Purl's Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Blog : Archive for August, 2014

The Very First Labor Day Celebration

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Labor Day as a federal holiday, held on the first Monday of September, has been with us now for 120 years. President Grover Cleveland signed the law that made Labor Day a national holiday in 1894. Ever since then, the three-day weekend has provided people in the U.S. with the opportunity for vacations, time with their families, shopping trips, and a general celebration of the conclusion of summer and the beginning of fall.

However, there were twelve years of Labor Day observations in the U.S. before it became an official holiday. The first Labor Day celebration took place in 1882 in New York City on September 5. According to the accounts from the time, it had a rough start and almost didn’t happen.

The main event planned for that first Labor Day was a parade along Broadway that was to start at City Hall. However, the parade ran into a bit of a snag early on. The marchers started to line up for the procession around 9 a.m., with a police escort to make sure the event went peacefully. However, the problem of the day wasn’t rowdy members of the parade—it was that nobody had remembered to bring a band!

With people ready to march, but no music to march to, it started to look like no parade would happen at all, and the first Labor Day would have ended up a failure. But just in time, Matthew Maguire of the Central Labor Union—one of the two men who first proposed the celebration—ran across the City Hall lawn to the Grand Marshal of the parade, William McCabe, to inform him that 200 men from the Jeweler’s Union of Newark were crossing the ferry to Manhattan… and they had a band!

At 10 a.m., only an hour late, the band from Newark walked down Broadway playing a number from a popular Gilbert and Sullivan opera. They passed McCabe and the other 700 marchers, who then fell in line behind them. Soon, the spectators joined in, and an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people marched through Lower Manhattan.

According to the New York Times, “The windows and roofs and even the lamp posts and awning frames were occupied by persons anxious to get a good view of the first parade in New York of workingmen of all trades united in one organization.”

The parade concluded two hours later when the marchers reached Reservoir Park. But the party was only getting started. Until 9 p.m., some 25,000 people celebrated with picnics and speeches and beer kegs. It was an enormous success, and all thanks to the speedy arrival of jewelers carrying band instruments.

If those musicians from Newark hadn’t shown up, perhaps we wouldn’t have the holiday opportunity that we now have every year. However you celebrate your Labor Day, our family at Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning wishes your family a happy end of summer.

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3 Common Problems with the Condenser Unit

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Recurrent repair needs are a strong sign that it may be time to consider a new air conditioning installation. Sometimes various problems can occur, or you may deal with one part of your system breaking over and over again. Today we’re going to discuss common problems with your condenser unit and how they can affect your system. Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning has trained experts for both repair and installation, so if it’s time to repair or replace, call the technicians you can trust.

What Is the Condenser Unit?

The condenser unit resides in the outdoor cabinet of your air conditioning system. The condenser is comprised of the condenser coils and condenser fan. The main job of the condenser unit is to release the heat from the refrigerant after it’s pressurized in the compressor. The condenser is the middle part of the refrigerant cycle, and when there are problems with the condenser, it can cause system-wide imbalances.

Common Problems with Condenser Unit

There are several common problems that can occur with condenser units:

Refrigerant Leaks

The refrigerant passes through the narrow tubing of the condenser coils, releasing heat as it makes its way toward the indoor evaporator coils. Leaks can develop in the coils, throwing off the delicate balance of the refrigerant. The refrigerant facilitates the transfer of heat in your system, so if the level is reduced due to a leak, the entire heat release/cooling process can malfunction. Problems that can occur from low refrigerant are warm air blowing, icing and compressor issues. Leaks need to be repaired in order to restore proper functioning.

Dirty Coils

It is natural for the condenser coils to attract dust and dirt. However, if the dust and dirt aren’t cleaned from the coils at least once a year, these particles can develop a layer that will act as insulation on the coils. This inhibits the heat release of the refrigerant, and can create problems with the entire cooling process in your system.

Condenser Fan Issues

The fan on your outside unit is known as the condenser fan. This fan helps remove the heat released from the condenser coils and blows it outside; it also helps with airflow. Different problems can emerge with a fan, such as a worn fan belt, motor issues and problems with wiring. All can affect how a fan operates, which can have a direct effect on the heat release process.

If you see recurring problems with your condenser unit, it may be time to consider a new air conditioning system. Call Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning today and schedule an air conditioning installation in Fresno with one of our installation experts.

