Posts Tagged ‘Post Falls’

How UV Light Can Clean Your Air

Monday, November 16th, 2015

You may hear about ultraviolet (UV) light more often in reference to tanning—or getting a sunburn. But UV light can do a lot of good when it’s not touching your skin. A small amount of UV light can actually kill tiny organisms that float around in your air. Airborne contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and mold spores are no longer harmful with the help of a UV light air purifying system. (more…)

Keep Your Generator Maintained with Professional Services

Monday, October 12th, 2015

If they are working properly, whole-home generators only power on when there is no electrical service in your home, which means it can be difficult to tell if there is an issue with the unit. Many generators do have a self-test feature, which could alert you if there are any problems with the unit. However, we still recommend that homeowners schedule regular professional maintenance for their generators in order to prevent problems from occurring when you really need the system to work. Here’s what you can do on your own to keep your standby generator maintained, and how to tell you should call in a professional. (more…)

How Much Could You Lose During a Power Outage?

Monday, August 24th, 2015

When the power goes out in your neighborhood, you usually cannot tell how long you will have to go without it. A crew may be able to get it up and running in a matter of a few hours. But it’s not unusual for neighborhoods to be without any electricity whatsoever for an entire day and night, or even for longer. (more…)

What is Kettling, and why is it Dangerous?

Monday, March 9th, 2015

The sound of a kettle boiling over has the potential to be quite comforting. When that same sound it coming from a large boiler, however, it is considerably less comforting.

In fact, it can be downright unsettling. If you’ve ever heard a deep rumbling sound coming your boiler, you know exactly what we’re talking about. Sometimes it can seem as though the boiler might explode! Well, don’t worry. It won’t do that (at least it shouldn’t). What actually causes that sound, though? We’ll, that’s going to take some in-depth explanation. Let’s take a look at what that sound actually is, and why it’s so dangerous to your boiler.

What is Kettling?

That sound you hear is called “kettling”, and it’s a very bad sign for the health of your boiler. Its cause can be traced back to hard water, which is water with a very high mineral content. As hard water flows through the boiler’s heat exchanger, it deposits small amounts of minerals on the inner walls of the pipe. Over time, this mineral buildup can get so severe that it restricts or blocks the flow of water through the heat exchanger. This causes the water in the heat exchanger to evaporate into steam, putting massive pressure on the pipe and causing the rumbling sound you’re hearing.

Why is it Dangerous?

Did you know that most boilers are not actually designed to boil water? It may seem odd, but it’s true. When water boils, it evaporates into steam and expands many times over. This expansion puts the heat exchanger under an incredible amount of stress that it was not designed to handle. If the stress is not relieved, the heat exchanger may rupture and your boiler will break down. There are usually safeguards in place in the boiler to prevent this from happening, but it is a serious problem, nonetheless. If you notice your boiler kettling, shut it down immediately and call a professional.

If you find yourself in need of boiler repair, call ACI Northwest. We provide boiler repair services throughout Post Falls, ID.

Common Causes of Boiler Repair

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Many homeowners and business owners prefer the comforting heat of their hydronic heating system (heating systems that circulate hot water from a boiler through a home) to the kind of heat you feel from a forced-air heating system like a furnace. Furnaces only heat up the air, while boilers have the ability to heat up an entire room, evenly distributing heat to the objects and people nearby using convective heat transfer.

Besides the all-around comfort a boiler delivers to a home, there are a couple of other benefits as well. Boilers do not contain many mechanical parts, meaning they may be more efficient than many other heating systems, and they should not break down very easily. If you own a boiler, you may be surprised when it does encounter trouble. The folks at ACI Northwest can diagnose the trouble and provide boiler repair in Post Falls, and we’ve put together a brief list of some of the most common boiler trouble.

  • Faulty Circulator Pump – The circulator pumps help to bring water to the rooms in your home, either circulating it through an endpoint like a radiator or through a set of pipes underneath your floorboards. Your circulator pump may run into mechanical trouble over time, and you may notice you don’t get enough heat in one or more rooms.
  • Broken Aquastat – The aquastat keeps the boiler tank from overheating, so it should shut off the system as soon as temperatures rise too high. Your system may shut off too soon if something is causing it to overheat, the aquastat is damaged, or if the temperature limit is set too low.
  • Oversized Unit – Unfortunately, sometimes the trouble with your boiler is beyond fixing. If you never seem to get enough heat in the home, it may be that the boiler is too small. But if the boiler is too large, it will use too much fuel, and will likely fail long before the end of its expected lifespan. Professional installation is key to having a unit that continues to live up to its potential.

Our trained technicians replace or repair faulty boiler parts to the best of their ability, ensuring that your boiler is in the best shape possible. Call ACI Northwest today for quality boiler repair in Post Falls.

