Air Mechanical, Inc Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Anoka’

Here’s How We Can Treat Your Water

Monday, July 8th, 2019

Blegh! Contaminants in your water got you down? We totally understand why poor water quality is such a big deal! Let’s face it: you need the water coming out of your taps to be potable, and if it isn’t, it can certainly be a quite a nuisance.

Of course, we don’t think you should have to deal with poor water quality forever, which is why most plumbers offer a variety of water treatment solutions. There are a number of water treatment systems on the market today, each designed to eliminate specific types of contaminants from your water. So no matter what your needs are, we will be able to match you with the right system for your home.

Below, we have listed some of the most common water treatment systems available and how they can help you. Keep reading to find out more!

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Here’s What You Need to Know About Hard Water

Sunday, May 26th, 2019

When you think about all the things that could go wrong with your plumbing system, you likely picture burst pipes, clogged toilets, and leaky faucets, however, there is one issue that homeowners almost always overlook: hard water. Hard water is one of the most common and most problematic issues that your plumbing system can face, yet many of us are unaware that we’ve got a problem.

Therefore, it is important to know about hard water systems and what you can do to keep your plumbing system in the best possible condition. So below, we have outlined some of the things you ought to know about hard water. Keep reading to find out more!

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Common Kitchen Plumbing Repair Issues

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Considering the amount of water that flows into and out of a kitchen on a daily basis, it’s surprising that the plumbing there doesn’t require more repairs than it does. However, modern kitchen plumbing is designed to endure a great deal of stress, and proper cleaning helps keep away issues like clogged sinks and leaking pipes.

But no kitchen can avoid repairs entirely. Because of this, we have decided to highlight a few of the common repair issues you may encounter in your home’s kitchen.

When you need expert kitchen plumbing repair in Anoka, MN, call up the company with almost four decades of experience servicing the 7-County Metro area: Air Mechanical, Inc.

3 common repairs for kitchen plumbing

  • Eliminating clogs: Clogs occur in a kitchen more often than anywhere else in a house because of the amount of food that goes down the drains, which includes the major nemesis of pipes: liquid fat, oil, and grease (collectively known as F.O.G.), which turns into waxy solids that rapidly congest drainpipes. Although a sink plunger can handle basic clogs, when the build-up inside drainpipes reaches a level where clogs happen consistently, you’ll need professionals to clean out the drains. Also, never resort to the use of chemical drain cleaners, which can damage pipes and leave behind toxic residue.
  • Fixing broken garbage disposals: Kitchen disposals take plenty of abuse, and some of it is unnecessary. You should never put anything down a disposal that human teeth couldn’t chew. Chicken bones and unpopped popcorn kernels are major offenders, but people sometimes put actual “garbage” items like paper products into disposals. (Perhaps the “garbage” part of the name should be retired.) Disposals can clog or break because of these objects. You should never reach your hand into a disposal to attempt to fix a jammed flywheel or any other issue. Call professionals to handle these repairs, which could include fixing electrical problems.
  • Grease trap repairs: Not every kitchen has a grease trap to prevent F.O.G. contamination, although we definitely recommend installing one. But grease traps sometimes need repairs as well, especially if they don’t receive routine cleaning. If a grease trap starts causing a sink to back up, call for repairs.

Although there are some simple kitchen plumbing issues you can handle on your own (such as plungering away a simple clog), a trained plumber should take care of most problems so you’ll avoid accidental damage and leaking. Air Mechanical, Inc. can perform the kitchen plumbing repair in Anoka, MN that will restore your appliances, drains, faucets, and anything else that might encounter difficulty.

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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 Are the Benefits of Electric Furnaces?

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Furnaces come in a variety of types that use different energy sources. The earliest furnaces used wood and coal, and later propane and oil became popular. You can still find propane and oil furnaces warming homes today, but it’s likely that if you’re looking into getting a furnace, your choice will come down to either a natural gas or electric furnace.

Natural gas furnaces are the most popular choice for contemporary homes, but electricity continues to gain ground as an option. Electric furnaces have a number of advantages you should consider as you shop for a new heating installation.

If you are thinking of installing a furnace in Anoka, MN, you should seek the professional assistance of the NATE-certified technicians at Air Mechanical, Inc. We specialize in “Creating Custom Comfort,” and that means you will end up with a heater that is just right for you.