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Hot Dog Dinner at Madera Fair – 2014

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning along with Randy and Sheryl Berry are hosting the Annual Hot Dog dinner on September 2nd from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. We will be hosting dinner for all the 4H and FFA Exhibitors and their families for the Madera District Fair. The 4H and FFA kids arrive a few days before the Fair to prepare to show their livestock animals. This is an annual tradition in Madera that everyone at Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning looks forward to attending. We cook over 500 hot dog dinners complete with drinks and all the fixings’. It is a great way for us to get out in the community and support our local hardworking kids and the agricultural community.

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How Do Heat Pumps Cool?

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Although the word “heat” is included in the term “heat pump,” this high-performance system does more than keep people warm. While these systems can move heat into a home, they can also move heat outside, allowing cool air to blow into a house through the vents. Heat pumps are actually very effective cooling systems because they work exactly like standard air conditioners, but with one key difference: the reversing valve that allows for dual functions.

Much like any other air conditioning system, a heat pump cools a home using a chemical blend called refrigerant. The system is only called a heat pump because it pumps heat into your home during the heating season and pumps heat out of your home in the cooling season. Refrigerant is responsible for the thermodynamic process that allows for this heat exchange to occur.

When you turn on your heat pump during the cooling season, refrigerant first leaves the compressor as a high-pressure gas and makes its way to the condenser. Here, heat releases into the outdoor air during the condensation process that changes the refrigerant into a liquid. The expansion valve allows the pressure of the liquid to drop. Finally, it flows to the evaporator coil, where the liquid refrigerant evaporates into a gas and absorbs heat in the process. An indoor fan then blows cool air into your home.

The reversing valve is the part that differentiates the heat pump from a standard central air conditioner. When you switch the thermostat to heating mode, refrigerant actually flows in the opposite direction, a process unavailable with most central air conditioning systems. When the thermostat engages the reversing valve, refrigerant flows in the opposite direction. When this happens, refrigerant pulls heat from the outside air and moves the heat indoors.

Heat pumps can be very efficient systems for both heating and cooling. Many heat pumps have high SEERs (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios), and a high HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor). These rating systems give an indication of a system’s average energy use, so you can save money selecting a more efficient system. If you want help selecting energy-efficient heat pumps in Madera, call the experts at Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning today!

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It’s Right in Our Name: We Fabricate Sheet Metal for Madera, CA

Friday, August 8th, 2014

The majority of our customers come to us for our quality work installing, repairing, and maintaining air conditioners, heaters, and other indoor comfort systems. But these customers are often confused at the name of our company and the “sheet metal” part. The truth is that Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning started out exclusively in the sheet metal business way back in 1952. This is not completely unheard of in the air conditioning world: developing the sheet metal used for ventilation construction often leads to working with the air conditioners that hook up to them.

Sheet metal fabrication is still an important part of our business, and we currently handle the work in a Madera, CA sheet metal fabrication building that covers 24,000 square feet. The technology we use has advanced tremendously since the 1950s, and our cutting-edge computer-controlled tools allow us to produce a high volume of unique products. We handle sheet metal fabrication for different industries and purposes: agricultural products such as irrigation systems and processing ventilation systems; customized roofing to fit any kind of space; hoods for kitchen ranges; and spiral ductwork that has recently gained popularity in both homes and businesses. We also manufacture the sheet metal we use in our new construction installations for heating and air conditioning.

One of the key tools in our sheet metal fabrication building is a computer automated plasma cutting table. We can program into the computer the different shapes and sizes of the pieces we need cut for a project. The plasma table then automatically configures them to make the maximum use of the material and cuts the shape using a plasma torch. A plasma torch is device that blasts out an inert gas through a nozzle at high speed and then changes it into plasma with an electric arc; the resulting plasma can move through metal rapidly for smooth cutting. We also use the plasma table to cut out standardized pieces, such as boots, that we use in new construction.

If you contact us for installation of a heating system, air conditioning, or ductwork, we will take care of all the necessary fabrication for the job. But you can also contact us when your need customized sheet metal in Madera, CA for a specific project. Our years of experience and up-to-date technology make us one of your best resources for sheet metal fabrication in the Central Valley.

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