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Increasing Your Heater’s Energy Efficiency

heat pump sitting outside a home

How important is energy-efficient heating? 

Even here in Louisiana, the winters can get cold. January and February of 2021 are proof that even Cajun country can get snow. So in any home that didn’t have energy-efficient heating, the homeowners realized they needed to do something to increase what they had… or get some period. Since the winters aren’t as brutal here, most homeowners didn’t care until then. Now they’re asking, “What is energy efficiency?”. 

Surprisingly, energy efficiency doesn’t just apply to heating your home. We should all be aware of energy efficiency in all things we do in and around our homes. Energy efficiency is how energy expenditures are measured and finding ways to achieve the same comfort and convenience at less cost financially and environmentally. The less loss in energy, the better we can achieve a specific purpose using less energy. So energy-efficient heating would mean having the most efficient heating system possible in your home. 

It is crucial that more of us find ways to improve energy efficiency in our homes all around the country. Today, we hear about climate change and the impact our lifestyles are having on the country’s economy, the environment, and society. We have realized there is a connection between the greenhouse gas emissions we create and the adverse impact on the climate and environment. 

Finding ways to be more efficient with our actions, like installing energy-efficient heating and air conditioning, are essential for improving our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The additional bonus to this is the savings on our personal finances as this same energy-efficient heating and air conditioning will cost less and still keep us comfortable. 

How can I improve energy efficiency in my home?

With a little research and studying the many websites and other means, it is easy to learn how to make homes energy-efficient today. Because Louisiana doesn’t have really cold winters ordinarily, a homeowner here may not be aware of the different home heating solutions available to them. 

During the winter, no matter what part of the country you live in, heating your home is important. Use of tht heat can add up quickly if you don’t have energy-efficient heating. In fact, experts say half of our household budget in the winter goes to heating our homes. So, what are some energy-efficient heating methods?

Heat Pumps

This is considered one of the best systems, especially for areas like Louisiana where the average winters are mild (with rare exceptions). The principle of a heat pump is to capture heat and move it to where it is needed.

This means that in the summer, a heat pump pulls heat out of your home and returns to the earth. During the winter, it pulls heat out of the earth and dispatches it through your home. There are two types of heat pump systems, and any qualified heating contractor can explain the differences and help you choose the right one for your home. 

Residential Furnaces

This is the most commonly used heating system today, with the gas-powered type in approximately sixty percent of all homes. However, the older these furnaces get, the less energy-efficient heating they provide. Today, residential furnaces have new features and better technology that boost the energy rating to extremely high levels. There are three common residential furnace types: 

Gas: Natural gas is a natural resource that is plentiful, and it is how most residential furnaces are powered. Local utility companies supply the natural gas via a supply pipe that is installed in the home. A furnace that is powered by natural gas costs less to operate compared to the air-source heat pump energy-efficient heating method because of the cost of gas.

Oil: Oil furnaces burn fuel oil, which produces the heat needed in a home. The oil comes in bulk from a local supplier who delivers it into a tank. This type of heating requires the fuel supply to be monitored, especially in the winter, so that you don’t run out of oil, which would mean no heat. Whether a heating oil or propane gas, it is a more expensive way to heat a home. 

Electricity: Electric furnaces work by powering heating coils to generate heat. Because no fuel is used, there isn’t any carbon monoxide or exhaust gases creating possible health and safety hazard risks. However, in regards to cost, they are not an energy-efficient heating method. 

Wrapping Up – How To Warm Up

The type of heating method you use is just one part, although the biggest part, in energy-efficient heating concerns. You can also do things around your home and to your home that can ensure more energy-efficient heating and cooling. Some energy-saving tips for your home include: 

1. Daily Habits 

Adjusting your daily habits is one of the biggest improvements for energy efficiency. This can be achieved by turning off appliances and lights when not in use and hang-drying clothes instead of putting everything in the dryer. As you replace your appliances, choose the highest energy-efficient replacements possible and resort to doing as many household tasks as possible by hand. 

2. Light Bulbs

Many of us still have traditional incandescent light bulbs in our homes and these are the biggest pull of energy. By replacing them with energy-efficient alternatives like halogen incandescent bulbs, CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), and LED bulbs (light-emitting diode bulbs), you’ll use up to 80 percent less electricity. Note that these also last up to 25 times longer, meaning fewer light bulb replacements. 

3. Power Strips

The electronics in your home, in use or not, are referred to as “phantom loads”, meaning they are a big part of the energy use in your home – as much as 75% in fact. This equals up to around $200 annually or more, but with smart power strips, you can eliminate that extra cost. These smart power strips shut the power off to any electronic that isn’t in use, and they can be programmed as to what time of the day or night to shut off. With remote switches, you can easily adjust them as needed. 

4. Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat will automatically turn off the cooling or heating as you have it set to do during school and work hours or reduce it during sleeping hours. This eliminates the wasteful energy use that cooling and heating your home can cause without upgrading the entire HVAC system and save you almost $200 a year too.

5. Energy Efficient Appliances

The appliances in our homes use as much as 13% of our total energy, and in some homes, maybe more. When you replace your appliance, go with an energy-efficient model, and judge them by the price and the annual operating cost. The upfront cost may be higher than you expect, but operating costs are where you’ll get your money back – up to 25% when you get the ones with the ENERGY STAR label.

6. Reduce Water Heating Costs 

Reducing your water heating expenses will be a major contributor to lowering energy costs and you can do that in three different ways – purchase a new water heater that is energy efficient; use less hot water; and turn the thermostat of your water heater thermostat. Before you decide to replace your current water heater with a tankless model, get several quotes because there are installation and setup costs you need to be prepared to take on. An energy-efficient tankless water heater can save as much as 300% in energy compared to a conventional tank water heater.

Female hand setting a digital thermostat

Some Additional Notes on Energy Efficient Heating

Another thing you can do for your energy savings is to have new energy-efficient windows installed. Your current windows could be leading to 25% of your energy expenses. The energy-efficient heating and cooling new windows can provide will pay for themselves in a short time. 

Upgrading your HVAC system can save you a substantial amount over the year, and one of the best and most energy-efficient steps you can take with heating and cooling is to seal up any air leaks you find, typically around doors and windows. Don’t forget to have the attic insulation checked too – it may be time to add or replace the insulation. Ready to get started with new energy-efficient heating? Give us a call at 985-764-8191.

