Thursday, April 26, 2018

Fall has officially arrived in Southern Michigan, bringing with it a welcome lull in temperatures. With cooler days and even colder nights, your air conditioner is finally able to get a break from the hot summer months, but don’t send your HVAC system into hibernation yet. The subtle decrease in temperatures is the perfect time of year to prepare your HVAC system for the heating season. These 8 easy steps will ensure your HVAC system is ready to deliver when the winter months arrive.

Step 1: Check and replace your air filters.

Regularly checking and replacing HVAC filters is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the systems longevity and prevent breakdowns. Change air filters at least every 3 months. For allergy sufferers or homes with pets, change filters more frequently.

Check your air filters every 2 to 3 weeks to make sure they are functioning properly. Improperly functioning air filters can prevent a home from heating or cooling adequately and efficiently, taxing your system and increasing costs.

Step 2: Clean your outdoor unit.

This fall, check your outdoor unit for debris and damage. Trim any tall grass, shrubs, or trees that have grown too close to the exterior unit before winter weather arrives. Then, clean the unit by switching it off and rinsing out dirt, twigs, and any other debris with a garden hose.

This is also a good time to notice if there is any damage or debris that is hard to remove from your outdoor unit. For damage or anything unusual, call AJ Danboise and speak to one of our HVAC professionals.

Step 3: Clean your air ducts and vents.

Air ducts and vents are responsible for circulating air throughout your house. To make sure the air in your home is being properly filtered and circulated, regularly clean your air ducts and vents and have all of the registers open. Obstructed air ducts force HVAC systems to work harder, decreasing both efficiency and lifespan.

To get your air ducts and vents ready for fall, check to make sure all of the registers are open and that they are not covered or obstructed by furniture, drapery, or other items. Then, vacuum any visible dust from your air ducts and vents. Use a wet cloth to remove any dust left behind by the vacuum.

Step 4: Find and seal any possible air leaks.

Air leaks are the number one cause of inefficiency in HVAC systems. Check windows and doors for any air that might be coming through. Apply weather stripping to windows and doors to seal them from air leaks. If you consistently feel some rooms are warmer or cooler than others, the air leak may be coming from your ventilation ducts. One of our HVAC professionals at AJ Danboise can help you identify the leak and prepare your home for the heating season.

Step 5: Examine furnace burners and blowers.

Fall is the perfect time to test the furnace to make sure it is working properly before relying on it in the winter months. Before turning your furnace, check for any dust or obstruction that may have accumulated over the warm summer months.

Then test the furnace and burners to make sure they are working properly. If you notice anything unusual, call AJ Danboise for a furnace inspection to make sure your HVAC system is ready to heat before the colder months are here.

Step 6: Program your thermostat.

Weather patterns change frequently in the fall in Southern Michigan causing a range of temperatures. This is a great time to invest in a programmable thermostat, if you have not already. Programmable thermostats change based on the outside temperature, helping your HVAC system work more efficiently. With the constant fluctuation in temperatures as seasons change, a programmable thermostat extends your system’s life and saves money on heating and cooling bills.

Step 7: Schedule a professional HVAC maintenance.

Before the colder winter months set in ensure your HVAC unit is functioning properly with a professional HVAC maintenance. Regular maintenance will make sure your system is functioning properly and efficiently when you need it the most.

Step 8: Test it out.

The final step to getting your HVAC ready for fall in Southern Michigan is to test it out. Once the equipment has been cleaned, inspected, and the settings have been adjusted, test the system to make sure that it is working properly.

Don’t get caught in the cold this winter! Use these steps to make sure your HVAC system is ready to function properly and efficiently before you need it most this winter. If you notice anything unusual, we, at AJ Danboise can help! Call today at 1-248-236-5999 for all your fall preparation needs!


For all your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs, you can count on AJ Danboise! Schedule service online or by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.

 

Published in Heating
Monday, 09 October 2017 19:59

Benefits of a Humidifier in the Fall

Humidifiers have many benefits for your Michigan household in the fall and winter. The trick is finding the right balance of humidity. Dry air can trigger allergies, cold, flu, flaky skin and snoring (which is unhealthy for you – and whoever might be in the same room). The dry air in the fall and winter can also wreak havoc on your home. It can dry out wood structures and cause cracking and breaking, affecting both furniture and your home. To combat these problems, we recommend a whole house humidifier to ensure the right amount of humidity throughout the year.

The indoor air quality experts at AJ Danboise have put together a helpful list of the benefits a whole house humidifier can being to your home:

Replenish Dry Heater Air

In the winter, when you turn on your heater the warm air can instantly begin drying out the home. Along with the air - your skin, hands, lips, and eyes can all get very dry. The layered clothing that a Michigan winter demands, along with dry skin, can cause severe irritations. A whole house humidifier can add the necessary humidity to the air to add moisture and prevent some dryness.

Prevent Cold/Flu

With dry air your system has a harder time functioning, meaning your sinuses don’t drain properly – and lungs can become irritated and scratchy. A healthier humidity can help correct the drainage and dryness issues and in turn prevent cold and flu. Unfortunately, if you already have a cold or flu, you’ll need to rely on a doctor’s advice to cure it!

