Breathe Easier with Moist Air

Whole home humidification is important for comfort, allowing you to breathe easier, and for the care of wood surfaces and furnishings.  When the air inside a home is kept at less than 40% humidity, residents will experience more shocks from static electricity, sore throats, dry skin and sinus trouble.   It can also lead to cracking of hardwood flooring, drying out of caulked molding joints, and damage to musical instruments.   All of these problems can be expensive to repair, and it is unlikely that insurance will cover the costs.

There are many types of humidifiers and dehumidifiers available to monitor and maintain the desired level of 40-60% in a home.   For smaller homes , you can buy a stand alone unit that plugs into an outlet and produces steam.  The steam cools quickly and mixes with the dry air to moisturize it.  These units require someone to watch them, keep them filled with water, and turn them on and off as needed.  If you don’t watch over them, the water reservoir can run dry and damage the unit.

humidifier breathe easierA better solution, for both smaller and larger homes, is to install a central whole-home humidifier.  These units attach to your existing duct work and add moisture into the air as it is being blown through the ducts and out to the various rooms.   Some of these are also fan-powered, making them even more effective.

We sell Bryant® brand humidifiers which are available in multiple sizes and for multiple types of systems – furnaces or heat pumps.  They provide added value to your home, allow your family to breathe easier, protect your wooden items from the effects of excessive dryness, and give you peace of mind because the humidity level is automatically controlled all the time.

These units are nearly silent, and you won’t know they are working, except for the improved comfort you feel.   Give us a call today, and we’ll show you the optional choices we have to match your HVAC system.

 Be Wiser, Call Kaiser!

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Win a New Furnace at the Home Show

How would you like to win a new furnace?   Well, you can!  We’ll be giving one away at the 2015 Indianapolis Home Show ( Jan 23 to Feb 1) and it’s simple to enter.

Just visit our booth at the Home Show and provide us with your contact information.   We will announce the winner of the Bryant Furnace on Friday, February 13, 2015 by calling the winning person.   Good Luck — we hope to be calling you!

Win a New Furnace

This is the prize — a brand new high efficiency natural gas furnace manufactured by Bryant. These are some of the features:

  • 92% efficiency, natural gas fired
  • Produces 40,000 BTU
  •  Quiet operation
  • ENERGY STAR rated
  • Fan On Plus technology allows control of continuous fan speed from a compatible thermostat
  • Self diagnostics
  • Adjustable blower speed for cooling, continuous fan, and dehumidification
  • Factory configured ready for upflow applications

We will also be offering a FREE in-home comfort/indoor air quality (IAQ) evaluation.   You may be surprised to find out how much good you can do for your family by adjusting the filtration or providing an add-on whole house air cleaning system to your home.  Our TA Kaiser Heating & Air Home Consultant will come to your home, look at your existing system, and provide you with a range of recommended options from which to choose.  Of course, there is no obligation, this is just a free service given for your information.

So, we hope you stop by to see us an enter to win a new furnace.  If you have any questions about heating or air conditioning, just ask us. We’ll have experts in our booth at all times ready to explain  how things work, or answer any questions you have.

We’ve been a family owned business since 1987 and you can trust us.  We guarantee our work and your satisfaction.   Remember – Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

 

 

 

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NOW HIRING – Payroll Administrator

payroll administrator

 IMMEDIATE AVAILABILITY –  PAYROLL ADMINISTRATOR !!!

TA Kaiser Heating & Air is NOW HIRING a Payroll Administrator – Accounting Assistant.

Approximately 25-30 hours per week with possibility of future full-time position.

  • Must have average Microsoft Office knowledge with above average Excel skills.
  • Basic understanding (and application) of accrual accounting and GAAP.
  •  Knowledge of Payroll tax filing (federal, state), FICA, FIT and State/local taxes relating to payroll helpful but not required.
  • 401K admin experience, wage and garnishment experience, AIA document basics a plus.

Send resume via email to: hr.dept@takaiser.com or via fax at 317.297.1735.

No phone calls, please.

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Frozen Heat Pump

frozen heat pumpIf you are a homeowner who has seen a frozen heat pump in your yard, here is what you need to know.

