November 28th, 2013
Thanksgiving is upon us: a time to get together with relatives, eat some great food, watch a little football and/or parades, and stop to appreciate the good things we have in life. There’s a fascinating history to the holiday that goes beyond the traditional Pilgrims-and-Indians party we read about in school.
The first Thanksgiving was indeed celebrated in 1621 in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Records are spotty at the time, but indicate that the harvest was particularly good that year due to help from the local Native Americans. The meal was probably much different than current times, with venison and fish more likely than turkey, but the general principle was unchanged. (Critics have pointed out that the popular image glosses over the suffering endured by Native Americans, but we prefer to see it as a symbol of brotherhood and a call to rise above our differences to find common ground.)
It wasn’t a few centuries later, however, that Thanksgiving became an annual tradition. George Washington called for a “national day of Thanksgiving” in 1789, and again in 1795, but they were both “one shot” declarations, rather than a call for an annual tradition. Individual cities and states picked up the ball, but it wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving became a national once-a-year event. President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a Thanksgiving “to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it.” (Lincoln was not speaking in reference to the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving, but to the divisions of the Civil War, which he hoped to heal.)
From there, it remained a tradition until Franklin Roosevelt signed a law in December of 1941, making it a federal holiday. The law also changed the date from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November, making it a little earlier in some cases (which Roosevelt hoped would give the country an economic boost).
Wherever you celebrate the holiday and whoever you choose to celebrate it with, we wish you nothing but happiness and joy this Thanksgiving.
November 24th, 2013
There are few better ways to make it through a cold winter in Avon, OH than a furnace. These old warhorses of the HVAC world continue to prove their usefulness each year with dependable and effective warmth. Continual advances in heating technology keep furnaces up-to-date and competitive with other heating systems. The furnace in your home should give you many years of comfort with few issues, as long as you make sure it receives regular maintenance and prompt repairs. If you think your furnace requires professional attention, don’t hesitate: call in trained professionals, like those at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, to have the problem looked at right away.
But how can you know that your Avon furnace needs professional repair?
Here are 4 signs to watch (and listen) for:
1. Strange sounds from the furnace cabinet
Furnaces contain numerous mechanical parts, and malfunctions in moving parts often create obtrusive noises that indicate something is awry. Clicking sounds can mean trouble with the pilot light or the ignition; booming sounds come from dirt over the burner; rattling may mean loose pieces in the motors. Have a professional investigate to find the source of the noise and a method to fix it before the problem becomes worse.
2. An unexpected increase in energy bills
You will expect to see your energy bills climb during the winter, but if you notice a spike that can’t be accounted for, then it may indicate a malfunctioning part that is making the furnace work harder than it should.
3. Low air flow from the vents
If you feel the air coming from the vents into the rooms is much weaker than it used to be, it might mean trouble with the blower motor fans. Another culprit is leaks in the ductwork causing a loss of air pressure.
4. Odd smells from the vents
If the air coming from the vents develops a musty or acrid odor, it could point to a number of problems. Excessive dust along the burners, a motor overheating, or gaps in the ducts drawing air from a musty attic or crawlspace… all of these are serious issues that require professional attention.
Furnaces are intricate machines that require work from technicians with special training and tools to safely repair. Do not open the furnace cabinet yourself and attempt to troubleshoot when you think there is a problem. This will put both you and your furnace at risk. Rely on the NATE-certified technicians at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning to take care of your furnace in Avon, OH. We also offer an Ultimate Service Agreement Plan that delivers a yearly maintenance visit for your furnace, plus a 5-year guarantee on all repairs performed, and many other benefits.
November 17th, 2013
It would require work to locate a superior option for year-round comfort than an air-source heat pump. Heat pumps work as both air conditioners and heaters, giving you the temperature control you need, no matter the season. As a plus, heat pumps require less energy to run when it comes to heating than most other systems, such as furnaces. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that a family of four can save 30%-40% off their yearly heating costs when they switch to a heat pump.
If you think a heat pump in Bay Village, OH will work well for your needs this coming year, contact our installation experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. We can also provide repairs for heat pumps and answer any questions and concerns you may have regarding them.
The heat pump thermostat
We often hear questions about how heat pumps differ from other systems—specifically from air conditioners. Among these differences, we discuss the special thermostats that heat pumps need. Why do heat pumps require a particular type of thermostat that’s different from an air conditioner’s?
