S&L Mechanical Heating and Cooling Blog

Tips for Saving on Cooling with the Thermostat This Summer

April 18th, 2018

setting-thermostatYou expect higher electrical bills during the summer because the air conditioning system runs more often. The compressor in an AC requires a large amount of electricity. But are there ways you can cut down on these costs without having to leave the air conditioner off and sweating through the summer?

Yes, there are a couple. We’re going to look at one of the simplest of all in this post. All you have to do is know the best settings for the thermostat.

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Heat Pumps Need Maintenance Twice a Year

April 9th, 2018

service-markerSpring is the time when we encourage homeowners to schedule their annual maintenance for their cooling systems. This is a season when HVAC technicians have less crowded schedules because they’re responding to fewer emergency calls for busted furnaces and air conditioners. It’s therefore easier to schedule a convenient appointment for technicians to come to your house and take care of all the necessary inspections, cleaning, and adjustments to ensure your air conditioner is ready for the summer heat.

But if you have a heat pump for your home comfort, and it was professionally maintained back in the fall, is it necessary to have the service again?

The answer is “absolutely!”

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How Often Should I Change the Filter This Summer?

March 26th, 2018

air-fliter-cuWe recently wrote a post reminding customers that spring is when to schedule air conditioning maintenance. It’s the best way to get an AC ready to face the stresses of summer without mishap, and it also helps save money with energy-efficient performance and a longer system lifespan.

One of the important steps our technicians do during spring maintenance is to change out the air filter. This is one of the few maintenance tasks homeowners can do themselves—and which they will have to do themselves, since the filter must be changed multiple times over the summer. If you’re unsure about how to change the filter, it’s not hard at all: ask us about it during maintenance, and we’ll be glad to show you the steps.

The big question most people have about filter changes isn’t “How do I do it?” but “How often should I do it?”

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What Kind of New AC Do You Recommend?

March 21st, 2018

air-conditioning-plastic-grateHere’s a question we often hear from our customers when they’re looking to replace an old air conditioning system or have the first AC put in for a new home. Right around this time of the year is when they’re most likely to ask it, since spring is the ideal time to upgrade a home’s cooling—it’s easy to schedule and the work can be done long before the first hot days arrive.

When customers ask us in person about the best type of air conditioner, we can give them helpful answers. But as a general question it’s a bit tougher to answer. The right cooling system for a home depends on the house itself, the people in it, and the available budget. In other words, the best way to get a good answer to the question is to call us for a consultation.

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Spring Air Conditioning Maintenance: It’s Important

March 12th, 2018


The official first day of spring is only a little more than a week away, and that means it’s the time of year to arrange for a professional air conditioning inspection and tune-up. This routine spring maintenance is one of the biggest favors you can do for your AC—and for yourself and your family! We offer great air conditioning maintenance in Bellevue, WA and the surrounding areas. If you call today, you’ll be able to arrange for a convenient time for the inspection and tune-up and be able to beat out the first hot day.

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How Long Should My Furnace Last?

February 26th, 2018

question-mark-badgeThis is one of the questions we receive the most from customers. It’s an understandable one. Homeowners don’t want to replace a furnace unless they have to, and they want to know how much life they can expect from their current one. People also ask this question if they have an old furnace that isn’t getting the job done the way it used to. In this case, what they’re really asking isn’t “How long should my furnace last?” but “Is it time to replace my furnace?”

No two homes have the same situation when it comes to furnaces, and there are different types of furnaces. There isn’t a single answer to this question, but if you have concerns about your furnace in Bellevue, WA, schedule an appointment with one of our technicians, and they can see if your furnace is at retirement age or if furnace repairs can keep it going.

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Does Rust on a Boiler Mean the Boiler Is Finished?

February 21st, 2018

boiler-residentialThe big danger for any appliance that uses water is the onset of rust or another type of corrosion. These are natural chemical reactions when water is in contact with metal in the presence of oxygen. The oxidizing of corrosion weakens the metal—and often leads to appliance failure.

Thankfully, most appliances that use water have precautions taken to keep corrosion away for as long as possible. A residential boiler is one of them. Because a boiler is a closed system, where the same water circulates continuously without the introduction of new water, it can be designed to have no air inside it. With no oxygen present, rust cannot occur.

