How Does a Whole House Generator Work?

March 25th, 2015

What do you risk losing when the power goes out in your home? You’ll have to go without your heating and air conditioning system, which is problematic in the dead of winter, and particularly troublesome for people in the home with medical conditions. You may lose hundreds of dollars’ worth of food from your refrigerator. And your family’s safety is compromised without any lights, as is the integrity of your home if you rely on a sump pump to prevent flooding. All of these items of course need electricity to run, but they’ll be up and running again in no time if you have a new whole-house generator installed in the home.

For whole house generator installation in Stony Point and all of the surrounding areas, put your trust in the electrical expertise of Design Air Inc.

How It Works

While smaller portable generators are powered manually, a whole-house generator is always on standby, switching over to natural gas or propane very soon after the power shuts off. This is possible because the generator is actually hardwired into your electrical system. An automatic transfer switch senses when there is no electrical current running through your system, and switches over to generator power. This generates power using natural gas or propane if natural gas installation is not possible in your home. Whenever electricity is restored to your home, it transfers power over again, so you won’t have to do anything manually.

A Job for Professionals Only

Installing a generator is not a job for an amateur. Firstly, these systems are quite large, heavy, and complicated. The larger engine and alternator portion goes outside, while the automatic transfer switch is in, connecting to your breaker panel or fuse box. Wiring this unit requires thorough electrical knowledge, and working with gas is never a good idea if you don’t have the proper training and certifications. A generator is a big investment, so always allow a professional to take care of any service or installation. Call Design Air Inc to get your new generator in Stony Point or to schedule repairs and maintenance to keep your unit in top shape.

Design Air Inc Is a Proud Lennox Premier Dealer

March 19th, 2015

At Design Air Inc, our technicians are proud of the work they do. We strive to complete any job to our customer’s satisfaction and to exceed expectations with every service call. That’s why we put our technicians through rigorous training in order to make sure you get the best service possible. And one of the training certifications that we are proudest of is our status as a Lennox Premier Dealer.

To get in touch with a Lennox Premier Dealer in the New City, NY area, contact the friendly professionals at Design Air Inc, who are trained specifically on the Lennox system that will best suit your needs.

Why Choose Lennox Premier Dealers for HVAC Service

Lennox is a highly respected name in heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality products. In fact, Lennox is an industry leader in many of the products they manufacture. Lennox products are widely recognized as being at the top of their class. And there are a wide range of heating, cooling, and indoor air quality products from which you can choose. Lennox offers many ENERGY STAR certified furnaces and air conditioners, some of the most efficient available for air conditioning and heating today so you can reduce costs and still get the performance you need. Lennox also manufactures quality indoor air quality systems which can eliminate a majority of the particles from the air that pass through the ducts.

Lennox Premier Dealers receive extensive training on the installation and service of Lennox products. Technicians are given access to comprehensive training materials which are continuously updated. We make sure our technicians have all of the latest information so that they can complete any service according to the latest industry standards and to the high expectations of the Lennox brand. With training centers around the country and material that focuses on the precise technical aspects of service as well as meeting customer service needs, you can trust that our technicians will treat your home with respect and provide the highest quality service possible.

Design Air Inc is a certified Lennox Premier Dealer for New City, NY and the surrounding areas. We continuously meet Lennox’s high standards of quality workmanship and customer service, so you can trust in our team for any HVAC service or repair. Give us a call today!

Problems Revealed during a Home Energy Audit

March 11th, 2015

How much are you spending each month for heating and air conditioning? For many homeowners, the HVAC equipment—especially the air conditioner—uses a lot of energy to run. In fact, in most cases, a home air conditioning system uses far more energy than it needs to because the conditions in your home do not allow it to run efficiently.

A home energy audit can help to significantly reduce the amount of energy you use each month. After an energy audit, technicians will recommend services that can improve the air quality in your home and the efficiency of your air conditioning and heating equipment. Call Design Air Inc for a home energy audit in Pomona today and prepare your air conditioning equipment for the warmer weather ahead. The following issues may be detected during an energy audit.

