May 22nd, 2013
New homeowners investing in their first air conditioning system, or those homeowners looking to replace their existing AC, may be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of air conditioning system options available to them. Choosing the right home cooling system can be a daunting task, but it is much easier to make an informed decision about your air conditioning options when you work with a qualified Spokane air conditioning professional. The Spokane air conditioning technicians at ACI Northwest have the knowledge and experience necessary to ensure that you get the right air conditioner for your home. Call today to discuss your air conditioning installation options in Spokane, WA.
Split central air conditioning systems are still the most popular AC option, and with good reason. Modern central air conditioners are able to cool homes with outstanding efficiency and effectiveness, and their durability allows you to keep cool with the confidence you deserve. However, traditional central air conditioners also rely on ducted forced air distribution systems in order to circulate conditioned air throughout your home. While ductwork can be quite efficient, poor design, installation and air duct condition can lead to energy losses resulting in reduced efficiency.
With a ductless mini split air conditioning system installation, you can enjoy the convenience of central air conditioning without risking the energy loss commonly associated with poor air duct condition and performance. Ductless mini splits connect and outdoor condenser to individual, wall mounted blowers using a simple conduit containing power and refrigerant lines. This design eliminates the risk of energy loss via air ducts, allowing for great efficiency and zone controlled cooling for outstanding comfort.
Should you be interested in an alternative cooling option, a geothermal system may be right for you. By using an underground geothermal loop system and a geothermal heat pump, you can transfer heat between your home and the ground outside. This allows for year round comfort and an incredibly efficient, environmentally friendly air conditioning performance.
For more information about your air conditioning options, contact the Spokane air conditioning professionals at ACI Northwest. We are always happy to answer any questions that you may have. Call today to get started.
May 16th, 2013
If you are in the market for a new air conditioning system, remember that it is always a good idea to consider all of your options. Just because you have always used a traditional ducted split central air conditioner does not mean that you cannot try something new. There are a lot of air conditioning options available for installation in your home, and the Spokane, WA air conditioning professionals at ACI Northwest can help you sort through them all. One great system to consider for installation in your home is a ductless mini split air conditioner. Contact us today to learn more.
When properly installed and professionally maintained, ducted forced air distribution systems can be a very efficient and effective way to circulate air throughout your home. Of course, it is difficult to know when there is a problem with a ductwork system, and in many homes air ducts are a serious cause of energy loss. By eliminating the need for air ducts altogether, ductless mini split air conditioning systems also eliminate the risk of this energy loss.
Ductless mini splits feature an outdoor unit much like central split systems. Rather than using ductwork to distribute cooled air throughout your home, though, ductless mini splits instead rely on individual, wall mounted blowers to do so. This means that you can cool different rooms in your home directly, without the use of air ducts. In doing so, you can cool your home more efficiently. All that is needed to connect the indoor and outdoor components of this type of system is a conduit containing refrigerant and power lines.
The individual wall mounted blowers used by ductless mini splits also make zone controlled air conditioning quite simple. This allows you to different areas of your home to different temperatures, increasing comfort while reducing the amount of energy that you use. With a ductless mini split installation, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort in order to cool your home with great efficiency.
To learn more about the operation of ductless mini splits and the many benefits they have to offer, contact ACI Northwest today. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have. Call us for any Spokane, WA air conditioning services you need completed.
May 6th, 2013
During the heating season in Spokane, WA, you put your home heating system under a lot of stress. All of that use can really take a toll on your heater. Many people understand that they should have their furnace inspected and maintained regularly. What many homeowners fail to realize, though, is that their furnace should be serviced at the end of the heating season, as well as beforehand. If you think that your furnace can just be shut off and forgotten about after a season of operation, think again. Contact the Spokane WA furnace pros at ACI Northwest to learn more.
Towards the end of the heating season, your furnace has seen a lot of action. Over the course of operation, some general wear and tear has no doubt built up. While it may be tempting to think that you’ll just take care of it at the start of the next heating season, this is just not a good idea. What happens if a sudden cold snap hits after a week or two of mild temperatures? Have you ever gone for a long run or bike ride without stretching before or after? Getting up the next morning may not have been a pleasant experience. If your heating system is compromised and then given some time off, you cannot expect it to jump right back to action again, whether it has been a week or an entire season.
