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Monday, November 18, 2013

Humor Goes A Long Way

While keeping your heating and air conditioning units running in tip top shape is very serious business, we do find that a lil' humor is what helps everyone get thru the day.  At Environmental, we are completely down to earth and it's always great when we have customers who have gotten to know us and enjoy coming by the office just to talk and share some laughs.  It's how we know that we are out making a difference in the Triangle.  We have even posted on the Environmental Heating & Air youtube channel some of the humorous interviews and antics that go on here at the office.  We do our absolute best to keep our customers satisfied, and hopefully we keep making some new friends along the way!  Thanks!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Great Time For A Heat Check!

Now if you haven't done so already, it's the perfect time to flip that thermostat on over to heat and make sure your heat is going to come on properly.  The absolute WORST thing you can do is wait until the temperature dips way down only find yourself with a fault in your heating system and you're freezing your butt off waiting for the heating and air guy to get to your residence!

Winterizing your home
  1. As mentioned in a previous post, remember to check your air filter(s) and change it if necessary.  The cleaner the filter the less work your system will have to do, thus getting peak efficiency from your system!
  2. Get a carbon monoxide detector!  Even if you have a fairly new system it never hurts to have one, they are pretty cheap these days and it's a small price to pay to protect you and your family's lives!
  3. This one may sound a bit ridiculous but nonetheless important, make sure all vents are opened and unblocked by furniture or other items. This will ensure that the air is evenly distributed through the home.
  4. When it does actually start getting cold and you've got your heat running, try reversing the switch on your ceiling fans so they blow upward. This is especially valuable in high ceiling rooms where heat that naturally rises is forced back down into the room.
  5. Finally, if your heating system is old, you might consider updating it. A pre-1977 gas furnace is probably 50 percent to 60 percent efficient today.  Modern gas furnaces, on the other hand, achieve efficiency ratings as high as 97 percent!  Replacing an old heating system can cut your natural gas use nearly in half!
I hope these tips will help you out in preparing for this up and coming winter, stay toasty my friends.

Environmental Heating & Air of NC

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Crazy Pictures

We see some crazy things as HVAC technicians out in the field.  From the dirtiest air filter imaginable, to units installed laying completely on their side, we've seen it!  I've decided to post a few pics of the stuff we've encountered on service calls over the years.  You'll never cease to be amazed at the things you'll see in this business.  And this is just a few of the pics, there's so much stuff we don't get the opportunity to take a picture of.  Enjoy!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Do you have a moldy smell in your crawl space or basement?

Facts about UV-C Light:
It penetrates the membranes of viruses, bacteria, mold, and dust mites—attacking their DNA—terminating them and their ability to spread. The UV-C Sanitizing Wand emits a blue spectrum of light to help you see the surface area you are cleaning. Indirectly contacting or viewing the blue light produced by the lamp does not expose you to UV-C.
Hospitals, food processing facilities, water treatment and HVAC systems use UV-C light to eliminate biological contaminants and germs.

Bedding and couches will smell and feel fresh with consistent use of the Sanitizing Wand. Musty smells and pet odors can be virtually eliminated.
Sanitizing with UV-C light means you don’t need harsh chemicals that pollute our water and add unnecessary product packaging to our landfills. Reduced production of household cleansers means fewer chemicals in our environment and reduced fuel expenditures for transporting them to the marketplace.
The Built-In Safety Shut-Off Switch automatically turns the UV-C light off if the device is turned upward, protecting your eyes from exposure.
-Bathroom sinks, toilet seats, and showers
-Telephones, remote controls, and light switches
-Childrens toys and stuffed animals
-Living room furniture, bedding, and pillow

A:  The effects of cleaning with UV-C are cumulative, so more frequent use will result in greater sanitization of a surface. Once a comfortable level of clean has been established, pollutants can usually be controlled with a weekly sanitizing regimen to maintain the effect. Some surfaces, like those in kitchens and bathrooms, should be treated when they come in contact with contaminants. A cleaning regimen of other surfaces such as beds and couches can be done weekly, or even more frequently if required.

