Purl's Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Blog : Archive for January, 2015

Why Furnace Repair Is Not a “Do It Yourself” Job

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

We understand that many homeowners want to save money where possible, and that often means picking up a toolkit and an instruction book and attempting to handle repairs around the house on their own. Going “do-it-yourself” is fine for some jobs, such as trying to fix a doorbell or repair broken hinges on cabinet doors. But there are limits to what amateur work can do—and what amateur work should do. A good example is repairing a furnace. On no account should you ever attempt to fix a broken or malfunctioning furnace on your own. We’ll explain why.

It’s not difficult to receive qualified and professional service for a furnace that is having trouble. You can just pick up the phone and call Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning. We have handled furnace repair in Fresno, CA and the surrounding areas for many decades, and our NATE-certified technicians will deliver quality work to quickly restore warm heat to your home.

Why you must leave furnace repairs to professionals

The most common type of furnace found in homes is the natural gas furnace. Any type of appliance that uses natural gas must be left to licensed professionals when it comes to service: installation, repairs, maintenance. In most jurisdictions, it is illegal for a non-licensed individual to work on an appliance connected to a gas line. The reason for this is that gas leaks are extremely hazardous, leading to carbon monoxide poisoning and the risk of explosions. If you tamper incorrectly with a gas furnace, you can create a dangerous slow leak and not even realize it. Never take these types of risks: have professionals with years of experience handle the work so you can relax in peace in your home.

Even without the dangers from carbon monoxide, furnaces would still be problems for amateurs to fix.  Modern furnaces are more complex. Trying to track down the cause of a malfunction is difficult to diagnose without proper training. It is even more difficult to fix without the right tools and proper knowledge. Making the wrong repair is often worse than failing to find the reasons for the malfunction. You shouldn’t take a chance with furnace repairs, so be sure to have licensed service heating technicians work on your furnace.

Finally, professional repairs will go much faster than any amateur work. If you need to have your heat working as soon as possible, the quickest route is call the professionals. Call the team of trained and skilled professionals at Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning for furnace repair in Fresno, CA. Contact us when you need help with your home’s furnace.

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Is It Time to Replace My Heat Pump?

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

If a heat pump receives regular maintenance from professionals, as well as skilled repairs when necessary, it should continue to keep a home warm during the winter and cool during the summer for many years. But no mechanical appliance can operate forever, and with the amount of work that a heat pump does around the year in California, it will eventually wear down to the point that it should be replaced.

If you suspect that you need to retire your home’s heat pump in Madera, CA, call up Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning. We provide excellent service for heat pumps, including repairs, maintenance, and new installation.

Below are some of the ways to tell that you should call us regarding heat pump replacement:

  • Rising energy costs: A sudden increase in electrical bills during periods when a heat pump is running is usually a warning that the system has a fault somewhere in it that is causing it to drain additional power. Targeted repairs will usually fix such problems. But if the rise in the bills is more gradual and it does not decrease due to repairs or maintenance, it often means the system is too old to work efficiently any more. Heating technicians can look into the unit and determine if replacing it is the best route or not.
  • An increase in repair jobs: Approximately 85% of the repairs that a heat pump or other heating system may need occur during the last two years of its service life. When you find yourself calling for repairs more than once or twice during a year, it’s time to think about retiring the heat pump. As a good rule of thumb, if a repair would cost half or more of the price to replace the heat pump, it is more economical to have a new unit put in rather than to continue with repairs.
  • Continual noisy operation: Loud noises from a heat pump are a strong sign that the mechanical components have worn down to the point that the system is no longer worth keeping. Heating technicians can investigate the heat pump to see if replacing some of the components will help, or if the heat pump is simply too old for further repairs to do much good.

Call the heating professionals at Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning.  We will send one of our service technicians to your home to diagnosis the heat pump to find any possible problems.   We can give you an estimate for repairs or replacing the unit. Whether you need repairs or new installation for your heat pump in Madera, CA, you can count on our decades of experience to deliver the highest quality work.

