Your Generator in Nanuet: Make Sure to Schedule Maintenance

July 30th, 2014

A whole-house generator is one of the best “insurance policies” you can have for the comfort and safety of your family. Even if you never need to use your generator to power your home during a long-term winter outage, you will have valuable peace of mind that your family will be safe should one happen.

However, you will only have that peace of mind if you know that the generator will be able to do its job when the time comes. If a whole-house generator sits unused for a few seasons, perhaps a few years, it will start to develop malfunctions that will lead to it struggling to come on and stay on, and it may not turn on at all.

Don’t let your home generator fail you when you need it the most: make sure to schedule twice-yearly maintenance visits from electrical professionals to inspect the system and locate any tune-ups or repairs it may need. Call Design Air Inc to schedule a maintenance visit for your generator in Nanuet, NY.

The Importance of Generator Maintenance

Generators are built sturdy—they have to be, since they will most likely need to operate during harsh weather conditions. However, as a generator remains unused for long stretches of time, it can start to suffer from deterioration. If the generator uses stored heating fuel (instead of a natural gas line), the fuel can become stale over time if it isn’t changed. The engine of the generator, much like a car engine, requires fresh oil and proper lubrication, and the oil will need to be changed once a year (usually after the end of the storm season) and the lubrication checked. There are also numerous electrical connections that can come loose.

During a maintenance visit, a technician will perform a test run on the system to see that it is generating the right amount of power to run the appliances in your home that you need in case of an outage. The technician will then check on the oil, the lubrication, the battery, and the fuel or the gas line connection. After the maintenance visit, you will have a whole-house generator prepared to protect your home and family for another season.

We advise two annual maintenance visits for your generator, one in preparation for storm season, and one done immediately afterwards. Our technicians at Design Air Inc have done many installations and repairs for generators and are experienced with handling their maintenance needs. Give us a call today to arrange maintenance, and remember that if you need emergency repairs for your whole house generator in Nanuet, NY, they are available with 24-hour emergency service.

3 Ways to Improve Air Conditioning Efficiency

July 21st, 2014

In the summer, your energy bills tend to go up, but there may be something you can do to manage them. You don’t have to turn off your AC completely to save money every month. At Design Air Inc, we know that energy efficiency is important to homeowners, so we’ve put together this list of three ways you can improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system in Pomona, NY.

Clean or Replace Air Filters

The air filter in your system may be easy to forget about, but a dirty air filter can cause problems for your system and increase your energy bill. Dirty air filters can block the airflow to your system, which means your air conditioner has to work harder to keep up, using a lot of energy in the process. Clean or replace air filters about once a month according to the manufacturer’s instructions, although the length of time may vary depending on usage.

Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance

Anyone who owns an air conditioning system should consider scheduling maintenance once a year by a trained professional. Air conditioning maintenance may help your air conditioner’s performance and restore some efficiency to your system.

During maintenance, your technician will clean components of your system, since dirty parts can significantly reduce efficiency. A blocked coil, for example, will interfere with heat exchange, causing your system to consume a lot of energy to run for longer periods of time. Another valuable service is a full system inspection. The technician will check your system for any leaks or damage so that you can schedule repairs as soon as possible.

Replacing Your Older System? Check the SEER

Eventually, all systems age to the point that they cannot regain efficiency. The parts of an air conditioner begin to wear down, and only a whole-system replacement can keep your monthly bills low. However, you may be surprised by the energy savings a brand new system can deliver. Talk to your air conditioning installation professional about finding a system with a high SEER. The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) of your newer system may actually be much higher than the SEER of your older system.

For professional air conditioning services in Pomona, call Design Air Inc today!

3 Factors to Consider with a New Generator

July 15th, 2014

Families are increasingly concerned about the dangers of long-term power outages that may occur due to extreme weather conditions. An extended power loss, where the electricity fails for a period of days, is not only uncomfortable and inconvenient, it can pose dangers during cold weather and may even be life-threatening if people in a home depend on powered medical equipment.

