Archive for November, 2014

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Comfort Central, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Are Gas Furnaces Dangerous Options for Residential Heating?

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Some homeowners have safety concerns about using a gas furnace. While gas is highly flammable, furnaces are manufactured with multiple safety switches and mechanisms that help ensure you and your home’s safety. As such, gas furnaces are no more dangerous to operate than any other type of furnace. However, if you are concerned about your furnace in Arden, one of the best ways to maintain safety levels is to schedule annual maintenance.

Why Maintenance Helps

There are a few ways in which maintenance helps maintain the safety of your gas furnace:

  • Thorough inspection – your entire system is thoroughly inspected during a maintenance appointment. This allows the technician to detect any existing or developing problems, including things like a cracked heat exchanger or corroding joints in your flue.
  • Testing of system – your system is tested to make sure it is operational and all safety mechanisms work as needed.
  • Cleaning of components – the components in your heating system are cleaned and adjusted, so that dirt and dust can’t build and cause problems. No component functions well with a layer of dirt and dust on it, but certain components, like the heat exchanger, can develop serious problems from a thick layer of dust.

Types of Safety Mechanisms

Here are a couple of examples of the safety mechanisms on your furnace:

  • Flame sensor – the flame sensor in your system is responsible for detecting whether or not a flame is present and if it’s at the temperature it should be. There is a flame sensor in the last jet of your furnace’s burner and a second one if your furnace uses an intermittent pilot for ignition. For ignition, the flame sensor has to detect that the pilot is lit and viable; if it’s not, the flame sensor will not allow the main gas valve to open. If the burner has been lit, but the last burner isn’t firing correctly, the flame sensor will turn off the main gas valve, abruptly halting the heating cycle.
  • Limit switch – the limit switch prevents your furnace from overheating. The switch is set to two temperatures: one that cues it to blow the warm air from the heat exchanger into your home and a second that cues it to shut down the system when the temperature becomes too hot.

These are just two of several safety mechanisms your gas furnace in Arden is equipped with. If you have concerns about your gas furnace or questions about our furnace maintenance service, call Comfort Central, Inc. today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Furnace vs. Boiler: Which Is Better?

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

There are many choices for homeowners when it comes to heating systems, but two of the most common are furnaces and boilers. Each has been around for a long time, making them common for installation and replacement, and parts are widely available for repair. But which system is best for you? Part of the answer to this question will depend on your needs, but understanding how each system works and the benefits each offers can help you choose. Working with a professional during this process can go a long way toward ensuring that installing a new furnace or boiler in Brevard that is a great fit for you and your home. If you are considering a new furnace or boiler installation, call Comfort Central, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our heating experts.

Furnaces

Furnaces have two ways of working: via combustible fuel or electricity. The most common combustion fuel used is natural gas, but oil and propane are also used. Electric furnaces work by electrically charging two tightly-wound coils that heat to a red-hot state, and the warm air generated is distributed via the blower fan. No matter the fuel type, furnaces need ductwork to distribute the heat they generate, so this should always be a consideration when comparing furnaces to other types of heating systems. Both combustion and electric furnaces are highly energy efficient (electric furnaces are slightly more energy efficient), and the average lifespans are as follows:

  • Combustion furnaces – 15-20 years
  • Electric furnaces – 20-30 years

Boilers

Boilers were the first centralized heating systems in homes. They are durable and energy efficient, particularly condensing boilers. Boilers are part of a hydronic system, meaning they heat water to heat your home via hot water or steam. Piping is used to deliver the steam or hot water, and heating outlets can be radiators, baseboard heating or radiant floor heating systems. Boiler systems can be easily zoned, can use gas, oil or solid fuels for combustion and have an average lifespan of 15-20 years.

Which Is Better?

Determining which system is better for your home requires looking at your needs and the requirements of each system. For instance, if your home doesn’t currently have ductwork, a furnace may not be a viable option, as installing ductwork can be costly. On the other hand, if you want to utilize existing ductwork for both cooling and heating, a boiler may not be your best option. Each system also offers a different kind of feeling to the heat it provides: furnaces use forced air, which heats quickly, but can be dry and, to some, uncomfortable. The heat of a boiler is radiant, so it is gradual, even and less dry. These are some of the reasons why working with a trained professional can go a long way toward ensuring you choose the right heating system for your home.

Choosing a furnace or boiler in Brevard can be challenging, so call Comfort Central, Inc. today and get some help from our experts.

Why You Might Get Low Airflow from Your Vents

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

There are some problems that are specific to forced air systems. One of these problems is low airflow from your vents. Low airflow can be caused by a few problems, but it is important to remember that no matter what the reason is for your low airflow, you should hire a trained technician to detect the problem. If you are experiencing low airflow in your system, call Comfort Central, Inc., and schedule an appointment with one of our trained experts for quality heating repair service in Arden.

Some Reasons for Low Airflow

Issues with Ductwork

Your ductwork is an integral part of your heating system, but it can often be overlooked and even forgotten because it isn’t as visible as other parts of your system. Two common problems that develop with ductwork are:

  • Dirt and dust build-up
  • Air leaks

Dirty ductwork can restrict the airflow in your system. One of the results of restricted airflow is a decrease in the volume of warm air that is delivered into your home; a second problem is that greater stress is put on your heating system. Faulty ductwork is ductwork that has cracks, corrosion and/or disconnections, all of which can result in significant air loss. When your heating system loses air in the ductwork, you can experience serious air loss.

Clogged Air Filter

Your furnace comes with a standard air filter to help reduce the amount of debris, dust and dirt that enters the system. It is recommended that homeowners change the air filter every 3 months so that the filter is effective. When an air filter is left inside a furnace for too long, it can become clogged, and instead of filtering the air, it blocks air from flowing.

Fan Problems

The fan in your system is responsible for blowing the warm air through your ductwork and into your living spaces. Should a problem develop that slows the fan’s motion, the result will be low airflow in your home. Common fan problems are worn fan belts, motor malfunction and bent or loose fan blades.

Low airflow in your system is a sign that it is time for heating repair in Arden. If you are experiencing low airflow, call Comfort Central, Inc. today.