Air Mechanical, Inc Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Rogers’

Rogers Plumbing Q/A: Why Is There a Sewer Smell in Our House?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Detecting a sewer smell in your Rogers house is never pleasant on a number of levels. Of course, the main thing you are most likely concerned about is that the smell makes it hard to be in your house. But there are other reasons to be concerned when you smell something like this as well. For one thing,  it likely means that there is a problem somewhere in your sewer, drainage or venting system.

In most cases, you will need to call in a Rogers  plumbing professional to determine the exact cause of the sewer smell and eliminate it. This can sometimes be expensive if the problem is widespread or difficult to locate, but it does not have to be. Some causes of a sewer smell in your house are relatively easy to remedy, particularly for an experienced professional.

For instance, the smell may be the result of leaks in certain pipes and can be eliminated when those leaks are repaired. Or a low water level in your toilet could be the culprit. The constant presence of water in your toilet bowl is actually what keeps those sewer gasses from seeping up and into your house. So if the water level in the toilet bowl drops for some reason, the gasses can be allowed to escape into your house. This is especially likely if you have a toilet that does not get used often and where the water may have evaporated over time.

Another common reason that a sewer smell can develop in your house is that the vent pipe has become clogged. Since it is the job of this pipe to vent sewer gasses out of your home, it is not surprising that a blockage in this system could cause the odors to build up inside. What ever the cause, the Rogers plumbing professionals at Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing are ready to help 24 hours a day!

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Can Blaine Residents Use Geothermal Heat Even if the Ground Freezes?

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Geothermal heat pumps in Blaine are able to extract heat from the ground, even when outdoor temperatures are well below freezing. The geothermal installation goes in the ground below or around your home to collect this heat and then return it to your home where it can then be used to heat the air. While these types of heating systems are certainly more efficient the warmer the ground is, they can be effective even in very cold climates.

This is true even in areas where the ground freezes from time to time or for parts of the year because the frozen layer does not typically extend more than three or four feet below the surface. As long as the pipes for your geothermal heating system are below this level, they will still be able to gather plenty of heat from the warmer ground below the frozen layer.

In fact, there are two different ways that the pipe loop for a geothermal heating system can be installed. Most geothermal systems have a horizontal pipe system which sits about four feet below the surface and extends out from the house. This type of installation is typically cheaper than the alternative, but it also usually needs to be larger. Plus, you need to have the space for it to stretch across.

On the other hand, a vertical installation goes straight down into the ground below your home. With a vertical installation, you can usually get away with less pipe overall, but you will probably pay more for the installation because it is harder to drill straight down than it is to dig out a relatively shallow trench to lay the pipe in.

However, if you live in an area that has particularly harsh winters when the ground can be frozen for significant periods of time, it may be worth it to opt for the vertical installation. That is because the further below the surface the pipes go, the farther away they will be from the frozen layer of ground.

With a vertical pipe installation, a geothermal heating system can work quite well in a climate in which the ground usually freezes in the winter. While you will always want to have a backup heating system in place in case of emergencies, this type of heat pump should be all you need under normal conditions.  Call Air Mechanical with any questions.

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Different Types of Furnace Filters for Your Ramsey County Home

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

A good filter for your Ramsey County furnace is a must. Because that device heats and blows air throughout your home, you want to be sure that it doesn’t recycle contaminants and bacteria that could easily be captured at the air handler. That’s why it’s vital to choose the right heating installation on the first try. Here are some furnace filters to consider and their various benefits to your home and family:

  • Electrostatic – Most electrostatic filters are permanent and must be washed on a regular basis. They are electronically charged to capture particles as they pass through, much like a magnet. These filters are effective because they are both physical and electronic. However, keep in mind that they are only as efficient as the cleaning they receive.
  • HEPA – HEPA is the highest rating available for a filtration system, removing up to 99.9% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns. However, they are also inefficient when used in furnaces as they severely reduce air flow. They are not often recommended for this reason.
  • Pleated – Pleated filters come in both reusable and permanent forms and can be either purely mechanical or electrostatic. There is a very wide range of efficiency ratings for pleated filters so make sure you analyze your home’s specific needs before selecting any one pleated filter.
  • Activated Carbon – Activated carbon is unique from the other three filter types because it effectively removes fumes, odors and chemicals from indoor air along with other larger particles. It is recommended that if you choose an activated carbon filter, you supplement it with a pleated or electrostatic filter (or choose a combination filter) to remove all unwanted components from your home.

