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

The Ball in Times Square

Monday, December 30th, 2013

New Year’s is a time for parties, fun and great traditions, some of which go back more than a century. Among them is the famous “dropping of the ball” in Times Square, an event which is broadcast to millions of people every New Year’s Eve. With 2014 nearly upon us, we thought we’d take the opportunity to look at the history of this popular New Year’s Eve festivity.

The idea began in 1907 at what was then the New York Times building at One Times Square. The newspaper’s owner, Adolph Ochs, had been celebrating the New Year with fireworks since 1903. He wanted make the event even more remarkable, and added the ball in December of 1907 to welcome in the New Year. The first ball was designed by Artkraft Strauss, who made it out of iron, wood, and light bulbs. It took six men to hoist the ball up the building’s flag pole; once midnight struck, the tremendous ball was carefully lowered, and all were allowed to marvel at it.

Since then, the ball has undergone many changes in materials and design, and even the New York Times has moved to another building. But the tradition remains and the ball has dropped over One Times Square ever since. Today, the ball is electronically controlled, and uses LED lamps for its construction: designed by Waterford Crystal and weighing in at over 1,200 pounds.

A number of television broadcasts have helped carry the event over the years, but by far the most famous is “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” which first ran in 1972. The show was created and hosted by Dick Clark, who became a staple of the event as much as the ball itself. Clark hosted the show every New Year’s Eve from 1972 until his death in 2012. Since then, it has been hosted by Ryan Seacrest, who shared hosting duties with Clark starting in 2005.

Whether you’re watching the ball drop on TV or have some other New Year’s Eve plan in mind, we here at Design Air Inc wish you nothing but the best for 2014. Have a safe and happy New Year!

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Design Air Inc. teams up with Lennox to help out the Pyngyp School House

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

PyngypSchoolFront

The Pyngyp Schoolhouse in Stony Point, was recently in need of some updated heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems. We saw the need was there and decided, with the help of our partner Lennox, to lend a hand by donated a work force and equipment. The Stony Point Pyngyp Restoration Committee has been working on restoring the historical schoolhouse building and we cherished the opportunity to help out. Design Air Inc. loves our local community and we look forward to helping with all of your heating and air conditioning needs.

PyngypVan  PyngypDesignAirTeam  PyngypCeiling

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Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Holiday greetings from Design Air Inc! We hope you are having safe and pleasant season, enjoying your favorite traditions for this time of year.  We wish you the very best, and we thank you for your business this year.

In honor of the season, here are some fun facts about one of everyone’s favorite holiday movies: It’s a Wonderful Life.

For years, one of the enduring December traditions in the United States was watching the movie It’s a Wonderful Life playing almost nonstop on numerous television stations. No matter the time of the day, you could turn on the TV set, flip through channels, and discover It’s a Wonderful Life playing. Whenever you needed him, you could find Jimmy Stewart shouting, “Hello, Bedford Falls!”

But now… It’s a Wonderful Life only appears on broadcast television a few times during December, and most families instead choose to watch the movie on video. What happened?

The reason goes back to the film’s initial wide release in January 1947. (That’s right, it opened after the holiday season. It was not even promoted as a holiday film.) It’s a Wonderful Life was a box-office disappointment at the time, and its studio, RKO Radio Pictures, lost more than half a million on it. The movie’s production company, Liberty Films, was sold to Paramount to avoid bank foreclosure. (A bit ironic, considering the movie’s plot.) In 1955, the National Telefilm Associates (NTA) took over the rights to It’s a Wonderful Life, which included the television syndication rights.

However, NTA failed to properly renew the copyright in 1974 because of a clerical error, which allowed the film’s images to enter into the public domain. Although the movie’s plot was still under copyright protection because it was adapted from a published story called “The Greatest Gift,” television stations across the world could now broadcast it with only minimal royalty payments.

In 1993, Republic Pictures, which now owned the NTA library, tried to enforce their claim to the copyright of the film, as they possessed the rights to “The Greatest Gift.” Republic Pictures succeeded, and licensed exclusive television rights to NBC. Suddenly, It’s a Wonderful Life vanished from local television stations, and NBC made the movie’s broadcasts—usually twice during December—into major events. As of 1998, Paramount again has the rights to It’s a Wonderful Life… 43 years after they lost them.

It’s still easy to make It’s a Wonderful Life a part of whatever traditions you observe during the holidays, whether through home video or television broadcasts. Despite its lackluster initial reception in 1947, Frank Capra’s film is now an inseparable part of December in the United States.

Have a great holiday week!

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What Prevents Fireplaces from Filling a Home with Smoke?

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The first indoor hearths had a simple ventilation system: a hole cut into the roof where the smoke could waft away to the outside. Modern fireplaces have flues, which carry combustion gases out of your home. There are a few different types of flues used in homes today.

If you need service for fireplaces in Suffern, NY, contact Design Air Inc today. We can perform most maintenance on the spot so that you won’t have to worry about smoke getting into your home.

