ACI Northwest Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Deer Park’

How Ceiling Fan Usage Can Help (Or Hurt) Your Energy Usage

Monday, March 19th, 2018

ceiling fan What? A blog post about ceiling fans when it’s only 40 degrees out this week? Why would we be talking about ceiling fans?

We get it, this isn’t a normal topic of conversation this time of the year, but it could be. As a comprehensive HVAC and indoor air quality service company, we’re always happy to share efficiency and money saving tips with our clients year-round. And there’s one service our Deer Park, WA electricians can help you with, that will benefit your energy usage and HVAC efficiency—and that’s the installation of a ceiling fan.

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GFCI and AFCI Outlets: What You Should Know!

Monday, December 25th, 2017

A new GFCI electrical outlet.Your home’s electrical system is easily one of the most important components of your living space. Almost all of your appliances require this system to work—even gas-powered systems that have an electric starter. So if your electrical system is malfunctioning, you can experience all sorts of problems within your home.

Safety also becomes a huge concern when your electrical system isn’t working properly. Electrical problems of any kind can pose a serious threat to your living space and your family members. Electrocution is a very real threat, which brings us to our topic today—ensuring you have the right outlets in place.

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Can a Ceiling Fan Improve Heating Efficiency?

Monday, November 13th, 2017

wooden ceiling fanThe Deer Park, WA electricians on our team certainly know their stuff. As such, we’re eager to answer any questions you may have about your electrical system, and also please to provide you with tips and advice that can save you money while making you feel more comfortable in your home. Today, we’d like to share with you a little-known fact about ceiling fans: they help improve HVAC efficiency and keep you warmer in the winter (and cooler in the summer).

Keep reading to learn more about the details of how your ceiling fan improves both summertime comfort and wintertime comfort. And if you’d like more information or have any questions, reach out to our team today!

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Commercial Heating Tip: Why Schedule Commercial Boiler Maintenance

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Routine maintenance for your commercial boiler is beneficial in many ways. If you have not schedule annual maintenance yet this year, call the Deer Park commercial HVAC technicians at ACI Northwest! It’s never too late to get started with a routine maintenance plan. Contact ACI Northwest today!

Here are some reasons you should schedule maintenance on a regular basis:

1. Prevents Repair Needs

The industrial boiler in your commercial building is a complex system that needs to work properly at all times. This system keeps your entire building warm and comfortable. When it breaks down, you put tenants out or your business has to shut down temporarily while you get it fixed. Routine maintenance can help to ensure that you won’t need repairs in the future.

2. Ensures Efficiency

When you schedule routine tune-ups, the technician will test the performance to make sure your boiler is operating efficiently. This cuts down on operation costs and saves energy. Reduce your carbon footprint and lower your utility bills with routine maintenance.

3. Prevents Water Damage

Because your boiler system includes water pipes that run behind walls or above ceilings, it can cause a lot of water damage if something goes wrong. Routine maintenance will detect any issues early on. Water damage can be expensive and a hassle for you and the people in your building. If you own a commercial apartment or condo, ripping up floors and repairing dry wall is a huge inconvenience for your tenants.

Call ACI Northwest for all your boiler installation and maintenance services for commercial and residential.

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Generator FAQ: How a Generator Can Benefit Your Home

Monday, January 21st, 2013

We all worry about natural disasters and being stuck without power during a heavy thunderstorm or snow storm. Having a whole home generator offers a number of compelling benefits to homeowners who are ready to take the next step in protecting their home. At ACI Northwest we provide complete services for home generators in Deer Park —including installation, repair and maintenance for many types and brands of generators. Here are some of the benefits to having a whole home generator installed.

The Financial Benefits of a Whole Home Generator

When people start thinking about generators, they probably think about the safety that it will provide their family. While generators are a great way to protect your family, they offer some pretty enticing financial incentives.