Alleviate Snoring

Snoring can be triggered by many different things - and dry winter air is one of them. Dry air can dry out your sinuses and cause breathing issues with certain people. If you already snore, this can exacerbate the problem which in not only a nuisance for others – it can cause severe health problems.

Diminish Allergy Symptoms

Just like spring, fall and winter come with their own set of allergies. The dry air from outside combined with your heater creates in your home, can aggravate any allergy symptoms you have and lead to complications such as sinusitis. Low humidity levels can make any sinus or lung issues worse.

Effects on your Home

Dry air can cause extreme damage to wood. Your home can be compromised structurally; cracking and warping can lead to a variety of problems. Cracks in doors and around windows can also raise utility bills, allow pet infestation and cause water leaks. If you have wallpaper in your home, it can also peel and crack. Wood furniture is also compromised – and should treated with oil-based solutions every winter regardless of humidity levels in your home. 

Most Michigan homes already contain one or two portable humidifiers to combat many of the problems related in this piece. However, our dry winters demand a much more holistic approach when keeping the humidity at healthy levels. Portable humidifiers are great for bedrooms; especially for small children and people who have extreme allergy and sinus problems. But these units only cover single rooms and constantly need to be filled with water (and running) to ensure optimum efficiency. A whole home humidifier (coupled with your portable units) can help considerably with all the common problems associated with dry air. If you are considering installing a whole house humidifier, contact the IAQ experts at AJ Danboise. Call 248-236-5999 for a full assessment today!  

 


For all your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs, you can count on AJ Danboise! Schedule service online or by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.

Published in Indoor Air Quality
Monday, 25 September 2017 18:49

Pumpkin Carving Ideas for the Fall Season

Gather your family because it’s the time of year for tricks and treats! It’s also that time of year for decorating the home with spooks and specters! We’ve rounded up our favorite pumpkin carving ideas for the scariest month of the year. From carving faces to etching designs - there are pumpkin carving ideas to suit everyone! Continue reading to find one that speaks to your inner goblin:

The History of the Jack-O-Lantern

The most traditional way to carve a pumpkin is the Jack-O-Lantern. The Jack-O-lantern has an interesting story in that it was not originally a pumpkin that a man named Jack carved. In the original tale it was a turnip to hold the ever-burning ember given to him by the devil so he could navigate purgatory. Read the whole story here. This is an old Irish story, so on All Hallow’s Eve, the Irish would hollow out their turnips, gourds, potatoes, and beets and set them around their home to ward off evil. History tells us that they switched to pumpkins when the Irish immigrated to the U.S. in the 1800s and discovered that pumpkins were larger and easier to hollow out!

Before You Choose a Design

There are many ways to carve a pumpkin, but there are a few steps to take before you even get to the design part.

  1. Choose the best pumpkin. The ideal pumpkin is one with a lot of surface area and a sturdy bottom so it stays safely standing when you place a light inside.
  2. Wash the dirt off. Pumpkins can come pretty dirty straight from the pumpkin patch, to get a clean work space and so you can see what you are doing, wash your pumpkin off with a hose or in your sink.
  3. Cut off the top and clean it out. The messiest, and sometimes the most fun, part of pumpkin carving is pulling out the pulp and seeds! Remember to not throw the pulp and seeds down your garbage disposal. Your pipes can clog from the pulp, so to avoid an emergency call AJ Danboise, throw the leftovers in the garbage! We even recommend using an outdoor spigot to clean off your hands and arms. Even a small amount of pumpkin can clog the sink.

Traditional Jack-O-Lantern

To start with the obvious, piggy backing off of the story above, the traditional Jack-O-Lantern is a great way to carve your pumpkin. You can use stencils to create different shapes for the eyes, nose, and mouth, but the final result is the same: a face!

Patterns

If funny or scary faces aren’t your thing, you can try a pattern! Give your pumpkin polka dots, stripes, or a floral pattern if you want to get intricate. There are so many options for fun designs, you can really match the pumpkin to your style or personality.

Characters/Design

If you’ve ever been around a pumpkin carving competition, you’ll notice people carving characters or designs in their pumpkins. This takes skill not only with drawing, but in logistics. Understand what to cut out and what to leave is a science, so take your time with this one.

Decorating

If you prefer to avoid the mess all together (and save your pipes from potential clogs), decorating the outside of the pumpkin by painting, adding adornments, or setting up a display is another option.

There are so many ways to use your creativity to personalize your pumpkin design. Whichever option you choose, remember your plumbing so there are no emergencies due to a clogged drain on Halloween! This is the season for tricks and treats, so if your plumbing starts tricking you, call AJ Danboise at 248-236-5999! 


For all your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs, you can count on AJ Danboise! Schedule service online or by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.

Published in News
Tuesday, 05 September 2017 20:47

Fall Maintenance Checklist for Your Home

With summer becoming a faint memory as the weather begins to cool off, it’s time to get your home ready for the upcoming fall season with a few simple chores around the house! The experts at AJ Danboise have put together some essential tips for preparing for the autumn chill.

