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Archive for November, 2013

Thanksgiving, 2013: The Presidential Turkey Pardon

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Thanksgiving began in 1621, but didn’t become a national holiday until 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared it in hopes of bringing a divided nation together. We have many Thanksgiving traditions in this country, from turkey at the meal to the annual Cowboys and Lions games on television. But one of the most beloved is the annual Presidential turkey pardon, in which the U.S. President “pardons” a turkey to life in a petting zoo rather than ending up as someone’s main course. As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, we thought you’d like to know a little more about the history of this fascinating tradition.

Farmers have sent turkeys to the White House as far back as the 1800s, hoping to have the honor of providing the President’s annual meal. There have been scattered stories of individual turkeys being “pardoned” throughout that time, including one in which President Lincoln’s son Tad successfully convinced the president to spare a bird intended for the family’s Christmas dinner.

Starting in 1947, the National Turkey Federation became the official supplier of the President’s Thanksgiving birds. The White House arranged for an annual photo op that year with the President receiving the turkey in the Rose Garden. Sadly, there was no pardon as yet; those birds all ended up on the Presidential table.

The push for an official pardon picked up steam in 1963, when President Kennedy ask that the bird be spared just a few days before his assassination. President Nixon opted to send each of the birds he received to a nearby petting zoo after the photo op, though there was no formal pardon attached.

But it wasn’t until 1989 that the pardon became official. On November 14 of that year, President George H. W. Bush made the announcement, and sent the bird to a Virginia game preserve to live the rest of its life out in cranberry-and-stuffing-free bliss. Since then, every President has held an annual pardoning ceremony, with the lucky turkey spared the axe and sent off to live in peace. Since 2005, the pardoned birds have gone to Disneyland in Anaheim, California where they have lived as part of a petting zoo exhibit in Frontierland.

No matter what traditions you enjoy this holiday, or who you enjoy them with, all of us here wish you a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving weekend.

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Why Are Furnaces So Popular?

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Furnaces are the oldest of all home heating systems, dating back to before the Industrial Revolution, when they principally burned wood. But despite their age, furnaces still remain popular across the U.S. and the rest of North America as ways to provide heat during the winter. With so many technological advances in the HVAC industry during the last hundred years, why have furnaces continued to top the list of options for heating?

If, after reading over these reasons for the enduring popularity of furnaces, you are interested in installing one to solve your heating needs, contact the Springfield, OR heating technicians at Comfort Flow Heating. No job is too small or too large for us.

One of the reasons furnaces remain popular is that those same advances in HVAC technology have affected furnaces as well: today’s gas furnaces from respected manufacturers like Trane perform at levels of efficiency unthinkable only 20 years in the past. Some models score AFUE ratings of 96.7%, meaning they consume almost 97% of the fuel they use when providing you heat—the energy waste is minimal.

Another benefit of furnaces is their flexibility. Furnaces can run from a variety of fuels: electricity, natural gas, oil, propane. They also come in many different sizes to accommodate the heating needs of many different homes. It’s rare that we can’t find a particular furnace that is a perfect match for a customer’s home.

Furnaces are also price-competitive: high-efficiency furnaces cost far less than they did only a decade ago. Where effective gas furnaces were once out of the price range of many families, they are now attractive alternatives that won’t break the bank and return the money with their energy savings.

Finally, furnaces use forced-air heating sent through ductwork to operate. Since most homes already have ductwork, it’s easy to have a furnace installed and hooked up to the pre-existing ducts.

You should definitely have a furnace on your list of options for heating your home: don’t push them aside because they seem “old fashioned.” Trust to Comfort Flow Heating and our 50 years of experience providing quality heating service in Springfield, OR. We install top-of-the-line Trane furnaces, and we can locate the right model furnace for your home.

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What’s the Difference Between Forced-Air Heat and Radiant Heat?

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

In Springfield, OR, heating services need to address a number of different types of heater. Our winters are cold, but we also embrace innovation, and while plenty of homes use traditional forced-air burners, many other use newer forms of heating such as geothermal and radiant heating systems. If you’re going to add a new heater, you need to understand how each one is distinguished from the others. For example, what’s the difference between forced-air heat and radiant heat?

Forced-air heat comes from a gas furnace, which heats the air before blowing it into a system of ducts to be distributed throughout your home. Radiant heat, on the other hand, relies upon a system of tubes or coils placed directly beneath your flooring. It sends warmth up through the floor, the furniture and even the people in the room.

The differences between the two are very clear. Forced-air systems rely upon reliable air flow and are subject to the vagaries of your home’s layout. It can result in drafty areas, cold spots and the general unpredictability of air movement. Radiant heating systems, on the other hand, heat the space much more evenly because they do so through the floor. They avoid the unpredictability of forced-air systems, and because they are much more efficient, they can save you a huge amount on your monthly heating bills in the process.

However, the initial installation of a radiant heating system can cost quite a bit more than a gas furnace. It can also involve a lot more fuss and bother, since the floors of your home need to be torn up in order to install it. It becomes a question of short-term investment vs. long-term gain, and it’s up to the individual homeowner to decide which path to take.

For more information on the difference between forced-air heat and radiant heat, contact Comfort Flow Heating. We operate out of Springfield, OR, heating services are our specialty, and we can explain all of your options to you before you decide on a course of action. Pick up the phone and call our Springfield, OR heating service technicians today!

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Loud and Strange: A Brief Guide to Heating Sounds

Monday, November 4th, 2013

In wet weather towns like Springfield, OR, heating repair services must contend with all sorts of problems. We need reliable furnaces to keep our homes warm when the rains start falling, and if trouble arises, it needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. Canny homeowners learn to look for warning signs that their heater isn’t functioning as effectively as it could, notably by listening for loud and strange noises coming from their heaters. Many heaters make sounds, but sounds that don’t belong there often suggest a problem of one kind or another. Here’s a brief guide to heating sounds, to help pinpoint what those noises mean.

In some cases, the noise from your heating system is nothing to worry about. The metal in your ducts may groan and stretch as hot air moves through them, especially if you haven’t run your furnace for a while. More substantive sounds, however, likely indicate a problem. For instance a banging or clanging sound might mean a clog in your heating pipes, which the pressure has burst through. You’ll need to contact a professional to clear out the rest of the clog before it happens again.

Specific noise likely mean specific problems, and the tenor of the noise can give you some clue as to the nature of the problem. A loud buzzing sound could indicate an electrical problem or perhaps an issue with the furnace’s motor. A rattling noise suggests a component loose in its housings or a loose component such as a screw inside the system. A grinding noise may be a misaligned fan rubbing up against another components. And if there’s a leak in the system somewhere, you might hear a hissing or a rattling noise as the air escapes through the fissure.

A brief guide to heating sounds is useful, but it’s still only what it claims to be: a brief guide to help narrow down the possible causes. For a more thorough examination, call upon Comfort Flow Heating to help. We cover homes throughout Springfield, heating repair services are a specialty, and our experts can get to the bottom of any loud and strange noises your system may produce. Pick up the phone and call the Springfield, OR heating repair service technicians at Comfort Flow Heating today!

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