Time to Replace that Heating System?

replace that heating system nowWhat a winter we just had – the whole nation was in the deep freeze!  How did your heating system hold up?   Is it time to replace that heating system, or upgrade it to improved efficiency?

Now that you don’t have to worry about below zero temperatures and shockingly large heating bills, you have time to look at multiple options and make an un-hurried decision.   We recommend that you do research on new models by talking to more than one heating system expert, let them see your current configuration, and then compare the features and prices and options they recommend.

If you are faced with a decision to repair or replace a heating system that couldn’t keep up with the cold, you might feel like repairing the current furnace is a good plan. However, this choice may mean you’re putting money into a system near it’s end of life.   We know that as heating systems age, just like a car, they need more repair work in their last few years of life.   When you are not in a rush to decide, you can really evaluate the benefits of replacement versus repair.

The high-efficiency systems available today provide monthly savings and better performance, along with the peace of mind that comes from the manufacturer’s warranty. You know it will run properly and keep running for many years to come, without paying for more and more repairs.

If you are considering repairs to the current system or buying a new system, start planning now to evaluate the available options.   If you have questions about options, prices and what would be best for your home, we would be glad to advise you.  Call us today to start gathering the information you need to make the best choice.

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser

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Honoring a Hero

Members of our Nashville office recently participated in honoring a hero.  They enjoyed Labor of Love Day for US Army Specialist Brad Wilson, a wounded veteran, his wife and their child.

honoring a hero TAK guys

 

As part of the Pulte Homes Built to Honor program, the Wilson family will receive a new home in a few months, which will have been entirely donated by Pulte Homes and many contractors.   On the recent Labor of Love Day, participating contractors came together in the home to write personal messages on the framing for the family to see before the drywall is installed.

 

honoring a hero tiff

 

The event was a powerful and emotional day, as many heartfelt sentiments and blessings were written.  Our staff members said that although they were honoring a hero, they also felt honored just to be a part of this gift to the Wilson family.   It gave them a wonderful feeling to know they were helping these deserving people, even though they have never met them.

We have more pictures on our Facebook page, and we’ll post more information when they actually present the home to the family.   Please share this article as an encouragement to others.

honoring a hero jessica

Kaiser Kares for the Community

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Staff Spotlight – Rescuing Dogs in Need

Cindy Moon spotlight rescuing dogsCindy Moon is in our Staff Spotlight this month because of  her community service work in rescuing dogs.  She and her family live in Brownsburg with their 3 dogs.   She has an important position with TA Kaiser, Payroll Administrator, and has been with the family business for two years.

Because she has had dogs all her life, Cindy passionately believes in rescuing dogs when they are in need.   She wanted to get involved in this work, so she began by looking on the internet for an organization that does dog rescue, and that’s how she found http://HeavenAfterHellRescue.org.  After she rescued two puppies through them, she decided to start volunteering so she could help others in rescuing dogs.

We know everyone is nice to the people in the payroll department, but in this case it’s easy.   Cindy is a good person with a loving heart, and we at TA Kaiser are very proud of the community service she gives.

 

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Ten Minute Water Heater Maintenance

If you want to prolong the life of your water heater (and who doesn’t) here are two quick types of water heater maintenance you can do in ten minutes.  Doing them twice a year may add years of service to that appliance.

Check the Pressure Valve

water heater maintenance safety pressure valve The first item is a safety check of the Pressure Relief Valve, which looks like this and will be located on the top or side of the heater.  It is designed to open automatically if the pressure gets too high inside the water heater and thereby avoid an explosion.  Lift the valve handle and listen for the sound of  pressure escaping, then let it snap back closed.  If it works that way, then everything is fine.  If it doesn’t release pressure or doesn’t close, then the valve needs to be replaced.

Check the clarity of the Water

water heater maintenance lower drain valveThe second item for water heater maintenance is to check the condition of water inside the heater.  There is a drain valve near the bottom on the side and it probably looks similar to this image.   Some valves have a handle and some just have a slot for a screwdriver.  You can add a hose, or you can drain it directly into a bucket if you can position it under the valve.

Open the valve and drain out about a half gallon of water, then close the valve.   Look at the water to see whether it is clear or it contains sediment.  If sediment is forming in your heater, it will collect near the bottom, so you should see it in the sample you have drawn.