Q: How long should I treat an area?
A:  Different bacteria require different exposure times (see “Kill Rate” table at http://www.verilux.com/science-of-light). For example: a 24” x 36” countertop requires three minutes of exposure to eliminate Salmonella or two minutes for Staphylococcus. Be sure you move light gradually and evenly over surface.
Q: When I am cleaning a surface, how close should the wand be to the surface area?
A:  Hold the UV-C wand as close as possible to the surface and gradually move the wand evenly over the entire surface.

Q: How do I know if its working?
A:  Most contaminants are microscopic, so just like using a chemical cleanser, you can’t directly see the effects. However, in many cases people report being able to feel the effects and you may notice that biological and/or organic odors are eliminated as well.
Q: Can I use the wand on myself, family members, or pets?
A:  No. The UV-C Sanitizing Wand is for use on inanimate surfaces only and is not safe for use on your skin, and should not be exposed to your eyes. Important to note: UV-C Light is used to remove biological contaminants from surfaces, it is not a treatment for people or animals.
Q: Is UV-C dangerous to people?
A:  Very close and prolonged exposure to the wand can damage skin and eyes. Use caution to ensure that direct exposure is brief and distant from the light source.

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Repost: When is your HVAC too old to repair?

Monday, July 15, 2013

I know I've touched on this in a previous blog, but with the triple digit temperatures today and for the rest of the weekend I feel this needs to be reiterated. If you are on a maintenance plan then you are already a step ahead and good for you. If not, then cross your fingers your a/c doesn't go out! Here are just a few things you can do around the house to make sure you get the most from your a/c this summer:
  • change your air filter(s) every 30 to 90 days. Depending on how quickly your filter(s) get dirty
  • keep shades, blinds, windows closed to keep out sunlight as much as possible during the day when you aren't home
  • have a Preventative Maintenance Plan with a licensed, fully certified hvac company like Environmental
  • keep all bushes, grass, and other debris clear from around your a/c unit outside.  a 2 foot minimum clearance is best
  • take a quick look at your ductwork.  if it looks old and/or appears to be falling apart, have a professional take a look at it.  you would be AMAZED how much efficiency is lost because of loose and/or deteriorated ductwork
These are some of the major points that you at home can take care of in just a short amount of time. If taken care of, these things can help ensure you stay cool in the hottest of weather and achieve the longest life possible from your a/c and heating system without getting HUGE electric bills.  If you have any questions at all or would like to sign up for Environmental's Preventative Maintenance Plan, just give us a call at the number below or visit our website, thanks for reading and stay cool folks!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Air Conditioning Efficiency

There is talk around the campfire about the U.S. government once again raising the minimum SEER rating on all air conditioners being produced.  Last time this happened was in January 2006.  This ruling states that all residential air conditioners sold in the United States must have a SEER of at least 13. ENERGY STAR qualified Central Air Conditioners must have a SEER of at least 14.  Whenever the government changes the minimum SEER rating, prices tend to go up on almost all systems, no matter their SEER rating.

To calculate the energy efficiency of an air conditioner, the SEER rating system measures the cooling output of the unit with the total amount of electricity it uses during an entire season.  The higher the energy efficiency, the lower it costs you to run it, viz-a-vi  the higher the SEER rating of the unit, the more energy efficient it is.  With the benefit of SEER ratings, you can more easily choose the most energy efficient a/c unit to fit your needs and your wallet and/or purse.  With the rising costs of energy usage, you can't afford not to know about getting the most from your heating and a/c system.  The Lennox website has a simple SEER calculator to help give you a general idea on savings with different SEER systems.

