Service King Plumbing & HVAC 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 Service King, we hope that you have a joyful and safe celebration, no matter what holiday traditions you engage in this year. Happy holidays!

Why You Need Professionals for Outdoor Lighting

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Oh, the great outdoors. . .  are not so great when you are tripping and falling because you can’t see anything. Winter in particular can be dicey, with ice and snow on the ground that can cause you to slip and fall. Outdoor lighting isn’t just about having some light to shine; it’s about designing a lighting plan and installing the correct lighting that will keep you and your home safe and well-lit year-round. The experts at Service King have the experience and expertise to design and install an outdoor lighting plan that will fit your home and your needs for years to come. Stop stumbling around in the dark and call Service King today!

Design Aspects

We’ve all had that one neighbor with the outside light that was like a spotlight: too bright, not attractive and a source of irritation. When a professional electrician works on outdoor lighting, he/she will plan for the terrain of your property, how much illumination is needed, what kind of lamps to use and where and what kind of fixtures to use. Outdoor lighting should provide enough illumination to make you feel comfortable and secure while also flattering your home and property – and you may not get this attention to detail without using a trained expert.

Electrical Wiring

Once a design is in place, the work begins, and outdoor lighting can utilize a lot of wiring. The electricity for your outdoor lights is part of your home’s overall electricity, so it is work that should only be handled by a trained and licensed electrician. Poorly installed outdoor lighting can be unsafe, cause problems with your electrical panel and even cause a blackout; additionally, all work done for your outdoor lighting must be up to all current electrical codes.

Hiring a professional to handle your outdoor lighting in Bartlett, IL ensures that you’ll have attractive, useful and efficient outdoor lighting that will be safe and efficient. Need some light in your life? Call Service King today and schedule an appointment with one of our electricians!

Signs You Need Repairs for Your Radiant Heating

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

One of the best things about radiant heating is the warm floors. But what happens when you put your bare foot down one day and feel that the floor isn’t as toasty as usual?

You may have a need for radiant heating repair in Elk Grove Village. Because radiant heating is either under your flooring or behind your walls or ceilings, it can be hard to detect when there’s an issue. Here are some signs to look for when it comes to potential problems that can develop with your radiant heating.

Hydronic Radiant Heating

With a hydronic system, either hot water or steam is used to heat your home. Here are some of the signs that can indicate a problem has developed:

  • Leaking – the tubing for hydronic radiant systems is very durable, so when a leak develops, it is usually due to damage to the tubing or poorly-done plumbing issues. Not only can leaks cause a loss of heating, they can cause serious water damage if left unattended, so if you detect a leak in the area of your hydronic radiant heating, call for help right away.
  • Not enough heat – leaks can be a culprit of decreased heating, but so can air lock and scaling in the tubing. Air lock develops when an air bubble gets trapped in the tubing; air bubbles do not allow the water to pass, which will reduce the heat in that area of tubing. Scaling is the build-up of minerals on the inside of the tubing; if the build-up is significant enough, it can restrict the amount of water passing through the tubing.

Electric Radiant Heating

Electric radiant heating uses electric cables to generate heat. As with hydronic radiant heating, certain kind of problems can develop:

  • Tripping breaker – every electrical radiant system has certain requirements, including correctly-sized breakers; should the breaker be undersized or faulty, you’ll have problems heating your floor.
  • Uneven heating – like the tubing of a hydronic radiant system, the electrical cables of an electrical radiant system can be damaged. Dropping a heavy object can damage wiring, as can broken tiles that may cut into a wire. When any part of an electrical cable is damaged, it affects how that cable will heat.

Properly repairing radiant heating in Elk Grove Village takes skill and expertise. This is why, if you are experiencing any kind of problems with your radiant heating system, you should call for expert help.

Service King has helped multiple customers with their heating systems, so if you are having problems with yours, call us today!

Some Common Repairs Your Furnace May Require

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Furnaces are one of the most commonly-used home heating systems, and with an average lifespan of 15-20 years, it is likely you will need to schedule your furnace for repair at least once during its lifetime. There are some furnace repairs our technicians see more than others when it comes to furnace repairs, and we’ll outline some of them below. But no matter what your particular heating repair issue in Elk Grove Village might be, the trained and certified technicians at Service King can help you.

Common Furnace Repairs

Here are some of the more common furnace repairs we see at Service King:

Problems with the Blower

The blower in your furnace pushes the hot air generated by the heat exchanger into your home. The blower has a motor, a fan belt, ball bearings and other small components that can develop problems that will affect the blower’s operation. Some typical issues that can develop with your blower are issues with frayed or corroded wiring, dried out ball bearings, worn or broken belts and loose or broken fan blades. Anything problems that affect the fan’s ability to move the air in your system correctly can create issues with air flow in your system.

Ignition Issues

There are 3 ways your furnace can ignite:

  • Standing pilot
  • Intermittent pilot
  • Hot surface ignition

Standing pilots are pilot lights that are on constantly; intermittent pilot and hot surface ignition are both types of electronic ignition and are only on when igniting the system. Today’s furnaces are no longer manufactured with standing pilots as electronic ignition is more energy efficient, but there are many furnaces that have standing pilot lights. Some of the common problems that can develop with ignition are problems with the thermocouple (standing pilot lights), lack of electronic spark (intermittent pilot) or a cracked probe (hot surface ignition). Each type of igniter can develop its own set of problems, but the results from each can be no heat. If your furnace is having problems igniting, call for a technician.

Low Air Flow

As mentioned above, low air flow can be caused by problems with your blower, but a secondary cause of low air flow is a dirty filter. Your furnace’s air filter should be changed every 3 months to remain effective and not become clogged. A clogged air filter can seriously restrict your system’s air flow, resulting in less air being delivered to your home and more stress on your heating system.

Furnace problems only get worse over time, so if you are in need of heating repair in Elk Grove Village, call us today to schedule an appointment.