired, which can save you money for the long-term.

Maintaining your home systems is important to your comfort, health and the longevity of the system.

If it’s been more than 12 months since your last plumbing maintenance appointment in Oak Grove, call Air Mechanical, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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Do Geothermal Systems Require Frequent Repair?

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

There can be some concern in regard to repairing geothermal systems because of how the system is set up. As such, one of the main concerns is how frequently do geothermal systems need repair? The answer is: very infrequently. Not only are geothermal systems made to be durable, their operation is very different from more traditional systems, so the risk of malfunction is far less. Understanding how geothermal systems work helps explain why geothermal systems do not have the same frequency of breakdowns as other systems, so let’s take a look at how a geothermal system works.

Geothermal Operation

A geothermal system takes advantage of the steady temperature of the ground below the frost line to heat your home. It does this via a ground loop filled with a solution (typically anti-freeze) that absorbs the latent heat and transfers this heat to the ground-source heat pump. The heat pump concentrates the heat, then distributes it to your living spaces.

What About Repairs?

The ground loop is a simple component that does not have mechanical parts; in fact, the main mechanical component in a geothermal system is the heat pump. Furnaces and boilers are mechanical devices with moving parts, which makes them more prone to developing problems; a geothermal system does not have multiple moving parts. Additionally, unlike traditional combustion heating systems, geothermal systems do not generate heat; instead, they transfer heat. This, too, helps the system to be more stable. None of the geothermal components are exposed to the outdoors, which helps protect the parts from corrosion and damage. Lastly, the average lifespan of the equipment is some of the longest around: ground loops have an average lifespan of 25-50 years and the heat pumps have an average lifespan of 20-25 years.

Geothermal systems are the most energy efficient heating and cooling system available, so don’t let the possibility of geothermal repair in Lino Lakes keep you from considering a geothermal system for your home.

Have questions? Contact Air Mechanical, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.

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