Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning Blog: Archive for December, 2013

New Year’s Traditions Explained

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

2014 is almost upon us, and with the coming of the New Year, we thought we’d take a brief look at some of the more popular traditions associated with this holiday. It’s been around for at least 4,000 years: as long as we’ve figured out how long it takes for the seasons to come and go. Here’s a quick discussion about some of our more modern traditions and where they started:

  • Auld Lang Syne. The famous song began in Scotland, where it was published by Robert Burns in 1796.  He claims he initially heard it sung by an elderly resident of his hometown, which suggests it has traditional folk origins even before that. It became even more popular when big band leader, Guy Lombardo, started playing it every New Year’s Eve, starting in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Dropping of the Ball in Times Square. The tradition of dropping the ball in Times Square started in 1907. It was made out of iron and wood with light bulbs located on the surface, and the ball originally “dropped” over the offices of the New York Times at One Times Square. Dick Clark famously broadcast the event every year from 1972, until his death in 2012.
  • The Rose Parade. The Tournament of Roses Parade has been held in Pasadena every year since 1890; taking advantage of California’s warm weather to present a parade of floats, bands and horses. A football game was eventually added to the festivities in 1902, when Michigan dominated Stanford’s team by a score of 49-0
  • Baby New Year. The use of a baby to signify the New Year dates back to Ancient Greece, where it symbolized the rebirth of Dionysus (the god of wine and parties). Early Christians initially resisted the pagan elements of the story, but soon came to adopt it since it matched the traditional Christmas symbol of baby Jesus in the manger. Today, people of all faiths and traditions refer to the New Year as a baby, representing new beginnings.

Whatever traditions you choose to celebrate, we here at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning wish you the very safest and happiest of New Years. May 2014 bring you nothing but the best!

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Wishing You a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

It’s the holiday season once again, and everyone at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning wishes the very best for you, your family, and your friends. We hope that whatever brings you joy fills these last days of the year.

We’d like to thank all of our customers for giving us the opportunity to provide you with services that improve your lives and help you better enjoy this time with your loved ones. You are the reason that we exist as a company, and that’s something we always keep that in mind. We are eager to work with you in the coming year.

Here’s something to remember for the season: many companies in our industry are very busy on service calls during December—it’s one of the most crowded times of the year. If you need service, make sure you schedule it as soon as possible so you can continue to enjoy the pleasures of this time of year.

Lastly, we at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning want to conclude with a thought from the late Earl Nightingale to help remind us all that we do not need to wait for a holiday to have a reason to enjoy or celebrate ourselves, our lives or our family:

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.

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Common Causes of Boiler Leaks

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Here in Skokie, IL, boiler repair services need to be on call during these cold winter months. Problems with your boiler only become more troublesome and urgent in the winter, when the snows fall and you need your heating system to be at its best. Boiler leaks are among the most common repair calls this time of year, exacerbated by months of idle use for your boiler followed by regular daily activity as the temperatures drop and you need your home to be warm and comfortable. Boiler leaks are a tremendous pain, and if you detect them you need to shut down your system and call a repair service immediately. But it’s helpful to know what some of the common causes of boiler leaks are, which can help you identify the source of the problem quickly.

In many cases, older boilers suffer the most potential for leaks, thanks to the inevitable wear and tear of age. Unless it’s regularly maintained, your boiler will inevitably develop rusty areas and overall corrosion. Eventually, the rust will create breaches in the system and leaks will inevitably result. Pay particular attention to corrosion around fittings and seals. They’re the areas most likely to develop a breach.

Beyond that, the key culprit in boiler leaks is excessive pressure, which can exacerbate rusty spots in older boilers and place undue strain on the system with new ones. High pressure can do more than create leaks; in the worst cases it can cause an explosion. In particular, look for clogs or other stoppages in your outlet pipe, which releases pressure from the system. If it gets backed up, then you’re likely to face leaks and other serious concerns throughout your system.

The bad news is that leaks are serious problems. The good news is that they can be handled by professionals. Boiler repair and other heating services are covered in Skokie by Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning. We can hunt down common causes of boiler leaks – and even not-so-common ones – then conduct repairs with thoroughness and efficiency. If boiler leaks are becoming a problem, then call us today to schedule a repair session. You’ll be glad that you did!

