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Dutch Enterprises

Frequently Asked Questions

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Air Cleaners & Purifiers

The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) is a test designed to reduce the confusion of an air filtration device's performance by looking at the minimum or worst case scenario for a product's performance. MERV tests an air filter's efficiency on 3 size ranges of particles, large particles 3.0 -- 10 microns, medium size particles 1.0 -- 3.0 microns and small particles 0.30 -- 1.0 micron. Two products may have the same MERV rating, however may differ in initial particle size efficiency, initial air resistance, air leakage, bypass air, service life and tested airflow. The standard requires the test to be conducted at 1200 CFM. Not all manufacturers test at 1200 CFM. A reduced airflow will allow the air filtration device to have a higher MERV rating. Since MERV does not look at performance over time, a product may have a lower MERV as it begins to filter particulate. MERV also uses test dust that contains carbon. As a result no Electronic Air Cleaner can be tested under the MERV. The carbon negates the electronic section of the air cleaner.

Drain Cleaning

Call Dutch Enterprises.
The water pipes inside and outside your home can be very delicate. Older style pipes have a significantly shorter lifespan. In an older home, pipes wear thin from the inside out making them appear sound but in fact are very brittle. An unqualified and unskilled rooter company could cause extensive damage to your pipes and your home. The highly trained and certified technicians at Dutch Enterprises will take the time to properly diagnose the problem and utilize the right tools and techniques to solve the problem. Utilizing video technology we'll even show you the problem before the repair even begins. Should there be an issue of a broken pipe or other unforeseen problems after we begin the job, our expert plumbers can immediately take action. Can the other guys? We're not sure...and we don't recommend that you take a chance.
If left undisturbed, roots from shrubs and trees will completely fill a pipe with multiple hair-like root masses at each point of entry. These root masses quickly become clogged with toilet tissue, grease and other debris flowing from your home to the main sewer, resulting in reduced flow, slow running drains and in most cases a complete blockage. Once roots have entered the pipe, they continue to grow and expand, exerting considerable pressure at the crack or joint. This increased pressure often breaks the pipe and may result in total collapse, which requires repair or replacement. Some pipe materials are more susceptible to root intrusion than others. Clay tile pipe is easily penetrated and damaged by tree roots. Concrete pipe and PVC pipe may also allow root intrusion, but to a lesser extent than clay pipe. PVC pipe usually has fewer joints and the tightly fitted joints are less likely to leak as a result of settlement around the pipe.
Do not rinse fats or cooking oils down the kitchen sink. Liquid fats solidify in the cold pipes and create clogs. To help prevent clogs, fit all your tubs and shower drains with a strainer that catches hair and soap chips, and clean the strainer regularly.
In most homes, the kitchen and laundry drains are connected. When the lint from the laundry drains meets the grease build-up from soap and food products, a nearly solid substance is formed, causing blockage. Using filters and strainers will help, but you'll also need to get the drains snaked periodically as well.
The main culprit is tree roots, and once they've blocked the line, there is very little you can do. A Dutch Enterprises plumbing professional can snake the line to get it as clear as possible. But odds are the sewer line will most likely need to be replaced.
For minor clogs, they're fine, but never use them on a drain that is completely clogged. The caustic ingredients are trapped in your pipes, and it can severely damage them. If you can't snake the drain yourself, call Dutch Enterprises. Never use caustic drain openers in a drain that has a garbage disposal.
Water Jetting is a quick, economical and environmentally safe method of clearing drain and sewer lines. Water is propelled under varying amounts of pressure scrubbing away years of built up sludge, grease, grim, scale and other debris on the inside walls of the pipes. There is no better way to get your pipes draining like they did the day they were installed, short of replacing them completely. With a special root cutter jet head we can cut away any roots that have infiltrated the pipe.

