A-Avis Home Services Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog : Archive for January, 2015

Heating Repair Guide: Is It an Electrical Problem?

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The question of whether or not your heater is experiencing electrical issues honestly depends on how much of your system uses electricity. If you’re using an entirely electrical heater, then the chances of any heating issues being electrical are pretty high. If you use a wood-burning furnace, the chances are significantly lower. For the purposes of this article, however, let’s just assume that you’re using a standard forced air system like a gas-burning furnace. Let’s examine the ways in which you can tell that a problem in that kind of system is electrical.

Thermostat

Regardless of what is wrong with your heating system, the very first thing you should check is the thermostat. The thermostat is the core of your heating system, and about as close to a brain as it can get in terms of control function. If the thermostat malfunctions, the whole system often malfunctions.

Check the display on your thermostat and see if everything being displayed is correct. If the settings and temperature all appear to be right, then that’s a good sign. However, it is still possible that the electrical connections between the thermostat and the heating system have weakened somehow. You won’t be able to confirm that one way or another on your own. You’ll need to have a professional HVAC technician to open up the thermostat in order to confirm any issues inside it.

Pilot Light

Many older combustion systems made use of a standing pilot light, which was a gas powered flame that burned continuously underneath the system and served as the ignition source. More modern systems, however, tend to use electrical ignition systems that are more efficient. If you know that your heating system uses one of these modern electrical ignition pilot lights, check to see if the system is actually attempting ignition. If an electrode or heating element has burned out, then the system has no way to actually start.

If you’re having problems with your heating system, call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air and schedule an appointment with us. We provide heating services in the Upland area.

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Why Should a New Thermostat Be Part of Heating Installation in Corona?

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

The thermostat may not look like it, but it’s one of the most important parts of any home heating system. It’s responsible for controlling when your home actually gets heated, and for how long. For this reason, the thermostat should receive special consideration whenever you think about getting a new heating system. Let’s take a look at why you should install a new thermostat along with your new heating system.

Technological Advancement

Heating systems are not the same today as they were twenty or even ten years ago. Our society is making technological advances at a rate unheard of at any other point in human history, and that can be seen even in the way we design and construct thermostats. Digital thermostats were leaps and bounds more advanced than the old manual thermostats when they were first introduced. As hard as it may be to believe, the current thermostats are just as far ahead of the original digital thermostats in terms of ability as they were from the manual models.

Current thermostats are capable of not only having individual settings for each season, day, and time of day, but are also capable of actively learning from how you set them over time. Eventually, you won’t even have to touch the thermostat for it to respond to your needs. Their settings are not the only things that are more advanced than older models. Even the basic construction of modern thermostats is significantly better.

Traditional thermostats used to use thermos-sensitive coils or mercury-filled ampules to detect temperature. These mechanical sensors worked well enough, but they often had dead zones where it would be too cold to be comfortable but too warm to activate the heating. Digital thermostats were more accurate, but still had issues with their sensor capabilities. Modern thermostats have much more advanced and finely tuned sensors, able to keep the climate inside your home more tightly controlled to your specifications. A new thermostat can help your heating system in virtually every way. If you’d like your new heater to operate to its full potential, it’s worth considering installing one.

If you’d like to know more, call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air. We provide professional heating installation throughout the Corona area.

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Why Is Duct Sealing Part of Heating Service?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

When people think of professional heating service, they probably think of checking the pilot light, or the heat exchanger, or any one of a dozen other internal components. What they probably don’t think of is the ducts. Ducts are often neglected, due to their unobtrusive natures, but they need maintenance just as much as any heating system. Part of that maintenance is duct sealing. Let’s take a look at why duct sealing is so important.

Airborne Contaminants

Though most people do not know it, the air quality in their homes can be drastically affected by microscopic airborne pollutants and contaminants. Things like viruses, bacteria, insect dander, dust pollen, and mold are commonly found in a home’s air, each of which is capable of negatively affecting a person’s health. These are linked to ducts because they are circulated through them whenever a forced air system is turned on.

The ducts themselves provide an ideal habitat for these pollutants, as they are usually undisturbed by human activity. In the darkness and stillness of the ducts, microorganisms can reproduce freely and a sizeable amount of dust and pollen can build up. This is why duct cleaning and sealing is so important.

Duct Cleaning and Sealing

The first step to improving environment in the ducts is to clean them. If the ducts are a typical sheet metal variety, they can have dust and debris sucked out of them by a powerful vacuum that HVAC technicians use. If the ducts are of the more rare tube or cloth type, the technician will have to carefully clean them using a special set of brushes. After the ducts have been thoroughly cleaned, it is time to seal them.

