Professional Heating & Air Blog : Archive for February, 2014

Consider a Dehumidifier with Your Heating Installation

Monday, February 24th, 2014

We don’t need to tell you that Louisiana can have extremely humid spring and summer weather, and that the higher the humidity rises, the hotter the temperature will feel. (The reason for this is that as the moisture in the air condenses on your skin, it releases additional heat.) But humidity can cause problems during colder weather as well, especially if it gets inside your home. When you have new heating system installation in Hammond, LA, you should consider the addition of a dehumidifier to combat these problems.

There are some good reasons that a dehumidifier will benefit your heating. We’ll look over why you should put a dehumidifier on your list for home improvements when you have your new heating system installed. Call A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule both jobs.

Benefits of a dehumidifier

  • Increased comfort: Although high humidity will make the heat in your house feel even warmer during the winter, this isn’t the sort of comfortable warmth you want. Humidity will make a house feel stuffy, muggy, and closed in; a drier heat (although not too dry) will make your house a more pleasant place to live.
  • Reduction in mold and mildew: The water moisture of humidity will encourage the growth of microbacteria such as mold, mildew, and viruses throughout your home, especially in hidden places like your vents. Aside from looking unpleasant, these growths can contribute to poor health, leading to flu- and cold-like symptoms and breathing difficulty. This is especially hazardous if you have people with allergies living in your home.
  • Wood rot and other damage: High humidity is bad for your home’s furnishings and construction. It leads to peeling wallpaper, warped boards, destructive wood rot, and the ruin of the finishing across furniture.

What a dehumidifier does

A dehumidifier added onto your heating system works in a simple way. A fan draws in the humid air from the ventilation system and moves it through a refrigerated evaporator. This cools the air below the dew point, which causes the water moisture in the air to condense along the surface of the evaporator. The water condensation from this process is removed through a drain line.

Installation of a dehumidifier is easy

You can have a dehumidifier installed in your heating system at any time, but the easiest time is to schedule it for when your new heating system is installed. Call A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning today to talk about what we can do to decrease your home’s humidity and make it safer, cleaner, and more comfortable with professional heating installation in Hammond, LA.

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What Problems Can Fireplace Maintenance Address?

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Few enhancements to your home are more inviting than a fireplace near the middle of your living space. A fireplace isn’t only a cozy addition to your lifestyle; it can also serve as an effective secondary heat source to help your main heating system.

Fireplaces are no more dangerous than a furnace or boiler—provided they receive routine maintenance once a year from experts in fireplace repair. You may have heard that fireplaces only need maintenance every five years, but this is false. Problems can start developing in a fireplace after only a year without a check-up, so make sure to schedule maintenance annually. Contact the fireplace experts at A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning to get started, or call for any heating repair service in Kenner, LA you need.

Here are a few issues you can avoid with your fireplace through regular maintenance:

  • Smoke or exhaust entering your home: The most immediate danger a fireplace in need of maintenance can pose is from poor ventilation, leading to smoke flowing out into your house. There are different causes for bad ventilation (broken damper, animal nests), but a maintenance check can catch almost all of them.
  • Fire hazards: It’s the worst-case-scenario for a fireplace… the fire getting out of the hearth and into places where it shouldn’t be. Cracks inside the chimney liner can permit heat to escape through to other areas of your home, making it possible for fires to break out on upper floors or on your roof. Cracks in the firebox are also potential hazards. Maintenance will look for all possible places where a fire might get out of the fireplace.
  • Creosote build-up: The No. 1 problem that can afflict a wood-burning fireplace is the development of creosote. Creosote is a shiny black substance that starts to appear on the fireplace bricks and in the chimney. It is unburned wood energy, often resulting from poor insulation, and is highly combustible, making it a major danger. Checking for creosote is an important part of maintenance, and technicians will be able to tell you if you need chimney sweeping to eliminate a possibly hazardous build-up.

Because fireplaces are seen as durable, almost invincible, homeowners often put off necessary maintenance. Don’t make this mistake: treat your fireplace as you would any heating system for your home and schedule an annual maintenance visit. A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning offers trained fireplace technicians to make sure you receive the important heating repair services in Kenner, LA you need to keep enjoying the pleasures of a warm hearth.

