Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley - December 2018

aireserv.com/mid-hudson-valley | 845-256-6158

COMFORT CONNECTIONS

EXPERT LESSONS Advice to Newbies from an Industry Veteran

"Some of the most satisfying experiences come when you get to help people find relief in their own home."

As we close out 2018, there’s no group of people I’m more thankful for than my technicians. At Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley, we seem to have had one of our busiest years, due to a long, hot summer that scorched its way through the East Coast. Yet, my technicians didn’t falter, and I’m proud to say they rose to the occasion. This makes me feel confident in the state of my business. As I’m finishing my tenth year as an HVAC business owner and my seventh year serving under the Aire Serv umbrella, I’m always looking for ways to make sure this company is a self-sustaining machine of high-quality craftsmanship. These technicians sure do help with that. I remember when I first started in the HVAC industry nearly two decades ago. Luckily, nothing too traumatizing happened, so I don’t have vivid memories of my first service call. I’m sure I had to call my boss a few times to evaluate what I was looking at, but as I’ve grown in the industry, I’ve gotten better at troubleshooting problems. Through my experience, one of the best lessons I’ve learned is that sometimes when you’re looking at a problem, it can look more complex than it really is. The intricate wiring and often-complex pieces and parts in and around a heating system itself can overwhelm any newbie. While learning to perfect their craft, young technicians should know they are not just HVAC experts. They will have to know a little bit about electrical work, plumbing techniques, and construction methods, too. Some of the most satisfying experiences come when you get to help people find relief in their own home. Maybe you solve a problem that no one else could seem to figure out, or you install a cooling system for a family that has never experienced an air conditioner in their home before. Their satisfied reaction says it all.

There’s good news for young technicians looking for their first happy customer: This industry only wants to see you succeed. Schooling is available at many technical schools, and once a fresh technician enters a business, there is often an apprenticeship-like program to help train them. At Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley, all of our new technicians undergo about two years of training with one of our experienced technicians. We invest a great deal in our employees, and we love when they stick around to serve the community with what they have learned. As I continue into the tail end of two decades in the HVAC industry, I’m happy to see the interest we’ve been receiving lately, especially among younger generations. It looks like we’ll be getting more and more technicians fresh out of school coming into our industry, and we welcome them.

Luckily for my business and our customers, we have some of the hardest- working technicians in the business, and they proved just that this past year.

Happy holidays, and have a great new year!

–Jim Serra

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4 WINTER ILLNESSES YOU’D RATHER AVOID

Know What to Look for Before They Attack

Achoo! That’s the last noise you want to hear this winter. Cold weather brings a slew of sicknesses, so be vigilant to treat these common illnesses, or better yet, avoid them altogether. THE COMMON COLD Although there is no cure, a cold is easier to treat than other illnesses. If you or a loved one has a runny nose, low-grade fever, headache, cough, nasal congestion, or sore throat, the common cold has most likely taken hold. With the help of rest and perhaps some cold medicine, like cough drops and decongestants, the cold will come and go in about a week. BRONCHIOLITIS Bronchiolitis appears most commonly in children less than a year old and is caused by other viruses. Of the many symptoms — nasal congestion, low-grade fevers, and coughing — wheezing is the one you should be most concerned about. If your child is having difficulty breathing and is dehydrated, they may have caught a more serious strain of the virus. Most children will recover with at-home rest, but some may need to be hospitalized for more severe symptoms. If at all concerned, be sure to seek the advice of your pediatrician. INFLUENZA The flu is known for causing high fever, muscle aches and pains, nausea, and other symptoms similar to a cold. Often, the fever will last for around five days, but it can be shortened with the aid of antiviral medications. However, these medications are recommended only for children who face serious complications or hospitalization from the flu. If you want to avoid

catching this, your best bet is to receive the annual flu vaccine.

STREP THROAT A sore throat, headache, stomach ache, vomiting, and high fever are signs of strep. This infection is treated with antibiotics and should be addressed soon after the first symptoms appear to prevent further complications. Children with strep throat should stay away from school and other activities until they’ve been on antibiotics for 24 hours. Everyone knows that getting sick is no fun and is best avoided at all costs. However, it happens to everyone eventually. Catching a virus or infection in its early stages can help you shake the sickness much faster.

HOME HEATING DISASTERS

HOW YOU COULD PUT YOUR HOME IN DANGER THIS WINTER

There’s nothing quite like curling up on a cold winter’s day with a mug of hot chocolate, your favorite book, and a cozy blanket. Unfortunately, this scenario is often ruined by overheating home systems or furnaces that just aren’t doing the trick. Don’t get caught making these home heating mistakes. Stay warm — and safe — this winter. SPACE HEATERS Think twice before reaching for the space heater this winter. This extra form of heat can actually be one of the most dangerous devices in your home. According to Consumer Reports, about 25,000 house fires and 300 deaths can be attributed to space heaters. If you think you need a space heater to feel warm this winter, we recommend getting your furnace checked for possible issues. If you have to use a space heater, look for one with a high safety rating, keep the device on a flat, sturdy surface about 3 feet away from any material, and look for heaters that won’t emit carbon monoxide. CROWDING YOUR HEAT SOURCE While space heaters are dangerous when they spark materials in your home, all your heating sources can be fire hazards if anything gets too close. Don’t keep your bills or an antique table next to your furnace, and don’t let your

curtains drape over your wall furnace. These devices are made for emitting heat, and while it takes a spark to start a fire, heat can damage some of your favorite items or your home.

