ServiceMax Blog: Archive for July, 2014

Protection for Your Home with Whole-House Surge Protectors

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Power outages can pose serious problems for your home and family, especially if they last for an extended period of time. Some of the reasons for loss of power from the grid include trees falling on power lines, severe wind conditions, lightning strikes, floods and heavy rainstorms, accumulation of ice and snow, accidents due to construction digging, and even interference from wildlife. Using a whole-house generator to shield your home from a long-term outage is wise planning and will provide you with peace of mind during the times of the year when the frequency of outages begins to rise.

Here is something else to consider: many of the above causes of power outages are also sources of massive power surges. You probably already connect the idea of power surges with lightning strikes and downed lines, but any event that could cause an overload of the power grid or a loss of power could also send a huge power surge into your home that could cause damage to appliances, especially precision equipment like laptops and home entertainment systems. A small power strip at an outlet can offer some protection from this, but not always.

At Malek Heating & Cooling, we advise that homeowners look into whole house surge protectors in Skokie, IL as an adjunct to their new generator installation. These systems installed into your electrical panel will guard your electrical system from both outside power surges as well as any malfunction that might occur with the generator. It will also help with the smaller surges that can occur without you realizing it, and which contribute to slow wear and tear on appliances.

These smaller surges are worth looking at a little closer, because many homes suffer from them. Whenever a large appliance in your home (such as a refrigerator or air conditioning system) makes too large a demand on the electrical circuits, it causes a momentary imbalance that sends a power surge through the lines. If you notice lights flickering whenever a powerful appliance turns on, then you are dealing with a power surge.

Worry about power surges is another reason that you must have professionals install your whole-house generator. If an amateur picks the wrong size unit of generator for your needs, the generator could cause a dangerous power surge in your home when it comes on, knocking out your lights and other appliances and possibly damaging them so that even when the power is restored, they won’t come back on.

Keep Malek Heating & Cooling in mind when you are thinking about whole house surge protectors and generator installation in Chicago, IL. Let our trained technicians know about your generator needs: we will keep your family out of the dark. Give us a call today.

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Subpar Indoor Air Quality? Is Humidity the Problem?

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Maintaining great indoor air quality in Chicago, IL can be more difficult than you may initially expect. There is a lot that can go wrong with your indoor air quality, and the problems may be the result of environmental conditions which are simply beyond your control. While you may not be able to change the catalyst of your IAQ issues, though, there are plenty of tools to help you improve conditions within your home. Give Malek Heating & Cooling a call today, and we will help you to determine the best way in which to boost your indoor air quality. The culprits in such situations differ on a case to case basis, but humidity is one common issue that homeowners grapple with.

Humidity can go either way, meaning that too much or too little of it can be equally problematic. Whole house humidifiers and dehumidifiers are certainly your best chance of resolving humidity problems in your home effectively and efficiently. Just remember that such equipment must be installed and serviced by a professional IAQ technician. Before you even get to that stage, though, you must determine what, if any, the problem with your humidity levels are.

Very humid air has some pretty serious implications for your indoor air quality. You may find that there is a lot of condensation throughout your house, on your windows or exposed pipes and bathroom fixtures. You may also notice damp spots on your walls or carpeting, as well as aggravated respiratory issues. Humid air is conducive to biological pollutant growth, so this is a problem that you want to resolve as soon as possible. If you notice any of these conditions in your home, a whole house dehumidifier may be necessary.

Because very dry air is just as problematic as overly humid air, you should also know some of the warning signs that a whole house humidifier is needed. Splitting wooden furniture or floorboards, dry, itchy skin, aggravated allergies, and sore throats or sinuses are all signs that your air is too dry. To ensure that you have the right amount of humidity in the air, a whole house humidifier just cannot be beat.

To learn more about the problems that inappropriate humidity levels can lead to, contact the IAQ pros at Malek Heating & Cooling. We are more than happy to help you enjoy improved indoor air quality in Chicago, IL. Call us today for more details.

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Tank vs. Tankless Water Heaters: Some Pros and Cons

Monday, July 21st, 2014

You want to get the best performance that your water heater can possibly offer, right? Well, if you are looking for complete satisfaction from your water heater, you need more than just a great system. You must also ensure that you are using the type of water heater that best suits your needs and usage preferences. That is tougher than it may sound, considering how many options are available today. We are going to discuss some pros and cons of two of the most popular water heater options: tank and tankless models. If you have any further questions regarding water heaters in Chicago, IL, or if you are ready to schedule any water heater services, just call the pros at Malek Heating & Cooling.

When most people envision a water heater, they probably think of the tank models that so many of us grew up with. These do tend to be the most popular of all water heaters even today, despite a few drawbacks. These systems maintain a reservoir of heated water at all times. Due to heat transfer from the tank to the air outside of it, some energy loss is inevitable with such systems. Today’s tanks are more efficient than ever, though, and you can also add insulating jackets to water heater tanks in order to boost efficiency even more. The fact remains, though, that your system will need to continually heat that water to some degree as heat is lost. The major benefit, though, is that there is always a ready supply of hot water.

Tankless water heaters, as you’ve probably guessed, do not use storage tanks. Instead, they heat water on demand, as it is called for at different points of use. This is great for increasing energy efficiency and eliminating heat loss. However, it does take a moment for the water to heat up, and such systems can be overwhelmed if hot water is called for at different areas throughout the house. You can supplement your water heater with additional units, but this is a bit of a costly endeavor.

