Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. Blog: Archive for September, 2013

The Benefits of Oil to Gas Conversions

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Do you want all the benefits of a gas boiler or furnace without the high replacement cost? Have you considered an oil to gas conversion? Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. offer oil to gas conversions for customers in the Washington, D.C. area.

Here are reasons customers would want to convert from oil to gas:

1. Homeowners will save a lot of money on fuel bills.

2. The system will pay for itself through energy savings in just a few years.

3. Natural gas is a much cleaner burning fossil fuel, which is better for the environment.

4. Home heating oil can be smelly, but natural gas is odorless.

5. Homes with natural gas heating systems have higher resale value.

Call Polar Bear today to find out if your existing oil boiler or furnace can be converted to natural gas. The switch can save you money on fuel and natural gas is much better for the environment. Natural gas can also be piped directly to your home, so you never have to worry about fuel deliveries again! Let the expert team at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating, Inc. take care of your oil to gas conversion, increase the potential value of your home, and help you save money on energy costs!

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Arlington, VA Air Conditioning Repair: Not Enough Cooling

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

The convenience of air conditioners is something we often take for granted. Their soothing white noise is part of the unnoticed backdrop of daily life. But you will notice if your air conditioner starts to lose its ability to lower the temperature. If the air from the vents in your home feels warmer than it once did, you might have an AC malfunction that requires repair. When you need work done on your air conditioning system in Arlington, VA, the right place to turn is Polar Bear. Our more than 10 years of experience means we are well equipped to care for home comfort systems.

Here are three common culprits that can impair your AC’s cooling ability and will require repairs:

  • Thermostat issues: The first step to take when you notice a weakening of cooling power in your AC is to inspect the thermostat to see that it is set correctly. A faulty thermostat can cause your air conditioner to turn off at the wrong times or to raise its temperature rather than lowering it. If simply changing the settings doesn’t help, then your thermostat will need repair or replacement.
  • Damaged ducts: If you have a standard air conditioner that relies on ductwork for air distribution, breaks and kinks in the ducts can lead to warmer air seeping inside. If a gap opens in a place where the air temperature is higher than the rest of your home (e.g. the attic or a crawlspace), your AC will draw in this warm air and blow it through the vents. Sealing the ducts with duct tape won’t solve this problem. It requires an expert using mastic sealant or other techniques to properly fix the damage.
  • Icing on the coils: Although you might think getting frost across the indoor coils would help with lowering the temperature, it seriously interferes with the important heat exchange across the evaporator coils and will mean less cool air. Icing often happens because of a leak in the refrigerant, although dirt on the coils can also trigger it. You will need an HVAC technician to diagnose the cause and make the repairs that will get the heat exchange back to normal.

Whatever your problem with getting proper cooling, trust the Polar Bear for reliable air conditioning repairs in Arlington, VA. Call us today to set up an appointment, and we’ll get the job done right the first time.

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Welcome Back to School Safety Tips

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

1219898_75483334Polar Bear Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. is a proud supporter of Capitol Hill Cluster School, Janney Elementary School, Lafayette Elementary School and Murch Elementary School in Washington, D.C. as well as Jamestown Elementary School, Nottingham Elementary School and Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington, VA.  We wish for all of our students in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia an exciting and productive year of learning in the Nation’s Capital.

Now that school is back in session, we can do our part to ensure safety by slowing down, looking around, and obeying speed limits around our schools and bus stops.  We all lead busy lives, but refraining from speeding past a school bus approaching a bus stop may save a child’s life.  Likewise, we can remind our children to wait until the bus has come to a complete stop with the stop sign extended, or until the crossing guard has signaled to them before entering the street or approaching the bus.  For more safety tips concerning walking to school or the bus stop, visit DC Metropolitan Police Department’s School Bus Safety Tips or Arlington County Public Schools’ Tips for Walking to School or the Bus Stop.

Let’s have a safe and rewarding academic year!