How do I choose an air conditioner?

Close-up of air conditioning unit.

The Importance of AC

Here in Louisiana, home of Cajun cooking and Mardi gras, having working air conditioning is pretty important. When we say things are hot here in Louisiana, we’re not always referring to the Cajun food and parties. Professional ac installation is just as vital and with the cost of that work, you want it done right – just like the jambalaya. 

Two things that are essential to a homeowner here are professional ac installation and maintenance. So we tend to leave the job to professionals with AC installation experience and knowledge. Before you get to the ac installation part though, there are things that a homeowner has to decide on, like the budget. Meanwhile, if it’s time for you to schedule your ac installation in Norco and New Orleans, LA you can reach out to the pros at Cajun Comfort by calling 985-764-8191.

How much does it cost to install central air conditioning?   

Yes, to have a working air conditioner during a Louisiana summer is a blessing, so when it quits working, it becomes a major issue. It is important for a homeowner to stay within their budget and get their home cooling now for their own comfort. However, you should consider if you are to ever sell your home, you want to make an investment now with your ac installation that will give you a good ROI too. 

In other words, cheapest is not necessarily the best in the long run. But then, you’ve got to do what you can, which is understandable. The general ac installation estimate for a New Orleans, Louisiana home can average from a low cost of $2500 and upward to $3500 or more. There are several factors that determine the cost of ac installation such as: 

  1. Cost of materials – the AC unit, duct work, registers, return vents, etc. 
  2. Labor cost by professional, certified, and licensed technicians. 
  3. Project preparation of the exterior and interior areas and surfaces for components and machinery
  4. Cleanup and disposal fees.

What this general ac installation quote doesn’t include are the following: 

  1. Permits required by the City of New Orleans. 
  2. Inspection and/or building fees.
  3. Sales tax on the materials and supplies used. 
  4. General contractor fees paid to the City of New Orleans.

What size AC unit do I need?

When getting a new ac installation, you need to choose an air conditioner that is the right size. There are several factors to be considered in determining the right size. 

  • The roof type on your home
  • The ceiling height
  • The number of windows
  • The type of insulation in your home

The manufacturer’s guidelines for choosing the right size are generic in nature, so these factors we’ve listed are not necessarily incorporated into their recommendations. So, what size of unit do you need for your ac installation? You should know upfront, this is not referring to the physical size of the unit, but the tonnage of the AC unit. The tons of an HVAC unit is used to evaluate the amount of heat it removes in one hour. 

For instance, a typical HVAC unit is one ton, which can cool 12,000 BTU per hour. BTU is a measurement of heat. So, you need to know the square footage of your home and choose a unit for your ac installation that can cool that area within one hour. 

Get the square footage of a room – this is done by multiplying the length by the width. Now multiply that by 25 BTU. A room that is 15’ long x 12’ wide is 180 square feet. You would need 4500 BTU minimum to have ample cooling. If you were going with a window ac unit in a bedroom that is 300 square foot in size, you need an ac installation of a unit with no less than 5000 BTUs.

Which AC brand is best?

The major factor for most homeowners when getting ac installation done is the total cost. However, the level of each brand is something to consider as well. Some brands are known for having longer lifespans with little technical service needed. Some brands will have a longer warranty or better SEER rating (energy efficiency). Not all ac installation companies will offer all brands either, as some have specialized certification with certain brands. The most common brand names are, in alphabetical order: 

  • American Standard Air Conditioners
  • Carrier Air Conditioners
  • Goodman Central Air Conditioners
  • Lennox HVAC Units
  • Rheem Air Conditioners
  • Ruud Central Air Conditioners
  • Trane Central AC Units
  • York AC Units

How long do AC units last?

The life of an air conditioning unit can vary with different factors involved such as the brand name and level of that brand purchased, the ac installation, routine maintenance such as changing the AC filter, and if you’re following recommended professional inspections. With all these things taken care of, you can get up to 15 years from your ac installation. If any of these factors are overlooked or not done on a routine schedule, you could get less than 10 years. 

Hand pressing the button on a thermostat.

The Money Saving Question – Can you install central air yourself?

Well, you can certainly buy an HVAC system yourself and you can set it all up, including the wiring, the connections, and the ductwork. Where you’re going to have ac installation problems is getting the refrigerant needed to charge the unit. 

Due to EPA laws, refrigerant is only sold to certified and licensed ac professionals. Besides the refrigerant factor of your ac installation, a professional service can offer you maintenance contracts which will include routine schedule checkups and inspections. With that, any small issues your ac unit has can be caught and taken care of before it becomes a major problem. If you find yourself in need of help with ac installation in Norco and New Orleans, LA, call the Cajun Comfort team at 985-764-8191 to schedule your service.

What is wrong with my central air conditioning system?

wall air conditioner system

What causes central ac to stop working?

We are into the summer weather now here in Louisiana, and the word hot is describing more than our gumbo.  Temps are in the 90s and inching into the three digit mark with a humidity that matches. Now is not the time to have problems with your central air conditioning.  Nor do you want to be on the wait list for new central air conditioning installation!  

We are going to answer some questions today about central air conditioning and why it would just quit working all of the sudden. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t just stop working. We just aren’t always paying attention to indications that it is about to quit working! 