When you see a light coating of frost, that is normal and not a problem, and it should resolve itself soon. It is not normal for the entire unit to be encased in ice; including the top of the unit and the insides of the coil for an extended period of time.  Operating a frozen unit can cause damage to the problem needs to be resolved.  If the pump appears to be covered in ice and frozen over like this image, you should give us a call to check it out.

Some causes can be corrected by a homeowner, and others require an HVAC technician.  Those are explained below.

Frost on the Coils

Heat pumps use refrigerant to absorb heat from the air outside – even when it’s cold out – and transfer it into the house.   Sometimes excess moisture builds up on the outdoor coils as heat from the outside air is transferred to the refrigerant.  When that happens on a cold day, the moisture can freeze, so that is a normal and natural event .

Manufacturers expect that to happen so heat pumps are designed to run a defrost cycle when the system detects ice has formed.   The defrost mode should run for 30 minutes or so and melt the ice away on the coils.  While defrost is running, your backup heat cycle will provide heat into the home and you probably won’t even know it is doing this.  After the ice is gone, the heat pump will cycle back to normal operation.  If  you don’t see any indication that the system is defrosting and then returning to normal, or if the ice continues to build up thicker, call for a technician.

Protecting your Heat Pump

There are a few things a homeowner can check to prevent a frozen heat pump.

  • Change your air filters regularly – good airflow is essential for HVAC systems to operate properly.
  • Don’t let leaves or plants or snow build up around the outside unit – ensure there is 18″ of clearance so that air can flow around it.
  • A dripping gutter can cause a buildup of ice, just like a freezing rain can.  Check to see if you can identify a source of water that can be diverted from the unit.
  • Is the unit still level?  If it has tilted or is sinking into the ground, water might be building up on the top and freezing down along the coils.

Other common causes are a bad defrost control or timer, a bad sensor or relay, a low charge or a bad fan motor.  All of these things are best checked by a professional.  If you have any questions about your frozen heat pump, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.

Be Wiser, Call Kaiser

 

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Dirty Filters Cause Breakdowns

The air filter in a heating/cooling system is one of the first things we check on a service call, because dirty filters cause breakdowns and loss of efficiency.   A filter change is also one of the quickest and easiest areas in which a homeowner can do the work instead of paying us to do it.   Failure to change filters can lead to mechanical breakdowns, as well as negatively affecting the health of your family.   This is a short listing of the common types of filters available to help you understand them.

Many people use the thin fiberglass filters, and those can be OK if you change them regularly.  They don’t stop a lot of contaminants, but they do meet the minimum standards for filtration and are safe.   If you use that type of filter, consider buying them a few months ahead and marking them by month as shown in this picture to help you remember to change them.

Dirty Filters Cause Breakdowns 1

A better choice is a pleated filter, which can last from 3 to 6 months.  This type of filter ranges from 10% to 60% more efficient than the economical filters.  They cost more, but they will also filter a lot more out, reducing the level of dust in your home and possibly helping to reduce the frequency of colds and sickness.

Dirty Filters Cause Breakdowns 2Electrostatic filters  are both energy-efficient and cost-effective, and a good upgrade from ordinary disposable filters.  You can wash this type of  filter out once a month, let it dry and re-install.   Some brands last for up to 5 years, or 60 times as long as the economical ones.  This image is just a sample of one brand available on-line and in stores.

Dirty Filters Cause Breakdowns 3

 

Electronic filters  use an electrical field to trap charged particles of dust like a magnet, so they catch a higher percentage of them than the filters above.  The particles build up and look dusty quickly, but all you need to do to clean these is remove the metal frame, soak them in cleaner, rinse them off and reuse them over and over.

Dirty Filters Cause Breakdowns 4

High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters and UV (Ultraviolet) filtration are the most efficient ways to filter.   HEPA filters are designed to block 99.97 percent of all particles 0.3 micron or larger, and most involve multi-stage sequences to capture smaller particles.    Ultraviolet (UV) filters are usually a built-in component of an electronic air cleaner, or can added-on to a whole-house electronic air filter.   The ultraviolet light kills airborne bacteria and viruses so this type of filter is found in many hospitals.

Dirty Filters Cause Breakdowns 5TA Kaiser Heating and Air offers all these types of filters to you.   If you need help in selecting the best filtration for your situation, we’ll be glad to advise you on that.   Our Ultraviolet systems are the best available with the newest technology, so if you want to be sure your family is breathing clean air, give us a call today.    We’ll be glad to show you the options we have that fit on your HVAC system to keep it running in tip-top condition for years to come.

