Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Some of the Unusual Movies Released for Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2015

Hollywood has always tried to match movies up to the seasons to draw droves of viewers to the theaters: October is packed with fright-offerings, while the winter holidays skew toward warm and pleasing family films (as well as Oscar hopefuls). Valentine’s Day falls in an odd spot when it comes to the movie release calendar, however, since February tends to be a slower time for the film industry. The studios are as likely to slot strange movies that don’t fit anywhere else in their annual schedules into the Valentine’s Day weekend as they are films with powerful romantic appeal.

So, while the second weekend of February has featured hugely successful romantic comedies like Hitch, The Wedding Singer, and (of course) Valentine’s Day, some truly weird choices have debuted in this weekend as well. And a few have even gone on to tremendous success despite the bizarre match with the holiday. Here are a couple of the odder Valentine’s Day movie releases:

  • Dracula (1931): Yes, this Halloween perennial and the start of Universal Studio’s Classic Monsters actually came out on Valentine’s Day! But perhaps this makes some sense, as the Dracula legend has often received a “doomed lover” approach in the many years since Bela Lugosi made the aristocratic vampire a screen icon.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Does any film seem less appropriate for Valentine’s Day than this unnerving and sometimes very violent psychological thriller? What’s even more astonishing than the film’s release date is that The Silence of the Lambs eventually nabbed the Oscar for Best Picture, an almost unheard of occurrence for a movie released so early in the year.
  • Daredevil (2003): This Marvel comic adaptation featuring Ben Affleck as a blind superhero does contain a romantic subplot, but the stronger connection to Valentine’s Day may just be that Daredevil wears a bright red costume.
  • A Good Day to Die Hard (2013): The least successful of the Die Hard film franchise, this is an excellent example of a studio dropping a film into a weekend where it doesn’t fit in the hopes that it works as counter-programming. (It didn’t.)
  • Wayne’s World (1992): Now here is an example of counter-programming that clicked with audiences. This comedy based on a Saturday Night Live sketch turned into one of that year’s biggest hits and spawned a sequel.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day with a trip to the movie theater, or you have your own special plans, everyone here at Atlantic Refrigeration hopes you and your loved ones have a wonderful weekend.

What’s Included in a Quality HVAC Maintenance Program?

February 5th, 2015

Your heating and air conditioning systems go through a lot in the course of a year. Air conditioning systems contain many mechanical components that require quite a bit of electricity to operate. And on a particularly warm day, these parts can begin to wear down, which means they must work even harder to cool your home. Heating systems may contain burners and ignition equipment that can malfunction from just a little bit of dirt. Keeping parts in top shape is key to the performance of your heating and air conditioning system, which is why technicians usually recommend that you enroll in an HVAC maintenance program.

If you’d like to sign up for a complete, quality HVAC maintenance program in Georgetown, DE, call the professional maintenance team at Atlantic Refrigeration today. Here’s what you’ll get from a maintenance plan:

  • Twice Annual Inspection: If you so choose, you could skip enrolling in a maintenance program and just schedule maintenance when you feel it is necessary. However, this means you’re not getting all of the additional benefits of an HVAC maintenance program (such as special offers and discounts), and you may forget to schedule appointments.
  • Adjustment and Cleaning: Over time, parts are bound to become a little bit dirty, especially the outside portion of your air conditioning system or heat pump and the exposed, dusty areas of your air handler.  Technicians will clean several of the key components, such as the indoor and outdoor coils and the blower fan, and they’ll make any adjustments that may be necessary.
  • Additional Benefits: Most HVAC maintenance programs also include additional benefits that may actually compensate for the annual fee. At Atlantic Refrigeration, for example, we offer priority service to all customers enrolled in our twice yearly maintenance program, so that is a sudden repair need does come up, they’re moved to the top of the service list. We also give discounts to these customers for parts and labor.

Call Atlantic Refrigeration today to enroll in an HVAC maintenance program that can help to save you money, reduce repairs, and potentially extend the life of your heating and AC equipment.

When the Thermostat Is at Fault for Your Commercial HVAC Trouble

January 29th, 2015

When the heating and air conditioning system won’t come on in your home or business, the first thing you check is the thermostat. The thermostat is the most accessible portion of your HVAC system, and it’s natural to assume that this piece is at fault. The thermostat may be at fault if it is not programmed properly, if the wiring is faulty, or if it needs a thorough maintenance check. However, oftentimes, it turns out that the thermostat is working just fine and another component of your HVAC system is at fault. The following guide details common thermostat problems, and why replacement is often the best option for faulty commercial thermostats in Smyrna, DE.