  • Air Leaks: A blower door test can help a technician to determine whether there are areas of the home through which air is escaping. This test uses a large fan and air pressure testing equipment to determine where air pressure levels are too low and wear weatherization or sealing would be most valuable.
  • Duct Leaks: If air leaks through the ductwork in your home, it moves into unoccupied spaces like an attic or crawlspace. This means that not all of the air your HVAC system creates reaches the rooms of your home, which means it takes longer to run and uses a lot of energy in the process.
  • Poor Indoor Air Quality: The filter in your HVAC system may not remove some of the largest and most problematic particles that could be in your air. Technicians may recommend that you install a new indoor air quality system after an energy audit.
  • High Humidity: High humidity levels in the home make people feel warmer than they are, so you may crank up your AC if you have humidity problems in your home, which can become a major energy drain.
  • Inefficient HVAC Equipment: Finally, a technician will let you know if it’s a good idea to upgrade your HVAC equipment, make repairs, or install a new thermostat for greater efficiency.

Call Design Air Inc today to schedule an energy audit for your home in Pomona, NY. Some homeowners end up saving hundreds of dollars each year after scheduling the necessary services.

Why Choose a Hydronic Heating System

March 4th, 2015

Looking for a new whole-home heating system? You may want to consider that there are many different options for home heating today. While the majority of home heating systems send warm air through a set of ducts, hydronic heating systems contain a hot water heating system that delivers warmth to the people and the objects in the room. If you crave more comfort and efficiency from your heating system, a new radiant heating system, also known as a hydronic heating system, may be right for you.

Forced air heating systems rely on convection to heat up a room. Heat transfers to the air which then blows into a room via the ducts. Unfortunately, air is not the best conductor of heat. Heat inevitably rises to the top of the room and dissipates quickly. It’s difficult for air to distribute evenly throughout the room, which may lead to hot and cold spots in the house.

A hydronic heating system, on the other hand, relies on conduction (and convection, to a lesser degree) for heat transfer. Liquid is a good conductor of heat, so heat first transfers to water at the boiler unit, which then moves either to an underfloor piping system or to an endpoint like a radiator or baseboard heater. This heat then transfers directly to the objects in a room, keeping the whole room warmer for longer.

Boilers have fewer moving parts than other heaters, which means they may have a longer lifespan and require fewer repairs. Boilers are highly efficient when properly serviced. But you should keep in mind that boiler installation is a long and involved process. Unless there are already pipes in place in your home, you’re going to need to set aside quite a bit of time for the process, and sometimes renovations are necessary as well.

Calling on the friendly professionals at Design Air Inc can help you to find the right heating system for your home in Suffern. Whether it’s a hydronic heating system, furnace, or heat pump, we can make sure your new unit is as efficient as possible and that it runs into fewer problems over time. Call our team today.

The Benefits of an Electric Fireplace

February 25th, 2015

Who doesn’t love a wood-burning fireplace? The smell of the wood smoke, the pleasant crackling sounds as the log burns, everything about a wood burning fireplace gives rise to feelings of safety, warmth, and happiness. As lovely as wood-burning fireplaces are, however, they do have their own set of problems. Storage can be an issue, as most people don’t have the space to stack a lot of firewood. You need to have your chimney cleaned out on a pretty regular basis, as wood fireplaces put out a lot of creosote that can block air flow and cause a fire hazard. Fortunately, there’s hope for those who want to have a fireplace but don’t want to deal with wood fireplace maintenance. Let’s explore the benefits of an electric fireplace.


Electric fireplaces don’t burn fuel to create heat. Instead, they run an electric current through a metal coil to give off heat. This produces heat without any of the combustion byproducts that wood burning fireplace owners have to deal with. With electric fireplaces there’s no ash, no creosote, and no need for a chimney. Low maintenance is one of the biggest advantages to owning an electric fireplace.


Wood-burning fireplaces can actually be quite dangerous, if not treated properly. If the chimney is not professionally inspected and cleaned at least once a year, it can become so caked in creosote that it cracks, increasing the chance of a chimney fire. The flue can become damaged, causing it to stick shut and fill the house with smoke.