There are 7 common reasons why a central air conditioning unit will stop working: 

  • LOW REFRIGERANT. The refrigerant is what removes the heat and humidity from the air inside your home. If it is low, usually from a leaking refrigerant line or a bad compressor, the unit quits working. This needs the attention and service of a certified, licensed air conditioning technician. 
  • EVAPORATOR COILS FROZEN. The evaporator coil of your central air conditioning system is filled with that refrigerant and is what absorbs that heat, much like a sponge absorbs water. If the coils don’t have warm air around them , they can’t work properly and ice forms over them. 
  • CONDENSER COILS DIRTY. The condenser coils are in the outdoor component of your central air conditioning unit. They get rid of that heat the evaporator coils removed and expel it outside. When they are covered in dirt and grime, they can’t work. 
  • THE FAN. The blower fan is what blows the indoor air over the evaporator coils and cools the air inside your home. There is also a fan that blows air over the outdoor condenser that helps expel that absorbed heat. When one or both of those fans aren’t working right, you aren’t going to get cool air flowing through the house. 
  • DUCTS LEAKING. The ductwork in the ceiling and walls carries that cooled air throughout your home. If there are any holes, splits, are crushed ducts, that cooled air isn’t getting where it needs to be. So, you’re paying for cooled air to fill your attic, inside the walls, or under the house. 
  • THERMOSTAT PROBLEMS. If you have the old school thermostat with a dial, it probably is mis-calibrated, and your central  air conditioner isn’t getting the instructions it needs to cool your home. Fortunately, this can be an easy fix by installing a programmable thermostats.
  • DRAINS CLOGGED. As the coils and evaporators do their thing, it creates moisture from the hot air and sends it to a drain pain. However, if the lines to the drain pan or the drain pan itself becomes clogged and full, that moisture can’t go anywhere. It backs up into the central air conditioning system and flows over, creating water damage and before you know it, your central air conditioning is not working.

How do I know if my central air conditioning thermostat is broken?

The following five signs are telling you it is time to replace your current thermostat:

  • Your Central Air Conditioning is Turning On and Off: The main job of the thermostat is to communicate with the central air conditioning. If the system is turning off and on irregularly, repeatedly, or just randomly turns on or off, then replace the thermostat. It could be the internal wiring has been damaged, frayed, is simply wore out. 
  • The Reading is Incorrect: If the thermostat is showing an incorrect temperature, which can be tested by comparing to a portable indoor thermometer, you need to replace your central air conditioning and heating thermostat. It is likely the sensor inside the current thermostat is old or it has a manufacturing defect.
  • The Energy Bill Increased Excessively: If your utilities have increased an exceedingly high amount this year, it may be the thermostat is reading the room incorrectly and causing the central air conditioning to overwork, which is using more electricity.  To find the source of a skyrocketing energy bill, start by switching out the thermostat. 
  • Temperature Swings Constantly: A thermostat that is malfunctioning won’t stay at the setting you place it and may shift temperatures quickly without warning. You lower it, it raises back up, or vice versa, change out your thermostat. 
  • An Old and Outdated Thermostat: If you haven’t replaced your central air conditioning’s thermostat in the last 10 years, it is outdated and time to be replaced. Consider a programmable replacement and get your home upgraded with the advanced technology available today. Whether your central air conditioning is gas or electric, a programmable thermostat will help this summer and the winter too! 
air conditioner system

How do you diagnose central air conditioning problems and what do I do if my ac isn’t working?

When your central air conditioning has suddenly stopped working, it is panic time here in Louisiana during the summer. Take a moment to calm down and check the following: 

1. Won’t Turn On

Check outside to see if the condenser is running. Is everything plugged in, and the thermostat is set on air conditioning? Move the thermostat down 5 or 10 degrees and see if it cuts on. 

If that didn’t do anything, check the fuse or breaker box, and see if it threw the switch. If all is in place there, see if there is ice on the coils or compressor. If there is, call your central air conditioning technician.

2. Not Cooling the Air

Check that the thermostat is set at air conditioning and is turned on. See if the air condenser is blocked or dirty on the outside unit. It is important to keep debris, grass, and weeds down so the air circulation isn’t blocked.

Next, check the air filter and change it or clean it if you haven’t been doing that. When the air filter is clogged or dirty, the air is restricted to the evaporator coil, causing it to freeze. 

If none of this helps get the air cooling and the central air conditioning is noisy,  you’ll need to call your central air conditioning technician. 

3. Not Cooling Adequately 

If the central air conditioning and thermostat are set properly and your home still isn’t adequately cooling, the system may be too small for your home. 

Sometimes, like your computer, a central air conditioning system simply needs to be reset. How do I reset my central air conditioning system? That is done in 4 easy steps: 

  1. Shut your central air conditioning system off at the thermostat. 
  2. Flip the circuit breaker off. 
  3. Wait 30 to 60 seconds then turn the circuit breaker back on. 
  4. Then turn the thermostat back on 60 seconds later. 

If these steps don’t help your cooling issue, call your technician. Need help with your home air conditioner in Norco and New Orleans, LA? Call the experts at Cajun Comfort at 985-764-8191.

How can I improve indoor air quality?

dusty vent

How do you test indoor air quality? 

Do you come home every day feeling relieved that you’re getting away from the air pollution outside? You may be shocked to know that the indoor air quality in your home is just as bad, maybe worse.  Yes, your home’s indoor air quality and health of your family members could be linked. 

It would be nice to know that you have clean air at home to breathe wouldn’t it? One way to find out is to test your home’s indoor air quality. Proper and thorough testing will tell you if your home has allergens, mold, or radon. Here is a list of 4  different ways to test a home’s indoor air quality: 

  • Purchase a Monitor: There are several indoor air quality monitors today, each having some of the same features, some having some unique to them. These devices generally check for levels of allergens, tiny dust particles, volatile organic compounds, and other things that we inhale without realizing it, also referred to as PM2.5. Some also keep track of the humidity (checking for mold) and the temperature. 
  • Check for Mold: Your eyes and nose are two of the best mold detectors. Mold is typically found in the basement, drains, and ductwork, recognized by a musty odor. Depending on how bad this mold is, you may need it professional removed. 
  • Purchase a Carbon Monoxide Detector: Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. This byproduct from appliances used throughout the home, fireplaces, furnace, grills, stoves, and water heaters, can be deadly when inhaled. So, you and your family could be breathing it in without being aware. By installing a carbon monoxide detector on every floor in your home, it will alert you if it senses a high level of CO. 

What are the four most dangerous indoor air pollutants?

