Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC Blog : Archive for January, 2015

Maintaining Temperature and Humidity in a Wine Cellar

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

If, as Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy, so, too, is wine. There isn’t a bad time of year to have wine, and these days sitting in front of a warm fire with a glass of your favorite wine is a wonderful way to end a work week or toast a loved one. But if the wine has turned, your moment of bliss can quickly turn to irritation. How can you avoid this and savor your favorite wines for years to come? With the installation of a wine cellar in your Atlanta home.

Why Install a Wine Cellar?

Wine is a living, breathing entity. Wine has constant chemical reactions happening all the time, which literally change its composition as it ages. Under the right temperature and humidity conditions, wine gradually climbs to a peak, but once it passes this peak, it quickly disintegrates and at some point, becomes undrinkable. It can take many years for a wine to reach its peak, and during that ascent to the peak, the taste of the wine can become better and better. However, light, temperature and humidity can accelerate the speed of the aging, which is not what you want to have happen to your wine. With a wine cellar, you can maintain the right humidity and temperature levels, and keep your wine away from damaging natural and artificial light.

Temperature and Humidity

The best temperature range in which to store wine is between 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining a steady temperature is just as important as the temperature itself as constant fluctuations in temperature can cause the chemicals in the wine to behave adversely and eventually spoil the wine. As far as temperature is concerned, any temperature over 77 degrees can cause the wine to heat up to a point where it “cooks” and becomes sour; if wine freezes, the crystallization allows excess oxygen into the bottle and the wine will oxidize when it defrosts.

Humidity is important to the wine, but it just a little more important for the cork. Corks dry out fairly easily, and when they do, they shrink; this shrinking can allow oxygen into the wine bottle, which will cause oxidation. The best humidity range to maintain for a wine cellar is between 60-75%.

Whether you are an avid collector or just like a good bottle of wine once in a while, a wine cellar for your Atlanta home can help you keep the wine you love for a good, long time.

Call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems and speak to one of our experts about the possibilities of installing a wine cellar in your home.

Continue Reading

Problems That May Occur with a Radiant Floor Heating System

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

No one likes to think about the repairs they may encounter with their heating system, but it’s likely that at some point you will need to call for heating repair in Macon City. If you have a radiant heating system, the repairs you may have to manage will depend at least somewhat on the kind of radiant heating system you have. There are two main types of radiant heating systems – hydronic and electric – and different repairs can develop with each type. As such, it’s best to address this question by breaking down the two types of systems first.

Hydronic

Hydronic radiant heating systems heat via hot water or steam. A boiler is needed to generate the hot water, so a boiler is an important part of a hydronic heating system. The types of repair problems that you may see with a hydronic radiant heating system are:

  • Issues with the boiler – boilers are durable and have fewer moving parts than a furnace, but age can wear a unit down. If the boiler isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, your radiant heating won’t, either.
  • Air lock – just as bubbles can get into the piping and cause an issue with a radiator, they can do the same with the PEX tubing used for your radiant heating. Air lock can cause a blockage in the flow of the steam or water, creating a cold spot where there should be heat.

Electric

Electric radiant heating uses cable that heats when electrified. The cable can be installed directly to subflooring, be installed as part of an electrically-conductive mat or set in cement. Repair problems that can develop with an electric radiant heating system are:

  • Tripping circuit breakers – depending on the size of your radiant flooring space, you may need to upgrade your electric box in order to accommodate the extra electrical load the flooring requires; if you don’t, you could end up with tripping circuit breakers that cut off the electricity and your heat.
  • Uneven heating – should the electric cables suffer any kind of damage or be defective, you could have sections of your flooring that aren’t getting any heat, resulting in uneven heating.

Radiant heating repairs in Macon City should always be handled by a trained expert, so if you are experiencing problems with your radiant heating, contact Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today.

Continue Reading

Solar Products Available for Installation in Atlanta

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

By now, you’ve probably heard about the many environmental benefits of switching your home’s power source to solar. Standard electricity and natural gas consumption contributes to greenhouse gases that pollute the air. Converting your home’s power source to solar energy panels can help you to protect the environment while cutting down on your monthly bills. In fact, you may notice solar energy savings beyond what you expected. When you produce enough solar energy to feed back into the electrical grid, your utility company credits you for the amount of the contribution, so you can actually get money back on your monthly bill. Any of the following products can help you to save money and use energy wisely with solar energy savings in Atlanta.

