Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog: Archive for November, 2013

The History of the Presidential Turkey Pardon

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Thanksgiving began in 1621, but didn’t become a national tradition until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared it as such in hopes of bringing a divided nation together. We have many Thanksgiving traditions in this country, from turkey as the meal to the annual Cowboys and Lions games on television. But one of the most beloved is the annual Presidential turkey pardon, in which the U.S. President “pardons” a turkey, allowing them to live the remainder of their live freely roaming on farmland. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, we thought you’d like to know a little more about the history of this fascinating tradition.

Farmers have sent turkeys to the White House as far back as the 1800s, hoping to have the honor of providing the President’s annual meal. There have been scattered stories of individual turkeys being “pardoned” throughout that time, including one in which President Lincoln’s son Tad successfully convinced the president to spare a bird intended for the family’s Christmas dinner.

Starting in 1947, the National Turkey Federation became the official supplier of the President’s Thanksgiving birds. The White House arranged for an annual photo op that year with the President receiving the turkey in the Rose Garden. Sadly, there was no pardon as yet; those birds all ended up on the Presidential table.

The push for an official pardon picked up steam in 1963, when President Kennedy asked that the bird be spared, just a few days before his assassination. President Nixon opted to send each of the birds he received to a nearby petting zoo after the photo op, though there was no formal pardon attached.

But it wasn’t until 1989 that the pardon became official. On November 14 of that year, President George H. W. Bush made the announcement, and sent the bird to a Virginia game preserve to live the rest of its life out in cranberry-and-stuffing-free bliss. Since then, every President has held an annual pardoning ceremony, with the lucky turkey spared the axe and sent off to live in peace. Since 2005, the pardoned birds have gone to Disneyland in Anaheim, California, where they have lived as part of a petting zoo exhibit in Frontierland.

No matter what traditions you enjoy this holiday, or who you enjoy them with, all of us here wish you a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving weekend.

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How Dust and other Debris Can Cause Furnace Problems

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Getting through a long winter in Northern Colorado requires a well-maintained heating system keeping your home comfortable. A furnace is one of the most dependable systems for weathering the winter, provided that you keep it in good repair. A clean and maintained furnace will have few problems from one of the main enemies it can face: dust and dirt.

We’ll go over a few of the ways that dust, dirt, and other debris can give your furnace grief. Make sure you schedule regular maintenance and prompt furnace repair in Windsor, CO with the experts at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.

Problems from dust and debris

  • Clogged air filters: Your furnace filter handles the job of keeping contaminants from entering the cabinet and damaging its components. The furnace will start to collect debris and eventually become clogged if not changed once a month during the heating season. A clogged filter will restrict air flow and make your furnace work harder and wear down faster.
  • Burnt-out motors: If dust and debris enter the furnace cabinet, they can contaminate the moving parts of the blower motors. The additional stress will cause the motors to eventually burn-out and require replacement.
  • Reduced effectiveness of heat exchangers: The heat exchangers in gas furnaces are metal chambers that transfer the heat from the combustion gas to the air that then gets blown through the house. A layer of dust across the heat exchangers will reduce how much heat they can transfer, which will make the furnace run longer to reach the target temperature, draining fuel and shortening its lifespan.
  • Interference with the burners: If the burners are covered with a layer of dust, they will have trouble drawing the oxygen to light the jets. It also makes it harder for the jets to transmit heat to the combustion chamber.

Most of these troubles require professional repair. Don’t try to tinker around the inside of a furnace cabinet on your own without proper training or tools: call in specialists.

At Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, our motto is “Big enough to serve, small enough to care.” We have the staff and training to deliver you the service you need for furnace repair in Windsor, CO, but we also bring a personal touch that will reassure you about all the work that we do. Join our family of clients that has grown over the decades we’ve been in business and call us for all of your heating services in Windsor.

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What Safety Features Are On New Furnaces?

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

Gas furnaces are a staple of many homes here in Colorado, providing efficient and reliable heat for many years. Warm air is generated in a central system, then pushed into your home via a series of ducts. Like any other piece of technology, furnaces have undergone a number of upgrades over the years, including important safety features which help keep your home safe. “What safety features are on new furnaces?“, you ask? Read on for the answers.

But remember: if you need a Loveland heating installation done, you can count on Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning to get the job done right.