Efficiency

Clean and replace your filters frequently.
Your system will heat and cool more evenly when the blower is in the "on" position. The blower provides constant air movement throughout the home, and allows for better filtration.
Install shades, drapes, shutters, or screens on windows that are exposed to extreme sunlight to keep room temperatures at moderate levels.
No. Every system is designed to cool a certain number of square feet. By closing registers and doors in certain rooms, you disrupt and decrease the systems' airflow and efficiency. Your system will have to work harder to cool less space, making it cycle more and become less efficient.
There is no exact answer for how long your system should run during each cycle. The average air conditioner is sized to remove the heat from your home as fast as it comes in. Therefore, ideally, on a 100° day the system should be able to keep up with the incoming heat, but not gain on it and not be able to turn off. The cooler it is below 100°, the more the system will cycle on and off. So it depends on the environment of each individual home and the condition of the equipment.
Generally speaking, a unit that is either on or off is less expensive than one that keeps cycling on and off repeatedly. Every time your system starts up, it will use a lot of electricity and not produce much cooling. That's why a smaller system is often more economical to operate: even though it runs nonstop and may deliver less comfort, it will usually consume less power than a larger system that cycles on and off.
The air temperature produced by your system depends on the temperature of the air going into it. Generally, the air produced should be 15°-20° below what enters the system. So if the entering return air is 80°, the exiting supply air should be about 60°-65°. However, that only works on a system that is operating properly and has been running at least 15 minutes on a warm, dry day with a home that is about 80° inside. On a milder day, with an indoor temperature 70, the air coming out should be 50-55.
Temperature settings depend on the time of year and your personal preferences. In the summer, the average temperature setting is 75°-80°. In the winter 68°-72° is the norm. Remember, when leaving your house; try to avoid drastic temperature changes. Do not set your temperature back more than 5°; this will cause your unit to work harder to achieve the desired temperature setting.
Because they are electronic, programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. Plus, they allow you to automatically control the temperature in your home at different times of day without ever touching your thermostat.
Variable speed refers to a furnace's or air handler's indoor blower motor. Different speeds control the flow of air throughout your home. Variable speed blowers automatically change speeds to meet the different airflow needs of the heating and cooling cycles. Variable speed motors can use 1/7th the energy and are excellent for customizing comfort levels in different zones of your home. A variable speed motor can also help clean the air and control the humidity.
Two-stage heating means a furnace has two levels of heat output: high for cold winter days and low for milder days. Two-stage furnaces start in the first stage, instead of reaching full capacity all at once. That means there is no sudden blast of air. The low setting meets household heating demands 80% of the time, allowing a two-stage unit to run for longer periods and provide more even distribution of heated air. Because the furnace operates mostly in its lower-capacity first stage, it burns less fuel than a furnace that always runs at full capacity and then has to shut off when the heating demand has been met.

Gas Furnace & Carbon Monoxide

The natural heating and cooling cycles of a furnace can lead to cracks in a heat exchanger. A furnace that is being overworked or stressed is more likely to have a premature breakdown and potential carbon monoxide leak. Dirty air filters, blocked vents, and burners that are not firing properly and disrupting the combustion process can all contribute to the detrimental stress that may lead to cracks in a heat exchanger.
If a crack in the heat exchanger allows carbon monoxide to escape into your home you may experience dizziness, light-headedness, flu-like symptoms, or even death by asphyxiation. Carbon monoxide limits the body's ability to take in oxygen. This is an extremely dangerous situation to have in the home, because the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning may be gradual and undetected.
Very concerned. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas produced during the combustion of fuels. It's colorless, odorless, tasteless...and can be lethal. Even trace amounts can impair your brain function and impact your health. Cracks, leaks, obstructions and other malfunctions in your heating system can cause carbon monoxide to develop and accumulate. Short-term exposure to carbon monoxide usually results in flu-like symptoms: nausea, headaches, dizziness, fatigue. Long-term exposure can eventually lead to unconsciousness or death. Dutch Enterprises recommends the following to minimize carbon monoxide risk: Keep heating equipment in good repair by scheduling regular inspection and maintenance. Keep furnaces, chimneys and vents free of obstruction. Watch out for birds, squirrels and other animals who sometimes build nests in these areas. Install a carbon monoxide detector, available at any home supply store. Periodically open windows in winter to let in fresh oxygen-rich air inside and let out any potential carbon monoxide. If you use an older gas stove or heater, look at the color of the pilot light. The flame should be at least 80 percent blue. If the flame is mostly yellow, it could be producing carbon monoxide, so have the unit checked by a professional immediately. Be sure to tune up your gas system at least once a year. Today's modern heating systems burn cleaner than older systems, minimizing or eliminating your risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Contact Dutch Enterprises for more information.

