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.

What Kind of Heater is Right for My Home?

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

You have many choices today when it comes to home heating. Some people might say you have too many, because it makes narrowing down your decision more difficult. However, we don’t believe a variety of choices is a negative: you just need the proper guidance to move you toward the right system. This post will give you some help surveying your choices.

Nothing beats having personal, professional advice, however. To answer the question, “What kind of heating in Huntsville, TX is right for me?” contact the experts at Ardon Maintenance. We’ll assist you in deciding among these options:

Furnaces

Furnaces heat air and then use blowers and ducts to distribute it around a home. Although they are the oldest kind of heating system, furnaces have kept up with technological changes. The biggest advantages of furnaces are their flexibility (they can run from a variety of power sources) and relatively low-cost installations.

Boilers

Another perennial favorite, boilers use hydronic power—heated water—to provide warmth. Boilers have amazing longevity and minor repair requirements because they contain few moving parts. They also operate quietly and provide clean heat without the need for forced air through ducts.

Heat pumps

These excellent appliances provide both air conditioning and heating through the process of heat exchange. Since they don’t burn fuel to create heat (they move heat instead) they offer superb energy-efficient performance. They use existing ducts, or can be installed as ductless mini-splits.

Geothermal

These are a type of heat pump that use the natural power of the earth as their medium of exchange. They have high initial installation costs, but will pay for themselves in 5 to 10 years because of their energy efficiency. If you want to “go green,” geothermal is a great option.

Radiant floor heating

Popular in Europe for years, using hydronic power to heat floorboards has started to make a major entry into the U.S. Radiant floor heating is effective and clean, and is especially attractive as an initial installation when building a new home.

As you can see, you have an array of choices for home heating, all with pros and cons. No matter how great an individual system may sound, it might not be the right one for your home. Have professional HVAC experts involved from the beginning so that you will end up with a heater that will give you optimal warmth during the winter.

When it comes to professional installation for heating in Huntsville, TX, make sure you hire a contractor who employs NATE-certified technicians. That way you know you’re getting installers with quality training. At Ardon Maintenance, we’re proud to offer NATE-certified technicians for our installation jobs.

Can a Furnace Rust?

Friday, November 15th, 2013

During the occasional cold nights that blow through Texas during the winter, there’s nothing more comforting than having a durable furnace wafting cozy warmth through the vents into your home. Properly cared for, a furnace should last you through many winters keeping you comfortable. Furnaces do occasionally need repairs, even with the best maintenance. If you encounter the need for furnace repair in Madisonville, TX, make your first call to Ardon Maintenance. Our 24-hour emergency service will take care of you.

Do You Have Rust on Your Furnace?

If you’ve found rust along any section of your furnace, you might feel a bit bewildered. After all, furnaces use forced-air to warm your home: the fuel source generates heat that is transferred to air, which fans then blow through the ducts. Water is not involved in this process. How could rust occur?

A furnace is made of metal, so it’s always possible that it can suffer from the oxidation that produces rust. The issue here is where the water is coming from. You need to track down the reason for this so you can prevent more rust occurring to your furnace and damaging it to the point it no longer operates.

The first possibility to consider is that you air conditioner is at fault. The air conditioning unit often sits above the furnace cabinet, and AC’s can produce excess moisture during operation. This moisture should go into a condensate pan, but should this pan become clogged, the water will begin to spill out—and go right onto the furnace. You’ll need a professional HVAC technician to remedy both problems.

Another common cause for rust in a furnace is humidity getting inside the cabinet. This can infiltrate the system through the vents, and if it occurs, it often means larger problems with corrosion might have spread into the ducts. For gas-powered furnaces, there is some water moisture as a by-product of gas combustion. If you notice rust flakes on your cabinet, you need to act on it immediately, because it will start to spread.

The best way to prevent rust on your furnace is to make sure the system receives regular preventive maintenance which will keep it clean and also detect problems from excess moisture and issues from other appliances like the air conditioner that will cause rust scales to start to develop on your furnace.

