Archive for the ‘News & PR’ Category

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 Comfort Central hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

Comfort Central Earns the Super Service Award for 2013 from Angie’s List

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Here at Comfort Central we care about our customers and the quality of our work first and foremost. It’s this dedication to excellence that has led to us earning the Super Service Award from Angie’s List for 2013. Thank you to all of our patrons and the community members that have supported us over the past year and beyond, we really appreciate your business! Remember to call Comfort Central for all of your HVAC needs in the greater Asheville, North Carolina area and have a Happy New Year!

Why Choose Comfort Central? We Have the Answer Right Here

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

People often struggle when searching for a company to come repair, replace or install their heating, AC or other Air Quality systems. Whether it’s concerns about reliability, safety in letting a tech into your home and near your family, or just wanting the job done right, it can be difficult to find a company that can deliver on all fronts. That’s when you need to call Comfort Central and let us take care of you and your family while offering top notch service, repair and installation. Take a moment to check out our video below and the benefits of working with a company like Comfort Central:

For Health And Wealth, A Tune Up Is A Worthwhile Investment

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

( North Carolina, Pisgah Forest), March 20, 2013–Air, whether indoor or outdoor, contains pollutants such as dust, dirt, pollen, grease, mold, bacteria or moisture.  As the air moves through your cooling equipment the pollutants adhere to surfaces, greatly impacting your comfort system.  A priority of your Spring To Do List, should be cleaning or replacing your air filters.    However, it is also strongly recommended that you consider having your cooling system professionally tuned up.

According to a study conducted by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E,) a dirty outside unit can increase your monthly electric bill as much as 30%. The unit’s cooling performance is also decreased because it limits the coils ability to transfer heat.  This causes your compressor to work harder, and that generates heat.  On the hottest days, the PG&E study revealed you can lose up to 30% of your cooling capacity as well—leaving you feeling clammy and uncomfortable.

This extra work that the compressor is doing can actually create conditions that reduce the life expectancy of your unit.  Running hot continually affects internal lubrication, leading to acid formation that will eventually compromise the compressor.  And that is a very expensive repair that can be avoided with a little maintenance.

Another significant benefit of maintenance on your cooling system is ensuring your indoor coil and fan are clean and refrigerant levels are optimal.  All three can restrict air flow, causing similar concerns as stated with dirty condenser coils.  Since your indoor coil is a perfect breeding ground for mold and bacteria, there’s a health impact too.

Studies by both a Vermont Utility and the California Energy Commission stated that incorrect or improper refrigerant levels were found in 66-75% of systems surveyed.  Refrigerant levels should not be adjusted unless the indoor/outdoor coils and the fan are clean.

Your savings from proper maintenance through lower utility costs, peak equipment efficiency, enhanced reliability, longer system life and improved indoor air quality will exceed the cost of a professional tune up in as little as two months according to a US Department of Energy Study.

When you do your part for yourself, society benefits too.  Summer air conditioning accounts for 60% of peak electricity load.  Power from peak generation typically costs a multiple of base load generation.  When more people keep their cooling equipment in good condition, peak power needs are slashed.  This benefits the environment as well as our wallets.

Comfort Central, Inc. provides Heating, Cooling, Indoor Environmental and Energy Services as well as installations and maintenance for the Western North Carolina Region.  To find out more, or to receive cited sources, please visit www.comfort-central.com.

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Comfort Central Earns Esteemed 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Comfort Central has earned the service industry-coveted 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor awarded annually to approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.

“We would like this opportunity to thank Angie’s List members who have taken the time to share their experiences with others. This is truly an honor, and look forward to continuing to provide our dedication to customer service,” says Laurie Schumann, President of Comfort Central.

“It’s a select group of companies rated on Angie’s List that can claim the exemplary customer service record of being a Super Service Award winner,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Our standards for the Super Service Award are quite high. The fact that Comfort Central earned this recognition speaks volumes about its dedication providing great service to its customers.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2012 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, including earning a minimum number of reports, an excellent rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2012 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

Air Conditioner Refrigerant Costs See Large Increase

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

The cost of the R22 refrigerant used in many air conditioner and heat pump systems has increased substantially this year, thanks to reduced production and an environmentally-based phase out. “It’s really quite a large increase, considering what we’re used to,” said Laurie Schumann, President of Comfort Central, Inc.

Air conditioning systems and heat pumps have relied on a refrigerant called R-22 for decades to keep homes cool or warm. R-22 is also been known by the trade name Freon. In recent years, R-22 has been the subject of environmental concerns because of ozone-depletion, and a phase-out has been underway for some time. In fact, as of 2010, manufacturers were no longer allowed to produce home comfort systems that used this refrigerant.

