Red Rock Mechanical, LLC Blog: Archive for September, 2013

Plattsburgh Heating Tip: Get the Most from Your Thermostat

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Physically, the thermostat is a minor part of your home comfort system: a small unit set into a wall. But the thermostat serves just as important a function in heating your home as the tank of a boiler or the ducts of a furnace. The thermostat is how you communicate with your heater so that it does the job it’s supposed to.

However, you can get more out of your thermostat than you probably realize. If you only occasionally fiddle with it when you start feeling too cold or too warm, you’re missing out on ways to optimize your heating. In this post, we’ll give you some tips to help you get the best performance possible from your thermostat.

Red Rock Mechanical can help you with all your Plattsburgh, NY heating needs, so give us a call when you want to go to the next level of service.

Set the thermostat to energy saving temperatures: Do you know how high you can set your thermostat? Well, don’t set it that high unless you absolutely need to… a Death Valley-level heat wave isn’t necessary for your comfort. Set the thermostat to 68°F when you’re awake, and you can set it even lower at night—and use a sweater and thick blankets to help. The US Department of Energy has found that scaling back 10°F to 15°F for eight hours can save from 5% to 15% on your bills every year.

Invest in a programmable thermostat: If you have an older digital thermostat, or an even older manual one, you’re losing out on advantages in energy savings and convenience. With a programmable thermostat, you have control over the temperature whether you’re home or not. You can wake up to a warm house, and come home to one as well, while saving energy throughout the day.

Make sure the thermostat is in the best location: Where your thermostat is installed in your home is important for it to work its best. In the wrong place, a thermostat can record “ghost readings” that don’t reflect the true temperature in your house, and it will unnecessarily activate or shut down your heater. The thermostat should be away from direct sunlight and the drafts from doors and windows. If you suspect your thermostat’s location is interfering with its job, get it re-installed.

Red Rock Mechanical can help out if you need a thermostat installation or if your current one requires repairs. We’re a family-owned business, and when you call us, you won’t get a recording—a live person will be there to answer your questions for your Plattsburgh, NY heating concerns.

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What Goes on During Heating Maintenance in Burlington, VT?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Having professional maintenance performed on your heating system is a vital part of keeping you warm during the beautiful but lengthy Vermont winters. Any hard-working mechanical device with moving parts—from a dishwasher to a car engine—requires regular maintenance to give it a long life. A home heater in a city that gets as chilly as Burlington will need at least an annual check-up to make sure it functions efficiently and won’t threaten to break down during the least convenient times.

We’ll explain what occurs during heating maintenance in Burlington, VT to help you understand why it is so important. You can expect top-quality preventive maintenance like this from the experts at Red Rock Mechanical.

Although the work a technician performs during a maintenance visit depends on the type of heater you have installed, you can expect these general steps:

  • Inspection: The HVAC expert will give all the components in your heater a thorough examination. Electrical connections, gas valves, pilot lights, pipes, ducts, heating elements, belts, motors, fans, water tanks—anything that might suffer from dirt accumulation or sustain damage from wear and tear. If any part looks like it requires repairs or replacement, your technician will identify what needs to be done to keep your heater healthy through the winter.
  • Cleaning: Your heater most likely picked up dust and dirt during its summer vacation. If more than a year has passed since it received a check-up, your system might have serious clogs that could create major issues when it turns on. The technician will clean out any debris build-up that might interfere with fans, blowers, valves, the pilot light, or other vital components.
  • Tune-ups: Similar to an engine tune-up on your car, your heater requires adjustments to keep it performing at peak efficiency. Depending on the type of system installed in your home, this can involve recalibrating the thermostat or tightening the line connections to a boiler.

Regular maintenance will reward you with a more efficient and durable heater that won’t drain extra power and raise your bills. The fall season is the best time to schedule a maintenance visit because HVAC companies have fewer emergency calls filling their calendars. They can easily arrange an appointment convenient for you.

Contact Red Rock Mechanical today for Burlington, VT heating maintenance. You will appreciate our years of experience and personal touch.

