Archive for December, 2013

New Year’s Traditions Explained

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

2014 is almost upon us, and with the coming of the New Year, we thought we’d take a brief look at some of the more popular traditions associated with this holiday. It’s been around for at least 4,000 years: as long as we’ve figured out how long it takes for the seasons to come and go. Here’s a quick discussion about some of our more modern traditions and where they started:

  • Auld Lang Syne. The famous song began in Scotland, where it was published by Robert Burns in 1796.  He claims he initially heard it sung by an elderly resident of his hometown, which suggests it has traditional folk origins even before that. It became even more popular when big band leader, Guy Lombardo, started playing it every New Year’s Eve, starting in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Dropping of the Ball in Times Square. The tradition of dropping the ball in Times Square started in 1907. It was made out of iron and wood with light bulbs located on the surface, and the ball originally “dropped” over the offices of the New York Times at One Times Square. Dick Clark famously broadcast the event every year from 1972, until his death in 2012.
  • The Rose Parade. The Tournament of Roses Parade has been held in Pasadena every year since 1890; taking advantage of California’s warm weather to present a parade of floats, bands and horses. A football game was eventually added to the festivities in 1902, when Michigan dominated Stanford’s team by a score of 49-0
  • Baby New Year. The use of a baby to signify the New Year dates back to Ancient Greece, where it symbolized the rebirth of Dionysus (the god of wine and parties). Early Christians initially resisted the pagan elements of the story, but soon came to adopt it since it matched the traditional Christmas symbol of baby Jesus in the manger. Today, people of all faiths and traditions refer to the New Year as a baby, representing new beginnings.

Whatever traditions you choose to celebrate, we here at Ardon Maintenance wish you the very safest and happiest of New Years. May 2014 bring you nothing but the best!

Wishing You a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

It’s the holiday season once again, and everyone at Ardon Maintenance wishes the very best for you, your family, and your friends. We hope that whatever brings you joy fills these last days of the year.

We’d like to thank all of our customers for giving us the opportunity to provide you with services that improve your lives and help you better enjoy this time with your loved ones. You are the reason that we exist as a company, and that’s something we always keep that in mind. We are eager to work with you in the coming year.

Here’s something to remember for the season: many companies in our industry are very busy on service calls during December—it’s one of the most crowded times of the year. If you need service, make sure you schedule it as soon as possible so you can continue to enjoy the pleasures of this time of year.

Lastly, we at Ardon Maintenance want to conclude with a thought from the late Earl Nightingale to help remind us all that we do not need to wait for a holiday to have a reason to enjoy or celebrate ourselves, our lives or our family:

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.

What Causes Heat Pumps to Ice Up?

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Heat pumps in Texas take on a heavy burden. They get used extensively throughout the spring, summer, and early fall providing cooling for homes. When winter comes in and the occasional cold snap strikes, they switch over to heating… but they’ll still need to jump back to cooling on some days even during the winter. A heat pump in Bedias, TX will probably run a good chunk of the year in one mode or another.

When repair problems develop, you need to act on them before you lose both functions of your heat pump. An issue you might encounter with heat pumps is icing that develops across the indoor or outdoor coils. Even when using the air conditioning function, ice on a heat pump is a warning sign and means you need to call for professional repair. Ardon Maintenance has NATE-certified technicians to help you restore your home comfort when your heat pump starts to ice up.

The reason for ice on a heat pump

Despite the logic of it, heat pumps do not ice up because they’ve been blowing out too much cold air. (Heat pumps don’t create cold, they remove heat.) The icing can occur in heating mode as well. The reason that icing begins is usually a drop in the refrigerant charge inside the heat pump.

Refrigerant is the chemical that allows for the heat exchange that makes a heat pump work. This chemical blend runs through copper or aluminum tubes in a closed circuit, and under normal use does not dissipate. The refrigerant’s charge (its level) is balanced for ideal operation. Should leaks occur along the lines or in the compressors, whether from damage or corrosion, the loss of refrigerant will cause ice to develop along the evaporator coil—which is either the indoor coil or outdoor coil depending on what mode the heat pump is in.

This might sound strange. Losing refrigerant creates ice? What happens is that the drop in refrigerant makes it more difficult for the evaporator coil to absorb a sufficient amount of heat to stop it from icing over. As the ice grows, it blocks off the coil and drops its absorption power even further: a fully iced-over coil cannot execute heat exchange, and the heat pump will no longer be able to perform its job.

Excessive dirt along the coils can also cause the ice to occur, since this restricts the heat absorption ability as well. Have a technician investigate to find out the root of the problem. Refrigerant leaks will need sealing and the correct amount and type of refrigerant blend used to recharge the system.

Don’t ignore the ice!

