ACI Northwest Blog: Archive for February, 2014

Signs of a Reliable Heating Service in

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Because of Internet search technology, it’s easier than ever to find heating services in Spokane, WA when you require them. But there’s a downside to this ease: you’ll have too many choices, and many of those choices won’t be technicians worth hiring. You need to find a way to navigate through all your options to zero in on a heating service that is professional, dependable, and skilled. We’ll go over some of the signs to look for that will tell you that you’ve found the right contractor for your heating needs.

Among your choices for heating, ACI Northwest stands as one of the best. Give us a look and you’ll see why.

Here’s what you should look for in a heating service:

  • Many years of experience: Training and education are important, but even more important is experience. All the training in the world won’t mean much if a technician hasn’t had numerous opportunities to put it to use in the field. Don’t trust to newcomers: look for a company with the years to back up the work it does.
  • NATE-certified staff: The North American Technical Excellence certification is the only industry-wide recognized certification for HVAC technicians. A heating service with NATE-certified technicians on staff can deliver you the quality you need.
  • 24/7 emergency service: Nobody plans to have their furnace’s motors burn out at 3 a.m. on a Sunday night—but it seems that’s when these troubles always happen. Since your heating repair needs won’t occur on a convenient timetable, you need to look for a heating service you can depend on to come to your rescue no matter the time of day or night.
  • A major brand dealer: A reliable heating service will be a licensed dealer for the top brands in the heating world: companies like Trane, Lennox, and Amana. When it comes time for new heating installation, you’ll have a contractor capable of delivering you the best systems on the market.
  • Better Business Bureau Accredited: For more than a century, the Better Business Bureau has provided an excellent index of quality and reliability for U.S. businesses. A heating service worth hiring will have an up-to-date rating as an accredited business with the BBB.

ACI Northwest has 85 years of experience with professional heating services in Spokane, WA. We’re accredited with the BBB, offer the major brands, and our NATE-certified technicians ready to help you 24 hours a day. When you need excellent service for your furnace, heat pump, boiler, or geothermal heating system, make ACI Northwest your first call.

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How Can Geothermal Improve My Heating System?

Monday, February 17th, 2014

If you’ve heard of geothermal heating, you might think that it’s out of your reach as an option for your home. But there’s a good chance that your house is in an ideal location for geothermal installation, and in the hands of trained technicians the process is not burdensome all. It’s definitely an alternative to consider if you want to upgrade to a new heating system.

And make no mistake, geothermal heating can be a major improvement over your current heater. If you already have a heat pump, a geothermal model will offer some impressive benefits. The benefits are ever greater if you plan to switch from a standard furnace.

Here are some way geothermal can improve your heating system in Hayden, ID. Call our geothermal experts at ACI Northwest to learn more.

Geothermal offers reliable heating

Standard air-source heat pumps can have trouble returning high levels of warmth when the temperature drops too far and extracting heat from the outside air becomes difficult. But a geothermal heat pump (a ground-source heat pump) uses the stable temperature of the earth so it never will encounter an outdoor temperature too cold for it.

Geothermal reduces energy bills

There are few heating systems available today that run with such high energy efficiency as geothermal ones. Although some homeowners shy away from the cost of installation, the U.S. EPA has found that most geothermal systems will pay for themselves with energy savings in 5–10 years… and they will last much longer than that.

Geothermal helps the environment

Where furnaces produce a large amount of exhaust and emissions, a geothermal heat pump produces almost none at all. If you want to “go green” with your home, a geothermal system is one of the best ways to achieve it.

Geothermal is quiet

Since much of the work in geothermal systems occurs underground, they run with almost no noise pollution.

Geothermal is safe

Going hand-in-hand in the lower emissions, geothermal systems pose almost no safety risks due to burning fuel or potential fire hazards.

There are a few drawbacks to geothermal systems, and the main one is that they will not work with every property. If you are interested in having a geothermal heat pump installed for your heating in Hayden, ID, you should contact specialists and have them look over your home and property to determine if geothermal is the ideal choice. You should also have these specialists handle the installation if you do decide on geothermal; trust us, this is an immense task, and you’ll be glad to have experts handling it.

Contact ACI Northwest today, and we’ll find out what kind of geothermal system will benefit you, and will make sure you have a great installation.

