Air Conditioning Experts Blog : Archive for December, 2013

The Ball in Times Square

Monday, December 30th, 2013

New Year’s is a time for parties, fun and great traditions, some of which go back more than a century. Among them is the famous “dropping of the ball” in Times Square, an event which is broadcast to millions of people every New Year’s Eve. With 2014 nearly upon us, we thought we’d take the opportunity to look at the history of this popular New Year’s Eve festivity.

The idea began in 1907 at what was then the New York Times building at One Times Square. The newspaper’s owner, Adolph Ochs, had been celebrating the New Year with fireworks since 1903. He wanted make the event even more remarkable, and added the ball in December of 1907 to welcome in the New Year. The first ball was designed by Artkraft Strauss, who made it out of iron, wood, and light bulbs. It took six men to hoist the ball up the building’s flag pole; once midnight struck, the tremendous ball was carefully lowered, and all were allowed to marvel at it.

Since then, the ball has undergone many changes in materials and design, and even the New York Times has moved to another building. But the tradition remains and the ball has dropped over One Times Square ever since. Today, the ball is electronically controlled, and uses LED lamps for its construction: designed by Waterford Crystal and weighing in at over 1,200 pounds.

A number of television broadcasts have helped carry the event over the years, but by far the most famous is “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” which first ran in 1972. The show was created and hosted by Dick Clark, who became a staple of the event as much as the ball itself. Clark hosted the show every New Year’s Eve from 1972 until his death in 2012. Since then, it has been hosted by Ryan Seacrest, who shared hosting duties with Clark starting in 2005.

Whether you’re watching the ball drop on TV or have some other New Year’s Eve plan in mind, we here at Air Conditioning Experts wish you nothing but the best for 2014. Have a safe and happy New Year!

Continue Reading

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Holiday greetings from Air Conditioning Experts! We hope you are having safe and pleasant season, enjoying your favorite traditions for this time of year.  We wish you the very best, and we thank you for your business this year.

In honor of the season, here are some fun facts about one of everyone’s favorite holiday movies: It’s a Wonderful Life.

For years, one of the enduring December traditions in the United States was watching the movie It’s a Wonderful Life playing almost nonstop on numerous television stations. No matter the time of the day, you could turn on the TV set, flip through channels, and discover It’s a Wonderful Life playing. Whenever you needed him, you could find Jimmy Stewart shouting, “Hello, Bedford Falls!”

But now… It’s a Wonderful Life only appears on broadcast television a few times during December, and most families instead choose to watch the movie on video. What happened?

The reason goes back to the film’s initial wide release in January 1947. (That’s right, it opened after the holiday season. It was not even promoted as a holiday film.) It’s a Wonderful Life was a box-office disappointment at the time, and its studio, RKO Radio Pictures, lost more than half a million on it. The movie’s production company, Liberty Films, was sold to Paramount to avoid bank foreclosure. (A bit ironic, considering the movie’s plot.) In 1955, the National Telefilm Associates (NTA) took over the rights to It’s a Wonderful Life, which included the television syndication rights.

However, NTA failed to properly renew the copyright in 1974 because of a clerical error, which allowed the film’s images to enter into the public domain. Although the movie’s plot was still under copyright protection because it was adapted from a published story called “The Greatest Gift,” television stations across the world could now broadcast it with only minimal royalty payments.

In 1993, Republic Pictures, which now owned the NTA library, tried to enforce their claim to the copyright of the film, as they possessed the rights to “The Greatest Gift.” Republic Pictures succeeded, and licensed exclusive television rights to NBC. Suddenly, It’s a Wonderful Life vanished from local television stations, and NBC made the movie’s broadcasts—usually twice during December—into major events. As of 1998, Paramount again has the rights to It’s a Wonderful Life… 43 years after they lost them.

It’s still easy to make It’s a Wonderful Life a part of whatever traditions you observe during the holidays, whether through home video or television broadcasts. Despite its lackluster initial reception in 1947, Frank Capra’s film is now an inseparable part of December in the United States.

Have a great holiday week!

Continue Reading

Why the Most Efficient Insulation May Be the Wrong Choice

Monday, December 16th, 2013

It’s an axiom that too much of anything, even something positive, is bad. Although it might at first seem counter-intuitive, having the most efficient insulation installed in your all walls can the wrong choice.

Insulation acts as a thermal barrier, reducing the conductive power of heat that tries to flow through it. This helps during the summer, keeping the outdoor heat from entering your home, and during the winter, keeping the heat from your HVAC systems trapped inside as much as possible. So why wouldn’t you want the most efficient insulation possible lining your walls and ceilings?

There are a few reasons for this that we’ll explore. For help with your heating, air conditioning, and insulation in Atlanta, GA, look to the company that has served the greater Atlanta area with quality home comfort services since 1995: Air Conditioning Experts.