  • Home resale – Normally, after a generator installation the value of a home will increase.
  • Sump pumps – If you have a sump pump in your basement, it’s likely there to protect against a flood. However, during flooding there may not be electricity at your home. But with a back-up generator you will still be able to protect yourself against costly flood damage.
  • Food spoiling – Another great benefit from a back-up generator is that in the event of power outage, you won’t have to throw out all of the contents of your freezer or fridge because the food spoiled.

Comfort Benefits of a Whole Home Generator

During a fierce snowstorm, you may lose power at your home. If that happens, you’ll probably be rushing around trying to keep you and your family warm. But with a back-up generator, you’ll be able to relax knowing that your heating system and your air conditioning systems are still operational. This will allow you to keep your home comfortable until the power is restored.

If you’re interested in having a whole home generator installed, contact ACI Northwest.  We also offer generator repair and generator maintenance in Deer Park.

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

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

The smoke detectors in your 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!

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Home Inspection 101 for Shoshone County

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

When purchasing a home in Shoshone County, it is very important to analyze precisely what kind of investment you are about to make. This type of investigation might be best for a professional home inspector to perform.  They are accustomed to advising potential homeowners on what type of heating repairs or electrical maintenance needs to be done. Remember though, employing an inspector could be pricey, depending on the time and expert level they might require.  But it could be worth the investment since a home is undoubtably going to be worth more than a home inspector’s fees.

For that reason, it can be very helpful if you can take a look at a place on your own first to see if it is even worth making an offer on. Of course, you cannot complete the type of inspection that a professional would be able to do, but you can take a look for some important and easy to spot problems that will give you a good idea whether or not it is even worth taking the process on this house any further.

For instance, you should start by taking a look at the house from a good distance away. Make sure the house actually looks like it is standing upright and that it is even. Sometimes from a distance you can see that a house is actually leaning to one side when that is not obvious up close.

Also, this will give you a chance to check out the lay of the land around the house. Remember, you want water to flow naturally away from your house so that it does not get into the basement and cause a problem on a regular basis. That means that you want the ground to slope away from the house rather than be flat or slope towards it.

Check out all of the plumbing and be sure to run water, flush toilets and thoroughly inspect all bathrooms and the kitchen. You want to see high quality fixtures and good water pressure. Also, check to see how long you have to wait to get hot water at various locations to test the water heater.

Be sure to find out what type of heating system the house has in place as well and how old it is. Even a system that works well will need to be replaced soon if it is more than 10 years old. While this may not necessarily stop you from purchasing the house, the cost of replacing that system can certainly impact the amount you are willing to offer.

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Does Humid Air Affect How The AC Runs in My Home?

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

As a Spokane County resident you’ve probably heard a dozen times that humidity is removed by air conditioning. Unfortunately, the common assumption is that there is no inherent cost in allowing humidity to persist in their home. But, did you know it costs significantly more to remove humidity from the air with air conditioning than with a dehumidifier? Here’s why.

Water Vapor in Your Air Conditioner

Consider the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of water by one degree – one BTU. However, to change water from liquid to steam, another 10 BTUs are required. So, imagine how much energy it takes to condense water vapor from the air (in the form of humidity) into a liquid. This is what your air conditioner does whenever it processes humid air. It takes about 1,050 BTUs to condense one pound of moisture in the air into liquid.

The cost of running your air conditioner strictly for dehumidification can be huge, especially considering the fact that humidity is heaviest in the morning and evening when you probably don’t need your air conditioner every day (at least not early and late in the summer). Imagine, the cost difference if you used a dehumidifier to remove 150 or more pounds of moisture per week and an air conditioner when needed just to remove 15-20.

Negative Impact on How it Runs

Another thing to consider is that humidity can actually put an extra burden on your air conditioner. While the system is designed to remove that liquid from the air and get rid of it through the cooling coil and condensate drain, every extra minute the system is running is a bigger burden on it. Of course it will do its job for a few years, but the extra running time will add up, not only on your electricity bill but eventually on the machine itself.

