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Replacing Your HVAC System

Replacing Your HVAC System

Regular maintenance of the heating and cooling system can lengthen its lifespan. However, wear and tear are inevitable that replacing your HVAC system becomes necessary. We have listed below the signs that indicate the system needs a replacement. Clues It’s Time for Replacing Your HVAC System Age of the HVAC System An air conditioner or heat pump that is more than 10 years old and a more than 15-year-old furnace or boiler are indications that the system needs a replacement. When looking for a new unit, look for the Energy Star label. HVAC Systems with Energy Star label are highly efficient, saving you up to 20% on energy costs. Call a professional HVAC contractor to have the new system installed. Recurrent Repairs An HVAC system that requires recurrent repairs results in higher energy bills. The unit is also becoming more inefficient. Irregular Room Temperature The temperature in some rooms becomes extreme. Too cold or too hot temperatures in some rooms are telltale signs that the system is not working properly brought by inadequate insulation and duct problems. Absence of a Programmable Thermostat Your home is either too cold or too hot when you arrive. If no one is left at home, a programmable thermostat will allow you to set the right temperature to make your home comfortable when you arrive. Humidity Issues Poor system operation, leaky ductwork, and inadequate equipment lead to humidity problems. Dust Accumulation If your home is accumulating too much dust, it could be that the HVAC system has leaky ducts. Leaky ducts can draw air and particles from crawl spaces, attics, and basements and scatter them all over your home. Sealing the ducts can solve this problem. Noisy HVAC System If your unit is becoming too noisy, it is an indication of indoor coil problems and a small duct system. Below 5 Energy Yardstick Score A home energy yardstick score of below 5 indicates that you have an above average energy usage that leads to higher energy bills. Questions to Ask the HVAC Contractor It is important to ask the correct questions before purchasing a new system. Here are some questions that will help you evaluate if you found the right HVAC system for you. What size HVAC system is appropriate? If you have room additions, matching the specifications of your current system may not be a good option. Do you need multiple cooling and heating zones? A reliable and professional HVAC contractor should be able to help you choose the appropriate system that will give you better comfort and energy savings. What are your best alternatives? The contractor should be able to give you efficient alternatives, such as radiant heat systems, heat pumps, and forced-air heating and cooling systems. Should you address humidity problems in your home with either a humidifier or a home dehumidifier? Does the contractor have any special offers or rebates? Will you be getting a tax credit with the new system? What is the efficiency level of the new system? Aside from the lifetime operating costs, you should also consider operating costs when making a decision. What are the filter types they offer? Filter types vary from washable and disposable, with some capable of improving indoor air quality, like HEPA filters, that protect the family’s health. What service plan do they offer to protect and maintain your system? Replacing your HVAC system does not merely start from buying a new system or installing it at home. It requires a reliable HVAC contractor and having honest communication.

Heat Pump Basics Every Homeowner Should Know

Heat Pump Basics Every Homeowner Should Know

A heat pump system is an air conditioning unit that provides both comfort cooling during summer and comfort heating during winter. It works like a central air conditioning system, with the only difference being the unit must function throughout the year. Understanding the heat pump basics will help you to purchase the HVAC system that best fits your needs. How can a heat pump system give off both cooling and heating? A typical heat pump system has two coils, or heat transfer surfaces, referred to as the evaporator and the condenser. The indoor coil is found inside the air handler or blower compartment. The outdoor coil has a large fan that draws air through it. To generate the needed mode of system operation, the function of evaporator and condenser is altered. Depending on the mode it is operating in, both coils can work as either the evaporator or condenser. How does a heat pump system provide cooling? To provide cooling during the summer months, the indoor coil acts as the evaporator while the outdoor coil acts as the condenser. The inside air travels across the cooling coil (evaporator) and transfers heat from the air to the coil. Once the heat reaches the outer coil, the condenser expels the air to the outdoors. How does a heat pump provide heating? The two coils exchange functions in the heating mode. The internal coil works as the condenser while the external coil works as the evaporator. The outside air travels across the external coil, removing the heat from the air to the coil and is transferred to the internal coil. Once it reaches the condenser, the outside heat is expelled to the air traveling across the external coil. How does the evaporator take in heat? To take in heat from a substance, the air temperature must be lower than the medium heat being transferred. For example, the evaporator’s surface temperature must be lower than 75° to cool a 75° air in an inhabited space. To facilitate the preferred heat transfer, the refrigerant (heat transfer medium) is distributed through the coil. How does the condenser eliminate heat? It is necessary for the condenser to have a regular temperature that is higher than the surrounding medium. To facilitate the preferred heat transfer, the refrigerant is distributed through the coil. A refrigerant is a chemical element that can absorb and eliminate huge amounts of heat energy rapidly. Regulating the refrigerant’s pressure at various points in the heat pump system determines whether the heat transfer system works as the evaporator or as the condenser. How can I keep the evaporator cool? The evaporator takes in heat into the system, so you need to make sure it is cooler than the refrigerant. To make this possible, it is important for the refrigerant to have a low temperature, too. To obtain the preferred refrigerant pressures in the evaporator, we utilize the compressor and metering device of the system. How do I keep the condenser warm? To keep the evaporator cool and the condenser warm, keep the refrigerant’s pressure in the condenser high. The compressor and the metering device in the heat transfer coils obtain the preferred pressures of the refrigerant. The above are just a few of the heat pump basics you need to know to know how your system works and if you need the help of an HVAC expert.

The Most Common Types of Furnace Repair

The Most Common Types of Furnace Repair

Knowing the most common types of furnace repair saves you from costs and worries. Listed below are the 10 most common types of furnace repair so you can fix it yourself or understand the technician. Dirty or Completely Clogged Filters Dirty or completely clogged filters will decrease the efficiency of your furnace. Your system will work hard to push adequate air to heat your home. This can damage the fan motor’s limit switch if left unattended, leading to a costlier repair than normal. It is also a fire hazard. Thermostat Inaccuracies The thermostat is an essential component of your furnace, as it acts like the brain of the system. It tells your furnace the temperature you want to maintain in your home and how often to turn it on to keep that temperature. A malfunctioning thermostat will not be able to give the correct instructions to your furnace. Your system may still work, but not as it should be or what you expect. Deterioration on Components Some components of your furnace will deteriorate over time. These include bearings, belts, filters, switches, motors, pilots, fan blades, and burners. Make sure to check these parts regularly to make sure they are in good working condition. Ignition Problems Ignition problems will make your system unable to generate any heat even if the other parts are in good working condition. There are several kinds of ignition systems, such as electric-powered or electrical spark and gas-powered or hot surface systems. Seek the help of a licensed HVAC professional to check on this for safety reasons. Recurrent Cycling Between On and Off Modes Something is wrong with your furnace if it seems to be cycling rapidly instead of the usual cycle of running for a time and staying off for a time. Call an HVAC professional to check your unit. It could be a dirty filter or a malfunctioning thermostat to a fan motor. Odd Noises or Grumbles It is normal to hear some noise when your system is running because of the fan and the blower. However, peculiar, odd, and irregular noises like bangs, rumbles, squeaks, clangs, rattles are indications of potential problems. This could mean that your furnace may have swallowed outside fragments or been occupied by household pests. It could also mean that some components have loosened or detached. Your System Refuses to Work or Keeps Resetting A thermostat issue could make your system to reset continually. It could also mean that there is a trip in the source of power. An interruption of gas power to the furnace can lead to a non-functioning system. It could also be caused by a problem with the gas pipe valve or the flame sensor. Higher Electric Bills Even if Your Furnace is Not Working A furnace repair is imminent if your electric bills are higher than usual, even or especially if your system does not heat your home adequately. High-energy consumption can indicate a dirty, underpowered, or damaged furnace. Neglected Regular Maintenance Regular maintenance is important to keep your system in perfect working mode. Timely replacement of certain components, lubrication of certain kinds of motors, tightening of screws and bolts, removing debris, and changing filters are a few vital maintenance tasks that can make your system healthy. Although you may be able to identify the issues with your furnace, troubleshooting the real issue may be difficult. This is where the services of a qualified and professional HVAC contractor comes handy. They are trained for this task and can clean, maintain, and perform furnace repair as well as perform an energy audit. Be sure to call American Air for your HVAC needs!

The Care and Keeping of Your HVAC

The Care and Keeping of Your HVAC

You can enjoy the benefits offered by an HVAC system if it is in good working condition. To keep your system in tip-top shape, follow this easy, workable preventative HVAC maintenance plan. What to do NOW Purchase a high-quality and high-efficiency pleated air filter Remove any blockages, such as leaves, grass, pollen, and stones Make sure that approximately 2 feet of the area surrounding your outside system is clear of clutter Monthly and Seasonal HVAC Maintenance Examine refrigerant lines every month Change your filters at least every 3 months Turn the water off on the furnace humidifier during summer Change the humidifier filter and turn the water on during fall Annual Maintenance Change your carbon monoxide detector battery Make sure that your outdoor AC is placed on solid, flat ground Mix bleach and water to clear the air conditioning condensate drain Tips on Keeping Your HVAC System Healthy Make sure your filter is excellent. If not, replace it with a superior quality filter. Superior quality pleated filters have an electrostatic charge. This functions like a magnet so they can grasp very small particles, including those that transmit germs and bacteria. Check the filter every month and depending on the model of filter follow a 30, 90 or 180 day period when replacing the filter . Replace the filter as soon as it looks dirty and clogged. You will need to change the filter more frequently if you have pets. Leave at least 2-feet clearance around the external AC unit and heat pump. Clear the top and sides of the external AC units and pumps by removing rubble and litter, such as stones, leaves, twigs, and pollen during spring, summer, and fall. Avoid unloading cut grass or clippings near the HVAC. Examine the insulation of on the refrigerant lines that lead into your home. Replace it immediately if it is damaged or missing. Ensure that the system is flat on the floor. Examine your external AC unit and heat pump annually to make sure that they are on level and firm ground. Remove any clogs and blockages. Mold and algae accumulate on your system. Remove this by mixing a cup of bleach with water then pour it into the AC condensate drain. Do this once a year. Set the humidistat between 35-40% relative humidity then switch on the water supply. In summer, turn the water supply to the furnace humidifier off. Alternatively, change the humidifier wick filter in fall. Prevent adding unnecessary strain on your system. Avoid closing more than 20% of your home’s registers. Change the battery in your carbon monoxide detector every year. Have a reliable heating and cooling provider service your system yearly. American Air will send an expert HVAC technician to your home to conduct an inventory on your system and examine its status. If you need information, do not hesitate to ask the technician. Practicing the above preventative HVAC maintenance tips will help in lengthening the lifespan of your system.

7 Reasons to Go Ductless

7 Reasons to Go Ductless

Ductless heating and cooling systems have become extremely popular. Find out why. 1. Cost-Efficient Ductless heating and cooling systems use much less power to operate, giving you 20-30% energy savings in a month. The improvement is because the heated or cooled air is brought straight into a room. These systems may make you eligible for rebates or tax credits from the government. 2. Improved Air Quality These systems feature filters that can decrease dust, allergens, pollen, bacteria, and other air pollution. This means you and your family get to breathe cleaner air, leading to better health. 3. Environment-Friendly Ductless systems follow the Energy Star standards. This indicates that they are very energy efficient. These heating and cooling units use R410A, an HFC refrigerant that does not harm the ozone layer. These systems reduce your carbon footprint. This makes ductless heating and cooling systems eco-friendly all through their life spans. 4. Easy to Install Compared to the normal, ducted systems, ductless HVACs are easier to install. They are smaller than regular systems. They also require less time and changes to your home. Installation can take as little as one day. 5. Flexibility Ductless HVACs come in split- or multi-split systems. You can install them in room additions, apartments, townhomes, condos, or just specific rooms. 6. Enhanced Comfort You decide on the number of units to install and where to install them without having to worry about major changes to your home. Ductless systems allow you to set the temperature based on the preference of the family members, with different temperatures in different rooms. This makes everybody happy and saves the family from any arguments brought by discomfort. 7. Quiet Operation Ductless systems work quietly because most parts are installed outside your home. This allows you to warm or cool your home without hearing obnoxious sounds. TV or movie viewing, working, sleeping, and even conversations are better with less noise. Whether you use it to cool or warm your home, ductless heating and cooling systems give you energy savings, efficiency, personal control, and comfort. These systems are a great for meeting your home temperature needs all year round.

Common AC Repairs Every Homeowner Should Know

Common AC Repairs Every Homeowner Should Know

We’ve all been there: a hot summer day, and suddenly and inexplicably your air conditioning stops working. Your first thought is probably to call American Air, but before you do, here are several reasons why your central air conditioner might not be working and the common AC repairs every homeowner should know, whether to do it yourself or to better understand the technician. Non-Functioning A/C Check if it is getting power at the circuit panel. Examine your main circuit breaker and any ancillary circuit panels for a blown fuse or tripped breaker. If you see any problem there, turn off the breaker to reset it. Remember that a central A/C must run on a dedicated circuit. A short in the system is likely if the circuit breaker continues to trip, perhaps in the capacitor, compressor, or fan motor. Call an American Air electrician immediately to examine this and solve the problem. Program the thermostat to COOL mode. Make sure that the temperature setting is at least 3 degrees lower than the room’s ambient temperature. Turn the power on. Check the switch in the air handler or furnace, and the external condenser. Make sure the compressor’s 240-volt disconnect, normally housed in a metal box and mounted near the condenser, is not shut off. Turn off the power to the AC and replace the batteries. Each thermostat model is unique but many have either a battery compartment that pulls out or the entire thermostat body pulls straight out from the base then replace the batteries. Make sure all wires are properly attached and placed on their terminals to avoid the cover from squeezing them. Put the cover back and wait for 3 to 4 minutes before trying the AC again. Checking the capacitor is not typically something that a home owner can do so if this has failed you will need to call American Air.  The capacitor initiates both the fan and condenser. The air conditioner will not work if the capacitor has failed. Checking the Outdoor Compressor Is the housing around the compressor and fan clogged with dirt, leaves and debris? If so then it may not be operating properly. Switch off the power. Switch off all the power to your AC before cleaning the compressor. Double check that the system is shut off completely. Ensure the compressor is functioning well. If ice is built up on the compressor then a professional may need to add coolant. Have the coolant examined. If the above steps did not work, call an AC professional and have your coolant recharged. Identifying the reason why your air conditioning is not working or performing below par is crucial, as this will let you know when to perform one of the DIY common AC repairs or not. Many of these issues can be spotted by American Air if you have your unit serviced and cleaned in the fall and spring.

Homeowner’s Guide to Extending HVAC Life

Homeowner’s Guide to Extending HVAC Life

An efficient HVAC system allows you to get the best possible function. Aside from getting your money’s worth, you get the assurance of meeting your preferred temperature and energy savings. Check our homeowners guide to extending HVAC life. Filtration Clean your filter regularly and replace if needed. A dirty or clogged filter will cause your HVAC to stop functioning. Replace the 1st disposable filter every 2-3 months Replace the 4th high-efficiency media filter every 6-9 months Clean the electronic air cleaner and pre-filters every 3-6 months if necessary (Check your HVAC manual for details) Make sure to purchase high-quality replacement filters from your local heating and cooling provider. Thermostat Settings Save on energy costs by keeping your thermostat within the recommended levels. This will prevent early equipment set-back and extend HVAC life. The thermostat cooling settings should be kept from 70° to 76°, and heating settings should be kept from 68° to 72° . Setting your air conditioning too low can lead to HVAC system failure. Turn off your AC if you believe it has stopped working. Then, call your local HVAC contractor to service your unit. Yearly Maintenance Schedule a yearly check-up with a licensed HVAC technician. HVAC manufacturers recommend yearly assessment of the system to keep it in good condition. A regular yearly check-up and maintenance will improve how it runs and can lengthen your system’s lifespan. When to Schedule Maintenance with a Licensed HVAC Technician Spring – gas furnace with air conditioning Fall – heat pump with gas or electric furnace However, you can also request an HVAC technician anytime during the year to check your system. Before Calling an HVAC Technician Reset the HVAC system. Confirm if your settings are correct and if the thermostat is displaying that the heating or cooling is on as shown in the thermostat manual. Turn the equipment off. Switch the equipment off for 10 minutes to 1 hour. Remove and clean or change the filter. Switch the heating or cooling on. Inspect the airflow from the registers. What to Do if the System is Not Working? Remove any blockages around the furnace for safe and easy access. Call your local HVAC contractor immediately. Remember that your HVAC system works hard and knowing how to take care of it will lead to better overall function. Follow the above homeowner’s guide for extending HVAC life and a better functioning HVAC system.

