ServiceMax Blog

Help Your Furnace, Water Heater, and Ducts Recover from Flooding

August 14th, 2017

flooded-living-roomThe Chicagoland area, in particular many of the northern suburbs, was hit with severe flooding this summer from heavy rains. Flooding advisories along the Des Plaines and Fox Rivers as well as the North Branch of the Chicago River led in some cases to evacuations and record high flood levels (up to five feet deep in some places) and causing other damage like sink holes.

The flooding and heavy rains are gone now, but that doesn’t mean that everything goes back to normal. Flooding leaves damage to a home and in particular it can harm parts of the HVAC system, such as furnaces, air conditioning, and ductwork. Now that the rains have receded, it’s time to have repair work done to any parts of your home’s HVAC system that may have sustained water damage. Our team has the experts to contact for this service: we have years of experience with the effects of local weather conditions and offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for all of our heating, ventilation, and water heater services in Highland Park, IL and elsewhere.

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Odd Noises That Can Warn You Have an AC in Need of Repairs

July 31st, 2017

shocked-by-loud-noiseOne day in the future, consumers may have access to HVAC systems equipped with powerful artificial intelligence programs capable of diagnosing malfunctions early and altering homeowners to the problem—along with instructions of exactly what’s wrong and how to call a technicians to ask for help.

But we’re not quite there yet. Air conditioning systems can’t self-diagnose, but they do have ways of telling homeowners that something has gone amiss so they know to call for professional assistance. HVAC technicians use good old fashioned “organic intelligence,” i.e. their extensive training and experience, to find out what’s wrong and how to fix it. One of the ways air conditioners tell homeowners there’s a problem is unusual sounds from the system.

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Is a Tankless Water Heater Always a Better Replacement Option?

July 17th, 2017

tank-water-heaterWe may be in the height of summer here in Chicagoland, but there’s one heating system in our homes that must always work on a regular basis, day in and day out: the water heater. The water heater accounts for the largest amount of heat energy used in most homes, and that’s because it serves so many functions around the year. You’ll always need hot water for morning showers and to handle doing dishes and cleaning clothes.

Because of the 12-months-a-year operation of a water heater, a system can start to give out on you at almost any time. There’s no “season” for water heater repairs and water heater replacement! If you find yourself with a failing water heater and are ready to have it replaced, one of the options you’re probably considering is putting in a tankless system. These alternatives to the standard storage tank water heater receive a lot of good press—including from us!—so you might think that going with a tankless water heater in Evanston, IL is automatically the best choice for a replacement.

But it isn’t necessarily! Let’s take a close look at what may be the best option for your home’s water heater.

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What Does “Relative Humidity” Mean, And How Does It Affect Comfort?

July 3rd, 2017

flushed-man-and-fanAt Malek Heating & Cooling, we understand that helping people find ideal comfort in their homes means more than ensuring they have an air conditioning and heating system that will provide the right temperatures around the year. It also means finding the correct balance of relative humidity, keeping the air from becoming too muggy or too dry. That’s why we install both whole-house humidifiers and whole-house dehumidifiers for our customers’ homes.

But what is “relative humidity”? It’s a phrase you’ve probably heard before, yet not known exactly what it means or why it’s important when it comes to comfort. Let’s take a look at this term and why high and low relative humidity can both be problems.

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Why Ice Might Form on Your Air Conditioner’s Evaporator Coil

June 19th, 2017

frozen-glassIf you have some knowledge of how the modern air conditioner works, you may know it’s a refrigerant-based system, working in a similar fashion to a refrigerator. To providing cooling, both systems use chemical refrigerant to absorb heat from inside and move the heat to the outside air. This is why the condenser unit outside your house blows out heated air when the AC is working.

What neither system needs to work is ice. It’s easy to believe ice might be involved somehow—after all, the air conditioner is sending out chilled air—but it isn’t the case. Moving heat from one place to another using refrigerant doesn’t use ice. It shouldn’t create it either.

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4 Ways You Might Spend Too Much on Air Conditioning This Summer

June 5th, 2017

air-conditioner-money-saverYou’ll need to have your home’s air conditioning system running during the summer to stay cool. That’s just a basic part of Chicagoland Survival 101—our summers are hot and humid. Of course, keeping a home cool doesn’t come for free, and you can expect to see a rise in your electricity costs over the summer because of the extra use of the air conditioner.

However, air conditioning bills in homes are often higher than they need to be. Below we’ve listed 4 of the ways you may end up wasting energy with your AC over the summer—and how you prevent them.

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You Need to Know This about Wireless Thermostats!

May 22nd, 2017

thermostat-being-adjustedWhen we’re looking into ways to help you save money on your air conditioning in Evanston, IL or elsewhere in Chicagoland, a piece of advice we frequently offer is to upgrade the thermostat. The manual slider/dial model of thermostat is out of date, and programmable digital models have taken over. A digital thermostat with the basic two programming slots—an inexpensive option when it comes to thermostats—is a tremendous improvement in precision and convenience for an HVAC system.

Then there’s the current height of climate control technology, wireless and smart thermostats. These are models permitting remote access through smart phones, tablets, and computers. The “smart” technology means the thermostat “learns” from the homeowner’s settings to develop its own programs. These are attractive options, and customers often ask about them.

There’s good news and bad news on the Wi-Fi thermostat front, and we’re here to help you be better informed.

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No Cool Air from the AC? 4 Reasons Why!

May 8th, 2017

woman-in-front-of-fan

It’s May, and chances are that you’re already getting some use from your air conditioning system in Wilmette, IL. It may be only a few days during the week for short stretches—we aren’t fully done with the cool weather yet—but it will be enough for you to tell if something major is wrong with the air conditioner. For example, you’ll know when the air coming from room vents isn’t cool when the AC is running.

Obviously, a cooling system that doesn’t actually cool is not much use to you. It’s just acting like a big fan, and that doesn’t help when temperatures climb. There are a number of possibilities for why an air conditioner will lose its cooling power. Some are simple errors that you can correct yourself. Others are more complicated and will require HVAC technicians to diagnose and correct them. And some are serious trouble that place your AC in danger of a major failure, possibly even an early replacement, unless professionally fixed as soon as possible.

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Shutting Down the Furnace for the Warm Season

April 24th, 2017

gas-furnace-burnersWe aren’t fully out of the woods yet here in Chicago as far as cool weather goes. We can anticipate days in the 50s and night sometimes in the 30s for a few more weeks. But it’s about that time of year when air conditioners will run more often, and soon the dependable gas furnace in your Winnetka, IL home won’t need to supply its warmth until the fall comes around again.

But when the time comes to leave the furnace be, you shouldn’t simply forget about it. A furnace should shut down for the summer months.

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Handling the Allergies of Spring with IAQ Solutions

April 10th, 2017

tulips-in-springAs we move into spring, we’re finally going to start enjoying warmer weather. But along with warmer weather comes a spike in the pollen levels. And you know what that means: allergy season! As the cold and wet weather fades, plant blooming leads to an increased pollen count, which is responsible for numerous allergic reactions that can make this season a miserable one. And pollen is only one source for allergies this time of year: mold starts to grow in the wake of the wet weather, creating dangerous mold spores in the air.

There are medical steps people can take to lessen the problems of allergy season. But many homeowners don’t realize they can improve their health during spring allergy season with the proper professional indoor air quality services in Skokie, IL.

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