Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

3 Common Heating Repairs

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

cold-couple-on-couchWith the winter weather wearing you down, you need to know that you have a comfortable environment waiting for you back home. That means having a heater that is capable of heating your house in an effective and dependable manner. But the truth is that no heating system is ever going to be 100% reliable. If and when your heater needs repairs, contact a member of our team right away.

Ideally, you’ll have your heater repaired before it really suffers any major damages or breaks down entirely. Not every repair need is going to be something major, but all repairs do need to be handled promptly. Here are a few of the more common issues that homeowners encounter. Let us know if you require heating repair in Washington, DC.

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How Do Boilers Heat Water?

Monday, October 30th, 2017

mittens on radiatorThere are a number of different heating systems that homeowners may choose to use in their homes. The furnace is certainly among the most popular, but boilers are right up there with them. Boilers require a bit more work during the installation process, though, particularly when it comes to the way in which they distribute heat.

You should not let this fact dissuade you from using a boiler in your home, though, especially when you take into account the benefits of using a boiler to heat your house. If you’re thinking about replacing a heater, or if you want to install a dependable system in a brand new home, give us a call. A boiler in Washington, DC may be just what you’re looking for.

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Are You Struggling with Dry Air in Your Home?

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Just when you think you’re out, winter pulls you back in. March is a tricky time of the year, with some of the most unpredictable weather of any season hurtling our way. We’re definitely approaching Spring, though, so now is a good time to think about what issues you may have experienced in your home during this past winter, so you’re not in for repeat issues when the winter cold descends upon us again. One problem that many homeowners struggle with in the winter is extremely dry air in their homes. 

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Is Your Heater Short-Cycling?

Monday, February 27th, 2017

heater-being-servicedWe’re moving into March in just a few short days. Leaving February behind often gets homeowners thinking about the coming spring season, and the heat of summer that follows. We know that winter has been a challenge for everyone in our area, but we must warn you not to get too far ahead of yourself. While warmer weather is definitely on its way, your heater still has plenty of work to do in the weeks that lie ahead.

That is why you really cannot afford to overlook any warning signs that something is wrong with your heating system, even if it is somewhat late in the season. You may be tempted to force it through the remainder of the heating season, and just to deal with repairs once it is out of regular use. Doing so can have a number of negative consequences for your budget, your comfort, and your heater itself, though. One sign of trouble with your heater in Washington, D.C. is short-cycling.

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How Hard Water Affects a Boiler

Monday, January 18th, 2016

If you use a boiler to heat your home throughout the most bitterly cold time of the year, then you don’t need us to tell you just how successful an endeavor this can be. Boilers are not as popular as they are, after all this time, by chance. They are efficient, effective, and highly durable home heating systems. However, this does not mean that you can expect your boiler to be completely problem free. A boiler is a mechanical system, and all mechanical systems are subject to operational problems from time to time. One issue that can negatively impact your boiler in Washington, D.C. is hard water. 

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Problems Air Conditioning Maintenance Addresses

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Here in Washington DC, air conditioning maintenance is more than just a luxury. Considering the amount of heat and humidity we get in an average summer, your A/C unit needs to function at peak capacity in order to keep your home comfortable. A regular maintenance session from a trained professional can be a key part of making that happen. Air conditioning maintenance addresses a lot of little issues such as dirty components and loose fittings, while checking for any potential problems that might pop up down the road.

  • High costs. Dirt and dust on the interior of your air conditioner will increase friction and clog air flow. That forces the air conditioner to work harder to do its job, which not only increases wear and tear but raises your monthly bills in the bargain. Air conditioning maintenance improves your system’s efficiency, helping you save money on cooling costs this summer.
  • Too little cooling. When refrigerant levels aren’t at a certain point, your air conditioner can’t do its job like it’s supposed to. Frost will form of the evaporator coils and the cooling capacity will be reduced. Not only will that force the air conditioner to work harder, but you won’t feel the cool air as much as you should: reducing overall comfort levels and making your home a less pleasant place to be.
  • Problems to come. Big problems usually start out as small issues, which can come in any one of a variety of forms. A maintenance visit is a chance for an expert to spot them when they’re still manageable and schedule a repair session to deal with them properly. This can save you a great deal of money as well as reducing the risk of a breakdown.

The experts at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., know all about the problems air conditioning maintenance addresses, and for customers in Washington DC, maintenance services don’t come any more thorough and professional than ours. Pick up the phone and give us a call today to schedule an appointment!

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What Qualifies a Boiler for the ENERGY STAR Label?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

When shopping for a heating system for your home, one of the main criteria you should use to help you select a unit is efficiency. The more efficient a furnace or boiler, the more you can expect to save on your energy bills. You will also help with energy conservation and protecting the environment.

One of the easiest ways to tell that a heater is energy-efficient is to look for the ENERGY STAR label. (And yes, it is trademarked in ALL CAPS; we’re not yelling at you.) In this post we’ll explain what the ENERGY STAR label means and how a boiler in Washington, DC can qualify for one.

To find great installation on an efficient ENERGY STAR boiler, contact Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. We’ve kept the nation’s capital warm since 2001.

The ENERGY STAR label and boilers

In 1992, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy instituted the ENERGY STAR standard for products created in the U.S.A. Appliances, ranging from HVAC systems to computer peripherals, that use on average 20–30% less energy than the federal requirement earn the ENERGY STAR label to show they go beyond the minimum in an effort to conserve energy and save consumer dollars.

