Celco Heating and Air Conditioning Blog : Posts Tagged ‘New Haven’

What Is Kettling and How Does It Affect My Boiler?

Monday, January 5th, 2015

If you are someone who enjoys a good cup of tea, or live with someone who does, you have likely heard the sound of a tea kettle boiling. Coming from a tea kettle, this is a good thing; coming from your boiler, it isn’t. If you aren’t familiar with what a tea kettle sounds like when it reaches the boiling point, it’s a low rumble, and if you hear this sound coming from your boiler, it is likely that you have a kettling problem. Kettling can be fixed, but requires professional boiler repair. The experts at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning can assist you with any boiler repair issue you may have in New Haven, CT, so call us today!

What Is Kettling?

Boilers are part of a hydronic heating system, meaning they use water to heat your home. Water often contains minerals in it, especially areas that have hard water (water that hasn’t been softened with chemicals). Over time, water can leave deposits of calcium salts (lime) in your boiler’s heat exchanger. These salts are insoluble, so if they are allowed to build, they will eventually restrict the water. The term “kettling” refers to the action that happens when too many deposits are inside the heat exchanger: the water flow is restricted and as such, becomes trapped in the heat exchanger; it then becomes too hot and starts to steam, boil and expand, which is when you’ll hear the low rumble of the water kettling.

How Does Kettling Affect a Boiler?

There are a few ways kettling can affect your boiler, but one thing it does not do is cause your boiler to explode. Boilers, like all other heating systems, are equipped with multiple safety devices and mechanisms to ensure the safety of you, your home, your family and your system. Some of the problems kettling can cause are:

  • Inadequate heating – kettling reduces the ability of your boiler to correctly distribute the hot water needed to heat your home.
  • Replacement of heat exchanger – the pressure created by the kettling may result in the replacement of your heat exchanger.
  • More stress on the system – kettling can put a great deal of stress on your entire heating system, resulting in further malfunction and possible breakdown.

If you suspect your boiler may have a kettling problem, don’t wait to call for repair in New Haven, CT – contact the experts at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning today!

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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.

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Common Problems with Commercial Heating Systems

Monday, November 17th, 2014

In an area like New Haven, you know how important commercial heating is to keeping your customers comfortable. They don’t want to walk into your business and have it feel like a freezer. Moreover, you and your employees probably don’t want to work in that environment either. So it’s a big deal when your commercial heating system stops working right. In order to help prevent costly repairs, it pays to know some common issues with your commercial heating system. Let’s examine some of the most common problems.

Icing Over

As most commercial heating systems are heat pumps, icing over becomes a big issue. A heat pump relies on its outdoor unit to provide thermal energy with which to warm the air. This outdoor unit contains an evaporator coil, which evaporates refrigerant to draw heat into it. There are two side effects to this kind of heat siphoning. The first is that the air temperature around the unit drops. The second is that condensation forms on the unit. The low temperature causes the condensation to freeze, forming ice on the heat pump. Normally, this isn’t a problem, as heat pumps have a defrost cycle that allows them to melt any ice that forms on the unit. If that function stops working, however, the entire unit can ice over and stop circulating heat. If your heating system is circulating cold air instead of warm, you might want to check the outdoor unit and see if it’s got ice on it.

Refrigerant Leaks

Refrigerant is the liquid responsible for transporting thermal energy throughout the heating system. There is a set level of refrigerant included in the heating system during installation, which is recycled during normal operation. If a leak develops in the refrigerant line for whatever reason, it can drain the refrigerant from the system. When that happens, the heater will lose its ability to circulate heat over time.

If your heating system is acting up, call Celco Heating and Air Conditioning. We can meet all of your commercial heating repair needs. Our technicians cover the entire New Haven area.

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The Importance of Scheduling Fireplace Maintenance in New Haven

Monday, September 29th, 2014

You may think that a fireplace doesn’t really need regular maintenance. After all, there are many fireplaces across the world that are over a century old and still work fine. Unfortunately, even the sturdiest fireplace can still develop issues that can shorten its life and efficiency. If you use your fireplace often, you should keep an eye out for these maintenance issues.

