Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning Blog: Archive for November, 2014

10 Facts You Should Know about Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as an official holiday in the United States for over 150 years, so you may think you understand all there is to know about this family feast. Most of us have heard the story of the pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in 1621 after arriving in North America on the Mayflower. But did you know that only about half of the people on this ship were actually pilgrims? This fact is one of ten things that may actually surprise you about the Thanksgiving tradition!

  1. Although we often consider Thanksgiving a holiday unique to the United States, many other countries and cultures celebrate their own set of harvest-time and thanksgiving traditions. In Korea, Chu-Sok (or “fall evening”) is put on in remembrance of forefathers on August 15th of every year. Brazil celebrates a contemporary version of the U.S. holiday. Chinese, Roman, and Jewish cultures all have a history of harvest celebrations as well.
  2. President Harry S. Truman began the tradition of a ceremony held before Thanksgiving during which the president receives a turkey. George H.W. Bush was the first to pardon the turkey instead of eating it.
  3. In Minnesota alone, farmers raise over 40 million turkeys a year. In fact, U.S. farmers produce about one turkey for every one person in the country.
  4. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American will gain about one to two pounds every year during the holiday season.
  5. On the other hand, turkey is naturally high in protein and has been known to support and boost immune systems to protect against illness and speed up healing. So feast on!
  6. Abraham Lincoln issued a “Thanksgiving Proclamation” in 1863, but a woman named Sarah Josepha Hale can be credited with the idea. While Thanksgiving had been celebrated at different times of year in many areas of the U.S. for years, it was Hale, prominent magazine editor and author of the rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” who urged Lincoln to finally establish the national event.
  7. President Franklin D Roosevelt once tried to change the date of Thanksgiving to the second-to-last Thursday of the month in order to extend the holiday shopping season and boost the economy.
  8. Only about half of the people on the Mayflower were what we would consider today as “Pilgrims.” The other (approximately) 50 people were simply trying to find a way over to the New World.
  9. Gobble, gobble! Click, click? While male turkeys make a gobbling noise, females (hens) do not; it’s often described as a clicking.
  10. Even though we celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November, the month of June has been declared National Turkey Lovers’ Month by the National Turkey Federation so you can continue the celebration in the summer as well!

From our family here at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning, we’d like to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

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How Heat Pumps Work as Both Air Conditioners and Heaters

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Heat pumps offer a number of terrific advantages for home comfort: they are efficient, rely entirely on a readily available energy source, hook up to pre-existing ductwork, and score high in home safety. But the number one advantage, and the reason most homeowners who choose heat pumps became interested in them in the first place, is that they work as both heaters and air conditioners. Heat pumps manage this feat through a single process; they are not a separate heater and AC system packaged within a single cabinet. In this post, we will provide you with a simple breakdown on how heat pumps manage their useful dual-function.

If you think that heat pump installation in Lincolnwood, IL is your best option, contact Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning today to schedule a service appointment. We have been in business almost as long as mechanical air conditioning of any kind has existed.

Heat Pump Operation Basics

At its core, a heat pump is almost identical to a standard central air conditioning system. Like an AC, a heat pump has an indoor and outdoor unit. The outdoor unit contains a compressor that places a chemical blend of refrigerant (sometimes known by the trademarked name “Freon”) under high pressure in order to cause the refrigerant to circulate through the system. The refrigerant absorbs heat from one set of coils, and then releases the heat through a second set of coils. The movement of heat from one place to another is what allows the system to alter temperatures inside a building.

With a standard air conditioner, the refrigerant only travels in one direction: it moves from the compressor to the outdoor coil, where it releases heat. Cooled down, the refrigerant then moves to the indoor coil, where it absorbs heat and lowers the indoor temperature for the blower fan to send the air through the ventilation system and into the rooms. The refrigerant then returns to the compressor to renew the cycle.

A heat pump does this same process when in cooling mode. However, thanks to the presence of a component called the reversing valve, it can switch the direction of refrigerant flow. The refrigerant moves from the compressor to the indoor coil first, where it releases its heat and warms up the air for distribution. It then travels to the outdoor coil and absorbs heat before re-entering the compressor. This is heating mode, and it only requires a single change on the thermostat to switch from cooling mode to heating mode.

