Don’t Miss These Top 6 Spring Activities in Seattle

Spring is arguably the best season in Seattle. The emerald city begins to bloom to life as the rain starts to finally break and events start to kickoff. At Cardinal Heating & A/C, we’re committed to your comfort and part of that means getting out there and being social. We know that people tend to hibernate during the rainy winter in Seattle, so that’s why we put together a list of can’t miss spring events in Seattle to help break locals out of their winter shells.

Celebrate Earth Day

Seattle is a mecca for green living and eco-friendly practices. This is why there is so much to do for Earth Day. First, you can connect with nature with free entry into Washington’s 5 national and 281 State parks. Next, you can give back by joining the Student Conservation Association at the Washington Park Arboretum to help revitalize the park. For a bit of storytelling, come to the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center for both Native and non-Native stories and music from world class storytellers. Lastly, don’t forget to break a sweat at Seattle’s Earth Day Run with a 5k, 10k or 15k run.

Bang on some drums at the World Rhythm Festival

Stop by the World Rhythm Festival at the Seattle Events Center on April, 28th through the 30th. You get to experience a whole world of music and participate in drum and dance workshops. Friday is family day, Saturday night is a dance party and Saturday and Sunday will feature performances and workshops all day.

Watch the whales

You haven’t had the true Seattle experience until you’ve been misted by an orca. The Puget Sound is the perfect place spot whales. While you’re island hopping, don’t forget to look out for our national bird, as bald eagles are also a common site in the springtime.

Sample wine

You don’t have to go to Napa Valley to quench your thirst with a number of wine tastings and events taking place in Seattle throughout the spring. Discover the hidden gem that is wine grown locally in the Pacific Northwest.

Catch a flick

Seattle hosts three major film festivals in the spring, all perfect for both the casual and avid moviegoer. The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY), Seattle International Film Festival and Rainier Independent Film Festival, all take place in the spring for those days where the rain just won’t let up.

Honor Cinco De Mayo (the right way)

Dubbed, “Tacopalooza”, Seattle’s largest taco competition takes place on May, 7th and consists of 40 food trucks that all specializes in delicious tacos. Whether you’re looking for traditional mexican fare or unique eats, Taco Libre Truck Showdown is an event you can’t miss.

Whether you’re visiting Seattle for the weekend, or you’re a local looking to make the most of your spring, these activities can help you get the most out of your spring season. For more local news or for tips on maximizing your home’s energy efficiency, indoor air quality or comfort, follow Cardinal Heating & A/C on facebook and Twitter.

 

 

How Do the Coils in an Air Conditioning Unit Work?

Air-conditioning systems are somewhat complicated. They consist of multiple parts and systems working together to cool a building. While fans and ducts move cold air throughout a house, refrigerants move through parts of the air conditioner to cool that air.

The Physical Property Behind Air Conditioners

Air conditioners rely upon a physical property of gases to cool air: When pressure on a gas is lowered, the gas expands and cools; if a gas is put under more pressure, it increases in temperature. These two phases are evaporation and condensation.

This physical property of the coolants used in air conditioners allows them to cool air without ever needing to be refilled or recharged (as long as the system functions as intended).

The Coolant System’s Parts

Coolants in an air conditioner move through four parts in a cycle:

  • An expansion valve reduces pressure on liquid coolant.
  • An evaporation coil allows coolant to become a gas, which absorbs heat from the surrounding air.
  • A compressor pressurizes the gaseous coolant.
  • A condenser coil forces the gas to become a liquid, expelling heat into the surrounding air.

The expansion valve and compressor are relatively simple mechanical devices next to the two coils. The evaporator and condenser coils are the heart of the air conditioner’s cooling process.

Evaporator Coil Function and Maintenance

Most people believe that an air conditioner manufactures cold air and blows it into the house. Actually, air conditioners absorb heat from inside a building and move it outside. This absorption happens in and around the evaporator coils, which are located inside the building.

Liquid coolant inside the evaporator coil expands and becomes a gas. This absorbs heat from air that a fan blows across it. Evaporator coils typically are copper, because it transfers heat easily. Fins or vanes surround the evaporator coil to create a greater cold surface area to cool air.