Everything You Need to Know About Heat and Air

Everything You Need to Know About Heat and Air

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning and is responsible for controlling the heat and air flow of a space. These can range from the air conditioner at home to the huge systems found in apartments, business establishments, office buildings, and industrial complexes. An efficient HVAC system provides indoor comfort by stabilizing thermal comfort. Its design follows the principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics. Components of an HVAC System The ‘H’ in HVAC Cool air is distributed via air conditioners and heat pumps. When the air conditioners and heat pumps are in the cooling mode, the heat is eliminated in the room and keeps the warm climate in your home during the cooler months of the year. These systems use refrigerants to cool the air inside a building and to remove excess humidity to provide air in a space. This process is the same only in reverse for heating. There are several types of heating systems, with the forced air system as the most popular. However, many homeowners also use geothermal or radiant heating systems. All these systems create heat at a central source and distribute it throughout the home via different methods. The ‘V’ in HVAC Ventilation replaces the musty and stale air inside the building with fresh air. It eliminates some of the dust, heat, carbon dioxide, and moisture inside the area and replaces it with fresh outdoor air. It improves the air quality by removing the excess humidity inside a building, making it an effective humidifier. The Thermostat The control component of an HVAC system, the thermostat controls the heat and air conditioning. It allows you to set the required temperature in a specific time for each room. It maintains the programmed temperature at the set time giving assurance that utmost comfort is inside your home. To regulate the temperature, you only need to press a button to attain your desired heating or cooling levels. Different Kinds of HVACs Keeping your home comfortable and livable is the main function of an HVAC system. The Split HVAC System This traditional type of HVAC has components that are fitted both in the internal and external area of your home or a building. They are optimized for the best heat and air flow. It includes a furnace, an air conditioner or a fan coil, an evaporator coil, and a heat pump system. The Packaged HVAC System These systems combine several components found in a single unit. Having a compact design, it is ideal for homes and building with no provision for the separate parts of a split HVAC system. The Ductless Split HVAC System This system is perfect for heating and cooling room additions or other areas, such as home theaters, garages, and exercise rooms, where installing or extending ductwork is not possible. It is a HVAC choice for homes with small spaces. The Hybrid-Heat Split HVAC System This system determines the external air temperature and chooses the fuel source that is the most economical for the condition. It includes both an electric heat pump and a gas furnace. It can also work to cool the air inside your home in spite of its name. The Geothermal Heat HVAC System These systems are the most cost- and energy-efficient systems available in the market today. They tap into the reliable and moderate temperatures of the earth to cool or heat your home. Do not hesitate to have your HVAC check to maximize its use and save on energy costs. Call American Air now!

Choosing The Right Water Heater

Choosing The Right Water Heater

Choosing the right water heater is not simply a matter of the best brand or having the bigger, the better. With the cost of energy rising, our first consideration will be what is enough for your household? Considering usage, what type of water heater will be best? A household spends between 14-20% a year of the utility bills on water heating. Know the different types, heat source, size, and costs before you decide. Types of Water Heaters Conventional Storage Tank Water Heaters This is the most common type of water heater.  Water is heated in the tank either by gas or electricity and stored until needed. Natural gas types of storage tank heaters cost less than the electric type, though the natural gas water heaters have a higher initial out-of-the-pocket cost. They generally cost less than other water heaters. Still, in general, this wastes energy as water in the tank is kept heated. Storage water tank heaters last about 10-15 years. Fuel sources: Electricity, propane, natural gas, fuel oil Tankless or On-Demand Water Heater A tankless water heater provides heat only when you turn on the faucet or shower, and as such is more energy efficient. However, with multiple simultaneous users, it becomes less efficient in heating water consistently. To solve this you might need another tankless water heater if hot water usage is high. This is more costly than a storage water tank heater. The good note is that tankless water heaters last longer, about 20 years or more. Fuel sources:  Electricity, propane, natural gas Heat Pump Water Heater Heat Pumps work by pulling heat from the air and then transferring it to to the tank to heat the water. They are more energy efficient than conventional storage tank heaters, but they cost more to install. Furthermore, this type of heater doesn’t work well in cold places, and they need to be installed in places that maintain heat between 40-90 degrees. Heat pump water heaters also need more space of clearance around it to be able to capture enough heat from the air, plus a drain for the resulting condensate. Heat Pump water heaters last about the same as the storage tank type, 10-15 years. Fuel sources:  Electricity, propane, natural gas Solar Water Heater As the name suggests, solar panels installed on the roof absorb the sun’s heat and transfer the heat into the storage tank. Though this is earth-friendly as it uses nature’s own heat, this may not be enough on cloudy days or when demand is high, or where there is not too much sun. You will still need a backup heater just in case. They are also relatively expensive to install. Solar water heaters last about 20 years. Fuel source: Solar heat Tankless Coil or Indirect Water Heaters A tankless coil water heater works by water flowing through a heating coil in the main furnace or boiler. They may not be efficient all the time. Indirect water heaters, on the other hand, are more efficient. They work by using the boiler or main furnace to heat fluid through a heat exchanger in the storage tank. The lifespan of tankless and indirect water heaters: 10 years. Fuel sources: Electricity, propane, natural gas, fuel oil. Aside from choosing the right water heater and the availability of fuel source in your area, you also need to consider the size/capacity. Contact us for a more efficient estimate and to get your best options in choosing the right water heater.

The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

The Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters are becoming the product of choice over the traditional hot water heaters.  Consider the several advantages of a tankless water heater. Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters Energy Efficient Tankless heaters use up less energy as it heats up water only when you turn the faucet or shower on. This means more savings for your household, aside from the fact that you are helping the environment in conserving energy. Imagine needlessly keeping about 50 gallons of water hot in a storage tank versus using heat only as needed. This translates to earth-friendly efficiency. Energy savings will be about 30-50% more.  You also enjoy a steady hot water supply as needed. Space Saving Tankless water heaters take up significantly less space than units with tanks, thus you can be more flexible with the installation.  You can install a small water heater in a closet or under a cabinet, nearer to area of usage. Cleaner, Safer Water When you use water from a tank, you are using stored water with a possible build-up of scale and rust. This does not have to be the case with a tankless water heater. Reliable and Durable Tankless water heaters last much longer by 5-10 years, even more. As for the disadvantages of a tankless water heater, the main concern is the initial, out-of-the-pocket cost. The tankless types can cost up to three times more. There might also be additional installation costs, like adding a natural gas line for gas heaters or possibly installing additional circuit for electric models. Considering these costs may be overwhelming, but consider the long-term benefits.  With a traditional storage tank heater, you might have to replace it again in approximately 10 years. This plus the monthly cost add-on to your energy bill by 40% more. Tankless water heaters give significantly more years of use. If you are considering a tankless water heater, contact us now.

Home Air Conditioner Maintenance For Efficient AC Performance

Home Air Conditioner Maintenance For Efficient AC Performance

Your Home Air Conditioner Maintenance Home air conditioner maintenance will not only help in lowering your energy bill, but will also extend the life of your AC unit. It will also save you from costly repairs with just more diligent care of your AC. Before doing any preventive maintenance, remember to shut off electrical supply to your unit. This will ensure safety when working around the air conditioner’s moving parts. Air Conditioner Filters You should change filters, or clean reusable filters, at least twice a year.  Ideally, this should be once before the cooling season begins and then before the heating season as well. Having dirty filters make your AC unit work harder since this reduces air flow and thus lower its efficiency.  If your location is in a dusty, populated area, you may need to change or clean your filter more often. A regular, monthly inspection of your AC’s filters will give you an idea whether you need cleaning or replacement twice a year or every two months. See a related article in preventative maintenance. Condenser and Evaporator Coils The filters help prevent dust, dirt, and debris from getting into your AC unit.  However, your AC’s condenser and evaporator coils will still gather dust over months and years of service.  The outdoor condenser unit collects dust and debris because a central fan sucks air from around it. This pulls dust all sorts of debris such as dead grass, dead leaves, and those floating “cotton” from dandelions and cottonwood trees. With all these blocking the air flow into your unit, it lowers your AC’s cooling efficiency.  You can further help your unit by cleaning debris around the condenser and cutting foliage by at least 2 feet to allow enough air circulation around the condenser. Keeping the coils clean will help in the cooling efficiency and years of service of your AC. Coil Fins The coil fins are the fine metallic blades on the coils. These are fragile and can bend easily, and thus block air flow.  In such a case, there is a tool easily available in hardware stores called the “fin comb” which will straighten them back to nearly original condition. Regular Check Up of Your AC Professional Other than the ones mentioned above, there are some tasks that only your AC professional can do. Checking the refrigerant level is one.  Regular home air conditioner maintenance by your licensed AC technician will help in maintaining the efficiency and prolonging the years of service of your unit.    

Plumbing Problems: Knowing When To Call Your Plumber

Plumbing Problems: Knowing When To Call Your Plumber

We all associate a plumber for common plumbing problems like water leaks under the sink and drainage problems, but there are telltale signs when you need to call your emergency plumber. Symptoms of Plumbing Problems Water Bills Become Higher Than Usual A higher water bill suggests burst water pipes or your toilet’s flush not working properly, causing toilet running all the time. Aside from burst water pipes that will obviously cause some puddles in your basement, floor, or seeping through the walls of your home, or a toilet running all the time. Slow Draining Toilets This is a symptom that necessitates an emergency plumber.  This strongly suggests there is a clog along the lines. This might soon get to the point that your toilet gets fully clogged. Do not wait till your toilet gets totally clogged and not working. Water Heater Problems If your water heater is not working, this is also an issue of concern especially for safety that needs the attention of your emergency plumber. Gas Leaks Aside from usual plumbing problems, your plumber also takes care of your copper pipes and furnace connections. This is one of the most serious plumbing problems that require immediate attention.  This can pose health hazards when there is gas/carbon monoxide leak. Another gas line that needs checking for leaks is when you have built-in barbecues. This is a danger that might not be too obvious since it is in open air and leaks dissipate quickly. Hence, whether you smell a gas leak or not, have your plumber inspect this regularly. Frozen Pipes Extreme cold temperatures can cause water to stop running into your home due to frozen pipes.  This needs an emergency plumber to defrost the pipe as well as ensure that the frozen pipes do not crack or burst which causes an even bigger problem. Need an Emergency Plumber? Contact American Air to check your plumbing system and thus avoid situations at home that can be anywhere from a minor discomfort to a serious problem.  

The Air Conditioner: A Modern Luxury?

The Air Conditioner: A Modern Luxury?

Air conditioners have been around for ages since it was invented by Willis Carrier in 1902.  Since then, the use and improvement of air conditioners have come a long way, and its usage has become increasingly popular. So is the air conditioner a modern luxury or a necessity? Come to think of it, our great grandparents have lived without it. So, what makes it so much a seemingly necessary appliance? The Importance of  the Air Conditioner in Our Life As the population grew, and modernization continued its momentum, more and more uses of the air conditioner have evolved. More than the comfort of a cooler air, the air conditioner has made a lot of things possible since its invention.  For one, having air conditioning has made architectural structures with more compact designs possible. This makes for a more efficient use of space particularly of offices in an ever-growing population. It also makes possible the large gathering of people in a compact area. Air conditioning also provides comfort for office workers which of course results to greater productivity and over-all well-being. Laboratories and hospitals (at least in the critical areas such as operating rooms) cannot exist without air conditioning. Summers are also getting warmer, and from a luxury, an air conditioner has become a necessity if we are to preserve our well-being, overall disposition, and health. The Downside The big question is the growing over dependence on air conditioners, which of course, has a downside. In the US alone, cooling America’s architectural structures and vehicles means an additional half a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide released into the air annually. This is becoming a global concern, and we can all do our part by minimizing our overuse of our AC units. Even turning the thermostat a degree or two up will have a good impact on the environment.  Proper maintenance of our AC units also helps. Air conditioners have also evolved in such a way that AC units have continued to improve.  They have become more energy efficient and thus, beneficial to the environment. The bottom line is, while an air conditioner has gone from a luxury to a necessity, we need to do our part. Conscientious use and maintenance of our air conditioner will collectively benefit us all, from lower bills to a better environment.

The Most Common HVAC Repairs

The Most Common HVAC Repairs

HVAC units are built sturdy enough to last for many years, but a diligent maintenance will keep them at optimum performance. Knowing the most common problems and HVAC repairs will help you understand how to keep your HVAC operating more efficiently longer. The Common HVAC Repairs Blown Fuses The fuse is what keeps the unit’s compressor or motor from overheating. When the unit stops working, the technician checks this first. Filters Filters actually need to be replaced or cleaned about every 2 months if your want your unit to be operating smoothly. A dirty filter reduces air flow which causes the unit to freeze. Refrigerant Leaks Refrigerant keeps the air cool, and hence, when there are leaks, the unit will not keep a comfortably cool temperature. This also will lead to another problem, the compressor. Compressor The compressor is regarded as the heart of the unit, and if the refrigerant levels are low, the compressor will eventually stop working. Drain Lines A drain line removes the condensation building up in the condenser coil. If the drain line collects dirt, there will be a water build up in the drain pan and can cause water damage to the unit. Condenser and Evaporator Coils Coils remove heat from the air. Check the coils and keep it clean.  Dirty coils reduce the cooling power of your air conditioning system causing your AC unit to work harder. If the unit is off, you can clean it with a water hose.  If you are uncomfortable spraying out the coils then it is best to let an HVAC technician clean it for you. Capacitors A capacitor jumpstarts your HVAC’s motor and keeps it running smoothly and at a consistent speed. This, however, can burn up and hence, will not start the motor of the unit. When this happens, only an HVAC professional should tackle this due to the high risk of electrocution. Knowing these common HVAC repairs will help you in maintaining your unit better to last longer. Read a related post on preventive maintenance of your unit.          

Air Conditioning Problems: Common AC Repairs

Air Conditioning Problems: Common AC Repairs

Are you experiencing some air conditioning warning signs like your air conditioner not blowing cold air, or your bills running unusually high? Here are the common signs that require air conditioning repair: 1) Your room isn’t cooling / your air conditioner is not blowing cold air. 2) Your bills have become unusually high even if you have been using your unit the same duration as before. 3) There are strange noises upon turning AC on and during operation. 4) Air conditioner turns on and off frequently. 5) The fan is not working. 6) Water is leaking. Common Causes of Air Conditioning Problems Low refrigerant level – the refrigerant is a chemical responsible for cooling the air in your air conditioning system. Hence when this air is not cold enough, the most common problem is a low refrigerant level. This most common reason is a leak. The possible leak needs to be traced and repaired, then recharged with the refrigerant. Utility bill has gone unusually high in spite of same duration or level of use – this problem suggests an inefficient operation of your unit. It could be a dirty air conditioning filter or air conditioning coils. This will overwork the compressor and fans and will likely wear them out. Strange noises during operation of the unit – A possible cause of this can be anything from a loose screw or a problem with the blower motor or the fan blades. Air conditioner turns on and off frequently – this could be a sign of electronic failure. This could be due to the corrosion of wire or terminals which need to be checked immediately as it can wear out the compressor and fan controls, causing bigger problems. As this may be caused by faulty wiring, this needs an immediate air conditioning repair. Water is leaking – during normal use, moisture forms as a condensate collects in a pan and flows out from the drain. If this is clogged and not draining properly, water accumulates and this can be solved by cleaning the blockage, replacing the tube, or a replacement of certain parts that help the proper drainage. These common AC problems can be anything from a minor discomfort to a serious safety hazard. Call an American Air specialist for your unit check-up and air conditioning repair needs.

Circuit Breaker Basics

Circuit Breaker Basics

Circuit Breaker Basics Circuit Breaker Definition To understand the importance of a circuit breaker, we need to understand what it is and what it exactly does.  A circuit breaker is an automatically operated electrical switch which serves to protect an electrical circuit from damage. This can be due to excess heat flowing through, or in other words, an electrical overload, or a short circuit.  Hence its basic function is to detect a fault condition and automatically disconnect the electrical equipment from the voltage source. Below are some circuit breaker basics. Electrical Overloads When there are too many devices that are operating, this can exceed the circuit limit, and this can be dangerous. With a circuit breaker, it prevents any serious damage by automatically shutting off the circuit at the main electrical panel. Short Circuits A short circuit occurs when two bare conductors, e.g. positive and negative terminals of a current touch on a low resistance conductor.  With the low resistance in connection, excessive current is produced in such a short time, and possibly destroy the power source or even actually explode.  Circuit breakers thus prevent this from happening. This can happen with alternating current (AC) or what we commonly know as electrical or direct current (DC) from a battery. Short circuits can happen when high levels of heat cause the insulation to break or flake off, exposing the conductors and thus causing a short circuit. Which of the Circuit Breaker Types to install? With practically everything in homes or offices uses electricity, circuit breakers are a must to prevent damage to your electrically-operated devices and possibly cause electrical fires. Knowing these circuit breaker basics, your next question is what type to install. There are however several types of circuit breakers depending on the needs of your home or office. This being an important safety feature of the home or office, check with your licensed electrical professional. They can best determine which is best according to your needs.  