The reason is that heat pumps must control both heating and cooling. To switch from one to the other, the thermostat needs to signal the reversing valve to change the direction of the flow of refrigerant. Where a standard AC thermostat uses four wires (hot wire, compressor and outdoor fan wire, indoor blower wire, battery wire) to run the unit, a heat pump thermostat requires a fifth wire to handle the change in the reversing valve. These wires are usually color-coded, and the reversing wire is the brown wire.
Don’t try this at home (unless you have experts in your home)
However… please don’t use this information to attempt to install or repair a thermostat on your own. Even if you think you’ve managed a repair correctly and the thermostat appears to be working, even a slight miscalibration can lead to serious problems with your heat pump. It will incorrectly sense the temperature in your home and begin to shut on and off at the wrong time. This means less comfort for you and more wear and tear on your heat pump.
If you need help with the thermostat on your heat pump in Bay Village, OH, look to Westland Heating and Air Conditioning. We have more than a quarter of a century of experience, and our NATE-certified technicians will get any repairs done promptly and accurately. Schedule an appointment with us today.
November 8th, 2013
When it comes to heating in North Ridgeville, OH, residents want to get the most bang for their buck. Midwest winters are very cold, and we need a reliable heating system to keep our homes cozy and warm. But we don’t want to have to pay an arm and a leg for the privilege. A few judicious tips and a little preparation can save you a great deal of money in unnecessary costs. Here’s how to get efficient heating this winter.
- Get your heater serviced in the fall. Before the snows arrive in earnest, schedule a maintenance session for your heater with a qualified service technician. He or she will clean dirty parts, tighten loose bolts and fittings, and otherwise give your heater a thorough tune up. This helps cut down on were and tear, as well as ensuring that your heater will use less energy to do its job.
- Consider an upgrade. You can improve your heater’s efficiency by adding new features and upgrades to it. For example, look in to the possibility of a zone control system, which allows you to heat each individual section of the home separately (or refrain from heating unoccupied portions of the house). Old mercury thermostats can be replaced with newer digital models as well, allowing you to turn the heater on and off automatically to reflect periods in the day when no one’s home.
- Insulate your home. This includes not only adding formal insulation in your attic and other appropriate places, but sealing up openings around the edges of your doors and windows. They’ll help keep the heat inside your home where it belongs, instead of slipping out and costing you money in the process.
These tips on how to get efficient heating this winter come on top of more common-sense suggestions, such as setting your thermostat down a few degrees and wearing warm clothes such as sweaters in the house. In matters of heating, North Ridgeville OH can use every trick it can get. You can help yourself by making a timely call to the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning.
We handle repairs and maintenance issues of all varieties, so don’t hesitate to contact us!
November 4th, 2013
In matters of heating repair, North Olmsted, OH residents can’t afford to take chances. Our winter nights are too cold to simply leave a heating problem be, and the faster a repairman can do his job, the better off you and your furnace are likely to be. But in many cases, repair begins with prevention, rather than reaction. A good maintenance session can stop a number of problems before they start. On the other hand, a lack of maintenance can lead to much more serious issues requiring considerably more out-of-pocket expenses. Heating repairs caused by a lack of maintenance can hit much harder than you think.
Maintenance sessions essentially act as a tune-up for your heater. The technician starts by cleaning dust and grime which have accumulated on the internal components (always important, but especially after the summer season when the heater has likely sat idle). He or she also tightens any fittings that have become loose, to seal up potential fissures and keep components like the fan motor from rattling around in their housings (which increases stress and decreases efficiency). If something more serious is brewing, the technician can note it and plan to get it fixed via a more serious repair session.
All of that is a necessary part of keeping the heater running: no different than taking your car in for an oil change or replacing a burnt-out light bulb. When you don’t plan for that kind of maintenance, however, repairs immediately become more serious. Loose fittings lead to increased strain on motors, while accumulated dirt creates friction in moving parts. Little problems have a way of suddenly turning into big ones in those conditions, as the lack of maintenance catches up to the heater and creates much larger issues than might have been present otherwise.
