Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Skokie’

Electric vs. Gas: Which Type of Furnace is More Efficient?

Monday, February 8th, 2021
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If it’s this late into the winter season and you’re just now looking into having a new heater installed, chances are that something happened to your current one—and you’re in a bit of a rush to replace it. We get it. You want to get back to the comfort that you’re used to. But this really isn’t a decision you should rush! Plus this gives you a good opportunity to decide whether you want to stick with the fuel source you’ve always relied on, or go with something more efficient.

So what is more efficient? Answering this can be a little tricky, since efficiency is a rating of the heating output of your furnace compared to the amount of energy it actually uses. But this does not necessarily mean that a furnace with a higher efficiency rating will use less energy and therefore cost less to run, because an electric furnace could have a higher efficiency rating (called AFUE, which we’ll touch on more below) than a different model of gas furnace, but in general gas is a more affordable fuel source.

Read on to learn more!

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The Information Every Electric Furnace Owner Needs to Know

Monday, January 25th, 2021
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Do you have an electric furnace in your home keeping you and your family warm? Great! These are powerful systems that can work very effectively and efficiently, as long as they’re well cared for. This means staying on top of your heating maintenance needs—each year, our professionals come out to clean, inspect, and adjust your furnace and ensure that it has no pending repair needs.

However, there’s always a chance that something will go amiss with your electric furnace, even between maintenance sessions. This is especially true for aging furnaces. If you do notice that your electric furnace isn’t quite working as it should, give us a call! We’re here to help. We also want to share with you signs that your electric furnace may be struggling. Read on for the information you need to know!

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Should You Invest in an Electric Furnace?

Monday, January 11th, 2021
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If you’re shopping for a new furnace this time of year, there’s no doubt that this is something you need very soon. However, choosing a new heater for your home isn’t a decision you should make lightly or hastily. Today’s technology gives you so many choices when it comes to effective heating. So if you’ve been using a gas-powered system or even space heaters, then you may not know that there are electric heating options that don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to operate.

Homeowners often ask us if electric furnaces have what it takes to keep Chicagoland residents warm. Read on as we answer that and dive into more information about electric furnaces that will help you make an educated decision about your next heating installation.

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Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Furnace

Monday, December 30th, 2019
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Saying goodbye to your heating system is never fun, but there comes a time in every homeowner’s life where it becomes inevitable. We understand that the process of buying a new furnace can be overwhelming, since new furnaces can be a bit expensive, and having technicians working inside your home isn’t exactly the most convenient thing ever. But allow us to be the ones to say, it’s worth it in the end.

That said, do you know what signs to watch out for that indicate it’s even time for a furnace upgrade? There are actually quite a few signs, which we’ll get into below. Remember, whether you need a repair or replacement, we’re the team to trust for the job.

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Prevent Allergy Suffering with These Indoor Air Quality Tips

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

woman-sitting-on-her-couch-blowing-her-nose-in-tissueHow much do you know about your home’s indoor air quality? The most important thing for you to know is that it’s worse than the quality of your outdoor air—at least this is the case if you don’t have the right indoor air quality products or services in place.

Indoor air quality issues are often attributed to allergy symptoms—coughing, sneezing, wheezing, etc. Even the healthiest person can suffer. But it’s especially awful for those who already have seasonal allergies or asthma. The problem is that today’s homes are built very tightly to conserve energy—which is great for your HVAC systems—and as such dust, dirt, and other debris get trapped in the home and circulate continuously through your air. Another problem is that dust and debris gets trapped in your air ducts, too. So what can you do?

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Can Your Furnace Replacement Wait Until Next Year?

Monday, May 6th, 2019

technician-working-on-furnaceWinter has been over for a while. We’re now finally starting to get to enjoy the warmer weather and tune-up our air conditioners to prep them for higher temps. As such, you might not be thinking very much about your furnace. But, should you?

