ServiceMax Blog: Archive for October, 2014

Some Common Boiler Repair Needs

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Boilers have many significant advantages when it comes to keeping a home warm through even the harshest Illinois winters. One of them is they usually need fewer repairs than other heating systems, such as furnaces and heat pumps. The reason for this is that it requires a small number of mechanical parts—the components that wear down quickest from use—to circulate hot water from a boiler throughout a house to radiators and baseboard heaters.

Of course, you cannot expect a boiler to run 100% free from repairs, and it’s important to schedule regular maintenance for a boiler to prevent malfunctions. On occasion, no matter the precautions you take, you may need to call for heating repair in Winnetka, IL to fix an ailing boiler. Malek Heating & Cooling is here to provide you with excellent service for boiler repairs whenever you need them, any time of the day or night.

Here are some of the more common boiler repairs:

  • Fixing the circulator pump: This is one of the mechanical components in a boiler, and therefore a part that will start to decline over time. The pump handles moving hot water from the tank and sending it through the pipes to terminal points around the house. If the circulator pump breaks, it will need repairs (or replacement) to restore the boiler’s operation.
  • Repairs to the expansion tank: If you look at your boiler’s water tank, you’ll notice a small cylindrical tank attached to a pressure cage on top of it. This is the expansion tank that maintains water pressure inside the boiler and helps prevent the pressure from spiking. But should the membrane in the expansion tank break, it will place the tank in danger of high water pressure, which can lead to numerous problems. It requires professionals to handle repairs to the expansion tank.
  • Flushing the system: Sediment can sometimes begin to build up inside the boiler tank because of underground breaks in the piping. This build-up along the bottom of the tank may cause the boiler to overheat or develop corrosion. Technicians will flush out the water from the system to clean it.
  • Sealing leaks: This is probably the most common trouble a boiler can encounter. Leaks from old pipes or at poorly soldered connection (a frequent trouble that stems from low-quality initial installation work) will start to cause water damage in your house and lead to a boiler losing its heating capability. Professionals will track where leaks are occurring and seal them or replace the pipes.

Never wait when it comes to calling for boiler repairs: the problems will rapidly worsen if you delay, and the possibility of water damage or completely losing your heating are simply too high for you to risk. To ensure that your boiler has a long service life, call for a skilled heating repair service in Winnetka, IL and throughout Chicagoland from Malek Heating & Cooling. Our professional services will restore your cozy home environment. Contact us today to set up a service appointment.

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Some of the Benefits of Air Duct Cleaning

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Winter is on its way, so it’s time to start preparing your HVAC system for the heating season. Scheduling annual maintenance is always important, but what about your ductwork? When was the last time you scheduled professional air duct cleaning in Evanston, IL? It’s recommended that ductwork be professionally cleaned every 3-5 years, so if it’s been longer than that since your last cleaning, call Malek Heating & Cooling and schedule a cleaning appointment with one of our experts.

Reasons to Schedule Duct Cleaning

There are a few reasons to consider scheduling duct cleaning before winter:

  • Improved indoor air quality – dirt and dust will build up in your ductwork over time. These contaminants enter the airflow and are delivered directly into your living spaces. This can be particularly problematic for allergy sufferers.
  • Increased energy efficiency – a large enough build-up in your ductwork can lead to air flow restriction, which can force your HVAC system to work harder. By removing the build-up with a professional air duct cleaning, you can regain energy efficiency you may have lost.
  • Less stress on your system – the air flow in your home circulates, so dirt and dust don’t just stay in your vents, they also coat other parts of your system. Dirty, dusty components can’t work as well as they should, which puts stress on your system. Removing the dirt and dust from your vents can greatly reduce the amount of dirt and dust that enter other parts of your system.

Why Do I Need a Professional?

Duct cleaning involves far more than just vacuuming the registers and the easily-reached parts of your ductwork. With a professional duct cleaning, your entire system is accessed and cleaned, using a variety of specialized tools and professional-grade vacuums. There is also special storage for contaminants collected during the cleaning process.

With a professional duct cleaning, you can improve your energy efficiency, comfort and indoor air quality. Call Malek Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

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How Insulation Makes Your Home More Energy Efficient

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Insulation in Skokie isn’t just about keeping your home warm during winter; it’s about making your home energy efficient all year long. This is why it’s important to have good insulation in your home from top to bottom. The main job of insulation is to slow the transfer of heat, which is important for both heating and cooling your home efficiently. If you are concerned about the level of insulation in your home, call the professionals you can trust: Malek Heating & Cooling.

Why Insulation Is Important for Energy Efficiency

There are 3 ways in which heat moves through your home:

  • Convection – the way heat circulates through liquids and gases
  • Conduction – the way heat moves through materials
  • Radiation – heat that travels in a straight line and is absorbed by anything exposed to it

Heat will always move toward colder environments; this is a basic law of thermodynamics. As such, during the winter, your heat will want to travel toward cooler spaces; insulation slows this process considerably. During the summer, heat tries to move into cooled indoor areas, and insulation helps prevent this heat transfer.