The most common type of flue is inside a chimney, which draws the hot, smokey air up via natural draft. You can have a lined or unlined flue, and you can also install a chimney cap to help with ventilation and prevent weather or animals from entering your chimney.  Chimneys operate from the basic principle of physics that hot air rises because it is less dense than cold air. The pressure difference created by the rising hot gas is called “draft,” and it draws the combustion up through the chimney. The chimney lining absorbs some of this heat to prevent the bricks from warming up too much and igniting flammable building material around it. The taller the chimney, the more draft it will produce at a given temperature difference. This is the reason that chimney design should be handled professionally, so it will not produce draft problems.

People are often curious about how freestanding fireplaces, like freestanding wood and pellet stoves, work. They don’t require chimneys, so how is the smoke ventilated? Most use a balanced flue, which is built directly into a wall and into a ventilation shaft. If the house already has a chimney, the stove can “tap in” to it through a wall.

Direct power flues are also available, which use a fan to suck combustion gases and vent them outside. Since these types of flues can be exteneded, it allows you to install a fireplace away from an external wall.

If you are planning to have a fireplace insert or a freestanding stove installed, make sure you go through professionals to have it done. You can purchase low-cost stoves and inserts through large merchandisers, but they rarely meet the EPA’s minimum standards and will have short service lives. Fireplace professionals have the best range of available models, and they will install them to meet EPA guidelines and provide you with long lasting heat.

Design Air Inc offers comprehensive fireplace installation and repair services for inserts, gas logs, and freestanding wood and pellet stoves. We have a Master Hearth Professional on staff to answer your questions. If you need help with your fireplace, or if you are interested in seeing the fireplaces in Suffern, NY that we offer, contact Design Air Inc today.

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Ways to Lower Your Heating Bill

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Heating during a New York winter can turn quite costly. But you don’t have to panic each time you receive your heating bill for the month; there are many ways you can lower those costs and still enjoy a comfortable environment in your home this season. We’ll share a few tips for lowering the cost of heating in Spring Valley, NY.

For more help, and for service for your heating system, contact the professionals at Design Air Inc. Our motto is “We won’t leave your home or business until you are 100% satisfied.”

Some tips to cut down those heating costs:

  • Maintain consistent, lower thermostat settings: A common mistake that homeowners make with their heaters is setting the thermostat too high because they believe it will mean the house will get warmer much faster. However, setting the thermostat to its maximum will only make the heater stay on longer until it reaches the set temperature—which wastes energy without providing any additional comfort. As an alternative, locate a comfortable lower temperature and stay with it during waking hours, then lower it further during sleeping hours.
  • Bolster your home’s insulation and heat sealing: Heat will find any place to escape from your house that it can; the more leaks in your home’s heat sealing, the more your heater will need to work to compensate for the escaping heat. To help prevent heat loss, caulk your windows and place weather stripping around your outside doors. Make sure the dampers in fireplaces are closed, and check the insulation in the attic, since this is one of the places where heat escapes the easiest.
  • Schedule regular maintenance: The most common cause for an increase in heating bills is a heater that hasn’t had maintenance. You heater requires regular check-ups and tune-ups in order for it to work at its most efficient. If you let maintenance go for more than a year, your heater will start to wear down and the mechanical parts will need to work harder to achieve the same level of heating. Most professional HVAC contractors offer regular maintenance programs, so you’ll never forget to have your annual visit.

Design Air Inc. offers different tiers of Maintenance and Service Agreements to fit your budget and your home comfort needs. We offer excellent service for heating in Spring Valley, NY, and can help you reduce those high heating costs this winter, and all the winters afterwards. Contact us today for maintenance, repairs, or installation.

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Causes of Uneven Heating from Your Furnace

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

During a New York State winter, you need a dependable heater like a furnace in your home to protect you from the cold. A good gas or electric furnace should keep you comfortable until the spring thaw. If you have a furnace, make sure you keep a watch for signs of malfunctions so you can have repairs done as soon as possible. One common trouble people encounter with furnaces is uneven heating. If you detect one or more rooms in your home that do not seem to receive the same level of heat as the other, you may need to schedule repairs. We’ll go over some of the more common reasons for uneven furnace heating.

Closed or blocked vents

This is one of the first possibilities to check when you discover uneven heating. Look around the cold rooms and find the vents. Make sure they are open all the way. Some of the vents may be hidden behind furniture that was moved recently, or a rug may have been pulled over a floor vent. Keep all the vents clear for optimal heating (as well as to prevent fire hazards).

Breaks along ductwork

Your furnaces need sealed ducts to provide you with warm air. A break along the length of the ducts will cause a loss of air pressure that will lower the furnace’s heating power and also allow heat to escape. A room linked to a damaged stretch of duct will receive less heat than the other room. Hire professionals to investigate your ducts and properly seal any breaks or gaps.

An improperly sized heater

This is a serious issue that may require you have a full heating replacement done. Your heater might have been sized incorrectly for your house’s heating needs. A heater that is too small will have trouble getting warm air to all the rooms, while a heater that is too large will “short cycle,” shutting off when it reaches its temperature target too quickly; this means it will often not remain on long enough to evenly distribute heat. Have an HVAC professional look over your home and determine if you have a heater that is incorrectly sized.

It takes the eye of a professional technician to determine what is causing uneven heating from your furnace. It may require only a simple fix to the furnace to restore it to its proper working order. Or it may need a full replacement. Call Design Air Inc when you need to find out what’s troubling your furnace in Nanuet, NY. We promise we won’t leave until you are 100% satisfied.

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