G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Archive for December, 2013

New Year’s Eve: The Tournament of Roses Parade

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

The East Coast has their own traditions for New Year’s Eve, notably the dropping of the ball in Times Square to signal the beginning of the New Year. We have our own traditions here on the West Coast, and with 2014 almost upon us, we thought we’d take a closer look at one of the biggest: the Tournament of Roses Parade.

The Parade is held every year on New Year’s Day, save when January 1 falls on a Sunday (in which case it is held on the 2nd). Tradition holds that they don’t host it on a Sunday in exchange for God preventing rain on the parade, though it has actually rained ten times since the first parade. It all began in 1890, when members of the Pasadena Valley Hunt club organized and staged it on Colorado Boulevard. Their parade consisted of horse carts covered with flowers, followed by a series of athletic events (including races and polo matches). Football was first added in 1902, when Michigan beat Stanford by a score of 49-0. The football tradition was dropped for a few years, but came back in 1916 for good. The game has traditionally featured the champions of the Big 10 and Pac 10 Conferences, though teams from different conferences have appeared from time to time.

As for the parade itself, it soon added motorized floats, marching bands and equestrian units to its array of features. A “Rose Queen” is chosen every year from the ranks of Pasadena girls ages 17 through 21, along with six princesses to serve as her court. 2014’s Rose Queen is high school student Ana Marie Acosta. A Grand Marshall is chosen every year as well, and has previously included such varied luminaries as Walt Disney, John Wayne, Dwight Eisenhower, Hank Aaron, George Lucas, Charles M. Schulz, Kermit the Frog, and Fred Rogers. The Grand Marshall for 2014 will be legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.

Wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate New Year’s Day, we here at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. wish you nothing but the very best. May 2014 bring you all good things, and may your New Year’s celebrations – in whatever form they take – be happy, safe and fun for your entire family. Happy New Year!

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Longer Days Ahead: Why Winter Solstice Is a Reason to Celebrate

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Holiday greetings from all of us at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.!

December is a time of celebrations across the globe, despite the cold weather that affects much of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, the cold weather is one of the reasons that it is so important for people to embrace celebrations of light, color, food, and warm drinks—what better way to cheer up during a time of short days and low temperatures?

There is another reason to feel joy at the end of December, regardless of your religion or culture: an astronomical event called winter solstice.

Four astronomical markers divide the seasons on planet Earth: two solstices and two equinoxes. Equinox (a combination of the Latin words for “equal” and for “night”) is the point in Earth’s orbit when its axis is parallel to the Sun. Solstice (from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still”) is the point in orbit where the Earth’s axial tilt points toward the Sun. During the equinoxes, which occur at the start of spring (vernal equinox) and fall (autumnal equinox), the periods of day and night are the same length. During the solstices, which occur at the start of summer (June solstice) and winter (winter solstice), either day or night is at its longest period. June solstice is the longest day of the year; winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year.

Occurring on the 20th or the 21st of the month (this year it falls on the 21st), winter solstice marks the official beginning of winter, but also the point at which the days start to grow longer once more. The sun, which has dropped lower in the sky since the June solstice (June 20-21) and reaches its lowest point above the horizon on noon on winter solstice, once again begins to rise.

From the earliest human prehistory, people have recognized the winter solstice as an important event in their lives. When winter survival was difficult for early human societies, the sight of the sun beginning to rise in the sky once more was a symbol of hope and a reason to celebrate.

(All of the above applies to the Northern Hemisphere of Earth. The equinoxes and solstices flip in the Southern Hemisphere. For example, in Australia, Christmas is a summer holiday.)

However you commemorate and observe this time of year, we hope you and your family have a joyful and safe season!

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Reasons You Should Upgrade Your Fuse Box

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Electrical systems have been a part of people’s homes for well over a century, and have undergone a great deal of changes over the years. Older, more unpredictable systems were replaced by technological breakthroughs that made electricity safer and more reliable to use. Among those innovations was the move away from old-fashioned fuse boxes and towards a newer circuit breaker system. Most homes have breaker boxes instead of fuse boxes, but in Shoreline, WA, electrical systems go back far enough so that some homes still use the old-fashioned fuse box. If your home is among them, you need to replace it with a circuit breaker box as soon as possible. Why? Here are a few reasons you should upgrade your fuse box

  • It may not be up to code. Washington State and the federal government have strict codes on the use of safe wiring. Even if your box is up to code, it might not be safe, especially if it’s particularly old or damaged. Electricity is nothing to play around with and if your fuse box present a safety hazard, then you need to upgrade it for the safety of your household.
  • It’s inefficient. Every time a fuse blows, it needs to be replaced with a new one: a time-consuming process that requires some electrical know-how. Breakers, on the other hand are designed to be used multiple times: restoring the power is simply a matter of flipping a switch in the box, rather than removing and replacing a blown fuse.
  • It can improve the value of your house. Older wiring systems tend to be a drag on resale price, since they reflect poorly on the safety of the house. A new system not only provides more reliable electricity, but can improve your home’s resale value, perhaps even offsetting the cost of installation in the process.

