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

Linwood AC Question: Will My Air Conditioning Work Better with Dehumidification?

Monday, July 30th, 2012

There are a number of common misconceptions about humidity and air conditioning and how one affects the other. In truth, humidity is a major part of the discomfort we feel when the mercury rises. It can be 78 degrees outside but feel miserable simply because the humidity is high. So, many people in Linwood wonder whether a dehumidifier is a good solution to moderate heat and how it will work in tandem with an air conditioner.

Humidity and Your Air Conditioner

First, remember that air conditioning naturally lowers humidity because it cycles air through its condenser and evaporator coil. Conditioned air is naturally lower in humidity, regardless of what’s going on outside. So, if it is hot outside and humid, an air conditioner alone is very effective. On the other hand, a dehumidifier is useful is when the temperature isn’t that high but the humidity is.

Dehumidification not only lowers the relative humidity in your home, it reduces the need for cooling because you will feel more comfortable. Not only that, but a dehumidifier costs significantly less to run. So, when the temperature outside isn’t that high, there is no need to use thousands of watts per day of electricity just to stay comfortable.

This also reduces the overall wear on your air conditioner. Since it doesn’t need to run 24 hours a day to reduce humidity, wear and tear on the device is reduced and you save a tremendous amount of money on repairs and eventual replacement costs.

When to Use a Dehumidifier Alone

Generally, the Department of Energy recommends setting your air conditioner to 78 degrees and using a combination of a dehumidifier and fans to stay cool while it is off. If the temperature rises above that level, the air conditioner will turn on and supplement your dehumidifier. Consider too that a dehumidifier will reduce the burden placed on your air conditioner to pull humidity from the air. Humid air takes more energy to cool than dry air. Despite the fact that dehumidifiers will often raise the air temperature by 1-2 degrees, they save energy and make you more comfortable.

So, if you’re looking for a way to reduce your energy bill and enhance the longevity of your Linwood air conditioner, look no further than a quality dehumidifier. Call Air Mechanical Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today if you have any questions about installing a dehumidifier in your home!

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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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Steps for Replacing a Kitchen Sink Spray Nozzle in your Dakota County Home

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Replacing an old or broken spray nozzle in the kitchen sink in your Dakota County home is relatively easy and shouldn’t require many tools. Depending on the style of your old nozzle, you may need to replace the hose, but most models are universal and will work with your current hose. If the package tells you that you need to upgrade your hose, try installing the new nozzle before you buy a hose.

Some brands will also include the tools you will need to complete the project. Don’t buy pipe thread if you are not replacing the hose. For this plumbing repair, all you will need is a pair of needle nose pliers and maybe a screwdriver.

1. Remove the Old Nozzle Head

You don’t necessarily have to turn off the water if you are just replacing the nozzle on your sprayer hose, but it would be a good idea to avoid accidentally turning on the faucet, which will cause the water to shoot out of the hose while the nozzle is off. Simply unscrew the old nozzle and look for a small metal clip that holds the rest of the housing in place (your new nozzle should have the same part and where to locate it in the instructions).

You will probably need needle nose pliers to pull this clip off. It looks like a horseshoe and will be located below the washers. Once you remove the clip, you can take off the base of the old nozzle. Look at how it is assembled as you remove it; your new one will have basically the same construction, so seeing how it is attached will help you install the new nozzle.

2. Unscrew the Mounting Nut and Replace Nozzle Base

The mounting nut is the large nut located under the sink just below the nozzle. It keeps the base of the nozzle in place. Hold down the base of the nozzle as you unscrew the mounting nut. This may be tricky depending on the design of your sink. You might want to get someone to hold the base in place so that you have better access to the mounting nut.

Once you unscrew the nut from the base, you can guide the hose through the opening in the sink to take slide off the old nut and replace it with the new mounting nut. Next, put the hose back through the hole and install the new base by screwing it into the new mounting nut.

3. Install New Nozzle

If you unscrew the top part of the nozzle from the bottom where the metal clip is attached (your instructions should label them with letters), you may find the washers inside or packaged separately with the clip. Slide the bottom part of the nozzle onto the hose and install the metal clip on the bottom ridge of the plastic part of the hose with the pliers. Next put the plastic washer around the tube, and then the rubber one. Then, simply screw on the top part of the nozzle and test it for leaks.

Don’t tighten the nozzle too much, because the parts are delicate and could break with too much pressure. If you can’t fit the nozzle on without leaks, you may need a different style hose.

Whenever you need help with bathroom of kitchen plumbing in Dakota County home, feel free to call the experts at Air Mechanical Inc to ask questions and get advice.

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Plumber Tips: When to Call the Plumber

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Many aspects of plumbing in Ramsey County are around simple fixtures and easy repairs for the homeowners.  Videos on the internet have made most simple plumbing repairs even easier by showing step-by-step processes to get them done.

Some projects obviously are more complicated and require the special skills and knowledge that only years of experience can provide.  Especially when water is gushing out and you don’t know where the main shut-off is located, the damage that can intensify minute by minute should be mitigated by calling in the expert plumber.

