EB Design Air Inc. Blog : Archive for February, 2014

How Do Freestanding Stoves Vent?

Monday, February 24th, 2014

If you thought that the pleasant warmth of a fireplace in your home were out of reach because you don’t have a chimney or the room to build one, allow us to introduce you to the freestanding stove. A freestanding stove, burning either wood, high-efficiency wood pellets, or gas, allows you to enjoy the comfort of a roaring hearth without needing a masonry chimney. Stoves are also excellent additions to your heating system, since the heated metal of their casings transfers high levels of BTUs to wherever they are installed, producing the same warmth as a furnace.

A common question people have about freestanding stoves is ventilation. How does ventilation work without a fireplace, and how and where should the stove be installed? We’ll answer that in this post. For more information about freestanding stoves, call Design Air Inc and talk to our experts on fireplaces in Spring Valley, NY.

The Workings of a Freestanding Stove

The modern freestanding stove is a marvelous merger of old world concepts with contemporary heating and ventilation technology. A freestanding stove (in other words, one that isn’t an insert put into a fireplace hearth) stands either on legs or a pedestal a few inches from the floor and away from the walls. The smoke from inside the stove is sent into stovepipe that either comes out the top or the back the unit.

This stovepipe then goes through the nearest wall and into a ventilation chimney. “But I don’t have chimney!” you say. That’s fine: we’re not referring to a large masonry chimney (although if you do have one, it will certainly suffice), but to a factory-built chimney made up of sections that can be installed out of sight within the wall. This then vents the smoke up through the roof.

You may have seen freestanding stoves available at large retail stores for low prices. Be cautious: these devices rarely meet EPA standards and do not provide either the heat level or the beauty you want from a substitute for a fireplace.

Instead of going with a non-regulation off-the-shelf stove, contact a professional stove installation company with a wide range of options. The staff can help you pick the right stove for your needs, and then place it in your house and vent it safely.

If you are interested in putting in a freestanding wood, pellet, or gas stove for you house, you’ll find all you need at Design Air Inc. We have specialists in fireplaces in Spring Valley, NY who can answer your questions and steer you to the right stove.

Continue Reading

Furnace 101: The Blower

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Furnaces work off a simple principle: they burn a fuel source to create heat, and then transfer that heat to the air, which then moves through ductwork and out vents. An essential component of today’s furnaces is the blower, which does the job of moving air into and out of the furnace. Without the blower, the heated air would go nowhere, and the furnace would not be able to do its job of keeping your house warm.

To make sure the blower on your furnace in Nyack, NY works properly, rely on Design Air Inc and our trained technicians for repairs and maintenance.

The basics of a furnace blower

Blowers work the same way whether you have a gas, electric, or propane furnace. The blower is housed in the blower assembly and contains a motor and a large fan.

Once the heat exchangers or electric heating elements in the furnace cabinet have reached the target temperature, a relay in the circuit board turns on the blower. The blower forces air across the heat exchanger or the heating elements, where the heat to transfers to the air. This air then is sent out through the ventilation system. Most modern blowers also draw in colder air from a separate vent to reheat it.

What can go wrong with a blower

Since the blower is one of the major mechanical components of a furnace, it can suffer from wear and damage that will reduce its effectiveness or even cause it to shut down. The main danger to the blower is dirt and dust that can get into the ventilation system and through the filter. A dust build-up over the blower unit can cause its motors to burn out or restrict its movements so it begins to drain extra power. The blower assembly must be kept clean for effective operation and to avoid repairs. During regular maintenance visits, technicians will look over the blower assembly to locate any issues that could impair it, and will then clean it so it will continue to work effectively at its important job.

Keep your furnace’s blower working

If your blower stops working, you won’t have any hot air coming from your vents. To prevent this from happening, make sure you schedule prompt repairs for your furnace if you begin to hear loud noises from the furnace whenever the blower comes on. Make sure to schedule regular maintenance as well.

Design Air Inc has 24-hour emergency service to keep your furnace in Nyack, NY working. Sign up today for our Planned Maintenance program to help prevent those emergencies.

Continue Reading

Who Wrote the First Valentine’s Day Poem?