Most of us don’t give a lot of thought about the dangerous pollutants affecting the indoor air quality of your home. The American Lung Association tells us that there are more of us starting to recognize these dangerous elements though, and these four are the most dangerous, and the most common in most homes: 

  • Biological Pollutant: These pollutants include bacteria, dust mites and insect waste, mold, and pet dander. All of these things accumulate inside the air conditioning coils, ducts, and filters, then circulates throughout the home. These are the things that aggravate allergies and asthma  while causing respiratory infections.
  • Combustion Pollutant: Any appliance or device that burns fuel like fireplace, furnace, gas stove, heater, and water heaters emit combustion pollutants. When the fuel is burned, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are released. These colorless, odorless gases are very dangerous by disrupting the delivery of oxygen through the body. This results in dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and other symptoms. The eyes, nose, and throat become irritated by nitrogen dioxide, causing infections. If left unaddressed, the exposure can be extremely harmful.
  • Radon: This is a natural occurring gas that is radioactive and has been labeled as being the second leading cause in this country of lung cancer. Radon infiltrate the indoor air quality of your home through cracks in the drains, floors and walls, and other opening that it can find coming up from the ground.
  • Tobacco Smoke: We’ve all heard it a million times how dangerous secondhand tobacco smoke can be, yet it is still on the top 4 of the most dangerous pollutant to our indoor air quality. There is approximately 200 different poisons in a cigarette, along with 60 cancer causing chemical called carcinogens. Indoor cigarette smoke exposes your home to various ranges of poison from carbon monoxide to formaldehyde that lingers and floats through the air. 

What is the most threatening indoor air pollutant?

If you have or know anyone that has asthma, you know that indoor air quality for asthma patients is important. One of the most threatening things to affect the indoor air quality for an asthma suffer or anyone with allergies or other respiratory issues is cigarette smoke. 

Not only does cigarette smoke make it difficult for people that suffer from these things to breathe, but they are also be exposed the second-hand smoke that has shown to cause cancer. Yes, to 200+ poisons that tobacco is putting in the air along with the carcinogens is adding to their already difficulty in breathing. 

Why is air quality worse at night?

Okay, standing on the street corner with traffic going by, the bus that stops to load and unload passengers can put out hazardous toxins. However, staying inside isn’t much better. In fact, some studies have found indoor air quality is five times worse than the outdoor air quality. Even cooking everyone’s favorite holiday meal, Thanksgiving, is toxic to the indoor air quality. 

So, open the door and let the fresh night air in, right? Wrong again! As the nighttime temperature drops, those car emissions, CO2, and all those other pollutants get trapped in the ground level atmosphere. If your home doesn’t have good ventilation, it just makes it worse to breathe. 

healthy plant in home

How do I clean the air in my house?

Indoor air quality and plants have been associated for years. Purchasing one life green plant for each room will do wonders for the indoor air quality. Other ways to achieve indoor air quality benefits are: 

  • Step One: Increase the ventilation. Houses today are sealed tighter than ever because we’re trying to ease our utility bills with less cooling and heating.  There are ten inch screens that you can install on your windows that provide trickle ventilation  through filters that allows the fresh air in while getting the pollutants inside your home out. 
  • Step Two: Turn your air conditioner on: Yes, that pretty much standard in the summer, but is important to improving your indoor air quality. Why? Most pollutants are water-soluble and because the air conditioner removes water out of the atmosphere, it is also removing the air pollutants, particulate matter, and pollen.
  • Step Three: Install a HEPA  Filter. Not only do you need to change or clean the air filter every 30 days, but by using disposable HEPA filters, you’ll clean and improve the indoor air quality in your home even better.

Call 985-764-8191 today for your indoor air quality testing needs in Norco and New Orleans, LA.

What Is Metal Sheet Fabrication?

Metal Being Fabricated.

What does metal fabrication mean?

Most of us don’t know what sheet metal fabrication is, but it is a part of our everyday lives. You may be using it right this very minute while reading this article. Sheet metal fabrication covers several different processes where sheet metal is used. There are several different professionals in various industries where sheet metal fabrication is part of the process. 

Two industrial terms that are linked and often confused as being the same thing is ‘fabrication’ and ‘manufacturing’ because both are a process of construction or production. Yet, they are totally different, and with that, we are going to discuss sheet metal fabrication in this article. 

Sheet metal fabrication is the process of using one or more different processes to combine other standardized parts to construct other products. Sheet metal fabrication, for example, is achieved by cutting, bending, and assembling sheet metal resulting in metal structures. 

What is an example of fabrication?

Those that know how to do metal fabrication and create sheet metal fabrication products are professional fabricators. Some of those products include:  

  • Metal Furniture
  • Stainless steel storage units
  • Metal cabinets
  • Steel shelving
  • Stairwell Railings
  • Fencing
  • Cages 
  • HVAC Industry 
  • Ductwork
  • Grating
  • Venting
  • Lighting Hoods
  • Scissors
  • Structural Elements
  • Stainless steel bridge skeletons
  • Aircraft framework 
  • Silverware

What are the types of fabrication?

Sheet metal fabrication is done by taking raw sheet metal stock material and turning it into a part or piece that is used in the assembly process of another product. Sheet metal fabrication and welding are often used together in addition to several other steps in the process of other common steps involved, some of those being the following: 

  • Cutting the sheet metal
  • Folding the sheet metal
  • Machining to shape the sheet metal
  • Punching holes in the sheet metal
  • Shearing the sheet metal
  • Stamping imprints on the sheet metal
  • Additive Manufacturing to add sheet metal material in creating another object

What type of steel is used for sheet metal?

Different metals and metal alloys can be produced in sheets and used for sheet metal fabrication parts. The application requirements are considered when choosing which type of metal or metal alloy along with these factors:

  • It Has Configurability
  • It Is Weldable
  • It Resists Corrosion 
  • The Durability and Strength
  • The Weight
  • The Cost

Popular choices of metal and metal alloys for sheet metal fabrication include:

  • Stainless Steel: Available in a non-magnetic form and doesn’t require heat or any type of stress relief for manufacturing. Comes in different grades of corrosion resistance, configurability, and weldability. 
  • Cold rolled steel: Industry referred to as CRS provides smooth finished steel with a tighter tolerance for forming. Available in two different alloys of 1008 and 1018.
  • Pre-plated steel: A sheet metal material that comes as hot-dip galvanized steel or as galvannealed steel.
  • Aluminum: This is a moderately-priced material with a wide range of characteristics in different grades that can meet different application requirements. From a relatively low strength that is chemical resistant and weather-resistant but ductile and weldable for deep drawing. Also available in an affordable, formable, stronger, weldable grade that is corrosion-resistant or a significantly stronger grade that is still formable, corrosion-resistant, and weldable. Another grade option is a structural alloy that isn’t formable but is a strong, corrosion-resistant material that can be welded with a strong weld.
  • Brass/Copper: When a ‘red’ color metal is required by designers and engineers, the ETP of brass or copper are the best choices in metal for sheet metal fabrication project.  