  • Limit switches. These switches are installed in the gas burner manifold, and are designed to detect heat outside of the burner tubes. Obviously, no one wants flames going anywhere they aren’t supposed it, and heat outside of the burner tubes constitutes a big problem.  The limit switches are designed to shut the gas off in such an event, eliminating the flame and the danger. Most of them will let you know via a readout on the heater front. Some of them also come with a reset button that will let you start the furnace again once a repairman has addressed the issue.
  • Plenum thermostat. While the limit switches detect heat in the manifold, the Plenum thermostat detects the heat around the exchange.  If the temperature climbs too high, the thermostat shuts off the main burner, cutting off the heat and preventing any damage. A trained expert can look at the furnace and resolve the issue before resetting the thermostat.

These and other safety features are designed to prevent further damage to the system and in some cases halt a considerable safety concern. When they kick in, you should call a trained technician to look at the heater. Loveland heating installation companies like Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning can answer the question “what safety features are on new furnaces?” then help you out with any repairs or replacement issues you may have. Your furnace is a key part of your household. Give us a call whenever you have problems with it, and we’ll make sure it’s running smoothly again!

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Not Getting Enough Heat? Here Are Two Common Causes

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

The winters in North Colorado can be as oppressive as they are beautiful—especially if your home heater has problems giving you sufficient warmth. If you discover cold spots in your house, or find yourself waking up each morning to an unexpected chill, you may have a problem with your heating system.

There are a number of reasons unconnected to your heater that can result in a chillier house: deteriorating insulation, heat leaks around doors and windows, and open fireplace dampers. But in this post we’re going to look at two issues that are specific to your heating system—and what you can do about them.

If you need help getting better quality heating in Windsor, CO, call on Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Our longevity speaks for our quality: we’ve been in business since 1934.

2 reasons your heater isn’t giving you enough heat

Thermostat problems: No matter the type of heater you have—from a furnace to a geothermal heat pump—you will control it through a thermostat. If your thermostat begins to malfunction, it will have trouble detecting the temperature in your home or it will lose its precision control and struggle to reach its setting. In either case, your thermostat will start turning your heater on and off at the wrong times, leading to uneven heating and a colder home. Fortunately, thermostat issues are simple problems to fix for professional technicians, since they only need to access the thermostat itself, not the heating unit.

Wear and tear from lack of maintenance: A heater will only work its best if it receives regular inspections and tune-ups—at least once a year, preferably during the fall before the serious cold starts. If you’ve let your heater go without regular maintenance, it will age faster and strain to reach its target temperature. The wear on its parts will result in a weaker performance. It’s never too late to start regular maintenance; however, so schedule it at the same time you schedule the necessary repairs.

Don’t sit around in a cold home and hope that your heater will magically “get better” and conditions will improve. They won’t. You need professionals to find out what has caused the drop in performance from your heater and then offer solutions to the problem. Contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today if you aren’t getting the heat you need, and make sure your heater is ready for winter with a maintenance visit from one of our highly trained technicians.

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How to Get the Most out of Your Heating Installation

Sunday, November 3rd, 2013

In rainy towns like Bellevue, heating installation services need to be performed correctly the first time, every time. Our weather doesn’t forgive shoddy workmanship, and if your heater struggles because the installation wasn’t spot on, you’ll find yourself paying much more than you should in monthly bills and repair costs. Finding a good HVAC technician for the job is a good first step, but you can go further by educating yourself about what goes into a quality heater. Here’s how to get the most out of your heating installation.

For starters, make sure the technician you’ve hired is fully qualified and ready for the job. Licensed, certified servicemen will prepare for the job diligently and keep you informed every step of the way. They’ll treat your home like your own, and double-check their work so that your new heater performs exactly as it should.

Selecting the right heater can play a big part in this as well. You want one that is neither too large nor too small, but just right for the size and conditions of your house. A good technician can measure the square footage of your home, as well as noting such elements as sun exposure and the insulation in your attic. If you’re getting a new type of furnace, he should make sure that your ducts and lines are compatible with it, and keep things like the foundation size in mind when making his preparations.

An efficient heater is a good idea too. Heater efficiency is measured in AFUE ratings, which stands for “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.” The higher the rating, the more efficient the heater, though you can cheat a bit by looking for the EnergyStar sticker which is given out to the most efficient heaters on the market.

For more help on how to get the most out of your heating installation, rely on Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We operate in Bellevue, heating installation is a specialty of ours, and we understand the need to make your new heater the best it can possibly be. We also stand by the quality of our equipment and service, and won’t rest until you are fully satisfied. Pick up the phone and give us a call today.

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