Heat Pump

Heat pumps are very effective for homes in this area. They are a good choice whether you rely on electricity or natural gas for your energy needs. A heat pump is an all-in-one heating and air conditioning system that works year-round for comfort. During warmer months, a heat pump works as a normal air conditioner. In colder weather, a heat pump collects heat from the outdoor air and transfers it inside the home. Even when outside air feels cold, there is still heat in that air. On very cold days when there's not enough heat in the outside air to meet the thermostat setting, an electric heater supplements the indoor air to warm a home. This process is quite efficient as it produces two to three times more heat than the energy it uses. A heat pump can also be an effective add-on option to use in conjunction with an existing gas, propane or oil furnace. With this dual-fuel option, the two systems share the heating load, but never function at the same time. Each system operates when it is most cost effective.
Yes, this is normal. A heat pump generally produces air that is around 80° and provides even comfortable, heating around the house -- not a blast of intense heat. However, 80° may feel cool to your hand, which is usually closer to 90°.
Totally normal. During the cold weather months, frost can accumulate on the outdoor coil. This can cause the heat pump to go into a defrost cycle anywhere from 1-10 minutes, depending on the amount of ice on the coil. This is temporary; the system will return to the heating mode once the ice is gone.
Several factors that can cause system freezing. First, if running in the cooling mode check your filters; restrictions in air flow can lead to freezing. Next, thaw the system out by turning off the cooling and running the fan. Also, try turning the system to the heat mode until the ice has melted. If the problem recurs after checking for air restrictions and thawing your system, schedule a service call with Dutch Enterprises. Our service technicians will check the refrigerant level. They may also have to clean the evaporator coil, check the blower speed and check for any intermittency in blower operation. A service technician can also evaluate other conditions that may make your system prone to freezing and recommend the best course of action.

Humidifier

There are both portable and installed units. If you are a renter, you may want a portable. Most homeowners, however, wisely give preference to an installed unit because of its greater capacity and its relatively maintenance-free operation.
Power humidifiers are now available in various models for use with any heating system.
A 13,000 cu. ft. home (1625 sq. ft.) requires approximately one-half gallon of moisture per hour. A qualified installer can tell you exactly how much humidification you need, and specify a humidifier to deliver it.
Recent advances in technology include a computer-equipped, completely automatic humidifier with an automatic control. This means optimum levels of humidity will be maintained without the need for frequent manual adjustments. Other humidifiers should at least include an accurate humidistat, conveniently located for frequent resetting, based on outdoor temperature changes.
Water residue is the cause of most humidifier troubles; rust is the second biggest problem. A good quality humidifier is designed to resist attacks from both.