In Shoreline, WA, electrical installations and upgrades can be conducted by the experts at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We can discuss reasons you should upgrade your fuse box, then perform the operation with efficiency and care. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment!

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What You Need to Know About Geothermal Installation

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Geothermal heating is an innovative and efficient means of using the ambient temperatures in the earth to heat your home. The temperature of the ground doesn’t change, no matter how warm or cold it is in the air. A geothermal system runs coils of fluid through the ground to facilitate a heat exchange, which can then be used to heat your home. The cost of installation can often be high, but the system usually costs much less to run from month to month, saving you a great deal of money in the bargain. In North Seattle, geothermal installation is a viable option to heat your house. Here’s what you need to know about geothermal installation.

  • Ground space. A geothermal system can be buried horizontally (with the pipes spread over a watch patch of ground about 4 to 6 feet deep) or vertically (with the pipes sunk down shafts from 100 to 400 feet deep). They might also use an open-loop system which takes advantage of a pond or similar body of water on your properly. The one that works best for you depends on how much space you have on your property.
  • Soil composition. The composition of the soil will play a large role in geothermal installation. A soil composition that favors heat transfer will require fewer coils than one without, and the amount of water in the soil plays a considerable role as well. Areas with rocky soil may benefit from vertical coils more than horizontal coils.
  • Cost benefits. There’s no getting around the fact that geothermal installation costs a great deal up front. It helps you to estimate exactly how much the system will save you in month-to-month costs, and whether you can expect your property value to improve.

For more of what you need to know about geothermal installation, or to set up an appointment to discuss your options, contact the experts and G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We can take care of geothermal installations in North Seattle, and similar issues in communities throughout the area. Let us know how we can help; we’ll make sure you’re satisfied with every step of the process!

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Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Call for Heating Repair Service

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Heating in Lynnwood, WA can be a big concern in the winter months, when our weather gets wet and the temperatures drop. Even so, some people end up waiting to call a repair service when something goes wrong with their furnace or boiler. The holidays can make everyone’s time precious, and unless he heater is actively malfunctioning, it can be easy to defer repairs in favor of food, presents and family members arriving from out of town. That can often be a mistake, especially in the middle of heating season when you need your heater the most. Here’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t wait to call for heating repair service.

  • Larger repairs. A small problem such as a loose bolt or a clogged line won’t necessarily stop your heater from working. It will just make it work harder to do its job: increasing strain on the unit and thus increasing the chances of a larger repair bill in the future. The sooner you deal with the issue, the better the chances of avoiding a higher cost not too far down the line.
  • Lower efficiency. Similarly, a damage or faulty components will force the heater to use more energy in order to do its job. His means that your monthly energy bills will likely be higher the longer you take to address the problem: a sort of “repair tax” that costs you money unnecessarily.
  • Timely use. As we intimated earlier, heaters sometimes break down at the worst possible time: when a major storm is coming through or a cold front drops temperatures severely. Getting the heater fixed quickly – especially if the weather is fairly mild – means that it will be ready for action when you really need it.

There are other reasons why you shouldn’t wait to call for heating repair service, but they all boil down to the same factors: saving you time, money and aggravation. To address issues with heating in Lynwood, WA, contact the experts G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We have years of experience behind us and we won’t stop until you are completely satisfied with our work. Call us to set up an appointment today!

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What Are My Lighting Options?

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Having proper and well-designed lighting for your home means improved safety, better living, and reduced energy costs. If you have lived for years with the same lighting inside and outside your home, you might consider options for upgrading it. There are more possibilities for home improvement than you may have realized.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has on staff professional electricians and lighting experts who can help you pick out new lighting for your home—indoors and outdoors—and install it in no time at all. Seek us out for your electrical upgrades in Woodinville, WA.

Some options you have for lighting

  • Improved outdoor lighting: If you drive home every night to a dreary and gloomy house exterior, imagine how much more pleasant it would be if it were lit to give it an attractive face to the world. But having better outdoor lighting is about more than just creating an inviting look. It improves safety along walkways, paths, stairs, patios, and pools for you and your guests. It also discourages crime and vandalism. You’ll enjoy much more time outdoors with lighting that allows you to stay out after the sun has gone down. And if you’re planning to eventually sell your home, improved outdoor lighting increases its value.
  • Energy-efficient lighting: If you don’t think you need to give your house a complete lighting facelift, you can still benefit from new installation with energy-efficient LED lights. Up to 25% of your home’s energy budget goes to lighting. A LED light is small but highly effective, lasts up to 10 times longer than fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, does not create extra heat, and uses a third less power to run.
  • Softer bedroom lights, brighter bathroom lights: You can make your bedroom more pleasant, with better light for reading, without creating unpleasant glares. You can also brighten up your bathrooms—rooms that require stronger light for safety—with expertly designed new lights.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has experience designing and installing outdoor lighting and indoor lighting for many different rooms. We will work with you to create a lighting scheme that will meet your needs, whether for safety, efficiency, or beauty—or all three. When it comes to lighting options in Woodinville, WA, we are one of your best options.

For all your Woodinville, WA electrical needs, call the professional electricians at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

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