10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Cool Air Mechanical, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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Problems You May Encounter in Your Furnace’s Air Handler

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

One of the more active components of your furnace is the air handler, also known as the blower. Without this component, the warm air generated in your system cannot reach your living spaces. During the winter months, your blower operates a great deal, so it isn’t uncommon for problems to develop. But diagnosing and repairing those problems should be left to a trained professional. The certified technicians at Cool Air Mechanical can assist you with any heating need you may have, so call us today!

Common Problems with Air Handlers

Here are some of the more common problems our Cool Air Mechanical technicians see with furnace blowers:

Electrical Problems

There are a number of wires, relays and switches in the blower assembly and when these components wear down or break, the electrical flow can be interrupted. Wires corrode and fray over time, relays can become stuck and switches can break. Locating a specific electrical problem can be challenging, which is why all electrical repair should be left to an expert.

Motor Issues

The blower has a fan that allows it to rotate and push the warm air into your home. Common problems with the fan motor can be lack of lubrication, which causes friction, problems with the capacitors and overheating. Sometimes the fan motor can be repaired but there are instances when it needs to be replaced.

Belt Problems

Fan belts can wear and stretch, and when this happens with your blower, a worn belt can affect the rotation of your fan. In turn, this will decrease the amount of air flow in your system. Belts can make a screeching noise when they begin to wear down, so if you hear this sound coming from your furnace, call a technician for assistance.

Loose/bent/broken fan blades

Unsecured or bent fan blades can cause significant damage to your system if left unattended. This is because they can come into contact with other parts of your system as the fan turns. Leaving loose or broken fans to knock around your system can lead to damage and be potentially harmful, so if you hear a banging or clunking sound when your furnace operates, make sure to call for a technician.

When your fan doesn’t operate correctly, your entire system can be affected. If you are experiencing issues with your furnace’s blower, call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment for heating repair service in Alpharetta.

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The Importance of Sizing a Water Heater for Installation

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Though you may be looking forward to replacing your older water heater with a new more efficient high-performance system, many homeowners dread the installation process. Dealing with a contractor you know little about can be stressful as you don’t know whether you can trust an unfamiliar company to help you save money while finding you the most efficient system possible for your home and budget. Sometimes, homeowners cut corners by trying their hand at DIY installation or finding amateur technicians or family friends to do the work for them—which may prove to be a costly mistake later on.

Water heater installation might seem straightforward to some, but in reality it involves a complicated set of measurements and other factors to determine size, placement, efficiency and the type of water heater needed. Installation is not as simple as just hooking up components and turning on the water. First, a technician must decide which size works best in your home based on the layout of your home and plumbing system and the number of people who use hot water on a daily basis.

If a water heater is too small, it won’t be able to get the job done. You may notice that the hot water runs out too soon, and find yourself with a head full of shampoo and only cold water for rinsing, an unpleasant experience for most people. So, it seems as though you should be able to buy one of the largest systems possible and that will ensure you always have hot water, right?

Of course, if you get a system that is larger than you need, you end up paying more. Not only is installation more costly, but so are your monthly expenses. A storage tank water heater keeps water heated at all times, using up gas or electricity throughout the day to do so. A larger tank will need more energy to heat up, which means you may spend far more than you need to every month.

Make sure your water heater is sized and installed properly by relying on professional technicians only for installation, repairs, and annual maintenance. Get professional water heater installation in Atlanta by calling the folks at Cool Air Mechanical today to schedule a service appointment with us!

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How a Faulty Thermostat Will Affect Your Heating in Dunwoody, GA

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

The thermostat in your home is the instrument that controls when your heating system turns on and off. It may be a small device, but it is an important one, and when your thermostat malfunctions it can cause several kind of problems for your heating system in Dunwoody, GA. It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose a faulty thermostat, because the problems that develop can look like other issues. We’re going to outline below some of the more common effects a faulty thermostat can have on your heating system, but for all your heating repair needs, call the people you can count on: Cool Air Mechanical.