Cleaning the evaporator coil is essential to ensure an HVAC system works efficiently. Dirt collects on the coil and prevents heat transfer, which can cause a build-up of ice. Drain pans are set under an evaporator coil to collect the water, which condenses on the cold surface and drips down. This pan must be checked regularly for leaks and mold growth. Cleaning evaporator coils is a complicated process best done by an HVAC technician.

Condenser Coil Function and Maintenance

Condenser coils are located outside the building an air conditioner services. In this section of the system, the gaseous coolant is pressurized and turns back into a liquid. This process creates heat, which exhaust fans blow outside.

Fans and vanes are used, and the coil typically made from copper. Condenser coils need to be kept clean of dirt and debris so they can efficiently dissipate heat. These coils are easier to clean than their interior counterparts are – a stiff nylon brush and a can of commercial cleaner usually is enough to get them clean.

Evaporator and condenser coils are important components of an air-conditioning system, based on simple but effective principles. Understanding how these parts work can give homeowners a greater appreciation of their air conditioners and help them understand to maintain them.

Do you have another question about how your air conditioning system works? The HVAC experts at Cardinal Heating & AC are here to handle all of your home heating and cooling needs. Contact us today to find out more.

 

How To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality?

Air is a basic necessity for all human beings. Like water and food, it is vital to breathe clean air to obtain good health. In today’s modern world, the quality of air has become second-rate. Many people are suffering from respiratory diseases and are unable to live fully because of the kind of air available in their places. There are ways to improve the quality of indoor air. It is recommended to follow these three basic strategies to avoid common air health hazards.

Eliminate Pollution Sources

Controlling the sources of pollution is one way to improve indoor air. There are many things that can emit toxins in the air. Some examples are smoke from cigarettes, kerosene and asbestos. You can use air filters and eliminate these things to enjoy better air inside enclosed spaces.

Improve Ventilation

By improving the ventilation inside a space, people can breathe better and prevent health risks like suffocation and carbon intoxication. Increasing the flow of outdoor air in a room can increase ventilation rate, prevent heat stroke during summer and allow contaminants to escape faster. Using exhaust fans and opening windows are some of the ways to improve air flow.

Effective Air Cleaning

While there are many ways to improve air flow inside a room and lessen pollution sources, it’s hard to clean the air completely without using air cleaners. A high-circulation air filter can help a lot by getting rid of more pollutants. Make sure that you check the specs of the air cleaning device that you are about to get because low air-circulation filters may not be able to do the job. Of course, you’ll have to clean your air filter regularly to ensure that it blows out clean air after gathering all the pollutants inside the room.

There are many things that people can do to maintain breathable air inside a space, but it is important to seek advice from experts to eradicate pollutants effectively. An HVAC technician can walk you through on how to improve air quality and how to prolong the life of your ventilation, heating and cooling system at home. For more information and immediate assistance on indoor air pollution, prevention and maintenance, you can call us today to schedule your indoor air quality check.

Maintenance Tips

 

Here’s a list of handy tips for the do-it-yourselfer or for those who just want to know what their system needs for the best possible performance. Just like your car, your home comfort system needs routine maintenance to keep it running at its best. Without regular servicing, heating and cooling systems waste energy and are more likely to break down. But with the proper attention, they can keep you comfortable year-round.

Below are some basic tips to keep your system running efficiently. However, these tips are not designed to replace annual servicing by a qualified service technician. Schedule an HVAC Service Appointment Online or Call 425.296.2097

Heating Equipment

Heat pumps, furnaces, and boilers need a yearly professional tune-up.

Step 1 A close inspection will uncover leaks, soot, rust, rot, corroded electrical contacts and frayed wires. In furnace (forced-air) and boiler (hot-water) systems, the inspection should also cover the venting, ductwork or pipes, dampers or valves, blower or pump, registers or radiators, as well as every part of the furnace or boiler itself.

Step 2 Next, the system should be run through a full heating cycle to ensure that it has plenty of combustion air and chimney draft. Test the air for carbon monoxide.

Step 3 Finally, it’s time for the down and dirty task of cleaning the burner and heat exchanger to remove soot and other gunk that can impede smooth operation. For the burner, efficiency hinges on adjusting the flame to the right size and color, adjusting the flow of gas. A check of the heat pump should include an inspection of the compressor, fan, indoor and outdoor coils and refrigerant lines. Indoor and outdoor coils should be cleaned, and the refrigerant pressure should be checked.

