Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Blog: Archive for November, 2012

Washington DC Heating FAQ: Is a Boiler Installation the Best Option for My Home?

Monday, November 26th, 2012

If you are trying to decide whether boiler system is right for you, the Washington DC heating specialists at Polar Bear have are here to help. Aside from the durability of the new high-efficiency boiler systems, heating with a boiler is also a clean and reliable way to heat your home. While there are a few potential disadvantages, overall they are gaining popularity as a viable heating option for homeowners throughout the area.

Hot Water Boiler Maintenance

As with any heating system, a hot water boiler system should be tuned regularly—ideally, once a year, and before the heating season begins. This will help to ensure worry-free and lasting performance from your boiler system. The main components that will need to be checked by the homeowner are the pressure gauge, safety valves, and water levels.

All other routine maintenance should be handled by a professional heating technician. The technician will also check the radiators or other heating elements used in the system. Because there are no air filters to change or ductwork to clean, hot water boilers are ideal for people who want a low-maintenance heating system.

Making an Informed Decision

Whether you are replacing an older boiler or installing a heating system for a new home, always speak with a Washington DC heating contractor you can trust. This will help to ensure that you feel confident about your decision. At Polar Bear, our Washington DC boiler experts are here to answer questions and go over your options. Call us any time if you have further questions or would like a technician to come out and inspect your current heating system.

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Do You Own a Boiler in Washington DC? Here are 3 Common Repairs to Watch For

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Boilers are one of the most popular heating systems in the United States and here in Washington DC. They are typically used with radiant heat systems like hot water radiators or floor and wall radiant heat systems. But like all things, they eventually break down and need repair. That’s why we thought it would be helpful for our customers in Washington DC to know about 3 of the most common boiler repairs that we see.

No Heat

Surprisingly, one of the most common boiler repairs that we get called for in Washington DC is no heat. The main job of your boiler is to create heat so this is obviously a very big concern. If your boiler is gas-fired, check to make sure the pilot light is lit; if it’s electric, check the power cord. Another reason for this is that the pipes to your home are clogged or blocked. This is a problem that a professional heating technician will have to fix.

Not Enough Heat

Another problem that many people experience is not enough heat. This can happen when the thermostat in your home is malfunctioning. Its job is to tell the boiler when to start heating the home and when the home has reached the desired temperature. When the thermostat isn’t working well, it won’t tell the boiler to turn on and the home will receive insufficient heat. Another reason for low heat is that the burner might be dirty. It could also be that the pipes are clogged or blocked and the hot water simply can’t reach your home.

Water Leaks

Water leaks are another huge problem that some homeowners in Washington DC experience. These sometimes start out small but can quickly grow into a major issue. Check the pressure gauge on your boiler regularly. It should read between 1 and 1.5 when there is enough pressure in the pipes. As the water leaks out of the pipes, the pressure gauge will show a loss in pressure. You don’t want the pressure to dip below .5. This type of repair should always be performed by a professional heating technician.

If you’re having any problems with your boiler in your home in Washington DC, call Polar Bear today. One of our trained professionals can come to your home, inspect your boiler and diagnose the problem. We offer a full range of boiler repair services in Washington DC. Call us today!

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Keeping Warm During a Power Outage: Washington DC Heating Tip

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Power outages are a very scary thing—especially when they happen in the winter in Washington DC. With winter approaching, it is a good idea to know how you can keep your family warm when there isn’t any power. We’ve put together a few tips for our customers in the Washington area so they can make sure their family is safe when the power goes out.

Close off a Room

If you’re going to be without power for several days, choose a room as your home base. Close all the doors and windows. Hang blankets on the walls and over the windows. You want to keep as much heat inside the room. Heating one small room is much more efficient that trying to heat your whole home on limited resources.  This will maximize the heat retention for all that body heat that you naturally generate while you sleep.

Heat Source

If you have a gas-fired water heater you can take a warm shower or bath to raise your body temperature. Even if you have an electric water heater, the tank will stay warm for some time after the power goes out. During the day, if there is sunlight, try to sit in the sun as much as possible. Also, try to allow as much sun to entire your house and heat your home.

Extra Clothes, Blankets, Sleeping Bags and Tents

Gather any extra blankets, clothing, sleeping bags or quilts. Your body generates more heat than you think. Conserving that heat is a critical. You can also set up camping tents to help you retain even more heat.

Stay off the Ground

The ground can absorb a lot of your body heat while you sleep. Put down a mattress in your room or sleep on a couch. This will allow you to retain more of your body heat.

If you have any other questions about how to maximize your heat in your Washington home during a power outage, call the experts at Polar Bear. We offer heating services to the Washington DC area!

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Washington DC Furnace Q/A: What To Do If Your Furnace Keeps Turning On or Off?

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Furnaces are designed to last decades without major problems so long as they are regularly maintained.  They typically work so well, in fact, there is a danger of taking our comfort for granted and skipping the annual service from your Washington DC furnace company for a year or two. But regular maintenance will prevent certain problems from happening and help reduce repair costs. For instance, your furnace turning on and off frequently is  a sign of a potential problem.

Possible Problems

A furnace constantly turning on and off could often be a direct result of poor airflow through the system.  Heat builds up and the detectors sense the proper temperatures have been reached and automatically shut down.  In the room, the thermostat calls for more heat and starts the cycle over again.

A relay switch or control valve may also be worn and working improperly.  A crack in the heat exchanger might fuel the flame to burn too hotly and cause the sensor to misinterpret the information and shut down.

These problems not only impede the distribution of heat to the living spaces, decreasing comfort, but also create intense wear on the motor and controls.

Simple Solutions

Restricted airflow can be caused most often by a dirty or clogged filter.  At the furnace, there is usually a panel that can be removed to check, clean or replace the filter.  It is typically a single or series of cardboard and screen panels approximately 1′ by 2′, but varies by manufacturer and furnace output.

A vacuum to pull lint free or compressor to blow it clean are the recommended tools to use a few times each year.  It is a good idea to change the filters at the beginning of each heating season.

The fan belts for the blower may also be worn loose and not pushing the air hard enough to get through the filters.  It is a good idea to check them regularly as well.

Call a Washington DC Furnace Repair Expert

When in doubt, call the experts out.  Scheduling an annual inspection and service with Polar Bear Air Conditioning takes the worry out of living in a furnace heated home.

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