An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure as the saying goes. Heating repairs caused by a lack of maintenance have an easy solution: schedule an upkeep session from a reliable service technician. For maintenance or heating repair in North Olmsted, OH, we at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning are the solution. Contact us today to make an appointment.
October 23rd, 2013
At Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, we care about the quality of the air in your home as much as you do. We want you to be comfortable and safe in your home, so we offer air filter installation services using the best brands. If you want better air in North Olmsted, OH, our filtration services will get you the results you need.
The biggest benefit of air filtration is that it will improve your indoor air quality. Why is this important? The U.S. Department of Health has identified poor air quality as one of the major threats to health in the country today. Modern homes are designed to allow as little air to escape as possible so they are easier to heat and cool, but this has the negative side effect of trapping low quality air inside, where it continues to circulate. With an air filter installed in your home’s HVAC system, you can remove the most unhealthy particles and allergens from the air you breathe. A quality air filter can take care of removing such pollutants such as pollen, dander, animal hair, and dust from your indoor air.
Poor air quality is linked to variety of ailments: Dry and cracked skin; respiratory trouble; nose bleeds; eye irritation; sleeping difficulties – just to name a few. For people with allergies to airborne pollutants, low air quality is particularly dangerous. With proper filtration, you can reduce these effects without having to open up your house during hot and cold weather, losing the benefits of your heater or air conditioner.
At Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, we carry a variety of different air filters that we can add onto your existing HVAC system. We will perform a thorough test on your indoor air to discover which contaminants you need to have removed. Based on this information, we can select an air filter system that will do exactly what you need it to do. We also offer maintenance to make sure that your air filtration system is always working to keep your air healthy.
To get the best quality air in your home, contact Westland Heating and Air Conditioning today and we’ll manage your North Olmsted, OH filtration service needs.
October 18th, 2013
Heat pump technology in Fairview Park makes a viable alternative to more traditional forms of air conditioning. Ohio winters can get very cold, but our summers can be equally bad with heat and humidity rising to very uncomfortable levels. A heat pump combines the functions of an air conditioner and a heater in one, making it easier to keep your home comfortable while using less energy to do so. But how does a heat pump work? Individual models vary, but the basics aren’t all that different from a traditional air conditioner.
At the heart of the system is a closed loop that cycles refrigerant gas in order to cool the air. It begins when the gas passes into a compressor, which heats it up while subjecting it to a great deal of pressure. The gas then enters a series of condenser coils, which bleed off the heat and release it into the outside air. The gas reverts to a liquid state, though it’s still under a great deal of pressure. From there, it moves to an evaporator valve, which releases a set amount of the liquid into the evaporator coils. There, it returns to a gaseous state, pulling heat from the surrounding air in the process. A fan then blows the cooled air into your home through a series of ducts, cooling the household.
Heat pumps utilize this system to cool the air in the summer. Then they simply “reverse” it to warm the air in the winter. The heat released from the condenser coils goes into your home instead of the outside air, while the cool air from the evaporators is released outside your home. Heat pumps tend to be more efficient than traditional air conditioners, though they may need a supplemental heater during the coldest days of the year. That helps lower your monthly energy bills while offsetting the cost of installation.
At Westland Heating and Air Conditioning, our technicians can answer the question “how does a heat pump work?” as well as installing and maintaining a new one for you. In Fairview Park, heat pump systems make a lot of sense. If you’re interested in adding one to your home, give us a call today.
October 9th, 2013
When it comes to air conditioning repair, Fairview Park OH needs to treat it as a significant concern. Our summers can get hot and muggy, leaving an air conditioning unit as your best form of relief. It pays to know when something’s wrong so that you can address the issue quickly without risking a shut-down in the middle of a blazing heat wave. For example, you may notice ice or frost forming on parts of your unit, and assume that it means the unit is functioning normally. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. “What causes my air conditioning system to ice up?” you ask. It’s usually a fairly simple problem that can nonetheless lead to more serious issues.
Air conditioning systems rely on refrigerant gas to cool the air. The gas must be charged at a specific level matching your particular AC unit. As it cycles through the system, it enters a set of evaporator coils, where it goes from a liquid to a gaseous state – cooling the surrounding air in the process. A blower then pushes the cool air into your duct system, where it is distributed throughout your entire house.