Ultimately, there is no such thing as the perfect water heater. There is one that is best suited for your needs and preferences, though, and we aim to help you find it. Give us a call today to learn more about available water heaters in Skokie, IL.

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Why Schedule Professional Air Duct Cleaning?

Monday, July 14th, 2014

The ductwork upon which you depend to distribute heated and cooled air throughout your property must be kept in outstanding condition if you hope for your heating and cooling system to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Because your ductwork is largely hidden from view and is quite inaccessible, though, you may not always realize immediately that there is a problem with its condition. That is why you must familiarize yourself with some of the warning signs that service is needed. Here is some information about the importance of air duct cleaning in Chicago, IL, why it must be completed by a professional technician, and ways in which you can spot the need for such service. Call Malek Heating & Cooling for more details.

Only a qualified technician has the tools and training to complete your duct cleaning thoroughly and effectively. You cannot just walk around from vent to vent with a role of paper towels or a vacuum cleaner. Your air ducts must be accessed, special agitating tools used, and a powerful industrial vacuum is needed for cleanup. Don’t risk damaging your air ducts attempting to open them up, only to find you lack the proper tools for the job anyway. Hire a professional duct cleaning technician.

There are a number of signs you may notice which can indicate the need for professional duct cleaning. For instance, you may find that your home is dustier or dirtier than usual. Allergy symptoms may also be aggravated, and it is even possible for heating and cooling efficiency to suffer. When dirt and dust build up on vital components of your system, your HVAC equipment is going to have to work harder than it should have to. To learn more about spotting the need for professional air duct cleaning, give us a call.

The benefits of cleaning your ductwork are many, provided that the job is done by a trained technician. Indoor air quality can be improved upon, as can your comfort. You may even be able to save money on energy costs, all while knowing that your HVAC equipment is protected. If you suspect that it is time to schedule air duct cleaning in Skokie, IL, Malek Heating & Cooling is the company to call.

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3 Benefits of Routine Air Conditioning Maintenance

Monday, July 7th, 2014

At Malek Heating & Cooling, we know just how important your comfort is. That is why we are so happy to ensure that your air conditioning system is in the best working condition possible. When you hire our fine technicians to handle your routine air conditioning maintenance in Skokie, IL, you can count on a truly outstanding performance from your air conditioner. When the temperature soars, you’ll be happy that you did so. If you are unconvinced, for any reason, that routine air conditioning maintenance is worth it, we have some information that we’d like to share with you. These are just a few of the benefits that you will enjoy as a direct result of scheduling professional air conditioning maintenance.

First of all, regular maintenance is the best way in which to keep your air conditioning system operating as efficiently as possible. If any component within this system is not working properly, the performance of the system as a whole will suffer. This means that issues as simple as inadequate lubrication can wind up costing you money in increased energy costs. We believe that you deserve better than paying top dollar for a subpar home cooling performance. When you allow us to thoroughly inspect and tune up your air conditioner, you won’t have to worry about such issues.

Another great benefit of professional air conditioning maintenance is the fact that it can help to prevent damages to your system. When you force an air conditioner that is not in great condition to operate, the strain put on the system can result in damages. Maintenance will keep your system in great shape, and it will also afford your technician the opportunity to catch problems with your system before they can develop into serious issues.

Finally, you can ensure that you get the longest, most productive lifespan possible from your air conditioner when you ensure that it is properly cared for. Many problems with your AC can be repaired. However, it is always going to take a toll on your system to allow these problems to develop. Routine air conditioning maintenance in Skokie, IL makes it easy for you to protect the condition of your air conditioner, as well as its longevity and efficiency levels. Call Malek Heating & Cooling for more information.

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Denmark Also Celebrates the Fourth of July

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Maybe an elementary school teacher tried to trip you up with this test question: “Do other countries have a Fourth of July?” If the teacher had phrased the question as, “Do other countries celebrate the Fourth of July?” you would be less likely to slip up and answer “no.”

Except… and your teacher probably didn’t know this at the time… there is another country that celebrates the Fourth of July. They don’t celebrate a holiday that happens to fall on July 4 (there are quite a few of those spread across the globe), but they actually celebrate U.S. Independence Day.

That country is—Denmark.

Every July 4, in the Rebild Region in the north of Denmark, thousands of people gather in Rebild National Park to hold the largest Fourth of July celebration outside the U.S.A., an events known as Rebildfesten. This tradition has continued for over a hundred years now, starting in 1912. The origins of this unusual celebration is that in 1911 a ground of Danish Americans purchased the 140 acres of the parkland between the woods in Rold and the Lindenborg stream. The next year, they deeded the land to the Danish King and people of the country as a memorial to Danish Americans, under the condition that the place remain undeveloped, open to the public, and used to celebrate U.S. holidays. Today, the park also hosts a museum on the history of Danish immigrants to the U.S., housed inside a log cabin.

This display of solidarity with the U.S. is because of the country’s warm welcome of 300,000 Danish settlers who were among the earliest to migrate across the seas. The celebration continues as sign of the long friendship between the two nations.

Since its inception, the celebration has hosted famous speakers such as the members of the Danish royal family (the queen and princess both attended for the 100th anniversary), Walt Disney, Keith Carradine, and Richard Chamberlain. The festivities actually start two days earlier, but on the fourth is when the major parade is held (which marches over 3 miles from the train station) and the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra performs a selections of music from both countries.

Although we doubt you will be celebrating your Fourth of July in Denmark this year, we at Malek Heating & Cooling hope you have a fantastic Independence Day.

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