Advice From the Pros

How to Prepare for a Power Outage in the Winter

Nearly everything we do at home requires electricity, from cooking to communicating to keeping ourselves entertained. It’s easy to forget how much we depend on electricity—until there’s an outage. Power outages can be difficult to weather any time of year, but frigid temperatures without a working heater can be hard on both you and your home. So, when a winter storm gets on your radar, there’s no time to lose. Start preparing for inclement weather today, and you’ll be in the best shape for whenever winter snowfall suddenly takes a turn for the worst.

1) If you have a wood burning fireplace, keep firewood and fire-starting materials on hand and in a dry area. This is a wonderful source of heat (it worked for hundreds of years before we all had electricity to our homes, of course) but also an underrated source of warm food and drink. With some camping cookware, or old-fashioned cast iron, you can enjoy a cup of hot coffee and a nice warm meal even if your kitchen is all-electric.

2) Keep flashlights and headlamps ready and accessible. Don’t plan on using candles; flashlights are a much safer source of light during chilly winter nights.

3) Locate warm blankets and jackets. During a cold-weather power outage, layers are your best friend. Put on the tank tops, t-shirts, flannels, and jackets, then don’t be shy about wrapping up in a blanket on top of everything. Layers trap warm air close to your skin, keeping you comfortable in low temperatures.

4) Never use appliances, like a gas stove, to heat your home. Not only were stoves not designed to heat your space, but they can also be more than ineffective. A gas oven may go out or burn inefficiently, leading to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.

5) Do not risk your health waiting on power. If you feel that you are in danger, call a friend that has electricity or go to a hotel. The bottom line is that it isn’t worth it. If you need to wait overnight in the winter for power to be restored, and you have enough layers and light sources to comfortably make it through, that’s great. If your home has infants, small children, vulnerable pets, or elderly family members, look for somewhere safe to wait for your electricity to return.

 

 

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Five Reasons to Make Gentry Air Conditioning Your HVAC Company

 

We know that you have plenty of choices when it comes to the company that you trust with your home or business’s HVAC systems. We also know that the company you choose makes a big difference. Here are five reasons to make Gentry Air Conditioning your HVAC company:

1) We’ve been here, and we will continue to be here for you when you need us. Gentry has over 35 years in business, and we intend to have many more. Our extensive experience also means that if it can happen to your system, chances are, we’ve seen it before, and we’re ready to help you through it.

2) We are a locally owned business. This means that we are driven by maintaining our reputation and our ties with our community, and not by corporate profits. Our owner and employees are from and live right here in the mid-cities area. We constantly see our customers around town, and we are proud to provide the best service possible.

3) We go above and beyond. The industry standard labor warranty on all complete HVAC systems is one year. We back our work with a two-year warranty, so you can turn your attention to everything else going on in your life. Let us worry about your HVAC.

4) Our zero upfront cost maintenance program. Our Service Reminder Program is easy to sign up for by just telling your technician. You don’t pay anything until we come out for your maintenance check, which we contact you for in the spring and fall.

5) Our system, our trusted technicians. We never use subcontracting companies for our installations. It is standard practice in the DFW area for HVAC companies to use third party contractors to install their HVAC systems. While there are many benefits on the business side, there are almost none for the consumer trusting that HVAC company to properly install their new air conditioning or heating unit. There is significantly less accountability with a subcontractor. We only send technicians we already know and trust to your home or business.

Give us a call at Gentry Air Conditioning today! We’d be honored to be a part of your team.

 

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Air Filters

All About Air Filters

Air Filters

The air filter in your home’s furnace, air conditioner or heat pump is an important but often overlooked component of the HVAC system. Though they may seem like nothing more than cardboard boxes full of fibers or pleated material, air filters actually affect several crucial areas of indoor comfort and HVAC equipment performance. The continued high performance of a system begins with the air filter.

An air filter is usually made of a spun fiberglass material or from pleated paper or cloth enclosed in a cardboard frame. Its basic function is to clean the air that circulates through your heating and cooling system. Filters trap and hold many types of particulates and contaminants that could affect your health and comfort, including dust and dirt, pollen, mold and mold spores, fibers, lint, metal, plaster or wood particles, hair, animal fur, bacteria, and microorganisms.

Filtration usually occurs when expended air is brought back into the HVAC equipment to be conditioned and distributed again. The air is forced through the filter, and the material removes particulates and other contaminants from the air.

Filter efficiency and performance is often indicated by the filters’ minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating. Standard MERV values range from 1 to 16, with the number serving as an indicator of how well the filter will remove material from the air. Higher MERV numbers indicate high levels of filtration.

For a residential setting, you will want to stick with a midrange MERV rating of 8-10. These filters provide good filtration and are commonly used in residential settings. They’re often made of pleated cloth or paper to provide more surfaces for capturing particles.

The higher-rated types of filters are highly effective (and cost more), but they’re also thick and dense and can interfere with airflow inside your home’s HVAC equipment. High-MERV filters can reduce your heating and cooling effectiveness and could damage your HVAC system by restricting airflow.

All of the air that heats or cools your home will eventually pass through the air filter in the HVAC system. For this reason, it’s extremely important that you keep clean filters in your heating or cooling equipment.

Dirty, clogged air filters are a primary source of HVAC system malfunctions. In the more extreme cases, dirty filters can damage heating and cooling equipment. Dirty air filters can reduce the airflow inside the HVAC system, which can cause air-handling fans to work harder and wear out quicker. Dirty air filters can’t remove particulates and contaminants effectively, which allows these materials back into your indoor air.

If you have a one-inch filter, it’s important to replace it every 30 days. A four-inch filter needs replacing once every 3-6 months. Electrostatic filters are replaced as needed.

Call Gentry Air Conditioning today!

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