Roznovak's Services Blog:
Archive for December, 2014

Why Do We Hang Up Mistletoe?

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Of course, you probably know part of the answer to this question already. You hang up mistletoe so that the people standing underneath can share a romantic holiday kiss! But what you may not realize is that the origin of this longstanding ritual predates many of the other holiday traditions we celebrate today. Why would a plant that has many poisonous varieties (most types sold for use in the home have few negative effects, but you can wrap it in netting to prevent children from consuming any fallen berries or leaves) be used as a symbol of holiday affection?

There are a couple of ways to explain the positive associations of (potentially hazardous) mistletoe. For one, this semi-parasitic plant has long been hailed as a treatment for illnesses and pain. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it to cure cramps, epilepsy, and more. Even today, mistletoe extracts are one of the leading alternative medicines studied for their effectiveness in killing cancer cells. And because the early Celtic Druids saw it as a sign of healing and life, they may be the first to bestow upon the plant its romantic associations, deeming it worthy of treating the infertile.

But it is Norse mythology that is likely responsible for a majority of the modern traditions associated with this small hanging bunch. One of the powerful Norse god Odin’s sons, named Baldur, was said to be invincible due to an oath his mother took to protect him from harm. But Loki, a god who often set out to make trouble for the gods, set out to find the one thing that could do some damage, and eventually discovered that Baldur’s mother Frigg had never included mistletoe in her invincibility oath. When mistletoe was finally responsible for her son’s demise, the grieving Frigg vowed that the plant would never again be used to hurt another living thing, and that she would plant a peaceful kiss upon anyone who walked underneath it.

And that is one of the reasons that, today, kissing under the mistletoe is viewed as a source of good luck. From our family to yours, we wish you a safe holiday season, and we hope that you and your family are full of joy and good fortune—mistletoe or not! Happy holidays from Roznovak!

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The Importance of Cleaning a Diesel Particulate Filter

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Since their inception, diesel engines have been used to move heavy loads that other engines just couldn’t handle. They are powerful, efficient, and vital to the operation of so many machines that make our modern lives possible. However, they also happen to produce the most air pollution of any kind of combustion engine. This has led to the introduction of diesel particulate filters, which are designed to capture most of the pollution given off by diesel engines. This is a great thing, but it does come with its own responsibilities. Namely, the need to regularly clean the filter. Let’s take a look at how the diesel particulate filter works, and why you need to clean it.

The Diesel Particulate Filter

The diesel particulate filter is a device installed in the exhaust pipe of a vehicle. There are several different varieties of particulate filters, but the most common is comprised of cordierite, which is a type of ceramic. Just like other air filters, the diesel particulate filter works by capturing particles that flow through the exhaust pipe while allowing heat and airflow to pass through it.

Cleaning the Diesel Particulate Filter

Over time, the diesel particulate filter becomes clogged due to the constant buildup of particulates coming off the engine. This can cause a great many problems for the engine itself, up to and including forcing exhaust back up into the engine. This can cause a lot of damage to multiple parts of the engine, including the actuator, fuel injectors, and even the engine oil. For this reason, it is of paramount importance that the diesel particulate filter is kept clean and functioning.

Most vehicles do this by going through a regeneration cycle. A computer present in the vehicle will inject more fuel into the engine to raise the temperature of the system. This causes the particulates to burn off of the filter, leaving it clean. However, this system is not perfect, and not all vehicles have them. If you aren’t sure whether or not your vehicle is using a regeneration cycle, call Roznovak. We provide diesel particulate filter cleaning services throughout Austin, TX.

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Why Is Good Insulation An Important Part of Heating?

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Have you ever had this happen to you? It’s freezing outside, and your heater has been on for hours. Everything is running smoothly, and your home is a nice and comfortable temperature. As soon as you enter another room, however, the temperature drops by about twenty degrees. What in the world just happened? You’re likely the victim of poor heating insulation. Let’s take a look at how important good insulation is to heating.

What is it?

Insulation is a material that is installed into the walls, sub-floor, and ceilings of your home to protect it from temperature changes outside. It can be composed of all sorts of materials, from blankets to loose-fill particles. Good insulation can also help to muffle sounds between rooms and even between houses.

Why is it Important?

Insulation is designed to seal the house off from the climate outside. Without insulation, changes in air pressure would result in the house being more or less the same temperature as the surrounding air. If you attempt to heat or cool a home without any sort of insulation present, the house will simply re-equalize shortly after the heating or air conditioning is turned off. This is why good insulation is such an important part of heating. You can have the best heating system in the world, but without insulation the house can still be freezing as all the heat is leeched out of it.

With good insulation, however, even a modest heater can conceivably keep a home well-heated and comfortable. The insulation keeps the heat inside the home, instead of allowing it to pass through the walls and ceiling. This is also why it is a good idea to keep your insulation in good condition. Though insulation is protected from the elements by the walls of the house, it does decompose over time. Certain animals and insects can also consume or otherwise damage your insulation, leading to holes where heat can escape your home.

If you think you may have a problem with your insulation, call Roznovak. We provide residential heating services throughout Austin, TX.

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Why Consider a Heat Recovery Ventilator?

Friday, December 5th, 2014

One of the major difficulties with maintaining fresh air in a house today is that allowing outside air through windows and doors makes it harder to keep a home comfortable. In hot Texas summers, it is impractical to have windows and doors open and let fresh air inside because it will ruin the efficiency of the air conditioning system. Cold weather days present a similar problem for the heating system.

One way around this dilemma is to contact Roznovak and ask about installation of a heat recovery ventilator for your home. We have many decades of experience providing residential cooling and heating service in Hutto, TX, and we can help you achieve the best in comfort while allowing fresh air to circulate through the rooms of your house.

What a heat recovery ventilator does

A heat recovery ventilator (HRV) is a device installed into an HVAC system that draws in outdoor air and then sends this current against a flow of air drawn from the indoors. As the two currents mingle, they exchange heat, which pre-conditions the air from the outdoors before it reaches the AC or heater. During hot weather, the fresh warm air loses heat before reaching the air conditioner; during cold weather, the fresh cool air gains heat before reaching the heating system.

How this benefits your home

By pre-conditioning the air before it reaches the comfort system, an HRV allows currents of fresh air into a home without placing extra strain on either the heating or air conditioning system. An HRV recovers, on average, 80% of the energy that would otherwise be lost by letting in a fresh breeze. An HRV will mean much lower energy costs for your home while at the same time delivering the indoors higher quality air.

Fresh air is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The heavy insulation on modern homes means that very little fresh air can enter and sweep away the stale air inside. This stuffy and often dirty air can lead to respiratory difficulties, insomnia, and allergic and asthmatic reactions. An HRV will see that you have the fresh air your household needs to reduce these problems without forcing you to pay a high cost for heating and cooling.

Call professionals for HRV installation

You must have professionals in residential cooling and residential heating service in Hutto, TX install a heat recovery ventilator. The device needs to receive precise sizing so that it can do its job without creating issues for the efficiency of the rest of the HVAC system. You can count on our technicians at Roznovak to take care of installing an HRV for your home that will deliver comfort, health, and energy savings. Call our indoor air quality specialists today to learn more about HRVs.

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