Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating Blog:
Archive for December, 2013

New Year’s Traditions Explained

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

2014 is almost upon us, and with the coming of the New Year, we thought we’d take a brief look at some of the more popular traditions associated with this holiday. It’s been around for at least 4,000 years: as long as we’ve figured out how long it takes for the seasons to come and go. Here’s a quick discussion about some of our more modern traditions and where they started:

  • Auld Lang Syne. The famous song began in Scotland, where it was published by Robert Burns in 1796.  He claims he initially heard it sung by an elderly resident of his hometown, which suggests it has traditional folk origins even before that. It became even more popular when big band leader, Guy Lombardo, started playing it every New Year’s Eve, starting in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
  • The Dropping of the Ball in Times Square. The tradition of dropping the ball in Times Square started in 1907. It was made out of iron and wood with light bulbs located on the surface, and the ball originally “dropped” over the offices of the New York Times at One Times Square. Dick Clark famously broadcast the event every year from 1972, until his death in 2012.
  • The Rose Parade. The Tournament of Roses Parade has been held in Pasadena every year since 1890; taking advantage of California’s warm weather to present a parade of floats, bands and horses. A football game was eventually added to the festivities in 1902, when Michigan dominated Stanford’s team by a score of 49-0
  • Baby New Year. The use of a baby to signify the New Year dates back to Ancient Greece, where it symbolized the rebirth of Dionysus (the god of wine and parties). Early Christians initially resisted the pagan elements of the story, but soon came to adopt it since it matched the traditional Christmas symbol of baby Jesus in the manger. Today, people of all faiths and traditions refer to the New Year as a baby, representing new beginnings.

Whatever traditions you choose to celebrate, we here at Cowboy’s Air Conditioning & Heating wish you the very safest and happiest of New Years. May 2014 bring you nothing but the best!

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Wishing You a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

It’s the holiday season once again, and everyone at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating wishes the very best for you, your family, and your friends. We hope that whatever brings you joy fills these last days of the year.

We’d like to thank all of our customers for giving us the opportunity to provide you with services that improve your lives and help you better enjoy this time with your loved ones. You are the reason that we exist as a company, and that’s something we always keep that in mind. We are eager to work with you in the coming year.

Here’s something to remember for the season: many companies in our industry are very busy on service calls during December—it’s one of the most crowded times of the year. If you need service, make sure you schedule it as soon as possible so you can continue to enjoy the pleasures of this time of year.

Lastly, we at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating want to conclude with a thought from the late Earl Nightingale to help remind us all that we do not need to wait for a holiday to have a reason to enjoy or celebrate ourselves, our lives or our family:

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.

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Heating Repair Because of Rust

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Rust is the result of a reaction between iron and oxygen combined with moisture from water or air. This reaction creates the red iron oxides that we know as “rust.” Given enough time, rust can chew away almost any iron or iron-alloy and turn it into flakes. You obviously do not want rust getting into the metal of your heating system and causing damage that will lead to repairs and eventually the need for a replacement system.

When you notice any issues in your heating system because of rust or other corrosion, call for repairs right away. Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating is ready to serve you 24 hours a day with emergency heating repair in San Antonio, TX. Don’t wait for rust to cause you even greater problems.

Common heating repairs because of rust

  • Replacing cracked heat exchangers: Although it may sound odd that a gas-powered furnace, which doesn’t use water to create heat, can develop rust, it can occur because of the reaction between combustion gas and the metal of the furnace. This rust should occur slowly, however. If the furnace has poor ventilation, or if leaks from an air conditioner seep into the furnace’s cabinet, the process will speed up and result in a dangerous situation: cracks developing in the heat exchangers. These cracks can release carbon monoxide exhaust, which is toxic and an explosion hazard. Rust along the inside of a furnace needs to have professional attention immediately.
  • Cleaning the burner: The burner in a gas furnace is where the gas jets ignite to create the heat that will raise the temperature of the air. If rust develops along the burner, it can restrict the flow of oxygen and prevent the jets from turning on. A rattling or booming noise often indicates this problem developing. Experts will need to detach the burner unit and remove the rust.
  • Heat pump repairs: Heat pumps produce condensation and water vapor as they operate, so rust can occur inside them and affect different components, such as the reversing valve, the motors, and the evaporator coils. You cannot have rust anywhere inside a heat pump or it will severely affect the system’s performance. Professionals will need to replace the rusted parts.

Rust is one of the biggest warning signs you can encounter with your heater; don’t “tolerate” a “little bit” of rust when you see it on your furnace, heat pump, or any other heating system. The rust will only continue to grow until the damage turns catastrophic. Call our heating technicians to find out why the rust has started, how to get rid of it, and how to prevent it from returning.

Call Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating for rapid and knowledgeable heating repair in San Antonio, TX.

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Common Mistakes During Furnace Installation

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Congratulations, you’ve decided to have a furnace installed in your home—either as a replacement for an older system, or as a system for a new home. A furnace should provide you with years of indoor comfort. However, we want to caution you about some of the mistakes that can occur during furnace installation—and the one simple solution that you apply to avoid them.

Call Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating for more advice about furnace installation in Selma, TX.