Duct sealing involves the closing of any leaks in the ducts, both to prevent air from escaping and things like moisture from coming in. After the duct integrity has been restored, it is treated with a chemical mixture designed to kill off any microorganisms that may be lurking on the surface. That way, you don’t have to worry about exposing yourself to germs every time you turn on your heater or air conditioner.

If you’d like to know more to want to schedule an appointment, call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air. We provide professional heating services in the Riverside area.

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Why Is Good Insulation So Important?

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Heating and air conditioning costs can occupy a large portion of your utility bills. And with all the energy it uses to move the mechanical parts of your unit, pump refrigerant from place to place, turn a large indoor and outdoor fan, and/or create the conditions for gas combustion, it’s no wonder your bills soar when you have to run your HVAC system throughout the day. There are a couple of ways you may be able to reduce your bills. You could replace your heating and air conditioning unit with a more efficient modern unit. Or you can install some insulation.

For more advice on how to improve your heating, call the experts at Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air today.

What Is Insulation

Insulation can be rolled out in sheets or it may be blasted into a wall or attic in the case of blown-in or loose-fill insulation. The most common materials used to insulate a house include fiberglass, cellulose, mineral wool, polyurethane foam, and polystyrene. There are many factors that installers and homeowners must take into account when choosing an insulating material, including flammability, environmental impact, cost, amount needed for the space to be insulated, and the R-value—a measure of a material’s effectiveness at insulating.

These materials provide a sort of barrier through which it is difficult for heat to pass. Heat moves naturally towards cooler areas, even moving through walls to do so, but insulation fibers are able to resist conductive and convective heat to an extent that can help to keep heat out of your home in the warmer months and trap it in the home in the cooler months. Insulation may be installed in walls, attics, or around ductwork.

Benefits to Your Home

Installing insulation can help lower your heating and air conditioning costs, reduce the chances of HVAC repair, and keep you more comfortable. When attic insulation makes it difficult for heat to transfer through the ceiling to the outside air, you’ll feel more comfortable and your heating system won’t become worn out from working too hard. And in the summer, the insulation in the walls keeps heat from entering the house and essentially reversing the work your air conditioner has just done to remove the heat.

Call Avis Plumbing, Heating and Air to get professional insulation installation and discover how you can improve the performance of your heating and air conditioning system. Schedule your heating service in Riverside with us today!

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When New Year’s Day Was Not on January 1st

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Some holidays fall on shifting calendar days for every year, such as Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and Easter (the first Sunday after the first full moon to occur on or after March 21). Other holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween, are fixed. No holiday has a more solid calendar date attached to it than New Year’s Day. It has to fall on January 1st because it celebrates the first day of a new year. That only makes sense…

…except that, like most things that at first appear obvious, there is a bit more to the story. The beginning of the year was not always on the first of January. As with an enormous numbers of traditions in the Western World, the establishment of January 1st as the inaugural day of a new year goes back to the ancient Romans.

The modern solar calendar is derived from the Roman model, but the earliest Roman calendars did not have 365 days in a year spread over 12 months. Instead, there were 304 days spread over 10 months. The Romans believed this calendar originated with the mythical founder of the city, Romulus. If Romulus were a real person, we can credit him with a poor understanding of the seasons, as this abbreviated calendar soon got out of sync with Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Numa, one of the Kings of Rome (probably also fictional) receives credit for creating a longer year with two added months, Ianuarius and Februarius, bringing the number of days in the year to 355. The new month of Ianuarius, named after Ianus (Janus in contemporary spelling), the god of beginnings, would eventually be known in English as January. But when this new calendar was instituted, January was not the first month. March, named after the god of war, remained the first month, and March 1st was New Year’s Day.

This extended calendar still did not keep in synch with the seasons. In 45 BCE, Julius Caesar instituted reforms to align the calendar correctly according to calculations of astronomers, with an additional 10 days distributed across the year. January also became set as the first month, and offerings to the god Janus on this day started the tradition we now know as New Year’s. The date still fluctuated during the ensuing centuries, with a number of Western European holy days treated as the beginning of the year instead. It wasn’t until the next calendar reform in 1582, the Gregorian Calendar, that the date of the New Year was fixed at January 1st.

However you choose to celebrate the beginning of the current calendar, everyone here at Avis Plumbing, Heating & Air hopes you have a wonderful 2015!

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