Learn How to Program the Thermostat

Sometimes, thermostat trouble occurs simply because the people on the property are unsure of how to operate the thermostat. Take the time to learn about the operation of your thermostat by reading a guide or consulting with a technician upon installation or maintenance. You may even want to communicate some vital information back to tenants and employees on the matter so that they can check the thermostat first if trouble occurs. Programming settings can be difficult to understand, and you want to make sure that it is programmed to remain running when people are in the building.

Signs of a Faulty Thermostat

If all of the settings are correct and the unit is not running, it’s possible that the wiring in the thermostat has gone awry. Sometimes, the technician can make repairs for this type of problem, but other times a replacement is necessary. Another common issue that could indicate faulty wiring (but may also result from a number of electro-mechanical issues) is short cycling—when the unit turns off soon after starting and before the heating or cooling cycle is complete.

When Replacement Is the Best Option

Sometimes, a thermostat simply fails to do its job, and replacement is a more cost effective option than any lengthy repairs. However, you shouldn’t attempt replacements yourself and assume that the thermostat is at fault, as it could be any of several other problems instead. On the other hand, a replacement thermostat with advanced settings may make your system run more efficiently even if your older one did not appear to be in trouble.

Call Atlantic Refrigeration for service, repair, or installation on commercial thermostats in Smyrna, DE.

Energy Recovery Ventilators vs. Heat Recovery Ventilators

January 22nd, 2015

Homeowners who are conscious of their monthly energy spending can take just a few simple steps to keep their bills reasonable. Keeping doors and windows shut while running the heater or air conditioner is an important part of energy efficiency, as is sealing any leaks around the home and weatherization. But all this sealing and reinforcing can lead to some consequences for your family’s health.

When your home is sealed up tightly, your air conditioning and heating system won’t have to work as hard to get your home to a desirable temperature. But this also means that there is no fresh air coming into the home. We need fresh air to dilute the effects of cooking and cleaning and to allow any chemicals from the building material in our homes or other home processes to vent. That’s why many homeowners bring in a professional to install heat recovery ventilators or energy recovery ventilators. We’ll go over the difference in the following post.

Heat Recovery Ventilators

If you want fresh air in your home, you could simply crack a window, but this brings along with it undesirable temperatures. In the winter, you don’t want heat to escape from your home, and in the summer, you don’t want to let it in. A heat recovery ventilator uses fans to pull in the fresh outdoor air while exhausting the stale outside air. However, as it flows through the HRV some of the heat from the warmer air transfers to the other air stream. In other words, the heat from the incoming air stream transfers to the exiting air stream in the summer so it does not move into your home. In the winter, the heat from the outgoing air stream is transferred to the incoming fresh air.

Energy Recovery Ventilators

An energy recovery ventilator does everything that a heat recovery ventilator does, except that it is more effective at transferring moisture. The moisture in the humid air stream transfers over, so moisture can move into your home when the air is too dry and moisture moves out when it’s hot and sticky, without mixing the two airstreams.

Contact Atlantic Refrigeration to discuss your needs and decide whether energy recovery ventilators or heat recovery ventilators in Bethany Beach, DE are best for you.

Signs That a Commercial Boiler Needs Repair

January 15th, 2015

As a business owner, you know how important it is that your workspace be adequately heated throughout the winter. Having an uncomfortable indoor atmosphere can impact your business significantly, so it’s always best to be ahead of repairs instead of waiting for a total breakdown of your heating system before addressing problems with your commercial heating system. However, it can be a challenge to pick up on the signals from such a large heating system, so to help you decipher some of the signs that indicate it’s time for commercial heating repair in Dover, DE, our Atlantic Refrigeration commercial heating experts have put together a list of signs of which to be aware:

Leaks

Boilers are part of hydronic heating systems, which means they use water to heat your business space. Even though water is part of the system, leaks are not a normal part of operation and need to be attended to right away. Leaks aren’t always readily apparent, so if you see wet spots on your ceiling, hear a dripping noise or have noticed that a radiator or baseboard isn’t working but there’s water around it, it’s important to call for an expert right away.

No Heat/Low Heat

An office space that is too cool can’t operate correctly. There can be multiple reasons for poor heating, including issues with the burner, air lock in the piping system or the off chance that your boiler has run out of fuel. As soon as you detect that your commercial boiler is not heating as needed, it’s time to call for a specialist.

Strange Noises

One of the benefits of a boiler system is that it is a very quiet system to operate. Therefore, if you are hearing strange sounds coming from your heating system, such as pipes banging, a technician should take a look at your system.

A poor heating system can affect your employees, your customers and ultimately, your business.

If you are seeing the signs that you need commercial heating repair in Dover, DE, don’t ignore it – call Atlantic Refrigeration and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Types of Commercial Reach-In Coolers to Choose From

January 8th, 2015

Starting or renovating a new company that needs a commercial kitchen or supermarket equipment is exciting, but also involves many time consuming decisions. The layout of the space is of concern first and foremost, as the arrangement of your store or kitchen will determine what products you can stock. And some of the most expensive equipment in your business that you’ll rely on for storage and display purposes are part of the commercial refrigeration system.

