EB Design Air Inc. Blog : Archive for November, 2013

The History of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Thanksgiving is upon us: a time to get together with relatives, eat some great food, watch a little football or the parade, and stop to appreciate the good things we have in life. Beyond all that, however, there’s a fascinating history to the holiday and its traditions.

The first Thanksgiving was 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 the one we’re used to, with venison and fish more likely than turkey, but the general principle was unchanged.

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.”

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.  

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How to Keep Your Fireplace Safe

Monday, November 18th, 2013

No matter what kind of heating system you have in your home, it can pose safety hazards if used incorrectly, left without repairs, or fails to receive regular inspection. Your fireplace is no different, even if it’s not the main source of heat for you, but a way to brighten your home and bring coziness to the winter season.

Whether you have gas logs, a freestanding wood or pellet stove, or an electric insert providing you the comforts of a fireplace, you can count on Design Air Inc to provide you the repairs and maintenance necessary to keep you and your family safe. We service all types of fireplaces in New City, NY and the surrounding areas.

Here are some ways to have improved fireplace safety:

Watch out for creosote: If your fireplace burns wood, the number one safety hazard you can encounter is creosote, a shiny black substance that will start appearing on the hearth and chimney bricks. Creosote is unburned wood energy, and because it is highly combustible it can cause fires. Schedule yearly maintenance and cleaning to keep creosote from causing trouble.

Animals in the chimney: Birds, squirrels, and sometimes raccoons can seek shelter inside chimneys. Birds building nests are a common problem, and it can lead to blocking the chimney, allowing smoke to get into your home. Have a chimney cap installed to keep animals (as well as larger debris) out.

Gas leak dangers: Many modern fireplaces use natural gas as their fuel source, and natural gas always carries a hazard of toxic gas leaking, although a fireplace is no more dangerous than any other natural-gas powered heater. Carbon monoxide leaking is the main threat; even though this gas is naturally odorless and colorless, manufacturers will lace it with a scent to make it easier to detect. Do not attempt to fix gas leak problems on your own: this requires professionals.

Annual maintenance: Any fireplace should receive a yearly check-up from a technician to make sure there are no issues that might turn dangerous. A clean fireplace is also an attractive fireplace, so make sure you sign up for annual maintenance.

Design Air Inc is available 24/7 with the repairs you need to keep your fireplace safe. We can perform most repairs on the spot, so you won’t have long to wait before you can have your roaring hearth back. Sign up for routine maintenance with us as well. Trust our many years of experience with fireplaces in New City, NY.

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Isn’t a Fireplace a Bit Old Fashioned for Heating in North Bergen County?

Monday, November 11th, 2013

The technology of home heating systems has advanced tremendously over the last century, and it continues its march toward providing better warmth and energy efficiency for your house. So it might seems strange to suggest having a fireplace to help with heating in North Bergen County, NJ. It’s so… quaint.

Of course, the quaintness of a fireplace is one of the reasons people have them in the first place. There’s nothing more cozy or inviting during a chilly winter winter than roaring flames in a hearth. But there’s more to modern fireplaces than that, as we’ll explain.

Design Air Inc is proud to serve your home’s heating needs—whether it’s for the “old fashioned” fireplace or the newest model of ductless split heat pumps. Our motto: “We won’t leave your home or business until you are 100% satisfied.”

Efficient fireplace options

Although the standard wood-burning fireplace is a pleasant way to enjoy the beauty of a glowing hearth, there are ways to get much more efficient heat from your fireplace that will work as an addition to your central heating system.

Gas log inserts are one of the best ways to change your old fireplace into an efficient heating option for your home. However, you will need professionals to take care of installing gas logs in your home, as you don’t want to tamper with gas lines on your own. Professionals will also inspect your chimney, flue liners, and dampers to make sure everything is in good condition for your new insert.

However, you don’t need access to natural gas to have a fuel-efficient fireplace: there are excellent electrical fireplace inserts that professionals can install in your existing fireplace’s masonry to give you much more effective—and cleaner—heating.

Another thing to keep in mind about fireplaces is that you don’t need a chimney to install a new one. There are free-standing wood and pellet stoves available that can provide you the benefit of extra heat in whatever room you choose. And these models produce enough BTUs (British Thermal Units) to compete with many of the best central furnaces. Pellet stoves have especially high fuel efficiency, making them an ideal way to reduce the strain on your central heater while also getting the aesthetic benefits of a fireplace.

Fireplaces don’t have to be old fashioned—even if they can still outwardly act that way. Contact Design Air Inc if you’re interested in finding a new way to increase your heating in North Bergen County, NJ that has the pleasing feel of the old way.

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Furnace FAQ: Why is My Pilot Light Out?

Monday, November 4th, 2013

In Bergen County, furnace issues can mean big trouble, especially when the snows of winter start to fall. A reliable furnace means everything to northern New Jersey residents. Gas furnaces depend on a pilot light to ignite the gas in the combustion chamber and warms the air to be blown into your home through the ducts. When the pilot light goes out, the gas can’t ignite and you can’t get heat: hardly an ideal situation when the latest cold front is barreling down on us. “Why is my pilot light out?” It’s a good question, and the answers can make all the difference when it comes to providing you with heat. A few of the most common are listed below.

  • Draft. In some cases, the cause of an extinguished pilot light may be nothing more than a draft in your home. Many times, the furnace cover will protect the pilot light, but if it doesn’t, then the breeze can snuff it out. It should be a fairly easy step to reignite it, though if you don’t address the draft, the same thing will happen again.
  • Thermocouple. The thermocouple sits next to the pilot light and regulates the flow of gas into the igniter. It serves an important safety function by preventing gas from leaking out when your pilot light isn’t lit. If the thermocouple is malfunctioning, on the other hand, it may interfere with the pilot light as well.
  • Soot and corrosion. If your furnace isn’t well maintained, then soot and grime can build up on it. Over time, that may prevent it from lighting. A professional knows how to clean the pilot light apparatus without damaging it. More importantly, he can establish a regular maintenance schedule to make sure the entire furnace is always kept clean.

Asking “why is my pilot light out?” is the first step towards getting the issue corrected. The next is to contact a qualified professional to help. The professionals at Design Air Inc. handle Bergen County furnace problems, and can address your pilot light problem quickly and professionally. Calls us today to set up an appointment.

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