Design Comfort Blog: 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.

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3 Ways You Can Upgrade Your Heater Now

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The first cold days of winter are only a few weeks away… is your home heating system ready? Even if you think it’s prepared to handle the cold, there are ways you can get even more efficient and effective warmth with an upgrade to your home’s heating system.

Here are some options available that can give you better heating right now. Design Comfort provides all these services, and many more, for when you want improved heating in Salt Lake City, UT.

Install a programmable thermostat

If you still have an old digital thermostat, or even a manual model with sliders and dials, you are missing out on energy savings and comfort. A digital system gives you more accurate control over the temperature, with a reduced margin of error. A programmable system provides you even more control: you don’t have to be home to shut the system on and off. You can program your thermostat to turn your heater on half an hour before you get home, so you will always arrive to a warm house without having to keep the heat on all day. You can program the heater to shut off when you’re asleep and turn on before you wake up. You will notice significant savings on your energy bills with an upgraded thermostat.

Zone control systems

With zone control, you no longer have to heat up the whole house every time you turn on the heater: you only need to heat the rooms that you are using. You can also tailor the heat in the house to suit individuals, or change the temperature levels in different rooms to fit the activity there (for example, keeping the kitchen cool and the dining room warm). Hire professionals to see if they can integrate a zone control system with your current heater.

A tune-up for the winter

One of the best ways to upgrade your heater is to get it back to top-line condition with an inspection and tune-up visit from an HVAC technician. You should have maintenance done every year to keep your heater in prime working condition and to catch any possible troubles before they turn into serious repairs. However, it’s never too late to start if you’ve put it off—get started with annual maintenance now, before the serious cold arrives.

Design Comfort is available to answer all your questions about heating in Salt Lake City, UT this winter. We install thermostats, zone control systems, and many different types of heating systems. We’ve been in business since 1982 and have the experience to deliver you the home comfort satisfaction you need.

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Hot Air or Radiant Heat: How to Make the Right Decision for Your Home

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Heating options in Salt Lake City aren’t limited to the traditional gas furnaces or boilers than many people are used to. True, a lot of homes still use forced-air systems to stay warm in the winter, but you’re just as apt to see other homes using heat pumps, geothermal systems and radiant heating systems instead of those older systems. Radiant heating, in particular, makes an attractive choice for a number of reasons. But which one is right for you: hot air or radiant heat? Here’s how to make the right decision for your home.

Radiant heating means running tubes or coils underneath the floor of your home. The heat comes up through the floors, warming the furnishings and people in the room in question. Contrast this with hot air: generated in the furnace and blown through your home via a system of ducts. Strictly speaking, the radiant system is more effective. It generates no breeze, it doesn’t create drafts or warm spots, and because there are fewer moving parts, it runs less risk of breakdown that a forced-air system. It’s also much more efficient, which translates to significant savings on your monthly heating bill.

On the other hand, the start-up cost tends to be much higher than a traditional gas furnace. It also involves considerably more disruption, since your floors will need to be altered in order for the system to work. Some homes simply cannot support a radiant heating system, and homes which already have an existing duct system may not consider such a radical change worthwhile. Those less efficient, forced-air systems still do a good job of heating many homes, and the installation fees may not be worth the slow, gradual long-term savings.

Educating yourself about the specifics is a good way to make the right decision for your home, and the experts at Design Comfort can help. We’ll explain the details of each system, and stand ready for installation whether it be hot air or radiant heat. We understand all the heating options in Salt Lake City, so don’t hesitate to give us a call today!

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How Maintenance Leads to Less Energy Consumption

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Here in Salt Lake City, heating maintenance should be as regular and understandable as getting the oil changed in your car. All appliances suffer from wear and tear, and our environment doesn’t readily forgive neglect. Nothing is more exasperating than having to deal with a heating repair service in the middle of a cold front, and scheduling an upkeep session before the snows start to fall can lower that risk considerably. Perhaps more importantly, it can save you money in monthly bills by reducing the amount of energy that your heater uses. Here’s how maintenance leads to less energy consumption.

When your heater sits unused for a period of time (such as during the summer when you don’t need it very often), it builds up dust and grime. This increases friction in moving parts, which forces those parts to work harder in order to do their jobs. Dust can also clog up the air filters which can cause problems with the flow of warm air through your home. All of which severely impacts your heater’s ability to function as smoothly as it should.

Little problems can add up to a loss of efficiency as well. For instance, a loose bolt holding the fan motor in place may cause the motor to rattle in place, preventing it from operating efficiently. Or a small breach between two ducts could let hot air escape the heating system instead of being piped into your home like it’s supposed to be. Eventually, those small problems could turn into much larger ones – costing you money in repairs – but in the meantime, all they do is suck energy out of your heater and stick you with the bill.

Routine heating maintenance in Salt Lake City can correct a number of those problems: cleaning the dust off, tightening loose fittings and otherwise making the heater as ship-shape as it can be. In return, the heater doesn’t need as much energy to do its job and your monthly bills will keep from creeping up. The professionals at Design comfort can help with this process. We’re based in Salty Lake City, heating maintenance is a part of our offered services, and we can show you how maintenance leads to less energy consumption. Give us a call today!

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