Command Comfort Blog : Archive for November, 2013

Thanksgiving, 2013: The Presidential Turkey Pardon

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Thanksgiving began in 1621, but didn’t become a national holiday until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared it in hopes of bringing a divided nation together. We have many Thanksgiving traditions in this country, from turkey at the meal to the annual Cowboys and Lions games on television. But one of the most beloved is the annual Presidential turkey pardon, in which the U.S. President “pardons” a turkey to life in a petting zoo rather than ending up as someone’s main course. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, we thought you’d like to know a little more about the history of this fascinating tradition.

Farmers have sent turkeys to the White House as far back as the 1800s, hoping to have the honor of providing the President’s annual meal. There have been scattered stories of individual turkeys being “pardoned” throughout that time, including one in which President Lincoln’s son Tad successfully convinced the president to spare a bird intended for the family’s Christmas dinner.

Starting in 1947, the National Turkey Federation became the official supplier of the President’s Thanksgiving birds. The White House arranged for an annual photo op that year with the President receiving the turkey in the Rose Garden. Sadly, there was no pardon as yet; those birds all ended up on the Presidential table.

The push for an official pardon picked up steam in 1963, when President Kennedy ask that the bird be spared just a few days before his assassination. President Nixon opted to send each of the birds he received to a nearby petting zoo after the photo op, though there was no formal pardon attached.

But it wasn’t until 1989 that the pardon became official. On November 14 of that year, President George H. W. Bush made the announcement, and sent the bird to a Virginia game preserve to live the rest of its life out in cranberry-and-stuffing-free bliss. Since then, every President has held an annual pardoning ceremony, with the lucky turkey spared the axe and sent off to live in peace. Since 2005, the pardoned birds have gone to Disneyland in Anaheim, California where they have lived as part of a petting zoo exhibit in Frontierland.

No matter what traditions you enjoy this holiday, or who you enjoy them with, all of us here wish you a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving weekend.

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A Brief Introduction to Ductless Heating

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

In the current era of advances in home heating technology, homes no longer require an extensive and space-consuming system of ducts for them to receive even and effective heating. Ductless systems have already exited for decades, but they were mostly used for businesses such as restaurants. Within in the past decade, however, ductless systems like the ductless mini split heat pump have made inroads into the residential sector, where homeowners have enjoyed their efficient use of space, energy saving zone control, and air free from the dust that can pollute ducts.

Here is a short guide to how ductless mini splits operate. If this sounds like a system that you would like installed in your home, contact the Long Beach, CA heating service experts at Command A/C and schedule an appointment.

The lowdown on ductless heating

If you are familiar with the operation of a heat pump, or even just a standard air conditioner, then you already know half of how a ductless mini split operates. For those unfamiliar with heat pumps, the simple explanation is that they are basically air conditioners that can reverse the direction of heat exchange and move heat from the outside and put it inside your home.

How the conditioned air gets distributed is what makes ductless systems different from standard heat pumps. In a ductless system, an outdoor unit absorbs heat from the air, and refrigerant then runs through multiple copper tubes to the house. Instead of going to a single unit that then blows the conditioned air through vents, the refrigerant goes to different wall-mounted blower units inside the house. Each of these blowers contains coils to act as the condensers to release the heat indoors.

Because there are different blowers in the house, ductless systems allow the homeowner to control the temperature in individual rooms. This is a superb way to reduce heating costs, since you only need to heat rooms that you are currently using.

Remember: Everything said above regarding heating also pertains to cooling, since a heat pump serves both functions.

Hire professionals

A ductless system may or may not be ideal for your home. Before you make a decision regarding installation, get in touch with HVAC professionals to get their informed opinion. They can look over your house and determine the best way to provide it with heat.

If a ductless system will benefit your house, you can depend on the professional Long Beach, CA heating service of Command A/C to install it quickly and effectively.

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3 Actions You Can Take to Extend the Life of Your Furnace

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Here in Long Beach, furnace repair and maintenance are largely a winter concern. And because our winters are brief enough, we tend to expect our heaters to last a good long time. That’s not unreasonable to assume, but it can’t happen on its own. Like any other appliances, furnaces suffer wear and tear as they go on, and while our mild weather can help mitigate that, the complicity it breeds can cause a lot of problems. By acting proactively and taking preventative steps, you can ensure that your furnace keeps operating for a long time to come. Here are 3 actions you can take to extend the life of your furnace.

  • Get it regularly serviced. At the end of air conditioning season, call in a trained professional to perform a regular maintenance session on your furnace. He’ll clean off the dust and dirt that   have built up on the internal components over the summer, as well as tightening any loose bolts, checking for any potential breakdowns and generally ensuring that it’s running as it should. This will improve efficiency and reduce the risk of larger repairs further on down the line.
  • Change the air filter. The filter screens dust and dirt out of the system, helping to keep it clean and maintain the high quality of your indoor air. A technician can change the air filter as part of his maintenance session, but you should change it more often if you can: once every three months, and more often if you have pets and/or a family member with allergies.
  • Consider additions to help it run more efficiently. See about adding things like a programmable thermostat, which lets you automatically turn the heat off and on at set times, or a zone control system which lets you heat one section of the hose while leaving the rest alone. They cut down on unnecessary use, sparing the furnace added strain.

For more actions you can take to extend the life of your furnace, or to handle repair and maintenance issues of all varieties, contact the Long Beach furnace repair service technicians at Command A/C today. We serve the whole of Southern California, and offer maintenance sessions as a regular part of our service. Pick up the phone and call us today!

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How to Find an Energy Efficient Heating System

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Heating problems in Newport Beach often concern themselves with efficiency as much as straight-up repair. We don’t’ use our heaters for much of the year here on the warm California coast, but when the winters kick in, our heaters are run almost daily. We need them to run smoothly and efficiently in order to get the best value for our money. That process starts the moment we decide to install a system; choosing one with efficiency in mind can save a great deal over the years your heater will be used. Here are a few quick tips on how to find an energy efficient heating system.

It starts with the type of system you’re considering. While traditional centralized gas furnaces make a solid choice, you might want to think about an alternate type of system, such as a heat pump which combines the functions of a heater and an air conditioner into one unit. Heat pumps cost a little more to install, but tend to use much less energy than gas furnace, especially in towns with mild weather like ours. Ductless mini-split systems make for further efficiency, placing multiple units throughout the house and allowing you to heat only those sections that you’re using at the time.

Once you’ve settled on a type of furnace, check the AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating to determine which one is the most efficient. This rating measures the percentage of energy that actually goes into generating heat, instead of being lost to waste or inefficiency. The higher the rating, the more efficient the heater. A handy “cheat” is to look for furnaces with the EnergyStar label, which is only given out to units with AFUE ratings of 90% or higher.

If you know how to find an energy efficient heating system, or even if you don’t, you want an experienced heating services company to install your heater for you. Command A/C handles heating service in Newport Beach, and can provide sound advice before setting up a new system in your home. Give us a call to set up an appointment today.

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