Dynamic Mechanical Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning Blog : Archive for November, 2013

The History of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Thanksgiving is upon us: a time to get together with relatives, eat some great food, watch a little football or the parade, and stop to appreciate the good things we have in life. Beyond all that, however, there’s a fascinating history to the holiday and its traditions.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. Records are spotty at the time, but indicate that the harvest was particularly good that year due to help from the local Native Americans. The meal was probably much different than the one we’re used to, with venison and fish more likely than turkey, but the general principle was unchanged.

It wasn’t a few centuries later, however, that Thanksgiving became an annual tradition. George Washington called for a “national day of Thanksgiving” in 1789, and again in 1795, but they were both “one shot” declarations, rather than a call for an annual tradition. Individual cities and states picked up the ball, but it wasn’t until 1863 that Thanksgiving became a national once-a-year event. President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November to be a Thanksgiving “to heal the wounds of the nation and restore it.”

From there, it remained a tradition until Franklin Roosevelt signed a law in December of 1941 making it a federal holiday. The law also changed the date from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November, making it a little earlier in some cases (which Roosevelt hoped would give the country an economic boost).

Wherever you celebrate the holiday and whoever you choose to celebrate it with, we wish you nothing but happiness and joy this Thanksgiving.

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Why Use a Natural Gas Boiler?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

There are many different ways of heating your home in Hartford. Furnaces, boilers, and heat pumps all have their advantages and disadvantages as ways to keep your home warm. Today, we are going to discuss the advantages of choosing a gas boiler.

  • Cost efficiency. Gas boilers are a very efficient way to heat your home, and natural gas is often cheaper to purchase here in Connecticut than other fuels. That results in lower monthly heating bills for the same amount of use: offsetting the cost of installation and saving you money in the long run.
  • Convenience. You can get natural gas directly from the Connecticut Natural Gas Company, saving you the fuss and both of having to purchase more fuel as you would if you had an oil system.
  • Less Maintenance. Going hand-in-hand with convenience is the fact that gas boilers  are relatively simple systems, which require less maintenance than both furnaces and heat pumps. Since they have fewer parts, there is a smaller risk of a breakdown and they require less maintenance (either from you or a service technician) to keep running at optimum efficiency.

If you live in Hartford, you might want to consider heating your home with a natural gas boiler. When you make that decision, talk to Dynamic Mechanical for help. Give us a call to schedule a consultation today!

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Keeping Your Fireplace Safe

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

You probably associate the fireplace in your Hartford, CT home with feelings of family and glowing warmth. A fireplace can be all that—as long as you take the necessary steps to keep it safe. Fireplaces are no more dangerous than any other heating systems, but they require the same amount of care as those systems do to make certain they operate safely.

The most important way to keep your fireplace safe is to keep it clean. There’s a myth about fireplace cleanliness that travels around too widely: “You only need to get your fireplace cleaned about every four or five years.” This isn’t true; you should schedule fireplace cleaning and maintenance once a year, usually before winter arrives and you start using it more. Don’t take our word for it: this is the recommendation of the National Fire Protection Association Standard.

Here are some fireplace dangers and how to avoid them. Call on the fireplace experts at Dynamic Mechanical for help keeping your hearth as safe as possible.

Creosote fire hazards

Creosote is unburned wood energy that shows up as a shiny black residue on the bricks of your hearth and chimney. Creosote is highly combustible, so even a small fire can cause it to suddenly burst into flames and spread fire to places outside of your fireplace, such as the upper floors or the roof. It requires professional cleaning to scrub away creosote and make your fireplace safe again.

Smoke dangers

You already know that you need to keep the flue in your fireplace open when you have a fire going. Keep in mind that other blockages can occur in your chimney that will send smoke billowing into your living spaces, such as an animal nest or a build-up of soot and debris. Cleaning will get rid of the soot, while a cap over the top of the chimney will keep out animals and outside blockages. A chimney cap will also help prevent water damage.

There are other basic precautions you can take to keep you and your family safe: don’t leave fires burning unattended; make sure to keep only non-flammable rugs and other decorations near the hearth; and don’t let a fire burn longer than five hours at a time.

Whether you have a wood pellet stove, gas-logs, or a traditional wood fireplace, you need to make sure it receives annual maintenance and cleaning. Aside from keeping your fireplace safe, this will also help it burn fuel efficiently. If you notice anything wrong with your fireplace, such as excessive creosote layers, don’t wait for the annual inspection: call for repairs right away before you use the fireplace again. Dynamic Mechanical is here to give you the care you need for your Hartford, CT fireplace.

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Tired of Expensive Heating?

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

We know that everyone is looking for ways to save money today. However, many people think they can’t do anything about high heating bills aside from trying to keep the heat shut off as much as they can tolerate. Heating costs money, and that’s it, they think. If you want quality heating, you’ll have to pay for it.

This is a myth, however. You have more tools at your disposal than you think for cutting into those high costs of winter heating in West Hartford, CT. The experts at Dynamic Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning have some tips that will get you energy savings this season. When you need professional assistance for the heating system in your home, get in touch with us and we can find a solution that will keep you warm all the way to spring.

Ways you can save on heating this winter

Install a digital programmable thermostat: Having precise control over the temperature in your home is essential to getting the heat level you want without wasting money. Old manual thermostats with sliders and dials have difficulty detecting accurate temperatures and are hard to set accurately—they often have a 6° margin of error, and according to the U.S. Department of Energy (see below) that can make a huge difference. A digital model will solve this trouble and a programmable model will give you control over your home’s temperature even when you’re not in it.

Set the thermostat to an energy-saving level: Now that you have precision control with your thermostat, keep it at energy-saving temperatures. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that lowering your thermostat 6°-10° for 8 hours each day will give you an 18% annual savings on your heating bills.

Schedule regular maintenance for your heating system: If your heater has not received a yearly check-up and tune-up for a stretch, it will start to wear down and require more power to get the same job done. A malfunctioning heater is an expensive heater; you can keep it in good shape with annual visits from maintenance professionals, and it will reward you with lower bills—and a longer lifespan.

Dynamic Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning offers a Precision Tune-Up as part of our regular maintenance program. Whether you have a boiler, furnace, heat pump, or radiant heating system keeping you warm this winter, we can get it tuned-up to provide you efficient performance all the way to the next check-up. Make heating your West Hartford, CT home easier—and more economical—this winter with Dynamic Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning.

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