At this time, manufacturers are limited by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to producing 45% less R-22 than they did last year. With the supply-and-demand principle in play, if there is less refrigerant available, costs will increase. The EPA could raise that limit this summer, but until they do, homeowners face a high price tag for replacing any leaking refrigerant. Mrs. Schumann also warns, “some of our vendors are talking of rationing our purchases, meaning it may not even be available for us to provide.”

“A lot of our customers have systems that use Freon,” Mrs. Schumann said. “If these systems incur a leak, they’re going to be looking at a significant amount to replace the refrigerant. In some instances, it may make more sense to upgrade to an energy-efficient system that uses an environmentally-conscious refrigerant. With that option, you can save money every month on your energy costs as well as avoid the high cost of maintaining and operating an older, inefficient system.”

Comfort Central, Inc. encourages homeowners and business owners to have their systems checked early this year. Preventive Maintenance checks will help identify those systems that could be impacted by this R-22 development. Considering this very warm winter and what is promising to be a warm spring, they stress it would be best to address the potential shortages before the summer heat hits. Especially vulnerable are those customers who have to add refrigerant each year.

For more information regarding EPA’s R-22 impact decision, you may visit http://www.hardinet.org/blog/r-22-update or if you have any questions on how this may impact you, contact Comfort Central today.

 

Local Heating Contractor Offers Lifesaving Reminder

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

You Cannot See or Smell Carbon Monoxide But It Can Kill You

Potential poisoning by Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a serious issue. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas produced by fuel-burning appliances making it the silent killer. It cannot be detected by smell, taste or sight. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 8,000 to 15,000 people each year are examined or treated in hospitals for non-fire related CO poisoning. CPSC also estimates that acute CO Poisoning contributes annually to more than 2,000 deaths in the United States. Breathed over long periods of time, low concentrations of CO may also contribute to other illness and the elderly and very young are especially vulnerable. At high concentrations, CO poisoning is easy to overlook because the symptoms are non-specific and your symptoms may come and go if CO concentrations change quickly.

The best way to prevent CO poisoning is to make sure your fuel-burning appliances are operating, venting and maintained properly, and by installing a CO alarm capable of low level monitoring and alarm. “The choice of CO Monitor is important as many CO alarms available to public through home improvement stores only alarm at high level of concentrations. Often times when CO reaches this level, building occupants are already adversely affected by CO,” says Kevin Schumann of Comfort Central, Inc. Mr. Schumann also reminds us that fuel-burning appliances include: furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, space heaters, water heaters and clothes dryers. It is important to have these appliances professionally inspected yearly.

Other recommendations from the CPSC include:

  • Move the car outside and away from the garage to warm up.
  • Don’t heat the house with ovens or gas ranges. These produce high levels of CO when the doors are left open.
  • Check the furnaces and water heaters to be sure the flues haven’t been disturbed and separated.
  • Verify the damper is open before using the fireplace.
  • Keep areas around combustion appliances clear to avoid blocking combustion air from entering the room or appliance.
  • Never burn charcoal or gas BBQ’s indoors—even in the garage.
  • Do not use unvented kerosene or gas space heaters indoors for a long period of time.
  • Do not start a lawnmower or other gas powered appliance in home, garage or shed. This includes fuel powered generators.
  • Remain aware of CO poisoning. Act immediately if any symptoms are realized.

“You want to be warm and safe in your home this winter,” Mr. Schumann advised, “Understanding CO is the first step to preparing your home with adequate monitoring. When coupled with maintenance from a qualified professional, you may save a lot more than just energy.”

To learn more of what should be included in a professional inspection, how to select a CO Monitor, where CO Monitors should be located, as well as, other home comfort tips, contact us today!

Thermostat Setback – Confusion but not Fiction

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

With recent Earth Hour on March 27 and upcoming 40th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2010, Hannah, a student at Lincoln Middle School in Mount Prospect, Illinois working on a journalism project contacted us to ask about setting back thermostats and the potential energy savings. She had done much research and became confused on multiple messages from a variety of sources, and as a friend of the family, contacted us to see if we could help her understand the benefits of Thermostat Setback. As she pointed out, the Department of Energy estimates a household “can save 10% a year on … heating and cooling bills by simply turning back [the] thermostat back 10-15 degrees for eight hour setback periods.” Where the confusion came in were thermostat types and system types that she said, “it is almost like it isn’t simple and clear cut. Some sources say they do not recommend you setback your thermostat, and if they do, they recommend a temperature range of 5 degrees.” She brought up a very good question: Why?