A whole-house generator in Spring Valley, NY offers your family protection and peace of mind. The whole-house generator experts at Design Air Inc can assist you with finding the ideal backup power system to carry you through a long power outage. Start preparing for harsh weather conditions today with a call to our electrical team.

Here Are 3 Factors to Consider for New Generator Installation

  1. Manual vs. automatic switch model: Whole-house generators come in either manual switch or automatic switch models. With a manual model, you have to go outside to the generator to activate it should the power go out. An automatic switch generator will detect when there is an outage and turn on without an interruption in power. Although the automatic generator is more convenient (you don’t have to go outside in the cold; the system will come on even if you aren’t home) they are also more expensive and not necessarily the best choice for every home.
  2. Number of appliances to power:Generators come in a variety of sizes, but determining how powerful a model you should get isn’t as simple as calculating how much power your house requires. You need to choose which appliances you have to run during an outage. Do you only wish to power the most essential systems, such as a few lights, any vital medical equipment, and the heater? Or do you want to have other items working, such as the refrigerator and the television? Work with your installer to come up with the power load you need during a blackout and match it with the right generator.
  3. Fuel source: Generators can use different fuel sources to run: natural gas (hooked to the municipal system), propane, oil, gasoline, diesel. The fuel you use for your generator will affect price, performance, and convenience, and you must make certain the model you have installed matches your needs. Availability and local fuel pricing will be major factors in deciding what type of generator installation will work best.

Choosing a new generator in Spring Valley isn’t something you can do in a hurry on your own: you don’t want to have the power go out and then discover that your whole-house generator is inadequate to the task! Call the electrical experts at Design Air Inc, and let us handle the tough decisions when it comes to find and installing the right whole-house generator to shield your family from extended power losses.

What Do I Need to Know about Installing Solar Panels?

July 10th, 2014

Solar energy is one of the best ways to achieve low-cost power to your home while benefiting the environment. Solar panels on the roof of your home will capture the radiant power of the Sun—a 100% free and renewable source of energy—and change it into electrical energy that can run anything from a water heater to your HVAC system and lights.

We know that choosing to convert to a solar energy system in Spring Valley, NY is a major decision, and one you may shy away form because of the costs, planning, and labor involved. We’d like to assure you that solar energy is worth the investment, and it isn’t as difficult to install as you imagine—provided you have excellent trained solar installers on the job.

Here are a few important things to know about the installation of solar panels for your home that may help you make the choice. Call Design Air Inc to find out in greater detail what the work for your home will involve. We have many years of experience with helping homeowners “go green” with energy efficiency solutions.

Here’s What You need to Know About Solar Panel Installation

Solar panels consist of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which create an electric current due to the photovoltaic effect whenever light strikes them. They can also gather scattered light, so it isn’t necessary for them to have full direct sunlight to work. PV panels have no moving parts, which makes them extremely long-lived. This is one of the reasons solar panels are an excellent installation: you have many years to enjoy the benefits of the panels after they are installed.

These PV panels are installed on your roof, although in some cases they can be placed on the ground, mounted on stands; it depends on the available space. You can choose whether your PV system runs entirely self-sufficiently, off the power grid; or if it uses a back-up connection from the grid when it is incapable of producing sufficient electricity. An off-grid PV system will require battery storage.

Proper installation requires knowing exactly how much power your home needs: are you only hooking up a solar water heater (which is a very good place to start when adjusting to solar power)? Or are you looking into powering the whole house? The installers will make the necessary calculations to determine the number of PV panels necessary to match your power needs.

The actual installation involves the installers first mounting the PV panels into a wooden framework, then placing the framework on the roof. They then make the electrical connections between the panels into your home’s electrical system and install the necessary batteries and connection to the grid (if the system uses a backup).

This work sounds complicated, and it is… but that’s why you call on solar power specialists to handle the job from the beginning. Call Design Air Inc today and let us handle your transition to solar energy in Spring Valley, NY.