CRANKING UP THE HEAT If you feel like you’re constantly changing the temperature on your thermostat, your furnace may be screaming for a tuneup. If you're trying to set a certain temperature in your home yet you constantly have to overshoot that temperature on your thermostat, you’re forcing your furnace to work harder than it needs to. Furthermore, you may be forcing it to work while it’s malfunctioning, putting your home at grave risk. Don’t sacrifice your safety for a bit of warmth this winter. Have the experts at Aire Serv of the Mid-Hudson Valley check your system. Call 845-256-6158 or visit AireServ.com/mid-hudson-valley.

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MERRY AND WARM SOAK UP THE SUN IN THESE DESTINATIONS

Florida Stay stateside and check out the year-round sunny weather the U.S. has to offer. Spend the day at the beach getting some much-needed vitamin D or plan a trip to the most magical place on Earth. Admission to Disney World can actually be cheaper around the holidays, though some of the holiday attractions and accommodations may increase your bill. Egypt Discover one of the most historical places in the world. Explore and learn more about the ancient Egyptians while taking in the local culture and enjoying the warm weather of a desert this winter. Plus, resorts along Egypt's beach towns rival those of any tropical destination. Mexico Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen — your options are endless. Enjoy December at an all-inclusive resort or in the lap of luxury aboard a cruise that tours the warm, beautiful Gulf coastline. Soak in the heritage, food, and tourist attractions just off the ocean. But remember that, just like Cape Town, Mexico is another popular December destination for travelers.

The weather outside is definitely frightful, especially as another nor’easter always seems to be just around the corner. Grab your sunblock and take a break from the snow and ice this December at some of these warm destinations — or at least daydream about them. Cape Town, South Africa With temperatures between 70 and 79 degrees, you can’t go wrong soaking in Cape Town’s heat. Enjoy a day at a vineyard, hike up Table Mountain, or get out and explore the natural habitat outside of the Cape. Be prepared to spend a few extra dollars on travel and lodging, as summertime in the Cape — which starts in December — is the most popular time to travel there. Australia/New Zealand While most Aussies and New Zealanders loathe being combined together, their countries’ proximity to one another makes for a perfect tour. Take a trip to the outback and spend Christmas Day on the beach or at a barbecue. Explore the fantasy-like island of New Zealand, which is also home to some major movie sets. Give yourself ample time for this trip; these locations are about 12 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time. BUTTERY ROASTED CHESTNUTS

HAVE A LAUGH!

Whether or not you have an open fire, you can easily roast some chestnuts using this simple, delicious recipe.

Inspired by Bon Appétit

INGREDIENTS

• 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste • Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• 2 pounds fresh chestnuts, unpeeled • 2 or 3 sprigs rosemary • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 450 F. 2. Place a large sheet of foil on a rimmed baking sheet. 3. On a large, flat workspace, place chestnuts flat side down. Using a sharp knife, carve an X on the rounded side of each chestnut. 4. In a large bowl of hot water, soak chestnuts for 1 minute. 5. Pat dry and transfer to a medium bowl. Add rosemary, butter, salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Toss to coat and transfer to baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer. Gather the edges of the foil together, leaving an opening at the top. 6. Roast until peels curl up, 30-45 minutes. 7. Transfer to a platter and serve while hot or warm.

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845-256-6158

PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411

392 Masten Rd. Pleasant Valley, NY 12569

Learning the Industry INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 2 What Do My Symptoms Mean? 845-256-6158 | aireserv.com/mid-hudson-valley

Avoid Home Heating Disasters

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Warm December Travel

Buttery Roasted Chestnuts

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Holiday Decoration Tours

CHRISTMAS TOURS

GET AWAY AND BE FESTIVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

There’s nothing quite like the magical lights of the holiday season, and some destinations in the U.S. have perfected the craft of holiday decoration. If you’re looking to get away this December and still engage in seasonal festivities, add one of these places to your must-visit list. New York City’s Rockefeller Center New York City is an iconic location for Christmastime. The scene is like a Hallmark card: Ice-skating lovers whiz past miles of twinkling lights underneath an exceptionally tall and amply decorated tree. The tree is specially selected by Rockefeller Center’s landscaping crews, who scout out trees years in advance. It remains lit from November to early January, so you have plenty of time to check it out. Ranch Christmas in Jackson, Wyoming Jackson, Wyoming, takes its frontier culture to the next level during the Christmas season. All year, the city proudly displays four elk antler arches, but around the holidays, they are lit up with white string lights and flanked by snow. The Christmas decorations and lights surrounding the archway make for a Western-themed holiday pulled right out of a John Wayne classic. For holiday admirers looking for a unique spin, Jackson has you covered. Yearly Yuletide in Santa Claus, Indiana This one’s for the Christmas lover. If you can’t make it out to Santa Claus, Indiana, this holiday season, you can still celebrate Christmas in this tiny Midwestern town in January, June, or

even October. Embracing its unique name, the town boasts a museum, holiday shopping center, and a Christmas theme park. In a moving tribute, the town’s residents

also write responses to children’s letters to Kris Kringle himself. It’s impossible to avoid holiday cheer in this town. Disney World’s Christmas Magic What better place to celebrate the most magical time of the year than in the most magical place on Earth? Walt Disney World’s halls are decked to the max with a parade, gingerbread homes, strings of

lights, and festive parties. Plus, costs to visit Disney World can be cheaper during the Christmas season, so keep an eye out for a vacation steal.

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