The moment you see ice developing on either set of coils in your heat pump, call professionals for repairs. Ardon Maintenance is ready 24-hours a day to rescue your heat pump in Bedias, TX!

Why the Size of Your Heater Matters

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

“What size heater should I get? Well, the largest one, of course! Whatever I can afford and will fit in the space. You can’t have a heater that’s too large, right?”

“What size heater should I get? Hmm, let’s go for something small that won’t drain too much power. If the heat feels low, I can just turn the heater up a bit higher. I’ll end up saving money, right?”

The response the both of these is: “No, that’s not a good idea: you won’t get the benefits you think, and it will cost you a great deal of money in the future.”

Sizing your heater so it fits the needs of your house is a crucial part of heating installation. We’ll explain here what will go wrong if you end up with an incorrectly sized heater.

Look to installation from the certified professionals at Ardon Maintenance for your heating installation in Midway, TX.

A heater that’s too large

Bigger isn’t better in this case. A heater that too large for the space it is supposed to warm will rapidly reach its target temperature. Too rapidly: the thermostat will signal for the heater to shut off before it has completed its heating cycle. This is called “short cycling,” and it causes immense wear on the heater’s components. The heater will age rapidly, needing numerous repairs and eventually breaking down long before its manufacturer’s expected lifetime. Short cycling also will lead to cold rooms in a house, because the heater will turn off before it can spread the warmth evenly.

A heater that’s too small

If the heater is inadequate for a home’s size, it will need to run almost continually to keep it evenly warm, and this will drain energy, leading to high bills, and also cause it to run down and eventually break. It’s important to remember that a thermostat is not a throttle: if you set it at a higher temperature, it won’t create more heat, or produce it faster. It simply tells the heater to remain on longer. You won’t save money with a heater that’s too small, you’ll only wear it down faster and drive up your bills. (And you probably still won’t get enough warmth.)

So how do you find the right size heater?

The answer to that is simple: consult with expert installers. You will need trained installers eventually anyway to handle putting the heater into your home, so bring them in on the process at the beginning so they can properly size your heater. Using special calculations, they can take many factors in your home and come up with a good idea of how many BTUs (British Thermal Units) are required to keep it pleasantly warm.

Ardon Maintenance has the experience and training to help make your heating installation in Midway, TX go smoothly and end with you having the perfect-sized heater to keep you warm through the cold days.

Why Is My Boiler Leaking Water?

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Boilers have long service lifespans because they have few mechanical parts in them that can wear down from use. Furnaces, on the other hand, have multiple motors and fans that will often require repairs if the heater does not receive regular maintenance. If you have a boiler keeping your house warm, you can expect many years of quality from it, with only an occasional repair call.

However, you will still need to have regular maintenance done on it, because boilers do have some specific repair needs that can crop up unless they are looked after. Leaking water is perhaps the problem that comes up the most often. Although your boiler will probably drip a little water from its pressure release valve (which is a normal part of its operation), leaking anywhere else means there is a problem. Call up repair professionals, like those at Ardon Maintenance, and have the issue looked at immediately. Leaking water not only means a boiler headed for trouble, but it could also mean water damage to building material and the growth of mold and bacteria.

There are a number of reasons a boiler may start to leak:

  • Corrosion: The number one enemy your boiler faces is corrosion, the chemical process that results from the mix of iron, water, and oxygen. An anode rod atop the hot water tank helps to prevent corrosion from entering the tank. If the rod rusts through, then you can expect corrosion problems to begin to affect the boiler. Corrosion weakens metal until it crumbles apart, but you’ll see leaking far earlier than that. Try to have corrosion remedied as soon as you can, because if it spreads too extensively you may need to have the water tank replaced entirely.
  • High water pressure: The water pressure inside the tank and the pipes should remain at a steady level. However, breaks in the expansion tank, limescale inside the boiler, or the influx of sediment can all cause the boiler to overheat—and the pressure to spike. Increased pressure will cause leaks to spring up all across the piping. You will not only need the leaks sealed, you will also need professionals to find the reason for the increase in pressure and fix it.
  • Poor initial installation: It’s important to have expert technicians install a boiler, because a badly done amateur job often means inferior connections between the tank and the lines. Sloppy soldering jobs and loose valves will cause constant leaks. Professionals may be able to perform enough work to fix this, or you may need to have a completely new installation done. We often find this problem occurs for people who inherited a boiler with their home.

Whatever the cause of the leak, leave the detection work to the technicians. You don’t want to attempt boiler repairs on your own: you might cause the leaks to become worse. Contact Ardon Maintenance when you first detect leaks, and let us stop them before they spread. We’re ready 24-hours a day to assist you, so schedule your boiler repair in Madisonville today.