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Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc - Winter 2016

Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Winter 2016 Newsletter

What to Do If Your Heater Leaves Your Holiday Guests Feeling Cold

Modern heating systems have only gotten more and more effective over the years. Like any other

mechanical system, however, any heater can run into operational problems from time to time. Some

times are more convenient than others, of course. When you have guests arriving at your home later in

the day, and your heater just failed, “convenient” is probably not the word that you’d use to describe

the situation.

Fortunately for you, heating technicians are available even around the holiday season. Homeowners

cannot simply be expected to put up with cold temperatures in their homes until regular business hours

resume once more. Before you go scheduling emergency heating services, though, there are a few

things to check on your own.

Using a Heat Pump? Is It in Heating Mode?

First of all, make sure that your heat pump is actually in heating mode. Because heat pumps both heat

and cool homes, it is possible that your system was just accidentally switched over to the cooling mode.

If this is the case, the flip of a switch is all that is necessary to get your heater back to blowing warm air

to keep your guests comfortable.

Did You Double Check Temperature Settings?

No matter what type of heater you use, it is controlled by a thermostat. This may sound obvious, but

you should always double check to make sure that your thermostat is set properly and that the system is

actually in heating mode, rather than a “fan-only” mode. Radiant heating systems don’t use fans, but

you may have accidentally set the thermostat too low, so you are not feeling the desired effects from its

operation.

What About Temperature Zones?

If your heater is zoned—meaning that you can heat different areas of your home to different

temperatures—check each zone to ensure that comfortable temperatures are set. It can be easy to miss

changes in temperatures throughout the house when you are stuck in a hot kitchen all day. You may be

nice and toasty, but any guests waiting for dinner to be served may be a good deal chillier in the den.

Some Problems Will Demand Professional Attention

These are definitely best case scenarios, and there is no guarantee that the issue you’re facing with your

heater is quite this simple. If you cannot find an obvious cause of the problem, then contact your

heating technicians right away. While you focus on getting your guests squared away and dinner on the

table, they can focus on returning your heater to proper operating condition before the winter holidays

start feeling too wintery in your home.

We hope that these tips will help you to deal with any heating issues that you may encounter this

holiday season. Consider this last one a gift from us to you. Schedule routine heating maintenance

before the guests start to arrive. This is not the season for testing your luck when it comes to the

operation of your heater.

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Lighting—Is Yours Safe?

As the end of the year approaches, homeowners throughout the country are gearing up for end of the

year festivities and New Year’s parties, in addition to decorating their living spaces. Whether inside or

out, your lighting and lit decorations can be beautiful additions to your property. But before you plug in

and light up for the holidays, take some safety precautions.

For example, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing holiday lighting, and inspect

light strings to ensure that any damaged strands are discarded. Frayed or cracked electrical cords or

broken sockets lead to fire hazards that you definitely do not need.

Avoid Electrical Overloads

While this is a risk any time of the year, the holidays could potentially increase the hazard of overloading

your electrical system. The electrical panel in your home is only capable of handling so much. Using

multiple power strips and extension cords may seem like a good idea, but you risk putting too much

demand on your circuit breakers.

Power strips aren’t the only risk—you should only plug one high-wattage appliance into each outlet at a

time. If you’re having such electrical problems, it may be time to consider a professional electric panel

upgrade.

Take Care with Outdoor Lighting

Exterior lighting, unlike the lighting you use inside your home, needs to be weather-resistant. The same

goes for extension cords. Also, whether we are discussing holiday decorations or outdoor lighting in

general—if they are labeled “outdoor lighting only,” then keep them outside. They will be too hot for

interior use and will present a safety hazard.

Another factor to keep in mind is whether you have the correct outlets. All outdoor electric lights and

decorations should only be plugged into circuits which are protected by ground fault circuit interrupters

(GFCIs). Fortunately, you do have the option of purchasing portable outdoor GFCI’s, though if you

choose to utilize outdoor lighting year-round, consider having these electrical components

professionally installed.

Professional Advice for Your Lighting

Whatever season it may be, when lighting is done properly, it can have a substantial impact on the

appearance and functionality of your home. The right kind of lights and lighting fixtures can be festive

and look nice, but they are a huge burden to your home’s electrical grid.

With professional assistance, your indoor and outdoor lighting can be installed and maintained without

you ever having to worry about them working safely and effectively. Keep this in mind this holiday

season, and we hope you have a safe and happy end to 2016!

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Proudly serving Washington DC, Arlington, VA, Alexandria, VA, Mclean, VA and the surrounding Northern VA area.

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