The Famous Painting of the Declaration of Independence Isn’t What You Think It Is

July 4th, 2014

If you grew up in the United States, you probably first saw John Trumbull’s painting of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence in an elementary schoolbook. This oil-on-canvas 12’ x 18’ painting hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is one of the most famous symbols of freedom in the country and almost every citizen can conjure it from memory.

Except… the painting isn’t of the singing of the Declaration of Independence. The actual title of the work is Declaration of Independence, and although it does portray an important moment in the history of the document that announced the Thirteen Colonies’ decision to break away from British rule, the event in the painting occurred on June 28, 1776, not July 4, 1776.

John Trumbull, a Connecticut native who fought in the Revolutionary War and whose father was the state governor, was commissioned to create the painting in 1817. He did painstaking research on the figures in the picture and also visited Independence Hall to see the actual chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. Trumbull only included 42 of the original 56 signers, because he could not find adequate likenesses for 14 or them, and added a few figures who were not present (most of whom declined to sign the actual document). In fact, the men depicted in the painting had never been present in the same room at one time.

So if the painting does not portray the signing of the Declaration of Independence, what is happening in the image? The Trumbull’s scene depicts the presentation of the draft of the declaration to the Continental Congress for editing and approval. The five-man drafting committee (John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert R. Livingston, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin) is handing over their finished work, which congress would then edit carefully over the next few days before voting on it and signing it on the day that we now celebrate as the start of the United States of America.

One last, odd, fact: two of the five-man drafting committee, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both died on July 4th—although many years later.

Our family at Design Air Inc hopes that your Fourth of July (or Twenty-Eighth of June if you decided to start celebrating early) is a memorable and happy one.

How Powerful a Generator Should I Get?

June 27th, 2014

Considering how much our homes depend on electricity today (even gas-powered furnaces require electricity in order to run), losing electrical power for a long stretch is a major inconvenience and can even be dangerous, particularly if you have family members with special needs. To protect your household from extended power outages that can occur because of extreme weather conditions or overextended power grids, installing a whole house generator is one of your best options.

However, you cannot simply look at a selection of whole house generators, point to a model, and hope for the best. Not only does the installation work require electrical specialists, but those same specialists are also necessary to size the system properly to fit your home and the specific needs you have for power. Trust to the work of Design Air Inc when it comes to picking from the available array of whole house generators in Nyack, NY.

Generator Sizing

The power of the generator you install rests on a number of factors. The generator must not be too powerful so that it shorts out your electrical system the moment it comes on—that would defeat the point. Installers will figure the upper limit of a generator that your home can handle.

That’s the easier part of sizing a generator. The tougher part is determining how much electrical power your home needs during an outage. You may wish to run all your electrical systems as normal, but this will require a more expensive unit. In most cases, you will focus on key systems necessary for baseline comfort and safety. For example, you will want power to run any medical equipment that people in your home depend on. Other items that are often essential include sump pumps (especially if you are worried about outages during storms), safety lights (crucial if you have young children or elderly people in your home), and refrigerators/freezers. You can add more systems, which will require a larger generator.

Work with your installer to come up with a generator that will supply the appropriate electrical load in watts that will match your needs and also fit your budget. The installer will know the proper calculations based on the appliances you wish to run to calculate the proper sizes generator.

When you call Design Air Inc, you make an investment in quality for your standby generator—and that’s an investment in your family’s safety and well-being and your peace of mind. Trust us when it comes to sizing and installing whole house generators in Nyack, NY. Contact us today to set up an appointment with us.

Tips for Running Your Air Conditioning in Spring Valley

June 20th, 2014

Air conditioning service in Spring Valley is an absolute necessity this summer, as temperatures climb and the heat index goes through the roof. Your system will likely see a lot of use, and with that comes higher monthly electric bills almost by default. But just because the bills are higher doesn’t mean they need to be as high as you think. By following a few tips for running your air conditioning in Spring Valley, you can cut into those bills quite a bit, putting some of your hard-earned money back in your pocket.