Problems Caused by a Faulty Thermostat

Here are some of the more common problems that can develop from faulty thermostats:

  • Short-cycling – short-cycling is the rapid turning on and off of your heating system. Short-cycling can cause overheating and damage, so it’s important to repair short-cycling as soon as possible. A couple of reasons why a thermostat can cause short-cycling is faulty wiring and too much dirt and dust on the instrumentation inside the thermostat.
  • No heat – there are a couple of ways a thermostat can cause your home to be without heat. If your thermostat uses batteries and the batteries die, this will cause the thermostat to turn off completely. Another problem can be the settings; make sure your thermostat hasn’t accidentally been switched to off or cooling. If you have a programmable thermostat, check to see if the program has been changed. Lastly, corroded or faulty wiring can result in no heat as the connection between the thermostat and the furnace may be damaged.
  • Reading the wrong temperature – older thermostats need to be calibrated properly in order to work correctly. If the calibration of your thermostat isn’t correct, it can misread the temperature inside your home, leading to incorrect temperature setting.

Your thermostat is the control center for your heating system in Dunwoody, GA. If you experience problems with your thermostat, or feel it may be time for a new one, call Cool Air Mechanical and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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Signs It’s Time to Schedule Duct Cleaning

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

One often-overlooked, but important, part of your heating system is the ductwork. Ductwork gets just as dusty and dirty as the components in your furnace, and, with time, the buildup of dust and dirt can become significant. While your ductwork doesn’t need to be cleaned annually, it is strongly suggested that it is cleaned every 3-5 years. If your last duct cleaning in Atlanta was more than 5 years ago, you may see the signs that your ductwork has significant dirt and dust build-up. Remember that, for all of your ductwork needs, the trained and certified technicians at Cool Air Mechanical are ready to assist, so call us today.

Signs It’s Time for Duct Cleaning

Here are some of the common signs that your ductwork needs cleaning:

  • Increase in energy bills – when excessive dust and dirt line the inside of your ductwork, they can restrict the air flow in your system. This restriction forces your heating system to work harder; as a result, it uses more energy.
  • Noticeable amounts of dust in your home – is your home getting dustier even though you regularly clean it? The excessive dust from your ductwork has a direct route into your living spaces and can accumulate on furnishings.
  • Increased allergies/cold symptoms – are you seeing a lot of extra sneezing and coughing in your home? The dust and contaminants from your dirty ductwork may be causing irritation for those in your home, particularly the allergy sufferers.
  • Strange odors – do you notice unpleasant smells coming through your vents when the heat comes on? There may be pollutants in your ducts, and unless it is removed and your ductwork cleaned, it will continue to flourish.

Fall is the perfect time for maintenance on your heating system, so why not include duct cleaning? Professional duct cleaning in Atlanta can help improve your energy efficiency and comfort, and keep your indoor air quality high. Call Cool Air Mechanical today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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Heat Pump Repair Needs: Broken Reversing Valve

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

A heat pump is a fantastic choice for your home heating system. It’s energy-efficient, cost-efficient, and safer than combustion-based systems. Just like any other system, however, a heat pump will develop issues from time to time. One of the most common problems is a broken reversing valve.

What is a Reversing Valve?

A heat pump, as you probably already know, is capable of both heating and air conditioning functions. It accomplishes this by altering the flow of refrigerant between the indoor and outdoor units. This switches which unit is the compressor and which is the condenser. In heating mode, the outdoor unit draws in heat and the indoor unit expels it into the house. In cooling mode the opposite happens, with the indoor unit siphoning heat out of the house so the outdoor unit can expel it. Without the reversing valve, the refrigerant would only be able to flow one way. This would limit the heat pump to either heating or cooling, just like other forced air systems.

The reversing valve itself is a 4-way junction, with lines to the central unit intake and output lines as well as the indoor and outdoor unit lines. Inside is a slide, which by moving to one side of the valve or the other controls the direction of the refrigerant flow. This slide is attached to a solenoid, essentially an electromagnetic coil. When a current is run through the solenoid, it pulls the slide to one side. When the current is cut off, the slide moves back to its default position.

What Causes a Broken Reversing Valve?

There are a couple of possible causes for a broken reversing valve. The slide could simply be stuck, in which case the solenoid is unable to force it to switch positions. The second possibility is that the solenoid is broken, which likely means it will need to be replaced. This is often caused by the solenoid losing its magnetism, which usually just happens with age.

So, how can you tell if your reversing valve is broken? It’s not something you can tell just by looking at it. Usually the best way to tell is if your heat pump becomes stuck in one mode or another. That is a good indication that the refrigerant is only flowing one way, which means a problem with the valve.

If you’re having heat pump problems, give Cool Air Mechanical a call and schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained technicians. Our professional heating repair service covers all of Kennesaw, GA.

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