Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

The Role, And Potential Danger, Of a Heat Exchanger

February 11th, 2019

inside-of-natural-gas-furnaceWe get it, when you see a professional Chicago HVAC company use the words “danger” and “heater” in the same post, it can be a little disconcerting! Not to worry though, heating systems—rather, gas-powered heating systems—are not inherently dangerous devices. This is something we must clear up right now—we don’t want you to feel like you’re constantly in danger just because you utilize your natural gas lines.

However, it’s extremely important for us to tell you that just like powerful appliances that create combustion gases, a furnace can potentially create health hazards if it is not properly maintained.

That being said, we want to warn you about the most common cause for a gas furnace (at least, an aging one—in most cases) to become unsafe—because of a cracked heat exchanger. When we say aging, we mean about 15 years old. If your system is nearing this age, we’d recommend looking into a replacement soon regardless of whether you have a cracked heat exchanger or not, as an aging heater simply can’t perform as efficiently as it did near the beginning of its lifespan.

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Signs Your Commercial HVAC System Needs Repair

January 28th, 2019

commercial-hvac-work-on-rooftopIf someone asked you, “what’s the last thing you need right now”… well, you probably wouldn’t have a quick answer because that’s not a normal question. But we’re going to guess that if we answered “a broken down heater,” you’d agree!

This is especially true if you’re a business owner and we’re talking about a broken down commercial heater. You have enough to worry about without being concerned with losing business because of an HVAC problem. But if you neglect repair needs, you could certainly find yourself with a broken down system.

The good news is that we’re here to help if that does happen! In the meantime, we’d like to share some signs with you for you and your building’s occupants to watch out for. Should you become aware of these heating repair indicators, please give us a call right away so we can inspect and repair your system quickly.

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Ductless Systems Come With These Unique Needs

January 14th, 2019

Closeup view about using some appliance such as air condition.Ductless systems are among the most popular options these days for heating and cooling in modern homes. Rather than operating via a series of air ducts connected to an indoor air handler and evaporator unit, a ductless system breaks up the indoor unit and blower fans to distribute that system throughout your home in the form of individual air handlers mounted on the walls of the rooms they’re needed in.

This helps with efficiency by allowing you to have zone controlled heating and cooling in your home, among other important benefits. But what’s also important to recognize about ductless systems is they can have unique repair needs. We aren’t saying this to discourage you from installing this type of system, but rather to stress the importance of professional ductless services, such as installation and maintenance. Read on to learn more about these unique needs.

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Midwinter Furnace Woes to Watch Out For

December 31st, 2018

HVAC Return Air Wall Register VentWinter has just begun, but chances are you’re using your furnace every day. And of all the appliance repair needs you might have in your home throughout the course of a year, few are more concerning or frustrating than a broken down furnace in the middle of winter. After all, when you live where we do, a fully effective and efficient heater isn’t just a luxury, it’s a vital necessity.

Of course, the best way to prevent any surprise furnace repair in Northbrook, IL, the first step is to schedule routine maintenance in the fall. Haven’t scheduled your tune-up yet? Don’t worry, it’s not too late! Yes, it’s most convenient for you to schedule it in the fall, but it’s actually more important that you have it done consistently—once a year to be exact. Next, you’ll want to make sure that any repair needs that you’re alerted to during maintenance are addressed right away. Otherwise, you may find yourself facing one of the two following midwinter furnace woes:

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Signs Your Boiler Is in Trouble

December 17th, 2018

Pressure gauge process for monitored condition.Chances are, if you have a boiler you’re relying on to effectively heat your home, you also want it to do so as affordably as possible. If this is the case, it’s important to care for your boiler properly. This starts with professional installation from a highly trained and experienced team of heating professionals, and following up with proper maintenance, and boiler repair in Evanston, IL when needed.

Speaking of boiler repairs, these are pretty sturdy systems. However, even with diligent care, there’s always a chance that something will go amiss. As a result, your boiler will wear down to the point that it will need to be replaced. To give your system the longest life possible, you can and should tackle repair needs ASAP. But do you know the signs you have a boiler problem to begin with?

Here are some!

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Shavitz Heating & Air Conditioning Food & Toiletries Drive Benefits Niles Township Food Pantry this December

December 3rd, 2018

DECEMBER 1, 2018—SKOKIE, IL—Shavitz Heating & Air Conditioning recently announced plans to conduct an area-wide food and toiletries collections drive this December to coincide with Niles Township Food Pantry Awareness Month. Donated items will be delivered by Shavitz employees to the Niles Township Food Pantry, which provides food and personal hygiene items to more than 1,800 Niles Township families every month.