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Common Ductwork Problems from Bad Installation

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Your ducts serve to pipe air from your HVAC system throughout your house, and as such serve a vital function in keeping your home comfortable. Here in Skokie IL, ductwork is a part of many modern homes, and is often installed when the homes themselves are built. A bad contractor can create many future headaches if he doesn’t do a good job, however. Without proper installation, ductwork can be a drag on your HVAC system and end up costing you a great deal. Here are some common ductwork problems from bad insulation.

  • Leaks. Leaks form when the seals between sections of ducts are not installed properly, or when pressure on the side of the ducts results in a breach. They can pull air out of the ducts as it travels through your home, and/or pull in air from the outside, which reduces the effectiveness of your HVAC system. The leak will need to be sealed before the system can work again.
  • Crimps. Crimps come about when the installer tries to eel the duct through an awkward spot. A rushed job means that the ducts will suffer from reduced air flow, hampering the speed with which the HVAC system will do its job. This means that it will be forced to expend more energy, raising your monthly bills until the crimp is fixed and the duct placed in a more elegant position.
  • Lack of insulation. If a duct passes through a spot close to an uninsulated outside wall, or isn’t properly covered itself, it may warm or cool the surface at the exact wrong time of year. That will temper the heat or the coolness of the air inside the ducts, slowing the HVAC system’s ability to condition your air.

In Skokie, IL, ductwork repair can be conducted by the experts at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning.

We deal with common ductwork problems from bad installation, and can not only address the issue, but lower the chances of it cropping up again. We also offer other indoor air quality services in Skokie, so pick up the phone and give us a call today; you’ll be glad that you did!

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Electric Furnace Problems From Lack of Maintenance

Friday, December 13th, 2013

If you have an electric furnace, chances are you don’t pay it much mind until a problem arises. We all have so much going on in our lives that as long as the furnace is running, we’re not inclined to worry too much about it. Here in Wilmette IL, electric furnace repair services are standing by to help, so fixing a problem quickly usually isn’t an issue. Even so, a number of problems arise solely from a lack of maintenance. A routine “tune-up” session can help you prevent them.

Your electric furnace suffers from the same wear and tear that any other major appliance does. Parts wear down, bolts become loose, fittings wear out, and dust builds up over months of non-use during the summer. All of these are relatively easy to correct, but all can result in long-term damage if they’re not treated. Dust increases friction in moving parts and can clog the important components over time, preventing them from working. Loose components can rattle in their housings, increasing the strain on them and other components will need to work harder in order to heat your house. That not only raises your monthly bills, but increases the chances of a more serious breakdown taking place in the near future. It may also shorten the life of your furnace, hastening the day when you will need to pay to replace it.

Contrast that with regular maintenance sessions conducted by a trained professional. The dust and dirt are cleaned up, reducing friction and ensuring that the components function effectively. Loose elements are tightened down to keep them from rattling, and thus reduces the strain on them. If any significant repairs are required, the technician can spot it and schedule it before it affects any other parts of your furnace.

All of that can eliminate a number of electric furnace problems from lack of maintenance, or at least reduce the risk of them considerable. In Willmette IL, electric furnace repair services can be addressed by Shavitz Heating and air Conditioning.

Call us today to schedule a regular maintenance session, and help keep your electric furnace running as smoothly as it can!

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Can Geothermal Systems Work With Any Home?

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Geothermal systems are probably one of the most efficient systems on the market. They use the endless and free energy of the earth to provide heating and cooling for your home. However, because of how they work, they require certain accommodations that not all homes can provide. Here at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning, we offer total geothermal installation, repair, maintenance and replacement. We wanted to let our customers know about some of the limitations that geothermal systems have.

Call us today if you have any questions or if you need heating service in Winnetka, IL.

A Look at How Geothermal Systems Work

If you dig down into the ground, the temperature there will be about 55° F all year long—no matter what temperature the air is above ground. Geothermal systems use that temperature consistency to provide both heating and cooling. However, in order to do that, geothermal systems need a long series of pipes that are filled with refrigerant and buried in the ground. This is referred to as the ground loop. In heating mode, the geothermal system will use the pipes to absorb heat and bring it into your home. In cooling mode, the unit will absorb heat out of your home and exhaust it into the ground.

So while geothermal systems are very efficient, your home must have enough space to accommodate the long series of pipes buried in the ground. Typically, the ground loop is installed horizontally. However, for homes that have less space, the ground loop can be installed vertically.

If you have any questions or if you’re ready to have one of our technicians visit your home to talk with you about the possibility of a geothermal system, then call the Winnetka, IL geothermal system experts at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning.

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