Clean Your Gutters
Have all your leaves fallen and left your trees bare? If that is the case, it is time to head out and get those gutters cleaned before the winter season hits! Clogged gutters can cause water and ice to gather which can cause potential damage to your roof or to the siding of your home. Avoid the what ifs and get them cleaned out!

Rake It Up
With all those extra leaves cluttering your lawns, it is about time you bust out that handy-dandy rake and get them cleaned up. By leaving these leaves on the ground during the winter season, you can inhibit spring growth for your lawn.

Seal Up Open Gaps
During the winter, many outdoor critters are looking for a warm place to take shelter from the cold. Avoid those pesky critters from making your home theirs by sealing up any open gaps. If it looks like a place they can enter - it is probably best for you to just seal it up.

Store Garden Hoses
During the winter, don’t forget to remove your garden hoses and make sure they are properly stored away. You shouldn’t leave them on because water can freeze and expand causing the pipes or faucet to break - which would result in a major plumbing disaster. Lastly, you should also turn off the shut off valves to prevent a potential expensive lawn sprinkler system repair. Consider this step a preventative investment for not only your pockets, but also your lawn!  

Give Your Furnace a Check
Getting your furnace checked and tuned up should be at the top of your agenda for the winter season. Your furnace is the headquarters for keeping your family warm throughout the wintry weather months, so it is important to get maintenance performed on it while the weather is warmer outside. A fully functioning furnace will ensure maximum heat output all winter long. Another benefit is that your furnace will be running at its best and most efficient levels. This can help save on your utility bills each month.

Fireplace
Your fireplace is often neglected during the warmer months, so you may forget to give it a once over before firing it up this winter. Check your chimney for any buildup so that you can get it cleaned out. If you see any obstructions, make sure to remove those as well. Any cracks in your brick or mortar, should also be fixed beforehand.  

Be sure to schedule an appointment for one of our professional technicians to come out and inspect your HVAC system. We can check your furnace and heating to make sure you are prepared for the fall and winter months. Our experts will also check your fireplace and make sure it is cleaned out and ready for the colder season. Call AJ Danboise at 248-236-5999 and give your HVAC unit some TLC before the winter leaves you in a tough situation!

 

Published in Heating

Never go without warmth during a Michigan winter. With the chilly weather upon us, its time to bundle up in your favorite sweaters, socks, and blankets. One of the more popular warming methods, and more antiquated, is the electric blanket. While older designs were problematic, often shorting out and sometimes leading to more hazardous situations, more sophisticated blankets offer much safer use. The basic design hasn’t changed: a blanket equipped with wiring that warms heating pockets places throughout the design. Even though new heating blankets are much safer, there are still several safety procedures that are important to follow. Before you cover yourself with one and turn up the heat, it is important to know the dangers and how to avoid them.

 

The experts at AJ Danboise have provided the do’s and don’ts of using an electric blanket.

 

DO:

  • Do examine your blanket thoroughly every time before use. Be mindful of any areas that look burnt or worn by wiring.
  • Do read the manufacturer’s manual completely.
  • Do keep heat levels within manufacturer specifications.
  • Do turn off the blanket when not in use.
  • Do use new and up-to-date electric blankets. If you own a blanket that is more than ten years old, discard and buy a new one.
  • Do keep the blanket on top of you and never under or squeezed in the side. Heating blankets should always be placed over a blanket.
  • Do allow the blanket to cool off after use before putting it away.
  • Do wrap around the cords properly when not in use.
  • Do dispose of the blanket when you notice that it has stopped working efficiently.

 

DON’T:

  • Don’t let water touch or splash on the electric blanket, as this can ruin the wiring and cause shock.
  • Don’t bundle up the blanket when not in use, as this can compromise the wiring and lead to short circuiting.
  • Don’t use electric blankets on those who can’t use the controls such as infants, elderly, or people with disabilities. There is the danger of overheating.
  • Don’t tinker with the wiring in the blanket, as you can destroy and fray the wires.
  • Don’t use an electric blanket in a foldable bed, as the wiring can easily get torn or frayed.
  • Don’t wash your electric blanket, as this will destroy it.
  • Don’t use a blanket with cuts and tears, or has exposed wiring.
  • Don’t use the electric blanket if it is overheating or not responding to the controls properly.
  • Don’t use a blanket that is old and barely works.

 

Electric blankets are meant to supplement other warming/heating elements, so keep this in mind when in use. And remember, if you are experiencing any electrical problems in your home, AJ Danboise is ready help! For over nine decades we have been the premier electrical services company for Michigan homeowners, and provide affordable quality only found in Farmington Hills. Give us a call at 248-236-5999 to schedule an appointment to meet your trusted electrical experts.

 


For all your plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs, you can count on AJ Danboise! Schedule service online or by giving us a call at 1-248-236-5999.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ for more tips and tricks on keeping your home safe and comfortable year-round.

Published in Electrical

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