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

Why Replacing Your Boiler in Ramsey 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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Heating Tip: Does Humidity Affect Heating Efficiency?

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Are you in need of a indoor air quality service? Call the Ramsey heating experts at Air Mechanical. We can help you choose the right indoor air quality system for your home and situation. Humidity and moisture control issues do affect heating efficiency, as well as the efficiency of your AC system in the summer. Here’s how too much or too little humidity in the air can affect your heating system.

If the air inside your home is too dry due to the heater drying it out, then you should consider a whole-home humidifier. Dry air can cause dry skin and other health concerns, and it can also increase your heating bills without you realizing it. Dry air also feels colder, so many homeowners crank up the thermostat unnecessarily.

Adding room humidifiers can actually add too much moisture to a certain area, and they only cover that room. A whole-house humidifier will add moisture back to the air inside your entire home and will also add just enough and not too much moisture. If there’s too much moisture, then it promotes mold growth and other moisture problems. Make sure your home has adequate ventilation, insulation, and sealing to ensure better indoor air quality overall.

When you start to notice dry air, too much moisture, or high heating bills, call a Ramsey heating contractor. Be sure to call the  Ramsey indoor air quality experts at Air Mechanical to help you out with all your humidity control needsContact Air Mechanical today!

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Heating Tip: Gas Furnace Safety Features and Other Settings

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Be sure to call one of the Ramsey heating experts at Air Mechanical the next time you need any type of service for your gas furnace. It’s important to know how your furnace works and how to control the safety features and other settings.

If you think your furnace is not working at all, first check the power switch, which is typically located on a wall near the furnace. Make sure it is in the on position, and also make sure that the emergency gas cutoff switch is on as well. That is usually located near the furnace or if the furnace is in the basement, on the wall next to the steps to your basement.

Also make sure a fuse or circuit breaker has not flipped. Check the service panel. Make sure you know which one is for the furnace. A dirty or clogged filter can also turn the furnace off in some models. Check the filter to see if it needs to be cleaned or changed. If your furnace is part of dual fuel system, make sure it is on the right setting.

On older furnaces, the pilot light is also a safety device. If the pilot light has gone out, be sure you check the owner’s manual to see how to safely light it again. Most models will have instructions on a metal plate or sticker on your furnace. Newer gas furnace models usually have an electronic pilot igniter. If the pilot light won’t light or stay lit, call us. There could be something wrong with the igniter or another issue.

You can always call the Ramsey heating professionals at Air Mechanical if you have further questions. Contact Air Mechanical today!

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Reasons To Install Garage Heating in Ham Lake

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Heating is expensive in Ham Lake. Probably the largest expense you have related to the comfort control of your home. So, why would you consider installing a heating system for your garage when no one spends a significant amount of time in it during the winter? it may seem strange, but extending heat into your garage or installing a standalone system can actually be very beneficial. Here are a few reasons why.

  1. Pipe Protection – Water pipes running through your garage need to be kept warm. While the weather may not always be cold enough to damage them, if it ever becomes that cold, you’ll want to be sure those quasi-indoor pipes are protected.
  2. Cold Air Barrier – If nothing else, you need to have some kind of barrier between the garage and your home – insulation or weather stripping on the door. Even still, cold air from your garage can leak into your home and heat from your home can leak out through the garage. You may already be heating the garage to some degree, but in the least efficient way possible.
  3. More Uses for Your Garage – Think about it. You can use your garage as a work space, a place to relax or any number of other things when you have a heating system in there. While you may not spend every day in the garage, it can be a fun place to spend time away from the usual areas of your home and with a heating system, it is possible to get some real work done there.

A garage heating system in Ham Lake doesn’t need to be extensive and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune to operate, but when properly installed and well maintained, it can provide ample heating for your garage and protect your home against heating loss or cool air coming inside. Consider a new garage heater for your home and see the benefits they bring.

For more information on how to improve your homes heating and plumbing this winter, contact Air Mechanical today! Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing has been a trusted provider of heating services in in Ham Lake since 1985.

