Archive for February, 2014

How to Maintain Your Generator

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Homeowners today are more aware than ever of the dangers of extended power outages due to storms, extreme cold weather, and other disasters. A whole-house generator is an important appliance to have connected to your home so that you and your family can remain safe and comfortable during a lengthy blackout. Especially with an automated generator, which turns on the moment that it detects a power outage, you’ll have your worries about power loss lessened.

Generators need regular maintenance to make sure they are ready to go when you need them. You don’t want to find out about a generator failure in the middle of a power outage! It’s easy to take the generator for granted because you only need it occasionally, so make an effort to routinely check on it—especially after it has had to run for any period of time.

Celco Heating and Air Conditioning can help you: we specialize in New Haven, CT generator installation, repair, and maintenance. Call us to sign up for regular maintenance on your generator.

Here Are Some Maintenance Tips

  • Check on the oil: No matter the power source, oil is a crucial element to keep the generator running without too much stress. Make a routine check on the oil level, just as you would with a car. The oil and the oil filter should be changed after 200 hours of operation.
  • Inspect the air cleaner and spark plugs: Have a professional change them if anything looks wrong. Also, you should have both changed every two years.
  • Inspect the battery: Look for similar problems as you would with a car battery: loose cables and corrosion along the connections.
  • Schedule professional maintenance: Although the above checks are all ones you can do yourself, it takes a professional to give your generator a thorough inspection and tune-up to make sure it is working its best and has no impending repair needs. Regular maintenance will include changing the oil and the oil filter, as well as the spark plug and air cleaner replacements as needed.

Look to Celco Heating and Air Conditioning to Take Care of Your Generator

Our staff at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning takes seriously our commitment to protecting you and your family with the installation, repair, and maintenance of your generator in New Haven, CT. If you want to make certain your generator is ready to handle the next major power outage, give us a call today and sign up for regular maintenance visits. Trust us with all of your HVAC service needs in New Haven, CT, and we’ll make sure you are satisfied with our work!

Ductwork vs. Ductless Mini Split Systems: Which Wins?

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Using ductwork to distribute the conditioned air from forced-air systems (furnaces and heat pumps) is the long-standing traditional way of heating and cooling homes. But the traditional method now has competition with the ductless mini split heat pump. As a consumer looking for a comfort system for your home, you face choosing between the two. Is one inherently superior? Is new technology the winner, or did tradition become the tradition for good reasons?

We won’t keep you in suspense: the answer is both and neither. The system that will work for your home depends on your home’s individual needs and your plans. We’ll look over some of the advantages and disadvantages of the two in this post, but keep in mind that you will need to consult with HVAC professionals to make the best choice.

For help with ductwork in Greenwich, CT or to find out about ductless mini splits, contact Celco Heating and Air Conditioning.

Ductwork: The Old Standard

The main advantage of ductwork is that it is everywhere. If you are not currently planning to construct a new home or to build a home, you probably have ductwork in the walls and ceilings of your house. Even if you use a boiler for heating, your air conditioner requires ductwork.

The presence of ductwork means that it is easy to have a heat pump installed that simply hooks up to the existing ventilation system. Ductwork systems are also unobtrusive, with the ducts hidden and only small vents needed in rooms.

Ductless: The New Technology

Ductless mini split systems are heat pumps as well, and don’t operate any differently than one in the outdoor cabinet. But instead of sending cooled or heated air from a single indoor unit into ventilation shafts, a ductless mini split heat pump has multiple indoor blower units that connect through refrigerant lines to the outdoor unit. The blowers send the conditioned air directly into the room.

The main advantage here is that it permits flexibility with new construction and saves tremendous space. They are also perfect for add-on rooms. Ductless systems permit zone control: homeowners can choose to heat only the rooms in the house that receive use. However, ductless systems do look more obvious inside rooms (the blower units) and may not be efficient solutions for homes that already have ducts.

We Can Help You Make The Choice

If you have ductwork in your home, you may want to stay with a standard heat pump (or furnace and AC), unless you are building an additional room, in which case ductless can offer great savings. For new construction, give ductless mini splits serious consideration. Celco Heating and Air Conditioning will be there to assist you so that you make the right choice for ductwork and other heating and air conditioning services in Greenwich, CT.

