Are Sparking Outlets a Signs for Electrical Repair?

September 8th, 2014 by Roger Thompson

In general, you don’t want anything in your home’s electrical system to create sparks. It’s usually a major warning sign that the system requires repairs. You should immediately stop using the sparking appliance and call for professional electricians.

However, sparks from outlets are something that homeowners often ignore. Its commonplace for a slight blue spark to appear when you plug an electrical appliance, like a vacuum cleaner or a toaster into a wall outlet: this is a visible effect from the start of the flow of electrons. However, larger sparks might begin to occur. When this happens, you need to call for professional electrical repairs as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should you attempt to open up the outlet cover and investigate the sparking on your own—this is potentially very hazardous.

For professional electrical repair service in Lynnwood, WA, you can trust to the decades of experience at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

What Is Wrong With An Outlet That Sparks This Way?

There are a number of possible causes for an outlet to develop the dangerous sparking that might lead to electrical fires. One of the common reasons is that the outlet has overheated and melted the insulation around the wires. (This is why you should never use an octopus plug to connect too many appliances into a single outlet at the same time; it’s easy for the outlet to overheat.) When the wires are exposed because of melted insulation, it can cause electrons to leap from the wire to the metal case or even the opposite wire. This is known as a short circuit. Short circuits are potentially very dangerous as sources of electrical fires. Most of the time, a short will cause the circuit breaker panel to trip and cut off the circuit to prevent further damage. Frequently tripped breakers are a major warning sign that your have trouble with an outlet.

However, if there are other problems with the wiring your home, a short circuit in an outlet could start a fire behind the walls. If you ignore major sparking from an outlet, this is one of the risks that you’ll take.

Fortunately, professional electricians are experienced with fixing and replacing faulty outlets to prevent the dangers of short circuits. You should watch out not only for sparking from outlets, but also outlets that feel hot to the touch or show signs of discoloration and charring on their surface. An outlet that continually trips circuit breakers also needs an electrician to investigate it.

Our electrical repair team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. is ready to help you keep your home safe from faulty electrical systems. Call us the moment you think you need help.

Are There Any Air Conditioning Repairs I Can Do Myself?

September 5th, 2014 by Roger Thompson

The Internet has helped spread the “do-it-yourself” ethic wider than ever. You can type in almost any household chore or activity and find a guide to how you can take care of it on your own with a few easy-to-find tools and a couple of tricks. Some of these DIY guides are good ideas. Some are not.

One area of home repair that you definitely do not want handled as an amateur project is the air conditioner. Modern air conditioners are intricate devices that require years of training in order to effectively service. If you experience trouble with the performance of your AC, don’t try to open either the indoor or outdoor cabinet and troubleshoot the issue on your own. Numerous different causes could lay behind your air conditioner’s malfunctions, and even if you could diagnose the correct one, you wouldn’t have the tools or the training necessary to do anything about it.

It’s simple to get the help you need for air conditioning service in North Seattle, WA: call a team with a few decades of experience, G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

Some Steps You Can Take With a Malfunctioning AC

Although you can’t perform major repairs for your air conditioner, there are some steps you can take to see if your AC is suffering from a simple problem. You should always check on the thermostat when you first notice that something is wrong with the air conditioner. Sometimes, an incorrect setting is responsible for the way the AC is acting. Test the controls to see if the system responds the way you want it to. If it doesn’t, then you’ll know to call for repairs.

If the air conditioner shuts down entirely, one of the first things you should do is check your circuit breaker panel. The air conditioner might have tripped it because of a power surge. Reset the circuit and attempt to turn the air conditioner on again. If it causes another tripped circuit breaker, then something is wrong with the electrical system and you will need professionals to handle the repair work.

Always make regular checks on the air filter for the AC. If you notice a loss of airflow from the system, look to see if the filter is clogged. If it is, change it for a fresh one, or clean the filter if it is a permanent one. If doing this doesn’t restore the operation of the air conditioner, then contact repair technicians to see what may be wrong.

If these basic checks and tests don’t work, refrain from trying to do more. Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. and let our experienced staff take care of the air conditioning service in North Seattle, WA you need to restore your cool air.

What are the Components of a Ductless AC?

September 4th, 2014 by Roger Thompson

Many homeowners without ducts try alternative cooling options like window air conditioners to keep rooms cool. But the cooling capacity of these units is generally low, meaning they cannot always effectively cool an entire room. Plus, these units are often noisy and cost a lot of money to run, particularly if you want to cool down several rooms at once.

Ductless air conditioning is the perfect solution for homes that don’t have any ductwork set up in the home already. While it may be possible for you to add ductwork to your older home or new room extension, this is a big job that may be quite the hassle. Installing ductwork is an extensive process that involves major home renovations, while the only renovation an AC technician makes to install a ductless system is a small hole drilled into the wall for the refrigerant line.