For starters, there’s the common-sense techniques that you likely learned about in grade school, but which hold a lot of wisdom. Wear loose lightweight clothes in the heat of the day, and keep plenty of cool beverages handy. More specifically, keep doors between rooms closed – they will help insulate your home – and set your thermostat a few degrees warmer than you normally would. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it can make.

If you wish to take further steps, the service of a trained air conditioning technician can help. For starts, schedule a maintenance session for your system. The technician will tighten loose bolts, clean off the dirt, and perform other “tune-up” operations designed to improve the unit’s performance. That means the system will use less energy to do its job and your monthly bills will drop as a result. You might also consider formal upgrades to your system. For example, a smart thermostat lets you turn the air off remotely via an app on your cell phone, while a zone control system lets you run the air conditioner only in parts of the home that you’re using at the time. Both of you can help trim unnecessary use of the system without skimping on the cool air you need to stay comfortable.

For more tips for running your air conditioning or to discuss options for upgrades and improvements, call upon the experts at Design Air Inc. We also offer a variety of other HVAC services in Spring Valley and we have the skills needed to do the job right the first time, every time. We’re dedicated to your complete satisfaction at every stage. Contact us today to make an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!

How to Determine the Size of Your Solar Energy Array

June 13th, 2014

Solar energy is the most forward-thinking and effective way to provide your home with energy. Here’s what you should always keep in mind when thinking about the benefits of solar energy: the power from the Sun is free. The mass of hydrogen and helium at the center of our solar system emits a constant heat of 5,778° Kelvin, and if you can harness it on Earth’s surface using a solar energy array, it’s free. The only cost to you is the installation of the photovoltaic cells on the roof (or other outdoor location). The efficiency of the system will soon pay for itself.

How large an array of solar cells do you need to supply your home with power? It’s an important question, and thankfully it isn’t one you need to figure out on your own. Contact our expert solar installers to help you decide how much power you need and the array that can deliver it for you. For solar energy in Nyack, NY, look to the skilled team at Design Air Inc.

Sizing a Solar Energy Array

The first part of sizing an array is to determine how much of your home you intend to convert to solar power. If you are starting small, you may only want to run a water heater (this is a common place to begin with solar conversion). Or perhaps you want to have your whole house run on solar power with a back-up electrical system connected to the grid. Once you’ve made the choice about the extent of solar power you want in your home, the installers will start determining how large an array of PV cells you need.

The calculation of array size starts with determining the kilowatt-hours your home/appliance uses each month (the installers can use your past bills to find this out). Then they factor in the amount of sun that your location receives based on the minimum sun-hours during winter. They then figure out the wattage for the PV panels necessary to convert the solar power available to the kilowatt-hours you use, taking into account efficiency lost in the conversion from solar energy to electricity.

Now that the installers know what sort of photovoltaic panels you need, they can make the calculation of how many individual panels are needed to make up the energy total required to meet your home’s needs. In some cases, this may be a larger array than you have space for, although this is an uncommon occurrence. Installers can make arrangements for solar panels placed on the stands lawn if necessary to help you get the most power possible.

You cannot afford to make mistakes when it comes to picking and installing solar energy system, so only trust Nyack, NY HVAC experts for the job. Call Design Air Inc today to start receiving the free benefits of the Sun’s energy that shines down on you throughout the year.

Signs You Need Emergency Air Conditioning Repair

June 6th, 2014

Our team at Design Air Inc offers 24-hour emergency services. We consider this an important part of our job because we know from experience that the worst repair troubles tend to occur during the least convenient times of the day or night. AC malfunctions do not to strike when it best fits your schedule; it’s usually the opposite. We’re ready around the clock to take care of your air conditioning repair in Pomona, NY so you won’t be stuck in the heat for too long.

But not all emergency repairs signal that they are emergencies right away. When an air conditioner breaks down, there’s no question that you have to call for technicians immediately. At other times, the problem may seem mild, but actually isn’t. We’ll look at some of these cases in this post so you’ll know when it’s time to pick up the phone and make that emergency call.

