September 14, 2014 |
Question: I had our attic spray-foamed in 2010. Our HVAC contractor recently did a semiannual service. The technician came down from the attic, where he was checking the air handler, and he was wringing wet with sweat. Another technician said we needed an energy consultant to check the spray-foam job since leaks in the foam were likely allowing hot, humid air into the attic. The consultant suggested removing all the batt insulation in the ceiling and redoing the spray foam to totally encapsulate the attic.
July 27, 2014 |
Q uestion: Over the last month, after running the air conditioner in my son's room, we noticed that it smelled like an ashtray. There is no hidden source, like a collection of cigarette butts in his room, so the logical thing was to clean the current air conditioner and see if it still smelled. Long story short, we ran an ionizer in his room when he was at overnight camp and bought a new air conditioner. After running the new air conditioner for two nights, the smell is back.
July 11, 2014 |
BEEN SUFFERING electric (bill) shocks from cranking up the air conditioning? We have ways to reduce the torture. Fanning the flames: Air conditioning is rarely as efficient as users would like. Hot air rises, cold air falls. As sun beats down on the roof, the top floor will always be harder to cool. And no matter how well you "balance" air flow through vents, the side of the house closer to the blower or the side of the room near the window unit will invariably feel colder. Fixing the gaps: With thoughtful placement, a ceiling fan over the sofa or bed and a small, portable fan or two near your window AC unit or central system vents can help a lot to balance the climate zones.
March 23, 2014 |
Q uestion: In 2012, I wrote about possible solutions to a wet crawl space at my newly acquired home in Mantoloking, and your reply and the input from your readers was helpful. Storm Sandy visited before any corrective measures were taken, and I am working on a much larger problem, since my ranch home took 13 inches of water and is in the process of recovery and hazard mitigation. My question today relates to air conditioners and the claim that salt in the air, fog, and water corrode metal and will reduce the life of the unit.
March 5, 2014 |
It's been a long and difficult berth for the SS United States. Since 1996, the magnificent ocean liner has been suspended in shabby dormancy, docked on the Delaware River in South Philadelphia while stewards work out plans for its restoration and reuse. Built for luxury and for speed, it fulfilled both ambitions spectacularly after a maiden voyage in 1952, breaking records for eastbound and westbound Atlantic crossings while ferrying presidents, immigrants, and royalty, real and Hollywood.
February 21, 2014
HERE in the Upper Midwest, we do battle with Old Man Winter using a two-stage, gas-powered snowblower in every garage. May not need a lawn mower or a leaf blower or air conditioning, but darn sure need a snowblower. It's the first day above 32 degrees here since November, with 8 inches of snow on the ground. We have salt trucks, snowplows, the water company for frozen pipes, so it is not just the power company. Lots of blankets and the fireplace when the power goes out. We ice-fish and play pond hockey, too. We do not listen much to Punxsutawney Phil.
December 19, 2013 |
THE WEATHER outside is frightful and it's apparently not much better inside for students, faculty and staff at an Overbrook school. Pupils and teachers at Overbrook Educational Center Annex, on Lansdowne Avenue near 68th Street, have not had heat for a week, with temperatures in the building dipping into the 40s, according to a staff member. "The kids are still over there suffering and the principal's in her warm office. She's in the main building," the employee, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal, said yesterday.
October 3, 2013 |
William H. Rebstock, 59, of Marlton, vice president of a family-owned Philadelphia heating and air-conditioning firm, died of cancer Saturday, Sept. 28, at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. In 2003, Mr. Rebstock was elected vice president of W. Kramer Associates Inc. after 25 years with the East Falls firm. That was the same year that his brother, Robert, was elected president of the firm. In 1952, the brothers' father, Howard, had joined the Kramer firm. In 1967 he became its president, and in 2003 was named its CEO. The firm develops, installs, and services several types of heating and air-conditioning systems, Robert Rebstock said.
September 16, 2013 |
A few weeks back, a rowhouse dweller asked for advice about dealing with cigarette-smoke odor finding its way into her living space from the other side of the party wall. The odor was most noticeable, she said, when the neighbors turned on their central air conditioning. Harris Gross of Cherry Hill, a licensed professional engineer and home inspector, says older homes retrofitted with ductwork for central-air systems often lack sufficient return ductwork, especially on the second floor.
July 24, 2013
BY THE TIME you read this, the heat wave will be over and I will be free to share the Joneses' dirtiest secret since the time we snuck five boxes of dollar-store Milk Duds into the movies. You see, we've been hiding something that some of you will be shocked to know, having read about the good fortune we've experienced over the years. During the heat wave that hit Philly during early July, our central air-conditioning system died, and we were told that the cost of replacing it would be $5,000.