Oasis Heating, A/C & Refrigeration Blog : Archive for December, 2013

The Ball in Times Square

Monday, December 30th, 2013

New Year’s is a time for parties, fun and great traditions, some of which go back more than a century. Among them is the famous “dropping of the ball” in Times Square, an event which is broadcast to millions of people every New Year’s Eve. With 2014 nearly upon us, we thought we’d take the opportunity to look at the history of this popular New Year’s Eve festivity.

The idea began in 1907 at what was then the New York Times building at One Times Square. The newspaper’s owner, Adolph Ochs, had been celebrating the New Year with fireworks since 1903. He wanted make the event even more remarkable, and added the ball in December of 1907 to welcome in the New Year. The first ball was designed by Artkraft Strauss, who made it out of iron, wood, and light bulbs. It took six men to hoist the ball up the building’s flag pole; once midnight struck, the tremendous ball was carefully lowered, and all were allowed to marvel at it.

Since then, the ball has undergone many changes in materials and design, and even the New York Times has moved to another building. But the tradition remains and the ball has dropped over One Times Square ever since. Today, the ball is electronically controlled, and uses LED lamps for its construction: designed by Waterford Crystal and weighing in at over 1,200 pounds.

A number of television broadcasts have helped carry the event over the years, but by far the most famous is “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” which first ran in 1972. The show was created and hosted by Dick Clark, who became a staple of the event as much as the ball itself. Clark hosted the show every New Year’s Eve from 1972 until his death in 2012. Since then, it has been hosted by Ryan Seacrest, who shared hosting duties with Clark starting in 2005.

Whether you’re watching the ball drop on TV or have some other New Year’s Eve plan in mind, we here at OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. wish you nothing but the best for 2014. Have a safe and happy New Year!

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Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Holiday greetings from OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc.! We hope you are having safe and pleasant season, enjoying your favorite traditions for this time of year.  We wish you the very best, and we thank you for your business this year.

In honor of the season, here are some fun facts about one of everyone’s favorite holiday movies: It’s a Wonderful Life.

For years, one of the enduring December traditions in the United States was watching the movie It’s a Wonderful Life playing almost nonstop on numerous television stations. No matter the time of the day, you could turn on the TV set, flip through channels, and discover It’s a Wonderful Life playing. Whenever you needed him, you could find Jimmy Stewart shouting, “Hello, Bedford Falls!”

But now… It’s a Wonderful Life only appears on broadcast television a few times during December, and most families instead choose to watch the movie on video. What happened?

The reason goes back to the film’s initial wide release in January 1947. (That’s right, it opened after the holiday season. It was not even promoted as a holiday film.) It’s a Wonderful Life was a box-office disappointment at the time, and its studio, RKO Radio Pictures, lost more than half a million on it. The movie’s production company, Liberty Films, was sold to Paramount to avoid bank foreclosure. (A bit ironic, considering the movie’s plot.) In 1955, the National Telefilm Associates (NTA) took over the rights to It’s a Wonderful Life, which included the television syndication rights.

However, NTA failed to properly renew the copyright in 1974 because of a clerical error, which allowed the film’s images to enter into the public domain. Although the movie’s plot was still under copyright protection because it was adapted from a published story called “The Greatest Gift,” television stations across the world could now broadcast it with only minimal royalty payments.

In 1993, Republic Pictures, which now owned the NTA library, tried to enforce their claim to the copyright of the film, as they possessed the rights to “The Greatest Gift.” Republic Pictures succeeded, and licensed exclusive television rights to NBC. Suddenly, It’s a Wonderful Life vanished from local television stations, and NBC made the movie’s broadcasts—usually twice during December—into major events. As of 1998, Paramount again has the rights to It’s a Wonderful Life… 43 years after they lost them.

It’s still easy to make It’s a Wonderful Life a part of whatever traditions you observe during the holidays, whether through home video or television broadcasts. Despite its lackluster initial reception in 1947, Frank Capra’s film is now an inseparable part of December in the United States.

Have a great holiday week!

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Benefits of Radiant Heating Installation

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Radiant heating is an unusual and efficient means of warming your house. It consists of pipes full of warm water or electrical coils directly beneath the floorboards of your house, warming the furnishings (and people) through the direct transfer of energy. When it comes to heating your home in Arlington VA  you have a lot of options, but radiant heating offers a number of advantages to offset the cost and effort of installation. Here’s a brief rundown of the benefits of a radiant heating system.

