Air Mechanical, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn Center’

Is Hard Water Really a Big Deal?

Monday, September 18th, 2017

water softener salt tank being filledThese days, most municipal water supplies have a good level of filtration and conditioning before they reach your faucets. And if you use ground water from a private well, you probably have some sort of water treatment system on site. However, something that most people don’t realize is missing from their homes is protection from hard water. But is it really that big of a deal?

Hard water is the name given to water with a high concentration of minerals in it—namely, calcium and magnesium. These minerals are harmless to ingest, but can do a lot of damage to your plumbing system, not to mention your quality of life. You can resolve this with a Brooklyn Center, MN water softener installation from experienced professionals. In the meantime, we’ve covered below why hard water is, in fact, a big deal.

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Do Low-Flow Toilets Work for Apple Valley Homes?

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Low flush toilets have been available in Apple Valley since 1994 and are highly recommended both by the government and multiple green organizations to help reduce the water used by your bathroom plumbing. But, the big question you probably have is whether these highly popular alternatives to regular toilets in fact work.

The Numbers

To start with, low flush toilets use less than half as much water to flush as a normal toilet. The average standard toilet uses 3.5 gallons per flush, while a low flush toilet uses only 1.6 gallons per flush. Some new toilets even use less – with the new High Efficiency Toilet (HET) standards setting the maximum flush capacity at 1.3 gpf.

While those toilets did not always perform to optimal standards when they were first released 17 years ago, they have come a long way and now operate almost identically to standard toilets. In fact, most public and restaurant restrooms built in the last 15 years now use these types of toilets instead to save money.

Choosing a Model that Will Work

There are a number of ways to measure different toilets. Just like almost any fixture, the manufacturer, design, and construction of a low flush toilet will determine how well it works. So, while for the most part low flush toilets work like normal toilets, you should take some things into consideration.

To start with, you must choose between either a siphonic or wash-down style toilet. The siphonic toilet uses much more water in the bowl, but as a result has a lot higher chance of clogging. The wash down method uses far less water in the bowl and does not clog as much, but the result is a somewhat tougher to clean interior of the toilet.

Pricing

The lowest prices may not represent the best low flush toilets on the market, but neither do the highest prices. Look for mid-range prices from competitive manufacturers. For less than $300, you can often buy a solid low flush toilet that will not clog any more often than a standard toilet and will save a tremendous amount of water and energy each year by reducing the amount of water flushed.

Low flush toilets are effective, inexpensive and largely popular for a good reason – they work. So, if you are remodelling a bathroom or simply want to make a change to the toilet you currently have, consider this plumbing installation to take advantage of green energy technology that is freely available for your bathroom.  Contact Air Mechanical for any questions about low-flow toilets, and installation rates.

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Heating Replacement Tip: Signs You Need a New Furnace

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Replacing your Brooklyn Center home’s furnace is probably not something you want to think about. After all, a new furnace is a big investment and not something you probably have too much experience with. And sometimes having your current system fixed or tuned up is all you need to get your home heating situation back on track. But there are certain situations in which it makes more sense to just go ahead and get a new furnace rather than simply patching up the old one.

For instance, if you have to call for either minor or major repairs to your furnace on a regular basis, it’s probably time to consider investing in a replacement. All of those repairs cost money and chances are that the furnace you’re paying repeatedly to replace isn’t going to last that much longer anyway.

Rather than continuing to dump money into a furnace that just isn’t cutting it anymore, you’ll be better off making the investment in a new unit. The truth is, you’re going to have to do it sooner or later and by buying a new furnace now, you’re actually saving all of the money you would have spent on repairing the old one for another year or so.

Also, a furnace that requires such frequent repairs is probably not functioning all that efficiently either. When you replace it with a newer model, you won’t just save money on repairs. You’ll also likely notice a considerable savings on your monthly energy bills because of how much more efficient your new model is.

Even if you haven’t been repairing your furnace often, you may be able to notice some signs that the old unit isn’t quite up to the task anymore. If you’re suddenly having some significant humidity problems in your house or if your home isn’t being heated evenly, there’s a good chance your furnace is on its way out.

And, in fact, even if your furnace is functioning just fine but is more than 10 years old or so, it’s very likely you’d benefit by replacing it. That’s because the newer furnaces available now are so much more energy efficient than their predecessors that the savings you’ll incur monthly will quickly make up for the initial installation investment.

Of course, you don’t want to get rid of a good furnace if you don’t have to. But if your Brooklyn Center home’s furnace is getting close to the end of its expected lifespan, you may very well benefit by putting out the money for a new one now so you can start saving right away on your monthly energy bills.

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Heat Pumps and Energy Efficiency: A Tip

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Heat pumps offer a number of great benefits. For one, they are inclusive heating and cooling solutions, so they can maintain your Ramsey home at a comfortable temperature year round without the need for an additional system.