Call Us for Heat Pump Installation

For quality heat pump installation in Lincolnwood, IL, you must have the service of professionals. Few heating and cooling contractors in Chicagoland have more experience and training for this job than Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning. Let us determine if a heat pump is right for your home, and then size the unit and install it so that your household receive years of quality comfort.

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Reasons a Furnace Might Be Your Best Option for Heating Installation

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Furnaces are one of the oldest heating systems for homes. They’ve existed since the days when they used coal and wood to generate heat and were little more than stoves connected to pipes to carry air to different parts of a home. But furnaces have advanced with the times, and contemporary models that run on gas power remain the most common kind of heating system found in homes today.

When it comes to new heating installation for your home, a furnace is one of the best choices. Always make sure you consult with professionals before you make a decision, since a number of factors go into finding the right heating system to match a house. Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning has more than a century of handling furnace installation in Park Ridge, IL and throughout Chicagoland, so you should entrust us with the job of bringing you the best heating possible for your household.

The Advantages of a Furnace

There are many reasons that a furnace makes for an excellent choice for residential comfort. Here are few of them:

  • Heating power: In terms of thermal output, a natural gas furnace is one of most powerful of all heating systems. For coping with a tough Chicagoland winter, there are few heaters that can deliver levels of comfort as satisfying as a furnace.
  • Flexible fuel options: Furnaces can run from a variety of energy sources. Gas power is the most popular, since it’s convenient and energy-efficient. However, if you don’t have a gas line in your home, a furnace is still an option. Electric furnaces are less expensive to install and have the bonus of operating without risk of carbon monoxide leaking. Propane furnaces are also an alternative.
  • Energy efficiency: Natural gas furnaces are much less expensive to operate than other heating systems that either use stored heating fuels or electrical resistance heating. Newer high-efficiency furnaces can have AFUE ratings above 95%.

Call for Professional Furnace Installation in Park Ridge, IL

An appliance as large and complex as a furnace—no matter the type of energy it consumes—must receive installation work from trained professionals. This is especially important when it comes to a gas furnace; it is actually illegal for anyone except a licensed technician to work on installing a gas furnace.

For the furnace installation service you need to give your house great winter warmth for many winters to come, call the team at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment.

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Problems with Radiant Heating That Require Professional Repairs

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

When it comes to receiving comfortable, even, and clean heating for your home, it’s hard to do better than a radiant heating system. Radiant heating can come in variety of forms, from simple radiators connected to boilers to advanced floor heating systems that run heated water through the floorboards or make use of electrical resistance heating from coils. Radiant heating is energy-saving, gives you an attractive room décor with no visual distractions, runs quietly, and requires few repairs.

However, repairs are always a possibility for any complex system, and radiant heating is no exception. You may occasionally encounter problems with your home’s radiant heater, and when this happens you should call the specialists at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning for heating repair in Chicago, IL and the surrounding areas. We have a long history with heating in Chicagoland and keep up-to-date with all the latest in home comfort technology.

Some Radiant Heating Issues You May Encounter

  • Uneven heat: One of the advantages of radiant heating systems, especially floor heating, is the way they distribute heat upward in an even curtain. But if you notice that a room is developing cold spots, you may have broken water pipes (for hydronic systems) or busted heating elements (for electric systems) in parts of the room. Repair technicians will have to remove the flooring to access the pipes or electric elements in order to repair them.
  • Leaking: For hydronic systems, water leaking from the pipes or the boiler is always a possibility—although a remote one if the system was professionally installed. If you spot water coming from floorboards, or you see damp spots around the boiler, you need to call for repairs right away before additional damage occurs.
  • Strange noises: The quiet operation of radiant heating systems is one of their great benefits. And this also means that when strange sounds start to come from one, you will notice them right away. Noises such as rumbling, hissing, and humming can indicate blocked pipes, a water tank that is overheating, or loose electric wires. Any noise out of the ordinary usually means it’s time to call for professional repairs.

You can put your trust in Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning for whatever heating repair in Chicago, IL you need. We work on a variety of different heating systems, so when you need help with your radiant heating give us a call.

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