What is the strongest sheet metal?

There is more than one metal to be considered “the strongest sheet metal”. Among those are: 

  • Carbon Steel
  • Chromium
  • Iconel – a heat-resistant alloy combination of nickel, chromium, and iron. 
  • Stainless Steel
  • Titanium
  • Tool Steel – a variety of alloy steel and carbon steel 
  • Tungsten
Fabricated Sheet Metal

In Closing – Just where do metal fabrication ideas come from? 

When developing a product, first comes the conception or idea. This could be any person from a personal experience or in conjunction with a process or product they have already that could be improved upon. 

A product design doesn’t go directly to manufacturing. After the conception or idea, the product design state follows, with engineering and protoype next. Then the sheet metal fabrication stage comes. Before a product idea can become a product, these other steps are necessary, especially if customization is necessary. 

Throughout the process, once a concept or an idea gets to the design stage and going forward, it is teamwork toward getting that end result that the originator had envisioned. Rarely does a concept or idea of a product go right from design to production. There is collaboration with engineering, the originator, and the rest of the team. 

Once the product is ready to sell, there are the other tasks of finding vendors and a marketing plan. The marketing plan involves several layers as well, all of which can take some time before selling the product comes to fruition. 

How do I service my generator?

generator system

Is it OK to run generator all night?

Here in Louisiana, homeowners have learned over the years that a generator is almost as necessary as the stuff it powers, like the lights and refrigerator. Why is a generator so important to the homes in this area?  Not necessarily all year long, but during hurricane season, when the storms knock out your power, a home with a generator can make getting through the rest of the storm more comfortable. With a home generator, electric power for the important things is still possible, like the lights and the refrigerator. 

First thing we recommend is to read the manual that came with your generator, and if you bought it used, search the internet for an online version of the manual. The more  you can learn and know about a generator, you’ll know the correct way to use it when you have a power emergency. When a generator isn’t used correctly, it can be dangerous, even deadly. 

Most generators can operate non-stop for eight hours, then they need to be refueled.  Keep in mind, if you don’t have power, there is a good chance the nearby gas station doesn’t either. This is why homeowners that live in areas where storms are common, hurricane and tornado areas, keep gasoline stored.

How often should I start my generator?

So, you have a generator, but hurricane season has arrived, do you need to anything with your generator in the off season? Yes! Year round maintenance is needed, even if hurricane season comes and goes quietly (it could happen!). To make sure your generator power is ready when you need it, we recommend starting it once a month and let it run for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Also, if your portable generator has a battery, make sure it is fully charged before you store it away after each hurricane season. Many generator owners will invest in a battery trickle charger that keeps the generator ready to go at all ties. 

How often should I change my generator oil?

A generator is a small-engine, like your lawnmower or any power equipment. This means that the oil should be changed on a regular basis, whether you’re using it or not, but especially after 100 hours of use. Again, we recommend being proactive when it comes to those hurricane power outages and get stocked up on gas, oil, and oil filters. That generator isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have the supplies to keep it running. 

What is the lifespan of a whole house generator?

Everything has a lifespan expectancy, including your generator. How long of a lifespan is dependent on a few factors, with the main one being the maintenance you do on that generator. Just like your lawn mower or car, basic maintenance is a must to get the most from your generator, starting it every 30 days even when you’re not using is, and keeping the oil changed as the owner’s manual recommends or as we’ve suggested in this article. 

With all that being followed, you can get up to 40 years from your generator. Don’t follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, you may get up to 20 years lifespan. If you have priced generators recently, new or used, you know they aren’t cheap. This is because those selling generators know what they have is what you’re needing. So, after paying that amount of money, doesn’t it make sense to take care of it so you have for years to come? 

Are whole house generators worth it?

Consider a whole house generator as an insurance policy. It provides a peace of mind that your family is comfortable, and your home is protected from power surges and voltage fluctuations during natural disasters and storms. Other advantages of a home generator are: 

  • During the cold winter months it can prevent the water pipes from freezing and bursting.
  • Keeps the refrigerator on so your food doesn’t spoil.
  • Keeps your security system on powered.
  • Keeps the air conditioning and heating on
  • Water heater still heats water
  • Sump pump keeps working (important with the amount of rain a hurricane can bring)
  • Electric garage door is useable
home generator

Can you use a home generator without transfer switch?

A transfer switch provides a dedicated set of switches for every circuit you need to power, like the refrigerators, air conditioning or heating, the sump pump, etc. Not using a transfer switch can damage your appliances or anything you have powered by the generator. If you’re shopping for a generator, make sure it either comes with a transfer switch or purchase one that fits your generator. 

Even if you don’t live in an area of the country where the power is known to go out, a whole home generator backup can be handy. As we mentioned earlier, a generator can be considered an insurance policy, ensuring that you’ll have power regardless of the situation. Call 985-764-8191 today for your generator repair service in Norco and New Orleans, LA.

Best Heating System For House

Heating and cooling air conditioner concept

Learn More About Heating Systems

A heating system is an important system to have inside your property in order to stay warm in the colder weather. What’s more, it will regulate the temperatures of a building for more efficient system operations. As there are a number of innovative heating systems in this day and age, consider doing your research to see what systems are more cost-efficient, energy-efficient, and more ideal for your energy source. Conversing with an established HVAC company is recommended for more insight on heating systems and how they will work with your property specifications and region. Until then, here is some general background information regarding heating that may prove useful to you.  

What is the purpose of a heating system?

The purpose of a heating system is to provide comfort to occupants by regulating the heating temperatures in an enclosed space be it within an office, home, business, or another dwelling. This is typically done in combination with a ventilation and air conditioning system with a heating system that’s either central or distributed. The maintenance of ambient temperatures with a heating system will essentially serve the property’s mechanical, structural, and electrical systems as well. 

How do I choose a heating system?