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The Original Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards

Friday, February 14th, 2014

It’s hard to imagine Valentine’s Day without the traditional greeting cards, whether accompanying a gift of flowers and candy, or sent between children in a school room. For commercial greeting card companies, February 14th is as important to them as the December holidays, Easter, and Mother’s Day.

Valentine’s Day as a celebration of romantic love predates printed greeting cards by a few centuries. In fact, the reason that sending romantic greeting cards became popular was because of the most un-romantic thing you can imagine: a reduction in postage rates.

In 1765, Parliament authorized the creation of “Penny Posts” that used a uniform rate of one old penny per letter throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Printers took advantage of the ease with which people could send letters to each other on Valentine’s Day by crafting cards with love poems on them. Many of these verses were collected in 1797 in the book The Young Man’s Valentine Writer, which was a resource for the lover with a romantic soul but not the most confident poetry style.

By the mid-19th-century, the Valentine’s Day greeting card was flourishing across England. Although people still followed a tradition of creating handmade Valentine’s Day cards from lace, ribbons, and flowers, commercially produced cards now overtook them. In 1835, the English post office mailed 60,000 valentines. As production expenses dropped, the English card manufacturers branched out creatively with humorous and sometimes vulgar cards… many of which we would find startlingly familiar in the 21st century. One of the common jokes on these cards was to design them to look like marriage certificates or court summons.

Across the Atlantic, the United States was slower to embrace the popular British custom. It wasn’t until 1847 that a U.S. printer mass-produced greeting cards for Valentine’s Day. Only two years later, American journalists noted how rapidly people in the country had embraced the tradition, turning into a fad that has never died down. The woman who printed the first U.S. Valentine’s Day card, Esther Howland, is today recognized by the Greeting Card Association with the annual “Esther Howland Award for a Greeting Card Visionary.”

The greeting card industry certainly has reason to thank Ms. Howland. Her idea of going into business printing romantic greeting cards, which came to her after she received a traditional English valentine when she was 19 years old, now sells 190 million cards in the U.S. every year. That number doesn’t include the smaller exchange cards used in elementary school classrooms, which would swell the number to 1 billion. (Who receives the most Valentine’s Day cards each year? Teachers!)

Whether you send out Valentine’s Day cards—handmade, store-bought, digital—or not, we at ACI Northwest hope you have a happy February 14th.

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3 Key Furnace Safety Features

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Furnaces have an underserved reputation among heating systems for poor safety, particularly gas-powered furnaces. There is no question that carbon monoxide leaks are dangerous, and faulty wiring on an electrical furnace might lead to a fire. However, these occurrences are rare because furnaces have safety features to prevent hazards. If you keep your furnace well maintained, it should pose no more danger to you than any other comfort system.

Rely on ACI Northwest for the maintenance and heating repair in Spokane, WA that will keep your furnace in the safety zone.

Here are three key safety features we’d like to highlight:

  1. Thermocouple/mercury sensor: A potential safety hazard in a furnace that uses a pilot light is that the pilot light might go out and stop burning the gas from the burners. If this happens, gas will flood the combustion chamber, and then a single spark could cause an explosion. To prevent this, the gas valve is hooked to a device called a thermocouple, which records the heat coming from the pilot light. If the pilot light goes out, the electric current in the thermocouple stops, causing the gas valve to close. Recent furnaces use a mercury sensor to perform the same job.
  2. Limit switch: This device serves a function similar to the thermocouple/mercury sensor. It is located just below the plenum of the furnace and detects its temperature. If the plenum grows too hot, the limit switch shuts off the burner to prevent flames from getting outside the cabinet. The limit switch can be adjusted, but we do not advise you do this on your own: let a technician decide the best setting for it.
  3. Circuit breakers: For electric furnaces, the most important safety feature is one that applies to much of your house: the circuit breaker panel.  To prevent a power overload or possibly a fire, the circuit breaker will trip and shut off the furnace. If your furnace repeatedly trips the circuit breakers, you should have a repair technician examine it, since something larger may be wrong.

A furnace isn’t an inherently dangerous piece of equipment as long as it has its safety features working. It’s essential to schedule regular maintenance for a furnace so that all these fail-safe devices are functioning correctly. You should have a maintenance check-up once a year to catch any possible failures, safety concerns, or upcoming repair needs.

At ACI Northwest, we want your family to stay safe throughout the winter. We are ready to bring you the heating repair in Spokane, WA you need to keep your furnace working without danger—and we can answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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