Without proper insulation, your HVAC system will have to work harder, whether it’s cold or warm outside. Any time your system has to work harder, it uses more energy. Good insulation helps to retain the air in your home, lessening the load on your system.

Types of Insulation

There are four main types of insulation, and they can be used in combination with each other to maximize insulation capability:

  • Batt insulation (roll insulation) – the most common type of insulation, typically rolled out in layers on floors and in walls.
  • Foam board/rigid foam insulation – stiff board insulation that is best used in walls, ceilings and floors.
  • Loose-fill insulation (also known as blown-in) – made of 100% recycled materials, loose fill is great for retro-fitting older homes needing more and better insulation.
  • Spray foam insulation – a very popular choice, spray foam is an adhesive that when sprayed, expands up to 100 times its size. Spray foam forms an air-tight seal wherever it is applied.

Good insulation in Skokie can increase your energy efficiency and comfort, and reduce stress on your HVAC system. Call Malek Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment with one of our insulation specialists.


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How Professionals Perform Air Duct Cleaning

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Duct cleaning involves a lot more than just vacuuming the dust you can see. Unfortunately, unless you hire trained, experienced and certified professionals to perform your duct cleaning, you cannot expect a thorough cleaning of your air ducts. Professional air duct cleaning in Wilmette involves the use of professional-grade tools, a thorough, deep-cleaning of your system and proper removal of contaminants. Duct cleaning offers several benefits, but unless the cleaning is done correctly, you may not see these benefits. When you hire the trained professionals at Malek Heating & Cooling to clean your air ducts, you can be assured that your ducts will be cleaned the way they should be.

Professional Tools

There are several kinds of tools your technician may use to clean your air ducts:

  • HEPA professional-grade vacuums, both truck-mounted and hand-held
  • Mechanical brushes
  • Pneumatic tools
  • Visual aid tools
  • Access tools

How Duct Cleaning Is Performed

Here is a general overview of what happens during a routine duct cleaning appointment:

  • All furniture and registers are covered to protect them from blowing dust
  • The technician will make a thorough inspection of your system
  • The ductwork will be opened at various access points
  • The first major vacuum will occur (usually with the truck-mounted vacuum)
  • A second inspection will be conducted
  • The smaller, harder-to-reach areas will be cleaned
  • Any sticking debris will be removed
  • A final inspection is performed to ensure all the ductwork has been cleaned
  • Access ports will be closed
  • Protective coverings removed
  • All vacuumed contaminants will be removed from home

Benefits of Duct Cleaning

  • Improved air quality – any dust, dirt and debris in your ductwork will blow directly into your home with each cycle of your HVAC system. Removing these contaminants during cleaning helps to significantly increase your indoor air quality.
  • Better energy efficiency – significant build-up in your air ducts can restrict air flow, which puts stress on your HVAC system. Properly cleaning your ductwork allows the air to move freely, which helps to increase energy efficiency.
  • Less wear on your system – a system that operates under stress for any reason, including dirty ductwork, can age your system prematurely, or cause malfunction and/or breakdown. Maintaining your ductwork with professional cleaning reduces the level of wear on your system.

It’s recommended that ductwork is cleaned every 3-5 years. If it’s time for you to schedule air duct cleaning in Wilmette, call the people you can trust to do it correctly: Malek Heating & Cooling. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

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Why Boilers are a Good Choice for Heating in Winnetka, IL

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

When you think about heating systems, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably a furnace. Forced air systems have been the norm throughout the country for some time, and boilers have become less and less common. That isn’t necessarily a good thing. A boiler system has a number of advantages over a traditional forced air system. Read on to find out why you should consider upgrading to a boiler system this year.


A forced air system loses roughly 30% of its heat to duct leaks in transit from the furnace to the vent. A radiant heating system loses almost none of its heat in transit. This is due to the leak-resistant tubes that circulate the hot water throughout the house. Forced air systems can also create uneven heating striation in a room.

When heated air is pumped through a vent in a room, it immediately rises to the ceiling. Once it cools, it descends to the floor. This creates cold spots where the upper part of a room is warm while the lower area is still quite cold. Radiant heating solves this by transmitting heat through solid objects. As things like chairs and couches absorb heat from the walls and floor, they transmit this heat to the occupants of the room. This ensures that the room is always heated evenly and without striation. A radiant system can also improve your indoor air quality.

Air Quality

When a forced air system circulates air throughout the house, it also carries any particulates that may be present in the air. Allergens, viruses, bacteria, and dust can be spread around your house in this fashion. A radiant heating system does not circulate, and so completely avoids this issue. If you have allergies, or get sick often during the winter, this could be a major benefit to you.

If you are thinking about upgrading to a boiler system, call Malek Heating & Cooling. We offer professional heating services in Winnetka, IL.

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