Creosote

There are more byproducts created by burning wood than simple wood smoke. Creosote is a tarry substance that can accumulate in flues and chimneys over time. It is produced by burning wood incompletely. If enough creosote builds up in the chimney, it can actually start a fire. Large amounts of creosote can also prevent the chimney from venting properly, causing smoke and other dangerous fumes to be forced back down into your home.

Blockages

This is more common in older chimneys or ones that have been out of use for a while. Twigs and leaves can fall into the chimney. Broken bricks from the chimney itself can fall and build up a blockage. Even bird nests can be built inside it. All sorts of things can potentially prevent your chimney from venting, so it is important to have a professional inspect it once a year to identify and clear any problems.

Leaks and Cracks

Chimney mortar is pretty strong, lasting about a century with proper maintenance. Even so, extreme stress or incorrectly installed mortar can cause cracks in the chimney. This can cause all sorts of problems, from improper venting to water leaking into the fireplace. If the mortar is damaged badly enough, part of the chimney may even collapse. This will obviously cost a lot to repair, so make sure that you are having your fireplace and chimney regularly inspected for warning signs.

If you haven’t scheduled your annual fireplace maintenance yet, call Celco Heating and Air Conditioning.

Our technicians are experts in New Haven fireplace maintenance. We’ll check all potential problem areas, and make sure that your fireplace is set to last another hundred years.

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Signs That You Need New Air Conditioning Installation in Late Summer

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Your air conditioner can’t wave a white flag when it’s ready to give up, but it will display signs that its tenure is at an end. Summer is obviously not the best time for a new air conditioning installation in New Haven, but it does happen. What are some of the signs you should be looking for? Here is a short list our Celco Heating and Air Conditioning technicians have put together to help you:

  • Frequent repairs – we love our customers, but are we seeing you too much? Frequent repairs are not only inconvenient, they can add up to be quite costly. In fact, they can sometimes add up to the cost of a new system. If this is the case with your AC, it may be time to look at purchasing a new system.
  • Age – is your air conditioner more than 10 years old? If so, you may be losing out on energy efficiency. It’s estimated that today’s air conditioners are as much as 60% more efficient than models from just 10 years ago, a difference that could save you money in monthly utility bills.
  • Decreased cooling – aging air conditioners can lose the ability to keep up with your home’s cooling demand. Sometimes this becomes evident as hot-and-cold spots throughout your home, or your AC just doesn’t cool as well as it once did. Pushing an aging air conditioner only accelerates the chances of breakdown, so if your air conditioner isn’t cooling properly, it may be time to look at one that can.
  • Costly repairs – costly repairs add up faster than smaller, frequent repairs, putting a dent in your wallet and monthly budget very quickly. At some point, you may have to weigh whether or not it’s worth your time and money to make a costly repair, or smarter to replace your existing unit.
  • Your system uses R-22 (Freon) – R-22, better known as Freon, is being phased out by the government, and by 2020 will no longer be available. While Freon is no longer used in the manufacturing of air conditioners, it is available for repairs – but the cost has skyrocketed. R-22 cannot be replaced with the more environmentally-friendly R-410A, so if you have a system that needs R-22, replacement is inevitable.

Are you seeing the signs for the possible replacement of your air conditioner?

If so, don’t let just anyone handle your air conditioning installation in New Haven. Since 1976, Celco Heating and Air Conditioning has helped New Haven customers with AC installation, and we can help you, too. Call us today!

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What Are the Principles Behind Geothermal Cooling?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

Cooling a home down using the power of a geothermal heat pump is one of the most reliable and energy-saving methods of air conditioning. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that geothermal heat pumps work three to four times more efficiently than standard air-source heat pumps. They also have extraordinary longevity: the indoor heat pump components can last 20 years, and the in-ground coils can last more than 50. Geothermal power also produces few emissions, making it a good idea for the environment as well.