Electric furnaces: the benefits

  • No natural gas line required: If your home doesn’t have access to a natural gas line, you can still enjoy the benefits of a furnace by going electrical. Electricity is available almost everywhere in the U.S., so an electric furnace is always an option.
  • Low initial cost: Electric furnaces usually cost less to install than other heating choices. If you are on a tight budget, an electric furnace is an excellent way to save money upfront.
  • Safety: Although no heating system is 100% accident-proof, electrical furnaces do not have the potential hazard of toxic and combustible carbon monoxide leaks that gas furnaces and gas boilers do.
  • Efficiency: Electrical furnaces have made huge strides in efficient performance during the last two decades. Although gas usually costs less than electricity, the efficient performance of an electric furnace can make up for the difference, since you will need to use it less.

Although these advantages may make it sound as if an electric furnace is the choice for your home, keep in mind that every home offers different heating challenges. Perhaps an electric furnace isn’t the heater to meet that challenge. The best way to make an informed choice is to have an informed opinion: contact an HVAC specialist to find the best method to heat your home.

Air Mechanical, Inc. has 25 years of experience delivering quality heating. If you think installing a furnace in Anoka, MN is your best choice for the winter, then come to us for all the assistance you’ll need.

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HVAC Guide: Green Building Trends for New Homes

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

In a society with an increasing an eye on reducing waste and creating energy-efficient spaces, it might not be as surprising to know that the green building market has been steadily increasing over the past few years, and in years to come is expected to triple from what it is now.  The variety of green building trends for new homes in Ham Lake which are in place today are staggering and exciting, and will ultimately change the way we build homes and business facilities, permanently.  According to the Earth Advantage Institute, below are the latest green building trends for new homes to watch for in the near future.

  • Urban Density:  Homeowners are opting to build in the empty space between existing homes or buildings.  These lots are desired by those who want to be closer to city-centers and hotspots.
  • Green Multi-Family Homes:  An increased interest in energy-saving building options and an increase in the number of multi-family homes being built mean an increase in green multi-family homes.
  • Energy Upgrades Drive Home Remodels:  Consumer preference has switched to remodeling in order to save energy in their upgrades.  Thus contractors have begun to offer these types of services as a standard option in remodeling projects. This includes new, energy saving HVAC equipment.
  • Development and Testing of New Materials: National labs and research departments are working with construction firms in order to produce test facilities and sensor-filled buildings which track real-time energy performance of new materials and equipment.
  • Consumer-Friendly Home Energy Tracking Devices:  Sensor-based energy and water monitoring systems are being used by consumers to save money all throughout their homes and the number of companies creating these tracking devices is increasing, making them easier to come by.
  • Energy Education for Commercial Tenants:  Commercial building energy disclosure is pushing building owners to be more energy efficient, this in addition to educating tenants on ways for them to contribute to saving energy means that more commercial buildings are going green.
  • Transparency in Home Marketing:  Consumers who have instant access to information are more educated and can see through housing scams more easily. Real estate agents who are forthright and educate clients even further on the benefits of having energy efficient home features means more confidence in the green housing market.
  • More Accurate Appraisals:  With more educated consumers looking for Certified Residential Green Appraisers, the lending community is beginning to follow suit and pay attention even further to the added value and return on investment for green homes and green remodels.
  • Broader Adoption of Residential Energy Ratings for Homes:  Energy labeling systems are being put into place nationally, thus causing homeowners to be more educated regarding energy savings possibilities.  More extensive usage of residential energy ratings for homes means homeowners are undertaking more energy upgrade work.
  • Smart Grid-Compatible High-Performance Homes:  More new homes are utilizing “grid-aware” appliances which monitor and report their own usage with the ability to increase or decrease electric usage remotely, thus saving energy.

For more tips on how to improve your Ham Lake home, or for any plumbing, heating, or air conditioning service you need, give Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing a call!

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Air Conditioning Tips: How to Troubleshoot a Failed AC Unit

Monday, June 11th, 2012

For most scenarios, air conditioning system repairs follow a handful of typical troubleshooting steps. If you would like one of our Andover air conditioning technicians to help you get your AC unit running again, give Air Mechanical Inc for assistance. We can also send someone to your home if we can’t get your system working again.

Here are some basic steps to try before you call for a repair.