Safety Precautions Your Electrician Wants You To Know

Safety Precautions Your Electrician Wants You To Know

Among home accidents, one of the most dangerous is about electrical wirings — it can be deadly! Here are some safety precautions your electrician wants you to know. The Safety Precautions Unless you have had training in electricals, never attempt to fix things yourself. The current running through the wires is enough to cause serious damage or even death. If you have to do anything at home that puts you in close contact with your home’s wirings, like the ceiling/roof, remember to turn off the main switchboard. Never use an appliance when in contact with water. Water conducts electricity and using an appliance near water can cause serious or even fatal damage. Do not overload adapters with several appliances. This electrical overload can lead to fires. Use safety devices that will protect children from touching outlets. Periodically check your appliances’ wirings for any damage to the cords/cables. Have your wirings inspected by a licensed electrician.  After a few years, the wiring system might no longer be adequate for the electricity you need. There might also be tears or damage that need replacement. Knowing these safety precautions will prevent serious home accidents. Remember to contact your licensed electrician for electrical inspection, repair, or replacement.

Gas vs Electric for Cooking: Which One is Better?

Gas vs Electric for Cooking: Which One is Better?

Buying a stove or range, there are many choices now available in the market, especially with the induction and ceramic tops aside from the traditional gas vs electric. So which one is better? This article notes down the pros and cons of each one. Gas Stove / Oven The Pros: A gas stove provides instant heat, thus you have a more precise control over the heat level. If we see chefs using gas stoves, it is mainly for this purpose.  There is also a lesser chance of burning what you are cooking. When you’re done with cooking, you can just turn it off and not worry about overcooking/burning it when you leave the food on top of the stove. Gas stoves and ovens are also usually cheaper to operate. This, of course, depends on the cost of electricity or gas in your area. Another advantage of gas units is that you need not worry in the midst of a power outage and still continue to cook/bake. The Cons: With gas stoves having an open flame, the risk of burning or a fire accident is higher. As for the oven, gas ovens have less even heat distribution, hence you have to watch and turn your food in between. However, there are gas convection ovens that will distribute heat more evenly. With gas being an open flame as well, heat stability can be a problem when cooking in a windy area, such as open grills or spaces. Gas stove tops are also harder to clean compared to the smooth electric stovetop. Electric Stove / Oven The Pros: Electric stoves/ovens provide a more even heat, and because there is no open flame, the risk of a fire accident is less likely. With electric ovens having a more stable and even heat distribution, so you need not turn your food in between the cooking time. Electric units are easier to clean as well. The Cons: The conventional electric stoves take longer to heat up, except when you are using an induction type. They also take longer to cool down, and there is latent heat that could overcook or burn your food even after you turn it off. Ceramic stovetops are very sensitive and you need to be careful with its use.  You could shatter the top by dropping a heavy utensil on it, or by spilling cold liquid while the unit is still hot. Lastly of course, when there is a power outage, this is another problem to tackle with an electric unit. Gas vs Electric? Considering the pros and cons of gas vs electric, weigh your options before choosing, depending on your needs as well as the economy of using either of the two.  

How To Replace Your Furnace Filter Properly

How To Replace Your Furnace Filter Properly

Regularly changing your furnace filter is necessary if you want to maximize its efficiency and help purify the circulating air in your home.  Furthermore, furnace overheating and breakdown can be avoided if you change filters diligently. Furnace filters protect the blower motor from dirt. Depending on the type of filter you buy, it can also drastically reduce airborne dust and other air particulates, such as pollen, mold, mildew, and even bacteria. Additionally, you will prolong the life and service of your furnace if you change the filters regularly. Frequency of Changing Your Furnace Filter So how often must one change the furnace filter? For paper or fiberglass furnace filters, change it at least once a month or every two months. Inspect your filter once a month. For the electrostatic filter change it every 2-3 months. The rule of thumb is, to hold the filter against the light, and if no light goes through, then it is time to change the filter, or, in the case of reusable ones like the plastic type, to clean it with vacuum and water, and make sure it is completely dry before reinserting. How To Change Your Furnace Filter First of all, take note of the kind of filter you have. Turn the power off at the main circuit breaker. Remove the filter to check the kind/size of filter you should buy to replace the old one. The filter is either inside the return air vent OR inside the furnace. Some filters, whether the reusable or disposable ones are rated as high-efficiency particulate air (or HEPA) or antimicrobial. They can trap microorganisms, including bacteria, algae or yeast. This is highly recommended especially if there is a family member who is hypersensitive and has allergies. After getting the right replacement filter (or cleaning out the reusable one with vacuum and water), take note of the markings or the arrow on the filter so that you install the filter with the right side facing the furnace or blower motor. Installing it the wrong way decreases the filter’s efficiency and blocks the flow of the air instead of cleaning it.

HVAC Preventive Maintenance Tips

HVAC Preventive Maintenance Tips

For your HVAC system, there are tasks better left to the HVAC professionals such as wiring and mechanism inspection about twice a year. However, you can prolong the life and efficiency of your system with regular inspection and cleaning.  With good HVAC preventive maintenance, you will avoid overworking your system (which translates to lower utility bills). Basic DIY Preventive Maintenance for your HVAC system: Use a high-efficiency pleated air filter and replace this every quarter. Inspect the units to make sure that leaves, grass, twigs, or pollen do not clog the units. Make sure that furniture do not block the heating or cooling vents so that your unit does not have to work harder to give ample heating or cooling. Clear about 2 feet of space around the outdoor units. Install ample thermal insulation. This makes a huge difference in conserving energy. Use the recommended thermal insulation especially for your ceilings. For your windows, you can drastically reduce heat transfer by double glazing (2 glass panes separated by sealed air space). Also keep in mind that the more glass area, the more heat is transferred during warm months and heat lost during the cold season. Keep all doors and windows closed.   HVAC Preventive Maintenance That a Professional Should Handle: Checking for any leaks, such as gas leaks in the gas furnace or refrigerant, or duct leaks. Checking refrigerant levels and recharging as necessary. Inspection of wirings, control box, thermostat, and other electrical components. Inspection and cleaning of internal parts: fan motors, fan blades, blower assembly, evaporator coils. Checking all hoses and belts. Lubrication of all moving parts. Conducting HVAC preventive maintenance extends the life of your HVAC system. This also makes for efficient operation to cut your energy bills to a minimum. Hence, having a professional check your entire system twice a year will optimize the use of your HVAC performance.    

The Homeowners Guide to Heating and Cooling

The Homeowners Guide to Heating and Cooling

Choosing / Buying the Right HVAC System Whether you are replacing your old HVAC system or buying a completely new system, the first step is determining the current heating and cooling needs in the household. The primary consideration is, of course, the sizes of the areas/rooms, but there are other things to look into.  Does the house have sufficient insulation? How about the placement of doors and windows and other construction materials used? For example, the more glass area the greater the heat transfer during warm months or heat loss during cold months. Thus, calculating the right HVAC system for your home will spell the difference between energy efficiency and long service of your HVAC unit or inadequate or inefficient heating and cooling or utility bills that run unnecessarily high. Efficiency Ratings of HVAC Systems After determining the right capacity of the HVAC System you need, the next thing to look into is the efficiency ratings of HVAC units. Air Conditioning Systems – When scouting for air conditioning units, check the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER.  The higher the SEER (15 or more) the more efficient it is and the less energy it uses. Boilers and Furnaces – When shopping for boilers and furnaces, check the energy efficiency rating which is a measure of how efficient these devices are in converting fuel to heat, or the Annual Fuel Efficiency  (AFUE) rating. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system is and the less energy it consumes. Hence a rating of 90% means 90% of the fuel is efficiently converted to heat. Heat Pumps – When looking for  a good heat pump, check the efficiency rating otherwise known as the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). The higher the HSPF, the more efficient it is. A rating of 8-9 HSPF is already considered very good. Use and Maintenance of Your Heating and Cooling System When operating your HVAC system, keep the temperature settings within the recommended level. This way, you avoid using excessive energy and unnecessary wear and tear of your system. For the heat settings – keep it between 68° – 72°. Each additional degree can add 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating. For the cooling settings – keep it between 70° – 76°. Other tips include: Using insulation to help in cooling the room, or using drapes to block off heat from the windows Changing air filter as recommended for the type of filter Having a professional contractor inspect, clean and make adjustments as necessary in order to ensure efficient operation of your system for years to come.  

Plumbing Advice from American Air

Plumbing Advice from American Air

Basic plumbing knowledge is important for everyone that owns or even rents a house. Oftentimes, unexpected blocks or leaks interrupt the entire water flow of your house. Solving simple plumbing problems is easy if you know how to deal with them. Leave the complicated ones to a professional plumber. Small do-it-yourself fixes do not require much time and will save you some money. The following plumbing advice from American Air will help you solve plumbing issues at home. Plumbing Advice from American Air: Identify Your Drainage Pipes. The first important plumbing need-to-know (whether you own the house or not) is where your drainage pipes are. You need to know all the main and secondary drainage pipes that lead to the different areas of your house. This is necessary so you can identify the root cause of the plumbing problem. Correct Use of the Bathroom. Bathrooms are the most abused areas in any home. It is where major drainage blockages and leaks occur. Many times, people treat their toilet as a garbage disposal. Materials such as toilet paper, paper towels, hygiene pads, cotton balls, diapers, etc. are flushed in the toilet and cause severe clogs, blockages, and breaking of drainage pipes. Ensure that drainage pipes in the bathroom are free of all waste materials. Install Drain Filters. Make sure to use drain filters. These are essential tools to prevent your drains from any clogs or blockages caused by accidental or unavoidable debris and clutter. Always clean the drain filters regularly to prevent any deposits, scum or oil from accumulating. These elements can cause flooding in your bathroom or overflow of water in your sink. They are also major hindrances to having a free-flowing drainage system. Learn how to Use Basic Plumbing Tools. Know what the basic plumbing tools are and have them on hand at home. Learning to solve small issues at home not only saves you time and money but also makes you confident and highly independent! Remember, however, do not to try your hand at fixing plumbing problems you are not capable of doing. Always seek the advice of a professional plumber if you are unsure about anything.

Do You Need to Replace Your Gas Furnace?

Do You Need to Replace Your Gas Furnace?

A frosty house is an unwelcome situation. The best thing to do when this happens is to check and assess your gas furnace before it fails. Do not wait when a problem comes up or when you have freezing indoor temperatures. Checking Your Gas Furnace Know the Age of Your Unit. Your gas furnace may have been there before you moved in and as old as the house. Look for the manual or call the manufacturer by giving the furnace’s model number. Lifespan. The average lifespan of modern furnaces is 20 to 30 years. If the unit is more than 15 years old and not working properly, then consider replacing it. Energy Efficiency. Compared to an ordinary or traditional gas furnace, a new Energy Star-qualified gas furnace is usually 15% more efficient and is 4% more efficient than a standard model. This is according to the U.S. Energy Star program. The Environmental Protection Agency added that a new Energy Star gas furnace would save every homeowner an average of $91 in energy costs each year. Watch Out for these Signs of Gas Furnace problems as listed below.   Signs of Gas Furnace Problems 1) Higher energy bills even if usage stays the same. 2) Uneven heating in your house. 3) Your furnace is cycling on and off more often than in the previous years. 4) Humidity problems in your home. 5) Excessive noise or your furnace develops buzzes, rattles, or hums. 6) Excessive dust, dirt, soot, or rust particles. 7) Visible signs of rust in and around your gas furnace. 8) Any signs of cracks or corrosion in its components. Call your local HVAC expert to inspect your home furnace once you see these signs on your unit. Your furnace may need just a simple repair or may require adding a new thermostat or changing the filter. Know the AFUE Rating. AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) is a rating to measures a furnace’s operating efficiency. An AFUE of below 8% means you need to replace your furnace with a more efficient unit. The new gas furnaces are commonly ranked by efficiency. The ultra-high-efficiency gas furnaces have up to 97% efficiency. These models have variable-speed controls and fans. The high-efficiency furnaces have a 90% efficiency while the mid-efficiency furnaces have an 80% efficiency. It is better to have more information so you will feel more confident when you replace your gas furnace. Calling a professional and qualified HVAC provider will help evaluate your furnace and save you on costs.

The Benefits of the Ductless Heating and Cooling System

The Benefits of the Ductless Heating and Cooling System

Energy efficiency performance for heating, ventilation and air conditioning or HVAC system has truly evolved. From having a traditional heat pump and a central air conditioner that force heated or cooled air through ducts, the newer ductless heating and cooling system may be preferred depending on your needs. So, what are the benefits of having the ductless type in your home? Benefits of the Ductless Heating and Cooling System Ductless heating and cooling systems are more energy efficient, thus saving you money. A ductless system uses 25-50 percent less power than older central air conditioner or heating systems. Central systems also lose about 30% of its efficiency because of possible duct leaks and delivery. Moreover, since ductless systems deliver directly into a specific part of the house, there is no loss in efficiency.  You have control as to which areas or rooms need heating or cooling. Thus, you need not pay for heating or cooling unoccupied rooms.  Ductless systems are easier to install and offer a more flexible solution. A complete ductless system has one outside compressor to connect to either one or more indoor units. Either way, ductless system installation requires just a small hole in the wall, and installation can be complete in a day. Should there be a need for additional rooms, adding new indoor units takes only a little time.  In contrast, centralized systems take weeks to install, and need major construction work in installing ducts through the ceiling. Air quality is better with ductless systems. Central heating and air conditioning systems require regular professional cleaning. Even with regular cleaning, dust and allergens can still be present. With ductless systems, there is multi-stage filtration to greatly minimize bacteria, allergens, dust, pollen, and other air particles. Ductless HVAC systems are more environment-friendly than older systems. With advances in chemistry, ductless systems use a refrigerant that does not harm the ozone layer.   Looking for a Columbus heating and cooling specialist for an estimate, check-up, or HVAC repair? Contact American Air today.

Know How Your Electric Panel Works

Know How Your Electric Panel Works

The electric panel is a main component in your home, so it is necessary to know its structure. Also known as a circuit breaker, electric panels are usually mounted in an inside or back room, such as in a laundry room, in a garage, or in the basement. There are two columns in a circuit breaker. Above these columns is the main switch that controls the power to your home. An electric panel controls the flow of electrical current to a specific outlet. It protects your home from current overloads or surges. A surge is a sudden trip in the electrical current in your home. It usually happens when large appliances, such as air-conditioners or refrigerators, had a rapid, forceful thrust or lightning strikes nearby. When more amperage passes across a circuit than it can handle, excess current occurs. This is the reason why electric panels are created to fail safely, so they can prevent fires and other accidents. The switch automatically sets off once it detects an overload of current flowing through one of the breakers. This, in turn, protects everything beyond that switch. Power flows through the outlet when the switch is set in the “on” position. If it switches to “off” position, it means that there is excessive current. Excessive current will power surge and will automatically set the panel into the “off” position or if someone turned it off manually. It is important to label your breakers so you can properly identify what circuits connect to each specific outlets. This will help you identify the specific appliances connected to a specific outlet, as well as the actual location of the outlets in the other rooms of your home. You can either do this yourself, or ask a licensed electrician to label your panel. How to Label Your Electric Panel: Leave the main breaker (located above the single switches) on. Turn the other switches off. Turn on one switch on at a time. Look around your home for outlets or appliances that are working and label that switch. Put the label on the inside cover of the panel or put the labels next to their corresponding switches. Repeat the same process with each breaker in both columns.   Current leaves your electric panels on energized or “hot” wires. This works through the outlet or device. Then, the power returns to the panel along the neutral wires. When a person’s hands touch neutral and hot conductors, electrocution happens and this causes the current to complete its circuit through the person’s body. Electrocution is one of the leading causes of household death, where approximately 200 people die yearly.   All of the neutral circuits connect to a neutral bar in your panel. They then connect to the main circuit neutral wire where it transmits the current to the transformers of the electrical company. The power from the utility company’s lines passes through your meter and into your electric panel. Remember to turn off the panel when working with electricity because it is very dangerous. Electricity is the primary cause of approximately 4,000 injuries in a year. Therefore, it is best to seek the help of an electrician rather than trying to fix/adjust anything yourself.