A Fix in Time

Leaky faucets and drains, a garbage disposal or even a toilet replacement are tasks that can be accomplished with a few good tools, patience and a little information off the internet.  Knowing where to shut off the water supply–so any problems that might happen don’t turn into catastrophes–begins many repairs that end with a pat on the back.

Even sweating of copper pipes to install a new shower valve or shut-offs nearer the fixture are not life-threatening and create a high level of satisfaction for handy husbands and wives.  Installing an under-counter water filtration system is just a matter of following instructions.

Saving Nine

When something has broken and is causing serious flooding, whether or not you can find the main shut-off, it still probably makes sense to call a plumber to get the repairs made quickly and correctly.  For much less emergent situations, plumbing can still be a tricky sport to find the right size fittings so getting a plumber with a truck full of odd parts can cost a little money but save a lot of aggravation and return trips to the local hardware store to exchange the 5/8 male coupling with gasket you expected it to be for the 3/4 female that was needed.

For any project that requires a permit, a licensed plumber makes good sense who knows the proper codes and intricacies of supplies, drains and venting so the work will pass inspection.  Replacing larger items like a hot water heater, shower unit or sink are far simpler for professionals to wrestle.

Any maintenance for hot water heaters or radiant heat systems are better left to plumbers to fix who know how to properly bleed and refill the pipes to flow without air bubbles.  If there is a problem with the sewer main inside or outside the house, a plumber will be better equipped to cut and repair the pipes (as well as deal with the mess).

Because of their lethal risks, gas lines to appliances must be installed and connected by a certified technician which many plumbers are.

Ultimately, if you have any doubt about your abilities, even though you’re playing with water, a mistake can make a big mess.  Calling Air Mechanical can often save a lot face.

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What Is the Most Efficient Way to Heat My Home? A Question from Wazata

Monday, November 7th, 2011

When it comes to Wazata home heating, efficiency is one of the main factors most people take into consideration. There are quite a few different options in terms of home heating, including oil, gas and electric furnaces, heat pumps, and boilers, and each of these have their own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on your own particular situation.

For better or worse, there is no one system that is universally more energy efficient and effective than the others. The one that will turn out to be the best choice for you is the one that fits best with your specific heating needs, the climate you live in and the relative price of the fuel sources available to you.

For instance, if you live in a relatively moderate climate, a heat pump may very well be a good option for you. These systems are able to operate much more efficiently than furnaces because they extract heat from the air rather than generating it themselves. That means that in the winter, a heat pump can take heat from the outdoor air and pump it indoors to heat your home. In the summer, the heat pump can actually do the opposite, taking the excess heat from indoors and transferring it out to provide you with a yearlong temperature control solution.

Heat pumps generally run on electricity which can be expensive, but since they use so much less energy than something like an electric furnace, they can still be a very energy efficient home heating option. However, these systems are not as effective in areas with harsh, long winters, and so would likely require a supplemental heating system as well. Also, the lower the outside temperature, the less efficient a heat pump is going to be.

Furnaces, on the other hand, are quite effective at heating homes no matter how harsh or cold the climate. Gas furnaces are generally the most popular of the models available now, mostly because the cost of natural gas is lower in most areas compared to the cost of other potential fuels.

However, it may be worth considering an oil or electric furnace if these types of energy sources are relatively inexpensive in your area. No matter what type of furnace you get, you’ll be able to choose how energy efficient you want it to be as well, with lower efficiency 80% AFUE furnaces costing substantially less than those with an AFUE of 90% or more.

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Where to Turn for Your Indoor Air Quality Concerns in Wazata

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

The quality of the air inside your Wazata home is incredibly important. It has a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of your family and in some cases can affect the cost of your heating and cooling. But with so many worries out there and so many people trying to offer advice, where do you turn when you need help? Here are some resources to help you if you’re worried about indoor air quality.

  • EPA Resources – The US Environmental Protection Agency provides a huge number of resources for homeowners and business leaders worried about indoor air quality. The EPA keeps a complete list of hotlines and clearinghouses to call depending on where you live as well as a list of state health department resources according to their 10 region breakdown of the country at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/whereyoulive.html.
  • Asthma Help – If you suffer from asthma and are looking for help from an expert to handle an attack or deal with conditions leading to your attacks the Asthma No Attacks hotline is available both online at www.noattacks.org or offline at 1-866-NO-ATTACKS. The Allergy and Asthma Network is also available at www.aanma.org and the American Lung Association has a number of useful resources for anyone concerned with their lung health at www.lungusa.org.
  • Radon Help – If you are concerned about radon in your home, Kansas State University operates a number of hotlines including 1-800-SOS-RADON for test kits and 1-800-55RADON for your radon related questions.
  • School Help – For school administrators and indoor air specialists, the American Association of School Administrators has a number of indoor air quality resources at www.aasa.org/iaq-resources.aspx.
  • ASHRAE – To learn more about the standards followed by contractors throughout the United States and recommended by the EPA, visit the ASHRAE website at www.ashrae.org – the American Society of Heating and Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers is responsible for evaluating new technologies and determining best practices for ventilation and air quality control.

And of course, if you are interested in the state and local regulations that affect air quality in your area,  visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.