There are a lot of options when it comes to furnace filters. To make sure you get only the best air quality, call Air Mechanical, we can help you determine which pollutants are the biggest problem in your home.

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How to Clean Your Outdoor HVAC Unit in Carver County

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

That big metal box in your Carver County backyard or on the side next to your home plays a vital role in cooling your home and keeping you comfortable. That box is called the outdoor condensing unit, the key component in your home’s central air conditioning system. The condensing unit houses the compressor, which converts gas into fluid before sending it to the condenser coil, where it is cooled and sent to an indoor evaporator coil.

What you need to know is that the entire heat pump runs smoothly when the area inside and around the condensing unit is clean and free of debris. In some cases, the outdoor unit will fail to work if there is too much debris or dirt build-up. That can cost you a lot of money in repairs or a total replacement. Keeping the condensing unit clean is not a difficult chore – and here are some steps you can take.

First of all, try and avoid blowing leaves or grass clippings near the unit. And regularly cut down or remove any weeds or grass that may grow up around the base of the unit.

To clean the inside of the unit, first turn off the electrical power to it. Check for an on-off switch on the unit or on a separate box nearby. Remove the grille from the unit and carefully remove the fan in order to gain access to the coil and other moving parts. At this point, you should be able to clean out any debris from inside the unit using your hands. You can also use a vacuum hose to remove debris. A soft brush or cloth rag can be used to other areas of the unit.

The fins on the coil require a gentler approach as they can be easily bent or damaged. If you notice a bent fin you can straighten it out by using a simple dull knife or a special fin “comb” which you can buy at your local hardware store. While you are in the unit, check the fan belt on the motor to ensure it is not damaged or cracked. You can also add extra oil to lubrication ports on the condensing unit, if any are available.

Use a garden hose to clean the coil and the grilles on the condensing unit. Do not use highly-pressurized water as it may cause some damage to the fins. Once this last task has been completed, reinstall the grille, switch on the condensing unit, and start up your air conditioning. You should notice if your house is cooling down quicker. If not, you may want to do some more cleaning.

If you have any doubts about cleaning your outdoor condensing unit or if you find any damaged parts that may need repair or replacement, call your local qualified heating and cooling (HVAC) contractor, Air Mechanical, and schedule a service call.

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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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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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Detecting Leaks with Your Water Meter: A Tip from Vadnais Heights

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

When you notice a leak, you fix it right away, but what happens when you don’t notice a leak for days or even weeks? The damage it causes can have a profound impact on your water bill and the good repair of your Vadnais Heights home. To avoid hidden leaks – the ones that hide in your walls or your yard, keep a close eye on your water meter.

The Hidden Leaks

Obvious leaks are…well, they’re obvious. They pour water down the walls, leave puddles in your bathroom or create ponds in your backyard. Unfortunately, the majority of leaks are much less obvious. They result from small drips between pipe joints in your walls or a hairline fracture in your water main or drain pipes. They may not even appear where you can see them.

If this happens, it’s important to have a keen eye for the signs that a water leak has occurred. Specifically, look for jumps in your water meter readings.

Watching the Water Meter

Your water meter tracks every drop of water consumed by your family. To check for water loss, record the reading at the same time every day and watch how it changes. To be sure of a leak, you can turn off all the fixtures in your home and watch for the meter to move. If the meter moves despite the fact that no one in your home is consuming any water, it is likely a leak.