Basically, if you know your air conditioner is getting old and you think it might be about time to see about purchasing a new system, now is the time!  Like I said above, whenever the government comes down with these SEER changes, the price on new systems goes up, so don't say we didn't warn you!  At Environmental, we give free estimates on system replacements and we would be glad to help you out today!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Importance of Clean Air Filters

This is a picture of a very dirty air filter one of our Environmental technicians replaced while performing Preventative Maintenance at a customer's house recently.  The customer hadn't changed the filter in six months to a year!  This is a big no no!  A filter this dirty puts serious strain on a system.  Changing your air filter(s) is one of the simplest and most important steps in achieving maximum efficiency and longevity in your heating and a/c units.  As simple as changing filters is, it is also one of the most overlooked by homeowners.  Dirty filters can wreak havoc on everything from compressors to blower motors to heat exchangers.  A few bucks and a couple minutes of your time at least once every 3 months can save you tons of money on future repair costs and energy bills!  Also, it's always a good idea to go with pleated filters over the cheaper fiberglass filters.  We always have them available here at the Environmental Heating & Air office and on our retail website Enviro Retail.  You'll pay a little more for the pleated filters but they catch a lot more dust and particles than the fiberglass filters.  Keep those air filters changed!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Meeting & Exceeding Local Needs

You may think that going with a big company to provide you with your heating and air conditioning needs is the right thing to do, the safest thing to do.  That's a popular opinion these days, but I can explain to you quickly how this might not necessarily be the best course of action.

As it pertains to business in the world of hvac, bigger definitely does not mean better.  Here at Environmental, we have always had to bid against the unlicensed, uninsured, fly-by-night guys and also the "big box" mechanical companies.  So naturally, as with any small business, you really have to dig deep to form a trusting relationship with your customers that will keep them coming back to you because they know that your business will always take care of them.  The trouble with these larger companies is just that, they often overlook the needs of some customers because their client base is so large that it's really no big loss for them to lose a customer here and there for whatever reason.  That's really where the big advantage for smaller businesses begins, our ability to spend more time focusing on each customer's needs and getting things right the first time around.  We are full believers in the idea that if you sell quality products and services that you can always compete with the "big boys".  Your business's actions and efforts will speak for themselves.  People want to know that the company they use for their hvac needs is going to stick around for the long haul and not be gone tomorrow.  Environmental has been servicing the Triangle now for almost 5 years and we're going stronger than ever!  Just give us a chance to prove to you today that we can earn and keep your trust!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Workings of HVAC Units

People often ask us at Environmental, "my heating & air system just had routine maintenance done like a month ago and now it isn't working, what gives?!" or "I just bought this system 2 years ago and it already had a part go bad, why is that?!".  Well, the truth is at the end of the day all these machines are just that, machines.  They do fail from time to time no matter the make or model, just like any vehicle or appliance.  For example, if you take your vehicle in to the auto body shop for an oil change and/or state inspection, that means you are doing your best to keep your vehicle running but in no way ensures that a tail light won't go out the next day or that your oil pump will fail some time next week.  It's just how things are with anything mechanical.

All you can do is do your best to keep your heating and a/c units performing optimally by having routine maintenance done by trained professionals.  I can't stress enough the importance of having this done to help extend the life of your systems, it really does have an effect!  Extreme temperatures take their toll on these machines, also very much like vehicles.  Everything from corrosion to thermal expansion to cracking of joints to electrical shorts, rough weather wears down everything.  At Environmental, we encounter this stuff all the time.  Routine maintenance done with a trained eye can identify and correct such issues before they become major problems, vis-a-vi saving you big money.  Hope this helps and thanks for reading!

Nick Medlin
Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Helpful Thermostat Installation Information

Just wanted to do a quick post in regards to installing thermostats.  First off, at Environmental we do not recommend installing a brand new thermostat yourself.  It is always best left to a certified professional as they are able to ensure that you are putting up the right thermostat for your particular system and that it is installed correctly.  However, there's probably a lot of you out there who still do it yourself anyways to save money and/or just feel you are proficient enough to do so. 