A heating system should have the following factors considered according to your preferences,  property, or region specifications. First, you’ll want to determine the energy source or fuel type that you are using, the distribution system (such as forced air or hot water,) energy efficiency, overall cost, boilers, furnaces, electric heat pump, and more.

What is the most energy efficient way to heat a house?

The most energy-efficient heating system is considered to be solar heating as it draws energy through the sun. Solar energy is used to heat a fluid, either air or liquid and will then transfer the solar heat directly to the interior space or a storage system for later use. If at the case the solar system won’t be able to provide enough heating to a space an auxiliary or backup system will be active to provide the additional heat. 

What is the best home heating system?

One of the most well-regarded heating systems is a geothermal system. It’s one of the most efficient types of heating systems and is environmentally safe to operate. It can cut heating bills up to 70 percent which makes it a cost-friendly option as well.

What is the most economical heating?

The most economic heating system is electric fixed heaters with reverse cycle air conditioning (or heat pumps.) These provide convective heat and is one of the more energy-efficient electric heaters. The most efficient of these are 5-6 star units which are cheaper to run and can generate lower greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to gas heaters.

Is floor heating worth it?

An underfloor heating system is an energy-efficient and innovative way to heat your home as it works with radiant floor heating. Heating will be achieved through heated wires or heated water pipes underneath the floor that warm the objects in the room instead of the air. The cost of labor and the use of energy will be lowered with these systems.

one room with a floor heating system (3d render)

Types of Heating Systems

  • Forced Air Systems (furnace)
  • Electric Systems
  • Geothermal Systems
  • Radiant Heat Systems
  • Radiator Distribution System (boiler)
  • Steam Radiant Heat Systems
  • Heat Pump 
  • Hybrid Heating
  • Baseboard Heater
  • Ductless Mini-Splits

What is the cheapest heating system to run?

The cheapest form of heating system is solar energy or gas-fueled systems. If you are living off of the grid, LPG is the most cost-effective option. Take full advantage of Economy 7 electrical tariffs to match LPG system running costs.

Is it cheaper to have heating on low all day?

According to experts of the Energy Saving Trust, having a heating system at low temperatures all day for cheaper costs is a myth. Essentially having the heat on all day is using energy all day so it’ll be a better idea to heat your home only when it’s needed.

What temperature outside should you put the heating on?

 Having your thermostat between 64℉-70℉ with your heating system is considered a good idea. If you have temperatures on the higher end of this range try turning it down two degrees to see if this is comfortable for you.

Contact A Qualified HVAC Company About Your Heating System 

In order to have a heating system that is right for your property, get in touch with a certified electrician. There are many different types of heating systems that may be of interest to you, so make sure you have the knowledge necessary before committing to a heating system that you will use for decades and more. Speaking with a professional will allow you to discuss which system will match your property specifications and operation needs. Get the heating system that’s best for you with a qualified HVAC company today.

To get assistance with heating system in Norco and New Orleans, LA call 985-764-8191 with Cajun Comfort!

How do you fix electrical problems in a house?

Electrical outlet

Electrical history in the home

Ah, as history would prove, Benjamin Franklin did not discover electricity. It was the Ancient Greeks, around 600 BC that would discover rubbing fur on fossilized tree resin resulted in an attraction. That would be the discovery of static electricity. From there, it was an Italian physicist that discovered reactions of particular chemicals produced electricity and went on to construct a voltaic pile in 1800 that produced a steady electric current. So how did we get from that to home electrical service capabilities? 

Michael Faraday created what we would now call a power generator in 1831. The invention was rather crude, but it was enough that Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan were able to invent the incandescent filament light bulb around 1878. Fast forward to 1882 and streetlamps made their appearance on New York streets and the rest is history as home electrical service was provided across the country and around the globe.

Now that we have reviewed history and provide a more accurate, yet sketchy, accounting for who discovered electricity, let’s talk about home electrical basics and answer some questions.  While we may realize that you turn a light on, there light, but do you know what causes electrical failure? Electrical failure isn’t anything we want to deal with, but they happen, and those unplanned home electrical service failures are the worse! However, knowing why can often help prevent it from happening again. 

Electricity may seem simple, but the truth is, it has a level of danger about it too, especially with home electrical service failures. If you aren’t sure what is causing it, you could be creating the problem. So, with the info we have below, you’ll have some ideal what can cause a home electrical failure and possibly prevent it from happening. Some common home electrical faults are: 

  • Excess load – Home electrical service wiring is meant to handle on a certain amount of power going through it, so when the circuit breakers and wiring have reached their capacity, it can throw the breaker due to overload. 
  • Home Electrical load – In some cases, professional electricians find that incorrect installation or the circuit breaker or wiring has caused the home electrical service failure. More often though, it is incorrect use of the electricity. Incorrect use could be anything from a multi outlet extender and to plugging in multiple cords in one outlet. 
  • Home Electrical Box Tightly Packed – Inside every type of home electrical box, the wires need a comfortable distance between them, 30 mm is the recommended distance.  This is the circuit breaker box, outlet box, light switch box. Why is this space needed?  Home electrical service wires heat up with use and if they are cramped together, they can overheat and overload the circuit. 
  • Loose connections– Inside the main panel, there are breaker and neutral connections that must be installed securely. If any are left loose, they can short out inside the main panel and overload the electricity. This is one of the major reasons that professional home electrical service check is recommended.  

How do I know if my electrical is updated? 