Just like any conventional air conditioner, a ductless air conditioner contains indoor and outdoor components that work together to cool the home. Refrigerant moves through the system, absorbing heat from your home and releasing it outdoors. Outside, the condenser unit contains the compressor, the condenser coil, and a large outdoor fan. First, refrigerant reaches the compressor as a low-pressure gas and is compressed into a gas at extremely high pressure and heat. Next, refrigerant moves to the condenser coil. As the outdoor fan blows over the coil, refrigerant condenses into a liquid, and the fan helps heat to dissipate into the air.

The indoor portion of a ductless AC, however, differs from the indoor portion of most central air conditioners. An air handler is mounted high on the wall or on the ceiling. Here, the evaporator converts refrigerant into a gas, and it absorbs heat from the air as a blower fan moves warm air over the coil. Rather than use the ducts to distribute the cool air, the fan blows air directly from the handler. While you may need several air handlers to cool an entire home, each unit has its own thermostat, so you can control the temperature in one room independently of the others.

Because ductless air conditioning systems are also very energy efficient, they may be the perfect solution for many homes. If you want more information about ductless air conditioning in Lynnwood, call the dependable experts at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. today!

The Very First Labor Day Celebration

August 29th, 2014 by Roger Thompson

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 G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. wishes your family a happy end of summer.

How Geothermal Systems Benefit the Environment

August 28th, 2014 by Roger Thompson

Using geothermal heat pumps to provide comfort for homes continues to grow in popularity every year. These systems were once cumbersome and ineffective for homes, but the technology now makes it an easy job for professionals to install the ground loops and the heat pump components for a house that will bring it reliable heating and cooling through all seasons.

But heat pumps aren’t just a good idea for your home. They are a good idea for the Earth. If you are looking for a way to “go green,” then a geothermal system is one of the most effective and durable methods available to you.

You can schedule an appointment with a geothermal surveyor from G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We have provided services in Mill Creek, WA for geothermal heat pumps for many years, and we can quickly find out if a new installation will benefit your home. Our skilled technicians will handle the installation, repairs, and maintenance necessary for you to enjoy a lifetime of comfort from your geothermal heat pump.

Geothermal Systems Are Good For the Environment

  • They conserve energy: Geothermal heat pumps are more energy-efficient than standard heat pumps and air conditioners because they use the stable temperature of the ground as their source for heat exchange. According to the EPA, a heat pump can use up to 44% less energy than an air-source heat pump and 72% less than an electric resistance furnace. The more heat pumps at work in the nation, the more energy we conserve.
  • They reduce greenhouse gas emissions: Approximately 40% of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. come from the heating and cooling of buildings. EPA studies have shown that geothermal systems produce the lowest amount of greenhouse gases of all comfort systems and have the least negative impact on the environment.
  • They won’t damage the ozone layer: Heat pumps use less refrigerant than air conditioners because of their high efficiency, lowering the damage the refrigerant can do to the ozone layer due to emissions.
  • The do not create danger from ground pollution: People sometimes worry that leaking geothermal systems will contaminate the ground. However, the refrigerant that geothermal heat pumps use is a harmless mixture of water and antifreeze. The EPA has found minimal danger from and leaks (which are rare) to the soil or groundwater.

Geothermal heat pumps are beneficial for everyone: you’ll enjoy comfort no matter the temperature outside, see a substantial drop in your heating and cooling bills, and only have to worry about ground loop replacement after 50 years. And the planet will thank you for lowering emission and saving other energy resources.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. is glad to talk to you about the possibilities for going geothermal in Mill Creek, WA. Give one of our specialists a call today.

What Are the Components of a Ductless Blower Unit?

August 25th, 2014 by Roger Thompson

There was a time when homes without ductwork did not have the option of whole-home air conditioning installations, but advances in the cooling industry have opened the door for new and innovative ways to air condition many different kinds of homes. While ductless air conditioning isn’t new, its migration to residential properties is fairly recent, and it is gaining a great deal of popularity among homeowners. The idea of ductless air conditioning can seem confusing, but the truth is that the system is quite simple. However, its simplicity does not mean that installing a ductless system is a good DIY project; for any air conditioning installation, it’s best to call experts like G&S Heating, Cooling & Electric.

Ductless Components

Ductless air conditioning system components consist of:

  • Outdoor condenser unit
  • Indoor blowers
  • Conduits

The outdoor condenser unit of a ductless system is basically the same as a traditional split-system air conditioner with one exception: the ductless outdoor unit connects directly to the indoor blowers via a conduit through an exterior wall of your home. The indoor blowers are about 35” long and mount easily to walls and ceilings. The conduit, which fits through a 3” drilled hole, has lines for drainage, refrigerant and power. The blowers are operated individually from one another, offering you customized cooling.

