G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Archive for August, 2014

The Very First Labor Day Celebration

Friday, August 29th, 2014

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.

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How Geothermal Systems Benefit the Environment

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

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.

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What Are the Components of a Ductless Blower Unit?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

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.

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3 Common Household Electrical Repairs

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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.

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3 Signs You Need Repairs for Your Circuit Breaker Panel

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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.

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Repairs Ductless Air Conditioners May Need

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

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.

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The Ideal Situations for a Ductless Air Conditioning Installation

Monday, August 18th, 2014

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.

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Should I Really Call an Electrician for Smoke Detector Installation?

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Smoke detectors were once an additional feature for homes, now they are a necessity that every home needs to have for early warnings of danger from fires and increases in carbon monoxide. But a smoke detector that isn’t well installed or maintained is essentially useless: a smoke detector that fails to come on when it’s supposed to is no help to you.

Calling for electricians in Shoreline, WA to handle the installation of smoke detectors for your home is a smart idea that will make sure you have the peace of mind of a system guarding your family’s safety. Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. for setting up smoke detectors, as well as other home safety and security appliances like whole-house surge protectors and generators.

Why Hire a Professional for Smoke Detector Installation

One of the best ways to know that you can depend on your smoke detector when it’s needed (while hoping that you never need it) is to have it hard-wired into your home’s electrical system. This way it won’t depend on batteries that can run out. The smoke detector will still require batteries as a back-up in case of a power loss, but you will have the extra security that you can’t get from a standard battery-powered system.

These smoke detectors that are hard-wired into your home’s 120V household electrical circuits will need connections to other detectors in the house (if you have more than one). All the units will sound off simultaneously should one of them detect smoke or a rise in carbon monoxide.

Not only will professional electricians manage all the wiring to install and connect the multiple smoke detectors, they will also take care of getting the necessary permits to run the electrical cables or install a circuit on the breaker panel to provide power for the detectors. Professionals will see that everything is up to the local electrical code. (Ironically, poor installation of smoke detectors can lead to fire hazards.)

Make certain that your smoke detectors receive regular inspections and maintenance after they are installed. The same electricians who performed the installation will also take care of seeing that the system is always ready to guard your family against the dangers of house fires.

G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. has skilled electricians in Shoreline, WA to install, maintain, and repair smoke detectors. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and we can go over your options for hard-wired smoke detectors.

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Why DIY Air Conditioning Installation Isn’t a Good Idea

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

DIY can seem easy for anyone when you watch it on TV, but the truth is that many home and property projects are not good choices to do yourself. One type of home project that is better left to a professional is air conditioning installation. Since 1977, G&S Heating, Cooling & Electric, Inc. has helped customers with air conditioning installation in Shoreline.  We’ve seen first-hand the many problems that can arise from DIY AC installations. Before you move ahead with installing your own air conditioning, consider the following reasons why it’s better to use a trained professional.

DIY Can Cost You Money

There are a few ways DIY can cost you more money than hiring a professional:

  • You miss out on special savings – professional HVAC companies purchase equipment and components at lower rates, and these savings can be passed on to our customers.
  • Mistakes can be costly – air conditioning systems are complex, which leaves a lot of room to make mistakes. Mistakes can cost you money, which may add up significantly.
  • Incorrect sizing – purchasing the wrong-sized air conditioner is a common problem with DIY due to incorrect cooling load calculations. Trained technicians know how to correctly calculate cooling loads, ensuring you install the right-sized air conditioner for your home.
  • Safety – air conditioning systems are electro-mechanical appliances, meaning they are not just mechanically sophisticated, they are also electrically complex. In addition, they need refrigerant to run, a chemical that requires a special certification to handle. Unless you are extremely knowledgeable about all of these things, you may be putting yourself and your home at risk.
  • Expeditious installation – professional HVAC technicians install air conditioning systems every day. As a result, they have a level of speed with installation you most likely can’t match.

Always Call an HVAC Expert

It’s important to save money, but when it comes to DIY versus hiring a professional, you need to take a very close look at what you’d really be saving when handling certain home-based projects on your own. Air conditioners are complex systems that require a lot of knowledge and experience for proper installation; if you don’t have it, it may be time to consider using a professional.

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electric, Inc., today and schedule a consultation with one of our installation experts.

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Can I Keep Up with Fuse Box Repairs or Should I Upgrade?

Friday, August 8th, 2014

If your home has a fuse box, it means it has older wiring. This is not automatically a bad thing—the wiring put in was up to code at the time of installation—nor does it mean your home is unsafe. If the fuse box malfunctions, you can choose to have it repaired instead of replaced with an upgrade to a circuit breaker panel.

However, is this actually the best choice? You may wish to look into replacing the aging fuse box with a new electrical panel. We’ll explain why this might be the better option. For a professional opinion as well as the necessary electrical system repairs in Mill Creek, WA, contact G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. We have many years of experience working with fuse boxes and circuit breaker panels.

Switching From Fuses to Circuit Breakers

A fuse box and wiring can wear down over time like anything else in a home. If your house is old enough to have a fuse box, chances are strong that it and the wiring are starting to deteriorate and will begin to malfunction more and more often. You can expect to require a larger number of repairs, and in the long run it isn’t worth it to keep patching up a fuse box and aging circuitry.

An old fuse box will also have trouble keeping pace with growing household energy demands. When the fuse box was first put it, there were lower voltage demands on the circuits in most houses than there are today. Your home likely uses more power than it did only 10 years ago, and the fuse box may not be enough to handle this higher power load.

Finally, fuse boxes are simply less convenient than circuit breaker panels. Instead of replacing fuses when they get blown, you only have to reset the tripped breaker.

Replacing a fuse box with a circuit breaker panel does more than simply tear out one component and put in a new one. The wiring around the panel will probably also need to be replaced with upgraded wiring so that it matches the capacity of the new installation.

Keep that old wiring in mind as well. This might be a good time to schedule a whole-house re-wiring to go along with the circuit breaker. This will bring your home up to current electrical code requirements, offer more efficient power, and lessen issues from outages.

We strongly urge homeowners who still have fuse boxes to make the change to the modern electrical panel.

Call on G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. to help you make the choice and then perform the installation work so you can avoid unnecessary electrical system repairs in Mill Creek, WA in the future.

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