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The celebration of Valentine’s Day is often seen as a modern institution, even if the roots of the holiday go back to Late Antiquity and the figures of St. Valentine of Rome and St. Valentine of Terni. It’s difficult to separate our view of February 14th from the more recent phenomenon of greeting cards, comical cupids, and specialty treats from candy companies.

However, not only are some of these traditions older than we might think (mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards were an enormous success in early 19th-century England), but the earliest Valentine’s Day love poem comes from none other than the first great English author, Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote in the second half of the 14th-century.

Chaucer’s most famous work is The Canterbury Tales, an enormous collection of linked stories in poetry and prose. But his 700-line poem “Parlement of Foules” has the special distinction of being the first surviving record of a connection between Valentine’s Day and romantic love. Chaucer probably composed the poem in 1381–82. At the time, he was a member of the court of King Richard II, holding an important bureaucratic position in London. The date suggests that Chaucer wrote “Parelment of Foules” to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of the English king to Princess Anne of Bohemia.

The poem follows the dream of the narrator, where he walks through Venus’s temple and discovers a meeting of birds where they all choose their mates. This is where the mention of St. Valentine’s Day appears (English modernized):

For this was on St. Valentine’s Day,

When every bird cometh there to choose his mate.                                                                  

The poem also contains a familiar Valentine’s image, Cupid with his arrows:

Under a tree, beside a well, I saw

Cupid our lord his arrows forge and file;                                                             

And at his feet his bow already lay.

When Chaucer mentions St. Valentine’s Day, is he referring specifically to February 14th? Late winter isn’t a time when birds in England would mate. However, the date for the start of spring—when some birds would have started nesting in England—was on February 23rd in the calendars of the time, certainly close enough for Chaucer to take poetic license and nudge it a bit to match with Valentine’s Day.

Love birds remain a popular symbol of Valentine’s Day even now, and for this we can thank Chaucer. In fact, he may very well have invented the link between love and Valentine’s Day, although we will probably never know for certain.

Whoever started these traditions, all of us here at Design Air, Inc.  hope you have a wonderful February 14th!

Continue Reading

Your Choices for Furnaces

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Furnaces have a long history, going back to the first ovens. Throughout the centuries, furnaces have relied on many fuel sources, starting with wood. But when it comes to the modern furnace, there are a few choices: the most popular are natural gas power and electrical power. We’ll go over these two options to help you get started deciding which one to select as your furnace in Pearl River, NY.

Make sure you have professional assistance with this choice: contact Design Air Inc today and let one of our furnace installation experts guide you through the options.

Natural Gas Furnace

These furnaces are the most popular in modern homes. Gas furnaces use the municipal gas supply to a home to light burners inside the furnace cabinet. The hot combustion gas transfers to the air through a heat exchanger, and this air then moves through the ducts.

The main advantage of a gas furnace is that natural gas is a less expensive energy source than electricity; you will likely spend less on your heating bills with a gas furnace in your home. Gas furnaces also have superior heating effectiveness, capable of reaching high temperatures to combat the worst cold, and they heat up much faster than an electric furnace. They do, however, present a possible safety risk from carbon monoxide leaks, although a properly maintained furnace will rarely cause any problems.

Electric Furnace

An electric furnace uses a home’s power supply to heat up coils inside heating elements that warm up air for distribution. The huge advantage that electric furnaces have is they can be installed in any home, where gas furnaces must have a gas line to the house.

Electric furnaces tend to have longer lifespans than gas furnaces, and they cost less to install, which somewhat offsets their more expensive power costs. They are usually smaller as well, and easier to fit into a pre-existing home. They present few dangers since they do not use toxic gas to operate. However, they take longer to warm up.

What Is My Best Option?

This depends on your home. If you don’t have a natural gas line, then an electric furnace is the way to go. (You can also opt for a heat pump or an electric boiler.) If you do have a natural gas line, we usually recommend going with a gas furnace… although there are other circumstances in a home to consider that can affect the decision. This is why having professional assistance for choosing a furnace in Pearl River, NY is so important.

Call Design Air Inc to get started with your furnace installation. We’ll help you pick the right type for you and install it so you’ll have years of worry-free heat.

Continue Reading