The added pressure will result in eventual breakdown of the system and a need for early air conditioner replacement. The easiest solution is to purchase a dehumidifier. These run at a fraction of the energy level of a full AC system and work extremely well to remove humidity from your home. In fact, most air conditioners will only remove humidity after 20-30 minutes of continuous operation. For short cooling cycles, you may not even dehumidify the house. So a dehumidifier ensures higher levels of comfort all at a lower cost.  Please contact ACI NW if you have questions about this.

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Electric Furnace Maintenance Tips

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Electric furnaces are clean – but homeowners pay for that cleanliness with high utility bills. Depending on the area of the country, electric bills can rival those of gas, oil, or propane. So it is only natural to assume that an efficiently running electric furnace is a must for homeowners who are looking to keep their energy costs down.

Electric furnaces are fairly simple machines. They use heating elements to warm the air, which is then distributed through the ventilation system via a fan or blower. The heating element is made up of a metal wire that is heated by normal electrical current. The element is used to warm or heat something, much like the function of an oven or toaster. Their operation is fairly simple – either they work or they don’t.

When a heating element fails it is usually because it is broken, bend, or misshapen. When that happens, it is time to replace it. You can do some preventive maintenance with a visual inspection of your heating elements. If your inspection does not reveal any problems, you can test the element for continuity. You should know how to use an ohmmeter to test it or ask a professional heating technician to check the elements for you.

Speaking of visual inspection, you can do a quick check for any frayed or damaged wires, which can be a source for wasted electricity, too. Another way to ensure that your electric furnace is running efficiently is to replace or clean your furnace filters on a regular basis. A clogged filter can make a furnace work harder and lead to premature mechanical failure.

And obviously, if the furnace is not working it is best to check for any blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers in the main electrical panel box. If you find one, make sure you replace it with another of the correct amperage.

Lastly, check to make sure the blower motor is operating correctly. You can have perfectly working elements but if the blower can’t push the warm air through your ventilation system, then all of the steps to ensure the electricity is working are for naught. You can usually hear a noisy motor or smell one that isn’t working improperly. Check it on a regular basis and check the fan belt for any damage or slippage, too.

As you have read, an electric furnace is a very simple machine with simple working parts. Maintaining it is just as simple.

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Greenacres Heating Installation Question: How Does a Heat Pump Work?

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

If you’re in the market for a new home heating and cooling system in Greenacres, a heat pump is definitely an option worth considering. However, while the popularity of these systems is growing rapidly, many people still don’t understand what they’re all about. Before you go out and get yourself a new home comfort system, you should make sure you really know what you’re looking at.

As their name suggests, heat pumps move heat from one location to another. However, their name can be misleading as well. Heat pumps are able to both heat your home in the winter and keep it cool in the summer by taking heat from the air in one place and sending it to another.

For example, your heat pump will remove the heat from your indoor air in the summer and pump it outside to keep your home cool. In the winter, the process is reversed, and the heat pump gathers heat from the outdoor air and pumps it inside to keep you house warm.

Of course, it’s not hard to see how the air inside your home in the summer has heat in it. But the outdoor air in the winter is cold. So how does a heat pump heat your house with cold air? Well, the truth is that there is almost always some heat in the air, no matter how cold it seems to you and me.

In fact, the temperature would have to drop well into the negative range before there was absolutely no heat to be found in the air. And heat pumps are specially designed to find that heat and collect it.

Basically all heat pumps work on this principle. However, they can’t keep your house comfortable all on their own. Heat pumps are usually installed as part of a complete home heating and cooling system. This means they’ll be paired with an air handler that can circulate the temperature controlled air throughout your Greenacres house.

There are also some heat pumps that supplement the amount of heat they’re able to pull out of the air by heating it as it passes through. These types of heat pumps are often more effective in cooler areas, but because they require more energy to actually generate heat, they’re not typically as energy efficient as models that rely on their ability to get heat only out of the air.

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