Tony Araque & Bronson Shavitz

In addition to accepting donations at its corporate headquarters at 4849 Main St. in Skokie, Shavitz’s service technicians in Cook and Lake Counties will be accepting customer donations of canned food, other non-perishable items, and toiletries.  Customers will receive $1 off their service for each donated item, up to $20, according to owner Bronson Shavitz, a fourth-generation owner of the company established in 1904.

At Shavitz, our community comes first,” he said. “The winter can be a very difficult time of year for struggling families, and we are happy to unite Shavitz customers to support this important cause.”

As the need to feed the community grew over the years, so did the lines in the Niles Township Food Pantry, which completed a major renovation earlier this year. Today, the new spacious pantry allows for up to 20 shoppers at a time making for a smooth and easy experience. There are over 30 racks lined with baked goods and canned food items, grocery store-style refrigerators filled with eggs and dairy, and an abundance of fresh produce too.  Best of all, clients are empowered by the opportunity to self-select their food, complementing the pantry’s motto to “Serving Food with Dignity.”

“Right now, there are children and young adults in our community who are going to bed and to school hungry,” said Niles Township Food Pantry Director Tony Araque. “We rely on the generosity of businesses like Shavitz to help our neighbors in need who live right here in Niles Township.”

For more information on the Shavitz food drive, visit https://www.shavitz.com/ or call (847) 973-5834. For information on the Niles Township Food Pantry, volunteer opportunities, or how you can make a monetary donation, visit www.nilestownshipgov.com or call (847) 673-9300.

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Noises That Your Furnace Shouldn’t Be Making

December 3rd, 2018

woman covering her ears, on a white backgroundSure, it can be easy to ignore some of the noises that the systems and appliances in your home make. We often deny that something might be wrong because fixing it can be a nuisance. However, certain noises should not be ignored. While a rattle, for instance could simply indicate a loose panel, it could also suggest a cracked heat exchanger, which could lead to a carbon monoxide leak.

Here at Shavitz, we know just how important it is to protect yourself and your family. If you are hearing some suspicious noises, don’t hesitate to schedule a visit with one of our technicians. Below, we have listed some sounds your furnace definitely should not be making.

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Is Your Heater Hurting Your Indoor Air Quality?

November 19th, 2018

Rear view of a young woman opening the curtains in the morningThis is what many homeowners think—that running their heater actually dries out their air and makes the indoor air quality bad as a result. This isn’t quite the case though, and we wouldn’t want you to start using your heater less as winter gets closer and closer. Dry air is certainly a nuisance, but resisting use of your heater will not help the situation!

Modern construction has made our homes tightly sealed up against the elements, which can impact indoor air quality issues like dust infiltration. But dry air is a whole different beast. Why is it such a problem though? And how can you prevent problems with dry air from happening in your living space? Well, with the installation of a whole-house humidifier! If you’ve ever been through even just one of our summers, you might be wondering why you would want to add moisture to your home, but bear with us.

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The Dangers of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

November 5th, 2018

Inside a gas furnace. Focus = the top of the middle flange. 12MP camera.If your home is like the majority of homes in our area, it’s very likely that you use a natural gas furnace to keep it warm. This is, after all, the most common type of residential heating system in the country, particularly in locations like ours with very cold winters. They are not only able to produce a large amount of heat, but they do so at less of an expense than electric furnaces, since natural gas costs less than electricity per unit.

But it’s important to note that any natural gas appliance has the ability to develop safety issues. We don’t mean to alarm you, since a well-maintained heating system will very rarely encounter these dangers. Current furnace systems are built with your safety in mind, and have special features to disallow for the escape of dangerous carbon monoxide into your home. There is one need for heating repair in Glenview, IL that is especially important to tackle right away when it comes to carbon monoxide exposure, and that’s fixing a cracked heat exchanger.

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What Happens During HVAC Maintenance?

October 22nd, 2018

technician accessing inside of air conditioning unitIf you’ve been reading blog posts on our site for even just a few months, then you’ve likely seen us mention the importance of maintenance before. We really can’t stress how important it is that you schedule this service for both your air conditioner and your heater each and every year to ensure your HVAC systems work at peak efficiency and for as long as possible.

And it’s easy to get started with a maintenance plan, you can just give us a call! Our maintenance session includes thoroughly cleaning your system, making recommendations for repairs and perhaps one of the most important HVAC services in Northbrook, IL–inspecting the system. But, what is involved in this inspection? What do technicians actually do during maintenance, particularly when they’re checking over the system—what do they look for?

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