Warning Signs of Impending AC Emergencies

  • Any loud or unusual sound: The best early warning system that air conditioners have is strange noises that disrupt the calm hum and whir of the compressor and the fans. The two noises to pay the most attention to are mechanical grinding sounds and a hissing like escaping gas. The first are warnings of motor problems, and possibly even the compressor burning out, which is the most serious repair work of all and can mean replacing the whole AC if it isn’t fixed in time. The hissing sound may mean you have leaking refrigerant, which will threaten the whole system and cause a drop in cooling power.
  • Ice along the evaporator coil: Any signs of ice along an air conditioner cannot be dismissed; it means that the evaporator coil is losing the ability to absorb sufficient heat. This might be because of grime along the coil, a clogged air filter, or loss of refrigerant. You need repairs for this right away, because the ice will only continue to grow until you lose cooling power entirely and the AC suffers damage.
  • The air conditioner starts to trip circuit breakers: One sign of an emergency in the electrical system is when the air conditioner causes the circuit breakers to trip when the compressor comes on. This could be due to faulty electrical connections or trouble with the compressor. Call for repairs immediately to find out what’s wrong.

Fast and effective repairs are one of the keys to an air conditioning system that has a long service life. Another key is to schedule regular maintenance for the system; once a year, arrange for an HVAC expert to come to your home and give the AC a thorough inspection and tune-up, which will help keep away emergency repair calls in the future.

Even if you have no emergencies for air conditioning service in Pomona, NY, you can always sign up for our Maintenance and Service Agreement and start receiving a 10% or more discount on our normal and overtime repair pricing. Give us a call today to schedule your next service appointment with us.

How Excessive Dirt Effects Your Air Conditioner

May 30th, 2014

It’s a general good rule of life that you want to keep dirt on the ground and out of everything else. This applies to your air conditioning system more than most devices in your home; an AC is susceptible to dust and dirt contamination that can severely limit its effectiveness, efficiency, and may even cause it to break down unless it receives major repairs.

Here are few of the ways that dirt can have a negative impact on your AC. Most of these problems require the work of professionals to remedy, so make sure you have handy a number for a skilled, qualified HVAC service that offers 24-hour air conditioning repair in Nyack, NY. It’s easy to locate one: Design Air Inc is ready any time of the day or night to deliver the repair work that will stop dirt from harming your summer comfort.

AC troubles from excessive dirt infiltration

  • Reduced airflow due to a clogged air filter: Your AC has a defense against dust and dirt entering its cabinet, the air filter. This filter traps debris inside the air coming through the return vents, protecting the sensitive interior components of the air conditioner. However, the filter must be changed on a regular basis (once a month during summer) or a large amount of contamination will choke off the airflow into the system—and consequently the airflow out of it. Extreme dirt clogging can also cause the indoor evaporator coil to freeze over, which will lower cooling ability. Make sure you change the filter monthly, and call for repairs if a clogged filter starts to damage the system.
  • Overstressed motors: Motors run key components in an AC: the fans and the compressor. But if dirt starts to develop across the motors, they will suffer from extra stress on their moving parts, and this will make them inefficient—and they could potentially burnout and need replacement. When you hear shrieking or groaning noises from the cabinet, it could be dying motors with too much dirt on them. Call for repairs.
  • Damaged fans: One of the major problems with dirt entering an AC cabinet is that it can cause damage to the operation of fans, making them run inefficiently, and possibly denting and bending their blades. Damaged fan blades will lead to additional damage to surrounding parts of the cabinet, so if you hear loud clanging and metallic striking noises from inside the AC, have technicians look into the fans for damage.

Regular maintenance will help

AC repair can solve these problems, but you can help keep your air conditioning system clean through yearly maintenance from an HVAC professional. Cleaning an AC is a basic part of an annual inspection and tune-up, and this will eliminate dirt infestations as significant problems for the coming season.

Call Design Air Inc today to schedule a maintenance session for your AC to start off the summer right. You can also depend on us for whatever air conditioning service in Nyack, NY you need.