Justice Incorporated Blog : Archive for December, 2014

5 Facts about Santa Claus

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Many holiday traditions involve the story of Santa Claus, the lovable old man who spends most of his time at the North Pole taking a single evening to deliver presents and candy to children everywhere. But since Santa Claus is so elusive (unless he happens to be visiting your local shopping mall), how do we know so much about him? Where exactly does his journey begin? Our holiday guide details 5 of the most common traditions associated with Jolly Old Saint Nick.

  1. The Origins of Santa: The name “Santa Claus” comes from St. Nicholas (a name which became Sinter Klaas for short in Dutch), a Christian Bishop from 4 A.D. who was known for giving his fortune away to those in need in Turkey. Santa Claus’ first associations with gift-giving comes from Holland’s St. Nicholas’ feast day, during which children would leave out their shoes overnight and find presents waiting inside the shoes on the next morning.
  2. The Stocking by the Chimney: While many people associate Holland’s shoe tradition with the origins of hanging a stocking, this isn’t entirely accurate. Hanging stockings instead comes from the legend of a time St. Nick helped a man afford to marry off his daughter by throwing a bag of gold down the chimney, which landed in a stocking that was hanging up to dry.
  3. St. Nick’s Outfit: Santa got his fashion sense from a wooden cutout handed out during a meeting of the New York Historical Society in 1804. But it wasn’t until a 1930s Coca Cola advertisement that his traditionally blue, white, and green outfit was transformed into a big red suit.
  4. Leaving Cookies out for Santa: Food was traditionally used as ornamentation during the holidays in medieval Germany as apples and cookies commonly adorned the home at wintertime. When the Christmas tree became a common symbol of the season, edible treats began to vanish, a phenomenon which became attributed to Santa Claus’ snacking habits.
  5. Why Santa Drives a Sleigh: Santa gets his sleigh from a tale spun by Washington Irving, the same author who brought us the Headless Horseman. He wrote down an account of a dream in which Santa Claus drives a weightless wagon through the sky, and the stories became so popular, they stuck around.

Here at Justice Air Conditioning & Heating Inc., we hope that you have a joyful and safe celebration, no matter what holiday traditions you engage in this year. Happy holidays!

The Difference Between Standing and Intermittent Pilots

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

“Oh no, the pilot light went out again!” This is a sentence you may have heard someone say time and time again many years ago, as older furnaces required a pilot light to stay on at all times so that heat would be available whenever the heating cycle began. In fact, some homeowners still have standing pilot gas furnaces, even though they are no longer manufactured. Product manufacturers nixed the idea of a standing pilot when it was discovered that electronic ignition could save money and increase safety. Here’s a look at why we recommend replacing older standing pilot furnaces in Rockport, TX with intermittent pilot ignition systems or hot surface ignition furnaces.

The Problem with Standing Pilots

The primary problem with a standing pilot is that it must remain lit at all times. In turn, this means that the gas valve must also remain open at all times. Most furnaces—even some older models—contain safety features that shut off the gas valve when they sense there is no longer a flame. However, there’s still a chance that the sensing device in your unit (either a thermocouple, bimetallic safety device, or remote bulb) will fail or malfunction.

Furthermore, standing pilot furnaces are fairly inefficient, as they must remain running at all times. Most older furnaces have an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) of about 50-65%. This means that the furnace only uses about 50% of the energy it consumes to heat your home, while the other 50% is completely lost.

Intermittent Pilots

Standing pilots were inefficient, a nuisance to reset, and a potential safety hazard, but intermittent pilots, one of the new forms of ignition for gas furnaces, do not need to remain on. Instead, an electrical current sends out a spark when the need for heating is detected, and it will only stay long as long as is necessary to complete the heating cycle.

Hot surface ignition is an equally popular type of ignition system that uses a material (silicon carbide) which can quickly become energized to the temperature required to heat gas to its ignition temperature.

It’s tough to tell which type of furnace will work best for your needs, but at Justice Air Conditioning & Heating we can help you make the right choices about furnaces in Rockport, TX.

How Can I Tell I Need an Air Filtration System?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Are you doing enough to keep your family from breathing in harmful contaminants every day? The air conditioning and heating system in your house contains a filter which strains out many of the particles floating through the air. Unfortunately, this filter can only take out a select number of particles of a certain size, while smaller particles continue to circulate in the house. These may include viruses, bacteria, and mold spores, all of which can be dangerous to anyone breathing in the air.

Many homeowners combat this by purchasing a whole-home air filtration system. These are far more effective at filtering out particles than small standalone units and many can remove up to 99% of airborne contaminants. A new UV air purifier, electronic air cleaner, or dehumidifier can all help to make conditions more livable, but how do you know if you need one?

One of the most common reasons to choose an air filter is if the people in your home just keep getting sick. An air filtration system protects the air in your house by eliminating mold spores and other particles that tend to make people ill or to aggravate existing health conditions. If the people in your home seem to get sick a bit too often, don’t assume it’s normal. You should speak with a doctor, and perhaps have an indoor air quality expert examine your home to help you determine which types of contaminants you’d like to eliminate and what type of system would be best to do so.

You should also consider an air filtration system if you move into a new home, especially if someone in your household has a compromised immune system or a history of asthma. A final way to tell you need a whole-home system is if your home feels musty. Mold and mildew can form when a home is too moist, and a dehumidifier, while not an air filtration system in earnest, is a great way to prevent these from infiltrating your air.

Call Justice Air Conditioning & Heating to speak with an indoor air quality expert and learn more about the many air filtration systems available in Alice.

Why You Cannot Afford to Wait to Schedule Heating Repair

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

When your heating system completely breaks down, it is natural to call your heating technician to schedule repair. But what about when it runs with a problem? It can be tempting to keep operating your system, even though it may not be running optimally. Allowing your system to run knowing it needs repairs is never a good idea, as we’ll explain below. It is important to have a reliable company to call day or night when it comes to heating repair issues in Corpus Christi, so call the people you can trust: Justice Air Conditioning & Heating.

Why Can’t I Wait?

Here are some reasons why waiting to make repairs is not a good idea:

Problems Don’t Get Better

Problems do not fix themselves, and typically become worse if you continue to operate your heating system. Additionally, you may cause more problems to develop. If you are seeing or hearing signs of problems, call for a technician.

You May End Up with No Heat

The total breakdown of your heater is not something any homeowner wants to deal with, but a system that operates with problems is more prone to breakdown than one that is in good repair.

Decreased Energy Efficiency

Your system was made to operate at a certain level of heating efficiency, but to reach this efficiency level, it has to run optimally. Decreases in energy efficiency can cause your heat bills to rise, which can affect how much you spend on energy each month.

Premature Aging

A system that operates with problems is a system under stress. Stress causes components to wear down faster, aging them prematurely. When your system prematurely ages, repairs can become more frequent and your system is at risk for total breakdown.

Safety Issues

If you have a combustion heating system, certain types of repairs are necessary for safety issues. For instance, a cracked heat exchanger can allow toxic byproducts like carbon monoxide to enter your living spaces. Waiting to make these kinds of repairs can be dangerous for you and your home.

The sooner you handle a heating repair the better it is for you, your home and your system. If you are experiencing heating issues in Corpus Christi, contact us today!