Professional Heating & Air Blog: Archive for November, 2014

Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system. Here at A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning, we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

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Reasons to Consider Upgrading Your Thermostat

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Sometimes it can seem that to really make strides in decreasing energy usage, big changes have to happen: the installation of a new heating system, drastically changing the temperatures you set or installing a fireplace for more supplemental heat. But there is one change you can make that doesn’t require an enormous amount of effort: upgrading your thermostat. Your thermostat controls when and at what temperature your home is heated, and having better control over your thermostat can help you have better control over your heating.

Types of Thermostats

Today’s thermostats have come a long ways since mercury-based dial thermostats and slide thermostats:

  • Digital – digital thermostats offer a level of precision you won’t get with a slide or dial thermostat. The numbers are exact versus being in a range. Digital thermostats are also more intuitive and have easier-to-use buttons.
  • Programmable – programmable thermostats have digital technology but take it to another level by giving you the ability to program your heating system for up to 7 days (you can loop the program to have it run continuously). Programming your thermostat allows you to set temperatures to accommodate for the daytime, the nighttime and for times when no one is home – you can even program for weekend and vacation times.
  • Smart – smart thermostats give you the ultimate control over your heating systems. By downloading a simple app and having access to Wi-Fi, you can program your thermostat, change settings and monitor your energy usage from any smart device.

Why Upgrade?

  • Better energy efficiency – the better you can control how, when and at what temperature you heat your home, the less heating you’ll use, which helps reduce energy usage.
  • Better comfort – the precision of an upgraded thermostat allows you to set an exact temperature, which can help improve comfort levels.
  • Less wear on your system – upgraded thermostats can reduce the amount of time your heating system operates, which reduces the amount of wear and tear on your system.
  • Convenience – being able to program your thermostat means you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn your heat up or down.

Can your heating benefit from an upgraded thermostat? If so, call A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule heating service in Covington with one of our experts.

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Is It Time for Furnace Replacement?

Friday, November 14th, 2014

If you’ve had your furnace for longer than a couple of years, chances are you’ve had to have some repairs done on it. The occasional need for repair is common, even in younger furnaces. Sometimes, things simply break. There are some times, however, that signal a need to replace your furnace. Below, we’ll outline some of those times, and how you can recognize them.


Short-cycling is what it’s called when your furnace keeps turning on and off rapidly throughout the day. This is caused by something causing your furnace to overheat. When your furnace turns on, the rapid increase in heat levels causes the furnace control system to think its overheating. The furnace shuts down as a safety measure. Then, once it’s cooled off, it starts up again and the whole cycle repeats. This can be a massive waste of energy, and shortens the life of your furnace even more. If you experience this symptom, turn your furnace off and call a professional.

Rise in Breakdown Frequency

As mentioned above, sometimes things just break and need repairs. As your furnace nears the end of its life, however, the cumulative wear and tear will cause parts to start failing in rapid succession or even simultaneously. This can be fought off for a while, through regular annual maintenance. Eventually, however, this problem visits all older furnaces that are ready to be replaced.

You could simply continue to repair and replace these parts as they fail, but you should consider the financial impact of doing so. Some of these parts, like the heat exchanger, are quite expensive to replace. If you try to keep a furnace alive for too long after you were supposed to have replaced it, you may have spent more money on parts than it would have cost to simply get a new furnace. Not to mention that at that point, most of your original furnace would probably be gone anyway.

If your furnace seems like it needs to be replaced, call A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning. Our heating professionals cover all of Ponchatoula, LA.

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How Can a Zone Control System Help With Heating?

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Staying warm and comfortable doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with energy efficiency, but with the installation of a zone control system, it can. Fall offers a great window of time to upgrade your system, and the trained technicians at A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning can help you install any upgrade to your heating system, quickly and effectively. Professional installation is the key to gaining the benefits of any upgrade, so call A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning today!

How Does a Zone Control System Work?

There are several steps involved with the installation of a zone control system. First, you will work with your technician to designate the zones in your home. Zones can be individual rooms, floors or a group of rooms. Once the zones are designated, motorized dampers are installed in your supply ducts. These dampers are connected to a main control panel that manages the opening and closing of the dampers. Each zone is equipped with a thermostat, which is also connected to the main control panel, so that the set temperature in every zone can be maintained.

How Does Zone Control Help with Heating?

  • Better energy efficiency – with a zone control system, you use only the heating you need. A zone control system allows you to turn heat off in areas where it’s not needed, and focus on heating only the areas where you do need it. This kind of control helps to reduce your energy usage, which results in better energy efficiency.
  • Customized comfort – instead of fighting over the thermostat setting for your whole house, you can set each zone’s temperature as you want it. This allows for better comfort throughout your home.
  • Less stress on your system – when your system has to work hard to achieve the temperature set on your thermostat, it uses more energy. With a zone control system, the heating is broken down into manageable zones, some of which may not need heat. Less operation of your system helps reduce the overall level of stress on your system.

Comfort and energy efficiency are always important during heating season. If you think a zone control system can benefit your heating system and home, schedule your heating appointment in Ponchatoula, LA with your A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning expert today.

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