You can also compare your bills from one month to the next. If your bill rises suddenly, without any clear reason, check the meter readings and the rates. If the meter reading increased suddenly and the water rate did not, there might be a leak to blame. If that’s the case, call a Vadnais Heights professional to inspect your water lines immediately – what is hidden to you might be a relatively obvious, straightforward repair to someone else.

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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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New Thermostats – Are they Worth the Investment? A Question From Bethel

Monday, September 19th, 2011

When you are trying to save money around your Bethel house, a new thermostat is definitely worth looking into. Sure, your old thermostat works fine. But there are a lot of features available on newer models that can help you save money on your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

And you do not need to wait until it is time to replace your home comfort system to upgrade your thermostat. Most thermostats can work with many different types of heating and cooling systems. So no matter what type of HVAC system you have or how old it is, you should be able to integrate some type of new thermostat into it.

But how can a new thermostat save you money? Well, they simply offer a lot of features that you can use to your advantage. For instance, even the most basic programmable thermostat can let you set different temperatures for different times of day. You can program the thermostat to turn the heat down during the day when no one is home and then you can have the heat switch back on just before you get home.

That way, you can come home to a nice, warm house without having to pay to heat it all day long when it is empty. Many newer thermostats also are more accurate and can provide more pinpoint control of your heating and cooling system. That means that you will not be wasting money because your heating system gets the actual temperature in your house up to 75°F when you only really need it to hit 72°F.

Newer thermostats help you to save money in a variety of ways, and that savings will more than pay for the cost of having a new thermostat installed. That is because thermostats are actually quite cheap and easy to install. A relatively basic programmable thermostat should not run you more than $100, and even if you opt for one of the more advanced systems out there, you will not pay more than a few hundred dollars.

That is a small price to pay considering the increased comfort possible with a state of the art thermostat and the potential for savings every month on your heating or cooling bills. Plus, you likely paid a considerable amount to have that state of the art HVAC system put in. It is worth paying just a bit more so that you can get the most possible out of it. If you have questions about getting a new thermostat installed, talk to your local Bethel contractor.

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Clogged Kitchen Sink in Blaine? What Should You Do

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Clogs are common in almost every household and place of business, in all places from Richfield to Blaine. Even if you take special care not to put anything that might cause a clog down the drain, there is a good chance that excess bits of food, grease, hair, or other unsavoury materials and pieces will eventually line and clog your pipes. So, what should you do when a clog takes over your kitchen sink? Here are a few simple steps for this plumbing repair.

  1. Disconnect Your Garbage Disposal – Before you do anything, you will need to disconnect the disposal from the sink so you have access to the drain. Start by unplugging your disposal – never work on your sink or the garbage disposal with it plugged in. If the disposal itself is clogged, turn the blades manually to work free any clogs. If it turns freely, the clog might be past the disposal in the pipes and it will need to be removed for further cleaning. Most of the time, however, the clog will be either in the disposal or in the opposite sink.
  2. Plunging Your Sink – Once you have ruled out the disposal, it is time to plunge the sink. Make sure to clamp off the line from your dishwasher so that you do not push any water back into the machine. If you have two sink drains, make sure to seal up the one you are not plunging so that a good seal is created. Do NOT plunge the sink if you have poured any chemicals down in an attempt to clear the drains.
  3. Cleaning Out the Trap – If a plunger cannot get the job done, it is time to check the P-trap. To do this, remove as much water as possible from the sink and place a bucket under the trap so you do not make too big of a mess. Now, disconnect the p-trap from the trap arm. If you have an older metal sink assembly, you may need a wrench or pliers to get the Slip Nuts free. Plastic is much easier. Check the trap to see if there is a clog in the curve of the joint. If not, you will need to move on to the final possible fix.
  4. Snaking – If you cannot clear the clog with a plunger and your hands, it may be time for a snake. You can rent one from most hardware stores if you do not own one, and it is a lot cheaper than calling a plumbing professional to do it for you. You will need to remove the trap arm from the drain itself and then run the snake down the line until you find the clog. This can be a time consuming process, but most often it will take care of any remaining clogs.

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