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What to Do if Your Furnace is Not Producing Enough Heat: A Tip from Richfield

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

If your Richfield home is cold, many blame the furnace for not bringing up the warm temperatures or they blame the thermostat for not working right.

It may very well be a thermostat issue – often caused by the location of the thermostat – that is causing the problem. However, sometimes root cause is found in the furnace or ventilation system.

Your indoor environment may be contributing to a seemingly slow-moving furnace. Your furnace may be working too hard to keep up with the heat demand because of an excessive build-up of dirt or debris on the filter or around the moving parts, such as the motor or fan belt. The most obvious thing to do is to keep the airflow unobstructed and keep all working parts clean.

First of all, you should regularly check your furnace filters and if they are dirty, replace them or clean them. Disposable furnace filters are relatively inexpensive and come in a variety of sizes and media ratings (ratings determine what size media is used and its ability to trap certain sized particulate). You can buy these individually or in bulk from a number of different resources. It is a good idea to replace the filters every three-six months.

Mesh filters can be removed, cleaned and reinserted. Like replaceable filters, mesh filters should be checked on a regular basis and then cleaned at least every three months.

You can remove the access panels to your furnace and inspect the components for any build-up of dust, dirt, or debris. Using a vacuum with an extension hose usually is all it takes to clean up the area.

Other reasons for poor heating performance include dirty or blocked ductwork. The harder your furnace has to work to push air through the ventilation system, the longer it takes to bring the heat up. Make your furnace work less and keep vents clear and ductwork clean.

Finally, the reason your furnace isn’t producing enough heat may not be the fault of your furnace at all – you may have a leaky house. But that’s a whole different story.

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Heat Pumps and Energy Efficiency: A Tip from Ramsey

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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Home Repairs You Don’t Want to Ignore: A Guide From Rogers

Monday, September 26th, 2011

There are a lot of things you need to take care of around your Rogers home. But, everything costs money so many homeowners will put off certain home repairs for weeks, months or even years until they can afford them. However, there are certain things around the house you simply should not put off. Not only can they cost you more money in the long run, they can put your home and your family at risk if you wait too long.

Dirty Filters

Dirty filters in your air conditioning, heating, or air quality system are a problem. Not only do they force your HVAC system to work harder to maintain a good temperature, they are frequently a major cause of airborne contaminants and pathogens. Imagine it this way; those filters are meant to remove something from your air. If they get dirty and are not replaced or cleaned, they probably aren’t working any longer and you can get sick. Dirty filters are inexpensive and easy to fix. Both you and your HVAC repairperson should see to them regularly.

Dryer Vents

Clogged dryer vents are more than just an inconvenience – they are dangerous. If your home has dirty dryer vents, the exhaust from your dryer isn’t able to escape. When this happens, heat will build up in the ducts. Not only can exhaust backup into your home, the risk of a fire goes up significantly. Have your dryer vents cleaned at least once a year and if you live in a two or three family house, make sure it is more often – closer to every 6 months.

Water Leaks

Water leaks are more than just messy – they can cause damage to fixtures and floorboards and over time can lead to the growth of mold and the weakening of your entire home. Especially in concrete or foundational walls, water leaks need to be seen to immediately. Even just a small leak can cost you money and put your home at an increased risk of damage.

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Scald Free Showers and Bathtubs: Scald Prevention Methods From Ramsey

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

One of the worst things that can happen to you in a shower is when a sudden blast of scalding hot water strikes you unexpectedly. This is a problem for many people and usually happens when someone turns on the cold water at another tap in your Ramsey house. When that occurs, the cold water that you were using to regulate the temperature in your bathroom becomes temporarily unavailable and the hot water takes over.

This usually does not last long, and even if it does, you will likely jump out of the way quickly. But for the moment you are underneath that scalding hot water, some serious damage can be done, particularly to older people or young children whose skin is not as thick as that of an average adult. Also, in trying to get out of the way of the hot water in a slippery bathtub, many people have accidentally fallen and injured themselves more seriously.

So what can be done about these sudden and unexpected blasts of hot water? Well, recent developments in shower and bathtub technology have made it possible for scald free shower and bathtub fixtures to reach the market. These products are designed to maintain a consistent temperature in your shower no matter what type of water or how much is being used elsewhere in the house.

