EB Design Air Inc. Blog : Archive for February, 2015

The Benefits of an Electric Fireplace

Wednesday, 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.

Maintenance

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.

Safety

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.

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Signs That Your Generator Is in Need of Repair

Monday, 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!

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Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

Saturday, 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.

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Do I Need a Chimney for Fireplace Installation?

Wednesday, 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.

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