Today, we all take electricity for granted. When need a light, we turn it on, we need air conditioning, we turn it on. The refrigerator keeps our food cold, and our televisions entertain us, all because of home electrical service. What most us don’t realize is the possible danger of an electrical fire hiding inside the walls of our home. So, how do you know if you have an electrical problem in your house?  Here are 10 indicators that you should be aware of that may be telling you there is a home electrical issue that needs attention: 

  1. Unfamiliar odors: A new appliance will have a different odor when it is first turned on, and so does the heater the first time it is turned on. When a home electrical service outlet has an odd odor though, you need to unplug everything connected and call a qualified electrician immediately. The same is true about the breaker box or fuse box too. 
  2. Arc faults: An arc is what electricity comes from and when electrical circuit deviates off the intended path, it is an arc fault, typically a wiring breach. This has been found to be the cause of many home electrical service fires. You can prevent this from happening though by having an AFCI installed by a professional electrician.
  3. Counterfeit home electrical products: Extension cords, night lights, power cords that are purchased at a flea market are most likely a knock off and does not meet government or industry standards. These items may seem like a great deal price-wise, but they are incredibly dangerous. Never use anything that doesn’t have the UL seal of approval.
  4. Sparking or Warm Switches and Outlet: If a light switch is warm to the touch or an outlet sparks when you plug something in, call a professional electrician. There may be wires needing repair or replacing.  
  5. Buzzing, Cracking, Sizzling: Home electrical service switches and outlets should not make noise. If you notice any buzzing or cracking, or a switch sizzles when you flip it on, call your electrician immediately. 
  6. Lights Flickering: If your lights are flicking, you have a power surge, but that isn’t always an emergency. Turn one or two things off and if the flickering stops, then you were putting too much demand on your home electrical service system. If the flickering continues, or it happens regularly, you should have a professional electrical inspection. It may be time to update your electrical power. 
  7. Broken switches and loose outlets: When outlets and switches stop working or only  work intermittently, there is probably loose wiring inside the outlets, switches, or walls. This is a fire hazard and should be examined by an electrician immediately. 
  8. Ceiling Fixtures Get Hot: It isn’t something you’d notice, you’ll have to reach up and check them but if they are feeling warm, they need more insulation. You should also check the wattage of the bulbs; you may have higher than the fixture is wired to handle. 
  9. Critter, Insect and Rodent Droppings: Mice, rats, squirrels, and even insects chew and nest on home electrical service wiring. This damages and frays the wiring, creating a fire hazard. If you notice droppings or nesting activity, have a home electrical inspection done and then call a pest control service.
  10. Circuit Breaker Issues: Circuit breakers trip when a circuit is overloaded, they are designed to this as a safety catch to prevent fires. If you’re having circuit breakers trip constantly, then you need a home electrical service inspection and find out what the issue may be, which could be having your circuit panel updated. 
electrical outlet repair

How do I test my house for wiring?

It is always recommended to have a professional electrician with experience in home electrical how to check your home electrical service wiring. There are some thing you can do yourself using an inexpensive tester or a multimeter.

  • Testing Outlets: Turn the power off at the circuit breaker first. Then insert the tester’s two probes into the two vertical slots. If the power is live, the tester will light up. Check the grounding by inserting one tester probe into the short, straight slot and the other probe in the D-shaped slot. The tester will light up if the circuit is working and there is a good ground connection.
  • Testing Wall Switches: To test a wall switch for your home electrical power, power off at the circuit breaker the remove the cover plate and flip the switch to on. Touch one tester probe carefully one of the screws on the switch’s side and the other probe to the copper ground wire. Flip the switch to off and repeat the test. If there is no light in either test, the switch is dead. 

We never would encourage home electrical service engineering to a homeowner that doesn’t have any type of home electrical experience. Electricity can be extremely dangerous, and it isn’t worth saving a few dollars and risking your life or your home. Where the weather can be questionable, like in the south with tornadoes and in the north with snowstorms, home electrical service with  backup systems are recommended. Otherwise known as generators, A backup system for your home electrical needs can keep your house functioning for a short time until the main power is back on. Call 985-764-8191 today.

Can I Install My Own Air Conditioner?

air conditioner installed outside

Why get an air conditioner installed? 

If you’ve priced getting central air condition installation, you probably have asked yourself, “Can I install my own air conditioner?”. The answer is probably, but experts recommend having somebody who has been trained and knows how to install an air conditioner to do that job.

If you have lived in the south one summer, you know why you need air conditioner installation in your home. It is miserable without for starters, but we have other factors to consider about having air conditioner installation: 

Fewer Trees, More Vehicles: We don’t have as many trees as we did when the installation was few and far between in-home air condition installation. There are more infrastructures, which have taken away our trees, creating that urban heat island everyone is discussing. We have more vehicles on the road that generate heat and put more fumes in the air. 

Your Health:  Many people have trouble breathing in high temperatures. Some health issues that can be eased with air condition installation: 

  • Heat exhaustion 
  • Heatstroke
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dehydration 
  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fainting
  • Nauseating 

Protect Your Belongings: Your furniture, pictures, even your clothing will do better in a cooler environment that an air conditioner installation will provide. Keeps wood furniture healthier so that it last longer by keeping from drying out. Your electronics will do better in cooler air, too, because they are getting overheated. 

Fresh Air: Air condition installation will disperse cold, fresh air throughout your home as it sucks out the contaminated air from all the things that fill our homes. 

Productivity Increased: When you’re living and working in extreme heat conditions, you become exhausted and winded faster, and less productive. With air-condition installation, you’re more comfortable and more productive.  The brain is getting more oxygen and working better too! 

Security: The days of leaving all the windows open at night are gone today. You can’t sleep safe and secure with all your windows open anymore. A professional air conditioner installation will make you home safer at night while you sleep relaxed and comfortable. 

Relaxed Sleep: Trying to sleep in hot, humid temperatures is miserable and almost impossible. Air-condition installation will give your bedroom a cooler temperature, is relaxing for the heart, and keeps the blood pressure at a safe level because you’re breathing more comfortable. 

What size AC do I need?

When it comes to determining the unit’s right size for your air conditioner installation, there are a few factors to consider, such as the ceiling height, the insulation type and thickness in the attic, and the house’s size. Central air conditioners are measured by tonnage, meaning a one-ton air conditioner can cool 12,000 BTU within an hour, and a two-ton air conditioner can cool up to 24,000 in one hour. 

To calculate whether you need 1 ton or 2 ton, you need to know your home’s square footage and then use math to figure it there.  The following is an example of a 1,500 square foot home: 

  • 1,500 X 30 = 45,000 / 12,000 = 3.75 – 1.0 = 2.75

You would need a central air conditioner installation for a 3-ton unit. Your air condition installation contractor can help you with this calculation. It could vary for homes where the air is more arid or humid. 

Does Central AC add value to a home?

