Celco Heating and Air Conditioning Blog : Archive for January, 2015

How Can I Get Zone Control in My Home?

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Zone control is a unique feature in some homes, but one that nearly any homeowner can benefit from. With a zone control system, you’ll get individual thermostats installed in each room or zone, which any family member can control separately from the other rooms. This helps to keep everyone more comfortable, and it can save homeowners a lot of money. If you shut off the air and heat or adjust the temperature in a room that goes unoccupied throughout the day, you can potentially save hundreds of dollars in heating or air conditioning bills over the years. And a zone control system can help to keep temperatures even in homes where maintaining consistency is difficult, such as those with multiple floors or unusual architectural designs.

If you’re worried that your current forced-air air conditioning system cannot accommodate zone control, never fear. Most ducted heating and AC systems can be modified to include zone systems. Dampers are installed throughout the ductwork in any area of the home you’d like to control separately from the others. These dampers open and close to increase or decrease airflow. Each damper hooks up to its own thermostat, but you can also control all of the thermostats at once with a master thermostat.

This job will require a specialist. The technician needs the proper tools in order to cut access holes into the ductwork. Furthermore, the technician must select the proper size and shape of damper for the job and the ideal location in the ducts for the damper to perform most effectively.

Don’t have any ductwork for zone control in your home? Renovating your home to accommodate ductwork is quite a task to take on, and can be rather inconvenient and time consuming. However, you can still get zone control when you choose a professional for ductless AC installation. This is not the same as those noisy window units to which you may be accustomed. Ductless ACs contain an outdoor unit just like a traditional split system air conditioner and several indoor air handlers mounted high up on the walls. Each air handler comes standard with its own thermostat for built-in zone control, and these are some of the most efficient systems for those without any ducts.

Call Celco Heating and Air Conditioning to learn more about how you can get ductless air conditioning or forced-air zone systems in Norwalk.

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Can I Replace a Tank Water Heater with a Tankless Unit?

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

If your water heater is like the ones found in most homes in the United States, it probably takes up a lot of space due to the large tank that stores hot water. This type of water heater is known as a storage tank water heater, and its design is effective because it relies on natural processes in order to make hot water available at all times. However, this means that the water heater must continue running for long periods of time, which could end up costing you quite a bit on your utilities. That’s why so many homeowners today prefer small tankless units, but does it make sense to make the switch in your home?

Storage tank water heaters are very reliable and rarely run into trouble as long as they receive occasional maintenance checks. They work in a fairly simple manner. A long tube runs to the bottom of the tank and water is heated either via an electric heating element or a gas burner. The hot water rises to the top of the tank because of the principle that heat rises, and a smaller pipe at the top of the tank allows the water to flow from the tank into the faucet. While this is generally highly effective, the extra cost of keeping water heated throughout the day and the environmental impact sometimes leads homeowners to go tankless.

Tankless water heaters can usually replace storage tank water heaters, though water heater replacement isn’t really recommended unless your existing unit is nearing its expected lifespan or if you have run into problems with your system, as this is the most cost effective time to do so. Tankless water heaters heat water immediately as it water passes through the unit and shut off as soon as the hot water demand is met, eliminating any potential standby energy loss. Though the initial cost may be high, the savings over the years should eventually make up for it.

It’s best to finalize your decision with the help of a professional technician, so that you can make sure the conditions in your home are right for any type of system you desire.

Work with the technicians at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning for superior service and expert advice on water heater replacement in Hamden.

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Reasons for a Lack of Hot Water from Your Boiler

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Homeowners and business owners alike know how comforting it is to walk into a building and instantly feel the heat emanating from a “radiant” heating system. While radiant heating is a common term used to describe the heat generated by a boiler, it’s actually convective and conductive heat that get the job done. Hot water moves into a radiator or baseboard heater or underneath the floorboards, in turn heating the objects and people in the room. Forced-air heating systems, which heat up the air to send it into a room through the vents, can be ineffective at heating large spaces, but a boiler is usually reliable.

That’s why it can be so surprising when your boiler suddenly stops providing heat or only provides a limited amount of heating to a room or to the entire building. Many parts can be responsible for this problem, so it’s important to trust the repair to professionals.

  • Broken Circulator Pump: The circulator pump circulates hot water from the boiler to the terminal unit (radiator or baseboard) or underneath the floorboards if you have a radiant floor heating system. If the pump is broken completely or if it does not pump water quickly enough, you may only feel limited heating in one room, or you might not get any heating in any area. Usually, the pump simply needs replacement.
  • Faulty Aquastat: The aquastat is a safety component that keeps the boiler from overheating. It usually has a lower limit and an upper limit, and attempts to keep the temperature between these two extremes at all times. If the temperature is too high, it shuts off the device, but if the aquastat is misprogrammed or damaged, it may believe the temperature is too high and shut down the system too soon.
  • Air in the Pipes: If there is air in the pipes, it will make it difficult for heat to circulate. Furthermore, you’ll often hear a loud gurgling or banging noise in the pipes and you’ll need a technician to “bleed out” the extra air.
  • Oversized/Undersized Boiler: Unfortunately, a lack of heating is sometimes attributed to a boiler that is not properly sized. You may need a replacement system in order to maintain adequate and efficient heating.

Contact us today for commercial or residential boiler repair in Fairfield, CT.

At Celco Heating and Air Conditioning, we have the tools and experience to get your boiler back to normal operation as quickly as possible.

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What Is an Automatic Standby Generator?

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Years ago, it was unfathomable for a homeowner to have a generator available for backup power, a unit that was one only really found in hospitals and other emergency service locations. But these days, we rely on our home heating and air conditioning equipment and other electric appliances and fixtures to make it through the night. It’s not uncommon for a homeowner to have a portable generator, but these are most common for camping trips or plugging in one or two small applications. An automatic standby generator is a must-have in many homes since it can power all of the important appliances throughout the house.

An automatic standby generator is a large unit that sits outside of your house and is wired into the home, much like a standard two-part air conditioning system. When the automatic standby generator senses that there is no current running through the home, it activates within seconds, using natural gas or propane to run many or all of the most vital electrical components of a home.

A professional will need to help you choose the right automatic standby generator because the size of the unit your technician installs will depend on how many amps you need to energize. If you need to run an air conditioner in the event of an outage due to a family member’s medical needs or because an outage would make life unbearable, you’ll need a strong generator capable of powering a heavy-duty motor. If you only need to power the lights and a few basic necessities, you can spend less money on a smaller unit.

People choose to install generators for various comfort, health, or occupational reasons. But few homeowners think about the potential savings that goes along with a whole-home generator. During a power outage, a homeowner can lose hundreds of dollars in food due to spoiling, thousands repairing burst pipes, and hundreds on hotel costs or alternative living arrangements.

Contact us today to learn about your options for generators in New Haven, CT.

When you choose to speak with the experts at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning, you’ll get an honest assessment of your needs and professional installation and service.

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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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12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at Celco Heating and Air Conditioning hope you have a great start to the year and a fruitful 2015.

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