Choosing a commercial reach-in cooler in Ocean City, MD can be difficult since there are so many different varieties to choose from. But when you speak with the friendly technicians at Atlantic Refrigeration, they can help you plan where display cases and coolers are best suited for installation and which of the following styles or models are most appropriate.

  • Solid Door or Glass Door Cooler: You may choose a cooler with a solid door as opposed to a glass door if you only plan to use the unit in a commercial kitchen or storage area rather than as part of a display. Either way, there are generally numerous sizes and layouts you may choose from as well as variable temperature settings.
  • Self-Contained System: While most refrigeration equipment is hooked up to the central refrigeration piping, a few display cases (such as those that store soda at the check-out line) may be self-contained, rejecting heat into the immediate area rather than at a rooftop condenser or cooling tower.
  • Sliding Door: A sliding door is usually ideal for areas in which there is limited space or in order to suit your design needs.
  • Dual Temperature: Dual temperature coolers allow for refrigeration and freezing in separate cabinets.
  • Open Deck: Open deck coolers were once considered ideal for marketing purposes, but new studies show that they may not stimulate sales as much as it was once believed. Closed cases are far more efficient, while open display cases can actually affect the temperature inside of the store nd eave customers feeling uncomfortable.
  • Deli Cases and Other Display Options: Finally, you can choose from a variety of case styles designed for different purposes, such as cases designed to display meat, produce, and milk, single-deck cases or multi-deck cases.

The commercial experts at Atlantic Refrigeration are your go-to source for professional installation and expertise about reach-in coolers in Ocean City, MD. Give us a call today!

3 Common Furnace Repairs

January 5th, 2015

Whenever you have an issue with your heating system, no matter what kind it is, you should rely on a professional to fix it for you. Using professional heating repair ensures that your heating system is fixed safely and effectively. However, that doesn’t mean that you should remain ignorant of the process. Knowledge is power, and knowing more about your heating system could help you take better care of it. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 3 common furnace repairs.

Broken Pilot Light

There are a few different kinds of pilot lights these days, but the most common is still the standing pilot light. This is a small flame that burns underneath your furnace 24/7. This flame is responsible for lighting the burners to start the furnace when the thermostat commands heat. Unfortunately, pilot lights are notorious for going out on a semi-regular basis. Normally, this is simply due to a gust of air, and the pilot light is easily relit. Occasionally, however, the pilot light refuses to light in the first place. This is often caused by a faulty thermocouple, which is the heat sensor that determines when to supply fuel to the pilot light. Replacing the thermocouple tends to fix the problem.

Clogged Air Filter

The air filter is a fiber-mesh woven over a frame and installed in the air return of your furnace. It is responsible for capturing all the dust and debris commonly found in a home’s ductwork before it can enter the furnace and cause problems. If the filter is not changed every 1-3 months, however, it can become so clogged with debris that it restricts air flow to the furnace. This causes the furnace to overheat, causing damage and creating fire risk.

Broken Air Handler

The air handler is the part of the furnace responsible for circulating warm air throughout the house. It is mainly comprised of a motor, fan, and fan belt. Any one of these parts is capable of failing, with the most common being the motor and fan belt. If you hear grinding or squealing noises coming from your furnace, it is likely a problem with the motor or fan belt, respectively. Call a professional as soon as possible.

If you’re having furnace problems, call Atlantic Refrigeration. We provide heating repair services throughout Lewes, DE.

12 Grapes for 12 Months: An Unusual New Year’s Tradition

January 1st, 2015

Across the world, many cultures have specific traditions to celebrate the transition from the old year to the new. In the U.S. and Canada, we associate New Year’s with the ball in Times Square, kissing at the stroke of midnight, resolutions, and singing “Old Lang Syne.” But for many Spanish-speaking countries, one of the key traditions has to do with eating grapes as fast as possible.

The “twelve grapes” tradition comes from Spain, where it is called las doce uvas de la suerte (“The Twelve Lucky Grapes”). To ensure good luck for the next year, people eat one green grape for each of the upcoming twelve months. However, you cannot just eat the grapes during the first day of the new year any time you feel like it. You must eat the twelve grapes starting at the first stroke of midnight on Nochevieja (“Old Night,” New Year’s Eve) as one year changes to another. And you have to keep eating: with each toll of midnight, you must eat another grape, giving you about twelve seconds to consume all of them. If you can finish all dozen grapes—you can’t still be chewing on them!—before the last bell toll fades, you will have a luck-filled new year.