Be Wiser – Call Kaiser!

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Avoid Snow Buildup Blocking Vents

If we get a lot of snow this year, you might discover snow buildup blocking vents and affecting your heating equipment.  You want to avoid that so start planning for it now.

High efficiency furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and other appliances have exhaust vents that exit your building either through an exterior wall, the roof or a chimney, and they need to release those gases outside to continue working properly.  Homeowners with high-efficiency furnaces also have fresh air intake pipes that have to pull in fresh air.

We don’t think about those vents much because they usually work so well, but if one of them gets stopped up on a cold day by snow and ice buildup you will be thinking about it.  Any kind of blockage for intake or exhaust can affect the safe operation of those appliances because the harmful exhaust will backup and leak carbon monoxide into your home.   To avoid that you should make sure that all snow, ice and other obstructions are removed from around your venting systems, wherever they are.   

Snow Buildup Blocking VentsDrifting snow and ice are issues, especially if your vent goes through a wall and is close to the ground.   This image shows both an exhaust and an intake vent that were buried below snow level until the homeowner shoveled them out.  Exhaust gasses are warm and can melt snow, but they may not contain enough heat to keep snow cleared away by itself.

If you have a situation like this you might consider building a small shelter around it so that a heavy snowfall doesn’t bury it and block it.  A small sloping roof or a simple “a-frame” over the vents would likely solve the problem.

You should remove snow around the vent approximately 48 inches in all directions, and trim any shrubs around the vent, so that your equipment can discharge exhaust.  Take steps now to avoid snow buildup blocking vents this year, and keep your family warm and safe.

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

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Top 5 Warning Signs for Gas Furnaces

warning signsIf you pay attention to these warning signs, you can wisely decide to replace your gas furnace before it costs you money or becomes unsafe.   Don’t wait until it stops working on a cold night in January.  Look at the facts and get some options before it shuts down on you.

1. How long has your furnace been operating? 

The national average life expectancy is in the range of 16 to 20 years.   As your furnace gets up to that range, you’d be wise to start thinking about a replacement.  But this is only the first indicator, so you need to use it in conjunction with the other signs below before you decide.  And if you can’t find the date the  system was installed, see if it has a pilot light.  If so, it is already past the average age.

2. Have you had to do significant furnace repairs recently? 

If you are spending money on a recurring basis to replace or repair parts, you are likely getting close to replacement time.   Parts are harder to find for older furnaces, and it can take longer to get them.  If your furnace is down and it takes more than 24 hours to get the parts, it may even take longer at the next breakdown.

3. Are your utility costs rising?

Without good periodic maintenance, furnace efficiency can go down.  When that happens, it takes more energy to produce the same amount of heat.  If you are sending more money to the utility company than before, consider a new high efficiency furnace (90-99%) and keep that money in your own pocket.

4. Do you hear strange noises? 

As they age, furnaces can often start to make unpleasant noises that weren’t there before. You might hear banging or squealing, or even a popping noise.  You also might hear the furnace blower fan continue to run much longer than normal.  If your blower turns on & off frequently or blows cold air sometimes, take that as a warning sign that you should have it inspected by a professional.

5. Are you having health problems in the family?

If the heat exchanger in the furnace cracks, it can be a major danger to your health.  Carbon Monoxide, CO, could leak through that crack and out into your home. Since you can’t see or smell CO you would need a detector to know for sure if it’s happening, but if people are experiencing frequent headaches, burning nose or eyes, sick feelings or disorientation, it might be related to furnace leaks.   Do not wait to get this checked if you are concerned.

If your furnace is 12 years old, or if you are seeing any of these warning signs, give us a call.  We can take a look at it and give you a professional opinion on keeping it or replacing it.   We want to make sure you have a reliable, efficient heating system that provides you with the comfort you and your family want.

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

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5-2-1 HVAC Surge Protection

You have invested a lot of money in a furnace, heat pump or other HVAC equipment that provides comfort for your family.   You should also invest in HVAC surge protection to avoid a large repair or replacement expense due to a random lightning strike or a power surge on the utility grid.   Homeowners usually buy surge protectors for TVs, computers and entertainment devices but heating systems are often overlooked until the damage is done.