You should also regularly check the bottom of the furnace housing for rust, which is the first place it will show up. If the rust reaches the cabinet housing, the damage will be so extensive that it will require much more drastic and expensive measures to remedy. Call for repairs at the first sign of rust flakes.

For excellent maintenance and furnace repair in Madisonville, TX, you can depend on the experience of the staff at Ardon Maintenance.

What Happens During Plumbing Maintenance

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Your pipes and plumbing system are some of the most important elements of your home, providing safe water for cooking and cleaning. Like any other appliance, they require regular maintenance to stay in good shape. A planned upkeep session from a trained professional will help keep your pipes functioning as they should, as well as extending the life of your plumbing system as a whole. When it comes to plumbing maintenance, Huntsville TX residents have a number of options, but what happens during plumbing maintenance specifically?

Particulars vary depending on the individual company, but a basic overview can be found below:

  • The plumber will check the water pressure in the home and make sure it is at the appropriate levels.
  • He or she will check the plumbing system for existing leaks, especially in the faucets and around any fittings. If the leak can be repaired easily (by tightening a fitting for instance) then the plumber will do so.
  • He or she will examine the drains to make sure they drain quickly, and snake or cleanse the drains that don’t.
  • He or she will check the shower heads for signs of calcification and build-up, then clean that build up if any exist.
  • He or she will examine the toilet, ensure that it flushes correctly and that there are no leaks or similar problems.
  • He or she will check for cracked tiles in the bathroom, corrosion in the pipes or other signs of potential problems that may not be present immediately, but could cause more serious situations further on down the line.

A maintenance session isn’t strictly a repair session, but those little tweaks can help prevent repairs later on. Furthermore, it a larger problem is detected, it can be dealt with preemptively rather than waiting for a more extensive failure later on. For help with plumbing maintenance, Huntsville TX residents have an ally in Ardon Maintenance. We can explain what happens during plumbing maintenance, then schedule a session that fits your timeframe perfectly.

Pick up the phone and give us a call today; you’ll be glad that you did.

Types of Furnaces for You to Choose From

Friday, November 1st, 2013

What continues to make furnaces such a popular option for providing homes with heat during the winter? One reason is that furnaces have great variety: there’s one for every home and every family. It’s rare that professional HVAC installers can’t find a type of furnace to match an individual house’s needs.

And that’s why you should rely on professional HVAC installers to help you choose your furnace. With the cornucopia of options available, furnace selection can seem overwhelming and even frustrating… and without professional assistance, you’ll likely end up with the wrong model for your needs. Trust the experts at Ardon Maintenance to guide you in choosing the best furnace for installation in Madisonville, TX. We can handle the installation process from beginning to end.

There are many variables among furnaces, from their fuel sources to their operation.

Here are some of the types of furnaces you may consider:

Gas furnaces

The most popular furnace models today run off natural gas. Because of the lower cost of natural gas compared to electricity, a gas furnace is an excellent way to slim down your monthly power bills. However, gas furnaces often cost more to install than electric furnaces and do have the potential (although rare) of carbon monoxide leaks.

Modulating furnaces

These advanced natural gas furnaces continually modulate the amount of gas they burn to maintain a steady temperature. Unlike standard furnaces, which attain their target temperature and then shut off, a modulating furnace avoids the extra fuel expense of constant starts. This also helps it to evenly heat your home. However, modulating furnaces are usually more expensive to purchase than standard models.

Electric furnaces

This is a good option if your home doesn’t have a access to a gas line. Electric furnaces use heating elements to warm up the air which it circulates throughout your home. They are easy to fit inside most houses because of their generally small size, and they have lower initial installation costs—but they will incur higher power bills than a gas furnace.

Propane furnaces

Although propane furnaces can achieve the same amount of heating power as a gas model, we don’t often recommend them because they are not as fuel-efficient and are far less environmentally-friendly than other options.

Your furnace choice needs to fit the unique requirements of your home so don’t go it alone when choosing your home heating system. When it comes to furnaces in Madisonville, TX, you should turn to Ardon Maintenance and our NATE-certified technicians. Contact us today!