But how does geothermal power cool down a home? We’ll explain the surprisingly simple way that a geothermal heat pump delivers you cooling as powerful as any standard air conditioner.

If you’re eager to get started with geothermal cooling in New Haven, CT, contact our technicians at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning. We have helped customers year-round since 1976.

How geothermal cooling operates

The basic principle behind geothermal cooling is heat exchange, which is also the principle behind air conditioners and air-source heat pumps. Geothermal home comfort systems are types of heat pumps: they move heat from one location and deposit it in another. However, the standard heat pump uses the air as the medium for its heat exchange. During hot weather, the heat pump removes heat from the indoor air and puts it in the outdoor air, lowering the indoor temperature. During cold weather, it reverses the process.

A geothermal heat pump, however, is a ground-source heat pump: it uses the earth’s warmth for half of the heat exchange process. During the summer, the indoor unit absorbs heat through evaporation, just like an air conditioner does. But it moves the heat through water-filled coils down into the ground and deposits it there. The ground coils are buried 10 feet or deeper beneath the surface, where the temperature stabilizes around 55°F. The stable temperature is how geothermal heat pumps achieve their high efficiency; they do not have to worry about temperature fluctuations in the air that can make it harder to carry out heat exchange. This is especially important during the winter, when the heat pump switches from cooling mode to heating mode; the low temperatures of a Connecticut winter have no effect on a ground-source heat pump, because the underground temperature remains the same.

Professional geothermal installation

The work involved required to install a geothermal heat pump is intensive and time-consuming. You should only entrust it to expert installers who will make the work go as smoothly and quickly as possible. For quality installation for geothermal cooling in New Haven, CT, contact Celco Heating and Air Conditioning today. We also repair and maintain geothermal heat pumps, so you can rely on us to take care of your system for many years to come.

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How Winter Cold Creates Problems with Your Fireplace

Friday, March 28th, 2014

The winter cold still continues into the spring here in New Haven, so if you have a fireplace in your home, you’re probably still getting plenty of cozy use out of it. But even though we expect to have hearth flames glowing during the winter, the winter’s cold can cause some serious problems for your fireplace that may require you to hire a professional fireplace repair service to fix the issues.

We’ll look at the problems that harsh cold can create for a fireplace and chimney. Because of the sturdy brick and stone construction of most fireplaces, repairs require specially trained workers. For your fireplace in New Haven, CT, call our hearth and chimney experts at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning.

Winter Problems for a Fireplace

The No. 1 trouble that cold weather will cause a fireplace is cracking because of moisture. Water will get into a chimney and fireplace during rains or light snow, and moisture will enter small crevices in bricks and mortar and inside the chimney liner. When the temperature drops further, the water will freeze and expand as it becomes ice. This can cause large cracks to develop in the masonry and the chimney liner. This is not only a structural problem, it can allow flames and heat to escape from the chimney and firebox of the fireplace, leading to damage to combustible material or fires starting in upper floors or on the roof. Cracking of any kind needs professional heating system repairs before it turns worse.

The other problem you can encounter in cold weather is trouble with heavy downdrafts (or “negative pressure”). For your fireplace to work properly, it must displace exhaust up the chimney and replace the vacant area with cooler air. Strong winter winds can cause external pressure on the chimney and create problems with proper venting, as well as blow smoke back into your home. This problem can be worse if the chimney isn’t tall enough (an issue that may require extensive reconstruction), or it might come from a damaged damper. If you have serious problems with this, have a professional come out to inspect your fireplace for possible fixes.

Maintain Your Fireplace

To make sure that the problems from cold weather do not compound and worsen, you need to schedule regular maintenance and cleaning for your fireplace and chimney. For professional heating service in New Haven, CT, pick up the phone and give us a call today to set up your next appointment. Don’t forget to ask about our maintenance program so you’ll know how best to care for your cozy hearth.

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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!

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