Air Mechanical, Inc Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Circle Pines’

The Do’s and Don’ts of Clogged Drains for a Bloomington Home

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Clogged and slow drains can be a real bummer in Bloomington. Water standing in the kitchen sink is gross, and no one likes to shower with the tub gradually filling around their feet. Calling an Air Mechanical plumber when the clog gets out of hand is easy enough, but it’s even easier to prevent them from forming in the first place. With proper use, some brief regular plumbing maintenance and a few tricks, most clogs can be stopped dead in their tracks before becoming a problem. Follow these guidelines and you may never need to make that emergency plumber call again.

Don’ts

• First of all, there are some things you just shouldn’t do to your drains and pipes. These things can quickly lead to clog buildup, so avoid them:

• Don’t pour liquid grease, such as bacon grease, down drains. It can solidify in the pipes and cause a clog.

• Don’t flush anything down the toilet that is not designed to be flushed.

• Avoid using bleach or other chemicals to clean tubs, sinks and drains. Particles from these cleansers can build up to cause clogs, or even erode pipes.

Do’s

Even with best practices, no drain will remain completely clean. However, a little proactivity can stop everyday residue from accumulating and forming a nasty clog.

Try some of these maintenance tips to keep things running smoothly:

• Use a screen, guard or trap. These can catch food, hair and other debris which would otherwise wind up sitting in your pipes.

• Clean sink and drain stoppers regularly. Debris can get trapped on and under the stoppers, just waiting to break loose and cruise into the drain to cause a clog.

• A few times a year, stop up your sinks and tub, fill them up all the way, then let them drain. The pressure and volume of the water will help shake loose deposits in the pipes.

• Once a month or so, carefully pour boiling water down the drain to dislodge stubborn deposits. You can also do this any time you notice a drain is starting to run slow. Vinegar is also effective.

If you have any questions about these tips contact Air Mechanic anytime.

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Circle Pines Heating Repair Question: What is a Gas Furnace Draft Hood?

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

As every Circle Pines HVAC contractor knows, a draft hood is a necessary part of any gas burning appliance. For a gas furnace in particular it ensures steady air flow to the burners to avoid flares or the pilot light being put out by fluctuation in temperature and air flow.

What the Draft Hood Does

The draft will change in the chimney as exhaust vents towards it – especially when going from cold air to hot. A draft hood is placed above the upper most part of the gas furnace to draw air into the chimney and makes it possible to draw more or less air through the chimney as necessary to create a constant flow.

This makes it possible for the burner to enjoy consistent air flow without any wind gusts or sudden temperature spikes or drops. Hot air, if not put through a draft hood would create a strong air flow through the burners.

A draft hood cools the air as it is released by the burners from 500 degrees F to between 300 degrees F and 350 degrees F. The cooling needs to be carefully calibrated to avoid condensation build up in the chimney however – a problem that occurs when the temperature gets too low.

Maintaining Pressure

The draft hood is a part of a larger system designed to maintain air flow to the chimney. For every cubic foot of gas burned, the furnace needs to have 15 cubic feet of air for combustion and another 15 cubic feet of air for dilution. A draft hood and the rest of the ventilation system make it possible to put a furnace that has many thousands of BTUs in the basement of your home and still supply it with enough air to burn gas and dilute the exhaust before it enters the chimney.

For all of these reasons, if you see your pilot light flickering irregularly, notice a backflow of exhaust or a burning smell in your furnace room, it’s important to call a professional who can inspect and repair the problem before it becomes any worse. Not only can gas burner exhaust contain high levels of carbon monoxide, it can be bad for the device and the chimney if it doesn’t vent properly.

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What Is Forced Air Heating? A Question From Apple Valley

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Chances are that you’ve heard the term forced air heating before, particularly if you’re in the market for a new home heating system in Apple Valley. But what does that actually mean? The truth is that if you’re asking this question, you’re not alone. There are so many types of home heating systems out there that it’s common to be a bit confused and overwhelmed by it all.

The truth is that a forced air heating system is simply a heating system that distributes heat throughout your house using air to carry it. In this type of system, heated air travels through a system of ducts and is expelled through vents into the different rooms and areas of your home in order to maintain a particular temperature. That temperature, of course, is whatever you set your thermostat to, and when the desired temperature is reached, the heat will shut off until the temperature drops down again.

The main difference between the different types of forced air heating systems is the type of equipment that heats the air. For instance, you could have a furnace or a heat pump. All of these are capable of heating air, and when paired with a fan, blower or air handler, can distribute heated air throughout your home.

Many forced air heating systems are remarkably energy efficient and can effectively keep you home comfortable all winter long. Additionally, they are generally made to be incorporated with central air conditioning systems for year round temperature control. Heat pumps are especially convenient in this way, as they’re able to both heat and cool your home depending on the season and your home comfort needs.

Particularly if you already have ductwork in place or if you’re choosing a heating system for a new construction home, it can make a lot of sense to opt for some type of forced air heating. However, if you’re looking to replace an existing heating system in a house that doesn’t already have ductwork in place, the need to put it in can add a lot to the overall installation costs of the system.

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How Can You Improve Your Home’s Air Quality? A Question From Circle Pines

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

One of the easiest ways to protect the health of your family is by maintaining high air quality in your Circle Pines home. Without good air quality, you run the risk of contracting Sick Building Syndrome or making other problems like allergies or asthma worse. Depending on what type of air quality system you already have in place, there are many things you can do to improve your air quality.

Filter Changes

The easiest way to improve air quality is to maintain the equipment you already have. Specifically, change your filters regularly. Filters each have a specified period of time for which they will last. However, if your home has high levels of larger contaminants like pollen and dander, you may need to change your filter more often.

Beyond filter changes, make sure your filtration device uses high quality HEPA filters, capable of stopping debris as small as 0.3 microns.

Cleaning Your Ducts and Equipment

Another easy way to reduce the load on your air quality system without paying for new filters every two months is to clean the equipment and the ducts in your house. Ductwork quickly gets clogged with dirt, dust, and other debris being blown by your furnace and air conditioner. If you have a boiler and radiant heat system this is less of an issue, but you should still check your air vents and any air conditioner units in your house for excess dirt and debris buildup.

Your air quality equipment should have a specified timeline for regular cleanings – usually every six months to one year depending on the size and quality of the equipment. A lot of this cleaning can be done by you, but for advanced cleaning or parts replacement, you may need a professional.

New Equipment

Finally, you can buy new equipment that does a better job of removing contaminants from your indoor air. If you have only a simple air filter, consider getting a purifier as well to remove other contaminants like smoke and gas. If you have a smaller piece of equipment that works well but longer keeps up with the entire house, there are larger purifiers on the market that can handle a bigger space. Additionally, proper ventilation can help with your indoor air quality if you don’t currently have enough fresh air circulating through your home.

No matter what your problem, there is a solution you can work toward to keep the indoor air quality of your home high.

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