Plus, there are a number of components that your heating and air conditioning systems share, such as your thermostat and ductwork. By having any damages that may have developed over the course of the heating season resolved, you can begin the process of getting your cooling system ready for summer. Not to mention the fact that, if there is a problem with the gas supply or pilot in your furnace, you should not be waiting months to have it addressed. You may not notice it in the off season.
For more tips on how to care for your furnace, call the Spokane, WA heating experts at ACI Northwest. We have all the information you need. Let us help you protect your comfort and your HVAC equipment.
April 30th, 2013
If you’ve ever had to retrieve an old box from the attic during the peak heat of the summer, then you know how hot it can get in the summer. Up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit in some cases. You may think that this is ok, so long as you don’t have to live up there. Yet, a hot attic space can actually begin to impinge upon your cooling system and home comfort unless you take action. The radiant energy of the sun is powerful, and as your roofing heats up, so does the rest of your home, even with attic insulation. So if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to improve your air conditioning performance and efficiency, then consider an attic fan. In this post, we’d like to review some of the potential benefits. For more information about Spokane, WA electrical services, call ACI Northwest today!
An attic fan works by ventilating the hot air outside and bringing the cooler air inside. They work best in combination with adequate insulation and ventilation. If air can freely move from your home into your attic without having to pass through a thermal barrier, then it may actually be counter-productive. Speak to your electrician about whether an attic fan works for your home. Let’s review some of their benefits.
- Reduce heat in the home. Ventilation is an important passive cooling tactic for the entire home, but sometimes it just isn’t enough. A professionally installed attic fan can reduce stifling temperatures in the attic to just over the ambient outdoor temperature. This can be a dramatic temperature reduction, sometimes up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Decrease need for cooling. Your air conditioning system works hard during the dog days of summer to keep your home full of crisp, cool air. An attic fan can help to reduce the amount of cooling it needs, and therefore the amount of energy it uses.
To learn more about attic fans and what they can do for your home, speak to a local professional. Call ACI Northwest for excellent Spokane WA electrical services.
April 22nd, 2013
We rely on electricity now more than ever before. We need it to eat fresh food, to listen to music, to watch our favorite movies, to check our email, and to keep ourselves clean. While mostly invisible and hidden within our walls, our electrical system is increasingly important to our well-being and the comfort of our home. It’s no wonder, then, that many homeowners are looking to protect their appliances and electronic equipment with whole home surge protection. While small portable strips come in handy sometimes, they do little to protect the whole home. In this post, we’d like to share with you some benefits of whole home surge protection. For more information, or to schedule Hayden, ID electrical services, call ACI Northwest today!
- Comprehensiveness. Because the whole home surge protection device is installed at the electrical panel, it protects not just one receptacle, or even one room, but every receptacle and wired appliance in the home. This gives it a comprehensiveness unmatched by any portable unit. While many of us use portable units to protect our computers or expensive stereo equipment from surges causes by storms or circuit imbalances within our home, only comprehensive whole home surge protection covers appliances that are directly wired and do not use standard receptacles, such as central air or a furnace.
- Improved protection. Small power stripes cannot match the surge protection of a whole home system. Most surge damage comes not from catastrophic lightning damage close to the home, but from the slow deterioration of sensitive electronic equipment by small surges within the circuit of the home. When you use a high-powered appliance in one room, your stereo in another may be at risk of a surge, depending on the layout of your home, and the condition of the electrical system.
- Convenience. Imagine having to use a portable surge protector on every single electrical receptacle in the home. Not only would it be tedious to ensure that every single one was working properly at all times, but it still would not provide your wired appliances with enough protection. The fact is that whole home surge protection is incredibly convenient. It allows you to feel good about plugging directly into your wall receptacles without having to deal with lots of visible and entangled wiring.
Contact ACI Northwest today to learn more about Hayden, ID electrical services, such as whole home surge protection.