  • Solar Panels to Power the Entire Home: A whole-home energy system may be a possibility in your home, especially if you’re concerned about saving money from month to month. While the upfront cost can be quite large, the monthly savings should eventually make up for the cost. You can feel good about your environmental impact as this technology produces no hazardous carbon emissions and does not require any extensive drilling or mining to generate power.
  • Solar Air Conditioning and Heating: If you’re not ready to make the switch and power your entire home with solar energy, why not start with some of the biggest energy hogs in your home? The air conditioning and heating system occupies a large portion of your bills, but when powered with solar panels, you may cut your bills in half (depending on average usage).
  • Solar-Powered Water Heater: Conventional storage tank water heaters keep water heated throughout the day, resulting in quite a bit of standby energy loss—energy that is consumed by the appliance but not used. With a solar powered water heater, you won’t have to worry about the energy used to keep the water heated at all times, as this energy comes directly from the sun’s rays.

Not only do these products allow you to save money and feel good about your environmental impact; they’re also generally hassle-free. Solar panels require very little maintenance, and it’s not often that they’ll need repairs.

Call the solar experts at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems to discuss your home’s energy needs and find out about the potential solar energy savings available in Atlanta.

Continue Reading

How Can I Make Sure My New Water Heater Runs Efficiently?

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

Your new water heater installation in Marietta will provide you with the hot water you need for warm showers and washing your dishes. But it doesn’t operate for free, and you want it to last – so what can you do? There are some simple steps you can take to help your water heater run more efficiently while maintaining its ability to provide you with hot water whenever you need it:

  • Add an insulation blanket – an insulation blanket can help cut heat loss from the outside of the storage tank by up to 40%; this can result in energy savings you’ll see reflected in your monthly bill. NOTE: a combustion water heater should only be wrapped by a trained professional.
  • Insulate your water pipes – wrapping foam your hot water pipes helps the water inside them retain heat; this can help reduce your energy costs.
  • Lower the water temperature – if you cap your water temperature at 140F, you can reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your water. Lower temperatures also help reduce mineral build-up in your water tank.
  • Replace the anode – every water heater has a component called a sacrificial anode. This component purposefully attracts the electrolytes that contribute to oxidation (rust). Once the anode is fully rusted, the electrolytes may attack the tank. By replacing the sacrificial anode, you can keep rust and corrosion at bay.
  • Flush bi-annually – sediment and mineral deposits can build up inside a tank; by doing a bi-annual flush of the tank, you can remove these build-ups and restore the tank to optimal working condition.
  • Schedule annual maintenance – during an annual maintenance, your entire water heater is checked and inspected; it is also flushed and the anode replaced if needed. All the heating elements are inspected and any parts that need lubrication are oiled.

Helping your new water heater run efficiently can help lower your energy usage and your energy bills.

If you need more assistance with making sure your water heater operates efficiently, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems today.

Continue Reading

How Does Radiant Heating Work?

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Radiant heating has long been a bit of a secret among homeowners. Though the technique at the core of radiant heating has been used since the Roman Empire was in power, the popularity of forced air heating systems has kept radiant heating somewhat in the background of the heating market. In an effort to dispel some of the mystery around radiant heating systems, let’s take a look at how they work. We’ll also tell you about some of their distinct advantages, and why you may want to consider installing one.

What is Radiant Heating?

The term “radiant heating” refers to a boiler-based system that heats a home by distributing hot water. This may not sound that much different from a water heater, and for the most part it isn’t. The difference is that a radiant system heats an entire room, not just the water coming out of the faucet.

Radiant heating installation involves installing a water pipe network into the subfloor of each room. These pipes are then connected to a central boiler.

How it Works

When the heat is turned on, the boiler heats and distributes water throughout the house. As the hot water flows through the pipes underneath the floor, they transmit thermal energy through the floor and into each room. This is why the system is called “radiant heating,” because the heat radiates up through the floor. The thermal energy is transmitted from object to object, eventually heating the whole room.

Why Install Radiant Heating?

There are any number of reasons to install radiant heating instead of forced air systems. Radiant heating is much more efficient than forced air, both at heating a room and saving energy. Water is a much more efficient thermal conductor than air is, meaning that the radiant system can deliver more heat to a location than a forced air system can.

Radiant systems can also heat a room much more evenly and comfortably than a forced air system. When warm air is blown into a room, it floats to the top. This leaves the bottom half of the room much colder and uncomfortable. Radiant heating moves from the floor upwards, and doesn’t use air as a medium for transmitting heat. This makes the room much more comfortable close to the floor, where people can benefit from it.

If you’d like to know more, call Premier Indoor Comfort Systems. Our heating experts cover all of Canton.

Continue Reading

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at Premier Indoor Comfort Systems LLC hope you have a great start to the year and a fruitful 2015.

Continue Reading