Coeur d’Alene Heating Guide: How to Get Your Furnace Ready For Winter

Monday, September 10th, 2012

As the weather gets cold outside we need to warm the inside of our Coeur d’Alene homes. So for a warm inside we need to a well-maintained furnace. Here are a few tips to maintain your furnace so that it can keep your house warm and comfortable all winter long.

Guideline #1: Clean or replace the filter

The flow of heated air from the furnace is restricted by clogging in the filter, which makes your furnace work harder and release less heat. Simply cleaning this on a regular basis can greatly increase the effectiveness and energy efficiency of your furnace.

Guideline #2: Blower motor and blower belt

The operating time of a furnace may be increased due to loose belts, which lead to less heat being produced. Thus, replacing broken or frayed belts and oiling the motor with a few drops of lubricant will smoothen it and make it work more efficiently.

Guideline #3: Blower doors replacement

The replacement of the blower doors must be done properly to ensure healthy circulation of air in the house. These doors help keep the harmful gases such as carbon monoxide from entering the air circulation in your house.

Guideline #4: Check the vents of the house

The air in the house should be circulated well and easily through the vents. The furnace may not work properly if the flow of hot air is blocked by anything from furniture to debris.

Guideline #5:  The flue

Check the flue cap that is located near the furnace and carefully examine the outside with the help of the flue cap. Make sure the flue cap is replaced properly. If the furnace is in a closet, there should be enough ventilation, preferably in the form of direct vents to the outside to allow for efficient combustion.

Guideline #6: All flammable objects to be kept away from furnace

Flammable objects should not be placed near the furnace or water heater. Boxes, clothes, paints, gasoline, aerosols and similar items are most likely to catch fire if kept near furnace.

The above mentioned guidelines will definitely help you keep your furnace clean and in good working condition so you shouldn’t face a problem in the winter months ahead.

To schedule a heating maintenance visit in Coeur d’Alene today, give ACI Northwest a call!

Spokane Electrical Question: How Often Should I Check and/or Replace My Smoke Detectors?

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

The smoke detectors in your Spokane home are immensely important. They are the first and oftentimes only line of defense you have against a fire in your home. You need to know they will work at all times so it is important to check them regularly and have them replaced on a rotating schedule.

 When to Check Your Smoke Detectors

You should check the batteries in your smoke detectors once every 6 months – often daylight savings time is a good day on which to do this because it occurs roughly every 6 months. You can also check them more often if they do not have an electrical backup source and are therefore using battery power constantly. The packaging instructions will likely recommend a time at which to have them checked.

It is also recommended to have backup smoke detectors (as well as CO detectors) that are on a slightly different schedule so that if a malfunction occurs, you know you will still have protection.

 When Is It Time to Replace Your Smoke Detectors?

Most smoke detectors have a natural lifespan of 3-6 years. At the end of that lifespan, the device will beep in a certain configuration that means it no longer works. If this happens, you should replace yours right away. To avoid a situation in which the system doesn’t warn you before it breaks down, consider having your smoke detectors replaced even more often – upwards of once every 2-3 years.

Whatever your Spokane home’s smoke detectors’ specifications, it is vital to have them properly maintained and swiftly replaced according to their manufacturer designated schedules. This is a device that will keep you alive in the event of a fire so be prepared. If you need any help with your home’s smoke detectors, give ACI Northwest a call!

Rathdrum Electrical Question: What Size Generator Do I Need?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Electricity has become so integrated with our day to day lives that it is easy to overlook the importance of a functioning electrical system. Like most other things, though, when your electricity isn’t working it becomes very clear very quickly just how much you rely on it. When your electricity goes out, whether from a storm, blackout or any other cause, a good generator can be a big comfort. Just as with a heating or cooling system, you should have a properly sized generator in order to get the best performance from it. Here are some tips to make sure you get the right generator for your Rathdrum home.

First of all, you must decide what exactly you’ll want to power when you lose electricity. What do you consider essential? This is important, so take your time and make a list. Any medical equipment is clearly a priority, but what about a full refrigerator? Your septic pump certainly needs to be powered, but does your climate demand heating and cooling power in your home? Once you have decided on the necessities you’re ready to get started.

It is important to remember that bigger is not necessarily better when it comes to a generator for your home. Larger generators are obviously more expensive, and if you’re never going to approach its capacity then you’re just paying for potential, not performance. Even the biggest generator will not provide enough power to service every electrical device in your home, so some restraint is necessary. Whole home generators do not require you to decide what appliances are necessities, but they will not power everything all at once. The best way to ensure that you’re covered in the event of an energy loss is to calculate the amount of energy that the appliances in your home use, and find a generator with the capacity to provide at least that much energy. Remember that some appliances have different starting energy requirements than running loads, and that some appliances are always running.