But this doesn’t mean that a boiler will never rust. Should you notice rust appearing along your boiler tank or at connection points, you might wonder if it means the system should be replaced.

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How to Tell Your Furnace Needs Repairs

February 12th, 2018

home-basement-furnaceIt would be great if all heating systems (as well as air conditioning system) came with artificial intelligence that could immediately notify homeowners that something is wrong, what it is, and the next steps to take. Who knows, maybe one day that kind of technology will exist. For the moment, however, if you have a furnace in your home, you’ll need to watch for less straightforward warnings that it needs repairs from professionals.

And it’s important to always have any furnace repairs in Bellevue, WA done by licensed HVAC professionals. With gas furnaces—the most common around here—licensed technicians are the only people who are legally allowed to work on them. Professionals can ensure the job gets done fast and right without any hazard to you and your family.

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Why It’s Important to Schedule Heating Maintenance in Fall

October 3rd, 2014

We all know that tense moment when we first turn on our heating system: will it start up? One of the best ways ensure that this moment isn’t so tense is to schedule heating maintenance in Seattle, WA. There are multiple benefits to scheduling heating maintenance, and doing it in the fall season helps get you and your system ready for the cold winter weather that’s coming. It’s best to hire trained and certified professionals for all heating work, so if you are ready for fall maintenance, call the people you can count on: the NATE-certified technicians of S&L Mechanical.

What Happens During a Heating Maintenance Appointment?

Here is a general overview of what happens during a routine heating maintenance appointment: 

  • Check thermostat settings
  • Tighten all electrical connections; measure voltage and current on motors
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Inspect the condensate drain in your furnace or heat pump
  • Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation
  • Check all fuel connections, the burner assembly and heat exchanger
  • Conduct safety checks
  • Test system’s performance

What Are the Benefits of Scheduling Maintenance?

There are several benefits you can gain from scheduling fall maintenance for your heating system:

  • Prevents premature aging – a system that operates for long periods of time without maintenance usually operates under pressure. Why? The components are dirty and worn, and as such, cannot operate optimally.
  • Increases energy efficiency – when your components are not clean and have a level of wear and tear from usage, it can be hard for your system to operate as efficiently as it should. The cleaning, adjusting and lubrication that these components receive during routine maintenance allows them to run optimally, so your system can, too.
  • Reduces repairs – during maintenance, your system is thoroughly inspected by the technician. This inspection allows the technician to detect any problems that may have developed. Early detection helps you get ahead of repairs that can become large and costly.

Maintenance helps prepare your heating system for the winter. To schedule your fall heating maintenance in Seattle, call S&L Mechanical today!


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3 Benefits of Going Ductless

September 26th, 2014

If your home does not have any ducts installed, you could call a contractor to add ductwork onto the home before installing your new heating and air conditioning system. However, this can be quite a hassle, taking up too much of your time and disrupting the daily activities around the house.

One alternative that is gaining popularity these days is a ductless mini split system. These systems use the same type of outdoor compressor unit as other central air conditioners, but without requiring a forced air system. Instead, air is distributed to the home via indoor air handlers that blow air directly into the rooms.

Learn more about the benefits of these high-performance systems below.

No Ducts!

While this point seems obvious, there are many benefits of going ductless that you may be unaware of. Ducted heating and air conditioning systems may be inefficient because air can easily escape through some areas of the ducts. In fact, duct losses are responsible for up to 30% of energy loss in some homes, which means you’re not getting as much heating or cooling as you need, resulting in poor performance and inefficiency.

Comfort for the Whole Family

Sometimes, a member of your family has special temperature needs that requires keeping a certain room cool at all times. Or, someone in the household wants to keep their own room warmer than the rest of the house. Ductless air conditioners come with built-in zone control because there are multiple units around the home. Each indoor air handler has its own thermostat, so you can choose the temperature in individual areas of the house.

Energy Savings

Finally, the money you save will likely be worth the initial investment. Zone control systems are generally cost effective because they allow you to choose to shut off the air conditioning in unoccupied areas of the home, so you won’t pay to cool a space that goes largely unused at certain times. Besides, most ductless units have high efficiency ratings, and many have a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) that is well above the average for AC units today.

To get ductless air conditioning in Seattle, WA, call the cooling experts at S&L Mechanical today!

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