At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog: Archive for December, 2013

New Year’s Traditions Explained

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

2014 is almost upon us, and with the coming of the New Year, we thought we’d take a brief look at some of the more popular traditions associated with this holiday. It’s been around for at least 4,000 years: as long as we’ve figured out how long it takes for the seasons to come and go. Here’s a quick discussion about some of our more modern traditions and where they started:

  • Auld Lang Syne. The famous song began in Scotland, where it was published by Robert Burns in 1796.  He claims he initially heard it sung by an elderly resident of his hometown, which suggests it has traditional folk origins even before that. It became even more popular when big band leader, Guy Lombardo, started playing it every New Year’s Eve, starting in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Dropping of the Ball in Times Square. The tradition of dropping the ball in Times Square started in 1907. It was made out of iron and wood with light bulbs located on the surface, and the ball originally “dropped” over the offices of the New York Times at One Times Square. Dick Clark famously broadcast the event every year from 1972, until his death in 2012.
  • The Rose Parade. The Tournament of Roses Parade has been held in Pasadena every year since 1890; taking advantage of California’s warm weather to present a parade of floats, bands and horses. A football game was eventually added to the festivities in 1902, when Michigan dominated Stanford’s team by a score of 49-0
  • Baby New Year. The use of a baby to signify the New Year dates back to Ancient Greece, where it symbolized the rebirth of Dionysus (the god of wine and parties). Early Christians initially resisted the pagan elements of the story, but soon came to adopt it since it matched the traditional Christmas symbol of baby Jesus in the manger. Today, people of all faiths and traditions refer to the New Year as a baby, representing new beginnings.

Whatever traditions you choose to celebrate, we here at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air wish you the very safest and happiest of New Years. May 2014 bring you nothing but the best!

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Longer Days Ahead: Why Winter Solstice Is a Reason to Celebrate

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Holiday greetings from all of us at At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air!

December is a time of celebrations across the globe, despite the cold weather that affects much of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, the cold weather is one of the reasons that it is so important for people to embrace celebrations of light, color, food, and warm drinks—what better way to cheer up during a time of short days and low temperatures?

There is another reason to feel joy at the end of December, regardless of your religion or culture: an astronomical event called winter solstice.

Four astronomical markers divide the seasons on planet Earth: two solstices and two equinoxes. Equinox (a combination of the Latin words for “equal” and for “night”) is the point in Earth’s orbit when its axis is parallel to the Sun. Solstice (from the Latin words for “sun” and “to stand still”) is the point in orbit where the Earth’s axial tilt points toward the Sun. During the equinoxes, which occur at the start of spring (vernal equinox) and fall (autumnal equinox), the periods of day and night are the same length. During the solstices, which occur at the start of summer (June solstice) and winter (winter solstice), either day or night is at its longest period. June solstice is the longest day of the year; winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year.

Occurring on the 20th or the 21st of the month (this year it falls on the 21st), winter solstice marks the official beginning of winter, but also the point at which the days start to grow longer once more. The sun, which has dropped lower in the sky since the June solstice (June 20-21) and reaches its lowest point above the horizon on noon on winter solstice, once again begins to rise.

From the earliest human prehistory, people have recognized the winter solstice as an important event in their lives. When winter survival was difficult for early human societies, the sight of the sun beginning to rise in the sky once more was a symbol of hope and a reason to celebrate.

(All of the above applies to the Northern Hemisphere of Earth. The equinoxes and solstices flip in the Southern Hemisphere. For example, in Australia, Christmas is a summer holiday.)

However you commemorate and observe this time of year, we hope you and your family have a joyful and safe season!

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Energy Saving Heating Tips

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Is your furnace or boiler ready for the heating season in Salt Lake City? Are you ready for the increase in energy expense? When winter rolls around, the increase in energy expenditure can take its toll on your household budget. If you haven’t already enrolled in routine maintenance, now is a great time to do so. But even if you have, there are still other things to keep in mind to keep your heating expenses low. At Your Service Heating and Air can make sure that your furnace or boiler operates well throughout the heating season, whether you need a seasonal tune-up, or a late-night repair. Give us a call today to find out more about our Salt Lake City heating service and what we can do for you.