Electric fireplaces don’t need to worry about the safety issues that wood-burning fireplaces do. The lack of combustion byproducts not only makes electric fireplaces low maintenance, as mentioned above, but safer, as well.

Cost Savings

Though electricity is not normally the most efficient fuel type for heaters, electric fireplaces are a very economical way to heat a room compared to other fireplaces. They can be turned on and off at will, as opposed to wood-burning fireplaces that waste wood if put out too early. They’re usually portable, which means they can be placed right next to you instead of having to warm the entire room. Their more versatile nature makes electric furnaces more cost-effective than wood fireplaces in many ways.

If you’re interested in installing an electric fireplace, call Design Air Inc. We provide quality fireplaces and services in the New City.

Signs that Your Generator Is in Need of Repair

February 16th, 2015

Whole-house generators save homeowners hundreds of dollars each year, as the cost of a power outage could be quite high. Think about all of the food you’d throw away if your refrigerator was out of commission for several hours. Consider the potential hotel bills as well, not to mention what could happen if a pipe were to burst and your sump pump wasn’t running to prevent a flood. Long ago, only hospitals and large industrial settings had generators as a source of backup power, but today generators are available for use in homes of all sizes.

Generators run on natural gas or propane, and they’re built tough to withstand a lot of usage. However, it’s always possible that a generator can develop problems as time goes on. With regular maintenance from a trained electrician, repair needs should be few and far between. However, you should look out for the following signs that your generator is struggling.

  • Visual Damage on the Outside of the Unit – One of the easiest ways to know to call for generator repair is if you notice any visual signs such as dents and cracks, frayed wires, or any other obvious glitches. Check out your system from time to time, especially after any bouts of severe weather. Call a technician, no matter how small the outward damage may appear, as the damage on the inside could be serious.
  • Trouble Starting Up – Another way to tell that your generator is in trouble is if it doesn’t seem to be starting up as quickly as it once did or if it’s struggling to run. Once a generator has been around for a while, standard wear and tear on the engine or the battery should be expected.
  • Weekly Self-Test Alert – Many modern generators actually perform weekly self-tests that alert you to any trouble. If yours does not carry this feature, you may want to read the manufacturer’s guide to find out how to run a system test on your own or ask your technician for advice.

When you call the professionals at Design Air Inc to inspect your generator in Nanuet, you can rest easy knowing about the state of your generator and seeking repairs sooner rather than later. Call us today!

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at Design Air Inc. hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

Do I Need a Chimney for Fireplace Installation?

February 4th, 2015

Fireplaces add both extra heat and ambiance to just about any room they are in. A nice fireplace can be the focal point of any room, and these days it has never been easier to have one. Why? Because it’s no longer an absolute that you have to have a chimney in order to have a fireplace. So what are your options when it comes to non-chimney fireplaces in Spring Valley? Let’s take a look.

Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces work very similarly to electric furnaces, just on a much smaller scale. As with an electric furnace, an electric fireplace has a small heating element made of several tightly-wound metal coils. When the fireplace is turned on, electricity flows through these coils, making them very hot. When the air around the coils reaches the right temperature a small fan called a blower turns on and pushes the warmed air into your living space. One of the best things about an electric fireplace is that all the heat generated is blown into your living space; these types of fireplaces do not consume a fuel to operate, so there is no loss of heat. Electric fireplaces produce about 5000 BTUs of heat, so they can provide extra heat to a living space, but shouldn’t be counted on to heat an entire living space. The glass and surrounding material of electric fireplaces stay cool to the touch, so they are very safe. Electric fireplaces can have mantels or be inserts, so you also have a choice in style, and all come with decorative and realistic flame effects.