Indoor Air Quality

I.A.Q. stands for Indoor Air Quality. Today, various products are available as add-ons to your existing heating and cooling system to improve the quality and healthiness of the air inside your home. These items include Electronic- or Media-Type Air Filters: Filtering the air within your home will help eliminate smoke, pollen, odor, dust mites and allergens. This will allow you to breathe easier, sleep better and enjoy your home more. Whole-House Humidifiers: Whole-house humidifiers provide consistent humidity levels throughout the home, and some models even adjust the humidity level automatically. The average heated home has a humidity level of less than 20%. The recommended humidity level in the winter should be between 35% and 45%. Air-to-Air Heat-Recovery Ventilators: These ventilator systems remove stale air from inside the home, while bringing in fresh air from the outside that is warmed during the transfer process.
An air quality system can greatly improve both your comfort and your health. The areas of air quality to consider are (1) purification, (2) filtration, (3) humidity control, and (4) ventilation. A wide number of air quality features come standard with many new heating and air conditioning systems; others can easily be added to existing systems. Contact Dutch Enterprises to discuss your air quality options.
Electronic air cleaners can greatly improve home air quality and comfort levels. If you suffer from allergies or have pets, they're a must. Some electronic air cleaners can even remove dust particles and pollen as small as .10 micron. Dutch Enterprises offers a variety of air filtration devices. Talk to your Dutch Enterprises to discuss your options.
If you are like most homeowners, you know that you are supposed to change your air filters about every 3 months. If you are like me, occasionally, that does not happen! It's very easy to overlook this home maintenance task when you are not face to face with the filters every day.
In an effort to answer this, let's take a look at what happens if you do not. System Inefficiency & Failure: When your air filter becomes dirty and clogged with debris, air cannot flow through properly. This is the number one reason for system inefficiency and failure. The added strain on the fan motor can cause it to overheat and eventually fail to operate. In the meantime, stressing the system forces more energy consumption leading to higher electricity costs and utility bills. Poor Air Quality: Today's air filters are specially designed to remove many harmful contaminates from indoor air. Allowing your air filters to become dirty decreases contaminate catching efficiency of the filter media. Depending on the MERV rating, the air filter will remove contaminants including: lint and dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, dust mites, auto emissions, smoke, and bacteria. Dirt, dust and debris from dirty air filters cause heating and air conditioning systems and air ducts to become dirty faster. This dirt and dust will be re-circulated into your home out of the ventilation systems causing a much dustier living space. Bad for the Environment: Dirty air filters increase your carbon footprint because they force the system to work harder using more energy. As you can see there are legitimate reasons why it is necessary to replace your furnace and air filters on a regular basis. Improving indoor air quality by removing harmful contaminants, keeping your house clean longer, saving money on high utility bills and decreasing your carbon footprint are all good reasons to make sure you replace your filters. Most require either monthly changes or every 3 months. This will depend on the type of filter you use. Follow the manufacturer guidelines.

Maintenance

At Dutch Enterprises, we call our maintenance plans a VIP Savings Club. A Dutch Enterprises VIP Savings Club membership is a great way of protecting you in the event of sudden breakdowns in equipment and is your guarantee that you'll receive regularly scheduled maintenance. With a VIP Savings Club membership, you will receive priority service for plumbing, heating and air conditioning calls (routine or emergency) and a 15% discount on all repairs. And you'll pay no additional charge for overtime or emergency calls. What's more we'll make sure that regularly scheduled tune-ups and filter replacements are done on time to keep your system working at peak performance.
The most important part of HVAC maintenance aspect is maintaining unrestricted air flows. Dust, dirt, and debris are an HVAC system's worst enemies. Whether it's an indoor or outdoor unit, you must keep all filters clean and heat exchangers and coils free of restrictions. We recommend that your heating and cooling system be checked and serviced twice a year; ideally a spring and autumn tune-up. Also we recommend that you change your filter regularly, depending on the type of filter you have. This alone can eliminate many of the most common problems that need fixing and can significantly reduce the likelihood of a serious breakdown. A Dutch Enterprises VIP Savings Club Membership is your assurance that these maintenance needs are met regularly and that any potential problems are promptly identified.
Regular filter replacement helps your heating and cooling system operate at peak levels and improves indoor air quality. It is important to change filters regularly to ensure proper air flow and to keep your home free from dust, allergens and germs. Depending on the type of filter you have, you may require weekly or monthly filter replacements. Your Dutch Enterprises service or installation technician will recommend the ideal filters and replacement schedules for your unit(s).
In general, Dutch Enterprises recommends that you replace your disposable filters at least once a month. If you have washable filters, they should be cleaned once a month. Your Dutch Enterprises service technician will recommend a replacement schedule that delivers the optimum efficiency and filtration for your specific system. With a Dutch Enterprises VIP Savings Club membership, we clean and inspect your HVAC system twice each year. Part of the service includes changing the filters or servicing your filtering system. Unless you have special circumstances, our service should be adequate. We recommend that you visually check filters and filtering equipment monthly. If filters look dirty, they need to be cleaned or replaced.
Most maintenance should be performed only by a qualified service technician. But here are some things that you can do to assure optimal performance: Keep ground mounted outdoor units clear of debris, clutter and weeds; they can reduce the airflow to the unit. Use caution with weed trimmers around the unit to prevent damaging control wiring. Keep pets away from the unit; pet urine can cause expensive damage.
You should have maintenance done on your air conditioning system at least once a year -- spring to early summer being the best times. This not only ensures maximum efficiency, it enables us to foresee any possible problems that may occur in the near future.
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