iAir Services Blog: Archive for November, 2014

When to Schedule Heating Repair in Austin

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Most homeowners are aware that their heating systems require regular maintenance in order to continue operating at peak efficiency. When is the best time to actually conduct that maintenance, though? Should it be done on a reactive basis, waiting until a problem presents itself? Or should it have a set time interval regardless of circumstance? Read on to find out.

Regular Fall Maintenance

You should actually be scheduling preventative maintenance visits at least once a year in order to keep your heating system in good health. The best time of year to do this is usually during the fall season. There are a few reasons for scheduling maintenance at this time.

In general, the best time to schedule preventative maintenance on any machine is right before you expect to use it more often. This not only ensures that the system is healthy, but prepares it for the increased strain that you plan to put it under. It is no different with heating systems.

Consider the alternative: you wait to conduct heating maintenance until the cold season, or even until your system breaks down in the middle of winter. There is a spike in demand for HVAC repairs during this season for that exact reason, causing delays in response time. At that point you could be left waiting for days, with no heat, during the coldest part of the year. It’s a safe bet to say that you don’t want to experience that uncomfortable reality. Therefore, it is best to conduct your regular maintenance during the fall.

Spot-Checking

Along with your regular fall maintenance, there is no reason to wait if you notice your heater acting oddly. Problems with heating systems are always progressive. That is, they start as minor issues and grow into much larger ones the longer they are left alone. Breakdowns don’t just suddenly happen, there is always a smaller issue that precedes them. If you notice odd noises, or your heater short-cycling, or any other unusual behavior, it is never a bad thing to call a professional just in case.

If you haven’t scheduled your heating maintenance this year, or you’re experiencing problems with your heating system, call Intelligent Air Services. We provide heating repair throughout Austin.

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Will Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

We’ve all heard it before: you feel so sleepy after a Thanksgiving meal because of the main event: the turkey. For years, people have credited extraordinary levels of tryptophan in turkey as the reason we all feel the need to nap after the annual feast. But contrary to this popular mythology, tryptophan is probably not he largest responsible party for your post-meal exhaustion.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, which means it’s something that our bodies need but do not produce naturally. Your body uses tryptophan to help make vitamin B3 and serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that sends chemicals to the brain to aid in sleep. But in order to get this essential amino acid, we have to eat foods that contain it.

Turkey has somewhat high levels of tryptophan, but so do many other foods, including eggs, peanuts, chocolate, nuts, bananas, and most other meats and dairy products. In fact, ounce-for-ounce cheddar cheese contains a greater amount of tryptophan than turkey. In order for tryptophan to make you feel sleepy, you would have to consume it in excessive amounts, and serotonin is usually only produced by tryptophan on an empty stomach.

The truth is, overeating is largely responsible for the “food coma” many people describe post-Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of energy for your body to process a large meal, and the average Thanksgiving plate contains about twice as many calories as is recommended for daily consumption. If anything, high levels of fat in the turkey cause sleepiness, as they require a lot of energy for your body to digest. Lots of carbohydrates, alcohol, and probably a bit of stress may also be some of the reasons it feels so satisfying to lay down on the couch after the meal and finally get a little bit of shut-eye.

If you feel the need to indulge in a heaping dose of tryptophan this year, go ahead! Turkey also contains healthy proteins and may even provide a boost for your immune system. Here at Intelligent Air Services, we hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy and contentment this year. Happy feasting!

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3 Common Gas Furnace Repairs

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Gas furnaces are made to be durable, but it is likely that at some point, you will need make repairs to your system. Certain parts tend to be more prone to repair than others as we’ll explain below, but it’s important to always call a professional for help with any heating system repairs. Intelligent Air Services offers professional heating services in Austin, TX, so if you are having a problem with your furnace, call us today!

Common Repairs

  • Blower issues – your furnace has a large blower that pushes the warm air through your ductwork into your living spaces. Some common problems our technicians see with blowers are issues with the motor, electrical issues with wiring and capacitors, and problems with the fan itself, including bent or loose fan blades and worn fan belts.
  • Problems with the burner – the burner is the component that heats the heat exchanger in your system. If the burner has become excessively rusty and dirty, this can impede all the burners from lighting appropriately, and affect the overall operation of the burner. Burners can also rust and corrode, in which case the burner needs to be replaced.
  • Pilot won’t stay lit – if your system has a standing pilot light, this light needs to stay lit in order to fire up your system. Sometimes this light can be blown out accidentally, in which case re-lighting it re-establishes the flame. Other reasons the pilot may not light can include problems with the thermocouple or an issue with the pilot line that provides the gas that keeps the pilot lit.

Gas furnace repairs can be complex, and because combustible fuel is involved, there is always a level of safety to be concerned with. This is why it’s important to hire a trained professional to handle your heating repairs.

If you are experiencing problems with your furnace, call Intelligent Air Services in Austin, TX today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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How Does Insulation Help With Heating?

Friday, November 7th, 2014

You may have heard before that proper insulation helps keep your home warmer. Insulation can either be installed as part of new construction or blown-in afterwards, and may be positioned around the ducts, in the walls, and/or in the ceiling. The material used may be of fiberglass, wool, or a number of other materials which have the ability to prevent heat exchange. The following are just a few of the ways adding quality insulation to your new home can help out your heating system. Call Intelligent Air Services to learn more about a few other home improvements and low-cost heating options in Austin, TX.

Insulation and Your Home Heating

  • Keeps You More Comfortable: Insulation keeps you more comfortable by providing a barrier through which heat cannot escape. Heat moves naturally from a warmer area into a cooler area. So during the winter, heat continuously dissipates outdoors, which is why your home feels so cold. Even if you run your heater throughout the day and night, you may not feel as comfortable as you’d like, since so much of the heat your unit generates does not remain in your home for very long. Insulation allows heat to linger in your home longer so you feel nice and cozy indoors.
  • Lowers Your Heating Bills: Your heating system shuts off as soon as your home reaches the temperature you’ve programmed into your thermostat. Without insulation, your furnace has to run for longer in order to heat your home, which may cause your utilities to soar. Quality insulation can actually lower your heating bills, as your system will shut off sooner; in fact, you may even feel you don’t need it on for much of the day and night!
  • Protects Your HVAC System: When your heating system runs for long periods of time, it can really take a toll on some of the major components. Protect the parts of your heating system from premature failure by scheduling insulation services, allowing you to run your system less often and reduce wear and tear.

Insulation is helpful during the cooling season as well, preventing heat from entering through the walls of your home and reducing the need for AC. Keep your heating and cooling system protected year round and stay more comfortable by calling Intelligent Air Services. Ask how our professional insulation services can improve your heating today!

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