Furnace installation mistakes

  • The furnace isn’t sized properly: A furnace cannot be either too large or too small for the space it must heat. An undersized furnace will not provide enough heat and will need to run constantly to strain to reach its target temperature. Too large a furnace and the system will “short-cycle,” turning on and off repeatedly as it reaches the target setting too fast. In both cases, the furnace will rapidly wear down and require premature replacement.
  • The furnace is improperly connected to the ducts: If the furnace you are having installed will hook up to a preexisting set of ducts, careful work must go into securing the new system. Often, some ducts will need to be reconfigured in order to accommodate the new furnace. A sloppy or inexperienced job will result in leaks in the ductwork and a furnace struggling to provide the heat required from it.
  • The ventilation is done poorly: If you have a gas furnace installed, it needs to have proper ventilation to release the combustion exhaust gas after its heat is transferred to the air. If the exhaust flue in the furnace is put in incorrectly with a faulty damper, or if it is the wrong size, it can lead to a dangerous situation where the exhaust flows back into the cabinet or never makes it to the outside at all.

There is a simple way to avoid all these mistakes: hire experienced, licensed professionals to handle your installation, and handle it from the start of choosing and sizing your furnace. If you rely on amateurs, you won’t have any assurance that the work will be done right, and you may even end up with a potentially dangerous furnace in your home! Rely on professionals with a long track history of successful installations.

Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating has kept our customers happy and cozy for over 25 years. We can handle your furnace installation in Selma, TX so that you will have the warmth you want along with many years of trouble-free performance. Call us today to get started.

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What Is the Life Expectancy of a Furnace?

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Furnaces are superb options for home heating. Although they may not last as long on average as boilers, modern furnaces are competitive when it comes to their service life. The advances in technology during the last two decades have significantly added to the durability of gas, electric, and propane furnaces, making them attractive options for people who want to get many years of quality heating.

However, there is no single answer to how many years a furnace will last. Environmental factors affect it, as well as how frequently it’s used. The most important thing for getting the longest service out of your furnace is to have it maintained annually and repaired promptly. Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating can help you take good care of your furnace, no matter the type, so you won’t have to worry about scheduling a replacement in the near future.

The manufacturer of your furnace should give it an expected lifespan. The average expected lifespan for most contemporary furnaces is between 16 and 20 years (much higher than older furnaces, which were often fortunate to make it to 10 years). However, in our more than 25 years in the HVAC business, we’ve worked on furnaces that survived for longer than 20 years, thanks to solid construction from a trusted brand and homeowners who took good care of their unit. We’ve also seen furnaces fail after only a few years, usually because of neglect.

If you have a furnace that’s over 20 years old, you don’t necessarily need to think about replacing it immediately. You should, however, keep a close watch on it for malfunctions and signs of inefficient performance, such as an increase on your heating bills. At that age, it’s often more cost-effective to replace the furnace rather than repair it; you’ve already gotten a superb service life from it, so look into the next long-term investment in your heating.

Above all, make sure that your furnace receives regular preventive maintenance from skilled technficians. You should have maintenance done every year, no matter the age of your furnace, so that it gets the proper tune-up and cleaning to make sure it operates its best. Maintenance will also catch potential repair concerns before they turn into actual repairs.

If you sign the preventive maintenance agreement with Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating, we will give you two check-ups a year (one for your heater, one for your AC) along with priority scheduling, a 15% discount on parts and equipment, and one FREE emergency call. With our assistance, you can get your Boerne, TX homes furnace to that 20-year marker, and perhaps beyond – call us for your Boerne heating service needs!

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Benefits of Professional Heating Service

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Although we get more use from our air conditioners than our heaters in San Antonio, during the winter, the nights can drop to uncomfortable lows. That’s when your heating system will become very important to you. Make sure that your heater gets the best treatment possible so it is always prepared to keep you warm during the cold spots of the Texas winters. And the best treatment for that is professional treatment.

Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating has many years of delivering professional heating services to San Antonio, TX.

We know the benefits of hiring heating experts, and we’ll list some of the most important ones:

High quality installation

Professional heating services should start with installing your heater. Amateur work on an installation will lead to numerous problems in the near future and the long term: poor performance, fuel-inefficiency, numerous repairs, break downs, even safety hazards. But with professionals handling the installation, you can rest easy that they will only leave your home when they are certain that your heating system is hooked up to work its best for you for many years to come.


Heating systems today operate within strict safety regulations—but they can become dangerous if someone attempts unskilled repairs or inspections on them. With professionals on the job, you won’t have to worry about any health hazards: their first priority is keeping you safe.

Repairs that last

Even the best-installed heater from the finest manufacturer will eventually require repairs. Professionals will make sure these heating repairs are done fast and accurately. They will diagnose the exact problem that needs remedy, and then use the appropriate method of fixing it so that the trouble won’t come back. You will never have this sort of peace of mind if you try to do the repairs yourself or if you hire an amateur contractor to do it.

A heater that lasts

Having professional repairs leads to another major benefit of turning to experts: a heating system that lives up to and beyond its expected lifespan. When heaters receive the work of trained technicians who make every effort to keep the heater working at its best through repairs and maintenance, they will last for many years without losing their efficiency. Replacing a heater is costly, and you don’t want to have to do it many years too early.

If you need professional heating services in San Antonio, TX, call up a company with a quarter of a decade of experience providing the city with high-quality heating: Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating. We’re ready to help you 24 hours a day with our emergency service. We also offer excellent installation and maintenance.

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