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How Does a Ductless System Heat?

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

When people think of keeping a home warm with a central heating system, they often think first of a furnace. A furnace is a type of “forced-air” heater that spreads warmth throughout a building by first raising the temperature of the air, then using a blower fan to send the air out into rooms. In order for a furnace to distribute its heated air, it must have ductwork leading from the cabinet and to the vents into the room.

However, not all forced-air heating systems require ducts like a furnace does. A popular option for home comfort today—ductless mini split systems—allows for central heating without needing any lengths of space-consuming ductwork. Ductless mini splits are an excellent idea for new home construction, home expansion, remodeling, and older houses that lack room for duct installation.

Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning offers installation of ductless mini split systems, as well as other systems for central heating in Fresno, CA. Call our technicians today to find out more about how we can keep your home warm no matter how cold it gets outside.

The Basics of Ductless Mini Split Systems

A ductless mini split system is a type of heat pump, which means that instead of creating heat by burning fuel or through electrical resistance the way a furnace does, it moves heat from one place to another. In operation, ductless mini splits are similar to air conditioners, except they can shift heat in both directions: from inside a home to the outside (cooling) and from outside a home to the inside (heating).

How does a ductless mini split send heat around a home without ducts? Instead of using a single indoor cabinet where heat is released and then sent into a duct network via a blower, a ductless mini split has multiple air handlers mounted in rooms around the home. The outdoor cabinet connects to the individual air handlers through power and refrigerant lines. Each air handler contains a blower and a coil; the coil releases heat, and the blower sends it directly into the room.

Aside from the advantage of not needing any ductwork, ductless mini split systems offer zone heating for a home: each air handler can be controlled separately from the others, so a home only needs to receive heating in rooms that require it. This makes ductless mini splits great energy savers.

A ductless mini split heat pump is not ideal for every house, so make sure you call Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning and speak to our Fresno, CA heating professionals before making a choice for home comfort. We install, repair, and maintain a variety of heating systems, and we will help you find the best way to keep your house warm.

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When New Year’s Day Was Not on January 1st

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Some holidays fall on shifting calendar days for every year, such as Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November) and Easter (the first Sunday after the first full moon to occur on or after March 21). Other holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween, are fixed. No holiday has a more solid calendar date attached to it than New Year’s Day. It has to fall on January 1st because it celebrates the first day of a new year. That only makes sense…

…except that, like most things that at first appear obvious, there is a bit more to the story. The beginning of the year was not always on the first of January. As with an enormous numbers of traditions in the Western World, the establishment of January 1st as the inaugural day of a new year goes back to the ancient Romans.

The modern solar calendar is derived from the Roman model, but the earliest Roman calendars did not have 365 days in a year spread over 12 months. Instead, there were 304 days spread over 10 months. The Romans believed this calendar originated with the mythical founder of the city, Romulus. If Romulus were a real person, we can credit him with a poor understanding of the seasons, as this abbreviated calendar soon got out of sync with Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Numa, one of the Kings of Rome (probably also fictional) receives credit for creating a longer year with two added months, Ianuarius and Februarius, bringing the number of days in the year to 355. The new month of Ianuarius, named after Ianus (Janus in contemporary spelling), the god of beginnings, would eventually be known in English as January. But when this new calendar was instituted, January was not the first month. March, named after the god of war, remained the first month, and March 1st was New Year’s Day.

This extended calendar still did not keep in synch with the seasons. In 45 BCE, Julius Caesar instituted reforms to align the calendar correctly according to calculations of astronomers, with an additional 10 days distributed across the year. January also became set as the first month, and offerings to the god Janus on this day started the tradition we now know as New Year’s. The date still fluctuated during the ensuing centuries, with a number of Western European holy days treated as the beginning of the year instead. It wasn’t until the next calendar reform in 1582, the Gregorian Calendar, that the date of the New Year was fixed at January 1st.

However you choose to celebrate the beginning of the current calendar, everyone here at Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning  you have a wonderful 2015!

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