April 15th, 2013
Making sure that your home is supported by an electrical generator in the event of a natural disaster is critical to your home safety and comfort. However, with today’s plethora of generator options, it can be difficult to figure out what type of system to install in your home. If you’ve already started to do a bit of research on this topic, then you may already know the importance of professional installation by a qualified Spokane electrician. In this post, the Spokane electrical experts at ACI Northwest would like to assist you with your new generator installation. Call us today!
Let’s take a look at your generator options:
- Engine generator. This is the standard type of generator. It combines an electrical generation system with a mounted engine that runs on a fuel. Piston, hybrid diesel-gas, dual-fuel, and gas turbine engines are the available mechanical types, and they vary in size. On the one hand, you probably know or have used a small portable generator before. They are small, but come in handy in a pinch. Unfortunately, they often put our homes at risk of carbon monoxide if not properly used or ventilated.
- Backup generator. This is the standard whole-home system. It allows you to restore power to your home by relying on a fuel supply. When you lose power, the backup generator is available so that you don’t have to let your food go to waste, or your home go cold or hot. You’ll be able to alleviate the effects of a power outage so that you can remain safe and comfortable.
- Automatic standby generator. This is a comprehensive emergency power system that integrates directly with your utility power source to offer automatic standby for when your home loses power. Its main distinction is that it monitors and detects any drop in voltage between your utility supply and your electrical box. When it shuts off in the event of a storm or flooding, then your generator automatically switches on, giving you power. This type of system typically runs on natural gas or propane, and integrates directly with your fuel supply.
For comprehensive Spokane, WA electrical services, call ACI Northwest today!
April 8th, 2013
You rely on your furnace to provide warmth and comfort throughout the heating season. Whether you’re in the market for a new furnace or furnace replacement, or are just curious, you probably have come across the Energy Star rating system. If a furnace has the Energy Star logo somewhere on its surface, then it meets the energy efficiency standards as determined by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The purpose of Energy Star is to reduce the impact of our heating and cooling systems on the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. While it seems like a good thing (and it is), you might also be wondering how your furnace qualifies as an Energy Star furnace. In this post, we’d like to explain the rating. For a Spokane furnace service, call ACI Northwest today!
While different residential furnace efficiency standards exist throughout the country, the current standard for Energy Star furnaces in the Spokane area is 95% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). This percentage measures the amount of heating output against the amount of energy input over the course of an entire year. It is the standard measurement for most heating systems. Energy Star gas furnaces must possess this standard (or higher), although oil-based furnaces currently require only 85% AFUE to be rated.
The EPA chooses products according to several principles. For example, qualifying furnaces must not only be energy efficient, but must also fulfil the consumer demand for performance and features. Thus, it is not energy efficiency for its own sake, but in order to make sure that performance and efficiency go hand-in-hand. Moreover, the Energy Star program believes that product testing is an important part of sustaining environmentally friendly manufacturing, and that the technology behind energy efficiency should be widely available and non-proprietary. The labelling system is intended to create easy targets for energy-conscious consumers. The purpose of Energy Star is to promote the production of energy-efficient products.
If you’re in the market for a new furnace, consider selecting an Energy Star rated furnace, so you know it will perform efficiently and effectively for years to come. For Spokane heating service, call the experts at ACI Northwest today!
April 1st, 2013
Even for those of us that like the cold weather, the end of the heating season is usually a welcome change of pace. Before you switch over to running your air conditioning system, though, you should give some serious thought to scheduling routine heating maintenance. While it may seem counterintuitive to schedule heating maintenance at the end of the Spokane heating season, it can actually help you protect your comfort come the start of the next one. If you have any questions about end-of-the-season heating maintenance, contact the Spokane heating professionals at ACI Northwest. Our Spokane heating technicians have the knowledge and experience to answer any questions you may have.
It should be fairly obvious that most of the strain put on your heating system is during the heating season. If you had just run a marathon, you would probably make a point of stretching and hydrating, right? Over the course of the heating season it is likely that your home heating system has incurred some damage. If you simply shut it down for the last time and allow it to sit there, untouched, throughout the entire cooling season, then there is a good chance it will have some issues when the time comes to power it up again. Any strange noises, operational issues or wear and tear are not going to simply be resolved by giving the system a rest.
