Archive for December, 2014

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

“No two snowflakes are alike.” This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning, we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

How Can I Tell if My Fireplace Is Venting Properly?

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Fireplaces can add extra heat to your home during the winter, but if the fireplace isn’t venting properly, you may get a whole lot more than extra heat. Understanding how your fireplace vents can help you see the signs of poor fireplace ventilation more quickly, so we’ll explain this below. However, if you are seeing obvious signs of problems every time you use your fireplace, such as smoke blowing back into your living space, it’s time to call your Celco Heating and Air Conditioning technician and schedule fireplace repair in New Haven, CT.

How a Fireplace Drafts

Fireplaces and chimneys work on the principle that hot air rises. In a fireplace that works correctly, the hot air and toxic byproducts created by the fire will rise through the chimney and exit through the top; as this happens, the airspace that opens from this venting is filled with cool air. The cool air feeds the fire, warms up and then exits through the top of the chimney. Correct drafting creates a cyclical effect that will continue until the fire goes out.

Problems That Interfere with Venting

There are a few ways problems with your fireplace and chimney can affect venting:

  • Blockages in the chimney – when something is physically blocking your chimney, the drafting process is completely interrupted. Common blockages are insect and animal nests, an incorrectly-sized flue cap and faulty dampers.
  • Backdrafting – negative pressure is part of the drafting process in your chimney. However, if there is negative air pressure in the room where your fireplace is, the opposite can happen: instead of the hot gases and combustion byproducts being sucked up the chimney, they are sucked back into your room.
  • Firebox is too small – fireboxes and chimneys need to be in correct ratio to one another in order for proper venting to occur: for every 10 square inches of firebox, there should be one square inch of chimney flue. Additionally, the firebox should be no more than 1 inch from the back of the chimney. If the ration isn’t correct, the soot and gases from a fire could backup into your home.

If you have questions about your fireplace, or believe you may be experiencing a problem with your fireplace’s venting, contact Celco Heating and Air Conditioning today.

How Can I Benefit from Duct Replacement?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

The ventilation system connected to an air conditioner and forced-air heater is essential for proper comfort inside a home. The ductwork must retain an airtight seal so that the air inside won’t lose pressure and won’t either gain or lose heat. Should the integrity of the ducts decline because of holes, gaps, or lose connections, it will jeopardize the entire HVAC system.

Celco Heating and Air Conditioning offers services to care for residential ductwork, such as duct sealing. But sometimes sealing holes along ducts is insufficient for restoring the HVAC system; in these cases, replacing the ducts is the better option. Ductwork replacement is also helpful for upgrading to a new heating and cooling system, where the older ducts are not suited to the replacement system, or in situations where the ducts were poorly installed in the first place. Our ductwork specialist will provide you with the duct replacement in Hamden, CT that you need. Call us today to set up an appointment.

How ductwork replacement will benefit you

  • Energy savings: When ducts sustain enough damage that they require replacement, they will have a devastating effect on energy efficiency. Air leaks and drops in air pressure will press the heating and cooling system to work harder than they should, and you will see energy bills skyrocket. Fully replacing the faulty ducts will shore up your HVAC system against large energy losses.
  • Indoor air quality improvement: When you consider that most of the ductwork runs through closed-in, dusty areas of a house (between the walls, through ceilings, crawlspaces), you’ll understand why a broken duct can allow in so many harmful contaminants. You don’t want such pollutants, many of which are toxic, to end up blown into the house. New ducts will help you protect your indoor air from a steep decline.
  • Better comfort: Along with reduction in airflow and temperature changes that will reduce the level of heating or cooling that you receive, damaged ducts can also lead to changes in the humidity inside the ducts and consequently inside the house. New ducts will keep your comfort levels stable. They will also help with upgrades to your heating and cooling system so you will get the most out of a new installation.

Make sure you watch for warning signs that you may need new ducts put in: loss of airflow from the vents, rumbling and rattling sounds, odd odors, and massive leaps in heating and cooling costs. At the first indication that your home’s ducts are losing integrity, call Celco Heating and Air Conditioning. We will determine if you need ductwork replacement in Hamden, CT, and can supply whatever work necessary to secure your ventilation system.

Will My Furnace Make It Through Another Winter?

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

It’s a question we hear in a lot of forms, but what it boils down to is this: is it time to replace your existing furnace? Sometimes the answer can be obvious, such as when you have an old furnace that breaks down for that final time. But other times it may not be as clear, and to arrive at the answer that works for you, you’ll need to consider a few factors. No matter what your decision, whether it’s to repair your existing furnace or replace it, know that the trained technicians at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning can meet all your heating needs in Stamford.

Factors to Consider Before Replacing

When your situation isn’t cut-and-dry, review these factors:

Age of Your System

The average lifespan of a combustion heating system is 15-20 years. Once a heating system reaches this age bracket, things like needing repair, corrosion and overall poor performance can accelerate. Age is one of the top reasons to replace a system, but when you combine the age of your system with other issues, it may be time to consider replacement.

Number and Types of Repairs

Every electro-mechanical device will need repair during its lifetime. But if you are making many repairs to your heating system, or making costly repairs to your heating system, you may want to review how much these repairs have cost. Repairs add up, and at some point you may spend an amount equal to a new system. If this is the case, you need to decide if your money is better spent on your existing system or on a new one.

Energy Efficiency

One of the telltale signs of a fading heater is higher energy bills. This is because an aging or older system has to work harder to achieve your set temperature than it used to, and when it works harder, it uses more energy. Today’s furnaces are much more energy efficient than ones from just 10 years ago, so if you are losing money each month in high energy costs, you may want to explore what a more efficient system can do for you.

If you are still having trouble trying to decide whether or not it’s time to replace your, contact Celco Heating and Air Conditioning today.