If the water is clear, you are done.  See, it only took ten minutes!

Flushing the Tank

However, if the water is cloudy and contains sediment, you should flush the tank to clean out a good portion of the sediment.  This can take an hour or so, and you will not have any hot water for several hours after you do this.

You can get a contractor to flush it for you, or you can do it yourself.   Here are the basic steps for the process.

  1. Turn off the electricity (or gas) to the water heater.
  2. Shut off the cold water coming into the water heater.
  3. Connect a hose from the drain valve to a sump or floor drain, then open the valve.  Run all the water out of the tank into the sump or drain.  It may take 30-40 minutes to fully drain depending on the size of your tank.  When the hose stops running, the tank is empty so close the drain valve.
  4. Open all hot water faucets in the house to let air escape as the tank refills.
  5. Turn the cold water supply back on to refill the water heater completely.  You will hear it running into the tank.
  6. When the hot water starts to run from the open faucets, turn them off.
  7. When the tank is full (you no longer hear water running in) turn on the electricity (or gas) so it can start heating the water.  (If gas, light the pilot.)

Although these steps can add years of service, the water heater will wear out someday.  When that happens, consider going to a tank-less water heater.  It will save you money and you can avoid this water heater maintenance entirely.

BE WISER — CALL KAISER!

 

 

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Large Project in Durham

We are currently working on a large, privately owned, multi-family project in Durham, NC.  This project is a multi-phase building on a fast paced schedule, where we are installing 371 HVAC systems into a mid-rise luxury apartment building, right around the corner from Duke University.  The images below give you a perspective on the size of the job, including some of the condenser units lined up on one of the buildings ready to be connected.   Each and every system also requires indoor components to distribute the air, so there are many miles of duct runs that you can’t see in these images, but they are also a major part of the project.

big project in durham 1A

big project in durham 2a

big project in durham 3a

big project in durham 4a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At TA Kaiser, we do both small and large jobs – from just one system in a single-family home to hundreds (or thousands) of systems in an apartment complex or housing development.   No job is too small or too difficult for us, and it doesn’t matter whether it takes a truck, crane, or a helicopter to do the work.  It will be done professionally and efficiently.

We are proud to have been operating and growing this family business for over 25 years.   Starting as a one-man operation, Tim Kaiser founded the company in 1987 that has now grown to about 200 employees in 4 major cities: Indianapolis, Nashville, Raleigh and Charlotte.

T.A Kaiser Heating & Air, Inc. installation technicians are the best in skill, attitude and workmanship. We provide service you can rely on.  Contact us today so that we can show you the level of technical expertise and customer care you deserve.

BE WISER — CALL KAISER!

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Reduce Your High Heating Bills

TAK logo high heating billsWe have heard from many customers recently about their high heating bills during the recently brutal cold weather.   We regularly publish ideas and suggestions for reducing energy costs and saving money in the blog section of our web page.

We also post them on our Facebook page.   Please “like” us on that page and you will receive the articles in your feed as they come out.

In case you haven’t seen them, here is a list of energy saving blog articles with a link for easy clicking to get the efficiency tips.

  1. When Do I Use Emergency on My Heat Pump?
  2. Mini-split Heat Pumps Save Money
  3. Seal in Savings with Caulk
  4. Hybrid Heating Dual Fuel Systems 
  5. Home Energy Advice Quiz – True or False?
  6. Insulation Increases Heating System Efficiency

  7. Dirty Coils Lead to Trouble
  8. Energy Efficient Variable Speed Motors

If you have any questions about this information or how we can help with high heating bills, just give us a call and we’ll be glad to assist you.

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

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Staff Spotlight – Scouting with Mallory

Gabe Vieck is the person in our Staff Spotlight this month.  Gabe creates the residential estimates for new home communities, and sometimes that involves hundreds of new homes in one development so Gabe is a busy guy.   He has been with TA Kaiser for about one year and serves his community as a volunteer Dad with Girl Scouts of America.

girl scouts 2Gabe is a single parent who has had full custody of Mallory, 9, for over seven years.  During that time, he started college and earned an associate’s degree in HVAC.

When he moved into a new area recently, Gabe wanted to be sure his daughter would meet kids and get involved.  He also wanted to be active in her life, so Gabe and Mallory are now enjoying scouting activities together in Troop 1505, Westfield, of the Girl Scouts of Central Indiana.

