Downtown Air and Heat Blog : Archive for December, 2013

New Year’s Eve: The Tournament of Roses Parade

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

The East Coast has their own traditions for New Year’s Eve, notably the dropping of the ball in Times Square to signal the beginning of the New Year. We have our own traditions here on the West Coast, and with 2014 almost upon us, we thought we’d take a closer look at one of the biggest: the Tournament of Roses Parade.

The Parade is held every year on New Year’s Day, save when January 1 falls on a Sunday (in which case it is held on the 2nd). Tradition holds that they don’t host it on a Sunday in exchange for God preventing rain on the parade, though it has actually rained ten times since the first parade. It all began in 1890, when members of the Pasadena Valley Hunt club organized and staged it on Colorado Boulevard. Their parade consisted of horse carts covered with flowers, followed by a series of athletic events (including races and polo matches). Football was first added in 1902, when Michigan beat Stanford by a score of 49-0. The football tradition was dropped for a few years, but came back in 1916 for good. The game has traditionally featured the champions of the Big 10 and Pac 10 Conferences, though teams from different conferences have appeared from time to time.

As for the parade itself, it soon added motorized floats, marching bands and equestrian units to its array of features. A “Rose Queen” is chosen every year from the ranks of Pasadena girls ages 17 through 21, along with six princesses to serve as her court. 2014’s Rose Queen is high school student Ana Marie Acosta. A Grand Marshall is chosen every year as well, and has previously included such varied luminaries as Walt Disney, John Wayne, Dwight Eisenhower, Hank Aaron, George Lucas, Charles M. Schulz, Kermit the Frog, and Fred Rogers. The Grand Marshall for 2014 will be legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully.

Wherever you are and however you choose to celebrate New Year’s Day, we here at Downtown Air and Heat wish you nothing but the very best. May 2014 bring you all good things, and may your New Year’s celebrations – in whatever form they take – be happy, safe and fun for your entire family. Happy New Year!

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Longer Days Ahead: Why Winter Solstice Is a Reason to Celebrate

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Holiday greetings from all of us at Downtown Air & Heat!

December is a time of celebrations across the globe, despite the cold weather that affects much of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, the cold weather is one of the reasons that it is so important for people to embrace celebrations of light, color, food, and warm drinks—what better way to cheer up during a time of short days and low temperatures?

There is another reason to feel joy at the end of December, regardless of your religion or culture: an astronomical event called winter solstice.

Four astronomical markers divide the seasons on planet Earth: two solstices and two equinoxes. Equinox (a combination of the Latin words for “equal” and for “night”) is the point in Earth’s orbit when its axis is parallel to the Sun. Solstice (from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still”) is the point in orbit where the Earth’s axial tilt points toward the Sun. During the equinoxes, which occur at the start of spring (vernal equinox) and fall (autumnal equinox), the periods of day and night are the same length. During the solstices, which occur at the start of summer (June solstice) and winter (winter solstice), either day or night is at its longest period. June solstice is the longest day of the year; winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year.

Occurring on the 20th or the 21st of the month (this year it falls on the 21st), winter solstice marks the official beginning of winter, but also the point at which the days start to grow longer once more. The sun, which has dropped lower in the sky since the June solstice (June 20-21) and reaches its lowest point above the horizon on noon on winter solstice, once again begins to rise.

From the earliest human prehistory, people have recognized the winter solstice as an important event in their lives. When winter survival was difficult for early human societies, the sight of the sun beginning to rise in the sky once more was a symbol of hope and a reason to celebrate.

(All of the above applies to the Northern Hemisphere of Earth. The equinoxes and solstices flip in the Southern Hemisphere. For example, in Australia, Christmas is a summer holiday.)

However you commemorate and observe this time of year, we hope you and your family have a joyful and safe season!

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Warning Signs You Need Duct Repair Service

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Ductwork presents a challenge for homeowners: It is vital for providing you with comfort from your air conditioner and heater, and it must stay in good repair. But yet you don’t see it most of the time and have difficulty accessing it.

Getting access to your ducts is actually quite easy: just call duct repair experts to take on the job. But how do you know you need to call them if you can’t see your ducts? This list of signs that you require repair and duct sealing in Orlando, FL should help.

Something else that will help: a call to the Orlando, FL ductwork experts at Downtown Air & Heat!

Signs to call for duct repair:

  • A sudden increase in your energy bills: Whether you are currently using your ducts for air conditioning or heating, if you notice a leap in your power bills that you cannot explain, then it is possible that duct work damage has caused it. Breaks in ducts will cause a loss of heat/cooling, and your home comfort system will need to work harder to achieve its set temperature, resulting in those elevated bills.
  • Unusual odors from the vents: When breaks occur along the length of your ducts, they will start pulling in air from sections of your home that have little ventilation: spaces between walls, the attics, crawlspaces. These areas often contain heavy amounts of dust and dry, stuffy air. If you detect unexpected odors wafting from the vents, it is likely because of unseen breaks.
  • A decrease in your air quality: If you start to notice symptoms that resemble the common cold—dry throat, itchy eyes, running nose, headaches—and develop irritation from dry skin, then the issue may not be from germs, but from a drop in your air quality due to ducts contaminated with dust. Broken ducts will draw in dust from those same closed spaces that cause the unusual smells. If you have people in your home with allergies to airborne pollutants, pay close attention if their symptoms suddenly begin to turn worse.