Well, for all you do it yourselfers out there and anybody who would just like some great general knowledge about the process, we have a youtube channel that you can check out at http://www.youtube.com/user/Environc.  There's also a couple more videos on there with some great general knowledge stuff, so just subscribe for free to the Environmental youtube channel and stay in the know!  As always, thanks for reading!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

When Is My HVAC System Too Old To Repair?

The title of this post is probably one of the most frequently asked questions by customers to their heating and air conditioning service providers.  It's definitely a fair question, where does one draw the line on repair costs?  How long should a heating and a/c unit last these days?  Well, the general rule of thumb is no major repairs(compressor replacement, evaporator / condenser coil replacement, blower motor assy. replacement, etc...) after about 10 years from the date of install.  That comes from nationwide, not just from Environmental Heating & Air of NC.  Most of the major manufacturers state that the life expectancy of units today is around 11-13 years.  Nowadays, 10 year parts warranties generally come standard on new systems.  HUGE factors that will determine the life of a new heating and air conditioning system are the quality of install and regular maintenance.  As I've stated before, it doesn't matter if you purchase the best, most efficient unit possible, it will mean nothing if not installed properly and then maintained at regular intervals.  These units will only give back the quality you put in to their upkeep and care.  That means, on your part, at least keeping filters changed and hedges trimmed back from your outdoor a/c condensing unit(s) for proper air flow.  The best possible thing to do is to sign up for a Preventative Maintenance program, like the one offered from Environmental Heating & Air of NC.  That being said, a minor service call here or there over the years may be expected.  No matter what, they are mechanical items and slight malfunctions are possible like with any car or appliance.  We've anticipated as much, Environmental Heating & Air of NC has included in the Preventative Maintenance plan a 10% discount on service calls for the contract year.  Hopefully, this will give you a little bit better idea when pondering what to do with your home's heating and a/c system(s).  Please give us a call if you have any questions and/or are in need of a service, thanks!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best Time To Buy

You've probably wondered what time of year is best to purchase a new heating and air conditioning system.  Well, the truth is, it actually varies.  Often times the big companies like Lennox, Carrier, and York will have great deals at the end of the year.  While end of the year deals are a great time to buy, they aren't always guaranteed to be the best.  You'll find a lot of times that during the slow seasons, spring and fall, prices will drop dramatically.  Like right now for example, even though it is technically winter, the southeastern US is still in kind of a limbo period before it gets real cold and stays cold.  Manufacturers definitely notice this and will lower their prices to accommodate for this slower time of the year.  The best way to monitor prices is to get on to the Environmental Heating & Air of NC website at enviro-nc.com, or you're always welcome to give us a call at the number below and speak to our sales expert John Van Orden, who would love to go over different prices with you and inform you on what your best options would be.  At Environmental Heating & Air of NC, we pride ourselves on making sure our customers get the best deals possible from the manufacturers.  That makes you happy and in turn will make us happy in knowing we got you the best deal around!  Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Financing That Fits Your Holiday Budget

Ok, Christmas is over and your money is spent.  Suddenly, the heat in your home stops working!  You get a technician out to have a look at it and he confirms your worst fear; it's going to cost you a couple hundred dollars to repair!  Not to mention your system is over 10 years old and it would be foolish to put that much money into a repair on a system that old.  That really only leaves you with one option, replacement!

Fear not, Environmental Heating & Air of NC has you covered!  As mentioned above, we realize many of you are all maxed out on your budgets from the holidays.  Well, we have financing plans with this in mind.  Environmental Heating & Air of NC offers everything from deferred payment plans to APR plans.  How does 0% deferred interest for 12 months sound? 

The Environmental Heating & Air of NC process includes having our sales specialist, Mr. John Van Orden, come to your residence and talk to you about what you want from your heating and air conditioning system(s).  Mr. Van Orden will then analyze your current system(s) and work up an affordable quote to accommodate all your needs, both system and financially speaking.  Again, our financing options can't be beat so you don't have to be worried about the strain from the holidays.  Please just visit our website and/or give us a call and let us help you and your family stay warm this winter and for many winters to come!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC