DuAll Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for November, 2013

The History of the Presidential Turkey Pardon

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Thanksgiving began in 1621, but didn’t become a national tradition until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared it as such in hopes of bringing a divided nation together. We have many Thanksgiving traditions in this country, from turkey as the meal to the annual Cowboys and Lions games on television. But one of the most beloved is the annual Presidential turkey pardon, in which the U.S. President “pardons” a turkey, allowing them to live the remainder of their live freely roaming on farmland. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, we thought you’d like to know a little more about the history of this fascinating tradition.

Farmers have sent turkeys to the White House as far back as the 1800s, hoping to have the honor of providing the President’s annual meal. There have been scattered stories of individual turkeys being “pardoned” throughout that time, including one in which President Lincoln’s son Tad successfully convinced the president to spare a bird intended for the family’s Christmas dinner.

Starting in 1947, the National Turkey Federation became the official supplier of the President’s Thanksgiving birds. The White House arranged for an annual photo op that year with the President receiving the turkey in the Rose Garden. Sadly, there was no pardon as yet; those birds all ended up on the Presidential table.

The push for an official pardon picked up steam in 1963, when President Kennedy asked that the bird be spared, just a few days before his assassination. President Nixon opted to send each of the birds he received to a nearby petting zoo after the photo op, though there was no formal pardon attached.

But it wasn’t until 1989 that the pardon became official. On November 14 of that year, President George H. W. Bush made the announcement, and sent the bird to a Virginia game preserve to live the rest of its life out in cranberry-and-stuffing-free bliss. Since then, every President has held an annual pardoning ceremony, with the lucky turkey spared the axe and sent off to live in peace. Since 2005, the pardoned birds have gone to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, where they have lived as part of a petting zoo exhibit in Frontierland.

No matter what traditions you enjoy this holiday, or who you enjoy them with, all of us here wish you a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving weekend.

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong with My Furnace?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Today’s manufacturers of furnaces design them to meet stringent performance and safety standards. Compared to the furnaces of only 20 years ago, contemporary models have increased service lifespans and excellent energy efficiency.

However, no machine can work perfectly, so the electric or gas furnace in your home can still suffer from malfunctions and breakdowns that will require you call up a skilled technician. For excellent furnace repair in Naperville, IL, you’ll need the assistance of NATE-certified technicians like those on staff at DuAll Heating & Cooling.

Here are a few problems you may encounter with your furnace.

With proper maintenance and prompt repairs, you should have no difficulty overcoming these.

  • Broken blower motor fan belt: All furnaces use forced air sent through ducts to provide warmth. This requires powerful motors attached to fans. If the fan belt develops cracks and starts to loosen, it not only threatens the performance of the fan, it will damage other components in the cabinet. A loud clacking sound from the inside of the cabinet can indicate the need to replace the fan belt.
  • Failed heating elements: Electric-powered furnaces contain an array of heating elements that contain electric coils that heat up when current passes through them. The more heat the thermostat requests, the more elements turn off. An individual heating element can fail (losing its connection, burning out), which will mean a reduction in heating power. The element will need replacement.
  • Pilot light won’t come on: For gas-powered furnaces, a pilot light is the common way to light the burners in the combustion chamber. The pilot light can go out because of a strong draft, in which case it’s usually a simple task to re-light it. However, it may also go out because of loss of pressure in the gas line or from a dirt build-up along the burner, in which case you’ll need the assistance of HVAC specialists to fix the problem. Electric furnaces and some gas furnaces use an electric igniter instead of a pilot light, and these can also malfunction.
  • Cracks in the heat exchangers: The heat exchangers in a gas furnace transfer the high temperature combustion gas into the air. If cracks develop along the exchanger because of long use without maintenance, it can lead to a lead of toxic exhaust gasses—a serious health concern. If you notice black build-up on the furnaces internal components, rust, or an abnormal pilot light flame, shut off the gas to the furnace and contact a technician immediately.

Keep in mind that with regular maintenance—a yearly visit from an HVAC specialists to tune-up and clean your furnace—you should rarely run into any of the issues above. If you sign up for the Maintenance Savings Plan with DuAll Heating & Cooling, you’ll receive regular care, plus discounts on parts and any furnace repair work in Naperville, IL you need.

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Why Does My Home’s Air Get Dry in the Winter?

Friday, November 15th, 2013

It’s a common complaint in the wintertime: your heater delivers plenty of warmth for your home, only to render your air bone dry. Winter air starts out dry to begin with, a condition that’s only exacerbated by the warm air of a heater or furnace.  Humidity levels play a huge role in the comfort of your home, and here in Plainfield, heating systems can sometimes contribute to the problem if you’re not heads up about it. “Why does my home’s air get dry in the winter?” The answer is a little complex, but can help you understand why your home doesn’t feel as comfortable as it should.

When we talk about humidity, we’re usually talking about relative humidity, which should be between 30% and 60% for your home to be comfortable. This becomes more important in the winter because cold air doesn’t hold water as well as hot air does. Warm air expands, which gives it a greater capacity to hold water, while cold air contracts (this is why condensation appears on a cold drink in the summertime; the warm air just outside the glass is being cooled, forcing out the moisture which condenses on the colder surface.) That means when warm air passes over water, it tends to pull it out, drying the air.