Direct Vent Fireplaces

If you love an authentic flame but not the ash and soot of a wood-burning fireplace, you may want to consider the installation of a direct vent fireplace. Direct vent fireplaces use natural gas or propane, but it isn’t necessary to install a full chimney with it (although you can if you want); a single horizontal vent, similar to that of a gas dryer, is installed in the exterior wall behind the fireplace. This vent has two chambers: one draws air into the fireplace from the outside, the other expels 100% of the toxic combustion byproducts. Direct vent fireplaces are very energy efficient, are cool to the touch (except for the glass), and allow you to enjoy a significant amount of supplemental heat.

If you have wanted to install a fireplace in your Spring Valley home, call Design Air today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Repairs a Generator May Need

January 30th, 2015

If you have a whole-house generator, you’re protected from the cost and inconvenience of a power outage as long as your generator is working properly. Generators rarely run into trouble within their lifespan because they run so infrequently. A whole-house generator is hooked up to your gas supply and wired into your electrical system. As soon as it senses that there is no longer an electrical current running through your home, it kicks in within a matter of seconds, powering nearly every appliance in your home if you’ve chosen a generator with a large enough capacity.

While generator should not run into repairs often, there may come a day that you notice damage or improper operation during a test run. If this unfortunate circumstance occurs, be sure to schedule repairs for your Pomona generator with the professionals at Design Air Inc.

Some Common Repairs

The following repairs are some of the most common that electricians see.

  • Electrical Repairs: The wiring may fray or corrode over time, or it’s possible that it was not wired properly in the first place. Spark plugs may also fall victim to corrosion, and will require replacement.
  • Lubricating Motors: Motors can wear down and quit working if they become overworked, which is why maintenance is recommended every year so that a technician can lubricate the motors.
  • Sealing Leaks: Your generator most likely runs on natural gas or propane, which is still available during a power outage, so a leak in the gas line or from your system would be detrimental to operation, not to mention hazardous for your home.

Most experts suggest scheduling maintenance every year to make sure that there are no problems with the generator that need to be addressed immediately. During a maintenance visit, a technician can clean parts, tighten connection, adjust any loose bolts, and inspect the entire unit for damage. It’s also recommended that you call a technician as soon as you notice any signs of damage or after any extreme weather which could have potentially affected your system.

For whole-house generator service, call the experts at Design Air Inc whenever you need a professional to look over your unit for some peace of mind, or if you’d like to protect your home with a new generator in Pomona. Give us a call today!

What AFUE Means for a Furnace

January 20th, 2015

Improving energy efficiency is always at the top of a homeowner’s list, but you can’t improve your energy efficiency without knowing how efficient a particular product will be. To help consumers understand how energy efficient a particular product is, many products come with some kind of rating. When it comes to furnaces, this rating is known as AFUE. It is important to understand what AFUE means so you can choose a furnace for your Pearl River home that meets both your heating needs and your energy efficiency requirements. If you are having trouble understanding any aspect of energy efficiency in regard to your furnace, call the people who can help: Design Air, Inc.

What AFUE Stands For

AFUE is an acronym that stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. AFUE is given in a percentage; this percentage represents the ability of your furnace to turn fuel into energy. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the unit.

What AFUE Tells You

All furnaces create combustion byproducts that have to be vented to the outside via the flue. This exhaust is seen as a loss of fuel. When you look at an AFUE rating, the rating tells you how much energy you are losing from exhaust. For example, an AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the fuel your furnace uses is turned into heat energy for your home; the other 10% becomes combustion byproduct, which is expelled from your home. Understanding how much energy is lost to combustion is a key aspect of determining energy efficiency.

What AFUE Doesn’t Tell You

There is a common mistake made with assessing AFUE ratings and it’s this: that a higher AFUE rating on a furnace means it will heat your home better than a same-sized furnace with a lower AFUE rating; this isn’t true. What the higher AFUE rating tells you when comparing furnaces is that the furnace with the higher AFUE will heat your home the same as the one with the lower AFUE, but the furnace with the higher rating will do it for less money.

A furnace’s AFUE rating isn’t the main item by which to choose a furnace for your Pearl River home, but it should be one of the key considerations. Have more questions about AFUE and energy efficiency? Call Design Air, Inc. today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.