In December, they rang the bell over the Salvation Army kettle at a grocery store, and in a few months they will be going on a Girl Scout camping trip.   As the only Dad on the trip, Gabe is expecting to get to carry a lot of things for the girls.

Gabe is a valued member of the TA Kaiser team, and a great role model for young Scouts.  We are proud of him for the personal time he gives to improve the social fabric of our community.

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Become a Certified HVAC Technician

A certified HVAC technician works on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems that control the temperature and air quality in buildings.   Have you ever considered a career as an HVAC/R (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) technician.   At TA Kaiser, we advertise when we have openings and hire reliable people to grow our company.

HVAC TechnicianHVAC service is a growing industry and the pay for hard-working and talented techs is attractive.    According to the Bureau of Labor, employment of HVAC/R mechanics and installers is projected to grow 21% from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations.  The median annual wage for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $43,640 in May 2012, although that varies depending on location.

You can prepare for a career as an HVAC/R technician by taking the appropriate courses at a professional school, junior or community college.  Studies can take anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the school requirements, and the certificate or degree being sought. You can earn national certifications in areas such as heat pumps, gas heat, geothermal, air-conditioning, HVAC electrical, and 608 refrigerant.   Those with more education and certifications are likely to receive higher starting pay and good opportunities for advancement.

Another way to get into the field is to become an apprentice.  This is an opportunity to learn on the job by teaming up with an experienced HVAC/R technician.   Normally, entrants into apprenticeship programs need only a high school diploma to qualify, and completing an apprenticeship program may lead to a variety of certifications.   The availability of apprenticeship openings is lower than openings available to certified technicians or those with college degrees.

If you have an interest in this field, there is lots of information available on-line or from local community colleges.   Think about it — it’s a good field to be in and there is lots of job security for talented people.

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Maintenance After A Hard Winter

This week we are finally getting a break from the deep freeze, a breath of Spring to cheer us up.   Isn’t it great to hear the quiet in your house with the heating system not running for a few hours?

maintenance of gas heatBut we need to remember how much that system worked during the last few months to keep us warm — and that all mechanical systems need maintenance to keep working reliably.  It will get cold again before Spring is really here, so this is a good time for our heating systems to be checked and serviced.  We also check and service gas fireplaces, so we can conveniently do both jobs in one trip to your home.

We develop and train to improve our expertise and knowledge in the heating and air conditioning business so that we can deliver and inform you on the best options for your needs.  With our annual preventive maintenance checks on your system, we can ensure that your investment in equipment is protected from unplanned failure.  We want to help you extend the lifespan of your system and ensure your unit performs as efficiently as possible so that lower monthly utility bills are the result.

We offer maintenance plans that are flexible, convenient for you, and that puts the burden of remembering to do it at the right time on us.  You can get more details here.

Give us a call to discuss a maintenance plan that fits you.  Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

 

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

danger CO poisoningThe extreme cold and heavy snow this winter is keeping most of us indoors even more than usual.  Carbon monoxide poisoning is a real danger since our windows and doors and every crack we can find are sealed against the cold.  You should be aware of the danger and take steps to reduce the risk to your family.

Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs because it is a colorless, odorless gas that can sicken or kill you before you are aware it is present.   Exposure to low levels can lead to headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue and disorientation.   If you get a higher dose, it can show up as impaired vision, confusion and diminished coordination.  A very high dose can lead to death as it blocks the blood from taking in oxygen.

Carbon monoxide can be generated by kerosene or gas space heaters, by back-drafting or leaks from furnaces, wood stoves or fireplaces, or by the exhaust from generators or vehicles.  The best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to get all gas-powered or combustion equipment (like kerosene heaters and wood stoves) out of your house.  However, if you need to continue using these devices, be sure the ventilation system is working properly.

Here are a few helpful tips to avoid tragedy:

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home (they cost about $20.)
  • Install it close to the ground/floor – carbon monoxide is heavy and will sink
  • Never use a generator indoors.
  • When using a fireplace, keep the flue open.
  • Be sure wood stove doors or vents are tightly fitted.
  • Idle your car outside, not in the garage.
  • Have a professional tuning done on your HVAC system annually.

If you have any concerns about whether your home is safe, we can check your heating system to determine if it is leaking.   Just give us a call or use our contact page.

Remember: Be wiser, call Kaiser!

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