These scald free showers can compensate for the dip in cold water pressure that occurs when someone flushes a toilet in another bathroom or turns on the water in the kitchen. This is accomplished by the addition of a diaphragm that can immediately adjust to any variations in either hot or cold water pressure. With this technology in place, you will never need to worry about being scalded in the shower again.

Of course, these scald free shower heads and bathtub fixtures can cost a bit more than their conventional counterparts. But they are well worth it, especially if scalding water is a problem in your shower on a regular basis. You need to be able to keep yourself and your family safe in the shower and scald free showers are the best way to do that.

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How Much Water Will I Save with a Low Flow Toilet in Ramsey?

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

There are many reasons why you might want to save water in your Ramsey home. Not only does it save you money, cutting down on your annual water bill, but it allows you to do your part in reducing the impact of modernity on our environment. And of all the appliances and plumbing fixtures in our homes, the toilet is among the worst offenders when it comes to wasting water.

That is why the advent of the low flush toilet has been very well received. While the 1.6 gpf toilet (standard toilets are 3.5 gpf) was originally invented in the 1990s, it is only now becoming more widespread as issues with things like clogging and multiple flushes were commonplace with the earliest models.

So, how much water can a low flush toilet actually save you? On average a 3.5 gpf toilet uses around 27,300 gallons of water per year. By comparison the 1.6 gpf toilet uses only 12,500 gallons per year. That is less than half as much water. With the average toilet using up to 30% of the daily water flow in a home, it is a fantastic way to cut back on your environmental footprint, and if your water bills tend to be high, it will severely reduce them as well.

Other Ways to Save Water

Low Flush Toilets are a great way to cut back on the amount of water we use in our homes, but there are other ways as well. In terms of fixtures, low flow shower heads are very popular right now and can help to cut back another 15% of your annual water use. You can also purchase lower flow faucets for your kitchen and bathroom sinks. High quality hot water heaters that provide hot water as needed are also good for reducing water use as you will not need to leave the faucet or bath running for any period of time.

Whether you want to cut a few dollars from your monthly bill or simply want to do your part to protect our environment, a low flush toilet is definitely the way to go, especially if you are remodelling or moving into a new home and the choice is there for you to take. It may still be good to compare the price of a regular to low flush toilet if you already have a working toilet in your home, but for new installations it is almost always a good deal.

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Why Choose a Programmable Thermostat?

Monday, July 11th, 2011

There are many types of thermostats available for your home, but which is the best for your particular needs? It depends largely on how often you are home, how many rooms you have and how people in your house use each of those rooms.

A programmable thermostat in particular is a great option because it allows home owners to control when and how much heat or cooling is introduced to their indoor air. Normal thermostats lack this level of control, largely because they are built as simple switches that flip on whenever your temperature gets too low or too high.

Situations for a Programmable Thermostat

When you leave your home every day, you have two options. Either set the heat and AC so you’ll be comfortable when you return, or turn them off completely and suffer through the first half hour or so when you get home that night.

If you choose the former, you’ll pay a lot more in energy bills to heat or cool an empty house. And if your humidity levels need controlling as well, this may be your only option. Those in the second camp are forced to endure uncomfortable temperatures right when they get home and want nothing more than to relax. Not much better.

That’s why so many homeowners are opting for programmable thermostats to overcome this issue. With a programmable model, you can actually tell your home’s comfort system when to turn on and off each day, depending on when people will be there. Imagine going on vacation for three or four days and coming home to a nice and toasty living room and a smaller heating bill to go with it. That’s the kind of control a programmable model offers.

Zone Control and Beyond

Some programmable thermostats even allow you to section your home off into zones and choose specific temperatures for different areas of the house. This allows a great deal more control over when and how your system will operate each day, depending on the individual comfort needs of your family.

If you’re making dinner and don’t want the heat blasting you while you’re standing over the stove, just set the kitchen temperature lower. And with a programmable thermostat, you can tell it to come back on an hour after you leave the kitchen so that it’s comfortable later when you need a glass of water.

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