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Why You Can’t Afford to Avoid Scheduling Heating Maintenance in Washington DC

Monday, September 16th, 2013

During the spring, Washington, DC is a city of cherry blossoms—but in the winter everything changes. We have our beautiful days and our stormy days, but the low temperature is a constant. You need to have a good heating system in your home to get you through to the next blossom season. If your boiler or furnace fails during the height of winter, you could be stuck shivering until emergency professional repairs can get done. If you live in Washington, DC, it’s vital that you make heating maintenance a priority.

One reason to schedule maintenance as soon as you can is that autumn is a much less busy time for HVAC companies. When winter sets in, emergencies can create a backlog of service calls, and it may take much longer for a technician to get to your home and put your heater back in working order. Experts like those at Polar Bear can give you fast service during the fall, so take advantage of the season.

Maintenance is essential to keeping your heating system working efficiency and effectively. When a technician goes over your system, they will clean all the components and replace any worn or broken parts. This ensures that your system will efficiently heat your home all winter long, saving you money on your utility bills and keeping your home comfortable.

If you skip maintenance, you might not learn if you need to completely replace your current system. This is especially true if you have an older boiler or heater—possibly one you inherited with your home. Do an inventory of all the repairs that you’ve needed to make over the past few years, and then check if your energy bill has risen. Multiple repairs plus high bills could mean it’s time to get a new heating system installed. Because this is more time consuming than most standard repairs, it’s important to have maintenance checks done as soon as possible. If installing a new heater is in your future, a technician can offer advice on which of the many systems is best for your needs.

At Polar Bear, we take pride in the trust we’ve built with our customers. Our specialists will prepare your heater to weather the harshness of a Washington, DC winter with our excellent heating maintenance agreement. Don’t let the winter overtake you before scheduling maintenance with us!

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Alexandria, VA Air Conditioning Tip: Fan Only Mode

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Your air conditioner allows you to feel comfortable in your home, especially in a humid climate. But you don’t want to see your electricity bills climb too high, so you may want to find options to give your air conditioning in Alexandria, VA an occasional break. This can mean a longer life for your system, and that is also long-term major money-saver.

People are often unsure about what the “fan only mode” on their air conditioner actually does. The air that comes out is no longer cool, but is the system using less energy because of it?

The fan only mode means air is still getting pulled into the front of the unit, and the fan then blows it back out into your home. This circulates the air and keeps it from becoming stagnant with the heavy humidity. And yes, it is more energy-efficient and less expensive to run only the fan, since no power is sent to the compressor pump, which is responsible for moving the refrigerant around the air conditioner.

If you are in fan only mode, you still getting the benefit of filtered air. The air passes through the same filters as it does when the cooling elements are operating, and that means higher air quality for you.

Your fan is still subject to damage whether the cooling elements of your AC are turned on or not. The fan blades can incur dents, and the fan belt and motor can also suffer wear. Even if you’re making the effort to conserve energy with the fan only mode, you will still need preventive maintenance. A technician who comes to provide a check-up for your air conditioner examines all the components in it to make sure they receive the care they need to give the unit a long life.

Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating offers maintenance programs to help you keep your AC in shape to cool you off—or just circulate your air. Polar Bear has a wide range: we offer repairs on air conditioning in Alexandria, VA, as well as the general Northern Virginia area. With over 10 years of experience giving our customers the satisfying service they need, we are the people to call to keep your air conditioning system in good health.

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Happy Labor Day!

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

On the first Monday of every September, we celebrate Labor Day in honor of workers everywhere who strive to make our local community and country great. We enjoy the holiday like any other business as a time for BBQ, hanging out with friends and family, and celebrating the end of summer. It also means the start of the NFL and college football seasons.

The origins of Labor Day are disputed, as is the case with many other holidays. Some cite Matthew Maguire, the machinist and secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York, while others cite Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor. Whomever the original founder, by 1894, the holiday had become widely recognized and was designated a federal holiday by Congress and President Grover Cleveland immediately following the Pullman Strike. This strike pitted US Marshals and US Military against employees of Pullman Palace Car Company outside Chicago, as workers sought to protest wage cuts and firing of union representatives. At the time, the holiday was a way of repairing ties with workers and recognizing the importance of their contributions.

Today, we see Labor Day as an opportunity to recognize all the people who work hard to contribute to our county. Thank you, and Happy Labor Day from all of us! 

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