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

Reasons Why Your Furnace Won’t Turn On

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Many homes in Plattsburgh NY are heated by a gas furnace. The technology is reliable and relatively inexpensive: burning gas to heat air which is then distributed through your home. If your furnace won’t turn on, you need to call a professional repair service to address the issue, especially in the winters when the snows start to fall. A low air flow or a lack of heat is bad enough, but if the furnace won’t turn on at all, it may indicate a serious issue. Here’s a list of some of the more prominent reasons why your furnace won’t turn on.

  • Pilot light out. The gas in your furnace is ignited by a pilot light, which should be on all the time in order to provide heat when you need it. If the pilot light goes out, the furnace won’t turn on. In most cases, the pilot light apparatus will need to be replaced, though it can be relit if the problem isn’t substantial.
  • Thermocouple. The thermocouple is a safety valve near the pilot light (sometimes a part of the same component) which regulates the flow of gas into the combustion chamber. If there’s a problem with the gas line or the pilot light, the thermocouple with turn off the gas automatically so that it won’t flood your home.
  • Electrical issues. Some furnaces use electricity to run certain components, including the blower fan and possibly the pilot light as well. If there’s an overload or a problem with the wiring, the furnace won’t receive any power and you won’t have any heat generated.

No matter what the cause, you need a professional to determine why your furnace won’t turn on. Call the professionals at Red Rock Mechanical for help.  We handle Plattsburgh, NY heating issues of all varieties, and our trained experts can determine the cause of your heater malfunction. We also perform installation services, and can set up a maintenance schedule to keep your furnace clean and running. We’re standing by to help, so give us a call today.

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How a Heat Pump Works in Cold Weather

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

A heat pump is an alternative to the traditional HVAC systems that most people are used to, combining the features of a heater and an air conditioner into one. It costs a little more to install, but makes up for the cost with more efficient service, saving the homeowner money in monthly bills. The system of a heat pump is similar to that of an air conditioner, with a closed loop system cycling refrigerant through a series of condensers and evaporators. In the winter, that process is “reversed,” creating heat instead of cold to fill your home. But what does that entail, specifically? Here’s how a heat pump works in cold weather.

In the winter, the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the outside air and then goes to the compressor, where it is put under pressure which increases the temperature. Then that heat is then transferred to the inside air, and the warm air is distributed in your home via the ductwork.

Heat pumps are most effective on their own in climates where temperatures don’t dip below 40 degrees. Here in Vermont and upstate New York, our winters get colder than that. However, most heat pumps have backup electric resistant coils that can supplement the heat absorbed from the outside.  In addition, many heat pumps in the area are hybrid units, which have a backup furnace that kicks on when the outside temperature gets too low for the heat pump to heat efficiently.

If you are interested in learning more about heat pumps, give us a call today. Or, if you already have one, you can schedule a repair or maintenance session to keep it running at its peak. Either way, Red Rock Mechanical has the skills and experience to do the job right.

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How to Save Money on Heating in Plattsburgh, NY

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Heating in Plattsburgh, NY is a serious business thanks to our long, cold winters. A reliable heating system ensures that your house stays cozy and warm, no matter how deeply the snows fall. Most people think that such heating needs to come with an equally high energy bill every month. That doesn’t have to be the case. In addition to common-sense tips like setting the thermostat a few degrees lower than you might normally and dressing warmly while you’re inside, you can take some concrete steps to lop a few dollars off those monthly bills. Here’s how to save money while heating in Plattsburgh, NY.

Ideally, your system would function at peak efficiency all the time. It can’t do that, but you can help by setting up a regular maintenance schedule with a trained professional. He or she can perform a basic “tune-up” on the system: refilling refrigerant if needed, cleaning dirty components and tightening loos fittings or seals. If larger repairs are needed, he or she can identify the trouble spots and schedule a repair session at some convenient point. All of that helps reduce the system’s inefficiency, lowering stress on your heater and ensuring that it doesn’t use quite as much energy to warm your home in the wintertime.

On top of that, you might want to consider adding upgrades that let you tailor your heating options to fit your specific conditions. For instance, look into adding zone control systems, which allow you to raise or lower the heat in specific sections of your home instead of heating the whole thing. You can have kitchen warmed to one temperature while your spouse reads in the bedroom with another temperature, protecting you from household squabbles as well as higher energy bills.

If you want to save money on heating in Plattsburgh, NY, call upon Red Rock Mechanical to help. We have the experience and know-how to keep your heater running at its best, as well as performing installations and upgrades to take advantage of new technological advancements. Contact us today to set up a consultation.

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Burlington, VT Heating Installation: Getting to Know Your Options

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Heating in Vermont is no laughing matter, and while the initial investment in a new heater can be high, it pays dividends both in terms of comfort for your family and in your monthly heating bills. Getting to know your options is a smart way to select the right heater for you, and to make sure that the heating installation proceeds as it should.

In the first place, you need determine the heating needs of your home so that you can get a heater that can handle the load. A heater that’s too small won’t be able to do the job, but it may surprise you to learn that a heater that’s too large can be just as problematic. Large heaters will do their job too quickly, which means they’ll cycle on and off rapidly throughout the day. That takes up a lot of unnecessary energy, as well as placing undue strain on the heater itself. A heater that is sized just right for your home (factoring in such components as insulation and sun exposure) will get you the best value for your dollar.

Then there’s the question of efficiency. Older heaters are usually less efficient heaters, which is a very good reason to upgrade to a new one. Furnace efficiency is measured in AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings, measured as a percentage. The higher the percentage, the more energy is used in actually heating (as opposed to being lost through one means or another). An easy guide is to look for furnaces with the EnergyStar label, given to gas furnaces with an AFUE of 95% or greater and oil furnaces with a rating of 85% or greater.

For Burlington, VT heating installation, it pays to have a qualified expert by your side. The technicians at Red Rock Mechanical have been in business for over 20 years, and can help with getting to know your options before performing the installation you need. Call us today to set up an appointment.

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