Plus, there is a very practical matter to consider here. Come the end of the heating season, your maintenance and Spokane heating repair provider is much less likely to be booked up than when the cold is starting to get in again. Schedule routine heating maintenance, have your system thoroughly inspected and tuned up, and reduce the risk of an unpleasant surprise at the start of the next heating season.
For more information about heating maintenance, contact the Spokane heating pros at ACI Northwest. We can be trusted with your comfort. Our technicians are highly skilled and extensively trained to ensure that you are able to keep your home warm and comfortable with consistency throughout the heating season. Contact ACI Northwest today!
March 25th, 2013
When the electricity comes into your home from the street it needs to be distributed properly throughout your home. In older homes, the electricity coming from your utility company enters a fuse box that acts as the distribution point for the light switches, appliances and outlets throughout the home. While fuse boxes do have some advantages, there are several important signs to watch for that could indicate you may want to consider upgrading to a new circuit breaker panel. Contact the Spokane electrical repair technicians at ACI Northwest if you’re having any issues with your fuse box and need repairs or replacement. These are some of the problems that could indicate that you need to replace your fuse box.
Frequent Blown Fuses
Fuse boxes protect your home from dangerous levels of electricity by using fuses. If the current of electricity flowing through the fuse gets too high it will heat up the fuse and melt it, thus destroying the connection and “blowing” the fuse. If you start to notice that your fuse box is blowing too many fuses it could be a sign that there are some problems with the box and it needs to be replaced. Contact the Spokane, WA electrical professionals at ACI Northwest for any electrical repair that you need.
Marks Around the Fuses
When you see burn marks, rust, loose connectors or discoloration on your fuse box it is likely a sign that there are big problems. This is probably a good time to have your fuse box replaced with a safer and more reliable circuit breaker. Contact the Spokane, WA electrical specialists at ACI Northwest.
Benefits of Circuit Breakers
While fuse boxes are actually more sensitive to dangerous amount of electrical current, it can cause them to be a nuisance. Instead of using fuses to protect your home from too much electricity, circuit breaker use magnets. When the current of electricity gets too high a magnet is engaged and it flips the switch. This is much more convenient because you don’t have to go out and buy fuses (which can be hard to find).
For all your Spokane, WA electrical needs call the friendly electricians at ACI Northwest. Call ACI Northwest today!
March 18th, 2013
Electrical problems require immediate repair. While we depend on electricity to power most of the gadgets and appliances in our home, we also realize that it can be dangerous and that certain jobs are best left to the pros. At ACI Northwest, our team of Spokane electricians is committed to informing our customers about the electricity that runs through their home. It’s the best way to know how to recognize a problem, and pass it along to trained and certified professional. We hope you find the following tips useful! For comprehensive electrical repair in Spokane, call ACI Northwest.
- Flickering lights. This is a common problem. The cause could be a faulty circuit local to that fixture, or if occurs in several different fixtures in different rooms, that may indicate a fault in the main line. Occasionally, installing new CFL lights can flicker, too. If your household lights flicker when it’s windy outside, then it probably means the wires in the outdoor weatherhead are shorting out. They’re probably frayed. This can be a serious fire hazard.
- Not enough outlets. While this may not be a problem in new home builds, older homes are notoriously modest with their distribution of outlets, which can be frustrating for the array of electronic and powered equipment we use today. This is not exactly a repair, but it’s not a good idea to use extensive surge protectors throughout your home instead of outlets.
- Panel is over-wired. Your circuit panel is rated for a certain amount of circuits that it can reasonably handle. Your local electrician can install a subpanel or a new larger replacement.
- Overlamping. When you put in a light bulb whose wattage is greater than that of the fixture—that’s known as overlamping. It’s dangerous because it can cause the bulb to melt the socket and the wire’s insulation. It can also cause arcing, a common cause of electrical fires.
Remember to keep you home safe by scheduling electrical repairs when you need them. For more information about our Spokane electrical services or to schedule an electrician to come to your home, call ACI Northwest today!