According to the ENERGY STAR website, for a boiler to qualify for the label it must have an AFUE rating of 85% or greater. This means that the boiler burns at least 85% of the fuel available to it and converts it into heat. So for every 100 units of fuel, the boiler must generate 85 BTUs of heating, wasting only 15% of its fuel. Features of ENERGY STAR boilers that help them reach this level include: electronic ignition, which means no standing pilot light drains extra power; advanced combustion technology that draws more energy from the fuel supply; and sealed combustion that reduces drafts.

Some boilers are even more efficient

Keep in mind that 85% is the minimum to receive the ENERGY STAR labels. There are models with even greater efficiency. When you are searching for a boiler in Washington, D.C. to keep you warm through the winters and other cold days of the year, look first for the ENERGY STAR label, but also check on the AFUE rating and consult with an installation professional to make sure you are getting the right boiler for your needs.

Trust to Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. when it comes to putting a new boiler in your home. We offer a wide range of services for boilers and other heating systems.

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How Electric Ignition Works on a Gas Furnace

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

If you installed a gas furnace for your heating in Washington, DC, instead of an electric one, it was probably because of the savings you receive using natural gas, a more economical power source than electricity. However, if you have a modern gas furnace, it still needs a small amount of electricity to run. The key electrical system in a gas furnace is the electric ignition, which we’ll examine in detail.

The two types of electronic ignition systems

Gas furnaces originally used standing pilot lights to ignite gas burners (and you’ll still find older models that use pilot lights). However, because standing pilot lights consume extra power to stay lit, they reduce furnace efficiency. The new electric ignition systems require only a small amount of electricity and do run continually. This is one of the reasons that new furnaces have higher efficiency ratings.

There are two types of electric ignition systems in gas furnaces:

  1. Furnace intermittent pilots – This system does use a pilot light; however, the pilot light comes on only when needed and an electric spark activates it. When the thermostat calls for heat, high voltage sent through the igniter causes a spark that ignites the pilot, and it supplies sufficient heat to turn on the burners. The pilot light shuts off when the burners do.
  2. Hot surface igniters  This is the more common system, and requires no pilot light at all because the ignition generates enough heat to ignite the burners. They are made from silicon nitride or silicon carbide and operate similar to light bulbs: current passes through them and causes their surface to turn hot. A sensor detects this heat, and then opens the gas valve to send natural gas to the burners. The heat from the igniter activates the gas jets. These igniters are durable and dependable, although they will need replacement at some point during the furnace’s lifetime. Make sure you have regular maintenance for your gas furnace so your technician will know when to change the igniter.

Maintenance Is Key

Gas furnaces are safer today than ever before, and it is partially thanks to electric igniters. But don’t let your furnace go without yearly maintenance: keeping those igniters working their best is how you know your furnace is working its best. Contact Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. to sign up for our maintenance program for your heating in Washington, DC.

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Washington, DC Heat Pump Tip: Why Your Heat Pump Isn’t Heating

Monday, October 28th, 2013

If you have a heat pump installed in your home, you’ll expect it to fulfill both sides of its heating and cooling bargain: air conditioning during hot weather, heating during cold weather. With the chilly temperatures now crawling up on us in Washington, DC, you might find that your heat pump is failing on the “heat” promise. What might cause this, and what can you do to get the heat levels you need?

Polar Bear handles Washington, DC heat pump installation, repair, and maintenance—we know what sort of problems you may encounter with the heat pump in your home, and we are ready to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Why you might not get heat from your heat pump

Before investigating any possible serious malfunctions with your heat pump, make sure that you have it set correctly. Check the thermostat to see that the pump is in “heating” mode, not “cooling.” Make certain that the current programming in the thermostat (if you have a digital, programmable model—and you should) isn’t causing it to shut off at the wrong time.

There is the possibility that the thermostat has developed a fault and is sending the wrong instructions to your heat pump: this is a common occurrence, but one that technicians will have little trouble addressing.

If the heat pump is experiencing issues, the likely reasons are a malfunctioning reversing valve or compressor. A heat pump needs two compressors and the reversing valve to change from air conditioning to heating.

Another possibility to consider is the temperature outdoors. Heat pumps draw heat from outside to warm your home. Even when it’s cold outdoors, there is still some heat available. However, at extreme cold temperatures, heat pumps will struggle to operate efficiently. This will become noticeable when the outdoor temperature drops below 35°F. Then your auxiliary heat will turn on to keep your home comfortable. However, if there is an issue with your electric resistance coils, then your heat pump will not be able to heat your home.

Another issue can be the defrost cycle. When the heat pump is absorbing heat from the outdoor air, ice can form on the evaporator coils. Usually, your heat pump will have a defrost cycle that runs periodically to melt this ice and allow your heat pump to function. However, if there is a problem with your defrost cycle, the ice can build up on the coils and prevent them from absorbing the heat from the air.

Heat pumps won’t work for all homes and all weather conditions. If you discover that your heat pump isn’t malfunctioning and simply cannot cope with the extreme cold, you may need to get a replacement model, a larger heat pump, or a back-up system.

Heat pump repairs require service from professional HVAC technicians. If you can’t explain why your heat pump has stopped giving you heat, contact us right away. With more than a decade of experience, we can find out the source of the problem and devise a solution that will restore your warm indoors as quickly as possible. Give your Washington, DC heat pump the finest care— call Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating!

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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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