About insulation efficiency

The effectiveness of insulation is measured as R-value. The higher the R-value, the higher the insulation’s resistance to heat flow. However, you don’t want to have the same R-value insulation installed every place in your home. The attic and rooms with cathedral ceilings will benefit the most from the high R-value insulation, but rooms with thicker walls won’t need as much.

High R-value insulation costs more, so make sure that you aren’t using it in places where it isn’t necessary. For example, for the climate in Georgia you should have insulation with a R-value between 30 and 60 for your attic. For your floors, however, you should have an R-value of around 12 to 15. But this is not just an issue of cost; there are some places in your home where you want a freer flow of heat so that your heating system can more easily distribute warmth. If your house is completely sealed throughout its walls, floors, and ceiling, it will make your heater work too hard.

Have professionals assist you

You don’t want to skimp on insulating your house, but you also don’t want to waste money on expensive insulation that won’t work well for you. Your best option is to contact Atlanta, GA, insulation professionals to assist you in finding the idea way to seal your house against heat. A home energy audit that examines your heating system, current insulation, windows, doors, and other places in your house will help with the decision.

Air Conditioning Experts offers quality insulation installation, and we can help you make the right choice for your home. Contact us today.

Continue Reading

Why the Furnace in Your Dual Fuel Hybrid System Won’t Come On

Monday, December 9th, 2013

A heat pump offers a great two-in-one solution to your heating and cooling needs. But sometimes a heat pump will struggle with extremely low temperatures—and this is where a dual fuel hybrid system can come to your rescue. With a back-up furnace running on natural gas, oil, or propane, your heat pump will have the assistance it needs to combat the occasional icy Georgia winter day—and it will end up costing you much less than having using a furnace alone.

However, you may encounter trouble when your furnace doesn’t turn on when you expect it. We’ll go over some reasons this might occur, and what you can do to get your dual fuel hybrid system working for you once more.

Call Air Conditioning Experts any time of the day or night when you need heating repair in Atlanta, GA. We can get all the parts of your hybrid system working once more.

  • Thermostat issues: The most common reason for the furnace failing to ignite is that the thermostat isn’t telling it that it should. If the thermostat is set incorrectly, it won’t signal the furnace to turn on when the temperature drops too low (the “economic balance point”). The thermostat may have an electrical fault or a miscalibration, which will require professional repair to remedy.
  • Furnace has run out of fuel: If your furnace uses a limited supply of fuel to run (instead of an outside gas line) it’s possible that it has depleted its available oil or propane and cannot power its burners. If you hear your furnace clicking as if it is trying to turn on, yet nothing further happens, check the fuel supply.
  • Malfunctions in the furnace itself: There are many different issues within the furnace that will cause it to stop working. A common reason is the failure of the ignition or pilot light, which will prevent the burners from igniting. This usually requires a professional to remove the burner unit and clean it so that it can function normally again.

Although professional repairs can handle most of these troubles, you can help prevent them from occurring in the first place with regular maintenance on your heating system. Air Conditioning Experts offers more than heating repair in Atlanta, GA; we also have a superb maintenance program: the Comfort Club. You’ll receive two preventive maintenance tune-ups each year, plus a 15% discount on parts and labor. Contact us today to sign up.

Continue Reading

Signs of Wear and Tear on Your Heat Pump

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

In towns like Atlanta, heat pump systems make an attractive alternative to more traditional heating and cooling systems. They work according to the same principles as air conditioners, only the process is “reversible” which allows you to heat your home in the winter as well as cooling it in the summer. Heat pumps can be more expensive to install then some other systems, but they use much less energy, saving you money on your monthly bills. They also work particularly well in areas with mild winters, like here in Atlanta. Like any other mechanical device, however, they do require periodic upkeep as time and frequent use take their toll. Here are some signs of wear and tear on your heat pump in Atlanta.

The easiest sign is to watch for growing monthly bills. As individual components become worn out, the heat pump will work harder to produce, which means it will use more energy. If your monthly bills are going up even though you’re not using the heat pump any more than normal, it’s probably time to call in a repairman.

You can also pay attention to the way the heat pump is functioning and if it appears to be laboring at all. For example, the air it produces may not be as cool or warm as you need it to be, or the air may not be moving through your home as well as it should. These usually speak for a faulty component within the heat pump itself, or perhaps a refrigerant leak somewhere in the system. (In many cases, you can spot a refrigerant leak by the presence of frost on the evaporator coils.)

Whatever the issue, it doesn’t pay to hesitate. The moment you spot signs of wear and tear on your heat pump in Atlanta, shut it off and call in a service professional. He or she can pinpoint the specific source of the problem and get it fixed for you. He or she can also set up a regular maintenance schedule to help keep your heat pump functioning like it should.  Give Air Conditioning Experts a call today to set up an appointment!

Continue Reading