You can see how your furnace might contribute to this issue: cycling warm air through your home and pulling moisture out of it. Excessively dry air can cause all kinds of health problems, exacerbating allergies and leading to irritation in the nose and throat. You can remedy this in part by taking a shower, heating up water in a pan or using a portable humidifier. The best long-term solution, however, is to install a whole-house humidifier in your heating system, It will allow you to continue to heat your house while still keeping humidity levels in check.

For more extensive answers to the question “why does my home’s air get dry in the winter?” or to handle other issues regarding Plainfield heating, call upon the pros at DuAll Heating & Cooling. Trained experts are on hand to answer all your questions, so contact us today!

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Win this gift card from Darden restaurants

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

We want to increase our “likes”!!!

darden gift cardGo to facebook and “like” DuAll Heating and Cooling, and we will enter you to win a $50 gift card from Darden.  Deadline Nov 15, 2013

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Heating Problems Caused by a Lack of Maintenance

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

During an Illinois winter, you can expect the heater in your home to do a large amount of work keeping you comfortable. All machines require some level of maintenance to make sure they do not wear down early and break, and this is especially true for heating systems that stay on through most of a cold winter season. Unless you schedule regular maintenance for your heater—annually, at least—you can expect to have numerous headaches from faulty parts and poor performance.

Enrolling in a maintenance program, like the one we offer at DuAll Heating & Cooling, is an investment in your future comfort and a way to save money from costly repairs. Here are some repair issues you might encounter if you let your heating go without regular maintenance.

Remember that even the best maintained heater can still experience an occasional malfunction, so if you require repairs for your heating system in Plainfield, IL, give us a call at DuAll Heating & Cooling and we can take care of it.

3 heating problems lack of maintenance can cause

Reduced air flow: If you have a furnace, you will know that it’s working when you feel warm air wafting from the vents. But if your heater goes without tune-ups and inspections, it can lead to broken blower motors and clogged air filters, and this will cause a reduction in the flow of air and a much colder home.

Overheating boiler: This is a common trouble for boilers that haven’t received regular flushing of their system—an important part of annual maintenance. System flushing removes sediment that can build up in the tank and cause overheating. An overheating boiler will threaten to cause leaking throughout the pipes connected to the water tank.

Full break down: This is the nightmare situation, and the best reason for getting regular maintenance. A combination of stress on moving parts, dirt and dust infiltration, and electrical trouble—all of which a technician could detect and remedy during an inspection—will eventually lead to the heater shutting down during the coldest day of the year (when it has to strain the most). Because HVAC companies must respond to numerous emergency calls on days like this, it can be difficult to get repairs done in timely fashion—and that means some very uncomfortable hours ahead.

Take advantage of the time left before the heavy winter weather arrives to have your annual maintenance done on your heater. DuAll Heating & Cooling has a Maintenance Saving Plan with discounts on parts and labor. Enroll now to get dependable heating for your home.

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Common Heat Pump Repairs You May Encounter

Friday, November 1st, 2013

The climate in Illinois is ideal for a heat pump: warm summers and spring weather, which the cooling function can easily overcome, and cold winters and fall weather that rarely plunges far enough to give the heating function many difficulties. If you have a heat pump installed in your home, you’ve made a wise investment in your year-round comfort.

But, like any machine, heat pumps will need repairs—especially if they don’t receive routine maintenance. Here are some of the common repairs we perform on malfunctioning heat pumps, which should help guide you when you start to experience issues with the one installed in your home.

Whatever the trouble with your heat pump, trust DuAll Heating & Cooling to bring you the heating repair service that will restore it to its prime working condition.

Heat pump repairs we often do:

Replacing faulty reversing valves. One way a heat pump differs from a stand-alone air conditioner is that it has a reversing valve to change the direction of the flow of refrigerant. This permits it to swap the functions of the evaporator and condenser coils. Should this valve malfunction or break, your heat pump will only be able to perform one of its jobs—and possibly lose the ability to do both.

Recharging refrigerant. The chemical known as refrigerant that runs through your heat pump to allow for heat exchange remains at a fixed level—known as its “charge”—during normal operation. Evaporation and condensation will not use it up. However, if the lines develop leaks, you could lose refrigerant. This will lead to icing on either the indoor or outdoor coil that will interfere with the heat exchange. Professionals will have to patch the leaks and recharge the refrigerant to its original level.

Fixing compressor motors. At the heart of the operation of a heat pump are two devices known as compressors, which compress refrigerant into a hot gas to begin the heat exchange cycle. A heat pump needs two compressors to run (an AC has only one), and if the motors that power them break, it will interfere with the heat exchange cycle. Dirty bearings and burnt wiring can cause motor failures, and the motors will either need to be repaired or replaced.

The moment you sense something is wrong with your heat pump—whether it’s a loss of cooling or heating power, or a strange grinding noise from the cabinet you’ve never heard before—call in HVAC professionals to diagnose the problem and fix it. The longer you wait to get repairs, the more likely the problems will escalate into more expensive repair.

For premium quality heating repair in Naperville, IL, contact DuAll Heating & Cooling. Our slogan is “quality with affordability”—just what you’re looking for.

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