Who Wrote the First Valentine’s Day Love Poem?

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The celebration of Valentine’s Day is often seen as a modern institution, even if the roots of the holiday go back to Late Antiquity and the figures of St. Valentine of Rome and St. Valentine of Terni. It’s difficult to separate our view of February 14th from the more recent phenomenon of greeting cards, comical cupids, and specialty treats from candy companies.

However, not only are some of these traditions older than we might think (mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards were an enormous success in early 19th-century England), but the earliest Valentine’s Day love poem comes from none other than the first great English author, Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote in the second half of the 14th-century.

Chaucer’s most famous work is The Canterbury Tales, an enormous collection of linked stories in poetry and prose. But his 700-line poem “Parlement of Foules” has the special distinction of being the first surviving record of a connection between Valentine’s Day and romantic love. Chaucer probably composed the poem in 1381–82. At the time, he was a member of the court of King Richard II, holding an important bureaucratic position in London. The date suggests that Chaucer wrote “Parelment of Foules” to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of the English king to Princess Anne of Bohemia.

The poem follows the dream of the narrator, where he walks through Venus’s temple and discovers a meeting of birds where they all choose their mates. This is where the mention of St. Valentine’s Day appears (English modernized):

For this was on St. Valentine’s Day,

When every bird cometh there to choose his mate.

The poem also contains a familiar Valentine’s image, Cupid with his arrows:

Under a tree, beside a well, I saw

Cupid our lord his arrows forge and file;

And at his feet his bow already lay.

When Chaucer mentions St. Valentine’s Day, is he referring specifically to February 14th? Late winter isn’t a time when birds in England would mate. However, the date for the start of spring—when some birds would have started nesting in England—was on February 23rd in the calendars of the time, certainly close enough for Chaucer to take poetic license and nudge it a bit to match with Valentine’s Day.

Love birds remain a popular symbol of Valentine’s Day even now, and for this we can thank Chaucer. In fact, he may very well have invented the link between love and Valentine’s Day, although we will probably never know for certain.

Whoever started these traditions, all of us here at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning hope you have a pleasant February 14th.

Signs You Need to Install a New Fireplace

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

If you look over the estimates for the longevity of various home heating systems, you’ll notice that one stands far above the others: the fireplace. While other heaters are considered fortunate if they last 25 years, fireplaces can endure for up to 100 years. Fireplaces are often known to last longer than the houses around them.

However, a fireplace will still succumb to the ravages of time. If you live in an older home that inherited a fireplace, you may find that it needs replacement. When that happens, call Celco Heating and Air Conditioning for new fireplace installation in Milford, CT.

How will you know that an old fireplace needs retirement? Here are some of the tell-tale signs:

  • Moisture and leaking: One of main signs of severe damage to a fireplace is the presence of moisture entering it. If your chimney begins to leak, it means water is getting through the building material. Another indication that this is happening is when you notice damage to the wallpaper around the fireplace, showing where water is escaping through the chimney wall. The reason this is so serious is that moisture inside the bricks will cause them to crack (known as spalling) and eventually crumble. The situation will get worse during the winter as the water freezes and expands. Have a fireplace installer look over your hearth and chimney to determine if replacement is the best option.
  • A leaning chimney: If you notice from the outside of your home that the chimney of your fireplace seems to be leaning, you have a serious problem. A leaning chimney will put huge stress on the building material of your home, and if it falls, it could rip away a large section of the wall. When a chimney starts to lean, it usually means catastrophic damage to its foundations. You will need to have a complete replacement.
  • Cracks in the flue lining: The lining inside your fireplace’s flue helps it vent correctly. But it also prevents heat and flames from escaping the chimney and the hearth and reaching combustible building material. When the flue starts to crack, the fireplace can become a major safety hazard. Don’t ignore this problem and think the fireplace’s durability will protect it. Have an inspection done right away to see if you should have a new fireplace installed.

We realize that taking out an old fireplace and putting in a new one is a large task. However, if you call the fireplace replacement experts at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning, they will take care of the job quickly and with as little interruption to your daily life as possible. Trust your fireplace installation and other heating service installations in Milford, CT to us.