Benefits of a Ductless System

The most obvious benefit of a ductless system is that it offers whole-home cooling without the need for ductwork. But ductless ACs have several other benefits that are worth noting:

  • Energy efficiency – ductless systems allow you to cool only what you need to, which can help cut down your energy usage.
  • Customized comfort – as we mentioned above, each blower runs independently, giving you automatic zone control cooling.
  • Easy installation – compared to installing ductwork, the installation of a ductless air conditioner is much easier. The indoor blowers are mounted on a wall or hung from a ceiling, a small hole is drilled through an exterior wall for the conduit, and then the components are connected.
  • Can also offer heating – if the outdoor unit is a heat pump, a ductless system can also heat your home in winter.

Ductless systems can be a great fit for many homes, but the best way to determine if it’s the best fit for your home is to work with an expert. If you are considering the installation of ductless air conditioning in Lynnwood, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electric today and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

3 Common Household Electrical Repairs

August 22nd, 2014 by Roger Thompson

The electrical system in a home is incredibly complex, and it can fall prey to a number of different repair needs. Although it’s tempting to try to fix what may seem like “little” electric problems using a few tools like a pair of pliers and electricians’ tape, you should avoid this “do-it-yourself” temptation at all costs. The power coursing through the circuits in your home could cause high voltage shocks and or lead to electrical fires. Only entrust the repair work to licensed electricians from a reliable contractor.

When you need electrical repairs in Lynnwood, WA, look to the company that other people have depended on since 1977: G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We will respond fast to your needs, identify the electrical trouble, and then provide the repair that will keep your electrical system working effectively and safely.

Here Are 3 Common Electrical Repairs We Perform

  • Fixing damaged weatherhead wiring: This is an issue that comes up during stormy seasons, and is frequent around the Puget Sound area because of the high winds. The weatherhead is an outdoor fitting where the overhead power line cables enter a house. If this wiring becomes frayed, it will lead to the lights inside your home flickering as the wind moves the power lines. This will eventually cause shorts to start throughout your home. Only professionals should handle repairs to power lines—and you should never attempt to climb up on your roof during a storm!
  • Electrical panel repair: The circuit breaker panel is an essential safety component for your home, helping to prevent overloaded circuits and electric fires by cutting off the power to the circuits. The circuit breaker panel can wear down or develop loose and frayed wires, which will require repairs from technicians—or possibly a complete replacement of the panel. Call for service if you notice that circuit breakers are tripping more than usual.
  • Repairing and replacing outlets: If you sense heat coming from your outlets, or see charring and discoloration across them, a fire might have started behind them from faulty wiring. Don’t keep using the outlet: call for electricians to fix the wiring and replace the old outlet.

Pay close attention to any signs in your house that there are electrical repair needs: flickering lights, power surges, sparking light switches, acrid burning smells, etc. Turn off the power and immediately call for licensed electricians; you never want to risk injury or a fire.

Our team at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. knows that you will want any of your needs for electrical repair service in Lynnwood, WA taken care of a soon as possible. Call us right away and we will put highly-trained electricians—the only kind we hire—on the job.

3 Signs You Need Repairs for Your Circuit Breaker Panel

August 22nd, 2014 by Roger Thompson

The circuit breaker panel is an essential part of any electrical system. Without one, any increase in voltage along the wiring in a home or business could result in catastrophic damage to appliances and the risk of electrical fires. To defend your home from these dangers, you need to have a circuit breaker panel in excellent condition and not in need of any immediate repair work.

How can you tell if your circuit breaker panel requires professional repairs? There are some signs to watch for, which we will list below. Don’t delay should you recognize any of these warnings, and don’t try to troubleshoot the problem on your own: call for professional electrical repair in Lynnwood, WA and avoid using your electrical system in the meantime.

Since 1977, many residents in the Puget Sound Area have turned to G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for their electrical needs, and we are proud of the excellent service we have provided the community for over 35 years.

3 Signs to Call for Repairs for Your Circuit Breaker Panel

  1. Breakers are constantly tripping: You shouldn’t need to continually go to the panel to reset breakers; a tripped breaker is a rare event when the panel and the electrical system are in good shape. When tripped breakers turn into a regular annoyance, you may have a panel suffering from faulty wiring. The problem could also come from elsewhere in the wiring of your home, so call in a professional electrician to investigate, find the actual cause, and fix it.
  2. Burning odors from the panel: You often won’t see physical evidence of electrical fires that have occurred behind outlets, light switches, and electrical panels. But you will be able to smell the acrid taint of burned wires from fires. If you smell the odor of burning coming from your circuit breaker panel, call for professional repair work right away.
  3. Breakers will not remain reset: After your reset a tripped circuit breaker, it should hold that position. But if you find that resetting it either does nothing to restore power, or the breaker immediately trips again, you either have a bad breaker or a bad panel. Call for a licensed electrician to find out which it is and then take care of the necessary repairs.

