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

Reasons to Consider a Standard Wood-Burning Fireplace

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Today you have many options for installing a fireplace or freestanding stove in your home. Gas logs inserts, electric fireplaces, and high-efficiency wood-pellet burning stoves are attractive alternatives to the old-fashioned hearth with wood logs stacked on it.

However, you shouldn’t count out the grand old wood fireplace entirely. The invention of the electric guitar didn’t mean the acoustic guitar vanished, and the same is true for the wood-burning fireplace. If you are considering installing a fireplace in your home, keep the traditional model in mind—it may end up as your best choice.

To find out about all your options for fireplaces in Suffern, NY, call Design Air Inc today. We have a Master Hearth Professional on staff to answer all your questions about fireplace installation.

The Advantages of a Wood-Burning Fireplace

Gas furnaces are convenient and easy to maintain, but there are some places where wood fireplaces come out ahead:

  • Fuel expense: Although natural gas costs less than electricity, oil, or propane, wood is generally less expensive. You also won’t need to rely on utility companies for power, and this is great in case of emergency losses of service during storms.
  • Carbon neutral energy:  Burning wood is better for the environment: it releases the same amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the tree absorbed itself during growth. Wood is also a renewable resource, unlike fossil fuels, and you’ll help support local industries.
  • Aesthetics: This is a more subjective advantage, of course, but when most people think of cozying up in front of a roaring fire, they’re thinking about a wood fire, not a gas one. Gas fires lack the crack and snap that comes from burning wood logs, and they do not generate the rustic aroma of wood. If you plan to have a fireplace as a major part of your life during winter, it’s perhaps better to bypass the simple “switch it on” ease of a gas fire and opt instead for the original model.

There’s no doubt that a wood-burning fireplace requires extra work on the homeowner’s part compared to the convenience of a gas fire, and they are less efficient at providing heat. Before you decide that you want the beauty of a classic wood hearth in your home, speak to a fireplace specialist to learn about all your available options.

Design Air Inc has many years of experience installing, maintaining, and repairing all types of fireplaces in Suffern, NY. Call us today to find out more.

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Will My Furnace Still Run If the Power Goes Out?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

It’s an important question: will my furnace still run if the power goes out? Sadly, the answer is often no. There are many different types of furnaces you can use to heat your home in Nyack, NY, but unless you’re relying on a plain old-fashioned fireplace, your furnace still needs at least a little electricity in order to do its job. That means when the power goes out, your furnace will most likely cease to function.

Why is this? Simply put, some parts of the furnace still run on electricity. For example, forced air furnaces use gas to power the heat, but the ignition switch is usually electrical (unless you have an older model with a pilot light) and in almost every model, you need electricity to run the fan motor to blow the heated air into your home. The same principle exists with radiant and geothermal systems, which need electricity to run their pumps.

One potential solution is the installation of a whole-house generator, which will run not only your furnace, but most of your other appliances as well. A professional expert can help you select a whole-house generator that fits your needs. If you’re in a situation where you can’t afford to lose heating at any time, then a generator makes the best kind of insurance against the worst.

If you need Nyack, NY furnace repair service or generator installation, call the professionals at Design Air, Inc. We understand that Mother Nature doesn’t always play nice with your power system, and can set your house up to survive the inconvenience that a strong storm or lightning strike can cause. Call us today to set up an appointment, and let us show you what we can do!


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The Temperature in Your Boiler and the Dangers of Overheating

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Something that often surprises homeowners about their boilers is that they don’t actually “boil.” The energy applied to the water in the tank raises it to high levels, but not to the point that it converts the water into steam. Boilers originally did use steam heat to provide warmth—it was how they earned their name—and people still expect to see boilers in movies explode with geysers of steam when bullets puncture them. Steam boilers still exist, but they are usually found only in industrial buildings and the occasional home that has special high heating requirements.

Your boiler shouldn’t get near to boiling temperature. We’ll take a look at actual boiler water temperature and why overheating will lead to repairs on your boiler in Pomona, NY. For more information about boiler maintenance and repairs, contact out specialists at Design Air Inc.

Temperature expectations for your boiler

The average setting for a gas-powered hot water boiler is 180°F. This provides the appropriate level needed for most cold weather temperatures. If you can raise the temperature manually, do not set it any higher than 210°F (which is often the limit), and try to remain down at 190°F if you need the extra heat. Once a boiler starts to go over 212°F, you can face serious problems.

Watch out for overheating

If you notice that your boiler’s temperature is going higher than the above settings, you have a major problem. If a boiler has reached 220°F, a sudden drop in pressure could cause the tank to burst.

Overheating also is the main cause of leaking. When the water temperature in the boiler becomes too high, it increases the water pressure throughout the system. This will cause breaks to begin occurring at valves and connectors. If your boiler has any issues with rust or corrosion that you haven’t remedied yet, the problem will become worse and could cause leaks to start along the tank itself.

There are different reasons for an increase in temperature in your boiler: excess sediment inside the tank, limescale developing along the tank interior from hard water, a broken fill-valve, or an aquastat malfunction. You need repair technicians to find out the cause and fix it before the problem grows worse.

Do not hesitate to call for repairs when your boiler begins to overheat. Design Air Inc has technicians standing by 24/7 to help repair your boiler in Pomona, NY should this occur. We also offer a 100% money-back guarantee. Call us today for service — don’t wait.

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A Guide to What Furnace Noises Could Mean

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Strange noises usually accompany failures in a mechanical system. Often, they are our first warning that something has gone amiss that needs attention. Furnaces are no different in this way: when you hear an odd noise coming from your furnace cabinet or the vents, it often means you should call for repairs right away, before you lose your heat or the furnace develops safety issues.

For expert work on your furnace in Pearl River, NY, contact Design Air Inc and our trained staff of heating repair technicians. If you aren’t sure what that strange noise from your furnace means, we’ll send over one of our specialists to find out what’s wrong and how we can repair it.

Some common furnace warning noises:

  • Rattling: The simplest reason for this noise is loose bolts on the furnace cabinet, which you can screw down yourself. But it could come from a cracked blower fan belt or one that has started to come loose, which will need repairs before the belt breaks, stopping the fan and possibly damaging other components in the furnace. If the fan belt does come lose, you’ll hear a loud clanking, striking noise. Shut the furnace off and call for repairs.
  • Screeching: This probably means the bearings on one of the motors are failing, which can occur because of dirt or age. The failing motor will need a repair technician to replace it.
  • Rumbling, booming: If you hear these sounds from deep inside the cabinet, it probably indicates that the burners are having trouble igniting. It could be because of grime across the burner, or rust flakes inside it. The burner will need cleaning, which requires the work of a professional first to detach the burner.
  • Clicking: This could indicate fraying along the blower motor fan belt. However, if you hear this noise occurring right before the blower motor comes on, it could warn that the heat exchanger has a crack in it. This can be serious, because a cracked heat exchanger often leads to carbon monoxide leaking. Shut off the gas power to the furnace and call for repairs right away.

Don’t try to diagnose the problem yourself

We supplied the above list to help you understand when your furnace is encountering trouble so you can call for assistance from a trained professional. You should not open your furnace cabinet and try to figure out what ails the system on your own. You need a professional to make the proper diagnosis and apply the correct remedy.

Design Air Inc has our Pearl River, NY furnace specialists ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help when you think you need repairs. We won’t leave you with your furnace until you’re 100% satisfied.

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