Well, you do not need to be a Heating and Cooling expert to understand the disparity in advice. Thermostat setback is a concept that was extensively studied first in 1976. The systems typically installed in homes at the time were single fuel source (such as natural gas or fuel oil) and if had cooling, utilized straight air conditioning as opposed to heat pumps. The thermostats that controlled the on and off operation of these systems were usually mercury type manual thermostats or electromechanical thermostats that offered rudimentary setback capabilities. What this study and subsequent studies found is that for setbacks of 10-15 degrees for eight hours, a household could save 1% for every 1 degree they set back their thermostat. But the question came up: In cold weather, doesn’t the furnace have to run longer cycles to heat the space? What the studies found is that the energy savings realized by the temperate setback outpaced the energy consumed in bringing the home temperature back up to temperature. It should also be noted that what they did find at the time, that certain systems such as Electric Baseboard Heat, Radiant Floor Heat and Boilers had a slow response time in heating the space. What this means, by their very definition, the way they heat a home is by warming up objects in the room (radiant heat) and after an amount of time air will start circulating to make the room comfortable. In the case of these systems, the energy utilized to heat the space back up to comfort level actually was not cost efficient. Hence, the advice that these systems should not be setback.

But with the passage of time comes progress, and as the popularity of heat pump systems grew in the Southeast, more studies had to be done. Most heat pump systems utilize electric resistance heat as a backup heat source. The early thermostats, including the early programmable thermostats, would utilize the electric backup heat when setback of 10-15 degrees cancelling out any energy savings. However, it should be noted that the energy savings from previous studies was realized when in cooling mode and setting the thermostat up to warmer temperature during setback period. Again, another conflicting rule of thumb being introduced: Do not utilize setback in heating season but should do so in cooling season.

Today’s systems and thermostats, introduce “Smart” technology. And although the systems are many and varied (as well as the thermostats), they are equipped with computer boards and communicate with all parts of the system, doing complex math equations to control system response. These “Smart” systems overcome the problems reported in earlier studies, including whether or not electric backup heat is utilized or not. Even today’s Radiant Flooring and “Smart” Boilers eliminate some of the concerns introduced in previous studies. Advanced Programmable Thermostats have even been introduced for electric baseboard heat.

But even with today’s advanced choices, there does exist a learning curve whether it be your “Smart System’s” computer learning your home or if utilizing a setback on older systems. As the Department of Energy points out, “with a little trial and error you can still save energy while maintaining a comfortable home.” Thermostat setback is not fiction, and while not straight forward, worth spending time to learn your system and utilizing even if for four hour periods or temperature setbacks of smaller increments than 10-15 degrees. As the studies point out, because we live in a milder climate, we can realize a greater percentage than 1% for each degree than those who live in extreme cold or hot climates.

For additional information, contact us today!

A Breath of Fresh Air

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Going Green in Transylvania County is a priority to Kevin Schumann who has spent the last 27 years applying his mechanical aptitude to developing environmentally friendly homes and working comfort solutions. Kevin is passionate about his profession and illustrates going ‘green’ on his service vehicles. Comfort Central’s whole emphasis is on energy efficient systems that are environmentally friendly that won’t deplete the ozone layer. The Clean Air Act of 1990 prohibits the production of HCFC based air conditioners and heat pumps by 2010 and bans Freon –22* production by 2020. As Freon production reduces, its cost is predicted to increase. For example, Freon-12 used in automobiles has increased a whopping 800% in the last seven years. Fortunately, there is an environmentally safe refrigerant, that won’t deplete the ozone layer. Going Green also includes Geo-Thermal and Solar systems to meet specific customer needs. For those undertaking a historic building restoration, Comfort Central can provide High Velocity Air systems that do not detract or interfere with the buildings integrity or charm, being both space saving and aesthetic especially with buildings without existing duct work.

Comfort Central, Inc. was inspired by a rich history and best industry practices in the heating, air conditioning and ventilation (HVAC) industry. The company’s emphasis is not only on optimizing comfort solutions, but an unsurpassed customer service experience. Kevin believes in exceeding customer expectations and responding to customer needs promptly with quality, dependable and unsurpassed customer service. He believes in adding value in everything they do, from taking your service call to completing a complex installation. This includes servicing your existing installation to installing the latest, most efficient advanced systems that save energy costs and improve home comfort. All technicians to be, or become EPA and NATE certified. They support cross training of all facets of the business.

Kevin’s wife Laurie, has not your typical Bio, who actively supports this family business. Laurie is your dictionary’s definition of a geek! She pursued a degree in Bio Medical Engineering. While going through school she accepted a temporary summer position at a large Air Conditioning company in the Midwest. She soon became an immediate asset and ‘ambassador’ for them and now applies her commitment to Comfort Central, her motto is “Service is My Life”, on which she has built the corner stones of the business.