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

The History of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Thanksgiving is upon us: a time to get together with relatives, eat some great food, watch a little football or the parade, and stop to appreciate the good things we have in life. Beyond all that, however, there’s a fascinating history to the holiday and its traditions.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Records are spotty at the time, but indicate that the harvest was particularly good that year due to help from the local Native Americans. The meal was probably much different than the one we’re used to, with venison and fish more likely than turkey, but the general principle was unchanged.

It wasn’t a few centuries later, however, that Thanksgiving became an annual tradition. George Washington called for a “national day of Thanksgiving” in 1789, and again in 1795, but they were both “one shot” declarations, rather than a call for an annual tradition. Individual cities and states picked up the ball, but it wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving became a national once-a-year event. President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a Thanksgiving “to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it.”

From there, it remained a tradition until Franklin Roosevelt signed a law in December of 1941 making it a federal holiday. The law also changed the date from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November, making it a little earlier in some cases (which Roosevelt hoped would give the country an economic boost).

Wherever you celebrate the holiday and whoever you choose to celebrate it with, we wish you nothing but happiness and joy this Thanksgiving.  

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Furnaces vs. Heat Pumps

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

When you’re considering your heating options in Burlington, VT, furnaces and heat pumps are may be competing for top of your list. They are two of the most common types of heating systems in the US, and they both heat efficiently and effectively when properly installed. At Red Rock Mechanical LLC, we offer a wide range of heating options for the home. Remember that no matter what type of system you have installed in your home, hire a trained and certified heater specialist. Only a pro knows how to maximize the heating potential of your new heater. Call Red Rock Mechanical LLC  in Burlington, VT today!

Let’s take a look at furnaces and heat pumps:

  • Furnaces heat your home by converting energy drawn from a fuel source and making hot air that is circulated throughout your home via air ducts. While gas furnaces are generally recognized to be highly efficient, some customers still heat their homes by burning oil. Depending on the make and model, a furnace will vary in its efficiency, although the top of the line gas-based systems often offer AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings as high as 97%, which means that only 3% of the energy is wasted. Furnaces are known for their reliable heating capabilities during the coldest of winters.
  • Heat pumps heat your home by a different method entirely. Instead of converting energy from a fuel source, they run on electricity. The heat pump works much like an air conditioner in that it uses a refrigerant to transfer heat indoors during the heating season. The added benefit of a heat pump is that it can also cool your home during the summer by reversing the heat transfer process. This makes it a highly versatile choice for customers looking to for a year-round comfort solution. However, since heat pumps don’t heat efficiently at low temperatures, you will probably need some sort of auxillary heater to help keep your home comfortable during very cold days.

Keep in mind that you can also pair a furnace and heat pump together. That way, you’ll be covered for moderate shifts in temperature as well as those harsh winter days, when you need more of a heating boost. Call Red Rock Mechanical LLC for furnace or heat pump installation in Burlington, VT.

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Do I Need to Schedule Heating Repair if My Vents Smell Bad?

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Your heating system may not have an artificial intelligence hooked up to it, but it does have ways to provide you with warnings about malfunctions and potential repairs. Grinding and clicking noises, intermittent heat levels, cold rooms, and sudden spikes in energy bills: each of these can indicate a heating system developing trouble that may require professional attention and repairs.

Another common warning sign: unpleasant musty smells emanating from the vents along with the warm air. This certainly isn’t normal—but does it necessarily mean you need to have repairs done?

We will deal a bit with that question in this post. If you do need heating repair in Plattsburgh, NY, use your best available resource: contact the staff at Red Rock Mechanical, the family-owned company that puts customer satisfaction first.

What’s causing that bad smell from the vents?

A common reason for a musty smell coming from your vents, one that definitely requires you schedule heating repairs, is breaks along the ductwork. A gap in a section of the ducts may cause the heating system to begin drawing in air from the hidden spaces of your home, such as between the walls, in crawlspaces, or from the attic. The air in these regions is usually dirtier than elsewhere in your home, and you will start to smell this noisome air as it comes from your vents.

Ductwork problems need repairs because they will lead to a loss of air pressure that will force your furnace to work harder to achieve its target temperature, and this means further repairs and a system that rapidly ages.

A particularly vile smell might occur because of an animal carcass inside the vents: usually these scents are so strong you have to act on them. Although this won’t require heating system repairs, you will need to contact as HVAC company familiar with ducts to extract the problem without damaging the ductwork.

If you can’t determine what is causing the foul odor, you can rely on highly-trained professionals to track down the problem. Contact Red Rock Mechanical, where all our technicians are NATE-certified so you know you will get top-quality work done on your Plattsburgh, NY heating repair.

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How to Keep Your Furnace Up and Running

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Getting through a beautiful—but icy cold—winter in Vermont requires a heating system that is up to the task. Furnaces have kept many homes in this state warm and cozy through the cold months, and advancing technology has kept modern furnaces competitive in the HVAC market.

However… you have to be good to your furnace to make sure that it stays up and running during the coming cold. We’ll give you some guidance on how to do that in this post. Red Rock Mechanical has 23 years of experience working with furnaces and other heating systems, and when you need prompt professional assistance to keep your heater up and running, give us a call.

Ways to prevent a breakdown in your furnace

Schedule regular preventive maintenance: We put this first because it’s the best method to make sure you don’t experience a chilly period of shutdown on the coldest day of the year. Any machine requires regular maintenance to ensure its continued efficient operation, and with the amount of work a furnace needs to do during a Burlington winter, it should get at least a yearly check-up. Sign up for a maintenance program with a reliable HVAC company; they should be able to take care of your air conditioner as well.

Change the filter regularly: The filter in a furnace traps debris that might otherwise get into the cabinet and damage the components. During the heating season, you should change the filter once a month to prevent it from developing so much dust and dirt that it can no longer function adequately. Also, make sure you change the filter before heating season begins, so your furnace has a fresh start.

Get repairs done immediately: The moment that your furnace gives you any warning that something is wrong—reduced air flow, odd smells from the vents, tripped circuit breakers, uneven heating, strange noises—call in an HVAC specialist to find out what is wrong and repair it before it can grow into a bigger, more expensive problem or a full breakdown.

Red Rock Mechanical can take care of the repair and maintenance needs that will make sure your furnace in Burlington, VT stays healthy this coming season. We back all our work with a one-year warranty.

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