How to Troubleshoot Common Plumbing Problems

How to Troubleshoot Common Plumbing Problems

Troubleshooting simple plumbing problems is one of the basics every homeowner should know. Even if you don’t have plumbing skills, knowing the basics will save you from bigger issues down the road and will help in maintaining your home. Here are some of the most common plumbing problems: How to handle a Water Leak. It is important for every homeowner to know the location of the main shutoff valve that supplies water to your house. You also need to know the location of all the shutoff valves that control the water supply to your appliances and utilities in the kitchen, basement, bathroom, toilet, and yard. To locate the shutoff valves, you need to inspect your kitchen sink, water heaters, heating systems, toilet pipes, tubs, and other appliances. If you are having difficulty finding them, ask a plumber or someone who knows a little more about plumbing.  By identifying the location of these valves, you will be able to turn them off in case you have an emergency water leak and/or a broken pipe. You will still need the help of a plumber to make the repair, but being able to put things under control first is a big help! Here are the steps to take if you have a broken pipe. 1) Turn off every valve that feeds water to the leaky or broken pipe to stop the water from breaking the pipe. 2) If there is no exclusive shutoff valve to stop the flow of water to the broken pipe, shut off the main valve that supplies water to your whole house. And 3) if the flow of water did not stop immediately after shutting off the water supply, open all the cold-water faucets to release the water in the entire system. Remember you only need to open only the cold-water faucets and not the hot water faucets. Here is some info about clogged drains: A clogged drain slows or stops water from flowing properly in your drainage system. The worst that can happen is when your plumbing systems blocks to a standstill and you cannot use water anywhere in your home without having water overflow. It is common to use chemicals to unclog drains. Be careful if you decide to do this, drainpipes inside the wall may get damage with continuous exposure to chemicals.  If you decide to use chemicals: 1) Dilute the acid by adding water before pouring it into the drain. 2) Use gloves and eye protection when pouring the chemicals. 3) Read the instructions carefully. Using a drain cleaning cable is another option that can help remove clogs in the drain line. This should be done by a professional plumber. So if the chemicals don’t work, call American Air to have one of our plumbers come help. Being able to troubleshoot and act quickly when plumbing emergencies arise, will help save your home from further damage. Assess the situation, do what you can, and then call one of our plumbers at American Air to come and get your plumbing back to working order.

Home Heating: The Basics

Home Heating: The Basics

The central heating system in your home comprises more than 1/3 of your energy bills. With that said, heating your home can cost you a fortune if you do not plan well. Following are the home heating basics that every homeowner should know before deciding which system to purchase. The Home Heating Basics There are 4 main methods used for home heating. Which does your home have? Gas Furnace Also known as the forced-air furnace, the gas furnace uses either natural gas, fuel oil, liquid propane, or electricity to warm your home. It circulates warm air through a series of vents and ducts and directs the warm air into the different rooms in your home. A powerful fan located inside the heating unit normally moves the air. Gas furnaces are usually located on ceilings, floors, or walls. Electric Furnace An electric furnace works the same way that a gas furnace does. The main difference is that it’s powered by electricity instead of gas- making an electric furnace a greener option.  These furnaces are a great option to have in warmer climates; but if you live somewhere that often reaches freezing temperatures, a gas furnace might be a better option as they reach higher heat temperatures. Air-source Heat Pump Unlike a gas or electric furnace, the heat pump does not generate heat. It is a 2-way air conditioner so you can use it during summer and winter. During summer, it moves the heat from the relatively cool indoors to the relatively warm outdoors. The process is reversed during winter. It generates warm air from outside and distributes it inside your home. Most heat pumps used forced warm-air delivery systems to transfer heated air throughout the home. Hot Water Boiler The hot water boiler system is typically oil or gas fired. It circulates hot water through a system of pipes in the floor, radiators, or baseboard-heating units. This system can be very comfortable, providing warmth without the breeze created by air circulation. If you intend to purchase a hot water boiler, make sure to get a 90% AFUE modulating boiler with an external temperature reset. This will give you optimal energy savings and comfort. Another factor to considering when planning to purchase a heating system for your home are the available utilities. Is there a gas service to your house? Is it expensive or economical to have it installed into your house? You should also check the cost of energy of the heating system. If you are still unsure of the kind of heating system suitable for your home, call one of our certified heating and cooling technicians at American Air today.

What You Need to Know About Your Main Water Line

What You Need to Know About Your Main Water Line

Clean, fresh water is essential in our daily life. Problems, particularly ones concerning health, can arise without clean water flowing into your home. To ensure that the water flowing into your home is healthy and drinkable, your main water line needs to be in good condition. The water line installed in your home should be very strong and built to last for years. However, no matter how strong the water line is, other factors can cause damage. These include corrosion, tree roots and the type of pipe used depending on how old is your home. You don’t need to be a plumber to identify if your main water line is defective. Understanding a few basics will help to know if it needs replaced or repaired. Following are some warning signs to look for: Low water pressure. A drop in water pressure could mean a leaking water line and that you are losing water. Although several factors can cause low water pressure, a leak in the water line is one of them. Discoloration of water. Rust-brown color in your water is another warning sign of a defective main water line. Factors that can cause the water discoloration include soil and dirt entering the water line, which means your water line has cracks and/or corrosion. Poor soil conditions due to high chloride content and low soil resistivity can corrode the pipes from the outside leading to leaks and contamination. Wet areas on your lawn. Wet areas on your lawn, even if it didn’t rain, could mean leaking water underneath the surface of your lawn. This is definitely coming from a crack in your water line. Check this immediately to prevent flooding on your lawn. Increased water bill. An unusual or significant increase in your water bill, although there are no additional consumptions, signifies a problem in your water line. Have this checked to determine it is time to replace or repair your main water line.   What can damage your water lines? Extreme weather changes. Extreme weather changes can damage your main water line. A 10-degree change, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, can cause cracks in the water line. This is because the pipes become fragile when the temperature gets below 40oF. Alternatively, the ground freezes if air temperatures are at or below freezing point. It takes one or two days after the freezing temperature before the water line can break because the water temperature requires more time to decrease compared to air temperature. The age of the pipes. Older pipes are prone to cracking. In a study conducted by the Buried Structures Laboratory of Utah State University, they found that almost a quarter of all U.S. water mains are over 50 years old. These pipes are generally made from steel, clay or tile, materials that are susceptible to deterioration or corrosion over time.   Being observant and checking for warning signs will help you to know when your water line needs a replacement or repair. Water line repair is something that should be done by the experts. Call the plumbers at American Air if you are experiencing a problem with your main water line.

6 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to LED Lights

6 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to LED Lights

Light-emitting diode (LED) is a solid-state lighting device that uses a semiconductor to create light. It is a kind of light that generates light output by utilizing electroluminescence, a material that releases light when electricity crosses it.  LED light fixtures are very popular because they are much more efficient and economical at converting electricity into light. They are easy to replace, more reliable and are available in a variety of colors. Here are some great reasons why you should upgrade with LED Light Fixtures Illumination. Compared to the standard fluorescent and incandescent halogen lights, LEDs are very reliable and efficient at transforming electricity into visible light output. To convert visible light, incandescent lights use less than 5% of energy and use the remaining 95% into thermal radiation. Ordinary LEDs have more than 90 lumen per watt of energy consumed while ordinary fluorescent bulbs have an efficacy 60 lumen per watt of energy consumed and ordinary incandescent bulbs have an efficacy of 16 lumen per watt of energy consumed. Light Color. Unlike incandescent lights, LED light fixtures produce light in a fairly range of color spectrum. Various colors are achieved by changing the semiconductor material used. Regardless if the LEDs are for residential, industrial/commercial, and automotive use, the color is gauged by Kelvin temperature. This relates directly to the color released at that specific temperature range. Dependable. LED bulbs are very dependable and do not require any maintenance. They last up to over 40,000 operating hours. This means there is less time changing faulty lights, giving you big savings, particularly the commercial or industrial users that leave their lights on 24/7 all year through. Energy-Efficient. LED lights save you on energy costs. Do not be discouraged if LED lights seem expensive. The initial investment can be a bit pricey, but the return on investment will definitely make up for it. You can see it within 18 months from the date of upgrade. Easy to Replace. LEDs have a simple design, making them easier to replace. Some manufacturers have LED lights that resemble the original dimensions of bulbs. These are the PAR series LED lights and E26 medium LED lights. The E26 lights can directly replace the original bulb. Safe. LED bulbs do not get as hot as regular light bulbs do; causing less fires and making them safer for your home and your family.   Remember, however, that some replacement LED lighting fixtures are not direct replacements. The T8 LED tubes can replace fluorescent lamps but need some moderate adjustment. If you need advice on how to replace your halogen and fluorescent lamps, contact the certified electricians at American Air.

Use a UV Germicidal Light to Kill Allergens

Use a UV Germicidal Light to Kill Allergens

Indoor air quality, according the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has a huge impact on human health. UV germicidal lights have been tested and proven effective in improving indoor air quality. Indoor pollution like outdoor pollution is harmful. In fact, the EPA stated that pollution indoors could be much higher than pollution outside. Even if you keep the windows closed and clean frequently; indoor air pollution (germs) can still exist and cause asthma and/or allergy symptoms. As the airborne germs are blown past the air conditioning filter or furnace, they circulate throughout your home or building and adversely affect the quality of indoor air. For better indoor air quality, food processing plants, hospitals, laboratories, and other public facilities are encouraged to use ultraviolet lights (UV). The U.S. General Services Administration Office of the Chief Architect  Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings incorporated UV in The Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings. Several health studies show the effectivity of UV germicidal lights against mildew, mold, fungi, viruses, spores, and bacteria. As far as airborne allergens are concerned, ultraviolet light helps in preventing secondary allergy by reducing the symptoms. There are two methods of using UV germicidal lights to control quality of indoor air: upper-room air, and in-duct ultraviolet germicidal irradiation. Here are 7 reasons why to use a UV germicidal light. Controls molds and bacteria Reduce smells and odors Reduce colds and flu because it prevents the germs from re-circulating. Remove volatile organic compounds (VOC) Reduces clogging in crystallized pipes lines where algae has grown Mostly recommended for use in areas with humid climates Always have a cleaner coil to improve the cooling efficiency and to reduce electricity costs.   If you are interested in more information about UV germicidal light fixtures; or if you’re interested in having some installed into your home or building, call American Air today!

A Space Heater Is NOT The Safest Choice

A Space Heater Is NOT The Safest Choice

Space heaters are one of the most convenient ways to heat up a room. These types of heaters, particularly the smaller ones, are commonly used when the central heating system is too expensive to operate or when the main heating system is insufficient. They help boost room temperature, without having to heat the whole home. However, they can be dangerous if used incorrectly. The Harvard University Environmental Health & Safety group stated that space heaters are responsible for over 25,000 home fires occurring every year, leading to at least 6,000 emergency room visits.   The National Fire Protection Association (NFPE) said that around one-third of home fires occur during the cold months. NFPE confirmed that most of these fires are due to space heaters. This is between the months of December and February, where we need the heater to warm the home. Some cities have prohibited the use of several types of portable space heaters. Here are some precautionary tips to prevent fires caused by space heaters: Always buy safety-tested and UL-approved space heaters. Check the unit. Make sure it has heating element guards and an emergency tip-over shut-off feature. Read the manufacturer’s manual and follow the instructions on operation and care. Ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly prior to using a space heater. Keep the space heater clean. Make sure it is in good working condition before using it. Have it checked by a heating service provider on a regular basis. Install your space heater on level, sturdy, non-flammable floor and in areas with lesser traffic. Do not place it on countertops, furniture, rugs, or carpets. Keep your space heater away from flammable items like sofas, curtains, blankets, as well as from combustible liquids like paint, spray cans, and fuels. Observe a 3-feet distance between the space heater and these items. Do not use a space heater to dry towels or clothes, to cook food or even to thaw pipes. Avoid overloading your circuits. Plug the space heater in a dedicated circuit, not in the same circuit used for other appliances. Do not ever attempt to plug a space heater in an extension cord. Turn off the space heater immediately if you plug it in a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) and it trips. Call a professional heating service provider to check the unit. A serious shock could happen if you do not. Always turn off the space heater when no one is in the room or when going to bed. Leaving the space heater unattended is dangerous. Do not allow your children or pets to go near a space heater. Serious shocks or burns can result if they can accidentally touch the unit. Do not use old space heaters. Replace them with newer. and safer models. Always check with your local fire department before buying or using any type of space heater to find out if it is legal or approved in your area   Space heaters may be convenient; however, they are not the safest choice. Make sure to follow these safety precautions when using one.

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

What causes pipes to freeze? During the cold months, the water that comes into your house from outside much is colder than it was during the summer months. Pipes contract because of the cold water and this usually results in small cracks or leaks in the weakened parts of the pipes. Water in a crack will expand if it freezes, causing the pipe to burst. This could cause hundreds or thousands of dollars in damage to your home. There are no practical methods to heat up the ground temperature surrounding your home. Moreover, you have no way of controlling the contraction caused by the cold water to your pipes and stopping the leaks when the temperature drops. The best thing you can do is to check your pipes for any leaks as soon as the temperatures change.   Prevent Frozen Pipes To prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting, follow these tips. Lines located near a window or an outside wall are prone to freezing. Check your basement and look for any lines near the exterior of your home. Direct warm air to the colder areas of the home, where the pipes are located. Always run one or two faucets slowly if the outside temperature is extremely cold. Especially if the heat were to go out in your home. The pipes will not freeze when water moves through it. Kitchen sinks are usually on an outside wall. Leave your cabinet doors open to let warm air into the cabinet. Leave your kitchen faucet on during extremely cold weather. Detach your hose from the outside faucet. Water will not drain out of the hose hydrant or silcock if the hose is left attached to it. This results in frozen pipes and rupture. Keep your pipes warm during extremely cold weather by installing heat tapes around the pipes. Always check the temperature in any areas of your home where the pipes are located during cold weather. The temperature should not drop below 32 degrees. Check your home for any leaks that permit cold air to enter. Inspect the areas around dryer vents, electrical wiring, and pipes. Use insulation or caulk to seal the leaks and to keep the cold from getting into your home. Cold air can go into your home even through a tiny opening when the weather is severely cold, leading to frozen pipes. Call a licensed plumber to examine your pipes. Ask advice on how to prevent frozen pipes.   If you have any questions about preventing your pipes from freezing and bursting, call American Air for a consult.

5 Great Things about Becoming an Electrician

5 Great Things about Becoming an Electrician

An electrician’s job includes the installing, maintaining, and repairing of electrical wiring, fixtures, and equipment. To become an electrician; one must earn a certification or associate’s degree, complete an industry sponsored apprenticeship, and become licensed.  It is not an trade to master, but the hard work and dedication quickly pay off.   Here are 5 Great Things about Becoming an Electrician: It is a noble and respectable profession. Being an electrician in the construction industry, is a top, noble and respectable profession. After all, handling electricity every day is nothing to take lightly- requiring a good amount of skill and knowledge. It is not physically tiring compared to other jobs. Although it involves some physical activity, being an electrician requires more problem-solving and having an eye for detail. It allows you to face new challenges for every new project that you handle. It opens the opportunity of building your own business. By becoming an electrician, you get the chance of building your own business. As an electrician, you have acquired a skill that has a high demand regardless of the economic situation. If you are good in managing your financial status and time, you can become your own boss by putting up an electrical service company once you’ve gained enough experience. Most electricians start from the bottom and move up by venturing into their own business. It allows you to earn a decent, livable wage. As an electrician, you have acquired a skill that has a high demand regardless of the economic situation. In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report that the mean annual wage of electricians is $55,590. After gaining more experience, an electrician can earn up to six figures and higher. Job security. In the recent future, less and less young people are pursuing trade jobs, but rather college degrees and jobs in other fields. The demand for electricians has always been very high, and the demand is only increasing with time. Have you ever thought about becoming an electrician? It is essential that you are interested in working with electricity and have the passion for solving unique challenges required by the practice. With this drive, there is no question that you’ll become a successful electrician!

Is My Hot Water Heater Going Bad?

Is My Hot Water Heater Going Bad?