When the refrigerant leaks out of the system, that process is compromised. The evaporator coils can’t do their job like they should and ice forms on their surface. Not only does this retard the cooling process, but it increases wear and tear on the system, as well as creating condensation that can damage other components of the air conditioner when it melts. Simply scraping the ice off won’t help. Unless the leak is sealed and the refrigerant recharged to its proper levels, it will just reform again, perpetuating the cycle.
Luckily, a qualified technician knows how to hunt down the leak and seal it before restoring normal refrigerant levels. It keeps your air conditioning system running smoothly, and prevents larger problems from developing. If you know what causes your air conditioning system to ice up, then contact the experts at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning to help. We handle all kinds of air conditioning repairs in Fairview Park, OH, as it is part of our covered service area, and we stand by our dedication to 100% customer satisfaction. Call us today to help get rid of that ice.
October 1st, 2013
Your hot water heater contains a tank that provides instant hot water whenever you need it. If you use enough hot water, that reservoir will start to run down and you may sense the water cooling off a bit. That’s not abnormal. But what happens when a lack of hot water becomes a consistent issue; when you find yourself constantly asking, “why am I not getting enough hot water in my house?” Here in North Olmstead, professional water heater repair services can put those more serious problems at bay, but it helps to understand what those problems are first.
The first culprit in the case of a lack of hot water is the thermocouple, which turns off the gas when the pilot light isn’t on. If it’s malfunctioning, you might not be getting any hot water. It may also be functioning perfectly, in which case there is a problem with the pilot light itself.
The trouble may also lie with a faulty thermostat, which is misreading the temperature and sending “hot” water along that is anything but. Alternately, you could be dealing with a clogged vent or flue which prevents the water heater from venting. It might also be the dip tube, which forces cold water to the bottom of the tank and allows hot water to rise up for use. If it isn’t working, you could be getting cold water mixed in with your hot water.
Regardless of the causes, a certified expert can determine why you are not getting enough hot water in your house, then propose a viable solution. In most cases, that involves replacing the faulty component: usually a simple operation though one that requires professional expertise. In some cases, you may need to replace the entire water heater, especially if it’s an older unit with more problems than simply failing to provide hot water. And regardless if it’s a repair job or a replacement, it pays to set up a regular service plan to keep the heater running at peak capacity. Westland Heating and Air Conditioning handles North Olmstead water heater issues; call us today to set up a consultation!
September 24th, 2013
If your air conditioning stops working entirely, you will know right away that something has gone amiss and requires fixing. However, it may take a bit longer to sense that your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home to the level you want. You might notice warm spots or feel some discomfort, and adjust the thermostat to remedy the issue. But eventually you’ll realize that something more serious is wrong with your air conditioner that needs professional attention.
Not every loss of cooling power means a serious repair (you might have set the thermostat wrong or accidentally blocked a few vents), but the ones listed below will usually need the help of professionals to fix. Westland Heating and Air Conditioning—North Olmstead, OH home comfort experts for a quarter of a century—are ready to help your house get cool once more.
Reasons Why Your AC May Not Be Cooling Properly
Faulty ducts: The ductwork that transports cool air through your home should have no damage along it and no openings except at the vents. But corrosion and improper installation can lead to kinks and gaps in places that will cause your air conditioner to start drawing in air from other parts of your home. Because the ducts run through walls and other hidden places, the air drawn inside is usually hotter than other spots in your house, and it will raise the temperature of the air sent through the vents. The ducts will need professional sealing to repair them.
Thermostat problems: If you set the thermostat to the correct temperature and make sure that it isn’t switched accidentally to “heat,” but you still don’t get sufficient cool air, then the thermostat itself might have issues. If a thermostat improperly calibrated or poorly placed, it will detect the temperature in your home incorrectly and stop supplying enough cool air to keep you comfortable.
Ice inside the AC: If the interior of your air conditioner becomes too dirty, or a refrigerant leak lowers its charge, then the evaporator coil can develop ice along it. This will prevent the coil from properly absorbing heat and removing it from your home’s interior. The air conditioner will require extensive cleaning, or the refrigerant will need to be restored to its proper charge.
Our staff of NATE-certified technicians at Westland Heating and Air Conditioning has the experience to solve your air conditioning troubles. Contact us today for North Olmsted, OH air conditioning services before you have any more unnecessarily hot days at home.