Maybe. Whether or not the system is brand new or relatively new won’t be noticed as much as not having it air condition installation or proper working system. Without any air conditioning in your home, especially here in Texas or any southern state, you’ll have a hard time selling. Real estate experts estimate a house with air condition installation already in place will get up to 10% more in selling price. This falls short of what a new air condition installation job cost, though. 

Is central air worth the cost?

That depends.  Are you having central air condition installation done for resale value (see the question above), or are you having it done for your comfort? Then you need to question the cost of a central air conditioner installation versus window units. Central air is considered superior by most people, but when you look at the cost of central air conditioner installation and repair and operating energy, window units give it central a run. 

air conditioner systems outside of a home

Which is better ductless AC or central AC?

The answer to this is going to depend on your situation. A ductless air conditioning system and central air condition have two things in common: 

  • There are two component to both
  • Coolant passes between the two components to cool the indoors

In a central air system, the cold air goes through the air handler into the ductwork and then throughout the house. A ductless system utilizes a slim cable between a box on your wall and the condenser. There is no ductwork or floor vents (thus the name ductless).  With that information, ask yourself these questions to help determine which is air condition installation is better for your situation: 

  1. Is There Existing Ductwork? With ductwork in place already, go with central air condition installation. You’re already ahead of the game!  
  2. Do Want to See  Your Air Conditioner? A central air conditioner is hidden in a closet. The ductless system will be on the wall. 
  3. How Big Is Your Home? A ductless system isn’t going to cool a home bigger than 2,000 square feet. 
  4. Will Noise Bother You? The  ductless systems are going to be quieter.
  5. How Budget Concerned Are You? Ductless air conditioning starts around $2,000 for a single unit. A central air condition system can cost $5,000 and up. 
  6. Is Energy Efficiency Important to You? With a central air condition installation, if the ductwork isn’t done right, you’ll lose energy efficiency. With a ductless system, there aren’t any air duct concerns. 
  7. Is Individual Zoning Better for Your Situation? 

Ductless is excellent for zone control air conditioning, and it is a cheaper way to go. 

Your home is a valuable investment. You want to choose the air conditioner installation that works best for your use and your budget and into your future. Ask questions, do research, and talk to neighbors, family, and friends about what they have and why it works for them. Call Cajun Comfort today at 985-764-8191 to get started on your air condition installation in Norco and New Orleans, LA.

Can a window air conditioner cool an entire house?

air conditioner

Keeping Your Space Cool and Comfortable

Deep down in the south is Cajun country, Louisiana. Summers are hot and humid here, and while nobody wants to live without having an air conditioner, nobody wants to pay those electric bills. Most homes have either central air conditioning, a window air conditioner, fans or all the windows are open. 

How can I reduce my AC consumption?

There are several factors that determine how efficient your air conditioner for home is and the amount of power it takes. Those factors  are:

  • The age and condition of the air conditioner
  • The layout of your home
  • The air ducts design
  • How air-tight and insulated your home is
  • Last, but not least, the weather

Here are eight suggestions on how to reduce your air conditioner’s power consumption: 

1. Raise the thermostat one degree

You won’t be able to tell the difference between 71 degrees in a room versus 72 degrees. So why bother? To save money! Raise the air conditioner thermostat one degree and see if anyone notices. 

2. Purchase a smart thermostat and program it! 

If your air conditioner isn’t running, it isn’t costing you money. A smart thermostat will keep your air conditioner from running when it isn’t needed. With a smart thermostat, you can set it to automatically cut off when nobody is home and cool down (or warm up) the house so it is comfortable when you get home from work. 

3. Clean air ducts gives clean airflow 

Your air conditioner will use less power and be more efficient when the air ducts and vents are clean. Make sure the furniture and other objects aren’t blocking the vents too.

4.Regular professional  maintenance schedule 

Even when you do everything you an as a homeowner, there are parts of an air conditioner that you don’t see or can reach.  A professional air conditioner technician will  check all the components, fix any connections or parts that need attention, and clean, grease, or oil anything that needs it. 

5. Change or clean air filters monthly

This is one thing that we cannot stress enough. A dirty air conditioner filter can’t filter the air as it needs, like a clogged sink can’t drain. The more clogged an air filter gets, the harder the air conditioner has to work, shortening its lifespan. 

6. Insulate your house 

To get the maximum  energy-efficiency from your air conditioner, keep your house insulated to keep the cold air in where you needed it. Check the attic for insulation and insulate around the ducts, outlets, and pipes. 

7. Retrofit your AC unit

Maybe your current air conditioner is working fine, but could it be more efficient? Ask your professional air conditioner technician about retrofitting more ventilation, a newer compressor or fan, and ask about retrofitting your air conditioner and purifier system too. 

8. Energy efficient upgrade 

If you have to buy a new air conditioner, make sure you get an upgrade model that is energy efficient. 

window air conditioner

Is it cheaper to run a window air conditioner or central air?

Having  a single unit window air conditioner installation is cheaper than having a new HVAC system installed. In fact, if you have help, you don’t have to pay for installation with a window unit. You can buy the from $100 that is 5,000 BTU up to a granddaddy size unit or $1,000 that has 18,000 BTU. What size you get depends on how big of an area you’re planning on cooling with the unit. 

The big question of whether a window unit set up is cheaper to operate than a central unit and the answer is yes. They do not use as much energy as a HVAC unit, even if you left it running 24/7 at full blast, a window unit wouldn’t use as much energy as a central unit. 

Should I turn my AC off at night?

As energy costs keep rising, everyone is looking for ways to cut back on their utilities. If you have window unit air conditioners, by all means, turn off the units in room where you aren’t at night. Central air conditioning can work harder and cost you more money if you turn it off and allow the house to get too warm before turning it back on. So, use caution with the HVAC air conditioner system. 

Can an air conditioner run 24 7?

Experts recommend that you do not run any air conditioner 24/7, even if it is the biggest unit on the market. Why? First, it is a waste of your energy cost, and the more the system runs, the quicker it is going to wear out. If you have an HVAC air condition system, buy a programmable thermostat, and utilize the feature to turn the unit off/on and up/down to keep your home at a comfortable level. 

ac unit

Closing Words 

Your home is the place where you want to feel safe and comfortable, but you don’t want to go broke with the cost of air conditioner operation. With a few smart moves, you can be comfortable and have money left over after paying the electric bill.