Make sure that you stay safe, and your family remains protected from electrical fires and major power outages, with prompt electrical repair in Lynnwood, WA whenever necessary. Only rely on licensed electricians for the work: call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We will provide you with the quality repair work that will remove your worries.

Repairs Ductless Air Conditioners May Need

August 20th, 2014 by Roger Thompson

Ductless air conditioning systems may be easy to install and don’t need ductwork, but at some point they will still need repair. The outdoor unit of a ductless system is very similar to that of a traditional split-system air conditioner, so the real differences in repair work come from the indoor blowers. Ductless air conditioning repairs don’t have to be overwhelming or inconvenient, especially when you call seasoned professionals like the ones at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. Here are some common repairs that can happen with ductless ACs:

  • Condensate leakage – ductless blowers do not have a condensate array like a traditional split-system because there is no indoor unit; there is just a blower. The blower drains the excess moisture (condensate) through a tube to the outside directly from the blower. Sometimes, this tube can become blocked, and water can back up, causing a leak. If not repaired, the wall closest to the leak can be damaged by the excess water.
  • Issues with fans – the fans in the blowers are much smaller than those of traditional split-system air conditioners, but they can still have similar problems. Blades can get damaged, belts can wear and the motors can burnout. Because a few different things can go wrong with these small components, it’s better to let a trained professional inspect any fan problem that may exist.
  • Refrigerant leaks – refrigerant leaks can occur in the indoor and outdoor coils, and also in the refrigerant line that runs from the indoor blower to the outdoor unit; this is one of the ways a ductless AC differs from a traditional system. It’s important to fix refrigerant leaks in any system, and because certification is required to handle refrigerant, you should always use a trained professional.

Ductless air conditioning repairs in Mill Creek offer you the opportunity to keep your ductless AC in optimal shape. If you experience even minor problems with your ductless air conditioner, call and set up your ductless air conditioning repairs in Mill Creek with the experts who can help: G&S Heating, Cooling & Electric, Inc.

The Ideal Situations for a Ductless Air Conditioning Installation

August 18th, 2014 by Roger Thompson

Ductless air conditioning has been around for a while, but initially was mostly seen in commercial properties. Over the last few years, however, it has become quite popular with residential property owners due to some of its unique benefits. While a ductless AC can fit many different types of homes, there are situations where it is ideal. However, for it to work ideally, ductless air conditioning in Lynnwood should only be installed by professionals. G&S Heating, Cooling & Electric, Inc. installs and repairs ductless systems, so turn to us for your ductless AC needs.

Who Should Consider Ductless?

As stated above, ductless mini-split air conditioners can benefit a great many homes. However, there are a few benefits offered by ductless ACs that may work better for some homes than others:

No Ductwork

For homes without ductwork, a ductless system offers whole-home cooling without the expense and hassle of installing ductwork. Ductless ACs use individual, wall-mounted blowers to deliver the cool air. So for older homes with no ductwork, or older homes that would need retrofitted ductwork, this large expense is eliminated.

Can Also Heat

Ductless systems can operate using heat pump technology, providing both heating and cooling. This is because heat pumps have a component called a reversing valve, which allows you to easily switch the direction in which the refrigerant flows.

Easy Expansion

If you plan to expand your property, adding air conditioning to that addition is easy with a ductless air conditioner. There’s no need to install ductwork or to work around challenging architecture; simply install another blower and you’ll have cooling. It should be noted that an outdoor unit can support up to 4 blowers.

Other Benefits of Ductless Air Conditioning:

Here are a few other benefits to consider when it comes to a ductless AC:

  • Energy efficiency – blowers are controlled individually by you, so you can cool only what you need to. Less cooling means less energy use, which can translate to lower monthly energy bills.
  • Customized comfort – many blowers are programmable, and as such, can be set to the temperature you want room by room. This allows for zone cooling but without a ducted zone control system.
  • Easy installation – an outdoor unit, which contains the condenser and compressor, can be placed on the ground, and the blowers are connected to the outdoor unit via a conduit connected to the outdoor unit through an exterior wall. The conduit is only about 3” wide, and a single outdoor unit can support up to 4 blowers.

Want to know more about ductless air conditioning options in Lynnwood? Call G&S Heating, Cooling and Electric, Inc., today and schedule an appointment with one of our installation experts.