Air Mechanical, Inc. Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Heating’

Are You Ready For a Heater Upgrade?

Monday, January 17th, 2022

Your heater won’t last forever, that’s just a fact of life. The question is when do you need to upgrade that heater?

Handling your heating in Lino Lakes, MN can be tough but that’s what professional assistance is for. The experts on our team can help you every step of the way when you need to find a new system for your home.

But let’s start with the basics first. These are the warning signs that you will want to be on the alert for which will tell you it is time to reach out for a heater replacement.

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Heating Tips for the End of the Season

Monday, March 20th, 2017

furnace-service-heatingWe’ve been hit by some surprises recently in terms of weather. While you may have spent some time in the fall preparing your home and your heating system for the long winter ahead, it’s been a while, and unexpected weather patterns are wreaking havoc for some local homeowners.

As stormy weather takes its toll, we recommend taking one last look around the house before spring weather is in full swing. That way, you don’t have to worry about a broken-down heater when you really need it or any other troubles within your home common towards the end of the season. We’ll be using our heating systems for a while longer anyway, so it’s worth it to be prepared for storms or whatever else may come.

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Keep Snow and Ice Away from Outside Vents

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Love it or hate it, we are no strangers to snow in Minnesota. Most likely, you run your heater throughout the day for much of the colder season. And today’s heaters are built to withstand all this work durably and safely.

However, there are some things that can interfere with how the heater works. It is meant to exhaust byproducts through the outdoors via a chimney or flue vent that vents through an outside wall. However, snow and ice could block this pipe if the weather is severe enough, and you must check from time to time and clear it out.

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Setting Your Thermostat Efficiently in Cold Weather

Monday, December 5th, 2016

We’re on a mission: to keep local homeowners as comfortable as possible this winter while helping them spend less. Efficient heating is as easy as knowing how to set your thermostat the right way. More efficient thermostat settings can also reduce the amount of repairs you need to make to your heater, since it will not wear down so quickly. Learn more below!

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What Options Do I Have for Installing a New Heating System?

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Do you feel that it’s time for a brand new heating system? Poor performance, low efficiency, sudden breakdowns, and ineffective heat distribution from an outdated heating unit are a few of the reasons that homeowners decide to upgrade. But you may have a few questions before you get in touch with a technician. Do you need to get the same type of system you had before? Is there a better option? Check out our quick guide to selecting a heating system, and call our experts for more information.

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How Zone Heating Helps to Get You through the Winter

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

Have you ever turned up the temperature on the thermostat in your home only to have a family member turn it back down again minutes later? Larger households generally share this experience if there is no zone control system in place. With colder weather approaching, it’s time to consider a zone control system for the comfort of everyone in your home and—more importantly—for your monthly bills.

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Heat Pumps or Furnaces: Which Is Best for My Home?

Friday, February 7th, 2014

If you are balancing your options for heating your home, you may come down to a choice between two popular—but very different—systems: the heat pump and the furnace. Furnaces are common and have kept homes warm for centuries. Heat pumps are more recent innovations (comparatively, at least) and offer the benefit of air conditioning as well. How best to decide between these two?

First, don’t make the decision alone. When it comes to making any important choice regarding your home, you should always consult with a professional in the field. For your home heating, talk to experts like those at Air Mechanical, Inc. about whether furnaces or heat pumps in Mounds View, MN do the better job—or at least, will do the better job for your home.

Furnaces: pros and cons

Furnaces are common in Minnesota because they excel at defeating extreme cold temperatures. Furnaces can reach high levels of heating rapidly, and they can endure for many years—not as many as boilers, but with a furnace you never have to worry about pipes freezing! Furnaces also have many different options for their fuel source—natural gas, electricity, propane—so there’s always a furnace that will work with your power supply.

The downside of furnaces is that they often require more repairs than other systems to keep them operating. Gas furnaces also pose a larger safety hazard than other systems, although with regular maintenance the risk is minimal.

Heat pumps: pros and cons

The huge advantage of heat pumps is that they work as both heaters and air conditioners. You have winter and summer covered with only one installation. Heat pumps are also exceptionally energy-efficient, since they use a small amount of electricity to move heat from one place to another, rather than burning fuel to create heat, the way a furnace does. A switch to a heat pump from a furnace can often save a family up to 30% off their annual heating bills.

The only drawback for heat pumps is their effective heating power starts to weaken when the temperature goes below freezing. In Minnesota, this can present a problem. A well-insulated house, however, can sometimes compensate.

Let Air Mechanical, Inc. help you find the right heating system

You should have HVAC professionals assisting you from the start of looking for new heating system installation. Call Air Mechanical, Inc. and we can look over your home and perform a heat load calculation to determine the best method to bring you the warmth you need. Whether you end up considering furnaces or heat pumps in Mounds View, MN you can’t go wrong with the services of Air Mechanical, Inc.

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Why Replacing Your Boiler May Be Worthwhile

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The boiler is one of the two great workhorses of the home heating world. (The other one is the furnace.) They have stayed around for so long because… well, they have the ability to stay around for a long time. Boilers have a longevity that few heating systems can match, and they need fewer repairs than furnaces or heat pumps do because they have fewer mechanical parts. With proper maintenance done annually, a boiler can last over 20 years.

But at some point, your boiler in Ramsey, MN will require replacement. Here are some reasons that you might consider doing this. Call Air Mechanical, Inc. to help you make the decision, and to receive a quality installation for your new boiler.