Your home’s hot water heater is a modern convenience that often gets taken advantage of until something goes wrong. If your hot water heater is having any of the problems listed below- it might be time to have it replaced or maintenanced by a licensed plumber. Inadequate Hot Water. Insufficient hot water is the most common sign that a hot water heater going bad. Mineral build-up occurs when water is heated. These mineral deposits settle to the bottom of the hot water storage tank and act as an insulator, keeping the heat produced by the burner to reach the water in the tank. However, the buildup of mineral deposits reduces the heat that reaches the water, so the supply of hot water is reduced.   Foul Smell. Your hot water heater is going bad if the water has a foul smell. When the mineral deposits go out of the water heater, it gives the water a foul smell. These deposits move to your tap, blocking the screens in the aerators that lead to the slow flow of water. Dull Color or Muddy Water. Dull color or muddy water indicates that your water heater is malfunctioning. Increased mineral deposits in the tank can make discolor the water, causing it to look dull or muddy. Turn off the unit then connect a hose to the drainage bib, drain and inspect the contents. Banging or Popping Noise. Banging or popping noise is another sign that your hot water heater is going bad. This noise is caused by the buildup of mineral deposits in the water tank. These deposits insulate the heat from the water as water is being heated by the hot water heater, which causes the tank to overheat and make the banging or popping noises. Metal fatigue results because of the constant heating of the tank and sooner or later, it will break down and starts to leak. To prevent this, flush the tank annually. Leaking or Corroded Connections. Leaking or corroded connections to your hot water heater indicate trouble. To prevent corrosion, hot water heaters use an anode that weakens in time due to the natural corrosion process. The corrosive forces start to attack the tank and connections when the element weakens that leads the water heater to go bad. Leaking Water Tank. It is pretty obvious that there is a problem when your hot water tank leaks. Turn off the gas or disconnect the electricity to the tank to allow the water to cool down. Remove and replace your leaking water tank immediately to prevent any flooding. Water is Too Hot or Hot Enough. Adjusting the thermostat can solve this problem. The ideal hot water temperature for most households is between 120 and 140 degrees. Your tank could have a broken heating element if the water is not too hot or hot enough or no hot water is coming from it. If your hot water tank is run by natural gas, then the gas thermocouple might be broken. Replace this element to enjoy the hot water supply.   Hot water heater installation requires the skill of a professional plumber. Call American Air if you think yours might need replaced.

Buying an Old House? Have the Main Plumbing Line Scoped

Buying an Old House? Have the Main Plumbing Line Scoped

Buying an old house may seem grand, they are full of history and character; but they can also be full of costly problems. A house inspection is critical when buying a house, particularly if you decide to buy an older house. One of the most neglected areas during house inspection is the sewer line. The main plumbing line (sewer line) flows away from the house all the way to the street. Most home inspectors do not check the main plumbing line because it is hidden in the ground. They also do not have the right equipment to check it. If you are purchasing an old home, we recommend having the main plumbing line scoped by a licensed plumber. Why to Have the Main Plumbing Line Scoped Prevention. Identifying a problem before it turns up is much better than waiting for it to become serious. Leaking, flooding and foul smell are signs that there is a problem. A plumbing camera is inserted in your internal piping system that helps identify any plumbing issues easily. In older homes, the main plumbing line is typically made of cast iron. These lines can rust and disintegrate over time; allowing sewage to leak into the ground, or tree roots to invade and clog the line. If the camera scope shows leaking or blockage, you will be able to have the problem fixed before you purchase the home. This will save you thousands of dollars and a lot of headaches. Even if you already own an older home, having the main plumbing line scoped could help prevent a bigger problem before it starts. Call American Air today if you have any plumbing concerns or questions. Our licensed plumbers are available to help!

Maintenancing Your Gas Fireplace

Maintenancing Your Gas Fireplace

A gas fireplace can be a great addition to your home. They are beautiful and very practical, keeping you warm during the cold winter months. You should have your gas fireplace checked by a certified heat technician once a year, but it is just as important for you to clean it yourself on a regular basis. Cleaning it monthly will keep it working safe and efficient. Follow These Simple Steps to Clean Your Gas Fireplace First, make sure that the gas valve is turned off, and all components of the fireplace are cool. Use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment hose to suck up any dirt or debris inside the fireplace, paying close attention to the logs, controls and burner. If there are lava rocks in the bottom of your fireplace, using a vacuum might not be the best idea as they can easily get sucked into the vacuum along with the dust. Instead, you can remove the logs and use a paint brush to dust them clean before putting them back. If you have glass doors on the front of your fireplace, spray a mild window cleaner onto a cloth and use the damp cloth to clean the inside and outside of the glass doors. After everything is cleaned and dry, use the manufacturer’s instructions to relight your fireplace. While you’re cleaning, watch out for any broken pieces, blockage, rust or damage. If you come across something, have it checked by a professional before using the fireplace again. If your gas fireplace hasn’t been maintenanced by a certified heat technician in the last year, give American Air a call to set up an appointment today.

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck with Your Winter Heating Bill

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck with Your Winter Heating Bill

Once you feel the cold air, this only means one thing – winter is coming! As the nights gets colder and darker, the need to turn on your furnace becomes a necessity that could result in high-energy costs. Here are some practical tips to save money with your winter heating bill: Put Weather Stripping to your Doors. If you can insert a sheet of paper between the door and the frame or beneath the door frame, it means there is a big opening between them. Put weather stripping to your doors to keep warm air inside and to save on winter heating bill. Insulate Your Attic. The attic is one of the areas in a home where hot air escapes. Drop down stairs can waste a big amount of energy. To make this area energy efficient, install an attic tent. Make sure it fits securely over the flap or hatch.Its primary purpose is to prevent infiltration between your home and the attic. Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are cost-efficient, using 75% less electricity than any standard light bulb. They give off illumination that is comparative to regular light bulbs and they last up to six times longer than ordinary light bulbs. CFLs may be costly up front, but you do not need to replace all your light bulbs at home. Install CFLs on the most used areas of the home and reduce your electric bills this winter. Install a Programmable Thermostat. Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to regulate the temperature in your home. It allows you to increase the temperature when you and your family are at home and decrease it in the morning before leaving the house or when you’re sleeping. A programmable thermostat is highly useful during summer too. Free Home Energy Audit. Take advantage of a free home energy audit. Some electricity companies offer free home energy audits. These companies conduct energy audits to help homeowners find the areas in your home where heat escape resulting in higher electricity bills. Buy Gadgets that Monitor Energy Usage. Remember that a computer that is on standby mode uses electricity as well as leaving the lights on when no one is at home. The market offers gadgets that monitors energy usage. They are easy to install, requiring you to plug it into your electric circuit breaker, walls, or appliances. Check the Furnace Filter. Ensure that the furnace filter is clean. It is important that the filter is dust-free so the furnace will work longer. It will keep your home warm but will work less.   As always, call American Air with any heating concerns. We can make sure your furnace is in working order for the cold months ahead.  

Why Does My Hair Dryer Keep Tripping the Breaker?

Why Does My Hair Dryer Keep Tripping the Breaker?

You woke up early because of a very important meeting. You were getting ready and started to blow dry your hair when suddenly your breaker trips. This is not the first time it’s happened and it is getting to be annoying-especially now that you cannot afford to be late. Sound familiar? When a circuit breaker trips, it switches off the electrical flow to prevent and protect the circuit from causing damage or the possibility of an electrical fire caused by overheating.  If this is repeatedly happening, plug your appliance into another outlet until to find out what initiates the tripping. Reasons other than your hair dryer that might be causing your circuit breaker to trip Circuit Overload or Overloaded Circuit means there are plenty of heavy-powered appliances or devices running on the same circuit at the same time. This is the most common cause of breaker trip. Heavy-powered appliances include air conditioner, refrigerator, television set, hair dryer or any device that have a 15 amp circuit with 20 amps worth of electricity. If they all work at the same time and are connected to the same circuit, your breaker will trip to prevent overheating. To solve this issue- reallocate the high-powered appliances to another mutual purpose circuit, and turn off some appliances using the same circuit to minimize the electrical load. Overheating appliances can also cause an overloaded circuit because it pulls in more amps than the usual that causes the circuit to overload. This usually happens during summer in the case of an overheating air conditioner. Short Circuit refers to a black (hot) wire touching the white (neutral) wire in one of your outlets. There are several reasons why these wires touch, but it could also be a simple improper wiring or loose connection. The circuit breaker shuts off when these two wires touch because a huge amount of current flows, producing more heat than what your circuit can handle. A short circuit is the next possible cause of stripping circuit, which is in fact, more dangerous. To know if a short circuit occurred, check your plugs and outlets for any black/brown discoloration or any burning smell. A Ground fault is almost the same as a short circuit. It occurs when a black or hot wire touches the ground or the bare copper wire located on the side of a metal outlet box, which is attached to the ground wire. To check if any ground fault occurred, check your outlets for anything that does not look usual or normal.   Don’t ignore your tripping circuit breaker. The best thing to do if you notice the circuit breaker tripping often is contact a licensed electrician. An electrician will quickly and safely identify the real cause of the breaker trip.

Don’t Be a “Jimmy Rig” Plumbing Expert

Don’t Be a “Jimmy Rig” Plumbing Expert

Doing plumbing fixes on your own can many times lead to more problems. You may have performed simple plumbing tasks like fixing a leaking faucet- but this does not qualify you to do bigger plumbing jobs. Bigger plumbing issues should be performed by a certified and highly-trained plumber. Plumbing projects you shouldn’t Jimmy Rig Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom. Rooms without plumbing are a lot easier to renovate than rooms with. To ensure that you and your home are safe during a kitchen or bathroom remodel, hire a plumbing contractor. They will be more familiar with building codes and permits; and will be more prepared if/when complications arise. Installing a major appliance. Water heaters, dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines all require a plumbing hook up. To make sure that they are installed correctly, leave it to the expert. Leaking pipes. Tightening up the pipe yourself might be for your first impulse; but an incorrect repair on a leaky pipe would not only result in continuous water loss, it can become hazardous to the environment. Mold starts to grow as the water leaks and household surfaces get moisture residue.   Plumbing projects you can DIY Replacing a faucet. Many times, when you move into a new house, one of your first projects is to replace outdated faucets. This is a relatively easy project. A new faucet can be purchased at any hardware store, and some even come with directions. Changing the hose of your washing machine. The hose of modern washing machines is susceptible to bursting, and that could lead to a flooded basement or home. These should get replaced every 5 years. If you’re feeling confident, this is something you can do yourself. Unclogging a drain. Whether it’s hair in the shower, food in the kitchen sink or a full toilet; there are items you can purchase to unclog your drain. If your first few attempts fail, you are most likely dealing with a bigger issue and it’s time to call a professional.   Trying to be a Jimmy Rig expert may be your initial reaction, but you need to think again. Ask yourself – Are you confident enough to fix the problem? Do you understand anything about plumbing? If not, don’t attempt to fix the plumbing problem. Call American Air instead and you get the assurance of having a qualified plumber to fix your plumbing problems.

The 411 on Geothermal Heating and Cooling

The 411 on Geothermal Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling comprise almost 50% of your home’s total energy costs. This is a big chunk of your monthly utility bills, and a big chunk of your carbon footprint! If you’re building a home and would like to make it green and energy-efficient, consider hiring American Air to install a geothermal system. How do Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems Work? Geothermal systems utilize the natural temperature of the soil to heat and cool your home. The soil is cooler than the air above it during summer while it is warmer during winter. Depending on your area, the actual soil temperatures range from 450 to 750. Geothermal systems use the heat coming from the ground to heat and cool your home. A series of pipes are placed underground around your home. This underground system of pipes, known as the ground heat exchanger, is attached to a heat pump inside your home. The system absorbs the water during summer and cools it before transferring into your home for air conditioning. Alternatively, water is absorbed and heated from the soil and transferred to your home through the ground heat exchanger heat during the cold seasons. The ground heat exchanger should be installed during the early phase of your home construction, as it is a big project that involves the whole building structure. What are the Advantages of Geothermal Heating and Cooling Energy Savings. Compared to oil furnaces, high-efficiency geothermal systems offer an estimated 75% energy savings and 48% savings compared to gas furnaces. This reduces your monthly electric bills and is also advantageous to the environment. Environment-friendly. Geothermal systems do not use fossil fuel but use the natural temperature of the ground instead, so it does not emit greenhouse gasses. This system does not have any negative effects on the air quality or environment. Durable and Longer Lifespan. Geothermal systems are durable and have a longer lifespan, lasting for up to 30 years while conventional heat pump systems may last for about 10 years. Convenience. Geothermal systems transport air into your home in a homogenous manner, decreasing the risk of hot blasts or cold air that are common in conventional systems. These systems reduce the amount of humidity that builds up in the home during the summer months. They also enhance the quality of indoor air and levels of comfort. Home Value.  Installing a geothermal heating and cooling system in your home will automatically raise the value of your home. While these types of systems are becoming more common, there are not many houses on the market that have them.     Putting together all these advantages offsets the initial investment of installing a geothermal system. Call American Air for a free estimate!

Why to Consider a Tankless Hot Water Heater

Why to Consider a Tankless Hot Water Heater

Tankless water heaters give hot water ONLY when needed, which is the reason why they are also known as demand-type or instantaneous water heaters. Unlike storage water heaters, they do not produce standby energy loss, thus saving you money on electricity bills. Reasons Why You Should Consider Buying a Tankless Hot Water Heater: Cost Efficient. Compared to a traditional storage tank water heater, a tankless water heater saves you 24 to 34% of energy if you consume 41 gallons or less of hot water. If your family uses around 86 gallons of hot water a day, you saved 8 to 14% on energy costs. Installing a tankless hot water heater at every hot water outlet saves you save as much as 27 to 50% on energy costs. With these savings, it is estimated that a regular family can save $100 or more in a year by installing a tankless water heater that is Energy Star® qualified. Long-lasting. Although the initial investment of buying a demand water heater is more compared to a traditional storage water heater, it will last you longer than traditional water heaters. Most tankless hot water heaters last for over 20 years. Their components are replaceable and available that extend their life for several years. Storage water heaters usually have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. They also have minimal operating and energy costs so they prove to be more cost-saving in the end. Avoid Standby Heat Losses. The traditional water heaters offer a ready supply of 20 to 80 gallons of hot water. When you turn your hot water tap, it releases hot water from the top of the tank. Cold water enters the bottom of the tank to replace the hot water so you have your tank filled with hot water always. Water is continuously heated even when hot water is not needed, known as standby heat loss, where energy can be wasted. Standby heat losses are a big issue with storage water heaters. Not with tankless water heaters! You get hot water only when you need it, and get it immediately so energy is not wasted. Convenient. A tankless hot water heater allows your family to enjoy the continuous hot water, so you do not need to schedule bath times. Space-saving. Demand water heaters are more compact than the storage heaters, saving you on space. They can be mounted on walls whether indoors or outdoors. They have an anti-freeze kit so mounting them outdoors is not a problem. Some smaller models can even be installed under cabinets, in a closet or near the point of use. Environment-friendly. The electric tankless water heaters are 30% more energy-efficient and do not produce greenhouse gasses. This is not only good for your pocket but also for the environment, as you contribute to having cleaner air for a healthier environment.   Safe and Clean Water. You get clean water all the time because your tank does not accumulate rust and scale caused by stored water. Tankless water heaters are built with excellent features to avoid boiling water from reaching your tap.   Call the plumbers at American Air if you’re interested in installing a tankless hot water heater in your home.