Here are some energy saving heating tips that can help you keep expenses low:

  • Keep your temperature as low and possible. As your body acclimatizes to the new fall or winter temperature, there is a tendency to blast the heat as soon as you walk in the door. Turning up the thermostat to full tilt will not actually make your heater reach a sensible temperature any sooner. You need to find a balance between comfort and energy efficiency, so once you’ve found a temperature that works for you and your family members, stick with it.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. Another way you can manage the temperature in the home is by having a programmable thermostat installed. This is a cost-effective upgrade that can lead to substantial energy savings in the long term. A programmable thermostat allows you to create a schedule of heating based on your lifestyle. You can have it lower the temperature automatically just after you leave for work in the morning, and then turn up about 45 minutes before you get home.
  • Enroll in a heating maintenance plan. The best way to keep your heating system as energy efficiency as possible is to enroll in a heating maintenance plan. During these service visits, a trained technician will provide a comprehensive inspection and cleaning of your heating system.

Call At Your Service Heating and Air today to learn more about our Salt Lake City heating services.

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Common Plumbing Problems in Salt Lake City

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Your plumbing system is part of the infrastructure of your home. It is responsible for making sure that you and your home are kept clean and comfortable. It allows you to take a hot shower in the morning to get ready for work, and to prepare dinner and clean up. It’s difficult to imagine what your home would be like without a comprehensive plumbing system. When professionally installed, it requires minimal maintenance, but problems can arise anywhere water is contained or transported. Your pipes can corrode and joints can begin to become problematic. It’s important to remain vigilant about the various parts of your home and your plumbing system is no exception. At Your Service Heating and Air offers excellent plumbing repair services in Salt Lake City. We can handle any problem that you might have, large or small.

  • Trap leak. A trap is a curved section of piping installed beneath drains to prevent the rise of foul odors back up in the home. Over time, however, it may develop a leak at one of its joints. This can lead to wastewater dripping into the bathroom sink vanity or kitchen sink cabinet. You need to make sure that all of your indoor plumbing is in good condition at all times.
  • Clogged drainpipe. You need to make sure that your drainpipes are in good condition at all times. Your shower, kitchen sink, and bathroom sink are all subject to the accumulation of debris such as hair, food bits, grease, and soap scum. Drain cleaning is the best preventive measure, but sometimes a clogged pipe is inevitable.
  • Main water line leak. If you find wet spots in your yard, then you may have a serious main water line leak. These can occur for a variety of reasons, including tree root penetration, old age, and soil erosion. It can lead to high water bills in addition to any negative effects to your property. Leaks only tend to get worse so it’s best to have yours looked at as soon as possible.

At Your Heating and Air provides excellent plumbing repair services in Salt Lake City. Give us a call today for prompt service.

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Common Heating Problems in Salt Lake City

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Does your heater fail to meet your comfort expectations? Do you want to restore the functionality of your furnace or boiler? During the course of its service life, your heater encounters a significant amount of wear and tear and accumulates dirt and dust. The extent of wear and tear depends on the type of system and the environmental conditions in your home, but you should keep in mind that heating problems occur with all system types and brands. It’s only a question of time. At Your Service Heating and Air can make sure that your heater has the professional heating service it needs to continue working well for years to come. If your heater has become problematic, call our technicians today for professional heating service in Salt Lake City.

Here are some common signs that you have a heating problem:

  • Uneven heating. Whether you have a furnace or boiler, your home may be subject to uneven heating at some point. A forced-air heater such as a furnace uses ductwork to remove your indoor air and condition it. Uneven heating can be the result of deficient airflow caused by a leak or excessive debris buildup. In the case of a boiler, uneven heating could be the result of piping leaking or filled with sediment.
  • Inadequate heating. Don’t settle for anything less than absolute comfort when it comes to your heating system. As long as your heater was appropriately sized and installed, it should be able to handle your heating needs during the winter. Inadequate heating is often the result of a problem that needs to be taken care of. Your system may simply need a tune-up.
  • Strange or loud noise. If your heater emits a loud or strange sound during operation, then you should call a professional heating technician as soon as possible. A grinding noise could be dry bearings while a hissing or whistling sound could be a ductwork issue or a refrigerant leak. Recognizing the signs of a serious heating problem can go a long way towards preventing it from becoming serious.

Call the Salt Lake City heating technicians from At Your Service Heating and Air today to make sure that your heater is in good working condition at all times.

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