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The Original Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards

Friday, February 14th, 2014

It’s hard to imagine Valentine’s Day without the traditional greeting cards, whether accompanying a gift of flowers and candy, or sent between children in a school room. For commercial greeting card companies, February 14th is as important to them as the December holidays, Easter, and Mother’s Day.

Valentine’s Day as a celebration of romantic love predates printed greeting cards by a few centuries. In fact, the reason that sending romantic greeting cards became popular was because of the most un-romantic thing you can imagine: a reduction in postage rates.

In 1765, Parliament authorized the creation of “Penny Posts” that used a uniform rate of one old penny per letter throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Printers took advantage of the ease with which people could send letters to each other on Valentine’s Day by crafting cards with love poems on them. Many of these verses were collected in 1797 in the book The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which was a resource for the lover with a romantic soul but not the most confident poetry style.

By the mid-19th-century, the Valentine’s Day greeting card was flourishing across England. Although people still followed a tradition of creating handmade Valentine’s Day cards from lace, ribbons, and flowers, commercially produced cards now overtook them. In 1835, the English post office mailed 60,000 valentines. As production expenses dropped, the English card manufacturers branched out creatively with humorous and sometimes vulgar cards… many of which we would find startlingly familiar in the 21st century. One of the common jokes on these cards was to design them to look like marriage certificates or court summons.

Across the Atlantic, the United States was slower to embrace the popular British custom. It wasn’t until 1847 that a U.S. printer mass-produced greeting cards for Valentine’s Day. Only two years later, American journalists noted how rapidly people in the country had embraced the tradition, turning into a fad that has never died down. The woman who printed the first U.S. Valentine’s Day card, Esther Howland, is today recognized by the Greeting Card Association with the annual “Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary.”

The greeting card industry certainly has reason to thank Ms. Howland. Her idea of going into business printing romantic greeting cards, which came to her after she received a traditional English valentine when she was 19 years old, now sells 190 million cards in the U.S. every year. That number doesn’t include the smaller exchange cards used in elementary school classrooms, which would swell the number to 1 billion. (Who receives the most Valentine’s Day cards each year? Teachers!)

Whether you send out Valentine’s Day cards—handmade, store-bought, digital—or not, we at A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning hope you have a happy February 14th.

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Reasons to Move Your Thermostat

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

The small size and basic operation of a thermostat often deceives homeowners into thinking they are less important to their heating than they actually are. The thermostat is not only a control center that gives you access to how your heater and air conditioner operate, it also measures the heat in your home (usually through a device called a thermistor, although older models use mercury sensors) to gauge when to turn the HVAC systems and theirs fans on and off.

You need to take care of your thermostat so you have the best climate control possible in your home. For heating repair service in Matairie, LA, call A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning any time of the day or night.

Because the thermostat senses temperature, it’s placement in your home is crucial for it to record accurate readings and provide precision control over the HVAC system. If you are experiencing uneven behavior from your heater or AC that doesn’t seem to stem from a mechanical failure, you should check on the position of the thermostat and ask yourself these questions:

Is the thermostat often in direct sunlight?

The radiant heat from direct sunlight can raise the temperature of an object many degrees above room temperature. If your thermostat is in a position where sunlight from a window falls across it for long stretches, it will record temperatures higher than it should (“phantom readings”), which will lead to it either shutting off the heater prematurely or running the AC for too long.

Is the thermostat near drafts?

A thermostat that is adjacent to windows that are often open, or near to a door that opens to the outside, drafts of colder air will affect its readings and lead to inaccurate temperatures from the HVAC system.

Is the thermostat too far from the center of the house?

With a central heater and AC, it’s important for the thermostat to sense the average temperature of a home to provide accurate information to the HVAC system. The farther from the center of the house the thermostat is located, the more anomalous temperatures it will record. This will turn into a vicious cycle, since the heater and AC will run inaccurately, leading to the thermostat recording further erroneous readings.

If you answer “yes” to any of the above, you should call professionals to move the thermostat to a better position. The wall outside the master bedroom is often one of the ideal spots.

A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning can handle the heating repair in Metairie, LA that will take care of any thermostat problems you have, as well as any malfunctions in your HVAC system. We aim for complete customer satisfaction in all our work.

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