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How to Use AC Most Efficiently in Chisago City

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Air conditioning is definitely something most of us wouldn’t want to try and get through the summer in Chisago City without. And for a lot of people, because of medical or other conditions, it’s an absolute necessity. But just because you need to run your AC unit all summer doesn’t mean you need to suffer under the weight of cooling costs.

So if you’re interested in ways to save on cooling without sacrificing comfort, here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Get a Programmable Thermostat – When you come home at the end of a long day, you want your home to be cool and comfortable. But if you only have a basic thermostat, you would have to leave your air conditioning on all day in order to make this possible. Paying to cool an empty house is probably the last thing you want to do. But what is the alternative? Programmable thermostats offer the best solution in a case like this. These devices can be easily integrated into just about any home air conditioning system and they allow you to set different temperatures for different times of the day. That means you can have your air conditioning off while you’re not home and set it to come on a half hour or so before you get there. This way, you get the pleasure of walking into a cool, comfortable house without paying extra to keep it that way when you’re not home.
  • Incorporate Passive Cooling – The design of your home and how you use it can also have an effect on how hard your air conditioning system needs to work. Taking steps as simple as closing the blinds to block out the afternoon sun, putting up awnings and making sure that the exterior of your home is painted a lighter color to reflect sunlight rather than a darker one that will absorb it are all excellent ways to reduce the load on your air conditioner.
  • Supplement Your System – You can also take a good chunk out of your cooling bills by using things like ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner. A ceiling fan can effectively lower the indoor temperature several degrees on its own, allowing you to set your thermostat a little higher.

Air conditioning is a major expense that most of us are resigned to paying, but there’s no reason to pay more than necessary with so many strategies available to save money.

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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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Why Install a Ductless Air Conditioner? A Question From Wazata

Monday, August 15th, 2011

As you explore your options in terms of a new home air conditioning system in Wazata, you will probably have to decide whether you want a system that uses ducts to get the cooled air around the house or one that is considered ductless. Each type of air conditioning system is appropriate in certain situations, so it is important to understand the benefits of each before you can make a decision.

Duct air conditioning systems are the more traditional type on the market today. They generally consist of an outdoor compressor and condenser unit and an indoor air handler. The outdoor unit passes the cooled air through ducts to the air handler, which then takes over circulating the air through the house and back out to the condenser again.

It makes sense to install this type of air conditioning system if you have a large house or if you have ducts already in place. Duct air conditioners can cool a moderate to large sized house quite effectively and they can also be coupled with zone control systems to give you multiple climate zones within your house.

Ductless air conditioners, as their name suggests, do not rely on a system of air ducts to get cooled air distributed throughout your house. Instead, these types of systems use refrigerant lines to transfer coolant from the outdoor compressor to the indoor, wall mounted units. Each of these indoor units can take care of cooling one or two rooms, but in order to cool an entire house with one of these systems, you will need to install multiple indoor units.

However, these multiple indoor units can all be connected to the same outdoor compressor, and they can also be controlled independently. That gives you much greater control over which parts of your house are cooled and how much energy you are using to cool areas that may or may not be occupied.

Ductless air conditioners are generally more energy efficient than ducted ones, but their real advantage comes from the facts that they can be installed even in places where air ducts do not exist or cannot go. If you do not already have ductwork in your house, installing a duct system will add considerably to the price of installing a ducted air conditioning system. In a case like this, a ductless system is much easier and cheaper to install and certainly makes more sense.

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What is a Whole House Fan?

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Cooling your home is a big deal. Especially if the temperature in your home is generally very high in the summer, the cost of air conditioning is tremendous. A central air conditioner can cost between $2,000 and $4,000 to run for an average 2,800 square foot home over the course of six months. That’s a lot of electricity just to stay cool.

That’s why a whole house fan is a great option for those that want to forego the use of direct air conditioning for at least part of the year.

What It Does

A whole house fan is different from a standard air conditioner because it doesn’t use a heat exchanger to remove heat from air before it enters your home. That heat exchanger is the culprit for a large percentage of an air conditioner’s energy consumption. A whole house fan can be used when the temperature outside is lower than inside, a common occurrence on moderate days in the summer.

The whole house fan draws air and then cycles it through your air vents without cooling it. The act of moving air through your home, however, is often enough to cool the space to a comfortable level. The size of your whole house fan depends on quite a few things. First, how big is your home? Large homes that require even cooling need a larger fan to draw in air. However, small homes can often get away with models that use as little as 120 Watts of electricity. That’s less than your computer uses.

Choosing a Fan for Your Home

Keep in mind that a whole house fan only works when the temperature outside is lower than inside. If the air outside is excessively humid or if it is very warm in the hottest months of summer, you will still need an air conditioning unit. But, even if you run your air conditioner for two months out of the year, you’ll save a tremendous amount of money in the other four months by operating a whole house fan.

Whole house fans should be used in conjunction with an effective air purification system to ensure all outdoor contaminants are effectively removed before they are cycled through your house. They also require the same level of maintenance and cleaning as a normal AC system. However, with the right care, they work wonders to cut down on your energy bill.

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