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Blowers

Tuning up the distribution side of a forced-air system starts with the blower. The axle should be lubricated; blades cleaned and blower motor checked to insure the unit isn’t being overloaded. The fan belt should be adjusted so it deflects no more than an inch when pressed. Every accessible joint in the ductwork should be sealed with mastic or UL-approved duct tapes. Any ducts that run outside the heated space should be insulated. On a hot-water system, the expansion tank should be drained, the circulating pump cleaned and lubricated and air bled out of the radiators.

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Thermostats

While thermostats rarely fail outright, they can degrade over time as mechanical parts stick or lose their calibration. Older units will send faulty signals if they’ve been knocked out of level or have dirty switches. To recalibrate an older unit, use a wrench to adjust the nut on the back of the mercury switch until it turns the system on and, using a room thermometer, set it to the correct temperature. Modern electronic thermostats, sealed at the factory to keep out dust and grime, rarely need adjusting. However, whether your thermostat is old or young, the hole where the thermostat wire comes through the wall needs to be caulked, or a draft could trick it into thinking the room is warmer or colder than it really is.

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Humidifiers

A neglected in-duct humidifier can breed mildew and bacteria, not to mention add too much moisture to a house. A common mistake with humidifiers is leaving them on after the heating season ends. Don’t forget to pull the plug, shut the water valve and drain the unit. A unit with a water reservoir should be drained and cleaned with white vinegar, a mix of one part chlorine bleach to eight parts water or muriatic acid. Mist-type humidifiers also require regular cleaning to remove mineral deposits.

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Filters

Most houses with forced-air furnaces have a standard furnace filter made from loosely woven spun-glass fibers designed to keep it and its ductwork clean. Unfortunately, they don’t improve indoor air quality. That takes a media filter, which sits in between the main return duct and the blower cabinet. Made of a deeply pleated, paper-like material, media filters are at least seven times better than a standard filter at removing dust and other particles. An upgrade to a pleated media filter will cleanse the air of everything from insecticide dust to flu viruses. Compressed, media filters are usually no wider than six inches, but the pleated material can cover up to 75 square feet when stretched out. This increased area of filtration accounts for the filter’s long life, which can exceed two years. The only drawback to a media filter is its tight weave, which can restrict a furnace’s ability to blow air through the house. To insure a steady, strong airflow through the house, choose a filter that matches your blower’s capacity.

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North American Technician Excellence (NATE)

North American Technician Excellence (NATE,) headquartered in Arlington, VA., was founded in 1997 and is the nation’s largest non-profit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technicians. NATE is the only
technician certification organization governed, owned, operated, developed and supported by the HVACR industry.

NATE, What does it do?

NATE, North American Technician Excellence Inc., is an independent, third-party non-profit certification body for HVAC and HVAC/R technicians. NATE tests technicians; others train.

NATE’s certification tests represent real world working knowledge of HVAC and HVACR systems and candidates can earn installation and/or service certification in one or more specialty areas. NATE certification tests are developed by the NATE technical committee. The NATE technical committee is comprised of industry experts who developed and oversee NATE’s Knowledge Areas of Technician Expertise (KATEs). Each exam is developed based on these knowledge areas of expertise. The technical committee represents a wide variety of perspectives including contractors, educators, manufacturers, and utilities. Members also are diversely spread throughout the country.

Why Should I Ask For A NATE-Certified Technician

NATE’s HVAC and HVAC/R testing validates the technician’s knowledge and a training program’s instruction. The NATE tests are rigorous, multiple-choice, knowledge-based tests that represent what 80% of technicians have an 80% chance of encountering once a year.

What Specialties Are Covered By NATE Certification

There are 21 NATE installation, service, and senior tests. Specialties include Air Conditioning, Air Distribution, Heat Pumps, Gas Furnaces, Oil Furnaces, Hydronics Gas, Hydronics Oil, Light Commercial Refrigeration, Commercial Refrigeration, and Senior HVAC Efficiency Analyst.

Building Professionals Working Together

The ultimate goal for all of us in the home construction field is to provide a home to our clients that they are truly happy and comfortable living in. Cardinal Heating & A/C can work together with you as a construction professional in order to insure that all the needs of your client are met and we can achieve that goal together.