There are numerous energy calculators available online that can help you decide what size generator you need. To eliminate as much guess work as possible, though, we at ACI Northwest suggest having a Rathdrum electrician come to evaluate your home. We’ll help you decide exactly which generator best suits your needs, in addition to providing expert installation, maintenance and repairs for your device. Call today with any further questions you may have.

How to Clean Your Outdoor HVAC Unit in Kootenai

Monday, May 7th, 2012

That big metal box in your backyard or on the side next to your home plays a vital role to your air conditioning in Kootenai and keeping you comfortable. That box is called the outdoor condensing unit, the key component in your home’s central air conditioning system. The condensing unit houses the compressor, which converts gas into fluid before sending it to the condenser coil, where it is cooled and sent to an indoor evaporator coil.

What you need to know is that the entire outdoor operation runs smoothly when the area inside and around the condensing unit is clean and free of debris. In some cases, the outdoor unit will fail to work if there is too much debris or dirt build-up. That can cost you a lot of money in repairs or a total replacement. Keeping the condensing unit clean is not a difficult chore – and here are some steps you can take.

First air conditioning maintenance tip is try and avoid blowing leaves or grass clippings near the unit. And regularly cut down or remove any weeds or grass that may grow up around the base of the unit.

To clean the inside of the unit, first turn off the electrical power to it. Check for an on-off switch on the unit or on a separate box nearby. Remove the grille from the unit and carefully remove the fan in order to gain access to the coil and other moving parts. At this point, you should be able to clean out any debris from inside the unit using your hands. You can also use a vacuum hose to remove debris. A soft brush or cloth rag can be used to other areas of the unit.

The fins on the coil require a gentler approach as they can be easily bent or damaged. If you notice a bent fin you can straighten it out by using a simple dull knife or a special fin “comb” which you can buy at your local hardware store. While you are in the unit, check the fan belt on the motor to ensure it is not damaged or cracked. You can also add extra oil to lubrication ports on the condensing unit, if any are available.

Use a garden hose to clean the coil and the grilles on the condensing unit. Do not use highly-pressurized water as it may cause some damage to the fins. Once this last task has been completed, reinstall the grille, switch on the condensing unit, and start up your air conditioning. You should notice if your house is cooling down quicker. If not, you may want to do some more cleaning.

If you have any doubts about cleaning your outdoor condensing unit or if you find any damaged parts that may need repair or replacement, call ACI Northwest and schedule a service call.

Why Routine HVAC Maintenance Improves Indoor Air Quality in Post Falls

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Furnaces and air conditioners in Post Falls are by far the most common way to circulate air throughout homes, offices and institutions, heating in the winter months and cooling in the summer.  Adjust the thermostat and controlled air is delivered almost immediately.

If a system is not regularly and properly maintained, however, that air can be dirty, dusty and full of odor, having passed through the heat exchanger, filters and ductwork that have accumulated a build-up of residue over time.  IAQ or interior air quality quickly deteriorates.

The Basics

HVAC systems heat or cool air at a central point, often a furnace in the basement.  The air passes through filters to sift out dust and unwanted particles, then travels through a system of ductwork to be delivered to the space.  Return air ducts bring it back to the central point.

Along the way, the air accumulates the dust, germs and debris of the places it inhabits.  Over time, the filters become clogged and eventually contribute more contamination to the processed air than they can clean.  The enclosed and hard to reach ducts are also deposits of dust and decorated with spider webs that are quickly another form of filter that gives back more than it receives.

The Costs

Without routine maintenance, the system runs poorly and distributes more dirt into the living space than it is able to filter and clean, reducing the quality of life for the inhabitants, homeowners, businesses and customers.  Poor air quality can lead to serious health issues as well as the loss of time and productivity.

Not only does the quality of the air decrease, the strain on the system lowers efficiency.  Having to work harder consumes more energy, creating an immediate and noticeable rise in utility bills.  The stress also reduces the lifetime of the system and requires more rapid replacements of parts or the entire furnace, a huge financial cost.

Regular Maintenance is the Easy Solution

To maintain high levels of quality air, it is essential to schedule regular replacements of filters and a clean-out of the ducts.  The filters are accessible as part of the furnace and air conditioners and easily swapped out by the home owner once or (better) twice a year.

Ductwork, however, is enclosed and often out of site, just as easily out of mind and certainly harder to reach.  Calling ACI Northwest and scheduling a duct-cleaning along with an inspection and routine maintenance of the entire system with a licensed company ensures longevity and efficiency along with peace of mind.