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3 Reasons to Schedule Routine Heating Maintenance in Plattsburgh

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Winter is an unpredictable time in New York. One surprise you certainly don’t want is a malfunction in your heating system, leaving you cold in your own home. Before the frosty season strikes, take advantage of the slower time during the fall to schedule maintenance on your heater. Whatever system you have, the experts at Red Rock Mechanical can help you prepare for winter in Plattsburgh with heating maintenance that will give you peace of mind.

There are many reasons to schedule regular maintenance. Here are three of the most important:

  • Fewer repairs: Some of the emergency repairs that Red Rock Mechanical does could have been prevented ahead of time with proper care. Some repairs are unavoidable, but the majority can be averted by having a professional catch troubles before they become serious and cause further damages.
  • Greater efficiency: Did your last heating bill contain unpleasant news? Does your home not feel as warm as it usually does when you turn on the heater? Then your system is probably running less efficiently than before, either because of damages, dust and debris build-up, or age. A maintenance check-up will diagnose what is causing the drop in efficiency and offer solutions to get your heater back to peak working condition.
  • Longer system lifespan: A heater suffers an enormous amount of wear and tear during winter. Furnaces and boilers have many components that will start to break down if they aren’t cared for. When an HVAC expert pays a visit to your home, you’ll find out what needs to be done to keep your heater from wearing down even faster. If you want to avoid a costly replacement, get regular maintenance so you’ll get the most years possible out of your current system.

We hope we’ve convinced you that heating maintenance will save you headaches and higher bills. You should get a maintenance check on your heating system at least once a year. Red Rock Mechanical offers the maintenance you need to keep yourself warm and safe in your home through the winter. We are a family-owned business with a personal touch. For heating maintenance in Plattsburgh, NY, make Red Rock Mechanical your first choice.

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Preparing for the Burlington, VT Heating Season

Monday, September 9th, 2013

If you live in Burlington, VT, heating season starts early and ends late. Ours is a cold and snowy community, which makes proper heating an absolute necessity. You can help yourself and your heating system by adhering to a regular maintenance schedule throughout the summer months, then preparing for the heating season properly when it rolls around. A qualified professional can help you with the details, but in general a few key steps in the process will serve you well.

  • Lower your thermostat. Most people don’t need the home to be as warm in the winter as it is in the summer; 68 degrees feels plenty warm when it’s 20 below outside. Lowering your thermostat will not only save you electric bills but will save wear and tear on your heating system, helping it last longer.
  • Seal air leaks. Leaks in the windows, doors and duct system cause air to be pulled out of your home, forcing your heating system to work harder to heat your home. Sealing the leaks in the doors and windows, and having a professional serviceman check your ducts for leaks, will save you money in the long run.
  • Clean the components of your heating system. Or rather, have them cleaned by a professional. Service specialist can get the dust and dirt out of your heater, check the heat exchanger, examine the pilot light to make sure it’s running, and test the your heating system’s overall efficiency.
  • Consider a new system. While your current heating system may be working just fine, this is a good time to think about replacing one that isn’t. Not only will it save you money in electric bills, but you may be able to consider new options such as zone controls that your older unit might not feature. The time to install a new unit is in the late summer or early fall, before the snows start.

If you’re preparing for the Burlington, VT heating season, it pays to consult with people in the know. The experts at Red Rock Mechanical can speak with you about upgrades, repairs or replacement to your heater. Call us today to set up an appointment.

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Happy Labor Day!

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

On the first Monday of every September, we celebrate Labor Day in honor of workers everywhere who strive to make our local community and country great. We enjoy the holiday like any other business as a time for BBQ, hanging out with friends and family, and celebrating the end of summer. It also means the start of the NFL and college football seasons.

The origins of Labor Day are disputed, as is the case with many other holidays. Some cite Matthew Maguire, the machinist and secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York, while others cite Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor. By 1894, the holiday had become widely recognized and was designated a federal holiday by Congress and President Grover Cleveland immediately following the Pullman Strike, which pitted US Marshals and US Military against employees of Pullman Palace Car Company outside Chicago. At the time, it was a way of recognizing the importance of our workers’ contributions.

Today, we see Labor Day as an opportunity to recognize all the people who work hard to contribute to our county. Thank you, and Happy Labor Day from all of us! 

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