Put away the duct tape and call the experts!

No, you can’t repair broken ducts using duct tape; duct tape wasn’t even invented for this purpose. You need to call professional duct technicians, who can safely access your ducts and apply repair methods such as mastic sealant and any necessary replacements to get your ducts in proper shape once more.

For professional duct sealing in Orlando, FL, call up Downtown Air & Heat. Our NATE-certified technicians will get the job done right the first time, and just in case, we guarantee all our work for one year. We also perform duct cleaning and duct sanitizing so you’ll have the cleanest ducts on the block.

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3 Signs You Need Professional Duct Cleaning

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

This is an unfortunate reality of modern life: we spend approximately 85% of our time indoors, and the quality of the air trapped inside modern, almost sealed indoor environments is far below that of the outdoors. (According to the EPA, it can be up to 100 times worse!)

One of the major contributors to low indoor air quality inside homes is contamination within ductwork. Regular duct cleaning will help improve the time you spend in your home, which is a major part of that 85% of your indoor time.

Downtown Air & Heat takes your indoor air quality seriously. Not only do we install purifiers and dehumidifiers, but we also perform professional duct cleaning and sanitizing. Our NATE-certified ductwork technicians will give your ducts the cleansing they need to give you high indoor quality air.

3 signs to call for Orlando, FL duct cleaning

This trio of warnings will tell you that your ducts have become contaminated with dust, dirt, pollens, dander, hair, or biological pollutants:

  1. You notice foul odors coming from your vents. Many contaminants that can develop inside your ducts will create unpleasant smells. You may also notice a burning stench, which usually means dust has infiltrated your heating system’s cabinet.
  2. The power bills start to climb for no obvious reason. The more contaminated your ductwork becomes, the more resistance the contaminants will create to the airflow from your heater and air conditioner, forcing them to overwork. Watch for spikes in your bills when nothing else seems to be wrong—it might indicate filthy ducts.
  3. Dust builds up in your home, and no cleaning you do seems to take care of it. This can indicate that your ducts aren’t helping you keep your living spaces clean, but are instead wafting dust in along with the air.

Call for professional duct cleaning

Your ducts are difficult for you to access on your own, and the dirt, dust, and other contaminants inside will not come out with a broom or a rag soaked in cleaner. Duct cleaning is a specialized field that requires an array of professional tools like environmentally-safe sanitizers and UV germicidal lights. Summon professionals with the proper certifications for this job, and you’ll have the peace of mind that your ducts are the cleanest they can be.

Downtown Air & Heat has extensive experience with ducts, from designing them to fixing and cleaning them. We guarantee our work for 1 year and are always available around the clock for emergencies. Get started with duct cleaning in Orlando, FL today with Downtown Air & Heat.

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How the Size of Your Ductwork Can Affect Your Heating

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

The ducts are a key part of your heating (as well as cooling) for your home. If you have a furnace or a heat pump keeping you warm during the Florida winter nights, then ductwork is the way you receive the toasty warm air from your HVAC system.

However, homeowners usually don’t think much about their ducts and tend to take their work for granted because their construction keeps them mostly out of sight within walls and ceilings. It’s easy to imagine that the design of the ducts doesn’t make any difference: ducts are ducts.

But poorly designed and sized ducts can present problems for your heater and end up costing you extra on your heating bills while bringing you substandard performance. Having properly sized ductwork is important if you want to get the most out of your heating system. For custom design ductwork in Orlando, FL, call up the experts at Downtown Air & Heat.

The importance of ductwork size

If you had your heating system professionally installed, the technicians sized it to fit your home’s heating specifications. But if your ducts are too large, they will cut into the effectiveness of a properly sized heater. Overlarge ducts will cause low air flow, which in turn will lead to uneven heating throughout the house. But ducts that are designed too small are also a problem: they will restrict air flow and result in a noisier system overall.

How major is this impact on your heater’s performance? Studies have shown that improper ductwork design and sizing can cause as much as a 60% loss of heating efficiency and effectiveness. The more your heater struggles to overcome flawed ductwork, the more it will wear down. You will end up spending more on your energy bills, and eventually more on repair bills.

Rely on professional duct design and repairs

If you have ducts that are giving you problems because of poor sizing and design, you should call in ductwork design specialists. Usually, you won’t need to have all your ducts ripped out and replaced (although that is occasionally necessary if the original job was amateur); the designers will find places where they can improve performance with replacements.

Our NATE-certified Orlando, FL ductwork service technicians at Downtown Air & Heat are also trained in airflow. They can analyze the issues in your airflow and pinpoint where they need to repair and replace your ducts. You can trust to the job we do: we offer a 1-year guarantee on our work.

If you need to enhance your heater’s performance through better ductwork in Orlando, FL, call Downtown Air & Heat.

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