Check All Controls and Fuses

When your air conditioner won’t cool your home properly, always check the thermostat to see if it is on “cool” and set for the right temperature. If the air conditioner has shut down, check to make sure that the unit is receiving power by looking in the fuse box for a flipped circuit breaker and also making sure it is plugged in properly. You can also inspect the visible wires and electrical components for obvious damages. Call a TOWN NAME air conditioning technician if you see physical damage to the electrical components. Never try to fix this yourself.

Sometimes when there’s extreme weather conditions in the summer, such as very high temperatures or high humidity levels, the high-pressure switch can get flipped and turn off the air conditioner. You can easily find the switch on most AC models in the compressor’s access panel. Check your owner’s manual or call us if you don’t know how to locate or reset the limit switch.

Check for Refrigerant Problems or Condensate Pan Leaks

Refrigerant problems caused by the wrong amount of refrigerant can keep the AC unit from cooling your home properly, and you can usually tell if there’s a refrigerant issue by looking for frost or icing on the evaporator coil. When there’s excess coil icing, it means that there isn’t enough cool air being delivered to your home. If you see thick frost on the evaporator coil, a technician will most likely need to charge the refrigerant, or there could be a leak in the refrigerant line.

Condensate leaks into the condensate pan can also cause an air conditioner to fail. The condensate drip pan is installed underneath the air handler to catch condensate leaks if the drain system gets clogged. Most of the time, a small clog in the drain line can be easily cleared. Also check the condensate switch for issues; sometimes these can be defective and cause your air conditioner to shut down.

At Mechanical Air Inc, we want to be the only Andover air conditioning contractor you’ll ever need. Call us any time to get troubleshooting advice for your AC system.

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Plumbing Basics from Anoka: Learning the Parts of a Toilet

Monday, May 14th, 2012

The majority of Anoka homeowners are not aware that they can repair most minor toilet problems and other bathroom plumbing jobs on their own. Whether it’s overflowing or running more than it should, toilets can be repaired often without calling a plumber; however, it is important to know the basic parts of a toilet before trying to troubleshoot toilet issues.

Here’s a guide to learning the parts of a toilet:

Tank: Pictured above (inspectapedia.com) is the tank on the back of the toilet, which holds the water supply for the bowl and the components that you need to know to fix most problems.

Bowl: Holds wastewater and uses the water from the tank to flush the waste.

Flush Handle:  The flush handle is the part that everyone knows, but it’s important to know what happens when you flush: the flush handle is connected to the trip lever, which lifts the flapper and allows the water for the tank to enter the bowl.

Trip Lever: The trip lever is the part that you need to know for a running toilet. It attaches the flush handle to the flapper, and when you flush the toilet, this lever lifts the flapper (sometimes called a flapper valve) and releases the water from the tank into the bowl to force the wastewater in the bowl down the sewer drain. When a toilet is running, you can simply lift the trip lever to lower the water level in the tank.

Float Ball: The float ball basically measures the water in the tank. After you flush, the ball will fall as the water level lowers, and the ball will rise again as the tank fills from the toilet main water supply. When the tank has enough water, the toilet will stop running.

Overflow Tube: This is the tube that will stop the tank from overflowing if the toilet is running. It leads into the drain and pushes out all the excess water. Sometimes you can remove the rubber water supply tube from the overflow tube to keep a toilet from overflowing if you are not able to shut off the main water valve behind the toilet.

Flapper Valve: This is the part to know whenever you have an overflowing toilet or a backup. The flapper is attached to the flush handle by a chain and the trip lever. Whenever the flapper is pushed down, the water cannot leave the tank, so when you flush, it creates a suction to pressurize the water entering the bowl so that it has enough force to flush the waste. If your toilet is overflowing, push the flapper down with your hand so that it stops the water from entering the bowl. Most people are afraid to put their hands in the tank because they associate the tank water with the water in the bowl. The water in the toilet tank is clean because it comes from the main water supply line, which is attached to the stop valve.  If your flapper valve becomes damaged over the years and looses suction in the tank, this is a quick plumbing replacement that any homeowner can perform.

Stop Valve: This is also called the toilet supply valve because it controls the fresh water supply going into the tank. It is usually located behind the toilet near the floor, and turning it off is another way to stop an overflowing toilet because the tank cannot fill once it is turned off.  It is attached to the supply tube, which attaches to the refill tube.

Supply Tube: Although the supply tube and refill tube are connected, they are two different parts. People often use their names interchangeable, but what’s most important to know is that the supply tube supplies the water from the main line and into the refill tube, which refills the bowl.

