Red Rock Mechanical, LLC Blog: Archive for February, 2014

Why is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Here in Stowe, VT, heating is a serious concern, and a disruption in service can spell serious problems for your household. “Why is my furnace blowing cold air?” isn’t a question you ever want to contemplate in the depths of winter. As much as we may wish otherwise, such incidents do happen, and when they do you need a first-rate repair services for correct the problem with speed and efficiency. If helps if you understand the process involved in creating the situation. A number of different factors can lead to your furnace blowing cold air.

In some cases, the issue stems from a simple setting with the thermostat. It may be set too low or located in a spot in the house that’s warmer than elsewhere.  Your furnace itself may also contain a faulty component, turning the fan on without igniting the burners or releasing the gas. A repair technician can repair or replace the thermostat, or move it if it needs to be in a different spot, or troubleshoot the sequence of your furnace.

Other problems stem from a lack of fuel, or from the fuel not igniting properly. If you have an older furnace with a pilot light and the light goes out, it won’t produce any hot air. In some cases, clogs or blockages can result in cool air blowing from the furnace as well. For example, if the condensate system is suffering problems, such as the line being clogged with dirt or the reservoir float being closed, then the gas won’t be allowed into the system even if the fans are blowing.

Whatever the cause, it takes a trained professional to determine the source of the problem and correct it. In Stowe, VT, heating repairs can be conducted by the experts at Red Rock Mechanical. We can answer the question “why is my furnace blowing cold air?” then correct the problem with efficiency and care. Give us a call today to make an appointment, and let us show you what we can do!

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Heating Problem: My Electronic Ignition Furnace Won’t Ignite

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The standing pilot light was the regular way to ignite gas-powered furnaces for almost as long as these heating systems have existed. But now an electric ignition system have started to replace pilot lights. Because an electric ignition does not need constant power the way a pilot light does, it contributes to energy savings. The electric ignition is one of the reasons modern furnaces have seen a rise in AFUE ratings (annual fuel utilization efficiency) and have remained competitive with other, newer heating systems.

However, just like a pilot light going out, if your electric ignition fails, the gas jets in the burner will not come on and the furnace will provide no heat. There are a number of reasons this might occur, but whatever is behind the problem, you should not attempt to troubleshoot it yourself. Gas furnaces are potentially hazardous if they receive untrained work. Stay safe and call professionals like the staff at Red Rock Mechanical when you need help with your heating in Williston, VT.

Possible causes for electronic ignition failure

  • Igniter age: An electric ignition system is not designed to last as long as a furnace itself and it will need occasional replacements after it wears out. A repair technician will be able to determine if this is indeed the problem and find the proper replacement part.
  • Wrong igniter for the furnace: Here is a good example of why calling for professionals is best. If the wrong type of igniter is in the furnace with incorrectly matched voltage, it will soon fail.
  • High temperature limit switch affecting the igniter: The high temperature limit switch is an important safety feature of a furnace that prevents it from becoming too hot. The switch will turn the furnace off when the temperature rises too high. But a clogged air filter can cause the switch to start turning off the igniter early. The limit switch itself can often malfunction, preventing the igniter from turning on at all.
  • High current in the home: A power surge can cause the electric igniter to burn out, especially if it is a “hot surface” igniter, which functions similar to a light bulb with a burning filament.

Don’t go “do-it-yourself”

Although the electronic igniter in your furnace is a small and replaceable component, you should never attempt to change it yourself. First of all, you won’t know for certain what caused the igniter to fail, and there may be other issues that need attention. Second, you should never interfere with any natural gas system because of the possibility of carbon monoxide exposure and other hazards.

Call Red Rock Mechanical and our 24/7 emergency service for assistance with a gas furnace. Take no chances with your heating in Williston, VT: rely on our NATE-certified repair technicians.

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Who Wrote the First Valentine’s Day Poem?

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The celebration of Valentine’s Day is often seen as a modern institution, even if the roots of the holiday go back to Late Antiquity and the figures of St. Valentine of Rome and St. Valentine of Terni. It’s difficult to separate our view of February 14th from the more recent phenomenon of greeting cards, comical cupids, and specialty treats from candy companies.

However, not only are some of these traditions older than we might think (mass-produced Valentine’s Day cards were an enormous success in early 19th-century England), but the earliest Valentine’s Day love poem comes from none other than the first great English author, Geoffrey Chaucer, who wrote in the second half of the 14th-century.

Chaucer’s most famous work is The Canterbury Tales, an enormous collection of linked stories in poetry and prose. But his 700-line poem “Parlement of Foules” has the special distinction of being the first surviving record of a connection between Valentine’s Day and romantic love. Chaucer probably composed the poem in 1381–82. At the time, he was a member of the court of King Richard II, holding an important bureaucratic position in London. The date suggests that Chaucer wrote “Parelment of Foules” to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of the English king to Princess Anne of Bohemia.

The poem follows the dream of the narrator, where he walks through Venus’s temple and discovers a meeting of birds where they all choose their mates. This is where the mention of St. Valentine’s Day appears (English modernized):

For this was on St. Valentine’s Day,                                                                         

When every bird cometh there to choose his mate.                                                                  

The poem also contains a familiar Valentine’s image, Cupid with his arrows:

Under a tree, beside a well, I saw

Cupid our lord his arrows forge and file;                                                             

And at his feet his bow already lay.

When Chaucer mentions St. Valentine’s Day, is he referring specifically to February 14th? Late winter isn’t a time when birds in England would mate. However, the date for the start of spring—when some birds would have started nesting in England—was on February 23rd in the calendars of the time, certainly close enough for Chaucer to take poetic license and nudge it a bit to match with Valentine’s Day.

Love birds remain a popular symbol of Valentine’s Day even now, and for this we can thank Chaucer. In fact, he may very well have invented the link between love and Valentine’s Day, although we will probably never know for certain.

Whoever started these traditions, all of us here at Red Rock Mechanical hope you have a wonderful February 14th!

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What to Look for in a Furnace Repair Technician

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Here in Burlington, VT, furnace repairs need to be conducted quickly and efficiently before the snows of winter turn your home into a meat locker. You can prevent some problems with regular maintenance and a close eye on any unusual activity with your furnace. Beyond that, however, you need to trust your repair technician to do the job right and to charge you a reasonable rate for his or her services. Here’s a brief list of what to look for in a furnace repair technician.

Proper certification is the first thing to check off the list. Vermont requires plumbers to be properly licensed, and you should look for someone with good reviews from satisfied customers. Beyond the legal certification, positive reviews mean a history of satisfied customers who are willing to speak up in support of the company’s work.

Then there’s the question of accessibility. A good repair service knows that furnaces can break down at all hours of the day, and that waiting until morning while temperatures plummet outside isn’t always an option. Its a good idea to work with a company who has 24-hour emergency service and will move quickly to address your concerns no matter what the time or day might be.

In Burlington, VT, you can count on the furnace experts at Red Rock Mechanical. We have highly trained technicians available on our staff, our certifications are impeccable, and we proudly stand by our record of over 23 years. We offer 24-hour emergency service for serious problems, and all our labor is backed by a one year warranty. To learn more about our services, give us call today!

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