HVAC surge protectionThe 5-2-1 Surge Protector keeps your heating and cooling system safe because it is designed to interrupt power surges before they reach your equipment.  Studies have shown that the average home or business sees about 300 potentially damaging surges each and every year.  As demand rises on the power grid, customers see lower quality electrical service which means even more damaging surges.

We carry these devices on our service trucks, so they are immediately available as an add-on to a service call or tune up.  5-2-1 Surge Protectors offers a connected equipment guarantee on any electro-mechanical device connected to the AC power line including the entire HVAC unit, Furnaces, Heat Pumps, Motors and Refrigeration Systems.

Be sure to get HVAC surge protection before your equipment gets damaged.  Call us today to add a 5-2-1 surge protector to your system.  It will cost you much less than the repair or replacement work it can prevent.

BE WISER — CALL KAISER!

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Annual Maintenance Plan for $169

GET AN ANNUAL MAINTENANCE PLAN NOW

annual maintenance planAll mechanical systems need periodic tuneups to keep them working properly, and we are offering annual maintenance plans now for only $169.   That includes 2 visits, scheduled at your convenience, and the checking, cleaning and adjusting of all the important parts of your system during each visit.

Signing up for year round service is a great idea, and this special price for an annual maintenance plan is a great deal.   If you have a tendency to forget maintenance, you can stop worrying about that because we’ll send you a reminder in 6 months.  And — you can have peace of mind knowing that the check up will include everything on this page for your HVAC system as well as fireplaces.

During our two visits we’ll ensure that all the equipment performs as efficiently as possible so that you get the most comfort from your utility dollars, and longer equipment life from the investment in your home.   Another benefit will be the avoidance of unexpected breakdowns when worn equipment stops working on the coldest night (or the hottest day) of the year.

We are anxious to perform this preventive maintenance and cleaning on your system because we know a clean HVAC unit has fewer repair calls than one that is not maintained. Our techs have the training, the tools and the parts needed for all makes and models of HVAC systems.  You will see the results of our work in the equipment lasting as long as possible, and in your system operating as efficiently as possible.  We can’t promise that paying utility bills will become more fun for you, but we can promise that the energy consumed by your system will be used to produce comfort for your family and will not be wasted.

 Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

 

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What is Emergency Heat?

Homeowners who have heat pumps see an extra setting on their thermostat labeled “Emergency Heat (or E.M Heat)”, along with the standard settings “Heat,” “Off” and “Cool.”  This setting is confusing for many people and improper use of it can cause utility bills to skyrocket unexpectedly.

emergency heat

Emergency Heat was designed to provide a temporary source of electric heat when the heat pump is damaged and cannot be used.  An example of this would be if a tree branch fell on the outside unit and created a large dent in it.   In that situation the homeowner would switch to Emergency Heat, and the supplemental heat source would help to keep the home warm for a few hours while a technician could get there to make repairs.

For most heat pumps, the supplemental heat source is electric resistance heat, and this is common in all-electric homes.  For homes with natural gas, propane, or fuel oil, the supplemental heat may be supplied by a furnace and is called a dual-fuel system.  There are two types of supplemental heat.

  • Emergency Heat does not provide additional heat on top of the output from the heat pump, although many people mistakenly believe that it does.  When the switch is set to “Emergency Heat” the heat pump is locked out of operation, so you actually get less heat output during that time.  Your home will probably cool down and your electric meter will be spinning as it adds kilowatts to your next utility bill.
  • Secondary Heat does provide additional heat on top of the output from the heat pump.  If your thermostat senses that outdoor temperatures are too cold for the heat pump to be the primary heat source, it will automatically switch to a secondary heat source such as electric or gas.   You cannot control this from the thermostat, but it is not a problem because the system was designed to do exactly that during very cold weather.

Using the “Emergency Heat” setting can cost twice as much as the normal heat pump costs in operation.    Keep the thermostat in the “Heat” setting and let the heat pump operate automatically.  Do NOT use the ‘Emergency Heat’ setting unless you really have an emergency.    You will notice the difference in your electricity bill.

If you have any questions about this article, give us a call.   Be Wiser, call Kaiser!

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