Preparing Your Furnace for Winter

Preparing Your Furnace for Winter

With the cooler weather upon us, it’s important to have your furnace ready to keep you and your family warm. A non-functioning furnace or a breakdown is the least that you want to have during this season. Prepare Your Furnace for Winter by Following These Steps: Clean the Furnace Room. The furnace is usually found in a storage room that gets too dusty and dirty for not using the furnace for the past months. Sometimes the room gets filled with clutter. Remove the unnecessary items and put those that you still need in boxes or a cabinet to store them. Keep the space around the furnace clean. Use the vacuum to remove cobwebs and dirt on the outer surface. The furnace should be visible, particularly all the pilot or control lights. Clean or Replace the Filter. Filters need to be cleaned or replaced regularly. It is easy to forget, but if possible, try to do this once every 30 days. A blocked filter will affect the function of your furnace, taking longer to heat or warm your home. You can also expect your electricity bill to increase when this happens. A washable filter can get hosed down, while a  paper or cardboard filter will need replaced. Clean the Vents or Ducts. The vents or ducts need cleaning, too, because the hot air is blown out through them from your furnace. It should be free of any barriers for your furnace to function well. Thoroughly wipe the exterior surface of the vent and remove any blockages that got caught in the insides of the vents. Check the Fan Belt. The furnace will not work without the fan or blower belt. Examine the tension and look for any signs of deterioration. The room will take time to heat if the fan belt is loose and will use more electricity or gas, which means high cost of utility bills. Remove the cover of the air handler to access the fan belt. Any worn out areas or cracks are signs of changing the belt. If the tension bends a little less than three-quarters, then it is a sign that it has loosened and needs tightening. To tighten the tension, slacken the attachment bracket and change the motor assembly to increase the tension on the fan belt. Fasten the attachment bracket tightly once you can feel the correct tension. Lubricate the Bearings. Bearings need regular lubrication, particularly those in the older furnace as the bearings have several moving components. The bearings will depreciate quickly if these are not oiled regularly affecting the function of your furnace and leading to expensive repairs. To oil the bearings, look for the oil caps over the bearing shaft. Do not over lubricate the bearings to prevent it from being a fire hazard. Close the Blower Doors Tightly. Ensure that the blower doors are closed tightly to prevent heating products like carbon monoxide from getting mixed with the warm air that circulates all over your home.   Get your furnace ready for winter. Follow the above steps and you’re guaranteed of getting your home warmed up on a chilly night. If you are having problems with your furnace, call American Air so have your furnace serviced by a professional.  

4 Great Reasons to Have a Wall Mounted TV

4 Great Reasons to Have a Wall Mounted TV

Modern flat screen TV’s are built to be displayed, not hidden in a cabinet. Simpler HDMI cables and the universal VESA mounting standard are found in most modern TVs, making them easy to use, and very popular. If you are one of those people who are not convinced that you should wall-mount your TV, this article will help you understand why it’s a great idea. Reasons to Have a Wall Mounted TV Saves on Space. Especially if you live in a small home and you’re short on space, mounting your television on the wall is the most practical thing to do. A wall-mounted TV offers you an opportunity to create a valuable space on top of your entertainment unit or on any furniture. Mounting your TV on the wall is also a great way to accentuate its slim, sleek design. With all the cables and wires out of sight, it gives your room a cleaner, modern look. It adds to your room’s décor. You can also explore your creativity by creating photo slideshows and play it when nobody’s watching TV. This makes your unit a great wall photo album and a superb way to entertain guests. Safety. Mounting your TV on the wall is the safest. It prevents accidents, such as tipping or bumping. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said that emergency rooms in the U.S. reported that approximately 20,000 injuries in 2010 were caused by the instability of TV sets. Thousands of injuries and deaths from fallen TV involving children are recorded every year. The Best Viewing Angle. Mounting your TV on the wall is not done haphazardly. You need to choose the height that will provide you the best viewing angle when watching TV. Getting the ideal viewing angle maximizes your viewing experience. This helps prevent eye or neck strain from watching at an inconvenient height. It also allows you to enjoy the full capability of your high-definition TV. Enhanced Performance. Mounting your TV on the wall enhances its performance. A study showed that picture quality is reduced significantly when watching a flat-panel TV off-course or off-center.         The market offers various styles and designs of wall mounts. A big number of wall mounts feature a tilt and swivel, so you can easily find the optimal viewing angle and minimize the brightness from lights coming from outside.   To wall-mount your television, you need to put four bolts in the wall that will hold a bracket, where you hang your TV. Although the process seems simple, putting the four bolts into a wall is no joke! Also, you should not attempt to wall-mount your TV if you are not sure of your walls. Attempting to do so can damage not only your TV but also your walls and home.   If you are not confident doing the job yourself, call American Air. Our qualified electricians can hide the TV’s cords and cables behind the wall, giving your living room that sleek/clutter-free look.

What You Need to Know About Knob and Tube Wiring

What You Need to Know About Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and tube wiring is a common technique used in homes and buildings built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Ceramic knobs support the wire and the ceramic tubes that protect the wire as it crosses the wood framing elements like the floor beams.   Common Issues Associated with Knob and Tube Wiring Rubber Insulation. The rubber insulation can become fragile. Mechanical abuse or overheating wears out the rubber, making it brittle in high heat spots, even connection above your ceiling lights. This requires replacing the wires It is inclined to stretch and sag over time. No Ground Wire. Ground wire makes an emergency trail for stray electricity so the risk of electrical fire and damage to sensitive appliances and equipment is reduced. Common Hazardous Modifications. The fact that knob and tube wiring is quite old opens the possibility of improper modifications. The age-old systems have insulated wires with varnish and fabric materials that are inclined to deteriorate easily leading to an overheating or short circuit. If you’re renovating your home, now’s the best and most appropriate time to replace your knob and tube wiring. Doing so will cost you less as the ceilings, walls, and floors are open and accessible. Home remodeling includes adding more receptacles or electrical outlets, ground- and arc-fault circuit interrupters, as well as knob and tube replacement. Always have a yearly knob and tube wiring inspection to evaluate if it requires changing. Call a licensed electrician at American Air to address any concerns that surround your knob and tube wiring.

Do You Have a Clogged Shower Drain?

Do You Have a Clogged Shower Drain?

How many women are annoyed with hair loss in the shower? How many men feel the same way about the women who share a shower with them? A normal amount of hair loss  every day is completely normal for men and women, although it can quickly cause problems in your shower drain. Women tend to have longer hair than men, which is why they are often the ones blamed for clogged shower drains. Why wait for a clogged shower drain when you can easily prevent this problem by following these tips? Buy a hair catcher. Place the eye catcher over your drain. Get the catcher after every shower and throw the hair into the bin. A hair catcher is just a small item and is very cheap. You can buy it at any hardware store or even in supermarkets. Place one or two rags a few inches before the shower drain. The rags will catch your hair so water can go down easily and freely down the drain. Pick the rags after showering and gather the pieces of hair and throw them into the trash can. Hair on fingers. It is normal to see a few strands of hair on your fingers when you wash your hair. Don’t wash it off with water, as this will only clog your drain. Get a paper towel instead and use it to wipe the hair out of your fingers. Thrown the paper towel into the bin. If there are already a good amount of hair in your drain, see if a do-it-yourself task will solve the clogged shower drain problem. Try these DIY tricks. Get a metal hanger and bend it to create a hook. Use the bent hanger to pick the hair up and gather them all on a paper towel. This technique works and is effective if there are only a few hair, although it will take time. Use your fingers to pick the hair out the drain. (that is if you have a strong stomach) Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly if you try this. Run or pour hot water down the drain. If there are still a few hair strands left, pour or run hot water down the drain. The hot water will push the strands to run down the drain but do this ONLY if there are just a few hairs left. Letting hair down the drain is like throwing money down the drain. Standing water on your shower floor is unhealthy, too! So make sure that you implement the above tips to prevent hair from going down the drain and leading to clogs.  If the problem is worse, then it is time to call a professional plumber. Call (614) 851-0099 to request an estimate from American Air Heating and Cooling!

Electrical Home Appliances: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

Electrical Home Appliances: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

Electrical home appliances can easily drive up your electric bill. and it is important to determine how much electricity they use. This will help you understand how much money is spent using them. Heating and cooling appliances are big contributors to high electricity costs, along with major kitchen appliances. Read more for tips on saving money with your current appliances, or how to buy a new appliance that will save you money long term.  Estimating the Wattage and Electricity Costs of Your Electrical Home Appliances Read the EnergyGuide label. The EnergyGuide label provides consumers information about energy consumption and shows an estimate of the average energy consumption and cost when using a specific model of appliance. The actual costs will slightly be different depending on your usage, though. All appliances are required to have the EnergyGuide label that shows the following: Manufacturer, model #, and size Estimated operating cost in a year, which is based on the national average cost of electricity and the range of operating costs for comparable models ENERGY STAR® logo that signifies that the strict criteria for energy efficiency were met by the appliance model Estimated annual electricity usage Main features of the home appliance and comparable models    Use an electricity usage monitor to obtain the readings of how much electricity an appliance is consuming. Search for an electrical website that provides a formula on how to calculate annual energy consumption and costs. Install a complete home energy monitoring system. An energy monitoring system helps you to measure the electricity consumption of any 120-volt appliances or electronics but cannot be used for 220-volt appliances and electronics. It is available in most hardware stores and costs approximately $25 to $50. Remember to read the manual before installing and using the system.   Buying new? Buy Smart There are a few factors to consider when shopping for home appliances: the purchase price, the operating cost and the life of the appliance. On average, refrigerators normally last for 12 years, washers and dryers for about 11 years, central air conditioners about 15-20 years, and furnaces for approximately 15 years. Always read the labels and check the features to ensure that the appliance you are buying has a low operating cost. With the call for energy conservation, some manufacturers offer appliances that they tagged as “smart”. Smart appliances can be connected to home energy management systems or smart electric meters. This helps you switch your electricity consumption to off-peak hours. Refrigerators, air conditioners, dishwashers and other appliances may be available as smart appliances. These appliances turn off during high peak electricity demand and use ingenious ways to shift energy consumption. For example, your refrigerator might hold off defrosting until late evening or off-peak hours. Or your AC may run a little less often. If you live in an area where electricity is lower at night, also known as time-based rates, your electric bills would be much lower. You may not notice it, but this could contribute to significant utility savings. Talk to your utility provider to know more about the availability and advantages of smart grid technologies and time-based electricity rates. Ensure to have regular appliance maintenance. Inefficient or a malfunctioning appliances will use up more electricity. So the next time you’re having heating and cooling problems, look for American air and they’ll guide you on how to buy, use, and take care of your home appliances!

Babyproofing Everything Electrical in Your Home

Babyproofing Everything Electrical in Your Home

Babyproofing your home is an essential part of your child’s safety. Children are very curious individuals; so ensuring that your electrical outlets and appliances are hidden, covered or out of reach is just as important as anchoring large furniture to the walls. A study revealed that the most common injuries and causes of death for children below 18 are avoidable if the home is electrically safe. Here are a few tips for babyproofing your home to make it electrically safe: Block electrical outlets. Cover your electrical outlets. You can either use outlet caps, outlet plugs or electrical covers. According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 2400 children had burns and shocks caused by electrical outlets, with 12 deaths from sustained injuries. Electrical Outlet Caps. These are the cheapest tools to prevent your child from sticking his finger or objects into electrical outlets. They are made of plastic, flat and easily plug directly into the outlet, so your child will not be able to take it out. The only disadvantage is you need to remove them each time you’ll use the electrical outlet. It is necessary to plug it back to keep your home electrical safe. Electrical Outlet Covers. Also known as safe plates, these covers are good babyproofing electrical safety option, too. To use them, unscrew the cover on your outlets and replace them with these safe plates. They have spring-loaded covers that are fairly like the TRRs, allowing them to accommodate the prongs of a plug and move once you remove the plug. They are easy to install without tinkering any electrical wires. Unplug Appliances. Unplug and store appliances that are not in use. Start with the bathroom. Unplug the hair dryer, curling iron, electric razors, etc. Minimize the probability of an appliance falling into water and causing injury by installing ground-fault circuit interrupters. Hide Electrical Cords.  www.healthofchildren.com reported that over 63% of injuries in children 12 years and under are caused by household electrical cords, electrical outlets and extension cords. The market offers several cable management products to keep electrical cords bundled, hidden, and controlled to prevent them from getting mixed up or entangled. Organize your cords by using a combination of wraps, covers, ties, and sleeves. Educate your Family. Set a good example to emphasize electrical safety. Make sure that your toddler understands not to touch and stick anything like pens, forks, fingers into the electrical outlets. Be very strict in implementing the rules of electrical safety in your home.   Electrical items play an important role in our daily lives. They are present in every room of your home. Babyproofing your home is easiest way to ensure that your home electrically safe for your children. 

What NOT to Flush Down Your Toilet

What NOT to Flush Down Your Toilet

The toilet is only meant for bodily waste and toilet paper; not any other types of waste or towels should be flushed. Three gallons (about 12 liters) of water is used each time the toilet is flushed. So can you imagine how many gallons or liters of water are wasted if you flush tissue, paper towels, hair, etc. down your toilet? Apart from water wastage- toilet drain blockage can lead to clogged pump stations and sewage backup in neighborhoods and businesses. Items that Should Not Be Flushed Down the Toilet Bathroom Wipes. Bathroom wipes or moist towelettes have become a popular accessory in the bathroom. They cause clogs and sewer backups even if they were marked “flushable”. Cleaning wipes and baby wipes should also not be flushed down the toilet. Paper Towels. Unlike toilet paper, paper towels are thicker and larger. They do not disintegrate quickly like toilet paper so they can clog your toilet requiring the service of an expert plumbing provider. Cotton Swabs & Cotton Balls. These tiny items can get moist and soggy, but they do not break into pieces causing clogs when they accumulate together, blocking your pipes. Condoms. Most condoms are made of latex so dispose of these properly instead of flushing them down the toilet. Wrap the condom and wrapper carefully and throw them in the bin. Pads & Tampons. Although most people know not to flush feminine pads down the toilet, it’s a common misconception that it’s ok to flush tampons. Do not flush them! Because they expand when they get wet, they can quickly clog your sewage pipes. Wrap them instead in toilet paper or the packaging and throw them in the trash can. Band-aids. Because they’re made from non-biodegradable plastic, throw band-aids in the trash bin to prevent clogging of your pipes and sewage system and to protect the environment. Dental Floss. Like band-aids, dental floss is non-biodegradable. When dental floss groups together or wraps itself around other items in the pipeline, it can create havoc in your pipes. So remember, toss it in the trash. Prescription Drugs or Medicines. Do not flush drugs or medicines. These drugs contain certain chemicals that can contaminate the water as well as the source of water. Hair. Hair is a common thing to see in the bathroom. It clogs the shower, sink, and the toilet plumbing. Hair groups together and produces huge blockages in your plumbing, pipes, and sewer. Remove any hair that you can see in your drains before it washes into the pipes. Throw the hair into the trash bin when cleaning combs, hairbrushes and when combing wet hair.   The toilet is not a trash bin. So make sure that every member of your family understands this. Let them understand the damage that can happen if the above items are flushed down your toilet. Insisting on flushing anything down your toilet will soon result in blocked pipes, clogging a pump station and causing a sewage backup for your neighbors, other houses and businesses. Call American Air to resolve any blockage problems in your sewer lines.

Why Your Major Appliances Need a Dedicated Circuit

Why Your Major Appliances Need a Dedicated Circuit

Most older houses do not have an electrical system with dedicated circuits. However, if you are renovating, adding a room to your house or building a new home, it is recommended to put in dedicated circuits for all of your major appliances. The National Electric Code stipulates that most appliances should have a dedicated circuit. What is a Dedicated Circuit? A dedicated circuit is any electrical circuit from your circuit breaker that is used for a single specific purpose, appliance or tool. A dedicated circuit will prevent more current to be drawn from what your circuit breaker can handle. Blown fuses, tripping of breakers, and overheating wire insulation are generally the result of a single circuit serving several appliances. When this happens, the circuit breaks down and may start the possibility of electrical fires or electrical failure. What Needs a Dedicated Circuit Appliances that use large amounts of power require a dedicated circuit. These include the following: Refrigerators Stand-alone or portable freezers Ranges and ovens Dishwashers Microwaves Washers and dryers Hot tubs and other similar fixtures Heating and cooling equipment Garbage disposals Sump pumps   It is also highly recommended to have at least one outlet for every floor of your home that is connected to a dedicated circuit. This is specifically convenient and safer when operating high-drawn portable equipment. Having dedicated outlets to power vacuum cleaners, blow dryers, space heaters, and other occasionally-used electrical items prevent breaker trips, as well decreases the risk of flickering lights. Appliances that are connected to a dedicated circuit but with an inaccurate wire size and inadequate amperage than they require may result to overheating that can possibly result in a fire. So make sure that you hire an electrician Columbus Ohio, who has been tested for their competency and professionalism. If you have been experiencing frequent trips from one or more circuit breakers, they are telling you to invest on a dedicated circuit for your appliances. If this is happening, look for a pattern – if it trips when using your microwave and toaster at the same time, it is a warning sign that the power supply line it uses is experiencing weakness of power. Bear in mind that it is better to have several dedicated circuits rather than not having enough. Tip: An appliance that runs with its own motor and is used regularly in one place needs a dedicated circuit.

Will a Tankless Water Heater Save Me Money?

Will a Tankless Water Heater Save Me Money?