Reasons to replace your boiler

  • The current one is losing energy efficiency: Take a look over your heating bills for the last two years. Has the cost of heating your home gradually risen? If you have kept up with regular maintenance and whatever repairs are necessary, this rise in heating costs is probably because your boiler has aged to the point that it is no longer energy-efficient and must work harder to reach its former level.
  • You want to take advantage of newer, high-efficiency boilers: During the time you’ve lived with your current boiler, many new advances in HVAC technology have increased boiler efficiency. New boiler models use more effective heat exchangers to rapidly transfer the heat from the combustion gas to the tank, resulting in reduced heat loss. You could save around 10% from your annual bills with the switch to a newer model.
  • You wish to avoid an abrupt break down: In general, you want to “pre-emptively” replace an aging boiler, not wait for it to permanently break down and leave you in the cold. You can arrange for the new installation during a more convenient, preferably warmer, time.

You may also consider replacing your boiler with a different type of system: radiant heating, which also uses hydronic power, is an attractive alternative. Consult with your installation technicians for advice about how best to proceed with new heating for your home.

When you decide to replace your boiler in Ramsey, MN, make your first call to Air Mechanical, Inc. Make sure that you enroll in our maintenance program as well so your new boiler lasts as long as your old one. Since 1985, Air Mechanical, Inc. has been a top choice for heating, cooling, and plumbing in the 7-county Metro Area.

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What Is an Expansion Tank in a Boiler?

Friday, December 6th, 2013

For your boiler to operate correctly, it needs to maintain steady pressure in its hot water tank and throughout its pipes. Water pressure will increase as the water in the system heats up, so the boiler comes with a number of methods to keep the pressure from reaching levels where it can cause damage. One of the ways a boiler maintains a safe pressure level is with an expansion tank. We will explain how this crucial component of a boiler operates—and why it’s important to keep it maintained and repaired.

For immediate repairs on your boiler in Oak Grove, MN, whether because of trouble in the expansion tank or any other malfunction, you can call Air Mechanical, Inc. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What an expansion tank does

The name “expansion tank” makes it sound as if it stores extra water for additional heating. Boilers don’t actually work that way. The expansion tank is there to provide an air cushion against extra pressure from inside the main tank.

The expansion tank sits atop the hot water tank: if you go look at your boiler right now, you’ll see a smaller tank hooked to a pipe coming from the top of the main tank that enters the smaller tank from the side. The interior consists of two sections with a rubber diaphragm separating them. The pipe that comes from the tank will fill one side with water. The other side contains pressured air connected to a valve to measure the pressure. The valve will add air to keep a balance with the water on the other side. An increase in water pressure pushes against the membrane and relieves the pressure from the main tank. When the water pressure drops, the air pressure from the other side pushes back to restore it to normal.

The invention of the expansion tank was designed to combat corrosion in the main tank: older boilers relied on a cushion of air within the tank itself, but this permitted too much oxygen into the water, which is a main part of the oxidation that results in corrosion.

Make sure to repair/replace the expansion tank in your boiler

Ruptures or leaks in the diaphragm in the expansion tank can lead to the boiler overheating from increased pressure. The expansion tank usually should be replaced, but this requires the work of a professional to make sure it is done correctly and the pressure problems stop.

If you need repairs or replacement for the expansion tank on your boiler in Oak Grove, MN, get in touch with Air Mechanical, Inc. right away—any time of the day or night. We have a quarter of a century of experience working with boilers and many other types of heating and cooling systems. We can fix your boiler fast and get it done right the first time. Or feel free to check out other heating services we offer in Oak Grove.

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How Does a Boiler Work?

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Boilers have a lengthy history as popular home heating options. With continual advancements in their technology, they will likely provide many more decades of service to homeowners who want efficient and dependable heat for the winter. Our Air Mechanical Inc technicians perform numerous boiler installations, and we’re accustomed to advising clients about why installing a boiler in Ham Lake, MN is often an excellent idea. Our customers are usually curious during the process: they want to know how a boiler operates, since they often haven’t put much thought into it. We’re happy to give you a “Boiler 101” course to help you better understand this perennial home heating solution.

If you want more information, or if you need boiler installation or repair, give Air Mechanical Inc a call today.

Understanding How Boilers Work

Although boilers share similar operating principles, there are differences between the models. The most important difference is the boiler’s fuel source. Modern residential boilers tend to run off electricity, natural gas, or oil—with natural gas the most common.

Regardless of the fuel source, boilers all use heated water to warm homes. (The first boilers used steam created from boiling water, which was how they got their name; some boilers still use steam, but you rarely find these models in homes.) Water inside a tank is heated, and a pump then distributes the heated water through pipes around the home to an end point, such as a radiator or a baseboard. The heat from these objects moves into your living space. Because this process requires no forced air, boilers will not lower a home’s air quality. Their operation is also very quiet.

Gas- and oil-powered heaters use a pilot light to ignite jets inside a combustion chamber beneath the water tank, transferring the heat into the tank. Electric boilers have heating elements inside the tank itself, usually one at the top of the tank and one at the bottom, to raise the water’s temperature. Natural gas boilers are the most popular of the three types because of the lower cost of gas compared to oil and electricity. However, the choice of which boiler you have installed will depend on your available fuel source.

We think boilers should sit among the top picks on any homeowner’s list for heating installation options. We know a boiler in a Ham Lake, MN home can keep it cozy all winter with few repairs. But boilers aren’t the best choice for everyone. Make sure you call on professionals for advice and installation, because having the wrong heater in your home will mean poor comfort and higher bills. Contact Air Mechanical Inc for your installation needs, or any other work your heater requires. We are on duty 24 hours a day for you!

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