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Are You Familiar With The "Internet of Things"?

Posted by John Sims on Tue, Mar, 14, 2017 @ 13:03 PM

The Internet of Things (IoT) Is Far Bigger Than Anyone Realizes!

Never imagined I'd have information on our website about these types of topics. I wanted to share some information with the homeowner and building owners in the Battle Creek area. We all know technology is moving faster than many people can adapt. So to lead into covering topics related to our home automation systems that you'll really like and not that hard to install.

Our goal is to make it easy to understand. Think of the first time you learned how to use a smart phone.

The speed of change is accelerating. I don't claim to be an expert in this area, I'm like you discovering this on a daily basis and then relying on the smart people at Carrier to introduce systems that will make life easier for our customers.

So here's a little tech background from an author from Wired Magazine:

The internet of things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communications; it's built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it's mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection; and they say it's going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports "smart" One of the biggest technology trends.

But here's what I mean when I say people don't think big enough. People never think big enough. This is a huge fundamental shift. When we start making things intelligent, it's going to be a major engine for creating new products and new services.

Imagine building bridges with smart cement: cement that is equipped with sensors to monitor stresses, cracks and warpages. It alerts us to fix problems

Self driving cars with traffic flow optimizations. Imagine buying a smart vehicle and then loan it out during the day while you're at work.

Here's an example for our industry: For instance, let’s say you typically get home from work at 7 p.m. Your thermostat knows this and usually adjusts everything to your own environmental Goldilocks zone – just right. But what if you hit a little traffic? Your HVAC system will be wasting energy—and money—for half an hour. Thanks to machine-to-machine communications, we’re entering an era where your car can assess the situation, calculate the delay, and transmit an updated time of arrival to your home thermostat. In response, your thermostat will tailor its startup to your new estimated arrival. With just a little machine-to-machine chatter and intelligent decision-making, you saved some money and lowered your carbon footprint. Now multiply that by the U.S. Census-estimated 124 million households in the U.S, and you’ve got some serious impact.

Now, if I could just find my keys, oh, wait they have technology for that.

FOR A FEW years now, the absentminded have found salvation in Tile, the simple tracking gizmo that helps you locate your keys or anything else you can hold onto. Late for work? Fire up your iPhone and the Tile app, then listen for the Bluetooth-activated sing-song or check the on-screen map for Tile’s last known location. Have your keys but not your phone? Press the Tile’s button and your phone will ring.

Tile is affordable and brain-dead easy to use—just attach it to whatever you tend to lose. Although it must be within Bluetooth range of whatever you’ve lost, Tile does offer a killer feature: If other Tile users are near your lost keys, the Tile on your keys can still chime and update its location on the map. The people who use Tile, the easier it is to find everything. Crowdsourced memory. Beautiful.

 With a rising user base—Tile says people use the app to locate more than half a million items every day—the march of progress has finally addressed another complaint: Tile is too big.


More to follow about the products and services we provide!


Topics: Thermostat, AC Components, Furnace Components, Home Automation

How Much Does It Cost To Repair A Flame Sensor?

Posted by John Sims on Fri, Oct, 30, 2015 @ 13:10 PM

This is a very common question homeowners ask and are searching online for an answer that gives them an idea. In today's world, you can just Google your questions. At Sims Heating & Cooling, it's our goal to be the ones to answer the questions the best we can with amount of information we have to work with.(i.e. not being able to look at your HVAC System)

Hey, is it more than $100 or $1500..., there's a big difference.

There's a feeling we've all experienced if you've owned a car or truck long enough when you need something repaired and in your mind you're thinking the repair is probably $200 - $300, but the actual bill ends up to be $1100. Yikes!!

Unless money is no object that causes an increase in stress when personal cash flow is tight today for most people. It can be stressful.

Having transportation to get to work or heat in your home when it's cold, fall into the similar categories; rather high on your importance meter in life.

Let's first define flame sensors:

The flame sensor is a safety device designed to prevent the unnecessary flow of gas from the furnace unit. It's essentially a confirmation mechanism. When a furnace's main burners ignite, the sensor picks up the heat and signals the main furnace control board that it's ok to allow the main burner to stay on. In the event the main burners don't light, however, the sensor signals the board that there's no need for the gas valve to be open, thus eliminating unnecessary gas from being released into a home's air supply.

Here's another way of saying it, the flame sensor indicates the presence of a flame and it's part of the safety circuit. If the flames go out and the furnace or boiler continue to feed the unit with fuel, a catastrophic explosion could occur. The flame sensor sends an electrical signal to a central controller. This central controller operates the gas or fuel valves for releasing the combustible materials into the burning chamber of the furnace or boiler. Upon an initial signal, the flame sensor is placed on a timer. During this "ignition period" the reading from the flame sensor is ignored until a large flame can be "seen" by the sensor. Once the timer has elapsed, the signal from the flame sensor is then constantly read as to monitor the burning of the combustible materials.

Obviously, it takes a well trained technician to be able to correctly diagnose the problem, know how to install it, and can test the new part to make sure it works properly. In addition, the costs associated with trucks, diagnostic equipment and time for the tech to get to your home.

Most homeowners are looking for ranges when it comes seeking an answer to their question.

Flame sensor or thermocouple replacement runs in a range of $80-$250. Remember, it depends on your specific situation.

Hope this helps. If you need service, schedule an appointment!


Topics: Pricing, Furnace Pricing, Furnace Repair, Furnace Components

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