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.  

How Heating Impacts Indoor Air Quality

Monday, November 18th, 2013

A heater can have a drastic impact on the quality of your Hendersonville home’s indoor air, which can contribute to comfort levels in ways that have nothing to do with the temperature. A good heater will provide a warm, cozy environment for your household, but it will also ensure that indoor air quality remains high. Here’s how heating impacts air quality.

The biggest issue is one of higher dust amounts entering into the air through the heating system. Furnaces operate through “forced air” systems: that is, they blow hot air into your home through a system of ducts. If dust and dirt build up in either the furnace or the ducts, they will pass into your home when the heater runs. In the process, they will exacerbate allergies, increase nose and throat irritation, and generally lower the quality of air in the home. The solution is to schedule regular maintenance sessions to clean the dust off of your heater, and possibly a duct cleaning session as well, depending on the source of the dust. You can aid in this process by regularly changing the air filters on your heater or installing a separate air filtration system.

This comes on top of a general lack of humidity in the air during the winter months. Cold temperatures breed dry air, and when you raise the temperature inside your house, it lowers the relative humidity. That can result in dry skin, mild respiratory issues and even nosebleeds if they air is dry enough. Ideally, you want the relative humidity to be between 40 and 50 percent, which you can obtain with a humidifier used in conjunction with your heater.

If you are having issues with your air quality, then call upon Comfort Central for help. We treat Hendersonville heating issues of all varieties and can schedule a maintenance session to keep your household free of dust and allergens. We can also discuss other options, including upgrades to your system and installing a new system if you need it. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

 

When is it Time for Heating Repair?

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

When winters get cold in towns like Hendersonville, heating repair becomes a necessity, not a luxury. When the heater runs into problems, it’s always preferable to call in an expert sooner rather than later. But how can you tell when you heating system is in trouble? Knowing that is the key to knowing when heating repair should take place.

For layman, there are five basic signs to let you know that there’s a problem. Each one has a number of possible causes, but most can be fixed by the attentions of a trained service technician. They roughly break down as follows:

  • Low air flow. Low air flow can be caused by fan problems, blockage in the ducts or a similar obstruction in the heater itself.
  • Failure to turn on. A failure to turn on completely usually suggests a problem with the electrical system, possibly stemming from a faulty component such as the pilot light or thermocouple. The thermostat may also have problems: failing to detect the proper temperature and thus keeping the system from turning on.
  • Lack of hot air. If the air is blowing, but it remains lukewarm or cool, there’s likely a problem with the burner or electric coils.
  • Strange noises. Strange noises could indicate a simple “stretching” or “groaning” resulting from a change in temperature as the hot air floods the system. But if the noise continues or sounds like metal grinding on metal appear, there’s a big problem and you need to turn the heater off until it can be fixed.
  • Higher energy bills. Wear and tear can reduce the efficiency of individual components, forcing them to work harder. If you’re paying higher bills even though you’re not using the heater any more often than normal, it’s time to call in a repair service.

If the answer to “when is it time for heating repair in Hendersonville?” is “right now,” then call upon the experts at Comfort Central for help

3 Reasons for Subpar Heating

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Heating in Asheville is no laughing matter. Our winters are cold enough so that homeowners really feel it; a reliable heater means a warm and cozy home when the temperatures get low. When your heating system doesn’t function as it should, you can really feel it. Even if a malfunctioning heater doesn’t require repairs, the inefficiency can result in higher bills and an uncomfortable home in general. Here are 3 reasons for subpar heating in Asheville, all of which can be treated by the services of a trained professional.

  • Dirty components. The interior workings of your heater can get dusty and dirty over time, especially if it’s sat unused during our muggy summers. Dirt increases friction on moving parts and increases wear and tear on the heating unit overall. It will therefore have to work harder to do its job, which ironically only increases the stress on the system. Your bills will go up and your heater won’t perform at the levels you expect. You can prevent all that by scheduling a regular maintenance session, preferably early in the fall before North Carolina’s winters kick in.
  • A damaged pilot light or thermocouple. The pilot light ignites the gas in your furnace’s burner to deliver heat. The thermocouple regulates the flow of gas so that the furnace doesn’t leak when the pilot light goes out for any reason. If either of those components malfunctions, the entire heater will shut down. (Sometimes, the pilot light and the thermocouple comprise a single unit, in which case the entire component must be replaced or repaired.)
  • Faulty blower. Your heater likely has a blower fan which pushes hot air into your home in order to warm it. If the fan motor overloads, or if the fan blades become bent or damaged, it won’t blow the air as effectively. You’ll notice it with reduced or diminished air flow, as well as higher monthly energy bills.

If you spot the reasons for subpar heating in Asheville, call the professionals at Comfort Central right away. We’ll work overtime to hunt down the source of the problem and correct it as quickly as possible.