Some of your high energy cost can be associated with your home’s hot water heater. As hot water leaves your water heater’s tank, it automatically refills, constantly heating the water and using energy.  A more cost effective alternative to these standard appliances is a tankless water heater. Also known as “on demand water units,” tankless water heaters only heat the water as needed. With tankless water heaters, no money is spent heating 40 to 50 gallons of water and storing in a tank until someone is in need of hot water. Heated water that sits idly in a tank will eventually lose heat, even though the tank is insulated; requiring constant reheating. Tankless water heaters give you hot water on demand when you need it, so you do not heat water that is not needed. Thus, you save on energy costs. These tanks offer you a continuous supply of hot water enough to fill a big hot tub or a whirlpool. Compared with other tanks, tankless water heaters use 30-50% less energy. Depending on your usage, it gives you a savings of approximately $100 or more in one year. These heaters usually operate on natural gas or propane to heat water. Tankless Water Heater Benefits Along with saving you some cash, tankless water heaters offer some other great benefits. Save you on Space. They are more compact than the standard water heaters, so they can be mounted on a wall or outdoors with an anti-freeze kit. The smaller units can even be mounted in a closet or under cabinets, nearer the point of use. Tax Rebate. You get a federal tax rebate amounting to $300 with tankless units. Availability of Hot Water. You get hot water whenever you need it. Convenient to Use. Most of the tankless units are operated by remote control with four separate settings. Clean Hot Water. You are assured of getting clean hot water because water is not stored in the tank that can lead to accumulation of rust and scale. Clean Gas. The electric tankless heaters do not produce greenhouse gasses so you contribute to cleaner air and a healthier environment. Long-Lasting. They have a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years with some lasting for more than 20 years compared to the conventional tank-type water heaters. Durable. Less worries of leaks or flooding because of a ruptured tank causing water damage.   The operating costs of a tankless water heater differs from model to model. Read the manufacturer’s manual or call the manufacturer to get a better understanding of the product you are buying. Tankless water heaters are investments that pay for themselves. They increase energy efficiency and increases the value of your home with premium technology.  Contact one of our plumbers at American Air to discuss having one installed in your home.

What You Need to Know About Central Air Conditioning

What You Need to Know About Central Air Conditioning

Is this summer heatwave melting you into a puddle on the ground? A lot of people can make it through the warm,  Midwest seasons using only window or portable A/C units. Some get by with just fans. If those aren’t enough to make you comfortable, it might be time to consider having central air conditioning installed. How Central Air Conditioning Works Central A/C allows cool air to flow through a system of supply and return ducts. The supply registers and ducts transmit cooled air from the A/C unit throughout your home. As the cooled air circulates in your home, it becomes warmer and flows back to the central A/C via registers and return ducts. This system is one of the most common and efficient ways to cool your home. If you plan to have a central air conditioning unit installed, the size of your home will determine the size of the unit you’ll need. It is also essential to have the correct size duct work so that the cooling needs of every room are met. The system can be inefficient if ducts are leaky or not insulated. Every seam and joint must be properly sealed. Adding a central AC system can cost less if you already have heating ducts. But remember that the ducts used for heating might not be in the right location or size for optimal cooling. A central AC unit features a condenser placed outside your home and a fan-and-coil system that is connected by pipes carrying refrigerant. The most common design of a central A/C has the refrigerant circulating between an interior coil and a corresponding exterior condenser with compressor. The air is cooled by the refrigerant and is dehumidified in the process. The air is then circulated by a blower through the ducts all over the home. Adding a central air conditioner can be expensive, especially if there are no ducts in your home; but most homeowners agree that it’s worth every penny. Contact American Air to have one of our HVAC specialists asses your needs and give you an estimate.

Why Does My Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?

Why Does My Circuit Breaker Keep Tripping?

Every circuit contains cables, connections, switches and other electrical equipment that is designed to transmit a maximum electrical current defined by the manufacturer. The circuit can melt, break down or catch on fire if it is exposed to more than it can carry. Circuit breakers were created to solve this problem, making sure that each circuit carries only the maximum capacity that it can manage. When too much electrical current is transmitted through the circuit breaker, it will trip; causing the outlets not to work until the circuit is manually switched back.   3 Reasons Why Circuit Breakers Trip Overloaded Circuit. Check your sockets. How many appliances are connected to a single outlet? Having more than one major appliance (like kitchen appliances, space heaters, AC units and hair dryers) plugged into the same circuit leads to over usage of what the circuit can accommodate. When this happens, the circuit overheats and is automatically turned off from the electrical system by the circuit breaker. Short-circuit. A short-circuit is different than an overloaded circuit, and typically has a cable or a section of the fixed wiring that is damaged. Any change you make in your house can put your electrical cable at risk. Cables hidden behind walls can be damaged by a drill, a nail or a screw. Even digging in the soil while landscaping or gardening can damage underground cables. A licensed electrician can repair this, making your home safe! Faulty Appliances. Earth leakage current, also known as residual or ground fault current, is electricity that runs from the electrical installation to the conductive materials of the home or to the ground. An appliance can cause an earth leakage current, which is the most usual cause why circuit breakers trip. Electrical appliances pass current between the installation live conductors. They can let the current to run through their metal elements into your body and to the ground when they become faulty. Certain kinds of circuit breakers can detect this current running to the ground, protecting you from electric shock. Contact a professional electrician if your circuit breaker keeps tripping.

What you Need to Know about a Clogged Sewer Line

What you Need to Know about a Clogged Sewer Line

A clogged drain in your home can quickly become a major inconvenience. It will prevent you from getting things done, and leave gross residue behind. Whether it’s in the kitchen or bathroom, a clogged drain is no fun. Clogged drains can become a breeding ground for bacteria and can even cause your or members of your family to get sick. Most clogged drains can be fixed with a plunger, a drain clearing solution, or by manually removing hair/debris from the drain. If these DIY tricks aren’t working, there’s a chance your main sewer line might be clogged.  Read the signs below to get a better idea if that’s the case. Signs of a Clogged Sewer Line Multiple drains are backing up with water Bad odors coming from your drains Gurgling noises coming from your drains or toilet Bubbling water in your toilet when you use the bathroom sink or shower Water backing up from your basement floor drain   Culprits of a Clogged Sewer Line Feminine hygiene products Paper towels Baby wipes And the most common culprit, Tree roots   If you think that your main sewer line is clogged, call American Air right away before it becomes a bigger problem. A licensed plumber will use a scope in your drain to find out what is causing the clog; and will use a rotating blade, known as a snake, to free any trapped debris or tree roots from inside the sewer lines.

4 Reasons You Might Need to Hire a Licensed Electrician

4 Reasons You Might Need to Hire a Licensed Electrician

Electrical failure is the usual cause of home fires in the United States. Over 50,000 are recorded.  The main reason for this is because most homeowners neglect to have their electrical connections checked. A periodic check of your electrical connections by a licensed electrician is essential to prevent any incidence of fire due to faulty wiring. Here are 4 reasons to hire a licensed electrician: Interruptions in Lighting Systems. A loaded circuit can cause interruptions in your lighting systems. This usually happens if large appliances like the refrigerator and the air conditioner are connected on the same circuit. These appliances use a huge amount of electricity that can result in dim or flickering lights. Always use a dedicated circuit for huge appliances.   System Shutdown or Failure. System shutdown or failure can occur in older homes because these are not designed to accommodate the modern demands of appliances. This results in blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. These issues are indicators that your circuits are overworked and are incapable of handling your electrical usage. If you are experiencing these problems, an upgrade of your electrical system is required.   Multiple Extension Cords. The Electrical Safety Foundation International stated that improper use of extension cords are the triggers of over 3,000 home fires each year. The problem is that several homes do not have enough outlets, so homeowners overload their circuits using extensions cords. Instead of doing this, hire a licensed electrician to install a few outlets. This will prevent you and your family from tripping over the cords, make your home free of cluttered cords, and most of all will greatly reduce the risk of a residential fire.   Unmaintained Electrical System.  An unmaintained electrical system is dangerous, particularly for older homes. The most common electrical issues in these cases are old-fashioned circuits, along with bad and rusty wiring. It is always important to have your electrical circuits and wires checked by a licensed electrician to ensure that they are in good working condition.   Hire a licensed electrician from American Air to upgrade your electrical system. Remember, one call does it all.

A Garbage Disposal Offers More Than Just Convenience

A Garbage Disposal Offers More Than Just Convenience

Proper garbage disposal will make a big impact in reducing the amount of pollutants, contaminants, bacteria and toxins that are released into the environment. Installation of a garbage disposal system offers numerous benefits, including convenience while you rinse your dishes.     Benefits of a Garbage Disposal Environmental. Foods that are thrown in landfills decay and release methane gas, which is a dangerous greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is more harmful than carbon dioxide, causing global warming 21 times faster than CO2. Food waste in the U.S. has doubled since 1990, which is very alarming. About 34.7 million tons of food waste was produced by Americans in 2012, calculated to be more than one-fifth of all garbage dumpsites. When scraps of food are crushed up by a garbage disposal and go into a water treatment system, the treatment process eliminates the healthy bio-solids that get used as soil fertilizers. Although methane is also produced by the decomposed organic matter after being exposed to the treatment process, it does not pose any danger to the environment. Methane, during the treatment process, is controlled and converted to clean energy. Easier to Clean. Using a disposal eliminates problems of a clogged drain, leaving your kitchen smelling better. It also prevents insects and animals that are typically attracted to food waste in trash cans and dumpsters. Cost Efficient. A garbage disposal system is cost efficient, using minimal energy and water to operate. Daily use costs only cents on your monthly electric bill and less than 1% from your water bills. Using a garbage disposal for food waste instead of throwing it away, will also save you money on garbage bags. Tips for Using Your Garbage Disposal Reduce the chance of leaks and burst pipes by not putting fats, grease, and oils into your disposal. These substances will block the internal mechanical parts and of your drain line. Avoid disposing of fibrous foods like vegetables and hard pieces like bones or fruit seeds to prevent the blades from breaking. Check to make sure there are no small dishes or silver in your drain before running your disposal   Hire a licensed plumber Hilliard Oh service provider to install a garbage disposal system in your home and assure the job is performed to the best standards. Even repairing a garbage disposal system would need a licensed Hilliard Oh plumber.

What is an Electronic Air Cleaner?

What is an Electronic Air Cleaner?

Many of us don’t realize that the air inside our home is typically more contaminated than the air outside. It is even more polluted than the air near the roads, highways or industrial plants. Most homeowners think that an air purifier is the best solution, particularly if a family member has asthma or allergies. We recommend using an electronic air cleaner to capture airborne particles in your home. These cleaners attach to your HVAC system, and will filter the air as it passes through, requiring minimal maintenance while doing so. Breathe Healthier Air from an Electronic Air Cleaner Indoor air pollutants contain microscopic pieces that are up in the air, such as dust, dust mites, pollen, molds, and animal dander. There are also gaseous pollutants from gas and wood stoves, cleaning products, paints, varnishes, new carpets, and more. Some even have both gaseous and microscopic components like tobacco and cigarette smoke. There are 2 types of electronic air cleaners. Standard. The standard types of electronic air cleaners charged particles that attach to a plate. They are 95% effective in removing different particles when the plates are clean but lose their efficiency as dirt are collected. Electronically Enhanced Media. This type is a combination of both electronic and media air cleaners, where particles are charged electrically and are accumulated by the huge air cleaning media of a conventional high-efficiency cleaner. Unlike the standard type, it has no plates and its efficiency is maintained all through the media’s life. They are 99% effective in removing varied kinds of particles   Why is an Electronic Air Cleaner the Best Choice? It improves the quality of air inside the home, reducing the number of pollutants and particulates floating through your indoor air.   It covers your entire home; allowing you to breathe clean air in all areas of your home, not just the room the cleaner is in. Its upkeep is inexpensive. Electronic air cleaners generally have one to five years warranties, and American Air can maintain it with the annual service of your HVAC system.   Breathe cleaner and healthier air in your home, contact American Air for electrical services Grove City Ohio.

10 DIY Tips to Enhance Your AC: by Air Conditioning Repair Upper Arlington

10 DIY Tips to Enhance Your AC: by Air Conditioning Repair Upper Arlington

With the summer heat upon us, expect your air conditioner to be working hard. You don’t need to expect a high electric bill though. Before you call for air conditioning repair Upper Arlington, there are a few hacks you can try yourself. Here are 10 operating and maintenance tips that can enhance your air conditioner’s  performance and efficiency. Remove any weeds, shrubs, tall grass or leaves from the surrounding area of the unit; observing a 3 feet clearance. Shade the condenser. Replace the unit’s filter. Keep your windows and doors to the outside closed. Plug up any air leaks that might be in your attic or around doors/windows. Lower the AC’s temperature by a couple degrees when your home is cooled off. The already cold-existing air will keep your space cool. Don’t open and close registers to control the temperature in your home. Close the curtains and blinds in the sunny areas of your home. Cook meals with a crock-pot or microwave rather than turning on the oven or stove. Turn off unnecessary lights or use the cooler LED bulbs.   Keep your home cool and let your air conditioner function better by checking on the unit today. If you try all of these tips and your AC still isn’t working as well as it should be, give American Air a call for air conditioning repair Upper Arlington.  

Ways to Reduce Your Water Bill: Plumber Grove City Oh

Ways to Reduce Your Water Bill: Plumber Grove City Oh

Water is a necessity, but we should know how to conserve it. Almost 50% of our daily water usage goes down the bathroom drain. Flushing the toilet is one of the biggest ways that water is wasted in your home, followed by shower heads and faucets. Water conservation is encouraged and practiced in all areas, including those regions where it seems abundant. Hiring a plumber Grove City Oh to fix leaky faucets, a malfunctioning flusher, or to install an efficient toilet can help reduce your water bills without sacrificing flow. Ways to Conserve Water Always check leaks from faucets and pipes. Leaky faucets, even a small drip, can waste 20 g/day. So imagine how much water is wasted with larger leaks! Check your toilet for any leaks. To check any leaks, add a little food coloring in the toilet tank. If there is a leak, the color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes. This calls for an immediate plumber Grove City Oh job. It is easier and cheaper to replace the parts than it is to deal with a long term leak. Do not use the toilet as waste bin or ashtray. Avoid throwing toilet paper, napkins, tissues, cigarette butts, or any other small pieces of trash in the toilet. Flushing these items can use about 5-7 gallons of water. Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators. Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators are cost effective and easy to install. They are water-efficient, allowing you to save as much as 50% on water consumption and reduce 50% on the energy cost of heating the water. Low-flow shower heads and faucets consume less than 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Also, limit your shower to 4 minutes, as this only uses roughly 20-40 g of water. Turn the shower or faucet off when soaping up or wetting your toothbrush. Turn the shower off to rinse off and use a glass to rinse your mouth. Check the water meter. Monitor your water meter every two hours before and after when water is not used. Any change indicates a leak.   Water system upkeep reduces soil saturation that would prolong the life of your septic tank and minimizes any pollution caused by leaks. It also helps you save on utility bill, as well as helps prevent water pollution in nearby rivers, lakes, and local watersheds. Overworked municipal sewer systems can also lead to untreated sewage flowing into rivers and lakes. Even a small amount of water flowing from these systems reduces pollution. At American Air plumber Grove City Oh, we will not only help in reducing your water bills, we will also help in reducing pollution for a healthier environment today and for the future.  

When to Change Your AC Filter: by HVAC Hilliard Oh Services

When to Change Your AC Filter: by HVAC Hilliard Oh Services

The biggest challenge your air conditioner will have to face this spring and summer is to keep you cool. But how can you expect it to run smoothly if it’s been years since you changed the filter? It is recommended to change the AC filter regularly so it will function properly all throughout the summer months. And how frequent is “regularly?” The general rule is to do a monthly check of your AC filter. Replace it with a new one if it looks dirty. Air filter change is normally performed within 90 days, although this can vary on certain factors, such as: Filter type. The one to three-inch filters should be replaced within 30 – 90 days while the high-efficiency filters have different conditions. Read your AC’s manual or call the manufacturer to obtain details about changing the filter. Responsiveness to airborne contaminants. Changing the AC filter on a monthly basis is healthier, particularly for those with allergies. Allow pets inside your home. Your air conditioner filter is expected to amass faster compared to an AC in a home without pets. So you would need to change the filter earlier than 30 days to prevent restriction of airflow. The level of toxins inside and around your home. Your home is usually dusty and polluted if you live near a busy road or construction. This requires you to clean the filter monthly to keep the air inside your home cleaner. The number of occupants. The home is dustier and has more airborne pollutants if there are more occupants compared to one with fewer residents. This requires changing the filter on a monthly basis. Alternatively, it is recommended to change the AC filter in vacation homes every six to 12 months.   It is important to remember when to replace your air conditioner filter. To help you remember this date – Keep a calendar of filter change Write the next replacement date on the filter’s edge Keep a note on your phone   For more details about air filter replacement call American Air for HVAC Hilliard Oh services.