  • Efficiency. Radiant heating doesn’t rely on forced air to warm the room. It transfers energy directly, which means it does its job much more efficiently than forced air furnaces. You can save a considerable amount of money each month on heating bills, helping to offset the cost of installation.
  • Comfort. Unlike forced air furnaces, there are no drafts or cold spots to contend with with radiant heating. That tends to create a more comfortable environment overall, as well as preventing the spread of dust and allergens (which forced air furnaces are notorious for).
  • Cost Saving. Radiant heating systems have comparatively few moving parts, which means they require repairs less often on the average than other types of furnaces. Perhaps even more importantly, they can last a long time with proper maintenance, which not only extends the benefits of your investment, but can improve the resale value of your home when the time comes to sell.

The benefits of radiant heating installation are considerable, though it’s not for everyone. When it comes to heating, Arlington VA residents need to match their homes and their circumstances with the heating system that’s right for them. When making that decision, it helps to have trained experts on your side. Here at OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc. we understand radiant heating systems, as well as a plethora of other heating options for your home. We can discuss your choices with you, the set up an installation plan that meets your needs. If you want to see the benefits of radiant heating installation, then pick up the phone and give us a call today!

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What Kind of Issues Lead to Subpar Furnace Performance?

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Furnace problems always arise at the least convenient times. We need reliable heating to keep our Fairfax, VA homes toasty and comfortable when the snows start to fall. And they don’t always need to involve a full breakdown either. In some cases, problems can lead to subpar performance, where the furnace continues to function but requires a lot more time and energy to do its job. What kind of issues lead to subpar furnace performance?

Some of it comes down to plain old-fashioned dust and build up. If you don’t have your furnace routinely maintained, then dust and dirt will accumulate on it. That increases friction on moving parts, as well as coating the pilot light and other key components with grime that might affect the furnaces performance. It will thus work harder in order to do the same basic job, and your monthly costs will go up as a result.

Similarly, a leak in the ducts, or a problem with one of the burners or another component will slowly leech your furnace’s productivity. Say, for example, that your furnace uses six burners. If one of those burners is faulty, the remaining five should still be able to generate enough heat to cover your home. Only they will have to use more fuel to do so and will take longer to heat your home. Again, this will end up costing you more in terms of your monthly heating bills, and the issue will likely get worse the longer the faulty component is left unrepaired.

Finally, sometimes simple age is enough to create a subpar performance. An older furnace not only has years of wear and tear to deal with, but may not be able to take advantage of new advances in technology, leaving it less efficient than more contemporary models.

If you think you are getting sub-par performance from your furnace, the next step is to contact a qualified professional to address it.  Give OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc. a call to set up a Fairfax, VA  furnace service today!

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How Damaged Ductwork Can Lead to Heating Problems

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Ductwork runs from a central HVAC system throughout your house, carrying conditioned air to warm or cool your living space. Ducts play a vital role in keeping your home cozy and comfortable, and when they suffer damage they need to be repaired as quickly as possible. Here’s how damaged ductwork can lead to further heating repair needs. For more tips or to schedule a repair, call the Alexandria VA heating repair specialists at OASIS Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Inc..

It generally boils down to a question of efficiency. If your heating system is running efficiently, it’s delivering the most heat to your home for the least amount of work overall. The less efficiently it operates, the more energy it needs to use to warm your home (costing you money in higher monthly bills) and the more strain it puts on your system overall. That strain leads to parts wearing out more quickly, which in turn leads to further breakdowns and continued repair bills.

How does damaged ductwork feed into that? Because it reduces efficiency. If the duct is crimped or blocked, then the air won’t flow through it effectively: increasing the time it takes to warm your home. A leak or breach in the ducts will do much the same thing, while dust build-up in damaged ducts can lead to dusty components on the heater itself: increasing friction between moving parts and generally impeding the system’s ability to do its job. Like any other component, the ductwork needs to be in good shape for the heating system as a whole to function the way it should. Repair services to fix damaged ductwork will not only correct the problem at hand, but reduce the need for additional repairs in the future.

If you know how damaged ductwork can lead to further heating repair needs, then you need to call a professional as soon as you realize the problem.  For heating repair in Alexandria VA, Oasis Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Inc. has the know-how you need.

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