We know that there is a lot of work goes along with building or remodeling a home. At Cardinal Heating & A/C we offer a complete HVAC package; we will, design a system that meets the needs of the your project, coordinate all aspects of the installation with the various trades and designers involved, and maintain the system for years to come.

Cardinal Heating & A/C has been in the business of making our customers comfortable since 1992 and the various individuals that make up the Cardinal team have been leaders in the HVAC industry for many decades. With this level of expertise and experience we are able to respond to, and resolve, the inevitable changes or issues that come up throughout the construction process.

See below for more information on the products and services we offer or contact us today.

  • Complete system design and installation services.
  • Carrier forced air heating and cooling systems including Hybrid Heat.
  • Viessmann or Triangle Tube Boilers and radiant in floor heating systems.
  • Climate Master Geo-Thermal energy efficient and environmentally friendly heating and cooling systems.
  • Solar heating and hot water systems.
  • Duct revision and Carrier or Honeywell zoning systems.
  • Indoor air quality products including Carrier Infinity air purifiers, HEPA filters, humidifiers, energy recovery ventilators, media filters, and electronic air cleaners.
  • Carrier automatic stand by generators.
  • Nate Certified installers and technicians.
  • In house Custom sheet metal fittings.
  • Factory trained installation crew.
  • Project manager to oversee the entire installation from start to finish.
  • CAD drawings.
  • Licensed refrigeration, Gas piping, and low voltage technicians.
  • Proud members of Built Green, MBA, and the BBB

The whole project from start to finish was exceptional.” – Mike

“The installers were true professionals, completed work on time, and as promised. I love my new heat pump & furnace system!” – Larry from Kirkland.

See what others are saying about the level of service they received from Cardinal, click here!

We back up all of our installation work with a full service and maintenance department so you can rely on Cardinal Heating & A/C to help keep your new system working reliably and efficiently for years to come. To learn more about our service department, click here!

We hope you give Cardinal Heating & A/C the opportunity to help improve and maintain the comfort of your home. Call us today at (425) 296-2097
or click here to request service.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

Learn how to detect and stop the silent killer

Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless and tasteless.  It’s a deadly gas.  Here are some prevention and detection tips to keep you and your family safe:

  • Install carbon monoxie detextors on each level.
  • Don’t run any fueled engines in the garage, even if the door is open.
  • Open your fireplace flue for adequate ventilation and don’t use barbeque grills in the garage.
  • Use heating equipment approved by an independent testing laboratory.
  • When changing a furnce filter, make sure the new filter is correctly positioned and the access panel is securely fastened.
  • Have your home’s furnace inspected and serviced annually by a qualified technician.

Energy Efficiency Tips

Heating system tips for energy efficiency.

  • Clean your heating filters. Check them every couple of weeks and change them at least twice in the season, or as directed by the manufacturer.
  • Check and maintain your insulation. Improperly insulated walls, floors, attics, basements and crawlspaces drain away heat and can also lead to moisture imbalance. Adding weather stripping and caulk around windows and doors can also go a long way to improving your home’s insulation.
  • Turn down your thermostat. Keeping your thermostat five degrees cooler can lower your heating bills and still not affect your home’s comfort. Install a programmable thermostat to keep temperatures regular.
  • Clean the furnace area. Don’t keep chemicals or cleaning products near your heater, and don’t store anything next to it that could impede ventilation.
  • Keep vents and returns free of obstructions. Don’t lay carpet over vents, place furniture over or in front of them, or obstruct the flow of air.
  • Install a humidifier. Humidity in summer makes you feel hotter; the same is true in winter. Dry air feels cooler than moist air. A simple humidifier may make the home feel five degrees warmer than a home with dry air.
  • Have your home heating system inspected annually. Even the most efficient system can suffer if it is not properly maintained. A properly serviced system heats more efficiently.
  • Air Conditioning tips for lower bills.
  • Raise the thermostat about five degrees, because each degree you raise the thermostat will save you a percentage off your cooling energy bill.
  • Don’t obstruct airflow around the air conditioner unit – keep it clear of plants and debris.
  • Clean your air filters. Check them every couple of weeks and change them at least twice in the season, or as directed by the manufacturer.
  • For optimum comfort have your cooling system checked early in the year.