Where did this tradition come from? No one is certain, although it appears to be more than a century old. One story about the Twelve Lucky Grapes is that a large crop of grapes in 1909 in Alicante, Spain led to the growers seeking out a creative way to eliminate their surplus. But recent research through old newspapers shows that perhaps the tradition goes back almost thirty years earlier to the 1880s, where eating grapes was meant to mock the upper classes who were imitating the French tradition of dining on grapes and drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve.

It can be difficult to consume grapes this fast, and the lucky grapes of New Year’s Eve have seeds in them, making the job even trickier. (Seedless grapes are not common in Spain the way they are over here.) For people to manage eating all the grapes before the last stroke of midnight requires swallowing the seeds as well and only taking a single bite of each grape.

Oh, there is one more twist to the tradition: you have to be wearing red undergarments, and they have to be given to you as a gift. The origins of this part of the tradition are even more mysterious, and it’s anybody’s guess why this started.

Whether you go for the grape challenge or find another way to ring in New Year’s, all of us at Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Inc. hope you have a great start to the year and a fruitful 2015.

The Composition of Snowflakes: Are No Two Alike?

December 25th, 2014

“No two snowflakes are alike.” This is a statement nearly every schoolchild has heard at least once, either while crafting unique snowflakes with a sheet of folded paper and some scissors or while learning a lesson on the science of snow. While even most scientists don’t quite understand what causes a snowflake to form such complex and beautiful columns and points and branches, one thing is for certain, the composition of snowflakes guarantees that no two will ever be identical.  However, it is possible for two snowflakes to appear to be nearly exactly alike.

A snowflake begins to form when a piece of dust catches water vapor out of the air. Water is created when two hydrogen molecules attach to an oxygen molecule. The two hydrogen molecules are angled from one another in such a way that they form a hexagonal shape when they come together during the freezing process; thus, a snowflake begins as a simple hexagonal shape or as layers of hexagons called diamond dust. The emergent properties that follow from the original hexagon are what differentiate one snowflake from another, as the humidity, the temperature in the air, and many other factors (some of which remain unclear to scientists) allow each snowflake to form in an entirely unique way with a seemingly endless variety of shapes.

However, in 1988, a scientist named Nancy Knight claimed to have located two that were the same while studying snowflakes as part of an atmospheric research project. And it appeared to be so; when put under a microscope, the emergent properties looked nearly identical. But while it is feasible that two snowflakes can appear to be exactly alike on the outside, they are never identical on an atomic level. Deuterium is an atom that appears attached to about one in every 3000 hydrogen molecules in the air. Because there are millions of atoms that make up a snowflake, the random assortment of deuterium in any two snowflakes—even in two that so very closely resemble one another—simply cannot be the same.

Here at Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. we’d like to remind you to grab a cup of cocoa and relax with your family this holiday, perhaps by crafting some unique snowflake creations of your own. We wish you a very happy holiday season, from our family to yours!

Why You Need a Quality Commercial Thermostat

December 18th, 2014

The thermostat is generally the only component of your commercial heating and air conditioning system that anybody in your building has to deal with in a hands-on manner. For the most part, your thermostat may seem fairly simple to operate. But if you don’t have a quality thermostat installed in your office, complex, or building, you may be spending more than you need to on monthly bills and forfeiting your chance at a more comfortable office environment.

A quality thermostat suits your needs but is also user-friendly so that everybody employed in your building or your residents can control it with ease. Talk to the knowledgeable team at Atlantic Refrigeration in order to find out which commercial thermostat will work best on your property in Ocean City.

Your Options for Commercial Thermostats

One of the most important considerations to make when selecting your new thermostat is energy usage. The thermostat communicates to the AC and heater when to turn on and off. Unfortunately, with an old-fashioned manual thermostat, you likely won’t always be able to tell if you’re one or two degrees off from the desired temperature. And a couple of degrees difference in a large commercial space will actually end up costing you a lot more money every month.

A digital thermostat is certainly an upgrade, as it has a clear display so you always know you’re at exactly the temperature you need it to be at. But furthermore, today’s digital thermostats are also programmable, so you can set them to turn on and off throughout the day as scheduled. This helps you to save energy and allows your employees to feel more comfortable in whatever area of the home they’re in.

You can even get a smart thermostat for your business with options that allow you to make sure you’re saving the most energy possible even while you’re away. Smart thermostats have advanced options that make it capable of essentially learning what temperatures you prefer even while you’re away. Simply download an app on your tablet or smartphone, and you can adjust the temperature, check up on energy usage and more.

Thermostat replacement is a job for a trained technician, as commercial properties tend to have complex zone control needs and is a complicated job.

Call the team at Atlantic Refrigeration to learn more about commercial thermostats in Ocean City.