Hardwired Detectors Recommended by Columbus Ohio Electricians

Hardwired Detectors Recommended by Columbus Ohio Electricians

The proper installation of smoke detectors should be important to every homeowner. These safety devices protect you and your family from fire. The NFPA reported that three out of five home fire deaths in 2014 were preventable with funtioning smoke alarms. Hardwired smoke detectors get power from your electric panel and never turn off. American Air licensed Columbus Ohio electricians can easily install hardwired detectors in your home. Why do our Columbus Ohio electricians recommend hardwired smoke detectors? Reliable. Hardwired smoke alarms receive power from your circuit breaker and will continue to go off unless you turn them off. With the continuous alarm, even deep sleepers wake up. Battery Backup. This means that they will function continuously even if the power goes off. Unified. These detectors have wires that allow them to send signals to the other smoke alarms in the event of smoke. This feature is beneficial for larger houses as it gives plenty of time to evacuate before the other part of the house catches fire. Easy to Maintain. Unlike the battery-powered smoke alarms, hardwired smoke alarms don’t need to be changed as often, making them easier to maintain.  Insurance Benefits. Some insurance companies give benefits for hardwired smoke detectors. Ask your insurance provider if you could obtain a discount for installing a hardwired alarm. Built-in Heat Detectors. This feature found in some hardwired smoke detectors reduces the probability of false alarms.   Calling American Air licensed Columbus Ohio electricians to install a hardwired smoke detector is the right move. Install hardwired smoke detectors and keep you and your family safe in the event of a fire.

Is Your Home Ready for an Electric Panel Upgrade?

Is Your Home Ready for an Electric Panel Upgrade?

The electric panel is your home’s electrical system’s command center. Also known as the circuit breaker, its power may be switched off and on and is sent all over the home to the different outlets from the panel. It contains breakers or fuses that will “trip” or “blow” if ever there is a short circuit or an over current. Amps are used to measure its capacity, and 60 amps are the normally required amps for a residential panel. With the modern electrical gadgets and huge appliances, it is essential to upgrade your electric panel to ensure that it is capable enough to manage all your electrical requirements. Signs You Might Need an Electric Panel Upgrade Only a professional electrical service provider can rule out an electric panel upgrade, but there are some signs that will tell you when to replace it. Frequent Glitches in the Electrical System. Frequent glitches are easy to recognize. This includes frequent flickering or burning out of lights, blown fuses or tripping of breakers.   Adding Load to the Electric Panel. If you plan to buy new gadgets or appliances or install an electric-powered hot tub, then you need to upgrade the electric panel. Even home remodeling can be an additional burden to the panel, especially if there is an increase in your home’s square footage. Your electric panel may not be able to tolerate the extra load. Homeowner’s Insurance. If the homeowner’s insurance demand that you install a new panel, then you need an upgrade. Selling Your Home. Upgrading your electric panel will allow you to increase the home selling price, particularly for the kitchen and bathroom. The primary reason, though, for an electrical system upgrade is Safety. Fires can easily start with older electric panels because of overload.   At present, the minimum amp for an electric panel is 100 amp, but you can obtain higher amperages, such as 150, 200, and 400. Using a power analyzer, an electrician will determine the amperage suitable to your needs. They do this by performing a home energy audit or by measuring your electricity usage. Upgrading an electric panel may include replacing old wiring and other upgrades. The cost will depend on the number of amps and any other add-on equipment or upgrades, as well as the building permit fee. Why wait until something serious happens? Call American Air’s Grove City, Ohio electrical services now and have them check your circuit breaker!

The Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Plumber

The Benefits of Hiring a Licensed Plumber

Broken pipes, clogged drains, and an overflowing toilet are some of the plumbing problems that confront us. During these situations, professional help is better than a DIY job. Will you attempt to fix the problem on your own, or will you hire a licensed plumber? You may know how to troubleshoot small plumbing problems like a leaking faucet. But that small problem grows into a major problem if it “jimmy rigged” or ignored. Why Hire an American Air Licensed Plumber? Licensed, Bonded and Insured. You are secure hiring professional plumbers. Plumbers at American Air undergo extensive training on simple and complex repairs. They pass difficult state testing. As licensed plumbers, they are understand the latest plumbing trends and accomplish their tasks with ease and quality. All licensed plumber contractors in the US have property damage and bodily insurance. Experienced. They have been exposed to various plumbing problems. This makes them capable of identifying any kind of plumbing issues before it becomes worse, and they know how to handle these problems. Full Plumbing Services. American Air plumbers offer a variety of plumbing services that include replacements, new constructions, repairs, or remodeling. Provide a Diagnosis and Solutions. Professional plumbers will give you a thorough explanation of the main cause of the problem and offer the best ways to fix it. Latest and Right Plumbing Tools. Licensed plumbers use the most up-to-date tools, so the job is efficiently and correctly performed. Reliable Customer Support. To reach them, just call their customer support and solve your problem quickly.   If you have plumbing problems at home, call American Air for professional help from a licensed plumber.

AC Repairs Columbus OH

AC Repairs Columbus OH

Some people think that hiring a professional to service their air conditioner is a big expense. They never realize that it is actually more economical to have it serviced than to wait for another few months until it stops working. Overlooking AC repairs can lead to a more serious problem that might be irreparable. Here are the benefits of having your AC unit serviced: Prevent Impending Expensive Impairments. Spring and summer will make your AC unit very busy. In some states, the AC will stay turned on into the fall. Just like any machine, the motor and mechanics of the air conditioner will succumb to wear and tear brought by frequent use. Although these units were built to last for a certain period of time, overuse and misuse will shorten the lifespan of the AC. Even the most respectable brands require regular maintenance. Even if you regulate the use of your air conditioner, the parts and motor are still working hard. They can still fail. The small components are usually the first to conk out; like the fan belt, a fan blade or an electric wire. Having a professional inspect and service your air conditioner will prevent any impending problems that can lead to the total impairment of your unit. Lengthen the AC’s Lifespan. Solving minor problems such as loose connections, burnt out wires, and broken belts, will help your unit function much longer. As they say, early detection prevents further damage. Less Waiting Time. HVAC technicians will become busier as the weather gets hotter. The hotter the weather, the more chances ACs will break down. Having a professional check your AC this spring will prevent this from happening. Your unit will work perfectly during the summer heat.   With the change of weather, your air conditioning will become very busy again. Now is the best time to call American Air for AC repairs Columbus Oh.  

Replace Your Electric Panel

Replace Your Electric Panel

Is it time to replace your electric panel? Find out today.  

Protect Your Home with a Whole House Dehumidifier

Protect Your Home with a Whole House Dehumidifier

A whole house dehumidifier is installed as part of your heating and cooling system and works in combination with your air conditioner, or on its own as required. It eliminates the exact amount of moisture to protect your home from the humid stuffy air without drying the air completely. Compared to an air conditioner that regulates temperature, a whole house dehumidifier keeps your home comfortable and healthy. Reasons to Purchase a Whole House Dehumidifier Reduces Humidity Levels. High levels of humidity are usually present in basements and crawlspaces, but the excess moisture can go through your entire home. This can make you feel hot and clammy. It attracts allergens such as dust, mites, pests, mildew, and mold that can cause allergy symptoms. With a whole house dehumidifier, the healthy humidity level in your entire house is maintained;, making it dry, comfortable, and healthy. Keeps Home Air Clean and Fresh. It keeps your home smelling fresh and clean by minimizing odors and must brought by mold and mildew. Keeps the Home Clean. It helps reduce dust and dirt so you do not need to clean as often. Preserves Home Items. It protects floors, ceilings, walls and other surfaces from getting moist and sticky. It rids your home of wet blotches on ceilings or walls and condensation on water pipes that trigger allergies. Keeps Foods Fresh. It prevents foods like bread and cereals from getting stale easily. Saves on Energy. A whole house dehumidifier helps your air conditioner operate more efficiently, meaning lower energy bills. The A/C works harder if the air in your home is more humid.  Quiet and Convenient. It runs quietly and efficiently, away from your living space. Low Maintenance. A whole house dehumidifier only needs an annual filter cleaning.   If you need advice on choosing and installing a whole house dehumidifier, call (614) 851-0099. The people at American Air will help you find the ideal unit that suits your needs.

Most Common Air Conditioning Repair

Most Common Air Conditioning Repair

American Air advises homeowners to understand simple components of air conditioning repair so their units will work effectively. The most common AC problems are: Leaky Ducts or Refrigerant Seepage If an air conditioner is not properly charged during installation, it will leak or will have a low refrigerant. Adding refrigerant will not resolve the leak. Look for a qualified technician to repair the leak, test the repair and then charge the correct refrigerant to the system. If the refrigerant is set based on the manufacturer’s specifications, your AC will work efficiently and will not be overcharged or undercharged. Refrigerant leaks are dangerous to the environment, so ensure that your AC does not have any leakage. Inefficient Maintenance Dirty air conditioning coils and filters will prevent the AC to perform and work efficiently. It can also result in early damage of the fans or compressor. Always hire the services of a qualified AC service technician. Failure to do so can aggravate the existing AC problems. Deficient Electric Control Frequent turning on and off of the AC could lead to the early deterioration of the compressor and fan controls. The same thing will happen with a large AC unit. Make sure to have your electrical connections and contacts checked by a qualified technician to avoid the corrosion of your system’s wire and terminals. Sensor Issues The thermostat sensor is a feature of most portable air conditioners. Located behind the control panel, it measures the temperature of air emanating into the evaporative coil. The AC could behave unsteadily or cycle continually if the sensor is mispositioned. The correct position of the sensor is near the coil. To adjust its position, carefully bend the wire that keeps it in place. Drainage Issues Always check the condensation drain when it is humid outside to ensure that it is not blocked and that it is draining properly. Mount window air conditioners levelly or steadily so they will drain properly. Repairing AC problems can cost you time and money. If you find yourself in need of air conditioning repair in Grove City OH, hire the services of a qualified and reputable air conditioning repair company like American Air. We will solve any issues in a fast, effective and economical manner.

Is Your AC Ready for Summer?

Is Your AC Ready for Summer?

American Air can get your AC ready for summer. Call today.

Upgrade with a Sump Pump Battery Backup

Upgrade with a Sump Pump Battery Backup

A sump pump clears water from your basement brought by excessive rain and flooding. There are five types of sump pumps:  pedestal, submersible, battery backup, combination and sewage; all of which are powered by electricity. Of these five types of sump pumps, the sump pump battery backup offers you the assurance of usability even if the power goes out or fails. Its battery propels when the power goes out, so you can continue using the pump.   A battery backup, aside from a primary sump pump, has a second sump pump. It consists of the battery-powered pump, a powerful battery, a charger and an extra piping. It eliminates water from a sump basin that passes through a discharge pipe on the way out. The battery is long-life and does not require frequent charging. American Air can also install a water-sensing alarm on your sump pump. With this alarm you will be alerted if the water level grows too high in the sump pump well so that you can examine further before water floods the basement. Battery backup sump pumps are sold on the market all year long. Upgrade your sump pump and add a battery backup to enjoy the following benefits: Forceful Pumping Power. Some battery backup sump pumps can be very forceful, capable of pumping 3000 gallons/hour at 10 feet of lift. Flexibility. Homeowners can operate the battery backup themselves. Easy to Install. Installation is easy, as they usually use the same discharge pipe as that of the primary sump pump. Some manufacturers of battery backup sump pumps offer three models that are classified as good, better, and best. The best battery backups are fitted with a larger battery, a more sophisticated charger, and are the most expensive. Spring lifts the spirits as we see more sunny days and blooming flowers. This season also brings rains, swollen rivers, the rapid melting of snow, and recurrent storms that elevate water table.  Standing water (even just a few inches) can damage furniture and appliances, corrode metal fixtures and wooden posts, immobilize mechanical systems, as well as encourage the growth of bacteria. Don’t be caught in a spring thunderstorm with no electric and a rapidly flooding basement. Upgrade your sump pump and add a sump pump battery backup to avoid water in your basement.

Tankless Hot Water Heater Savings

Tankless Hot Water Heater Savings

American Air can get you the best tankless hot water heater savings. Call today.  

Save Energy with a Programmable Thermostat

Save Energy with a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat will help resolve your high energy bills. The heating and cooling systems in a home consume a huge amount of energy, which results in higher utility bills. Is there a possible way to reduce energy bills without sacrificing the heating and cooling in your home? How a Programmable Thermostat Works Programmable thermostats are devices that allow you to regulate the temperature of your home based on different settings for different times of the day. They help reduce energy bills by ensuring that your heating and cooling system is set high only in those times of the day that it is needed.   The total amount of savings on your energy bills will depend on how you use the programmable thermostat. Adjusting the normal setting of your thermostat by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours/day will give you an average saving of around 10% per year.   You can store several daily settings on the thermostat like 7 or more temperature settings per day. You can even cancel it manually without disturbing the daily or weekly programmed settings. With a thermostat, you can decrease the temperature during winter and increase it during summer. By doing this, the heating and cooling system work less, which means lower energy costs. To maximize your savings when using a thermostat: Set the thermostat to remain at its energy-savings level for up to 8 hours per day Adjust its settings if you will be away from home or go on a holiday for several days. A number of thermostats have a “hold” or vacation mode for this purpose. Install a thermostat in every delineated area to maximize comfort and savings if you have a zoned heating or cooling system. Observe proper maintenance by changing the batteries every year or when indicated. Adjust the settings to increase your savings and comfort. Remember that you save around 2% on your electric bills for every one-degree adjustment.   Install a programmable thermostat at your home now and lower your energy bills without sacrificing the comfort of your home. Not only will it save you on energy costs, it will also make your home sustainable. American Air Heating & Cooling can also install a wi-fi thermostat to give you the ultimate control for comfort in your home. With a wi-fi thermostat you will be able to control and program the settings using a smart phone, tablet or computer.

Tips to Avoid Costly Service Calls

Tips to Avoid Costly Service Calls

Before Any Service Calls: Be sure that the thermostat is in the correct position. We run numerous service calls every year when the season changes where the thermostat is set in the wrong position. For example, they may have it set for cool, and the air conditioner hasn’t been running because the house has been relatively cool. They then turn up the set point, expecting the furnace to come on. If it’s still in the “cooling” mode, the furnace will not come on. Also, make sure that the thermostat is at a temperature that’s higher than it is currently reading. Check your furnace filter. If it’s dirty, it will cause a limit in the furnace to trip, causing a situation where you’ll have no heat. If you find that it’s dirty, remove and replace it, turn the furnace off at the breaker, leave it off for 30 minutes, and then turn it back on. This should re-set it. Check circuit breakers. If the breaker trips, the furnace won’t come on. Even if it doesn’t appear to be tripped, it doesn’t hurt to reset it if you’re having a problem with the furnace. Be sure that the bottom door of the furnace is on properly. There is a built-in door switch that won’t allow the furnace to operate if it’s not on correctly. If you have a heat pump, keep if free of snow buildup. This may cause the unit to defrost improperly in the heating cycle. On a side note, make sure that you check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors at least annually! It is always a good idea to have your furnace checked annually for safety, by a licensed professional. This will help to ensure that it’s running at peak efficiency and it will keep any applicable manufacturer’s warranties in effect. At American Air Heating, Cooling, Electric, & Plumbing: One Call Does It All!

Gas Lines May Present a Fire Hazard in Your Home

Gas Lines May Present a Fire Hazard in Your Home

If your home construction was between 1990 and 2009, then you may be in danger of fire during an electrical storm. During that time, homes were built using Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing, better known as CSST.  This material is more flexible and therefore easier to install. Installing it was popular in Central Ohio during that time.  After 2009, building codes required contractors bond and ground the gas lines.  This process reduces the risk of a fire during an electrical storm, but homes built prior to 2009 still remain at risk.  If you have this yellow flexible gas line material in your home, you should contact us.  We will inspect it for proper grounding and bond it if necessary.   The initial inspection is free of charge.  Please call (614) 851-0099 for details.   If you want to learn more, read this news story about the dangers of CSST.