Well, if it struggled at all to do its job this past winter, yes. And if you’ve needed to call for repairs in order to keep it running? Also yes. What about if it’s older than a decade?

You probably see where this is going…

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

Monday, 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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What Are the Benefits of Ductless Mini Split Systems?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Ducts used to be a necessary part of any air conditioning and forced-air heating system. But the invention of the ductless mini split changed that. At first popular in businesses such as restaurants and bars, the ductless mini split eventually entered residential use, and more and more homes are taking advantage of the benefits they offer.

If you are interested in ductless heating and cooling for your home, call up Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning. We have more than a century of helping homes stay comfortable in Skokie, IL, and ductless mini split system installation is one of the many jobs we handle. Our technicians will be glad to answer any questions you may have and schedule whatever services you require.

Some of the advantages of a ductless mini split

  • Heating and cooling: Because ductless mini splits are heat pumps, they offer the same dual-function benefit of working as either a heater or an air conditioner.
  • Better energy efficiency: Ductwork is a source of energy loss in an HVAC system. During hot weather, heat enters the ducts and raises the temperature of the cooled air; during cold weather, heat escapes from the heated air through the ducts. A ductless mini split gets rid of this major source of energy loss by eliminating ducts entirely.
  • Improved indoor air quality: Along with permitting energy loss, ductwork also contributes to a drop in indoor air quality because it is a source of dust and dirt contamination. Without any ducts to collect particles that will get blown into the air, a ductless mini split will help you improve your home’s indoor air quality. This is especially helpful if you have people with allergy and asthma living in your home.
  • Space-saving: Ductless mini splits are great choices for new home construction and remodeling since they remove the need to put in large ductwork into the walls and ceilings. Not only will you have more space, but you’ll also have greater freedom to design the house or room you want.

A ductless mini split isn’t always the right choice for a home, and so you should consult with professional installers before making any firm decision about your home’s heating or cooling. Our team at Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning will be glad to assist you with a ductless mini split system in Skokie, IL and the surrounding areas, and we will help you decide if installing one is your best option. Give us a call today.

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Will a Heat Pump Keep Me Warm Enough in a Skokie Winter?

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

Skokie winters are nothing to sneeze at (if you’ll pardon the pun). Things get mighty cold around here in January, which can create concerns for homeowners who rely on heat pumps instead of gas furnaces or boilers to warm their homes. In Skokie IL, a heat pump installation can be fairly costly, which is offset by its increased efficiency from month to month. Cold air can impact that efficiency, and influence he heat pump’s ability to do its job. “Will a heat pump keep me warm enough in a Skokie winter?” you ask. The answer is usually “no,” though there are ways to correct the issue.

Just so you’re aware: Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning services heat pumps in Skokie, IL.

Heat pumps rely on the same technology used to run air conditioners: cycling refrigerant gas through a series of valves and coils that first warm the surrounding air and then cool it. With a heat pump system, one set of valves and coils is located inside the house and another set is located outside the house. In the summer, the indoor set produced cool air, with hot air produced outside (where it can safely be vented into the great outdoors). In the winter, that process is reversed, with the indoor set producing warm air and the outdoor set producing cool air.

So what’s the issue? The issue is that that warm air often isn’t enough when temperatures dip to the freezing level, which they often do here in Skokie. The heat pumps efficiency – one of the big reasons to get one – drops way down and it often struggles to heat the home properly in the wintertime.

The good news is that hybrid heating units exist, which add a small auxiliary heater onto the heat pump to help it out during those cold days. That preserves the unit’s efficiency – saving you money in monthly bills – without forcing you to skimp on much-needed warmth. If you’re asking “will a heat pump keep me warm enough in a Skokie winter?” then Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning has an answer for you. We handle heat pump installations in Skokie on a regular basis and can provide hybrid heating systems as an alternative to help keep your home warm and toasty like it should be. Call us today to set up an appointment!

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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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