They run on electricity, so you don’t have to worry about the inconvenience of additional bills and keeping a fuel supply around. They are also quiet and relatively easy to maintain—the list goes on and on. The point is, provided you live in a climate where heat pumps can operate properly, they make for great heating and cooling options.

One other huge advantage of heat pumps is that they are very energy efficient, often much more so than other heating and cooling options. For one, the heating efficiency of heat pumps can range from 150-300%, meaning that the amount of heat energy they are able to produce is 1.5 to 3 times greater than the amount of electricity they draw to do it. That is an incredibly efficient exchange.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency awards the EnergyStar to devices and appliances that surpass energy efficiency guidelines. Heat pumps that have earned the EnergyStar are even more efficient than their brethren, sometimes by as much as 9%, according to the EPA. If you have an older heat pump in your home already, a newer EnergyStar rated model may be as much as 20% more efficient.

While these numbers by themselves may not seem Earth shattering, consider two things. First, in an age of constantly escalating energy costs, any savings are welcome. Second, rewarding energy efficient homes has been a focus of the federal government for a few years. To that end, homes with EnergyStar rated heat pumps installed may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to 30%. So, not only do these devices help you save on your bills, but on your taxes as well.

The benefits of heat pumps are numerous, but perhaps none is a bigger plus than their extremely efficient use of energy. You can save electricity and save money, all while keeping your home comfortable year round.

If you are considering a heat pump for your home, these benefits are important to keep in mind while making your decision. For more information, talk to your local contractor.

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Troubleshooting Thermostat Issues: Is it the Thermostat or Something Else?

Friday, October 21st, 2011

If your the room temperature in your Andover home is too hot or cold, what is the first thing you check? Probably the thermostat. If you are a homeowner, you probably have played around with the setting on a thermostat, much to the chagrin of other occupants who don’t share your same comfort level. And if you try and adjust a thermostat at work – well forget about it. Most companies now have locking thermostats or “false” ones that don’t actually connect to the heating and cooling system.

So if you have a temperature problem, is it really the thermostat that causes it? Maybe yes and maybe no. One physical characteristic to check is the location of the thermostat. If it is in a drafty hallway or near a heat source, it only reads the temperature for that area and other parts of the building are neglected. You will often find more than one thermostat in a home that is tied into more than one furnace or air conditioner.

The older more popular round thermostats are manually controlled and do not adjust to any conditions in the home. They simply control the heating and cooling functions based on a human turning a dial. It’s as simple as that. So if you use this method to adjust the temperatures, blame yourself and not the thermostat. You might want to consider installing a digital, programmable thermostat.

With that in mind, let’s look at some typical ways to troubleshoot a thermostat.

  • Check the anticipator, which is a small metal tab on the front of the printed scale. Give it a light push in either direction. It may be stuck.
  • Clean the interior of the thermostat housing and clean the contacts (small metal plates)
  • Check loose wires or wires that may be corroded.
  • Read the thermostat manual (if not available, look online) for other tips such as ensuring there is voltage to the terminals.

If you have checked everything and the thermostat seems to be in working order, look for other things within the heating & cooling system. These include blocked or restricted registers and vents, leaks or cracks in ductwork, and dirty air handling filters.

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Cleaning Air Conditioners

Friday, August 19th, 2011

One of the best things you can do to help maintain high indoor air quality in your White Bear Lake home is to clean your air conditioning system on a regular basis. While these systems make it possible to endured a long, hot summer with minimal discomfort, they can also become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold and other indoor air contaminants that can make you sick or cause other types of problems.

Improving your indoor air quality isn’t the only reason you should worry about keeping your air conditioning system clean. A properly maintained air conditioner will function more efficiently for a longer period of time.

Air Filters

Changing or cleaning out your air filters regularly is one of the easiest and most important parts of air conditioner maintenance. These air filters are your number one line of defense against all manner of indoor air pollutants, but if they become saturated, they can no longer do their job. Fortunately, changing out these filters is a quick and easy job. Just mark the date on your calendar so you don’t forget.

Ducts

Without the system of air ducts that run through your home, your air conditioner wouldn’t be able to circulate all that cool air. But they’re also a very attractive place for dust, pollen, mold and other indoor air contaminants to collect. Unfortunately, the majority of your ductwork occupies space behind walls, beneath floors and in other equally inaccessible areas of your home.

For that reason, it’s generally necessary to have a professional with specialized equipment come out and clean your ducts once a year. By keeping up with maintenance, you can be sure that your air ducts aren’t harboring dangerous contaminants that your air conditioning system can then spread throughout your home.

Cooling Coils

The cooling coil is another part of your air conditioning system that needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. If your cooling coil is dirty, it won’t actually affect your indoor air quality, but it will impede your air conditioner’s ability to function effectively. The more sediment and debris allowed to build up on your air conditioner’s cooling coil, the less efficiently it will cool the air that passes over it. And if it can’t cool the air properly, your air conditioner will have to work overtime to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home.

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