Refill Tube: When the float ball is down, the refill tube fills the bowl with the water from the supply tube. After a flush, the ball rises, and when it reaches a certain level, the refill tube stops the flow of water into the bowl.

Trap: The trap is a seal that prevents backflow and strong odors from the main sewage line. If you smell sewage in your bathroom, particularly near the toilet, you could have a bad seal or faulty trap. Troubleshooting a trap usually requires a plumber, unless you are familiar with toilet installation.

Wax Ring: Another cause for bad odors is the wax ring, which is a seal between the toilet and the sewage line. A faulty wax ring could also cause leaking at the bottom of the toilet. Call a plumber whenever you aren’t sure about leaking toilets or strong sewer odors; there could be a problem in the main sewer line.

Call Air Mechanical if you have any questions about these components, or if you want to trouble shoot with one of our qualified plumbers.

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What to Look for when a Home is 100 Years Old

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Many people like older homes, but at a certain point, the age of a home can be a bit of a turnoff. It’s not the architecture – old homes are magnificently built and tend to have more character in the woodwork and nooks and crannies than any new home. But, when you move beyond how impressive early 20th century (or earlier) architecture is, you might find a number of maintenance and upkeep issues that have only been made worse by the passage of time.

Common Problems to Watch For

As with a 50 year old home, materials are a big issue. You need to have your home tested for lead paint and asbestos – both things that can be incredibly dangerous for every resident, especially children. These are very likely to be a part of the home if it hasn’t been remodeled in the last 30 years. Retrofitting to cover them up or remove them will be an added expense.

Additionally, older homes have much greater ratios of ventilation. If insulation has not been added in the last 25 years to cover those vents and gaps, your home will be very drafty, which is uncomfortable in the winter and costly year round. Make sure to have your home pressure tested and sealed up as soon as possible.

Upgrades You Can Make

Electricity is another major issue in older homes. While most old homes have been owned multiple times and likely upgraded since they were built, occasionally you will run across a house with extremely old wiring. That might mean a low capacity panel box or single strand wiring. Either way, it’s unsafe and unstable – for modern appliances and electronics you’ll need to upgrade that wiring as soon as possible.

The same may be true for your plumbing. If the house has original plumbing and fixtures, not only will they be inefficient, they may be rusty or prone to leakage. Sewer lines in particular are expensive replacements if they decide to break. Make sure you have these thoroughly inspected before a purchase.

The Joy of an Older Home

Despite all of the potential problems an old home might offer, there are plenty of benefits. Established neighborhoods, solid construction, and the ability to alter your home however you want are all positives you can’t overlook when buying a home. Just make sure you’re fully aware of what you’re getting into. Even a well maintained old home may have some issues that you miss on your initial walkthrough – make sure your inspector is thorough.

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Water Filtering Faucets

Monday, June 13th, 2011

The last thing you want is to be drinking or cooking with contaminated water. Of course, you can always opt for a full house water filtration system, but these are often expensive to install and maintain. If you are not prepared to make this kind of investment, you may want to consider purchasing a water filtering faucet instead.

Unlike large point of entry water filtration systems, a water filtering faucet treats the water at one particular sink or other outlet. These types of faucets typically employ carbon filters that effectively remove many gasses and particles suspended in the water as it moves through the filter.

Just like any other type of water filtration system, there are various types of water filtering faucets and they are not all equally effective at removing contaminants. Before you purchase anything like this, however, you should make sure you know exactly what contaminants are present in your water. This is the only way to ensure that you purchase a product designed to treat exactly the problem that you have.

If you do decide to go with a water filtering faucet, make sure you know how often to replace the filters inside it and what type of replacements to get. Your water filter will only work properly when it is correctly maintained, and there is no point in using it if you have not been able to keep up with proper filter maintenance and replacement.

Another nice feature of water filtering faucets is that you can usually switch them on and off. When you need water for cooking or drinking, you can send it through the filter, and when you are using water for other things, you do not need to use the filter at all. This can cause the filter to last longer and it is also more convenient on models that have a reduced water pressure when the filter is employed.

You may initially balk at the cost of a water filtering faucet, preferring to purchase bottled water for drinking instead. But you have to take into account the fact that once you purchase a water filtering faucet, you will not have to spend the money on bottled drinking water any more. This will translate into a significant savings over time, making the initial investment well worth it in the end.

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